Vantage point

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Get a Life, Shah!

The BCCI started off dominated by the royal families which were the the patrons of cricket in those days. The snooty royal attitude still survives. The way they want to keep a tight leash on what players say is so regressive! The board can pull up the players for anything and everything. The fact that the board is usually run by good-for-nothings who have occupied their post mainly due to wheeling-dealing and backdoor-politics makes it even more frustrating.

Another thing one notices is how the arrogance of the officials is inversely proportional to their ability. Those officials who are truly good for nothing will be the most obnoxious of the lot. Perhaps they want to display to thew world their power. Folks with some ability and accomplishment, like Indrajeet Bindra, Sharad Pawar, etc, who are by and large respected, don't feel the need to go headline-grabbing. Jaywant Lele was a prime example. And nowadays that void has been filled by Niranjan Shah, who probably gets some sort of an ego boost by rebuking players publicly.

Let us take his rebuke of Sehwag. He has told Sehwag to not talk about player burnout and Sourav Ganguly. And what were these sedetious, treasonous statements Sehwag made?

About Ganguly -

"He [Ganguly] supported me a lot. He backed Yuvraj [Singh], Harbhajan [Singh], Ashish [Nehra], Ajit Agarkar, Mohammad Kaif," Sehwag told Press Trust of India. "He is still playing first class cricket and hopefully he will get a chance again. It will be good if he gets back because he has got 10,000 one-day runs, 5,000 Test runs and 22 ODI hundreds. Most of the time India won when he got a hundred. He is a fantastic player and sometimes we miss Ganguly." Sehwag added that Ganguly was his favourite captain after Steve Waugh.

What has Sehwag said here that Shah finds so wrong? Does Shah deny the fact that Ganguly supported all those players a lot, regardless of which region they belonged to, and whether their state associations got along well with Jaggu dada? Is it a crime to state that Ganguly is playing first class cricket, and hopefully he will get a chance again? Is it wrong to express a personal opinion hoping that he will return to the team, and mentioning his career stats? Is it sedetious mentioning the opinion that he is a fantastic player and sometimes he is missed?

I am really baffled by this BCCI-led-Media-amplified witch-hunt against Ganguly. People are treating him as if he was a match-fixer who deserves all this derision. He was India's most successful captain and did inculcate in this team a fire for winning and a self-belief. no one can deny that. His personal form has suffered, and he is deservedly out of the team. But why is it a crime to hope that he can play his way back into the team?

And it is not like Sehwag has criticised the current team management. He says -

"Dravid is a very good thinker, someone who never panics in a pressure situation," he said. "Maybe, hopefully, Dravid will be the best captain by the end of his career." On Chappell, Sehwag said that he was a great player with a great knowledge of the game. Comparing him with John Wright, India's coach before Chappell, Sehwag pointed out that the difference between them was their attitude. "Someone who has been aggressive in his batting is also aggressive in his coaching," he said. "Wright would be tense and unhappy if we did badly whereas Chappell is very cool and calm because he knows all players face pressure situations." When quizzed if Chappell was a control freak, Sehwag denied this. "That's not true. As the coach he is the head of the family," he said. "He can instruct you, guide you but he is not forcing us to do this and that. I do not think he controls the players too much."

So apparently, the BCCI's stance is, you can not say anything positive about Sourav Ganguly.

Pathetic! Niranjan Shah, get a life!