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Sight Screen

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Inside out

The next few days should bring a host of insider stories relating to the review committee; gag order or no, the various parties are going to talk to their friends, and word will out, in little trickles.
The first such comes from Anand Vasu, on Cricinfo; the most significant part of the story relates to the review committee believing it's time to change the composition of the selection committee.
A dramatic change in the composition of the national selection panel is on the cards after the review committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India recommended that the system of picking one selector from each zone be done away with. The review committee believed that this would greatly reduce the chances of players being picked on regional bias rather than merit.

And secondly, this:
The review committee made several recommendations that will be taken up at the next working committee meeting of the board, to be held early next month - a salient one being that the selectors are considering a two-captain format, splitting the captaincy of the Test and one-day teams. The review committee believed that this would pose no problems for the players, for several senior members of the side had anyway played under more than one captain in their time.

I'd love to believe some at least of this will happen soon -- the sceptical (okay, cynical) part of me recalls an earlier post, relating to Mahindra's comment about the working committee:
Replying to a question, he said the committee's decision would go before the Board's working committee which can review. However, he expressed confidence that the working committee would not review it and these decisions would be implemented.

I hope this means the working committee will simply say yes boss, and institute review of the selection committee -- it's an issue commentators, journalists, past players, former coach John Wright, current coach Greg Chappell (heck, everyone except the BCCI honchos) have been calling for, for quite a while.
Meanwhile, that other bit about two captains makes me wonder if it's part of the compromise formula: That Saurav Ganguly will continue to lead the Test team, and in the 'best interests of Indian cricket' (damn that phrase, I'll start hearing it in my sleep soon), a new captain will be installed shortly for the one day series?
Finally, from Vasu, this merits attention:
Another aspect the review committee took strong exception to was the behaviour of certain members of the team on and off the field, and spoke of specific instances of misbehaviour during the tri-series in Sri Lanka.

Hopefully, action will follow?


  • Prem, at least the right noises are being made. The optimist in me is rejuvenated.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:25  

  • see ... toney .... me likes to think that the board offered all this to GC in the compromise ....

    i think GC made a pretty good deal .. here .....

    By Blogger srik, at 16:32  

  • Prem:

    What bad behaviour happened in Sri Lanka? I seem to have forgotten it.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:33  

  • Prem,

    The blog was more fun when I was reading about Aussie under-19 and women's junior tennis! This fracas and the endless streams of articles are mind-numbing and not really helping. (And maybe, in the end, that is what the BCCI really wants....people to wander away from the issue and not pay any attention and only look up when the next ODI series begins and hope floats anew for another meaningless ODI series).

    Damn! I just told myself never to comment on this pice of crap and I did not again. No mas, senor.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 16:34  

  • srik,

    I am hoping too that the compromise was more of a face saving rather than real deal

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:34  

  • So SG stays as captain for the Lanka series.. I wish he flops miserably with the bat against Lanka so that we get a new Test captain as well for the Pak and Eng series. On the flip side, does SG stay as Test captain even if he flops as batsman in the ODI series?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:35  

  • Prem , I disagree with your prediction reagrading two-captains. If they split captaincy , Ganguly will be out of the Test team , Not ODI team.

    By Blogger wonderloud, at 16:35  

  • i think what GC is doing is ... making all the right changes that will maximize his chance of surviving in the job ..... and he realized pretty early that with SG in the team ... thats not possible

    By Blogger srik, at 16:36  

  • wonderloud - but SG's captaincy record in ODI is much worse than in Test in recent times..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:36  

  • toney,

    the optimist in me says- DG to be captain for the test team, will receive 10 match ban for some behaviour (maybe running too slow and boring the crowd to death with his batting so by the time he comes back no JD, no Ranbir and perpetual retirement

    oh wishful thinking...

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:37  

  • SG not DG

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:38  

  • srik,

    It's sad that one player's place is guranteed no matter what his performance is

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:39  

  • so though i dont agree with all the accusation levied against SG by GC .... he is doing the right thing ...by trying to take SG out

    ( hell i dont care if GC claims SG slept with his grandmother, and failed to perform :-), so he has no fitness and shuld go )

    By Blogger srik, at 16:40  

  • ruchir,

    bad behaviour in SL was SG scored a 51 and took his pants off

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:40  

  • jaunty, how was ur trip mann? had fun or got too worried about the gas prices and decided to quit?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:41  

  • hey suraj .... i dont think SG place is guranteed .... esp if he performs like in the pak series (avg's 10 runs)

    By Blogger srik, at 16:42  

  • hopefully

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:45  

  • bad behaviour - wasnt that why ZK was dropped from the ODI team?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:45  

  • Tiger - That is true. But SG can always point the 10000 runs he scored in ODIs and short pitched bowling is less of a problem in ODIs than tests.And you don't have that many close-in fielders and not too many slips either.As a batsman , SG's ODI record is much better than the Test record.

    By Blogger wonderloud, at 16:50  

  • SG can never become a bad player and be dropped for that reason.. after all he has scored 15000 runs..

    I am sure SMG must be contemplating a return specially to the test matches..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 16:54  

  • Prem:
    You are wrong. Ganguly continues as ODI captain. Proof is: Chappell clearly wrote in his e-mail that GC told Laxman that Laxman has no place in ODI team. So, Laxman has no place in ODI, will only play tests under Dravid's captaincy. Our dear captain, will continue as ODI captain (probably come at Number 4, so that he won't have to worry about fast & short pitched bowling: Kaif proved he is a good No 3)

    By Blogger devatha, at 16:57  

  • One line from Vasu's article on CI caught my eye - SG became emotional when the allegation that he runs away from fast bowling came up.. he said , "what will the public think of me?"
    So the players actually care about what the public thinks of them! wow!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:02  

  • devatha,
    your reference to SG as dear captain reminds me of the Dear Leader in N Korea :)
    Prem's prediction of SG taking over the test captaincy might have been considering that GC's main aim is a settled team for WC07. In which case, good record or not, GC wont want SG in the team. He might have compromised with bearing with SG in the tests.
    I am not a huge fan of SG but sometimes, I wonder how upset the man will be (if he thinks his days are numbered). I am sure he'll feel bitter and victimized in spite of his own misdeeds. Sad that a person who took India to the next level has fallen to depths so low.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:06  

  • Tony,
    lets see how long the optimism remains merry. They should set some end dates for the the action plans to be implemented (if they make one ;) ).

    My concern is with the theroy of best selectors irrespective of zones.
    We need some mechanism to ensure emerging talent form a subdued zone gets noted (if not selected) at-least.
    The media will take from there on :)
    If the noises do make a difference, I would owe a lot to the media rather Chappel.
    At-times media has to be vociferous and scream- ENOUGH !!!! We can't take any more CRAP....

    reply to
    Toney said...
    Prem, at least the right noises are being made. The optimist in me is rejuvenated.

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 17:07  

  • I think compromise is on the line of what i have been thinking.

    1. Nothing will/should be told at the end of this review meeting. They really cant because media would have accused them of doing selectors job.
    2. SG would be removed as captain of ODI team and will be given 2 series to prove his worth as a batsman. We are playing 2 ODI series in next couple of months.
    3. Based on his performance in these two series he may or may not be retained in the test team. There since our records under him isnt that bad he may even continue as captain. But again he gotta perform in the coming 2 series which what Mehendra has said here.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:09  

  • pankaj, very true indeed.
    And also, the selection of the "best selectors" is a matter of intrigue. Who decides which people can act as good selectors? The criteria for selecting a selector should be defined too.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:09  

  • Devtaha bhai ..
    The Captain has to be from playing eleven in ODI's
    Get out of your cocoon for a
    minute and think rationally, does SG deserve a place in playing ODI ?
    you will find the answer yourself :)

    devatha said...
    You are wrong. Ganguly continues as ODI captain. Proof is---

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 17:13  

  • Sad that a person who took India to the next level has fallen to depths so low.

    >>Toney can you tell me which was the last Indian captain treated well by Indian Media and fans? Even Mighty SRT couldnt survive it.
    So do you think keeping all these examples in mind no player would be ready to take Indian captaincy?

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:15  

  • The voices had been low from last couple of years, it is not that SG was not getting noticed, but we could manage to play with 10 players, With the declining form of team and every player being given international matches to rediscover form we need 11 players to play with .

    Vick, Also If one(Cap) knows he can't perform his role(either as CAP or PLAYER) he should willfully get out in best interest of everyone.

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 17:22  

  • Reading some of these comments, makes me wonder - do the people here actually have the interest of Indian cricket at heart or do they simply want to see the end of Saurav Ganguly ?

    I mean people are wishing that he fail and be 'banished forever' ! I simply cannot understand this language. Guys - what if he does come back and play well ? Given his recent tribulations - it seems unlikely - but suppose he does - hasn't he produced a number of important innings for India ?

    It's quite amazing the amount of vitriol being poured on him and everyone making it sound like he simply waltzed into the Indian team due to regional backing and then stayed on without any contribution whatsoever for the last ten years (other than whipping Bangladesh and the weak Zimbabwe team of course !). Ganguly has never been a popular cricketer. Seems to be that he has always been under the scanner and his failures magnified and scrutinized much more any other player. And then whenever someone tries to support him - that person is branded a Bengali/Dalmiya-stooge etc. Its just like a certain Mr. Bush's 'you are either with us or against us' attitude.

    Having said all this, I do agree that on current form - Ganguly needs to sit out of the team and let others players a chance. IF the newcomers do not work out and if Saurav performs well in Ranji's - he should be allowed a comeback.

    By Blogger DeadCenter, at 17:26  

  • I want to offer an incentive to Muralitharan if he gets Gangu-teli out cheap this series, BUT helps India win otherwise: A few of us cricket fans will collect money to foot his tab the next time he visits Deepa Bar in Mumbai to hang out with his "friend" Tarannum *LOL*

    By Blogger Multy, at 17:32  

  • vick
    yeah, dont think the media has spared any captain. But which Indian captain hasnt deserved most of the flak?
    SRT did not produce the results. He was perceived to be in poor form as captain, which may nt be entirely true. But if a lot of rumours are to be believed, it seems he was given a hard time by his own cricket board.
    Azhar- when he was first replaced by Azhar, it was all poor form, right? Then the match fixing incidents during his second tenure as well as during SRT's second stint.
    Prior to that, Srikanth was fired after a decent Pak tour because, once again the Board didnt like him asking for a pay hike, right?

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:39  

  • Toney,
    I think it was you yesterday who were saying that no one will be willing to coach India. Or was it Ruchir? And was trying to point the same case here.
    And yeah i dont remember any captain(Rather very players) who were treated by Indian fans with respect at the end of their career. Just shows how flicking mind we are.
    SCG is in my opinion doesnt deserve all these brick bats. It cant be all his politics and all which have made us #7 in ODI's while we are still at 3 in Tests.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:54  

  • Prem:
    I don't know, whether that Selection committee not being on a regional basis will yield the desired results or not. For, in India, the administrators don't have any option but to support their political bosses. Even the IPS officers who are selected on the basis of merit, don't arrest a ruling party MP even though he has a Non-bailable Warrant issued by Supreme Court.
    I don't think the selectors (regional or merit based), will act in the right way, especially when Dalmiya still commands the BCCI.

    By the way, Tripathi: I don't think you know Cricket 2 months back. Every body who knows cricket will tell you that Ganguly's record is better in ODIs than in Tests. Go back to just 3 months. More importantly, don't count the Test Century in Zimbabwe and Test Half-century in Bangladesh. He doesn't deserve ODI place as well on current form, but Indian cricket has no option but to bear him, when Dalmiya is still there.

    By Blogger devatha, at 18:17  

  • Hmm, so the review committee [whose findings will probably not be challenged by the working committee] decides to go ahead and listen to GC's recommendations regarding selection.

    The disciplinary issue, instead of being made a laughing matter, would rate, at the very least, a sharp reprimand from the BCCI President.

    The allegations which weren't substantiable ended up not influencing the Board's opinion.

    So what exactly is it that the media is so furious about?

    Could Vasu and his ilk be annoyed because RSM didn't take the press as seriously as they wanted him to? It certainly seems to be the case if you take the basis of Vasu's ire - that Mr. Mahendra had failed to realise that 400 odd journalists had been waiting for so long...Well, bully for them. The media was waiting out of a love for their TRPs, not out of a love for cricket.

    Had anybody in this motley group actually cared about cricket, they would have struck to reporting the facts rather than maligning RSM. And had they done that, they might actually have realised the fact that captains and coaches are ideally not thrown to the media sharks for the sake of good ratings.

    I have questions for all of you, Prem as well as every other reader - If you had been the board President, would you have decided that SG ought to go even before both sides were heard [as Pawar did?]

    If you had been the Prez, would you have kicked out the captain on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations? Especially when the manager and the physio don't support the allegations?

    If you had been the President, would you have kicked out either SG or GC before reminding them to act like professionals and focus on the game? Would you have done that without exploring any other possibility simply because the media had successfully turned the issue into a huge circus and was now baying for blood?

    Would you have reprimanded the players of your team in media's full glare, or would you have decided to sort things out relatively privately?

    And if you were a player, which route would you want your Board President to take?

    By Blogger Ritu, at 23:49  

  • Most of the Indian Cricket captains were hounded in the media because the didn't see the writing on the wall and tried to hang on.

    Sunil Gavaskar is an honourable exception. He resigned from the captaincy on a high - after the ODI triumph in Melbourne in 1985 and then retired as a player after the 1987 world cup and after scoring 188 in the first innings at lords batting for the World XI.

    Loooking at Ganguli very objectively, he is finished as a player - whatever he may have achieved earlier. Thats the plain fact. His form has declined, his reflexes are slowing down and above all, as a batsman, he has been found out by most of the bowlers and captains around the world. His running between the wicket and fielding doesnt make it any easier for those watching him to support him now when he is failing in his prime job - to score runs. However, will he go?? No chance!! Only Gavaskar and Merchant said they wanted to go when everyone was asking WHY and not WHY NOT?
    So Ganguli will cling on as a lot of his sponsorship deals depend on his being the captain. And whe he is eventually pushed out and dropped he will sound hurt and surprised and say how he was badly treated in spite of his selless service to India Cricket and what he has done for Cricket in India. Thats how we Indians are and thats how things work in India..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:51  

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