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Climb to the top is a never-ending process

A coach needs teams and players to work with all the time. You can't do the job for a year or two writes, John Wright

india Updated: Apr 09, 2007 02:18 IST

As I watch events unfold after the exit of my old team from the World Cup, I can't help feel sad. Once Indian cricket gets hold of you, it's hard to let go. There are no winners in this saga: the coach, the players or the administrators.

And certainly not the fans spare a thought for them. They don't care about the money from TV rights or sponsorship, what logos are on the uniforms or who the BCCI's office bearers are. All they want is a good fighting team, playing tough, playing well and one that makes them feel proud to say, "That's India, that's my team."

If this World Cup has taught us anything at all about putting together a winning team, it is this: it's not about money. The truth is, it never has been, and never will be when you're talking about what happens out in the middle.

At a time like this, I'm sure people are asking all sorts of questions: what will and who can work in India? Do you need a CEO for the BCCI? Does the team require a professional permanent assistant administrator or media liaison? How does the A-team touring programme get going? How many good, young fast bowlers do we have and who is keeping an eye on them? What about the selection process that I harped on?

Should anyone who wants to play for India be first asked to run from Mumbai to Delhi? Who do the players or coaches talk to if they have problems with the itinerary or sponsorship shoots? Should the physio be tall or short? Are these goras any good?

Now that you have to find another coach, it would be good to think about what is the career path for young Indian coaches or the programmes, if any, in place for them. Learning to coach doesn't happen overnight. A coach needs teams and players to work with all the time. You can't do the job for a year or two, go home, watch the bills pile up and wait for the phone to ring.

But, surely, isn't this the moment when everyone who sits at the table of Indian cricket takes a deep breath, forgets about the vote and the political equations and asks themselves just one question: what's best for Indian cricket?

This is not the time for settling personal scores. It's probably best to take some time to assess, study and determine what exactly is the best way forward. Go about things in a measured and clever manner and then look to get the best people for the job, whoever they may be.

It is worth remembering that climbing to the top or winning is never-ending. It's a constant exercise in striving, in a never-ending pursuit. There is no one definite answer, there is no one person who has them all and there is no finish line. Whatever is decided on paper, needs to be followed with sustained action. If any ideas are needed, there seem to be plenty of models in Indian business that might be worth looking at. Surely there are some lessons that could apply to run of Indian cricket?

First Published: Apr 09, 2007 02:05 IST