Readers sound off on: Sachin sacked, Azhar back!
January 3, 1998
From: Girish Ramamurthy <GIRISHMR@aol.com>
I think instead of you letting us know the facts about the BCCI, it would be
appropriate to make those stupid selectors know this. Those few headless
maniacs are bringing India's pride down to earth.
There was an article from Mr Pritish Nandy about the adverse effects that
these defeats would bring on the minds of the kids of this generation. They
will never be able to boast of India, but will start talking low of it (it will
start from Cricket to Politics and proceed to the disintegration of our country).
Sounds funny, but history tells us this. Sports is no more fun now. It is the
mirror of any country's pride. You have done an excellent job in your article
but make it reach those so called cricket thinkers. God save India, and its cricket, from these maniacs.
From: Arvind Singh <ASingh@IXMICRO.com>
Why do these idiots keep on eating our valuable resources and time and disturbing the team at the same time? We don't need these jokers. Please do something to sack them, and we are all with you.
Let the captain, manager (with possible help from other experts) select the team. Let everybody bear the responsibility, let compenasation be based on performance (double in case of win, half in case of defeat).
We put so much money, give so much attention to cricket. It's time we got its worth. Cricket should be our national pride not our national shame, which it now is.
From: Yogesh Patel <Novayog@aol.com>
Why are we talking about a bunch of idiots who don't know zilch about being a
captain? Can you tell me if anyone of these guys has ever lead any team in their lifetime?
What is a captain? A leader who is capable of getting the best out of
each of his team members, and is respected by all his players. How can anyone lead an Indian cricket team when his hands are tied
down by a bunch of clowns who don't know, or don't remember, what they have eaten
for their last meal few hours ago?
Please try to organize some type of protest
to remove these idiots from Indian cricket. They have ruined our reputation.
From: Sridhar Narasimhan <sri@Glue.umd.edu>
The sacking of Tendulkar and appointment of Azharuddin is myopic.This guy was lucky even to play the India versus Pakistan series in Pakistan. Now he is lucky to get the captaincy, and add to this luck the fact that
there are no away tours coming up soon, for him to come up with fresh additions to "101
horrible ways of getting out to fast/ fast medium bowlers". Methinks it
will be fun against McGrath and company -- though of course, he can later claim that captaincy affected his batting.
Sachin Tendulkar -- and Madan Lal -- were axed because of poor performance, but what about the
fantastic selection committee that saddled them with such great players as
Rathore, Sujith Somasundar et al? Of course, they will also determine the batting
order, fielding placements and then axe the coach and captain for not
From: Arindam Taran <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I just finsihed reading your article about the sacking of Sachin. Here is a
trick question. Can we collectively, as "Cricket Loving Indians", sue the
selectors for bringing the game, and the country to disgrace? Just like a
Justice was appointed to verify bribery allegations, maybe the courts would appoint a supervisory committee that
will oversee the BCCI and/or the Indian selectors. This is just a thought.
I am so frustated with the way things are with cricket (in general) in
India, that I would love to do something that will remove these
money-grabbing, power-hungry, double-speaking, bumbling idiots from the
From: Tushar <email@example.com>
It seems like selectors are playing Russian Roulette, with the victim being the future of indian cricket. Is it possible for board
president Raj Singh Dungarpur to step in and ask them to resign (or fire them) based on their past perfomance (selection, administration & money
From: Karthick Rajamani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It clearly seems like it is the selectors that need sacking, rather than the
captain. The ridiculous
team changes (taking players arbitrarily, dropping them without reasons)
in the last few
months now culminates in yet another horrendous decision. If the
selectors claim they
know better than the people on the field, to indicate who to bat where
etc, they should
also accept the responsibility for the failure of the team they make up.
Why should the captain be the only person to be bear responsibility
for the sorry state
of the cricket team? Agreed, the selectors do not actually play the
matches and so are
less involved in the results of matches. But, they need to share the
responsibility in the
success/failure of the team -- as they decide who gets to play. Until
there is a proper
selection mechanism for the selectors (!), and a method of apportioning
for the performance of the team to the selection committee, such antics
From: Jaffrey Ali <email@example.com>
I enjoyed your piece on the subject. It was extremely well thought out,
and touched on every point. However, I would like to add some thought to
what you had to say.
I believe what the board fails to realize is that cricket is a team
sport. Which means that 11 players must have the same objective, but
more importantly must complement one another. This business of adding and
removing players (let alone captains) does not allow a 'team spirit' to
develop. All the great 'teams', both current and past, achieved much more
than the individual talents of the players would have indicated -- look
at Allan Border's Australian teams, the Indian teams that won the World
Cup in '83 and the Benson & Hedges World Championships or even the current Sri Lankan team.
All these teams were not the most talented; but they played well
together and were well led by a captain the team respected. The current
Indian and West Indian teams are examples of 'non-teams'; a gathering of
12 or so players, where about half of them expect to be a captain in the
course of the next year or so. I am sure history is littered with teams
such as these -- we just don't remember them.
If the board does not respect the captain, then how do you expect young
members of the team fighting for their place in the team to do so? How can a
player make sacrifices for the team when asked by the captain, when he knows the
captain has no say in the inclusion or exclusion of that player in the
team? We do not lose matches because of poor captaincy, we lose matches
because we fail to play well as a team. We will never have a successful
team as long as the selectors believe that it is their team and not the
captain's team. A captain must select his players -- end of story.
The current state of affairs is disgraceful to say the least. Appointing
Azharuddin is a bad move; but if you think about it there is no
one in the horizon that appears ready. Ganguly has yet to pay his dues.
Elevating him now will be a mistake in my opinion. I personally think we
should have stayed with Tendulkar; but probably he wanted out. I
wouldn't blame him, would you?
Based on his performance, Azharuddin should be dropped from the Test
side, but not from the one day side. I still believe that his fielding adds
at least 20-25 runs to each innings. If only the rest of our lazy team
would bother to field decently.
From: Sanjay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have always enjoyed the articles on cricket by Mr. Panicker. I also have
a very high regard for his abilities in understanding the finer points of
the sport. But when I read
the article on Azharuddin being reinstated as captain, I didn't
believe that it was Mr. Panicker who had authored it. He seems to confuse
the word "disinterested" with "uninterested". Unless the word now has a
different connotation in India, I think being disinterested means to be
impartial, and being uninterested is to be devoid of interest.
It appears to me that Mr. Panicker has in all probability written this
article in a great hurry.
I know this is a very small error, and there are a lot of newspapers out
there that commit far more worse blunders. But I have always felt that
inaccurate language tends to lower the quality of a publication and
eventually creates a psychological barrier in the minds of its readers that
makes it hard for them to take seriously the views expressed therein.
Though I have never acknowledged, I really like your publication, and have
have started to prefer it to The Hindu.
From: Kuruvilla George <email@example.com>
That was a brilliant article. I think Rediff should start a public
campaign for more accountability from the selectors. Mohinder's comment
about them being a bunch of jokers keeps getting reinforced with each
successive decision they make.
From: Sriram Duvvuri <firstname.lastname@example.org >
After reading Prem Panicker's column on the ongoing captaincy issue, I
have just one question that he should ask himself:
Why don't the South Africans remove Hansie Cronje from captaincy despite
his lack of form?
The answer is obvious -- his leadership skills. When Azhar was removed in
'96, he had problems that were seen in his commitment towards the team.
They (the selectors) tried putting Tendulkar in his shoes, and failed
miserably! Tendulkar lacked the leadership qualities or the experience
to create successful results. The question is not how well the
captain alone does in the series, it is how well the team performs as a
whole under the captain.
It is the final result which matters, not the
performance of a soloist. Teams like South Africa and Sri Lanka, which
have strong records, have kept faith in their captain.
I feel that the selectors had realized their mistake a long time ago,
but rectified it right now thinking that it is better late than never,
after the string of frustrating losses. I feel that the experts like
MAK Pataudi, Madan Lal or others should not speak until they see a
difference in the results after the Tri-nation series or the Test series
against Australia in February. Azhar's past record as captain itself stands
testimony to his leadership skills.
From: Doug Fisher <Fisher@engr.usask.ca>
I read the piece on the reappointment of Azharuddin. It is pathetic that the Indian selectors
have stooped so low. They are bent on putting up a team under an 'unfit'
captain. No wonder, with such people leading India, one can start
believing the accusations of 'match fixing' by Manoj Prabhakar.
Shame on the Indian selectors. They are the ones responsible for India's
From: Fabio Nunes <email@example.com>
To me, it seems that the writer of this article is strongly against
Azharuddin and the national selectors. He should be reminded that
Azharuddin is one of the most succesful captains in the history of
Indian cricket. The writer believes that Sachin was unfairly treated by
the selectors. I think Sachin was made captain prematurely, due to media
pressure. While Sachin is one of the best batsmen (after Gavaskar), he
needs more experience in Test cricket before he can be successful as a
captain. Ganguly and Dravid are performing well, but like Sachin
they do not have enough experience to become a successful captain. I
believe Azhar is still the best choice for the captain. Over the years,
Azhar has done a lot for his country. Some people believe that he does
not deserve to be in the Indian team. In the end, I feel that
Azharuddin deserves another chance and respect from the media.
From: Dave Westfall <dwestfal@BayNetworks.COM>
That's it! These 'bunch of jokers' have done it again. For how long
will they continue messing around?
Why can't we have selectors for a period of 27 days, and at the end of
that evaluate how the team they have picked fared?
The cricket fans in India and abroad are really disappointed at the way
these idiots have been allowed to have their way.
Isn't there nobody who can set these jokers right?
From: Srinivas S Garre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I agree with whatever you wrote regarding this development. But a change
of captaincy is essential at this juncture. It could be a nice break for
Tendulkar to concentrate on his game and at the same time fine tune his
captaincy abilities. If we take the positive side of the current
development, I feel that this will do a world of good to him. He is
going to be the future captain after all, and the job is bound to come
back to him soon if Azhar fails in one to two series. Now Azhar has to
prove himself both as a captain as well as player. This is his last
I totally agree with the selectors' decision to give the captaincy to Azhar as he
is the right alternative. This is the right decision at the right time.
Congrats to Azhar and cheers to selection committee.
From: Hari <email@example.com>
It is a sorry state of affairs. It is apalling to note that everybody else,
but the group of jokers are responsible for India's bad performances.
The selection committee has taken nepotism to a new level. For starters, the
committe has enpowered the likes of Sambaran Banerjee (who let alone not
having played for India had a tough time keeping his place in the East Zone
team). It is time the selection process is based on some rationale (and
not on personal prejudices) by making the selectors accountable. If India
performs badly, these bunch of fools cannot say that the team did
not perform well and get away with it. It should be made clear that they
were the guys who picked the team (and finalised the batting order).
Last but not least, if this goes on, players like
Sachin, Srinath, Dravid, Ganguly, Prasad, etc. should simply refuse to play
for the country which abuses them and their abilities.
From: Vivek Mehta <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is about time somebody sacked the Cricket Selectors. Can't they think radically differently? How about recalling Ravi Shastri as team captain?
From: Asha Raj <email@example.com>
This mail is written out of sheer frustration at the things happening in
Indian cricket. Our selectors have re-confirmed Mohinder Amarnath's
statement. The same player they admonished 20 days back for
his attitude is being given the chance to lead the country. Hats off to
Coming to Azhar, never can you see a cricketer who with single-minded
devotion got his captaincy back..not on his merit, but by using his clout of
having been in Indian cricket for 13 years and playing all sorts of games
except cricket. Not only did he occupy a very important position in the batting order, but from there he ensured that runs were difficult to come by, leading to
India's downfall time and again.
Kudos to him. I am sure he will do yeoman service to Indian cricket.
As far as the selectors are concerned, Bedi should have include them in his
list of pacific dumping.