April 16, 2009

Harbhajan and Symonds are now team-mates

Introducing ESPNcricinfo's Page 2, a space where entertainment is the sole objective
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I don't know how owners of large department stores that make you wind your way past things that they want you to see feel about doing so, but I feel a bit sheepish about luring you in with this headline. Though it does not lie, Harbhajan and Symonds are only bit players in this piece: the main agenda is something else.

Now that I have secured your attention, allow me to lead you on to a brand new section on Cricinfo. Unlike department stores, I won't guarantee satisfaction, but I have a hunch it will bring a smile to your face.

You have two choices. You can click on this link to check out the section right away and then come back read this if you need to. Or you can read on and explore later.

I recommend the second option.

So let me tell you what Page 2 is all about.

To start with, it will not have news and scores, which form the core of Page 1, otherwise known as the homepage. It will have elements of opinion, a blog or two, lists, games, byte-sized features, and even "stats" - though unlike the ones you have seen on Cricinfo.

With Page 2, Cricinfo is venturing into new territory. And after having put it together we are now wondering why we waited so long. It is no coincidence, however, that it is being launched during the IPL: Page 2 mirrors Twenty20.


© Cricinfo Ltd
 

Twenty20 was born out of a strikingly simple idea. It stripped cricket of all its adornment - and even character, it can be argued - to pursue one objective: entertainment. You could say that it reduced a grand game to a merely entertaining one. But in doing so it has opened up a new world, and the sport is richer for it. It is a tribute to cricket that it can accommodate three distinct forms.

By the same token, Page 2 makes no apologies about making entertainment its sole objective. It is not a deviation from our core values, but rather an expansion of our range. Cricinfo has always been, and will remain, a serious site for serious fans. But like Twenty20 itself, Page 2 will serve as an aperitif to a substantial main course.

Even though its scope is currently limited to the IPL, there is a lot to sample. Try out The CV, our alternative player profiles, or Quick Singles, where cricketers provide glimpses into their lives off the field as well as on it.

In Hit or Miss, poet, dancer and soon-to-be novelist Tishani Doshi will offer daily meditations on a love that she is hoping to reignite (with cricket, lest you get ideas), and in The Daily Dose our reporters at the venues will bring you the sidelights from South Africa.

If you still don't believe that the IPL has changed everything, try this cricket dictionary, by Andy Zaltzman, of The Confectionery Stall fame. And for further evidence, sample Rules from Hell, inspired by the various edicts of He Who Must Not Be Named.

In You Asked For It you will find rubbish answers to questions our other q&a columnists on the site, Geoff Boycott and Steven Lynch, would dismiss out of hand.

EyePL TV, our daily cartoon, will take a look at the other side of the tournament; and there's more comic relief courtesy the exploits of Thwackman, cricket's first superhero, who stumbles into the world of the IPL.

Plus, there are lists, quizzes and crosswords, and we also have Ian Chappell, David Lloyd, Sanjay Manjrekar and yours truly trying to beat each other at Fantasy cricket.

So, welcome to Page 2. The section is evolving and lots more features will be added as the tournament progresses. If you're missing a navigation that helps you get around, that will be taken care of in a couple of days too.

For once we urge you not to take us seriously. Join us in having some fun. And let us know what you think.

Before I go, here's the piece that made the headline possible.

EyePL TV, our daily cartoon, will take a look at the other side of the tournament; and there's more comic relief courtesy the exploits of Thwackman, cricket's first superhero, who stumbles into the world of the IPL.

Plus, there are lists, quizzes and crosswords, and we also Ian Chappell, David Lloyd, Sanjay Manjrekar and yours truly trying to beat each other at Fantasy cricket.

So, welcome to Page 2. The section is evolving and lots more features will be added as the tournament progresses. If you're missing a navigation that helps you get around, that will be taken care of in a couple of days too.

For once we urge you not to take us seriously. Join us in having some fun. And let us know what you think.

Before I go, here's the piece that made the headline possible.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Akki on April 17, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    Kudos to Cricinfo. You guys have taken cricketainment to a different level. Page2 rocks. i just hope the masala in it can be sustained for next 5 weeks. Looking forward to the comic section & loved "Rules from Hell". Keep up the good work

  • shiva prasad on April 17, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    Awesome is IPL page 2.... excellent entertainment apart from cricket...

  • Shiva prasad on April 17, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    Hi Sambit Pal,

    The comic strip of IPL page 2 is really interesting. Am working in animationxpress.com. We would like to do a story on it. it would be nice if you could provide your contact info so that we can converse at a faster rate regarding this.

    regards Shiva

  • satvik on April 17, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    wow!11 it's was really very cool!!!

  • Dunkin J on April 17, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    It is quite ordinary... boring to read after a while. 20-20 has not created itself a niche, in the world sports or entertainment as you are making it out. so this looks imposing or artificially funny.

  • Mostofa on April 17, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    wow that's good idea i like it

  • sunny on April 17, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    yah toh hona hi tha

  • Desikan.K.R on April 17, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    Over the years we are a part and parcel of Cricinfo during the days and aftermath. What we got boils down to the days play, the expert comments, the stats. It is time to be out of this orbit for a while and move on to the lighter side of the crazy game,for which millions got addicted to. I am sure you will inprovise as the days roll on. We are game for it.

  • Satya Ratti on April 17, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    A brilliant innovative thought which will add some mirch-masala to reporting on cricket and the game's actors. After Hollywood and Bollywood, could it turn out to something like Cricwood....that would be cool! Best o'luck!

  • Haroon on April 17, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    I found it awesomely funny!!!!!!!

  • Akki on April 17, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    Kudos to Cricinfo. You guys have taken cricketainment to a different level. Page2 rocks. i just hope the masala in it can be sustained for next 5 weeks. Looking forward to the comic section & loved "Rules from Hell". Keep up the good work

  • shiva prasad on April 17, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    Awesome is IPL page 2.... excellent entertainment apart from cricket...

  • Shiva prasad on April 17, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    Hi Sambit Pal,

    The comic strip of IPL page 2 is really interesting. Am working in animationxpress.com. We would like to do a story on it. it would be nice if you could provide your contact info so that we can converse at a faster rate regarding this.

    regards Shiva

  • satvik on April 17, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    wow!11 it's was really very cool!!!

  • Dunkin J on April 17, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    It is quite ordinary... boring to read after a while. 20-20 has not created itself a niche, in the world sports or entertainment as you are making it out. so this looks imposing or artificially funny.

  • Mostofa on April 17, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    wow that's good idea i like it

  • sunny on April 17, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    yah toh hona hi tha

  • Desikan.K.R on April 17, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    Over the years we are a part and parcel of Cricinfo during the days and aftermath. What we got boils down to the days play, the expert comments, the stats. It is time to be out of this orbit for a while and move on to the lighter side of the crazy game,for which millions got addicted to. I am sure you will inprovise as the days roll on. We are game for it.

  • Satya Ratti on April 17, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    A brilliant innovative thought which will add some mirch-masala to reporting on cricket and the game's actors. After Hollywood and Bollywood, could it turn out to something like Cricwood....that would be cool! Best o'luck!

  • Haroon on April 17, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    I found it awesomely funny!!!!!!!

  • Amish on April 17, 2009, 0:56 GMT

    Cricinfo has been my homepage ever since I visited it in early 2001. Over the years cricinfo has gone onto become the best cricket site and all it lacked was this Page2. We all need some humour in life and now with page2 I don't need to go elsewhere hunting for it. With IPL treated so seriously everywhere we can witness the funny side of it right here. As starters I absolultely loved Thwackman and cant wait for the sequel.

    Congratulations to the cricinfo team for providing us with so much entertainment with little financial rewards from it fans.

    I hope you continue to do so for fans like me living outside India there are hardly any other alternatives.

    Cricinfo ki 'Jai Ho'!

  • Sharath on April 17, 2009, 0:18 GMT

    I still don't understand why you had to use a misleading title - was it supposed to be humorous?Did you think a direct title would not get enough hits? Or did you just want to make use of your editorial liberty? I am genuinely confused. But hey, it's your website.

    As for Page 2, Sambit, remember that you're cricket experts, not humorists. And we, your readers, are here because we want commentary on CRICKET. If we wanted humour, there are a million books and websites out there that deliver a more incisive, a more intelligent, and on the whole a distinctly funnier brand of cricket-related humour than Page 2 does.

    So tell us again, why should we read it? It doesn't comment on the cricket, and it's not funny. That's two down with nothing on the board.

    But to give credit where it's due, Lawrence Booth's piece was very good, as usual.

  • Aditya Kumar on April 16, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    One suggestion -- since you are targeting the T20 audience here, it might help to have a catchy "static" url. something like page2.cricinfo.com or cricinfo.com/page2

  • SR on April 16, 2009, 19:37 GMT

    P.S I agree with the first poster's idea. We need an 'Extra Mustard' section for Cricinfo as well (from SI)

  • SR on April 16, 2009, 19:35 GMT

    I goto ESPN's Page 2 every single day once I am done checking out the scores. Its a good section with some hit or miss articles. I would hope that cricinfo's page 2 gets writers like DJ Gallo of ESPN (though I think Andy Z is a great match) and Bill Simmons (minus the homerism). Others like Tim Keown, David Schoefield, Gregg Easterbrook are also good. Also I hope CP2 (Cricinfo's Page 2) gets a section like AM Jump which was on EP2 but was scrapped.

  • pranjal on April 16, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    that was cheeky sambit!! I thanked gog that it is not the CHANGED version of cricinfo and is just an extension... because enjoyable and funny as much as it was, i felt it sort of demeaning the reputation and dignity of gained by cricinfo over the years... anyways all the best with your new venture and i know it'll work :)

  • Ramakrishnan on April 16, 2009, 15:32 GMT

    Entertainment like Page 2 wouldnt certainly degrade the quality of top notch website like Cricinfo. Gazing the list which has been provided it sure sounds like fun. But, the real question is why?? Cricinfo doesnt need anything like this. For all the reasons, Cricinfo gave that IPL's rule changing is going to ruin cricket, Cricinfo seems heading that way too-forgetting cricket which provides more entertainment than all these masalas, which wouldnt impress true cricket fans.

  • Fayez on April 16, 2009, 15:14 GMT

    Boring. Just add the new colors to your actual page. I like different colors, but I expected more than the Indian-style comics and lame jokes. If I want that I can read Stardust. I wish it had at least offended me. Keep up the good work on Page 1.

  • S.Sambamoorthy on April 16, 2009, 14:52 GMT

    New Zealand was allout for identical scores of 279 runs in each innings in the first test agaist India played at Seddon Park, Hamilton,in March 2009. Has this happened ever before

  • Shyam on April 16, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Take it easy people. Sambit and Cricinfo haven't sold out. What's wrong with having a bit of fun? As long as Cricinfo provide everything else we need why should anyone complain? Let's not forget that whenever we are away from TV, Cricinfo is our link to cricket. Let's be grateful for that.

  • John Vane on April 16, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    The musings of the ICC provide me with more laughter than I need to get through the day.

  • Vivek on April 16, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    The page 2 is perfect. We need stats and scores but sometimes the behind the scenes look is kind of cool. But shouldn't the new page 2 get a link somewhere on the homepage though? Please look into that.

    If now you can only get your parent company ESPN's Bill Simmons to write for you.....

  • Subhashis on April 16, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    sambit bal, as like your pic..you and lot of cricinfo editors look and act like you are too funny and cool..which you are absolutely not. Insane CHEAP idea of catching attention. Cricket even in its shortest form is much more different. And I think you dont get the idea of page 2. Remove it, please

  • Lalatendu on April 16, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Sambit, you have sold out. Go and join Lalit Modi.

  • Sikandar on April 16, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    Lighten up guys. This is not the end of the world. You can skip the Page2 if you are so offended. I loved it. It's cool. Twenty20 is a not a game to be taken seriously but just enjoyed. Treat Page 2 the same way. There is always the Page 1 to go back to. I would worry if Cricinfo started mixing it up.

  • Mihir on April 16, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    Yes Akash, blasphemy indeed. I would have boycotted Cricinfo for this had there been a better site available. Cricinfo has been my bible for years, I beg you not to go down this path. Leave it to the likes of Modi.

  • tesrcricketforme on April 16, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    I am only 18, but I love Test cricket and Cricinfo is my favourite website. It's my homepage. I love to have fun, but not at the expense of cricket. I will keep on visiting the Page 1 and have my fun elsewhere. Best of luck.

  • avirebel on April 16, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    i can understand why you guys had to do this. this is where is cricket is headed. a sad day for me and fans like me who worship test cricket. i read the full post because i read everything sambit writes. and i felt he was trying too hard to sell this, but even he was not convinced.

  • tejas on April 16, 2009, 13:47 GMT

    ah, more dumbing down. let's please have cricinfo deliver intelligent conversation and expert commentary, instead of the half-baked analysis, second-rate humor and information overload that is churning out nowadays.

    there is a reason not many people visit joke websites. i am hoping someone comes out with a competition to cricinfo, delivering quality content - i might even pay for it.

  • Rob on April 16, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    This is a good way to cover Twenty20, which is a gimmick in any case. A good gimmick though.

  • karthik on April 16, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    Finally someone is making fun of cricketers. And in good taste too. Hope you can keep it up.

  • Fannation on April 16, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    When I looked at the page, i thought, oh no, Cricinfo too? But perhaps the look is a bit misleading. The content is quite enjoyable. The idea of Thwackman is good but the execution is poor I felt. But you can only get better.

  • Jake on April 16, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    A good initiative. Like the text much better than the cartoons though. They look a bit childish. But the Malinga caricature is good. Loved Quick Singles too.

  • srinin on April 16, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    Sorry if I sound judgmental. I am just expressing what I feel, esp. bcz u asked 4 it. Cricinfo had remained an exclusive serious cricket site. Now you are meandering into something else. "It stripped cricket of all its adornment - and even character" One 'minor' correction: "It stripped cricket of all CRICKET". IMO, page 2 wd be no better. I did take a look at the sample/preview Page-2. U can b sure i wont ever return to it.

  • Anar Shah on April 16, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    Hey Shaun, this is not dumbing down. For that you have read the Indian newspapers, or the Australian ones. Humour is smart, not dumb.

  • Akash on April 16, 2009, 13:08 GMT

    Blasphemy.

  • jaya kumar on April 16, 2009, 12:33 GMT

    Hai IPL is good for conducting matching in outof India because here election going naaa but many fans suprises to conduct matches in SouthAfrica

  • Senapati on April 16, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    Hey guys, can't you take a joke? To me, it was the best way of introducing a fun section. I didn't like everything on the page, but there is a lot to comeback to. And here is site which has the guts to make fun of the IPL while all the Indian newspapers can't stop bowing to Mr Modi. This further establishes Cricinfo's credentials as an independent website. There are not too many left.

  • Seruis Black on April 16, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    I am a serious fan of your serious website. But I am delighted that you have done this. Humour is serious business and I must say you have pulled it off quite well. One of the comments said that this amounts to dumbing down, I would say some of the stuff is quite intelligent. You can make fun of something only when you have a proper grasp of it. Congratulations.

  • buriedatsea on April 16, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Oh We love it!! Muy Bein

  • Yogesh on April 16, 2009, 10:33 GMT

    Though, it looks a bit fun and tabloidic in nature, this is not the reason i read cricinfo. If i wanted tabloidic stuff, i would have read "Times of India". I read for serious cricket news and opinions.

    Secondly, i believe IPL is being overhyped more by media than by fans. This is pure money-power. The investor is going all-out to market his product and even at the cost of the game itself. Tactical Time-out - What a farce ?? In that respect, I am saddened that you are creating a seperate website for a tournament like IPL and exaggerating its importance. I am of the same opinion as Abhinav Bindra.

    But I do understand in these times, that market dictates everything. While you still wish to cover serious cricket, you hope to exploit the tabloid market too just like T20. But i hope you guys don't move away from serious cricket like ICC.

  • Thiva on April 16, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Uhm..well who ever started that page 2 has some brains in his/her head. I just love it, the stories are really good and creative. Looks like I won't need any more comic magazines. I just love those special stories and pages on Malinga and well Shilpa shetty, her pictures were fantastic. Now then cricinfo needs some glitering too and so that page works....

  • thinktank on April 16, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    some entertainment ideas for lalit modi, 1. how about a 5 ball over? 2. how about bowlers who concede 3 sixes in an over getting $1000 per such over? 3. how about any Slapgate incident being rewarded $ 100000/- per incidence in the name of entertainment? the joke's on you lalit modi(fied)!!! ha, ha, ha

  • drdre2727 on April 16, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    I have been a fan of CRICINFO for a long time, hats off for the new innovation and it s cool and catching

  • Kunvar_Rohan on April 16, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    Man, Sambit!! I've been looking over this new page everyday in quest for something new. I gotta tell you, I already love this .. It rox without Doubt. Finally we have something full of fun on EyePL

  • Kshitij on April 16, 2009, 9:58 GMT

    Men behaving badly - hilarious! keep it up! I love the style of writing! Symmo one was just too good. love it!

  • Shaun on April 16, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    Cricinfo has been dumbing down for years now, following the example set by TMS and that ilk - so I guess 'Page 2' is a natural extension of that. Wont be long before 'Page 2' becomes 'Page 1' and the current 'Page 1' is consigned to a dusty corner of the site

  • Amar on April 16, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Lovely. Andy Z is here too. I will read anything he writes. But there are some great stuff from other people too. Who's S Aga? Have never read him before, but Andy you have a rival now.

  • Abhik on April 16, 2009, 9:35 GMT

    Nice section. Though it looks more like one of those teenage magazines we had, just that this one is colored cricket.

  • Sanjay on April 16, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    It's about time someone did this. I read all the features and loved it. The CV was great, so was the index. As usual, Cricinfo has managed to find just the right writers. I will be a daily visitor. Congratulations

  • D.V.C. on April 16, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    It is one thing to use a sensational headline to grab attention. It is another to use it and then ignore it for the rest of the article!

    If the headline had been 'Harbajan and Symonds together on Page 2,' that would have been fine but this is not.

    What you did was the equivalent of the department store owner advertising milk on the front window. Only that when I get to the fridge at the end of the store there is a sign telling me that the milk is available next door.

    If you are going to use the headline you at least have to elaborate on the article in _this_ story, not simply point me to it.

  • Husain Sapatwala on April 16, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    GRRRRR... Not funny... No way to catch someones attention.. Its a good thing I have a strong heart... Or I would have had a stroke... lol...

  • cricfan on April 16, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    Sambit, that was cheeky. But you got me, and I think it's another great idea from you guys. Twenty20 is a different game and needs to treated differently. I think this will appeal to both the new and old fans.

  • Ravi J on April 16, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Cool stuff, the IPL fever has gripped everyone. Great that you have joined the bandwagon with something similar...

  • Ali on April 16, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Hmmmmm......

  • Sanjay on April 16, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    It's about time someone did this. I read all the features and loved it. The CV was great, so was the index. As usual, Cricinfo has managed to find just the right writers. I will be a daily visitor. Congratulations

  • Prasanthan on April 16, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Thats great for cricket

  • Rachna on April 16, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    Wah!

  • Adam on April 16, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Brilliant! IPL is a circus, and should be treated that way. Media in general is far too serious in today's world. Whilst there are serious issues covered by the media in the world, cricket and other sports are not. Though I despise the bastard-word "infotainment", this describes Page 2 perfectly... I'm there!

  • ajith on April 16, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    you just tried too hard to catch the attention! and you failed...lol you need to back it up with content... not empty promise. hype + good or atleast acceptable content == sale!

  • Husain Sapatwala on April 16, 2009, 7:57 GMT

    GRRRRR... Not funny... No way to catch someones attention.. Its a good thing I have a strong heart... Or I would have had a stroke... lol...

  • Ravi on April 16, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    This is a good idea. ESPN, which I believe is Cricinfo's owner, has had a Page 2 site for years. I guess it was just a matter of time, but if this is anywhere near as good as ESPN's is, I will be a regular reader. Maybe you guys can get something like SI.com's Hot Clicks as well:D.

  • Ram on April 16, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Purely idiotic!!....why dont you write something more sensible?...cheap tactic for more impressions

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ram on April 16, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Purely idiotic!!....why dont you write something more sensible?...cheap tactic for more impressions

  • Ravi on April 16, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    This is a good idea. ESPN, which I believe is Cricinfo's owner, has had a Page 2 site for years. I guess it was just a matter of time, but if this is anywhere near as good as ESPN's is, I will be a regular reader. Maybe you guys can get something like SI.com's Hot Clicks as well:D.

  • Husain Sapatwala on April 16, 2009, 7:57 GMT

    GRRRRR... Not funny... No way to catch someones attention.. Its a good thing I have a strong heart... Or I would have had a stroke... lol...

  • ajith on April 16, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    you just tried too hard to catch the attention! and you failed...lol you need to back it up with content... not empty promise. hype + good or atleast acceptable content == sale!

  • Adam on April 16, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Brilliant! IPL is a circus, and should be treated that way. Media in general is far too serious in today's world. Whilst there are serious issues covered by the media in the world, cricket and other sports are not. Though I despise the bastard-word "infotainment", this describes Page 2 perfectly... I'm there!

  • Rachna on April 16, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    Wah!

  • Prasanthan on April 16, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Thats great for cricket

  • Sanjay on April 16, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    It's about time someone did this. I read all the features and loved it. The CV was great, so was the index. As usual, Cricinfo has managed to find just the right writers. I will be a daily visitor. Congratulations

  • Ali on April 16, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Hmmmmm......

  • Ravi J on April 16, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Cool stuff, the IPL fever has gripped everyone. Great that you have joined the bandwagon with something similar...