World Cup Snippets 1

57 Comments

Why have minnows in the World Cup?

Yes they sure do provide the odd mega-upset (as we speak Bangladesh, technically not a “minnow” but practically so, has upset New Zealand in a practice game and Ireland came mighty close to doing so against South Africa yesterday) and throw up some brilliant individual performances in losing causes (John Davison going berserk against the Windies [2003], Dave Houghton’s magical innings against New Zealand [1987]).

But then they usually fold up for 45 in front of a Chaminda Vaas or Sajid Mahmood, thus devaluing the competition. They are also responsible for 1) making the Cup go on forever and 2) making washouts against weak opposition (Say you are India and your game against Bermuda is wash-out ,you end up sharing points whereas all your competitors in the group have taken their full points from them) the death knell for teams trying to qualify in tight situations.

Yes that’s what they say.

And so do I.

Usually.

But then if we did not have the minnows, how would we ever witness the glorious spectacle of Dwayne Leverock, 270 pounds (after losing weight) of pure blubber and skill [picture courtesy Cricinfo], wheeling his arms around in a spell of immaculate left arm slow bowling recalling not only the guile of Intikabh Alam but also his size. In any other team, this man would not have made it past the “process” but in the amateur world of the minnows, where people are more laid-back and still enjoy a tub of fried chicken and some lager between breaks and fitter talent is not readily available, he can still have his name pencilled in.

And his spirited celebration after flummoxing the cocky Kevin Pietersen just made my day. [Just as Sehwag’s dismissal and Irfan Pathan’s listless bowling today ruined it.] Of course high team spirit has never been Bermuda’s problem. On the contrary, they watch each others backs so closely that the team management has had to step in to curb their fellows feeling.

It (Bermuda)’s team management has announced any player found sleeping in a hotel room not his own will be fined $1000 on the spot.

Hmm. Did I say “laid-back”?

In all an interesting two days of World Cup 2007. And the best thing is that it has not even started.

[Update snippet: In a meaningful headline, Rediff informs us that “Dhoni Dravid get lucky” as we see both Dhoni and Dravid posing with a beautiful lady. A request to Mr. Chappell, kindly also check to see that our Men in Blue are sleeping in their hotel rooms and not making luck elsewhere. ]

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57 thoughts on “World Cup Snippets 1

  1. “It (Bermuda)Ò€ℒs team management has announced any player found sleeping in a hotel room not his own will be fined $1000 on the spot.”

    India Uncut would have definitely said that “the world is no more a place for freedom. It is increasingly becoming dictatorial. Immense sadness comes.” :).

    Anyway, as usual very nice article.

  2. Ur description of Leverock is really funny. On minnows being included and all that, it does not devalue the soccer world cup!Also, Kenya was in the semis last time.

  3. Also, Dhoni shud be locked in a separate room with keys given to greg chappel because, with his long hair, he creates an illusion of being a woman to our all-deprived and tired cricketers.

  4. how would we ever witness the glorious spectacle of Dwayne Leverock, 270 pounds (after losing weight) of pure blubber and skill ……….
    Priceless!!!

  5. A friend of mine knows a few cricketers who play at the domestic level and confirms that most Indian cricketers do not sleep in their hotel rooms (at least not alone and unlike Bermudans, not with teammates) and of these, Sachin is supposed to be the wildest!! With that soft voice of his, who would have thought? πŸ˜‰

    Disclaimer: The above piece of information has been passed on to me through various sources. I have no first hand knowledge of the same and will not vouch for its validity.

  6. ->”It (Bermuda)Ò€ℒs team management has announced any player found sleeping in a hotel room not his own will be fined $1000 on the spot.”

    Are the team management pimps? $1000 to get laid seems pretty expensive, but its world cup & hotel rates MUST be expensive πŸ˜‰

  7. Beyond the fact that they make it more interesting..why have minnows in WC? 4 the same reason condemned men were asked to fight gladiators in roman amphitheatres and WC matches are mostly played on flat pitches. Some of the biggest WC hundreds of the famed Indian batting line up have come mostly in the league stages, against out of form teams like Srilanka of 1999, Namibia and Kenya. There will be a lot of celebrations and chest thumping on how an “Indian” achieved it first if,lets say Sehwag,Sachin or Dada slams a double ton in the Bermuda league match. These easy runs against lowly teams also ensure that the “men in blue” won’t have to return totally red faced. That said, I still think we have a chance.

  8. You can add another to the list- a player like viru will score a small little century against one of these minnows and then the team management will select him for the rest of the tour based on that single knock.

  9. “Also, Dhoni shud be locked in a separate room with keys given to greg chappel because, with his long hair, he creates an illusion of being a woman to our all-deprived and tired cricketers. ”

    @kishor – hahahaha .. thats funny.

    “There will be a lot of celebrations and chest thumping on how an Ò€œIndianÒ€ achieved it first if,lets say Sehwag,Sachin or Dada slams a double ton in the Bermuda league match. ”

    @srinivas – India has a history of being miserable with minnows as well.

  10. Leverock would have never passed the “process” — I think that’s the point. Minnows bring in a cricketing era that we’ve all but forgotten. Why, Intikhab Alam, I wonder if Prasanna or even Bishen Singh Bedi (before he took to yoga and became a fitness freak) would have made it to the Indian team in the current age of processes? And the world, not to speak of India, would have been poorer for that. The romance of amateur cricket has gone. Now they are happy to keep a guy in the team virtually for fielding alone (case in point, Raina), while keeping out a spinner like Romesh Pawar, who apparently has the best record among the three spinners under consideration, because of his considerable avoirdupois. Is the game richer for it? I don’t know but fielding has certainly become a factor which it wasn’t earlier. Personally speaking, I miss the ‘characters’ that cricket would invariably throw up earlier. Today there is a certain sameness among cricketers — not necessarily in their skill but in their deportment. Just listen to captains speak after a match and you’ll notice the sameness.

  11. I really doubt if Sehwag can score even a half century against Bermuda and other minnows. Evidently, he has become a sitting duck for fast bowlers all over the world. Selectors will surely pay for picking up Sehwag and not picking the greatest batsman ever to walk on earth V.V.S. Laxman, a great Southie. To hell with the selectors.

  12. @Kishor: ah you had to bring the South Indian angle to this. BTW, where is West Indies? If its on the South of India then who can stop India from winning the World Cup πŸ˜€

  13. Asterix, u know, this time cup is India’s. A south indian is leading the team and also coach Greg Chappel is from South Australia. so, combinaion of two southies will be deadly. And all the teams will have difficult time handling Sreesanth’s pace bowling. I think Dravid and Sreesanth are enough to bring the world cup to India. Rest are all mere puppets.

  14. I like this year’s format. If we must invite minnows to the world cup, there has to be a clean separation between the fun and the real competition. And the super-8 stage does exactly that. Not that I am ruling out upsets entirely, but let’s face it, we won’t bet a paycheck on SA,NZ,A,E,SL,P,I,WI not making it to super-8.

    Last time the inconsequential matches were clustered together with thr crunch ones for too long. That — together with the washouts and the boycotts — totally killed the momentum.

  15. @ Kishor: I have a question for you. Are you the antithesis of a character that goes by the name ‘Spooky Butcher’ on rediff message boards gaily spouting all sorts of filth on southies?
    Or are you him? (can say it’s a ‘him’) πŸ˜€

  16. I found his photo and follow-up writing on BBC Sports website where he is compared to the character ‘Nutty Professor’ ..

    ‘ It is perhaps appropriate that a man with such a healthy appetite should have an Indian restaurant below his house.
    There’s another one next door too!” he told BBC Sport……..
    I don’t get upset about that, it’s what the Lord gave me and I just use it to my advantage,” he told BBC Sport….The 35-year-old works as a jailer back home in Bermuda ‘ (Asrani , ae you listening?)

    ‘Guru’ Greg should follow this strategy and get NRI desis to offer free food to South Africa, Australia cricket team every now and then. The menu should include aloo-sheddo and overcooked starchy rice which would turn the forty winks to full fledged siestas. And by next World cup, we shall win!.

  17. The Pakistan team had to evacuate their hotel ‘coz of a ‘gas’ problem. I can’t wait to see what GB has to post about this potentially hilarious incident.

  18. @varsha
    Don’t worry Varsha..He will soon become a big bore. I already find his ‘South India’ style too much repetitive. You need variety to be entertaining; else you meet the same fate as the likes of Govinda-David Dhawan flicks!

  19. I think that line on process was the purpose of this post. Good job there. If only someone in the MSM could expose Gregie Boy’s ‘getting rich at the expense of Indian Cricket’ project.
    I guess he must be planning for his vacations for next 20 years with the money he has made in India. Who would have given him that sort of money in Oz?
    All he needs to do in return is to spout unverifiable theories on process and how “A cricket team is always a work in progress”!
    Yeah, right. We needed to pay $X million for you to say this! Has he ever heard of a term called accountability?
    Is there any clause in his contract specifiying results as criteria for payment?
    I am sure if charged with accountability for that, he wouldnt pursue his personal agendas and give vent to his personal hates(like he did with Saurav).

  20. Forgot to mention, in the above photo, all the Pakistan team members are just looking like pavement hawkers. Really.

  21. @Arnab:
    Nice write-up. πŸ™‚
    Crookinfo is even claiming that in Dwayne Leverock is the ‘first celebrity’ of this WC.
    Link : http://blogs.cricinfo.com/surfer/archives/2007/03/sluggo_leaves_a.php
    This is possibly the first time I tend to agree with them in something though I still wonder whether or not Ramesh Powar, if picked, and if performed similarly, would have become so popular overnight. That is possibly the only advantage of representing the minnows. It’s easier to spot talent in ‘weaker’ teams. If you score 80% in the 12th board exams from South Point or Narendrapur, chances are there that nobody would notice you but if you get the same marks from Sasati Nahala Kanthaldaha Abinash Uchchyo Bidyalay, bagnan, Howrah you might get to see your name in a bengali daily.
    It’s something of that sort.

    @ Kishor:
    Yo man !!! Can’t agree more with you, man…whatever you say. Hats off to you. You rock !!!!

  22. Arnab, agreed that we can see different ‘characters’ when minnows are brought in, but my question is, is this the place to blood them? The world cup is so long drawn that you don’t realise when it started till the Super Eights begin.

    What is your take on Indias performance? Who will reach the semis?

  23. @varsha:
    Is that because GB is losing his sting or is it because Kishor is a born entertainer? To be honest I liked the way Kishor handled GB when he was exposed as the same person using different names. He is a true ‘character’ and all this South Indian talk is just to have a laugh so that the attention is drawn away from him.

    Again, I agree with Aby that the South Indian angle can get repetitive. But to be compared with Govinda as an entertainer is a big achievement for Kishor.

    @Kishor: Well done. You have made us South Indians proud.(Note: All Indians are South Indians)

  24. Thank you Varsha and thank you very much Asterix. Be assured, I am a gifted person, multi-faceted, and have so much talent in me. So, no chance that u will get bored. I will try to entertain with all my talents.

  25. This is to all who are trying to kick-off a Kishor Vs GB comparison something like Jeet Vs Prosenjit in Tollywood.
    GB to me means great style and great humour and most importantly incredible power of imagination. He should be compared with people of similar stature.
    GB, apologies if I sound flattering. But this was my genuine reaction, being your fan.

  26. Dear Ranga Khush, advertising about ur blog in this way is very bad. Plz don’t do that. It is really an insult to GB who has been working very hard on his blog and giving us very good posts and with just one copy and paste u r trying to get publicity for ur blog. This is not morally correct man. Make ur blog popular based on ur posts, not through these cheap tricks.

  27. Aby, cool down man. seems summer has already started and showing its effect on you. Have a full glass of Coca-Cola.

  28. minnows are fun man. they add some uncertainty to the equation. its once in 4 years that you get to see something different. i’d be bloody bored if it was just gonna the same folks playing against each other.

  29. @Kishor: “I am a gifted person, multi-faceted , and have so much talent in me” – like Ravan – a SouthIndian?

  30. Yeah Amit, actually Ravana is the real hero, sophisticated, educated, expert in administration and town planning. But the primitive Aryans could not digest his greatness and attacked him with all their might. It is very unfortuante that history is always written by winners. Not only Ravana, u take any case of rakshasa who is defeated by Aryans, he would be ruling his states effectively and these Aryans go there and destroy. Then the writers like Valmiki write all the shit stuff like how bad the rakshasa is and what all his bad deeds are. Clearly, a case of not having effective media in the puranas’ time.

  31. I agree with you GB. If you look at it from another point of view – the teams can better their record books while playing against them. And also for some players, who are out of form, get a chance to shut down the critics. However, the bookie angle is also there – remember few bookies got millionaire when Bangadesh defeated Pakistan – against heavy odds.

  32. @ Kishor: Dude, I never said that Ravana was not talented – but why did he stole someones wife – that also in disguise. However, thats entirely a debate on its own, going on for years, and I don’t want to enter that over here and clog GB’s blog space. Please note that this is not a discussion board where people are free to float thier own stupid idea’s – rather comment on the article that is posted above. If you think you have enough “good” ideas, then you are free to start your own blog.

  33. @Kishor: I just replied to your stupid comment – which you made out of nowhere – no connection to the post.

  34. GB, If you want you may please clean up the irrelavent posts of my conversation with Kishor above. Thanks. Amit

  35. Sorry Amit, I lost my temper. U shudn’t have used the word “stupid ideas” in ur reply. I don’t like offensive words at all. I never offend anyone in my comments and use only acceptable words. Anyway, sorry again. Let us forget this as a nightmare.

  36. @Kishor: Thank you

    @Tintin: True. But that was due to the boycotts.

    @Kailas: πŸ™‚

    @Sriram: Ah well…cant please everyone.

    @LalBadshah: Mmm…most interesting.

    @Asterix: Hmm.

    @Srinivas: But India has had a tendency of playing to the level of their opposition. I shudder when I think about the Holland game in 2003.

    @//slash\: Let us see.

    @Rani: True. These people do bring back a laid-back non-professional touch to the game that is increasingly being populated by assembly-line “process” players with no individual charm or personality.

    @Dipanjan: Only risk is India losing to Bangladesh.

    @Dipanwita: Lovely ! So it’s the Indian food….

    @Rahul Ghosh: Yes had seen that before. A post had been planned. Now it is up.

    @Varsha: Most important is that RTDM is being entertaining !

    @Raj: Results? On the contract? It does not happen in India..

    @deBoLIN: True.

    @Asterix: They are blooded in other tournaments. But as Dravid said these people play cricket under severe restrictions of money and giving them some time in the sun is the least the cricket community can do for them.

    @Bonatellis06: Is that good or bad?

    @Ranga Khush: Really?

    @Arshat: Yes what to do !

    @Aby: Curious. In your analogy, am I Jeet or Prosenjit?

    @Sriram: Hmm…yes at least we get to have some fun.

  37. Not sleeping in their rooms eh?! Sigh – reminds me of an episode of Jadeja found in someone else’s room in SA on tour… now when was it…?

  38. @GB
    Obviously Proshenjit–The Eternal Hero. Greater than Uttam Kumar. Some may argue that Uttam had great acting skills and Prosenjit is just above average. But along with ‘above- average’ acting skills he has great entrepreneurship and is a good human being too. Most importantly, he does not beg for roles in Bollywood flicks like Uttam did (remember Desh Premi, where Uttam disgraced the Bengali sentiments of being called a ‘Mahanayak’).
    To iterate, you are PROSHENJIT !

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