Friday, February 06, 2009

The Six Hundred Thousand Dollar Man

The talk of the town: Bangladeshi cricketer Mashrafee who was "sold" to an Indian outfit for $600,000 in an auction. As a friend pointed out, we are now a cricketer-exporting nation :-). AFAIK, the deal means that he will have to play between 15 and 30 days of cricket for this team. In exchange he gets to keep a cool $600k (sans taxes.)

The amount may not be much compared to what Western sports stars make, but here it is staggering. "What will you do with all that money?" appears to be the most common question the cricketer is facing.

Heartiest congratulations to Mr. Mashrafee.

Wish: maybe now Bd national cricket team can stop being surprised by minnow teams?

I am also thinking what this money deal will mean to the younger generations. The good thing is that many more from all strata will feel inspired to play cricket. OTOH, I sure hope that Bd kids don't end up with a bad case of the "inner-city kids NBA dreams syndrome." In the US, lured by dreams of multi-million dollar NBA contracts, many poorer kids give up on their studies, then also fail to make it as basketball stars. The reason is simple: the odds against are astronomical, no matter how good one is.

Nevertheless, this is a Good Thing. It boosts self-confidence on all levels and shows we-can-do-it-too. In a nation so short of visible heroes, one hopes Mr. Mashrafee will end up being one and inspire many others. (Eg, he could publicly encourage kids to stay in school and finish their studies while working on the sports.)

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