Former Mumbai skipper Shishir Hattangadi writes an open letter to Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan
My dear Ajit and Zaheer,
I am writing this letter to you both on a public platform since I have read about it on the same. Both of you have served the game well and long enough for me or anyone to sermonise you on the rights and wrongs or the do's and don'ts of this great game.
Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan
Ajit, the game of cricket has evolved since I played it and I guess so have the approaches, but anyone who knows and is watching the game will acknowledge the ground rules on and off the field remain the same. As the old adage goes, journeys differ not the destination. One still commands respect for one's contribution off the field as much as he does while on it.
So, if walking out of a team tour is an emotional move, it is pardonable. Otherwise, it is inexcusable. Zaheer, from the little I know of you, I have observed your reticent demeanor off the field. Your outburst against individuals may be based on personal experiences or hearsay. In any case, if your concern was as emphatic as your statement, and you had the interest of Mumbai cricket at heart, I would have appreciated if you had voiced your opinion to the association on coach Sulakashan Kulkarni and chairman of selectors Milind Rege before their appointments.
This would have shown a more genuine concern for Mumbai and its future rather than a script written by a director and enacted by a protagonist. Unless you have, over a period of a few years, closely watched how these two individuals have "pulled Mumbai's cricket back."
In the 35 years that I have seen Mumbai's cricket (and I must be honest in saying that watching both of you has given me as much joy), I have met people I have loved, hated and been indifferent to. But I have never been able to doubt their intent of having the good of Mumbai's cricket at heart.
Your myopic assessment of individuals is obviously based on an intuitive vision and first-hand experience. I trust you will use this same vision if and when you see something amiss in the corridors of power of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The telescope you carry is invaluable to the game of cricket. Kindly use it with the same vigilance which will help make similar emphatic judgments.
And while you seem convinced in your views, I would appreciate your public opinion on people who "pull" Indian cricket down or your views on your IPL franchise in case you were to sense all was not well there. I trust the handsome remuneration you earn from these bodies do not fog your candid views on the progress of the game as it has for Mumbai cricket.
Your sharpness and perception of judging people has to be commended. Passing judgment on Kulkarni who is coaching the Mumbai Ranji team for the first time and Rege who has been involved as a selector since 1989 or anyone for that matter, you have shown you have a great eye for judging people and situations.
I don't know what your obligations are as a contracted player with the BCCI and its code of conduct are, but you would do well to understand legal implications of casting aspersions on anyone without authentic validation. Unless, of course, your conclusive statements are based and backed by reason that you have been following Mumbai's cricket ever since you moved from Baroda.
Former Mumbai captain and a Mumbai cricket lover
While you (Zaheer) seem convinced in your views, I would appreciate your public opinion on people who "pull" Indian cricket down or your views on your franchisee in case you were to sense all was not well there