Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cricket, Bleddy Cricket

The cricket world has been extremely eventful over the past couple of weeks. Too much, some would say. My thoughts on some of them:
1) RIP Peter Roebuck: One of the best cricket writers going around, many of us are extremely sad today on the news of his death (suicide ?). He was an opinionated and articulate writer, with whom you either strongly agreed or disagreed. I for one, have both enjoyed his articles and mocked them.  This is a fine tribute for the man. He will be missed.
 2) Prison sentences handed out to cricketers: In a world, where corrupt politicians and businessmen involved in million dollar scams are walking free, to have prison sentences for cricketers bowling no balls appeared bizarre to me. Having said that, one has got to respect the law of the land etc etc. Here is one fine piece by Aatif Nawaz which argued against the prison sentences handed out. I visited a couple of Pakistani news sites out of curiousity to check how was the reaction there, not quite sure what to expect. There appeared to be unanimous condemnation of these 3 criminals and jubilation at justice being done to these 3 players who had brought shame to their nation. This appeared to be the "Honour Killing" moment of cricket for me, where people were rejoicing the punishment meted out to folks who had in their opinion brought them shame and disgrace. Whether the crimes deserve the severity of the punishment remains a debatable matter, one which got lost perhaps in the aftermath.
3) Day 2 at the Newlands: Only the 3rd day in the history of test cricket, where all four innings of a test match took place on the same day - the events at Newlands were quite staggering. And none more so than the Aussies getting bowled out for 47 in their 2nd innings. To see them at 21/9 on cricinfo in my office was a quite unbelievable moment. I had not followed the match once the Saffers had got bowled out and when someone asked me to check the score, my eyes nearly popped out. Yet another day, when you wish you were in front of the TV screen, but then again, such is life that ...... damn it.
4) India find a new off spinner: R Ashwin has been around for some time. We have come to enjoy his bowling in the IPL and ODIs and he has now made a pretty good debut in Tests as well. Again, did not see the match on TV as all the match days were working days. This is one ball I definitely enjoyed seeing in the highlights.

What's also cool about him is the refreshing way he speaks - this is fantastic
5) Bleddy BCCI: I just had to say this. Who are the geniuses who do the itenary planning these days. Most people, that I know get holidays on Sundays. Some of them also get Saturdays off. Why would you then schecule test matches on week days. Ask someone who has IDEA, cause I ain't got any.

And as a post script how about reading this blog about how easy it was to see the match at the Kotla in Delhi. This has gone viral actually - READ IT.

PS: Just tought I will preseve a link of an article I read this week on the story of how and why the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore got its name. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"..But how did a cricket stadium some 3,525 miles away from Tripoli come to carry the name of a Libyan dictator anyway? To find the answer we have to go back to 1974, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was three years into his first term as Pakistan's first civilian leader and Gaddafi had been head of state in Libya for five years. Ali Bhutto was hosting the second Islamic summit conference in Lahore, a grand get-together of the heads of state from 37 Islamic nations. They were an eclectic bunch, including the Shah of Iran and Yasser Arafat, and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of Bangladesh. This was only three years after the end of the war of independence. As a way of wooing the Muslim world into supporting the Pakistani state at a time when India was conducting its first nuclear tests, Bhutto announced that several locations in Lahore would be renamed in honour of his fellow Muslim leaders. Lahore's Charing Cross district became Faisal Chowk, after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Lyallpur was renamed Faisalabad.
Thousands of Pakistanis filled the Lahore stadium, as it was then known, to see Gaddafi, who had been lauded by Bhutto as a great friend and benefactor of the nation, give a thunderous speech in support of their nation's right to pursue a policy of nuclear development. And so the gratified Bhutto rechristened the stadium in Gadaffi's honour. Soon after Gadaffi allowed tens of thousands of Pakistani professionals to immigrate to Libya, and started giving financial aid to Bhutto's government.."

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