Pranav Dhanawade's innings was a show of poor sportsmanship and lacked respect
Why did Dhanawade's coach not declare earlier when they were playing against a makeshift side?
KC Gandhi English School 1465 for 3 dec (Dhanawade 1009*) defeated Arya Gurukul 31 and 52 by an innings and 1382 runs.
Yes, you read it correctly. And let me tell you, this is not a score from a Stick Cricket or an EA Cricket 2007 game. On Tuesday, at a U-16 inter-school tournament, KC Gandhi English School demolished their opponents by an unbelievable margin of an innings and 1382 runs, with Pranav Dhanawade scoring a scarcely believable 1009 not out and becoming the first person in cricketing history to record a four-digit score at any level of the game.
While Dhanawade’s record is surely something to marvel at, the manner of the victory is something that should be discouraged and frowned upon.
First things first, one must laud the batsman for an incredible display of skill and stamina. Opening the batting for his side, Dhanawade amassed a mammoth score of 1009* in merely 323 balls and six and a half hours, hitting 129 fours and 59 sixes.
Despite this knock coming in a local school-level tournament, scoring over a thousand runs at such a rapid pace is something that is truly phenomenal and something that will be remembered for time immemorial.
Coming to the topic in hand, one could and most certainly should raise questions about what KC Gandhi’s coach was thinking and how he let his team roll over the opposition in such a humiliating manner.
Playing against U-14 team
According to dnaindia, the Arya Gurukul’s U-16 team were unable to play as they had to sit for their 10th standard exams, which meant that the team had to field a lineup consisting of U-14 players, out of which most were playing a competitive match for the very first time. The team, formed at short notice, was grossly underprepared for the game as well.
The simple question one must ask is the need for the KC Gandhi team to rack up such a humongous score in front of opponents who are clearly not at the same level and are seriously disadvantaged due to various factors.
It is truly strange and questionable why the team’s coach did not intervene and declare earlier, or ask Dhanawade to simply retire. While one can understand a young 15-year-old wishing to break as many records as he can, it is disappointing that common sense did not prevail and that the KC Gandhi coach allowed Dhanawade and co to flatten a weak side in such a brutal manner.
At the end of the day, it is a junior-level game at a small local ground and not a professional one where each ball is heavily scrutinized and a player’s livelihood depends on the number of runs he makes.
After bowling out the inexperienced Arya Gurukul side for just 31, going on and scoring almost 1500 runs is nothing but poor sportsmanship. Individual and team records aside, it is truly sad that such treatment was meted out to a makeshift side when the gulf in class is so clearly evident.
At school level, it is the coach who takes the major team decisions such as declaration and seeing the condition of his opposition, it makes sense to say that he should have declared much earlier as a mark of respect and general sportsmanship.
If he wanted to assert his team’s dominance, he can most certainly do that by gaining a lead of about 400-500 runs at maximum, declare, and seal the win by a respectable and comfortable margin.
Dhanawade had already crossed AEJ Collins’ 628-run mark at the end of the first day and it only seems logical that the coach should retire him to give the other batsmen a chance or declare to finish the match quickly and put the other team out of their misery.
A high team total is understandable if both teams are equally matched and it is difficult to predict what will happen in the second innings, but scoring these many runs against a bunch of first-timers who you have bowled out for 31 in the first innings reeks of sadism and a complete lack of morals on the coach’s part.
On a closing note, Dhanawade’s achievement is one for the history books and something that can be cherished by him, his family and his team. But it is important to spare a thought for the opposition, who took to the field despite their main team being unavailable and took all that punishment despite clearly being technically inferior.
One can only hope that such a cruel beating does not impact the 12 and 13-year old kids too seriously and that they can continue to represent their school with pride and enjoy playing the game we all love so much.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the views of Sportskeeda.