Blog cancelled due to lack of cyclone

No, seriously — the possible headline ‘Play called off due to no rain’ put me in mind of this recent article by Peter Roebuck.

Cricket cannot be serious. A game supposedly trying to hold its own in a packed marketplace cannot a moment longer pull up stumps whenever a drop of rain falls or grey skies hover. It’s high time the game put aside its precious refusal to play except in the most benign conditions. It’s pathetic.

Yeah, I know — a cyclone was supposed to make its landfall somewhere in or around Mumbai sometime at or around 10 pm. Which — coupled with the few millimeters of rain that fell the previous evening and night, was apparently enough to call the game off while, as I noticed on the Twitter stream, fans who had bought tickets kept each other updated on weather and traffic conditions.

At one level this could seem like undue fuss over a dead rubber — which it is. But this thought actually occurred to me during the recent Champions League, when one game — I forget which one — continued in the midst of not a mild drizzle but a seriously brisk shower.

The umpires who stood in the CL are the same ones who stand in ICC-mandated matches — so how then does the perception of risk to players change so dramatically? Simply because CL and similar leagues live or die by the bottom-line, whereas the ICC apparently feels no such compulsion to give the fans what they paid good money for.

Suits me just fine, anyway. Today and tomorrow are, thanks to staff shortage, insanely crazy days here at work. I’d originally planned to post some thoughts structured as a kind of freewheeling series retrospective, but that will have to wait for another day. For now, will leave you with this post by Great Bong on his blog. The money quote comes right at the top:

While we came very close to becoming the statistical number 1 ODI team in the world, the fact remains that we have far too many fundamental problems to claim that we rightfully deserve the top rank.

And in passing, a not so savory story out of the bizarre world of Pakistan cricket. Kamran Abbasi reckons the fault lies with Younis, and maybe he is right — Kamran is well connected with the PCB power structure and likely knows the inner workings of this latest fiasco. Absent such knowledge, though, it strikes me as sad that a captain picked by the national board — and more recently, reinstated in the face of an incipient rebellion — can be reduced to the point of wanting a break from the game because he realizes he is no leader, merely a lonely man taking a walk.

PS: On an unrelated note, Subhash Jayaraman on Twitter pointed me at this piece he has done on defending small totals. Your thoughts?


14 thoughts on “Blog cancelled due to lack of cyclone

  1. Good blog. I got a lot of effective info. I’ve been keeping an eye on this technology for awhile. It’s fascinating how it keeps changing, yet some of the core elements remain the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their most recent acquisition in the area?

  2. @Mahesh,

    I was writing about limited over games. Thanks for taking a gander at my blog. PLus, if we spend 20 minutes with statsguru (I heard there is a happy ending), we will definitely be able to find out who is a better captain at defending small totals. I think I provided a link in the post of the 16% of teams that scored less than 200 in their inning, defended it successfully. If you follow that link to statsguru, and write down who the captains were, Voila!

    • Hi Subash-I knew you had written about the Limited Over games,and I had generalised,I revisited the Cric info link-my observations
      a)From 2000 onwards India figures in 3 wins in ODIs-India v/s WI in 2006 Kl,India v/s WI-Cuttack 2007 and India v/s England in 2008 .For the 2 WI matches my guess is that Dravid was the captain while for the England game it would have been Dhoni.
      b)From 1996 -Tests-India figures twice as winners defending low scores-India v/s Australia mumbai 2004 and India v/s WI at kingston in 2006-in both instances the captain was Dravid.Was not able to ferret info on T20s
      On the ODI -our most famous victory is featured in the list of low score victories- the 1983 WC,which was a 60 over game If I recall correctly.

      • Mahesh — How could you forget the Ind v Pak match in Sharjah. Imran led his team and got India out for 125, only for Kapil to lead India to a 38 run victory! I don’t remember the 1983 WC very much (I was 6) but this one, I do remember. I think Gavaskar took a bunch of catches too! Watching those highlights on neighbor’s B&W TV.. Those were the days. *sigh*

        • Yes I do remember that match vividly before Sharjah became a bogey for us,those were the days when India had bits and pieces players who were low on talent and heavy on grit and commitment and the media hype was not too much .You could see that even in 1985 when India won the BH tournament in Australia,this Australian team (The one which was here recently)reminded me of that Indian team (You had an Ponting and Hussey-we had our Kapil and Gavaskar,but then other played around)

  3. Prem-you pointed to the link on defending low scores,I have noticed that Dravid as a captain did well when defending low scores compared to his attitude while having big scores.
    Some instances-The Mumbai Test against the Aussies,the 1st IPL series -the match against CSK,India in WI 2006.
    Would be good to see how others did when defending low scores,Would like to see Ponting’s stats when defending low scores

  4. Is there no refund at all? I am sure the stadium must be saying something like 20% less and rest will be refunded. In such a case, all money should be given back.

    Regarding the case of rank no.1 in cricket, I think the statistic is completely irrelevant. Currently the only thing every team should be aspiring is to have professionalism like the Aussies. Their discipline and professionalism is evident from their game. We may beat them for something like 17 hours 52 minutes and 3 seconds…..but that does not mean anything for discerning followers of cricket.

  5. Thanks for the plug, Prem.

    I agree with Ss that the fans need to get a refund or at least tix to another match.

    we here in Penn State U, played recently, a intra-squad match in a stiff drizzle. After a certain point, it was just ridiculous to play. but, we continued anyway. The ball was like a bar of soap to handle, fielders were slipping in the outfield.. not a good scene.

  6. Hi Prem
    I read Peter’s article. I’m not an expert. But just a thought.. In all these games that are mentioned, the size of the ball is big, it doesn’t zip around at 140 kmph towards a person? A foot ball or a rugby ball is big enough to see in low lights, where as a cricket ball in that poor light will be more dangerous. There are always options to play with a spinner or have medium pace bowlers to bowl at. But will the bowling caption go for it considering that it could be a handicap for him and chances of losing the plot/game. We have often heard about losing the match in a session (in tests) and few overs(in ODI’s).
    That said, I’m sure that there could be options that can be worked with the best of minds. But, I feel, comparing cricket with Football,rugby or golf is comparing apples n oranges.

    Also BCCI should take a moral stand (oxymoron?? ;)) and refund the money they collect from fans as a ticket fee and pay it back or give them a ticket for the next match that’ll be played in that venue (like what happend in the in-famous Indianapolis 2005 f1)


    • The issue is the players go off at the drop of the first drizzle – even in day/night games where visibility is not an issue.

      • So, how do we determine whether to play or not on the drizzle? What if a wet ball slips out of a pace bowler hand and comes as a beamer?

  7. I read if rediff that BCCI & MCA got reimbursed for the match cancellation (6.75 crores). Just wondering if the folks who bought tickets were reimbursed too.

    • Could someone clarify – is there no guarantee to get a full refund of the ticket in the event of no play ? I find that extremely hard and bizzare.

      I had two tickets for the fourth days play for the Headingley Ashes test this year. The match was done and dusted in three days. I knew then that barring a £ 2 charge on transaction fee, I would get the rest of the money back. It was all clear cut, and no wondering.

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