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Chappell is gone. LBW to Tendulkar!
by NT Shiv Kumar
Apr 04, 2007
This googly from the little master was sure a notch better than the one he trapped Shane Warne with, in the historic 2001 Kolkotta thriller. The venerable coach of Indian Cricket was stalled on his tracks by the pre-emptive missile strike launched by the demi-God of Indian cricket and suddenly the puzzle seems to be solving by itself- just the way the Mumbai power-lords of Indian cricket would want it to be. They were scrambling to finalize the ‘fall guy’- for God’s sake, it couldn’t be Sachin; not enough going after minnows like Sehwag. So, for now the noise on World Cup bye bye will be matched by the sound bytes on Chappell’s bye bye.

That Chappell decided to call it quits soon after Tendulkar’s strokeful interview with TOI, speaks something about the man’s native instincts to sense the match situation ahead. Chappell has in fact created the ‘perfect storm’ from where he can not only exit with his head high but also show his finger, this time to Mumbaikars, before boarding the Quantas flight back home. He was one of the finest players on the front foot and he will do it again at the BCCI meeting with carefully compiled factual and circumstantial evidence to validate his theory of seniors sinking the ship.

Regardless of the inflammable contents in the report, BCCI has a lot at stake to ensure the preservation of the ‘endorsement cash cows’ many of who feature in Chappell’s hallowed mafia list. Chappell must have quickly worked out the variables in the equation and concluded that it’s a no-win game trying to take on the combined might of Mumbai powerlords in the BCCI, a resurgent India ‘Seniors’ led by Sachin Tendulkar and of course the commercial and emotional might of the Tendulkar brand.

So that leaves us with a fairly predictable road ahead-Chappell will do a bare it all session with BCCI which will finally thank him for the good work he did and bid him good bye; he will do a couple of select media interviews, before taking off, to provide some trailer on his upcoming book and do a ‘soft launch’ (after all India is the mecca of commercial cricket); BCCI will meet all the seniors and assure them of full support; Dravid will continue as the captain and will lead a ‘young’ team that would have a couple of ‘new’ faces like Gambhir, Raina in place of Sehwag, Pathan; maybe the lesser stars like Agarkar, Harbhajan would get benched temporarily just to send out a message that a ‘fresh’ team is being assembled for the all important ‘revenge’ tour ( I am tempted to call it as ‘Revenge of the Rodents’ !); Tendulkar will get a couple of hundreds or fifties to add to his statistical monument and Team India will be back on track, beating the minnows!

And yes, the new coach would in all probability be King Richards. He was smart enough to bat for Tendulkar while putting his hat in the ring. Maybe his bollywood connections, courtesy Neena Gupta, would help him! Sunny Gavaskar will be appointed as ‘special advisor’ to the team. The Mumbai caucus will pretty much influence the course of the future. As they say, Mumbai never sleeps because Mumbai continues to be the epicenter of 3 things that keep India awake-commerce, bollywood and cricket.

More Views by NT Shiv Kumar
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