Indian domestic cricket October 16, 2012

The cricketer's endless quest for honour

George Bernard Shaw once famously remarked that when he was young, he realised that nine out of ten things he did were failures
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George Bernard Shaw once famously remarked that when he was young, he realised that nine out of ten things he did were failures. So he did ten times more work. Youth, they say, is the time to "do"; old age is the time to "have". As a young sportsman, I too remember waking up at 4.30 am while half the world was still asleep. I would hit the road in bitter cold when most people were nicely tucked in warm blankets. Most of my cricketer friends would happily sacrifice the nice things their peers did for an extra hour of practice hoping that one day all that hard work would help us achieve glory.

Such were my formative years too. When most of my schoolmates were off for holidays with their folks or spent weekends with their relatives, I would be busy getting my batting grip sorted and stance balanced. Knowing the direction in which the ball was meant to be hit was far more important than knowing the direction in which one should head during summer vacations. The day I walked out to bat wearing an India jersey made every drop of sweat and sacrifice worth its while. Life ceased to be the same after that day, for there were only 244 Indians who had achieved that before me.

In a snap, from being a player fighting for a place in the state side, I became an important and somewhat indispensible member of almost every team I represented (below the national level) thereafter. It was no longer about checking the list of probables, the squad of fifteen or the final eleven, for my participation in most tournaments became guaranteed. That's how it is in Indian cricket -- once you don national colours, the view of the world changes 360 degrees.

Things remained the same for the longest time. I continued to represent my home state, season after season, though not without scoring enough runs to justify my place in the XI. In hindsight, perhaps that assurance made me a wee bit insulated to the stark realities that many first-class cricketers face each season. The reality of being at a selector's mercy, the fear of being constantly unsure of participation, dwindling between doubts of "whether/whether not".

It was time for me confront this "parallel universe" where a player's career is always hanging by a thread. He doesn't believe he's made it in the team until he sees his name in the newspaper; a formal call from the officials is a far cry.

I became "them", when the "wise men" in Delhi decided to drop me from the Ranji one-day side and broke the news to me through print the next morning. While I was appalled, shaken up and taken aback by this sudden development, it later brought to fore one of the most compelling reasons to continue to play cricket - honour. It was no longer about playing to win an honour, but to restore one.

The insensitivity of my state coach, who was also a colleague not too long ago, and the selectors, who would always put an arm around my shoulder to discuss the future of upcoming talent in Delhi made me conscious of the workings of an apathetic system.

Times had changed and I needed to, had to, wake up and smell the coffee. The easier option would've been to stick around and play in the longer format of the game till I was eased out of that too. The tougher option was to venture outside my comfort zone and tread uncharted waters. I chose the latter, and the rest, as they say, is history. In two years with Rajasthan I achieved more professional satisfaction than the 12 years spent in Delhi. Winning the Ranji Trophy and fulfilling the role I was assigned has been second only to playing for the country. After two seasons and two Ranji titles, the honour was completely restored.

So, why am I on the road once again? Have I fallen in love with this nomadic lifestyle? Or is it the lure of money that has forced me to ditch my old team? No, I don't like living out of a suitcase and away from my family for five months in a year. The older you get, the more you miss the comforts of your home. No, it isn't the money either, for God's been kind enough to provide enough work to keep me occupied and the fire burning in the kitchen. I'm on the road for the very thing that made me hit the road for the first time - honour, a sportsman's eternal quest.

Last season Rajasthan did what Delhi did a couple of seasons ago, which was to not include me in the shorter formats of the game. While that was hardly a cause for concern - after all team selection isn't my prerogative - the fact that the decision was delivered by the press was unacceptable.

This clandestine, niggling affair between shoddy officials and the breaking-news media is an old one. It surprises no one that news of players being rested, their inclusion, exclusion, and a host of other internal administrative issues find their way to the morning newspapers.

This time though, I wasn't alone in facing this predicament, for all three professionals - Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Rashmi Parida being the other two - were given the same treatment.

Once again the easier option was to swallow pride and continue. The tougher option was to hit the road again and create another comfort zone. You know what I chose!

I'm on the road again, quite literally, for it took me about 10 hours by road to reach Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh from Delhi. Every morning it also takes an hour to reach the ground from the hotel we are staying in. The shift to a new team is never easy, for it takes a long time to bond and feel at home. But all this hardship goes out of the window when the ball hits the sweet spot of the willow.

Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chinglemba on November 18, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Until 22, I played cricket from my heart. Now I completed MBA and got a job. Ever since I understood that six legal deliveries make an over, I have carried a newspaper cut-out of Shane Warne in action. (So much for bowling) But I could never model myself on anyone until I saw u opening with Sehwag. Since then I always envisaged ur style whenever I batted. Also I have never liked anyone more in that close catcher position. I got inspired to become an enthusiastic close catcher - one hand protectin d groin, the other protectin d face :-)'Beyond the Blues' is my favourite blog now. AWESOME READ. I am already looking forward to anything u write more than Harsha Bhogle's articles.

  • Allayna on November 10, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    This has made my day. I wish all postigns were this good.

  • aravabalaji on November 10, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Really touched by the article. He holds his heart as straight as his bat. Grit is your forte, Akash. I always admire your tenacity on & off the field. Keep writing.

  • Nidhi on November 2, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend."......awesome!!

  • ravi on October 30, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Awesome article. great , hats off to you Akash.

  • Megha Sinha on October 26, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    "Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend." The latest entry to my diary.

  • Daya on October 22, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Superb! I did not like the style of play, and I felt you were given just the adequate international exposure considering the cricketing talent. Considering your analytical and leadership skills, you benefitted from the opportunity with Rajasthan. And, that is with cricket. However, your writings have superb merit and the depth, which almost every Indian cricket writer lacks. Philosophical, non romanticized, 'straight down the gun barrel' view points- exploratory and relevant- analysing faults and hints on improvement! Maybe the 'mountain road' for you was cricket and the path your soul travels is 'round the bend' Pleasure to read your viewpoints-Kudos

  • saurabh on October 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Dear Akash,

    Even though I have not seen much of you recently on the TV, I have followed each and every piece of art that you pen down in deft strokes. Beyond the Blues is the one piece soliloquy of a person much admired in the cricketing world and beyond. You are as much a pride of Indian cricket as our the other stars. Wish you played more for India. Good Luck for your stint with Himachal hope you make some inroads in the Ranji Season with a new team. You deserve a fitting finale, cos' the redemption of lost pride would be incomplete otherwise.

    Cheers, Saurabh

  • Manik on October 20, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    There should be a like button in it though super-like from my side

  • Amit Raj Mishra on October 20, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Amazingly written Akash..You are a true champion....n i am very much sure that u will prove yourself once again....

  • Chinglemba on November 18, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Until 22, I played cricket from my heart. Now I completed MBA and got a job. Ever since I understood that six legal deliveries make an over, I have carried a newspaper cut-out of Shane Warne in action. (So much for bowling) But I could never model myself on anyone until I saw u opening with Sehwag. Since then I always envisaged ur style whenever I batted. Also I have never liked anyone more in that close catcher position. I got inspired to become an enthusiastic close catcher - one hand protectin d groin, the other protectin d face :-)'Beyond the Blues' is my favourite blog now. AWESOME READ. I am already looking forward to anything u write more than Harsha Bhogle's articles.

  • Allayna on November 10, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    This has made my day. I wish all postigns were this good.

  • aravabalaji on November 10, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Really touched by the article. He holds his heart as straight as his bat. Grit is your forte, Akash. I always admire your tenacity on & off the field. Keep writing.

  • Nidhi on November 2, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend."......awesome!!

  • ravi on October 30, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Awesome article. great , hats off to you Akash.

  • Megha Sinha on October 26, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    "Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend." The latest entry to my diary.

  • Daya on October 22, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Superb! I did not like the style of play, and I felt you were given just the adequate international exposure considering the cricketing talent. Considering your analytical and leadership skills, you benefitted from the opportunity with Rajasthan. And, that is with cricket. However, your writings have superb merit and the depth, which almost every Indian cricket writer lacks. Philosophical, non romanticized, 'straight down the gun barrel' view points- exploratory and relevant- analysing faults and hints on improvement! Maybe the 'mountain road' for you was cricket and the path your soul travels is 'round the bend' Pleasure to read your viewpoints-Kudos

  • saurabh on October 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Dear Akash,

    Even though I have not seen much of you recently on the TV, I have followed each and every piece of art that you pen down in deft strokes. Beyond the Blues is the one piece soliloquy of a person much admired in the cricketing world and beyond. You are as much a pride of Indian cricket as our the other stars. Wish you played more for India. Good Luck for your stint with Himachal hope you make some inroads in the Ranji Season with a new team. You deserve a fitting finale, cos' the redemption of lost pride would be incomplete otherwise.

    Cheers, Saurabh

  • Manik on October 20, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    There should be a like button in it though super-like from my side

  • Amit Raj Mishra on October 20, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Amazingly written Akash..You are a true champion....n i am very much sure that u will prove yourself once again....

  • Narayanasamy Balasubramanian on October 20, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Aakash Chopra, The article is very interesting. It is high time the selection pattern of Indian Cricket team must be changed. Just like Government servants continuing in service till 60 years of age cricketers continue in the team by scoring hardly 50 runs and then they can afford to any No. of ducks since their place in the team is assured irrespective of whether he is a captain or player in the team. Assessment for selection is very poor in India

  • anuradha_dighe on October 20, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Dear Aakash, so when you didn't see the nameon the limited over list...did you not try to proactively contcat the Rajsthan cricket selectors and have a word.

    Rajsthan has given you respect, glory and champion status......and it doesn't see right to walk out in a huff....and that too when you know you are not much likely to be in the limited over side.

    If you walk out so quickly the mercenary tag is also quick to follow. regards

  • Unmesh on October 20, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    Awesome article..straight from the heart!

  • Anil on October 19, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Loved it Aakash! With so much international cricket and glamour, we often forget the hard work put in by our domestic players. As a "Thank you" cricket fans should try and visit the stadium for a domestic game, even if it is for a session to encourage the players.

  • Meenakshi Krishna on October 19, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    Ashish, I often mistook that those who play for our states just do so for the money and a Govt job. After watching Badrinath's interview, that perception changed. He said he played for the joy of playing cricket. Now, after reading your blog, I feel very good that there are sportsmen in the country who love what they do and would go to any extent for honour. Never mind the selectors, we love our players!! And not even once when you played for India did I think that you loved cricket so much!!

  • subu on October 19, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    extremely inspiring article. virtues of hard work, self pride and belief very beautifully described. you write what a common man goes through, grass root level ...you can never go wrong

  • Abhishek on October 18, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    I think this problem- that of selectors not informing a player, often an old and loyal hand- about his exclusion is cultural. Indians (or South Asians?) often have trouble conveying the bad news and saying no or anything negative. Hence they take an escapist route and players, even distinguished ex-national players like Akash Chopra have to suffer from the ignominy of coming to know of their rejection through print.

  • Chirag on October 18, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Excellent article Aakash.. Though a niggly nitpick.. The view of the world would've changed 180 degrees, and not 360.. At 360 degrees, you would land back exactly where you began :)

  • Franklyn Sant on October 18, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Hello,

    I was wondering how come you never wrote about Rohan Kanhai from the West Indies.

    I think he was one of the greatest West Indian batsman.

    Ask Sunil Gavaskar?

    Thanks

    Franklyn

  • maddy on October 18, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Hat's off to you sir..Really inspiring..Very well written i must say..Keep inspiring..Cheers !!

  • Anonymous on October 18, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Wish you were a batting coach specializing on openers for team India.

  • Saif on October 18, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Very nice ... like the last sentence

  • Seshadri Venkat on October 18, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Brilliant Akash. The first paragraph is a must read for all, young, middle aged and the Elderly.

  • Ashish Khandelwal on October 18, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    "Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend." -- Awesomely written. This things are inevitable part of Indian cricket rather I would say with Indian culture in general. Akash! I wish you all the best and thanks for such thought provoking article

  • Rajiv m nair on October 18, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Dear Akash Sir,

    Being a follower of Indian Cricket from 1983 onwords, you are the very few test opening batsman for India who have given us the assurance that a good start would be possible. The other player i remember is Navjot Sidhu. I remember your maiden Australian tour, where you had scores of guessing 50, 38, 42 ,30 59. Which shows that you are very patient at the start and do not give your wicket away which is courageous. I used to listen to your comments in doordarshan during indian matches. Very well said and motivating article. I hope current indian players take a leaf out of our book.

  • monte_9999 on October 18, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    well wrttien...

  • johnd on October 18, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    awesome writing Akash! my congratulations to you in your search for self-respect and self-actualization.

  • USIndian on October 18, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Dude well written article, i have experienced this at a very early stage in my career and have seen some of the best talents not making it big due to damn politics at all levels and some lousy ones really making it big without any talent just by the sheer weight of their god fathers and some who made it to the national colors have also suffered at the hands of management and selectors and some times even at the hands of captains because they were talented but did not possess the talent of licking the asses LOL so they always found themselves on the sidelines, there is a big list , but atleast you should consider yourself lucky you donned the india colors and have played for over a decade and a half but consider those souls who were much more talented than you and some of the guys who represented india but still could not make it to the national colors how frustrated they would be feeling.

  • venky on October 18, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    Very well written. Keep it coming Aakash.

  • Bhartesh on October 17, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Akash Chopra is one cricketer who hasn't don national colors for long but when he writes something it makes sense.I always enjoy reading your columns and this was no different. All the best.keep writing and playing the game that binds us.

  • Nampally on October 17, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Aakash: I fully empathise with you in being forced on the road again!.Aging for a sportsman is particularly sad in any sport. . People are looking for an excuse even if age does not impact on your performance. "Ageism" (is a form of discrimination) takes over fast. This happens in all professions but none so blatantly as in sports or Cricket. Ramprakash, England Test player, performed superbly in local county cricket into his 40's yet he was dropped from Tests in his early 30's.My suggestion is face the challenge. Other career paths exist e.g. Coach, Manager, Selector, writer or work for a Firm. Believe me you will get more satisfaction facing it squarely with your own initiative than feeling sorry for yourself.Best of Luck!.

  • APIL BHUTANI on October 17, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Dear Aakash,

    I am reading Cricket news, articles on cricinfo from last almost 4 years. I never ever commented on any article. I even read tweets on cricinfo and open cricinfo almost twice a day. I always want to be a cricketer but due to my father's financial condition I ended up found myself working in a Interior Design Company on a very small post. I always feel if I can ever become a groundsman of any ground then i would be happier rather than working like this.

    I again say I never ever commented on any article.

    But today I can't stop myself

    "AWESOME"

    As an Indian I would say "Seedha Dil Pe" "Straigh on Heart"

  • Rajiv Sharma on October 17, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    After reading your account even I feel frustrated with the system & can under what you have been through. But keep up the good work & keep playing. Want to see you once again opening for India.

  • Rajiv Sharma on October 17, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    After reading your account even I feel frustrated with the system & can under what you have been through. But keep up the good work & keep playing. Want to see you once again opening for India.

  • ashok on October 17, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    Interesting article. People do get fired on short notice with very little explanation so we can't all get too attached to our honor. I can see why Rajasthan are doing what they did. Is Kanitkar leaving too? All three leaving Rajasthan would be a serious blow and the likes of Saxena, Bist and Menaria will be in over their heads. But you are entitled to your views and you are the best cricketer writer/"opinionator" in India. All the best in Himachal.

  • anil mirani on October 17, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Aakash dear,

    You are the Mark Ramprakash of India. Go on playing and showing mirror to powers that be of Indian Cricket. Keep enjoying your batting and scoring tons of runs. Best of luck!!

  • anil mirani on October 17, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Aakash dear,

    You are the Mark Ramprakash of India. Go on playing and showing mirror to powers that be of Indian Cricket. Keep enjoying your batting and scoring tons of runs. Best of luck!!

  • shubhendu singh on October 17, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Very nice article Aakash, good luck..

  • cricket-india on October 17, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    aakash, very well written. i seem to recall how you lost your india place - you did well (for an indian opener in those days, anyway) in our oz tour under ganguly and looked set for a long innings opening for india. then the pak tour happened, and a few bad decisions (mostly by bucknor, if i remember well), a few low scores and you were dropped. never even given a whiff of a chance again. i felt very bad for you, and for indan cricket. you had more to give at that time, as you proved later on, and (hopefully) will prove now also. wish you the best.

  • pradeep on October 17, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    the truth mr chopra is plain and simpe YOU ARE JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH AS A BATSMAN. u r a strokeless wonder with just 3-4 shots in ur kitty. you are not even half the batsman that sehwag and gambhir are and yet sit here and criticise them both. all because they dont gobble up balls like you do and try and entertain the crowd? all because they add a little colour to the game by their aggressive approach? sorry but in all fair assessment and coming from someone who has no personal grudje against you, you donot deserve to be in the rajasthan or delhi team much less in any of the ipl teams

  • jimbond on October 17, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Yes, I agree with you Akash, proper communication and respect are non-negotiable. Every professional team needs coaches and managers who have these capabilities- of communicating with the players, and of respecting the players. However, I have a small submission to make. I know that everyone has their own self-conceived view of reality and aspire for that. Yet, Akash has a place in test cricket and in the longer form of the game. Even now, you could be a contender for the overseas tour, as yet we dont have a proper opener. But in the shorter form, Akash doesnt fit in. I dont exactly know why. It could be because teams have not bothered to define roles of players around whom the rest of the team could construct their innings. Even a master like Rahul Dravid was forced to keep wickets and later dropped from ODIs. So shouldnt someone as wise as Akash, focus his entire attention on the version he is strongest?

  • Venkat on October 17, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Nice Article Akash. But I beg to differ from you. Is it coming out of comfort zone or an action coming out of anger? May be the later. Coming out of comfort zone would be the one when things are going our way and when we don't feel motivated, we do things which challenge us. Like Martin Crowe wanted to play first class cricket last year for the sake of challenging himself. Anyway nice article. Would be great if you could share your thoughts on the Ranji matches and about the fellow players. Don't worry our selectors are always like this. The treatment given to class act Laxman is a classic example. It is really surprising that our selectors are former players who were getting the same treatment from the previous generation. Probably they want to give it to others and erase their pain :-)

  • Amit Nanda on October 17, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Akash, it's great to see you explaining things in a very appropriate and motivating manner. What's satisfying to see is that you never criticize others for getting mileage for you. I am a proud Himachali and warmly welcome you to HP. I hope you would prove to be that milestone on the road which indicates the arrival of station, rather that depicting the distance.

  • Prasanth Thoppil on October 17, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Akash, You have narrated only a part of your life as a player. It is the universal law that you cannot continue to play this role for ever. We expect more from you in other roles such a coach, cricket administrator, selector, columnist, TV commentator etc. You have almost finished your career as a player with limited success at the international level. But in other roles, the stage is open for you. Go and get what you have missed as a player. Then we all ‘ll be happy for you. Go and kiss the world. Looking forward to read from you more.

  • Geoffrey Plumridge on October 17, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Honour- "the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right". Honour isn't about winning the Ranji cup mate, or showing up your old team by doing so. Something appears to have been lost in the English translation of the word maybe. Honour to me is being the kind of cricketer (and person) no-one can say a bad word about. Not a mercenary that changed allegiances because he's clipped from a sides odi team. Sorry.

  • ultimatewarrior on October 17, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    "The day I walked out to bat wearing an India jersey made every drop of sweat and sacrifice worth its while."....This article is equivalent effort in cricket writing after so many good articles and that will move you on different level of writing....

  • madhuknair on October 17, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    You will remain a nomadic till you turn that old you can no more be that. We are in a situation where "Incredible Politicians" who doesn't know the "C" of cricket is fighting to govern the game. Then they have chamchas all over the country. Then a Chamcha head in each state headquarter. By the every one of them are catered with in one or other form...there remains no more space left....But keep going my dear...as long as we keep our heads straight and up none of these clowns can harm us...

  • Anonymous on October 17, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    So many people work hard, make efforts, score runs, and undergo what you went through. What makes you stand apart in the crowd is *being honest*. I see it in all your articles. You are to cricinfo columns what Dravid has been to world cricket. Awesome. Methodical. Honest. Selfless.

  • sanjay kumar on October 17, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    nice article . . . . May be going to included in NCRT syllabus . . .

  • Anonymous on October 17, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    "Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend." Awesome. Good luck

  • Sandesh N Parkar on October 17, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Brilliant article Aakash! And the last line - what seems like the end is often just a bend - is a life lesson! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sriram on October 17, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Your performace in Aus wiht Viru warranted a long run, had you been given similar run as Gauti today, probably you would still be in the recokning for openers slot. You may not have had the same talent as Gauti, but i thought you had the technique to hold one end overseas. You many not have scored 100s but 50s and holding one end could still have been fruitful overseas. Shame that you only played a handful tests. Good luck.

  • dr sanjeev jain on October 17, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Aakash well said,your articles lead me to thinking for life as a whole,whenever i read it ,it inspires a lot.

  • Girish on October 17, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Awesomely and succintly written! Keep writing Akash :)!!

  • Aakash Chopra on October 17, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your feedback. Through this blog I'd try to not only share the details of domestic cricket but also interact with the ones who're spending their precious time in reading and commenting on the post. When I moved to Rajasthan from Delhi, I learnt that it's imperative to get out of your comfort zone to know what's waiting for you on the other side. If you don't venture out, you would never get to know. Hindsight is a wonderful gift but it's also an astute teacher provided we're willing to learn the lessons.

    Yes, the lack of communication between the selectors and players is one of the biggest banes of Indian cricket. Hope contemporary cricketers would address this issue once they are on the other side of the line.

    Thanks once again.

    Cheers,

    Aakash

  • Vinoo on October 17, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Lovely comments Akash.Your articles are well put across and straight from the heart.Do continue the good work..Cheers.

  • Acapulko on October 17, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life - what seems like an end is very often just a bend-outstanding

  • Anonymous on October 17, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Loved it. Period. -gibberish007

  • Ramkumar on October 17, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    I just can't resisit giving this comment.Straight fron your heart.Tooo goooood!!! Keep writing! Keep playing!

  • Saif on October 17, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Thanks Aakash!

  • rohit dhyani on October 17, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Nice word sir...i don't why ur international career is so small.i had follow your article,also take motivation from your writing skill.i realize in indian cricketer u have very good technique except Rahul Dravid.No doubt i am big fan of u.

  • Draculie on October 17, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    While it is good and positive that you chose to hit the road and look for other opportunities, why do you think the selectors and coaches are obligated to tell you about your exclusion in person ? It is not an ideal world,sometimes you dont get notice before a layoff in the corporate world either. We need to get away from a feeling of entitlement that we need to be intimated before we are dropped. No offense, the contract ends when the state pays you for the matches you played.

  • SARABJEET SINGH on October 17, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    Excellent article aakash......best of luck

  • Sujith on October 17, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Awesome. Speechless. All th best Aakash

  • Santosh J S on October 17, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Aakash, a lot of us have been following your writings for long; this article, as always, has those two important elements that many of us are fond of: from the heart and credible. Can understand the road of honour that you've had to take at this age; all the very best. And on a lighter note, hope the Himachal powers of cricket have read this article -- do hope that you are given a proper send-off and not needed to make anymore of honour trips of this kind.

  • Salem Ramaswamy Shankar on October 17, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    A classic literary piece of writing from a sport zone--It is an eye opener for aging cricketers for the discourtesy in different forms that awaits them from the officials. It is indeed hard to digest one such coming from Rajasthan. But for your contribution with bat and motivation, it would have been impossible for a nondescript side to climb to the top spot in Ranji.That is how life goes in every sphere in this consumerist world If not mistaken for offensive one I would suggest the seniors opt on their own out of shorter formats in view of the crowd of youngsters to save the dishonour Any way,my earnest wishes for a good stint at HP[the side has very good unsung swing bowlers] and better diplomacy from Himchal Pradhesh cricket Looking forward to your lucid articulation

  • 1000milesaway on October 17, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    Aakash has summarized why an average Indian sportsperson rarely achieves the potential. The constant need to do cajoling and fighting with the administrators just to survive in the game makes it harder to focus on the sport itself. It's high time administrators are taught that they exist because of the sport and sportsperson, and not the other way around.

  • kesavkoundinya on October 17, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    wonderful piece of article. straight from his experience. I think at an advanced age i think commentary box and news channels are best for you to be in touch with your fans. give way to youngsters.

    kesav koundinya

  • Ramarao on October 16, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    Its an understatement just to comment saying you possess great writing skills. For You make everyone who reads this understand what you have gone through and what other Domestic cricketers will go through from time to time.

    From how to swing a ball, batting stance to mental attitude and human stance to humiliation, your writing are everywhere.

    Inspirational and motivating.

    Despite being one of the handful reasons behind India's success in Aussies tour in 2003, your writing are needed for we most of your blogs. I am also one of many people who believed you deserve more chances in test side for some of your 40s with some luck would have been 100s given a few more chances.

  • shiv on October 16, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Excellent article. Akash i think u shud also try playing county cricket. To b honest we stillbhavent found a test opener nd m sure u nt old enuf. May b county cricket brings u back in eye of selectors. Coz scoring domesticaly isnt. No offence but im a true fan. Like u as much on talk shows but more opening for india

  • Gautham Ramesh on October 16, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    "Roads in the mountains teach you a very important lesson in life" - brilliant!!

  • djn on October 16, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    with tears in my eyes, I can say "well written" :-)

  • PT on October 16, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    Nice article, Aakash. One day you will be in a coach's or a selector role and please ensure these types of snubs don't happen under your regime to other cricketers, seniors or juniors.

    Communication is key to keep folks happy and informed. Indian sporting organizations, specifically Cricket have no clue how to communicate with players. It is directly attributed to lack of respect, education and basic common courtesy administrators have towards players. India has enormous talent in all fields, lack of proper leadership is a big cause of concern. Aakash, please continue to think outside the box and make a difference.

  • pramesh on October 16, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    excellent article sir i almost had my eyes wet....go sir go and achieve the same for HP which u did for Rajasthan....

  • Nabil on October 16, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    I m no fan of Indian Ranjhi Trophy, Don't even know the teams and all the stories ... but the Thirst & the Dedication of the player make me say one word, RESPECT !!!!!!!

  • Dan on October 16, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    Sometimes you do end up reading articles on cricinfo. Carries me back to those days where reading was a pleasure and likely to create a little stir within.

  • devendra on October 16, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    u are an awsome person ,,,,you articles are superb and motivational for a person like me to build confidence level .........

  • jaideep on October 16, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Great thought...... One of coming out of the comfort zone and look for uncharted water.... Goes for every aspect of life. Well done Akash

  • ashish on October 16, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    great ARTICLE......really inspiring for people in dilemma of decision making.

  • Abhay on October 16, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Brilliant piece of writing directly from the soul sir. I am glad that i follow such a cricketer.

  • Anonymous on October 16, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Awesm aakash bhai :-)

  • Abhay on October 16, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Brilliant piece of writing directly from the soul sir. I am glad that i follow such a cricketer.

  • Atif on October 16, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    nicely written......worth reading

  • Arpit Singhal on October 16, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Sir,Hat's of 2 u for D way of Explaining things. I must Say One thing. I Describe myself as a very lazy person,but I Must Say onething "Whenever I Read Ur Articles I Don't know why But I Get A feeling of Motivation 2 work hard" U I think Sometimes are more Candid and Meaningful than Harsha Bhogle and this is coming from a die-hard Harsha Fan.

  • pratik bahua on October 16, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Straight frm Ūя̲̅ hrt..with justified anger..Ūя̲̅ article pushes me futher to achieve wat I want buy putting outside comfort zone...respect akash sir..

  • stranger on October 16, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    no one can deny the fact u just concluded about rca administration

  • Abhijit on October 16, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    U read the article and U get a feel that this has come straight out of the heart...Awesome read!

  • Greenwire on October 16, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    A very candid account of your nomadic life, with a hint of anger and pride. Keep writing

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Greenwire on October 16, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    A very candid account of your nomadic life, with a hint of anger and pride. Keep writing

  • Abhijit on October 16, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    U read the article and U get a feel that this has come straight out of the heart...Awesome read!

  • stranger on October 16, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    no one can deny the fact u just concluded about rca administration

  • pratik bahua on October 16, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Straight frm Ūя̲̅ hrt..with justified anger..Ūя̲̅ article pushes me futher to achieve wat I want buy putting outside comfort zone...respect akash sir..

  • Arpit Singhal on October 16, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Sir,Hat's of 2 u for D way of Explaining things. I must Say One thing. I Describe myself as a very lazy person,but I Must Say onething "Whenever I Read Ur Articles I Don't know why But I Get A feeling of Motivation 2 work hard" U I think Sometimes are more Candid and Meaningful than Harsha Bhogle and this is coming from a die-hard Harsha Fan.

  • Atif on October 16, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    nicely written......worth reading

  • Abhay on October 16, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Brilliant piece of writing directly from the soul sir. I am glad that i follow such a cricketer.

  • Anonymous on October 16, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Awesm aakash bhai :-)

  • Abhay on October 16, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Brilliant piece of writing directly from the soul sir. I am glad that i follow such a cricketer.

  • ashish on October 16, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    great ARTICLE......really inspiring for people in dilemma of decision making.