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Monday, October 29, 2018

Brabuorne history ~ Al Jazeera .. .. and Ranatunga arrested


Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne, [ 1894 –  1939 ]  was a British peerand soldier, the son of the 4th Baron Brabourne. Knatchbull was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, served in the Gallipoli Campaign, rose to heights, was awarded the Military Cross for his "distinguished service in the Field during the operations at the Dardanelles." In 1933, upon his father's death, he succeeded as Baron Brabourne following which he was made Governor of Bombay and was invested as a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire.  Have never read this before !

Television news channel Al Jazeera has hit out at the manner in which the ECB and CA dismissed allegations of spot-fixing involving their teams in its documentary, The Munawar Files, adding that the ICC had failed to answer questions about the alleged "match-fixer at the centre of our investigation" Aneel Munawar. The documentary, the second on corruption in cricket by Al Jazeera, claimed that up to 15 international matches - several of them Tests - in the 2011-12 period had been subject to spot-fixing. Munawar was also at the centre of their first documentary, which alleged that the Chennai Test in December 2016 and the Ranchi Test in March 2017 had been subject to spot-fixing by England and Australia players.

In its race to corporatise, centralise and improve team performance over the past seven years, Cricket Australia's leadership lost sight of the fact that sport is not a business, and that cricket in particular is judged by the way in which its participants abide by the spirit of cricket as much as by how often they win or lose. These are among the key findings of the Ethics Centre's independent review of CA, released on Monday. Composed by Dr Simon Longstaff in conjunction with a player review conducted by the former Test batsman Rick McCosker, it has exposed the governing body as "arrogant" and "controlling", while casting back to the introduction of more outwardly corporate structures and goals by the 2011 Argus review as a key point on the road towards the Newlands ball tampering scandal.

Equally, the review has outlined clear divisions between CA's Board and executive, its state association owners, and the players represented by the Australian Cricketers Association. Critically, CA's overarching strategy for 2017-2022 is shown to be missing strong links to the spirit of cricket that underpins behaviour within the game, with the review also identifying a consistency between the corporate behaviours of CA in dealing with stakeholders and sponsors and the moral decay of the national team leading to the choice of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, with Steven Smith's tacit support, to use sandpaper to try to gain reverse swing in Cape Town  !  ~  among 42 recommendations outlined by the review are the desire for Australian cricket to establish an ethics commission to oversee the ethical health of the game in Australia  !!  ~ sounds pretty interesting !!!

That Governor described in 1st para inaugurated Brabourne Stadium, built on a piece of land reclaimed from the sea which Lord Brabourne, Governor of Bombay, presented to the Cricket Club of India after being tempted with an offer of immortality in the bargain. It was officially opened on December 7 1937 following with a match between the CCI and Lord Tennyson's team. The idea that the ground would be the Lord's of India was the brainchild of a Goan, Neville de Mello. It was as exclusive as its English counterpart and every bit as luxurious - Frank Worrell once remarked that it was the only place in the world where he could watch cricket in his dressing-gown and remove it when it was his turn to bat. It was also a multi-sport complex which hosted international tennis.  The first test here was played in Dec 1948 between India and West Indies while the last one was against Sri Lanka in 2009.  It first hosted an ODI (Australia Vs Pak – 1989) – and today’s match against Windies was played here at Brabourne. 

I have written disparagingly about him, dismayed about the vast support of statements like ‘you are seeing India’s talent on screen’ by sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Manjrekar even when he had stings of failure .. but not  often does a knock of 162 get lamented as a missed double-century.  One cannot wonder counting as this happens to be the seventh - though, three of the previous six have been double-hundreds, the man is Rohit Sharma.

West Indies finally managed to deny Virat Kohli a century, but Rohit and Ambati Rayudu made use of excellent batting conditions to take India to 377 and a 2-1 lead with one match to go in the series. Rayudu managed to score the first century for India from outside the top-three slots in the last 21 months.  Scorecard reads : India 377 for 5 (Rohit 162, Rayudu 100) beat West Indies 153 (Holder 54*, Khaleel 3-11, Kuldeep 3-42) by 224 runs.  Though Ambati Rayudu played a supporting role to Rohit Sharma for most of the day, the significance of his hundred cannot be understated.  It was the completion of a circle in some sense: for a while after he had accepted BCCI's amnesty offer to return to recognised Indian cricket, Mumbai was Rayudu's home in the IPL.


Closer to home, in neighbouring Lanka, former captain Arjuna Ranatunga was arrested over his role in a shooting that killed one and injured two others in Colombo, during Sri Lanka's unfolding political crisis. He has since been swiftly produced before the Colombo magistrate, and was subsequently released on bail. Ranatunga had said his security detail had discharged their weapons in order to protect him from a mob that was intent on killing him, at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) offices. He had to be extracted later from the premises by Special Task Force - elite police - officers. But after almost 24 hours of pressure from a CPC trade union, which had threatened a fuel strike, Ranatunga was arrested today afternoon.

Ranatunga, who was the country's Minister for the Development of Petroleum Resources, said he was attempting to retrieve belongings from the CPC offices, when it was surrounded by a mob aligned with the opposite political party. "They came to kill me - I state this responsibly - and you can check the CCTV footage," Ranatunga said following the clash. "For the first time, I feared for my life. I thought of my children and my family." After Ranatunga was dressed in a helmet and camouflage, and escorted from the premises by the Special Task Force, dozens of regular police were deployed in order to pacify a still-agitated crowd. The three wounded had been taken to hospital but the news of one of the men, aged 34, succumbing to his injuries prompted a demand over Ranatunga's arrest from the trade union. Ranatunga first stood for office in 2001, and has held various cabinet portfolios since. He is a member of the United National Party, whose leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe, is in the midst of the ongoing political wrangle.

The man who led Lanka to that famous WC victory in 1996 scored 5105 runs in 93 Tests with 4 centuries and equal no. of tons in 269 one dayers, where he totalled 7456 runs. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Oct 2018.


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