Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

Category: Link List

Phi·lan·der (verb)

Phi·lan·der (verb)

  1. to have casual or illicit sex with a woman or with many women; especially : to be sexually unfaithful to one’s wife.
  2. to have casual or illicit relationships with the corridor of uncertainty; especially: to be unfaithful to one’s off stump.

Usage: Boucher caught Dilshan philandering without footwork.


Philandered: Vernon Philander Destroys Sri Lanka Inside 3 Days

Insidious Dravid

I don’t care if you’re Rahul Dravid or God, every line in this passage from Dravid’s “Bradman Oration” is indefensible. I hate it:

Cricket’s financial success means it will face threats from outside the game and keep facing them. [..]As players, the one way we can stay ahead for the game, is if we are willing to be monitored and regulated closely.

Even if it means giving up a little bit of freedom of movement and privacy. If it means undergoing dope tests, let us never say no. If it means undergoing lie-detector tests, let us understand the technology, what purpose it serves and accept it. Now lie-detectors are by no means perfect but they could actually help the innocent clear their names. Similarly, we should not object to having our finances scrutinised if that is what is required.

Imagine if one of your co-workers said this about your work-place. Or, admittedly stretching the analogy too far, if one of your fellow citizens said it about your country.

Also read Subash’s critique of and Kartikeya’s disappointment in the entire lecture. Or “oration”, if we’re being pretentious.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

– William Pitt, House of Commons, 11/18/1783

Leaving a Little Bit of Myself on the Page

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about writing was “leave a little bit of yourself on the page”.

That’s what I’ve done in my latest piece for The SightScreen titled Test Cricket and the Insecurity of Old Cultures:

Is Test cricket like India? An old culture, defensive about its flaws, over-celebrating its achievements, aggressive about its culture and history, and yet, if it only focused on what was so good about its present, it could be so much more.

I really loved writing it. Hope you like reading it.

By the way, the second best piece of writing advice I ever received was “who needs to die before you’ll write your great story?”

Sehwag in the Fifth Dimension

This morning, Subash writes a great article on Sehwag: Realms of the Incomprehensible

He reminded me of a great Sehwag interview by Nagraj Gollapudi. The interview is great, but it also contains one of my favorite Sehwag quotes:

The Old Batsman on Sehwagology

Just plain great writing from The Old Batsman, waxing poetic on Sehwag:

This week, David Warner made his Test debut. Sehwag was more right than most of Australia. Warner does not have Sehwag’s talent, but he shares his worldview. There will be many more who do in the years to come, and then it will become the new orthodoxy. That is Sehwag’s true legacy. He has shared an era with Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting, Kallis, yet he is not one of them. As great as they are and have been, they are the old order, more connected to the past than to the future.

I fear that Sehwag is a once-in-a-lifetime event who is treated like a role model by the next generation. One can imagine approaching the performance of the old order (Dravid, Ponting, Kallis) through talent, coaching and practice. How do you train the new order? You can’t coach “don’t overthink it”. At least, I don’t thin you can.

Previously on

Occupy Fenway Park

Jarrod Kimber goes after every cricket board in the known universe and wants to Occupy Lord’s:

Maybe it’s time cricket’s 99% had more say.  Maybe it’s time we Occupy Lord’s.   Let us  show those in charge know that we are the people who finance this game, and our voices should be heard.  Sure Lord’s isn’t really the ICC home anymore, that’s now nestled in cricket’s heartland, but it’s the ground that calls itself the home of cricket, and it’s a far more grand statement than occupying some soulless building in a non cricket loving country.

It’s great writing, it’s honest and best of all, it ends with a call to action.

However, the good news is you don’t have to travel down to St John’s Wood with your sleeping bag, a few tins of fair trade baked bins and a guitar you can’t play.  You can just email the ICC’s independent governance review here

Unite. Unite all you deep, backward, short and silly fans of the game.

The title of this post borrowed from an idea from Matt Becker’s response to Kimber’s post, titled Occupy Bryn Mawr Park:

As you start to dip your big toe into the American Sporting Waters, you will be tempted to dumb the game down for the unwashed masses: don’t do this.  And, in fact, stop doing this everywhere else, too.

What I mean is: test cricket is cricket at its very best.  Full stop.   And this is coming from the uneducated cricket loving American. [..]

Other than that, remember this: it is a beautiful game.  Full of villains, and history, and magic.  I fell in love with it instantly and deeply, but only by accident.  Stop being so insular, celebrate your game, as it really is for everyone.

Uneducated cricket-loving Americans. We’re adorable and naive, aren’t we?

ESPNCricinfo and Conflict of Interest

This notice started appearing in ESPNCricinfo articles starting October 11, as far as I can tell:

*ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.), the parent company of ESPNcricinfo, and News Corporation Limited (STAR)

I won’t take credit that it happened after my  Cricinfo article, but it did happen two days after Jarrod Kimber’s article on conflict of interest on Cricinfo.

Previously on

Sehwag on Sehwagology

Daniel Brettig on what Virender Sehwag told David Warner:

“Two years ago when I went to Dehli, Sehwag watched me a couple of times and said to me, ‘You’ll be a better Test cricketer than what you will be a Twenty20 player’,” Warner recalled. “I basically looked at him and said, ‘mate, I haven’t even played a first-class game yet’. But he said, ‘All the fielders are around the bat, if the ball is there in your zone you’re still going to hit it. You’re going to have ample opportunity to score runs. You’ve always got to respect the good ball, but you’ve always got to punish the ball you always punish’.”

Which tells me a lot more about Sehwag than about Warner. It also perhaps reveals why Sehwag is a Test great before he is an ODI great, even though his game is– according to the pundits– “naturally suited to the shorter formats”.

I especially like Sehwag’s sentence construction here: you’ve always got to punish the ball you always punish.

Sehwagology. Sehwag’s law. A weird combination of fate and free will.

Cricket was Dying, in 1969

42 years ago, Jack Fingleton in Wisden, with a few edits from me:

I’ve written before of how wrong I think it is that the best of the international blood of other countries should be sucked dry by England in trying to keep alive the out-moded, incongruous county cricket system the IPL.

International cricket will suffer, as the West Indians seemed to be suggesting at an early stage in their Australian England tour. They are tired of cricket before a tour begins. They are played out.

In trying to insist that there is still a future for six-day county Test cricket, the supporters of the system fail to realise the effect upon attendances of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of cricket lovers since World War Two. This applies not only to England. The lovers of cricket, if not the game itself, are dying out. It is a sober thought to be measured for the future.

In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

On Sad Stats

I promise this blog will not turn in to a series of links to The SightScreen. But since that site is an infant, it needs some nurturing and care. This blog is an awkward teenager, which disappears in his room for days, but occasionally surfaces with deep insights in to the merits of Eve Online over Warcraft. Is that information going to help you get a job, we ask him. And he slams his door again.

Over at baby SightScreen, I’ve written about the saddest statistics in Test cricket. Here’s a blurb:

Earlier this month, Shivnarine Chanderpaul earned the dubious distinction of having lost the highest number of Test matches in history (64), beating his former team-mate Brian Lara’s record of 63.

To mark this occasion, we bring you the list of other similar sad statistics that the champions of the game have had to bear.

Go read. Then come back, ’cause this teenager used to be your baby too, once upon a time.