Friday, 6 June 2008

From toast of the nation to pariah


India doesn’t know how to treat her heroes – Arjuna Ranatunga.

Alas, only the context changes and Ranatunga remains as relevant as ever.

If you’ve followed BCCI moves over the past some months, you tend to believe:

i. it was the forefather of one of the Board mandarins who smote Eddie Hemmings for four sixes in a row to avoid follow-on in that 1990 Lord’s Test;

ii. Anil Kumble is the first Indian to take 400 Test wickets;

iii. India got 175 runs extras in that crucial 1983 World Cup tie against Zimbabwe; and

iv. India won the 1983 World Cup without a helmsman and with a 10-man squad.

Indeed, affluenza-stricken Sharad Pawar and his fellow partners-in-crime in the cash-awash Board have not left any stone unturned in their effort to establish that Kapil Dev simply didn’t exist!

Since aligning with the ICL, Kapil has been ousted from the NCA – a decision yet to be conveyed to him, lost his pension (maybe because he was donating the amount to an NGO dealing with children), plans were dropped to rename the Mohali stadium after him, his mural was removed from the stadium and BCCI grudgingly agreed to felicitate him along with the rest of the 1983 World Cup winning team.

Make no mistake, not that I’m a great admirer of the man. For sure, Kapil keeps dubious company and he may froth at the mouth but all his promoting-cricket blah-blah is complete crap and it was Subhas Chandra’s moolah that led him to ICL.

But how on earth can you deny the fact that he led us to the Holy Grail in 1983 and, apologies to innumerable imposters and perpetual pretenders hovering around, is the only genuine all-rounder produced by India?

The board has treated him like a pariah. He has been dealt as if a stigma, not only a persona non grata but also He Who Should Not Be Seen With.

But what the BCCI pooh-bahs forgot is that cricketers necessitate administrators, and not the other way round. Umpteen Pawars and Modis have come and history has dumped them in the bottomless pit of oblivion. But legends live on.

That magical knock against Zimbabwe, the stunning catch of King Richards running backward…Kapil presided over that unforgettable Triumph of the Underdogs, the biggest upset in the world since David slew Goliath.

You can remove a mural alright. But fortunately, they are yet to discover a way to erase what is etched in the collective memory of the umpteen cricket fans.

3 comments:

Naked Cricket said...

from froth to fraught.
And from Dev's Devils, Dev became the devil himself.
Dev's Daredevils, how would that have been?
Would those born in the post Dev era have any idea who this Dev dude was? - makes the Board's job that much easier.
Sad, but he's like some forgotten hockey great. Nearly. At least he has his coterie.

Straight Point said...

SOM i must say that you have very high hopes from these dick heads (read BCCI)...

the organization which can forget the 75th year of indian test cricket will always be like this...

people will come and people will go but BCCI will keep on proudly standing to its legacy...

don't burn you heart...

UTP said...

surely the only real all-rounder produced by India...