Tag Archives: IPL

What is wrong with South Africa?

South Africa came in to the T20 world cup as one of the contenders, in spite of all the baggage they have been carrying ever since their re-entry to world cricket in 1990-91. Some of their players featured in the recently concluded IPL 3 and seemed to be in form, including the rejuvenated Kallis at the top of the  order, Albie Morkel performing well for his franchise (Chennai) and their bowling ace Dale Steyn, hustling batsmen even on flat Indian pitches with his pace and deadly swing. They have always been one of the best fielding sides and with players like AB DeVilliers, Mark Boucher,  and with their skipper Graeme Smith coming back in to the fold, they surely did look set for a semifinal spot (at the least) and on their way to erasing years of futility in international events. And then, the tournament began.

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Dear Bob Willis – Shut your trap

I had written briefly about the general apathy in England for the IPL. I read recently in Cricinfo in their quotes section, the following:

Some of the four overseas players aren’t the best, you may have two top-class Indian players, the rest are rubbish.”

The quote was attributed to the ever forthcoming, Mr. Bob Willis, the former England player and now, a commentator. I had seen quite a bit of lip from a lot of columnists and talking heads from England about how the IPL is aggrandized and is ruining Cricket. This is the first I heard someone go after the quality of players in IPL.

By Bob’s estimation, a team has about 3-4 good players and the rest are just there to make the requisite 11. I completely disagree with it. Let’s look at the team that finished at the bottom of the table, Kings XI Punjab. Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Ravi Bopara, Yuvraj Singh, Piyush Chawla easily come to mind as some of their better players. Let’s look at the Kolkata Knight Riders. Ganguly, Bond, Gayle, Pujara, McCullum will definitely come under the banner of really good players and Manoj Tiwary and Murali Kartik are not that far behind. These are just the names from teams that did not qualify for the semifinals.

By that yardstick  Mr. Willis, wouldn’t pretty much ALL the English county teams be termed rubbish? Let alone the county teams, how about the England Cricket team? I am sure he considers Ian Bell the best player to ever pick a bat and Jimmy Anderson the greatest exponent of swing bowling. Hey Bob, we have an inconsistent swing bowler in India too and his name is Sreesanth!

Willis’ attitude is typical of English cricket observers who have the blinders on and have a self-righteous attitude towards what they define as “proper” cricketer. It makes me absolutely sick – this attitude. Instead of taking potshots at the IPL and its players at every given opportunity, why don’t people like Bob Willis just loosen up a little bit and get off their high horses, and enjoy the spectacle that’s the IPL?

The dynamic duo

Stuart Broad, fresh from rebutting Kevin Pietersen’s comments about how England’s bowlers would’ve benefited from playing in the IPL, decides to call up the only person who will understand him, Michael Clarke.

(Patiently waits as the ring tone “It Ain’t me Babe” plays on.)

Michael Clarke: G’day Stuey! How goes it mate?

Stuart Broad: Hi there Pup! As the only other member of the league of blonde-haired, beautiful cricketers that voluntarily snubbed the IPL, I thought i’ll give you a ring, mate.

MC: That’s awfully nice of ya, Stuey.. Everything alright?

SB: Yeah mate! Its just that KP comments….

MC: Yeah, I saw that. What is up with that?

SB: You know, you wanna keep going along, stay out of the limelight a bit, but he drags you in..

MC: He is just an attention-grabber.. not like us. We get attention even when we don’t need it.

SB: I thought I’ll get some good ink about me in the English papers about how I snubbed the IPL monster and perhaps will make people forget about how petulant I have been on the field the past season. It was kind of hard, you know, considering all the money that was there on the table.. Did you see Makhaya played no games at all and still is gonna get a good cheque? Even my team mate Eoin, he played what 3-4 games? I wish I had thought about it a little longer before I had said no.

MC: I could have used a bit of change too, mate! The whole Lara issue may put a dent in my bank balance. I mean, look at Huss.. I would’ve gone to the IPL the same time he did, play a couple of games here and there.. Imagine this.. if I had been picked by Kings XI Punjab, nobody would’ve even noticed if I had not performed.. Yuvraj pretty much torpedoed that franchise this year…

SB: True. but I dont how I would’ve felt if I had been picked by Kings XI Punjab.. You know, you go around building all this reputation as the next great allrounder that’s gonna supplant Beefy and he hits you for 6 sixes.. the nerve of that man.. I couldn’t even find my Dad that day to complain to.. That sort of behavior should not be tolerated, you know what I mean?

MC: I understand mate..

SB: My reputation took a big hit.. We had to “wallop” West Indies in the test and ODI series and “pummel” Bangladesh in to submission for all the world to see, for me to gain some of it back.

MC: At least you didn’t have to contend with nude pics of your fiancee, did you?

SB: Oh right..

MC: Its been a little tough but I have been doing alright ever since I portrayed so much courage to join my mates to defeat those outrageously talented Kiwi team. Now I am the captain of the team.. I need to remember few things that punter has been texting me, lately!

SB: Oh yeah, congrats on that mate! How is that going?

MC: Well, considering the great job Punter did in the last T20 World Cup, if we make the 2nd round, I am off the hook!

SB: Right. Oops, I am getting a call from Luke Wright. We had talked earlier that we would go shopping for some hair gel.. You want some? I could bring it to the Caribbean for you.

MC: That’s alright mate! I have decided to shave off the do.

SB: Oh nooo… So i am the only one remaining in the league of blond-haired beautiful cricketers, then?

MC: I had to do it mate. Sorry. Perhaps now, they won’t recognize me and stop asking me questions about Lara.

SB: cheer up fella! It will all be alright. Talk to you soon.

MC: yeah Mate. See ya later.