Currently Browsing: General

The just concluded India Australia limited overs series was played as per the old rules

The just concluded India Australia limited overs series was played as per the old rules.

The  rules that came into effect on 28.09.17 are detailed below

Players being sent off for misconduct is all set to become a reality in cricket with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) revamped playing rules, which will be effective in all series starting 28 September or later.

The significant changes also include a restriction on the dimensions of the bat, and changes to the Decision Review System. However, the ongoing India-Australia limited-overs series will continue to be played as per the old rules.

All of these rules will come into effect from the two upcoming Test series—when South Africa host Bangladesh and Pakistan take on Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.

The ICC playing conditions will now incorporate the relevant clauses from the MCC Laws of Cricket (2017 Code), meaning that all the playing regulations will be captured in one document for each format.

“Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches,” ICC general manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice said.

To maintain the balance between bat and ball, the size of the edges of the bats as well as their thickness will now be restricted.

“The restriction on the length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most. Umpires will be issued with a new bat gauge, which they can use to check a bat’s legality,” the ICC stated.

In a new playing condition pertaining to players’ conduct, a player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct.

“…meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct,” it said.

“Threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person and committing any other act of violence all constitute Level 4 offences,” it added.

Also, in the new the DRS rules a review will now not be lost in case of a decision that remains unchanged, solely as the result of an ‘umpire’s call’.

“As for DRS in Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings, meaning that there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings, while the DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is.”

“An important change with respect to runouts is that if a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out.”

The same interpretation will also apply for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped.

For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be scored.

Besides, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper

Article Courtesy – Live Mint



The new cricket rule changes that came into effect from September 28

The following are the changes to the ICC’s playing conditions that will come into effect for all international series that has begun from September 28, 2017.


Each team can name six substitutes (previously it was four) in Test cricket.


There are no changes to the permitted width and length of a cricket bat, but the thickness of the edge can be no more than 40mm, and the thickness of the bat must not exceed 67mm at any point. Umpires will have a gauge to check that bats meet the new regulations.


The ICC has okayed the use of bails tethered to the stumps to prevent injuries caused by bails flying at wicketkeepers and fielders after the stumps have been broken. The mechanism used to tether the bails must not interfere with their ability to be dislodged; the implementation of such a system is at the discretion of the host board.


In Test cricket, an interval will be taken if a wicket falls within three minutes of the interval. Previously it was two minutes.


In T20 internationals, if an innings is reduced to less than 10 overs, the maximum quota of overs per bowler shall not be less than two: meaning that if a match is reduced to five overs a side, two bowlers will be able to bowl two overs each.


For boundaries, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from inside the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be given. A boundary will also be given if a fielder in contact with the ball makes contact with any object grounded beyond the boundary, including another fielder.


If the ball bounces more than once after being delivered by the bowler and before it reaches the popping crease of the batsman, it will be called a no-ball. Previously a ball was allowed to bounce twice. If the ball lands off the pitch, then the umpire will signal a no-ball. If a fielder intercepts the delivery before it reaches the batsman, the umpire will call no-ball and dead ball.


Any byes or leg byes scored off a no-ball will now be scored separately. The bowler will have one no-ball put against his/her name, and the other extras will be scored as byes and leg byes. Previously, byes and leg byes scored off no-balls were scored as no-balls.


If a batsman grounds his/her bat or part of his/her body behind the crease while regaining his/her ground before the stumps are broken, and then if he/she inadvertently loses contact with the bat, or if the grounded part of his/her body becomes airborne – while running or diving – when the stumps are broken, he/she shall not be run out or stumped.


An appeal can be withdrawn, or the umpires can recall a dismissed batsman, at any time before the ball comes into play for the next delivery. Previously, a batsman could not be recalled once he/she had left the field.


For a catch on the boundary to be legal, a fielder making contact with the ball must either be grounded inside the boundary or his/her last contact with the ground before first touching the ball must have been inside the boundary.


A batsman can be caught, run-out, or stumped even if the ball makes contact with a helmet worn by the fielder or wicketkeeper.


The handled-the-ball dismissal has been removed and included under the obstructing-the-field category.


There are several tweaks to what now constitutes unfair play. If the fielding side tries to deliberately distract or deceive the batsman – through mock fielding for example – after he/she has received the ball, the umpires can penalise them. If a bowler bowls a deliberate no-ball, he/she can be removed from the attack for the rest of the innings. A batsman cannot take strike so far outside the crease that he/she is standing in the protected area of the pitch, just like bowlers are not allowed to follow through on the protected area. A catch-all law has now been introduced to give umpires the power to deal with conduct they believe is unfair but is not covered elsewhere in the laws.


A player can now be sent off the field by the umpire for the rest of a match for serious misconduct. This will apply to most Level 4 offences, with with Level 1-3 offences continuing to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.


If an umpire’s decision is referred to the TV umpire by a team, and the on-field decision remains unchanged because the DRS shows “umpire’s call”, the team will not lose the review.


Because teams will not lose a review for “umpire’s call”, they will not have their two unsuccessful reviews replenished after the first 80 overs of the innings in a Test. They will have only two unsuccessful reviews for the entire innings. The DRS will now be used in T20 internationals as well – teams will have one unsuccessful review per innings.


Unforgettable Ananda Rau – commentator with a golden voice

The author of this  article is Shri C Prahlada Rao – one of the greatest cricket connoisseur I have come across. He used to work for Syndicate Bank and then later on joined Dena Bank as General Manager – Computers at Mumbai. Its here that i came across this genial gentleman who used to reel off many anecdotes just through his sheer memory. He is now settled in Mumbai and me at Bangalore but the  distance does not come in between us when we talk of cricket through telephone for many hours. Here is what Sri C Prahlada Rao thinks of Sri P Anandra Rau

As 15 year olds, my friends and I , became big time fans of commentator P.Ananda Rao around 1966-67 . What first drew us to him was his golden voice ( though a tad nasal ) and his superb command over English. Add to this, his fascination for detailing and his endearing narration made him extremely popular.

We also loved Anant Setalwad , who too had a gifted voice and a smooth narration; but Ananda Rao stood out with his unique style, which made his listeners yearning for more.

Those days, media meant only the radio and the newspapers ( even sports magazines such as SportsStar, SportsWorld came much later ) and listeners had no choice but to cling to every word a commentator would utter to catch up with the action. And here, Ananda Rao was the master !

Sample these ..” And that marks the end of another typical Nadkarni over, a maiden, of course ” or “Conrad Hunte drives powerfully towards the covers region, Pataudi goes down on one knee, makes sure of stopping the ball, which he eventually does.”

On Wes Hall, in the 1966-67 series “Wes Hall, the old fire still burns. The gentle giant, steams in almost from the boundary line, his majestic run-up reminds one of a well-oiled express locomotive. You can see his shirt wide open, with his silver cross dangling from his powerful neck; you can feel his big muscles ripping against his white trousers . He delivers another thunder-bolt at Sardesai, which the batsman defends, showing the full face of his bat. Hall collects the ball on his follow-thru , throws it to Rohan Kanhai fielding at Mid-on and begins his long walk to the top of his bowling mark. Kanhai, meanwhile, is seen vigorously polishing the new ball on his trousers, runs after Hall and throws the ball at the receding back of the tall and lithe fast bowler. The ball hits Hall’s back with a thud, must cause him tremendous burn; but Hall catches the ball showing no visible signs of any pain and strides back to the top of his bowling mark…”

What narration !

Ananda Rao, with his picturesque commentating skills , drew a fascinating visual of a tear-away world class pace bowler in full throttle . What more do the listeners want ?

We also looked forward to P.Ananda Rao’s summing up of the day’s proceedings upto the tea interval , for the benefit of overseas listeners. His summing up reflected an extra-ordinary memory, his in-depth knowledge of the game and a perfect lesson for wrapping up in style. He was so much focused on this tough job that he would overlook any unusual event happening on the field. As listeners, whenever there was a roar from the stadium, we had no alternative but to hazard a guess that a wicket has fallen or a boundary or a six has been hit, depending on whether India was batting or fielding, as the case may be.

Truly, a master of his art !

When I read a news item in “The Hindu” that my favourite commentator was the General Manager of Das Prakash Group of Hotels, I could relate to him even more, as the Group hailed from Udupi, my home town.

A cricketer and a gentleman Balu Alaganan – A tribute by V Ramnarayan on Balu’s demise

Balu Alaganan who led Madras to its first Ranji Trophy triumph against Holkar at Indore in 1954-1955, was a popular captain, with an impeccable pedigree in the game. After his high school education in Colombo, he came back to his native Madras state, where he captained the strong Madras Christian College team at Tambaram. Alaganan was an all round sportsman, who won singles and doubles titles in state tennis, and played golf as a keen amateur.

The sad news of this gentleman cricketer’s death was announced today.

A conversation with Balu (circa 2000)
In a free flowing conversation about Tamil Nadu’s maiden Ranji triumph, Balu Alaganan revealed some unusual facets of that famous victory “I was a member of the selection committee that made me the Madras captain the year we won the Ranji Trophy!” he said. “It was a bombshell to me. I had been in and out of the side, had done nothing of note, though I had a hundred against Mysore in a junior match under the captaincy of M S Shastri, uncle of Ravi Shastri. M J Gopalan, C Ramaswami and R T Parthasarathi were the other selectors who persuaded me along with ‘Ghanta’ Srinivasaraghavan (the Madras Cricket Association secretary). Ghanta promised he would be there to watch us when we won the Ranji Trophy, but while we were playing Hyderabad we received news of the air crash that claimed his life.

About his dream run, culminating in a match-winning innings in the final, Alaganan recalls: “The players were more motivated than I. They kept on encouraging me. On the night before the last day of the match, A K Sarangapani had a dream in which he scored 74, the exact number of runs he made in the second innings. M K Murugesh came up to me at no.11 and said: “Don’t treat me as a tailender, I’ll stay with you”, and our partnership proved vital. The 50 runs we put on were in the end the margin of our victory”.

“In the semifinal, C D Gopinath plotted Pankaj Roy’s dismissal on the hook shot off the bowling of BC Alva with his fastish offbreaks. We had a fielder about halfway to the boundary, Alva bowled short and Roy could not resist the temptation.”

“Kripal played a great role in our win. He was writing his exams and we wanted a postponement, which was granted. The star-studded Holkar team captained by Mushtaq Ali, put us in on jute matting, perfect for batting, thinking they would finish the match earlier as their main bowler Dhanwade wanted an extra day in Bombay on his way to the English league.”

As it turned out, Madras made 479 and took the lead. Holkar had heard of Gopinath, but not of young Kripal Singh who played two wonderful innings and bowled superbly. Alaganan wanted to drop himself, as he hadn’t been among the runs. True to form, he scored a zero in the first innings, the only batsman to do so.

After that memorable victory, Alaganan retired and was nominated as a Vice President of the Madras Cricket Association, but was found to be underage, and had to wait until he was 35!

“One year, we all had to resign from the committee when S R Jagannathan sued the Association, but I was determined to become president after that, which I did,” says Alaganan, who was the popular choice it seemed, whenever unpleasant tasks had to be carried out.

He it was who had to inform skipper P K Belliappa he had to stand down as Tamil Nadu skipper in favour of Venkataraghavan, because the off spinner was being groomed for the South Zone captaincy and India vice captaincy.

Years later, when some players went up to him to express their unhappiness with Venkat, again it was Balu who had to convey their feelings to the captain.

A memorable match as manager of the state team was when Tamil Nadu beat Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy semifinal at Poona. “When Maharashtra went into bat for the last time in the match, we led only by 120 runs, but I told the boys not to give up. Skipper Venkat said: ‘Don’t worry, we will win the match’. There was some great bowling by Venkat and VV, and we bundled Maharashtra out for 96, to register an incredible win.”

Balu was a lucky manager. At least that’s how he describes himself, though players who have toured with him think of him as a thoughtful official who really cared for them and contributed meaningfully to team strategy. The Indian teams that visited Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies in the seventies thoroughly enjoyed touring with him.

Balu also did a fairly long stint as radio and TV commentator. One unforgettable incident involved the late P Ananda Rau, who invariably summed up the day’s proceedings for the benefit of overseas listeners who tuned in just after teatime on Test match days in Madras. On one such occasion, even as Ananda Rau was summing up, a few wickets fell, and the commentator went on with his resume, paying no heed to current happenings. The crowd was roaring all the while, and the noise level was quite deafening. Acting on phone calls from worried listeners, who feared some mishap at the ground, the police landed there. Balu nudged Ananda Rau even as the police were making their way towards the commentary box, and Rau woke up from his trance to announce: “As I was talking to you, dear listeners, three more Indian wickets fell.”

The veteran administrator recalls with a chuckle an instance of attempted match fixing from his own experience. It was an intercollegiate match in the forties between Loyola and Madras Christian College, Alaganan’s team. Loyola’s captain Fullinfaw wanted an outright win, as otherwise Engineering, who had star players like Aruldoss, B C Alva, and G Ramanathan, would become the league champions. He asked the MCC captain to lose the match intentionally. “Our captain G Zachariah said, ‘No, I am a true Christian, and won’t throw away a match under any circumstance,’ and we drew the match. The Loyola College crowd, obviously in the know of things, booed us.”

They were a class apart in Cricket Commentary

They were a class apart – Listening to cricket commentary those days was a pleasure, what with the voices of experts such as Bobby Talyarkhan, Ananda Rau, and Pearson Surita capturing the magic of the game over AIR.

CRICKET COMMENTARY is now a subject, debated and dissected by all, including the players. A lot of it is related to what is being said and analysed by a plethora of former cricketers in the current World Cup.

True, nothing panegyric is being said about any of them, and rightly so, because very few had succeeded in riveting the attention of the huge audience with their description, vocabulary, vision and assessment, even though a majority are high profile players in their heyday. Their discomfort in pitching for the appropriate expression, total lack of felicity and professionalism, leave alone the essential ingredients of voice modulation, sobriety and restraint, make a mockery of what many regard as an art in itself.

It is fashionable to portray commentators of the BBC and ABC as demi-gods and the Indians unworthy of the job. In the Indian context, it is ridiculous, since the Englishmen and Australians come off in their mother-tongue. Long before the names of John Arlott and Alan McGilvary entered the Indian psyche, there were commentators who earned the appreciation and approbation of one and all, including the thousands of Englishmen. Can any of those who listened to the narration of A.F.S. (Bobby) Talyarkhan from the famous Bombay Gymkhana ground, or any other centre, where Tests were played, feel that it did not match his western counterpart? He was a one-man army, and went on the air throughout the day, giving listeners a mental picture of what he was seeing, be it the classicism of Lala, the imperious stroke-making prowess of CK, or even the impeccable defensive display by Vijay Merchant.

To say, `Bobby’ Talyarkhan was a trendsetter so far as commentary in Indian sports is concerned, notably for cricket and horse-racing, is no exaggeration. There have been quite a few who have followed in the footsteps of `Bobby’, each exuding a different style, personality and intonation to communicate with listeners over the then most powerful medium, the All India Radio. The Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagaram (`Vizzy’ to many), the former India captain, had a style of narration all his own. He was admired and despised, but none dared to ignore him. Vizzy always led the field, and formed a lively team with Devraj Puri and Berry Sarbadikary. While Puri, who was a first-class and unofficial Test cricketer, spoke with a passion, almost racing with the ball rolling from the bat of Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar or Dattu Phadkar, the silver-haired Berry Sarbadikary was more tonal, drawling but measured.

But if you needed one with the diction and style that matched those demigods of BBC and ABC it was Pearson Surita from Kolkata. A brilliant narrator, both in football and cricket, Pearson was hugely popular with the listeners for the choice of words and observations. Not surprisingly, he was invited as guest commentator to share the mike along with John Arlott and Brian Johnston when India toured England in 1967. Equally versatile was Anant Setalvad from Mumbai.

In no way did Tamil Nadu lag behind in this field. Though `Bobby’ Talyarkhan captured the audience here — he named GP “the parson” and Rangachari “the policeman” — in the 1930s from the picturesque Chepauk, once considered as beautiful as any other English ground, this city, considered then a conservative, intellectual centre, on par with London, can remember with pride a few notable cricket commentators as good in any other metropolis of India. High on this is the late P. Ananda Rau, whose sonorous voice could be heard from any transistor set those days during the Ranji Trophy matches. Unlike now, commentary never came through the whole day, and the resume after an hour or so from lunch break was eagerly looked forward to. The summing up by Ananda Rau on what occurred during the break would be enough for the listener to mentally picture the happenings at Chepauk.

A `Varsity’ blue, Ananda Rau, who spent the better part of his professional career as hotelier — he was the manager with the Dasaprakash Group — contributed immensely to enhancing the profile of cricket commentary. When AIR began broadcasting commentary in 1938, Ananda Rau, then a narrator of local events, made his debut with the Madras-United Province Ranji Trophy match in 1943. Encouraged by the then state captain, G. Parthasarathy, (GP as he was affectionately called) who later became India’s Permanent Representative in the U.N. Ananda Rau was behind the mike for over 57 Tests (both official and unofficial) and 117 first-class matches, including the Ranji and Duleep Trophy tournaments. The golden moment of his career as a commentator came when he was invited by the BBC to do the job from the hallowed Lord’s. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991 for his contribution to sport and tourism. He was president of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Associations.

Ananda Rau had a splendid team man in Balu Alaganan, the first captain to take Tamil Nadu (then Madras) to a trophy triumph in the Ranji Trophy. Renowned for his sobriety and depth of knowledge, Alaganan’s observations were weighty and taken as authoritative. Another prominent figure during that period was again a Ranji Trophy captain and former Minister of State, R. T. Parthasarathy of Salem. A youngster who went on to become an exponent, K. Balaji, cut short his career behind the mike to pursue higher studies. Bureaucrat and cricket buff, V. Ramamuthy, was also on the panel — he even toured Pakistan. But he switched over to Tamil commentary, and continues to be part of that team. While on the subject, it is not easy to ignore the name of V. M. Chakrapani who joined the staff of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The charm of radio commentary is gone. The advent of TV has transformed the whole concept, where professionalism and felicity have been pushed into the background in preference to projecting star players — glamorous models too — whether they fill the bill or not. If someone today views the TV on mute mode, it is not an aberration; but a conscious choice to avoid the deluge of words.

S. THYAGARAJAN – Article Courtesy – The Hindu

Post Script –  I, HR Gopala Krishna, had the opportunity of working with P Ananda Rau,  Balu Alaganan and, V Ramamurthy in the Radio commentary box as a scorer-cum-statistician in Test Matches and Ranji Trophy matches and with RT Parthasarathy and K Balalji  in Ranji Trophy matches

Dhoni saga: The Finisher has unfinished business

Secret of success: M.S. Dhoni, who has a record 100 stumpings, knows too well that the odd mistake is often remembered more than a weighty contribution.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni flashed a familiar smile and extended his arm. His handshake was firm, as always.

Moments earlier he had been swarmed by fans in the hotel lobby even as he alighted from the lift. Dhoni’s popularity has not dipped a tad.

Dressed in a tight t-shirt and jeans, he appeared super fit. “Do I have any other choice,” he quipped.

A professional athlete’s life can be hard. You come under a microscope. Then there are questions that follow – Is he getting on in age, is he slowing down?

The India-Australia limited overs series beginning at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday could see Dhoni answering many of those queries.

As a wicket-keeper batsman, Dhoni comprehends only too well that the odd mistake is often remembered more than a weighty contribution.

Glittering career

He has to be on his toes, silence the doubters and build on what has been a glittering career. At 36, much of his incredible journey from a small town to the big, bold lights of international cricket is behind him. But then, the challenges ahead could get his competitive juices flowing.

For most part, he has sped down the highway to success and milestones, his biker spirit shining through.

Dhoni has crossed the 300-game mark in ODIs; has a record 100 stumpings in them. These are times though when he may have to negotiate some tight bends.

Dhoni no longer plays Test cricket, there can be long breaks between series, and he has to keep his focus. And each time he fails to live up to his own high standards, he will be under even more scrutiny.

Yet, there could be some sting in the tail of a fulfilling tale which could climax in the ICC 2019 World Cup.

Dhoni is here in a city that is only too familiar to him. As the talismanic skipper who fired Chennai Super Kings to several triumphs, he has a legion of supporters in these parts.

There will be a roar when he enters the ground here for the first India-Australia ODI.

‘A legend’

India coach Ravi Shastri has backed Dhoni to continue in the side, appreciates his ability, fitness and commitment. “He is a legend,” says Shastri.

In a side of stroke-makers, Dhoni offers stability to the line-up. He has so often been the link between the specialist batsmen and the lower order.

He can rally when the chips are down, build partnerships and pilot the side home. Take the India – Sri Lanka ODI this season at Pallekele for instance.

Pursuing 237, India slumped 131 for seven before Dhoni (45 not out) guided the side to victory along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He does add weight and experience to the order.

Of course, he might not have the eye of a 28-year-old. Years of cricket do take their toll. And his ploy of taking the game deep and exploding at the finish has come in for some criticism particularly when the tactic fails to come off.

His 114-ball 54 against the West Indies in the ODI at North Sound is a case in point. India went down by 11 runs and Dhoni couldn’t quite be the finisher that day.

But then, he still has the bat speed, dexterous wrists and the power to dismantle attacks on his day. Dhoni still covers ground like a panther between the wickets and still possesses those fast hands to effect lighting stumpings and run-outs.

This celebrated cricketer still has some gas left in the tank. Dhoni has some unfinished business.

by S Dinakar – Article courtesy – The Hindu



« Older Entries

Skip to toolbar