Selfish

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Q:With Greg Chappell around, what sort of inputs has he given to the team about playing in India?
Brett Lee: He has been brilliant. The knowledge that he has given us not only about the Indian players but also about the way India works

The bad news is that Chappell is supposed to go back to Australia after the Mohali test.

With Australia increasingly looking like India in 2005 with open displays of on-field dissension, under-performing superstars, a batting like a house-of-cards and bowling as toothless as the law in front of the Thackerays, I was hoping that Greg would stay on a bit longer, till the series was dried and dusted.

Now with Greg gone, Australia has the potential to jump back. [It has been reported that the Aussies approached an old friend of India to help them but he refused to sell his country out.]

I am kidding. I am not implying Australia’s rather insipid performance so far is at all Chappie’s fault. That would be giving the man too much credit. But you have to accept, the man does have the  “Vishkanya” touch.

Which is why as an Indian fan, I just want to say “Thank you Greg”. You are henceforth forgiven for your Vision 2007.

Coming back to the Indians, we have a big, potentially contentious fork in the road. Should Anil Kumble, out of form and with his fitness under a cloud, be allowed to come back for the Delhi test just on the basis of past reputation/past performance and on the basis of him being the captain, in the process putting on the bench a bowler who had an exceptional debut and taking away leadership from someone who has been truly inspirational?

If you believe in Greg’s thesis of “Immediate performance and future potential counts and nothing else”, the principle that lay behind his Vision 2007, then the answer is no. If you believe in class, experience and historic performance, then your answer is yes.

People like the folks at Cricinfo, who had thrown their weight solidly behind the Chappell philosophy when Sourav was in the firing line, are now conflicted. And this conflict is reflected in a delightfully ambivalent article by Dileep Premchandran (I provide a link to the Google cache because the original article, at the time of writing this post, has been for some reason truncated) though it is quite evident that the sympathies of the author lie solidly (as do mine) with Kumble.  If only he had the numbers on his side.

(Premchandan’s solution: “If there are absolutely no fitness clouds hovering over Kumble, and if the team management feels that they can get 50 typically probing overs out of him, then he must be allowed to decide his fate. It’s harsh on Mishra, but his time will come, almost certainly against the English.” In essence Kumble, as captain and as part of the team management, has to be given the final say on whether he should play.) 

 If Sourav was in a similar situation, there however would be no ambivalence, no deference to his judgement especially when there was a ready substitute available who had turned in a stellar performance the match before. The verdict would be immediate—off with his head. The reason is simple. If after being written off, Sourav keeps on performing poorly our expert can wag his finger and say “See I told you so. Selfish person.”. If however Sourav puts in a solid performance, even then the bases of the “expert” are covered. All he needs to do is to dust out the template article on Dada, the one that is kept in the second desk from the bottom: “Ganguly, once again, replies to his critics who had written him off, sending the message that he is not letting go that easily”.  Of course in the middle of this, the expert would hope that readers have forgotten that among the “people who had written him off” is also the writer in question.

By this time, some people have already started thinking of the comment they are going to write. Why do I always brings Sourav Ganguly into everything? Forget him Greatbong, Ganguly is history. Get over it.

Here’s the deal. I have. I understand that Dada is gone. It saddens me no doubt but I recognize its inevitability both in terms of time as well in terms of politics. However the problem is while I am prepared to let Dada go, some of his chronic detractors are still busy pillorying him in the most unfair way. This makes it imperative for me to not stay silent.

Sample this piece of prose from a certain Mr. Menon (a regular contributor for a certain “home of cricket”) in Tehelka, that journal which upholds the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Titled “The Selfish Patriot”, it represents the worst kind of tarnishing of a great player’s service that is possible, with the piece essentially saying that Sourav Ganguly is defined by nothing other than his monstrous selfishness, (“the inability to see beyond the tip of his Mercedes”) and that he was a most ordinary sportsman whose legacy, if such a thing exists, stems from his simple-minded arrogance of equating the country’s welfare with his own. Of course in the course of the piece, there are references to the “baggage of colonialism” and snippets from Indian cricket history—the kind of garnishing that compulsorily need to be present in a cricket piece in order to label it “serious sports journalism”.

I have often wondered how the moment Dada comes into the mix, the tone of an article changes. Especially if it is written by certain journalists, whose motivations and reasons for the antipathy towards Ganguly have been well documented in this blog on many occasions.

Let me explain with an example.

Consider a player X. He is the captain of the One Day and Twenty20 teams and a superstar in his own right. However his performance in Tests has been less than stellar, which explains why he is not the Test captain. He complains of fatigue during a One Day tournament. Then he chooses to play a commercial non-official tournament of Twenty20s in which he makes millions but ends burning up even more so much so that he voluntarily opts out of a critical Test series, one in which the opposing team has a feared mystery bowler who may very well define the future of world cricket. He comes back against the world’s top team and then has a very ordinary first Test match. Then as a result of imjury to the captain, he takes over in the second Test. His batting undergoes a transformation and he blazes the team to a victory.

Now let us put X=Dhoni

This is how they shall write about him.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni knocked down the doors of greatness with a career-defining performance. While Sachin had softened the Australian attack, Dhoni beat them into submission with an innings of rare savagery. Defying convention and raising eyebrows when he sat out a Test series on the basis of “tiredness”, Dhoni represents the new brand of Youngistan players—confident, ready to take the world on its own terms, unconventional and unapologetic for their choices. As she showed today, captaincy brings out the best in him as he reveled in his new responsibility with a display that was as mature as it was devastating. The whole nation celebrated Diwali early as the streets of every city reverberated with “Action kar action, Dhoni kar jaisan, chauwa chakka maare hero jaisan, Dhoni Jharkhand hain bara saan re” [Video]”

Now let us put X=Ganguly

Bengal had not had much to celebrate recently. With Tatas moving away and with the state having lost of its relevance at the national level,  it was left to its favorite son to bring a smile to the faces of Bengalis and rescue them from national obsolescence, albeit temporatily. Criticized for opting out of the Sri Lanka series in favor of a non-official tournament where he minted millions,  Ganguly has remained unfazed at the criticism of having been unable to look beyond the Mercedes. After all, in Dada’s mind whatever is good for him is good for the country. Not being captain was not good for him. Being made the Test captain, after an injury to Kumble, however was. And since it was good for him, he made it good for the country. After Sachin had hammered the Aussies into submission, Ganguly bullied a cowering bowling side, in the process cementing his role as the leader. What must have hurt the statistically-obsessed Dada must have been his inability to reach his century even though, he ran out his partner Zaheer Khan while trying to farm the strike for precisely that purpose. Of course much of the damage was repaired in the second innings when he improved his average by staying not out.

For those of you who are, at this point of time, angry at the low blows at Dhoni, , let me make things very clear clear. I am making no innuendo about Dhoni, casting no doubt as to his motivations, his reason for calling Zaheer for a risky run and the reasons for his return of form. The reason I am making no allusion, besides the fact that I genuinely admire Dhoni and believe he will be as great if not a greater leader than Ganguly someday, is because “I have no proof”. All I know is that he played very well and led excellently. (I did not agree with his decision to skip the Lanka series however. But I am not going to ascribe motives to that action of his. )

My point is that just as innuendo against Dhoni (and for that matter any player) is infuriating, so is it when targeted at Ganguly. This includes aspersions about his patriotism, allegations of injury faking (something that Menon did not do) and accusations of internal politicking (something that Menon did) more so when no concrete proof is typically provided except for the quote from the “senior player” or the implied authority of the cricket writer’s “inside knowledge”.

So in conclusion—yes.

Dada may be history.

However we his fans are not.

So “mind it”.

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106 thoughts on “Selfish

  1. Agree about the Dhoni-is-a-master tacticican part. But you gotta admit he does deliver the goods.

    In some ways, I agree with you GB that Gangualy, has at times, been unfairly targetted. But, what I can’t figure out is why; apart from the everybody-hates-us-bangaalis reason, that is.

    Care to venture a reason?

    Cheers,
    Hades
    http://thetimesofbullshit.blogspot.com/

  2. I have said this before.

    Ganguly had his own bunch of favored reporters who he would give quotes to referred to as the Politburo because they were from Bengal. I felt that was his prerogative who he would give inside access to. However the journalists left out took that personally and waited for a chance to pounce on him. The basis of my assertion was a few articles in Cricinfo and also a post by an ex-Cricinfo staffer that talked about Ganguly and his press favoritism. (fuller discussion here)

    Also Sourav as a person is kind of arrogant and sometimes moody and aloof. Now that does not make him selfish and unpatriotic. However it does piss off journalists, many of whom do have monster size egos, often in inverse proportion to their knowledge. Trash talk naturally follows.

  3. And about your comparison with Dhoni and Ganguly, I believe its a case of nothing succeeding like success.

    In the past few months, Dhoni has been blindingly successful. Thus the media treat him with kid gloves.

    For Ganguly, its been quite some time since his halcyon days. Would we have the media criticising Ganguly in the same savage way, post-the 2001 Calcutta test? I think not.

    Cheers,
    Hades
    http://thetimesofbullshit.blogspot.com/

  4. The averages since SG’s comeback have been pretty good compared to his colleagues. So SG has been quite a success, again in comparison to some others who in comparison get more free passes from the press. Criticism of a player is one thing (XYZ should be dropped) but I am sure you will accept that saying he is a monumentally selfish player, unable to look beyond his Mercedes is something a bit more personal than mere cricketing criticism

  5. “So SG has been quite a success, again in comparison to some others who in comparison get more free passes from the press.”

    This compares to Sarah’s verbiage. Also. 🙂

  6. //I am sure you will accept that saying he is a monumentally selfish player, unable to look beyond his Mercedes is something a bit more personal than mere cricketing criticism//

    Yes, I will. For the record, I’m somewhat of a Ganguly supporter. I admire his tenacity.

    And although in these Raj-Thakeray times, its not kosher to say so, as a Bong it’s nice to see a chhele whose school is a 10 minute walk from my house do so well.

    But coming back to your first comment.

    In any job that involves interaction with large numbers of people, PR becomes a core-asset. Almost.

    Is David Bekham the best footballer? No. Is he the highest paid? Yes.

    Is Shahrukh Khan the best actor? No. Is he the most “successful”? Yes.

    Thus the reasons why Ganguly is unpopular with the press, at least as stated by you, are Ganguly’s fault.

    In a role where the stakes are so high, “only” being good at cricket just won’t cut it, I guess.

    And that’s the way it is.

  7. Very well written and I absolutely agree. The dhoni thing was something even i was thinking about. Whatever gung-ho aspirations and attitude the indian team has today was and is because of Ganguly. He is after all “dada” for no small measure.

    Sachin Tendulkar, Rahual Dravid may be great bats and Kumble may be a great bowler but Saurav with all his faults is a great leader. In the parlance of Indian sports, his contribution to the nation’s cricket team attaining some kind of status should be written in Gold.

    Menon be dammned !!!

  8. I agree that quite a few journalists have made disparaging remarks against him which were uncalled for. His sacking in 2005 also should have been handled in a much more respectful manner.

    But I still beleive Ganguly , at times , has put himself before the team- particularly in 2004-2005 period. I believe he did fake injury before 2004 Nagpur test. Ofcourse you can’t prove it , but there are sufficient grounds and precedents to believe that he did fake it.

    These should not take away his achievements and contributions to Indian cricket. But they do leave a bad taste

  9. @Nik,

    “I believe he did fake injury before 2004 Nagpur test. Ofcourse you can’t prove it , but there are sufficient grounds and precedents to believe that he did fake it”

    So you do not have any proof. But you claim sufficient grounds and precedents before an “unproven incident’ exist—grounds and precedents of which you also have no proof.

    Ergo, what you are is someone who dislikes. On the basis of unsubstantiated blind prejudice, whose source is your “belief” that does not require any form of validation in fact. Simple as that.

  10. Regarding Dhoni opting out of Lanka series, I think it was the right decision. If you see his schedule and his workload in every match, there are genuine cricketing reasons to believe he was tired.

    IPL was an official tournament. IPL needed Dhoni and the other stars as much as players needed the money. IPL without the stars would be like an ICL. Also I dont think skipping IPL was ever an option. BCCI would not have allowed it even if Dhoni would have asked for it.
    In fact BCCI themselves may have actually suggested such a course. And I would not be suprised with that.

  11. Of course in the course of the piece, there are references to the “baggage of colonialism” and snippets from Indian cricket history—the kind of garnishing that compulsorily need to be present in a cricket piece in order to label it “serious sports journalism”.

    so true,cant we have a cricket article longer than 500 words without reading about an “an emerging new india” and “brash,aggressive,and not afraid to give it back”,if i wanted that sort of stuff i would read a ramchandra guha book,although these pieces are infinitessimaly better than the ghost written crap that appears in toi(even shoaib akhtar got column space)

  12. i find fault with dhoni skipping the test series,he could have skipped mindless tournaments like the asia cup or the kitply cup

  13. GB,

    I partially agree with you and I understand where this article is coming from and you are rightly pointing out the biased view of reporters against ganguly.

    I have no objection against the article but I would like to add my two penny to the topic.

    We Indians are always little biased and not just Indians but all humans. Not all times humans can give balanced judgment. And even if they do it would not everybody will agree at it being a balanced judgment. But that is irrelevant as it is been pointed out to no end. On ganguly, you are right that he had his share of antics to be blamed for and that is the whole point of reaction here. To that end, it is us who make cricketers demi-god and give them power to abuse(mind you I am not saying that ganguly abused the power) and then whine about it. If all pointing at ganguly’s behavior put themselves in his shoes they will do the close to same thing as he did. I am saying close to coz everybody is different. And though ganguly’s behavior where questionable at times, it was his personality which made him one of the greatest leader in history of Indian cricket. Having said that everybody goes through different phase of life and they change for better (or for worst) with their journey in life, so you cannot compare the same person over his then-and-now, let alone compare two different persons.

    Though about who is best cricketer, I would not like to compare them. Everybody has their share of geniuses and misses. Though only on batting term dravid and sachin are a touch ahead but they are not just batsman, they are cricketers and ganguly as a whole package is as competitive as them. Now I am judging them myself but there is no option but to give example to this debate.

    As for MSD, People like change and he is the change people were waiting for. He brings a different flavor and as rightly pointed out by someone in comments, ganguly was also hailed when he was new as captain. Its part of human behavior and then ego’s, paybacks, jealousy, etc is added to the mix and who’s-the-best starts.

    All I would say is no one can take away from what ganguly has achieved and even though a diamond is thrown in dirt, it will always shine.

    Ganguly is Ganguly and that is what matters.

    http://insaneinstinct.blogspot.com/

  14. I have no prejudice against Ganguly nor do I hate him. I do deeply respect him for his contribution to Indian cricket-particularly as a captain. As I have said before, he should have been treated with much more respect.

    Regarding the injuries,he tried to get grass off the Nagpur pitch. When Manohar did not agree,he pulled out of the Nagpur test in the morning of the first day.

    Similarly he pulled out of the India-Pakistan match at 99 World Cup
    in the morning of the match.

    Both were greentops.

    These events do raise the question of fake injuries.
    Of course these can’t be proved. But don’t you think these events do raise the question whether he was injured or not?

  15. Ganguly does have a habit of getting what he wants.This definitely has helped Indian cricket.But it also has a downside. Regarding the Nagpur test, he may have pulled out just because he was miffed when Manohar did not acquiese to his demand.

  16. ab khatam bhi karo yaar… you might have liked Jeetendra in his hay days of ‘Taufa’ etc, but that doesnt means that he was the greatest (or a great) hero.

  17. An amazingly well-written article Arnab da!! I wonder what some of the commenters of the post “His Last Bow” will have to say regarding this one!
    Whatever the case may be, what these Menons/Rajan Balas say now bears no significance.With the coach himself writing a letter (mind you, I am not ascribing any Importance to Gary Kirsten the person, but to the post of the Coach of the Indian cricket Team) to the entire team stating that Ganguly should be a role model for them (not that he said anything new or unknown), the opinion of these critics bear no significance. Lets not give them any Importance!!

    Congrats once again for an extremely well written article…

  18. Someone suddenly finds his batting form as soon as he gets captaincy? Isn’t that a little too convenient? Dhoni is probably a master strategist. He has repeatedly mentioned about how the senior guys in the team are dragging it down. This was one chance for him to get rid of one and i must say he did pretty well.

  19. Agree with GB on this

    The comments by Menon on Ganguly are more personal than professional. One has to admit that there exists a bias against Ganguly in the media. Whatever be reasons for Ganguly’s behaviour towards some journalists, it doesnt give them a right to disparage him. But with the political patronage and power within the system that they enjoy they believe thay can do so.

    Be it politics or sports, the press is supposed to present an independent view. But that doesnt seem to happen, as those in power now also control whats presented to the people through media.

    I believe Sourav Ganguly is a victim of his own attitude. But that doesnt imply that he should have changed his attitude to please others.

    I think ganguly is best off-side batsman and has great leadership qualities.

  20. To add to my above post…………

    I have some questions regarding the general attitude of the bengali people. What is it that makes them so rebellious and anti-system/ anti-establishment ? Why is that they refuse to budge from their position and accept an alternate viewpoint ?
    I am asking above questions because I dont know the answers.

    Clarification: My knowledge about bengal is limited. I have few begali friends and have observed the rebellious streak in them. I respect the intelligence of bengalis. Some of them have reached great positions in almost every field. And being first in declaring srikes, opposing industrialization perplexes me.

  21. yaar waise hi marathi ppl, north indian ppl jhel rahe hain abhi…bengali ppl ka angle mat ghusao
    most of memon’s argumets, if he reads himself he wud find it laughable….
    like he suggesting ganguly to retire aftr 2 tests so that sm1 else cud b picked to get prepared for future series and ganguly shud nt be taking rockstar like farewell….wht crap

  22. Greatbong if you look at Ganguly’s batting records he is a good batsman not a great batsman.If you rate him as a batsman he would not be among the top 20 batsman of all time.Dont let your Bengali complex cloud your thinking.You are only clinging to him because he is the only bengali who got a chance to play in the top league and there is no other Bengali player on the horizon.The people from other states do not cling to their players like this.Heck even people in Jharkand dont shout when MS Dhoni does not play.Let him retire gracefully.His time is done.

  23. I don’t really care if Ganguly was a good player or a great player, but his contributions to Indian Cricket is tremendous. As a captain he made a bunch of losers / self-pityers look eyeball to eyeball with the best in business and win. People still praise Gavaskar, after he pulled out off that semi-final in 87.. compared to Gavaskar .. Ganguly led from the front. let’s give him his due.

  24. GB,

    am a huge Ganguly fan. (have a written a piece on him here: http://blinkandumissit.blogspot.com/2008/10/goodnight-sweet-prince.html)

    I was mightily upset at the Menon article too. (he has another one in cricinfo which surpasses his previous trash-limit – where he advocates dropping Dada for the next two tests since he’s retiring anyway!!!).

    However, if i think about it objectively, I have to say that the 2005 period prior to his sacking reflected very poorly on him, and one couldn’t but help get the impression that there was some politicking going on, and things were murky in Indian cricket.

    That said, I think apart from that brief period, there is no other blot on Dada’s career, and in fact, the bright spots far outshine the blot.

  25. I just found something from the link posted here (http://thetimesofbullshit.blogspot.com/)

    Hades

    * Gender: Male
    * Occupation: Bending Over
    * Location: Sonargachhi : India

    About Me

    I am 22 years old. My favourite animal is the bitch. My favourite colour is red(hence sonargachhi).

    ———————————————————————
    “My favourite colour is red(hence sonargachhi).”

    I love this line!!

  26. @Nik- “But I still beleive Ganguly , at times , has put himself before the team- particularly in 2004-2005 period. I believe he did fake injury before 2004 Nagpur test. Ofcourse you can’t prove it , but there are sufficient grounds and precedents to believe that he did fake it.”

    No he didn’t fake it. Why would he fake it? Because it was a green pitch? Then he could have faked at Perth too. And at various other venues at times when his place was ensconced in the team. Test match cricket is ultimate to any player. It is highly implausible that somebody faked injury on a whim to miss a test against australia. But the events before he pulled out are salivating enough to concoct a conspiracy theory, which you, Bal and his sidekicks and lovechilds at Cricinfo gleefully did.

    Therefore GBs claim is the highly likely one while yours is the improbable one. But one way to market your theory is to banter about it, when Ganguly is down, a zillion times. But under closer scrutiny, you collapse like a house of cards. And then you have to restore to innuendo like “He will end his career at Nagpur where he dug his own grave 4 years back.”

    He was a man with many shortcomings, but this allegation, given the frequency and timing of its reverberations, is as sensational as it is shallow like cries of Barrack “Hussein” Obama.

  27. Arnab, i think you’ve mixed up the chronology of events. IPL was played prior to bangladesh series and Asia cup which in themselves were played in week’s separation of each other. And the Sri Lanka series followed that, which Dhoni chose to opt out of. However the fatigue that he was talking about included a share of IPL too but not solely IPL. If you have a look at the schedule that Indian team had post 2007 WC you’ll see that Dhoni was in the thick of things ever since.
    And to Dhoni’s credit he appeared for the ODIs in SL and won the series for India with some incredible performances.
    Does that(all i’ve said) mean that he was right in opting out?
    Only time can answer this because philosophy of one era often becomes common sense of next era.
    But the fact that you’ve refrained from ascibing motive is a good thing.

  28. I don’t understand why Dada is scrutinized in so much detail always. It is like, if someone is successful and someone doesn’t shy away from exercising his authority then one needs to pull him down. Isn’t it?

    I guess “Ganguly hating” is like a fashion – simply because none of his peers are as interesting as he is. In terms of his debut, his first test, captaincy etc. I wonder why despite giving it back always journalists come back with weirdest of articles. I guess, Sourav sells much more than anyone does.

    As far as I am concerned I believe if SG have been unpatriotic and selfish then all the cricketers that India have seen have been like that in different times. Trust me if one starts listing (without of course any credible proof) one can slander many such heroes and many more controversies surrounding Indian cricket. At least people like Ravi Shastri, More and all should not comment on Ganguly at all – in pure cricketing standards and achievements they fall very short. I really want to believe More was the most patriotic guy playing for India and Shastri wore the Indian flag around whenever he walked in. SG is targeted because he is interesting to talk about. Others are not.

    Of course, Bengali parochialism gets aroused when Sourav plays. But then even Kapil Dev and Azhar was loved by India. Sourav became a bit special because the State never had any cricketer of that caliber and wonder if it would have anyone of that sorts ever. Why is it wrong, I don’t understand.

    Now that SG would be retiring, these journalists would have less to talk about I guess. India is one such country which even dislikes its few achievers beyond a point and that is why none could ever become an undisputed success story!

    Thank you Arnab da for the article

  29. Nice post and I totally agree. I had given the Tehelka link in “His Last Bow”. I would be very happy to know if you found the article through that link and it led to this post. XD

  30. Arnab,

    You are on the dot .

    Also, I guess that these ‘super informed’ sports critics fear that they would have nothing to write about once Sourav retires as ‘Sourav baiting’ and ‘Sourav hating’ had been their sole agenda. Hence, the almighty effort to keep the issues(??) alive even after Sourav had announced his retirement.

    After all, one has to earn a living somehow– however incompetent he is!!

  31. @tiger73007.

    Ganguly is a simple straight forward pick in the top 10 one day batsmen of all time. I really don’t think there is any debate on that.
    however as a test batsman , he would not be in the top 20. and again there is no debate on that either.

  32. Menon’s article included some statements that were unfair and unwarranted, but it also made some good points.

    SG has made his point about his mental strength. He doesn’t have to make any point about his record as a captain. Now he’s leaving on his own terms.

    Go in peace, go in pride.

    Now let it be.

    J.A.P.

  33. I am an unabashed Ganguly fan. More than anything else, he was one of the first Indian cricketer(maybe Gavaskar did too) who stood up to the opposing team and ask them to go forth and multiply. All successive teams have pushed the line further and further. This alone would be enough for his legacy. GB has talked about his unpopularity in the media but a large section of Indian fans also dislike him. My personal theory is, they would probably want one clean cut hero like Tendulkar to win all the games for us and all other teammates should gather around to help him. That would fit comfortably into their Bollywood way of following cricket. Ganguly didnt oblige. As you can see I am not a psychology major.

  34. I may not be a bong! but have forever been Dada’s fan.

    I have loved every bit of watching him in action.. and no matter who says what, I remain unfazed like My man himself!

    loved your piece. 😀

  35. 1.(to all SCG haters): In spite of all his shortcomings & disadvantages like his inability to score freely on the leg side, not being able to hook or pull the bouncers (not even in EA GAMES’ CRICKET ), being ‘selfish’, coming to bat just before the wicket keeper, etc, SCG still goes on to score 7000 runs without his average dropping below 40,ever. You got to give the credit to this guy. He can’t be so lucky and God can’t be so kind to him if he was not such a good guy.

    2.(@ GB): There isn’t anything such as truth, only perspectives.

  36. 1.(to all SCG haters): In spite of all his shortcomings & disadvantages like his inability to score freely on the leg side, not being able to hook or pull the bouncers (not even in EA GAMES’ CRICKET ), being ’selfish’, coming to bat just before the wicket keeper, etc, SCG still goes on to score 7000 runs without his average dropping below 40,ever. You got to give the credit to this guy. He can’t be so lucky and God can’t be so kind to him if he was not such a good guy.

    2.(@ GB): There isn’t anything such as truth, only perspectives.
    So chill.

  37. GB,

    I am a great fan of ganguly..and have watched him since 1996 and i believe he has been the most important influence in indian cricket ever , through the shaping of the aggressive ideology which greats like Kapil, Gavaskar, Sachin etc couldnt do. There has been talent, perseverance and style but leadership was the most imp thing lacking in indian cricket which Ganguly provided. So he IS the most imp. indian cricketer ever.

    BUT, ganguly has been partly responsible for the adversity and fate he has faced. He has sucked in PR at which people like sachin and dravid and gavaskar have been good at. This matters a lot. cricket is a public sport and even sachin , dravid gavaskar etc have faced a lot of criticism, but they have been smart about it. Dada on the other hand was stupid enough to come crying out before the series and talking about teammates more interested in hairstyle. Did he care about the impact that has…on the team dynamics ?…so here he was definitely selfish or emotional or whatever…at 36 with so many years of being a national sportsperson , you got to handle yourself better.

    Comparisons with Dhoni are unfair and while you did say that you are casting no innuendos at dhoni…yet it WAS an innuendo…. Now why is everyone a fan of Dhoni….is it because of his aggressiveness or captaincy ?…its not just that….the guy has a much smarter PR…he thinks on his feet and twists the reporters questions into humor pretty well….and frankly..his batting skills are quite ordinary (except for the scoop shot which he plays down the ground)…but you got to give it to him…coming from a ordinary town…and an ordinary cricket team he has faced a lot of adversities and not been a crybaby. Which brings me to his skipping the sri lanka series….it is totally unfair to expect him to drop out of IPL which was a much high profile and lucrative tourney…cmon these are professional players…they have to earn their money…and anyone in his place would have done it….even Dada…and if the test team already has a captain who has played 18 yrs of cricket and solid opening partnership and 4 stalwarts in middle order…you can expect the team to fare well….and if it didnt..dhoni couldnt have done anything to turn it around….while he is the most imp. player in the T20 and one-day teams he represents..

  38. All said and done, for me there is one reason why nothing thrown at Ganguly will ever stick. Hr scripted the most amazing story of stubborn belief, hardwork and focus. His comeback, when you consider how even his most arent supporters had given up on the possibility, was practically a miracle, and something our short memories gloss over so easily.People have a lot to learn from it, and now, I for one am absolutely convinced that Saurav has the maturity to make a huge success of the next stage of his career too, whatever he may chose to get into.

  39. My two cents.

    I read that article on Tehelka too and thought it was too personal and vitreous.

    I do have a question for you! Every artcle of yours talks about there being no proof about Saurav doing whatever is being claimed – by the same yardstick, What is the proof of your defence?! (Viz. he had a coterie of his journalists he catered to, gave soundbytes to and hence every damned journalist not part of this coterie baits him – sounds flimsy and far-fetched to say the least.)

    Unless you were part of his Media Management team!

    To be Objective, I think he lost a lot of respect and fans during that 2005 saga. He is a proud Cricketer and I really wanted him to step down on his own accord and concentrate on his then floundering batting. He let others play around with his career and made a mockery of himself.

    (Lest I be confused with a hard core Ganguly baiter, let me clarify I’m a fan and have posted quite a few odes to him in the past, so have I vented my displeasure from time to time. When he was out in 2005, I was one the many who wanted him to comeback!)

  40. And on Dhoni, e does seem to have the midas touch but I guess your are jumping the gun too soon on his greatness. He has a long way to go and I really doubt he will reach there. He could match Saurav on the captaincy front but not as a batter alone.(In Test match Cricket that is) I have never been completely convinced with his ability against quality fast bowling on an overseas pitch – say a seeming Headingley or a fast Perth pitch.

  41. Wasn’t it a matter of Ganguly just being out of form exactly when Chappell had come in, and him being surly about managing the media when on a weak wicket (so to speak)? Not to mention the insecurity of the media attacks was showing in his body language on the field, leading to even more irritation?

    I remember how psyched out he looked while captaining India in the Chappell days, and even serious Ganguly fans getting disgusted at that.

    Prior to that period, and then his comback were of course brilliant. So it is a matter of just failing to manage a low period in his career, I feel.

  42. With the tours decided in advance, nobody can claim that Dhoni didnt know about the Lankan tour being around the corner when he went to Pakistan to help his young boys overcome the might challenge of..er…Hong Kong and Bangladesh :-).
    Even Pakis were brushed aside but unfortunately, Dhoni-saab happened to catch a trailer of the impending Lanka series when Mendis gave a sneak preview of what is in store. I am not sure if Mahela whispered “Yeh to bus trailer hai, picture abi baaki hai” to the departing Dhoni when he was dismissed. But I think that is the moment Dhoni made a decision not to expose himself.

    None of this can be proved and thats the beauty of life. As long as you avoid difficult challenges, and continue managing your career in a way as to put someone else in the limelight when failures are impending and push yourself to the front of the queue, when you can smell success, wel, you will be succesful
    What I admire is Dhoni’s smart management of his career, chosing the tours he knows he can succeed in. For example, he never knew he will come back with the T20 world cup but he knew the expectations would be low after the main WC but luckily, he came back with the cup. Even if he had failed, nobody would have blamed him. But if he had gone to SL and failed, his test place would not be assured. He would still have been on trial against Parthiv and Dinesh. Who knows, in the benign indian environment, Parthiv especially might have had greater success. Then Dhoni would have been fighting for his place in the team, let alone Captaincy.

    Destiny is kinder to some people

  43. Dear GB,
    Agree with most points in your post. Just one big grouse – Dhoni calling Zaheer for a risky run. Even the learned commentators trashed Dhoni for it. But I totally disagree. The run was on and would easily have been made if Zaheer had backed up even a foot. It still would have made if he hadn’t decided to play hide and seek with the bowler on the way. We can still blame Dhoni for not teaching his players the very basics of running between wickets but definitely not for a ‘risky’ single.

  44. hi arnab

    too much of this crap about ganguly in the news these days…dada was/is a great player who has chosen to retire from the game…let us all respect him for what he was/is…

    Sourav Ganguly (1991- 2008) R.I.P.

    on a less serious note…you have written so well about desibaba in “The Passing Of a Friend — Desibaba”…a similar site which catered to my/our generation was myhotboard.com…it was a site that had dedicated members including “yours truly” posting screen shots/masala pics of any event/film from bollywood/tollywood/kollywood/….wood…yes i had an expensive tv tuner card back then solely for this purpose…

    all these pics were posted in IN REAL TIME…but mind you…NO NUDITY WAS ALLOWED ON THIS SITE….

    it was a contemporary of indianmasala.com & was a precursor to all the masala websites that populate the net these days…sadly the owners decided to shut it down last december…don’t know how many fellow members noticed or how many of the original members still remember it…

    “yours truly” was one of the early members having joined it during engg years circa 2002 or even earlier & was a certified “horboard legend” on the site…my other passion during those years was watching prabhuji beat the hell out of all the chutiyas & lambu aatas of the world…well said greatbong: ” Real pleasure cannot be bought. It is free.”

    myhotboard.com (2001 – 2007) R.I.P.

    like they say…all good things come to an end…hope you find some time to comment on this…for ole times sake…cheers !!!

  45. I found the Menon article quite weird; if at all, Ganguly should be recognized as one of the most selfless folks in the team. Reasons:
    1. Despite forming one of the most formidable ODI opening stands of all time with Sachin, he was not averse to experimenting when Sehwag came along, and then let the Sehwag-Sachin partnership work while he had Dravid come before him. Compare that to how Dravid makes faces when he is overlooked for #3 spot in tests.
    2. He sat out the Nagpur test, which was a big loss to India but would it have really been better if he had played with an injury? Compare that to Zaheer of old, or even maybe Kumble in the first test.

    Ganguly’s credentials as the most successful Indian captain are well established. It is ironic how people don’t recognize his capability to devastate bowlers when on song. Along with 7000 Test runs, look at his ODI record too.

    I’m just glad I got to see him in action. And, by the way, I am not a Bengali. For me, Ganguly is the Prince of India. (And, Harbhajan Singh is Kingggg…!)

    Hey greatbong, when will you address the latest craze of adding extra letters to movie names? Surplus lettering? Singh is Kinnngg, Karzzz are the two that come to mind.

  46. @ dhoni skipping the lanka tour….he did not want to go and was honest in it..simple….
    unlike sachin where the physio kept singing he needs a break, bt sachin did play and immediately got injured…..and oh yeah…he also played in IPL.

    just tht we won the ODI series in SL (Dhoni’s batting was really instrumental in it)…ppl r saying he cleverly skipped the tests….had we lost the ODI series…it wud have gone well…..
    ~smtimes ppl refuse to accept tht life cud b simple.

  47. @ anon

    See thats what GB wants to press upon… If Ganguly opted out of the Nagpur Test , media smells something fishy … But Dhoni is praised for his honesty for skipping out of the tour… And then I see that his batting has transformed when he was made captain… Prior to that he seemed not too careless when Kumble is the captain…. Is he trying to prove something??

  48. Great Post, GB!!!
    I have listened to people who believe that the greatest proof of Ganguly being a selfish and arrogant person is that he is disliked strongly by the crowds abroad– Australia and England(where he is called Mr Snooty). But shoudlnt we be happy that he is disliked by our opponents?? Or are we still living in an era when being approved by our white “colonial masters ” is still the touchstone by which a person’s merit is judged? Ponting and Symonds are disliked by us for the same reasons that they are adored by their countrymen for..And with Saurav, we will shake our head and say..”even the Aussies and English dont like him, how can we”??
    I feel that as a captain, Saurav is responsible for building a team that now is led ably by Dhoni to all kind of glory–the core of the Young Team India– Yuvi, Bhajji, Zaheer etc, were groomed under Saurav’s leadership. Saurav was probably the first captain who dared to look beyond regionalism in selection process- otherwise Deep Dasguptas and Shibshankar Pauls would have been a permament fixture the way Venkatpathy Raju and Ajit Agarkar were. Internal politicking and regional squabbles were least heard of during Saurav’s tenure– till Greg Chappell happened. Standing by the younger players was a feature of his leadership..and he had done it for Kaif, Yuvraj and Bhajji at a time when they were going through a drought in their careers. He never had a problem with the senior players like his successor did– he brought abck Srinath from one-day retirement and Sri made a huge difference in that 2003 world cup success. As a captain, I feel he has been more than just successful– he had redefined the way we approach international cricket. It was under him that we learnt to assert ourselves and play ugly, instead of vying for the fairplay trophy.

  49. Another criticism i have heard a lot about Saurav, even rom the so-called experts in media and among the former cricketers, is that saurav never had the mental strength that his compatriots did. Now a guy who has always been under scanner right from the time of his debut( when his selection to the England tour was lampooned as a whimsical decision by likes of gavaskar and Ravi Shastry), who has always been the first person to be targetted for mental shadowboxing by every opponent before a crucial series (Australia 2003-4 being an eg), whose moderate success always has been made a scapegoat amidst a collective failure of the team (eg, 2006-7 South africa tour)and who has always been attacked not just as a cricketer but a person– the same guy goes on to score 7000 runs in test cricket and 10000 , you need to think if these critics are really all there in their minds…

  50. The right article GB.

    I was also thinking the same after reading the cunning Harsha Bhigle’s column of last week. He wrote Kumble deserve to stay because of his contributions so far and Mishra will have his time. The guy was so unabashed that he went on to write that Mishra has pulled himself up from one of the alternatives to probably the most likely alternative and that is an achievement itself.

  51. So the media writes differently about Kumble and Ganguly. Let’s also see where else they are treated differently. Suppose Kumble is dropped, I for one would be very surprised to hear of this matter getting raised in Parliament, or trains being blocked in bangalore, or an Indian team being jeered like enemies in Bangalore. But then different people apply different standards to Kumble and Ganguly.

  52. “it is sonagachhi,mr. ‘ultracool. & not sonargachhi.”

    Don Ayan de Marco,

    I think, in Bangla, the ‘ro’ sound does come in the word, does it not?

    I of course could be wrong; my written Bangla is nothing to write home about.

    Hades,
    from Sonargachhi,
    The Times of Bullshit

  53. Deep3rdman,

    Parochialism in India is quite a funny thing.

    You say, Kannadigas, as compared to Bengalis wouldn’t over-react at Kumble getting dropped. Fair enough.

    But it could also be said that Bengalis wouldn’t riot if their favourite cine-star died of natural causes.

    Comparisons on those lines are always fraught with risk. 😛

    Hades.

  54. For all those who consider Dhoni’s test spot at risk:

    a) he averages 36 (35 v/s non minnows) as a batsman in test cricket – yes, a far cry from the 45 that he averages in ODIs but definitely not a bad number for a wicketkeeper
    Dinesh Karthik averages 29 (27 v/s non minnows), Parthiv Patel averages 30 (non minnows) – so, there is really no question who the better batsman is among those vying for the keeper’s slot at this point. If you go into the past, Nayan Mongia averaged 25, Deep Dasgupta averaged 32. Basicall, Dhoni bats better than most keepers & not much worse than a good test batsman.

    b) he is, in my view, the best keeper we have today. His glove work has improved by leaps & bounds, his footwork makes everything that he does look easy despite the lack of many flashy dives.

    In this context, and given his performance in the ODIs, a failure in the SL test series would hardly have done any harm to his test spot.

    Dhoni clearly realised that his presence is much more important in the ODI & T20 squads than in the test squad. Hence he skipped the test series. Besides, I wouldn’t hold him to our views on what is “real” cricket and what is not. If he wants to give more importance to ODIs, it is his call. At the end of the day, he still handled Mendis and Murali very well once he got to SL.

    This has got nothing to do with GB’s post. I agree the media & fans go to nonsensical extremes against SG but I also think he gets a lot more blind support than the others. He just seems to polarise opinions for some reason – nothing wrong with that.

  55. Greatbong,
    I have appreciated all your posts that I have read till date. You seem to be a balanced individual until you touch Ganguly topic. I agree, that Ganguly is mistreated on certain occasions, but I would stress that he himself got this to him. Your claim of favourite journalists may be true to some extent, but only to a certain extent. I don’t understand how you, such a great follower of sport, can forget his vicinity to now estranged Jagmohan Dalmiya, who was Almighty of Indian cricket at the time Ganguly was given the throne. I never deny Ganguly’s contribution and I do condemn the statement that Ganuly wasn’t a great player-he indeed was; 10000 runs don’t come with nothing. He led the team well, but please do not forget, Kumble had the first claim on Captaincy, when Ganguly was given. Kumble had cemented places in both ODI and Tests and was at his peak. He was leading his Ranji side and was leading it well. But, Dalmiya’s weight fell in Ganguly’s pardon. Ganguly manipulated his captaincy for doing favouritism in his team. Your favouritism arguement for reporters does complement this. How come Parthiv Patel played so many tests while he had ceased to perform? There are few more names, but one suffices.
    Moreover, why, when Ganguly is dropped, Entire Bengal, including MPs fire up and effiegies are burnt and public property destroyed, pitches altered and India booed in home pitch, so much so that, Boucher claims after press conference that he felt like playing in home.
    Similar lines, when Sachin was underperforming, Mumbaikar’s booed him on his home ground, when he was dropped under reason of young team, no protests were visible, leave alone burning of effigies.
    When Dravid was “Dropped”, Bangalore did not seem to care, rather they saluted his achievements with a Wall in stadium and ndicated him to retire.
    Why this Greatbong, please tell me? Look at the other perspective dude. Its ok being biased, but is bad hiding it!

  56. several things to say, on several issues…

    @ Nik

    I liked the logic … what proof do you have that Ganguly didn’t drop himself from the Nagpur because he did not get the pitch he wanted (or was it because he was scared of the Australian fast bowlers.. strange logic that he was scared of them only that one time in a decade long career… where he has played in Perth and Johannesberg and Sabina Park)? Of course, Ganguly has to prove that he is innocent and till them he is guilty… wah bhai wah… What proof does Sachin Tendulkar has that he is not the green goblin? What proof does GB have that he is not Ganguly himself.. has anyone seen them together? …

    @Deeps

    Actually if he lost any respect during the 2005 chappel nonsense… his ome back has wiped all that from memory.. I doubt that anyone else in the Indian team.. and few more in the world… would have the tenacity… after being humiliated and stripped of captaincy… publicly told he would make it mark… baited and maligned… can come back with such unbelieveable splendour… everything else be damned… the century in Mohali… that’s the problem with Ganguly… he always proves the experts wrong… no wonder they hate him…

    @ Vidyadhar…

    Actually I agree with you… lets not beat around the bush.. we are biased.. for the same reason people are biased against Sourav… he is a Bengali… a sole representative of a proud state… Why oh why did I, as a Bengali have to be jeered by my classmates in college when Dada failed… because I was arrogant and showed favouritism? Nope, because I was Bengali and Dada was also Bengali… how dare a person which has been India’s cricketing backwaters for so long lead India, and lead it brilliantly? The Mumbai and South Indian lobby, which dominates Indian cricket hated Ganguly because he is Bengali… Menon writes what he writes because Ganguly is Bengali.. his unpopularity stemmed from parochialism… the same parochialism that ensured that Subrato Banerjee after picking up the wickets of Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh, was not bowled again by Azaharuddin in the test… ad never played tests again for India… we share the same parochialism when we love him and boss.. on the field he honours that love again and again and again

    @ All

    All those who thought GB was taking a dig at Dhoni.. missed the point with an 18 wheeler… his point was only on how different actions of different people are interpreted differently… No one said that Dhoni was scared that his admittedly “unusual” technique would be decimated by Mendis and Murali… Point is Dhoni is the new darling of the media… and therefore all is forgiven… I like Dhoni … and I wish him well… may you score a century against Australia in your fairwell series… for a cricketer there can be no better fate…

    @GB

    Please read (if you hadn’t read already) and if time permits review … the “Zoya Factor”… by Anuja Chauhan, review here http://www.televisionpoint.com/news2008/newsfullstory.php?id=1215419762… I call it the “Modi-ization of Indian (and world) cricket…

  57. @Dealer
    Dude you have lost it. Have you ever thought why you are jeered for Dada’s failure and I am not jeered for Sachin’s or for that reason Dravid’s(I am Marathi but , who all know me know that I am a hard core Dravid fan and consider him above everyone else). Because, In Maharashtra and Karnataka they do not destroy public property for Sachin’s or Dravid’s exclusion. Maharashtra MPs do not seek CBI probe into Sachin’s dropping. Dude, grow up, they do not blame Ganguly for he is Bengali, come out of it. No one hates Bengali’s or Kolkata. Why do you guys think that way only? What’s the reason for this insecurity? There are cricketing as well as non cricketing reasons for criticising Ganguly and I for one can assure you, being a harsh Ganguly critic that I am, the non cricketing reasons do not include that he is a Bengali.
    Have a life dude, come out of that, by your logic, we should even whine about Dhoni, he too comes from Cricketing backwaters, or for that reason Kapil Dev in those days. And about lobbying, its better for everyone of us to keep quiet (Deep Dasgupta isn’t a world class keepr by any angle, still he made it), we have all had our days, the South Indians, the North Indians and East and West and Central, Its all bullshit. Don’t get into that. Face it, Ganguly’s Bengal identity is created by Bengalis themselves and is taken up by everyone afterwards, this remains a fact and stop denying it.

  58. The problem is that we don’t have serious sport journalists and those who try to fake seriousness tend to write horrible things. I read the Tehelka article a couple of weeks ago and it was a painful read. The article lacks logic and no argument is substantiated in any way. It’s not just stupid journalism but rather unethical journalism to keep criticising Ganguly even when he performs well, and yes, as you rightly pointed out all players, their actions and at least their on-field performance should be measured by the same standards.

  59. Note to myself –

    Avoid any article from GreatBong which has anything to do with cricket. Invariably, it will have little to do with sense.

  60. We Indians love scapegoats. We look for them and wherever there is a chance to create a demon out of somebody, we go for it.

    When it comes to economy and related stuff, we blame UP and Bihar for all our ills. We all want a reason to ridicule something.

    When it comes to Sports, we demonize Sourav. Constructive criticism is one thing, outright rejection of logic is another. People are after Sachin also. People look for outliers in pattern to deliberately point out shortcomings without looking at logic and rationale.

    What can we say about our attitude when we can’t even elect good candidates in elections (and half of us don’t even vote). When APJ is not elected president for another term, When “bollywood” sounds more fashionable than “IndianFilmIndustry”.

    The point is we don’t like being objective, logical and sensible. Everybody has faults. But we just want scapegoats.

  61. @Vidyadhar

    Dude, do you really have doubts about why your article never got printed? It was the most hilarious piece of shit I have ever read man…I almost died of laughing. Send it to a children’s magazine yaar… koi na koi toh print kar hi dega….and your frustrated soul will also rest in peace…

  62. @Vidyadhar

    Having found what I lost, having grown up, having come out of it and having gotten over it, having not got into it, and having faced it… and having followed numerous other instructions you gave me…

    a few things…

    when my classmates used to bait me… dada hadnt been dropped and no one had destroyed public property (by the way what public property was destroyed?) and no MP had made statements… and I till date am a greater Tendulkar fan than I am a Ganguly fan… but the regional dogma had been attached… not by Ganguly’s supporters as you claim but by his detractors.. from the day he was designated as a “quota” player in his maiden tour… its not you and I are responsible for … its there..

    heaven forbid if Sachin is ever dropped… for a state which beats up people for taking over jobs in the railways… dropping an icon of his nature… in dubious circumstances mind you… would be mayhem…

    what i said and stick by is that a lot of emotions Ganguly generates is because he is a Bengali… and there is no two ways about that..

    kapil dev’s struggle against the mumbai lobby and against gavaskar, is well documented … and therein lies a story…

    you may hate ganguly only for chewing gum … others have other reasons…

    @Dhruv: sense must be something which is at a premium for you…

  63. @Vidyadhar

    “Similar lines, when Sachin was underperforming, Mumbaikar’s booed him on his home ground, when he was dropped under reason of young team, no protests were visible, leave alone burning of effigies.”

    When oh when did this happen? Sachin dropped for a young team… Unless he has withdrawn or been injured, Tendulkar has never been dropped from any form of cricket… I want to know when this happened?

  64. Trying to recover from the awesome self-authored document which you provide as “evidence” for your assertion, still have to ask certain questions.

    1. Can you kindly tell me when people in Bengal damaged property because of Ganguly? I honestly would like a reference, preferably authored by a third person. I may be wrong but I frankly dont remember such a thing happening. Property damage—yes that happened after Raj Kumar’s death in “unparochial” Karnataka or what happens when people from North India go to Mumbai for exams. Just to define what “property damage” is opposed to burning of effigies which can also be defined to be “property damage”, by some creative minds.

    2.Ganguly’s Bengali identity is not created by Bengalis. It is foisted upon Bengalis in mixed company as if Bengalis are responsible for his performance but a Marathi is not responsible for Sachin’s. I wont belabour the point here but do look at GB’s post in Featured Follies section. Incidentally, do you notice how you brought in the Bangali angle even though GB had not ! The post just said what the standard Ganguly article would reference thats all. Strange !

    3.FYI Dravid was born in Maharashtra into a Deshastra family. Not that this should be relevant but when you say you havent jeered Dravid even though he is from Bangalore, thought you should know, since you are obviously a very knowledgeable person.

    4. Kumble had the first claim on the captaincy. Is this captaincy thing like the throne? Whats the claim here? SG had cemented his place in ODIs and Tests also so unless you think that the captaincy comes with a throne and protocol of accession dont quite see your point.

    There are myriad other things one could write about regarding Deep Dasgupta not being a Ganguly selection or tales of how SG stepped above parochialism and put his trust in genuine though unconventional talent but for now let me try to recover from the knowledge that “Sachin was dropped”. I never knew this. As Dealer said, we, parochial Bengalis, may have missed this but how could uber Manoos Raj have taken this slap on the face of the state? How could Sharad Pawar who has filled BCCI with Marathis, broought the World Cup final to Mumbai, constructed a new stadium in Mumbai have let this pass?

    Finally, a guy from Maharashtra lecturing the rest of the country on parochialism with a holier-than-thou attitude. Nothing funnier than that and no not even that “magazine” article.

  65. @ Dealer

    I agree with that to alrge extent. His comeback has been one of the best I have seen in Sport. The Century against the Aussies was a steely effort, all determination. Like I said, I never had anything against him as a player except briefly in 2005. Around that time, I thought he did things and said things at the wrong time, the wrong way.

    But for all those fans who think he was unjustifiably dropped, he was unjustifiably taken back as well. He didnt anything sensational in the intermittent period when he was called back to South Africa. I dont think anybody could argue on that. But he went on to do full justice to the call up. I clearly rememeber the forty-odd he scored, all single minded determintation again, it looked as if he would have scored as much with a stump in his hand, not so because he was super fluent, but the way he focussed and was egging himself on.

    Again, I was little irritated when the reports of his interview to a Bengali newspaper came out. Hes denied it, but if its true I would again feel let down. From a team perspective, it was never the right thing to do in the middle of a crucial series – snide swipes at colleagues really dents the team morale. I would be all welcome if he comes out in the open once the series is over.

    I just feel this kind of beheviour once in a while, he lets his fans down a bit. And there are some critics who use it against him. Also, I guess this where the perception of his ‘Selfishness’ comes from!

  66. Way to go man! I just love it when it gets down to that now-so-familiar path of regionalism on a GB blog.

    Keep them coming all you Bangalis, Marathi Manooses, Karnatakans etc. We need more comments from the Dehlites, Biharis, UPites. Can we have someone from Assam and Goa joining in too? Maybe you could take a clue and start off by wailing on how your states are ignored.

    This makes it even more entertaining than the author’s original post itself.
    .

  67. @Deeps … “snide swipes at colleagues” – on the assumption that Ganguly did give the interview … whatever i read on the net was snide swipes at Selectors … none at other members of the team. In case I missed something please do point out the same.
    And Selectors can never be called colleagues of playing cricketers. Mohinder Amarnath had an interesting name for them during his playing time.

  68. dudes,
    Chill. I never meant to offend anyone. I utterly respect each and every player who has made us proud. I never said I hate Ganguly. No one reads the comments fully and starts ripping them apart. I will always maintain that Ganguly needed to be dropped when he was dropped first time. After that it was all politics. I never said Marathi lobby was clean, read my comment, I said we have all had our days. and some dude said, Dravid was born in Maharashtra, dude, he was born in Inodore, though rightly in a Maharashtrian family, but he never had any vicinity for Maharashtra, except that he married a girl from Maharashtra. Regarding dropping Sachin, remember 2007 World cup debacle, immediately after that there was a Bangladesh Tour, and everyone except Dravid were “dropped” under a name of young team and I think that’s what I have written. Just when I feel I am taking the discussion away from regionalism, everybody interpretes as regionalist. I think Raj Thackerey has done it to you.
    Regarding chewing gum incident, I wrote it when it was fresh and dude it hurt me as hell. If someone doesnt see anything wrong in that act, them shame on you and your national spirits.
    My other point of views may be amateurish, but they are a reflection of an avid cricket lover’s mind. And regarding that not getting printed, I could never hand it over in time, whether it was worth getting printed or not, I don’t know.

  69. @prasun

    I guess you could do with a a little bit of reading up!

    In the unsubstanatied interview – he talked about a colleague having more hair cuts to his credit than runs and also the team having batsmen who have failed more often than him in the recent past.

    I dont deny any of this. He’s easily the best test batsmen in the recent past. But what I object to is the timing of these comments. Its anybodys guess who he was refring to. And incase you dont know, Ganguly and Dhoni play in the same team.

    And incase, you cant google either, find below an excerpt..
    ————————————————————–

    First he said, “Everything happens in Indian cricket. When Greg Chappell dropped me, he chose Tejinder Pal Singh to replace me. Where is he now?”

    And then came the real bombshell: “Some have not scored any runs in the last three series, some have not scored any run during the last one year. Some have changed their hair style more number of times than the number of runs they have scored. I was dropped despite scoring the highest number of runs following my comeback.”

    Now that is a total no-no in my books. While it is perfectly ok for a current contracted player to express his own frustrations and opinions on his own abilities, it just cannot be right to take aim at an ex player in the dressing room or indeed, a current player in the dressing room.

    Apart from Dhoni and Sehwag, there aren’t too many Indian players who have changed their hair-styles in the last year. It is most likely that Ganguly trained his sights on Dhoni when he issued this latest unprovoked and totally irresponsible verbal volley! After all, it was Dhoni that insisted on younger-fitter players in the ODI team — an insistence that led to Sourav Ganguly being axed from the ODI side. So, was this Ganguly’s way of getting even with Dhoni? If it wasn’t Dhoni, who was it that he aimed that barb at?

  70. Dealer

    I love the way you say “sense must be something… ” ROFL

    You have no idea what it is dude.

    I suggest jumping into a sea (and dont forget tying a heavy rock around ur waist)

    Cheers!

  71. @Deeps … My apologies … And again on the assumption that the interview did happen , noone , should be speaking ill about other players in the same team. And that too at the start of a series.

  72. @Prasun

    Absolutely, I mentioned unsubstantiated. A lot of things flying around here is unsubstationated anyways including Greatbongs oft-repeated theory around the media (mis)management skills of Dada.

    And for all the people out there debating about the Seniors in the team, Tendulkar had the answer yesterday in an interview with NDTV. Respect is the word. lol. Dravid is he only one missing out on the party what with the way Tendulkar played yesterday and Laxman racing to a double today. Both were at thier vintage best. Sachin bent-knee driving Lee on the backfoot and Laxman picking up a few quickies from offside and nonchalantly depositing on the midwicket fence. Sheer Class.

  73. read the post by Mr. Menon…

    positively sickening…

    it is sad that inspite of Dada having done so much, people write such rubbish

  74. Forget Ganguly. Atleast, he is retiring on his own terms. When will selectors drop THE SELFLESS Dravid? He’s been nothing short of pathetic for the last two years 😦

  75. Yes only in a country of ex-slaves do we have people who tout such things as proof. BTW the fact that Sachin is a liar has also been proven. Right? Of course Gilchrist says that there was “speculation” that SG was injured, speculation created by press outlets like Cricinfo and supported by “rich and famous” people like yourself.

  76. My first reaction on reading Gilly’s comments on Sachin was Et Tu Adam !!! Then i read the full thing about he launching his Autobiography and then the bigger picture fell into place. And therefore was actually expecting the latest round …
    Also makes me wonder if Sourav does a autobiography , who all should be hiding for cover ???

  77. Well Put Great Bong! Sincerely Done! Not being a big Dada Fan, but just an ardent Cricket fan, i would say that such sick developments (demeaning a great player) from the part of some SO-CALLED-CRICKET Experts can even make Royal Bengal Tiger disappointed. Yeah, Dada will be there forever as a true motivator.

  78. ‘Dada may be history.

    However we his fans are not.

    So “mind it”.’ …… Absolutely true 🙂

    Arnab Da here is poetry ….an ode to DaDa , written by me.

    Run Dada Run

    Run Dada Run

    Let the fools make Fun

    You score Runs in Ton

    Run Dada Run

    Throw Dada Throw

    Let them be shrill like Crow

    Let them raise their (eye) Brow

    Throw Dada Throw

    Bowl Dada Bowl

    Let them shout and howl

    Let them scream and growl

    Bowl Dada bowl

    Hit Dada Hit

    Let them throw their feet

    You hit the ball so neat

    Hit Dada hit

    Win Dada win

    Prove you are Steel & not Tin

    Let your Smile flash On-screen

    Win Dada win!!

    P.S. written after Ganguly’s spectacular comeback in South Africa series.

  79. Arnab Da,
    have you ever thought what the ‘Media’ would have said if Ganguly couldn’t converse in ‘English’?!

  80. “I am more than 36-and-a-half years old and I have played more than 100 Test matches so I find it hard to look at the newspapers to find out whether I am in the team or not.”
    Sourav Ganguly believes the time is right to call it a day

    Nov 5, 2008

    OH NO OFCOURSE SIR YOU WERE BORN WITH A BIRTHRIGHT TO CONTINUE IN INDIAN TEAM.

    2 CENT IDIOTIC BONG WHO STILL SHOWS HOW HE IS STILL NOT AWAKE TO HOW CRUEL AND HARSH WORLD REALLY IS. poor baby.

    DIE!

  81. Heres wishing Saurav signs off with a Hundred. And a hundred full fo class and I would love to see one last time his gentle pushes for six over the ropes. He deserves it!!

  82. @Nik — “Regarding the Nagpur test, he may have pulled out just because he was miffed when Manohar did not acquiese to his demand.” – how do you know? Does it occur to you that it is also possible that he may have pulled out because he was really injured? If he had played with the injury you would have accused him of being irresponsible.

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