world cup

This tag is associated with 32 posts

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia are champions of the world

To tell you the truth, I did not really watch much of this World Cup’s final featuring Australia and New Zealand.

Switching on the telly after returning from morning Mass, with Brendon McCullum gone cheaply, it would be an uphill task for the Kiwis to compile a formidable total. Two more quick wickets followed and I switched off the set-top box.

For a partisan Indian supporter like me, the final held no thrills or attraction. Most World Cup finals have been one-sided affairs and there was no reason for me to believe otherwise.

Catching up with the morning news, Michael Clarke’s farewell announcing the final would be his ODI swansong caught my eyes.

“A World Cup victory would be a great way to sign off,” were my immediate thoughts. And I dwelled again on  the emotional eulogy he delivered at Philip Hughes’ funeral. Clarke will always have his share of detractors but that was the day he displayed how far he has travelled from being ‘Pup’ and the ‘Bad Boy’ of Australian cricket.

Noon and the Kiwis had folded up for 183. Despite Sunil Gavaskar’s vain attempts at drawing comparisons between the ’83 final and Sunday’s mismatch to keep viewer interest in the game alive, it was evident that barring a miracle the Australians were well on their way to being crowned five-time champions.

It was so, with Clark crafting a well-made 74.

Australians were world-beaters yet again.

Waqar Younis: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Waqar Younis was unprepared for crackdown.

What he said:

“This crackdown is going to affect the preparations of teams for the World Cup especially those teams whose bowlers are being reported.”

Former Pakistani pace bowler Waqar Younis believes that the timing of the clampdown on suspect bowling actions is inopportune and adversely affects the World Cup chances of the teams whose bowlers have been reported, specifically his country’s.

He said:

“I am not sure about the timing of these new laws being enforced by the ICC. The new protocols and technology to test bowling actions could have been done after the World Cup.” 

Three Pakistani off-spinners—Saeed Ajmal, Muhamad Hafeez and Adnan Rasool—have been placed under the scanner in the past month.

He added:

“When bowlers are reported at any level for suspect actions it obviously affects their confidence. I know Hafeez is concerned after being reported. So it does affect your preparations for the World Cup.

I don’t know because cricket has changed in the last decade or so, laws have changed and so have bowling actions. Spinners now use more variation and different deliveries because they are being tested constantly in all formats with the growing popularity of T20 cricket.

One can understand when the ICC rule for bowling action is being stretched so far but I still have my reservations about the timing of the new protocol for bowling actions.” 

On the doosra:

“The doosra delivery is an unorthodox delivery but staple for spinners and it adds value to the game. I think the ICC needs to look at this aspect. Whoever bowls the doosra will always bend his elbow more than the allowed 15 degrees because it is natural. Secondly the medical aspect while testing bowling actions should also be taken into consideration.” 

What Younis really meant:

“The Pakistanis are losing their match-winning spinners because of the crackdown. What are we to do if the ball we invented—the doosra—is outlawed? Play marbles?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Let’s hope this whole affair reverse swings.”


Sepp Blatter: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Sepp Blatter Goes On The Warpath

What he said (via

“The World Cup was theirs by right. When they came here with Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister Cameron, they were certain of winning.They got two votes. Since then, they have looked for every means to justify their defeat.”

Beleaguered FIFA boss, Joseph Blatter, launches a tirade at the English Football Association for their opposition to his continued presence at the helm of international soccer.

England lost out to Russia in its bid for the 2018 World Cup.

The 75-year-old is fighting corruption charges and was recently in the center of a racism row with his seemingly flippant remark that such on-field incidents could be settled with a handshake.

Transparency International dealt another blow to FIFA’s pretensions of corruption reform severing ties with the soccer body for ignoring two of its recommendations.

Mark Pieth,  a Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel,asked to oversee reforms, disclosed that he would be accepting payment from FIFA. Additionally, he would not be investigating old hoary scandals.

In an interview to Matin Dimanche, a French Swiss daily, Blatter denounced the English body claiming that they are more interested in hosting the World Cup than the Olympics.

Blatter said (via

In the 60s and 70s, the great sporting federations were in the main British. It’s no longer the case.The English have lost power and, most recently, the 2018 World Cup.They were very keen, more than for the Olympics. They thought that football should have come home.

What he really meant:

“The English are sore losers—according to me.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Why don’t HRH The Duke Of Cambridge and I settle our differences with (what else) a handshake?”

Read Blatter’s original interview here.

Graeme Swann: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Graham Swann at Lord's Cricket Ground 20th Jul...

Graeme Swann reflects on his former, ‘loony’ self.

What he said:

"Graeme Swann the captain would never pick Graeme Swann the kid.”

English off-spinner, Graeme Swann, while thrilled to lead national T20 side, believes that his younger self would not have found a place in the side—under him.

Swann added:

But the one regret I have about the young lunatic Graeme Swann is that there was not much Twenty20 around then. I’m sure I would be pretty good at it because I could bat in those days. I would have had a way of staying in the England squad for a few years while I developed my skills in the longer form.

The T20 skipper admitted that "the young lunatic is still in there, but I manage to hide him most of the time."

On the captaincy allowing him to exhibit his mind’s keen edge, Swann said,

No one would have believed this five years ago, least of all myself. It’s surreal in a way, but I have always harboured ambitions of captaining at first-class level and it is nice that I have got a chance if only for a couple of games to show the inner workings of my mind.

On leading in the abbreviated format:

It’s a reactions game. You can start with grandiose plans about how you want to start and they can change quickly. I am not sure it will be too maverick or out of the box, but I like to think I will be attacking. It is important in this form of the game to take wickets. That is what won us the World Twenty20.

Swann feels T20 games should replace ODIs:

It is the biggest game in the short format and somewhere down the line we will have to treat it a bit more seriously and play series of Twenty20 games.We are world champions but going into Sri Lanka we will only play half a dozen games or so in this format before that World Cup starts. For every touring team that comes over it will not be frowned upon if there was a three-game ODI series and a three-game Twenty20 series. That makes more sense than five one-dayers.

Swann disclaimed that his opinion coincided with those of the English Cricket Board (ECB), saying, “These are my views, not the views of my employer.”

What Swann really meant:

“Graeme Swann, the kid, would be such a pain in the butt for Graeme Swann, the No.1 off-spinner, skipper and elder statesman.”

What Swann definitely didn’t:

“There is a Graeme Swann in the younger lot.”

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Maradona during his debut for Argentina in a g...

Diego Maradona Is Wary of Argentine Museums

What he said:

"Football there is like a museum – the youngest person is 95 years old. Stay at home with your grandchildren and allow young people to manage Argentinean football."

Argentine soccer legend, Diego Maradona, is critical about the state of affairs in the Argentina Football Association (AFA). Maradona was sacked as national coach following the 0-4 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarters.

What he really meant:

“The Argentina Football Association is a museum and I’m not careful  around them (museums). I’m like a bull in a chinaware shop.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Nobody told me how to coach the Argentinean side. That’s why we lost.”

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Diego Maradona watching the Germany-Sweden qua...

Diego Maradona Is Not Interested in Argentine soccer

What he said:

"Since I left, I have never seen the Argentina team… And I think I will not see them again."

Diego Maradona makes it clear that he has no more interest in the Argentinean soccer team. The footballing great was national coach for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was later sacked following the 0-4 loss to Germany in the quarter-final.

What he really meant:

“The Argentine national team is neither my responsibility nor the Argentine Football Association (AFA)  my paymasters.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“You can take me away from my Argentina but you can’t take away the Argentina in me.”

Test cricket and life

I’d say Test cricket grows on you.

In the beginning, there was only Test cricket, you knew of nothing better. Tests were cricket, cricket were Tests. Then India won the World Cup in 1983, and you realized that there was an exciting, faster-paced brand of cricket, a form in which India were world champions, a form that could bridge the gap between good teams and great.

And if you were a schoolkid, Test cricket paled in comparison. Who had the time to follow five gourmet meal of a game over 5 days, when you could get instant Maggi and masala?

But you grew older, and just like your appreciation of music finessed, so did your appreciation of the nuances of the longer version of the game.

Sure, you still found it difficult to find time to enjoy 30 hours of timeless cricket but you discovered that it mirrored life. That patience pays more, that it’s about plugging away and hoping that things will turn around.

It’s life, in a microcosm.

Read the original comment here

Poonam Pandey: What she said, really meant and definitely did not

What she said:

“God gave women legs, so we show them off.”

Poonam Pandey, who made the headlines promising to strip if Team Indian won the ICC ODI World Cup, is not shy of making further provocative comments. She is to be one of the stars leading a Slutwalk in Mumbai—come September.

What she really meant:

“Legs are not just meant for walking, you know.”

What she definitely didn’t:

“How would you  like them, waxed or in all their hairy splendour?”

Shahid Afridi: What he said, really meant and what you wish he said

Shahid Khan Afridi

What he said:

“I was a hero for them after the World Cup and suddenly I became zero.”

Shahid Afridi is quite certain that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) flip-flops in its attitude  to him. Ijaz Butt, PCB Chairman, is the target of his ire. The former Pakistan captain labelled PCB officials hypocrites calling them ‘two-faced’ for blaming him for the ODI losses in the Windies despite his non-involvement in the selection process.

What he really meant:

“Butt thinks I’m good as long as I’m good to him.Convenient.”

What you wish he said:

“PCB officials would be excellent advisors on how to build roller-coasters.”

Kapil Dev: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

The Star

What he said:

"Dhoni has made mockery of Test cricket by bowling (himself).”

Kapil Dev is less-than-enthused over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to be the spare bowler in Zaheer Khan’s absence due to a hamstring injury in the first Test at Lords.

What he really meant:

“First he took away my glory at being India’s only World Cup winning captain, now he wants to bowl medium-pace as well. Where will he stop?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Dhoni da jawab nahin.”

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