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Sight Screen

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shut up, Jimmy

Greed can make a man lose his sense of balance, of proportion -- and Jimmy Amarnath is the perfect example.
The fuss he created by precipitating a firang versus desi debate on India's next coach has been documented, here and elsewhere, and needs no reiteration.
Just yesterday, I was thinking kind thoughts of the man in context of his gracious 'all the best' message to Greg Chappell -- and lo, today he has to go spoil it all with a totally unwarranted diatribe.
Firstly, to criticize the selection process a day after suggesting it was correct smacks of sour grapes. What is worse, though, is the grounds he bases his criticism on.
'How can the Board judge the credentials of the future coach just through a mere presentation?', he asks.
What else would the Board use, Jimmy?
Past record, for instance? If yes, then you were bloody lucky to even make it through the door of the interview room -- a brief and forgettable tenure as Bangladesh coach, and a fiasco as Rajasthan coach, is hardly the sort of CV that merited your inclusion in the short-list.
And that other comment, that no one got in touch with him to inform him of the eventual choice, smacks of childishness. The BCCI is not known to be thoughtful in such matters, but this once they seem to have played this by the book -- Board president R S Mahindra, in fact, said while announcing Chappell's selection that the BCCI had tried to contact the three other candidates to break the news to them, but failed to touch base.
Trouble with Jimmy is, he wants the national coach's job so bad, he can taste the bile of rejection.
The bigger trouble is, if his ambitions lay thataway, then he has done zip, these past few years, to position himself for the job. He has not, for instance, attempted to rehabilitate himself and make his bones with a coaching stint with any decent state side; he has not attempted to update himself on the latest methodologies and techniques of coaching -- bloody hell, he hasn't even bothered to learn to work a laptop. (What, if he had been picked as coach, would the BCCI have had to hire his brother-in-law, too, as the coach's laptop-operator-in-chief?)
In passing, it could be argued that a laptop is not a sine qua non for a coach -- just as, a few years back, journalists used to argue that knowing their way around the Internet was not essential for a reporter.
Jimmy, your grit was an example to many; the determination, the application with which you worked on your game, after collecting more ducks than a poultry farm against the Windies quicks in 1983, and the way you went on to become the world's foremost player of pace, was inspirational.
They still talk, the old-timers, of how you plugged the Survivor anthem 'Eye of the Tiger' into your earphones, on continuous loop play, and practised for hours at a time till you got it right.
Those memories -- and the mental image of you hooking the likes of Roberts, Marshall et al out of the park -- are precious for us fans; don't spoil it all now, please, with behavior better suited to a third-rate politician.

4 Comments:

  • Couldn't have said it better!
    r.rajesh@SportzUnlimited

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01:16  

  • Nailed it right there! Jimmy's comments were silly outbursts out of frustrations that only he should be blamed of! I disliked even his comments before the recent India-Pak series on DD Sports! Even at that time, he was lining up for the coach and used the media to pave possible ways! Diplomacy has never been his characteristics but now I know that greed, idiocy is! Sad to see one of my heros like this!

    Btw, why "fourth umpire"!! Reminds me of DDSports below standard cricket shows! (barring Rashmi Sharma) .. And flashes the picture of Charu Sharma in minds's eye! (ooph!)

    By Blogger Angshuman Sarkar, at 01:45  

  • Hey Prem!!!
    Seriously when I frist Heard Jimmy crying foul on NDTV, I was like shocked, as I think thats a real kiddish behaviour not accepting what the good men have decided.
    When Jimmy cant take this in sportsman spirit, whats the guarantee that he could handle the dummy indian gods !!!
    Thats the reason we dont need ppl like him.

    Keep writing PREM!!!

    By Anonymous Abhay Porwal, at 04:01  

  • Prem,

    Was very sad after hearing about Jimmy's outbursts. Not what one expects from the son of Mr. Lala. I wonder if we are all judging him on the basis of what is coming out on the media. I wonder if something untoward happened in the background, for Jimmy to make these uncharacteristically immature comments.

    As to your mention of Jimmy's work ethics, I had heard a lot about it -- did not know about the Eye of the Tiger, anecdote. Had to hear from someone like you, who's been in the block for a while.

    Anna, great piece on this Jimmy issue.

    Sriraj

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13:20  

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