Time for Redemption

If India's 0-4 shellacking in the Test series in England does not bring about an overhaul in the way the Board of Control for Cricket in India runs the game, nothing will.

Not even God can prevent injuries happening on the field and the best of preventive measures can go awry. But mindless scheduling can be avoided in terms of gaps between matches and series. All round transparency when it comes to injuries is surely possible. Ditto a near fool-proof method which will frighten off players from taking the field when they are not fit.

There was a time -- not long ago -- when Dr Anant Joshi, the BCCI's last word on all medical issues and Team India physiotherapist Andrew Leipus would not deem a player fit unless he played a first-class game.

One-time Board secretary J Y Lele was livid at coach Kapil Dev's decision to summon Ajit Agarkar to Ahmedabad where India were playing a Test against New Zealand in 1999. Lele wanted Agarkar to play a Times Shield game for Tata Sports Club in Mumbai to prove his fitness to some of the national selectors. If the practice of Joshi and Leipus made sense, how come Virender Sehwag arrived in England after his shoulder surgery without playing a game? The role of the various fitness experts at the National Cricket Academy needs to come into focus too. It is easy to blame them for not providing the true picture of players under rehabilitation, but do they have the backing of the establishment to frame that picture?

If the Board is serious on improving their way of working, the time to start is now. There should be zero regret when the team returns from that all-important Australia tour scheduled to begin at the end of the year. And the Redemption Song like Bob Marley's will be a huge hit.

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