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'In IPL, youngsters get opportunities they might not be ready for'

Source: PTI
March 24, 2023 17:28 IST
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IMAGE: Coach Ricky Ponting said it was his job to make young players good human beings. Photograph: BCCI

A disciplined life off the field is key to producing disciplined performances on it, feels Australian great Ricky Ponting, who would love to create good human beings out of solid cricketers.

"The better person you are, it is easy to become a better player. If you haven't got your personal life in order, it is really difficult to become a disciplined performer on the field," Ponting said at a promotional event of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals in New Delhi on Friday.

Ponting, who had his run-ins with the Australian cricketing establishment back in the 1990s, understands the kind of attention young Indian players can attract even after just one good innings in the IPL.

Ponting feels that it is not just about bringing in results as a coach in black and white. He needs to look at the bigger picture, too.

"I think it is a lot different in our country than it is here and thing about IPL is you see so many younger players get an opportunity that they might not be ready for," Ponting, never one to mince words, put it as succinctly as he could.


"I mean they might be ready for cricket side of it but lot of guys are not ready for what comes with that. Looking back at my career, it was the same with me," Ponting said.

But obviously, the scale of attention in India is infinitely bigger compared to what it is Down Under.

"I guess there wasn't as much spotlight on me as it is on some young Indian guys. Just due to sheer amount of numbers and things like that, but I think for me, it is about letting players understand how big it is to what they are doing in public eyes.

"And at times, you want to play cricket, represent your franchise, your country and sometimes you don't see the bigger picture and it's how everyone perceives you in real world."

For Ponting, the endeavour is to show the younger lot the bigger picture about life and sport in general.

"The IPL for a lot of these youngsters is not real world and there are lot of other stuff happening out there and it is not to think about. My job is to make them better players but my job is also to make them better people as well and that's a bigger part."        

Playing for India is ultimate but focus on job at hand 

The IPL in a World Cup year becomes a tricky proposition and Ponting, who has been around for close to five years as Delhi Capitals' head coach, has seen heartbreaks among players aspiring to play for India and feels that the younger guys need to just focus on what's in their control.

"Ideally, anyone we bring into DC franchise wants to play for India and we want them to have the drive and passion of the best that they can be and every time they get an opportunity to play for us, they win games for us and when you win games for Delhi,  you are giving yourself best chance to be in that World Cup squad," Ponting said.

But the idea is to think about the match in hand rather than a national call-up that is still some time away.

"One thing I stress to the young guys is that if they start looking too far ahead and start thinking about World Cups... you have to start being in present and play your role for the team. It's my duty to get these guys ready and win games for us. The other selections (national) are out of my hands."

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IPL 2023

IPL 2023