Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mr Sachin Tendulkar, can you spell batting from betting?

By John Cheeran

Mahindra Singh Dhoni’s grin on Tuesday said a few things. It revealed Dhoni’s utter contempt for the ordinary cricket fan. Dhoni does not think it is important to allay fears of fans about the integrity of Indian cricketers, including himself. Also, something that I had pointed much earlier in Arrackistan, Dhoni is playing for a BCCI XI, not for India. He is the captain of BCCI XI, not the captain of India. This leaves me with one inference: cement has entered Indian cricket’s soul.

Dhoni’s kinship with BCCI president N Srinivasan is apparent. He is a vice-president with India Cements, where Srinivasan is the managing director. Dhoni also leads Chennai Super Kings, a team owned by India Cements, which is run by Srinivasan. Despite 0-4 defeats in England and Australia, Dhoni could cling on to captaincy thanks to the munificence of Srinivasan. And his wife Sakshi kept close company of disgraced bookie conduit, Vindu Dara Singh. Dhoni, by virtue of his role as Chennai Super Kings captain, had to spend time with a cricket enthusiast by the name, Gurunath Meiyappan. No, wonder, then, that Dhoni had a mouthful of cement when faced with irksome questions. Dhoni chose not to fall in line with BCCI diktat because that serves his own interests, not Indian cricket’s.

By speaking his mind, by speaking out against cricketers who are in collusion with bookmakers, and emphasising the need for the establishment to keep stricter vigil to steer clear of corrupting influences, Dhoni could have emerged as not just captain of Indian team, but a leader, this nation can look up to. Dhoni might have won the World Cup for India, but in this Test of character and leadership, this young man has failed in abject manner.

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