If you thought that the Indian head coach selection drama was over then you were just being too optimistic. It seems like the very term ‘Indian’ attracts a lot of melodrama along with it and this is no different. Having spent a few months resting his booming voice in the Indian dressing-room as Team Director Ravi Shastri seemed confident to clinch the high profile job of Team India’s head coach. But as it panned out, it was Anil Kumble who won the race.

Vocal as always, Shastri’s voice found a new target and he expressed displeasure over the disrespectful Sourav Ganguly. The former Indian captain was among the committee member entrusted with the responsibility to choose the new coach alongside Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, the former chose not to turn up for Shastri’s interview.

Angry fans

Shastri is not the only one miffed with Ganguly. In fact, fans who love watching the sport on television have begun an anti-Ganguly protest. Ganguly effigies were even burnt in his hometown Kolkata where he enjoys a demigod status as they believe he is the sole reason for Shastri not being the national coach.

Image courtesy: Twitter
Image courtesy: Twitter

The writer quizzed a few protestors around the country and they all are petrified by the fact that with a heavy Indian season coming up, Shastri will end up being in the commentary box.

Madhav Nagpal complained, “When I was young, I woke up early to hear the likes of Richie Benaud and that is how I learned about the game and my English improved. My son is from the Shastri era and all he has learned is ‘tracer bullets’ and ‘runs on the board’.”

Mrs Anita Tandon woes were graver as she tweeted, “My son has often fallen asleep during his own recitations and oral exams. #ShastriWoes #BurnGanguly” ALSO READ: Ravi Shastri labels Advisory Committee ‘Friendship Club’; Arvind Kejriwal lends support

Madan Das, a schoolteacher from Behala, was worried: “We love our Dada. We expected him to care about cricket fans like us and ensure Shastri stayed away from commentary box. Since Shastri commentates during IPL, we have given kids extra leaves. The other day, a boy was found running on the blackboard, screaming ‘runs on the board’. Few days back, I asked a student to fill in the blanks question that: ___ contains 78 percent Nitrogen and 21 percent Oxygen, and the student screamed ‘IN THE AIR!'”

Clearly, fans are miffed and few having taken inspiration from neighbours in Pakistan have decided to break their TV sets.

“TV sales have gone down since Kumble’s appointment as Indian coach. Ravi-phobia is the reason. People have decided to boycott the sport on TV. Not many are buying microphones too. Last time, when Ravi Shastri screamed ‘NAMASKARA BENGALURU’, every house in the city heard it. The ones near the stadium had broken windowpanes too,” said R Manjunath, an electronic dealer from Bengaluru.

A smart move from Ganguly!

The writer caught up with his Ganguly, the centre of controversy and the CAB President seemed relaxed and not too perturbed.

“I work for BCCI and take decisions that are suited in the best interests of the game. As the president of CAB, I was asked to formulate plans to ensure more fans turned up at our cricket venues. I knew ensuring Ravi back to commentary box would do that. That was simple. Ask Anurag [Thakur]-ji, he is happy with the ticket sales,” said Dada in his typical bossy style.

When asked on what he thought of Shastri’s “disrespectful” comment. Ganguly spoke on his torrid past and agreed to the comments.

“Yes, he is right. Does these ‘disrespect’ statement bother me? I have visited many match referee rooms during my playing days and rubbed people in the wrong way. For once I agree with Nasser Hussain, why respect him? In fact, I don’t rate him and I did not want to be the interview room because to me his candidature did not exist. Right since my first tour in 1991-92, I have been hearing that annoying voice full of clichés. First, from dressing room and then from commentary box and later while co-commentating. World calls me ‘Dada’, he and pronounces it ‘Doda’. In the late 90s, while he was describing my batting from the commentary box, Dodda Ganesh thought he was being spoken of,” signed off Ganguly.

Pakistani citizenship for Ravi Shastri

Meanwhile, Pakistan government has honoured Shastri with Pakistani citizenship as a committee comprising Javed Miandad, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousuf recommended the same to their government.

“In Pakistan, we take pride in taking digs at our peers, current cricketers and to be precise anyone for that matter. Ravi bhai‘s recent comments on Ganguly have been so very Pakistan-like. We hope accepts our gesture and becomes a part of it,” said Miandad.

When asked if he wants Shastri to join as Pakistan’s team director, Miandad refused, “No way! Baith ke charcha karne ka maza hi kuch aur hai.”

Some unconfirmed reports have come to our ears that if Shastri accepts the citizenship, ISI plans to use his voice to torture the Indian captives and Prisoners of Wars. Our sources inform that Shastri would not get into all this as he believes ‘tracer bullets’ or shells ‘in the air’ are better for wars. He is contemplating to change himself to Sri Sri Ravi Shastri and start his Art of Speaking.

Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)