Monthly Archives: April 2008

IPL Coverage

IPL has been underway for almost a week now. And going by the opinions of the fellow bloggers, it has been fairly successful. I can imagine Lalit Modi and Sharad Pawar smiling in glee with their mouthlines extending from one ear to another and dancing on their toes when in private, even though they present a sober figure when they are under a public gaze!

Lalit Modi had been hell bent on not providing the rights to the media for publishing the images shot during the matches. Only the print media were allowed and even they had to pay hefty sums and also need to provide a copy of the images to the BCCI. Check out how pissed the media were – http://www.hindu.com/2008/04/10/stories/2008041055681000.htm . There are a lot more such opinions of the pissed-off variety and threats of total media pull out from the event.

However, one just needs to search the youtube for the amount of IPL videos available on it. Media boycott or not, one can watch all the highlights on youtube. Three cheers to the free world and the open-source and open-market protogonists!. Even the Live coverage is available through the peer-to-peer broadcasting. One just needs to install Sopcast and search for the available channels. And Lo, you have soo many sopcast channels broadcasting the IPL matches from CBN and Set-Max. Sitting here in Korea, i do not miss any action!

Even though i got high quality videos of IPL from sopcast, i am really pissed off about the cricket coverage from Set Max. Reasons are a plenty:
a) 5 ball overs are a norm for Set Max. Either you lose the first ball of the over or the last ball and it is entirely Set Max’s prerogative!
b) Immediately after a ball is bowled, the screen becomes L shaped to accomodate an embedded advertisement. And the worst of all is that the audio of the advertisement is not muted. So, you miss out on the comments of the, supposed to be expert, commentators.
c) Ajay Jadeja. He seems to be more intent on chasing the Cheer Leaders than catching up the action on the actual cricket field.
d) Where the hell is the dumb noodle-straps Bedi? The import of the redskins from Washington may have had her running for covers!

There is an online petition here – http://www.PetitionOnline.com/savecric/ . If you are also a pissed off viewer like me, please sign it. I have already signed it.

Bring me ESPN or Star Sports anyday. Their coverage is so polished and professional. A team of Harsha Bhogle, Ian Chappel, Tony Greig, Geoffrey Boycott and Ravi Shastri is anybody’s dream.

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College Days………

The other day, i was talking to Praveen (my best buddy in college) and then also had a chance encounter with a couple of my college buddies on orkut. It brought back a lots of memories from college. Everytime the earth rotates, the world changes and we age! Phew!

We had this new lecturer who always had a difficulty in controlling his class. So, whenever he turns towards the blackboard, there would be a ruckus breaking out. Oneday he made this famous statement “Don’t talk in front of my back!”. It took a while for the whole class to comprehend what the guy meant and there was, of course, pin drop silence all though-out!

And then there was this chemistry lecturer. He was a sort of Lab guy who would help us out during the experiments. One fine day, during our chemistry labs, our main lecturer was absent. So, this guy took the centre stage and the lab was all his. Thus, he began!

“Take a beaker full of empty!”. What he meant was for us to take an empty beaker.
“Pour water in the ascending order!” – means, pour water from the top.

We were involved in some titration experiment on that day. We were supposed to pour some liquid from the titration tube to the beaker. The guy came to our desk. “Hey, dont POUR, POUR, POUR. Always, PPOOOUUURR, PPOOOUUURR, PPOOOUUURR”. What he meant was for us to slow down the pouring process!

“Keep on shaking! After sometime, you will get a colourless yellow precipitate” – this was a masterpiece!

“After finishing the experiment, throw the sink”. He wanted us to pour the contents of the beaker into the sink.

And then, there was this guy, who would always say “My car is understanding the tree!” Matter of fact was that his car was parked under a tree.

College days were infact the golden days. Those trips to Chamundi betta before the exams, trips to the Cool Joint for a sip of Cold Coffee after the exams, those Nalpaks, Mylari’s and Mallige’s catering to our taste buds, those intense cycle stand discussions, bunking the classes and queing up for a first day first show, and of course my never-say-die tut-tuting Hero Puch! Phew! Back to reality. I have a couple of bugs to fix today and a meeting to attend!

PS: In case of some of the front benchers who might read this (although the possibility is remote), I love u all. World peace be with you!

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Test Cricket needs a change!

I have been following the happenings in the current test series between India and South Africa. The first test could have gone upto 8 days and the chances of getting a result even at the end of 8 days were grim. The second test lasted for a mere 3 days. The second test though had been a exciting one for the South Africans and the India baiters. The first one was stale. Barring Sehwag’s audacious stroke play, the first test was a real dud. The India-Pakistan Series in Dec 2007 also did produce a couple of most boring test matches.

After all, why do two teams compete for over a period of 5 days. For nothing? They strive for a win and if there is no assistance for the bowlers, how can one expect a result. For that reason, i do believe that a green top or a square turner is a better test wicket than a flat track. Whenever there is something in the wicket for the bowlers, the matches turn out to be interesting and on most occasions do produce a result. Howover, when the players realise that getting a result within the 5 days is not possible, they play out for a draw, they play for records, they conserve energy, the effort level and the commitment is of a lesser degree. This is not what one, as a spectator, wants to see.

So, how about making test cricket more interesting, more alive, especially when playing on flat tracks?
Here are a couple of suggestions:

Each test spans for around 450 overs, considering that 90 overs are bowled on each day. Each team is entitled to bat for a maximum of 225 overs. The batting team can decide on the number of overs they want to bat on each innings (e.g. 125/100 or 150/75 etc) . They can declare whenever the going gets tough, or when they had enough runs, keeping in mind that they can get to play the remaining overs in the second innings.

The second suggestion is restricting the maximum number of overs a batting team consumes during an innings to around 150. This can be implemented to only the first innings as the dynamics change during the second innings and the parameters like the Lead, etc do come into picture. The second innings can then be a lmited overs affair, based on the amount of time left in the test match.

These changes would definitely make test cricket more interesting and the players more involved and committed to the cause.

I am a fan of test cricket, but i hate boring draws!

Purists definitely are gonna oppose changes to the older format. But the authorities have to decide whether they want to cater to just the purists or they want test cricket to be more interesting and more appealing to a common man. Boring draws and 20-20 are taking the spectators away from test cricket. Test cricket does really need some drastic changes. Sooner than later.

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The Real Test

Here is a classic one from Ramachandra Guha
“In my opinion, Test cricket may be compared to the finest Scotch, 50-overs a side to Indian Made Foreign Liquor, and 20-20 to the local hooch. The addict who cannot have the first or the second will make do with the last. The pleasures of the shortest game are intense but also wholly ephemeral. There is no time to savour delights offered in such a rushed and heady fashion. The medium form allows one to take in the booze more leisurely. Here, a batsman can bat long enough to develop an innings, to play strokes other than the hoick over midwicket or mid on.

But proper cricket can only be Test cricket. Spread out over five days, the game unfolds as in an epic drama. No restrictions are placed on anyone. As with the finest Scotch, one savours every sip; and yet, as with the finest Scotch, the whole is infinitely greater than the parts.”

Check out the complete article at: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080329/jsp/opinion/story_9055430.jsp

I have often been involved in coffee table discussions wherein the debate is over Test or One-day or 20-20, which one is going to be more popular, exciting and interesting. The above liner is a clincher. I will remember that!

No doubt, that 20-20 cricket will be a crowd puller, an instant hit. The IPL has left no stone unturned by roping in popular film stars into the fray. Moreever, ShahRukh and Preity Zinta are owning cricket teams and Cricket is becoming more of a tamasha or a mega bollywood bash. This will no doubt increase the TRPs, but where will all these lead cricket to. Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the gentlemans game?

20-20 cricket is more a show of brawn over brains, strength over strategies. Be ready to see more of the upper cuts and the hoicks over the mid wicket.

The BCCI seems to be hell bent on spoiling the test cricket in the country, by preparing some of the flattest wickets ever seen for the test matches. The match at Chepauk was a dud. Sehwag provided the much needed spark, but overall, the match was a hugely forgettable one.

It was very heartening to see Dravid crossing the 10,000 runs mark at Chepauk. It is a very coveted milestone and i for one, do feel that there is no more a deserving candidate than Dravid. Javagal Srinath pours his heart out in this interview and flowers a lot many accolades (all deserving!) on dravid – http://cricketnext.com/news/dravid-an-icon-of-test-cricket-srinath/30643-14.html.

Dravid has been the No.1. batsmen for India in test cricket during the period from 2002 to 2007. There were a lot many centuries and double centuries towards a winning cause. Tendulkar was more of a dud during this period and there were occassional brilliances from him and Laxman. Ganguly, with a suspect defence, has never laid claims of being a Test great.

2007 has been an off-year for Dravid, which included the world-cup debacle and some low scores in tests. His work ethics and attitude are of the first grade and he is a role model for any youngster in any profession. I just hope that he survives at least the next 2-3 years of test cricket and scores tons of runs.

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