The Fear of the Matrix

Last week, the unveiling of TenVicks’ report on ‘Measuring India’s Cheer Quotient’ in Delhi brought Dilip Vengsarkar, Anjum Chopra, Dhanraj Pillai and Ashwini Ponnappa on the stage together. Talking to players from such a wide spectrum – two former greats with contrasting equations with the establishment, one player on the last leg of her playing career, and one whose journey has just begun – gave an interesting insight on the apprehension and helplessness our sportsmen face when dealing with federations of sporting bodies in India.

Former national captain and former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has a contrasting equation with his sport’s board as compared to Dhanraj Pillai. Vengsarkar has sometimes been with the system and sometimes against it. But, through all that, he’s always tried to carve a place for himself within it. Vengsarkar is ebullient in his praise for the IPL and feels that keeping one’s feet on the ground for IPL Richie Rich’s is an individual-level problem, and not something the cricket system needs to address. He does let on, though, that IPL is the stated dream of almost every young cricketer he comes across. So, if players want it, the sponsors want it, and the audience wants it, is it not natural for world cricket move to a predominantly club structure like football? The question seemed beyond his comprehension.

Dhanraj, on the other hand, has been at loggerheads with the system from the time he was still playing for India. He’s vocal about the politics and greed that’s cost Indian hockey dearly, with a fair bit of ‘me-myself-and-I’ thrown into it. He says that ego clashes between the IHF and the HI led to a C-string Indian hockey team went to the Olympics. He said India doesn’t need a foreign coach and talked about how he could have played one more Olympics, if the system had been fair.

Talking to Ashwini Ponnappa is a surreal experience. She’s as talented as beautiful, as aggressive on the court as soft-spoken off it, and despite being fairly articulate, equally apprehensive of speaking to the ‘media’. She was comfortable talking about the Olympic experience, but not about how the sport is run in the country. Without stirring the devil that lies in the detail, one can tell that there are strong under currents in our badminton team, something that can even take Lee-Hesh overtones in the future.

Ashwini did mention, though, that the federation should have lodged a protest against the Japan-Korea match much before the ‘deliberately losing’ controversy exploded on everyone’s faces. Lodging a protest after the other two matches came into investigation made us look like sore losers trying their luck in the new circumstances. It’s a tale not too unfamiliar with what we’ve heard of our Boxing federation this Olympics. Or, ego issues in the Archery team.

If you ask an average Joe to name one woman Indian cricketer, chances are that he’ll say Anjum Chopra. Not because too many people have watched her play, but because she is the only Indian woman cricketer who’s carved a successful media career for herself. Yet, the dread of saying the “wrong thing” is palpable. At 35, this elegant left-handed batsperson’s best cricketing days may be behind her, and that makes it even more important for her to protect her future. And, being on the wrong side of the BCCI never did anyone any good, as more accomplished stalwarts like Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath have realized in the past. On-the-record, Anjum is perfect corporate speak. Off-the-record she can tell you tales of politics, one-upmanship and interference from several quarters in areas such as team selections. Something that Indian cricket fans who’ve followed the Indian men’s team closely over the years should be reasonably familiar with.


The Indian Olympic contingent is back. Six medals in total. There’s a feel-good factor that’s hard to miss. Yet, it’s a time for questions. Questions like how to make Olympic champions out of players like Deepika Kumari and Devendro Singh? How do we support the likes of Ram Singh Yadav and Basanta Bahadur Rana? While we laud the likes of Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang, why we should not relegate the likes of Karmakar who came within touching distance of a medal? And many more.

As for cricket, it’s the familiar old tale. Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla return to the hot cauldrons of World T20 straight from cold storage. And Ishant Sharma returns to the test team after taking 21 wickets in the last 11 matches at an average of 68 and a strike rate of 117.

Yes, that’s the BCCI for you. The saddest part for Indian sport is that it is still the best run sporting body in the country.

2824 Responses to “The Fear of the Matrix”

  • how to configure best comcast how to configure modem db102

    Highly energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  • how to configure best best buy modem for comcast

    No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she
    wants to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  • how to configure best buy buying a cable modem for

    bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

  • how to configure best comcast do you why do i need a modem

    Hey very interesting blog!

  • It’s an amazing paragraph in support of every
    one of the online users; they may take advantage
    from this I am sure.

    My weblog – LukeAArtibee

  • What’s up, after reading this awesome article i am
    too delighted to share my experience here with mates.

  • how to configure best comcast dsl do you need a modem for

    For most up-to-date news you have to visit world wide web and on web I found this website as a best site for
    hottest updates.

  • how to configure best best best cable modem for

    Ridiculous story there. What happened after? Good luck!

  • how to configure best best wireless buy cable modem for comcast

    Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your web
    site and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact loved account your
    weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing
    to your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently rapidly.

  • how to configure arris buy cable modem for comcast

    I don’t even know how I stopped up right here, however I assumed this publish used
    to be good. I do not realize who you’re however
    certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in case you
    aren’t already. Cheers!

  • Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.

    Also visit my web blog; KingODibrell

  • how to configure best best best docsis 3 cable modem

    Hello friends, how is everything, and what you desire to say regarding
    this article, in my view its truly awesome for me.

  • how to configure best buying a cable modem for comcast

    I really like it when folks come together and share thoughts.

    Great site, keep it up!

  • rovine maya tulum retreat & resort

    Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my blog so i got
    here to return the desire?.I am attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

  • how to configure adsl adsl best modem for bsnl broadband

    Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to
    get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge
    to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  • how to configure best comcast best best comcast modem for

    Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.

  • Thanks in support of sharing this sort of nice idea,
    component of writing is fastidious, thats why we have read it completely

    my blog post – GastonQKretz

  • how to configure best motorola cable modem for comcast

    I drop a comment when I like a article on a site or I have something to contribute to the discussion. It’s triggered
    by the passion communicated in the article I browsed.
    And after this post The Fear of the Matrix « Fake IPL Player.

    I was excited enough to drop a commenta response :-P I
    actually do have a couple of questions for you if
    it’s allright. Is it simply me or do some of the comments come across as if they are left by brain dead individuals?
    :-P And, if you are writing on other sites, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post.
    Could you list every one of all your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

  • how how how to configure modem billion

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    ;) Cheers!

  • how to configure best buying a best wireless cable modem

    Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re simply too magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you are stating and the best way in which you are
    saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of
    to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful site.

  • how to configure best best wireless motorola cable modem for

    hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new
    from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, since I experienced
    to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will
    sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing with
    Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  • how to configure arris best docsis 3 cable modem

    Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your web site,
    how could i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account helped me a applicable deal.
    I had been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid clear

  • how to configure best comcast how to configure modem zyxel

    Hi, its fastidious piece of writing on the topic of
    media print, we all understand media is a wonderful source of information.

  • how to configure best buy best wireless cable modem

    Hey there! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for
    the great information you have right here on this post. I will
    be coming back to your web site for more

Leave a Reply