Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On ‘Retirements’, Misplaced Priorities and Crazy Selectors

Cricket is never free of controversy. As Sri Lanka blunder their way to a ridiculous test defeat (more on that to come), and Team Dhoni, the only real team, defeat Chris Gayle to take away the IPL championship, there has been plenty of other fun things happening under the carpet.
Afridi Retires
Pakistan cricket needs to redefine this word. According to most of us and our dear friend Google, it is “(an athlete) Ceasing to play competitively”. Ceasing, meaning that’s it, no more, zip, get the retirement cake. However, retirements in Pakistan are more like a self imposed holiday, often based around a money political problem and a resulting desperate plea for help. A real employer would tell them to find another job.
If only.
Shahid Afridi is the latest to ‘conditionally retire’ (!) until a new cricket board is in place. In other words, blackmail. Notice the strategic placement, Pakistan after this current Ireland series do not have a single confirmed tour in the months to come. A great time to ‘retire’ and create a ruckus against the PCB about your lack of money humiliation.
Tendulkar Refuses the West Indies
This is a wildly divided opinion. Some say if there is anyone in world cricket who is allowed to be choosy about his international tours, it is Sachin Tendulkar. Given all those dark years in the nineties he braved through single handedly, the man is allowed a break and special favors given his invaluable service to Indian cricket.
And then there are the other guys who go on to say that Tendulkar should be a role model for the game and pick international commitments over the IPL clown fest. This is twice he has done it, he gave up the last World Twenty 20 tournament after an IPL season, and now he is doing the same to rob the West Indian locals of a last glimpse at the man’s talents. How can a young Pollard learn to get his priorities right when the legends of the game are doing exactly the same thing? There can be no other motivation other than money, of which Tendulkar has plenty of surely.
This is the side of the fence that I also sit on. Where do you sit?
He sides with the Money Mumbai Indians © AFP
And Finally… The WCB Strike Again
And we thought the PCB had issues. Still no Chris Gayle or Shiv Chanderpaul, and only the ghost of Sarwan remains in the team. Despite the fact that their two best players are fit and able, as Gayle showed us in a brutal ‘in your face’ display at the IPL (the best thing by far the IPL had to offer), Gayle is still left out of the squad to face India. Now I am no cricket board, but surely I need a long hard look at myself if I am in complete refusal to pick the only two players who can win you matches.
Often left bemused and devoid of an answer, this time I do offer a solution.
Sack them all.
Make Gayle captain. Start again. … And hire Micheal Holding as a technical advisor.
Contributed by Varun Prasad
Original Post : The Cricket Musings

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