Almost every cricketer who has just retired or is on the way out, wants to be a mentor of teams in T20 leagues. The money is good and it also offers a chance to stay in touch with the game. Mentors are sometimes intense, like Rahul Dravid, while some are relaxed, like Muttiah Muralitharan. All the leagues are demanding, as owners want results. Former Australia batsman Mike Hussey, here as a commentator and one who has mentored players like S Badrinath during his stint with CSK, says it’s not that bad.
“It’s not difficult, it’s fun. Every past player wants to help other players. I love talking to young players and seeing what their perspective about the game is. I remember the interaction when David Warner came to the Australia team. I like to offer my experience, build relationships and build trust,” said Hussey. NS Chaturved of VB Thiruvallur Veerans cherishes his interaction with Muralitharan. “
It’s great to have a player like Muralitharan as mentor. He is cool and has brought calmness to the team. He has worked on the mental aspect and instilled belief. His advice is don’t cry over a dropped catch or lost opportunity, but concentrate on how to do better the next ball,” said Chaturved.
Madurai is the only team to have never won a match in the TNPL, starting last year. What is Hussey’s prescription? “When you start losing, everyone in the team gets tensed. They try too hard and get negative thoughts. My suggestion is to focus on the fun element and work on the basics,” said the 42-year-old. Australia’s ‘Mr Cricket’ is happy that CSK is back in the IPL. “Two years is a long time, the players have moved on. It’s a serious challenge, but CSK is very well run. If they get the right people in place, from the ownership, coaching and management sides, there’s no reason why CSK can’t have success again.”
CSK reminds one of MS Dhoni. Many believe that he deserves to quit the game on his own terms. “I agree, MS has done a lot for his country. He’s very modest and an honest man. He’d be honest to himself and if he doesn’t think he can contribute to the team, he won’t play till the World Cup. If he does believe that he can, he deserves to play till the World Cup,” opined Hussey.
Brief scores: VB Thiruvallur Veerans 196/6 in 20 ovs (B Aparajith 60, Abhishek Tanwar 55 no) lost to Lyca Kovai Kings 197/3 in 20 ovs (M Vijay 69, B Anirudh Sita Ram 69 no, Akshay Srinivasa 38)