Mallya holds Dravid responsible for team’s poor showing

May 12th, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Days after sacking chief executive Charu Sharma, Bangalore Royal Challengers’ owner Vijay Mallya trained his guns at skipper Rahul Dravid for the poor performance of the team, regretting his decision to allow the former India captain to pick players of his choice during the auction. Mallya also repeated the corporate mantra of perform or perish, asking Dravid to do his best with the team and produce results.

Royal Challengers, the Bangalore franchise bought by Mallya’s United Spirits Ltd for $111.6 million is the second-most expensive buy of the IPL. The team’s performance has been horrendous. They have won just two out of their nine matches so far and are almost out of the equation for a semi-final spot.

Mallya said his decision to allow Dravid and Sharma select players of their choice was a “mistake.”

“My biggest mistake was to abstain from the selection of the team. Though I watch a lot cricket whenever possible, I am no cricket expert at the end of the day,” Mallya was quoted in a national daily.

“I had a separate list of players that I wanted. But since Dravid is such an iconic player I trusted his judgment and Charu also backed him,” he added.

The liquor baron said after looking at the final list of players his friends told him that the combination of the team is more suited to Tests than Twenty20 cricket.

“I backed both of them thinking that they advised me properly. Unfortunately in cricket, unlike in any other sport, the captain is the boss,” Mallya said.

Mallya has already replaced Sharma with Brijesh Patel as the new CEO of the team, and it was seen as IPL’s first corporate sacking.

The liquor baron said Sharma “discouraged” him from buying his choice of players.

“In fact in the second auction, when Dravid was absent, I wanted my set of players but Charu was very tentative and I was held back. It was I who brought in Misbah-ul-Haq,” he told NDTV.

He further said that when he questioned the team’s poor showing, Sharma gave poor practice facilities and lack of proper infrastructure as the reason.

“People have to understand IPL has a corporate side to it. It is not all cricket in the traditional sense. I just want to tell Rahul Dravid to do as best he can with this team and produce results. Dravid does not enjoy being at the bottom of the league and neither do I,” he said.

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