Oh yes, we have got it covered for you this week as well - Overreaction Monday featuring cricket for the third week in a row, which has some of the most bizarre statements. This week too, nothing changes as we look at how the cricketers have behaved during the lockdown.
Babar ‘Kohli’ Azam!
Pakistan’s former pacer, Aamer Sohail wants his country’s limited-overs skipper to carbon copy his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli in terms of showing aggression on the field. He contrasted the two and put it down to Kohli’s aggression as the difference between the Indian’s domination in world cricket and Babar’s talented tag.
SC Take: Well, there we are, with just the first piece of statement we have it - the bizarreness, the sense of sensationalising stuff to make things look pretty. Aamer Sohail wanting Babar Azam to play like Virat Kohli would not definitely make him a better batsman. It is just mindless from the former opener to want his skipper to mirror Kohliesque aggression because aggression is a double-edged sword. His other point of complaint was that Babar is controlling his emotion too much.
Well, the right-hander is just 25 and already has a staggering number - with a 45.12 average in Tests while scoring 54 in ODIs and 50 in T20Is. He is already on his way of becoming great for the country but him changing his attitude just to fulfil Sohail’s demands of becoming Kohli. It doesn’t really work that way, Mister, at the end of the day. In the past, we have seen how comparison with the Indian has destroyed some careers in Pakistan (read Ahmed Shehzad), so don’t do it, just don’t. In hindsight, let’s create a Babar 1.0 and not a Kohli 2.0.
And Vivian ‘Billionaire’ Richards tops IPL bidding charts
Sir Vivian Richards, the World Cup winner, breaker of all chains, surely revolutionised cricket in such a way that it created fear in the mind of the bowlers. Three decades later too, his name is in the news for the storm that he created. This time around, commentator, Ian Smith suggested that the franchises would have paid more money for Richards than Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins combined.
SC Take: While it looks highly an audacious statement underplaying the efforts of both Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins, it is not. Being Generation ‘Z,’ I have hardly witnessed any of the master-stroke from the West Indian legend live on the television but as far I have heard and seen, surely he would have been a match-winner even in the shortest format. His technique combined with his brute strength surely had the ability to win in the T20 format. For a man who made his last appearance in the 90s, to have a strike rate of 90.20 is damn sexy. And if it was just the strike-rate column which was high, the King could have been ignored but it extends beyond.
An average of 47, a high score of 189* and loads of massive sixes, which even the statistics column has failed to keep up to will surely fetch him in crores. While Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins were sold for over 12 crores and 15 crores respectively for their skillset, it would be an understatement to predict that Sir Richards might have crossed the 20 crore barrier, even if it means a player less for the franchise. Alongside his swagger and brand-value, he would have been a definite hit in the IPL.
Sreesanth and Uthappa’s version of ‘would you catch it’
It all kicked off when Robin Uthappa went on air with the BBC (yes the same one) and revealed a rather interesting story about the T20 World Cup win in 2007. He talked about how he did not trust his teammate Sreesanth to get himself under the ball to win India the World Cup. However, it seldom ends there, with the pacer hitting back at the keeper for dropping catches for Kerala.
SC Take: For a moment, it looked like friendly banter, with the soon-to-be teammates having a go at each other in the lightest of spirits. However, when you look at it closely, it turned ugly, with the pacer’s retaliation. This is exactly what Kerala were hoping for (read not hoping for) when they asked Robin Uthappa to move states to be part of the gradual building of the state’s cricket. To have two teammates fighting even before they have met each other in the training ground is exactly like a dish you made out of the recipe you read on Google.
On top of that, if the battle just had both of them going against each other in a head to head catching contest, it would have been fun, instead of all the yap-yap to the media outlets. Oh, I forgot to mention, the name-pulling part was the best out of them all, when Sreesanth randomly compared himself to the South African legendary fielder, Jonty Rhodes. Well, if I was Rhodes, I would have ridden myself to the edge of the cliff and you know what will happen next! Well, he also had it in himself to threaten the keeper not to drop any catches. Imagine this happening in front of the entire world, two of your most experienced players!
Danish the wily ol’ Kaneria:
After ages, the Pakistani leggie Danish Kaneria finally came out and talked about how he would clear his name from the lifetime ban given by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) if Sourav Ganguly takes over ICC’s chairman role. He also added how he would not require a recommendation from the PCB or its support to become the chairman.
SC Take: After a long time missing, Kaneria’s box of pandora finally opened when he wanted Sourav Ganguly to become ICC’s chairman for his own cause. It took the former Pakistan spinner almost six years to accept that he was indeed wrong during his time with Essex Cricket Club. More importantly, when he himself accepted that he was wrong, why does he want to get his name cleared? Just that he can make more money, opening up academies, teaching cricket? So when he vouches for the Indian southpaw, it raises another question - does he really want him at the helm for his personal agenda?
If he does want him for his personal agenda, why would he be going public about it, which certainly does not help him in any way. Also, if you are indeed taking the oh-I-want-to-be-a-saint angle, why would you do it such a way? Indeed Ganguly might become the voice of cricket, for smaller nations or for smaller cricketers but in all ways, you aren’t a small cricketer, neither have you done a small crime? Selling one’s soul for money is not the right thing but selling the sport’s soul for money is even more heinous.