Saturday, September 17, 2005

I guess it had to take something like a Saurav - Chappell spat to make me get off my backside and actually start blogging!
Stunning paradox of cowardice and guts!
Pardon the excessive use of the exclamation mark, but really! What else do you expect when the coach of the cricket team and the captain have a 'private' row that conveniently gets leaked to the press?
Now, I am no cricket pundit so i guess i don't know who was right and who was wrong, but the issue is not really about right and wrong (if it was, Dravid certainly would not have been where he is the dumps!). No, the issue in my opinion, is really about the code of conduct (on and off the field) that is often unwritten but usually adhered to. That is what makes cricket the game it is - certainly no longer gentlemanly, but not 'juicy tabloid' like WWF either.
Should Chappell have asked / requested / demanded of Saurav that he step down? I don't know...probably yes!
Should Saurav have hemmed, hawed and then hinted to the press about Chappell's involvement in the whole issue? Certainly not. Yes, he had a right to be upset and certainly a right to speak out against what he percieved to be an unjust demand. But why not have the guts to do that openly, and more importantly, before the test?
Why wait to scratch and sniff out a ton (in the process run out a batsman going really strong), wait for the test to be convincingly won, and then, actually not even then, openly speak his heart out? If you want to use the media (for whatever purpose...sympathy, clout, sending a warning...), atleast have the gumption to do it forcefully, as befits the man in charge and perhaps even a man feeling wronged. This is not what a cricketer would do...this reeks of politics!
I always felt a warm glow for the 'Men in blue', irrespective of whether they won or lost (even shamefully so) because they seemed to represent something that we all want in our lives - a lack of game-playing, a straightforward approach to life.
So I appreciated Sehwag's open discomfort with the idea of playing alongside another attacking batsman like Yuvi. I understood Laxman's dismay about the fact that the best side in the world (though the Ashes may just have created a dent there) openly acknowleges him as a bigger threat than even Sachin, but his own captain and selectors still need more convincing about his ability to even merit a spot on the team. I understood Kumble's angst when despite being the most successful bowler for India, he still has to fight to keep his place in the side on an Away series.
I understood and even appreciated Saurav's own devil-may-care display of aggression and defiance after the now-historic Natwest final.
It was all ok because it was done openly and with nothing more than the stated motives - no games, no undercurrents, just up there for everyone to see, no guesses.
And all this sure had me fooled. I looked our men-in-blue and said to myself
"Here are a few good men"
Today, I question all that and more. Especially when I read that Kaif may have warmed the bench this Test despite being in absolutely brilliant form, because the Captain wanted to prove a point! Thankfully, the opposition was Zimbabwe, otherwise it may have been a case of 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'.
Saurav, you don't need to play games with you team, you need to play games with the minds of opposing teams. You are a much better man than all this. Let cricket be the 'Gentleman's game'. If I want intrigue, I will watch soaps in 'K' land.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool! A girl writing so well about cricket. You seem to be really passionate about the game. I also read your profile and loved it.
So what's your post all about? Is it going to be only about cricket?

12:02 AM  
Anonymous riff-raff said...

Liked your post. Are you a new blogger? And i don't think that a girl can't write about cricket. Some of my girlfriends have been even more informed of cricket than my buddies.

It's surprising that your post was written even before the issue became big news. All the major news channels have been talking about it since last night. Chappell's even threatened to quit.

Whatta shame!

1:10 AM  
Anonymous sanjay said...

Cool post. Very topical. This whole trigger happy behavior of running to the media is very disturbing.
You have a nice style. Very interesting. What next?

9:10 PM  
Anonymous sanvesh said...

Cool man! So what happens if Chappell quits in a huff?

5:42 AM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

Saurav understands the indian psyche very well, and so he knows he has to draw first blood and show himself wronged, playing it emotionally rather than rationally... the entire country wants him out, but decently and officially, so the moment he says the coach tried to get him out subtly, he wants the junta to scream 'unfair'... and the media, specially ToI have already started batting for him...

6:56 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Yes, that's right! It's amazing how the media very conveniently does a flip. I was intently watching the news to understand what stances various channels were taking and here's what i found:

NDTV as usual was fence sitting.

Aaj Tak was oscillating between pro-Ganguly and anti-Ganguly (Chappell was a non entity) and it was so funny. the same anchor who hosts the crime show was doing this piece and sometimes he looked like Saurav had murdered someone and at other times he looked like Saurav had died!

Channel 7 was the first channel to break the completely untruthful news that Chappell had threatened to quit and they insisted in talking in chaste Hindi with an 'expert' who couldn't even speak Hyderabadi hindi.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous trisha said...

Hey Tara! Liked your post. U a big cricket fan?

8:09 PM  
Blogger jive said...

i support greg in this case...saurav sucks!

3:38 PM  
Blogger spartan said...

Terrific post ! I'm sure you're a huge cricket fan. Who's your favourite cricketer?

8:37 AM  

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