Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Before third test (Ahmedabad)

There are so many things to talk about that if I try to put it into one single post then I will go mad writing it and u will go mad reading it. So let me break it down into multiple posts … hopefully all to be posted within this weekend (16-18 december).

Though there r more controversial things to talk about, let me start off with a comment I hear almost everywhere nowadays, specially in the aftermath of the selection issues going on. What buggers me in all the discussions is the comment that what is the need of the hour is for the honrary selectors concept to end and the selectors getting paid for their efforts. That will bring in accountability and transparency and all that is required in this world for everlasting peace. Ahhhh! “Professionalism” is the word I was searching for there … if the selectors r paid, the system will have professionalism. Hey, I even saw one program where someone mentioned a salary figure for this job … Navjot Sidhu on NDTV’s program suggested “give a selector Rs. 10 lakhs per annum and all the men of integrity who today don’t want to be doormats (read selectors) will be ready to do the job since it will be all transparent and professional”.

Firstly, Navjot Singh Sidhu seems to be somewhat over-estimating the worth of a selector, me thinks! 10 phucking lakhs per annum … r u kidding me? How many readers of this blog earn ten lakhs per annum …. Not the Chuckster, for sure! Hmmm, ok forget that part about the 10 lakhs … let that be an item on Sidhu’s wishlist and nothing more … it isn’t worth discussing more. What is worth discussing more is what this will achieve.

Firstly, who decides the selectors for this paid job? The Board president who will himself be picked coz he managed to bribe more voters than his opponents? Secondly, lets assume some selectors r picked and paid … ok … paid 10 lakhs per annum. Let me ask u a question … if I gave u 10 lakhs per annum for selecting a cricket team about 10 times an year (just quoting a random figure here of 10 times an year … it might be more or less … doesn’t make a difference to the argument) … r u gonna take a chance of losing all that lovely money by picking someone or dropping someone against my wishes (or the wishes of my group … e.g. – Dalmiya group or Pawar group)? Are u telling me that the professional you (now that you are paid) will tell me – “Mr. Chuck Inn … I am a professional … please don’t tell me whether to select Sourav Ganguly or not … I will make my own decision based on my own observations and feelings on the matter … I don’t care about the consequences”. Are you going to tell me this? Are u completely stupid?

No, u aren’t going to tell me this coz the next minute, I will throw ur sorry ass out of the selector’s post which pays u so well. I am gonna bring in my chamcha ABCD who will be happy to take the same salary and kiss my butt at the same time.

What makes me think I can do this? After all, there is something called accountability! The answer is – nopes, there is nothing called accountability in the BCCI system simply coz they r answerable to no-one. They themselves stated in court that they r a private body who do not come under anyone’s jurisdiction … basically no one call tell them what to do and what not to do. So I can make my best friend as the selector and pay him 10 lakhs and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I can get any player of my choice into the team or out of the team and there is nothing anyone can do about it … whether the selectors r paid or not. This is because when the next election comes along, whether the selectors did a great job or a lousy job of selecting players is not going to be an issue … no one is going to give a phuck whether the job was done with integrity and sincerity and all that crap. In fact one of the sops I will give to potential voters would be – If u r nice to me, I will get a selector’s job for ur son-in-law … it pays 10 lakhs per annum.

The Hyderabad cricket association’s president (or some such top post) is Shivlal Yadav. I heard (don’t know of my own accord) that his brother is the coach of the Hyderabad team and his son is the captain … u might have read about his son recently … he tried to beat up on a chap named Ambati Rayadu in a recent match against Andhra Pradesh … Rayadu used to play for Hyderabad and now has shifted allegiance to Andhra Pradesh. Violence on the field of play … at least the intention to perform some kind of violence … and his punishment …. Errr, what … punishment? Why?

The idea behind the previous example was simple – as long as power is in the hands of people who themselves r not accountable to anyone, why should selectors (one anyone else working under them) be accountable to anyone? The only thing paying them 10 lakhs per annum will do is – make them all line up to kiss as much butt as possible. Hey, I am sure many ex-cricketers have families to take care of, daughters to get married and loans to repay.

Navjot Sidhu mentioned that men of integrity will be ready to do the job if it is well paid. Well, who decides about their integrity … Sidhu? He mentioned names like Shastri, Gavaskar and Kapil Dev … so if any of them turns out to be not-so-integral after all – Gavaskar does have a son who was vying for a place not so long back … and even otherwise, he is probably the last (maybe not even that) name in my mind for a position where bias and personal vendettas / agendas r discouraged … and Kapil in my opinion was never the brightest bulb in the room, was he – then what? I mean … I know finding more problems with any suggestion given is not the way to go towards finding a solution but the suggestion itself is so dumb … we r gonna be giving the job to men of integrity … HA HA HA HA! Wonder why no one thought of that one before? It is so phucking simple it needed a Sidhhu to figure that one out.

The second point on which people (ex-players mostly) keep yapping and which pisses me off every time I hear it is the idea that only ex-players make good selectors. Of course, they also said only Indian ex-players can make a good Indian coach and earlier, John Wright and now Greg Chappell r busy applying dung on that theory while stalwarts like Kapil Dev, Madan Lal and Angshuman Gaekwad have also done their bit during their stints as coach to give me confidence that the farther we keep ex-Indian players from this very important job, the better it will be for Indian cricket.

As for this thing about Bhupinder Singh not having played test cricket (though he has played a couple of ODI … alternate reports say he has played tests but not ODIs … etc etc … and I am too lazy to go and check out the stats in crickinfo) and Sanjay Jagdale being another unworthy etc … ok, so what? They haven’t played international cricket but we don’t want international cricketers right now, do we? Do we need bowlers and batsmen? We need men who can do a job with sincerity and commitment … and while Bhupinder Singh and Sanjay Jagdale might not fit the bill either, it is pretty presumptuous to imagine that a non-cricketer cannot do the job but an ex-cricketer can. See frankly, ex-players need something to do after they retire or get chucked out of the teams … so as a placeholder for giving them a livelihood, I will accept the argument that ex-cricketers should be given the jobs … but as for “ex-international” cricketers r concerned, forget it … why should some guy get a cushy job for the reason that he played for the BCCI team (remember, it is not the Indian team … the BCCI itself says so) and another guy not get it coz he played for Haryana or Punjab or Karnataka?

See, international cricketers, domestic cricketers and non-cricketers love money equally … and the job of a selector brings its own benefits. Don’t let this “honrary” tag fool u even a little bit … while they may not get a formal salary for the job they do, I am pretty much sure they make enough to make the job worth their trouble. I am sure they make more than “chai-pani” … that is why these jobs r handed out by the board as sops to people for their support. So when u hear any ex-cricketer talk about how only ex-international cricketers (who have a minimum of 20 tests etc) should be made selectors, u can bet he is looking at making some decent money by trying to introduce a quota system to enhance his own chances. It is not like the ex-international player will either have a greater capability or a greater capacity for making intelligent decisions … most of our cricketers (ex and present) r illiterate, ignorant bumpkins who r (or were) good at batting, bowling etc. They will make as good or as bad selectors as the rest of the gang … nothing more and nothing less.

Ok, that is it for this post.


The Chuckster


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