Monday, June 06, 2005

Good news

I just thought I might post here that there's been a bit of good news. I was short-listed for two awards by the Sports Journalists' Federation of India. While I did not win the Cricket Writer of the Year award, I did win the award for the best interview of the year. For more, please click here.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sports Journalism Awards

Just a quick note to let you all know that I've been short-listed for awards in two categories in the inaugural Sports Journalists' Federation of India awards. I've been short-listed for Cricket Writer of the Year and Interview of the Year. For the full media release from the SJFI click here. The final results will be announced at an awards function in Mumbai on June 4.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Patriotism? Hardly.

Somehow sport seems to inspire more misguided patriotism than most other things. Fortunately it never gets serious enough to be a matter of life and death. Here (corrected link now works) is a piece I wrote on Cricinfo about the madness surrounding the search for India's new coach.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The honest jogger

John Wright's five years with India have finally come to an end. And you can't really grudge him his departure, his two kids, Harry and Georgie, have hardly seen their father, and understandably want him back. India's Mr. Wright is a piece I've written on him for Cricinfo.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A moment for Scott Mason

Scott who?

Well, in the whirl of international cricket, where one day is a long time, where the condition of Sachin Tendulkar's elbow sends an entire nation into a tizzy, spare a moment for Scott Robert Mason, the Tasmanian opening batsman, who died at the age of 28 of a heart failure. While it always seems a terrible waste when someone dies so early, you can't help feeling worse when it happens to a young cricketer with his best ahead of him.

So, as Peter Newlinds writes in his piece, on ABC Sport let us look beyond the obvious for just one moment.

... for those of us who watched him and who followed his career closely "Maso" won't be forgotten and his cruel, tragic death at the age of 28 will remind us that there are plenty of more important things than a man's career stats.

And, here's what colleague, captain and team-mate Jamie Cox had to say about him:

Just such a likeable guy, and an inspiration, and I guess you could say tragically but ironically he was one of the heartbeats of our team. There aren't enough words to say enough about this little mate, he was a beauty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Prince of Calcutta

The last few days have been hectic. Two colleagues are out on tour, three are stricken by chicken pox. And I've been having doubts about why I should be writing a blog at all when I write for Cricinfo. Writing blogs is so often self-indulgent ... The future of this blog is in serious doubt, and a retirement announcement may well be around the corner.

But, I thought I might point anyone who still reads this to an interview I did on Cricinfo. Sourav Ganguly spoke to me on the eve of the final Test. The interview is here

Saturday, March 12, 2005


I know it is sacrilege to write about New Zealand when India and Pakistan are playing a series, but there's good reason. Regular readers of Not Cricinfo may sense a trend in criticism of New Zealand, and New Zealand cricket, but this deserves notation.

For all those enthusiasts - especially the ones who played some sort of cricket in their life, either for school, college, or club, this is especially relevant - the latest column of my colleague and friend Martin Williamson, on Cricinfo is a must read.

Martin's dug deep into various libraries and picked out some startling things to write about, but this one takes the cake. He writes about the 1990 New Zealand domestic match between Canterbury and Wellington where a captain instructed a bowler to deliberately bowl enough no-balls to give away as many as 77 runs in one over. There are ways and ways to make a mockery of the game - Stephen Fleming once engineered a game in the VB Series to come up against the right opponents in the final, and I wrote about that here - but this doesn't just take the cake, it begs you to suck the cherry and lick the icing. Just read what Williamson writes:

Although when the penultimate over started Canterbury were eight wickets down, Germon, their wicketkeeper and no dunce with the bat, was still in and on strike. Morrison and Erve McSweeney, Wellington's captain-wicketkeeper, hatched a plan and Bert Vance, the New Zealand batsman who nearing the end of his career and so had no bowling figures of any note to worry about, agreed to help them.

The idea was to feed Canterbury enough runs so that they would get close enough to the target and then perhaps risk their last two wickets going for glory. They began the over on 196 for 8 with Germon 75 not out.

Give away runs in a first-class match? For free? This is what cricketers are made of? These are the people fans worship, chatting endlessly over beer or coffee, about domestic cricket?

I don't know about you, but some of us would give a hell of a lot (Not an arm, but one missing little-finger may be manageable) just to have been able to play one first-class match. And to think in New Zealand people bite the hand that feeds them, and we don't care. At least now we've been reminded about how low people can stoop, with no concerns to the sanctity of the first-class run or wicket.