Thu, 27 Jan 2011 22:02:48 GMT | By Rajesh Vishwanathan, India Syndicate

Will Kolkata embarrassment serve as wake-up call?

Barely a couple of months ago, India witnessed a race against time to get stadiums completed for the Commonwealth Games, which was being hosted in India for the very first time. And now, it is action replay just before the cricket World Cup. Eden Gardens has been punished by ICC for not getting itself in shape in time. Another instance where authorities have shamed themselves and the nation. The big question is when will such things end in India? Or will they ever?


Will Kolkata embarrassment serve as wake-up call?

Back in October 2010, as the whole nation keenly awaited India's first ever Commonwealth Games, the authorities had messed up big time and not a single venue was ready on schedule. With just a few days to go for the Games, threats of call-off loomed large before last minute panic somehow did a bit of resurrection. Fingers were pointed in all directions and almost every angle was arrived at for the delay. Corruption, contractor issues, nature's fury, etc etc.

But, what was the use? The damage was done. There was serious collateral damage meted out to India's credibility. The nation's ability to manage events came under question. A couple of months after the CWG debacle, the International Olympic Committee warned India of an Olympic ban if professional measures were not adopted sooner than later. The trust factor was vanquished in a matter of few days.

And if you thought only non-cricketing events are victims of unprofessional set-ups in India, think again. My mind goes back to two cricketing instances over the last year or so. First, to the Kotla ODI between India and Sri Lanka, which was abandoned midway due to a dangerous pitch. And a few months after that, the two ODIs against Australia in Kochi and Goa were abandoned without a ball being bowled after overnight showers. These matches were actually called off on bright and sunny mornings where even Sun God's miracle could not save the day.

These are just a couple of recent instances that just show the systemic failure in Indian cricket. The problem lies with the way we look at such failures. Our tendency to look at them on a standalone basis and not as a collective failure is the root cause of the problem. For example, the Kotla episode was portrayed as a problem of DDCA but not a general Indian cricketing problem, which it actually is. Similarly, why should Kochi and Goa instances be looked at as small venue problems? This is where we tend to go wrong.

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