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Thursday, February 21, 2019

India in ICJ ~ and criticising the old man of Cricket !!

After missing tours to India and Bangladesh in order to pursue short-form contracts, the 39-year-old Jamaican mades his West Indies return against England yesterday in the first one-day international at the Kensington Oval.  He made runs, a ton in fact – yet is being criticized !! -  As well as confirming he will retire from international one-day cricket after this year’s World Cup – “The youngsters owe it to me [to lift the trophy]” – Gayle was asked if England’s 100-ball tournament launching in 2020 appeals to him.

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav (alias Hussain Mubarak Patel)  is alleged by the Pakistani government that he was arrested in the Pakistani province of Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing.  India maintains that  he had been "kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly". On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial in Pakistan. On 18 May 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the execution pending the final judgement on the case.. .. .. the hearing is now on

On 19.2.2019, Pakistan was snubbed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) when it sought for a replacement of an ad-hoc Pakistani judge during the hearing of the case.  Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan said his country's ad-hoc judge to the ICJ, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday during the first day of hearings of the case and requested that his replacement be sworn-in before he could make his argument. However, the ICJ President, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, overlooked the plea and told the Pakistani advocate, "I would like to ask you to read your statement if your statement is ready. We are ready to hear you and hear your side." Mr Khan then went on to make his argument, a day after the Indian side told the world court that Mr Jadhav had been sentenced to death by a military court during a "farcical" hearing and that he should be released forthwith.

During the hearing yesterday, India's advocate Harish Salve raised questions over how a military court could hold a trial for a civilian without giving him a due and transparent right to defend.  Mr Khan, in his counter, said, "Local laws are within the domain of parliament and the independent courts of Pakistan. Similarly, the creation of military courts was through this parliamentary process."

The 2019 Cricket World Cup (officially ICC Cricket World Cup 2019) is the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.   The first match will be played at The Oval while the final will be played at Lord's. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups. The format for the tournament will be a single group of ten teams, with each team playing the other nine teams, and the top four teams progressing to a knockout stage of semi-finals and a final.

The ICC and the 2019 World Cup organising committee remain confident that the tournament's biggest match, to be played between India and Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester, will go ahead despite the volatile situation between the two countries in the wake of a terrorist attack in Kashmir last week. With the World Cup starting in 100 days, there are have been scattered voices that want India to boycott the group match against Pakistan. The fixture itself remains the biggest game of the tournament: nearly half a million applications for tickets poured in as soon as the ICC opened its ballot. Even the World Cup final, to be played on July 14 at Lord's, paled in comparison with about a quarter of a million applications.

A top BCCI official said that the World Cup match between India and Pakistan will not take place if the Indian government is against it.  "If the government, at that point of time, feels that we should not play then we should not play. It is obvious that we won't play if Govt so decides   ~ there have been some comments that the points would be awarded to Pak – but does that really matter.  After Pulwama, when Pakistan continues to nurture terrorists against India, why play them – even if it were to be finals, we should not ! – winning World Cup is not the main thing – our soldiers at Pulwama and on the border are most important.  Whatever be the decision, I have made mine – I would not watch India-Pak match, nor write about the match !!

At Bridgetown England secured a big win after a high chase.  England 364 for 4 (Roy 123, Root 102) beat West Indies 360 for 8 (Gayle 135, Hope 64) by six wickets.   England, led by Jason Roy and Joe Root centuries, showed why they are World Cup favourites, gatecrashing Chris Gayle's retirement party and posting their highest successful ODI chase to win the series opener against West Indies in Barbados. Self-proclaimed "Universe Boss" Gayle bossed the England bowlers around once he hit his stride, smashing 12 sixes as he led West Indies to their highest score against England. But, on an enviable batting pitch and against a line-up as strong as England's, 361 still looked to be an achievable target for the world's No. 1 side.

Media reports in a particular fashion stating that Gayle took a long time to settle in the official start of his ODI swansong, having declared that he would retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup, starting in May. After 14 overs, Gayle had just 12 runs off 36 balls; by end of the 35th he had faced 100 deliveries for his century. There were periods of this innings when he looked like an old man who had played for a year or five too many. He can hardly run (there were only two twos in his entire innings), he looked exhausted long before the end and, for the first 15 or so overs, when other openers might be taking advantage of the field, he could barely lay bat on ball. Had he been caught by Jason Roy - as he surely should have been - when he had just 9, there may well have been questions asked about his future: that drop came off his 33rd ball. Until then, he really had looked awful. One wag in the press box even labelled him "Universe Dross". He is 39, after all, and hadn't played an ODI since July. He hadn't scored an ODI century against a team other than UAE or Zimbabwe since 2013; he hadn't scored one against England since 2006. "The package Gayle brings with him is not entirely positive, though. His lack of mobility in the field is a throwback to Victorian days"  Time catches up with everyone.

What was conveniently forgotten is -  he does have nearly 10,000 ODI runs. And he does have 24 ODI centuries. Which is as many as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy combined. More than all that, yesterday, he made  135 off 129 balls but also caught on with his team-mates, who added 11 of their own for a world record 23 sixes in West Indies' total of 360 for 8. So you blame who scored a majestic 135 with 12 sixers – it was the bowlers who could not defend 360 and don’t blame the batsman, especially Chris Gayle. He hit his first six of his 37th ball and, by the time he had faced 122, he had added 11 more. That's 12 in 86 deliveries. At one stage he hit four in six balls (excluding wides) and seven in 21, with his second 50 taking just 24 balls. He basically clears his front leg, makes no attempt to keep the ball on the ground - there were only three fours in his innings - and hits mightily, brutally, fantastically hard.  Nine of his sixes were in the arc between long-on and square leg; two were over long-off; one, ridiculously, flew off the edge and over third man.

There is another man – the mercurial MS Dhoni who at this age displays remarkable agility, great speed in thinking, decisive in DRS and the speed between the wickets - can both hit sixes and scamper quick ones and twos.  Has there not been criticism in India too !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Feb 2019.

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