Thursday, June 18, 2020

My Cricketing Insights - KP Eashwar

K P Eashwar is a former Kerala University opening bat and off-spinner. During his active playing days in the eighties and nineties, Eashwar represented Trivandrum District's Under 19, 22, and 25 teams and the Kerala South Zone Under 22 team. He played First Division League for Chasers Cricket Club in Trivandrum for about 7 years and for Pelicans Cricket Club in Delhi for 3 years.

While in Kerala, he played for the Reserve Bank of India and Keltron as a professional and played several match-winning knocks. He represented his office team (TERI) for 18 years in Delhi and scored 14 centuries during that period. Eashwar also led the TERI team for about 4 years.

Clearly, Eashwar loves the game, and passionately, at that.

Apart from cricket, Eashwar was a national-level Cycle Polo player in the Sub-Junior category (Under 15); he represented Kerala and won a bronze medal for the state in the national tournament held at Jaipur Polo Grounds.
K P Eashwar - former Kerala University player 
2007 on, Eashwar is settled in Chennai. He is a publishing and development communications consultant. He has worked on several development projects of multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as government institutions and ministries. Apart from cricket, his interests lie in the fields of science and technology, energy, environment, and Ayurveda.

He keeps himself reasonably fit through yoga and middle-distance running. And he never misses an opportunity to watch and discuss cricket, be it at club level or an international game.

Here then, are Eashwar's insights on a game he so loves.

The Karate Kid and the Lessons It Offers - K P Eashwar
Have you watched the movie, The Karate Kid? If you haven’t done it already, I would highly recommend it to you. Please watch it.

Now, who’s this ‘you’ I am referring to here. Let me state it so as to avoid any confusion. The ‘you’ could be a budding cricketer, parent of a promising cricketer, or a cricket coach of an academy, school, college, or even a top-division club.
Two openers - Eashwar with Gordon Greenidge
(receiving the Man of the Match award in a tournament sponsored by Grants Whisky)
Coming back to the movie, I must have watched it at least 15 times in a span of about 2 years. Thanks to my son, who got me into it the first time. The last time I saw it was about 2 months ago at home when coronavirus was desperately looking for me outside of my Chennai home! This time also, the movie got my full attention! Only a classic long innings of Brian Lara or VVS Laxman that is peppered with ‘counter-attacking shots’here and there could have me glued to my seat like that.

For the benefit of the uninitiated, let me briefly sum up what the movie is all about. The Karate Kid is a 2010 martial arts drama film featuring Jackie Chan (Mr Han in the movie as Kung-fu master/Coach), Jaden Smith (Dre Parker as his student), Dre Parker’s mother, and a few young ‘villains’ and their Kung-fu Coach. The movie has a happy ending as Dre Parker succeeds in his fight against two demons at the same time: the first one being his inner fears and the second one his rivals, those little Kung-fu champs, in a fierce school-level competition.

For Coaches
For ‘you’ as coaches, it will be good to observe how the good coach (Jackie Chan) in the film helps his ward overcome his fears and raise his level of patience, focus, skill-sets, etc. with innovative drills and practice sessions. Teaching his ward about the history of the sport itself and what Kung-fu stands for in its entirety adds a further dimension to the role of this good coach. “Empty your mind,” the piece of advice to his ward that the good coach often repeats in the film, has stayed with me ever since I saw the film the first time.

On the other hand, ‘winning’ is all that matters for the ‘bad coach’, even if that comes through wrongful means.
With old friend from club and college cricket - KN Ananthapadmanabhan 
For Parents
For ‘you’ as parents of young cricketers, the role played by Dre’s mother offers something that is worthy of emulation. She doesn’t interfere with the coaching methodology and places full faith in the abilities of the coach to transform her son. To cap it, she fills her little son with ‘positivity’ and ‘love’ in the only way a parent can do. So, the next time you don’t see your son or daughter in the playing eleven of the school or the cricket academy team, don’t lose your sleep over it and get upset about it. You will never know what life-lesson the coach is teaching your ward! Therefore, isn’t it better to not tamper with the process adopted by the coach of your ward? Think about it.

For Cricketers
Now, for ‘you’ as a cricketer. Off-hand, you can take the advice “Empty your mind” verbatim the next time you go out to bat or bowl either in the nets or in a match. Because emptying your mind helps you focus on the ‘one thing’ that you want to do. Yes, it takes some amount of mental conditioning to get down to doing that actually. Nevertheless, it has its great benefits while batting or bowling or fielding in the narrow sense of the meaning of those words. The moment you start putting that advice into practice while playing, you will see the immense possibilities that you are presented with.

Second, practise the drills advised by your coach to the last dot. It doesn’t really matter how boring the drills are. Stick to those drills till they become a part and parcel of your muscle memory.

Third and final, ‘enjoy’ the process of learning without bothering much about the outcome.

Happy watching! Wish you all the very best!


Thanks so much, Eashwar. I watched the movie and enjoyed it. Might watch it again to carefully go over the points you made. All your observations are critical insights and will surely benefit the reader -  be it a coach, a parent, a cricketer or even a corporate executive.


K. Narayanan said...

Good one

Unknown said...

All the best. Keep it up.

Savithri said...

That made very interesting reading.

I haven't watched the movie but can visualise it to a great extent through what you have written. And, these thoughts apply to any challenge you take up in life. Anyone who follows what you have suggested will definitely benefit from it.

Thanks for putting things in perspective.

Prabhakar Ingle said...

That is great to know this part of your personality as a cricketer

Unknown said...

An excellent way to connect cricket and real life situations. Good read.

Unknown said...

Great concept to connect cricket with real lofe situations. Good read.

Unknown said...

Fantastic Basi
well put .... spot on

aadil chagla former Chassers team mate and current Veterans India Player