Monthly Archives: February 2008

An Ode to Ishant

Let’s be clear: there’s no reason anyone should pay nearly a million dollars for this man ($800,000 more than Glenn McGrath), but he’s certainly worth something. India has seen so many talented pace bowlers in recent years — Sreesanth, Balaji, Khan, Singh — but no one has impressed as highly and as quickly as this 19-year old lad.

It’s already old hat, but that period of play in the 3rd Test against Australia against Ricky Ponting will have to go down as the paragon of what Test cricket is about. Cricket enthusiasts make much of the “greatest over” that Freddie Flintoff delivered in 2005 to get rid of Langer and Ponting, but this was the greatest hour. It is said about Ponting that once he’s set — that is, once he reaches 20 or 30 — he is set, and will not be dislodged until he reaches a century (at least). On this occasion, however, he never looked at home, misreading ball after ball.

And, really, the fact that this Sharma is only 19 years old adds so much to the drama. There’s something cruel about sports; the way they allow anyone with talent, no matter how untested, to stand up to the experienced and reputed. But it’s the most thrilling part of it as well: over the last three or four years, no one has figured out Ponting. This boy, however, did. “Ek aur karega?” asked Kumble. And he replied, famously, “Ha, main karoonga.” I will do it. [See below.]

Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Barely a week goes by in the cricket world and already my humble blog is ancient news. Shaun Tait declares himself depressed; Scott Styris realizes that cricket in New Zealand is a national myth; Adam Gilchrist calls its quits (ironically, so that he can make even more money in “retirement”), Harbhajan Singh gets a waiver at the house of justice, and India dump their all-star Test lineup for a bunch of novices barely out of school.

I’ll have to address all those things at some point, but the biggest news for me is that this IPL venture might actually take place. Economics and math have never been my strong subjects, and goodness knows how badly I fared during interviews with consulting firms last year, but how on earth did the BCCI make nearly a billion dollars doing absolutely nothing? Continue reading

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