Die Sourav Die

110 Comments

I have said this before on my blog and I will say it now again. The Sourav Ganguly issue makes me more acutely aware of my identity than any other thing simply because anti-Gangulyism is strongly followed by and often driven by anti-Bengalism—-a surprisingly powerful and undeniably perceptible sentiment I have felt more than once in my life in the company of fellow Indians.

Let’s look at it logically. Who is Sourav to me? A rich man’s son who had many privileges growing up I didnt have—by common consent arrogant, abrasive and petulant. Not my favorite kind of person. I have never been parochial, have no problems in making fun of other other Bengali heroes (Mithunda), do not hero-worship Netaji and do not feel that the Hilsa is the last thing in cuisine. And yet the mere mention of Dada makes me acutely conscious of my linguistic identity which is ironical in that Sourav Ganguly’s greatest legacy is his lack of parochialism and his hard-nosed objectivity when dealing with Indian cricket players.

Here’s a simple test. Go through a few articles about Sourav. The word “Bengal” or “Kolkata” is going to be present in the article with a high probabibility. Now go through a few articles about Sachin. Check out “Maharashtra” or “Mumbai”. Just to confirm that go to articles about Rahul Dravid and check out “Karnataka” or ” Bangalore”.

Go through the Orkut discussion on Ganguly. The people who abuse Ganguly also use abusive words against Bengalis —mostly concerning our paternities and the characters of our women. In Stonybrook where I was a PhD student for 5 years, the guy who used to rain abuse at Ganguly happened to be someone who stayed in Kolkata when he was a child and hated it. Just a coincidence. Whenever Ganguly got out, eyes would turn towards me….some people would tell me ” Ki Arnab-da….when is Dada going to make runs?” as if somehow me being Bong made me answerable for Sourav’s performance. No Bangalorean or Marathi was ever made accountable for Sachin’s or Rahul Dravid’s failures with the bat—-and there have been several over the past 5 years.

So let me pre-empt Mr Anonymous commenter. Yes sir, I support Ganguly because he is Bengali. Because you have left me no other choice. If I was Bangalorean and took out a procession burning effigies of Ganguly and shouting slogans for Rahul Dravid, I would not be considered parochial. But with me being a Bengali Kolkatan, I have already been labelled. So now let me live upto it. Unapologetically.

Now the parochial , third-eye blind Greatbong speaks.

I strongly feel for Sourav. The powers in admininstration (Dalmiya) have sold him out to Pawar and Bindra as a peace offering—Dravid as captain in exchange for a truce. Vision for 2007 World Cup yeah right. Which just goes to show the Dalmiya never supported Ganguly because he was a fellow Bong (incidentally Dalmia isnt a Bong but he is a Kolkatan) but because it was politically expedient to do so.

Greg Chappell, with the aid of his friends in the Press (more about that later) have savaged Ganguly’s legacy—-Greg underarm Chappell rightfully understands that in order to get rid of Ganguly the person, he first needs to kill Ganguly the legend. Canards were spread that Ganguly faked injury, spread discontent in the team—-accusations intended to undermine Ganguly’s reputation of never playing politics in the team based on personal equations (a charge Ganguly’s predecessors in the captains seat cannot deflect off easily). The investigation of the board cleared Ganguly of the charges of faking an injury—yet the coach, who had been proved to be a liar, was not taken to task. Instead it was Ganguly who was out of the team despite having successfully defended himself against all accusations.

But what was the unkindest cut of all was that Rahul Dravid actively worked , in collusion with Greg Chappell, to prevent Sourav from coming back into the team. Since he is now the blue-eyed boy of the press, this behavior was considered to be “okey”. If it was Sourav doing it to Dravid, then the press would have been beating their chest—-pointing out how dastardly Bengali Ganguly was, lusting for captaincy and backstabbing a “friend”. However since it’s Rahul Dravid, Cricinfo (which has emerged as a beacon light for aggressive, anti-Ganguly biased reporting in recent times—–putting it one notch above the anti-Ganguly hate sight for undiluted vitriol) finds it “natural” that Dravid is aggrieved that he has not been given the captaincy for so long—-somehow the underlying assumption being that captaincy is a cookie you get for being a good boy.

I seem to recollect in late 90s groaning the moment one of Sourav or Sachin got out because that meant clueless Dravid would come into bat and the scoring rate would go down. Yet noone ever felt then that Dravid should not be part of long term World Cup plans. It was once Dravid became wicketkeeper (and thus assured of his place in the team) that he began to flourish with deft placements, soft hands and clinical hits—–a move that was the brainchild of the same man whom he argued to kick out a day or two ago.

Note to self: When Dravid and More work together to ease out someone it is progressive thinking, the moment Dalmiya is involved it is dirty politics. Doublespeak anyone?

Now we come to the central argument against Ganguly. Who does Ganguly replace in the current team? How about a 31 year old trundler who bowls laughable military medium and cannot read Muralidharan’s doosra and calls himself an all rounder mainly because he doesnt know which he does worse ? How about a 18 year old whose only bullet in the resume is that he can field well? Are these people part of Vision 2007 because they are more capable than Sourav Ganguly or because they are yes-men of the More-Chappell-Dravid combine?

Another point of view: Okay Ganguly has proven his form and his fitness. But these young players havent yet had the opportunity to prove their mettle—how can they be dropped? Beautifull…..now please explain how come Balaji who gave 48 runs in 10 overs in Sri Lanka never made it to the side subsequently? Where was the sense of fairness then? If one match did it for Balaji, then how come Venugopal Rao, who had a dreadful run in Sri Lanka, is still in the 14 as a prospect? What happened to Nehra? How come Zaheer is not good to be in the India team but gets Man of the Series in the Afro-Asia Cup? How come Sreesanth bowled well in one Challenger trophy match and made it to the Indian team ? How does the great Chappell-Dravid combine understand talent in such blindingly brief displays ?

How come Superduck (apologies to Samit Basu) Agarkar, whose ” economy” rate is over 5, is considered to be a World Cup prospect——maybe it is because he and More come from the same part of the country? Perhaps? Will Cricinfo suggest that? No it wont in spite of the fact that they did not hesitate to repeat Ganguly and Dalmiya’s connection ad nausuem.

Ganguly has been dropped because he will not play ball with Chappell, since he has his own ways of going about things. This makes it purely a power struggle between coach and captain and the captain has been defeated and replaced by a coach’s stooge. Simple. It happens in the corporate world—it happens elsewhere. But puleeze let’s not apply “Fair and Handsome” onto this mess and pretend that it has anything to do with “vision”.

If the team is happy without Sourav as press reports indicate, why were some of the same players so eager to speak out in his favour till the Board had to forcibly stop them from speaking to the Press? Harbhajan came out strongly in favor of Ganguly, Yuvraj gave a more political correct statement of support. Sehwag also wanted to come out. Now Sourav must have done something right to warrant players coming out in support of him——even at the cost of upsetting their equations with a coach who has shown that he does not welcome democratic dissent.

And Cricinfo. Man I used to really like these guys—unlike the guys at TOI they understand their cricket. They still do I think but in the Ganguly issue have totally lost their objectivity.

Ever since I read that Ganguly does not give them quotable quotes and instead pampers to a select coterie of journalists —I knew that the staffers were waiting with their knives out ready to plunge it in when he slipped up. And slip up he did and out came the daggers. A picture of Cricinfo staffers with Rahul Dravid and Mohammed Kaif, who had dropped in for a casual visit, kind of hinted which way the PR river was flowing.

Anand Vasu opines:

For all he has contributed to this team, Ganguly deserved a better farewell – if indeed that’s what this is – than being abruptly dropped. He deserved to walk away into the sunset, head held high, not be nudged out, first by coach, then the media, the public, and finally the selectors. But then again, with his batting, his behavior and his almost stubborn refusal to let go, he barely gave anyone a chance to do any better by him.

What behavior Mr Vasu? The bad behavior of snubbing Cricinfo reporters? Or the behavior alluded to by the “proven-to-be-lies” accusations by the coach? Batting—do you mean his century on a green pitch (prepared by Ganguly fans to aid his demise) against a bunch of bowlers, most of whom have played for India? [ As to Ganguly’s poor run with the bat, even Sachin has had a dreadful time of late, before the first two matches—-so let’s not split hairs…what counts is IMMEDIATE form]

Or is it the fact that he refuses to throw in the towel that irritates you? The fact that he is fighting hard at the nets, the fact that he is not backing out, the fact that he has regained his form?

A word of advice from a parochial Bong for Mr Vasu and his other friends at ihateganguly.com or whatever that site is called. Please go to Alipore Zoo and see a Royal Bengal tiger. Old, haggard, underfed ….kept in an enclosed space that’s dirty and damp. People throw rubbish, taunt and laugh and the regal beast sits there—unmoved, immune to the humiliation. But just come into his cage and see what he can do—a few people who jumped into the tiger’s cage to garland the benign beast found out to their dismay when they were reduced to ribbons.

Similarly, the fire still burns inside Royal Bengal Ganguly ——-and as the fools jeer and mock him he continues tirelessly determined to come back. In glory.

You are right Mr Vasu. Sourav shall not go away.

And neither shall we, his “parochial” supporters.

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110 thoughts on “Die Sourav Die

  1. as another fellow bong, i offer my full support. and you have absolutely pinpointed what goes on. nowadays, anti-bangali attitude culminates at anti-gangulyism.

  2. Hear, hear.

    There are a few points being raised.

    * If Team India II loses the next few matches, no one can blame Dada. He’s not there in the team to ‘upset’ the balance.
    * Dada has been ultra-quiet. He’s taking it on the chin, and waiting for the opportunity to shine.

    The way I see it, things can only get better for him from now on. And lets hope Team India keeps on winning. That way, when Dada finally gets into the side, no one can say he got in because of past performances and political clout.

  3. Your piece is a superb blend of cold logic and emotion.
    But, apart from the Chapell-Dalmia-BCCI factors, you should keep in mind that no selector wants to break a winning combination, specially when it has clicked beyond wildest expectations. This view has been expressed by two former selectors (Sambaran Banerjee and Syed Kirmani) who are explicitly in favour of bringing back Sourav into the one-day team. Both of them think that Sourav has a lot more to offer to Indian cricket but he has to wait till someone fails. Similar sentiment has been echoed by Geoff Boycott, another big fan of the “Prince of Kalkuta”.

    However, Gavaskar, in his column, has expressed his doubts whether Sourav would be taken back by the selectors even if someone fails. In his words; “ …it looks as if [Venugopal] Rao will make it to the 2007 World Cup without batting for India, for he seems a protected species. …it may have been the worry that if he failed then there could be case for a change in the team.” Then there is the Kaif factor. If Kaif gets fit and does well in a domestic game, Chapell and Co. would argue for Kaif, instead of Sourav, on grounds of age and superior fielding. We only know that Sourav, being a fighter (almost an antithesis of a typical Bengali) would not give up. That is his lasting legacy.

  4. Although I was never a great admirer of Sourav’s talent (doesn’t mean I deny his calibre), I always saluted him for his leadership skills (on which Arnab has written a few tidbits before). I won’t add any further to the presently raging controversy, but add a dime here. Have we still found a way to replace the trio who saw us through in difficult times over the last five years (Sachin, Dravid and, as ludicrous as it may sound to a Bong basher, Sourav)? Have Yuvraj, Kaif, Laxman, or for that matter Sehwag (leaving aside the unmentionable rest) bolstered our frayed nerves that things will be hunky-dory bereft of the trio?

    Sourav needs to perform, he needs to tone down his arrogance, he needs to improve his fielding,….agreed on more counts than one. But why can’t the rest of India give an upright skipper (and a very dependable player in his own right) the respect that he deserves? Why does it have to be about Bengal vs. Rest of India? Show me a better captain in the last 30 years at least (singling out a Kapil Dev, but justice meted out to him is another story again).

    For that matter, for all anti-Bengal lobbyists, why is Ravi Shastri’s contribution to Indian cricket never put under a microscope now that he’s a swashbuckling commentator? Why does Agarkar, despite being heaped piles of ridicule, keep flickering in our ODI team? I could get more caustic and continue, but the point is we all want our dream to come true – India to top the charts; to complete the task left undone in the 2003 World Cup finals……

    Sourav has played a very important role and he’s reserved a place in the annals of Indian cricket archives. Treat him like a human being, for once……

    Arnab, I am from HS ’95 batch (to answer your earlier question), Sec D.

    Keep up the spirit of logic and sensibility.

  5. I don’t want an ex-captain to play under another captain. It is just simply disruptive. Remember when Azhar had 6 former captains playing under him? Saurav has arguably one of the best records as a captain. No question there. But part of the reason why he was so successful was because he did not have too many seniors to handle. He put the seniors in place based on team needs and not based on their seniority in the team. That list includes Kumble, Srinath, Dravid, Prasad, Mongia and some more. That shows leadership. But, when it comes to self, the sorry fact of the matter is, he was overtaken by a sense of “self preservation” over team needs. So the “five wise men” stepped in to do the needful.

    Dalmiya is loosing his clout and so anybody associated with him will also be shown the door. This round goes to Mahindra. I see it as a typical change management! With change in the top level, middle level will also be affetced. Hence….

  6. So, going by your logic, it seems there is nothing wrong with Muslims in India supporting Pakistanis. Like the ‘Bengaliness’ of Sourav is always mentioned, so is the ‘Muslimness’ of the Pakistanis. And by extension, the Muslims of India are thought to be supporting or have a soft corner for them. Why is you supporting Sourav, just for the sake of Bengaliness right and Muslims supporting Muslims not right? I realize that there is the small matter of the nationality here. But, in essence, the two are the same. I think liking/supporting just for the sake of common region/religion/nation is all wrong. All these concepts are highly overrated, including patriotism.

  7. @DD…Right on.

    @Rupak: I hope sincerely that Team India keeps on winning and Ganguly gets back into the side on merit and current form. And I really admire Sourav’s attitude when faced with rejection.

    @Anon: This winning combination thing—is this friggin superstition? The simple thing is that the best 12 should be playing —irrespective of which asses warmed the bench in the matches we won. And incidentally when Kaif gets fit and assuming India continues winning, is he going to be left out on that flimsy logic? I dont think so.

    And beautiful observation about Venugopal Rao—he is going to make WC07 as a “secret weapon”….kind of like the legendary “WMD” of Saddam Hussain.
    And yes, Sourav’s fighting spirit is so un-Bengalilike….however to his critics it is the fact that he is fighting back for a place in his side which makes him despicable !

    @ Anon: Let’s not get into the credentials and resumes of Sourav’s critics—the Sidhus and the Shastris and the Dungarpurs and the Brijesh Patels of the world. Cause that would mean another blog !

    It’s not possible to replace Sachin-Sourav-Dravid at their best man for man. But the fact remains that inspite of having 3 such superstars, India kept regularly losing because we always played as individuals. Maybe a faceless team like the New Zealanders where everyone does his bit but noone stands out will bring us better results in the future (this is where Greg Chappell is heading).

    But the simple truth is that we do not have quaility bits and pieces men to become a New Zealand—JP Yadav is never going to be a Gavin Larsen for instance. We still need the individual performers…even if we dont like their star baggages. So jettisoning them abruptly , even when they are in form, is detrimental to the national team.

    @DNA: Come on…isnt Sachin going to be playing under Dravid? I think Sachin’s performance under Sourav was also examplary–and so it will be under Dravid. The situation of ex-captains in the team is just a man-management challenge that any captain has to deal with. The simple thing is that the best players on current form should be in the 14….

    @Anon: Aha ! As you mentioned, Pakistan is ANOTHER country—if Sourav Ganguly defected to Bangladesh I wont be supporting him against India just because I speak the same language as Sourav. No sir. I wont be bursting crackers or taking out processions when Bangladesh beats India (something they have incidentally in a ODI—I never felt any elation at Bengalis defeating the Indians—only a sense of shame as to how low we Indians have sunk)

    So in essence they are not the same. Again let me repeat my point. From 1996-1999 (before I came to US) Sourav to me was like any other player—it was after I came to US and was face to face with virulent anti-Bengalism disguised as anti-Gangulism that I began to feel a sense of kinship to Ganguly.

    I have a feeling we have had this conversation regarding nationalism and duty towards the nation/community wrt a previous blog post and so wont get into it again.

  8. First off, I think don’t think we have had any conversation on duty towards community/country before, because I’m pretty new to the world of blogging, and chanced upon your blog, very recently(which btw, I do enjoy reading). Admittedly, since I’m posting as anon, you have every right to doubt the veracity of my statements.

    Coming back to the point at hand. I’d like to point out that what you see as ‘anti-Bengalism disguised as anti-Gangulism’ is not unique. Open your eyes and you will see ‘anti-Muslim sentiment stamped all over the supposedly anti-Pakistan talk’. You seem to imply patriotism is without question a good and noble thing, which I disagree with. In my view, patriotism is just as good or bad as regionalism, or ‘religion-ism’, if you will. All three are divisive, and most importantly, bring into consideration several factors when judging a player; when there really should be just one – his ability as a player.

  9. Exactly, you have spoken my mind.Anyway, what I dont understand is if Ganguly scores century in Zimbzbwe, then”o that is Zimbabwe” and if Sachin hits the worst Lanka team in years, then “o what a brilliant comeback!!”.
    What more can a man do to prove his form.runs in county cricket,century against Zimbabwe,century in domestic cricket.
    and when the team wins against a weak Srilanka(read Sachin wins), then sudden,y these bastards suddenly have an amusing new idea,that of not changing winning combination. Wow!! what a brilliant piece of cricketing sense.dont give chance to an willing all guy to preserve some combination just because it won aginst some worst team.

  10. And, oh, if you’re disinclined to get into a discussion about the points I brought up, because you’ve already had a similar one before or for other reasons; it’s fine.

  11. But, Arnab, Sachin’s case is an exception. He renowned his captaincy and said he would like to just play unlike…..In all other instances, captaincy was “changed”.

    Yes, it is men management issue, but given the history of prima donnas and sycofancies, I would like to avoid any situation that could lead to disruption. Hence…..

  12. @Anon1: I am sorry …the point you raised was exactly similar to one raised by someone else on a previous post. I provide you with the link so that you can read a lively exchange on the same topic.

    @ Anon2: Thats the point. The rules are not the same for Sourav and any other player. Sourav’s performance comes on a greentop and Sachin’s on featherbeds…and yet its Ganguly who is in the wilderness and Sachin is the toast of the country. Lest people misunderstand, I think both Sachin and Sourav are class acts and should be in the Indian cricket team. Venugopal Rao and JP Yadav look much better on the benches.

    @Srin: For every insult hurled at Ganguly, a anti-Bong insult is not far behind. I was amazed to see the depth of Bengali hatred that I witnessed in mixed company in Stonybrook…..and Ganguly provided a convenient reference point for all that hatred.

  13. @DNA: Yes Sachin said that and at the same time has also let people know that he is not averse to becoming a captain again. And really no one willingly abdicates captaincy in India…well why India? Any other team in the world for that matter.

    Even then it is possible for ex-captains to get along, if not as bosom buddies but as people in a working relationship—Pakistan in the mid 90s had a team full of ex captains and yet were THE best side in the world. (That they underperformed sometimes was because of match fixing…I think we all know that by now)

  14. Well, 90s Pakistan team had no captain who was as successful as Dada! Do you think it would have been possible for Imran Khan to play under Javed Miandad? Theoretically yes, the possibilities are infinite.

    PS: Imran vs Javed was just an analogy for captaincy and not comparing Imran and Dada!

  15. I completely agree with your views on Cricinfo Indian writers. Cricinfo is a great great website. Sambit Bal and Rahul B are great writers. The rest – Dilip Premachandran, Amit Varma and Anand Vasu need to be kicked out with the firmest kick possible on their asses. Their recent writtings seem to suggest : “We are Cricinfo.” , when actually they are an insult to a website like Cricinfo.

  16. i came to your site via a link and was interested to read the thread. i agree that ganguly is being treated in an extremely hostile manner and i have one more reason to add. i think strong characters have this inherent capability to force people to take sides. during this phase when ganguly is down all those that didnt like him have bared their fangs and come down on him like the proverbial ton of bricks. if ganguly, as you suggest, comes out of this these guys will vanish to be replaced by the pro ganguly ones in no time.
    that brings me to reason wht i was compelled to comment here.
    one of your anonymous posters made a comment about muslims and their tacit/open support for pakistan. i am not ashamed to admit i used to react in a similar manner. i now livw in the uk (indian citizen) and have got numerous friends, some indian some british but of indian/pakistani origin. everytime they go to a cricket match they vociferously support their home countries. we, atleast i am quite proud that we manage to get that kind of support in a foreign country , sometimes making it feel like a home game. essentially these guys are doing the same thing that the ‘muslims’ are doing in india. many of these have never been to india or have only feeblr connections back home but nevertheless come out in their droves to support india. similar things happen in other countries. are these guys wrong? if they are not then those muslims in india arent either. i am not a muslim by the way . your comments specially if the anony,ous poster is reading this.

  17. GreatBong,
    Those who tend to use Sourav-bashing as a means of Bengal-bashing are, of course, not great souls. So why get trapped by their provocation and lose the equanimity of your mind. Returning the parochialism in same measure as theirs illuminates neither the image of Sourav nor that of Bengal, only drags one into the same dirty cesspool as they are in. The most effective way to protest those elements is to point out their mistakes through arguments and hard evidences. Please recognize that people like them are present everywhere irrespective of region, class, religion.

    On the other hand, if we just set aside all non-cricketing factors for a while, do you think Sourav deserves a place in the team based on earlier performances? Is it really a practical proposition to change the winning combination when the entire team looked so sprightly under Dravid and Chapell and most importantly, they notched two huge victories against a team who is several places ahead of them in ranking? Personally I feel that Dravid is an excellent team-man (remember how he assisted captain Sourav in all possible ways on and off the field) and has all the qualities to command respect from his team-mates. And nobody really doubts his cricketing skills. Therefore, I think at this moment Dravid is better suited for donning the captain’s mantle, and it is the duty of all Indian cricket fans to give all the support to Dravid. On the other hand, I heartily wish Sourav all the best that he play gallantly in the domestic cricket and regain his lost crown like a real Maharaja. That is the only way he can make all the Bengalis and the Indians too real proud of him.

    Please provide some weblinks from the mainstream media (not weblogs) where anti-bengal feelings are served up with Sourav-criticism.

  18. just look at todays match,today being 31st october!!once the team selection is over, sangakkara seems back to from..oh it must be to do with te lankan spirit..the lions are roaring al o of a sudden..may be one of moody’s sparks..inspired from his country mate chappel!!
    i dont really know all this as i might seem totally biased..but what does indian team selection have to do with sri lanka’s form??or does it??
    in this spiteful world of politics, regionalism,bookies and betting..there also exists a tribe which is not the minority,they worship and they burn effigys..they are indians who love the sport and hence the players…and quite as rightly been put by you,the legend ganguly has been shattered..maybe, jemon, banglay bole, shaape bor hoyechhe..there’s a boon in this exile..he rather not return to that world, which is built on spite and regionalism and politics..the game doesnt deserve it…but unfortuntely, that tribe will still exist, whose blindfold is maintained largely by the media..and one day, they will realise..they will..
    i being a sole bengali in a southern college of india have experienced this targetting while others from delhi,bangalore or maharashtra have never..i wonder at times why we need to call it the indian team at all…why not call it as an (majority lobby)alliance as happens in indian politics!

  19. Ganguly has my full support. I believe almost every Xaverian today supports the guy.

    This is turning into Bengal vs. Rest Of India… but what is even more pissing-off is the way in which Sourav was sacked – a man like that deserves respect. And what does he get? Some two-anna comments by two-anna MoFos like Ravi Shastri and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

    Ganguly is in the right this time. And they know it.

  20. [GreatBong] – Just like Prabhuji has never ever gone into the sunset and Bappi-da keeps cranking out melody after melody, here is to the belief that Saurav-da and his beautiful cover drives would return !!

    Dravid is a cow, we need our Saurav-da back for 2007

  21. Hi Greatbong
    I think Ganguly will come back as an opener to replace Sehwag. But I doubt he will be captain again unless Dravid does terribly. Dravid is a great great player and deserve a chance to be captain.

    You asked why “superduck” Agarkar is back in the team. Well, three things: every bowler’s economy went through the roof during the Ganguly era. The 7 batsmen strategy scored a lot of run but it also cost a lot of runs. Another it isn’t easy batting at no. 8. The only no. 8 who has a batting average in the twenties is Nicky Boje, who is really a specialty batsman and part-time spinner. Third, Agarkar is an excellent fielder. He has run-out more runners than anyone else on the team, despite the fact that Ganguly always fielded Agarkar at 3rd man when he wasn’t bowling. But I doubt he will be part of the team in 2007, because his bowling is not really great.

  22. Well, the Indian selectors do not want to change the winning combination. In the last test series against Zimbabwe India has won the series with a 2-0 victory. The selectors should not change the winning combination. Sachin was not there in the team and hence Sachin should not be there in the following test team too. until India looses a test.

    But wait, this is not going to happen. Instead Saurav will be axed from the test team too. This is height. If you want to remove ganguly for political reasons then please tell everybosy that this is pure politics. And instead of running the game please shake hands with Vajpayye ji or Sonia ji.

  23. @DNA: Well if it was possible for Javed to play under Imran (and remember Javed is not a shy person who cares a lot for niceties) I think it is possible for Sourav to play under Dravid and have a decent working relationship.

    @Abhishek; Thanks..

    @ Anon: Without commenting on the other authors mentioned, I would like to re-iterate that Cricinfo in general has lost its journalistic objectivity with respect to Sourav and Dravid.

    @ cricketalways: With respect to supporting your home country, I believe that if you are a citizen of UK your support should be for England…more so when England plays against your country of origin. In any case India and England are not “enemies” whereas India and Pakistan are….so I find the sight of Indian Muslims (again a minority of Indian Muslims who do this) supporting Pakistan blood-boiling to say the least.

    @Akash: As mentioned before the winning combo thing is pure hokum—Kaif will waltz into this winning combination the day he is fit. I do not consider Sourav to be any less a team man than Dravid and past experience shows that Sourav has a trace of ruthlessness in him that elevates his captaincy above the run-of-mill. While Ganguly’s performance against pakistan deserved a kick in the arse, I think he has sufficiently rehabilitated himself to warrant a place in the side. It’s just politics that keeps him out of it.

    As to the bias of MSM, kindly note the way Sourav and Dalmiya are always linked together—it almost seems that Dalmiya fudged Sourav’s 22 centuries. Why are Brijesh Patel and Dravid never mentioned in the same breath? Why is Dungarpur and Azhar’s unholy nexus always ignored? Subtle discrimination—dont you think? And then of course the weblogs and bulletin boards are there which “dare to dream beyond” MSM.

    Look at rediff today saying that the Bengali press have gone to town against Pronob Roy. I failed to find any such concentrated attack in any of the Bengali newspapers and even Aajkaal is quoted wrongly—I could not find anywhere where Aajkal asked Pronob Roy to walk out of the selector’s meeting (I accept I may have missed it—would be grateful for a link?)….again by writing this article rediff wants to put forwards the “Bongs blindly support Bongs” theory even when they dont have facts to back them up.

    Note: Pronob Roy’s father Pankaj Roy once said a few nasty things about Ganguly—a long long time ago.

    And check out Bindra in Aajkaal when he says : “Ganguly got dropped because of the politics of you Calcuttans”………Hooo Boy….if this isnt bloody regionalistic then tell me what the F is.

    @Tito: Anti-Bengalism is such a strong sentiment and I am always trying to reason “why us?” ! Do have an hypothesis….

    @Kanti: And let’s not forget Krish Srikkanth—possibly the biggest clown who has ever sat down in front of the camera—gimme Mandira Bedi’s cleavage any day.

    @GHE: Amen…

    @Michael: I failed to understand how playing 7 batsmen screws up Agarkar’s economy rate. If anything it should make it better because batsmen would be thinking “Let me play out some quiet overs from the top bowlers, in any case we will have 10 overs from non-regulars”. And Agarkar’s sequence of 0s against Australia was in tests….there was no pressure on him to score quickly. And good fielding is not enough to get a person in the team especially when he leaks runs like a sinking ship.

    @Sudipto: Valid point. In tests, ganguly is part of a winning combination let’s see what happens there !

  24. Daroon! Take a bow… I spent a lot of last night discussing this with some friends of mine … and I could see in there eyes ( aha.. bengali….thus this disc…QED) Blah!!!

  25. On the point of supporting the country of origin or the country of citizenship:

    I am free to support any country I like. Citizenship means, from a legal point of view, holding the passport of a particular country.A mere passport can not obligate me to support a particular country in the cricket stadium. Passport is just an official document which has relevance in some official matters only, but cheering for a team solely rises from your heart and the does not care about the color of the passport, Any authoritarian attempt to
    enforce that one must support one’s country of citizenship is no less than fascism.

  26. Can some one explain why anything against Ganguly is against Bengal in general? I agree Ganguly is also from India to gegin with; so anything against Ganguly will also be against India then?

    Also Chapell is not from India so then why would he have any ill feelings?

    Hrishi

  27. @SD: Thanks…

    @Akash: I definitely remember we had this exchange regarding patriotism before.

    @Hrishi: Chappell does not hate Ganguly because he is Bong but because Sourav is not an “yes man” unlike his present ward.

    And you should be asking your question to the people who make me accountable for Ganguly’s batting just because I was Bong ( I did not ask for it)? You should ask Bindra why he said ” Ganguly has been omitted because of the politics of you Calcuttans”. You should ask why Ganguly is linked with Dalmiya needlessly and why Ganguly is called a “quota selection” despite his sterling performances?

    First ask those questions aur phir tum jahan pe chao main sign karne ke liye taiwar hoon.

    🙂

  28. Hmmmm….sounds like Angry B from Kyon Ganguly ko kyon nikala 🙂 Just kidding but i agree we are all passionate about the game…..feelings above reason is something we all do….i am not talking about patriotism here but we all despetately want team to do well….yes-men how do we know that?!
    Where the case falls out of favor is because he was not playing well….but i think for one dayers he will be back…test is something which might go down the line….but these are my thoughts since we can’t put his experience to wind just like that but fitness and scoring is something in his very hands….but we can only wait and watch….

  29. GB
    I love yur posts, love your logic and like your writings. However I do not get this unquestioned loyalty to Ganguly on parochial grounds. Yes true the media might be out to get him and even more true that Chappel may be baying for his head. What has that got to do anything about him being a bong ?
    Performance sucks, show the door, should be fair and square for everyone, Sachin, Laxman or Saurav. Like the Aussies did to the mighty Waugh, though he declared the retirement himself to save face. And Saurav is not even a pale reflection of Waugh.

    I have never buched or branded Saurav a ‘bong’ nor view his performance as such.Bottom line, when was the last time Ganguly won a one day or test for India? Could be said for many player, but it starts with the captain. So he needed to go, as simple as that.

    And as for bengali women. Now thats a whole another topic for another blog, filled with superlatives, for another day. Why do we have to mix cricket and women together?Unless its Mandira Bedi.

    Sourin

  30. @Sourin,

    It has got a lot to do with his being a Bong—because as I have mentioned before in this post and with response to comments most of the Press coverage of Gangs makes an inordinate hue and cry over “Kolkata” and “Bengali”. Tell me why he is the “Prince of Calcutta” whereas Sachin is not the “Mumbai Monarch” or Dravid “the Karnataka King” ?

    Why does rediff concoct a fictitious story of Pronob Roy being asked to leave the selection committee meeting by the Bangla daily “Aajkaal” when nothing of the sort is present in the newspaper? Isnt it to just pander to stereotypes against Bongs?

    Why does Bindra say “Ganguly has been left out because of the politics of you Calcuttans”….tell me honestly replace “Ganguly” with “Azhar” and “Calcuttans” with “Muslims” and do you think Bindra would have the balls to say it ?

    Why do articles always say “Dalmiya will never let Ganguly be kicked out” (another lie—its Dalmiya who stabbed Gangs in the back) whereas noone says “More will never let Sachin leave” or that Dungarpur championed Azhar’s captaincy because both were from Hyderabad. Again because its only the Bengali who is clannish and parochial whereas everyone else is fair.

    Brijesh Patel has been crying out for Dravid to be the captain for many years now—-how many newspapers point out the state from which Brijesh Patel comes from?

    I am not for a moment saying he has lost his place because he is a Bengali but yes the presence of websites like “ihateganguly” has got less to do with Sourav and more to do with a pathological hatred many Indians feel towatrds Bengalis.

    Trust me on this—I have seen many otherwise well-educated young men harbour the worst kind of stereotypes about Bengalis…

    Mmm I guess Sourav didnt do too bad in Zimbabwe where we won…and before you say “Oh its Zimbabwe” I can counter that by saying “This is Sri Lanka on Indian pitches”….

    Plus Sourav proved his fitness and his class in a Duleep trophy match on a green pitch….making him a stronger candidate for selection ahead of JP Yadav or Venugopal Rao.

    GB

  31. Hi Greatbong:
    “I failed to understand how playing 7 batsmen screws up Agarkar’s economy rate. If anything it should make it better because batsmen would be thinking “Let me play out some quiet overs from the top bowlers, in any case we will have 10 overs from non-regulars”.”

    Look at all of the other bowler’s economy rates: Pathan 5.05, Karthik, 5.10, Balaji, 5.55, even Zaheer, the best seem bowler in the Ganguly years, 4.83. Opposing team figured out the best strategy was to attack all of the bowling for a full 50 overs and hope that they did not bleed too many wickets. The 10 to 15 overs of part-time bowling helped them recover from the loss of a few early wickets. Opposing teams always went into the last 10 overs with wickets to burn.

    Ganguly’s seven batsmen strategy worked at first because most teams didn’t know exactly the best way to counter it. But they eventually caught on. Then India really struggled as an ODI team.

    Btw, I hope Ganguly comes back as an opener. He was always an awesome ODI player. It is hard not to compare Sehwag’s average of 32 to Ganguly’s average of 44 and think that something is missing there. But the emphasis on strike rate hurts Ganguly’s chances.

  32. hey all you bongs in favor of ganguly .. get this, we don’t hate you or bengali culture or kolkota or saurav?

    Saurav needed to be shown the door and thats it to it .. don’t force parochial agendas on it (if anyone is sounding parochial, its you, GREATBONG!

    I do think saurav has it in him to come back to the team — to replace YV rao or kaif or JP yadav but he is not suitable to lead us to world up and he shouldn’t be part of the team unquestionably. He should be used as a super-sub or in a playing eleven on a need basis. He doesn’t choose himself like Dravid, tendulkar, Sehwag, Dhoni, Pathan, Harbhajan and Yuvraj (to some extent) do..

    he just needs to find his groove back and play well as and when he is asked to play!

  33. @Anon: He HAS got his groove back….duh ! And rather than making grandoise statements like “we have nothing against Bongs” why dont you answer why Calcutta and Ganguly always come within 5 words of each other? Please look at the other comments and go through the questions I have asked. Try to answer them, introspect and then call me parochial.

    In conclusion, I never asked to be associated with Ganguly—its’ other people who have made the association.

    @Michael: Interesting stats. But I can turn the premise and the conclusion around and say that Ganguly used to play 7 batsmen because Indian bowlers are incapable of being economic. Adding one more “specialist” bowler would not have made any difference…but by adding a batsman, there is a chance he may be able to make up for some of the runs Indian bowlers will inevitably leak.

  34. anyways, it doesnt really matter, another scape goat has been feasted upon and forgotten even faster in the wake of a few victories against a out of sort highly overrated lankan side

    and as Indian as it gets, probably a future movie on the saga, its tragic. He made a team, a true definition of it, making waugh wait at the toss, or exchanging words with everyone who came, he did it all

    Yes, he wasnt impeccably fit or oozzing skill ever, he didnt see the short and longs of the game too well, but he was a destroyer on the odd day and more importantly a leader of men

    Sadly, he shall no longer find a place, a place meant for overrated style danides like Y venu and raina, who will score 1 hundred and endorse, and the legend of dada shall remain

  35. Let other people associate Ganguly and Calcutta all they want. Why is that prompting you to become parochial in your thinking?

    Sorry, but it sounds *really* lame to say ‘other people forced me to become this way’.
    People would justify murder this way, if they could.

    I think your readers expected better stuff from you.

  36. brilliant post – sentimental yet objective 🙂 i guess every Bengali has faced the “be responsible for Ganguly” phenomenon – the “arre Bangali dekho tumhara prince ja raha hai bat karney” line has greeted me aplenty – sadly never has adulations been credited to me when Ganguly faired well – then he was just a player doing his job – ver sad 😦

  37. @Anon: Yes murder can be justified…if you keep on calling a person a murderer without proof he may just be tempted to do it since he is getting the rap anwyways.

    And as for my readers expecting “better” things from me..look at the comments above you…(and the one below you) and the humor of what you said becomes evident.

    At the very least they can leave names.

    @Sagnik: I remembered the silence that greeted me when ganguly hit that 140 odd in Australia….and I remember watching the India Kenya world cup match when India was in deep trouble and ganguly bailed us out—while the match was on, commentators like the one before you were silent….the moment the match finished it was “Dada can only score against Namibia and Zimbabwe…”….it was another matter though that at the other end Yuvraj was all at sea against the leg spin of Obuya.

  38. I completely agree with the anon’s comment — GREATBONG, we really expected better stuff from you.

    YOU are the one who is sounding parochial. YOU are the one playing “kolkota & ganguly” closeness to your agenda. You are the one who is not acting fair…

    This is the worst example of “lobbying” I have seen — I expected you to be fair .. but alas.. you are ultimately the bong that you believe other “parochial” guys make fun of… waitaminute aren’t I associating myself within all this self-referential junk 🙂
    But you get the drift…

    GREATBONG, leave sourav alone .. you are NOT his savior..he doesn’t need you. I don’t think he has found his groove back (a century against zimbawe and against duleep oppponets — yeah right). But I do think he will get back to the team — but perhaps its best if he is not the captain and he should be challenged by juniors (kaif, yadav, raina, rao) to assure his place in the team. He is greater player than all these guys (I do hope Kaif steps up) but it is for Sourav to demonstrate..

    YOU are not helping his case…Shame on you .. you are putting filth on the net which is exactly what Ganguly doesn’t need. He is fine, thank you!

  39. @Anon: Ganguly does not need my help—-I am too insignificant a person to help him even if I could.

    And in case you didnt notice this is my blog and I can write whatever I want….and if you dont like it…well let me take my shirt off and twist it over my head like a helicopter.

    And oh why hide behind anonymity (and possibly pretend to be 2 persons just to sound like a “crowd”)….come out into the light before you think of shaming me.

  40. I am not sure what will convince you that people are not anti-bengal just bco’z they are anti-Ganguly….its strictly Ganguly coz he is the captain…a good player who has not been playing well for a long time….since performance matters and matters even more coz he is the captain….regarding what people made comments on Bengal in general are really something which any nutcase will make…..so whats the point in paying attention to them……i think the worst comment
    is Team India being a LOSING team!!!

    Hrishi

  41. Actually, most of the people who have supported you are Bengalis/Xavierites(?). So, I stand by my statement of your readers expecting better of you, unless you are playing to the Bengali gallery.

    And also, puhleeze, don’t say that if a murderer is called that, he will be pushed to doing it. Bcoz, last I heard, this is the excuse which people use to ‘justify’ terrorism. If a person commits a wrong, only he himself is responsible not the society, not the surroundings and not the circumstances.

    Lastly, I am not a fan of anon posting myself, but it seems like your own insecurity speaking when you accuse all anons of being the same person.

  42. Well if you are not a fan on anon postings why are you hiding here?

    And if most of my supporters are as you say Bong..dont you think that a guy who has scored 22 centuries deserves a bit more support from non-Bongs too?

    And as I said I write what I like here…what I feel…so if you dont like it…too bad.

  43. Read ur article…wonderful one…. every time somebody tells me Sourav shud have left quietly I tell them its precisely those qualities of “being aggressive” and “having his own way of doing things” that gave India its best captain so far….and btw Bongs are the least parochial… I think its time they start being so… just to have more visibility….
    Jit

  44. Well i meant below the top teams and not necessraily above the lowly ranked ones!!!!…..but then the blog is Random Thoughts Of a Demented Mind!!!
    Shouldn’t all dada lovers be happy that he is not in team that ranks just above Zim, Bangladesh!!!!

    Hrishi

  45. Well all you guys can do is badmouth. You do not have the guts to say that dada was removed because of sheer politics.

    Ganguly will never be a ‘yes-man’ but Dravid is a ‘yes-man’ of anybody. If you have seen the recent matches you can see that Sachin is the real captain of the team. May be Dravid goes for the toss and then Sachin takes over. There may be new Super Sub rule for changing Captains too.

    I would have been happy if Sachin came out in the open and wanted to captain the Indian side. But I guess he has learnt his lessons from our political leaders and prefers to use Dravid as his puppet.

  46. Hmmmm….this is a great place to get inside info….lots of conspiracy theorists…..parochialism…ahhh isn’t it a damned and cherished word on this great blog…..politics or no politics….Sachin real captain or Dravid…who controls who…..a deposed captain who may not be proud of whats being said by a fellow bong!!! Still wonder that one wonder boy from Bong…..turned poster boy….ask your self a question…is this the only one we got!!! (sarcasm 😉 )
    Waiting and watching and waiting for this great Team India tamasha………..

  47. greatbong is going crazy .. all anons are the same !!! nice defence .. man, I think you are feeling ashamed that we saw right through you and you insecurity pooped out…

    as for using anon or real names, it doesn’t really matter in this digital world. I don’t have a blogger ID so perfer the easier method…

    But I will sign my name this time and encourage the other “anon”s to also sign their names.

    Greatbong, you better off sticking to comical tidbits and I feel sorry that your “parochial” attempt blew up in your face.

    Sourav will come back on his merit and if he plays back to his best form and best interests of the team he deserves to be part of the next world cup effort.

    – Arun

  48. Of course Arun…or whoever you are. At least I have a face where things can blow up in…unlike say for instance yours. It would have been better if you had tried to answer questions raised about the comments of Bindra or the false reporting of rediff about an article in Aajkaal rather than thump your chest.

    And you think you saw right through me?….well stay in your fool’s paradise.

    Finally, this is the last comment I shall post in rebuttal…because your argument has now come down to the level of “You suck” and there’s really no answer to that.

  49. Great Bong…why you think that the world has wronged you and have to go on its knees to mollycoddle you…say sorry….etc………as far as i am concerned this might be the last post on this issue….but happy blogging….tho…..

    Hrishi

  50. Bong Da… I have a few comments from a detached and un-emotional viewpoint, but let me clarify a couple of things first:
    1. I am a fan of Sourav Ganguly and sincerely hope that he fights back
    2. I am NOT against Bengalis, in fact quite a few of my best friends are bongs, since I have been born and brought up in Calcutta.

    Now, here is my take on this whole issue and your post:

    1. I thought that the first part of your post made sense, but the parochial part just undid most of the good work in the first part

    2. India being the country that it is, all of us are subject to regionalistic jibes. Just like bongs are bashed about, so are surds, gujjus, madoos, tams, etc… incidentally my case has always been taken for being a gujju as well as being a half-bong as I am oft called because of my upbringing in Cal… it is a part of living in a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

    3. Having said that, I think most bongs are too passionate and touchy when their case is taken and they are in part responsible for the kind of association that you are talking about (Ganguly translating into bongs) because they tend to take personally any constructive criticism about Bengalis like Gangu… which tends to invite more regionalistic jibes

    4. Having lived in Calcutta, I have seen people blindly and passionately backing Ganguly, and plainly because he is a bong, and as a downstream effect, balanced people like yourself become the targets of jibes. Can you believe that in one of the saloons in Cal during a match, people started praising Ganguly when there was a run-out while he was bowling even though he had nothing to do with it!!
    And let me add that this phenomenon is not restricted to Bengal… Mumbai people think that Agarkar is a great all-rounder(!!), Punjab guys think that Dinesh Mongia and Sarandeep Singh are hard done in by selectors… but I have seen Bongs being more defensive than others..

    5. However, I agree that the degree of Ganguly-Bengali interchangeability is much higher, and can relate to your views.

    6. But, I think Ganguly’s axing from the team was quite fair. The truth is that he was not playing well enough to deserve a place in the eleven. We can argue that such a ‘right’ step should not have been taken because in the past ‘right’ steps have not been taken, but I am sure you would agree that it is not the right approach. Hoping that Ganguly fights back soon, and apologies for the long post

  51. @Nirav: Thank you for a logical comment. I do not understand where I became parochial in the latter half. If I say that I have a poor idea of Sachin because he refused to bat at No 4 in 2002 (despite the fact that it made perfect cricketting sense) just because he would not be able to score centuries—would I be considered parochial?
    Here’s the thing. I have been.

    The moment I say this I have been told by people that I am saying this because Sachin is not Bengali.

    When people in Bangalore take out processions which not only support Dravid (which is fine) but burn Ganguly’s effigies…is that not parochial? You would say and yet say that Bengalis are a bit more parochial…well when processions in support of Ganguly were taken out no-one burned Dravid’d effigy (More and Chappell but not Dravid) because everyone respects Dravid , irrespective of where he comes from.

    As to cricketting reasons for omitting Ganguly, aah thats a long discussion purely based on cricket logic. In short, yes. Ganguly deserved to be dropped. But so did Sachin when his avergae fell below Murali. I understand the logic of saying that 2 wrongs dont make a right…but it is distressing to see different rules for different people.

    Again, why does Bindra say that Calcuttans’s politics got Ganguly dropped? Dalmiya does not represent Calcutta. Again why does rediff carry false stories about a report in a Bangla daily Aajkal.

  52. Dear GREATBONG!, the fact is hat souravs string of poor scores was grating on the nerves of the indian public for some time. True, by the token of current form even sachin should have not made the team after his no show at the challenger series. But scores against Zim and Duleep trophy sides wasnt enuf to warrant a place in the side.A funny logic really. But I wouldnt read too much into souravs recent showing in the duleep trophy, green pitch or not. Just as sachins scroes against a cluless lankan attack on feather beds dosent really prove anything.

    But the following facts still stand, he is poor fielder- sachin and dravid are better fielders, he dosent bowl as much as he used to – sachin does turn his arm ovr, and till recently dravid used to keep wickets. I think the time when you could hold your place only as a batsman in world cricket sans a second string to your bow is long past.

    Dravid is the flavour of the week and sachin is indian crickets equivalent of the sacred cow, which makes Ganguly the bakra. Remains to be seen in what fashion the royal bengal makes his return.

  53. It’s not a bad thing to blood youngsters, and Raina showed in the last match that he more than just fielding prowess, but if Sourav racks up the runs in domestic cricket he should come right back in. I’d put in Sourav ahead of Venugopal any day… Sourav would be more useful with bat, ball and fielding. Difficult to take sides, esp now with the 4-0 series win, but you can’t argue with Sourav’s record. But if you want to take a leaf out of the Australians’ book (a good book to take leaves out of), they will mercilessly drop anyone who doesnt fit in their plan… goodbye Slater, Lehmann, Gillespie, Mark Waugh, Healy… even Steve Waugh was jostled out of the one-day team… and all these players have remarkable career records.

  54. Arnab, I have been a fan of Saureav’s ODI batting, though, I’ve always felt his test match batting isn’t worth squat. But I found one of your comments funny. Ganguly performs on greentops and Sachin on featherbeds????????? Where did you get that? Obviously you didn’t see Perth 92, Edgbaston 96 (God!), Melbourne 99,
    PE 92, Leeds 2002, to name a few. And for the biggest measure, just compare the number of 100s Sachin , or for that matter Dravid, have got overseas and against great opposition. Ganguly other than Brisbane 2004 has been pretty much clueless against great test match attacks. My opinion of him as a ODI batsman is very different though. He seems to have done better than Sachin, on difficult tracks, against good attacks, if you look at the time both were at their best.

    And I guess I know what you mean by anti-ganguly=anti-Bengali. One possible reason you might find is by only looking at the reaction all over the country after the whole Ganguly-Chappel fracas. All Bengalis, and without exception, supported Saurav without any objectivity, clearly just because he is Bengali (evident in the discussions I had here with about 5 Bongs; I room with a Bong). You might argue that it’s just a reaction to the Ganguly-Bengal equation. I really don’t know which one is the cause and which the effect, but this is something you might want to consider.

  55. @Anon: I meant Sachin’s performance against the Sri Lankans on 2 beautiful batting wickets vs Ganguly’s on a greentop….I am not crazy enough to bring into question Sachin’s sterling record.

    However not all the innings of Sachin’s you mentioned were scored against sterling attacks…and oh yes the Leeds test 2002 against the same great attack, Ganguly scored 128. Now do you see your own bias coming out ?Sachin’s innings in Leeds is against top quality bowling and Ganguly’s century in THE SAME INNINGS is NOT !

    @silkworm: Big difference between us and the Aussies. They have real choices—Gilchrist replaces Healy, Clarke replaces Bevan and a man (Hussey) with 15,000 runs in 1st class cricket makes his debut at age 30. We however have only compromises.

    @Arun: What really made me angry was More saying (in political speak) that no matter what Ganguly does he is not getting into the team….tell me is that fair?

  56. greatbong:

    your haunch has proved correct yet again. Just read Anand Vasu’s article in today’s Cricinfo:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/224057.html

    To his credit, Dravid, the statesman that he is, did not fal for that fucker’s trap:

    “There’s been a suggestion that you said you would not accept the captaincy unless it was given to you over a period of time, and that you made this clear to the board president …

    Absolutely not. I don’t think there’s any truth to that. The board president never spoke to me before I was appointed captain and I had no such conversation.

  57. Arnab, you got me wrong there; I have two parameters; quality attack and pitch condition. The first list was for the (pitch conditions) U (Attack). Not (pitch condition)& (attack). Of course I remember Saurav’s 100 at Leeds, he was quite instrumental in getting Sachin to shrug off his indifference and start attacking in that innings, I thought. No issues there:-)

    And, just ’cause there are two many anons, so you know which one I am

    Re:Obviously you didn’t see Perth 92, Edgbaston 96 (God!), Melbourne 99,
    PE 92, Leeds 2002, to name a few.

  58. Its a good discussion going on here, despite the numerous anons… but too many tangential thoughts.

    I guess most, if not all of us, do agree on a couple of things:

    1. Ganguly has been instrumental to the rise of Indian cricket both in the capacity of a batsman as well as captain

    2. Purely on form, he probably deserved to be dropped, but the politicizing of the whole issue is quite unwarranted

    3. An in-form Ganguly would be awesome for the Indian team at this point… so lets hope he returns to form, and let all the parochialism and the reverse-parochialism rest

    Guess this discussion can go on forever with everyone introducing fresh biases, rallying off statistics to prove their respective points of views… but the bottomline is that if Ganguly strikes form again, all would be (rather should be) happy!

  59. point taken about Aussies. The Aussie B-team (or, A-team, to speak jargon) would kick many butts around the world, but India replaces 4-5 key players and what happens? Bangladesh beats us! However, any team looks good when they’re winning, and we can’t complain too much with what we see right now. There’d be nothing like seeing Ganguly smoting a left-arm spinner over long-on like the days of yore, but things look so complicated now.

  60. great post man.
    being far off from bengal, i also feel the same as you do. ganguly’s failure is for sure the failure of bengalis. and bengalis should be taunted if ganguly lose a match.
    it simply sucks.
    and the royal bengal tiger… indeed he is. he is only gathering his energy before the final spring. he’ll retire soon. that’s for sure. but not before shutting up the biased critics’ dirty mouth.
    well i agree, ganguly as a captain has shown what is his mettle and i dont think any cat caller can deny that.

  61. We need an organised group to collectively counter abuses in online editions of the leading Indian media – TOI, IE etc. The Ganguly episode has shown how difficult it is for someone from the Eastern states to be successful in modern day India.

    The online editional are controlled by North, West and South. The contributors are from those regions as well.

    Overall the current situation Bengali Hindus find in India reminds me of Jews in Europe and the Ganguly affair – a little comical version of the Alfred Dreyfus affair

  62. There was a picture published in TOI a long time back, where some Mumbai cricketfans called their representative “hijra” for failing to push Vinod Kambli into the Indian team. This was seen as the Mumbaikar’s passion for the game. Clearly what is sauce for the gander ….

  63. GreatBong,
    There is parochialism everywhere in this country, be it pro-gangulyism or anti-gangulyism. However I can’t understand why this issue should be mixed with the issue of his return to the indian team. You are just politicising the whole thing. Agreed there is an element of politics in keeping him out but that is hardly a justification. No one can take away the credit from him for building a strong unit but what matters is the present and the recent past. He does not deserve a place in the present composition as a player. BTW I am not one of those finicky fans who got charged up the recent 6-1 victory margin over the lankans. Let us not forget that all his big knocks in quite a long time now, he boasts of with his cheshire cat smile have come against pathetic oppositions like the second string side of a third rate Zimbabwe team. There have been very few exceptions on this front. More importantly, I am sure his return can create other issues. Anyways as long as the team can win with any bunch of 11, who cares? I can’t understand why we folks are so bothered about individuals in our country. Isn’t the sport bigger than individuals?
    This has happened to greats like Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh and I wonder if there was any hue and cry in Australia during these instances.

  64. I need to add that I don’t belong to the Sachin or Dravid camps as people might logically(???) conclude. I care a damn about the individual. All that matters is results. Going by the regionalism factor, I see all over the place, I think we need to have public elections in this country to select sorry elect our cricket team and I am sure you can register more than 90% polling! That way, you can have uniform representation from all regions. CRAP!!! Give us a break!

  65. Regionalism and parochialism ????
    Well these are the foundation stones of a non existent entity called India which never even existed on paper before the Raj.
    Bengal was doomed and drained off its resources by means of freight equalisation– people from north eastern states are still being treated like animals and you think we belong to a nation called India ?
    Does anyone from the Bengalstates really feel that being a Bong, Ganguly will manage to get a hero’s farewell ? Lucky enough to have captained the side for five years (or was it a mass hallucination ?). Plz do no ask for more…

  66. ynot, of course parochialism is everywhere. However, you would get mad if you were a bengali and ganguly did not make runs. As a bengali, people around you look at you as if you are not making the runs. It would be alright if just ganguly wasd criticised, but I had to endure stares and questions regarding ganguly’s form. Hell, it made even a person like me who is a critic of Ganguly into a supporter.

  67. Ynot — the issue is not whether Ganguly merits a place in the team because of his current form, but whether he has been a victim of an extremely ugly and unfair media campaign simply because he hails from Bengal. It is clear that the rest of India has simply not given Ganguly his due and an extremely ungrateful nation is exulting over the exit of one of ts greatest sportsmen of all times. It is also true that the Ganguly episode has been used as an excuse for a large section of Indians to voice filthy anti-Bengali abuse. Can you imagine what would have happened if Ganguly had hailed from Maharashtra, Punjab or Karnataka?

  68. Guys, I can certainly empathize when someone says people give bengalis in general, a stare whenever Ganguly fails and I tell you it is really sick. This speaks volumes about our attitude as people belong to “One Nation”.
    However let us not forget that *almost* the entire nation went gaga over Dada when he produced the results and it definitely lasted as long as 5 years. Now to say that the rest of india is gunning for his head only because he is a bong would be unfair. I still believe it is his performance with the bat in recent years and his attitude if one were to strictly go by Chappell’s words that could have undone him. And mind you Chappell is not from the “rest of India” to harbour any anti-bengal sentiments although he could have his problems with respect to asserting his supremacy in the power struggle between the coach and the captain.
    I never knew Cricket could divide us so much! I wish better sense prevails in this country and lets us keep our regional feelings aside and cheer up any indian XI that can become world-beaters.

  69. Also mind you that a “hero’s farewell” in sport is entirely in the hands of the “hero”. You should know when your time has come and gracefully accept that and go. Look at someone like Kapil Dev. He did not deserve such an ignominious exit but his attempts to cling on at any cost mandated it.

  70. HAhaha, this is brilliant Arnab. Thank you. I’m copying this off to everyone I think needs some time off from work and a good laugh, a really good laugh.

    Such utter crap, and deeply anguished, supposedly martyrlike crap too. Its simply too much to pass of as plain old-fashioned argument. LO is dead !Long live logical objectivity !! hahahaha(For proof, merely scroll up an look at the outpouring from the rest of the macher fraternity) I can see why Adda-on-the-brain will never die.

    Your defence of your ‘hero’ is as good as his against a McGrath snorter(and has been for like 5 year s now). And so when that fails, and someone calls your bluff, what do you do? Cry, howl and wail that you are being persecuted. hahaha. Oldest trick in the book.

    Take a bow man, you’re good. Sniff, tooooooo much…..haha

    The Joker

  71. i got to kno of yr blog in the newspaper and many stories have intrigued me…………..this one especially. as a bengali i would like to congratulate u on a awsum post..!!!!but ii wud like to bring to yr attention that the only place in india where ppl are divided into sumthings and non sumthings happens only in bengal………….which has been done by the marus here……but still in maharashtra u will never hear the term maru and non maru..!!!!
    thank u for living bengali and loving bengali

  72. what you have written just goes on to prove that bengali parochialism was always in your blood… dormant somewhere… but now it has found a vent and come out… in support of great bengali dada and his dadagiri

    looking at the issue more logically… who is Sourav to us??? just another Bengali… why don’t we make a Kannada or a Marathi or a Punjabi answerable for failures of Dravid, Tendulkar or Yuvraj??? It would be insane to think that us lesser non-bengali indians have anything personal against Ganguly. The answer solely lies in the attitude of bengalis.

    Your test example was very good. Let me just rephrase your test. Go through a few articles about Sourav in newspapers or internet. The word “Bengal” or “Kolkata” is surely going to be present. And if that article has something good to say about Ganguly, there is 90% probability that it has been written by another bengali. I have verified this myself. and this is not the case with sachin or dravid or yuvraj. What is it in Dada that only Bengalis can see and other can not??? And this happens because most of the press junta is Bengali… more friends of Ganguly than of Greg(I am waiting for more from you on Greg’s friends in press)…

    let me counter you point by point…

    why dont people of other states burn effigies of selectors, when players from their state are dropped??? they surely must be insane, if you bengalis feel that it is the right thing to do…

    why dont you realise that Ganguly is an Indian first and a Bengali later… much later…

    what does Greg have against Ganguly??? He spoke as he could not be a mute spectator as wright was… to dada’s dadagiri… the faked injuries to avoid practice…

    If Ganguly was such a saint… why only Harbhajan came out in his support??? why did others like Sachin or Sehwag never utter a single word??? Sehwag also wanted to come out ??? did he or his mother call you to tell that??? I can also say Sehwag wanted to come out but to speak against Ganguly. let us not talk about hypothetical things to sound more genuine…

    why talk about his records and historical performances??? even Gavaskar and Kapil had great figures… everyone’s time gets over and so has Ganguly’s… and ohhhh!!! how can I forget??? Bengalis should have thought of the solution(ganguly’s sacking) much before us lesser Indians. remember “What bengal thinks today, India
    thinks tomorrow
    “… the fact, my dear greatbong is, bengal is still thinking and India has started to act

    my two cents…

  73. indian, your post is awesome…the problem is the bongs have taken both ganguly’s success and failure very personally and that is the crux of the problem…guys please grow up…
    sorry to say this but greatbong by way of such an illogical post has made his id sound like an oxymoron!!!

  74. Arrey bhai, its not about growing up these people are seriously emotionally challenged and bereft of heroes. So when one, in even the vaguest of fashions, comes along, he’s elevated right away to the pantheon. And like all fanatical devotees, they refuse to see that their deity has feet of clay.

    And if you’re a Bengali cricketer, which by the way WAS an oxymoron, you can see why they’re so loathe to let go of the idiot.

    Arrey, he should have been sacked the moment he went to the TV channels about Chappells advice. Disgusting, to say the least.

    Anyway, the selectors havent had the balls to finish the job. The pampered prince will play, deny other more deserving souls their places and might even make runs. It doesnt matter, because even the few pathetic runs he makes will be seen as vindication by these types, when its actually anything but!

  75. Hey Indian – if Chappell was such a saint – why did Harbhajan accuse him of dividing the team?
    You would counter by saying that Harbhajan’s statements should be ignored. Why? Because they contradict your preconciebed notions about Cheppell.

    You have made a rather sweeping statement that most of the press junta is Bengali. What is the source of your information? Also can you explain why – journalists who have been most blind opponents of Ganguly – have South Indian names? Examples – V Srivatsa and Bobbilli Vijay Kumar of TOI. Arun Sivasankaran of HT Cricket, Dileep Premachandran of Crickinfo and so on?

    Making sweeping statements doesn’t make utter lies truth. Go check out cricketnext. Sanjay Jha and Tapan Joshi have been consistently fair in their assessment of Ganguly and denouncing of the current virulent “Ganguly hatao” wave which is used as a convenient platform to abuse Bengalis. Does “Sanjay Jha” and “Tapan Joshi” sound like Bengali names to you?

    If you don’t have the patience to check your facts before you write – do us a favour. Just shut up !!!

  76. cmon arnab. You have been proven wrong in Dravids case. ganguly has made his way back in to test squad and Dravid proves he is above petty politics. I still dont understand why Greg would lie about Gangulies behavior, fitness and he having played politics. What is the motive ? What benefit does Greg derive out of it? Gangulies form has been far from average and irrespective of chappels issue I thought his time had come to leave, score runs in domestic cricket, get back to form and get back in to the squad. Instead Ganguly chose a confrontational attitude in attacking everyone top-down, defending his own form, gave haughty interviews.

  77. ha ha ha ha mr. greaterbong… your id should rather have been greatestbong… I had heard bengalis pronouncing “preconceived” as “preconceibed” but you are actually spelling it as “preconceibed”… I hope you understand its meaning;) anyways… lets forget that for a while…

    coming back to your points… about Bhajji… out of 11 players just 1 comes out in support of Ganguly while other 10 dont even bother… and still you are more willing to lend your ear to Bhajji… just because what he said sounded music to your ears… so much like a bengali!!!

    and mind it… I never meant “most of the press junta is Bengali”… I was referring to 90% of press junta who praise Ganguly… Sanjay Jha and Tapan Joshi fall in the rest 10%…

    “shut up”!!!… I request you to mind your language… this is a blogspot on the web and not some graffiti in Kolkata… please learn to express your views in a better way… less Bengali like and more Indian like…

  78. Indian – have you heard of something called “typo”? May be you will once you learn to use computers? Your dig at my typo itself speaks volumes of the anti-Bengali stereotyes you are harbouring in your mind.

    You make a statement saying, “most of the press junta is Bengali” and then contradict yourself by saying, “I never meant “most of the press junta is Bengali”… ” — why don’t you say something you mean you moron. Are you mentally challenged, by the way?

    It is not only Harbhajan. Sehwag had come in defence of Ganguly quite recently. Also the other 10 players are silent – they have not said anything to support Chappel’s claim or that of his cronies in the media. Chappell himself has been unable to substantiate ANY of the allegations he made against Ganguly. Obviously facts mean nothing to you when they contradict your preconcieved notions.

    If you continue your mindless anti-Bengali tirade we would continue to put you in your place — the sewers you belong to. And yes – this is a blogspot on the web and not your mummy’s lap. So if you try to act smart you get it back in equal measure. Get it kid? Now shut up and get lost !!! (You see I have already picked up the Indian way of expressing myself on the Internet)

  79. ohhhh typos… yes i know what they are… they are what bengalis have been making for generations… and how can us lesser Indian learn to use comps??? they are the prerogative of you bengalis… right… because the largest Indian village calcutta is a booming IT destination for you… wonder if you have heard of places like Bangalore and Chennai…

    and yes we reside in sewers – all of us Indians do – but we know that they are sewers… and we are working towards improving them… not like Bengalis staying in the worst sewers of India and having preconceibed notions that they are grand palaces…

    and great/greater/greatest bong…whoever you are… go get a life… dont be subjective… do something for your native land and then come back with facts… and the fact todays is calcutta remains a city of manholes, potholes and assh***s… as my fellow indian said stop thinking and start acting

  80. mr greaterbong

    about “most of the press junta is bengali”… let me introduce to an english word called “interpretation”… and now let me remember if a bengali interpreting something is a contradiction in itself…

    and again I request… please use decent language… your posts dont even deserve a reply and next time onwards you wont get one from me…

  81. hey buddy… arnob’s posting may not get any rply from u.. but ur comment need to be replied… coz of the totally uncultural, nasty and regional comment u have put aganist bengal and calcutta… u the hell r u and where r u from…uhh? Calcutta may be full of holes but dat like u right? first close up urs and then start thinking of other holes… or i think u cant do that right, man?

  82. exactly… people like another indian and greaterbong need to be careful with their words… what started out as a healthy discussion on Ganguly here with points and rebuttals is finally going to Dogs!!!

    Arnab… isn’t there a way to regulate the discussion (edit/delete posts )

  83. hey Anonymous… don’t get emotional…
    I know that truth is bitter…
    and first ask your fellow greaterbong to shut up…

    and where are you mentally challenged greaterbong… you moron… are you still shitting in your mom’s lap???

    and indian… dont try to moderate… let us all non-bongs show these bongs their real place… the holes

  84. Arrey bhai another indian, you are doing a great job. I wonder why that oxymoron greatbong Arnab is not replying to our posts.

    mr Anonymous bong either f**k off or just shut the hell up.

    and mr “an Indian”, please stop playing the moderator. either join again or just enjoy n let others enjoy what greaterbong and another indian have to say.

  85. Indian – in your first post you make a statement, “And this happens because most of the press junta is Bengali… ”

    And in the next one you say, “I never meant “most of the press junta is Bengali”…” The only interpretation I have is that you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Now that you haven’t been able to reply to any of the points I raised you conveniently hide behind a veil and cry “I won’t respond to your posts anymore” !!! Ha ha !!

    And as for this bozo called “another indian” – don’t talk about potholes of Calkutta. Everyone knows what a lousy place Bangalore is, with it’s citizens commenting that they drive on potholes connected at some places by pieces of tar !!! Front pages of all national dailies have been splashed with pictures of how pathetic Bangalore is. Why do you think someone like Premji is moving out? ( Ha ha they even claim it is a ‘happening city’)

    I think this anti-Bengali nonsense has gone on for too long. At no point in my posting have I attacked any community. I have contested what Indian believes to be gospel. If this offends him and his supporters that’s not my problem.

    OTOH each of the responses from Indian and this moronic “another indian” are full of abusive references to Bengalis, snide remarks about how inferior they are etc etc . And it is not only in response to my post – it was there right from the begining. If you guys don’t learn to behave in public forums you will get as good as you give. As someone who feels offended whenever his community is abused I ( ..and many more like me) whould show you that you can’t make stupid abusive comments against a community and get away with it !!

  86. mr greaterbong

    I am sick and tired of explaining the first point about press junta… if you still havn’t understood, please read it again… and still if you are unable to understand than God bless you… you can interpret it in any way that makes you happy…

    about your second point… people never come out in support of the accuser but always of the accused… and in this particular case ganguly was the accused… and none except Bhajji came out in his support… about Sehwag as I have already said let us not talk of hypothetical things…

    and mind it… I never used any abusive language against any community… infact I tried to restrain you… but it was you mr greaterbong who started it and then mr another indian followed… the blogs above are a proof of that…

    I have said enough… I rest my case…

    adios mr great/greater/greatest bong…

  87. ummm, I’m neutral but I’m afraid that the press junta being bengali and hence biased is true. I work in the media and it stares you in the face. Many others are scared of displeasing Indian cricket’s most powerful lobby, which will then cut them off from their sources of news.
    So despite seeing that Ganguly is crap and admitting so in private, they dont say so in print. I mean even now, just look at all the coverage of the end of the ganguly era – its disgustingly biased and looks to prop him up.

    Another Indian has been rather vituperative but the replies from ‘concerned’ bongs have been even more so. Yecch.

    Ganguly has no place in the Indian side now. he should have been booted out in 2002 if u ask me, but Dalmiya uncle has ensured his longevity and now his preposterous return to the team.

    Lets see if the Eden Gardens match is stalled by crowd trouble. That would be perfect and Calcutta does have this reputation.

  88. Hi Arnab!

    I’m not a cricket fan to begin with. But your post, bringing out the anti-bengali bias in the issue has touched a chord.

    This feeling is not confined to just cricket w.r.t. Sourav, but prevades numerous other areas.

    I would like to make some observation though.

    [1] These Bengali haters are usually with limited exposure outside their home states and their knowledge of Indian society, culture, history is next to null.

    [2] These morons hail from 2-3 states (no need to name them here). An interesting fact is that they are quick to point out Kolkata’s potholed roads but at the same time are content with swallowing sewage in their own cities during monsoon rains.

    [3] These worthies with all their biases are conspicuous by their absence in national mainstream, be it the Civil Services, Armed Forces or Foriegn Services (the odd few that get there are however suitably “educated” and balanced in opinions about their fellow Indians).

    An off topic subject: Lately I’ve been arguing with some of these morons (persumably well intentioned) on the political leanings of Bengalis. They start with well meaning whines and rants against the communists and gradually steer towards anti-Bengalism from anti-communism. This is despite the fact that the communist vote share has been decreasing over the years, poll rigging is well documented and also the fact that few well meaning Bengalis have taken issue to the judiciary filed PIL.
    But such details are irrelevant to such morons.

  89. Guys, the direction this debate has taken now is a shame. It has assumed serious regional overtones now although the original post had specks of it to start with. I wonder what the potholes in Kolkata & Bangalore got to do with this issue 🙂

  90. A few issues I would like to comment on:

    Saurav’s supporters (bongs and non bongs alike) usually cite the following reasonss to vouch for him to be back in the team:
    * His success as captain.
    * His past record as batsman.
    I can only partially agree on both points.
    Don’t forget that his success as captain is largely due to the success of his team members. Over the last five years, India has had the best batting line up ever in tests. Only Sehwag’s batting partner and Saurav himself has been the weak links. Between 99 and 02 he scored just 2 centuries. His only fantastic one was in 03 in Australia. Otherwise it has been zilch. Dravid, sehwag, laxman and sachin have scored tons of runs and that is responsible for the good showing, not SAurav’s captaincy. He averages just 36 in tests since 2001 Aus tour, and this includes senturies against zim, ban etc. His only great contribution as captain was to bring in objectivity in evaluating the team members, and not falling into the trap of zonalism.
    How much has Saurav improved/changed as a cricketer over the years? His fielding is worse than it was 5 years back, compared to Dravid, he has hardly improved as a batsman. Dravid has scored more than 2500 runs than Saurav in tests though both started off together.!!

    I think as regards success of the team, just too much is attributed to Saurav’s captaincy than performance by his team mates. Based on his performance over the last few years, he does not deserve a place in the batting line up (laxman avges 51 to saurav’s 36!! since 2001). I think there are others in the team capable of doing what Saurav does as captain, and batsmen (like yuvi, kaif)capable of an avg better than 36.

    As for bongs being angry about Saurav’s exclusion from team, I think the general reaction is the same as that would have happened in blore or bombay if dravid/sachin were dropped. The avg bong knows that Saurav’s performance hasn’t been upto the mark, though they wish their prince were in the team. The bong media though seems to be living in suspended reality. The emotional reaction in bengal is due to the way bangla media has chosen to prtray his exclusion, as if its due to conspiracy and not objectively, that is a genuine drop in the class of Saurav’s batsmanship.

  91. The last post of bongs being influenced by bengali media is utter bullshit.
    The poster needs to wake up realise there are thounsand of bongs living outside WB.
    The national media was biased. Period.

  92. The last post on Bongs being influenced by Bengali media to support Sourav is utter bullshit.
    The national media is biased. Period.

    If Captainship doesn’t matter. Fine. Applies to all other captains and to anyone in leadership position. Team did it.

  93. this Anoynymous not-a-cricket-fan is a prefect specimen of the great Bengali culture. when your own house is dirty then throw dirt on other’s houses.

    which city is he trying to point out? doesn’t even have the guts to name them.

    is he pointing to Bangalore. the most popular IT destination in India and India’s Silicon Valley. where half the bongs have shifted to and the rest of the half are planning to shift to. and thatz why it has become congested.

    or is he pointing to Mumbai. the business capital. capital of one of the most developed states.that contributes 35% of India’s GDP but gets just1 or 2 % in returns. the rest of it going to sustain poor states like west bengal.

    or is it Chennai . capital of another of India’s most developed states. anyday better than Kolkata.

    compared to this what has West Bengal to offer to India. just millions of morons and oxymorons like greatbong/greaterbong
    and almost nothing in terms of GDP contribution.

    always talking of history… guys stop living in the past. wake up and get some new heroes. let Tagore n Bose go to …
    ohhhh I remember you already have a new hero. Ganguly.

    talking of civil services and foreign services and what not… who is contradicting the fact the Bengalis are “suitably” educated… but here lies the irony… despite all this the state is in shambles… and Armed Forces… hahahaha… you conveniently forgot the report in newspapers a few weeks ago that bengalis are not fit enough for armed forces… may be not courageous enough as well… don’t worry… you can leave that job to us punjabis and other north indians…

  94. this Anoynymous not-a-cricket-fan is a prefect specimen of the great Bengali culture. when your own house is dirty then throw dirt on other’s houses.

    which city is he trying to point out? doesn’t even have the guts to name them.

    is he pointing to Bangalore. the most popular IT destination in India and India’s Silicon Valley. where half the bongs have shifted to and the rest of the half are planning to shift to. and thatz why it has become congested.

    or is he pointing to Mumbai. the business capital. capital of one of the most developed states.that contributes 35% of India’s GDP but gets just1 or 2 % in returns. the rest of it going to sustain poor states like west bengal.

    or is it Chennai . capital of another of India’s most developed states. anyday better than Kolkata.

    compared to this what has West Bengal to offer to India. just millions of morons and oxymorons like greatbong/greaterbong
    and almost nothing in terms of GDP contribution.

    always talking of history. guys stop living in the past. wake up and get some new heroes. let Tagore n Bose go to .
    ohhhh I remember you already have a new hero. Ganguly.

    talking of civil services and foreign services and what not. who is contradicting the fact the Bengalis are “suitably” educated. but here lies the irony. despite all this the state is in shambles. and Armed Forces. hahahaha. you conveniently forgot the report in newspapers a few weeks ago that bengalis are not fit enough for armed forces. may be not courageous enough as well. don’t worry… you can leave that job to us punjabis and other north indians.

  95. Rupak they are still blaming dada,
    Now they (NON-BONGS) say its dada’s curse that india cannot cross 200.

    Last 2 months the way Sourav has been victimised i feel that

    ” dada kare to balatkar,
    baki sab kare to chamatkar”

    his feets are moving, and soon he will be back (159 today, 64/5). I have tremendous faith in my captain, he is the captain and the future for 2007.

    Arnab, great piece, a few more thing ganguly did as a captain,
    1. never selected a player on regional basis.
    – Yuvi, Kaif, Zaheer, Nehra, Laxman, Bhajji, Dhoni, Pathan I think all of them are from Bengal

    2. always backed a player
    – supported parthiv patel, even when india lost the sydney test just because of him
    – Bhajji, 2001 Ind-AUS in india, Laxman

    3. I saw in one of the matches he hurling abuses to srinath, later this srinath said sourav was the best captain he played under.

    4. For people who say based on current form he should be dropped, then drop sachin (unless for u morons he is god, i hardly remember after sarjah 97-98 when was the last time he won a match single handly, but he is GOD)

    5. If current form is the merit then who deserves to be in the team?

    6. A few people have the balls to wave his shirts and shout expletives at the

    Arnab , PROUD TO BE A BONG .. KEEP UP THE SPIRIT ..

    EVERYTIME LET ME BE BORN AS A BONG .. AND EVERY TIME I SHALL CHEER FOR SOURAV .. HE IS “THE CAPTAIN, THE WINNER”, He is a tiger, a fighter, can fight his war alone. He is destined for success. He is not a wolf in the hide of a sheep.

  96. came here after a link from another of those so called holier than thou journalists of India – the most celebrated Prem panicker. Thankfully his blog is closing down soon.
    Really liked your article. Will surely link it up from my blog. Gonna write sumthing about today’s Eden ODI

  97. Hey north indian — your post is a perfect example of why specimens like you are hated all over India. The Maharashtrians have started to kick you fellows out of Mumbai for conversting it from India’s urbs prima to “slums prima”. Now you fellows are descending in hordes upon Bangalors like locusts and pulluting it. Soon Kannadigas would kick you back to the North Indian hell holes you belong to. So don’t start this regional divide and respond to Arnab’s original post. I have the same advise to Indian (who started this), another Indian and greaterbong.

  98. Indian – there is only one way your statement can be interpreted. The interpretation doesn’t make me happy – but I read and interpret English statements according to the rules of English grammar. May be you were following some other grammer !!

    The point about Sehwag is not hypothetical – Sehwag did come out publicly in support of Saurav before the Chappell controversy broke out. BTW – how do you know Ganguly faked injuries? Did you do the MRI scan or were you standing beside the nets? Or you have another “interpretation” for this hypothesis too ??

    Given the way Bhajji was treated by PCA and the Board the only conclusion I have is that others were scared to openly support Saurav. I can’t find no other explanation for players who – till about a couple of months ago acknowledged Ganguly’s contribution – completely clamming up.

    Contrary to what you are trying to prove – you started it buddy. If I had told you to shut up – it was to you alone – not to any community. You could have responded to me instead of making the stupid remarks about Bengali pronunciation and graffiti in Kolkata streets. That was what started this debate. Not my post. I have said many times before – you get as good as you give.

    I have said enough.Hope you will understand. If not – continue your anti-Bengali diatribe if that makes you happy. Namaste mr fake-indian.

  99. Here is something for you guys

    People of Anti Sourav talked about green pitch top in Nagpur Test— IF YOU ARE STAYING IN A WORLD OF GLASS DON’T DARE TO THROW STONE TO OTHER AS IT WOULD COME BACK TO YOU”
    you guys gave green top in Nagpur we give you here in EDEN and all the so called expert in Inidan Cricket were bundled with just 188 and that with a major cntribution from two men picked up by Sourav

    Sachin is considered as the New Donbradman — now question arises is this a simple hypocrisy or just the game plan of major advertising world as the Indian and the South Asian through the world are considered as the biggest watcher of cricket.

    Lara just passed Border in getting highest run in Test Cricket– where is Sachin— lagging 1053 run– GOD knows how long he would be able to come close to him– yet Sachin is the GOD

    Sachin scored 77 in his last 7 match— is this a sign of a formed Batsman and that of his class and if not the if Sourav is asked back to regain his form from first class test, then why Sachin not — same is true for Shewag and I hope there would be a new name with in a few months– the so called Rahul “Dependable” “Wall” Dravid if he continues to lead the team– Eden is the morning of the day—

    Sourav was said to be jelous of Sachin and never used his bowling capacity– what Rahul is doing now—

    Most unfortunate thing in Indian Cricket is the flow of so much money it is harming more than helping as people are trying to go the top position to fill up their pocket and don’t think of indian Team at all– wheether it IS Mr. Dalmiya or Mr Binda– Anti Dalmiya gave green top to Sourav and Anti Pawar or rather Anti ANTISOURAV Eden gave the Green top to Rahul–

    It is an open secret that not a single Indian shows so far constant good performance on Green Top, it is not just because they can not play but rather it is because they have been born and brought on a pitch favored to Batsman or Spinners—

    It is surprising that we guys talked so much about our failure on green top — but no one talks about our strength on Spinning top We feel ashamed on bieng weak on Green Top but tell how many western cricketers or Cricket lovers thing the same when one after another their heroes failed against Spin– is this a hypocrisy or just a true color being Indian who love to stab their back always rather than by their enemy– we blame Mirjafar for helping East India Company against Siraj– but I think it is a sheer biased opinion as it looks like true Indian colour–sorry to say this–whether it is politics, sports or any other field (for Example Sonia dumped Natwar in the days’ of crisis for him as well as the Congress Party and now we can say she is our “BETI” (our own daughter), showing true Indian color– different topic sorry to mention here, but could be a good example).

    HATS OFF MY FELLOW INDIANs Keep it up– definitely we would be the best if not already

  100. To say that the national media is biased (according to jester_ ) and is anti-ganguly is a huge pile of
    machli-sh** from the hoogli.

    *Saurav has got his fair due from the national media when he led from the front in nat-west, aus tour. He has been feted as the best captain India ever had by the national media. From what I read in the national media, even now nobody is questioning his captaincy or his leadership skills. His batting has also been praised when he did well in Aus and in 99,00 seasons.

    IT IS HIS CURRENT BATTING EVERYBODY IS DISGUSTED ABOUT. This is what the national media is criticizing.

    Why do some bongs here think that if anybody criticizes Saurav in the media it is anti-ganguli and by extension anti-bengali??…Is that some kind of weird bong logic?

    Learn to Accept Facts. Saurav Ganguly has been a Liability for India’s batting over the last couple of years. Scoring a centruy against zim or in duleep does not change his form or bring back his class. If he had his class he should have scored a century against Pakistan. The Man has Just LOST his Magic. Therefore he does not deserve a place in the team.

  101. Arnab,
    Your blog was recommended to me by a freind and i have been going through your archives for the last 2 weeks whenever i get some time. To say the least i was bowled over by your sense of humour, your views on society, media, idealism. May be that was because I also kinda have the same opinions. But your posts on Ganguly has been a big diappointment. They reek of losing the very objectivism which you have accused cricinfo of. In the process, at various points of time you have made insulting remarks about other people which is totally unwarranted. As a Ganguly fan you do have reasons for feeling pain and more importantly, digust/ angst, for the way it was done. Going by your other posts i never thought that something like this could come from you. Recently there was this issue about equality which you had commented upon. If you pass your posts about Ganguly through the same standards which were talked about, you fail miserably.
    You may say that it is your blog and your own space and you can write whatever you want to. No denying that. But dont lose the very principles on which you have creaated this blog.

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  104. So, I was going through some of your archives and I stumbled on this. I know this is a very old post and Im extremely late in posting and you may never read this- but what the heck.

    Unfortunately I’m not all that into Cricket (gasp!) but I still remember the 2003 World Cup final that we had with Australia – the pride that I felt in having G at the helm of our team to fend off Ponting and the Aussies. Ganguly was spectacularly different from the mold of the Indian Cricketer – aggressive, fiercely determined to win – our Aussie to take on the Aussies.

    Perhaps the parochialism stems from just jealousy – that no other state produced a man as firebrand as Ganguly.

    I’m not a bong and I cant explain this virulence against G. He deserves much more than his current status of non-entity. Not just for his innate cricketing class and his unbiased captaincy – but also for being cut out of a totally different cloth altogether.

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