An East Delhi Citizen's Blog

general riff about politics, education, media, society, cricket..

Archive for the tag “IPL”

Good marketing of a trashy product just sinks it faster

(Or, how it is now established that Sunil Gavaskar indeed knows his cricket)

Let’s face it; even if the full team was available, KKR would have struggled.
Their batting relies too much on the top 3; Sourav comes in too late to matter. Remember, he has always been the sort who plays himself in for a few overs before launching into top gear.
The only decent bowler they have is Ishant. The rest of them are pathetic. The bench strength is so poor that Agrakar keeps playing match after match. Though, it is a mystery to many why Mashrafe Mortaza is warming the bench when the KKR team bought him for such a high price. The mystery is compunded by Ashok Dinda playing their last match as a specialist batsman.
Even in the last IPL, all the matches won by KKR was on the strength of inspired individual performances: like Shoaib Akhtar in that one match or Ganguly’s superlative knock in another.
In a lot of ways, KKR reflects the big budget Shahrukh potboiler: where Shahrukh is expected to carry the movie on his own; support cast or no support cast. But, cricket, as Sunil Gavaskar is too polite to point out to Shahrukh, is played by 11 men on the field and the roles of the director, script-writer etc are limited once those 11 are in the field. There are no re-takes, no “cuts” and normally no second chances unless of course, there is a dropped catch!

I was amused to read Buchanan’s interview in a Bengali daily where he claims that his franchise is 100% behind him and he is “on plan” to creating long term assets. He probably wants to put this year and the previous year behind him and talk about how in the long term, KKR will grow cricketing talent in the country. Alex Ferguson and Manchester United; take note. Someone else reads your script.

But, Mr Buchanan, even a phenomenally successful coach like Ferguson needs constant good performance from his present team to justify investments in the future. Given the pathetic run of this team, if Shahrukh wants to continue his involvement in this team, he has to write off many bad invstments and make new ones.

A high profile built up only on high voltage marketing is vulnerable. If nothing else, to ridicule. The Fake IPL Player is only fishing in troubled waters. Calming the waters, getting the right players in the team and getting them focused on the job of playing cricket the way at least some of them can, is what the team needs and its supporters expect.


Bindra’s Bogus Patriotism : or Bedi’s Bogus Politics of vendetta?

Bishen Bedi is happy to get a forum to rant, rave or just plain show up and be seen. The few people that still want to listen to this bloated egomaniac include Vinod Mehta and Barkha Dutt.
Mr. Bedi is grateful for his moment in the spotlight. Barkha, he declares is a person of “substantial intellect and compassion” and is “knowledgable and articulate”. Huh? He also classifies some of the guests in her programme as ignorant and arrogant. Let’s not go with Mr. Bedi’s peculiar choice of words here. I insist on calling a spade a spade (not a shovel) and slot Mr. Bedi in the ranks of precisely those- ignorant and arrogant.
In Mr. Bedi’s view, “with IPL, cricket has reached its nadir”. Mr. Bedi barely tolerated one day cricket played over 50 overs  for so long but now obviously he has had enough. Publicly expressed sentiments of several top-flight cricketers who proclaim the improvements in their techniques and aggressiveness to the pressures of playing T20 cricket obviously do not matter to him. Why must only cricket played over 5 days be called cricket? What about cricket played over 3 days or 4? Perhaps Mr. Bedi pictures himself facing Kevin Pietersen or Sehwag in a rival team in the T20 format and does not like what he sees.
At least on the matter of cricket, Mr Bedi has some knowledge even if he allows his judgment to get clouded many times. Calling Murali a chucker or worse is just one example of gratuituous insult peddling that is so typical of Bedi. Mr Bedi has zero knowledge of security matters. He is sitting in relative anonymity of Delhi, under no threat whatsoever compared with what some of the current players are exposed to. Yet, voices of the current players have been vocal in support of IPL while Mr. Bedi rants about constant fear of terror attacks from Hindutva groups and Islamic terrorists.
I am not taking a stand either for or against IPL. It is a fairly complex endevour even in normal times. Experts will need to be involved and they need to bring their issues and fears on the table and pull together resources to solve them. If in the opinion of those experts, IPL needs to be rescheduled or cancelled, so be it. Taking recourse to lurid prose like “terror clouds are hovering over the subcontinent” can’t substitute for logic or reason. Taking advantage of Vinod Mehta’s desire to stir up controversy to help sell copies of his magazine to run down someone who he claims was once a friend reflects more on Bedi than Bindra.
After a lifetime of playing cricket and coaching (not very successfully unless you count tips handed out to visiting spinners), Bishen Bedi has very few friends in the game.

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