Daily Archives: 16 September 2007

Dravid made the right decision

Mahesh has analysed the reasons for Rahul Dravid’s decision to quit as captain of Team India.

This issue has been thrashed to death in the media in India Once again several ex-players and expert-wannabes have been wheeled in and out of TV studios to talk the issue to death. A cricket-related exciting news item is probably the only thing that stirs up the emotions — as well as a parade of expert-wannabes — in the media in India. A heck of a lot of newsprint as well as bytes have been swallowed up by this news already. Ironically, most media outlets have been quite glib in reporting that the irrepressible media in India may have been one of the reasons for Dravid’s seemingly hasty decision — the media that cites this as a reason thereby, by merely reporting this as a factor, attempts to exclude itself from the “irrepressible media in India” collective! There has been very little analysis but a lot of scuttlebutt and rumour in the media in India. The more serious analysis has been on Cricinfo. In an well-written piece, Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan bemoans a legacy that lost its way. And Ian Chappell opines that

Dravid’s decision was right, in my view. I personally feel that the BCCI did not deserve a professional like Rahul Dravid, and in announcing his decision to quit, Dravid has severed his ties with an idiotic organisation that would not be able to organise a booze party in a brewery. The professional in Dravid had perhaps rubbed against the idiocy of the BCCI machinery once too often. He was perhaps tired of dealing with an organisation that did not have a strategic-vision or a success-blueprint. It continues to stumble from one thing to the next and finds itself with a half-baked alternative to the ICL, a team without a manager and now, a team without a captain.

Sourav Ganguly was perhaps able to deal with the extreme ambiguity that exists in BCCI-land. He, in fact, thrived on it and may have even, at times, used this as rope to do what he pleased! Rahul Dravid, the organisational-allegience-type-of-professional perhaps found it hard to cope with.

He quit when he was ahead. To quit after the World Cup would have been a bit too much for him and his pride as a leader. He now had reason to exit on a high and on his terms.

Some media-experts have labelled him as opportunistic and a few others claimed that he put his own self-interest ahead of those of the team. We can argue about the merits of these judgements till the cows come home. But the country and its media must pay a price for the tripe that gets put out. Sooner or later, someone has to pay the price for the constant random-speculations, the irrepressible-intrusiveness, the needless scuttlebutt and the opinion-dominated tripe. Moreover, the bottom line is that an organisation like BCCI that exists comfortably in a strategy-free zone gets what it deserves — and it certainly does not, in my view, deserve a strong, visionary, dedicated, skilful, composed, articulate, determined and courageous leader like Rahul Dravid.

Rahul Dravid had to fight for a bowling coach and a fielding coach. I do not believe he won the team-selection battles — he can’t have got the teams he wanted. The team still does not have a full-time media manager.

Something had to give… It did.

The time was right for him to leave on his termsa and leave the BCCI to pick up a few more pieces. They are, after all by now, so used to picking up pieces — those that create the mess need to clean it…

– Mohan