Tag: Cricket

India and Cricket Word Cup 2011

India hosts Cricket Word Cup 2011. If India wins it will make history.

No host country has won Cricket Word Cup. Sri Lanka was a co-host country that played semi-final and final outside Sri Lanka in 1996. India hosted Cricket Word Cup in 1987 and 1996. Both times it lost in semi-finals. Some say Indian cricketers were told to lose the semi-final in 1996 to avoid playing final in Pakistan. If that is the case the cricketers who played that semi-final should go public about who told them to lose the match. There was bottle throwing during the match and when match referee Clive Lloyd called off the match and awarded it to Sri Lanka India were eight wickets down and Vinod Kambli who was batting wanted to continue the match, pleaded with Clive Lloyd, and was in tears when the match was awarded to Sri Lanka.

No host country except England in 1979 has reached the final in Cricket Word Cup. India, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies did not reach finals as hosts.

Most of the time the team that batted first has won the Cricket Word Cup. In 1996 semi-final and 2003 final India had won the toss and elected to field. In 1996 commentators had expressed shock at India’s decision to field first. Ravi Shastri had commented that when Australia batted first Ricky Ponting’s batting average was 144 and when Australia batted second Ricky Ponting’s batting average was 20. In India versus Australia matches when Australia batted first it had won all the matches and when it battled second India had won 44% of the matches. When Zaheer Khan bowled the first over and conceded 15 runs, eight of them extras. In 1983 final West Indies had won the toss and elected to field and India won the cup.

Some take it for granted that India will reach the quarter-final. They are sure that India will defeat Ireland and Holland in group matches. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and inglorious match-fixings. This time there are no super six or super eight matches. In 1999 India did not reach super six and in 2003 India did not reach super eight. In 1999 India and South Africa lost to Zimbabwe in group matches. In 2003 India lost to Bangladesh and Pakistan lost to Ireland in group matches. The loss in 2003 was bad for sponsors and advertisers who had banked on India making it to next round. One soft drink company had to revise its TV ad. There is a saying: Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.

India’s hosting of Cricket Word Cup 2011 has encountered a problem as Sports Ministry under Mohinder Singh Gill on 17/1/2011 has derecognized BCCI as a National Sports Federation/Apex Body for cricket in India as BCCI has not complied with the mandatory requirements of submitting necessary documents. This has resulted in withdrawal of exemption to pay customs duty on goods imported by BCCI or its affiliates. On 19/1/2001 Ajay Maken became Sports Minister. If BCCI does not reach a settlement with Sports Ministry it will have to manage security of cricketers and grounds on its own.

Wankhede Stadium and Eden Garden are not ready. There was no need to renovate these two stadia. Now the date for Eden Garden to be ready is 5/2/2011. The excuse for delay for Eden Garden is IPL 3. For Wankhede Stadium there is no excuse. This reminds of Commonwealth Games mess.

Journalists and exaggerations

Journalists are expected to report facts without exaggerations. They do not have the liberty to exaggerate. Poets and writers of fiction have the liberty to exaggerate.

“De Villiers was quick to get to the ball, running Dravid out at the striker’s end by a mile.” (Aditya Iyer – Gambhir, Tendulkar keep India in hunt – The Indian Express – 4/1/2011.)

“While television replays showed that the ball would’ve jumped the stumps by a mile, umpire Asad Rauf couldn’t resort to such technological luxuries, dismissing de Villiers for a patient 33.” (Aditya Iyer – Durban Legend – The Indian Express – 30/12/2010.)

A mile has eight furlongs. A furlong has 220 yards. A yard has three feet. A foot has 12 inches. Cricket pitch is of 22 yards. Rahul Dravid was away from the striker’s end by some inches or feet but not by a mile. In A. B. de Villiers’ case the ball could have jumped the stumps by some inches but not by a mile.

Once there was a murder in Malad. A report mentioned the body was cut into 300 pieces. Did the reporter count the pieces?

At the end of December 2010 many flights in USA were cancelled. NDTV 24 X 7 reported ”Tons of flights cancelled.” Not dozens. Not hundreds. Since when flights are measured in tons?

Sunil Gavaskar and BCCI

Sunil Gavaskar claims BCCI owes him money. BCCI disputes the claim. Sunil Gavaskar says he has not demanded dues from BCCI but has sent gentle reminders. If someone says I will pay you X and I say no and he says I will pay you X + Y and I say yes it is not a demand. The payment regards to membership of IPL Governing Council. How much was X and how much was Y? It seems X was one crore rupees per year and Y was four crore rupees per year. X was in writing. Y was promised orally by Sharad Pawar, then BCCI president. How to deliver Y was not decided because of logistics.

M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were also members of IPL Governing Council. When BCCI decided not to make payments to cricketer members M. A. K. Pataudi and Sunil Gavaskar chose to quit and Ravi Shastri chose to continue. How much M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were paid?

What were the logistics to deliver Y? Payment by cheque would have resulted in taxes. M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri could have demanded equal payment. Paying four crore rupees of BCCI money in cash is not an easy thing. It can not be done by few vouchers.

Why did Sunil Gavaskar keep quiet all these years? Why did he not collect Y amount when Sharad Pawar was BCCI president? Shashank Manohar is not bound by oral commitments made by his predecessors. Sharad Pawar is not in a position to influence BCCI. His enemy Jagmohan Dalmiya is in favour with BCCI.

Sunil Gavaskar expects Sharad Pawar to hold a meeting with Shashank Manohar, possibly in Nagpur. A meeting is not necessary to tell that there was an oral commitment.