News day / The 80 year old is the author of over 20 books on cricket, focussing on India and the West Indies. He says he fell in love with the region when he first visited in the 1970s with the buoyant personality of the people capturing his heart.
Chaturvedi, the first Indian cricket commentator to broadcast exclusively in Hindi, became extremely popular in is homeland and is credited for helping spread the game to the rural areas.
He is also the holder of a Masters in Zoology and was the recipient of the fourth-highest civilian award in Indian the Padma Shri for his decades of service to Indian cricket.
Professor Chaturvedi, however, believes the vast sums of money generated by Twenty20 cricket has blinded administrators about their roles and also made cricketers lose their loyalty.
The players have become demigods.
They are dictating everything who should be the manager, who should be this, who should not be selected. Its a very bad thing, he said.
Chaturvedi added, In our parts of the world, the people who are on top hardly know anything about the cricket. They are very happy they are president or vice president of the board. It makes no difference to them if Virat Kohli says Anil Kumble out and bring Ravi Shastri in or Rahul Dravid in. It makes no difference to them, once Virat Kohli is happy with them and he should not say anything against them. Commentators are targeted, you cannot speak against the players or the board. It happened to Tony Cozier, it happened to me once. Chaturvedi, who has befriended several West Indies legends during his numerous visits to the Caribbean, said wrangling over money will continue to occur all over the world unless a change of approach between administrators and cricketers takes place.
It is happening everywhere, even in India. You know (former India coach) Anil Kumble was ousted because of differences with Virat Kohli, and he (Kohli) was asking for a pay packet (increase) for the players, so this is happening all over (including Australia).
Look, today if I am able to play IPL or Caribbean Premier League it is because I had represented West Indies, India, Pakistan etc. The mother institution is the board, I know that the mother is poor, it cannot pay so much but the market has lots of money. Will I disown my mother? In one of the earlier IPL, Chris Gayle was West Indies captain, he reached Lords (cricket ground) hardly a few hours before the match (against England), this means you are not worried about your national team. The national pride is nothing for the players now, for them the purse is more important and this is where the problem is. Acknowledging his comments were from an outsider looking in, he said the handling of the 2014 pull-out of the Indian tour could have been better.
I know as a teacher a student can be wayward, they could be indisciplined or not attentive…Maybe the people who are in the West Indies Board are not far-sighted.
Supposed tomorrow you make a mistake I say look here, this is not the way to do it. This time Im forgetting but not next time. National pride is at stake, lets sit and discuss.
The players association made a mistake and the board made a mistake and who is suffering? The cricket lovers are suffering and youre losing your base because theyre going to other sports. Chaturvedi, who spoke glowingly about the first time he saw former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell bat during a Commonwealth tour of India in 1949, said the region needs a captain like him now to act as a unifying force.
What stuck to me, and I will talk about Frank as a cricketer, I will not talk about Frank as a statesman, the one who became an icon, that is another scenario. Frank was a very majestic batsman, there was some sort of an elegance about him.
There was some sort of aura about him, that was one thing that stuck with me.
The insularity, the jealousy and colonialism between the different islands (remains). I remember a lot of jokes being told about Guyanese, Jamaicans, Trinidadians and Bajans. But Frank, he was not only a gentleman cricketer, if you ask me the role of Frank Worrell, he is the only one who united (the West Indies). Your politicians failed, in 1958 you built the Federation, four years in 1962 it breaks. When Barbados became independent they wanted a match to celebrate their independence, a match versus the Rest of the World. And Frank put his foot down, he said a spot cannot be bigger than a circle. And same spirit he brought into the West Indies team.
Modern cricketers are demi-gods
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