Monday 31 March 2008

Chennai nail in Test cricket's coffin

Nearly 1500 runs -- one triple century, two tons and four half centuries – for 25 wickets and still you have a drab draw at the end of the day! ICC and BCCI must come up with a better way to slaughter Test cricket.

Over the five days, being a bowler seemed a curse. Thank God, Virender Sehwag did not get a chance to bat in the second innings.! And when he returned with the Man of the Match cheque, Sehwag probably had K Parthasarathy (curator), PR Vishwanathan (South Zone Pitch Committee representative) and Daljit Singh (Pitches and Grounds Committee Chairman) demanding their share of the pie.

It was a disastrous advertisement for Test cricket, which is already gasping for breath. The biggest myth in contemporary cricket is that sixes and fours draw crowd, which is far from the truth. Only a sadistic batsman can derive any satisfaction from such slogathon.

Well, the duel between bat and ball has never been fought on equal ground. But at least allow some semblance of parity. Has it ever been more lop-sided?

At the end of the exercise, you only have a bunch of willow wielders with inflated ego and illusion about their abilities, in sharp contrast to the tribe of bowlers, who return shorter by an inch or two, skeptical about their skill and cynical about the craft.

The dice is already so criminally loaded in favour of the batsmen that in every other day, bowlers regret choosing the wrong avocation.

a moment, let's forget cricket is just a game. Think it as a society and you would be horrified to notice how a weakened section of the society is being subjected to a state sponsored pogrom. The bowlers, it seems, are there just to play the canon fodder’s role.

I have a suggestion. Why don’t we do away with the bowlers altogether and make do with bowling machines? The fielders will be there, as will be the fielding captain, whose job would to operate the machine. I think the ICC Cricket Committee can give it a serious thought. What say?

Image: The Hindu

Friday 28 March 2008

Warne retires

Hold on, this is not an older post. Shane Warne, the champion text-star who also happens to be a spin legend, has quit first class cricket. The Hampshire captain, who would captain and coach Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has snapped his ties with Hampshire.

Dimitri Mascarenhas will take over as the new Hampshire captain.

Meanwhile, with Warne quitting cricket – come on IPL is after all just another romp for him – Doosra finds it an ethical duty to issue an advisory.

Doosra fears now that Warne is through with cricket, there is an urgent need for the British nurses, especially the plump ones, to keep their cell numbers frequently changing in order to avoid getting lewd SMS from a certain number.

Enough time at his disposal, Warne is expected to make the optimum use of his mobile phones and his daily SMS output, it is feared, far exceeds his wicket tally. The leggie with a liking for leggies is expected to hit back with a vengeance, especially after every effort to forge a new partnership with former wife Simone fell flat on its face.

For someone who considered text and Test equally important, Warne is simply irrepressible and young British women would ignore this advisory at their peril. God save them.

Cartoon: Peter Nicholson of The Australian (Instead of Warne's right arm, it could have been his mobile phone as well)

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Auction? We are not livestock!

Adam Gilchrist felt like a cow and Rahul Dravid hopes it would not happen again. I had gone to meet captains of the all eight Indian Cricket League (ICL) where I asked them how they perceive the idea of cricketers being auctioned. Here is what some of them felt.

Inzamam-ul-Haq (Lahore Badshah): I think it does not sound nice to hear a cricketer being auctioned or sold. They could have easily avoided it and done it in a better way. It is not something I would be keen to see happening with myself. I’m happy with ICL and thank god, I’m not up for grabs.

Marvan Atapattu (Delhi Giants): I think the bidding was an indication of your worth. But they should not have done it in the open. Maybe some players found it humiliating. (Asked if it was a case of sour grapes and Marvan said). I’m where I opted for and I’m happy being here. I’m enjoying my assignment.

Stuart Law (Hyderabad Heroes): It was quite an innovative idea. You can see the auctioning from both ways. But I’m happy doing what I’m doing in ICL and I don’t regret anything.

Image: Reuters

Thursday 20 March 2008

Dhoni gets PETA’s goat for sacrificing act

Mahendra Singh Dhoni hardly misses a chance to visit temple when he is at his hometown Ranchi. Though he has miles to go before matching teammate Sreesanth, who does not discriminate and frequents every possible religious place around, Dhoni too comes across as a god-fearing soul. But it’s one such act that has put him in some spot of bother.

The Indian ODI and Twenty20 captain recently sacrificed a baby goat at the Silli temple in Ranchi praying for further success and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) believes it was not the temple but the act that was silly.

PETA has shot off a letter to Dhoni and, as all publicity-hankering NGOs does, sent copies of it to the media criticizing him for the action.

The letter read, “As a talented athlete, you are a role model for young people. We hope that you will consider the enormous influence you have over the children and in the future refrain from cruel acts that your young fans might be inspired to imitate."

PETA claimed they have been flooded with calls and e-mails from “horrified” people who lambasted Dhoni for his cruelty to animals.

PETA says the whole incident has sullied Dhoni’s image and quipped "Mr Dhoni will really need divine intervention now to repair his tarnished image.” Well, if that is the case, Dhoni might sacrifice one more, this time to revive image.

Meanwhile, though upset by Dhoni's act, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) still wants the cricketer to be its brand ambassador.

Wednesday 19 March 2008

Slater, Warne at F1 Australian Grand Prix

Sorry guys. Could not update Doosra for want of time. First it was my youngster brother’s marriage – and you know the Great Indian Wedding Tamasha – and then I was off to Melbourne for the Formula One season opener.

At the Australian Grand Prix, former cricketer Michael Slater took part in the Celebrity Challenge race at the Albert Park, along with former AFL star Luke Darcy', freestyle motocross rider Robbie Maddison, former Winter Olympic skiier Steve Lee, former cycling champion Phil Anderson and retired tennis star Mark “the Scud’ Philippoussis, among others.

Incidentally, Shane Warne too made an appearance at the Albert Park and headed to the McLaren garage at the pit lane to meet Lewis Hamilton. Later they posed together much to the shutterbugs’ delight.

Image: Sam D'Agostino

Saturday 8 March 2008

Injuries betide Team India

Sachin Tendulkar -- tendonitis in right hip

Ishant Sharma -----toe and finger

Harbhajan Singh –- pulled left hamstring

Yuvraj Singh –----- knee

Irfan Pathan -------lower back

S Sreesanth ------- left ankle

MS Dhoni --------- ring finger

Zaheer Khan –---- heel.

No, these are not being auctioned. This is the medical bulletin prepared by Team India physio John Gloster that has left Gary Kirsten with a corrugated forehead and robbed him of his sleep.

While Zaheer is recuperating in Centre for Sports Medicine in Johannesburg and looks doubtful for the first Test against South Africa in Chennai on March 26, both Yuvraj and Harbhajan might need to put their limb under the knife.

Gloster is clearly not the most popular physio we ever had. Javagal Srinath was in Delhi a couple of months ago when he lashed out at Gloster. “As a physio, you should not wait for injuries to happen before taking care of the players,” he said.

Well, players are to be blamed as well. The same cricketers who cried hoarse at the increasingly taxing schedule are gleefully putting themselves under the hammer and volunteering for the Indian Premier League (IPL) without any qualms. So to an extent, the injuries are self-inflicted. So why blame the calendar?