Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

Category: Link List

In Defense of Cook (and Geeks)

I’m a big fan of Cook the Test batsman. I’m not sold yet on Cook the Test captain (though it seems inevitable). I’m ambivalent on Cook the ODI batsman, and I’m not sold on Cook the ODI captain. And let’s, for the purpose of this article, assume T20 does not exist.

But as someone who is described (by myself and others) as a geek, I can’t help but lighten-up when Minal describes him as follows:

Cook is the essential geek you need in your group to research, compile and present the project and fetch the grade so that you and your friends can play pictionary and scrabble into the night and get up early to watch cricket matches.

Yeah, that was never me. But I knew that guy too, and while I’d never let him captain my team, I would make sure no one would bully him around.

(Also, I’d call him a nerd, not a geek.)

Star of the Moment: Mushfiqur Rahim

Spare a thought for Mushfiqur Rahim. He is 23 years old and in his first series as captain, at home against an eminently beatable West Indies. Not just a captain, but a wicket keeper captain, expected to lead a team of twentysomethings including his former captain.

And how does he handle the pressure? He is the top scorer in the single T20 for his team, and wins the game. He is Bangladesh’s top scorer in the ODI series. And at the moment, he is the top scorer in the first Test.

Take a bow, Mushfiqur Rahim.

Random Internet Guy Names The Best Players in Indian History

It is common knowledge that if you want a definitive answer to difficult questions, Yahoo! Answers is the place to go.

With that in mind, I found someone who asked the following question:

Why didn’t players like Atul Bedade and Sadagoppan Ramesh play more matches for India?

To which a Yahoo! user named “Human” replied:

The best players India has produced till date are – Dodda Ganesh, Nilesh Kulkarni, Sadagopan Ramesh, Debang Gandhi, Nikhil Chopra, Amay Khurasia, Abhay Kuruvilla, Debasish Mohanthy, Thiru Kumaran, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Vijay Bharadwaj, Shiv Sundar Das, Aakash Chopra, Saba Karim, Sunil Joshi and last but not least Ravindra Jadeja.

Well done, Human. Well done.

In other news, Deep Backward Point is the #5 link on Google for the search term “Atul Bedade”.

Chennai Super Kings Terminate the Kochi Franchise

I’m going to harp on this until N. Srinivasan is either out of the BCCI or no longer owns CSK. From the Cricinfo report:

When asked if Kochi had any chance of returning, Srinivasan responded: “No, we have terminated the franchise because the breach is not capable of being remedied.”

That is, BCCI president  CSK owner N. Srinivasan announcing the termination of Kochi Tuskers Kerela. I’m not saying Kochi didn’t deserve it, but I am saying this situation is untenable.

For more background:

Miandad Myths

As a connoisseur of Miandad mythology, this almost-myth about Miandad by Steven Lynch really caught my attention. Does Miandad hold the record for most innings without being dismissed lbw?

It would be a record… if it were true. But Javed Miandad was actually out lbw 33 times in Tests (from 189 innings, not 288). The other urban myth is that he was never given out lbw in Pakistan – but that’s not true either, as he was dispatched leg-before on eight occasions in home Tests, although admittedly it was quite a long time before the first one. He’d been playing Tests for more than nine years before he was lbw at home, to Ravi Ratnayeke of Sri Lanka in Sialkot in 1985-86.

Umpires Show Ethnic Bias in Baseball—unless they’re feeling watched

Dear Baseball, we empathize:

Calling balls and strikes would seem to be one of the last bastions of the low-tech world; it’s all up to the judgement of the lone umpire behind home plate, and there’s no instant replay. But that impression would be badly wrong. In recent years, every stadium in the major leagues has been equipped with a QuesTec system that compares umpires’ ball and strike calls to an objective, computer-validated standard. Deviate too far from what the system says you should be calling, and you’ll automatically have your performance reviewed. This provides the ultimate “someone is watching you” experience for the umpire.

[..]

In its simplest form, when an umpire was from the same ethnic group as the pitcher, they were more likely to call a pitch a strike, at least at a ball park that was not equipped with a QuesTec monitor. When the same analysis was performed at a QuesTec game, the probability that a pitch would be called a strike when there was matching pitcher/ump ethnicity dropped by a full percent—”more than offsetting the favoritism shown by umpires when QuesTec does not monitor them.”

This Blog Post Shortened Due to Rain

Matt Becker:

Get to work, ICC.  Forget about DRS or the IPL or the Associates, let’s figure out this rain issue.

See also: what I said on Twitter.

The Extraordinary Story of NZ Bowler Bob Blair

It’s Christmas eve, 1953. 21-year-old New Zealand bowler Bob Blair is about to play a Test against South Africa in Johannesburg, when he is informed that the love of his life was killed when a train fell in to a river back home. Blair was left grieving at the hotel as the Test continued.

Richard Boock at Sunday Star Times has the story:

New Zealand, having finished off its hosts’ first innings, found itself on the wrong end of a near-lethal attack from South African paceman Neil Adcock. Everyone was hit. Sutcliffe was knocked unconscious and rushed to hospital. Lawrie Miller left the field coughing blood, Johnny Beck was hit so hard in the groin, his box was turned inside out. John Reid was left black and blue, Frank Mooney was peppered.

Sutcliffe collapsed twice, again at hospital but returned to the ground to resume the battle, re-entering the fray at six down [..] [b]ut the dashing left-hander soon found himself running out of partners.

That’s when Blair came back and played a defiant stand. Heart-breaking stuff. Spirit of cricket.

Sutcliffe told Blair: “C’mon son, this is no place for you. Let’s swing the bat at the ball and get out of here.”

That’s a philosophy of life, if I’ve ever seen one.

Imagine the Worst Possible International Cricket Board– USACA is Worse

Oh my God. Just read through Peter Della Penna’s interview with former USA cricket manager Imran Khan. There’s just so much worth quoting. Like the fact that Khan has $250 belonging to USACA, but no one will even tell him how to return it. And how the apathetic association won’t meet with major potential sponsors like Yahoo and Cisco. But these three excerpts are especially heart-breaking, jaw-dropping:

I always write a very extensive tour report, extremely detailed tour report. It covers everything from the initial practice sessions, selection, all the way up to team management, kits, resources, travel itinerary, to how individual players how I rated them in accordance to their behavior – off the field stuff because Lamby deals with on field stuff – so it’s very extensive. [..] The only response I’ve ever had is, ‘Your reports are too long. Nobody reads them.’

On how New Zealand bowler Dipak Patel was left high and dry:

Well [Dipak Patel] was promised the earth and some more. He was promised, in my presence, he was promised the main coaching job in the US, responsible for its development. [..] Dipak was even talking about moving his family to the US and how he would convey that to his family and how his wife and kids would react to that. [..] So it got down to quite a level and then once the tour ended, it finished. So that whole thing was baloney. It was BS.

And on the parochialism:

There should be a certain amount of etiquette and diligence in the way you deal with the situation but these guys don’t have that because they have that back home mentality, that tribal third-class mentality. They bring it over and they’ve been doing it for God knows how long and I don’t think it’s going to stop them today.

Bleddy USACA. And this is just part 1 of the interview.

Ranji in Ireland

Henry Kelly in the Irish Times traces the great Ranjitsinhji’s Irish connection:

A few years ago while on holiday in Connemara, I spent an afternoon with Martin Halloran, then the last surviving member of Ranji’s staff at Ballynahinch. [..]

Martin remembers hearing [of Ranji’s death] with sadness and disbelief. “You’d meet people on the road crying their eyes out and we even convinced ourselves that he’d died on April 1st and one of the men said he was still alive and it was just his idea of an April Fool’s joke”.

Ranji never married, though Martin told me with a wink: “He always had a nurse with him”.

Great stuff.