Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Nobody's Perfect"

Alva Noe, Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley explains in the context of an umpiring error during the first game of the 2011 World Series. I've made a similar point about Hawkeye. Noe clarifies the stakes involved in implementing a partial technological replacement for the Umpire in sport.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Most Valuable ODI Batsmen

A few weeks ago I wrote a number of posts which outlined and illustrated a way to judge the value of a player to his team in Test Cricket. In this post I demonstrate the same for batsmen in ODI cricket. I consider only those matches involving the 10 Test playing nations.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On The Matter Of Opinion

Harsha Bhogle has written an article at Cricinfo today that makes my blood boil in a way that an article about cricket never has. In it, Mr. Bhogle basically concedes that opinion is helpless in the face of the logic of the market. In doing so, this eminent "[c]ommentator, television presenter and writer" effectively admits that commentary and writing are basically pointless exercises. "And so", he writes, "in what must be rather humbling for all of us who like to have a say in where the world game should go, we don't count."

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Anil Kumble's Open Letter

Anil Kumble responded to questions of conflict of interest in an Open Letter to the "Cricket Enthusiast". It is a fine document, clearly crafted with a lot of care and detail. It is also a full throated defense of the "we are decent, serious people, trying to do good, so please don't doubt us" line of argument. This is, as I've tried to argue before, missing the point altogether. I have no doubt that Anil Kumble is a serious, honorable, well meaning individual - one with vast experience and one who is desperately interested in the welfare of Karnataka Cricket and India's Cricket. In his letter he details to role of National Cricket Academy and the division of responsibilities between the Secretary (Javagal Srinath) and President (Anil Kumble) of the KSCA. He also splits some hairs, arguing that tenvic is a company that "mentors" players, but doesn't manage them. He doesn't say whether or not this is for remuneration. Neither does he say whether this remuneration is contingent on a player's progress. He doesn't have to. If players "mentored" by tenvic do well, then it reflects well on tenvic.

"But I'm a Good Guy!"

This seems to be the general (and entirely predictable) refrain from nearly every individual of whom it is suggested that conflicting interests may be evident. N Srinivasan, Anil Kumble, Harsha Bhogle to Anil Kumble, Sambit Bal to Anil Kumble. This list is only likely to grow. The existence of conflicting interests is not a matter of perception.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

On Biases And Conflicts Of Interest

Jarrod Kimber tells us about conflicts of interest in the global cricket commentary circuit on Cricinfo this week. Rohit Mahajan details the various potentially conflicting responsibilities that Anil Kumble has assumed in the Karnataka cricketing sphere. Sambit Bal writes about this too. His response (an astonishing one, given Bal's position as Editor of Cricket premier news portal) is to hope that Anil Kumble can set a moral example by showing that he is able to resist conflicts of interest, and there by enhance his stature. Mahajan is less coy, as are most of the people he quotes in his essay. Kumble himself is the seeming exception. But even Kumble does not deny the conflict of interest. Here is what he says

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ojha bowls Rest to Irani Triumph

2010-11 Ranji Champions Rajasthan were pummelled by Rest Of India by 404 runs in the 2011-12 Irani Trophy game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The thumping margin was achieved through the marauding batsmanship of Shikhar Dhawan, ably supported with centuries by Ajinkya Rahane and Abhinav Mukund, and the controlled slow left arm bowling of Pragyan Ojha, who took 9/144 in the match, including 6 specialist batsmen. I wrote yesterday that a fine 5th day performance should help Ojha's claim to the spinner's slot alongside (or even in place of) Harbhajan Singh in the Test team. He has delivered.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Rest Of India dominating Rajasthan in the Irani Trophy

Shikhar Dhawan has made 2 centuries in the ongoing Irani Trophy game against the 2010-11 Ranji Trophy Champions Rajasthan. This in and of itself is not remarkable. What is remarkable is that he made more than 150 in each innings. What is even more remarkable, is that both innings came at better than a run-a-ball. 177 in 165 balls in the first innings, and 155 in 126 balls in the second. Dhawan was not the only Rest batsman to make merry. Ajinkya Rahane and Abhinav Mukund, who had such contrasting tours of England this year, both passed the 150 mark as well. Rajasthan have conceded 1017 runs in 207 overs in the match.