The Art of Reinvention
Like film stars, cricketers must reinvent themselves to take on new roles
One easy option for retired stars to stay relevant is to head for the commentary box. Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid joined the expert panel immediately after retirement whereas Laxman waited a while before taking guard to start a new innings.
Saurav is all front foot, quick to express his opinion, unafraid to say what he has to. With mike in hand he will go over the top, reverse sweep and switch hit according to the situation. Dravid is more measured in his choice of words, more careful in shot selction. Laxman is just about getting a feel of conditions, judging the pitch for bounce and turn. That is why the occasional play and miss, the odd mistimed stroke.
All three bring significant cricketing insight with them but realise performing new roles is not as simple as putting away a half volley. Dravid, a technician devoted to method and process, admits television requires new skills that must be learnt. There is much more to commentary than what you actually speak he says, and to do well one must get the hang of the mechanics.
Among those following in the footsteps of these stalwarts are Rohan Gavaskar and Bombay's Amol Majumdar. Rohan is trying out different roles, he worked with a franchise team in the Sri Lankan Premier League on the cricket side and made a promising start as a commentator in Bangladesh and the Celebrity Cricket League.
Amol Majumdar's canvas is larger. Amol is Indian cricket's senior professional, after 20 years on the circuit he is the highest scorer in Ranji history after Wasim Jaffer. A travelling pro, Amol played for Assam before shifting to Andhra for whom he made 5 hundreds this season.
Though touching 40, Amol remains enthusiastic about turning up to play and does not entertain any thought of retirement. Neither mentally drained or physically tired, he has remained remarkably injury free except for a broken finger many years ago. I enjoy being a cricketer and love the challenges, he says .
Amol spends 4 months every summer in Holland playing in the league which is competitive and intensive. He is also looking seriously at coaching and doing more work with television. Amol is from the Rahul Dravid school of cricket -- a focussed professional striving relentlessly to maximise his talent.