APRIL 24, 2014

England cricket

Moores, an enigmatic choice

Andy Bull, in the Guardian, analyses the pros and cons of Peter Moores' appointment as England coach. On the one hand, England slumped from No. 2 to No. 5 in his tenure and on the other hand, he led Lancashire to their first County Championship in 77 years.

Downton says that in the five years Moores has been working at Lancashire, he has accumulated "a great deal more experience and understanding of the challenges that the role presents", and it is true that the fact he has tried, and failed, once before will give him a rare opportunity to put right what he got wrong.

In his book, Driving Ambition, Andrew Strauss wrote that the biggest mistake Moores made was failing to realise that "international cricket differs from county cricket in the sense that the players need far less pushing and prodding … Every time they go out there to play, they are playing for their careers. They are bound to be up for it. What is required at the highest level is a coach who is able to calm players down."

APRIL 24, 2014

Let's go decimal

Sridhar Kartic: Why is cricket stuck with fours, sixes and six-ball overs in a world where we count most things by the fives and tens?
APRIL 24, 2014

India cricket

BCCI afraid to face the music

In an editorial in the Hindu, the BCCI's original selection of its three-member probe panel comprising RK Raghavan, Ravi Shastri and Justice JN Patel, with obvious conflicts of interest, suggests that it did not want a fair inquiry even if in the process its credibility takes a beating.

It reveals an unwillingness to shed its image as an opaque clique. What cricket fans and the public need now is reassurance that the glamorous flagship tournament of the BCCI is not yielding illegal spin-off benefits to punters, bookies, fixers and assorted operators seeking to capitalise on the popularity of the sport. Apart from a thorough clean-up of the game, the Indian cricket board needs to win back the trust of the game's fans, and the public at large.

In Mint, Ayaz Memon writes that the BCCI's biggest problem is that the public's faith in it has collapsed, as till very recently, it has pursued a wink-and-nudge approach of inquiry/redressal believing that it enjoyed immunity from public gaze being a private body. However,it was also odd that the Supreme Court had asked the BCCI to constitute the probe panel.

And it was completely imprudent of the BCCI to have even agreed to the Supreme Court's request. Surely the mandarins in the board are not oblivious of the raging discontent about its affairs, and utter mistrust in its office bearers. How much better if they had asked the Supreme Court to appoint a panel and conduct the investigation?

Clayton Murzello, in Mid Day, sympathises with Ravi Shastri for the position he's been placed in by his employers.

Remember, it was Shastri who in a way, spoke out for the media at the press conference in which ICC match referee Mike Denness was not inclined to answer questions after punishing six players during the 2001 Port Elizabeth Test against South Africa. These lines from Shastri went down in cricket history: "If Mike Denness cannot answer questions, why is he here? We know what he looks like."

APRIL 24, 2014

Moores and the shadow of the past

Jon Hotten: His second spell as England coach might be nothing like his first, but memories of it will hover nevertheless
APRIL 24, 2014

What Moores will do

Alex Bowden: A Lancashire supporter knows exactly how the tenure of the new-old England coach will go
APRIL 23, 2014

Indian cricket

To thwart BCCI stalling

The BCCI-suggested three-man probe panel was at least two-thirds fair until the far-reaching influence of the BCCI made it obsolete. With the Supreme Court rejecting them, Suresh Menon, in Wisden India believes it is high time the proper authorities are given greater control of the investigation into alleged corruption in the IPL.

But professional investigators have to come into it too: the CBI, the police forces in Delhi, Mumbai and Tamil Nadu. In another month, it will be a year since television pictures of a player with a towel tucked into his trousers shocked a nation. In all that time, the BCCI has merely stonewalled the investigation. Many wasted meetings, air fares, hotel accommodations and daily allowances later, it has nothing to show for its efforts to clean up the game. Neither the spirit nor the flesh is willing.

APRIL 23, 2014

Belgium cricket

Brighton Watambwa - Belgium captain

Remember Brighton Watambwa? The former fast bowler who played six Tests for Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, is currently captaining Belgium. After quitting Zimbabwe cricket following a contracts dispute, Watambwa settled in the US in 2002, getting a degree from the University of Miami before taking on a full-time job in Brussels. He talks to Enock Muchinjo in Daily News about his journey, and how the game is received in Belgium.

If you were to introduce Aussie rules football or trampoline in Zimbabwe, you will almost certainly find a good number of local folk trying a hand. I mean, didn't we recently have someone at the Winter Olympics, when snow (albeit just a smidgen of it) was last seen in the country more than 50 years ago! In most countries, if it's not their thing, they will simply not be interested a little bit. This is what former Zimbabwe Test bowler Brighton Watambwa found out when he arrived in Belgium five years ago from the United States.

APRIL 23, 2014

Get Max

Satish Acharya
APRIL 23, 2014

Trusting a man with two first names

Paul Ford: New Zealand's selectors have taken a punt on 27-year-old offspinner Mark Craig, highlighting the anaemic state of spin bowling in the land
APRIL 23, 2014

Fizz, flight and loop

V Ramnarayan: Erapalli Prasanna was a masterful conjurer and perhaps the shrewdest of India's great spin quartet
APRIL 23, 2014

The problem with human hands

Andrew Hughes: Is that they're not designed for catching a cricket ball
APRIL 22, 2014

Rajasthan 6/4 in royal rumble against CSK

ESPNcricinfo staff: Two former winners of the IPL go head-to-head on Wednesday, both having won one and lost one of their opening two games
APRIL 22, 2014

IPL 2014

IPL answers lesser-known brands' distress calls

Vidhi Choudhary, writing for Mint, explains how the absence of marquee names in the IPL has paved the way for lesser-known brands to step in.

The franchise has attracted new brands like Prayag Bath Fittings and Tripfactory as official team sponsors; Arise India, ACC Ltd, Kingfisher and TK Sport have stayed on from the last season. "The election year too has weighed in heavy on the annual sporting league, diverting advertiser funds to associate with election-related programming," said Sathyamurthy Namakkal, president of DDB MudraMax Media, the media buying wing of advertising agency DDB Mudra. This has led to IPL re-working its strategy to get more brands in to play, albeit at lower price points.

APRIL 22, 2014

Nepal news

Nepal need the Sri Lanka model

In an editorial written after the national players' boycott was resolved, the Kathmandu Post laments the mismanagement of Nepal cricket and suggests that the country should learn from Sri Lanka's model of cricket development that helped them grow after they received Test status.

While it is good that the strike is over, institutional shortcomings must immediately be addressed if Nepal is to have a future in cricket. First, CAN needs an overhaul. The governing body must be run by people who know the game and are passionate about it. A capable CAN would also be able to take advantage of Nepal's close proximity to four Test-playing powerhouses--India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Regular 'friendlies' with these teams would go far in providing Nepali cricketers with exposure to world-class cricket. Furthermore, there is much Nepal could learn from Sri Lanka, which only got Test-status in 1981 but managed to transform into a major player in a decade. Sri Lankan cricket flourished in the 90s due to heavy government investment and the establishment of a number of robust domestic leagues.

APRIL 22, 2014

Who is the ideal cricket administrator?

Michael Jeh: While you don't require cricket skills to run a national board, you do need a deft touch and diplomatic skills to deal with vested interests, million-dollar contracts, and cut-throat competition
APRIL 21, 2014

IPL 2014

It's time to love the IPL

Barney Ronay, writing for the Guardian, lists out all that is right with the Indian Premier League and the shortest format of the game.

As ever, though, the best bit is the in-house IPL commentary team, not so much pundits as simply blue-shirted BCCI evangelists. "WE ARE UNITED IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES!" Ravi Shastri fog-horned, weirdly, at the toss in the opening game, and most of the time it feels as though Shastri could be talking about his big toe - "Remarkable! Extraordinary! Superb!" - or a piece of cheese at the back of the refrigerator. It really doesn't matter as he is simply a continuous noise, an unwavering tone of relentless triumphalism, wearing on this occasion the expression of a man who has been kept in an underground facility for six weeks, subjected to flashing lights and pulsing noises and then finally prodded out into the desert air and encouraged to wander around with a microphone barking about tracer bullets and incredible spectacles

APRIL 21, 2014

Does the steady sheet-anchor have a role to play in an IPL side?

APRIL 21, 2014

An ex-president goes job-hunting

James Marsh: How does a people person with excellent conflict-resolution skills find employment?
APRIL 21, 2014

The Argentine connection

Jonathan Wilson: Football may be the dominant sport in Argentina today but it wasn't the first sport the British took there
APRIL 20, 2014

England cricket

Moores' dignity helped him

The return of Peter Moores for a second spell as England coach was aided, in no small, by his dignified reaction to what happened five years in the wake of his sacking, says Vic Marks in the Guardian. He just moved on and found a new job.

If Moores had flounced off in an outspoken huff when he was sacked quite spectacularly alongside Kevin Pietersen in January 2009, then he would not be the England coach today. Instead he departed with lips sealed and dignity intact before taking up his post at Old Trafford. That was in character, but now it also seems a very sound career move.

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