Obfuscating matters, the BCCI way

Sehwag's axing, and the events surrounding it, once again reveal BCCI's feudal core.

Virender Sehwag The problem with obfuscating — lying, if you prefer to use blunt, direct words — is that no one will believe you even if/when you tell the truth.

You would think the BCCI, which has 'Obfuscate' embedded as its motto on the family crest, would have learnt this lesson by now. But apparently not, if the contretemps with ref Virender Sehwag is any indication.

The BCCI says Sehwag has been rested on the advice of the team physio. Sehwag says he had asked the physio for rest. Trouble is, the BCCI also said, through one of its many voices, that the player is being rested to recover from injury. And that doesn't jell with Sehwag's own essay in sarcasm at a recent press conference — when asked to comment on MS Dhoni's remarks that the seniors were slow on the field of play, Sehwag recalled his diving catch as an example of how fit and quick he personally was — and in his final outing before the selectors picked the team for the Asia Cup, he showed no sign of any injury — unless he had tripped over the stairs after his brief, but barn-storming, opening essay as the team chased 320.

Had the BCCI not been burdened with its history of obfuscation — okay, lying — we would have been tempted to give that body the benefit of the doubt. And to say that Sehwag, who has been off color throughout the Australian tour, likely asked for some rest to get body and mind together again.

That benefit however is something no one will give the BCCI — because its past actions have shown that it does not merit it; that it will lie and obfuscate till it paints itself into yet another corner.

Consider recent history. It was apparent to even a casual bystander that the rotation policy implemented for the one day team had not gone down well with some members. It was equally apparent that Sehwag and Gambhir had elected themselves ringleaders of the opposition, with Sachin providing silent backing. The internal bickering burst into the open with Gambhir's unnecessarily carping remarks about Dhoni eking out a win in the final over; Sehwag then took the baton and went with it, producing a string of extremely caustic remarks aimed at his captain.

When matters seemed well and truly out of hand and even the BCCI — whose behavior makes the average ostrich seem endowed with 20/20 vision — couldn't ignore it any more, the fun really began. There is no rift, the BCCI said. It then said it had asked its manager and coach to sort out the rift — while simultaneously maintaining that there was no rift. And then it did what it does best — produced, through individuals such as Dhoni and the team manager, a series of statements "confirming" that there was no rift.

All of which is why Sehwag's "resting" doesn't carry the ring of conviction. As reported in multiple papers this morning, the real reason was disciplinary — Sehwag was asked by the BCCI to play ventriloquist's dummy and stand beside his captain while Dhoni read out a "statement" written by a BCCI hack to the effect that all was well. Sehwag refused — and in a trice, the man who had been boasting of his fitness was suddenly found in urgent need of rest and recuperation.

Surprised? Don't be. You can create mayhem in the dressing room. You can bat with a cavalier unconcern that is as shocking as it is unacceptable. You can do all that and more, and all will be forgiven if you are a star. But defy the BCCI, and your immunity ends there.

What strikes you as most bizarre about this whole situation?

This: Sehwag could, and did, publicly undermine his captain, and there was no consequence. Sehwag batted as if he just didn't care — and there was no consequence. But when Sehwag flouted a direct order from the BCCI — then all hell broke loose, and he was shown the exit.

That is the BCCI for you — feudal to the core.

PS: BCCI says Sehwag is in desperate need of rest. So will he be picked if India make the finals of the CB Series?

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