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  #1  
Old February 5, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Default Clarke and Ashraful the bright lights in a gloomy year

A few interesting quotes

By Peter Roebuck
December 23, 2004


Cricket will not look back on 2004 with any high degree of pleasure. Indeed the year must count among the worst the game has known. Despite a veritable orgy of dinners and ceremonies, cricket is a game in conflict.

Numerous disputes have been endured and many of them remain unresolved. Some cricket has been played, too much in some opinions, but it has not caught the imagination because the standard has been low and no significant young talent has emerged, except possibly from Sydney's western suburbs and Bangladesh.

It has been a year of strife. Most of it has been self-indulgent. No one in their right mind wants to hear another subcontinental rant or English whine or African lament. Some subcontinentals could find a conspiracy in an ice-cream cone. Curiously, these power-brokers seem oblivious to faults in their ranks, and especially to the treatment of the common man in their own backyard. With a few exceptions, the English are routinely wrong about everything and ought not to be heard in any serious debate. African cricket has been taken over by opportunists and money-grabbers posing as progressives. Cricket will not recover until honesty and rigour reappear in these places.

Eventually even these dimwits will remember that they are servants of a game greater than they understand, a game that ought not to be reduced to their plaything. They ought to be guided by its interests and not their constituency, political masters or personal ambition. Attempts to correct history through cricket are doomed to disaster. A game that wants to move forward cannot spend half its time looking over its shoulder. Most of these cricket countries were once members of the British Empire. Live with it. Get on with it.

Among the bones of contention, throwing was the hardest to resolve, a point conceded by dyed-in-the-wool observers such as Angus Fraser and Michael Holding. Attempts to produce a law founded upon an acceptance that the world was not after all flat were frustrated by the baloney talked by feeble-minded commentators who managed to convince themselves and their audience that the great bowlers of yesteryear had been condemned as chuckers by some anonymous administrator in London. Cricket is merely trying to deal with facts as opposed to opinion.

Zimbabwe was the other main crisis of 2004. It was poorly handled by everyone except the ICC. Sport cannot change governments. That is not its function. Given the current crackdown on dissidents in China the next Olympics could not take place if participation in a sporting event was taken to indicate approval of a regime.

England managed to play Zimbabwe at home without a murmur and then kicked up a stink at the prospect of visiting Harare and Bulawayo. When racism was finally revealed at the ZCU - Andy Flower and Henry Olonga had not been protesting about that - the English promptly changed sides and agreed to visit that beautiful and misbegotten country. The ICC asked respected jurists to investigate the allegations but were let down by lawyers evidently incapable of finding Guinness in an Irish pub. Still, the report had to be accepted because the game had to move on. Rightly England fulfilled their obligation to play in Zimbabwe. No one imagines that Robert Mugabe was strengthened by their arrival. To the contrary, further attention was drawn to his iniquities.

Happily there is some light at the end of the Zimbabwean tunnel. Not before time, black administrators concerned about something other than pleasing their political leaders and filling the pockets have challenged the incumbents by calling for a vote of no confidence. Even Peter Chingoka and his pals cannot present this dispute as another instance of white racism.

Australia have been the most powerful playing nation. They were indebted to their leaders of the late 1980s - men whose influence is still felt across the country. Pride was instilled, and respect for the game and opponents that faltered only in occasional explosions on the field, indulgences hardly seen this summer. Cricket is a culture.

Other nations have not been as fortunate with their champions. England have finally recovered from the rebel tours and donkey-drop bowling of the 1980s. The travails of Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been documented. India are lucky with their current crop and must make the most of it. Nine of the 10 international coaches are Anglo-Saxon.

Pakistan have not fully recovered from losing Salim Malik and Wasim Akram while Sri Lanka need to listen more to outstanding men such as Ranjan Madugalle, Roshan Mahanama and Sanath Jayasuriya and less to contemporary opportunists. It was disappointing to hear that Mahela Jayawardene was regarded by opponents and hosts as a bad egg and that rudeness was also detected in his captain.

The West Indies fell into decline under Viv Richards and have not yet fully recovered their momentum. Prejudice and self-indulgence went unchecked and even good men such as Richie Richardson and Jimmy Adams could not turn back the tide. Some committed youngsters may have been found, eager to give more than they take.

On the brighter side, Australian have played some wonderful cricket and Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath have advanced their reputations. England have improved considerably, thanks to an improving domestic culture, the presence of men such as Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Angus Fraser and Derek Pringle in the media, the involvement of a coach and players from Africa, the development of a potent opening attack, the unleashing of an impressive all-rounder and sturdy contributions from the two great cricketing counties, Yorkshire and Surrey.

New Zealand have run an honourable race but injuries have held them back. South Africa are insulting opponents and the game itself by not even pretending to field their strongest side. The West Indies are undergoing the inevitable ructions that follow the belated dawning of the professional age. Bangladesh deserve some leeway and amid the defeats can rejoice that three of their players have now scored Test centuries.

On the field, 2004 was memorable for Michael Clarke's first appearances, Indian crowds, a West Indies win achieved in the gloaming and passionately celebrated most of the night, superb displays from Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble, a defiant and brilliant 158 not out from a 20-year-old Bangladeshi named Mohammad Ashraful, Heath Streak's courage, Andrew Flintoff's batting, Mark Richardson's ability to laugh at himself and, most of all, a series between India and Pakistan lost by the home side but illuminated by sporting conduct and comments from the defeated captain, Inzaman-ul-Haq.

Despite these consolations, cricket is in trouble. Around the world a game that has tried to widen its horizons finds itself instead trying to hold its ground. It is a wonderful game, and can be relied upon to survive every malfeasance committed by its stewards. Cricket will hope for better things in 2005: for sanity in Africa, selflessness on the subcontinent, humility in Australia, luck in New Zealand, commitment in the Caribbean and a sustaining of the English revival so that the next Ashes series lives up to expectations.

Source: Sydner Morning Herald


Edited on, February 5, 2005, 11:31 AM GMT, by pompous.
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  #2  
Old February 5, 2005, 07:00 AM
oracle oracle is offline
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nice review-it's difficult to write about the whole picture but has done it well .
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  #3  
Old February 5, 2005, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Bangladesh deserve some leeway and amid the defeats can rejoice that three of their players have now scored Test centuries.
3?
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  #4  
Old February 5, 2005, 08:10 AM
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Spitfire_x86 Spitfire_x86 is offline
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The difference between Clarke and Ashraful is, it takes three years for Ash to score a 158*, but Clarke will score few great innings in every season.
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  #5  
Old February 5, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
The difference between Clarke and Ashraful is, it takes three years for Ash to score a 158*, but Clarke will score few great innings in every season.
Clarke is older than Ash...
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  #6  
Old February 5, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
The difference between Clarke and Ashraful is, it takes three years for Ash to score a 158*, but Clarke will score few great innings in every season.
no ... real difference lies in domestic cricket strutrure.
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  #7  
Old February 5, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hasib
Clarke is older than Ash...
Not much, considering the age cheating into account.
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  #8  
Old February 5, 2005, 11:51 AM
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age-cheating....man you should give it a rest..if there is age-cheating does it mean every player has done it?!.....Ash looks like he is 17...if anything he looks like he reverse-cheated his age just so that Club officials would take him seriously.

Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
Quote:
Originally posted by Hasib
Clarke is older than Ash...
Not much, considering the age cheating into account.
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  #9  
Old February 5, 2005, 01:23 PM
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ya, actually he is yonger than his reported birth date. When he scored his first century he mentioned his original age is less than BCB used.
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  #10  
Old February 5, 2005, 10:41 PM
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ash looks like he is younger than 20...i ve seen 15 year olds that look older than him...he did reverse cheat
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  #11  
Old February 5, 2005, 10:51 PM
shujan shujan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
Quote:
Originally posted by Hasib
Clarke is older than Ash...
Not much, considering the age cheating into account.
You talk too much garbage!
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  #12  
Old February 5, 2005, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pompous
age-cheating....man you should give it a rest..if there is age-cheating does it mean every player has done it?!.....Ash looks like he is 17...if anything he looks like he reverse-cheated
[/quote]


well said pompous, spitfire talks too much rubbish...always negative...
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  #13  
Old February 6, 2005, 01:41 AM
brikonwall brikonwall is offline
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So Spitfire, what is your real age? and what is your cheated age?
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  #14  
Old February 6, 2005, 02:49 AM
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My real age is equal to certificate age/passport age. It's 18 years, 10 months, 14 days
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  #15  
Old February 6, 2005, 03:20 AM
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I turned 34 on January 26th. I am pretty sure that is my real age. My parents got married 01/01/1970....so unless there is something that I don't know about I have to assume my birth date is correct
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  #16  
Old February 6, 2005, 11:06 AM
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good review m8 that hard.
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  #17  
Old February 6, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
It's 18 years, 10 months, 14 days
omg... u actully bothered to calculate it out to the actual date... :duh:

All I know is the year and can't be bother about the month and the day.

about the age changing... a lot of this is done with out any evidence... unless u can come up with proof don't say they r guilty of it.
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  #18  
Old February 6, 2005, 09:08 PM
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oh yeah... and the word "cheating" isn't the right word... this is how it works...

If someone is too old during the metric exam, they r alowd to change their age... coz there is a certain time in Bangladesh u have to retire. So if they r too old they won't have enuff money for retirement.

They r normally too old coz ether they were too poor to pay for education b4, or something came up that stopped them.

Now a day money, i don't think is an issue coz the current government has come up with free high school education.

Edited on, February 7, 2005, 2:11 AM GMT, by Hasib.
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  #19  
Old February 6, 2005, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by shujan
Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
Quote:
Originally posted by Hasib
Clarke is older than Ash...
Not much, considering the age cheating into account.
You talk too much garbage!
who cares...

If Ash was 30 and scored 158, I would still be happy. It doesn't matter how old you are. Just look at Matty Hayden who was a late bloomer and became one of the best batsman (at least back then )

I would rather have a team full of old-timers who play awesome cricket than a team of youngsters who are inexperienced.

Having said that, it is still great to see the BD youngsters doing well, and is a fact of life that BD must field a young team to get their young players exposed to quality opposition.

:tiger:


PS: Great to see Peter Roebuck praising Bangladesh and singling out Ash. Peter is a respected journalist, writes good stuff and is very well spoken, both verbally on the radio and in writing when he writes for The Age.

Edited on, February 7, 2005, 4:51 AM GMT, by jabbar.

Edited on, February 7, 2005, 4:52 AM GMT, by jabbar.
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  #20  
Old February 7, 2005, 01:30 AM
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The youngsters that play for BD are the best in the country at this stage so old timers cant make the team. Great to see Ash compimented about. Ash is very young you can tell by the look of him. he will play for 15 more years from now. Hell probably be the first to get 200 tests.
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  #21  
Old February 7, 2005, 02:09 AM
DJ Sahastra DJ Sahastra is offline
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Quote:
Peter is a respected journalist, writes good stuff and is very well spoken, both verbally on the radio and in writing when he writes for The Age.
I must quote this for remembering later, cos sooner or later, god forbid, we will have some forum-members jumping up and down and alleging him of anti-BD bias, minnow-bashing, low-life scum and what not.
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  #22  
Old February 7, 2005, 10:53 AM
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one mistake that everyone makes: we have 4 test centurions, not 3.
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  #23  
Old February 7, 2005, 11:50 AM
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If it was written a month later, Peter Roebuck probably would've included Enamul Huque Jr. as another 'Bright Light.'
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  #24  
Old February 7, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Spitfire_x86 Spitfire_x86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by offcutter
If it was written a month later, Peter Roebuck probably would've included Enamul Huque Jr. as another 'Bright Light.'
But there's a sidenote with Enamul's performance: strength of the opposition team.
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  #25  
Old February 7, 2005, 12:14 PM
offcutter offcutter is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
Quote:
Originally posted by offcutter
If it was written a month later, Peter Roebuck probably would've included Enamul Huque Jr. as another 'Bright Light.'
But there's a sidenote with Enamul's performance: strength of the opposition team.
Good point.
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