|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Stare away, fellows. Challenge a batsman. But everything can't be a scowl and a cavalcade of curses and spitting confrontations, writes Rohit Brijnath in Livemint. He says he will wait for a single gesture of respect from the players at the World Cup. For the game, themselves, the opposition, the crowd.
Loudly and crassly, and without much intervention, cricket has strayed from civility. Decency, once becoming and essential to sporting cultures, is almost considered sissy-ish. Quietly congratulating a batsman on a hard-earned century is viewed as weakness. You bowled hard, he played better, you struggle on, but no. Ignored amidst real war is the truth that for all its celebrity this is only sport.
Every morning now, whether it's in a quiet part of his home in Sydney or in a hotel room on tour, Watson will practise yoga for 15 to 20 minutes, then meditate, repeating a personal mantra while his eyes are shut, writes Chris Barrett in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"In my break in the off-season I just knew that I needed to find another way to be able to either de-stress or just handle situations a bit better," he said. "There are times when I haven't had a way to just let it all out. I started reading the Deepak Chopra book 'Perfect Health', which opened my eyes up to Ayurvedic medicine and I ended up getting a meditation teacher to teach me how to meditate. With that came yoga, which has been something that I'm not sure I would have been open to when I was younger. But that's made a huge difference."
In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, John Ashdown draws on his childhood memories and mulls on how the seemingly rigid rules of cricket can be warped - with a little creativity - to allow its practitioners a quick game anytime, anywhere.
Problems occurred whenever our dad could be persuaded to bend his back for a couple of overs. The problem for the batsman was two close catching fielders, Valderrama on the off side, a (usually) far less reliable human on the on. The problem on the scoreboards was that the new bowler would refuse to play the role of any cricketer since 1970, invariably nominating himself Fred Trueman or picking a random object from the kitchen. This led to several destructive spells against the cream of the world's early 90s international middle orders for Fiery Fred and the occasional frustratingly random "BC Lara c Valderrama b Teapot 48" in the books.
Kevin Pietersen did not hang around after the Melbourne Stars' BBL semi-final defeat against Perth, but has found time to spell out in more detail how he would take English cricket forward with the development of franchise T20 cricket. In his Daily Telegraph he says that many of world's best players would want to come and play if the structure was changed.
England has so many advantages on its side. It is on a great time zone, there is no other major cricket being played in the world in July, overseas players love coming to our country and the long summer evenings are perfect for Twenty20. We are also a country where the public will spend money to watch live sport. We love sport in England and there would be no problem getting bums on seats at a franchise Twenty20 tournament. It is just about getting the correct format.
Haris Sohail has had a frightful experience in New Zealand. The Pakistan allrounder was spooked in his Christchurch hotel room, convinced he had felt a "supernatural" presence.
Naveed Akram Cheeva, the Pakistan team manager, said Sohail phoned a member of the coaching team to say he had been woken by his bed at the Rydges Latimer hotel being rattled.
Sohail was found shaken and feverish and would not accept the suggestion that it was the fever that had caused the experience. A quick examination by team doctor found nothing to be concerned about. He then moved to the coach's room.
"He's OK and he's concentrating on cricket as he should be," Cheeva said. "He had a fever. We think it was the fever that caused it but the player still believes his bed was shaken by something and it was a supernatural something."
A spokesman for the hotel said they knew of "no active ghost" on the premises.
Some reports in the Pakistan media suggest it was his 'encounter' that led to him missing Pakistan's first warm-up match, although he did play the second game where he scored 6 and bowled four overs.
Sohail is not the first international cricketer to feel an unworldly presence in a hotel. In 2005, Shane Watson hunkered down with Brett Lee after being scared out of his room in Lumley Castle near Durham's Chester-le-Street ground. Darren Gough didn't miss a chance to remind him during the one-day international.
And last year Stuart Broad had enough of his room at the Langham Hotel in London after being woken in the night with all the taps running. "I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again, the taps came on. It was very weird," he said.
By controlling competitive cricket in India, with minimal regulation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has enabled itself to encroach upon constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, writes Suhrith Parthasarathy in the Hindu.
Some fear that this decision of the Supreme Court would open up the floodgates, bringing a number of societies and other such private associations within the courts' powers of judicial review. But, as the English barrister Michael Beloff once wrote, "It is an argument, which intellectually has little to commend it… For it is often the case that once the courts have shown the willingness to intervene, the standards of the bodies at risk of their intervention tend to improve."
Common law has historically imposed a duty on those exercising powers of monopoly -- whether self-arrogated or through governmental intervention -- to act fairly and reasonably. Our courts must now extend this rationale to hold not only the BCCI accountable, but also other such private associations, which in exercise of monopolistic powers, impinge upon the citizenry's most basic civil liberties