19 October, 2020

Of Backhanded Volleys And Broken Serves

Synonymous with Indian tennis for nearly two decades, have Paes-Bhupathi come to an intractable fault?

Of Backhanded Volleys And Broken Serves

Just try to imagine Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni ganging up to keep Sachin Tendulkar out of the side. Or Sehwag and Sachin pushing Dhoni out! Imagine the scene if the scores of star footballers and basketballers, who hate the sight of each other, hold their coaches and management to ransom, saying “Me or Him”. Take it or leave it. Even billionaire F-1 drivers dare not do that. If threats became the buzzword and tantrums the way to select teams, you would never need selection committees of federations—not that that is such a bad idea!

Negotiations of the kind that went on between the players and the All India Tennis Association (AITA), with the sports ministry as a mute line umpire, cannot be a process of selecting national teams. It matters not whether it’s the Olympics, the Davis Cup or a local tournament. It does not even matter whether you win medals or not. There has to be a sense of decorum. We may not like selection committees—most of them are not very pleasant, anyway—but we need...



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