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Sight Screen

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Open thread for the day

The dust, for the day, appears to have settled, so will leave this thread open for you guys -- for any thoughts, comments, opinions, links you want to share. Till tomorrow, guys, take care.


  • Prem:
    As expected a compromise is worked out between GC and BCCI (note here it is BCCI and not SG for any good reason you can imagine!) The impending status quo will surely bring more havoc in the near future. I'm eagerly waiting for that day! May be then on someone will take the stride in restructuring the administration and then the team. This is no husband wife quarrel who fight till they hit the sack. As you said, GC is now termed as "aussie" liar. Poor GC I really pity him. The whole of divided Indian cricket fan club will surely feel this as a victory for lies and compromises spear headed by JD. Hats off to you Mr JD! you are one hell of a CEO.
    I seriously feel GC is ruining is life being a "coach" for a team run by the most irresponsible administration. He is sure to face the same treatment what JW got before he threw his hands up in air. (I'm sure TM and JW will be laughing their heart out and thanking the good god.)
    If GC is going to continue for the big bucks which is thrown at him (not for what he is but just to "lie" and compromise with BCCI babus), I swear by anything he will not be credited for what ever he has done or does. I just have one word for Mr GC, this team doesnt deserve and is not worth your stature, please quit gracefully before your forced to.

    By Blogger soulfreezer, at 21:37  

  • http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/220348.html

    A link to What Really Happened in the Review Committee meeting?

    "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. "

    Very interseting. I wonder if a compromise has been struck to have Ganguly remain captain of the ODI team, while Dravid will become test captain.
    This theory would also be consistent with a Ganguly statement, after the meeting, of really needing to improve in one-day cricket. I actually think this may be a decent solution. Ganguly may still rediscover his form in the shorter version of the game, however, I would love to see him coming in at #5 in the one-day format, where he can come in once the ball is older and can really attempt to tonk the spinners.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 21:40  

  • A small piece:

    By Blogger Anshul, at 22:55  

  • I wonder why guys like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar don't speak and protest at the un-professional attitude of Board and Team. Especially, whatever happened in last 2-3 weeks, is a disgrace to Indian cricket.

    RD and SRT have enough power to say these things are wrong, they expect better mgmt from board. They should boycott tours. Without RD, current team will not cross 200 in any form of cricket.

    Problem is people who have and can influence don't speak. Indian cricket followers are struck with goondas ruling the roast.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 23:50  

  • Hullo. Everybody seems to be so unhappy with this whole review meeting fiasco. As a die-hard Indian fan, I am not. What is a Sri lanka Series or a SA series when compared to real long term aspects of indian cricket. See the good things that have come out already :-
    1)There are talks that this regional selection policy is being questioned. This is Good right ?

    2)Media is now a large wounded tiger. Except for one Dr.LP Sahi (honorary title conferred for his brilliant and genuine analysis), the whole bunch of media folks came to one and only one verdict. However, the board has snubbed the media with their own verdict. Big time... The battle will now become a war. Every match will be scrutined, every tit-bit of dressing room information/gossip will be reported and analyzed. Media is going to gain more power and increasingly more say. This is Good right ?

    3)The email leak is the best thing that happenned. The whole world now knows what the coach thinks of the non-performers. Every player is now out his comfort zone and that is a good thing. Right ?

    4)The so called 'performace criteria' will slowly but surely pave the exit route for non-performers. Say, Ganguly chooses Zaheer in ODI (we all know that he eventually will) and we can all expect that will be a huge legside wide to start with and many more peachy under-the-nose half-volleys to help the opposition gain momentum. Ganguly will come out and say, "Bowlers did not do too well...", but, somebody surely is noting down each individual's marks out of ten...Only good things can come out of this. Right ?

    5)Ganguly is now allowed to play. Hopefully, SRT is still unfit to play for some more time and Ganguly gets to Open. Remember the recent phenomenon of Bond Vs Ganguly. The words of Dileep Premachandran is still echoing in my mind - "Bond had Ganguly jumping around like a scadled cat". Ha Ha Ha. Now, try to apply the same pattern to say, Vaas Vs Ganguly (or) Ntini Vs Ganguly in the near future...Only one outcome is possible. Somebody is going to get disgraced and booed out of cricket never to come back for good. If he was sacked as a captain today and allowed to play in the 11, who knows how this could have gone and how long he would have stayed. We are on fast track now for sure.

    In summary, this is the best thing that has happenned to Indian cricket for a long time. Please be a little patient. The end result that we are all hoping for is very near. Maybe, this SL series or the latest by SA series...

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 02:31  

  • Wow...checking the updates on my mobile, and it does seem a lot actually happened in that review meeting, unlike most here were complaining! Ofcourse it wud seem no tough decisions were taken, but now it seems there were. Sure no one was fired right away, but people are put on notice. Thats y the second review. And thats how its done in most professional org as well! And Prem, wud u still maintain that the whole issue around Chappell is about players shying away from hard-work?

    By Blogger worma, at 07:00  

  • And the way Chappell has involved people without the slightest bit of professional concern or respect of their achievements is bound to show.
    Sample this
    Wright takes a swipe at Chappell


    By Blogger DDirector, at 07:44  

  • I feel really bad for Chappell. The only support he had was outside the BCCI boardroom. Within, the players were protecting their playing futures, the puppet manager, Chowdhary, was echoing Godfather Dalmiya's words, and Gloster was probably worried about his own future in international sport.

    I mean, that story about Chappell turning up for the toss instead of Ganguly - how far-fetched is that? Yet, people believe it. For all the anti-Ganguly rhetoric, for Ganguly creating this whole issue by telling the media he was asked to stand down as captain, for all the online ballots cast on the issue, for all the posts we made in Chappell's favour, Ganguly emerged unscathed, even as Chappell was made to look like a paranoid firangi idiot. What a shame. But its all good. Karma will come in the form of the English and Sri Lankan teams, and all these wrongs will be set right. Can't wait to see Harmison, Vaas and gang skewer the Indians.

    Y'know, just because Ganguly's Indian doesn't automatically make him honest. Fine, Chappell could be lying too - but under the circumstances, I reckon the Ganguly-Dalmiya-Ranbir axis comes across as more evil than a bunch of White trainers and support staff. I just don't get why Chappell is even staying on. I wish he'd return to Australia - come home mate, the media will make you better money - and when you're back, thrash the living daylights out of Paul Wilson (WHO?).

    By Blogger Cow Tse Tung, at 08:29  

  • Do we understand a Coach?
    Shuddhasheel Majumdar

    Being a professional Trainer and Coporate Coach, I was intrigued at the overall controversy that was happening in the middle since last fortnight or so. That set me thinking, whether we truly understand the meaning and essence of a coach.

    Let me begin with some theory. What is a Coach?

    “In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction and instruction of the on-field operations of a team or of individual players. Coaching entails the application of sport tactics and strategies during the game or contest itself, and usually entails substitution of players and other such actions as needed. Most coaches are former participants in the sports in which they are involved, and those who are not have usually had extensive training in the sport in question.”

    That definition makes the Coach a very integral figure in the game - One who is responsible for short term (match by match) or Long term (Season or a period) vision and strategy of a team. He is the one who is the master mind in setting a long term vision, breaking it into short term goals, identifying a work path to achieve those, and knitting a work ethic (mission statement) that would enable the team through the path identified. This is easier said than done. As this involves assessing the present, caliberating what is at hand – individuals, system, culture, processes, beliefs, disciplines. And further mark the changes that are required. Once done, he must identify that out of the available individuals what is pool of skills, attitudes, special abilities, merits etc., that is at hand and a gameplan to form a positive synergy so as to fit into the broader scheme of things.

    Successful coaches play a very vital role at this stage as they frankly put across to the management who hires him what the present scenario could do and if there is a change required and the reasons for the same. Its then on the management to take a call (sometimes serious decisions). For this to happen it is imperative for the management to believe in the overall vision and goal. It needs to understand that there will be a Paradigm shift and every shift in paradigm will bring its own pains and challenges. Once they are ready for it, it is on them to back their coach in this for him to do his job in creating the changes and surge towards the ultimate goal.

    Now moving to practicality, there are many examples of Coaches who have acted in the above manner and have been tremendously successful. They have created history. But that was possible because the establishment backing them stood by them and did not give into challenges arising out of the Paradigm Shifts. Herbert Brooks, (Coach for the “Miracle” US Ice Hockey Team, 1980 winter Olympics), Guus Hiddink (Coach for National Football Team South Korea for the 2002 World Cup), Coach Carter, Duncan Fletcher (Present Cricket Coach for England) are few names that pop in mind. And believe me there are many such stories.

    Coming to the issue at hand, Messrs. Greg Chappell, has been desperately trying to do some of the basics as mentioned above. Now, a few of his actions can be questioned or debated about, but more or less he is trying to tell the establishment that if you have to take Indian Cricket to the next level, which is a completely utopian level by Indian Standards, you have to come out of your present whims, fancies, beliefs, customs etc. You cannot be successful in a team sport with Hero Worship. You have to develop a system where everyone is a hero, to each other and complement each other. Records don’t mean anything if they can’t add to the glory or performance of the team. It is up to the establishment to understand Mr. Chappell’s concern. If left to him entirely he will deal with this situation with equal use of Whip and Pat. But we in India have the culture of not trusting an outsider completely. We believe in Cushioning our child from so called “evils” (read Teachers)

    I remember when as a child, one of my classmates was thrown out of the class for a month for indiscipline and not completing tasks, his parents created a furore that resulted in the Teacher concerned to be ousted from the school. This mentality prevails in India by and large. Our ward is never wrong. We still find instances of celebrity children taking law in their hands and their parents and well wishers damning the law establishment for causing mental trauma. There are celebrities who have gotten away with blue murder, quite literally.

    The present scenario is not different. We are not able to digest that our hero can be wrong. So what if he is indisciplined? So what if he is slightly lax about his fitness and exercises. So what if certain boisterous Sikh does not care a damn about diet charts. But they are our heroes and they can get away with blue murder. Who is an outsider to say they are wrong or indisciplined?

    Modern contemporary world does not have any scope for indiscipline. And the world has been proving that to us time and again. We haven’t shown any major improvements in the aporting arena though we have progressed leaps and bounds in other corporate fields. Because there we have adopted international Best Practises, become disciplined, have been ruthless. But Indian Sports like to remain in the shadow of this make believe world of ethos and culture. The question that intrigues me and many out there is - Why should a Coach come and learn Indian Culture? You have appointed him so that he can bring in International standards in Indian Cricket, they where is the question of him becoming an Indian.

    I have been appalled at various comments on Chappell, being a liar and fickle minded. Because as a part of the paradigm shift exercise we are not looking at the real issue, i.e. we are riddled with many mediocre ways of thinking. When the coach says “Sachin Tendulkar cannot be the same player that once he was” the nation is upset. Isnt that a truth? Did we analyse what he meant to say? Did we even think positively and feel that all he might be saying is Sachin has overcome that carefree youth who used to cosign the leading attacks of the world to flames with his sheer abandon? He is a different mature bloke now who plays by merit and wants to occupy the crease and there by enhance misery of the opponent? No. We chose to interpret that politically and brandish the choicest of negative expletives on the Coach. Ditto, with Saurav Ganguly. Whats wrong in his analysis with Ganguly? Isnt he not lazy? Isnt he not unfit? Does he dive like a Sanath Jayasuria or even Inzamam Ul Haque? Arent most of the batsmen unsure of running between the wickets with him? Arent bowlers picking his wickets up rather predictably with sheer ease? Then why are we getting offended with our Coach.

    Well, maybe for the first time in Indian Cricker you have an authority who has taken a power center of Indian Cricket head on and showed the entire country a stark reality. He might not have spent many unnecessary grey cells on coming out unscathed from the review meeting yesterday, but on the contrary got some real renaissance decisions out of the establishment w.r.to Selection Committee structure, methods of selections and Evaluating Performances, and Performance being the primary criteria for selection. He didn’t believe in wasting time to save his posterior, rather felt it wise to utilize the moment and get something fruitful agreed upon for the future. While, many so called experts, felt very proud in announcing or rather branding the Coach as liar, but he got what he wanted. A certain commitment from the establishment that is going to form the basis of the future days. So if players feel insecure after this, well there is only one and a simple way to be out of it – Perform. And isn’t that the main reason to appoint a coach?

    I remember watching the movie “Miracle” (Starring Kurt Russell) on the legendary Herb Brooks. And the opening scene when the Coach has called over 100 probables for selecting the winning team, he addresses the gathering “I am not here to make friends, if you want to make friends there is the Assistant Coach. I am here to win the Gold Medal.”

    I for one am very happy with the way Chappel has gone about his job. Just think if this email would have been discreet and confidential would there be such furore. Then it would have remained as a quiet study by the coach shared with the establishment. Such studies are a very integral part of the Coaching process. They are real feedback, that the stablishment need to act upon and not review. Well, Chappell for one behaved as if it was the same, and went about talking about the future and in turn got certain commitments out of the establishment. Whereas our skipper rather than talking of the future preferred to advocate himself with some insignificant documents and incidents that are well etched in the Cricketing History, and holds no relevance for the future.

    This is the difference between a Visionary and a blind Hero. Its time we understand what science is getting into place – because it is a well evolved science that delivers huge results, rather than losing ourselves into the murky world of who is right and who is wrong?

    Players have to undergo this paradigm shift, accept the pain and move forward. Incidentally the players (as seen in the last couple of tournaments) who have actually shown benefits are some of the younrgsters who don’t have the starry airs in their heads. Notable cases being Mohd. Kaif and Irfan Pathan, who have always been hailed for their impeccable work ethic. I am sure there would be more who will join the bandwagon soon. Some will fall by the wayside, but then we will realize what was the so called flab in our team which was hampering us from bending down flexibly to pull up our socks.

    The Writer is a Certified Corporate Trainer, and conducts Organizational Development Programs on a regular basis

    By Blogger Sheel M, at 09:06  

  • Prem, please see this report from Mid-Day -- http://web.mid-day.com/sports/national/2005/september/119728.htm . In particular, the point about the Laxman incident:

    • Chappell’s allegation: Lack of support for VVS Laxman.
    • Ganguly’s response: The convenor of the selection committee, S K Nair (present at yesterday’s meeting) will confirm that I requested the selectors to include Laxman (in the Test and one-day squads), something Greg did not want. However, he said just the opposite in his email.

    Seriously, it can't get any worse than that. Either Ganguly is still spreading lies about Chappell's opinion of Laxman, or Chappell lied his balls off in his email. Is this still a matter of miscommunication?

    By Blogger idlivada, at 09:12  

  • Sheel M...Nice write up.Good for the books.
    Would have appreciated if u had also touched upon what an ideal coach should be doing when one of his wards is going thru' a difficult phase.Discourage him and make him feel unwanted or encourage him and make him realize the need for betterment of his performance by having an useful conversation.SG may be a grown up man but every human needs that bit of 'soft' approach once a while.
    Hope you look at the other side as well

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 09:54  

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