• T20 has fired up Gambhir

    Was the usual frisson missing from an IndiaPakistan encounter or did we simply think so because India won so easily at Dhaka on Tuesday night? With reports suggesting the rain clouds kept people away, the National Stadium was far from full and the ambience was somehow not the same, or so it seemed from television images.


    In such circumstances that are not overtly inspirational, the Indian team are usually the first to succumb.


    Remember the World Cup of 2007 where the team simply slumped at the Queen's Park Oval? There is, however, a new zing to the cricket of Team India now and we have to thank the IPL for it.


    By forcing players to focus their talents in a narrower range and perform against very sharp deadlines, the condensed format has opened up new vistas for Indian cricket. And yet, in Dhaka, it was the supercool head of a man who has been seen frequently to lose his bearings in the shorter forms of the game who kickstarted the Indian innings.


    One season down the road they

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  • To say the IPL was a success is to gild the lily. All the indices said so — a television audience well in excess of 100 million over 44 days, four million spectators at the grounds, TV viewership ratings in excess of 8 TRPs and record rates for 10-second spots at the final to rival US networks at primetime.

    Where the IPL goes from here is what will define world cricket. Will the ICC wake up to the reality of a player-centric popular tournament and create a window so that all, including the English players, can get into the IPL and enjoy the competition and the monetary benefit?

    If they choose to block it, it is the member countries of the ICC who will be left facing a rebellion. To stifle market forces would be to invite consequences the administration is not qualified to handle as we saw in the Packer case 30 years ago when Justice Slade came down on ICC like a ton of bricks.


    Can there ever be two IPLs in one season? That is too fanciful, perhaps a typical instance of chasing

    Read More »from IPL honchos get most things right
  • By all accounts that one has heard emanating from Australia and more recently from V.V.S. Laxman, Anil Kumble has qualified to be India's first statesman captain. It has been someone that Indian cricket has been looking for more than seven decades and when he does eventually arrive, he is 37 years old and almost ready to be put to grass in a manner of speaking.


    For long, Kumble was intrigued that he was never a candidate of the powers that be as captain, though every other aspect of his CV is probably better than his so-called rivals. Maybe, he was taught very early that they also serve who stand and wait!


    The statesman captain in the game has always been rare. As far as Indians are concerned, historically the two who come to mind at once are C.K. Nayudu and his protege, Lala Amarnath. Both were larger-than-life personalities and wielded tremendous influence on the players they led, with the odd exception. But, they captained in difficult times - with India in the throes of its

    Read More »from Kumble is India’s first statesman captain


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