Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunny speak

Gavaskar's take on offering Greg Chappell e National Cricket academy (taken from cricinfo):

"It's never easy sacking somebody, however incapable and inefficient he/she may be ...but to give another job and that too one which deals with the future of Indian cricket after the mess the present of Indian cricket has been landed into, makes one wonder if we will ever get out of the inferior complex syndrome."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Farewell, king of the Caribbean

Saturday will be a special day. It will be a day for farewells. Duncan Fletcher, England's strong and resolute coach will step down. Brian Lara, the priceless gem of Caribbean, will play his last match. The Bajans will be in Kensington Oval in full force. The Caribbean carnival feeling will be in the air.

Whatever happens, I hope Lara does well. With West Indies out of the world cup, and the fans calmouring for his head (due to some admittedly "strange" captaincy) he resembles a king without a kingdom. One hopes that he wont do a Don Bradman and be dismissed for a duck in his last international innings. If there has been one batsman who has carried the entire team on his shoulders in the recent decade, it has been Lara. Andy Flower comes a close second though. However, in terms of a pure exhibition of joyous batting and entertainment, Lara remains unmatched.

Thanks for the memories, Brian Lara. Hope you have one last hurrah, and score a one day double century tomrrow to tread where no foot has ever trod before. That would be the most fitting finale for the king of Caribbean islands.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Family fueds

A sorry episode in the Arun Nayar - Liz Hurley episode, with Nayar's father disowning him.

Reservations looms its head yet again

Yet another example of the pig headednessof the the current Indian government. They put a stay order on announcement of results of IIMs, leaving lakhs of students writhing in tension. High time we asked ourselves whether we wanted a government insensitive to the actual needs and one which announces superficial measures in order to win over certain sections of the society and divide the country so as to stay in power. Wish they get the boot in the next elections.

BCCI backlash

Sambit Bal has a nice analysis of BCCI's recent decisions following the world cup debacle over here in cricinfo.

The pros -

  • Appointment of specialized coaches: Venkatesh Prasad for bowling and Robin Singh for fielding. The later is especially crucial
  • Restructuring of the domestic game (if that is, they stick to this commitment, which going by their past record is doubtful

The cons -

  • While the senior players were dumped with most of the blame,Chappell was almost fully exonerated. Apparently, the BCCI top brass were bowled over by his audio-visual presentation. Reports suggest they didnt even have any questions. Strange, considering the depths to which the team plunged under Chappell
  • While no one really excuses the players, they at least deserved a patient hearing. They didnt get it. The BCCI here, has been slyly opportunistic, cutting down on players' endorsements and, in the guise of punishing players, ensuring that their coffers keep swelling and their sponsors' interest are protected. This makes you hope the concept of Indian Cricket lEague takes off and BCCI falls irreparably from the pedestal to which Dalmiya took it. A board run by politicians so irreprehensibly deserves no better.

I yet reserve my opinion on retention of Dravid as captain (maybe this isnt so bad) and getting Shastri as the cricket manager. Shastri is certainly a good communicator, has tremendous knowledge of the game and has a shrewd cricketing brain. His appointment would be a success if he handles all the players tactfully.

Monday, April 2, 2007

senile, purely senile

The undisputed "Mr Big Mouth" of Indian cricket speaks again. He says that no Indian is fit to be the coach of the Indian team and that Greg Chappell, despite his lack of success should be retained.

Just to highlight this man's poor memory, he goes on to say that India had good success under John Wright because they played against weaker teams. Maybe he forgets that the World Cup in 2003 had the same teams as this one; maybe he forgets India toured Australia and almost pushed them over the limits under Wright as opposed to the whitewash Chappell's team faced in South Africa (a good team no doubt, but still second to Steve Waugh's indomitable Aussies).

The styles adopted by Wright and Chappell, at least to outsiders, are distinct. Wright coached the team and tried to get the out of form players back in form. Chappell chopped and changed. Wright maintained a low key approach, always putting the team first. Chappell on the other hand seemed always keen to hog the limelight and nurse his (inflated?) ego over and above everything else. Definitely, he lacked the sensitivity and tact of John Wright. All said and done, Wright was the perfect foil and coach for a high profile cricket team. Chappell, despite being a great player, stands deep in shadows of Wright so far as coaching is concerned.

However, what one should take from the Chappell era is the fact that he at least had the guts to take a few tough decisions. The decision to drop Ganguly was perhaps the best example (although the shameful manner in which this was done definitely left a bad taste).

Like all individuals Mr Dungarpur has the right to vent his opinion. And like all individuals we have the right to have a good laugh at them.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Bhogle speaks

A superb piece from Harsha Bhogle on the ills confronting Indian cricket.
He ends with "..names wont matter, the issues wont go away". I only hope that some of the "names" read Harsha's article and take it to heart.