Saturday, March 31, 2007

World Cup Cricket 2007 – Magical Moments- Courtesy You Tube

The World Cup Cricket-2007 has entered its second round – the Super 8s. The preliminary round had enough drama. The tournament saw some major upsets with two former champions and sponsors favorites India and Pakistan bowing out, India posting the highest score in the World Cup, 6 sixes in an over in an international match for the first time by H Gibbs and the list goes on.

Another thing that happened is that the world governing body of cricket ICC had banned cricket clippings to be put in popular video site You Tube. I logged into You Tube and saw hell lot of clippings in that site. Another stupid decision by ICC I must say.

Here I am just putting some clippings from You Tube which sums up the preliminary round of the world cup. One of the main reasons why I am compiling these is that my colleagues mostly Americans wanted to know more about cricket and I thought compiling like this is a better way to show them and make them understand what cricket is.

So let us start with the most talked about stuff in this world cup-India’s exit from world cup. See how pathetically we played against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Fall of Indian wickets against Bangladesh

Fall of Indian wickets against Sri Lanka

Pakistan has proved that they are a worser side than India. They could not even cross 150 against Ireland. Was this match fixed? Even people playing street cricket will show more application than what Pakistan showed here.

Fall of Pakistan wickets against Ireland

Super 8’s have just started. But this world cup has already produced a super star. Yes I am talking about Dwayne Leverock, a 280 lb police man from Bermuda. His left arm spin had got him few wickets in the practice matches including that of Andrew Flintoff. He rose to superstardom with the catch he took of India’s Robin Uthappa. That was an absolute stunner, wasn’t it?

In the name of spreading the game to nook and corner of the world, ICC advocates more associate members playing the world cup. Thanks to that ICC policy we were blessed to see for the first time in the international level 6 sixers in an over. Here it is. Watch and enjoy how Gibbs thrashed that young Netherlands bowler.

One of the most interesting match in the preliminary round was the one involving Ireland and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needed 9 runs to win from the last over and they could manage only 8 runs. This tie along with their victory against Pakistan took them to the Super 8s. Here is the tension filled last over for you.

While Indian batting failed miserably against Bangladesh see how Sri Lanka flourished against Bangladesh. See some of the shots played by Jayasurya. Does he look 37?

Australia has posted scores over 300 in the last 6 matches which by itself is a record. See how Kangaroos massacre world number 1 South Africa and minnows Scotland. Australians don’t care if you are No 1 or a minnow. If you bowl to them they are going to hit it out of ground. Don’t have to think too much why they won the world cup 2 previous occasions and going strong to win the third.

See their batting against world number 1 South Africa

Now their batting against Scotland

One person whom I love to watch playing is Canada’s Davison. He scored the fastest world cup century against West Indies during the last world cup. Now see him in action against New Zealand and decide for yourself why I told I love to watch him play often. For me he is the epitome of power hitting. This clipping is from World Cup-2003.

Although South Africa lost to Australia they played pretty well till now in the World Cup. See here, their bowlers in action against Scotland.

For the hardcore Indian cricket fan who still have energy, patience and courage to watch and talk good about record breaking performance of India against Bermuda here are the highlights of Indian batting against Bermuda. Hope one day India plays like this against a leading test playing nation.

Lots more to follow. Will come back with more clippings from You Tube. There is a good chance that some of these clippings will be taken out from youtube because of the short sighted policy of ICC. If you find out any link that is not working or showing some error please let me know.


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Friday, March 23, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: International Cricket Corporation (ICC) listed in NASDAQ!

March 22, 2025, New York: International Cricket Corporation (ICC) was officially listed in NASDAQ today. ICC whose income is mainly by "selling" game of cricket is the largest corporation of this kind in the world. ICC is already listed in almost all other major stock exchanges in the world.

Scene 1: New York, USA.

In the press conference in Washington to mark his corporation being listed in NASDAQ, ICC President Mr. MS spoke about the bright future of his company. According to him, “Our Corporation is expanding at a rapid pace and our profit the first quarter of this year will be more than 300% more than the same quarter previous year. We pride in spreading the game of cricket through out the world. As part of our expansion we are planning to have a corporate office opened in US. This corporate office will oversee the 5 cricket matches to be held between India and Pakistan in US in May. President’s of Indian and Pakistan units of ICC are meeting tomorrow in Mumbai to finalize about these games”.

Scene 2: ICC’s India headquarters: Mumbai
Meeting between Indian ICC president Mr. SP and his Pakistani counterpart Mr. PM just started. Agenda of the meeting: - Decide the venues of the Indo-Pak matches to be held in US and to finalize the minimum bid for granting broadcasting rights of those matches.

After exchanging pleasantries, both parties got into serious business. Indian ICC President asked his Vice President Mr. X to suggest few venues for the India-Pakistan matches based on their research. Mr. X tells, “We have good stadiums in Chicago, Austin and Phoenix. We can have 5 matches in these 3 venues with 2 venues having 2 matches each….” Before Mr. X could complete the Pakistan ICC President interrupts him.

Pak ICC President, “We prefer to have in Florida, Los Angeles, New York, Denver and San Diego. The whole Pakistan ICC team wants to accompany the team with their family and these are their preferred places. We don’t want to spend time in a desert like Phoenix”.

For this the Indian Vice-President replies, “ Sir, we don’t have grounds big enough for cricket in any of these cities. We only have NFL grounds there that are very small. They are only 100 yards long in one direction and half of that in the other direction”.

Hearing this both Indian and Pakistani ICC Presidents were delighted. Indian ICC President delightfully made his stance clear, “we should hold maximum number of matches in the smallest possible grounds. There will be a run feast, which will make every one happy. If any of the Indian or Pakistani players are out of form with bat they can use these matches to come back to form. This will help us commercially in the long run.”

His Pakistani counterpart just heard what he wanted to hear. Now it is his turn to talk, “This is exactly what we want. So go ahead and book those stadiums. If we have 2 NFL stadiums in the same place, book the stadium with less playing area and maximum seating capacity.”

ICC Indian President authorizes his media manager to let the whole world know that India is going to play Pakistan in 5 different places in US at NFL stadiums.

Now the ICC Presidents move to the second thing in their agenda – finalizing the guarantee money for issuing broadcasting rights for these 5 matches. The Indian ICC President asked his financial officer to present his findings.

Finance Officer, “ICC corporate office in Abu Dhabi has asked Indian and Pakistan boards to donate 50 million US dollars to start new offices in Ethiopia, Uganda and Antarctica. Another 100 million has to be raised for buying 10 airplanes for ICC so that ICC members don’t have to fly in commercial airplanes. Based on all of this, I propose that we should have minimum guarantee money as 300 million US dollars as guarantee money for broadcasting rights.”

Now Pakistani Finance Minister stood up with a question “Can we realistically raise so much money?”

For this both Indian and Pakistani Presidents of ICC reply in one tone “Don’t worry about that. Marketing will do the trick for us. We should project this as a war between India and Pakistan. This will raise the patriotic feelings of the people of both countries. Passion will run high and life in both countries will become standstill during those matches. Media secretaries of both countries will work with professional groups/sponsors to bring out videos to ignite passion of common people of both countries”.

Every one present there seems to be happy and the meeting gets adjourned. The news comes out that India is going to play Pakistan in US this March. ICC’s stock prices increase over night. Investors are happy, administrators of ICC are happy, common people are happy as they think they are about to see a war between India and Pakistan to be fought in US soil, sponsors are happy. It seems as though everyone is a Winner in this deal except one loser and


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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Indian Cricket Team-They Deserve to Lose

I wrote this post when India lost to Bangladesh. Now they have lost to Sri Lanka also. What I wrote 3 days back is more relevent now. Indian cricket needs a total revamp with new faces. This is what I published 3 days back.

As an Indian I feel sad seeing India go down even without a fight to Bangladesh in the World Cup match. I have written this blog even 1 year before titled “India World Cup Champions 2007?” Keeping the patriotism aside I feel the Indian Team deserve to loose against Bangladesh. India may still qualify for Super 8s round but the problems with Indian cricket remains. These problems have to be dealt with if India has to be a strong cricket team.

Over commercialization is killing cricket in India. BCCI is more interested in making profit than properly preparing the Indian cricket team. Every one in BCCI knew that pitches in the World Cup would have something for the bowlers. But see, just before world cup BCCI invited West Indies and Srilanka and made them play in the flattest wickets you can find in the world. The most out of form batsman will also score century in such pitches and it helps BCCI and other sponsors to inflate the strength of the Indian team.

Another effect of commercialization – once you are in Indian cricket team and after few “extra ordinary innings” in Indian flat wickets you can see media and cricket “illiterate” people assign the status of God to these players. Take for example the case of M.S Dhoni, the so-called new cricket sensation of India. Look at his ODI record. He has played 67 ODIs, has 2 centuries and 12 fifties at an average of 45.53. Good record you may say. But do you know one thing. All his fifties and centuries have came playing in India or non-test playing nations except one. When the pitch has something for the bowlers this great hero of millions become a big zero.

See the Australian cricket team. No Australian player is bigger than the team. If you are not playing well you are out of the team. I believe if Tendulkar (with full respect to his talent and genius) were playing for Australia he could have been dropped by now. See his statistics in ODIs starting 2005. Of the 34 innings he has played till now he has scored 3 centuries and 7 fifties. More important he was out scoring less than 10 eleven times in his 34 innings. One out of 3 times he scored less than 10. Just compare this with Australian opener Mathew Hayden. He had one bad series and he was out of Australian team. But he fought his way back and is altogether a different story. Even for Steve Waugh, a captain who has won them a world cup was shown the door after a poor series.

Now another thing – Who played for India for the World Cup 2003? Ganguly, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif, Dinesh Mongia, Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Sreenath. Now see who all are playing for India this world cup? Ganguly, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Yuvraj, Uthappa, Dhoni, Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, M Patel. Just 3 changes in the team. Uttappa for Kaif, Dhoni for Dinesh Mongia and M Patel for Srinath. Now see the Australian World Cup winning team of 2003. They had Hayden, Gilchrist, Pointing, Martyn, Lehmann, Bevan, Symonds, B Hogg, B Lee, McGrath and Gillespie. Now see the present Australian World Cup team. Gilchrist, Hayden, Pointing, Clark, B Hogg, M Hussey, S Watson, G Hogg, Bracken, Tait and McGrath. The entire middle order batsmen are new and so are the bowlers. Only 5 who played the last world cup are there in the present team. Now you know the reason why Australia is winning the cricket world cup one after another and India is living on its past glory. Australian selectors have the guts to even drop Bevan, who was considered by many as the greatest finisher the game has ever seen, after a bad series.

Now the question arises – How come Australia can replace a good player with another good player? When Lehmann retired, Mike Hussey filled his shoes commendably. So if Tendulkar or Dravid retires now do we have any replacement as good as Tendulkar or Dravid? The answer is an emphatic NO. Why can’t this cricket-addicted nation find new talented players? I believe the reason is that public gives least importance to first class matches and the players. I have already written a post on this subject long back. In Australia the first class cricket is given as much importance as international cricket. So in Australia these local matches become breeding ground for talent. In India also there is talent but the general public are not ready to encourage them.

In short if selectors go by name and popularity of the cricketers and public fails to encourage first class cricket, results like that happened against Bangladesh are bound to happen again.


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

All In the Name of Democracy?

Prakash Singh Badal was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab for the record 4th time yesterday.His party Akali Dal defeated the ruling Congress Party in the just concluded Assembly Elections.

Now rewind to elections held 5 years back. Akali Dal and Prakash Singh Badal had been routed in the Assembly Elections. The administration of Badal was so corrupt and incompetent that people voted against his party. Now after 5 years same people have voted him to power. Does that mean in 5 years people of Punjab have forgiven Badal for all his misdeeds or have the people understood that all charges against him were false? The answer is NO - the people were not voting for Badal this time, instead they were voting against the incompetent Congress Government which indirectly helped Badal. Again I am sure after 5 years the same people who voted for Badal will vote him out by voting for Congress and this phenomena will continue till democracy exists in India in this form.

This is true for most of the states in India except West Bengal. This I feel is one of the main reasons for the declining voter turnout for Indian elections. When an Indian electorate is asked to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea and if he feels that the best option would be not to choose anyone can we blame that person? Common man will think - I have 2 options to choose from- both have in the past shown that they are equally incompetent. Why should I vote or why should I waste my vote? People who come out to vote think that the opposition party being out of power for 5 years might have learned a lesson and will govern better. Once they are in power the same old story of incompetence and corruption repeats again.

Electing back politicians who are once proven corrupt and incompetent is not good for democracy. Say, for example, a party X in power was thrown out of power because its leaders were inefficient and corrupt. The opposition party Y came to power not based on the development agenda but on the anti-incumbency factor. The new ruling party Y now starts investigating the various charges against the previous Government in the pretext of keeping the election promise while itself indulging in the same corrupt practices. Various cases will be filed against the politicians of the previous ruling party. By the time investigations are over and cases come to the High Court, 5 years might have elapsed and party X might come back to power. Now the same people who are accused of misdeeds are back in power and they will use official machinery to weaken all cases against them. This saga continues and the faith of the people on our democratic system continues to erode.

This is exactly what is happening in India now. We hear a lot of news about political corruptions in India. Can you tell me the name of any prominent Indian politician who was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption and is still in jail? I can't think of any. Does this mean that they are all good? Definitely not. Then why is this happening?

These politicians know that however corrupt/incompetent they are, if they play their political cards well, they can come back to power at some point of time and use that power to wipe out all their misdeeds of the past and still commit more crimes.


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