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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The irony couldn't have been more stark. The men in blue had sweated it out. It was buckets of sweat - literally - on that sunny Goa pitch.

Yuvraj Singh was exceptional as was 19 year old Raina. And there never was any doubt about who the man of the match would be, never mind Irfan Pathan's superb bowling spell.

Team India meant business, if you were willing to ignore those missed catches and a couple of mis-fields. After all the weather, even the commentators agreed, was inhospitable - that's putting it mildly.

So after that running, sweating and the consistent winning ways - for those of you of you keeping the records - it was India's seventh straight win.

Playing with that incessant drum beat and the unprecedented fan support - Dhoni's pleas have worked - takes a special something - I am sure you would agree.

Which is why when you see the winning team, the winning runs and the guy who really swung the match being honoured - you just expect so much more. Which is also why the contrast at Goa yesterday couldn't have been more stark.

Yuvraj gets the man of the match, Atherton proudly announces he's got a cheque of 50,000 Rupees, which my currency convertor today tells me is US $1,238.50, I'm not even going to get into the Pounds, it's way too embarrassing.

This is coming from a Board that lacks no amount of sponsorship, where 30 second commercial spots can run into lakhs of rupees, where we can always dish out more than enough to honour glories past, but fall woefully short of the recognising those truly deserving in the present.

And to think this is happening in an India where salaries are rocketing through the roof. So isn't it time to reassess what we officially give the men who of late, have been making our hearts swell with pride.

Or else it's time to stop seeing green over those seemingly over the top endorsements. After all, with 18 and 19 year olds competing for room on the Team, the shelf life of even the best cricketer is bound to get shorter. But that's another post.....