Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Telegraph’

‘A cricket writer as loved as any great cricketer’

16 July 2013

In The Telegraph, Calcutta, Amit Roy reports on the funeral for the Bombay-born cricket and squash writer Dicky Rutnagur who passed away last month at the age of 82.

After the funeral, Rutnagur’s friends, colleagues and relatives proceeded to the Writing Room at the Lord’s, where John Woodcock, the legendary cricket correspondent of The Times, London, paid tribute to his former press box colleague.

Amit Roy writes that turning to the casket, Woodcock, 86, “who had made the effort to come up from his country residence in Hampshire, struck an informal, conversational tone as though he was chatting with Rutnagur,” his colleague from The Daily Telegraph, in the press box.

“Well, Dicky, I hope you know the affection in which you are held — and I use the present tense intentionally — not only by all of us here today, but by so many who are already with you in the great pavilion in the sky, and others who would be here now but for the Test match at Trent Bridge. It is a great privilege for me to have the chance to say so.

 “To have covered over 300 Test matches in the days when there were many fewer of them was a remarkable tally, and when it fitted, you were in the top flight of writers on squash and badminton.

“Thank you, Dicky, from all of us, for many years of warmth and humour, for becoming one of us as naturally as you did and for keeping our friendship in repair.

“It is a very considerable thing to be able to say, without any exaggeration, that of all those brought to this country through cricket, many great players among them, you, a journalist, has been as well-loved and respected as any. What an achievement! Our gratitude to you for many fond memories. Peace be with you, Dicky.”

Photograph: courtesy The Daily Telegraph, London

Read the full report: An English farewell for Dicky Rutnagur

Also read: Dicky Rutnagur, an ek dum first-class dikra, RIP

Dicky Rutnagur, an ekdum first-class dikra: RIP

25 June 2013

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: After three days of parsimonious one-paragraph obituaries, the tributes have started coming in for Dicky Rutnagar, the Bombay-born cricket and squash correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, London, who passed away on Friday, 20 June 2013, at the age of 82.

Rutnagur, who covered 300 Test matches before he retired in 2005, belonged to the “old school” of cricket writers who believed in reporting what took place on the field.

Nicknamed “Kores” for the number of carbon copies he took of his reports to file for various newspapers Rutnagur’s favourite two words were “bloody” and “bastard”.

***

In The Hindu, where Rutnagur’s pieces often appeared, the veteran cricket and music writer Raju Bharatan of the now-defunct The Illustrated Weekly of India, calls Rutnagar the Zubin Mehta of cricket writing.

“Dicky’s breakthrough in journalism came as the illustrious Hindustan Times editor, S. Mulgaonkar, handpicked him to report Test cricket, at home and abroad, replacing Berry Sarbadhikary….

“His roaming spirit made him the exemplary freelance. No one enlivened the pressbox more with his puckish presence. As one Palsule from a vernacular paper kept importuning Dicky for return of a sum, his response was vintage Rutnagur: “If you ask for your money one more time, I will never borrow from you again!”

In The Telegraph, Calcutta, Amit Roy writes of how Rutnagur made the jump to the British press.

“In 1966, Dicky arrived in England with an agreement to work every day during the summer covering county games for The Daily Telegraph and then disappear abroad for the winter for Test matches.”

As if to live to up to C.L.R. James‘ famous line “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know,” Rutnagur, like his compatriot K.N. Prabhu of The Times of India, had an ear for classical music.

“I would say that cricket has been almost – almost – all consuming. But I am very fond of classical music – and jazz. Mozart and Rachmaninov, Tsaichovsky, and latterly in the last few weeks I have been listening to a lot of Beethoven.”

Like a good Parsi, Rutnagur believed in telling it like it is, sans political correctness. He said cricket writing had come a long way: From Cardus to Kotnis.

In Mid-Day, the former Hindu cricket writer, R. Mohan, reminisced:

“Walking into the Indian dressing room with him on the morning of the first ever Test match in Ahmedabad, Dicky came up with the best joke on the Indian team I had heard in a long time.

“Looking at all the Sardars sitting around – Sidhu, Sandhu, Maninder, Gursharan – Dicky came up with – Sorry, I thought this was the Indian dressing room, not the Motibagh taxi stand.’”

Amit Roy writes that Rutnagur believed the authorities at Lord’s were right to apply a strict dress code – tie and jacket for men; no jeans or trainers; and for women, no cleavage on display.

“We” – meaning men – “take the trouble to dress properly,” he said. “The least women could do was adopt the same code.”

Rutnagur wrote two books, Test Commentary (India v England, 1976-77) and Khans Unlimited (a history of squash in Pakistan).

Photograph: courtesy Mid-Day

Read a Dicky Rutnagur report: Silencing the Calypso

What we can learn from ‘The Daily Telegraph’

2 March 2013

In the modern era of Indian journalism, editors come and go, reporters get hired and fired, and there are even publications who have lost the grace to record the passing of their foot soldiers.

How amazing, therefore, that The Daily Telegraph, London, should run an editorial on its cartoonist Matt Pritchett on his completing 25 years on the paper’s rolls.

The inimitable Matt

Twenty-five years ago, on February 25,1988, The Daily Telegraph carried a short statement from the Editor apologising for printing the wrong date on the masthead of the previous day’s newspaper. This turned out to be the most serendipitous error in modern journalism, because a pocket cartoon was printed alongside the apology to soften its impact.

It depicted two readers and the line “I hope I have a better Thursday than I did yesterday.”

This was the first front-page cartoon by the inimitable Matt Pritchett, who had previously seen some of his offerings published in the Telegraph’s diary column while working as a pizza waiter. We are fortunate he failed in his ambition to become a TV cameraman, and has instead spent the past quarter of a century entertaining millions of readers whose day cannot begin without Matt – whichever day it might be.

‘Go to bed knowing you haven’t succumbed’

22 November 2010

Business Standard, the financial daily edited by Sanjaya Baru, the former media advisor to the prime minister, carried an editorial last week on Ratan Tata‘s 2010 revelation that an “advice” to bribe a Union minister Rs 15 crore was what had put his group off from launching a private airline in the late 1990s.

Name and shame, Mr Tata,” the editorial thundered:

“Very regretfully, this is no example of “whistle-blowing”, as some in the media seem to think. It would have been if Mr Tata had named the minister and made public his demands at that time.

“Even now, Mr Tata is blowing no whistle, he is merely whining and seeking to occupy high moral ground…. If business leaders of the stature of Mr Tata are willing to strike but afraid to wound, what can one expect of lesser mortals?”

Ratan Tata responded to the editorial in a letter carried two days later by BS, saying that he had made no statement claiming that a minister had approached him for a bribe, and that he was merely referring to a fellow industrialist who called the Tata group stupid for not meeting what he believed to be the minister’s “requirements”.

For good measure, Tata added:

“The Business Standard had, in years gone by, commanded my respect as a publication that reported news factually and stood above other publications that saw nothing wrong with misinterpreting news by taking statements out of context to serve their needs or linking news to advertising.

“Similarly, many of us have admired you, Dr Baru, as a journalist who would stand up for causes and be the moral conscience of the nation. I wonder what has happened to the Business Standard and to the Dr Baru that we all knew. If you still believe in presenting the public with facts as they are, I would expect you to publish my letter in its entirety, without editing out the parts that you do not like.

“I hope you can also say that you go to bed at night knowing that you have not succumbed.”

Sanjaya Baru’s response:

All news reports in the Business Standard are based on factual information. An editorial comment is the opinion of the editor. In this case the comment was based on published and unpublished information available with the editor. The Business Standard continues to adhere to the highest standards of journalism, believing that while facts are sacred, comment ought to be free but fair.

Caricuature: courtesy The Daily Telegraph, London

Also read: When editor makes way for editor, gracefully

‘A thoroughly decent man, one of the finest ever’

9 April 2010

In The Daily Telegraph, London, Dean Nelson reports the plight of the BBC’s “Voice of India”, Sir Mark Tully, “who has come under extraordinary attack in a thinly disguised novel which portrays him as a heartless philanderer and supporter of fanatics.”

“The book is clearly modelled on my career, even down to the name of the main character,” Sir Mark is quoted as saying. “That character’s journalism is abysmal, and his views on Hindutva and Hinduism do not in any way reflect mine. I would disagree with them profoundly.”

John Eliot, the former Fortune correspondent and a long-standing friend of Sir Mark’s, said the book is an “outrageous misrepresentation” of his life and work.

“Mark Tully is well-known as a thoroughly decent gentleman and one of the finest journalists ever posted to India. This is a badly-written book which should never have passed a lawyer or a publisher. It totally misrepresents his personal life and his work.”

The Telegraph says the suspected author, veteran French correspondent Francois Gautier, had issued a statement denying he had written the book.

The Indian Express quotes Gautier as saying:

“I have never hidden behind a pseudonym to say what I think. I have been one of the rare western journalists to defend Hindus. I have done it openly, in my own name, with dedication and courage and that has cost me a lot.”

The Daily Telegraph: Former BBC correspondent attacked in novel

The Indian Express: An irritant foreign body

Also read: Has Twitter found Mark Tully‘s character assassin?

Journalist Rahul Bedi pedals 40-50 km a day

18 December 2009

Sheela Bhatt of rediff.com reports that Delhi-based journalist Rahul Bedi, longtime defence correspondent of Jane’s Defence Weekly, and an occasional contributor to the The Daily Telegraph, London, and Irish Times,  Dublin, has abandoned his sport utility vehicle and now cycles all around town.

“I have taken to cycling since the last three to four years. In the last two years, I drove my car almost 300 to 400 km a month, but I cycle about 900 km a month. Sometimes I cycle more than 1,000 km a month. I cycle for work and also for pleasure. I surely cycle for 40 to 50 km for about five days a week.”

Photograph: courtesy rediff.com

View the video here: Pedalling 45 km a day

Read Rahul Bedi’s account here: ‘It’s practical’

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