Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crick-Veda: Oldest Chronicle on Gentleman’s Game !

Disclaimer: I don’t belong to RSS / VHP / Bajrang Dal. I am not right-wing Hindu extremist. I am not Francois Gautier. I am not Gurumoorthy. I am notManoj Kumar. Neither am I Akshay Kumar. I am not a devotee of any Baba including Sai Baba, Rahul Baba, Baba Ramdev and Baba Black sheep. I am not related to any Thakre; living on nonliving. My surname isn’t Togadia. I have no religion except Cricket. I don’t believe in God, but I believe in Rahul Dravid and I have seen Sachin Tendulkar. The nearest I have felt to divinity was when I saw VVS Laxman on drive Shane Warne through mid-wicket at Eden in 2001. And I believe Virendar Sehwag can save us from Satan by just Upar Cutting him. This post is a work of fiction but that should not be a reason to disbelieve it.
Breaking News… Breaking News… Breaking News…
Cricket is Indian by Origin !
This sensational discovery has rocked the world today and will be remembered as aRed-Letter day. This will change forever, all hitherto held beliefs about Cricket in general and the mankind in particular. During a routine excavation in some undisclosed place in Uttar Pradesh, the ASI has found a huge treasure. That alone wouldn’t be so special or sensational. But they have found out a new dimension in the form of a book named Crick-Veda [Krikveda for the Swadeshi brigade], believed to be the long lost and forgotten fifth Veda.
Carbon dating and all kind of authentication tests are being held on this voluminous epic. It is believed to be at least 8000 – 9000 years old. Experts are busy deciphering the text. You are reading this here first because of our close contacts with ASI. Dr. Balls is an insider in ASI and has contacts from bottom to top. Here are some of the salient aspects about the book, brought only to those who follow Doctoring the Balls !!!
What we are going to disclose here is established beyond doubt in this priceless piece of Cricket Testament, ODIment and T-20ment, all compiled together. Cricket was a game, a religion and a way of life in India. It was called Kri karet, which means ‘Doing the work’.
It was work as well as worship for the people of India that was Bharat. This emphatically proves Cricket was not a British game as has been claimed so far. Almost every Indian will vouch for this. The British picked up this beautiful game from India just like they picked up spices. We now know why Cricket is so spicy.
Cricket, was played in North Indian heartlands and South Indian paddy fields. The boys and men running in the fields tilled the land [Kri Khet in Hindustani and Kriya Kshetrain Sanskrit] and thus prepared it for watering and subsequent cultivation of crops. This must the earliest known example of business with pleasure. They worked while they played and they played while they worked. What a revolutionary ancestors did we inherit from ! And many people believe Cricket is a lazy game, rubbish !
The extremely talented men of those days used to hit the ball very hard and long and then people used to go in search of the ball. That is how the coinage “Leather hunt” evolved.
Hanumaan was the first ever Cricket-fever stricken boy known from history. He thought the red and shining Sun was a Cricket ball and went to catch it and this evolved into a legend. People misinterpreted it and said he went to pluck a fruit. Absolutely baseless and ball-less. Just look at this illustration, the Sun looks exactly like a Cricket ball shining in the Sun ! And Hanumaan is clearly trying to pick a one handed catch out of thin air. He isn’t plucking any fruit out there.
Catch it !
Why did Krishna slay Kaliya the snake ? Because Kaliya refused to return the ball. Krishna and his friends were playing Cricket [Kri Karet in those days] by the Yamuna river bank. A DLF maximum from Krishna went into the river and Kaliya refused to return the ball. Thus their game of Cricket was halted by the mean snake. Hence Krishna had no other option but to slay the stubborn and spoilsport Kaliya to retrieve the ball to continue the game before the Umpires declared bad light. Even today we don’t like to be disturbed while we enjoy our Cricket. Be it the snake or the wife.
In one of the most touching chapters, Sage Krikshwamitra explains the relation and differences between Test Cricket, One Day Cricket and T-20 Cricket. He says, T-20 Cricket is like your little daughter. You love her because she is your daughter. She may do childish things and appear juvenile. But you love her because she is your own product. But you have very little chances of recovering lost ground if your daughter gets spoiled, just like T-20 Cricket match. T-20, like your little girl is damn popular with people of all ages because you can carry it around with ease and you won’t feel bad if she pees on your laps.
One Day Cricket is like the wife. You can play during day or at night. She is mature, beautiful, enticing and enchanting. You can control a lot of things with her. But you can’t keep her switched on forever. Like every wife, she can be demanding. You need to do a lot of running around and be prepared to lose her if your fail with the bat or the ball. Most importantly she is more entertaining at night after you are done with all the work. She comes with a lot of color and cheer.
Test Cricket is without doubt, the Mother. You respect her, revere her, love her and listen to her. You can even fall asleep in her lap and still not miss much. She can go on and on and on for days sounding like a bore. But in the end, you are wiser, stronger and winner if you do the listening and playing properly. Like Mother, Test Cricket gives you more than one chances. Nor one bad over, neither a single bad shot can lose it all for you. And you better show discipline with your Mom, else you will be routed by the forces that guard the earth.
Further evidence from present day analogies: From aesthetics of the variants of the game, Crick Veda moves to the weapons used. The ball was the weapon of the aggressor. The bat belonged to the more responsible defenders. It symbolizes how one can use a weapon for both defensive and offensive purposes. So typically Indian. We just have to look at how Rahul Dravid and Virendar Sehwag use the same weapon to different effects.
India has a tradition of stretching beyond the limits and breaking records. Ram broke the Shiv Dhanush. Sachin has been breaking records ever since he was born. Arjun hit the fish’s eye to win over a girl. Yuveraj hits the bill-boards. Karna was the first to show how one can use own body parts as defense tools. Mohindar Amarnath followed suit when he took on all the bouncers on his body without flinching. Krishna said it was fair to be unfair to deal with an unfair enemy. Saurav Ganguly was just equally mean to Australians. There are innumerable revisits.
Let us look at different aspects of the game. Batting was a Royal occupation. They never liked to run. Indian batsmen still don’t like to run. Ask Sehwag, Pathan and Yuvi. Bowlers were the Soldiers. They attacked and won over enemies by felling the opponents. Do soldiers get any better than Bhajji, Kumble, Zaheer and Kapil Dev ? Fielding was for kids and the labor workers. Even today, the young and the fringe players field. The rest just rest.
Kri Karet expert from history and the earliest known Sexologist Batsayana has elaborated on the attraction between the Kri Karet Players and the girls and women from the entertainment fields. The singers, actors and dancers of the yore had a very special and enduring liking for the talented and good looking players.
There were so many affairs, courtships and marriages between Kri Karetars and artisans. Urvashi fell for Arjun’s looks as well as skills. Seeta, the Princess was bowled over by the record breaking abilities of Ram. Bheem’s ability to wield the mace [the first ever Mongoose] won over Hidimba. Nothing has changed in India 8000 years since.
There are millions of illustrations, coaching manuals and extensive records mentioned in Krikveda. We just have provided a sample here. But we promise to come back with entire translation sooner than later. Till then keep pondering over the points mentioned here.
Can all this old world wisdom in Cricket be anything but Indian ?
QED: Cricket is Indian by Origin !
Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

Monday, June 20, 2011

The BCCI vs The DRS – The Height of Arrogance

Its not old news that our friends at the BCCI continue to utterly refuse the DRS system, their secretary saying as much once more yesterday. The previous reaction from most of the world including myself would be to shake our heads in annoyance, probably mutter a few profanities under our breath (quietly), and get on with life. Today it is different however, today I am compelled to dig deeper, perhaps get an understanding of the psyche behind all this, is there a motive underneath it all?
If this picture was the DRS run on the BCCI decision, they would call this one not out despite the evidence, just because they can.
Let us try to formulate reasons as to why this ridiculous situation is with us:
Because Sachin And MS Say So
The two most powerful figures in Indian cricket, possibly all cricket, possibly all of India, claim that the technology is not 100% accurate. Perhaps the BCCI is no more than just a spineless extension of their voices? In that case, who are Tendulkar and Dhoni to make a critique on the DRS technology? Its like a McDonald’s cashier having the power to stop them selling coke because he doesn’t agree with the level of fizz. There is usually a players association present, a body that is supposed to be representative of the players, I haven’t heard a squeak from them, if there even is one.
Because The Secretary Says So
Our friend the BCCI secretary, N. Srinivasan, claims boldly that they are a “structured organization” who “make their own decisions”. Lets back track a second, who on earth is N. Srinivasan to be the judge on this? Does he even have a cricketing background? He is anindustrialist from Chennai, who is he to be the face of the BCCI? As far as I am concerned he is no more qualified to make these statements than Queen Latifah. If there really was a structured organization, the players association would answer to him, and he would answer to the ICC. In a land where money talks, this is what happens.
Common sense was not in the job description.
Because The ICC Don’t Say A Word
Srinivasan is the secretary for the Indian cricket board, not world cricket. He should have absolutely no say in this matter, yet as always there is a deathly silence from the so called governing body of world cricket. There needs to be a China mentality here, the ICC should be in charge, period. The sad reality of it all is that the ICC is merely a curtain, a faded doormat for one nation’s selfish cricket board. In a recent survey, 94% of players agree that ICC does not act in the best interests of cricket, and 69% agree that the BCCI has an unfair influence on the ICC. The people are not blind, only the people at the top are.
Because The DRS Is Not Accurate
The big argument is that they cannot guarantee 100% accuracy and therefore the system is invalid. This is an unbelievably idiotic statement. Imagine you were making a return on investment, “yes yes we know that you can give me a nine dollar return on average, but you can’t guarantee me ten dollars! Therefore I will settle for fifty cents. And so will the rest of the world because I said so”. Physics, mathematics and statistics, the very foundations of our scientific knowledge are based on assumptions. Why do unlike poles attract and like poles repel? They just do, the same way the BCCI repels intelligence.
And So What Happens From Here?
As usual. Nothing.
Contributed by DHCF: Varun Prasad
Original Post : The Cricket Musings

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Doppelgangers – Part IV


Former Zimbabwean All Rounder Grant Flower and Neil Patrick Harris (Barney from How I met Your Mother)
If you come across more doppelgangers, send us your entry and we will include it next time around.




Contributed by DHCF Naman Kheria

Friday, June 17, 2011

West Indies vs India – Series Review

An interesting series indeed! Rather than dawdle towards a predicted 5-0 whitewash, given how useless the West Indies are on paper, they showed some serious mettle and turned in a respectable 3-2 loss. India, sending in a B team, will be happy with the series win, but at what cost? Lets review the highlights.
Pace and Bounce!
Lo and behold not every pitch is a dead batting track! What a difference it makes when Roach and Russell are steaming in with a purpose, threatening to bash a few helmets and rip out a few fingers. We saw glimpses of the good old days, and the Indian batsman, barring few, were absolutely clueless.
The likes of Dhawan, Tiwary and Badrinath are big scorers back at home, here they look like school kids, fending away nervously and having neither the technique nor the temperament to survive. We saw this in the World Twenty 20 last year, and we saw it again. Give them a real pitch with real bowlers, and they have no idea.
Some West Indies Batting Spunk
Well its about time we saw a couple of young West Indians throwing the bat around and digging themselves out the rot. Some preferred to keep batting in slow motion (Samuels, Sarwan), but those who took some initiative a la Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell, really pulled the West Indies out of the moat. Russell in particular is a real delight to watch, a young whippersnapper with the right attitude and plenty of that famous West Indian swagger. A big future prospect.
The Michael Jackson of cricket is born. © Associated Press
The New Spin Doctors
Amit Mishra topped the wickets tally for both sides with a great economy rate of 3.98. He made the West Indian top order look extremely silly, and with Bhajji and Ashwin contributing next to nothing with the ball, he could well have cemented himself a spot. A new boy in the West Indies, Anthony Martin also made his mark with eight wickets and some hilarious press conference swagger. “Nobody destroys me on my pitch” he says, and its about time!
The Report Cards
And so The Cricket Musings will now play headmaster and grade the performances.
West Indies
Lendl Simmons – (7). A real trier, as he showed against Pakistan also. This puts him above most of his peers already.
Kirk Edwards – (2). Absolutely woeful, and should never be seen again.
Adrian Barath - (no score)
Ramnaresh Sarwan - (7). Somehow ended up with the most runs with an average of 54. He is nowhere near the old Sarwan but started to find his prime in game five.
Darren Bravo – (6). A frustrating player given that he is supremely talented. One hopes that he only needs time to become one of the moderns greats.
Marlon Samuels – (5). Good to see him back but only showed glimpses of his talented self. Needs to convert his starts.
Kieron Pollard – (6). Has the potential to become the West Indian Flintoff, if he just gets his priorities in order.
Carlton Baugh – (6). Gets more points for trying to at least build an innings and stick around. Formed some crucial partnerships and was handy with the gloves.
Darren Sammy – (3). As a bits and pieces player, he is contributing far too little and is quickly becoming a dead weight.
Andre Russell – (9). The find of the tournament. Not only did he belt more runs than most of the ‘batsmen’, he chimed in with eight wickets and lively pace. Another star in the making, we hope.
Dwayne Bravo – (2). Turned up for two matches when he needn’t have. Go back to the IPL.
Danza Hyatt – (1). Two innings and one run. Goodnight.
Ravi Rampaul – (4). A mixed bag before being strangely rested for the remainder of the series.
Anthony Martin – (7). Eight wickets and a great attitude to boot. Another good find.
Devendra Bishoo – (5). Showed us how useful he is after a good world cup, but needs more game time.
Kemar Roach – (6). Didn’t get many wickets, but Roach was key in getting the Indians hopping around.
India
Parthiv Patel - (5). Showed that he is handy at the top, but starts are not good enough.
Shikhar Dhawan - (3). Was awful with his ‘defend-or-slog’ mentality. Should not be seen again at this level.
Virat Kohli - (7). Lack of UDRS and the constant hailing as ‘the future of Indian cricket’ didn’t help him. Be quiet and let the man bat.
S. Badrinath - (2). Atrocious technique against the short ball, again a huge reminder of the gap between Ranji Trophy and real cricket.
Manoj Tiwary – (2). Equally bad, will not make runs outside of India.
Rohit Sharma – (8). A huge learning curve and without him, India could have lost this 5-0. He needs more chances.
Suresh Raina – (3). Irresponsibly poor shot selection in crucial stages. Certainly no leader with the bat.
Yusuf Pathan – (1). Shocker. Badly needs a reminder that not every match is the IPL, and maybe some meditation.
Harbhajan Singh – (6). Steady with the ball and hard to get away. But as usual no wickets.
Praveen Kumar – (6). Really gets the ball to talk, and will be a good foil for Zaheer Khan.
Amit Mishra – (8). Great bowling, ensuring that the clueless West Indian top order could not build a solid total.
R. Ashwin – (4). Disappointing show, and completely outclassed by Mishra.
Munaf Patel – (8). Had my doubts about him, but he proved me wrong with accurate, no-nonsense bowling.
R. Vinay Kumar – (no score)
Ishant Sharma - (2). Is this really the same Ishant who had Ponting hopping around? A ghost.
So just for fun, lets average out these scores:
West Indies – 5.01 / 10
India - 4.64 / 10
Conclusion: These are two seriously bad teams.
It is wishful thinking, but by some miracle the poor standard of cricket might inspire the cricket boards and lazy players to actually turn up next time and make this the showpiece event it could have been. But given recent events, anything of the sort is only a distant dream.
A dream where Gayle isn't just a spectator with bad hair. © AFP
Contributed by Varun Prasad
Original Post: The Cricket Musings

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Doppelgangers – Part III

Posted: 14 Jun 2011 08:18 AM PDT
Rohit Sharma (Indian Batsman) and Rahul Mahajan (Indian Politician)







If you come across more doppelgangers, send us your entry and we will include it next time around.
Contributed by DHCF Ankit Chaudhary

Thursday, June 9, 2011

South Africa: Turning Over A New Leaf?

After their World Cup relapse, South Africa would be looking to shun their past and renew their mindsets so as to welcome new opportunities and milestones in their future. That would include a complete makeover of the coaching staff as well as a new ODI captain. How will this fare for them in the long run?
To start off there is Gary Kirsten, who was once himself a Protea having played over a hundred Test matches and in that time managed to rack up 7,298 runs. However he is most renowned for his recent string of successes with the Indian national team, having guided them to being the No.1 Test nation and of course World Champions and No.2 on the ODI rankings in world cricket. Most recently, after his contract expired, he has signed a two-year contract with the Proteas as their batting coach and has a new wingman Russel Domingo as his assistant.
This is a huge privilege for South Africa as our batting could gain a lot from this. Although we have such talented and experienced players, not to mention AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla who currently possess 1st and 2nd position in the ICC ODI rankings, there is always room for improvement and it’s important that the top and middle order compliment one another under all circumstances.
On the other hand, there’s Allan Donald, who amongst the greats managed to achieve the milestone, during his days, of attaining over 300 Test wickets. Donald has recently joined Kirsten in the coaching staff as the head bowling coach. Prior to this, he was bowling coach to the Black Caps for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The Kiwi bowlers performed outstandingly throughout the tournament and so all fingers crossed for what he has in store for the South African bowlers. During the World Cup, South Africa learnt to combine pace with spin and that was, and still is, one of our greatest strengths. To be honest, I wanted Cricket South Africa (CSA) to appoint him the position he holds today, so hopefully their quality bowling attack can be maintained and even improve further under his guidance.
South Africa also has a new ODI captain. After former captain Graeme Smith stepped down as head honcho, taking his place will be none other than AB de Villiers. He has the experience as well as the talent. I think he’ll make a great ODI captain so I am excited to see how everything pans out when SA plays their first ODI series at home, after the World Cup, against Australia.
If you look at it, the Proteas couldn’t have better coaches at this point. However, at the end of the day, it is what the team puts out that really brings home the trophy. Under the guidance of these new mentors, South Africa can hopefully put aside the painful woes of the past and start anew. The only real problem they’ve ever had was the psychological aftermath of high expectations not being met, and it is believed by many that the Proteas should now have the means or the ability to live up to what we all know they can achieve.
The big question is whether South Africa’s new coaching staff will be able to achieve what has been done with India? In my opinion, there is not really much more to say because the best is yet to come. The Proteas are yet to show the world that they mean business when they tackle the Aussies later this year. Until then we can only wait (and by wait I mean anxiously observe whether India can dethrone Australia in the ODI rankings because the action never ends in cricket!) and hope for the best.
Surekha Bhugeloo for DieHard Cricket Fans

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Once Most Feared Tour…

West Indian tour was the most feared tour at one point of time both for the Indian Cricketers and the Indian spectators at home both having different reasons of course. Indian batsmen feared the West Indian tall and quick bowlers who would bowl bouncers at will and make them hop like a hot potato in hand, the wickets also didn’t give any relief to the Indian batsmen, the wickets had bounce and pace which Indian batsmen used to hate and was not comfortable, only a few Indian batsmen like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were little comfortable in the Island country in 1997 tour and Indian spectators feared this tour for the time difference, A 1 month long West Indian tour means 1 month of sleepless nights. Till the tour of 1997 the Indian batsmen were never comfortable to tour the Island country. Till late 1990s India were found this tour to be one of the most difficult tours.
Over the next 1 month India are back to the Island country where they do not have a very good record. India have played 42 test matches over 9 full series in WI starting from 1952-53 and last being in 2006, they have lost 18 test matches and won just 4 tests and out of 9 series India have won 2 series (1970-71 and 2006) and lost 7 series and out of the 4 test match wins 2 have come in the last decade (2001 and 2006) and 1 each came in series of 1970 and 1975 series. But things have changed now and only a few previous fears are still alive to come back and haunt India. Over the period of time since the 1970s where West Indies was the most feared team and was arguably the best ever team, the standard of their cricket has gone down considerably. The current team is nowhere close to the team of 1970s-80s and early 1990s. There are various reasons for the downfall of the West Indian team over the years. Few of the reasons being:
1) The standard of cricket set up by the formers greats are so high that it is difficult to match up with talent wise.
2) The retirement of all the former greats happened at the same time.
3) The pitches have lost their venom, the bounce and pace they had once is nowhere to be seen and on the contrary they have changed into the spin friendly pitches which helps teams like India and is not helpful for the home team as they don’t have any world class spinners to take wickets and don’t have world class batsmen against quality spin to score runs.
4) The backup talent after the retirements is not good.
5) One more important reason I think is the relationship between the Cricket Board and the players. The frequent fights between the board and players leads to too much of chopping and changing in the team which leads to unbalance team.
6) Not having proper talent management programmes. They should find talent and then do everything to nurture the talent this would benefit them in years to come.
Once their entire team was full of match winners, but now they even struggle to have one who can lift them. Now the West Indies is like a home away from home for the Indian team. The once scene of Charlie Griffith breaking the skull of Nari Contractor with his venomous bouncer in 1961-62 series is nowhere to be seen now, that scenes is been replaced by the slow and low pitches where the ball does not bounce over the knee height. West Indies was considered to a grave yard for debutant batsmen but when Virat Kohli would take guard in test matches making his debut it won’t be the same for him he has been brought up on pitches like this and bowling he would be facing won’t be that fearsome.
The West Indian cricket has one way to go that is UP, they are facing the number 1 team in test cricket, they have nothing to lose. On the contrary they should look at the Indian team for inspiration; they could look at the Indian batsmen and hunger for runs of players like VVS. Rahul Dravid and Virendar Sehwag over the years, a few tips and experience of such players would hold them in good future. West Indian quick bowlers should look up to Zaheer Khan for his experience and try to pick his brains on fast bowling and bowling on dead, slow and low pitches. They bowlers can also look up to Harbhajan Singh for his advice. They can even learn from the younger players of Team India, players like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Gautam Gambhir. I feel West Indies team should use this Indian tour as a learning experience for them. The Indian team have some legends in their side and have loads of experience which should help the West Indies team and their youngsters. It’s the way they take this series either they can take the beating from the Champion team hands down or stand up and learn from the experience of the champion team. This Indian team has transformed from an average team to a champion team, so their entire experience would benefit the West Indian team of years to come. I think more than the cricketing skills they should try to learn and try to pick up the things which work between the ears or try to learn the mind games and how they can have a strong mind and determination. The best team of West Indies were very good with their cricketing skills but was very strong mentally which the current team lacks.
Although the West Indies tour is not so feared any more for the Indian Cricketers but it continues to be feared tour for the spectators in India, as there would be many a sleepless nights for the next 1month. Let us all hope we once again get to see the West Indies team of the 70s and 80s but as an Indian would not want that to happen against the Indian Team.
Ricky Singh for DieHard Cricket Fans

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

India vs West Indies 1st ODI – A Match Made of Slop

A cricket match must know it has a problem when even the one hour highlights are a dead bore. Fact, barring very few individuals we are seeing two very average teams playing in very average matches, with the slightly less average team coming out on top. We have to focus on the bad, as singling out moments of good cricket makes a very short blog entry.
The West Indian Lowlights
The shot selection by the West Indian top order was as if it was tequila inspired. Simmons and especially Edwards did not even have half a clue against steady pace bowling and some quality spin, swishing away aimlessly as if chasing a rogue fly. Apart from a great shot from Darren Bravo, it was mostly embarrassing.
The coaching clinic is that way son. © Associated Press
Sarwan and Samuels, the only real batsmen there, gave us glimpses of their skill laced among periods of nothingness. A combined 111 runs from 169 balls at a strike rate of 66, only managed to haul their team to a mediocre total of 214. That total too was helped by umpiring blunders and the BCCI’s idiotic refusal to not use the DRS system. More capable opponents would have made the Indians really pay.
The Indian Lowlights
Rather than dismiss this total in the Hayden-Gilchrist-Ponting style of old (looking further and further in the past all the time), India kept the West Indies interested with an equally rudderless display. Shikhar Dhawan seemed intent on the ‘six or nothing’ method rather than accumulate runs, and threw his wicket away after grinding out a fifty. Rohit Sharma, despite settling down later on looked in full IPL mode, and was lucky to even get as far as he did. Only Suresh Raina looked organized, despite he too throwing his wicket away to a dumb shot.
The Reality Of It All
Just like the Pakistan vs West Indies series recently seen, this was like a B team tour match. Player greed and stupid politics ensure that the quality of international cricket is on a steady and alarming decline. It will only get worse as the IPL will rob us of quality cricket, and players will only save themselves for the ‘big tours’. Just imagine if the teams were selected to their true potential:
1. Virender Sehwag
2. Sachin Tendulkar
3. Gautam Gambhir
4. Virat Kohli
5. Yuvraj Singh
6. Suresh Raina
7. MS Dhoni (c) (w)
8. Harbhajan Singh
9. R Ashwin
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Munaf Patel
Versus
1. Chris Gayle (c)
2. Adrian Barath
3. Darren Bravo
4. Ramnaresh Sarwan
5. Shiv Chanderpaul
6. Kieron Pollard
7. Dwayne Bravo
8. Carlton Baugh (w)
9. Kemar Roach
10. Jerome Taylor
11. Devendra Bishoo
His presence alone is worth more runs than Kirk Edwards. © Getty
The bolded players were present on the day, that’s nine out of twenty two. Only our imaginations can savour this contest, In reality we will only get this garbage.
Contributed by Varun Prasad
Original Post: The Cricket Musings

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baap of all Cricket Retirements !

Why do I believe Pakistan Cricket has the ‘X-Factor’ ? Because they have the largest number of ‘Ex-Captains’ in their team.
Everyone seems to be in a hurry there; to retire, come back, retire again and come back again and then retire finally. Or do they ?
We have retirements, premature retirements, immature retirements and non-retirements. There are much awaited and anticipated retirements like that of Rahul Dravid. Then of course the extremely catastrophic event of the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. The fear is looming large. Well of course, that should not be much of a problem if you are a Pakistan supporter.
So finally the day the whole world was fearing about has arrived. No, not Sachin’s retirement day. Not even the end of the world, but much larger and infinitely terrible tragedy. An end of an era or say any buffalo dung you like. Shahid Afridi has retired !
But that is old news, some might say. So we will twist it a little bit. Shahid Afridi has re-retired. Now, that sounds better. We can add more ‘re’s as we progress. But wait, has he re-come back ?
It would be unfair to talk only about Afridi. Cricket has evolved from being ‘Gentleman’s Game’ to ‘Mental Jam’s Game’. Everybody plays ‘Mental Games’. Sometimes games and very often just mental. Steve Waugh believed ‘Everything was fair in Cricket and War’. Ponting believed nothing was unfair in Cricket and Ashes.
But coming back to Afridi, what is he playing ? Game ? Mental Game ? Mental ? War or plain dumb ? Last heard he is contemplating return to Cricket. I swear on Ijaz’s Butt, Pakistan Cricket is a marvel like nothing before and nothing since.
A lot of discussion has already taken place on Afridi’s retirement. Enough and more has been said about this re-retirement. But how can I retire without my say ? So I decided to take a random look at retirements of our Cricketers from the past; distant and not so distant.
Don Bradman retired because ‘99.94 ain’t so bad‘. It in fact appears a lot sexier than 100 today.
Gary Sobers retired after he found out that he could no longer drive after drinking.
Geoffrey Boycott retired after proving to himself that he was technically a better batsman than Sunny Gavaskar.
Bishan Singh Bedi retired because the butterfly wasn’t able to float and the bee wasn’t stinging either as Zaheer Abbas and Miyandad made him look ordinary.
Sunny Gavaskar said, “Quit when people ask why rather than when”. He retired scoring a tragic 96 in his last test innings and a hundred and a duck in his last first class match. A man of his words.
Mohindar Amarnath retired after he was convinced that nobody will break his record of come-backs. The ‘Bunch of Jokers’ made his decision easier.
Dilip Vengsarkar retired after the stupid adjudicators gave Man of the Match award to Kapil Dev for taking 434 wickets. There of course was other reason. There was no test to be played at Lords in nearest future at that time.
Kapil Dev retired after Javagal Srinath threatened to retire and Richard Hadlee almost died of boredom waiting for his record to be broken.
Azaruddin retired because of ‘Maine match banaaya’. Today, he is playing a different innings in Indian Politics. He is an Iconfor the likes of Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, Ajay Jadeja and Sulman Butt. Politics on either side of Indo-Pak border will not suffer for want of Sportsman Spirit.
Kim Hughes retired in tears. A real tearful adieu !
Alan Border retired because he had scored more runs than Gavaskar.
Manoj Prabhakar was retired by Sanath Jayasuriya.
Ravi Shastri was tired down by his knee and retired by Indian crowds baying for blood.
Sanjay Majrekar was retired by his shoulders. After shouldering arms to all balls outside the off stump in a One day match in the 49th over, he developed a fixed shoulder deformity. He has since proved to be a much better commentator and blogger.
Miyandad retired like only he could; like a street fighter. He fought with opponents, Umpires, Dennis Lillee, Ian Botham, his mother in law and Zaheer Abbas before there was nobody left to fight.
Imran Khan retired because he became bigger than Pakistan Cricket and in one of the proudest moments in Pakistan Cricket, he forgot his team.
Clive Lloyd retired because he had nothing more to achieve as Captain and only a little more in him as batsman.
Vivian Richards retired because he saw the beginning of the end of Caribbean domination.
Richie Richardson retired because he seriously began to believe he was in the wrong team.
Brian Lara retired because nothing else was right and he was left handed and stranded all the time.
Steve Waugh retired because he couldn’t have continued for long without facing the risk of axe. He made ‘Retirements in Installments’ a fashion.
Inzamam ul Haq retired because there was no one left in entire Pakistan who was not run out by Inzy Bhai.
Courtney Walsh retired because people started taking advantage of his magnanimity and started running even before he marked his run up. Once a pair of Australian batsmen actually completed 2 runs before Walsh reached the bowling crease.
Shane Warne retired because 6 weeks of IPL was more lucrative than 1 year of ‘Baggy Green’. And he didn’t have to slog for ten and a half months. He retired from IPL because he wanted to badmouth a RCA Official in public.
Glen McGrath retired because Warne was retiring and he could no longer dare to predict 5-0 white wash without sounding silly.
Saurav Ganguly retired from International Cricket after scoring a double century because he was ‘once bitten, twice shy’. He retired from domestic Cricket and came back to help his team qualify and then re-retired. He again faced the axe in IPL. But the Tiger roared again in IPL-2011 and we are waiting for total retirement.
Younis Khan retired because he couldn’t handle the foul smelling posterior that heads Pakistan Cricket. He looks both tired and retired as of now.
Anil Kumble retired because the graceless Cricket fans in India wanted him to and anoint Dhoni the Captain. Why ? They want Dhoni to retire ! Kumble again retired from IPL because even the President of Karnataka State Cricket Association is not allowed to play Cricket in suits.
Muralidharan retired because 800 is a huge number and the ICC rules still don’t allow runners for fielders.
But no retirement or re-retirement is quite like that of Mohammad Yousuf / Yousuf Yohana. His was the first retirement that came with a clause and a comma. He retired for the time being ! Later he was re-retired by Selectors. Before that, he retired from his religion. With that he also took retirement from shaving. In between he retired from ICC Cricket and signed up for ICL Cricket. But even before it began, he retired from ICL and wanted to Captain Pakistan. Then he retired as Pakistan Captain and now we don’t know. Even he doesn’t know if he is retired or is on a come back trail or on a go back trail. Move over Afridi, Yusuf is the most retired man on earth. And his is the ‘Baap of all Cricket Retirements‘ !
Govind Raj Shenoy For DieHard Cricket Fans