May 18, 2010

Has T20 got purified?

Another WC, new team wins and another market opens up. My prediction of Australia winning the WC was halted by another good performing team, England.
This is the first time, Australia seriously took T20 and we all saw how they perform. So here after it is going to be another format where they will be showing middle finger to other teams. But the most surpise package of the tournament was England which brought players who are specifically made for T20 and most of all they had very good balance. The most important thing is, they had 5 main bowlers who can bowl all the 4 overs without major problems. I believe this is where teams like India, Pakistan, WI and SL lost out.

England has won a multi nation tournament for the first time after so many attempts. The irony is that they won in a format which most of their fans consider as itsy-bitsy or hit and giggle cricket. Their love for purest form of cricket is well documented all over the place and their hatred also well known. Now the interesting question is, will they still loath the format in which they are world champions or the T20 format got purified enough for them to accept it as a legitimate and worthy format?

oh yeah, i already read here,

"For sceptics, it expunged the theory that Twenty20 provides the game with little more than garish commercialism and a bit of bish-bash"
"The slow bouncer announced itself internationally. What was once intimidation is now humiliation. It pitches short, bounces high, but takes forever to reach the batsman, often left wafting in hope. Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom conceded 31 runs in five overs at the end of Sri Lanka’s innings in the semi-final with barely a yorker in sight. Both were bowling what were, essentially, 70mph offspinners, many of them pitched half way down the wicket. The Sri Lankans were flummoxed."

If im not wrong, the slow loopy bouncer is one of the important weapon of Malinga and Fernando, they are  using that ball for atleast more than a year. Oh yeah, now has England won, those deliveries becoming the new age weapon of bowlers.

"St Lucia was slow, sticky, made for spinners and wristy batsman. Barbados was fast, true, one for the quickies and the clean hitters. You had to cope with both, which explains why an Asian side didn’t make the final (they won one of eight matches in bouncy Barbados). "
 Is it not the last 2 T20 WCs were played in SA and England? Which are supposed to be the deathbed for Asian players? But is it not the finalists were Asian teams for both the editions? So is this means, those pitches were tailor made for Asian players?

"What this tournament confirmed was that Twenty20, for all its money, is, in fact, a game for the purists."
So Ladies and Gentleman, especially those unwashed from Asia, by England winning this World cup has purified the format for future generation not to feel guilty for playing.

Hereafter, by the order of Queen of England, T20 will join the leagues of purest form of the games.

(Disclaimer: Actually i was happy to see England winning the cup, but i was pissed off by the way the commentators from England are gushing about the sudden change in the purity of the format.)

May 11, 2010

Is the Referee/Umpire biased towards the home team?

    Today, i was fascinated to read some findings from football matches played at home. There are many researches happening in football regarding various variables affecting the result. One research which I'm very much fascinated and able to relate is bias shown by referees towards home team. How the strength of supporters and their proximity to playing area affects the decision taken by the referees.
The studies has been conducted both in Bundesliga and EPL, both showed similar results regarding the bias by the referees towards home team due to pressure they get from the crowd.
"In line with the preferences of the crowd,

referees lengthen exciting games and favor the home team by allowing most

additional time when the home team is behind by one goal, especially when

the crowd largely consists of home team supporters. When relatively many

supporters of the visiting team are attending the game, the referee’s bias

in favor of the home team becomes smaller. Referees also prolong a drawn

match when the home team is more likely to score next, and favor the home

team in matters of penalty kick and goal decisions. Referees’ reaction to

the preferences of the crowd are more pronounced the smaller the physical

distance between the referee and the crowd is, so that it can be concluded that

the social atmosphere in the stadium leads referees into favoritism" 

The links are here, here, here and here.

Is it possible to relate the same for cricket? How much an advantage do the home team gets over the away team in cricket with umpires? There is no formal study I'm aware of but with my watching experience and reading articles available in the Internet i can state my points.

Actually the home team advantage can be split into two periods in cricket. The period before the advent of extensive use of technology & neutral umpires and the period before that.

There was a time till 2000 India was considered the most difficult country to tour with spinning tracks, noisy crowd and other variables. Here the umpires also played an important role, as they tend to give more marginal calls to the home team bowlers than the away team. The spinner will get more favourable decision in India than anywhere else both due to the pitch as well as the Indian umpire who is officiating as they know the pitch behaviour and the bowler better than the other umpire. India were unbeaten for several years during the nineties under Azhar but failed miserably away. Is the umpire bias can also be a factor for this?

The same can be said about other countries, still Australia is unbeatable at home and they get most of the marginal decisions in their favour. Is this due to their ultra aggression or home advantage? There is a saying that, Warne gets favourable decision on marginal ones because of the way he appeals which is more or less intimidating. It will be even more ruthless if it is at home.

This is the same case with Sri Lanka, they are a formidable opponents at home and teams have to work very hard to win there.

There was a time when away teams used to play against 13 players when they play in Pakistan.

Even after the introduction of neutral umpires, the opposition fans used to complain about umpiring when they play against Australia in Australia. Is this exactly what the unintentional bias shown towards home team? Is the umpires get intimidated by the presence of crowd and make fovourable decisions to home team.

It will be great if some one does a study about the same in cricket.

May 6, 2010

Sachin Vs Ponting - The debate finally ends

Sachin Vs Ponting is the hottest debate goes on in the cricket world. There is an army of supporters for both who desperately and violently defend their heroes. One such coversation is

Sachin Fan - He is the God!!! If he is not there cricket will die in India. He is the higest scorer in International cricket.

Ponting Fan - He may be the God but he is very much human when you compare with Ponting. Ponting will surpass all his runs in a year or two.

Sachin Fan - Hahahahaha..... Sachin will play for another 5 to 10 years. He can and we will ensure he plays even with one hand and retires with all the records in his bag.

Ponting Fan - Yeah we know mate.. Your sachin is a stat monger thats why he is playing cricket for so long.

SF - Dont tell me like that, if not for The God, there is no indian cricket. He is the best behaved cricketer in the world. Not like the cheater Ponting, who claims grounded catches. The whole world saw how pathetic the australian team was in Sydney 2008.

PF - Yeah we also saw how Sachin lied in Monkey gate. I lost all my respect for him.

SF - Who wants your respect. He has scored everywhere and all types of attack. Not like your Ponting, who cannot play spin even if his life depends on it and he totally sucked in india.

PF - yeah yeah we know, how Sachin sucks in South Africa, he was a total failure there.

SF - Even there he hit a century and he is the first person in the world to hit 200 in an ODI.

PF - Hey.. dont be a fool,  our own Belinda Clarke  was the first to hit a 200 in an ODI, even there your sachin is not first.. hahahah... so wait for Ponting to hit 200 soon.

SF - But he has the most number of centuries in tests and ODI's, can your Ponting hit so many?

PF - Yeah yeah.. he has but can your Sachin boast of a century in a WC final?? Hahahaha. We have seen how he sucked in 2003 WC final and we RP ripped your team.

SF - It doesnt matter, in that WC he made sure we reached atleast the final. You will see SRT will crown his career with a century in the winning 2011 WC final.

PF - You sachin fans have to wait for that to happen but our Ponting already boasts of winning 3 WCs. He won 2 WCs as a captain. Sachin is the worst captain in Indian cricket. Even my 10 year old son can captain a team better than Sachin. Even we saw how he fucked up in the IPL final. Totally useless captain to say the least.

SF - (defensively) A captain is as good as a team. Even Ponting struggled after all the greats retired in your team. He just rode the talent available with your team.

PF - Even then he is a far better captain and cricketer than Sachin and he will surpass everything sachin is going to set in cricket.

SF - (sighs and thinks hard) Wait.. there is onething, Ponting can never achieve in this world.

PF - (cynically) huh... what is that??

SF - Sachin has more than 100 thousand followers in twitter within 3 days of opening his account. I bet my life that Ponting can never surpass that even in his entire life......

PF - aarrggghhh... sighs and resigns to his fate. Sorry mate... i accept Ponting will never have so many followers in his life.. I concede.

SF- hahahahaah.... heyyyyyyyyyyy....woooo hooo wooo hooo Sachin sachin....sachin... Sachin is the greatest.. Sachin is God.. See.. Sachin has won... Walks off with great pride and feels this is the precursor to 2011 WC triumph.

Sachin fans got another stat to feel proud about sachin. Long live sachin and long live his legions of fans.

May 4, 2010

Modi & IPL - A corporate communication ethics case study

The world has moved beyond IPL to World T20 cup, in which India is doing well so far and can be counted again as favourites. But i would like to go back to the IPL scandal which was taking most of the prime airtime and bandwidth. The scandal has been discussed in detail in all forms of media but i would like to present a view which i feel may not have been discussed much.

For a moment i want to keep away all the lies, financial irregularities, money laundering, oneupmanship and other IPL related scandals. There is a line of thought going in the forums that, BCCI and hence IPL is a private body and they cannot be questioned by the government or the media unless someone makes a complaint. So now let me consider this as the base and protray my view points. In any company before you join, we have to sign an agreement which has company ethics, trust and confidentiality clause. I want to discuss the stupidity/mistakes done by Mr. Modi regarding the corporate ethics and his breach of trust.

1) Corporate details not to be divulged especially in social media

"25% of kochi team is given free to Rendezvous sports for life.The same equity is non dilutable in prepetuity.What does that mean? Why ? Wait "
Who are the shareholders of rendezvous. And why have they been given this 100's of million dollar bonanza ? 
Kochi shareholders are: Rendezvous 25% free, Rendezvous 1%,Anchor 27%, Parinee 26%, Film waves combine 12%,Anand Shyam 8%,Vivek venugopal 1%
Rendezvous free equity - held by kisan,shailender & pushpa gaikwad,Sunanda pushkar,Puja gulathi,jayant kotalwar,vishnu prasad,sundip agarwal "       
The first tweets which opened the can of worms is the first blunder done in company ethics. Any knowledgeble head of the company knows, revealing company details in public that too in social media will for sure recieve the ire of the boss aka board of directors or chairman. In all the frenzy created by the tweets, no one questioned the ethics of divulging the company details.
In any corporate affair the leaking of company matters will be an immediate firing order.

2) Leaking of internal communications
"The other mail chain dates from April 14, three days after Modi's original tweet revealing the Kochi franchise shareholding structure and a day after he received a reprimand from Manohar for it. It begins with a mail from Modi to "friends" - said to be 71 council members, officials and stakeholders - suggesting that "propriety and fair play demand" that the IPL release the names of all stake-holders.

"We should as public body disclose ownership details along with name of directors of all franchisees once again. Earlier we at the time of bidding only disclosed the names and share holding. If everyone is okay with this we will issue the same right away, that way all doubts and aspirations (sic) being cast on IPL franchises and members of GC [governing council] appropriately rebutted. I hope you all agree with the same."
The next day, the mail chain shows, there was a reply from Manohar. "The issue is complex and needs detailed deliberations and legal implications need to be gone into and hence can be considered at the GC meeting, where all documents and papers relating to the bids are available."

The biggest sin in any company will be the leaking of internal official communication between the boss and the employee. That too if the leak is selective which enhances your reputation and tarnishes the boss's. So basically Mr Modi to make himself the right guy leaked an official communication which is essentially a breach of trust. Now as a boss will anyone like to have an employee like this in an organisation?.

3) Threatening to expose your colleagues
 "Wait for the ipl to finish - I will reveal the men who have tried to bring disrepute to the game and how we stopped them from doing it.
Thank you all for your message of support. It is really appreciated. I am still chairman of IPL. Just suspended. Wait - we have just begun."
 Threatening to expose your colleagues especially politcal masters is the least you are expected to do when you are under investigation. This is the final straw in any corporate matters to fire you and cut loose. Especially if you threaten to expose people who are politically connected like IPL will ensure you not in anyones friends list. This is the ultimate breach of trust in political circle, as he already burnt enough bridges he will find it difficult to find support in his comeback.

 4) Modi as a whistle blower

There is a great deal of support from his business partners, colleagues and customers( the IPL fans) that he has done a world of good to the IPL and cricket as a whistle blower by divulging the info. This raises his equity by a couple of notch as a victim. Now the question needs to be asked is, what is the possibility of a whistle blower to be remain in the same company. If you take any historic happenings, the whistle blower will go out of the company and for him to get a decent job in any other company is very remote. No one will want to touch a guy who has a history of making company details public even if it is for good of general public. The maximum they can do is go as freelance author or work in some media.

So if Modi is considered as whistle blower how we can expect him to remain in the IPL as a boss?

  Even if Mr Modi somehow manages to extricate himself from the mess, he will find it difficult to go back into the fold. No one in right mind will support a guy who is not trustworthy and breaks company ethics and rules. So finally, Mr. Modi can be the finest marketing chief we have seen in cricketing circle, but he will not be considered as a trustworthy colleague in corporate circle. IPL3 may be the last we have seen him as chief of IPL.The best possible thing is resign from his position and divulge all the company secrets in an exclusive column or a book. Atleast this will give him and his followers something to talk about.