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Sight Screen

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Paper Round -- India, July 22

Very slow news day, with the Ashes and the SL-Windies series dominating coverage (agency takes, no special coverage, so won't bother you with stuff on those two games).
There's a story, in Outlook, of Jaggu Dalmiya brushing aside the challenge he is facing for the post of CAB president. One line in the report -- italicized here -- amused me:
The former BCCI chief said Bajpai has given him a letter raising certain queries. "We have gone through it. If we choose to reply, we will let you know," he said, while refusing to disclose contents of Bajpai's missive.

Another eminently readable column by Aakash Chopra, this time on the struggle of playing club cricket in England -- the lad's writing is impressive; someone should tell him to think of doing end of series booklets, like the ones Steve Waugh used to do.
In the Hindustan Times, there is also Arun Sivasankaran's look at the Indian pace attack.
Not one name to pencil in without much of a thought. Greg Chappell knows it. From the way in which the fast bowlers on the fringes were striving to impress the new coach during the conditioning camp for fast bowlers in Bangalore, so do they. The way things are, the distance from anonymity to the spotlight could be just a few good spells, at least for the most promising among them.

Not sure if this is an indication of further progress, or just a one off, but Mumbai follows the national team in offering contracts to its players. Not sure yet how much they will be paid -- we need to find out the details -- but a contract, with its in-built assurance, will be welcome relief for domestic players.
The national players, even without contracts, never really needed to worry too much about money. Domestic players in contrast worried about it all the time, thanks to the bureaucracy of the board and state associations. Look at this for instance: When a team played Ranji at an out of town venue, the players bought their own tickets. They played the game, went back home, then made a voucher for reimbursement of ticket expenses -- and they needed each time to get a letter from their respective association, stating that they indeed had played the game as representing the state. And even then, reimbursement would come in its own time.
And while on cricketers and their struggles -- you do remember, of course, that the BCCI has crores in a benevolent fund account supposedly intended to help former cricketers in distress? And you, of course, have read this report on the self-inflicted death of Gulabrai Ramchand's wife?
It is still not clear why the aged lady ended her life, the sources said, adding preliminary investigations revealed that financial problems could be one of the reasons.

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