Sunday (December 4) was a day of hard-hitting stories and controversy, from the possibility of the Board of Control for Cricket in India cancelling the two rescheduled Ranji Trophy games to the soup the Hyderabad Cricket Association has found itself in.
It wasn’t all serious though. There was a lighter take on cricket in The Hindu, and a rather intriguing piece on why it’s fun to not watch cricket from time to time.
While a couple of members of the technical committee revealed to The Hindu that the technical committee had never been convened to discuss the issue, some of the senior office-bearers pointed out that the senior tournament committee — and not the technical committee — can decide on the possible rescheduling. Sourav Ganguly, the chief of Cricket Association of Bengal, incidentally, chairs the BCCI technical committee.
According to the report, the anti-corruption bureau has raised various allegations covering financial irregularities amounting to Rs 87.91 crore. From purchasing gold coins to distributing them to 22 executive committee members, to taking unsecured temporary loans from unknown individuals, forged cheques, Income Tax authorities attaching land for non-payment of taxes, irregularities between actuals and budgeted amount, and spending Rs 24.3 crore on constructing a canopy at Uppal Stadium are some of the other discrepancies highlighted in the report.
Kirti Azad said that apart from several allegations of proxy companies, over-age players selected in the under 16 team and 62 Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the DDCA had served alcohol in its clubs on January 25, August 15 and October 2. “This is an insult to national honour,” he said.
So far, IPL’s Governing Council (GC) had one meeting where the BCCI top honchos took a call on the tentative dates of the IPL auction and the dates of the league. Therefore not only is the BCCI anxiously waiting for the Apex Court to pass its final order on December 5, but the IPL teams are also holding their breath. They are eager to ensure that no more delay takes place in the preparations.
England have suffered in the current series because they opted for attrition over controlled aggression after winning a huge psychological advantage in the first Test. This allowed India to find their bearings and turn the tables on them. Not making an attempt to dominate the bowling was inviting trouble. To get the better of Indian spinners on Indian pitches, it is imperative to take the attack to them. Dour defence as a tactic can work only in brief spells.
Is it the swing of the willow being quite similar to the arc the golf club makes that attracts cricketers to this classy sport? It is a sport that leaves no scope for cheating or doping. It is a clean sport at all levels and earned an exalted international sporting status due to achievers like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player….
As much as traditionalists who would like to think children are being inspired to play by young opener Matt Renshaw’s forward defence rather than T20’s agricultural hoiks, it is patently obvious the BBL has made cricket cool again. And not just with kids.
Cricket is a great sport to not watch. That sounds suspiciously like an insult but is far from it. Cricket is, of course, the greatest sport in the world to watch. In several ways, though, it is a sport that well suits the non-watching spectator – an oxymoronic rather than moronic term.
Steven Smith: We told Glenn in front of the group and that can be embarrassing and confronting. Hopefully the message gets across and he can learn and start having a bit more respect for everybody around the game. Glenn is available for selection tomorrow for the first Chappell-Hadlee clash at my favourite cricket venue in the world, the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Coming in the wake of the ‘Homework’ scandal that was to define the tour, Haddin says it underlined Arthur’s insecurity in the top job. “I’d let it go when he said that in Adelaide but this time it was hard to cop,” Haddin writes of Arthur, the current Pakistan coach who returns to Australia this month for the three-Test series beginning December 15. “I said, ‘Mate, you’re kidding. I’ve had enough of this. You’ve just told me that I’m the best player in my position and you’re not picking me for a Test match. You’ve got this all wrong. I’m out. Leave me alone.’ “I walked away from him past Nathan Lyon, who’d been within earshot of the whole exchange. He said a quiet, ‘Good work, Hadds,’ as I went by.”
Dawson is a plucky character, who will probably be an important member of the ODI squad after Christmas. He’s a combative cricketer and a fine fielder, which impresses the head coach, Trevor Bayliss; he is, however, essentially a batsman who bowls. No doubt he would love to play in Mumbai – and clearly his attitude has impressed those in charge of the Lions – but he seems suitably realistic about what he can offer.