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Friday, June 3, 2011

Do you remember the thrilling finals of ICL in July 2008

Rekindling old memories is always pleasant – here is something on a thriller of a match that I watched way back in July 2008 – this was circulated within my group through e-mail on 4th July 2008.

Dear (s)

The game of cricket is evert interesting and mesmerizing – ask any cricket lover.  How many times have you travelled in a bus or a train, glued to the window seat and as you pass by a vacant land – you are instantaneously drawn to the site of some country side bowler running in to deliver.  You would never know the fate of that ball – hit for a six, batsmen getting clean bowled or a sober defensive stroke.  Sure you would never know ! but that would never prevent any one of us in sticking our neck out and imagining things…………………..

Well, yesterday offered something much more interesting.  A match with all features of a thriller – some lusty hitting, good quality spin bowling backed up by smart fielding, a star team constrained to a manageable score; the not so fancied team starting off well, losing some quick wickets, messing up the end overs, a good final over and the not so regular result of a tie. It is indeed a parody that whilst some enjoy playing private league (IPL) some have been ostracized for doing a similar thing, nay to another club – the ICL.

For the uninformed, Indian Cricket League (ICL)  is  a private cricket league that runs parallel to the existing cricket league managed by BCCI.  The history records that   Zee Telefilms  promoted by Subhash Chandra bid for the telecast rights to the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Although the highest bid, it was unsuccessful. In 2004, Subhash Chandra again bid for telecast rights and ended up in an inconclusive court battle. He made another bid for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy rights and once again lost. He responded by creating the ICL.  The cricketing world was shaken. 
The BCCI is India's richest sporting body.  It is the apex governing body for cricket in India formed in 1929. The BCCI often uses government-owned stadiums across the country at a nominal annual rent. It is a private club consortium. As for any private club, BCCI or the state-level associations are not required to make their balance sheets public. As a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has the authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international events and exercises total control over them. Without its recognition, no competitive cricket involving BCCI-contracted Indian players can be hosted within or outside the country.  They were threatened by the creation of ICL and thought that their coffers would run dry and hence promoted their own league.
Coming back to the match, it was the finals (the second one at that) involving the locals – Hyderabad Heroes (with Maher, Kemp, Boje & Razzaq)  pitted against Lahore Badshahs a virtual pakistan team led by Inzamam Ul Haq with players who had represented Pak in internationals.  The Badshahs had not lost a single match till the finals and in a way it was a mismatch.  The finale turned out to be a fitting one for the capacity crowd which revelled at Hyderabad.  Taufeeq Umar and the two Imrans (Nazir & Farhat) clobbered the attack and soon they were 61/1.  some good spin bowling by Boje, Indhra Sekhar Reddy (who ?) Stuart Binny restricted them to 130/9.  The target was certainly achievable though it was Mohammed Sami and Azhar Mohd opening the attack.  The hyderabadis were sailing smooth when they were rocked in the 18th over by Rana Naved Ul Hasan.  The composed Ambati Rayudu who once aspired for national credentials pulled Azhar for a six in the 19th over.
Then came the climatic final over when Rana was erratic. He needed to defend 11 in the final but nearly squandered it with two no-balls and then a wide when Rayudu committed harakiri by going for the single and got his partner  Alfred Absolem  run out  by the wicketkeeper Humayun Farhat.  Then with a fine inswinging Yorker castled the no. 11 finsihing with a five for 22 leaving the scores level.
Just like the sudden death in foot ball, we have the bowl – off now where bowlers with no batsmen but with wicket keeper to guard have to hit the three open stumps.  Simple it sounds.  Each time lined up their best five. 
  • Nicke Boje struck; Rana who had beaten the batsmen and uprooted the stumps missed;
  • Absolom missed so also did Shahid Nazir
  • IS Reddy was bang on and Naved Latif fumbled again.
  • Chris Harris hit the target the it was 3 – 0 ; a victory for Hyderabad Heroes.
The tournament showcased many youngsters with brilliant performance but unfortunately they might perhaps never be able to represent their State leave alone the hopes of a country cap.  The interesting game can be cruel to some…………………….. but all the while this certainly provided interesting  good quality cricket and nail biting finishes.

With regards - S Sampathkumar.

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