Sagun Kamat made his debut for Goa on November 15, 1999 against Karnataka when he was just 16. The youngest debutant of Goa decided to retire from the game after having played for twenty years, leaving behind the coat of a gentleman for the youngsters to wear.
“There has to come a point in life when one has had enough and others have to think of. If cricket in Goa needs to go forward, the youngsters need time to play and prove themselves. I think, this is the time and hence my decision to quit,” Sagun told journalists at the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) office in Porvorim after handing his resignation to president Suraj Lotlikar and secretary Vipul Phadke on Monday.
Sagun Kamat’s highest score was the 304 he scored on October 21, 2016 – exactly three year back. He batted for 262 minutes and faced 453 balls in the finest innings of his career.
“Scoring big is related to temperament and maintaining such a temperament is not easy. Cricket is about a lot of hard work and consistency. You cannot work once and think you have worked hard. You have to work hard all the time,” revealed Sagun when asked to ponder on his twenty year career.
“There is money in cricket today. So much of money that today playing Ranji is akin to getting a job. The boys today look at the senior players and think of copying their lifestyles but forget the work that goes behind getting that lifestyle,” admits Sagun as he drops back on the couch in the GCA office, relaxing from the rigours the game put him through.
“When I got my first start, I knew I would make it big. Maturity set in late into my career, but as a saying goes, it was better late than never and my start would never have taken place had I not been pushed into the main stage by Chetan Desai,” claims Sagun.
“Players in Goa need time to establish themselves at the Ranji level. You cannot expect miracles from them. There is a path cut out for them. They should go through it, if they intend to shine. You can teach boys to play cricket but you cannot make heroes out of them. The onus of being a cricketer is on a cricketer and not GCA,” avers Sagun whilst explaining the delay in having a male player from Goa in the India team.
“My batting flourished under coach Rishikesh Kanitkar brought in by Goa a few years back. He had a strange way of grasping players and it was his inputs that helped me mould my temperament when I was at the crease,” opines Sagun.
“Sagun, for me, was the Brian Lara of Goa. He hails from my village and when he was young he used to help bring the balls that were hit out of play. He is what he is today because of his hard work. In GCA, we have a policy of getting our senior players associated with us after their retirement. Let him take a break and after that decide how he wants to contribute towards the development of the game,” stated GCA president Suraj.