BCCI manages to convince a reluctant English team to tour India using reason, subtle threats

first_imgNasser HussainHow far is Mumbai from Malegaon? Roughly 285 km, the distance between London and Sheffield. For the English cricket community, it became the distance between reality and perception.In the controversy over the England team’s tour of India this winter, British newspapers made Malegaon a suburb of Mumbai, and the,Nasser HussainHow far is Mumbai from Malegaon? Roughly 285 km, the distance between London and Sheffield. For the English cricket community, it became the distance between reality and perception.In the controversy over the England team’s tour of India this winter, British newspapers made Malegaon a suburb of Mumbai, and the entire country too close to Afghanistan for cricket’s comfort.The fuss dragged on for as long as the war, ending last week when 14 of the original 16 selected agreed to tour. The controversy played out in the British media distracted the Indian board from shouting at its team in South Africa, and ensured that the image of English cricket slipped back to one of moaning tourists out of touch with the rest of the world.TOURING SCARS: Andy Caddick (left) and Robert Croft’s pullout has led to grumbling, adding to Nasser Hussain’s woesJohn Carr, director of cricket operations, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Tim O’Gorman, Professional Cricketers’ Association representative, and Peter Holland, first secretary, British High Commission, Delhi, travelled to Kolkata last week seeking reassurances about security.Every cricket team travelling to India has plainclothes Special Branch officers and uniformed policemen, an exclusive protection force of about 30 men, attached to it. When the three Englishmen met BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya, there were indications they talked about higher security-including, sources say, Black Cat commandos.Dalmiya insists security was hardly discussed during the Kolkata meeting but it’s not likely the Englishmen merely indulged in polite chitchat over tea. Specially since the BCCI chief had played a key role in forcing the ECB’s hand.advertisementThe decision to tour was prompted by a round of cricket diplomacy, Dalmiya style. When he heard of English reluctance to tour for fear of being caught in “anti-American riots” and general “civil unrest”, Dalmiya marched into the International Cricket Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, threatening to “reconsider” India’s reciprocal tour of England next year.The ECB did a U-turn, invited British High Commissioner in India Rob Young to Lord’s to give the team the lowdown about life in the wild east. When five players dragged their feet over a final decision, Dalmiya spelt out a deadline of November 5. The ECB’s letter of confirmation was in the BCCI’s office in Mumbai on October 31.THREE’S COMPANY: (From left) Tim O’Gorman, John Carr and Peter Holland meet Jagmohan Dalmiya in KolkataThe England squad will arrive with some trepidation. It is learnt that coach Duncan Fletcher had “severe reservations” about touring, staying put at home in South Africa and making no attempt to persuade his players to make the trip. He has neither called for his customary pre-tour meeting nor put out his training schedule.Fast bowler Andy Caddick, who pulled out, is a reluctant traveller at best. Robert Croft’s decision not to tour was met with much head-shaking: from Indian batsmen waiting to wade into the Welshman’s brand of off-spin.Croft has played 21 Tests in five years and never bowled at Indian batsmen. It appeared that the only Englishman who was more than eager for the tour to be held was captain Nasser Hussain’s father Jawad. Hussain senior said that it was a family dream to have their son captain an England team in India.last_img read more

Goal A-League 20: No.17 – Brendon Santalab

first_imgGoal A-League 20: No.18 – Michael Zullo (Sydney FC) No.19 – Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC) No.20 – Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar) No.16 in Goal’s Top 20 A-League players will be named on Friday. A-League Goal’s Top 20 A-League players: No.17 – Brendon Santalab Cronan Yu Last updated 2 years ago 14:20 14/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Brendon Santalab Western Sydney Wanderers A-League Western Sydney Wanderers Australia Goal counts down the top 20 players currently playing in the A-League, as voted by its Australian journalists 17. BRENDON SANTALAB | Western Sydney Wanderers Age:  35Nationality: AustralianPosition: StrikerA-League apps: 23 (Sydney FC), 75 (WSW)A-League goals: 4 (Sydney FC), 31 (WSW)Other clubs:   Parramatta Power (Australia), Sydney United (Australia), Geyland United (Singapore), Oostende (Belgium), Sint-Truiden (Belgium), Ujpest (Hungary), Chengdu (China), Chongqing (China)Achievements:  AFC Champions League (2014), Wanderers Player of the Year (2016-17)WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOWBrendon Santalab could hardly keep his emotions in check.It was the middle of April when players, coaches and members of the Western Sydney Wanderers ditched their trackies for suits, coming together to relive a season in which they had underachieved.But there was more to it than that. It was an opportunity for the club to recognise one of their most loyal servants, and one of their underrated players amongst their ranks too. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Having secured a reputation as the ‘super-sub of super-subs’ in previous seasons for his knack of scoring goals when the club needed him most, last season proved to be different.No longer was he a collateral forward, he was Tony Popovic’s main man, and the club’s best.”I have to hold my emotions in at the moment. This is the biggest achievement in my career. To be coached by the best, to have all the support from home, this is a dream come true,” he said after being crowned as the Wanderers’ best player last term.Brendon Santalab Western Sydney Wanderers A-League 18042017Indeed, the stats tell a tale of a man who only seems to be getting better by the season.The 35-year-old set a new record for the most goals in a single season at the Wanderers where he found the back of the net 14 times, overtaking Mark Bridge as the club’s leading goalscorer in the process.One of those came in the 26th minute of the Sydney Derby in late February where his goal saw the Red and Blacks snap the Sky Blues’ 19-match unbeaten streak, handing Popovic’s side their first derby win in over three years.Santalab’s journey to Wanderers stardom has been anything but simple.The Wollongong-born striker made his name as a prodigious talent in the now defunct National Soccer League, starring for Parramatta Power, Sydney United and Geylang United before securing moves to Europe with spells with Belgian First Division clubs Oostende and Sint-Truiden.But following an unsuccessful spell in Hungary with Ujpest FC, where he failed to make an appearance, he was handed a lifeline by Sydney FC where he stayed for two seasons before moving to China’s Chengdu Blades, that is, despite having reached an agreement to join North Queensland Fury.He would later move to Chongquing Lifan before opting to return to Australia once again, with the striker later admitting it was Besart Berisha’s scintillating performances that inspired him to create his own legacy.2017-18 PROSPECTS Now that he has done so, and in emphatic fashion too, Santalab will be hoping that he can improve on an outstanding season where he averaged a goal every 70 minutes.Standing in his way of a regular starting berth is former La Masia graduate Oriol Riera who, despite joining the Red and Blacks a little over two months ago, has already made a blistering start to life in Western Sydney, most notably snatching a late winner in the club’s narrow 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in the FFA Cup round of 32.Cult hero Mark Bridge is also expected to challenge the 35-year-old for game-time after returning to the club following a nightmarish spell at Thailand’s Chiangrai United.As for now, though Santalab is feeling right at home and relishing his role as a senior figure.“I’ve always wanted to be a leader on and off the park. At the moment I think I’m playing that role really well and I’ll continue to do so,” he said.”As the next couple of years roll by I’d like to lead by example, as I have been to the younger players at the Wanderers.”last_img read more