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Monday, April 16, 2007

(Mint-Fresh)Cricket Stories of the Day

Once every few months, I get up early - like real early, when the sun's just come over the horizon, and the world is still a blushing pink. Today was that day - and as it happens every single time that I do this bizzare act of early rising, I was confused. Now what? I managed to convince myself that i was out of cigarettes, and so I went down to fetch a pack. Also got along a copy of today's Times of India (i am otherwise a Hindustan Times reader) and HT's new business daily, Mint.
More than Mint, it was TOI which i found to be refreshing.

& since this is a cricket blog, let me get that connect by doing a round-up of today's top cricket stories in the TOI, the minty fresh ones. Here i go, with my first cuppa tea of the morning:
- Rankin's sole-to-sole session with Garner! Big Bird helps tallest cricketer in World Cup find shoes that fit.

- Little man Ponting is actually close to 6 feet tall (he is 5'10). Blame Hayden for that wrong perception.

- West Indies lost because of poor fitness: Lloyd. In another section, it was also mentioned that the Windies are not completely out of the World Cup yet. There is a theoretical possibility of Lara's men making it to the semi-finals.

- Fleming sympathises with South Africa. SA has a poor net run rate, and Fleming understands captain Smith's problem - it's a bit too late in the day to improve on the run rate front, so better go for outright victories.

- BCCI ok with Sachin, Yuvi reply. Did they have an option? What would Pawar have done if Sachin had given him a reply a la Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct - "What will you do? Charge me for smoking?"

- Tendulkar, Zaheer Booed: Go back, fans tell players in Ahmedabad, upon their arrival to take part in the Twenty20 tournament.

- Jayawardene feels Aussie middle order is suspect. The rest of the world too, Mr. Jayawardene. The problem is to get the top order out early, so that the middle matters.

- Langer flays Aussie over Sledging. "I don't believe in it. It is something that has disturbed me over the years, particulary when Glenn Mc Grath and Ram Naresh Sarwan were involved".

- Toxicology result 'encouraging'. Woolmer was poisoned before he was strangled. Investigating officer Mark Shield has enlightened us with three possibilities: Someone gives up easily / There could be a massive break-through / We are in for the long haul. Wow, Mr. Shields, we didn't know about these earlier.
And this one is from the business daily, Mint.
- The BCCI believes it has identified one reason for the game's slow rot in the country: the use of the wrong kind of balls. Proper white balls made by Kookaburra Sports Pty Ltd cost close to Rs.3500 per ball, and while the BCCI had been importing it for the important games, youngsters were still practising on the cheaper red cricket balls. Expensive indeed, as the BCCI has footed a bill of Rs.5.40 lacs for the Platypus balls which it has imported for the National Twenty-twenty championship. No Indian cricket manufacturer, including SG, makes the white balls. Let's see if the BCCI does indeed go ahead and get the expensive white balls for the domestic cricketers 'unimportant' matches. Think about it - the world's richest cricket body is yet to provide its players with good pitches and the right kind of balls. Any wonder, Sachin is being booed in Ahmedabad instead of being celebrated in Trinidad.

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