Monday, July 30, 2007

What's in a name?

The collective wisdom of the Guardian Sports Desk has left me stupefied, and I'm no Death Eater facing down a Hermione Granger spell.

Over the last year or so, I've noticed the western media struggling with what to call Sreesanth. Apparently the edict has now been handed down, and Shantakumaran Sreesanth is henceforth to be referred to as Sree Santh. This gives rise to statements such as "Santh was fortunate not to be given lbw by Steve Bucknor." Wonderful stuff.

Speaking of lbws, it's hardly escaped anyone's noticed that Simon Taufel is having possibly his worst series ever, at least on the evidence of the television cameras. India may yet want to thank him though, for by triggering Tendulkar and Ganguly when he did, he's set up the low 4th innings target. Had he not done so, we might have seen India pushing for an innings victory, and winding up running out of time.

Cue the media again - and this time it's the turn of Sambit Bal, CricInfo's editor, to make the moronic pronouncement of the week, one that reflects a complete lack of comprehension of the game that pays him his living.

"It is not criminal to have the benefit of the doubt extended to the bowler occasionally, particularly when he has beaten the batsman with a good ball"

he says. What a great idea. Rather than have the umpires adjudicate on the facts of the matter, let's have them decide whether or not they think the bowler bowled a good delivery. If he did so, then perhaps the umpire could toss a coin, and if it comes up heads, let's give the batsman out. That way, good deliveries get rewarded.

Do people think before they write this stuff?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

War Reporting for Cowards

I would tell you what I thought of this book, but unfortunately the bloody thing was last seen sitting in seat 2D of a United Airlines 737-500. Ironically, I'd just got through the first half of the book, which was the real scenario-setting, character-developing piece. I typically like to read on a flight, but my seatmate this time was a bloke with a rather recognizable name who runs a several hundred million dollar jewellery business, and that's a world just so far from my own that I couldn't help but engage in conversation. Still, I wish I had my book back!

It's certainly not a prize-winning work of non-fiction, but it was a gently irreverent look at 9/11, Iraq and the impact on everyday life. You won't swear by it, but you'll enjoy the read - and when you're done, please send the book my way so I can finish it!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Another great illustration of why there's no hope for cricket in this country. Football/soccer is massive at the youth level - the most widely played sport, in fact. The arrival of Becks and Posh has been hitting the headlines for weeks, and yet here's what got churned out in one match report on Beckham's debut for the LA Galaxy this weekend.

Despite a moment that claimed the collective breath of the sold-out stadium—when Beckham was side-tackled and remained down a hair too long for the crowd's liking—his debut was smooth, if entirely uneventful.

L.A. lost the "friendly" to Chelsea 1-0, with the match's sole point scored by John Terry, the man who succeeded Beckham as captain of the England team.
If that's the best that can be done for a game that is allegedly known and understood, with "side-tackled" and "sole point" being the writer's attempt to display a technical comprehension of the game, then what chance does cricket have?