Saturday 27 September 2008

Live Irani Trophy Updates...Day 4

1033: Sehwag-Gone-Home episode has stirred the hornet's nest here. Some claim he was unhappy with poor accommodation, some claimed he was bitter after Munaf abused him. Talked to DDCA Sports Secretary Sunil Dev, who returned by the same flight y'day and he says Sehwag had a migraine and hence he gone back. Braveheart Gambhir menwhile wages a lone battle.

1431: Well, the match is over and Rest of India thumped Best of India, Ranji champions Delhi, by 187 runs. After the match was over, a new batsman appeared at teh IPCL ground -- pads, gloves and blinding baldness. Anil Kumble and Chetanya Nanda were bowling to him and he struggled to middle a single delivery. By the time he came out all sweats, Gary Kirsten looked very much a tortured soul.

1435: Buttonholed Paddy Upton for an interview and he goes on dwelling on anything and everything but you can't take note, for it's off-the-record. He's anxious to get the okay from BCCI to post articles on the website. So am I.

1437: I didn't abuse anyone but still being made to stand under a scorching sun. Waiting for Match Referee RR Jadeja to announce the verdict of the hearing into Gone-Home Sehwag's complaint against foulmouth Munaf Patel.

Friday 26 September 2008

Live Irani Trophy Updates...Day 3

1022: It's drinks out there and tea for me. The tea served in the Press Box reflects the prosperity of Gujarat -- thick, full cream milk and 'kuncham kuncham' elaichi as well.

1112: Chetanya Nanda resembles Kunal Kapur of 'Rang De Basanti' fame, isn't it? Fellow long-hair Ishant Sharma keeps reminding me of Mowgli. And they say Dhoni can play Tarzan.

1146: MS Dhoni probably realises if there is any threat to his Test captaincy dreams, it's Sehwag. So a slogsweep, fierce drive and a reversesweep off the Delhi captain. Half of Dhoni's shots could be traced to woodcutter's manual. On one occasion, he apparently attempted to cut the ball into half and Mithun Manhas' palm must be sore now after stopping it.

1302: Did I keep quiet for long? Blame it on the sumptuous lunch. Anyway, Dhoni seems hell bent to prove he would have made an equally effective left-hander. Just reverse swept his way to his 23rd fifty. No prize for guessing the bowler, Sehwag. This was the fourth occasion he reverse swept aside Sehwag!

1320: Well, blacksheeps are not that difficult to find and apparently we have shot ourselves in the foot. One of the TV reporters yesterday went to Rest of Inda team hotel and because he was not obstructed by anyone there, he filed a story on how it's unsafe for the players (I presume he wished to be obstructed). His channel added enough spice to the half-baked stuff and projected how a human bomb could easily make his way to the hotel. Stung police authorities have now reacted by barring everyone - except staff and boarders - from entering the hotel. Those of us who had lined up interviews are now left twiddling thumbs!

1325: BCCI continues raising the bar when it comes to logic-defying. Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar and his colleagues Venkatapathy Raju and Ranjib Biswal were here for the tie. What for? After all, they are not going to pick the squad for the series against Australia, it would be the first assignment of the next batch. In other words, the selectors who were here won't pick the side and those who would pick the side are yet to be officially unveiled. So what was the logic behind the extire exercise? I would love to believe it was BCCI's parting shot to the outgoing selectors.

1330: Mowgli bowling to Tarzan and hits him on the pad. No appeal. Ishant is mature beyond his age and knows can't afford to antagonise Dhoni. Of course it hit Dhoni little high but Ishant had broken into Tarzan screams against other batsmen in similar situations. Smart boy.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Live Irani Trophy Updates at Doosra...Day 2

(Those who want to follow the scores live, you've typed the wrong URL. Those who want things that Neo TV won't show and Cricinfo won't report, welcome aboard. Oops, forgot to say, Doosra reports live from Vadodara IPCL Stadium)

1110 hrs: R P Singh makes peace with sparse crowd. Half an hour back, he was shouting at someone 'Arre, sightscreen ke saamne kya kar raha hai? Hat ja". A few people were hurling some not-so-flattering words to the UP pacer, who finally folded his hands and gestured to the crowd. No love seems lost as those camping near the sightscreen greet him back. No mediator required.

1129: Munaf is emptying his reserve of aggression well before the Oz series. Rajat Bhatia patted back one to the Non-Resident Gujarati pacer who hurled it back hoping Bhatia to do Inzy. Bhatia apparently does not idolises Inzy.

1135: The official scorers in the press box keep calling the Delhi wicketkeeper Puneet BUST. Casting serious aspersion indeed. I bet he would have preferred BEAST. Come on Puneet, show them you are a MAN.

1147: Kumble delivers his second NO BALL, a borderline case. Not impressed, AK has a chat with umpire, probably asking which contact lense he uses.

1151: Officiating under a harsh sun with 11 people screaming into your eardrums and giving you pan-Indian assortment of choicest abuses and ugly stares is not an easy task. Both the umpires seem hungry and can't wait for lunch, checking the time every now and then. Or checking if the watch has stopped ticking.

1158: Y'day, Dravid played Chetanya Nanda as if he was Ajantha Mendis. Today, Puneet Bust...errr I mean Bisht and Raja Bhatia are playing Harbhajan Singh as if he is Jaspal Bhatti.

1310: Watching Munaf Patel chasing a skier ranks among the most hilarious sights you hope to see in cricket. Sangwan hit one off Harbhajan, Munaf reacted as if he had sighted a UFO, chased only to see it land near his ankle and he could not help kicking it, inadvertently of course. As the ball races to the rope, Munaf realises his folly, stoops and picks it but his momentum almost takes him to the other side of the boundary line. To avoid that, Munaf does a little Kangaroo jump and manages to stay inside. Quite an entertainment package in the end!

1322: Zaheer Khan just 'leaked' a ball and both Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha came rushing to stop it from reaching the boundary line. Ojha is the second substitute for VVS Laxman after Ashok Dinda did the job in the morning. No word on Laxman, has he gone fishing?

1325: Even Ojha has rubbed his trousers red. Is it the clay or the color of the ball? Whatever, cricket should develop a better, and more decent, way of hiding growing cases of dermatosis among its practitioners. And no wonder, you have so many groin injuries to cricketers.

1444: I always felt that insomniacs need not lose hope. All they need is to sit and watch the entire post-lunch session of any domestic tie, preferably with Dravid and Jaffer inaction...I mean in action. Jokes apart, both Dravid and Jaffer have done what they are supposed to. They must be sipping their rich elaichi-flavoured tea with some satisfaction for not allowing Delhi make any inroads in their second essay.

1629: I suspect Ajantha Mendis has done some permanent damage to Dravid, who continues to struggle against Chetanya Nanda. He edged twice, though it didn't carry to the slip. Finally Dravid does a Misbah and scoops it to get some runs.

1846: My swansong update of the day. Talked to Vijay Dahiya, who was upset with Delhi batsmen's shot selection and hailed RoI's superb catching. Meanwhile, I'm fending swarm of hungry mosquitoes in the media box and posting. Got hold of Paddy Upton who informed Laxman is down with food poisoning, hence could not field. "Things are better this afternoon, he's spending less time in loo, you know." Quite a jovial guy.
See you all tomororw.

Monday 15 September 2008

EXLCUSIVE! Roy Speaks to Doosra!

Those who thought the Dragon has gulped me down with generous dose of authentic Chinese tea, I must say it was a premature celebration. The following Andrew Symonds exclusive interview explains my prolonged absence from blogosphere. My childhood angling experience taught me it’s never easy to catch fish, and even tougher to catch people catching fish. But anyway, my hard work finally bore fruit and here you have Symonds speaking his mind out.

Doosra: Mate, first of all, I must sympathise with you, considering what’s going through your troubled mind.

Symonds: X%@$%*!

Doosra: err…well…I mean…ok, let’s get on with the interview. Roy so what lies ahead?

Symonds: Grrrr…lies! You mean I’m lying? You X%@$%*!

Doosra: Oooops, calm down Roy, I just meant so what’s next for you?

Symonds: Sounds better and you better avoid double-meaning.

Well, now that I’m no more supposed to attend any compulsory meeting, I think finally I can go fishing, without bothering about consequences. Those equipments cost me a lot you know.

Doosra: But why did you skip the compulsory team meeting and went fishy..err I mean fishing?

Symonds: No double-meaning, told you. Anyway, I skipped the meeting because there they made players read ‘Art of War’ in Braille. Only Buchanan has left, not his madness you know.

Doosra: Roy, what is the lesson you learnt from the entire episode?

Symonds: Lesson? What lesson? I’ll teach those %$#*& a lesson, special Clarke. I’ll give you a scoop. You know what? Pup is not straight. He’s the guy behind Binga’s broken marriage.

Now I realize, Australia never really embraced me. They never really knew what to do with this England-born of Afro-Caribbean parentage. I’m thinking of migrating to India.

Doosra: India! But people there booed you!

Symonds: Not really. Now I believe I misunderstood them, cultural difference you know? Didn’t you hear about people who spit on each other’s face to greet? Likewise, Indians have weird ways of greeting you.

I guess I misunderstood Bhajji as well. He swore he never called me monkey, rather inquired about my mom’s health. So nice of him.

You know what? I have a sneaking suspicion that it was actually Matty Hayden who called me monkey, he’s a master ventriloquist you know.

Doosra: Well, what happens if they don’t welcome you in India?

Symonds: Well, in that case I can return to London and make my England A debut.

Doosra: England A!

Symonds: Why not? I could have played for the Poms in 1995 but I turned it down. Now I realise it was a mistake to prefer Australia. But it’s never too late. Besides, they need me.

Doosra: Well, I can’t be as optimistic, what if they too don’t welcome you?

Symonds: That would leave me with no other option but to return to my roots.

Doosra: You mean West Indies?

Symonds: Nope, South Africa. I like Graeme Smith more than Warnie and the Proteas need me to come out of the apartheid era.

Doosra: But that era is already over!

Symonds: Who says? They just became untouchables after Poms, of all people, beat them and that too in ODIs! Can you believe it!

Doosra: Well, it seems you don’t have dearth of options. Count fishing as well. Anyway, it’s reassuring to know that we have not seen the last of Symo. Willow or fishing rod, bat or boat, bowling line or fishing line. All the best Roy.