Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rolling stock expected to get better tracks

If I remember correctly I had tagged this Siddhartha Vaidyanathan piece, revealing the true magnitude of effort coming from Railways players for annexing THE Ranji Trophy, to an old post on Sanjay Bangar. Perhaps those boys in the pic on that page will now have a silent word of thanks for the organisers of ICL. In addition to the increased match fees and prize money that the BCCI was forced to announce on them players, hopefully they will now get better facilities to do the job, which is where the cricketing impact of ICL begins.

A chunk of credit for that development - in all senses - should go to their big boss, the brilliant Indian Railway Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, , who masterfully announced a semi-dictatorial decision of letting out Railways cricket infrastructure to the ICL when everyone else pretended to be 1000 miles away from the league. It was a micro revolution of sorts and before long others like West Bengal sports minister Subhash Chakraborty, who is quite smart but less so than Lalu, also saw the double bonus of earning some easy money on rentals along with getting a free maintenance / upgradation of facilities in such venues and immediately declared the cricket stadiums of Bengal as Sports Economic Zones.

For Mr. Chakraborty though, there is a third angle yet - he has as massive an axe to grind with the present rulers of Cricket Association of Bengal as he has with BCCI management.

I do not buy nepotism and scams put me off - and yet I will not mind having the ex Bihar CM lead our country for one tenure. He has a rare gift, one that differentiates genius captains from brilliant ones: he sees an advantage where all else sees a handicap. Like all legendary skippers his moves return handsome dividends for his team while furrowing a few brows.

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