Just take it on the chin...
Players of different eras have traditionally been sensitive when it comes to media criticism. The modern era is no exception.
No one likes to be criticised but it is part and parcel of the game at international level. All of us who played at top level for a period of time have experienced the same phenomena.
Players are quick to react negatively to the slightest form of negative publicity. They are quick to either complain about harsh treatment from the press or experts who have played the game. Yet very few players will respond to positive reporting or compliments coming their way. One rarely hears of a player picking up the phone to thank a journalist or commentator for the good things they say about them. Rather than go this constructive route many players indulge in scouring the news media for negative comment on which they then fixate.
Latest example of this has been Denesh Ramdin -- the West Indian wicketkeeper. Ramdin has had a poor run in international cricket. In fact, he is fortunate to have represented the West Indies for as long as he has. There are many other wicketkeeper-batsmen around the world playing first class cricket who are far better than Ramdin.
Before the third test match against England former West Indies and world legend Viv Richards questioned the inclusion of Ramdin in the West Indian test team. Richards, a proud West Indian former player, had every right to do this. Ramdin finally got lucky during the third test against England in a dead rubber against a second string England attack by scoring a century.
Instead of being graceful about the achievement he took it upon himself to pull a piece of paper out of his pocket berating Richards for questioning his inclusion. Ramdin's behaviour was childish, ill-conceived and generally brainless. He made a total fool of himself. Hopefully the West Indian Board and team management will take strong action against Ramdin and discipline him in the strongest manner for bringing West Indies cricket in disrepute.
Kevin Pietersen did exactly the same a few weeks ago when he came down on Nick Knight for comments he made regarding big Kevin. The ECB came down on Pietersen like a ton of bricks, which was a good thing. I am the first to say that when criticism is personnel or out of order the players should use appropriate channels to launch their complaints. Retorting by social media or using other demonstrative ways of airing their grievances rarely achieves results and normally backfires on the players involved -- as it should.
At the moment things are better in the South African context as far as that is concerned. Credit must go to the Proteas management for cleaning up this aspect. There was a time when certain South African players used the social media to deflect attention away from their own failures by attacking the press or cricket analysts. Fortunately at the moment a more mature approach prevails. This should improve further as the leadership of AB de Villiers finds a strong foothold in the group.
Like it or lump it -- as a player one has to take the good with the bad. Enjoy the good press and ignore the negative criticism unless it can be learnt from. That, I am afraid, is the nature of the beast. In order to have your dance you have to pay the fiddler.