England in Dire Staits, IPL auctions and controversies…

It was not a great week for England where they got trashed by West Indies in the first test match at Sabina Park. The visitors received an innings defeat and more importantly they managed to score a mere 51 in the second innings.

It’s really bad to see that the typical problems of teams like India or Pakistan now has gripped England as well. Basically, the team now has several former captains, no proper coach and with Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores getting axed the on and off the field tension is affecting their game.

IPL affecting teams

Another important thing is the greed that IPL has created. I guess with KP and Flintoff getting offers of the tunes of more than 1.5 millions they must be wondering what’s there in playing for the country. This can happen to any other country and as I maintained in the past Twenty 20 cricket and Indian Premier League will spoil all international teams. To make things worse, Lalit Modi even commented that he wouldn’t mind if Cricket Australia sacks Andrew Symonds from their national side because in that case he gets to play IPL second edition throughout the event.

Pakistan Cricket Board in the meantime has not allowed their key players to participate in IPL. Sri Lankan Cricket Board’s ex-chief Arjuna Ranatunga is trying to amend his stand by telling that he’s not against IPL or BCCI.

Basically, the Indian Premier League has created a lot of headache for the international cricket boards and their national teams. I don’t think, it can continue like this forever.

Other highlights of the week

India won the ODI series in Sri Lanka 4-1. Though, India put together great all round performance, they were lucky to get the toss in their favour four out of five times. New Zealand had a great start to their 5 match ODI series against Australia and are now leading 2-1.

The week was otherwise pretty boring as most of the matches this week were pretty one-sided.

Kevin Pietersen vs Peter Moores vs ECB – Power Play is on!

So the inevitable has happend! Kevin Pietersen has quit his captaincy role the England side. And Peter Moores, the coach/Team Director has been sacked. Nobody knows if KP was sacked as well but at least it sounded more like it was the captain’s decision.

Now, Andrew Strauss, who had a year-long stint earlier pitches in as the captain. It may be recalled that Andrew Strauss, who is in the middle of regaining his form and confidence, had actually lost his batting form after he took over the captaincy.

The power-struggle between the captain and coach was over another former captain Michael Vaughan who wants to come back to English test side. KP wants him which is quite understandable due to the poor batting stability of the England test team. However, Moores doesn’t want him back! With Ashes coming in, I thought somebody like Vaughan would have been a good inclusion.

It seems the dressing room itself is divided over this issue and that’s what motivated KP to quit. Obviously there are people who were not happy with KP’s privileges as a captain. Now, if Vaughan comes back this England team will have 5 former captains like the Indian test team of 2008 beginning! It’s not going to be a very nice situation for team England going forward.

Captain-Coach-Selectors power games are not new to World cricket (and for any sport for that matter). For most teams in this world, the captain and/or coach has some say in team selection. It’s due to the past rows (and regional selection politics) that the BCCI recently decided that the captains and coaches will not have any say in the selection matters going forward. Remember, Dhoni was not all that satisfied over the ODI selection row when England was in India a couple of months ago.

Anyways, let the god (err…Queen) save the English Cricket! After all the game was arguably invented there and they probably know how to deal with the situation.

KP’s innovation triggers controversy

Kevin Pietersen is not really like Sreesanth Santhakumaran, Harbhajan Singh, Andrew Flintoff or Andrew Symonds. Though others are good/great cricketers skilled with talent, they always get into trouble or rather create news for wrong reasons.

KP’s latest innovation on the field, during the first ODI against New Zealand has created some controversy though. The extremely talented batsman hoisted Scotty Styris for a six by changing the stance to that of a left hander while the bowler was yet to release the ball.

Now, the grand old body of cricket in England, the MCC, is meeting to discuss the legality of the same. It is good that they are very proactive on it – especially when a side is touring England – and it shows their hospitality as well.

I am a great fan of Kevin Pietersen and his never give up and arrogant attitude. However, what he did is not exactly like what batsmen do when they want to do a reverse sweep for example. He changed the stance while the bowler was yet to deliver. Now, there is a rule that field settings cannot be changed while the bowler is on his run up. I guess the same is applicable to the batsman as well. Because, the bowler decides on his side (over or around the wicket) to bowl to a batsman of a particular orientation (left handed/right handed etc) and with certain skills. If he dynamically decides to change his stance, can’t the bowler as well swich suddenly to around the wicket or vice versa while running itself?

Though innovation is good, it should also make sense and justice to both the parties. However, in this particular case as there are no rules defined we can bail out KP!