Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is happenning Ricky?????????????????

Cricket Australia has a huge task ahead of them before the all important Ashes.

Is that Ashes that important? Yes it is(for that two teams).

But more than a world championship? Certainly no.

Then Why are they doing that?Thats the million dollar question to be answered.

Srilanka gave the knock out punch to India in the 2007 World Cup Group Stage. So its an encore for them. But the team on the receiving end wasn't something anyone expected. Its the "Aussies".

One team that was tipped to be one of the main contenders for the title. What went wrong for them. Losing the first match is not new for them. They lost to Zimbabwe in the previous ICC world 20-20. But in the next game they destroyed England to reach the Super Eights. Their main performers were their openers Haydos and Gilly. But yesterday against Srilanka, the team just didn't look like Australia. They may argue that they lost to a Chris Gayle onslaught and to Ajantha Mendis' Mystery. So atleast now they should accept that their players are not the world class players they project. They are ordinary players just like players in every other team like India,South Africa, Newzealand and Srilanka. On that day if eveything gets going they'll fire otherwise will be drubbed by the opposition. They're not the type of players who fight the odds to perform well. Not that these players are not talented but there is always a axe on their neck to perform in the form of Cricket Australia.

Till a year back the Australian Selection System was adulated as the best in the world. Even India tried to adopt it during the Chapppell era. But that won't work always. India paid the price and now Aussies have paid it. I'm not trying to tell that the Indian System is any better. I don't think there is any such thing called "system" here in India. Thats altogether a different story.

Coming back to the Aussies, I don't think any player can confidently play if there is a one match score constraint on them. This applies to the bowlers also. When Shane Warne retired, they tried Stuart Macgill, Brad Hogg, Beau Casson, Jason krejza, Nathan Hauritz. If this list continues,then CA's job is no less simplified.

They have the talent but they're not properly nurtured into world class. That will happen only when they are given the proper chance. Shane neither picked all those five wicket hauls in first few matches nor produced the Ball of the century on debut. He was an exceptional talent. If they want their players to emulate him in the first few matches itself, then they're in for a lot of trouble.

This is what I meant in the first paragraph. Instead of talking about the so called Ashes, CA can concentrate on building their team. England is known for what the Australians are doing right now. If they don't correct themselves, then Australian Cricket ironically will emulate the English Cricket.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Good game spoiled by reasons other than football

This week after the Chelsea Barca match, I sent an SMS to my friend who is a Barca supporter saying that the final is going to be between your team and my team and the credit for that should go to the Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo. He replied like a Barca Stereotype that chelsea deserved to lose for all their negative tactics. When I asked about the referee he simply said "He helped us". 
     Chelsea can claim that most of the decisions went against them but a fact that Barcelona's dominance in Nou camp as well as Stamford Bridge was quite conspicuous with their more than 70% possession. After the match Drogba,Ballack were castigating the referee for disallowing four penalty decisions in favour of chelsea. But Are Drogba and Ballack rookie footballers? Absolutely not. Then Is that the way professional footballers react to referees?. In the semi finals between Manutd and Arsenal, we saw how darren fletcher reacted to the red card. That shows the class of the footballer. Even in that match the referee had made an error.
      This chelsea outrage just overshadowed two brilliant goals from Michael Essien and Andres Iniesta. Decisions went against both the teams. One such is Eric Abidal's red card. Replays clearly showed that Anelka tripped himself and no foul was committed by Abidal. But chelsea will not open their mouth about that. Barcelona was the better team in both the legs in terms of possesion and they only looked like scoring. I don't agree with my friend in this that chelsea deserved to lose but it can be reframed as Barcelona deserved to win.
      Referees are humanbeings and all humans make mistake but there is a threshold for that. That holds true for the players too. There are billions all over the world watching them, following them. They need to bear that in mind. All players are good players. The way they exhibit themselves on the field differentiate them from great players. 
      Controversies aside. The Stage is set in Rome for one of the best Finals the world has ever seen. After this semifinals the whole of England will watch it like a England Vs Spain match. Lets hope in this match football wins rather other nonsense. 

Monday, June 30, 2008

Playing in the Spirit of the Game

"Playing in the Spirit of the game" is the most popular debate in the cricketing world in the recent times. This debate reached its pinnacle during the great Sydney Test match between India and Australia. India captain Anil Kumble said that "Only one team is playing in the Spirit of the game" a statement reminiscent of Bill Woodfull's(Australia) words after the 1932/33 Bodyline series against England. This Issue was again raised during the IPL by Rajastan Royals captain Shane Warne after the match against Kolkata Knight Riders. Today this debate is back in the lime light thanks to the incident that took place during the England and New Zealand ODI match last week.

Actually I thought of writing this article after watching a catch claimed by Pakistan wicket keeper Kamran Akmal during the India-Pak league match in the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh. But he wasn't penalized for that act by the match referee. Some years ago South African Match Referee Mike Proctor gave former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif a 5 Test match ban for claiming a catch which wasn't clean as he had grounded the ball. Both Kamran Akmal's catch and Latif's catch were almost similar but one gets a ban and the other is let off the hook. Today Almost all the referees concentrate only on the Players' Showing dissent towards the umpires' decision . Even during the Sydney Test match Mr.Proctor didn't give even a warning to Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke for claiming wrong catches. But that does not mean that all players those who claim wrong catches should be penalized. Penalty should be given only in cases where there is enough evidence to suggest that the player's claim is clean.

Such incidents are famous only in Football and not in cricket. But times are changing and the gentleman's game invented by the English.....Wait a minute...English....Are the English players really playing in the spirit of the game? The simple answer is NO.

The runout incident that took place during the England New Zealand series is mainly responsible for reigniting all the debates about Spirit of the game. No expected such an act from Mr.Paul Collingwood, an inspirational captain of the English Cricket team. By assuming that Ryan Sidebottom didn't do anything wantedly then Mr.Collingwood should have solved the issue on the field itself by recalling the appeal.

This doesn't stop with the fielding side. Most of the batsmans don't walk out of the field when they are really out but the umpire's decision is otherwise.They should remember that "At the end of the day this is just a sport". So playing with true sportsmanship is more important than wining.
My final question is Are there still cricketers like Adam Gilchrist those who walk when they think they're out irrespective of the situation? If yes then I'll start pleading to my television to show them. Else God should save Good cricket.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nawab of Multan demolished the proteas at chennai


On March 29,2004 if it was a six off saqlain Mushtaq over midwicket in Multan,then on march 28,2008 it was a single off Makhaya Ntini in chennai to complete his second triple century in Test cricket and 1oth consecutive century with a score above 150. Virender Sehwag just showed to the world what a batsman of his calibre can do to a very good bowling attack. As the SouthAfrican coach Mickey Arthur said "I must admit that the day belonged to Sehwag. It’s an unbelievable knock. I have never seen a Test innings like this. We tried to attack in every possible way — from around the wicket and over the wicket. But Sehwag was unstoppable"

Yes, he was really unstoppable. I got the opportunity to witness him in MA Chidambaram stadium in chennai.When he was in 299, the entire stadium stood up and applauded him even before the ball was bowled.He didn't waste 10 or 20 balls for his 300. No one other than sehwag can hit a six in the 90s,190s and 290s which makes him one of the best in this business.With his second triple ton, he joins the 3 men club consisting of players with 2 triple tons.Other two are Brian Lara and Sir Don Bradman.

SouthAfrican pace attack consisting of Dale Steyn,Ntini and Morne Morkel bowled well but to viru they weren't able do anything.This person can change the course of a match. Only few players has that ability to change the match in their favour.A player otherthan sehwag who has this ability is Adam Gilchrist who can turn the match in Australia's favour even when they are 100/5.

This 2nd triple ton is another step for Viru to become world's one of the best test batsman.Each and Every Indian is proud of you. Comeon viru just continue your great work to Indian Cricket.

Note:The first photo is Viru's first triple ton against pakistan at multan and with him is Sachin Tendulkar and the second is viru's second against SA at chennai and with him is Rahul Dravid.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Indian Premier League - A Cricketing Transfiguration

Thanks to Subash Chandra and the ICL because without this rebel league there is no Indian Premier League.

When Kerry Packer started the "World Series Cricket" in late 70's , no one thought that it would influence International Cricket very seriously. The Colour jerseys, WhiteBall and FloodLights and ODI format reached a wider audience. That is the same situation now. The T20 reaches a wider audience since it gives the thrills and chills of football,Tennis etc. After the disastrous worldcup in the carribean due to India and pakistan's early exit, the T20 came as a refreshing one with young guns from India won a thrilling final which will be remembered forever.

Everything would have gone right for Indian Cricket League if India had not won the ICC world Twenty20.But that didn't stop ICL from signing domestic and International players.The BCCI came with a solution that is the INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE. It consists of 8 city based franchises and an auction took place for the teams and people like Mukesh Ambani,SRK,Preeti Zinta ,Vijay Mallya etc won the auction by bidding more than other participants. The Auctions for the players was the main thing which created a lot of expectations from the league. Indian ODI skipper MS Dhoni was won by Chennai SuperKings for a record 6 crore rupees.

It is very early to judge the success of the league. But if it becomes a hit there will be expansions which will result like the English Premier League and the cricket fans around the globe will be eager to watch each and every season of IPL. But the real question is "Will Kolkatta applaud when Shoaib Akhtar takes the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar?".If the answer is yes then the model is going to be super duper hit.The probability is more for that "Yes" is more than "NO". We have seen Kolkatta support South Africa and applaud when sachin got out in a Test match in which Ganguly was dropped from the team following the row with Greg Chappell. Since DADA is the captain of the Kolkatta Knight Riders they will support his team. The same is with Mumbai Indians,Hyderabad Deccan Warriors and my favourite Chennai SuperKings.

What everyone should not forget is that this league is not like the Asia XI vs Africa XI.This model will require the full commitment of a player which will also be a vital factor for the success of the league.As said in the title this model will transfigure International cricket into Club based cricket which is good for cricketers who can earn a lot from this league. A Player's form might even be decided based on this league. Whatever may be the case the cricket fever in the form of IPL will be hitting India this summer.