Dhoni being dropped akin to MeToo fire in cricket board | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Dhoni being dropped akin to MeToo fire in cricket board – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Sports

Dhoni being dropped akin to MeToo fire in cricket board

Published

on

ms dhoni-wefornews
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (File Photo)

New Delhi, Oct 27: The national cricket selectors sparked a bigger conflagration than the raging ‘MeToo fire engulfing Indian Cricket Board CEO Rahul Johri by quietly sending a ‘thank you note to Mahendra Singh Dhoni by dropping him from the Twenty20 squad.

Stranger things have happened in Indian cricket, but what we are witnessing now is becoming a farce with the two members in the Committee of Administrators (CoA) differing diametrically over addressing the allegation of sexual harassment levelled against Johri by an unidentified lady while they were colleagues in an organisation before he joined the board.

The jury is still out as opinion is divided over the modalities of probing Johri’s alleged indiscretion. CoA chief Vinod Rai rightly feels Johri should be given an opportunity to present his case before an independent inquiry committee while the other member Diana Edulji, former captain of India women’s team, is equally firm in wanting him to go even if it mean a summary sack.

Why did the CoA chief, board members and its affiliated state association, who run to the Supreme Court on every pretext, not bother to restore the four-member committee to full strength after two of its original members quit within months of their appointment for different reasons.

The board itself is divided as to how it should treat Johri. At least seven of its units, including Amit Shah-headed Gujarat, want Johri sacked as they are actually miffed at his appointment on what they resent as an obscene pay package.

They are also unhappy that their paid employee has usurped their powers without even being answerable to them under the Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha Committee recommendations to revamp the board’s administration.

Be that as it may, cricketing activities are going on smoothly. The national selection committee, headed by Mannava Sri Kanth Prasad, is going about picking teams and the senior players have established a direct channel of communication with the CoA.

But then, how did the selectors handle the Dhoni issue? Did they take the great man into confidence to tell the world that they are bringing down the curtain on his Twenty20 career? It does not appear they have thought of such niceties.

None of the selectors might have remembered that in his last Twenty20 game at Bristol, Dhoni created two world records, becoming the first wicketkeeper to take five catches in a Twenty20 international and also the first man to effect 50 dismissals in the shortest format.

Prasad’s explanation that there are six Twenty20s coming up in about a month and Dhoni won’t be playing and that they want to look at the second wicket-keeper between Rishab Pant, who appears to have come to stay in all three formats, and, lo and behold, Dinesh Karthik.

Prasad could have as well allowed Dhoni to take the call as there won’t be anything left between the tour of Australia and the 2019 World Cup, which by all accounts is going to be his last major assignment in India colours, having retired from Test cricket in 2014.

Dhoni could have been given the opportunity of creating another record, statistically! He made his ODI debut in December 2004 at Chittagong and a year later played his first Test against Sri Lanka in Chennai, again in December.

Curiously, he made his Twenty20 debut also in the month of December, in Johannesburg in 2006 and he played his last Test in December, 2014 – and none of the players who who turned out in his debut Test was there.

If he had gone to Australia next month, he would not have ended his Twenty20 international career in December as the three-match series would have ended on November 25 and it is highly improbable he would wait till next December to play his last Twenty20 international!

Among the top international cricketers who are his contemporaries are Alastair Cook, who called it a day after the Oval Test against India last month, and AB De Villers, who has also decided to quit after playing in what he called fantastic series against India and Australia earlier in this year.

Dhoni will be remembered more fondly than most of his contemporaries as he captained India to victories in the 2007 World Twenty20, 2011 50-over World Cup and also took India to the pinnacle of Test cricket as number one team.

Much more can be said about him but that can wait for the day he finally bows out from ODIs. The rest can be completed by the statisticians who have recorded plenty of things about him.

The selectors look at players the way millions of others do in India. All that Prasad would say about the Test squad to Australia is that it is a mixture of experience and youth.

He has nothing to say why Karun Nair is out without playing, though he thought Rohit Sharma’s backfoot play will come in handy on hard bouncy Australian wickets. He had nothing to say why there are three spinners, unless Ravindra Jadeja is in as an all-rounder.

If Murali Vijay’s past record in Australia and Parthiv Patel’s keeping and batting in Duleep Trophy pick them, Prasad has nothing to say about Mayank Agarwal’s tons of runs in domestic cricket and for India A. Also, whether Shikhar Dhawan played his last Test outside the subcontinent.

That’s why cricket is a funny game!

IANS

Sports

Argentina declares three-day national mourning for Maradona

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

Published

on

By

diego maradona

Buenos Aires: The Argentina government has declared three days of national mourning for the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona, the office of the presidency has said.

“The President of the Nation will decree three days of national mourning from the day (of his death),” according to the statement on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maradona died due to cardiorespiratory arrest at his home in the Tigre district on the northern outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

His body did not show “any sign of violence” and everything indicates that he died of “natural causes,” the prosecutor general of the Argentinian town of San Isidro, John Broyad, said.

According to Broyad, Maradona passed away “around 12:00” local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday at his home in the neighbourhood of San Andres, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

In statements to the press, Broyad said that “at 16:00 (local time) the work of the Forensics Police began” on the body of the former footballer.

“No signs of criminality were evident, no signs of violence,” said the prosecutor.

In addition, he reported that an autopsy would be carried out at the morgue of San Fernando Hospital, to “reliably determine the causes of death”.

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

On October 30, Maradona had celebrated his 60th birthday.

Continue Reading

Sports

Diego Maradona (1960-2020): When death felt like a tackle from behind

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008.

Published

on

diego maradona argentina

Diego Maradona, the shanty-town boy who became a supernatural footballer before his life went into a downward spiral of addiction and myriad health issues for over 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He turned 60 on October 30.

Maradona had looked death in the eye a number of times and when he underwent successful surgery for a subdural haematoma recently, his fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst had passed. In 2004, doctors said his heart was functioning at 40% efficiency. Back then, Maradona pulled through and went on to coach Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where amid the constellation of the planet’s football star, he — in a sharp suit, a diamond stud glinting from an ear and a wristwatch on either hand — was the cynosure till Argentina were gobsmacked by Germany one day after Holland sent Brazil home.

Life, it seemed, was sucked out of that World Cup because the curtains had come down on Maradona’s performance. At press conferences — where once he climbed over the dais to bearhug a journalist who then became the story — and on the pitch where his last memorable act was possibly burying his face on son-in-law Sergio Aguero’s back as Germany scored another goal in that 4-0 rout.

The year 2004 wasn’t the only time he had flirted with death and had the world praying and believing in a miracle. One year later, he had a gastric bypass surgery to help deal with obesity. And as a boy he had survived falling into a pit where he could have drowned. On turning 45 at a party with 400 friends for company, Maradona had said: “I am 45. And I am alive,” wrote Marcela Mora y Araujo, who translated his autobiography “El Diego” in The Observer. “He’s a crazy little giant who dices with death and toboggans unto hell on a daily basis,” wrote Araujo in the introduction to the autobiography.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Maradona of 2006 had again made way to a bloated version of the genius who slalomed his way past England in the 1986 World Cup to score one of the most memorable goals of the competition ever. In Russia in 2018, the version of Maradona that filled fans with dread was seen in the World Cup when he had to be helped from his seat during the Argentina-Nigeria game. He blamed it on wine and said he was fine and we got on with our lives. So when news broke of his heart attack at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, it felt like a tackle from behind. How could death win this round?

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008. In Egypt, bandits released a group of Argentine tourists on realizing they were from Maradona Country, writes Jimmy Burns, in “Hand of God” . But at least he had played a friendly there. He had not in Kolkata, where the Salt Lake stadium spilled over to see him move in a car. In Bangladesh he had not either, but it didn’t matter. Seeing God, the hero of the 1990 World Cup too and in the bit part he played in 1994 before failing a drug test, felt like an act of fulfillment itself.

Maradona’s rise coincided with football transforming into a billion dollar industry, in whose crosscurrents he found himself for most of his playing career. Except possibly the time at Napoli, where he handheld a team trod upon by the rest of the country to European glory. Two Serie A titles, two second-place finishes an Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup immortalized him in the city. It was while he was at Napoli that Maradona transformed from being an artful dodger to a messiah.

It was also where he came in contact with the Cammora, the city’s crime syndicate. It was where he became a cocaine addict. With Maradona, you see, the sublime and the ridiculous are never mutually exclusive, they exist cheek by jowl. Just as life and death did with him till the final blow on Wednesday.

“Maradona,” Burns begins in ‘Hand of God’, “is the story of a natural-born football talent who grew up to believe he was God and suffered as a result. It was on the pitch where he was the happiest, away from all his troubles, he had said. But while doing what he loved since his uncle gifted him a ball when he could barely walk, he also became a hero for the downtrodden, his ‘Hand of God’ epitomizing — justifying too perhaps — the chicanery that they needed to deal with life’s unfair hand. That magical left foot drew you to him, his outspokenness then endeared him to you.

“Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a God’, ‘You are a star’, ‘You are our salvation’ that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You are a man.’” The words of Jorge Valdano, Maradona’s Argentina teammate in the 1986 World Cup, sums up a life extraordinary.

Continue Reading

Sports

Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

Published

on

Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.