Friday, March 28, 2008

Objection your Honour!

Can the BCCI deny a man the right to earn a living? I'm not so sure, but the board seems pretty confident that it can. The witch hunt to make every one of the ICL signees pay, for taking the road not travelled, has hit a new high.

The BCCI has objected to Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan being given a NOC by the Pakistan board to play county cricket in 2008. And they're pulling all strings to cut the lifeline of these players. Delusions of power? Aided by a bunch of boards who are scared of taking on the monetary might of the BCCI?

I know where the last game of this match will be played. In court. A place where the BCCI has as much clout as the man on the street. Now the BCCI must realise that while it runs cricket in the country, it cannot run over the constitutional rights of a citizen. Nor can it tell another country how to run the game there. Sooner or later, some board's going to turn self-respecting and stick up a finger. Where? When? How? Wait. Watch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

India vs South Africa 2008, the series ahead

Much anticipation heralds the start of the India vs South Africa series beginning in Chennai later this month. The ghost of the series down under is slowly being laid to rest. Fading from memory is a series that was as forgettable as it was unforgettable, and looming large on the horizon are the hulking figures of Graeme Smith and company.

I believe this is going to be a much harder series for India than the one they've just emerged from. Not withstanding the retirement of Shaun Pollock, the South African attack looks sharper, and faster, than I ever remember it to have been. Dale 'the Gale' Steyn is blowing batting line-ups away with amazing regularity. Three out of three man-of-the-series awards is no little achievement irrespective of the opposition and the Indian batsmen will be well advised not to blink. Steyn hovers around the 150 kmph mark without straying from the space between off and leg stump. You miss, he hits.

Steaming in from the other end with the regularity of an electric train will be Makhaya Ntini. Angling the cherry away from left-handers and sharply into batsmen facing the other way. Then there's Morne Morkel who brings the ball down from what's nearly the peak of Petronas. Add the strong shoulders of Jacques Kallis to the equation and you have a pace attack with enough variety to trouble the best.

When it comes to putting runs on the board for the Proteas, two names come to the fore. Kallis and Graeme Smith. Necessarily in that order. These are the willow wielders I expect to hurt the Indian team's chances the most. The Kallis threat needs no introduction. He's been giving his bowlers something substantial to bowl at for years, and can be expected to continue the good work. Smith on the other hand is less predictable. But a look at his stats will convince you that when he scores, he scores big. And that's the danger. If out of 6 innings, he maximises in 2, the Indians are going to be chasing a very tall order.

To sum it up, the result of this series depends on how India handles Steyn, Kallis and Smith. If they strike gold, the home team will have to settle for silver.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I heard this line in defence of the Lankan offie just after Darrel Hair called Murali for chucking.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hair transplant

Uprooted. Treated. Now planted back again. Darrel Hair has been reinstated by the ICC and will return to umpiring at the head of international cricket. Cricket's governing body claims that Hair has successfully completed a 6-month 'rehabilitation' period.

Substance abuse? Gosh no! Hair is as clean as a bald man's pate. It's what the aggrieved country claims to be abuse of power. Remember, Hair first stood up in cricketing circles when he called Murali for chucking. The last was Pakistan for ball-tampering. Though nothing was proved to the contrary, Hair was cut down to size.

Now he's back in the thick of things, but indications are that it won't be for long. His contract expires in 2009, and by the looks of it ICC will be losing Hair then.

The cricinfo story is HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shahrukh saves Ponting the blushes?

Ricky Ponting must be a relieved man. He won't have to face Ishant Sharma till the next India-Australia series. Both will represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Viewers on the other hand have been denied a kick-ass contest. And one sided as it would have been, it's always great fun to see a well walloped Aussie rear.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The men in yellow?

I just caught here that Australia's tour to Pakistan has been postponed due to security reasons. And as usual the mind begins to wander. And wonder.
Security concerns with able-bodied bouncers like Symmo on board?

Monday, March 10, 2008

'Keep your eyes on the bleddy ball, I say.'

This picture has been doing the rounds online. It seems to explain Yuvraj's fleeting visits to the crease, Dinesh's absence from the playing eleven and Robin's barely there double-digit average, in the series down under. Heh... heh... heh... Never mind. We won. Heh... heh... heh...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bhajji vs Australia

With all their attention focussed on teaching Harbhajan Singh a lesson, the Aussies missed something. The 10 others in the Indian team.

And when they awoke they also found a trophy missing from their cabinet.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DisapPonting end!!

First it was their behaviour. Next their cricket. I'm loving it. I'm Indian.

Symonds bares it all

For an entire summer, it's been the topic of debate - Symonds' gentlemanly qualities on the cricket field. Today his full bodied tackle of a streaker half his size, clarified it all.

Which makes me wonder.

What did the the men in blue have to handle through the series from this barbarian? You'll agree there's nothing gentle about Andrew Symonds apart from his off-spin.

And guess what, I finally found an Aussie who agrees.
"The Indians are on to something with their Symonds obsession. The land of gurus and enlightenment know that we have a cricketer so neanderthal that he should sleep in a cage." Garth Montgomery, the Sydney Daily Telegraph's blogs editor, stands up for the naked underdog.

Here's the link to the others' reactions.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Aussies on song

For he's a jolly good fellow

And he's a jolly good fellow

And he's a jolly good fellow