Something’s bothering Sanga!

By now, we’ve all heard about Kumar Sangakkara’s ovation-worthy speech at MCC’s Spirit of Cricket lecture. It’s takes a brave man to stand up and announce to the world that his country is messing up. Especially in the subcontinent where cricket administrators are akin to rulers of their fiefdom.

Thank god Sangakkara is good enough to continue playing and this outburst (albeit controlled and appropriately timed) won’t cost him his place. If it does, we’ll know it wasn’t for cricketing reasons. There is no cricket board (or sports body as the FIFA has recently found out) that is perfectly run. Peter Roebuck is rather gracious in his column where he leaves India out of the list of ‘troubled boards’, so to say.

A few years ago, a power struggle not too dissimilar from Sri Lanka’s was on full public view in India. Embroiled in it were Jagmohan Dalmiya, Sharad Pawar and Sourav Ganguly. The Sri Lankan issue has similar attributes. Except Sangakkara who stood up and proactively shamed his board.

Unfortunately, Sri Lanka’s board answers to their sports minister. A politician. Who as a rule, are thick-skinned. So his first order of action was to demand a report from the board’s president! Fat lot of good that will do! This is one imbroglio that will play itself out over time. Unfortunately for SL Cricket, in full public view. And Sangakkara is now ‘that guy’ who had balls of steel to stand up to his ‘masters’. Kudos.

And here’s hoping more sportspersons have the gall to stand up and fight. And not worry only about their future. Easier said than done, of course!

Ah. The Ineptitude.

The best players of spin in the world. Supposedly. Falling like nine pins. More like ten, but what the hell. To a rookie.

And not a spinner in sight to take out the opposition. Of course, the two are connected. Let the mudslinging begin. “Too many ads”… “their heads have become too big…” “Their bats are too small…”

At the time of writing, India hadn’t lost yet, but it was inevitable.

I also believe that Tony Greig’s presence is affecting India’s fortunes.

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Why is Sarkar always interesting?

I don’t think Sarkar is one of those movies that has layers upon layers which the viewer will see everytime they watch it. But there is something about it that makes you want to watch it. Over and over.

So the awkward “Thaamba, thaamba” notwithstanding from the Big B, I power on for a fifth viewing. And continue to enjoy it over and over.

Incidentally, I would much rather have been watching the India v Sri Lanka ODI over the long weekend. Funnily, though, it begins tomorrow. On a Monday. Well, perhaps the administrators got it wrong? Or is there a divine plan and meaning that us mere mortals can’t see? Anyhoo, all I wanted was the match.

Racism rears its head in Cricket… again

Yet again, an Australian cricketer (albeit former) was at the centre of a “racial abuse” storm. The guilty party this time: former Aussie batsman Dean Jones. His crime: Calling Hashim Amla a “terrorist” when on air. His justification: “It was a silly and completely insensitive thing to say and, obviously, it was never supposed to be heard over the air”.

The silly and insensitive part we agree to. But what about stupid? What does he mean “It was never supposed to be heard…” never mind where. On Air or not, he has no business saying this. For one, he is a public figure and must display more responsibility of what he says.

Of course, this is not the first time that an Australian player has been found guilty of such abuse. Darren Lehmann was the guilty one last time around.

While players have been found guilty, even the crowds in Australia have not been any better. Remember the infamous tour when South African players were called names by the crowd? Something needs to be done and quick. So what if Australia are the best cricket team in the world? That does not give them any right to abuse others.

[Darren Lehmann v Sri Lanka]

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