Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 14, 1999

The Harsha Bhogle column

Jayanta Ray: Excellent!

ashwin: AMEN.

Balasubramanian: This is a wonderful piece from Harsha. Will Azharuddin read this?

ravish kumar: I can just say ! EXCELLENT !!!

Somasekar: It is a gem article, to be read by every member of the Indian cricket team and particularly by our captain Azhar. Hope this inspires and motivates the team and the Captain in particulr. -somasekar

ravish kumar: I can just say ! EXCELLENT !!!

N.V.Balaji: An Excellent Article.Bhogle succeeds in bringing out the feelings of Millions of Indians.

Brian : Great stuff ! Now if the Indian cricketers only took time off from their commercial pusuits and read this column in between matches....the purpose of Harsha's pleadings would be well and truly served...

Srinivasan S: Harsh has done a wonderful job. If this does not kick start the Indian team nothing will. We are better off with 11 unblooded players who take pride in India, than with 11 gifted players who have taken India for granted. If this does not win the world cup for us, nothing will. More than Leander, Harsha is my 16th man in the team !

Minal: First of all I should say that this coloumn was very MOVING. Though it was intended to our cricket team, I would consider it as an advice to myself. I have been a great fan of cricket. I have watched India winning/losing. Yes, I agree with you(Mr.Harsha) that we need the added spice ....and I know that every individual has some "SPICE" in him and he needs to know to Blend all the SPICES together. I wish GOOD LUCK for MY Indian team I do not say that we cannot live without the WORLD CUP/VICTORIES....But I want them to be the HEROES when they return to MY COUNTRY.

chitra: I saw Leander in action at the Gold Flake open in Chennai live, I could hardly agree more with what you have said here. I think the Indian cricket team could do with a generous dose of Paes'ism. That kind of spirit will set all the problems plaguing the Indian team right. Great column! : A little over the top I think. India is a good side, who depend too much on Tendulkar. They lost the one-dayers b/c he was'nt around, but they seem to be getting it back in Sharjah. Plus the bowling and fielding (all due respect to Kumble and Srinath) are a little thin. So I don't think its a purely mental thing.

gautham: Harsha bhogle,you couldnt put it better than this. Lets hope india try and play like leander does in davis cup and i dont know about others but even if indian team goes down fighting and fighting like leander does than i will feel happy and proud,But i do hope they go all the way and win the cup

Ajit Jere: A wonderfully crafted article. A must read for every Indian. Hats off to you Harsha.

Tanuj: Once again Harsha's coloum brings to us the reality of Indian Team. I must say that Leander Paes and most of the people in Indian team are totally opposite to eachother. Look at this Man who plays to his best when he is playing in Davis cup. He shows the talent the passion which can defeat even Pete Sampras. He is one man who really is pride of being an Indian. I am not saying that Indian criceket team is not proud of being Indian but they loose taht confident that passion which burns Leander. We have players Like Dravid, Ganguly and Azhar who are world class in their own league. We have fighters in Srinath and Kumble yet we can never win. These players should understand that we live cricket. When India loses we feel that we have lost our most impoertant gem or a war.Well I know no team can win all the time but I am pretty sure we can win more often. The only thing we lack is determination of Leander Paes.

IBRAHIM A: Harsha, as he is called,incomparable is very much true.The statement what we find in Pakistanis the same want don't in Indians,the passion for the game,Ravi calls it body language,is absolutely true. Those emotional expressions can find abundantly in leander. Last but not the least sometimes i do feel that emotional expressions r a must but that doesn't assure u of success.. bye

Pranav: An absolute brilliant article. I think Harsha hits it right on the head when he talks about lack of passion and commitment from the Indians stars barring a few. Our team has immense talent, charisma and a way to make Indians all over the world go crazy. However, they just finish a bit short everytime and they always lack that teeny bit of extra effort, that extra something which would carry them to the top. They are capable of doing it and no one will doubt it. With the players of calibre of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Azhar, Srinath, Kumble etc, you would be foolish to say that. India needa an effective leader, an effective motivator who can light fire under every Indian player and remind him that they wear indian colours and play for their country. I hope Harsha actually gives this article to all indian team members going for the world cup. it was a fascinating article!

Murali.K: Wish the Indian cricketers read this! On passing, is it not a good idea to send leander with the cricket team to England?

Ashutosh: This article truly reflects the feeling of a nation who has got very few heroes (like Leander and Sachin) to prove their worth. Every cricket loving Indian has this hope that the Indian team will the make history of 1983 repeat itself. But it cannot be achieved without the grit that our team is lacking nowadays. Its time for them to show the world that a team, which most of the time is considered good only on cards, has really got the mettle to bring the cup home.

Arun Soni: A wonderful article which should inspire even the most indifferent individual. I hope Azhar reads it and learns from Jadeja's superb leadership. Is it too late or can Jadeja lead India in the world cup? WELL DONE HARSHA and GO FORTH INDIA, WE ARE ALL BEHIND YOU Arun Soni Frankfurt, Germany

Pradeep Sharma: This guy Harsha is a NUT please chuck him out of rediff, he writes any damn thing, though i have very high regards for Laender but i think this guy Harsha is a kind of crack, have u guys heard the commentary he gives Man!!!!!!!! its kind of funny even Boycott was once laughing when Harsha was giving commentary.

Nirmal: Great article Harsha !
Very true and I think one one of your best ones in these times !!

Hariharan Thantry: Good article...but I feel wrongly timed...i guess Jadeja's proven to be a bit like Leander..

Sunil Joshi: Absolutely the right medicine the Indian team needs. Please forward the article to the team members and I'm sure they'll take it as a great encouragement

Rahul Rajaram: I dont totally agree with you, for u do have players like Srinath and Tendulkar who would probably give a piece of flesh to get a victory for India, i do remember Kambli in the World Cup Semifinals, in tears after it was awarded to Sri Lanka, its not that there isn't a Indian among these guys, i believe who will not give his everything for his country, but then, all the above argument dies bcos they cant justify this trust.

Deepak Narayanan: Harsh,
It is not too "HARSH",but it says all. Great article to read.Iam not sure whether this being read by any so called "pride---" Indian players. Nothing more to comment, this article is one of (no the best)the best articles ever read on motivation.Thanks a lot harsha bhogle to provide us with this kind of articles. Iam always a good reader of your articles and a good critic too.

Joseph Manavalan: Very well said, Harsha. This is exactly what India needs. A bit of good ol' fashioned pride.

Abhijit: The column is veru well written and exactly bring out what the indian team needs.

Munish Gupta: Amazing. Nobody could have expressed it better.

Harsha, you have hit the bulls mark with this article and have pointed out what our team lacks. If they play with their heart, our boys can beat anyone in the world. Which team can boast to have 900 million plus fan cheering? I mean, us indians are more concerned about Sachin's ailling back then the state of Indian government.

Anand Karyekar: Yeah, Harsha has aptly put in what millions of Indains think and expect. To be in a team is a motivation enough in itself. To loose pride is to loose everything. Hope the 15 guys out there read this !!!

Nigam Desai: This article is beautiful .... just beautiful. Prem Panicker's article on Azhar was equally beautiful. Hope they listen to you, Mr Harsha Bhogle

jeevan: Have the Indian cricket team has read this column. If they surrounder meekly(i mean with out fight).., then it's better to relieve them from the duties(actuallyy it should be pride or honour)of serving for the country as a cricketer.
This is one of the touching columns that i have read in my life. It sounds like the words in my mouth are put in the paper by some one(Harsha). It's really an honour to Leander( i think it's not a penny less than Bharat Ratna), that one can give.
Thank u Harsha for this great column.

Adrian: Brilliant !

Mohan: : Well said!

KedarNadh: Excellent, That's it...No other words...

Saurabh Monga: Someone needs to make sure that the Indian team actually gets a chance to resd this, well said Harsha. The only thing thats keeps us close to home here in NY, is the cricket, waking up at 3 in the morning to watch your team lose is not fun.
Hope this will inspire them!
thanks Harsha

Subhasri : Hi, Nice column! Very well said and ofcourse very well written. Hope it inspires the Indian cricket team as much as it inspires me. Subhasri.

Sharan Singanamala: Couldn't have put it better. I hope our cricket team reads this before they leave to England.

Gopal: Awesome is the word. My body started experiencing shivers and tears were rolling down my eyes as I was reading this column. Simply great. Hope each one of our cricketers read this column and read it with passion so that they not only grasp what is expected of them as outlined here but also experience the feelings of the millions of Indian cricket lovers. Kudos to Leander and Harsha....

bashobi: Wow!! Impressive. So glad that sportsmen other than just cricketers can be hailed to be so heroic in this country. I myself admire Leander a lot, not just for his sweet dark looks, but for his passion and the competitiveness he displays almost always on court. Yes, its high time the Indian cricketers brought some respect to this ill-famed country of late. Its time we get to remember and cherish another Kapil Dev till the end of our lives. The column just in time before the World Cup.

Nikhil Lad:
Hi Harsha,
Superb Article ! I read it again & again.

Jimmy Patel: Hi, I am great follower of indian team in alltimes high and low and i do agree with Harsha on this article in totality.
Since long i have been fascinated to harsha's words like i am to kumble's flipper,prasad'd leg cutter, sachin's drives and pulls, ganuguly's cover drive,azhar's flick jadu's bountiness and i can go on and on Harsha is the best critic of indian team in my opinion. can i get his email id so that i can contact him

shekar: I think Akram has hit the nail in the head. Our 'Chalta Hai'attitude. Winning and losing is part of the game, but atleast you should go down fighting.

Don: A simple written article very rightly said about the problems underlying our Indian team. Time and again things have written over and over with the only hope that this article may change things for the better. Harsha I can only applaud your thoughts and hope that this does have s postive effect on our Indian team.

Ajay Kumar: Total committment , you just need to do this "Eat cricket, sleep cricket and think cricket". Our players seems to eat and drink but they forget to think about it.

Sreenivas Nalla: That was a good one.Did anyone send a copy of this to the Indian cricket team?

Vikas Gupta: Hi Harsha, WELL I do agree with you that Leander should have been in Indian cricket Team and our cricket Team is suffering from lack of Killer instinct. You are right they ned to understand that they brings joya nd tears to their nation, so if at all you loose the game loose with pride. You are very much right, I am very much agree with you that Leander has commitment and he always play for Country. But I have a request for U. Please keep Tendulkar away from rest of the cricket members. I think so He is the one person who can be moral for any sports man of any kind of soprts. He play for Country and he is the pride of the Nation. So just Keep tendulkar Apart and I am 100 percent agree with you. Srinivasa Rao: It reflects the voice of each every cricket loving Indian. Great column I wish this message must be distrubuted to all indian cricekters.
Thanks Harsha.

anand somasekharan: Superb! The guys certainly needs some passion. Its really lacking. Like you say, even if we lose its OK; but never can we bear a lackadaisical approach.

nikhil: Harsha, again an excellent article, it is good to see that you are able to tap into the real feeleings felt by all of the indian supporters out there, don't suppose you are on speaking terms with Azhar, and could covey these feelings to him??

Rakesh Nayak: Very touching

Sidhant Jhaver: What can I say?? Never before have I seen a more timely and apt 'set of words' for the Indian team, going into the world cup. I hope each and every sports-person, and especially players on our cricket team get to read this, because there can be no higher motivation than this.
Thank you, Harsha Bhogle, for reminding us all that 'passion' and 'pride' are important ingredients in (for) a victory.

Srinivas Garre: I wanted to elaborate on the point the author has raised: the nation's mood swings are closely tied to the performance of our cricket team.
How true !! I dont know really our cricket team realizes this. I know they give their best when they are winning. But I want their best even while loosing. Personally I feel very proud and confident myself as an Indian whenever our team wins matches. When they loose the morale comes down and start doubting our race, blood etc for not having that killer instinct. My innerself tells me this is just a sport and nothing can be concluded out of this. But I just cant help myself thinking like this. I guess millions of indians must be going through the same.
Why the cricket is so important is that lot of parallels can be drawn to the way we do things in our lives.
For example when I was a student preparing for my exams (thats when I started following cricket), I always thought of my preparations to the final exams like chasing a target in a one-day international.If I dont maintain a good run rate in , there are going to be too many runs to make in the end to win. Otherwise I fail the exam.
Cricket also shows us how important is team play in the projects that we work in our jobs.
Following are some more parallels:
Even if you are a captain (team leader), if you dont contribute as a player you are going to loose your place (worth).
One has to keep his cool while reaching the target or defending one. (while meeting tight deadline)
Winning in one match (project) is not enough but should show consistent performance in the future matches, otherwise you are out (fired).
Planning, motivation, team spirit, shrewdness etc the list of parallels are endless..

balasubramanian: fantastic!!harshaji, aapne dil ke baat kahe di.....i only wish all the 15 members of the team read your article.....after that definitely we will never think or talk about motivator or psychiatrist.
Harshaji, do continue writing such superb is so nice to read them..
Derek D'Mello: Well written. Perhaps a bit harsh, considering how much they play these days. No other Indian, or Indian team, has its performances scrutinised in such minute detail like the cricket team. Do we, for e.g., know of all the matches that Leander has played & the results?
We (being the followers or spectators) also need to take a share of the blame for the poor performances because of unreasonable expectations. Regards

Mok: : smashin' simply smashing

abhijit: Azahar tu za za Jadeja tu a za! Ajahar gaya hari bhi gaya Jadeja je sath jit bapos aia

AR: A little too jingoistic..but drives home the point nevertheless.
Regards, Anand bilq: : I feel Leander is incredibly more talented than everyone in the Indian Cricket team, in some aspects. In terms of raw athleticism, quickness, agility, natural reflex--Leander is more talented than even Sachin Tendulkar! I know die-hard Indian cricket fans may not want to accept this fact, but it is the simple and plain truth. He will run circles around every one in the Indian team including the super heroes!...Groundies is one of Lee's problem, but that is not necessarily relevant here.
Comparing Davis cup and Indian Cricket, these days may not be appropriate. The frequency at which Lee plays Davis cups is far different than playing ODI almost every day, it seems like. It may be easier for Lee to pump himself up for Davis cup weekends, but it may be difficult for even Lee to sustain it at very high levels consistently.

VINOD: VINOD-D@ROCKETMAIL.COM: This should be given to all the players who are wasting our valuble time and emotions

Sunil Talwar: bullshit.

Vinayak Nadgir: If this does not stir our team to perform nothing will.

Arulraj Sugunakumar: That was a really aweinspiring peice from harsha , i wish the Indian team would read it. Also it would do wonder to the team if Leander could escort the team as it's mascot infusing some of the pride back into the team If this happen's we are going to have a recap of the 1983 world cup.

Mohan: The old boy is right Tugs at ur heart strings

Sumit Pal: A lovely one - It stirs me up whn i think about myself. WEll done Harsha

Gaurang Mehta: informative