The series of cricket Tests is over. India got thrashed by England once again bringing to the fore the many problems our much-vaunted super stars seem to have when playing cricket abroad. “Lions at home, lambs abroad” has been a phrase used for decades now to highlight how our batsmen who score heaps of runs in India flounder when they play in England, Australia or South Africa. Continue reading
As a long time fan of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), I can’t help wonder what ails them for such a talented side to be languishing towards the bottom of the table in the 7th edition of the T20 tournament. Tthe teams play 14 matches, and I am disappointed that as on today we (that is RCB) have played 8 and lost 5! The points table updated before today’s matches says it all.
Brian Charles Lara was one of the most successful in the history of cricket. He batted with the typical West Indian flair but was known to score big innings as well. He holds the world record for the highest individual score in first class cricket. This was a mammoth 501 not out for Warwickshire vs. Durham in 1994. I very much doubt if this record will ever be broken. He also holds the distinction of the highest individual score in Test cricket 400 not out vs England in 2004.
Every one knows that mere talent is not enough to make you successful over the long run. What does make you successful? Yes, he was temperamental and had his share of scraps, particularly with the administrators of West Indian cricket but his cricketing feats made him a legend. Continue reading
Cricket is a religion in India. Cricket stars are demigods. Bring on the clichés, you might say, although they are largely true in this case. What shocks me and many other cricket lovers in India is that no cricketer worth his salt, past or present, has spoken out about match fixing, spot fixing and all that’s going wrong with the Indian Premier League (IPL.)
Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of N. Srinivasan, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( almost definitely the most powerful cricket body in the world) and the man we knew as the “owner” or ” principal” of the Chennai Super Kings is languishing under arrest by the Mumbai Police. Three crickets of Rajasthan Royals including Test cricketer S. Sreesanth have been suspended for spot fixing. There are rumours galore everyday. Unconfirmed reports speak of the likely involvement of more teams and, of course, more players.
Yet, none of India’s cricket super stars have spoken. Not Sunil Gavaskar, not Kapil Dev, not Ravi Shastri, not Kris Srikkanth until recently the Chairman of the Selectors, not even Anil Kumble who has a magnificent reputation for his maturity and probity. For that matter, there has been no word from the “God” of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament. One would have expected him to speak about what was going on.
Are Gavaskar and Shastri forbidden by their contracts with the BCCI to speak? Is Srikkanth quiet because he is the mentor of Sunrisers Hyderabad? Is Kumble not speaking because he is the mentor of the Mumbai Indians?
Admittedly, one cannot expect the same from another Member of Parliament, Md. Azharuddin, (like Sachin, Gavaskar, Shastri, Srikkanth and Kumble, a former India captain) because he was involved in match fixing in 2000 and is in no position to come down on the fixers. Ajay Jadeja, the other Indian star of those days who was involved in the match fixing issue was happily commenting as an expert on Sony Max until recently. He seems to have vanished since the day the betting news broke out. He hasn’t been seen on the program since.
We tend to blame the politicians for all that is wrong in India, including Indian cricket. However, in this case, don’t the former stars or the present ones have no role whatsoever in keeping the high standards of probity by speaking about wrong doings. Are they gagged by their contracts so much that they can’t say a word? Are they scared of getting on the wrong side of the powerful cricket establishment? Are they more concerned with their own coffers than their reputations?
I don’t know the answer, but I do know the average Indian cricket enthusiast is utterly disappointed with the so-called gods of Indian cricket. Everyone expects hell to break loose after the final of the IPL this evening. Who knows? They may all speak after everything is done and dusted.
On April 5, I had a post “Controversial IPL- Welcome Back.” As if to prove me right, a few days ago a huge row erupted about possible spot fixing/match fixing incidents involving three players of the Rajasthan Royals. These include an Indian Test cricketer, the mercurial S. Sreesanth who made a big name for himself in Kerala. Delhi Police paraded enough preliminary evidence to prove there could be a lot of muck around this extravaganza called the “Indian Premier League.”
I had the privilege recently of seeing history being made in front of my eyes. In an Indian Premier League ( IPL) cricket match, playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 33-year-old Jamaican, Christopher Henry Gayle scored a century in just 30 balls. This was only one of the many records that he broke that evening. Continue reading
The IPL is back again. As they say on TV these days, “Welcome back!” The Indian Premier League (IPL) comes with its attendant share of controversies. What is dubbed as being amongst the richest, if not THE richest cricket tournament of its kind in the world, has just begun its sixth season. I was crazy about the IPL in the initial years and a huge fan of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Continue reading
Many are discussing whether the scheme to confer honorary ranks in India’s India’s Defence Services including the Territorial Army to celebrities is at all worth the effort. I, for one, am against the practice as I don’t see most of them take much interest in what should be a calling for them to serve the nation. Yes, there are exceptions. I believe former India cricket captain, Kapil Dev is one and the Congress MP, Sachin Pilot is another. Continue reading
Cricket fans are getting their money’s worth and every bit of entertainment that they want with the ongoing fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, it is unfortunate there have been a few cases of unsportsmanlike behaviour, which have marred the spirit of the game.
As R. Mohan writes in his article, there is no huge dollar prize for the team that wins the Fair Play Award. Perhaps that’s the reason teams don’t take it too seriously. Doug Bollinger of the Chennai Super Kings deliberately blocking young Naman Ojha of the Delhi Daredevils was shocking. It was totally unprovoked and spoke poorly of the big Australian fast bowler. It’s quite another matter that he probably wouldn’t have done it to Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard, who are as big if not bigger than him. Ironically, the Chennai Super Kings have won the Fair Play Award for three years.
In another match, Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel of the Mumbai Indians put huge pressure on the on-field umpires forcing them to reverse their original decision. The decision was wrong as shown by the subsequent re-plays but bullying the umpire was not the way to go about things. This has started a dangerous precedent. Instead of being banned for the next few matches, they were merely fined. To put the incident in perspective, Harbhajan is the captain of the team and expected to be a role model!
It would appear some people don’t learn, or as is more likely, simply don’t care. In a recent match Munaf Patel was in the news once again, for the wrong reasons This time for sledging young Kings XI batsmen who played him with ease. He was fined 25 % of his match fee for the first offense and now 50 % of his match fee. Considering the huge sums cricketers like him have amassed over the years, this is peanuts for him. It is time cricket tournaments like the IPL have a system of yellow flags and red flags to bar players from the game. This is the only way some people will learn their lesson.
A two match ban is the minimum one would have thought he would get, but like everywhere else, money power probably triumphs.
I am disappointed with Sachin Tendulkar though I have been a fan of his since long. I have no hesitation in saying that his feats have been quite incredible. The stats. speak for themselves but a note of discord has set in, to my mind, in recent months. Yes, he has finally scored his 100th international century and the whole world is happy and relieved that this milestone has finally been reached. Continue reading