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Starnge things happening with Indian Cricket!!!!

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    Starnge things happening with Indian Cricket!!!!

    Strange things happen in Indian cricket. They are sometimes, like VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh showed, for the greater good, but for the most part, down right inexplicable.

    The banning of Indian cricket in “non-regular venues for three years” is the strangest piece of decision making in recent times. Some questions the common man might have for the tehelka-struck government:

    a) What is a non-regular venue? Is it a Sharjah, which has hosted the maximum number of one-day internationals in the world over a period spanning nearly two decades? Or is it a Visakhapatnam, hosting only its fifth match in 15 years? Or a Dambulla, the lovely Lankan ground inaugurated last fortnight against England? Surely, India must not play there later this year. Would you trust a centre less than a month old?

    b) The rationale supposedly for not playing at these centres is the aura of unsubstantiated fixing allegations hovering around them. But how is a venue by itself responsible for this? How does Sharjah the city, or Singapore the city fix a match? Mohammad Azharuddin admitted to fixing a game in Jaipur. Surely, Jaipur must be banned now. What about Nagpur where Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams each admitted accepting a sum of money for under performing? The Pakistan tour of New Zealand in 1994 has countless allegations associated with it. It doesn’t seem prudent for India to tour New Zealand ever again. Also, knock Centurion Park off the South African itinerary later this year please.

    c) Why three years? How was this figure arrived at? It’s so funny it almost takes away from the gravity of the situation. What is expected to happen in three years? Will Singapore evolve into Lord’s by the end of the period? Will India and Pakistan be toasting wine and caviar in Kashmir at the end of exactly three years? As former cricketer Karsan Ghavri told a Mumbai eveninger yesterday – “Our government itself could change in a month’s time and the next government could reverse the decision; so what’s the logic in three years?”

    d) If the reason is an ‘overdose of one-day cricket’ (a fine thought, though not mentioned in the official statement) - the government would do well to understand the meaning of ‘contractual obligation.’ Points such as these should be considered before signing your name on the dotted line. Millions of dollars are at stake at international sporting events, for which the government doesn’t go around doling easy compensation.

    e) What about the beneficiaries - 'Tiger' Pataudi, Chetan Sharma and Farokh Engineer - who were to receive $35,000 each for their contribution to cricket? Would the government reward them? Would they institute a player's benefit scheme for the next three years?

    The ‘why target only cricket’ question is not even discussed here for the simple reason that the ‘India-Pakistan’ issue was not worthy of a mention in the government report. That had, apparently, nothing to with the decision. The venues are scary. For three years only, mind you.

    And one last question. What of the fans? You, me, our neighbours and our grandfathers all look forward to India and Pakistan slugging it out in Sharjah. Should we be denied?

    ~ mera Junoon, meri DIL KI BAAT hai!!!!