IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community Vilakudy Days: DADA: PACK OF WOLVES TASTES BLOOD, FINALLY.

Vilakudy Days

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

DADA: PACK OF WOLVES TASTES BLOOD, FINALLY.


The wolves have tasted blood. Finally. After lurking around in the wild baying for the Bengal Tiger’s blood, a pack of wolves has finally made him retreat to his den. Every time they kept hunting, Sourav Ganguly emerged from the woods unharmed. But whenever he was hurt, they rubbed salt and found pleasure. Every time Dada’s towering sixes hit the sky, they dug up to unearth chaff. Yet, Sourav scripted a fairytale comeback -- what has been called one of the best comebacks in world sports.

On the course, he took everything in his stride. Not once did he show that it was taking its toll. Every time, he said that there was enough cricket left in him. His bat replied, but it did affect him. His fans and admirers gave up, but he did not. He played some of his best knocks -- and shots, including some imperious pulls off bollers like Nitini -- in Test cricket after his comeback. But the body took its toll. His hair turned grey. Finally on October 8, he proved that he is after all a man in blood and flesh. He decided to quit. At a press conference, in a choking voice, he said the most painful word a sportsperson can utter: quit.

Dramatic you may call, that was over in fleeting seconds. India was shocked. Even my wife, a Rahul Dravid devotee, had tears in her eyes as we stood in front of TV. Channel after channel. Call after call. The news started sinking in. There will be life, cricket, and TV without my dearest Dada at the crease. My mind went blank. I wondered what Rakesh, my friend and a loyal Dada fan, did when he heard the news. I did not call him.
I could not take his grief. Nor did he give a missed call. He was the one who performed some special pujas in or village Ayyappa temple for Ganguly. I know he would have shed a tear or two. It does not matter.

But the pack of wolves must be savouring the blood. Though he did not limp out the way they would have loved, they will sure cherish this long-awaited moment forever. Let their unbridled happiness flows forever till they find another Dada-like human being. There will be no one like Sourav. Here are some who will rub their hands in glee.

Greg Chappell: The happiest man on earth now. The man who entered India on Dada’s recommendation was the first to challenge him. Could not stand up to Dada’s authority and charisma. Chappell thought cricket is football, where coach runs the show. It was cricket, man. The worst allegation Sourav ever faced was by Greg Guru himself: Ganguly is playing for endorsements (read money). That was a hit below the belt. For Chappell’s information, Ganguly’s family (one of the richest in Calcutta) can buy him and his grandfather. Chappell went and came back in new avataar. When Dada finally hangs his boot up in India, he will be there on Indian soil -- this time helping out Aussies on ideas on manipulation.

Kiran More: The pocket-sized obnoxious weed grew into a huge wicked tree. As the selection panel chief, he acted vindictively again and again. Said he, “As long as I am at the helm, there is no future for Ganguly.” There was not. Even when Ganguly was scripting a fairy-tale comeback, More was there on Times Now channel, cribbing and lamenting. More is less, boss.

Rahul Dravid: Don’t get surprised by this name. The unkindest cut of all came from this old roommate, who described Ganguly as the God of off-side. No doubt, The Wall was his best pal in the Indian dressing room and outside. But when captaincy was thrusted upon that frail shoulders, the wicked mind started playing. Insecurity crept in. Journos in the know say the Rahul-Chappel-More trio tried its best to keep Dada away from the India crease. Finally, Dada scored his way to the team, but the relationship was never the same again. Rahuls’ brooding shoulders and body language bore testimony when Dada walked into a practice match in Chepauk before his grand comeback. Pehaps this back-stabbing would have hurt Dada the most. The God of off-side became an omnipresent devil.

M S Dhoni: The ‘globalised’ New India’s favourite cheerleader was plucked and nurtured from a place called Jharkhand. Sensing his talent, Ganguly promoted him to the No 3 slot and Dhoni never looked back. Not even to Dada. For the 20-20 folks, it was Ganguly who spotted him at the nets in Jharkhand and took him to the Indian team. As things turned around, Dhoni became the captain, and he never wanted the Fab Four – including the mighty Sachin Tendulkar –to be in his team. ‘Insecure’ was the word, again. How much ever the new India may hail him, such a parvenu will find an enemy sooner or later. Age was Dhoni's problem. Dhoni’s was thanklessness at its best. Had it not been for Dada, Dhoni may never have achieved what he got now. We never know. Not many know the fact that Dhoni is yet to play a great Test knock. Does the 20-20 generation know that?

Rajan Bala: The fiercest critic of Ganguly, even at his best of times. Not sure why. One of India’s senior-most sports journalists, Rajan Bala spewed venom every time he wrote about Dada. Was a cheerleader of Rahul’s captaincy. Even after Ganguly was out of the race and the team, his campaign continued through his columns in Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle. Maybe, there is a story underneath. The words sounded like swords. Luckily, his articles never appeared in the other side of India.

R Mohan & Vedam Jaishankar: Two South journalists hell-bent on destroying Dada. Article after Article. It was like a campaign to dethrone Ganguly and anoint Rahul Dravid the captain. Maybe, the South connection or the proximity to Rahul. No wonder, the latter wrote a biography on the Wall.

John Cheeran: The man who led the anti-Ganguly campaign in the blogosphere. A Dravid fan, he did on Net what Rajan Bala did in newsprint. I never understood what the real reason was. Posted comments on his blog, but never got a reply. It is long time since I checked his barrages. Waiting to see what he writes about Dada's exit.



Srikkanth: It may again surprise you. Because he selected him for the Australia series amid contradicting reports. It was no doubt a great gesture, but before that there is a long story of hatred while he was a commentator. Let us not scout through the old files. Picking him now was touching. All sins have been washed away in the Hooghly, chikka.

Bishen Singh Bedi: Was ferocious. What made him different was that he never made the articles look biased. Because he always stood out in his criticism -- be it Harbhajan or Murali. Yet, Dada was his favourite whipping boy.

Shiv and Salil: My old roommate and colleague. They had their own stories and arguments. What puzzled me was their refusal to even acknowledge Sourav’s captaincy. He is the best ever we had.

AND: Some who stood by him all through the turmoil.

Arjuna Ranatunga
Geoff Boycott

Sanjay Manjarekar

Ajay Jadeja

Kunal Pradhan, sports journalist

Most of West Bengal (other states should learn to respect its heroes)

Loyal fans, not just from West Bengal, like this blogger.

Tailpiece: When the match-fixing row surfaced, the needle of suspicion fell on every player. When a top bookie was asked if Ganguly had any role in the scandal, he said, "Sir, we wanted him. But nobody had the guts to ask Ganguly whether he could fix matches for INDIA."

The bookie said it all. Need I say more?

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10 Comments:

Blogger yamini said...

kollaam... it reflects all ur love for dada. Though i know only a bit of the core issue ie, cricket, i enjoyed reading it. good...

10:15 AM  
Blogger sudipta said...

You have really pointed out some basic issues about this legend.One more good thing about dada is he never allowed regionalism in his team.But its not so surprising that he is the favourite child of critisism coz kings and legendarey leaders r born to fight..some times they win..somwtimes they defeat.

10:21 PM  
Blogger S said...

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2:16 AM  
Blogger Pilo said...

Nicely put. easy language and style. nosle.com pilo

7:10 PM  
Blogger pushkar said...

That is one of the best articles on GANGULY-The Prince Of Kolkata.
I loved it,especially the part-
"For Chappell’s information, Ganguly’s family (one of the richest in Calcutta) can buy him and his grandfather.".....Lmaoooo man
Nice article,the next time u write an article on our great dada,mail me

10:48 AM  
Blogger Mini said...

toooo late to comment on this i guess. but my love for the game resurfaced after the WC.very nicely written. lovely piece about DADA

11:56 PM  
Blogger Manoj said...

Good one. Like you, i too miss him in so called TEAM INDIA. U will be surprised to know; that after his departure from TEAM INDIA, i totally lost interest in cricket and not seen any cricket match barring Semi final @ Final of WC. However, i hardly missed a single opportunity to see Ganguly at cricket crease. As on date(03.11.2011); i am over to Ranji Trophy and next to Pune Warriors (IPL,2012). In nutshell; to me, he is my idol!

4:58 AM  
Blogger Naveen said...

i think the Dravid allegation was totally below the belt... if he wanted to stay as captain, he wouldn't have quit captaincy after that very successful tour of England(2007). The others are mostly true i feel.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Naveen said...

your love for ganguly has made you subconsciously hate Dravid, which is totally unfair... we all know, Ganguly is a better captain, Dravid is a better batsman.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Manu said...

quote for moving

11:01 PM  

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