You know if this tends to sound elitist then so be it.
The last time 3 cricketers got caught is spot fixing I internalized such a fact by telling myself that Pakistani players don’t make the big bucks like the Indians, Australians and Englishmen do. They are also excluded from the richest domestic league in the world (IPL) for non-cricket related reasons so perhaps they feel left out, they feel like everyone else is making the major moolah and not them, that’s why they indulge in match fixing.
Ergo, a number of times I have noted to self with a measure of quite satisfaction that Indian players make a bucket load of money, the legal way and hence they do not need to, you know, do the hanky panky stuff. After all our top cricketers rival footballers in the money they earn. Dhoni for instance is allegedly 100 crores a year and going strong. Players like the Pathan brothers command approx 10 crores from the IPL alone, leave aside their endorsements etc.
This point was reinforced on a flight back from London to Bangalore when I sat next to an ex-Ranji Trophy player from Hyderabad. By his own admission he was no more than a fringe player for Hyderabad, having played just a handful. He however landed a job with one of the state banks in public relations as a result of his cricketing pedigree. He also plies his trade with local clubs in England, not the county but a level or two lower, where there is still decent money to be made. That apart, if you are enterprising enough, like this gentleman clearly was, you maximize your contacts, leverage the network you know and and do a bit of this and a bit of that to make more money. If a local club cricketer from India had it going so good what of the Ranji Level players and those representing the country. Before you tell me that domestic players make nothing, consider that match fees in domestic cricket have increased substantially over the last 5 years.
It is factual that in India if you play half decent cricket you stand to make a decent money. If you fail to ever play for your country and ply your trade in domestic circuits you still make money.
Therefore for someone like Sreesanth to be involved (allegedly) and a couple of other domestic players speaks volumes about greed. In this day and age of media glare, sting operations and anti corruption surveillance, it also shows absolute foolishness to be involved in shitty stuff.
With the number of match fixing allegations appearing in the last 20 years, its no longer a surprise for me or any other cricket follower that such things happen. I do feel sorry for Rajasthan though, great underdog team lead by a wonderful leader. This is going to fuck them up bad.
Lastly, can we have at least one IPL without a scandal. Is that even possible?
Why is grass greener on the other side? Why yearn for something we don’t have.
The greatest mercy the latest version of IPL bestows on cricket lovers around the world is that it is devoid of “DLF Maximum”
The next General Elections are scheduled for 2014, deciding who will rule India for the next 5 years. Given that the principal opposition party has been warming the bench for the last decade, its evident that they are desperate for a strong comeback. Given the lack of stable support from local parties to the current regime it is reasonable to assume that elections might be moved forward depending on the whims and convenience of regional shenanigans.
In that regard it should come as no surprise to see Narendra Modi getting more importance and recognition within BJP’s central leadership. It is therefore not surprising to see him elevated to the Parliamentary Board (their chief decision making body) and the important Election Committee. He after all represents their best chance to take the BJP out of political wilderness.
It is however the appointment of Amit Shah as General Secretary that should give us a sneak peak into BJP’s thinking. For those that don’t know Amit Shah, the brief on him is being embroiled in the fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kauserbi. CBI has also questioned him about the encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to the earlier encounter cases. His supporters will claim political persecution by Congress.
Amit Shah was then the Home Minister of Gujarat and since Modi’s rise to power in Gujarat has remained a key back room manager and strategist. His inputs were rumored to critical in the redrawing of constituencies in Gujarat on favorable lines to his political party and is considered a key man in the Modi camp. He is considered and credited to have played key role in the hat-trick wins of Gujarat. Now he will be expected to work is magic aross the nation.
…and then there is the appointment of Varun Gandhi, going a long way in telling everyone in India that BJP is ready to wear its ideology up its sleeve this election.
Its all gearing up to an intriguing conclusion. This General Elections will give any thriller a run for its money before it reveals its winners. While I look forward for it, I am left wondering the impact of polarization on the already fragile social fabric of our society, the one we tom-tom about as our unity in diversity.
I am glancing through a slightly outdated copy of Handy Answers for Kids (and Parents) and I just read that one out of every four animals on the planet is a beetle.
Why a thing like that is Handy is something we will never know although It reminds me of a conversation I struck with a man of African descent in a London Post Office queue many years back. For some reason the man told me that one in every four blacks on the planet was a Nigerian (like himself, of course). Not to be outdone by the stat, I came up with one of my own. I retorted back, one in every six human beings, black, white, brown, short, fat, ugly, thin yada yada is from India. That shut him up for a while.
From a beetle to Nigeria back to India, all in a nano second. The mind makes strange connections, huh?
My 3 year old son came back home from play school with a fairly large scratch on the left side of his face and his nose and the right side had multiple but minor scratches. It looked quite bad but he seemed cheerful enough. My wife on the other hand was understandably upset, gearing herself to visit the play school and have a talk with his teacher.
Curiosity got the better of me though so I sat him on my lap and inquired about who had done it.
"Mia", he said
"Mia?" I asked, trying to recollect the girl in question. "Why did Mia scratch you?"
My son had this really genuine look of puzzlement on his face. “I don’t know Abba” he said, “I just kissed her”
This is probably why Shane Warne has maintained that a coach is something you use to travel to a cricket field.
The Australians have lost it totally this time around.
The Indian fan will be frustrated at the placidity of our management’s reaction to an 8-0 drubbing overseas. I wonder if it comes close to the bewilderment of the Aussie fan when he reads this today morning.