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Sight Screen

Friday, December 16, 2005

Going while the going's good

Rajan Bala talks of players who have timed their retirement well, and those who have not. In the second category:
In contrast, there was the equally worthy Kapil Dev Nikhanj who in his quest to become the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket by overhauling the then existing record of Richard Hadlee, tested the patience of even his team — mates, though the very same people would not agree today. A matter of letting bygones be bygones and we are, after all, friends now. That is what happens after retirement. One remembers Kapil being booed by his home crowd in Faridabad during the one-day international against the West Indies led by Courtney Walsh, because he struggled to get his arm over.
It is hardly likely that the great all-rounder would have ever forgotten the humiliation. But then on reflection he would have admitted to himself that he was to blame. The intelligent thing would have been to call it quits at the right time. But then how many can? Life can be different and difficult away from the glamour and media glare. The transition from being somebody to nobody is not easy to live with.

And on the Ganguly issue, this view:
Interestingly, Madan Lal, the former all-rounder and not long ago a national selector, said the right thing about what could and should have been done with Ganguly. Said Madan, "If I were a selector, I would have spoken to him. He has been the captain, done well for the country and looking at his contribution we could have told him what we had in mind. Maybe after consulting him, we would have taken a decision. He deserved this much of a farewell."
Touche Madan. In Ganguly’s case he would have been kidding hmself if he could not read the signs. However, what Madan has not revealed is what the selection committee could and would have done if Ganguly had turned round and said, "I am available and I am not quitting the game right now. It is up to you to pick me or not." Then if the committee decided to drop him, how could it have gone about it?


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