AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarion.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • Shades of B&H World Championship in India’s campaign

    [ODDBALL THEORIES] Startling similarities connect India’s twin ODI triumphs of 1983 and 1985 with their performances in the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.

    They say India’s 1983 World Cup win was the greatest cricketing upset. Man to man, Kapil Dev’s ragtag bunch paled in comparison to Clive Lloyd’s West Indies. But that ragtag bunch had it in them to beat the Caribbean giants.


    Before anybody could say ‘fluke’, India produced another momentous performance when they went to Australia in 1985 and won the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket. It was the biggest ODI tournament outside the World Cup, and the first – and last – of its kind. It featured all the seven full members of the ICC at the time: Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka.



    Thirty years later, history seems to be repeating itself. India, the 2011 World Cup winners, are performing brilliantly in the Champions Trophy, which currently is the biggest ODI tournament outside the World Cup, and this is also the last time this tournament will be played.



    India, having beaten South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan, need to win two more games Read More »from Shades of B&H World Championship in India’s campaign
  • Forget Srinivasan, here's why Dhoni should resign

    The India captain profits from the incomes of Raina, Ojha, Jadeja -- players managed by a firm he owns.

    Speak no evil.

    In 2011, we pointed out that something’s rotten in India’s team selections.

    Many cricketers such as Dhoni and Harbhajan have business interests in talent spotting and management companies. As for Dhoni, he has a clear commercial interest in picking players backed by Rhiti Sports — Harbhajan, RP Singh and Suresh Raina.

    Could this explain why Harbhajan was given a long rope despite his horrifically bad form and how RP is back when he wasn’t even part of India’s plans all this while?

    Despite the wonderful things that Dhoni has done as captain, it is worrying that some of his selections may have not been influenced by cold, hard cricketing reason. If so, it betrays a cricket-loving public that believes these men represent them, the republic of India, the tri-colour, and not a management firm.

    And here’s confirmation that the fears were not unfounded. Economic Times reports:

    Is there a conflict of interest between MS Dhoni the businessman and MS Dhoni the Indian cricket team captain? ET
    Read More »from Forget Srinivasan, here's why Dhoni should resign
  • Evidence that Meiyappan is the Chennai team owner

    Gurunath Meiyappan

    The latest statement from the CSK camps beggars belief. Here it is in full:

    PRESS  RELEASE

    May 24, 2013

    India Cements clarifies that Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan is neither the Owner, nor CEO / Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings.  Mr. Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management Team of Chennai Super Kings.

    India Cements follows zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately.  India Cements assures full co-operation with BCCI and the Law Enforcement authorities.

    TS Raghupathy
    Executive President
    The India Cements Ltd.

    The trouble with this statement is that is seems to be a brazen attempt by the CSK management (led by N. Srinivasan) to disassociate themselves from Meiyappan. Unfortunately for them, there's plenty of evidence proving Meiyappan was indeed the the team principal cum owner of the team.

    Let's begin with Meiyappan's Twitter profile: (Here is also the cached link because the profile has been updated)


    Here are cached Read More »from Evidence that Meiyappan is the Chennai team owner
  • Zero tolerance? Right!

    It needs more than BCCI's lip service to rid cricket of match-fixing.


    There was a moment during N. Srinivasan’s press conference when he was at pains to explain how surprised and shocked he was with the most recent spot-fixing scandal. “But I am shocked,” he said, “the BCCI is shocked. This was not expected.” That was the moment many indignant smiles would have broken out across many living rooms around India. The BCCI president’s “shock” seemed contrived, almost a comically desperate attempt to show a betrayed nation that the BCCI were completely above this muck, completely unaware that they had been harbouring three greedy rascals in their fold.

    It was a classic play from the BCCI book of denials. Whenever there’s trouble, deny any knowledge of it. The more you deny, the less accountable you become. This was true during the Chandrachud Commission in 1997 where a bunch of cricketers and administrators routinely denied any knowledge of corruption. To them, it didn’t happen. Months later, most of them were caught on video during a sting operation offeringRead More »from Zero tolerance? Right!
  • When Bradman made 100 in 22 balls

    REWIND — Impressed by Gayle’s achievements? Read about what Sir Donald did in 1931.


    “There was always been a sort of aura surrounding fast centuries,” once said the great Don Bradman, himself the owner of many unbelievably fast hundreds.

    Two days ago, Chris Gayle scored one in 30 balls in an IPL match against Pune Warriors. It is the fastest hundred on record in all forms of professional cricket. But Bradman being Bradman achieved something even more mind-boggling during the course of a village game on November 2, 1931.

    Up in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales is a village called Blackheath. On the fateful day, Bradman and his colleague from the New South Wales Sheffield Shield team, Oscar Wendell Bill, had been invited to a game against Lithgow. The game was meant for the inauguration of a new concrete pitch at their oval.

    “The Lithgow experiment was new to me in that I had never seen a pitch with a malthoid top,” Bradman said many years later. “I’m still not sure if it was laid on a bitumen base or on concrete but it was perfectly flat and very smooth.”

    Turf

    Read More »from When Bradman made 100 in 22 balls
  • Bumrah makes a mark

    The young Mumbai seamer took three wickets against Bangalore on his IPL debut.

    Bumrah celebrates Kohli's wicket. The talking point ahead of the Bangalore-Mumbai game was Jasprit Bumrah, a 19-year-old seamer from Ahmedabad who was handpicked by the Mumbai Indians after a decent show in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

    ALSO SEE: RCB vs MI | Match Photos

    Bumrah, yet to play a First Class game, took 10 wickets for Gujarat in the tournament. His bowling action caught the eye today, as did his three wickets on IPL debut.

    He completes his short run-up with small steps a la Guy Whittal. He has a whippy arm action that reminds you of Sohail Tanvir, and his right-arm is so frighteningly straight during the release, you wonder how it manages to generate those speeds of 130-plus KMPH. The traces of grass on the Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket helped too.

    It’s the sort of strange action you’d spot in the maidaans or at club games where there are no coaches to meddle with young players. Kapil Dev commented that the awkwardness of the action reminded him of Colin Croft.

    Bumrah was handed his Mumbai cap today by

    Read More »from Bumrah makes a mark
  • Whither continuity of thought?

    India’s selectors are more inconsistent than the youths they so casually pick and drop.

    Remember Parwinder Awana?

    Anybody who has ever been a success at anything will tell you this: it helps to have a goal, and it helps to have a plan to reach that goal. In academics, business, sport, or any walk of life, setting goals is the first step towards success. But a shifting goalpost only produces scattershot results.

    This is why the Australian teams over the years have been so tough to beat. They clearly identify what they want to win, they identify the players who will help them win, and they don’t stop. After 1999, they planned on winning the 2003 World Cup, and then again in 2007. Even with a depleted side in 2011, they made the quarterfinals. And now, even with the retirements of their great players, it’s still tough to beat them as West Indies found out over the course of five ODIs.

    Despite the passage of generations — from Border to Taylor to Waugh and Ponting to Clarke — Australia’s cricketing ideology has been unwavering. In every era they have relentlessly pursued the same goal: of winning Read More »from Whither continuity of thought?
  • Amarnath, Srinivasan & the art of talking straight

    And why self-serving sound-bytes are not going to help Indian cricket.

    Facing Imran, Roberts and Holding was easy compared to fighting political battles. There’s a memorable passage in the cult 1976 film Network. In it, the chairman of a large American broadcast company gets angry with his deranged news anchor whose on-air rant has jeopardised the company’s impending sale to a Saudi conglomerate.

    The chairman vents his anger thus: “There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion — of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet.”

    So it is in Indian cricket. There are players and administrators, selectors and presidents, friends and foes. But the centre of their universe is the green-coloured bill. Dollars above all else. Cricketers are brands which need to be fully milked for

    Read More »from Amarnath, Srinivasan & the art of talking straight
  • The twilight saga

    India's best way forward is not going back to their jaded veterans, but moving ahead with youngsters.

    Players like Kohli, Pujara and Ashwin are India's best bet.

    Miss Wormwood: What state do you live in?

    Calvin: Denial.

    The apocalypse is truly upon us. Not the one the 2012 doomsayers have been predicting, but the one in the Indian cricket establishment that has hit a new low after the recent losses to England.

    There are embarrassments, and then there is this. It is the kind of moment where one starts entertaining thoughts of dumping the whole team to build a new one. To find a more thorough humiliation of a Test-playing country, you would have to go back to 1976 when England captain Tony Greig unwittingly announced to the world that he would make the visiting West Indians grovel.

    Clive Lloyd’s boys whipped England mercilessly through that summer, and now Alastair Cook has buried MS Dhoni’s side in the dustbowls laid for them. Buried with them is the shard of respectability that came from being heavyweights at home. The epitaph carries their last words: “We will show them at home.”

    Where do we start with India’s problems? There had been Read More »from The twilight saga
  • The law is an ass

    ICC’s recent rule changes favouring batsmen will make cricket dull.

    Kumble is the latest chairman of ICC's cricket committee that suggests changes to playing conditions. One of the earliest rules of cricket that needed amendment pertained to run-outs. Cricketers in the 16th and 17th century didn’t have the stumps and bails that we have now. They had actual stumps (of trees) and actual wickets (wooden gates). All runs had to be run because there were no fours and sixes for hits that travelled far. To complete a run, a batsman had to plonk his bat into a hole in the ground. But while doing so, if a fielder deposited the ball in the hole first, the batsman would be run-out.

    This led to situations where bowlers would reach for the hole only to find his hand being crushed by the batsman thrusting his willow into the same hole. Painful injuries resulted. Hence came the need to find a safer way to complete a run or effect a run-out. This was a natural, logical, need-based evolution of the game.

    Today, the job of modifying the laws of international cricket rests in the hands of ICC’s cricket committee. The committee – a group of cricketers and administrators –

    Read More »from The law is an ass

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