July 22, 2011

It's England v India, but not in a good way

One looks at the other in terms of tired clichés, the other insists on being an unaccommodating bully
70

"East is east and west is west and ne'er the twain shall meet" Rudyard Kipling wrote, and certainly the first half of the opening lines of his ballad still tend to ring true. For in spite of what Thomas Friedman may say about the world being flat, and in spite of world economies bringing nations closer, I can't help help get the feeling that England and India, two dominant cricketing nations with bonds that go much deeper than cricket alone, are standing arrayed against each other. I fear that neither particularly wants to understand the other, and that cannot be right for our game.

I sense that here in England that India is being looked at as an unprincipled bully. It need not be that way and it may not always be true either, but in the absence of an open dialogue that is how it is being represented in the media. And so it is on the DRS, on the issue of unhappy umpires - indeed on almost every aspect of the modern game. It doesn't help that India sometimes adopts this nouveau riche attitude of being loud and unaccommodating: my way or no other.

I believe India had a very valid point on the DRS: that ball-tracking with normal-speed cameras is not much good, and that - as even the opinion of the head of Virtual Eye bore out - we might be better off without it. But India is never very keen to explain its stand, preferring instead to make its point of view known to the world through terse statements.

England, for its part, often slips into tired clichés about India. To read some of the sports pages here would be to believe that an economic, and more appropriately a social, revolution never took place. To believe that India's emergence is largely because of western coaches, and that the toughness would never have come about without them, is to be lazy, and exposes an inability, or an unwillingness, to understand the new, globalised twenty-something Indian, and to understand that India's attitude on the field is but a direct illustration of the attitude of its young entrepreneurs and managers in industry.

India is still someone that needs to be withstood, someone who has newly come upon riches and has nothing else to offer. Why, in a debate on the future of Test cricket, even the Times, a fine newspaper if there was one, did not feel the need to get an Asian point of view.

And so there is far too much of this rather unpleasant us-and-them feeling. In some quarters in India we believe that it is our time to give it back to them, and that can be short-sighted and distinctly unfruitful. Having been treated rather rudely on my first tour here, I can understand that feeling, even if I can never accept it. While India bring substantial revenues to English cricket every four years, England showed their generosity by coming back to play Test matches in India after the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008. That was a great moment. It was one where bonds should have been strengthened, and indeed the Chennai Test is my favourite among the 99 the two sides have played so far, but I sense we have let it slip. England may seem unwilling to accept the present but India need to show a little more style and grace.

Now in the undisputed home of Test cricket (there isn't a ticket available for any day of this series), two teams stand arrayed against each other, but the two countries should not miss the chance to understand each other better. England provides more opportunities to cricketers through its leagues and counties than anyone else, and there is genuine love for the game here. India is the new market but needs to move from being the merchant to turning statesman, to looking at the world rather than at a region. Irrespective of which way the series goes, this is an opportunity we cannot miss.

For eventually we are bound together by a great game; it may no longer always be noble but it retains many great virtues. Maybe Kipling is right, for the ballad continues:

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    I can understand when as an eminent journo,its imperative to be neutral,unbiased and objective in one's assessments, but i think becoming apologetic about your team becoming no.1 is quite unnecessary.Surely, its not a result of the BCCI's cash-power that the results of the present Indian team have been really good.Why discredit our own players in the face of hostile statements/lobbying from others?The tide is turning and whether you like it or not,there are certain economic realities that stare us in the face.Sulking and whining wont change the fact that the present century will not belong to the West.Coming back to the cricket,just because a team has a bad session/test, you dont need to start hopping on the band-wagon questioning their status as no. 1 test team.For God's sake, they've earned it and if they don't deserve it and somebody else does, they can very well earn it.Till such time though, lets accept that India's no.1 test side for the last one year.

  • lucasharrison on July 24, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    DRS results in more correct decisions then without it. India are the only test nation to oppose it, yet they are accommodated - that is not right.

  • sweetspot on July 24, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Come on Harsha! India not having to explain its stand on anything can be interpreted in a hundred different ways, if not a billion something. I am reminded of the way India refused to open her markets to rampant liberalization not too long ago, and this cautious approach is now being hailed as the responsible thing to do. Just because the rest of the cricket world wants UDRS does not mean India cannot have its own reservations and judgment on this yet evolving technology. Before others find a way to give India its due credit, we as Indians should learn to cut our own people some slack. Wisdom does not have to explain itself. Knowledge might take on the pains of doing that. As for being perceived as a bully, perhaps those who perceive it are the ones wondering if karma has caught up with them? Either way, India did not invent the ranking system either. It irritates people who set the standards when someone else measures up, does it not? Enjoy it or suffer it, not our call.

  • Saad_Parekh on July 24, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    Well Harsha all I can say is toughen up. It is your first away tour after india won the worldcup. Your still to tour to Australia later in the year and gonna take some stick here as well. It is not something that is due to BCCI's bullying nature. BCCI is bullying the world cricket from the beginning of the century. This (recent criticism) is something that comes with the world no 1 tag. Remember the time when the whole cricketing world criticised australia not so long ago. Come to think about it they didn't do nothing too bad. Sure there was their 'mind deterioration'. but they were bloody good at it. Good enough to provoke other players and somehow getting them to be penalized. It was because they were in complete control of what they did, never broke a law but provoked other to do it. Come to think about it england have always been harder sledgers then aus. Bottom line harsh, this something you will have to cope with.

  • GODsDream............WC2011 on July 23, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    @mensan lol.... world knows SRT scored all his 99 100's against ZIM and BANG.... lets stop it here only......

  • on July 23, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    good article Harsh. really admire your thoughts and the clarity in which you express them

  • mensan on July 23, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    UDRS is not perfect. That's why India won world cup. Because Tendulkar survived LBW in semi-final against Saeed Ajmal.

    BCCI must arrange a 5 test series against Zimbabwe to give Tendulkar chance for 100th 100.

  • manish053 on July 23, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Harsha, I always fan of your writing skill and style, I have read several articles on DRS where I found your are the man who defend India on DRS issue. Neither Indian players nor BCCI officials could put their view precisely as you made it clear. Because of terse statements made by Indian officials, abroad media have made a devil image of Indian on this issue while Indian stand was quite valid. Not being a rich board but being as any other cricket board India has to put his stand on DRS issue and no on can refrain it to appose the DRS. I totally agree with harsha that Indians can not speak even their view is quite true on he legal point of view and let off the issue after making terse statement. That is a point which makes arrogant image of India which BCCI dose'not have even Indians also can believe that BCCI is misusing its power.

  • Mannix16 on July 23, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @suraj I think you got it wrong buddy. In the movies, the villager dreams of the big life (india in 90's) and finally achieves all its goals by becoming a very rich and powerful man (india now). Soon, it realizes that all its old friends have left them (SL, Bangla, South Africa) and realizes that he has changed to a greedy/mean/bad person. By the time he learns the error of his ways, he is too late as somebody had already died (i have no idea what analogy to put that to) and tries to change back. Look at Aus... they were in same mentality until they beat Windies in the late 80's and took over. Then in the early 2000's they turned to one of the biggest bullies cricket has seen (reminds me of high school jocks in those movies who pick on everyone). Now they have lost their pride/place and are humbled, but there is a new bully in town - Team India

  • on July 23, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Kudos to Nutcutlet. I'm an English fan of a similar opinion. I've been really looking forward to this series and seeing these great Indian players, perhaps for the last time. English tabloid media is not representative of most cricket fans here. India has not helped itself over DRS, leaving outsiders to interpret what appears to be an inflexible point of view. Tabloids assume sensational viewpoints to sell papers. They are equally scathing about our own sportsmen. Some of the Indian resentment seems decades out of date. Regarding weakened tours for example. The MCC regularly used to send more than one team abroad, all losing money. This was part of the evangelical outlook, spreading the game worldwide. Would Sri Lanka (Ceylon) have made such a quick assimilation into the game without it? India are often portrayed of late as asking 'what's in it for us' before what's good for the game. I'm encouraged by some of the fan comments here. Let's put the game first. The money is already there.

  • on July 25, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    I can understand when as an eminent journo,its imperative to be neutral,unbiased and objective in one's assessments, but i think becoming apologetic about your team becoming no.1 is quite unnecessary.Surely, its not a result of the BCCI's cash-power that the results of the present Indian team have been really good.Why discredit our own players in the face of hostile statements/lobbying from others?The tide is turning and whether you like it or not,there are certain economic realities that stare us in the face.Sulking and whining wont change the fact that the present century will not belong to the West.Coming back to the cricket,just because a team has a bad session/test, you dont need to start hopping on the band-wagon questioning their status as no. 1 test team.For God's sake, they've earned it and if they don't deserve it and somebody else does, they can very well earn it.Till such time though, lets accept that India's no.1 test side for the last one year.

  • lucasharrison on July 24, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    DRS results in more correct decisions then without it. India are the only test nation to oppose it, yet they are accommodated - that is not right.

  • sweetspot on July 24, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Come on Harsha! India not having to explain its stand on anything can be interpreted in a hundred different ways, if not a billion something. I am reminded of the way India refused to open her markets to rampant liberalization not too long ago, and this cautious approach is now being hailed as the responsible thing to do. Just because the rest of the cricket world wants UDRS does not mean India cannot have its own reservations and judgment on this yet evolving technology. Before others find a way to give India its due credit, we as Indians should learn to cut our own people some slack. Wisdom does not have to explain itself. Knowledge might take on the pains of doing that. As for being perceived as a bully, perhaps those who perceive it are the ones wondering if karma has caught up with them? Either way, India did not invent the ranking system either. It irritates people who set the standards when someone else measures up, does it not? Enjoy it or suffer it, not our call.

  • Saad_Parekh on July 24, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    Well Harsha all I can say is toughen up. It is your first away tour after india won the worldcup. Your still to tour to Australia later in the year and gonna take some stick here as well. It is not something that is due to BCCI's bullying nature. BCCI is bullying the world cricket from the beginning of the century. This (recent criticism) is something that comes with the world no 1 tag. Remember the time when the whole cricketing world criticised australia not so long ago. Come to think about it they didn't do nothing too bad. Sure there was their 'mind deterioration'. but they were bloody good at it. Good enough to provoke other players and somehow getting them to be penalized. It was because they were in complete control of what they did, never broke a law but provoked other to do it. Come to think about it england have always been harder sledgers then aus. Bottom line harsh, this something you will have to cope with.

  • GODsDream............WC2011 on July 23, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    @mensan lol.... world knows SRT scored all his 99 100's against ZIM and BANG.... lets stop it here only......

  • on July 23, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    good article Harsh. really admire your thoughts and the clarity in which you express them

  • mensan on July 23, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    UDRS is not perfect. That's why India won world cup. Because Tendulkar survived LBW in semi-final against Saeed Ajmal.

    BCCI must arrange a 5 test series against Zimbabwe to give Tendulkar chance for 100th 100.

  • manish053 on July 23, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Harsha, I always fan of your writing skill and style, I have read several articles on DRS where I found your are the man who defend India on DRS issue. Neither Indian players nor BCCI officials could put their view precisely as you made it clear. Because of terse statements made by Indian officials, abroad media have made a devil image of Indian on this issue while Indian stand was quite valid. Not being a rich board but being as any other cricket board India has to put his stand on DRS issue and no on can refrain it to appose the DRS. I totally agree with harsha that Indians can not speak even their view is quite true on he legal point of view and let off the issue after making terse statement. That is a point which makes arrogant image of India which BCCI dose'not have even Indians also can believe that BCCI is misusing its power.

  • Mannix16 on July 23, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @suraj I think you got it wrong buddy. In the movies, the villager dreams of the big life (india in 90's) and finally achieves all its goals by becoming a very rich and powerful man (india now). Soon, it realizes that all its old friends have left them (SL, Bangla, South Africa) and realizes that he has changed to a greedy/mean/bad person. By the time he learns the error of his ways, he is too late as somebody had already died (i have no idea what analogy to put that to) and tries to change back. Look at Aus... they were in same mentality until they beat Windies in the late 80's and took over. Then in the early 2000's they turned to one of the biggest bullies cricket has seen (reminds me of high school jocks in those movies who pick on everyone). Now they have lost their pride/place and are humbled, but there is a new bully in town - Team India

  • on July 23, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Kudos to Nutcutlet. I'm an English fan of a similar opinion. I've been really looking forward to this series and seeing these great Indian players, perhaps for the last time. English tabloid media is not representative of most cricket fans here. India has not helped itself over DRS, leaving outsiders to interpret what appears to be an inflexible point of view. Tabloids assume sensational viewpoints to sell papers. They are equally scathing about our own sportsmen. Some of the Indian resentment seems decades out of date. Regarding weakened tours for example. The MCC regularly used to send more than one team abroad, all losing money. This was part of the evangelical outlook, spreading the game worldwide. Would Sri Lanka (Ceylon) have made such a quick assimilation into the game without it? India are often portrayed of late as asking 'what's in it for us' before what's good for the game. I'm encouraged by some of the fan comments here. Let's put the game first. The money is already there.

  • Meety on July 23, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    @Number_5 - good points. I find it interesting how the British Tabloids get under Indian skins. I remember in 1989 Border's Ashes squad was labelled the worst Ozzy team to ever land on British shores. They give it to EVERYONE, they even eat their own! I think no country should take offence & realise its just a circus. As for the current Indian side & their fans, there are quite a few that were appalled by the alledged antics of Dhoni in the recent W Indies series. Unfortunately most have written it off as Dhoni striking back for years of oppression at the hands of umpires. Maybe it was - but in the end two wrongs don't make a right. As far as the UDRS fiasco, I do believe the technology is good - but needs to address a couple of issues, its better to have everything then not in my books & its easy to be cynical about the BCCI (not representative all Indians), motives, primarily in mind is that they don't have a finger in the pie of that revenue stream!

  • on July 23, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Harsha, You hit the nail on its head, remember those bollywood movies, where a village boy with dreams in his eyes goes an makes it big in the city, the city folk detest him and his style may not be the best, but rich he is and laughs at people around him. India is the same village kid, lot of hunger , lot of ambition and extremely high amounts of hard work. This lot may lack the style but what they have is more hunger than many of their peers. So when a Dhoni finally will retire , he would be the only captain who has Twenty 20, IPL, Champions League , World cup and much more , and to be very frank, every kid in any part of the world who dreams to be their country's captain would dream the same thing as well. So dont worry much about what the world thinks of you.. for the hungry kid just does not care.

  • ragomsk on July 23, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    This is one of the best articles I have read in recent times. It brings the value of cricket to the world outside the game. Sports is has universal binding factor , we all rejoice and admire a world record being set, a personal milestone being achieved, at that instant we are all one. LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF SPORT!

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 23, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    I don't see Indian Cricket trying to bully or dominate other cricket playing nations. It's about the perception held by other playing national Cricket boards. What is true, is that Indian Cricket is not playing a role, which brings all other cricket world bodies on common ground. After all, true consensus is when all the perceived equals, irrespective of power, pelf, and other considerations, join together for parleys in measure, to find agreement. The ECB, PCB, Cricket Australia, The West Indian Cricket Board, and the other world bodies do not see themselves in a position to bring leadership on issues. So be it. They should bring such issues to the notice of the BCCI, and the BCCI should consider them seriously. The ACB and the ECB, in the past, did not take seriously the Asian representatives, but the BCCI should not make the same mistake.

  • Number_5 on July 23, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    I wouldn't get too upset about the English media's lack of respect shown to asian cricket, its a common trait shown to all touring teams, but that doesn't mean its ok. Whilst i have heard numerous comments about the new india and "twenty something gloablised indians" the fact remains outside india a noticeable lack of "style and grace" is attributed to the new india. Both sides have a part to play in this. As an aussie i look fwd to the indian tour this summer (well not completely because i expect us to get pumped) and have always enjoyed Harasha's commentary and the technical beauty and mastery of Indians batsman. we will also see dumy spits over umpires (we are going home if we dont get our way) dummy spits over the DRS (surely you cant have it both ways) and a sense of bullying, or lack of style and grace that like it or not is how india is perceived by the outside world. How will india choose to be remembered?

  • Meety on July 22, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    LOL - the article tried to get people (East & West) - to understand each other's viewpoint - but most of the comments are divided along ethnic lines. Nice try Harsha

  • yunaimin on July 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    Harsha, your article is couched more in economic than cricketing terms - is this how we are to understand today's twentysomething Indian? I do not wish to speak for my entire nation but my attitude to the modern game is that the business of cricket is a sideshow, far subordinate to the game itself, and I feel a slight resentment at the sway the BCCI holds over international cricket - power gained through financial clout as much as population. Perhaps we would agree that the two countries do not see eye to eye on these issues for good reason.

    The DRS contention is understandable given that both points of view are reasonable; however, I am yet to see the BCCI give a full explanation of their stance, whereas the common pro-DRS arguments are well-known and long-exposited. This Englishman is a fan of reasoned argument.

  • on July 22, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    @ Kenny Roger Moise, I think u gave the 2011 world cup a miss, because the Indian didn't become world champion, courtesy the efforts of just a few superstars of the Indian team. The world cup was not won just because Sachin was the second highest scorer of the tournament, or because Zaheer was the joint highest wicket taker of the tournament, or because of Dhoni's captaincy. These were major contributions to our victory in the world cup not the only contributions. We won because of the all round contributions by Yuvraj, we won because of quick and effective lower order batting of Raina and Pathan. We won because of the tight line and length bowling by Munaf, we won because of the match saving innings played by Gambhir and Dhoni in the finals, we won because our youngsters performed, i.e Kohli and Ashwin. This team does contain superstars but it doesn't totally rely on them, even if they fail this team can win, this team plays as a team, and it proved it on April the 2nd.

  • tradetekbiz on July 22, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    A Pakistani by the name of Asad Rauf has been the best Indian player so far.

  • on July 22, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Harsha should come out of his shell and write about cricket played inside the ground.What happens outside of it is left to the media.Local media promoting local team is a common factor.We are No1 team at present and should carry on the status for a long time.Why bother about media flares.

  • Avinash1976 on July 22, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Harsha has stated what is a very well known fact. The English media and board have always been partisan and over the decades had got used to looking down upon south asian cricket teams and cricket boards.Several senior indian players have mentioned anecdotes over the years about racist behavior encountered on overseas tours. At their peak, the English and Australian boards too were overbearing and arrogant but they just displayed it in an subtle manner. Now that the financial power rests with BCCI, the same arrogant boards expect BCCI to be servile and amiable. All that the BCCI is doing is standing ground on issues it believes in..if other boards disagree so be it.Coming to this series, all that this ordinary england team did in recent history was to beat a waning Australian team on flat tracks. All they need is a good whooping from the indian batting line-up to forget about their dreams of any championship and go back to their county cricket.

  • wambling_future on July 22, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    Since Harsha you have quoted Rudyard Kipling then in his own words let me put forth something for both Englad and India: For England:: God of our fathers, known of old-- Lord of our far-flung battle line-- Beneath whose awful hand we hold-- Dominion over palm and pine-- Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    For India::

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe-- Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law-- Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    :)

  • athardik on July 22, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    I totally agree. If BCCI has been a bit more communicative, a lot of talk about bullying would go away. No one every gave credit to India for asking ICC to reconsider the decision of a 10 team world cup format. While a lot of players had voiced their opinion, I dont think any of the boards had said anything after the decision was made. Sharad Powar in his role as president of ICC told the committee to reconsider the decision and it was reversed later. Wonder why this was not highlighted by BCCI. Take credit when its due. All talks about DRS and technology. Morgan gets out and says that he thought he had nicked it. But the most reliable technology available today- Hot Spot didnt pick it up. I remember a lot of crap written by Australian media during the 2008 tour and Sunny, Harsa and Ravi saying they were glad the tour is over. Wonder if by the time this tour ends, they will say the same thing again.

  • Lallubhai on July 22, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    If Harsha Bogle is a gentleman,' as he is ', what does that make s . ugra ?

  • on July 22, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Excellent article. However, I would like to see a gracious India. An India which Mahathma Gandhi, would have been proud of. India has the potential to be an example to the world, confident of herself, while generous and tolerant. She should set her own standards and not lower them just because others do.

  • on July 22, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    The media will try to promote the local team more than the outsiders and that is pretty common. When any country touring to India, the Indian media writes similarly about their opponents as well. And English media have done the same with Australia and South Africa. So I fail to see them targeting India specifically here. It is a common behaviour in the name of patriotism which I don't agree with.

  • on July 22, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    @Adisa: For a No.1 Test team, look at the pace battery. I do not remember mentioning any of the names you did. Besides when it comes to India, we can always mention individual names. We do not have instances of Team of India of a particular year or so. Its always portrayed as a ONE MAN SAVIOUR game. You still pick Sachin, Laxman, Dravid and Kumble. They are luminaries, but which Test Team squad of India would go down as something like INVINCIBLES. After all, what's wrong in desiring for more PACE ATTACK in the Indian bowling line up. We definitely have them. Where does the problem lie - Captain? Selection? Would you rather see pace legends like Andy Roberts remark about Munaf's bowling style - which is true by all means. England may not have consistently won matches like India under Dhoni (full marks to him) but not many would forget the team in 2005 (Ashes Series). It was a team with equally good performances in all depts. India too can, but when?

  • on July 22, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Very insightful, even-handed article by Harsha. Going beyond India-England cricket, he shows that it takes two to tango (elegantly). The lessons he espouses would work well, not just here but also for India-Pakistan, India-China or US-China. Here's looking for a good series with good feeling all around as the result.

  • on July 22, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Change in tone from Indian fans, what happened to all the big talk now. Bcci and India in for the beating of a lifetime

  • GrassBanks on July 22, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I wouldn't be too bothered with the English media. They write what sells. If they want to sell their readers mis-conceptions about India and it's cricket, so be it.

  • on July 22, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    @ChiragDoshi: "but countries like Australia and England also need to digest the fact that India's dominance is not going to end soon, and show grace in acceptance rather than pure defiance"--- With great power comes greater moral responsibility.

  • screamingeagle on July 22, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    @Kenny Roger " England will not lose anything by showing a different attitude as well, you know.. :P @rrr... pray tell, what did you mean there with that 'jingoistic' comment? Despite agreeing with Harsha's article; I suspect there will not be any change in attitude. Worst case scenario, Pawar and his ilk making the other cricket administrators thiink and act like them. THAT would be the saddest developement.

  • on July 22, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    What can I say....THIS is the reason why Mr.Harsha Bhogle has always been my favourte commentator and Indian Sports Writer for about 15 years...Awesome article..Succintly explained how we should be lookin to bridge the divides rather than sticking onto our differences..That is where a beautiful game called cricket can be well utilized...Waiting for an awesome Tour...Hopefully India can nudge ahead of the Englishmen..

  • on July 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    @Kenny Rogers M, while it may be fair to say that a lot is left to be desired of the cricket administration as such in India, but which of the Indian cricketers would you say leaves much to be desired?? Sachin? Dravid? Laxman? Kumble? well there are the more aggressive ones, but so are they in every other team that apparently leaves nothing to be desired like England perhaps???

  • bheekuchatri on July 22, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Harsha: Please write about your first tour to England... very curious !!!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 22, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    @Nutcutlet, you touched and moved a heart from India. God Bless You and people like you. It's people like you who would bridge the gap between these two great cricketing countries. I'm also deeply sorry when Indians and when I myself go over the top. Yes, there will be detractors on both the sides and custodians - you, me and the administrators, of this great game have to ignore them rather than fuelling them. The commentators on Sky Sports, whom one would assume as responsible custodians, are not helping the situation. I felt very bad when some commentator (I think it was Gower) started in a condescending manner when he referred to Hawk-Eye as "our Hawk-Eye" with a wry-smile after Cook's dismissal. Such ill-informed condescending endorsement doesn't help. Thanks a million to Harsha for this insightful article. May Cricket be the winner. Thanks a million to Nutcutlet, for giving some perspective to other responders like me.

  • shandy657 on July 22, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Great piece, Harsha. I do believe that attitudes are changing, but slowly. I sense that India is striving for the respect that it deserves and has evidently flexed its muscles of late - in and out of the boardroom. On a cricketing front, I do hope that India's somewhat thirty-something team are not under-cooked for this tour...

  • princemoses on July 22, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Very nicely put! Good one Harsha!

  • Mob_King on July 22, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Great article Harsha -- but I also hold the media responsible (as you so wisely did too, a couple of weeks back).

    The root problem here is parochialism and ignorance, and it exists in every cricket playing nation. Cricket is a fantastic diplomat; if you have any problem with any cricket playing nation, GO THERE and watch / play a game

  • on July 22, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Points nicely made Harsha!! I hope the BCCI, ECB and English media read this too..

  • Truemans_Ghost on July 22, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Excellent article. The all too common refrain that India was bullied in the past justifying payback now is indeed fruitless as, by implication, it suggests that the further behavior of England and Australia was acceptable. If Indian cricket was to show true greatness, it would say "you mistreated us in the past, but I will show my superiority over you by using by treating you fairly now". Kipling would then thoroughly approve. "If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating,"

  • Mayurirulz on July 22, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I completely agree with your view point. It so happens that the ECB cannot accept the bullish nature of the BCCI because it threatens their existence and authority in a way. They don't like to be questioned which the BCCI seems to do.

    The BCCI on its part doesn't feel the need to explain its actions to anyone despite it being right.

    Its ironical in a way that the 2000th Test is being played between the two sides at the Mecca of cricket. It's a great platform for both teams to improve their ties because it will go a long way in defining world cricket.

    The English on their part need to respect their opposition particularly the Asian teams a lot more than they do. It's not a fluke that the Asian teams have been performing well something that the English need to understand.

    India may have learnt the sport from England but have taken it one step further than them.

  • on July 22, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Test No 2000; No 100 between England & India. Just hope it also marks century no. 100 for Sachin. Should he get there it will his first at Lord's.

  • D.Nagarajan on July 22, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Wonderful article. Its correct we need to be statesmen but lets give it a bit of time Harsha, the fiery or bullying attitude is a riposte to the past as we used to be in "awe" of them in the 50's/60's/70's. We should be bullies for now. In 2008 England did send their side after the Mumbai attack for a glorious test at Chennai, but in the the 60's and in the early 70's it used to be a 2nd string team that they would send. In the 1970's when Viv Richards played for Somerset he couldnt rent an apartment as he was black, it fired him up to become the great bastman that he became. Similarly it would be great if the Indian bowlers (except Zaheer) show some fire today as a riposte to the past.

  • on July 22, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Indian cricketers may have come a long way in terms of winning matches. However, a lot is left to be desired. the nouveau riche attitude is definitely showing and a lot of that is stemming from BCCI and its questionable methods of reasoning and functioning. Just because you wish to be against the English, does not mean you should take a hard stance. I mean, what is India going to lose if they were to explain its reasons behind the stance taken for the DRS. Even if England is not forthcoming, India needs to show that they are different. Unless, India wishes to be seen as an arrogant powerful entity like some others in the beginning years of cricket, East and West are going to remain the same. A different attitude is the need of the hour and that is asking a LOT from the Indian side and the Indian authorities :)

  • ChiragDoshi on July 22, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Great article Harsha..its true India (BCCI) needs to show grace with its use of their power, but countries like Australia and England also need to digest the fact that India's dominance is not going to end soon, and show grace in acceptance rather than pure defiance.

  • Anurag-A on July 22, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Yeah succinctly put Harsha. In my opinion Indian and England both need better administrators. Neither Giles nor Manohar is good enough. We need to both appreciate each other's point of view a little more. Can't be too hard, can it be?

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    An apt reflection of the current cricketing scenario..An excellent article Harsha :)

  • KP_84 on July 22, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    I can understand Harsha's frustration. It seems the English take their time in chaning their perceptions. While listening to Sky Sports' commentary during the Eng vs. SL series, I would have thought they were refering of a Sri Lanka side from the 1980s. Although they didn't say so, it was obvious that they were surprised to see Sri Lanka batsmen pile up the runs against England's so-called super-stars (if there hadn't been so much moisture and cloud cover around last Australian sumer, how do you think Jimmy Anderson and co, would have gone?). It's incredible to think that teams like the West Indies - who have been at rock bottom for more than a decade now - are still held in higher regard by the public than Sri Lanka.

  • JohnnyRook on July 22, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    @rrr9..Could you please enlighten us, what did you find jingoistic in the article. It is simply stating the truth that both BCCI and non-BCCI factions have just started opposing one another instead of thinking what is right and good for the game, fairly like WICB and WIPA. And I think we fans are the ones who are loosing. BCCI and CA are fairly good friends bcoz India-Australia matches and Champions League pay them like crazy. Considering that Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds both play for MI in IPL, they also have fairly good terms because they are also being paid like crazy. However I suspect, Indian fans and Australian fans have become sworn enemies of one another after Sydneygate. I think we fans should be a little more sensible and stop this blind hatred for our own good. After all, we are the biggest stakeholders in the game, bigger than MCC and BCCI. Its for us that cricket is played.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Good one. Something that needed to be said by an Indian.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Well said Harsha... India needs to show a little more style and grace and the best people to put that point across will be you and the otehr Wise Men in the commentary box

  • jijops on July 22, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle for BCCI Chairman.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    As usual Harsha produces another gr8 piece. one can harsha mastered the art of sports writing.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Must read for any cricket buff. Superbly summed up.

  • Yorker_ToeCrusher on July 22, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Can't agree more Harsha.I too felt the same while reading some of the leading newspapers in England.I wonder when would the column writers in England understand the fact that India has emerged not just in cricket,but in all walks of life with a new sense of reinvented confidence.Stereotypes should go away for good.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    You sound awfully like Lord Mountbatten, but then that would only come from understanding both sides of the coin... Point taken you are in a riddle, more like me.. :)

  • maharshipatel on July 22, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Nice article as usual. We need more player with attitude like Sachin's.

  • JohnnyRook on July 22, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Completely agree with Harsha on this. Nobody wants a discussion on UDRS. Fans either want to support it or oppose it (Very strongly, I might add) depending on which country they are from. Reminds me of one of the Dibert strips. Can fans please stop the rhetoric like "BCCI is evil", "UDRS is not fool-proof", "Our stand is right" etc and have a discussion about frame-rates, speed of the ball, lateral movement, parabolic cureves etc instead. But I guess former is a lot easier, so people will continue that way.

  • on July 22, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Have you written about your first English tour anywhere? Interesting read; thanks.

  • avi.archit on July 22, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    As a matter of fact , it again reveals , Indian media [Considering Harsha to be one of them ] is very introspective ! we come to know the good , the bad and the ugly on our own !

  • amit_mangal30 on July 22, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Brilliantly presented by Harsha, as usual, I can add. And rightly so about the 'us and them', you do get that feel in between sometimes among the society, and its a natural thing I suppose with the newfound power to dominate. But as Indians we must understand that in our more than 5000 years old history we have never believed in vengeance, in giving it back. We have a state which according to two other nations belong to their geological region, but we have never initiated a war ourselves, instead try and do most to protect it. We have a sportsman at the pinnacle of a sport, more popular than the president or PM themselves and even though who still believes that humility is a person's most important virtue. And about not making clear about our stands sometimes, I think its a little in our genes, not to mention the obvious :). I do not say anything for England, its for them to decide and speak of.

  • shubham3 on July 22, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Very True.I too felt the same

  • on July 22, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    India needs to move on from being merchant to being a statesman! Aptly conveys the present situation in world cricket, Harsha!

  • on July 22, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Excellent article , one of the best i read here . I guess u are a soccer fan too harsha , there are lota good non english sporting pundits in europe who feel in a similar way abt english soccer too , not in exactly same way but similar . Have a nice english cricketing summer

  • Nutcutlet on July 22, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    A thoughtful and timely article, Mr Bhogle. It is vital that England and India learn to communicate meaningfully and with mutual respect. To me as an Englishman, I am concerned that the ethos of the game and its traditional values (fair play, honesty, respect for the umpire and his decisions - these need to be spelt out these days!) are maintained by two major cricketing nations - and, for these interconnected reasons, I want to see a memorable test series which is unsullied by dissent and negative attitudes. Sport stops being sport when it feeds nationalism outside the stadium. Moreover, supporting your team does not mean abusively denigrating your opponents (thank god cricket is not football with its ugly tribalism). Cricket, above all, should be a force for good - to foster strong international relations by respecting all with sincerity and exercising self-discipline on and off the field. I am deeply sorry and ashamed when English supporters and players behave badly.

  • dipy on July 22, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    There are changes needed in Indian cricket establishment.. get more players, reduce the number of politicians like Pawar, and bring more accountability. Reform will lead to a more 'futuristic' approach that will be good for the game not only in India but for the World of Cricket.. At the same time the approach of English media, and a large section of the anachronistic public is sadly out of sync with reality.. England does not control the world any more and are equally less relevant for the Cricketing world. The world is changing and unless the English media comes to grip with this they are, unfortunately, going to be left quite behind. Delusional is the word that comes to mind when I read their stuff!!

  • rrr9 on July 22, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    It would help if Messrs. Bhogle & Gavaskar stops being so jingoistic...

  • on July 22, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Wow.......I wish I could think like Mr. Harsha Bhogle. As a great supporter of Indian Team , I always had a different feeling playing against 'Saheb' (That's what Indians were used to call English people during their Rule over India). Harsha has got succeeded expressing that & what a manner that is. Harsha is 'Sachin Tendulkar' of Commentary and cricket writing. God Bless ya. Go on writing like this Harsha. You have a fan reading your article. :smile:

  • on July 22, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    As usual Geat article Harsha...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 22, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    As usual Geat article Harsha...

  • on July 22, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Wow.......I wish I could think like Mr. Harsha Bhogle. As a great supporter of Indian Team , I always had a different feeling playing against 'Saheb' (That's what Indians were used to call English people during their Rule over India). Harsha has got succeeded expressing that & what a manner that is. Harsha is 'Sachin Tendulkar' of Commentary and cricket writing. God Bless ya. Go on writing like this Harsha. You have a fan reading your article. :smile:

  • rrr9 on July 22, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    It would help if Messrs. Bhogle & Gavaskar stops being so jingoistic...

  • dipy on July 22, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    There are changes needed in Indian cricket establishment.. get more players, reduce the number of politicians like Pawar, and bring more accountability. Reform will lead to a more 'futuristic' approach that will be good for the game not only in India but for the World of Cricket.. At the same time the approach of English media, and a large section of the anachronistic public is sadly out of sync with reality.. England does not control the world any more and are equally less relevant for the Cricketing world. The world is changing and unless the English media comes to grip with this they are, unfortunately, going to be left quite behind. Delusional is the word that comes to mind when I read their stuff!!

  • Nutcutlet on July 22, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    A thoughtful and timely article, Mr Bhogle. It is vital that England and India learn to communicate meaningfully and with mutual respect. To me as an Englishman, I am concerned that the ethos of the game and its traditional values (fair play, honesty, respect for the umpire and his decisions - these need to be spelt out these days!) are maintained by two major cricketing nations - and, for these interconnected reasons, I want to see a memorable test series which is unsullied by dissent and negative attitudes. Sport stops being sport when it feeds nationalism outside the stadium. Moreover, supporting your team does not mean abusively denigrating your opponents (thank god cricket is not football with its ugly tribalism). Cricket, above all, should be a force for good - to foster strong international relations by respecting all with sincerity and exercising self-discipline on and off the field. I am deeply sorry and ashamed when English supporters and players behave badly.

  • on July 22, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Excellent article , one of the best i read here . I guess u are a soccer fan too harsha , there are lota good non english sporting pundits in europe who feel in a similar way abt english soccer too , not in exactly same way but similar . Have a nice english cricketing summer

  • on July 22, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    India needs to move on from being merchant to being a statesman! Aptly conveys the present situation in world cricket, Harsha!

  • shubham3 on July 22, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Very True.I too felt the same

  • amit_mangal30 on July 22, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Brilliantly presented by Harsha, as usual, I can add. And rightly so about the 'us and them', you do get that feel in between sometimes among the society, and its a natural thing I suppose with the newfound power to dominate. But as Indians we must understand that in our more than 5000 years old history we have never believed in vengeance, in giving it back. We have a state which according to two other nations belong to their geological region, but we have never initiated a war ourselves, instead try and do most to protect it. We have a sportsman at the pinnacle of a sport, more popular than the president or PM themselves and even though who still believes that humility is a person's most important virtue. And about not making clear about our stands sometimes, I think its a little in our genes, not to mention the obvious :). I do not say anything for England, its for them to decide and speak of.

  • avi.archit on July 22, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    As a matter of fact , it again reveals , Indian media [Considering Harsha to be one of them ] is very introspective ! we come to know the good , the bad and the ugly on our own !