Millennium Post

Ganguly does an underwood

Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart in 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t understand the difference”, says Frank J Underwood from House of Cards! 

Lets beat it, the Board of Cricket Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, is all about politics, about a ladder that takes individuals to the top. Be it Jagmohan Dalmiya, Anurag Thakur or the controversial N Srinivasn, everyone has had their share of political fables which have given them the chair that they sit or sat upon at a point of time in their careers. Hence, as fictional as ‘Underwood’ is, we all know how each made it to the top; not naming any of them as killers though. 

The ongoing struggle between former captains of the Indian team, Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri is definitely a tale of egos battling it out in the middle. On one hand there is Ravi Shastri who’s desperation for the big job and the money is as evident as evident gets. On the other, there is Ganguly’s arrogance, pretending to be as badass as he is seeking vengeance over Ravi against the flak he received from the latter in the past. 

Well, Ravi has only himself to be blamed as “revenge is a dish best served cold”. However, the spat between the both seems to have the whole of the cricketing fraternity divided in two halves, brutal to an extent where it appears as though it isn’t too former cricketers but a match between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed: so much for maturity! 

Tweets turned to trolls as many ex cricketers began tweeting their opinions about the situation, Bhishan Singh Bedi, in his tweet stated, “Not getting coach’s job apart RJSHASTRI has every reason 2b peeved with selection process whence 1 selector played truant..not above board!! He further added that, And now gloves R off fr 2 frmr Ind Captns-2 much likely delight non Crkt BCCI officials-& of course the media-how sad on eve o SC verdict!!!”.

Cricket expert and commentator Sanjay Manjeraker too said “More than Sourav, I think Ravi is miffed with the rejection. It’s a new experience for him. BCCI has made the better choice as coach.” With situations heating up amongst the yesteryear players, BCCI reject and IPL champ, Gautam Gambhir too decided to make his opinion heard, stating “Ravi Shastri’s comments only shows his desperation.

 Kumble is the best choice, he is a hard working person.” This was definitely a hysterical moment for most as Gautam made the obvious statement considering he also wants to head back to the team. Irrespective of that, most of the tweets and comments to the media make Ganguly-1 and Shastri-0. 

Just to recapitulate, the whole spat began when Anil Kumble was picked as the coach for the Indian Cricket Team by the board comprising of Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. It was later revealed though that Ganguly wasn’t present during Shastri’s interview. 

Just after BCCI’s decision confirming Kumble, Ravi Shastri made his frustration felt when he said that Ganguly’s attitude was plain “Disappointing”. When asked about what the matter was he further added that, “All I can say is that Ganguly wasn’t there when I was interviewed and you should ask what problem Ganguly has with me instead of asking me,” Shastri told the Times of India. 

He later accused Ganguly of being “disrespectful to the selection process.” He further added that, “Nothing surprises me in Indian cricket anymore. A member of the committee (Ganguly) wasn’t present and that was disrespectful to the selection process. A person was disrespectful of a candidate who he was going to interview. He was disrespectful to the job he was entrusted with.” 

Shastri was so frustrated that he further went on to make a spiteful advice to Ganguly stating that,  “Next time, be present in a meeting, especially when it is as important as this one.” Now as wicked as Ravi Shastri got, Sourav Ganguly still has his captaincy hangover on; which obviously had to spark the battle of words sooner or later. Ganguly finally lashed back stating that, “The working committee meetings get decided 14 days before the meeting and to cancel it is impossible.

 And this meeting was decided in two days. Ravi’s meeting was at 4:15pm in the afternoon and doing interviews with everyone it went past their time and we reached at five in the evening. I requested the committee if I could come back at six and do it again, which they agreed upon. Once I came here to this meeting, I got a message from Mr Shirke (BCCI secretary) that the other two members are requesting if they could continue with Ravi, which I was fine with. I said ‘fine, I know I have been stuck with this and you please go ahead and do it.’

 That happens everywhere in the world and that’s the exact story.” He further added that, “I am extremely saddened when he went on air, expressing his views, especially from someone who has been in every BCCI committee for the last 20 years. He has been in my position, you know, the position to select the coach. I don’t think he’s aware of everything.” 

Ganguly even went on to say that ‘Ravi lives in a fools world’: perhaps, a little too harsh there!
That’s not where this tale of two egos ends. What are we missing out on? In the midst of all the chaos, a couple of mandatory details were that Kumble had to resign as the Chairman of the Cricket Committee at the ICC. To add to that, the spat that went on between Shastri and Ganguly resulted in the former resigning as the media representative of the ICC making the coast clear for Ganguly to be the perfect replacement to Kumble. 

As soon as Kumble resigned rumours floated around stating that the obvious next man to chair the Cricket committee at the ICC would be none other than Ganguly and with Shastri out now, perils seem distant. There hasn’t been any official confirmation on this though. However, is this just a co-incidence or a calculated move on Ganguly’s part heading into the ICC?
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