Discipline in a cricket team is necessary. Should cricketer be the ‘enforcer’ a ‘tough guy’ ready to absorb punishment from real tough guys in the team? Asks V Gangadhar.
Modern cricket is constantly changing. From a simple game of batting, bowling fielding and wicket-keeping it had expanded to promoting the game, making special appearances, doing ‘bhangra’ dances, ad shows, endorsing shaving creams and now the role of fine collector. The last-mentioned task is entrusted to the kind and gentle seam bowler from UP Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. We have to wait and watch if this new task will spread to other states and other cricketing nations who may be envious that India, already among top cricket playing nations has already stolen yet another march over the rest of the world.
It all happened after former Indian captain and top class spinner, Anil Kumble was elected coach of the Indian national cricket team. A rather stern-looking, Kumble was not your jolly, fun-loving captain but a no-nonsense disciplinarian and it is not surprising that one of his first directives from him was to tine late comers to the team bus was to impose a fine of $50 and also collect the amount and submit to the team kitty. Well, there was nothing wrong with it, someone had to do this job but what shocked everyone was Kumble’s choice of the fine collector – gentle-looking medium pacer from UP, Bhuvaneshwar! Surprising one would say!
Any kind of collectors, receiving something instead of giving anything in return is not an easy job. Banks employ ‘toughies’ to warn and sometimes even beat up long standing defaulters. How will bone thin Bhuvaneshar demand payment of fines for late coming from the much bigger team members like Ishant Sharma?
Enforcing any kind of discipline on wrong-doers will be a tough job. We read reports in the media how teachers in some schools line up late comers and cane them in public. This punishment has continued for a long period but now students and their parents are suing such schools for inflicting such punishment. However, the BCCI will have to adopt different means to punish late comers for the team bus, it is hard to visualize Bhuvaneshwar, and his co-members in the committee Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan asking their errant late reporting teammates to line up and show their palms for a hit of caning. It may be great ‘photo Op’ for the media but not appreciated by the errant players
But our issue is different. Is Bhuvaneshwar the proper enforcer for this disciplinary measure? We know from school days that ‘enforcers’ had to be tough guys, grim, well muscled, twirling their moustaches and flaunting their moustaches. Any direct confrontation with the likes of team tough guys will not be possible and create tension in the team Mind you, the Minorities in India are capable of creating additional problems to the beleaguered BCCI and who knows once again the Supreme Court could be dragged into this dispute. Can there be other solutions? A 24-hour bodyguard for Bhuvaneshwar? Will the bodyguard allowed to remain on the field with the player?