Category Archives: Cricket

I.P.L. Cricket, Film Stars, Politics and Money

Politics and Money have ruined Gentleman’s Cricket, as it was known in the past.
I.C.C. CEO’s did not see it coming or did not wish to see it that way, anyway.
Final nail in the coffin was sending young cricketers to prison.
There was no rehabilitation for players.
Banning them for life or sending them to prison won’t solve any of the problems now ingrained in cricket.
It will worsen and  young blood with correct frame of mind will not contemplate cricket as a career.
It is not worth the trouble.
In this background England will become the best test playing country.
But it has no meaning to Indians who are cricket fanatics.
Ultimately test cricket will also die a natural death.
What is happening in Australia is the dress rehearsal for test cricket.
It happened to great West Indies.
It will happen to India.
It has already happened to Sri-Lanka.
In Ceylon what ruined can be put in two words.
Politics and Money.
In India it were I.P.L, Film Stars and book makers.
I.P.L is an embodiment of money and the corruption that goes with it.
I saw it coming and stop watching cricket at all.
It is a blessing in disguise and I could now concentrate more on other vices.
Watching New Zealand Rugby (not Sri-Lankan) more entertaining that cricket.
R.I.P for cricket in Asia.
Unfortunately, I have to say this before the Asia Cup.
If anybody watches these games he or she has to get his/her mind tested by a psychologist who does not understand what is cricket.
We all had this disease and thank god I am fully cured due to our politicians.
When politicians take control of sports there is no turnaround.
It will remain corrupt to the core and become more and more corrupt.

I.P.L., Cricket,Politics and Money

I.P.L., Cricket,Politics and Money
I made few decisions sometime ago and they were the right decisions and I spend more time on Linux and Linux games now instead of cricket.
One of these decisions was to not to write about Sri-Lankan cricket.

Cricket Administration (Sri-Lankan) was so rotten and digging its dirty linen in public was not my intention and let mediocre journalists do that for their own living.
Second was I will watch only when it is played in good spirit and irrespective of the side to or the country one belongs when a player players a good innings enjoy the moment and praise the praiseworthy and condemn the bad acts.

I am not Jeffry Boycott and I love listening to him on the BBC radio like terry Vaughan the Irishman.
Mind you there is an Irishman playing cricket in a flamboyant one day style English Team.
Can you believe that?

He always says don’t be diplomatic and his Yorkshire humour reminds me of the my Yorkshire time, which was very plesant.

What it means is do not be partisan or make political capital out of cricket like the cheap Indian and Sri-Lankan soap opera (yesteryear) actors turned politicians.
I also hate people who take up politics while wielding a cricket bat and we have ample in this country.
I may sound anti-Sri-Lankan (I am anti-politician, does not matter which side they are in, who are corrupt to the core) too but that is my nature.
I may sound anti-Indian and but certainly not in Cricket and one example will clear any doubts.
There are many but I will state only one.
When Vivendra Shrawag, one of my favorite opening batsmen was denied a century by letting 4 byes and balling a noball next (all three of them are in our Sri-Lankan Team currently and it is a shame) and when his sixer was not allowed or counted, within seconds I vented my anger and blogged it.

This match was played in preparation for the world cup and we were the least prepared team then and it was wonder we came that far afterward.

That is the lowest we have gone ( on the field and off the field must be too numerous to mention from selection to ground preparations) and on that count alone we did not deserve to win the world cup.

There are many including a bogus doctor looking after our team and many political insinuations.

The second incident was when Andrew Srauss played a brilliant innings and match was drawn in the Wold cup.
I said, a Star of Wonder was born for England and everybody was prepared to dish him out of cricket after their elimination at our hands in the world cup.
He may not be a brilliant tactician but a very good cricketer and today he proved beyond any doubt (by beating India comprehensively) that he is a test class player.
Now coming to what happened to India?
Many will be written in India but I will be brief.
It is the IPL which started the rot.

There was easy entry for Indian (Pakistani too) businessmen and bookies who were only interested in money spinning that ruined the cricket in general and Indian cricket particularly.

In this context Ravi Bopara’s act of not accepting the IPL should be commendable.

The second factor is too much of cricket and ICC should take the full blame for it (the CEOs also looking at money but not players welfare).

I feel sorry for Shrawag, Dravid and Tendukar (they have done enough for Indian cricket) but not for the rest of the team or on the bench who came up from IPL ranking and showing how good they are to the world.

I have no sympathy for Dhoni too.
He has to take the blame for not saying enough to BCCI and standing up to them and saying my warriors are battle fatigued and they need a decent rest in between major fixtures.
That is his crime.

I cannot forgive him for that error of judgement.

IPL in essence ruined our cricketers (Sri-Lankan) and our young prospects too and we won’t recover for decades.

That I do not care.

We present Sri-Lankan who cannot even fill a form in Eglish at an airport love to have air ticket free and money on the sly, often illegal foreign exchange and lot of other dealing besides cricket (that include journalists, commentators and perhaps umpires too if not cricketers and their affiliated guys and girls).

What we need is national integration not too much of cricket or too much Sinhala jubilation’s.
I thank gods for losing the Worlds Cup (we made billions of Indians happy) and in England.
If we won our politicians will be basking in sunshine and doing sweet nothing for corruption at all levels.
They have to work hard and show the voters that they are worth the 5 years pension they get for doing sweet nothing for five years.

Nuclear Accidents,Fire Hazards, Electrical Supply and Global Warming

Now that the Cricket World Cup is over, it is time for me to concentrate on more important issues relevant to safety at home and on the road. It is with deep sadness I edit this page that one of my students died and other seriously injured, a motor bike accident. I always say more people die on the road than a death toll in a tsunami.
 

Before that I would like to make some passing reference to why we lost.

I should pen it down here since our journalist are the worst stooges of the politicians and won’t make the comments I make below as points of reference in their daily chores. 

I may become very unpopular but I am not a politicians vying for votes rigged or otherwise.

First reason is that in Sri-Lanka we never were united after the war whereas Indians were all behind the Indian Team and Sachin.

Indian papers were critical but were not destructive.

1. In our case one of the government channels run by political stooges raised a claim that Mahela played to the hands of Pakistan deliberately. What I understand now is that this was done by players rejected or not selected to the team with political intent.

Of course, Mahela answered the critics with his bat like Ponting and that was the very best of Mahela after his 167 odd runs in his first appearance against India in home soil.

What is important this time is, it is on Indian soil with nobody behind him except his team mates.

2. We were not ready for the world cup and we did not have a regular team up for the finals and poor Sanaga had to fiddle round and use his gut feelings. While playing on the round robin stage he had to select the players in best form from the makeshift team given to him by the selectors. There were only  five or six who were worth the mettle and naming them here is not appropriate and others were filling the numbers from 6 or 15.

3. Then come the crunch game and politicians get activated and like after the war they want to reap benefit at the expense of cricketers and bloat their image while failing in their duties at ground and grass root level.

4. Now come the big political manoeuvre and Randive catapults into World Cup stage and comes home wicketless.

5. I have my praise for Gary Kirsten, graceful South African opener who did all the ground work for the victory after 2008 debacle. There were no politicos influencing him. Similarly the praise should go to Alan Donald the South African fast baller lifting the New Zealand team up to the Semifinals.

The difference here is everything form ground construction to ground preparation to celebrations have to be sanctioned by politicos or their stooges.

Everything is politicized and corrupt.

6. I feel sorry for army man Ajantha and poor but Big Ball Boy Dilhara who was worse than a political stooge. He was the one who could have taken the wicket of Tandukar in a crunch game. Yes, he might give some extras and few no balls but we did not want him to ball full quota of 10 overs. Three overs form him would have been better than full quota of Randive.

This whole episode destroyed both the big boy Dilhara and new find Randive.

Who is to blame I leave it open.

Lesson from Dhoni is that he took the full responsibility of Srisanth’s selection and he managed him accordingly but did not break his backbone like what we Sri-Lankan do.
We win the war and then break the backbone of soldiers.

 

That is the way we go up the ladder.

It is cut throat politics, even in sports.

This one for the Indians.

In the built up to the semifinals there is a little consensus among few of the intellectuals that if we win the World Cup, the government will increase the price of petrol and with it all the other commodities and Sri-Lanka should not win.

I also subscribe to this especially as a teaser, something that I enjoy when spirits are high and I was the only one in Sri-Lanka who supported New Zealand on the day. I went on to say to irritate my close friends if we played on a neutral ground we would lose knowing very well New Zealand would not make it through.

This is like a Sri-Lankan government official who votes for the opposition on the day of the election and goes to work on the next day attired in a blue dress and a red or gray tie.

In my case if somebody volunteered money I would have put a bet for Sri-Lanka to win and support New Zealand in front of the TV.

Here money and win matters but usually it is the Santhosum or political bribes that do the job.

In India the commodity prices may not go up but cricket corruption and betting will surge with this win.
Even though I subscribed to the view that petrol will go up in price after New Year and before New year if we win the World Cup as a teaser for my friends, I was of the strong opinion that our politicians are only sensitive to the voter only before and during election, that they are so insensitive they will increase the prices whether we win or lose.

In that context it is better to support our team irrespective of political realities and that is what we should do come finals.

I am of the strong opinion politicians and religious dignitaries should not get involved in sports.

Leave them to sports specialists and the coach and pay them well and on results basis like top CEOs and not to political bum suckers.

And come win or lose be prepared to tighten our belts for another 5 or 10 years and the promised land may never come true with global realities and food prices going up by the minute and production not keeping up with the demand from banis, bananas to political bana.

Safety First.
That is almost like a lecture in point form but we never correct our mistakes but the one I am going to write below if you do not take notice one might lose everything including life.

It is the fire hazard that we go through in March to May.
There are two factors one is external and other is internal.

External one is global warming and Sri-Lanka included and exaggerated by our Coal Power Plant going into operation soon.

The other is lightening and fire crackers.

I was happy that we lost the Cricket and if we won the fire crackers would have ignited few fires burning even our precious forest reserve too.

I am the one for banning fire crackers in entirety.

It serves no purpose and many of our dogs die of fear during New year festivals when owners go out on holidays leaving vulnerable dogs to fire crackers and thieves (they poison dogs).

Other one is internal.

That is our Electricity Supply which fluctuate in voltage. This risk is increased with thunder that accompany rain.
One computer and two voltage stabilizers busted from the month of January to now.

This not the first time and some time ago I lost almost everything(electrical equipments that included a TV, a tumbler dryer and a washing machine) including 2o odd bulbs in one night and morning due to power surge going above 400.

The has become a perennial problem now. If not fire one can get electrocuted.
The only way I have saved few equipments is by using UPS not voltage stabilizers (two of the Sri-Lankan voltage stabilizers caught fire and there is no alarm. system). At least the UPS has the alarm that goes up and we cannot buy any imported voltage stabilizers in Sri-Lanka now.

This New Year I decided to work on reducing fire hazard.

1. I have three or four digital thermometers.
One is on top of the computer I am working now. The other is on top of the switched off computer. The temperature difference is 7 degree F and time is mid night.

2. I do not switch on any equipment if the outside temperature is above 88 degree F except the fridge.

3. I use the computer in the night and who is going to go for air conditioning with electricity bill above Rs.6000/=

4. I use UPS. Recent ones have better quality internal circuits and integrators.

5. Check all the connectors and replace them with sturdy not cheap ones.

6. Be vigilant and safety first from kitchen to to bed room to living room.

7. No fire crackers.

8. Switch off all the equipment not in use.

9. Emergency lamps with all diodes and keep them charged for an emergency.

10. Keep an eye on the meter and the monthly bill which is going up by the minute.

Microsoft, TV Cards, Drivers and Cricket World Cup

I was little lazy this time unlike the last time and I was ready for with all the analog and digital paraphernalia to record all the World Cup Matches irrespective of who was playing who. I was expecting Sri-Lanka to win but wanted to record the Sanath, Brian Lara and Mavan in their last World Cup appearances.

There were hiccoughs in early stages when two matches were held on the same day, one game was not broadcast live due to broadcast rights. Anyway after some protest all the games were broadcast live and I recorded all the games with several TVs one with DVD recorder attacked and some with VHS Video recorders and for digital recording an old capture card and a TV card in to other computers. The capture card and TV cards were not very effective but my analog DVD recorder did all the important work.

TV antenna were all over the place since the TV signals were very poor.

Everything went all right except the computer with the capture card went bust half way through the games, probably due to combination of factors which included inadequate RAM and poor power supply and BIOS virus (windows were a pain in the neck anyway).

Home was like a little studio for the entire period of world cup games.

But we were very unlucky and the rain interrupted the game when the players had a spirited start for the run chase. Unfortunately Mavan was not there to open but one who replaced was no match and the middle order caved in and we lost the match on Duckworth Lewis Formula.

This time I was not very keen supporting any team except perhaps New Zealand and South Africa but when both were eliminated and when we were emerging as a probable finalist, I came out of the hibernation and decided to record the final games.

Went and bought a TV card with no support for Linux and had to go back to windows for recording.

I got hold of a computer I used for testing Linux and installed windows and the TV Card and for three days I could not get the sound working. This was an old computer and I do not keep any windows drivers with me now and Linux automatically configures sound and codecs and there was no need for me to keep any.

I went and bought a USB sound card and tried to link it with the TV card but could not. Actually the output from TV card could not be linked directly to the USB and without the internal audio codecs configured, the sound wan’t work.

Finally I got the OEM’s name and went to the Internet and after about half an hour of search found a place to download several sound drivers and after another one hour got two drivers downloaded.

With a little bit of luck one driver was OK and I was able to configure the sounds and codecs and integrate with the TV Card and had a test recording of the replay of the semifinals with the New Zealand.

Thank god they had two to three rest days between the matches that I could do all this while going to work with some important meetings in between.

Otherwise having paid for a card I was not able to use it without all the drivers.

I will list the problems a Linux / Widows user has to go through.

1. The Chinese / Taiwan OEM guys of the TV Card (good one) did not provide drivers for Linux.

2. Microsoft guys do not have the ability to detect sound cards of different OEM guys and one has to find the drivers.

3. If internet connection was not there one is not able to search for a driver. I did it with my Linux box.

4. I had a similar problem with a secondhand Laptop (Japanese) I bought for my son and I had to use a USB card to get the sounds while Linux automatically configures sound. I could not get a driver through the internet since the Laptop was old (discontinued providing drivers for windows).

5. In spite of all the hype with new versions there is no coordination with OEM guys and operating systems.

So if you buy second hand computer make sure you have all the drivers and motherboard and driver CDs and OEM names for graphic and sound drivers before you pay cash even if you may save a lot on the bargain.

Like Sinhala language which was neglected by Sri-Lankan government as far as Linux operating systems are concerned the Sri-Lankan TV regulators have not provided the necessary frequencies and the systems (pal B) for Linux developers to work on.
Linux has the TVTime Viewer and without the frequencies and pal system information the Linux developers cannot accomplish any workable solution to my problem.
I hope by next world cup they will provide the technical information to a Linux Group that could coordinate with Debian to do the honours like they have done for Sinhala.

OEM guys also do the same in future productions.
Why only for Microsoft users.
It is unfair trade practice.
Only one match and after the finals that I will format and erase windows anyway.

World Cup Cricket-Final Count Down

Well before the Cricket World Cup, due to many a reason, I decided not to write about Sri-Lankan Cricket.

This not the time to list them except to say, there are many who have never played or watched cricket except on TV (armchair cricket pundits) who have entered into cricket fray and making money at the expense of poor cricketers in the Asia subcontinent.

IPL can be taken as an extreme example but what I mention here is much more subtle and lot of politics involved.

Cricket is going to enter into a different era with all the contenders of the West except New Zealanders have been eliminated and gone home already.

I feel really sorry for Strauus, who played a gem of an innings at the beginning and showed all the signs of long winter of cricket and petered away in an almost burnt out or run out of steam fashion.

He has lot of cricket left in him and all the cricketers except a few in the team deserve the respect they deserve for trying out hard under extreme whether conditions. It is easy for the normally grumpy (politicians and diplomats included) Britishers who sit like potatoes in front of the TV with an ancient Axe in hand and try to destroy them.

I was expecting some unruly Sinhalayas with anger towards harbouring LTTE in their political and diplomatic folds make some unwelcome gestures towards the team. Nothing like that happened but they expected a real beating at the hands of Sri-Lankan cricketers.

When several catches were dropped, it was uneasy for everybody watching but England failed to capitalize on them but capitulated themselves.

Our boys were ready for Australians but since weather prevented it and India had done the honours, the cricketers were ready to pounce on England as an alternative.

It is as if we wanted England to score over 200 hundred (only a wishful thinking, catches were badly dropped) and getting two centuries was a record that is going to be in our memory for a long time.

As for Ricky Ponting unlike Strauus, time has come to say good bye to Asian Subcontinent and his century was glorious. We want to remember him for that century and as a cricketer of high caliber, somewhat steely like Steve Waugh, and not as a rugged Australian who lost the Ashes.
Good luck for his future.

For Graham Smith, I was thinking that they had a chance of lifting the cup but when they lost to England, I knew something nasty will happen eventually and I was actually banking on New Zealand to do that.

I like Smith’s demeanour very much and he was my most favorite captain of this world cup even surpassing Sanga for that category.

In my mind he made the mistake of opening the innings and he would have come down the order, may be one down or two down. If he was there in the middle when chips were down, unlike the younger players, the outcome would have been very different.

We are going to miss hm as the most amiable captain of the world cup.

Now there are only four of the captains left to prove their mettle and Daniel Vittory is an ace who may even challenge Sri-Lanka when chips are down.
Watch out for him. even with injuries.

He was of the same caliber as our Murali when injured and even though he was not our captain he (Murali) was the one who every opposition captain envied and every Sri-Lnkan captain revered, as a god send messenger of cricket.

He is our ambassador of cricket and long live his memories, only the good ones not the bad ones that come from Australia.

Can Strauss change Cricket Fortunes?

Yes he can with little bit of luck behind him.

When I said star (Strauss) was born earlier, I really meant it.

You can become the star of wonder if you lift the World Cup too.

Go for it.
There is nothing to lose.

Now it is only two more games away to the final.

Have a good rest (without alcohol) for the tired legs and fully stretched out minds of the players.

The cliff-hanger games are the ones I love to watch (but not for one with weak hearts).

If you can take one game at a time and the final will come true to itself.
If you could bring ashes home and immediately follow with another Champion Cup it is good for the home of cricket.
This time every team has an equal chances of winning unlike previous games.
The team that does well in all three actions batting, balling and fielding will win the game.
Mind you West indies was not the best prepared team.
The winning should be attributed to their bad management on the day.
But by stroke of luck if they become your opponents in the final, as a true cricket lover I am going to favour the West Indies’ win.
If the opponents are going to be Sri-Lanka, I am going to be neutral.
If opponents are Australians, I am going to favour England’s win.
If opponents are South Africans, I am going to favour Smith’s Team.
If the opponents are New Zealanders I am going to support New Zealand.

I am going to ignore India and Pakistan because they are playing on familiar home conditions (Indian subcontinent), home crowd support and corrupt officials, Sri-Lanka included.

It is going to be interesting contest and cricket will be the winner.

I hope now onwards all the players will lift the spirit of the game unlike Australians (and some captains) who use devious means to win.

Remember the ball under the glove (underarm) tactics against us last time round.

They want to win, it does not matter how (to them).

I hope England (not English and Australian umpires though) form now onwards, set the standards of the game in the field and outside the field.

However, Flower should know not to put tired legs on the filed in a crunch game and you have been playing too much cricket, already.

Rest without alcohol is the need of the day.

If you win bookmakers of the subcontinent and a few politicians have to perform hara-kiri and that is going to be very good for cricket!

Cricket and the big Face Lift

Cricket is getting a big face lift.
I do not agree with the behavior of some fans in the Asian subcontinent even the events  of off the field actions are brushed off as minor incidents.

Severe deterrent actions are necessary on the filed and outside the field what ever the outcome of a match.

Host country need not have to win by hook or crook.

Let the players inspire and umpires in the middle take the center stage not arm chair pundits.

In our country in the past during elections violence is brushed off as minor incidents and it metamorphosed to ethnic violence and after the war ceased nobody except the parties and candidates are interested. Last election, like in the west 42% did not turn up and it will be 50% this time around by fixing the elections at a time of Cricket World Cup and coming new year festive season.

But we are sure with voter apathy malpractices will be rampant on the day of the actual voting with opposition disorganized as it is now.

In a democracy it is the opposition that matters.

Similarly what ever the fan’s behaviour that is not acceptable in human interactions should be dealt with with severe punishment like not hosting an international events in that country for 10 years or so.

We lost Bob Woolmer last time.

There was antecedent Pakistani match fixing incidents.

And similar pressure can be brought when crunch games are played.

At least to save goodwill and ambassadorial work done by Imran Khan and his perseverance for neutral umpires, unlike other games, cricket has got a tremendous face lift.

It is true and I see even the not usually interested females are taking some interest in SriLanka now.

If they are to  come and watch games there should be absolutely  no violence  on or off the field.

We must maintain that.

In election violence also females take a step back and withdraw.

It is the host government’s responsibility to take all deterrent actions.

In SriLanka it is the ticket sale and there is a black market issue here.

It is the government’s role to take action and minimize the inconvenience to the fans who actually do come to the ground and put their money in the coffers of the administration.

Otherwise blacklist and do not hold events in that country.

Sports should be taken out of politics and religious fanaticism, if we are to make them viable and active engagements both the actors and the spectators in film parlance.

We do not burn down film halls and that principle applies to cricket too and crowd control must be proactive and not after the event.

Most of the umpiring decisions and revisions are making an acceptable change to the game.

Umpires also given some credibility and it was at stake when reviews were not allowed.

It is the players who make the requests at critical junctures and reviews should be balanced and credible.

By doing that we make less importance to the daily papers who report them 24 hours late.

Television commentators are also adding some spice to the game and all these are good for the future of the game.

Now it is the time for the players to add some spice and the lift the game up.

Players should have the courage to walk out if they feel they genuinely had a touch or believe they grassed the ball instead of waiting for the reviewers to make the decision.
It will help the TV umpires and cut down the delay in making the decisions.

Coming back to actions in the field, the birthday boys heroics in New Zealand against Pakistan match make me to revise my decisions of not supporting a team.

After the earth quake damage to South Island and Christchurch, it was something for the New Zealanders to take note and smile.

It may be a little boost to ones who lost their loved ones and property and if they can take the Trophy home, now that they are on top of the table, it will really rejuvenate the rebuild efforts for those who lost almost everything.

With Daniel Vittory in the injury list it may  be a treat and farewell for him with his retirement from one day cricket announced.

On the field they are the best guys and good luck with your game with Australia.
Weather did not allow an outcome at Premadasa and I hope you will end their victory streak, like what you generally do in rugger field.