When Wasim Jaffer gave tips to Cheteshwar Pujara on how to deal with media
Prominent India players usually have to deal with the media carefully amidst incessant demand for their time.
Updated - Jul 31, 2020 12:40 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara is now a well known Indian Cricketer. Hailed as the next wall of Indian Cricket, the Saurashtra batsman did not disappoint. Today, he is among the leaders of the Indian Test line-up and has played a crucial role in the team’s success, both in India and overseas.
Prominent India players usually have to deal with the media carefully amidst incessant demand for their time. The craft has to be learned on the job as such attention isn’t around when players are building their careers in lesser-known tournaments. Pujara was earmarked as an India prospect well before he made his Test debut against Australia in Bengaluru in October 2010, aged 22.
He had been piling on the runs for Saurashtra and had already scored a triple century for his state side in a Ranji Trophy contest against Odisha (then Orissa) in the 2008-09 season.
Wasim Jaffer guides Cheteshwar Pujara on how to handle the media
When the BCCI announced his inclusion in the Test squad for the series against Australia, the number three batsman was playing the JP Atray memorial tournament, a 50-over pre-season tournament in Chandigarh. Revisiting the occasion, Vivek Atray, the organizer of the tournament, said Pujara was the sole focus for the media at the DAV School grounds, where he was playing.
“So, he was there and I was there. I remember, Wasim Jaffer, the ex-India player, was playing for the opposite team, and he gave Pujara a few tips about how to talk to the media, to say certain things, and not to say certain things. He gave him a kind of briefing before he addressed the media saying he was very happy about his selection,” Vivek told Sportstar.
According to Atray, the JP Atray memorial tournament witnessed a lot of Indian players before they played for the country. Some, like Sourav Ganguly, chose to play the tournament after having played for India. “We’re hoping that we will continue to have fringe Indian players and some Indian players to play in our tournament,” he added.
The experience of playing in such a tournament and interacting with domestic legends like Jaffer would’ve definitely helped the Saurashtra batsman. Pujara is now, one of the most established Test players having played 77 Tests, and presumably used to all the attention.