History repeats itself and today I am reminded of yet another heavy surname in Gavaskar. Rohan was then trying to find his way into professional cricket and the focus was all over him, trying to match his talent with his father’s, even before he could have a start to his career. For all conveniently forgot his father is the best ever opening batsman in history of Test Cricket. Rohan though did manage to represent India but perhaps the burden of his surname got the better of him leading to a truncated career. Having seen him play live I have no doubt he deserved much more.
Arjun in many ways has a bigger challenge today with the burst of media, especially social media vigilantes, who have an opinion on any and everything other than doing their basic, which is “reporting the news.” I am more than certain that most who have been complaining of nepotism in this case do not even know what Arjun does in Cricket, may be some would also not know if he plays Cricket at all. They don’t even know how franchise approach bidding of players or else on today’s date Steve Smith would not have been sold at a paltry figure of INR 2.2 Crores and rookies earning much more than that.
People complaining of Mumbai Indians buying Arjun are the same ones who are complaining KKR for not buying any Bengalis. Hypocrisy? 100%. If not Mumbai who should buy a local talent who is trying to make a mark for himself through sheer hard work and performance? Lest people forget a sport is a real time affair and not like on reels where you get the opportunity to put on make ups, take retakes, do voiceovers, edits and re-edits and what not. In sports you perform live with no such lifelines as Mr. Bachhan would happily provide you with hosting the celebrated game show on Prime Time. Further in Cricket you live by a single ball. Even if you are pushed through the ranks, you are the one who have to survive the test and not your surname.
I remember Saif Ali Khan once reasoning it out why he chose acting over Cricket. Perhaps even when Deepika Padukone after being an accomplished Badminton player chose to walk the other way somewhere the pressure of matching her dad’s repute was a big reason for her decision. That’s the irony of this nation. When they choose not be their parents, they are considered not to so talented or brave enough and when they do nepotism is what you label them with.
Unfortunately today some who have become brand ambassadors of the crusade against nepotism are themselves live examples of how you made it through the ranks without any backing. Some who are even blamed of nepotism are again classic case studies of self made individuals.
Arjun, we know you have a very sane and composed brain guiding you, who himself very recently have been target of unnecessary criticism for all the unwarranted reasons. He and his colleagues of playing days have been the most sensible lot in the history of Indian Cricket, who knew better than any what they had to do with not only themselves but Indian Cricket.
Trust in them and above all trust in yourself, for when you step out on that lush green outfield representing your team, be it your school, city, state, franchise or the country, it is you who has to perform, sustain and flourish in your career. Rest of us, we will only have our laptops and phones to criticize for we have no authority over that 22 yards that you perform on.
And Yes, I have not taken your surname in the entire article, consciously, for it really doesn’t matter. On the field it is inconsequential and you know it better than any. We are all waiting to see what Arjun does and not compare with Sachin who incidentally had the same surname.