IPL keeps the Oral Traditions of Cricket Alive

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Sanju Samson with Rahul Dravid RR.
Sanju Samson with Rahul Dravid RR. (Photo Source: BCCI)

IPL keeps the Oral Traditions of Cricket Alive: Cricket is termed as the Gentleman’s Game and proves to be one; the way the players come together and sportsmanship by shaking hands after a loss, depicts the respect they have for each other. Each and every sport had its own rules and cricket has been evolving since its beginning and ensures that the sport is still new and interests young players to be a part of it and achieve success and respect. The latest change cricket has seen over the years is the Indian Premier League (IPL) where the international cricketers from around the globe as well as from the domestic circuit come together and play the game and moreover learn from each other.

Long before, IPL came into the scenario, domestic cricket included Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy and the Duleep Trophy which gave a chance to the players to interact with other players who were chosen to play for the country. Though, due to rigorous international cricket schedule, most of the players chose to skip domestic tournaments for a break. Those who played these tournaments kept things to them and created a culture of seniors and juniors which created a communication gap between the two.

The ‘oral tradition’ in cricket, is where one player tells others as to how he prepares and plays in international circuit, what are the challenges, shares a few experiences of having played at the highest level with those who still aspire to do so, was dying. The need to know about the new techniques which the experienced players knew was limited to them only and the juniors who are the future of the Indian Cricket remained deprived.

IPL has broken these shackles of knowledge being constrained to a fewer individuals. Of course, when knowledge is shared doubles. IPL allows cricketers to know each other during the course of 6 weeks and get information about how the pro’s train and practice. It was started with the motive of encouraging the younger cricketing generation to grasp up the knowledge provided by foreign coaches along with international and overseas players to help them gain confidence and faith to become like their idols. To give them the exposure and confidence of playing against the best in the world.

When we see a young, dynamic Sanju Samson talking with the legend, Rahul Dravid, we feel a sense of pleasure that the kid is receiving first hand inputs from the legend himself Dravid might well opt to teach his own tactics and explain the beliefs to the young lad who will one day represent the country. Along with Sanju Samson, another player who has been listening to all the oral traditions being passed on in the dressing room of Rajasthan Royals is Deepak Hooda. The players must have been eagerly asking their mentor, Dravid about how to play against a certain bowler and when to go after a bowling attack.

Oral traditions are not only limited to knowing how to play or improve one’s game strategically but also to know the value that those traditions hold and how precious the memories of cricket can be. When your supporting staff consists of champions like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jonty Rhodes and team with starts like Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh, the likes of Hardik Pandya and Unmukt Chand will be more than delighted.

They get to learn the aspect of how Jhonty Rhodes will take a catch and how Pollard will create a plan to destroy the opposition. The talks between the overs and during strategic timeouts make these players realize how important each over can be in a T20. The traditions are not only restricted to T20 cricket, but also helpful in domestic cricket and for Tests as well.

Sarfaraz Khan with Ab de Villiers RCB
Sarfaraz Khan with Ab de Villiers RCB. (Photo Source: BCCI)

When a 17-year-old Sarfaraz Khan, watches AB de Villiers and Gayle hit the ball out of the park, he tends to do the same and hence wants to know how they do it with ease. They tell the young lad how and when to hit such shots and how to master this skill. The pro’s who no longer are into themselves tell the youngsters how to attack and face the likes of Steyn’s, Malinga’s and Morkel’s.

Yuzvendra Chahal and S Arvind get to know a lot about field placements during the death overs and experience the pressure of delivering up to the mark with the help of Virat Kohli and Mitchell Stark. Be it Pawan Negi or Axar Patel, Dhoni and Bailey tend to give them advice and teach them how to land in with a positive approach in every game and perform consistently.

Cricket is an ever evolving game and knowledge needs to be passed on continuously and at constant basis to keep the traditions of the game intact. They are what the sport or any culture is based upon. If no traditions are followed, the culture or the religion becomes meaningless. For the Gentle Mans’ game to go ahead with moving time, oral traditions needs to be passed on for as long as possible and IPL makes such traditions pass very effectively.

It is the flow of skill, experience and expertise from the higher level (senior Pro’s) to the ones at a lower level (the rookies or the youngster’s) which makes the Indian T20 league a success and something literally everybody is running behind.

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