Tuesday, March 23, 2010

IPL Diaries III

In the Mad-Ad World of IPL, if Lalit Modi has his way don’t be surprised if you find the likes of Bhogle and Shastri sounding like Business Quiz Masters than cricket commentators.

Symonds is as safe as a house .. err.. Symonds is as safe as Future Generali Insurance
That one went like a trace of bullet .. err.. That one went as if it had been oiled by Shell Lubricants
Going Going Gone...err.. Going Going and that’s gone out of here for a Thomas Cook Holiday

Not just commentary, even Players and Officials may end up being tagged with sponsors.

HSBC World’s Local Bank IPL
Servo 100% Performance Everytime Rahul Dravid
Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) Edge is Efficiency Mongoose Bat
Big Bazaar Isse Sastaa Aur Achhha Kahin Nahi Milega Shane Watson
Bingo Har Angle se mmmm Priety Zinta

And if Brian Lara fails to be part of IPL IV, Lalit Modi might end up saying –
There are somethings money can’t buy, for everything else there’s IPL.

To wrap this up, we have something courtesy cricinfo

In other news, a furious Pakistan Cricket Board is frantically searching for a player named Karbonn Kamaal,(brother of Asim Kamaal ?) who has apparently gone against the wishes of the board and is currently playing in the IPL. "Our sources say that this player has been playing and taking catches for multiple teams in the IPL. We will ban him mid-innings if it need be," said a distinguished looking gentleman with a resplendent, and slightly intimidating, white moustache.

IPL Diaries II

IPL is to world cricket what the ECB is to South Africa. Like the ECB has been the best employer for South Africa – Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior and Kevin Pieterson to name a few – the IPL has made stars of little known commodities like Nannes, Marsh, Harris and Watson. Warne in particular has taken the lead. With fortunes of RR plummeting don’t be surprised if you find a Tobanda Tmobia opening the bowling or some Wang Soo Chin coming in at one down later this spring.

It may be good news for other nations but has some brought to fore some dark truths for the home country. We now realize that Yusuf Pathan is not a Viv Richards in the making but a sporting version of Shiv Sena – all talk and no show – an over hyped minnow bashing hooligan. Yusuf Pathan treats spinners the same way as the Shiv Sena treats Biharis: Both the Shiv Sena and Pathan stand clueless when they have to confront tougher opponents. The IPL has also shown that Raina is still as susceptible to the short ball as the owners of this blog are to the inviting gestures of Kiera Knightly. It seems that we are nowhere close to replacing Anil Kumble. The best Indian spinner on show seems to be a 33 year old representing KKR !

The success of Lalit Modi.. err .. the success of IPL has suddenly seen a huge increase in the number of applications to the Business Admin course at the Duke University... ( for the uninitiated that’s where Modi is supposed to have done his graduation – at least according to Wiki. You are never sure with Indians though - a B.A from Dadar Business School would very likely be put on the CV as a M.B.A from Darden Business School... If you don’t believe us just go and check out Rahul Gandhi’s educational qualifications from 5 different sources. There’s everything from Delhi to Boston to London for a single undergrad degree).

[Guest Article] : 6 + 4 = 10dulkar

Long after this age is gone, long after may be even one day cricket is replaced by some other variety of the ever changing game, long after may be all prominent cricketers of today having retired, whenever there is a debate in one of those many pubs, over one of those many glasses of beer there will b one name. Like a phoenix his name will rise and make an identity of its own among the cricketing geniuses of the age gone by.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar- a name in India that is only next to God for this cricket hungry nation. Youngsters emulate his style, batsmen envy his quest for perfection and bowlers fear him as the one guy who can tarnish their career if not their bowling economy.

Even before he took guard in Gwalior his place as a cricketing God in India was set. Having amassed the highest number of runs in Tests and One-dayers alike his credibility as a batting maestro was something every Indian could vouch for. If his devout worshippers had any reason to quibble it was because of that lack of one record shattering innings under his belt. Brian Lara bosted of the highest test score of 400 whereas Saeed Anwar and a little known Charles Coventry shared the ODI record of 194 runs. While Lara fell out of love for cricket Saeed Anwar was a one hit wonder for Pakistani cricket. As for Charles Coventry people often asked Charles who?

147 balls later Tendulkar had set the record straight becoming the first batsman in the history of 39 years of ODI being played to score a double hundred in one innings.

The great Sir Donald Bradman saw himself in Tendulkar’s batting style and many still do consider Sachin second only to him. True, no one comes close to Bradman’s amazing average of 99.94 or his 29 centuries from just 52 test matches but one should keep in mind that Bradman never played a ODI which is more demanding on the body. That Tendulkar is breaking records a little short of 37 years in age in itself testifies for the little genius’s greatness.

Spin legend Shane Warne made no qualms declaring Sachin as his top contemporary cricketer of all times. More or less his twitter posts as Sachin neared his double century in Gwalior bears testimony to this fact.

For over a decade now he has made the nation dream with hope whenever he is on the pitch. He has made a billion pair of eyes follow him, pray for him, cry for him but yet he has not been bogged down by the immense burden of mass expectations. His bat spoke for them all- those perfect nudges and the cherry goes flying past the boundary ropes. He is the perfect example of how to keep ones head steady while dealing with stardom. 20 years into cricket never did he once let go of his quest for perfection.

It is said that when Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar comes out to bat the nation switches itself off and switches into Tendulkar. He is the dreams of millions of Indians on the pitch, a super hero who wins hearts with his sweeps and pulls if not the match.

The craze called Tendulkar knows no speed breakers, and it can be put in no better words than this poster being held out for the cameras by one of the fans when the master blaster was going full guns against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"Go and commit mistakes, they would be ignored cause even God watches him when Sachin bats."

(Writer is another insane cricket fanatic. Daring enough to leave the assignments and write a post. Crazy enough to offer the editorial services for the blog. Free of cost off course. He can be reached at soumava.haldar@gmail.com)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

IPL Diaries -1

IPL 3 has begun. The long awaited IPL 3. The cash cow IPL 3. The most ‘in’ thing. It started with a bang with a opening ceremony which I missed third time in a row. If you count the closing ceremony as well, then its 5th time in a row.

First let me make my stance clear. I support RR, my friend pattrow is a diehard fan of SRK so its ‘KKR’ for him and our third roommate favours ‘balika Vadhu’ so we can easily neglect the third option for the obvious reason. In the real sense, IPL 3 started for me when I saw Ganguly diving for a runout attempt. That was the moment. You could see something in his eyes. You could feel something from his body language. That moment told me something that IPL3 final is going to be between KKR and DD. Nothing can stop that. Winning both their opening matches, KKR solidified my belief.

Now the Favorites RR! Played two… Lost two! But did it hurt? NO. Yusuf 37 ball 100 with an 11 ball stretch of 5 sixes and 6 fours gave me what I wanted. And in the Delhi match, do you really believe that anyone, leave RR, will any chance when Sehwag is having a good day? But it’s good to see that the team is not giving up so easily. The only thing which made me sad was the look in Warne’s eyes. He looked tired. He looked aged. He looked dull. The shine in his eyes, the smile on the face was missing. Even the most beautiful 4 step run up looked different. Harsha Bhogle was right when he said that it might be his last IPL. I will definitely miss him.

But Harsha was wrong about Gilchrist. There is nothing stopping him. Seeing him thrashing the Chennai bowling attack is something I will rate at the top. Even above Yusuf stint. Much hyped mongoose bat is still absent. Symonds looked rusty. But he did his duties when it came to bludgeon cricket ball straight out of stands.

But as far as I am concerned, the moment of the IPL for me till now has been the cover drive of Rahul Dravid. The shot crushes all the argument and hyped for the innovative technique. Class is forever.

About bowlers, I feel Malinga’s slow bouncer has been the most intelligent ball in the circuit. Chaminda Vaas came back and proved his metal again. Maharoof and Angela Mathews are in form. I am still surprised why Sri Lanka lost against India. I am waiting for Kumble to fire.
Beside cricket, I am missing Preety Zinta’s Hug. I am missing Mandira Bedi. Seeing her and Siddhu together would have been like a dream come true.

The mood killers have been the commentary team. B-A-N Arun Lal and hang L Sivaramakrishnan to death. Send Sri Lankan and West Indies commentators back. And what with the advertisement world in India! I have never seen such a crap in my life. And an ad between two balls is a new low.

Doubts: What with the paunch Yuvraj is exhibiting now for more than a couple of year??

Speculating: Lara making news. Is he going to return in IPL 4? If this happens it would be the greatest comeback after Terminator 2’s “I am back”.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

46 singles were just not enough [Guest Writer]

Writer is insanely passionate about Sachin, RR and anything related or starting with word 'BIO'. In his last 1.5 year stint he has been bumped from 11 Job interviews, 2 Management college admission interviews, started and shut down a start-up in a week, worked in a company, handled the parental business and again went back to work in some other company. He blogs at : ashtung where he enlighten the world with his experience of life.

Facts first, the adulations can follow:

India and China are the only 2 big economies unaffected by the meltdown. While the Chinese were busy hacking in to Google, whole of India dropped the work at hand to watch Him bat and then the highlights for the next 2 days. So in effect, Sachin has pushed the global economy back by 3 days.

Every possible imagery and superlative has already been used by one or the other to describe him and I could not possibly add to that, unless I learnt Japanese. But this is special. This one will be unattainable. Someone else, I am sure will go past the no. of centuries but nobody will ever be the first to a double ton now. It's his for keeps.

This is special for another reason too. All the statistics could only be used to compare him with others and could not quite establish his superiority. Something was amiss. Something that set him apart, like Lara's 400. This one pushes him a rung above doubt. 46 singles were just not enough.

I have to be honest here. Since the day he retired hurt at the rectangular field in NZ, I doubted if he will ever go past 150 again, let alone 2 tons. He cramped bad and the bitch called age seemed to be catching up. Hence, that heart-breaking 175 came as a surprise to me. But that day, I thought, the determination to win eclipsed age and I secretly braced myself on being able to watch his last great ODI Innings.

Wasn't so. This man is not about overpowering age. He is beyond it. It's as if age is just another delivery he should be careful of. He has simply cut down the risks and adrenaline the way he cut out the cover-drive at Sydney in 'that' 241-knock. The way only he can.

Moment of truth again. I am not really hopeful of India winning the next WC, no matter how passionate Sachin is about that. But I do hope that he proves me wrong once more. For himself.

His post-match interview summed it up for me when he said; "I was striking the ball pretty well."

'Yes you were'

PS: To reach the writer mail on to : ashutoshbihani@gmail.com