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Sight Screen

Thursday, September 01, 2005

One more selection committee story

In my mailbox, four different mails -- all asking, in different ways, the same question: is the selection committee as Machiavellian as I made it out to be? And secondly, why hasn't someone, anyone -- Tendulkar, Ganguly, Wright, whoever -- spoken about it?
To answer the first, again, I can think of many examples -- but the one that most clearly underlines the convoluted ways the committee can dream up to get to a pre-arranged conclusion is this story, again from my archives. (It's a grim story -- with one amusing sidelight. At the time, the BCCI, and the selectors, were reportedly very upset with this piece, which they privately suggested was a fabrication. But then, at another meeting shortly after, I asked Lele -- see the gent sitting there in that pic, with the self-satisfied, 'I don't have to take any of this heat' look on his face, while poor Desai squirms? -- what happened to the threatened suit. Arre yaar, he said in his typical style, tujhe kuch kaam nahin kya? Why do you go raking all this up? That was it. Fabrication? Nope, he didn't say. Any denial of what was said here? Nah, not till this day).
And this in turn answers the second part of the question -- no one speaks out, because everyone is insecure. I did hear that Wright intends to write his memoirs, reasonably soon (it would have to be -- if he wrote ten years down the line, who would remember, or care?). If and when that happens, it could open a few cans of worms. Though Wright, I suspect, will likely not go the whole hog, he has been so incensed about the tricks the selection committee plays (on one occasion, they deliberately told him the meeting was in the evening, and then held it in the morning -- and when he asked, they went, ooops, someone made a mistake), he is likely to go to town on that aspect.
Can't wait.


  • Prem...had pulled this link from your earlier posted stories and shown it in comments already. Seemed important in the context of the Sachin statement to you 'it doesnt work that way yaar'. Some were trying to suggest that he didnt do enough, this story shows that he was 'trumped' when at the height of his popularity, had spoken out against it, and the facts were there for the public to see, and react. Ofcourse no angry mobs lynched the BCCI members or the selection committee.
    Btw, do you recall if there was a similar 'story' behind Sachin being 'made' to open the innings in Nz ? I seem to recall something about it, but rediff wasnt around then. Any clues ?

    By Blogger worma, at 18:30  

  • (on one occasion, they deliberately told him the meeting was in the evening, and then held it in the morning -- and when he asked, they went, ooops, someone made a mistake),

    Already tried this context once before.. but here goes again (last time I promise), Harry Potter Book 5, The trial :-)

    Talk about a colonial hangover... and bureaucracy

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 18:39  

  • worma: Actually, no, I never heard of any conspiracy -- Sachin never spoke about it, so I don't have any first hand info anyways, be best I guess to let that one go outside off. As you said, I wasn't around at the time -- or at least, not around cricket.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 18:50  

  • another one, but not very good...


    By Blogger Yule, at 20:20  

  • Right on eevry count Prem.

    There was a piece I wrote for you, seems eons ago. Remember.



    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 21:20  

  • SA,
    Are you Shakeel Abedi?:) By the way, thats a great dream from him and I'll be even more prouder to be a fellow countryman of SRT if he ever does that. Having said that, I think SRT has resigned to the fate that he can do no more to better the BCCI and its functioning. We all think of him as super man. And justifiably. But he doesnt; he's too modest for that.
    I think this is what SRT thinks: I have tried in the most gentlemanly of ways to do something against this evil organization. But, even venting my slightest frustration by walking out of a room in protest has resulted in me being tainted as a bad captain who couldnt even handle his batting because he cannot take the pressure of captaincy. My aim in life is to do my job most sincerely. And my job, as I saw it when I was a kidold, is to do my best in everything I am entrusted with. I will continue to do my job as well as I could . I am a firm believer in the Almighty and I am sure that my actions will find favour with him, if no one else. So far, my conscience is clear. When I am done with cricket, I want to look back and say proudly that in spite of all the evil that was around me, I was, not for a moment drawn into it. I never let my country men down.

    Some people see it as a defeatist policy. In fact, I am sure everyone of us will like to see an SRT or an SG or an RD or somebody fix this. But as long as we do nothing than write millions on line on this, we have no right to judge any of these guys if they are forced to be part of their system. If we take SRT to be a specific example, there's nothing he wanted to do other than play cricket. How could he think of ever risking to lose that by trying to do, what in his mind, is the impossible? To speak of the intensity of that mind, I remember (either reading or hearing) Bhogle once. He said that he happened to have a casual game of table tennis with SRT. Casual for Bhogle, that is. SRT was so intense and so focussed (he's supposed to be a damn good tt player by the way) that Bhogle almost regretted being in that situation. We have a few more like in him around us and our country is in safe hands.

    By Blogger Toney, at 21:43  

  • SA,
    I read your post again, my question for you was answered in that. Anyhow, please confirm :-)

    By Blogger Toney, at 21:44  

  • SA: Whoa!!! I really wish that had happened.
    Toney: This is exactly what I was arguing with Worma in the other thread. SRT, SG and all the other honest cricketers might feel strongly about the way BCCI and the selectors and other mandarins run the game but unless they actually confront it head on and call their bluffs it amounts to nothing because the slimy buggers will go to any length to malign these honest , hardworking cricketers.
    Like SA put it, Power & Clout thats what matters and for SRT a few years back it was all for the taking. No other cricketer not even SG, RD , AK or anyone else had that clout. What SRT did was vent his frustration to the journos and the slimy selectors and BCCI mandarins just bided their time and hatched their conspiracies to take SRT down.
    I wish SRT had a Chanakya kind of confidant who could have planned the whole thing out and cured Indian cricket of this terrible disease.

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 23:15  

  • That was written at the time of Matchfixing upheaval, Toney.

    And was relective of the frustration we feltand do.

    But on the regards of what can be done and I think you have it partially write. We can't do any more we are doing, write, vent our words. It is the people in power that have the ability to change things. One could say the same thing done by Dravid would have the effect or any other guy. But Sachin is Sachin. But as you said that is not in his nature. So it was a dream and left there.

    You and I cannot tackle or change BCCI. The fringe players cannot, but look at those player who have earned and have now a good amount of money to fall back on, maybe a kerry packer revolution could do thing.

    Point is, even Sachin or RD or SG cannot do alone. But what they can do is with a little boldness and tact, fire up the masses, and in turn the parliament. When the spotlight gets too intense something will be done.

    Who of course will bell the cat?
    SA is Shakeel Abedi

    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 23:24  

  • Okay, here is a scenario. Fiction of course and will remain there.

    The fourteen sat together, the squad and the GC. For a good measure they called in Wright as well. And decided.

    The meeting was held in secrecy, all the BCCI stooges who dog every footstep were sent on wild goose chases while they talked. The talks went on for hours.

    There are brilliant minds on the team, sharp minds that know atctics and strategy. Within two weeks three four of the top business firms had been contacted, promises were made and contacts signed that this core group of thirty or forty players would be well employed. And ESPN and was contacted, requested to give the team a little air time.

    There they declare that tehy have decided to not play for India anymore, that the decision is not due to any lack of patriotism, but in an effort to get the point across. However, India will not be deprived of good cricket, the team will play matches. To be watched for free and to be telecast by so and so network.

    The sponsors won't mind it because they would still be getting the exposure they want. The matches will be played with an even greater intensity.

    Oh you add on to that.....


    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 23:36  

  • Come to think of it, if Sachin were to request and ask, he might even be granted the opportunity to speak to the parliament. If he were to conduct the interviews, with deliberate thought, planning every move like a top noth presidential elections is chereographed, with emphasis on timing and punch, he could do wonders.

    One thing is that most of the top guns are bad talkers, but then what are Harsha Bhogle and Prem tyheer fro. One to train them for the emotive effect to create on television, the latter to write speeches and punch line to great effect. :)

    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 23:41  

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