Cricket September 19, 2013

Losing the concept of home

ESPNcricinfo staff
Anand Vasu in Wisden India explains how the busy schedule of a modern-day cricketer affects his life

A cricketer's life is rather coveted in the eyes of the general public. Success on the field leads to adoration, lucrative contracts, travel to exotic locations and much more. But Anand Vasu, in Wisden India, presents the other side of fame: A schedule is so busy the concept of home becomes twisted, a fact left-arm spinner Murali Kartik is quite familiar with, having spent less than a month there for five years straight.

"For the best part of the year my home in Delhi is unoccupied and locked up. You work hard, earn money and make a home for yourself, which is what everyone aspires to, but you don't have the luxury of enjoying it," says Kartik. When in England, he is well taken care of, a lovely residence his for the season, a top-of-the-line sponsored car his to drive, and yet it's just not the same. "There was a five-year period when I played the full season at home for Railways and away in England when I kept a record of how many nights I spent in my own bed each year. The scorecard was 22, 27, 23, 24 and 25 across those years. Can you imagine what it's like only being in your own home for less than a month in the whole year, spread out over three or four trips?" When you reconsider the fact that Kartik has not played for India in six years, you might get a sense of what life has become for the modern cricketer.