The need for proper retirement procedures

There is a pressing need for the smaller establishments, sports bodies and organisations included, to have a crystal clear policy to handle the retirement process more graciously.

By Moni Mathews (On the ball)

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Published: Tue 28 Aug 2012, 10:13 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:33 PM

All that was required was a small informal meeting over lunch, tea or maybe even dinner, away from the rest of the world as far as the Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman episode was concerned.

The ‘Very Very Special’ genius, as most of us will agree, should have taken the course Rahul Dravid chose. Quit when you are still on a high in the final years of a career.

That it took the greats — Laxman and Dravid — to come close to the edge of being pushed over the cliff before they called it a day was perhaps uncalled for.

All they had to do was to follow the example set by Sunil Gavaskar — go out in style unlike what happened to the Aussie great Allan Border.

All of us, sports lovers of the ‘pure kind’ want our heroes, present and past, to be shining examples. The world remembers the golden moments and not the back of a valiant knight.

Guess this happens everywhere. Employees after more than 25 years of meritorious service are seen to leave office without being given an official send-off or a simple thing such as a gift. This sort of willful negligence seems to be common practice today in tuck shop styled entities. We expect better stuff from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the world’s richest cricket organisation.

Sports is cruel when it comes to the realities it imposes on men and women who sacrifice so much for years. To be dropped in some acceptable way is saving grace for the many whose commitments levels are examples to follow by the next generation. The thirst for fresh hands is unquenchable but the ‘oldie’ always has something up his sleeve when the going is good.

Where the game is managed by a properly structured framework with a paid CEO and where the board is floated as a business identity in the share market, the transition gears are smoother when retirement situations come up. Elsewhere in faction ridden boards, it’s is all about ad hoc methods where whimsical people take personal relationships into account during decision making. Objectivity is lost from the very beginning here.

The least the BCCI could have done for VVS was to arrangement for a private session with one of the best stylists the game has produced, passed on what they had in store for him and got him to graciously accept their end of term initiative. Laxman, the thorough-bred gentleman that he is, would have used the opportunity to express his one last wish.

The deal was between him and the board (just the board members without the selectors) and not a third party whose opinion on the matter should have been the last thing taken into account.

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