Friday, January 22, 2010

IPL bosses talk Cricketing Logic: an egg on their face!

"This talk that we decided together not to bid for Pakistani players is plain rubbish", claimed Mr Mallya through a pair of astonishingly bad shades. And one franchise owner went beyond bizarre, proclaiming there was "cricketing logic" in the decisions made. Parnell over Umar Gul? Roach over Aamer? Martyn over Umar Akmal? Get real guys, it is turning out to be a display of pure idiocy.
IPL bosses and team owners have egg on their face because they are spreading a canard when they didn't have to.
Lalit Modi appears on prime-time television and claim "he knew nothing about this". Come on Mr Modi, and here we thought not a pencil sharpener changes places in the corridors of the IPL unless you approve it!

If there was indeed "cricketing" logic in the decisions, why weren' the cricketers allowed to offer it? I would have accepted if Sourav Ganguly told me that he preferred an ageing and injury-prone Bond over an up and coming Aamer. Or if Anil Kumble told me Morgan was a better choice than Umar Akmal. Both were at the auction, why weren't they fielded? Instead, Shilpa Shetty told us how the man who won her Royals the first IPL, Sohail Tanvir wasn't really worth it. Instead they went for the might of Damien Martyn who is pushing 40 and has no T20 credentials to shore up their batting order. Preity Zinta went on about how Yusuf Abdullah was the bowler they needed and not perhaps Rana Naved ul Hasan who can bowl yorkers at will in the death overs. "Cricketing logic" doesn't become so just because it emerges from the mouths of the beautiful.

Australians weren't the hot picks this year as well. Point taken. But Australia are involved in a cricket series at the time. What are Pakistan doing? Nothing at all. Their players are available for all six weeks and can certainly play T20 cricket, they won the world cup, remember?
So it was the presumption that they might become "unavailable" that led to this decision. And since the team owners are pumping in the money, they have every right to put it where the investment returns. If they choose not to risk it, that's fine too. All we ask is that instead of skirting the issue and hiding behind shallow words, they let us know. What's that line about honesty being the best policy??

The auction was about several happy stories. Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach, made richer beyond dreams. The tag of "rebels" finally being shed from former ICL players with three of them landing contracts. And the franchise owner, one in a stunning blue dress, another in dimples still dazzling a room full of cynical men.

Ahhh, if only they wouldn't have taken us for fools!

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