Let’s Not Pit Age Against Him & Instead Show Faith In The Truth Hidden In The cliché- Age Is Just A Number
In 2003 when Graeme Smith took charge of South African cricket team eyebrows were raised over his being short on experience. He was barely 22-year-old at that time as he had made his debut less than a year ago and add to it the presence of big guns like Pollock, Kirsten, Boucher, Kallis in the team. Mind you, he took over the reins at a time when the team was fresh from early World Cup exit and match fixing saga. Contrary to the initial reactions, Smith is today regarded as the most charismatic player to ever lead the side.
Taking a cue from this, one is bound to believe that if another 22-year-old takes charge of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) it should not be seen as a recipe for disaster. Let us look at the flip side of it. In case Ruchir Modi breaks into RCA, he may bring enormous energy and penchant to take forward cricket in the state, an unfinished business his father began with a vision to bring anything and everything best for the greater cause of the game. His near to one year experience as the director of Godfrey Phillips cannot be discounted either. Courtesy the family he comes from, adds to his credentials observational and passive learning during dinner-table talks pertaining to running cricket and other family businesses. Won’t they come in handy?
The game in Rajasthan is not in mint condition. Junior Modi of late has been very vocal about his plans to revive and flourish the game in the state. In a meeting almost a month back that he held with office bearers of various district cricket associations, he set the bell ringing in an utmost gentleman-like demeanor where he not only presented the roadmap on his vision to set the wheels in motion, but also individually interacted with the meeting attendees to know what they expect. These days he is even vocal on social media about the cause of cricket. This is proof enough to suggest that he may have learnt nuances of the game’s administration.
One factor that may go against him is the way he connects with the ones he will work with. His heavily accented English, which requires an interpreter to translate his speech to his listeners at the RCA, minimizes his acceptability to the other RCA office bearers who come from small town and rural backgrounds. Can we ever expect these officials to be able to relate with junior Modi.
One might dismiss the analogy drawn between Smith and Ruchir for the former wasn’t an administrator. Take the example of the emperor Akbar; he was barely 14-year-old when he was anointed emperor and he went on to lay a solid foundation of Mughal Empire. There is no dearth of examples when rookies with an acumen of a seasoned leader has left everyone stunned with his outstanding work. Now we have a very recent example of Yogi Adityanath, who had little administrative experience yet BJP entrusted him the reigns of the most populous State of the Indian Union.
Chances are that Ruchir wins. But he would be better off if he comes out of the Lalit Modi’s shadow and establish his own legacy. Can he be the game changer?