Teacher’s Day: A Tribute to Sports

On the occasion of Teachers Day, Cricket 361° dedicates an entire post for people who have learnt something useful from the sports-persons and have looked upon them as teachers. We invited all our readers and fans to post messages for the sportsperson they have learnt from. This post is a consolidation of all these messages. We thank all the people who made this post what it is. We have messages and posts for the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Michael Jordan, Derek Redmond, Milkha Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and Harsha Bhogle. Few people also have thanked their brothers and coaches for the contribution to their game.

Rahul Dravid

The Wall

When one follows a sport closely for years on end and religiously keeps track of players, their performances, etc it is hard to not get influenced by some of them and let them have a lasting impression on one’s life. I have been following cricket since I can remember Sachin dancing down the track and hitting Tom Moody for a six over his head, quite some time, you see. As I grew up, along with Sachin, Rahul Dravid started influencing me, his overall demeanor, and the way he conducted himself on and off the field was a lesson in life for me. As it has been seen that he has been a player who has always done what the team required him to do, and also in real life he carries no baggage of being the great achiever that he is. Recently, I was lucky to read a book, ‘Rahul Dravid – Timeless Steel’ a compilation of articles by the ESPN Cricinfo team and his team-mates at various levels, lucky because it gave me a chance to know the seldom known things about the man, the back-end processes which enabled Rahul to be the Wall, how he handled captaincy, failure and how he never let success drive him away from always getting better. Also over the last three years, his handling of the Rajasthan Royals, first as a captain, then as a mentor as been exceptional. Listening to his commentary alongside Dada and Harsha is a refreshing feeling. So this teacher’s day or Guru Utsav, whatever it is, it is Rahul Dravid who is the Guru and me the Geek!

Kartik Deo is a cricket enthusiast since time unknown. When he is not following cricket or watching Hindi movies he can be located at IMRB International crunching numbers (Associate Research Manager) on weekdays and at his humble abode in Chembur, Mumbai on weekends. He can be reached at 9819201933.

For teaching me nice guys can finish first: There are not many things on a cricket pitch which gladden me more than a Rahul Dravid copyright cover drive. Knowing Dravid, I would bet it is the product of countless hours of practice in the nets. That is the first lesson Dravid taught me; talent has its place, hard work has its own. “Genius” is a word not often associated with Dravid, but meticulousness and preparation are his trademarks.

Read Quote of Shashank Sabesan’s answer to Is Rahul Dravid the most meticulous player in preparing for any match? on Quora

And that requires a genius; to be at it for 17 long years, never refusing to answer the team’s distress call, never refusing to assume new roles because the team required it. People often misunderstand “nice”. Being nice does not mean being submissive. It means being aggressive in the stuff that matters in such a manner that the opponent does not feel disrespected, just outplayed. Mathew Hayden once remarked, “All this going around is not aggression; if you want to see aggression on the cricket field, look into Rahul Dravid’s eyes.” At the same time Bret Lee has this to say of Dravid: “If you can’t get along with Dravid, they you are struggling in life” The two quotes just sum up my idea of the nice guy who finishes first.

Shashank Sabesan, after having worked for Morgan Stanley for couple of years is currently studying in IIM Bangalore. He can talk for centuries on Rahul Dravid and his ability to play cricket and being the best ever team player for India.

On this Teacher’s Day, I would like to pass on my respect to Rahul Dravid, who has played a major role in defining my approach towards cricket and regular life. Rahul Dravid was supposed to get a national call in 1992, but he was picked for India in 1996. For 4 years, every morning saw Dravid take out his Kinetic Honda and go to the ground just like any other regular cricketer in Karnataka. The number plate of his Honda had the quote – “God’s delays are not God’s denials”. The quote has left a lasting impression on my mind. It helps me to stay calm, regain my patience and be strong to move towards the toughest of the goals in life.

I played cricket for my undergrad college. I would not be ashamed to admit that I was not a technically sound batsman (as compared to my peers) and was often mocked. I read about how Dravid (after his debut in 1996) improved on the technicalities of his game. This inspired me to work harder towards my game. Now, I play as a frontline batsman for my team and we won the Cricket League in our state. This process gave me the biggest lesson of my life – ‘Never get bogged down by what people say! Work hard and prove them wrong.’

I am blessed to live in the era of Dravid – The Soldier.

Happy Teacher’s Day, Jammy 🙂

Rajat Gangrade lives and breathes cricket and his writing will speak a lot on what he thinks on it. A VJTI Civil engineer and M.S. from Virgina Tech, he works for CH2M Hill as a Geotechnical engineer in the United States.

So many great players one can draw inspiration from. Each and everyone of them have shown qualities that we all can imbibe from to succeed in our lives. Apart from talent and the persona we see on our television sets there is something that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, I refer to of course the most important quality, Hard work. Obviously every great player is hard working and sincere but how many times do we see across the floss and glamor to actually take inspiration from them on this aspect. The one player that has truly inspired me in this regard is “The Wall” Mr Rahul Dravid . This does not mean that I think he’s the best indian batsman or even my favorite player for that matter but when it comes to sincerity and hard work there is no other player I can think of. He taught me that you don’t have to be gifted like Tendulkar to make a mark in life. From being tagged as a test player to making a mark as an ODI Indian legend . Rahul has shown how sticking to basics and overall commitment can pave the way to success.

Rahul has managed to make words like “Responsible”, “Hardworking”, “Sincere” and “Simple” sound very cool and for that I will be forever indebted to him.

Jayant Walia is a 23 year old chartered accountant who happens to be a huge test cricket fan. Been a follower of the Indian Cricket since long and misses the good old days of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS laxman and Sourav Ganguly playing together.

Milkha Singh

The Flying Sikh

On the occasion of Teacher’s day, I would like to thank the superstar of Indian athletics, Milkha Singh for being an inspiration for thousands of youth like me. Whenever I am stressed out or close to giving up on something, I think of the difficult times he has gone through his career and that boost my morale and confidence to a whole new level. I believe that with the resources available with us in today’s world, all we need is to be determined dedicated and work harder towards our goals just like Milkha Singh did. You are the creator of your own destiny. Milkha Singh, you will always be my hero!

Partiban Raja, an engineer from VJTI, presently pursuing masters at Clemenson University, South Carolina.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” These words are a beacon of light in those dark tunnels that life can wring you through. They are one of life’s biggest lessons and deliver the required motivation to succeed when one is at their nadir. Everyone has a bad day in the office. What we do to overcome is what matters at the end of the day. Oh! And I almost forgot, those are the words of my idol and Basketball’s GOAT (greatest of all time) – Michael Jordan.

Gajanan Eshwar, a Production engineer from VJTI, is currently working with Tres Vista. Basketball is his religion and Jordan his Lord.

Sourav Ganguly


“Life is not a bed of Roses, but neither it is a bed of thorns. As our life swings between tears and smile, self-confidence, determination, hard work and perseverance are the keys to success. I guess, India’s most beloved Captain – our favorite Sourav Ganguly aka Dada personifies these qualities. His life has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. But he never bogged down under pressure. On the contrary, he took failures or the so called failures, as challenges and has risen from the ashes as a Phoenix, every time, stronger and more determined, to prove his distractors and critics wrong. Moreover, his leadership skills have made history and have inspired us all. An aggressive leader from outside, he was always there for his teammates when they required him the most and that helped cricket as a sport, to come out of slumber, after the match fixing allegations rocked the sport and made everyone to turn away from the game. These qualities of Dada have always inspired me in my life. Also, would like to add, that have always looked up to Rahul Dravid and Laxman, simply for their perseverance, hard work and determination & last but not the least, Sachin Tendulkar for his humbleness.

So to these heroes of mine – a very “Happy Teacher’s Day” and “Thank You” !!”

Subhankar Kar Chowdhury, a die-hard Dada fan, an IIM Lucknow grad currently working as a Senior Consultant in PwC.

It’s only a blessing to have played and lived the game of cricket. Although I started out early, at a tender age of nine but things really started happening for me once cricket as a sport was introduced in my school. I was in seventh standard and as it was ending of the academic year, I was eagerly looking forward for summer vacations. Little did I know what was in store for me in the coming days. I had never imagined that a cricket summer camp was going to be held at Fatima High School (Mumbai) thus saving me of strenuous train journeys to Matunga Gymkhana.

On the first day of the camp, I could feel the buzz among the players as I was chit-chatting with my friends. I still remember a tall, charismatic personality making his way onto the ground with his shades on. A certain impression he made was that of a fierce fast bowler from his playing days. That was the day I met Mr. Pradeep Kasliwal, a former Ranji trophy player who was to be our coach and has been a guiding force behind my cricketing journey.

Sir, on this teacher’s day I take this opportunity to thank you for giving me worthy lessons on and off the cricket field. The discipline you fostered in us has become an integral part of our lives. I can recall bowling leg breaks continuously for 30-45 minutes specifically after a hectic day at school plus after a grilling practice session. You stood beside me; the time went on, till I bowled exactly how it was meant to be. Not to forget the catching exercise before a practice match. During the warm up session I was dropping a lot many catches and you asked me to practice alone. The warm up was done and match about to start and here I was throwing the ball up in the air and catching it. It was a privilege to captain the school team. I remember going along with you for my first match as a captain. We stopped by at MIG cricket ground, and I listened with utmost attention to all the insights you gave.

Time has flown by since passing out from school but your guidance and teachings in cricketing endeavors has certainly taken me to the next level.

Thanking you once again on behalf of all my school team mates. A connection that has inspired my life.

Amit Patankar, a B Tech from VJTI, is currently pursuing MBA from KJ Somaiya in Mumbai. Amit has played his Cricket right from school till date and was known as a batsman with almost perfect technique.

Cricket is a sport where players swear by how influential their mentors/coaches have been in shaping their game. I am no different. 2 brothers – Alok Sharma & Arun Sharma defined the way I played my cricket and taught me more about the game than I have learnt after parting ways with them. It was not just about the technique of fast bowling or the on-field behavior, but also how they encouraged me to play the game on my own terms and strive to be a better team person. On this day when the entire country honors teachers, I’d like to pay my respect to 2 of the best sports-persons I’ve ever known.

Saurav Agarwal is an MBA from S.P. Jain and is presently working with Capgemini. He is a fast bowler himself and a die hard cricket fan.

Sport is an amazing teacher. I have learnt a lot in my life from great sportsmen as much as I’ve learnt from playing a sport myself. However, on this occasion of Teacher’s Day, I’d like to share this amazing learning I got a few months ago from a sportsperson I hadn’t even heard of, Derek Redmond. In case you haven’t heard about him, I would like you to go through this video before reading ahead –

Even after his career was ruined due to multiple surgeries and injuries, Derek Redmond never gave up and went on represent Great Britain in Basketball, became a professional rugby player, is now the director of development for sprint and hurdles for UK Athletics and also takes pride in motivational speaking on the conference circuit – talking about his inspirational moment in the Olympics and other successes[1].

The most important lesson that I took from this incident was that even when it is our big day and for which we have prepared and worked hard for weeks, months & maybe years; things may not go our way. We could easily curse our luck, fate, everyone and everything around us OR we could stand up again and try to finish whatever we’ve started without giving up to the best of our limited abilities and thus, Never Give Up. It might not be the success story that normally teaches you a lot; but then it make me question the definition of success in the first place.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2011/nov/30/50-stunning-olympic-moments-derek-redmond

Manan Shah, a graduate from VJTI and XLRI, Jamshedpur, works at Ernst and Young. A good tennis player himself, shares a unique story with us.

It could seem like a cliché but yes, Sachin Tendulkar it has to be! An epitome of focus and hardwork, Sachin Tendulkar has always been a source of inspiration. His attention to every detail of his game and the perseverance to achieve perfection at them, goes to speak a lot about Sachin Tendulkar as a sportsman and a person. Add this attention to detail and impeccable work ethic to his extraordinary God-given talent, and it doesn’t take much to figure out why he is so successful. Thank You Sir!

Shinil Shekhar, a hardcore Team India Fan, is a Mechanical engineer from VJTI is presently working with Mahanagar Gas Ltd.

Harsha Bhogle

Me with Harsha Bhogle

After all the people have appreciated and shared learnings from various sports-person, I want to detour a bit from players and talk about none other than Harsha Bhogle. I must have been 7 years old when I first met him. Little did I know that I would really admire him as commentator and sports writer in the present day. Today on Teachers Day, I would like to write about him as my inspiration for writing and cricket opinions.

Despite not being played Cricket as a professional cricket, Bhogle is really an excellent commentator and is a brand today in sports when it comes to commentary. If you have observed his commentary, he will never claim to know Cricket as much as other commentators and expresses his opinions with this disclaimer. Though he is mostly right about what he speaks, he comes across as a very level-headed person. After 2 decades of his career, he has redefined commentary and sports writing with his sharp and intriguing insights.

Though he did not have anyone to look up to when he started, he took the technician and statisticians as his inspriation and thrived in the sport when he was surrounded by Indian legends in the box. So probably you got to learn that you can pave your own path to success even if you do not have someone mentoring you.

Tejas Chaudhari is a Cricketer by heart and can strike a conversation with anyone on Cricket.

One Comment

  1. Eknath Chaudhari. ..Yoga Teacher

    On the occasion of Teachers Day, Cricket 361° dedicated an entire post for people who have learnt something useful from the sports-persons and have looked upon them as teachers. The idea is rocking and all the posts by readers and fans are really inspiring to others too ; post messages for the sportsperson they have learnt from are in accordence with our indian culture which reminded me learning archery by Eklavya from statue of Guru Dronacharya. This post consolidation of all these messages itself is a very good lesson for all of u young guys.
    Wish all of you a healthy and sporty Life

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