The answer lies in not what you hear but what you’re about to hear.
It’s quite simple really, but not something that strikes you at first. Far from it, it’s the last thing that will occur to you. The human mind is trained to look for conspiracy theories rather than accept reality as it is.
Give it a thought, why do you think there’s been so much upheaval in Indian cricket from 2 January? Whether it was heads rolling or heads stepping down, whether it was shoulders that once volunteered, stepping up to take over as the new head?
Let’s connect the dots: First, the BCCI president and secretary are fired. As are 90 percent of the BCCI old guard. Then before you can catch your breath, the Indian limited overs’ captain resigns. Subsequently, the hero of the 2011 World Cup returns. Something that might also have gone under the radar, is Ashish Nehra’s inclusion in the squad.
There has been the odd joke linking the Supreme Court’s maximum term of nine-years in office rule (for office bearers of the BCCI and state associations), to certain players having served Indian cricket for more than nine years.
But they don’t need the Supreme Court to tell them that this is an auspicious time to bid adieu; the next time India play an ODI or T20 on Indian soil, just to hazard a guess, is much after the IPL, and a long, long time away.
To stick it out till the Champions Trophy in England in June, will be to squander their best bet to say goodbye to their millions of fans at home. It will be heady stuff, both for the players and the fans, not to forget the broadcasters too.
The broadcasters see exactly how Indian cricket will pan out way before most of us do. The Sachin Tendulkar farewell series, in fact, was in the works way before retirement even entered Sachin’s thoughts. Two things were a constant, it will have to be played in Mumbai and it will have to be played against the West Indies. After all, Tendulkar deserved a grand farewell, and only the West Indies of new could provide that, the ICC’s FTP (Future Tours Program) be dammed. The Windies will be in India before India can be in India. Last minute, not an exaggeration.
Which brings us to MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra signing of, one last time for India, in India. Against their old rivals, England.
Now put your mind back to that great Tendulkar farewell in Wankhede – in addition to Tendulkar and the bottle whacking boys in the stands, who else made it great that day?
No, not Vinod Kambli by staying away. Who else? C’mon, you can do it.
It was a voice. For long, considered the sane voice of Indian cricket. Not a cricketer, but a cricket watcher. Not a fan but in many ways still a fan.
Harsha Bhogle’s voice has to be there, one with the fans on 1 February 2017. At the last T20I at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
And for Bhogle to be there, to make the moment what it will be, a great many other people will have to be absent. So, there you have it, this is why Indian cricket has been going through this vigorous tumble dry washing cycle of late.
After all, for how long can you wash your dirty linen in public? Just as well it’s in Bangalore and not Nagpur.
However plausible this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction.