BY HEMANT ANGLE
‘Mankaded’ is a term used in cricket to denote a dismissal as run-out. If the non-striker is out of his crease, just before the bowler delivers the ball, and the bowler breaks the stumps at the bowlers end then the non-striker will be declared out run-out. This type of dismissal is legal but not moral.
Vinoo Mankad, India’s leading all-rounder in the late forties and fifties is credited with such type of dismissal in 1947 when he dismissed Bill Brown of Australia at Sydney. He had dismissed the same batsman earlier in the tour but both times, by giving him prior warning.
Beleaguered former GCA President, Dayanand Narvekar, finds himself in a similar position. Once a monarch of the association, Narvekar now finds himself on the verge of being a ‘persona non grata’ of the same association. The members of the association have been given a notice to be present on October 28 to approve the recommendation of the managing committee taken earlier on May 10 to expel Narvekar from the membership of the Goa Cricket Association.
This reminds me of the expulsion of the former president of ICC Jagmohan Dalmiya from the BCCI. Jagmohan Dalmiya, as the cricketing fraternity knows, has revolutionised the marketing of cricket in the world by which the ICC, when Dalmiya took over, did not have enough funds to pay its solicitors, went forward to become one of the richest bodies in world sport. He made BCCI one of the richest sports bodies and made the state associations richer by sharing the profits. But ego clashes ended up with Dalmiya being thrown out of the BCCI. Good sense prevailed and later on he was re-inducted to the BCCI fold.
The same saga is to be repeated in the GCA. It was seemingly, a right decision to throw out Narvekar as the President of the GCA as he had been in the chair for many years. It was the need of the hour. I was totally in favour of the decision though I was sceptical about the new incumbents. The courts also did not interfere in the matter and as it was then visualised, a new era of cricket would start. Narvekar also resigned to his fate. The association amended the constitution by literally making it impossible for Narvekar to come back into the association by including a clause that the president cannot serve for more than two terms.
It is a fact that it was cricket which actually suffered during Narvekar’s latter tenure. Therefore, the cupboard is absolutely bare as new cricketers stopped to evolve due to his policies. The traditional structure of cricket, which had evolved through the years, was changed. The selection committees disappeared and those which were there were ornamental. But due to the stability, the administration was quite smooth and there were no hassles. Clubs, which were opposing, were thrown out. But that phenomenon started even before he took over. I was a vocal critic in the AGM and had written to him several times warning him about the degradation of the standard of cricket. But all that I said fell on deaf years and our cricket is suffering. But the cricketers in his tenure started getting good money from the GPL and the other sops that were provided. The facilities for them improved tremendously but the cricket degraded primarily due to faulty selection policies.
But on the other side, he is responsible for the superb infrastructure that GCA owns now. What was a barren land a few years back, has been converted into a beautiful ground with an ultramodern academy. Where there was little space available, he was responsible for building a modern office for the association. He developed the BITS ground and created good infrastructure for the association. The pertinent point to be noted in all this is that he did all this with the confidence of the same people who are ruling now. All these people who are now holding some posts in the BCCI were also holding such posts when he was in power.
Narvekar can no more be the president of GCA and therefore has already become redundant for the GCA. Therefore it is felt by many that it resembles ‘flogging a dead horse’. This smacks of vengeance politics and resembles the very policies Narvekar allegedly professed.
Instead, good sense should prevail and the committee should put more efforts to devise policies to raise the standard of cricket in Goa. They would do well to involve the former players/Ranji players to formulate a ‘cricket policy’ instead.
(The writer is the former Goa Ranji vice-captain)