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|March 23, 2000||
Woe and behold!Sujata Prakash
The BCCI should stand for 'Board of Conspiracy and Criminality in India'. The members behave in the best tradition of the secretive MI5 agents -- but sans their intelligence.
Why is there so much of this cloak and dagger stuff concerning the board? Information about the respective boards of Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England is freely available to all on the net. And it makes for interesting reading. The manifestos all have a 'mission' statement which begins in similar vein (albeit in different phraseology): 'To defend, uphold and develop the game of cricket in (country's name here)'. And then goes on to list the various other duties and aims of the board concerned.
Presumably, the BCCI too has a similar manifesto -- but they're not keen on letting us have a glimpse of it. Probably because once it's lifted off the shelves and dusted, they might have to face the uncomfortable fact that it's been followed very shoddily. So try as you might, you cannot glean any information about the BCCI other than a list of the various people filling the various posts in the various committees. Very interesting, I'm sure, but how do we go beyond that?
We cannot, unfortunately, e-mail them and ask. We can do that with the other boards, even the PCB, and they promise to reply because they claim to like receiving sensible comments from sensible people. But where our board is concerned, if you are a sensible person with sensible comments, please keep them to yourself.
The Australian and South African cricket boards display the maximum enthusiasm when it comes to announcing their various strategic plans, coaching plans, cricket development plans and other plans covering most everything that will ensure their country stays one step ahead of the competition. The South African cricket academy has already produced players like Klusener, Kallis and Boucher in its short history of 5 years. The academy's objectives as spelt out on the site are: 'To assist the cricketer's development physically, mentally and technically and to help them bridge the gap between club/school cricket to first class cricket. To strengthen body and mind through a series of training sessions not only in the various disciplines of the game but in psychology, money management, nutrition, fitness and health, contracts, agents and public speaking'.
A clear statement, of a clearly defined objective. We, for our part, have neither objective, nor statement.
I write this in the hope that someone will notice that we too need a similar approach of openness and planning if we want to 'defend, uphold and promote the glorious game of cricket in India'.
Talking of openness, it was heartening to hear Ganguly take up for new players, saying they should be given a fair chance to prove themselves before being dropped. Obviously, he doesn't have enough clout with the selectors to back his words, or else why would Samir Dighe be dropped despite his overall good performance in Jamshedpur and Faridabad? Or worse, Amit Bhandari dropped without being given even a single game to prove his mettle? Surely Bhandari, and Dighe, could have been persisted with, given the Ganguly mindset? And now what? After the Sharjah series, will Karim be retainied, or will Dighe be back for the next round of musical chairs?
Given the callousness with which the board and the selectors treat our players, my hat is off to them for continuing to smile, to retain their sanity.
This is -- yes, right -- just another disparaging article about the BCCI. With the Indian team on a high at this moment, it will probably be swept aside even faster than the ones before, by the people who rule the roost.
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