You bowl, I hit !

” In the 1983 World Cup final, that exquisite square-drive off Roberts executed going down on a knee … timeless and heavenly … I will take that to my grave.” M P Anil Kumar on the one-man cavalry that was Kris Srikkanth.

Credit : Adrian Murrell/Getty Images

Both Imran Khan and Vivian Richards, the skippers of Pakistan and West Indies respectively, dittoed: If we knock over Srikkanth cheaply, the Cup should be ours. Kapil Dev, the Indian skipper, was equally emphatic: If Srikkanth strikes, there’s no stopping India. With three crackerjack half-centuries from five matches, and being the top scorer of the World Championship Cup in Australia (February-March 1985), it was but natural for all three skippers to identify Srikkanth as the likely match-winner in the Rothmans Cup played at Sharjah in November 1985.

In the event, Srikkanth flopped (4 runs vs Pakistan and 6 vs West Indies) and India bit the dust. It was so typical of the man: Belying his billing came so naturally to him. Continue reading

How Ads are sucking the Fun out of Cricket

An Indian cricket fan waves the tricolour during a Test match between Australia and India in Mohali.

Pix Credit : Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

When I told him that I do not watch IPL matches, the expression of disbelief on his face had to be seen to be believed. The bemused man was none other than the editor-in-chief of Rediff.com I started playing cricket in my alma mater (Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Kerala), and wore the school colours for two years. I was so passionate about cricket that despite the crammed day in the National Defence Academy and the Air Force, I would somehow steal morsels of the telecast or radio commentary to keep track of every match India played.

I still remember slithering out of a two-layered sleeping bag in the sub-ten-degree small hours of Leh to be ready to watch the first ball bowled at 4:30 am in an ODI between India and New Zealand played at Launceston (Tasmania) in February 1986. Continue reading