So what’s Sourav Ganguly to do?
No matter how good he performs, he is not going to get selected.
Sourav Ganguly will never be a part of the Indian cricket team as long as Kiran More is the chief manipulator sorry selector.
According to whom?
Sourav knows the reason for that. It’s because he has always been perceived rightfully to be a man backed by Dalmiya — the bete noire of More’s puppetmaster—Sharad The Power, who some may say shares Al Capone’s love for his enemies.
I want this guy dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I want to go there in the middle of the night and piss on his ashes!
I don’t agree. Pawar would never piss on his enemies ashes. He would just send Kiran More.
So with Sourav firmly in Pawar’s blackbook, he has only one option left for redemption. Actually two.
The first option is to distance himself from Dalmiya. Dalmiya, for now, seems to be a spent force—-Sharad Pawar has got him by the straight and the curlies on financial misappropriation charges: almost inevitably debarring him from contesting BCCI elections. And with terms for selectors and officials becoming three years, (the ruling party increasing their terms of office—how original), it seems like we will see Mr. More for many more years to come.
Of course Dalmiya won’t let Sourav disassociate from him—-no matter how much Sourav might want to. Simply because flogging the Sourav issue is the only option he has got left to keep his fast-dwindling flock together.
Expressing his confidence that Ganguly would come back into the team, Dalmiya promised that the left hander would be reinstated in the national squad if his (Dalmiya’s) group returned to power in the BCCI.
Yes it is sickening. The fact that Sourav Ganguly’s selection is just an election issue, having not much to do with merit at all——- with one side (Dalmiya, the CPM top brass) determined to play him no matter what he does and the other (Pawar, More and Chappell) determined to do the opposite.
However Dalmiya’s boat is fast sinking. And in politics, people change bedmates faster than Shane Warne.
Which is why I was not surprised at this very interesting development:
Snehasis Ganguly, Sourav’s elder brother is now associated with Dalmiya’s opposition for the battle of the Cricket Association of Bengal (and hence likely to be in Pawar’s good books) and has come out openly against Dalmiya. What makes it even curiouser is that the CPM, which has associated itself with the Sourav case, is fully backing this opposition to Dalmiya. (Dalmiya, till a year or so ago the darling of the CPM, is still backed by a CPM heavyweight but the said person is also currently out of favour in the party hierarchy.).
But as we know Dalmiya is a crafty customer. And when has corruption really hampered the career of a politician in India? However the odds are definitely stacked against him for now and the only chance of Dada’s return was to ditch Dalmiya for Pawar.
I know this is as despicable as an extra-marital affair with an overweight actress but really what else can Sourav do? They wont consider him on merit—-so backroom machination is the only thing open to him.
There is a second option.
The occult. Black magic. The dark side of the force.
The Indian cricket selectors may have dumped Sourav Ganguly, and his fans too might have given up on him, but the former India captain’s family is still optimistic about his return. They are banking on a tantrik (practitioner of black magic), who claims Ganguly can return through his mystical powers.
The priest came all the way from Kolkata to Lucknow to perform a special puja, which he claims will see Ganguly return with a bang in the next few months.
What is interesting is that this puja was performed at the local Hindu cremation ground, Bhainsakund, on Wednesday afternoon.
An excellent idea. Put pins into effigies of Chappell and More. Call the spirits of the netherworld to guide Sourav’s bat the next time Shane Bond comes in to bowl. Mix politics with religion–the winning formula that works everytime.
Trinity: Neo… nobody has ever done this before (in cricket)
Neo: That’s why it’s going to work. [ Matrix]
Aww come on—you say. Mr. Greatbong, just try to see beyond Sourav Ganguly for once.
I would very much like to.
Except there is an overweight dude blocking my vision—-one who bowls ultra-slow donkey drops, bats like Sunil Joshi, wears weird shades and is labelled an “all rounder” simply because we cannot decide out of batting and bowling which one he does worse.
And mind you, Ramesh Powar is not the worst example of selectorial folly. That honor is left to one Venugopal Rao, whose tortured batting in West Indies was akin to the impotent leg-throwing of a cockroach who has fallen on his back. Yet such is the political backing he enjoys—sorry make that faith in his abilities that this man is made captain of the India A team.
While Dinesh Mongia, who has turned in stellar performances in English county cricket, does not even warrant a look-in for the ODIs. And neither does VVS Laxman who is streets ahead in sheer class from the Venugopals of the world.
I could go on—the treatment meted out to Zaheer and Balaji (and check out Zaheer’s performance in England), the way Sehwag was chided for a benign comment (bringing us back to the Al Capone line), weird selections for the first test match, taking the new ball for the last 15 overs especially when our fast bowlers had not exactly covered themselves with glory throughout the series, wrong people in the wrong fielding positions, a certain person’s crucial misfieldings at critical times [which if it was some other less press-friendly person would have invited endless ridicule and titles like “Match ka villain” but not so now]—in short, the number of gaffes, strategic miscalculations and motivated selectorial decisions that we see are quite alarming.
Yes yes I know we had been having a “golden run” not so long ago. But we were playing in India against substandard opposition. The Pakistan team is nothing like what it used to be in the mid 90s (it is slowly getting better). Sri Lanka was woefully out of form. England was sadly understength. Against them, we won easily. (And this is just for ODIs—our Test record has been quite sub-par even against the not-so-stellar opposition).
However the real worth of these victories has been cruelly exposed in West Indies where in the same place where World Cup 2007 will be held, we lost 4-1 to a side at the bottom of all ODI rankings.
The tragedy is that things need not have turned out this way. With experience in the middle order (which meant Dravid needed to relinquish his opening position and drop down) and with the talent (Rahul Dravid’s batting is still awesome, Yuvraj is in the form of his life, Dhoni is a marvel of science) we have we should have comfortably put it across the West Indies.
And yes yes we came close to winning the series twice—but let’s keep things in perspective– this West Indies has been hammered by every decent Test playing nation in the world. We only came close.
I am not saying that calling Dada back will solve the problem. In all probability, it won’t. Maybe his performances do not warrant a recall—but I am sure, all of us will agree that he deserves to be considered fairly: something that Kiran More has publicly announced he will not do.
But again, fairness is not possible in this politically surcharged cricket administration.
Of course, things are not dire enough to call in the tantrik. Not yet anyways.
However that may all change once Venugopal Rao (unless he proves me wrong with a century or two) becomes permanent in the Indian team …..in that case, I shall beseech all Indian cricket fans to wear your langotis, wash your hair in goat’s blood, and join me as I dance around a fire in a cremation ground invoking the lord of the netherworld.
Or as he is more commonly known: Kiran More.
Which means the tantrik option is also closed for Dada.