Ah! So there you go BCCI. All this while we thought that this was one last ditch effort on your part to help Harbhajan Singh get back into the groove of international cricket. After all, the man definitely deserves that, even if many feel that laurels are hardly a comfortable thing to rest on. But you naughty-naughty, you had some other game up your sleeve. You got the man all worked up about a comeback plan because you wanted his World Cup winning jersey on board to Sri Lanka!!
Hung by the thread ...!!!
We all knew sportsperson were a superstitious lot. Trust, almost every icon of yours, whom you have worshiped for being almost capable of defying even luck, has a little someone inside who wouldn't take one step otherwise that may turn out to be unlucky. And our poker faced uncles are surely not the first ones in the world whose dependence on a piece of cloth went on to become folklore.
Anil Kumble, the man (who at least for this scribe) was a symbol of self-belief and tenacity -- remember that 2002 Test when he sent down 14 consecutive overs with a broken jaw and even picked up Brian Lara -- had one such. And, possibly, the biggest achievement any bowler can ever have in his entire career -- having the entire opposition team in his wicket-kitty. Yes, 1999, Pakistan, and that what-you-may-call-it Test match at Ferozeshah Kotla.
It so happened that Kumble, suddenly, after his first couple of wickets, realised that in the overs that he got a wicket, it was Sachin Tendulkar who had taken his sweater and cap to the umpire. And from then on, until the Pakistan innings folded up, our Master Blaster diligently obliged Jumbo. One isn't sure whether this luck-by-sweater was tried out in the following matches that these two played together -- of course, Kumble never took another 10 in an innings, but if BCCI would have been so active then, it would have surely made Kumble wear-and Tendulkar carry that sweater even in the month of April in Chennai!
Trust us, dear bosses
Well, the point is, there is nothing wrong in making the team wear the same jersey that it had worn during the World Cup - in fact, the team can wear it for the next 10 years too. The fabric's fine and doesn't even take too much of a heavy washing. So it's all very eco-friendly. But, why in the name of superstition?
Beliefs are fine, but in our boys and not in some blue piece of cloth. It has to be a certain MS Dhoni who'll hit the sixes, a certain Bhajji who'll pick up the wickets, a certain Virat who'll take the catches... and not the jersey.
Where is Yusuf Pathan, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar or Ashish Nehra? None have retired, and they all had the World Cup jersey. But, guess, that couldn't guarantee them a ticket to the next one. Or, should they rely on some other tee find a way back in the team.
And, what if someone tells the bosses of cricket that we don't want Yuvi away from the action again - wasn't it after the World Cup only that the boy became too ill?
See, there's no end to superstitions. The only way is to end it at the first place itself.
A nation of one billion can give the guarantee that their boys will put in 200 per cent on the field. But what does that old jersey guarantee? To many it may seem over-reaction, but the truth is it frustrates to see the babus of this country value some 'unseen force' more than the actual workforce. Wake up and smell the coffee -- it's 2012, for cricket's sake.