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Thank God, May is over

cricket Updated: Jun 01, 2007 15:24 IST
Atul Sondhi
Atul Sondhi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Despite a positive tour result, Tendulkar's two tons, and Shastri's great "honeymoon", the month of May has been as hot, energy sapping and uncomfortable for Indian cricket, as it has been for its cricket loving public.

Spate of injuries and fitness worries

Most of June is going to be a relatively cricket-free calendar and it will be the right time to assess what too much cricket has been doing to players, and how best injuries can be taken care of.

Stamina in testing conditions should also be an area of concern. Cramps to four players in the last series – Dhoni and Sreesanth in the first ODI and Karthik and Jaffer in the 2nd test – does not really say flattering things about the fitness standards of the young players of the team. And the way the whole issue is handled.

Just a few days ago, Vengsarkar showed justifiable concern as he asked Team India's Physio John Gloster and trainer Gregory King to find reasons for repeated injuries to bowers after just a few games. Stamina, and respite from injuries, will be important when taking on tough challenges ahead.

Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds!

Having withdrawn from the offshore telecast deal, Zee may have made it clear that their intention to fight it out with BCCI via Indian Cricket League is not fake.

With many recently retired cricketers expressing their intent to play 20-20, the ICL could pose a serious challenge to the Indian Board. But the strength of their resolve and the efficacy of their attack will also depend on how many star players they are able to hijack.

Probably, Kapil Dev and Kiran More will be compelled to opt for one side or the other in the coming few days. You can't simply run with the hare and hunt with the hounds!

BROADcasting a shadow

Not long ago, it was impossible to think that there could be life without live cricket for a sports broadcaster and "top-spending sponsor" in India.

Much like the ever-hot real estate and stock market, the BCCI's stock was always on the up, and rising.

Astonishing that the same broadcasters today believe that cricket will be a "loss-making proposition", and feel they can force BCCI to cut its rates.

The dual factor, team performance and DD's eagerness to cash in on money spinner ODIs, has led to this sorry state of affairs. Rival DTH players, with tremendous hold over the spending public, can easily afford to blank out the likes of Neo and Zee sports, as the matches will anyway be live on DD.

So unless BCCI becomes realistic, or DD is prevented from putting match-signals on DTH, the scene is going to become murkier in the coming days.

Coach selection

Will the players pull it off for a foreign coach or the former cricketers' strong advocacy of an Indian coach will bear fruit, we will know for sure in a few days time.

If we have reached a World Cup final, won Test series against the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan under foreign coaches, we did virtually the same (except beating Pak in Pak) and with equal success under Indian coaches and managers, who also won us a World Cup and a World Championship (Benson and Hedges, 1985)

But given the outcry from various quarters, BCCI, if they have not already taken a decision, will have a lot to think about before they unveil the next Indian coach.