The heat is on

Greg Chappell finds himself in the middle of another storm. It really is interesting and commendable to note the tenacity of the man. He has gone through some really turbulent times and emerged on top. Till now, that is. But if the Indian team’s performance does not improve soon, there may be trouble. Although the BCCI President Sharad Pawar has backed Chappell, it won’t take time for him to lose this backing for the matter is making news in the Parliament now!

One thing I cannot understand, though, is why the MPs can say what they will about Chappell and the team but when he replies, he is reprimanded. And then they go on to preach democracy to him! But then, that’s the Indian politicia (close brother of the militia).

Gurudas Dasgupta, said Chappell “had no business” to make such comments against Members of Parliament, “[He] does not understand the nuances of democracy”, while Somnath Chatterjee, the Lower House speaker, added: “Let nobody lecture us on what the MPs’ job is”.

Okay, so he does not want to tell what the MPs’ job is. And which one of these people (and Renuka Chowdhury and even Rajeev Shukla, despite his cricket connections) would know an iota of cricket? Sure Chappell’s methods unorthodox and till the team doesn’t win, would seem wrong. By that logic, I wonder how often we should throw our governments over!

Thankfully, Sharad Pawar has been clear in his backing to Chappell:

“It’s true that the performance [against South Africa] was not up to the mark and there is tremendous scope to improve. But one should not forget it is the same team, the same captain and the same coach which had extremely good results in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. “The contract is there and there is no reason to interfere in it.”

Whew! For once, some clarity in Indian cricket. But immediately after that comes this interesting piece of information that may well see players lose monetarily:

The issue of the defeat was raised in Parliament – Pawar is an MP and federal minister – on Thursday by the MPs from the BJP and the Left. And soon after that Shashank Manohar, a BCCI vice-president, was quoted as saying the team members shouldn’t be paid a single penny.

Shetty responded to Manohar’s statement by ruling out a pay cut but acknowledging that the issue of performance-based contracts, already in the pipeline, would be discussed once the squad returns from South Africa. “The proposal is to take into consideration the performance of the team as a whole and not individuals for players’ match fees,” Shetty told PTI on Saturday.

“For example if the match fees is Rs 100, Rs 60 may be directly given to the players and the rest kept back. If the team wins, the players would get a bonus too along with the amount retained.

“But in case of a failure, the amount kept in abeyance would not be paid,” Shetty explained.

After all this, one just hopes that Chappell realises his ways of candid-ness may not work well with everyone all the time and it’s time to show results. Especially after what all happened with Ganguly and that entire episode. Because at the end of the day, all that matters for the Indian fan is whether the team is winning or not.

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  1. Performance based payment is the best option to force players to perform well. And i wonder why this accusation and counter-accusation between MPs and chappel. May be because of Pawar incharge 😛

  2. It is being said that this is because Pawar is an MP but the BCCI is an autonomous body and if the govt wants to run it, they should start taking responsibility for it, don’t you think? But at the moment, the Indian team is a free-for-all.

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