Saturday, December 19, 2009

Benn, Johnson and Haddin

Suleiman Benn has been handed a two ODI ban while Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin have been fined for the untoward incidents that happened recently in the Perth test between Australia and the West Indies. And after watching the incident, I really feel that the decision is a bit unfair. When Benn and Johnson bumped into each other while Johnson was trying to get a single, it was a very natural collision. True, it was pretty silly of them to get into such a muddle, but I believe that's all that it was - a silly, comical event. Even the commentators had a laugh about it while watching the replays. If it was left at that, all of this would have been no more than a minor blip on the radar.

But Haddin's reaction really escalated the incident. He had no reason to point his bat at Benn. Benn had been annoying the Aussies throughout the series with his antics and most would say that he had it coming. But what Haddin did was simply unacceptable, especially since he wasn't even directly involved in the incident. And Benn's subsequent theatrical gestures, along with the language that he used, really made things ugly. And all this happened right in front of the Billy Bowden. The first incident was an accident and couldn't have been avoided. But what happened in the middle of the pitch during the overs break was a sheer disgrace. The Umpires should have stopped it from taking place. The days of school Headmaster-like Umpires are long gone, but the Umpires still have the responsibility of maintaining discipline on the field. And needless to say, they utterly failed in it.

So Benn has been banned for bringing the game into disrepute, which is perfectly understandable. But Haddin's crime was no less (if not more) in intensity. He definitely instigated Benn to react and is as much to be blamed as Benn himself. Johnson was innocent and has been let off with a small fine; but Haddin has gotten off very lightly. This sends the wrong signals, for the cricketers responsible for stirring up such unfortunate events should not be able to walk away without severe punishment.

Speaking of bringing the game into disrepute, the broadcasters must also be charged with the same crime. When Benn and Haddin were having a verbal battle right under Bowden's nose, it could all be heard on the stump mike. The stump mike is placed to detect any noise that may be created when the delivery is being played, so that edges can be recorded. It must be switched off immediately after the ball is bowled. But it was kept on for much longer, as a result the foul language being used could be heard by everyone watching on TV. It is shameful that the broadcasters are themselves damaging the sport that they are seeking to promote, just for the sake of a few TRP points. It is unfortunate that Cricket's broadcasters seem to be causing the game great harm by their detrimental policies. Sadly, it is also true.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why is Jadeja in the Indian team?

If Dhoni doesn't believe that Jadeja can last the final few overs of close run-chase, and that too in the company of Sachin Tendulkar who is already on 150+, and sends Harbhajan in ahead of him, then why on earth is Ravindra Jadeja in the team? Surely Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan or Virat Kohli could do much better. Or is it necessary to have a so called all-rounder in the team just to maintain "balance"? In that case compare Jadeja's performance with his Aussie counterpart - Watson scored 93 and took 3 wickets. Out of the two teams out there, in the morning one of them was struggling to find eleven fit cricketers who are good enough to play international cricket. Unfortunately, it seems like that was the Indian team and not the Aussies.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A question to the blogspot team

When was the last time anybody labelled his post as 'scooters'?

Dravid dropped

It must be said that the recent selection committees of the BCCI have been much better than those of yore - when settling personal grudges and putting the cricketers in their place seemed to be of a higher priority than selecting the best possible squad. However, the committee still manages, from time to time, to make a selection (or non-selection that just defies all logic).

I was greatly bemused by Sourav Ganguly's omission from the ODI team some time ago. I guess the same can be said about the Rahul Dravid saga. Firstly, I was greatly surprised when he was picked. The BCCI seemed to be following a 'young blood please' policy when it came to selection for the ODI team. It seemed to make sense, keeping the 2011 World Cup in mind. And Dravid was widely considered by many to be beyond his prime, especially in ODIs. Yet, they decided to pick Dravid for an extremely meaningless tri-series in Sri Lanka and the subsequent (more meaningless?) Champions Trophy.

And Dravid managed to turn in solid performances in both the tournaments. He played a vital innings (despite playing as an opener) in the final against Sri Lanka an also played well against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. Despite all of this, he has been dropped. And Virat Kohli has been retained. The same Virat Kohli whose only major contribution has been a slow, laboured half-century against a greatly depleted West Indies attack. The only plausible explanation could be that the selectors wanted someboy with a good technique to play in South Africa and now just want someone who can hit the ball hard since the series is in India. But in any case, it is extremely unfair to both Dravid and the youngsters who have been picked ahead of him. I guess it's about time Indian Selectors started having more faith in the players and also some respect for them. Dravid has been a loyal servant of Indian Cricket and such treatment does not befit him.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Filmon ke is 'Vishal' desh mein, Kaminey 'Gulzar'

fuperb, fublime, fpectacular, ftaggering, ftunning, ftately, furpaffing, fenfational, fomething elfe, ftartling, ftrange, fupreme, fumptuouf, fplendid, fwank, fpotleff, fpirited, fmart, fnazzy, fwell, fuperior, fterling, fplendorouf.

fort mein : fau prateefat paifa vafool!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obeisance to The Great One

It's that time of the month when I start singing praises of The Great One and give my monthly obeisance to Him. Now I am not someone who would ever need to read Shane Warne's profile, since it would not contain anything new. But this Cricinfo profile written by Christian Ryan makes for a very good read. He crisply summarises a brilliant career about which volumes of text has already been written. And it was written much before Warne guided the Royals to a famous victory in the inuagural IPL.

My favourite part comes towards the end when he claims that the world never fully appreciated Warne's genius and that his legacy shall grow with the passage of time, much like Bradman's. And I completely agree with him on this one, we always have a habit of revering the old heroes but somehow fail to treat modern day legends fairly. Warne is 100% certified legendary material and maybe fifty years on, the world shall truly realise his genius and place him on par with Bradman as the greatest aussie cricketer of all time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go Pommie Go !

I have been a great fan of the Australian Cricket team for a long team. I firmly believe that they are in a major way responsible for the revival of aggressive test cricket, scoring at more than 4 runs per over regularly. But the Aussie team that I lovingly cheered was the one which had a supreme warrior, a stylish and free-scoring batsman, a butchering wicket-keeper batsman, a miserly fast bowler and of course, a legendary blonde tweaker. The current aussie line-up not only lacks such all-time greats but also seems to lack the aussie fighting spirit as shown by their recent grumbling during the ashes.

Hence, throughout this ashes series I have been supporting the English, hoping for an upset victory. And today, that victory is only 10 wickets away. So for one last time, Go Pommie Go!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

While reading today's ToI, I came across the following headline:

Windies salvage some pride against Bangladesh

If someone who had lapsed into coma a year or so ago was to suddenly come back to life again, he would have definitely thought that the publishers had inadvertently jumbled up the names of the two teams involved. How I wish that were true. I am not against Bangladeshi cricket, but seeing the decline and fall of a team which was once the most dreaded in the world makes me feel very sad indeed. I sincerely hope that West Indies cricket regains some of it's lost glory and returns to it's world beating ways soon.
This interview of Andy Atkinson, the ICC's pitches manager, makes for a very interesting read. Not only is it a good analysis of what role the pitch should play in Cricket, it also sheds some lights on one of the most forgotten and hidden arts in Cricket - the art of pitch making.

Monday, August 03, 2009

BCCI and the dope controversy

A lot of discussion has been going on about BCCI's refusal to agree to the conditions listed by WADA for compliance with their drug testing standards. This time, I must say, I do feel that BCCI is not totally wrong in taking a stand, whatever may be it's reasons for it. But the problem here is that non-compliance would severely dent the game's reputation in the global arena and that is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Traditionally, Cricket has not had too much trouble when it comes to dealing with performance enhancing drugs. Maybe it is because of the fact that for a cricketer, good technique, unwavering concentration and mental toughness are more important than bulging biceps or long lasting lungs. The very fact that Cricket is a comparitively leisurely sport with brief bursts of high activity might make it more resistant to the lure of high performance drugs as compared to sports like athletics or wrestling. But then again, this may be because the drug doctors haven't got around to making drugs specially designed for cricketers. Or maybe we just haven't heard of such drugs yet.

This does not mean that steroids won't help a cricketer at all. Fast bowlers seem the most obvious candidates for taking performance enhancing drugs, and the case of the Pakistani pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif provides credibility to this belief. But even other cricketers might benefit greatly from such artificial boosts. It will definitely come in handy for players wanting to extend their playing careers, especially considering the amount of Cricket being played and the added incentive of being able to play in more editions of the IPL. That would be a double blow for the game as not only would it make Cricket a game full of cheats, but also might stall the progress of younger and more exciting players.

We should be thankful that Cricket, at least till date, hasn't had its image tarnished by any major doping controversy. Maintaining this clean image should definitely be high on the priority list of the game's administrators. But what needs to be realised is that the BCCI is neither anti-testing and nor is it trying to cover up anybody. It is just being reasonable. I personally agree with their statement that providing the whereabouts of the cricketers for an hour everyday for three months seems not only dangerous from the security point of view but also highly impractical. Hence their great reluctance in accepting the all the conditions listed in the contract.

However, deciding not to sign the contract with WADA may have grave long term consequences for Cricket with regards to its inclusion as an Olympic discipline. Now that we have a variant of the game that makes it easy to produce results in a short timespan and also provide great entertainment for the audience, it seems that we may finally have a vehicle that may help us attain our Olympic dreams. And that is a chance that the ICC cannot afford to miss.

The WADA controversy is treacherous territory for the ICC and it should tread carefully lest it finds itself in a big mess if it does not do so. But with a little diplomacy, it should be able to soothe all the warring parties and hopefully arrive at a conclusion that is for the good of the game.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How much is too much?

I really liked this article by Sriram Dayanand. He makes a few very good points about the excessive commercialisation that is plaguing cricket. I totally agree with Mr. Dayanand here. However, most of the people who have commented on his article and are objecting to it seem to have overlooked the main point of discussion. The problem isn't the fact that advertising has changed cricket. Everybody agrees that cricket telecasts these days are a lot better than the 60s or 70s and that in general, cricket has gained a lot from advertising. But there is a definite need to draw the line somewhere. Because now with the strategy breaks, DLF maximums and constant appearance of logos all over the screen, we have really gone too far. And though its true that the BCCI is trying to sell a product, it is equally true that by encouraging such rampant advertising they are undermining the value of their own product. At this rate, it's only a matter of time before we kill the golden goose that is cricket broadcasting and then wonder where we went wrong.

Richard Wiseman's blog

I happened to come across Richard Wiseman's blog and I found it very interesting. Professor Wiseman started off as a magician and later obtained a doctorate in psychology. He researches quirky areas of psychology, including deception, luck and the paranormal. I found some of his tests very interesting, especially this one. Do check it out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Did I miss something?

A lot of things have changed for me in the last few months. I have finally graduated from my beloved college (which now makes my blog's title erroneous) and am working here now. I am also no longer a 'hostelite' (or an inmate at the hostel to be grammatically correct). Instead I have shifted into a new flat which is, unfortunately, quite some distance away from where I used to live for the past four years. And I am by no means alone, most of my friends have suffered a similar upheaval, with some of them even moving to new cities and even new countries.

Most of them crib about missing their college life and rant about the long hours that they have to put in at work. Some look forward to it with great excitement and call it a new beginning while some, very cynically, call it the beginning of the end. All my colleagues complain about how tired they get after a long day's work and everybody complains about the lack of time for leisure and relaxation, all thanks to the thankless job. And yet some others look at it as deliverance - as the ultimate fruit of all the years of endless toil spent in school and college.

If you would ask me what I feel about these great winds of change that are blowing through my life, I would probably say nothing. That's because I am just not feeling any different. My life isn't suddenly full of new challenges, it isn't full of changes and adaptability issues and it definitely isn't so full that I don't get time for myself. In fact, I can remember a lot of days in college when I was far busier than I am now and had to face many more challenges too. I am not dead tired when I return from work, why should I be? I sit in a chair all day! In fact, I feel happy that I am spending much more time doing productive activities rather than just sitting around idly. In short, Life isn't starting afresh for me, it's just continuing normally, albeit with a whole new set of people.

Maybe it's because of the fact that I am still in training and haven't started working as such. Or maybe it's due to the fact that I am yet to receive my first salary. But I think it's mostly because everyone around me believes that their lives have totally changed and have convinced themselves of the fact, which makes me a tad underwhelmed by the whole situation and makes me wonder : Did I miss something?

Friday, May 08, 2009

The COEP Network Administrator CAN beat love

I guess I have a sort of love-hate relationship with the COEP Network Administrator. Though I am grateful that a lot of measures have been taken so as to prevent wanton downloading, there always seem to be some stupid side-effects which make me hate him even more. The most notable of them being the ban on Cricinfo, which fortunately did not last long.

I have blogged earlier about the pesky url filters which made the Middlesex CC site inaccessible. But something that I have only recently noticed is this - even the word 'love' is banned. Though as of now I don't think that this is going to have any disastrous consequences, it does seem rather silly.

But I think I really shouldn't complain much. After all, I only have to spend a few more days in the kingdom of the COEP Network Administrator. After that, I can freely access any site I want! The mere thought of it makes me ecstatic!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Random tags for the last few days

mega-feast, farewell, viva, 'Get up, you idiot!', Monty Python, Arthur C Clarke, bills, last few days at the hostel, stupid fights, CAT online, CAT class, IPL, laundry, 2BHK apartment, Facebook, LinkedIn, quizzing, Mahabharat, Dostoevsky, Dev D, BPlan, parties, dinners, all nighters, Football, Lawn Tennis, jogging, movies backlog, heat chamber, Happy Days, tandoori chicken, shorts, wasting time?, bad hair, sleep lots, 'Get up, you idiot!', Cricinfo ban, Facebook ban, Cricinfo ban lifted, no lab access, project viva?, IIML?, presentation, home, vacations, job!, future?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CAT goes online

Like the majority of peope who would be appearing for the 2009 CAT, I was not very happy with it was announced that it would be conducted online this year. The CAT had a certain charm, being conducted on the same day throughout the country. Discussion boards would be full with everybody presenting their own solutions, waiting for coaching classes to come with their solutions and cut-offs and in general worrying about who would get a call and who wouldn't. I really enjoyed all of this last year (though of course I was hoping that the ouycome would be different) and it does feel bad that all of that wouldn't be happening this year.

But other than the 'charm' factor, there are a lot of reasons why I would not like the CAT to go online this year. Firstly, having taken the good old pencil-and-paper CAT, I would obviously prefer a similar format again. Also, I would really not want the CAT to be adaptive like the GRE. That was a great advantage in the CAT - all questions had equal weightage. And that's only fair - I might find a question on functions easy and geometry tough while someone else would feel the exact opposite way. So its not right for a third person to decide which questions are 'easy', which are 'tough' and set the paper accordingly. One more issue that might come up in the online version is the easy of manueverability between various questions and sections. Earlier, you had all the freedom to solve any question or section for as long as you wanted. Whether that stays or is discontinued remains to be seen. However, that need not be abandoned totally - the BITSAT which is also conducted online, gives you complete freedom to roam between questions and sections. Something like that would be absolutely great.

There are of course other issues like whether the candidates would be knowing the weightage of each question, the availability of rough papers to work on and so on. But other than the fact that it will be conducted over ten days, we have no other information. Hopefully, the picture would become clearer in the days to come. I hope the CAT does go online, that would be a move in the right direction, but I hope it still allows all the candidates the liberties which the pencil and paper CAT gave. That would be the best solution.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Headline or headache?

This you have to read. Though I hope none of you use them, especially if you happen to be a journalist.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4 years 7 months 13 days

.... is the maximum age that you can be if you really believe in Lalit Modi when he says that the 7.5 minutes break is for deciding 'strategies'.

My latest hobby...

Constantly reminding people that their college life is coming to an end, thus making them all sad and nostalgic.

P.S. : For those who haven't realised it yet, consider it to be a tribute.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You know you're terribly in need of sleep when....

.... you start reading Pune Mirror and doze off before you reach Dr. Mahindra Watsa's column.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lets make a deal

I have always felt that I get the raw end of whatever deals that I make with people in my personal life. I am pretty good when it comes to negotiating with people when money is involved, but somehow I always end up losing out in my personal deals with people, mostly because they generally refuse to accept the existence of such a deal and question its validity.

But no more shall I suffer from such problems. This site should take care of things. It allows you to make deals with friends, family, employees or absolutely anyone. It then sends out mails to them and you can even opt for further negotiations. And I hope the site's tagline - "Asynchronous Negotiation Favors the Underdog" - proves to be true.

(Link courtesy : Marginal Revolution)

Saturday, March 07, 2009


After shifting to Pune and staying at the hostel, IO have found it increasingly hard to watch as much cricket as I used to at home. As a result of this, I mostly keep track of the latest scores via live commentary on Cricinfo. The commentary is nice and crisp and gives you a fair idea of whats going on, along with the constantly updated scorecard, which has everything you need to know - like the currently partnership, who is bowling etc. But the icing on the cake is definitely the random topics that come up during the commentary, as a result of which you don't miss the TV commentary that much. And this commentary involves not just Cricinfo's commentators but also a lot of viewers from all over the world. Most of the time, these chats are related to some famous cricketing incidents of the past or some anecdotes. However, at times, they tend to go totally off-topic, as during the recent India-NZ ODI. Here's a short sample of what was going on during commentary that day:

Suresh: "Seriously - what is the sheep:human ratio in NZ?"
Steve: "Good to see Rahul enjoying his stay in Rangiora (25km north of christchurch population 9,000). I wonder if he is being billetted with anyone or staying in a local motel overnight?" Must be with some sheep, no?!
t4jho: "11 Sheep for every person"
Farmer Bob: "According to the latest Agricultural Production statistics, released by Statistics New Zealand's Agricultural Production team, there were 40.1 million estimated resident sheep at 30 June 2006, which means that the sheep-person ratio has halved in the last 20 years, and now stands at 10 sheep per person. see
Amit: "1:10......strange! Are those sheep owned by people or just forest sheep?" The sheep owns the people. Duh!
Alex from NZ sends us this: "At any given time a New Zealander can reach out and touch a sheep." No more dirty details please!

MK from Canada: "Why bother? India should just cancel the tour and go back home. I am amazed that Cricket is actually played in NZ."
Matt from OZ: "What else would you expect from a Canadian? You guys don't even play cricket."

Kody: "Whats all this nonsense about sheep? ... that pitch will be soaked by now!"

Cam from NZ comes back with this! : "Is it time to point out that Cows wander down the streets of several Indian cities?"

What fun.


Staying with sheep, I recently saw Fergusson College's Firodiya Karandak performance. The story was about a guy who is visiting the Swiss Alps and meets an old shepherd high up in the mountains. Now the shepherd's role was being enacted by a girl. All of us who were there at the start knew this. However a lot of people came in late and had no idea about the sex-change. Hence when the guy approached the shepherd and asked for protection from the rough weather of the Alps, the guys sitting behind us started whistling loudly! At this point, me and Bhedas thought that the play might just turn into something like Brokeback Mountain. But alas, that was not to be. Since then, we have decided to think of various changes that could be made to stories so that they can be converted into Brokeback Mountain. More tales expected soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Expanding horizons

As a part of my preparation for selection to the IIMs, I realised that I should have some basic awareness about economics and other related stuff. So my friend Harsh finally pointed out two sites which would help me start, namely Marginal Revolution & Mostly Economics. And even though I thought it might be a bit boring, all such fears proved to be unfounded. I have really started enjoying both blogs (especially MR, since it has a lot of interesting stuff not related to economics) and following them in the true sense of the word, instead of just adding them to my bloglines account. And as you can see, both of them also feature on my blogroll.

So for anyone who would like to start, join the revolution at MR, one small step at a time.

Friday, February 06, 2009

IPL Auctions 2009

The auctions this year were much less hyped, compared to last year, thanks to the economic recession, as well as the fact that very few players were available. The biggest stars were obviously the England players as well as JP Duminy - the latest South African sensation.

As expected, Kevin Pietersen was the most expensive, and was bought by the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Now that the Royal Challengers have Utthappa and KP, their batting might just be something to look out for. Along with him, the other most expensive player, Andrew Flintoff has joined the Chennai Super Kings, adding great balance to an already very formidable line-up.

The Rajasthan Royals kept a low profile as expected, they only bought Shaun Tait & the surprise pick of the auction - Middlesex all rounder Tyron Henderson. They obviously needed a fast bowler since Sohail Tanveer wasn't available, and Tait seems an apt enough replacement. Tyron Henderson was a bit of surprise since he has no international experience, but his domestic Twenty20 career record speaks for itself, and he should be a handy player to have.

The Deccan Chargers, after having finished bottom last year, decided not to be very flashy and instead picked up West Indian fast bowler Fidel Edwards along with his international tem mate Dwayne Smith. Now Edwards has good speed and should do well, while Dwayne Smith is a very aggressive batsman and a decent bowler, so both of the Chargers' picks seem to be good.

The Mumbai Indians made a very smart pick by buying JP Duminy. Duminy has been in very good form and seems to be a very good player. He also seems to have a good cricketing brain, for he has been able to adapt to various situations perfectly well. The difference in his batting style in the ODIs in Australia proved this. When his team was in trouble in the first match, he dropped anchor and pulled the team out of trouble, while in the last match, when South Africa needed quick runs, he was able to find the boundaries with ease. Duminy is a very exciting prospect and Mumbai would definitely not regret buying him. The other player they have purchased is Kyle Mills, nothing much to say about this guy, he's just a run-of-the-mill player.

It looked like the Kolkata Knight Riders would not be buying anyone, but towards the end they picked up the Bangladeshi fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza for a whopping $600,000 - thats 1100% greater than his base price of $50,000! How useful this proves to be remains to be seen. However, the Knight Riders will also get a chance to bid again later for 4 players, since they had 4 Pakistani players in their squad. Maybe then they could go in for a few more players.

Delhi Daredevils had made a few changes to their squad before the auction itself. They had swapped Shikhar Dhawan for Ashish Nehra, and also bought the Aussie David Warner. He is a clean striker of the ball, as he showed against the Springboks in the one-off twenty20 game and should be a success at the IPL. During the auction, the Daredevils picked up Owais Shah & Paul Collingwood, both of whom would add great value to the side. The Kings XI Punjab also made a good buy by snapping up Ravindra Bopara, another good prospect.

Surprisingly, players like Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Andre Nel, Ashwell Prince, James Franklin & Shakib-ul-Hasan couldn't find any buyers. Shakib-ul-Hasan would have been a great pick given the form that he is in, same with Haddin. Maybe they will be picked up later; I , for one, would love to see Clark bowling in the IPL.

So now that the auction's over, I'm looking ahead to another season of IPL. I might not be one of it's greatest supporters, but I must say, it has brought in a lot of excitement and entertainment. And of course, the chance to see the great Shane Warne in action again.

TED 2009

TED 2009 is currently going on. As usual it features some of the best speakers from all all over the world. Bill Gates has already given a talk about his foundation's efforts to improve educational facilities, the video is also available on TED's site. Also go over some of the older talks if you had missed them earlier, especially the top 10 TED talks. For those who don't know about TED, this might help shed some light.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The reason why the economy is in tatters

This is an amazing take on today's economic situation, even though it was first published 15 years ago. Bill Waterson never ceases to amaze.

(Link courtesy: Mostly Economics )

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My first....

When I first saw her, she was three aisles away. There were others besides her, but she caught my eye because of her shiny yellow colour. I walked towards her, nervously, wondering whether today would actually be the day. The tension grew, the distance shortened. There was an uncomfortable silence in the air. I was now right in front of her. I could almost touch her, but would I dare to do so? My heart was racing, I knew not what to do. It had been a long wait spanning many, many years. I had heard people raving about her humour, her depth of knowledge, her obsession with cricket and the trust everyone had in her. I had craved for her for a long while now, but somehow I was still not prepared for what was happening today. I started talking to myself,

"Should I?"
"But that would seem so presumptuous, almost... rude. What if it doesn't work out?"
"That's a risk you must be willing to take"
"But this is not a one-off, it will be permanent. It will continue till I die"
"Come on. Grab her. Don't be afraid"
"All right"

So I picked her up. Just like that. It was a swift move, I don't think anybody even saw it. And before I could change my mind, I rushed to the counter, placed her on the counter-top and said

"I'll buy this"

This is how I finally bought my first Wisden Cricketer's Almanack.