Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Mohinder Singh Gill

Defeat at Trent Bridge

Indians hoped that India will do well in Trent Bridge Test. India will win and it will be 1-1.

On Day 1 England were all out 221. At one time they were 124/8. India were 24/1. On Day 2 India were all out 288, a lead of 67 runs. At one time they were 267/4. England were 24/1. On Day 3 India’s bowling was not successful. England dominated. The day began with Vaseline controversy. Till tea break India had the chance of winning or drawing the Test. After Ian Bell run-out controversy it was downhill for India. England finished the day 441/6, a lead of 374 runs. On that day England scored 417 runs on a single day, highest since 1954. After tea break India did not have the will to fight. Something was seriously wrong. It seems there was a split in the team and many players were demoralised. On day 4 England were all out 544. India were all out 158 in 47.4 overs and lost the Test by 319 runs. Sachin Tendulkar was the top scorer with 56. Harbhajan Singh scored 46, Rahul Dravid 6, V. V. S. Laxman 4, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 0. The match was over within four days.

Ian Bell had a reprieve during World Cup some months back. That time he and everyone else knew he was out but he continued as umpire had not given him out. That time it was question of rules and there was no question of spirit of the game. After that incident UDRS rule changed for World Cup.

What went wrong? Batting was supposed to become more difficult every day. How is that even English tail enders batted well and Indians failed? India went into the series as No. 1 team. After two consecutive Test defeats that ranking is in doubt. Dhoni said our bowlers were tired and our batsmen were unable to live up to the challenge. His own form is a concern. Kapil Dev said out bowlers don’t play Ranji or three day matches. They play one day or T20 matches. Hence they are unable to bowl long spells.

India have to win the remaining two Tests to draw the series and retain No. 1 ranking. No team can remain No. 1 for ever but India lost the Lord’s Test and performed badly in Trent Bridge Test. Excuses will not do. Players get injured and their absence should not be the reason as others take their place. Some say missing the West Indies tour was the reason for poor performance of some players. Sunil Gavaskar had said that those who want rest and do not want to go to West Indies should be given permanent rest. Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan had missed the tour. Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan got injured at Lord’s and were out of Trent Bridge Test. Yuvraj Singh who replaced Gautam Gambhir could have been sent to open batting. Some blame BCCI’s refusal to have UDRS for LBW decisions as reason for India’s defeat as Harbhajan Singh was wrongly given out and some English batsmen were not given out LBW.

After the Test when asked about Ian Bell’s return Dhoni said it was not about rule or spirit of the game but about feeling good. They did not feel good about the way he was out. Really? In that case the players who did not feel good should not be in the team. If all players did not feel good the whole team should be back in India and another team should be sent. In 2004 BJP campaigned on feel good factor and it lost the election.

The series had a sideshow of one ad featuring Dhoni making fun of an ad featuring Harbhajan Singh. Then another ad featuring Gautam Gambhir endorsing the product Harbhajan Singh endorsed.

Before the Test there was also a controversy about Indian cricketers not attending the reception by Indian High Commissioner and attending Dhoni’s charity auction. BCCI said there was communication gap. When Mohinder Singh Gill was sports minister he had derecognised BCCI as a national sports organisation. It was not proper for Indian High Commissioner to invite a team that is not sent by a recognised national sports organisation. Once the players did not attend the reception there was no need to go public about it and the matter should have been closed. There is supposed to be another reception once the players return to London. Now that the players have done badly there may not be much enthusiasm to meet them.

It is possible for India to win the remaining two Tests and level the series. I hope they will.

Commonwealth Games falling apart

Commonwealth Games are falling apart.

Commonwealth Games Village are filthy. Electrical appliances are unsafe. Doors do not close. Bathrooms fixtures do not work. Stray dogs and faeces are everywhere. Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Wales delegates have told their athletes will not stay in the Village. They want hotel accommodation. Foot over bridge at Jawaharlal Nehru has collapsed and 23 labourers injured.

The mayor of the Village blamed MCD for the dogs. It was mayor’s responsibility to see that the Village was safe and secure.

Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister and in-charge of the Games, said the bridge collapse is a minor incident. For him lives of labourers do not matter. The bridge was not for athletes or officials. Delhi’s PWD minister said the bridge is not necessary and it does not matter if the bridge is not ready for the Games. People can use the road.

Mohinder Singh Gill and others had compared the Games to big fat Indian wedding. Everything will fall in place at the end. That was a wrong analogy. At weddings groom and bride can keep the people waiting. That is not the case for the Games.

Suresh Kalmadi did not address the media. Lalit Bhanot said hygiene standards of some countries are different from hygiene standards of India. That statement was disgusting.

Some days back reporters had a tour of the Commonwealth Games Village Kitchen and they found it state of the art. They were not shown the living rooms. There was no investigative journalism by TV channels to find out the truth about the Village being ready.

Security is an issue. Shooting outside Gate No. 3 of Jama Masjid on 19/9/2010 was cited as a reason by an Australian athlete for pulling out of Commonwealth Games.

When the first report of corruption in Commonwealth Games was out some said the amount was just one crore rupees or at the most two crore rupees. Now it is known that the magnitude of corruption is thousands of crores of rupees. Those who spoke of ignoring corruption are silent.

There is no time for cover-ups. Whatever is wrong will be known soon and no excuse will do.

Commonwealth Games

India should have quit Commonwealth when it became a republic. It continued in Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Games are to be held in Delhi in October 2010. Mani Shankar Aiyar wants the games to flop so that India does not bid for Asian Games and Olympics and waste its money. He has said that India paid one lakh dollars in bribes to each delegate to get votes for staging Commonwealth Games. He was Sports Minister and foresaw that the games will be a disaster due to the functioning of Indian Olympic Association (IOA). His predecessor Sunil Dutt had a tough time and he died. IOA officials did not want to interact with Mani Shankar Aiyar and they told him to send Sports Secretary and he also died. Mani Shankar Aiyar wanted a special committee be set up to oversee the preparations for Commonwealth Games as India did for Asian Games 1982 but that did not happen. In 2006 Commonwealth Games Federation chief had expressed concern in private that IOA was lagging behind in preparation. In March 2009 it was public. After that various deadlines were set to be extended further. Now just around 60 days are left for games. Stadia are not ready and rains have exposed the shoddy construction.

Swapan Dasgupta agrees with Mani Shankar Aiyar. There is disconnect between people who think holding the games as national pride and other people. He did not say he wants the games to flop but if Mani Shankar Aiyar is anti-national so is he.

Crores of rupees are to be spent on opening and closing ceremonies. The Group of Ministers had a preview of the ceremonies and they want Islamic culture to be added to it. Islam is a religion and not a culture. Muslims have different cultures. The culture of Muslims of Kerala is different from the culture of Muslims of Uttar Pradesh. Too bad our ministers don’t know such things.

IOA is not answerable to government. Sports Ministers Mohinder Singh Gill’s attempts to regulate the terms of office bearers of IOA and its affiliates have failed. Athletes have talked of sexual harassment.

IOA has a contract with an Australian company for sponsorship deals for Commonwealth Games. The company gets 10%-20% commission of all sponsorships IOA gets whether they come through the company or not. The company did not get many sponsorships. Now Public Undertakings are asked to sponsor the games and the company will get commission.

India took it upon itself to host Commonwealth Games so it has to fulfil its obligation but quit Commonwealth after the games. Since the Indian government has no say in the functioning of IOA it should stop financing IOA and get back stadia, buildings and whatever else is given to them. What India has achieved in Olympics is mostly in spite of IOA. IOA should finance itself like BCCI.

There are reports of cost overruns and corruption in the construction of stadia and flyovers. CNN-IBN has referred to Commonwealth Games as Corruption Wealth Games.

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