Archive for October, 2005

Umpire Gadget

October 28, 2005

My turn to jump in on the technology debate going on at Cricinfo.

Most of what I would want to say has been covered by S Rajesh.¬ Most surprising to me was Sambit Bal’s (who still remains one of my favorite cricket writers) asinine excuse of life being unfair.¬ Fairness is the one of the foundations of human civilization, and while life may not be fair all the time, we constantly strive to make it so.

Here then is my suggestion of how technology¬ can be used in cricket right away without interfering too much with the flow of the game.¬ The umpire makes all decisions as at present.¬ Any side can appeal (re-appeal?) any decision made by the umpire as many times as¬ they want¬ in a game, so long as the technology favors their stance.¬ If a team ends up twice on the wrong side of the technical analysis, it loses the right to dispute¬ any further¬ decisions.¬ This will keep such re-appeals to a minimum, with it coming into play only when a team is sure the on-field umpire’s decision was wrong.¬ If technology proves to be inconclusive, the on-field umpire’s decision stands.

I am nonchalant about whether the third umpire gets to use Hawk-Eye, Snick-o-meter, and other gadgets.¬ From what we saw in the super series, the third umpire gets the decisions right most of the time without any help from the above-mentioned innovations.¬ This might not be perfect, but should be pretty close to it.¬ And therein I disagree with Martin Williamson that we need to “go the whole hog” were we to tread the techonological path.

I think this is the best solution in light of¬ the concerns expressed¬ on¬ Cricinfo.¬ Let the rebuttals flow in.

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Fifty50: A bowler’s nightmare

October 25, 2005

I think the Indian masses are ready for Twenty20.¬† In fact, they yearn for it so much that the Indian cricket management is compelled to serve pancakes for pitches match after match.¬† I just saw India score 350 against Sri Lanka, and what’s more, Sri Lanka might still be fancying its chances (remember when Pakistan nearly chased down a similar total against India in Spring 2004?).¬† A lot of people complain about¬†the ludicrous number of records being set in games involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, yet this circus goes uncriticized.

Tendulkar’s return to international cricket was eagerly watched by many, and you can expect scrolls and scrolls of reports about his “brilliant” innings.¬† The fact of the matter is, unlike Pathan’s innings, Tendulkar’s¬†was far from fluent.¬† There were plenty of mistimed shots, missed run out chances, heaves that failed to connect, and a dropped catch too.¬† He was far from his best, and that was partly expected.¬† What was pleasing, however, was his attacking style of play.¬† He¬†frequently danced¬†down the track (even to Vaas), and that’s something he hasn’t been willing to do of late.¬† If this is a sign of things to come, we can expect some terrific entertainment in the last few years of his career.

Reality Cricket

October 24, 2005

Well, isn’t it all?¬† The newest knock-off of The Apprentice is here: Scorpio Speedsters.¬† Sounds interesting.¬† I hope¬†it will help¬†ameliorate the woeful Indian pace attack (no offense to the emerging Irfan Pathan).¬† I do have a couple of issues about this though:

1) The search for the best pace bowler in the country.¬† Hmm.¬† Shouldn’t he already be at the MRF Pace Foundation?¬† If this show is successful, it will be just some more evidence of the mismanagement in the domestic cricket circuit.¬† That said,¬†no harm can come from this show and I do hope it is¬†a success¬†(success meaning, not high viewer ratings, but the find of a good bowler who can establish himself in the Indian team).

2) Ajay Jadeja to host the show?  The producers could find nobody better?  I have a strong feeling about where cheaters of his like belong, and television is not one of them.

We can now await the search for the best wicket-keeper in the country on a competing network.

Cricket made for women?

October 23, 2005

This¬†wonderful piece (published in The Observer back in August) by Joanne O’Connor,¬†about the Ashes 2005, should be read by those unfamiliar with or new to the sport (in particular the female of the species).

A summer of love started at Lord’s

The spawn of Satan: a 7-ODI series

October 23, 2005

What’s with the BCCI scheduling 7-ODI series against visiting sides?¬† Is the money all that they’re interested in?¬† Are ODIs not monotonous enough?¬† What about the fact that India played an ODI series in Sri Lanka not too long ago?¬†

As with such series on the subcontinent in the past, we can expect to find totals in the vicinity of 300 far from safe.  I sincerely hope that I am proven wrong and that the wickets are much more sporting this time around.

Welcome

October 23, 2005

Welcome to Line & Length: a discussion of cricket.

As you will soon come to learn, one of my hobbies is collecting quotations.¬† And I have a few about cricket that I’ll keep posting occasionally.¬† Allow me to open with one by Marcus Berkmann, reported during the 2003 World Cup:

Shane Warne was sent home after testing positive for a performance-enhancing mother.