Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An interview with Robin Singh

I remember Robin Singh as one of the most dedicated Indian cricket player. Here is an interesting interview of this Indian cricket hero on Rediff. I am quoting a part of the dialog here.

Which teams do you think have a fair chance of winning this World Cup?

As I said, there're so many strong sides in this World Cup, that it's really hard to predict the eventual winner. Besides, it's too early right now to hazard a guess! But I think India has a good chance, as always. Of course, there are better and more equipped teams in this tournament.

What makes you say India has a good chance of winning?

Well, we've a very balanced side. The combined experience of all the members of Team India is simply mind-boggling, just like Australia's. We've the batsmen and bowlers to play the kind of cricket you need to play in an event like the World Cup.

Whats International cricket for Imran Nazir?

Quite an interesting start to the world cup, isn’t it? The result was as expected but a few things in the middle were not. Though Pakistan bowled well, West Indies made a very good come back showing that they have taken their lesson from the collapse in the warm-up matches. But you still can’t trust that batting line up; they sort of get hypnotized and launch into a suicide mission at times. I hope not to see one of those in this tournament as I personally would love to see them lift the cup- if India doesn’t.

Now about the Pakistan innings, openers are killing them. Imran Nazir plays the way we play gully cricket in India. The kids just go out there playing a 10 over match and throw their bat at whatever they see. But no, wait, even the kids in gully cricket do it more carefully. Pakistan has been having opening problems for a long time. They need openers that can play sensibly. Is it really that difficult for a Nazir to understand that? He came in, hit a handsome six and made himself look like a hero and next ball he said bye bye. Its not about talent, its about attitude.

Pakistan’s biggest strength for this world cup is their middle order. It didn’t look very good in this match though. They attempted a rescue mission but fell short. This middle order is the most precious asset that Pakistan holds and if they don’t play to their potential, Pakistan’s chances of making it to the semis look slim.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sabina Park

Thats where the first match between Pakistan and host West Indies will be played. Speculations are on and every kind of opinions are pouring in. Where Pakistan's injury depleted team looks innocuous, West Indies showcased a range of its weaknesses in the warm-up match against India. Its a tough call now. But this match will sure set the tone for the world cup. I believe West Indies has the edge here. Its their backyard and they have the players to do it. All they need is some sensible approach. Good luck to both teams.

Inzamam has no plans to retire

Pakistan captain Inzamam Ul-Haq has made it clear that he has no plans of retiring now.
“I intend to continue playing till I feel that my performance is good for the team. I believe there is never any deadline for a player (to retire) especially if there is any cricket left in him.- Inzamam
He is a fine batsman and there is no reason for him to retire now. I would love to watch him play for a few more years.

Here is the full story on The News of Pakistan.

Shahid Afridi

Read an interesting interview of Shahid Afridi just before the first match in the world cup.
Is it difficult for you to then adjust to be more patient?
Not actually. Batsmen like myself, [Virender] Sehwag, [Adam] Gilchrist, [Sanath] Jayasuriya, [Nathan] Astle, play our own way and if we click then on our day we can beat any team and can make big runs.
Which are the batsmen you've enjoyed watching?
I like to watch Sehwag: he can make or break things within moments. [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni's open style of batting is attractive. Then there is [Brian] Lara, [Sachin] Tendulkar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Gilchirst - players who play in an open way.

Afridi is not playing in the next two matches as he is in the middle of a four match ban.

Read the full interview here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

'The South Africans are my personal favourites' - Bob Woolmer

Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer says in this article in cricinfo that the South Africans are his personal favorites. I am not very sure if this comment will go down very well with the Pakistani cricket fans.

Hindustan Times predicts loss for Pakistan

The astrologers are in action. Hindustan Times, the second biggest English daily in India is perheps taking opinions of Anita Nigam for the world cup. And she says that for the starter between Pakistan and West Indies, the hosts are the favorites. She believes that Pakistan will lose the match by a narrow margin. But then she keeps it open saying that if Pakistan bats second, they have a chance of winning as well.

You can read the story here.

I believe the team that plays well will win the match. If the heavenly bodies can fix matches, why cant Azharuddin and Cronje?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

India wins and West Indies dissapoints

I expected better stuff from West Indies. What we saw was bad. Irresponsible cricket resulting in a humiliating defeat just before the World Cup starts. I hope they will learn their lesson and next time will wait for the opposition to bowl a good delivery before throwing their wickets.

India made perfect use of the carelessness that the West Indian batsmen offered. This is a good sigh for India as their last series here in West Indies was not great. This gives India the right confidence.

The problem of Sehwag still remains though. He again played a bad shot got out early in the innings. But then no more wickets fell. This Indian team looks cool

Pakistani players will addresses media conferences in Urdu

Coach Bob Wooler has said that Pakistani players will address all media conferences in their national language Urdu.
"The Pakistani players feel comfortable in their national language. They can express themselves freely in Urdu and they are proud of their language and their country. Our media manager Pervez Mir will act as interpreter during the press conferences."- Bob Woolmer

Most Pakistani players are not comfortable with English. One would remember that during the Daryl Hair controversy when the umpire forefeited the match, this issue had surfaced in a major way. There were opinions that the Pakistani players including captain Inzamam did not realise the seriousness of the situation as umpire Hair was speaking in English.

I think it will be better as the players will be able to speak more freely. Read the complete story here on fox sports.

Friday, March 9, 2007

New Brian Lara Cricket 2007 Demo Available

Those who love to play cricket on the screen have a news to be happy about. Now its not only a new world cup on your tv screen, but also a new one on your computer screen as well. The Brian Lara cricket 2007 demo is being made available.

Read story here.

Search begins for 'World's Sexiest Cricketer

Well, this also had to happen. Its world cup time. The cricket fever is catching up fast. So Star News, an Indian 24-hours news channel decided to bring some entertainment for the female audience as well. How?

Star news is soon launching a weekly program called 'Crazy Kiya Re--World's Sexiest Cricketer'. The program is being produced by International Management Group (IMG) Media in association with STAR News. There will be 13 episodes.

The most strange thing to notice in the program telecast timing- 9:30 AM every saturday. When is it starting? 10th March.

11 players will be voted by the public as the "sexiest 11" and then out of these 11 nominees, the sexiest cricketer will be chosen.

Given that the program is Indian and Dhoni's popularity in India, I believe Dhoni is a strong contender for this one. But then popular players like Sachin, Sourav and Dravid also stand a chance. I doubt anyone from outside India will win this one though.

Read the full story here.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Pakistan- Patchy and inconsistent

A very interesting article by S.Rajesh with some analysis of Pakistan ahead of the world cup.

Pakistan is walking into this world cup with an injury depleted team and their chances of even making it to the semi finals are very slim. But then they are unpredictable and we know that they win when you least expect them to.

We'll pay for encryption - Indian board, Nimbus

Well, I am not sure whats happening as this sounds more funny than anything else. Nimbus and BCCI have offered to bear the expenses of encryption of signal for Doordarshan. This follows the recent problem between DD and Nimbus over sharing of live feed. In a temporary arrangement, Door Darshan telecast deffered feeds for the last series between India and Sri Lanka after the court intervened.

Read the story here on cricinfo.

I think it has been a long time now that this issue has been pending. Everytime some controversy rises on the feed sharing issue and a temporary arrangement is reached at the eleventh hour for one series after the matter is dragged to court. Its high time the rules were clearly defined.

World Cup trophy damaged in India

The one thing after which every one is crzy these days, the world cup trophy has been damaged in India and has been sent back to
"The lower gold ring of the World Cup was detached from the wooden base when the trophy was received from the ICC," the statement said. "ICC policy does not allow anyone except the official trophy makers to repair/polish the trophy. "Therefore, LG (sponsors) received the trophy with the lower ring detached from the wooden base."

Click here to read the story on cricinfo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Kidney selling is not legal in India

After reading the story of an Indian fan trying to sell his kidny to collect funds to go to West Indies to watch the world cup, I did a small research and found information stating that such a proposition is illegal.
Only in January 1995, did the kidney scandal come to the surface through a series of incidents which received wide media coverage and prompted public outrage causing the Indian Congress to pass
legislation banning kidney trade.

So I dont think Mr Sharma will get to sell his kidny and go to West Indies. On the contrary, he might find himself behind the bars for making the offer.

Read this for more information on laws regarding kidney selling in India.

Firescare for Pakistan and South Africa players

Reportedly the Pakistani and South African players have been evacuated from their hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad following a fire scare.
"I was on the sixth floor when a security man came to my room and asked me to vacate the hotel," he told AFP. "I saw a lot of smoke coming out from the corridor so I ran down."-Mohammad Sami

The Ireland and the Canada teams also stay in the same hotel but both teams had moved out for practice earlier. All the evacuees have been moved to a safer location.

Read the story on cricinfo.

Safety is a major issue in this grand tournament. I hope its one of those one-off incidents.

Naved-ul-Hasan and Pakistan have a reason to worry

Fine, Pakistan has won the first warm-up match against Canada. But there is one point that attracted my attention - the bowling figures by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. Naved gave away 43 runs in 7 overs at an economy rate of 6.14. In a match in which Canada made a total score of less than 200 runs, this economy rate stands out as a less than ordinary performance by Rana.

Shahid Afridi also conceded at a rate of 5.33 which is niot very impressive. While Rana got one wicket, Afridi got none.

The worry for Pakistan is that if the bowlers are not able to bowl tight against the weak batting line-up of Canada, will they be able to do it against stronger sides?

Indian cricket fan puts kidney on sale to see world cup

Call it insane or stupid, an Indian cricket fan has offered his kiney for sale in order to collect funds to go to the west Indies to watch the world cup. Sarun Sharma of India believes that the world cup is more important than one of his kidneys.

"I am really serious. I am prepared to give one of my kidneys in lieu of money as I want to go to West Indies to see India playing in the World Cup," the 23-year-old salesman at a readymade garment shop said.

"What's wrong in the offer ? I know several people who are living with one kidney. My family cannot afford to fulfill my wishes," he said justifying the idea, which, he admitted, was not approved by his family.

Sharma wants the money in advance so that he can go, watch the tournament and come back to give the kidney.

The complete story is on, of India and Daily Times of Pakistan and

Viv Richards talks about West Indies winning the world cup

Nice interview on cricinfo.

QUOTE- "An extra motivational factor is that no country who has ever hosted the World Cup has won it, so that's something I'm very excited about. If it does happen, I can tell you, it's going to be one of the biggest parties ever. I think it could be classified up there with the best of our carnivals. In the Caribbean you'll see something different." -QUOTE

Read the complete story here

I am a big fan of Sir Viv and read his comments carefully

India wins the warm up game

India wins the first practice game against Netherlands by a comfortable margin of 182 runs. Cricinfo says that the pitch is a typical West Indian pitch. The point to note is that no batsman actually scored a hundred.

Sehwag unfortunately continued his poor form scoring just 28 runs. Tendulkar and Dravid did the bulk of the scoring with 61 and 74 respectively.

I think it’s a decent start. Practice matches are mostly for experimenting and a margin of 182 is a handsome winning margin. We definitely expect to see better starts from the openers when the real matches start.

From Netherlands, the highest score was 32 by opener B Zuiderent. Barring three players. No one actually touched two figures. That says it all.

Yuvraj Singh got 4 wickets at an economy rate of 3.13.

Here is the scorecard from cricinfo:

The cricket fever

With the world cup coming closer, I can see the cricket fever catching up fast. Anticipation, excitement, speculation describe the discussions that have been taking place in office, schools, chat rooms and discussion forums.

This probably is the best time for me to create this blog as a one point coverage of all stories regarding world cup and cricket. I will keep track of the stories being published all around the world wide web and will report here. Of course my own opinion will also find a place in most posts and I request you all to post your opinions as well.