In Lagaan, Khulbushan Kharbanda plays the role of a king who erupts with joy when Aamir Khan sends the English on the leather hunt so much that he almost comes to clutch his necklace but restrains himself. No, he did not have a seizure.
It was a symbolic moment where the royals did only one thing that was known to them, hand over ornamental gifts or pieces of land for the bearer of good news, even though he might be the tip of it or the messenger. It was not as if Aamir single-handedly did the star turn.
The way this Indian cricket board always reacts to developments, especially the ones concerning the team’s performance on the field, reminds one of those kings. Yes, India is No 1 in the Test rankings and it is a moment to applaud. But does that mean that only the current team members get a share of a cash bonus of 25 million rupees – the equivalent of the necklace?
Even more heartening is that the lead characters of the show are down to earth about it. From coach Gary Kirsten to Sachin Tendulkar to Virender Sehwag, every body is giving the other the credit; team work. If one’s opinion is of any significance, the only man who made it possible was Sehwag.
But Krishnamachari Srikkanth was spot on when he said, “do not forget Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.”
Even the support staff to Kirsten will get rewards but is it fair? What about those who gave their inputs over the last two years. Did the winning process start only after Kirsten came in? Who gets how much credit and for what reference point of time?
Even if a fair analysis of each contribution would have been made, it seems stupid that the team will get paid and then see the rankings position slip up because we do not have any Tests lined up for the next six months except Bangladesh.
And this from a board who is never serious about saving the Tests. Playing at obscure grounds, batting paradises for 22-yard tracks and played on week days; the Board of Control for Cricket in India could well direct that money to ensuring that the No 1 ranking stays for long.