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Author Topic: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect  (Read 3810 times)

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ppccopener

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2017, 08:34:08 PM »

Very surprised when he got selected for England but that maybe showed the lack of choice we had then and have now in the spin dept.

He's clearly very bright and has interests outside cricket so will do well whatever he does.

I don't think myself he would of been good enough at the top level. Whether he thought that or knew that only he knows.

It sounds a cricket career was not going to be enough for him. It does take some guts to make these decisions.

Wish him well, reminds me of the Rory Hamilton brown who simply walked away.
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brokenbat

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2017, 10:48:26 PM »

Great example for young kids...you CAN do well in school AND be a professional athelete. He had the ultimate luxury of choice - become a professional cricketer or a lawyer.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2017, 08:27:28 AM »

Well at least he can add to  his CV England test cricketer
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Smmatle1

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thecord

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2018, 09:11:37 AM »

Shame you have to be signed up, was interested to read this
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liscon12

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 09:16:32 AM »

Wisden almanack 2018 Zafar Ansari: Watching Ben Stokes play table tennis helped me decide to quit cricket
Zafar Ansari says demand for victory at all costs persuaded him to call time on his promising career

As I walked off The Oval in April 2017, bowled by Lancashires left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan for three, I knew the time had come to end my professional career. I texted my girlfriend and my brother, then spoke to my parents. They all suggested I should allow the normal feelings of embarrassment that come with a low score to subside. Quickly, however, they realised that I had done all the thinking I needed.

This was not the first time I had confided in those closest to me about retiring. In the year leading up to the Lancashire game, I had returned to the subject with tedious regularity. I had also spoken sporadically with colleagues at Surrey about the possibility over the seven years I held a contract there.

I begin with this to emphasise that this was not a kneejerk decision, nor even one made over a period of months. Rather, both through design and accident, I had never reconciled myself to life as a professional cricketer. Throughout my career, retirement was almost perpetually imminent. So why had I never allowed myself to settle into this unique existence? This question implicitly emerged in some of the more sceptical reactions, which largely fell into two categories.

On the one hand, there was a struggle to comprehend why someone would give up something for which so many would sacrifice so much: by calling it a day at 25, I was doing these people a disservice. I can only respond that, from my experience last summer, watching cricket even avidly is different from playing it for a living. On the other hand, there was an assumption that the only common-sense reason to stop playing would be to go into the City and make more money than cricket could offer. But this neither captured my lingering trouble with the professional game, nor explained my desire to change paths: money is very good as a county cricketer, and played no part in my thinking.

These analyses, though, were in the minority. In general, reactions were considered and sympathetic, and a third narrative developed: that the problem was an intellectual gap between me and my team-mates. While this was flattering, once again I felt it missed the mark: there are lots of intelligent cricketers, many cleverer than I am.

Instead, I would argue that, if there was a separation, it arose out of my struggle to come to terms with a set of seemingly prosaic ethical demands values and principles governing everyday conduct that professional cricket threw up. The need to be permanently competitive, for example, was something I found difficult. In Bangladesh and India in 2016-17, I would watch Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Alastair Cook with admiration and alienation as they conjured up a hypercompetitive spirit, whether on the cricket field or at the hotel ping-pong table. It goes without saying that competition is a foundation of sport: to be competitive is clearly an advantage, providing the mental framework to maximise the chances of success. Yet as my career progressed, I felt uncomfortable conducting myself in this way.

This feeling emerged, in part, from a broader left-wing perspective, which informed my approach to life, and was both a cause and an effect of my studying social and political sciences at university, and of my choice of masters thesis: African-American self-defence during the civil rights era. Against this background, I grew wary of a professional culture that treated the uncompromising pursuit of victory as essentially virtuous.

I had not always been such a sceptic. I revelled in my competitiveness as I was growing up. Im sure it contributed to any success I did achieve. But as the years passed, I tired of the effort it required, and carried my growing suspicion of the merits of competition into my cricket. I would try to subvert this drive in small ways such as taking pleasure in the success of an opponent and avoid competition outside work. But I could not maintain it. The sight at close quarters of Virat Kohli living every ball as if it were his last highlighted an absence that had been building within me.

I also wrestled with, and eventually started to resent, the individualising tendency of the professional game. Like the will to compete, this is a defining feature of cricket. Indeed, what distinguishes cricket from many team sports is the productive tension between the individual and the group. Yet this was supplemented by an ethos of individualism to which I responded grudgingly.

The mantra of personal responsibility and a no-excuses culture that went with every act, for instance, were distortions of the reality confronting me every day. And, however glib it may sound, the fact that dependency on others, on luck, on privilege represented the rule rather than the exception made the pervasive logic of the individual steadily more jarring. Put plainly, I feel cricketers are heavily reliant on their circumstances and the people around them. Yet this cannot be acknowledged, for fear it would suggest they lack the toughness to take responsibility for their actions.

This perspective may have been a defence mechanism designed to compensate for my limits as a cricketer. And Im aware of the virtues of this ethic it drives players to see themselves as the principal authors of their own destiny, and to work harder to improve. Still, as I developed an aversion to it, the problem of my long-term motivation grew in equal measure.

Other factors played into my dissatisfaction. Like many cricketers, I struggled with the way the job pulled me away from friends and family. Similarly, the cycle of scrutiny, failure and judgment, occasionally in the public domain, was a challenge that never quite let up.

The tour of Bangladesh and India was a moment of crystallisation. Reading through old letters and watching home videos of me as a young boy, I was reminded that playing Test cricket had always been my ambition. My three caps still fill me with pride and joy. Even so, it was through touring that the factors I have described coalesced. Being in the presence of other players with an insatiable appetite to compete and better themselves as cricketers was disarming and revealing, since it forced me to challenge my own position.

The trip also raised questions I had not, until then, had to confront. I had avoided social media, for example, because I felt neither qualified to try to influence others casually with my views, nor comfortable with the self-promotion it inevitably involves. At the same time, I am committed to advancing social and economic justice and the chance to do so by harnessing the exposure of an England tour was something with which I had to grapple.

I remember having a long, stimulating conversation during the trip with Mark Ramprakash, our batting coach, and coming away with a sense of the potential that a successful cricketing career might provide. Equally, I was aware that this potential was constrained by the need to avoid any controversy in relation to non-cricketing matters, as the ICCs decision to ban Moeen Ali from wearing a Save Gaza wristband in 2014 exemplified. In short, playing for England provides cricketers with a great opportunity to make themselves heard, but limits what they can say. I concluded that, even in the unlikely scenario of a long international career, this trade-off between exposure and authenticity was not one I wanted to make.

Of course, other jobs come with trade-offs, frustrations and constraints, which in part explains why I agonised so much. I say in part because for the previous seven years I had also taken huge pleasure in being a cricketer. I could not have given it up lightly. Im sure I will miss the feeling of bowling an unplayable delivery, the satisfaction of winning a Championship match, and the excitement of taking part in a Twenty20 game at a packed Oval. I will miss even more the feeling of being a small part of something with a long, powerful history, such as Surrey, and of being a large part of a team, with its friendships and shared moments.

It is telling that in the weeks and months after retiring, I went back to The Oval many times to catch up with old team-mates, and watch them play, as a Surrey supporter. But it is equally significant that I did not feel the urge to do so as a player.
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richthekeeper

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2018, 09:22:14 AM »

I found his article remarkably annoying. As I commented on Twitter, it feels like hes written his piece then gone back through it with a thesaurus to insert the most complex word he could find into every sentence. Even if he actually writes that way, it makes the piece quite difficult to relate to.

Im currently reading Simon Hughes book And God Created Cricket and Ansari very much reminds me of the Gentleman in the gentlemen v players culture, as he looks down his nose on these common Northern lads and their competitiveness.

Am I being unfair?
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mdg20

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2018, 09:47:04 AM »


Im currently reading Simon Hughes book And God Created Cricket and Ansari very much reminds me of the Gentleman in the gentlemen v players culture, as he looks down his nose on these common Northern lads and their competitiveness.

Am I being unfair?

I think so, I dont think he looks down at those super competitive people. He recognises he isnt like that and that not being like that means he wont make it to the top. Its no coincidence the three he mentions are players who are (or have been!) world class.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2018, 10:04:35 AM »

I found his article remarkably annoying. As I commented on Twitter, it feels like hes written his piece then gone back through it with a thesaurus to insert the most complex word he could find into every sentence. Even if he actually writes that way, it makes the piece quite difficult to relate to.

Im currently reading Simon Hughes book And God Created Cricket and Ansari very much reminds me of the Gentleman in the gentlemen v players culture, as he looks down his nose on these common Northern lads and their competitiveness.

Am I being unfair?

Don't think he look down his nose at others just couldn't  get into the  super competive win Win win mentality as for the wording just typical high brow university
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DorsetDan

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2018, 10:15:20 AM »

Seems more than fair enough. It comes across like he wanted to play but also wanted to be a "normal" person which takes the greater priority. Fair play.
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Kulli

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2018, 10:17:51 AM »

What exactly is he doing 'in the city', I get most of what he says, but city finance isn't exactly all 'after you sir' and 'firm handshakes'.
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mdg20

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2018, 10:27:23 AM »

What exactly is he doing 'in the city', I get most of what he says, but city finance isn't exactly all 'after you sir' and 'firm handshakes'.

I dont think he is in the City. I think its the assumption everyone has made. I certainly dont think he will be going into the financial sector. My guess going by other interviews would be law with some sort humanitarian/civil liberties angle
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mdg20

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2018, 10:30:37 AM »

In fact this was from an article in the Guardian from last June:

Ansari smiles when he outlines his plans for the next year.

Im going to work for a charity, starting in September, which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Its called Just For Kids Law and theyre in north London. They work with young people involved in the criminal justice system. These are kids from disadvantaged backgrounds with educational difficulties, exclusions and immigration cases. Im doing a year there as a trainee youth advocate while taking an evening law conversion course. Its a great opportunity to develop new skills and, hopefully, help a few people.
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Kulli

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Re: Zafar Ansari Retires with immediate effect
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2018, 10:31:56 AM »

That makes a bit more sense. Cheers.
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