Who the blazes is Sanjay Dixit?
Very few cricket fans could have bothered to discover who Shane Warne’s bete-noire was.
All twittering masses have concentrated on is heaping invective on the Rajasthan administrator for his role in making the legendary leg-spinner eat humble pie.
A hefty fine of $50,000 was slapped on the ace cricketer for losing his cool and terming the IAS officer "egotistic" and "a liar."
Warne would have his followers believe that the Rajasthan officio went back on his word of providing tailored pitches to the home side as long as he accommodated certain players in the side. It was a compromise that Warne admits to have accepted to make the best of his limited resources captaining and mentoring one of the weaker sides in the IPL.
However, it all turned topsy-turvy and bitter once Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar made some comments about the Sawai Mansingh stadium’s pitch being sub-standard and not fit for play when Mumbai lost there.
Though the Mumbai side deny lodging an official complaint, the BCCI pitch committee swung into action and inspected the pitch. Subsequently, Rajasthan Royals were forced to play on a different pitch—a much truer one. The result was a one-sided loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore, powered by a dynamo called Chris Gayle.
The sorry state of affairs continued. Shane Warne, thus, not only bid farewell (as player and skipper) to Rajasthan Royals but also to any chances of emulating his 2008 triumph.
To Sanjay Dixit’s "credit," he did tweet a few uncomplimentary bits on Tendulkar’s protest. “Mumbai is known on the Ranji circuit as the most graceless side. Showing off their pedigree in IPL too," and, "Sachin gets out off a full toss. Can’t blame the pitch this time," are prime examples.
Dixit is the man who displaced Lalit Modi in the RCA elections in 2009. It was a sign of things to come. Modi, the outsider, was slowly edged out, culminating in his expulsion from the post of IPL commissioner in 2010.
Sanjay Dixit opines that he is one of the architects of Rajasthan’s triumph in the Ranji trophy.
In an article on the RCA website, the IAS officer states:
"So much for blowing my own trumpet. I, of course, do realize that if we are not able to replicate this it would be considered only a flash in the pan. A one-time Ranji Champion is not a patch on a 39-times Champion. We need to challenge the top teams consistently and achieve the best results repeatedly. For that, the whole state, every district and every player has to imbibe that sense of purpose which this Rajasthan Ranji team professed."
Warnie’s fans have launched into the official for his comments in an article on the Yahoo! cricket website on the eve of the IPL disciplinary committee hearing. His biopic of Warne is less than complimentary.
Terming the Australian a "flawed genius" in the mould of Van Gogh and Guru Dutt, he described the altercation with the Victorian as displaying "the ugly side of a master cricketer who was an absolute tormentor of batsmen of his generation, and sent shudders up many a spine."
Other gems include:
"This on-field genius was, however a mercurial maverick off it. This was a classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde paradox which has bemused, entertained and intrigued the cricket world over two decades. Commissioned specially to look into the good, bad and ugly aspects of Shane Warne the gladiator, I decided to talk to a variety of people who saw him at close quarters in Jaipur."
"Coupled with his own exaggerated notion of an inspirational leader, he got used to dictating and having his own way. With Lalit Modi supporting him as captain of his personal franchise, Warnie would brook no difference of opinion, no dissenting voice, not even gentle counseling."
“What is not so well known is that once he took the field, his focus on cricket could not be disturbed even if there was an earthquake of magnitude 10 turning things topsy-turvy around him. An RR insider gave me enough insights into his mental make-up and style. Warne, he said, was quite incredible. He would often be sitting in the bar 'til the wee hours of the morning, but nobody ever beat him to the team bus for the morning practice session, even if the bus was scheduled to leave at eight. Much as this insider tried, reaching the bus even 15 to 20 minutes early, Warnie would always be there in the first seat, wearing coloured glasses to hide his bleary eyes, but nobody could make out any loss of intensity during the workouts."
Lest Warnie acolytes believe that the above article was penned solely to make his views public and clear any misunderstanding, Sanjay Dixit evidently feels that administrators have much to say and communicate to the general public and fans, in particular.
His previous two articles include "The Dummies’ Guide to Preparing a Winning Team" and "How To Build a Winning Team," in which he discloses that the RCA strategy for promoting the game in the state is modelled on Mumbai’s years of expertise.
Comparing the CWC 2003 and 2011 sides, Dixit says, "The 2003 Indian CWC team was a better team, man for man and on form with an outstanding leader in Saurav Ganguly, but the 2011 team was a more relaxed and a happier team. That’s why they are the Champions. This is the open secret of forging winning combinations."
Sanjay Dixit may not be a former cricketer or a megalomaniac with the starry pretensions and airs of his predecessor, but he is certainly no pushover and one tough cookie.
Warne crossed swords and had words with the wrong 'un.Flipper, anyone?
Quote of the day:
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity. --- Christopher Morley