Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kolkata Knight Riders hit by racism row

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Kolkata Knight Riders cannot win. This seems to be the statement which is the talk of the town in the cultural capital of India. If the multiple captain theory, more than needed media promotion and the fake IPL player blog wasn’t enough now we have the worst thing imaginable in sports RACIAL ABUSE. All this is taking a toll on the performance of the team and the loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore just about an hour ago has proved that this team has lost the self belief of that they can win a match.

As far as the racial abuse case is concerned it is nothing new to the sport. Any sub-continent player of the yesteryears will tell you what they faced it on the ground regularly. Let us not talk about the apartheid as it is a completely different issue. In the recent years racism has considerable reduced due to ICC’s strict code of conduct. Also because of the fact that the focus of the game shifted to sub-continent from its colonial master’s country. The players from the sub-continent started giving it back in the last two decades or so.

The revelations by former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja about Indian players being racially abused have shocked many. It is not that people weren’t aware of black-white divide in the team but racism was too much for the people of Indian let alone Kolkata to digest. When an Indian player of international repute (most likely Ajit Agarkar) is being racially abused by the coach and the supporting staff what will be the state of the uncapped Bengal players in the team.

The thing most hurting is that this is happening in what is called as the INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE. Just because the league has moved out of India have the white man got their chance to racially abuse us? How can some coach or support staff who is employed by an Indian racially abuse an Indian or a person from any other origin for the matter? May be the dropping of Kolkata as the prefix gave the coach and the support staff the feeling the Knight Riders is something out of a white man’s book.

It is surprising that there has been no strong reaction from the BCCI as well as the IPL governing body on the issue. Have they forgotten that this tournament’s main aim should be to improve the quality of Indian cricket. Are they so involved in money making and branding that they will let such issues slip under the carpet? Should Indian cricketers silently take the racial abuse just because it comes from a white man?

In this entire episode where is Mr. Shahrukh Khan? He was busy selling everything about KKR before the league but when his team started loosing he completely abandoned them. Is this what an owner should have done when his team needed him the most? The KKR camp is just waiting for the tournament (read nightmare) to get over so that they could get back home. It will need a huge overhaul and some tough calls to make sure that the team does not humiliate itself in next year’s tournament too. The Knights seem to have even forgotten how to play for pride at the moment.


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