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As a lifeskills coach, one of the things that Michael Jeh teaches young cricketers is knowing when to walk away from a provocation fuelled by alcohol or drugs - situations that can quickly spiral out of control and end tragically for the people involved. In the aftermath of the assault on Jesse Ryder, Jeh, writing in the Mid day, says that recognising these situations is also an instinct that is honed over time.
It is this life lesson that I try to imbue in the minds of these young athletes who are used to living on razor- sharp instincts because that is the source of their sporting genius. And yet sometimes, there is that fine line between acting instinctively, and knowing when to defy instinct. Depending on the circumstance, either option could be a life-saver but the hard part is to know which button to push in which situation.
That is where repeated practice comes into play. For cricketers who are used to hitting a thousand balls a day, they often rail at the notion of sitting through workshops that simulate real life at a pub or a nightclub. Their young brains, still in the formative stage where neurons are making permanent connections, cannot readily grasp why it is necessary to practice life itself.
World cricket could be on the cusp of facing a huge drugs problem. The Old Batsman blog looks at why Twenty20 cricket - a combination of financial reward, worldwide fame and a variant of the sport increasingly reliant on power - brings with it the threat of drug usage.
T20's big threat is the one no-one is writing about. I realised it again when I heard a county coach saying something along the lines of, all the young players he now had coming his way 'just want to get in the gym, bulk up and smack the ball miles'. It's entirely logical that they should, too.
Grand slam champion Andre Agassi's admission to using drugs during his career is not only damaging for his reputation but for the sport itself, writes Harsha Bhogle in the Indian Express.
I have long been a huge admirer of Agassi on court but I do hope people do not rally to his support; like with the pathetic attempt to protect Roman Polanski. The more we pardon offenders, either through the law or through public affection, the easier we make it for someone else to cross the line. And here in India we need to take a tough stance too. Our weightlifters are now a joke around the world as indeed are the officials who looked the other way in spite of fairly obvious proof. If the game isn’t strong those that play it need not be strong and you can see that association at work in the build up to the Commonwealth Games.
While rubbishing former Pakistan batsman Qasim Omar's claims that Viv Richards used to take performance enhancing drugs in his time, his brother Mervyn Richards has said the only thing that kept him going was an undying passion for the game. He speaks to Clayton Murzello in Mid Day.
"Viv's cricketing passion was his drug. Viv used to sleep with his bat and the only thing he used was something for his eyes.
"Firstly, I don't think cricket is a sport where performance can be enhanced by consuming something. It is played between the ears. Viv never needed to do something like that (take performance-enhancing drugs)."