A lavish feast of cricket is round the corner in October. It is hoped that our selection board does not mess up matters, as it usually does. It looks like it is the birthright of cricket boards all over the world to invariably goof up matters. India is no exception.
Bradman and Gavaskar, unarguably the two greatest batsmen, had confrontation with their respective boards. Gower, Srikkanth and many more cricketers have been the victims of the whims and fancies of cricket boards. Ask Mohinder Amarnath, the greatest ‘come-back’ man that cricketing history has ever seen. He’s the best judge and one feels like repeating his now famous ‘pack of jokers’ statement.
With Srikkant as captain, we beat the West Indies in Sharjah after months of a ‘victory drought’ with them. With him at the helm, we topped the league in the Nehru Cup. Thanks to him, Chetan Sharma became the first ‘cent per cent’ bowler to score a century in one-dayers and all that the board did was drop him like a hot potato over some monetary matter.
Vengsarkar’s career was played about with and treated like dirt. Arun Lal’s career hardly took off, while Ajit Wadekar’s career came unceremoniously to an end despite the fact that he was the first Indian captain to win a series both on West Indian and British soil.
Even Kirmani was not spared and it looks as if he’ll be doing well in Ranji 10 years after being dropped from the national squad. The only person who benefited was Shastri, who is a fine batsman now.
Whatever it is, Indian cricket gets the worst of it and all that the fans can do is keep their fingers crossed.
(This article appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the Times of India)