Sunday, September 18, 2005

O(H) CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN


I have to first apologise to the students of English language for the way the title of a famous poem by the American poet Walt Whitman is used. For starters, Whitman wrote the poem on the death of the American President, Abraham Lincoln.

I feel the recent events surrounding the Indian captain Saurav Ganguly have also saddened my heart. He was petulance personified in disclosing before the media about the proposal of Greg Chappell. The coach, it is alleged, wanted Saurav to step down as captain in view of his rather poor form in recent times. Now what was the response? The captain responded with a century against the opposition. So far so good, but the problem is that the other team happens to be Zimbabwe. There is no denying of the fact that Bulawayo is one of the friendliest of the pitches for the batsmen and that the quality of the bowlers is also of a rather friendly type. Of course, the record books will not show any of these things.

The timing of the disclosure by Saurav left a rather bad taste in the mouths of his fans like me. What takes the cake is the allegation that Saurav called on Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya to complain about Chappell. This action is typical of the way Indian politicians respond when stripped of their posts or denied of undue favours. Usually, they start new parties. There is no such likelihood in this case.

What the whole incident has done is to reduce the standing of the captain. It has given a stick in the hands of the known Dalmiya and Ganguly baiters like Rajsingh Dungarpur. It has in one instance, thrown the stellar contributions made by Ganguly as a batsman and more importantly, as a captain, to the dustbin. For once, the magical timing that once made Ganguly a delight to watch has deserted him. Surely, it is like a drowning man clutching at straws.

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