Anil Kumble's latest Sobriquet: AK37

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 20-12-2007

While driving to work this morning, I noticed a used car dealership hoarding on Chamiers Road -Cenotaph Road crossing. It read:

India’s Latest Weapon – AK37

Capt. Anil Kumble Age 37 - AK37

Wonder what the cool Capt. of Indian cricket team has to say on his latest sobriquet!


Yuvraj Singh's six sixes in the internet age

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 20-09-2007

It is indeed amazing that Yuvraj Singh became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in nascent Twenty 20 format. But what is more amazing is the way internet has made it possible for people to see the magical moment as and when possible, at a time of your choice, and as many times.Not only did I receive an email containing a clip of this Yuvraj packing off Stuart Broad of England at Kingsmead, Durban as an attachment and folks also forwarded multiple links on various video sites. Not sure where these sites stand on the issue of Copyright violation in such cases, but at this point it is all up for folks to see.




Whoever knows the impact of today’s new and emerging communication media such as Video and Blogs?

ICL has a Great Communication Opportunity Ahead

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 21-08-2007

In earlier posts we discussed how communication has become conversational and flat. In yet another post, we discussed how cricket boards across the world such as Pakistan and Australia, have chosen to create their websites, and also those such as BCCI have, chosen not to have their websites.

The essential challenge is for organizations, cricket boards included, is to reach out to all key stakeholders via all available means of communication. The current unpopularity of BCCI is partly due to its inability to think of cricket lovers beyond just ticket buyers/ TV viewers. This has meant that cricket has been sold as a commodity, not as a well cultivated brand .

I hope folks at ICL will soon realize that a great communication advantage awaits them, if they choose to engage cricket lovers via the web.

That essentially means, get an ICL website up very soon. A website that breathes and lives. This is no rocket science wisdom, but merely common sense. The engagement possibilities remain practically limitless, if this happens.

And would not be surprised, if BCCI too reacts by getting a website up. Great for cricket. Let’s see.

And Kepler Wessels now?!

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 12-07-2007

…and now one hears it is going to be Kepler Wessels. He played cricket for Australia and South Africa and was quite a name. That begs the question – Can he play ball with the BCCI?!

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Programme

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 08-05-2007

Based on feedback received from scholarly observers of the game of cricket, ICC has made some changes in the upcoming 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.The tournament will be kicked off by vivid culturals, followed by the Award Ceremony, where the cup would be presented to Australia.

Coping ICC World Cup 2007 aftermath for India and Pak:Lateral Idea

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 26-03-2007

While the cricket fans of India and Pakistan are smarting over early exits of their national teams , here is a suggestion to BCCI and PCB to utilize an excellent opportunity ahead of us.

Forget the ICC WC 2007. Organize a quickfire India Pakistan ODI series in parallel! Yes!!

Hold five matches in India and five in Pakistan.

Why does this make sense:

1. Cricket fans in the subcontinent would not just be happy, but delighted.Nothing generates more fun than India Pak cricketing encounters.
2.
The advertisers would have a mighty good alternate option. Nothing generates more money than India Pak cricketing encounters.
3. Matches would happen in IST & PST. Late night would be reserved for encounters of the other kind!
4. For BCCI and PCB, there is tons of (more) money to be made.ICC would realize the power of the cricket fans inthe subcontinent. Its TRPs and ad revenues would dip sharply and BCCI and PCB would have their chance to settle scores with ICC. ICC would accept any bargain.
5. Players and the managers of brands they endorse would be delighted too, reasons are so obvious!(Okay if they are not obvious, then let me state – finally their brand ambassadors would be seen winning, for a change)

Stretch your imagination a bit and make Siddhu – Mandira Bedi duo the official commentators and think how cool this would be(or hot, take your pick).

You may feel such a series is impossible(Well, some copyrighter said something like Impossible is Nothing!). Okay, if ‘official‘(meaning ICC blessed) series is not possible, then let us organise some ‘exhibition matches‘ or Kiran More welfare matches(let us thank him for his services to cricket so that he says goodbye to cricket in all forms- finally!!).

(And now get back to work!!!!)

Shock and awe at ICC WC 2007

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 19-03-2007

Never before in the history of ICC World Cup tournaments have so much emotions been generated at such an early stage of the tournament. The early rounds are supposed to be easy for the fancied teams and it is assumed that the ‘minnows’ will walk out at the end of this stage.Not really this time. Pakistan, a former winner of Cricket World Cup is thrown out this early(though technically they have one more match with Zimbabwe left), India, another former champion facing a prospect of the same having lost to neighbours Bangladesh, and saddest of them all, Bob Woolmer, a cricketing legend lost, perhaps to stress and sadness. To add to it, there is already a captain, Inzamaam, who has already announced his intention to step aside and possibly even retire.

Are we expecting too much of a magic from our national teams? Are we forgetting that our teams are made of human beings, and we all have our days? There is a sad picture in today’s Hindu about Dhoni’s under-construction house being vandalised by ‘cricket lovers’. That property, has been apparently been gifted to Dhoni for his cricketing achievements.I find it even difficult to believe having been born in Ranchi and spent several years of my life there. Ranchi was such a fun loving city which danced all night when India won in 1983 world cup. I was under the impression that Ranchi treats MSD as a personal treasure. What will be next? Attack on Chanchalda’s house??? Are we animals????

Why, because Inzy led a lame duck team with a weak bowling attack which was low in morale due to Shoab’s absense? The fear of a return home can sometimes be so frightening. Common guys, they are coming ‘home’ and not walking into enemy territory. And they have brought you laurels in the past.

We perhaps must keen in mind that at the end of the tournament on April 29, there will be only one winner. Assuming that the winner is from the subcontinent, there will be three teams from the subcontinent who would not have won. Does that mean that we will go about setting houses ablaze! So much for our ‘cultural depth’, ‘our scientific temperament’ and ‘world leadership in IT’. What message are we sending?Shame!!!

One point one must make though. The boards in this region have no clear communication strategy to connect with the cricket lovers in respective regions, where cricket is such a high involvement matter. Time to hire some world class mass communication specialists. I am sure the boards can afford them.

Let us enjoy the ICC World Cup 2007 as a sports tournament .Not as war games. May the best team win. Let’s cheer to cricket.And goodbye Bob, we will miss ya.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 all set to roll

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 01-03-2007

ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 is all set to begin on March 11th in the Caribbean Islands with the opening ceremony. Nine Caribbean countries have come together to host this tournament. Infact the practice matches would get going from 5th March itself and there are 16 such practice matches in all, four per day on successive days. This World Cup, there are 16 teams participating and just in case you would like to refresh, they are as follows:

Group A: The mighty Aussies, equally mighty SA, and not so mighty Scotland and the Netherlands

Group B:Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh & Bermuda(yes, Bermuda, it is a speck in the Atlantic, spot it if you can)

Group C:New Zealand, England, Kenya & Canada

Group D:Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe & Ireland.
No guesses, Group A & C appear very tough groups.

The tournament itself is in four stages:
Stage 1: Group Stage (Teams within the groups play each other, once). This stage kicks off on 13th March with a WI at Pak match.In all there are 24 matches in this stage which ends on March 25.Eight teams move to the next round, eight drop out and head home.Parents of kids writing 10th and 12th this year can rub their eyes in disbelief. Yes, cricket world cup is happening this time of the year. If you are in some planning function in your organisation in India, have fun because both cricket and your employer will demand late evenings.

Stage 2: Super Eight Stage begins on March 27 and ends on 22 April. This stage has the potential to make you cricket weary or to create cricket widows, depending on your liking. Office productivity will be very low and lot of employees would report sick, owing to late night matches.Four teams head home, four move to the semis.24 matches in this round.Remember, it is financial year closure too, so expect late nights anyway.

Stage 3: Matches on 24th and 25th April. The losers of the two semis head home. They even would not mind flying into their countries by different flights, especially if there are a few missed catches in the semis.Different flight and different ports of entry help them avoid potentially rowdy demonstrations at airports.Couple of retirements and couple of sackings, and lot of team bickering out in the media.Yes, you figured it out, there are exactly two semis.

Stage 4: The Finals match of ICC World Cup 2007 is on April 28, which is Saturday. India is switched off from any other form of organised activity, including mundane ones such as going to schools and offices.The victor celebrates.If India wins, dances in the streets and fireworks. The looser heads home. For once perhaps, politicians and terrorists do not make headlines, in newspaper published in any language in India.

For some reason, ICC and BCCI do not seem to believe in releasing the schedule in IST. So, here’s my own amateur effort, ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule in IST, served via Google Calendar. Click on agenda in case you see a month view.

In case you wish to subscibe to this calendar, hit the Google Calendar button below. You can always set it to your timezone.



World Cup Cricket Squads at a Glance

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 23-02-2007

There are four groups in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 and sixteen teams in all.While there are bound to be injury related changes, like the Brett Lee and the threat looming over Irfan Pathan right now, here are all the teams for your quick reference.

Group A:

Australia World Cup Squad:

Ricky Ponting (Capt), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Brad Hodge, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Brad Haddin, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee( injured, now replaced by Stuart Clark), Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath.

South Africa World Cup Squad:

Graeme Smith (Capt), Jacques Kallis (Vice-Capt), Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Roger Telemachus.

Scotland World Cup Squad:

Craig Wright (Capt), Ryan-Watson (Vice Capt),John Blain, Dougie Brown, Gavin Hamilton, Majid Haq, Paul Hoffmann, Douglas Lockhart, Ross Lyons, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel, Navdeep Poonia, Glenn Rogers, Colin Smith, Fraser Watts.

The Netherlands World Cup Squad:

Luuk van Troost (Capt), Peter Borren, Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschate, Mark Jonkman, Muhammad Kashif, Alexei Kervezee, Tim de Leede, Adeel Raja, Darron Reekers, Edgar Schiferli, Jeroen Smits, Billy Stelling, Eric Szwarczynski, Bas Zuiderent

Group B

Indian World Cup Squad:

Rahul Dravid (Capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly(Yes!), Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel.

Sri Lanka World Cup Squad:

Mahela Jayawardene (Capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Marvan Atapattu, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Malinga Bandara.

Bangladesh World Cup Squad:

Habibul Bashar (captain), Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Tapash Baishya, Syed Rasel, Rajin Saleh, Javed Omar.

Bermuda World Cup Squad:

Irving Romaine (Capt), Dean Minors (Vice Capt), Delyone Borden, Lionel Cann, David Hemp, Kevin Hurdle, Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly, Dwayne Leverock, Saleem Mukuddem, Stephen Outerbridge, Oliver Pitcher, Clay Smith, Janeiro Tucker, Kwame Tucker.

Group C:

England World Cup Squad:

MP Vaughan (Capt), EC Joyce , IR Bell, AJ Strauss, KP Pietersen , PD Collingwood, A Flintoff , Ravi S Bopara , PA Nixon (Wicket keeper), JWM Dalrymple, Monty Panesar, J Lewis , JM Anderson, LE Plunkett, SI Mahmood.

New Zealand World Cup Squad:

Stephen Fleming (Capt) ,Shane Bond ,James Franklin,Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie ,Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent.

Kenya World Cup Squad:

Steve Tikolo (Capt), Thomas Odoyo (Vice-Captain), Ravindu Shah, Tanmay Mishra, Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Morris Ouma, Malhar Patel, Hiren Varaiya, David Obuya, Rajesh Bhudia, Jimmy Kamande, Tony Suji, Lameck Onyango

Canada World Cup Squad:

John Davison (Capt), Ashish Bagai, Ian Billcliff, Geoff Barnett, Kevin Sandher, Umar Bhatti, Desmond Chumney, George Codrington, Austin Codrington, Andy Cummins, Sunil Dhaniram, Asif Mulla, Henry Osinde, Abdool Samad and Qaiser Ali.

Group D

West Indies World Cup Squad:

Brian Lara (Capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan (Vice-Captain), Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith, Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor, Corey Collymore and Daren Powell.

Reserves: Daren Sammy, Sylvester Joseph, Dave Mohammed, Fidel Edwards and Runako Morton.

Pakistan World Cup Squad:

Inzamam-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Rao Iftikhar, Rana Naved, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar.

Ireland World Cup Squad:

Johnston (Capt), K McCallan, A Botha, J Bray, K Carroll, P Gillespie, D Langford-Smith, J Mooney, P Mooney, E Morgan, K O’Brien, N O’Brien (wkt), W Porterfield, B Rankin, A White

Zimbabwe World Cup Squad :

Prosper Utseya (captain), Gary Brent, Justice Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Keith Dabengwa, Terry Duffin, Anthony Ireland, Friday Kasteni, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Edward Rainsford, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams.

Also see here: No Day Night Matches this Cricket World Cup ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 all set to roll

No Day Night Matches this Cricket World Cup

Filed Under (Cricket) by Rajesh Kumar on 17-02-2007

I was pretty surprised to note that there is not a single match in the day night format this cricket world cup 2007. The official ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 website makes a very innocent one line mention that all matches start at 9:30 AM local time. And never mind the importance of sponsorship monies that getting pumped from India in sustaining ICC and in sustaining cricket itself, ICC website does not provide the match timings in IST. The even more horrible dimension is that the website ‘partner’ is Indya, owned by Star. To rub salt to insult, it provides the same schedule in GMT, where perhaps only a handful of people may be interested in knowing about it.Perhaps for ICC and the likes, the centre of world cricket is still Greenwich meredien. Pretty funny isn’t it?

But atleast the event has a website, unlike BCCI, which has so far not felt the need for a web presence!


About Rajesh Kumar. Rajesh is based in Chennai, where he works for Defiance Technologies in Marketing. The views on this blog are his own. Rajesh Kumar