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Stop the politicking and plug the leaks

The BCCI move to ask Rahul Dravid for an explanation for his comments on the Chetan Desai affair, reports Kadambari Murali.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2007 04:16 IST

The BCCI move to ask Rahul Dravid for an explanation for his comments on the Chetan Desai affair even while skimming over the far more serious matter of yet another confidential report being leaked is a sad reflection on how the Indian cricket Board works.

The Indian skipper’s outburst against Desai, the Indian team manager during the South Africa Tests, was a little over the top, but whatever people might imagine, Dravid is human and he had more than enough reason to be livid.

The report, if true, sought to demean and embarrass a senior player (Sehwag) on the eve of his comeback. Then, it reportedly sought to embarrass the Indian captain by questioning his decisions. Which team leader would not have reacted and reacted furiously? In fact, given the circumstances and timing of the leak, Dravid was quite restrained.

If, as Shah said in Rajkot on Saturday, Desai does not need to have a “standing in cricket” as he was a manager in his administrative capacity, then why should he be allowed to pass judgement on matters cricketing — as he is supposed to have? If he hasn’t, then apologies but if he has, then it is completely wrong. When you factor in the fact that this is a Board where a confidential report being leaked is more likely than an Australia win, it becomes a much more serious issue.

Of the report itself, one important point. We’ve been told that the report, whatever it contains, is an “honest assessment” of what happened in South Africa, including an alleged incident where Sehwag asked Greg Chappell and Ian Frazer to be at the stadium at 6:30 am for a batting session and then didn’t turn up himself. And later, when asked why he wasn’t there, he reportedly said that he didn’t feel like it!

If the report actually contains this incident, then Sehwag should be certified a mental case, or someone else should be sacked for lying (which is more plausible).

This is professional sport. Which professional sportsman, in any field, is going to call his coach (any coach, forget a powerful one like Chappell) for private nets and then not turn up and say later that he didn’t feel like? It is professional suicide. And if someone is trying to implicate Sehwag, then the Board should really get its act together and find out who that is.

There is far too much going on in Indian cricket anyway without the added headache of these frequent leaked reports that tar everyone who’s involved. The Board can make it different this time. Instead of going after its players, for once it can try and clean up its own house. From what we are given to understand, only two people have immediate access to a completed tour manager’s report — the person who wrote it and the BCCI President. So any investigation the BCCI chooses to launch into the leak should really take no time to resolve.

Email Kadambari Murali: kmurali@hindustantimes.com