India may be a world power in some respects today, but the majority of its citizens still live in the villages that make up some 75% of the country. Despite the growth of industry, agriculture is still India’s mainstay when it comes to occupation.
Few city-bred kids opt to go and work in villages unless they are forced to. I opted to do so back in 1980, giving up a short stint as a journalist and taking up a job as a rural development extension officer with a Bangalore-based company known as Myrada. (It was originally known as Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency, a name that it had due to being originally set up to resettle Tibetans who had fled the Chinese invasion in 1959.)
By the time I joined Myrada in April 1980, the company had a number of projects in operation. The modus operandi was to do a project report for a certain area which had development potential, approach a foreign funding agency and get the necessary money to implement the project.
Continue reading “The village experience”
Australian cricket authorities are short-charging fans of the national Twenty20 competition, the Big Bash League, through their policies on releasing players from national duty when needed by their BBL sides for crucial encounters.
The Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes, who contested Sunday’s final, were both affected by this policy.
Adelaide won, but had they failed to do so, no doubt there would have been attention drawn to the fact that their main fast bowler, Billy Stanlake, did not play as he was on national duty to play in a tri-nation tournament involving New Zealand and England.
Continue reading “Cricket Australia needs to get player availability policies sorted”
A little more than a year ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes would be removed from circulation as a step to flushing out all the black money in the country.
He made the announcement on TV in prime time on 8 November 2016 and gave people four hours time to be ready for the change!
But judging by the amounts which cricketers were bought for in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 auction last week, there is more black money than ever in the country.
Else, sums like US$1.5 million would not be available for the Kolkata Knight Riders to buy a cricketer like Mitchell Starc. This is black money being flushed out and made ready to be used as legal tender, the main reason why the Indian Government turns a blind eye to the process.
Continue reading “Black money continues to pour in to IPL”
Last year, Australia’s national Twenty20 competition, the Big Bash League, had 32 league games plus three finals. It was deemed a great success.
But the organiser, Cricket Australia, is not content with that. This year, there will be 40 games followed by the two semi-finals and the final. And the tournament will drag on into February.
This means many of the same cricketers will be forced to play those eight extra games, putting that much more strain on their bodies and minds. How much cricket can people play before they become jaded and reduced to going through the motions?
Continue reading “Too much of anything is good for nothing”
AUSTRALIA is likely to regret pushing Patrick Cummins into Test cricket before he has had a chance to play at least one season of matches in the Sheffield Shield to test out his body.
That Australia is not good at monitoring its players is evident from Mitchell Starc’s breaking down in India. Starc was ruled out of the India series after two Tests, with a stress fracture in his right foot.
As the cricket website espncricinfo has detailed, Starc is no stranger to injuries: he has been suffering from a spate of them right from December 2012.
Continue reading “Australia taking a big risk by playing Cummins”
ONE of the big problems that people from Western countries have is that they are unable to admit to any wrongdoing when they are caught out in a confrontation with someone from the East.
They are never wrong even when they are caught red-handed. Remember Lance Armstrong?
It is this mentality that prevents Steven Smith, the captain of Australia’s cricket team, from pretending that he was not trying to consult members of his team in the pavilion before deciding whether to have an LBW decision reviewed during the final innings of the second Test against India in Bangalore on Tuesday (March 7).
Continue reading “Steve Smith cheated. Admit it, and move on, mate”
Dean Jones is one of those many former Australian cricketers who now earns big bucks as a commentator on the sport. Like many others, he has little of import to say, but takes up 700 or 800 words to do so.
Jones was sacked by Ten Sports in 2006 for making a racist comment about South Africa’s Hashim Amla. But he has slowly crept back, with the Melbourne newspaper The Age helping in his rehabilitation by giving him a weekly column.
One would think that a man who goes around referring to Muslim players as terrorists would be shunned by publications that claim to have standards.
Continue reading “‘The terrorist has got another wicket’”
As Australia mentally prepares for a gruelling tour of India, one curious characteristic of captain Stephen Smith is being ignored. This is Smith’s attitude towards spin and spinners when it comes to any form of cricket.
In India, any international team that wants to win a Test series must have a decent spin attack. This has become the case in recent years; the last time a team won in India was when England did so in 2012. They had Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann in their ranks.
During the three-Test series against Pakistan that concluded recently, Smith showed a curious reluctance to give the side’s only spinner, Nathan Lyon, a lengthy stint. He mostly depended on the medium-pacers and since Australia won all three Tests there were no questions raised.
Continue reading “Does Steve Smith believe that spin can win matches?”
One of the many big-noters in India has announced her return to the literary scene with a novel about the uprising in Kashmir. Coming 20 years after her only other effort, Arundhati Roy’s 2017 publication has already received enough hype to make one puke.
Since her book The God of Small Things was surprisingly awarded the Man Booker Prize in 1997, Roy has been involved in activism, written essays and numerous articles.
One has to be grateful that she did not attempt a second novel. Her first effort was terrible; author Carmen Callil, chair of the 1996 Booker jury, pronounced Roy’s work “execrable”, and said it should never have reached the shortlist.
Continue reading “The time has arrived for a literary fraud to resurface”
When India won the fifth one-day international against Australia on January 23, the first man to run out on to the field and congratulate the two batsmen at the crease — Manish Pandey and Gurkeerat Singh Mann crease — was Virat Kohli. One would have expected the Indian captain, M.S. Dhoni, to be doing this.
This is but the latest bit of gamesmanship by Kohli to indicate to Dhoni that his time is up and that he (Kohli) should be leading India instead.
Earlier in the same game, one could see Kohli often going up to the bowlers and offering advice as though he was in charge. And there were other occasions when he spoke to Dhoni, clearly suggesting a field change, which, in most cases, was made.
Continue reading “Kohli wants the captaincy, of that there’s no doubt”