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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cricket at Taj(-worma)

Apparently that's what the ECB wants....'touristy' venues for Eng matches in the upcoming series. The issue that I spoke about, and Prem also referred to yesterday, has not been a few individual opinions afterall. It has reached the point where ECB is officially going to ask BCCI to reconsider, according to this story by Andrew Culf in Guardian. And the reasons? Here are the samples:
England are seeking an urgent rethink by the Indian cricket board of the itinerary for next spring's tour amid fears it will prove too gruelling for players and supporters. The schedule, released after weeks of delay, bypasses several large venues, including Calcutta, Delhi, Madras and Bangalore, that have the biggest stadiums and largest volume of high-quality hotel accommodation

So, when was the last time a touring team did not have enough hotel accommodation in India? And if they are concerned about the traveling batch of supporters, well cricket tours are not organised to accommodate them. All the venues are international class, where big teams (yes Aus also) have played earlier. But wait, there's more(emphasis mine):
The first two Tests will be staged well off the tourist track, in Ahmedabad and Nagpur, and Goa is the only city with a reputation for tourism among the seven one-day international venues

So now what? BCCI must organised cricket matches in Agra and Varanasi? Madras, Bangalore and Kolkata may be large cities with international flight connections, but certainly not on the 'tourist track'(any more than, say, Kochi)? And more:
Although the England and Wales Cricket Board has been diplomatic in public, officials are dismayed by the amount of traveling the team faces, particularly between the largely unknown one-day venues

But I thought they were unhappy with having small centers for test matches (Nagpur, Ahmedabad). So instead of second test in Nagpur, if we put it in Kolkatta(a 'big' center) won't it be more hectic travel for them? So, if I understand it right(which is a challenge) they want big centers *and* less hectic travel. Emm...I think GoI should consider, for the sake of world cricket, to shift Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai into a single cluster, somewhere next to Varanasi preferably. And oh, throw in that Taj Mahal somewhere there, please?(ofcourse I'm exaggerating, and being sarcastic:-)Wait, there's more
England believe they have been unfairly treated in comparison with Australia, whose four-Test tour last year included matches in Bangalore and Madras, as well as Mumbai, where England will play the third Test in March.

So this is what its all about, is it? Australia got a better deal, hmmm. But they did play in Nagpur, didn't they? And as far as I can remember, of the top of my head, Aus has also played ODIs in Indore(2001), Kochi(1998), Vizag(2001). And as far as tests are concerned, like it or not, there is a rotation policy in BCCI for allocation of test venues, and unfortunately that doesn't link to the tourist demands of English supporters. And here comes the bogey
Some see the scheduling as part of a move by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to destabilize the England team, others merely as a typically chaotic move by a board riven by internal disputes.

While I do understand and acknowledge that this is a good chance for promotion of tourism, and BCCI can work in co-ordination with GoI to help that cause to some extent, I don't see scope for too much of changes. India is a big country(and we face that in our daily work, personal lives as well) and travel is bound to be hectic. All that can he done to help it is have a prolonged tour with more breathing space for the tourist team. But they don't want *that*...do they?

And lastly, what about the 'heat' in India? How many of you think that the English would not have complained about a conspiracy of too many 'South Indian heat' venues had they got a test and a clutch of ODIs down there?
Gatting believes England are likely to be more affected by the weather in India than in Pakistan.

He said: "I've got some very strong memories of Madras, when I played there and it was 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

"It was very draining and hard to play in. You've just got to get into your head that you have to accept it."

67 Comments:

  • Hi,
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    Have a super day.

    By Blogger dewwy peterson, at 04:29  

  • Worma,

    The BCCI will suck up, and the ECB will have their way.

    Nagpur will say it's unable to host the game as it's not ready and Calcutta will step in and offer to help out.

    And ditto a couple of ODI centres....

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:03  

  • Worma..Sorry.. i think you are for once on the wrong track.Agreed,, english are the biggest moaners but is our board conduct perfect? For anyone connected with test cricket,Chennai/Mumbai/Kolkatta are the venues high;y familier and visible in international cricket.Same as playing in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Perth or as in the case of England Old Trafford/ Oval/Lords.For arguments sake how will you feel if the british offer touring indian team test match venues in Black pool,Edinburgh or some small city in wales or in the case of Australia in some provincial towns?I think there is no method in our madness be it team selection or venue selection or drawing a proper itinerary.Indians are generally quick to take offence and do not have the patience to first study the issue and understand the issues involved.our Smaller towns lack facilities and much worse than even the main test centers.Mohali must have the best stadium but it has one decent hotel.What happens to the tour entourage?Where will you shove them?

    By Blogger laks1234, at 05:13  

  • Worma..Sorry.. i think you are for once on the wrong track.Agreed,, english are the biggest moaners but is our board conduct perfect? For anyone connected with test cricket,Chennai/Mumbai/Kolkatta are the venues high;y familier and visible in international cricket.Same as playing in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Perth or as in the case of England Old Trafford/ Oval/Lords.For arguments sake how will you feel if the british offer touring indian team test match venues in Black pool,Edinburgh or some small city in wales or in the case of Australia in some provincial towns?I think there is no method in our madness be it team selection or venue selection or drawing a proper itinerary.Indians are generally quick to take offence and do not have the patience to first study the issue and understand the issues involved.our Smaller towns lack facilities and much worse than even the main test centers.Mohali must have the best stadium but it has one decent hotel.What happens to the tour entourage?Where will you shove them?

    By Blogger laks1234, at 05:13  

  • Laks1234, excellent point...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:25  

  • saurabh LOL....I think Nagpur will stay, although ECB may get away with changing Ahmedabad (for apparent reasons like security etc) And yes, I think a couple of ODI centers might also change. But thats not the point, is it? The point is the sort of flawed reasons they are coming up with, when asking for those changes.

    laks1234: I think the rotation policy for test matches is good. So whatever test venues we have, all teams play amongst those based on a reasonably transparent logic. Otherwise there would be favours and corruption etc in allocation bigger test matches (like the Eng matches) to the centers closer to the power heads in BCCI. Dont you think so?

    I would not mind the BCCI offering better centers to Eng, if that can be done transparently (so its not Mr Dalmiya returning favours to his pet associations). And btw, Eng offering bigger centers to India has more to do with commercial reasons, I would think? And even otherwise, if they allot Indian matches to smaller places, why should we complain? As long as we know that its done based on a fair system (which doesnt favour other visiting teams like Australia etc). In fact what Australia does with venue allocations (it offered Darwin and Cairns to bdesh, and even SL I think) is unfair. And it did that because those matches were commercially not important. I think Indian system is better.

    And as to method in our madness...I have posted the stats of our test match venues earlier....check out and you'll see a decent amount of rotation policy there. I would not go into selection issues here (although I have expressed my opinion on this earlier as well, and I dont see too much 'madness' in the 'method' there either)

    Most of those 'small towns' chosen for Eng have also hosted other big matches...even with Aus. So if Eng wants them changed, they should give the right reasons. And what would that be, you may ask? "That boss, we want our supporters to cheer us...and also to enjoy tourist sights of India, and be able to get freedom and booze etc in those places..basically we want a 'convenient' tour for us and our supporters"....I don't think all this can be accomodated for *any* touring team in India. And anyways, as I tried to point out, some of their reasons are self-contradictory...so what to do about those?

    By Blogger worma, at 05:27  

  • and excellent point Worma. Laks1234, your turn :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:30  

  • and as to the final point Mohali must have the best stadium but it has one decent hotel.What happens to the tour entourage?Where will you shove them? Well thats what we have in India...either make those stadiums null and void, and play cricket in big centers (which has lots of other cricketing implications, right down to the point of not having good cricket culture and future) or bear with it. As long as the teams get good facilities, I think that should be the cut-off limit (atleast on official negotiations).

    Btw, I'm not sure if Chandigarh has just one decent tourist hotel??

    By Blogger worma, at 05:30  

  • Well, this is a fantastic blog for all those into indian cricket, keep up the good work!

    As for the venues, IMHO we shouldn't tag our egos with the decision. Negotiating for a venue is perfectly logical, in the best interests of the game...of course we can have our own agenda as well, but when we go to tour England we would like a game in Lords/Oval wouldn't we? And any pressures towards making BCCI more professional, like announcing dates in advance, should be welcomed.

    As for English journalists - pity the poor bunch, they are a miserable lot looking for something to mourn about most of the time.... and follow celebrities to superstores.... let them say what they want, I am looking forward to an interesting clash of titans when they tour India....ranked 2/3 in tests, one already confirmed as a leading contender to the top spot and the other showing glimpses of resurgence and with a home advantage, a mouthwatering contest on the cards!!!

    By Blogger CricLover, at 05:32  

  • Worma,

    Have the ECB said they want the centres changed to 'tourist' centres or are you reacting to the media?

    The English media always goes into overdrive, no?

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:35  

  • well said, criclover.

    At the end of the day, cricket should be a winner. And if it means making some accaomodation, so be it...

    I don't buy into this 'rotation' policy. With everything else in Shambles when it comes to BCCI, I am surprised they hold that policy so dearly.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:38  

  • saurabh: I dont know about the official ECB stand, this article does mention that they're going to talk to BCCI about it. I dont think that has happened yet. But yes, I am reacting to the drums that the Eng media is beating (and we know all these together grow into a big pressurizing cacaphony by tour time...if you dont believe it, wait and watch. As I told you on the day of Berry's article, it *will* grow. And there were some doubters....and you can see its growing already. Telegraph, Times and Guardian have taken it up).

    As to the 'official' lines on which ECB would negotiate with BCCI, no clear idea as to what those can be. What can they be, in your opinion?

    By Blogger worma, at 05:41  

  • And I am sure Daniel Brigham did not write this article just to score any brownie points over the Indians.

    http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/222038.html

    How do you expect ANYONE to have respect for you, let alone the POMS...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:41  

  • saurabh...yes a lot of other things are in shambles in BCCI. So you want the venue allocation to go the same route? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:41  

  • hey, I'm not here to defend BCCI in general...heck not defending (or attacking) anyone in general. I'm talking about the specific issues being raised by the Eng media...which according to me, is a well thought 'tactic'...rather than some scattered loony opinions

    By Blogger worma, at 05:43  

  • Haven't a clue Worma. Maybe offer the BCCI officials free trips to the UK in exchange for change in Venues :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:44  

  • LOL :-)..thats why I'm thankful for the rotation system(esp in the Indian context)...no allotment of venues based on free trips. Otherwise we're all sure it would have happened...no?

    By Blogger worma, at 05:47  

  • or the ECB will use the age-old divide and rule policy. After all Dalmiya does not see eye-to-eye with the ECB, so I am sure there will be others who will want thay eye-contact...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:56  

  • "the specific issues being raised by the Eng media...which according to me, is a well thought 'tactic'...rather than some scattered loony opinions"

    So let's see if the likes of Prem and others rally behind the BCCI and counter this :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:01  

  • something tells me it wont happen. Not part of our national character to rally behind our own to begin with.

    I am waiting for another 'leaked' email regarding this issue...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:02  

  • Gotta go. Flight to catch and get back to London to celebrate Diwali.

    Besides, I get this 'strange' feeling I am the only one around...

    Happy Diwali guys

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:04  

  • Well worma.."I am in a mood" like the famous blues track.How do we select test venues?

    1.It should have prior history.Like Lords is associated with English cricket,we do have few outstanding venues like Eden Garden,Chepauk(now name changed).In any other country, these venues will be treated as institutions and efforts will be made to develop them,to create an aura and gloss.Tell me which century will be remembered most?A test century at Lords or the one in Bloomfontain? and why?

    2.It should have a certain huge accomadation capacity to make it financially highly profitable.

    3.It should have excellent facilities for the spectators,players,media and for security.

    4.The city where it is located should have excellent air connections both domestic and international( not one flight a day to Delhi ) because in a big country like ours travel is a very big issue.

    5.Atleast half a dozen 5/4 star hotels sothat accomadation is guaranteed for the entire team and also for the media.It is impossible to get accomadation in certain times because of limited hotels available in a city.Please note hotels also caters to other visitors like sales conventions,exhibitions,business meetings.

    6.Safety from the view point of volatile spectator behaviour,internal strife like Gujrat /Delhi riots or terrorist prone places like Guhawati,Srinagar.A stadium like Bangalore gets scratched when the spectator's behaviour became boorish as happened during Pak tourfew years ago.Only good behaviour needs to be encouraged.Do we have a written code for that?

    If i were a BCCI HEAD, i will first draw a quality manuel for all the above issues and unless a venue does not meet at least 80% of the requirements,it will not be certified as a test or a one day venue.Do we as cricket public ever heard of what minimum criteria a venue should meet before it is considered a venue for international match? When we have such quality systems for the coffee we buy or even a potato chips packet we buy, why not for the cricket venues? Why are we outdated? Why inteligent people like you fail to see the point behind all these furoe from british? WHY SHOULD YOU FIND EXCUSES FOR A character LIKE JAGGU OR Runta or whoever else has been at the helm all these years?

    I have always found common people like us jump to the rescue of the high and mighty in this land who are most times devious.When they have suckers like us, why will these devious not thrive?

    I can write on the smae lines how to draw a tour itinarery.Especially in a sub continent like ours, i will not encourge the tour to have one match in Kochi,next one at Vizag and the third at Gauhati.Check our airline schedules and you can workout why..

    By Blogger laks1234, at 06:04  

  • Do you know what spectators experience at the venue? I will tell you my experience when i watched the Australia test match at Bangalore.First security took away the water bottles.They said we should manage with what we get at the stadium.As the afternoon approached,there was no water available to drink but plenty of pepsi and mirinda was available for atleast 3 hours.After many compalints, aquafina water was supplied.

    The urinals quickly became dirty and the stench was noticable.

    When we went to occupy the seats on the first day, the plastic seats were full of bird shit.

    Who were the guys serving food? Some local contactor serving some rubbish vadas and sticky rice.A city famous for MTR or Woodlands cannot motivate one famous hotelier to set shop.Why? Because the contract goes to someone known to power to be.Where is pride?Why not create the best facilities for the spectator?Afterall it is not going to cost them the earth.But indians as a race is crooked.We always cuts corners.Especially the rich and mighty of this land do not know what is quality living all about.We have only kachdas at all levels.

    By Blogger laks1234, at 06:14  

  • laks1234: about the six points you made:

    1) Test match allocation to venue with hostory? Well, if you don't allot test to other venues, how would they have a chance to get into history later on? And btw, some historical venues (like Kanpur's Green Park and now defunct Brabourne in Mumbai or K D Singh Babu in Lucknow) suck in terms of faciliies. Its better for tourists to play in Mohali than Babu stadium.

    2) Totally agreed, but I think most of our test venues have big enough capacity? (or, atleast, ECB wont have a point to complain if they ask for those 500 or so tkts that they ask for, I would think?) But anyway, I agree in general that all our stadiums need to be increased in capacity.

    3) Totally agreed. And from what I've read, all our stadiums suck bigtime in basic facilities. Even in big venues (as you recount in your Bangalore experience). So Eng should not complain about playing in Nagpur instead of Bangalore on these grounds?

    4) Yeah I know this air-connection problem. Even a city like Pune has a daily single flight to Delhi (and Mumbai). And Kanpur does not even have an airport (it shares Lucknow airport, 80 kms outside Kanpur). And Eng should thank their stars that they didn't get Kanpur as a venue ;-). But agreed, although air-connection is a generic problem for most of the Indian (even corporates). If you start counting on number of flights, then half the cuontry would be left out. And this is deterimental to cricket. An option is to have enough space between matches. If the boards agree, that is.

    5) I think most of the test centers surely have enough hotels (and I dont believe Chandigarh has only 1 decent hotel, anyone from there can confirm?). Some of the ODI centers may not have 5 big hotels...but I think the primary criteria should be that the team should get good accomodation. Which is the responsibility of the BCCI. And I'm not sure if Eng can complain on those terms.

    6) Safety...well no matter what we read about this in the media, I think this is one aspect in which our countries (and probably other countries as well) have good agencies working on it.

    >>Do we as cricket public ever heard of what minimum criteria a venue should meet before it is considered a venue for international match?

    Well, I do think there are some minimum criteria in place, before which a venue is not made 'international'. Whether we hear it in the media or not is different story. But I do think that some of these minimum criteria should be revised (like in your own example later, even seating and lavatory facilties are not up to the mark...I think all our stadiums need to be improved in that sense:-)

    And later when you say When we have such quality systems for the coffee we buy or even a potato chips packet we buy, why not for the cricket venues? Why are we outdated? Why inteligent people like you fail to see the point behind all these furoe from british? WHY SHOULD YOU FIND EXCUSES FOR A character LIKE JAGGU OR Runta or whoever else has been at the helm all these years?

    I have always found common people like us jump to the rescue of the high and mighty in this land who are most times devious.When they have suckers like us, why will these devious not thrive?


    Dude, who is jumping to save the BCCI administrators? Atleast my intention is to point out that the Eng media campaign has a flawed logic at work. Do read my points above, nowhere do I say (except for the rotational system in tests) that BCCI is doing a good job of anything. In fact even for the rotational system, I said that this system saves us from corruption in allotment of venues (which is sure to happen if we didnt have a well defined method)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:40  

  • Saurabh, great article by Brigham...haven't we also discussed the website issue of BCCI here also. But I do disagree with this point And where will children find out the best way to get into the sport? Not on the BCCI website; maybe they'll take up soccer or hockey instead. - I don't think it works that way in India.

    But still, there are lots of other reasons why BCCI should have a well managed website (and no reason at all why they should/could not have one till date)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:57  

  • Worma...One Ashes win and England wants everyone to bend backwards. Let them crib and cry.BCCI should stick to its guns and make the Pommies play at the alloted venues. We have seen and heard enough of the comments by Flintoffs and Flectchers of the world and now the English media.Maybe, the sudden ascendence of the Indian team has sent them into a tizzy and they are creating the background for a possible 'brown wash'

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 07:22  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 08:33  

  • worma: the website issue is right on..good article and proves that bcci while may be the richest board does not really have their acts together in overall operations..and i agree that using the website to drive the younger generation towards cricket will not really be needed..but the website could be useful once you are in the 'system'..meaning it will be more useful for players, state bodies & cricket associations, officials, etc..for the cricketing public to overlap with something similar like say cricinfo is not really necessary..unless other things can be done e.g. online transactions may be..

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 08:35  

  • yep indianfansrcrazy (wow..that id needs some careful typing ;-)...agreed. We've visited this issue earlier, with almost general agreement that there's a lot which BCCI can do with such a website. And it can definitely 'recover' the cost incurred on maintaing one, if not anything else.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:43  

  • The points laks1234 made are all valid. I agree with him on all counts. We have to be sensitive to the tourists needs and not act like babus. I am sorry to say but it looks like Worma is pulling at straws here.

    By Blogger Shyam, at 08:50  

  • shyam, but even I agree with laks1234 ! But the issue being blown up by the Eng media is not what laks1234 has highlighted, is it?

    By Blogger worma, at 08:57  

  • oh i see worma..must have missed the earlier discussion..kinda newbie here..btw, did you guys discuss whether or not the current administration is capable of doing certain things or is there a consensus that a new administration (with guys like bindra involved) will be more capable?

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 09:07  

  • Worma,
    just curious here.. are you from U.P. or you have a good knowledge of all stadium names?

    BTW, Chandigarh has plethora of good hotels.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 09:08  

  • indianfansrcrazy: no probs mate...we keep revisiting all the issues (some more often than others ;-)...so go ahead and state your opinions. We haven't had a specific discussion on current vs new administration...although Prem did once touch the subject of Pawar and what he may/may-not bring to the table.

    santa: LOL :-)...am from U.P. but I guess I know the names of most of the stadiums in India, I would think. Yes but people do tend to know more about the defunct stadiums of their region, esp the ones not used for a long time like the University Grounds in Lucknow not used since 1950s I think)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:16  

  • and thx for that info about Chandigarh, as I thought.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:19  

  • Worma,

    You are from Lko and that is why you know the name of KD Singh Babu.. isn't it?
    So are you from Mahanagar Boy's or Colvin or the good old City Montessori?

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 09:30  

  • santa, not fair :-))....I named Green Park and Brabourne also..but ok, you got it right ;-)

    although you didn't include all in the top names in that school listing....hmmm..so you're not actually from Lko..but you've been there quite a few times...a close relative there? Btw your using the acronym 'Lko' can be a conincidence, but shows that you're used to that name. Ehh...Watson? Right?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:38  

  • Mind games by the English. Guess they are making anticipatory excuses for losing.
    What are they complaining about travelling - all venues are well connected by flight and the farthest outposts of the country are not more than 90 minutes by air.
    As worma said - all venues (I am a Nagpur resident) have adequate facilities (if the admin wants to use them) - there will always be the corrupt ones who will provide low quality service to line their own pockets - and that as already mentioned here is equally applicable for the venues the English are croaking for.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 09:49  

  • Ok, I am from Mahanagar Boy's, and even did my B.Tech from IET Lko. Anyways, am I missing LaMart or St. Francis here?

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 09:52  

  • santa, LOL...looked like Watson messed up once again ;-)...am from St Francis'...'93 batch...and MNR '98 batch...

    By Blogger worma, at 09:56  

  • atleast me was right about the acronym Lko part...small consolation :-P

    By Blogger worma, at 09:57  

  • Here is what I think the BCCI should do:

    Give the ECB the "BIG" venues like Kolkota. Set em up in a nice hotel. Include some sweet amenities like free massages and all that good stuff. Since the Poms are in a very touristy mood, lets get them all relaxed and comfortable. Let them visit the touristy areas and have a good time.
    Then we can let them play a match in front of 100,000 people. 98.9% of who are the strongest Indian supporters, give them a turner which will start spinning from Day 1 to Session 2. The english supporters can enjoy the traffic and nightmares of the big city where they have to wait in the super long lines to get into the stadium, and where they get to enjoy sharing the toilets with another 100,000 people. Im sure they will be in for a good time.

    By Blogger deepinsleep, at 09:58  

  • worma,
    same old story, question is why our media dont stand-up on such issues?

    By Blogger MAHER, at 09:58  

  • I did not read through all the comments, so I don't know whether anyone has touched on this point or not. Does the BCCI submit any suppporting documents to the visiting board regarding the venues or does it just give a list of the venues? I mean if the BCCI gave the ECB a list of facilities (like 5/4 star hotels, training facilities, etc) they wouldn't have a reason to complain, would they? If the BCCI did supply such documentation and they were adequate then I agree, the Poms are whiners. But if the BCCI didn't then the ECB has a point. Let's face it playing cricket at the highest level is a demanding job and players are entitled to the best accommodations where they can relax and train. I am not aware which of the smaller cities have what facilities but it is up to the BCCI to inform the ECB about them. I think the following points have to be spelt out clearly for each venue proposed:
    1. Quality of accommodation
    2. Means of transport
    3. Amount of travel involved
    4. Training facilities

    Rest (tourist spots, etc) is just fluff and the BCCI should not be bothered.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 10:02  

  • deepinleep: not even going into that kind of extreme scenario, but just imagine if instead of Nagpur, the second match had been in Kolkata, and lets say instead of first one in Ahmedabad, it had been in Chennai. So its Chennai...4 days gap...Kolkata...4 days gap...Mumbai. And all square turners (as they usually are). I don't think Eng (or atleast their crusading media here) would *still* have been happy with it, would they?

    maher: dunno mate...it happens each time...I noticed our media lapping up the Aussie tales of woe and horror also in their visits (not so much in 2004, but earlier). And I think it will happen again. I wait for sections of our media to start feeding on these Eng stories.

    While I do think there are some conditions that the tourists have to face when in India, I think most of them are not going to change over-night...and definitely they are not the ones being highlighted by Eng media. (while laks1234 above has highlighted some of the real problems)

    By Blogger worma, at 10:05  

  • hjrsingh: I cannot say this with authority, but I think all that you are listing is taken care of by the host board anyways (travel, accomodation, training etc) so I think the details would have been provided, no? And if not, they should be. And they should be of requisite standards also.

    But if you read the Eng media rants carefully, they are not complaining about the facilities for their players. Its mostly about their supporters. And I am not sure if BCCI would be liable (or willing) to provide those details.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:09  

  • Just wanted to let you guys know that Darwin and Cairns are in the northernmost part of Australia. Those are the only big cities in Australia where cricket can be played in the Australian winter.

    The BD and SL tours were an experiment to introduce year round cricket in Oz. Those centers are nothing to sneeze at. They are siad to excellent facilities.

    By Blogger Arun Kolal, at 10:30  

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    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 10:30  

  • worma: i think it is a question of getting sporting pitches as well..how many sporting pitches (not only favoring the home team) do we have in india is what the poms should be rightfully worried about..the issue is they are not aware that other than the big venues that have produced some get games (i think it not correct to call all the big venues square turners only..they mostly favor spin but after the 3rd day or so..chepauk has been made lively at times..eden favors swing bowlers greatly..but they will turn as well)there are other grounds which will give them a chance as well..may be this is a perception and the only to change is by better marketing of other grounds

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 10:32  

  • yeah, someone needs to show them the Nagpur scorecard ;-)..but anyways...the point is that pitches in most of these venues, if not square turners (and I didn't mean it in an 'underprepared' way) are supporting spin. Ahmedabad, in fact, is a pretty dull one, and may not have any life for spin (low, slow spin). Again the same thing...did 'they' analyse any facts at all before starting this tirade?

    By Blogger worma, at 10:33  

  • arun: not doubting about the facilities at those centers. Just that they were chosen for hosting the supposedly 'lower' test status countries...what do you think might be the reason for that?

    By Blogger worma, at 10:34  

  • i think over the last few years since india had fairly good pace attack and our pace bowlers have won us test macthes as well..the perception that we are dependant on spinners only should change..we still depend on spin but we have better balance than before..the selection of grounds, more importantly pitch preparation, etc. should reflect that as well..there will need to be something for all aspects of the game..ideally a pitch that will provide for good batting (not flat though) assist both pace and spin as well..

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 10:43  

  • I hate to use obscene language - least of all in a blog -- but ENG just shut the FUCK up.

    By Blogger @mit, at 10:46  

  • hi worma

    the crux of the problem (which u keep referring to) does not seem to have registered in the discussions:

    no one in these discussions have any doubts or reservations to express the fact that BCCI is not repeat not doing a good job. there are vast areas that need improvement but those are points to discuss under a different blog with a different focal point.

    what we are discussing here is the illogical whining the english media has started. as rightly mentioned somewhere it is not in the brief or purview of the bcci to look into the creature comforts of the tourists who would accompany the team. i dont hear any one talking about why USA is out of the world cup 2007 itenerary (because they refused to guarantee visas to the fans of the teams that would participate in tournament - am sure that would have been the stand with England as well if the world cup had been held post 7/7 there).

    in any case all this hype is because a few of the ex-players bring in fans as tourists along with the cricket team. (australians do it all the time and now the english have picked up that business opportunity).

    but even if the bcci bends over backwards (which they may) and accede all requests for venue changes (which i hope they dont) the whining will not stop. once the tour starts the whine will take on a different note
    - too noisy a crowd
    - very spicy curry food ( for gods sake why do they eat that food if it does not suit them )
    - unsportive indian fans who only applaud sachins four but not flintoffs.

    (the list above is not imagined by me- they have all been comments exchanged between english commentators in the BBC TMS commentary)

    the list is never ending. perhaps the best way to stop them from doing something like this is when india tours england we must also write such scathing reports. am sure not many of the bloggers know that for the last world cup the india sri lanka match was scheduled at a ground that did not have even a system to convey the 3rd umpires decision electronically. they did it like indian rly stations with red and green flags waving out of the box holes near the score board. such things must be written in public and brought to the attention of these high horse riding english sports journalists so that they can be brought down to earth and reality.

    By Blogger indiaforever, at 10:56  

  • hi indianfansrcrazy

    this discussion about preparing sporting pitches is a non-starter. the whole discussion should actually be named as a discussion on how to prepare visitor friendly pitches. yes. the complaint is not actually that the pitches are not sportive but they are not visitor friendly.

    we do not talk about australia asking the first match in the tour to be at perth where they zip it up to you off the concrete slab! the only time they did not do it was when the windies visited them for the Tie series and that too presumably because at that time Windies had bowlers who were capable of using Perth better than the aussies could.

    By Blogger indiaforever, at 11:04  

  • About pitches...I want all test pitches in India to be spin friendly. Note, not under-prepared, but spin friendly. That, to me, falls under the category of sporting pitch.

    We may slowly be transitioning in our domestic structure, becoming more friendly for seam (in bowling, and also batsmen facing them) but, to me, its not *yet* time to make that transition in test matches.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:14  

  • Yeah! Provide facilities for the players, admins, tourists, vendors....
    All, except the people who matter: the spectators and the TV viewers.
    Lousy seats, lousy water, lousy food,lousy toilets, lousy shade cover from the hot sun, lousy parking, lousy advertisements cutting off the play, lousy commentating...
    Players speak up for themselves...
    The admin look after themselves...
    Govt. looks after the tourists....
    The vendors don't need looking after....
    Still we come packing in...
    So who cares?

    By Blogger penlax, at 11:23  

  • worma: spin friendly does not mean seamers will not get any wickets..i hope you mean that..case in point eden, chepauk, etc.

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 11:36  

  • indianfansrcrazy: yes ofcourse if its a sporting spinning wkt, it has to have quick spin, even bounce and not turn square from day one...so obviously it should have decent help from pace on day 1 atleast...I would think.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:18  

  • Like the last quote from Mike Gatting who says moans about the temperature and humidity in Chennai. Wouldn't it be great for them if they brought along Lords, Old Trafford, Headingly and Oval along with the surrounding environment, climate, etc. That would make it a fair and an even contest I suppose :-)

    By Blogger Rajesh M, at 13:16  

  • Worma, as I mentioned earlier, Normal Australian season starts in December when it is summer there.

    Cairns and Darwin are the only venues where cricket can be played during their winter -- they being close to teh equator and all. If you check you will find that both SL and BD toured Oz in July. At that time you cannot play cricket in any of the southern oz venues. Oz was trying to introduce winter cricket a la the sub-continent where we have year round cricket. I do not believe that it was a grand success...

    By Blogger Arun Kolal, at 14:52  

  • arun, point taken. My question....why do this experiment with B'desh and SL? Just coincidence?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:04  

  • I think the Englishmen are reading too much into their Ashes victory and are getting co**y with their words. Andrew Flintoff has spoken too much after the Ashes victory and now they believe they are the best team in world cricket. I really loved watching the Englishmen bowl and I was rooting for their victory. I don't remember India making such sounds after stopping Australia's test winning streak with a remarkable series winat home. There is definitely a big difference between the two series on the wicket front. The point is you don't demand No.1 status, you should command it ! England has a lot to prove to even make the claim.

    By Blogger Ragav, at 15:28  

  • It seems to be a good strategy for the Poms to get their media to do the whining on their behalf. What I don't understand is why we see a reaction only in blogs like these, but not in the Indian media, either in the new or columns. Also, as worma mentioned before, we never get to hear the relevant details of the issues, e.g. what are the minimum criteria for each venue to hold international matches, and how far the venues mentioned go towards fulfilling them.

    About the venues, I think an important question is whether anything about a venue (after it has met all the minimum requirements) should make a difference in it's qualification to hold a match.
    In other words, should the rotation policy be blind to other factors and facilities beyond the minimum needed for the team and schedule each venue with an equal weightage? Or should the board recognize that some venues are more equal than others, and make an effort to have a fair mix of 'normal' venues and hi-profile ones in at least the major tours. Or is this a superfluous question and is such a system already in place?

    By Blogger veryconfuzed, at 17:22  

  • Worma,

    Cricinfo had an article which gives the following as reasons:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/120184.html
    ===================================

    In addition to the economic and promotional benefits international cricket will provide to Cairns and Darwin, having facilities in Northern Australia will provide a number of strategic advantages to Australian cricket, including:


    1.Encouraging the growth of the national game by taking the Australian team to new areas;

    2.Providing access to new audiences to view cricket live;

    3.Ensuring Australia fulfills its commitment to play all other Test countries in a full series at least once home and away every five years;

    4 Allowing Australia's traditional rivals England, India, South Africa and the West Indies to continue to tour on the current four year cycle;

    5 Helping manage the heavy workload on players by not overloading an already tight summer schedule.
    =================================

    Now, NZ, ZIM, SL, and PAK have been accomodated along with the 4 mentioned in the Oz Summer. I don't see any "second" class status being accorded to anyone. I feel it is all a matter of scheduling.

    I am not denying that the oz public -- and hence ACB -- would rather see them playing the ashes instead of a test series with BD or ZIM -- not to mention the tv revenues earned. But, I will give them the benefit of doubt for now.

    The english on the other hand, don't have a leg to stand on as far as the tour of India is concerned.

    By Blogger Arun Kolal, at 17:56  

  • arun, ok mate....I make peace with the benefit of doubt you give. For now, that is :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 03:02  

  • All this brouhaha over the venues, but everybody seems to be condoning the biggest shortfall: just three tests. Read more about it on my blog here: http://yorker.wordpress.com/2005/11/03/cricket-comes-first/

    By Blogger Pratik, at 02:30  

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