Aakash Chopra has stated that there is no nepotism in Indian cricket, citing Arjun Tendulkar’s case, Chopra said that the young pacer hasn’t been served anything on a platter. The former Indian opener further added that had there been nepotism, Rohan Gavaskar would’ve played a lot more.
Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput’s death triggered a different narrative on social media, with many blaming that on nepotism existing in the Hindi Cinema industry which blocks the path of many talented outsiders. The question of nepotism didn’t hold within the confines of cinema, with many cricket fans being suspicious of the same in Indian cricket. But Aakash Chopra quashed that once and for all, claiming that Arjun Tendulkar hasn’t been served anything on a platter.
“If you see the bigger picture – Rohan Gavaskar is Sunil Gavaskar’s son. And just because he was Sunil Gavaskar’s son, he should have played a lot more cricket, many ODIs and Tests for India. But that did not happen. And when he played for India, it was because he was consistently doing very well for Bengal. In fact, forget everything, he wasn’t even getting selected in the Mumbai Ranji [Trophy] team. He was not getting a place in the Mumbai team, even though he had the Gavaskar surname,” Chopra said while answering a fan’s question on his YouTube channel.
“You can say the same thing about Arjun Tendulkar. He hasn’t been served anything on a platter just because he is Sachin Tendulkar’s son. He didn’t get any easy or early access to the Indian cricket team. There was no unnecessary selection to the India Under-19 team. Whenever a player is selected, it was because of sterling performances.”
However, Chopra admitted that the case of nepotism does exist in domestic cricket, and without referencing Jaydev Shah, the current Saurashtra Cricket Administrator and the long-time captain of the team, Chopra added that it happens once in a while.
“It does happen once in a while. I have encountered it in domestic cricket, where a son was the captain of the state team for a long time. But he was the son of an administrator and ruled the state for a long time, although his batting or his game was not that good. To be very honest, the stats tell the story that if you perform at that level, you shouldn’t have played so many matches. It did happen at the domestic level, but at the highest level, there is no compromise.
“Because at the end of the day, the difference between a lot of industries and cricket is that when you face a Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc or Jasprit Bumrah, they don’t think whose son you are when delivering the ball.
“And you don’t want to select a cricketer who would be detrimental to the team’s cause or doesn’t help you in winning the match. Nepotism in [Indian] cricket is not as relevant or as prevalent as it is in some other industries.”