Former India cricketer Robin Uthappa feels that the politics within the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has jeopardised the careers of many cricketers, including his own.
A veteran of 203 List A games and 142 first-class matches, Uthappa dove into the state of affairs in Karnataka cricket in a chat with veteran Indian batter WV Raman.
Watch the full episode here:
“What percentage of truth do you want? Laughs.. A lot of talent has been mismanaged in Karnataka, and I say this with a very heavy heart. A lot of mismanagement has happened in Karnataka,” Uthappa said.
Born in Coorg, the 37-year-old said that he was instrumental in creating a winning culture that led to Karnataka winning the Ranji Trophy in the 2014–15 season.
“If you look at the group that we created during that time when we last won the Ranji Trophy, that group disintegrated, and one by one, a lot of us left; in fact, we were made to leave, and that doesn’t augur well for Karnataka. The selectors and the people who were there negatively wielded their power, and it wasn’t healthy any more. Even though you have talent, there is no space for them to thrive, and that’s why you are seeing a lot of cricketers leaving Karnataka,” he said.
Karnataka defeated Maharashtra in the 2013-14 season and then repeated the act by beating the mighty Tamil Nadu in the 2014-15 season to record a golden double.
Uthappa said that the present space in the Karnataka cricketing ecosystem is filled with insecurity.
“To create a space of insecurity among cricketers is very unfortunate and to create the winning process we started in 2008 and the only way you can play for India is by winning Ranji Trophy or an Irani Trophy. You have to win championships to play for India and look at KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Manish Pandey and all these guys won championships to play for India,” he said.
The keeper-batter, who was part of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup-winning group, said that the selectors punctured the confidence of players.
“Certain selectors wielded the power in such a way that it became detrimental to Karnataka cricket. And today, you can see that people have consistently left. Imagine the kind of insecurity that has been created inside the group, and operating with this mentality is really difficult.
“If you are working from a place of insecurity, your mindset is to survive, but if you are operating from a place of security, your mindset is like how do I thrive... You will never win championships if you are operating from a place of insecurity. Why is the current Indian team thriving so much? Because there is so much security within the group,” the cricketer-turned-broadcaster said.
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