Sandeep Patil: Entire Team Has Got a Bad Name Because of Pandya
Handling success and failure graciously is most important, especially early in one’s international career. I don’t like to take names but we have some good and some bad examples of players who have not only demonstrated how to handle success, but also how not to handle failure.
Mostly, it happens to those youngsters who get treated as demigods overnight following a couple of good performances. That’s why there is an old saying in cricket, “If you want to reach the top and be a dignified gentleman, take the stairs and not the lift.”
Just when the controversy in women’s cricket died down, this controversy in men’s cricket erupted. Karan’s coffee turned quite costly for both Hardik and KL Rahul.
In today’s cricket, when print and electronic media chase players 24 hours a day and keep a tab on their each and every comment, a player has to be very careful. Because the rule of thumb is, you can’t take back what you’ve said.
I don’t blame Karan Johar who has the gift of the gab and is a fabulous host with his witty questions and perfect timing. He manages to strike the right chords with the guests on his chat show. I am a big fan of Karan and I am also a big fan of KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. But like we all know, one bad performance can make a hero into a zero and that’s exactly what happened to this duo.
Today’s cricketers represent not only cricket for India, but the history and culture of our great motherland. The cricket-loving public of India goes crazy about Indian team players, and at times, this adulation and fame mislead some youngsters.
The 2019 ICC World Cup is just months away and these two players are almost certain to play the tournament. Instead of enjoying the coffee with Karan, these two have managed to put their foot in their mouth, and their unnecessary and unwanted comments went viral.
When you are on a public platform and are watched by billions on a family show, you have to control your emotions. Karan bowled bouncers, yorkers and googlies and got these two youngsters bowled badly.
When the betting scandal happened in the late 90’s, each and every international cricketer came under suspicion. Few guys were actually involved and got a ban, but the rest of them also had to face the music. They all went from hero to villain. Hardik Pandya’s unwanted comments and his mentioning of Indian team players were certainly big mistakes.
I am not interested in what punishment they are getting.
In such cases where you cross the line and you put yourself, your team, you team-mates and your parent body in a mess, you deserve penalties. The inquiry committee will decide the nature of punishment for Pandya and Rahul.
What is important to me, is that the BCCI delivers a hard and clear message. Today’s cricketers not only have support staff to help them but also personal mentors, managers, dietitians, etc. But when such incidents happen, it boils down to your upbringing, and your position is rightly questioned when you fail to handle your emotions.
Learn from your seniors. You have the great Virat Kohli as your captain. Virat has an even worse temper but he also has tremendous control. You have an experienced coach in Ravi Shastri expressing his own views in a manner that’s typical for him. You have Pujara who is truly a saint. You have Rahane with his pleasant personality. You have Rohit Sharma who talks to his bat. On top of all this, you have the senior-most member of the team with the coolest head in the world of cricket, Mr MS Dhoni, who can also guide you.
Even after all this if you are not going to improve, then you are bound to get punished.
But what about KL Rahul?
Two different personalities went on the TV show, sharing their stories and views and trying to entertain in a manner which eventually crossed the line. Both are now facing an inquiry.
If one watches the entire episode, one may develop a soft corner for Rahul. He did not get carried away but was dragged in by Pandya and got framed too.
In cricket, it is always teamwork. If one fails, the team fails. Unfortunately, Pandya failed and the entire team has now got a bad name.
I hope the ban is not so harsh that the careers of these youngsters get finished. After scoring a zero, you get one more chance. Everybody makes mistakes in life, but smarter guys don’t repeat their mistakes. Hardik Pandya is a stylish youngster both on and off the field, and I sincerely hope he understands the mistake he has made and doesn't repeat it.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)