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Shastri on the Indian cricketers' relationship with media

Source: PTI
February 28, 2022 22:20 IST
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'I feel we have tried to discuss it (with) them. To speak as much as you can to the media, but make sure that it is a proper kind of press conference where you take everyone's questions at one go.'

Former India cricket Head Coach, Ravi Shastri said it is difficult for current Indian players being constantly under the spotlight.

IMAGE: Former India cricket Head Coach, Ravi Shastri said it is difficult for current Indian players being constantly under the spotlight. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri feels that the rapport that players of his generation shared with journalists was far better compared to what it is with cricketers of current era and the scribes who cover them.

 

Media is a function of the age and times that one lives in and the exponential growth of media houses, electronic and now digital space has made it very difficult for players to remain friends, observed the veteran of 80 Tests and 150 ODIs.

"I think it has changed. It has changed from the time we played the game. The equation we had with journalists was far, far better than the equation you see with the boys today. And I have been part of (the) dressing room for the last seven years," Shastri said at the launch of ‘It's A Wonderful World', a memoir by Khalid A-H Ansari.

The context wasn't difficult to understand as recently veteran India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha had alleged that he received "threatening" messages from a journalist for refusing to oblige him with an interview.

Shastri was one of those prominent former stars who had urged Saha to publicly name and shame the journalist in question.

Shastri, a former India all-rounder, said that it's difficult being under constant spotlight.

"I don't blame the guys though because, the spotlight that is there on today's players is nowhere like what it was on us."

"We had the print media; there was television (Doordarshan) that had just started. But today with the platforms that exist in the media and social media taking off the way it is, news channels, the number of news channels that cover the game, is unreal and that really is something that puts the spotlight on the players," added Shastri.   

Shastri, also a famous commentator, said that during his time as Head Coach, he has tried to discuss it with the players

"I feel we have tried to discuss it (with) them. To speak as much as you can to the media, but make sure that it is a proper kind of press conference where you take everyone's questions at one go.

"Because what happens is a lot of things are taken out of context these days and I am being honest about it, because of the competition that exists."

"As a result of which, the player has no choice but to go into a shell, has absolutely no choice and says I rather look within, focus on the game, let my cricket do the talking and once I am done and dusted, then I can speak to whoever," the 59-year-old added.

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