And even the biggest stars can fall victim to this. From where I sit, these things just ruined the reputation of who would have been the best modern-day batsman South African cricket has produced, AB de Villiers.
I was disgusted last week when it was leaked that De Villiers phoned up Ottis Gibson before the Proteas’ World Cup squad announcement to tell the boss that he’s available for the showpiece.
Words failed me at the time and I’m still struggling to find them.
Did he think the Proteas would jump at the chance to include him in place of a player that has worked his socks off to be in the national team after he announced his “retirement” a year ago?
Does he think he is the saviour of the nation? The Special One? The one we can’t do without?
I’m sorry AB, but I never imagined you to be THAT guy.
Here is a player that has already earned millions upon millions for playing cricket.
A guy who last represented his country in an ODI in February last year - against India, the country where he’s earned most of his millions - and bowed out with a whole 30 runs in his final innings.
Before that, in his last 10 ODI innings for his country, De Villiers scored one century and one half-century.
Okay, admittedly the 176 he scored against Bangladesh in Paarl was simply breathtaking to watch.
But we all know he can turn on the style when he wants to.
His other scores - against the likes of England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - read: 27*, 4, 0, 16, 20, 26, 30 and then there was the 52 against England.
That, to me, is not a good enough reminder of his talent and certainly not good enough to guarantee a place in the squad after a year’s “sabbatical”.
Yes, he then went off to the IPL again this year and absolutely clobbered the bowlers over there.
But has De Villiers served his country well enough to warrant such a windgat request?
No, no, no and once again no.
No one is bigger than the game and no one is bigger than the Proteas, no matter how good you are.
I can’t imagine the class of '92 with the likes of Omar Henry, Adrian Kuiper, Peter Kirsten etc. picking and choosing when they wanted to play for SA.
Those guys waited almost their entire lives for the opportunity to represent their country and when it finally happened, they weren’t instant millionaires.
They played for the love of the game and for the love of their country.
Now AB has no problem being available for IPL where he earns millions. And I understand that it’s a profession and you have to make money, but brother, moenie ons land vir ’n apie vat nie.
Now if this idea to be the World Cup saviour was conjured up by Proteas captain Faf du Plessis at the IPL, the situation is even worse.
No self-respecting captain would beg a player - at the expense of one of your teammates, to come back and risk breaking squad harmony.
If that is the case, as was rumoured in reports over the weekend, I will lose my respect for our national captain too.
Convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, meanwhile, is a man I would like to tip my hat to.
From the media statement when the news first broke on Thursday, it was clear that he would never entertain such a foolish idea.
You have to back the guys who have given you their all. You can’t throw them to the wolves when a “superstar” comes along with the promise of fixing everything. And that’s what Zondi did.
So would we have been a better team with AB in it? Yes.
Would we have had a better chance of finally winning the World Cup with him in the team? Yes.
But I’d rather lose with guys who want to give their all to their country’s cause than win with guys who only want to represent our nation when they feel like it or when there is glory up for grabs.