Every cricketer is well aware of the cardinal rule on maintaining consistency by ensuring that his performance does the talking.
In the case of Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul, it is their ‘talking’ that has done them damage, though they have been performing well in international cricket.
Be it a talk show by a Bollywood star or an ordinary interview, cricketers must be well informed that they must maintain the reputation they’ve earned from the cricket field.
Never should they consider themselves like Bollywood stars, who often make shocking revelations about their love affairs and private life.
Such revelations, whether true or false, give Bollywood stars the mileage but a cricketer’s reputation is based on the distance he is able to hit the ball or the number of wickets he can pick to win matches.
Instances of cricketers who do not know how to engage themselves in public are rising by the day.
One of the reasons that the International Cricket Council strengthened their Code of Conduct rule is mainly due to the present cricketers’ inability to carry themselves like a cricketer.
It looks like Pandya, as well as Rahul, did not think of themselves as cricketers. Had they done that, they would not have said all that they did at the talk show.
The popularity of the game, especially in the Indian subcontinent is such that anyone who goes on to become an international cricketer is no longer an ordinary person.
He automatically becomes a star with huge fan following and many youngsters may even want to emulate him.
Cricket is known as a gentleman’s game, but unfortunately many cricketers do not even think it necessary to be like gentlemen and behave sportingly.
It is clear that Pandya hasn’t yet grasped the magnitude of the responsibility of an international cricketer.
It is different from comprehending the techniques of the game and excelling in it.
The huge amount of money that flowed into his bank account has surely blinded him. He seems to have forgotten that during his state Baroda’s age-group matches, he was dropped due to his attitude problems.
Over the years, the behaviour of cricketers in public has undergone a huge change. Acknowledging a fan’s applause with at least a smile is dwindling. Many seem to forget that their cricketing days are short and it is the reputation they create as a sportsman that lives on forever. This is why players like Adam Gilchrist and Rahul Dravid are talked about even now as great cricketers.
National team players are ambassadors of their country. To respect their country’s culture is also their responsibility.
Cricketers who remain humble and respect their roots despite their riches and fame will never make the mistake that Pandya and Rahul did.