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Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

Seasons in the sun

1 January 2007
Posted in: Cricket, Football, Sport | 9 Comments

Usually, I hate the best and worst lists everyone seems obsessed with at the turn of the year. But here is one little list I couldn’t help making as the curtain came down on 2006. Amidst all the beginnings and ends, those that were important to me were the retirement of three sports personalites. They all come from different parts of the world, play different sports, and will be remembered for different things.

Martina Navratilova: Having been a fan of Navratilova since I was a kid, I always regarded her as a permanent fixture in the world of tennis. It came as a shock, therefore, to realize that she was *gasp* really retiring this time! With 177 titles in a career spanning three decades, it is no surprise that she is considered one of the greatest in the game. I lost my interest in tennis a long time ago, but not in Navratilova. No stranger to controversy, she has also lent her voice in support of underprivileged children, animal rights, and gay and lesbian rights.

It feels weird to think she won’t be playing any more…

Zinédine Zidane: “Zidane’s legacy was more than the goals he scored, the titles he won, the honours he was awarded. His legacy is a testimony to the fact that good guys need not finish last.” This is what I wrote on a detailed write-up after his controversial exit from the World Cup final between France and Italy in July 2006, and that just really sums him up. Despite the head-butt incident and the red card, his inspirational leadership in the 2006 World Cup still won him the Golden Ball. He’s reputed to be a shy, simple man, but it is really hard to sum up this footballing magician, father of four, former UNDP Goodwill Ambassador…

It is said that no person can be greater than the sport, but with Zidane, it makes you wonder.

Glenn McGrath: In 2001 I made my first Web site. It was to cover the Ashes Tests between Australia and England. I called it Line and Length… after Glenn McGrath! His unerring accuracy makes him one of the deadliest bowlers in international cricket. Tthe smiling mild-mannered countenance notwithstanding, he is hated and feared by batsmen near and far. McGrath’s Test retirement will come into effect after the fifth and final Ashes Test in Syndey, Australia. He will continue playing one-day games till the World Cup later in 2007.

I know I will really miss that easy run-up and smooth delivery action. Miss those bewildered batsmen facing him. Lately I have been feeling that I’m “growing out” of cricket, and the retirement of the Waugh twins over the past years increased that. When Glenn McGrath goes, there will be a one huge reason less to watch.



This and that…

11 September 2006
Posted in: Cricket, Scratchpad | 7 Comments

Have I been neglecting my Web site and blog lately? Hmm… it does seem that way. Though, ironcially, I have never before been busier with things Webby. Apart from dealing with a little paid project, I finally got around to releasing a public design on OWD. It’s called Inspire.

Meanwhile, still keeping with the England theme, here’s a little something I forgot to mention in my earlier posts. In England I spoke for the first time to two friends whom I’ve known for a while, but all our communication had been online so far, by IM or e-mails. One is Laura O’Connor, who lives in Northern Ireland, writer of the only fan fiction based on my book! The other is Peter Perchard, former editor of the Cricketer International, whom I got to know when I used to write for the magazine. We kept in touch via e-mail subsequently, but over the past year or so had lost touch.

It was great talking to both of them—putting voices to all that text can be quite amazing!



The strangest cricket match ever!

12 March 2006
Posted in: Cricket, Sport | 6 Comments

The strangest one-day international match has just finished, and I still can’t quite believe what I saw! Batting first, Australia posted 434 for four in 50 overs. Now, even a hundred runs less than that is supposed to be enough to finish off a game. But here comes the twist: South Africa chased the target and got there!

They got there by the skin of their teeth, but they did win it. By one wicket.

Over 860 runs in 100 overs. A nail-biting finish. I hope I never get to see anything like it again!

No doubt the game will go down in the history of cricket as the “greatest” match ever played, and in the euphoria it will be forgotten that it featured two of the worst bowling performances, that too by two sides of the calibre of Australia and South Africa.

Bigger and bigger scores have ostensibly made one-day cricket a spectacle, and in the hype what is often glossed over is the fall in standards of the game, both batting and bowling. Today’s game was a perfect example of that. So, while I enjoyed myself thoroughly, for the sake of cricket I hope I never see this sort of thing again!



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