IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community Vilakudy Days: HARBHAJAN—GANGULY’S MAN OF THE MOMENT

Vilakudy Days

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Friends in need are friends indeed. Harbhajan should know. That is probably why the outspoken Sardar, who was groomed by his Dada, has spoken again. Unlike some of his colleagues, whom Ganguly has plucked from nowhere and nurtured, Harbahajan returned his gratitude. That too when Ganguly was going through his worst-ever crisis period. There are plenty of others, whom Dada has groomed from boys to grown-up men. But when they grew up, they had their own ambitions. Take Mohd Kaif.
Ganguly never dropped Kaif despite being failed for so many occasions after the Natwest win. Dada was his biggest supporter whenever in need. Ideally, he should have been the first one to come out in support. Instead, somebody who has gratitude did. More and more will speak out sooner or later. Because it is due. Chappels will come and go. Gangulys have to stay. Not for a South Indian lobby or for a Bombay lobby. For India. —RAJANEESH

Embattled skipper Sourav Ganguly on Sunday found support in off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who credited him for the success of the team and accused coach Greg Chappell of creating "fear and insecurity" among the players.
The first player to speak on the controversy which has engulfed Indian cricket, Harbhajan slammed the "double standards" of Chappell while hoping that the entire issue is resolved at the earliest.
"Whenever any controversy surrounds the team, the performance is adversely affected. It will be good for the team if the controversy is immediately resolved so that every player can concentrate on his game instead of getting mental tension," the off-spinner said.
Asked about Chappell's charge that Ganguly was not physically or mentally fit to be in the team, Harbhajan said it may be the coach's own observation but as far as he was concerned, Ganguly has been an excellent captain, which was evident from his match winning record.
Harbhajan also rubbished the allegation that Ganguly was interested only in captaincy and creating differences among team members.
"I have played for almost five years under the captaincy of Ganguly and never felt like that. In fact, he takes personal interest to boost each and every player during practice as well as during a match.
"Ganguly has rebuilt this team and whatever the team has achieved so far, credit goes to the captain."
Harbhajan said there was "fear and insecurity" among the players as they were apprehensive about airing their personal views or suggestions even in the dressing room.
"(The coach's conduct) can create fear among players over asking any suggestion on his weakness from the coach, who may take it as a complaint against him to the Board."
He also said Chappell's apparent patch-up with Ganguly on one hand and shooting off a letter to the Board complaining about the skipper on the other, reeked of "double standards".
"Not only me but no other player was aware of Chappell complaining against Sourav. We were all shocked to know about the issue after landing in India.
"After the controversy over Chappell's reported suggestion to Sourav to step down from captaincy, everything seemed normal as Chappell himself had said the controversy is over and now everyone should concentrate on the game," he said, adding, "I don't know what prompted Chappell to send an e-mail to the Board against the captain".
"As far as I am concerned, as a senior member of the team, I will reveal the truth if the Board asks for the same. I have lot to reveal about the Zimbabwe tour but I will do so only at the appropriate time and at an appropriate level."
Harbhajan said that he had come to know from his friends that Chappell had accused him of underperforming deliberately under Rahul Dravid's captaincy during the Sri Lanka tour.
"Chappell's remarks were an attempt to create a rift between me and Dravid, for whom I have great regards. His (Chappell's) remarks made me tensed.
"It affected my performance in Zimbabwe tour as well. I could not concentrate on my game due to immense pressure that if I commit any mistake, the coach will definitely make it an issue against me," Harbhajan said adding that even now he could not come out of the mental trauma caused by Chappell's remark.
"I am unhappy and disturbed because I am the kind of person who would die rather than deliberately not play well as cricket is not just a game for me. It is like worship."
Harbhajan was also skeptical about the coach's observations on the attitude of some of the players saying everything could not go wrong suddenly and attitudes of players also could not change overnight.
He said the hype over the rumblings in the team was "disgusting" but "as far players are concerned, they are all united and looking forward to prove their mettle in the World Cup 2007.
On suggestions in a section of the press that he had some differences with Anil Kumble, Harbhajan said "Kumble is a very good friend of mine and I know him for the last eight years. There were attempts to create differences between us but we are both mature enough to understand all this.
"Kumble is a player who has always supported me as his younger brother and I have great regards for him. Where is the possibility of having any differences with him?"
Asked to compare former coach John Wright and Chappell, he said in a lighter vein, "anybody can judge it from the on-going controversies".


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Blogger blubeard said...

Good that Ganguly spend some time grooming and nurturing young cricketers, knee-crawling, crying and hungry children would have given another headache to BCCI.

10:06 AM  

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