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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
** A double century with this post after more than three years of blogging. Should have achieved this landmark about six months ago but better late than never.

** Mukul Kesavan, renowned writer who authored the book on cricket, "Men in White", (he contributes to a Cricinfo blog by the same name), is not happy with the Indian Premier League and goes to the extent of comparing it with trash in this article. Somwehere in the article he expresses his hatred for Twenty20 cricket stating that bowlers are cast as "extras" or in other words, are redundant.

** If Mukul had watched the inaugural match of the IPL between Bangalore and Kolkata, he may not have made such a statement. Or maybe he would have, given the fact that he hates T20. Any die-hard fan of cricket would acknowledge the Kolkata bowlers' efforts to bowl out the Royal Challengers for a paltry 82. But then, Mukul could challenge this by saying that the Bangalore team was full of Test players who are unsuited for T20. In that case, I would suggest him to watch the Kolkata vs Chennai IPL match in which bowlers of the Chennai team succeeded in their efforts to not give away too many runs to the Knightriders. While it is generally believed that T20 is a batsman's game, I am of the view that it has got something in it for the bowlers too. Any experienced, talented bowler will realise that he has only four overs to produce his best. Taking wickets may not be all that necessary but not conceding too many runs is. It gives him an opportunity to innovate, come up with new ways to fox the batsman and he can then apply these strategies to 50-over matches. I hear someone saying IPL + T20 = death of FOI(fifty over internationals) but I can ignore him/her for the ICC has already planned to conduct an FOI World Cup in 2011 and that too in the Indian subcontinent and I am sure it will be much better than FOI WC 2007 which turned out to be a dampener.

** Another piece of garbage in Mukul's IPL trash can is what he calls razzmatazz provided by Bollywood stars and cheerleaders. Fans like me find the entertainment from the cricketers more fascinating than that by Bollywood stars, one of whom has termed himself the 12th man of the Kolkata team. Somewhere near the end of the post, Mukul compares IPL with the EPL i.e cricket with football. He says that teams in the EPL have a century old legacy attached to them and since the IPL does not have one, it will fail because of narrow geographical base. He must realise that this is only the inaugural series and down the line we might have teams like Ahmedabad Avalanches, Madurai Machans, Cochin Kuttichaathaans etc. Whether the IPL will fail or not, we will know after this inaugural tournament and what comes after that. With one whole month of T20 action, it is too early to say.

** Meanwhile the Indian Cricket League(ICL) is charting out plans to have an all-England team on the lines of its all-Pakistani team, the Lahore Badshahs. There are plans to have South African, Australian and West Indian sides as well.

** The ICL has applied to the ICC seeking recognition. The IPL has requested the ICC to provide it a window i.e include it in the international cricketing calendar. Not to be done in by the success of its neighbour, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to launch its own premier league. The ECB has collaborated with millionaire Allan Stanford, resulting in a Stanford-ECB T20 league. Cricket Australia (CA), who was a victim of the Kerry Packer circus of the late 1970s, is planning its own T20 league.

** Elsewhere in TamilNadu, the trailor and music of KamalHassan's upcoming movie 'Dasaavathaaram' are working wonders. Listening to the music resulted in Malcolm Speed quitting his post of ICC president and watching the trailor frustrated Harbhajan Singh so much that he slapped his Indian team mate Sreesanth and was slapped in return with a rest-of-IPL ban.

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Property of Sheks @ 12:39 pm   6 comments
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
That the Indian economy, presidency and sports are all in disarray at the same time is best explained in today's homepage of (see highlighted parts)

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Property of Sheks @ 4:01 pm   1 comments
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The Chennai-Pune Air Deccan flight, in the last 15 minutes of its journey before landing, resembles a typical state transport bus. Too much of vibration even in a clear sky. Now I know why they call it an airbus.
Property of Sheks @ 4:14 pm   0 comments
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Last night, CNN IBN's prime time show 'Face the Nation' featured the topic whether superstars like Rajinikanth should comment on matters that are essentially political without having formally entered active politics.

If IBN were to believe in the above, then Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose must indulge themselves in active politics before commenting on political issues.

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Property of Sheks @ 11:17 am   2 comments
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The ICL Chennai Superstars team fails to get a hatrick of three straight series wins. After winning the inaugural ICL T20 and the ICL 50s tournaments, they failed to qualify for the finals after being defeated by the Hyderabad Heroes, yesterday. Chasing a score of 148, Superstars had managed to reach 136 in 19 overs with three wickets remaining. Justin Kemp of the Hyderabad Heroes bowled the last over and in the process, picked up two successive wickets of the first two balls. In came Shabbir Ahmed. It seemed, at that moment, that it was all over for the Superstars when Shabbir sprang a surprise by hitting a six taking the score to 142. All that was needed was one more sixer. But Kemp had other ideas and bowled a tighter delivery and all Shabbir Ahmed could manage was a quick single, almost running out Syed Mohammed, who was at the non-striker's end till then. 5 runs from 2 balls. Syed Mohammed was going strong with a strike rate of 141 and he was expected to hit the winning shot. But he messed up in the process, hitting to the wicketkeeper, trying to 'steal' a single and running himself out, thus signalling the end of the Superstars' campaign in the ICL Grand Championship 2008. Hyderabad Heroes will meet one of Kolkata Tigers and Lahore Badshahs in the finals while Chennai Superstars will vie for the third place with the loser among the latter two teams.

Presently on, is the other semi-final between Kolkata Tigers and the so-far-undefeated Lahore Badshahs. The Badshahs have posted an imposing total of 182 and the Tigers have just begun their chase.

The Cauvery issue is back. This time it is not over tribunal observations but over a drinking water supply project at the Hogenakkal area, that lies exactly between Karnataka and TamilNadu. Karnataka is not in favour of TamilNadu utilising the river's waters for supplying drinking water to Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. The state contends that the centre give permission to implement a similar project to supply drinking water to Bangalore City. TN argues that it will be utilising only that share of the water allotted to it.

There is the usual stuff from Mandya district blocking the Bangalore--Mysore highway, defacing, torching and deflating tyres of TN-bound buses, simmering tension at the border between the two states, regional Kannada parties (some of whom are Kannada chauvinists) protesting, autodrivers in Bangalore frowing at anyone who happens to speak in Tamil, Tamil movies lifted off theatres in Karnataka etc. Editorials in newspapers opine that the only way to solve this issue is by talks. But when talks have been going on for decades and no solution is in sight till date, how could one expect fresh rounds of talks to resolve the issue?

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Property of Sheks @ 8:34 pm   2 comments

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