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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Indian cricket - own Argus-like review

The Argus review has been completed in Australia recently and the committee has suggested a number of moves, some of them ratified by the Board so far. If a similar review was done for Indian cricket, what would we find?

  1. The true fact is that there have been quite a few bowlers blooded by India in the post-Srinath era. Not just bowlers, there have been middle-order batsmen and spinners in this list. Barring a few, none of them have gone on to be consistent in their approach. Quite a few have been injured while most of them have lost their way. Other than giving them their first chance, has the BCCI given them any directions? Not much. Have there been any opportunities these players received, other than the odd match or two as part of the senior squad? Nope. 
  2. Similarly, quite a few bowlers have been given chances in the ODI squad. They have been part of the regular circus undertaken by the BCCI on tours and series at home. Once again, no one takes care of these players once they are out of the team. How many times have we heard that Failure is the stepping  stone to success. Even Laxman, Tendulkar did not make it big in their first few attempts - it was over time they have matured to the Greats they have become now.
  3. What can one say about the Indian cricket schedule drawn by the BCCI? Is there any say of the players in drawing up this ridiculous schedule? Or is the BCCI just keen to milk the cow that Indian team is now. Such a schedule will only lead to injuries like the ones suffered by Zaheer, Gambhir and Sehwag.
  4. The amount of money being paid by IPL franchises to the players is much more than what the BCCI plays as per their contract. This obviously shows where the players' priority lie. Can the BCCI take care of this disparity and ensure that the players are compensated well if they represent the nation. National pride aside, compensation plays a big part in the individual's interests.
  5. The top-20 list of batsmen and bowlers who have done well in the domestic tournaments still shows veterans who are no longer considered for national selection. The other players have been given few chances but there is no one in the BCCI who can vouch for the greatness of these cricketers, can they? The pitches being used on the domestic circuit are either completely supporting the bowlers or the batsmen - there is no place for bounce, seam on these pitches.
  6. Cricket academies where the younger players are groomed are no longer serving the purpose. Kiran More remarked that the NCA was a joke. Karsan Ghavri also added that he had not seen a youngster bowl 140kmph in the Bowling Academy ever. Even now, the MRF Pace Academy manufactures bowlers who are good in their art and have represented India for a decent period of time - latest being Varun Aaron. The first bowler from these stables was T A Sekhar who is the current coach in the same academy. Can the BCCI formalize this Academy so that more bowlers come out of this production-line to play for India?
  7. Can the administration of the state cricket association be separated from the cricketing aspects? There used to be a concept of TRDO (talent scouts) earlier in the domestic circuit. Various cricketers like MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan are examples of players who have been identified by such scouts. Can these scouts/officers be re-initiated?
  8. How much of the domestic cricket is being watched by the selectors? Can one get more accountability being drawn out of the performance of first-class players? Will a player like Bhargav Bhatt (leading wicket-taker) get more chances to ply his wares? Or will he get demoralised like Mithun who after getting his chance at the senior level (and making a decent performance) is back to the root-level without knowing what he needs to further his chance once again. Communication and Feedback to the players is an important aspect that needs to be included. Rahul Dravid had no clue that he was coming back to ODI after being dropped for a long while. Similarly, Murali Karthik has no idea why he is still out of the favor with selectors.
  9. Will there be a clause in the contracts of the players where performance of the individual will have a bearing on the compensation he receives. It should be a reflection of the players presence in the next year contract as well. Only then will the players get a feeling that they are being watched for their performance and compensated accordingly.
  10. Will Duncan Fletcher get a say in the selection as well as the injury management of players? Hope players like Sehwag and Zaheer (even though they were not fit enough after injury) are not fast-tracked to the playing squad.
Obviously, these 10 points were collected after reading the comments of ex-players, bloggers and other columnists. If one talks to other players like the Argus Review did, one can come up with an even bigger list.
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