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Random Post

What am I doing posting on a Friday night (did I add this one is from the office!!)?? I have no answer. I am waiting for a friend to finish his work before heading home. Also I will be in office tomorrow 🙁 interviewing people to work with.

Neways, some random pieces to talk about.

Sensex crashed almost 10% in the past two days and we are feeling the heat. But we did not care much when we did make obscene amounts of money when it went up like crazy. Did we??

Schumi came in second at the Spanish Grand Prix. Big deal. He still remains, to me, the biggest threat to Alonso’s (who, by the way, is a very sore loser) title defence.

The Da Vinci Code was delayed and not released in India because the government and the Christian organisations want a disclaimer. Bull shit!! I mean the book has been around for a lot more time and then the clergy was sleeping on their asses. They wake up now and want the movie banned (along with the Muslims!!).

India won (well almost) the first ODI against the WI. 17 sucessful chases in a row. And Dravid as a opener. Must say despite my hate for Chappel, he should get credit for creative thinking.

I have been working my ass off for quite a few days now and don’t expect respite for some more. But there are a lot of things to get done. Shit man!! So much to do and so less time 🙁

End with a quote from “A Beautiful Mind“.

Conviction, it turns out, is a luxury of those on the sidelines, Mr. Nash.


Challenging the Umpire

The following post has been cross posted on the Pavilion Seat blog.

An ICC committee has passed a resolution (well only just, 6 votes for and 5 against) to try out a system under which captains and players would be allowed to question three decisions made by the on-field umpires in an ODI. Those will then be referred to the third umpire for reconsideration. Also, the LBW decision would not be up for reconsideration by use of Hawkeye, but the use of the LBW mat will be permitted. The proposed changes will be tried in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, and, if successful, in the World Cup next year. A successful appeal will not be counted (as one of the three) while an invalid one will.

However, these suggestions raise a few questions in my mind:

1. Won’t it undermine the authority of and respect for the on-field umpire? The ICC itself is sceptical “about the implications such a process would have on the Spirit of Cricket, the fabric of the game and the authority of the on-field umpires”.

2. What if the third umpire makes an incorrect decision? The events of Sachin being declared run out against Pakistan in Eden in 1999, and that of MS Dhoni’s run out against England in Mumbai in 2006 come to mind, where the third umpire made an error in judgment according to many. I mean that technology is only as good as the person using it. Also, what happens if a team is unhappy with the decision made by the third umpire?

3. What is the impact of a wrong decision on the outcome of the game? The game between Venus Williams and Sprem serves as an example, where, due to a scoring error, Venus lost an important point and her place in the tournament!! However, “I don’t think one call makes a match,” was what Ms. Williams said after the match.

4. Why test it out in premier events like the Champions Trophy and the World Cup? (This one left me totally baffled!)

“You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to work out that if we use it, it has to be along the lines of American football, where the players and the coach get to challenge a decision using replays,” says Dave Richardson, ICC general manager. With due respect to Mr. Richardson, I hate the idea of the 22 yards being turned into an American football field.

I would probably agree with Ms. Williams that one or a couple of bad decisions do not make a match. More importantly, even if they do, they form a part of the ‘glorious uncertainties’ of the ‘gentleman’s game’. Some of them should not be done away with, I think. What say you?

Books Quotes Sports

Veni, vidi, vici

It is the proverbial rise of the phoenix from the ashes. After a very forgettable 2005 and not so rosy first 3 in 2006 most F1 pundits had written off Schumacher as well past his prime. But a new engine and 2 successful racing weekends the champion is back and up to all challenges coming in his way. Imola was described as a flash in the pan by most but after Nurburgring, the tifosi is up in arms and the Ferrari F1 team looks like a strong contender for the season once more. The Renault, led by Alonso is still doing well but now must divide its attention between Kimi and Schumi.

Schumacher seemed in sublime form as put in a lot of consecutive fastest laps to over take Alonso after the second pit stop. He kept Alonso under pressure right through the race and never let the difference grow more than 2.5 secs. Thousands of Schumacher fans were probably praying hard for the second race engine of the Ferrari to last through the entire race and if that happened they knew there was no overtaking the master. Thankfully, it did and Schumacher took the chequered flag with ease. Alonso did well, however, to see off the challenge by Massa (who took his first podium) during the last few laps and keep his second place and gain a valuable 8 points. Life wasn’t easy for Massa too with Kimi breathing down the neck of the Brazilian till the end but Massa held his nerves and saw the both the Ferrari cars on the podium, a sight that most F1 fans had almost forgotten.

Another interesting fact in the race was that 9 out of the 22 on the grid did not finish the race. 7 of them retired from the race with engine problems, which to me raises a lot of questions about the two race engine policy of the F1. Also disheartening was watching both Alonso and Schumcher drive well below what they can because both of them carried a race old engine and did not want to push it too far. Combined with a four race gearbox policy this could seriously hamper the speeds of F1 cars with people not wanting to push the car out of fear of the engine giving away!!

Last but not the least, one of the best parts of the race was watching the young Nico Rosberg giving a lot of seniors a run for their money. To me he seems a great up coming talent and given a good car I have not doubt he will soon be a regular on the podium.

On another note, I read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” over the weekend. It is a short and sweet book and extremely well written. Also came across this awesome quote that I have fallen in love with.

“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”

I loved the novel and recommend it highly.


Surely you’re joking, Mr. Ecclestone

The following post has been cross posted on the Pavilion Seat blog.

Formula 1 has seen such a deluge of rule changes over the past couple of years that it has left many fans (including yours truly) greatly miffed and confused. The qualifying session has been changed so often that I am sure the drivers must be confirming the rules before every race. Moreover, an F1 car with a 2.4lt V8 engine is a joke! This one gives 750 bhps compared to the 950 of the V10s. F1 is the only sport that is stepping back on technology. Also, teams are now trying hard to push the V8s to their limits for more power which I think increases the risk of an engine (that is supposed to last for 2 races now) failure.

When I sit down to watch F1, I want to see the fastest cars being driven around by good guys to the limit where speed is all that matters. All the rule changes are being made to make the game cheaper and safer. Cheaper! I don’t think that these companies care about a few million here and there. They say that it will attract more companies to race as costs go down and the competition becomes close. It’s like telling Superman that you have the cape but you are not allowed to fly because others can’t fly as fast. And safer. F1 has the most stringent laws concerning driver safety. What was the last accident you heard about in F1? I think it was Ralf Schumacher at the US Grand Prix in 2004. That was due to a split tyre, and he still missed some 6 races only. The crash was one of the worst ever in the F1 history, but the car kept him safe. These cars are safer than any other road cars.

Here are a few (ridiculous to say the least) rule changes F1 is about to see.

– Same car for the years 2008-2010. A tech freeze. There goes the entire development concept.
– Four race gearbox.
– Single tyre supplier (Bye-bye Michelin! We will miss you.).
– Testing limited to 30,000 kms per year.
– No tyre warmers. You want to save money by doing away with them? Seriously!
– No spare cars.
– Entry fee lowered from USD 48mn to 300,000 Euros.

I say give them the fastest cars and let them race. Also there is a talk about reducing the downforce (technically F1 cars can race upside down on ceilings!) on the cars for more overtaking. But then again that increases the risks. Wait! FIA has a solution. Keep the drag force the same. Which basically means you will have to slow down the car to make it stable. Sucks!

But the good news is that with the entry fee cut down and performance being no criterion, we might once again see our very own Karthikeyan back on the track.

What did you say? Indicators on F1 cars! Well, you never know.