Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Beware of the New Allrounder

Oh Oh Oh.. Just when we thought the Indian Selectors have become sane, we have a classic case of an allrounder being identified after having spent a decade in the Indian Cricket team.

I guess newspaper columns should read 'Ganguly replaces Zaheer in Test Squad'

Especially since the chairman of selectors has said Zaheer has lost out since ganguly could fill in the slot of an additional seamer if required.

One more feather in his cap is 'Ganguly recently scored a century against zimbabwe.' followed by 'We don't consider zimbabwe as such a strong team and Ganguly needs to perform well'.

Though personally, I feel Ganguly's place in the Indian team is not in question,
especially after the BCCI decided that 15 members be selected instead of 14, what is
ironic is the comments and reasons that are coming out.

A few more comments you can expect from this bunch of jokers are

' Ganguly to keep wickets against pakistan '
' Ganguly has been picked to help Dravid understand about captaincy'
Last but not the least

' Ganguly picks himself on form '.

Give us a break. And All the best to the new bunch of jokers to be selected next month

Monday, September 26, 2005

Its just not cricket

Since the recent happenings after Sourav Ganguly's kiddish
behaviour of going public through the media on the Indian coach Greg chappell's frank opinion of the Indian Captain, the media has got a huge buffet to devour into.

What people forget is Ganguly asked for an opinion and got it? why blame chappell for it ?

If Mr Ganguly wanted an answer that he would have liked, he should have been asking
Harbhajan singh and Aasish Nehra and not the likes of Greg chappell.

Chappell has learnt a few lessons/things in his short tenure with the team including

BCCI is actually not the Board of Control for Cricket in India ,
but Board for Cricket Controversies in India.

e-mail is not electronic mail , but everyone's mail.
It is not meant for limited circulation as intended by the sender, but for mass distribution like an evangelist's letter.

All surveys conducted, overwhelmingly suggest that chappell was right in his observation.

If sanity prevails, people would understand that chappell is paid Rs 7.8 million per year as coaching fees alone and he is expected to ensure that he makes the real Team India.

Atleast it is true in my industry (the IT industry) if someone is paid that much, he better deliver.

But in the dictionary of the BCCI, where all important posts are honorary,accountability is a non-existent word.

People who sympathise with Ganguly have had a few questions to ask. Most of them have been emotional. My answers to quite a few of them

1. If India were to do extremely badly as they did in John wright's final season with
Greg chappell at the helm? Who would the BCCI sack?

My answer would be both the Captain and the Coach along with the non-performing players If this could happen after the recent ashes to Damien Martyn who along with the Vidharbha cricket association (remember Nagpur pitch) was responsible for the final frontier to crumble, then it should happen to those who don't perform.

Chappell is being paid for it and he should ensure that performance is the criteria

If call for Buchanan's head is being raised in Australia after an ashes defeat, no doubt people will clamour for Greg's head if India fails against pakistan with an unfit team

2. Why did Chappell suggest Ganguly to step down?

Ganguly wanted a frank opinion and got it.

If Ganguly can demand XXX amount for an Hero Honda add and get it, he should be prepared to take this also.

If Ganguly want's soft answers he should be asking Harbhajan and Aashis Nehra

3. Why did chappell have to send an email after the truce?

The truth as suggested in many media reports is the mail was sent on the 18th, before the (p)fool table exercise (thanks to Sanjay Jha for this term). The BCCI decided itwould be interesting to publish this thriller in Bengali press (read as only Bengali press) and leaked it.

Why do only confidential mails from the coach are leaked out and not any of the Contract mail or AGM related ones.?

Some humorous events that have happened in the last 2 months that have caused considerable damage to Indian cricket rather than chappell's mail include

1 Aashish Nehra complaining of his nth injury after the tri-series final. Telling coach he woulds seek expert opinion in South Africa, but happily flies to England. (I guess BCCI would explain that he caught the wrong flight or the pilot navigated the flight in the wrong direction).

2.Ganguly trying to gain public sympathy and score brownie points over the coach, rather than runs against a good opposition (please leave alone hapless Zimbabwe and Bangladesh teams)

3. Ganguly tuning up a few minutes (180 at that) late for a scheduled press conference with the coach.Indicating his commitment to the coach and board on discipline.

Did he think all Aussies are like Steve waugh, whose skin he got under by making him wait for the toss during that failed final frontier mission of the Aussies.

All these points to a rot in the system. That needs immediate surgery. My feeling is there is no better person at the moment than chappell.

My solution to the current problem is

1. Give chappell more freedom to deal with players, but tell him until the board decides he will nothave a say in selection or who captains

2. Continue with Sourav as skipper for the One-day series against Sri-Lanka , but put him on notice for his and team's performance.

3. If he fails in the series against a Sri-Lankan team that is going to be tough to beat, ( I think he would fail miserably considering his current form ) then dump him

4. If he succeeds well it is all the good.

In any of these scenarios it is going to be Indian Team and Greg chappell who is going to be the winner.

Alternatively if the board decides to dump chappell, let us all hear for a few more months from Sourav Ganguly that his bad form is temporary and he would soon regain form and India would be back to winning ways.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Project (D)Ou(b)ting


Putting behind our initial fears of the whole trip being the biggest April fools trick ever, Considering the fact that we were in midst of a tight delivery schedule as most IT geeks are we left office for Kollur at 1 pm on Friday 1st April.

Kollur Kahan hai..

2 busses were organised for the 57 of us, 4 others would come in a car. It seemed all 57 of them wanted to be one specific bus which has colourful atmosphere :-).
The buses looked well maintained, though they weren't air-conditioned. Who cares? That was soon forgotten though as the ever popular Antakshari, was sounded off at the back seats of our bus. We are no Kishore Kumars or Latas, but we tried our best to sing along.

Hum to pagal Hai..
We were expected to reach Kollur by about 9 in the eve, but at 9 we were at a small town called Shimoga eating dinner at a place called Food Fort. A colleague heard 'Food Court' and promptly uttered India Sure is shining. We still had 4 hours to get to the camp site. It was going to be a long night. The journey was made all the more excruciating seeing SRK on the tele trying to find his maya in Dil to pagal Hai. Maya god !! How did this movie ever become a hit?

In between there was popular demand for the song Dhoom Machale Dhoom. The demand sure was for the good music and not for the pelvic gyrations.

Mookambika khush hua!

It seemed as though it would take divine intervention for us to reach our destination. That’s exactly what happened, we finally reached the Mookambika national reserve and our final destination Anejhari Nature Camp at about 1 at night. The reserve is named after Goddess Mookambika, who is regarded as a manifestation of Shakti, Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi. She is also known as the mother of the universe. The bus could not go all the way to the campsite so we had to trek for what seemed like an eternity to reach. Surprisingly the mookambika forests are famous for Tigers and Sloth Bears amongst other animals. Just as well that many of us weren't aware of this fact during the trek! These animals were probably aware of our presence and did not want to be made to look silly being so quiet in front of us.

The igloo shaped tents seemed modern; they were made of nylon and had matting at the base. The matting really helped because the ground beneath was nowhere close to being flat. I got a tent near the edge, where the camp site meets the forest. The thought of being the first one to be attacked by a hungry tiger kept us awake, or was it the prospect of a drink or two? I don't remember exactly but it must've been the former.

The first night in the Tent was going smoothly, just when i heard the growl of my sloth bear in the Tent next to mine. Little did i realise that it was my supervisor snoring in his sleep then.

The great Indian Rope trick..

One would think that the earlier you get up the less the rush for the limited toilet resources. But the problem is that all of us think the same way, so the earlier one gets up the more the rush for the Loo. That’s a piece of advice for the future. The agenda for the day way just to hang around, literally. Our primate cousins would have had the laugh of their life if they would have seen us on the ropes trying to cross from one tree to another. But what we lacked in skill, we made up in enthusiasm. We completed the Multi vine, the Burma loop, river crossing and rappelling. We had to wait hours on end to get a chance to behave like a monkey, but we waited, and waited and waited. Some watched, some slept, some played cricket. We had the inaugural Mookambika Mashes series, a hard fought best of three series, I was fortunate enough to be in the winning team. The mashes series will be a regular fixture on future trips. The trophy? a boiled potato.

Silent Dance

Turtle Bay, about an hour away from our camp site, was where we were to spend our evening. With fish in the water on one side and fish on the plate on the other, it sure was a fine opportunity to mingle with the rest of the guys.The Turtle bay resort gets its name from the sea turtles that inhabit the beach during the nesting season from October to December every year. A pity, coz we were a couple of months off. But nonetheless there was a lot to do, we sat around a bon fire for much of the evening eating, drinking dancing and making merry. The highlight of the evening was without doubt the 'Silent Dance' performed by some of us in a not so sober state. No singing no music, only dancing around the bonfire. When the organisers decided that this was going to be a communication event little did they know that it wasn't going to be all verbal.

Devi's Temple
After our antics the night before, a visit to the famous temple of goddess Mookambika almost became an act of redemption. The temple is built on the foothills of the western ghats, it has a big quadrangle and the statue of goddess Mookambika is housed in a temple inside the quadrangle. It is said that Adi Sankara himself installed the image of Mookambika. The temple is situated in the banks of the river, Sauparnika. We reached the temple just in time to see something most of us had never seen before. The Temple flag was being lowered; the flag had, what looked like a lion on it. There were two men standing at one corner outside the temple, but within the quadrangle. One of them had a burning torch in his hand and the other, a cymbal. Both seemed very serious and were instructing the by now substantial crowd to give way. Just as the flag was lowered they began to run at full stretch around the temple. Seemed like quite an aggressive ceremony. We wanted to join the race and see who could run faster. But the very competitive Mashses series the previous day had made us very tired. Another interesting thing was that the men had to remove their shirts before entering the temple. In the olden days this was to see that all those who were entering the temple were Brahmins, but today it is more a symbol of purity. Out side the temple stood an Elephant with a mahout. On giving the elephant some money he would bless you by placing his snout on your head. The elephant seemed very intelligent, he was saving time by collecting a number of coins at once and giving away his blessings and then returning the collection to the mahout. One devotee offered a banana and the elephant did what most of us would have too, put it straight into his mouth. Just before we got into the bus for the onward journey, we decided to buy a soft drink from a shop right outside the temple. The MRP read Rs15 but we were charged Rs20. Suddenly it felt as though, all the spiritualism was finebut ultimately, it was demand and supply that made the world go round!

Don't be Varahi happy

We rushed to the kayaking site on the banks of the Varahi river. The Karnataka Power Corp. Ltd. operates a dam here and generates about 250mw of power. Talking of which we must have consumed a lot of our power trying to kayak down the river. A truly refreshing experience and totally worth the wait. The swimmers amongst us were extremely confident but that was only until the instructor told them that the non-swimmers were much better at this, as they, unlike swimmers, always followed instructions. We had mini races during these sessions, with most of the teams backing off and ours winning it de-facto. At the end of the run we were bundled into a Mahindra four-wheel drive, the sheer power of the vehicle is evident in this terrain. We returned took a shower under a sprinkler in a nearby farm and had a hot cup of tea. All in all, the entire trip was a great experience. If we are going to have more events with the same theme, I for one am glad that we solve communication problems in this manner. Till we communicate again....