Captaincy conundrum: A thriller!

#books, #cricket, #literature, #weekend reads

6 months ago

Bigwigs at the Cricket Controllers of India (CCI) are worried about Bleed-Blue’s lack of success at Incapacitated Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments. They find it baffling that despite boasting of a phenomenal bunch of players, an ICC trophy has eluded them for eight long years.

Upon speaking with a few members of the team, it emerges that the captain-coach style of functioning hasn’t gone down well with many. The frequent chopping and changing has left a lot of players feeling insecure— even the established ones.

Further, Badass Vegan’s captaincy record comes under the scanner. When compared with Lazy Elegance’s Indian Priority League (IPL) record as captain, it reads: 5 titles to none, in favour of Lazy Elegance.

Is it time to change the leadership group in white ball cricket? Could this be the key to ensure an ICC title?

This notion resonates with the big guns at CCI. One of them hasn’t been too fond of the coach, Doctor Ordered, anyway—ever since they were involved in a war of words during the selection meeting to pick the new coach four years ago—and therefore, would be glad to see him go.

CCI top brass begins a series of conversations with Badass Vegan, Lazy Elegance and Doctor Ordered. Badass-V is away on account of personal reasons while the team is playing a series down under. Lazy-E is made to understand that a change in white-ball captaincy is around the corner and that he should begin identifying his team (both on and off the field) for the future. Lazy Elegance—contrary to his name—starts work immediately and gets in touch with candidates he’d like to be a part of his support staff. The prospective candidates are taken aback as to why Lazy-E would be the one to offer them a role with the Indian team and not Badass-V, the designated captain. The cat is set amongst the pigeons.

Months go by without much activity on this front. Meanwhile, Bleed Blue play at home vs the Three Lions. That’s followed by the Indian Priority League and then the World Traditionalits Cup (WTC) final, that marks another failed attempt to win an Incapacitated Cricket Council trophy.

Soon after, CCI bosses make a trip to Old Blighty as Bleed Blue (in whites) take on the Three Lions. Leadership and future roadmap are discussed. It seems Badass-V and Doctor-O have been put on notice—the upcoming Bang-Bang World Series will decide their future as leaders.

But, Doctor-O is his own man. He’s always been that way, even when he was a player himself. In a matter of a few days, news reports suggest that Doctor-O has decided against continuing as coach after the completion of his current contract—at the end of the Bang Bang World Series of Cricket.

The usually hyper-active cricket grapevine doesn’t pay much heed to this news item. It’s busy making memes of a young man struggling to keep up with the teleprompter. Two other important developments pass by without much scrutiny: a) The team for Bang Bang World Series is picked but, by the looks of it, the selection doesn’t resemble a typical Badass-V’s team, with many of his trustworthy performers left out while those out of favour with him making their comebacks.  And b) Colonel Sahab—albeit a long-time friend of Badass Vegan— is brought in to mentor the team during the ICC series, a move conspicuously highlighting CCI’s lack of confidence in Badass-V and Doctor-O’s abilities to guide the team to an ICC title.

Despite the mild snubs, Badass Vegan stays put.

Realising they may be barking up the wrong tree, CCI decide to ‘plant’ a new seed.

Days later, a report surfaces suggesting Badass V’s days as white-ball captain are numbered. The cricket grapevine is finally abuzz. Some call it fake, others label it as a CCI plant, while some classify it as a proper scoop.

CCI, on its part, plays by the book—its bigwigs rubbish the story. ‘There is no question of Badass-V relinquishing his post in any format,’ they claim. The cricket fraternity is divided—the believers indulge in pontification, saying, ‘we told you so’; the naysayers comeback with their own riposte, reminding everyone about the Badass-V vs Jumbo rift story that was dismissed as fake to begin with, only to be confirmed a few days later.

#books, #cricket, #literature, #weekend reads

September 16, 2021, 17:53 PM

Boom! Badass-V sends out a message on his personal social media accounts—he is quitting T20 captaincy right after the Bang Bang World Series. It seems he’s had enough of these backroom negotiations and selective news leaks.

CCI is caught unawares. It takes them a couple of hours to put out an official statement. The world learns that Badass-V’s exit has been six months in the making. But for those with reasonable proximity to members of Bleed Blue, this isn’t news.

Present Day

CCI is contemplating when to announce the next 20-20 captain. Lazy Elegance is the odds on favourite. But that’s not the least of CCI’s problems. The Controllers of Cricket are grappling with more than they can chew. What if Badass Vegan leads his team to a title triumph in a couple of months from now—will the fans of the game allow him to quit captaincy? What would the CCI’s own position be then? Would they request Badass-V to continue or still announce Lazy-E as skipper? And what about the Overly Dull & Increasingly Irrelevant (ODII) captaincy, especially if India fail to win the Bang Bang World Series? Would CCI be comfortable with Badass-V as captain in ODIIs or does that post go to Lazy-E too? If yes, how does that transition happen—through a social media post, newspaper scoop or a press release?

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