Friday, October 29, 2004

Obituary of The Indian Cricket team

I have refrained from writing about cricket in this space. Mostly because so much cricketing stuff is written everywhere, by so many people. I can't see myself adding a new perspective. Plus most of my readers really find it boring.

I guess today is an exception. Not because I have found a new perspective to add. No I am just another Indian cricket basher. However, I am surprised to see this attitude (the basher attitude) somehow get transalated as "lack of patriotism" towards our country, our land, and our "bhooma devi" . I sometimes can't stop laughing when I hear people talk about patriotism and Indian cricket in the same breath. They should listen to Mr Ranbir Singh, president of the Indian Cricket Board. He has only recently said that this team represents the Board and not the country. So I am thinking of the dorks who keep waving the tricolor in a cricket ground. Dude! Whats the relevance? "Amavasya + Abdul khader" comes to mind, but lets not get into that.

The most important thing for the board is "how much money will I earn ?". If the answer to that question is " A Lot!". Then everybody associated with Indian cricket will do anything, sell any of their values, break any ethical barrier to earn that money. They will be prepared to kill their mothers, disown the country, if thats what it takes to make a lot of money. Take for instance our board. To win a court case against television companies, they have said that the team is a private team that represents a private club called BCCI. Cool! then what does playing for your country mean?

I generally have very low opinion on people who keep harping about "being an indian" or being "a patriot". This opinion is further re-enforced when such things happen. I'll tell you what? people who really really care about their country, won't talk a lot. They'll shut their trap and let actions speak for themselves. They wont go talking about patriotism or "mera bharat mahan" to just about everybody they see. People who really care won't drive like madmen on the roads, will show some courtesy and atleast some trace of manners. You see Saurav Ganguly kissing the Indian flag ( i dunno whats it doing on a helmet of a club team) ? you see him removing his shirt and run amock doing all sorts of gimmics. He is supposed to be passionate. Thats not passion. Passion is what you show to yourself by doing whatever you do, very well. I can't recollect Ganguly being in form for the past 8 years.

The whole "Final frontier" Thingie.

"Space, the final frontier!! These are the voyages of Start Ship Enterprise..." These are, ofcourse, the immortal lines spoken by Capt. James.T.Kirk. at the start of every Start Trek Episode. Kirk popularized the term "the final frontier" in the US. Later, Steve Waugh outsourced it to India when he commented that it is not space that is Australia's Final Frontier but India. The Final Frontier is about to be breached.

Okay I am digressing. So I am writing something about cricket(well at least I am trying to) because, I guess we are going to lose to Australia in about couple of hours (or much much sooner than that). This defeat could probably be the biggest margin of defeat for any team in test history ( not even bangladesh has been beaten by such margins). I am writing this obituary because, I really think, this is the end of our golden era. Moreover, I feel the need to critisise a few people. Between 2001 Australian tour to 2004 Australian tour, the Indian test team performed much better than most other Indian teams of the past. The era is over! finito! I do not think saurav's captaincy will survive until this new year, and without captaincy he does not have a place in the team.

The normal thing that happens in this situation is that people call for heads to be dropped. Drop X, axe Y etc. It is normal because it is a good thing to do. Very very Sucky Laxman needs to go out of the test team for at least 6 months. Patel will be dropped, nobody gets to win anything for that prediction. I think its time John Wright left, along with Mr. Leipus and the whole "phoreign" contingent. Its the change of guard. Except Dravid and Sachin, the other half of the famed middle order can be sacked.

I dont have anything to say about Sachin. he scored 11 runs in this game, which was 11 runs more than what I expected him to score. He is a good player and all that but he hasnt clicked for a very long time. This is not the Sachin I loved. This is a Mohinder Amarnath + Gavaskar combination that Sachin is putting out there. He might have made a difference if he was fit, but not much of a difference. I dont think he will play an innings that will put him in the top ten centuries list. VVS played one but I don't think many Indians will every be on the top 10 list. He may hang his boots as a batsman with a big record, who played for a team that didn't support him when it was required and vice versa.

During the last decade, Jagmohan Dalmia ruled Indian Cricket ( lets say Indian Cricket board). He made sure cricket didn't get in the way of him making money. For 2 years he made the mistake of handing over the reins to A.C.Muthiah and to everybody's horror Muthiah began to do sensible things. Appoint foriegn coach, trainer etc. Suddenly these cricketers started playing better. There no such spoilsport as good cricketers and there sat Jaggu Dalmia frustrated at this sudden lack of mediocrity. Mediocrity is what he craved for during the last decade and after a gap of 3 years he has finally managed to pull it back.

In a crucial tour, he conducted a sham election, made himself a "patron" and threw the board into a crisis. When it rains it pours doesn't it? So When facing rampant australians at home, we had no sachin, no board, no administratin whatsoever. To add to the woes the internal politics that came as a result of the election fall out , made sure that the Nagpur track was green and kangaroo friendly. I am really proud of the "patriotic Indians" in that Vidharbha Cricket association who put the team in its place. hats off to them. They were the first to realize " hey! this is not a national team playing! Its the our competitors team" So, they made their priorities clear by stabbing the BCCI team in ther own backyard.

I remember the Karnan movie. It's my favorite movie and nobody can play Karnan better than Sivaji did. I am not even sure if the real Karnan was this majestic. But When Karnan lies dead in his mother's lap and Arjunan gets to know the Karnan is his elder brother. He tells Lord. Krishna that he might have made a great sin by killing his own brother. NTR who plays Lord.Krishna like a natural, would reply " you have killed a dead snake Arjuna, he was killed 6 times before your arrow pierced him. Indiran , Kunti , Parasuramar, His father-in-law and myself all killed him much before you did"

This defeat will not kill the team, its been dead for some months.

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