BCCI woke up like Kumbhkarn in the Ramayana (too late, that is) and declared they would be taking drastic steps. Soon they realised that they perhaps had already taken one of them by promising to act tough even before they had a plan in place. They subsequently called for suggestions to restructure Indian cricket from ex India skippers and asked them to meet. It was a second drastic step because till that date ex-skippers were a breed that got remembered only for medal distributions at jubilee celebrations of various state cricket boards and for filling up vacant NCA Director posts (the latter even had an elementary cut off criteria of 400 + Test wickets or 10000+ Test runs).
The invitations to ex-captains of Indian Cricket Team were official upon hindsight, because the ex-skips actually acted on it (the NCA issue need not be brought up again in this context). They met and solemnly came up with a few logical yet not-too-rare points. This post is not an exploration on the action points coming out of that meeting. Rather we take a look at some of the opinions that spontaneously came across in response to the distress signal that the invitation to skippers sent ever so silently to many who either love Indian cricket or love to think about it.
[For all you know that not-fully-cured infection of ABCD - Acute BCCI-ian Cyber Diarrhoea for the uninitiated - may have resurfaced at an appropriate time. In simple non-medical words, an invitation email for 'f1 Indian Cricket' may have customarily got leaked and ended up in mailboxes of an interesting cross section of cricket folk across the world.A decade or two will surely pass before that cyber disorder issue comes up on the BCCI uncles' list of 'drastic steps needed' areas.]
Here's a nice triplet of instances. Old Indian cricketer (& incisive cric blogger) V Ramnarayan, old Indian foe Allan Border [that constitutes another ABCD: Allan Border's Cricket Discussion] and old Indian friend John Wright have all come out with their perceptions of the do's and don'ts facing Indian cricket. These pieces are all roadmaps for Indian cricket circa 2007 with a surprising similarity of style. The likeness of presentation is all the more striking as they are coming from three dissimilar people separated in time, space and upbringing.
These articles, read over the past week or so, evoke a deep sadness in me. Those pieces incite a feeling that my dear IC is in the ICU and a set of three doctors, doctors that we think are pretty dependable and without malice towards the patient, are dropping in uninvited from various corners of the world to offer their take on the drastic steps needed to resuscitate the ailing patient. All of this happens while the officially appointed internal medics mull over an action plan to get their patient out of the precarious position.
The unison in opinion that these docs have with each other and with the internal medics is desperately bad news for all ears aching like mine to pick up the smallest bit of good news on this patient for quite some time now.
Sometimes you have to smile to yourself when no one else allows you to. So until the day there is reason for genuine rejoice I take delight to imagine what this sick patient can do to her craft if her vigour, even in this condition, is what the world still seeks to draw from.