Monday Jan 07, 2008

No evidence, but still guilty?

Harbhajan banned for three-matches for alleged "racial abuse". Umpires haven't heard or seen anything. Mike Procter himself came on camera and said that the umpires told him they have not heard or seen anything. Did he see anything from the TV footage? It does not seem so. If there is any evidence, we have the right to know it. Aussie players claim something. Indian players claim otherwise. Two parties are not agreeing on what really happened. Under the circumstances, you expect the ICC referee to dismiss the charge on the lack of evidence. Instead, he punished Harbhajan. Did he go by just the word from Aussie players alone?

Now, by this process anyone can be punished. Any team can gang against the better players of the opponent team and claim racial abuse or anything that can get a ban! If a Muttiah Muralidaran bowls well, previously they claimed chucking, shouted "no ball", wrote "expert" columns about his bowling action and so on. Now, it seems that there is even a new trick - claim "racial abuse", get a ban for 2/3 matches and then you can bag the series!!

If BCCI believes injustice has been done, then they should just pull out and send a strong message to ICC. It is ICC that needs India and it's large cricket crazy population. Not the other way around. It is economically viable to have our own tournaments, entertain public, have fun and make money. BCCI has to learn from the ICL example and start something within India and expand.

Sunday Jan 06, 2008

Aussies win as expected, but...

Aussies win as expected. But, that does not change my comments earlier. While Indian second inning batting is worst, the controversial umpiring decisions had definite effect on the match. While it may sound "sour grapes" now, ICC has to do everything to improve umpiring. And Steve Bucknor has to go!

Aussies can win any match....

Observations based on the second test:
  1. Aussies lost 6 wickets fairly quickly in the first inning. It could have been easily 200 all out. But, one player [Symonds] gets multiple lives! He goes as not out.
  2. So long as Steve Bucknor officiates matches India has no chance. He does not ask for third umpire at times when Indian team needs most.
  3. Even the third umpire seems to "get it wrong" [what was he doing other than watching TV?]
  4. Umpire (Mark Benson) asks the Aussie fielder to check whether Ganguly was out or not!! Why not call out third umpire or ask the batsman as well? [never mind even the third umpire gets wrong to help the Aussies!]
  5. They can play so called "mind games". Even a bunch of former players and local media bat and bowl for their team. Other teams don't have this luxury or haven't learned the "art". They write/talk about so called "weakness" of opponents, "talk a lot" during fielding/batting. But, claim racial abuse when the opponent talks. I don't believe Aussies are talking the truth here. Why should anyone believe Aussie players? They claim catch after picking up the ball from the ground. Aussie players don't walk when they know they are out. ( "I was out when I was 30 - given not out. I can sit here and tell you about some bad decisions as well, but I won't. That's the game." Andrew Symonds tells). That talks a lot about their honesty. Why should anyone believe them? I believe (like many in India) this may be one of the tricks by Aussies. Unless the umpires have seen/heard something or TV has captured something, it is not fair to punish Harbhajan Singh based on the words from Aussies.

Wednesday Jan 02, 2008

13 players in a 11 player sport?

13 players in a 11 player sport? And "that's cricket"??

Saturday Mar 24, 2007

Half empty or half full?

As expected (especially after loosing to Bangladesh), loosing to Sri Lanka followed! Here is my "half full" perspective:
  • Cola companies would probably rethink about their strategy - ads. showing cricketers morphing to tigers?. Good joke!
  • Cricket (for that matter most sports) is for youngsters. If a team member is 30+, he should probably retire - unless if he is a super performer today! - past glory (?) is immaterial. I hope there will be some pressure at home.
  • TV channels would probably show other interesting things. Cricket "experts" everywhere... pre/post-match analysis... voting on everything by SMS... come on, cricket is not the only thing in the world. Viewers deserve better than that. I hope channels will get the message soon [and switch to focus on celebrity marriage/divorce instead ? :-) ]
  • Last but not the least: due to timezone difference, I had to be awake from 7.00 PM to 3.00 AM to watch matches. Now, I can have sound sleep in the coming days (may be just watch the highlights of good games like SA vs Aussies).

Sunday Mar 18, 2007

Who are "minnows" here?

Yesterday Bangladesh defeated India and Ireland defeated Pakistan. Who are "minnows" here? At least Pakistan had some reasons - they don't have two of their strike bowlers and also miss their star all rounder batsman (although 132 all out would still be questionable). But about Indian team? - rubbish!

Monday Jul 03, 2006

Not much to see in football, turn to the other!

Seeing both Brazil and Argentina exit (That too Argentina in a penalty shoot-out!), FIFA is over for me. I turned to the good old (the?) other sport -- 1-0 is way better than 0-0 (square turner in West Indies!!) - but could have been 2-0 or even 3-0!

Tuesday Mar 28, 2006

India wins a low scoring one day match!

India made 203. England all out for 164!. I really don't know what to say about this match... I like that 434/438 match better!!

Wednesday Mar 22, 2006

Another Indian collapse!!

Like many in India, I do like (that is an understatement!) cricket. All too familiar, yet another Indian team seconding innings collapse today :-(. But, I think England deserved to win this match.
  • Electing to field first after winning the toss (hint of lack of confidence?)
  • good bowling by England. I like the way England bowled to the weakness of Indian batsmen (for example, bouncers)
  • good, patient second innings batting by England. Many thought they were playing too slow. I thought that is fine -- you don't always need to score at 4 runs an over to win a test match.
  • too many dropped chances by Indian team
  • too much of dependence on Rahul Dravid. He needs support from the other top order batsmen.
I think Indian bowlers did their job reasonably well. It is time for Indian batsmen to play against Munaf Patel and get trained against the bouncers?



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