Thursday, June 08, 2006

First Class Cricketers - They Deserve Better Treatment.

How many of you following Indian cricket can recognize this cricketer to your right?. I think hardly any of you can. His name is S Sharat, former captain of Tamil Nadu cricket team. He is a middle order batsman, has played 127 first class matches till now and has a batting average of 52.81. He has won so many battles for Tamil Nadu and has had played a great role in many of Tamil Nadu's victory. But did he ever get the recognition he deserved? The answer is a big NO.

It is high time we appreciate the efforts of first class cricketers who have contributed much to the cricket of their respective state. They couldn’t get the necessary recognition just because they were not selected to the Indian team. Ananthapadmanabhan, former skipper of Kerala cricket team was one of the best leg spinners India has produced, but never got a chance to play for India. Luck was never with him as his career almost started with that of Kumble who happened to be a better bowler than Ananthan. When I see the fame and recognition Sreesanth gets after playing just 3 test matches I think about Ananthan, Ramprakash, Jayaraman and other few great Kerala cricketers. They played for their home state with full passion and never got any applause from the cricket loving crowd.

Have you ever heard of Kanwaljit Singh. He has been a great offspinner who have taken 369 first class wickets. He played for Hyderabad till the age of 40 (20 long years). Raju and he spun Hyderabad to lot of victories. How many Hyderabadis know this name or recognize him?

The point I like to make in this post is people consider international cricketers as God. Whatever they do becomes news. They earn millions through various endorsements. But what about the state players, isn’t it high time we recognize and appreciate them the way we do with the international players?

This discrimination is prevailing throughout India. See this list of players-AA Muzumdar (Mumbai), S Badrinath (Tamil Nadu), CC Williams (Baroda), Praveen Kumar (Madya Pradesh) , SS Lahiri (West Bengal), Joginder Sharma (Haryana) . They have scored maximum runs or taken maximum number of wickets for their state in the last edition of Ranji Trophy. But how many are household names in their respective states?

I believe this lack of recognition of state players is one of the main reasons which prevent India from being the best cricket team in the world. The gap between the national and international cricket team is huge. So a player coming into the Indian Team suddenly finds himself on a different level. We Indians should learn from the Australians. The Australians follow their domestic cricket with the same passion and zeal with which they follow the international cricket. The players are proud to represent their state team and they get instant recognition in their state as a first class cricketer.

But what about India - Public are not ready to accept these players who sweat out for their home state. The companies who spend millions in sponsoring the national team are not ready to sponsor the state team. I believe as long as we don’t recognize the state players, lift their morale and create a feeling of pride in them for playing for their state, India can never be World No. 1 in cricket like Australia.

Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has understood this need and started giving importance to first class cricketers by providing them with better playing conditions, travel facilities, better pay etc. Now it is the turn of the cricket loving public to show their support.

LET’S ENCOURAGE THE STATE PLAYERS; THEY DESERVE BETTER RECOGNITION FOR THEIR HARD WORK
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12 Comments:

Anonymous pamthree said...

of all those ranji players s sharat should have played for india. he was very consistent.

June 08, 2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

pamthree-yes, he was soo consistent that he should have played for India long back. If people like Atul Badade can play for India then of course people like Sharat.

June 08, 2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger pradeep said...

Sharath had to contend with the Karnataka brigade (Gundappa Viswanath era) of the 90's. Weren't there 7 from Karanataka in the National Team at one point in time?

Dravid picked Sharath's spot.

June 08, 2006 5:48 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

There was 7 players in Indian team from Karnataka. dravid, prasad, bharatwaj,sunil joshi, sreenath, kumble and ganesh. there was a time all the bowlers for india were from Karnataka. If Bharatwaj can play for India then defenitly Sharat should also have get a chance

June 09, 2006 1:39 AM  
Anonymous chandni said...

well I really didnt know abt them..

Nice post...they should definitely get the credit they deserve...

June 09, 2006 4:32 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

chandini-Thanks for visiting my blog.

June 10, 2006 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brijesh,
I agree with ur thoughts. The main responsibility lies with BCCI not with the public. They have to find innovative ways to make it more popular. Once they start doing this, it starts feeding other departments, for e.g viewership increases and sponsorship cud increase. It is a cycle and it has to start with BCCI.

Mayil

June 10, 2006 4:06 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Mayil-BCCI has started doing their part. They increased the pay of first class players, better travelling and hotel facility etc.

Another problem is few international players play the first class matches. since the international calendar is too full rarely they get a chance to play first class matches. For eg sachin might have played handful of first class matches in the last 5 years. Making sure more international players participate in regional mathces also make these mathces more popular.

June 10, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger verbaltorture said...

*Sniffs*
I can smell a cricket lobby around here. Sorry , just came here from your latest post.

I choose to differ. While I agree that these players should be given recognition, I don't agree that they should all be given chances to play for India. The Indian XI is the best of the very best. If these guys can't pove themselves to be better than the others, then (with all due respect to their talent), why should our country pay for it?

More than getting people from a state - someone said that there were once 7 ppl from Kar, all that matters is the calibre. There is just no point being second best - and we dont care if all the best players in the county belong to the same village - or even the same family !

Now - comparing with Aus- that country has a ver laid back attitide. Very few people and plenty of time. They actually have the time and patience to follow local county matches.

The Indians just dont think like that. All that we care about are the major ones. You are then asking for an attitude shift - which I'm not sure will ever happen. Every bacha will only want to watch the matches similar to what his baap and maa have seen.

June 11, 2006 4:41 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

I am not telling they should be have been selected to the Indian team. But they should be recoginsed in their respective states. take for example ananthapadmanabhan. He has taken the maximum number of wickets in First Class cricket for kerala. But did malayalis ever recognise him? No. That was the point i was making.

June 12, 2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Soms said...

Moron, the correct spelling is Bharadwaj, not Bharatwaj. At the least get the spelling right, if not your logic.

January 16, 2008 6:40 AM  
Blogger Kenney Jacob said...

Anandapadmanabhan was a better spinner than anil kumble, look at their initial careers, Anandhan was an all roudnder who has double centuries to his credit.. he deserved at least series to prove himself...

March 22, 2010 2:48 AM  

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