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Cricket is bigger than players

Sourav Ganguly, one of the new members of BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee had absented himself when Ravi Shastri appeared for the interview, leaving the former India Captain miffed.  Breaking his silence about the process of selecting the head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ganguly questioned Shastri’s way of attending an interview and the seriousness with which he took part through Skype caused all the controversy. The former team director should have been present at the interview instead of talking via a Skype call while holidaying in Bangkok.

Shastri had first spoken about how Ganguly, part of the cricket advisory committee tasked with selecting the coach was not present when he was being interviewed via a video link from Bangkok last week. Shastri subsequently accused Ganguly of being disrespectful” to the coach selection process. Ganguly clarified that he had informed the BCCI well in advance that he would be attending the Cricket Association of Bengal’s (CAB) working committee meeting and was granted permission. It was decided the committee would continue with the interview process during his absence. Shastri tried to over smart the selection panel and had his own taste of medicine.

Controversies in cricket is a part and parcel of the Indian cricket. We have witnessed the Kapil-Gavaskar feud in the past and that escalated to Sunny Gavaskar dropping Kapil for the Calcutta test and won the wrath of the crowd at the Eden Gardens. Now the fresh off the field feud saw both the ex-cricketers fighting out in an open and washing the dirty linen in public. Selection pose a problem in India and now even coach selection has generated controvery. Kumble has all the credentials to become the team leader and his rich experience is a boon to the Indian squad. On the other hand, Shastri was inducted into the side as a stop gap arrangement and now relieved of the temporary posting as Indian team was looking for a coach for the busy cricket season ahead. Kumble has already started to make a mark, having introduced a buddy system, simulated training and a drum-circle activity to promote team bonding.

Graciously skirting the controversy surrounding the snub Shastri received during his job interview, the ultimate contention is that the game is important than the individual. Cricket controversies will continue to haunt Indian cricket for a long time. And the only solution is to accept the decision gracefully.

C. K. Subramaniam

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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