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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Here we go again

If the next Rupa Ganguly film fails at the box office, will the headline go 'Sourav backer's film gets audience thumbs down'?
If Buddhadeb Dasgupta suffers an election reverse, will 'Voters nix Sourav backer' be an appropriate headline? (PS: As Soumya and others have pointed out, I mean Bhattacharya, not Dasgupta -- I really have to stop posting in the midst of doing other stuff; either post, or just figure I can't, and not do it)
Just wondering, based on this headline in the Hindustan Times.
Isn't it time we stopped framing every darn thing that happens in Indian cricket on pro- or anti- Ganguly lines? The Hindustan Times in its rush to judgment (none of the three newcomers have played Test cricket, it points out inter alia) forgets a couple of facts, chief among them being that Sanjay Jagdale, for instance, has been national selector for quite a while.
In fact, when Dalmiya won re-election September 27, 2003 as board president, Jagdale, Roy and More were already members of the selection committee and were retained for a second term. So why are alarm bells ringing now at his being re-inducted into the committee? (And in passing, Bhupinder Singh has actually played Test cricket for India -- VB Chandrasekhar, who was appointed by the Mahindra-headed BCCI, has not!)
This is not to deny the real debate -- who should sit on the selection committee, what should his credentials and qualifications be? That debate remains valid -- perhaps more so now, after all the heartburn of recent times, than ever before. But IMHO, these kaleidoscopic framings of the news of the day against the canvas of the Sourav Ganguly story does a tremendous disservice to the player himself.
Incidentally Multy, a regular on this blog, sent me this link from the Week; which details the selection meeting that picked Ganguly for the Test team.
Consider two paragraphs:
The pro-Ganguly gang first tried to knock off V.V.S. Laxman’s name as the seventh batsman and suggested Ganguly’s instead. The others put their foot down.
The Ganguly camp then used the bowling slot as a bargain. Dravid, according to sources, was keen on having a pace bowler. Having backed Roy on the Ganguly issue, the central zone selector was not keen on sacrificing players from his zone—Muhammed Kaif and R.P. Singh. In the bargain, Zaheer Khan, the left-arm pacer from Baroda who recently took 23 wickets from three first-class matches, became the fall guy.

And this:
Chappell apparently begged the selectors not to humiliate Ganguly by categorising him a 'batting all-rounder' but they were not willing to listen.

What I wonder is, have the three selectors who picked Ganguly as an 'all rounder' done him any favors? Or to frame that question differently -- if in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, Ganguly hypothetically fails to get any wickets, is that a good reason to drop him from the squad on the grounds that he is not delivering as an all-rounder?
(The answer, obviously, is no -- Ganguly is a batsman and should be judged as such; any bowling he does is purely a bonus to the captain and the side -- but once you dub him an all-rounder, don't you, for no reason other than that you had left your brains at home the day you made such a statement, enforce judgement of the player on those grounds, on that label?)
PS: This piece on Rediff basically paraphrases points made on this blog over the last few days; pointing it out before you guys wade through it and then go, hey, you said all this before! :-)


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