I like quiet Fridays. Production of India Abroad is a time-consuming process, and major events cricketing or otherwise tend to be a distraction — to edit copy or blog? No such problems today, with all quiet on the cricket front. Early morning browsing threw up only two commentary pieces worth your while.
In a column that revisits his earlier argument that the verdict on the Champions’ Trophy and by extension on the future of one-day internationals can be delivered only after this edition of the tournament is over, the part that caught my attention was the afterthought:
I hope though that when the men in blue take the field, attention will be focussed on their performance rather on the content of a privately circulated note which is actually far more thought provoking in the segments that are unlikely to have made it past news editors. So now our young sports reporters have to grapple with conjuring stories on whether having sex on tour is good or bad. Their canvas seems to get broader every day! Time to redo the syllabus in media schools!
What made it into print is clearly the ‘highlights’ package with the question of sex dominating for obvious reasons, but somewhere out there is the full text and judging by Harsha’s throwaway line, it promises to make interesting reading. Hopefully, some time soon.
Elsewhere, Mike Atherton has a couple of interesting points in his piece on the one day game. First, his definition of the problem:
The 50-over game, though, is suffering from more than administrative myopia; it is suffering an existential crisis that was probably inevitable in the wake of Twenty20. Sandwiched between the longest and shortest forms of the game, it neither appeases the traditionalists nor does what it was originally designed to do — to entertain and titillate — now that Twenty20 can do those things much better. Its sole purpose is financial.
And then, his solution — not more regulation, but less:
The answer, surely, is to deregulate, so that the game becomes more like it was intended to be and therefore less predictable and less formulaic. If captains could place their fielders where they wanted to, rather than where regulations dictate, there is a chance they might start to think again and a chance that one side’s tactics might differ significantly from another’s. If a captain could bowl his best bowler for more than the stipulated ten overs, there is a chance that he would and that attacking cricket played by the best players would become more a feature of a one-day match. Powerplays dictate the pace of the game to batsmen; do without them and watch batsmen take the initiative again.
In other late breaking news, Gary Kirsten says he had no idea of the sex dossier, and dumps the onus on Paddy Upton. Revised demand from Rajan Zed expected momentarily.