Ajay Jadeja Curated
Former Indian Cricketer
CURATED BY :
How was your experience with Bollywood. Did you learn anything from that experience? How different was it from your cricketing career?
What did you do during the period when you were banned from cricket on the accusations of match fixing?
When did you start working with the media? How was that experience?
How was the experience of playing against Pakistan?
What advice would you give to young aspiring cricketers?
What do you think makes a player a great player and separates them from the average?
Which players from this current young generation do you think will go on to become future legends?
Who is your favourite player?
Who was your favourite player to play with?
How was the experience of working with Kapil Dev in close proximity?
How did your controversies change you? What did you learn from them?
How hard was the struggle against the five year ban on the accusations of match fixing?
Do you think ICC should expand its membership and be open to accepting other countries? Because it seems that cricket still is an exclusive sport played only by former British colonies.
Which player did you hate playing against?
Is politics in the future for you?
What has cricket given you?
One thing from the past that you would like to change?
Do you think you could make it into the current Indian side?
If the 1983 World Cup winning side went up against the 2011 World Cup winning side, who do you think will come out on top?
Which is the toughest format to captain according to you?
Do you think the current selection process is flawed looking at the shaky squad in comparison to your era?
How important is it for India to establish a stable starting XI for the 2019 World Cup?
Given that Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna, which is the highest civilian honour in India, do you think Rahul Dravid wasn’t celebrated enough as an Indian Cricket legend in comparison to Sachin?
What are your views on small towns producing some big names?
What kind of an impact does the absence of the franchise’s captain have on the team during the IPL auction?
How does an experienced captain give confidence to his young players?
Do you think teams should rest or pull out their marquee players from the IPL given how this edition will end just a week before the 50 overs World Cup begins?
Who is the most important part of a team in the IPL?
What kind of a player should a team cash in on for victory?
Does sticking to a player on the basis of emotional value have a bad affect on the team?
Does it surprise you when players with a low profile fetch a staggering amount of money in the IPL auctions?
What is the most intriguing thing that you have seen unfold at an IPL auction?
Now that you have been cleared of match-fixing charges, what is happening with your career?
I'm back -- I played first class cricket last season, I played for Delhi. I had a decent season -- I didn't have a great season because I had a pretty long layoff. The game is moving at a very fast pace these days, and two years is a very long time. So I've got back to cricket, I'm playing first class and I'm hoping to get back all the way.
What kind of regimen did you put yourself through to keep yourself fit while you were barred from playing cricket?
Cricket is more of a skill game, as I see it and as I play it. It's getting more and more physical now, so I try and keep myself fit. The regime is not very professional, as I see it, especially when I hear about baseball players or American football, their 365 days are charted out, what they are going to be doing every day. Cricket is different, you just have to be equipped to handle all situations because cricket is not played on the same surface, it's not played on the same grounds, and the conditions are different. The more conditions you play, the more conditions you have to keep yourself fit to put up with.
What did it feel like when you first heard you had been cleared of the match-fixing charges?
Nothing, it was just a battle that I had. I felt relieved, I felt satisfied because I was fighting a battle against an organization, an individual against a system. When you are fighting a system, it's not easy. I felt grateful to the Almighty and to all the people who have supported me through all this.
Did you ever consider giving up when you were under investigation for match fixing?
No, a sportsman never gives up, that is the only good thing about being a sportsman. I think that's the only quality I have got as a sportsman -- otherwise, you know, I am not the most blessed technically, I am not the most blessed physically but I enjoyed the game, so I carried on in the only spirit that I have as a sportsman, which is to never give up and I try to maintain that.
What are your views on the BCCI being accused of not giving much importance to Tests and promoting the IPL instead?
I don’t think so. In fact, they have added more days to the Ranji Trophy (four-day national championship). India is playing more Tests than ever. To blame BCCI for that is wrong. I think it has more to do with the advertising media which wants a certain kind of product more often. IPL has not taken any Tests away from Indian cricket. We played around 12 Tests each year the last two years, which is much more than our time, when we played five a year.
Is a home series a good time to blood talent?
Look, young talent makes its own way. If you give something easily to somebody, I think they probably don’t cherish it that much. Unfortunately, ever since the IPL, we have had 60-70 new players playing for India, which is a joke. It is easier to blood them when the team is winning. But for that, you have to first identify who you want. If you want to play pehle tu (first you), phir tu (then you), then neither player is sure of his place. Pick who you want and then stick with him.
How have you stayed connected to cricket in the years following your career? Do you feel the need to maintain such a connection?
For me it’s a way of life. As a child you don’t start out thinking you’ll play professionally. You go out and play and are happy. It’s only a phase when you get into an organised sector and it becomes a career. I still enjoy following and more importantly playing the game. Some of us old schoolmates get together and play. Running after a ball, having a laugh with friends, these are things I still love. So I doubt the game will not be a part of my life in some way or the other. And it’s the only thing I know.
What are your thoughts on the current team?
I see them as a unit, nine out of 11 of them had beards, and they’re following the captain. You find 11 men from different parts of this country and put them together and it is hard to find common interests. From the outside, these are all the things you see, from the inside it is too early to judge, especially when we play at home. Though I don’t think where we play matters anyway.
You come from a family which has produced two legendary cricketers in Ranjitsinhji Jadeja and Duleepsinhji Jadeja, after whom the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy are named. Did that make it easier for you to be a cricketer or did it make it terrifying?
Did politics ever intrigue you, given your father was a Congress MP and you grew up in a political atmosphere?
You were sent to the same boarding school as your ruler ancestors. How was that experience for you?
Where did you get the motivation to play cricket?
Is it true that Kapil Dev chose you to represent Haryana after watching you play for your school?
You played a Wills Trophy match in your hometown of Jamnagar where you, in your own words, were chosen as the undeserving Man of the Match award. Why do you think it was undeserved?
Your first time getting selected for the Indian team was in the Sharjah Tournament in 1990 as a replacement for Atul Wassan. Did it frustrate you that you didn’t play even in one match despite being selected?
In your early international career you were seen as a replacement player. Some instances being you replacing Ravi Shastri and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Was the lack of a permanent spot in the team difficult to accept?
You never held a permanent spot in the batting order and were shuffled a lot, playing at different numbers. Was that experience frustrating?
After 1993 you started getting a good amount of centuries even though you didn’t have many prior to that. What changed for you in 1993?
Do you think cricket is more bent towards the mental aspect of the game?
You were ever present in the ODI side during your career. But you couldn’t hold a place in the Tests side. Why was that so?
You were always known to be a good fielder and during the 1992 World Cup match against Australia, you ran 15 yards to catch out Allan Border. Were you confident of getting the catch or did you surprise yourself?
An amazing performance of yours came in the 1996 World Cup against Pakistan where you scored 45 runs off just 26 balls. What made you play so aggressively?
You briefly captained the Indian ODI side in 1999 in a tournament played at Sharjah where India went on to win all three matches played under you. How was that experience of leading India?
During that Sharjah tournament the match against England came down to the wire. With three overs to go, you decided to bowl the one in the middle followed by the death bowler. Incredibly you took three quick wickets in that over and India won. Was bringing yourself to bowl a difficult decision to make?
What do you have to say about your being known to many as an instinctive person?
People said that you have the leadership quality after watching your Indian side winning matches under your captaincy. How do you judge your performance as a captain?
You were overlooked and Sachin Tendulkar was chosen to replace Mohammad Azharuddin as the captain. Were you disappointed at not being given the captaincy role?
What are your opinions on teams opting for different captains for the different formats?
You are seen as a jovial and fun loving guy. How true is that?
How was the pressure of playing against Pakistan?
What was the most memorable moment of your career?
Did you ever realize the legacy of your family as you were growing up, given how the Ranji Trophy and the Duleep Trophy are named after your ancestors Ranjitsinhji and Duleepsinhji who were legends of the game?
When did you start playing cricket seriously?
Why is cricket more popular than football in India?
Why do you think the women’s cricket team doesn’t get as much attention as the men’s team?
Why is it that in Indian cricket the captain makes most of the decisions, whereas outside of India it’s the coach who has the main say?
How have the T20 format and IPL changed cricket?
How are the younger generation of cricketers being affected by the craze of IPL in India?
The BCCI in the past has had its fair share of political spearheads in the setup. So do you think politicians should have such a huge say in the sport, given how they aren’t qualified to do so?
India in recent years has become a hub for foreign players to come and ply their trade. How different is that from the time you were active as a cricketer?
How did your fearless approach and aggressiveness impact your career as a cricketer?