Indian cricket is going through a bad phase. Looking for a techno-savvy coach we have settled for a cricket manager, writes Makarand Waingankar

A retainer is paid to a person according to his experience and his utility to an organisation in its future programmes. The announcement of names of Indian cricketers and their grades for enjoying the graded payments has changed the criterion. Zaheer Khan despite some sterling performances is in ‘C’ grade whereas struggling Sehwag, Harbhajan and Pathan are in ‘B’ grade.

For nine months we were made to believe nothing but performance will matter while determining the place of a player in the graded system. The World Cup fiasco had its repercussions. The BCCI announced that there will not be graded payments but performance based ones. The emotional cricket loving people of this country accepted the decision. Indian cricketers having done badly in the World Cup had no option but to back the decision. What really happened in the meeting that the BCCI officials had with the senior players a day before the Working Committee met on June 12, 2007 one does not know.

The fact is that the players’ stand prevailed and the BCCI didn’t make an issue of players’ demands. The debate now is how a player who didn’t play or perform managed to be in ‘A’ grade and why a player who has performed was not considered for a higher grade.

Compromise formula

In the case of Sourav Ganguly, there seems to be a compromise formula applied as there is a feeling he ought not to have been dropped. Again this too is a debatable issue. But for that matter the entire selection of players for the graded payments can be argued endlessly.

The irony is that some of the players who were not found good enough to be picked for the tour of Ireland and England find themselves in grade ‘B’ and the players picked for the tour are not in any grade.

Some of the players have raised an important point in the past about not applying the principle of the graded system while disbursing the subsidy to the non performing associations. Why should all get the same subsidy and huge grant for infrastructure development they ask?

Careful analysis

This could be the reason why the rate of growth of the game in the country is stagnant. A careful analysis of this view reveals that despite providing a lot of money for the state associations, the same lot continues to reach the last eight of the Ranji Trophy tournament. There is hardly any effort from some of the other associations to get in the Elite group. Shouldn’t there be a process to monitor how the funds allocated to them are utilised?

Indian cricket is going through a bad phase. We started with Dav Whatmore and have ended with Chandu Borde. We looked for a techno-savvy coach with top class man-management skills and have settled for a cricket manager. We started with the seven member committee taking a decision and have ended up with a collective decision of the Working Committee.

It’s time Indian cricket focuses on the cricketing matters rather than spend time playing games over contracts and foreign coaches. Chandu Borde is no novice with the strategy management as he is made out to be and is amazingly fit for his age. Moreover he has been the batting consultant to the NCA and that has added to his databank on the techniques and approach of the present lot. Indian cricket shall definitely benefit with his presence provided all go in one direction to achieve the goal.

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