New Zealand tour of India, 2012

Date and Time                                                                   Match
23-27 Aug 2012                                                     1st Test – India v New Zealand
04:00 GMT | 09:30 local                                   Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.

31 Aug- 4 Sep 2012                                               2nd Test – India v New Zealand
04:00 GMT | 09:30 local                                   M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

8 Sep 2012                                                           1st T20I – India v New Zealand
14:30 GMT | 20:00 local                                    Indira Priyadarshini Stadium, Visakhapatnam.

11 Sep 2012                                                         2nd T20I – India v New Zealand
14:30 GMT | 20:00 local                                    MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.


BCCI 2012-2013 schedule for Indian domestic cricket

Ranji Trophy . It will start from 2 November 2012. There are 27 teams which are divided in three groups i.e, A, B and C with each group having nine players.

  • Group A: Rajasthan (Defending champions), Mumbai, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra, Railways, Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat
  • Group B: Tamil Nadu (Runners up), Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha, Delhi, Baroda, Odisha
  • Group C: Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Services, Tripura, Goa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam

Ranji cricket match , a photo taken by Kiran Raja Bahadur SRK

The top three teams from group A and B together with top two teams from group C (total 8 teams) will play in the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy. The quarterfinals will be played for 5 days and will even be extended to 6 day if the first inning lead is not established. If the lead is still not established the winner be decided by a coin toss. These are the new changes that has been done to Ranji Trophy format by the recommendation of technical committee headed by Sourav Ganguly.The current format has been replaced with the earlier format of elite and plate division by BCCI working committee.

Irani Cup . It is a single match, 5 day tournament between Ranji trphy winner and the rest of India. It will be played between September 21-25 , in Jaipur.

NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. It will be played between Bengal (winners of Vijay Hazare trophy) and two other teams. It is limited over tournament and will be played just after the Irani Cup, i.e, in the last week of September 2012.

The rest limited-overs crickettournaments i.e, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy and finally, the Twenty20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be played at the end of this season.

India tour of Sri Lanka 2012

Sat 21
09:30 GMT, 14:30 local
India v Sri Lanka
1st ODI – Sri Lanka vs India
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Tue 24
09:30 GMT, 14:30 local
India v Sri Lanka
2nd ODI – Sri Lanka vs India
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Sat 28
09:30 GMT, 14:30 local
India v Sri Lanka
3rd ODI – Sri Lanka vs India
R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue 31
09:30 GMT, 14:30 local
India v Sri Lanka
4th ODI – Sri Lanka vs India
R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat 04
09:30 GMT, 14:30 local
India v Sri Lanka
5th ODI – Sri Lanka vs India
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Tue 07
13:30 GMT, 19:00 local
India v Sri Lanka
Only T20I – Sri Lanka vs India
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy

BCCI sets up an investigating committee to probe into spot fixing

By Suman Saurabh, 16 May, 2012.

The five Indian players from the domestic circuit recently have been caught on the camera for taking money to do spot fixing and also to change their franchise by a sting operation conducted by India TV. These five players has been recognised as Sudheendra, Mohnish mishra, Shalabh srivastav, Amit yadav and Abhinav bali. This incident has seriously raised several questions regarding the business deals and transactions that happen between the franchises and the players.

N Srinivasan, President, BCCI.

According to the present rule laid down by BCCI regarding the salaries of players in the IPL , the players from the domestic circuit who has not represented India at national level cannot be paid more than 30 lakhs by any franchises. Therefore, there is a limitation on the earning of these players. The players who have represented India at national level do not have any limitation on their salary. They can earn up to any extent which their franchises is willing to pay them. This has forced the domestic players to look for the extra money which other franchises are ready to pay them secretly under the table if they join them. It raises a very obvious question that why there is such discrimination between the caped and uncapped players from India by BCCI in the IPL. There are many young promising players from India like Rayudu, Manish Pande, Awana , Mandeep etc whose talent is second to none not even from some caped players of India. So if they get lured away by the offers of the franchises then is not it that the present discriminatory law by BCCI equally responsible for that. Why not give the space to market forces to operate openly and freely? After all is not the IPL primarily about corporate, money, profit and business. Then putting a limit to the salary of a player only because he has not played for India really make any sense? After all, out of millions, only handfuls are blessed to represent India. According to a source, there are plenty of unregistered agents operating in the market which contact the players and lure them into such deals. It is very important to put a ban on these unregistered agents.

IPL chairman Rajiv shukla with franchise owners, a photo by  Royal Challengers Bangalore on flickr.

Although the BCCI has quickly reacted and have gone into a damage control mode by suspending these five tainted players and setting up a preliminary inquiring into the matter, there can be no denial of the fact that IPL today definitely suffers from a credibility crisis. It is not so long that Ravindra jadeja and Manish Pandey got suspended for asking extra money from the franchises more than their salary limit. Is the present sting operation a only tip of the ice-berg? According to N Srinivasan, the president of BCCI, it is only a matter of these five players and the system of IPL is competent enough to tackle such issue and even protect it from happening in the future. Although BCCI has got its own anti-corruption wing but it is imperative for them to even set up a neutral anti corruption unit from outside independent bodies which will surely improve the credibility and image of IPL .

Suman Saurabh is a cricket analyst and columnist at cricketbirds.

Sunil Gavaskar, the first one to be inducted into the cricketbirds Hall of Fame.

Sunil Gavaskar, a photo by Shrisha R on flickr.

By Suman Saurabh, 11 May, 2012.

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar can arguably be the most important cricketing figure in the history of the Indian cricket. He was respected as the first ever Indian batsman for his next to perfect technique and even more so for the amazing concentration ability by overseas players. He was the first batsman to score 10,000 test runs which included 30 centuries. Although now this record has been broken by few including Sachin Tendulkar, being first to reach this mile stone especially in his era of lethal fast bowlers with hostile pitches full of grasses, sets him apart in the league of all time great batsmen.

He was born on 10 July, 1949, mumbai. He scored a fifth ball duck in his debut Ranji Trophy match (1968/69) against Mysore but soon announced his arrival with three consecutive tons in the remaining Ranji matches. He made a test debut against West Indies at Port of Spain on 6 march 1971. He scored a staggering 774 runs in 4 matches with an average of 154.80 in this test series, a record that still remains intact for the most prolific series by a batsman on debut. He played his last test against arch rivals Pakistan at Bangalore on 13 march 1987. During his carrier of 16 years, he scored 10122 runs in 125 Test matches with an average of 51.12 and 3092 runs with an average of 35.13 in 108 oneday matches. He has even got a single wicket of Zaheer Abbas both in test and ODI. He has captained India in 47 tests with 9 wins and 37 ODI with 14 wins. He is married to Marshniel Gavaskar, daughter of a leather industrialist in Kanpur and also has a son named as Rohan Gavaskar. Once retired, Gavaskar had served as a television commentator, analyst and columnist, as well as discharged various roles with the BCCI, and served as chairman of the ICC cricket committee.

Sunil Gavaskar, a photo by Brajeshwar on flickr.

The prestigious Border – Gavaskar Trophy is named after this cricketing legend. Post retirement, he has become the most important voice not only in India but of the world cricket. He has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan award and played a lead role in the Marathi movie “Savli Premachi”. In real life too he has played a famous heroic role in the 1993 Bombay Riots by sheltering and protecting a Muslim family.

Given below are the tributes paid by the various cricket legends of the world to this great man.

“I would have been proud to have played cricket with him.” (Donald Bradman)

“I personally would like to say that Sunny Gavaskar is the best. His record speaks for itself.” (Vivian Richards)

“Thirteen hundreds against the West Indies is no mean feat. What stood out was his concentration level and the ability to work things out.” (Clive Lloyd)

Sunil Gavaskar, a photo by Royal Challengers Bangalore on flickr.

“The Indian combines Boycott’s steadiness and Greenidge’s ability to keep the runs flowing.” (Ian Botham)

“I would have stood in the slips, and let others bowl.” (Keith Miller – when asked how he would bowl to SMG)

“The difference between Richards and Gavaskar is fairly expressive in the lifestyle of the two countries. The Caribbean life is like that, its excitable, its aggressive, its colourful, whereas in India there is method, there is thought, there is art.” (David Frith – editor of Wisden)

“I think this innings of Sunny should be preserved in video. And not only preserved. It should also be shown to all young cricketers as a model innings. I don’t believe there were many moments in which there was any imbalance in the man’s positioning. The feet were always in place, the head was well down and the left shoulder was leading him into the shots perfectly.” (Alan Border – On Gavaskar’s century at Lords – MCC bicentenary test)

“You cannot compare Sunny with anyone. For him batting was everything. He didn’t want to fail or throw away his wicket. He had perfect technique, perfect temperament. He is the best” (Mohinder Amarnath)

“The most compact batsman to whom I have ever bowled.” (Imran Khan)

We have also embedded rare videos and photos of this legend on cricketbirds.

It is believed that Gavaskar was the one who actually first earned respect for India in cricket world. He was the one who brought the virtue of professionalism among his fellow team mates in true sense. The Indian cricket team actually started to recognize its talent by putting faith in itself under him. Sunil Gavaskar is indeed undoubtedly the best opening batsman that the world has ever produced. We at cricketbirds are honored to have him inducted in our hall of fame.

Suman Saurabh is a cricket analyst and columnist at cricketbirds.

Is switch hit actually creating any heat ?

Kevin Pietersen, a photo by HNM_1977 on flickr

By Suman Saurabh, 10 May, 2012.

ICC cricketing committee is contemplating to review its present leg before decision rule. At present, if a ball pitches outside the leg stump and then hits the batsman then he is always given not out. But the use of switch hits by certain batsmen like Kevin Pietersen most notably have raised quite a few eyebrows in cricket fraternity. Switch hit in case of a right handed batsman, is a shot in which the batsman quickly swaps his hand, changes his stance and becomes left-handed before the bowler delivers the bowl. It helps him counter the excess leg spin or the negative leg side line adopted by a bowler, particularly a leg spinner. In a T20 format, it also provides a batsman like Pietersen extra added advantage to find boundaries in the off side. Since even if the ball strucks the batsman during switch hit, he is given not out because often ball pitches outside the leg stump. It is worth knowing that there is a difference between reverse sweep and switch hit. In former case, the stance remains the same but in the latter case, stance gets changed.

The switch hit has raised a lot of questions in the cricketing world since it gives a batman extra cushion against the balls which are pitched outside the led stump because in the case of right handed batsman like Pietersen, after switch hit, becomes a left handed one. But according to the present ICC rule, even though he becomes left handed while considering leg before decisions, he still be considered a right handed batsman and will be adjusted not out against the ball pitched outside of leg stump. This in turn has tilted the balance more in the side of batsmen because even though they can change their stance, bowlers are restricted to bowling only one side of a wicket with their usual arm. In order to set this balance right the ICC committee is thinking to modify the present leg before rule against switch hits. They are considering even giving leg before decision against the balls which are pitching outside the leg stump in case of a switch hit. Thus, in case of switch hits, bowler will not have the only chance of pulling out at the last moment but also the opportunity to adopt aggressive attitude and take wickets.

 Suman Saurabh is a cricket analyst and columnist at cricketbirds.