“It looked like a contest between a professional team and a schoolboys team.”
Sunil Gavaskar is scathing in his criticism of the Indian team’s performance against a superior English side.
What he really meant:
“It’s no wonder warm-up games feature second string players (Northamptonshire).”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Isn’t this remark pithier than Boycott’s ‘India played like Bangladesh’?”
If you don’t like the bracket you’re in, you can re-slot yourself in a higher one. That’s the message Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble have sent out. The four were initially categorised into the 200,000 USD fold. IPL rules allow players to increase their base price and the members of the Fab Five (Tendulkar is the fifth) have chosen to do so.
None of the four were retained by their teams. Speculation as to why the four were not in the initial top bracket is useless. The IPL has done little to enhance reputations. VVS Laxman has struggled, Ganguly shone amidst his team’s inconsistency and Dravid is just coming to terms with T20 cricket.
The BCCI have been roundly criticised for their decision to abstain from the 16th Asian Games at Guangzhou. India are the only major Asian cricketing superpower to not send a team. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have squads representing their respective countries.
The BCCI bailed out claiming that they did not want to send a second string team since the Games clashed with the India – New Zealand Test and ODI series. The Ranji trophy is also scheduled around the same time—sending a team would rob the tournament of it’s sheen.
The inability or unwillingness of the BCCI to field an Indian cricket team for the Chinese Asian Games has been greeted with widespread consternation by the Indian public or so the media channels would have us believe. I , for one, am not of the view that India needs to field their best team for the Asian Games and thus the BCCI could have been somewhat more diplomatic and said yes to fielding a second string team like they have for the tri-series in Zimbabwe. Besides apart from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, no other teams of cricketing note will be there! And surely, the Indian cricket team cannot do worse than their performance at the World T20!