From the Viewsroom

Rayudu’s unfulfilled promise

Giriprakash K V | Updated on July 07, 2019 Published on July 07, 2019

With guidance, his career could have reached great heights

Last week, Ambati Rayadu called time on his cricketing career triggering off memories of a player who at one point of time was seen as the next Sachin Tendulkar.

When Ambati Rayadu was all of 18, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, while presenting him a trophy for an award he had won, had a word of advice for him. He cautioned him from taking wrong turns during his career giving examples of how some extremely talented cricketers were done in not by pace or spin but because of their impudence.

Gavaskar’s words went unheeded by the hot-headed Rayadu. Even as he came up with some scintillating knocks, there were equally messy controversies that he repeatedly got involved with.

He first caught the attention of the cricketing world with his knock of 177 when India was down by six wickets during an U19 tour of England in 2002. He followed it up with a century and a double century in the same game in his first class debut season for Hyderabad against Andhra Pradesh. But Rayadu never found comfort in keeping his head down and focus only on playing cricket. Throw a ball at him, he was all grace and poise. Cross his path, it was as if an animal spirit had been unleashed. Fisticuffs, locker room tantrums followed.

Never in control of emotions, his critics say that one of the reasons for not being called to replace an injured Vijay Shankar for the ICC World Cup, was probably because of the fact that he took a dig at the selectors for ignoring him for the World Cup.

What Rayadu needed was some counselling and guidance during the crucial moments in his career which was hard to come by as the BCCI does not have any mechanism to guide young cricketers on developing their soft skills. While one’s heart goes out for Rayadu, he has himself to blame for the situation he finds himself in than anyone else. It is quite unfortunate that Rayadu will be remembered as the James Dean of Indian cricket rather than someone who brought glory to his country through his cricketing exploits.

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Published on July 07, 2019
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