Bhubaneswar: Tata Steel organised an interactive panel discussion on “Cricket through the ages: How modern cricket has evolved and the path ahead” with the admired cricket veterans of the country on Oct 14, 2020. The esteemed panelists for the discussion included Roger Binny, Ashok Malhotra, Chandrakant Pandit, Chetan Sharma and Salil Ankola. Rajiv Seth, Project Director, NTHA Odisha and Diksha Tiwari, Consulting Senior Associate Editor, My City Links Magazine, co-moderated a charged discussion on the changing dynamics of cricket and the path ahead for the modern cricket.
The webinar was organised as part of Tata Steel’s continuous efforts towards promotion of sports in India. The session relived the golden time when India won the 1983 World Cup and how it changed the way cricket was perceived in the nation. Cricket as a sport has come a long way and there have been many successes which have made the nation proud, be it the 1983 world cup which India won under the captaincy of Kapil Dev in Lord’s or the 2011 world cup which the country won under the captaincy of MS Dhoni in Wankhede Mumbai. The discussion focused on ways to encourage local talent and the infrastructure required to groom them into professional cricketers.
Speaking on the occasion, Roger Binny said: “The 1983 World Cup was a comeback for me in the Indian National Cricket Team. Each one of us wanted to play the best of our games and bringing honour to the country was our only goal. The techniques, performance capabilities and our talent raw and still developing honestly compared to the players who are much more prepared today.”
Ashok Malhotra said: “I believe the game has evolved and come a long way in the last decade. The emergence of IPL has impacted the players’ performance. The new format is more engaging to the viewer and the game demands a player to be an all-rounder and not just a good batsman or a bowler.”
Chandrakant Pandit said: “T20 cricket today has changed the way the game is played and viewed. In our times, cricket was still new and there were not many followers either. It is now a global phenomenon and the players have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, thanks to internet and the television reach. The number of games played has increased and the players need to careful about the burn out affecting his performance. Today’s players have to be more agile and adapt to newer ways far too quickly.”
Chetan Sharma said: “It was a wonderful time. In your 20s, it is a great feeling when your captain (Kapil Dev) shows immense faith in you. You have to understand that cricket has many ups and downs and it teaches you a lot. “
Salil Ankola said: “It was amazing to attend the cricket panel discussion. There were a lot of interesting insights from the discussion. Cricket has changed drastically and hence it has also demanded the players to perform accordingly. It is more competitive and professional these days.”
Tata Steel has been making relentless efforts to build a sporting culture locally and provide the right opportunities for local talent to grow. Sports has been integral to Tata Steel’s philosophy of nation building. In India, Tata Steel spearheads the corporate promotion of sports through its relentless and constant encouragement to professional sportspersons, amateurs, and its own employees to pursue sports and excel. Tata Steel has been consistently involved in creating and nurturing professional sportspersons through its academies and grassroots feeder centres.