We’ve got a Board that justifiably claims to have a monopoly over the receipts of the game. The BCCI realises that Indian eyes on tv sets are what make Ricky Ponting’s Australia Yellow or Rahul Dravid’s India Blue. Without us, they’d all be (if at all) in white.
We are the colour of money.
Sometimes tho, one wonders about their functioning. Like this whole coach selection process. Even if one ignores the confounding delay, whats with this latest twist?
Its been over two months since India’s exit from the World Cup and about that long since Greg Chappell’s contract was terminated which we knew all along was until the World Cup anyway. And yet, many committees later, and with all its riches, the Board could not get two men together?
Maybe pages and blogs will be written about how its yet another sign of a malfunctioning BCCI that thinks from its rear. Because, you see, thats where its wallet is. And hence , any sign of cricket intellect is asking for too much.
I’ll try and reason otherwise tho, because I actually think there is a bit of method to this madness.
I think there was a bit of a debate out there in that little committee.
The 1986 Martin Scorcese film The Colour Of Money is all about a former Pool player (Fast “The Hustler” Eddie) who comes back to take on a young protege.
I think yesterday’s debate and indeed the one to follow is about whether we need young proteges or a Eddie, the Hustler.
First about the one name we know. Graham Ford.
Natal – South Africa – Kent. Importantly, and its an impressive CV stat – Kevin Peitersen’s coach in South Africa before he (KP, that is) moved to England. Then, a pretty good run again as South Africa’s coach. But the next big thing, as Director of Cricket in Kent (coach ?), a growing reputation as a wonderful talent spotter. A guy with the ability to nurture skills. If you looking for lots of young proteges, this is the kind of man you’d like.
Next, about the unknown name – at least at the moment of writing. The one that everyone assumes is Arjuna Ranatunga. The Hustler.
Fast Eddie says in the film : ” You gotta have two things to win. You gotta have brains and you gotta have balls. Now, you got too much of one and not enough of the other. ”
If India chooses the specialist coaches for disciplines option – Venky Prasad and Robin Singh – then Arjuna Ranatunga is the Fast Eddie they are looking for and the one that, they believe, is the answer. Its not about his skills. People will be quick to point out – we’re poor at running between the wickets and we’re shoddy feilders and we chose Ranatunga ? But I don’t think thats what the guys in that room in Chennai will be looking for. (And I’ll ignore that even tho he only used to amble singles, Ranatunga still has a 77ish strike rate in ODIs). The idea is of a tactical performance manager. The guy who knew what it took to get his guys to win. If if comes down to presentations, thats probably what Ranatunga will and can present. As Fast Eddie says, Pool Excellence is *not* about excellent pool. As a matter of fact , his record as ODI captain is pretty average (89 wins and 95 losses in 193 games). Whats important is where he got Sri Lanka from the 1988 when he took over to the time that he gave up well after a World Cup win.
All told then, I don’t think it will matter too much about how Graham Ford or Arjuna Ranatunga do at the interview on Saturday.
I think whats going to decide it is what approach India chose to take going forward. And will reflect how satisfied they are with the resources they have at their disposal for the next few seasons.
Its worth taking a bit of time over decisions like that.
Update : Just to make me look really clever comes this piece of news that its not Arjuna Ranatunga at all, but John Emburey !!!!
Now how do I make the BCCI look clever ?