Rahul Dravid’s sudden decision to step down as captain raises an interesting question: Why do the best cricketers often decide to give up captaincy to focus on their game? This is not done in the corporate world. After all, we rarely see a CEO resign and go back to a job in marketing or finance.
A lot has to do with the nature of incentives in cricket. A captain has to bear the brunt of public pressure without getting monetary benefits to make the agony worth his while. Cricketers earn most of their incomes through product endorsements. And the money keeps flowing only when you keep scoring runs or getting wickets. Often, captaincy affects performance on the field and is hence a threat to long-term earnings.
It’s quite different in the world of companies. A CEO, too, faces pressure from shareholders and the markets, but he earns in multiples of what the average salary man pulls in. There is a clear monetary incentive to lead a corporate team, but none to lead a cricket team. Our sympathies are with Dravid.