Category Archives: Teams

Australia trashed strung-out

Day 5 and there was no Alexi Laiho doing a swan song for Australia with a draw… Zaheer mopped them up in pretty quick time. Johnson might have done a ‘dizzy’ but couldn’t. Australia was truly trashed.

I am deeply disappointed with the way Australia played. It is the not the first time Australia has lost a test match and nor will be the last, but I have never seen an Australian team stop short of literally playing the fiddle… no spirit, no fight… so un-Australian. Hell, even in that Perth test when they were going down, there was a fight… a fight which makes Australia such a respected team.

I have respected Ricky Ponting for his captaincy and his aggression in trying to win from any situation. I never believed that he was ‘merely’ a captain who was blessed with a ‘great team’. Some of the statements and actions which have come out from him now reflect a man who doesn’t have faith in this team, almost reinforcing that ‘yes’, am useless without those ’star’ bowlers.

Ricky, you don’t have a shitty team… they are still the best out there in the world. Sure, Lee was a huge let-down but you ought to back your best bowler, not piss him off, as though Hussey could save Australia with the ball.

Is it rocket science to understand that the two Indian openers are the key to subduing India? You watched it unfold in Bangalore and nearly pulled it off. And what did you do in this test match? Spread the field… like 11 giant Australian nipples that screamed “Milk me, Milk me”.

By far, Lee might have been ordinary but you certainly did not give the best chance to your bowlers in picking wickets. And you won’t win a match like this… you never have by the way in this fashion.

There is so much being spoken about the reverse swing. Let’s be honest, the Australians have never been great exponents of reverse swing. Surely, they did not win a series the last time around with reverse swing, so why the panic in their camp?

For the Indians, I am pleased to see Amit Mishra do well in his debut. Sure, the mainstream media will be all over him… they will speak to his family, his unborn kids and rave. For a change, read through some of our blogs in this network and see the faith we have time and again, relentlessly put on you… you made us proud. To be honest, in the first innings, I thought he bowled below par with too many dolly half trackers being offered, but he got a fiver with some great deliveries. In the second innings, it was as good as I have seen him bowl in the domestic matches, but he was not that successful. read more

Performers of the IPL

A truck load of matches in the IPL have gone by and due to the length of the format, it is still tough to establish a clear cut team that would probably win the tournament. Such as been the swinging fortunes of this format.

As far as players of the tournament goes, two guys stand out well with their consistent performances.

Gautam Gambhir, the orange cap and highest run maker of the tournament has been slowly but surely staking his claim for virtually all formats of the game for the Indian team. There is enough to show how this guy can adapt and be quite consistent.

And the other one has been Shane Watson, the utility all-rounder, who is also “hoping”..i.e ‘james hoping’ to make it to the Australian side. Watson immediately draws a parallel to Ian harvey from the ICL… similar kind of utility cricketer with truck loads of talent. Their style and performances for their respective side are almost identical in terms of sheer value.

So far, the quality behind the Australian players in the tournament has a clear, distinct division from the likes of the Indian domestic players. The difference I see is not in skill… in terms of skill, it may be fair to say they are quite evenly matched. But in terms of sheer mental application, the ability to not get overawed and apply common sense to the match situation, the Australians have taken it to another level and that is with due credit to an excellent domestic structure in their country.

My favourite player in this tournament is Shaun Marsh. What a visual treat… a sheer delight watching him bat. Am blown away by his composure, grace and shot selection. With the exception of Mark Waugh, it has been quite a while to see any Australian batsmen who are graceful and elegant in their batting. There are many great and highly effective players in the last few decades but none with grace. This guy is gonna make it big time at the international stage and a visual delight for every cricket fan in the world is in the offering. Apparently, he has been called up for the Windies tour and these are good signs to come for Australia. read more

A boring commonwealth series

Let’s face it… this series is as boring as “santa barbera” and also as long and no hot babes or good wine. For teams like India and Sri Lanka, it was the test for checking out the new crop as part of the rebuilding process and for the other, a good tour to assess how well their rebuilding process have developed so far. To start with, I really pity the Indian team, as I don’t quite recollect ever them playing so many matches on the trot… and it is a really long season. Starting from the SA, England series to the twenty-20 world cup and all way to the Auss at home and away… the schedule is way too maddening even for a cricket fan. On top of it, there is this IPL buzz.

Rain had spoiled the contest in the early parts of the series which brings us to the question of whether the organizers were aware that these rains were generally expected during this time of the year or was it as freakish as George Bush dancing silly to African beats. If it was freakish, then we could watch George Bush during the rain intervals but if they were aware, the organizers should be forced to play ‘spin the bottle’ with Dennis Rodman and a bootleg DVD of the same released.

Coming to the Sri Lankan team which just got kayoed out of the tournament by India, it is hard to imagine that this is the side which was recently a world cup finalist and also considered a good one day side. I was particularly keen to watch on how much they have progressed since they started their rebuilding quite sometime back and feel they have to make some decisions to change people at the opening both with the ball and bat. Jayasuriya, a warrior that he truly is, has definitely slowed down and old enough to read bed time stories of his exploits to his children or maybe even his grandchildren. Hints of his destructive power were evident in this series but he has lost his consistency and is in danger of loosing fast his good batting average figures. Sri Lankan muppets had apparently pulled the plug on him yet again for the future one-day matches and is about the right time for him to bid adieu, take a tour of India and wallop some U19 bowler in the IPL. The point is that they need to think of changing both the opening pairs which is critical, as none seem to be doing well. Tharanga was given ample opportunities and squandered. Many others didn’t do anything worth even remembering their names. read more

Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Independent Safeguarding Authority was created under the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable groups Act 2006, with the intention of preventing unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Following the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley (a school caretaker) in 2002, the Bichard Inquiry was commissioned. One of the issues this Inquiry looked at was the way employers recruit people to work with children and vulnerable adults. The Inquiry’s recommendations led to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 which recognised the need for a single agency to vet all individuals who want to work or volunteer with vulnerable people. The ISA will operate independently of individual government ministers, including the Secretary of State, who is currently in charge of making discretionary barring decisions. Such decisions will now be taken by a board of public appointees.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) they have certain statutory responsibilities and their effectiveness and efficiency will be closely scrutinised by government and stakeholders. In effect the ISA will create a Vetting and Barring agency. The ISA will assess every person who wants to work or volunteer with children or vulnerable adults. They will do this by working closely with the Criminal Records Bureau.

The CRB will receive applications to the ISA and will gather and monitor information. It will also use the information previously found in:-

the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) list;

the Protection of Children Act (PoCA) list;

List 99 (a list of people considered unsuitable for work with children, held by the Department for Children, Schools and Families).

The ISA will then assess this information and decide whether to give the individual concerned ISA registration or put them on one of the ISA Barred Lists.
How will this effect clubs

It will be a criminal offence for a club to employ or allow (in the case of a volunteer) any barred person, or a person who is not registered with the ISA to work for any length of time in any regulated activity. Regulated activity is any activity which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults. read more