By T S Sudhir
I was in Kochi on the day Kerala voted in the assembly elections in 2006. I drove down to Sreesanth Nagar in the morning, a reasonably upmarket area on the outskirts of the city. It would be interesting to catch this locality named after Kochi’s most famous son, turning out to vote along with the speedster, I had thought.
It was not to be. I found Sreesanth at `Taj’, his home. “I don’t have a vote,” he said, explaining he was on tour when the enumerators came visiting. That explained why the entourage had left Sree behind, while trooping out to vote the LDF to power.
The loneliness that day of being an Indian, yet not being able to vote didn’t seem to hurt Sree. But it more than hurt badly when the five wise men along with Dhoni and Kirsten chose to leave Sree out of the 15 men in blue who will fight to win the World Cup for India. Sree should have seen it coming. After all, Dhoni even in a TV commercial had said “Ise to main kabhi samajh hi nahi paata hoon.” !!
Jokes apart, Sree has every reason to be disappointed. And he let twitter be the vehicle of his frustrations exclaiming “I am heartbroken”. Commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted in Sree’s defence “I can completely understand Sreesanth being heartbroken. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be a sportsperson. Must use this pain to become better.”
The selectors have chosen a horses for courses policy and they think this team with three spinners can spin their way to the Cup. One wonders if Sree spinning out of control every now and then was a factor in his omission.
Being left out of the World Cup team is like failing the final exam. Ask VVS Laxman how it feels. Despite playing 119 Tests and 86 ODIs, he has never played a World Cup. He came closest to a spot in 2003, but what is laughable is that he mysteriously lost out to Dinesh Mongia and that too for a World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Srikkanth would hope his selection, particularly not picking a second wicketkeeper, is not laughed at post February 19. At the moment he is doing a repeat of June 25, 1983, exhorting all doubting Thomases to back the Indian squad. That afternoon, during the lunch break, Srikkanth, the top scorer in that low-scoring final with 38, inspired Kapil’s Devils to stump the Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards swagger at Lords. Cheeka thinks the Chennai Super King imported from Jharkhand will do the trick 28 years later.
Cheeka is a honest man and he talks and operates the way he used to bat. In the past there would be talk of each selector batting for his own zone. It can now be safely said that no quota system exists in matters of selection now. Despite Srikkanth being the chairman of selectors, only one south Indian (Ashwin) figures in the squad from the south zone.