Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Board's ways

What the...!! Is HE going to coach the Indian team? What background does he have as a coach? What do the board think they are doing?........The list of questions goes on....

To add to the sorry state of affairs to the already defamed cricket board of India..oops..the Board of 'Control' for Cricket in India, the new suggestion(almost confirmation) of Gary Kirsten as India's coach is nothing but a waiting disaster. To top it all, the Board prides itself that the selection was 'unanimous' by none other than the esteemed gentlemen who have served Indian cricket all these years, the likes of Shastri, Gavaskar and Venkatraghavan. What a pity! Men who have contributed immensely to the game lacking vision and succumbing to the board's pressure. How else could the theory of selecting a national coach who is little known in the field of coaching be explained? What is more baffling is their series of choices for coaches, Greg Chappell, Graham ("who") Ford and Gary Kirsten, the last one being the worst of the lot. But to be fair to Chappell, I feel his methods weren't acceptable to the players. He tried to bring about the Aussie-way, a compelling routine, which unfortunately found no favour with the Indians. It was clearly a case of misfit of his coaching methods in the Indian system.

But it does look like the Board doesn't have respect for our own Lalchand Rajput, Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad. They took over during tough times and have done a fair job. The Indian team has been doing appreciably well too without any coaches, Indian or foreign. Why then, all of a sudden this idiotic decision to bring about a foreign coach with absolutely no coaching experience?

Gary Kirsten…. What does the board achieve by signing up a coach to whom a player can't even look up to? What great credentials does Gary Kirsten have, to command respect from the Indian players? Kirsten as far as I have seen him play was one of the most boring players. There was no grace nor elegance associated with his game. Moreover, the fact that the he hadn't even applied for the post but got a call for it smacks of any sense of professionalism from the board. Adding to this are the remarks of surprise from Kirsten himself on his selection. There is no point in inviting a coach who doesn’t have the required motivation for the post.

I hope Harsha Bhogle, during the India-Aussie series down under shoots these questions to both his commentary box comrades. The outspoken host, one of my favourites, will earn my respect even more if he can manage to ask the two gentlemen regarding this decision of theirs.

The board has been a subject of constant criticism from ex-cricketers, the media and the public for quite sometime now. Despite the Greg Chappell fiasco, the decision of the board still wanting to get a foreign coach is incomprehensible. How many deserving Indian former cricketers have been overlooked for the post is a matter of concern. The 'Control' that the board is trying to exert is too obvious. A 3000 crore money making behemoth under the firm control of politicians is a well known story. Banning the chief of selectors to write columns, barring players playing in a 'rebel' league to play for India, countering the rebel league with its own, double standards in selection processes, exerting control over players' activities ... a sample of the board's recent activities. The going seems to be nowhere. Improving the cricket scenario looks like the last priority on the board's to do list. What I recommend are the following steps for the sake of Indian cricket
1. The government should step in and confiscate the assets of the board. A sizeable chunk of it should go to the PM's relief fund and the minimum that's required to run the board's activities must be allocated to it. All the money sitting snuggly with the board members can be put to much better use. The wealth amassed by the Board only because of the players and the sponsors. Without spending for the game's improvement, they are making no good use of the money other than filling up their already huge bellies.
2. Politicians should be debarred from holding any post within the board. The current set up should be completely dissolved and the members be elected afresh.
3. A managing committee comprising senior, respectable players should be formed who will manage the Indian cricket board.

Whoever is overseeing the working of the Board should be committed to the cause of improving cricket. With a billion people, the world's richest cricketing body and the unmatched passion for the game, its only LOGICAL that we will DEFINTELY find ONLY ELEVEN real quality players out of the billion odd who will be consistent world-beaters. I think this is a very valid argument. Somebody, please listen and act.

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