Saturday, October 06, 2012

Selectors Managing Retirement Of Senior Players

"If a tree falls in an uninhabited forest and no one heard it and no one reported it, did the tree really fall?" is a upanishad statement that most people have heard in some form or the other by now. This blog's favorite topic has been to track 'spreading of narratives'. This mainly involves psychological tricks that a few profit seekers use to commit less intelligent people to an opinion and in-turn make them become serious evangelists of that opinion. This brings us to the opening statement of the blog. If no one heard it and no one can ever hear it or see it - how can you prove its true. This is the corridor of uncertainty that the media operates in.

I am pretty sure the previous bunch of selectors had regular conversations with Srinath, Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and now Sachin and Sehwag. These players longevity and retirement and terms of endearment must have certainly been discussed during those meetings. For example - we can be reasonably certain that Srikkanth and Co knew exactly what Dravid and Laxman's retirement ideas were before the start of the England series. The two players knew what they needed to do to retire in their own terms and the selectors knew what they players wanted to do before calling it a day.  Even if one is not sure of it they must have enough doubt on the issue before they can go and claim that the selectors never had these conversations. This is where dumb people tend to differ.

The media know that these discussion were happening and the selectors and players are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But they can't drive their agenda and the news treadmill with that sort of crystal clear logic. There are thousands of idiots who watch news 24x7 thinking its a source of 'knowledge'. These idiots argue about the news they see on TV and the fake issues the media makes them argue on. they argue it with their friends, colleagues and other random passerbys. Because dumb people are people too. And they have large egos to masturbate on. Arguing on non-existent political and cricketing issues is the biggest masturbation of them all. So the media does the smart thing of keeping people on this treadmill. This tactic is very similar to the way game shows ask you send SMS with the answers to the dumbest questions in the world - so that mobile operators can make money.

So what the media does is spread the narrative that selectors haven't talked to the players and haven't discussed their retirement plans with them. They enlist partners-in-crime who will add fuel to the fire. The media knows that the selectors or players can neither confirm nor deny that this took place. While this always means that whatever you are refusing to confirm or deny did indeed take place, the reality is that players/selectors know that by either confirming or denying they are put in a position where they have to (a) explain what the details of the discussion was about or (b) deny something about it. So players and selectors know well to shut up. The media knows this well and so will exploit it. Which brings us to dumb cricket article writers who express opinions on this.

The dumbness lies in not knowing the difference between two things; (a) the discussion between selectors and cricketers never took place and (b) the discussion happened but you weren't told about the details because you are unimportant. In most cases (b) is the truth. But people find it hard to swallow 2 things - (i) they are not important and (ii) they don't have information.  They assume that they are the most important person on the planet and they compensate for (ii) by making up their own facts. And the media kindly steps in to help them do that. This is why you see the irony of seeing selectors being accused of being too lenient on Laxman for giving him a long rope in Australia and 2 months later selectors were accused of poorly treating Laxman to an extent that made him quit before his time was up. Anytime you see someone arguing passionately that the selectors aren't managing senior cricketer's retirement very well and aren't talking to players you are seeing a patent idiot who is no more than a talking head for the media.


Karthik Sriram said...

Did you see the goobsmack that Arnab laid out? Is this post a reaction/related to it?

Hawk Eye said...

indha arnab yaaru? enna kulam? enna kothram?

(and enna link?)

Anonymous said...

Is this sappa kattu for Tendulkar? You think the BCCI is so professional that they will plan and phase out the retirement of senior players? It is more likely the BCCI has no plans and is reactive.


Hawk Eye said...


you are confusing (a) having a conversation and (b) having a conversation that has excellent results.

It is not more likely that BCCI has no plans. Its more likely that they have plans that may not work out well.

Ganesh said...

dear HV,

It definitely seems true that these people try to make money out of even the smallest and faintest possible avenues. I have three questions:

1) Where in down the hierarchy, does it stop being acted (staged) with people knowingly taking positions and actually start being real ?

2) And all these people who come to these TV live debates, some of them are defnly intelligent enough to realize if it is being staged to just attract viewership and money. What motivates them to come if they are not looking for self publicity ?

3) Pls compare debates of the likes of TR's Arattai Arangam, Neeya Naana and The Big Fight ... what do u see similar and what are the contrasts

I am a ComplexNumber said...

Another awesome post. Love it. Hawkeye faarmla irukkaanyaa "Anytime you see someone arguing passionately that the selectors aren't managing senior cricketer's retirement very well and aren't talking to players you are seeing a patent idiot who is no more than a talking head for the media."

I will use this yardstick. Media providing a treadmill for ego masturbation, mixing analogies here ? :)

Venkat Hari said...

Agreed, but in your diatribe, you probably missed that managing players careers 'well' and talking to players can be mutually exclusive.., they may be talking, but they may be sucking up or bossing over (depending on the person at the other end).., the problem is that they do not have a clear enough criteria and dumb people who worship sportsmen do not let them have one..

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