Friday, October 16, 2009

The mess

The commonwealth games that is.

It was reported even a year back that things were behind schedule. No media person, no organizing member is able to defend the progress (only give assurances that it will be pulled togehter somehow...). Instead of taking the responsibility Kalmadi (who has been with the Indian Olympic committee for thirteen years or more, comes out in attack against another CWG member who has been there for two).

I think the media should ask him what has been done for the Indian Olympics during his tenure and why are the facilities so much behind schedule? Shouldn't we have taken remedial measures a while back? I also think tenures of IOC presidents etc. must be curtailed to a single term, to get new ideas in, to give new energy to sports in the country.

I actually don't think we should even be hosting these games, until our sporting infrastructure is improved across the country and until our infrastructure is ready.

I had also seen an article on F1 in Delhi. Isn't there some conflict of interest here? Isn't there a oversight committee? Given that F1 is not an Olympic sport, why is the IOA even involved?

Perhaps India will pull through and host the games successfully, but I am not sure I will feel any great pride.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

mirror mirror on the wall

Not to single out bhajji for yesterday's performance (as the blame can be shared liberally), but came across an interview which taken out of context, resonates with the performance in the match yesterday.

"Main sochta nahin hoon" - :)

"How many bowlers send down six different deliveries in each over?"
duh, the object is not to bowl as many different deliveries, the object is to take as many wickets as possible. Heck, I think I can bowl six different deliveries an over, just not near the stumps.

"It’s sad that I hardly get to see spinners who can turn the ball on any surface." Sadly, neither do we...

They’re happy just rolling their arm over... They should, instead, express themselves and bowl the deliveries they can really be good at... "

talking about someone else....?

Read the rest of the interview, for a chuckle or two...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

media frenzy in cricket

My TV time has reduced significantly as work deadlines have overtaken me. But in the limited time I have watched the news, I have been unable to bypass the media circus surrounding the Indian cricket team. The television media (in a quest for ratings) have lost the ability to give a balanced, mature view of events. Rather hysterical reports are the norm, with decibel levels of reporters consistently at an unpleasant pitch (always shouting).

Several years ago, I used to be shocked by news items with words like lashes, blasts, snubs. Now I always believe that it is a mild statement to which some spice has been added. In fact I am tempted to get a collection of reporters and have a demonstration of lashing.

To the media, I ask to look around you in your office -- don't you have disagreements with your colleagues and bosses, or is always one happy family? Even assuming that there was a tiff , until it impacts the performance of the team, why should it become issue of this magnitude? There is almost a sadistic wish to find problems in a successful team.

Until the media starts self-policing, I will rely more on print media to get balanced reports.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Astro tips

There is one team that needs the most help this year - KKR (what with the allegations of racism, match-fixing investigation, multiple captain-coach theory for a solitary D/L win etc.) So pooling my knowledge (albeit non-existent) of numerology, palmistry (predicting by reading my palm for KKR -- a novel concept that should go well with the team with many theories), factoring in saturn in the horoscope, I have some recommendations for KKR.

Switch the gold and black around, so that it is predominantly gold with black on one shoulder and one sleeve (black for "nazar" effect). This will tend to blind opponents as well.

Douse out the fire on the helmet? Bat on fire I can perhaps understand, but helmet on fire? Can't be good feng-shui. seriously what does it mean?

Change the brooding SRK image on the website with the helmet on fire (just because...)

Instead of covering up the numbers on the back of jerseys with ugly tape, go to the reebok store and buy some plain ones. Note that even if you cover it up, the number is still there close to your back working its evil magic.

KKR has too few words to leverage the 'K' concept of Balaji telefilms. So add a few words. Kyunki KKR be ...

Official statement from KKR on racism?

Thus far I have seen no official comment (from the CEO or owners of KKR) on the racism charge. This is a serious charge and "no comment" answer from the team management should not be accepted. It is not enough for Buchanan to respond, it is important for the CEO or owner to make a statement, as it otherwise sets a poor precedent.

Whoever is subjected to discrimination, as owners and as a business KKR has to handle it (trying to wish it away really speaks poorly of them). If the allegation is false, then the accused do need a statement strongly in their favor, because once you are charged with something like this, it never goes away.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The baffling approach of KKR

As KKR loses yet another match, it is hard to pin-point a single flaw in their approach, as everything seems broken. The most surprising has been their auction strategy. While the KP and Freddie buys have gotten a fair share of criticism, the teams atleast had an idea, went for it and implemented it.

KKR, on the other hand, bid for Murtaza as if he was Schumacher or V. Anand of cricket. One thought it was a business decision to capture the Bangla fanbase. However, they then drop the name Kolkatta from their logo (not sure about the reasoning though rumours were rife about a possible move). Having paid for Murtaza more than what Ponting or Hayden received, 10 matches into the tournament, he has not yet gotten a chance. The reasoning behind this is lost on me. It is not like there is a winning combination that cannot be disrupted. Perhaps some day there will be a book explaining all of this.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Endearing Sreesanth

Sree, let me dispel any false notions. God's gift to women, you are not.

PS: your only girlfriend (cricket) who happens to be a good friend of mine, mentioned that she was not pleased with you either for getting hammered for 3 sixes by Hayden and general bowling at the death. That relationship is in jeopardy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time outs

Modi may change the timeout method for the semis and finals.

- Teams are finally getting used to 7.5 mins "strategy break", and there is a thought of switching it for this year's finale? If it is not for commercial reasons (as no one is watching the IPL during the break), why would they consider switching it at the end of the tournament.

- If common sense prevails, a new rule will not tested in the semis and finals.

- Lastly 2.5 mins of ads is still enough of a incentive to watch/do something else. Wonder if the advertisers will buy into this concept.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yuki Bhambri wins another title

Have been reading on and off about this young tennis player. Appears to be performing consistently well. Well done Yuki! He has also won the Australian open junior title. BTW, does anyone know if he was brought up in India or abroad?

New plot

Chris Gayle has been granted permission to stay an extra day or two in the IPL before he flies to join his team which he captains.

Incidentally, this was quoted on the official website (from McCullum's interview). "On his conversation with the umpires before the start of the 19th over: One of the guys (Graham Napier) had a flight to catch. They were asking if they can take him off and get another player out there. Obviously they needed our approval or they would have to field out there with 10 players. Once we found out the reason was, we said he could go and they could bring a replacement."

Should you be allowed to play a man who has to leave before a match ends. What would have happened if he had been batting?

Back to Chris Gayle and in true bollywood fashion with the idea from Stanford, here is a storyline.

The stadium is packed, but no sign of the captain. Anxious friends, fans and family pray fervently. Then he is sighted, in a helicopter, padded and with a bat in hand and a suitcase full of IPL earnings. Everyone applauds, but the helicopter can't land as the players are already in the field -- more anxious moments. But he does a Akki like stunt from the helicopter, leaps to the crease, and hits the first ball for six...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ganguly bowled by a duck

"... Ganguly bowled by a duck" heard in the news yesterday -- (I believe on cnn-ibn).

Given KKR's struggles, anything is possible...?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

IPL Cheerleaders and KKR

Yes, I am writing about cheerleaders :(

KKR recently sent back their cheerleaders who were selected from a reality show. It was reported that only "local" South African girls would be allowed to cheer and therefore they would not get the opportunity. KKR did the decent thing and they atleast got a holiday.

But that got me thinking about the White mischief gals (who I believe are from the US). So how come they get to cheer RCB while the reality winners did not?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The unfair fair play award

Just heard Harsha commenting about nice guys finish last or something to that effect (after reviewing the kingfisher fair play award table). Thus far nobody in the IPL or the commentary team have mentioned that the fair play awards don't factor in rained out matches.

So Mumbai Indians who are listed as having 30 from 4 matches actually have 30 from 3 matches as they did not play one and should lead the table. Similarly CSK, KKR and RR should not be in the bottom as they also missed out on matches.

Leading the table is RCB with 41 out of 50 (which means they have been docked the most points till now).

I wonder how long it will take to add a column to factor in the matches?
You can tell from this, how much this award is valued or kept track of...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In-stadia commentary

I could not believe this when I read it... Can we credit this innovation to the Modi and IPL or is it simply the T-20 effect?

"Manpreet Gony has played two one-day internationals for India. No great pace but good control." -- I have to excuse Gony's performance from yesterday ...

"I don't think you can make a change to the field!"
Whatever next?

Yorking Dhoni

Albie, why are you attempting to york Dhoni (the wicket keeper of your team) instead of the batsman?

Monday, April 27, 2009

They are all blogging

SRK, Modi have joined the club last week.

So if you are a glutton for punishment (like me), and really miss the fact that you see them and hear from them only half the day, you can now read them the rest of the time.

Modi's blog is full of innovations. The standard theme across his entries is everything I/we do, we do it for the game -- to innovate and improve the quality of cricket!!

I am unclear if the SRK blog is directed towards fans or towards the team.
We all trust we are a great bunch of people and cricketers.

One lakh people out there have only one prayer in their hearts, god give our kids strength and a bit of luck to beat the shit out of their opponents.

God's response might be: Son, mind your language atleast when praying to me and put out that cigarette.


Apparently DD, DC, MI have been fined thus far. Will be interesting to see if team gets fined the next step of $220,000 which is a significant amount of money. However I thought most matches went past their allotted time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Davis Cup news

Australia has pulled out of the Davis cup tie in India (@ Chennai). Until the security hue and cry, I did not even know that the Davis cup matches were going to be held locally. Given it is a question of protecting a small contingent for 4-5 days, and a small crowd, I don't think it should have been a problem (unlike IPL with 100s or players, multiple locations and huge crowds for several weeks).
Several australian cricketers also transitted/trained in India before the IPL. So this move is bit surprising.

90% tickets sold ==?

90% tickets sold = empty stands.

Unless SA have a penchant for buying tickets and not showing up, what gives?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Basebalization of cricket?

KKR have signs? Come on KKR, keep it simple!

However this will create new job opportunities which is invaluable in these times. Opponents can now hire somebody to steal the signs and teach the player at the non-striker's end to communicate to the batsmen with its own signs.

Imagine if this is RR and Munaf is signed to bowl a bouncer and he bowls everything but one -- is it because he missed the sign or just would not or could not bowl one -- tricky, eh?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Morkel's Day

With the batting, the costly drop and the bowling.

  • Balaji's bowling
  • Hayden, Patel and Raina's batting.
  • Both loses have been to other strong teams, and have not lost badly yet.

  • Shabby performance by CSK overall especially after getting Delhi Duo out early and then the Hayden innings and the close finish.
  • Flintoff -- batting and bowling figures are reversed
  • Dhoni -- old Dhoni is missing
  • Badri/Jogi -- 1 over each to bat/bowl... Badri is wasted at the end. Not sure why Joginder is there -- surely given Balaji was bowling a decent over, he and Murali deserved another over?
  • Poor death bowling

PS: Are the pitches being "Indianized"? What happened to support for bowlers and 150 being a good score?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vodafone IPL Ads

Really like the vodafone ones -- different, eye-catching, entertaining, and you remember them as well. However at home, we have been wondering what a "beauty alert" might be???

You tube link for the ad.

KXIP 0 - D/L 2

KXIP have lost 2 matches, but in between the two games they are yet to bowl even 20 overs. They have logged in under 15 overs in 2 matches. There were not in strong position in either of the two matches -- but I am sure they must have a grievance. They are yet to experience a strategy break!

BTW, was D/L ratified by D or L for the T-20 game or simply by others? I think they should have D/L v2 for T-20 if they are going to persist with minimum 5 over games.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It is contagious

Yesterday during the CSK -- RCB match, I heard the phrase "like a tracer bullet". But hold your breath -- I don't think it was dear Shastri. Can cricket survive more tracer bullets? Given that some 'Indianness' is missing in this IPL, I suggest that we get Abhinav Bindra to give some lessons on other ammunition (surely there must be other kinds of bullets). Or better yet, use mythological ones like sudharshan chakra --- no?

Monday, April 20, 2009

IPL Official Website

Modi very humbly mentioned that FIFA should learn from him IPL. There are a couple of things that perhaps he could learn from them.

- Have a working website -- the IPL official website is dismal -- inaccessible most of the time, stale data when available.

- Follow the soccer approach - no ads are shown here when I watch the premier league and definitely no forced breaks. I hope the IPL will realize the error (given teams, players, fans don't appear to like it very much) and cut the strategy break to 2-3 mins for this season (to save face) and do away with it altogether next year -- or allow the teams to select when to take a shorter break.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Farce of a game - DD vs KXIP

First 14 overs
Then 12 overs
Now 6 overs

Each bowler gets to bowl once (except for the privileged 2)? Lets make sure there can be a strategy break after the 3rd over, if not, if I was KXIP I should complain.

Spin Doctoring

Apparently the live streaming of the match crashed the "official" IPL website. So how to turn that into a positive? Call it popularity going through the roof.

As I write this, the site does not load again -- you wonder when they had a year to fix the site, what were they doing.

Note also the site is called -- now I understand "master/slave" machines -- but have yet to see or :)


That's not me bemoaning anything! That is Robin shouting from behind the stumps. And he did a decent job. So beware Partiv and Dinesh -- your backup job to Dhoni is not safe :) The lone warrior Dravid's innings was sweet to watch. Will Ganguly and Laxman do the same today?

BTW: I did not get a feeling that there were too many ads -- recession...? Also the coverage does not show the dug-outs often -- the expressions there are priceless -- wonder why?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not as captivating?

Is it just me...? Or was the first game, pre-game show, Mandira (Lekha and Sonali missing?), atmosphere, just about everything less interesting than last year. The 7.5 mins breaks are terrible -- I used the first one to complete some chores and the second one to go online and have not followed much after that. The match has lasted 4 hours -- is someone getting fined (or is the dog the excuse)? Crowd did not appear to be as enthralled as they were in India.

CSK, the team I support got several things wrong -- why was Ashwin there if it was not to bowl... And the batting order was not right either. Flintoff/Oram ahead of Dhoni/Badri? So the game was disappointing as well.

Hopefully I will like some of the next matches a little more...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Where were you?

Dear Dhoni,

You missed the Padma Shri awards given by the president. Where were you? If the award meant anything, short of an emergency, you should have made it -- if not you should have declined it a long time ago, so that another sportsman/woman should have been awarded it. Surely there needs to be a public word on why you did not make it? I did not see you in the IPL parade either (though I took only a passing glance at it on TV). Hope you were there...

You have been privileged to recieve so less criticism. It will take only a few defeats after which you will be in the same boat as Ganguly or Dravid.

PS: To the sports ministry and BCCI -- don't you check beforehand if your "wards" intend to attend or persuade them to do so?

Monday, April 13, 2009

IPL Preview

What's new this year?

- Floats and a parade
- Fan mentor (Shree)
- Lots of new team jerseys -- (Feng Shui/colour therapy?)

Perhaps the two below will be the most asked questions and the most typical answers.

How do you feel about the IPL being shifted out of India?

It is sad that it had to been moved out of India -- we will miss the Indian atmosphere, but we are still glad that it being held (in the background -- cha-ching atleast the cash register is ringing). SA will be great.

How has the IPL experience been for you?

Fantastic, it is a great opportunity to learn from other players, share a dressing room, understand their work ethics and observe them. It is also a great opportunity for young Indian players to experience and learn from SA conditions (in the background -- young Indian players-- we get a chance and are not going to be sent back??) . It is also the ideal training ground for T20 world cup.

I will be a fan of any cricketer who gives original answers to any of this.

Friday, April 10, 2009


The IPL somehow always causes the press to lose track of facts especially teams/players combination. Take a look at this article.

According to a report by the Australian Associated Press (AAP), Symonds would have earned USD 1.91 on current exchange rates from his franchise Bangalore Royal Challengers.

I will gladly give Symonds $1.91 (USD)
When did he move to RCB :)

I am assuming they mean $1.91 million Australian dollars and not USD, if they got the rest of it right...


Is a player fit for T20, ODIs or tests? The new mantra appears to be that if you are not fit for tests, the way to get there is to play high intensity T-20 virtually non-stop for a month (though some may call it entertainment). I wonder if Watson, Symonds or Lee can make use of the same concept -- as they perhaps have been recalled at an inopportune moment (atleast financially)?

Monday, April 6, 2009

World Cup Archery

Indian team wins a gold in the archery world cup (not sure what stage 1 means -- I hope it is not just a qualifying round). I remember Champia from the Olympics -- but I am assuming gold is good. The women's team also win a bronze.

For Chennaites out there, do you know if there is archery arena/place where you can try archery for fun?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

TV Timeout?

It is reported that the IPL folks may be planning an additional 5 min of advertising/breaks per innings. It is unclear if this would be after 10 overs or at some other time. Last year hardly any match finished within the stipulated time. This seems to be more and more like the NBA/NFL, where the last 2 minutes could take half an hour. I realize that they won't show ad after ad, but perhaps throw in 30 secs worth of tour diary or something similar :)

So wonder if people will really watch IPL/ads during the break. Perhaps you can have a game -- how many times will Dhoni appear in that ad break. Perhaps this would be an ideal time for KKR to change the captain. Or perhaps catch up on the election news or serials. I wonder if advertisers or viewers will buy into this concept?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pearls of wisdom or not!

IPL players' views on voting

The elections were never part of my plans for the season and even if we were playing in India, I don’t think I would have voted.

My job is to play cricket and I rate it more highly than my responsibility as a citizen.

Jaago re!

Does not appear to be any proxy voting.
All the more reason for MSD and SRT to fly back to vote to set examples as celebrity citizens.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Closer F1?

The F1 season kicks off this weekend and it is suggested that the cost cutting of about 30% and new rules could make F1 more competitive. I would love for that to happen as it is tiring for it to be McLaren vs Ferrari with Renault thrown in. The other teams have just been completing the grid.

Hamilton downplays their chances and hits Warne for a few sixes. Mallya wants a point from Force India

BTW on an unrelated note and sport, Saina enters QF -- if you are Hyderabad, do try to watch her live.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Will SRT vote?

Just wondering if any of our cricketers who are idolized and put on a pedestal, are going to request permission to come back and vote? After the hue and cry over Dhoni's name on the rolls, I wonder if any of them are planning to fly back to cast their vote?


The IPL will start on Apr 10 Apr 18 -- * Compromise *
The English players will be available for less than 2 weeks -- * Compromise *
Huge losses in hosting it outside India -- * Compromise *
No home/away concept -- * Compromise *
Significant crowds unlikely for weekday matches -- * Compromise *
Double headers on many days meaning poorer TV ratings for early matches -- * Compromise *
Only SA, NZ and SL will participate for any length of time -- *Compromise*
Perhaps the entire squad will not be able to travel -- and once again fringe Indian players may not get to experience IPL which was supposed to be one of the altruistic goals of the IPL.

-- If so many compromises could be made, wouldn't a truncated schedule have caused lesser disruption (and perhaps lesser financial loss overall) -- It surely would have been better than this?

What is puzzling is that franchises don't appear to be asking tough questions of the IPL organizers. This leads one to wonder whether things were thought through or they expected to muscle their way through obstacles.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A team of captains

With this novel idea from the coach, I would like to know 2 things

who is going to keep warne waiting for the toss?
which "captain" is ultimately going to take responsibility for a loss?

So how do you think that idea is going to play out? Don't you need one person in-charge on the field regardless of who helps him?

"Equally, it’s possible that the captaincy could be rotated during the period that the team is on the field"

Powerplay captain: Opposite team 24 for 3, -- great start
Under 10 overs captain: who manages to use up their death bowlers and allow the opponent to get to 100 for 4.
10-15 overs captain: reins it in little bit and it is 130 for 5.
Death overs captain: finds that there are only part-timers remaining and the final score is 210 for 5....

How will this work?

Exhausting for players?

I am okay with the elections getting priority and the IPL being scheduled around it, truncated or even shifted to another country (my preference would have been a truncated IPL) .

However with the shifting of the IPL, I am surprised that the latter half of the IPL could not be held in India? Why can't the last couple of weeks be held here with each team getting atleast 2 home matches?

Modi's reason is that the players will be exhausted. It is puzzling that the NZ series finishes on 7th and IPL starts on 10th does not cause exhaustion but a 10 day gap between the IPL final and T20 world cup is not enough to overcome any exhaustion caused by an additional trip back to India? Do you buy that line or is there more than meets the eye?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let's help them

More than a decade of the D/L system, we can safely say that the majority of the cricketing world including spectators don't understand it. We have now reconfirmed what we knew earlier, that even identifying the winning score is a tough job. So it is time for fans to come up with creative ideas to help teams.

So I have seriously come up with some:

- Build an application, that senses that captain or coach is about to do something crazy -- it needs to send out a high pitched shriek, like a car alarm, that is to warn all in the vicinity of impending disaster. It would be wasted to build a system that just computes the current score, the alert system prior to the wrong action is imperative.

- Automatic chopper - that will chop away pieces of the paper that are no longer relevant -- so that you don't look at columns for earlier overs or lesser wickets.

- Have a D/L chief strategist - has to be part meteorologist and will assess the ground conditions, light situation, weather conditions, team capabilities and come up with a detailed strategy for each match. While this goes beyond identifying the right score, it is obviously not fool proof either, because it needs to be communicated to the players in the middle.

-So hire a speedy runner to run in between overs, communicating to the players important messages like - "if either of you plan to get out, you will need 10 runs in this over, if neither of you get out, you will need only 1".

-The above is also problematic, as the runner may forget the numbers and send a different message, so the last solution is to hire either Duckworth or Lewis to be in your team -- to compute and identify the right score and communicate it. And if that fails and the team feels done in by the D/L method (rightly or wrongly), a D/L chase can have a new meaning.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hello again

It is karma -- my last post was about dusting off decade old winter clothes, and lo and behold, I had to travel to places were sub zero temperatures were the norm. The sweaters were inadequate and so the preparation itself took more time than the trip!

I did not ski (don't know how to ski), but went on a sleigh ride. I played a lot of Wii (can we treat it as a sport or atleast get some credit for exercise?). It is addictive and I would have been tempted to buy one but for cost and the fact that my nephew bet me with great regularity and ease, despite my pleading with him to go easy on me.

I heard that the Indian cricket team is playing well, though the only match I watched recently was the last NZ ODI, which makes me wonder if that is true?

Will Dravid return to form?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Winter sports

Winter sports to a Chennai gal like me is very alien, after all winter itself is a scary thought. The only time you dust off a decade old sweater is when you travel to places that are colder than 30 degrees celsius. When I see folks who jump off slopes in skis and fly in the air before landing, I have a great sense of awe. Actually, the jumping and flying sounds exciting, it is the landing that worries me.

When I came across this report that an Indian won a bronze in Luge Asian games, I was impressed. For the uninitiated, Luge is racing on a sled (face up-feet first) on a track (to me it looks like a long winding slide). This is not a sport for me, but an Indian doing well in winter sports I think, is even more unusual than winning an Olympic gold, so well done Kesavan.

Would you ski-jump or go on a luge?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A searching world

I periodically like to look back on search terms and phrases that lead people to this blog and I am constantly amazed and very often amused.

So to begin with I apologize to all the people who landed on this blog looking for f1 pit stop jobs. I had no idea that people would find this page when they are looking for jobs. FYI, the McLaren website has information on what their pit crew does, but so far I have not been able to find how one can get in!

To those who searched for combinations of Yuvraj, his mother, food and vegetarian, I am guessing you have decided the way to his heart is through his mother and food, but perhaps you need to add a touch of glamour as well.

To the one person who searched for glory in others misfortune, why the sadism?

To the person who wondered "whether I am ambidextrous", I don't know, but you would be better off trying some other means to find out rather than searching the web. Similarly to the person who asks "how sporty am I", I don't know who you are, but if you have to search the internet, I am guessing not very.

To those who landed on my page searching for branded sports racquets in Bangalore or sporty watches, that is simply search going wrong.

And lastly, to whoever searched for this "good looking guy+indian contingent to olympics" I hope you found who you were looking for.

Happy new year!