Only one re­gret, 2003 WC fi­nal: Nehra

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

“If you can, then sprint. If not, then run. Can’t run? Then jog. Won’t jog? Then at least walk! Can’t walk? Then crawl but just keep on mov­ing,” says Ashish Nehra as he gets ready to bid adieu to the game that has given him ev­ery­thing all th­ese years.

A to­tal of 163 in­ter­na­tional matches across three for­mats in 20 years is not the great­est piece of statis­tic but the straight-talk­ing Nehra will re­main an enigma for what he could have achieved had he not gone un­der knife 12 times.

“Trust me, I have had an event­ful 20 years. I am not a very emo­tional per­son. The next 20 years is what I am look­ing for­ward to. Hope­fully, it will be as event­ful as it has been since I started play­ing for Delhi in 1997,” Nehra said dur­ing a free-wheel­ing chat at his academy in Noida, ahead of his fi­nal com­peti- tive match against New Zealand on Novem­ber 1.

“It’s been a great jour­ney. May be one re­gret. If I could change any­thing in th­ese 20 years, that af­ter­noon in Jo­han­nes­burg dur­ing the 2003 World Cup fi­nal. But noth­ing else as it’s all about des­tiny,” he said with his cus­tom­ary non­cha­lance.

“For me, Ajay Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the two shrewdest cricketing brains I have ever in­ter­acted with.”

Talk about Vi­rat Kohli and Nehra would say that Ravi Shas­tri is the ideal foil for Kohli.

“Look Vi­rat’s ca­reer and cap­taincy are on auto-pi­lot mode right now. He knows what he is do­ing and leads by ex­am­ple. He doesn’t need gyaan (ser­mons) but sup­port which Ravi gives him in abun­dance,” he said.

“You know the best part about Ravi. If a player is go­ing through a rough patch, he is the man. Even if the player is not able to mid­dle a sin­gle ball in the nets, Ravi would make him be­lieve that he is as good as Brain Lara! Now that might sound lu­di­crous to an out­sider but those who un­der­stand cricket know that this is man-man­age­ment,” he said.

He did not speak a word about Anil Kum­ble but had a sub­tle take on what is an ideal coach-cap­tain re­la­tion­ship.

“If a coach, sup­pose is 50 years old and the cap­tain is 28, it is the duty of the coach to un­der­stand the psy­che of a 28-year-old and not the other way round. It doesn’t work the other way. Not in cricket at least.”

The Supreme Court-ap­pointed Com­mit­tee of Ad­min­is­tra­tors (COA) on Mon­day sub­mit­ted the draft con­sti­tu­tion of the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) , in­cor­po­rat­ing each and every rec­om­men­da­tion made by Jus­tice Lodha Com­mit­tee on the or­gan­i­sa­tional re­forms.

The Supreme Court’s three-mem­ber bench of Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra, Jus­tice AMK Khan­wilkar and Jus­tice DY Chan­drachud asked the am­i­cus cu­riae Gopal Subra­ma­niam to study the draft and come back with his sug­ges­tions on the next date on Novem­ber 29.

Mon­day was ex­pected to be an ac­tion-packed day for all the three top BCCI of­fi­cials — act­ing pres­i­dent CK Khanna, joint-sec­re­tary Amitabh Choud­hary and trea­surer Anirudh Chaud­hary — be­cause of the ad­verse sta­tus re­port that in­dicted the three for their non co­op­er­a­tion in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Apex court’s or­dered re­forms.

“Whilst dis­qual­i­fied per­sons have been forced to demit of­fice pur­suant to the afore­said or­der (Jan­uary 2), they con­tinue to re­main as­so­ci­ated with their re­spec­tive

—AFP

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