Tag: cricket world cup

Ricky Ponting Dropped

Ricky Ponting was dropped from Australian ODI team on 20/2/2012. He was captain in the previous match which Australia had won by 110 runs against India. He had hoped to continue in ODI team. John Inverarity, chief selector, said Rick Ponting would not be considered for future ODIs. He said “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to lack of form. The team will not seem the same without him. But moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.”

Ricky Ponting was captain of the Australian team that won World Cups in 2003 and 2007. After Australia’s defeat against India in World Cup 2011 he stepped down from captaincy. Ricky Ponting’s predecessors had ceased to be team members when they ceased to be captains. Australian policy was not to have former captains in teams. In Ricky Ponting’s case an exception was made and he continued in Test and ODI teams.

Ricky Ponting was successful against India in the Test series. He had a double century, century, three fifties, total of 544 runs and the average of 108.8. In ODI series he did not score many runs. He scored 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7, a total of 18 runs in five matches. There was criticism when he was made captain for two matches when Michael Clarke could not play due to injury. The critics felt David Warner who was vice captain should have been made captain. About his poor form Ricky Ponting had said “People asked me similar questions before the Test series against India, and during it as well. I had a lot of questions asked.” Selectors thought he did not deserve to be in ODI team.

Ricky Ponting retired from ODIs on 21/2/2012. A great ODI career came to an end.

Interview with a Pakistani cricketer

(This interview is imaginary.)
Q: You said Pakistanis are large-hearted, Indians are not. What do you mean?
A: Pakistanis are ready to lose matches for friendship. We lost semi-final at Mohali and showed our large-heartedness. We dropped Sachin Tendulkar four times. We could have scored the winning runs. It was not difficult for us to score 261 runs. We did not score and allowed India to win.

Q: Poor fielding and batting is not a sign of large-heartedness. Kamran Akmal on an average drops two catches in every match.
A: Kamran Akmal’s heart is larger than other Pakistanis. His heart is the largest in Pakistan. Behind every successful man there is a woman. Behind every successful batsman there is Kamran Akmal. But against India other fielders dropped catches. We showed our friendship. About batting, even in the last over we could have won. Misbah-ul-Haq could have hit five sixers consecutively and Pakistan would have won. Instead he did not score a single run and gifted his wicket.

Q: Misbah-ul-Haq could not have done it. In 2007 Twenty20 final Pakistan had to score six runs off four balls and his reverse scoop resulted in defeat for Pakistan.
A: That shows his large-heartedness towards India.

Q: India had met Pakistan four times in World Cup before the Mohali match and had won all four matches. India defeating Pakistan in World Cup is not new.
A: India had met Pakistan twice at Mohali and both times Pakistan had won the matches. We had defeated Australia and Sri Lanka in group matches.

Q: New Zealand defeated Pakistan.
A: That was our large-heartedness, especially of Kamran Akmal. We wanted New Zealand to cheer up. They were demoralized after their defeat to Australia.

Q: You have said Indian media is negative.
A: Indian media was against Pakistani cricketers. They did not see the match as a game but projected as a battle. They talked of us as enemies.
The government of India has banned adult films and adult programmes on TV. If anybody complains that there is nudity or some indecent scene the channel is banned for a week. India claims to be a democracy and says there is freedom of speech and expression but it is the first country to ban anything. Pakistani media is liberal. Indian TV channels edited what Kim Clijsters said to Todd Woodbrige after the Australian Open match. Pakistani media is positive. India was liberal some years back. Indian media is negative about books which no one has read and they are banned. Indian media is negative about some TV serials and they are asked to shift their slot.
I love India. I like to play in India. But there are people who say we will not allow Pakistanis to play in our city. If any actor says something good about Pakistan the theatres showing his films are threatened. IPL franchisees were told not to bid for Pakistanis. But we love India. We will have PPL on the model of IPL. We will build new cities and name them Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and so on. We will have teams like Bombay Brigadiers, Calcutta Colonels, Madras Majors. We will invite Indians to play in Pakistan. We will have better cheerleaders and will not tell them that they have to wear ghaghras as Rajasthan’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot has told Shilpa Shetty.
If any Indian politician says anything good about Pakistan it ruins his political career. Lal Krishna Advani came to Pakistan and said some good things about Jinnah and he had to quit as party president and leader of the opposition. Jaswant Singh wrote a book and the book was banned and he was expelled from his party.
We had been good to India. History has witnessed Pakistan’s generosity towards India. In 1980 Asif Iqbal declared Pakistan’s Innings 40 runs short of India’s score. In 1985 when India were all out for 125 Pakistanis were all out for 86. In 2004 Pakistanis lost the Test series and ODI series against India in Pakistan.

Q: There are match-fixing allegations against Pakistani cricketers.
A: Our players do it for friendship. Money is bonus.

Q: You said a third country creates problems between India and Pakistan.
A: It is USA. They do not want friendly relations between India and Pakistan. They scuttled Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Americans bomb our people and kill civilians. Americans are the most hated people in Pakistan and that is no mean achievement. An American was involved in 26/11. He is safe in USA and India is quiet about it.

Q: You said there is no point in Yousuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh talking.
A: Indo-Pak talks have gone on for years. We don’t move forward. We move in circles. We say “Solve the Kashmir dispute.” You say “There is no dispute about Kashmir. Kashmir is ours.” We say “Call it an issue. Solve the Kashmir issue.” You say “You stop cross-border terrorism.” We say “There is no terrorism in Kashmir. Freedom fight is going on there.” We say “Kashmir is in our blood.” You say “Our blood runs in Kashmir.” We end where we begin.

Q: Even if there is no positive outcome the talks keep the temperature down.
A: Then it goes up again. People of India should wait till the next elections in Pakistan.

Q: Why?
A: I will form a political party, Large-Hearted Party. Heart will be the symbol of that party. We will contest elections and win them and form the government. I will be the President of Pakistan.

Q: Your statements keep changing according to time and place. At one time you praised India, Indians, Indian films and TV serials. After some days you criticized the same.
A: My wife was with me at the time when I praised India. She likes Indian films and TV serials. When I am with her I watch Indian films and TV serials. When alone, I watch Hollywood films. Films like About Last Night, Striptease, Basic Instinct, Diabolique and Wild Orchid are my favourites.

Q: Are you afraid of your wife?
A: I am the boss of my house and I have my wife’s permission to say so.

Q: What do you feel about Indian victory?
A: I am glad because one Indian model had said if India win she will take off her clothes. I have not seen her photograph in birthday suit. If you come across the photograph send it to me. Don’t tell my wife.

Q: She is standing behind you with a rolling pin in her hand.
A: God save me.

India win Cricket Word Cup 2011

On 2/4/2011 India created history by being the first host country to win the Cricket World Cup. India began by defeating Bangladesh, a co-host, on 19/2/2011 and ended by defeating Sri Lanka, another co-host, on 2/4/2011.

No Indian scored a century in a knock-out game. Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene scored centuries against India in knock-out games. India batted second in matches against Australia and Sri Lanka and won. Australia were stopped from winning the title for the fourth consecutive time and Ricky Ponting was stopped from winning the title as captain for the third consecutive time. Before that Pakistan had defeated Australia in a group match and had put an end of Australia’s sequence of victories since 1999.

S. Sreesanth was in the first match and the last match. Virender Sehwag scored 175 against Bangladesh and 0 against Sri Lanka. India’s fielding improved during knock-out games.

India’s lone loss was against South Africa. Against England it was a tie. South Africa were defeated by New Zealand and England by Sri Lanka in quarter-finals. India did not have to play any team twice.

The tournament took place when India was buffeted with various scandals. Commonwealth Games scam, 2G spectrum scam and many other scams were making news. Wikileaks gave fresh life to cash for votes scam. As the tournament progressed TV news channels shifted the focus to crickets and scams took a backseat. Regular programmes were dumped for programmes on cricket. India’s performance in the World Cup banished bad news from news channels.

The victory created a new set of heroes in addition to 1983 heroes. There were not many news channels till 1999. From 2003 onwards every time during World Cup heroes of 1983 were approached by news channels to know what it was to win the World Cup. Captains of World Cup winning teams were in great demand. CNN-IBN got Alan Border and Imran Khan. Headlines Today got Kapil Dev, Clive Lloyd and Arjuna Ranatunga. Steve Waugh was not seen.

Sponsors wanted India to be in the quarter-final and the format was arranged such a way. India played the first match and the last match of the group stage. India’s first round exit in 2007 was the reason for bringing back quarter-finals. India reaching the final was a bonus for sponsors.

UDRS was introduced in the World Cup. India were not in favour of UDRS as it had unhappy memories of UDRS in Sri Lanka. After the Ian Bell controversy UDRS rules were modified and some decisions went in India’s favour. UDRS is effective in deciding catches but remains controversial regarding LBW decisions. Sometimes field umpire gives the correct decision regarding LBW and UDRS gives the wrong decision. UDRS regarding LBW is not automatic and the operator can manipulate it. Either UDRS for LBW should be scrapped or the decision should be given by third umpire as it is done when field umpires ask for his decision on close catches, run-out or stumping. It is wrong to humiliate the field umpire by asking him to reverse his decision. Sri Lanka and other countries that were in favour of UDRS may do a rethink as some UDRS decisions went against them.

It is wrong to give a free hit for a no ball. The batting team gets a run and the bowler has to bowl another ball and that is fair enough. Free hit is too much in favour of a batsman.

Demands for tickets for matches featuring India was great and there was lathi-charge in Bangalore, Nagpur and Mohali. Common people who wanted to buy tickets could not get tickets. MPs, MLAs, MLCs and corporators demanded and got free tickets.

Firecracker sellers had good business.