Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Cricket schedulers clearly have little sense of timing. After a World Cup that ambled at the start into a furious sprint in the end, we have Australia facing Bangladesh. I mean, gimme a break! The IPL too has cranked up to empty stadia. After the frenzy of the World Cup, all the six hitting now seems pointless.

Shane Watson annhilated Bangladesh, but who cares? Big deal, so did Sehwag, but in a World Cup game that mattered. I'm a huge fan of Shane Watson, but didn't he get his timing off by a few weeks? This is what he should have done against India at Motera. Having said that, Watson further rubbed humiliation into Bangladesh's wounds by claiming that he simply didn't want to run. I mean, did he really have to say that? It's bad enough for Bangladesh to know that they don't belong. An Aussie hammering of Bangladesh, right after a good World Cup is not what a cricket fan should be subjected to.

Watson's innings further brings in disrepute, ICC's decision to keep Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as automatics in the next World Cup. Ireland is obviously upset and Netherlands deserve to be upset too. These two teams demonstrated some organized resistance to the anointed ones. They were not good enough to get past the post. Ireland is especially exciting with their brand of cricket. Bangladesh's cricket is neither exciting nor encouraging. To ask the bottom two test teams to win playoff battles with the associates is a fair request.

Afridi is blowing hot, hotter and ice-cold within days. He led a sprited Pakistan challenge in the world up to the semi-finals. In the end, heart alone could not overcome lack of depth. It was a brave Pakistan challenge that was put down by India with missionary zeal. Afridi added to his stature when immediately upon return, he questioned the media on their obsessive dislike for India. Shortly, thereafter, he came up with a brain-dead response that would only make the extremists proud. My only explanation is that he got a friendly phone call from the neighborhood jihadi.

His last statement about Miandad is another one that is cool on the outside, though not diplomatic. "Miandad is not the only great batsman that we have produced". Classic. It may have killed any chances for a coaching role for Miandad, but it must have also sent a message to others that egos are not wanted, experts are. I'm still convinced that Afridi is the right person for the cricketing culture that is Pakistan.

If you put a suave, press-friendly mask on Pakistan cricket administration, you will get Sri Lanka. The resignations followed by more resignations is humorous to say the least. The most impressive thing about this idiocy is that Sangakarra has managed to make it sound smart. With his introspective interview and sane sounding analysis, he had me. Until I looked at the result and realized that SL as a whole is looking foolish despite every individual looking quite smart. This is like the Indian batting order of the eighties and nineties when at one time everyone had a test century or fifty to his name, but the team kept losing due to collapses. So no one could be dropped.

SL should take a leaf from South Africa and do it their way. Lots of resignations, but no drama. Which brings up a point? Why do World Cups have to result in blood-baths of resignations and rebuilds? Only one team is going to win at a time. Does it really mean that everyone else sucks?


straight point said...

If you put a suave, press-friendly mask on Pakistan cricket administration, you will get Sri Lanka.

this is most compelling statement i have heard in a while...

Neerav said...

True Sanga makes sound everything cool (even cheating at the toss :))- Imagine Ponting or Afridi doing that.

I don't get this resigning after World Cup thing. It is like everyone has to start building towards the next World Cup. I would say go with your strongest combination to get the best results in the next 2-3 years.

Golandaaz said...


4 years back when Bangladesh went to the Super 8s, everyone had a hard-on when they talked about Bangladesh. Now they all want Ireland to do something about it, Bangladesh can no longer sustain it for them.

zaheer said...

The reaction of Afridi was natural, because if you honestly review the reports of Indian Media based on insulting Afridi before the semi final, you will find the facts. Practicing on Black marble was portrayed by Indian media as Pakistani Bowlers are practicing to Kill Sehwag and Tendulker. An empty frame (for dead man) was shown and was told that Afridi is going to fill it, because Dhoni is going to eat his captaincy. A video was broad-casted in which Afridi was helping Yovrag sing in standing when he fill down on the ground (while taking a run), the reporter was saying that infact Afridi was going to got him out by cheating. Beside these baseless insulting packages Indian media call him continuously cheater again and again. Yes, he has been punished for ball tempering before, but so many Indian Players has been also awarded punishment in these charges. Even Tendulker has faced the allegations of ball tempering and after the intervention of Indian parliament he managed to escape from these allegations. India players (Azhar Ud Din, Jadeja, Pharbake) had been involved in match fixing, now it does not mean that we Paksitani should use the bad impact of these players for insulting of India or Indian players for ever as Indian Media did with Afridi. Shane Warne and Harshel Gibbs were also involved in match and were punished, but Indians are very proud of them and are giving them every respect in IPL, why these double standards.

Golandaaz said...

zaheer, you bring up too many issues. but i will talk about only one.

I am not as much exposed to Indian media but from what we get here in the US, I can safely say that 90% of the WC coverage was sensationalized to the point of being stupid and offensive.

I saw that black marble news item, rolled my eyes and switched channels