Friday, April 22, 2011


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Cricket seems forever at cross-roads nowadays. West Indies, Pakistan and now Sri Lanka seem to be back in turmoil. Add the upheavals in Australian cricket and we now have a situation where most teams are creating excuses for losing. i.e. "rebuilding".

West Indies inflicted a deep gash on themselves by dumping Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan. A smooth transition is always more healthy than a clean break. In this context, I don't understand players giving up captaincy and refusing responsibility to help with sustaining goodness in teams.

Australia, until recently, were that team. There were no mass exclusions, always minor cuts. Not since, Kim Hughes relinquished captaincy to Border has Australia had a former captain in the team. Traditionally, Australia has always appointed the best batsman to lead the side. Therefore, this new experiment is going to be interesting.

West Indies have had no such tradition since Richie Richardson was captain. The administrators and selectors have done great disservice to West Indies by constantly harking back to past glories and thereby undermining the current crop. The players need encouragement and little of that sort seems to be coming from West Indies administration. It's not surprising that there is so much rebellion. There is a complete lack of understanding of today's youth and their motivation for sport. It's unlikely that the West Indies will regain even an iota of their past glory with such poor treatment of players. This is sad because the Caribbeans play a very entertaining brand of cricket that needs to be nurtured and preserved.

Sri Lanka too have wounded themselves immensely by taking on the IPL players. All that the current plan has done is divided the team. Those that want to fulfill their IPL obligations and those that put country above IPL. Why create a situation where one has to choose? By throwing down the gauntlet the team has now been divided. This to a point where Malinga has decided to give up Test cricket altogether. I can't understand why a player has to choose between money and country. Cricket is rich enough to give a player both. Sri Lankan administrators and selectors are shallow score-settlers and are simply jealous of the opportunity that today's cricketers have to make a life out of cricket.

Has anyone understood why Pakistan cricketers are taboo for the IPL, but umpires aren't?

This brings to question a very oblique theory. Vallabhbhai Patel once joked to Gandhi that he didn't know what it cost the country to keep him poor. India too probably doesn't know what's it's costing cricket to make India number one. Dead pitches, neutered fast bowlers and shorter boundaries. No wonder Pakistan and West Indies cricket is dying or in Pakistan's case fast bowlers being forced into match-fixing to survive.

Has the price been worth India's ascent to the top?


Govind Raj said...

Vidooshak, you have become Swadooshak !

I mean ultimately it boils down to India, BCCI and the big bucks.

West Indies and Pakistan suffer because of India. Cricket Sri Lanka in turmoil because of IPL.

As much as I would like to refute you, the fact is most of this is true. Unfortunate !

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

The WICB seem to have been fighting with their players for years.

I know that sometimes the WI players seem to have an attitude that they don't give a dam, but I'm sure they do. The board don't seem to be able to communicate properly with them.

It's almost as if cricket is now being run by people who don't know what they are doing.

You are right about Malinga being forced into a corner, the whole issue has been conducted via the media (like WICB and Gayle), what is going on? This is no way for a national board to conduct themselves.

In England we regularly slaughter the ECB, and rightly so over issues like selling our national team to Allen Stanford, but compared to some other boards lately, the ECB look like a well run organisation - and I can't believe that I would ever feel compelled to write that line.

Didn't we have a similar problem with the Sri Lankan board a few years back when they organised a tour to England at a late date and it clashed with the IPL? Do they ever learn?

Golandaaz said...

I remember something that Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi said during the IPL corruption issue during last season.

Roughly he said something like this...

The only cricket board that can demonstrably claim a moral high ground is the BCCI. Through all the previous crisis (Rebel tours to apartheid SA , Kerry Packer) BCCI ensured that not a single Indian player defected.

Now agreed, through the more recent crisis, Mike Dennes, Monkeygate, etc BCCI has eroded that image of India but the sooner they recognize their standing in world cricket, the better...

The BCCI needs to recognize that and once more help boards the world over help themselves.

Agree with Vidooshak, it is unfortunate that we are forcing the country v money choice on to our players. Its a position no one should be forced into