Few people are capable of calling a spade, a spade; though it is one of the easiest things to do. Many prefer to beat around the bush and in such times, the spade does not change its shape. The obvious cannot be hidden.
This is the story of former Goa Ranji trophy and IPL player Shadab Jakati -– not as told by him but read in between his lines. And a fascinating story.
Shadab Jakati is a sad man, though he sounded furious, because youngsters from Goa are not being given a chance to represent Goa in Ranji and instead three players from other parts of India are being taken in as professionals. This is his line and a clever one.
The line is clever because it does not state that Shadab is no more part of Goa’s Ranji team nor does it specify whether the professional players are denying youngsters from Goa a chance to play or senior players from Goa a chance to play. By default, one of those senior players could have been Shadab Jakati.
Shadab has been part of the Goa Ranji team since 1998-1999. He may have won huge accolades for himself but Goa has been winning nothing significant. Shadab is 38 years and has passed his prime. If Goan youngsters needed a chance – that he claims he is all for them- the decision to keep him aside can be seen as a brave one by acting president Suraj Lotlikar.Not just Shadab ; there are others that need to be told , their time is up.
One of the first phrases of GCA president Chetan Desai a few years back was: perform or perish. It is nice that Suraj has not allowed the phrase to perish.
The end of Shadab’s tenure and that of some others was imminent for a while. However, they kept sticking on and the reasons why became clear.
Being part of the Ranji trophy team is a big financial boon these days. A player earns anything from Rs 14 lakhs per Ranji season and the money keeps increasing.
“Being part of Ranji team in Goa is a profession. If a player is dropped from the Ranji squad he has no profession to fall on. If I am dropped from the Ranji team, I go back to my job and I collect my salary at the end of the month. This is not the case with most of the players from Goa. They leave on the money they are paid for playing Ranji. They have no other jobs and therefore being out of the team is painful,” is how a former Ranji player from out of the state explains the predicament of players in Goa being dropped from the Ranji squad. “Ranji is a sport, not a profession,” he adds.
Shadab will earn sympathy for playing the card that people with no experience at the Ranji level are being taken as professionals. However, he will lose a lot of that sympathy because in between those lines spewed his angst that he would no longer been part of the Ranji team.
You need a godfather in any sport to be able to enjoy the pie. Many times it gets difficult to differentiate who is whose godfather while some times it becomes simple. When Shadab Jakati was selected for Gujarat Lions in IPL it was obvious it was because Suresh Raina was his godfather. We did carry an article about it and obviously Shadab was not to happy. Truth, unlike lies, does not need to be covered.
Shadab spilt a lot of venom during his press conference. He spoke ill of people he was part of since the last two years. If they were so bad, why did he not speak about them then; why did he not step aside then?
It is painful to see youngsters deprived of a chance to prosper. The pain hurts more when youngsters are used as tools to vent one’s frustrations. It is time for Shadab, to gracefully call it a day.