VCA Vice-President bans cricketers from wearing sunglasses and creams
VCA vice-president Prashant Vaidya reveals regulations that helped instill discipline in youngsters
On the face of it, one can say that Vidarbha are blessed with the perfect combination of talented players and a good coach in Chandrakant Pandit after they successfully defended their Ranji Trophy title with a 78-run win over Saurashtra in Nagpur on Thursday.
However, their second consecutive title was also indicated that it's not just this magic combo that makes them tick. Vidarbha's success story hasn't been scripted overnight. It has been a work in progress for over half a decade. There have been certain unique policy decisions that the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) took a few years ago which is reaping rich dividends now.
Goggles, cream banned
One of the major decisions that Prashant Vaidya, the current vice-president of VCA, initiated around six years ago, was to ban age group cricketers from wearing sunglasses or goggles and applying white zinc cream on their faces till they crossed the U-19 category. "Once, when I was watching a game, I observed this [kids wearing goggles and applying zinc cream]. Then, I was not too involved in the state's cricket affairs, I was just an EC [executive committee] member.
Later, the committee took this decision [to ban kids wearing goggles and applying zinc cream]. It doesn't look good when a 14 or a 15-year-old boy wears those goggles. It's not required either. I don't think the sun has changed since the time we played. It's fine if worn at the higher level, maybe for more protection or better concentration, but certainly not by U-14s and 16s and 19s," Vaidya, who played four ODIs [in 1995] for India, told mid-day yesterday.
About the decision to ban the cream, Vaidya said: "If you are so worried about the sun, then you should not be on the field? Somewhere, you tend to lose focus as you are not matured enough to handle these things. It may also happen that if you don't get a particular brand of cream or goggles, it affects your performance as you are so used to it. This can happen at junior level. At the senior level, you are more organised."
No sleeveless training vests
Some of VCA's other initiatives have been to shun sleeveless training vests and to ensure blazers for their captains across all teams. "We have stopped purchasing them [sleeveless jerseys] for all our teams since the last two years.
We understand that it may be required for gym sessions, so then it's limited to the gym only. In the nets, it doesn't look good. Also, there is a certain pride associated with the blazer so, we decided to make all our captains wear it for the toss. It means a lot for a player. We also opted for pure white clothing this year.
It was a bit off-white earlier. Our focus is to develop a good cricketing culture. Sanctity, decorum and discipline cannot be compromised at any cost," said Vaidya. Vaidya said the VCA is trying to channelise their current cricketing generation through this process. "Youngsters are attracted to brands. These attractions are normal, but you have to tell them that it's not important at this stage of their career. That is how you can channelise their thinking and make them more focused," he said.
So, have any of the players complain about these restrictions? "Fortunately, we have a good set of boys who have sincerely followed our regulations. All boys are good, they just need to be tutored. It is important to give them a direction. It has worked for us. It's not just from the result point of you, but the overall discipline and focus of our age-group cricketers has improved," Vaidya signed off.
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