ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Bangalore: R.K. Narayan‘s daughter didn’t become a writer; R.K. Laxman‘s son didn’t become a cartoonist. Shivarama Karanth‘s son didn’t become a writer or a yakshagana artiste. M.N. Srinivas‘s daughter didn’t become a sociologist. Chennaveera Kanavi‘s sons didn’t become poets.
Yet, Sunil Gavaskar‘s son played for India. K. Srikkanth‘s son and V. Sivaramakrishnan‘s son play for Tamil Nadu. Shivlal Yadav‘s son plays for Hyderabad. Mohammed Azharuddin‘s son auditioned for Calcutta Knight Riders. And so on.
On the strength of the evidence on hand, it is safe to conclude that cricketing talent flows smoothly in the blood of Indian cricketers from generation to generation. All you have to do is to hope and pray that you are born to a cricketer as a male child, and you are set for life.
The most conclusive piece of evidence comes from Karnataka, where cricketers have “run the game” for a decade and more, because apparently cricket is best run by cricketers.
Here, magically and miraculously, Brijesh Patel’s son Udit Patel plays for the State. Roger Binny‘s son Stuart Binny plays for the State. B. Raghunath‘s son Mithun Beerala played for the State. Syed Kirmani‘s son Sadiq Kirmani is always knocking the doors.
How this medical miracle has been achieved by Karnataka’s cricketers who “run the game” is something genome scientists might like to probe. But this medical miracle has once again been revealed to the world after Karnataka’s defeat inside five sessions of a Ranji Trophy semi-final against Baroda.
So far, the new cricketers who “run the game”—KSCA president Anil Kumble and KSCA secretary Javagal Srinath—have directed all their negative energy following the defeat at the quality of the pitch prepared by the hosts at the Reliance Stadium.
But surely, they have a question or two to answer themselves about the medical miracle that Karnataka cricket is being strangled by.
# Like, how does Udit Patel, who has 45 wickets from 19 first-class matches, figure in match after match? (In contrast, Tamil Nadu’s R. Ashwin has 134 wickets from 45 matches.)
# Like, how does a fat, unfit Stuart Binny, whose batting average is what is bowling average should be and vice-versa, get in ahead of all-rounders straining every sinew, notwithstanding a rare burst of heroics?
# And above all, there is the curious case of Sunil N. Raju, son of the cricketer-turned-KSCA pitch curator, Narayana Raju.
With a sum total of 92 runs and seven wickets from four first-class matches in two years, Sunil Raju magically made it to the Karnataka Ranji semi-final squad for the fifth game of his career last week.
He scored a grand total of two lovely runs and took two invaluable second-innings wickets when the hosts were chasing 43, and this after being called for chucking during his only over in the first innings.
Makarand Waingankar, the KSCA’s talent scout during the Brijesh Patel era, writes in today’s Hindu:
“Karnataka took the risk of playing an off-spinner who is on the list of BCCI for suspect action. When his team needed him the most after Baroda was five for 44, he was cautioned by the umpire in his first over. So he could bowl only one over in the crucial first innings.
“The irony is that Javagal Srinath, who is in the BCCI committee to identify the bowlers with suspect action, is also the secretary of the KSCA.
“If the bowler in question was selected it was the biggest folly as they played one spinner short. And they made an off-spinner who had won them the game with bat and ball against U.P. sit out.”
No prizes for guessing whose cause Waingankar is batting for—Brijesh Patel’s son Udit.
Still as M/s Kumble and Srinath, both of them sons of non-cricketers, go about the task of cleaning the augean stables of Karnataka cricket, they have a couple of questions to answer.
Questions that their friends in the cricket media in Bangalore are unlikely and/or unwilling to ask.
# One, do they honestly believe that cricket is in the genes of Karnataka cricketers that their sons should be so blindly promoted?
# Two, how much longer will they tolerate this nonsense while they wax eloquent about giving talent and excellence their rightful due?
# Three, at this rate, do they really think cricketers know best about the game and its interests?
Photograph: From left, Roger Binny, Anil Kumble, Brijesh Patel and Javagal Srinath at a press conference shortly before the KSCA elections in early November 2010 (courtesy The Hindu)
Also read: Can Jumbo & Babu usher in change without namma Hari?
Secret of Anil Kumble‘s success is his un-Kannadiganess
Javagal Srinath: The most famous Mysorean in the world?
Does any other cricketer in India stand in a railway queue?
External reading: How Udit Patel edged out Mysore’s Dharmichand
Ram Guha: Why B. Akhil should have been picked over Stuart Binny
Well cricket is just business and the people who are running it want their offsprings to take over when they retire.
Very valid points. I hope somebody sends Kumble and Srinath this link.
What else did you expect from people who are available for a bid like cattle & Horse are mere puppets of a liquor baron!?
Kumble, Srinath will be no different ….. they are no saints!
Sunil Raju’s has no action to be an offspinner.Players like Dharmichand did a right job before Udit patel’s took the job.
unfortunately same Raju was called for chucking in an U22 match very recently and yet he gets chance when players like Darshan gets the door.
I feel that Karnataka would have been the Ranji champions last year had they played Akhil, who was experience and in good form, instead of Stuart Binny in the final against Mumbai. Binny failed to impress in the match and Karnataka fell agonizingly short of the target.
Dharmichand’s case is a classic example of how non-Bangalore cricketers are treated. It is a shame that people like Udit Patel & Raju keep playing for years. Stuart Binny could hardly move his feet in the finals against Mumbai last year. All of these and Beerala are very ordinary club cricketers.
It was expected that Wodeyar would do something to kick out these dead wood. Not to be! The administration for decades was a rotten system where they could not even develop good grounds across the state, let alone building a single stadium even as ordinary as the cricketers they have selected. Atleast now the new administration should be impartial.
Srinath and Joshi were very very rare instances in Karnataka cricket. How many have thrived after them???? There is tremendous amount of talent in places like Mangalore, Mysore and North Karnataka who stand no chance against the ‘polished’ English speaking Bangalore kids who drive thier SUVs to practice.
One can write endlessly…but there is lot of hope now as few people in the administration are non-Bangaloreans who have come up the hard way…
This is India. Everybody who is successful will do all in their power to make sure their children follow in their footsteps, whether they are fit to do the job or not. Same in politics, business, sport, medicine or anything else which gives escape out of poverty. Nepotism is what we are best at.
Let the cricketers play their little games and promote their kids. At least they earned it.
Excellent points as some one suggested this link should be made avialable to Kumble and co
That plump Stuart has a real disciplinary problem. Almost all of his match nights are spent in pubs/bars with few of his like minded “players” and arrives very late at night to the camp. He was warned numerous times by Srinath but fatso definitely knows how not to budge from the Ranji team.
As a man who was crazy for cricket, I know this politics start from the lowest levels of the game. one has to be lucky to get into the eleven in any team unless there are less than 11 players. In INDIA politics are played in various forms
it is impossible to select a meritorious player unless selection is done on AUSTRALIAN MODEL.
Nehrus, Gandhis, Yedyurappas. Naidus, Reddys, Pilots, Gowdas, Scindias, etc can have their children and family continue to enjoy power, what is wrong with Srikkants, Gavaskars, Asaruddins doing the same?
Examples have to flow from the top.
Let our rulers correct themselves – start demanding them to change first.
Later the crowds will follow.
MR CHAIRMAN AND HONOURABLE SECTRETARY
My son Sree Kaustub Playing cricket right from the age of
6 and half year. When he was 11 years he played pre zone. WHEN he took a wicket at the fourth over the bowling was stopped as per the advise of the team manager. Afetr that he has not got chance to play. He was a captain of National college last year. He has just completed his second year P.U.C. When your good self and Mr Sreenath occupied the respectable position I thought my son will get justification for under 19 selection. But your new strategy of selection has lost the hopes. Because the Clubs are giving chances to their kith and kins and to the influential people. I do not beg your good office to influence my son , but I only request your noble office and honourable office of secretary to give permssion to my son to bowl and bat in fron of your own eyes. I will accept what ever the decision your good office decalare.I hope my request will not be neglected. An Interview in this regard is highly solicited.
S/O LATHE H.R.V.R. IYENGAR
98/2,COCONUT AVENUE ROAD
8TH CROSS, MALLESWARAM, BANAGALORE-560003
MOB : 9900445230, EMAIL : email@example.com
Do you really believe that Anil Kumble & Javagal Sreenath will read this blog?
Or are you just attaching a copy of the mail that you have sent them, for reference?
one must see the famous Udit patel bowl!..he is called the bowling machine by his own teammates. He bowls 40 to 50 overs(90 overs) and comes home with 3 to 4 tailend wickets in first division matchs…one can only imagine the plight of talented players.
as i clou, please build a new atractive stadium .every indian city has a 2or3 stadiums.chinnaswamy stadium is to old.we want lift karnataka crickting standards to higher level.estu doda bangalore ege onde old stadium .
i am handicap person i love watching cricket but i dnt get ticket every time i face this problem because iam handicap i need tickets for match between india vs pak played on 25th of dec 2012 sir i request u to this favour for me