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Sight Screen

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Harsha on Saurav

Brave man, Harsha. Very. In an age where adulation is the norm and commonsense an unwanted commodity, to come out and say that the selectors have set a dangerous precedent by picking a player who was technically not available to play, took some courage.
Whatever his verdict, it will lead to turbulence. It could have been avoided. We seek to pick Ganguly in a spirit of defiance, we scour through laws and by-laws and search for interpretations to suggest that the verdict against him was flawed. But we ignore the action that led to the verdict in the first place.

And again:
He was getting a few runs in Glamorgan, far away from the intrigue that surrounded his cricket world and he had the opportunity to force his way back into Indian cricket as a batsman and leader. On his own steam. Proudly. Indian cricket would have been richer for it.
Instead, like a man who flies business class having to circle a ticket examiner for a seat on a train, he must wait for a legal loophole to play cricket. And everyone must wait. We convert a scratch to a wound. I have long admired Ganguly, now I feel sorry for him.

But more than this, the point Harsha makes that I found myself nodding along with is this:
Sadly, this whole Ganguly affair has polarised us. It is no longer a question of whether or not an issue is valid but whether you are pro-Ganguly or not. Tents are being pitched and flags are being raised. In parts of India there is outrage, in others people don’t know what the fuss is all about.
In Mumbai, where I live, there is a similar feeling of being victimised over the fact that no player from here has been picked. There is a serious fear of ghettoisation, of putting Bengal or Mumbai first.

True. Very. We do not any longer have in us the ability to put emotion, and personal preference, aside and think in purely cricketing terms. It is all about the individual, never about the team and what is good for it. And it is not particularly new -- when it comes to public life, we are a nation of idol-worshippers, creating of our sporting and political preferences an alternate pantheon to be worshipped, and defended to the death.


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