One person, one post formula for cricket managers?



There’s little doubt that football fever is gripping the country – a quick look at the newspapers or television channels will tell you that – but early numbers on the support the beautiful game’s greatest spectacle has received is revealing.

According to TAM ratings released, 19.7 million Indians watched the opening ceremony and the first two days of the action in South Africa. That’s a staggering number, but, advertisers and broadcasters aren’t quite jumping to declare football the favourite pastime of the country’s youth, because they know that 37.1 million people (or approximately double) watched the first three days of the IPL.

So, if you’re one of those people who enjoy tuning in to the odd football game, but don’t see it as a substitute to your cricket fix, don’t despair, this blog has one eye firmly on the Asia Cup.

When Mahendra Singh Dhoni fronted the media on arrival in Dambulla, he made the very valid point that the Asia Cup was, in many ways, the starting point to India’s eight-month marathon that will culminate in the World Cup.

While the players have their methods of setting, short, medium and long-term goals, and pacing their preparation and planning to peak at the right time, they also need a strong support system in place. In coach Gary Kirsten and all-purpose trainer Paddy Upton, assisted by trainer Ramji Srivasan, doctor Nitin Patel, video analyst CKM Dhananjay and masseur Ramesh Mane, the team have a unit they have come to trust and work well with.

The one thing they have asked for, repeatedly, and denied, however, is a permanent manager who travels with the team both at home and abroad. In teams like Australia (Steve Barnard) or South Africa (Goolam Rajah) the manager is not someone who merely sorts out hotel rooms and ensures the right clothes are worn to a do, they’re an institution.

What a manager does is set things up off the field, so that the captain has to think about nothing beyond the actual cricket. Freeing up cricketers to think about sport should be an obvious thing, but something the BCCI have never thought necessary or possible.

After all, the manager’s post is handed out on a fairly random basis from tour to tour, more to reward one state association for a valuable vote already counted or to seal one from another that is wavering.

To this end, it’s unrealistic to expect the BCCI to make a dramatic departure from its ways, and constitution, and appoint someone full-time for the job. What is refreshing, though, is that the cricket-minded in the Board are keen to do what they can within the existing framework, and there’s every indication that Ranjib Biswal, the current manager, will continue through to the end of next year’s World Cup.

While no official announcement is forthcoming, a source close to recent developments confirmed that Biswal, a former cricketer and national selector enjoys the confidence of the powers that be in the Board. The manner in which he handled himself during the failed campaign in the World T20 in the West Indies, and specifically the debriefing he provided in the aftermath, have made him a frontrunner to stay in the job long term.

If the Board do the sensible thing and keep Biswal in the job, they will irritate several others in state associations who are eyeing plum holidays around the cricket world. But that’s a small price to pay in giving your team the best chance to succeed.

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  • Lp_7

    Having seen the Eon it in detail along with the pricing, I would immediately say that Alto will still have its market. You mention that even “Maruti knows that Eon is better than the Alto” – why shouldn’t it be. The Alto design is more that 6 years old!! Wait and see the new Alto when it comes out in 2012. It will be better that the Eon. Just because the design of the Eon is so called “fluidic” in nature, does not mean it is superior to the Alto. Yes, it looks more modern (probably) – but as a prospective car buyer, I would still say that the Alto is my choice. I have driven the Alto and it is superb with a reasonable fuel consumption. I do not quite see the Eon out doing it in performance. Also, to my understanding, Maruti has quite few a tricks up its sleeve. Wait and watch.

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  • Car Review

    but i don’t think hyundai eon will beat alto k-10 as latter has better engine than former – http://goo.gl/k126X

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  • Nida Z

    mediocrity at its bestest!

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  • Sivakumar Davamani

    dear Observer,
    You dont have any other work other then reading this website and discourage a good article.
    regards,
    opposer.

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  • Emptiness060

    alto k10 is best car forever. sabse jyada powerful engine, space jyada as compare to eon. facility sabse jyada and ek bharosa jo hume h maruti suzuki par.

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  • Kuchkuchi Sharma

    Bravo Arnab. I don’t know about today’s youngsters, but my generation admires Indira Gandhi. She was truly a practitioner of the politics that Kautiliya’s Arthashastra, (and before him Mahabharata’s Shanti Parva) and much later Machiavelli preached. India’s goody 2shoes, effete foreign policy is a joke. We need the kind of leadership that Indira Gandhi displayed when she broke Pakistan, humiliated Nixon, annexed Sikkim and unashamedly followed the policy of India first. Great powers and great nations always do what they think is right. So, India should actively take steps to neutralise those “stateless freelancers” across the border who plan terror attacks in India, repeat in Maldives what Rajiv Gandhi did in 1988 and play the role that our geography enjoins upon us.
    Thank you, Arnab, for speaking up for India.

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    Anjaan Reply:

    Indira Gandhi did the fata mistake of not following up on 1971 breaking up of Pakistan, by not breaking up Balochistan also which would give India access to Central Asia’s natural resources.

    The second big blunder by the Indian leadership was not to strike at **** nuke infrastructure and never to allow them to have one.

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    Impotent Rage Reply:

    I like your approach; did our leadership struck back after 2008? and you talk of striking at **** nukes? Do u imagine us to be Israel with the backing of the US and Europe?

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    Anjaan Reply:

    @ Impotent Rage,

    Why do you bring the US into the subject …. India never was and will never be a nation dependent on the US ….. ! The reason for not striking back in 2008 is obvious, and that is what should have been taken care of in 1971 …. !!

  • Peoplesvoice

    Most anti_Muslim report. Mitra CIA, Jewish agent. India’s progressive foreign relations pride of progressive citizens. Mitra is neo-liberal face of US agents educated in that country. But peoples will see through his nefarious design.

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    Joe Reply:

    People are seeing instead through your Islam influenced propaganda. Arnab is 100% right that Indian foreign policy hitherto was hostage to jobless quasi Marxist scholars and Islam appeasers. This is changing.

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    Guest Reply:

    It’s funny seeing an illiberal Islamist like yu talking about progressive citizens and liberalism. There is no end to your Islamist hypocrisy. Shameless.

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    Abu Ahmed Reply:

    What Mitra envisages is the policy of developed and wealthy nations. The only remark I would make on Mitra is that he is living in a fool’s paradise, or USA’s Israel. If India becomes as powerful as Israel, that is be able to wag the dog, then much more can be done in the foreign sphere.

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  • Vikrram B

    Author talking language of neo-imperialists. Such policy lead India in war with everyone. Only serve imperial interests and money for arms dealers. Non-alignment and friendship with neighbours way forward for peaceful coexistence.

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    Guest Reply:

    Hey “vikram”, you want us to be friend with Pakistan? That Pakistan that sent people to attack Mumbai, the same Pakistan which conducted so many attacks on in Indian soil? Looks like you are more loyal to the ummah than to your country.

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  • Alex0291

    Absolutely spot on Arnab! We need think tanks of high calibre individuals not bureaucrats.Our present foreign policy is always a reaction to whatever has just happened-duh?

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  • guest

    Hope ‘rightful place at the head of the global high table’ means to be as in one’s own right,strength and beliefs and as an equal and not as a subordinated ally of a super-power. For that India has to become a super-power itself and lead a group of like thinking nations who have faith,trust and believe in India and it’s international relations policy which should be bedded on peaceful co-existence and cooperation.

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  • Sekar

    Excellent review.

    Part of the problem stems from economic weakness compared to say China and hypocracy and stupidity.when it comes to foreign policy. The success story of India is hyped by the west for politics and wishfully believed by Indians. Any country with more people in poverty than all 20 poorest nations in Africa can only be called super Poor not super power. In fact India can not be called a third world country as it does injustice to other third world nations like Sri Lanka, South and central American countries like Brazil, Peru etc.

    This is a nation hated by ALL its neighbours. Has issues with both big and small nations. China to Maldives, Nepal to Sri Lanka. Even Bangladesh which owes its creation to India is not in good terms with India.

    The recent Delhi attack supposed caught the Delhi police by surprise. We will never get close to booking the suspects. This is a nation which should have developed anti terrorism units to the fullest after several debacles from the attack on Parliment to the Mumbai attacks.

    New Delhi should learn foreign policy from China. Theor string of pearls doctrine of establishing bases all around India from Myanmar to Lanka to Pakistan to perhaps Maldives.
    This is acountry which has gone far away from Gandhian principles puts on a “moral cloak” dealing with the Military in Myanmar. Wsa the first to recgnise the Russain Junta which overthrew Gorbachov to soon find egg on its face when Yeltsin sent the coup packing.

    We and the countries in the neighbourhood fully well know all the billions spent on arms are meant for the republic day parrade. What then were the aircraft carriers doing when an anti Indian coup took place in Fiji? How is the force projected vis a vie Maldives?
    What was the million strong army and the costly toys with the airforce doing post attacks on the Parliment and Mumbai?

    The pathetic Indian foreign policy is reflective of the economic, intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the establishment and is due to continue for years to come.
    This country would be the playgound for terrorists who know they can get away with impunity while the countries army is engaged in action against its own people in several states calling social issues as insurgencies.

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  • Anjaan

    Well it is no brainer …… ! It is also heartening to see that the Indian leadership is not carried away by the western propaganda, in Obama’s words “the Super Power that has arrived”.

    Investments in India’s infrastructure sector has yet to take off, some mega malls in the urban areas alone will not make India a super power, it’s transformation must resemble that of China. India needs at least a two decades of investments in roads and electricity generation for industry and business to come of age, apart from overhauling the big cities.

    There is no doubt that India has a long way to go …. India must not take its eyes off the ball, while maintaining the momentum of GDP growth….. not an easy task ………. !!!

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  • Guest

    One of the best articles I have read laying out the challenges before the indian foreign policy establishment and their current state of lily liveried stupor.

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  • Ramesh

    Thank you Arnab for being a lone voice speaking the truth. Lost as we are in our inner dynamics, we are reluctant to look outwards and assess the world outside. We are happy with our petty politics in the office, carrying a gossip to the boss to catch his ear and perhaps a reward. India becoming a Superpower — that is a big joke! Who has to time to think of India? When making money is the simple goal, there is no room for such unremunerative issues like India and which way the country needs to go. Keeping the country engrossed with issues like quota for minorities with controversial statements and creating a turmoil is the convenient strategy to keep the people away from thinking of bigger issues. Indira Gandhi had some thoughts of raising India to a higher status but that was gone after the fateful Allahabad High Court judgement where after she became just another politician. Really sad to see such laborious people who give so much when working for others (as in US) but who fail miserably when they have do something for themselves. Any other country would have grabbed the opportunity of a Nuclear Deal to bring home wide ranging technology; any other country would have formulated a cogent policy for tackling terror across the land whereas in India it has become a fight between the centre and the state. Just think of what is going on at Kudankulam! What more do we need to ask and address serious questions about the future of India? The superpower question at this time can best be left to astrologers.

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  • Velen Madhavan

    In India, the diplomacy they practice is very naive and will not work in self-interest world. I wish they are bit more aggressive in their approach and hold the people accountable for causing damages to the country inside and outside. Still people like Mr. Dawood Ibrahim are alive and sometime, Indian papers do write praising article about how smart he runs his operations. That’s a shame. I want India to accept the death of our Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri as a murder by Soviet Union because he wasn’t aligned with mediation and he was tough with Pakistan at Tashkent. I think it’s about time; they should come clean and accept the truth and give due respect to a good leader. Pride starts within.

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    abhiji Reply:

    “Pride starts within.”
    It also requires RESPECTING the people you govern and not put Indian Tax Payers’ money into Swiss and other foreign banks. 198000 CRORES! OMG!

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    abhiji Reply:

    “Pride starts within.”
    It also requires RESPECTING the people you govern and not put Indian Tax Payers’ money into Swiss and other foreign banks. 198000 CRORES! OMG!
    What kind of respect do you think the South Block has when they see this loot of India and look the other way? They need to be working for India in order to establish a framework of Independent foreign (or domestic) policy.

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  • Dinesh Sampat, Naperville

    Agree, Foreign Policy 101 means self interest…self interest and self interest both in theory and in PRACTICE. Indian foreign policy “elites” both bureaucrats and ministers have yet show the mastery over this freshman level course.

    Secondly, today’s foreign policy has to be an engine in full motion with all cylinders firing in synchronous fashion….especially the economic, environmental and water resources, military, security, intellectual property and most importantly strategic advantage fronts. And yes, good and noble neighborly relations fall within the confines of these key national interests.

    Author Arnab Mitra has provided an excellent analysis of the state of Indian foreign policy. its past, present and future contexts and the desirebles within the dynamics of globalized world, where there will only be five or six mega players…..the US, and North America, China, Europe, India, Russia and Japan. Last three, clearly have a place….the question is will they take on the needed leadership in defining the 21st century. Thanks.

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  • Hassan

    The title should be Impotent India. The Indian government should have in no uncertain terms called the Iranian ambassador and pulled him down for the bomb attack against the Isreali’s diplomat’s wife. However nothing of the sort happened and India became the laughing stock of the World once again. Palestine has been created by the USA for radical muslims to support their cause and take away the pressure from the facist Arab regimes of Kuwait,Saudi Arabia,etc. Palestians are lazy good for nothing people. Yes the article except for the title is good analysis of the situation India is in. However one should also put a similar article on the economic front. With budget and balance of payment deficits, outdated tax,industrial,labor laws, rampant corruption and huge bureaucracy, Indian economy will collapse in the coming years leading to chaos and anarchy on a scale which will make present day Somalia look like a paradise.

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    engrich Reply:

    Palestians are lazy good for nothing people

    hassan the only thing i can say is that u are an ignorant man.palestanian are very hard working intelligent and productive people.

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    engrich Reply:

    support their cause and take away the pressure from the facist Arab regimes of Kuwait,Saudi Arabia,etc

    they are welfare states not fascist.israel is apartheid fascist state voilated many uno resolution.they are the secret intigators of most of the voilence in the region.

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  • MSR Ayyangar

    A sensible article with the logic of power equations. Power begets respect and respect begets compliance. Power not shown is as good as absent. Politics of power is to exhibit but never use it. India has to learn a lot in mind control. But for that we have to break away from the slavery hangover that still persists.

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    Abu Ahmed Reply:

    Only now do we seem to have some extra dough to be spent on counter espionage activities. How many countries in the world can afford to spend money influencing politics of ohter countries like the USA, once-upon-a-time-USSR and now China? Do they have a BPL population of say 500 million at least?

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  • INDIAN

    If we dont take action, ultimately we will be affected by other’s actions …..

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  • Surendra

    Its little bit preposterous to think doing covert war in ur neighbours, when u have reds wrapping your own country from top to down?? I am startled by this guy’s lack of foreign policy expertise? I seriously doubt his credentials as a foreign policy writer? When was Nepal pro-china? Nepal has always wanted respectful relations with both India and China because of its proximity to both countries. You don’t win friends by strring hot water in friendly countries? Besides, its India’s own weakness that its diplomatic mission is smaller than that of Singapore, a tiny island, in terms of manpower and infrastructure. I think the best thing India can do is like USA did to Europe, bring some plan for south Asia which will win hearts and minds. Besides, we are culturally similar and the economic liberalization and integration will bring us closer to each other.

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  • Rat

    I was watching Mani Sankar Aiyar on NDTV. And, I was baffled after watching him to congratulate Indian “South Block” for successfully managing Maldives issue. I was literally laughing that how ignorant he thinks people are. But, it was appalling to see that young audience of that program were clapping to celebrate that success. It seems like many Indians don’t go by facts but they go by emotionally motivated speeches.

    I have been watching Mani for years now, and he comes out as an arrogant, ignorant and an “english” speaker who thinks less of people who do not speak English. Especially, on NDTV programs, sometimes he takes moral high ground but his actions speak otherwise. On many issues, like Bhopal Gas Incident, 1984 Riots, 2G Scam, etc.

    As the author mentions here about Non-alignment Policy, Mani strongly believes in it. I am afraid of that he could influence Indian Foreign Policy. It seems to me that there are many incompetent people who governs Indian policy which is harming India badly.

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  • Ram Singapore

    Hi Arnab Are you by any chance working for Uncle Sam think tank? I would call GOI at least PRAGMATIC and in tune with REALPOLITIK. Why do you want India to be the tail of the American dog or poodle of Western interests? Learn to stand for India’s interest. Iran and Israel are both friends fro different reasons. As you are well aware on global stage thre are no permanent friends or enemies JUST NATIONAL INTERESTS OF EACH NATION.

    By using bogey of cold war Yanks have done in India many times including both infamous CIA and bull headed US State department and famous reminder of all DISCRIMINATION -NPT and all nuclear treaties to keep Idnia out of Nuclear club! Pray tell me how did Pak get nuclear knowhow under protection of CIA and claimed ignirance to defeat Soviets in Afghanistan with pak help?Why did Yanks turn blind eye to transfer of missile technology from Pak to China even though they had signed MTCR? What happened in 1990s when jihadi hordes massacred Indians in Kashmir

    What the heck whatever Western nations do is out of self interest just that they are more media savvy and know where and when to grease palms.

    Please study hsitory of 1950s and you will know that 1sr democratically elected Iranian Government in Middle East was toppled by UK and USA for Iranian Oil and had VISE like Grip over Iran till corrupt and cruel American stooge Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1970s???

    At least a journalist is expected to know better and all this data is known and in public domain. India would rather be a meaningful power than APING THE WEST!

    Ram

    Singapore

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  • Swarup

    Really well written Arnab. Cudn’t agree with you more….I think the present Indian Govt strongly believes that if you do not ‘react’ to a particular situation, it would take care of itself and people would forget in due course of time.

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