Tuesday 7 June 2016

The Cricketing Nation - Episode II

Is the world run by people who aren’t afraid to speak their mind; vibrant speakers, imposing personalities, heirs of power; Churchils, Putins and Kims.
Leader by definition is the one who shows the way- the centre of action; the one who ignites the solar-plexus of the clan. (Except may be for Queen Victoria - and a few successful others).

But how many people can flock around a single leader- ten, thousand, a million people. Can one person unite the whole-wide-world under one banner?

Francium, with its 87 nucleons has only a half-life of 22 minutes. 

Infinitely many H2O molecules bound by hydrogen bonds – the weakest form of atomic bond therein- creates this amazing fluid that is water; the giver of life.

In 1973, Mark Granovetter- the American sociologist identified the strength of the weak ties in our society. Within our close nit group of best friends we share strong ties- we like the same stuff, talk about the same stuff, enjoy the same stuff. With the high school mate I meet once a year and the fellow commuter I greet to every morning, I share a weak tie. 
As in water – acknowledging the significance of covalent bonds between hydrogen and oxygen atoms, the weak ties – the hydrogen bonds- creates the fluidity of the society- the efficient flow of information.

A closely knit clan, without any weak ties connecting it to the rest of the world will die out because of this limitation itself (like the Boston’s West End Italians). Out-of-the-box doesn’t come within. 

Kusal Janith Perara was temporarily suspended from International Cricket on charges of using banned substances. Behind the screen action by the player, his manager, the SLC, the British legal team, the ICC itself led to the Qatar-based lab retracting there adverse report, clearing the player

The social media rants and subsequent media briefing questions led to the SLC publicly disclosing details, and subsequent denial of ICC, of ICC agreeing to pay for the losses, to SLC, in the fiasco.

In our own closed circuits of information we are true, correct and deserving, only to be proven otherwise by the larger network of realities. 

Sunday 29 May 2016

The Cricketing Nation - Episode I

Lasith Malinga, the perennial black sheep of Sri Lankan Cricket; rags-to-riches who never played schoolboy cricket; T20 freelancer who gave up playing for his country; robbed the captaincy midway a world cup, and robbed the trophy too. Although I disagree, many believe he did: Antagonize the media at your own risk.

Arjuna Ranathunga was the villain of our enemy; captain cool to us, and to Tony. Each of his men of the undefeated class of 96 had a role. Sana and Kalu “were given the green light to go hell for leather”. Gura, the aggressive-schoolboy-cricketer-turned-patient-number-three, to bat around them. Ara the-main-man. Arjuna, Roshan, Hashan the most experienced middle order of the world cup to bat around Aravinda.  Vaasy to smash it and Kumar to steal singles, as they pleased. The rest never to bat: They only had to once (- guess when?)

Angelo Mathews, the lone ranger of the lost generation – a handful of unfulfilled promises. Dili and Chandi were to get a blast off (boy didn’t they miss Kusal). Thiri to play the-Aravinda with Angi, Kapu and Milinda to play around. Dasun and Thisara to send them to the stands. It almost came off – once. When Sri Lanka was 2 down in the second over Arjuna went with the original plan, Angie sent in Milinda. 

Windies lifted the world cup. A line-up of hard hitting batsmen, one after the other. Malinga being the most experienced T20 bowler around, new that much. Alas, the inexperienced youth (the next batch of unfulfilled promises) was no match for international bowling – even if its Asian bowlers in Asian pitches.

Arjuna had four U19 Sri Lanka captains in his team: Numbers 3 - 7 with more than 100 ODI caps each. Sana didn’t make a single century, Kalu didn’t survive the fielding restrictions, Aravinda was our leading run scorer, Gura was the sixth highest overall. Four members of the squad went onto become national team test captains. 

In fairy-tale victories leaders are celebrated (yes, they are stoned in appalling failures too); luck never talked of (SL had the fortune of two forfeitures in group stage); the team -the faithful followers- who stuck to the plan are rarely talked about.

Only eleven men represent Sri Lanka in cricket matches, but 20 million does in the meantime. What is your role?