By Ankush Bhatia
As has always been the case in India, cricketers are never away from the news, be it for their on-field performance or their off-field behavior. There are millions of opinionated people out their ready to score the player as per their whim and fancies.
Such has been the case with many cricketers, while some are given the status of God, some are adjudged as villains. Trolls blaming Anushka for Virat’s lack of performance isn’t far behind us, and on the other hand, “Virushka” was celebrated like a festival amongst fans. Sreesanth is still somewhere subjected to negative comments even after being cleared by the court. The opinions keep flowing without taking into considerations the effect it has on fellow “human” life.
The root for all such problems is the perceptions based on incomplete information. The recent target of this circus has been Pragyan Ojha.
Recently, a video of Pragyan Ojha kicking the stumps is going viral and there has been tons of negative energy around it. While some claim it to be the frustration of being out of the team, others think it’s against the gentlemanly nature of the game.
Yes, it doesn’t look nice on camera but those 30 seconds doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s look at the facts and some rather sensible perceptions.
The match was from a 2013 T20 game between Hyderabad and Goa, so clearly, it isn’t the frustration of being out of the team, he was enjoying his cricket throughout 2013 as he went on to become the third fastest Indian to 100 test wickets.
Was it indiscipline? Probably yes. Was it a conscious effort to disrespect the game, NO. For anyone who has ever played a sport, especially a team sport can understand what Ojha felt during that last ball four.
It was the feeling of disappointment of being unable to defend the score in the last over. He took all the blame for the loss and thus that anger on self was vented out. If anything it shows how passionate he is about his game, how much he loves his cricket. How much it affects him.
Many cricketers have vent out their anger on the field and have always landed up being the target of critics. Gambhir during a KKR game, Pollard in an MI game etc. Virat Kohli once used to be an expressive cricketer, while he still is; he has channeled his energies in a better way. While it is cricketer’s responsibility to manage his emotions well, it takes some time to settle and learn to master his emotions. He has paid his fine and has channeled his passion into performances since.
Pragyan Ojha has played 24 Tests for India where he has 113 wickets to his name with best bowling figures of 6/47 against the Windies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He is a stalwart in the domestic circuit with 423 wickets in 107 first-class matches.
People who know Ojha personally claim how genuine and simple a person he is. He is hardworking and true to his profession under all situations.
“Pragyan has a straightforward approach towards his life and cricket, keep working hard and the results will follow, even after years in this glamorous profession, Ojha has his head in the right place and has never lost focus”
It is disheartening for Ojha’s fans to see his passion for the game being termed as disrespect for the game. After all, He is a human too.