Monday 22 June 2009

Roaring of the Pariah

Only those with a boulder for a heart would grudge Pakistan's T20 triumph. Let's admit, no other team needed it more.

For a nation where an entire generation is growing up inhaling air thick with gunpowder and switching on the TV only to be told where the last bomb had gone off, finally there is something to cheer about.

Despite all the pretensions, cricket can't heal the gaping wounds that terror inflicts daily on Pakistan's soul. But at least it can apply some balm and that's no mean achievement for any sport.

And it was sort of poetic justice that two terror-ravaged teams reached the T20 final, thus allowing their terrorised populace a fortnight long escape from reality.

Sangakkara, take a bow. Sri Lanka has been a jewel in cricket's crown but let's admit, Pakistan deserved it.

Who can grudge Younus Khan? A plain-speaking Pathan who is perhaps the biggest critic of his own brand of reluctant leadership. And still you had people who don't like him because he smiles even in defeat!

Shahid Afridi may not wield the most aesthetic willow but who can deny that he is an entertainer extraordinaire? It's players like him who bring people to ground and keep the game alive.

Unless Pakistan won it, how would you know that Abdul Razzaq is far better a player to waste his time plying trade in an irrelevant jambooree -- unseen, unsung.

Who grudges Misbah in his redemption? The albatross is finally off his neck and those mean jokes would no more ring in his ears.

It's sad that the Pakistani players are often perceived as a bunch of crooks always up some dirty tricks to make the ball behave as if it has a mind of its own. Often they are the butt of ugly commentary box jokes.

Is it just because they don't rattle in English? History witness, the Poms strayed into World Cup finals not once or twice but thrice but never really ran the risk of winning it despite speaking chaste English.

Well done, Pakistan!

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Seven T20 World Cup truths

1. Reverse colonialism has hit England. How else you explain Collingwood and party getting booed in their own country!

2. You thought MS Dhoni is responsible for India’s failed T20 World Cup campaign only. Students from a Sikkim school have just served an eye-opener. MSD is apparently no less hazardous to Mother Earth than CFC;

3. Younis Khan is the lone cricketer with the distinction of having an X rated smile which threatens to incur censorship;

4. All these talk about Sehwag’s Grade I tear is bulls**t. In fact Pigeons**t, to be precise. Sehwag had a Pigeon perched on his shoulder right throughout IPL II and sources reveal its poisonous drop infected his shoulder;

5. Smart florists in Ranchi have started stacking their shop with effigies as well since either of the two is always in demand;

6. West Indies had plans to use Shivnarine Chanderpaul as opener in Twenty20 World Cup but it did not materialize since painting those eye-patches is a time-consuming exercise and ICC steadfastly refuses to keep play on hold till Lord Shiv is through with his war paint;

7. Doosra can safely reveal that England bowling coach Otis Gibson had sought tips from bar owners in India who told him that it's impossible to stop the Indian bats from going berserk unless you have enough bouncers. Gibson got the message and the rest, as they say, is geography...err I mean history.

Saturday 6 June 2009

The Seven...hic...Samurai

Let's give the dude his due. Andrew Symonds is a blogger's delight. An English-born Australian cricketer with West Indian roots with follies of all three ethnicities stuffed inside the 1.87m frame.

Now beat that.

So much so that I don’t mind trading Sachin Tendulkar for Symonds.

Come on, Tendulkar can’t be a debater’s delight. He evokes awe, not argument. He is too polite to polarize and I’ve always been intrigued more by the horn of the devil than the halo of the saint.

Once again, Symonds provided me the fodder for thought and here goes a list of seven cricketers who, I suspect, could have been wine bottle labels in their previous birth.

1. Andrew Symonds: The undisputed Baron of Booze, the Lord of Liquor, the al-Khalifa of al-cohol. There was not a rehab strong enough to bottle up his high spirit;

2. David Boon: His incredible feat of guzzling 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London is still intact. Pity that Symonds had to go when Boon is part of Australia’s selection panel. Smacks of lack of fellow-feeling somewhere.

3. Andrew Flintoff: Cork high and bottle deep, Flintoff discovered the alcoholic properties of the Caribbean Sea during 2007 World Cup and was about to drain it before sentries came to the sea’s rescue and an environmental disaster was averted.

4. Jesse Ryder: A firm believer that Bacchus airdropped him on dry earth with a specific purpose. Takes the opener’s job seriously even outside the field. Royal Challengers stats suggest no one opened more cans and bottles than Ryder in IPL II.

5. Herschelle Gibbs: Another rehab-proof alcoholic. One of his neighbours once refused his offer to donate blood fearing it might make him tipsy.

6. Praveen Kumar: Proudly carrying the tri-colour. To his credit, he doesn’t get into drunken brawl unless the other guy is a doctor.

7. Yuvraj Singh: When intoxicated, has a peculiar penchant of attacking his namesake, a tendency that can be traced to the sheer self-detest cemented in his subconscious.


Monday 1 June 2009

I suspect that...

1. Alastair Cook and RP Singh endorse different mascara brands;

2. Pakistan Cricket Board has assured itself of the inaugural Gandhi Truth Award by revealing the minutiae of exactly what is keeping Shoaib Akhtar out of action these days;

3. When Lalit Modi mooted the two-IPLs-a-year theory, the scary thought fleeting through Glenn McGrath’s mind was that either his bum or the bench he is assigned to warm would invariably catch fire;

4. Sourav Ganguly is betting considerable money on Mashrafe Mortaza hurling three beamers on the trot at Brendon McCullum’s head at some stage in the T20 World Cup;

5. The only way to make Rohit Sharma click as a Team India player is to allow him wear a Deccan Chargers jersey inside;

6. Ventriloquism may seem as relevant to cricket as Paris Hilton is to rocket science but it might actually do the trick for MS Dhoni. History witness, Warne’s voice brings out the best in a Yusuf Pathan and Gilchrist’s words have magic on Rohit;

7. The recent attacks on the Indians in Australia is essentially a backlash of Harbhajan Singh’s highly misinterpreted invocation of Andrew Symonds’ mother in the infamous Monkeygate episode. Incidentally, Harbhajan’s nephew was recently killed by a taxi driver in Melbourne.