Sorry but I have been really busy - hunting for a new house to shift in, trying to make a new job work for me, and overall traveling all over the city trying to get some 'Focus' in life.
To compensate for the elongated break, I first start off by pinching two posts, and requesting the cricket-obsessed readers to definitely follow the links below:
A very good article by a writer I really admire, Sambit Bal, the editor of cricinfo. He makes a point which I totally agree to, that cricket is a game which will work better by restriction, not by expansion. The new BCCI regime is actually trying to do the same, when they say it makes more sense for India to play against Australia and Pakistan more often vis-a-vis Bangladesh. However, their commercial rather than ideological reasoning for the same stands exposed when they schedule matches against the West Indies in the US, to spread the game there.
It will be really great if cricket manages to get a foothold in the World's most expensive sports market - if anyone has any doubts with respect to that, just compare the television prices for what the Olympics Games (where the US participates actively) are sold for, versus the much more popular FIFA Football World Cup (where the US participates but noone there bothers). However, cricket, especially the Test variety which true fans love, is a pre-industrial game, and is surely to flop in the world's most developed and time-deprived market. And a declining West Indian team will only give an opportunity for Clayton Lambert to apply for their coach's job.
In fact, I again put in my voice and vote for a nine-city competitive league in India, as only this model can sustain the competition and audience-interest. And this will also ensure that when the rest of the world has finally realised the futility of watching a draw played out five days (I am sure I will never see such a time in India in my days on the planet), we will continue to enjoy the game here, importing all the Ricky Pontings born in Tasmania, along with the new talent emerging in China and Chatisgarh.
Another good story by my favourite currently-active cricket writer, Peter Roebuck. This has been a personal topic as I have already elaborated in great detail in a previous blog, but my good-natured optimism and faith ensures me we will see a comeback from Sachin. Basically, he will play like he played against Sri Lanka on his comeback from tennis elbow. While that form carried on only for a couple of ODIs, this will extend for a couple of seasons, before the great man bids farewell, leaving a vaccuum in my personal life.