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   My elder son, Darryl, was saying... (October 15, 1987)

My elder son, Darryl, was saying: "I have decided what I am going to do when I grow up. I will become a cricket correspondent, travel around the country and abroad, cover all the important cricket matches."

"It is a good ambition, but, I am afraid, it is not so easy as that," I said. "To be a cricket correspondent, first you have to be a cricket player, at least of Test standard. Then only you have a chance."

My younger son, Derek, said: "I do not have to bother about all that, I am going to be a cricket commentator on TV."

"You can't be a TV commentator just like that," I said. "You have to first be an ex-cricketer of merit, somebody who had once captained India or something like that. nobody wants to see non-cricketers faces on TV any more, look what has happened to poor Fredun de Vitre."

Darryl said: "It cannot be as bad as all that. There are, I am sure, cricket correspondents, who have never held a bat or ball in their hands, and are now writing about cricket and advising Kapil Dev what to do."

"There were," I said, "but not any more. Once upon a time, all those who advised our cricketers were non-cricketers. They would sit in the press-box and watch the game next day write in the papers how Gavaskar should have played the ball so that he had not given a catch to second slip and how Mushtaq Mohammad was out lbw three times before he was given out. But now cricketers who are actually playing in the game do all that, since they are standing near the wicket and can see exactly what is happing."

Derek said: "For just giving commentary they won't mind whether somebody is playing cricket of not. After all, all you have to do is to say whether it was a good stroke or not, then see the scoreboard and tell how many balls are left and how many runs are required for India to win or lose."

"Nothing is so simple in life, let that be your first lesson," I said. "Before you can be appointed TV commentator, like our Jaisimha or Bedi, you have to have become a household name because of you deeds on the playing grounds. Then they will consider you."

Darryl: said: "Not everybody who can play cricket well can write well. I think, all I have to do is to write well, then any newspaper will employ me as a cricket correspondent and my name will come at the top of the report every day."

"You can certainly write for the paper, but the name that will come at the top of the report will be that of a cricketers to play the game and also find time so sit down in the evening and write about it. Besides, you have read Kapil Dev's book."

"Then what do we do?" asked Derek.

"Well, you certainly cannot be a cricket correspondent or commentator unless you play the game," I said. "However, you can be an official of the cricket board. You don't have to play the game for that or know anything about it."

 
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