The Week That Was ... March 12 - March 18 March 19, 2007

Making money and losing money

Andrew McGlashan looks back at the week that was March 12 to March 18
  shares



Anil Kumble: appearing in a cinema near you soon © Getty Images
Tuffers The Movie
Two weeks in the jungle did more for Phil Tufnell's career - and his street-cred - than any number of match-winning performances with his left-arm spin. You only have to look at the insurance adverts on British TV to realise he really has hit the heights. But, in fairness to Tuffers, he actually had a pretty interesting time during his play days both with Middlesex and England. He'd already put pen to paper - or rather his ghostwriter had - and now the big-screen beckons. Given the working title of "What now" this is what we can expect. "Against a backdrop of intrigue, and behind the scenes power struggles, the former punk rocker attempts to overcome his inner demons and prove himself to the world whilst English cricket desperately seeks to maintain its stiff upper lip." Sounds epic, and England fans have been given a chance to buy shares in the film with the chance to be an extra and meet the star himself. Rumours that Kevin Pietersen has already applied are unsubstantiated.

Cashing in
Whereas Tuffers' film would be the first British cricket movie, Bollywood has been hard at it for a while and the World Cup has prompted a mini-surge of cricket-related efforts. Anil Kumble and Harsha Bogle, the well-known commentator, take the starring roles. Bogle plays himself in "Hat-trick", a film about the relationships between people with different views on the game and in India there are plenty of views. Kumble plays a cameo role in the soon-to-be-released "Meerabai Not Out." "We thought it was appropriate to release the movie coinciding with the World Cup," "Hat Trick" director Milan Luthria told AFP. "As a film maker I try and explore different themes and genres. It was time to do a sports-linked story," Luthria added. He'll be hoping they are less of a flop that India in their opening World Cup match.

The Sky Life
It's a tough life, being a TV commentator. Travelling around the world, staying in top hotels and now you can add beach-front studios to that list. For those of us watching the World Cup from England, where the unseasonably warm weather is about to be replaced by a spring cold-snap, we are greeted each afternoon with either David Gower or Charles Colville welcoming us to their Barbados studio, which is on the water's edge of the luxurious accommodation. The waves lap gently on the shore, the sun sets behind Gower as he wraps up the show and it is a surprise that none of them drift off mid-sentence. But it doesn't end there. Between innings one of the 'experts' - usually Nick Knight or Michael Slater - takes a bat, strolls onto the sand and replicates a few of the shots that have just been witnessed. Fingers crossed they have misread the tide timetable; now, that would be entertainment.



That'll cost you $1million © Getty Images
Costly over
Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes in an over against Netherlands may have proved expensive for Daan van Bunge, the unfortunate Dutch bowler, but he wasn't the only one to feel the pitch. In the build-up to the World Cup, Johnnie Walker had promised to donate $1million to charity if anyone cleared the ropes throughout an over. Within moments of Gibbs's feat the Johnnie Walker PR team had sprung into life saying they were "absolutely delighted by the inspirational and pioneering feat that was today realised by Herschelle Gibbs". Apparently they "couldn't be more thrilled with donating US$1 million to Habitat for Humanity in our efforts to enrich the Caribbean community", and offered their "sincere congratulations for this amazing accomplishment".

Is it a bird, is it a plane...
No, it's Super-Tendulkar. It really is difficult to know what to say. Basically, Sachin Tendulkar has been turned into a comic-book superhero who will wear body armour and wield a cricket bat. This is for real, April Fool's Day is two weeks away. The deal has been struck with Virgin Comics as Richard Branson shows he just can't get enough of cricket after his bandwagon-jumping during the Ashes series. "Sachin's success is legendary and we are delighted to collaborate with him," Branson said. The strips will be called "Master Blaster" and are due to hit the shelves in June, shortly before Tendulkar flies into England to fight for truth, justice and Indian victories. However, even his powers were helpless against the kryptonite of Bangladesh.

I just want to watch the cricket
Australian fans, who don't have access to pay TV, are being forced to use their initiative to follow their team's early matches at the World Cup. Channel 9 are only starting to show matches once the Super Eights kicks in, so the first three games, including the key clash against South Africa, are not available to all. Many supporters are tuning into websites which take feeds from various worldwide TV channels. Sydneysider Neerav Bhatt said. "I think they've really underestimated how annoyed people are, because there is actually no legal option left."

Quote hanger
"Before the game we said 'Let's make history today.' Well, we made history."
Luke van Troost, the Dutch captain, manages to keep a sense of perspective after Herschelle Gibbs's six-hitting record

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo