The kotla cover-up begins!

Posted: December 28, 2009 in cricket
Tags: , , ,

I’ll bet my last buck that everything about the disgraceful pitch and the fiasco we witnessed on Sunday, December 27, will be buried very quietly, in the concrete at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

There will be a ban on the DDCA for a period that will extend up to the next season. It will make everyone happy – the BCCI, ICC, DDCA and everyone else associated with the game – and when the next big game comes along the DDCA and the BCCI will be patting each other on the back for a job well done and be ready to con some more people. Oh, and some poor gardener and his aides will lose their jobs.

DDCA vice president Chetan Chauhan, who is also DDCA ground and pitches committee chairman, has already said they didn’t have much role to play in preparing the track, which was relaid at the start of the season. He says he only supervised and did everything on the advice of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pitch committee. They just used his people. That’s like the security chief of a bank saying that the Bank’s directors were to blame for a robbery, because they had asked him to outsource the work to a private security agency!

Please note that as per the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, a first time breach could invite “a suspension of the venue’s international status for a period of between 12 and 24 months together with a directive for appropriate remedial action and the need for prior ICC re-accreditation as an international venue.”

While you can be sure that the first part of the rule will be implemented, because there may be no international matches at the Kotla till the next year anyway, the second half of the ruling will be handled the way only politicians know. The BCCI and DDCA will roll out the red carpet for the ICC committee, wine & dine (and anything else) them. And then the ICC panel will be shown a brand new pitch.

The curator, who is a basically a gardener, will be sacked. This poor chap who looks after his family with the pittance the DDCA pays him will be found begging for a job. At Kanpur, for example, when a match ends in a result, the winning captain gives the groundsman ‘baksheesh’. So no tips this time around buddy, just a job loss! However, the real culprits – the officials, among who are powerful politicians – will go scot free.

What can you expect in a country where a law minister was himself involved in a corruption scandal’; where two former prime ministers and a chief minister did nothing to stop the killing of thousands for a ‘cause’; where the 84-year-old governor of a state, who’s love of the ‘good life’ is well known, is accused of a sex-romp; where assets of chief ministers rise from a few lakhs to a few thousand crore in a few years; where a state’s home minister returns to his post despite the biggest screw-up over security since 9/11; I could go on and on…

It’s easy to call a crowd unruly, but what do you expect when they shell out a few thousand rupees of their hard earned money for those few hours of excitement? As it is, only a few thousand people can get into the stadium because more than 90 per cent of the tickets are given to the cricket associations, ministers and bureaucrats, who would hate to go anywhere if they had to pay for it!

Look at what happened at the Eden Gardens a few days ago. There was not one paying spectator on the ground to watch the one-day international between Indian and Sri Lanka. All the tickets were given to the clubs for its members. I wonder what would have happened if instead of the Kotla it had been the Eden on Sunday. We might have been looking for a new cricket stadium – to replace the old one that had just been burned down by an irate crowd! And I’m not making fun of the sport-crazy Kolkatan. It’s just that when it comes to a good game they want one.

I was watching a one-day international in Delhi once and they frisked everyone at the gate. Cigarettes, lighters, matches and water bottles, were all dumped on the side. After the first half of the match when things began to get exciting and India was looking at a run chase, the spectators were chewing their finger nails, while the security personnel were smoking Dunhills and Benson & Hedges! The buggers were smoking our cigarettes!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its the match referee who is to blame. I was enjoying watching Sudip Tyagi make the Lankans jump and duck. And was waiting to see how the much-vaunted Indian batsman would face up to the same medicine. I was deprived of an exciting viewing because the batsmen wanted it their way. The pitch was not so bad as it is being made out. I've seen worse and played on worse – though I never faced bowlers of the Zaheer/Nehra/Tyagi class. At the Kotla, the ball was rising alarmingly but only off a shorter length. I didn't see any ball rise off a good length. Even Harbhajan's snorters didn't jump from a good length. The bowling was about as dangerous as facing a fired-up Brett Lee on a bouncy Perth wicket. The Lankans have always been cry babies when it comes to the short pitched stuff on a bouncy track. The Lankan captain batted for quite some time on the wicket and didn't complain. It was only when he realised that his team would be all out within 200 and he didn't have an experienced pace attack to defend that score that he decided to complain to the match referee. Nandu Rao

  2. Nandan says:

    I fail to agree with Mr Nandu. Its absolutely unfair to believe that the Srilankans are cry babies just beacuse something like this happened even in 1997.Even Sachin Tendulkar was of the firm opinion that the pitch was unfit when Ranatunga wanted to call it off. These guys are professional enough. If there was one team that would have wanted to play, then it would definitely have to be srilanka. Afterall it was their pride that was at stake. And Give me a break. You never doubt the credibility of someone like jayasuriya who has been around for more than 20 yrs, 300+ matches. Are you trying to imply that he or his team is scared of getting bowled out for something less than 200? Far from it.Your point would have ended up being fair, if all the balls were bouncing and coming towards really fast. But as a matter of fact, when Ashish Nehra bowled , there were many occassions when the ball wasn't even carrying to Dhoni. It just proved the really uneven nature of the under-prepared pitch.@ Sir : Your opinion on the Gardener of Feroz Shah is brilliant. I smirk, when talks about the grass that was imported from New Zealand pop up. How hillarious!! Even grass from Dharamsala would have ended up being more effective in nature.On the whole, its just shameful that Delhi had to see this day. First it was the Common wealth games and now its this. Unfortunate.I wonder what's going through Anil Kumble's mind :)Nandan

  3. Naman Saraiya says:

    It's a simple blame game.But, my observation was, how, Mr. Jaitley (who I otherwise admire for some reasons), who always loves to speak out, has conveniently been left out of this debate or has managed to get himself away, considering he is the President of the DDCA?

  4. uttkarsh chaturvedi says:

    Sir, I don't know how would Jaitley reply to it and as well as the DDCA,Mr. Jaitley has his BJP to care about and the DDCA is used to it.But, the biggest setback was for the people who went their and were standing in line from 6 o clock in the morning.I passed through Kotla at 8 in the morning that day and there was so much fog that I was unable to see even 5 metres away,so u can imagine what would have been the situation at six in the morning. These are the fans who make BCCI the richest board and when they were all set for the action there was no match so I guess the biggest loss was their and even if Kotla loses the world cup match they would be the saddest human beings on earth , neither Mr.Jaitley ,nor the BCCI, or theDDCA.And sadly I stand among that crowd.

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