Jail sentences to tainted Pak trio may see coaches counseling youngsters at grassroots
What happened to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir yesterday could well happen to any cricketer if not guided properly. With the kind of money up for grabs, the temptation factor looms large. This particular controversy may have affected Pakistan cricket, but there isn't any guarantee that a young Indian won't fall prey in the future.
Young cricketers listen to their coach whilst attending nets at Shivaji
Park. Pic/Getty Images
Jail sentences to the tainted Pakistani trio and agent Mazhar Majeed may mean more work for the coaches. Apart from teaching their wards the rudiments of the game, coaches will do well to indulge in some counseling too.
Zaheer Khan's club coach Sudhir Naik said a coach plays an important role in showing the right direction. "The coach must make a cricketer responsible. Discipline is of utmost importance. Cricketers have to understand that they are the ambassadors of the game and also their country. Any unlawful activity will only bring disrepute to the game and country. Coaches definitely play a very important role in keeping the young cricketers away from distractions," Naik told MiD DAY yesterday.
Former Pakistan Test captain Butt, 27, was slapped a 30-month prison sentence, fast bowler Asif, 28 is set to spend one year in jail and 19-year-old Amir was sentenced for six months. Butt and Asif were found guilty on Tuesday of deliberately bowling three no-balls during the Lord's Test in August 2010 as part of a spot-fixing scam.
Rohit Sharma's childhood coach Dinesh Lad seemed worried about the attitude of Indian youngsters. "Every youngster wants to play the Indian Premier League because it will give him instant fame and huge money. The worrying factor is that cricket is not their focus. Today's youngsters have many reasons to get distracted. I always emphasise the need to focus on playing good cricket. Money will follow."
Lad hoped yesterday's jail sentence to the trio will help instill fear in youngsters. "It must be stressed to them that they could be jailed for any wrong-doing. A fear factor is necessary," he said. Former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre stressed on the importance of awareness right from an early age. "A coach plays a lead role in shaping the career of a cricketer. So, it is has become all the more important for them to educate their wards about such (fixing) things.
"It is necessary to brief them on how they (agents/bookmakers) approach the cricketers. We have to make them aware of the consequences. It's important to make them realise that they will not just spoil their image, but also damage their families.
"All fame and money will go down the drain before they blink," said Amre, who takes his wards to programmes that educate young cricketers on the importance of integrity.