|SPORT TRIBUNE||Saturday, February 19, 2000, Chandigarh, India|
war in DDCA must end
in DDCA must end
DELHI during the weekend burst into life with the happenings on the local cricket front. Cricketers led by former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi were up in arms against the proxy system prevailing in the Delhi and District Cricket Association, a system which helped project and promote non-cricketers as office bearers on the apex body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
It was not the first time that Bishen Bedi had raised the voice of dissent in Delhi cricket. He had done it earlier against the then management and events indeed had gone out of hand. A scheduled match had to postponed because some unruly elements, who misunderstood Bedis crusade, dug up the wicket at the Ferozeshah Kotla. It was something that took the sail out of the wind as it were and a battle for the cause suffered, upsetting even the most ardent fan of Bedi and his friends. But Bishens movement did have some immediate result and the then President of the DDCA, Mr Ram Prakash Mehra, had to call it a day. Ironically Mehra himself had been a noted cricketer in his days and loved the game. He was but a victim of the system.
But Bedi who became Secretary could not himself last long. The former India captain and arguably the best left-arm spinner in the world during his playing days, did not always carry people with him. But the movement he had begun was never really forgotten. Manmohan Sood who played one Test against Australia took over as Secretary but lost out to Sunil Dev, also a cricketer, in the fight for the post of the Sports Secretary. Dev had the backing from the right quarters and has survived but it is doubtful if he too is happy with the system of voting by proxy that keeps officials in power in the DDCA.
But no matter what the status of the Sports Secretary in the DDCA, he has very little say in the overall organisation where voting is done by proxy and the man who commands and collects the maximum proxies get through and occupies the post that matter. And it is the officials who come in through proxy who control the DDCA where most of the members are not even remotely connected with the game. In fact it was only after Bedis revolt that a number of cricketers were made members. Otherwise, in DDCA the credentials for becoming members rarely had anything to do with cricket.
In fact DDCA as an organisation has always been the butt of a joke. One recalls an incident, overheard during a friendly debate, concerning the father of a senior official of the DDCA. This gentleman, as was his habit, used to spend his evenings at the Club. One evening he hired a three-wheeler from the Connaught Place shopping centre and asked to be taken to the DDCA . And while near his goal he took the liberty of giving directions to the scooter driver. He was quite shocked when the driver told him dont worry sahib, I know the place. I go there (DDCA) quite regularly. I am a member there!
Yes, the DDCA is quite a joke sometime, be it the occasion for the selection of the junior teams or when it comes to sacking the captain for not following the orders. Ask Manoj Prabhakar who will tell his personal experience. He should know. But sacking of a man appointed as captain is something that is not new in the DDCA. And not always does it have to do with the proxy system. It is only a fallout from the bigger issue.
As Bedi, Mohinder, Manmohan Sood and Manoj Prabhakar and a host of other cricketers, quite a few of them having played for the country with some distinction, have said on more than one occasion that DDCA should change its constitution and become a club only for cricketers. And only cricketers should represent DDCA on the board. The players have a point. The man now representing DDCA on the board is not considered sufficiently qualified to speak on matters concerning the game, leave alone hold a position of responsibility in the board. And he is there because he controls the proxies.
Arguments in favour of the present system are not convincing. According to some the club makes money from cards and drinks and not from cricket. If that is so then why not change it. Cricket is one of biggest money spinners in the country and the DDCA certainly can make enough cash if only it takes a little more interest in the facilities provided for the conduct of big matches. People often forget that the first Test match after Independence, between India and the West Indies, was played at the Ferozeshah Kotla. Things have changed drastically today. Delhi hardly ever gets a Test match unless it is by default. Players too, both Indian and foreigners, prefer centres like Calcutta and Mumbai and others to Delhi. Nobody in the DDCA has ever thought to find out why this disdain for Ferozeshah Kotla .
No wonder then this revolt in the capital, once again led by Bedi. This time Bishen should ensure that he carries on the fight till an acceptable solution is found. The proxy system must be abolished and members graded, cricketers in one category and the others relegated to a category which keeps them out of the day to day functioning of the club. And more importantly, with the possible exception of the President, all office-bearers must be representative of genuine clubs and if preferable, should have played at least at the Ranji Trophy level. Delhi in fact should take a leaf out of Mumbai Cricket Association which has some very good points in its constitution.
The time now is ripe.
There is a President (Arun Jaitley) who has the power and
the backing to be able to bring about the necessary
changes. And cricketers, both past and present, should
forget their differences and join hands in making DDCA an
acceptable organisation. There is so much which can be
done to make the DDCA and Ferozeshah Kotla into one of
Indias major cricket centres. But it requires much
more than rhetoric and airing grievances in the media.
How good is golf for
GOLF, they say, is the glue that binds Vernon Jordan to President Clinton.
Recently K.P. Singh, the DLF chief (himself a keen and competent golfer), invited big businessmen and bureaucrats to a golfing meet at the newly opened DLF golf course. It turned out to be a festive occasion, and successful in terms of invitee response and interaction amongst them. Admittedly a golfing meet isnt a trade fair for transacting business, yet it affords a marvellous opportunity for relaxed, cheery contacts between the participants contacts that can prove good for business.
In a 1994 poll, 70 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs regularly did business on the golf course. Theres even an American company called Business Golf Strategies which teaches companies how to sell on golf course. Some of its guidelines: The first 4 holes are for building rapport, putting the client in the comfort zone. Holes 5 through 15 are for talking business. Hole 16 through 18 are for making sure, your customer is enjoying himself. And then to the 19th hole, the club bar. The 20th hole is the pay off, back at the customers office.
The above may be a crude, oversimplified version of what actually happens. Yet good golfers with easy access to prestigious golf courses can surely reap tangible business benefits through contacts obtained at play. Where else can you secure somebodys exclusive company for five hours in pleasing, outdoor surroundings? Golf affords unmatched opportunities of communicating in privacy with someone you happen to play with.
Unlike tennis where one players superiority over another is quickly established, the inexhaustible competitive charm of golf lies in its handicap system, whereby all players are theoretically equalised. With a small shift in fortune, anyone can emerge on top in a round.
And whats unique about golf is the spirit of camaraderie it engenders among people playing together. A playing companion of any sex, religion, or place of national origin becomes a dear friend, caught up in the thrills and travails of the game. In fact its hard to dislike someone with whom one has played a round of golf.
Mutual praise or appreciation, or, simple mute witness constitutes the essence of golf fellowship. And the joys of retrospect as a foursome gathers at the club bar or care at the end of a round. Indeed, recapitulating one anothers good shots and bad are a part of golf camaraderie.
Admittedly irritations, even spats can occur in the course of a round, but these are mercifully dulled and dampened by the necessary distances of the game and the traditional mannerliness of sportsmen. Players tend to behave with elaborate niceness: they repress their coughs while others are swinging, and they avoid stepping in one anothers putting lines. The behaviour is better here than elsewhere, because players are happier here than elsewhere. The good feelings that golf breeds are inseparable from its aura of being in the open.
No other game (lest it be polo) is as thoroughly associated with riches and privilege as golf. The game has an image of lush grass and impressive clubhouses, men of substance in bright slacks and natty caps exchanging tips and jokes in an exclusive atmosphere of having it all. The very length of time the game consumes implies lives rich in leisure, and its space implies folks able to afford a playground the size of a huge public park.
Golf possibly offers the
most propitious setting for pursuing useful contacts or
initiating business talks. Golfers playing together over
long hours are usually in a friendly, receptive mood.
Its now left to individual enterprise to make good
use of the situation for promoting business.
Vikrant sets sight on Olympics
A nine-year-old was fascinated with guns and shooting. Whenever he used to watch television or movies. He would clasp and bite his teeth whenever a shooting scene appeared. His father watched his son carefully and understood his passion. On his next birthday he surprised the lad by presenting him a rifle. He is Vikrant Singh Rana, national shooting champion from Himachal Pradesh. The 24-year-old lad is today Himachals ace shooter.
Vikrant Singh Rana was born in Shimla. His father Mr K S Rana, is an IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, at present posted as Deputy Inspector General of Police at Shimla. Vikrant is now doing his masters in geography from Himachal Pradesh University at Shimla.
Asked about his ultimate ambition in life was, Vikrant said with a twinkle in his eyes. Its the Olympics. Of course, taking part in the Olympics and nothing less than that. And God willing if practice continues I shall definitely fulfil my ambition.
Speaking about the H P Rifle Association, he said Kudos to the President Kanwar Ranbir Singh and the Vice-President Rana Vijay Singh that today shooters like me have entered the shooting championships and brought laurels to the state. The association has done so much for us that I personally cannot express my gratitude. Himachal Pradesh can boast of national-level shooters but unfortunately the state does not have a shooting range of its own. I and my fellow shooters mainly depend on Police Department ranges. There are hardly any sponsors available for shooting tournaments, particularly in Himachal Pradesh.
Shooting is not there in the sports calendar of H P University for admission and various other facilities, he remarked.
When asked whom does he attribute his success of being a national shooting champion, he replied: Its my father K S Rana. I have learnt one thing in life from my father that nothing is impossible. My father has really billed hard life. He started his career as a sailor in the Indian Navy. He served there for 12 years and appeared for HPS (Himachal Police Service) and joined as a DSP. He was allotted the IPS cadre in 1982 and today he is a DIG. My fathers success story is my success story today.
He also owes his success to his mother, Soma Rana, a school teacher. His sister, Deepti Rana, who is doing postgraduation-in-English from H P University.
About his hobbies he said I basically read books but not story books or fiction because I do not believe in illusions. I like soft music and old classical Hindi movies. I am a keen traveller and a trekker. My favourite holiday spots are Dalhousie, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti.
In the 5th all India G V Mavlankar Shooting Championship at Asansol in 1995 he won a gold and a silver medal and in the sixth All Indian G V Mavlankar Shooting Championship at Ahmedabad he won four gold and set two national records.
In the 39th National
Shooting Championships held at Coimbatore in 1995 he
again won one gold and one silver. In the 40th National
Shooting Championships at Asansol in 1996-97 he got two
gold and again broke two national records.
Waiting to show mettle
I WILL wait for the opportunity and try to do my best whenever it comes, replied opening batsman Munish Sharma when asked about his selection prospects for the Punjab Ranji Trophy team following his stellar performance along with Reetinder Sodhi, Yuveraj Singh and Ravneet Ricky which enabled India annex the Junior World Cup held recently in Sri Lanka.
While Reetinder and Yuveraj, besides being members of the state Ranji squad, played in the just-concluded Challenger Trophy at Ahmedabad, Ricky has occupied the slot of the opening batsman in the squad. Ironically, Munish, whose performance in the junior World Cup was no less significant besides being a proven performer in the domestic tournaments, however, continues to figure among the standbyes unsure of his chances of being selected to the state squad.
The Amritsar lads achilles heel seems to be that he is an opening batsman. It has been put forth that the state Ranji team already has four opening batsmen. Those holding this view state that Reetinder scored a double century against Delhi as an opener, Yuveraj notched up his maiden three-figure knock versus Haryana as an opener, skipper Vikram Rathore is an established opening batsman and Ravneet made his debut as an opener. This leaves Munish, an opening batsman with little option but to cool his heels along with fringe players in the practice arena and hope for the best!
This is despite the fact that Munish emphatically showed his class in the junior World Cup, notching up three half centuries. Munish along with Ravneet formed a highly successful opening pair during the mega event. Former opening batsman Woorkheri Raman stated that of the two openers Munish was more technically sound, while Ricky was a gutsy player.
Both, hailing from Amritsar, were, in fact, involved in a couple of useful opening-wicket partnership which took the burden off the shoulders of the middle order batsman and in the final analysis proved to be the key factor in Indian victory.
In the first match of the junior World Cup against Bangladesh, Munish looked in fine nick and scored 55 runs. In the game versus England he did better notching up an unbeaten 87. Continuing his fine run in the tournament, he made breezy 67 against Australia, while in the final versus Sri Lanka he did not disappoint, scoring 27. He finished the tournament at an impressive average of 59.36 runs per innings.
Munish, a student of Government College, Amritsar, who practices at Gandhi grounds, has been doing consistently well for the past couple of years. He was in superb touch in the 1997 edition of Dhruv Pandove Trophy scoring three centuries, unbeaten 162 being his best effort. Next year in the same tournament, he hammered 201 in the first outing, while remaining undefeated on 200 in the second match. Representing Punjab in the Cooch Behar Trophy he came up with 172 versus Jammu and Kashmir last year. He was unlucky to miss a century against Delhi as he was dismissed on 96 in the first innings. In the match against Madhya Pradesh in the crucial knock-out match, he amassed 117 runs, while in the next game against Bihar he lost his wicket at 96.
In C.K. Naidu Trophy
match, for North Zone he made 77 against East Zone at
Chennai. Continuing in the same vein he scored 76 versus
the Rest of India in the M.A. Chidambaram Trophy. This
creditable show paved his way for selection to the
under-19 team for the World Cup where he further proved
that he had it in him to succeed at the international
Victim of bad umpiring
The Indian cricket teams Australian tour ended on a disappointing note. There were many reasons for the dismal performance and one of them was poor umpiring. To err is human and umpires can commit mistakes but if they keep on committing them time and again then it is a matter of concern. The Indian captain and star batsman Sachin Tendulkar quite often fell prey to mistakes of umpires. Had this not happened, the result would have been different. The ICC should authorise umpires to take the help of the third umpire in taking decisions. Umpires should not feel ashamed to refer to the third umpire directly. This will infuse a spirit of confidence amongst players and boost the morale of the team.
The Indian cricketers have brought great shame to the country. They lost all the one-day internationals as well as the Test matches in Australia. Sachins captaincy is proving bad for the country. He should be stripped of captaincy. Ganguly should be made the Indian captain. The Indian middle order has also become brittle. Azhar should be recalled to bolster it. Devang Gandhi was a total failure. Ganguly should take the job of the Test opener as well. His middle order slot should go to Ajay Jadeja. Laxmans knock (at Sydney) was a fluke. He shines once in a blue moon. Such players dont deserve a place in the national side. Dharmani should be inducted in place of Prasad and Dighe. Besides being a good keeper he is a very solid bat.
The selection for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy is not fair. The selectors have claimed that they have selected India (Seniors), India-A and India-B teams on the basis of performance only. If this is the case, why isnt Pankaj Dharmani, dashing Punjab batsman who scored a triple century, a double century and a century in the current Ranji Trophy matches, a century in Duleep Trophy and 70 against star studded West Zone in the Deodhar Trophy, taken in any team? I do not have the statistics but he had scored more than five fifties in Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Deodhar Trophy matches. It was he who was instrumental in giving top position to North Zone in both Duleep and Deodhar Trophy matches. Is this fair selection? Despite continuous failures in the matches played in 1999 and 2000, Kambli and VVS Laxman are in the team. Really it is gross discrimination.
All cricket fans are full of praise for the junior cricket team. The team won the Youth World Cup in a very commanding manner. Players like Ravneet Ricky, Yuvraj, Reetinder Sodhi and M. Kaif played superbly. Yuvraj was considered man of the series for his fine performance. In the final against Sri Lanka, Reetinder played brilliantly and took a great catch. It happened on the same day when India seniors like Ajit Agarkar, Sunil Joshi and Robin Singh dropped simple catches against Pakistan in Australia. While having a look at the Indian under-19 side one can expect something big from these youngsters in future.
MONIKA A. SINGH