March 9, 2009

It runs on the site

Sambit Bal
Younis Khan tries to get his point across, Karachi, February 20, 2009
 © AFP
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Here's a little ritual I want to start on the blog. Every Monday I will put together a list of recommended reading from pieces published on Cricinfo. As Cricinfo regulars, you will perhaps have read them all. But why leave it to chance. These are not necessarily the best pieces from the last 10-odd days, but the ones I liked best.

It was quite a time, and obviously the incidents in Lahore kept us busy. We had a number of pieces on the subject on the site, and a few stood out.

While covering disasters, professional journalists find themselves walking a thin line between the needs of news-gathering and respecting the private space of those affected. We had mixed feelings about asking Kumar Sangakkara, one of six Sri Lankan players injured in the attack to share his experience. But Kumar, who has been a columnist for us for nearly two years, chose to be the professional that he is, and dictated this piece to us while waiting to board the aircraft that would bring the Sri Lankan team home.

Meanwhile, Alex Brown, who joined us from the Sydney Morning Herald early in February, kept at Younis Khan all day on the telephone and was rewarded with an interview that was, in the manner typical of Younis, both heartfelt and forthright.

Later in the day, Andy Zaltzman, who approaches the business of satire and humour with considerable rigour, came up with a touching appeal to the cricket world not to abandon Pakistan.

Cricket tours invariably are much more than what happens on the field. If you are willing, they provide the perfect opportunity to acquaint oneself with cricket's past and to make pleasant and surprising discoveries. Sidharth Monga made a delightful one when he called up Ewen Chatfield, the former New Zealand medium pace bowler.

In Johannesburg, Jacques Kallis became the first man to make 10,000 Test runs and take 100 wickets. The question asks itself: is Kallis a greater allrounder than even Garry Sobers? Rob Steen tackled the notion in another of his painstakingly researched pieces. What did he conclude? Yours to find out.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Srivathsa on (March 12, 2009, 15:25 GMT)

Hey Sambit, How come u seem to be so young in this new picture on the site. In the old one u were looking pretty old with the glasses on. Want to know the secret?

Posted by Abhik on (March 10, 2009, 5:50 GMT)

That would be a nice ritual for Cricinfo regulars like me who regularly mark their favourite articles.

Posted by stephen Gelb on (March 9, 2009, 15:53 GMT)

Hi Sambit. The Kallis vs Sobers piece was first raised in different strokes when Kallis passed Sobers' wicket tally in England last July (having passed his runs tally long before)...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sambit Bal
Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

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