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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:19 pm

CIA Intervention in Indian Cricket

The CIA has been blamed for many things since its establishment in 1947, but attempting to fatigue young Indian cricketers and distract the country's students is something even they probably aren't capable of. But that is precisely what Mumbai-based lawyer Prabhakar Pradhan has filed in the city's High Court, alleging that the USA's intelligence agency is responsible for "tiring out" India's young players and causing much shame to the national team.

"It is a CIA mischief. It wants to humiliate our players in international matches," read a Public Interest Litigation filed yesterday that also demanded an inquiry against the Indian board under the Commission of Inquiry Act. Pradhan also argued that students across the country were being distracted due to the busy international calendar and subsequently falling behind in their school and university work.

"It is for the citizens to play or see the matches. When I was a student, I never watched matches when there were exams," he said while adding the his "friend" and former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar could be readily persuaded to file and affidavit in his support.

Swift to present a dead bat to the attempted googly was Chief Justice Anil Dave, who rejected the plea by saying, matter-of-factly, "It is not necessary."

Case closed.
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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:36 pm

Symonds, Bangladesh and an Aussie Nightmare

Rarely have the dangers of taking a lesser-ranked opponent too lightly been more starkly exposed than in 2005 when Australia lost to Bangladesh at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens in the opening game of their ODI tri-series played in the United Kingdom that also featured England.

Despite being the reigning World Cup champion and having completed an ODI and Test series whitewash in New Zealand earlier in the year, Australia’s team led by Ricky Ponting saw their 50-over total of 249 chased down with four balls to spare.

It was a defeat remembered largely for the off-field distraction centring around Andrew Symonds that accompanied it, but it also set the tone for the Ashes Tests that followed in which Australia suffered a series defeat to England for the first time in almost 20 years. Ten years on...

That Andrew Symonds chose to enthusiastically celebrate Shane Watson’s twenty-fourth birthday beyond sun-up the following day could be construed as touching. The fact that Watson and his teammates had vacated the party not long after dusk on the day of the milestone due to impending work commitments – a one-day international against Bangladesh –next morning meant it was also stunningly misguided.

The next his colleagues saw of Symonds after their celebratory dinner was en route to pre-game breakfast on that sunny Saturday morning. His pose, slumped against the back wall of a lift, also indicated he was not enjoying peak fitness. He changed into his training outfit and shovelled down a greasy breakfast, but while undergoing preliminary stretching exercises at the ground, the truth leaked out. Reeking of booze, Symonds propped his right leg on a wheelie bin to extend his hamstring and, to the bewilderment of those watching, remained utterly oblivious as the support symbolically rolled away from beneath him.

His name was hastily scratched from Australia’s team sheet, the official explanation being that he had suffered a ‘niggle’ during the warm-up. Conspiracy theories then ran rampant through the Sophia Gardens press box when Ponting fronted international television at the coin toss to announce the problem had, in those few minutes, transmogrified into the flu.

Word also emerged from the TV commentary team, where Darren Lehmann was filling a guest role, that the truth lay closer to Symonds being well and truly leathered. Lehmann then confirmed that he had received a drunken call from the Queenslander around 3 a.m., urging him to come out and join the Welsh wildlife. But the ex-player wisely demurred and advised Symonds to call it a night. That counsel was ignored.

Other reports then surfaced that Symonds had been seen stumbling about outside the team’s Cardiff hotel around 6 a.m., just hours before game time. The official story from the dressing room suddenly changed again. The all-rounder was now being investigated for a breach of team rules.

Faced with the unfamiliar scenario of events spinning rapidly out of their control, the Australian brains trust showed a worrying, but ominously instructive, inability to think on their feet.

Ponting stuck to his prefabricated plan upon winning the toss and opted not to immediately unleash his bowlers on the under-qualified Bangladeshis. Instead, Australia’s hastily recast line-up struggled with the bat and then, as the pitch flattened out in the heat, Bangladesh cashed in on lacklustre bowling and lamentable fielding.

Unlikely cricket history was made with four balls to spare, generating heat in the post-match post-mortem. Ponting sat ashen-faced and tried manfully to defend the morning’s deceptions, as well as downplay their impact on the result, and grimly promised that Symonds’ punishment would be delivered swiftly and decisively.
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Post by Gingernuts on Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:53 pm

Silly silly boy.
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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:03 pm

Is everything that goes against Pakistan a Conspiracy against them?

India’s terrific start in the World Cup led to many conspiracy theories being hatched in Pakistan. The usual conspiracy theory brigade of Pakistan comprising of former batsman Basit Ali and former paceman Sarfraz Nawaz are at it again.

Immediately after India’s resounding 130-run win over South Africa, Basit Ali, on a Pakistan news network implied that the Proteas were under pressure of the Indian Premier League (IPL). An impression gained currency that Basit Ali had hinted at some foul play.

Similarly, Nawaz said on a Pakistani channel that the pitches are deliberately being designed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to suit India’s strengths.

But on Wednesday, Basit Ali, while speaking to indianexpress.com, sought to clarify his comments and suggested that he meant that IPL pressure was in a positive way.

Nawaz stuck to his guns as he insisted that the MCG pitch, where India played South Africa, was tailor-made for MS Dhoni’s team.

“It was a batting pitch which also aided spinners. It was tailor-made for India. But look at the pitch for Pakistan’s match against Zimbabwe, it was uneven. Pakistan got to play on an under-prepared pitch. This is all happening in front of you,” said Nawaz in a chat with indianexpress.com.

Nawaz, once one half of a great bowling partnership with Imran Khan, has since turned into the enfant terrible of Pakistan cricket. His pet project nowadays is to allege foulplay at any given instance with all his talk veering to the match-fixing angle.

“I suspect the India-South Africa match for fixing. The body language of the South African players did not seem good. They did not try to win. De Villiers got run out, but he did not dive. I suspect something wrong there.

“Umpiring in the India-Pakistan match was biased too. Umar Akmal was not out, even the commentators kept shouting about it,” added Nawaz.

But the usually trigger-happy Nawaz says he is resigned to the fact that India will continue to be in prime position in world cricket affairs.

“Like we have America in world affairs, it is India in cricket. This will continue. Even England and Australia dance to India’s tunes. Nothing much can be done,” concluded Nawaz.
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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:14 pm

Cairns conspiracy theory 'ludicrous' 13/11/15

The idea that a string of witnesses have come forward to falsely accuse Chris Cairns of match fixing is ludicrous, prosecutors at his London trial say.

Cairns is charged with perjury in relation to a 2012 libel case in which he stated that he "never, ever cheated at cricket".

The Crown says the former New Zealand cricketing star lied, and has sought to prove that he match fixed in the Indian Cricket League and ordered others to match fix.

In her closing remarks on Thursday, prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said Cairns had "made a mockery of the game of cricket" and disrespected his fans all over the world by cheating. Ms Wass sad the jury had heard about Cairns's cheating from three direct witnesses, as well as witnesses whose evidence backed up those accounts.

"Mr Cairns has been unable to present a single credible explanation for nine people wanting to falsely implicate him in criminal conduct."

She said Cairns had refused to say what motivation those people might have to make up stories about him, and he was waiting for his lawyer to make the conspiracy theory sound credible.

"The reason for his refusal was because he couldn't make the theory anything other than ludicrous," Ms Wass said.

With regards to Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum, who told the court Cairns attempted to involve him in fixing games in 2008, Ms Wass questioned why he would lie.

"Not a single reason has been put forward as to why Brendon McCullum, a man at the height of his career, would come to Southwark Crown Court to incriminate a man he had held in such high regard."

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who told the court he was with McCullum when the New Zealander received a call from Cairns offering him a business proposition, also had no reason to be dishonest, Ms Wass said.

"Ricky Ponting is one of the most famous cricketers of our age. Why on earth he would want to involve himself in giving evidence against Chris Cairns that was not true is not worthy of belief."

The defence has suggested Lou Vincent, a former New Zealand cricketer who says he match fixed under Cairns's orders, needed to give up a big scalp to the International Cricket Council.

Ms Wass said Vincent had already received 14 lifetime bans for his own involvement in cheating, and that he was simply telling the truth.

"He has not tried to help himself by blaming Chris Cairns, he has not profited by blaming Chris Cairns."

Ms Wass also asked why the ICC would want to expose someone who could have the same impact on cricket that drugs cheat Lance Armstrong's admissions had had on cycling if that person was not guilty.

"Why would the International Cricket Council have any desire to destroy the good name of an innocent man?" Ms Wass asked.

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