The only celebrities that are bigger than Bollywood celebrities in India are cricket players. They not only hog the limelight but also make loads of money once they start playing for India and get a good IPL contract.
This is one of the reasons why parents all over India encourage their sons and now even their daughters to play cricket when it comes to choosing a post. However, with over 1.3 billion people in the land, making it through the district level and representing your state team can be quite a daunting task.
A recent debate has surged on social media as to whether nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket. For many years there have been suggestions that nepotism is present in the Bollywood industry as certain families who have a famous last name appear to get preferential treatment. Their children seem to get more opportunities to break into the movie industry solely based on their last name rather than their acting abilities.
There is a large section of Indian cricket fans who feel that nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket as well, as the selectors are showing favoritism to young cricketers who have a famous last name.
Fans Question The Selection Of Arjun Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar changed the face of Indian cricket as he dominated the sport for nearly two decades. He was, and could still probably be, the best batsman that India produced and was worshipped by Indian cricket fans when he was at his peak.
Tendulkar, who was fondly referred to as the Master Blaster, has since retired and generally makes an appearance when the IPL is being played as he mentors the Mumbai Indians franchise. Sachin’s son Arjun Tendulkar also decided to play cricket but unlike his father who was a pure batsmen who could bowl a few overs, Arjun is primarily a bowler who can also bat.
Arjun Tendulkar’s selection for Mumbai has now come under close scrutiny, probably because there is no cricket action happening and journalists have the time to do some in-depth research. A debate has raged on social media over the past few days claiming that Arjun Tendulkar should not have been selected over other individuals who had performed and had better stats that Tendulkar.
The debate mentioned a young man named Pranav Dhanwade who was the son of an auto-rickshaw driver. Dhanwade created quite a few records when he notched up a massive 1009 runs in 327 balls as he took the opposition apart. However, he was ignored by the selectors even after such an impressive knock. On the other hand, Arjun, who does not have any outstanding stats, was selected.
This has given rise to the nepotism debate as fans have claimed that Arjun is getting special treatment because he the son of Sachin Tendulkar.
Aakash Chopra Plays Down Nepotism Angle
Former cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra played down the nepotism factor claiming that fans shouldn’t get emotional just by looking at a few stats but should take the big picture into consideration.
Chopra said that Arjun Tendulkar had a lot more exposure at international level as he has bowled to the England cricket team in the nets on a few occasions. He also bowled in the nets to the Indian women’s cricket team when they were preparing for the 2017 World Cup final.
Chopra pointed out that while Pranav Dhanwade’s knock on paper did look very impressive; it came against a very weak bowling attack. Chopra also pointed out that if nepotism was so prevalent in India cricket, then Rohan Gavaskar would have played a lot more for India as he was the son of the great Sunil Gavaskar.
Nepotism Angle Will Not Go Away Soon
Chopra makes a good argument but most Indian fans are not buying it as they realize how powerful the BCCI is and that big names do carry weight in the selection committee. There are some fans who believe that players like Rohan Gavaskar and Stuart Binny should not have represented India for as many games as they did but they got a few more chances because of their last name and what their father’s did for Indian cricket.
It will be interesting to see if Arjun Tendulkar secures as IPL contract in the next couple of years as that will certain ignite the nepotism debate in Indian cricket even further.