october 3, 2005
Anyway the Challenger series hots up with SRT back in the playing arena. I have been waiting for this for a long time ... SRT and Chappell getting together!
If I had to take a guess at which of India's prima donnas would have the most trouble with Chappell's methods, I would have bet my bottom dollar on Ganguly, Zaheer, Yuveraj, Bhajji and Nehra being in the list. I would also have bet my bottom dollar on Dravid, Kumble, SRT benefitting from the alliance ... coz these people r professionals who want to work hard and earn their keep ... and they want to keep learning. Those in the earlier list r riff-raff ... apart from Ganguly, none of them belong in the "classy" league ... even Ganguly doesn't belong in that league today but he did some years back. It is like the truck driver who suddenly gets to drive a mercedez ... he still remains r truck driver.
Anyway, news coming out from unconfirmed reports that Ganguly has developed a "tennis elbow" problem ... and might not even plan in the challengers. Now, I am an understanding man but this sounds a bit too much to me ... is this the compromise that was worked out, I wonder ... a graceful exit for Ganguly by giving him a public thumbs up and a bye bye wave behind the scenes? I kinda doubt that but tennis elbow???
News channels r slowly getting bored of the crisis, I think ... coz from about a thousand programs on the Chappell / Ganguly saga, they r down to about two hundred programs on the topic per week. Anyway, yesterday watched "cricket controversies" on NDTV with Sidhu as the expert on the show ... and he kept harping on "the person who leaked the email on the eve of the BCCI elections ... THAT my friend, is what we should be looking at". I was like - excuse me, why is that so important? Agreed it shouldn't have been leaked but is someone seriously about to tell me that had the email not been leaked to the media and been broadcast on STAR, ZEE and AAJ TAK, Ganguly would never have heard of it? Chappell sent the mail to Mahendra, for chrissakes ... Dalmiya is Mahendra's master ... and Ganguly is Dalmiya's chela ... he doesn't need to switch on Aaj Tak to hear about the bloody email.
The way i see it ... whoever leaked the email to the press did a great deal of good for Chappell and the cricket loving public of India. If it was indeed leaked by the BCCI (and who else is there), they basically shot Ganguly in the foot coz most of the cricket loving population in India shares the views on Ganguly being useless and it was comforting to know that someone as influential as the coach had the same views and what is more, had communicated the same to the BCCI ... with Ganguly's own public gaffe after grafting together a painstaking hundred, this blunder just made the man on the street aware of things in such a big way that the BCCI couldn't just brush the issue under the carpet. The result of the review committee's meeting does suggest that the issue was dealt with flimsily ... but I rather believe some kind of a compromise was worked out behind the scenes which we don't really know about. A lot of people thought Mahendra's statement of "Ganguly is the captain till the selectors think he should be captain" to be a victory for Ganguly ... but then it is obvious he is the captain till the selectors say otherwise, right??? And what is stopping the selectors from changing captains the next time the team is announced? On questioning, Mahendra would just say "Yeah, the selectors have decided it ... that is what I said, isn't it" ... lol.
One other piece of news I read in an article is that Shastri came up with an idea ... of having Tendulkar as captain ... in the review meeting. I dunno what happened to that suggestion ... but I knew it would come up ... I somehow thought it would be the Sunny one who would bring up the name of the little champion as a savior of Indian cricket. However, Gavaskar from all reports was against Chappell's appointment from the beginning ... in the initial meeting where Chappell was chosen coach, there also from reports, Gavaskar was one of those who advocated an Indian coach. So no reason now for him to back the coach who got appointed despite his protests.
I don't see Irfan Pathan in any of the challenger teams ... what happened to him?
The Board is also gonna renew the annual contract of the cricketers sometime soon ... as usual, they haven't really given any details ... I guess they will just do it when they feel like it ... or if they don't feel like it, they will ignore the issue indefinitely.
If after the re-evaluation, Zaheer, Nehra, Balaji and Pathan remain in the same league, there just might be one pissed Pathan in the Indian team ... also in the place of Patel, Dhoni should come in ... but unconfirmed media reports also suggest that Patel might retain his Grade-C category .... on what basis, u ask .... hmmm, nothing ... the BCCI doesn't have to answer that one.
Anyway, Cheers for now.