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Newly appointed captain, Ajinkya Rahane drops himself from the Zimbabwe series.

by Naked Cricket

After having been dropped for the second and third ODIs against Bangladesh, Ajinkya Rahane was picked to captain the side touring Zimbabwe. The tough taskmaster that Rahane is, he felt as a captain, he did not want to influence team selection and therefore dropped himself from the team that will play Zimbabwe in three ODIs and two T20s. "After being dropped, I have not proved myself by scoring runs - I am not convinced of my own form. In the interests of the team, I will first like to score runs and then return to the side." When asked how he hoped to achieve this by not playing against Zimbabwe, Rahane nodded understandably saying, "I know, it isn't easy to make a comeback but the same standards should be there for the captain and the players." It is learnt Rahane hopes to play some university cricket in Zimbabwe.
Regular ODI captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was visibly upset on learning of Rahane's decision to not pick himself and almost regretted dropping him - "If I knew he would be so harsh on himself, I would never have dropped him... I would have made him my deputy, at least Jinks doesn't seem like a guy who will speak against my decision making."
The inseparable duo of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli will both not make the trip. It is unclear who asked to be excused first, but Shastri had prior commitments with Sky Sports for the Ashes, and Virat Kohli had signed up for a two-week Vipassana meditation retreat in Kerala. This could be Virat's toughest examination thus far as it will entail two weeks of silence. A source close to the player said Virat wants to fight his urge to spill to the press.
Harbhajan Singh's return to the side is once again being credited with Dhoni's absence. Even though the player said he would love to play with his former teammate, and Dhoni was unavailable for comment, it is widely believed that the volatile bowler had threatened to slap the skipper and himself, if Dhoni didn't join him for a Punjabi duet.
Suresh Raina asked to be rested for the series as he was busy house-hunting for a larger accommodation - "Now that I'm married my bachelor pad won't be big enough, if you know any good real estate guys, do let them know (wink wink nudge nudge)". As for a visibly upset Jadeja, he has been dropped and not rested. "After they made Rahane captain, I felt the least the selectors could do is make me his deputy... this is a clear case of double standards. Also if you look at the scores of the first ODI against Bangladesh, Rahane made only 9 while I scored 32 and don't they always say a batsman is as good as his last innings??"
Shikhar Dhawan hopes to take the time out by bonding with his baby son over tattoos - "Even though there is no moustache in sight, I thought there should be something that makes me feel like he's my buddy... my son... a tattoo of a moustache seemed like a good idea."
Ravichandran Ashwin, who only recently claimed he could die for Dhoni, explained that once he learnt that Dhoni was not travelling to Zimbabwe, he too decided to call it off. "I don't know if I can die for Rahane," he offered as an explanation. When informed that Rahane too was resting himself, he seemed bemused - "Maybe Rahane can't die for Rahane?"
(However plausible this might sound, this is a work of fiction.)
First published here

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Indian in NBA inspires American in IPL.

by Naked Cricket

Meet Freckles 'Fuming' Filaccio from Murphys Village (aka Murphys Estate), the first cricketer from America in the IPL. Way back in late June, 2015, it was just another quiet day in Murphys. Freckles and his friends were idling in front of the TV when his father stormed in - “You kids better watch out or after taking over all yer jobs these Indians will take over all yer sports”. Satnam Singh Bhamara had just become the first-ever basketball player from India to be drafted into the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks had selected him with their 52nd pick.

The similarities between Satnam and Freckles were uncanny. Both were from tiny, almost insignificant villages with populations of less than a 1000.  Basketball was the last sport on anyone's mind in Punjab. Legend has it, the growth of basketball in these parts almost coincided with the growth of Satnam Singh. When he was a day shy of 13 he was already six feet tall. And that was the day when he planted the first makeshift basket – he always took his nani's advice to heart, she would often say, “Reach for the stars, Satnam, reach out for the stars”. Both cricket and hockey had fault in their stars, he was determined to start something new. Baseball was a lost cause as his friends compared it to cricket. One early morning he surfed to a Live NBA telecast. It was then that it dawned upon him why he was much taller than the others. The first basket was planted halfway up a tree. A basketball was procured from the nearest town. Satnam Singh had his friends for company but it was clear he was playing against himself. Every second day, the basket was nailed higher till it reached the tree top. Next a higher tree and then an even higher tree.

The day when his dad barged in, Freckles barged out. His privacy had been invaded. Worse, he didn't understand what his father was fussing about. It was only later when his dad sat him down and planned America's revenge that it became somewhat clear. Freckles would take on a new sport, one he had barely heard of. He was a day shy of 13, already six feet tall, and a baseball bully -he could whack it longer than even the older kids, and hurl it in faster than any pitcher his age. Cricket seemed the obvious choice for Mr Filaccio to plan his revenge.

The route to the IPL was long but completed in less than six years – from Murphys Estate to the California Cricket Academy to South Africa to Ireland to England. Still only 19 (same as when the NBA came calling for Satnam Singh), Freckles signing with CSK though not a lifelong dream had been something of a teenage wet dream. “When I was just 13, I started watchin videos of Dhoni n Raina play for CSK...changed my life it did. Dad made sure I watched Jadeja too, he always say, it's vital to know what not to do”. Overjoyed to be playing with Dhoni, he feels at 39 the captain still has 5-6 good years of cricket in him, followed by another 10-15 years of mentoring youngsters at CSK. “I just can't imagine a CSK side without Dhoni. But a few years down, I reckon Raina will be ready to lead the side”.

It has been learnt that the Mumbai Indians bid of Rs 57 crore for Freckles was disallowed as the player  did not see a future with any side other than CSK and even threatened to withdraw his name from the auctions. An exception was made wherein Freckles was sold for CSK’s last bid of Rs 55.9 crore.

“My Papa always said, ‘IPL was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”  - Freckles 'Fuming' Filaccio

(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction)

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India shock Bangladesh in 2019 World Cup

by Naked Cricket

In another huge upset, Pakistan beat Ireland
The world of cricket, it seems, has turned on its head. After four years of losing to their neighbours, rank underdog, India, put one past the "Tigers". It will be wrong to say, nobody saw this coming - in the build up to the World Cup, the Indian selectors finally relented and dropped Ravindra Jadeja, who had played 58 matches without scoring a fifty or taking a single wicket. To Jadeja's credit, whenever he was on the verge of being dropped from the Indian team, the Indian Premier League (IPL) came calling, where he scored the odd 30 and grabbed the even odder wicket. Critics feel it is Jadeja's criticism that has kept him in the team for so long - everyone knows how Dhoni likes to prove his critics and the media wrong. Often when the selectors suggested dropping Jadeja, Dhoni countered that for that to happen, they would have to drop him, Suresh Raina, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey and Ravichandran Ashwin as well. Dhoni went on to elaborate: "It's a package deal you see, if you drop Jadeja, you drop all of us". When one of the selectors cried, "CSK (Chennai Super Kings) conspiracy!", Dhoni snapped back by simply saying, "So shoot me!". The selector who is known to belong to the anti-Srini faction did take a shot at Dhoni, though with a water pistol. Cries of Happy Holi! filled the board room, Indian cricket swept its troubles under the carpet yet again.
After Jadeja's ouster, the picking of Ashish Nehra (also CSK, but it could no longer be held against him) had the most impact on the result. Nehra's opening spell of seven overs all but broke his back and the back of the Bangladeshi batting - and even though Nehra was dehydrated and vomited on the pitch (some feel the puke and not his bowling did the trick), his decision to bowl with a drip kept him going. Nehra dismissed all four batsmen after he threw up.
Virat Kohli's ascendancy as the one day international (ODI) captain in early 2019 is being downplayed but his rapport and like-mindedness with cricket director Ravi Shastri cannot be underestimated - their ability to communicate clearly and abusively was seen as a step in the right direction. Everyone knows Dhoni did not abuse much if at all and that was beginning to hamper communication with both his deputy and the director. And even though Kohli mocks Shastri's Bombaiya accent when the latter swears (ch***ya being an old favourite), the bonhomie between the two has been something to behold. In certain circles they are being referred to as "The Bombay-Delhi Highway". And the joke is, "It's my way or the Bombay-Delhi highway".
Not many are aware that Rahul Dravid held a preparatory camp with the Indian squad in England before the World Cup. The emphasis was to play out Bangladesh's most threatening bowler, Mustafizur Rahman (who has taken no less than five wickets in every India-Bangladesh ODI since his debut on June 18, 2015). Dravid worked extensively on the backfoot play of the openers - both Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan were barred from leaving the crease except for the hourly toilet break. In addition to conducting workshops on mind control for the whole team, Dravid had his Rajasthan Royals colleague and coach, Paddy Upton, pen down his observations in a notebook. The notes that Upton has diligently made are being seen as the key to the Royals' success over the years - "Notes can only get you to the knockout stage, after that, it's up to your own resolve," he remarked. Private sessions with Rohit Sharma and Indian commentators are being credited for the player no longer being referred to as "Talented" and finally living up to his potential. This is being seen as a major breakthrough, up there with the axing of both Jadeja and Axar Patel. "Trolls no longer use that T-word on Twitter. Though I am not too fond of the finished article, I can live with it," Rohit told his media manager and wife, Ritika Sajdeh. She failed to hide her nervousness and proceeded to bite both her own and Rohit's nails.
Uncannily, in what many are seeing as a reverse upset of the 2007 World Cup, a weakened Pakistan (hit hard by last minute retirements and recruitments) beat a formidable Ireland. The Irish coach was safe, though security outside his room has been beefed up.
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)

First published here

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Where does Younis Khan figure in the list of Pakistan batting greats

by K

Twenty-nine centuries and an average of over 53 in Tests. Where do you think Younis Khan figures in the list of Pakistan's batting greats? I think unrelenting Javed Miandad was the greatest that I've seen, he swung many a game, so did Inzamam-ul-Haq, a complete batsman in all senses. Mohammad Yousuf was perhaps one of the most technically sound batsmen they've ever had. The elegant stroke-making of Zaheer Abbas, one hears, made him a joy to watch. Younis makes it to the top-5 with the weight of sheer numbers and consistency. Saeed Anwar maybe just misses out on the top-5 despite his numerous match-winning knocks and effortless strokeplay.

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A day in the life of Dhoni

by Naked Cricket

Mahi's love for full cream milk is part of urban legend - some say four litres, others say it's no less than five, some days, even six. Still others claim Mahi is all about big shots and he only has either four or six litres - he will never have five because five signifies the ball hitting the helmet and his failing as a wicketkeeper. These days when he's home, he wakes up in the middle of the night when it's milk time for his daughter. "Like her dad, she loves milk, and if it's early morning I help myself to a glass of cold milk too, when she grows up a little I can see the two of us saying cheers with milk... yes, that's something I'm quite looking forward to but I suppose I will have to wait a bit for that," elaborates Dhoni as he often does. "I would also like to take her for a ride on my bike and yes, for once, drinking and driving is not really such a bad thing you see". Way back in 2008, Dhoni even joked with air force officers - "I used to have almost six litres of milk before. Now, I have reduced it to one litre everyday, thanks to the high prices."
Getting out of bed, Dhoni checks his WhatsApp messages - on top is the group "Kings" (refers to his CSK mates). First, a message from Raina: "Good morning MS!!! Good morning all! Hope you have a wonderful day today. Lets CZ da day. Pats on the back n u no where!" Next one from Jadeja: "hI R U UPS IM UPS OK" More messages from Raina and Jadeja. Dhoni quickly scrolls through, doesn't reply. Then a message from Virat: "f*cked up match in banga, u retired at the right time, chief". Dhoni replies: "LOL". There are other messages, joke forwards from RP Singh, some random cuss words from Yograj Singh, a long one on the powers of concentration and Buddhism from Murali Vijay, and one from Yuvi apologising for his dad's messages.
Breakfast: More milk. Porridge, lots of it. Almonds, raisins, fresh fruit juice, pickle with dal, bhat and tarkari. Talks to his dogs throughout. Has a conversation with his daughter, speaks for both of them. Throughout breakfast more messages from Raina and Jadeja. The TV is on, split screen, an action film in one part and the news in another. Dhoni continues to swap between the two.
Raina appears, he's finished working out, showered and ready to join his mate for breakfast, apologises for being late. Dhoni jokes: "I know, you were too busy sending WhatsApp messages." Raina cracks up and raises his hand for a high five, Dhoni doesn't reciprocate so he massages his skip on the back instead. Sakshi is attending to her daughter, Raina asks bhabi, if he can hold the baby so she can have breakfast instead. "Anyways I love to play with kids, you eat na?" RP Singh walks in, claims he was going past. RP asks Raina if he can attend to the baby so he can have his breakfast instead.
Dhoni sets out for his workout. Mostly badminton with Raina, followed by football with RP and a few kids and guards from the neighbourhood. After football, very briefly hits the gym at home, then more football. RP excuses himself, finally only MS and Raina are playing, penalty shots, short tackles, attackers and defenders. Tonnes of Gatorade throughout, protein powder, chicken sandwiches, a picnic.
SMS from Srini, often a joke between Dhoni and Raina is that "Boss" is still stuck in old ways; they refer to it as "Srini Mama Service"! "I have consulted my astrologer. I think you should fly to Bangladesh on Monday after the Test match. NS".
After taking the dogs and his mates for a walk, MS is set for an ad shoot. He has to ride his bike and mouth a few words. The shoot is done in 45 minutes and he's set for another quickie - this time, walking in uniform holding a lubricant for trucks. Dhoni thinks to himself, when did his ads get so boring? Earlier they used his character, now they just want to see him smile and push the brand. He tells Raina that brands don't know how to optimise their brand ambassadors. Raina politely disagrees and talks about his association with a sports brand; Dhoni tells him that they both are enemies when it comes to endorsing sports brands but when they play for India they both wear Nike. This leads to a long discussion on the commercialisation of sports. Raina is honest in his opinions and Dhoni listens intently. There is a deep regard between the two. Raina looks up to Dhoni like a big brother and Dhoni is always watching over him. Another SMS from Srini. A blank, possibly sent by mistake.
Lunch. Dhoni has his favourite dal and tarkari again, chicken curry, rotis, salad, curd. Some gaming after lunch with Raina and then another ad shoot, this time it involves Dhoni training. MS thinks to himself, how imaginative. Anyway it serves him well as it's also time to train. The adwallahs ask him to play the helicopter shot with a full flourish. The ad agency's creative director adds for emphasis, Phul Phlorish PHUL MAHI! After a few copter takes, they allow him to do his thing. It's yet another collage ad of Dhoni's hits.
Protein shake and nuts and one last ad shoot before dinner. This time for a Gurgaon real estate baron; involves a few stills, some solo, some with RP. This takes longer than any of the previous ads as there are costume changes. Dhoni in maroon kurta for the Diwali ad, Dhoni in a white one for the Holi ad, Dhoni in a suit, Dhoni in yellow, Dhoni in blue.
Once they pack up, they join Raina for dinner at home. Jadeja too has arrived as has Dhoni's favourite butter chicken. They sit round the table and talk Hindi movies. There's some leg-pulling of Bollywood actresses and their associations. Sakshi isn't within earshot but Dhoni doesn't comment, he smiles that smile again. And everything appears good with the world.
Then a message from Yograj Singh arrives. It appears he's been drinking again. Raina asks if his nephew can reply.
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)

First published here

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Che Pujara undervalued? Rohit Sharma overvalued?

by Naked Cricket

On 17th July, 2014, Cheteshwar Pujara made a gritty 28. India had been put in on a seaming Lord's wicket, Dhawan had fallen early, Pujara walked in in the third over. He battled for nine minutes shy of three hours, negating England's new ball and the heady morning conditions. Before him, Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli had fallen. It was on top of Pujara's hermitage that Rahane built his palatial hundred. In the second innings, Pujara added 43, digging in for two hours. Kohli was there for a blink of an eye. India won Lord's but I recall only Mike Atherton acknowledging the weight of Pujara's 28 in the post-match while speaking to Dhoni. India lost the series 3-1.

Virat Kohli went on to have the well documented tour from hell: 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, 20. Pujara in the vicinity of hell: 38, 55, 28, 43, 24, 2, 0, 17, 4, 11. At the start of the series, as at the end, both Kohli and Pujara were tied at six centuries. Pujara batted for 12 hours for his 222 runs in England, Kohli close to seven hours for his 125 runs. Rohit Sharma played just one Test, rediscovering his happy knack of getting out when set.

The Test series in Australia is where Kohli tore away from Pujara and the pack: he added four more to his century's tally, Pujara, none. And even though India failed to win a Test, the emphasis was on brave cricket which it sure was. Pujara had a forgettable tour, a high of 73, followed by five starts that he failed to convert. In spite of that he occupied the crease: his briefest outing was 67 minutes. In six innings, he was in the middle for over 11 hours. Pujara fell prey to his own high standards, he was dropped for the fourth Test. Of all people, Suresh Raina took his place. A golden pair followed, falling outside off in both innings. He lasted four deliveries, eight minutes.

Raina has played 15 Tests in a career that threatened to begin in 2010. His claim to a Test spot is no different to that of Rohit's or Yuvraj's – One-Day specialists being shoehorned into the Test side.

Yuvraj made his Test debut in 2003, in close to 12 years, he played 40 matches, a career built on recalls. None to different from Raina, who has already wangled 18 matches in close to five years. Early days for Rohit, who's now played 11 Tests in close to two years. Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit are either ODI or IPL wonderboys with an entitlement to represent India in all formats. Their four overs of merriment gain far more eyeballs than Pujara's painstaking three hour vigil at Lord's. Raina last made a comeback to skipper India in Bangladesh - It wasn't on the back of either form or runs, more to do with past credentials, right?

In November 2013, Rohit blasted two Test centuries during Tendulkar's farewell series against an Invitation XI from the West Indies. A series when not just Rohit even Mohammad Shami staked his claim as a Test batsman. Following those home Tests, Rohit has toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. In these 15 innings, he's accumulated two half centuries and six single digit scores – three each of six* and zero. Rohit may not get as many chances to fail and then succeed in Tests as he has in ODIs, but he will continue to be given a rope longer than most.

Both Director of Cricket and Test captain are huge admirers of his game, and don't miss a beat to extol the virtues of his batting talent. For Shastri, in many ways, Rohit is the son he never had, for Kohli, he's a mate, in whom he sees his Indian team blazing away in the next few years.

Both Rohit and Pujara played three Tests down under scoring 173 and 201 runs respectively. What appears to have been an ordinary series for Pujara, seems to be the start of something big for Rohit. He was retained as India's number three for the lone Bangladesh Test.

As the new Test captain, Kohli has repeatedly emphasised the need to score quickly. In Rohit, who strikes at 51.51 in Tests and Kohli at 53.08 (compared to Pujara's 49.25) is the new attacking India. While they're at it, why not pick Raina too – he strikes at 53.14. All these bloated perceptions are often based on the players' ODI and IPL records – seldom do they have much bearing on how a player transplants to Test cricket. Few would know that before Pujara's lean patch in England and Australia, he had a much better Test strike rate than both Kohli and Rohit.

It's doubtful Pujara will be allowed to adapt his game to the shorter format; in spite of his excellent List A numbers he never took to ODIs – five games, 51 runs, goodbye. Not everyone is as lucky as Rohit Sharma. Looks like Pujara might have to resign himself to the number three spot in overseas conditions. If that's the case, a hundred at Leeds for Yorkshire is a step in the right direction.

*On June 12, 2015, Rohit made his fourth score of six

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The road Rahul Dravid travels.

by Naked Cricket

  • I shall be telling this with a sigh
  • Somewhere ages and ages hence:
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
  • I took the one less traveled by,
  • And that has made all the difference.
                                               -Robert Frost
My admiration for Rahul Dravid has grown manifold, not only did he turn down the lure of sofas and samosas by not joining the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) cricket advisory committee, he decided to hang out with kids instead - kids a little less than half his age; far more challenging with all those raging cricket hormones flying like loose balls in the nets. Now Dravid has two sons, both I suspect are excellent lads. Oh, I just learnt their names after a Google search that directed me to Facebook - Samit Dravid and Anvay Dravid. So good to see the media allowing the Dravids to keep to their low-key ways and only documenting their cricketing endeavours as recently as last month. If only Arjun Tendulkar was so lucky.
But such has been Dravid's scrupulous following of scruples that even the hyena in hyena clothing like the media knows it's time to take a break and let some of that divinity cleanse their thick hides. For some reason those Harpic ads spring to mind. But toilet cleaners are not the plot. Nor did Dravid ever pride himself taking anyone to the cleaners. He seems like a guy who would've been quite happy doing his own laundry. And somewhere there emerges the plot: a day in the life of Dravid.
Dravid wakes up without an alarm clock, usually between 5.45 to 6 am; when he's off by a few minutes either way, he looks for flaws in his waking up technique and masters it without further ado. It's not something he whines about, he just goes back to the basics, calls it the "waking up" nets of the mind. He starts his day with yoga, initially an instructor would be at hand, but after a few months of starting, he is asked to be relieved as he can't keep up with his pupil's punishing regime. Dravid starts with some basic stretches, branching off into the by now controversial surya namaskar - it's not something he likes to talk about. Dravid, as you know, likes to stay clear of controversies. He winds down with some breathing exercises and even though the instructor is missing, he still engages in the obligatory namaskar that the pupil offers his guru at the end of a session. Sometimes the instructor lands up just to offer namaste to someone he now believes to be his guru.
In his plans for the under-19 boys, there is yoga - he thinks of it as a mental gym that will channelise focus and make them calmer, help fast track them to the next level. In Dravid's mind, the next level isn't playing for India - he hopes to impress upon his wards the step-by-step technique (yes, he knows a kindergarten school goes by that name) - make it to your state team first, become indispensable, break into an Indian Premier League (IPL) squad, but do not let that dictate how you play - he will cite Ajinkya Rahane's, and to a lesser extent, his own example of how IPL should adapt to you and not the other way around. He will also cite the examples of Pujara and Williamson - and his time at the Rajasthan Royals. "You can't keep winning games with the slog" he will remind them, "but you can by playing proper cricket shots, just remember the settling in period is one-third of a one-day game, often there is no such period; so settle down in the dugout".
After quick mental notes he'll jot down a few points in his RK Laxman-Penguin notebook. The traditionalist that Dravid is, he still puts pen to paper. Later, he will elaborate on his laptop but the first few points on paper are sacrosanct, for him it's about keeping in touch with your roots. When his kids were smaller he encouraged them to write on the walls rather than Xbox themselves. He would often joke, "Boys, try and think out of the Xbox!"


Yoga is followed by "nimbu pani" and honey, a fruit bowl (only seasonal) eggs on alternate days, cereal, toast, five badams, a large glass of cold coffee or milkshake. By now he's up to speed with the headlines and has earmarked the long reads for later. After breakfast, work: zeroes into a Test match he's been part of as player, commentator or viewer - further zeroes into two passages of play - one, exciting, the other not so. He plays the video for four over spells on mute. Sets his cameras. Starts commentary - both as himself and his colleague - the other voice could vary, from Bhogle to Wilkins to Sunny to Shastri and for a lark, sometimes, he even mimics Sachin and Sourav. The lighter side of Dravid is seldom seen on commentary but when it is, it has us all enthralled.
During his On-Air-Time (as he calls it), both his phone and the outside world are shut off. Next, answering calls, mails, some pointless surfing - yes, even he does it. Like all of us, Dravid has his favourite pages but talking about them here is just not cricket!
Lunch with family, or if travelling, with colleagues or just his thoughts for company. If at home, he spends time with his kids and their homework (only if required) or generally interacts with them on this and that and the other - quite often about books he's read or fun people he's met. Knocks around with them, either cricket or football or frisbee or even some yoga, but this time, largely as instructor. Filter coffee break. Gym on alternate days which is preceded by a run outdoors and on the treadmill only when it's raining, which can be every other day in Bangalore. The umbrella cap was going to invite uncalled for attention and that's just not his thing even though the practicality of it impressed him no end. Back with family. Dinner. Rules: no phones, I-pads, TV, just conversations.
Retire to his books. Possibly the toughest question, which one to read? At any given time, he can read up to four books, though never simultaneously. "I'm not God, just another brick in the wall," he jokes. While reading makes mental notes, often refers to the dictionary (never online) and jots down words, expressions in his notebook.
Before crashing, plans ahead, for the next five days.
(However plausible this might sound, this is a work of fiction.)

First published here

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Rahul Dravid's wife confesses

by Naked Cricket


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Chris Gayle announces retirement to join Retired Cricket League

by Naked Cricket

One of the prerequisites of the Masters Champions League (MCL), a T20 tournament for retired cricketers is that players must be retired, more specifically, they must be former international cricketers - retired from all forms of the professional sport. When Chris Gayle got wind of this, he drafted possibly the shortest retirement letter in cricket history:
Chief, gotta go XXX Chris lol
But before he could send it to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chief, he gave it a second thought and sent it to his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper, Virat Kohli, a man of letters and 11,000 word interviews.
Virat:
Dear Chris,
I have read and re-read your letter to the chief. I have a few questions: Who is this chief? Where are you going - re: "gotta go"? Please do elaborate, and once I have a better grasp of the unknown, I hope to be in a better position to assist you with your letter. Let's finish this together, like one of our Indian Premier League (IPL) chases.
Sincerely,
Virat
Gayle:
VK thanxxx lol
Virat:
Dear Chris,
It appears you fired the mail off by mistake, awaiting your reply, eagerly.
Sincerely,
Virat
Gayle:
VK LOLetter 2 WICB boss chief I GO 2 retirement to play in retirement desert league HOT sand castle meltdown sing by americano bar live by the candy jill come lately gotta go XXX
Virat:
Dear Chris,
Thanks so much for your reply. From your reply I gather the following, correct me if I'm wrong: Your letter is addressed to Mr Dave Cameron, the WICB chief and you're looking for an opportunity to retire from all international cricket so you can further your cricket career in the Emirates. If I'm not mistaken this is the Masters Champions League (MCL), a franchise T20 tournament for retired cricketers set to take place no later than February the following year.
Your friend,
Virat
Gayle:
YO VK LOL XXX
Virat:
Dear Chris,
I wish you the very best in your latest adventure. Please do consider using some of the text from my previous mail in your letter to Mr Cameron.
Your 4 am friend,
Virat
Here is what Chris Gayle mailed the WICB chief, Dave Cameron:
Chief gotta go XXX Chris lol DIG THIS LOL >>>>>>>>>>>
Dear Chris,
Thanks so much for your reply. From your reply I gather the following, correct me if I'm wrong: Your letter is addressed to Mr Dave Cameron, the WICB chief and you're looking for an opportunity to retire from all international cricket so you can further your cricket career in the Emirates. If I'm not mistaken this is the Masters Champions League (MCL), a franchise T20 tournament for retired cricketers set to take place no later than February the following year.
Your friend,
Virat
And WICB chief Dave Cameron's mail to Gayle:
Dear Mr Gayle,
And then people wonder why Chris Gayle and the WICB have a communication problem? I have CCed this mail to Virat Kohli who I predict will be a tad more selective in his choice of words. We cannot accept your retirement from international cricket simply because the WICB does not accept anything that you wish to do.
Warm regards,
Dave Cameron

Following this, Chris Gayle was selected for Australia's tour of the West Indies. If the player failed to fulfil his international commitments, the WICB would not accept his resignation from international cricket.
Playing in the NatWest T20 Blast in England, Gayle was unaffected by these latest developments. Instead, he set his eyes on Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne's Legends T20 Cricket League to be held in the United States of America (USA).
It had been a rewarding day so far, Gayle was on the verge of entering into talks with two new T20 leagues. JXTRA Honeycomb as he called her made him a mojito and put his shades on; he always liked his shades on when he sipped his mojito. "Never know when prying eyes may decide to go click click photo bomb me LOL," he would often say. "Daddy be ready for new T20 and photo bomber tombstone blues LOL."
As he sipped, he tried to remember, how many had he played with? Could he remember them all? And he started reciting them one by one - Jamaica! LOL! Jamaica Tall-wahs LMAO! Barista Burners! LOL! WATA NAME! No silly Wata name not-a-name but Barista Burners wata name - serve me Ice Latte while I swing sexy LOL! KKR! KKR! Wata royal pain in my royal a** - never let me do my cool thing, drool on bowling swing out sista LOL! Boring English too good too Somerest Mom I read finally Mamma be happy Stanford Superstars quick bang bang buck so sexy idiot man sailor thief LOL! Matabeleland Tuskers oh baby talk to me dirty LOL Sydney feel my Thunder Down Under LMAO Western Australia... Big flies eat my eyes silly in Perth LOL... Wor-cest-er-shire saucy baby shake shake LOL... ummm that ICC World XI one night stand... my baby sweet RCB my buddies VK and AB so cool intense and Mallya booze boy singing my tune LOL... one more there was... one more... zzzzz sleepy Dhaka Gladi... zzzz
It appeared Chris Gayle had crashed for the night but not before he had sent Tendulkar and Warne a quick mail.
"USA LOL!"
(However plausible this might sound, this is a work of fiction.)

First published here

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Chanderpaul Stands Firm

by achettup

April 9th 1994
In his third test, Chanders is in a star-studded West Indian side
They've crushed England and taken the five match series 3-0 already
But in the 4th test England fight back, and the West Indies begin to collapse
Chanders enters at number 6, with the score on 126
Gus Fraser rips through taking 3 wickets at that score
The English snarl, "Get out little man"
But Chanderpaul stands firm
He battles and battles, and ends up with 77 and takes the Windies to a respectable 304
The Windies lose the match, but it would not be the last time Shiv glued an innings together

May12th 2003
The Windies and Australia have an identical 240 on the board after an innings each
Australia then roar to 417 after centuries by both openers
The Windies are 4/165 when Chanders comes in as Lara is dismissed
With Sarwan, with whom he would share many brilliant partnerships, he stitches together a century
Its too much for the snarling Australians as McGrath gets into a famous heated spat with Sarwan,
At the end of the day, Sarwan is dismissed for a century,
but Chanders stands firm and is unbeaten on his 100
The Windies complete a memorable win the next day, the highest chase in Test History

June 10th-11th 2007
Chasing an improbable 455 to win against England at Manchester
The Windies are reduced to 3-88 in the 32nd over of the second innings
Chanders walks in, as the English sledge "Just leave little man"
But Chanderpaul stands firm and he bats and bats and bats,
100 overs later, the Collymore is dismissed and England win by 60 runs
Chanders is unbeaten on 127*, Runako Morton's 54 is the next highest score
The West Indies failed in the first innings too, Chanders was the only batsman to cross 50

April 10th 2008
Sri Lanka collapse and recover in an ODI to post a respectable 235
Chanderpaul walks in with the Windies placed comfortably at 3/109 off 28 overs
And watches them collapse, he is still there when No.11 Fidel Edwards walks out
The score is 219 and the Windies need 17 off 7 balls, he slams the last ball of the over for 4
The wily Vaas concedes 3 runs off the first 4 balls as the Windies need 10 off 2 balls
"Give it up little man" but Chanderpaul stands firm
He smashes a 4 past mid-off and and then hits a full toss into the stands at mid-wicket

14th November 2008
Chasing 232 against Pakistan, Chanders comes in 2/14, after both openers are dismissed for ducks
Along with, who else but again that man, Sarwan he steadies the ship,
But Sarwan falls for 45 and the West Indies are failing again
For 44 overs Chanerpaul stands firm, defying the Pakistani bowlers
Wickets fall around him, as they have so many times in the past
As they will continue to fall around him in the future
When Gul bowls Lionel Baker, the Pakistanis triumph by 24 runs
That the Windies had hopes until that moment can only be because of Chander's defiance
He's not out on 107, more than half the team's total score

May 2015
In the dying light of a spectacular career, Chanders watches the West Indies in turmoil
But it isn't just their batsmen this time, its their administration
As it has been for over a decade
The legends ask him to retire, "Its time to leave little man"
But Chanderpaul stands firm, defiant to the very end
He will not retire and leave the team in the hands of those who will fail again
They drop him, but Chanderpaul still stands firm
After all those years, maybe it is the only thing he knows

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