Posts Tagged ‘ECB’


 Goutham Chakravarthi

 16 August 2011

Ian Botham has slammed the ICC for not giving England a fair opportunity to win the four match series 5-0. His request to let India bat twice again on the 4th and 5th days on a crumbling Edgbaston pitch so that England could showcase their supremacy over the highly overrated Indian batting line-up. ECB had sold any number of non-refundable tickets for the last day. He quibbled, “This Indian side is only interested in IPL cricket and the razzmatazz associated with it. The partying and cheer leaders can be very tempting! But ECB should rub their faces in the mud when they can so that I can walk with my head held high!”

Ravi “Tracer Bullet” Shastri accused Ian Botham of being jealous for not being involved in the IPL. He said, “Instead, we could have had 5 IPL games on the 4th and 5th days as skippers of Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Mumbai Indians were around. It would have proved only Indian teams can win IPL matches even in England and England cannot stomach that fact and India would still be world no. 1”. Sunil Gavaskar, nodded in approval even as the editor of the Outlook magazine was stealthily eavesdropping on the conversation in a Scooby Doo disguise but wearing his ID nonetheless.

Cook is to be rechristened as “Sir Mulish” by the Queen

ESPNStar, the Indian broadcaster of the India-England series, has sued Alastair Cook for a severe dip in their television ratings and their studies revealed that grown men preferred to watch soaps over cricket who have refused to switch the channel back on to cricket even a week later fearing that he would be leaving deliveries bowled by M.S. Dhoni whilst still batting on 401 after 70 hours at the batting crease.  They have sued his mentor, Graham Gooch, and his hair-transplant consultant who is rumored to be a distant cousin of Geoffrey Boycott for implanting these ethics into Gooch, and by extension, to Cook.

Indian fans who have travelled to England have been seen scampering at Kings Cross in the hope to find the platform 9¾ to escape to the magic world of Harry Potter. They were seen frantically performing the memory charm ‘Obliviate’ on each other in a vain attempt to erase the memories of Cook. ESPNStar has warned that another innings of Cook on similar lines at The Oval would further weaken the economics as they already have no advertisers or viewers till the time there is Cook.

BCCI has warned the cricket world of there being a great depression should Cook continue to be allowed to play any cricket at all. They have challenged Cook to settle scores with Praveen Kumar in a wrestling bout followed by a sweating contest with Rahul Dravid. Cook has agreed to the challenge but only after he is done with his batting practice that commenced 10 mins after the 3rd Test ended on Saturday afternoon. Two bowling machined have limped off with hamstring and shoulder injuries, but Cook’s practice shows no signs of abating.

Praveen Kumar is warming up to settle scores with Cook in a wrestling bout

On Sunday, with the Indian Embassy appealing to the Queen, the matter was forced into Scotland Yard’s hands. They have hired the services of the Indian minister and former cricketer Sidhu and former England captain Nasser “Jealous” Hussain to provide pitch-side distraction for Cook in his practice. Sidhu has apparently not let Hussain utter, “I have been paid to provide my opinion,” in 18 hours of Cook’s batting practice so far. With bowling machines worn out and all net bowlers doing their shoulders, Scotland Yard’s private detectives were seen plotting their strategy against Cook.

They hired the services of George and Fred Weasley who ran-up to bowl to Cook and cleverly disguised the use of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes’ new trick of developing five arms on the delivery stride and bowling them over-arm, under-arm, side-arm, a Shoaib chuck and a Sreesanth beamer simultaneously against Cook only for Cook to defend, block, leave, sway and duck at the same time to the five deliveries. The mesmerized Weasley twins were last heard arguing with J.K. Rowling that Harry Potter should now be rechristened Harry Cook.

The Queen has decided to take the matter in her own hands and it has been decided that Alastair Cook will be given knighthood on Thursday so as to ensure that he doesn’t play in The Oval test after the BCCI accused ECB for not playing in the spirit of the game. ECB, it is understood from our sources, have sent out a massive search for bowlers who specialize in bowling long hops and leg-stump half-volleys in order to restore interest among Indian batsmen and Indian spectators.

Not even the magic tricks of the Weasley twins could get Cook out.

The Queen has urged that normalcy be restored in cricket. She urged, “Alastair Cook henceforth will be known by the name Sir Mulish for his insane ability to resist a Sreesanth half-volley after two days of batting when he can see even the smallest of craters on the moon even in broad day light.” Sreesanth complained that he never felt this bad even when he was slapped. And Warne ended-up sending text messages to all nurses in the whole of England to beat boredom. All the while, Sir Geoffrey Boycott was seen admiring Cook and blowing kisses at him.

ESPNStar, meanwhile, has resorted to desperate measures to keep the Indian interest alive in the series. BCCI has arm-twisted ICC to decide the result of the final Test through online voting and text messaging. Viewers will be asked to vote on the following:

BCCI is working with PCB to see if they can spot-fix the Test last summer where Cook scored his career saving hundred. They are talking to have the umpire change his mind and give him out against Mohammed Aamir when Cook was on 2 so that England would drop him retrospectively and his Ashes and Edgbaston exploits be deemed void.


 Goutham Chakravarthi

 29 July 2011


It is now a power struggle. It is proving to be one mighty battle for power between England and India: BCCI vs. ECB, English press vs. Indian press, ESPNStar com box vs. Sky com box. Of course, also the small matter of battle for ICC’s no.1 ranking in Tests.

Michael Vaughn wrote a piece on how to get Tendulkar out at the beginning of the series. Now, one Test into the series, Nasser Hussain has written a piece on how Anderson is proving to be too smart for Tendulkar. Simon Hughes wrote an article on how to get the better of all Indian players (bordering on something like get the batsmen out and don’t lose wickets to Indian bowlers!). Scyld Berry swears Tendulkar wouldn’t have crossed his highest score of 37 at Lord’s had he even batted the whole of the last day of the first Test. Boycott calls it the beginning of the end for the Indian team as no.1, but, Botham is already convinced that England are the new kings.

A story such as this is what media is after.

Not to be outdone, Sourav Ganguly called the English attack pretty much the same as the one he faced in 2007 and how India will tough it out and win this series. One Test in to the series, he is convinced that India will get better – a thought reflected in another former captain Anil Kumble’s recent article. Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar has appealed to the Indian media to get behind the home team like the Australian press and stop being negative about them (in other words, you or I can’t have an opinion of our own).

Long gone are the days when journalists described batting as art and poetry or the art of re-constructing a bowler’s clever plot in beguiling a champion opposition bowler. It is hyperbole madness today with media looking for quotes and stories. A Manjrekar calling Dravid “not talented” is a bigger story than a gutsy, carefully engineered Dravid hundred. A journalist who ekes out “Ganguly divides the team” from the coach is put on a higher pedestal than a wonderful analyst reporter who picks a pattern to a team’s issues with leg-spin bowling.

Bloggers and journalists have been working overtime to prove their points-of-view. Some English writers have even put this English team on par with Clive Lloyd’s West Indians and Steve Waugh’s Australians. The health of their bowling riches is compared to the ancient flourishing civilizations on the banks of river Nile and their seemingly endless supply of talented young batsmen are expected to back-fill any holes in their batting should there be such a need. Some credit the African and Asian immigrants’ contribution in the English uprising in the world rankings. The standard of county cricket is apparently on the rise while simultaneously they are taking a swipe at the state schools for not contributing even one English player since Collingwood.

On the Indian side, cricket enthusiasts have been digging-up stats of tours where India start poorly and stacking the series end result to be convinced that there is going to be a turn around. Health and injury history of Zaheer Khan have been researched more than will the protein pattern matching at the Indian Institute of Science. A team’s seriousness of the first test is being questioned and even alleged to be used as match practice by Sanjay Manjrekar. Never the ones to miss an opportunity, the whole of England is hell bent to point at the IPL for every Indian failure anywhere else – from the player fitness to mental fatigue.

The same can be extended to how both the cricket boards operate. Both like power and both don’t have a history of being very affable when wielding it. Like ECB’s willing and what proved to be a fatal association with Standford and now the enormous urge to protect its players from theIPL, BCCI is no different with wanting its stars playing in IPL – even at the cost of an international tour – and not the other T20 leagues around the world. Both like taking pot-shots at each other, don’t expect it to be very different should one of the two teams lose on the field either on a dodgy umpiring decision or the proverbial “player integrity” over a match altering low catch.

The team that stands tall at the end of the series will be regarded as among the finest by its fans, ex-players and its media while the losing team will face the wrath of their fans, ex-players and media. You see, they all need the men on the field to give them the bragging rights over their counterparts.

God save the team that wins. God save the team that loses.