BCCI must take care of the education of the young squad which shines brightly at the U-19 World Cup, writes former Indian cricketer Yajurvindra Singh
India reaching the final of the U-19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies truly reflects that their offspring shines bright. This will be the fourth consecutive time India have reached the final. The Indian team looks well balanced and head and shoulders above the rest. The maturity shown by their captain Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed as they faced Australia in the semi-finals was remarkable. The way they have built and consolidated their sleeves with such precision and flair increases Indian cricket really well.Read also – U-19 World Cup 2022: Virat Kohli gives valuable advice to the Indian U-19 team ahead of the final against England
The U-19 system has become a boon for Indian cricket as young players get a chance to gain recognition on the world stage. India’s current senior squad has many players who have come through the U-19 ranks. Hence, it clearly indicates how beneficial it has been for Indian cricket. Also read – “I’m fine”: Shikhar Dhawan is grateful for his love after testing positive for Covid-19
Getting into the Indian U-19 side is very similar to students entering prestigious institutes like IIM, IIT and other business schools in India. One is ready for a big career ahead and with some storage ready for the scrum. Also Read – BCCI President Sourav Ganguly plans to hold a bigger women’s IPL in the future
Cricket has become a career option in its own right and the Indian U-19 team class of 2022 will be in high demand not only in their respective national teams but also in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. .
BCCI should be commended for the way the current India U-19 squad have fared in these tough pandemic times. Hosting the U-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy and then the Challengers Trophy with Bangladesh as the fourth team was a well-considered decision under these circumstances.
The Indian team winning the U-19 Asian Cup in Dubai before leaving for the World Cup was a good way to launch them for the big event to come.
India will face England in the final on February 5, 2022, and winning or losing India has already shown the class they possess through the exciting young talents among them.
The IPL auction would definitely be on the minds of Indian U-19 cricketers as stepping into one of the franchise-based teams would be just the icing on the cake they need. An elegant performance in the final should increase well for them.
The only worry seen in the path of a young Indian cricketer in the future is the lack of getting a college education and a degree. Cricket has become a time-consuming career and short-term monetary gains prevent them from continuing their education. An international player now earns a lot of money and even a top class domestic cricketer earns enough to keep playing.
The IPL has also been a great incentive and many cricketers have won a substantial amount playing there over the past 13 years. This has given cricketers the wrong impression that education is not important to pursue.
This may seem like rosy business for cricketers at present, but one wonders how many of them will be able to support themselves on this income over their lifetime. In the past, young cricketers were encouraged to graduate as it gave them employment in companies that promoted cricket as a sport. Public and private companies have played a major role in encouraging cricketers to ply their trade and subsequently set them up in a career in the organization after retirement.
Consequently, college and university cricket was encouraged and young cricketers were recognized and many played for the country and others for their national teams via this route. It was a good system, which gave a cricketer the opportunity to play and also to have a job once his career was over.
The structure of colleges and universities has now been pushed aside, with the U-17s and U-19s taking on greater prominence. The irony of this change has not been felt by cricketers at present, as most of them are still playing or have recently retired with a reasonable amount of money.
BCCI must put education back into the life of a cricketer. The digital world has made this possible. They are partnered through sponsorship with online learning companies and educational institutions. Online courses would give a young cricketer the opportunity to train and earn a degree or diploma that could help them in the future. This would go a long way to solving a problem that could become a major concern in a cricketer’s life for years to come, if not resolved quickly.
A young cricketer is so engrossed in playing the sport that any negative thoughts about what his life might be like in the future never cross his mind. This is where the BCCI must play its role. The wealthiest cricketing corps is growing exponentially both on and off the pitch. Educating cricketers not only in the cricket-related field but also in other work fields would be an ideal solution that will benefit young cricketers.
India’s U-19 side are likely to come out on top. They seem like a ready-to-strike unit. They showed that even after many of their best players fell victim to the dreaded virus. A victory would be a golden end to their campaign.
All the best, India.
Former Indian cricketer Yajurvindra Singh wrote in her column for the IANS news agency.
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