Monday, April 02, 2007

The great indian cricketing debate

The cricket world cup has come and gone for the Indian cricket team but the debate lingers on. While Navjot Singh Sdhu, Ian Chappel, Geoffrey Boycott, Sir Richard Hadlee and Arjuna Ranatunga amongst many others discuss, dissect and debate the Great Indian Cricketing Debacle, I have a few things to say as well.

1. Sachin Tendulkar needs to decide his commitment and rediscover his passion for the game before he comes back in the India colors. No one for a moment, is doubting his talent.

2. Something needs to be done about the mental strength of all those who dawn the India colors. Their abilities to withstand mental pressure, especially on the cricket filed, in my opinion is the biggest problem that the team faces. When faced with tight match situations, these guys just crumble. Some one needs to consult a sports psychologist and get him to support the Indian cricket team.

3. Greg Chappel and Rahul Dravid have all good intentions. They cannot be blamed for us getting squashed in the first round of the world cup. The problem lies in this cricket team not being able to execute the strategy and plans on the cricket field.

4. Greg Chappel should stay on. Otherwise, the last 4 years effort of moving in the right direction, will be wasted. Rahul "the Wall" Dravid should go back to being a middle order batsman. Saurabh Ganguly should step in as an "interim captain for a period of not more than 12 - 15 months with a clear mandate to turn around things in this time period. Post which, he should withdraw from the game. This time should also be used to find and develop a new captain for the Indian cricket team

5. We need to send out clear messages around what it takes to sustain your self in the Indian cricket team. Perform or perish, you're only as your good as your last game and no resting on past laurels will be the ground rules hereon.

6. Some of the other big guns of the current Indian team should be phased out over the next 12 - 15 months. This needs to be made clear to them right away and managed extremely carefully. These guys have given their life to the game and we need to at least respect them. I am talking about Dravid, Ganguly Sehwag, Sachin and Kumble.

7. There is no problem with Indian cricketers earning pots of money from endorsements. They have a short professional life and they have every right to protect themselves financially.

8. The Board needs to stop exploiting Indian cricket like they have done over the last 3 - 4 years. Reduce one playing engagements across the next 12 months. Dont get the team to play 2nd string sides and exhibition matches in Nairobi and Canada. Does not serve any ones purpose.

9. The overall governance and management structure of Indian Cricket needs to be fundamentally over hauled. The richest cricketing board in the world needs to be made more accountable. Plus cricketers need to manage the show, hand in hand with professional managers rather than politicians. The money that the Board generates, needs to percolate downwards and be spent on developing cricket and cricketing infrastructure across the length and breadth of my great country.

10. The media needs to back-off. Stop putting so much of focus on cricket and cricketers. You are the guys who create this hype and then "pull the plug" when things go wrong.

11. And its not, "just a game" for us Indians. It is religion. And we expect our team to perform like "rockstars" and win matches for us. And obviously they have our support.


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