Monday, June 27, 2005

Life of Cricket


ICC has come up with new rules for one day matches. Field restrictions for 20 overs with lot of intricacies. A team can have 12 players, and I find rules strange enough to confuse me cricket for football. Making the game shorter kills the real interest and changing the players rule is like killing its soul. ICC wants cricket to be more attractive, innovative and crowd pulling. 20-20 format has also been introduced. All this is to increase the popularity of the game, which is limited to former English colonies.
But isn’t ICC, in an effort to make the game more entertaining, turning cricket into baseball. First let’s get our basics clear. Cricket is a game which requires tons of patience, not only on the part of players, but also on the part of followers. If one is a real connoisseur, ask him about his preference between test cricket and the faster versions of the game. Test cricket still beats them as far as real cricketing thrill is concerned. The game was invented for the upper class men of English society. They had sufficient time in their hands. In those days, the game did not need great deal of fitness levels as compared to other games.
If you look at the picture of father of cricket, W. G. Grace, and call him physically fit to play any outside sports, than I would call myself as Superman. He was a human bulldozer.
But as time moved on, Union jack started returning back to Britain. And cricket had to find new supporters in form of locals of former British colonies. It had to compete with local games as well. Life also became a lot faster. Games demanding lesser time like basketball, football became bigger threat for cricket. Most of Caribbean talent goes to games like basket ball and foot ball. And we all know the stage of West-Indian cricket.
Hence need to bring the shorter version of cricket was felt. For over 30 years, 50 over format have been very popular. But over last few years, even this shorter version has not been as successful as it should have been. So ICC has decided to bring new rules to keep people interested in the game.
But are these rules not killing the soul of the game. They are killing bowlers. All over the world pitches are as dead as a glass shield. A score of 300, which was a rarity, not so long ago, has become regularity. Bouncers rule, new body protections and 15 over restrictions means anyone can come down the track and throw his bat around, not matter who is bowling. And with 20-20 format, cricket looks more like baseball. But still ICC keeps tilting the rules towards batsmen. And this is what killing the interest of people, probably more than its time taking capacity. 80% of the ODI are one sided and boring. Why the hell I would spend 8 hours watch cricket. And if you shorten the game and make it more batsmen friendly, it will become even more boring.
If we want cricket to survive as a game, first accept one thing. Its future is not going to be very bright. Because life is going to become even more fast and we are going to have lesser chances of spending 8 hours or 5 days on entertainment. So why not choose a niche of followers rather than appealing to masses. Let it have the format it has, better cure the basic reason. Better make the game more balanced by improving the rules and state of pitches all over the world. ICC should make a panel of curators which will be responsible for cricket-friendly pitches all over the globe. On the same hand they can continue their experiment with things like 20-20 versions. But believe me, test cricket sought a shorter alternative almost 100 years of its birth, but it’s still surviving. ODI format has started looking for even shorter version to support the game even before it is 35 years old. Shorter versions will have even shorter life.
Cricket is not going to survive as a sport for a long period of time. So better let it live its original life and make it better.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

First Day at "Work"

At last I have a shelter in the office. When one is a new joinee, a place to rest your butts is such a luxury, forget getting a comp or work. My boss is a reincarnation of Indira Gandhi. Dunno why all these so called ambitious females prefer to be short haired? I am fighting it hard to keep my hair on my head and they........Seems like they prefer some wait only 45 centimeters below their head. Females................aha......although there is some good crowd in the organization, seems like it has rushed away from my floor as soon as I joined. Only hot babe on my floor is some 40 seats away from me. And she is a walking beauty parlor. I've never been able to understand one thing. How come all these chicks always look so fresh and presentable, even if they come to office at 5 in the morning. Gawd..... I hardly get time to reply to nature's call ni the morning. I wish all solid could be converted to gas. Haa....Haa.....in that case I would have been sitting alone in this office. I've had SOME reputation, ask my college friends.
Coming back to work. Its the same age old problem....wht the hell I am doing, Its not what I wanted to do, I'll quit. But where ever I see, its all the same..............so do what???..............just chat, surf net earn and njoi mann..............

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Reverse sweep, trains and Love.

1987 world cup final. England slowly but surely nearing a great victory. Mike Gatting is playing well and involved in consolidating partnership. And suddenly he tries to show the world his innovative side. Plays a reverse sweep and there starts the same old story.........wickets after wickets and England’s dream to win the world cup, that too playing arch rivals in the final match, is shattered. As expected, one question made Gatting's life hell..."Why the @#$% you played that shot?” His answer has always been the same. He has no regrets playing that stroke.
Reverse sweep is really a strange shot. Looks really innovative and deceiving for the fielding side when it comes off. And if you fail, you regret playing. People around you make sure you really regret it. It’s like love. Love looks good, feels heavenly only when it comes off. But when it does not, everything around you put enough petrol into your arse to make sure it’s always on fire. And like reverse sweep, you think 10 times before doing it again if you have failed in your first attempt. But like reverse sweep in modern day cricket, love is fast becoming a more frequent event in a persons life.
But when people claim they are in love, I wonder if they are really in, or it’s just like a middle way station during a long train journey. Sometimes that little station becomes the rail yard and people crib for the rest of their lives, “Kaash gaddi mein thoda aur diesel hota". Station which seems like a yard might just turn out to be a station and vice versa. But you are in love, make sure you do not stop you train in a big junction. Probability of fatal accidents in a junction is much more than anywhere else. If you are lucky, you might stop at a brand new station. But number of trains has always been more than the number of stations. And where do you see brand new stations these days? Each one has been parked by some other starin before you reach there. Does not matter until parking takes precedence over inaugurating te stations.AAhhh............if even after being romantically challenged, I can compare it with so many real life scenarios, love must be such a wonderful feeling.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Being Busy......

How to manage stress in corporate world? How to let your professional life not affect your personal life? How to manage work pressure? How to.....blah blah....... Psychologists earn tons of money answering these questions. And people pay. And I wonder. But where the hell is work pressure. During 20 months of pre-post graduation and these 2 months after post graduation, my only worry has been....how to pass my time.......leave apart passing it productively or constructively.In my first job, for first 6 months I was in training. And believe me, it was a paid holiday. And then started my corporate life. I was put in a project team which was called Integrated Testing Team. Sounds gr8, isn't????.....Go jump mannn.....For next one and half years all I did was to click on a link and go out for a coffee. Because you are lucky, the link takes at least 20 minutes to open. And you are not, and lady luck has rarely been on my side, time goes up to an hour. So in a working day of 8 hours, my work was to click 7-8 links, and go home. Only pressure I felt was, how to reduce my expenditure due to number of coffee breaks I was taking those days.Next two years were of higher studies at a place where I forgot the difference between days and nights. Not that I was slogging my arse out studying..... Try playing AOE on LAN, you'll also become a nocturnal. And in my second job, I am busy either chatting or writing blogs.My friends wish for some peace in their work life, I wish for work. This industry is simply great. Otherwise where else I'll get paid, just for chatting, playing solitaire, writing shitty blogs and then forcing my friends to read it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Chappel Way!!!!

After so much of hype and propaganda, finally BCCI managed to hire a foreign coach. That too, an expansive, high profile and highly expressive Greg Chappel. And Chappel has launched himself into Indian cricket. Every morning you can read his post-mortem report in the news papers. Tendulkar is past his prime, Kumble cannot bat, Laxman may be a good batsman but a pedestrian on the field. Only person who has survived his eye opening comments is Ganguly. May be he fears Ganguly. No big deal. Every Australian does that in the name of respect.Seems like BCCI has hired him to address media and not to coach the team. The word coach has become bigger then it should be and the season has not yet started, forget producing results.I hope India does well under Greg Chappel and he proves to be better then John Wright. But if it does not happen, and with past track record we can say that Indian team will always be an Indian team, then what???.........Why pick someone in the side who thinks of himself as a star even before the season has started? Why not get someone, like Dave Whatmore, who has a proven track record? But Dave was snatched from us by Bangladesh. Would you believe it? Or may be BCCI is too generous for our neighbors, "Let them AK-47, we can afford to experiment with a much heard off but never tested gun." And we all know, if the team does well, like a true Australian, Greg will take all the credit (Remember Agarkar- Denis Lille episode). And if we do not, "Indians do not have the attitude."A coach acts like a facilitator, a motivator, a sink and like an analyst. As the modern cricket history goes, barring very few exceptions, great cricketers do not make very good captains. SO can be said about coaches. A coach should be a person who knows how a player can be made more successful, but more importantly what can cause his downfall. And there lies the difference between a great player and an ordinary one. For greats, everything comes naturally but ordinary mortals have to strive hard with very little margin for error. They not only become aware of dos and don’ts, but also their extreme implications. And when they coach, they can provide knowledge and experience of more width, death and variety. That’s why ordinary cricketers make better coaches. Be it Dave Whatmore or Bob Woolmer, John Wright or Sandeep Patil, they were all good cricketers not great. In spite of being a flamboyant batsman, Sandeep Patil does not have a great test record. Ajit Wadekar was a good captain and fielder but not a great cricketer and his record says that. And taking Javed Miyadad as an example, whenever he was coach for Pakistan, words like stability and sanity were eluded from the Pakistani side.Does this not prove my point that appointing Greg Chappel as a coach could be a risky move? There will be ego clashes, there will be trouble and looking at his attitude in media, seems like he more interested in building on his celebrity status then coaching India. A low profile coach could have been much better for already much hyped and star studded Indian side.But again, cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and with Indian team, they have a track record of doing well when least expected and vice-versa. And, this season, I am not expecting them to do well. I hope they prove me wrong. Let Chappel take all the credit, who cares he deserves it or not, we all want India to do well.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A day without time in my hands.

I had the best possible start for the day. And as I was enjoying it, suddenly a bizzare uneasiness creeped in. My wristwatch was missing. Its a beautiful Titan watch and one of the very few gifts I have received in my life. Eversince I got this watch, probably it is the first day when I forgot to put it on.
The watch was gifted to me by my late grandfather. As everyone I respected him a lot. And whenever I looked at his nameplate, respact grew bigger. It was a huge one, and just below his name it was written a statement, MSc First. Being intellectually challenged,I've always had request for academecians. Althoug later I came to know that First did not signify First division, it was there signifying that he could complete only first year of his MSc. It was a statement informing correction misunderstood for seeking appreciation.
Coming back to my watch, again and again I look at my wrist just to realize its not there. These gizmos change your life style completely. Does that not prove a point? Man has become a slae to a seven letter word called science. Although life is a lot faster these days, world is much smaller but all this is killing a huge fun of life. Element of surprise in day to day life. You move out of college, all your friends goto different places to explore new venture. It will be a really enjoyable experience if a very good friend suddenly appears in front of you after considerable period of time. And thn you realize how someone can change with time and things like that. But what shit????......Inaccessiblity is a luxury these days. Y! will not let you hide. If there were emails in 70's, manmohan desai would have been a flop with his 'lost and found' formula.
And your cell phone can trace you to your toilet. And privacy is getting killed. Oho....to hell with that. When someone's privacy gets murdered, its fun for others. So have fun. Weren't latest Asmit Patel-Rima Sen or Shahid Kapoor-Kareena Kapoor video enjoyable? And if you disagree with it, its all about making the world transparent by easing out the availability of information.
One more look at my watch and it's time to go home. So I am off.....