Posted on November 17, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET | Tags: , , , , , , , |

My apologies to Van Morrison for using the title of his song and misspelling it.

Chris Gayle showed everyone once again his ability with the bat. It is not the number of runs that are important, but the way is which the runs are scored makes for a great game of cricket. The same can be stated of Sehwag. Despite the question marks over their technique and temperament, these two are only four batsmen to score triple hundreds twice in test cricket.

It is sad that Gayle has to play alongside far ordinary colleagues in the team from the West Indies. If he would have been part of a different and a stronger team, greater recognition would surely have followed.

Sometime ago the commitment of Gayle to test cricket was questioned following his confession of greater love for T20. But then that has not prevented his from scoring 333 runs at Galle. There is another interesting thing that I find common between Gayle and Sehwag. Both can strike the ball hard over long distances and yet they have accomplished more in the longer version of the game. Since Sehwag is in the company of really good players in his team, his knocks often turn out to be match winning ones. On the other hand, Gayle has to remain on the losing side. There is Shahid Afridi who has achieved a lot in the short and the shortest format of the game, without doing much of any substance in test cricket.

Looks like with the burden of captaincy gone and with no need to give politically correct statements, Gayle has discovered new ways to liberate his soul. No longer does his batting is tied with the word ‘responsibility’.

The longer form of the game which is not exactly in the pink of health, needs players like Gayle and Sehwag. More importantly, there is a place for characters and players with attitude like Gayle. Otherwise, test cricket would become boring.

I cannot desist myself from using some lines from the song of Van Morrison even though the same praises somebody else.

Like a full force gale

I was lifted up again

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Posted on February 1, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET | Tags: , , , , |

Was it arrogance or plain foolishness on part of Afridi?

During the course of the fifth match of the one day series between Pakistan and Australia, Afridi was caught on camera having the ball in his mouth on more than one occasion. The fact that there were 27 cameras on the ground did not help Afridi.

After the match, Afridi who was standing in as captain in place of Mohammad Yousuf appeared unrepentant. He claimed that all teams were tampering with the ball and he only did that to help his team.

Within 24 hours, Afridi changed his version and now claims he was just ‘smelling’ the ball.Wonder what the Kookaburra ball is made up of that attracted Afridi! Was some pheromone the cause of all the trouble?

It is a really preposterous claim since Afridi had the ball in his mouth.

The followers of Pakistan cricket promptly came up with the allegation-unfounded that Indian players including the likes of Sachin had also tampered with the ball.

The cricketing world was busy with the antics of Afridi.Some mention was made of the ‘dirt in the pocket’ episode relating to former England captain Mike Atherton. Atherton, the self appointed critic of all things connected with Indian cricket, did not find anything illegal by applying dirt to the ball during the course of a test match.

It is time people like Afridi should be taken to task and an example needs to be set.

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