Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

Why ICC’s FTP Is Useless

ICC

Ganesh Subramanian, our cricket expert talks of why a packed calendar of ICC could still be justified if they pack it with relevant stuff and make sure important events don’t get lost to nature’s fury

So immediately after a good, exciting Champions Trophy comes a meaningless triseries featuring India, West Indies and Sri Lanka. Although Indian fans are delighted with the Indian victory in an exciting final, it begs the question whether the series must have been scheduled in the first place coming against the backdrop of a highly intense champions trophy. What was supposed to be Srilanka’s tour of West Indies ended up as a meaningless triseries.

While ICC’s FTP’s fundamental premise is the fact that member countries, that is, the top test playing nations play each other in each other’s home territory atleast once in 4 years. Often this rule is not adhered to as individual boards tend to cater more to their commercial interests than stick to the FTP.

As a result, tours are cut short, ODIs and T20 are increased, Test matches are pushed to the backseat and so on. Also the ICC has a fascination for scheduling important ICC events in rainy seasons in different countries. Also the concept of reserve days are accommodated or neglected according to some random whims and fancies.

An important tournament like the ICC champions trophy has no reserve days for rain affected matches and it’s sad that the tournament final turned out to be a 20-over affair, thanks to rain and absence of reserve days. On the contrary, the meaningless triseries that just concluded had reserve days for all the matches.

The ICC’s logic for shelving the Champions Trophy was again appalling. ICC’s logic means only 1 global event for each format of the game – The ICC CWC, World T20 and Test championship. Now who says that only 1 global event needs to be there for 1 format.

Despite the success of Champions Trophy this year and appeal from former players like David Gower to reconsider the decision of doing away with the Champions Trophy, ICC hasn’t budged from its idiotic stance and had maintained that the recent CT played was indeed its last edition. Instead of meaningless and obsolete triseries, ICC would do well to preserve the sanctity of global events like the ICC.

One can only hope that atleast in future ICC’s FTP is designed rationally and helps preserve the sanctity of this glorious game of uncertainties.

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Be Thankful There Aren’t More Bostons

Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, Robert Cheruiyot

The Boston Marathon blasts have taken many by surprise, but what one should marvel at is the fact that few sports events have been hit, says Jaideep Ghosh

Terrorism in sports isn’t as new as many are making it out to be. The 1972 Munich Olympics, which saw the Israeli contingent being decimated after being taken hostage, sowed the seeds of violence in sport. What is dismaying is that some of our NewGen have either forgotten, or are completely ignorant of, this episode. And the worst thing you can do with terrorism or war is to forget.

<> on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

So when the blast happened, the initial reactions were shock and sadness, even anger, but not surprise. On the contrary, the thought that cropped up immediately was that it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ the next sporting event would be struck.

After Munich, there was the blast during the Atlanta Games. Cricket has had its own share of episodes, with the New Zealand side being within feeling distance of at least two blasts, in Colombo and Karachi. These explosions weren’t targeting them, but bullets or shrapnel do not distinguish who they destroy.

All of that was topped up by the shooting incident in Lahore, where the Sri Lankan team were right in the middle of it and it was a miracle that there were no fatalities. There are a few other incidents, but thankfully not as many as you’d think.

One needs to be thankful that these episodes have been few and far between. Given the magnitude of these events, the likes of Olympics or football World Cups, the sheer number of people coming from all walks of life, is a security exercise of mind-boggling proportions.

Added to that is the issue of the city of country’s image. If one were to be too stringent about vetting who would or wouldn’t come into the event, there would definitely be many cases which should be allowed to travel. That would automatically lead to negative publicity, which no one wants.

Take for example the 1996 cricket World Cup. Several countries, including Australia and the West Indies, refused to go to Sri Lanka and play, citing the political situation and terrorism. India and Pakistan then went and played a ‘solidarity’ match in Colombo. It was portrayed as an ‘us’ against ‘them’ duel.

Boston 2

But what if that said solidarity match became a target for terrorists? Political games aside, the fact that such events are so susceptible to strikes is something that is pushed under the carpet, for sheer political mileage and monetary gains.

Boston was ugly, but it re-emphasises the truth that sports events can be hit with much more ease than anything else, specifically since no one thinks they will be targeted. But since when do terrorists think like that?

The sad truth is that while we commiserate with those affected, one now has to begin to think like a terrorist. Cynical yes, but I can live with being a cynic, alive, than a dead liberal.

Entertainment As A Travesty For Education

Entertainment Cover Image

By, Aditya Nagarajan

A charade of germane imbroglios that continue to persist in our society, by a larger malaise, is the juxtaposition of ‘knowledge and awareness’ by way of entertainment. As self-styled as it might seem, with the recent controversy stalling the Sri Lankan players and the IPL, one might seem to fathom the very existence of the war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Jayalalithaa

One might hitherto go without saying that the awareness of war crimes, diplomatic treaties, plight of the Sri Lankans should be dealt by the education system, dialogue with the society at large and the media, although a simple pretence of the IPL had the common man, discussing these war crimes by Sri Lanka, which should have been done by society and the education system taking the lead.

dam999

Taking the case of the controversial movie ‘Dam 999’ which the Tamil Nadu government banned because it felt, would disrupt the cordial relations between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the very recent ‘Sanjay Dutt’ case. The former controversy educated the public about the Mullaperiyar Dam and the latter indirectly educated a larger sector of the audience about the Mumbai blasts of 1993.

sanjay dutt in khalnayak

These elements of history are known to us, our education system and roles within the society have made us aware of these points in history. But what makes one take an unsullied interest in these issues, is that they have been made controversial by entertainment. In India, a segment avails its daily dose of rigor from entertainment, also gets its daily dose of general awareness from entertainment.

The role, which earlier was reflected by our education system and our interaction with the society, has in this digital age upped its ante by giving credo to entertainment. A bright side of my argument sets in, a society which largely feeds on entertainment does get the required amount of awareness from entertainment itself. It is in these areas, entertainment has played a much larger part in dispelling thought-provoking-awe-inspiring discussions which other forms of knowledge should have gained traction over.