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    Sujith Somasunder retires..

    Thursday, February 22, 2007
    Sujith Somasunder announced his retirement on wednesday at the Chinnaswamy stadium. (You can't be blamed if you thought he had already retired). His two illustrious karanataka team-mates, Kumble and Dravid were by his side during the announcement and this is what they had to say about him.

    Courtesy: The Hindu
    Kumble said that Sujith, perhaps deserved more opportunities at the international level. "I think he is one of those unlucky players who did not get enough chances. And he also played his early matches against the likes of Allan Donald, McGrath and Gillespie. It was great playing alongside him for the Karnataka team since the early 90s. He was a crucial part of our three Ranji Trophy title-winning teams in the late 90s. I wish him the very best," Kumble said.

    Dravid and Sujith's friendship has endured from their under-19 days. They even made their Ranji debuts together against Maharashtra at Pune in 1991. And the admiration was evident in Dravid's speech. "Retirement is a bitter-sweet moment. It means the end of a cricketing career but it also means a time to sit back and cherish those old memories.

    "I remember Sujith and I spending time together on the field and then on trains during our under-19 days, long journeys, unreserved compartments, staying in dormitories in Cuttack, small hotels in Kolkata. He has been a friend and we will stay friends for a long time. I am sure he will contribute back to the game and I am sure he will be able to handle the challenge of a life beyond cricket with ease," Dravid said.

    Ardent followers of Karnataka cricket would fondly remember the 2 ODI games that Sujith got to play for the country in 1996 - India fielded a total of 6 Karnataka players (Sujith, Dravid, Kumble, Prasad, Srinath and Joshi) in both of those games.

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    The new 15% lighter uniform

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007
    Pix Credit: AFP

    Courtesy: Cricinfo
    Amidst typical hype and razzmatazz, in a bright show of power-point presentations and video capsules, Nike and the Board of Control for Cricket in India unveiled the Indian team's new kit. Ever since the board tied up with Nike, the wheels of commerce and innovation have been turning, and the latest offering is a team uniform that is lighter - 15% by weight and about the same in terms of colour.

    From a deep sky blue, Team India will now be clad in powder blue. You'd think clothing was a fairly straightforward business but with patented technologies, and jargon like dri-fit, engineered mesh, sublimation technology flying about thick and fast, it would have been easy to have been fooled into thinking you were attending a science seminar.

    .. hope this would help the player's mobility in the out-field and between the wickets improve by 15% (or atleast 0.0015%)

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    Smith and Co. - take a bow

    Sunday, February 18, 2007
    Australia have stepped down from their top spot in the ICC ODI rankings list after suffering their 4th successive loss (fifth in 6 games). The South Africans are the new No.1 team. Graeme Smith's men have had a great season in the limited overs variety and are deservedly the best team in the world on current form.

    Courtesy: Cricinfo
    The rankings do have little more than just bragging rights at stake: the side that leads the table on April 1 stands to win US$175,000, with US$75,000 going to the second-placed team. With the World Cup starting in the Caribbean on March 13, there is still time and opportunity for Australia to regain top spot ahead of that cut-off date.

    Australia has 6 games to play before April 1st while South Africa has 4 to play. Both the teams are in the same pool (Group A - St. Kitts) in the World Cup and would be facing off each other on March 24h. Don't miss the action - this is going to be the most evenly contested tournament in the history of world cup cricket.

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    "No Dhoni ? Seriously.. No Dhoni?"

    Friday, February 09, 2007
    Courtesy: Harish Kotian, Rediff
    Wadekar also feels that though places must not be taken for granted, Virender Sehwag, if back in form, could just make the difference.

    "India require a player like Sehwag who can get you those quick starts. A blazing start lays the perfect foundation for players like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar," he added.

    He said either Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Dinesh Karthik should be included, since Dravid can take up wicketkeeping duties in case of an emergency.

    "I would certainly prefer Karthik, since, I think, he is a good wicketkeeper and is in good batting form."

    Ajit Wadekar has served Indian Cricket well in various capacities and his name will feature prominently in the chapters of Indian Cricket History. But when he suggests that he might not pick Dhoni in his WC squad of 15, you can't help but wonder if all is well with the 66 year old's brain cells. You shouldn't be entitled to say foolish things just because you celebrate your birthday on April Fools' Day.

    Karthick has done enough this season to deserve a spot as a reserve batsman. He made good use of the limited opportunities that came his way. Raina and Kaif didn't do the same and that is the sole reason why they are currently not in the side. And as far as reserve keepers go, I really don't see Dravid keeping wickets again. If for some reason both Dhoni and Karthick are indisposed, young Uthappa could do the job.

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