Too much of 'politics' in Indian cricket: Wright

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

London:Describing the BCCI as a bunch of people ''who often make bewildering decisions'', former Team India coach John Wright has said there was too much of 'political interference' in the gentleman's game in the country.

''Cricket is so political in India. I wouldn't say anyone gets into the Test side purely because of political pressure, but some states are better than others,'' he said.

Though he was heartened by suggestions that the apex Cricket body would adopt a more professional approach to selection, abandoning 'favouritism', he called the BCCI ''an extraordinary organisation run by a handful of people who often make bewildering decisions and don't give a hoot what the outside world thinks of them,'' he was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

Anguished over 'political interference' into the game, Wright, one of the most successful coaches, said ''Nothing caused my blood pressure to rise more than the times when the players were besieged in the dressing room by a chief minister and his entourage, or by a powerful businessman asserting his rights.'' Wright, who was appointed India's first foreign coach in 2000, said the board does not seem to be serious about nurturing new talent.

''They are still the best batsmen in India. There are no other Dravids or Tendulkars on the horizon.'' ''I once turned up to Kanpur and saw a 14-year-old leg-spinner and an off-spinner troubling VVS Laxman in the nets. They were as good as anyone I had ever seen at that age. You just don't see talent like that. A year later no one could tell me where they had gone, only that it was 'difficult'.

''It's a minefield.'' Recalling his Indian experince, he said that the practice kit consisted of three baseball mitts, 30 cones and three old and crooked blue plastic stumps on his first day in Delhi.

''Practice was an unforgettable experience, the first of many.

At the training ground the players left their gear on the bus and ambled over to the nets on the other side of the field where they lounged in cane chairs while the waiters served them tea and biscuits,'' he recalled.

He refused to say anything how new Team India manager Chandu Borde would cope up with the current side. ''There was Colonel Sharma who waved a handkerchief every time we got a wicket and considered himself a yoga expert, so much so that we once had to let him take the warm-up. There was a gentleman who handed out the meal allowance in the dark so that it was hard to count, and another who nicked the players' official shirts.'' He asserts the senior players will help ease out the pressure on the team playing without a coach.

''A deep breath, and the recognition that they have no coach, might be good for them in the short term,'' he said adding, ''They have an experienced batting line-up and the onus will be on them to plan and perform.'' Expressing optimism about India's chances in the series, he said ''Always the key for India is their belief that they can win away from India. When they are overseas they don't get enough runs. I think if they get their batting right and their big players perform they will be very competitive.''


Write Comments