I may not be an authority on cricket, but am definitely a keen follower of the game (err...I mean the political kind). So here's something I chanced upon. And if anyone dare say anything about parochialism, I hope they read the name of the author first. Let's get real, people, for change. Here's the piece:
PRINCE, POLITICS AND PALACE INTRIGUES
By Sanjay Jha
The Indian team for the last two ODIs has been announced, and expectedly, politics in selection has taken precedence over common sense and fair play.
Nothing else explains the bizarre and biased ouster of former captain Sourav Ganguly and the continuing prejudice against him by the new powers-that-be.
Let us look at bare facts objectively;.
1) If he had not been briefly injured ( just about 10 days) Ganguly would have been the captain of the Indian team right now. What a strange paradox indeed!
2) Ideally, even if he was not selected as a captain ( on account of the
injury) he should have been playing once the team was freshly announced after the end of the second ODI. But apparently, no one wanted to " disturb the winning combination". Fair enough, then why did they " experiment with a winning combination " by axing Tendulkar and the like in the Ahmedabad ODI ( an old Australian hangover of rotation which Chappell is attempting, which ironically enough, has been dumped as a virtual failure by the Aussies themselves)?
3) India is happily axing a man who has scored the highest number of runs in the world in ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar, who is now physically fit, in good form ( as his century in the Duleep Trophy showed) , willing to play under Dravid and coach Greg Chappell , and who has like a true sportsman taken the sudden reversals against himself with great equanimity.
4) Incidentally, since the ODI series has been decided already, would it not have been fair to allow Ganguly an opportunity to get into rhythm before the ODI series against South Africa and the Test series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan?
5) Are Greg Chappell and all of Sourav's detractors actually so naïve and stupid as to actually believe that they can finish his career off by deliberately keeping him out? Do they really live in a fool's paradise and are unaware that at some stage it will be as obvious as daylight that the farce that is currently being enacted is nothing but an internecine conspiracy?
6) If " performance" is the guiding criterion, how come Yuvraj Singh with 45 runs off 72 balls in 4 innings at an average of 11.25 is still being persisted with? Does it make any logical, rational , practical cricketing sense?
7) Have we all forgotten that Sourav sacrificed his high-run ideal batting position of an opener in ODIs just to accommodate Veerendra Sehwag, and that too at a time when Sachin-Sourav were the best opening pair in the world?
And is this the way the team ( including his own deputy for several years , Rahul Dravid) should now treat the very man who fought for them and led them to innumerable triumphs ?
It is downright repugnant and altogether unfortunate the way the Hate-Sourav Ganguly Club has suddenly emerged, a personification of vicious minds, warped thinking, myopic vision, wholesale ignorance of the game and driven by some small-time parochial thinking. One can either pity them or empathise with their wretched constitution. Or both. But I am fully aware that it will take just a couple of resounding defeats before the initial euphoria wanes and home truths sinks in. The Ahmedabad defeat may just be the beginning of establishing diplomatic relationship with ground realities for Mr Chappell.
And in any case, there is a long way to go!
At CricketNext , we have maintained a dispassionate and honest appraisal of everyone , including Chappell and Dravid on their on-field performance so far ( please click on CricketNext Verdict, Dravid, Good, Bad or Ugly and Chappell's Scorecard).. But it does not mean that we will not expose what appears to be a clear case of petty palace intrigues being played out to humiliate the Prince and destroy his confidence and self-belief. Even an innocent school-kid can witness the murky games being played in the name of Indian cricket.
Sourav Ganguly will be back!. And soon! Watch this space!
I'm watching a lot of spaces...those that are there and those that will be created...very soon.