Sunday, April 6, 2008

Steyn's first innings heroics at Ahmedabad and other ramblings

Based on a comment I just read from one of readers (AMK) I realized that there is more happening in world cricket than the whole Shoaib Akhtar fracas :) The South African's have come out all guns blazing in Ahmedabad, making good first use of a pitch that suited their superior fast bowling strength. The outcome as we all know has been a stunning defeat for India inside 3 days.

As per request, I managed to find a very short clip of Dale Steyn's 5er in the first innings. The ball that got rid of Dravid was a beauty and his entire spell (judging from his wickets) was a great example of wicket to wicket bowling and the value of targeting the stumps

Some random musings:

1. I wish people did'nt insert random crap in the highlights... how are you supposed to view the video if you have sort of bolded text popping up

2. Check out the comments on the youtube page for this video... very interesting. Comments range from ridicule of Steyn's performance (because most if his victims were tailenders) to an interesting rebuke from an obviously Indian fan. The fan criticizes the video author for having cheerful music and in the end the author turns out to be a Pakistan cricket supporter.. hilarious!

3. Check out the brilliant piece in Cricinfo on how Imran's tigers almost won a series in the West Indies. Mental note to self, I need to write a piece on how history repeats itself and the same thing happened when Pakistan toured the West Indies many years later and poor umpiring denied Wasim, Saqlain, Moin & co from a well deserved victory. A dynamic, unconventional keeper batsmen, a top class spinner and a world class fast bowler and a poor umpiring decision when the last pair are on the pitch... need I say more?

4. Shoaib Akhtar... what a sad day for Pakistan cricket. Something no one else has mentioned yet is that this shows our desperation and romantic attachment with heroes and lack of faith in institutions. Pakistan cricket is sadly at a point where we can not say "Shoaib's days of playing may be over due to indiscipline and extremely poor fitness, the system will produce another good fast bowler to replace him". Is this due more to our own psyche or the lack of a 'system' or both?

Let us know :)

Make your pitch on this post...

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9 Pitched:

  1. Q said...

    Our lack of faith in institutions stems from the ridicule these institutions have spread across the country. The PCB being the biggest culprit.

    Someone on one of the Shoaib posts listed the number of things PCB have mishandled under Nasim Ashraf. Even that long list is incomplete.

    For Shoaib, the seeds were shown when the Tauqir Zia management pampered him and made him think that HE was the answer to Pakistan cricket following retirements of the 2Ws.

    If the PCB and other institutions around the country can do some good and gain the confidence of the general public, we may start to sto fascinating over the individual heroes and start believing in the system.

    There was hardly any hue and cry in Australia when Shane Warne was banned for a year due to drug abuse. People believed in the system thats why.

    Sadly, the same does not hold true in Pakistan.

  2. Soulberry said...

    Steyn was fabulous. Exhibition of good, commonsense fast bowling.

    ha ha ha....we are the so-called "beggars" when it comes to YouTube clips....either one has the patience to record and put them up or we have to choose from what we are given (wry smile).

    Shoaib Akhtar is perhaps suffering for not signing the retainership. PCB may have had good intentions then to shock him, but now it looks more like an ego clash where they are bent upon him signing the retainership, which is a downgrading of sorts, and Shoaib refusing to do so and wanting a contract instead.

    What is even more troublesome is reports that Umar Gul is probably up and effing his promising career!

    Ottayan tells us that Gul is considering quitting and moving over to ICL...not even IPL! I wonder why he is frustrated for he is a regular and prized member of the Pakistan side. In fact Gul has a longer and more fruitful future than Shoaib has at the moment. Gul is so young! Why is he frustrated and with what?

  3. Q said...

    SB - I haven't heard that about Gul. He has just been chosen in the squad to face Bangladesh. There is no reason why he should be frustrated. The PCB have treated him well.

    I think its yet another story concocted by the Indian media. I just dont see it happening.

  4. sam said...

    The system lost its face when PCB in the past back tracked from its earlier stated positions, I will not go into details but the point is they are not known for discipline themselves, if they were so irked by Shoaib leaving the camp then what about Malik and Yousuf,neither the players nor the general public believes in them when they make statements about discipline.

    According to their 2006 financial stateents they had a cash and bank balance of Rs mil 2896 its a huge sum of money who earned it? the players! under developmental expenditure they spent 6.8 mil out of which 5 mil was given for earth quake relief fund on 1.8 mil for the development of cricket and associations all over the country was disbursed,even this amount can be debated as most of it went to blind cricket association.

    I only pointed the above facts out because PCB is not a private limited co it main purpose is too promote cricket and look after the welfare of cricketers and thats it,
    with the money they had in banks they could have easily imroved the domestic structure,organized T20 league of their own but what are we offering the fastest bowler in the world Rs 75000/

    I will not be surprised if Umar and Yousuf also leave fo ICL in the next season,look at the prize money for runners up it was one crore,add to this the signing money for each player, I think ICL players of pakistani origin are making more than most of their IPL counter parts.

  5. Q said...

    Thnks for your comments Sam.

    "The system lost its face when PCB in the past back tracked from its earlier stated positions"

    I think the PCB lost its face back in 1999 when the board was removed and an ad-hoc board was put in place. Since the Oval in 2006, things have reached to a new level of mismanagement.

    "If they were so irked by Shoaib leaving the camp then what about Malik and Yousuf"

    I dont think the PCB were irked over Shoaib leaving the camp. It was a minor misunderstanding which was sorted out once Malik comunicated that he was aware of Shoaib leaving.

    As for Malik, he was away with permission from the board to sort out his legal hassles in India.

    Yousuf was away on tableegh. For some reason no one speaks against that.

    "with the money they had in banks they could have easily imroved the domestic structure,organized T20 league of their own"

    They did that Sam. This years Quaid-e-Azam Trophy was bigger and better than ever before. The regional teams and the departments played along side each other. The Pentangular Cup was a step in the right direction with the Top 100 cricketers of the country divided into 5 strong teams. The ongoing ABN Amro One Day Competition is also an improvement from previous years - its being played on a world cup format and the regions are competing against the departments.

    Unlike other years, all the stars bar Yousuf have appeared in all the domestic matches.

    As for T20 league - Pakistan does hold an annual 20-20 domestic competition and it has done for the last 3 years. Not sure why it didnt happen this year but I do know that plans for a PPL are being drawn and something will be announcedf around June - July. But Im not sure how successful that will be considering the apprehension of international stars to tour Pakistan.

    Maybe if the money is right, they will.

  6. sam said...


    I agree the Pentangular tournament was better than previous tsuch tournaments only because of the fact that all the big names were playing, but from the marketing point of view was still a failure,Malik told every body his MOM was sick but a week later he was found in India posing for IPL, Yousuf is not on Tableeg he is mad at PCB for not handling his ICL case properly,the current ODI tournament no body knew when it started there was no promotion,most of the recognized players at domestic level are playing ICL look at the two teams playing final on the 10th and see if you can find 4 recognizable bowlers from both sides.Asif and Gul became fit just in time before the Bangladesh series Shoaib Malik's mom also got better Alhamdollilah right before the semis.
    Antways I like your positive outlook toward the team and PCB normally I also behave the same way but right now I cant find that positive energy in me.

    Btw have you read that report in Dawn about Gul and Younis getting grilled by ACU.

    Its been almost a year we have been hearing about ICL and IPL why PPL was so delayed,

  7. obaid said...

    Sam, the report in dawn about Younus and Gul getting grilled is most intriguing. It will only lead to the players getting mentally disturbed before the Bangladesh series and I have a feeling that the whole match fixing specter will re-emerge. It never was dealt with decisively and I have a bad feeling that it will come back due to Shoaib's stupid statements. Even though no one takes anything he says seriously, the ICC still has to investigate

  8. Q said...

    I read the dawn report Sam and I was surprised as to why it was Younis an Gul who were grilled. Shoaib didnt say anything against them. They should be grilling Shoaib Akhtar or the team coach / manager. Why Younis and Gul?

    Coming back to the PCB / domestic structure.

    Improvement of the domestic season this year is probably the only thing that the PCB has done right. They made sure that the international stars played the matches and the tournaments were better formatted than before.

    Apart from that I think the PCB is a pile of $h1t! Nasim Ashraf has overstayed his welcome well over a year... he needs to go soon.

    Apart from Malik and Yousuf, everyone else played in all the matches. Barring the ICL players, all the internationals turned up to play in the domestic matches.

    As for the teams that made the semis of the One Day cup - the interational did not play cause they were in the camp or the Bangladesh series. Thats why they're missing from the finals line up as well.

  9. Q said...

    "Its been almost a year we have been hearing about ICL and IPL why PPL was so delayed"

    Sam, India is the largest cricket playing and watching country in the world. They generate 70% of the worlds cricketing revenues. Thus it was only natural for the franchised leagues to start off there.

    Plus it took a rebellious Subhash Chandra launching the ICL for the BCCI to react with the IPL.

    Pakistan has had a domestic 20-20 tournament annually for the last 4 years - they were one of the first countries to adopt 20-20 once it was launched by England in 2002.

    The PPL, however will take some time to come up. For one international teams are unwilling to tour Pakistan so how many international players will come is anybody's guess.

    Plus with the international calendar so packed and the IPL already facing problems with the ECB and clashes with internatonal tours and so on, it will take some time for a similar league to come up in another country.

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