R.Mohan was a decent sportswriter. Typical of the cricket writers who worked for 'The Hindu' he would never express a real opinion. He would always play it safe and make sure that he was on the good side of most players. I am positive all writers for this newspaper do this so that they can get those 'exclusive' interviews from the players. ('The Hindu' was the only paper to praise Azhar and Kumble when even they didnt have any clue as to why the 5 people who matter thought that these 2 could play this game called cricket). Between 1997 - 2003 Kumble bowled at least 2 out of 6 balls down the leg-side, could never bowl to left handers, was De Silva's whore until he retired, and batted like an idiot (Sachin's first ODI game as captain in SL comes to mind). But R.Mohan would insist on calling Kumble as 'accurate' or use words like 'laser precision' etc. Whenever this Kumble took 5-wicket hauls on a rank turner at Kanpur or something - R.Mohan would be quick to call Kumble a 'gentle giant' or something as nonsensical as 'he hit back at the critics with his performance'. But I still liked R.Mohan mainly because he wrote well inspite of having to be politically correct.
I used to read R.Mohan's Tour Diary without fail during India's tour of WI in 1997. This diary appeared in the SportsStar. It was a very interesting diary where he logged his experiences,observations, adventures of the past week (SS was a weekly magazine). The only act of courage that Mohan ever did in his journalistic career was call West Indies unfit for hosting a World Cup. India by then had hosted 2 World Cups. Although the convenience, scheduling, arrangements, and operations in the 87 and 96 WC were poor and much critisized, India did a creditable job. Mohan compared the manner in which World Cup was conducted in India and Australia and concluded that the facilities, hotels, transportation, lodging and communication systems were too horrible in WI to even imagine hosting a World Cup. He claimed that even if they dramatically improved in the next 10 years WI would still do a horrendous job with the World Cup. The analysis on different venues and hotels were really detailed and a reader could easily see why WI was unfit to hold a world cup. WI had just applied for/or had just been given permission to host WC 2007 at that time. The news of this article reached people in WI and it soon spread to taxi drivers Bell Boys and everybody's uncle. So the next week's tour diary was very interesting. Mohan narrated as to how he was ill-treated by 'all and sundry'. Co-journalists were rude to him, Taxi Drivers began to pick up arguments with him. So even the small motivation for him to be not so politically correct would have dissappeared.
So its 2007 and World Cup in WI is nearing. Looking at news items where WI is making a fool of itself during WC preparations makes me believe Mohan predicted correctly. They aren't just screwing up within the West Indies but also screwing up as far as visas for touring spectators are concerned. All these are indicators of an organizational disaster of epic proportions. Don't be surprised if there are schedule disruptions, game disruptions or tourist inconvenices in WI during Mar/April. The arguments (selection/otherwise) between different countries that comprise the WI haven't stopped also. They maybe one of the richest boards in the world, but I personally don't think they have the facilities or the organizational unity/discpline to conduct a tournament of this magnitude.