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Monday, April 28, 2014

Pybus to Mudgal ~ catalysing change ..... Farbrace's shift...

In the IPL din, one could be forgiven,  Sri Lanka now and later India in July are to tour England ~ India will play 5 tests and 5 One dayers there.  Did you read of the resignation of Paul Farbrace .... the man who was the coach when Lankans won the T20 WC ..... the appointment of Paul Farbrace as England's assistant coach has been confirmed by the ECB. Farbrace had been identified as the leading candidate to become Peter Moores' No. 2 and his resignation as Sri Lanka coach  cleared the way for him to join England's new set-up. Sri Lanka's chief selector, Sanath Jayasuriya, joined the SLC in expressing dismay at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's move to England,  at a crucial time..
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At Dubai, the star studded RCB crawled to 124...... Chris Gayle played his first game of IPL 2014 after missing the first four matches due to a sore back. Gayle replaced his West Indies team-mate Ravi Rampaul.

Remember in Apr 2013   at Bangalore  ~ Pune Warriors won the toss, put their opponents in, had a rain break too……………. but suffered heavily at the hands of - Christopher Henry Gayle..... … Ishwar Pandey, the highest wicket-taker in that year's Ranji Trophy, was hit for 21 in his first IPL over, still could  consider himself luckier than  Mitchell Marsh,  whose first went for 28; Aaron Finch gave 29 – Ali Murtaza 28 as Gayle first reached the century in just 30 balls and went on to remain unbeaten 175 off mere 66 balls ~ it was the astest 100 in T20s – 30 balls; Highest individual score – 175*; Most Sixes in an innings 17; Longest in IPL 119 M……………..

An year earlier, in May 2012 - it was carnage at Ferozeshah Kotla as Chris Gayle kept hitting them into stands -  one went 110M and all looked so simple.  His 62 ball 128 destroyed any hopes Delhi Daredevils nurtured.  He hit 13 sixes and took the match away from DDR – all were hit with ridiculous ease – and remained calm, which baffled, bemused and bewildered the opponents. 

Today, naturally much was expected of him..... the 1st ball of Glenn Maxwell was edged past the first slip (4); 2nd was defended back;  3rd was sliced – looked miscued – went for 4; next came the shout for LBW (appeared to be out); 5th was despatched over long off for 6; 6th over mid on – hit the rope on full for 6 .......... 20 runs of the very first over...

In came Sandeep Sharma who  was part of India's Under-19 squad for the 2010 World Cup in New Zealand, but came into his own in the same event two years later, in Australia. 

He took four wickets in the final, against the hosts, and finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker for India (12).  Today off his 2nd ball, he cleaned up Chris Gayle.  Kohli strode in made a majestic boundary ~ then was struck on the front pad and given out by Billy Bowden – Kohli was shocked ....

In neighbouring country, Lankans though shaken by Farbrace’s move – have started training at home with Duke balls, in preparation for the two-Test series in June. Tests in England pose a unique challenge for foreign sides, most of whom use Kookaburra balls across all formats. 

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Chaminda Vaas did not have memorable Test tours of England in his career, but as the fast-bowling coach, he has drawn up specific plans to consolidate the pace attack's 2014 gains.

Thousands of miles away,  catalogue of sweeping changes have been  proposed by the new director of cricket, Richard Pybus, and accepted by the WICB directors at their meeting in Port-of-Spain last month, the 2014 first-class format is likely to be the last in its present form. Pybus, an Englishman, was twice Pakistan coach and, briefly, Bangladesh's. His reputation was made in South Africa where he managed and coached at all levels and was twice named provincial coach of the year. He knew very little about West Indies cricket when appointed last November - and vice-versa. The proposals contained in his hefty document, under the heading "West Indies Cricket System Review and Plan", are "shaped by interviews and discussions with former West Indies captains and great players, from Sobers, Griffith, Nurse and Hall to the generations of Lloyd, Roberts, Richardson, Walsh and Ambrose". There were other former and current players who shared their thoughts. The relevant points are the "professionalisation" of the regional first-class game and the expansion of the season.

Remember Cricket Australia made sweeping changes based on Argus report.... back home,  it is for the Apex Court to confirm whether Justice Mukul Mudgal will once again head a probe to uncover more IPL corruption. There is now a weary acceptance that the BCCI cannot be expected to do so on its own. What began essentially as IPL code violations is today stuck in gridlock due to an entanglement of colliding, conflicting interests and personal and political agendas. An open-and-shut case of broken rules has turned into a Rubik's Cube conundrum; except, this cube has eight colours on its six sides.

So will things change ....
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th April 2014.

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