Thursday, December 15, 2005

'Quo Vadis' Indian sports?

Quo Vadis is a Latin phrase and translates as "Whither goes thou?". A more apt phrase cannot be found to summarise the state every Indian sport with the exception of chess and kabbadi finds itself. Whats even more appaling is that the problems that plague these sports are due to the petty politics played by the administrators. Nothing else. The players are as committed as anyone else would be in their respective fields. Let me summarise a few points:

Though the team is doing well, we can trust the five monkeys aka the selectors to torpedo a steady ship. Yes, I am talking about the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly. He has his shortcomings, but he accepted punishment with humility and proved his worth in the domestic circuit. Selection followed naturally and he was told that performance alone would count. Accepting the challenge, he played two gritty innings in the Delhi test which were vital in the context of the game. Imagine the scenario if he had got out cheaply. One, of course he would have lost his place. But secondly India would have collapsed like a pack of cards. Will the selectors care to explain their action whose foolishness was compounded by the fact that ganguly's replacement is an opener named Wasim Jaffer who ideally should have replaced Gautam Gambhir. Strange are the ways of the five monkeys!!!!

A true prince to pauper story. Countries used to fear us and envy the rich pool of talent that we had (and have even now). But again trust the administrators to make silly errors in selection, constant chopping and changing, no extended run being given to a coach....

The fact that we struggle to win the South Asian title should convey the status of the 'beautiful game' in our country. no schemes are undertaken to popularise the game and even in case it is being played, active discouragement is given. My own school is an example: we were prevented from playing footer cos the PT teachers were scared that we would hurt the girls.......beat that reason!!!!!!!!!!!!! (please don't read any male chauvinism in this statement. i am just stating the true ground realities sometime arnd 1997-1998 where my school girls played nothing other than throwball, badminton and tennikoit. )

The lesser said about the other sports the better. Its only due to the perseverance of a few sportspersons that we get flashes of recognition in these sports. Of course there is potential in fields like tennis, golf, chess...But what is to be noted is that these are sports which rely on the individual more than anything else. The real challenge is to perform in team sports. Is India in a position to give a fitting reply to the question "Quo vadis?" or will the reply be "Que Sera Sera" (whatever will be; will be).......

1 comment:

Ridham said...

Good post!! Don't agree with your comments on dada's exclusion..Consider This:

Question: You have an ex-captain aged 33 in the team who scored 40 and 39 in the 2 innings in the last Test played. You have got a 24 year old in-form batsman who scored 77 in the 2nd innings of the same Test. You have got the team vice-captain returning into the squad for the next Test. That means the
ex-captain and the youngster would be fighting for the sole place. You also have another 24-year old in the squad eyeing the same No 6 position. You have got an opening batsman who is out of form and has to be put on notice.
You can pick a squad of 14. How will you go about the job?
If I try to solve it, I have the following solutions:
1. Keep the ex-captain in the team at No 6 and keep the youngster on bench
2. Drop the out of form opening batsman and ask
a. the youngster to open
b. the ex-captain to open
3. Drop the ex-captain and bring in an opening batsman who can be tried out before the 2 tough series coming up

There are a lot of solutions to the puzzle, with each having its own pros and cons.

Solution 1
Pros: the ex-captain gets the respect he deserves
Cons: the in form youngster doesnt get enough chances before the tough tour
of Pakistan and the England's tour of India

Solution 2
Pros: the ex-captain has opened in ODIs, so he could be allowed to cement his place as an opener in the test place. In very much a similar way as to him giving a chance to the present captain to retain his position in the ODI team as a wicket keeper. There have been instances of non-regular openers cementing their place in the team as openers - Justin Langer, Sanath
Jayasurya, our very own Sehwag, Shoaib Malik etc..
The in form youngster has opened before and was found wanting. He seems to have taken a liking for the No 6 spot and has been succesful there
Cons: Kolkotans might burn effigies of Dravid saying that is not the way to treat India's most successful captain.

Solution 3
The selectors had to choose one of the solutions and they chose this one
Pros: The out of form opener will try to get his act right. The reserve opener can also be tried out before the 2 tough series coming up.
Cons: public opinion that the ex-captain has not got the respect he deserves.

Hard hitting, eh? And ofcourse I have posts on my blog. Haven't blogged in a while but will resume on going home next week !