The silence of Bob Woolmer

25 March 2007 |

Soon after Cronjegate, Woolmer wanted to put the rotten apple back in the basket. I mean he wanted to help Cronje make a comeback into the game - in some form or the other.

That Woolmer was silent through the Cronjegate period - and remained silent for a long time... There are rumours that he was about to end his silence on Match-fixing/Betting...

His biographer, Ivo Tennant, wrote in The Times newspaper:

"Rumours Bob Woolmer was murdered because he was harbouring information on match-fixing or an association with corrupt bookmakers can be dismissed unequivocally."

"As the co-author of his autobiography and its planned sequel, for which a publisher had still to be found, I can state that he had no intention of writing or publicising any such detail in either this or his book on coaching and sports science, which will be published in June."
"He had no knowledge of Cronje's involvement in match-fixing during his time as coach of South Africa. If there there had been any such approach to his Pakistan players, he would have told them to report it immediately to the manager or the Board of Control," Tennant wrote.

"Doubtless he would then have informed the police himself. Above all, Woolmer was an honest man. He did not mix with dodgy individuals.

"Doubtless the reason why Cronje did not tell Woolmer of his underhand dealings was because he knew that his coach would have no truck with them."

Can we really trust Ivo Tennant's words?

According to a report in

'Mafia behind Woolmer, Hansie's deaths'

Clive Rice, a former South African captain and a contemporary of Bob Woolmer during their playing and coaching days in England, has "absolutely no doubt" what happened on the 12th floor of the five-star Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, last Sunday night.

Woolmer, he said, knew too much and ended up taking those secrets to the grave.

"What is more," said Rice, "Bob knew a lot of what went on during the match fixing scandal in which Hansie Cronje was nailed. I found it odd that he was never called as a witness by the King Commission."

It was that commission into match-fixing, chaired by retired Judge Edwin King, that sat in Cape Town in 2000 and which, according to Rice, was suddenly stopped once "Cronje had taken the fall".

"There were a lot more people involved," said Rice, "but the commission fell short in exposing this. Strangely enough it (the commission) never asked how spread betting works."

Woolmer and Rice were respectively the coaches of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire when news of the match-fixing scandal first broke.

"We were actually involved in a match in England at the time and Bob and I discussed it.

"He told me a lot that never came out.

"I'm not just talking about other players being involved, but officials too."

"I am convinced his death wasn't an accident, and I will continue to believe that until the day I die."

If Rice is right, Woolmer knew a great deal about Match-Fixing.

Who is speaking the truth here? Ivo Tennant or Clive Rice?

Clive Rice is a well-respected cricketer. He was the South African skipper when the country was welcomed back to the international fold.

In the meanwhile, there is another interesting report:

The Jamaican police feel that the manuscript of the book (Discovering Cricket) that Bob Woolmer was writing holds the key to his murder mystery and suspiciously, even the manuscript is missing. Tim Noakes is believed to be co-author of this book and the Jamaican police think that Noakes could perhaps throw some light on the Woolmer murder mystery.

According to the police, the manuscript contains information that could have blown the lid-off the bookie-player nexus that someone wanted to hide. So in desperation someone was prepared to murder Woolmer. The theory has gained ground ever since the Jamaican police said that the book's manuscript was missing from the room even though no other possessions were touched.

Why the Novel Matters

22 March 2007 |

If there is one essay that changed the way I saw life, it is this. Lawro, take a bow!

Why the Novel Matters

by DH Lawrence

WE have curious ideas of ourselves. We think of ourselves as a body with a spirit in it, or a body with a soul in it, or a body with a mind in it. Mens sana in corpore sano. The years drink up the wine, and at last throw the bottle away, the body, of course, being the bottle.

It is a funny sort of superstition. Why should I look at my hand, as it so cleverly writes these words, and decide that it is a mere nothing compared to the mind that directs it? Is there really any huge difference between my hand and my brain? Or my mind? My hand is alive, it flickers with a life of its own. It meets all the strange universe in touch, and learns a vast number of things, and knows a vast number of things. My hand, as it writes these words, slips gaily along, jumps like a grasshopper to dot an i, feels the table rather cold, gets a little bored if I write too long, has its own rudiments of thought, and is just as much me as is my brain, my mind, or my soul. Why should I imagine that there is a me which is more me than my hand is? Since my hand is absolutely alive, me alive.

Whereas, of course, as far as I am concerned, my pen isn't alive at all. My pen isn't me alive. Me alive ends at my finger-tips.

Whatever is me alive is me. Every tiny bit of my hands is alive, every little freckle and hair and fold of skin. And whatever is me alive is me. Only my finger-nails, those ten little weapons between me and an inanimate universe, they cross the mysterious Rubicon between me alive and things like my pen, which are not alive, in my own sense.

So, seeing my hand is all alive, and me alive, wherein is it just a bottle, or a jug, or a tin can, or a vessel of clay, or any of the rest of that nonsense? True, if I cut it it will bleed, like a can of cherries. But then the skin that is cut, and the veins that bleed, and the bones that should never be seen, they are all just as alive as the blood that flows. So the tin can business, or vessel of clay, is just bunk.

And that's what you learn, when you're a novelist. And that's what you are very liable not to know, if you're a parson, or a philosopher, or a scientist, or a stupid person. If you're a parson, you talk about souls in heaven. If you're a novelist, you know that paradise is in the palm of your hand, and on the end of your nose, because both are alive; and alive, and man alive, which is more than you can say, for certain, of paradise. Paradise is after life, and I for one am not keen on anything that is after life. If you are a philosopher, you talk about infinity, and the pure spirit which knows all things. But if you pick up a novel, you realize immediately that infinity is just a handle to this self-same jug of a body of mine; while as for knowing, if I find my finger in the fire, I know that fire burns, with a knowledge so emphatic and vital, it leaves Nirvana merely a conjecture. Oh, yes, my body, me alive, knows, and knows intensely. And as for the sum of all knowledge, it can't be anything more than an accumulation of all the things I know in the body, and you, dear reader, know in the body.

These damned philosophers, they talk as if they suddenly went off in steam, and were then much more important than they are when they're in their shirts. It is nonsense. Every man, philosopher included, ends in his own finger-tips. That's the end of his man alive. As for the words and thoughts and sighs and aspirations that fly from him, they are so many tremulations in the ether, and not alive at all. But if the tremulations reach another man alive, he may receive them into his life, and his life may take on a new colour, like a chameleon creeping from a brown rock on to a green leaf. All very well and good. It still doesn't alter the fact that the so-called spirit, the message or teaching of the philosopher or the saint, isn't alive at all, but just a tremulation upon the ether, like a radio message. All this spirit stuff is just tremulations upon the ether. If you, as man alive, quiver from the tremulation of the ether into new life, that is because you are man alive, and you take sustenance and stimulation into your alive man in a myriad ways. But to say that the message, or the spirit which is communicated to you, is more important than your living body, is nonsense. You might as well say that the potato at dinner was more important.

Nothing is important but life. And for myself, I can absolutely see life nowhere but in the living. Life with a capital L is only man alive. Even a cabbage in the rain is cabbage alive. All things that are alive are amazing. And all things that are dead are subsidiary to the living. Better a live dog than a dead lion. But better a live lion than a live dog. C'est la vie! *

It seems impossible to get a saint, or a philosopher, or a scientist, to stick to this simple truth. They are all, in a sense, renegades. The saint wishes to offer himself up as spiritual food for the multitude. Even Francis of Assisi turns himself into a sort of angelcake, of which anyone may take a slice. But an angel-cake is rather less than man alive. And poor St Francis might well apologize to his body, when he is dying: 'Oh, pardon me, my body, the wrong I did you through the years!' * It was no wafer, for others to eat. *

The philosopher, on the other hand, because he can think, decides that nothing but thoughts matter. It is as if a rabbit, because he can make little pills, should decide that nothing but little pills matter. As for the scientist, he has absolutely no use for me so long as I am man alive. To the scientist, I am dead. He puts under the microscope a bit of dead me, and calls it me. He takes me to pieces, and says first one piece, and then another piece, is me. My heart, my liver, my stomach have all been scientifically me, according to the scientist; and nowadays I am either a brain, or nerves, or glands, or something more up-to-date in the tissue line.

Now I absolutely flatly deny that I am a soul, or a body, or a mind, or an intelligence, or a brain, or a nervous system, or a bunch of glands, or any of the rest of these bits of me. The whole is greater than the part. And therefore, I, who am man alive, am greater than my soul, or spirit, or body, or mind, or consciousness, or anything else that is merely a part of me. I am a man, and alive. I am man alive, and as long as I can, I intend to go on being man alive.

For this reason I am a novelist. And being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog.

The novel is the one bright book of life. Books are not life. They are only tremulations on the ether. But the novel as a tremulation can make the whole man alive tremble. Which is more than poetry, philosophy, science, or any other book-tremulation can do.

The novel is the book of life. In this sense, the Bible is a great confused novel. You may say, it is about God. But it is really about man alive. Adam, Eve, Sarai, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, David, Bath-Sheba, Ruth, Esther, Solomon, Job, Isaiah, Jesus, Mark, Judas, Paul, Peter: what is it but man alive, from start to finish? Man alive, not mere bits. Even the Lord is another man alive, in a burning bush, throwing the tablets of stone * at Moses's head.

I do hope you begin to get my idea, why the novel is supremely important, as a tremulation on the ether. Plato makes the perfect ideal being tremble in me. But that's only a bit of me. Perfection is only a bit, in the strange make-up of man alive. The Sermon on the Mount makes the selfless spirit of me quiver. But that, too, is only a bit of me. The Ten Commandments set the old Adam * shivering in me, warning me that I am a thief and a murderer, unless I watch it. But even the old Adam is only a bit of me.

I very much like all these bits of me to be set trembling with life and the wisdom of life. But I do ask that the whole of me shall tremble in its wholeness, some time or other.

And this, of course, must happen in me, living.

But as far as it can happen from a communication, it can only happen when a whole novel communicates itself to me. The Bible--but all the Bible--and Homer, and Shakespeare: these are the supreme old novels. These are all things to all men. Which means that in their wholeness they affect the whole man alive, which is the man himself, beyond any part of him. They set the whole tree trembling with a new access of life, they do not just stimulate growth in one direction.

I don't want to grow in any one direction any more. And, if I can help it, I don't want to stimulate anybody else into some particular direction. A particular direction ends in a cul-de-sac. We're in a cul-de-sac at present.

I don't believe in any dazzling revelation, or in any supreme Word. 'The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of the Lord shall stand for ever.'* That's the kind of stuff we've drugged ourselves with. As a matter of fact, the grass withereth, but comes up all the greener for that reason, after the rains. The flower fadeth, and therefore the bud opens. But the Word of the Lord, being man-uttered and a mere vibration on the ether, becomes staler and staler, more and more boring, till at last we turn a deaf ear and it ceases to exist, far more finally than any withered grass. It is grass that renews its youth like the eagle, * not any Word.

We should ask for no absolutes, or absolute. Once and for all and for ever, let us have done with the ugly imperialism of any absolute.

There is no absolute good, there is nothing absolutely right. All things flow and change, and even change is not absolute. The whole is a strange assembly of apparently incongruous parts, slipping past one another.

Me, man alive, I am a very curious assembly of incongruous parts. My yea! of today is oddly different from my yea! of yesterday. My tears of tomorrow will have nothing to do with my tears of a year ago. If the one I love remains unchanged and unchanging, I shall cease to love her. It is only because she changes and startles me into change and defies my inertia, and is herself staggered in her inertia by my changing, that I can continue to love her. If she stayed put, I might as well love the pepper-pot.

In all this change, I maintain a certain integrity. But woe betide me if I try to put my finger on it. If I say of myself, I am this, I am that!--then, if I stick to it, I turn into a stupid fixed thing like a lamp-post. I shall never know wherein lies my integrity, my individuality, my me. I can never know it. It is useless to talk about my ego. That only means that I have made up an idea of myself, and that I am trying to cut myself out to pattern. Which is no good. You can cut your cloth to fit your coat, but you can't clip bits off your living body, to trim it down to your idea. True, you can put yourself into ideal corsets. But even in ideal corsets, fashions change.

Let us learn from the novel. In the novel, the characters can do nothing but live. If they keep on being good, according to pattern, or bad, according to pattern, or even volatile, according to pattern, they cease to live, and the novel falls dead. A character in a novel has got to live, or it is nothing.

We, likewise, in life have got to live, or we are nothing.

What we mean by living is, of course, just as indescribable as what we mean by being. Men get ideas into their heads, of what they mean by Life, and they proceed to cut life out to pattern. Sometimes they go into the desert to seek God, sometimes they go into the desert to seek cash, sometimes it is wine, woman, and song, * and again it is water, political reform, and votes. You never know what it will be next: from killing your neighbour with hideous bombs and gas that tears the lungs, to supporting a Foundlings Home and preaching infinite Love, and being corespondent in a divorce.

In all this wild welter, we need some sort of guide. It's no good inventing Thou Shalt Nots!

What then? Turn truly, honorably to the novel, and see wherein you are man alive, and wherein you are dead man in life. You may love a woman as man alive, and you may be making love to a woman as sheer dead man in life. You may eat your dinner as man alive, or as a mere masticating corpse. As man alive you may have a shot at your enemy. But as a ghastly simulacrum of life you may be firing bombs into men who are neither your enemies nor your friends, but just things you are dead to. Which is criminal, when the things happen to be alive.

To be alive, to be man alive, to be whole man alive: that is the point. And at its best, the novel, and the novel supremely, can help you. It can help you not to be dead man in life. So much of a man walks about dead and a carcass in the street and house, today: so much of women is merely dead. Like a pianoforte with half the notes mute.

But in the novel you can see, plainly, when the man goes dead, the woman goes inert. You can develop an instinct for life, if you will, instead of a theory of right and wrong, good and bad.

In life, there is right and wrong, good and bad, all the time. But what is right in one case is wrong in another. And in the novel you see one man becoming a corpse, because of his so-called goodness, another going dead because of his so-called wickedness. Right and wrong is an instinct: but an instinct of the whole consciousness in a man, bodily, mental, spiritual at once. And only in the novel are all things given full play, or at least, they may be given full play, when we realize that life itself, and not inert safety, is the reason for living. For out of the full play of all things emerges the only thing that is anything, the wholeness of a man, the wholeness of a woman, man alive, and live woman.



The presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was rocked by revelations Wednesday night that one of its contracted employees was the creator of a scathing YouTube video against his opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., despite Obama's insistance that he had nothing to do with it.

Phil de Vellis, until Wednesday an employee of the company that handles Obama's Web site, boasted in a posting on the Huffington Post that he made the ad, though he claimed neither the Obama campaign nor his former employer, Blue State Digital — which does software development and hosting for Obama's campaign — was aware that he had. -- ABC News

Like it or not, close to Two MILLION views! Go Youtube!

Former Irish Cricket Union president Robert Kerr died of a suspected heart attack on Wednesday (21st March), the second fatality in four days at the World Cup.

Bob Woolmer died in hospital on Sunday (18th March) after being found unconscious in his hotel room in Kingston.

In the meanwhile, there are reports that Soctland Yard will investigate the death of Bob Woolmer.

The Daily Telegraph (AUS) report goes on to say:
Woolmer, 58, had been found in a pool of blood with vomit and faeces in his bathroom in room 375 on the 12th floor of the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

First pictures of the deceased coach appear to show cuts to his ear and eyebrow. reports:

With Jamaican police terming Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer’s death as suspicious, several Pakistani bookies who have gone to the West Indies for the World Cup are likely to come under investigators’ scrutiny. The bookies have been involved in match-fixing in the past.

According to cricket circles in Pakistan, the most prominent member of the group is Khwaja Arif Pappu from Lahore, considered to be Pakistan’s gambling kingpin. He is said to have connections with gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

He is also believed to be close to Tariq Aziz, President Pervez Musharraf’s aide.

Match Fixing

It is quite interesting, what the Qayyum Report had to say about the man who was the stand-in coach for the final game against Zimbabwe, Mushtaq Ahmed.

Salim Pervez alias Paijee appeared before this Inquiry and confessed that he himself had handed Salim Malik and Mushtaq Ahmad $ 100,000 to throw away the final in Sharjah against Australia.

What makes a mockery of it all is:

Inzamam-ul-Haq also appeared. In his view the Singer Trophy match against Australia in Sri Lanka was not fixed. Inzamam-ul-Haq confirmed that an altercation had taken place during the South African tour between Captain and Vice Captain but he felt that no match-fixing takes place in Pakistan.

When most of the players informed the commission that match-fixing is rampant, honourable Inzi was completely unaware of it!

If you have the time, please go through the Qayyum Report in detail.

When it comes to India, there is the "Madhavan Report"

And the King Commission report from South Africa.

Poison traces found in Woolmer’s room: Police

21 March 2007 |

Jamaican Police on Wednesday confirmed that poison traces have been found in Woolmer’s hotel room. The information lends credence to the apprehensions that the Pakistan coach was murdered. Woolmer`s preliminary post-mortem report on Tuesday had proved inconclusive. Toxicology and other forensic tests were carried out by the medial and police teams. ...[more]

Oh no, not another fixing probe!

20 March 2007 |

Bob Woolmer was the coach of South Africa when Hansie fixer Cronje gambled and shamed the game we love so much. I have always wondered how much did Woolmer know about it all.

Now Zee News reports:

Fixing angle under scanner, Pak team to stay back for investigation

New Delhi, March 20: Speculation is rife about foul play being involved in Bob Woolmer`s death. Reports indicate that some current senior Pakistan team members might have fixed both matches, against West Indies and Ireland. It is being debated in cricketing circles that he could have been killed to cover up match-fixing by the Pakistani team. The Pakistan team would not be allowed to fly back home till the investigations are over.

The Pakistan Cricket Board, however, insists that team coach Robert Woolmer died of a massive heart attack.

A report in a leading daily quotes former Pakistani fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz saying that certain top players in the team were involved in fixing the matches against the West Indies and Ireland.

A loss to West Indies and then minnows Ireland came as a shock to the entire world as Pakistan became the first team to pack their bags from the World Cup.

Apparently certain PCB insiders told Nawaz that at least five leading bookies from Pakistan had reached the West Indies in the first week of March and were in touch with heavyweights in the team.

“The theory going around in West Indies police circles is that Woolmer might have been killed by those who wanted to silence him on the issue of match-fixing,” he claimed.

A former PCB official who requested anonymity said Woolmer’s book, Discovering Cricket, which he was writing, could have exposed the cricketer-bookie nexus in Pakistan, India, and South Africa.

The official claimed that Woolmer met Delhi police officers during Pakistan’s 2005 tour of India to gather material for the book. Nawaz said Woolmer had finished more than 50 per cent of the book.

Meanwhile, Pakistan would not be allowed to leave Jamaica without the completion of investigation and determining the cause of death of their coach Bob Woolmer.

Pakistan team may be shifted to a hotel in Montego Bay after playing their last Group “D” match against Zimbabwe on Tuesday and stay there till the investigations are completed.

Police is now trying to ascertain the circumstances which led to the death of the Pakistan coach. Authorities have visited the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston where Pakistan is being lodged.

No member of Bob Woolmer’s family will be coming to Jamaica to sign the documents of his autopsy. Woolmer’s wife is in Cape Town and his two sons live in London. Pakistan team trainer and close associate of Bob Woolmer, Murray Stevenson, has been authorised by the wife of the deceased to carry out the formalities on their behalf.

India back on track?


India beat Bermuda by 257 runs, re-igniting their World Cup hopes.

Sehwag smashed a brilliant hundred. Ganguly scored his second fifty in as many games this world cup. Yuvraj Singh reminded the world and himself what he is really capable of (He should watch videos of Michael Hussey's batting more often). Tendulkar, having lost his favourite opening slot, played a key role that fits his stature and expertise.

Dravid, the skipper, was brave enough to walk in with a couple of balls to be bowled, and finished the innings in grand style with a massive six!

Chappell's dreams came true.

Dhoni's magic is not working anymore. Let's face it, bowlers know where to bowl to him. Dhoni has to come up with something new at the crease.

There is an interesting story though, which many of the TV channels wouldn't talk about. Neither would Sidhu on NDTV nor the idiots in STAR NEWS channel. Sandeep Patil has to realise one thing, he may have taken Kenyan cricket to new levels... he is not simply good enough to be the coach of the Indian team. Whether Sandeep Patil or Saba Karim are good enough to be cricket pundits... oh well, ask the players.

Sandeep Patil lost his place in the Indian team for playing an atrocious shot in a Test match against England in India. Sunny Gavaskar had his Mumbai mate booted out of the team. Patil made a comeback in 1986, he was in the squad that toured of England. When Mohinder Amarnath was injured, the Indian thinktank picked the second- keeper Chandrakant Pandit into the side as a batsman ahead of Patil.

Patil has all reasons to have a dislike towards the Indian cricket establishment.

Sehwag hit Hemp for two massive sixes off the 5th and 6th ball of the 15th over, taking India to 99/1.

End of over 15 (15 runs) - India 99/1 (RR: 6.60)
V Sehwag 69* (51b 12x4 2x6) SC Ganguly 18* (40b 1x4)

For people who were watching Indian cricket in late 80s and early 90s - it reminded of Krish Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri opening for India.

Ganguly took over in the 17th over, after playing two dot balls, he scored a single off the last ball to move to 22 off 47 balls. Sehwag was unbeaten on 75 from 56.

Ganguly, being the experienced player and the former skipper (successful one too!) understood the 'tempo' of the game too well. John Wright, who was doing commentary on TV, was explaining how Ganguly likes to play the game as per his tempo. Oh well, it was not about slowing down the Bermudians or Steve Waugh's Aussies - to Ganguly - it is all about him being the prince of Kols.

Dada duly played six dot balls - making the 18th over a maiden.

In the 19th, Ganguly decided to have a heave - and connected one - way into the stands for a massive six. He faced four balls in that over, scoring seven runs.

20th over, Ganguly played four balls, scored three singles.

21st over, played four balls, scored three singles and a two.

22nd over, played five balls and scored two singles.

23rd over, a SIX and a single off the first two balls.

24th over, a two and a single off three balls.

25th over, first three balls were dots, and he scored two singles.

26th over, two singles.

27th over, Ganguly faced five balls of the seven bowled, including a wide.

28th over, first ball dot, second ball single, Sehwag has lost his touch by then - takes a single off the last ball to reach his 100.
End of over 28 (2 runs) - India 176/1 (RR: 6.28)

V Sehwag 100* (81b 14x4 3x6)
SC Ganguly 62* (88b 2x4 2x6)

Remember, Sehwag was on fire in the 15th over, hitting two massive sixes.
India was 99/1
V Sehwag 69* (51b 12x4 2x6)
SC Ganguly 18* (40b 1x4)
End of over 15 (15 runs) - India 99/1 (RR: 6.60)

In the next 13 overs, Ganguly moved from 18 (40balls) to 62 (88balls).
Interesting stats: Off the 78 balls bowled, Sehwag could only face 30 balls and he scored 31 runs off them.

Being the experienced pro that he is, and understanding too well that Sehwag was going after the bowling, Ganguly took the responsibility of keeping Sehwag off the strike!

Ganguly scored 44 runs off 48 balls in that 13 overs, which looks quite OK, but the truth is - he slowed down the game so much.

I am sure too many of Dada fans would think I am being a bit harsh on the veteran left-hander.

End of the 9th over, Sehwag was on 27(32balls) strike rate of 84.37
In the next six overs, Sehwag's strike rate was a phenomenal 221.05, scoring 42 runs off 19 balls. He had an innings strike rate of 135.29 at that stage.
Then Ganguly intervened.
Sehwag scored at a strike rate of 103.33 in the next 30 balls faced.

As he did against Bangladesh, Ganguly played at a pace and tempo that he likes and fits his personal gameplan. He was well set for a big innings for the second match in a row - but he threw away his wicket. Against Bangladesh, Ganguly gave the fielder catching practice with a terrible pull shot. Well, against Bermuda, on 89, Dada ran down the pitch and got himself stumped.

I am not going to do an analysis on Ganguly's performance against Bangladesh. As I said in my previous post - being the set batsman, he should have batted through the fifty overs. The way he got out was atrocious. The way Ganguly rotated strike was outrageous. [click for more]

The Guinness day at the Cricket World Cup

18 March 2007 |

Unbelievable - Bangladesh beat India.
Unthinkable - Ireland knocked out Pakistan.

17 March 2007 was a bad a day for Indian cricket, a horror day for Pakistan.

Even a military intervention would not have stopped Pakistan from losing the game to Ireland; they played poor cricket.

Maybe this is some sort of a justice; Pakistan should have been fined/banned for not taking action against two of their players - drug cheats. That Pakistan considered playing the cheats at the World Cup, only to pull 'em out in the last minute (thanks to some miraculous injuries), is a good enough reason why they have been knocked out of the world cup. Cheating has no place in cricket.

India's pathetic performance against Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) must have cheered up the Pakistani fans. If India can manufacture a loss against Bermuda or Sri Lanka - this will be a new chapter in cricket diplomacy between the two nuke nations in the Sub-Continent.

That no one (other than Aussies) want Ponting's yellow brigade to win the world cup means... West Indies are the new popular favourites to win the World Cup.

Looking back at the game between India and Bangladesh; credit must be given to the Bangla boys. In Mohd Azharuddin's words: "They bowled well, fielded well, and batted well."

One Day cricket is not like Test cricket. Not six or seven batsmen score big...

TV channels have already started abusing India's performance. STAR News in particular has a serious issue; they hate the Indian team. Does that have anything to do with STAR Sports/Espn not winning the TV rights of Indian cricket?

After the loss to Bangladesh, all the analysts, gurus, pundits and policemen are of the opinion that the only person who can hold his head high - standing in the middle of the Indian cricket shambles - is Sourav Dada Ganguly.

If you were to ask Dada, he'd tell you the truth. If there is anyone who let India down so bad is him and then Yuvraj.

Unlike any other batsmen, both Dada and Yuvi got the start that matters - one got to his fifty and the other was getting close to it.

Putting together a partnership of 85 runs in 17.3 overs, Yuvraj threw his wicket away in the 42nd over with the India score at 157/4. Three balls and one run later, India was 157/6, when Ganguly played an atrocious and irresponsible pull shot. Once Yuvi got out like an idiot, Ganguly should have stayed on there till the end.

It is easy to blame Sehwag, Robin, Dravid, Tendulkar, Dhoni... for not scoring enough. The stroke Dhoni played was as if he is playing in a charity match.

In the 1983 World Cup, India lost five top batsmen with just 17 on the scorecard against Zimbabwe. Then we didn't find mistakes with the batsmen who got out. One batsman walked out to bat and started hitting the ball to all parts of the ground - in the end he made 175 glorious runs - which ensured an Indian victory. His name is Kapil Dev.

Ganguly and Yuvraj had a BIG opportunity yesterday. They were set batsmen who threw their wickets away.

I still think India will win the World Cup.

You decide

14 March 2007 |

This is an advertisement posted at the Spinneys supermarket in Dubai.

Wonder how having a 'European' driver/owner makes any difference to the car!

Youtube killed the...


Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. is suing YouTube for $1 billion, claiming that the video-sharing site had built a business by using the Internet to "willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale."

The Buggles' hit number Video Killed the Radio Star back (1979) talks about the golden old days of radio.

But what is Youtube killing?
Has mp3 killed music or musicians?

Technology is a funny thing; Big multi-national monopolies use technology to make mo, mo, and mo money. What these big businesses don't want is the ordinary person to be able to use the technology.

Imagine you could buy different parts of a car from a giant Chinese mart, assemble it yourself... what will happen to the likes of General Motors and Toyota?

Internet simplified technology; it is a social technology revolution. In spite of the fact that companies like Microsoft have been trying to influence and control the way we use our computers, there have been brave young men and women who have come up with different solutions and applications to beat the giants.

The popularity of pop and rock music in big consumer countries like India and China is largely due to the mp3 revolution. More and more youngsters listen to that sort of music these days, simply because it is easily accessible.

Bruce Springsteen is my favourite singer. A young friend of mine, who is more like my kid brother - never liked Springsteen that much. Simply cause the only song he ever heard was 'Streets of Philadelphia' on MTV. He thought Springsteen music was a bit constipated.

After listening to Ghost of Tom Joad and a few other numbers (thanks to mp3), he is a die-hard Springsteen fan today. If there is a Springsteen Concert in India, I can assure you Jithin will pay to be at The Boss's concert.

Greedy Music and Film producers conveniently forget the fact that youtube and mp3 has opened up the Asian market for them.

Singers like Springsteen, Bryan Adams and the lot - have to break away from these big labels. If music is all about money, lets make music of our own. If movies is all about fleecing people; lets make movies of our own.

Sustainable music and movies - for the people, by the people, of the people.

The likes of Viacom do not have our support.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

03 March 2007 |

Pakistan board blasts ICC's Speed

CricInfo reports:

Pakistan board blasts Speed's remarks

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken strong objection to the recent remarks of Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, about Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif with regards to the doping issue, calling them "unwarranted" and "irresponsible". The board has sent an official letter of protest to the ICC.

Speed, while talking about the ICC's policy of targeted dope tests in the forthcoming World Cup, had called the whole affair of Shoaib and Asif continuing to play cricket after having tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid an "embarrassment" for the game.

Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman, told Cricinfo, that Speed's comments were uncalled for and inflammatory. "The board takes strong objection to the irresponsible remarks by Malcolm Speed to a case that is subjudice," said Ashraf, referring to the fact that the overturning of the bans on both players was referred to the International Court of Sports Arbitration by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

"Both players were voluntarily dope-tested and withdrawn from the Champions Trophy after which the due legal process of the PCB's anti-doping code was strictly followed," added Ashraf. "They were let off by an appellate tribunal after which the ICC has admitted it had no legal grounds over the case. WADA has filed a case over it and the matter is now subjudice. These remarks then are utterly irresponsible and unwarranted."

Nasim Ashraf is right. ICC and Speed have been terribly irresponsible. In fact, ICC and Speed have brought the game into disrepute too.

1. ICC should have banned both the players - as soon as the results came out.

2. By conducting the doping Tests ahead of the ICC Champions trophy (where doping is an offence), PCB had pre-empted a mandatory ICC Ban. (The argument that both the players voluntarily dope-tested is a big joke)

3. ICC should have banned Pakistan for six months for bringing the game into disrepute. (If Zimbabwe could be suspended, why not Pakistan?)

Now that the Pot has called the Kettle black, it will be interesting if WADA would come down heavily on the ICC and PCB. Talking about Pot... In 1986, when Ian Botham confessed to smoking pot, which is not a performance enhancing drug (if at all, smoking pot makes your performance to go down!) - he was banned from all forms of cricket for six months by the then English board.

When Shane Warne was caught with diuretic in his piss at the beginning of the 2003 WC, he was duly banned for a year.

How the ^&*k can PCB and then ICC not take any action against the two players?

What Pakistan needs is players like Mohd Yousuf, who is an honest cricketer. The cheats and the cover-up artists have to be banned. Now.