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John Buchanan: The juicy bits and prejudiced opinions

by RajaB

We are a bit emotional, that is part of our sub-continental DNA I presume.

This time around I don’t think Buchanan has said anything wrong, or for that matter there is nothing new in what he has said.

When he says Sachin is too old for the new format, there is nothing wrong, this is not something we don’t know. How many of us were WOW-ed by the way Sachin batted during the IPL ?

How many of us think Gavaskar is an unbiased, open minded person ? I am sure we would all stand up with respect the moment this name is mentioned when it comes to playing cricket.

But at the same breath many of us still remember things like (even if it was a rumour, it wasn’t refuted at any point in time) “Gavaskar might not play in Eden Gardens even if India progresses to the final of the 1987 world cup finals” Why because someone let a dog (which I think Gavaskar is paranoid about) into the field when he was batting or someone booed him.

This is the same guy who sometime later packed his son off to the same Koltata to play cricket. A land he proclaimed he would never venture to play again. Of course we can be a bit hypocritical and say he didn’t, only his son did !!

About Yuvraj Singh, the accusation that he leaves his kits and trash behind to be cleaned up by someone else is not new. We have heard it before also, the Indian cricketers become too big after a couple of good matches. They then need people to assist them on everything including wiping their backsides.

Tell me why a team would need a logistics manager in the forefront ? Have you seen a logistics manager of any other team smiling ear to ear for photographs once his team wins a match ? Such is the comfort our cricketers live in.

So what is wrong in Buchanan’s words there ?

And Yuvraj, we have read about his attitude (towards cricket and also other things). So why are we perturbed when a westerner says something about what we already know ?

And Pieterson, is he Saint Peter ? A man who wants a two day off in the middle of a tour to watch his wife dance in a reality show, a man who cares more about IPL than Ashes, a man who vacationing in his native South Africa taking potshots at his own coach who was nowhere in the picture, a man who tried mustering support among players to ouster a coach he didn’t like. The list will go on.

And Harbajan, do we really need an introduction about him ?

Shoaib Akhtar ??

Let us not form prejudiced opinions even before the book is out and we read at least a page of it. All we see now are excerpts or juicy bits, which our journalists think would get them maximum eyeballs.

In my opinion finally Buchanan has made some sense, let’s hope he has. This we would know only when we read his book in its totality.


straight point said...

point taken raja...

but its been seen as latest fad to take a pot shot on all and sundry thru a book...

otherwise come to think of title of the book...

"The Future of Cricket: The rise of Twenty20"

and where does it fits in to talk about sachins, gangulys, youvraj's doing ganguly, bhajji's & peiterson's antics... where is cricket in all this shit... irrespective of whether we knew it or not...?

can't you simply write about how t20 rise is the future of cricket...


simply give it title my potshots on anyone i met during ipl...?

if you are getting my drift...?!!

RajaB said...

@SP Your question "can't you simply write about how t20 rise is the future of cricket..."

I am not sure how one would write a book the "Future of Indian cinema: The rise of new age directors" without touching upon a Dada Saheb Phalke or Raj Kapoor and so on...

Potshots ?? Precisely my point.

We are forming opinions about a book based on a couple of quotes.

For example I might actually have said in a book "Gavaskar is shit scared of dogs"

Now what does one do if a journo quotes it "Gavaskar is shit... says RajaB"

Let us wait for the book, read it fully and then try contextually explain the title.

Homer said...


Then why is Buchanan back tracking? Why all the "taken out of context" nonsense?


RajaB said...

@ Homer: I don't think it is back tracking if one says he has been taken out of context.

See my response to SP, where I have given an example of how one can be taken out of context by our jornos.

Let us wait till the book is out to decide whether he back tracked or taken in context or out of it.

Sam said...

have you seen yuvraj do tht stuff ? You cannot believe an aussie talking anything abt an Indian. simmply no.

this lad has had troubles with everybody he writes abt.

he jokes himself when he says sachin is not innovative. its a crude silly joke. he doesnt watch cricket seriously.

and since when IPL is a measure to judge greatness and value of indian greats.

its very natural for a Moody or a Buchie or GC to take potshots on we gotta believe them ?

he has gone personal here. he has not spoken about anything related to cricket. if he says dravid didnt contribute to RCB s success in IPL-2 then he was sleeping in his toilet.

where s t20 here ?

it shud be labelled

My potshots on Indian crooks.

Megha said...


Taking Homer's point further...what exactly is being taken out of context?

If whatever has been published so far is an honest and correct assessment of these individuals, then what it needs is supporting facts.

Do correct me if I am wrong but the example you give is not something being quoted out of context, it is something not being reported correctly...when something is quoted out of context, it's meaning is distorted.

SM said...

Hi Raja , I think otherwise on this issue . I have tried to counterthink some of the points you raised on my blog

Thanks SM

RajaB said...

@Sam: In whatever little we have seen till now about this book, Buchanan never seems to doubt Sachin's greatness. All he has said is that talent alone might probably not help in this form of cricket. You need some power & explosion. Sachin can't offer that now because of this age.

If we can't face this fact of life that Sachin, however a great player or demigod he is would also age, then I am not sure how we guys are going to handle that day without him in the team.

The kit issue has been spoken about many people till now. Let us face it we outgrow our human self once we score a couple of 50s and land the first commercial. The very fact that we have a logistics manager who grins ear to ear in all team photographs you see explains it.

Harbajan is probably the most overated spinner we have, in feting him we are killing talents like Amit Mishra's and likes. And the kind of hypocrite is a well known fact. So I shall speak no more about this man.

@Megha: I would ask you to read my response to SP & Homer one more time. I think we should read a page from this book before jumping the gun. Till then I would give Buchanan that benefit of doubt that the media has quoted him out of context.

@ SM: Read your blog. I would be grateful if you could explain point 1 a bit. I couldn't understand what you are trying to drive home. From whatever I understand I can probably remind you that Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, Azaruddin (before match fixing) and many more were Indian greats. I don't think so they had an attitude as big as Yuvraj. We have heard stories about Kapil, Amarnath and most of the Indian team that won '83 washing their own clothes during the WC. I think genuine talent comes with some humility. I can also quote Tendulkar, Kumble, Dravid and Laxman from the team for this.

Point 2, let me remind you that a T20 game comprises of 120 + 120 balls. So effectively what you need is a couple of players using their side of 120 properly. Gilly, Warne, Dilshan, Tanveer, Raina, Rohit and many more have proved this point. So I think it would be difficult to buy your team work excuse. And let me also remind that Tendulkar was the captain of that team, so if those decisions you refer to were uncalled for then he (Tendulkar) called for defeat. As simple as that.

Point 3: Nobody really doubts Gavaskar's cricketing ability (I would recommed you read the post again).

First Icon player from India ?? I wouldn't think so. I would recommend that you google or Wiki about Indian cricket history and know about other greats who lived long before Gavaskar too... There were Lala Amarnath's, Col Naidu's, Sardesai's, Pataudi's and zillions more.

RajaB said...

@Megha: Missed a point...

Context, Noun, Discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation

"Gavaskar is shit scared of dogs" is a unit. In totality it helps us determine how we interpret this unit

If you break this unit, however differently you try to glorify this breakage... Be it misreporting or however you might want to call it it is taking it out of context.

Hope this explains.

Rahul said...

John B is just gossiping about cricket personalities.There is nothing wrong or right about that.People are responding to opinions;with opinions of their own.There is nothing wrong or right about either. Rajab is commenting on the commentators with some opinions of his own.Point is,there is no moral high ground to be claimed here.Keep commenting,everyone!

Som said...

I'm not putting any cross-argument but sharing some feelings:

1. Buchanan is by and large spot on with whatever he said;

2. I have actually read the book and Buchanan is a liar when he says he has been quoted out of context and conveniently. He meant those stuff.

3. The truth of the content notwithstanding, it was sheer opportunism on his part. This was the only way Buchanan could earn money out of IPL. Come on, he has been kicked out of the scene and a memoir, throwing in some juicy (so what if true?) comments about some of the biggest names in Indian cricket is a sureshot way of upping the sale. His "If Better Is Possble" is gathering dust in shelves and being the smart guy he is, Buchanan got his marketing right.

Megha said...


i still don't think your example is appropriate...
"Context, Noun, Discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation"

you have actually taken something out of the language unit itself to change its meaning, and not the surrounding discourse. for e.g. say the actual story is "Gavaskar is not too fond of dogs. He is shit scared of the big ones." and that is changed to "Gavaskar is shit scared of dogs" ..that is taking it out of context. if you say "gavaskar is shit..." you are now talking about something entirely different...not related to the actual story at all...

that aside...whatever quotes of the book were published, they were pretty clear in their meaning. If he feels Tendulkar is not suited for T20, that is what he thinks. If not, then the quotes that appeared did not make any sense. So again, why the denial and "taken out of context" crap? At least he can stand by what he says.