>After the disgraceful showdown in the carribean, the Indian cricket team is expecting a red hot welcome at home. Already the rituals of eiffigy burning and sandal garlanding of the players are over and when the team lands in the peninsula, improvement is unlikely. With a perfectly professional victory of Bangladesh over Bermuda, the next time the men in blue get to wear the world cup jersey is at least four years away. Among the fierce lash outs of people at various ‘levels’ there is the talk of replacing the captain and the coach. Some have gone far enough to call for the change of the whole team, spare few new ones. I personally know someone who demanded that the BCCI should send a bunch of first class cricketers, reasoning that we don’t have to have all the fuss about the results then. Out of frustration, most of ‘must do’s’ that have emerged are simply the knee-jerk reactions. As a captain, all dravid could do was watch, as his team mates, one after the other, walked in and walked out as he piled up some respectful runs on the fateful day against the islanders. And no coach can play for you, not even an Australian.
Not many seem to realize that the problem is in the foundation. Indian cricket in domestic level is one of the worst in comparison to any test playing nation. The national pool of talent is not the one that lacks skills, but the competition and motivation. Most domestic cricketers play part-time and the wages for the game they play are not even sufficient to get a BDM kit. Political corruption starts at the ground level and is a hanging garden at the BCCI headquarters. The grounds are simply dust beds and don’t really bring smiles to bowlers. Being the richest cricket association in the cricket world, BCCI is not even close to being a well managed bunch. To make things right, we have to fix our way up. State-wise and zone-wise games must be made more competitive and remunerations must match the local price levels. Overall fitness and performance levels of the players must be standardized and above all the one should not be picked for having ‘second cousin to the sister of selection committee member’ reasons. Youngsters must be given more opportunities to prove, while ones already there should be made to realize that being in the team is not a privilege but a chance to prove and constantly improve. Some may ask is it possible to do it India…well, we have four years to prove it is. And as far as the current team is concerned, leave them alone for sometime. They have had some bad times now. Let them get some sleep.