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Why Shastri’s tirade against Ganguly is laughable

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shatri_ganguly.jpgShastri is miffed with Ganguly for not making him the coach of Indian cricket team. This is the first I have heard Shastri going after BCCI regime. Oh! Wait, that was because he was the go to guy for Srinivasan. He enjoyed all the perks that came with being on the side of First man of Cricket. He was there in all and any BCCI committees. He was there as coach/manager; he was there for giving clean chit to Srinivasan and his son in law.

Shastri has ashamedly supported Srinivasan, standing shoulder to shoulder with him. What people like Shastri did was to give credibility to people like Srini. Ok, Shastri was doing his job and he couldn’t do anything different, but the coziness he showed with corrupt BCCI regime was repulsive. Last time when Shastri was appointed coach/manager, he didn’t bring up the due process issue. Why? Coz there was no due process at all. Srini was just rewarding his gang.

But now he accuses Ganguly of not following due process, of being disrespectful for not being there when Shastri was being interviewed. Mr. Shastri, being at the other end, isn’t fancy, is it? Well for me if Dada showed any disrespect, then he has my 100% support and support of other cricket fans like me. You have no moral standi to ask for due process, when you along with Srini followed none.

It’s not just Dada, no cricket fan likes you. You, a member of Srini gang. I am sad Gavaskar also went the Srini way and lost a lot of respect from fans. Even Dhoni’s halo fell when he chose to cozy up to Srini and went for the now infamous breakfast. Doing your job is fine; we could have understood your predicament. But the cozy club you chose to be part of for financial gains, has now come back to haunt you.

You have exploited the process for long. It’s time for some cleanup. I and other cricket fans will take poison from Ganguly then take Sanjeevani from you. Hope you get the gist of it.

Written by arpitgarg

June 28, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Posted in Cricket

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Bhogle is no saint: Stop shedding Tears for him

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harsha-bhogle.jpg“O My God, How can they remove Harsha Bhogle? How dare they? He is such a good commentator” and yada yada. We have been hearing and reading similar tones since last few days. It is as if Sachin has been axed. Okay, not so much. There is no blood bath.

I am not for shedding tears for Bhogle. I am not deriding Bhogle here. My intention is point out few things, which are being ignored during this argument.

First and foremost Bhogle is no saint. He was on retainer by BCCI to say what they wanted him to say. That he had Gavaskar for company didn’t make it any good. One can argue that he did that to earn his living. But soon as you make this argument, whole Bhogle charisma falls apart. He is nothing but a guy who was ready to sell the sanctity of game for money. He is no impartial commentator working for the good for the game. He is just a guy who speaks in his good verbal skills, what he is paid to say. That takes away the halo.

Now to the part that he is the best. That is very subjective. He might be to some; he might not be to others. No doubt he had good skills but so do a lot of others. Also this is a contractual job and not a permanent one. There was no surety of the job, and hence the premium he used to charge.

Harsha Bhogle is not naïve. He is a smart MBA from IIM, who branded and marketed himself, with the top brain he has got. Again, most of us would have done the same, given the skills. And that’s my point. He is just a normal guy. He was ever too ready to bide by BCCI diktat and in turn did no good to the game that made him rich. Most of the people who were on BCCI retainer did the same.

And this fells another argument. Bhogle was a part of the cozy club for thus long, where the policy is to scratch each other back. He survived this long by keeping to the rules of the club. Speak no truth if it harms others in the club. Have you heard anything from him on all the wrongs by the BCCI? He was the best man during Srinivasan era; he was best man before and after that. He made friends with everyone to get contracts after contracts, with no truth to the game.

Harsha Bhogle tweeted some years back,

How ironic. He started to make a career of commentary and compromised for the salary himself. What has been done to Harsha is the same thing that BCCI did to others over the years. All those years when Harsha Bhogle stood silently fattening his bank balance. All those years when Harsha Bhogle was in bed with the cozy club. Now he has been booted out. Cycle of nature.

And he is very smart. He is not saying any ill against BCCI even now. Not spilling the dirty secrets of the club. He is playing a victim, appealing to people emotionally, whilst keeping the door open for return to BCCI. He is a shrewd MBA who knows how to sell himself and fatten his bank balance.

No need to shed tears for him. He has already made millions of BCCI by doing their bidding and by not being true to the game of cricket. BCCI is a bunch of thugs and he was one of them.

Written by arpitgarg

April 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Cricket

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Sachin’s Jersey No. 10

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I have seen re-runs of last moments of Mumbai Test a dozen times already. Sachin’s farewell speech, weeping stadium, lap of honor, Sachin taking pitch’s blessing. It has all been a bit surreal. Unfortunately like million others, I couldn’t procure the tickets to the stadium, and I am sure it will haunt me for lifetime.

What is it that takes Sachin head and shoulders above the rest? Why we say that there can be no other Sachin? Well it originates from being a one man army. Before Sachin, Indians just watched cricket. With the advent of Sachin, Indians watched cricket to win. Sachin’s popularity stems from knocks like Sandstorm, Chennai Test, Hero Cup last over and innumerable others. Sachin had already earned eternal space even before 2000’s.

Yes, it was the 90’s that made Sachin God. When the inept teammates used to abjectly surrender, Sachin was there to steer through to win. When major players around him were selling matches, Sachin was the one who took it upon himself to see India won. 2000’s was when India started reaping benefits of what Tendulkar sowed. A generation of cricketers came who has seen Sachin’s bravery and was modeled upon him. Since 2000 there have been many who did match Sachin but were all “after the fact”. None had the originality, charisma or longevity of Sachin.

Legends are born out of adversity. But for 17/5, would Kapil Dev’s knock be the same? But for fixing scandal and all time low for Indian cricket, would Ganguly’s captaincy be equally revered? But for knack of losing finals, would Dhoni’s calmness that won us number of series, be so much talked about?

Since balance needs to be maintained. Sometimes I think, But for inept teammates of 90’s, would Sachin be the same? I think, 10 on Sachin’s jersey stood for the 10 teammates whom Sachin had to carry on his back to take India to victory.

Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Sachin’s Fan(atic)’s

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The unique thing about Sachin is that everyone has an opinion about him. Such has been his presence that no one is left untouched. Maybe be that’s why he is regarded to be God. Though Sachin himself has said, “I am no God. God don’t make mistakes. I do“.

There is a common thing about highly revered personalities. It is the barrage of fans. Be it Gandhi, Mandela, Bradman earlier, Or Obama, Modi, Sachin in today’s times. Each one have/had huge number of people who followed them and revered them.

We don’t realize when this fan-hood turns into devotion which turns into fanaticism. Just try saying anything against Gandhi, Modi, Sachin and you would understand what I mean. You would be ganged upon and berated and made to wish that God wouldn’t have given you a tongue in the first place.

Fans are earned by hard work. And such fanatic fans are earned by hard work over a long period of time. Sometime these fans tend to go overboard. They end up giving bad names to their Hero. Modi fans demanding scalp of anyone and everyone who say anything against him, are doing bad for his image. They just don’t get it. So are Sachin fans.

I remember a conversation with a Belgian who had read a lot about Gandhi and was a great fan. We started discussing about Gandhi’s personal life. I told him few things that I didn’t like in Gandhi’s personal life. This guy felt offended and saw a devil in me for saying so. He ended up saying few things to me which I am sure Gandhi would have never said himself.

Sachin is/was always open to criticism. This is what makes him a Hero. His fans on the other hand are not open to any criticism. It takes away some sheen off Sachin and reflects badly on him. Sachin himself hasn’t spoken ill of anybody. His fans should follow the same if they are his real fans.

Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Posted in Cricket

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BCCI and SA: Friendship Gone Wrong

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Media reports concerning the divide between India and South Africa cricket boards have left me to wonder a thing of two about friendship. Ever since Gandhi happened, the two countries have remained close. Be it politics or cricket. What happened? How did things go sour?

Friendship is based on mutual trust and affection. I expect my friend to stand by me through thick and thin. I don’t expect my friend to judge me and side with the world to throw bricks at me. I expect my friend to be by my side, protecting me from those bricks. If my friend betrays me, the vengefulness is extreme.

I am not justifying either BCCI or SA cricket board. I am trying to find a reason what went wrong and how? It’s a known fact that Mr. Lorgat is not very much liked by BCCI. Just as SA board has every right to appoint him as its head, BCCI has every right not to like him. Once SA board sided with BCCI’s enemy, there was no going back. Would I like if my friend sides with the one who I share mistrust with? Wouldn’t I feel hurt?

As to the reasons for the mistrust between Mr. Lorgat and BCCI, I am no insider. But what has followed is the retribution. “Now you pay my friend for choosing my enemy over me”, seems to be the tone. Personally, I am not the one to hit back. I would simply severe all relations with this so called friend and move on with my life. But with cricket boards it’s not that simple. They have to deal with each other. So the best way is to confirm to the mandatory commitments and no go overboard.

BCCI is smart enough to know that. By shortening the time period of the tour, it is inching towards the minimum requirement of FTP (Future Tours Program) of the ICC, which I read is 2 Tests and 3 ODIs. Anything above that is for a friend. SA cricket board has to bear it for now. It too can reciprocate the same mandatory commitment when time comes.

Sad part is that a friendship of 20 years is in trouble and that my friend is not good.

Written by arpitgarg

September 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Cricket

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Take Moral Responsibility and Resign

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Wikipedia explains Moral Responsibility as, the status of morally deserving praise, blame, reward, or punishment for an act or omission, in accordance with one’s moral obligations.

He/she should take moral responsibility and resign. Of late I have been reading this statement a lot. This is very common in politics where probity is something which politicians have to abide by due to the public nature of their job. It is much less in private organizations.

This responsibility lies in one’s own moral obligations which differ from person to person. What might be moral obligation for Gandhi, might not be for Godse. I have been reading media reports on how/why head of a particular sports body is asked to resign taking so called moral responsibility. And the concerned person is not ready to.

There is a basic flaw which I find in the moral responsibility argument. When we know a person has done something wrong, it clearly makes him immoral. So in effect we are asking an immoral person to take moral responsibility. Which he clearly will not, as it means relinquishing the power.

On the other hand if a person has done nothing wrong, is honest and moral, the allegations will hurt him/her and in turn he/she will resign. Thus what “moral responsibility and resigning” conundrum does is, it makes moral people relinquish power while immoral people continue enjoying it.

What I feel is society and its pole bearers should get together and throw away the immoral people rather than asking for their resignation. In the particular case of this sports body, the moral people of the organization should get rid of the immoral. But the sad truth is, we are part of a society that celebrates immorality since it beds with power and money. And who would not want it?

Look around, which side would you rather be on? Honestly I would side with power, be it tainted. This is the chilling reality.

Written by arpitgarg

June 4, 2013 at 11:48 am

The Day the Earth stood still

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1996 was year that marked my generations tryst with cricket. Kirsten’s 188; Jayasurya’s revelations; Indo/Pak Q/F; the Eden heartbreak. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. It had all, save the Heroic ending. The script seemed flawed; a job left unfinished.

Post ’98 Sharjah exploits, the team fell apart under the match fixing allegations. We were no longer a force in the world cricket. Two of the most controversial figures of Indian cricketing history the Raja and the Senapati fell and gave way to yet another controversial figure of all times. Though his were the controversies we took pride in.

Eden curse was cured by a Lanky personality who gave us reasons to be proud of. The high moon, the tide, the ebbs, the flows all became but adjectives when the cricketing history was re-written. A giant was born. The journey culminated in Jo ’burg when the mighty batting lineup was but a step away from laying its claim.

Albeit, that was not to be. Undone by a legend from down under, it paved way to of one of the most hate-filled cricketing rivalry. The Sydney fiasco was just waiting to happen. It turned out to be the Pearl Harbor of Indian cricket. We have never looked back since. The zeal, the aggression, the will has never been higher. Post 3 IPL’s, high dose of Indo-SL matches and a resurrection of The God of Cricket, it’s time to cross the final hurdle.

The SF match between Indo-Pak, was the most anticipated and followed match in the history of cricket. Everything was to its maximum. Imagine anti-aircraft guns around the stadium! I travelled from Mumbai to Pune to celebrate the festival with friends. With Holi/Diwali/Ganesh Pooja being celebrated with varying vigor across the country, the festival of cricket is the only one which whole nation celebrates equally.

The scenes I saw in Pune were unparalleled. The roads were jammed post the win. I could see thousands of bikes/cars/tempo/buses parading round the city. Flags/colors/sweets aplenty. The whole city was one. It was the day for no hatred.

On field/off field the camaraderie between the two nations was a sight to behold. The old sins were washed off. The 26/11 seemed a distant memory. One match turned the hostile relations between two nations onto its head, into Aman Ki Fuhaar.

My feet were trembling and emotions flowing unrestrained. It was day when 1/5th of humanity gasped in unison, It was a day when the Earth stood still.

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