Nearly a century has passed since the Black Sox scandal of 1919, when eight players from the Chicago White Sox were accused of accepting $5000 each to lose baseball's World Series. The biggest of those names was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who still has the third-highest batting average in the game's history. A year after the scandal, Jackson was hounded out of the game.
Siva's election ahead of May was certainly a surprise to many. May has been at the forefront of the players' struggle for rights, whether through chasing delayed payments or negotiating with cricket boards for more sensible itineraries. As for Siva, we have no idea whether he's a champion of players' rights - India haven't had an association worth the name for decades.
Michael Palin, whose comedic work and travel writing need no introduction, concluded his speech in the Long Room at Lord's on Wednesday night with the words: "Let our tribe be lbw - led by Wisden." It was an apt way to finish an evening that was equal parts tradition and nostalgia, and further illustration of the affection for the yellow book that is so much more than that.
Is there too much money in the IPL? Who is to be the judge of that? If the argument is that fat pay cheques have made players complacent and focused only on the short form, I'd have to disagree.
Some of those men were also brilliant fielders. Border had a superb throw, Warne had great hands in the slips and Boon pouched some stunners at short leg. As long as your shape doesn't noticeably impact on your on-field performance, it shouldn't be an issue. There are several young players who spend inordinate amounts of time in the gym, with little to show for it in terms of athletic or fielding prowess.
What does such a what-might-have-been story have to do with Sehwag, who has scored more than 8,500 Test runs and 23 centuries, who was twice named Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World? Apart from both being opening batsmen, not a lot, you'd think.
The fact that they're very rich young men insulated from many of life's harsher realities is neither here nor there. Cricketers of Ranatunga's generation were equally privileged.
Cricket Australia stages its Big Bash during the middle of a Test series, depriving franchises of marquee players and also ensuring that the five-day side has nowhere to turn to for match-ready resources should someone break down. The England and Wales Cricket Board cosied up to a swindler, and have allegedly scuttled plans for IPL sides to play in Ireland or Scotland.
Graeme Smith was just 22 when given the captaincy, and while his batting has seen several troughs to accompany the peaks, he has mastered the art of grinding out the runs when the team most needs them. All four of his fourth-innings centuries (he averages 55.7 then) have resulted in memorable South African wins.
It's the only mention of Tendulkar in the report. At the time, Isam wasn't to know that it would be Tendulkar's last One-Day International. None of us did. There can't have been more than a handful of Indian fans inside the stadium. Those watching on TV certainly had no idea that the last page had been written. No red rags. No True Blue. Nothing.
Dileep was recently the Associate Editor at ESPN Cricinfo and is a contributor to publications around the world, including The Guardian in England and The National in the United Arab Emirates. Dileep started his journalistic career at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPN Cricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com.
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