Indian pacer Varun Aaron feels in modern-day cricket, the line of respect between seniors and juniors is getting blurred as youngsters are forgetting about their roots and are not respecting the people who have contributed in their success.
“Today I see a lot of youngsters forget where they’ve come from and their roots and what their journey has been ever since they were kids. A youngster say 21 or 22, gets a massive IPL contract will go straight from wearing certain normal clothes brand to certain branded clothes and think that’s his identity,” Varun said while speaking in the third session of ‘Mind, Body and Soul’, a platform brought forward by The Royal Rajasthan Foundation, in association with NS Vahia Foundation & McLean Hospital (Harvard Medical School Affiliate).
“Yes, he’s worked hard for that contract but as an individual one should never forget their roots. I see youngsters not being able to separate between what’s real and what’s not and they tend to forget respect for the people who were part of their journey.
“When I made my Ranji Trophy debut, I wasn’t scared of my seniors but I had a lot of respect for them. I wouldn’t swear in front of them and talk discreetly to my counterpart. Nowadays I think that line of respect between seniors and juniors is really getting blurred,” he added.
The 30-year-old further said that being resilient is one of the qualities that is must for any sportsperson to make it and sustain at the top.
“For me, with the kind of injuries I’ve experienced, I have probably needed to be more resilient than the average cricketer. End of the day you can either look at it as a struggle or as great learning.
“I’ve had eight stress fractures in my back and two have broken off, so I can easily look at it as a struggle but honestly, to me it isn’t. I feel I’m really privileged to be one of the few to play Test and One-day cricket for India, representing the country at the highest level, getting to play the IPL for Rajasthan Royals.
Varun, who made his international debut in 2011, has so far represented India in 9 Tests and 9 ODIs in which he has taken 18 and 11 wickets respectively.
“I feel it’s just different perspectives, I personally look at it as a journey from which I’ve learnt a lot. These setbacks teach you how temporary things could be and to value everything you have, not just the materialistic things but also relationships you make along the way,” he said.
“I feel the individual going through something like this should just stop and see what they could learn and not just feel low and disappointed. I look at it and feel that there are people who have it way tougher than what I have and that I am really privileged to be in the position I am in.”
The right-arm fast bowler also talked about his lowest point of his career.
“The lowest point in my career would probably be the time I fractured my back right before the operation. I made my debut for India and then straight away was picked for the tour of Australia. Which is really a dream for any fast bowler to go to Australia and bowl there, I was dreaming of bowling on the Perth pitch,” recalled Varun.
“And then suddenly I had an injury, turned out to be a stress fracture, I was like alright when I’m fine I’ll be back again. Then I went into the IPL and absolutely did my back again then went into rehab. So, at the end of my rehab, when I was close to being match fit, I hurt my back again.
“I straight away told the physio that something doesn’t seem right, the physio said to me, ” You’re not going to have kids if you go for so many scans” but I wanted to be sure and it turned out to be a stress fracture again, that too in rehab!
“When later I went back and thought about it alone, it only made my resolve stronger because previous to that I had already had like 3 stress fractures and I came out of it, this was my sixth. So, I said to myself, if I can do three, I can do six too.
“The main thing for me though was that I had a really good support system, the BCCI took really good care of me. The MRF pace foundation, my family and friends have always been there for me and took a lot of the load off me. If anybody says they did all of it alone, it would not be true,” he added.
Varun has so far played 47 matches in the Indian Premier League and is slated to play for Rajasthan Royals from this season onwards which currently stands indefinitely suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic.