E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah called for a press conference at the basement of Wankhede Stadium. We never knew Wankhede had such an efficient underground drainage system which, had it been used, would not have resulted in so many wash-outs of cricket matches. Of course, it’s a different matter as there are families living in the huge hume pipes meant for draining the water out of the stadium.
“I am sorry for the high level security arrangement. We had information our competitor, Subhash Chandra’s Indian Cricket League (ICL) would be eavesdropping here,” started off Niranjan Shah.
“What is the purpose of this meeting?” asked sports scribe Rajaraman.
“Same as before, coach for Indian cricket team. Ravi Shastri has suggested Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United football coach for the job. Sunil Gavaskar, wants us to choose between G.R. Vishwanath or Floyd Landis, the 2007 Tour de France Winner! We don’t know how Sunny’s mind works these days. We have asked former Basketball great Michael Jordon as well as Boston Red Sox pitching Coach John Farell to apply for the job.”
“You are really enlarging the scope of the job, aren’t you? The way you are going, I think the next three world Cups will be ours,” said Rajdeep Sardesai.
“We are trying real hard Rajdeep. After Chakde India, Shah Rukh Khan feels he can deliver the goods for India. He already has good rapport with the team after doing Pepsi ads with them. We are also looking for an umpire-coach. We just don’t not have enough umpires in ICC Panel. Our President feels that’s one reason why Simon Taufnel and Steve Bucknor are giving terrible decisions against our Players! S. Venkataraghavan is already on the job of selecting a good umpire-coach for us.”
“How will you do this?”
“We do not want to discriminate against anybody. All umpires, referees, ustads, masters, dadas who can teach our youngsters to become good international umpires are eligible to apply. We must have at least three-four umpires in the ICC Panel. Otherwise our players will be subjected to ‘Jelly bean therapy’ often.”
“Are you planning anything more to improve Indian cricket?”
“Yes, but this is confidential. I will share it with you, only if you keep it a secret. We are looking for a coach to coach BCCI presidents. The job of BCCI President is multidimensional which can give enough headaches in a day. Though the president will be wearing a hat, he will be juggling three or four at any given point of time. Should he order Kookaburra balls or Duke Balls next season, is one thing that is eating Pawar saab’s head. In between this, he is juggling the issue whether to give compensation amount to farmers for failure of crops before or after they commit suicide. Amidst all this, he had to decide whether NCP should vote for Patil thai.”
“It must be sapping his energy?”
“It sure does. Further, he doesn’t know which meeting he is attending these days. During the meeting with Kumaraswamy on drought relief measures, for which he came with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, he started off referring to Vijay Mallya-Wodeyar vs Brijesh Patel fight over KSCA elections! It has become too much. Now Kapil is raising a 1857-like revolt as if he is a Tantyatopi against BCCI. We have done so much for him during his fight with Manoj Prabhakar and after his crybaby interview with Karan Thapar, no?”
“Who are you approaching to coach Pawar, Saab? Why not appoint Jagmohan Dalmiya?”
“I know one of you will say this! Yeh kabhi nahin hogaa. We are looking at Tony Blair, Bill Clinton… Those who are good at handling multitasks… Let’s see… There’s time for one last question,” said Shah.
“Why not appoint Sania Mirza to coach the Indian Team? She has guts and a lot of spunk which Indian team generally lack’, asked Mandira Bedi.
“We are looking at that possibility too!” concluded Shah.