Friday 31 July 2009

Thank you Bhajji

Time for some quick confessions. Conscience cleansing, if you know what I mean.

Well, Doosra admits it has not been at its genial best when dealing with the Oz cricketers.

To its biased eyes, an Oz cricketer was complete only with protrusion on either side of the head and preferably a caudal appendage neatly tucked in their rear.

People talked about halo around their head but all Doosra saw was horn.

Let's face the truth, it derived immense satisfaction from bashing Oz cricketers, any will do. The only thing that gave marginally little more joy is bashing Lalit Modi.

That, however, is hardly the big deal since it's a cottage industry in the west where people of late are demanding a probe against the IPL ringmaster's possible collaboration with Conrad Murray in Michael Jackson's death inquiry.

Doosra's consistent approach towards the Oz players notwithstanding, it never occurred in the wildest of nightmares that some of them, done and dusted with their career and looking for some activity, would secretly meet in a dingy Brisbane hall to guzzle gallons of beer before arriving at the unanimous conclusion that Doosra is a threat to the society.

One of them, Ashley Mallett, went on to the extent of calling Doosra illegal!

Well, that gives you a fair idea of the cloud of crisis hovering over Doosra.

Shane Warne was part of the sly summit too but he apparently kept puffing his B&H and texting from his prolific cellphone, occasionally surfacing to nod his head in affirmation.

Doosra found itself completely alone in its hour of crisis, not a single voice of solidarity in the earshot.

That is till the messiah surfaced in Jalandhar, springing to the defence of the beleaguered.

Thank you Bhajji.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Had Paris Hilton been a cricketer!

Going by the feedback, some people are yet to recover from my earlier rambling -- Had Harry Potter Been a Cricketer at Bored Cricket Crazy Indians.

Those who doubted that I'm off my onion, here goes the confirmation.

Had Paris Hilton been a cricketer.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Just not cricket!

Gilchrist flays Tendulkar in his autobiography.

Graeme Smith lashes out at his ex-boss Norman Arendse in his diary.

Hadlee rips into Stephen Fleming in his memoir.

Buchanan bashes Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Ganguly’s cocky cocker spaniel in his book.

Now where have all those players gone?

As you took guard, revenge would gleam in the bowler's eyes. Merely the wicket won't do. They wanted to see blood on turf.

They were veritable demons who would snarl, bark and holler inside your eardrum at the end of their follow through. Giving you glare and a piece of their mind till you start trembling in your boots and show signs of shrinking.

From the slip cordon will emanate a barrage of ceaseless unflattering allusions to certain members of your family till you blush and cringe enough to miss the line.

But at the end of the day, hostilities would stay behind when they walked off the field to share a banter and beer, hands around each other's shoulders.

More importantly, they bore no grudge. If they had to settle a score, they did it head-on, not hiding behind the jacket of a book.

They did not take mental note of each and every innuendo and returned to the hotel room to dip their nib in poison and then rush to the publisher to market the malice.

Let's admit, they were not peddler of the poison.

Where have all those players gone?

Sunday 26 July 2009

Hayden’s maiden speech at his academy circa 2012

Mate, lend me your ears or get thick ears. Ding dong and you head for billabong.

No argy-bargy, fine?

Mate, get it abso-bloody-lutely clear in your head. We are here for the serious business of batting and not tiddlywinks.

Bowlers are meant to be bagged. Bagged till no kid dreams of becoming a bowler again.

That is how ICC also wants it.

As a batsman, you would treat a bowler exactly with the same respect that a pariah dog has for the nearby lamppost.

From a socio-political point, bowlers are our class enemy, if you know your Marx well.

Karl Marx, you nitwit, not Groucho.

Remember, every maiden over is nothing but a public announcement that you have Kangaroos loose in the top paddock

Finally, a word of caution.

Beware mate. Offies from a certain northern Indian state can be quite an obnoxious weed.

And you may well come across pacers from a certain southern state, particularly with a dance back ground, with this tendency to get on your nerve.

But when going gets tough like this, don’t go troppo. Rather, ask yourself "What would Christ do?"

That’s all I had to say. Now join the chorus as we sing 'Waltzing Matilda'.

Friday 24 July 2009

Hayden, from Oz opener to academy opener

Australian cricketers, once done and dusted, have displayed this inexplicable vulnerability to an irresistible urge of doing something in and for India.

I assume it's a desire that spreads like one of those typical Australian bushfire.

Like rashes in summer. Or blogging in Bollywood. Or Twittering among celebrities.

Cricket's history, especially its recent chapters, is littered with such instances.

Steve Waugh has been a father figure to orphans in Kolkata while Adam Gilchrist has extended avuncular warmth towards disabled kids.

And now Matthew Hayden wants to open a cricket academy in Chennai.

He can't open batting anymore, at least for Australia, so why not open an academy?

Once an opener, always an opener.

Duty unto death, if you know what I mean.


Thursday 23 July 2009

Had Harry Potter been a cricketer...

Considering the bloodbath they are going through, the industrialists are just not in a position to lend.

I would still go ahead and borrow the expression that Ratan Tata used when Mamata Banerjee straight-drove Nano out of West Bengal.

Someone put a gun to my head -- figuratively speaking, just like Tata – and sought my view on what Harry Potter would have been had he been a cricketer.

Well, find my rambling here.

Wednesday 22 July 2009

A friend in need can be a spouse indeed!

There are certain things in life which defy logic but are inevitable. Baffling, yet unavoidable, if you know what I mean.

Like unsuspectingly stepping on the lone banana skin on the pavement as if a matter of destiny.

Like the penchant among taps to run dry, a phenomenon preceded by a humiliating gurgling sound, just after you have worked up an admirably rich lather all over your face.

Like the irresistible urge in certain quarters to taste Hari Mirch Pakoda – a palatable weapon of mass destruction -- despite knowing that the nearest available drop of H20 is some 5 kms away.

Like a malfunctioning MUTE button on your cell when the all-important meeting is well into its first quarter.

Like running into a rare traffic police at the signal you have jumped with impunity more often than Sergei Bubka has jumped in his entire career.

Like I said earlier, logic-defying yet unavoidable.

Like Himesh Reshammiya, if you know.

To cut it short, Mohammad Asif is the latest victim of the fatal attraction that draws a moth to the fire and a cricketer towards an actress.

Veena Malik, the actress, apparently stood by Asif in his seconds, minutes and hours of crises, bearing expenses of all his legal battles.

A friend in need can be a spouse indeed!

Sunday 19 July 2009

The curious case of Mitchell Johnson

Hindi films are littered with such instances.

When it comes to choosing between devil and deep sea, fire and frying pan, hemlock and hanging, an average -- in other words docile, domesticated - Indian lad is more prone to siding with his mom, leaving his lady love high and dry.

But son's devotion towards the maternal tribe in Australia is apparently as endangered as wallabies there. Much to the dismay of Oz motherhood, their imbecile sons more or less turn turtle, figuratively speaking, whenever they come 5 KMs within a PYT.

In other words, head over heels to the point of doubting their very genesis and starting to believe that they probably were jettisoned on mother earth by some passerby aliens.

No sense of gratitude at all. Rather, preferring to putting the arm around a tender shoulder and giving the Mom a cold shoulder.

But Motherhood does not sit idle and sob in the corner. She exacts revenge.

She stands at the door of the fool's paradise i. e her son's life. There she dopes a starved bull, twists its tail from behind and then flashes the red rag in front before vanishing.

Mitchell Johnson probably didn't know. You can escape the wrath of, say a Robin Hood but not Motherhood. Not even if the girl you dumped your mother for is a karateka.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. If Qualm Doesn't get You, Hurt Motherhood Must.


Friday 17 July 2009

Flintoff on a pedalo again!

This is not an ODI World Cup year. Nor has he a vice captaincy to shed.

More importantly, he looks sober and alone.

Freddie Flintoff still gets on a pedalo and it’s not even a sequel to the Pedalogate I.

Believing that the Australians are not capable of doing anything else, the mastermind of this deodorant advertisement shows two Aussies nicking Flintoff’s car and leaving a pedalo instead. Mind you, one of them looked like Michael Clarke’s cousin.

But Freddie the Flintstone could not care less as he gets on the pedalo, reviving memories of his booze cruise in the Caribbeans, and wades through a canal to reach destination.

The pedalo is up for grabs and the money will go to Flintoff's foundation.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Last of the Mohicans

Sourav Ganguly would vouch, Andrew Flintoff often struggled to keep his shirt on.

This time, Freddie sheds flannel to retain pyjama. Test Cricket, on its part, can surely find a lonely, dingy corner and shed a tear or two to mourn the exit of the Last of its Mohicans.

I’m afraid we won’t see his like again. The era of 24-carat all-rounders is just behind us. Welcome to a new world where imposters in the all-rounder’s garb would fool around.

ICC rankings would want us believe Mitchell Johnson is world’s number two all-rounder and Chaminda Vaas ranks fifth. But then ICC’s understanding of the game rivals Paris Hilton’s grasp of rocket science and both come with the unmistakable ‘Not To Be Taken Seriously’ tag.

In his approach, Flintoff was a throwback to an era where the popular notion was that an all-rounder should be good enough to merit two places in the side, one for bowling and another for batting.

Now, take Garfield Sobers out of the action. He could bowl pace and spin, at times both in the same over, keep wicket and then hit a poor Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over. He could be Clark Kent’s estranged sibling endowed with equal supernatural ability and a markedly better sartorial taste.

Soon after the Kapil-Imran-Botham-Hadlee quartet left the scene, batting pie-chuckers and bowling sloggers thronged the dais and statistics – often confounding than enlightening – were thrown up at regular intervals to prove their all-round credentials.

You don’t have to strain your eyes to see the clowns fooling around. Underneath the garb, Shane Watsons and Yusuf Pathans are essentially bits-and-pieces players of some utility but anything but all-rounders.

Unlike them, Flintoff, in between his injury rehabs, sent down real 90mph thunderbolts from an awkward angle and then returned to wield the willow with impunity.

More importantly, he was match-winner with both.

His foibles only endeared him and make no mistake, it’s people like him who ensured bums on seats.

Above all, Flintoff was the rare flicker of flair in an otherwise mass of mediocrity that is English cricket.

I insist, Test cricket is all about romanticism and if you don’t like, you are free to frequent the nearby Twenty20 circus.

MCC diagnoses Test cricket is dying and their optimism simply baffles me. They might declare Michael Jackson alive!

Pix: PA

Tuesday 14 July 2009

No pretension please, we hate Test cricket

Unless someone calls their bluff and comes up with decisive evidence, Bangladesh have won their second Test match. Please note, their last win came against Zimbabwe in 2005.

And Adam Gilchrist still moans the lack of Olympic spirit in the sub-continent.

Again, unless someone calls the bluff, Bangla Tigers beat West Indies.

Now don't ask how much West Indies. It would suffice to say that the assortment was led by a certain Floyd Reifer who had played his last Test when Bill Clinton was battling 'Monicagate', George W Bush's English grammar classes were confined to Texas and Paris Hilton had just been expelled from school in what was the first concrete sign of becoming the scourge of humanity that she is today.

Now how this win helps Bangladesh, perhaps the biggest sceptic of its own Test status, is beyond me.

And how the defeat helps West Indies Cricket Board to get even with the boycotting players is equally beyond me.

No pretension please. We don't love Test cricket.

Thursday 9 July 2009

7 Reasons Why England Can’t Win Ashes

1. The John Buchanan miasma. This should be the cinch;

2. By scheduling the opener in Cardiff, England essentially and inadvertently opted for an away match and lost the home advantage;

3. Keeping with his form book, Andrew Flintoff is destined to miss the bus to the ground on the most crucial day of the series;

4. By placing Matt Prior behind the stumps, England has made the prior announcement that they are taking Caught Behind and Stumping out of the equation. While this is very chivalrous of them, England’s bowling does not look good enough to get 20 Australian wickets sans these two crucial modes of dismissals,

5. Kevin Peter Pietersen, Order of the British Empire (OBE), would deliberately under-perform, fearing another Ashes triumph would invariably incur a similar mile-long obnoxious title which no 21st century man in his senses would fancy;

6. Cricket Australia’s threat of bringing back Buchanan, in case of an Ashes loss, ringing in ears, Ricky Ponting and his men would settle for nothing less than a win;

7. Leaving no stone unturned in their preparation, Australia had no less than F1 driver Mark Webber telling them how to run faster between wickets. Sadly, neither Lewis Hamilton nor Jenson Button displayed as much patriotism and bothered to turn up at the Poms practice.

Pix: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Buchanan's boot camp beans spilled!

Adam Gilchrist does not say whether Warne alluded to the female members in John Buchanan's family when he badmouthed the coach.

Gilly, however, does say that spin rivals Warne and Stuart McGill buried their hatchets and turned comrade-in-arms against Buchanan's boot camp idea.

Asked to strip down to the bare minimum, Gilchrist does not disclose his own brand but he 'reveals' Warne's uses 'Playboy' undies, memorably depicted in a UK tabloid.

Gilly tells when asked to deposit 'dependent medication', Mike Hussey handed over asthma inhaler, while Warne reluctantly submitted five packets of Benson & Hedges!

Gilly reveals their media manager, also put through the drill, threw up in a bush but survived to tell the tale.

Gilly divulges three guys had to share "a tin of chunky soup" and "half a loaf of bread" in dinner and there was neither cellphone nor any plump British nurse for Warne.

A grenade went off outside their camp and the cricketers had to run 5 km in pitch dark. While others started unpacking, Warne was busy with his "dependent medication" i.e. Benson & Hedges.

Now, don't tell me you need further reasons to buy "True Colours: My Life" by Adam Gilchrist.

Monday 6 July 2009

Ashes: Food for thought

So England has a Cook (of mascara fame), Onions, a Swan with an extra N and Collingwood for firewood.

Their head chef Andy Flower is a worried man after told that it sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster.

Australia, on their part, has arrived in England with an entire McDonald!

I have never tasted Ashes but this one promises to be a finger-licking one!

Thursday 2 July 2009

Cry Eden, cry

Rows of empty galleries greet Tendulkar on his 12000th Test run but still I S Bindra’s Mohali;

Mumbaikars may have sold their soul to T20 and switched allegiance to YV Patil but still Sharad Pawar’s Wankhede;

Counterfeit tickets, counterfeit crowd, counterfeit administrators and still Arun Jaitley’s Kotla;

Lalit Modi’s indifference to anything not T20 shared by the entire Jaipur but still Sawai Man Singh;

Nagpur maybe a lemon as a venue but still Shashank Manohar’s VCA Stadium in Jamtha.

Once again, arguably the most hopelessly emotional bunch of cricket followers found them caught in the crossfire between egoistic administrators and their murky game.

Cry Eden cry.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Of sledging, charity and nirvana

* Steve Waugh, Father of the Theory of Mental Disintegration, supports a house for kids of lepers;

* Glenn McGrath, Sheikh of Sledge, champions breast cancer awareness;

* Adam Gilchrist, leading Foulinguist of his era, bats for disabled kids;

...and now...hold your breath...

* Ricky Ponting, cricket's own sledge-hammer, bats for cancer kids.

Trust me, even in the darkest hour, I had never given up. I knew remorse will gnaw at their vitals for all the effing pleasantries these motormouths showered on their opponents. I clung on to the hope that good sense would eventually prevail and once self-realisation enlightens their soul, they would seek atonement.

And they did.

May it rinse, cleans and wash their sins away and help them attain perfect nirvana.