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    November 02, 2006

    Speedy González

    While it is tempting to think that Malcolm Speed has lived up to his second name by being trigger happy with his response to Lalit Modi's claims on the ICC's handling of the event broadcast rights, the fact remains that on-field performance has the far greater potential to translate into more influence at the meeting table compared to just having a bevy of sponsors ready to sign a cheque.

    Aside from on-field performance, you also need good, consistent, focussed and transparent administration.

    You need an administration that cares for those who watch the game, regardless of whether it is from the stadium or from the living room. People who flock to the stadium get short-changed by poor facilities, pathetic seating, hideous concrete structures masquerading as infrastructure, ticket scams, etc. People who watch the games on TV get short-changed by advertisement breaks before the last ball of an over has been completed, missing the first ball of an over due to advertisement breaks, not able to catch the replay of the wicket since the producer wanted to stick in an ad, etc.

    Speed pointing out that India had not having won any event of note since the 1983 World Cup, was obviously off the mark, taking into account the 1985 World Championship of Cricket and the ICC's very own Champions Trophy in 2002, as joint-winners. Using New Zealand as an example was also rich, considering that New Zealand's win in the 2000 ICC Knock-Out tournament has been its only significant title win to date.

    India's record in test and one-day cricket pales in comparison to the likes of Australia (under Bradman, Benaud, the Chappells, the second half of Border's captaincy, Taylor, Waugh and Ponting), England (in the 1970s, the mid-to-late 1980s, 2003-2005), South Africa (under Bacher briefly, Cronje and occasionally the current team) and West Indies (under Sobers, Lloyd and Richards).

    There's no doubt about it. But why does he have to "descend" to Modi's level and take potshots? Is a confrontation imminent?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:27 AM |
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