March 26, 2013

The importance of risking failure

Sambit Bal
Rahul Dravid interacts with Vineet Anantharaman, winner of the contest, March 25, 2013
Dravid with Vineet Anantharaman (at left), the contest winner  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

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

RSS Feeds: Sambit Bal

Keywords: ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cricinfo-Editorial on (March 29, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Kunal, point taken. We informed the winners well in advance. But we should have published the list for the rest of you see. Will be mindful of this the next time.

Some of you have also asked for the text transcript. We try to provide them as and when we can. You must appreciate it takes a huge amount time to get it done right, and with so much cricket around, we are often running out of hands. And as my colleagues always warn me, we are piling up more and more on their plate all the time.


Posted by Kunal-Talgeri on (March 27, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

Hi Sambit, congratulations for the effort and to Vineet Anantharaman for being the envy of all Cricinfoers. Technical glitches aside, what disappointed me most was the lack of communication about the contest-winners. If I remember correctly, that was supposed to have been up by 21 March. I realised I wasn't alone in checking Cricinfo's FB page and the contest-page on your website repeatedly. It was plain frustrating for a lot of us who even repeatedly asked for the results on the 'comments' section. It was a one-sided affair. I hope you appreciate the emotional connect of such a contest, for example, if I file and entry for a family member. That is what makes it special to see the list of contest-winners ('What if my sibling/spouse wins?'), which is not a technical issue. :-) Here's to Cricinfo's constant endeavour to keep trying new things, cheers!

Posted by ProdigyA on (March 27, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

A commendable effort I would say. Great job guys and keep it going. If u get a chance pls have Sachin and Dhoni to Hangout too. That would be fun.

Posted by jokerbala on (March 27, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

too much of Dravid on cricinfo and general media. I'm beginning to get tired of him, bring back good old Sanjay Manjerekar,I would take him over Dravid any day.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

A lot of us access Cricinfo on low internet speeds. While its great for Cricinfo to be ahead technologically, could you also please give us text versions of the video feeds. This will ensure that you cover a larger ground than going in with video alone.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (March 27, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

I couldn't see Rahul's reply on DRS in this podcast. If so, can we have a text version of this hangout.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

Another self-indulgent 'article'. Feels nice to pat yourself on the back doesn't it.

Posted by Agnihothra on (March 27, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

one thing i ask for is the transcripts to the video and audio shows..

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

You need to get better chairs.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 27, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

I am no longer dravid fan. I was. I do not like his analysis anymore. :)

Comments have now been closed for this article


Sambit Bal
Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

All articles by this writer