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Egos and in-fighting
by Gulu Ezekiel
Mar 30, 2007
The finger-pointing, buck-passing and scapegoating which is endemic of Indian society and not just cricket, is on in right earnest even as our cricketers returned ashen-faced from the West Indies in the dead of the night.

It is now plainly clear to all and sundry that egos, in-fighting and just plain pettiness was the prime cause of India’s shock exit at the group stage of the World Cup when they were being hyped as being major contenders.

Even if some of the cricket-followers (and cricketers) from other nations (most prominently, Ricky Ponting) are gloating over the early dumping of both India and Pakistan, it is obvious that a very large number of those backing the team have lost heavily.

While giant corporates and the official TV channel for the World Cup are cash-rich enough to bounce back from this setback, it is sad indeed that many cricket fans from the sub-continent, who had invested so much in traveling to the Caribbean, have had to face heavy personal losses.

Mind you, the same cricketers who are rubbing their hands in glee at India’s misfortune, have no compunctions in making numerous visits here to make a quick and tidy buck in endorsements, all thanks to the huge amounts of money swirling around Indian cricket.

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga got it right when he said the fun had gone out of the World Cup with the absence of the two Asian giants.

Imagine—the ICC was all set to cash in on India v Pakistan at Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday, April 15—prime date and prime location. And now it is going to be Ireland against Bangladesh instead.

Just goes to prove that old cliché about chickens and hatchings! Heads are bound to roll. But it would be a pity if captain Rahul Dravid’s were on the chopping block.

Going back to Sachin Tendulkar or even Sourav Ganguly would be a highly retrograde step, even if it were meant to be a temporary measure.

Coach Greg Chappell on the other hand surely is on his way out. While it would be grossly unfair to blame him alone of the defeats, the fact remains that Indian cricket has regressed since he took over nearly two years ago.

It is time to look for someone new to take over the post and not, for heaven’s sake, John Wright again!

Anil Kumble has certainly done the right thing at the right time by announcing his retirement from ODIs.

While the players and coach will be held accountable, the big question is: will anyone in the BCCI take a share of the responsibility?

Going by their track record, this is as unlikely as was Bermuda beating Bangladesh and India sneaking in to the Super 8s!

 
More Views by Gulu Ezekiel
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