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Wright feels BCCI bickering unmatched

UNI
Aug 18, 2006 at 06:55pm IST

Christchurch: The "mistrust and acrimony" among the Democrats and the Republicans in the US is nothing when compared to the internal poilitics of the BCCI, feels former India coach John Wright for whom the richest board in the world is an "extraordinary" organisation capable of making "bewildering" decisions.

As he writes about the legendary Indian cricket politics in his memoirs Indian Summers, "apolitical" Wright says BCCI is an "extraordinary organisation which is run by a handful of people who often make bewildering decisions and don't give a hoot to what the outside world thinks of them."

Wright says the political bitterness and acrimony elsewhere pales when it is compared to the rivalry in the cricket politics in India.

TOO HOOT: Wright says BCCI makes "bewildering decisions and don't give a hoot to what the outside world thinks of them."

"Think of the mistrust and acrimony between the rival political parties -- Labour and National (Britain), Democrats and Republicans (the US) -- and multiply it. Then Multiply it again."

According to Wright, the financial monolith's very modest office in Mumbai is "the greatest feat of camouflage since wolf put on sheep's clothing."

The former Kiwi opener also flayed the BCCI's rotation policy saying that the whole system been politicised which was resulting in "some of the most lunatic travel schedules."

On the players of the political game, notably Jagmohan Dalmiya, he said reputation had preceded the master powerbroker from Kolkata, and he had heard all about the man long before he met him.

"An English county chairman called him 'that awful man from India.' Another administrator described him as 'a cricket terrorist.' While Sandeep Patil reckoned I couldn't hope to work with a better man," writes Wright adding that it was all despite the fact that Dalmiya hadn't held a post in BCCI for three years and A C Muttiah from the rival faction was heading the board.

Wright further recalls that he and physio Andrew Leipus were expecting marching orders given that Dalimya wasn't particularly fond of the 'Goras' (whites) after the latter stormed back into power.

However, that did not happen and soon he found out that Dalimya was a pro and knew his cricket.

Recalling the incident where referee Mike Denness booked Tendulkar and half of the India team for excessive appealing during the 2001 South Africa tour, Wright says Dalmiya, in handling the issue, sent out strong signals that the Indians wouldn't be cowed down.

"The way Dalmiya handled the issue sent out clear signals to the rest of the cricket world that India wasn't going to take any crap from any quarter," he writes and adds, "I certainly sensed a difference in the way we were treated by match referees after Dalmiya took over."

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