Image Courtesy: aljazeera.net
Indian cricket is at it again!!! They are back to doing what they do best when faced with a crisis; pass the buck to someone else. And there has been a lot of that in the past few days and fingers have been pointed at all and sundry. In the midst of all this nonsense there is a former captain’s meeting with the board due next week. Hopefully at least these former greats will be able to knock some sense into some brainless cricket authorities.
The BCCI has always been a divided body, what with politics and power mongering always taking more importance than the welfare of the game itself. The new regime however brought with them a lot of hope and there was a genuine feeling that things would be different. One gets the feeling that the new regime is more interested in the balance sheet than the well being of the game in the country.
Right now everyone from the players to the selectors to the coach is being blamed for the debacle. The board president indulges in grand posturing and says that changes would be made to the team. But will that solve the problems afflicting Indian Cricket? The answer is a resounding no!!!
Image Courtesy: eurosport.com
Indian cricket’s problems are much deeper than what changing the team or even the captain and the coach could solve. The system itself is rotting. The number of teams in the domestic league is a joke. You can’t have tough competition and a true test of a player’s ability if you have 30 teams in a league. First class players score tons of runs and pick up buckets of wickets in domestic circuit but come up cropper when pitted against tough international opponents.
One can argue that the two tire system has brought about a change but it is only marginal. And the fact of the matter remains that the international players rarely come back and play in the domestic circuit. You can’t blame them too considering the amount of workload they are under in the international circuit.
The saddest part in all this is that even though we have 30 teams in the circuit the BCCI is not represented by the whole nation. There are no cricket associations in some of the states in the east like Sikkim. While a state like Maharashtra has 4 associations. This proves that even after becoming the richest sporting body in the world the BCCI has fallen woefully short in spreading the game to every nook and corner of this nation. Unless they do that we will miss out on talent and the opportunity to tap the country’s full potential.
Image Courtesy: cricmania.com
The selection policy is also flawed. When you pick selectors based on their zones there is bound to be parochialism, and the quota system will always be a hindrance to selecting the best possible team for the country. Why can’t we pick 5 bale selectors, irrespective of their place of origin, and assign each zone to them. The zones allotted to each should be rotated at regular intervals of time so as to avoid any one selector getting too attached to the zone assigned to him.
The pitches in this country do not provide anything to the bowlers. If at all they do provide some assistance it is to the spin bowlers. But they are made ineffective because the boundary of grounds across the nation is becoming shorter and shorter everyday. The logic behind this is that people love to see runs being scored. So in an effort to avoid being pulverized by the batsmen on flat batting tracks the spinner bowls flat and quick which quickly makes them ineffective as potent wicket taking bowlers. Add to that the short boundaries and the spinner has no other option but to bowl flat and quick. And we lament that India is not producing young spinners anymore.
Image Courtesy: hindu.com
Young talent in this country is not properly groomed. Opening up a plethora of cricket academies alone is not the solution to this. They should be given enough opportunities to hone their skills. They should be playing against tougher opponents to gain the necessary temperament needed to survive at the big stage. Above all they should have an exposure to as many different kinds of conditions as they possibly can. Right now they are reared on flat tracks which serve no one. Bowlers get disheartened. The batsmen are found wanting if there is even the slightest of movement or pace in the pitch. If India is to improve on their away record then they have to learn to play on fast bouncy pitches that are found around the world.
What the BCCI, before making all round changes to the team, has to do is to take a look at itself in the mirror and be honest about what they see. If they are to shake up anything then it is the system itself that should be shaken up first. I am not saying that the players, coach and the selectors are not to be blamed. But they will only be as good as the system allows them to be. So if the BCCI genuinely has an interest in the welfare of the game then they should start the drastic changes from within themselves. Otherwise cricket might go the hockey way and then they wont have anything left even in the balance sheet to talk about.