This blog attempts to function as a confluence of thoughts from the blogosphere on any matters pertaining to international cricket.
May 2008 - Posts
Scorpicity argues that the IPL is really already over. The Royals won:
Seriously they have! Because how meaningless in context are these
so-called knockout rounds in the name of Semi-finals and finals are in
Why? Because a six league team just doesn't need a knock-out stage. A best of three final with the top two teams maybe. I think the deeper point may be that that all the narratives built around the different teams (Rajasthan are intelligent, Bangalore stupid, Kolkata fancy, etc.) are based on pretty flimsy grounds...not enough data.
Jagadish goes through all the injuries caused by playing over a month's worth of IPL. Hayden and Tendulkar stand out in particular:
All this makes me wonder if talk about international cricket being more
important than the IPL is hogwash. If that indeed were the case,
players wouldn't be risking aggravating injuries when they had
international commitments immediately after the IPL ended.
And Sanjay posts news of the Indian ODI squad while the English counties start panicking over the ECB's trawling for ideas from broadcasters.
Q writes his 4th quarter report with not much time left for the start of the first semi-final. Shaun Marsh and Sohail Tanvir stand out with the bat and ball respectively, and Q picks out Piyush Chawla's excellent bowling too:
One man hasn't made his international debut yet, while the other is barely 8 months old in international cricket.
Shaun Marsh and Sohail Tanvir are at the top of the leading run scorers
and leading wicket takers at the end of the group stages of the Indian
Its interesting to note the similarity between Warne's and Chawla's
figures - same number of wickets, similar average, a similar economy
rate (7.9 and 8.3 respectively), and exactly the same strike rate of
One is the master leg spinner, arguably the best bowler
ever to play test cricket. While the other is trying to cement his
place in international cricket.
Yuvraj recently said that Chawla has always delivered when asked to.
That's true. He has consistently picked up wickets and checked the scoring of the opposition.
Rajneesh Gupta has a good statistical summary. The thing that stands out the most is the lack of value in all that information given the small number of matches and the haphazard nature of Twenty20.
Meanwhile, Suresh Menon writes about the IPL's spin doctors. And the BBC writes about the ECB's upcoming meeting about reforming county cricket. What are the bets that they'll do nothing much?
What are the consequences of the IPL for selection to the Indian ODI side? Dileep writes about the battle between youth and age in the IPL:
It's interesting to note that only Rohit Sharma of the youth brigade
has scored more IPL runs  than Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, neither
of whom played a part in the CB Series victory in Australia. Despite
the Royal Challengers' dismal showing, and allegations of them being a
Test side, Dravid has aggregated 360 runs at a strike-rate of 127.65.
Ganguly has managed 11 runs less, though his strike-rate is nowhere
near as impressive [113.68].
To get an idea of how well Dravid had adjusted to the demands of the
format, just compare his numbers to those of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who
succeeded him as one-day captain. Dhoni's 348 runs have come only at a
marginally quicker rate [129.85].
Of the middle-order pretenders, the uncapped Shikhar Dhawan is next
in the list, but his 335 runs have hardly come at breakneck speed
[118.37]. The most instructive comparison though is with Uthappa, who
has barely scored faster than Ganguly [298 runs and a strike-rate of
116.86] despite his reputation as a devastator of bowling attacks.
Kartikeya points out that the two Test matches going on are over-shadowing the IPL finish. Sean is looking forward to what would certainly be an historic win for the West Indies against Australia. And Kolkata pull off a good win against Kings Punjab.
Sean points out that Chanderpaul's record over the last year puts him in Bradman territory. He was pretty unorthodox too, of course. Vir Sanghvi writes about the European Cup Final, club loyalties, and what's inevitably in store for cricket, via the IPL:
One objection could be that it blurs loyalties. How can the citizens
of Bombay believe that Sanath Jayasuriya or Shaun Pollock truly
I don’t know. But clearly they do believe that. If the IPL fever has
taught us anything, it is that fans will love any player, no matter
what his race, religion or nationality, as long as he plays well.
That’s true of the Premiership too. No Chelsea fan cares that the
only connection such players as Florent Malouda or Claude Makelele have
with their city is professional. As far as they are concerned, they are
all Chelsea players now. Manchester fans applauded Cristiano Ronaldo
when he scored United’s only goal in the Moscow final. He was as much a
player in their team as the very English Wayne Rooney (who ended up
being substituted towards the end of the game).
And, with James Anderson's bouncer taking out Daniel Flynn's teeth, here's a report on county player Dave Fulton nearly losing his eye from a bowling machine bouncer.
Amit Varma pursues a favourite theme on the IPL. That big money brings accountability:
What the IPL setup guarantees is that it isn't
just Vijay Mallya's players who are accountable to him - Mallya himself
is accountable to the market. If Mallya manages his team badly, it will
perform badly, and his franchise's bottomline will take a hit. Had
Charu Sharma been in the wrong, he would have been held accountable by
Mallya, point proved. But if the poor man was blameless, then Mallya
will be held accountable by market forces.
The IPL is not
just a competition between cricketers. It is also a competition between
management styles. Contrast Bangalore and Mumbai, for example. Both had
a similarly bad start to the tournament - if anything, Mumbai's was
worse, what with their acting captain, Harbhajan Singh, involved in
Slapgate. But the management of both teams handled it differently.
The disparity between the owners' wealth and the players' lack of bargaining power suggests that other players will flock to him if he simply spends yet more money next year (when the caps are removed). That sort of accountability at least won't work at all.
In a great post on the upcoming 25th anniversary of India winning the World Cup, Dileep Premachandran in effect talks of another kind of accountability. What responsibility does the BCCI owe to that great team? Can they wash their hands of the celebrations just because of the "rebel" ICL angle?
Strange indeed are the ways of Indian cricket. A nation's real
cricket culture can be gauged from the way it treats its heroes. The
respect with which Australia and its cricket officials treated the late
Bill Brown was a great lesson for everyone connected with the game in
India. Each time I saw the reverence with which he was welcomed at the
Gabba, I'd remember sitting with BS Chandrasekhar, architect of India's
first great overseas win (The Oval, 1971) in a run-down club in a
far-from-posh suburb of Bangalore, eating a greasy omelette from a
plate that hadn't been washed properly.
It shouldn't be that way. But BCCI eyes that have been blinded by
the colour of money don't see that. Not that it matters. The likes of
Sunny and Kapil don't need validation from some petty, no-name
officials. Those whose lives they changed forever a quarter of a
century ago will honour them in their own way. And it'll probably mean
a whole lot more than an open-top bus ride down to board HQ.
Finally, Jrod argues convincingly that Ramprakash making it to a hundred first class hundreds should be seen as a mark of failure. If he had played Test cricket regularly, he wouldn't have had the time to make so many hundreds. And the Economic Times has a graph of support across the metros for different IPL teams.
Allegations of racism in the IPL surface again. This time two black cheerleaders from Britain say that a marketing official tried to prevent them from performing because they're black. Here's rediffs coverage:
Newton and Sherinne
Anderson, who alleged that they were asked to leave the Mohali ground
without performing on April 19 because their "skin is too dark",
addressed the press in Mumbai on Thursday along with Jorge Aldana,
director of Fierce Performance Production, which employs the girls as
dancers. Wizcraft has been hired by actress Preity Zinta for her Indian Premier League team, the Punjab Kings XI.
After being removed from the grounds, Newton told rediff.com
that a Wizcraft employee used the highly derogatory term "***" as
part of his explanation for why the girls couldn't perform. "Of
course," she explained, "tears soon followed. I was in a state of
shock." When asked if there were witnesses, both Newton and Anderson
answered in the affirmative. Not only did fellow teammates see and hear
the dispute, they said, but members of the crowd also overhead the
offensive comments and saw them sobbing.
Scorpicity draws out the inconsistency involved in backing Harbhajan in Australia and yet also Shilpa Shetty in England while not backing these cheerleaders. Follow the link for an interesting set of comments.
Q puts together his Third Quarter report on the IPL:
Some people questioned that the length of the tournament, 45 days to be
exact, would be taxing on the viewers who would lose interest. Nothing
like that has happened and Q3 was witnessed with the same packed crowds
and large number of TV viewers as Q1 and Q2.
With Q4 expected to
be the most exciting quarter of the IPL, and the RACE to the Final Four
in its concluding stages, expect the interest of the viewers to remain
high, if not higher than the preceding quarters.
And the Indian Express reports on changing loyalties in Kashmir. Cricket was the site on which Kashmiri nationalism first expressed itself but the IPL and Mohammad Mudasir might be changing all that:
Mudasir was discovered during a pace hunt conducted by Javagal
Srinath and T A Sekar of the MRF pace foundation at Sher-e-Kashmir
Stadium, Srinagar in 2006. He represented the J&K under-19 team
last season and bagged 35 wickets.
Mudasir has not yet made his debut but IPL has already confused
the decades-old cricket loyalties in Kashmir which were always an
expression of separatist politics here.
The cricket pitch was, in fact, the first platform for
separatist politics. On October, 13, 1983 when West Indies came to play
India in Srinagar, the separatists dug the pitch to protest. The police
arrested Mushtaq-ul-Islam and Showkat Bakhshi — who later became
militant commanders — inside the stadium while Hurriyat leader Shabir
Shah too was charge-sheeted.
Finally, The Atheist and King Cricket write about Jacob Oram's wonderful clean hitting century that saved face for New Zealand.
Homer reports that England's players are not happy about playing in a winner-takes-all care of Stanford. From the Daily Mail article Homer links to:
The players are keen to take part in the annual
big-money match at Stanford's private ground in
Antigua, and an annual quadrangular tournament
in England, featuring the hosts, the All-Star XI
and two other international sides, initially from
Pakistan, Sri Lanka or New Zealand. But the
prospect of winning — or losing — such an enormous
sum of money as £10m, perhaps on the misfortune
of a dropped catch or the outcome of the
last ball of the game, has proved too much.
Why? They fear that it will effect team cohesiveness. In a similar move, much to Miss Field's consternation, the Aussies went so far as to wear VB caps so that poor old baggy green-less Brad Haddin wouldn't feel left out during a tour game:
Former Australian player Greg Matthews has told News Limited
publications that he would never have abandoned the traditional baggy
green cap in favour of a sponsors cap.
"Money talks," Matthews said. "You're selling your pride, selling the baggy green. It just cheapens things.
"If someone said to me I had to wear a VB hat, I'd tell them to piss off," he continued emotionally.
Cricket Australia's public affairs manager, Philip Pope, said that the
decision was made for the sake of uniformity, with commercial
considerations not coming into it.
Anyone want to ask Vijay Mallya about team cohesiveness? Finally, Ottayan lists the terms of the IPL contracts and argues that they're loaded in favour of the players.
Sanath Jayasuriya strikes again. Ottayan reports that Kevin Pietersen will sign up for next year's IPL for as much as 2 million pounds! The article Ottayan linked to suggests:
An ECB insider told Sportsmail that the final decision on all
centrally-contracted players heading for the IPL will be in the hands
of England coach Peter Moores but that, in Pietersen's case, they will
not stand in his way.
That means the Hampshire batsman is likely
to head to India virtually as soon as England return from their tour of
the West Indies at the start of next April and play in the IPL for
three weeks to a month before returning to prepare for the World
Twenty20 tournament in England. After that will be the small matter of
And why would Pietersen be such a special case? The New York Times carries on its fascination with cricket in New York, writing about a novelist who in turn has written about cricket:
He has clung to cricket, he said recently, because it’s his “athletic
mother tongue,” and to learn baseball, say, would be like taking up a
foreign language. Even if he became proficient, he wouldn’t get the
jokes or the poetry.
Mr. O’Neill’s new book, “Netherland” (Pantheon), identifies the Staten
Island Cricket Club by name, though not any of its players, and there’s
a long description of Walker Park, the club’s home ground since 1876, a
bumpy, crabgrass-ridden expanse just a block from the Kill Van Kull.
It’s bordered now by tennis courts, a baseball field, a children’s
playground and, beyond a chain-link fence, some Victorian houses that
are occasionally bombarded by cricket balls, little red meteors
crashing through front windows or cratering into flower beds.
Finally, Samir Chopra calls for all and any philosophical treatises on cricket.
Will playing the IPL effect how Test match cricket is played. King Cricket writes about McCullum's innings in the first New Zealand/England Test match:
He’s a batsman on the up and maybe yesterday’s 97 was a sign that he’s starting to think he can do the same in Tests.
Why not use the same approach? It’s been working for him. If
anything, he could be even more successful. In Twenty20 and when
opening one-day innings, you’ve really got to go after every ball. In
Tests he’s got the luxury that he can leave some of the more dangerous
deliveries while still flaying everything else.
Will describes it reluctantly as a coming of age:
McCullum worked his backside off for his first 30 runs (and yet went
to fifty from a relatively slick 65 balls) before exploding; the
extra-cover smash off Stuart Broad into the Warner Stand was
breathtakingly audacious and classy.
We all love explosive batsmanship, but an innings that combines
grafting and sheer madness is doubly satisfying and doubly impressive.
Perhaps I’m being too generous in saying he’s come of age, but then
again the expectations of him are increasingly high.
The psychologist Rudi Webster is on the record that Harbhajan needs help. Not a big shocker, all things considered. And, finally, Mohan has put together all the IPL team promotional videos.
Vijay Mallya is still in the news for his sacking of Charu Sharma. Good business or bad cricket. Or both? Ankit highlights one of his reader's comments:
Dr VM he is behaving like the typical spoilt middle aged
kid. Know him since school “he had to buy friends” (a group of 5/6 guys
would hang around him and enjoy the good life that Calcutta’s Park
Street had to offer.)
Jrod astutely compares the Aussies' reactions to the bombing in Jaipur to them not going to Pakistan, etc.:
If this was Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, Warne and Smith would be sipping
champagne in first class, a cold beer in business for Watson and Berry.
But India, like England, seems to convince people to stay, even if all logic declares otherwise.
Meanwhile, Ottayan writes about the current odds on the IPL, linking to an article in the Economic Times outlining all the different kinds of betting going on.
Ottayan writes about Harbhajan's five match ban, suggesting that the punishment is "paltry." Apparently, any further infringement will trigger a lifetime ban:
"The player (Harbhajan) admitted his guilt in the concerned matter.
He prayed for leniency and assured the committee that there would not
be any misconduct on his part in the future.
"The committee decided to ban Harbhajan Singh for five one-day
internationals (starting today i.e. May 14) and further observed that
any further instance of misconduct will invoke a life-ban," said Sharad
Pawar, President, BCCI and Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.
And Dileep Premachandran notes Brian Lara's theory player indiscipline:
It all reminds me of something Brian Lara said in an interview back in
2006. When I asked him about allegations of indiscipline that have
bedevilled West Indian sides in recent times, he said: "I don’t think
you’d see an indisciplined team if you have a disciplined board. If you
have a disciplined board, they would know exactly what they want from
their players. You need to see the whole spiral, where it starts from.
You can’t just pinpoint the players and say: You guys are
And The Guardian is running some cricket articles from thirty years ago. See this one on that great batsman, Barry Richards, talking about playing for money:
In his first season at Hampshire he was paid £1,300, more than any
of his teammates, which created tensions with the senior English
players who had already been with the county for 10 or 15 years. Now
they accept he has a talent which he is selling to make a living.
They find it more difficult to accept that there are days when he
will not be interested in scoring runs even though he is receiving
two-and-a-half times their salary. Richards himself is the first to
admit he finds it difficult to motivate himself, having achieved all he
can outside of Test cricket. His captain, Richard Gilliat, is in a good
position to judge: "Undoubtedly there have been instances where if he
was on £1 a run he would have made a big score whereas he made a
reasonable score. But the biggest incentive is to show him the averages
in June and see three or four overseas players up above him."
Tarun writes about Vijay Mallya's sacking of Charu Sharma from a labour law perspective:
But the point is that corporatization is rearing its very ugly head in
cricket and an out of form player is now under the same kind of threat
as any other employee in India - the very real threat of being fired
and losing out on 'maximizing' income during playing days. As a lawyer,
it irks me that the same kind of labour legislations that protect each
of us employed in India from complete arbitrariness and high handedness
does not appear to protect the sons of Indian cricket.
Sanjay has an entirely different take on the same subject, highlighting the money and accountability link:
But these stories highlight the thing that BCCI never did. How many
times have the BCCI pulled up its players for non performance? How many
times have team selection blunders been ignored? How many times have
prejudices and biases dominated team selection without anyone
questioning or raising the issue?
If a team can send players home because they may never get a piece
of the action, why can’t the BCCI stop sending huge contingents of
officials on paid holidays?
Meanwhile, Fershad insists that he hasn't checked personally but breaks the news that Sachin's groin is ready for the rigours of the IPL. And Q appears to be quite anxious about whether the IPL is "reliant on Aussie Power? Or rather are the Aussies the backbone of the IPL?" Finally, Nestaquin previews the upcoming Test series between England and New Zealand.
Kartikeya spots a telling moment during the recent IPL game between Rajasthan and Delhi, as umpire Steve Davis appears to have been pushed into a referral to the third umpire on a run out decision by the Delhi fielders:
I have been critical
of the IPL for granting Farokh Engineer the authority to officially
rebuke an Umpire, although i am in a minority on this one - most people
don't seem to think of it as a non-trivial event, inspite of the
obviously unprecedented realignment of authority among match officials
that it represents.
On this occasion though, Rudi Koertzen is
again the Umpire at the other end, but the Umpire in question is a
former Test Umpire from Australia - Steve Davis. What will the IPL do?
And Gulu Ezekiel lists a number of other ways in which he thinks IPL changes are ominous:
Even this season, with the salary cap in place, there were murmurs of protest among Australian, West Indian and New Zealand players, who had to leave the IPL early on for national duty. No doubt
some of them would have been happier not to get selected for their
country so that they could stay on and make hay in the IPL.
temptation will be even greater for both players and coaches to ditch
their nations once the cap goes. Already New Zealand coach John
Bracewell has indicated he will soon step down with an eye on the IPL.
There has also been
the farcical situation in the IPL where umpires' and Match Referees'
actions are being called into question. So who will police the police?
is not all. A Chennai newspaper has questioned the credibility of the
drug testing procedures of the IPL. This is a serious issue that needs
explaining by their head honchos.
Finally David Barry, following up on a previous post, looks at the kinds of analyses being done with the publicly available Hawkeye-type data available in Major League Baseball.
More Posts Next page »
DreamCricket strongly disapproves of spam and we appreciate your taking the time to report this abuse to us so we can remove it accordingly. If you find any content or comments to be inappropriate, abusive or infringing other people's copyright please report it. To report abuse, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.