Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who recently extended his cricket academy Gen-Next to the UAE at Kings' School in Al Barsha, said that improving on a day-to-day basis is important to achieve your goal.
“In India too there is no guarantee that a cricketer who will take the field or who will practice in an academy will go through certain ranks and reach a certain place.
“In an age where technology advancements are massive and also the awareness of the kids are better than what it was when we grew up, it is important to lay down a proper structure and show them. During my school days, my father used to take me in a bike to play matches. After every successful day, I used to ask my father on what’s next for me and my father used to say that I will play under-14 and play different age categories and reach the state team to play Ranji Trophy and then the Indian team.
“It used to be very tiresome to hear that because it seemed like a very long road ahead but nobody emphasized the fact that improving on a day-to-day basis was everything and I understood this only by the age of 20.”
Ashwin has an advice for everyone who approaches him. “I did not get anything on a platter so to be successful as a cricketer the most important thing is to use the infrastructure and facility and get better by the day. If you take the shortcuts it would be easily found out when you go up the ladder. The sole emphasis should be on how one can improve on a day-to-day basis and what better as a coach or as an academy we can offer them every single day as they walk out there. It is very easy for someone like me to identify good talent but a roadmap is something very important.
“We can draw up one and explain to them how they can go through it and try and work on that roadmap for a period of time. Results don’t happen in a year or two.”
Backing Ashwin’s view was Anis Sajan, the managing director of the Danube, who will support Ashwin’s initiative here. “UAE has the infrastructure and talent but what they need is someone like Ashwin, who I know cannot come here every time, to take it forward. Only then can cricket move forward and the UAE cricket progress like Afghanistan and Bangladesh and play Test cricket,” said Anis.
Ashwin then went on say Indian Premier League (IPL) is a motivation to move ahead. “People tend to brand IPL as some sort of a villain to Indian cricket in a lot of ways. It depends how a cricketer address IPL. Any sort of monetary gain that IPL provides is a motivation to move ahead. It is a massive move by the BCCI to do a tournament like this because it definitely gives a better lifestyle for the cricketer in terms of money."
Ashwin added that money plays an important factor in bringing confidence in an individual.
"I am sure nothing brings confidence more than money brings to you. The upbringing of a kid matters a lot. How much it means to him to don those Indian colors and go out there and play and excel as a cricketer plays a big role. I have always looked at excellence, try and get better and win a game. When that is the motive I think money just becomes a by-product.”
R Ashwin will play for Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming IPL 2018 season. It is said that the Tamil Nadu spinner has chances of leading the Kings XI Punjab because of his ability to understand the game.