Holiday post: Today is Ramzan [and tomorrow I’m taking the day off to attend to some personal stuff, so more off than on blog till Wednesday]:
Among the cricket-related articles that caught my eye this morning, there is Sachin Tendulkar talking to CNN-IBN about enjoying cricket two decades after he first played it at the international level, and about his Opus, the 30-plus kg monument Kraken is erecting to India’s reigning cricket deity [is it only me that finds a touch of the bizarre about a vial of certified blood being included in the package? Oh, and among the lesser known of Tendulkar’s records, he earlier became the first man in history to give his DNA swab live during a press conference — an honor I thought would have long since been taken by some bloke falsely accused of serial killing and anxious to clear his name].
Elsewhere, Osman Samiuddin is not too convinced by those who argue that the fate of the ODI format will hinge on the success, or lack thereof, of the Champions Trophy. Neither is Anand Vasu of the Hindustan Times. Both point at the proliferation of meaningless games — a theme frequently aired here these last few days; and while on that, here’s more evidence for the prosecution, courtesy Simon Wilde:
WHEN England’s Champions Trophy squad pass through customs at Johannesburg on Tuesday and are asked if they have anything to declare, Andrew Strauss would be well within his rights to contend: “Only a sense of utter hopelessness.”…
…the ECB should take some blame for this brutal fixture congestion because have so often put a love of money ahead of the requirements of the players. Not so long ago, a six-week break was built into the England calendar — after a determined fight by Duncan Fletcher when he was coach — but was quickly abandoned.
Sean Morris, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said: “If you want the guys to produce good quality cricket there needs to be a better balance between rest and play. At the moment they have practically got to drop dead to be given a rest.”
Right, there’s a tournament starting tomorrow, which hopefully will produce some decent cricket for us to get excited about. In the meantime, Eid Mubarak/Shubh Navratri as applicable, all. Cheers.