Saurav and the Conspiracy Brigade,
It has started once again, Calcutta’s idiotic Saurav mania. It was obvious to all, except perhaps to Saurav and his admirers that he was not going to command a high price at the IPL auction. However he stuck to his ego and demanded the highest reserve price. Fine, he felt that he was worth that much and frankly, if I had the money, I would have paid it to get him. Now that the teams have not shown any interest in him, he should simply walk away into the sunset. Perhaps, for all I know, that is exactly what he wants to do, but the Bengali press and the Calcutta agitation brigade cannot let things go so easily can they?
So the papers are fulminating about “conspiracies”. We have been conspired against right from 1911 when the British shifted their capital, by the centre after independence and of course by everybody else ever since. Why anybody should find any need to conspire against a race that is so busy conspiring against itself is not clear to me. However there is perhaps some merit in some of the conspiracy theories, and maybe they are all true, but even that does not excuse this ridiculous fit of anger against the non inclusion of Ganguly in any of the IPL teams.
The teams are expensive acquisitions, bought by millionaires, not in order to help the development of sport in India, but for the purpose of making money. This is the first thing that everybody should acknowledge. They take business decisions based on their inputs which they get from professional managers and coaches. Obviously all the inputs that every team got were against having Ganguly around. This is sad, but undeniable. Ganguly is difficult to handle and this has always been the case. It was tolerated when people thought that he could contribute, and contribute he did, in ways that are have made Indian cricket today, but it is too much to expect that people who have been serially insulted by him ( in most cases, one must admit , deservedly) will now throw him a lifeline. The sport has moved on, Ganguly and his fans do not want to see that. If the decisions are wrong, as Calcuttans obviously feel, the teams will pay the price, literally.
The reaction now reminds me of the typical industrial action that is the bane of West Bengal. You have to buy cement and stone chips from me, or I will not let you build your house, say the dadas of each locality in West Bengal. And as similar sentiment is being whipped up here: If you don’t play Ganguly “ aamra dekhe nebo!”
The argument also runs, so many inferior players have been bought, but not Ganguly who is much better even now than many nitwits for whom owners have forked out the big bucks. If someone is spending his own money to buy inferior players, that is his own business. The only argument against this is to be rich enough to buy an IPL team (Maybe the Arambagh hatcheries can do the trick, a la Venky’s) and play Ganguly as the captain till he is at the mandatory retiring age of 60, or even 65. Until then, all we can do is shut up and put up.
Ganguly does not need such friends and he has obviously made enough enemies of his own.