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Sight Screen

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Harsha's wish list

Actually, just a single item on it: he wants to see Sachin bat. Scan between the lines, though, and you see a depth of disillusionment that is scary.

75 Comments:

  • PP
    The game of cricket is now played outside the boundary lines rather than inside...eg:
    1. Mental disintegration of opposing teams through press interviews
    2. Bookies influencing the game
    3. Players conniving with bookies
    4. Selectors playing their regional quota games
    5. Selectors playing 'monoploy' game on who will take home the maximum.
    6. Players doing their ad bit whenever they are off the ground.

    Who has the time to play when there is so much at hand to do?

    Fans can go to hell...cricketers and selectors are paid anyways, right?

    Harsha wish list is fine..i understand Sachin...but what about others.

    Ciao/anthony

    By Blogger ap-dxb, at 15:41  

  • Could'nt agree with Harsha more. Just want to see SRT bat. In fact, my usual anti-depressant medication is to pop in the DVD of Sachin's amazing innings against the Pakis in WC2003 ;-) Cheers me up like nothing else can.

    By Blogger Multy, at 15:45  

  • >>>>Indian cricket desperately needs a talisman; someone who signifies skill and honest effort; someone who can tell India to come and watch him and forget her worries for a while; a responsible man who puts an honest bat to a hardworking ball. <<<<

    Harsha has got it right. We need Sachin. I would be happy and content if Sachin comes and scores runs, entertains us. That's why I liked 90s when we used to lose every now and then and but Sachin's performance would always keep me happy and content. We went home feeling happy that at least sachin played well.

    Someone please return those days.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 15:48  

  • I want to see Sachin and VS get back into the groove and smash all over the place....if wishes were horses

    By Blogger @mit, at 15:49  

  • Harsha doesnt seem very cheerful in this piece, does he? But I think he's too much of an optimist to be disillusioned. I would love to see all his wishes vome true, especially the cover-drives parts :)
    Hope SRT is good enough to oblige.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:51  

  • oracle guy,
    not exactly the kind of team spirit that we want to portray, right? :)
    SRT playing is sometimes good enough for us, irrespective of how India does. But I know exactly how you feel. The 90s was just that. We consoled ourselves, saying that the man did his part, the rest of them were not good enough.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:53  

  • Harsha is too sentimental... his writing sounds more like a poetry... and I do not like poetry because they are emotional.
    And for the record, I don't want the 90's back, when only Sachin played, and the rest of the team just watched him.
    Give me Feb'2001 to March 2004, anytime.. makes me happy.

    That's 2 pennies from me guys.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 15:55  

  • Here's to you Mr. Bhogle ;-)
    Sachin loves you more than you will know. Hey, Hey, Hey

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 15:56  

  • multy: my mood cheer-upper. The Sharjah innings against Aussies. Man, he was in his prime then..but for the umpires

    By Blogger losing now, at 15:56  

  • Prem..speaking of harsha and disillusionment...did he have something to say in his email that he sent you...since he was closer to the whole 'thing'?...do share with us something...maybe the gist of his feeling/impression....unless its strictly for your eyes/brain ;-)

    ...and I said 'Indian cricket can do with some cricket' before him :P

    By Blogger worma, at 15:57  

  • Now read this

    http://www.cricketnext.com/features1/sanjayjha/sanjayjha171.htm

    By Blogger @mit, at 16:01  

  • @ALL
    It is a nice melancholic piece. Almost reflects the fan's state of mind.

    Everybody wants to go and slap all these officials faces and stupid cricketers. But we cannot do anything but whine.

    And we seem to do that really well ;-)

    Seems to me Harsha, who has been a pure critic got his name involved in this mess and there doesn't seem to be any way of extricating himself. Feel sorry for him.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:02  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Mohan, at 16:02  

  • "losing now": Yes, the Sharjah innings were probably better, but then again they were not against the Pakis, right :-D

    By Blogger Multy, at 16:03  

  • Thanks for that article, Harsha.

    Some of the sad part also apply the bloggers here who also have lost perspective on the game and seems to have been preoccupied in pulling people down, be it a captain or a coach or just a player.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:04  

  • @mit:
    Thanks for the link. For once I agree with Sanjay Jha of Cricketnext about Ganguly....*L*

    By Blogger Multy, at 16:05  

  • SRT presence can help everyone, the team and the staff.

    God, do help him make some runs though otherwise, vultures in the Indian sky start circling prematurely.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:08  

  • Do you guys think that if Ganguly steps down or is forced out (injury ,,,selection etc) will Sachin be offered the captaincy and wil he take it?

    By Blogger @mit, at 16:11  

  • Toney says>>> Oracle guy,
    not exactly the kind of team spirit that we want to portray, right? :) <<<

    Dont know about all that Pal, but I have too many great memories of 90s and not all of those include Sachin. Azza's 183 @ Kolkata, His(and SRT)scathing attack on zulu in SA, RD giving a mouthful (and a batful) to Donald, Jaddu smashing Waqar, Prasad bowled Sohail and Miandad's look @ Banglore in his last match, Sidhu(& rest of Indian batting) taming Warne, Sachin @ Sharjah, Sachin bowling the last over @ Hero Cup :), Titan Cup, V Raju bowling to Anderson cumings (along with Miandad Jumping in Australia and Prabhakar bowling off spin to Jaisuriya in WC 96) was funny as hell, SRT's amazing batting throughout 90s, Ganguly's batting between 96-99, Kumble's bowling @ home, SG & RD massacre @ Taunton etc..actually just too many to list.

    That remains the best decade for me. 2000s seems jinxed from the very beginning, it started from match fixing, Sachin's injury and now this. It is really a disgrace.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 16:13  

  • oracle,
    Which was the Raju Vs Cimmins match? You mean the 5 match series in 94? I think India won the last two matches in that series because of Raju's bowling and the lack of brains on the part of WI tailenders.
    When you look at it like that, there are lots of good memories post-2000 too. The 2001 series, tests in 2004, NatWest trophy and SG's topless images, India looking like a young and energetic team (probably the best part)...
    Why are we all so gloomy? Has Indian cricket died? It hasnt yet. As long as passionate fans such as us are alive, it'll continue to live.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:21  

  • Harsha's writings never give Harsh (joy) to his readers.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 16:27  

  • Toney, I was talking about Hero cup final. http://www.icc-cricket.com/db/ARCHIVE/1993-94/OD_TOURNEYS/CAB/IND_WI_CAB_ODI-FINAL_27NOV1993.html

    Raju was bowling his offspinners to Cummins and Cummins had no clue on how to play. It was funny as hell watching them.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 16:35  

  • I guess I remember almost every thing from that match, SRT bowling out Lara, KD taking two crucial top order wickets, Kumble's best ever bowling figures. Everything actually.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 16:38  

  • Raju was left arm spinner, no?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:43  

  • Any producer working on a soap/serial showing the workings of BCCI?

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 16:44  

  • Yup, Left Arm arthodox meaning his offspinners would be going away from the wicket for a right handed batsman.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 16:46  

  • og,
    Do you remember the really good return catch that Kapil Dev took?

    Actually, the match that came to my mind was in the low profile 5 match series in 94 when Raju bowled well to fox the WI tail.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:47  

  • It's surprising to see Harsha so desperate to see SRT bat...whenever off-field activities have captured the headlines, HB has inevitably been desperate to see on-field action (with or wthout SRT) to forget the sorrows of being an Indian cricket fan....but now, it looks like only SRT can bring the joy back for him and a lot of fans. It's the sort of feeling a lot of people got when the match-fixing issue was exposed...the silver-lining in all of this is that maybe we have another golden period of Indian cricket coming up soon (like 2000-2003).

    By Blogger rp, at 16:48  

  • rp,
    When everything else fails, we turn to God.:) So, isnt it time to turn to SRT now?

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:49  

  • toney:

    May god fulfill our wishes; and so may SRT...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:52  

  • ruchir, you misundertand. For me, God and SRT are one :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:53  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:57  

  • @Toney,
    The opening line of Harsha's is from the song, "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...Jesus loves you more than you will know"

    It was very creative of Harsha to think about that. Dustin Hoffman in the movie, "The Graduate" was a metaphor for the confused morals of american society at that time. Everything seemed like disintegrating and in that song (sung by Simon and Garfunkel btw),there is a line that calls out in desperation,

    "Where have you gone, Joe di Maggio (baseball great) our nation turns its lonely eyes to you"

    But really India is going through great times, GDP growing at record pace, Sensex booming, I do think our cricket administration is an exception, a relic of the distant past, standing out like a sore thumb among well-oiled private companies. Time for not only Ganguly but the whole administration to change.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:58  

  • Hi Prem,
    I dont expect you to comment on this, proffesional colleague and all but i think Harsha Bogle is an ass. There is no getting around it. Cricket commentary as we see/hear it is hardly journalism. There was a time when he was the best Indian voice on TV. I used to want to listen to him. But years upon years has palled upon the soul, his presentation is competent , his content i regret to say is smarmy and asinine.

    ****>>>The fresh wind that blows old thought away has been pushed back, the sunrise that washes away a dark, unhappy night has been shrouded by a fog of poor intent. There is no happiness in our cricket, the bat has suddenly become a piece of wood as a sitar might in the hands of an uncaring baggage handler. <<<< ****

    What the hell is that ????! This is Neville Cardus meeting Gulshan Kumar. What melodrama over cricket!. Admittedly everyone loses perspective over SRTs batting (myself included), but 'uncaring baggage handler' !! my flying finn!

    Its ironical that this article is one of his better efforts, at least he doesnt threaten to bound off the screen in one happy toothy grin and tell us about how that Gautam Bhimani is *such* a card!

    By Blogger vengun, at 17:01  

  • toney,

    Well said! I have never quite understood this even though I experience it myself: When SRT plays well, it's always time to celebrate.

    Is it because of his genius that we appreciate that the contest is between bat and ball rather than between coach and captain, or JD and Pawar etc.?

    By Blogger rp, at 17:03  

  • @Vengun,
    Come on man, give him his creative license. Otherwise, we can get our reports from PTI or AP, where they merely state facts.

    Agreed, that he has gone overboard a bit.

    I think we should understand personally, even he is having a hard time, being involved in this affair and he makes a living because of cricket.

    How many people really give up an I-banking career after their MBA and take up a risky profession like cricket journalism. Shows that he has real passion for the game and he has earned the license to voice his opinion, hopes or poetry. You are entitled to yours. But you need to understand his perspective too.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 17:06  

  • vengun: LOL! I agree. a bit too melodramatic.

    By Blogger losing now, at 17:09  

  • rp,
    more than anything else, it is his sincerety towards the game, I think. Remember that ad from Adidas, the one where time stands still wehn SRT bats?

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:12  

  • toney,

    I read that some guys here watch Ind-Pak WC '03 DVD to lighten up their mood. After Pak scored 273, I remember promising myself that if SRT scored big, then I would never ask him to for anything else. And when God answered by scoring 98, you can imagine the joy.

    And I have kept my promise...I have never asked anything else from SRT sicne then....except for the occasional 100 :))

    By Blogger rp, at 17:19  

  • @sauravganguly - i agree with his perspective in this instance. I would like SRT to be back too. Pragmatically thinking it improves our chances of winning. I just object to his rather "quaint" turns of phrase. Some (not a lot - read PP *toadying alert hehe*) write about cricket without expecting me to gush and faint. This is just a random instance i pointed out. To me most of what he writes is bilge. Especially since he has access to the team , sunny "corleone" bhai and the rest of the pack.
    Slightly unrelated - have you ever heard Arun Lal state anything without a rider ? I remember him answering a question on air about what might happen in an Ind Vs NZ match - on a green/damp NZ wicket - his answer has stayed with me till now - " if the bowlers bowl well they will get wickets , if the batsmen bat well they will get runs " . I dont need him to tell me that.

    By Blogger vengun, at 17:19  

  • SauravG,

    "How many people really give up an I-banking career after their MBA and take up a risky profession like cricket journalism"

    Does not mean he is good?

    Frankly, I don't think that guy understands cricket.

    Reminds me of Henry Blofield.
    Great commentator (on BBC radio) for the Casual listener. But once you see beyond his 'girl with the earring' comments, there is very little substance.

    Harsha has a different style, but in essence I get the same feeling with reading his article. Writes well, but no real substance.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 17:22  

  • Vengun, Ravi Sastri is another one;

    "Now what India don't want is to lose another wicket".

    As if...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 17:25  

  • LOL @ Vengun. The Arun Lal Quote needs to be on T-shirts ;-)

    I think it might be interesting to discuss PP's Style Versus Harsha's Style.

    Harsha is more the romantic mould while PP is the stern uncle who you are scared of ;-)

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 17:25  

  • toney,

    Yeah, that was a cool ad!

    By Blogger rp, at 17:25  

  • >>>og,
    Do you remember the really good return catch that Kapil Dev took?
    <<<

    Yup - Richie Richardson C&B by KD and then LBW of Kenny artherton. These two wickets and Lara's bowled by SRT was what broke WI's back and I honestly thought that KD should have been the MoM (ahead of AK) of that match because of his good batting in lower order and super bowling. But we won and that's all mattered.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 17:25  

  • rp
    And I have kept my promise...I have never asked anything else from SRT sicne then....except for the occasional 100 :))

    LOL, rp. Thats the case with all of us. We all expect the occasional 100 from him, occasional meaning one in every match.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:34  

  • From the same article "I want to see him rock on the back foot and play that stunning drive through the covers".

    I thought cover drive was best done on front foot.

    By Blogger J, at 17:39  

  • @Saurabh Wahi LoL - I thot he was pretty cute in his Shaz n Waz show tight t-shirts.

    @sganguly: I am all for better literary standards in the print media. I think PP (and a few others) are balanced, facts and opinions are both presented. Facts/Stats too only have so much importance. I agree with the sentiment that "agar agarkar allrounder hai to mein aishwariya rai hoon". My younger brother though is a huge backer. So opinions also count. But only opinions in an article ? day in day out - thats a nice scam. Its like we keep posting on this blog and we get paid for it. No hard work neccesary. All his articles have these couple of lines which make me cringe. He delibrately includes them , im sure he thinks its his style.
    But then he gets paid for it , and i dont for posting on this blog.

    By Blogger vengun, at 17:39  

  • @J, SRT plays a lovely back foot cover drive. It is a tough shot to play. And SRT usually does it effortlessly. I have never seen anybody in the level I play in do it at all.

    But i've seen both SRT and Lara do it in full ish-tyle

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 17:41  

  • Saurabhi wahi - I think you got it all wrong on blofield. i have been listening TMS for long time and blofield is been fantastic. Mind you on radio, earring s and all dont count too much and Henry has been fantastic. He made Ashes commentry on radio special.

    By Blogger J, at 17:42  

  • I agree with j on blofield.. I like his voice more than anything.. sounds so cheerful.. and remember he isnt the expert commentator.. usually has an expert to tell the viewers the nuances of the game.. he provides the canvas.. the backdrop if you will for the real artist to paint his masterpiece..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:48  

  • @Vengun ;-) I have noticed the trend lately about Harsha. But I think his role in Express is for his opinions.

    Match reports are done by somebody else.

    I like it when he is happy though. I do not like him whining. For example, he must have been happy when he wrote the following piece on Jhonty Rhodes:

    Sometimes you can spend the whole day waiting for that one memorable moment; a cover drive, a direct hit, a big leg break….sometimes we assign that status to far more mundane events in an effort to justify our love, or indeed, the time we have spent. But occasionally, only so rarely, the most breathtaking piece of action explodes right in front of you.

    It happened to me in Melbourne and I must confess now that I screamed as I saw it happen. The cameraman and sound-recordist beside me, already a bit amused by Cancerian fluctuations in my mood, looked benevolently on. They were very good technicians but they could not have been cricket lovers. They continued sitting, you see.

    It was the day before the first game at the Colonial Stadium. Years of experience have taught me that this is a necessary evil….you wait for the one predictable sound byte that you have waited for several times before. And so we were, under the roof watching Lance Klusener practising his long hits in the nets. Just as a precaution, about eighty yards away was another net. You would have thought you were safe behind it. Klusener had decided that he would treat that as his practice boundary line.

    Meanwhile Jonty Rhodes, having had his “hit” was relaxing with a bottle of water about thirty yards away when Klusener launched into one of his ninety yarders. From the corner of his eye, Jonty saw it coming. Almost instinctively, he cut short his conversation, threw away the plastic bottle and sprinted after it like a frisky dog chasing a ball on a beach.

    He wasn’t meant to get there because the ball had too much of a lead on him. But then, few things are meant to happen when Jonty is on the field. And so, as the ball descended, teasingly out of reach, he took off. Hands met ball five feet in the air, then together they came down to ground as the finest athlete of our times slid a good metre and a half along the turf.

    The feat accomplished, he merely threw the ball back and went off to complete his conversation. It was a while before I sat down.

    And to think that it wasn’t even a cricket match; that he could merely have watched it float away to be retrieved by the many pre-match hangers-on.

    It was magical; the kind of action that makes pilgrims out of us. The game may be threatened but there are some safe hands around.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 17:48  

  • saurav - that was great!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:53  

  • "J", he is good to listen to but his commentary is full of errors, and has very little substance.

    You only realize it when you watch the game live and listen to Henry Blofield at the same time.

    I watched the Natwest Finals this year while listening to him and was shocked with the inaccuracies of his comments (He actually called a cover drive a square cut on more than one occasion!!!).

    Like I said, his commentary makes for good entertainment, but I would not want to learn my cricket from that guy. For that, I would prefer to go to Boycott's mom :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 17:55  

  • j,
    On the back foot cover drive: I think that is a difficult shot to play. ANd to clarify, yes, the cover drive is played off the back foot too. SRT plays a good one. VVS does too, if I am not mistaken.
    I remember one particular shot of RD, a sq drive of the back foot, flourish and all.
    For me, SRT's pull shot stands out. He has been out on it but remember the finals of an ODI series in SA (where Donald abused RD after being hit for a 6)? SRT hit a stunner off Rudi Bryson (I think) in that match. I havent seen him connect better than that.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:58  

  • Toney, SRT's best shot has to be the straight drive past the bowler...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 18:02  

  • in terms of technique, yes. I meant in terms of the joy I get, the pull shot.
    The straight six against Kasper in Sharjah is an exception though :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 18:05  

  • Straight drive 'past the bowler'.

    Now, that's another cliche!

    Can you hit a straigh drive past anyone else but the bowler?

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 18:05  

  • the umpire? :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 18:10  

  • @Saurabh - LOL, You are a minimalist. I am sure if you are asked to comment, you would be in the richie benaud mould ;-)

    If you take away bread and butter statements like:
    "Catches win matches"
    "We need a good partnership here"
    "x needs to stop fishing outside the off stump"
    "Kapil dev/any bowler walks back to his bowling mark"
    "What India don't want is to lose another wicket"
    "That is the end of the over"
    "Agarkar has a first-class century to his name"

    What else are they going to say?

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 18:13  

  • @Saurabh Wahi - how about a straight drive past the umpire ?? just to shake things up ??

    @sganguly:i can see that you enjoy reading HB. i have no problems with that. He sets my teeth on edge thats all. His "sometimes .. blah blah .." opening might be his trademark now.
    "Sometimes the truth is boring, sometimes fantasy is alluring"
    Thats from his mail sent to the CricketNext guys. PP blogged it under 'Fall Guy? who, me ?' . I could point out quite a few of those "Sometimes..." opening line. Sometimes lots of things happen. Whats he now ?? philosopher ? social commentator disguised as a cricketing one ? What would Jose Mourinho say ?? "Sometimes .. the best team lost ? "
    Im sorry but he is an ass.

    By Blogger vengun, at 18:17  

  • saurav,

    Thanks for that Jonty Rhodes article...

    On that note, it was sort of sad (and cruel) to see Donald and Jonty leave the game due to injuries rather than play the WC entirely (which was supposed to be their last series anyway) and then retire.

    By Blogger rp, at 18:17  

  • vengun,
    i believe harsha is a great writer. you should read his pieces in wisden. he writes something not exactly related to cricket. i am not saying its supported by analysis, but why should it be. he can write prose very well, and he does that. he has a great knack of story telling.
    I would say Harsha was by far my favorite writer till i read the book "pundits from Pakistan" from Rahul bhattacharya. not a single lazy line. Man, that kid has loads of talent. and he is just 26 or 27.
    i wish he writes more often for cricinfo.

    By Blogger criclogic, at 18:22  

  • *** Will leave you guys with one more Harsha Special. Doing this for Harsha. The recent article in Express was born out of desperation and obviously not good. One melodramatic article, in a moment of disgust, should not be taken as his representative work. Read this one about Ambrose *****

    Curtly Ambrose and his magnificent, but tired, body can head off in peace to those fabulous beaches in Antigua. Those long legs, that seemed attached to chest rather than hip, can stretch themselves and let the gentle waves lap into them. Curtly Ambrose can relax, aware that his job was well done; aware too that a lot of batsmen around the world will secretly relish his desire to relax.

    That tarantula on his head won’t look quite as forbidding any more; that predatory lower lip will look just a touch less vicious.

    The years had taken their toll on Ambrose, the nip that scared a batsman into submission had lost its edge. But like the great fast bowlers in the game, and with four hundred Test wickets he storms into that club, he let the mind overcome the increasing inadequacies of his body. When he had bowled his last ball in international cricket, he was no longer a scary bowler but he was still a very very difficult bowler to play.

    The secret lay in a beautiful action that demanded so little of his body. It lay in his ability to put the ball where he wanted to and it lay in the patience of an angler. In the last couple of years, Ambrose had stated his case very clearly; he was going to bowl to a spot on the pitch and if the batsmen wanted to score off him, they would have to come and take him on. There were no free runs with Ambrose, often there were no runs at all!

    And yet, as batsman around the world will testify, it wasn't always like that. There was an aggressive streak in him, when his arm was thrown skyward, his wrist cocked like a spring about to explode, there was fire in the eyes. When he followed through, when he cast his eyes down at you from handshaking distance (with Ambrose it didn’t matter how far away he was, he always seemed to be at handshaking distance!), he instilled fear in a batsman. Those lips rumbled sometimes and for a man who hardly ever spoke, it must have felt like the sound of thunder.

    Fast bowlers have evoked fear through the pace they generated, Ambrose created the same effect by sheer presence. He used his assets well. He knew that his height and the lovely high point of delivery ensured that the ball would always hit the bat a little higher than the batsman would like it to. And so, he bowled a wonderful length; a touch predictable but he knew that if a batsman wanted to score off him, he would either have to be content with nudging a ball around or he would have to take a chance. That explains that awesome economy rate. If Ambrose didn’t get wickets, he didn’t give away runs either; a wonderful lesson that was lost on the less intelligent generation that followed.

    That he could not pass the torch on in the manner that his amazing predecessors did would hurt him. But it had little to do with his inability to pass on the tricks of the trade, it had more to do with the arrogance, with the limited skills of those that followed him. Had Franklyn Rose, Mervyn Dillon, Reon King and Nixon McLean shown either the commitment or the skill, Ambrose would probably have retired a year ago. He might at best have been the support bowler and surely that is how West Indies cricket would have liked it to be.

    Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Ambrose as the third or even the fourth seamer in the side. Two strapping young men have zinged the ball around at a scary pace and have just retreated to third man and fine leg. The batsman wants to breathe a little more freely when up comes Ambrose to bowl an eight over spell for no more than fifteen runs. When the young guns come back, the scoreboard looks almost the same as it did when they took their sweaters. A quiet two years in that role and Ambrose could have retired in peace. Instead sadness and frustration will leave an inevitable after taste for when Ambrose rested after a mean spell, the floodgates opened and life suddenly became liveable, almost easy. The end of his spell was a sign that the party could begin.

    Still, it must have helped Ambrose that Courtney Walsh at the other end, had an almost identical philosophy to life. Their names were synonymous in the last couple of years. When you said Ambrose and Walsh, you thought “and” was the middle name.

    There is no doubt that without the equally persevering Walsh, Ambrose would have cast his boots away in disgust. He spoke very little, but he spoke more pointedly than Walsh did. Unlike Walsh, whose heart seemed to be buried in the deep recesses of a large body, and was coated by an impenetrable layer of dignity, Ambrose often wore it just a couple of layers beneath his skin. You could tell when Ambrose was angry, you couldn’t with Walsh. In the absence of his team-mate I suspect he would have spoken out a lot more.

    The numbers will leave behind a wonderful legacy for Curtly Ambrose. They will tell of the number of times he cast a forbidding eye at defeat and blew it away with breathtaking spells of bowling. As the pitches in his native West Indies grew increasingly unpredictable, he grew increasingly unplayable for with his physical attributes and great skill he was unmatched on bad wickets.

    Now he is gone and it is like half the roof has gone over the West Indian cottage. In recent times they have been vulnerable but now they will be exposed. If Walsh goes as well, and I suspect it is only the dream of being the first bowler to reach 500 wickets that will keep him going, the West Indies will, for the first time, look like lambs. Without weapons, the predators will be easy prey.

    And Ambrose will sit by the beach, by the beautiful gentle waters. Those giant Herculean shoulders will no longer be available to prop up a falling structure. The next generation has to find its own claws while Curtly Ambrose, at last, draws them in.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 18:31  

  • @criclogic: I havent read what he has written for wisden. Perhaps you are right about that as well as RahulBhatt. I will try and read up on that. Thanks for the referral. But im coming off harsh(no puns) on Harsha coz i think you hit the nail on the head. Too many lazy lines. Maybe columns have deadlines and its paid work. Plus of course he's been on air for a long time. And thats bound to get anybody stale. Sometimes even non cricketers have comfort zones. hehehe

    By Blogger vengun, at 18:32  

  • @sganguly: Tx for the effort man! i really appreciate it. But you oughtnt to take what i said too seriously. Its not as if i think HB is Gabbar Singh. Im sure he is a lot better than my estimation. I was ranting a bit.

    @criclogic: I have read The Picador Book of Cricket , compiled by Ramachandra Guha. A collection of cricket based writings. Many of them are in the romantic mould than not. I liked it very much and I read it quite often. I too like varied takes on cricket. All i ask for is that they be half decent.

    By Blogger vengun, at 18:42  

  • ;-) Don't worry guys. I am actually enjoying this discussion. Nice to see Ganguly's name hasn't cropped up even once in this blog (apart from my id of course) after so many posts. I think this is a record. I mean, there was big news that he completed seven laps of Eden Gardens (LOL) and thankfully, pro-sg groups didn't say, "look at his fitness" and anti-sg groups didn't say, "he is showing off"

    Nice. Bye guys

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 18:45  

  • @sganguly: adios. it was an interesting discussion and i did get to rant a bit. Now if you were the original dada THEN we could have a really intersting talk . heheh. Bye for now.

    By Blogger vengun, at 18:52  

  • saurav,

    Thanks for the articles mate...I'm a huge HB fan too! Keep posting such stuff! And I'm glad too that SG wasn't brought up at all...

    By Blogger rp, at 18:58  

  • Prem,

    I wanted to make a suggestion (if it hasn't been made already): Would it be possible to create a link on this blog that would take us to archives of previous articles written by yourself, Harsha, Faisal etc.? Maybe you could save the text of these articles somewhere on the blog itself?

    By Blogger rp, at 19:11  

  • I get furious when I read such articles....
    Its true that cricket has taken a back seat in the drama, and as cricket lovers, all that we are looking for is good cricket..

    Generalizing the article to make it sound like the entire Indian cricketing world is waiting for Sachin is so naive!!
    I seriously believe all Sachin related material is for publicity sake (remember Nasser Hussain voiding the world XI thats playing without Sachin)
    Harsha ofcourse writes brilliantly most of the times, but he invariably sucks up to some cricketers and I find it hard to digest!

    Its time to move on with cricket... I could care less if it was with or without sachin!

    The comment by santa_from_nj right at the top really made the most sense....

    By Blogger teZasvi, at 19:12  

  • Not to worry guys. Sachin hasn't "left and gone away".

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 19:27  

  • its not going to be easy for sachin.
    1. post surgery
    2. long lay off
    3. obvious lack of match fitness
    4. needs to find out what GC has in store for him - was saying something about a new role for sachin in the indian batting order considering his age experience etc. when he took up the job.

    we should really give him some time before we start to expect hundreds of him.

    By Blogger inoc, at 19:36  

  • The recent article in Express was born out of desperation and obviously not good. One melodramatic article, in a moment of disgust, should not be taken as his representative work

    Correction: The language is still good. Harsha has this mellifluous style of writing. Let's not take that away from him. What I mean't was that the content was way too melodramatic, not the language

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 22:11  

  • In the article,Harsha says: Indian cricket and its fans need to gape at, applaud that cover-drive, not watch the sport being reduced to primetime soap
    Well ! Harsha too played a part in it !

    By Blogger niti, at 08:52  

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