A few things have happened in the world of cricket since we last posted.
- India lost 1-2 to Mustafizur in Bangladesh. Erstwhile bowling coach and leg-cutting champion Venkatesh Prasad whose “deceptive slower ball proved to be a useful weapon” was last seen having a hearty laugh while he tucked into his ghee roast.
- Bangladesh celebrated their qualification for the Champions Trophy by smacking South Africa around. They have now beaten Pakistan, India and South Africa in their last three ODI series and are ranked above both Pakistan and the West Indies.
- India moved to Zimbabwe where ODI stars Murali Vijay, Stuart Binny, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav pounded the hosts into submission. Sanity was restored when Zimbabwe struck back to square the T20 series 1-1. Highlight of the tour – Venky Prasad’s confirmation during his enjoyable commentary stint that he was most definitely the star death bowler for India in the late 90s.
- Meanwhile, Venky’s new ball partner and match referee Javagal Srinath, was faced with an impossibly difficult choice in Colombo when faced with rock-pelting Sri Lankan fans. Should he avenge the ’96 semi-final default at Eden and award the match to the opposition? But the opposition was Pakistan, so surely they should be afforded the chance to self-destruct? He took the latter course and the game was allowed to continue. In a major fail, Pakistan won the game and
Vinod Kamblithe ghost of Eden lived on. As a consolation prize, Md. Hafeez has been banned from bowling for having an elbow that is “too flexible”. The PCB has therefore banned Saqlain Mustaq for inventing the doosra and making off-spin a little too popular in Pakistan for its own good.
- England won at Cardiff. Australia won at Lords. Jos Butler walked at Lords as if to atone for Stuart Broad’s previous sins. Ricky Ponting roundly criticised poor old Jos, calling walking un-Australian. The Ashes are tied 1-1, each test lasting less than four days, vindicating ECB Chairman Colin Graves’s stance on test cricket in general (and Kevin Pietersen in particular).
- Sachin Tendulkar missed a bus to be stranded in a picturesque village in England. Yes, this merits its own bullet point and a photograph.
- In a massive blow to IPL Fantasy enthusiasts dependent on Dwayne Bravo’s junk wickets to inflate their tallies, the Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals have both been banned for two years from participating in the IPL by a commission set up by the Indian Supreme Court. However, there remains some hope as the BCCI have constituted a committee to examine the Supreme Court’s verdict and presumably then provide clean-chits to all.
Not much to write about then.