Tuesday, September 27, 2005

With due apologies to the Indian media.

You know when something dramatic is happening inside your own country, particularly in a sport which 600 million men (accounting for the skewed sex ratio) and a few million women have taken to their heart as their own (Just what is our national sport, don't tell me Kabaddi or something?), when the local media completely loses the plot. Not to say that the Indian media, of which I am a full-time member, ever knew the plot but for really objective analysis you end up reading the foregn press. So I turned to Lawrence Booth's weekly column, titled 'The Spin' which appears in The Guardian. Here I do the wonderful miracle of Control-C, Control-V for those of you too lazy to click the link.
Then we come to India. Political tensions are never far from the surface in the Indian cricket hierarchy, and, typically, it has needed an outsider to bring them to the boil. To sum up briefly: the new coach Greg Chappell suggested to Sourav Ganguly that it might be in the best interests of the team if he stepped down as captain. Ganguly reacted like a man unaware he has recently averaged 26 against sides other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and the upshot has been a row that has dragged everyone along for the ride and at times strayed from the matter in hand: last week the former president of the Indian board called Harbhajan Singh a chucker. Just don't ask.

But the really fascinating part of the Chappell-Ganguly stand-off has been the culture clash. Ganguly is used to getting his own way, possibly - many suspect - because he has a close relationship with Jagmohan Dalmiya, the power behind the Indian throne and a fellow-Calcuttan. But Chappell comes from a country which is naturally suspicious of deference. Here's his brother Ian on the Chappell mentality: "If you don't want to hear the truth, then don't ask him for a frank opinion. Greg Chappell grew up in a household where frank opinions were served up at the breakfast table more often than cereal and fruit juice."

Now, the thought of Greg and Ian devouring anything other than a whole piglet every morning comes as something of a disappointment for those of us brought up to believe in the innate toughness of 1970s Australian cricketers. But the Spin suspects that Greg might have to temper the spade-is-a-spade attitude just a little if he is going to see out the week in his new job.
On another note, thanks to Soumyadip, this is something I should also link to. Today is the seventh anniversary of the founding of Google. A website without which modern journalism would really not be possible. Every day, I make at least 30-40 searches through Google, and there are journalists across India who plagarise whole articles they find on Google. No Google would have meant a lot of hard work, Google has made lazy and incompetent people into star reporters. Of course, I'm not saying that Google is bad, the technology is amazing and the mathematics behind it would make a stock analyst go mad, Google is a tremendous technology and has changed the way we access information. Seven years to the day since Larry Page and Sergey Brin opened up at Menlo Park, Calif.
And then there is the Google blog!


Bonatellis said...

your last paragraph .... ahahahhhahahaaaaa

btw, how do u get this word verification thingy ...

Shivam Vij said...

the national sport, for some arbit reason, is hockey

thalassa_mikra said...

I love Google. If I could, I would marry Google! You cannot imagine what a boon Google is to PhD students. Even with the formidable electronic journal databases at our disposal, sometimes only Google provides crucial data or references. And of course, the layout of Google is pure genious.