Vantage point

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

Mukul Kesavan disgusts me because of his obsession with facts. He writes that the BCCI didn't care about the Harbhajan issue and it was Kumble and Tendulkar who insisted on the judgment being overturned at all costs. This, even though it might be true, is totally unacceptable.

And even those who say the BCCI is acting like a bully flexing its money muscles haven't gotten it right. The actual reason behind all this tamasha is very simple. The reason which cricket journalists all over the world will never comprehend but several Maharashtra politicians will.

No one treats our respected Maananeeya Naamdar Sharadchandraraoji Pawarsaheb like this -

and gets away with it. Sooner or later, you will pay.

It all adds up. After the instances of crowd monkey chants during the ODI series in India, Saheb astutely made note of the fact that monkey is a racial abuse for the Aussie team (though not the Aussie nation). At that time he issued a joint statement with Cricket Australia condemning racism, but decided to use this fact at a later date. He also came to know that Harbhajan had been told by Symonds it was a racist term. Then, before the selection of the Indian team for the Australian tour, he had a private meeting with Harbhajan. In this meeting Harbhajan was told that unless he cursed Symonds racially again, his career would be finished.

Harbhajan duly did what he had to. Aussies reacted the way they would. And Saheb smirked in delight. He used the clout. In his defence, this was the only misuse of the clout in his tenure. In the recent past, the clout has been used only for honorable and noble reasons like ending Shane Bond's career and getting ICL cricketers kicked out of Bollywood movies. The clout got India what he wanted.

But that wasn't enough. He had heard his old foe Ponting say in the same interview - "Batsmen should not walk, umpires should be allowed to do their job" and "I have always said that the fielder's word should be taken on whether a catch was held or not". Saheb is a ruthless adversary who shows no mercy. He would not let Ponting have sole claim to the domain of making remarkably stupid and illogical statements.

So after the judgment was reversed, Saheb encroached upon Ponting's domain with this last salvo - BCCI was consistently taking only one stand that it was practically impossible for us to accept the racist charges against any Indian player.

Ricky, you better say Uncle soon or there's more grief coming your way.

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