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  #26  
Old October 2, 2003, 11:26 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Alright. I am convinced now. It's not that you don't get it, you just don't want to get it. Maybe accepting the ratings hurts you emotionally.

Fair enough. I know the stats can hurt someone's cherished views and feelings. But I don't look at them like that.
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  #27  
Old October 2, 2003, 11:34 AM
asifr asifr is offline
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"But I don't look at them like that."

You just plain dont look at them. I guess its tough to convince someone who wears heavy Miandad-tinted glasses I wont shatter your peace and quiet with the truth and you can happily reside in your Miandad fantasy land.
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  #28  
Old October 2, 2003, 11:56 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Dude, I don't even like Miandad. He is not even my favorite batsman. He has an ugly style. But that means zero about his performance, which is what we are talkng about here. I also don't like Gavskar, Boycott, Waugh, (gasp!) Bradman, etc. So what? In judging their career performance, it doesn't matter who I like or dislike. Because my own personal evaluation of them will always be biased and flawed. Look at the title of this thread for christ's sake.

What I have found out is that YOU have a very strong bias AGAINST miandad, for whatever reason, which is blinding you to look at the rating in an objective way.

[Edited on 2-10-2003 by Arnab]
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  #29  
Old October 2, 2003, 12:20 PM
asifr asifr is offline
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Dude, if you dont like Miandad and dont worship him..why dont you dispute the points I made? Sure the PWC has its way of functioning. Surely you can form some opinions based on that. And as far as your Miandad bias goes, that was evident from your response to RajPutro when he said Miandad should not be rated above Tendulkar/Lara
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  #30  
Old October 2, 2003, 12:47 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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lmao. Now I "have to" like Miandad (even though I don't really like his style) just because you thought so? This is ridiculous. Did you even stop and think for a moment to realize that my replies were not about Miandad in particular but in defense of the rating system itself?

If Raj bhai asked why Tendulkar has less rating points than Lara, then I would have talked about those two. If he mentioned why Waugh is less than Border, then I would have talked about those two. Do you see where I am coming from?

[Edited on 2-10-2003 by Arnab]
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  #31  
Old October 2, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Zobair Zobair is offline
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asifr...you remind me of another poster we have on this board..a gentleman by the nick of Orpheus! are you guys first cousins..or twins or something?!

my apologies to Orphy..cough! cough!
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  #32  
Old October 2, 2003, 03:39 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Default Arnab,

statistics give you hard facts? Oh please, give me a damn break! Statistics don't say much at all. Hannan for example, scored a 50 odd on test debut against Sri Lanka, but he was dropped twice. Then he scored a 60 odd against South Africa, dropped thrice! What does PWC say about him? Two 50 plus scores so he has a decent rating.

I would rather judge players on what I have seen than a bunch of numbers. Face it man, no one is more biased than you wheni t comes to Lara!
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  #33  
Old October 2, 2003, 03:46 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Default Also,

a couple of years back, when we had the big Lara v Tendulkar debate, and I presented "hard facts" stating that Tendulkar had a higher Test average against EACH AND EVERY OTHER TEST SIDE than Lara, wasn't it you who was making the point that numbers don't mean anything without a deeper analysis??

Looks to me like someone just made an about turn.
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  #34  
Old October 2, 2003, 04:47 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Sham, please!

Since that debate is not online anymore, you can say and color it in whatever way you want. It will be a waste for both of us to bring it up again.

Quote:
wasn't it you who was making the point that numbers don't mean anything without a deeper analysis??

Looks to me like someone just made an about turn
Not at all. I did exactly what I said. PWC ratings IS a deeper analysis. The whole idea behind the ratings is to provide a deeper and less flawed statistical analysis than what the averages reperesent. That's THE WHOLE POINT of using the PWC ratings, something more accurate than the stupid averages. Because along with averages, it takes into account other factors. Are you so elated to have a go at me that you had to abandon rudimentary reasoning?

But you do have a point on dropped catches. It has irritated me too. PWC ratings do not take into account the dropped catch factor. And they have been asked why they don't do it. Hundreds of times. And they have given explanations. If you want to know why, then go to their website and read the explanation. Or maybe I will find it later.

Just be aware that you are not the first one to realize that dropped catches, the player's mental condition, home crowd support, a sudden wind facilitating swing, wet outfields preventing boundaries, players being caught on no-balls, the ball loosing its shine earlier than expected, heavier bat, blah blah blah blah --- these ALL play a role. The ratings guys must have thought of these too. But they chose the ones that THEY deemed most important. That's why they also say that their rating is NOT infallible. Since my rating is based on their ratings, so do I. But still, it's the best damn "objective" statistical analysis we have. If you can come up with something better, present it here by all means. I will be interested.

But please, I thought you were above all this.

[Edited on 2-10-2003 by Arnab]
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  #35  
Old October 2, 2003, 05:14 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default Here is the explanation from PWC

The Philosophy behind the Ratings

We’ve had a large number of emails recently with questions about the PwC Ratings and what we do or don’t take into account. For example, you have written to ask why we don’t take account of where the match is played, dropped catches, exactly which bowler the batsman was facing for each delivery, the stage of the innings when runs were scored…and so on. In theory, it would be possible to take account of all these factors, and many more. So why don’t we? The short answer is that if you are trying to rate cricketers statistically without including subjective assessments (eg was that a dropped catch or not?) you have to stop somewhere. We could include more factors, but we have taken the rating of cricketers about as far as we believe is credible. That’s only our opinion, and debate and discussion is a healthy and essential part of this whole matter of rating cricketers.

For those who want a more detailed understanding of our philosophy behind the ratings, the following is a rather longer discussion. We are, as ever, interested in your comments, but we apologise in advance that we are unable to respond in any detail to all your emails.


A. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE RATINGS?


In designing cricket rankings, the question ‘what are they for?’ is critical. Most people broadly think that rankings are there to pick out who are the current ‘best’ players But what does ‘best’ mean? Does it mean the player with the best technical ability? Or the player who is currently in the hottest form (regardless of what he was doing a year ago)? Or is it the player who has the best career record, even if he is currently going through a bad patch? Each of these definitions requires a different type of ranking.


So what type of ranking is ours? The PwC Ratings are designed to put more emphasis on what a player has done in his recent matches than on what he did earlier in his career. This means that they will tend to reflect the players who are in form. However, ours are not ‘form ratings’ as such (we would understand form ratings to mean you should only take into account recent matches, whereas the PwC Ratings take into account every match a player has ever played). A better way of understanding the PwC Ratings, and our meaning of the term ‘best players’, is to view them as attempting to measure:


"Which players (if fit) would be selected for a World XI to play a match tomorrow."


In designing our Ratings, we have produced a system that ensures that players with a sustained run of good form (such as Michael Vaughan) can rise to very high rankings despite modest records earlier in their career. At the same time, established great players like Inzamam-ul-Haq or Chris Cairns who might play very few matches in a year due to injury, or simply due to circumstances beyond their control such as tours being cancelled, do not plunge to unreasonably low Ratings.


B. HOW SHOULD TESTS AND ODIs BE TREATED?


Traditionally, in assessing ‘best’ cricketers, commentators have tended to look purely at performances in Tests. With the growing influence of ODI cricket, we don’t believe this view is appropriate.


We do, however, regard Test and ODI cricket as different forms of the game. Some cricketers excel in only one form of the game (eg Bevan in ODIs, Gavaskar in Tests), and we believe that player ratings should be able to bring out this important element. This is why we believe that separate ratings should be produced for Test and ODI cricket.


However, the ‘best’ cricketers are those who can perform in both forms of the game. It should therefore be possible to combine a player’s Test and ODI Rating, and this can only be done if the points systems are compatible. (If, for example, Test Ratings are scored on a scale of 0 to 100 and ODIs on a scale of 0 to 10,000 it is meaningless to add the two together).


Because of the way that we have designed the PwC Ratings, a meaningful combined Test/ODI Rating is obtained simply by adding the two points tables together, although we have not tended to publish our combined Rating in the past. Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden would currently be vying to top such a combined Rating for batting, while one of Muttiah Muralitharan and Glenn McGrath would top the bowling.


C. WHAT SKILLS SHOULD BE RATED(batsmen, bowlers, fielders, all-rounders)?


Should ratings be of overall cricketing ability or of individual skills? Because they are such different disciplines, we have always kept separate lists for batsmen and bowlers, in keeping with the historic way in which averages have been presented. However, since there is always an interest in all-rounders, we produce an index of all-rounders as a back-up to our main lists. An all-rounder can be measured simply by adding his batting and bowling points together, but we believe it is nonsense to describe a player who scores 700 points for batting and 0 for bowling as an all-rounder, since he does not bowl. We therefore produce our all-rounder index by multiplying batting and bowling points together. In our points system, a 500bat+400bowl type player therefore ranks higher as an all-rounder than a 600+300 or a 900+0 player.


In rating a cricketer, there is also the key factor of fielding ability. In an ideal world, fielding ability should be included too. However, we do not believe that it is possible to produce a credible rating for fielders or wicketkeepers without an enormous amount of subjective judgment. For example, is it really fair to judge a wicketkeeper on catches and stumpings? What if the bowlers he is keeping to don’t create those chances? Who is going to assess the missed chances, and how does one measure a dropped catch against a catch that a slow keeper didn’t even go for? And when it comes to fielding, how can cover point be compared with first slip?


We believe that an attempt at fielding ratings would simply undermine the more credible ratings for batting and bowling.


D. WHAT FUNDAMENTAL FACTORS SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT ?


We believe that Ratings should, as far as possible, treat all players equally, with no bias, deliberate or otherwise, towards their country or their personal reputation.


Any cricket lover is capable of rating a player, and in doing so will undoubtedly take into account the style of their strokeplay, their charisma and other human factors. A statistical rating cannot do this, and should not attempt to do so. There are no acceptable ways of measuring the quality of strokeplay, and there are no universally agreed criteria for saying that scoring your runs in front of square is superior to scoring them through third man. Nor is there any objective way of assessing the quality of a pitch. We therefore believe that players should only be rated using information available from a scorebook. We believe that to overcome the obvious anomalies of conventional averages, player rankings need to take account of the following:


Batsmen

- number of runs scored

- whether he was dismissed or not

- who he scored his runs against

- the level of run-scoring in the match

(and in ODI cricket, the rate of scoring runs is crucial)


Bowlers

- wickets taken

- runs conceded

- the batsmen dismissed

(and in ODI cricket, the economy rate is crucial)


We believe that a rating system cannot be fair unless a batsman’s runs are adjusted to take some account of the level of run scoring in the match. 100 runs scored in an innings of 600 do not have the same impact as 100 runs scored in an innings of 200, and 100 runs made against the current Australian attack should be worth more than 100 runs against the current Bangladeshis. Likewise, a bowler who dismisses Tendulkar and Dravid deserves more credit than one who dismisses Kumble and Khan.


We believe that if you are to extend beyond simple averages, these factors are the fundamental for a cricket Rating, and they are the underlying factors used in the PwC Ratings.


E. SHOULD OTHER FACTORS BE CONSIDERED?


In addition to the above factors, there are numerous other statistical factors that a rating could take into account. These include:


- the bearing of the performance on the match result

- the exact balls faced from each bowler by each batsman, and the number of balls bowled by each bowler to each batsman

- whether the match was played at home or away.


There is no right answer as to whether these factors should be taken into account or not.


In the PwC Ratings, we made a decision that the figures should, on balance, reward players who made significant contributions in victories. (A player who takes, say, one wicket or scores only 10 runs in a victory gets no bonus from PwC). This means that on balance the Ratings will tend to reflect winners. This is clearly a simplification of the real world, but not only is it relatively simple to define this measure, it also puts a premium on victory for the team as opposed to a player playing for himself.


However, in taking into account cricket’s subtleties you inevitably have to stop somewhere. If taking into account ‘home or away’, how do you allow for neutral venues like Sharjah? What about Lord’s which traditionally seems to favour visitors more than the home team? Or Harare, where there are almost no fans, making the atmosphere unintimidating, as opposed to Kolkata or Melbourne where there are 100,000 partisan spectators?


If allowing for balls faced from particular bowlers, what about the stage of the innings? In his prime, Waqar Younis after 40 overs was twice as deadly as Waqar Younis in the first over. Spinners get better as the match progresses. Some fast bowlers become ineffective when the ball is soft. Do you take into account yorkers and long hops? Where do you stop? We do not think it is appropriate to incorporate a ball-by-ball factor into a weighted mathematical world rating. It risks giving a spurious accuracy when there are so many other subtleties not being taken into account. (We think it would be the equivalent of taking into account the difficulty of each hole in the golf rankings, or the quality of service returns in the tennis rankings.)


Finally, while rating cricketers is fascinating, it is easy to forget that above all sports, cricket involves a huge degree of luck. An inside edge onto the stumps, a poor lbw decision, a dropped catch – one isolated incident can completely change a player’s performance. The more scientific cricket ratings try to become, the more this element of luck becomes a spoiler, since it can override all considerations of the state of a pitch, the nature of the ball delivered and so on. Ironically, therefore, we believe it is possible for ratings to go too far, and in producing the PwC Ratings, we have gone as far as we believe is sensible in producing a scientific method in a game of luck and unfairness. And will we end the debate about who’s the best? Never.


F. HOW SHOULD POINTS BE COMPILED?


In the different international sports there are various ways in which ratings are calculated. One common method is based on a cumulative system, where all performances in the last 12 months are added together (perhaps with previous years being added at a discounted rate).


There are various reasons why we reject this approach for cricket. The most important is that it favours players who get the opportunity to play more matches. In golf, tennis and other sports, the competitors can choose how many tournaments they play. In cricket, however, a player is limited both by the number of matches that his country has scheduled and also by the whim of the selectors who may drop him despite his good form and willingness to play. We don’t believe that cricket ratings should penalise a top class player who has the misfortune to play for a country that is too strong for him to secure a permanent place in the team, or a country that is in political turmoil and is unable to play many matches.


The method that we have adopted is the weighted average. This is much less susceptible to a player having an enforced absence for several months, and has other subtle advantages in the way it makes upward/downward movements of the ratings more predictable.


G. POINTS SHOULD HAVE A MEANING


Any cricket follower is familiar with the idea that a batsman who averages over 50 is first rate, and a bowler who averages over 35 has only a modest record. These figures have meaning, and help followers to get a quick appreciation of a player’s quality.


We believe that Ratings should be the same. A certain number of points should mean something, and should be comparable with the points achieved by players in the past.


The PwC Ratings are designed to be in the range of 0 to 1000 points. 900 is ‘Bradmanesque’, 700 usually puts a player in the world top ten, 500 plus is the break point between established performers and newcomers or strugglers. These figures apply historically, too, allowing some degree of historic comparison. We think this gives the ratings considerably more quality and value from the follower’s point of view than a system where Dravid has, say, 1,804 points, with no explanation as to whether this is any good, or how it compares with Bradman.


H. AN EVOLVING SYSTEM


At any time, the Ratings represent our best effort at producing a fair comparison of international cricketers. However, we are learning all the time, and the publication of the full ratings database on the website means the figures have come under far more scrutiny in the last year than ever before. As a result, we have had a considerable amount of intelligent feedback. We would be arrogant if we did not to listen to this.
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  #36  
Old October 2, 2003, 05:54 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Default I\'m not above anything,

I will be the first to admit that I cannot be totally objective about something I am so passionate about. And in a team sport, its absolutely impossible to correctly rank individual players. What about this, a bowler gets five wickets against Australia and a bowler gets five wickets against Bangladesh. Most ratings would give the bowler who did well against Australia higher ratings because he did well against the better team. But what if his five wickets were all Aussie tail-enders, and to make it even more complicated, the bowler bowled five long hops that the tail-enders tried to hit out of the ground and got caught in the deep. Contrast that to the bowler who got five Bangladeshi wickets, all top order batsmen who were brilliantly prized out. Would a ratings system ever be able to accurately reflect that? No.

I know you will come back at me and say that you admit the fact that this system is not perfect. I would say, well, its nowhere near perfect, and honestly, nothing reliable exists. So, at the end of the day, the best we can do is trust our own judgements. For me, one way to think about a player is this, if my life depended on a batsman scoring a hundred, who would I send out to bat for me. The answer: Tendulkar! Not because I am a big fan because I'm not, but to me, he is the best there is. In the same way if you were making that choice, you would pick Lara to bat for you.

So, at the end of the day, we are back to where we were 2 years ago. You just have to realize that there really is no objective way of doing it. No statistics, no rankings, no analysis, nothing. If someone were to say Ganguly is the greatest batsman he has ever seen, how can you possibly refute it? He sees Ganguly bat and to him, Ganguly is the best there is. And no matter how much statistics or PWC ratings you throw at him, he will always find faults with it. Honestly, this is a bloody waste of time, trying to find an objective system. At the end of the day, everyone will rely on their own judgements, something I'm sure you are starting figure out by the way people have been posting on this thread.
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  #37  
Old October 2, 2003, 06:27 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I like your way of disagreeing in such an agreeable manner.

But sorry, I cannot really dismiss all this just like that.

You can play rhetorical ploys by saying we're back where we were at two years ago. But I don't think so. This is not about Tendulkar or Lara. When I started doing the average rating on Excel, I thought Tendulkar will come out with higher points because his graphs 'looked like' he would. But it turned out that Lara did, by a slight margin. I would have accepted the rating if Tendulkar came out higher than Lara. Yes. But would that diminish my subjective bias, my gut feeling on Lara? Heck no.

The ratings mean exactly what they mean. They take info from the match scorecard, apply a bunch of factors, and then use some statistical formulas. They don't care about my infatuation of Lara, or your fanboyish liking of Tendulkar. That's why they are objective. Even though they have a certain margin of error. I am sure you know rudimentary statistics. It could very well be true that Sachin and Lara's ratings fall under that margin of error and if ALL the factors in the world were taken into account, may be Sachin would have come out better than Lara or vice versa.

The ratings are NOT some be-all, end-all conclusions that I am trying to force on everybody. Where will all the stupid, biased, subjective debates based on flawed averages and "would have", "what if", "how about" speculations go then? If EVERYBODY accepted the same thing, where is the MOJA?

Bloody waste of time? lmao. Dude, this whole thing is a 'bloody waste of time.' According to your logic, 99% of the threads on this board is a bloody waste of time. If we have already made up our mind about EVERYTHING, why are we even here to discuss things in the first place? Man, you amaze me!

You need to lighten up.




[Edited on 2-10-2003 by Arnab]
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  #38  
Old October 2, 2003, 07:14 PM
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James90 James90 is offline
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I like statsguru
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  #39  
Old October 2, 2003, 07:21 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Default I amaze most people!

But that is besides the point. And I know more than rudimentary statistics, but that besides the point as well. Please don't tell me that I need to lighten up. Just go over this thread, and see how everytime anyone so much as hinted at disagreeing with your system, you have gone nuts trying to defend it. Why can't you ever agree to disagree rather than always trying to prove a point. Man, this is the end of me on this thread. I know from past experience that this won't go anywhere. You are right man, you are always right!

ps. Asifr, quit now man, arguing with Arnab won't get you anywhere.

[Edited on 3-10-2003 by Sham]
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  #40  
Old October 2, 2003, 07:37 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Haha! You ARE amazing! You have amazing psychic tentacles that reach through the internet and say whether I have gone nuts or not. I wish I had a fraction of your amazing psychic power and use it on all the hot chicks in my college.

Anyway, I feel my presence on this board has finally been blessed by your affirmation. If YOU think I am right, then nobody else can disprove it. Asif, you better take note. The amazing Sham has declared I am right.

Toodles.
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  #41  
Old October 2, 2003, 08:00 PM
Tintin Tintin is offline
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I am just glad that I resisted the temptation to join in the discussion
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  #42  
Old October 2, 2003, 08:11 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default Tintin

Actually you're probably one of the few persons with whom I might have had a great discussion, without engaging in silly pesonal altercations. It's a pity. Oh well.

BTW, I got your email addy. Will mail you soon.
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  #43  
Old October 3, 2003, 02:39 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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Where would Lara's standing be if he played against the West Indians of the 80s ? For that matter, Tendulkar's !!

Without any reason or logic, I am on Arnab's side. I just am.



I was dropped twice in my innings, but the bowlers bowled straight 99% of the time. And I still scored 50 runs before getting bowled.

AsifR, or is it.....Tendulkar gets favorable ratings even he pacifies the crowd....Lara gets favorable bias even when his square drive yeilds no run.

But low 'n behold...Tendulkar is more favorably biased compared to Lara (AND I AM NOT CONTRIBUTING AGAINST IT WITH MY OPINION HERE).
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  #44  
Old October 3, 2003, 02:47 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Haha! This is getting even more hilarious.

Multi-layered, multi-directional sarcasms
that probably even the speaker wouldn't be able to make sense of if he reads them later with a saner mind. Or is that the point itself?
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