Sanjay Dixit

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Blog Posts by Sanjay Dixit

  • Why central sports bill is a red herring

    When I first looked at the draft Sports Development Code on the Ministry website, I was totally befuddled. Having contributed to the making of the first sports law in the country (The Rajasthan Sports Act, 2005), I did not know whether I was looking at a draft legislation or an Operations Manual of a Sports Association.


    Normally, a legislation lays down the important essentials and leaves the details to be prescribed in the Rules and Guidelines. Here we had a compendium which seemed to address every little micro detail.


    It prescribed the age limits, the tenures, the coaching and tournament guidelines, I was not sure whether we were headed in the reverse liberalization era. I learnt that an argument had been advanced that since certain Associations got free land, they were amenable to Govt. control.


    If we take this logic a little further, almost every hospital, educational institution, most industries, and more than half the NGOs should also get covered under Govt. control and

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  • Why the Vengsarkars of this world don’t win elections

    The outrage with which former players have received the defeat of Dilip Vengsarkar has once again revived the old debate - should the Sports Associations be exclusively reserved for the former players? Though Dilip has taken it sportingly but some of the comments from former players have been interesting to say the least.



    This is not a legal question, not even an ethical one. This question is one of domain knowledge of the game. The presumption is that the domain knowledge of the game best inheres in a former player. The bigger the level that a player has represented, the better his knowledge of the game.



    The question is whether it is enough to have played the game at the highest level to run an Association. Allied to that is the question whether it is enough to have run a ministry to be able to run a sports association. I have carefully heard the arguments on both sides. The extreme point of view of course came from Bishen Singh Bedi who termed Mumbai cricket as a loser due

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  • Hazards of running a cricket match in India

    An ODI in Jaipur. Suddenly the air-conditioning of the VIP areas and the players' area goes off. Throws everyone into a tizzy. It is then discovered that a panel has been made to malfunction by a PWD engineer upset at not being given the category of complimentary passes he had hoped to get. We mollify him (with a few passes of course). Air-conditioning is restored.


    6 hours to go before an ODI in Jaipur. Suddenly the water supply is cut off. There is frenetic running around by the staff. It is discovered that a major line has been broken. Takes a herculean effort to repair it before the game. It transpires that disgruntled Sports Council staff had done it on purpose. Reason: They had got only 400 passes instead of the 1000 they demanded.


    In another match, orgnisers in Jaipur found the gutters overflowing on the night previous to match day. Reason was not difficult to fathom. Municipal Corporation was showing its nuisance value. 200 complimentary passes did the trick.


    In an IPL

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  • Shane Warne – The Flawed Genius

    On his last day in Jaipur, Warnie looked a forlorn soul. He did not
    do his handshake with the presentation party members as he would
    normally do, and 15 minutes after the presentation had an altercation
    with me for not being given the pitch and the pitch preparation that he


    This was the ugly side of a master cricketer who
    was an absolute tormentor of batsmen of his generation, and sent
    shudders up many a spine. In a format like T20, batsmen preferred to see
    his 4 overs off without incident. The success of the great Australian
    side under Mark Taylor, Waugh, and Ponting had Warne as a key factor.
    Except Indians, he defeated batsmen of every country with his
    mesmerizing brand of spin and was largely responsible, along with Anil
    Kumble, for revival of leg spin as a potent force in international


    On the field, he was an absorbed, passionate
    maestro, a complete cricketer who could fool the best of batsmen. He was
    a feisty fighter, fiercely competitive on the field, but

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  • The Dummies’ Guide to Preparing a winning team

    The IPL is into its second week. We are already having an overdose of preaching from the pulpits of coaching Gurus of various teams on their preparations and their secret strategies. Though I did express my intention to deal with both the short term and long term preparations, I have decided to concentrate on the more foundational part and leave the short term to the Gurus pontificating from the coaching manuals.

    As distinct from preparation for the game ahead, the preparation for the season and preparation for the long term development of the game requires Cricket administrators exercising their vision with the help of experts, much in the manner of a political leadership framing policies for a country and implementing them with the help of experts and bureaucrats.


    It has been said over the years that 'a minute spent in organizing saves hours'. One could say that it is only a truism but nowhere is it more truly exercised than on the cricket field. Here it is not saving hours which

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  • How to build a winning team

    The World Cup is back to India after 28 years and with that the question - How to make a Champion team? Is it just luck as it often appears to the bystander or the lay spectator, or there are other factors. Is it a prescription that can be followed by all and sundry or is it just one of those one-off things.


    A lot of these questions were asked when Rajasthan reached the pinnacle of domestic cricket, winning the Ranji Trophy starting from the bottom of the Plate or the lower division. Any number of articles have been written on that fairy tale journey, and any number would now be written on the CWC 2011 journey of Team India. The beauty of sport is that you can never come with one size fits all kind of a solution or prescription but there are a few general things that definitely underlie successful campaigns.


    Napoleon Bonaparte famously preferred lucky generals to the brave ones. Seneca's definition of luck is what I like the most. "Luck is what happens when preparation meets

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