Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The 77-run over

Nice article from Cricinfo by Martin Williamson:

When people are asked what is the most number of runs to come off one over, thoughts turn immediately to Tilak Raj and Malcolm Nash who both conceded 36, to Ravi Shastri and Garry Sobers respectively. But in February 1990, Bert Vance went for more than twice that number in what ranks as one of first-class cricket's oddest overs.

The incident took place on the final day of Wellington's Shell Trophy match against Canterbury at Christchurch. It was Wellington's last game of the season and they needed to win to ensure that they secured the title. On the final morning they declared their second innings, leaving Canterbury to chase 291 in what turned out to be 59 overs.

Canterbury lost early wickets and, as John Morrison, the former New Zealand batsman and at the time Wellington's coach, remembers, they "put the shutters up very early in a run chase that was very feasible and we just couldn't remove them in the normal way." Although Canterbury had looked like losing when they slumped to 108 for 8, Lee Germon and Roger Ford had stopped the rot and seemed set to hold out for a draw.

Although when the penultimate over started Canterbury were eight wickets down, Germon, their wicketkeeper and no dunce with the bat, was still in and on strike. Morrison and Erve McSweeney, Wellington's captain-wicketkeeper, hatched a plan and Bert Vance, the New Zealand batsman who nearing the end of his career and so had no bowling figures of any note to worry about, agreed to help them.

The idea was to feed Canterbury enough runs so that they would get close enough to the target and then perhaps risk their last two wickets going for glory. They began the over on 196 for 8 with Germon 75 not out.

Vance proceeded to bowl a succession of no balls, and of his first 17 deliveries only one – the second – was legitimate. Full toss after full toss was lobbed down from two or three yards down the track – "Bert overdid it somewhat," recalled Morrison – and each one was cracked to the boundary past disinterested fielders. Germon brought up his hundred off the sixth ball, and in all he took 70 off the over, including eight sixes and five fours. Ford faced two balls midway through the carnage and scored five.

The real problems, however, were in the scorebox where the bewildered scorers and scoreboard operators lost track of what was happening and at one point resorted to consulting with spectators to try to resolve the chaos. Even the umpire was left bewildered, only allowing five legitimate deliveries before calling an end to the carnage.

The situation had not been resolved when Ewan Gray bowled the final over. Unbeknown to both sides, Canterbury had moved to within 18 of victory, and another 17 from Germon off the first five balls leveled the scores. But with the scoreboard rendered inactive as the scorers still battled to make sense of Vance's over, Ford blocked the last delivery of the match. Only when the players returned to their changing-rooms did the position become clear.

The arguments continued long after the match. "There was all sorts of debate discussing this outrageous situation," recalled Morrison. "Howls of protest and the like, but in the end we were not docked any points and through a couple of other very fortuitous results we won the championship. As you can imagine I copped a fair bit of flack, but winning the championship took most of the sting out of that … I quickly went from the outhouse to the penthouse!"

But the hastily conceived plan had almost backfired. "I nearly had heart failure when I learnt a little time after the game that Canterbury only needed one to win and we had Vance bowling to a very leaky field," Morrison explained. "It was also very possible because of the confusion that he may have bowled yet another no ball.

"I decided that the tactic, while being innovative, was definitely a once only! But it's now a noted game and lives on whereas if the conventional tactics had been used the game would have faded completely and anonymously into the past."

Much like Steve O'Shaughnessy's 35-minute hundred in 1983, Vance's over is consigned to being a footnote in the record books, although the 182-run ninth-wicket stand remains a Canterbury record.

The over went as follows (the balls in bold are the legitimate ones) – 0444664614106666600401

Monday, November 28, 2005

Democracy, Wow! Wow!

The recent demonstrations against Kushboo and Suhashini in Tamil Nadu makes one wonder if we are living in a democratic country. Even more surprising was the fact that they were carried by the so-called protectors of Tamil culture. As if somebody had appointed them to protect Tamil culture in the first place!!! If a culture is strong in its values or has a real material value in it, does it need anyone to protect it? Tamil culture has survived for more than 2000 years and it does not need mortal organizations like PMK or Dalit Panthers to protect it.

Coming back to Kushboo and Suhashini, whether what Kushboo said is against Tamil culture or has she insulted Tamil women is purely subjective. In these days of increasing spread of AIDS, her advice to use protective devices is pure common sense and is nothing against any culture. Premarital sex is a reality whether some political parties like it or not. Kushboo gave her views on present-day life it should be taken as her personal views and not as a insult to Tamil culture. Incidentally, the same Tamil culture built a temple for Kushboo in Trichy some years back. What baffles one is dragging Suhashini into the ring. She had done nothing wrong except support Kushboo who was left alone to defend herself.

Yes, where are our film heroes? Might be they are busy acting protecting women in films only!!! I sometimes think which is the most explored place in this world? Is it America, is it India, or what? No, it is the navel of a Tamil film heroine. Some directors and heroes went to the extent of making an omelet on it. As if exploring that part of human body is part of Tamil culture. Interestingly enough, the same people who explored and are exploring the navels of heroines half their age are protesting against Kushboo. Do I see something odd here? And the demonstrations in front of Kushboo’s house, it is disgusting. Showing broomsticks and throwing eggs and tomatoes. Is this a civilised society? Sadly, most of these demonstrations were done by women.

Where are our parties and leaders who say that they follow Periyar and Bharathi, might be they are busy preparing for elections and secret alliances. Everyone in this country including Kushboo has a right to say what he or she wants, and it is nobody’s business to protest it in streets. Let them go to court if they don’t like it. After all, courts are nothing new to them.

Meanwhile our revolutionary TV channels were not left far behind. Recently they were busy debating about an incident in Rajasthan where an Israeli tourist was taking bath nude in a temple lake. It created a uproar among the priests, and our channels bisected and dissected that news for a few days till a new celebrity divorce or celebrity marriage showed up. Sadly, beating up women in streets by their husbands or sons, which happens in India every day, doesn’t create the same sensation as this news did for our TV channels. If something happens every day, does it cease to be a news?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Nice Kavidai - 1

தூக்கம்விற்ற காசுகள்

இருப்பவனுக்கோ வந்துவிட ஆசை
வந்தவனுக்கோ சென்று விட ஆசை

இதோ அயல்தேசத்து ஏழைகளின்கண்ணீர் அழைப்பிதழ்!

விசாரிப்புகளோடும்விசா அரிப்புகளோடும் வருகின்ற கடிதங்களை நினைத்து நினைத்துபரிதாபப்படத்தான் முடிகிறது!

நாங்கள் பூசிக்கொள்ளும்சென்டில் வேண்டுமானால்...வாசனைகள் இருக்கலாம்!
ஆனால் வாழ்க்கையில்...?தூக்கம் விற்ற காசில்தான்...துக்கம் அழிக்கின்றோம்!
ஏக்கம் என்ற நிலையிலேயே...இளமை கழிக்கின்றோம்!

எங்களின் நிலாக்காலநினைவுகளையெல்லாம்...ஒரு விமானப்பயணத்தூனூடேவிற்றுவிட்டுகனவுகள்புதைந்துவிடுமெனத் தெரிந்தேகடல் தாண்டி வந்திருக்கிறோம்!
மரஉச்சியில் நின்றுஒரு தேன் கூட்டை கலைப்பவன் போல!

வாரவிடுமுறையில்தான்..பார்க்க முடிகிறதுஇயந்திரமில்லாத மனிதர்களை!

அம்மாவின் ஸ்பரிசம்தொட்டு எழுந்த நாட்கள்கடந்து விட்டன!

இங்கே அலாரத்தின் எரிச்சல் கேட்டுஎழும் நாட்கள் கசந்து விட்டன!

பழகிய வீதிகள் பழகிய நண்பர்கள்கல்லூரி நாட்கள் தினமும் ஒரு இரவுநேர கனவுக்குள் வந்து வந்துகாணாமல் போய்விடுகிறது!

நண்பர்களோடு ஆற்றில்விறால் பாய்ச்சல்மாட்டுவண்டிப் பயணம்நோன்புநேரத்துக் கஞ்சிதெல்கா - பம்பரம் - சீட்டு - கோலி எனசீசன் விளையாட்டுக்கள்!

ஒவ்வொருஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமையாய் எதிர்பார்த்து...விளையாடி மகிழ்ந்த உள்ளுர்உலககோப்பை கிரிக்கெட்!

இவைகளைநினைத்துப்பார்க்கும்போதெல்லாம்...விசாவும் பாஸ்போட்டும் வந்து...விழிகளை நனைத்து விடுகிறது.!

வீதிகளில் ஒன்றாய்வளர்ந்த நண்பர்களின் திருமணத்தில்!
மாப்பிள்ளை அலங்காரம்!
கூடிநின்று கிண்டலடித்தல்!
கல்யாணநேரத்து பரபரப்பு!
பழையசடங்குகள்மறுத்து போராட்டம்!பெண்வீட்டார் மதிக்கவில்லைஎனகூறி வறட்டு பிடிவாதங்கள்!
சாப்பாடு பரிமாறும் நேரம்...எனக்கு நிச்சயித்தவளின் ஓரப்பார்வை!
மறுவீடு சாப்பாட்டில்மணமகளின் ஜன்னல் பார்வை!
இவையெதுவுமே கிடைக்காமல்"கண்டிப்பாய் வரவேண்டும்" என்ற சம்பிரதாய அழைப்பிதழுக்காக...சங்கடத்தோடுஒருதொலைபேசி வாழ்த்தூனூடே...தொலைந்துவிடுகிறதுஎங்களின் நீ..ண்ட நட்பு!

எவ்வளவு சம்பாதித்தும் என்ன?

நாங்கள் அயல்தேசத்துஏழைகள்தான்!

காற்றிலும் கடிதத்திலும்வருகின்ற சொந்தங்களின்...
நண்பர்களின் மரணச்செய்திக்கெல்லாம்அரபிக்கடல் மட்டும்தான்...ஆறுதல் தருகிறது!

ஆம், இதயம் தாண்டிபழகியவர்களெல்லாம்...ஒரு கடலைத்தாண்டியகண்ணீரிலையே...கரைந்துவிடுகிறார்கள்;!

"இறுதிநாள்" நம்பிக்கையில்தான்...இதயம் சமாதானப்படுகிறது!

இருப்பையும் இழப்பையும்கணக்கிட்டுப் பார்த்தால்எஞ்சி நிற்பது இழப்பு மட்டும்தான்...

பெற்ற குழந்தையின்முதல் ஸ்பரிசம் முதல் பேச்சு...
முதல் பார்வை...
முதல் கழிவு...
இவற்றின் பாக்கியத்தைதினாரும் - திர்ஹமும்தந்துவிடுமா?

கிள்ளச்சொல்லிகுழந்தை அழும் சப்தத்தை...தொலைபேசியில் கேட்கிறோம்!கிள்ளாமலையேநாங்கள் தொலைவில் அழும் சப்தம்யாருக்குக் கேட்குமோ?

ஒவ்வொருமுறை ஊருக்குவரும்பொழுதும்...
பெற்ற குழந்தையின்வித்தியாச பார்வை...
நெருங்கியவர்களின் திடீர்மறைவுஇப்படிபுதிய முகங்களின்எதிர்நோக்குதலையும்...
பழையமுகங்களின்மறைதலையும் கண்டு...
மீண்டும்அயல்தேசம் செல்லமறுத்துஅடம்பிடிக்கும் மனசிடம்...

தங்கையின் திருமணமும்...
தந்தையின் கடனும்...
பொருளாதாரமும் வந்து...
சமாதானம் சொல்லி அனுப்பிவிடுகிறதுமீண்டும் அயல்தேசத்திற்கு!

- ரசிகவ் ஞானியார், துபாய்

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The day art went up in smoke

Came across this article in by Sumit Bhattacharya, a real interesting one:

When I read George Orwell's seminal 1984 and the concept of thoughtcrime -- musings for which the State can throw you in prison -- I shuddered. When I heard from a senior colleague how she had been often rapped on the head in 'liberated' Afghanistan for not keeping it covered, I shuddered.
Dresscrime, I said to myself, what next?
The Indian government has answered -- sightcrime. Watching an onscreen character smoke is injurious for you, it has decided.
There can be no defence for smoking, many are chorusing. It pollutes young minds, leads them astray.
Sure, it is harmful. The State can warn you, it can persuade you.
But does it have the right to decide everything for you? Can it order you in every aspect of life?
Can it order coffee to be blurred on screen next? If the beverage had been discovered now, it would have been banned as a drug. Soon, it will want you to only see movies where all characters do yoga in the morning and change their diet daily to suit the latest health study.
Last I heard, this was a free country. But then, in the Land of the Free where Liberty is a statue, the State is trying to get into bedrooms, and the man who thought the Taliban were a rock band till he decided to smoke 'em out has ordered you be fingerprinted when you enter his country.
Social scientists much wiser, much less vice-ridden than ignorant, smoking me have argued the State is a necessary evil.
Who decides when the necessary morphs into evil?
There are bad things and there are good things. But they are not watertight compartments. If there is no black, there can be no shades.
Life makes you take wrong turns. When you realise they were wrong turns, you are wisened by the experience.
Life is black, white and grey. Art is a portrayal of that.
Cinema is an art. It captures life's contradictions.
If there are no contradictions, there is no progress.
If everyone thought alike and felt alike, there would be no art.
It's like an old man and a young, restless gun. The old man wants to advise the young man about what is wrong. When guidance turns to oppression, there is rebellion.
Imagine watching a great, true-to-life biopic of Winston Churchill, Bob Marley, Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara or Shah Rukh Khan, to name just a few. The screen will be a blur, thanks to the ban. Imagine watching Satyajit Ray's Feluda or Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes on screen, a blur when they light their favourite Charminar and pipe.
Imagine Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar.
The real them is bad for you, the government is saying. Sure, it has the right to.

But can it ban you from seeing the real them? That is the question.
Movies today, books tomorrow, your life the day after, art yesterday.
Yes, righteous mobs have always sought to stifle artists, to dictate what they can and cannot portray.
Hitler wanted to breed a 'perfect' population. His vision of perfect. Artists, scientists, thinkers who opposed were to be hunted down. Aren't our governments doing the same?
Aren't they trying to breed a population that only thinks in a certain way?
Aren't they hunting down messengers?
Aren't they deciding what is entertainment by shutting dance bars they themselves have made millions from?
Aren't they slapping dress codes on teachers, students?
They think looking at dirt breeds dirtiness. They don't want to clean up. They want you to put on blinkers.
What is at stake for you, the non-smoker? Every little thing you hold as your own. The onscreen cigarette ban is just a smoke screen. It is the monster's slip, which is showing. If you don't slay the monster now, because it is eating up what you think is harmful, it will grow and feed on what you hold dear.
The monster is the growing interference of the State in your life.
It is hunting the easiest target now -- art.
I like my smoke. I inhale lung-fulls of it. I pay more for it with every Budget. I pay my taxes, which never flow back to better my life. I cower in a corner of a train, dying for the nicotine my body demands while my nonsmoking co-passengers lech and argue whether a woman who is dressed in a certain way nurses a desire to be raped.
My heroes are flawed. I think art should not be fettered. I think there is no good war.
I am the target of governments, health conscious organisations, concerned public et al.
I am more dangerous than the non-smoking, non-drinking rioter, terrorist or soldier who butchers people because they choose different faiths, beliefs, lives.