Monday, July 29, 2013

Mumbai Police have unnecessarily inconvenienced the BCCI

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The BCCI has given itself a clean chit, after a report from a inquiry committee that it itself set up to investigate its own potential links to the IPL fixing scandals.

The question now in my mind is how to we ensure fringe organizations like the Mumbai Police do not inconvenience the functioning of the BCCI and smear baseless allegations against the fine gentlemen that run the IPL for the BCCI.

If the BCCI's clean chit to it self has to be taken at face value, then one must question what the Mumbai Police were up to?

It is to the immense maturity and level headed nature of N. Srinivasan, that he isn't pressing charges against the Mumbai Police for unnecessarily dragging his name into the murky world of cricket betting. A lesser man would have turned vindictive and banned the Mumbai Police.

Its no laughing matter...

The BCCI can ban the Mumbai Police.

It is believed that N. Srinivasan has also declined to apply for unemployment benefits for the 60 odd days he was asked to step aside. Such sacrifice for the cause of the game is being hailed by one and all....mostly Sunil Gavaskar.

As the cricketing fraternity (mostly Sunil Gavaskar) is beginning to absorb the level of injustice done to N. Srinivasan, words of encouragement to N Srinivasan and scorn against the Mumbai Police are beginning to get louder.

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar speaking on Television said, "Cricket is an interrrrrnal matter of the BCCI, and the Mumbai Police should have known better".

Harsha Bholge said, "With this move the BCCI have not only done the right thing, but also I am sure the public will perceive this to be the right thing. By not using their might against the Mumbai Police for false accusations, the BCCI has shown the world that it is not the bully that foreigners wrongly perceive them to be. That they have forgiven the Mumbai Police is testament to their restraint"

Sensing the mood of the 'cricketing fraternity', the Mumbai Police have promised to hold their own internal probe into why innocent IPL owners from reputable businesses were unnecessarily accused of wrong doing.

The BCCI was right all along. It was a case of a few rotten eggs succumbing to the lure of cash.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sundry Thoughts

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India shrugged off the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar and won the Champion Trophy in style. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of limited overs fare, but cricket is cricket and you'll have to pry the remote out of my cold dead hands to switch the cricket channel. Dhoni attained mythic status with his assault on Eranga. If Eranga ever bowls another last over, it'll be a miracle. For the record, I don't recall Chetan Sharma ever bowling the last over again after Miandad launched him into the Sharjah stands.

The Ashes rocketed off the blocks like Usain Bolt. Five days of terrific cricket. Full houses every day, heroics every day and the icing on the cake with Agar smashing England to smithereens in his debut game. If there are any doubts that the English attack can be neutralized, Agar provided it first and Haddin next. Haddin's assault on Finn after a blockade against Anderson reminded me of Gambhir and Tendulkar's taming of Dale Steyn in South Africa in 2010. Those were the days before Tendulkar used to get routinely bowled for low scores. (Yes - This is Vidooshak and yes, I am knowingly commiting sacrilege).

A side note on Sachin. If there's anyone out there who still believes that India "needs" Sachin, they need to get their head examined. It's they who need Sachin because of the paucity of heroes in their lives probably, but the Indian team is doing just fine without Sachin. Hopefully, he too sees sense and quits before the team to South Africa is named.

The biggest story of the test match just concluded was DRS. We continue to believe that LBWs and doubtful caught behinds should be treated like run-outs and stumpings. The umpire can refer it to the TV umpire to decide. There is zero need to allow players to challenge an umpire's decision. Read Gilchrist's post on Cricinfo. We happen to share much of his angst about tampering with the spontaneity of test cricket.

In truth, England should have won the test match in a canter, but Australia's bowlers really took the fight to them. If any of the top order were to click at Lords, England will have to dig deep to pull out a victory. Watson has to take more responsibility and find a way to marry his shot-making to the match situation. I am a Watson believer and do think he'll come good in the games to come. I also believe Steve Smith has it in him to step up. However, if Australia go down in this test match without significant output from their top and middle orders, then the series could be a wipe out for them.

The revelations from Mickey Arthur only add to our impression that Clarke is a weak captain and is not in control of his team. We had written a post after the infamous Sydney test of 2008 that Clarke will be reduced to the same status as Kim Hughes was. While Hughes lost form and test matches, Clarke still can make runs, maybe.

On then to hopefully another rivetting test match.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why is 'Stand Your Ground' acceptable behavior?

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It is considered acceptable behavior, in the modern game, for batsman to stay their ground even when they are clearly out.

The umpires are there to make the call. Let them do their jobs....Is the reasoning behind it. Some also go to the extent to suggest that overruling the umpire and "walking" amounts to "undermining the authority of the umpire"

Call me old fashioned, but I am increasingly uncomfortable with this line of thinking

Today, as one of the most intriguing of Tests unfolds at Nottingham, Stuart Broad stood his ground, almost embarrassed, as he edged a ball to slips and let the umpire figure out the multiple deflections.

If a fielder is reprimanded for claiming a catch that is on the bump, I think batsmen should be held to the same 'code of conduct'. To me there appears to be two differing codes that batsmen and bowlers are expected to adhere to

Cricket is increasingly moving towards an attitude that encourages "testing the umpire" by making their jobs more and more difficult. Even the DRS is not emerging to be an aid to the umpire, rather its becoming a tool that is often used to judge the performance of the on field umpire.

It is my belief that the biggest impact in correct decisions being delivered in a game of cricket will happen when players stop depending on the umpires to give them a life.

That however will require a strong departure from how things have evolved. It shouldn't be acceptable for the batsmen to stay their ground for obvious nicks.

It is as good as cheating. Just like claiming a bump catch is considered cheating.

It would be unfortunate if this classic Test match is remembered more for Broad's standing of his ground, than for the twists and turns that it has provided.

Its been one of the most absorbing Test matches I have watched in a long time.