Ravichandran Ashwin's comment the other day that his colleagues who he once considered friends are now 'just colleagues' has elicited a reaction from former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
Gavaskar feels it's unfortunate that players today are not able to maintain a good relationship off the field.
"It's a sad thing because you should be able to get together after play ends and maybe not talk about the game but talk about music, maybe talk about the films you like, maybe talk about your interest in space, But if that is not happening, that is disappointing. Having said that, the new thing that started 20 years back or longer is that every player gets a single room. That too can be a factor," Gavaskar said in an interview with The Indian Express.
Looking into this matter, it's probably a sign of the tectonic changes that have come about in cricket general and especially in Indian cricket.
Is the breakneck competition between players responsible for this rift?
The influx of mega bucks, professionalism, the cut-throat nature of competition between players for team slots all of them have in a way contributed to the present scenario that Ashwin was talking about.
With Indian cricket team spoilt for choices in terms of players coming through the ranks with the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), there is added pressure on players to back themselves and perform at the top.
Also, when two players in the team are competing for the same slot, it becomes a lot harder for them to maintain a healthy friendship off the field as well. Being professional in their approach towards each other is probably the way to go about it.
It's not to say that good friendships don't exist in cricket but in today's times it is not that easy. Perhaps.