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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Some method in mad world of Indian cricket

New Delhi: If we were ever to find any method in the madness that is Indian cricket, this could possibly be it.

For once, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has thought up of something that provides a respectable exit clause for the players, as opposed to the normal pattern -- drag them out by the heels, and leave them on the sidewalk.

The whole saga of Sourav Ganguly staying in the Test squad (quite different from the 'comeback' being touted, since he wasn't out of the Test squad, only the Irani team) boils down to some forward thinking by the new BCCI bosses and their actually talking to the player.

If the sources are to be believed, the whole 'deal' was a well thought out plan, something akin to what was offered to Steve Waugh by Cricket Australia, and that makes it a welcome change.

It is understood that the big guns, including president Shashank Manohar, formulated this whole plan, which would give the left-hander two Tests at worst, and four at best.

Essentially one thing remains constant -- Ganguly calls it quits after the series, irrespective of how he fares. If he does well enough in the first two Tests, he gets to play the next, and possibly the last one too. But after that, he retires.

All this irresepctive of how many runs he scores in the series.

However, the fact that Ganguly went on to deny any 'deal', goes to prove that this is not going to be as cut and dried as the BCCI expected.

So more fun and games in the near future can't be ruled out.

But given that even the current inclusion against Australia is for only two Tests. First he will have to do well enough to get two more games, and the BCCI in any case won't be keen on dragging this indefinitely.

This, for a change, is understood to have been communicated to the batsman, as opposed to finding out from media, when players are normally sacked. So any way you look at it, it seems like a good move. At least it offers the player in question some sort of respectable exit plan.

Furthermore, there are strong indications that more senior players would be moving out after the England series, which follows the current Australian outing.

As for the rest, its all pretty predictable. S. Badrinath has been scratching at the entry door for a while, and it took a predictable benevolent pair of hands from Tamil Nadu (in new secretary N. Sreenivasan and chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth) to open it for him.

The 15th member of the Indian team seems to be a floating commodity. The first spinner whose name the selectors manage to remember gets into the side. Central Zone has a leg-spinner as selector, so a Central Zone leg-spinner was selected. Simple mathematics.

But all said and done, it was possibly the best plan formulated by the BCCI, and the new camp needs to be congratulated. Whether this good work will continue or not remains to be seen, but at least there is finally some method in the insane world of Indian cricket.

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