Life of a sportsperson before they get their big break is always a struggle: Delhi cricketer Moksh Murgai
Being the most popular sport that's been played by crores of people across the country, it's not easy for an individual to break into the Indian team or even bag an IPL contract for that matter.
Cricket is not just a sport in India, it's a religion. Being the most popular sport in the country, it has never been easy for an individual to break into the Indian team or even bag an IPL contract for that matter.
Many talented cricketers across the country are waiting for their big break. One such cricketer is Moksh Murgai from Delhi, who has been playing the game for the last 14 years.
The 21-year-old has represented Delhi in the nationals at U-14, U-16 and U-19 levels. The young lad also played district/interzonal cricket in all three categories.
The middle-order right-handed batsman in a conversation with The New Indian Express shares his views about the struggles faced by upcoming cricketers, the role Indian pace ace Ashish Nehra played in shaping up his game, dealing with criticism, cricketers faking their age and much more.
How is the life of a cricketer who is yet to get his big break?
Obviously, everyone tries their level best to play for the nation. But the life of a cricketer before they get their big break is always a struggle as they have to deal with so many things such as having to maintain a balance between studies and sports. And also they even listen to taunts by the relatives. Here, the mental strength of a sportsman plays a role.
What kinda income does one get on a monthly basis, from playing local tournaments?
I think the kind of popularity cricket gained over a period of time in India is the main concern. As one cannot make a good amount of money through local tournaments. And because of that many people can't afford to play the game for a long time as they face family pressures from society and family.
If you are playing for Team India or an IPL franchise, when injured the BCCI /club helps you in the recovery process. But how hard is it for a club cricketer to deal with injuries?
This is also a common concern. You will get physios at the state level and international level. But when you are playing club cricket or grassroot level, you won't get any assistance for injuries.
There would be times when people around you would say that it's about time you leave cricket and find a full-time job? How do you deal with this kind of advice/criticism?
I have been playing cricket for the last 14 years and there are times when relatives advise me to leave the game as they feel it won't get me anywhere. The best way to deal with this is to ignore the negativity. One should be hardworking, passionate and dedicated. The only mantra to success is your consistent performance.
How important is the upcoming U-25 league for you?
Definitely, this is very important because the season is happening after the pandemic and we didn't get an opportunity to play any competitive cricket in between. So yes it's very important to play and perform this year. Also, compared to the junior level, more hard work is required at the senior level.
During the Covid pandemic, how hard was it for you to train and be in shape?
It was a depressing period for many athletes, but the key was to keep mentally healthy, fit, and stick to your basics. It was hard as all the stadiums were closed but I converted my terrace into my stadium and started working out there, made temporary nets so that I can do my drill sessions.
Having been a part of Delhi cricket for many years, you would have had the chance to rub shoulders with a lot of prominent cricketers who have played for Team India. How have they been helpful in shaping your cricketing career?
Yes, definitely, I train at Ashish Nehra Cricket Academy in Noida. Ashish Nehra played a vital role in my career, as he helped me improve some of the aspects of the game and supported me to do better.
There will be times when cricketers fake their age to take part in tournaments. What's your take on it?
It does not feel good. Yes, there are many examples when age frauds come to the fore. But this is something that I cannot do much about. Ultimately, I can do things that are in my hands that is to wake up every morning with the intention to add up a little more in my game. Things such as politics, age frauds, etc always happen.
A good cricket kit usually costs a hefty sum. Without sponsors, how do upcoming cricketers bear the cost?
This is another issue where an individual is not able to buy a quality cricketing kit and because of that reason, many have dropped out of the game midway. State cricketing boards should analyze the grassroot level players and provide sponsorship for individuals who deserve it. Prominent sports manufacturing companies can help out the deserving players by providing kits for free or at least at a discounted price.
Any advice you want to give the youngsters who want to take up cricket seriously?
One has to be dedicated towards his/her game and it should be your priority no matter what. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Focus on your games, your goals. And have to satisfy your parents by managing your studies as well.