The Coach-Man

You have an abusive, self-obsessed boyfriend (let’s call him Greg Chappell). Ultimately after years of abuse, a disastrous emotional meltdown (let’s call it the World Cup) occurs after which you dump him. Then comes along this other guy, (let’s call him Dave Whatmore) who really wants you with all his heart. You don’t quite feel any passion despite the fact that there is not much wrong with him. In the absence of someone better, you string him along . And then when man 2 (Ford), the guy who really rocks your boat came along, you publicly kick the first suitor in the ass, call him “over eager” and hence by extension a despo. You surrender yourself to the new guy, while your parents present you with man 3 (John Em “Burey” nazar walen tera mooh kala), a two-time divorcee with kids. Not much of a choice. You propose to man2 who then turns around, says he finds you over-eager and spurns your overtures. Taking advantage of all this, man3 panders to his own ego by also rejecting you—-as if you ever asked him.

The Indian cricket coaching tamasha has now officially become a farce. Which is why I desist from analyzing the situation (Shan does it here) but instead propose a solution to the impasse.

Let Maninder Singh (man4) be the next Indian coach.


Because this man is, to put it mildly, a genius.

Don’t believe me? Well a few days ago, Maninder Singh (India’s premier spin bowler of the 80s) was taken to the hospital with his wrists slashed to ribbons. Evidently a suicide attempt. Not that you can blame the man: he has to share a commentary box with Yashpal Sharma and Atul Wassan. And umpire tepid domestic matches standing under the blazing sun.

But then where’s the genius you ask? It’s this. Maninder firmly maintains that he did not attempt suicide. What happened was simply this:

Maninder, who was admitted to the Shanti Mukund Hospital Saturday, recorded a statement with the police giving an account of how the incident took place at his Preet Vihar residence in east Delhi.

Maninder told us his wrists were injured when he smashed the glass panes of the bay window of his home with his hands in an attempt to awaken his family on his return home after midnight Saturday. He termed it an accident,’ Deputy Commissioner of Police Ajay Chaudhry said.

A force of nature. Some ignorant people may ask how does this prove cricketing acumen? Well to be honest it does not. But of late I have been hearing that the main job of a coach is to motivate the players—after all senior cricketers don’t have technical problems (or so I have been told). And what can motivate players better than to see the coach literally bleeding to “awaken” the country?

And if more excitement is needed than the sight of body fluids on glass, Maninder, recently arrested for possessing cocaine and whom the respected Seattle Times considers to be India’s answer to Lindsay Lohan, can supply our boys with some chemical motivators that will surely make them “play out of their skin”, increase their “speed” and hit “crack“ing shots. At the very least with the dressing room promoting “Coke”, the irritating blue billion Pepsi ads will permanently be shelved.

Gavaskar will like the fact that he is Indian. Mohinder Amarnath, who threatened to put Fair and Lovely on himself once upon a time to be the coach, will find his skin tones delightful. Niranjan Shah will discover that Maninder is not very expensive and the only support staff he will ask for are some Nigerian men as sports medicine experts.

In all, a win-win smashing situation for everyone.

Maninder Singh for coach. Please.

30 thoughts on “The Coach-Man

  1. Don’t forget, this would also mean what he would teach our boys to smash through obstacles like bay windows or Ricky Ponting’s bat, regardless of the consequences.

    Maninder Singh’s ability to equivocate will suit the BCCI very well too. Just like this “accident” was explained away breezily, BCCI will get a partner in arms to explain pesky situations away (“there is no difference of opinion between players and us on the endorsement issue”, “we are one family” etc.). Peas in a pod!

    Coming to the larger issue of coach – I think this is a great dose of medicine for the BCCI. It’s high time they stop thinking that the India coach’s job is some sort of favour they are granting the applicants. They put conditions like a 1 year tenure, BCCIs selection of support staff, plus additional fielding and bowling coaches. Why would Ford take this job with all the attendant tension and constraints?

    BCCI need to know that they are not some “lala” company doling out jobs as favours. They need to get professional – otherwise the will get the likes of Mohinder Amarnath as coach finally!

  2. You have an abusive, self-obsessed boyfriend (let’s call him Greg Chappell). Ultimately after years of abuse, a disastrous emotional meltdown (let’s call it the World Cup) occurs after which you dump him.

    One correction. Greg resigned before BCCI had a chance to fire him. He gave them no opportunity.

  3. Can we go to Maruti…now ?!?!

  4. Rajnikanth shud be made the coach. He can fight with all the Aussies and break their bones, and they would not be able to play again. Or at least Chiranjeevi.

  5. This is now really a circus. BCCI and its politician helmsman should now know that the world does not behave like the local government officials. Hope some sense is drilled into the heads thickened by muscle and money’pawar’!!

  6. Shourideb Bhattacharyya June 12, 2007 — 11:53 am

    Maninder Singh is an old alumni of my school AFBBS – Air Force Bal Bharti School Lodhi Road otherwise known as aaltu faaltu bigde bandaron ka school. Having survived the especially ^invigorating^ atmosphere and absolutely stunningly hot girls there, i am not surprised he has actually turned out the way he has.

    All old students take to some mild artificial stimulants to counter the mind numbingly boring world we face later. Especially sharing commentary with the Yashpal Sharma mob and officiating domestic matches. That would bring anyone to the edge let alone dear old Manny.

    On a more sombre note Manny was a really good spin bowler in his time and still is a really nice guy. Heres hoping he gets over his spot of bother.

  7. How one yearns to hear the interview that Ford gave to BCCI and the 3 former captains (incl one who captained in 1 test match). Wonder what Niranjan Shah asked Ford…And Gavaskar, the anti-foreigner who works with a foreign sports channel nevertheless….And of course Pawar the Agricultural Minister (surely not abt famine and drought in SA or England we presume). And they all told Ford they will be meeting him every month (almost) to review his performance! And that he cannot talk to anyone else except his wife and children!!!I mean, instead of asking why Ford refused the job we should be asking how he could have accepted!!!

  8. hilarious welcome back!!

  9. What a bloody mess…with so much talent in the pipeline, its disastrous to see that India can’t field a half decent team to compete or even be called world class. Sachin/Ganguly should quit and become coach/manager. This way we retain thier vast experience to take the team forward and excuse thier self-serving, contract minded on-field performances that is holding India back and also make room for some well-deserved futuristic talent…

    Any rules against player cum coach? Is there even a room for a coach on this team? With so many egos floating around do we really need another one?

    Btw…waiting for your review on Shootout at Lokhandwala.


  10. But is he really all that he is ‘crack’ed up to be? We don’t want India’s dreams to ‘go up in smoke’ once again ay?

  11. Brillant, GB, as usual. Another possible advantage of having Maninder is that legend-in-making Bajji won’t have to learn the art of spin bowling from a “Gora”!

  12. Amazing article dada. You made my lunch hour hilarious. Please keep writing and lets hope Maninder becomes the coach, after all if spinner like prasad can become the fast bowling coach why not maninder as the coach. Maybe his passion and anger might awaken the boys.

  13. I have a better idea.

    Lets make Niranjan Shah the coach.

    Look, the man knows everything. And by that, I mean EVERYTHING. Whatever the issue is, he is on TV talking about it. I have seen him on so many channels now that I can recognize hees exunt without even looking at the idiot box. I’m sure he had something to say on the Tulsi-being-bumped-in-KSBKBT issue too, but I had my fingers in my ears for that one.

    As you’ve said we don’t need someone with prior cricket experience anyway, so why not go the whole hog and get someone who knows the game and psychology and marketing and Manoj Tiwari’s white blood cell count on the tip of his tongue as the coach of India?

  14. Why dont we make Sachin, Saurav and Dravid our Batting Bowling and Fielding coach.
    Yuvraj – Captain
    Sehwag- Vice Captain
    Dhoni-Fitness Coach
    Zaheer Khan-Pitch Specialist
    Similarily …..lets give all our players additional responsibility.

    1) This way all of them will be motivated as they have been promoted.
    2) Reduce infighting infact it will induce friendship …..
    3) BCCI will be save on budget.
    4) Amarnath, Gavaskar etc. will also be happy as Indians are coaching !
    5) Now we will have clear career path for young budding cricketers …
    Batsmen-Batting Coach- Team Manager – Zonal Selector- Treasurer- etc…….
    Sky is the limit ….
    6) Advertisers will get chance to be more creative and also players will bag more contracts !!

  15. ” And what can motivate players better than to see the coach literally bleeding to “awaken” the country? ”

    That was just a classic caustic & sardonic comment – one in the line of many in this post & in many other posts! I had a heck of a time reading this one up! All these days of over-hyped coach-selection, seeing old men squabbling bout who should be given the super-hyped up job in a super-hyped-up sport …. And then seeing all that squabbling coming to a naught …. that was enough of a joke …. and now this post! Tops it all!

    Although I think u would too reject the gig, but I say they should approach u for coachin the ‘boys’
    I laugh hard when I think of the kind of sarcastic & caustic pep talk that u may end up giving Team India with all the Maninder Singh, Lindsay Lohan, Mithun & pop references peppered in for good measure!

  16. Nice post !!!
    But on a serious note whom do you think they should appoint as our new coach. My take if we are going for an Indian coach why not Sandeep Patil and if they really want a foreign coach Please root for JOHN WRIGHT.

  17. Do we need a foreign coach after all. why not ask gavaskar. kapil do some coaching and in the mean time find a suitable coach. and if the politicians think that selecting a coach is a favour they are doing. why not send tenders to the world. pay 10000000000 and become the coach of india. same as politicians buyout mp’s in parliament. and in that case BCCI would et richer. if then the ‘pawar’ man would.

  18. Hilarious post. 😀

    But one other correction to the ones mentioned above: one of the articles you’ve linked to (Emburey) mentions clearly that the BCCI officials tried to contact Jon Emburey after Ford turned down the offer. So, he wasn’t just pandering to his ego.

  19. Hilarious!!! We will also be able to sack Venkatesh Prasad as bowling coach:-))

  20. Dear GB,

    At last, the BCCI, which, in its present avatar looks like a cross between the management committee of a bloated loss-making PSU (think bush shirts and “paan”) and a gram panchayat (think arrogant ignoramuses happy in their own shell), is getting its comeuppance – that too in the full glare of the international media (I loved in the twinkle in the newscaster’s eye last night on BBC). And what a comeuppance it is – lucrative coaching offers spurned by otherwise mercenary international coaches, sponsors turning away, a desi-Kerry Packer in the making, Adidas slugging it out with Nike over SRTendulkar, – just when tha Pakistanis were beating us at the “farce” game, The Board (beginning to sound like something out of Kafka, right?) produce a blockbuster.

    Play on, gentlemen!

  21. Ford must now be relieved he indeed took the right decision, after hearing abt BCCI’s latest appointment…. As far as thick skin goes, only Tony Blair comes closest to BCCI…

  22. I loved the analogy between jilted love and indian cricket coaches. Brilliant.

  23. I heard he tripped and fell on some glass [apparently arms outstreched and all]

  24. Awesome one..I happened to glance the headlines yest…Chandu Borde, a 73 yr old man gets selected!! Wot eet eees happening!

  25. Suppose we do very well on the England tour (SUPPOSE). I will not be surprized then if BCCI decides that a coache is actually a disturbing influence on the team and will are better off with not having one. It will also save hundreds on thousands of dollars every year for BCCI.

  26. @GreatBong
    This is what you are all about. Ordinary circumstances; extra-ordinary interpretation.
    Great post and great entertainment!!!

  27. BCCI is a terribly rotten setup and it has been like this since inception. Boria Mazumdar’s book “Once upon a furore” is an eyeopener of sorts. Makes one wonder whether it is worth following their team and fill their coffers.

  28. Kris Srikkanth beats Maninder Singh by a long margin. 7th Generation of a long line of idiots as my Uncle used to say……..

  29. @Shan: It would be interesting though to find out which of the BCCI’s conditions made Ford flee.

    @LP: I wouldnt say so. After India lost the World Cup, his contract lapsed. BCCI did not renew it. But it did make overtures to him—-even wanting to “involve” him in Indian cricket. That it they definitely did not take the initiative and give him marching orders. It was Chappell who decided not to ask for an extension.

    @Amit: Guddi Maruti as Indian coach? An ambassador ?

    @Kishor: And teach the boys to flip their shades.

    @Anirban: The BCCI is a totally feudal organization…

    @Shourideb: Interesting ! And yes Maninder was India’s premier spinner at one point of time.

    @Mohammed Iqbal: Case for in-camera interviews. Was it the fact that he would have to carry along Prasad and Robin that pissed him off?


    @Asdf: One Player/coach and one captain?Geez.They would be kicking each other in the nuts on the field.

    @Nemo: I think he is as cracked up as his “window”.

    @Anonymous: True. And Bhajji might try bowling the doosra…that is bowling with his left hand.

    @Kshitj: Hope so.

    @Aditya: LOL.Good idea.Yes that man is a know-it-all.

    @Sam: Hmm interesting. Well I heard that such a system was in place (informally) inside the team once upon a time to make the players stakeholders in the whole “management” process.

    @Rajiv Iyer: Yes why not !

    @Vivek P: I have no idea who should be our next coach.

    @Saurav: I dont think Kapil did a good job last time. To put it mildly.

    @Uday: Right.

    @AR: Hmm.

    @Mohammed Iqbal: 🙂

    @Wtf: Thank you


    @Kits: Retro…

    @Anon: Or worse make Venkatesh the supreme coach.

    @Aby: Thanks

    @Dhananjay: Hmm.

    @Rahul: Krish Srikkanth doesnt need any kind of banned substance to make him “high”….

  30. Wonder of wonders – Maninder Singh compared to Lindsay Lohan !!

    Where do you dig up such gems ?

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