Sunday, December 23, 2007

An analysis of all the team's performances against Australia

Cricinfo's stats editor S Raejsh brings us some very interesting statistics on the eve of the most awaited Border Gavaskar trophy. Australia has been invincible. They have thrashed team after team and even a draw in Australia is considered an achievement. Apparently India has the most impressive record playing against Australia. The statistics being discussed here cover only tests played against Australia since 2000. It also includes the super test between Australia and the world XI. The rankings in which India is at number one is done on basis of difference in batting and bowling averages.

India has played 12 tests, has won 4 matches and lost 5. India is the only team with a batting average of over 30. The figure is 33.18. The bowling average is 39.12 and the difference between the batting and bowling averages is only -5.94. Other teams have a bad record. England is just after India and they have won 4 matches compared to 14 losses with a batting average of 28.47 and a bowling average of 43.49. The difference is -15.02. Among the other Asian teams, Srilanka is at number three with no win and six losses. Their batting average is 28.47, bowling average is 42.50 and the difference is -15.05. Pakistan is at number six with zero wins and six losses. Their batting average is 20.78 and bowling average is 41.98. Difference is -21.11.

Among batsmen with the best records against Australia, three out of top four are Indians and there are four Indians in the top ten list. No points for guessing that at the top of the list is Laxman with an astounding average of 61.61. Rahul Dravid is number 2 at an average of 56. KP takes third position at an average of 53.50. Virendra Sehwag has an average of 49.76 and is at number four. Sachin Tendulkar is at number seven with an average of 47.41.

In bowlers Shoaib Akhtar tops the list with an average of 22.40 with 20 wickets. Harbhajan Singh is second with an average of 22.55 and 54 wickets. It may be noted that 53 of those wickets have come in India and he has picked only one wicket in Australia in the only one match he played in Australia. Andrew Flintoff is at number three with an average of 29.59 and 11 wickets. The Indian captain Anil Kumble is at number four with an average of 29.82 and 8 wickets.

S Rajesh also goes on to show that its a left arm chinaman bowler who has troubled the Indian batsmen the most. The list of the most successful spinner against India been compiled on basis of least difference between career average and average against India and Paul Adams tops the list. Hogg being a left handed chinamam bowler himself, will be inspired by this. He might want to see some video footage of Adams bowling to the Indians. But notably for him, is ex-colleague and arguably world's best leg spinner ever is at the bottom of the list.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

India's spinners

India's batting line up has been considered the best by many. But India's bowling has not been rated very high by many. Lets have a look at some of the prominent players from India and their performances in recent times as well as against Australia.

In this episode of the build up series, we will have a look at India's top spinners and try to find out how good they are. Of course we will use statistics more than anything else.

Anil Kumble:Lets start with the captain. I dont think many of you need any statistics or any facts to know how good he is. An unorthodox bowler who can single handedly dismiss an entire side....literally!! He did that to Pakistan once and he can possibly do even more amazing things. Anil has taken 584 wickets in 121 tests at an average of 28.66. He has 34 five wicket hauls. He is a threat to any side. Playing Kumble and surviving is perhaps the toughest test of the defense of a person.

Against Australia Kumble has taken 88 wickets at an average of 27.17. However playing in Australia, Kumble's average goes up...way up. He has taken 29 wickets in six matchs at an average of 40.00. This is probably Kumble's last opportunity to produce a great performance in Australia.

Harbhajan Singh: He became an overnight hero in the Border Gavaskar trophy in 2001 when he sent the Kangaroos packing after as he took many as 32 wickets in 3 matches. Harbhajan Singh has taken 248 wickets in 60 matches at an average of 30.43. Against Australia, Singh has taken 56 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 24.17. Obviously his average has gone up against Australia. In the only one match he has played in Australia, he has taken only one wicket for 101 runs. WE hope he gets more opportunities in Australia and builds nice records for himself.


Worst possible preparations for India

Its common sense to arrange as many practice matches in Australia as possible before you take them on. But BCCI, evidently more interested in making money from the series against Pakistan, ensured India had just one practice match in the name of preparation. Now that that only practice match is washed off giving batting practice to only two batsmen, India is entering the series with virtually no preparation. The matches they played against Pakistan were on flat tracks against a third grade bowling attack. The batsmen are simply spoiled at the moment.

The bowlers are also not accustomed to the bouncy pitches and will take time to adjust their length. I am afraid, India will have a bad test to start with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Historically India has been the better team in the Border Gavaskar trophy

I emphasized in the first episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series that India has been the toughest opponent to Australia in test cricket in the past. Here we will take a look at the history and try to find out some statistics. India and Australia decided to periodically play test cricket against each other for a trophy that was named the Border Gavaskar trophy. The first Border Gavaskar series was played in 1996-97 in India and so far the two teams have faced each other six times to fight for the Border Gavaskar trophy. In this episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series, we will find out who has been the more dominant team throughout.

Out of the six times that India and Australia have played for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, India has secured the trophy four times and Australia managed it only two times. The first series was played in 1996-1997 in India which India won it by 1-0. The second was played in 1997-1998 in India which India won by 2-1. The third was played in 1999-2000 in Australia which Australia won by 3-0. The fourth was played in 2000-2001 in India which India won by 2-1. The fifth one was played in 2003-2004 in Australia which was drawn 1-1 and India being the current champions, retained the trophy. The sixth one was played in 2004-2005 in India which was won by Australia by 2-1. Thus Australia are the current champions.

One more thing to note is that Sachin Tendulkar has won the ‘player of the series’ award twice.

We will come back with more interesting information in the next episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series.

India in Australia- the build up series

This is the first episode in the build up series. In the build up series, I will bring you interesting information on the mega series before the first test comes up. Keep visiting.

Whenever India and Australia play, they play quality cricket. I agree with Gilchrist that India vs Australia is the latest and the most interesting rivalry in Cricket today. In Australia’s rule over world cricket, India has been one team to give them the toughest resistance. Be it the amazing comeback in the Kolkata test following a series of world record making Australian victories (13) or the series draw four years ago on the Australian soil, India have given Australia the toughest time in recent past. Australia have dominated most of these encounters alright, but India has been a tougher opponent for them compared to other teams.

Many things have changed in the last four years. Neither team is the same now. Australia does not have Warne and McGrath anymore. But I think Indians will be more hurt by Warne’s absence than the Australians. Warne was a great spinner…the greatest ever perhaps…but the Indians were never bothered by him. The likes of Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly have played him comfortably and have milked him for runs on many occasions. However McGrath did trouble the Indians many times. Though the biggies are gone, the new generation of cricketers from Australia is good.

India on the other hand have a big problem in the pace bowling department. In the last few years India searched and found some good pacers but then lost them to injury. Ashish Nehra and Balaji are examples. They became stars over night with outstanding performances and then went into oblivion following career threatening injuries. The search for the right fast bowler is still on and India’s best one right now is Zaheer Khan. His performance on the unfamiliar English turf was outstanding and therefore, we would naturally expect him to do well in Australia.

Irfan Pathan’s career has been a roller coaster ride. His bat has been accumulating runs and the ball has stopped doing what he was known for. But we saw his old touch in spells in the last contest against Pakistan. Unfortunately for him the pitches were too flat for a bowler to come back to form. But he will get much better tracks in Australia.

But India’s main weapon would be the captain himself. Anil Kumble is in prime form. We know that from his success on the dead tracks against Pakistan where almost every other bowler suffered. The Australians might find his quick turners too hot to handle.

However, Indian’s strength is the batting lineup. It’s a dream line up filled with batsmen of extra ordinary caliber, unbelievable achievements and have performed very well against Australia in the past. The Australian think tank would be particularly worried about Tendulkar and Laxman….particularly given that these two seemed to be in good touch lately.

India have their chances against Australia and they have to work really hard to beat the Kangaroos in their own backyard. The verbal war has already started from both sides with Tait challenging the Indians to his pace and Harbhajan pointing a finger at the lack of any good spinners in the Australian side. But the real war will soon start and we will see soon if the Indians can get anywhere close to a victory against Australia in Australia.

In the build up series, I will bring you interesting information on the mega series before the first test comes up. Keep visiting.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Eight teams expelled from the ACC under 15 elite cricket cup

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) took a very strict step in disqualifying as many as eight team on basis of age of the players. The championship was to be held in Nepal as they were the defending champions. There were total eleven participants in the championship and the ACC banned nine of them leaving only two teams- Singapore and Kuwait in the competition.

The first shock came when UAE was disqualified from the competition as no one in the entire 14 members squad had a UAE passport. Which means that none of the players were UAE citizens.

The second shock came when radiology examinations revealed that eight teams had more than one player each who exceeded the age limit of 15 years. The teams that were banned on basis of age were Nepal (defending champions and hosts of the tournament), Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

The ACC took the decision and sunday's semi finals- Nepal v Singapore and Afghanistan v Hong Kong - were scrapped. That left two teams- Singapore and Kuwait (who were already eliminated in the course of the tournament). A final was played between the two teams in Bhaktapur, Nepal which Singapore won.

It is really sad that UAE does not have a single cricket player in their country. They are supposed to be one of the best among the associate nations. And its also sad that as many as eight teams sent in illegal players to participate. ACC claims that their protocol of age verification in fool proof and the results are reliable.

Source: Yahoo sports

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rudi Koertzen replaced by Aleem Dar. Sangakara shows great sportsman spirit

Rudi Koertzen of South Africa has been replaced by Aleem Dar of Pakistan for England's test series with Sri Lanka. It comes following a very bad decision by Rudi to give Srilankan batsman Kumara Sangakara out caught while the replays showed that the ball had missed the bat by a good distance and had popped off his shoulder. You can see the decision here:

However, Sangakara has shown great spirit in defending Rudi. Sangakara says:
"International umpires are not required to come and apologise when they make a mistake.

"It thought it was a nice gesture on Rudi's part to come and have a chat and we moved on.

"I thought Rudi had an excellent game and he's a very good umpire. He's been one of the top three umpires over the last two years and as a team we respect him a lot and have a good rapport with him."

Source: skysports

Monday, November 26, 2007

Loved rehab, but I still got it right: Hair

Daryl Hair has been through a 'man management course' as a part of his rehabilitation after he got demoted following the Oval controversy. Reports the Sydney Morning Herald. But after the course is complete, Hair still believes that what he did was right.

"It's easy to say, look, if I'd known how to deal with that sort of issue, the communication and management issues then, if I knew then what I know now I may have done things differently.

"But I don't believe so because there's a certain limit to what the umpire needs to do under those circumstances and I believe that both the umpires fulfilled those obligations both with the ball tampering and the refusal to play."

He also defended his claim of a severance payment from ICC.

Click here for the story

Monday, August 6, 2007

Over 19 in under 19?

They say that you are only as old as you feel. But does ICC believe in that way of determining age? One Ben James Write from England made a century against Pakistan in an under 19 test match on 5th of August 2007. He was 243 days over 19 years on that date. He was not the only one in his team over 19 years. One Adam Lyth of the same England under 19 side was 314 days over 19 years of age on that date and he also made a century against Pakistan on the same date.

Now, I wont accuse England of anything yet as I am not very sure of what the rules say. When I discovered it for the first time (thanks to muradnyc of, what I did was some research on the topic. Another keen member on the same thread provided a link to the rules on determining age for the under 19 world cup. I am quoting a line from the rules here: "To compete in the ICC U19 CWC Players from Full Member countries must be under the age of 19 on the 1st of September before the event takes place and Players from Associate or Affiliate Member countries must be under the age of 20 on the 1st of September before the event takes place."
But amazingly, I cant find any rules for other under 19 tournament. At least the ICC website does not talk of any rules for determining age for an under 19 test series. If someone can throw some light, please help clear the confusion.

Ben Writes' profile on cricinfo
Adam Lyth's profile on cricinfo
Spinners put England in control
Age Determination Policy for ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup

Thread by Muradnyc on banglacricket

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

India-England first match

It was a competitive match and was sure one of the closest draws in recent times. The debate over England's over rate shows that England did in fact contribute towards the draw. They played better and deserved win the match in the end. But with the clear forecast of the rain, should have squeezed in more overs in the available time. On the other hand, team India did the right thing. The batsmen must have been told to hang in there and wait for the rains or bad light. Dhoni showed great temperament and proved once again that he can play according to the situation. Like any new player, he will have his share of struggle on tours, but he is fighting it out and is showing great determination. If he says that the sight screen was a problem, I will buy that without complaining. The Indian biggies havent fired yet and we can only hope that the players play to their potential and make the rest of the series interesting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sreesanth vs Saqlain

I couldn't watch the match between India and Sussex closely, but I heard that there was a very interesting contest between Sreesanth the bowler and Saqlain the batsman. Here is a copy paste from cricinfo. Its self explanatory. Enjoy:

39.4 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, Saqi is at it again. It was full and outside off and he backed away a touch in an effort to slog it over cover. The bat hits the ground and there is an appeal. Sreesanth points to cover region and asks Saqlain to have another go
39.5 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, ah! here comes the bouncer. Saqi ducks under. Sreesanth gives a icy cold stare, Saqlain smiles back at him.
39.6 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, This is fun. Saqlain charges out again, Sreesanth hurls another bouncer and the ball climbs over the flashing blade. The batsman and the bowler have a chat.

Then Kumble slips in an uneventful over except a boundary. Next ball onwards the fun continues:

41.1 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, length-delivery on the off stump, Saqlain gets right behind it to defend to the off side.
Saqlain walks towards the bowler and says, "tu ka Shoaib Akhata hai ka?" ( Are you Shoaib Akthar?!)
41.2 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run
41.3 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, More chatter. full and outside off, squeezed out to point
Saqlain to Sreesanth." Chahe out ho jaaon, main tero ko chakka maroonga! ( Even if I get out I will hit you for a six! He said smilingly.
41.4 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, OUT, Oh ... the fun ends. Saqlain gets out without hitting a six. It kicked up from a length, on the off stump line and Saqlain dropped his wrists and got his bat out of the way. It appears as if the ball thudded in to the elastic strap of the left glove and flew to second slip. Saqi is not happy with the decision. Did it his forearm. The replays are not conclusive . Sreesanth celebrates with a jig.

Alas! It didnt continue for long!

Saqlain Mushtaq eligible to play for England?

Monty Panesar could never have expected a competition from Saqlain Mushtaq. But now, he has a thing to worry about. Saqlain Mushtaq has acquired a British passport and now is eligible and available to play for England.

The inventor of the off spinner's "doosra", Saqlain is one of the finest off spinners ever in the world. He managed to trouble the best of the batsmen when he played. He got out of the Pakistani team for an injury and PCB, for some very strange reason, never gave him a fair chance to come back. The last time he played for Pakistan, he didnt look like himself. He last played an ODI for Pakistan in 2003 and a test in 2004. He married a British born girl in 1998 and moved to London in 2004.

When asked, Saqlain said "I really don’t know, I haven’t thought about it because I have been out of cricket for the last three years. If they ask then I’ll think about it and discuss it with my family and with my friends as well."

Saqlain is now playing county for Sussex. He just gave an impressive performance against India in the practice game taking 4 wickets. His getting a British passport has brought in interesting possibilities. If he is interested and if the England team is interested, we might see Saqlain use his lethal weapons on Pakistan someday.

Reference: gulf-times

Monday, July 9, 2007

Non cricket: Anand wins Leon title for record seventh time

Anand has now twice won this title three times in a row. He beat Veselin Topalov 3-1 in the final of the Magistral Ciudad de Leon tournament. Its a record breaking sevent time for Anand.

Wonder mother

Four out of her six sons became international cricketers. One of them became a world cup winning captain and rewrote the country's crickt history single handedly. Nandani Ranatunga, mother of Arjuna Ranatunga has some exceptional contributions to international cricket. Bishawajit Roy writes about her on Colombo. Read the story here.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly left out of T-20 probables

The Indian selectors have ignored the best three batsmen of the team for the very first T-20 world cup tournament. It remains to see whether these players have opted out on their won ot have been considered not fit to play this kind of cricket. Where I did expect Dravid to be lefit out, but fast scorers like Sachin and Dada do know how to play a T-20 game. Waite for more updates.

The present list of probables: Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, Ajit Agarkar, Karan Goel, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rajesh Pawar, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Niranjan Behera, Praveen Kumar, Aniruddh Srikkanth, Ramesh Powar, Robin Uthappa, Niraj Patel

However, good to see Yusuf Pathanin that list. He is the elder brother of Irfan Pathan and is an allrounder.

Wait for more news...

The three masters have in fact opted out on their own. This is a good decision. I personally don't like T-20 a lot and dont want to see great players lose their magic touch in this game of pinch hitters.

Source: cricinfo

Thursday, July 5, 2007

'I'm always thankful to Dalmiya' - Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar must have been dissapointed for the washed out match against India. He was supposed to make his come back with that. In an in an Asian News International report , he has said that he is thankful to Jagmohan Dalmiya for supporting him when he was going through the chucking controversy. Dalmiya was the president of ICC then.
"The first time, in 1999-2000, was awful. I'm always going to be thankful to Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the then ICC president, for his support."
Shoaib also went on to justify the his position on the doping issue:
My own countrymen shunned me, with some even refusing to look at me. It was a terrible period. Everybody's body mechanism isn't the same and certain levels are higher in my body compared to others. My hormone level fluctuates. I didn't take drugs to enhance my performance. I don't need to. I don't know why I was treated so badly. The test didn't show I was an evil person. I've always been misunderstood. I've never seen myself bigger than the game.

Well, I wonder how Akhtar and Afridi are giving so many interviews when the PCB has clearly asked all the players not to give any public statements and to stay away from the media.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

ICC bans world cup officials

The last-minute drama in the world cup final was a shocking one. Very soon it was clear that none of the five officials conducting the game was aware of the basic rules as they asked the teams to keep playing even after the game was over. ICC has now decided to ban the officials for the entire duration of the twenty-20 world cup as a punishment for what they did in the one-day world cup. Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar were the two field umpires, Rudi Koertzen and Billy Bowden were the reserve umpires and Jeff Crowe was the match referee.

I think it is fair that the umpires should be punished for that grave mistake but at the same time, is it fair to run the twenty-20 world cup without so many good umpires? It is only sad that the ICC appointed its best umpires to conduct the most important match in four years and they messed it up with some stupidity. I hope the remianing umpires do a good job in the twenty-20.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Imran Farhat's father-in-law and PCB

This story is getting more and more interesting. Imran Farhat's father-in-law, Mohammad Ilyas, who also happens to be a former test batsman, is locking horns with the PCB to get his son-in-law into the team. It was in early May that we got news of Illyas stormed into the office of the selectors and threatened them for not selecting Farhat. Following that Farhat himself publicly expressed unhappiness over the selection. PCB immediately issued a warning to Farhat, put him under probation for six months. Then just a few days ago PCB banned Illyas from entering the home stadium of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for threatening the national selectors. So what does Illyas do? He decides to go on hunger strike over the ban. He is going on hunger strike starting from 25th of June to protest the ban.

Imran Farhat got his chances and could not do enough to keep his position in the team. With this kind of attitude, I doubt the selectors would be very keen to give him another chance in future. Mohammad Illyas played test cricket for Pakistan and has got some connections in the PCB. But trying to get Farhat in the team is something he sould stay away from. I am surprised that PCB did not take any legal actions against him for the threat.

Related and reference stories:
Imran Farhat's father-in-law in war with PCB selectors?
Imran Farhat punished
Pakistan opener Farhat fined for dissent
Ex-player Illyas banned from Pakistan HQ for threats
Former Pak Test cricketer to go on hunger strike

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lara coming back?

Brian Lara is considering a come back? I just hope that its true and that he comes back and that we get to a few more years of this magnificent batsman. Here is the hope: the story.

Ponting aims whitewash against India

Ponting wants to go 7-0 in the upcoming series against India. Great idea....why not. Looking at the recent performances of both team, 7-0 is likely. Australia is the best team in the world. They won every match in the world cup with ease and India exited the world cup in the very first round. So going by the current performances, we can say that its a bad mismatch. 7-0 is possible. But then the probability is low. Out of seven matches, India might win one. I mean the superstars of the Indian batting line up might click one or two matches.

The full story here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I am trying to be as good as Sachin Tendulkar- Ponting

The Australians have never been short of words of praise for Indian batsmen and particularly Sachin Tendulkar. Here is another instance when the best batsman of the Australian team expresses his desire to be as good as Sachin Tendulkar.
"He is the best batsman I have seen and I am trying to be as good as him," he said. - Ricky Ponting

Sachin might not be in the best form of his life. But he has set very high standards of batting.
Story on cricketzone

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cricket explained by Hugo Weaving

Received this on e-mail. It sure is the funniest description of cricket I have ever heard:

Cricket is a game in which you have two sides,
one out on the field, and one in,
each man thats on the side thats in...goes out,
and when he's out, he comes back in,
and the next man goes in, until he is out.
When they're all out,
the side thats been in...goes out,
and tries to get those coming in, out.
When both sides have been in and out,
that's including the not outs,
thats the end of the game!

- Hugo Weaving, Bodyline, 1984

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Eight teams will play in Asia cup 2008

According to this cricinfo report, as many as eight teams will participate in the Asia cup 2008. India, Pakistna, Srilanka and Bangladesh are the obvious four. I am interested to see who are the other four. The game is spreading really fast.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Afridi thinks Pakistan does not need a coach

"Who is the most entertaining hitter in the world?" Ask that question and half the cricket cricket fans would say "Shahid Afridi". A lad who knows only one way of batting: if you can see the ball, hit it hard as you can. It simply does not matter what is the need of the hour, Afridi knows no other way of playing. He had deliberately chosen to sacrifice his average for strike rate. And since his success depends on luck to a large extent, the frequency of his success has been low as well.

In an interview he has said that he is not going to change his style.
. Every Tom, Dick and Harry tells me to play responsibly. This is my way of playing cricket. Since childhood I had a fancy of hitting sixes and fours and nothing else. I know fans also expect the same from me.This is my way of playing cricket. Since childhood I had a fancy of hitting sixes and fours and nothing else. I know fans also expect the same from me.
I think he fails to see that every Tom, Dick and Harry knows what he needs to do. Has he ever thought why every single person gives him the same advice?

Anyways, I think we all know that he is not going to change. However the following is his opinion about the requirement of a coach for the Pakistani team:

“We don’t need a coach at all. Look at the coaches of Australia and South Africa, they may have played first class cricket only but look at the performance of their teams.

“At international level, you need to perform and win matches. There is no time to tinker with the techniques of the players.

“Senior teams only need fielding coaches who can arrange different drills for the boys. Mohtasim Rasheed, a younger brother of ex-Test cricketer Haroon Rasheed can be good fielding coach for Pakistan. “Coaches should be deployed in academies where youngsters can be groomed properly.

“After 25 or 30 years there is no time to learn ABC of cricket. It is time to perform.”

I am not surprised that he doesn't want a coach....a coach will ask him to play responsibly.

For the complete interview, click here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Drugs and cricketers

The Maninder Singh incident was shocking. We have known some films stars to be drug addicts but its the first time that an Indian cricketer has been arrested for possessing drugs. He had 1.5 grams of cocaine and he admitted to be in the habit of consuming drugs consistently. He has been granted bail and will spend some tough time now defending himself.

Cricketers and ex-cricketers across the world have had a history with drugs. Some of them did it during or before games as well.

Shane Warne couldn't pass the drugs test in 2003 world cup.

Phill Tuffnel was accused of cosuming drugs in 1996-97, denied the charges- got away but didn't turn up for a random drug test and was suspended for 18 months with a fine of 1000 pounds.

Ian Botham was banned for 63 days for consuming drugs.

New zealand's Stephen Fleming, Dion Nash and Matthwe Hart were banned and fined for consuming cananabis in 93-94.

South Africa's Roger Telemachus, Andre Nel, Paul Adams, Justin Kemp and physiotherapist Craig Smith
admitted to consuming drugs in a party celebrating a win and were punished.

Pakistan's Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aqib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed were arrested by West Indian police in 1993 for possesing marijuana. They were arrested along with two British female journalists. The PCB strongly protested and as the matters reached Diplomatic levels, the Prime Minister intervened and got the four out of the crisis.

Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failed to pass an internal drug test just prior to the last Champions Trophy. They were immediately withdrawn from the tournament. A panel of judges banned the cricketers but then PCB formed another Panel which over ruled the decision and set the players free.

The above list does not include all the names. Now, an Indian's name is also included in that. I hope we will get to see fewer such cases....specifically with current cricketers. Those who are caught should be punished to set an appropriate example.

Hindustan Times
DNA India

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mahesh Bhatt wants to make a movie on Bob Woolmer

Mahesh Bhatt, the Indian film producer is known for controversies. He is always on the look out for controversial subjects to make his movies on. This time his eyes are set on the recent controversial death of Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer.
“It’s about how a common man moves from harmless betting to serious match-fixing, only to meet his heart’s desires. It’s a lesser known fact that betting and match fixing are very rampant in poor countries. We will start shooting for the film in mid-July."- Mahesh Bhatt

No points for guessing who is the hero of the movie. Its Imran Hashmi, who is playing a bookie. Bhatt is just looking at the possible match fixing angle. The film will be directed by Kunal Deshmukh, who has been an assistant to Mohit Suri so far. The film will be shot in India and England.

Read the Story on The Time of India.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Magic pictures

Rain spoiled the game...

You played really well dada

Celebrations for Bangladesh

Bravo Pakistan

Its good to see Pakistan get back to winning ways straight away. Its wasn't a joke for them to beat the world cup finalists at this time. They not only won the first match, but also are doing a fine job at the moment in the second one. The team is spirited, has nothing to lose and have a point to prove.

They are scoring at a rate of over 6.3 at the moment with 20 more overs to spare and seven wickets in hand. isn't that a cool position to be in? Also good to see Salman Butt score some runs at the top. Opening has been Pakistan's biggest problem and once openers start doing well, they will find winning relatively easier to come.

Sunday game washed off

I have been busy with work for the entire last week. Waited desperately for Sunday to come so that I can catch the India-Bangladesh match on tv and make some entries in this blog. But Alas! the days game has been called off and the match seems to be heading towards a draw.

I want to see India blast some very quick runs in the first session and then get Bangladesh out twice. But then who knows.....we might not have any cricket tomorrow either.

A Bangladeshi friend tells me that the time and the venue are bad. Monsoon is due in Bangladesh and the venue is one where monsoon hits first. If thats true, its the mistake of the organizers. Whats the point in organizing matches when you know that the chances of rain are high?

I am happy to see Sachin and Ganguly get their centuries. Specifically Sachin. Its his opportunity to play freely without pressure and get back to form. I hope to see him hit a few more of those tons in the matches to come against tougher opponents.

Monday, May 14, 2007

If I was younger, I'd propose to Mandira- Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu has made yet another interesting comment. In an interview with the Times of India, Sidhu said "Mandira is a beautiful person from within. If I were 20 years younger, I'd have gone down on my knees and proposed to her." He said it when asked about his opinion on Madira's recent saree controversy.

Story on the Times of India.

Is it another one of those funny Siddhuisms?

Related stories:
Mandira Bedi's Saree

Imran Farhat punished

This was coming for sure. A few days ago, when the PCB selectors overlooked Farhat while deciding the team for the upcoming series against Srilanka, his father-in-law stormed into the selectors and thrteatened them. You can follow the story here. Farhat also expressed his annoyance over the matter. Then he susequently apologiged.

Now, Farhat has been punished for that. He has been kept on probation for six months in which his conduct will be watched and he will be fined half of his next match fee. His aplogy made the PCB take a softer approach.

Story on BBC

Related stories:

Imran Farhat's father-in-law in war with PCB selectors?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cricket joke

The Devils challenged the Angels to a game of cricket.

"But we've got all the cricketers," said the Angels.

"Yes. But we've got all the umpires!" exclaimed The Devils.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The most strange umpiring decision I have ever seen

I received this youtube link on mail and was shocked to see what happens there. I replayed it again and again to find out whats the matter but am still clueless. Can someone explain whats happening here?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Imran Farhat's father-in-law in war with PCB selectors?

Well, this one is quite a shocking news from "The Daily Times" from Pakistan. Imran Farhat's father-in-law Mr. Mohammad Ilyas is a former Pakistani test player. He perhaps didn't like it much when the selectors over looked his son-in-law for the latest team. Selector Shafqat Rana said that
Ilyas, father-in-law of Imran, entered the room of selectors and said: “thank you very much for not selecting Imran. Now the war is on.”

This is very interesting. I had never heard anything like this before. I wonder how much he helped Farhat's future prospects.

Gilchrist cleared

Does the tiger need any accessories to kill the lesser animals in the jungle? Certainly not. The roar kills half of them and those who have the heart to survive the roar are torn apart by his claws.

Gilchrist did tear the Srilankan bowlers apart on the world cup final. Bad losers on the south Asian island cried foul over a squash ball inside his gloves. How instrumental was that in his performance? Well....the kind of form he was in, he probably could have scored all those runs with just one hand. But a complaint is a complaint and must be addressed. The law makers opine that Gilly did nothing unethical by inserting that squash ball in his gloves.

Read the story here.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dhoni getting hugs

While Dravid and Sachin are getting injured with bouncers, Dhoni's life seems to be going cool after the world cup. A highly enthusiastic woman fan of the Dhoni breached security and reached out to give him hugs. The security personnel rushed in quickly but then realized that Dhoni knew the woman. No actions against her.

Tough time for Dravid

Nothing is going right for Dravid. A humiliating loss at world cup and now a bleeding nose. Apparantly the Indian bowlers are very excited now. Sreesanth injured Sachin with a bouncer a day ago and now RP Singh has smashed the nose of his captain with one. I hope our bowlers produce such deliveries in some of the matches in the coming series.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sexiest cricketer

Sri Lanka might have lost the world cup in the carrebian, but they gone back home with some unique distinction. Accordong to a poll conducted by a Barbados magazine, Latish Malinga has been chosen as the world's sexiest cricketerPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket. "With his eye-catching, blond-streaked curly hairdo, eyebrow ring and tattooed biceps, the unique 23-year-old strikes 'Easy' as the type who would be up for anything, and anywhere," the Easy Magazine of the Sunday Sun newspaper was quoted by news agency PTI as saying about Malinga.

Close in competition were Daniel Vittori, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle, Shaun Tait, Shane Bond and Andrew Flintoff Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Alas! No Indian on that list!

Here is the story on IBN LIVE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No confidence motion for Speed?

If you are one of those who think that the world cup wasnt spicy enough, here is more spice for you. The fight between BBCI and ICC has been quite an interesting story. Its now threatening to become a formal war. No points for guessing that Speed hasnt been a hero for BCCI.Both's financial interests keep conflicting and they keep fighting all the time.

Now, Niranjan Shah, the Indian board secretary has hinted that BCCI might bring a no confidece motion against Speed in the next available opportunityPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket. Shah thinks that things are getting more and more bureaucratic and that Speed has employed too many people thereby wasting money. He thinks that the game of cricket is being ignored.

Cricket Joke

Mrs Jones : I'd like my son to be excused playing cricket. I don't think he should mix with that sort of person.

Teacher: How d'you mean?

Mrs Jones: Well; I distinctly heard him say that the man in the white coat was a vampire!

Dick Motz is dead

Former NewZealand fast bowler Dick Motz is dead. He was the first New Zealander to take more than 100 test wickets. Dick Motz, at 67, was found dead at his home in Christchurch.

Repors on cricinfo, rediff, DNA India

Mandira Bedi's Saree

Indian cricket hardly stays out of controversy. The latest one involves Mandira Bedi. On the final, in the pre-match discussion show, co-anchor Mandira Bedi wore a Saree that sported national flags of all 16 participating nations and the Indian flag, which was the largest one, was placed below her knee- close to her feet.

Indian people didn’t like it and where the web was immediately flooded with objections (thanks to web2.0 interactivity), Sony Max, the channel also started getting calls. In the lunch time, when the show resumed, Mandira had changed her Saree and immediately apologized to the audience. She said that she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

Indian law does not allow anyone to display the national flag of India on one’s clothes. This is a serious offence and where I can understand that Mandira wasn’t aware of the law, I am surprised that Puneet Nanda, the designer of the Saree wasn’t aware of the law either. And also I am surprised that Sony’s legal department allowed that to happen.

Mandira’s apology didn’t really calm people down. Two complaints have been registered against her and a court in Kozhikode will hear the case on 10th of may. Mandira and the designer of the Saree face upto three years of imprisonment for showing disrespect to the national flag. But I think they will get much milder punishments as the disrespect was not intentional.

Mandira Bedi has been quite a controversial character ever since Sony appointed her as a co-anchor for the match discussion shows. Her knowledge of cricket was as good as nothing and her comments many times put off the audience. Now that she has built some knowledge of the game over a long period of time, she still continues to be in controversy for something or other. Lets see where this onegoes.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

An eventful word cup

Every world cup goes eventful. But this one was different. Here I am posting some of the events from my memory. Readers, please add to them. The events are not necessarily in the right sequence.

1. Fire in the hotel where the Paksitan team stayed: It was bizzare to see something like that happening. Preceeding this were the small incidents like a plane crash close to the Australian's hotels and a side screen turning over. But this one sure felt strange as we saw images of Pakistani players sitting outside the hotel waiting for updates. It turned out to be a gas leak. It was the beginning of a series of strange events to follow.

2.Pakistan lost to debutant Ireland and got knocked out of the world cup: Not too many expected a great performance from the injury depleted Pakistani team. But it was really shocking to see them lose to Ireland, a debutant team. The Pakistani team did everything wrong in that match. Having lost the earlier match to host West Indies, Pakistan got knocked out of the tournament. This loss triggered a series of remarkable events that have already changed the face of Pakistani cricket.

3.Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer found dead in his hotel room:: Definitely the most shocking incident in the history of the game. Bob's murder still remains a mystery and I hope that the murderer is caught and brought to justice soon.

4. India lost to Bangladesh: The same day as Pakistan lost to Ireland, India lost a game to some very brave cricket from Bangladesh. That was India's first game and after that loss, India's chances were very low. Back home people stoned Dhoni's underconstruction house.

5. Gibbs hit six sixes in an over This world cup saw some really inspiring hitting. Gibbs's name went down the record books alongside Sobers and Ravishstri for hitting six sixes on one over.

6. India made record score against Bermuda: Having lost to Bangladesh in the first game, India showed their might on the poor underdogs. With some inspiring hitting from Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar, Indian made the highest score ever in the history of world cup of 413 runs. The winning margin of 257 runs was also written down in record books.

7. Anil Kumble announced retirement Anil Kumble, one of the finest bowlers of the era took retirement from cricket. We might not have noticed his retirement that closely in the heat of the cup, but he was a unique bowler of his own type and I doubt another one like him will ever come. Wishing him good luck with his life.

8. Greg Chappell resigned after a war of words with Sachin Tendulkar: After India’s loss started the blame game. India’s coach Chappell blamed it on the senior players and Sachin Tendulkar, for a change, decided to speak out. Then Chappell resigned.

9. Inzamam resigned: The same day when Bob’s dead body was discovered, Inzamam also declared his resignation from captaincy and his retirement from one day cricket.

10. PCB Chief offered resignation: But the president of Pakistan rejected his resignation and asked him to continue. Pakistan’s entire selection committee resigned.

11. Ireland, a debutant team entered super eight: It is a matter of pride for Ireland that they made it to the second level on their very first world cup. They also managed to win against a test playing team- Bangladesh.

12. South Africa lost to Bangladesh: The upsets were not over yet. South Africa, one of the strongest contenders lost to Bangladesh. Bangladesh proved it to all those who called their victory against India a fluke.

13. Brian Lara announced retirement: An era came to en end. One of the finest batsman in the history of the game,Brian Charles Lara announced his retirement.

14. Ireland team manager died: The same day when Bob’s body was found, Ireland’s team manager also expired.

15. Fleming resigned from ODI captaincy: Arguably the best captain of recent times, Stephen Fleming also decided that it was time to hand over the job to someone else.

16. Duncan Flethcher resigned: England didn’t have a great show this world cup and Fletcher’s resignation was expected.

17. Whatmore quit as coach: Bangladesh coach Whatmore, after the impressive performance performance of his team, decided not to extend his contract as captain. But he did express his desire to work with India.

18. Malinga took 4 wickets in 4 balls: That was sensational. He almost won the match for his team. Malinga will remember that for a long time.

19. Glen McGrath retired: Arguably one of the best fast bowler ever, Glen McGrath, having made the world record for the highest number of world cup wickets, retired from the game.

20. Final ended in a low light drama: Sri Lanka’s last three overs in darkness was not the best way to end the world cup. But this certainly is much smaller than what all happened during the world cup

I have listed down as many as I could remember. Please add to it.