President Bush has a golden opportunity to improve his approval ratings. Besides, there are simply too many reasons not to heed the call for Rumsfeld’s ouster.
Rumsfeld made some gross miscalculations about the troop levels in Iraq, refused to listen to his generals and landed the US in this mess. Its about time someone paid the price for the mess in Iraq.
Approval Ratings: The US electorate rewarded Bush with a second term and is now having to live through a worsening nightmare in Iraq with no change in sight. This is clearly reflected in his approval ratings. This a great opportunity to bump up his approval ratings.
It can’t hurt: Rumsfeld appears to be universally hated. I am yet to hear of anyone besides the President who still stands up for him! Getting rid of him can’t hurt. The war It can only help.
Time for a fresh look at Iraq: The current leadership has certainly failed in Iraq. A fresh look at the situation will certainly help the crisis. It might at least help launch a PR effort to lessen the hatred for the US in general.
Legacy Planning: Lastly, this decision might actually help soften President Bush’s hard-assed image and actually set the stage for perhaps a better legacy than what he appears to be headed for now. Changing the Chief of Staff doesn’t help beyond a certain point. President Bush needs to do more than that. Getting rid of Rumsfeld might be a good start.
The chucking controversy is back in the news. Thank you Michael Holding for bringing this back to the forefront.
I think this is going to seriously impact the game unless addressed immediately. The ICC should take a tough and immediate stance on chucking.
First and foremost, the 15-degree rule is too complicated. How can this rule be implemented at all levels of the game especially when the required technologies are available only at the highest level? You don’t want a cricketer to work his way up the local leagues and suddenly face undue scrutiny at higher levels and then be told that the action needs fixing (Shhabir Ahmed is a good example). This can destroy careers and can be a complete waste of everyone’s time (the record- keepers included).
Next, if chucking is not addressed on a war footing, the game is going to spawn many more bowlers with suspicious actions!
(I got a taste of this the other day when I had the opportunity to play “gulley cricket” with a handful of 6 to 10 year olds in Dubai (ironically, not far from the ICC headquarters!:-). I was shocked to find almost all of them had a few suspicious deliveries! While the leg breaks were delivered perfectly. The off breaks and shot balls were what I would term as “chuck”most of the time! The off-breaks in particular were so Murali-esque! (which to me btw is very suspicious, though I think the ICC messed up in his case in a big big way!))
The truth is that the next generation of cricketers are going to imitate the present day stars. So if the ICC does not fix this immediately, its going to reach a stage when the frequency of “chuck” balls might skyrocket and at some point this might actually threaten the validity of the very game! Imagine if every ball had to go through some kind of litmus test! Why not? It won’t be long before sophisticated cameras and software can track the trajectory of the bowlers arm and compare it to a specific requirement (range) and pronounce legitamcy almost instantaneously. But can this made available at all levels? Probably not.
I am not sure what the exact fix is for this problem. At a minimum the ICC must come up with something less complicated than the 15 degree rule. Something that can be implemented at all levels of the game. The Shoaib Akhtars of the world must be seriously brought to book for sneaking in “chuck” balls. Else it encourages others to do the same.
Every bowler must be reviewed after each match. Perhaps an automated technology assissted mass review of each bowlers action on each and every ball at the end of each match must be put in place. More than a certain number of suspicious deliveries and you get fined, docked etc.
The fix for this problem is needed immediately before chucking proliferates beyond control and threatens the game as a whole!
Ponting has had a change of heart
or so it seems. He now thinks its cool that Bangaladesh has Test status. This is easily the most self-serving statement from the master batsman. I had a lot of respect for Ponting when he openly criticized the Test status of Bangaladesh a while back.
But now its a different spin. Ponting is on a century scoring spree and a few more to his century count is certainly on the cards. If Ponting and Cricket Australia had the true guts and believed in Ponting’s words, they should have sent in a second string team to Bangladesh. This gives a good chance for new Aussie talent, and at the same time it would have been a good Test of the Bangaldesh team’s true Test status worthiness.
Ponting who is in the form of his career knows that its an opportunity of a lifetime for him to knock a few more easy centuries to his tally. So why bother belittling a struggling Test team. Enjoy it and add a few records. That’s what matters at the end of the day. What a shame!
Team India seems to have made winning a habit. India once again opted for the five bowler combination and restricted England to a achievable total and knocked off the target with near clinical precision.
Immediate Post Match Moves: Dravid has been rested and Viru named captain. Both excellent moves. Viru will feel re-assured. Dravid gets a much needed rest and the team continues to explore the Dravid-Chappell mantra of experimentation. It might have been ok to stretch this a little further and rest both Yuvraj and Pathan. VRV’s addition is a great move. Hopefully, Robin and Venu will get to play the remaining three ODIs.