The BCCI is in ‘ban’ mode. Ban Lalit Modi, ban S. Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan, gag players. Difficult issues are not dealt with. For instance, no-one wants to talk about the subsidy to the J&K association and the miserable condition of cricket in the valley.

All that has been done is the subsidy has been stopped for past couple of years but the representative of the association continues to attend the meetings of the BCCI.

Why is the BCCI overreacting? Is it doing this to wish away the guilt it has for being inefficient in other spheres? Ban the players, yes, but shouldn’t the BCCI wait till the players have been proved guilty by the court.

What if the court doesn’t find any merit in the charge-sheets filed by the Delhi police? Will BCCI revoke the punishment then? What about the reputation of players then?

Consider Harmeet Singh’s case. He was suspended pending inquiry when there was no charge-sheet filed by the police against him.

The 20-year-old who was responsible for India winning the under-19 World Cup sat at home shedding tears while less talented players were enjoying the Kanga league in Mumbai. His self-esteem was crushed. Is a thought being spared for the morale of such performing youngsters? May we know the stand taken by Anil Kumble when the decision to suspend Harmeet was taken by the BCCI? And if he wasn’t in agreement with the committee, did he record his dissent? Harmeet is the same boy who was compared to Bishan Singh Bedi by none other than Ian Chappell.

Last week when Bedi was in Mumbai the lad requested Bedi to work on his bowling and Bedi spent close to four hours at the nets with him.

Facing pressure

The youngsters today do indeed face different kinds of pressures.

The ideal way would be to employ counsellors for each state association. It is difficult to find a player who does not have a set of parents who cannot wait for their son to get into IPL and are ready to invest in “agents” as well. This blind pursuit of IPL has not only been affecting technique but also the overall attitude of youngsters.

The coaches feel that teenagers play big shots without mastering the basics.

Twenty20 is now mushrooming at state/district/village level, and considering the money involved in it, why would parents care about learning the basics?

A counsellor can make sure that players do not go astray.

The psychologist Mumbai Cricket Association employed for the last two years has handled many cases successfully and the attitude of parents have also changed. There was a case of a schoolboy who was scoring hundreds and double hundreds at will. Once he scored over 400 in an innings. Despite these achievements, the father kept pushing the child very hard.

The boy suddenly became undisciplined and was suspended by the BCCI batting academy. After undergoing psychology sessions, the boy and his father both showed signs of change. The boy now is part of the India under-19 team.

Passion and talent

We have many such talented teenagers in the country; full of passion and talent but without any means to channel their talent in a productive manner.

It’s time parents stopped treating their kids as investment plans. Cricket is not a mutual fund, and the logic of investment and return does not apply here. Only the passionate survive, not the calculating mind.