Off The Field

In India, jealous gang wanted me to fail, so I developed thick skin: Ravi Shastri

Written by Vipin Darwade

Robert Key will need to grow a “thick skin” akin to the Dukes ball just like I grew one to counter the “jealous people”, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said on how the ex-England opener should go out about his job as ECB’s ‘Director of Cricket’.

Shastri was at helm of India’s coaching staff between 2014 to 2021, save one year in the middle when Anil Kumble was given the charge.

In an interview to UK’s ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, Shastri said that there was a “gang of people in India” who always wanted him to fail.

Just like Shastri, Key has also been an acclaimed commentator for a long time and doesn’t have a coaching degree as he tries to ease into a new and very different role.

“I didn’t have coaching badges [either]. Level one? Level two? **** that. And in a country like India, there is always jealousy or a gang of people willing you to fail. I had a thick skin, thicker than the leather of the Dukes ball you use. A real solid hide.

“And you need a bloody hide over here. Rob will develop this as he does the job, because every day you are judged. And I am glad he has a lot of captaincy experience from his time at Kent, because communication with the players is absolutely paramount,” Shastri was quoted as saying by the British newspaper.

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Vipin Darwade