Monthly Archives: April 2007

News in brief: 29 April 2007

It is three in a row for Australia as Gilchrist destroys a spirited Sri Lankan side. Ponting has said that his team dominated the world cup like no other team has and added that he is excited by his side’s future prospects.

By contrast in the Sri Lankan camp, the mood was a little less upbeat but their fans were still defiant and drew solace from their team’s performance. According to reports a grand welcome awaits the Sri Lankan team.

Australia’s out-going coach John Buchanan said it was his nation’s destiny to be at the cutting edge of cricket after they’d won a third straight World Cup title.

Back in India, in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, BCCI chief Sharad Pawar has disclosed that some younger players told him that they felt advertisement companies were trying to influence selection. Not surprisingly, there seems to be much more to the sponsorship issue than what meets the eye. This disclosure is bound to cause a furore; and speculation will be rife about the ‘seniors’ who are already under the pump.

In South Africa, Bob Woolmer’s body finally reached Cape Town

In today’s Sachin Tendulkar related news, retiring Aussie great Glen McGrath rated Lara ahead of Tendulkar!.

News in brief: 27 April 2007

It is touch and elegance versus brute power as Sri Lanka are set to take on the mighty Australians tomorrow at Barbados. Ricky Ponting has said that his team is more than ready for the Lankans even though they have some quality bowlers like Murali, Vaas and Malinga. His team mate and potential successor Michael Clarke continued in similar vain adding that the Aussies are in almost unbeatable form and Sri Lanka will have to play out of their skins to compete.

Cricinfo’s Rahul Bhattacharya pays tribute to Glenn McGrath and says that the great man is still on top as he prepares for a final fling.

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan is on the verge of becoming the most successful bowler in cricket history but said World Cup victory over Australia on Saturday would top all his achievements.

Jayawardene does a Ganguly, keeps Ponting waiting! Much to the annoyance of Ricky Ponting, the Sri Lankan captain turned up an hour late for a scheduled beach photo shoot with the Australian skipper and the Cup to promote Saturday’s final, according to a media reports.

Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa’s CEO, has criticised the team’s mental strength and inability to build on recent successes following their loss to Australia… and we thought mindless mud slinging was purely a sub-continent trait.

Steve Waugh who is currently visiting India has said that the Indians were dull and flat in the world cup.

Viv Richards who has been writing for the Hindustan Times recently has asked not to compare himself and Tendulkar

Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar have been appointed to stand as the on-field umpires for the World Cup final

– Vish

News in brief: 26 April 2007

It is a repeat of 1996 as Australia pulverise South Africa to meet Sri Lanka in the finals. The South Africans admitted that they were outclassed by the Aussies.

Osman Samiuddin examines the coaching question faced by most teams following their World Cup campaigns. Talking of coaches, Venkatesh Prasad, India’s bowling coach for the Bangladesh tour is excited about the prospect of his debut tour as a coach for the national side. Generally, we have observed that successful coaches including Whatmore, Buchannan and Moody had modest records as players. The corollary appears true too if you consider Chappell, Richards and Miandad. Based on this trend, we can expect a reasonable outcome from Prasad’s tenure for his record is neither ordinary nor extraordinary like his bowling skills.

According to PTI reports, Tom Moody is unlikely to be India’s coach

If reports are to be believed, Inzamam may be dropped from Test squad for Pakistan’s home series against South Africa. If it happens, nobody including Inzamam will be surprised or shocked.

‘Tendulkar playing for wrong reasons’ says Ian ‘calling-spade-a-spade’ Chappell without clearly specifying what those reasons are. By contrast, Viv Richards has come to Tendulkar’s supportearlier this week

– Vish

News in brief: 25 April 2007

Its Murali and Mahela show at Sabina Park as Sri Lanka outplays NZ to reach the finals

The second semi-final starts today at St Lucia. Australia’s strategy apparently is to allow Jacques Kallis to spend more time in the middle so that the scoring rate can be contained! Sounds like one of those juvenile mind game comments we are accustomed to from Australia.

Stephen Fleming resigns as NZ ODI captain but would like to continue as skipper for the Test side.

PCB has advertised for a new coach for Pakistan. This is not going to be easy

What India needs to learn from Australia?…according to Javed Miandad.

Viv Richards feels that the Indian fans are ungreatful to Sachin Tendulkar! Excerpts from his interview to CNN-IBN makes interesting reading

Trevor Chesterfield’s two cents on whats wrong with the Indian team .


News in Brief: 24 April 2007

BCCI has announced a two-year term for the next coach and manager. Aparently a seven member “special committee” has been set up to advice on the coach-manager selection. The names doing the rounds for the coaching job includes Tom Moody, Dav Whatmore, John Buchanan, John Wright and Viv Richards. If Gavaskar has his way, the Aussies are out of contention. Hopefully common sense will prevail or is it asking too much of the BCCI?

According to Richard Hadlee the Sabina Park pitch may suit the Kiwis. What about Malinga? He may like to return the favour too.

Amay Khurasiya, who played 12 ODIs for India matches between 1999 and 2001, announced his retirement from first class cricket. He is keen on taking up coaching. Sure thing Amay. Coaching is certainly the flavour of the month.

The body of murdered Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer has been released by the coroner and will soon be returned to his family in South Africa.

Sachin Tendulkar turns 34. How long will he continue to play is anybody’s guess.

News in brief: 23 April 2007

Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Srinivas Venkatraghavan are part of the committee set up by the BCCI to appoint the next coach. People are still taking Gavaskar seriously. Amazing!!

Another ‘amazing’ news from the BCCI is that they are going to persist with the zonal selection approach thereby guaranteeing that Indian cricket will not progress. Thank you BCCI for this forward looking approach!

New Zealand takes on Sri Lanka in Jamaica where the bounce may help New Zealand more while South Africa meets Australia in the semi finals where history seems to favours the Aussies

Jacques Kallis and Matthew Hayden have started a war of words ahead of the World Cup semifinals. Now why is’nt anyone surprised?

According to Jamican Police snake venom may have killed Woolmer


Death of One Dayers – The WC Tragedy

WC 07, for me, has opened (reopened!) up the tests vs. one dayers debate. The almost meaningless, meandering games with only shallow and superficial excitement, teams’ fortunes changing with no rhyme or reason, violent bludgeoning of the cricket ball from seemingly overdosed musclemen, murders and conspiracies, all put together, have taken any bit of charm that may have remained in one day cricket (for me!). What in hell difference does it make if Bangladesh trounces India or South Africa or Ireland humiliates Pakistan other than providing those minnows their one day of paid glory? The several hundreds and or fastest fifties that Hayden plundered will become a thing of the past, while even his remarkable 300 in tests will remain an innings to remember. Even Andre Nel seems to reserve his theatrical talents for the five day extravaganza. Heck, even world cup football (soccer) seemed more exciting considering I much rather prefer the localized versions of the sport.One day cricket is decaying into its almost farcical progeny, the 20-20 type. I cannot wait for the next test series to begin, when all sanity will return, when cricket will go back to its normal glorious stature.

Like the paintings of rennaissance, like the compositions of carnatic trinity, Beethoven or Mozart, like the music of Pink Floyd, Miles Davis or Sanjay Subrahmanyan, test cricket (for me!) will remain the only true art of sport!!Eagerly looking forward to seeing gentlemen in whites again!

– Srikanth

News in brief: Sunday 22 April 2007

Today marked an end of a great cricketing era. Brian Lara bid an emotional farewell to International cricket. However, he may still continue to play first class cricket. Which means Subhash Chandra and his cronies might woo him to play in the Zee cricket league. Should be interesting to see how things unfold.

A battle of equals took place in Barbados where England won by a whisker against the West Indies.

Back in India, Sunil Gavaskar continued his Aussie bashing by firing yet another salvo at Greg Chappell. Here we go again (sigh!)

Tamil Nadu beat a more fancied Punjab to clinch the first domestic Twenty20 competition.

Despite Sachin Tendulkar’s poor run of form, Ponting claims that he is the most technically correct player! Now why is Ponting being so kind?

Jacques Kallis has warned that Australia’s unbeaten record in the World Cup will count for nothing when the sides meet in the semi-final. Sure Mr. Kallis, we believe you.

Dilip Vengsarkar confirmed that Tendulkar and Ganguly were indeed rested and not dropped for the Bangladesh ODIs.

Clive Lloyd resigns as Match refree

– Vish

What’s happening to Tendulkar?

Sachin Tendulkar, the toast of the nation just a few seasons ago finds himself in an unfamiliar role of facing up to the wrath of his fans. He is now ridiculed by his once staunch supporters. The press has added their own spin on it and the cricket pundits yet another. Meanwhile, the coach questioned his attitude and finally, the BCCI have ‘rested’ him for the Bangladesh ODIs. These events would have hurt him badly.

We all know about the fickle nature of the fans and the press. Perhaps no one knows more about it than Tendulkar himself after 17 years of International cricket. I am sure he realises that the fans by their standard, have given him the longest rope of all.

In recent times we have been led to believe that Tendulkar has donned a new role for the ‘benefit’ of the team. I cannot imagine a more nonsensical reason. Does he and the think-tank mean to say that for nearly 15 years he has been the premier batsman and match winner, but they no longer want him in that role; but instead require a plodder? This seems to be a classic case of denial both by the team management and more importantly himself.

It is common knowledge that Tendulkar over the last 3 years has been gradually loosing is touch. The problem has been both physical and mental. Physically he is that much older and as a result, that much slower. His reflex degeneration has been rapid compared to others such as Lara and Jayasuriya. But that alone cannot be the reason for his failures. There are technical flaws. Too many times we see him get bowled; and too many times we see mediocre spinners get him out.

Bob Simpson thinks that Tendulkar is not watching the ball out of the bowler’s hand thereby depriving him of a few milli-seconds to get into position. While we are not totally sure what Tendulkar’s flaws are he nevertheless had the time, resources and above all the experience to iron out the kinks. If he has attempted to correct it but failed trying, then it is time to quit the game as suggested by Ian Chappell. But if has’nt tried hard enough, his attitude needs questioning.

The way he got out against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the world cup suggests that the flaws are very much there and unless he takes some immediate steps to address them, I cannot see him play beyond the England tour.

Tendulkar once feared and admired by his opponents is merely acknowledged these days mainly for his past deeds. The truth is no team looses sleep over him.

As a huge admirer of Tendulkar, I hope there is another twist to his tale and he turns things around. I would love to see him bow out on a high note; and more importantly on his own terms.

News in brief: Saturday 21 April 2007