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Thread: Isn't Saurav Ganguly such a lovable character ?

  1. #31
    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlo33692
    Sorry sir. I'll try to behave better in future.
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  2. #32
    Registered User jlo33692's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    Sorry sir. I'll try to behave better in future.
    LOL

  3. #33
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg
    How politically correct.

    Edit: Sanz, brilliant quote there in the signature. Was the journalist by any chance a Pathan?
    I dont know who asked that question..but it was on Cricinfo and I found it hillarious.

    And you are right about the politically correct part. I dont think India Pakistan have much similarity except the Punjab part of both sides of the Border. One of my south Indian buddies had gone to Pak to watch India Pak games, and being a pukka Southie was looking for Dosas in Lahore and was suprised that people didn't even know what a DOSA was.

  4. #34
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyeddie
    No, it was Flintoff I shot dot com, not Ganguly.

    Oh, IS HOT.

    Sorry.


    Did you know that Flintoff didn't write his 'autobiography' and apparently he is yet to read it.


  5. #35
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyeddie
    Is the reaction towards Ganguly not more about his perceived (ok, real) arrogance and attitude, though?
    May be, But is it justified, definately not.

  6. #36
    Registered User jlo33692's Avatar
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    I went to the Gangully site and i hope no one minds as i found an article ,the original email from Greg Chappell to the board.I found it facinating to read,it is fairly long but really is a good read to get to the guts of the whole issue around Gangully.Ps this is not my opinion ,it is G Chappells.

    Chappell's e-mail to the BCCI chief

    Full text of India cricket team coach Greg Chappell's e-mail to Board of Control for Cricket in India president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, courtesy DNA, India TV

    Due to comments made by Mr Sourav Ganguly during the press conference following his innings in the recently completed Test match in Bulawayo and the subsequent media speculation I would like to make my position clear on two points.

    1. At no stage did I ask Mr Ganguly to step down from the captaincy of the Indian team and;

    2. At no stage have I threatened to resign my position as Indian team coach.

    Mr Ganguly came to me following the recently completed tri-series of one-day matches here in Zimbabwe and asked me to tell him honestly where he stood as a player in my view. I told him that I thought he was struggling as a player and that it was affecting his ability to lead the team effectively and that the pressure of captaincy was affecting his ability to play to his potential. I also told him that his state of mind was fragile and it showed in the way that he made decisions on and off the field in relation to the team, especially team selection. A number of times during the tri-series the tour selectors had chosen a team and announced it to the group only for Sourav to change his mind on the morning of the game and want to change the team.

    On at least one occasion he did change the team and on the morning of the final I had to talk him out of making another last-minute change that I believe would have destroyed team morale and damaged the mental state of the individuals concerned. I also told Sourav that his nervous state was affecting the team in other ways as he was prone to panic during pressure situations in games and that his nervous demeanour was putting undue pressure on the rest of the team. His nervous pacing of the rooms during our batting in the final plus his desire to change the batting order during our innings in the final had also contributed to nervousness in the players waiting to go in to bat. His reluctance to bat first in games I suggested was also giving wrong signals to the team and the opposition and his nervousness at the crease facing bowlers like Shane Bond from NZ was also affecting morale in the dressing room.

    On the basis of this and other observations and comments from players in the squad about the unsettling effect Sourav was having on the group I suggested to Sourav that he should consider stepping down from the captaincy at the end of the tour in the interests of the team and in his own best interests if he wanted to prolong his playing career. I told him of my own experiences toward the end of my career and cited other players such as Border, Taylor and Steve Waugh, all of whom struggled with batting form toward the end of their tenure as Australian captain.

    We discussed other issues in relation to captaincy and the time and effort it took that was eating into his mental reserves and making it difficult to prepare properly for batting in games. He commented that he had enjoyed being free of those responsibilities in the time that he was in Sri Lanka following his ban from international cricket and that he would consider my suggestion.

    I also raised the matter of selection for the first Test with Sourav and asked him where he thought he should bat. He said 'number 5'. I told him that he might like to consider opening in the Test as the middle order was going to be a tight battle with Kaif and Yuvraj demanding selection. Sourav asked me if I was serious. I said it was something to be considered, but it had to be his decision.

    The following day Sourav batted in the match against Zimbabwe 'A' team in the game in Mutare. I am not sure of the exact timing of events because I was in the nets with other players when Sourav went in to bat, but the new ball had either just been taken or was imminent when I saw Sourav walking from the field holding his right arm. I assumed he had been hit and made my way to the players' area where Sourav was receiving treatment from the team physiotherapist, John Gloster.

    When I enquired as to what had happened Sourav said he had felt a click in his elbow as he played a ball through the leg side and that he thought he should have it investigated. Sourav had complained of pain to his elbow at various stages of the one-day series, but he had resisted having any comprehensive investigation done and, from my observation, had been spasmodic in his treatment habits, often not using ice-packs for the arm that had been prepared for him by John Gloster. I suggested, as had John Gloster, that we get some further tests done immediately. Sourav rejected these suggestions and said he would be 'fine'. When I queried what he meant by 'fine' he said he would be fit for the Test match. I then queried why then was it necessary to be off the field now. He said that he was just taking 'precautions'.

    Rather than make a scene with other players and officials in the vicinity I decided to leave the matter and observe what Sourav would do from that point on. After the loss of Kaif, Yuvraj and Karthik to the new ball, Sourav returned to the crease with the ball now around 20 overs old. He struggled for runs against a modest attack and eventually threw his wicket away trying to hit one of the spinners over the leg side.

    The next day I enquired with a number of the players as to what they had thought of Sourav's retirement. The universal response was that it was 'just Sourav' as they recounted a list of times when Sourav had suffered from mystery injuries that usually disappeared as quickly as they had come. This disturbed me because it confirmed for me that he was in a fragile state of mind and it was affecting the mental state of other members of the squad.
    When we arrived in Bulawayo I decided I needed to ask Sourav if he had over-played the injury to avoid the danger period of the new ball as it had appeared to me and others within the touring party that he had protected himself at the expense of others. He denied the suggestion and asked why he would do that against such a modest attack. I said that he was the only one who could answer that question.

    I was so concerned about the affect that Sourav's actions were having on the team that I decided I could not wait until selection meeting that evening to inform him that I had serious doubts about picking him for the first Test.

    I explained that, in my view, I felt we had to pick Kaif and Yuvraj following their good form in the one-day series and that Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman and Dravid had to play. He said that his record was better than Kaif and Yuvraj and that they had not proved themselves in Test cricket. I countered with the argument that they had to be given a chance to prove themselves on a consistent basis or we would never know. I also said that their form demanded that they be selected now.

    Sourav asked me whether I thought he should be captain of the team. I said that I had serious doubts that he was in the right frame of mind to do it. He asked me if I thought he should step down. I said that it was not my decision to make, that only he could make that decision, but if he did make that decision he had to do it in the right manner or it would have even more detrimental effects than if he didn't stand down. I said that now was not the time to make the decision but that we should discuss it at the selection meeting to be held later in the day.

    Sourav then said that if I didn't want him to be captain that he would inform Rahul Dravid that was going to stand down. I reiterated that it was not my decision to make but he should give it due consideration under the circumstances but not to do it hastily. At that point Sourav went to Rahul and the two of them conferred briefly and then Sourav left the field and entered the dressing room. At that stage I joined the start of the training session.

    A short time later Mr Chowdhary came on to the field and informed me that Sourav had told him that I did not want him as captain and that Sourav wanted to leave Zimbabwe immediately if he wasn't playing. I then joined Mr Chowdhary and Rahul Dravid in the dressing room where we agreed that this was not the outcome that any of us wanted and that the ramifications would not be in the best interests of the team.

    We then spent some time with Sourav and eventually convinced him that he should stay on as captain for the two Tests and then consider his future. In my view it was not an ideal solution but it was better than the alternative of him leaving on a bad note. I believe he has earned the right to leave in a fitting manner. We all agreed that this was a matter that should stay between us and should not, under any circumstances, be discussed with the media.

    The matter remained quiet until the press conference after the game when a journalist asked Sourav if he had been asked to step down before the Test. Sourav replied that he had but he did not want to elaborate and make an issue of it. I was then called to the press conference where I was asked if I knew anything of Sourav being asked to step down before the game. I replied that a number of issues had been raised regarding selection but as they were selection matters I did not wish to make any further comment.

    Apart from a brief interview on ESPN before which I emphasized that I did not wish to discuss the issue because it was a selection matter I have resisted all other media approaches on the matter.

    Since then various reports have surfaced that I had threatened to resign. I do not know where that rumour has come from because I have spoken to no one in regard to this because I have no intention of resigning. I assume that some sections of the media, being starved of information, have made up their own stories.

    At the completion of the Test match I was approached by VVS Laxman with a complaint that Sourav had approached him on the eve of the Test saying that I had told Sourav that I did not want Laxman in the team for Test matches. I denied that I had made such a remark to Sourav, or anybody else for that matter, as, on the contrary, I saw Laxman as an integral part of the team. He asked how Sourav could have said what he did. I said that the only way we could go to the bottom of the matter was to speak to Sourav and have him repeat the allegation in front of me.

    I arranged for a meeting with the two of them that afternoon. The meeting took place just after 6pm in my room at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo. I told Sourav that Laxman had come to me complaining that Sourav had made some comments to Laxman prior to the Test. I asked Sourav if he would care to repeat the comment in my presence. Sourav then rambled on about how I had told him that I did not see a place for Laxman in one-day cricket, something that I had discussed with Sourav and the selection panel and about which I had spoken to Laxman at the end of the Sri Lankan tour.
    Sourav mentioned nothing about the alleged conversation regarding Laxman and Test cricket even when I pushed him on it later in the discussion. As we had to leave for a team function we ended the conversation without Sourav adequately explaining his comments to Laxman.

    Again, this is not an isolated incident because I have had other players come to me regarding comments that Sourav had made to them that purports to be comments from me to Sourav about the particular player. In each case the comments that Sourav has passed on to the individual are figments of Sourav's imagination. One can only assume that he does it to unnerve the individual who, in each case, has been a middle order batsman.

    Sourav has missed the point of my discussions with him on this matter. It has less to do with his form than it does with his attitude toward the team. Everything he does is designed to maximise his chance of success and is usually detrimental to someone else's chances.

    Despite meeting with him in Mumbai after his appointment as captain and speaking with him about these matters and his reluctance to do the preparation and training that is expected of everyone else in the squad he continues to set a bad example.

    Greg King's training reports continue to show Sourav as the person who does the least fitness and training work based on the criterion that has been developed by the support staff to monitor the work load of all the players.

    We have also developed parameters of batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy that we believe embodies the 'Commitment to Excellence' theme that I espoused at my interview and Sourav falls well below the acceptable level in all areas. I will be pleased to present this documentation when I meet with the special committee in Mumbai later this month.

    I can assure you sir that all my actions in this matter, and all others since my appointment, have been with the aim of improving the team performance toward developing a team that will represent India with distinctions in Test match and one-day cricket.

    As I said to you during our meeting in Colombo, I have serious reservations about the attitude of some players and about Sourav and his ability to take this team to a new high, and none of the things he has done since his reappointment has caused me to change my view. In fact, it has only served to confirm that it is time for him to move on and let someone else build their team toward the 2007 World Cup.

    This team has been made to be fearful and distrusting by the rumour mongering and deceit that is Sourav's modus operandi of divide and rule. Certain players have been treated with favour, all of them bowlers, while others have been shunted up and down the order or left out of the team to suit Sourav's whims.

    John Wright obviously allowed this to go on to the detriment of the team. I am not prepared to sit back and allow this to continue or we will get the same results we have been seeing for some time now.

    It is time that all players were treated with fairness and equity and that good behaviours and attitudes are rewarded at the selection table rather than punished.

    I can assure you of my very best intentions.

    Yours sincerely,

    Greg Chappell MBE

  7. #37
    Cricket Web Staff Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Quite, quite fascinating - the machinations and politics of international cricket in particular have for many years been a subject that has been beyond my grasp.

    It almost reads as though Greg Chappell's perception of events is that Ganguly would like to see himself as a player-manager-captain figure and has stamped down on that.

    In the past I have seen captains seemingly being 'stitched up' and hung out to dry by management (e.g. Nasser Hussain, Ian Botham), but if even half of what GC says is true, it appears that he has been left with no alternative.

    It would be interesting to read John Wright's take on matters.
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  8. #38
    Registered User jlo33692's Avatar
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    I will see if i can find anything on Wrights view,if he has any sense he wont have any view haha well not a public view anyway,I just found it amazing though Eddie that this email is out for public consumtion,and it does not do gangully any favours does it.
    As you say though m8 we have to read all the facts before you get a true picture,thats not saying any of chappells story is a lie,just his take on things. In fairness though there is always 2 sides to a story huh?

    Still none from Wright but i have a break down of Gangullys take on it ,abreviated down but here is the guts of Gangullys messgae back to the board,that has also found its way into the media????????? Just a leak mind you hahaha
    ps please dont shoot the messenger.....

    Here's the interpretation of his reply.
    COURTESY:mumbai mirror.
    ************************************
    In a damning reply to Greg Chappell's leaked mail, captain Sourav Ganguly reportedly told the review committee how the coach had purposely misrepresented facts to make him look bad.

    Ganguly, in a six-page report, said Chappell was trying to be "boss" of the team and gave numerous incidents describing his "controlling nature". Details of the note that saved Ganguly, tilting the Review Committee against the coach, were revealed to Mumbai Mirror by a BCCI source.

    The report clearly shows that there is definitely no truce between the two. The board has managed to buy time but this is sure to escalate in a big crisis in the near future.

    Ganguly told the committee that Chappell tried to undermine his authority right through the Zimbabwe series and even went out to toss with the opposing captain without Ganguly's knowledge during a warm-up game while the team was practising in the nets.

    In his note, Ganguly called it a "huge humiliation for any captain". But, he wrote, he let the incident pass as a joke because he did not want to make a scene and create an "unhealthy dressing-room environment".

    In his e-mail, Chappell had denied directly telling Ganguly that he should quit. But the skipper told the committee that Chappell had come to him on the eve of the first test and categorically asked him to step down as captain and "go back home to play domestic cricket".

    He said Rahul Dravid explained to Chappell that his suggestion could have huge repercussions in India since Ganguly had been appointed captain for the whole tour by the selectors, and the coach was in no position to tell the captain to sit out. Chappell then "pleaded sorry that his timing was wrong".

    Chappell had alleged in his mail that Ganguly was destroying the morale of the side by changing the team repeatedly on the morning of the match. But the skipper pointed out that they played the same 11 for almost the series, and only discussed some minor changes.

    Accusing Chappell of misrepreseting facts to prove he had faked a tennis elbow in the warm-up game, Ganguly explained the exact nature of his injury and said he couldn't get scans done because there was no facility in Mutare or Bulawayo. Both physiotherapist John Gloster and manager Amitabh Choudhary supported Ganguly on this. Even Ranbir Mahendra, when he addressed the media, called Chappell's injury allegation "far from the truth". Ganguly also submitted trainer Greg King's fitness report, which shows he had actually completed more training sessions than he had been prescribed.

    He vehemently fought the charge that he used a policy of "divide and rule". Ganguly stressed on how the Team India concept had emerged under his leadership and gave incidents of how he had backed players, even fought for them with the selectors on occasion. Secretary Karunakaran Nair, who sits in on selection meetings, backed Ganguly on this.

    Ganguly also rubbished Chappell's claim that he was scared of the new ball, telling the committee how he had asked Rahul Dravid to retire in the Mutare warm-up match, where things really started going sour between captain and coach, so that he could face the new ball on the second morning. "If you like, you can check with Rahul," Ganguly wrote in his report.
    Last edited by jlo33692; 27-10-2005 at 07:40 PM.

  9. #39
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Is Greg Chappell a liar, Mr Mahendra?

    September 27, 2005

    Let this be a lesson to all you guys out there -- never, ever presume to seek solutions when you do not know what the problem is.

    For near on two weeks now, everyone -- the media, the pundits, the fan blowing his hard-earned cash on beer to fuel his arguments -- has been analysing the Greg Chappell-Sourav Ganguly standoff.

    The problem, some said, is a clash of cultures -- Chappell is the quintessentially abrasive Aussie, who does not know how to sugar coat his messages.

    Nope, said others, the problem is Sourav Ganguly, who is in the midst of a form slump and desperately keen on holding on to his position.

    You didn't know zip, did you? It took less than a day for the six wise men to analyse the issue from all points of the compass, and to conclude that the problem really was a relatively minor oversight.

    The six wise men will do nothing

    You see, what actually happened (and this is official) was, when the BCCI committee met three months earlier to appoint the coach, they forgot to tell him that it was important to work with the captain for the 'best interests of Indian cricket'.

    You can't blame them, really. The committee comprised Sarvashri Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and S Venkatraghavan, former captains all, who presumed that such basics did not merit spelling out.

    And -- you know how, per Murphy's Law, such things can happen -- when the selectors picked the captain ahead of the Zimbabwe tour, they forgot to tell him that he had to work with the coach.

    Indian Cricket's Mahayuddh

    That is all it is, really -- just a minor slip up in communications. And once the review committee in its infinite wisdom diagnosed the problem, the rest was simple: Captain Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell have been told, in clear, impossible to misunderstand words, that the idea is for the two to work together, not against one another.

    This, the two gents were told, is cricket, not tug of war; you pull together, not apart.

    Oh, and just to make sure the captain and coach work together, they have been told not to e-mail/talk to anyone else; the players (who really have no business pre-empting the wise men and trying to determine what the problem was) have been told not to talk, period.

    There now, problem solved. Indian cricket has turned the corner -- correction, that should read 'another corner'. So why am I ****ed off? Because, you see, there is one little issue that has been left unresolved.

    How did this whole thing start? The genesis, you will admit, is Greg Chappell's feeling that Sourav Ganguly was not fit to lead the national side.

    It is this feeling that triggered their conversation; this, that had Ganguly speak out on television; this, that formed the leitmotif of Chappell's lengthy, 'private' e-mail.

    The mail said Ganguly was not fit to lead on two counts: One physical, one mental. Take the mental part first: Chappell accused Ganguly of playing divide and rule; of causing schism in the dressing room in order to hang on to his own place in the side. And Chappell offered up V V S Laxman as the guinea pig to prove this thesis.

    Elsewhere Harbhajan Singh, fronting the defense, suggested that it was Chappell that was causing schism, playing one player (Singh himself) off against the other (Rahul Dravid).

    Both camps agreed on one thing -- there is schism. And everyone -- fans, pundits, the media -- will agree on one other thing: schism within the team is bad. In this case, it is worse than bad -- Sourav Ganguly has worked for four long years to eradicate that very vice and to bring this wonderful sense of unity to the ranks, and all his work now gone for nothing?

    So, there is division in the Indian dressing room. If Bajji is right, Chappell is the cause. If Chappell is right, Ganguly is the cause. And you will agree that a person -- captain, coach, whoever -- who deliberately sets out to cause divisions cannot be tolerated in the, what was the phrase, 'best interests of Indian cricket'.

    Given that, does it strike you as curious that the six wise men, who undoubtedly have the best interests of Indian cricket at heart, are totally, completely silent on the question?

    If the silence had been pervasive, if it had extended to all issues raised in recent days, we could understand it; we could reason, and say the idea behind the silence is to ensure that the situation does not get further aggravated.

    The silence, though, is not pervasive, all encompassing. On one issue, the review committee is, through frontman Ranbir Singh Mahendra, very vocal.

    Mahendra -- speaking for the committee -- rejected outright Chappell's allegation that Ganguly repeatedly faked injury to avoid facing fast bowling, and blew off training sessions.

    "Some of the points, particularly with regards to injury, the captain Sourav faking injury etc, after hearing the concerned people, the committee came to the conclusion that whatever has been said is far from the truth," Mahendra said.

    Hullo? Chappell's famous e-mail was an essay in explaining why Saurav Ganguly was not fit to lead the team. Ganguly was, Chappell said, physically and mentally unfit to lead.

    The 'mental' part relates to the accusations of causing division, a la Laxman and others -- which, of course, has been treated with silence. The physical part relates to his blowing away training sessions, and feigning injuries.

    Bear in mind that Chappell makes the further point that when he got that impression, he checked with several players, and they all told him that Ganguly clutching an elbow and going oo-aah-ouch was nothing new.

    Nothing of the kind happened, Mahendra says. Phrased differently, Greg Chappell lied.

    Lied, what is worse, with one transparent motive: to paint the national cricket captain in as bad a light as he could? Worse, he also said that he tried to make the team a party to this heinous lie.

    Will the BCCI explain how it is in the 'best interests of Indian cricket' to have, as coach of the national side, a man who has -- by the BCCI's own admission -- lied so blatantly; in the process libeled a national cricket icon with over 15,000 international runs, not to mention a sterling string of triumphs, under his belt?

    Now that you have branded Chappell a liar, Mr Mahendra, do you expect us, the fans and the media, to take him seriously any more; to give credence to anything he may say in future?

    Having branded your coach a liar, Mr Mahendra, do you now expect the players in the dressing room to take him seriously, to respect him, to heed him?

    Why, since you so obviously have the 'best interests of Indian cricket' so much at heart, have you not sacked this man outright?

    Will you please explain how it was in the 'best interest' of Indian cricket to not sack Chappell (don't waffle about contracts, please -- no contract drawn up by any kind of professional fails to include a morals clause), to retain this man, in his post?

    Oh, but I forgot -- you did say no one will talk any more, did you not?

  10. #40
    Cricket, Lovely Cricket Pratters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz
    I dont know who asked that question..but it was on Cricinfo and I found it hillarious.

    And you are right about the politically correct part. I dont think India Pakistan have much similarity except the Punjab part of both sides of the Border. One of my south Indian buddies had gone to Pak to watch India Pak games, and being a pukka Southie was looking for Dosas in Lahore and was suprised that people didn't even know what a DOSA was.
    Firstly regarding Dosas. Calcutta had just one Dosa outlet 15-20 years ago - Super Snack Bar. Would it mean Calcutta had nothing similar to India?

    Regarding there not being much similarity between India and Pakistan:

    They have shared years of history before divided 55 or so years ago. Does the historical back ground mean nothing and is dissolved in merely 55 years?

    The tejzeeb (manners) of the people, the roads (Rahul Bhattacharya compared a famous Pakistan city with Mumbai in his book quite vividly) and a lot of things you can just feel in the enviroment are similar on most accounts.

    Food is NOT what is a deciding factor in such arguements Most of the states in India have different food and different languages. Even the food which has crossed states is different on ocassions. The dosas found in north and south India have different taste. People in Bengal eat fish and rice. If you go to Central India and ask for traditional Bengal food, a Bengali will not be satisfied with what he gets. Even the famous rossogollas of Bengal were till a few years not available widespread. They certainly are not available as easily every where as they are in Bengal.

  11. #41
    Banned Shoaib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratyush
    I really find it shameful when Indians and Pakistanis fight unnecessarily on the internet forums where the least they can do is show solidarity in a platform which crosses borders in their living rooms on their pcs.
    U hinting about me & nehrafan?

  12. #42
    Cricket, Lovely Cricket Pratters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaib
    U hinting about me & nehrafan?
    Generally whenever India-Pakistan flame has happened on the forums. Includes the current ocassion.

  13. #43
    Registered User jlo33692's Avatar
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    ???
    Huh,i think we are getting off the subject,it is obviosly a very emotional issue.
    My only comment on the chappell issue is ,i am pretty certain he would not be acting alone and i think he will get his way and the board will back the appointment they made till he has completed what it is they required him to do. IMO,sad though to see Indian cricket in such termoil ,I dont think anyone is the winner in this sorry debate,but i know who the loser is,INDIA,comeon sort it out and get the team back as a team.
    Last edited by jlo33692; 28-10-2005 at 12:19 AM.

  14. #44
    Registered User jlo33692's Avatar
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    Here is a pro Gangully article for those who feel he is hard done by.



    Ganguly refuses to fade away
    -----------------------------------------

    Rahul Bhattacharya at Rajkot

    October 21, 2005




    Sourav Ganguly: dividing opinions and stoking the argument Getty Images


    The most fascinating Indian cricketer of his generation made an innings today that must count among the more poignant in recent times at any level of cricket. It could mean nothing and yet it meant so much.

    Sourav Ganguly came to Rajkot under fire, which over the past 13 years has probably become his natural state of being. At the best of times he hasn't been the most loved of cricketers. Leave aside his fielding and running between the wickets, your average watcher is annoyed with the way he blinks (he wears contact lenses) or smirks.

    On the lamentable television show, Match ke Mujrim (Culprits of the Match), he has been voted chief culprit so often that they disqualified him on the last occasion. Nowadays you can log on to the dismal website www.************.com, which advertises itself as "a place to mourn, condemn and discuss the pathetic state of Indian cricket embodied by Sourav "No-Fast-Bowling-Please" Ganguly".

    Ganguly arrived here in absurdly challenging circumstances. Everybody seemed to know the complete truth about his elbow injury, never mind that the doctors themselves regard such a condition impossible to pronounce on with certainty.

    Besides, the absolute absence of vision from the board meant that Indian cricket has been beset with a bizarre captaincy shootout for four months running. Even now, despite the precedent-breaking appointment of Rahul Dravid for two series - in fact, it is just 12 back-to-back one-dayers - nothing is clear. Dravid has virtually not reacted to what should have been a watershed in his life because he doesn't know whether he will be in the seat for the Tests that follow.

    Ganguly himself has not said whether he is prepared to forgo captaincy ambitions or not - though his silence probably indicates the latter. Neither the chairman of selectors or the board has bothered to clarify whether India indeed has a new captain or merely a man in charge for the next month. As ever, it has been a case of waiting and watching, cussing and laughing.

    So there were the circumstances, and there was the setting - the emptiness at a stadium that is approached through a garden, the one man selling freshly limed chana chorgaram outside the gate, the one lad with the poster professing his willingness to die for Maharaj if needed, the warm and dusty breeze of pure sleep, the blissful languor of proceedings within the larger drama of Indian cricket.

    Ganguly was greeted by a pitch several shades greener than is normal for the venue: the association is a rival to the Jagmohan Dalmiya camp. Nor was he up against, like they say hereabouts, a poppatwadi attack. The opponents picked five specialist bowlers. Three have played international cricket, the other two should do soon.

    Ganguly countered them with a superb innings from a tricky position. Good and bad, there was all of him here. He converted threes to twos with perfect earnestness. He was clunked on the head. He French-cut often enough. He also played strokes lesser talents can only dream of.

    He began last evening with the most emphatic of statements, a rousing slap in front of square. Soon he was in a flap but he stayed alive. He started this morning with swollen feet and poked VRV Singh just fine of gully. Within thirty minutes, on an easing pitch, he was occupying a plane comfortably higher than anyone else in the match - and there are half a dozen here who are or have been in or on the fringes of the national team.

    Sarandeep Singh was hoisted onto the shamiana, burnt on the side of his turban and dabbed past slip. Amit Mishra was cut repeatedly in front of square and once inside-outed. Off Amit Bhandari came the sweetest of drives on the rise. Gagandeep Singh, the standout bowler along with VRV, was pulled with something approaching glory.

    On 86 Ganguly was dropped but by now he'd begun making room to hit through off. At quarter to twelve he reached a hundred, and his second fifty had come from 44 balls. Soon after lunch he was gone for he does not build big first-class innings. But remember that of the 22 players on either side, only one other pipped fifty in the first innings. Unsurprisingly, he didn't take the field for an hour after tea.

    What's left to say about Ganguly? Attacking and defending him have become cottage industries in India. He is deemed to be one thing or the other, rarely both, which, of course, he is, like the rest of everyone. He may have abandoned Freddie Flintoff to his curry. He also makes tea for visitors to his hotel room. He may have rubbed innumerable people the wrong way, but he has also the invaluable facility of making several feel special, a trait that served him remarkably well while shaping a properly motley bunch of individuals into a team worth challenging the best. He has been the most human of leaders.

    Alas somewhere he failed to regenerate himself. In about six years his Test and one-day averages fell nine and four points, an indictment particularly severe when you consider that it has been a period of incomparable bounty for batsmen the world over. Coaches more lenient than Greg Chappell could rightly be appalled with his levels of fitness. He scarcely remained in a position to demand more from his players.

    What Ganguly has shown at Rajkot without doubt that he is here is to be counted. It is also likely, if not certain, that he will not be able to channel the same kind of intensity into his craft when in charge of a team, particularly one in disarray. Can he withstand the allround physical rigours of international cricket? Is he not, like Nasser Hussain said, fighting the wrong battles? Would he not be better off diverting all his energy to become the very best batsman and fielder and bowler that he can be? Will it not be best for all concerned?

    It is high time that he, Dravid, the coach, the team, and indeed, the millions who follow Indian cricket, know exactly what the score is. It would be good to watch Ganguly bat well again. It would be good to see the Indian team happy again.

    Rahul Bhattacharya is author of Pundits from Pakistan: On tour with India 2003-04.

    Cricinfo
    Last edited by jlo33692; 28-10-2005 at 12:20 AM.

  15. #45
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratyush
    Firstly regarding Dosas. Calcutta had just one Dosa outlet 15-20 years ago - Super Snack Bar. Would it mean Calcutta had nothing similar to India?
    No that would mean that India is so diverse that a state in south is totally different from east, west & north in almost every way. If one part of India cant be like another part of the country how can we say that a neighboring country which is (equally diverse) is similar to India ? If you ask pakistanis, many of them find it pretty offensive and imperialist.

    Regarding there not being much similarity between India and Pakistan:

    They have shared years of history before divided 55 or so years ago. Does the historical back ground mean nothing and is dissolved in merely 55 years?
    Even the british shared 200 years of history with us, does that mean that India and britain are similar ? As for the history of India Pakistan - There was no united India before the British came, There were Independent kingdoms. Besides just because that region was part of India doesn't mean India/Pakistan are similar. the fact is that they are not.

    The tejzeeb (manners) of the people, the roads (Rahul Bhattacharya compared a famous Pakistan city with Mumbai in his book quite vividly) and a lot of things you can just feel in the enviroment are similar on most accounts.
    ??? Dude ever watched PTV or any Pakistani channell ?? If not then go and watch it and then compare it to Indian TV channels..you will know the difference between the two countries..the language, tehzeeb, food, religion and almost everything..

    Food is NOT what is a deciding factor in such arguements Most of the states in India have different food and different languages.
    And I can tell you that there are no similarities in Tehzeeb,food, language or anything between a Bengali & a Tamilian or between a Maharastrian and a Bihari or between a Goan and Bhaiya of UP, or between a keralite and an manipuri.....Now dont tell me that the tehzeeb of NEFA (I hope being a kolkatan, you know what it stands for) is similar to that of Pakistan.

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