March 26, 2013

The importance of risking failure

A Day With Dravid was not all it could have been, but glitches are best looked at as building blocks rather than setbacks

A Day With Dravid was a dream realised for the group of fans who managed to share space with their hero, and their joy alone was worth the effort that went into organising the Hangout, but we ought to own up that the experience was far from ideal for those who tuned in to watch it live on the site. We understand your frustration because we felt it too, perhaps far more deeply. After all that we put into it, that hurt.

There is no shame in owning up to faults. In this case, it wasn't because of a lack of effort or because of carelessness. ESPNcricinfo is what it is because it has always embraced new ideas. Fear of failure has never been a disincentive; the prospect of success is far more alluring. When something doesn't work the way it was meant to, it is still invaluable for the lessons it brings.

We apologise to those for whom the audio quality was poor, but not for the ambition of trying to do this live online, or for trying to give ten of you the opportunity to ask Rahul Dravid the questions that won you your places in the chat.

The glitches were disappointing but we would like to look at them as building blocks rather than as setbacks. You have been an integral and intimate part of our journey, and with your trust, we will continue to risk the occasional failure as we attempt new things.

You will have noticed the increase in our video content. We plan for it to continue growing. Our experts do match analyses on video, and we now respond to big news events with multimedia discussions. As ever, we will look to break new ground with ideas-driven shows. You may have already seen a glimpse of this in Go Figure, the delightful numbers tango between S Rajesh, the site's statistics editor, and Andy Zaltzman, who discovered the true meaning of life after encountering ESPNcricinfo's Statsguru.

Meanwhile, for those of you who had difficulties in watching a Day With Dravid, you can watch the whole thing right below. And soon we will start putting up the answers to the questions that were asked by the other nine winners.

But what we will remember the most is the delight of Vineet Anantharaman, the 21-year-old winner, who turned up at our office with a smile that never left his face as he went through the day, getting introduced to Dravid, sharing a lunch table with him, and sitting next to him through the Hangout.

Undoubtedly, it was one of the great days of his life. "This is something I will never forget and the feeling is yet to sink in because he is undoubtedly my favourite cricketer," he told us. To have helped make it happen is our reward.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo