September 15, 2003

I stepped down as the Captain

I had been the captain of Akron CC for the past two years and I had a great time. I enjoyed the captaincy and I learned a lot abt the game and abt captaincy. But of late I have not been enjoying being the Captain as there has been lots of pressue and lot of resposiblities and due to lots of incidents that have irritated and frustrated me.

I first started playing in my rookie season along with Badri, DK, Dabba, Kiran, Ram, PDP, Anand, Hemant Shah, Sudipto, Guru, Chirag, Puneet etc.... I hadnt played a lot of season ball cricket in India but here i was gladly accepted into the team (though I earned my first match due to the only reason that I had a car!!!!!!)...but from then on I earned my spot with my bowling and fielding....I used to bat at No.8 (or something like that).....the next year I took over as the captain !!!!!! I was surprised too.....but I put in more effort in my batting and played decently....this year I had a great season (for my standards) with the bat, ball and on the field......but this year there have been lot of instances that have collectively had their toll into making my decision to step down as the Captain. I used to enjoy the sport in the first year.....but the past two years theye have been a lot of pressure on me concerning the compsotion of the team and abt player's batting and bowling positions.

This year there have been a lot of ego clashes on the team and there have been a lot of other incidents on and off the field that have made the game less enjoyable. Some of the incidents (I am not taking the names of the players involved in the incident to protect their privacy but the people can easily identify themselves).......

A player gets drunk the night before inspite of million reminders that we have a game the next day.....then doesnt get up in time, doesnt lift the phone (reminds of Ram of the previous season).....I had clearly told people in both years that nobody will go to anybody's house to wake somebody up. It becomes atleast the moral responsibilty of the person to get to the game on time. But both the years the same person against my will went and woke up the drunk guy. Last year i had dropped Ram in the similar scenario....but this year I was forced by the team members not to drop the drunk guy.....he claims he is fit to play.....he is a good player....but a good player without discipline is worth nothing.

A player who had been dropped from the side gets angry and stops talking to me and gets pissed off.....what did i do personally to him?

A player who had never batted at position X before but insists that he wants to bat in the world am I to guess that he will excel there.....I mean think abt it....a good batsman is going thru a lean patch....and hasnt been scoring a lot and had been throwing his wicket away in time crunch time....when he approaches me and says probably I will keep my head down and play if u let me play at position X ???????? What am i supposed to think??? That a particular person will only bat well if he is sent at position X?? is that kind of a black mail???? whats worse......the other people supporting the reason that he will put his head down at X ??? why??? cant he put his head down and play wherever he is sent in????? is that kind of mentality good for the team??

Players constantly complaining that their arms are hurting and they are injured some way or the other and that they want to stand close-in !!!!!!!! if u are injured why play the game ???? let someone else who is 100% fit play the game !!!!!! why should the captain be pressurised to change his field becoz u are complaining???? Due to this reason.....I had to field in the deep for most part of two years!!!!!!!! How many captain do u see controlling the team from Deep mid-wicket, long on, long-off positions???????? I enjoy fielding there but I want to field close in tooo.....if any one thinks I dont have the reflexes and anticipation to stand close in....please get on the court with me in Badminton and racquetball......I can show what reflexes and anticipation are !!!!!!!!!!

A player is down with flu and he had been fielding in the deep for 20 overs......he is tired so he asks a teammate "can u switch with me" the player declines !!!!!!!! Have atleast a humanitarian consideration!!!!!! The same tired guy later played one of the best knocks I have ever seen on the cricket field.....the commitment he showed cannot be equalled. He was tired, down with flu, had a sore throat, had cramps during his batting.........but he was ready to run twos but the new player who came in isn't ready!!!!!!! thats ridiculous....considering the fact that we lost the game by 1-run !!!!!!!!

A bowler has bowled 4 wides down the leg-side and is having trouble controlling the ball.....instead of encouraging him and urging him to bowl well and finish the of our own players taunts at him in fornt of the other team "off-stump karke cheese hotha hai uske upar daal.....nahi hua tho sirf khada rehke daal"

i ask people to run 4 rounds of the ground during practice, people come up with great excuses for not running. There are some guys who religiously and sincerely run 4 but there are others who run 1 or two and stop and no questions should be asked why he didnt run!!!!!!! some people say "i played basketball and now i dont need to run", "I played racquetball", "I will bat and run", "I cant run today becoz my feet hurts and if i run today i cant play in the game tommorow (they why play at all!!!!!!)"

i drop a lplayer from the team he gets pissed off......takes it home with him and shows his anger on the roommates!!!!!!!! his poor roommate calls me up and tells me that he was droppping himslef from the team to let the pissed off guy play.

I make a bowling change it clicks in one game and make the same bowling change in the next game and it fails people say "that was a bad move, u should have atleast asked one of us".....what were they doing when i was making the bowling changer???? Am I unapproachable on the field???? Am I a hilter??? do i dictate terms on the field and not listen to ideas???? If u have an idea let me know...I will implement if its good. Dont criticize the captain later for the thing u think he should have done (when u didnt tell him on the field)....thats what is called player participation!!!!!!

I make somebody stand in a particular position he is like "yeah position bahut boring hai....4-5 overs mei ball ek baar atha hai u can put player Y here I will stand there".....why should player Y stand in such a position???? will he not feel the same!!!!!! I know what my resources are and i know who will do well where.....for that player "fielding doesnt only involve stopping the also involves catching the ball and cricket is abt catching the few balls that come in ur direction and waiiting for them in patience"

I drop somebody for player X who had been playing the team for more than a year and had performed well previously but is going thru a rough patch....that somebody throws tantrums.....u played welll...but u are new on the team and it will take the Captain sometime to get confidence in you. Its like....u have a friend for 4-5 years and there is this new guy in the town....I hang out with him one day I enjoy with him but the next day.....both the old friend and the new guy call me at the same time who will I give preference?????

Player X goes for a catch drops it and shouts at the guys standing next to him "u scared me!!!!!" what is that supposed to mean??? when u catch the ball only u are supposed to be near it??? I mean its a cricket field with 11 players on it and when u call for the catch people will not go for it but dont expect them to get out of ur sight. the least u can say after the drop is "Sorry"

During the game i ask volunteers for umpiring!!!!!! I get one....only Raj (I have taken the name becoz he was the only guy who used to come forward) people are volunteering but not very enthusiastically....the answers I get "I umpired one game already","i am tired","I have go to the loo"etc......are I and Raj not tired????? We field, bowl some overs and we are as tired as u are .....dont we need rest before we go into bat....try fielding for 35 overs (bowling 5-6 overs), stand on the bournday line all game, umpire for 20 overs....get into bat when u have more than run -a-ball situation and u have to run like crazy and keep ur wicket and get to the target

For the all-star game some people werent too happy with the nominations!!!!! I felt really bad that people didnt feel that the nominations taken by vote werent completely accepted.....Hari, Adi (any doubts???), Brijesh (he was having a great season till then), me (u have any problems please let me.....I can justify myself....rather my stats can do the justification)

I can go on and on with all these situations but by now I have wasted 2 hrs writing so I will stop here

I know that by this time I would have hurt somebodies feelings......but I put in all the things that had irritated me and that I personally felt werent right. I would like to apologise if I hurt ur feelings...but it was time that I got this out as i was unable to bear it by just keeping it to myself

but before I quit...some good words:

Hemant, guru, Vikas, Sirish.......U guys have been on rotation for most of the season....u guys performed the few times i had asked you to step up. U guys are great....I would like to thank u all for taking some decisions sportingly. i know that its hard to be on rotation but its just time before u get permanent and someone else is on rotation

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