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Sight Screen

Monday, September 19, 2005

Open thread on India

There's a Test match coming up -- which could, at least statistically, break India's drought of Test series wins outside of Indian soil (or more accurately, outside of the sub-continent).
Somehow, though, it doesn't seem important just now -- the turmoil within the team, and its need for speedy resolution, takes obvious precedence.
Over the weekend, bits and pieces of information dribbled in, which merely confirmed much of what we discussed Saturday. The cumulative feel is there is a clear cut schism now between captain and coach, forcing the board to even contemplate an outside liaison between captain and coach, probably a former player.
If that is true, and if that happens, it is about the worst thing that could happen to the team -- no outfit can function well when the two most important decision makers are not able to communicate with each other frankly, without third party intervention.
The situation now forces the board to take sides; major decisions are expected on or after September 25 (why that date? because by then, the planned review of the team's performance, involving GC, Gavaskar, Shastri and Venkat, will be over).
As the Chinese say, we live in interesting times. Be glad to hear your thoughts, on the issue at large -- will return, after a lunch meet, around 3 pm my time, and pick up the thread from there.

421 Comments:

  • another interesting variable is the scheduled BCCI elections this week. Will Pawar file his interest for the top position and once again take on JD and his mates? Will that change anything (selection biases, about captaincy or anything else)? I doubt....just a change in bias (and factionalism) probably!

    By Blogger Anand K, at 12:11  

  • Like cricinfor article mention Mahendra is short by some votes, they need punjab vote. Hence, YS in the team.

    All said and done, SG will be caprtain till 2007 or beyond. Good for Indian cricket.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:13  

  • And while all this is on...BCCI officials are busy worrying about elections....cool!

    By Blogger cartan, at 12:15  

  • If our defeat at Nagpur against Aussies has anything to do with Pawar faction (going by the reports, it seems plausible), I prefer Dalmiya to Pawar. Except for Dalmiya's obsession with Gangs, I think he did pretty good w.r.t Indian cricket. I just hate people who could plot India's defeat just to win BCCI chairmen's post.

    By Blogger flute, at 12:26  

  • yes, Saurav should lead the team for the next 40 years.

    If Saurav is man enough, he should have read a statement and apologised for the whole thing. Saurav came out the whole affair as an immatured kid.

    By Blogger G285, at 12:27  

  • more than that if the incumbent president mahendra loses to pawar (there r already speculatiosn that he will contest again), then we can expect for sure a lot of changes as Pawar and Dalmiya are known not be weilding the sword againbst each other for some time..

    mm Interesting turns can be expected in about 10 days I would think..

    By Blogger Balaji, at 12:32  

  • g285, yet lots of people think that it was inappropriate of the coach to even suggest that SG should sit out (after SG repeatedly and allegedly pestered him for an honest opinion). If the coach is just meant to keep his mouth shut, why dont we have Mallika or Mandira instead of G? Will make better viewing...

    Prem
    forcing the board to even contemplate an outside liaison between captain and coach, probably a former player.
    Prem, you mean like the batting coach Gavaskar during the Wright days? Thats not good news...

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:34  

  • There's a lot happening in indian cricket these days and sadly it's off the field which has gained prominence. I wouldn't be much surprised if the Indian fans follow English cricket more than India's outing. We all love the game a whole lot and the teams performance over the past year has done no good for the fans to hold their allegiance. It is kind of funny to see how the same team looks so good when they perform as a single unit. One thing which is common with any champion side is they perform as a SINGLE UNIT. Be it the mighty West Indies of the 70's and 80's or the Pakistanis under Imran, Srilankans under Arjuna or the Aussies under Steve Waugh.
    I think that's the major difference between the Indian team that played the world cup and this one. More than showing the door to SG or GC, I believe that forming a TEAM would do a world of good to Indian cricket. Until then individual brilliance could probably win a match two amidst losses. With Sachin getting his gear ready, we eagerly await to see if there could be a change..........................

    By Blogger Ragav, at 12:37  

  • As the Rediff article on the ceasefire mentioned, it's funny to hear that the captain himself needed to be motivated to face Zimbabwe!

    By Blogger Ramesh, at 12:47  

  • About the Pawar Dalmiya rift... There are no permanent enemies in politics.. Just permanent self interests..

    If Pawar wins the BCCI presidents post, what difference will that make?

    That BJP Union Law Minister (whatshisname) is a big shot in the DDCA.. And they dont have a freakin' ground for crying out loud :)

    Is Pawar going to corporateize the BCCI ?

    Is accountability going to be the BCCI byword?

    Are there goingt o be radical changes in the way we see cricket ( TV, grounds etc) amd the way the game is administered?

    If none of the above is going to happen, who cares if Pawar is the head honcho or mahendra?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:04  

  • Did you guys read about the "staged" patch up?

    http://in.rediff.com/cricket/2005/sep/19greg.htm

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:09  

  • http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/zimvind/content/story/219626.html

    Excellent article by Sambit Bal.

    By Blogger Chandan, at 13:11  

  • One more question - WHY IS THE EXPLANATION from GC?

    So does this mean it was HIS Mistake?

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:12  

  • The situation now forces the board to take sides; major decisions are expected on or after September 25 (why that date? because by then, the planned review of the team's performance, involving GC, Gavaskar, Shastri and Venkat, will be over).


    Where has this been mentioned?

    By Blogger Chandan, at 13:17  

  • We can bitch and complain about the BCCI but they are not going to change. At least not the way they are currently comprised.

    Also, no matter how much passion we show as fans and spectators, what goes on between the coach and the captain and the rest of the team is totally out of our control. At this point I feel like we are gossiping more than anything.

    At least the majority of us. Some of the folks on this blog, connected to the media, could have more information that someone like me because I have absolutely no idea what is going on in the dressing room and such.

    So given the lack of 'deep', 'honest', 'real' information, and depending totally on the media's take on it, I can only say that the earlier Ganguly and Chappell reconcile, the better. I still think that Ganguly may be the best bet for India at this point. If he can bounce back from his lack of form (and I did mention earlier that this series may actually be a blessing in disguise for people like him and Sehwag who are woefully short of runs), and get some confidence back, I think he may not be a bad choice to continue. After all, he has been the biggest supporter for GC as a coach.

    GC's statement does reflect that strength of the relationship. He mentions that the bond that he and SG have, has been strong enough to ignore the media's twist of how things have come about.

    There is no need to chop and change anything. It can only get worse if it does happen. How is Dravid supposed to feel if SG is dropped because of a public statement he made? Is Dravid going to be frank and open with the media? Is he going to be frank with his coach? No and no. It will become typically Indian situation where you save your ass and don't care about the team.

    It is quite unhealthy for the team at this point if large-scale changes are made. It is one thing to clean house when the going is tough and 'taking a loss' will not change much, but this exact team has done wonders in the past, so lack of form should not be a cause for major overhaul.

    Yes, there are real problems:

    1. Fitness of key players
    2. Lack of top order form
    3. Lack of spinning alternatives pursued by the selectors
    4. With the negativity in the dressing room, a lack of fighting spirit

    These certainly need to be addressed and the sooner, the better. Beating Zimbabwe is a given but at the same time, if the guys can use this series to get over some personal issues, they will be ready when the long season gets into top gear later in the year.

    By Blogger RPM, at 13:25  

  • My first comment on this blog :). Have been following the blog for quite some time and now more or less addicted to it. Sorry guys for deviating from the topic, I am sure u understand...
    Thanx Prem for providing us cric afficionados with so much info n givin us a platform to debate, express our views blah blah... I mean its just wonderful :) thanx again...

    N comin to the current state of indian cric, well, desperately lookin forward for Mr.Mehra to win the case.

    By Blogger wotsinanaim, at 13:25  

  • First Foreign Umpires, then foreign coaches and trainers - it is now time for a foreign(neutral) selection committee. Only then can we ensure team selection that is not based on regional interests

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 13:29  

  • Prem, having read the recent clarification from GC - he seems to have read out a written statement and this unfortunately almost seems like an apologetic GC trying to find his way out. I mean i cannot conclude anything else from his statements and get a feeling that he is trying to get back into the good books. Why do you think he is doing this? What is even more irritating is that SG seems to have distanced away from the media and not ready to make a statement or clarify what his stand is. I mean if SG comes along making a statement calling for truce - fine -- but doesnt seem to be on SG's 'To Do' things and i am not surprised given his big ego. Also on another note, what do you think will happen as a spin off due to this? As i see it, it is and will be impossible for SG and GC to work together and you are right, the board will have to choose one bloke. Who do you think they will go for?? Based on earlier reports, it was suggested that SG having to give up captaincy after the Zim tour is a foregone conclusion but based on GC's recent statement adds another twist to the story.

    By Blogger Harsha, at 13:47  

  • Any takers for this? Article published in the Indian Express.

    'Dalmiya never interfered in BCCI'


    Press Trust of India

    Posted online: Monday, September 19, 2005 at 2042 hours IST
    Updated: Monday, September 19, 2005 at 2046 hours IST


    New Delhi, September 19: The Indian Cricket Board on Monday promised to take 'remedial measures' to ensure that the recent spat between the coach and the captain during the tour of Zimbabwe was not repeated.

    "The Board will take remedial measures. There would not be any compromise on this issue," the BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra said.

    "I do not want to comment now on the reports that I have received because it may adversely affect the morale of the team" Mahendra told a private television channel.

    Ganguly raised a storm when he claimed that coach Chappell had asked him to step down as captain on the eve of the first Test against Zimbabwe.

    Both the coach and captain have now patched up with Chappell reading out a written statement expressing his desire to work with Ganguly in the future.

    On the captaincy issue, Mahendra said, "I had specifically instructed the Chairman of Selectors to inform the tenure upto which a captain has been appointed. The reasons for selection also should be mentioned".

    Asked whether his position was undermined by the clout of former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Mahendra said, "people who say so have themselves been under the shadow of others. Dalmiya has never interfered. I take his suggestions because of his experience".

    By Blogger rp, at 13:49  

  • How about foreign players too? Just give them Indian citizenship. Someone was mentioning the other day we can benefit a lot from someone like Taibu. :)

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 13:49  

  • dadagiri:

    nice idea! get Bevan, Klusener too!

    By Blogger rp, at 13:52  

  • Actually, it would be good to get foreign players to play Ranji just like English county cricket has foreign players

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 13:56  

  • Why buddhas yaar? Get them who either play for minnows or don't get chances in a strong team like Aussies. I also suggest a commentary team comprising only foreigners. And get the foreign 'Maalis' to juice up our pitches.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 13:57  

  • Ashvin, We need to have foreign administrators as well, because some of the selections has been due to board politics. The point is, we need to change the whole board setup. We need professionals at every level. Otherwise, the cricket team will always be those bunch of LOSERS that they are now.

    I mean, look at the Australian team. They have been dominating other teams for a decade. Yet, they find it fair that their performance comes up for review and take that objectively and NOT personally. Look at this Indian team, the captain, without any shame, makes a painstakingly long and might I add, a selfish and ugly century, just to keep his place safe against a bowling that at best can be equivalent to a first division club side and gets himself out the very next ball after he got to his century. How can one expect unity in this team ?

    We need professional set of people to run BCCI, where accountability is there at every level of functioning. Knowing BCCI, I doubt that it will happen.

    By Blogger sv, at 13:58  

  • ashvin, I think foreign teams were allowed to play Duleep last year. Or was it Ranji?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 13:58  

  • Dadagiri,
    India would love a keeper like Taibu. In his early 20s, decent keeper, fighting batsman... :) While all our propsective keepers have shown promise, no one seems to have gone to the next level.
    And yeah, even if we dont have a foreign selection committee, making the current group of guys (selectors, BCCI board members etc) accountable by removing their honourary positions will be a step in the right direction

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:59  

  • well...they may be buddhas...but they are still good enough to play from our team...

    By Blogger rp, at 14:02  

  • From an article in Telegraph...

    "According to The Telegraph’s sources, an even bigger worry should be that quite a few players haven’t “adjusted” to the coach’s ‘commitment to excellence’ mantra.

    Not that they themselves aren’t aiming high. It’s just that the difference between John Wright and Chappell’s work ethic — one isn’t suggesting the New Zealander was lax — is appreciable and quite a few want “more” breathing space"

    How does one go about strangling Mr. Sahi's 'insidious' comments

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 14:04  

  • can u fwd that Sahi link please?

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:06  

  • Here you go...

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050919/asp/sports/story_5256407.asp

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 14:10  

  • Toney,
    Totally agree. Taibu is way better than our keepers and now with Gilly's declining form, probably is in the top three in World cricket. Also agree compltely that the honorary positions in the BCCI have to go. I still remember those times when Lele used to make me laugh more than Johny Lever, Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav combined.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:12  

  • As Prem, Sambit Bal, et al point out quite correctly the rift between GC and SG has reached alarming proportions. Although they may have hugged and kissed for the media's benefit, it seems quite apparent that the rift is not going to be healed soon. Even if the selectors decide to retain SG as captain after the Zim tour and after all the pundits have made their recommendations, the thorn of disagreement will remain embedded in SG's heart. And this does not bode well for the team. GC may be palying the diplomat now but I'm pretty sure he does not rate SG very high on his list of team probables. So the decent thing for SG to do is to step down after the Zim tour and show some class. I have been a big fan of Sourav's for a number of years and it rankles to see this childlike arrogant behaviour from him.

    The maharajahfulness in our esteemed Sourav is indeed terrific.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 14:14  

  • I have lost what little respect I had left SG. It was bad enough that he was forcing himself as a passenger on the team, but the massive conflicts that have now erupted are a receipe for disaster. All the hard work during Wright's tenure is going down the drain.

    SG is our cricket team's Musharraf. He will do anything to cling to power... shame shame!

    By Blogger saum, at 14:14  

  • Sahi should stop saying according to Telegraph's sources. Why cant he just say that SG asked him to write so?
    And what exactly is he suggesting? That, because the players are not used to the kind of hard work that GC would like them to do, they shouldnt be doing it?
    And what does he mean by saying GC has not yet worked with out "biggest star, SRT"? I am not sure SRT will have a problem with GC's work ethic. All stars arent alike

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:15  

  • dadagiri, lol abt the Lele part. What I cant figure out is, why hasnt even one group of officials who have the good of cricket in mind, ever come to power...

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:17  

  • Its 11.45 PM in India now and Star News has a "Breaking News" quoting that "Ganguly says Chappell's explanation has come very late ".

    Not in a mood to understand what this means but surely things r getting more murkier by the minute... will catch up later after some sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 14:17  

  • really, kansultant? So SG seems to be putting the blame squarly on GC now. What is he going to do now, force GC back to Aus?

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:20  

  • Kansultant,
    Did Ganguly actually say that on air or Star News is just quoting him?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:21  

  • no one else in the mediaseems to have caught on the news... Cannot see it on any search

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:23  

  • Star News is just quoting him but with words "Breaking News" splattered over the screen...

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 14:24  

  • shri, its on tv, so maybe it'll take a while to get it to the online media

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:25  

  • I have stopped reacting to these stories. GC himself has said that most of the stuffs appeared in the media are utter nonsense. How can one believe something and ignore the rest? There was news that GC had said 'It's either me or Sourav'. Then later there was denial. By the time, we have spent 6-7 hours debating on that statement. It's meaningless to discuss beyond a point because nobody knows what's going on. Some journalists are may be writing the truth or a part of the truth, but the rest are writing rubbish, thus creating all kind of confusions.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:26  

  • Mind you.. No other channel has picked up this news....so lets take this news with some pinch of salt

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 14:27  

  • hmm..ok just joined in....interesting...some 'more' breaking news it seems :)...dadagiri you are right....by the time they deny it...they've all got 10k hits/sec from us :)..purpose served!

    By Blogger worma, at 14:29  

  • probbaly star news attempt at sensationalism :) I think we all need to travel down to Zim, hold GC and SG by the scruff of their necks and threaten them to tell the truth

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:29  

  • Star news just showed a clip were Harsha is having another interview with SG... SG clearly says that the explanation shud have come earlier... get u some more info as i see it

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 14:31  

  • thanks kansultant. Really looking fwd to this new interview

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:31  

  • Hello,
    There is no such breaking news on NDTV. At least nothing at the moment and they just summarized the news of the day so i dont believe this.

    By Blogger The Archer, at 14:31  

  • are star news and ndtv the same thing now? I thought Pranoy Roy had split with them or something like that. PLease xplain

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:33  

  • good point!Im not sure so maybe Kansultant can tell us whether NDTV and star news are the same or not? Im watching the live stream of ndtv on the net and i can tell you there is nothing there on this interview.

    By Blogger The Archer, at 14:34  

  • Breaking News...According to the call i just made to SG he said he didnt say anything like. He is feeling very nice nd warm that GC has explained it all. They(SG & GC) were just leaving for few beers.

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:34  

  • vick, I think they are planning to visit a couple of strip bars after that :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:35  

  • And talking about conditioning camps surecly the BCCI has enough money to organize conditioning camps in the country we are going to visit? I mean what is the point in having a camp in chennai if we are going to New Zealand?

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 14:35  

  • Star News and NDTV are totally different channel now. Owned by different folks.

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:36  

  • lol Vick... Did u not hear the rest of it? GC and SG had a major disagreement on what brand of beer to drink. SG has left in a sulk and is quoted as saying " I wont drink beer with that man again "

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:37  

  • What Chappell did the horourable thing. He cannot be accused of holding grudges. It allows everyone to focus on the Zim match and an away series win.

    India will look for a longterm captain upto WC2007. There is a possibility of Dravid becoming captain, if he is strongly in favour of it. Equally, Greg must be convinced that Ganguly in all probability, will not be part of the WC owing to his discipline, form, fitness, etc. Lastly it depends on the Board, where Mahendra appears a straightforward person.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 14:37  

  • Waiting on Ashish Shukla and LP Sahi's tak on it :))

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:38  

  • I *&$*ing love this soap opera. May be they just wanna entertain their fans. Afterall the series itself is quite boring.
    SG needs to big kicks on his skinny butt. I mean what the f&%* he wants? Damm he is embarrassing his supporters now. I need to go hide somewhere.

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:38  

  • Set aside SG for the moment but what is one supposed to make of the "negative vibes" that VVS articulated during the first test? If SG thinks that VVS is "one of the best batsmen that India has produced," where are those vibes coming from, given that Dravid and Kumble have been traditionally close VVS since they started playing junior cricket together?

    That said, when SG asked GC for a frank opinion, he had it coming. Why should he crib when GC told him that on the factor of performance alone, he couldn't make it to the team and that Kaif and Yuvraj were in better form. I suspect that SG knowing that Kaif is a potential captain for 2007 (remember the way Azhar was made the captain) does not want to give him too much credibility as a test player, and hence his move to relegate him to the one-day squad. I think Kaif will make a wonderful captain and I've already mentioned this previosuly.

    Either SG shapes up with his bat or ships out.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 14:38  

  • issaicn, Mahendra a straightforward person? I thought he was the dummy put in place by Jaggu

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:39  

  • *sigh* just did, over the space of half an hour, a summation of the Saurav stories appearing in various sections of the media, and guess what, this damn comp -- or blogger, whatever -- spit the thing out!

    Don't have the time just now to go back and do it all over again, so thought I would for now check out what you guys were discussing

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:40  

  • Prem, what else do you think could be on our minds? :) Did you read kansultant's post above? Any idea if yu could verify that...

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:41  

  • Shri i think GC asked (or was it just a friendly advice?) SG not to drink beer at all. It wasnt good for his health What with all the throwing up he has been doing since last few months after drinking spree.
    Harsha is trying to extract something out of SG's ass right now. Will post what he retrieve from

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:42  

  • yeah Prem..some more news broke something :)...doesnt star news have a website or something??

    By Blogger worma, at 14:42  

  • vick, dont think I am looking fwd to what Harsha is doing Ugh

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:42  

  • Prem to avoid such incidents you need to use following blog editor.
    http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:43  

  • back in five minutes, quick meeting here

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:43  

  • Hey Prem,
    How the hell is ganguly so confident that he is the numero uno guy in this team and nobody can touch him? If he has actualy rejected GC's concillatory statement, I really have to wonder from where SG getts such blind back up.

    By Blogger The Archer, at 14:44  

  • GC has issued a retraction.. "I asked him not to drink to keep him motivated. What happens at the bar stays at the br. The media is overblowing everything"

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:44  

  • Toney,
    Let's not mention strip bars. Both of them are going through hell right now. If their respective wives happen to read this blog, there will be only more trouble for them once they come back to India. :)

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:45  

  • Toney: We will find out I suppose, when the board election get underway.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 14:45  

  • Very true, dada. In any case, I would strongly advise relatives of all Indian cricketers and support staff to stay away from this

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:46  

  • and I would advise Jaggu and co. to read this blog every day!

    By Blogger rp, at 14:47  

  • NDTV and Star News are now different.

    I will tell u wot I saw

    In its headlines at 12 AM , Star news said "Chappell ne badaaya dosti ka haath, par ganguly ab bhi kafa"

    and then the showed a 5 sec clip of Harsha interviewing SG where he said ".. but the explanation shud have come earlier.."

    Now Star News is showing some stories on "Jism Phiroshi ka Dhanda" in Mumbai and Delhi.. as if no one knew abt it :)

    Still waiting for their sport segment to start when i can hear SG say "that" again....

    Most prolly we will hear that whole intv on Star Sports durin the pre match discusions...

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 14:47  

  • Shri, be careful with your choice of words. The Mayor of Las Vegas may not lik you using their catchline.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:48  

  • can anyone confirm this news? How credible is this dude Kansultant? He isnt taking us for a ride..right folks?

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:48  

  • even if Kansultant is taking us for a ride, Indian ckt is taking us on a wild roller-coaster for sure! and we don't even know how the ride will even end...

    By Blogger rp, at 14:50  

  • this reminds me of those hero-heroine fake squabbles. I am sure, in the end this root na jaana thumse kahoon tho segment will give way to tip tip barsaa paani style raunchy scenes

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:50  

  • the "should have come earlier" is an old quote... I think these guys are re-hashing the same old stuff and passing it off as something new... and sensational.. yay TRP

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:50  

  • What is the evidence that this rift between Ganguly and Chappell has become irreparable? I see no evidence of that. I generally believe people have astonishingly short memories, and this could fade away quite quickly if we let it. Rather than making an immediate decision to choose one person over the other, I think it would be best to wait a bit and give the people involved a chance to work it out.

    I think axing Ganguly or Chappell right now could have serious negative consequences, turning a 3-5 day story into a permanent scar. There is a value in stability and consistency, and not getting carried away with the moment.

    However, I would like to see Dravid as captain, because, just like Ganguly in 2000, you can see Dravid is clearly the player hungriest for success and to take the team to the next level. But I think Ganguly should stay in the team, and perhaps should even be made vice-captain, just to keep the continuity of "team management".

    Anand K, balaji, shri, I'm also interested in the AGM and the BCCI elections, and how it affects all of this. I think there's grounds for optimism, because Pawar is backed by Bindra, who is definitely a reformer and somebody we would want in charge. The problem is, will the reformers be able to win, or will the state associations get scared of possible changes, and stick with the status quo?

    By Blogger roublen, at 14:51  

  • toney, star news and ndtv are separate entities altogether. ndtv went public recently while star is owned by Murdoch.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 14:52  

  • why would saurav and/or chappell be doing interviews at 8 PM on the eve of a test match?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:52  

  • We know JD backs SG. But will he do so through this mess too? What does JD gain from backing a losing horse?

    By Blogger The Archer, at 14:52  

  • Vick Cant you see from the pic Kansaltuntant is thinking how to take us for a ride:)

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:52  

  • rp said "even if Kansultant is taking us for a ride, ..." - LOL..well if he's taking us for a ride...atleast he is making up the stories very realistically...they do sound like star news crap ;-)....

    By Blogger worma, at 14:52  

  • oops Typos galore

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:53  

  • roublen,
    The Pawar group is supposed to have produced a green-top at Nagpur just to get back at the Jaggu faction. It remains to be seen which is the lesser of the evils

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:53  

  • mustt, thnaks for the clarification. Thats what I thought. In fact, wasnt there some fallout b/w Prannoy Roy and Murdoch's men?

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:55  

  • I beleive the BCCI should be run by ex cricketers themselves and appoint good Financial companies to manage the assets. That way there will be someone at the top who knows how to ru(i)n things....

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:56  

  • well...i found the star website...atleast the headline rolling here dont have that bit....but then it looks kindda crappy...something which they know not many people visit..kindof

    By Blogger worma, at 14:57  

  • www.espnstar.com

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:58  

  • worma:

    can't comment on Star News...haven't watched it for a few yrs now fortunately/unfortunately. I hope all the flak that sensationalist media reporting gets on this blog helps keep Prem on his toes while reporting stuff! :))

    By Blogger rp, at 14:58  

  • Can anyone watch StarNews through PPlive, SOPCast etc?

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:59  

  • To all those who think Iam taking them for a ride...plz understand that there is no reason y i shud wste my night's sleep and post all this stuff here..Its abt 12.40 AM here and i gotta go to office at 8 AM tomorow morning...

    No offence intended to anyone..

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 15:02  

  • I just checked with folks in India, they say nothing yet on any of the channels

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:03  

  • kansultant, 'atleast' I was kidding :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:04  

  • prem, did you get any new leads into this saga?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:04  

  • kansultant, dont worry mate. Dont think anybody intended any offense

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:05  

  • toney: not much. Basically, confirmation of much of what I talked of Saturday -- the thing I was most keen to know was when this happened, and now I am almost certain sure the original comment was made during a series of discussions between the two, on SG's form, record, etc, during the three day game -- and also, that it was SG who initiated the discussion.

    I was intrigued about that, because the whole question of whether this is just an accidental storm or a planned preemptive strike hinged on that.

    Other than that... more

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:07  

  • yeah kansultant, no offense intended by me either...just trying to get some laughs.

    By Blogger rp, at 15:08  

  • Feel like saying "told you so" 2 days ago when all this started in the first place that GC will re-concile, India will return victorious & SG will be a hero again until Sri Lanka come thrash us that is...

    However, perhaps we have all jumped to the wrong conclusion. Maybe SG did not have any malicoius intent in his comment, (Prem would probably disagree as he knows SG relatively closely, I presume) and just stated the truth as a comment-in-passing. Maybe he was expecting mature understanding from the public by inferring that "Yes, it was suggested that I drop out and Yes this is in line with the criticism in the past 6 months (his suceeding comment) but we have had a mature discussion with GC and senior team members and decided that I stay on. And look I have justified my selection now." To this, GC took exception as he did not appreciate dressing room talk being publicised and SG retorting to the stance "I was only being honest". Stand-off for a couple of days and then making up.

    You guys will probably think this far-fetched but you would admit that it is a possibility.

    By Blogger Akshay, at 15:09  

  • Prem...u intentionally left that in mid sentence ?? :)....well??...so what did you arrive at??

    By Blogger worma, at 15:10  

  • The only other really significant thing I heard is that the BCCI is in full court press to avoid an either-or situation, and bring about some kind of patch-up.
    My understanding is, they can't afford to back SG at the risk of alienating GC, because they believe unlike Wright, he won't be tolerant and make polite noises, but might blow some very loud whistles which could ruin any credibility that the Board still has.
    So the board wants to do anything it can to avoid forcing the issue -- and that in turn has, I am told, led to a lot of calls to SG in particular asking him politely to shut the heck up and not create any more situations.
    Also, the board apparently toyed with the idea of having a senior player who would liaison between captain and coach -- and though this bit I haven't got iron clad confirmation of, my understanding is GC shot the suggestion down, on the grounds that you can't build a team where captain and coach dont communicate directly to one another.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:10  

  • If GC has "respect" for SG, then I am going to the moon tomorrow. Come on, the man spoke his mind about SG's form and the latter is not ready to forget it in a hurry.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 15:10  

  • toney, if they did that it's despicable, but I think it's a little bit of a stretch to think they deliberately made the pitch fast to humiliate the team. After all, Mohali is fast, but no one thinks that's a deliberate strategy to sabotage the Indian team. It's just that pitches with something for everyone: pacers, seamers, spinners & batsmen, produce the best kind of cricket in the long run. After all, the team won in Adelaide and drew in Brisbane. Was there any reason to believe they couldn't do the same thing in Nagpur?

    Also, how do you produce a fast pitch, exactly? You can either keep or shave off the grass, and I'm pretty sure they shaved the grass for the Nagpur test. The pitch was fast anyway. What exactly could they have done to slow down the pitch?

    By Blogger roublen, at 15:11  

  • NO, wasn't leaving anything hanging. :-) Comp just hiccuped a very large post, earlier, so being careful and posting in little bits

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:11  

  • Prem you mentioned about the pre-emptive strike bit? so did you get some hints on that?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:13  

  • roublen, ask anyone here abt the pitch in Nagpur. It had loads of grass compared to the rest in India. And I never said it was alightning quick like at Perth. All I said was that in spite of SG's requests to shave off the grass, they refused to do son. And this was not to humiliate the cricket team but the powers that be. That the team lost on such a pitch and that the captain sat out for various reasons is a diff matter.
    Just a confirmation again, they never shaved off the grass

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:14  

  • so, whats the logical inference from all the known bits of data - did SG blurt it out unintentionally or was it some thought out (not well I should say) intentional plan after his 100?

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:15  

  • So Prem, is JD still backing SG though his childish tantrums ? What does Jd gain from backing this joker

    By Blogger The Archer, at 15:15  

  • This nagpur thing -- i must say here that I have never had the impression that particular pitch was the result of board politics with one faction trying to upstage the other.

    The way I heard it, it was more the result of the pitches committee having instructed them to make a fast pitch -- this was due to all that brouhaha earlier about us not having fast pitches -- which the ground staff followed to the T... and then the team landed there and went uh oh, this aint what we need to play Australia on, which idiot did this?

    By then of course it was too late to change the character of the pitch.

    That particular conspiracy theory of the Pawar-faction having done it deliberately, people need to understand that even if India had lost the series 3-0, it would not have translated into votes for or against anyone; since when was BCCI politics dictated by the team's results?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:16  

  • the above question for you - Prem. I forgot to address it to you

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:16  

  • After all, Mohali is fast

    >>not true. The last few results there dont indicate that its fast pitch. About Nagpur while media questioned the actions of Gangs, no one asked anything from the association which created that pitch. Ganguly had every right to be disappointed any show his displeasure.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:17  

  • Prem, what abt all those rumours going around that this was not a coincidence that the pitch at Nagpur was the only one that adhered to the pitch committee's directions?
    And LOL abt that last statement of yours...

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:17  

  • worma: but that bit was clear in my mind even on Saturday. SG was making a deliberate play there -- he hoped, by bringing it into the public domain, to put pressure on GC.
    Where he misread the situation was that he thought there would be a public outcry on his behalf -- which was a touch naive.
    Now the thing is, he has forced a battle, and finds he doesnt have the ammunition to fight it.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:18  

  • prem..ateast what I heard about nagpur, again more rumour-ess than your info, was that Pawar did it to put down JD (through humbling SG and his team)...hence that pitch...wasn't there some story about the curator also??...and btw..I watched some bits of the match....quite good bounce at back of length...not typical Indian pitch..is it?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:18  

  • Prem, if, as some reports are to be believed, SG asked for a frank opinion from GC, then why be insulted at all and open his heart to the world? He would know by now that he couldnt control the mouths of every guy in the team, so he stood the risk of looking like a fool?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:19  

  • Toney, thanks. So prem, have you heard that? That the pawar faction deliberately disobeyed Ganguly's instructions and kept the grass on the Nagpur pitch in order to humiliate the Dalmiya faction?

    By Blogger roublen, at 15:20  

  • worma and Prem: why do you guys keep hinting that JD and SG are inseperable buddies?What does JD gain by backing this solitary guy? Of course he backs SG, but the reason is not clear.

    By Blogger The Archer, at 15:20  


  • That particular conspiracy theory of the Pawar-faction having done it deliberately, people need to understand that even if India had lost the series 3-0, it would not have translated into votes for or against anyone; since when was BCCI politics dictated by the team's results?


    >>Yup and everyone here is fool. Sure that loss didnt put pressure on BCCI. Sure we dont blame BCCI after every loss India suffer. I mean stop kidding man.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:20  

  • Prem...if you say so..about the deliberate play...but atleast the Harsha interview piece does not fit into the jigsaw

    By Blogger worma, at 15:21  

  • prem, read your earlier post. got it, thx.

    By Blogger roublen, at 15:21  

  • Not defending SG but if this was an entirely deliberate, howcome, GC, supposedly a man of hig principles has reconcilled in a matter of 2 days and actually issued a statement saying everything is normal and also done the drama for the public by playing pool with SG?

    By Blogger Akshay, at 15:23  

  • Prem: I thought you said SG wanted to gain sympathy. That is not the same as putting GC down as you said in your last comment.

    By Blogger blueship56, at 15:23  

  • I can see a conciliatory statement from gangs now

    http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2005/sep/20ganguly.htm

    By Blogger sb_tor, at 15:23  

  • So how will this end?SG gets fired from captaincy or does GC go?

    By Blogger The Archer, at 15:23  

  • Ok folks here is Gangs comment..

    "I think it's a fair statement. If that was his idea as the coach fair enough, that's how it is and that's how it should be," Ganguly told ESPN Star Sports on the eve of the second Test at the Harare Sports Club"

    http://us.rediff.com/cricket/2005/sep/20ganguly.htm

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:24  

  • anandk: I donno whether there is a concensus.
    My inference, from all I have heard, is that SG believed he was living on borrowed time; has been ever since the national selectors were split on giving him back the captaincy.
    Coupled with his lack of runs in the odi series, he got to believing it was curtains; so he tried enlisting GC on his side by pointing to records and making comparisons with other players; that backfired and GC told him boss, why not just give up the captaincy for now and focus on your batting (rather ironically, I remember writing on this forum, when SG was picked, that this was a mistake -- that they should have let him bat himself into form; that there was no rush to give him the armband back; remember getting chewed out for it by some. *g*)

    Anyways... SG seemed to have realized that GC also suggesting the captaincy was not a crown he had in perpetuity was the last straw. That having struck out with the selectors, and now with the coach, his best bet was public outcry. So, the little drama in which Harsha played an unwitting part -- it was only vaguely leaked to him that there was some pressure on SG's captaincy.

    So Harsha innocently asked not if anyone had asked SG to step down, but if SG was under pressure, which is an innocuous enough question.

    And SG, on cue, did that number -- yes I was asked to step down, no I wont tell you who (if so, then why say you were asked to step down? the who is equally important, no?) - and he left it out there to see what kind of traction it would generate.

    When that didn't work, he tried the stunt of blaming a senior Indian bowler -- via his portable microphone, LP Sahi. Which didnt work either, because hey, he was the one who said it, on TV what is more.

    So now he is stuck in a situation he created and doesn't know how to get out of; he has alienated most members of the team; he has burnt his bridges with his coach; and he hasn't done anything to make the selectors' task easier when it comes to retaining him.

    That, in sum

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:24  

  • Guys,anyone able to authenticate the breaking news that SG has apparantly said that GC's comments have come a bit late?? If this was the case, im sure it would have shown up on a few websites by now. Any comments, anyone??

    By Blogger Harsha, at 15:25  

  • roublen: that is to the best of my knowledge rubbish. Arre yaar, the JD faction, or any other board official, has never been humiliated by any defeat, ever.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:26  

  • Arjun - Nothing will happen mate, everything will be the same as is. The Indian Board is not bold enough to make changes to the team after they win a series - this time "abroad"

    Things might change after they get thrashed by Sri Lanka

    By Blogger Akshay, at 15:26  

  • Conciliatory... ? Sauravs statement smacks of arrogance...

    Chalta hai.. coach galati kiya.. hota hai.. magar mujhe dekho.. i am willing to forgive and forget.. and move on

    By Blogger SHRI, at 15:26  

  • The tone and tenor of any organization or team is set at the top. With lack of any single individual who has the vision and agenda for Indian cricket in BCCI, every one invloved has to resort to politicking to protect and further their own agenda.
    Individuals tend to pursue their own agenda, more so if there is'nt a single common agenda that is being pursued.
    With SG sitting out due to ban, the biggest blunder committed by BCCI was not deciding who the actual leader of the team was going to be. If it was SG, then RD shouild have been named as interim captain to reqlinquish the post when SG becamse eligible to play. If it was'nt there shuold have been a change of guard announced.
    In absence of which, individuals are left to fend their positions - and when cornered, they can resort to baser tactics. Hence the SG/GC drama.

    By Blogger TK_, at 15:28  

  • We need LP Sahi here to get the other side of the story.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:28  

  • harsha, read that rediff link vick posted above...thats the new statement from SG

    By Blogger worma, at 15:28  

  • Why does JD back SG? The relationship goes back a long way actually -- Chandidas Ganguly and JD have been close cronies for a long while, have -- or at least in the past --had business interests together.
    Boss, nothing is as simple as it looks. Give you a for instance. I remember everyone being puzzled over the appointment of that glorified goalkeeper, Deep Dasgupta and the vehemence with which the selectors kept defending his inclusion.
    Try this: Deep's father is the head honcho of Amrutanjan. Said pain balm has -- okay, had -- only one cricketer modelling the product; SG himself.
    Could be total coincidence. Could not be, too.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:28  

  • Yeah Its me again...

    And guys I saw the intv again and I *CONFIRM* that SG has said that...but it was not the you or me sort of a statement Lemme try to recreate some of the words he used...

    ......Yeah, there has been a lot of tension in the team.. and probably that is understandable..GC was angry and probably that was fair.......

    ...........Now he has given this statement...but it wud have been better had he given this a bit earlier .....

    .....Both he and I have the same goal i mind and that is to see India do well......."


    Star News showed only these small parts of the whole intv. I am sure we can see the whole intv tomorrow b4 the match starts.....

    Looks like it's "GC SG Bhai Bhai" again.......

    By the way, the headlines in Star News for this news was "Chappell Bowled, Ganguly Not Out"...Makes sense to anybody here :)

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 15:29  

  • Prem, thanks. Now, it sounds pretty convincing though not fully.

    The rediff article talks about the latest SG interview on TV. It doesn't mention about SG saying it has come late. It says SG siad "its fair"

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:30  

  • vick: but LP Sahi has given the other side of the story, pal, surely you saw that story on Telegraph?
    I mean, of all that I have read in the last three days, that was the most apalling.
    What exactly is Sahi -- okay, Saurav through Sahi -- saying?
    It is okay for a coach to talk of commitment to excellence but we are not prepared to do the hard yards -- isn't that the message?
    And of course, that veiled warning about "the coach cant work outside the system" -- which I think has topped all that Sahi has written so far.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:30  

  • Prem, you said in one of the previous blogs that there is stuff that you know abt the Nagpur episode which you would rather not reveal to maintain your own credibility.. Is there some other way we janata can get to know? Like say, one Prem Panicker writing through a bogus ID or something?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:30  

  • Prem, I think I will go along with your assessments. You obviously know a lot of these andar ki baats.

    Tell us though, is it in SG' nature to be really that desperate for power that he will go to any extent or do you think he is still in self-denial?

    By Blogger Akshay, at 15:32  

  • prem...but that bit about coach not working outside the system...I thought that was(or would be) the message from BCCI to GC...in case he really seriously suggested SG leave the team...isnt it so?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:33  

  • These reconciliatory statements, especially SG's latest ones, kind of dovetail into the impression I have been given, that the board faced with this particular hot potato is dead keen to prevent it from blowing up. They think GC cannot be 'tamed', as Wright was -- and that a mad GC, quitting and then publicly talking of why, is a risk no one can take, so apparently all the heavyweights in the Board -- and of course its patron in chief -- have been pressed into service to make SG stop pushing it, and to make nice kissing noises.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:33  

  • Does any one know which senior bowler are we talking about?

    By Blogger rupam, at 15:34  

  • rupam: The team has only one senior bowler...Anil Kumble

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 15:35  

  • So what hope is there for Indian cricket?For how long will SG hold this team hostage? Any guesses Prem?

    By Blogger The Archer, at 15:36  

  • I thought so. But then after 200 wkts, who knows what Bhajji claims :-) Btw, did anyone read abt article saying Zaheer almost thrashed Wright? Speaking of which reminds me of Gavaskar's remarks about players abusing Wright near the end of his tenure. Any guesses who those players might be?

    By Blogger rupam, at 15:37  

  • Prem, with all the interesting 'inside news' that you get along with 'off-the-record' statements that you have expereinced...was wondering if you will/can do a post on the mutual thoughts/respect between SRT/RD/SG?

    By Blogger rp, at 15:37  

  • PP What LP puts in on telegraph still goes thru editor. And Telegraph will have much more restriction than an independent blog like this one.
    The deal is your moles in the team aint gonna be from the same group as SG. Obviously they have their own interests in this whole deal. Your credibility among Gangs supporters is as good as Sahi's among Anti Gangs folks. Media plays too many games these days to have any credibility.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:37  

  • worma: I donno, much of that is interpretative, and I thought it was more a message from SG, or a veiled warning, that you don't just up and ask me to leave, but work within the 'system' -- especially, if you read that sentence in full, it immediately coorelates to the SG quitting part, in fact, they are parts of the same sentence.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:38  

  • I think it will be interesting to see what the non-BCCI committee (read Gavaskar, Shastri, Venkat) comes out with considering such a public outcry, politics and BCCI elections
    huummmm.....this is turning into a heck of a show (though on a very sad note)

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:39  

  • Prem,
    One question for you. If that was the sequence of events and I agree that it was SG who asked for GC's frank opinion, then why would he react the way he did since it was just an opinion and it was still within SG's power to choose the team that he wants to. I think some reports were suggesting that he threatened to pack the bags and leave. He's not stupid. In fact, he has matured a lot in the past few years. Gone are theys of taking off the shirt.

    Any reasonable person will surely know how to react to an 'opinion'. The thing that is not clear to me is why Dravid and Chowdhury had to 'convince' Chappell that it's not the right time? I mean if you were in Chappell's shoes and if you had offered a suggestion to someone that the other person didn't like, what your reaction would be? Mind you it's still just an opinion. You'll probably tell him that 'Fine. You asked my opinion and I gave mine. Now if you don't like it, its your problem. I can't help it. Having said that, it's still up to you to choose the team composition'.

    Why would Dravid have to 'convince' Chappell to compromise unless Chappell elivated his 'opinion' to 'demand' and hold on to it? I mean Ganguly is an articulate fellow. If it was just an opinion, he could have said something like 'It was suggested that....' instead of saying 'I was asked to...'. There's a big difference.

    For the nth time, let me repeat that I don't support SG's action i.e. revealing to the media. But I seriously doubt whether Chappell only offered his 'opinion'. There was surely more to it.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:40  

  • ahh well anyways...GC is not gonna read Telegraph is he :-) But I thought it wasnt just SG's mouthpiece but also JD (and thus BCCIs) statement carrier...and that this one could have been a JD missive

    By Blogger worma, at 15:40  

  • Prem, just taking on from Rupam's earlier questions, are you aware or can you authenticate the statement that Gavaskar made sometime at the end of Wright's term that Wright was abused by a few players? Been wanting to ask you this for a while...

    By Blogger Harsha, at 15:41  

  • toney: Nah, I earlier last week said the heck with it and outed it here anyways. That in Nagpur, SG ducked, claimed an injury which didn't really exist; the physio's report pronounced him fit but he just said ooo it hurts, so what are you going to do? They put out the standard press release about him being injured.

    What it did though was piss off the team to such an extent, there was a near revolt. RD didn't talk to SG for a while, JW had to make peace between the two. And in the dressing room, even some of the juniors were jibing at SG, suggesting cowardice.

    Damned if I know what happened to make him do it -- he has batted on quick tracks before, with greater or lesser degrees of success. Why he felt the desperate desire to pull out in Nagpur I donno, but I do know (as do 90 per cent of the cricket reporters active today) that this is essentially what happened.,

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:41  

  • anand, from the bits I read, to me it looks like Shastri and Sunny are already making the right concilliatory noises

    By Blogger worma, at 15:42  

  • Prem,

    I don't think SG is leaving anytime soon. Whatever his ploy was it seemed to have work. I was always against SG's performance never against the man himself. But all this reveals to me that India doesn't change much- it's always about who knows who and politics over talent.

    I don't know if GC would have been the best coach or not but I do know that he has been objective and tried to implement some methods in place which would make the team more match fit and professional- all this works only if the organization is serious enough to change.

    I cannot change the politics and the unfairness that keeps going on in the name of kissing and making up- all I can do is to never watch Indian cricket again till SG is part of the team. Its the fan base that has driven the popularity of non-performers through the roof an dits high time we stop watching such indisciplined, cowardly men.

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:43  

  • Thanks Prem, actually I had read all this on your previous day's post. But for some reason, thought you wre keeping more concealed :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:44  

  • SG played sympathy card. It failed miserably. Now, Damage control measures is taking place.

    'portable microphone' LP Sahi is printing reems of paper to support a consipiracy theory.

    Prem...do you think when all said and done, SG will be out of team?

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:44  

  • worma, thats interesting! I don't know how Sunny and shatri fit in all this. But I expect them to take this opportunity (of BCCI forminmg a non-BCCI committee therby lending some meaning to the very word - committee) and help clean out any ills in the current team.

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:46  

  • If it is re-concilliatory, it is a piss off.
    Give me a break. If SG is allowed to carry on with the Indian team on CURRENT FORM, then I for one am not paying serious money (read hard earned Dollars)to watch this team play. None of us should put up with self gratifying people, and the team should surely be based on performance. Come on, when Rahul was not performing, the guy was dropped from the team. People, rise up with one voice, chuck SG out

    By Blogger Dementor, at 15:46  

  • What beats me is this.. If GC is the headstrong one and the BCCI honchos have been pushing SG to make peace, then why did GC come out with a press statement.

    The coach was right and he did not have to make ny gestures and/or peace offerings at all.

    The more I read about it, the more I think that GC "strongly" suggested that SG step down and SG threw a tantrum.

    I also think that the BCCI is leaning hard on GC to toe the comapny line and hence the statement.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 15:46  

  • dadagiri: Hang on, you could be missing something here.
    'Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of us all' is all well and good as long as the mirror goes, oh who else but you?
    In other words, when I ask for an opinion, I sometimes, especially when I am in trouble, hope you will come up with an opinion I can live with.
    then it turns out your opinion is, I suck. Which I can't digest, because it doesn't leave me a leg to stand on.
    So I in a huff walk away, and say I am leaving the tour.
    RD and the manager would both obviously want to pour oil on troubled waters -- whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, you don't want your players, or your captain, walking out on you in mid-tour; it does little good to the image of the side, and the Indian team is very concerned with externals as is evident. So they did their fire-fighting, not because GC did more than opine, but to avert a potentially ugly situation.
    I mean, boss, SG calls RD and says, okay, GC says I am not good enough, the hell with this, I am leaving right now.
    What would you do if you were RD -- turn off the light and go to sleep, muttering good riddance? Obviously you would alert the team manager, you would try to defuse the situation.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:46  

  • Prem : I asked this question on one of the other threads related to this issue.

    I have quietly followed this blog on the SG-GC issue and have also read the various articles in the papers and the tabloids.

    Aside from my opinion on this issue(which is that SG made a mistake by choosing to rake an issue which should have been left in the dressing room and that he has no place in the indian ODI team), I believe that the journalist community in general has pounced on this as an opportunity to vent whatever gripe they may have cultivated against SG in his last few years as the captain.

    I believe that because sourav has rubbed people the wrong way in the past, people are now using this as a weapon to get back at him. Now that he is down, the queue to kick him gets longer and longer.

    The question Prem is how much has SG maligned the media in the past and do you think it has anything to do with the frenzy in the media today to go after him.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 15:49  

  • As Prem rightly said, Ganguly's approach to the Wright and GC has been to see them as firangs who have to work within the system. Do you remember how SG was the last person to land up just before the team took off to Zim for the tri-series. SG has been treating Indian cricket as his personal fiefdom ever since the desis beat the Aussies. Enough already with that kinda hubris!

    This reminds me of the conversation I had with Robin Singh who lambasted SG for the unfair treatement that was meted out to him at a dinner that I'd hosted recently to which Prem was invited too but never got back to me:) You can't treat the kids in the team as your proteges for ever....

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 15:50  

  • rajg: My gut take is, this time SG has kind of over-reached himself. So this is what will likely happen:
    After the second Test, there will be the performance review.
    By then, the new selection committee will have been constituted, following the BCCI elections.
    The results of the performance review will be submitted to the new board.
    The board will remind the newly constituted selection committee that it needs to select a national captain (the previous committee picked SG only for this tour deliberately, arguing that its tenure is due to end in September and therefore it did not want to make a far-reaching appointment).
    The selection committee will then meet, and decide that it is in the best interests of the team for Saurav to focus on his batting, without the burden of captaincy.
    So SG will make the usual noises about being ready to play under anyone. And the fun will really begin when Sachin rejoins the squad -- because suddenly, you need to find place in the middle order.
    That is pretty much my prediction :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:51  

  • mustt::: What dinner???!!! I didn't get anything from you on this, pal :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:52  

  • In all the news prior to this incident, everyone seem to suggest a rift in the team, 2 camps, 2 factions apparantely naming them SG and RD. But in all this there is nothing to do with RD. In fact looks like SG went to RD to talk what was a mutual personal discussion between SG and GC. Suggests to me SG and RD are still on good terms (contrary to earlier reports). So why these kind of hints in media. Prem any comments?

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:52  

  • Dementor,

    I am with you- this is really the only weapon that fans have- to boycott the game till he is kicked out. While other sportspersons toil in India we have raised cricket (and money associated with it) to such a level that even with all this politics it just thrives. If the walllets start hurting JD and L Sahi will be the first ones to say- SG who?

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:52  

  • This is where SRT should act wisely. Hope he doesnt rush his return, dont care if he misses a couple more months so that he comes back strong. Nobody wants an SRT struggling with inkury in the team and then the endless list of SG supporters suddenly pointing fingers at SRT's "selfish reutrn" compared to "SG who has scarificed his all" for Indian cricket.

    Prem,
    How are the selectors appointed? Still one from each zone? Any pointers on who would make the cut?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:54  

  • Prem,

    Repeating my comment...hoping to get an answer from you.

    rp said...
    Prem, with all the interesting 'inside news' that you get along with 'off-the-record' statements that you have expereinced...was wondering if you will/can do a post on the mutual thoughts/respect between SRT/RD/SG?

    By Blogger rp, at 15:54  

  • Alright Prem, but after hearing GC's 'opinion'm SG surely had reacted. How do you know that he ran off to Dravid and didn't tell GC anything? Assuming he gave GC his piece of mind, then GC could have surely cleared up the whole thing saying that 'Look mate, it's just my opinion. You are welcome to act differently'. Why Dravid had to 'convince' GC unless of course he was holding on to his stand. May be GC first gave SG an opinion, but seeing how SG reacted, he later changed it to a 'demand'. How can you rule it out? I don't think we are being fair enough. All the reports that are coming out portraying SG as the villain are credible or from inside sources...and at the same time, make fun of LP Sahi.

    I am sad to see that you even mentioned DDG and implying that he got picked because of SG. The same DDG didn't get a single test in Australia. Agreed that he was a bad choice, but he was not the only one. Many undeserving players have played for India in the past, some under SG and some under others. Is it really necessary to point fingers at SG accusing him for selection bias when even SG's worst enemy agree that he never favored any player from his state or region? Sorry to disagree Prem.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:56  

  • right, thinking about SRT's return, what do you think of Kaif as an opener in tests? Do you think Gambhir is good enough that there is no point replacing him with Kaif? And do you think Kaif could succeed as an opener?

    By Blogger roublen, at 15:56  

  • Irrsponsible journalism is what I probably call this. Where is the proof? Zaheer almost thrashed Wright:

    http://www.cricketnext.com/news1/next/sanjay/sanjay020.htm

    By Blogger Dementor, at 15:56  

  • Prem,

    Your post (at 15:52) is spot on, I think.

    Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, Singh, Kaif, Ganguly. 6 players for 4 spots. Whodathunk that a BCCI election will decide the Indian middle order in our next Test series!!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 15:57  

  • blueboy: No, at least, I am not aware that he has "rubbed the media wrong" and so the media as an entity is out to take revenge.
    Sections within the print media do gossip about his habit of having surrounded himself with a praetorian guard of pet reporters, who freeze out the rest, yes, but there is -- at least, I haven't sensed it -- a major personal angst against the man, by the combined media.
    I have, though, sensed a fair degree of contempt in recent times; the media has been too aware of the games that have been played backstage so SG can hang on to the captaincy, and have been quite contemptuous about that. But is this an excuse everyone is latching on to?
    I don't think so. Here's why -- do searches for Saurav, and you will find, I think, that no one really wrote anti-Saurav pieces. Even when he was going through that horror show vs Pak, criticism was kind of muted.
    But then, during the off period, his record began getting questioned, first a piece here, then one there, then a little building chorus.
    So the media was, pretty gradually, beginning to show some skepticism anyways. And nothing about his batting in the ODIs gave it any reason to rethink. So the pump was in any case primed, I think what this particular showdown did was accelerate the explosion -- which I suspect would have otherwise happened at the end of the tour, when the quesiton of the captaincy would have logically been raised

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:57  

  • Dementor,

    This seems to be a prime time for any journalist to write any article

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:59  

  • dementor,
    Sanjay Jha only reporduced what he heard from Dungarpur, possibly on record, right? What could be proof for that? A video link to the actual episode? Let ZK challenge that or let Dungarpur retratc his statement

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:00  

  • chalo its time for the Star News report, here in the UK anyway. Will keep you posted if anything further unravels...somehow I feel this is the last we will hear of this.

    By Blogger Akshay, at 16:01  

  • dadagiri: Uh oh. Firstly, "even his worst enemy" being who, friend?
    If you mean fans, of course they would say that; they are not always au courant with what is going on inside.
    Did he favor players? Of *course* he did -- not all favoritism is zonal, mind; for reasons of his own (read film gossip, you will probably figure why) there was a period when he was single handedly backing Agarkar for a slot in the side when the selectors wanted him out.
    As to the 'how do I know SG went to RD' -- boss, let me make one thing very clear: I have never understood why such questions are asked only when I say something a section of you don't like.
    How do I know? On day one of this furor, I made it very clear that I have been tapping into as many people, inside and outside the team, as I can, and that whatever I post comes (it obviously has to anyways, I am in New York not Zimbabwe) from such sources; I also made the point that I have been vetting the stuff I am getting and posting what I personally believe, from people I personally trust.
    I also made the point that I would not, despite all the vetting, take anything as 100 per cent fact.
    Bottomline? What I tell you here is what I believe in -- and that is fair enough, since this is where I talk of the game as I personally see it, without any Rediff imprimatur. Whether you believe it or not is of course up to you -- and I am not going to be offended if you do not.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:03  

  • Prem...so you don't think the media is anti-ganguly at this moment? And by anti I mean using wordplay...stretching facts...mixing personal opinion...to create a general 'negative vibe' (to borrow VVS's great words :) against him out there?

    By Blogger worma, at 16:03  

  • Need to run, will be back later. Sorry, cant put this meeting off

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:04  

  • jaunty,

    As usual everyone will know that Ganguly doesn't deserve a slot, then there qill be the talk that he is the best captain and then two out of Yuvi., Kaif and Laxman will be kicked out again- SG will score a duck in 2 matches, come back to score a 30 in th e3rd match and declare he is back in form and the saga will go on and on.

    Meanwhile Telegraph will write supporting articles, Jaggu will play behind the scenes and thousands of fans will chant gratitude, give him some more time, he is looking better, his average is not that bad blah blahblah....

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:04  

  • Prem,
    I didnt figure out the AA selection (read film gossip... part. PLease expain

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:05  

  • anand k, I agree that Ganguly still seems to hold RD in high regard, and it points to one of Ganguly's strengths. He can be very ruthless to get what he wants, but he can also release grudges and recover very well from any disputes and conflicts. Good thing too, because he tends to have a lot of them;)

    By Blogger roublen, at 16:05  

  • prem..sure Ganguly favoured certain players...and some of them clicked...others didnt as much......but isnt that true with all great captains..esp the captains who work against their own internal system..when the system for finding real good talents is not in place....good eg...Imran....???

    By Blogger worma, at 16:05  

  • do searches for Saurav, and you will find, I think, that no one really wrote anti-Saurav pieces. Even when he was going through that horror show vs Pak, criticism was kind of muted.

    >>Do you have a personal search engine where you find such? There has been no time that Indian Media(not all but same who are raking up this issue now) hasnt picked on him. Even when he was doing everything in his capacity. The media lached on the crap Waugh was telling them during 2001 series.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:07  

  • vick, Indian media was immature to take sides with that hypocrite, Waugh during that series. But does that mean that whatever SG does should be overlooked? Why do you think almost everyone in the media seems to be writing these so-called anti-SG opinions? Something has to be true, right?
    And how many people write very un-biased opinions, even in sports? LP Sahi?

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:09  

  • Prem,

    There is no crisis looming when Sachin gets ready to play. They will drop Yuvraj (and rightly so) and Sachin will take his place. What can Yuvraj do in the one test that remains: at most score a century, in which case he suffers from the safe exploitation of soft resources argument being leveled against Sourav.

    I am surprised at the excessive attention being generated to this Chappell - Ganguly controversy. Ganguly has only driven a nail into his own coffin by increasing the stakes and putting the spotlight more squarely on his performance. May be the guy isn't as daft: perhaps he knows he performs the best only when there is a knife firmly thrust close to his jugular! The upcoming tours aren't pushovers and if he proves himself there, he is one gutsy guy, even if he doesn't know how to gracefully bow out.

    My take is that if he flops horribly in the Harare test (two innings where he scores less than 20 each), he is history. If he scores a good 40 or so in an innings, in light of his century he will be picked for the team as a batsman. You are absolutely correct when you predict the captaincy is going to be pryed out of his clutches.

    Anyways, the bigger cause for concern is not this inevitable scrap but the administration behind Indian Cricket. Sharad Pawar is looming large behind the scenes. Mahendra is himself an MP: why the bug nexus between politics and cricket: because of the money, stupid! I am so glad you pointed out the Deepshit Dasgupta fiasco. You should also comment on the Dalmiya assurance of giving Rohan Gavaskar a chance, which he sure did, in spite of his mediocre record.

    The future of Indian cricket lies in the hands of people like Jhadav, Dhoni, Kaif, and Yuvraj. Greg Chappell sees it very clearly and hopes the talent will trump the bureacratic mess and partiality. He is also savvy enough to realize that if he gets the support of these superstars to be, they may well call the shots tomorrow. He is the best thing to have happened to Indian cricket. I yearn for the day when he sets his crosshairs against the BCCI. He will do it when the time is right, and after he has proven himself. The man, like during his playing days, is mightily above all else. He knows that if he is able to assert himself and make the talented bunch of guys deliver, he will be a legend in his post- playing career also. God bless his journey ahead!

    By Blogger TFFY, at 16:10  

  • worma, prem,

    It is statements like these that frustrate me sometimes. Here is an excerpt from Sambit Bal's latest take in Cricinfo on the GC-SG saga. I quote:
    "Ganguly's arrival in the middle of the one-day series in Sri Lanka immediately led to the creation of two camps, with a couple of players daring to openly undermine Rahul Dravid's captaincy."

    Now, Ideally I would have liked him to have mentioned who the "couple of players" are. All this does is fuel another round of "he did - he did not" and don't really do much good, journalistically or otherwise. (I have the same feeling whenever anyone does this...I am using SBal as an example. Another one that propped into my head was SG (Sunny not THE SG) when he said that John Wright was abused by some players. Either mention the names, or do not bring it up. What is your take on the reponsibility of a journalist in this?

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 16:11  

  • toney sure 'something' in all these reports is true. Something which most of us here agree was wrong on part of SG. But dont you see the media going beyond that?

    By Blogger worma, at 16:14  

  • Surprisingly short report on Star News on the furore. More time given to Sharad Pawar not standing for the BCCI prez post. Interesting!

    By Blogger Akshay, at 16:16  

  • jaunty, Prem once explained that naming names in such situations doesnt help...because then sunny would be left with the responsibility to prove it, which he can't, because he got that info as tip from other players...who told it to him on condition of anonymity

    By Blogger worma, at 16:16  

  • worma, That is my point. When, as you say, 99.99% of media goes "beyond that", then surely something has to be amiss as far as SG is concerned, right? Why should all of the media criticize SG for no reason? Do you think he has managed to irk all those who write abt cricket?

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:17  

  • But does that mean that whatever SG does should be overlooked?

    >>Sure it shouldnt be over looked. But you cant take whatever PP says here as absolute truth. I mean its a not a fiction that PP has been after SG's head for a very long time. He knows that he has much better access to the next in line for the captains job compare to incumbant one. So as PP himself said yesterday that journo's take a two looks of whatever is being written. Readers need to do the same. We need to keep in mind what kinda relationship the particular journo have with the people in question.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:18  

  • heres Trevor Chesterfield

    http://www.expressindia.com/cricket/fulliestory.php?content_id=78462

    and the indian express

    http://www.expressindia.com/cricket/fulliestory.php?content_id=78457

    By Blogger SHRI, at 16:19  

  • akshay, pawar not standing is important news, I think. I guess Pawar decided to wait till next year? Ganguly's chances of staying as captain might have just increased;)

    By Blogger roublen, at 16:20  

  • so what about RS Dungarpur and his statement that they have 17 votes out of 30?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 16:21  

  • sorry, back

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:21  

  • toney, I dont know the reason....but if you all here say that all that is written these days in the media about ganguly is true...then I would probably leave it to that :-)...because I frankly dont know the reason. but still, forgetting the sahi's of the world, I still see some reports which are not 'biased'....they are still negative on him (heck he has done something wrong here, it would take a Sahi to make it look good:-)....but atleast these reports dont have the same 'stretching' look to it.....e.g read harsha's all the article since that 'sunset' piece....how many innuendos do you find?

    By Blogger worma, at 16:22  

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