Mahmood Abdi quashes apprehension surrounding the aspiring youngster and talks about grammar of politics among many other volleys thrown at him by the scribes
An efficient spokesperson is one who not only speaks what he is supposed to for his side but can also come up with appropriate ripostes and quick rejoinders to the questioners as when required. Living up to that image, Deputy President of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), Mahmood Abdi, in a recent press conference (held on May 26 ), did the job with aplomb and dexterity for the Modi coterie. In the absence of the RCA president Lalit Modi and his son, the aspiring president Ruchir Modi, it was Abdi who was fielding questions from scribes.
The press conference began with Abdi sharing Ruchir’s plan to revive the defunct state cricket body. Then went on in a rather over the table like conversation, to quash every apprehension surrounding the ‘novice’ Ruchir.
Here are a few excerpts from that conversation:
FATHER’S POPULARITY SHOULDN’T BE SON’S DISQUALIFICATION
Dynasty is everywhere, said Abdi justifying the 22-year-old Ruchir Modi’s nomination for the post of RCA President.
“Because your father holds a top position it shouldn’t become a son’s disqualification; if you have the ability you should ascend. No one can impose, if there’s talent people will accept the person.” To elaborate upon acceptance and ability having the final say, Abdi drew analogy from Bollywood and politics. “For instance, Abhishek Bachchan couldn’t become as big a star as Amitabh Bachchan and Rahul Gandhi has never been accepted. So if you have it in you, no one can stop you from becoming a force.”
Ruchir Modi is also unacceptable, a scribe quipped, adding that certain people have shifted groups, to which he retorted, “Who said he is not acceptable? Unless you won’t give a chance to somebody how can you judge him? No one has left us.” He went on to add that Ruchir is just 22 and with dreams in eyes, he can accomplish a lot.
LEADING MEN DOUBLE HIS AGE
How easy is it going for Ruchir to handle men double his age?
“Leading men double his age is certainly a challenge but people of my age are wanting on many fronts like technology for example. Lalit Modi himself is way advanced and you can’t compete with him. Ruchir is his next generation, so you can imagine what he can bring to the table.”
DEFENDING RUCHIR’S MANIFESTO
When Lalit Modi was elected for the first time here, he said that his team will produce 4 Test players in 4 years and not even a single cricketer could reach that mark. So, will his son be able to accomplish what he has said in the manifesto?
Abdi quoted history to defend Ruchir’s ability, “It is not always that if a father couldn’t accomplish certain things, his son too would fail on that front. There are several things that Humayun didn’t achieve, but Akbar did. Lalit Modi has achieved a lot of good things that nobody could ever achieve before and after him. Moreover, at that time Lalit Modi had other assignments like IPL on hand. So, given that Ruchir doesn’t have any such projects, we have full confidence that he will live up to the promises made in the manifesto.”
A reporter highlighted that the manifesto promises that every district will have its own stadium while the land they had taken to construct a stadium in Jaipur was taken back by JDA. Given this backdrop, how realistic is the dream of having several stadiums? “We failed to retain that land because we were facing cash crunch and also, despite being aware of our situation JDA didn’t show mercy,” answered Abdi.
POLITICS HAS ITS OWN GRAMMAR
A few months back your candidate for the post of secretary, Rajendra Singh Nandu attracted criticism for taking Rs5 lakh bribe from a player in return of a place in the team. So, given such people with tainted track record in your team, how do you plan to manage them to ensure accountability in future?
Playing on the front foot, Abdi defended and attributed everything to the grammar of politics. “Everything has a different grammar and so does politics. Nothing is absolutely black or white. It’s the gray area that dominates. So there are certain things one has to first make adjustments with and then control it. So now checks and balances will be in place and effective enough to ensure such acts do not get repeated.”
CONGRESS vs BJP BATTLE?
Won’t you agree that this time politics is a predominant force in RCA elections?
“This time this has been the case. It seems as if it is Congress versus BJP battle. But Congress has come out openly to show support. From block level party workers to state level, all are openly supporting CP Joshi, which shouldn’t be the case. We have never taken any party’s support and will never take it in future as well, because we want to keep cricket away from any politics.”