Rediff Logo World Cup 99
May 4, 1999


Guest column -- Au revoir, Carl Hooper:
venkatraman sundararaman: Nice way to send of "CARL". But its very early for him and it is very shock for his fans.

The funny side of cricket :
Phaneesh: This is a famous joke about B.S.Chandrashekar. His wife once called up the dressing room when a match was going on and asked for him. She was told by the person at the other end that he had just gone out to bat. She told him, "don't worry I'll Hold. He's going to be back very soon.."

This one is about the famous WG Grace. Doc was a great cricketer but not exactly a great sport. One bowler in a county match found that out when the first ball was clearly snicked and Mr. Grace did not walk. Then the next one was nicked as well but both the umpire and WG Grace did not think so. The third ball beat his defence and went on to hit the stumps and knocked 2 of them down. As WG Grace was preparing to leave, an exasparated bowler told, I thought you'd stay and say one of the stumps is still standing.

Celebrating Sachin:
Phaneesh: Just as there were quite a few plus points in what Arvind said, there were quite a few in what Prem has himself said in the article. Considering for starts that Arvind tried to plump Gavaskar as a better LOI player than Tendulkar on the weight of statistics seemed ridiculous. Adding to the couple of "statistical quotes" Prem has butted in, I am reminded of another that seemed very apt in this context which says, "Statistics will tell whatever story you want them to tell."

Although Sachin has been phenomenal only in the last year where he hit up an amazing 9 centuries, the hype has stayed with him for years now. It is true that many of the matches that he has hit centuries have been played in subcontinent/Sharjah pitches. The only centuries outside of India have been against Zimbabwe, one each in SA and Zimbabwe itself. That does not in any way take away the sheen of his being the highest century scorer in LOIs. The other sad thing is Tendulkar has performed only a few times when the ask has been big. Before the 80 he made at Sharjah, when chasing an Aussie score of 250 odd, which he followed up with that wonderful 143 and the 134, there have been very few matches where Sachin has scored 50 when the ask has been 250. The hype however has been there.. and all the time. It is one thing to hit up an 100 when chasing a score of 200 and get the MOM. It is entirely another to come up with a huge knock when the odds are stacked agianst you. On this front Lara is certainly a better performer than Sachin. (his recent 213 and 150* and the famous 153* at Sharjah.. his century against SA in the quarters of the World cup. His 100 in the triangular series in Australia a couple of years back.. lots of innings)

What Sachin does bring into the Indian team has been the aggression that we miss out on in the beginning of the innings. It is unfair to call the Indian team as an one man army or whatever as that wouldn't be fair to the others. Sachin is important. But no more or less important than any of the top players are to their teams.

Coming to the arguement about comparing players of different eras. Don Bradman had written a very interesting article in this regard.. I guess in 1948 or so. If I am not wrong the same was published on the Rediff site on his 90th anniversary. In that he had written how generations improved on their previous ones and how things keep improving all the time. He had even felt that technology was not the only reason why results improved from on generation to the next and sited the example of the swimming pool where there were hardly any changes but the results kept improving all the time. He said that a "great player of one generation would be a great player in any generation. Only the methods could change" I think these statements come in handy here. There is no point in trying to compare greats of 2 different generations like Prem pointed out.

Hopefully the Indian team proves that it is after all a good team of eleven players rather than eleven good players of a team in this world cup..

Regards, Phaneesh.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
milind: Read this artical

The Sanjay Manjrekar column :
Manish Bhatt: Sanjay This was sensible from you

Celebrating Sachin:
Satish: I think PREM wud be the most popular columnist in India now :-)That was a fabulous piece attacking Arvind. So, is Mr. Lavakare fired!! :-)

Sports Editor replies: For the record, what was carried on the site was a debate between two journalists on a subject of some interest. Not a conflict. Further, Arvind Lavakare is a freelance journalist, there is no question of him being 'fired'. He continues to be a valued contributor to Rediff

Celebrating Sachin:
prasen: hi prem, i think people like arvind larkare should be given a chance to write more often instead of the 'crowd-pleasing' and 'not-challenging-the-established' journalists like prem panicker....and guys please do not indulge in a mockery on a subject called 'statistics' i guess prem's article was directed to get the 'wah-wahs' from those who think sachin is a 'cricket-god', just getting back on that although there should not be any doubt he is great but prem we should not forget that out of his 21 centuries 17 of them were in the flat pitches of the subcontinent (& sharjah), secondly he was a flop while playing for yorkshire in a season althoug we can argue that he has developed into a much better cricketer now..thirdly he has not been tested under the genuine pace bowling and funnily seaming bowling under the tricky english condition by bowlers of great not get me wrong and i pray to god and hope that he has the better of the donalds and the pollocks and the goughs....and guys please do not hate arvind who just tried to make a good 'anti-establishment' point ...we should be able to take in the truth in some cases with a pinch of salt!!!!!!!!!

that no one is greater than the game itself and everyone has its share of failures and sachin does too....prem is a very good journalist but why not have the other side of the coin too (the opposing view) and make the discussions healthy instead of cheap and attacking.....i have a great respect for prem and i did not really appreciate the 'crude weapons' he used in attacking a journalist who has a slightly different view of the world....please make this avidly followed corner a place of healthy discussion instead of a 'mud-slinging' corner..thanks

The Harsha Bhogle column:
venu: : "...even though it was really Lara, Walsh and Ambrose versus Australia..." ?!!!! Go check up the score boards again ol' chap - you'll find a certain Mr. Adams who stuck on to make sure that Lara gets an opportunity to strike gold - not to mention small contributions from other team members - please, lets not make cricket like the American "team games" - where team spirit is rarely more than sthing that sounds good.

Celebrating Sachin:
: excellent.please donot fight over statistical jugglreries.enjoy the greatness of players like SachinTendulkr for we may not be seeing the likes of him in our generatuion again and we mat not have anythimg to tell our grand children of our pleasure watching a cricketing genius of all times of the gaame of CRICKET.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
krishna: Mr Bhogle: 'Aaaz ech WI werene parte aalo' They are a big political mess.

They have nowno one except Prince of Portof Spain - BC Lara.

In a certain fashion Sir C Hoops was driven out of cricket.

What do they know, those who only know cricket.


The Harsha Bhogle column:
Balaji: Nope... The last series of Pakistan in India points that they are not as good as the hype even in India !

Guest column -- Why India is a favourite for the Cup: Raghu: : You have not given why Sri Lanka & New Zealand cannot come to finals. You just Hyped the things. Being a patriotic is a good thing , but some times it also keep the true facts far away.

Celebrating Sachin:
vinaya: Prem, you said what every indian wanted to say but could not put it in such great words.You showed the diffrence between a class writer and an arrogant rookie.Game set and match...Prem Panicker!!

The Harsha Bhogle column:
Vishnu: Hi, I agree with Mr. Bhogle that the pakistan now seems in tatters and require to regroup , but as we have all known like in the world cup in australia, they had their problems there were even on the field disagreements between Imran and Javed, but they also have a passion unmatched by any other country for the game of cricket.

I remember that Sanjay manjerekar had once made an analogy between gully cricketers and Pakistan team. Yep that is true, they kinda field inferior so they always try to take it out in the game of cricket. And again i still think Pakistan would be the most passionate team in the world cup and we all know what that makes them.

West Indies I agree have a very bleak chance. Hooper was very important to their calculations. Jimmy adams is not a fast scorer, so away from home this would add to his scoring rate woes on top of his already dismal record.

Australia is a certainity.

But i believe New Zealand will make it in. They have a lot of allrounders and can bat till No:10 - 11. So i am not sure about their away record but i would give them a chance above West Indies. infact i believe that they might even be better than Australia, who despite making itmay just be the 3rd in placement from this pool.

i believe

1.Pakistan Zealand 3.Australia

but...... haha i know this is wierd.

i am very very confident of NZ and Aus but.... pakistan they will either finish on top or (if they are not) third.

Celebrating Sachin:
rohit: Hi Prem, I had responded to Arvinds report "bursting the bubble" in a very similar fashion as yours. However, i hadn't had much of a statistical backup to prove it. I liked your report very much and i totally agree with you about sachins great contribution to Indian cricket.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
Chandra: Excellent Article by Harsha.

Thanks, Chandra.

Celebrating Sachin:
Vinod Krishnan: cool..excellent way to give it back to someone in pure style.. hats off to u !!!

Celebrating Sachin:
Amit Sondhi: Brilliant article. I think it makes Mr. Arvind look like a geyser.

Guest column -- The agony of being an Indian fan:
Vikram: Excuse me.. what transformation are you talking about?

Replacing Azhar with an inexperienced captain for the world cup is not a good idea.

We need an experienced captain and above all a player who is used to the playing conditions in England.

Who can better Azhar in terms of experience and success in England?

Lets all hope that India performs well at the world cup rather than brooding over whom to appoint and what to do.

It just degrades the player's morale and above all agonises an Indian Fan more.

Celebrating Sachin:
mihir: prem let me begin with congratulating you on your brilliant piece , u coudlnt have put it across in a better way.

my point is this , i ackowledge that sachin is one of the greatest there has ever been, at 26 he has acheived what mos cricketers dream of at thier prime thats about late 20's and early 30's i think , i repeat that it is only in my view that , there is a slight flaw in sachin's temprament, i think its the stochastic youthfull exuberance, i have noticed that sometimes the youth in him takes over from the genius, he has gotten out on numerous occasions , at a time when u feel that yes, its time for a long knock , for eg , i think his knock of 80plus against australia , at edengardens , he could have played on and on, but he holed out at point trying to play over points head, i think thats the chink in his armour, its so random that its overlooked by comentators and journalists alike i would like to know your opinion on this thats it

The game of the century:
Aravind A.: Excellent article. Very well written. I would love to read a few more from this guy.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
prashanth kulkarni: Putting some thought into these various situations, & simply considering all the teams of the various groups that are expected take back the coveted cup all of them have the same chances of winning, but!! it is proven by hisotry that only teams with good leaders as captains take back the cup, citing names:loyd,kapil(dont speculate agree),border,imran,ranatunga,(cronje/ranatunga). This artticle really makes us think & probably reason out our failures inspite of star performers in our side,yes we have a man but how nice it would if ours would be a team of two atleast(where 10 = one).

The Harsha Bhogle column:
gsb: Harsha-

I think you are the few of the writers in Rediff, who write sense. Thanks for keeping me from reading crap.


Celebrating Sachin:
Sreeganesh: Hats off to you,Prem PanickerJi ! That was a fitting reply to one of the disgusting mails that one can read by Arvind "Somebody". I hope he takes back his words and starts thinking normally.

Did he try to make a name to himself by talking and giving unwanted statistics against Sachin ? Three Cheers to you !!!!!

The Harsha Bhogle column:
N. Anantakrishnan: I think New Zeland are the dark horse of not just Group B but of the tournament as well . They have all "bits and pieces " players ideally suited to operate in seaming Enlish conditins . If they develop a fierce desire to win they are the team to be feared !

The Harsha Bhogle column:
Raghu: Yes, I agree with Harsha..Credit goes to India to bring back Paki team together. Also, to raise a small palyer into a superstar. But what I surprise is it is exactly other way to Indians. When they come against Paki they are totally weak and become a perfect door mat with the exception of Tendulkar!! Indian has to learn lot from Tendulkar apart from just batting. Hope they have alredy started doing it!

Celebrating Sachin:
Anish: Great going Prem Panicker. You nipped it(him) in the bud(butt).

Sachin versus Bradman:
Rajaram: This is a pathetic column and shows that the writer will go to any extent to get some name. My heart goes out for his dependents because if he keeps writing like this, he will be jobless soon ... agreed there can be only ONE Bradman but rating Tendulkar below Gavaskar is unpardonable and ask Sunny n he'll give more than one reason for that ...

And btw how many Jonty Rhodes, Ricky Pontings were there when Gavasakar or Bradman batted ? Mr. Aravind, you are talking about one day averages of Gavaskar and Tendulkar ? Do you realize you are talking about cricket the game and NOT cricket (the bug) that makes irritating sounds (quite like you) in the night ? Gavaskar started playing cricket when he was 21 and by the time he played 102 matches he was well and truly at the end of his career .. Sachin made his debut at a tender age of 16 , at an age when most guys are busy trying to impress girl friends and slogging out to pass their 10th exams !!!

I hope rediff keeps such mediocre and irritating writers at bay .. -Rajaram

Celebrating Sachin:
Rajaram: Thanks Prem ... you somewhat managed to cool my boiling blood.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
Nikhil Shah: How very right , Mr. Bhogle ! Group B seems to be quite easy to play with.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
hassan : I think Pakistan will win the world cup .Whatever problems they may have they are going to overcome it.If all the players can lend Wasim Akram 100% of the support as thay have done before then Pakistan is the team.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
prashant: it would be really difficult to comment on each and every article of Harsha Bhogle because every article is of lot of substance. his view are forthcoming and unbiased. hopefully he continues to write such articles on regular basis.

The Harsha Bhogle column:
Anand Krishnan: Harsha,

This is Anand who recently met you on a flight from Mumbai to Delhi, and was complaining about the cricket scene in Singapore. Hey! SCV and ESPN have finally decided to broadcast live all 42 games. Did you have anything to do with it ?

Hope all is well, and do call when in Singapore.

rgds, anand

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