Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 15, 1999

The Harsha Bhogle column

Rahul Pahuja: One of the most motivating articles I have ever come across, I hope it works for our Indian team, coz they could definitely learn some lessons from Harsha's article.!! I loved this article.!!!

shrikant wadekar: Wonderfull Harsha, i think this is exactly what I feel too but may be cannot put it in words the way you did it, offcourse you are a journalist and i am a computer professional, thats the difference. But i am an Indian too so my heart beats like those millions others.

Amit Raj: Excellent presentation of the state of affairs with our cricket team. They have everything that a world class cricketer should have but they dont apply. The least that can be expected from our team is the attitude and determination to see that our mother India can keep her head up with PRIDE.

balachandran: Hello Harsha, This is one of the best articles , i have ever read on rediff or anyother mag. i just read this article again and again.. wish to see more like this one, bala

Kalpesh Mehta: Brilliant! Echoes our sentiments perfectly and in a really beautiful way.

Bala: Great article.. and it shouls be sent to all the members of worldcup squad. Thanks for the nice article, which refelects my feelings.. and mentioning Leander - a Jr. Vivekananda... With regards, --Bala

Venkat: I totally agree with u buddy...! Unfortunately 'Killer-Instinct' is missing in most of our players. To me it's like basic nature ,U can't change a person much when u train them mentally. Nobody feels bad when u loose after a good battle.Things are going around in such a way u need a brave heart to see such a bad performance.I can see consistency atleast in their poor show. Honestly we need players with more aggressive-ness. BE AGGRESSIVE ,BELEIVE IN U ... YOU CAN DO IT GUYS... BRING THE PEPSI-CUP HOME.U HAVE TO... WHY ALL THESE STORIES ? BETTER GIVE A GOOD FIGHT .... THAT'S MORE THAN ENOUGH....(AM I MORE PRACTICAL!!!)

Anand: : The other side of the coin.. Put yourselves into the shoes of one of the fifteen players, and go back into time and see how you landed up there in the first place. The point being, it helps you realize what it cost you to be there. What it really costs is love for the game, talent, determination, perserverance, courage to face the odds, time to invest, pride in what you do, and also discipline. So, it took a bit of all those (and maybe even more) to be one of those fifteen. Given all that, doesn't it make you feel bad if you fail in front of millions of people, infact it makes you feel worse than what the spectators go through. Nobody, in their right minds, will want to go through such a thing, even if it is for the money involved.
I, for one, believe in our team. So what if it was a bad choice of shot, a mis-judgement of a ball, being runout by a good fielder, being bowled by a good ball, or being hit for a six by a good shot. But deep underneath, being at that stage, at that position, I would certainly try to give my best, wouldn't you, or wouldn't anybody?

diwakar: Will someone please send 15 copies of this article to the WC 99 Indian Cricket team? If this doesn't motivate them, nothing will!

Yogita Godbole: This think this is the best column I have ever read. This truly expresses our feeling towards my Nation and my country's pride.. the cricket team. I love reading your articles and I want to thank you for all this great information. thanks!

Mohan Rao Pammu: Harsha, This is absolutely fantastic article. I am sure the message in this article will ring in the ears of cricketers loud and clear. Hope we see the change.

Mohan: It is wonderfully written, Harsha! But I don't know how it can be conveyed to our team. Probably you can only do it.

Merle Benkavitch: I am an American, Jewish woman who met Leander about 4 years ago. When I talk with him, I am amazed at his wise and generous spirit and when my husband and I see him play we feel partly Indian because he feels his heritage so keenly. He is never too tired to talk with or give autographs after a match and talk with the young Indian fans who idolize him. I think that your column was terrific.
Merle Benkavitch We are proud to know him and he is as fine a representative as any country could have. Merle Benkavitch

Kamal Gupta: A very accurate and honest article and I completely agree. India does need to win the World Cup to gain my respect. It just needs to play with pride and passion. Many a times we lack that. I have never ever seen Leander Paes play in any other event other than the Davis Cup. But He is not among the top 100 but he can beat the top 10, because he plays with pride and passion.

mrb: : whats all this bullshit.tendulkar dravid srinath & kumble r as dedicated and patriotic as paes if not more

vivin: dear sir missed your facts machine in this article.

Aditi Bapat: I cannot see anyone who claims to be a genuine cricket lover not getting affected by this article. In a way, it goes beyond cricket and reaches the very core of being that typical middle-class Indian. An eye-opener for the youth of India, not only the Indian cricket team!

Ananda S Murthy: Harsha has always been the most interesting of young Indian writers and an excellent commentator. This article is really one the best i have seen and should motivate our cricketers to come out with their best in the forthcoming worldcup. All our cricketers should carry a copy of this article in their kits to add the killer instinct to their strengths.

siva kumar: This column has put in words what my heart feels about Leander and Indian Cricket.

Siva Kumar: Harsha, I see that rediff has a "CRICKET" page. Please ask rediff to add "TENNIS" page, I feel that is the least you can do to appreciate what Leander is doing to India.

parag: beyond this world!!!!!truly excellent....hats off to harsha

Murali: It's simply outstanding. I do read Harsha's coloumns quite regulary. But this one is one of his best in recent times. Congrats, Harsha on a job well one. Looking forward to see more of this... Murali

nadeem: Kudos Harsha! That was an awesome column. You couldnt have got a better Indian than Leander. He is surely a TRUEST Indian. Why cannot the Indian cricket team be like him ? Do they lack the pride of playing for the country ? Have they become so mean that they just care for a pay-check to buy designer clothes, foriegn cars, run after Bollywood actresses,...? Such people should stop playing for the country. When somebody loses, they get ashamed of themselves, but this Indian cricket seems to be proud of losing. Its high time they wake up and show some Indianism and fight.

Satya Easwaran: Why doesnt media play its part?
Over 90% of the time, they indulge in critisizing the Indian players especially the captain.
The media is ruthless when Azha makes a bad decision, but do they praise him with the same intensity when Azha does it right for us.
There was an article in Mid-day from Ansari. He had it in bold that Azhar should step down and let Jadeja take the reins.
Ajay Jadeja is brilliant, but why demean Azhar.
I think the article was extremly stupid, and the sad part is that the public comments go unnoticed.
I and probably every Indian would like to know what Harsha Bogle, a great commentator that he is, think about these articles.
I am in agreement with Harsha that the Indian team doesnt require any special motivation, but they are pressured by the BullShit that the media publishes.
This can only stop if we are allowed to critique the articles.
Rediff should publish comments from the public on the articles that have been published recently.
-Satya Easwaran.

shekar: Great article! Along with the cricketers, I think our Politicians should also read this. If they really love their country, the current chaos wouldn't have happened.

Siva Pochimcherla: A good Article. No Questioning Leander's Capabilities when donning the National Colours. He's the Man! I think our Cricketers aren't all that bad as they have been portrayed. A few things to be noted. Cricket is a game played by 11 people compared to 1 or 2 in Tennis, Ever heard about the term "Communication"?? Our Team-Tennis has been together for about 4-5 yrs now and their progress and destiny are pretty much in their own hands. They can perform beyond expectations just because the groud under them is very stable. Team-Cricket does not have that luxary. Ever heard about the "Learning Curve"?? Its not about learning how to bat or bowl, its all about fitting in and understanding the roles. Who knows that except those few who have been around for some time. Hence, our Team-Cricket revolves only around those who have been there and seen it all. But, does it not take 11 committed people to win the game??. Above, all Team-Cricket need a good leader, one who shows some life on and off the field, motivates, encourages and above all be patient and can gurantee job security, atleast for a while. Why blame the leader when his own job is not so secure? I guess the root cause is .........$^%^$^. Just look at what Team-Cricket has been doing in the last 3 matches at Sharjah under our interim leader and without the "Big" Guys. Bottom line - You cannot perform if you have No confidence in your self, you'll have No confidence in your self until unless you have done it once, twice and many a times........... and you have been there and have seen it all .........? I guess i got my point across. Go India! We can Do it!

Tarun Bhargava: After reading this article all I can is EXCELLENT ! EXCELLENT ! EXCELLENT !.
Every Indian, politician, sportsperson should be forced to read this article.

ajay singh: hey nice column i really like harsha's commnetary i have personally met him and even had my match ticket signed by him but now i am in la but still i watch all the matches on kbs so can he sayhi to me on tv

Joseph Johnson: Excellent column. Could n't have said it better.

Sai Siva Kumar.D: I feel like , charged 10000 volts. Hats Off to U. Good Luck Guys, we will get that cup Thanx Harsha Sai

Nizam Shaikh: Harsha, I could feel your emotions as I too have 'em in me. I feel proud of my Indianness and present myself with all the pride at every oppotunity I have. Thanks for the column and I am looking forward to see Leander in person sometime in near future. Nizam Shaikh

Arjumand: Very Melodramatic! Leander is more gifted than you seem to indicate in this article. It is not prudent to compare two completely differ- ent sports like Tennis and Cricket. In those respects that can be compared, Leander is more gifted than every one in the Indian team including Sachin tendulkar. Also, Leander plays a truly international sport with very heavy demands of professionalism, so even for him to survive he has to be that much better. He, like most reasonable tennis pros, has had International competition exposure from a very young age which the members of the Indian team do not have...So, I am not sure you can expect them to have the quality of a Leander...Somethings cannot be forced upon, I am afraid. Also, its easy to write about passion than to actually play the game with passion, every time you step out there. I know, you might want to refer to your "How many tests have you played?" article, but its an entirely different ball game to put it in action.
Nevertheless, your(Harsha Bhogle) articles do provide for some very good reading--but, I feel it may be naive to expect that it will transform the Indian cricketers(in any way, shape or form), its not all that easy. I am curious if you had any experience trying to motivate Indian cricketers and if yes, I would like to know what the results of your efforts were/are?..Kindly respond, Thanks.

Simon Jacob: What is this coulumn all about? I do not understand why Leander is committed and others are not. Harsha Bhogle's writing style is cool, however, he really needs to shut up when the situation does not demand his input. Listning to commentary from him could sometimes unsettle a person. He is very annoying and gets on my nervers. Please send me his e-mail address, I would love to have a chat with him.

Nandu: Hi Mr. Bhogle,
Sorry about my choice of words but you are an idiot. You are comparing apples and oranges. Your reporting skills are unwarrantedly dramatic and your knowledge about sports seem to be very limited. You are a menace even on TV. I cannot believe the things you do/say on TV. You should be in the zoo. Learn a bit from Prem Paniker and the others who write on rediff. I always enjoy their articles. Let me put in a nutshell the stupidity you say. In the year '98 Leander Paes have put in perhaps 1/10 of the work that an indian cricketer has put, probably has 1/2th the percentage of success the Indian team had and probably made 20 times more money an average cricketer has made. And then you come talking of passion. You can display passion for 2hrs. For Leander his passion can raise his game and he very much needs it cause otherwise he has nothing else (talent / skill / physique etc). The Indian team can only either lose or win and intelligence / hard work / stamina / skill matter more than passion. Do you mean that South Africans / Australia play with more passion and that's why they win? How do you explain Vishwanathan Anand's performace of being world No. 2. Passion eh? Please think before you write. Your article is very spicy and we Indians love spice, but you article has no nutrition like your grandma's chutney. Regards Nandu

Selvakumaran Ganesan: I actually wanted to write only two words about this column, "TOO GOOD", but something inside me tells me that I need to say something more about this. This column has written what every Indian cricketer and every Indian youth should know. It is just written very beautifully. I greatly wish the whole of the Indian youth as well as everybody in the Indian cricket team reads it.
Congrats for the GREAT column, Harsha. WAY TO GO, INDIA.

Sudhakar G: Truely the BEST article I've read in recent times. Wish the message reaches the Indian cricketers.

Khalifa Amed: Quite well written but above all written with a vigor and passion that brought tears to my eyes, and I am a PROUD pakistani.

Sandeep Beotra: SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!!! Please have the Indian team read it.

sanjay: soppy soppy, syrupy stuff from harsha. but i can see the logic in there.
if the sportspeople of every other kind in india can blame a lack of governing efficiency, resources and lately, interest itself, our cricketers have no excuse. we, the millions follow it, pour our money and minds into it and the BCCI is pretty decently run.
i loved the fact that wasim's comments seem to have tickled the indians the right way. they seemed all fiery in the last match. maybe someone should stand up once in a while and insult the indian teams attitudes.
hey, i am saying india is making it to the semi-finals this year. after that, it depends whom they play.

ashish malhotra: i couldn't have put it in better words the indian team has been an embarrassment lately for every indian they should put there act together or get lost because my heart has blead too much for them in vain !!!

Comman Man: xxxxx: It all depends on the captain, Make Jadeja Captain and the spice will come back. Azhar is too old to play cricket, he should leave gracefully if not kicked out

Karthick Vishwanathan: Dear Harsha, I think u conveyed what each and everyone of us who watched the ind-pak matches felt...PRIDE thats exactly what was missing in this Indian team.

jeet: the article is eloquent but not immensely logical. it is unfair to solely say that the indian team is not winning because it is 'not dedicated' and b'coz of its 'princely treatment'.and the comparison with leander is pretty gross as he has not been able to break it to the top 80 and he has been playing ATP for a long can anyone prove that the indian team is losing because it is not totally dedicated..mind it, even with there fullest dedication srinath and venkatesh are not as vicious a force as an alan donald, glen mcgrath, pollock or an akram, let's face it guys that our bowling attack is slightly more than reasonable...battingwise we have always had problems except for amarnath in facing genuine pace....fielding being the only area where dedication can help improve but even then we are not natural divers like others as we play in lot harder grounds with less of a grass carpet....moreover it cannot be logically deducted that because they are treated like princes they are performing badly....and who makes them the princes anyway....the media...i have heard harsha bhogle heap praises on all of them when they perform was also said by the same logic that tendulakr was playing badly b'coz he got married....well he proved them wrong is high time we understood that cricket is a game of glourious uncertainties...and that there is a lot more than 100% dedication involved here...and just look at us, we are expecting this dedication on the face of the fact that these guys have been playing iternational cricket, almost is also a lot of strategising, planning, making contingency plans, focussing on key aspects and training to acheive those....even then one can't guarantee success...just because the sri-lanka team is failing we can't attribute that to their lack of dedication...or would we all be comfortable to think that clive loyld's 1983 team was slightly less dedicated than the indian day cricket is definitely a lot more than middle-class, hardworking definitely is a requirement but definitely NOT the 'winner' or the biggest differentiator among teams....basically it is a combination of how truly talented our players are, how well they change/communicate/react to cricketing situations, how well they can switch roles against different teams and a lot of luck and belief in miracles...and a myriad of other unknown factors...if jadeja's coming to bowl after a long gap and picking up 3 wickets is not a miracle then i do not know what is??? thanks harsha anyway!!!!!

Puneet: pnevatia@HOTMAIL.COM: Harsha Bhogle needs treatment. Boycott summed it up when he called him Harsha'verbal diarrhea' Bhogle. I am sure he can point out the misspell.

Sriram Duvvuri: Harsha, The Indian Team should take the aggression of the Calcutta Crowd. Can you believe that we lost to Pakistan in more than FIVE matches in a row ???? Damn, next time you meet any of the players, tell them to wear bangles and sit at home.

Puneet Bajpai: A Masterpeice !!!! If I was Anshuman Gaekwad I'd give every player of the team a copy of this article at the team meeting. What more motivation could you ask for ?

K.B.Choudary: I just love the article. I'm sending it to all of my friends. It should motivate not only our cricket team but our engineers(all of my friends) and every Indian in general to do something to be proud of. Thank you very much. basava.

Reetu: As my email address shows i am a 'diehard' jaddu fan. Harshabhai that was a great article...i just feel good that there r millions out there who feel the same way i do when our cricket teams loses matches so easily and pathetically. They never go down fighting. The sad part being even the opponents know that. what with akram calling them 'mellow'. If these guys get their act together,and play with all the passion they have winning this world cup shouldnt be that difficult. I dont think Lee would have to accompany them if that happens.

atul: Thanks Harsha for such a motivating article...absolutely gem...

prasoon k tattari: Superb, Excellent.. all these superlatives will sure fall short of my feeling.. nice work... caring fan