Thursday, November 29, 2007

Keep it straight!

This is a story of a usual cricket setting in Bombay with a 30 x 10 yards quadrangle for a playground and the residents of the buildings encompassing from three sides for spectators. While it was commonplace to see hours of cricket belted out in a days work in such a setting, it wasn't uncommon for "out of the fence" hits to be greeted with traditional Bombay slang (&%$*#) by the contemporary spectators. One such setting existed in Bhagirathi building in South Mumbai. A young Mumbai lad, like many other Mumbai lads, would visit his uncle in this not so uncommon setting. And like many other Mumbai lads, he had a liking for cricket. And like many other lads, he played in the three-way enclosed quadrangle. And as most individuals, he did not have a particular liking for slang. Hence like most "gully" lads would do, he played most of his cricketing shots down the length of the quadrangle into the only dimension not guarded by screaming residents. The only thing uncommon about this story was that the young Mumbai gully lad went on to be known as Sunil Manohar Gavaskar who was renowned, among other things, for his straight drives. God Bless the screaming spectators!!!!!!!

This story is based on hearsay but does make the rounds in the neighborhood I grew up in..

Received in an email from Advait Kantak

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It doesnt matter !

As is well known , India defeated WI in the final of the 1983 World Cup. Six months later WI had to tour India for 6 Tests and 5 ODI's. WI were also keen to avenge their humiliating defeat in the 1983 WC. They left india undefeated, winning the Test series 3-0 and the ODI's 4-0 as if to prove that they were the true world champions.

The Indian batting almost always collapsed in that series. During the final test at Madras, the Indians decided to send Gavaskar in at no.4 to solidify the middle order. But the Indians lost 2 wickets without a run on the board and out walked Sunny. Viv Richards greeted him at the pitch saying " No matter where you bat maan , The score is still zero ! "

Andy Roberts the genius ...

The 1983 WC hero Mohinder Amarnath was India's best batsman against pace . Prior to 1983 WC, India had toured Pakistan, their main bowler Imran Khan was mainly an inswing bowler. Mohinder opened his stance up knowing that Imran never got sharp outswing. It helped him gain some extra time to counter Imran's reverse swing. Mohinder was India's top run-getter in an otherwise abysmal series. When WI arrived, the leader of their pack, Andy Roberts was quick to spot the change and devised a plan. He would bowl leg cutters from wide of the crease. The angle would drift the ball in and the cut would move it away. Roberts had all the WI quicks practice that ball quite meticulously. Mohinder with his open stance had no answer ! He scored just 1 run in six innings.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cover khol ke dekh lo !

During the 1987 Reliance World Cup , Doordarshan, the broadcasters decided to have commentary in Hindi. Amongst the panel was former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi. The commentators had a workshop on the use of correct language and grammar during Hindi Commentary. The discussion veered to " The Pitch " . Is it masculine or feminine ? How do you address a pitch ? . Someone asked Bedi, " Bishen kya kehte ho ? Pitch Geela hai , ya Pitch Geeli hai ? . Bedi probably caught napping replied " Arre yaar mujh se kya poochte ho, Cover khol ke dekh lo ! " .

Picked up from Willow Tales - Fredun Devitre

Friday, November 23, 2007

Trivia ..

Sunil Gavaskar is mortally scared of dogs. He has even missed a century when during one of the the matches a dog stayed really close to the pitch.

Gundappa Vishwanath
is exactly half an inch shorter than Gavaskar. He often used keeper's pads during batting. He is also Gavaskar's brother in law. Hez married to Sunny's sister Kavita

The glamorous Azhar we know today is a far cry from Mohammed Azharuddin the devout muslim who made his debut in 1984. He used to pray 5 times a day, even during matches. His first job was that of a clerk in State Bank of India

If you look at Nawab Of Pataudi { Saif Ali Khan's dad } 's name on score cards before 1972 , it is listed " Nawab of Pataudi" . But after 1972 he is listed as " Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi " . His princely status was snatched away by Indira Gandhi's 1972 act. It stopped privy purses and royal titles to former rulers.

and finally ...

Roger Binny was called "Jackie" because someone thought his posterior was shaped like a jackfruit !

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Your father what goes ?

The late Fred Trueman was one of the most fearsome fast bowlers to have been produced by England. India had to bore the brunt of some of his most fearsome spells on the 1952 and 1959 tours. He also famously had an attitude to match. Raman Subba Row once dropped a catch of his bowling , letting the ball go between his legs. Raman said " Sorry Fred I should have kept my legs together" to which the response from Fred was a classic " No , your mom should have ! "

By 1967 though, Fred was past his prime, the pace had dimmed a bit , but not the attitude. The Indians who toured in the summer of 1967 played a county game against Yorkshire led by Trueman. The Indians had a frail looking parsee player called Rusi Surti. He was an agressive left handed bat and could bowl brisk left arm medium pace or spin. In India he was rather harshly by the media as " Poor Man's Sobers ". Surti was actually quite a good all-rounder but he belonged to that breed of people who provide yeoman service, but have no star appeal.

When the Indians batted, Trueman bowled a few bouncers to Surti. Surti hooked one for six. Fred met Surti mid pitch with the choicest of expletives. He got quite a few in return from Surti. Trueman was befuddled ! No one in county cricket dared to do that and here was a frail looking Indian locking horns. But it was Surti's last line that left Trueman speechless - " Your Father What goes ? " . Farokh engineer ( A parsee himself ) , later explained Trueman that Surti was literally translating a common parsee dialogue " Thara Baap nu su jaave ".

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bombay Boyz

Mumbai in its rich cricket heritage has been known to produce street smart cricketers. Often they have outwitted even the shrewdest of captains. The bakra in this tale is none other than Steve Waugh. The prick ? Sameer Dighe , playing in his debut match. The game ? The deciding one in his "Final Frontier" series at Chennai with the series tied at 1-1.

The game is on a knife's edge. Needing a further 20 runs to win, India have just slid from 135-5 to 135-7 , chasing 155. The lucky bowler being Colin Miller an off-break bowler, not threatening by any standards, his 2 wickets { VVS Laxman and Sairaj Bahutule } in that over were more courtesy of excellent catches by Mark Waugh and Shane Warne respectively. Zaheer Khan walks in. Knowing that he would rather face Miller than McGrath, Samir Dighe loudly tells Zaheer in English.

"Zaheer, Colin Miller is bowling really well. Be careful !"

The result ? Steve Waugh after a long deliberation gives Miller another over instead of getting McGrath back and Dighe promptly whacks him for a couple of fours thus taking 10 runs off it and gets the target down to single figures. A crucial blow that tilts the match in India's favor. What followed is well known !

picked up from " Indian Summers " by John Wright

Tetoree Pav

Tetoree Pav is supposedly a lentil based parsi dish. From the description I read it seemed as if it was Misal Pav. Anyways there was this member of CCI who loved Tetoree Pav, hence was called by that name. The guy had some kind of bad luck associated with him. Whoever was greeted by him would have a bad day ahead , so the anecdote ran.

In 1964-65 Bobby Simpson's Aussies toured India playing 3 tests . They were on a high having just beaten England for The Ashes. The Aussies drew first blood at Madras, and quite comprehensively . During the next test in mumbai, one of the CCI members had this brilliant idea of introducting Tetoree Pav to the Australians on the day the game started hoping for some bad luck to rub on to the Aussies. 10 minutes after play started, Norman O'neil one of their middle order bulwarks complained of stomach ache and pulled out of the match. The Aussies thus played a batsman short in either innings. India won a close game by 2 wickets , chasing 264 on the final day. With rain playing its part in the third test, India managed to square the series against one of the strongest Aussie sides of the 1960's.

Tetoree Pav had dunnit . Again !

I'm tempted to say that line from Lagaan - " Aur Tetoree Pav ka naam Itihaas ke pannon mein kahin kho gaya "

Picked up from Willow Tales - Fredun De vitre

Chandra ..

A wizard with a withered hand. His exploits with the ball are well known. Heres some trivia about him :

He is an ardent Mukesh fan. Used to carry his collection on tours. Also mimics Mukesh's voice well and has appeared in Zee TV's Antakshari

He's a relative of Kiran Prakash

He had some temper . Heres a trivia incident. Happened on India's twin tour of NZ n WI in 1976. NZ was notorious before the advent of neutral umpires for their biased umpires. In one of the tests Chandra had quite a few LBW and Caught appeals turned down by an umpire. He finally managed to bowl the batsman neck n crop with one of his unpredictables .. and belted out into a huge appeal
The umpire pointed out that the batsman was bowled. A furious Chandra retorted " I know hez bowled , but is he out ?? "

B S Chandrasekhar


Dalvi Da Dhaba

|| Om Gyros Namah ||

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