The week Indian cricket mourned

Sourav Ganguly arrives to present his case before the Review Committee in Mumbai.-PTI

It's the man-management aspect that the coach and the captain have to tackle. And when they can't manage each other, how do you expect them to get the best out of other players?

THE last week of September 2005 will go down in the history of Indian cricket as the week that caused maximum damage to the very structure of the game in the country. Earlier, I had called the BCCI the Board of Control of Cricketing Comedy. After the Review Committee meeting on September 27, former India captain Nari Contractor has changed it to Boneless Cricket Control (Board) of India.

The tamasha at the AGM we all witnessed, thanks to enthusiastic television channels breaking news every half hour, most of it speculative. The politicking was so hectic at the AGM that none of the resolutions concerning cricket was even discussed. At the AGM of 1981 in Bangalore, the former President Fathesinghrao Gaekwad, who attended the meeting as a member, stormed out on the first morning when he was not allowed to discuss cricket. In 2005, the legal suits ensured the AGM doesn't begin.

The venue of the Indian cricket tamasha shifted to Mumbai for the match between Greg Chappell and Sourav Ganguly. As I write this column after witnessing the tamasha in Mumbai, the game, one feels, is the loser. What a sad week for Indian cricket.

Sharad Pawar mentioned that what he didn't learn in 48 years of politics, he learnt in 48 hours at Kolkata. Greg Chappell might well be saying that what he didn't learn as captain for Australia, he learnt in four hours while attending the Review Committee meeting.

BCCI President Ranbir Mahendra leaves the hall after the adjournment of the AGM in Kolkata.-ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

When 11 personalities come together, there is bound to be a clash of egos. It's the man-management aspect that the coach and the captain have to tackle. And when they can't manage each other, how do you expect them to get the best out of other players? I had written in my earlier column that Sourav Ganguly considers himself greater than the game. The worst part is he is shielded and pandered to by the BCCI.

After the Review Committee meeting, all that the Board President kept repeating was no player and the coach shall talk to media on this issue and here was our great leader of men, Sourav Ganguly, addressing the press in the same hotel after he, as usual, had an informal chat with the Bengali press. This is the way the BCCI wants to run Indian cricket.

Ganguly may be happy that the Review Committee didn't pull him up, but then we didn't expect them to. The real test of nerves starts when Ganguly takes guard in the middle from the Challenger Trophy onwards. For him, each ball will be a challenge.

Where was the necessity for him to invite additional pressure when he was not in form? Sunil Gavaskar, during his playing days, got involved in a dozen controversies but he would switch off once he was out there in the middle. Is Ganguly capable of that? No. Read all the polls and comments of reputed cricketers of integrity and one finds Ganguly is in the minority but what I am worried about is how Ganguly is going to manage the next two months.

It's nonsensical to get sentimental about Ganguly's record. All great cricketers like Viv Richards and others had to bid goodbye to the game.

Sharad Pawar mentioned that what he didn't learn in 48 years of politics, he learnt in 48 hours at Kolkata.-ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

There is this lovely story told by the great West Indian fast bowler Wesley Hall that, after he was dropped, each selector met him separately and said how that gentleman fought for Hall in the selection committee, and yet with all five selectors telling him their individual version of being the one who backed Hall, he was out of the team.

Ganguly has unnecessarily created a situation that can now only be improved by his scoring runs. E-mails and rebuttals may be boardroom solutions. You can't carry those with you to hand over to the umpire.

This game is a great leveller. One day you are on top, the next you are down. No amount of support from his fans will help him play those majestic cover drives. If Ganguly is refusing to accept the fact, we will soon see him in the commentary box. That will be a sad end to a terrific career.