ICC

The emotional journey of the Indian fan during the WT20 – through GIFs

India came into the World T20, after a dispiriting few months where they just about lost every series, regardless of the format, since November last year. So, when it was time for the World T20 to begin and we realized that we were grouped with Pakistan, West Indies and Australia…..

 

The campaign started on a perfect note though, with a clinical win over Pakistan, but the heart refused to accept that the team would fare better in the remaining games…..

 

Then India beat defending champions West Indies in similarly convincing style. Suddenly, the expectations were kindled….

 

India rolled over Bangladesh and became the first team to enter the semifinals, which was a pleasant surprise

 

By the time Australia were brushed aside ruthlessly, confidence was sky-high

 

India faced South Africa in the semifinal, and were faced with their first challenging target of the tournament. Kohli was all like…

 

India entered the WT20 final for the second time since 2007 and anticipation was building, when it was realized that they were going to play Sri Lanka in the final.

 

Still, it was an opportunity for India to hold all three major ICC trophies at the same time…

 

India batted first. Kohli stuck some lusty blows and at the half way point, it looked like a good platform was set for the finish. Then Yuvraj happened.

 

The game was effectively over by the time Dhoni and Kohli returned to the dejected dugout. Sri Lanka duly completed the chase with Sangakkara leading the team to a memorable triumph in his last T20 international. For the India fan,

 

Then we remembered that the IPL is round the corner….

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What you need to know about the Position Paper

“I did say that the ‘Brown Ultimatum’ would have been a better idea…”

What better way to break a self-imposed blogging exile than to write about something that I have no idea about? The ‘Position Paper’, a leaked ICC draft about proposed changes to the structure and governance of the game internationally has sent the cricket world into a tizzy over the last few days. Journalists, administrators and even players have had their say on the issue, which has been roundly criticized as a naked power grab by the BCCI, with its two sidekicks in CA and ECB along for the ride. These were my first thoughts when the story broke out…

1. What kind of name is ‘Position Paper’ for a draft?

2. How did the Big Three think they could even get away with this?

3. Even by BCCI’s standards, this is preposterously ballsy. It’s as if Srini and co are seeing how far they can go…

Ultimately, we should have seen this coming. Most administrators, if not all, look after their own interests; and that is precisely what these three cricket boards are doing. Now, I am not particularly nuanced with details of finances and administration matters pertaining to the ICC and thus I am not going to attempt to explain this latest outrage; what I do care about is how this will affect me as a cricket fan. Will I still be able to follow high quality cricket between different teams? Will I still be able to follow my favorite cricketer in action in Tests? Will this finally put an end to the overkill of India vs Sri Lanka ODIs?

The following is a selection of my favorite articles on the ‘Position Paper’. These helped me to get a clearer picture of what international cricket is going to face in the coming months; and these are all that you need to read on the whole matter.

You’re welcome.

  1. My all time favorite cricket writer Jarrod Kimber in, “Tell the administrators you’re watching them
  2. Harsha Bhogle on how the “Decision to run cricket according to commercial interests will cause inequity”
  3. Russell Degnan on “Cashing out the future of cricket”
  4. “And then there were three” by Sharda Ugra
  5. Devanshu Mehta’s “The End Game”
  6. Kartikeya Date asks “What is the ECB, CA and BCCI’s Game?”

 

The Heart Of The Fix

So, there we go. With the arrest of three cricketers belonging to the Rajasthan Royals team in the IPL, for the crime of spot-fixing, widespread and long time speculations of corruption in the cash rich league have been confirmed. S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – all bowlers – were allegedly promised money ranging from US$ 36,000 to 109, 000 for conceding a specific number of runs in a particular over in three separate games. These cricketers have been charged with fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracy – a shameful list of wrongdoings which is the antithesis of sports. If proven guilty, these players are staring at the end of their careers, a considerable amount of time in prison and a lifetime of regret and guilt.

The first thought that came to my mind when I heard of the news was, “How can these guys be so stupid?”. In the last few years, spot-fixing has been firmly thrust in the spotlight; Amir and Asif during a Lord’s Test, Kaneria and Westfield in county cricket, uncapped IPL players attempting it in the Indian domestic circuit. All these players got caught and were handed appropriate punishments. The ICC and the respective national boards have revamped their anti-corruption units in recent times, while there has been an increase in efforts to better educate the players as to what to do when they are approached by bookies and which authorities to contact when it happens. Spot-fixing has been pretty much publicized and recognized as a new scourge of cricket all over the world, and yet three well paid cricketers, one a Test player, have likely sacrificed promising careers in the pursuit of “just a little more $”.

Sure, there will be a bunch of detractors gunning for the tournament. Any league which throws around the amount of cash it does will always be a ripe target for bookies. Added to it, is the lopsided difference in salaries between team-mates at a particular franchise; a seasoned player getting much less than a supposed T20 specialist is as susceptible to approaches by undesirable elements as an uncapped rookie who earns barely a fraction of the highest paid players in his team. These and other points by IPL detractors are pertinent and not to be ignored. At the same time, these should not distract from the core issue – the susceptibility of these players who fall prey to greed.

Spot fixing or match fixing is not just confined to the IPL; in fact, it is not even confined to the game of cricket. It permeates just about every major sports in the world to varying degrees. One can’t wash his hands off watching sports altogether, just for that. The problem is not a specific format or a tournament; the problem is the man who is willing to compromise his morals, ethics and integrity to satisfy his greed and in the process, deceives his team-mates, fans, coaches, family and himself.  And its not a problem that is going to go away easily.

The game of cricket is lucky to have some extraordinary players who entertain with their talent, inspire with their courage and make us loyal fans with their commitment. In a nutshell, that is the essence of sports. A few bad eggs (a term which is all the rage right now!) should not shake our faith in the game or its players. You can form all the anti-corruption units in the world, educate the players every day about the scourge of fixing, provide better salaries – but there will always be a few for whom greed pervades over all other factors. So, much like the War on Terror, the fight against corruption in sports will have to be an ongoing exercise; there will be setbacks along the way but it must never end. More importantly, never let a select few sully your love of the game.

Dravid for President (ICC)

Class. Insight. Humor. Vision. Solutions.

One of the more eloquent players in international cricket today, Rahul Dravid delivered a masterclass at the Bradman Oration in Canberra, as he has done so many times with the bat for India. Following on the heels of an equally impressive speech by Kumar Sangakarra at Lord’s earlier this year, Dravid addressed all the key concerns facing the game today, and more importantly laid out solutions for them. Is it too much to expect him to rise to the top annals of ICC, after his retirement?

Full text of the speech and audio of the Bradman Oration

Analysis by CricInfo

ICC bows to public pressure…..now, thats change!

Well, well….I didn’t see that coming. The ICC have decided to re-assess their decision to remove the Associates from the next World Cup. It could all end up to be an eye-wash with no major changes to the original decision; but the very fact, that the ICC could be shaken out of its perpetual slumber due to popular opinion is a lovely thought.

Here’s to hoping that they choose any of the options listed in this article.