Friday, July 2, 2010

No change of heart on Asian Games: Shashank Manohar

It’s not always that the much-maligned Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) takes wrong decisions. There are times when they also take good decisions. However, when a wrong decision is taken, they seldom review it.

BCCI president categorically denied any likelihood of reviewing the decision of
not sending a team to Guangzhou Asian Games in China. © AFP
It seems the decision on not sending a team to the Guangzhou Asian Games in November is going to be no exception. After a couple of BCCI officials came up with a ‘no comment’ remark, including the honorary secretary N Srinivasan, the president Shashank Manohar clarified in his signature straight-forward style.

“The issue was discussed in the last working committee meeting where it was decided not to send the team to the Asian Games. All I can say is there is no change in the decision. I’ve nothing more to add,” said Manohar.

Ironically, it was the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), of which India is an integral member, which had lobbied hard and successfully for the inclusion of cricket into the folds of Asian Games.

Earlier, president of the ACC, Ijaz Butt expressed his surprise at India’s decision, “It has come as a surprise for us. To pull out at the eleventh hour without any notice or information is surprising to say the least.” Incidentally, both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have expressed their intent of sending their teams for the Asian Games.

Anil Kumble, who was part of the Indian team that played in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, had expressed his disappointment to a TV channel by saying, “It is definitely disappointing… As an Indian player, I would definitely like to play in events like Asian Games or Olympics or Commonwealth Games.” Kumble, perhaps, was voicing the sentiments of many Indian cricketers, who would have liked to be a part of the Indian contingent to the Asian Games.

Perhaps, what the Indian board needs to consider is why undo the good work of having sent a team to the Commonwealth Games back in 1998 by not sending one to Guangzhou in China. A second-string team along with the women’s team shouldn’t be a difficult proposition for the board. Why let go two certain medal prospects? In this nation of billion people, where medals are hard to come by, two medals would have surely brought immense joy and the adrenaline rush that go with it.

Mr President, it’s still not late for a review on the decision

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