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.