Friday 23 January 2009

Dyscalculia hits cricket!

ICC surely can't afford to bury its head into the Dubai desert. An unprecedented outbreak of Dyscalculia has already hit Australia and England and unless drastic steps are taken, it might reach Matthew Hayden's Third World as well!

For the uninitiated, Dyscalculia implies mathematical reasoning difficulties as well as troubles with arithmetic operations.

If I always felt cricket is the last resort of the mathematically retarded, I simply have no reason to believe otherwise.

Sample these:

1. Doug Bollinger (Aus): "If I happen to play I'll put in 150,000 percent."

# Observation:
Acute case of Dyscalculia, beyond treatment.

2. Andrew Strauss (Eng): "I have no doubt that he (Pietersen) will go to the West Indies and get millions of runs."

# Observation:
Considering that the Poms will play 4 Tests and 5 ODIs in the West Indies, medics believe though it has reached alarming stage in Strauss' case, all hopes are not lost yet. Sustained therapy might help him come out of it. Frankly speaking, England captaincy has done worse to others.

3. Graeme Swann: "I'm convinced he's (Pietersen) going to score thousands (of runs) on this (West Indies) trip."

# Observation:
Early symptoms, fair chance of recovery. Treatment should start at once. One more thing. Swann clearly does not hold KP in as high esteem as Strauss does. Note how millions became thousands.

P.S. Talking about Dyscalculia, this one from Yogi Berra is my all-time favourite: "Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical." Alas, cricket is yet to get its Yogi Berra. And for God’s sake, Sidhuism is no match to Yogiism. Once asked why he no longer visited a popular restaurant, the Yankees legend said "Nobody goes there no more; it's too crowded!" But then the same guy told us "It isn’t over till it’s over."


Tuesday 20 January 2009

SCOOP: Why Daredevils dumped Asif

My only purpose and wish is to play for my nation Pakistan again, and for that I need to disengage from any other cricket engagements and work towards this.

Mohammad Asif wants all to believe that he is on a redemption mission and hence decided to 'disengage' himself from all cricket engagements so that he can work his way back to the Pakistan team again. Amen.

Apparently, the PCB forgot to tell the poor chap that it has already done that disengagement job by banning him from all forms of cricket pending the IPL drug inquiry.

So effectively Asif has volunteered to twiddle his thumbs till he digs himself a new hole, most probably in an airport that starts with the letter D.

In case Steven Spillberg makes a sequel to 'The Terminal', he can draw on Asif's experience.

Meanwhile, Doosra laid its hands on some classified information and here are the five genuine reasons that prompted the Daredevils to dump Asif:

1. Asif had inquired if Daredevils management could arrange some basic practice facilities at the detention centres of some of the airports around. Especially when the Daredevils owners are into the airport-building business.

2. Asif had revealed how he planned to argue his case before the IPL drug tribunal and escape with a minimum punishment for drug offence. "I'm going to tell the tribunal that regular customers get discounts everywhere," he said.

3. Asif deposited his sweater, cap, glass and mistakenly the chillum as well to Sehwag who was umpiring in the nets.

4. The Daredevils apparel makers informed the management that Asif had sought a special pocket in his trousers and sent a tube-shaped substance as the measurement.

5. Asked in the Daredevils promo what’s his favourite flower, Asif said ‘Poppy’.

Friday 16 January 2009


He does not have ears to soothe, palms to grease and egos to massage. So when Sehwag speaks, better listen.

In a world where honesty is as rare as greentops in the sub-continent or a dust bowl Down Under, sample the brute candour as Sehwag chatted with Sanjay Manjrekar during an award ceremony this afternoon.

Confession of a compulsive hitter: Don’t want to waste a ball (on leaving/ducking).

His occasional regret: At times you have to leave a ball.

Mendis Who? He got me out only once in 6-7 times.

Part of history he wants to expunge from the annals of human civilization: One full session I batted without scoring a boundary.

Respect for pundits: I don’t listen to people, watch TV or read newspapers.

Need of practice match: Waste of time.

Reverence for the bowling tribe: Apart from McGrath and Murali, I can hit any bowler for a boundary whenever I want.

Pix: Atul Kasbekar

Monday 12 January 2009

Cricket’s immortal Mammals, Aves and Pisces XI

Australian media recently anointed chief selector Andrew Hilditch as cricket’s resident Loch Ness Monster. Reason? Hilditch preferred a beach stroll with his pet dog in Adelaide when Hayden was battling for his career in Sydney. After all, determining Haydo’s future was supposed to be the most important decision of his stint!

As the media pilloried Hilditch, I can see his pet dog acquiring a cult status, apart from a bragging right, in that part of the globe after its picture splashed all over Oz media.

This was precisely the provocation behind drawing up a unique Mammals, Aves and Pisces XI that assumed cricketing immortality over the years.

(Pix: Michael Marschall)

1. Andrew Hilditch’s pet dog: Outgrew former Oz top dog Hayden in stature.

2. The dog that left Hayden with gashed ankle in 2006:
The canine attack happened when Hayden was jogging. For record, vets call it Pica, an appetite among the dogs for chewing non-nutritive substance.

3. The Bumble-Frisker of Mohali: The Punjab Police sniffer dog that inspected David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd’s backside in full public view during the India-England Test there last month. Witnesses include yours truly.

4. Clarrie Grimmet’s fox terrier: Played its part in developing 'flipper'. Grimmet would bowl for hours trying to perfect the occult art and the little creature would retrieve the ball. ICC is yet to recognize its contribution.


5. The stuffed sparrow at MCC Museum: In 1936, Jahangir Khan, playing for Cambridge University against MCC, sent down a delivery that hit a sparrow, which fell dead and headed for cricket folklore. The flight of the ball and the bird intercepted somewhere resulting in the mishap, even though Jahangir was a medium pacer and not a spinner.

(Pix: BBC)

6. Double Pigeon Martyrs of Oval: Paul Reiffel and Ajay Jadeja had blood on their hand in that match. Reiffel’s direct throw claimed a pigeon while Jadeja cut a delivery to third man to complete the double during the India-Australia match of the 1999 World Cup.

(Pix: BBC)

7. Guy the Gorilla: Ian Botham earned his nickname from this celebrity resident of the London Zoo in the 1960s-70s.

8. Kapil’s Buffalo: His father bought the buffalo so that Kapil could guzzle gallons of milk and grow strong. No wonder some of his sixes used to vanish in the milky way.

(Pix: Symonds' official website)

9. Fishes that Andrew Symonds caught: Salmon, trout...

10. Cockroaches Chris Broad spotted in Mohali: These little creatures went to find mention in the ICC Match Referee’s report after Broad noticed them in the umpires’ food trolley during the India-Australia Test match in Mohali last year.

11. Bhajji’s monkey: well, this one quite spooky. A ghost like inconclusive thing, with two rival sides frothing at the mouth trying to establish and dismiss its presence in the cantankerous Sydney Test.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Heroes need not necessarily come with a cape and undies on the outside. Some come in borrowed shirt and hamburger-stained pullover. Had Graeme Smith done a Ganguly, only then you could know whether his vest had an S sign on it.

Mickey Arthur yesterday said he would need a chain to hold Smith back. He naturally didn’t find one.

Steyn is gone and match is in bag. At least Australia thought so before Smith emerged from the blurred sea of heads, clutching the bat and walking down as every soul and every blade of the grass at SCG bowed their head.

Ponting’s men could not believe it. Neither could those present in SCG or the ones glued to their TV sets far away in Durban and Delhi, Cape Town and Kolkata, Pretoria and Patna.

Poor Hayden. He was still in a trance when the Ntini edged slipped through his butter-fingers.

Smith survived ball after ball and his aura grew big with every delivery. An exasperated Ian Chappell screamed “I can’t believe they haven’t tried a bouncer at him…Sentiments count for a little”. You could feel he was really aghast.

But not all Australians are potential cold-blooded murderers. Surprisingly, most don’t have horns on head and a tail somewhere tucked inside! They rather come across as completely normal, even emotional, human being with a striking ability to appreciate things which are good!

I’m sorry but by and large, pretentious cricketers have been poor ambassadors of the country.

On their feet clapping for Smith, the Australian WAGs too seemed to have a rather decent understanding of the game. Way better than their English counterparts with no qualms about bouncing on the knees of a tacky Texan billionaire.

Otherwise the Grandpa of Grandiosity, Nevil Cardus’ rare moment of understatement is - scoreboard is an ass. I’m convinced, it’s an outright liar too.

Pix: PA Sports