3/21/2006

When Hope was Nipped in the Bud !

Whenever I am faced with a difficult situation in life,the example I turn to for inspiration is the verycase of a precocious teenager who after playing one solitary match was almost banned from the Arena of India’s Gladiatorial sport called Cricket.

This guy kept logging on to the television more regularly than we people used to follow “Ramayan “ and “Mahabharath” .The Purpose,was of curse to see whether he had been selected to represent the National Colours.For the next 5 years all he managed to see, was that his name never figured in the Indian Selectors schemes for playing Cricket.However this did not make him crestfallen and it made him more determined to knock at the doors of the Indian Selectors after a rather dismal Debut at Brisbane in the Summer of 91 where he was out for a measly three runs.

This Undying hope had the seed of determination sowed in and this person was watering this seed into a strong plant, by making his bat do all the talking.Then after some stellar performances,in playing a part in Bengall qualifying for the 95 Ranji Final and good noticeable knocks in the inaugural editions of the Challenger series and the Intercontinental cup with a second string Indian team,This young talent was knocking the doors of the Indian Selectors,patiently waiting in the hope that the selectors would respond.

Finally After a rather mixed world cup performance in 1996,the Indian team was all set for some chopping and changing and all of a sudden this young guy, found a place in the Indian team. Patience and perseverance had won the battle and finally this kid saw light at the end of the tunnel. It was widely rumoured and written by former Indian Crciketers that this young talent was picked up by the quota system…and that was hardly a way to welcome a youngster’s who was to make his test debut at the Old Blighty.

June 20th..1996 and this young lad strode out on the Mecca of Cricket, at Lords and the next day he was unleashed against a rather vicious English attack. The Red Cherry which was hurled down with a ferocity of a “Goliath” by the Englishmen, was repeatedly disdainfully sent back with a finesse and grace that had a silkish feel to it.When he turned Dominic Cork for a single… to notch up his century on Debut..a star was born..and hope as a virtue had been rekindled and reborn promising a reneisannce of sorts to Indian Cricket.

The Promise held true..in the form of one of India’s best Captain’s and Batsmen,Saurav Chandidas Ganguly.Saurav’s Career graphs had many peaks that he conquered with consummate ease.I loved him for the innings he played at Dhaka and Kaarchi in 98 that laid the foundation for 2 historic victories against Pakistan when India Chased. Not to forget his 4 consecutive dream run Man of the Match awards that he blitzed on Canadian soil.Other than there have been many moments to savour where his bulldog spirit and tenacity saw him take the cudgels to some of the most successful opposition teams like Australia,Pakistan,England and in the ICC tournaments.

But somewhere down the line ,Saurav seems to have got trapped and caught in a rut.He semed like the proverbial spider who got caught in his own web,something akin to the hunter getting hunted.Saurav never realized that he was slowly sinking in a quagmire,but he still believed that he was like “Matt Biondi” in water ..while he actually was struggling to stay afloat in a cesspool of quicksand material.It took a Greg Chappel to make Saurav realize this and jolt him out of his rather dreamy world.I am glad that it happened to Saurav as it put themessage..clearly that No one is indispensable.It gave Ganguly an opportunity to recharge his batteries and rethink his career goals.

It should have ended then and there,instead the the BCCI gangs up with Chappel and humiliate him him by not selecting himand making fun of him by calling him and all rounder and dropping him the very next match. Neevr could have a back stab been so painful as it was to Ganguly,who had sen it all in the past year from being Prince Charming to Indian Cricket’s Czar and then being ignored like a urchin.

Ganguly still did not hang his booys,but decided to push himself a little harder against the tempest causing tide of Chappel and the BCCI.Saurav went back to doing what he did well for 5 long painfull years between 91 and 96…and that was switching the telly to see if his name featured on the subsequent cricket series.This was all too familiar as again he had to put up with the disappointment of not figuring even in the squad of 16.

Just as I think,whether Saurav will still have the same fire burning inside him..Kiran More comes and rubs salt on Ganguly’s wounds stating that “Ganguly will never play for India again”.Such an Immature statement from the head of the selection committee.
That statement at this juncture would have been like a knife cutting through hopes as fragile as butter.

I see no point in the theory that somebody who is above a certain age cannot play,atleast not in the case of a senior stalwart like Ganguly.I see that the Indian selectors are hell bent on taking a leaf out of the Australian School of thought,but belive me , the Australain way of Chopping senior players is fine as they have a lovely system in place that readily brings replacements for great reputed players,far more clinically than raindrops on Cherrapunji soil.

We , in India do not have a system where we can immediately replace a Sachin or a Dravid and this Australian way of thinking can only increase insecurity into the Indian camp whereplayers constantly feel that the Damocles sword is perennially hanging over their heads.This can be gauged by the fact that players like Laxman and Kaif are on the benches while Sachin and Sehwag who’ve hardly played a decent innings in the last 10 innings get their slots.So its essentially favouritism for one set of players and for the others”it’s the” being shown the door” option.

This is no way one can treat a former India selfless captain.6 Months back I was convinced that Saurav did look like a Blind man trying to search for a black Cat in a darkroom,but after watching him bat in the recents outings against Pakistan,Sri Lanka and the domestic matches I feel convinced that he has done enough to warrant a place back into the squad. My Talisman of hope tells me that “DADA” still has enough josh in him to deliver the goods (even if it means Freddie Flintoff style Topless Dance).I just hope Saurav,due to the wicked ways of the Selectors doesn’t fall like Learnado Di Caprio in the Titanic…being left out in the cold but gets enough motivation to latch on to trying even harder to thunder the doors of the Selection Committee.

If Saurav is looking for Support, he doesn’t have to look far.A billion people are there to resuscitate the the vitality and shoulders he is looking to hang on support. Saurav has the nation’s support and God willing the bickering selection committee and the board officials should select him again to give this famous son of India a natural fading into his twilight,just as the Sun gets a glorious reception during the sunset.

Kiran More’s Irresponsible statement 2 weeks back may have nipped the virtue called hope in the bud and may have played truant with the dreams of thousands of wannabe cricketers but still Ganguly can still treat the scar,though not remove it… by clawing his way back into the team. But ..hey ..Hope is the only thread that Mankind hangs on to carve greater heights and talking of threads I expect Saurav to weave one silken thread before the light in him fades away..like the dusk of the day. Saurav’s return to the Indian team can trigger a bigger revolution in Indian Cricket in terms of true grit and Positive attitude than Stephen.R.Covey or Peter Drucker did to Management.

So waiting for Dada to rock on …

1 comment:

Narayanan said...

if ganguly needs to make a comeback then he has improve his fielding by leaps and bounds.
ganguly cannot sit on past laurels.
but ganguly does not deserve a raw deal like this but selectors can conveyed there desicion in much better (posh)way

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