Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Post from Anirvan Chaudhuri

One of the guys who reads this blog sent this to me, asking me to put it up on the blog. So here it is. The guy's name is Anirvan Chaudhuri and his email id is .... so if u guys like it, don't like it or anything else, do send in a mail to him.


The Chuckster


What a shambolic performance. I feel like crying. What a pathetic performance.....just simply pathetic. I hope people in India don't do anything silly like burning houses or smashing TVs. What they should do instead is just ignore the shouldn't even be given any news space. No one should speak of cricket and we should actually stop spending so much money on it. The Indian team should be banned from international games....if they want to go, they should pay for their own tickets. All this money can be put to better use. But the first thing to do is to clean up BCCI. Those jokers should also have to answer to this debacle. It’s not fair that they get away with everything simply by terming the BCCI as a non-profit organization. Non-profit my ass! Does all the money earned by this behemoth of an organization go toward elevating our poor or does it go toward Tsumani relief? The main creed of BCCI is to earn money….nothing else matters.

I have decided that from now onwards I shall play cricket simply for my pleasure. I am not going to be concerned with a bunch of unmotivated, lazy, losers. I wish most of our population follows suit....that way there will be no more money for these losers. I am in two minds about my verdict regarding our team. Were we just made out to be good when in reality we are not that good or did we just not put in all our efforts? If it is the former, then one cannot blame our players. And yet I must launch into this sarcasm loaded panning of our great Indian Cricket Gods. What a load of crap...the only team with 3 batsmen who have made more than 10000 runs. Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the greatest ODI batsman: I personally think Mr. Tendulkar should not only pay the tax which he evaded on the Ferrari, but he should also pay for the Ferrari and donate a huge chunk of his amassed wealth to some charity for raising our hopes and crushing them for the umpteenth time! And this guy has the audacity of saying that he might be playing till the next WC. Sachin, remember Vijay Merchant’s famous words…it is high time you bid adieu to one-day cricket. MS Dhoni: " I drink 6 pyalas of milk everyday ". Mr. Dhoni, instead of sucking dry every bloody cow in Jharkhand why don't you practice your batting. Mr. Ajit Agarkar: "I have to give at least one 4 every over or else my family will be dishonored". Mr. Saurav Ganguly: "Good decision on coming could have gone out with the record of leading India to a WC final where you played pathetically...instead you have another pathetic performance to add to your kitty". Mr. Rahul Dravid: "Congrats on being skipper. Welcome to hell". Mr. Harbhajan Singh: "I'd rather not say anything about this idiot. A frontline bowler is supposed to take wickets and give about 40 runs in 10 overs. Mr. Bhajji disagrees". Mr Yuvraj ‘I am India’s Jonty Rhodes’ Singh…what the hell were you thinking??? Couldn’t you sit still at the crease? I don’t understand why no article has criticized this guy’s asinine decision to take a run when the situation called for calm and cool heads. Witnessing that run-out, Dravid’s hangdog appearance looked even more morose. And I never understood why Dravid did not employ a slip when we had Sri Lanka on the ropes. I remember thinking to myself that no matter what level of cricket you play, a slip is a given whenever a wicket falls, and especially if a late-order batsman like Chaminda Vaas takes strike.

I think Mohammad Kaif, Ramesh Powar, and VVS Laxman will be thanking their lucky stars and laughing hard for not being part of this shambolic display. And I don’t Greg Chappel will be sleeping for the next few days lest some deranged drunk Indian fan (thank God my brother-in-law is not yet in the Caribbean) enter his room and strangle him to death ala Bob Woolmer. Since we're on that topic, Inzy 'Alu' Ul Haq will be smiling in relief....India's loss takes some pressure off him.

And finally....Sunny Gavaskar will launch into more tirades against Chappel and add some anti-Aussie spice to it. Mr. Ricky 'George Bush is my twin' Ponting will smirk and make a snide remark about India's woeful performance. Mr. Gavaskar will respond by saying that it's because we were coached by an Aussie.
Oh well....tomorrow is another day. Atleast mera WC khatam ho more wasting time on these as*holes. By the way, I shall be wholeheartedly supporting the Irish. I have finally learned the mantra of staying happy and calm: Support a team which takes joys in simply playing cricket and being in the Caribbean. They remind me of Trinidad and Tobago in last year’s FIFA World Cup….simply delighted in being there and happy to gulp any unexpected successes that came their way. Fight on you lovely Shamrocks and may you meet the West Indies in the final for that will be the biggest fun-filled highlight of the tournament. Can you imagine an entire audience of West Indian and Irish fans, drowned in a sea of rum, Guiness, and Red Stripe beer (Hooray Beer)! Here’s to reliving those halcyon days when cricket wasn’t swarmed with money-grabbing suits and corporate bigwigs and when players played just for the love of the game.

A depressed disturbed former fan of the Indian cricket team which is in reality simply an extension of a so-called non profit organization called the BCCI.

P.S. I apologize to Mr. Tendulkar if he has indeed paid the tax on the Ferrari.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A spoof on the Post Mortem conducted by the BCCI on the World Cup Flot show

Hoping to make some posts soon (too busy in office).

Here is something I got on Rediff -



Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunny does the right thing by Hookes

Give credit where credit is due! Sunil Gavaskar gives a very decent apology for pulling in David Hookes name and memory into his spat with Ponting. When it happened, I was shocked that maligning a dead man (and what else could u call that) was actually becoming part of a quarrel between a former and present great of the game. Thankfully, Gavaskar backs off this one ... I don't want him to back off his favorite passtime of nepotism and nit-picking but the moment he took a dead man's name as part of his argument, he stepped into "improper" territory.

Well, Ponting mate ... Gavaskar did a boo-boo and he has apologized ... we r still waiting for u to apologize for ur part in the Sharad Pawar shoving episode where ur words exactly were "if you all think an apology is relevant ....". Yep, we do, Punter!


The Chuckster

India - Bangladesh ... better late than never

I watched the whole match, unfortunately!!! The thing that struck me most was - Bangladesh came out attacking like they were Australia ... and India looked like a team not knowing what to do on the big scene.

SRT got out to a left arm spinner again.... but the laws of cricket fanaticism say that we must not label him suspect against left arm spinners. Look at the many times he has NOT been out to left arm spinners ... :-) ... well, I would look at that but additionally stipulate "check only those cases when there were left arm spinners playing in the opposition team").

Ganguly played well but the need was to make a big hundred ... it is no use being one of the greatest ODI cricketers of all time if u go onto make a 60 odd when ur team is screwed, and then get out. The 60 isn't of much use then.

I know Sehwag is Dravid's favorite boy right now but my argument is not against that. See, I know the SRTs and the Dravids themselves did not make a mountain of runs, but the point of being an opener is to give a start ... batsmen at no. 4, 5, 6 are experts at batting at a certain point of time in the match ... when the ball is not so new and there is a decent cushion of runs on which they can base their innings. The problem is that when Sehwag fails, the middle order suddenly becomes the top order ... Yes, the problem is not with Sehwag alone but with all openers in all teams but when u see Sehwag wafting at the ball as he did against Bangladesh, u wonder - what is the reason for this huge confidence on this chap? He had done this tons of times before .... wafted / slashed at a ball outside off without really moving anything ... and touched it through. What is all the fuss about when it comes to talk of throwing him out of the team? I know he has scored a hundred against Bermuda ... and I am not belittling the knock coz runs are runs and everything counts ... but when one considers his career average of 31 odd, isn't it obvious that the man is not really a trailblazer in the ODIs as he is in the tests? Why do people call him a match winner?

Anyways, since the match is over, lets not spend too much time on it. One big difference between the two teams was the fielding. Bangladesh were electric ... and believe me, when people say "the men from the subcontinent are different ... their body structures are different ... their grounds are different ... they cannot fling themselves around like the South Africans and the Australians do ... blah blah blah", one needs to point out the Bangladesh team to them and say "Bangladesh .... subcontinent team ... ur argument sucks".

The Bangladeshi approach while chasing was beautiful ... they always went for the target ... in fact, they tried to get the target as soon as possible ... there was none of the hesitation of "heck, can we really get it and topple India" or "maybe we should approach this cautiously" ... the left handed opener Tamim constantly came down the wicket and hit our faster bowlers over the infield .... and the man is 17 years old or something like that. He may never grow to be a Tendulkar ... but he definitely has the heart of a young Tendulkar.

Dravid dropped a chance which might have brought India into the game ... the ball was travelling and he was at mid-off ... and he moved to his right and got both outstretched hands to it ... and the ball didn't stick. Make no mistake, the effort was there ... but if he had flung himself rather than stretching or reaching out, he would have made the ball with time to spare. Yes, I know .... he is not the youngest in the team ... and all that .... but look at the Pollocks and the McGraths and the Pontings fling themselves around. U will realize that the only thing stopping the Indian team from being a great fielding side is - no one really wants to take the trouble.

Anyways, guys .... Cheers ... I am glad India got this kick up their backside ... I hope we go through to the Super 8 by beating SL today coz I do enjoy watching the Indian cricket team .... but I also love it when India loses and I get to see all those hysterical reactions from fans on TV. They broke MS Dhoni's compound wall ... LOL ... too funny.

It is not funny, really! Recently in response to an article of mine on Rediff, people responded to me by email ... saying things like "u mother phucking so and so .... I hope you die soon" etc. I remarked then that it was a strange and scary situation where people wished u death coz ur thoughts of a cricketer are not the same as their own. That strange and scary situation is just getting scarier by the minute. Suddenly, I get the feeling that the millions the cricketers earn probably doesn't compensate for the mental stress of always wondering if ur home would be stoned, ur brother / father would be beaten up ... or muck thrown on ur sister / wife / mother ... coz ur team lost the previous match.

I think cricket is no longer a game. And we, the fans, can claim complete credit for that.


The Chuckster

Woolmer saga

About ten days into the world cup and Pakistan bites the dust, Gibbs hits six sixes in an over, Bangladesh give India a roundhouse punch, and the man considered by some as the best coach in the world, Bob Woolmer, is dead.

I bet none of the previous world cups had so much action so early ... in fact, did any of them have so much action in the entire world cup?

I can probably break down my thoughts into different posts ... and the first one I want to talk about is the death of Bob Woolmer.

Even when I heard about Bob Woolmer's death (I was in Tirupati then and read about it in the morning newspaper), the first thing that struck me is - It had to happen to the Pakistan coach. Now that it has been proved to be murder, and not a natural death as thought earlier, let me ask one question - of all the coaches in the world cup, if one had to be killed, which one would be the favorite if an opinion poll was taken? Pakistan's of course!

Sigh!!! All I can say is - poor chap. Now there is speculation about his memoirs exposing a matchfixing nexus, and basically everything related to matchfixing. However, somehow this doesn't strike me as something so simple.

Consider this - We don't know if Woolmer was planning some sensational expose in his book, but for sake of argument, say it is so. Fine! Pakistan lose to Ireland and go out of the world cup ... and more so, losing to a newcomer like Ireland would have really sucked. The same day, Woolmer had to be killed coz he would expose some match fixing issue? As it was, the world was focussing on the mighty Pakistan team losing to Ireland, and the people who killed him, wanted to kill him in the middle of all this limelight already on Pakistan's captain / coach / players? Was Bob Woolmer going to publish his memoirs the same night? Was he going to send a mail with a copy of his memoirs to his publisher the same night? What was the urgency? If indeed he had to be silenced, they could have waited for the team / coach to fly out of the Windies (and away from the World Cup spotlight). In all probability, Woolmer would be sacked and go back home ... even if he were not sacked immediately, he would definitely head back home. Would it have been so difficult to have killed him in SA ... made it look as a mugging or something? If news broke of Woolmer being mugged on the streets of Cape Town, would everyone have screamed "match fixing"? Now that he has been killed in the middle of the world cup, on the day the team he coaches, loses to Ireland, of course, it is too much of a co-incidence to consider his murder not linked to match fixing.

The method and means of the murder also seem crude. A manual struggle ... leading to his blood and vomit being sprayed on the walls ... neck broken ... hell, that wouldn't have been a silent discussion. It would have made a bit of noise and the worry of someone hearing and investigating was always there. Heck, there is supposed to be a lot of security provided to all teams, isn't it?

My take on it? I am a simple man, and prefer to see the simple side of things. Sure, it could all be much more complex, but to me this seems to be a spontaneous kind of behavior. Some guy who is totally pissed off (maybe a fan, maybe a player who wasn't played or who thinks Woolmer's tactics sucked) comes over to his room ... reports suggest that there was no forced entry and hence Woolmer had to let in the guy (s) ... a heated argument going on the lines of "because of ur stupid tactics, we lost to Ireland ... can u phucking imagine that ... Ireland" or "why the hell didn't u pick me in the 11 .... are u trying to ruin my career or something". Words lead to more heated words, a scuffle and then maybe fists flying. Sure, this doesn't sound so dangerous but then a couple of punches landing in wrong places could very well damage a man of Woolmer's age. More so, when Woolmer was found by the hotel maid or whoever, he wasn't dead yet. He was unconscious and died later (if reports are correct). Is someone seriously telling me that professionals (match fixing issues would deal with some kind of professionals, I guess) would try to kill a man and then leave him unconscious where hey, he might recover and still do what they don't want him to do?

An amateur approach to the murder (or manslaughter, in case it was a spontaneous heat-of-the-moment thing) would involve gettinng the murderer's fingerprints or some clues from the scene of the crime. A more professional approach (hey, maybe Woolmer was dead when the maid found him ... we don't really know for sure yet) would ensure that almost no clues r found on the scene of the crime. Probably, how easy it is to solve the murder would probably answer the question of whether it was some fan / player / someone or someone actually linked to the betting syndicate who did this.

Two of the guys - Cronje and Woolmer - involved in the biggest corruption scandal to hit international cricket, are now dead. Yes, Cronje was guilty and Woolmer was never shown to be involved in anything illegal. But still Cronje managed to do his bit for infamy without the coach even having a clue? And now, both of them are dead. Probably unrelated deaths ... but then what a coincidence.

In the end, whatever it might be, a man dying is always sad news. For friends, relatives etc it would be devastating. But for the average cricket fan, a man as exciting as Woolmer in a coaching role .... his loss is a big one.

I wonder who is going to be brave enough to apply for the post of the coach of Pakistan cricket team?


The Chuckster

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Indian team looks good

I don't want to push it ... but the Indian team is looking pretty strong out there in the West Indies.

I had worries on two ends ... whether Uthappa would be upto scratch in International cricket ... after all, he hasn't been seen much in International cricket and to go into a world cup after 5 odd matches ... that is a bit scary.

Secondly, the form of Yuveraj ... coz when Yuveraj was in that awesome streak of form just before the West Indies tour, India looked unbeatable. I saw that 90 odd he scored against Sri Lanka a couple of matches back really made me feel good. He wasn't in terrific form in that match or something like that ... it is just that he got in that nice, long knock and towards the end, was looking very comfortable indeed. I can't expect miracles to occur and Yuveraj to get back his touch instantaneously ... but one good 90 odd against SL ... maybe a couple of good knocks against Bermuda and Bangladesh ... that oughta do him a world of good.

Apart from Yuveraj and Uthappa, I was always pretty comfortable with the rest of them ... the Sachins, the Gangulys and the Dravids cannot really change anything drastic in the next month or so ... they have always been good performers and I am sure all of them will come away with their reputations enhanced ... however, I believe it is these fringe players like Yuveraj, Uthappa and Dhoni who will tilt the scales in India's favour.

Mahender Singh Dhoni is beginning to look more dangerous as a player every time one sees him ... he is no longer about the huge hits and misses and that adds a dimension to his game that many teams might not be ready for.

I never thought I would say this a few months back but Ganguly at No. 1 sounds really dangerous to me. SRT at No. 3 or 4 sounds good too ... and I am not being sarcastic. I know the Indian batting could fold for 88 all out in 27 overs in the next match but if Ganguly, SRT, Dravid, Yuveraj, Dhoni and Sehwag / Uthappa cannot set huge targets or chase down virtually everything then I dunno who can. Definitely, this is better than having a Kaif or Dinesh Mongia as we did in the World Cup 2003 ... no offence to those two gentlemen.

On the bowling front, Munaf seems to be bowling better and better ... but I remember the last time someone stepped out to him and tried to take him to the cleaners, he looked clueless. I think this was during the Champions Trophy or something ... damn, memory is going. So if India and SL r gonna play a crunch game (in case Bangladesh decide to spring a surprise on everyone) then I would love to see Jayasurya vs. Patel.

BTW, did anyone notice the wierd format of the world cup? I assumed that in each group, at the end of the initial group matches, 2 teams from each group would go into the Super 8s ... and the matches of the Super 8s would be decided on who topped the pool and who came second ... in each group. Nopes ... seems that is not the way it is gonna be. For logistical reasons, it is already decided as to who will be Team 1 and Team 2 from each group .... of course that does't mean India or SL have been given a free entry into the Super 8s but it means that whether India tops the pool or SL does, if India qualifies, it will quality as "Team 2" from their group and if SL qualifies, then it will qualify as "Team 1" from their group, irrespective of whether they top the pool or not. I guess even for Bermuda and Bangladesh, it must be pre-decided as to whether they would be Team 1 or Team 2 in case they qualify for the Super 8.

Somehow that sounds wierd to me. Can they cover all the combinations possible by this kind of format? I wonder what happens if two teams that are slated at "Team 2" in their group qualify for the super 8 ... so wot happens then? Or maybe I have this Team 1 , Team 2 concept a bit wrong??? Guess will check it out from someone.

Chalo cheers

The Chuckster

Sehwag's dilemna

Or should that be Dravid's dilemna? If u ask Sehwag, he will probably tell u he is one shot away from getting back into form. He has a career average of 31 and in 167 matches till date, he has gone above 50 runs (thus including 50s and 100s)31 times.

Everyone says he is a matchwinner ... Dravid says he is our only triple-centurion. Jadeja says he would always have Sehwag as the opener as he can take the match away from the opposition. My question - how many times has Sehwag been a match winner in ODIs? As a test batsman, his record is enviable but has he ever been that dangerous in the ODI format? It is news to me if that is so.

Yes, as a bowler he offers options but then so does Pathan. In the world cup, for me, the toss up is between Pathan and Sehwag. For me, the openers would always be Uthappa and Ganguly ... if Uthappa fails a couple of matches, then Sehwag or SRT might get a look into the opening slot but by the way the lad has performed in the recent past, the opening slot belongs to him right now. There is no way Sehwag or anyone else can fit in there, in my book.

Uthappa, Ganguly, SRT, Yuveraj, Dravid (always at no 5), Player X, Dhoni, Four bowlers ... that would always be my 11 ... and in such a case, player X can only be Sehwag or Pathan. Dinesh Karthick is someone who impresses me a lot but unless the team management insists on opening with Sehwag, then Uthappa might have to be pushed down ... and in that case Karthick sounds a better bet than Uthappa at No. 6 or 7. It is not that Uthappa can't bat there ... just that he never has ... and the world cup might not be the place for him to start wondering if he can.

I saw the warm up game against the WI ... Sehwag's dismissal was pathetic ... it wasn't as if the ball was a great delivery or something like that ... it was a decent ball and he slashed hard at it and got an edge through to the keeper ... what a phucking surprise ... LOL ... u might have wondered if u were watching a re-run of some previous match ... coz he does this countless number of times.

Anyways ... Dravid backing the guy is all very good ... but he should also not let this become an ego issue ... I will NOT drop Sehwag, come what may.

I hope, for India's sake, that Dravid makes the right choices!!!


The Chuckster

World Cup - catfight!!!

So Ponting and Gavaskar take swipes at one another ... LOL. Gavaskar is always so smug and Mr. Kno-it-all I am not surprised he pisses off people. Anyways, I think Ponting has other things to worry about right now with getting 11 fit men onto the field being the first priority. If the Aussies do win the world cup (and this time unlike last time, they don't look favorites from the start itself), that in itself would be a fitting reply to Gavaskar or anyone else. I don't think he should be bothering himself with these things right now.

As for Gavaskar, I am sure this will not be his first barb ... and indirectly I am sure he will be taking plenty of swipes at the Indian coach ... smart comments after watching the replays 10 times etc kind of thing. My call - if they do sack Greg C after this world cup, make Sunny the coach ... let people snicker at him for a change ... I am sure the Indian team will be no different under him than it was under Gaekwad and Madan Lal etc.

When he talks cricket, Sunny Gavaskar is one of the most interesting chaps to listen to ... but then he always brings in his agendas and nepotisms to the fore ... and that spoils the entire bowl of soup.

Chalo Cheers guys ... may the best team win ... ohhh, forget it ... may India win!!!

The Chuckster