Reactions to my revelations in the last issue of Outlook were along expected lines and have made me both happy and sad. Happy because I can sense the guilty squirming and sad because the few brave hearted have not come out in the open even thought they are in know of each and every dirty truth.
I must clarify, however, that the main aim is not to launch a witch-hunt or to settle personal scores. We must attempt at all levels to cleans the system and launch a debate on where exactly we will land up if we continue to be puppets in the hands of money power. The issue is of allowing and ensuring pure cricket to prevail. I hope I have been able to convey to the top brass that all is not well. Now it is u to them t set it right, which can only be done by looking forward and not backward. Besides, no purpose world be served by feigning ignorance.
My cricket always had a fighting quality about it, and I was never diplomatic. Since I could never tolerate the quirky ways of the people in command I never could get to serve my country better. My refusal to comply with non-cricketing demands ensured that I was never given a chance to establish myself in the team and it seemed that people were waiting for one bad performance from me to promptly drop me.
The ban on me after the Kanpur incident was not on cricketing grounds. We were merely following instructions. I was lucky that the new combination never clicked and I was reinstated. Again, during he World Cup, I just went through one bad patch against Sri Lanka and I was again out of them. This time permanently. Which means that I had to prove myself match after match, which was unjustified. Did this fighter not deserve a second chance? All my cricketing skills and talents could not tilt the scales in my favour. They wanted a good player with the remote control in their hands, which in my case was not possible. The scene has not changed but has worsened and I see no hope for the future, as is aptly summed up in the Urdu couplet: har shakh par ullu baitha hai, anjamein gulistan kya hoga.
As a cricketer, the game is foremost on my list of priorities and, if need be, I will fight to my last drop of blood to purify the system. The time has come to focus on what is happening on the field, the fitness of team members, the deficiencies in the set-up, etc. Let us all contribute to foster a clean and fiercely competitive team, a team which is eager to play and win.
Of late I have been under a lot of pressure from various quarters to reveal the name of my colleague who made me the offer, but I have desisted from doing so due to a variety of reasons. The primary one being that it will serve no purpose. Also, at the time of the incident I had made all efforts to inform the concerned persons and they had advised me to forget it and carry on with the game. I do hope everybody understands what this means.
I fact, if I could ever reveal all that I have gone through and seen, you would see that in this “hamam” of Indian Cricket almost everyone is naked.