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Sorry for the absence last week. I have no excuses, apart from the lame one that last Monday was very busy. So to make up, let me begin with one from the previous week.
Most of you will have noticed Osman Samiuddin's return. It was business as usual the moment he got back from his honeymoon (which, incidentally, Thai anti-government protesters chose to make memorable by coming out on to the streets to engage the army) and he was called on write about the ICC's decision to remove Pakistan from the list of World Cup hosts. This he did with familiar clarity and reason:
In such darkness, sadness is understandable, even desirable if it brings introspection, but there should be no place for anger
It's been mostly IPL last week, and though the cricket has been mostly tepid so far, the spicier pitches in South Africa have ensured that batsmen have had to fall back on traditional skills. Not surprisingly, the top performers have all been familiar names, and it gave Peter Roebuck cause to rejoice:
the first few matches of this year's IPL have reminded all and sundry that cricket is just a game played with a bat and a ball, that good cricketers will find a way, that determined and skilful players will adapt, that the leading lights in 10-day cricket are likely to prosper in 10-over cricket as well.
As promised, we've been having fun at Page 2. I highly recommend a couple of sections. The CV has so far featured Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds and Kevin Pietersen. Watch out for more. And to catch cricketers talking about their lives on and off the field, check out Quick Singles, which has featured JP Duminy. What would Harbhajan Singh grab first if his house was on fire? Find out here.
It's not just Page 2 alone. Over at Inbox, Andrew Hughes has been good form over the last week. Here's his take on the delights of sponsored commentary. Your writing can feature in Inbox, too. Use the "Submit your piece" link to send in your articles.
Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sambit Bal
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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.