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SurferSpeak | Team India's army makeover

india Updated: Aug 18, 2006 23:31 IST

The BCCI called for a special board meeting to discuss India's perennial problem of losing in finals of the most tournaments after the last World Cup.

Sharad Pawar, dressed in army fatigues, started off the proceedings.

"I am unable to sleep for days when we are to play finals against any team. I did not face such a situation even when I had to quit Congress over the issue of a foreigner becoming a Prime Minister nor before the BCCI election against Dalmia. But when it comes to finals, it seems the whole country knows the result even before a ball is bowled! How do we change this?

By the way, Pakistan has lodged a complaint with the US that we are running a secret camp somewhere in the outskirts of Bangalore. Condoleezza Rice is coming here to check it out. I am also not sure how it will help the team to win the world cup, if I move around in military khaki till the finals?"

The army deputy chief replied, "Our secret camp was mainly to toughen the boys. They have mastered martial arts, Tai Chi, Jujutsu and Karate. They can handle AK-47 and AK-77, which is yet to come in the market. They can start campfires on their own. As for your khakis, it will send a strong message to ICC not to mess around with BCCI, Sir."

Greg Chappell piped in, "But my main worry is, the boys have forgotten to play cricket during my absence. I was shocked to see Viru holding the bat upside down like an AK-47 while facing VRV Singh. When I threw the ball to Harbhajan, he let out a war cry and ran away from it as if it were a grenade. I found it amusing to see Kumble eyeing the batsman between his thumb and forefinger as if he is peering through a telescope."

"We have made the team stronger by making them jump from 50 feet heights, climb 100 feet rope ladder and eat out of a can for three days. They also sip fluids through a tube 0.15 mm dia. This will make them survive in a jungle as well as a 5-star hotel. It will improve their stamina." That was from the physio.

"I think the boys have forgotten even basics of cricket. Instead of running between the wickets, Tendulkar was chasing Dravid all over Chinnaswamy ground with a raised bat and worse, Dravid, while running backwards, was using his bat as a shield over his head! This is ridiculous. Probably it had to do with John Wright's book about Dravid's declaration when Sachin was 194! At night, I saw Sreesanth and RP Singh guarding the camp crossing each other once every three minutes till morning. At this rate, we can go to West Indies only as tourists. May be we can earn some money for the board by providing security to all the other teams!" said Chappell airing his frustration.

The physio continued, "Some of the boys showed they can be without water for three days even though they had to do ads for colas in between. Dhoni jumped off a plane without a parachute and fell on the lawns of Yelahanka army lawns and came out unscathed. This should help the captain to eliminate slips cordon and short leg from now on. Dhoni can dive 20 yards either side from deep point up to leg umpire."

"Whatever little cricket I knew, I will forget if I continue here any more. I would like to resign as the coach with immediate effect," said Chappell.

Pawar intervened, "Greg, don't get excited and do things in the heat of the moment like Sourav Ganguly and repent later. We can always sort it out…. I am still not convinced why I should go around wearing this silly army olive green dress."

Chappell had the final word. "I will tell you why you need to wear this, Pawar. Now that Dalmia is back, you will need this all your life. There is a small uprising in the east, which could result in mutiny. You would need all the military manoeuvres that you could muster for your survival. He is coming and I just want to resign and go before he comes to Mumbai!"

ER Ramachandran can be contacted at erram@rediffmail.com .

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