May 12, 1999
The World Cup is no benefit match
I think it was one of the BCCI officials who said "If we are lucky, we will win". And if I remember right, Mr. Dalmiya says that because the final of the current World Cup is on 20th June, a day close to the '83 final (25th June), we will win. Another person is gone on record to say that "if we get our act together, nothing is impossible".
What is common in all these comments is a pathetic inability to depend on talent, but depend on other factors such as luck, numerology etc. The question is why things have come to this state. Those of us who have been keen watchers of the Indian team's performance in the run-up to the World Cup know it too well.
Given Azhar's performance as a captain, why was it that another captain was not groomed sufficiently in advance? For such an elite set of selectors, and given the stakes involved, it is inconceivable that there was a lack of planning. This is no time to get into the various hypothesis, but one thing must be kept in mind. The World Cup is no benefit match to honour someone for his long service to Indian cricket. The World Cup should be and is about one thing - winning.
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