Why John Emburey? ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Friday, June 8, 2007

Why John Emburey?

This coaching job in Indian cricket is a very interesting one. Every time some unheard of name is proposed for the post and you can't just stop wondering why in hell was this man nominated over all those huge names in cricket that are just in your backyard with their services available anytime. This time John Emburey is that name. Graham Ford's name is understandable with many senior Indian players having played under him in county cricket and with him also receiving rave reviews from many associated with him. But pray tell me what the logic could be behind Emburey's nomination? I think Mukul Kesavan has got it right here:


But I can guess how his name got there. Consider this scenario, freely and speculatively adapted from real life. You're a member of the coach-hunting committee. You're hostile to the idea of a foreign coach but you know that given the unanimous player preference for one (and the fact that the name they've come up with has respectable coaching credentials) the team's likely to have its way. So to indicate that your opposition counts for something, you strike off one name (Dav Whatmore) because the secretary of the BCCI has had the temerity to pre-empt your deliberations the previous evening by indicating that he was the front-runner for the job. Then, to signpost your contempt for the idea in general you make a short list of two in which the second man is so undistinguished in coaching terms that the only thing that qualifies him for the job is that he's foreign. It helps your cause that in his playing life he was the kind of finger spinner who might have struggled to make it into a strong Ranji side. It's your way of saying to the team: "You're so slavishly fixated on the idea of a foreign coach that you'd pick a lamp post over over an Indian. So here's your lamp post." Emburey.

If that is not a fitting explanation then what is? Emburey is the typical lamp post and is the face of the ego tussle between the coach selection committee and the players. Graham Ford is the only serious contender for the job. I will be surprised beyond speech if Emburey is voted for ahead of Ford.

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