A report on the EML by Jatin Mandawat
The year’s Extra Mural Lecture series kicked off with a talk by renowned Australian batsman, Simon Katich. The veteran was acquainted with Prof. Hema Sharda, a professor at The University of Western Australia and the director of South Asia Relations, courtesy of whom the first lecture of the EML series was actualized. Simon himself was a graduate from the university in the commerce stream before joining the Australian cricket team.
The session proceeded with a formal introduction of Simon Katich by the EML team. The exceptionally talented Australian player and the captain of New South Wales Blue, who has been playing cricket for Australia for over a decade (with an excellent average of 46.83 in international test cricket) is one of the most celebrated batsmen in world cricket. When not on the field, Simon indulges himself in cooking and has managed his way to the semifinals of Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
Taking over, Simon shared his experiences before joining the team. As a member of the IPL team -Kings Eleven Punjab, he was here for the champions league match against Chennai Super Kings. Seeing the enthusiasm in the audience, he joked saying he wouldn’t expect the same a few days later when he would be playing against Chennai’s home team. He congratulated the audience over the passion and enthusiasm for cricket in India and said that he loved playing here.
This was followed by a session where a myriad of questions were put up by the audience. When asked about who according to him was the greatest cricketer of modern time, “Sachin, of course!” he proclaimed. He mentioned Rahul Dravid as one of the most talented and motivating players India has ever produced and also appreciated Sehwag’s impulsive batting style. When asked about his view on UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System), Simon said that it was a time consuming, tiresome job accompanied by inefficient use by the players. He congratulated the Indian cricket team on winning the World Cup and extolled M.S. Dhoni for his sound tactics and on-field presence.
On being confronted for their aggressive behavior on the field, Prof. Sharda fended for Simon and other players affirming their down-to-earth disposition on account of her personal experiences. The issue of most test matches ending without a result was brought forth. Simon emphasized on the role of curators and the tracks they make in such situations.
When presented with the dilemma that Indian students face in the pursuit of their careers, Simon advised them to be goal oriented and encouraged everyone to follow their passion and to enjoy their work. In addition, he spoke of the right mix of talent and preparation – the key to achieve perfection. The start to the Extra Mural Lecture series was very well acknowledged by the institute with students turning up in large numbers giving hope to look forward to such inspiring lectures this academic year.