I do agree whole heartedly with Puspak Sarkar, Faisal is indeed doing a good job for Rediff and you are not welcome back. We (as in readers of rediff columns ) do not need your caustic sarcasm and your stupid rhetoric questions. And yes, there has always been a parochial undertone to your columns. You led the anti-Ganguly even when enemy (Australia) was at the threshold and the team was getting ready for the battle. All the articles somehow wanted everyone to believe that Ganguly should be replaced with Dravid or atleast suggested that Dravid was very very so so good. I think Puspak has hit you with a salvo that you richly deserve. In the early days Dravid was wronged and so was Ganguly - also Dravid failed to impress as much as he is doing now. He always looked like a 'boy who had come to school without his homework book' 'bit of a wet rag personality' - today it is a different story and all the very best to him, hope! he continues in the same strain.
What is funny about you is that you fail to notice Ganguly's good deeds. I am sure that guy must be under inhuman pressure all the time. If the pressure would have been healthy - that is of coping up with opposition then it is something that comes with the job. I still remember that the ******* Bombay crowd booing Ganguly in the first Test against Australia - now that was another lobby of dogs who wanted Sachin to be a captain - Sachin is a clear misfit - let him do what is doing and let him concentrate on winning matches for India (which he does not do very often) - all the very best to him. But his lackeys Bogle & Co. should take a holiday.
In fact his lobby was creating pressure on the then upcoming stars Ganguly & Dravid. Not to mention that tone deaf moron called Shastry - he is terrible as a commentator and was worst as a player. He has stupid camel like look on his face at all times. Sachin's lackeys were so busy beating the drums for him that all the MORE SIGNIFICANT OTHERS were being ignored. It was almost as though one had to and from day one sing, dance, play the banjo, jump of cliffs, walk a pit of fire and some more to get noticed - Hey ! Sacin does not do all that anyway so why should the others. And all that is not required.
This enemy within has to be defeated and totally nullified.
About what ails the cricket in India - well it is what ails eveyrthing else in India. We lack in basic native intellect, we are all a bunch of very hard workers. And then when we have some intellect we assume stances congruent to the 'Triped stance of cannine quadrupeds, marking territory' ( a stink follows the deed). It is no surprise that Indian subcontient has been invaded so many times - we are always fragmented and hence weak. Prem you and some idiotic writers from Rediff were advocating that Ganguly behave in a courteous manner with the Australians. Well Prem you and your cronies take a hike!!!!.
Now about Ganguly - I think he is doing all rigth and frankly he has more brains than all the past captains who have done a disservice to the Indian cause. He has made this new look team. He has identified new talents and got them into the team. He has changed the way the indian players think. He has is the 'cause' by which this team is considered one of the favourites. He has succeeded where all the 'Little Masters', 'Hurricanes', 'Champions of Champions', 'Walls', 'Silken Wrists', 'Boneless hands', 'Turbuned Wonder- startegist at high noon', 'Menopausal middle aged spinner - Prasanna', 'Could not be a very good spinner so turned an umpire', 'Tigers', dogs, cats, goats, snakes, scorpions, etc, etc, etc have all failed to make an impression - bunch of unproductive spineless assholes.
It is strange there are readers who have now started talking about experimenting with Pathan, Yohannan and other new players. When Ganguly started experimenting, during the West Indian tour, it was a very bad idea.
Ganguly has always managed to kick his detractors in their teeth and also on the back side on many occassions.
All the very best to Ganguly and God Speed. I hope he can lead India to many more Victories, including one in the world cup. This debacle in New Zealand was always on the cards, but hope the team does not get too demoralised. Hope 'Captain Marvellous' steers the ship to desired shores.
About winning abroad - Indian Victories abroad have always been flukes, so one should not be too worried about all that. Let us concentrate on the World Cup and win - we are a very good one day side.
Also let us all stop reading columns written by morons like Prem from Rediff.
Would you believe the words of a spineless whore from the 'Third Estate' or would you much rather pray for and support a Lion Heart?
Prem Panicker: Very interesting, Mr Jhanjharia. I have some stuff for you.
On second thoughts, don't bother reading -- as far as possible, you should never let facts get in the way of either your imagination, or your rhetoric.
My very good wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And to anyone who doesn't fall in the ambit of this "we" I keep hearing so much about, I'd reckon it is time to give the 'Change in Attitude' story a rest. There's still about 25 mails on the topic lying in my inbox -- but much of them cover earlier ground. Will try and respond individually, over the coming days, to those I have not responded to here. Meanwhile, with your permission, moving on, tomorrow, to the comments that have come in re the column on pitches.
You make an excellent point on the quota system, and I find it incredible that a sporting organization, which presumably has the interests of winning the World cup in mind, comes up with a list like this one. I find it even more hilarious that websites of many major newspapers in India carry an analysis of that list!!
My picture of the BCCI and the state cricket boards is a bunch of old Corporate executives (Dalmiya, AC Muthiah), a bunch of failed cricketers (Ashok Malhotra, Brijesh Patel), a bunch of politicians (Manohar Joshi in Mumbai and Laloo Yadav)and a bunch of members of Royal families of the past (Dungarpur) trying to make a living off the game and in the process flush Indian fortunes at the sport down the toilet.
Irrespective of the sport in question if winning a championship is the aim, then some hard decisions have to be made. Indian cricket is not the preserve of the office bearers of the Indian team, BCCI and its tentacles (read state boards). The BCCI refuses to learn that the paying Indian public at stadiums (who repeatedly get a raw deal), TV viewers at home and the paying sponsors are the larger stake holders. The BCCI even refuses to build a decent toilet in stadiums in India, imagine the pains the spectator has to go through to just enjoy the game.
Due to the sheer number of people watching the game in India it is difficult to analyse the impact every bungling of the BCCI has on the sport's viewership, I am sure it is large. But then the BCCI and its office bearers must feel confident that irrespective of what goof-up they manage, they will have enough people watch the game, they also learnt from the match-fixing scandal that people will watch the game no matter what.
Imagine a country like NZ despite thrashing a team like India, they find it difficult to put people into stadiums even for an international game. That gives administrators in countries like NZ or Australia, apart from love of the game and patriotism, an incentive to always do the best for the game of cricket. Because they know that one slip-up and they may never see people walk through those turnstiles again. Sadly we don't have that problem.
Thanks for the opportunity to write to you guys. I see that you share the same pain as a lot of others who really love the game and wish that India always thrashed everybody in sight. I hope the jokers running the game in India are reading the rediff cricket page; maybe they will change their ways.
Faisal Shariff: The quota system is the bane of Indian cricket. If only administrators decide to do away with it and appoint three paid professionals to pick the best available side will Indian cricket realise its potential as a treasure chest of cricketing talent. You make a very valid point that the BCCI is complacent about the fact that people will watch cricket irrespective. In New Zealand the administrators were keen on getting play underway as soon as possible because they face the threat from other sports.
It would be in the interest of Indian cricket to discard the title Honorary' from its administrative vocabulary once and for all. Pay people for their time and effort and pull them up if they fail to deliver.
Mr. Faisal Shariff
I agree with you about the inclusion of Venkatesh Prasad in the squad. But I don't agree with your comment quoted below.
"Another question that merits asking is: Are these newcomers who have been picked, Irfan Pathan, Rakesh Patel and Avishkar Salvi, actually
being considered for the Cup? Or are they window dressing, there in the list simply for the selectors to tell the rest of us that they have been
doing a thorough job?"
We are not able to find 14 international (read it as players who can win the cup for India) level players to represent India at the world cup. The job of identifying 30 "INTERNATIONAL" players can be nothing but a joke and selectors are forced to do it. I don't think you, for that matter anybody else, could do a better job. I don't think you would send a much different team to NZ (or for World cup) than the current one regardless of who your 30 probables are. I invite you to come up with your 30 probables. I think it will be fun to criticize your selection.
Everybody talks about Mohanty so much. The poor guy get whipped most of the times so bad, its pity full. One of American presidents (I don't know who), after being severely criticized media for his war strategies, said that unfortunately all the best generals work for newspapers. It is time selectors say that all great
selectors of today work for Rediff????? Looking forward to you 30 probables
Faisal Sahriff: I have one question in reply to your query: Would you rather have Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble bowl in the one-dayers against New Zealand or try to check a couple of these young quickies?
If even one of them fires and grabs a handful of wickets Zaheer Khan will have found his bowling partner and the Indian opening attack will be something opposition skippers will place high on their priority lists in team meetings.
I would love to draw up my list of 30 players which I did before the actual 30 were announced ---- and would be more than glad to share them with you. Please have a crack at me for it.
30 World Cup probables:
1. Sourav Ganguly
2. Rahul Dravid
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. Virender Sehwag
5. VVS Laxman
6. Mohammad Kaif
7. Yuvraj Singh
8. Dinesh Mongia
9. Sanjay Bangar
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Javagal Srinath
12. Ajit Agarkar
13. Ashish Nehra
14. Tinu Yohannan
16. Irfan Pathan (Jr)
17. Avishkar Salvi
18. J P Yadav
19. SS Das
20. A Rayudu
21. Parthiv Patel
22. Debashish Mohanty
23. Rakesh Patel
24. Murali Kartik
25. Anil Kumble
26. Harbhajan Singh
27. Sarandeep Singh
28. Reetinder Singh Sodhi
29. Amit Mishra
Let's argue :)
I would say that Mr. faisal shariff 's article is a joke rather than the probables list. I would like to remind him that kapil dev retired a long time ago.as for mohanty does any one remember him being a match winner for India? prasad's inclusion will definitely improve the team's composition. he believes that if pathan salvi & the others were good enough then they should have been included in the current side. so should we have taken a 20 member side to new Zealand. as for tilak naidu I would like to ask how many inexperienced boys are we going to take? we have picked 12 bowlers because of the conditions in SA. Now for the biggest piece of stupidity. Mr. Shariff believes that the 30 man side is going to be the final teem for the world cup. I would like him to have some more patience & wait for the final list of 15 before he begins criticizing our selectors. We simply cannot include too many youngsters in the team.
Faisal Shariff: So at least the article was funny. The Kapil Dev bit was another of my attempts at humour that seems to have failed. Well, just go back 4 years and watch the world cup match against England, which took us through to the Super Six stage. Mohanty's wickets turned the match India's way. He bowled particularly well against New Zealand and Pakistan (Venkatesh Prasad picked up 5-27) besides picking up four wickets against Kenya. I am not saying Prasad is a bad bowler, am merely saying that he is a player past his prime and at 33 isn't getting any younger for a team which is already carrying Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble.
Please ignore my stupidity but I have not mentioned that the 30-man squad is going to be the final team for the World Cup. What I have said is that now the final 15-member squad will have to be picked from the 30 probables.
Your last statement of not including too many youngsters in the team is strange keeping in mind that the youngsters have injected the freedom and flair to the team which carries a baggage of earlier defeats. If India has to win the world cup, the youngsters will lead the way.