England’s cricketers’ open admission of defeat and humiliation in the Oval Test at the hands of South Africa has the ECB more worried than the defeat itself.
Opinions sources within the ECB reveal that the ECB has reached out to
’s seniors and are seeking a comprehensive “Excuse Management Framework”. ECB have long held India’s seniors in very high regard in their ability to deflect criticism and carry on as if a victory is just ‘around the corner’. India
When approached, the BCCI rejected any such request from the ECB. Although they did add that if the ECB wants the services of its senior players, the ECB needs to make a written request and subject to finding sponsors, the BCCI would be happy to oblige as long as no review of the framework is mandated.
However, we have in our possession a scribbled piece of paper titled ‘India’s Excuse Strategy – By Seniors’, presumably because BCCI rules prohibit any cricketer from owning any electronic device, email account or internet access because all of those can be error prone and ‘even the manufacturer’s cannot guarantee a 100% up time’. However players can own ‘Twitter’ accounts and tweet as long as every tweet is submitted to BCCI in writing for approval.
The scribbled piece of paper which appears to bear distinct handwriting of 4-5 Indian seniors; a couple of which seem to be written by the left hand according to hand writing experts; has a disclaimer that “The framework is proven to work for India and India’s cultural sensibilities. To anglicize it, the ECB must seek advice of cross cultural experts”
The paper goes on to list the following ‘better practices’ in ‘excuses for prolonged failures’
The basic principle of successful excuse generation is to deflect criticism, get into denial mode and work hard to do nothing different
- Blame it on the bowlers – Bowlers have a specific task to win matches. Take 20 wickets. Any defeat can be easily sold to the public as a bowling failure because it is very easy for them to visualize the short coming.
- Create an illusion of infighting – Nothing distracts an Indian from defeats than their favorite cricketers squabbling over non existent issues
- Send junior players to front the media…this way, statements can be denied and the juniors become the face of the defeat
- Bank on History – Every defeat is an opportunity to remind your countrymen of past glory. A loss is not the time to make forward looking promises like the English did after Oval; rather it’s a time to look back and connect the public with past wins.
- Confuse the media – Make long winded statements to the media, never answer any question directly…Add “as far as we are concerned…”, “Its’ not about xxx…it’s about yyy”. [Fill in the blanks as appropriate]
- Highlight one irrelevant thing as the difference between you and the superior side – E.g. the Kallis - Amla partnership was the only difference between the 2 sides at Oval. Notice how subtly the blame goes to the bowlers
- Media Blitz – On one hand keep blaming the local media, but make sure key individuals are the cover story of international magazines. Praise from foreign publications eases the pain of humiliation like nothing else
- Luck and Fate are valid reasons – ‘It’s just not our time’ works like a charm. Our time usually comes in home series’. Have someone lovable make this excuse. We had Sehwag explain the role of ‘bad times’ and look we were not held accountable for our humiliating performances as a batting team in England and Australia. What's more there is anticipation that we will win our next 3 home series’…
- State the obvious in a profound manner – E.g. It’s a game someone will win and someone will lose. People are generally polite and don’t ask the follow up question as to why it’s only our team that loses all the time.