Archive for April, 2008

Geoffrey Boycott, not exactly famed for his progressive views, has spoken out in favour of the introduction of Hawk-Eye technology to aid umpires in their decision-making.

Personally, I think he’s right. There are still a lot of unfortunate decisions made, which might have been avoided if there were recourse to replays or Hawk-Eye when the umpires were unsure.

Cricket, unlike football, would not be slowed down any further by the additional use of technological assistance (which is already used for some decisions in any case), and Hawk-Eye seems to be fairly reliable for some decisions at least. That said, such umpire aids can become a crutch, meaning every potentially contentious decision is sent to the third umpire. That WOULD slow the game down.

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The Shoaib Akhtar saga continues, as the PCB rejected his appeal against the five-year ban they had earlier imposed, but also confirmed his eligibility to play overseas, including, of course, the Indian Premier League. All of this, however, is temporary, as the appeal is to be reconsidered in June. Obviously.

This will, whatever happens in June, certainly not be the last time the crazy Pakistani paceman hits the headlines.

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I was interested to read that, following his reinstatement, Darrell Hair will stand as an umpire in the 2nd Test between England and New Zealand (at Old Trafford starting May 23rd) in his first Test match since all that unpleasant business with the ball-tampering accusations, the e-mails and the recriminations.

Hair’s long-term future remains unclear, not least because he won’t be umpiring matches involving Pakistan. There are still a lot of strong feelings on the issue, and I won’t be surprised if there’s still more controversy to come.

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Fresh from punishing the Kiwis, a noble deed sure to be celebrated in song by future generations, Rob Key has been named captain of the England Lions, which is a bit like being England captain, only Miss Field doesn’t get the hots for you, and your team includes ‘recent England reject’ Matt Prior and R&B fan Ravi Bopara.

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… since Friday (that youtube post was pre-set), and I come back to this.

Holy Cow. I guess that Harbhajan has always had something like this in him, but you’re never really ready to see a grown man cry.

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If catches win matches, then careless hands cost runs.

Dropped catches come in many types. Firstly, there’s your common-or-garden fumble, like this one which gave Sehwag a repreive.

Then there’s the ‘celebrating too soon‘, which has afflicted even the great Brian Lara.

Lara has much reason to bemoan his luck with the dropped catch, especially as he also fell victim to another type, the ‘hope no-one saw it‘, when he was dismissed even though Steve Waugh hadn’t taken the ball cleanly.

If you do drop a catch, don’t do what Sreesanth did and follow it up with an overthrow. That could be decribed as a ‘salt in the wound’ drop, which just makes you look silly.

Of all the drops, though, the most feared is the ‘beer drop’. Avoid this at all costs.

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Sachin Tendulkar turns 35 today. To celebrate, here are a few words, with youtube links:

Tendulkar’s bowling is often ignored, and (as you can see here) he’s taken a fair few wickets. He’s also not a bad fielder. But it’s his run-making ability that has always marked him out as special.

Most recently, his 117 against Australia in the Commonwealth Bank series caused quite a stir, but he’s been making runs for quite a while now.

Happy Birthday, Sachin.

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