I would have done things differently

Published: Tuesday, February 6, 2001, 18:23 [IST]
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Realistically speaking, do you think it is possible to market this game so that it can be a career option, given the fact that men's cricket hogs the limelight and all that is there to it?

Yes, it is possible but it takes a lot of work and heart. It definitely won't happen overnight but it can be achieved in the long run provided there is restructuring and rejuvenation of the entire process. It requires a wholesale effort form everybody involved with the game. The associations have to do their bit, the players have to chip in, in general a combined effort.

If your daughter, in future, takes to cricket, what will your advice be? Will your let her have it as a career option or will you make her seek greener pastures?

I wouldn't allow her to have it as a career option but I would allow her to play provided she studies and has the backing of education. If she has the education and can fend for herself… yes, but not as a professional or the only cricket kind of thing.

Having played the game for so long, do you have any regrets?

It's a yes and a no. No, because I have gained a lot of experience, I have had the honour of representing the country - there is a lot of pride attached to it and I have learnt a lot travelling to various places and meeting a lot of people - what books don't teach. My only regret is that I missed out on college life and education - taking cricket as a full time option. So I am making up for it now.

If the clock was turned 10 years behind, would you have approached things differently?

I would have balanced my education and cricket. That is the only thing I would have done.

Continuing the question of the clock being turned backwards, if there came a time where you had to choose between one, say in a case where you landed yourself with a plum job and it was not possible to pursue you cricketing life, then?

On hindsight, yes, I would have opted for the job. Cricket is a short-term career and today you have to think long-term. If our game paid us well, we really did not have to worry about what would happen to us once we crossed our prime. Today, we do not have anything to fall back on. Yes, so I suppose I would have done things differently.

My advice to the youngsters would be not to ignore their education come what may! Doesn't really matter if they miss a tournament but it is important that they do not miss an examination.

But in women's cricket we get to have tournaments only during exams, in such a case don't you think the girls will end up only practicing but not getting to play?

Yeah, the timing is all wrong. These tournaments should be held in November-December, irrespective of international commitments.

Talking of the administrative set up being more effective, what influence do you think ex-cricketers can have, with regards to them getting into the association? Or do you suppose it is best that the players stick to the playing and the administration left to the administrators?

I guess so, I really don't know.

In other words, you have your reservations?

It all depends on the individual. Some players are biased. Actually, it shouldn't hamper the game in any way. Once you have the power in the hand you shouldn't try to get even, if there are any old grudges, or for that matter, rake up old issues. So it is very important that you have only the welfare of women's cricket in mind. If this can happen then it is a positive sign for ex-cricketers to come into the scene since they themselves have on-field experience it would be of great help to active players.

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