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Thank You

I am trying to gather my thoughts, but I’m failing miserably.

This could well be a rambling post.

I can’t eulogize my all time favorite player like much better talented writers have recently; but I have to write something about the man who is responsible for my cricket addiction. I have to express my thoughts about a player who made me fall in love with the game at a very young age. Eden Gardens in 1996 may have been in flames, but Sachin Tendulkar walked out of the stadium and the semifinal a superhero in my eyes; and became a personal obsession I just couldn’t shake off over the next two decades.

I have to write something; but I can’t.

Words fail me. Even if I do manage to string a few sentences together, it’s not gonna do Sachin any justice.

So, I’m just going to say a non-cynical ‘Thank You Sachin’.

Thank you for the autograph you gave me as a kid, when I had no idea who you were.

Thank you for the privilege of watching you grow into a legend.

Thank you for being imperfect and reminding everyone that it is possible to excel even if one is not at their best.

Thank you for your love of the game.

Lastly, thank you for your two consecutive sixes in the only Test I have watched live in a stadium!

Sachin in Chennai 2013

I cried because of cricket for the first time when Tendulkar got stumped in the 1996 World Cup semifinal in Calcutta.

And I will cry for the last time when Tendulkar waves his final goodbye in Mumbai.

Au revoir, legend!

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India’s Youth Transformation Has Been A Long Time In The Making

Ducking Beamers: A Cricket Blog

When India won the Champions Trophy, Nasser Hussain (and a few others) marveled at how quickly India has filled the holes left behind by out-of-form/retiring legends (such as Yuvraj, Sehwag, Zaheer, Tendulkar). I’m not sure “quickly” is the right word — since at least the 2007 World Cup, India’s official policy (first formed by Greg Chappell) has been to find and support younger players. A number of players currently at the top of their games — Dhawan, Karthik, Jadeja, Rohit Sharma — are on second-run tours in the national team, and it took a fair while before India dropped non-performing seniors (both in the Test and ODI formats of the game).

Am I merely quibbling with an off-hand remark? My point is that other teams in search of new batting talent (like Australia and Pakistan and the West Indies) should not think that India’s current largesse is the magical inevitability…

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Complicit

Limited Overs

It is a shockingly aggressive accusation of everyone, including myself, that was watching the IPL final on Sunday. And it has taken me a couple of days to figure how exactly I feel about it.

On the one hand, it was kind of a buzz kill. Not in a bad way, mind you, because when else should one make such a statement? Before the match when no one is paying attention? After the match when everyone has stopped caring? No: you make it during the final itself, when Twitter is crawling with IPL fans. To do it any other time would be cowardly.

But it did make me feel like a bit of a chump.

Which brings me to my other hand: he was…

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Crime and lack of punishment

Smoke Signals

A small story on the front page of the Times of India, May 10, merits some attention. The money quote:

Some will still recall the famous episode in which he broke down a door after being dismissed at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla during an India-West Indies Test in 1983.

(Sir Vivian) Richards recounted, “Someone called me up the night before in the hotel. It was an anonymous call. He said, ‘Mr Richards? You don’t know me but if I were you tomorrow I’d be careful of (the umpire). The next day, I got hit on the pads. The ball wouldn’t have hit another set (of stumps). Kapil just sort of went ‘aah’ (gesticulating disappointment) and I was given out. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finger going up. You never heard about match-fixing and all that stuff so I don’t know what was going on then.”

The story…

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Tremendously well written by @limitedovers

Limited Overs

In my last blog, I mentioned how I didn’t have the same connections to cricket that others have. Kolkata 2001 does not remind me of moving to America, for instance.

Well, this is my attempt at fixing that, without causing too many ripples in the space-time continuum.

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Sometime after the India vs Australia series, most cricket fans, be they casual or serious, Indian or otherwise, fully expect Sachin Tendulkar to retire from Test cricket.

24 years, 196 Tests, 15,746 runs, 51 centuries, and God only knows how many balls faced.

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Sachin made his Test debut on November 15th, 1989, as a 16 year old. It was against Pakistan in Karachi. He scored 15 off of 28 balls before being bowled by Waqar Younis.

Six weeks before he did so, on a sunny Autumn morning in Minneapolis, minutes after finishing the Twin Cities Marathon, my dad died of a massive…

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Good to know that I have a healthy strike rate….

Limited Overs

(Parts one, two, and three are here, here, and here.)

This is it. This is the big one.

Below you will find everyone* on Twitter that covers cricket, in one aspect or another, sorted by number of followers, number of tweets, number of accounts following, and Twitter Strike Rate (Twitter SR).

*Not everyone who covers cricket, as I am sure I missed some. Please suggest any and all that I have missed and I will add them.

*

Note: Twitter Strike Rate is the term coined by @paperstargirl for the stat I invented,  formerly known as “Tweets per Follower” or “TPF”.

Simply put, Twitter Strike Rate is the number of tweets divided by the number of followers. The lower the number, the more effective the social media campaign…supposedly. It is by no means scientific.

As an example, ECB’s Twitter SR is .05, which means they are earning…

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@DustbinCricket at the acerbic best…

Thoughts from the Dustbin

… is not on this year, because apparently I’m just being bitchy, while “real” cricket fans are more concerned with who wins.

Wait a minute … I couldn’t give a shit what they think. If they have a problem, they can feel free not to read any further. Here we go …

The winner of the “Why, oh why?” award:

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The Winner of the “Thank God he’s got money” award:

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The winner of the “Good Lord young lady, you really can do better” award:

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The winner of the “Ye Gads” award:

2013+Allan+Border+Medal+Es24liQfjicl

The winner of the “something died on his head” award:

2013+Allan+Border+Medal+SVwJ_IsUe29l

The winner of the “Shoulder pads and bad hair” award and the “Looking stupid gets us attention, because we are no one’s favourite anymore” award:

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The winner of the “Someone forgot to turn off the sunbed” award:

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And, finally, my personal favourite – the “five rolls of dress tape”…

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Ducking Beamers: A Cricket Blog

In economic circles, a major debate concerns the nature of the Great Recession. One school holds that the downturn is just another ride down the familiar cycle of boom and bust, while the other argues that it reflects instead structural issues that are unlikely to go away soon (like, say, a workforce ill-adapted for the tech age). It occurs to me that such language — if not the rigorous tools of economics — might also be useful to discuss Indian cricket’s current malaise. (By now, I think it should be fairly well-accepted that there is a problem in Indian cricket; the English did as much as they could to settle the matter last month.)

The Cyclical Case: I fear that the Indian selectors largely hold true to the business cycle model; how else to explain their obsessive loyalty to Sehwag, Gambhir and Co., after so many defeats? Their argument goes…

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Some poignant thoughts on Sachin….

Limited Overs

This post inspired by Subash’s post over on the Cricket Couch.

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In less than three hours, Sachin Tendulkar will walk out to play his 194th, and quite possibly last, Test match for India.

I am not saying he should or should not retire, or that he will or will not retire, that decision lies solely with him, for he and he alone knows if there are runs left in his bat, and he has earned the right to make the decision himself, but the point remains: come Monday evening, he could very well be walking off the pitch wearing the Indian whites for the very last time.

Only 39 years old, and it feels as though I am writing his obituary.

And that’s the thing about athletes, they achieve so much when they are still so young – the average Olympian is only 26 years old, for instance –…

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