An Open Letter to Dilip Vengsarkar

Mr. Vengsarkar,

Why are you vomiting? Perhaps this is why you decided to step-down as chief selector at the end of your term – because you couldn’t contain that verbal diarhorea that you had to contain on the insistence of the BCCI.

I have many questions for you. Let me start with by asking you – do you have any sense? I was going to ask if you had any grace, but then I realized you might be a little less on the sense quotient and often grace comes only after sense.

Didn’t you have enough with your barbs at Dravid last year. First it was criticism for not enforcing the follow-on in that Oval Test. As defensive as that might have been, given that we’d gone one up, was that victory – one that eventually came after a 35-year drought – worth gambling in hope of another? You effectively “suffocated” captain Dravid enough for him to step down. Though we know it is you, we may never know for sure.

Then you unceremoniously dropped the same man with over 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, who had produced a blistering 92 at a strike rate of over 80, not more than 5 matches ago. I won’t even question the selection as much the as unnecessary trash talk: “Dravid is a one-dimensional player[… he] does not add value to the ODI team”. When being asked to make a courtesy call to inform Dravid on being dropped, you apparently asked so arrogantly asked “Why should we call him? Did he bother to inform the selection committee before he resigned as captain?

Fortunately for you, Dravid’s fans are not like Ganguly’s. They will not gather in the streets or burn effigies; some may blog, but largely they may not even boo.

Maybe that is why you did not stop there. You’ve irked the Ganguly fans an embarrassed an Indian hero and great exponent of the game by dropping him from the Irani Trophy squad. I had written earlier asking why Ganguly became the “sacrificial goat”, if you care enough, you can read that here.

The most disgusting thing you’ve done so far is to lash out against Ganguly and vowed to “give back more than what he asked for” without even bothering to verify if he had in fact complained of your selection, on being let down, and made statements on cricketers’s change in hairstyles. Ganguly has denied having given that controversial interview. Now what do you think you look like? No, I won’t say it, as I have some grace left. What I can say, is that, going by the standards of the cricket fans in Kolkata and their adulation for their Dada, you may not be able to walk in the streets of Kolkata.

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ve also shot one at Test Captain Kumble. If an “..unfit Kumble [was indeed] letting the team down..” or you thought he “..should have come clean about his fitness..“, you could have told him, not the media, not in a middle of a toughly fought series likened to the Ashes.

Perhaps the BCCI should not have “gone soft” with your newspaper column writing in which you so unceremoniously trashed our heroes. It is rather bizarre why BCCI was as toothless as it was in the 80s with this prank of yours for long enough for you to have done significant damage.

I’m done with this rant of mine for now but I must add that I mean no evil to you and hold nothing against you other than your trash-talking crassness throught the wrong medium at the wrong time. While I don’t expect you to stop vomiting just yet, I only ask you think if any of this is justifiable, at least in retrospect, even by your own double standards.

PS: Actually that should have read as another open letter, for at least one has already been written by CommonFan here. I’ve been planning for this letter for some time, but CommonFan has inspired me to write my own rather caustic one.

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11 Responses to An Open Letter to Dilip Vengsarkar

  1. Ottayan says:

    VMM,

    In Ganguly’s case it is justifiable. Just the day earlier, Vengsarkar had a lot of good things to say about Ganguly and to find himself slammed for his pains might have hurt.

  2. Commonfan says:

    Hey VM thanks for the P.S…your letter to Mr Vengsarkar is delightfully caustic…and I am surprised that the media has not bothered to talk about this issue…they just reported it and forgot about it…

  3. i am with OTT on this…more over sg’s denial came later after dbv’s one…if my memory serves me right…

    infact it was ganguly who looked fool after claiming the interview he gave was not his…funny isn’t it…

    and i can very well imaging the camaraderie of dressing room…even after his denial…

    hair raising stuff! 😉

  4. …and as far as his kumble’s criticism goes….

    i am cutting and pasting my response as it is which i gave at RS of anything sporty…

    —————–

    i am not sure if this is the case of double standard RS…

    the charges laid down by sg needs detailed response with facts which can turn into a never ending debate hence not the right time to get into it…

    while kumble’s case is immediate and more direct and its impacting on the result directly on the outcome of a match…

    kumble by saying that his shoulder is giving him problem accepted in a way that india were playing with three bowlers in a test match in effect against as tough opponent as oz…

    through out second innings india had to contain with three bowlers on a wearing pitch where fit kumble would have created havoc as he did against pak last time and there we lost the opportunity of winning the match…if at all we were looking to…

    no wonder he went wicket less…and i shudder at the thought of him playing as lone spinner at mohali…

    he took the team interest for granted according to me and this intent should be severely criticized there and then rather than waiting for series to be over and repenting the chances we would be loosing coz out of four bowlers india played one was not fit enough to look potent to take wicket…

    then what for we have selected kumble…just to captain?

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  6. VM – that had some bite. and colonel has some bark!

    his take on dravid screwed indian cricket and dravid to a great extent.

    doubt rd will ever be the same again. and i agree, this when he was at the peak of his powers. i’d have rated him, at that point, as the fittest of the seniors in every way.
    I’m inclined to believe there’s more to colonel than meets the eye. There’s more to this than selling his column. Guy’s either off the rocker, our own Sarfaraz OR he genuinely believes what he says (then kudos to him) OR the most dangerous, he’s there to undermine anyone who overshoots Mumbai cricket.

    (will read the other comments now)

  7. rs says:

    I find his comments in the past 10 days over the top.

  8. Buzz says:

    VM.

    the colonel has lost his balls with the loss of selector post. he is talking loud about the players like Ganguly and Kumble. Did he forget his last few years in Test cricket ? Literal pain.

    Lost badly in WI (0-4) as skipper and then banned for a rebel series. Finally 117 runs in 5 test matches in Australia – 91.

    Media makes a sane man insane and DV is a prime example isnt he ?

  9. vmminerva says:

    @Ott, that is understandable. But don’t you think it would have been prudent to have waited if not verified if Ganguly had indeed said that?

    @CommonFan, you’re very welcome. Glad you stopped by here.

    @SP, I don’t quite get how Ganguly becomes the fool here. Yes, he did deny after Vengsarkar lashed out, but that doesn’t make him guilty. I agree with you on the effect it may have had in the dressing room. As for your point on Kumble, all that seems fair enough. The kind of lashing out that is happening involving the media is the part that is bad. Why don’t the selectors/BCCI talk to the individuals rather than the media. If not, they aren’t too different from Greg Chappell.

    @Richa, welcome to my blog.

    @NC, yeah, that and IPL has been Dravid’s bane. I agree in that there may be no recovery there. While that is the case, one wonders if Indian cricket will ever be rid of the Mumbai lobby within the BCCI.

    @RS, yep! I’d stretch that to over a year.

  10. Ottayan says:

    VMM,

    Even as the interview was gaining in notoriety, there was a speculation that Ganguly will follow it up with a denial.

    There were some who said that Ganguly deliberately made the comment about having a gun on his head in order to gain sympathy and hopefully a under swell of support for his continuance.

  11. vmminerva says:

    @Buzz, true. I always thought of Vengy’s accomplishments as rather humble compared to those he was so loudly criticizing.

    @Ott, I guess this story ain’t over.

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