Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cheeni Kum? No Problem

By John Cheeran
Reviewer gives the movie Cheeni Kum the thumbs down in The Independent. I’m no admirer of Amitab Bacchan, the actor or the personality. So I’m not bothered.
Cheeni Kum is described as a tormentingly witless romcom. And let me quote “When your teeth aren’t grinding from the leaden dialogue your ears are hurting from the outrageously intrusive score.”
That line prompted me to check out who did the score for Balakrishnan’s movie. That is Ilayaraja, the legendary Indian composer, with most of his work done for Tamil and Malayalam movies.
Ilayaraja’s score sounds intrusive? Possible.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Order Restored: India maul Bangladesh by an innings and 239 runs

By John Cheeran
The order is restored though World Cup remains lost.
On Sunday Rahul Dravid led India to a massive win -- by an innings and 239 runs inside three days -- over Bangladesh in the second Test in Mirpur.
India clinched the two-Test series 1-0.
Victory does not change the world around India. Its problems remain. Old timers killing time with their bats; and bowlers struggling to get wickets against decent rivals.
But let's quickly glance at the more immediate turn of events.
Bangladesh lost 15 wickets on Sunday. Bangladesh's first innings finished at 118.
Following on, they could reach only 253.
Left arm pacer Zaheer Khan emerged as the man-of-the match for India with seven wickets in the match on a batsman friendly track.
Zaheer grabbed five wickets in the first innings and two in the second innings.
Bangladesh, with hardly any experience in grinding out the merciless ground of Testc ricket, were hardly any match for India.
The Test finished 119 minutes into the post-tea session when Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (70) perished after delaying the inevitable with an entertaining knock (68b, 101m, 8x4, 3x6) as he tried to sweep Sachin Tendulkar and M S Dhoni took the top edge running to short fine leg.
Earlier, resuming at 58 for five, Bangladesh were all out in the morning session to trail by 492 runs after India's declared their first innings at 610 for three.
Following on, Bangladesh lost Javed Omar (0) off the first ball of the innings, bowled by Zaheer Khan. Zaheer dislodged captain Habibul Bashar (5) in his second over.
Bangladesh were 10 for three in the next over when Shahriar Nafees (4) tried to turn RP Singh to the leg side and Dhoni pouched the edge, diving full length.

Tendulkar: Prisoner of the Numbers Game

By John Cheeran
After scoring his 36th Test century in Chittagong in the first Test against Bangladesh, Sachin Tendulkar had gloated that batsmen such as him and Sourav Ganguly do not play for numbers.
And he has just done that, playing for numbers, that is, without responding to the needs of the team cause in the second Test in Mirpur. Yes, Tendulkar crawled to ensure that he did not miss his 37th Test century.
How dishonest can Tendulkar get?
On a flat wicket and that too against, clueless Bangladeshi bowlers Tendulkar posted the weakest strike rate among the Indian batsmen on view in the second Test.
Tendulkar scored 122 off 226 balls, with a strike rate only better than his best friend Sourav Ganguly! Tendulkar’s strike rate was 53.98.
And consider that the champion batsman came to the crease with Indian score being 281 for 0. The situation warranted an aggressive innings still all that mattered for Tendulkar was another century, at any cost!
Skipper Rahul Dravid played an admirable innings, tailored to the circumstances, to score 129 off 176 balls with a strike rate of 73.29. Young Dinesh Karthick, opening the innings scored 129 off 212 balls with a strike rate of 60.84. Wasim Jaffer was close behind scoring 130 off 229 balls with a strike rate of 60.26.
These numbers do not lie and but explain who has been pushing individual cause to the detriment of Team India.
Statistics will tell you that even his 36th Test century followed a similar get-your-century-at-any cost attitude.
Gone are the days of uncritical applause for this mean batsman from Bombay.
May be Tendulkar want to survive the rest of the forthcoming season on the strength of these two centuries against Bangladesh.
Indian cricket really require some encounter specialists to finish off those who push only their cause on the crease.

Friday, May 25, 2007

V S Achuthanandan: Kayamkulam Kochunni of our times!

By John Cheeran
One should always be aware of the dangers of romancing the poor.
Let me remind comrade V.S. Achuthanandan what Deng Xiaoping, the architect of Red Capitalism in China, said about the Communists’s dilemma.
Comrade Deng exhorted “To get rich is glorious,” while spearheading the development drive in China. Today, the Chinese people are enjoying the fruits of the daring philosophy of comrade Deng.
I don’t expect the narrow-minded, political stunt master from Mararikulam to be well read or well heeled. But the cronies who surround Kerala chief minister should tell him about Deng’s practical advise to Chinese comrades.
In a stunning statement, Achuthanandan has said on Thursday, May 24, that he will discriminate between the poor and the rich when dealing with land grabbing in Kerala.
Justice is blind. But here Achuthanandan is blind to realities. Why should anyone condone an illegal activity just because his income is less compared to others? A murderer does not cease to be a murderer just because he, what could be according to Achuthanandan’s dictionary, is poor.
Achuthanandan’s pro-poor stand is a classic instance of playing into the gallery, a pure political stunt. Such a move should be challenged in the highest courts of the country.
To argue that the poor grabs the land for survival and the rich grabs (in Munnar, I understand that the so called rich bought the land paying through the roof) the land for profiteering is simply spurious.
Let me tell VS and those bleeding hearts for poor that all those poor men and women are nothing but a bunch of people desperate to become rich.
And also, they say charity begins at home. Why don’t comrade VS consummate his love for the poor by giving his home to the homeless in Kerala?
In the history of Kerala, political masters, across the left and right chasms, have pleased their rank and file by giving them land title deeds. That was nothing but state-sponsored land-grabbing. Achuthanandan wants to continue with that policy.
If the poor encroaches on the reserve forest area, does not the environment get damaged?
Let’s keep in mind that, at the end of the day, both the poor and the rich need to shit.
Achuthanandan should remember that it is not Pinaryi Vijayan alone who shits.
Kerala’s ‘People’s Chief Minister’ shits in public in press conferences.
Achuthanandan should stop romancing the poor and ensure that he lives up to his constitutional obligations of providing justice to all, instead of aping Kayamkulam Kochunni.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Team India: Good Old Ways Continue

By John Cheeran
Has anything changed in Indian cricket in the last few weeks?
The Bangladesh tour has only helped to put India's weaknesses, both in bowling and batting, into relief.
Yes, large chunks of playing time was lost to soggy ground conditions, but any other team with a meaningful bowling attack would have won the Test.
So Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore is justified in taking credit for denying India victory in the Chittagong Test.
What's the worth of our bowlers when they can't wrap up Bangladesh innings and force them to follow on, especially after taking first seven wickets for less than 125 runs?
Would S Sreesanth's presence have tilted the scale in India's favour?
And what about the great Bengali Hope Ranadeb Bose?
Wicked, indeed, are cricket's ways.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chick, chicken and KFC!

By John Cheeran
Recently I had the fortune to watch the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken ) advertisement on Doordarshan.
A young sardar is giving a present to his girlfriend at a KFC joint. While the chick has closed her eyes, waiting for the present, the KFC comes onto the table.
Sardar then ignores the chick and concentrates on the chicken.
Triumph of US imperialism or Punjabi Pragmatism?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tendulkar and game of numbers

By John Cheeran
Sachin Tendulkar hit a century in Chittagong and soon cracked a few jokes to the supplicants around him. Tendulkar breathed from a can of oxygen, that is his 36th Test century, before telling the pen pushers that guys such as him do not play for numbers. Ah, what a wonderful sentiment!
Especially after his pathetic efforts in the Caribbean World Cup.
I’m baffled when Tendulkar says he scored an important century in Chittagong. Yes….important to whom? India? Or himself?
Only a worse fool than Tendulkar will say that his century in the first Test against Bangladesh, and bedeviled by inclement weather, has any importance other than to the batsman.
It is terrifying to note that Tendulkar has said “I’m looking forward to playing such important innings in future too.”
Great news for Indian cricket.
And let me quote Tendulkar more. “Every batsman wants to go out there and score runs. Players don’t play for the numbers; players go out to score runs and I’m no different.”
Excellent. We didn’t know that batsmen were supposed to score runs. And what does Tendulkar mean when he say that players do not play for numbers, but for runs…
Does Tendulkar know runs are tallied in numbers?
It was Leon Trotsky who said that everyone has a right to be stupid, but one should never abuse that right.
I would like to remind Tendulkar about Trotsky’s piece of advice, which is worth following for a lot of others who circle around Indian willows.

And to underline how much worthies such as Tendulkar and Ganguly care for Team India's cause is explained by the way they threw away their wickets immediately after reaching the number 100.
And Tendulkar talking about numbers game!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

BJP's hypocrisy on Sachar Committee and reservations

By John Cheeran
Bharatiya Janata Party plans to protest against the implementation of Justice Sachar Committee report whereby, Muslims will be reserved job opportunities in public sector.
Muslims already enjoy reservation in education sector, as they are clubbed with the kingmakers of Indian society, the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
BJP opposes reservation for Muslims since they argue it is on the basis of religion and any such move is against the letter and spirit of the Indian constitution. What Rajnath Singh and his acolytes say is true. Reservation for Muslims is basically because they are Muslims.
And Sonia Gandhi’s Congress wants to take them back to their tent with such a largess. But then what right BJP has to protest against Sachar Committee and the appeasement of Muslims? 80 per cent of Hindus enjoy reservation in public sector jobs and educational institutes.
Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are none but Hindus. And the constitution makes it clear that they will lose the reservation status if they convert into Christianity or Islam. That means the reservation for SCs and STs is a religious sop to keep them in the Hindu fold.
And what about OBCs? All of them are Hindus. In states such as Kerala, Muslims are clubbed with the OBCs. Again, basis for reservation is religion.
As a matter of fact, in Kerala, only Christians (except a small group of Latin Catholics who are mainly fisherfolks), Nairs and Nampoothiris constitute the upper class. All others, including the most thriving community Ezhavas, enjoy the privileges of being the Other Backward Classes.
And the only fair solution to the reservation trap is to abolish it. If the nation wants to go ahead it must promote meritocracy.
There should not be any birthrights, and political class, which is now dominated by the OBCs, should be able to look facts at their face.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mammootty gets his political lines wrong

By John Cheeran
Mammootty does not require any introduction to movie buffs in India. Even outside south India, Mammooty is well known for his acting abilities mainly thanks to Jabbar Patel’s biopic on B.R. Ambedkar. It is a pity that such efforts were not largely appreciated by the Northern India.
But the point is this, Mammootty is a great actor but what a bungler he is in real life.
As an actor Mammootty’s greatest strength is his voice and dialogue presentation. But Mammooty can only mouth his script, without someone else’s lines, Mammootty becomes almost a caricature of a man.
Mammootty’s unease with words comes through easily despite his careful makeup.
Get hold of any television interview with this actor and you cannot miss the point.
So it comes as no surprise that Mammootty, while addressing the DYFI (Marxist youth federation meeting in Chennai, said that if the DYFI were active in Gujarat, the violence against Muslims would not have happened. Mammootty said DYFI are the defenders of Muslims in India.
Is it so? Then why Marad happened in Kerala?
And by the way why the DYFI has no presence in Gujarat if the Muslim community considers them as its guardian angels?
And the most crucial point of all that shocks me is this -- why Mammootty cannot consider himself an Indian but only as a Muslim?
There in lies a big story.

Why limit to JCBs? Bring on RDX to Munnar

By John Cheeran
A few minutes ago I was watching on the television, the Kerala government’s forces demolishing the resorts built on encroached land in Munnar.
Private resource owners with links to both the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front had grabbed the land and built resorts to exploit the tourism market in Munnar and adjacent areas.
Though their enterpernurial spirit should be lauded, they made a mockery of justice and prevailing rules.
Reports say that owners have refused to bring down their constructions. So government forces have used JCBs to tear down the structures, to bring joy to those who believe in playing by the book.
Well..What amazes me that why the Kerala government is wasting their time and energy by using JCBs..
They should use the RDX stockpile the state police force have unearthed in the recent times and put it to a good cause.
Let’s be blunt and explosive to remind the land grabbers that this LDF government means business.

Chappell's ghost wanders in Indian dressing room

By John Cheeran
Greg Chappell has gone, but the Chappellway, stays with Indian cricket team.
The dirtiest word in Indian cricket for the last two years has been ‘experiments’.
And it should be remembered that the word ‘experiment’ was dirtied by frustrated former cricketers, who turned into journalists, thanks to the market forces.
And what happens in Dhaka and Mirapur now?
Skipper Rahul Dravid played footsie with the batting order by promoting Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the second one-dayer, ahead of Yuvraj Singh and holding back himself too. Why none is raising the bogey of experiments against Dravid and Ravi Shastri now?
One reason and the obvious one is that India has won both these matches. In India, critics often fail to take notice of the fact every team makes changes to the batting order, which will be necessitated by the weather, rival bowling, game situation, available resources and level of fitness.
There are no rescue forces around in Indian cricket still it is good that young Piyush Chawla got an opportunity to play in his first one-day international in Mirapur.
That’s also part of the continuing experiments in Indian cricket.
Youngsters should get their chances and that’s the whole point of the BCCI sticking to the schedule in this sweltering heat in Bangladesh.

On getting roasted in Bangladesh..

By John Cheeran
Two consecutive wins over Bangladesh in Bangladesh will not wash away the sins of Indian cricketers. Still, in their exercise in self-preservation, Rahul Dravid and cohorts have done what was expected of them. But Dravid can hardly say that India dominated Bangladesh in these games.
India could not terrorize Bangladeshis, the way Clive Lloyd’s West Indies stripped and paraded Kapil Dev and company in the next five one-dayers held in India, immediately after the Lord’s ecstasy.
India lack the firepower to burn the enemy camp. India’s bowling resources are meager and will remain to be so for a long time to come. We neither have seamers nor spinners capable of troubling batsmen on decent batting tracks.
Is it paucity of resources alone that opens the doors of the team to bumble bees such as Dinesh Mongia?
It is a shame that Dravid had to resort to Mongia to complete the obligations of overs. And what has changed from the Caribbeans to Bangladesh?
Only the weather, and thank god that Bangladesh cannot afford floodlights so that India’s walking billboards are getting roasted out there in public view.

Clippings: India beat Bangladesh again

DHAKA: Opener Gautam Gambhir scored a stylish 101 to help India beat Bangladesh by 46 runs in the second one-day international yesterday and take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Replying to India's 284 for eight, Bangladesh reached 238 for nine in their 49 overs in a match shortened because of morning rain.
Skipper Habibul Bashar (43), Mashrafe Mortaza (42), Aftab Ahmed (40) and Mushfiqur Rahim (35) contributed to the Bangladesh score without producing a decisive knock.
Mortaza delighted the local crowd, hitting five sixes including four in a row off Dinesh Mongia.
He scored his 42 off 22 deliveries, but it was not enough to catch India who had won the toss and elected to bat first.
Man-of-the-match Gambhir was involved in productive partnerships before he was the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 210.
“We were beaten by a better side, but we showed ability to scare people,” Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore told reporters.
India coach Ravi Shastri said: “Now we want to finish it 3-0.”
India won the first match by five wickets in Dhaka on Thursday. The third and final game is on Tuesday.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Clippings: Dhoni and Karthick lead Indian escape

DHAKA, Bangladesh
Mahendra Dhoni and Dinesh Karthick scored unbeaten half-centuries to guide India to a five-wicket victory over Bangladesh on Thursday in their rain-shortened first limited-overs cricket international.
The win serves as some revenge for India, which was bundled out of the just completed World Cup in the preliminary round, thanks largely to a five wicket upset loss to Bangladesh.
Chasing a target of 251, India stumbled to 33-3 before captain Rahul Dravid steadied the innings with a 49-run, fourth-wicket partnership with Dhoni.
Dhoni and Karthick then shared an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand, scoring 107 runs in 17.5 overs to put India in control.
Dhoni, who survived lbw and run out scares and had to use a runner after injuring his hamstring, had 91 runs off 106 balls to propel India to the winning target with the loss of five wickets in 46 overs. He brought up his half century off 67 balls with five boundaries.
Karthick finished with 58 off 60 balls.
The match was shortened to 47 overs per innings after rain twice delayed the start by about 50 minutes at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Indian skipper Rahul Dravid praised the partnership between Dhoni and Karthick.
"It was really a special partnership," said Dravid after the match. "They have controlled their innings under huge pressure."
"But we (the team) could do better in the match. Still, it's a good win."
Syed Rasel first trapped opener Gautam Gambhir (21) lbw and took out his partner Virender Sehwag (30), while Shahadat Hossain dismissed Yuvraj Singh for one run.
Shakib al Hasan dismissed Dravid for 22 and Dinesh Mongia for 17,
Al Hasan had the best bowling figures for Bangladesh with two wickets for 43 runs. Hossain notched 1-43, while Rasel was the most expensive with 2-68.
"We are a bit disappointed. We played very well, but India played well too," Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said.
Earlier, opening batsmen Javed Omar and al Hasan smashed aggressive half centuries to power Bangladesh to a competitive 250 runs for seven wickets after Bashar won the toss and elected to bat first.
Omar shared a solid, 78-run opening stand with Tamim Iqbal, which ended when Iqbal (45) was caught by Sehwag near the boundary while trying to hit a Dinesh Mongia delivery for six.
Bashar, playing in his last one-day series, faced just two balls before he was caught out for a duck in similar fashion off Ramesh Powar.
Omar and Hasan steadied the innings with a 107-run, third wicket partnership, before Omar was run out by Zaheer Khan for 80, which came off 117 balls and included seven fours and two sixes.
Hasan went on to hit 50 off 67 balls, with two boundaries, until he was stumped by Dhoni off a Mongia ball.
Mongia next bowled Mohammad Ashraful, who made 29 off 22 balls in his 100th one-day international. Aftab Ahmed was then caught lbw by Sehwag at 16 off 16 balls.
Mohammad Rafique (11) was the last wicket to fall in the last delivery of the 47th over. Mushfiqur Rahim was not out at 1.
Mongia led the Indian bowling attack with figures of three wickets for 49 runs. Powar had 2-55, while Sehwag added 1-46. Bangladesh it to the Super 8s stage of the just concluded World Cup in the Caribbean after upsetting former champion India, hastening its larger neighbour's departure in the preliminary round.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Vinodayathra: Sathyan Anthikad's serious journey

By John Cheeran
Sathyan Anthikad’s films have a mellow quality that charms us in the darkness of a theatre. Though Sathyan comes from a revolutionary hamlet in central Kerala, in his filmmaking, Sathyan shies away from confrontations and assaults, visually and verbally. Sathyan, however, is keen to make what one may call the socially relevant movies, especially since the days of Sandesham.
Sathyan Anthikad’s latest film Vinodayathra, is full of such messages and eventually director’s obsessions with social pills almost chokes the film.
Sathyan begins Vinodayathra with a message meant for Keralites when he makes Mukesh (Shaji) give an earful to the ‘revolutionary’ bureaucrats who wear the badge of officially apathy with pride.
Sathyan’s message obsession, in turn, possesses actress Meera Jasmine, who though totters in only at the end of the first half of the movie, then supplies spine to the movie.
Sathyan is quite right in telling us to take a micro view at life rather than the macro one. It is important to know what affects our bone, rather than be aware of global warming and other distant rumbles in Cuba, Baghdad and Washington.
Price of 100 grams of coconut oil is important when you are running the household engine, especially if your palms are not greased by bribery or if you are working in private sector and not belong to the software society.
My main quarrel with director Sathyan Anthikaad is the way he has chosen to deliver his messages – whether it is against pirated CDs or the need for the micro view of day-to-day life.
It would be impertinent on my part if I remind a celebrated movie maker such as Sathyan, the need for subtlety while delivering a message to spectators. Ways could have certainly found if Meera Jasmine had to tell Dileep that there are no free lunches out there.
And where are our Vinods?
In today’s Kerala there are no more idle fools. Yes, there are many who line their stomachs with free lunches from their parents, but none of them are naïve as Sathyan’s Vinod.
All those guys and girls know the price of a Wills cigarette or a lipstick. So I wonder about the impact of the micro view advocated by Sathyan.
Apart from such stuff, Sathyan has brought out the best from Dileep, who often had to resort to abnormal characters to keep alive his career. Here is a refreshing Dileep, and with a touch of elegance, giving out his best.
And I should say that Parvathy, who acts as Mukesh’s (Shaji) sister Rashmi, is another Asin in the making.
She has charmed me to the core. Parvathy's name is going to be in every director's notebook now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The way forward for the Middle East..

By John Cheeran
One of the few journalists I enjoy reading is Roger Cohen, Editor-at-large, with the International Herald Tribune.
Anyone with a shred of interest in the Middle East should read Cohen's column on Israel, published last week.
In India, and especially among left wing circles, appreciating the virtues of Israel, the nation, is considered a crime.
Only an O.V. Vijayan dared to make a case for Israel's existence in Kerala.
Cohen reminds us the importance of Israel in the Middle East. Let me quote him.
"One of the Israeli society's greatest sources of strength is its being free, open and creative.
To watch, in the Middles East, a commission excoriating the Prime Minister who appointed it is bracing and should be instructive.
How about a Saudi commission on how 15 of its citizens came to be among the 9/11 hijackers? Or a Lebanese commission on how Hezbollah has been able to operate as a quasi-independent armed entity within a state? Or an Iranian commission on how the hopes of its 1979 revolution led only to another form of dictatorship?
When those commissions convene, the Middle East will move forward."
If only India's leftist intellectuals could read Cohen we would have a sensible foreign policy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dravid and friends: Don't cross the border if you lose...Plunge into Padma..

By John Cheeran
Many events have happened in Indian cricket since the World Cup fiasco. More rest for Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, and then the BCCI President Sharad Pawar’s statement that sponsors are influencing the process of selecting the national team.
I’m interested in Pawar’s statement where he pointed put that some of the seniors are unhappy with the presence of newcomers in Indian cricket.
Ah, and immediately after Pawar’s pronouncement fast bowlers S Sreesanth and RP Singh have given seniors the jolt. Sreesanth gave a scare to batting icon Sachin Tendulkar and two days later R.P. Singh bloodied the nose of Indian skipper Rahul Dravid.
Quite an auspicious beginning to India’s Bangladesh tour!
Team manager Ravi Shastri has urged the fans to give seniors more time to deliver the goods. Yes, you need time to rebuild your tattered billboards. The quicker the seniors do it, better for themselves.
One thing is certain than ever. Rahul Dravid and his pack of oldies and rookies will be playing for themselves. And it would be preposterous to entrust these bunch of jokers India’s tri-colour.
Go guys, play for yourselves.
If you lose in Dhaka and Chittagong, do not bother to cross the border.
River Padma will be an apt place for Resting in Peace..

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Notes: All clear for Ganguly!

The BCCI on Sunday gave a clean chit to Sourav Ganguly who had himself offered to show his endorsement contract papers to BCCI amidst media reports that the deal contained a clause which provided financial incentives for more time spent at the crease.
The BCCI went through Ganguly's endorsement documents and found nothing objectionable, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said. "Reports of the clause which talked about more incentives for time spent at the crease are baseless and unfounded. There is nothing objectionable," Shukla said.
BCCI president Sharad Pawar had stirred a hornet's nest two days ago by telling a news channel he had received complaints that a player's contract had a clause which calculated his earnings based on the time spent at the crease. A newspaper report said on Sunday that Pawar was hinting at Ganguly's contract.
"Sourav contacted the BCCI headquarters about these reports mentioning his name into the controversy and offered to show the contract papers," Shukla said.
"On behalf of Pawar, I went through his contract paper and after that I am of the view that no such clause exist. In fact, the BCCI president wanted to go through the process so that Ganguly's name is cleared," he said. Shukla also said that Pawar had not taken the name of any player in his interview and was only referring to some "allegation." "Sections of media had reported that BCCI president Sharad Pawar was hinting at Sourav Ganguly on his contract with Puma in course of his interview with the TV channel," Shukla said.
"Pawar did not take any name and there was no aspersion on any individual. He had only referred to some allegation and had emphasised the need to find the truth," he said.

Notes: Pawar hints at sponsors' rule...

The BCCI President Sharad Pawar has disclosed that young players feel that sponsors were influencing the team selection and that there was a complaint that contract of one player was linked to the time he spent at the crease.
Pawar said the BCCI had received an 'unofficial' complaint that a player's contract had a clause which provided for more incentives for more time he spent at the crease.
"It is an unofficial complaint and if found to be correct, the system needs to be strengthened. So I have asked the players to submit their copies of the old contract," Pawar told CNN-IBN channel in an interview.
Asked whether the BCCI was targetting the players by preventing them from doing ads, Pawar said, "if 8-9 players sign a contract with X, Y, Z company, the companies want the players to be always in the team. There is a feeling like this amongst the younger players. A young player said this to me but for the sake of his future I will not talk much about this. I have asked some trusted people to look on this. There will not be an official investigation but we are looking into this."
Pawar said that the BCCI would be very flexible in handling the endorsement problem.
"There is no hard and fast rule on this. We are very flexible regarding this. We will speak to the players," he said.
John Cheeran at Blogged