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Sight Screen

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

And without comment...

...this story.
Why without comment? Because any comment would be redundant... this is not the first time individual members of the team have acted in this fashion.
And it won't be the last, either -- not as long as we remain a nation of idolators, content to set up our preferred icons (icons, I said, do note -- not icon) in temples of our making, and worshipping them mindlessly, no questions asked.

68 Comments:

  • Very true. After being re appointed as Captain SG has been acting as though he is the king and everyone else is not worthy enough. I hope this tour brings him down to earth.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:00  

  • Maharajas cant apologize, u see..

    Also, have you seen tigers apologizing?

    Has anyone told u the god (of the offside) apologizes?

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:00  

  • Well I hope people like this watch the movie replacements where the coach says "the team needs miles and miles of heart" unfortunately the leader of this team lacks that.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:02  

  • Ganguly needs a swift kick in a sensitive place....besides some growing up...a captain does not do this...

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 12:03  

  • Well if maharajas do not apologize then its the most indecent thing he can ever do. As a human basic decency requires them to be apologetic when they have made a mistake. R maharajas not human?

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:03  

  • Come on guys.. give Ganguly a break. May be his flight got delayed.. or may be he could'nt get tickets for a morning flight.. and had to opt for a evening flight.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 12:04  

  • Santa
    Well i dont buy that Kolkatta to Mumbai there are no frequent flights. Well tell that to someone who is dumb enough to believe it.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:05  

  • True...and if so all he needed to have done was to have apologised..

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 12:05  

  • Prem...without passing judgments..just an enquiry based on your knowledge of these things...were these guys all punctual and correct during the Wright days ? When Team India was doing well, was the attitude and approach of these guys significantly better ? Was Wright also equally flummoxed at times ? How did he handle them ? And the media and the board ?...as I said...no judgments...just trying to gauge if things are really on the decline.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:09  

  • Santa One more thing All SG needed to do was pick up the phone and call up Patron in Cheif. he would arranged for a Charter Flight.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:09  

  • Well, it is not a question of frequent flights.. it is more of a question of where to go? May be he thought that BCCI will ask them to come to Bangalore or Mumbai (for practice, in this case he would have to come 2-4 days earlier) or just assemble at Hotel (which is what happened). So if the palyer does not know when and where he has to go, how can he be there on time? And why should he apologise, if he has not committed a mistake?

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 12:09  

  • prem
    our's is a country of a billion selectors/critics/players. the popularity of this blog supports just that point.

    Instead of going on and on about it over here can't a few of the journos team together and pressurise BCCI to be more open and be accountable
    Is there something like this in process already?

    By Blogger JD, at 12:11  

  • Sriram,

    In case you don't know, BCCI never charters a plane for their players, and specially in this case.. it was not an emergency.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 12:11  

  • Come on man. We know Prem loves to banter SG. Would he have said the same if Dravid was late?

    Regardless GC was right to be upset. I would be as well. If the team is supposed to arrive at 6pm then it should. NO EXCUSES. I say take a leaf out of Coach Carter and make Bhajji, Kaif and Ganguly perform extra 3 hrs physical training. That’s the best way to discipline these guys.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 12:11  

  • Prem - People change (or apologize for) their behaviour if they are held accountable. When has SG ever been held accountable? He has even been handed the captaincy back on a platter. And why will any other player (Kaif or Harbhajan) follow requests for reporting at a certain time if their captain is the chief culprit and he is never reprimanded? It would be hypocritical if others are chastized for their behavior when the captain isn't.

    BTW gald to see that the dada-heads are back! Criticize "the dada" and your name will be mud.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 12:23  

  • Santa But there is always an exception especially SG asks Jaggu Bhai will say Ok :)

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:30  

  • Prem,

    Not to pick on SG, but, people appreciate this kind of attitude from him and other stars. Being rude and paying no attention to punctuality, is presumed as brave attitude. This is just childish.

    Same attitude is reflected on field. SG with his sluggish fielding and field changes, costed many games.

    I don't care we play U-19 for national team, but, indiscipline must be punished. Which is a wish, because babudom in cricket protects these stars.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:31  

  • bets are on...

    how long GC will lost.

    1) end of series against Zim

    2) this calender year 2005

    my guess this year 2005

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:35  

  • Jay: How do you know I would not have said the same if Dravid, or someone else, had been late?
    Incidentally, that report mentions three players who were late -- Ganguly for the PC, two others for the checking in time. My comment did not name names -- how come you reduce it to a Ganguly issue? Indiscipline is indiscipline, period.
    And you know what, this is part of the problem -- when questions are asked, people quickly reduce it to: Oh, he is anti this guy, or pro that guy. Which of course means you don't have to address the issue itself.
    Fair enough, is why I refrained from comment, as a matter of fact -- because it increasingly strikes me as pointless.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:38  

  • worma: I think I mentioned this story, on Rediff and if I remember right, here too. But in case I haven't, this is what I have seen:
    This was the second camp Wright was holding. It was in Chennai, and the deal was, all players were to check in one evening, and nets were to begin next morning.
    There is this guy, Murali -- any time you see cricket telecasts out of Chennai, you will see him in the team dressing room; shortish bloke, with a very long beard. He is, has been for a long time, the official pointperson for the Indian team when it is in Chennai; he handles all the arrangements.
    I had gone to Chennai that morning; by noon, was in the stadium and I saw Wright and Leipus there. Leipus wanted some stuff set up for his training routine... for new drills like broken field running and such. He and Wright, with Murali and the ground staff helping, were doing all that.
    After it was done, we moved to the pavilion, and got down to chatting over a beer. A while later, Murali came up with a fax from Sachin -- stating that for personal reasons, he couldn't make it that night and would come in next afternoon.
    Wright told Murali -- and this I can vouch for, coz I was there, and witnessed it -- to send Sachin a fax saying, he either makes it on schedule or he doesn't have to bother turning up at all.
    Murali kind of stood there, hesitating. Wright... whose conversation when he is incensed is peppered with a lot of fs and such... went: Send the bleeping fax I bleeping asked you to bleeping send, and sign it in my bleeping name... and a bit more on those lines.
    Um... the sequel? Sachin came to Chennai by the last flight that night, and was ready when the team bus rolled up outside the hotel for the first day of the camp.
    These are a few things Wright was particular about -- he ended the practise of senior players pretty much choosing when they would come to the ground; also of their taking private transport (he insisted the team should travel in the team bus all the time). I guess Chappell -- who is an even bigger stickler for discipline -- was caught off guard this time; be interesting to see what he does here on.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:46  

  • Santa...In my experience I have seen most people will apologize when they are late to a meeting/function..if they were not aware that they had to be on time then they will still apologize but clarify that that they were not aware of the time etc. It is a matter not only of courtesy but also running a team well and ensuring that there are no misunderstandings...SG as the captain had an even greater responsibility to clarify the situation...

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 12:46  

  • jd: But boss, tell me this. Journos write -- some of them at least -- of what the problems are. At times, we even pay a price for writing (like Rediff being denied passes during the Dalmiya-Lele era). And yes, it puts pressure on the board.
    But -- think about this for a moment -- change never happens unless the people demand change. A bunch of journalists writing is easy to ignore; but a few million people up in arms, incensed by what they have read about something they care passionately about? Now that is a whole other story -- I remember writing this sometime in the late 90s, and I am convinced it is still true: Real reform will happen only when people take to the streets (I would think the media's job is to give them the truth, and make them incensed enough about it). In cricket, or politics, or any other field.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:50  

  • hmm...and I wonder why the team members chose to forget the Wright lessons anyways ? Maybe its a one-off. Lets wait a little longer. Or, as you said, maybe GC might not give us a chance to find out.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:53  

  • Prem is spot on here 'Indiscipline is indiscipline, period' and that is the issue. It doesn't really matter If Prem chose to report it because he is biased towards SG(IMO He isn't). Prem's biasness isn't the main issue, so lay off all for once. IMO indescipline is the main problem why Indian team has been so inconsistent despite having so many talented individuals.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 13:34  

  • Well said random.. And i guess lack of discipline is visible in how they approach the game too. They might feel not attending practice games/ conferences /meetings on time doesnt affect their game. But they forget that talent alone doesnt fetch you wins.

    By Blogger sachin, at 13:44  

  • I completely agree with what Prem said. Indiscipline is indiscipline. I think that the players took it a bit easy with Wright. Chappell's greatest challenge will be to change the mindsets of the players as far as regimen and discipline is concerned.

    If Ganguly fans supporting him for coming late was despicable, so was his critics digging him out for flak.The media is also to be blamed partially for this. Some writers cannot hide their bias and in turn influence lots of readers with their prejudiced viewpoints. It is therefore up to the media to reafrain from stoking fires and stirring up a useless debate for the sake of filing newsprint , and at the same time not refrain from making a criticism when its due.... Just like Sachin Tendulkar was rightly criticised for the Ferrari issue.

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 14:18  

  • Dark nights,

    How is Media responsible for a Player's indicpline is beyone me ?

    And I dont really care what Sachin did with his Ferrari, It's between him and the government of India. All I know is he didn't steal the tax money, he requested a tax exemption and he was granted. Why so much fuss ? He didn't force anyone, did he ?

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 14:26  

  • Prem: fair enough..i agree with you there...As for dravid, i doubt he'd be late for press conference or any other important meeting.

    But what I don't understand is why the media during the Ind-Aus 2001 series was applauding Ganguly when he was late for the toss? The media portrayed as someone who could stand up to the mighty Aussies.

    Regardless, this indiscipline issue is going to drive GC nuts. Either he has to adapt or quit.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 14:32  

  • Multi-crore BCCI’s office is 2BHK space!


    Cricket: With an annual income of Rs 200 crore, Board still works out of poky rooms in bowels of Brabourne Stadium


    SHIVANI NAIK


    Posted online: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 0254 hours IST



    MUMBAI, AUGUST 22: Think humble existence, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t exactly jump to mind.

    With the just-released balance sheet showing an annual net income of Rs 200 crore, the richest cricket board in the world is equally admired and grudged for its riches.



    Yet the BCCI’s most obvious face—its administrative offices at Veer Nariman Road—easily qualifies as the most modest corporate headquarters.

    Located, and almost hidden, in one of the several nooks of the massive Brabourne Stadium, you would miss the nameplate if you weren’t specifically looking for it.

    Grilled doors and 21 steps—counted to avoid tripping in the dim light—precede this first-floor office.

    Friendly, approachable officials cannot distract the eye from the peeling roof in the passageway and the desperately taped walls.

    Files, though stacked neatly, cramp the shelves spread over one room, divided into three parts. Despite India drawing a blank in trophies in the last season, the nation’s net aggregate haul still commands one entire section.

    BCCI Executive Secretary Ratnakar Shetty admitted the headquarters are cramped considering the stacking area required but says day-to-day work is not being hampered.

    ‘‘Still, we do need more space, especially considering our stature and the paper overload,’’ Shetty said.

    The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) offered to host the central headquarters at its Wankhede stadium premises in 2003. And MCA Joint Secretary Lalchand Rajput, who raised the issue at a recent working committee meeting in Delhi, said all sanctions had been procured.

    DEEP POCKETS

    • Annual income (2004-05) Rs 200 crore
    • Annual expenditure (2004-05) RS 170 crore

    Money spent on meetings
    • Annual General Meeting Rs 18 lakh
    • Other meetings in India Rs 43 lakh
    • International meetings Rs 23 lakh
    Includes travel, hotel and food expenses

    On match fees to players • International About Rs 9 crore
    (ODIs: Rs 1.80 lakh, Tests: Rs 2 lakh)
    • Domestic (per player) Rs 20,000 per dayes



    ‘‘The BCCI had agreed in principle and there was a general consensus that the office should look better and have better facilities, especially when we have people visiting us from all over the world,’’ Rajput said.

    He added that the MCA had offered a 10,000-sq ft area for a plush facility, complete with a conference room and library. “The matter will be pursued by the BCCI’s headquarters committee,’’ Rajput said, admitting that there had also been talk of shifting base to Delhi.

    ‘‘Almost all government offices relating to permissions and paperwork are in Delhi, but the MCA was keen on keeping it in Mumbai. The matter is under deliberation,’’ Shetty said.

    None of this means one will see a ‘We’re moving’ sign any time soon. ‘‘The BCCI had set up a committee to spearhead the relocation, but it has been disbanded. We will be setting up a new committee soon,’’ said BCCI Treasurer Jyoti Bajpai.

    It is still not clear why the issue of renovating or relocating was brought up only as late as 2003. (The subsequent delay was owing to the board finalising the new location.)

    The physical appearance and modest size of the BCCI’s administrative headquarters are neither a reflection of nor have any bearing on Indian cricket or the way the team plays on the field.

    But when everyone seems to agree that a cosmetic change would be in keeping with the Board of Control for Cricket in India ’s stature and deep coffers, why is the world’s richest cricket board still stuck in a 2BHK?

    What you can do with Rs 200 crore

    • Buy about 3 acres of prime mill land property in Mumbai, among the most expensive in the world, and fifteen 1,500-sq ft flats in South Mumbai.
    • Buy 3,197 kg of 24-carat gold
    • Can buy 8.6 lakh shares of software giant Infosys Technologies or nearly half of NIIT
    • Can help foot the bill for the bidding cost of two Olympic games
    • Buy Sachin Tendulkar’s marketing rights for 10 years

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:48  

  • Jay,
    The toss matter in the 2001 series had something to do wtih Steve Waugh's hypocritical attitude. And I think SG did a good thing there, it had nothing to do with discipline and I dare say, Wright must have been OK with it. In fact, in that series, I was ashamed that the media fell for Waugh's antics and supported him, treating SG as a national enemy. And that was probably the last time I felt any sympathy for SG...

    This is a totally different matter. Yesterday, in one of the posts, I had mentioned that the chaotic press conference that Chapppel had to be part of, did not surprise me and I am sure none of you either. A person with GC's reputation will not be pleased with this kind of attitude from the so-called Maharaja but does he have a say in such matters in future, I am not so sure. After all, SG was somebody who influenced selecting GC and I wonder how much GC would feel obliged to overlook SG's pompous ways within the team.

    Dark Night,
    Did SRT actually cheat you out of some money when he asked for a tax exemption for the Ferrari he received as a gift? I know loads of "decent citizens" of our country who bribe customs officers when they need something cleared on their trips back from the Middle East, US or Singapore. And suddenly, these cheap guys themselves raise a storm over something that SRT asked legitemately. I dare say that he would have (reluctantly, of course) paid the money if the govt had rejected his request. But of course, Fiat and Ferrari had the decency (unlike his own fellow citizens) to pay up the customs duty. This is where I believe the media and the politicians (it was a puny politician from Shiv Sena who created that mess and we all know why ) should mind their own business. It was something b/w SRT and the govt, not even a dispute but just a request. How would you feel if I stuck my head into matters that you consider private. Give the guy a break, this discussion is abt the Maharaja//

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:57  

  • I think toney we shud give the whole matter a break. As Prem said earlier, this attitude was rectified by Wright, and the players did fall in line. And despite that, they all genuinely liked him (based on some of the interview I read, and also some of the stories Prem told). Which means they were OK with that kind of disciplinarian regime, as long as they were getting better.

    Lets wait and see if they have really fallen back to the old ways and if they do or dont extend the same kind of co-operation to Chappel. And lets also see if Chappel earns their respect as much as Wright did not only from his discipline, but also from the personal touch be brought to his methods (again something I picked up from misc articles stories etc).

    As of now, we dont have a reason to believe one way or the other, its just ONE incident reported in the media, and may or may not have any of the attitudinal reasoningg behind it. For example, do we know what Saurav or Harbhajan told Chappel after they came late and met him ? Do we know how Chappel reacted then ? Do we really think that Saurav and the whole gang would not respect the authority that Chappel deserves (when Saurav is supposed to have a presonal rapport with Chappel, remember he sought him out in the Aus tour).

    By Blogger worma, at 15:09  

  • Agreed worma...
    I was actually planning to go out to Zim and give a piece of my mind to SG, HS and MK but hey, you convinced me otherwise :-), no sarcasm intended for you.
    But dont we all make extra efforts to be punctual and adhere to rules, if we have something to lose otherwise? I still remember from my college days, that I had to show my library cards while registering for the semester exams. My cards were at home, it was the last day to register (yeah, I was not an on-time guy) and I had to pay a huge fine if I could only register the next day. Of course, I went home the penultimate day, got my library cards and registered in time. Now, that extra bit of money I might have had to pay was incentive enough for me to go out of my way. Similarily, wouldnt the team members go out of their way to be on time, if they had consequences to face otherwise (and I am not talking about monetary punishments, these guys are filthy rich, they might scoff at such punishments). I am sure team coaches could be empowered to do such things.
    Why, for eg, do we never see an Aussie being late or not showing up? Guys like POnting who had a drinking problem and Symonds, who had a night-out in England were made to feel ashamed and from their statements itself, see how they were disciplined?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:32  

  • Anybody who is late should be made to drink 10 litres of Lassi, and then do 10 rounds of the stadium. Both of these things should be completed within 2 hrs.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 15:39  

  • toney...sure they need to be disciplined. And Wright had his methods (read Prem's comments above) which were effective, so no need for monitory fines. GC might have his own, and ofcours he has the authority. Lets wait and see how we handles it, or even if he has to handle it (whether there is a situation at all or not)

    Btw, I'm not so sure about the discipline and punctuality and the tidiness of this Aus team(neither CA's efforts to solve it). They are great players, best in the business. But beyond that, I think they have more off-field problems. Lets not go there, because we may not hear all about it, their sports media having a few other things to follow than cricket ;-) But yes, they do take their game(and everything else associated with it) very seriously, which comes from an inherent passion for the game...which is what some of the Indian players may lack, and which GC as a coach and a motivator may have to address. (reminds me, read this interview my sachin in mid-day....his advice to youngsters...take up cricket if you are really passionate about it..perfectly describes it)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:42  

  • worma, personal and marital problems (of Shane Warne, Gilchrist) etc are none of our business and as long as they dont affect their game, I dont think any of us should even talk about it. That is why, the SG-Nagma episode should never have been raised by our media (if it never affected his game). But, as soon as Symonds breaches discipline, isnt he brought to task? I think that is just abt CA's boundary, no one has any right to say what they should do with their personal lives.

    Santa_from_nj, I'll drink the lassi, you can do the running...:-)

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:48  

  • toney - I agree with your point completely. As I said a few posts above if there is no consequences of not following the rules, the rules will be broken. The players are human after all. If Andy Symonds was not dropped from the side for two games and disciplined to the point of humilation, then he will go out drinking and show up drunk at the game more often. I bet after what he went through he will never do that again nor will most of the Aussie players at least for a while. There was a penalty for the transgression. Not that they are angels, as worma says, there may be other problems that are not brought up by the media but even out of sight they are handled so they are usually not repeated at least for a while. It's an on going process.... but in the Indian team they are never handled and they are done over and over. I see Prem's comment about Wright disciplining SRT, but my guess is he never did the same with SG. Not because there was no oppurtunity but because he couldn't. Not if he wanted to keep his job.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 15:54  

  • One word to describe these guy's attitude!! Juvenile!!!
    When u represent your country its a sense of honor and pride. You have 3 Australians, apparently dressed in the Indian team blazer, whereas the representative of the country is "casually" attired. Is this the approach, attitude we wanna take if we want to win anything?

    By Blogger KB, at 16:03  

  • toney..i was referring to the symonds and ponting kind of episodes that you brought up, not to their presonal problems. So Symonds is punished by CA, Ponting same (long time back). How come amongst this great disciplined and motivated team there are such guys who are needed to be disciplined !! ?? I mean surely this kind of behaviour in between games is much bigger case of indiscipline than coming late for a PC (yeah I know its big deal, but still cricket is a game played on the field, and any issue around that is still bigger than any issue in the press room). So, you see, this is what I meant when I said Aus have their share of problems (maybe more). And who knows what kind of smaller indiscipline they show, their media is not reporting 'ankhon-dekha-hall' of a coaching camp or a fitness drill that the players do before the games. Their media is also not obsessing about the anger or frustration which the coach showed at the team hotel due to any media or any other small issues (do you think they wont have such petty issues ?).

    So, you see what I was driving at. But essentially the point was, I am concerned with this whole attitude thing if it turns out to be a team problem. If it affects their game, if it affects their buidlup. As in the case of Wright, we saw he sorted it out, I hope GC can do it too. First lets see if there is a problem to be sorted out at all ? As I said above, Aus also may have many issues, still they are a great team. So lets see if we can also be a good team, despite some of these issues.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:13  

  • Worma! I mostly agree with your comments about Sachin & his Ferrari but I beg to differ about it being a private matter between him & Govt. It is a big customs duty and his non-payment means loss to Govt. treasury , which in turn means loss to public.

    As a matter of principle, duty should not be waived just because a high profile guy is involved. In the same vein, we should recognize that SRT did not choose the easy path of paying bribes to customs officials. It could have been so easy for him to do it. But, I also think that duty should not be waived simply because SRT requested. I am happy with the end result, if indeed Ferrari paid the customs duty.

    By Blogger flute, at 16:20  

  • worma, got your point abt the Aussies having issues. Who said they didnt (the rumour about the argument b/w Warne and Ponting says that alls not well there)? All I am saying is they are accountable for their mistakes, it seems Indian cricketers are not...

    I dont think there would be so much smoke without a little fire, at least. Maybe, this one particular PC incident may have been blown out of proportion but work ethics efinitely have to imporve. These are not school kids who the coach can correct, with the threat of a cane. These are fully grown men; to be part of a national team, they should have some kind of professionalism in them too. It does seem like a lot of people have that lacking.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:27  

  • Apparently BCCI is going to get strict with players not showing up on time ... Reminds me of my school days ...


    http://cricket.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1209169.cms

    By Blogger Geoffrey George, at 17:52  

  • I like the fact GC is getting mad about this. For long cricket in India and Pakistan has been played almpost as an individual sport. A few dashing efforts here and there-no startegy, no coaching, no accountability.

    Stars were guranteed a few years of stay in the team and fitness was admired not mandated. But with the advent of big money, it has to be treated like any other business.

    No use having a coach unless he is allowed to enforce discipline. And penalties should mean fines and even suspension for missing team meetings, delayed arrivals and other mistakes. If players deserve to make more money than other sports there has to be professionalism associated with it.

    Now this does not mean that the player is not allowed to express his side of the story but if violations occured just because the stars think they can get away with it- it should not be tolerated.

    Despite Mohinder Amarnath's patriotic tirade in an effort to become the coach, installing discipline is one of the biggest reasons to have a foreign coach in the team. People like John Wright and Greg Chappel set an example by being disciplined and then they have every right to demand it too.

    Bob Woolmer's efforts have already paid dividends in Pak (BTW Javed Miandiad was one of the best batsmen but also one of the worst coaches in cricket). Hopefully Team India will deliver a similar turnaround if GC is not reigned in.

    By Blogger suraj, at 18:31  

  • "In fact, while Chappell, Gloster, trainer Gregory Allen King and bio-mechanics expert Ian Frazer sported India blazers, Ganguly, who addressed the media at 10 pm, was surprisingly casually attired. And, needless to say, the India skipper did not even care to apologise for his unpunctuality."

    We have a dress code for press gatherings?? This report looks written by Prem :)) Is that so?

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 19:25  

  • :)) i note that rediff carefully avoided mentioning the clutter caused by the media, mobbing GC and forcing him to leave until sanity prevailed. Of coure, why should they when SG can be bashed, eh?


    "did not even care apologize for the unpuctuality" - that vile, uncouth fella! the least he could have done is wear an India(BCCI?) blazer. :-)

    now, this is another article that rediff can publish alongside that famous interview with SG abt Ranbir.

    By Blogger chatura, at 19:46  

  • Would a dress code for press meetings be a bad thing? Do we lose something in that?

    By Blogger KB, at 19:58  

  • no, kb. I think it is good to follow some tradition and formality in all these matters.

    given that SG was late, now they wanted him to go dress up and delay the meeting futher?

    rediff's article(and bias) is hilarious. essentially, i agree that these super-heroes do need a rap on their knuckles.

    By Blogger chatura, at 20:08  

  • Chatura,
    I am not denying an anti-SG sentiment by Rediff or Prem, and yes Prem u like 75% of the public do have an anti SG POV, albeit a bit stronger than most others, but the point of the matter is simple: Captain leads by example. If u are expected to be somewhere int he morning, then u be there. If u r late then u make sure u r properly attired when u do make ur appearance. Would u accept such tardiness, if the Indian emissory/ambassdor to US/UN did it?
    ITs the same logic

    By Blogger KB, at 20:36  

  • Speaking of ambassadors, I know of one such IFS guy who was the ambassador to Oman (Middle East) during my child hood days. He was invited to preside over our annual school festival. The function was supposed to have started at 630pm, His Excellency arrived promptly 2 hours past that drunk and harldy able to stand up. Our Principal had to ask his wife (think she was sober) to do the prize-distribution. We all learnt how we should behave as ambassadors of the country from that episode.
    By the way, H.E.'s initials are G.W., if anyone cares to know, he continues to hold plum positions in foreign affairs.

    By Blogger Toney, at 20:48  

  • Touche!!!

    By Blogger KB, at 21:04  

  • Prem..Here is a link to an article in a new Zealand paper about the tri-series...
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=4&ObjectID=10342216

    The interesting bit is here..
    "New Zealand could catch India napping on Friday. Sourav Ganguly's team have yet to arrive in Bulawayo -- the latest estimate of when they will do so is on Thursday -- and they don't seem to have much enthusiasm for the tournament"..

    Wonder how they came to that conclusion?..The fact that the cricketers did not reach on time in Bombay :-)

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 21:10  

  • kb, sorry, I didnt mean to sound cynical/hopeless :-)

    Wasnt Kyle Mills the one with the suspect action? Didnt see any of their cricket since the Ind NZ series before the WC 2003...

    By Blogger Toney, at 21:44  

  • kb, i agree it wasn't professional at all and the trend changes.

    my point was something else. biased/selective reporting must also be questioned. and now watch for "quotes" and "comments" from waqar younis to the gardener at Lords on this matter :-))

    By Blogger chatura, at 21:55  

  • Hi Prem,
    What is this ? - "idolators" ...."icons, I said, do note -- not icon" - You sound like tuning to Jerry Farewell ??? Let me tell you, we don't worship, we are a nation of addicts. You too one of them, why to blame others ? Look elsewhere for Saurav's acts. Write a column in rediff mentioning this precisely, instead of hit and run, that is to suggest that Saurav Violated the norms/or courtesy etc, and you hope he would take care of that next time. Worship, even to a stone will make you write that. The language you used has two meanings and you know it !

    By Blogger b, at 02:22  

  • Has any of these reporters verified and confirmed that BCCI did inform the players before giving the players the third degree? BCCI seems to be shifting the blame to the state associations..?

    By Blogger chatura, at 03:23  

  • Some of the comments here are about anti-SG comments, and I was/am anti-SG, knowing well that a talent like SG could hit few centuries in Zimbawe and bounce back to supreme( though unlikely considering his attitudes). As a person, I often sympathize with SG, he hasn't shown enough of what he is capable of, considering his experience and talent( whatever be the stats). beyond a person he is a captain, and self doubts ( 20 ball 5 runs after decades of cricket!) are not good to be emulated, nor rationalized. So I appreciate Prem for having understodd some of Ganguly problem in his own way and his own language, and he has expressed it. This infinitely better than the reporter in telegraph. However I wouldn't say that Ganguly worships self apprehension, because of issues of language and meaning. BTW Prem, wrt my previous post, I too am an addict, of atleast visiting your blog and for last few days finding it will be updated tomorrow, since you are travelling today !

    By Blogger b, at 03:49  

  • Ironically such a thing would never have happened with Dravid. I met him only once, but have following the man in the media and interviews and find him to be a gentleman. And not the sweet wussy type. Tough as anything you would ever see, but his sense of discipline and proriety is such that it is great.

    Another reason why he would have done better as a long term captain.
    But when a team selects Agarkar, you can't expect them to have much in the gray matter department.

    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 04:07  

  • Change: Prem said it right. Jornalists cannot bring about the change in the BCCI. None whatsoever.

    But people can, people have brought about changes in nearly every damn thing in the world - when they were forced to do it, incensed enough to do it, inpired to do it.

    I wrote an article once long time ago in the matchfixing era. Redifff did not publish it, maybe was too contoversial or provoking - will dig that one from the backups - but we need to form a lobby group, funds can't be such a problem, right people tapped at the right time will get you a lot. But just imagine...

    The ICFC Indian Cricket Fan Club, a well organized office, computerised. With members all over the world, and when we see something ridiculous, we fax the BCCI, send letters in millions. Send faxes till the machine jams, not just that we do the same to the sports minister, we do that to every damn man connected to cricket, directly....

    Oh the scenarios one could think of to legally be the pain in the fat butts....

    Shakeel

    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 04:22  

  • Great blog.
    I am tempted to comment on this issue.
    To me this is symptomatic of the over analysis that goes on with the Indian cricket team. It is a pretty sad of affairs that leads followers to whip themselves into a frenzy of righteous indignation over how well the team treated a group of gathered journalists asking the same old cliched questions. Quite frankly, their main role is to perform on the pitch and I don't give the rat's hind extremeties whether they turn up at a hotel on time or not. I am sure if you analyse every move anyone makes closely enough you are bound to identify such less than Gandhian traits. And what coincidence that the outrage inevitably originates from journalists who are the aggrieved party in this instance in that they didn't manage to get enough time with the players.
    Frankly whether Ganguly treats journalists with comple disdain or not is totally irrelevant to me - if he goes on to score a hundred in the next game and wins it for India. It is also not clear to me how one can draw a link between one act and performce on the cricket field. Some of the least disciplined performers in the past ( Botham, Gower etc) have been extremely productive performers on the field of play. still, I guess this generates valuable fodder for cricket columnists when there is no action on the cricket field !

    By Blogger Piyush, at 04:43  

  • Good point Piyush.

    You don't realize how bad indian cricket is till you see it from Prem's eyes :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 07:17  

  • Piyush- If India had a winning percentage of 80 % and was #2 or #1 on ICC ODI or ICC Test rankings, then this news item wouldnt have surfaced. Bottomline, everybody loves a winner.

    By Blogger sachin, at 08:23  

  • Piyush, I can understand being somewhat lenient to excellent performers but Ganguly has not done anything exceptional over the last few years in the ODI to suggest this. Moreover, times have changed. Everyone in the team needs to be fit and disciplined. If Dravid and Tendulkar can do it, why not Ganguly ? I believe, RD and SRT, have played well against better attacks and when it matters, better than SG. It also shows an utter lack of respect for your team mates and the fans, who matter the most. One thing that stands out is his fielding. It does not take much effort to go from a poor fielder to an average fielder, though it takes more effort to go from an average to a good fielder. But I have not seen any improvement in his fielding nor his catching, both of which are absolutely poor. Nowadays, everyone is supposed to field well atleast in ODIs and if the captain does not show the way, who else will.

    By Blogger sv, at 10:32  

  • I should add that all these small small things, ( which is called "attention to details" ) add up to make our Team India, a rank bad ODI team, only better than Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and WI ( of which WI and Bangladesh are improving and if we don't improve, even these teams will beat us convincingly )

    By Blogger sv, at 10:35  

  • SV, I don't disagree with you but you have gone on a slight tangent. I was talking about the irrelevance of whether the team checked into the hotel on time or not and you are referring to Ganguly's fielding. it's obvious that being fit and good at fielding is extremely relevant to the player's contribution on the cricket field. however, if we start looking at every small issue in someone's life ( like punctuality, respect for journalists, being a good husband etc etc) and link every single negative aspect of someone's personality to their performance on the cricket field, we are setting a bar that most of us ourselves would not be able to meet in our personal lives and professions.
    Besides it is utterly pointless apart from generating column inches during the low season.

    By Blogger Piyush, at 10:39  

  • Piyush, I was referring to your comment about discipline and performance about players like Botham and Gower. And being fit and fielding aspects are part of that. I don't care about SG or anyone else in the Team India about their personal habits, like being a good husband etc. But being punctual is essential, as it shows that you care for the team. Imagine being in a meeting, where your boss does not show up. If he does that constanly, he will infuriate many people within his own team. And talking to journalists is his job. Journalists like him have a job to do and so he should respect that. Since he is representing Team India, he has a responsiblity here to keep an appointment and to treat them with respect. Everybody deserves that. I feel, RD is better at doing this than SG. T

    By Blogger sv, at 10:52  

  • Treating journalists with respect is a noble aspiration from an Indian captain but these things work two ways. If you read some of the trash that passes as journalism in india you will know that a lot of journalists don't treat the players with much respect either ( in case of ganguly, you just have to look at how his personal life was splashed in sordid ways ).

    Personally speaking a player's treatment of journalists is spectacularly irrelevant to me. I judge them on their main job and that is performed on the field.

    I don't stop enjoying Marlon Brando movies even thouh he was a moody, sullen and unpunctual so and so and by the same token I will enjoy a good Ganguly innings whether or not he keeps the journalist masses happy with his off the field behaviour.

    By Blogger Piyush, at 11:11  

  • Piyush..
    I guess the point here was more to do with treating the team and coach and his position (captain)with respect..While I agree with you that the main job is on the field..I also think that a well-oiled and happy team contributes to that. GC was certainly not happy and that might (or might not)indicate the thoughts of few other players...

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 11:19  

  • Ilovecricket, I just think we are in danger of overanalysing every single thing about the players and spin what are relatively trivial incidents into massive issues. Yes of course these things would be great to have but no one was analysing the indian captain's punctuality in checking into hotels and attendance at press conferences when India were winning consistently not so long ago. Ganguly hasn't suddenly become a different person overnight. Now that the team is struggling a bit every single thing gets picked on and a media scrum ensues.

    By Blogger Piyush, at 11:26  

  • Piyush...
    Agreed that this is a trivial incident and has been commented too much upon already....Lets hope that SG and RD and the entire Indian team both do extremely well on this tour..

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 11:45  

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