Tag Archives: India

World Cup Match-Fixing

We all knew this was going to be a big topic during this World Cup after the last year that Pakistan have had in regards to match-fixing scandals. However, there have been more allegations in the past week than anyone would have thought could have happened. The main surprise, or non-surprise depending how you look at it, is that all allegations have come from some form of sub-continent media! No whispering of alleged match-fixing from the English, from the West Indies, from New Zealand or from Australia, just the sub-continent. We already know that the Indians run the game of cricket as they are the ones that throw their money around and around, just look at the IPL and the Indians coming on board the KFC Big Bash next year. But seriously, these allegations that they have come up with are just plain stupid!

First there were allegations against Brad Haddin and Shane Watson for playing too slowly against Zimbabwe. Sure they scored 0-5 off two overs and only 23 odd runs from their powerplay, but that is a cause for match-fixing allegations, seriously? Surely you would then look at the rest of the innings, Watson made 79 off 92 with a strike rate of 85.86, he was clearly trying to lose that game. Haddin had a lower strike rate of 43.93, however all you need to realise is that Haddin isn’t a great player of spin, most of the Australian team is fairly average when it comes to facing spin. Australia finished with a score of 6-262 so the opening batting obviously hurt them overall, I’d also like to point out that the strike rates of the two Australian openers against the strike rates of the two Zimbabwean openers, when added together, comes out higher so maybe the sub-continent media would like to look at Zimbabwe for not chasing fast enough!

The second set of allegations is even more ridiculous, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera were accused of match-fixing in the match against Pakistan. Why you ask? Simply because they got out without making many runs! This was a joke wasn’t it, I mean come on, they only made two and one runs respectively so obviously they are match-fixing! There was no way it could have been the bowling of Shoaib Akhtar or the bowler of the tournament so far, Shahid Afridi. Sri Lanka had just lost a couple of quick wickets, namely the two batsmen who had settled at the crease and Pakistan had their tails up, the adrenalin flowing and took advantage of having new men at the crease. Now correct me if I’m wrong but that is what the bowling side is meant to do is it not? Try and get the new batsmen out as quickly as possible before he can become settled and score. Ryan ten Doeschate was out for seven against the West Indies a couple of days ago, after making 119 against England, was he involved in match-fixing too, seeing as he went out cheaply? Seriously, open your eyes and don’t allow utter stupidity to leave whoevers small mind it came from.

But wait, I saved the best until last…

Before the match between England and India, Shane Warne on his Twitter account said “Looking forward to the game between India and England – should be a cracker. My prediction – a tie!” Now this was clearly a tongue-in-cheek prediction, one that every single person would make many times in their life when watching sport because games could be too close to call. The difference here is that the game actually ended in a tie! Now how could Shane Warne have done that from his house over here in Brighton? As Rashid Latif, a former match-fixing whistleblower, said on FoxSports “I fail to see who stands to gain from the teams drawing as per international betting rules a tie results in a ‘fog’ or ‘void’ where both betting parties have to be returned their money as a settlement by the bookmakers,” so Warne clearly had a hand in match-fixing so he could gain… Oh yeah that’s right, nothing! I mean come on, a few mates of mine predicted a draw in the AFL Grand Final last year as a tongue-in-cheek tip and sure enough the Grand Final was a draw, I knew right away that they had done some sort of match-fixing agreement with the teams, or not.

The media in the sub-continent need to pull their heads out of their regions of no sun and view the game without bias and stupidity. They are hosting the Cricket World Cup, they should do so in a manner that is respectful to all teams and parties involved and these allegations of match-fixing are downright ridiculous. Just in case the media over there were looking for more match-fixing possibilites allow me to point out a few – England not bowling out Netherlands, Kenya making 69 runs total against New Zealand, Pakistan openers going out cheaply against a Kenyan bowling attack that conceded 46 extras and be sure to keep an eye on the Sri Lanka-Australia game coming up, I’m sure you will see plenty of suspicious activity in that match.

Seriously, heads out of the region of no sun, thumbs out of mouths, fingers out of noses, dummies back in, glasses back on and start coming up with some proper news, maybe its time for stupidity to take a back seat for a while!

MV

Advertisements

Like a good wine, Sachin Tendulkar just gets better with age.

Less than 24 hours after the ‘Little Master’ became the first batsman in the history of Test Match cricket to pass 14,000 runs, it’s worth pausing for a second and reflecting on the sheer brilliance of the minature man, arguably the greatest batsman of all time.

Commencing his career as a 16 year old in 1989, Tendulkar started his career promisingly if not spectacularly. Between 1989 and 1991, Tendulkar scored 666 runs at an average of 35.05 from 13 Tests, with just the single century against England at Manchester where he made an unbeaten 119 to rescue his side from almost certain defeat.

Things changed dramatically though in the next three years between 1992 and 1994, when he scored a total of 1759 runs at an outstanding average of 65.14 from 22 Tests. The highlights included no less than seven centuries, including a majestic unbeaten 148 against Australia, 165 against England and his highest score at the time, 179 against a fiery West Indies side at Nagpur. It was around this time, having now played 35 games, when experts all over the world started realising just how special SRT was.

The next five years to round out the 20th century produced a staggering 3416 more runs at an average of 59.93, including 14 more centuries, none more memorable than his first double-century during his epic innings of 217 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad. By the time the new millennium had appeared, Tendulkar was now known as one of the world’s best batsman, along side his good friend and fellow run-machine, Brian Lara.

As the new century kicked-off, Tendulkar’s appetite for runs continued as he scored another 4038 runs at 58.52 over the next five years, including a staggering 1392 runs from 16 Tests in 2002. During this period between 2000 and 2004, Tendulkar started amassing some large scores, as highlighted by his 201 not out against Zimbabwe at Nagpur, 193 against England at Leeds, 241 not out against Australia in India’s monstrous total of 7/705 (dec) in Sydney, 194 not out against arch-rivals Pakistan at Multan and his highest Test score to date, 248 not out against Bangladesh at Dhaka. Tendulkar’s tally now stood at 9879 Test Match runs and he had racked-up an amazing 34 Test centuries. The next goal was to cross the magical 10,000 run mark.

The magical feat was achieved against Pakistan at Kolkata in 2005, during his innings of 52. However despite the continuing milestones, cracks were beginning to show in Tendulkar’s technique and he went through the leanest period of his career. In 2005 and 2006 combined, Tendulkar managed just 711 runs at an average of 33.86 and questions were being raised as to whether or not his best was in the past. Afterall, he was now 33 years old and nearing what would usually be considered retirement age. However, as with all sporting champions, Tendulkar wasn’t finished with yet and roared back in 2007.

In May of 2007, Tendulkar smashed two centuries against Bangladesh to re-announce himself on the world stage and extinguish any doubts regarding his suggested, ‘declining ability’. He finished 2007 with 776 runs at 55.42 and continued that form through 2008 and 2009, scoring 1063 runs at 48.31 and 541 runs at 67.62 respectively. Tendulkar was back and his appetite for big scores was as well, scoring eight centuries during this three year period. However, nobody could have predicted what a new decade would bring.

In 2010 thus far, Tendulkar has stunned the cricketing world by amassing 1217 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 93.61, the best he’s averaged in a calender year to date. Included in this are six more Test centuries, two of which are doubles, his 203 against Sri Lanka in Colombo and yesterday’s 214 against the Australians at Bangalore. In total, Tendulkar has now scored 14,187 Test Match runs at an average of 56.74, with 49 Test centuries to boot. With such a rich vein of form and seemingly as hungry for runs as ever before, the question must now be asked as to how long he can continue playing for?

If he continues for another three years, taking him up to the ripe old age of 40, Tendulkar is likely to score just under 2000 additional runs. This figure is derived from an average of 8 Test Matches per year, over his 22 year career and an average of 82.96 runs per match. If this occurs, Tendulkar will comfortably cross the 16,000 Test Match runs barrier, a figure which in all probability will never be exceeded. However, if he continues to churn out runs at a record rate, 17,000 isn’t entirely out of the question either.

Of all milestones that Tendulkar’s achieved, the next major one is arguably one of the most significant, that being an incredible 50 Test Match centuries. From there it’s 15,000 runs and so on, and so on. These are truly staggering numbers from a true champion of the game.

Whatever path Tendulkar’s career takes from this moment on, it is sure to be filled with more records and continuing excitement. One day, the ‘Little Master’ will finally hang up his boots and the only thing that’s certain is that the game of cricket will lose a true champion and a figure idolised by millions of fans all around the world.

Anon.

Cricket’s at the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games have begun in Delhi, in fact we are into the fourth day of competition!

As usual at the Commonwealth Games, Australia is dominating and again as usual it is all happening at the pool and the velodrome. But does anyone in India actually know that the Games are on?

The lead up to these games have been marred with problems and delays etc. and now there are problems happening during the Games as well, the main one is crowd attendances.

On the first day of the Games the shooting took place and there was nobody there to watch it. That’s right, not a single person was sitting in the stands to watch representatives from Commonwealth countries participate in an international sporting event. The next highly visible low crowd was seen, sorry not seen, at an Australian netball game, where the Australian score actually outnumbered the amount of people sitting in the stands. A netball game, where teams generally score around 45-65 goals and there weren’t even that many people in the crowd. To watch Australia no less, the number one team in the world at the sport of netball!

So have the Commonwealth Games become so worthless, so pointless, that noone from the host nation will not a) go and watch their countries sportsmen compete against the Commonwealths best or b) watch the Commonwealths best. India isn’t even doing that badly, in fact, they are doing much better than I would have predicted for them. Here I was thinking they would only win medals in the field hockey and shooting, however as I write this they are sitting second on the medal tally with 14 gold, 11 silver and 8 bronze, totalling 33 medals. Too be honest, for a country not known as all-round sportsmen/women that is a fairly good return.

So obviously it isn’t the performances at the Games by the host nation, what about the other nations? Let me put it simply, the answer to that is no! There have been countless Commonwealth Games records broken so far in the pool and at the velodrome in the four days of competition, that shows that performance levels are high.

What does that leave then as the problem? Advertising in the host nation? Ticket prices? Accessibility due to security measures? In my eyes it  ia the second of those, ticket prices.

Event Starting
(INR)
Maximum
(INR)
Starting
(USD)
Maximum
(USD)
Inauguration 750.00 50,000.00 17.00 1,110.00
Sports Events 50.00 1000 1.1 22.00
Closing Ceremony 750.00 50,000.00 17.00 1,110.00

Above is a quick table that shows the prices of tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies and the various sporting events. Now while $50 doesn’t seem all that much to us folk here in Australia, it is a hell of alot over in India.

The average yearly wage for a person in India is $1,740, or $145 per month. Using a 30 day month, that works out to approximately $4.33 per day. So one ticket to a sporting event, for an everyday person in India will cost them 13 days worth of salary. That is the main reason why the stadiums are empty! How do the planning committee for the Games remedy this then?

Simple, they open the games up for the Indian general public. Allow people to simply enter the arenas. There is no point the athletes being over there, showing their skills on an international stage if noone is in the stands to support them and make some noise. At one point during an interview in the swimming complex you could hear two things you should never be able to hear at an international event. First is the sound of crickets chirping, literally. Second is the echo of the interviewer asking his question because there is no other sound in the complex.

Get it right India, get some people to the Games so that there is some atmosphere, some form of excitement. Sitting here now watching the hockey (Australia v India) and there is finally some semblance of a crowd at the field. There is noise being made and due to that it is far more interesting than watching one of the other hockey matches where the crowd was like this… Empty!

So far these are the worst Commonwealth Games in recent memory, my memory anyway. Bring the games back to Melbourne, we know how to hold a sporting event! In fact, bring the international events to Australia in general, we know how to get everyone involved and enjoying themselves! Fix it India, and quick!

MV

India’s week from hell.

They lied to us.

Here we are in September 2010 and despite constant reassurance coming from officials in India, the Commonwealth games are not, and will not, be ready for the opening next week. Speculation has been rife for months as sources have continually leaked information to the media, suggesting that it’s highly unlikely India will be prepared to host the games which are due to commence on the 3rd of October.

Sadly, this week the speculation has turned factual, with a series of events that highlight just how unprepared this country really is. The situation is dire, the games are in doubt and ultimately, India have failed miserably.

The week from hell started on Sunday 19th September when two Taiwanese tourists were brutally shot in what appeared to be a random attack of terror by two Indian men riding motorbikes outside the Jama Masjid Mosque, just a short drive from downtown Delhi. This came just hours after concerns were raised as to the increasing likelihood of terror attacks occurring during the games. It has been reported that one risk assessment firm has suggested that there is an eighty percent chance of an attack occurring during the games, with another firm suggesting the chance is fifty percent. Either way, it’s a risk that our athletes shouldn’t be taking.

If this wasn’t enough to put concerns and doubts into the minds of the athletes, officials and spectators, the events of the next two days surely would have. It all started on Tuesday 21st September when the New Zealand chef de mission, David Currie, expressed his concerns over New Zealand’s accommodation for the two week period of the games. He claims the accommodation was, “Not up to scratch,” and that he’d held discussions with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Kelly, who went as far as saying, “There is no point sending the athletes to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.” The New Zealand Olympic Committee has since stated that they will have a decision by Friday as to whether or not they’ll send athletes to the games.

In the other major event of the day, a footbridge just a few hundred meters from the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium collapsed and injured almost thirty people, five of which seriously. The footbridge to the games main stadium, which has previously been plagued by delayed construction, gave way while many labourers were working frantically to get the structure fixed in time before the athletes arrive next week. Four remain in critical condition with doctors stating there are no signs of improvement.

Then on Wednesday 22 September, part of the roof at the official weightlifting venue of the games collapsed to once again highlight the rushed, sub-standard construction techniques being used by contractors in a bid to get the venues ready in time. Fortunately no workers were hurt. In addition to these construction nightmares, foreign sources in Delhi are reporting that the main stadium is still weeks away from completion and is currently without seats, while the accommodation facilities in the athletes village have been described as “inhuman and appalling.”

The timing of these events couldn’t be worse for India, a country which has successfully held a number of large scale sporting events, predominantly cricket, in recent years. In addition to these successful events, the country of over a billion people has been experiencing a rapid expansion in economic growth and had recently been touted by many economists as a the boom country of the next decade. With large amounts of human and natural resources, in 2008 India was the world’s second fastest growing major economy and was predicted to be amongst the leading economies in the world by 2020.

Holding the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi was meant to be an opportunity to showcase the countries development over recent years and to confirm their place as a potential super-power of the global economy. However sadly, the events of the last week have done nothing but ruin this reputation and hinder the good work of many people. If the trend continues, investors will lose faith in the Indian market and they risk falling off the radar for a number of years. After taking so many steps forward over the last decade, it’s such a shame that they could end up taking just as many back.

Anon.