Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An extremely confidential England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) document detailing Kevin Pietersen's behaviour during the 5-0 Ashes thrashing and his breakdown with then-England coach, Andy Flower has been leaked, and is now in possession with Cricbuzz.com. The dossier on KP is said to be the one that played a huge role in helping remove the maverick right-hander from the England side and was made so as to help the England board through its negotiations with KP, when the matters over his future were to be discussed. 
The document, titled STRICTLY PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL, explains in detail how Kevin Pietersen was disobedient, disloyal, disparaging and disengaging while his side was going through a horrendous time against their traditional rivals, Australia. 

The document carries information on how Pietersen expressed that the captain, Alastair Cook was 'tactically inept' and the entire team was 'a bunch of useless c*nts'.
Excerpts from the document:
  • Upon arrival in Adelaide for the Second Test, AF (Andy Flower) gave express instructions to players not to stay out late and not to give the scandal voracious press any ammunition, which KP immediately disobeyed by taking out two young players drinking with him until late (an incident which was front page news in the Adelaide press the following day)
  • After playing a terrible shot to get out in one of his innings in the Fourth Test, KP returned to the England dressing room and in front the younger England players, shouted 'you lot are a bunch of useless c*nts'
  • KP ranted, saying GS (Graeme Swann) is a 'c*nt', the team was 'sh*t' and having a go at AF and his coaching.
  • Following KP's second innings dismissal (5th Test), KP whistled casually on his way back to the pavilion, before coming into the dressing room. After the game was lost, KP walked out of the dressing room, saying "I dont give a f*ck".
Posted by aamir raaz On Wednesday, October 08, 2014 No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri, who at present is the national Team Director said that he would try to get Suresh Raina back into the Test side. Since notching up a hundred on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2010, Raina has struggled to make his mark in the longer format of the game.

Raina once again gave ample display of his talent by smashing a strokeful century in Chennai Super Kings' victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of the Champions League T20 last Saturday.

"The more I see him play, he is brilliant to watch. It will be my endeavour really to do something that will get him back into the Indian Test match team. He is a class act. When he is performing well, he is a treat to watch," Shastri said at a media interaction at the Press Club.

Shastri continued by saying, "Even at times when I see him bat at the nets, when the ball hits the bat, just that sound or sense of timing you know it is something different. Let's hope, fingers crossed."

The Uttar Pradesh player last played a Test match in 2012 in a home series against New Zealand. He has featured in 17 Tests in comparison to 196 ODIs and 44 T20I games he has played for the country.

When asked about players like Kuldeep Yadav coming into the side without much domestic experience, Shastri said that when a young cricketer has burgeoning potential, he should be given a chance to show his mettle.



"When there is talent, when you have something different like with Kuldeep, something special and if the selectors believe that yes, this could be the guy, if nurtured properly, given the right guidance one year or two years down the line will be a match-winner not just in India, but in overseas conditions as well. I am prepared to take that gamble."

The former India captain backed the under-fire Indian coach Duncan Fletcher and said he has a lot of knowledge.

"Absolutely, he is brilliant. He is a seasoned campaigner. He has over 100 Test matches as a coach for various teams. The good thing is that Fletcher and me go a long way back. We know each other. I captained the Under 25 team against Zimbabwe in 1984 when he was the captain of Zimbabwe. He has got a fabulous track record. It is how we use the knowledge that he has in the best possible way and communicate with the players," he concluded.
Posted by aamir raaz On Tuesday, October 07, 2014 No comments READ FULL POST
West Indies versus India. If we go back in time to the 1980s, this was the biggest cricket series of all for an Indian cricketer. And for fans,there was nothing better than watching the worlds best fast bowlers in action. A hundred against the West Indies fast bowling quartet was considered a kind of coming of age innings for any batsman. That we regard Sunil Gavaskar as one of the best ever is because he was able to master the West Indians at their peak in the 1970s and 1980s.
Australia might well have had a more robust system and cricketing structure in place but they lacked the flair the West Indians, under Clive Lloyd,brought to cricket. And with cricket continuing to struggle with the problem of half-empty grounds around the world, the sport needs to get back the flair Lloyd and party brought to it.

In the course of researching West Indies cricket and in discussions with experts like Sir Hilary Beckles, the best known scholar of the game in the Caribbean, it was evident that one of the fundamental issues was the lack of money in the game. Players from the recent past were often left to do clerical jobs, like acting as the liaison officer for a visiting India A team. For current players and young talent,cricket did not seem a worthwhile career choice. Even the Allen Stanford experiment in 2008, which offered West Indian stars fast and easy money was short-lived and controversial.




All this began to change in 2008, and funnily, with something that happened in faraway India the advent of the Indian Premier League(IPL). The IPL soon created a superstar out of a certain Kieron Pollard. Not having played a single Test match for the West Indies,Pollard was a million dollar man. He was in high demand with the IPL franchises and earned money unheard of in the ailing economies of the Caribbean. Pollard wasn't alone. If Pollard started the Caribbean invasion of the IPL, it was Gayle who took over the competition in seasons 4 and 5. Winning matches single-handedly for the Bangalore franchise, Gayle was soon the toast of the IPL. Coming from Jamaica,a country plagued with serious socio-economic issues, Gayle brought hope to aspiring West Indian cricketers. On the heels of Gayle and Pollard followed Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine who won a $700,000 contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders and became Player of the IPL in Seasons 5, 6, 7. Seemingly from nowhere, West Indies had again become a force to reckon with in the shorter version of the game.

It is important to mention here that the IPL isn't the only cash cow the West Indians are milking. They are also playing the Big Bash in Australia and a host of other T20 tournaments around the world. Such leagues have nurtured a new band of million dollar professionals who have become world stars without making a mark in the Test match arena. Samuels, Pollard, Narine, Bravo, even Gayle are all underachievers in Test cricket, but they are stars in the T20 format.
While the West Indies are now a real force in T20 cricket, Test cricket in the Caribbean continues to languish. Not only does T20 cricket give you more visibility, more eyeballs and, in turn, more money it also attracts thousands to the grounds in the Caribbean. So, while Test cricket fights for survival, T20 cricket is rapidly gaining momentum.

The truth is world cricket today stands polarised. While Test cricket continues to be the prestige format in England and Australia,the traditional power centres of the game, T20 is the format of choice in the Caribbean.

And like with all things cricket at the moment, India has had a major role to play in this transformation. Sample this statistic: at the start of play on Day 1 of the Test match India played against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, in November 2011, there were less than a thousand people in the stands. The very same Eden Gardens had witnessed riots when the West Indies played India on 1January 1967, was packed to capacity when Sunil Gavaskar was snapped up by Malcolm Marshall in the first ball of a Test match in 1983 andhad 50,000-plus people present when Sachin Tendulkar scored a match-saving century in 2002. Now, they flock to watch Gayle turn out for the Royal Challengers from Bangalore, Pollard, when he leads the charge for the Mumbai Indians, and adore Sunil Narine for winning the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders. There is in fact much anger in Kolkata that Narine has been called for suspect action.
Posted by aamir raaz On Tuesday, October 07, 2014 No comments READ FULL POST