Sunday, September 25, 2005

The email - analysis

So, here is the email from Greg Chappel to BCCI secretary, and my analysis, in bold letters, in various sections of it:

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.

So, you suggested that Ganguly is not doing justice to captaincy? The obvious conclusion is that you are suggesting him to step down. 'Asking'..no...suggesting..yes.


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.

What I would like to know is that is this a new behaviour in SG's captaincy or was this impulsive decision making present even in the better times? If so, then these have obviously given good results also.


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.

Again, I ask, did he do these kind of changes before? If yes, then it has not destroyed team morale in the past, and you opinion is wrong.


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.

This applies to any out-of-form batsman. And this would lead to the debate whether he deserves a place in the side based on his captaincy or not. There have been other instances of out of form captains, and still their team doing well. In fact there have been cases of this same team doing badly even when captain did well. So no way of proving one way or the other. And since you talk about morale of players so much, so lets hear from them how and what was affecting them. And also whether SG used to be 'calm' in the dressing room in earlier times.


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.

Yes, but again, is this a new behavior in SG, or was it there in more successful time also? And, lets hear from the players who were getting nervous. I seem to get an impression that you are speaking a lot on behalf of others. While your understanding may be right, it still is one person's opinion. And it cannot be taken for the final word, as long as it involves the thought process of others.


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.

This is ridiculous! Are you saying that wrong signals were going to the 'team' because he was going against 'your' suggestion to bat first? Did the players say that they wanted to bat first? Again, a lot of assumption on their behalf.

And facing Shane Bond is a separate issue. Not to be mixed with batting first(unless you are implying that he was reluctant to bat first to avoid facing Bond, who would have vanished in the second innings?). His nervousness while facing Bond was due to the fact that he was/is out of form. There is nothing new here. If you are implying that an out of form batsman should not be the team captain, then please say so directly. And then there can be a discussion on this direct statement.


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

More details on the observations, names and comments of the players who suggested SG having an unsettling effect?


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.

This may be factually wrong(Waugh did not struggle with form, Taylor survived a slump similar to SG is going through) and anyway irrelevant to his problems.


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.

So, you are suggesting that SG went away because of the new ball against an attack of the Zim local team? The same SG who insisted on opening the innings right since his return to the team in SL? Why, amongst all these experimentations, didn't we see one in which SG batted lower down the order? Would have suited him fine not to face Bond, Vaas etc, isn't that so?


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,

So, you do agree that he has been complaining of this problem many times earlier also? Then why did you, just above, try to link it with the new ball being taken?


had been spasmodic in his treatment habits, often not using ice-packs for the arm that had been prepared for him by John Gloster.

So you take on issue and make two complaints out of it! One about his feigning the injuring to avoid new ball against a club attack, and second that he is irregular in his treatment of the same injury?


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'.

And, against that club attack in an irrelevant game, isn't it fine for a batsman to take precautions? And esp the one who has been on tour right from the beginning (unlike some others) and has played all the games?


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.

So, again, the insinuation that he avoided the new ball? I already have underlined why I feel he would not and could not have been doing this to avoid the new ball, but that's just my opinion. Just like its your opinion that he did avoid it. And both opinions are based on the same set of facts.


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.

Yes, we all know he is struggling for runs, although not always struggling in general as a batsman (like in the first test, he struggled for runs, but wasn't troubled by the bowling)


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.

A list of the players, and the incidents they sited about his faked 'retirement' would be needed.


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.

Again, his state of mind is probably well known, since he is a struggling batsman. But about the mental state of other members, I wouldn't assume too much. I would rather hear from them.


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.

From Saurav's answer, and from your own understanding, it is quite obvious that you are implying that in your opinion he was lying on your face. And you answer to Saurav ('he was the only one who could answer that question') also openly told Saurav that you feel he is lying.



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.

So, you did tell him that in your opinion, he did not deserve a place in the playing XI? And doesn't that mean that he cannot captain the side(unless you wanted him to be a non-playing captain?). So, doesn't this mean that you are effectively telling him to leave the team as a player and a captain? And your very first point at the start of the email was that 'at no point of time you asked SG to step down from Indian captaincy'? Sure you did not 'ask' him (because you don't have the powers to, so you can only 'suggest') but you made it quite clear that you wanted that to happen, isn't that so?


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.

Again, effectively you were telling him that he did not deserve a place in the side and an obvious corollary is that he cannot be the captain? So, you did clearly suggest him stepping down? Again, clearly goes against your very first point in this email. Unless you are dealing in word-play on the use of 'ask' instead of 'suggest/opine' ???? Are you ???? Because we all know you cannot 'ask' him to step down. Did you make it clear to him that in your opinion he did not deserve a place in the side as a player and hence as a captain?


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.

Agreed, they are in better form that SG. And this is your opinion that SG needs to be thrown out of the team. But that's for the selectors to decide. If they chose him as the captain, despite whatever you may have reported to them after the SL series, then it was obvious that they considered him as a part of the playing XI. Since the could not have thought that the situation would be so severe (and against an opposition like Zim) that their chose captain would have to be considered out of the playing XI?


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.

Ok, from you own comments in this email, it seems that you made it quite clear to SG that you don't consider him fit for the captaincy of the side. Sure, you didn't 'ask' him...so your very first point in the email is still 'correct'


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.

Yes, it wasn't your decision to make. You could only give your opinion. And it was very clear what that opinion was. Even when SG acceded in public about this whole thing, he did say there were 'suggestions' for him to step down from captaincy. So, you didn't 'ask' him to step down. We all agree.



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.

So, what was the ideal solution? does it go against the first point in your email here?


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.

Sure, this is a serious issue and all three parties(SG, GC, VVS) need to be questioned on their understanding of this whole issue.


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.

Name of the players, with details of the comments they have made, would be needed.


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.

Again name of the player? His view need to be sought, and what exactly was he told by SG about GC? But anyway there is no way of finding out the truth here, since we don't really know what GC would have said about that player to SG.


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.

Well, again, that's your views. And since its a direct stand-off between your views and his, so its better to look at facts rather than what you think.


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.

Specific examples of his reluctance....verdict from others (RD, AK etc) and maybe Wright's words on this. Also need to know how did he behave during the 2001-2004 period? If his behaviour has been consistent then despite being below acceptability, this issue itself is not that serious in the current context.


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.

All personal opinions here.


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.

This is a serious charge, need to know the names of the players he has favoured, and the ones left out. Need also to know what other seniors (RD, AK, SRT) think on this subject. Because if he has obviously been doing such favours, RD, SRT etc would have realised it and had discussed it with him. Specific examples needed of the 'shunting' of players you are referring to, and Saurav needs to be asked for the reasons for those shunting. Because, as you yourself would know, batting order and other such on-field activities are a captains prerogative. Even before SG joined the team in SL, we saw some shunting and experimentations in the batting order when RD and you were in-charge.


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

33 Comments:

Blogger criclogic said...

dude, when you analyze something, its basically critical thinking on your part of a situation which takes into account biases.
i can do a similar analysis of you comments and prove that you have been sceptical of GC but not the other way round.

e.g. how do you know that SG changing the team on the eve of a match has proved successful. i mean if India has lost 19 finals, then its not success. Indias 7th ranking in the ICC table its not success. just on that basis, i could say rip your comment apart.

similarly, when it comes to hiding injury, if SG has done it in the past. doesnt make it right. maybe noone had the guts to standup to him that time and GC has the guts.

when he levels the charges about the VVS episode, you want all the 3 parties involved before concluding anything, but to questions GC's conclusion you dont want to find more facts, i.e. why he though what he thought about SG faking injury. I mean he might give you a series of events that led him to believe that.

your analysis is BIASED. nothing wrong with it. but its definitely not neutral.

September 26, 2005 2:28 AM  
Blogger worma said...

criclogic....the question about the past was for those areas which GC suggested were affecting the team morale. My point was, we know this team has been through a good phase, so lets find out how did SG behave then? Did he still go with impulse on team combination etc? If so, then it cannot be deterimental to team morale...since it worked in the past.

Who said faking injury was ok, if he did it in the past?

Yes I do want to find out all the facts that lead for GC to believe what he does. Sure I want to find out the name of these 'other players' which he has quoted as consulting about finding SG's history of faking. I want name of these players, and what they said. Didn't I mention it in the post?

My analysis is surely opinionated...as is yours as GCs....but atleast I am openly asking questions about ALL the issues...not just letting my opinions over-ride that of GC saying 'no he is wrong'! I dont see a single place where I just imposed my opinion on top of his. Do you?

September 26, 2005 2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrespective of the contents of the email, nobody can deny the fact that Ganguly has not been performing at all. And who does not know about his running between the wickets? Anybody with 2 eyes might be able to appreciate his standard of fielding. I do not understand why we Indians always try to live on our past laurels. Ganguly might have done well in past, but that does not mean that he can hold the Indian cricket to ransom. Any person with slightest of self respect would have stepped down on his own considering his pathetic form. I have heard lot of people, specially from a specific region in India, boasting about his leadership skills - what leadership skills when he can't even perform. How can one expect a non performing captain to expect / encourage others to perform well.

I think Greg Chappel is on a high moral ground in demanding the best from the players by way of insisting on following a strict training program. Obviously some players are finding it difficult as they are a pampered lot. I really feel cheated by this behaviour of the captain and the others in the team who are peeved at the prospect of having to go through tough training sessions.

September 26, 2005 4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as the first comment says...this is a very thorough analysis you have provided. nonetheless, it does appear to be very biased. i note you have carefully not provided any comments or analysis wherever you cannot argue against chappell.

couple of problems i have with your analysis:
1- this was NOT an open letter to the world from chappell explaining his actions. he was just providing a statement of facts and his opinions on said facts, in a private, confidential letter to his employer.
2- at the time this email was written, chappell was aware of the review of performance that is scheduled for nov. 27 and likely does not include a lot of the extra facts you ask for, since it will anyways be presented at the hearing.

whether chappell loses his job or not, i am of the opinion that ganguly should lose is if only on the charge of gross indiscipline. as many have already stated to date, it is highly irresponsible for any player, let alone the captain, to discuss private discussions in the media. i'm sure we both have come to expect more of ganguly than that.

the VVS story, if corroborated by further evidence is absolutely unacceptable.

ganguly asked for an honest evaluation of his position from the coach. chappell provided this evaluation. notice how chappell did not voluntarily tell ganguly this. ganguly asked for an evaluation and he got an honest response. it is a sign of his maturity, or lack therof, for him to go crying to the world. if you ask for an honest response, you should be man enough to stomach it.

i have been a strong support of dada over the last few years, even though his batting form has left much to be desired. no matter what his achievements as captian or batsman maybe, his behavior over the last few days (and defense of it by the public and some players) has made me ashamed to be an indian.

September 26, 2005 6:16 AM  
Blogger Prasad said...

Worms, great work. Look I dont know what GC's intentions are but I am ready to assume that he is basically honotable but has very poor management skills required to coach an international team which basically has many players in the Over-Thirty (OT) age group. RD is probably an exception and will be coachable by GC since he qualifies as a cricket nerd (and I say that w/ the utmost respect for RD). GC has tried very hard to put SG on teh defensive and hoped he would crrumble. IF You ask any effective manager the worst ways to get results is to put the employee on the defensive. That is what GC has attempted to do with SG. His whole suggestion that SG should open in the test since middle order is booked was to put SG under pressure given what he believes was "chickening out" by SG against the new ball at the Mutare game. SG already has been on the defensive since his form is no good and basically is full of doubt. Basically, GC now wants to step on SG's throat now when he is down already. Fine that's GC aussie style. My suspicion though is that it is motivated by a resentment that SG is basically his own man and leads the team and makes decisions as he seems fit. Sunil Gavaskar during 1st test ( and I heard this with my own ears) said that one surprising revelation when he was with Indian team as a batting consultant was that SG had a lot of questions and took in a lot of input from many people. Sunil was pleased to note that. GC himself has mentioned in an interview during the triseries talking about his interaction with Sg in Australia found him asking lots of questions about cricket in general. So, its not that SG is incurious and mentally lazy. However, what may be rubbing Gc the wrongway is that SG takes inputs but finally decides things for himself. Implementing inputs from coahces etc. comes with time and trust and there is none of that between the two. Similarly no trust seems to exist between the players and GC. That's really bad news for Indian cricket. SG, as much as I appreciate for the amoutn he has had to take from all and sundry for hte past five years while delivering results, is not bigger that Indian cricket and may have to go eventually sooner than later but should not go due to GC's approach of gunning for him. In short, GC has baited him cleverly and SG fell for it. I personally think only a player revolt can save SG but that to for just one series. IF he does not perform against SL in the ODI's....he's history.. and that would be a reasonable thing to do for the selctors.

September 26, 2005 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

worma,
as you've admitted, your analysis is biased. The key point is that these are GC's opinions, and that's what the email was meant to be (GC's opinions to the BCCI on the entire episode). Naturally the board will ask him for back up documentation and try and corroborate evidence for some of the more damning allegations, so there was no need for you to reiterate the point. The bottomline is that the coach does not think the captain is up to scratch and thinks that he is setting a bad example. In this circumstance, the BCCI can either (a) tell the coach that it does not matter what the coach thinks, and that GC will have to work with the team he's given - in which case GC will have to decide whether he continues or not; (b) get to the bottom of the allegations, and if there is any truth in any of the more serious ones, sack the captian.

The central issue here is not whether GC is able to justify himself for all of his opinions in the email (that he will have to give evidence on the fitness issue and the VVS issue is a given) because if the coach thinks that the captain (or a player, for that matter) is not working in the best interests of the team, or is lax in attitude, then it his job to say that both to the concerned player and the board, and suggest solutions. That is what GC has done - his job. If the BCCI thinks that it is not GC's place to tell a player (and the BCCI)where he thinks the concerned player is going wrong, then the BCCI should let GC go and have a yes-man in his place.

September 26, 2005 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Cat said...

I think that this is the best analysis of the e-mail that I have seen in any blog anywhere. Most people just jump to conclusions without even reading the e-mail, or looking at any of the facts surrounding it. The e-mail, if read properly, speaks for itself. The problem is that anti-Ganguly factions are taking sections out of the e-mail, and analysing that, ignoring the bulk of the e-mail which provides the context, and providing misleading and inaccurate information, suggesting that Chappell's e-mail has any validity at all. The reality is that this e-mail was leaked to the press purely to demonstrate to the world just how awful a coach Chappell is. That this e-mail has been reported by many blogs as demonstrating that Ganguly needs to be sacked just demonstrates that far too many people aren't prepared to really sit down and listen.

You can argue all you like that this analysis is biased, but it is nonetheless a fair, accurate and well-researched analysis, which is more than I can say for most of the comments about this issue. If you disagree, then do your own analysis of the e-mail, in this form. Can't do it? Then stop criticising the analysis.

Well done Worma.

September 26, 2005 3:40 PM  
Blogger Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

dude!!!! u've got patience and liking towards writing....keep going.

September 26, 2005 3:53 PM  
Blogger worma said...

sorry can't answer too much in detail now....got myself tangled in a mesh this morning...and am in huge rush now...

..but those saying this is biased....I would love to read some of your take on the email...and what 'additional' questions you would have liked to ask as a 'neutral' person which I have missed out (deliberately) due to my bias?

The point is...I have opinions...as do all of you....and in those someone has to be better than the other..right?

But still...I try to keep my analysis as close to 'fairness' as possible.

And btw, this was just supposed to be a closer look at the EMAIL....not at this whole issue that is facing Indian cricket. So look at it that way. There are definitely other issues, not addressed in this email, or my analysis of it, which need to be tackled.

September 26, 2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

excellent analysis, although I think you are batting a bit too much for SG. Isn't Dalmiya enough? ;-) What I want to see is one of the FITTER players come out in the open against Chappell. That will be something. It does look pretty obvious now that there are many who DONT want to run around and work harder or prove themselves again. And they will most definitely not want to be pushed by GC and his methods.

A team of winners is now a team of wimps. I say winners, not fighters, coz we rarely ever fought. If someone cracks the whip on them, they aren't going to like it. Just check out how Zaheer is more concerned about how he walks up the run up, like a model on a ramp. It's the look of a man who thinks he has arrived and can relax. He's our Mary Pierce. btw,..if Kumble = Umrao Jaan (how he dives for the ball), Srinath was called "Titwala ka Ghoda" (If you have been to titwala nr bombay, you will see thin old half-dead horses pulling 6-7 people sitting in a cart) and Venkatesh "Mona Lisa" Prasad (for his lack of eye brows)

Love your blog!!

September 26, 2005 4:51 PM  
Blogger worma said...

the comic project: Yeah well...batting time seems to be over for SG. Well...frankly....I wanted that man to be tried more to see if there is some batting juice there....didn't want all this tamasha that has come our way :-)

But right now, my point was hardly focussing on SG....it was more about GC...I think there are questions here....and I have been pointing them on Sight Screen also.....and today, I got vindication from Rahul Bhattacharya's excellently balanced article on cricinfo.

Hey...you have really lovely nicknames for our players...did you make them up yourself...or some have they been going around in some cricles? :-)...

September 26, 2005 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rahul Bhattacharya Aha, another one from the land of lazy bastards who have nothing else to live except for dirty politics. Dude, why not quote the Dungarpur's quotes also where he clearly mentions the reasons for John Wright resigning from the position of Indian coach. No wonder, we are a nation of billion people not able to produce even a single Gold at Olympics.

Shame on Ganguly and the like of him. At best they are eunuchs

September 26, 2005 5:57 PM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

Umrao Jaan was from a friend, the other two are mine out of sheer irritation of how we once had 6 players from Bangalore (including david "i run faster than i bowl" johnson..this i read in a newspaper a few years ago).

Frankly, I liked SG..he showed an attitude no Indian showed on the field and I always felt that we were being too nice on the field with the opposition. Lately, SG has lost the plot. Attitude is important..not everything though. The guy's got to go though he won't.

Anyway, have you visited my blog? www.thecomicproject.blogspot.com I think you'll like it :-)

September 26, 2005 9:44 PM  
Anonymous dinesh A said...

dude get off the GRE analytical writing mode. u r already in the US . howz life...u knw wat ...u can try writing abt dates u hav been on dude ...now tat ll make a lotta waves..

September 27, 2005 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dungarpur...the man has always been such a joke. He's a bitter old nawab sahib. Loves to criticize everyone. I remember when he used to issue statements against Kapil Dev back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And I love it how jokers like him always start with "well...I have nothing against Ganguly BUT HE NEEDS TO BE REMOVED!"

His ego is pretty big for an average Ranji Trophy player.

September 27, 2005 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrespective of who said what, I think any sane person can see where Ganguly stands. I am not sure why we Indians can't get rid of our mental sickness of living on past laurels - in Ganguly's case even that does not exist. Basic fact is tow evils "Dalmiya" and "Ganguly" are cheating millions of Indians. If Greg is demanding some professionalism, what is wrong in that. If at all, one is bent on expressing/forming opinions on the basis of who said what then I would like to remind what Gavaskar wrote in his article when John Wright resigned - "John Wright was abused by some of the senior players of Indian team". Now this has been corroborated ny Dungarpur himself that John Wright mentioned that he could not continue with "Dalmiya" and "Ganguly" at the helm of the affairs. I know only lazy BEngali bastrads are supporting him because Ganguly is the only icon that they have been able to produce.

September 27, 2005 6:02 AM  
Blogger random said...

worma, It is very easy to take a huge piece, for example the GC email, and find holes or things which can be questioned individually. To counter such, which I would say narrow thinking, 'analysis' attention needs to be paid to overall spirit rather than words. To summarise your key points with replies in bold

1. None of the statements regarding morale and such are substantiated
It is a highly diplomatic letter with as less mention of individuals as possible and I think players and incidents will be and will need to be told during the Tuesday meeting

2. SCG has been doing all these things from long ago. So whats new in changing batting order, team decisions regarding batting/bowling or leaving out players in form.
Simple answer is nothing succeeds like success. And SCG cannot buy success at this point, either with his batting form or team's performance. You can say he is out of luck. I will say hi shelf-life is over and he should have gracefully left rather than ending in such a tamasha.

3. Most of the stuff is GC's views and do not count.
True. But he is not an arm-chair critic. He is the coach of the team. I think the opinions whatever they might be need to be respected and carefully looked into rather than brushed aside.

4. GC did ask SCG to step down. He is lying regarding suggesting.
Frankly my dear, if SCG did ask GC for his opinion on that, it is like the classic female question, Do I look fat? Damn if you lie, damn if you tell the truth. I would rather applaud GC to put all the facts in front of SCG and asking him to make the decision since he cannot kick him out of the team. Instead of acting maturely, SCG goes around wailing like a kid whose toy has been taken away from him.

Actually during this whole saga, I have had hardcore Bengalis writing/mailing me that SCG has reached the end of the line and needs to go. And I cannot find any reason to refute that. Personally I have always thought he is an arrogant b******. And team would have benefitted more with and analytical captain, rather than impulsive. But as I said before, nothing succeeds like success, and now the run is finally over

September 27, 2005 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now this has been corroborated ny Dungarpur himself that John Wright mentioned that he could not continue with "Dalmiya" and "Ganguly" at the helm of the affairs."
Yes, and do you know who Dungarpur is? He's an old fool trying to gain importance and a share of his old power through Sharad Pawar. How easily some of you can be fooled in this power game. As if Dungarpur gives a rat's a$$ about anybody.

September 27, 2005 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a highly diplomatic letter with as less mention of individuals as possible and I think players and incidents will be and will need to be told during the Tuesday meeting
Yes, I'm waiting for that to happen. I guess "diplomatic" is a nice euphamism for lacking in facts.

Simple answer is nothing succeeds like success. And SCG cannot buy success at this point, either with his batting form or team's performance. You can say he is out of luck. I will say hi shelf-life is over and he should have gracefully left rather than ending in such a tamasha.
Nobody is denying he's out of form but if out of form players are to be dropped irrespective of past records than Sachin, Dravid, etc. could have been dropped many times in the past.

True. But he is not an arm-chair critic. He is the coach of the team. I think the opinions whatever they might be need to be respected and carefully looked into rather than brushed aside.

He's a coach. Not a dictator.

Frankly my dear, if SCG did ask GC for his opinion on that, it is like the classic female question, Do I look fat? Damn if you lie, damn if you tell the truth. I would rather applaud GC to put all the facts in front of SCG and asking him to make the decision since he cannot kick him out of the team. Instead of acting maturely, SCG goes around wailing like a kid whose toy has been taken away from him.
There's a difference between creative criticism and telling Ganguly he doesn't deserve to play. Picture yourself at your job when you ask for suggestion and the boss tells you, "Actually you just plain ol suck at life. You're not good enough to be here, really, you suck, no really."

Chapell should be a headmaster at a catholic school, not a coach of an international team. And do realize, Indians in general are not as fit as their western counterpart -- I mean we eat two meals soaked in oil, don't grow up playing rugby on green fields, our diets have no juices...what do you expect?

September 27, 2005 6:56 AM  
Blogger random said...

Come on grow up Mr. A.Nonymous. You one-liner might make a witty speech, but not a rebuttal. Your only points are in the last lines regarding Asian/Indian race being not as fit as Western. I am staying in a first world country and I would say it is not that they are fit, they work on that and consider being healthy/fit one of the aims of life. Those who do not get counted in 50% of America which is obese. If not normal people, at least we should expect our sportspeople to be willing to do that. Hell, if models can do that, why not them.

September 27, 2005 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on grow up Mr. A.Nonymous. You one-liner might make a witty speech, but not a rebuttal. Your only points are in the last lines regarding Asian/Indian race being not as fit as Western. I am staying in a first world country and I would say it is not that they are fit, they work on that and consider being healthy/fit one of the aims of life. Those who do not get counted in 50% of America which is obese. If not normal people, at least we should expect our sportspeople to be willing to do that. Hell, if models can do that, why not them.
Acutally, I happen to live in America and also happen to play NCAA Division 1 Tennis here. When I play in India I'm among the fittest, while in America I'm at best in average shape. THe bottomline is Americans/first world-ers who are into athletics are trained at every level since they are kids to be fit and be athletic -- we don't have that in India.

You one-liner might make a witty speech, but not a rebuttal.
Why don't you try responding to me point-by-point?

September 27, 2005 10:58 AM  
Blogger random said...

If you have not figured out from my earlier comment, I do not like to go point by point on someone's comment and reply to substance of the comments which your posting thoroughly lacked. It is just colorful jibes like that of Sidhu's.

Regarding fitness, atleast you agree that "atheltics are trained at every level". Maybe not earlier, but now once the people are in the Indian team, they should be working hard. I am not the fittest person around or the smartest, but even I can figure out the more you work the better you can become. Maybe the level which one can improve will have a limit, but do not think so any of the players have reached that limit.

September 27, 2005 11:34 AM  
Blogger ///slash\\\ said...

My answers

1) What I would like to know is that is this a new behaviour in SG's captaincy or was this impulsive ....these have obviously given good results also....If yes, then it has not destroyed team morale in the past, and you opinion is wrong.

Since you have agreed that this behaviour was impulsive, the so called good results you talk of were achieved not because of it but in spite of it. Impulsive behaviour on part of the captain at any time is bad for the team. So it doesn't matter whether sourav was doing it before or just started doing it.


2)This applies to any out-of-form batsman. And this would lead to the debate whether he deserves a place in the side based on his captaincy or not.....And also whether SG used to be 'calm' in the dressing room in earlier times.

What is your point? Ganguly is out of form and India is losing and we should still stick with him? The earlier times you speak of are when GC wasn't around. He can pass judgements on only what he knows ans sees not something that happened 2 days after SG was born or something to that affect. I think GC's previous statements make it clear(in his opinion) what was affecting the team morale.


3) Yes, but again, is this a new behavior in SG, ...I seem to get an impression that you are speaking a lot on behalf of others. While your understanding may be right, ....it cannot be taken for the final word, as long as it involves the thought process of others.

How about this for starters? GC is in the dressing room when SG does whatever GC claims he does. So it would be fair to suggest that GC is in a good position to judge what is happening and how it affects others. Its not rocket science, but when you see one guy walking around the room pacing nervously, it is bound to affect everyone else, or are you suggesting that the indian team is filled with cold cucumbers who are not affected by such behaviour. There is no final word here. He giving his insight. He has been hired to do that- read job description.


4) This is ridiculous! Are you saying that wrong signals were going to the 'team' because he was going against 'your' .... .

Let me make it clear to you. On a batting paradise, if the captain is not willing to bat first after winning the toss, that means he is not confident with his batting line up(unless you are suggesting he is overwhelmingly confident with his bowling line up - then maybe we are talking about different teams). I don't know about you but that's sends the wrong signals to your batsmen and positive ones to your opposition.

If you are implying that an out of form batsman should not be the team captain, then please say so directly.

Yes that is what he is implying and also "suggested" to the crown prince.

And then there can be a discussion on this direct statement.

here's your discussion - its not like SG has lost his form like in the last 6 months(something he was claiming to harsha bogle after the first test), its been almost 3 years since hes made a difference with the bat. Yes he had some good times, but now there is no hope for him...


5) More details on the observations, names and comments of the players who suggested SG having an unsettling effect?

Not sure if you are asking it because there's no way Chappell would reveal that. Unless of course you are hoping for another press leak. It is possible that something might come out in the reviewing committee, but how much will be admitted outside is anyones's guess.

6) This may be factually wrong(Waugh did not struggle with form, Taylor survived a slump similar to SG is going through) and anyway irrelevant to his problems.

Whats "may be factually wrong"? It either is or not. I've never heard of any Captain who retired in form. Of course I may be factually right. And again you miss the point. Its called an analogy when you compare one situation with other. GC isn't talking about SG's problems, he is comparing the final stages of other captains with that od SG's.


7)So, you are suggesting that SG went away because of the new ball against an attack of the Zim local team? ...So, you do agree that he has been complaining of this problem many times earlier also? Then why did you, just above, try to link it with the new ball being taken?....So you take on issue and make two complaints out of it! One about his feigning the injuring to avoid new ball against a club attack, and second that he is irregular in his treatment of the same injury?

Ok! Next time you have doubts, read the whole thing before jumping to conclusions. Its pretty clear to me and anyone who doesn't have short term memory loss, that GC finds a lot of contradictions in SG's behaviour. Claiming to have injury but not letting the physio treat him. Suddenly walking off the filed citing the injury that he refused to get treated. All this coinciding with the opposition taking the new ball. Whats going on here? Thats precisely GC's point. Hes not complaining, he is questoning SG's motvies in no uncertain terms.

8) And, against that club attack in an irrelevant game, isn't it fine for a batsman to take precautions? And esp the one who has been on tour right from the beginning (unlike some others) and has played all the games?

Again its not a question of relevance. Its a question of accountability. Its a question of intent. A captain may not have to lead by example, but he definitely shouldn't (and this is just me here) set a bad one(s).

9)So, again, the insinuation that he avoided the new ball? I already have underlined why I feel he would not and could not have been doing this to avoid the new ball, but that's just my opinion. Just like its your opinion that he did avoid it. And both opinions are based on the same set of facts.

Yeah!! But only one opinion is right.

10)Yes, we all know he is struggling for runs, although not always struggling in general as a batsman (like in the first test, he struggled for runs, but wasn't troubled by the bowling)

I don't even have to respond to this.


11) A list of the players, and the incidents they sited about his faked 'retirement' would be needed.

Something that will never happen unless the committee decides to do it.


12) Again, his state of mind is probably well known, since he is a struggling batsman. But about the mental state of other members, I wouldn't assume too much. I would rather hear from them.

Good luck with that!!

13) From Saurav's answer, and from your own understanding, it is quite obvious that you are implying that in your opinion he was lying on your face. And you answer to Saurav ('he was the only one who could answer that question') also openly told Saurav that you feel he is lying.

So what are you implying?? That SG wasn't lying???? What Greg is doing is letting him know that the end is near and he is giving him a chance to go out on his own terms instead of waiting to be dropped from the team.


14) So, you did tell him that in your opinion, he did not deserve a place in the playing XI?...Sure you did not 'ask' him (because you don't have the powers to, so you can only...Again, effectively you were telling him that he did not deserve a place in the side....Unless you are dealing in word-play on the use of 'ask' instead of 'suggest/opine' ???? Are you ???? ....Did you make it clear to him that in your opinion he did not deserve a place in the side as a player and hence as a captain? 'suggest')

Ok!! Since you appear confused, I shall clear things up for you.
1) GC doesn't want SG in the team.
2) GC cannot ask SG to step down - as you pointed out he doesn't have to power.
3) GC suggests SG to step down (when asked for an honest opinion)

Not sure how any of it classifies as world play, of course if you mean he is using a lot of words to convey his point, it probably is word play.

15) Agreed, they are in better form that SG. And this is your opinion that SG needs to be thrown out of the team. But that's for the selectors to decide. ....that their chose captain would have to be considered out of the playing XI?

Whats your point here??

16) Ok, from you own comments in this email...Sure, you didn't 'ask' him...so your very first point in the email is still 'correct'...Yes, it wasn't your decision to make. You could only give your opinion. And it was very clear what that opinion was. Even when SG acceded in public about this whole thing, he did say there were 'suggestions' for him to step down from captaincy. So, you didn't 'ask' him to step down. We all agree.

At last!! Reason wins.


17)So, what was the ideal solution? does it go against the first point in your email here?

Sourav step down as captian citing his bad form and claiming that he will work hard to get back into the team.

18) Sure, this is a serious issue and all three parties(SG, GC, VVS) need to be questioned on their understanding of this whole issue....Name of the players, with details of the comments they have made, would be needed....Again name of the player? His view need to be sought, and what exactly was he told by SG about GC? But anyway there is no way of finding out the truth here, since we don't really know what GC would have said about that player to SG....Specific examples of his reluctance....verdict from others (RD, AK etc) and maybe Wright's words on this. Also need to know how did he behave during the 2001-2004 period? If his behaviour has been consistent then despite being below acceptability, this issue itself is not that serious in the current context....

Never going to happen.


19)All personal opinions here.

Fact 1) Greg King's training reports continue to show Sourav as the person who does the least fitness and training....

Fact 2) We have also developed parameters of batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy that we....that I espoused at my interview and Sourav falls well below the acceptable...

20) This is a serious charge, need to know the names of the players he has favoured, and the ones left out. Need also to know what other seniors (RD, AK, SRT) think on this subject. Because if he has obviously been doing such favours, RD, SRT etc would have realised it and had discussed it with him. Specific examples needed of the 'shunting' of players you are referring to, and Saurav needs to be asked for the reasons for those shunting.

Again you seem to have a knack for forming your opinions on facts that aren't available and probably will never be. Or is your whole argument(what you have called analysis) based on "you never know so you can never be sure".

21) Because, as you yourself would know, batting order and other such on-field activities are a captains prerogative. Even before SG joined the team in SL, we saw some shunting and experimentations in the batting order when RD and you were in-charge.

Dude!! Life is not so simple. Its not a question of a batting order being changed or changing the field or deciding to give someone the ball, but more as to why it was done. GC has made it clear that(he thinks) SG does it to avoid challenges a.k.a wimping out a.k.a setting bad example a.k.a affecting team morale.


I rest my case.

September 27, 2005 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 27, 2005 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, got a thing against Bengalis? No wonder you all are coming up with such rubbish to attack Ganguly. Ever looked through his record? He's an all time great. And no, I'm not from Bengal.

September 27, 2005 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all time great ? Huh - must be drinking

September 28, 2005 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 28, 2005 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 01, 2005 9:38 AM  
Blogger worma said...

WOW..some response on this one :-)...had to remove some of the more 'colourful' ones!

..sorry all...was on a break..couldnt reply point by point to some of the refutations...and I guess now the 'moment' has passed...so no point revisiting that. Just one more reminder...this was an analysis of the email...not the whole situation...so those who said 'bottom line is SG should go..' or something to that effect...or even suggestions to some other 'wishlist' that I suggested (like hearing from players)....this is just a hypothetical assesment...afterall no-one is actually going to hear this and implement it..right?...so whats the harm in wishing?

..anyways...thanks for visiting all of you...and untill next leak.. ;-)

..and TCP...dude..am a fan of your site already!

October 03, 2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger Manny said...

Cheif
You are either a bengali fan of SG or totally unaware of the situation.

SG has had a great run, but now he is strugling, it is time for him to step down,

IMHO you analysis is biased and inaccurate,

GC is the best thing that could happen to Indian cricket only think is he needs to be given a free hand,

This is not a flame just a humble opinion,

RGDS,

Manny

October 10, 2005 2:06 PM  
Blogger worma said...

Manny, much of this may be redundant now, but since you have cared to comment..

>>You are either a bengali fan of SG or totally unaware of the situation.

Ok, not a bengali. In you definition, anyone talking anything in favour of SG can afford to not be an SG fan? If so, then count me in. Unaware of the situation...well I spend an hour analysing details to which you refute with a sweeping statement, and me unaware? Fine.

>>SG has had a great run, but now he is strugling, it is time for him to step down,

Well, maybe so. When did I discuss this? Read my comments above...this is *not* an analysis of SG as a batsman or captain or his place in the side. This is not even an analysis of the whole 'situation' as it stands (well...as it stood at that time). If you frequent 'Sight Screen' (link in my main page)...I've written reams on that issue. This is a simple close look at the email...which I thought many of those discussing it had missed.

>>IMHO you analysis is biased and inaccurate,

Sure..you can hold you opinion. If you could point out exactly how and where it was inaccurate or biased, I would be willing to discuss.

>>GC is the best thing that could happen to Indian cricket only think is he needs to be given a free hand,

I don't know about this...but I am not discounting it. Just waiting for more facts and info and result to arrive at this opinion. This email surely doesnt help in advocating his case though.

>>This is not a flame just a humble opinion,

Accepted. Wish we had a better interaction when this issue wasn't 'old news' yet :-)

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