'Nothing was given to Sachin Tendulkar's son on a platter': Aakash Chopra denies the existence of nepotism in cricket
- Aakash Chopra quoted a couple of examples to substantiate his point that there is no scope of nepotism in cricket.
- On the flip side, he cited an example of a domestic cricketer of limited pedigree ruling the roost in state cricket.
Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has vehemently denied the existence of any nepotism in top-level cricket. He gave a couple of examples of high-profile former cricketers to substantiate this assertion, such as that of the great Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun.
Aakash Chopra made these observations on his YouTube channel, while responding to viewer questions on various aspects of cricket.
While answering a query on the prevalence of nepotism in cricket, Aakash Chopra replied in the negative and also gave the example of Sunil Gavaskar's son Rohan Gavaskar who had a limited career with the Indian cricket team.
"No mate! If you see the bigger picture, Sunil Gavaskar's son was Rohan Gavaskar. Just because he was Sunil Gavaskar's son he should have played lot of cricket, many ODIs and Test matches. But that did not happen."
Aakash Chopra also mentioned that the junior Gavaskar only played for India due to his consistent performances for Bengal in domestic cricket, while adding that the latter did not even get to play for Mumbai although he was Sunil Gavaskar's son.
"And when he played for India, it was because he was consistently doing very well for Bengal. In fact, forget all that, he was even not playing his son in the Mumbai Ranji team. He was not getting a place in the Mumbai team even though he had the surname as Gavaskar."
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The renowned commentator also backed up his statements by citing the example of Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun, who has not gotten any privileges just because of his lineage.
"You can say the same thing about Arjun Tendulkar. Because he is Tendulkar's son, nothing was given to him on a platter. He didn't get an easy access to the Indian cricket team. There were no such useless selections even in the India under-19 team. Whenever the selection happens, it would be because of a sterling performance."
Aakash Chopra on an odd instance of nepotism in domestic cricket
Aakash Chopra also gave an example of a rare instance of nepotism that could have happened in domestic cricket when an administrator's son captained a state team for a long duration.
"It happens once in a while. I have seen it in domestic cricket, where a son was the captain of the state team for a long time. But he was the son of an administrator, not a player. He ruled the state for a long time, although his batting or his game was not that good."
He iterated that such a case might have happened at the lower level, but there is no chance of the same in international cricket.
"To be very honest, the stats tell the story that if you perform at that level, you shouldn't have played so many matches. It did happen at the domestic level, but at the highest level there is no compromise."
Aakash Chopra supported his argument by giving the example of IPL contracts not being given to undeserving players. He added that it is the talent that eventually matters, as your family name would not help when you are up against quality bowlers like Mitchell Starc or Jasprit Bumrah.
"IPL contract is not given to someone just because he is your friend's son or your relative. Because at the end of the day, the difference between lot of industries and cricket is that when you face a Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc or Jasprit Bumrah, they don't think whose son you are when delivering a ball."
On a parting note, Aakash Chopra reiterated that unlike other industries, there was no scope of nepotism in cricket as the results matter at the end.
"And you don't want to play any cricketer who will cause your team to lose the match or doesn't help you in winning the match. Nepotism in cricket is not as relevant or as prevalent as it is in some other industries."
Published 27 Jun 2020, 11:46 IST