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A storm in the cash box

Source : SIFY
Last Updated: Wed, Feb 08, 2012 08:54 hrs
​IPL 2012 auction

Either the Board has got its math wrong or Rs 2,000 Crore is small change for the administrators whose nonchalance, to say the least, is baffling in the light of Sahara pulling out of the sponsorship deal just minutes before the IPL auction on Saturday.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the Sahara press release that landed in my inbox just as I started to monitor the auction. The release, I thought, was rather too self-effacing and apologetic, though, reading between the lines, one could sense Sahara's anger and frustration.

Whatever, the Board's reaction has been very typical while reflecting the absolute lack of professional courtesy that Sahara deserved given their decade-old association as sponsors of Indian cricket. But the cash fattened Board officials do not believe in such niceties.

For all that, I have this sneaking feeling that ultimately, the Board and Sahara would kiss and make up. After all, the only thing that makes the world go around is money and given the high stakes, neither the Board nor Sahara would be willing to end the relationship unless the damage, perceived or real, is beyond repair.

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Indeed, it was shocking that the Board refused to even acknowledge the presence or absence of Sahara officials at the auction venue though aware of the background. Apparently, Sahara eventually decided to pull out after their all-night efforts to get the Board to agree to their demands failed.

Amidst all the din and dust, one can sense that both Board and Sahara would not want the situation to spiral out of control, but if both believe that differences could be sorted out, then why was the matter allowed to fester and boil over?

The BCCI is such a powerful unit that you might be forgiven for thinking that it is above law. With the likes of Pawar and Jaitley, foes in politics but bedfellows in cricket, involved, it is small wonder that the Board has survived the IPL scandals, including scrutiny of its funding that clearly pointed to off-shore accounts with a sniff of money laundering.

Even the continuing debacle of its team in Australia has not troubled the BCCI as much as the Sahara pull out and in any case, the administrators had brushed aside the 4-0 rout in England as "one of those things".

Yet, there is plenty to worry about the Indian team that is out of its depth Down Under. The loss in the opening game of the tri-series has hardly bodes well for the team that, by all accounts, seems to be in the midst of a shake-up. The omission of Sehwag for the game against Australia was a clear indication that skipper Dhoni is keen to do a bit of re-jig in the name of “rotation” of senior players, though I suspect, there is more to it than meets the eye.

It is about time that excuses stop and reason takes control. The team cannot endlessly wait for Sehwag to regain his form or for that matter even Sachin whose “overdue big innings” is nowhere in sight while far too much attention is on the imminent “century of centuries”.

The biggest let down has been Ashwin who perhaps needs to not only shed some weight but also get into some sort of bowling rhythm. It could be that he is in the midst of switching from Test match mode to ODI where the emphasis is more on restriction than outright attack. It is to be hoped that he will get back into groove sooner than later.

The Indians seem to be missing an all-rounder like Yuvraj Singh who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. One can only wish him luck and hope that he recovers fully from the cancer treatment that can wear down the strongest of persons.

Although Jadeja appears to have plugged the gap, he needs to be far more consistent to cement his position in the one-day squad and also justify the millions that the Super Kings have spent in purchasing him at the IPL auction.

On the brighter side, it is heartening that Kohli is shaping up nicely into a quality international batsman and has more or less nailed his position in the Indian team in all formats. For sure, he is a star in the making.

If anything, the ongoing tri-series will accurately indicate the health of the Indian team, though one fears that the tour will soon be forgotten when the IPL gets underway, but it has been so for the past few years. We use bricks only to hurl at others, but not to build!

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