Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Young and fearless

As cricketers grow old in the international arena, they grow wary of the media. In press conferances they choose their words with care. In private, they open out only to journalists they trust. A few words quoted out of context can cause immense harm to a player's public image.

It is refreshing, thus, to see the way Pakistan's young players handle the media. The other day Danish Kaneria gave a press conference, and was straighforward and bold, giving journalists plenty of juicy quotes, and speaking openly of his ambition to be the best spinner in the world.

At one point, a journalist began a question to him by mispronouncing his name. Kaneria waited for him to finish his question, then said: "First you pronounce my name properly." The nervous journalist pronounced it properly. "Daa-nish," he said. (The "D" is a soft "D", as in "Daman" and "Diu", and "they".) "That's right," said Kaneria, "Daa-nish. Now repeat your question."

Kamran Akmal is made in a similar insouciant mould. Asked at the prize distribution about the pitch, he said: "Wicket tho bahut hi achha khela, hundred kiya." ("The wicket played very well, [after all] I made a hundred.")

When asked what his plan was during his innings, he said: "Pressure nahin loonga, wait karoonga bad ball ki. Bad ball mil gaye, hundred ho gaya." ("I won't take pressure, I'll wait for the bad ball. The bad balls came, I got my hundred.") Sadly, I can't translate the tone for you, but the manner in which he said it had a refreshing swagger about it.

The kind of brashness both men display can be both good and bad. It can be bad if their success goes to their heads and they become complacent. It can be good if it is accompanied by a proper work ethic, because their natural aggression on the field then helps them perform better. From what I've seen of these two fine players, it will work out well.
amit varma, 6:47 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage