'Education is equally important for sportsmen and women'

ICC Advisor Ratnakar Shetty said education is equally important for sports men and women and it should be part of the living.

Speaking after inaugurating the South Zone Inter University and All India Inter Zone Cricket Tournament (Men)-2012-13 here at MIT grounds on Friday, he said it is important for a cricketer not only to be good cricketer, but he should be a good human being.

Unfortunately now because people can make a career at a very young age, education is being compromised. There are many cricketers in Indian cricket who do not prefer to be graduated as they are already settled in the Indian cricket, following which their growth is hampered. Becoming a graduate not only helps one in the subject but also helps to grow among the people in the surrounding. It is a matter of adjustment, focusing and priority, he said.

“Television cricket we see is the tendency to pick up all bad points first and go on to pick up the cricketing skills. The values of the cricket have to be respected besides the spirit of the game. No sport in India has so much of participation,” he added.

Stating that inter-university cricket tournaments are extremely important, Shetty said there was a time when inter-university cricket was more important than Ranji trophy matches. Players like Dilip Saradesai played in inter-university matches and later directly played for India without playing in Ranji tournament. Sanjay Manjrekar was selected based on his performance in Rohinton Baria trophy.

This was the figurine for the India cricket. However, the Board starting Under 19 and Under 22 tournaments has slightly dented the importance of university cricket matches, he added.

Cricket is religion

He said cricket in India is religion. Whether India wins or looses, the passion for the game continues. There cannot be a controversy in the media without cricket.

“We have been part of India culture over these years. The passions and aspirations of Indians go up and down with the Indian team’s performance. Indian Cricket Board has nurtured Indian cricket particularly the junior cricket.

This has started throwing up cricketers from smaller towns. Today there are only handful of players from metropolitan cites. The focus has shifted to smaller towns. Here boys prefer to make cricket as a career. They feel that there is a challenge to them and can make to that level. That is the fruit of the manner in which cricket is conducted in India.

He called upon budding cricketers representing their universities that they should be proud to represent the Universities.

“When you represent, you are a selected lot as the name of the University is behind you. Play in the manner that does not bring disrepute to the game, University, and also to the organisers at large. Results are immaterial and win is in the right way,” he advised. Veteran cricketers from undivided Dakshina Kannada were felicitated on the occasion.

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