December 24, 2005

An Enigma That is Indian Cricket

Sourav Ganguly today was included in the Indian team that will tour Pakistan in Jan-Feb 2006.

This is what Kiran More, the chairman of selectors, said on December 10, when Ganguly was dropped for the third test against Sri Lanka:

The situation is that I don't want Ganguly at number six. We want Yuvraj to play there. He has done well, and we don't want to have Sourav in the team and put him in the reserve.

And Kiran More on December 24:

We got Sourav back because we needed some experience for the tough tour. The Pakistan team is well prepared and we needed to pick the best combination.

These two statements, made within two weeks of each other by the same person, bring out all the contradictions in and the unsavoriness of the powers that run Indian cricket.

I am not commenting here on the merits of Sourav Ganguly's inclusion here. Whether he should be included or not is a different matter altogether. (You can get an idea of my thinking on this here.) I am concerned here only with how things transpired and what that means.

More says, on December 10th, Ganguly is unlikely to find a place in the playing eleven and it is, for unexplained reasons, not desirable to have in the team but not in the playing eleven. On December 24th, he says we wanted to pick the best team for the tough series against Pakistan, suggesting that picking the best team is a conditional endeavor, decided by the toughness of a given series. The laughability of all this embarrassingly obvious.

Three comebacks, umpteen questions

Of course, More was forced to say these things by the actions that were taken by his committee. Contradiction lies not in the words, but in the actions. It is an open secret that Ganguly's inclusion was decided by those who have no business opining on selection matters. The fact that there is a committee given the job of selecting the team means that those outside this committee should not interfere with their deliberations. That goes for even the president of the board. Any person can only act within the purview of his authority, as determined on paper. However extensive that authority is, he has no business interfering with anything not included in that authority. Just as the Prime Minister has no business telling anything to the election commission, the president of BCCI has no business talking to the selectors.

This episode once again brings out into the open the unprofessional ways and the rampant cronyism that fester the Board of Control for Cricket in India.


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