The match had all the makings of a block buster. The rivalry between MIndians and the KPXI seemed to have an added edge. What with slap gate, Yuvi's seemingly ungainly celebrations in Mumbai in the last year's edition on winning a thriller, Yuvi v/s Bhajji, Jaya and Melinga v/s M/s Jaya and Sanga. There were a lot of subplots to the story and boy did it live up to the pre-match hype.And that too with only 2 DLF maximums hit in the entire match, 119 being a winning total and with most big guns failing with the bat.
7 to win off 2 balls for the MIdians. A scorching cover drive by Saurabh Tiwary was miraculously fielded by a tumbling Ramesh Powar. He saved 2 runs for the KPXI then. The next ball, with a boundary required to take the match into a super over, Powar fielded even better to restrict the scoring to a single and help win the match for KPXI.
The irony could not be missed by most people watching. Ramesh Powar, who has been the butt of so many nasty/sarcastic comments about his paunch and his lack of atheletic ability, winning a match with his fielding and that too against his home side in the domestic tournament, was the story of the day for sure, leapfrogging ahead of most subplots mentioned earlier.
The one-captain theory
The recent Super Over result illustrates just why having multiple leaders doesn't wash
April 26, 2009
Shane Warne speaks to Kamran Khan ahead of the Super Over, Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, 10th match, Cape Town, April 23, 2009
With a single, strong captain such as Warne, the team is in no confusion about where they stand © AFP
The game of cricket has an amazing capacity to voice an opinion in subtle ways. It did so in the frenetic confrontation that followed the first ever IPL tie.
The nail-biting finish resulted in a Super Over shootout between the Rajasthan Royals, the classic one-man-in-charge team, and the Kolkata Knight Riders, a side currently experimenting with the concept of multiple leaders. Not surprisingly, the mercurial Royals' captain, Shane Warne, opted for a daring ploy. He bowled a tyro in the drama-filled situation - Kamran Khan, who eventually prevailed over the Knight Riders' internationally acclaimed Ajantha Mendis.
It's worth pondering the machinations that led to Warne anointing Kamran to bowl the match-deciding over to a highly explosive Chris Gayle.
A good leader empowers his players; he endows them with the confidence to believe in their own ability and to be prepared to take a risk. When Warne opted to bowl Kamran for only one over in an IPL trial match in Cape Town (so as to not advertise the unorthodox slinger's attributes), he empowered his player. Here was a complete unknown being paid a huge compliment by his captain, one of the best bowlers the game has ever seen. If Warne correctly judged Kamran's temperament, he was assured of that extra effort from the tyro in an hour of need.
Before they reached the Super Over stage, Kamran had already repaid his skipper's faith by taking three wickets in the innings, including the crucial one of Sourav Ganguly in the final, desperate over. Having then been awarded the onerous task of bowling the Super Over, Kamran had two choices: to wilt or raise his game. Warne had seen something in his young bowler that led him to believe it would be the latter.
Compare that style of management with the Knight Riders', where they nominate a captain but extol the virtues of multiple leadership. In Kamran's case he knows he's been anointed by Warne, but Mendis could easily be wondering if he was chosen in a split vote by a committee.
Imagine the discussion in the Knight Rider's camp. First, Brendon McCullum asks Gayle: "Who do you think should bowl?" And then he asks Ganguly and Brad Hodge and anyone else who might either have been co-opted onto the committee or wandered past at the appropriate time and voiced an opinion.
At times of high tension on a cricket field the last thing a captain needs is to have his train of thought derailed by input from three co-captains
Eventually McCullum hands the ball to Mendis. After watching the consultation process Mendis is entitled to ask, as an Indian batsman once did when he was selected to replace an injured team-mate against an Australian Test side that included Jeff Thomson: "Why me?" Any doubts Mendis might have harboured about succeeding in such a pressure-cooker situation would have been elevated the moment he was handed the ball after a committee meeting.
Kamran on the other hand had already been empowered by Warne before the tournament started. Now here was his illustrious skipper maintaining his faith with a gesture that screamed loudly: "I believe you can win us this match."
Warne had the advantage of having already attained right royal miracle-worker status for Rajasthan. Once a team believes a captain can guide them home in a tight situation, there's a fair chance it'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Warne succeeds more often than not in tense situations because he's brave enough to seek victory rather than wait for it to come knocking on his door.
In the case of the Knight Riders' multiple-leadership experiment, the players aren't exactly sure who is putting faith in their ability. Is it McCullum alone or was it decided by a split vote?
At times of high tension on a cricket field the players look to the captain to show them a successful way through the fog. That calls for a clear and positive thinking leader. At such a crucial time the last thing a captain needs is to have his train of thought derailed by input from three co-captains.
The Super Over shootout emphasises the need for a team to have a strong-minded man in charge; one man. Or at least that's the way the cricket gods appeared to want it in Cape Town. p>
Ian Chappell has written this brilliant article extolling the virtues of one captain. One of the most inane pieces written by the man. The ghost writer seems to have reproduced it verbatim.
But one is getting irritated by the starry eyed commentary of Mark Nicholas extolling Warne's virtues as a captain and finding reasons to give credit for a wicket or a saved run to Warne's foresight and daring. One has immense respect for Warne as a cricketer and a captain but he seems to be turning into Professor Shane. Going upto a bowler after every ball and talking to him isn't great captaincy is it? Even SRT used to do it in his initial captaincy stint. And changing a fielders position by a foot after every ball is again not the height of wisdom. The commentators are going overboard in their praise for Warne and Ian Chappell citing Warne's leadership skills as the reason for a win in the super over takes the cake.
As some disgruntled captain once commented "A captain is only as good as his team". Was it MSD?
Michael Clarke and the art of selling at Auctions, is a book that is almost certainly never going to be released in the near future.
In 2008, Clarke pulled out of the IPL Auction citing family reasons and his commitmment to Australian cricket. Though he had clearly mentioned in his letter to Modi that he was looking forward to take part in an IPL series in the future, the Oz press went raving about the great sacrifice and someone who didn't fall for the devil's (read BCCI) lucre, to anybody who was willing to listen and to anybody who didn't want to hear of it.
In 2009, Clarke pulled out of the IPL auction again, after making himself available, on just the day before the auction was supposed to be held in Goa.
Lalit Modi had a different take on this.But let's give the benefit of doubt to a man who stands at the crease for an umpire's decision when caught cleanly at the 2nd slip and say that for Modi it was a case of sour grapes.
But today, one read a piece where Clarke has pulled out of another auction.
Australian cricket vice-captain Michael Clarke and his fiance Lara Bingle’s Lilli Pilli mansion has not been sold.
The five-bedroom waterfront property was set for March 12 auction but was withdrawn that morning, reports the Daily Telegraph.
A McGrath Real Estate spokeswoman confirmed that the house had not been sold and was still for sale.
She said the property was ‘under discussion’ with ‘a couple of
interested parties’, but the Australian team’s tour of South Africa had
slowed the process.
Clarke bought the Lilli Pilli property for 2.87 million dollars in 2006 and had it extensively renovated.
It is expected to fetch over 3 million dollars.
A certain pattern begins to emerge in the story now. The Pup gets cold feet as the Auction date starts closing in. His breathing is heavy, his pulse is racing, he spends sleepless nights, he is generally uncomfotable. In a Bollywood movie, these are signs of love. But Pup is no Benga who wishes to act in those crazy movies. Our Pup is made of sterner stuff. He is thinking of his own selfishness in ignoring the Greater Good and the crass commercial being he has turned into. One is waiting when some IPL related reason or 'for the greater good of human kind' reason will be attributed for the 3rd pull out. Till then one advice to Pup (obviously unwanted)..
Boss, Kyo (Kha)Lilli Pilli sabka time waste karta hai..
Some times 41 years change a lot many things
Some times 41 years seem too short to change anything
And some times 41 years just about manage to bring things back to the place from where they started
“There are no more tickets available in this area. Please try another area,” said the section of the ticket site www.computicket.com
dealing with first-day-first-show tickets for Cape Town. It took two
hours to get a hint of the frenzy IPL II is going to create in South
Tickets for the April 18 opening day double-header were sold out
almost as soon as they were available. A majority of tickets for the
April 19 double-bill were also gone.
Little doubt that hardly any of the 25,000 seats at the Sahara Park
Newlands ground in Cape Town will be empty over that weekend.
“We are very happy that the tickets have been sold out in a flash.
We want to make sure the stadiums are full and are hopeful that South
Africans will make it a part of their life,” IANS quoted IPL
commissioner Lalit Modi as saying.
Modi added that the price of tickets would encourage thousands to
pack the stands. “We had promised our fans... a non-stop cricket
carnival and the attractive ticket pricing should be a huge impetus for
The overwhelming demand for tickets may have a lot to do with the
prices. No single match ticket in any of the eight venues costs more
than 100 rands (Rs 540 approximately). Rates, however, will be revised
for the semis and final. In most places, students will get them for 10
rands (approx. Rs 54) — about half of the cheapest of tickets sold last
On the higher side, rates are strikingly lower than what they were
last year. These tickets were sold for a lot more (from 1000 to 6000,
excluding corporate boxes and special lounges) last year. The IPL
organisers have taken no chance with prices this time and if the first
of sales is any indication, they have got it spot on.
One has been an IPL supporter on many issues and doesn't see it as the sole reason for all things bad in the cricket world. But one can't ignore this question. How is the economics working Mr. Modi? If franchisees were charging 4 times the price last year (In Mumbai for instance the price of a ticket for one semi final for the North stand was some 5k or some such).. So how can the same franchisees afford to spend more on the grounds, for similar capacity crowds, charge 3 times less? Some may argue it is Modi's ego which is pushing him to go any lenghts to ensure the 2009 edition's success. But why would a franchisee go ahead with the pricing if it's economically unviable? So is it fair to assume that the Indian fans were taken for a ride?
The complete lack of the paying spectator's interest has been the bane of Indian cricket for a long time. For the money paid, one had to stand in queues for an hour, hunt for a place from improperly numbered seats, jostle to get drinking water even for the IPL. Where was the VFM to watch an IPL game. And yet the spectators thronged the grounds. The current ticket pricing seems to make a mockery of the central figure of Cricket ecnomics- the India cricket fan.
With acknowledgments to Homer :)