|HOME | SPORTS | COLUMNS | SUJATA PRAKASH|
|May 19, 2000||
Hey, could you please not shout?Sujata Prakash
I write this letter knowing that the recipient/s will read it. Thank you, dear readers, for your constructive feedback, and in some cases, very abusive feedback.
For some reason, I seem to have triggered off an emotional outburst greater than the one Karan Thapar did when facing Kapil Dev. So ok, quite a few of you don't agree with what I've written. I accept that. We are all entitled to our opinions, and if you disagree 'strongly' ,you just have to tell me in so many words and my understanding of it will still be the same without you ending the sentence with an epithet. Come on, fellas, this just ain't cricket, and even Kapil would agree!
Anyhow, I think some sort of explanation is needed as to why I wrote what I did and what I really meant when I said that I failed to see the reason why Kapil cried so copiously. And no, this is not a personal vendetta against the gentleman or the rantings of a rich snob/heartless femme/hater of all good things etc. Which is what some of you suggested in mail that I am -- how you came to the conclusion, without knowing zip about me, beats me.
Right, so let me start the debate with an article I read in Outlook by Sandipan Deb. He says very firmly, and very persuasively, that he couldn't give a shit (sic) if Kapil tanked a few matches, say 10%, because he gave his all in the other 90%. Typical sub continental psychology, which makes a person forgive corruption as long as the work gets done. This was the gist of what he had to say.
My first reaction was to agree with him. What the heck, this man gave us our first and only World Cup, a world record till recently and some of the most thrilling cricketing moments. That should be enough to pardon a thousand sins.
But no, unfortunately it isn't. I don't know if Kapil 'tanked' a few. But let us say, hypothetically speaking, that he did. Notice guys, I use the word hypothetical which means conjecture which means let-us-make-believe-for-a-few-minutes. I did not say Kapil is GUILTY so please stay calm and don't fly off the handle.
Now, assuming he tanked a few, or even just one, a la Hansie Cronje, what do you think is the result of such actions? Just rewards for a glorious but fading career? Or the 'percolating effect' of corruption as outlined by Prem a few weeks back? Let us say a junior member of the team knows what happened, or is party to it, and thinks it's ok to throw a few now and then. Unfortunately he hasn't even remotely made the kind of contribution to the game that Kapil has, and being a mediocre player to start with, drags the level of the game down even further. And on it goes, with no one knowing who started it, and where it will end.
But cricket suffers, and so do we. There are many today who are convinced that Indian cricket can never recover from the accumulated effects of match fixing and corrupt morals, or if it does, it'll be after we've switched to watching football in despair. And the few people who can apply some sort of medication to heal the wound stay silent, or weep because they feel that awards won for the country automatically entitles them to a life long guarantee of a clean bill.
Kapil is my hero too. There is no doubt he gave the game a lot, but did the game give nothing back to him? There was fame, adulation, riches and an opportunity to showcase his talents. After all, how much fun would Bradman have had if he'd been marooned in Alaska with no cricket pitch in sight? The exchange is mutual. Pardon me if I feel the achiever is clueless without the acclaim of fans. So don't we deserve honesty when we ask for it?
Which brings me to what invited some of the flak. No, I don't know what Kapil can do to help. That is upto him to decide. If he is guilty, I can only hope he has the courage to admit it and make amends. If he is innocent, but guilty of aiding and abetting the sickness within the game, in however small a way, by staying silent when he knows the inside story -- then, as I said, I hope he comes out of the closet and does the right thing. The world does not listen to the Mongias or Prabhakars. They listen to the Gavaskars and Kapils.
And that is why I felt, along with many who have talked to me about this, that we could do with less drama and more constructive action.
And friends and countrymen, do write and tell me anything you want, but don't sully your image by name calling. It's not worth it.
Previous column: Dear Kapil....
Mail Sujata Prakash
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK