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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wrights and wrongs

I've been a John Wright fan since the very first time I called his number and he answered with the words 'Hello, this is John Wright of the Indian cricket team'. Having spoken to coaches who have tried to sell their columns with lines such as 'I control the number one player in the world, imagine what my column can be worth', this came as a wonderfully refreshing change.
His comments, here, are further indication of his operating style: quiet, discreet, not given to talking out of turn.
"I always looked at it this way - the team was selected for me, whoever that was, with a captain, with a player. You didn’t get a vote on selection but my job was to ensure that as coach they were prepared and performed to the best of their ability," he said, indirectly taking a swipe at Chappell’s observation that Indian captain as well as some of the players did not deserve to be in the team.
"It was almost like performance coaching and I hope we made some progress over the four years I was there."

More Wright, here:
Wright said that the issue would have been handled differently had he been coach. "I was very fortunate from the point of view that we always believed what goes on in the changing-room stays in the changing-room," he was quoted as saying by AFP. "Sometimes as soon as things come into the public area they can take on a momentum all of their own."

And also, this:
Wright refused to take sides in the ongoing fracas but defended his approach during his five-year stint as the Indian coach. He said that his success at team building was one of Chappell's alleged weaknesses. "I stand by my record," said Wright. "I worked with the team I was given by the selectors. I worked as hard as I could with the whole team to try and get the performances that the Indian people wanted.
and
"I had criticism from all quarters during, after and before my tenure, it's part of the role of being coach," said Wright. "The only thing that I tried to do was ensure that we played well as a team and we got results as a team, that was it. I've moved on, I'm no longer the coach, I believe we made progress during my time with the team, I thoroughly enjoyed it."

At times, you wonder if hubris wasn't at work here. When Wright first took over, the seniors all backed him to the hilt, the juniors loved that he was adding value to their skill sets, the team fired as a unit -- and success came their way.
With success, also came more than a touch of arrogance -- and increasingly, the players got to thinking Wright with his continued emphasis on fitness, and discipline, and single-minded focus on the basics, was a nuisance; they were way beyond all that, weren't they? Just one step away from the world champion side?
And so, the problems, that eventually made up Wright's mind for him, convinced him that he had done all he could, and there was no point in renewing his contract. The team -- which, on two earlier occasions had fought the board, and Dalmiya in particular, when there were moves (Sunil Gavaskar could tell you about those) to axe the coach, this time stood by, and "wished him well".
Now look where they are, and what they got -- a coach who by all accounts believes in the 'my way or the highway' philosophy; a fractured dressing room; a plummetting performance graph; and eroding public support. Serves you right, you are almost inclined to say.

159 Comments:

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    By Blogger BlogEqual, at 10:43  

  • Prem,

    If you were *ever* to call me, I'll answer with words 'Hello, this is santa from NJ, would you like to have Lassi with me?'
    :-)

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 10:46  

  • in addition, they have a current coach who is prone to lying, leaking info to his "friends" in the media, snoring, captaining, threatening etc.

    and instead of focusing on getting HIM out, the media and the fans focus on SG and his problems.

    SG has a problem and may not survive too long unless he produces something magical in the next series (hopefully, he won't even be the captain) but the BIG problem is "chappell, MBE". SG's biggest folly has been backing this chap originally, bigger than the issues with his form or fitness.

    there, go ahead and abuse me now ;-).

    Hope GC resigns and the team gets enough time to rebuild, be it under SG, RD or SRT. But i think the contract is juicy enough that he will not budge an inch.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:57  

  • This post is startling - with all the infighting in the team, no wonder we are losing to all and sundry on the field. Makes me seriously wonder if firing SG/GC or both will get us anywhere. Discipline and basics are key to success in any profession, more so in sports. And, Mr. Mahendra says - what can we do? hang them? This one comment says it all.

    This is much worse than the match fixing scandal. Shame on the chest thumping, larger than life players who are taking this team down the drain.

    By Blogger saum, at 10:58  

  • Why did not John Wright raise this? Agreed that it is not correct to make public what happens inside the dressing room. But he could have asked the selection committee not to pick players who have disciplinary problems. I admire John Wright. But if he had 'best interests of Indian Cricket at heart', he shud have thrown out such players. And if Jaggu intervened, I think there is nothing wrong in making teh whole thing public. It would have at least opened the eyes of million of cricket fans. I think Greg Chappell has done a great service to Indian Cricket by raising these issues.

    By Blogger Thirdman, at 11:02  

  • mock:

    Is there even one shred of evidence that proves that GC lied?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:03  

  • sure - the only LIAR in the world in SG ;-)

    anyway, out of this blog for a while. The hypocrisy here is appalling.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:13  

  • Evidence - we don't need no stinking evidence.

    BTW - interesting link to distract everyone from the Indian cricket mess:
    http://www.snark.de/carroll/alice/alice9.html

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 11:15  

  • Hey mock
    Read my comment to Prem's latest post. it might make you happy :-)

    By Blogger vshan, at 11:25  

  • Ruchir,
    Ganguly responded to each of GC's allegations, Gloster was called, Manager Chowdhury was grilled. Ganguly had copies of Greg King's reports. Ganguly asked SK Nair on VVS issue who was sitting right there in the meeting. If Ganguly was able to prove his injury was not fake, he always completes his fitness routines and trainings, mentioned that the players are scared of GC to ask him anything (Harbhajan has said the same thing before), then what all does it prove?

    Additionally SG also showed printouts to the committee how GC had emailed his journalist friends about SG. What more to be proved? At least SG backed up his defense with proofs (data, email copies, persons testifying), GC just wrote an email.

    I wish BCCI had asked the players to appear before the committee. If that had happened, probably GC would have gone by now. Even after the retraction by Harbhajan, you and I know that the players have complaints. There are other reports published in the media.

    Ok, GC is not a LIAR, but if SG's explanation was found satisfactory, what will you call GC? Which points of SG's testimony you have issue with?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 11:29  

  • GC could have done some basic things right. Instead of asking the players about SG's injury, he could have asked Glouster and that would have carried more weight as he's the physio of the team. Additionally, he could have asked past reports from Leipus. SG did the right thing by backing his case with Glouster, Chowdhury (regarding skipping training sessions) and getting reports from King. GC didn't give enough supporting evidence to back his claim.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 11:37  

  • Prem, good post, this.

    Wright would not say more than this for Chappel as that is his style. But shows a distinct difference in him - ie. Wright knowing India and the Indian a lot better than Chappel.

    Trouble in five months for GC and getting tired at 5 year period JW also says a lot about Wright.

    Just feel that you are bringing some balance to your anti ganguly postings most of the time.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 11:39  

  • crictip: One of these days, you will prolly figure that everything cannot be viewed in the pro- or anti- prism.

    dadagiri: Could one reason the players were not called be because there was no telling what some players might say? VVS Laxman, for instance? *L*

    Oh no, before you guys start off on the 'another anti-G post' -- I'll take you back to the comment I made the day GC's mail became public property: That the only way to resolve this is to bring every single player before the board, take their testimony in camera, and *then* decide where the truth lies. And after all the to and fro allegations by both parties, I still believe that is the best, the only possible, solution.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:47  

  • One thing, though -- Greg Chappell deserves to be sacked if for nothing else, then because he is a naive idiot who is completely clueless in Indian conditions.

    I mean, this bloke thought operating in India is the same as in Australia, where you can take journalists into confidence knowing what you say will neither be misrepresented, nor misused. And guess who became GC's favorite confidante, the recepient of constant emails and SMS messages?

    LP Sahi. Who, of course, would *never* share with SG these confidences.

    I mean... on the sense quotient, GC ranks so low, he merits the axe just for that.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:50  

  • Who lied SG or GC? Or both? And who should go? The heated debate continues. But one thing that is emerging from recent news stories is the indiscipline/free-for-all enivronment that surrounded JW's final days as coach.

    If they are true and JW, right or wrong, gave up rather than confront the situation, makes me wonder what is GC doing wrong if he is standing up and fighting fire with fire? Mr. Mahendra himself is on record with satements such as: "If there is indiscipline, what can we do? Hang the players?"

    Not taking action suits BCCI's dysfunctional style, but why should GC be a party to it? As a professional he is trying to bring about change to fulfill his deliverable i.e. committment to excellence. I agree with a comment posted here that GC is probably doing a service to Indian cricket by trying to cleanse the dirty stables.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:50  

  • Folks,
    We have made enough arguments and counter arguments for SG and GC. I do not think there anything new to add.

    What do you think if there is a seperate posting for Ganguly bashers and Ganguly Praisers.

    Ditto for Chappel. Equal rights.

    Some likemendedness will help and the day will go well..without too many unpleasantries!

    What do you think?

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 11:51  

  • Prem: But by 'going desi' (to take a phrase from the Indian Express) isn't GC looking the other way to the indiscipline in the team? I agree he could and should have done it in a much smarter way, but I tend to agree with his intentions. Why kill the messenger when the message is bad? Or in this case the way the message is delivered is bad...

    By Blogger saum, at 11:54  

  • cricktip: Good idea. Maybe a third thread, for those who believe that it doesn't matter a rat's curse who stays and who goes, as long as the national team does well?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:55  

  • saum: If you mean stir the pot, and hope that in one good churn, you can get rid of the mess -- IMHO, the strategy is not wrong, but the timing is.

    Historically, no coup d'etat has ever worked, unless the home base has first been made secure.

    GC was just three months into the job; the team hadn't settled down to his ways; the results hadn't started to come -- the strike, if this is what it was, in purely practical terms was badly timed. Not to mention unnecessary -- the selection committee had clearly indicated before Zim that it was on the verge of taking a decision anyways.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:57  

  • Prem, your suggestion about getting all the players for inquiry. yes it will get all Truth out.

    Sound like a jusdicial enquiry or probably it has to be otherwise some of the players can also be influenced by seeing who is sitting in front of them.But that will take a year or two to finish. Remeber the Match Fixing judicial and CBI!

    Meantime the Life goes on.

    Even if SG has to go, I am of the opinion that India send him with dignity and honour and not with Humiliation. and that takes into account Current Affairs, if you can call his relation with GC that!

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:00  

  • Whose interests are best served by having all of this in the public domain? Ganguly ? GC? Dalmiya? Pawar?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 12:01  

  • saum: Also, was not suggesting he look the other way when the team is indisciplined. The smart way of dealing with that is to first get your ducks neatly aligned. Rope in the manager, make sure he is au courant with such instances; take the captain and vice captain aside and with manager in tow, 'talk reasonably' about what indiscipline can do to team morale and ask them to help you contain it (whether they will or no depends on the personal predelictions -- but you do these things, to make sure your bases are covered); write an end of tour report which itemises the indiscipline and the steps you took.

    Then, act. Sort of like castling in chess, before you launch an assault :-)

    The thing is, if you are planning a major move, you have to realize one chance is all you really get. Blow it, and you've lost it for life -- so you don't, if you are sensible, rush into it like a bull in the proverbial shop

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:01  

  • Prem,
    Are you saying that GC sent emails to LP Sahi showing SG in poor light? That's pretty hard to believe Sir. So is he the ONLY one or one of the many so called 'GC's favorite confidante'? I know you have inside sources, but I find it too far fetched to believe. Even assuming that what you say is true, was it fair on the coach's part to sent such emails to 'journalist friends'? Obviously, LP Sahi is not GC's long time buddy. Why should GC trust such a person whom he probably has befriended in the past 2-3 months that he can share such sensitive information?

    Regarding VVS should have been called, don't forget that HT report and the players talking anonymously against GC. I read somewhere that if the gag order was not issued, an explosive batsman from Delhi (read VS) and a fast bowler from West Zone (read ZK) were all set to go the media. Add Bhajji to that list. Not a pretty picture for GC.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 12:01  

  • Prem: Definitely there is something to say about GC's poor judgement in terms of timing.

    If I think back to some the earlier comments he made (paraphrased here): in which he heaped praise on the selection committee process (remember even one of your posts praised him), I don't think he is that foolish... he maybe decided to take on the bull now rather than later in his tenure when things are too set

    By Blogger saum, at 12:02  

  • shri, i think it is definitely Dalmiya!! 'cause he got the media to talk about something other than the AGM

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:02  

  • Funny Prm,

    but that Third Thread will prob. lead in to the first or second.

    May be we are condemened , like Sissyphus.
    May be need Kafka's Metamorphosis.

    May be.. maybe..

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:03  

  • prem, i asked this question yesterday too, but no answer!!

    in his email GC suggested SG to grab the opening spot in tests since both YS and MK deserved a chance in the middle order. now the opening slot of VS and GG already well set, why wud GC do that?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:06  

  • crictip: Oh, I am with you on that -- an inquiry run by the BCCI will never go anywhere anyway.

    I mean, look at that committee. One president by default. one secretary by default. One nobody who is de facto everybody. one ravi shastri, who makes no secret of his feelings. One sunny gavaskar, the single biggest hypocrite Indian cricket has ever seen, a man who can talk out of whichever side of his mouth he feels like at the time.

    In fact, on Sunny, one of these days, when the time is right, I want to ask -- and will, in a signed column on Rediff -- who he was referring to, and why, when on the morning of October 26 (the first morning of the Nagpur Test) he told Allan Border, who was tour selector for the Australian team, and Adam Gilchrist, the wise captain, that a particular player was suffering from 'greenwicketitis'. (Oh, by the way, Greg Chappell didn't email me this titbit, before you ask -- I have not exchanged a single email, sms, or telephone call -- bloody hell, or snail mail -- with him since he took over; my last communication with him was in late 1999).

    Indian cricket is filled with self-serving politicians -- one of these days, someone needs to call their bluff.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:06  

  • saum: maybe, but it is (and you didn't need recent events to figure it out)a colossal error in judgment.

    *grin* maybe these blokes, who swear by de bono and such, need to read a desi book. written, ages ago, by a guy called Chanakya.

    Mayur: *laughing* You really want the logical answer to that? Ok, next post

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:09  

  • Mayur: The answer to that goes to another bit of Gavaskar-style hypocrisy.

    Remember when Tendulkar led to Aus? The batting was going to pieces, and he felt he needed Jadeja, one guy who would not be cowed. The board told him Jadeja could come only if Azhar was part of the deal, and Sachin said if Azhar set foot in the dressing room he would quit, and tell the press why.

    Sunny at the time took Sachin aside and advised him, let Azhar come. And send him in at number three, Brett Lee will send him back on a stretcher.

    *grin* Not suggesting that GC was being that devious... but, um... interesting thought.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:11  

  • yep!! i just kept wondering about why wud GC say that!! opening and SG?

    anyways, i thought that asking SG to open seemed like a shortcut for GC to take SG out. Well sisn't really think about the 'stretcher' theory!! LOL

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:14  

  • dadagiri: Yes, I do mean precisely that. One of GC's main confidants was LPS... I presume he has learnt better, but this is a fact, whether you believe it or no. Not the only one... a couple from Cricinfo, one from Indian Express, a couple from other papers... but GC bought into LPS as the 'seniormost veteran' on the press corps.

    As to the other, sure. VS would have said things, ZK would have said things, no one would have asked why one player who was very fit is now increasingly podgy and why the other is unable to bowl a decent spell for any sustained length of time. But my point, pal, is that the 'explosive revelations' would not have been one-sided -- and the board knew that. So rather than create a situation where too many cats were out of the bag, they pulled off this little three card trick, and buried the whole darn bag. Neat, if a trifle short-sighted. The alternative was they might have ended up having to sack both.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:15  

  • Those who argue for Kaif average 24.5 and Yuv average 33.90.

    Since trip to Australia, Ganguly 565 runs averages 33 EXCLUDING BD AND ZIM.

    Have not seen the real dilema that captain or selctors would face if a credible all rounder shows for # 6 spot. Always dreaimng about this.

    As we are finding out, GC proposal for SG to open in Test is not Straight Talk.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:17  

  • and about gavaskar, i really kept on wondering why rohan wud move to Bengal. slowly, due to the steady decline of the bengal team, rohan became the captain and slowly moved into the indian team. why isn't he a permanent fixture of the team? gavaskar has enough pull in the BCCI to make that happen. any interesting story or theory there prem?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:17  

  • dadagiri: About why coaches trust journalists? They all do. Not just cricket coaches, either. For instance, in journalism there is something called deep background briefing. Everyone from prime ministers on down, will take influential journos aside, and discuss with them the hot topics of the time. It is understood going in that what is said is for the journo's insight; it is *not* to be every quoted or disseminated. It is the person in power's way of providing, from his point of view, the sort of inside information that could illuminate the journalist's own thinking; the good ones will listen, will keep it in mind, will question the motives, and will write what they believe should be written. The bad ones will use the info to play games with. Happens, like I said, not just in cricket either.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:18  

  • mayur: For all his pull, SG hasn't managed to make RG do enough to warrant a place. A major problem for SG is, too many journos know of the games he plays. We are generally a polite lot, not prone to exploding things in people's faces, cricketwise or otherwise. Thing though is, if you go too far, then journos will talk -- and using his clout to earn permanent stripes for RG would have pushed the limits, and then will surface awkward questions as, for example, relating to the money found in his locker, which has been given a quiet burial, and other issues.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:21  

  • Oooof, got to run, guys, work calls.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:21  

  • Prem - All this makes GC looks like a comlete buffoon. Is he really so stupid?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 12:22  

  • tiger: not necessarily 'stupid' in the absolute sense; merely not clued in to how India works, and in too much of a hurry to take time to learn.

    that is why i keep bringing up Wright. I remember in his early days, he would invite journos for drinks, dinner, whatever. i compared notes with three others and realized that wright never spoke, during that time, about the players. he basically asked about the board, who the power centers are, how things work, who backs who, how the selectors get nominated, all of that stuff. the obvious intent was to get a good understanding of the structure itself.

    greg started out right, with his big play to take the selectors into confidence; i think his biggest mistake though was to imagine the best option wsa to force the issue early, so he could get it over and done with and then worry about the team. he was in such a rush, he didn't really budget for all the variables, the equations, et al.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:26  

  • Chalo, guys... later.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:27  

  • How about this for an interview...

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/220313.html

    No-one is bigger than the game

    September 28, 2005

    Martin Williamson speaks to Ozias Bvute, the managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket



    Ozias Bvute: 'Our players are professionals' © Zimbabwe Cricket
    Why did you feel it was necessary to introduce performance-related contracts?
    We are answerable to our stakeholders for the performance of our teams. We decided to introduce the new contracts to reward the performers. Although there is a stipulated retainer, the new contracts will encourage the players to work harder because they are weighed heavily towards incentives which will reward those who make runs or take wickets.

    Were the players consulted during this process?
    Yes. We have been in consultation with the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers' Association since June this year. Notwithstanding that, you will appreciate that in contractual negotiations it is not unusual for one side to present a proposal, a draft contract, as the first step in the negotiation process.

    Why are so many players included when most other countries have much smaller pools?
    We do not have the luxury of so many world-class players at our disposal that the other countries have. We have only one, Heath Streak, and two upcoming ones, Tatenda Taibu and Andy Blignaut. The rest are talented but young and inexperienced. In the absence of this assured quality, we need the safety of quantity. Further, the rigours of touring and international commitments in between domestic play are heavier on our young lot than they are on experienced players and so we need the numbers.

    Were you disappointed with the reaction of some of the players?
    Not really. We went into the process aware that what we were basically doing was to set the negotiation process into motion around our contract proposal. There could be no disappointment with the reaction because we needed the players to let us know what they thought about our proposal.

    Can Zimbabwe afford to lose players such as Stuart Carlisle and Craig Wishart?
    No-one is bigger than the game. Stuart and Craig played in the first Croco Motors Test match against New Zealand. What happened? They did not play in the first Royal Stag Test match against India. What happened?

    Is there a worry that some individuals might start playing for themselves rather than the team?
    No. Our players are professionals.

    We have had reports that some players seemed to have grown lazy and were operating in a comfort zone. Will these contracts address that?
    That is what they are meant to do.

    Are you worried by recent performances by Zimbabwe?
    During the Test matches against New Zealand, yes. While we have never been world-beaters, we have always been competitive but that spirit was not there anymore. In the last two Videocon one-day international matches and now the first Test match against India we are seeing that Zimbabwe spirit again.

    What signs are there that things are getting better?
    You have obviously followed our performance in our last two Videocon ODI matches and in the first Test against India.

    How would you react to people who suggest that Zimbabwe should be given time out from the endless grind of international cricket to allow them to rebuild?
    We cannot assess ourselves unless we are competing against the best. Everyone agrees that our young cricketers are brimming with potential but lack experience. There is no other place where they can get experience from except at the coal-face.

    And how do you react to calls for Zimbabwe to be stripped of Test status?
    On what grounds? These calls are unfortunate and made by the uninformed. The emphasis right now is on growing the international game, not preserving its exclusivity.

    Have the ICC been supportive during what has been a difficult 18 months?
    The ICC has done what the ICC had to do. For example, there were allegations of racism levelled against us. The ICC set up a committee to look into these. We were duly absolved.

    Do you feel Zimbabwe cricket (as opposed to Zimbabwe Cricket) receives a fair deal from the media?
    Yes. And that includes Cricinfo- during those occasions such as now, when you do not have stories that you consider so hot you rush to print without allowing us the opportunity to respond. Any doubt about this is dispelled by your qualification in the question, which, even while closeted in brackets, is revealing about your propensity to vacillation.

    How hard is it for Zimbabwe Cricket to remain outside politics in Zimbabwe when it appears to be creeping into every facet of daily life?
    As an outsider you are excused for asking this question. To get the answer, all you have to do is to look at the situation where you are and realise that Zimbabwe is no different.

    Why are attendances at major matches so low?
    We had good crowds during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 pool matches in Harare and Bulawayo. Attendance dipped during the standoff with some players obviously because the off-field events had dampened the mood of the spectators. We had a good turnout at the beginning of the New Zealand tour but indifferent performances by the team put paid to that. As the team became more and more competitive during the Videocon ODI Triangular tournament, the crowds have started coming back. With the players heavily incentivised by the new contracts, we expect the turnstiles to be busy from here on.

    Are you more optimistic about the future of the game in Zimbabwe one year from your election as MD?
    It is actually an appointment. I have always been optimistic. I would not have accepted the appointment otherwise,

    What would be the main thing you have achieved in that year?
    I have undertaken the re-organisation of our development programme to ensure that we are adequately covered in tertiary institutions. We want to create interest in teachers so that when they are qualified they will be active participants in the development of the game. We now have a presence at 12 universities and 16 teacher training institutions around the country, and are finalising details on a structure that safeguards our future moving forward.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 12:33  

  • Prem: Your counter arguments are certainly very strong. Darn! I thought GC would help reshape the team. I am still hoping he hasn't blown his chance away. But, until the team shapes up, I am not going to pay a single dime to the coffers of BCCI or the sponsors. Its time for satyagraha.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:38  

  • prem, i have had great respect for JW especially after what i saw in the last couple of weeks. the above post takes my respect for him a tad higher than what it was. it seems natural that whenever a guy is hired in the top management of any firm, he wud want to get himself aclimatized to the culture. take ur time and understand it before u make ur move. as u said he seems to be in a hurry to get things done.

    as i type that, we also need to take 1 thing into consideration i.e. when JW took over the team we were at the nadir interms of our performance and moral after the match fixing allegation. SG had come in and was trying his best to get a TEAM together and most importantly hJW had 3 years to build a team.

    GC, on the other hand had a settled team with very less time on hand for the coming WC. 18 months and thats it!! he proly jumped ahead and started making decisions becuase he knew that his a** was on fire if he didn't show a significant amount of results in the WC. in retrospect, tom moody wud have been a better choice over GC and JW 'cause JW's style to take the team to the next level was proving inadequate and GC was too much a bigshot to say 'my way or the highway'

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:38  

  • mayur: you raise good points. the circumstances when JW and GC came in are totally different. but, JW's approach seems much much smarter than the mess we are in today.

    the flip side though is GC probably doesn't have the luxury of time to sit back and play the cards slowly to build a team for WC 07.

    i think SG played it really smart here - he figured he won't last much longer with GC around... forced GC out into the open and played the politics he has been to stay afloat... but at a very steep cost to the team.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:47  

  • that's what makes me so mad - bcci, sg, gc all playing politics but not having the courage to sit down and work together to build a team that can put a good fight.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:49  

  • I agree with Shyam. GC has indeed done a great service to Indian Cricket. Now atleast all the players know what they have to do esp Ganguly's ass is on line if he doesn't perform and its on line big time.

    About dadagiri's reference to SK nair. Duh!. Its so simple. You tell the selectors not to pick and then to secretary to pick to have an alibi.

    btw I still dont see how could SG keep his place in test team once ST returns. It would be history repeating b/w GC and SG when you have to choose 1 between SG,YS and MK.

    By Blogger J, at 12:55  

  • saum: SG was under tremedous pressure - a kind of pressure he has never imagined from the coach that he supported - and after the century he just let loose. he thought that people wud agree with him that he is back in form and so he fired a missile at GC. a totally wrong move and even he accepted that it was wrong later.

    in my previous post i was trying to compare JW and GC. JW was a lot smarter (as Prem said about the media conferences) and decided to ease into the role rahter than thrust himself in. as prem rightly mentioned, why did GC risk his career by having a spat with Sg when we all know that the selectors were upto something when they named SG for just 1 series?

    as i said in my earlier post that no news is good news. let SG and GC figure out a way to work together. hey it happens in big corporations, so why not in team india. both shud understand what each other can bring to the table and appriciate each others input. SG cannot go out and say that the coach asked me to step down while GC shud not say that SG is making up injuries when there weren't. chill guys!! work together or just quit!!

    again enough has been said about whether GC was wrong or SG was. the loser is indian cricket.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:56  

  • Prem,

    JW certainly handled the media very well...he had his philosophy of staying in the background...but in the end he suffered from his inability to control the players' egos and could not take the team to the next level. GC has definitely not handled the media very well ever since he's taken up the job but does that justify asking for his head? He's unwilling to put up with egos of the players and I'm afraid that if no one is willing to do that each coach will be more or less a puppet of the system. In the end, it's something like this: You have a problem. You have two proposed solutions. One solution has proved to have limitations in solving the problem entirely. The other solution does not guarantee a solution but seems rather promising...the point of concern being the 'handling' of the solution. Would you not go for the 2nd solution hoping to refine it and hence try and solve the problem entirely?

    By Blogger rp, at 12:56  

  • rp: GC seems to be in the Bob Wolmer mold who just loves to talk to the media. he difinitely talked a lot more than JW. BW silenced his critics with his performance in the test series against India. secondly he also improved the ODI team. now the same journos r rallying behind him. have u seem Javed take a shot at BW lately?

    GC has to prove himself first and until then he is going to be questioned by the media.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:01  

  • Prem, a question for you. You said One thing, though -- Greg Chappell deserves to be sacked if for nothing else, then because he is a naive idiot who is completely clueless in Indian conditions. - You initial opinion was that when the email was leaked, and all those rumours about players complaining came out..that the problem was they were not ready to work hard....and that they cannot take criticism at face vallue. Now, you add to it, that GC was naive enough to not understand the Indian way of working, and was stumped by the media etc...

    But, at this stage, knowing what we do from the review committee internal happenings....and now looking with the advantage of hindsight...do you still maintain that the only problem with Chappell is that he is not known to the Indian ways? Do you think there is no other fault with him (what if even a percentage of rebuttals that SG produced there in the committee are true?)...still only 'players complaining of hardwork' ???...

    ...in the midst of this vacations...I still couldn't resist...cos I feel there is more to it...and also that most probably both have been put on notice....SG would almost surely go if he doesnt perform more than decently with the bat in those two series....and wins atleast one of them....and GC would be watched for the dressing room action...

    Knowing this...whats your take on our coach now??

    By Blogger worma, at 13:02  

  • guys:

    have u noticed that inzi is shortlisted for the player of the year and test player of the year award?

    i personally think that he is going to be left out with Flintoff bagging the player of the year and warney bagging the test player of the year awards. his recent tantrums definitely got him this far!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:04  

  • mayur:

    agree with you that GC has to prove himself. But my objection was to Prem's comment saying that GC's deserves to be axed on the basis of his handling of the media. GC deserves to be criticized for the mess, but does he deserve to be axed? A possible solution to GC's media problems could be giving GC his personal media manager.

    By Blogger rp, at 13:08  

  • interesting stories!!

    http://web.mid-day.com/sports/national/2005/september/119728.htm

    http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=325743

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:10  

  • Does anybody know why the board and SG prefrred GC over other candidates for the coach? I always thought GC did not have much of a coaching record to base anything on. I was unaware that he coached South Australia for four or five seasons, and the results were pathetic. So if that is his record as coach, why did India go for him? Or, is it because it is BCCI we are talking about, where performance and record do not count for much

    By Blogger bouncer, at 13:17  

  • Worma,

    Hope you are enjoying your vacation.

    Some of us are asking the same question again and again. But I notice, coming from you it appears cool and calm.

    The very first brick of this Problem Building was laid by GC when he did not respond to Kaif v/s Yuv question. Dropping Ganguly was neither the question nor the option.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 13:40  

  • bouncer - I think if you look at it closely GC's record at SA is mixed. The SA record was not good but the point is also made that the SA cricket org is the worst in the Aussie setup. They were 4th out of 6 when he was there but have been 5th or 6th consistently since.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 13:52  

  • ..and just to add to that question Prem...one more issue(dunno if it has been raised in some discussions here)..but if even a percetage of those rebuttals are true..meaning if GC had anything except the straighforward approach to problem solving, laced with the naivity you mentioned....then there are good chances that he can be behind the email leak also!...don't you think so???...

    ...Well he had been raising these points (mentioned in the email) in general in earlier selector meetings also (not wanting to work with SG, I think he raised this after SL tour..there were recent reports on this?)...so he could have thought by leaking it to the media..he would make his displeasure public...and put the board and selectors in a tight spot...not being able to ignore it as much (and he succeeded partially..althought he snowballing harmed him also, in ways he didnt bargain for)....what do you say about this?? Possible???

    And I think I already saw there discussions about his connectio with LP???....more possibility now?

    ..again...ignore it if this has already been raised here...

    By Blogger worma, at 13:53  

  • oh la la - now we are saying GC was "naive" in trusting journalists and never questioning WHY he was leaking info? And he did not know about LP Sahi and his reputation as SG's mouthpiece?

    SURE.

    Pigs can fly too. ;-)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 13:54  

  • Doesnt Dav Whatmore's contract with Bangladesh have a rider therein so he can leave them whenever he wants.. time to find out if he's still interested in coaching India!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:00  

  • >>> any coach with aim of achieving excellence would not say that. Go and tell what John said to some of the professional coaches in the US pro sports. They will laugh at you. All of the current problems are due to John Wright sitting back and doing nothing about it. He should have spoken out before or after he left. Net result is that we have a bunch of spoiled brats.

    Wright was good…but he was not good enough to help someone like ganguly, who had to go all the way to Australia to get a help with his batting. Wright did nothing to improve our fielding standards. Ganguly was the worst of the lot.

    Given the lack of discipline and state of the mind of some of our cricketers, we need a dictator. We do not need a pacifist.

    All that said, I still think Greg will be gone very soon.

    Another prediction, if India goes with 3 selectors, for sure there will be one from East Zone to protect the interests of Dalmiya/Ganguly.

    By Blogger G285, at 14:01  

  • tiger - why would any coach agree to come to India now, a huge amount of money would have to be put up to entice anyone.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 14:02  

  • worma - If SG's rebuttal has some truth to it - viz., GC not discussing strategy, players being afraid of talking to him about their weakness, etc.. then naivete is not GC's only problem... and thats the worry - raises questions about his very qualification for the job. The least you'd want from coach is that he be someone the players can trust to get their flaws addressed - here you have a guy who will use that very flaw against you!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:03  

  • I,
    I didn't only give reference to SK Nair, but gave other references too, It's pretty obvious to everyone that SG had some proofs to support his claims. GC had none except of course if the VVS incident is correct (we will probably never know). If only GC had proved his email with some proofs, facts, data during the review meeting, I'd have believed him. It was up to SG to defend himself and he did a good job at it. Whereas what Bhajji told the media about GC after laning in India, you can find that in one of the comments of SG and also the points made by other cricketers in the HT report. GC needed to have someone backing up, even one player anonymously saying that SG creates rift in the team. There's no such stories so far. If you accuse someone, you need to have some proofs to back them up and I don't believe that all of his allegations couldn't be proved. It's definitely not a case of either you believe it or you leave it. I've said it clearly that to suggest a captain is nervous and unstable in mind because he changes batting order during a match is absurd. Is SG the first captain in the history of cricket who has done so?

    Can you say that GC did the right thing by asking the players about SG faking injury rather than asking the physio? Assuming that GC's allegations of pro-SG and anti-SG group is true, what do you think they players would say? Won't it depend which camp he belonged to? So can GC trust such opinions provided he himself wanted to get to the bottom of it?

    Regarding the question you asked, do you know whether SG asked the selectors to drop VVS and then told Nair the opposite? Where did you read it?

    I still wonder why GC would be spending time sending journos email about SG. He had some idea about Indian media when his comments on SRT was blown out of proportion. Why would he still do that? He should have figured out which camp a journalist belongs to before sending sensitive info. to him. Did it occur to him that LP Sahi writes for 'The Telegraph'. Sorry to say this, but it's very bad judgement on GC'a part.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:04  

  • Worma:
    Excellent point. GC could very well be the leak. He probably did it to drum up public support for his cause and maligning SG. As it is he is prone to discussing a lot of things with the media.
    It's actually very easy for the BCCI honchos to find out, all they got to do is ask each other about it( I guess there were only 3 recipients) and if none of them leaked it then the finger points to GC. Elementary my dear Dalmiya.

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 14:08  

  • Tiger,
    If you go back and read Harbhajan's comments or read that HT report where some players anonymously talked about GC, their comments do match. All of them talked about players being afraid to talk to GC. Not a good sign. That's why the main problem is not the SG-GC issue here, but whether GC can mend his ways and work with the players in the future. There's no guarantee that if you drop VS, YS, HS, AN, ZK and SG and bring in new players, they won't have probs with GC.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:13  

  • I am sure that ganguly did not have any injury. had he had one...then his fielding would have gone from worse to zip.

    By Blogger G285, at 14:14  

  • Now there is more balance to the discussion. SG is not the only one to blame.
    GC is getting his butt kicked too.
    In all this, we forget one thing, BCCI is an organization run by elected officials with tenure and no accountability.
    And they talk about how they will measure performances by coach and captain?
    hypocrisy ka bhi hadh hoti hai yaar.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 14:22  

  • Laxman. For me, it all comes down to VVS. Who lied about Laxman? Whoever did, must leave now. Please.

    By Blogger idlivada, at 14:22  

  • Mock: Ooo la la, whatever did you expect from 'journo trash' anyway? It of course is pointless to point out that when the first leak hit, I suggested that it be probed, the players be summoned, the truth be arrived at and the guilty party, *whoever* it is, be sacked.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:30  

  • if the players are afraid to talk to their coach: (a) is it because GC is bad or (b) is it because they are not doing their homework and are now afraid to face the teacher?

    given the indiscipline thats plaguing the team towards the end of JW's era, i think both scenarios could be true.

    i would be very very surprised if GC is so foolish as to alienate multiple/most players in the team. if he has to form a core team it is within the current playing 11... my guess it is a combination of both (b) and (a) in that order - GC probably reprimanded a few senior as well as junior players for lack of discipline or similar reason. the result was he earned a bad name and is now facing almost an open revolt...

    By Blogger saum, at 14:32  

  • How does it matter to whom GC was writing? HE was leaking info and that is fine? After all, SG got the thrid degree for talking to the media?? And this guy is doing it sneakily!

    Prem and the Kill-SG gang here are quite selective in their views and accusations, eh?

    At least it is obvious why Cricinfo was tripping over themselves attacking SG - GC was feeding them info, obviously.

    Even if GC sent stuff to LP Sahi( I don't believe it), WHY doesn't anyone question GC's methods instead of saying "oh, pooor GC, he picked the wrong guy" ???

    Yes, VVS was done for by SG - GC, the patron saint for TRUTH and ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND WONDERFUL would never lie ;-)

    All this analysis reminds me of 7 blind men describing an elephant!

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 14:32  

  • The leak, and its source, seems to be the cause of much discussion.

    I wonder if it is pertinent to point out that if the BCCI wants to, it can very readily determine the source of the leak -- the original email was not widely disseminated.

    A question that perhaps needs to be raised is this: Why is the BCCI so lethargic about finding out? Could it be because it does not want to officially know the answer?

    A subsidiary question is this: if the BCCI is in fact keen on finding out what actually happened, why did it not take the logical step of summoning all the players? Gagging them from making public pronouncements could be justified in terms of 'the best interests of Indian cricket' -- but why is it the BCCI itself does not want to know what the exact situation is? How simple was it to bring the players to Mumbai? Or even do tele-conferences with them?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:33  

  • Prem, cmon, can't you see the irony? instead of viewing the man who was leaking info with suspicion, you are SYMPATHETIC to him for being NAIVE! ;-)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 14:34  

  • Actually, Prem, I must admit that the last article you posted on rediff was quite balanced. (although you meant it in a sarcastic tone, it asks some good questions) GC has been all but proven to be a liar and a pathetic coach and the board has not fired him yet. Must be the contract.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 14:35  

  • Prem: The answer to your subisdiary question is embedded in Mr. Mahendra's remarks: 'What can we do if there is indiscipline in the team? Hang them?' which means the BCCI through all its administrative power has no clue how to deal with errant players because there are more than enough skeletons in BCCI's own cupboards that its turned into a 'you scratch my back and i will scratch yours'...

    By Blogger saum, at 14:36  

  • prem...can it not be that the BCCI already 'knows' about the leak....and the future actions (those discloesd...and those which we dont know of) are deciding by taking the source of leak *also* into account?

    btw, wud love to hear from you on the questions I asked above?

    By Blogger worma, at 14:36  

  • mock: sympathetic? Again, reference my post relating to the email. I said -- if what Greg Chappell says is proved wrong, he should be sacked. No ifs, buts, maybes in that. Not convenient for your thesis though, right? ;-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:36  

  • continuing on the thought of GC being bad or not - and when GC took action the pampered players got a rude shock after the milk feeding they got in JW's era and are now angry... their inconsistent perforamces for the past year requires stern action: spare the rod and spoil the child as they say... classic example of that.

    By Blogger saum, at 14:39  

  • ..mock...Prem....even if we think that GC is guilty.....no one is actually *fired* in such a position in any organisation (especially in the most well run professional multi national orgs)....usually such high profile *firings* are disguised as 'slow' phasing out from the org.....so lets wait and see....both guilty people are on watch list....maybe the phasing out process has been started for one (or both) of them.....

    By Blogger worma, at 14:39  

  • mock: Gee... at least it was balanced, with a lot of those codicils thrown in. By the way, I don't remember asking that Saurav be sacked. Must be a slip up on my part, no?

    Oh, and about the contract? You must be serious, right, in suggesting that a paid professional who deliberately misled his employers with libel and lies (which, if GC's statements are false, is what it amounts to) cannot be sacked? I mean, this is provable -- this is what GC said, these are the people involved, they are summoned, they are asked the relevant questions, the rights and wrongs are determined, and the culprit is sacked. No contract in the world can protect you against deceit. So... why not? Please -- that 'contract' chestnut won't fly even as high as those pigs you referenced.

    worma: If the BCCI knows the source of the leaks, and it will not take action, ask yourself why.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:40  

  • ..Prem...I already answered 'why'....if there was such an incident in IBM...they wouldn't have fired their top boss either...not that BCCI is being run like IBM ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:42  

  • worma: You did say "in the most well run professional organizations"? Sorry, mate, didn't realize we were discussing Infosys here. *L*

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:42  

  • Again. Prem, Worma, Mock et al.

    I paraphrase what I posted yesterday and what I will be reposting till I get kicked out.

    You guys are hypothesising. If SG faked injury, If GC was engaged in double-talk, If GC leaked the email.....

    I really fail to see how intelligent minds like yours are still discussing the symptoms and not the cause. Azhar needed to go and he went. SG should go and will go. But for every RD or SRT there will be a new ZK, Agarkar and Kumble produced by the system. RD and SRT are exceptions not the rule.

    We should leave this fracas aside and seriously start a thread everyday to discuss how to improve BCCI and correct the cause.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 14:43  

  • dadagiri:

    Forget about what players say anonymously. If you consider those news items, then consider all that Dungarpur and Gavaskar has to say about SG/Dalmiya. At least these gentlemen have coutesy of speaking directly, not hiding behind pallus.

    Now, come to two main points of the mail. Fitness and politics.

    SG brings medical certificates and Manager to vouch for his fitness. Why did committee did not invite physio and Gregory King to in front of them? I have not read anywhere what physio and trainer said. How can we say that proof given by SG were 100% true when there was no rebuttal allowed from other side? Also, why this one sided media coverage to influence minds of people into thinking that SG gave a very strong presentation? Why is nothing is being written about what GC had to say?

    You say Bhajji told HT that GC played politics etc. Why was Bhajji not invited in the meeting? What was the committee afraid of that they did not force him to come and repeat what lies GC had spread? Were they afraid that Bhajji might not have anything to say in front of GC?? Bhajji issued a correction saying that he want to play under GC. What should we think of such a player? Bin paindi ka lotaa?? Who will slide towards the side where weight is tilting? Similarly, GC took VVS name in his mail. Why was VVS not invited in the meeting to depose?? Was the committee afraid that VVS sill speak something that will harm SG tremendously?? Why this immense urge from BCCI to keep everything under wraps by not askeing the named and vocal players to depose in the meeting?? what is the reason for that??

    How can you selectively say that what SG is saying is true, simply because SG-favoring media is giving more prominence to it, without wanting to know what GC said in the meeting? How can you believe what Bhajji said in an interview when he later retracts it when you don't get to hear what VVS might have had to say??

    You believe when Bhajji says that GC uses players problems against them. But I am sure you don't want to hear what Pathan or Gambhir or Dhoni might have to say. Simply because the same question was not put in front of them and they were not forced to answer. You want to believe a person who comes out and says something which he later retracts. I feel words of Pathan, Dravid, Dhoni etc. would also carry same, or even more, weight if they are brought out by BCCI.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 14:43  

  • I still say fire SG Musharraf. If he had the deceny of even one mock's flying pigs he would have quit a long time ago and we wouldn't have been here.

    oh and we must still hang all the BCCI officials.

    By Blogger saum, at 14:44  

  • actually I went ahead and chose IBM ;-)....should have said "even in most well run orgs..."

    By Blogger worma, at 14:44  

  • worma: Sure. If there was such an incident in IBM, they would immediately sideline the person concerned before he caused any more damage to the organization as a whole, shunt him into a do-nothing post, hold him there for a cooling period, let the company lawyers examine all the implications, and then sack him. I doubt if the let's say Director research and development of IBM lied about his counterpart in production, spread dissension in the production department and created a situation where the company's name became mud, they would ask the two principals to play pool together for the photographers. Surely not?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:44  

  • Laughing at my own post,
    especially the line "improve BCCI"

    I guess that would be more of an exercise in futility than this theorizing.

    Now I realize the wisdom of your discussions.

    Go on. Back to mute spectator mode.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 14:46  

  • saurav: There is one such thread. The one I posted yesterday, referencing Rahul Mehra. Appreciate anyone on here who has time going there and adding inputs -- RM said he would call around 9 pm my time tonight, and I intend to synopsise the suggestions for him, then email him the full text.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:46  

  • Prem:
    Please use your inside sources and find out the source of the leak. There is an outside chance, as worma mentioned that GC leaked it out, or possibly ABP got a gist of the email from Dalmiya/Mahindra/Nair and then GC got pissed about it and then leaked the entire email to DNA.

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 14:48  

  • ...well that 'pool' was a short term measure...lets say that IBM official was involved in a high profile seminar where some prospective customers were in attendance...surely there would have been show of 'alls well' there?

    And anyway...not clinging too much to the IBM issue...that was just meant to say that there is no 'direct' action in such high profile clashes.....and how do you expect to phase out the captain or coach?...by giving them a short deadline to shape up....and better show the results of shaping up...and soon.....right??....maybe that is the message to these two (or one)...maybe a tight leash and a deadline is given?....maybe thats why the second review??.....so...my point being....this may not *yet* be over...the actions over next 1-2-3 months should *also* be added up to the outcome of the meeting today to get the full picture of the actions taken.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:49  

  • prem, journo-trash refers to the OUTPUT . occasionally, good articles can sprout among it.
    for instance, your saying(assuming) that VVS would have talked against SG for sure.

    anyway, i ain't interested in doingnay thesis on you or any one else. i say what i think and if peopel abuse me, water of a duck's back ;-)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 14:49  

  • Prem,
    Ok, let's forget about the leak. Let me ask you two questions, just two....for the time being. :) I did raise them earlier, but you didn't answer. So let me repeat again.

    a) Can you say that GC did the right thing by asking the players about SG faking injury rather than asking the physio? Assuming that GC's allegations of pro-SG and anti-SG group is true, what do you think they players would say? Won't it depend which camp he belonged to? So can GC trust such opinions provided he himself wanted to get to the bottom of it? Why not ask Glouster and also try to get in touch with Leipus or ask the Manager to do the needful and get all medical reports on SG? Hasn't SG done the same to defend himself?

    b) One of the allegations GC made against SG is that he changes team composition on the day of the play, change batting order during the game and pace himself nervously in the dressing room. Are these allegation justified to prove that someone is mentally unfit or unstable? Most often the playing XI is declared from the 12 announced on the day of the play. So? Doesn't any captain change the batting order when the match is on? I had read somewhere that even now Sachin can't sleep at night when he had to bat the next day. He's always biting his nails. So being nervous mean one is unstable and unfit in mind?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 14:50  

  • V: I made the point earlier -- I have not communicated with GC in any form over the last five years; my relations with Mahindra and Dalmiya are not such that they will take me aside and whisper their tender secrets in my shell like ears. People I know come up have come up with all kinds of stuff on the leak and the motivations, some sensible some bizarre, but on balance, I figure I don't know anything about this for a fact, so will avoid.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:50  

  • ...and Prem...your take on my original questions above??...wud like to hear what you now think of the 'whole sitution'..as well as all the invovled parties....at this stage..knowing what all we do (and extrapolating some of it)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:51  

  • hey... not fair mock turtle, it should be water of a turtle's back not a duck for ya! :)

    By Blogger saum, at 14:51  

  • dadagiri:

    1. If he polled players about the captain, it is an indefensible act. The only parallel I can think of is a team so lost to propriety as to hold a team meeting deliberately excluding the coach.

    2. Normally, the composition of the team is decided by captain, vice captain and coach, who unless a selector is accompanying the team on tour function as the tour selection committee. It would thus be equally wrong for either coach, or captain, to unilaterally decide the composition.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:54  

  • dadagiri....LOL..actually what you are doing now is analysing the email again...:-)...I thought we already asked all those questions when the mail came out....and atleast some of us realised that GC used those points to strengthen his case against SG....assuming that he *had* a case at all...which now seems thinner and thinner

    By Blogger worma, at 14:54  

  • Prem...addendum to your point 1) in reply to dadagiri : "...or a coach went to the toss instead of the captain".....

    ..right?

    By Blogger worma, at 14:55  

  • Mock: Sorry, mate, my bad. When you referenced "the journo-trash here who suggest..." I didn't realise it was the posting, not the person, being referenced. Not an issue... as you said, water, ducks, etc.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:58  

  • All said and done, I think we are closer to the end of Ganguly's era. If SG keeps failing with the bat for the say next 2 series and India loses more than she wins, then its curtains for him. GC can simply say - I told you so, sack SG he is pretty much done.

    If we win then GC could claim some credit for putting all players on notice.

    The sad part is in either case Indian cricket is a big loser because this whole fiasco is not helping anyone out.

    By Blogger saum, at 14:59  

  • worma: yes of course.

    Do I need to spell this out in neon? My take on this has all along been -- and it remains, despite all the fishing compromises the BCCI comes up with -- that an untenable situation has been allowed to go on too long; that now that the s**t has hit the ceiling, the 'best interests of Indian cricket' are best served by making a dispassionate inquiry, followed by a thorough spring cleaning, the intent being to ensure that troublemakers, whoever they are, are kicked out, and the rest given the message that no such stuff will be tolerated in future. And -- if the point still hasn't gotten across -- I don't give a good healthy damn who the troublemaker is, he/they has/have to go.,

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:00  

  • Those who want to take a break, enjoy these expensive cars....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:01  

  • @Prem,

    Here is the standard org Chart that should be necessary. I cannot post a powerpoint. But I will try to describe it verbally.

    1. At the top, there will be a Board of Directors who would be made up of clean ex-players: Venkat, Manjrekar, Prasanna, Prakash Padukone, Vijay Amritraj who would be answerable to the Government of India and their aim like most other profit firms would be maximize profits for the shareholders. Monetarily, this is easily measured. Qualitative factors like spectator satisfaction, team standards can be measured using Balanced Score Card Initiatives.

    2. A CEO, preferably experienced ones from a US baseball club or Soccer leagues will be appointed reporting to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the smooth functioning of the organization.

    3.1 CFO will provide financial transparency and make investments that improve the bottom line of Cricket.

    3.2 CIO will provide statistical and digital archives of all domestic and international games, responsible for coaching videos, a contracts database, web site design, maintenance and support systems for finance, HR and admin.

    3.3 CMO will ensure success of marketing efforts, identify sponsors, television contracts and make sure that all cricket games in which India is involved has satisfied consumers.

    3.4 A COO will be appointed for operations.

    3.4.1 Vice President of Domestic Operations will be appointed reporting to the COO, responsible for ranji trophies, duleep trophy, under-19 competitions and any game that is not international.

    4.1 The Director of Stadium will make sure that stadium facilities are adequate to spectators, security of stadiums and also make sure that all curators are up to standard and are getting the equipment that they need to host first class games.

    4.2 Director of Players will be responsible to make sure that all teams have proper coaches, players have access to training and physiotherapic facilities and contracts are properly awarded.

    4.3 Director of Talent Management will again report to COO and make sure that there are adequate measures in place to spot and nurture talent throughout the country and push these talent through Proper channels for exposing them.

    4.4 Director of Scheduling reporting to the COO will work in conjunction internatianol operations to make sure that domestic matches are scheduled such that international players may also participate. He will also work with Marketing to ensure visibility for domestic games.

    Internation Ops will be structured in a similar way

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 15:02  

  • ..ohh..Prem..I do understand this stand...what I meant was what you think about the situation now....the players in the team...SG....GC...where do they stand???...from what we have read and extrapolated....from what you may have known from your inside info etc etc?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:03  

  • just a side comment: bcci's approach reminds me of one of our former PMs - Mr. P V Narsimha Rao. the best decision in difficult situations is to not make a decision was usually his philosophy and the bcci seem to be ardent followers of it!

    By Blogger saum, at 15:03  

  • saum:

    BCCI does have a congress connection, doesn't it? :-)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:06  

  • worma: actually, that post above answers you question on what I think of the 'whole situation', as you phrase it.

    During the Pak tour, in my running commentary, I repeatedly made the point that the dressing room atmosphere had gone for a toss, and that the situation was deteriorating by the day.

    Nothing that has happened since suggests the situation hasn't actually gotten worse.

    These guys are contracted players. Ironically, when the players needed to put pressure on the board to push through the contract, it was to Rediff they came -- SRT, RD, AK, SG, all of them at that time talked to us, asked us to help make a noise about it so they could pressure the board into pushing it through.

    WEll, guess what, the contracts are in -- and they are not, unlike your government job, an insurance against being booted out. Every person involved in this ridiculous situation is now a paid employee -- from Greg Chappell and Saurav Ganguly down the ranks.

    Which explains my view of the situation. Absolutely nothing is to be gained by waiting for one series, then the next one, then oh we have gotten this far, and England is due here, no point rocking the boat when we must focus on preparing for that, and so on ad nauseum.

    Since it is clear that cancer there is, and that the cancer is spreading, every tenet of commonsense indicates you diagnose the problem in its entirety, and perform surgery to weed it out for keeps.

    We did this procrastination thing with Azhar, and paid for it. We are doing it now, with this situation, and will pay for it.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:06  

  • lol @ ruchir... maybe they were given special training during Narsimha Rao's era.

    By Blogger saum, at 15:07  

  • worma: the thing is, till date, on this, I've tried to make sure every statement I made is something I can stand back of. Like I said, sources tell me all kinds of things -- but at this distance, I am not sure just who is in bed, right now, with who...so I've just ignored what's turned up in my mail box, and am going purely by published accounts.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:08  

  • saurav: thanks, added that to the cut-paste file.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:09  

  • Prem: Agree a 100% with the cancer analogy and I think that's what GC was trying to get done. He came in, saw the rot in the team, and decided to act immediately rather than wait for some time, let the cancer grow and maybe reach a stage where its incurable. From the looks of it we are already there, but if it hadn't been for GC holding the team and especially SG's feet to the fire, BCCI would not have moved at all.

    By Blogger saum, at 15:10  

  • its time to purge the team and the administration of unsavory elements.

    By Blogger saum, at 15:11  

  • HERE? I say "journo-trash" and yes, i include you too at times ;-)

    water, duck, muck, lies, deceit, the whole 12 yards. ;-)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 15:11  

  • saum:

    Absolutely...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:12  

  • mock: the heck with it. I did, when I saw those posts (and we both know what I am referencing), wish you had directly named me when criticising me, instead of snide references, winkey smiles et al. Then figured, what the hell, to each his own -- which buries it as far as I am concerned. Life is way too short to worry about trifles anyways.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:14  

  • Prem..point taken :-)...although my personal belief is that the 'plan of action' decided my the committee is not too much off the mark..if what I read...and deduced from it...is close to reality..

    By Blogger worma, at 15:14  

  • SG and JD stranglehold on Indian cricket was in place eons before GC came onto the scene. GC is doing the right thing by going after this coterie! Maybe he could have been a little smarter when he attacked, but he has brought the difficult issues out into the open and ripe for a decision to be made. No point molly coddling... the only way to cure gangrine is to cut the part of the body that has been infected.

    By Blogger saum, at 15:15  

  • After which little interlude, need to get back to work. Heading into the latter half of the week... when the production work escalates, so see you guys again whenever

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:15  

  • @Prem,
    Since you are doing the cut-paste thing for me, here is more ;-)

    BCCI will publish an annual report every year (of course) describing the state of Cricket in India, its accomplishments, disappointments, plans for the future.

    The annual report will also include an auditor's opinion of the financial state of affairs at the BCCI and the CEO will be required to sign and verify the accuracy of the data. If a failure happens, officials responsible will be fired without any remuneration or notice.

    Players can do additional work in their time (modeling) as long as this time does not infringe upon any duties related to the game of cricket. If the management feels that extra-curricular activities of an individual is detrimental to his/her game, his contract will be revoked without further notice.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 15:16  

  • prem, sorry to head back to the letters and privacy stuff but what surprized me the most was when the members were asked to give SG's letter (refuting all GC's claims) back to him in order to prevent any more leaks!! why is it so?

    either these guys do not trust each other or r worried that it wud cause even more issues if this letter goes out or r they worried that this letter wud walk out to GC causing more heartache!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:17  

  • I have an idea. Why don't we all put our heads together and come up with a constitution for the BCCI, free of cost?

    Since they are busy with politics, as interested fans, we can do this?

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 15:18  

  • Prem:

    Did you read Lele's comments here

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:19  

  • worma: I hope you are right. I fear you are wrong. :-) This 'plan of action' -- more accurately, my read of it -- is that it is the classic stall.

    Do anything, say anything for now, so long as the problem gets buried and we buy time. Who knows, maybe the problem will resolve itself; if not, we can always buy more time. Classic BCCI, that -- is why I earlier brought up the Azhar comparison...

    If I could be sure the BCCI in fact had a plan to deal with this, I'd be content. But I look at a no-longer secretary, a tenuous president, a de facto if not de jure patron in chief, a hypocrite posing as a legend, a businessman posing as impartial observer, and one poor neutral who going in knows he counts for nothing -- and I find myself asking, this lot has a plan?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:19  

  • saurav: thanks, mate, added it.

    mayur: how did you know they returned the letters? because they told you so. Why did they find it necessary to say it? to underline their bona fides. Tell you what, friend... send me a six page note, no matter how complex the issue. Give me half an hour with it. I will then give it back to you -- and guarantee to be able to sum up the salient points.

    You mean because they gave back copies of the letter, they can't reveal the contents? This was again for public consumption -- see, we gave it all back now don't turn around and say the BCCI is leaking for political gains.

    I mean, consider the irony -- if all copies of the letter were in fact given back, and only SG had the letters, are we reduced to the logical assumption that SG had to be the one person who leaked the contents of his response to Mumbai Mirror and everyone else? Is what logic dictates, no? So is the BCCI then going to take note of that, and go, hey, only you had copies, how come the media got hold of it?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:23  

  • ah fish, sorry, got to run

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:23  

  • prem...not the BCCI...the review committee may have a plan to deal with it.....my deduction is that they gave a tighter leash to both SG and GC (assuming both were at fault in some respect)....and told them to give the dam results or else...

    As I said....I would wait for next 3 months....no more...just next 3 months till the next review....and *then* decide what this committee and its plan of action achieved....if nothing happens in 3 months time, after the next review...then I would agree with you that its a classic case of stalling...

    ..also...I say this because from what I read...this committee did do, or atelast attempt, other good issues also...like doing away with zonal selectors....so I have some faith that this committee tried to apply its brains to tackle the actual issues as well.....this also explains that i am not relying that BCCI has solved the problems...no they haven't...and they couldn't.....but specifically this committee may have come up with right ideas

    By Blogger worma, at 15:24  

  • now i see whats happening to the news-hungry journos!! they r heading to all the god-damn old cricketers to ask if it was right. god!!

    and who is lele? he must have planned a gland slogan and must be waiting for any reporter to call him. and there he goes.......... 'is GC a fool to write a 6 page letter'

    mr lele, we r missing u. can u please come back to the BCCI and correct everything?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:25  

  • i DO refer to you when I need to. JOURNO-TRASH is a community, includes some esteemed members from cricinfo too though i gotta admit they have toned down in the past one week.

    anyway, have fun.

    this blog's motto :

    anti-SG : GOOD
    Anything else : BAD

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 15:26  

  • worma,

    mate what r u doing? r'nt u on a vacation? my wife wud have killed me by now.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:27  

  • mayur...doing great...well relaxed...except for this drama unfolding :-)....and yes this coupe of hours was the max I could risk to devote to the comp..away from the wife...later then..

    By Blogger worma, at 15:32  

  • Ruchir,
    Here you go.

    Forget about what players say anonymously. If you consider those news items, then consider all that Dungarpur and Gavaskar has to say about SG/Dalmiya. At least these gentlemen have coutesy of speaking directly, not hiding behind pallus.

    --->>>> Harbhajan said directly. His retracted later only on certian points. He promptly got a notice from PCA. Has Hyderabad cricket association asked VVS to appear before them and explain what he meant by 'negative vibes'? Even in organizations, you have the right to send your opinion anonymously. So what's the problem if the players have said it anonymously? The same players could have said against SG anonymously, right? Then there is BCCI's gag order too. The bottomline is it's not a question of courage, but the fact is there exists a problem whether you accept ir or not. They would have probably talked about the problems (again what Harbhajan had aid) if BCCI had invited them in the meeting.


    Now, come to two main points of the mail. Fitness and politics.

    SG brings medical certificates and Manager to vouch for his fitness. Why did committee did not invite physio and Gregory King to in front of them? I have not read anywhere what physio and trainer said. How can we say that proof given by SG were 100% true when there was no rebuttal allowed from other side?


    ---->>> Very simple. The committee found SG's explanation satisfactory. Dude, at least SG showed the committee something, what did GC do other than throwing allegations? What stopped him from getting SG's mediacal certificate from Glouster? Is he not the physio? Why did Glouster and the Manager talk in favor of SG?


    Also, why this one sided media coverage to influence minds of people into thinking that SG gave a very strong presentation? Why is nothing is being written about what GC had to say?

    --->>> So now you blame the media. What happened when GC's email was leaked to the media and the media and the fans alike jumped on to SG? Did you then wait to hear the other side of the story? Remember all the past posts can be digged up. Now that the media highlights SG's response, you are doubting it even though according to the media, it was backed by a lot of people. The fact is GC's email was backed by nothing and that's a big big problem.

    You say Bhajji told HT that GC played politics etc. Why was Bhajji not invited in the meeting?

    --->>> Ask BCCI. How do I know? Everyone here agreed that the players should have been invited. But since that didn't happen, you can't just ignore what have been said already.

    What was the committee afraid of that they did not force him to come and repeat what lies GC had spread? Were they afraid that Bhajji might not have anything to say in front of GC??

    ---->>>> Or may be he and others will say a lot against GC and then they will not have any option but to sack GC. From the very beginning of this incident, both Shastri and Gavaskar talked about 'working together'. That was the tone of many former cricketers too. That's why probably the BCCI didn't want to go into the bottom of the matter. Do I support that? Surely not.

    Bhajji issued a correction saying that he want to play under GC. What should we think of such a player? Bin paindi ka lotaa??

    ---->>>> What's so surprising about it? SG has said he wants to play under GC. GC has said he wants to work with SG and shares a great respect for him. What do you expect Harbhajan to do under that circumstances when he got a notice from PCA? Are you saying it's ok for GC to declare truce, play pool, shoot a six page email? But if Harbhajan backs off a bit, then there's a big problem with his character? It doesn't need a rocket scientist to realize why Harbhajan backed off a bit and what his 'real' comments are. Go check those anon players comments, then check Harbhajan's comments, then check SG's response yesterday.
    You will find a lot of things common.

    Who will slide towards the side where weight is tilting? Similarly, GC took VVS name in his mail. Why was VVS not invited in the meeting to depose?? Was the committee afraid that VVS sill speak something that will harm SG tremendously??

    --->>> Again, who knows why the BCCI didn't invite the players. Harbhajan's comments are all there for everyone to read. VVS hasn't made any direct comment. It's all from GC's email. So don't be so sure which way it'd have gone if VVS was invited.

    Why this immense urge from BCCI to keep everything under wraps by not askeing the named and vocal players to depose in the meeting?? what is the reason for that??

    ---->>> Nobody knows, but it could have gone either way. There were as many as 8 players out of 10 ready to complain against GC, as per the reports. So GC may be lucky that the players were not invited. It could have been hard on SG also. But the fact is we haven't heard anything negative on SG from players, but we did hear against GC.


    How can you selectively say that what SG is saying is true, simply because SG-favoring media is giving more prominence to it, without wanting to know what GC said in the meeting?

    ---->>>> Aha, since when the media turned SG-favoring? I don't think you were not reading the media in the past week or so. Ask the media why they are giving more coverage to SG's response now. But I don't remember you wondering why the media giving so much weightage to GC's email earlier. May be GC didn't have any defence at all. May be it's yet to be 'leaked'. Just wait for a few days and pray for leaks.

    How can you believe what Bhajji said in an interview when he later retracts it when you don't get to hear what VVS might have had to say??

    ---->>> Go back and check the retraction and see for yourself what all he has retracted. Anyway, I never stressed on any particular point of HS and held it against GC. Bhajji didn't retract his support for SG, he stood by his positive comments on SG. He retracted the comment about the rift with RD. Kindly read Bhajji's two comments again.

    You believe when Bhajji says that GC uses players problems against them. But I am sure you don't want to hear what Pathan or Gambhir or Dhoni might have to say.

    --->>>> Stop imagining dude. Even if Pathan, Dhoni or a few other players support GC's methods, still there's a problem because a majority of players felt the opposite. Why would they do that? It's GC's responsibility to make them understand that his methods are for the betterment of the team and the players.

    Simply because the same question was not put in front of them and they were not forced to answer.

    --->>> So that shows that these players can be for or against GC. So don't assume that they'd have supported GC.

    You want to believe a person who comes out and says something which he later retracts. I feel words of Pathan, Dravid, Dhoni etc. would also carry same, or even more, weight if they are brought out by BCCI.

    ---->>> Ruchir, you need to read Bhajji's comments once again and see for yourself the points he retracted. It's not a question of trust or mistrust. As I am saying, from Bhajji's comments, from those anon players comments, from SG's comments, it's obvious that there's some issues with GC's methods. Now if you don't want to hear about them, it's a different issue. But if you believe that this is the real issue and not the SG-GC one because if GC can't work with these players, then we can forget about any good results in the future, then you should take these issues seriously rather than saying that these players are plain lazy and don't like to work hard. Sure, words of everyone should carry some weight. So why are you refusing to trust Harbhajan's words since he's the only one apart from SG who has made some direct comments? Or are you not preapared to listen to anything that goes against GC? In that case, it's your problem. Once again, read Harbhajan's two comments and see for yourself what he has retracted later.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:35  

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    kya mast response likha hai yaar. Tumne to dho dala pura ka pura :-)

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  • Ya I am sure that Sg is very fit and doing his sessions well enough.Crap and more Crap.When navjot singh Sidhu at the very fag end of his career could learn to slide and stop the ball what does our Sg do run with the ball to the bounary.Same is the case with Zaheer andco.GC must have realized that all these players derive their source of power from SG and no one else.Therefore he decided to attack the rot form the top.Indian players are very media savvy .But their performance never match their talk with certain honurable exceptions.For Instance Yuvraj singh had a horrible season with Yorkshire and was dropped from the team on certain occasions.Yet het comes back from his county stint and says I am ready to open the innings.Yet when he finally did it we all saw for ourself what happened.ZK played as amateur for surrey and limped off in his second match .VS had his contract terminated with Leictshire.Lots of instances can be given about the indiscpline .lack of fitness and their overall lack of performance.Also as many carrers that SG has made he has destroyed also,the likes of SS Das,Akash Chopra,Murali Karthik all I am sure will be ready to talk abt SG and his skills.The point I am trying to prove is that people shouls stop equating SG as god.His success was to a large extent due to John Wright and contribution of players like RD and AK,SRT etc.So please givt them credit also.Secondly all the players who are complaining are people who have shown a marked inabaility to the best of their talents

    By Blogger bulchee, at 06:57  

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    We are ok in opening bat. Ok in middle order bat. Ok in the medium pace category. Need all-rounder(s) and spinners real bad and real soon.

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