Tag Archives: Sharad Pawar

New look BCCI…

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a new look to it. It has a new President, a newish set of office bearers and a new website — http://www.bcci.tv!

BCCI’s website was launched quietly during the week. Incidentally, BCCI, the worlds’ richest cricket board, is the last of the ICC member country cricket boards to get its own website! It is actually quite an informative website, if one has an interest in State cricket associations and the like. Yesterday, the site had quite a few glitches. These seem to have been sorted out. For example, West Zone was declared as the zone “Abutting the Arabic Sea”. Arabic? Today, it reads, “West Zone: Abutting the Arabian Sea”. What has a butt got to do with it? I have problems with arcane english usage, I guess! It presents the Memorandum of Association of the BCCI, if one is interested in such matters. The landing page has video clips from “The Greatest Series”. No prizes for guessing that this features Australia in India in 2001! Good for a read and about time too.

Shashank Manohar, a self-proclaimed “benevolent dictator” is the new BCCI President. He steps in as Sharad Pawar steps up to take on the ICC Presidency when David Morgan vacates that chair soon.

Kris Srikkanth has assumed control of the new “paid” selection committee as its chairman. He is joined by Yashpal Sharma (North), Raja Venkat (East), Surendra Bhave (West), Narendra Hirwani (Central), with N. Srinivasan as Secretary/Convenor.

Fortunately, we will stop receiving sound bytes (bites) from Niranjan Shah. Now in case you missed his last pearl, I reproduce it below! Just 2 days prior to handing over the reigns to Srinivasan, Niranjan Shan dropped this beauty on us unsuspecting souls when urging Team India seniors to announce their retirement plans to BCCI! Shah said:

“The senior players, who can be phased out in two or three years, should make their own (retirement) plans and inform the BCCI or selection committee. Like Rahul (Dravid) had done when quitting India captaincy. Like Anil (Kumble) did when retiring from ODIs.”

That statement was somewhat harmless, given that it came from Niranjan Shah! However, he did not disappoint us with his usual foray into clanger-territory! He proceeded to say that it was not practical in India for the selectors to ask a player about his retirement plans. That’s right! It was not practical! The exact quote:

“It’s not possible in India for the selectors to ask players about their retirement plans which may lead to arguments.”

Phew! Now that is the reason then! Clearly we need selectors that love arguments then!

For those that thought that we had seen the last of Niranjan Shah, there is, however, some bad news. He is going to stick around. Niranjan Shah has been named Vice-Chairman of the now-influential IPL Governing Council! While Lalit Modi has been retained as Chair of the IPL Governing Council, there are suggestions that Niranjan Shah is there to hover around as a shadow in case the young turk gets too far ahead of himself! All of these speculations are fuelled by Modi’s recent generosity towards the visiting Australians. Modi, a good friend of Guru Greg Chappell, invited the Australians to use the extensive and impressive training facilities at the Rajasthan Cricket Association a full week before the official start of the Australia tour of India. This has set the proverbial cat amonst a colony of some confused pigeons who don’t quite know what to do! The easiest thing to do was, presumably, to aim and fire at the host who extended the generous hospitality.

Another pointer to a suggestion that Lalit Modi has been slapped on the wrist is that Sharad Pawar has assumed chairmanship of the influential Marketing Committee, a post that Modi had held with some panache.

Will any of this make a dent in India’s chances against the visiting Australians? Will any of this make a difference to cricket in India? We don’t know, but if past committees are anything to go by, I will not be holding my breath in a tearing hurry!

— Mohan

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No deadline for Coach!

After Greg Chappell’s resignation in March, the BCCI initially said that it would have a Team India Coach ready and appointed by the time the team left for England in late-June. That deadline passed. Then it said it would have a coach ready by the time the Twenty20 Championship came around. That deadline slipped. Then it indicated that the coach would be ready for the home series against Australia and Pakistan. That deadline came and went. Then as recently as last week, the BCCI said that the coach would be ready before the away series to Australia in December.

Now, in a thoroughly distasteful development, the BCCI postponed todays’ coach-selection meeting at Bangalore and, furthermore, issued a statement that it was not going to fix any deadline on the appointment of a coach!

Initially, the reason provided for the delay was the non-availability of Messers Gavaskar and Shastri, who were both busy on commentary duty! And yet, it is Ravi Shastri who has been approached to Chair the National Cricket Academy, post Kapil Dev’s sacking! One does wonder if Gavaskar and Shastri were the only two cricketers to ever play for India! No one can and will deny that these two fine gentlemen did play for India — and with distinction too — but surely there are a few hundred other honest ex-cricketers in search of a plum job!

Why was the recent coach-selection meeting postponed? Well, because, “Our president (Sharad Pawar) was not available for the meeting. We have not met yet and gone through any applications for the job that have been received by us,” BCCI Treasurer, N. Srinivasan said.

So rather than embarass themselves once again — surely, they must be used to it by now after a string of repeat performances on-demand and at will — the BCCI refused to put any further deadline on the coach-appointment. Aaah! Smart thinking 99. However, N. Srinivasan did commit to the appointment being, “done in reasonably quick time“.

But the real pearl from the media release was this one, “There has been little time. Players have just come back from England and then from the World Twenty20 Cup. We have back-to-back matches against Australia,” he added.

Hang on a minute! Are the players playing these matches or are Srinivasan, Pandove, Pawar, Shastri, Gavaskar, Venkatraghavan and Shetty playing for India? Haven’t these dills understood that their role is to select the coach and not to either play the game or indeed, watch it! There is a job to be done guys. The players will play. You guys need to administer the game!

— Mohan

Australian Humility: The Symonds way…

This was prompted by Mahesh’s excellent earlier post on the comments of Andrew Symonds over the post-Twenty20 victory-celebrations in India. It is quite clear that the celebrations have gotten under the skins of the Australian team and it is clear that the Aussies are totally cheesed-off at the loss. It perhaps did not help that they landed in India when the celebrations were on. So it must have been “in their faces” a bit — like rubbing salt on the wounds of a wounded tiger, if I am allowed to mix my metaphors!

It is fine for them to be fired up about it. This somewhat uncharacteristically lethargic Australian team probably needed something to fire it up. And this may have been just the tonic that they were looking for. And India must be wary of the wounded tiger.

But humility? I can understand strong, powerful, aggressive, class, excellent, robust, indefatigable, relentless, remorseless, unfaltering, overwhelming, overpowering, etc as adjectives to describe this superb outfit. They are good, no doubt. But I have always held the view that they are probably one of the most hated team in world cricket. They are a terrific outfit. But humble?

For the record here below is a clip of the unceremonoius Sharad Pawar shove-off-stage from the Champions Trophy winners’ dias which starts off with Ponting demanding that he be given the trophy. If I am not mistaken, Symonds is the last guy (of four perhaps?) to hustle Pawar off the stage. Yeah very humbly done Symo…

— Mohan