By Pankhuri Kumar
“You don’t play for the crowd; you play for the country.” – MS. Dhoni
Being a cricketer offers you a life that everyone dreams of but is not able to achieve. This career is capable of offering you a very luxurious life and make you really famous too. It gives you a chance to serve the nation and make the country proud. It has everything ,from travelling free all over the world to being the heart throb of every youngster. The competition is really tough because if you are able to make it possible then it is totally worth it. You may face a lot of failures initially and may need a lot of support from their family but it all bears fruit in the end. You need to be very fit and to some extent naturally gifted. You should have it all; be it speed, stamina, quick reflexes or luck. Who will ever miss the chance to be able to have a profession where all you need to do is play?
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A CRICKETER IN INDIA?
It all begins from childhood days and the aspiring candidate can start his or her journey by playing inter-school matches and explore the basics of Cricket. The schools offer coaching to the students who are a part of their school team. The talent starts developing from here. From school the next comes the intra-college or inter-college cricket matches. Having played at this level surely helps one to proceed. There is no specific education qualification needed to become a cricketer but it gives you an edge over the other when it comes to learning techniques or giving interviews.
The most important thing is for you to get noticed in the local under – 13 or under – 16 or under – 19 tournaments to earn a chance to play for your district.
It’s from here that the aspirant is selected for higher level games and then for the state level stage. Finally, after crossing all the hurdles at the state level the candidate reaches the national level which is known as “Ranji Trophy”.
The players who showcase their talents by giving a good performance in Ranji Trophy are given the golden chance to play in the National Cricket Team where one is honoured to represent the country in international matches. The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing board that is responsible for conducting international cricket matches. This can only be achieved if you are able to show some commendable work which can be scoring high runs, taking a good number of wickets or even participating actively during fielding. No matter what area you use, you need to be extraordinary.
The entire procedure can bear fruit at different points of time for different people and it all depends on the amount of hard work and determination you show. The harder you try the more chances you have of succeeding. The final goal is being able to play cricket as a professional player.
It all comes down to how much you are practicing and it is a must to be regular. There are a lot of options available to the candidates to get their coaching. There are ample number of Cricket academies all over India. If you prove your talent, then you even get the chance to get coached for free or some minimal amount by the National Academy of Cricket but this needs to be earned. There are also a number of academies run by the former players put they are relatively more expensive.
The various institutes offering cricket coaching to the aspirants are Sehwag Cricket Academy in Jhajjar, Chennai National Cricket Academy, National School of Cricket in Dehradun, Bangalore Chandigarh Cricket Academy, Jaipur Cricket Academy, Madan Lal Cricket Academy in New Delhi etc.
CAREER PROSPECTS OF A CRICKETER IN INDIA
We are all aware that Cricket is the most popular sport in India and if you are able to prove your worth then is also a very promising career. After coming into notice for your performance in Ranji Trophy, you can be given the chance to play T-20’s, ODI’s and test matches. Now with the IPL becoming popular, the number of new entrants has increased because IPL is a platform where a lot of focus is made on selecting the youngsters.
The amount of chances that you will get will be sparse due to the extreme competition but you need to believe in yourself. After becoming successful, you even get approached by various companies who pay you a lot to do commercial ads. Cricket is surely a career with high prospects in India and it is getting bigger each day.
CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A CRICKETER
Here is what cricketer Niranjan Pagadala has to say on the challenges of becoming a cricketer in India.
One of the biggest challenge cricketers face is balancing of education and cricket. If you are a cricketer, you need to just play cricket if you are to give yourself a good chance of making it to the top. Sportsmen risk their careers even more than what an entrepreneur does and unfortunately, sportsmen in our country do not have enough opportunities to make a good career outside their sporting career.
SALARY OF A CRICKETER IN INDIA
According to Quora, there are three grades of players and the annual retainer amounts vary for each grade. The annual retainer amounts for Grade A is 2 crores per annum, for Grade B is 1 Crore per annum and for Grade C is 50 Lakhs per annum. The players that do not fall in any of the grades are paid for each match they play. The fee per match is Rs 15 lakhs per Test, Rs 6 lakhs per ODI and Rs 3 lakhs for T20 (International).
If you think you have what it takes to be a cricketer and you feel that you are proficient in at least one of the areas of play that is bowling, batting or fielding then have faith in yourself and go for it. You really need to be very hardworking and extremely passionate if you aspire to be a cricketer. It’s the never give up attitude and the sportsperson spirit that takes you ahead.
You should surely be someone who abides by the rules and plays fair as the country’s reputation is at stake. You may have to give up on education and have issues giving time to your family and social life but this problem usually comes in the earlier stages. Handling stress and coming back even stronger after a downfall is also part of the learning. You need to learn how to stay calm and play as a team. The respect and popularity comes with a lot of responsibility. This is one of the most inspiring careers and every child looks up to you.
Editor’s Note: In order to discover more such awesome careers in India, check out our section on Inspiring Interviews.
About the Author
Pankhuri Kumar is a student of Economics (Honours) at Hindu College, University of Delhi. She is a big believer in the power of positivity and plans to do her MBA in the future. In her free time, Pankhuri can be found checking out new places to eat and shop at.