2nd May, 2011
Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to raise a ruckus about his axing from the West Indian side.
In a second letter to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)'s Ernest Hilaire, the batsman questions his dropping for the Pakistan tour of West Indies.
Hilaire had squarely blamed the West Indies Player Association (WIPA) for Chanderpaul’s outburst in his response to his earlier missive.
The Guyanese was quick to respond saying:
“I may not be Dr. Chanderpaul, but I have been a top-ranked international batsman and we have to be able to think critically under the most intense and stressful situations.
It is therefore distressing that you blame WIPA by implication, if not overtly, for my letter saying that WIPA was offering me "ill advice". You may not be aware but I have faced the best bowlers in the world in my career and I know how to counter-attack. Furthermore, I am my own man and would ask that you respect that!"
The West Indian bat raised issues on the mishandling of injuries by the administrative body.
Coming on the back of a controversial decision by Chris Gayle to play the IPL rather than represent the band of nations that is the West Indies, the episode paints a sorry picture of the state of Caribbean cricket.
Chanderpaul may no longer be a sprightly young man, but he should be allowed to decided when to quit the game.
Chanderpaul rarely courted scandal in his distinguished career, but the lackadaisical attitude of the powers-that-be raised his hackles.
This man will not go quietly into the night.
Mumbai Indians returned to the top of the IPL table, where they belong, when they defeated Kings XI Punjab at home. Six of eight tells a tale of consistency.
Sachin Tendulkar and his boys have kept it simple. Bat out the first 10 overs and preserve wickets for the assault in the latter phase of the innings. 60-70 runs for the loss of one or two wickets is the half-stage goal. Tendulkar is the fulcrum of the batting line-up, but unlike the past three editions, his early loss can be remedied by the likes of Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma.
Ambati Rayudu has been a revelation and Kieron Pollard continues to be brutal.
As long as Lasith Malinga fires at the top of the bowling order, MI can count on defending a total of around 160, seven times out of 10 with ease.
The two losses this season have come in extraordinary situations. The more recent defeat was against Rajasthan Royals, where the batting flopped to 94-8. Against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, a score of 182-2 was not sufficient to stop a rampaging Brendon McCullum and an elegant Mahela Jayawardene.
MI were the second-most consistent side, after Chennai Super Kings, in the past three years. They hope to take home the trophy this time around. They certainly mean business.
Kochi Tuskers beat Delhi Daredevils in the other game.
3rd May 2011
When Hashan Tillakaratne made his allegations about match-fixing, most dismissed them as ravings and ramblings of a disgruntled ex-cricketer.
However,Rashid Latif and then Arjuna Ranatunga ratified the allegations by coming out in his defence.
If the ICC believed that they had dealt match and spot-fixing a death-blow by the stringent punishment meted out to Pakistani cricketers, they were wrong. They merely cut off a single pate of the hydra-headed monster.
Tillakaratne has promised to reveal all to the ICC, fearing for his safety otherwise.
Kumara Sangakarra is a most unhappy man, for he is in the centre of the storm.
Tillakaratne cast aspersions on bizarre team selections in the World Cup final. The omission of Ajantha Mendis is fodder for conspiracy theorists.
Sri Lankan sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, has taken the charges seriously enough to order an investigation by the country’s inspector-general.
Saurav Ganguly signs on for the struggling Pune Warriors. Wonders never cease.
Can ‘God-On-The-Off-Side’ turn PWI’s fortunes around? Can he provide the ballast to a sinking side? Is this a move to dethrone the ‘Young Prince’ with the “Maharajah’?
It is a last throw of the dice by Pune Warriors Team director Abhijit Sarkar.
PWI is now a team with two Destiny’s children–Yuvraj Singh, the other–will it make or break the side?
Andy Roberts made his voice heard on the Shivnarine Chanderpaul–Ernest Hilaire spat. The West Indian bowling great called for a complete overhaul of the West Indian cricketing setup and added that Chanderpaul should focus solely on Tests.
Roberts merely echoed what Indian television viewers learnt from original master blaster, Vivian Richards, during the 2011 ICC ODI World Cup. Richards was one of the experts on the NDTV television programme ‘Kings Of Cricket’.
In the 42nd IPL game this season, Kolkatta Knight Riders slam the door on Deccan Chargers. Yusuf Pathan comes good, at last.
Lalit Modi's revolution continues
4th May, 2011
If you can’t beat them, join them.
Trite, but true.
Somerset Entertainment will run the league consisting of five teams.
At least 35 international cricketers will participate, including the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Yusuf Pathan and Shahid Afridi.
It may not have the hype, hoopla or the moolah of the IPL, but for Pakistani cricketers, it is God-sent manna.
The BCCI is not displeased. Can the day be far off when the Sri Lankan board and others thumb their noses at ICC’s bully boy?
Speculation has arisen in the media that spin king, Shane Warne, is tossing his hat out of the IPL arena. If sources are to be believed, the Aussie wizard will be quitting the Rajasthan Royals to live happily ever after with his stunning new conquest, Elizabeth Hurley.
This just proves that my satiric post, a couple of weeks ago, was not that far-fetched after all.
The see-saw battle for the last two spots for the IPL play-offs continues.
Rajasthan Royals continued their inconsistent run in the IPL, this season. Chennai Super Kings handed the North Indian side another defeat at Chennai.
However, it took some lusty hitting in the penultimate over for MI to make 160. With Malinga firing away and a strong supporting cast, the strategy of consistently ensuring sufficient runs to defend pays off once more.
Mumbai Indians are my pick to take the trophy this season.
Yuvraj Singh should not carry the can for his side’s dismal performances. He is not the only captain struggling.
Kumara Sangakarra, the redoubtable former Lankan skipper, is finding that one can only be as good as the side one leads. Virender Sehwag can vouch for that.
5th May, 2011
If news reports are to believed, shooting off acerbic letters to board officials is one way of getting back into a West Indian side.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is expected to be in the Test squad for the series against Pakistan.
Anjum Chopra, the former Indian women’s team captain is coaching all interested participants on the Akshay Kumar show, ‘Khatron Ka Khiladiyan’.
Did the BCCI miss a trick? Were they hasty in appointing Duncan Fletcher?
Sunny Gavaskar and Kapil Dev would have been thrilled to have an(y) Indian coach the side. Chopra for coach, anyone? Facebook campaign?
Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) believe that they belong in the top four in this IPL. Towards this end, they edged out Kolkatta Knight Riders in a close game at the Nehru Stadium.
In the latter game last evening, Deccan Chargers were disappointed that a score of 170+ was not good enough to keep a rampaging Virender Sehwag at bay.
Sehwag’s 119 off 56 balls showed how dangerous he can be when he bats through the innings. Delhi Daredevils live to fight another day. DC, however, will find it next to impossible to qualify for the playoffs.
Quote of the day:
Discretion is not the better part of biography. - Lytton Strachey