Immediate fame, as well as wealth, are not the only reasons why young cricketers could feel entitled to things, excessive parental attention in early years can be equally harmful, believes Rahul Dravid.
Former India batsman gave his opinion in wake of the controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul after their suspensions following misogynist comments on a popular TV show, "Koffee with Karan".
"I don’t like to equate entitlement with wealth. Yes, it can come with wealth, but I don’t think that is the only factor. It can happen from a young age," Dravid told ESPN Cricinfo, as he refuted that money can influence a player's character, "Sometimes in a lower-income family, they see one of the kids is special in cricket so the entire energy of the family is focused towards him or her."
"If everything is sacrificed for that one person, then sometimes that can lead to a sense of entitlement as well. If that starts at a very young age, the kid could feel, 'I am special and it is all about me'."
Dravid genuinely believes that parents and coaches play a huge role in shaping up the individuals who play a sport.
"If the player is going to feel a sense of entitlement irrespective of whether he is rich or poor, then you have a problem. We face that problem sometimes. At the NCA, a lot of coaches have told me sometimes the best bowlers and the best batsmen are the worst fielders or the worst runners between wickets," he further said.
"There are two things that are very important. The first is what kids are taught by their parents and early coaches. If people have been told they can fudge their age, that is the start of a problem. You are basically telling the kid it is okay to cheat. For me, that is not setting the right example to a young kid at an impressionable age."
"If a parent is shouting at a coach and blaming a coach or umpire when things go wrong, to a young, impressionable kid, he grows up thinking that is the way things should be done. The second key point, I feel, that can help youngsters is the role a senior player plays. Seniors in cricket teams can play a huge role in guiding and helping a youngster - not necessarily with words but by setting the right example."
The legend also feels there is an extent to how much BCCI can do as far as this issue is concerned and again stressed the importance of upbringing.
“I don’t think you can just pass on the responsibility to just the BCCI and state associations. Along the way, there are many touchpoints for cricketers. Right from the time the boy or girl starts playing cricket, your attitude towards the game, what is it that you are taught, are very, very important,” Rahul Dravid concluded.