Archive for the ‘IPL’ Category


Jones and Sthalekar break New Ground in Reportage on the IPL

April 17, 2016

Kesha West …

There are two things Indians are particularly passionate about: Bollywood and cricket. When the two are woven together, as they are during the Indian Premier League, the spectacle is one to behold. For the next 40 days, stadiums all over India will come alive as tens of thousands of cricket fans, some everyday punters, some Bollywood stars, come to watch the world’s best compete in the shortest format of the game. Melanie Lisa

This year it won’t be just Australia’s male cricketers taking centre stage at the IPL – two former female cricketers will be taking up seats in the commentary box. For the first time, the IPL television expert commentary team will include four women, among them former Southern Stars players Lisa Sthalekar and Mel Jones. Read the rest of this entry ?


Lodha et al: Exposing Indian Cricket’s Can of Worms

January 3, 2016

Gideon Haigh in The Weekend Australian, 2 January 2016, where the title is “Three Judges opening the tin on Indian cricket’s giant can of worms”

When he retired as India’s Chief Justice in September 2014, Rajendra Mal Lodha, a frugal, pious Jain from Jodhpur who regards judicial office as a “divine duty”, had in mind a quiet life, during which he might write a book. A different ­literary work is about to make him among the most important men in cricket. On Monday morning, Delhi time, Lodha and two other retired judges, Ashok Bhan and Raju Varadarajulu Raveendran, will present to the Supreme Court the final fruits of a year’s examination of the workings of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the de facto seat of power in world cricket. Read the rest of this entry ?


Learning about Murali with Murali

July 9, 2015

Sujith Silva, reproduced from the QUADRANGLE where the title of this article reads “Up Close & Personal with Murali”

Affectionately called as ‘Murali,’ he is by far the greatest Sportsperson Sri Lanka ever produced in the modern era. Truly a Legend, an icon and an Ambassador. Not only to his alma mater St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota but also to his country, Sri Lanka and for the game of Cricket. A World beater across all formats of the game, holder of many World Records and he has won many hearts around the world with his trade mark smile and for his fighting skills. He was recently hired as a Spin Bowling Consultant by the Australian Cricket Board. Almost 20 years ago, Murali was publicly humiliated at the MCG and widely despised by the Australian cricketing public. It was in Australia he faced his worst challenges both on and off the field. His Cricketing career almost came to an abrupt end before it even blossomed. Who would have thought it likely that Australian Cricket would ever pay Murali the ultimate compliment, almost an apology of sorts, by inviting him to be their spin guru? He was much feared and respected on the field and he was accused by his critics, challenged by those who didn’t like his success, heckled by those who feared him and tested and cleared by the governing body. Irrespective of all that, he came out as a Champion. TAMIL CRICKET FAN HUGS SRI LANKAN BOWLER MURALITHARAN DURING A CRICKET MATCH IN JAFFNA Murali mobbed by fans in Jaffna town

z_p07-Muralitharan how many times did this make a batsman frown … long time passing!

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Mike Marqusee from his Grave: Reviewing the 2011 World Cup

February 17, 2015

Mike Marqusee **  originally published in The Hindu20 March 2011 and and then presented in cricketiue

At the outset of this World Cup, both the format and the event were on trial. Questions about its pre-eminence in the global game had been raised not only by the best forgotten 2007 instalment but even more by the rise of T20 and the IPL. While it’s too early to say, at the half way point the tournament seem to be answering these questions in the affirmative. At least that’s what it looks like sprawled in front of a TV screen in faraway London.

Mike Marqusee in 2009.First, it’s clear, surely, that the 50 over format has plenty of life left in it and remains a much richer, more satisfying spectacle than T20. Fifty overs allows the batsman to build an innings; indeed, it demands it. It’s not just a question of the amount of time but how to use it effectively. Changing gears – which means having more than one or two gears to change through – is an art unique to cricket batting and it plays no role in T20. What’s more, to succeed over the longer duration batters need to play strokes all around the wicket, exploiting the full 360 degrees. It might be said that whereas T20 matches are won by the field placings thwarting the batsman, 50 over matches are won by the batsman thwarting the field placings.The new wrinkle of the batting “powerplay” (I wish they had thought up a less macho name) has proved unpredictable, tactically demanding and in some cases decisive. This moveable five over stretch has expanded the room for comebacks – real comebacks from a losing position that are much more convincing than the helter-skelter swings of the pendulum of T20.

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Malinga has last laugh over his local detractors

April 13, 2014

Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in The Nation, 13 April 2014

957a0-t20win017gossiplankanews-comFast bowler Lasith Malinga certainly had the last laugh at his detractors, who have been hounding him since he decided to quit Test cricket and concentrate on the other two formats of the game to prolong his international cricket career, when he proudly lifted the second World Cup title won by Sri Lanka in 18 years in the ICC World Twenty20 final at Dhaka on Sunday.Hounded and harrassed by fans and certain sections of the media over his bowling performances and his conduct on and off the field, Malinga, a fast bowling genius of unique talent finally proved a point that given the opportunity he could also captain his country to a World Cup victory, a feat achieved only by Arjuna Ranatunga in 1996 when Sri Lanka won the fifty-over World Cup at Lahore. Read the rest of this entry ?


Test Cricket is being smothered by T20 cricket

December 26, 2013

Gideon Haigh, courtesy of The Australian, 26 December 2013, where the title is Behind the Boxing Day facade, Test cricket is in decay”

MCG -SNAKE INTHE GRASS Pic from Sydney Morning Herald –– symbolically this snake can be regarded as a T20 force undermining Test cricket

BOXING Day: in cricket there is nothing quite like it, a day of national sporting thanksgiving held where Test matches all began, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, almost 137 years ago. You can be guaranteed the biggest crowd of summer. You can expect a vast recumbent audience of home viewers, still in a postprandial stupor, looking forward this year to further lashings of roast pom. No, nothing much wrong with this scene. It’s elsewhere that’s not so rosy.

Because Boxing Day in Australia, and the Ashes more generally, has become Test cricket’s Potemkin village, hiding the decay of the format behind the veneer of its own continuity. This summer, Boxing Day forms part of a tradition significantly overextended: the ninth Ashes Test of the year, in a series already decided, with a final leg of this money-minting decathalomarathon to go in Sydney. Read the rest of this entry ?


Arjuna Ranatunga lashes out

October 15, 2013

Courtesy of The Island, 15 October 2013, where the title reads:“We can’t learn from India anymore, says Arjuna”

There was a time when the budding cricketers of Sri Lanka looked up to India for learning the nuances of the game, but former captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels this can no longer happen due to the advent of Twenty20. “It’s unfortunate that most youngsters only want to play the shorter version for financial gains. Let’s be very clear that India won’t have any more Sachin Tendulkars or a Sunil Gavaskars. You won’t find the elegance of Tiger Pataudi,” the World Cup winning Lankan captain told a select gathering, after a seminar at the FICCI here on Sunday. It was a part of our learning process as youngsters looked up to Indian cricket. I don’t think we can learn anything from India anymore,” Ranatunga said, when asked whether the rise of Twenty20 will lead to India playing a lesser number of Test matches in the near future.

The 49-year-old, who played 93 Tests and 269 ODIs for his country, also seemed disappointed with the way Indian cricket board has functioned over the past few years. “I think that the BCCI should come under the Right To Information (RTI) act as they are not answerable to anyone, not even to their union sports ministry. That’s why they do whatever they want. In Sri Lanka, at least we have the right to criticise Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in parliament and get it corrected,” Ranatunga stated.

He is not against politicians entering sports administration, but feels technical decisions should be taken by cricketers in the board. “Cricketing decisions should be limited to cricketers. That’s the reason I feel insecure as a cricketer when I find that a player of (Dilip) Vengsarkar’s stature loses to a politician. (Vengsarkar had lost the MCA polls to Vilasrao Deshmukh).”

Someone who doesn’t mince words, Ranatunga was very vocal about how SLC is not ready to handle the transition phase once veterans Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara call time on their career. “When we (and Aravinda de Silva) were getting old, we introduced Sanath (Jayasuriya) as vice-captain. Also we had players like Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, with whom we persisted for a long time.

“You need to give players a long rope and not discard them after one or two failures. That’s how you build a team,” the former skipper stated.

As has been his philosophy regarding T20 cricket, Ranatunga is certainly not amused that Lasith Malinga decided to forego his Test career to prolong his future in limited overs and especially, T20. “If I start speaking about Malinga, I don’t know where it will end. I believe that when he first expressed his desire to retire from Tests and play only ODIs and T20, the captain should have spoken to him. I believe there shouldn’t be any ‘exceptionally separate’ cricketer in a group. In a team, all are equals. During our time, Aravinda (De Silva) was a world class player. But he was never treated differently from others,” he said.

Ranatunga is also peeved that a lot of cricketers seek political interference to get their job done.

“The moment you try to take any action against errant cricketers, he invariably goes to a politician and the person who is trying to set things in order is then removed. I am glad that the new chairman of selectors, Sanath Jayasuriya has a long-term vision. Hopefully, he would be able to deliver the goods.”

The portly cricketer feels that regulation of sports betting won’t be of any help to cure the malaise of match-fixing or spot-fixing.

“I don’t agree that the regulation of sports betting can change the scenario, as there are no guarantees that you can keep away the unwanted elements from an organized sector.”