Damien Martyn – The true professional

On Friday, one of Australian cricket’s steadiest and coollest batsman Damien Martyn announced his retirement from international cricket. Now while this is not news in itself, what is so special about this bit of information is the absolutely professional way in which both Martyn and cricket Australia handled this whole affair.

A brief background to this story would have to include the fact that Martyn ever since his debut in late 1992 has been a regular contributor to the Australian juggernaut. He was an integral part of the Aussies regular Ashes wins over the old enemy, and he was also a part of Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh’s amazing Aussie team which all but conquered the world.

More recently Martyn played a critical role in helping the Aussies reach and ultimately win the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2007, the one championship which had religiously been avoiding getting into Aussie hands ever since its inception a few years ago.

Now then, if Martyn was so good what was it that prompted him to announce his retirement? More so just a few hours before Cricket Australia announced the team for the third Ashes test.

Here goes the story. In the first two Ashes tests, Martyn failed to get off the blocks in terms of getting decent scores. This coupled with the fact that he is all of 35 years old which means the quite a few young players are breathing down his neck prompted Martyn to bow out with his dignity left intact.

What is professional about the whole episode is the fact that both the player and the establishment in this case knew fully well that in today’s professional cricket, every player is only as good as his previous few innings or matches. There is absolutely no way that any player can be afforded to be picked up for the national squad either because of his immense potential or because of his previous records.

But then, in the subcontinent, more so in India, there are numerous examples of players being in the team simply because they have been there for the past 5-6 years. It simply does not matter if the player in question has done nothing of note, or has not scored runs or taken wickets. He will be in the team simply because he is part of the regional quota or he has the selectors in this pocket.

It is only when both the player fraternity and the cricket establishment in India assume professional standards such as the one exhibited by Martyn and Cricket Australia can we see genuine young talent come into the Indian team and perform with the pride that the country’s cricket fans deserve to see.



3 thoughts on “Damien Martyn – The true professional

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