By Nadim Memon | Opening Doorz Editorial | January 06, 2017
There’s a Swachh Cricket movement happening within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for their reluctance to adhere to the Lodha Panel’s recommendations. The BCCI got a long rope and President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke found themselves at the wrong end of it! So much for challenging orders from the Supreme Court!
Someone now needs to look into cricket coaching which has now turned into a ‘bad word’. Cricket coaches in the days gone by were looked upon with awe and respect and cricket coaching was a respectable profession, nay passion.
Today, all that we see is business in the name of cricket coaching. Coaches have become greedy and parents are also to be blamed for this. In their quest to get their son in the ‘team’ some parents go to any lengths to appease the coach, even shower monetary benefits and organize parties, apart from doing cartwheels backwards!
Coaching and cricket always had a commercial angle. With time, money has become the byword. ‘If you have your sack full, your ward will make it to the team’. This seems to be the mantra of coaches, camps and academies that have mushroomed in all parts of the city.
We now have individual coaching, private coaching, academy coaching, besides State and National Coaching. Boys are confused as to which the right academy is and who is actually coaching with passion and where they will get a proper grinding into the game.
Parents don’t make matters any easy. They are completely involved in ‘building their child’s future in cricket’. They want to ensure that their investment is in the right place. For eg: If a boy is playing in the State U-19 team and is selected for an IPL team, the starting salary for the boy from the BCCI would be in the range of Rs 20 to Rs 40 lakh for the 45-day tournament. This has made most parents salivate!
I have been told by some private coaches and senior cricketers who are associated with local administration and state selectors how they act like agents between parents and selectors. Renovation of their homes, liquor supply throughout the year, birthday or any other functions at their home or even sponsoring a Dubai tour for them and their families… all these are sponsored by parents in the hope that their boy will be selected to play in state team, so that he can be eligible for selection to the IPL team.
This does not stop here: if you want to get selected for the IPL, you have to pay the 20 percent agent fee in advance! It’s no surprise then that some cricketers and administrators take undue advantage and charge huge money for foreign tours!
Recently, two boys were selected for the U-19 team which was announced in the media. They were selected purely on merit and the kits were also distributed to them. However, they were suddenly dropped from the team, without any reason, at the last minute. They were replaced by two boys who had spent Rs 1.8 lakhs to go on a foreign tour organized by a very senior ex-administrator. The boys who were dropped after being selected on merit could not afford to go on that tour and they had to ultimately pay the price!
Even the State Secretary and some members of the Selection Committee were not aware of this development and were shocked at the treatment meted out to this deserving boys.
The good old days of coaching is over. Coaches then never looked at money or even went near parents. They served the game selflessly. They were honest and stuck to their principles. Be it L B Kenny, Anna Vidya, Vasant Amladi, V S Patil, Madhav Mantri, Vasu Paranjpe, Ramakant Achrekar or Vilas Godbole.
Today, any Tom or Harry becomes a cricket coach and starts minting money immediately!
Also Read: The politician who put cricket first