Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: Sports and Games

Downfall Down Under

India lost Melbourne Test by 122 runs and Sydney Test by an Innings and 68 runs after Australia had declared 659/4. Both Tests ended in four days. In Melbourne Indian batsmen had to score 292 runs to win and they were all out for 169. Indian bowlers took 20 wickets.
Someone said this is the greatest bowling attack India ever had. That attack could take only four wickets in Sydney. Umesh Yadav and R. Ashwin conceded 123 and 157 runs respectively and went wicketless. India were 191 and 400.

Some say Indians are lions at home, lambs abroad. India did well against England and West Indies at home. India did well against West Indies in West Indies. India did badly against England in England and have now lost two Tests in succession in Australia.

No Indian scored a century in Australia. In Sydney, Michael Clarke remained 329 not out, Michael Hussey remained 150 not out and Ricky Ponting scored 134. India’s batting failed in both Tests. India’s bowling failed in second Test.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy is under question. Some say his tactics are negative, he allowed tailenders to score runs. His supporters say he has done well, he won T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup and attained No. 1 Test ranking. A captain is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure.

Dhoni won T20 World Cup in 2007, did not win in 2009 and 2010. No. 1 Test ranking was partly due to him and mainly due to his predecessors. If he is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure he should not get credit for success.

Some spectators uttered expletives against Virat Kohli. When it became unbearable he showed them middle finger for which he was fined. There should have been action against spectators. They do not have the right to utter expletives. They should have been thrown out of the stadium. In football, action is taken against troublemakers.

Australian bowlers did well. One view is that to win matches abroad India should have three fast bowlers who can consistently bowl at 90 miles per hour. India has seen many fast bowlers come and go. Some feel Anil Kumble would have made a difference. He has retired. Someone said Harbhajan Singh should have been there. Selectors did not pick him.

Two more Tests to go. The best India can hope is to win them and level the series. In 1977-78 India lost first two Tests and won next two Tests. That was a five Tests series. India lost the fifth Test and series. Bishen Singh Bedi was India’s Captain. Bobby Simpson was Australia’s captain. India have not won a Test series in Australia and South Africa. When the tour began there was talk of India winning in Australia for the first time. That was not to be.

Bharata Ratna candidates

The decision of the government to change the rule for eligibility to get Bharata Ratna has stirred a debate and opened the floodgates with demands for Bharata Ratna for various persons. Formerly it was for art, literature, public service and science. Now it is for any field in human endeavour. The change came about because sport was not a category for which Bharata Ratna was given and many people wanted Sachin Tendulkar should get Bharata Ratna.

There are people who feel all national awards should be abolished because they are political. They are few. There are those who say giving Bharata Ratna for sport will devalue Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna which was equivalent to Bharata Ratna and if someone is given Bharata Ratna for sport all sportspersons who got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna will feel humiliated. Sachin Tendulkar has got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Since sport is included for Bharata Ratna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna should be abolished.

Some question the timing of announcement and say it is a diversion from the problems faced by UPA government. There is movement for Lokpal Bill. It had to hold back FDI in retail. There is demand for P. Chidambaram’s resignation. Rupee has weakened. Economy has declined. Sachin Tendulkar is expected to hit his 100th international 100. Conferring Bharata Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar will make people happy and they will forget about the problems.

There are people who say Dhyan Chand should be the first one to get Bharata Ratna. He got three gold medals in Olympics. He played in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936). He scored 1,000 goals in hockey. Dhyan Chand died on 3 December 1979. Some say both Dhyan Chand and Sachin Tendulkar should get. Some say one should get, giving to two will devalue Bharata Ratna. In the past two or more persons were given Bharata Ratna in the same year. That time nobody spoke of devaluation. Some say SachinTendulkar is too young while others oppose it saying he started young.

Apart from the above two there are many other names doing rounds.

Some have proposed Balbir Singh who got three gold medals in hockey in Olympics, another player who got three gold medals and one silver medal in hockey in Olympics, Prakash Padukone, Vijay Amritraj, Ramanathan Krishnan, Milkha Singh, Vishwanathan Anand, Abhinav Bindra, Leander Paes and Karnam Malleshwari. Someone said Mahendra Singh Dhoni should get Bharata Ratna because he led India to victory in T20 World Cup and ODI World Cup and No. 1 Test ranking.

Some have proposed Katrina Kaif, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajnikant, Gulzar, Mohammed Rafi and Mamooty. Someone proposed Lata Mangeshkar without knowing she got Bharata Ratna some years back.

Some have proposed Anna Hazare.

Abolishing awards will mean end to controversies and demands about awards and saving money. Bharata Ratna should be restricted to living persons. It was meant and given for living persons except in case of Lal Bahadur Shastri who died unexpectedly and was awarded Bharata Ranta within a few days of his death. That changed in 1990 and for some years people who had died many years back got Bharata Ratna. Some years back there were demands on behalf of many persons who had died long back so the award has not been given to dead persons since then.

Sunil Gavaskar loses

BCCI has refused to pay Sunil Gavaskar as per his demand. Sunil Gavaskar had claimed that Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley had assured him that his dues will be paid. After that a news report appeared that said BCCI has rejected Sunil Gavaskar’s claim. Sunil Gavaskar said his faith in BCCI was shaken but he had no communication from BCCI. Sunil Gavaskar was with IPL in 2007-2010. Lalit Modi came in defence of Sunil Gavaskar. He said BCCI wanted Sunil Gavaskar with IPL to rival Kapil Dev who was with ICL and therefore Sharad Pawar promised Sunil Gavaskar four crores per year.

It is not clear whether four crores is inclusive of one crore by cheque or separate. Sunil Gavaskar’s loss is nine crores or twelve crores. Sunil Gavaskar did not ask the amount in writing. He said he trusted the President. Other reasons could he did not want to pay tax on that amount and did not want M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri to know about it.

Rajeev Shukla has said that there is nothing in AGM or working committee records to show that BCCI had agreed to pay additional amount to Sunil Gavaskar and therefore there will be no payment. There the matter rests.

Sunil Gavaskar should have got his dues cleared when he was with IPL and Sharad Pawar was President. Legally there is nothing he can do to get the amount. Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley have not made any statements about this episode. They could be guilty of attempt to abet tax evasion and generation of black money.

BCCI is reluctant to come under RTI. It has official dealings and unofficial dealings and RTI will expose its unofficial dealings. BCCI crushed ICL through all means, fair and foul. There is cricket fatigue in the country and future IPL seasons may not be a success. Kochi Tuskers team was out after one season. BCCI cancelled Nimbus telecast contract because Nimbus defaulted on payments.

Page 9 of 27« First...7891011...20...Last »
Voice from the Rooftop | Vincent Augustine D'Souza © 2005-2018 Frontier Theme