Sunil Gavaskar: Much more to life than sports

In these dark times, it is a terrific chance for the nascent Indian Cricketers’ Association to show that it is the one that will look after the brotherhood.

The Honourable Supreme Court has given an excellent opportunity by their mandate for an Indian Cricketers’ Association and having two members of that Association on the Apex council of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The Honourable Supreme Court has given an excellent opportunity by their mandate for an Indian Cricketers’ Association and having two members of that Association on the Apex council of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.   -  Getty Images

The unprecedented lockdown throughout most of the sporting world due the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the international sporting calendar in disarray. It is at this time that one realises that sport is just a tiny part of the universe and there’s much more to life than winning and losing a sporting encounter. Winning the battle to live is far more crucial than anything else.

This lockdown not only provides us the chance to take a step back and reflect on our lives, careers and possibilities, but also gives us 'my time,' which has been a luxury in the rush, rush pattern of our existence.

It is also a time where we get the chance to appreciate all those who help make our lives easier with their presence, be it relatives, elders, family and extended family, friends, staff or, most importantly, public workers, whose work is finally being recognised and acknowledged.

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Even as we individually get the time to reboot ourselves, it’s also a wonderful opportunity for organisations to do an honest introspection and focus on areas where they can get better.

Many such associations are coming to the aid of their members and fraternity in these dark times and this is a terrific chance for a nascent one like the Indian Cricketers’ Association to show that it is the one that will look after the brotherhood. It’s early days of course but it would be wonderful if they can draw a road map for the future and tell the members what their vision is. This can be done quite easily by asking the members online what they would want. Of course, not every want can be fulfilled, but needs can certainly be met and that is what the effort should always strive for.

Plans must be made to be independent of the BCCI funding to prevent the Indian Cricketers’ Association from becoming beholden to the board.   -  AFP

 

The focus on getting an office space seems trivial now that we know, thanks to the lockdown, that we all can work from home too. Plans must be made to be independent of the BCCI funding to prevent the association from becoming beholden to the board. If it really wants to be the voice of the cricketers in the country then it must do so standing on its own legs and not propped up by board funds.

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There will be many who will come forward and help, but most importantly the member has to take the first step by making a contribution by way of a membership fee. Not only will regular funds be coming in then, the member too will feel an ownership of the association and take active interest in it. Many a member today perhaps has no source of income with the current lockdown and he would be looking to the association for assistance and guidance at this time. This is where funds raised will come in handy.

There is plenty of work ahead if it is going to be an association that players will be lining up to be a part of and this is where the vision statement and steps taken towards fulfilling that will be critical. The Honourable Supreme Court has given an excellent opportunity by its mandate for an Indian Cricketers’ Association and having two members of that association on the Apex Council of the BCCI. The next year or so will show us whether that has made a difference for the cricketing community or whether it is just a pipe dream.

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