The other side to playing cricket

Harsha Feb 24th, 2014

While I have always enjoyed seeing talent bloom, aspects of the India under 19 cricket team dismayed me greatly. I came here hoping to see a lot of Vijay Zol and Kuldeep Yadav, was hoping to be surprised by a batsman here, a new ball bowler there and looked forward to putting away a couple of names to follow in Ranji Trophy scorecards in the year ahead.

To be fair I did all that. Kuldeep Yadav was excellent, Deepak Hooda was the name to watch out for and Monu Kumar was the revelation. But much like the seniors in recent years, India struggled to defend a total in the quarter final.

But while cricketing skills were on display, the behaviour of the young Indians on the field was appalling. Young AamirGani had a mouthful of expletives for a departing England batsman and it got worse when the captain Vijay Zol offered a send off that was in especially bad taste. In the old days a well meaning but stern cricket master would have given them a earful. Hopefully the coach had a thing or two to say. Hopefully he had more.

I would be very disappointed if Indian cricket merely let the situation pass. And I hope someone there is wondering why the next gen of Indian cricket feels it is all right to brandish such behaviour. I know there is pressure to win, I know there were dreams involved but that loutish behaviour is the favoured outlet is a much larger concern.

It is not merely a “generation thing”. No other team was as poorly behaved. The time to clamp down is now.