Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Cream of Cricket

I was reading the very funny Andy Zaltzman's blog the other day and it reminded me of my early years in Bangalore when me and my friends/roommates would sit and discuss something as ridiculous as 'how would the world's worst cricket team look like'.
That's the advantage of having like-minded, similar-wavelengthed friends as roommates. It is quite rare and should be cherished while it lasts. We would spend insane amounts of time discussing whether a player is 'worthy' enough to be picked in the world's worst cricket team. These discussions would last hours on end. On many occassions we would walk to Home Meals in Jayanagar 4th block, have dinner and come back home without even remembering what we ate or how long the walk was.

Anyway, I seem to have misplaced my copy of one such squad. Over the last few days I have tried my best to recollect it using my superhero-esque memory powers.
(For all you purists & uptights, I have this to say: As an accomplished allrounder in gully cricket, I have every right and capability to judge other petty international cricketers)

So without further ado, presenting, on the auspicious occassion of ICC's centenary year, (fittingly) the Cream of Cricket.

Team: KMH  (Kivi Mele Hoovu)
Vikram Rathour (IND) (wk) - Yes. He is the wicket keeper too. He can also bowl if you want. Superb player under pressure.
Wajahatullah Wasti (PAK) - A solid reliable quick scoring opener who almost single handedly won the 99 world cup.
Jacob Martin (IND) - A cool head. So cool, sometimes it forgets to score.
Dale Benkenstein (SA) - Another solid middle order batsman who's currently taking the ICL by storm.
Sylvester Joseph (WI) - Raw talent that those stupid WI selectors failed to encourage.
Chandika Hathurasingha (SL) - A living example of how one's weight cannot affect one's abilities.
Adam Huckle (ZIM) (c ) - He was Zimbabwe's captain. 'nuff said.
Abey Kuruvilla (IND) - Only bowler to beat Venkatesh Prasad in terms of Build : Pace ratio. Also takes home the best bowling action prize.
Chris Drum (NZ) - Exciting, incisive fast bowler. Wow.
Nehemiah Perry (WI) - Square turner of the ball. Again, those WI selectors.
Henry Williams (SA) - Damn the match fixing controversy for cutting short a promising career.

Mark Ramprakash (ENG) - You cannot tell me you didn't get goosebumps out of excitement when he came out to bat.
Nadeem Khan (PAK) - Aah. Perfect loop, guile and turn. Too bad Pakistan only loves its pacers.
Pommie Mbangwa (ZIM) - What a joy it was to see his hair bounce around in front of his eyes just before he delivered the ball. And he got buckets of wickets in spite of that.
Adam Dale (AUS) - Killer swing bowler.
Russell Arnold (SL) - Has the most beautiful sweep shot. Perfectly suited for middle overs. He can pinch a single in the 3rd man area even with 3 fielders in. Backup Captain.
Ruchira Perera (SL) - The original slinger. Sachin feared him.  Malinga would do better if he learnt some tricks from him.

Team: HMT (Heglu Mele Towel)
Debang Gandhi (IND) - I will never forgive McGrath for ending such a promising, exciting opener's career.
Matthew Horne (NZ) - A classy opening batsman. Hardly ever edged to slip.
Darren Ganga (WI) (c ) - He became captain of WI. 'nuff said again.
Mohammad Hussain (PAK) - The best looking of the lot. Amazingly consistent with both bat and ball.
Sanjeeva Ranatunga (SL) - A real hidden talent. SL has a lot of those.
Courtney Browne (WI) (wk) - A calming, inspiring presence on the field. Very consistent.
Prashant Vaidya (IND) - What pace! What swing! What happened?
Eric Upashanta (SL) - Superb straight arm action, which caused the ball to move so much that it ended up being wide many times. That was his only problem.
Mahendra Nagamootoo (WI) - Another terrific WI spinner who was sidelined by WI in favor of another promising fast bowler Marlon Black.
Mick Lewis (AUS) - An honest fast bowler who dismissed his world record performance of 10-0-113-0 by saying "It was just a game".
Heath Davis (NZ) - Generated too much movement off the seam. Kept the slips interested. Just not the batsman.

Khaled Mahmud (BAN) - Genuine allrounder. Matchwinner.
Ian Salisbury (ENG) - England's best spinner. Without a doubt. Had a great rivalry with Shane warne during the 90's.
Peter Martin (ENG) - Tall, fast and lethal. Having a splendind action helped him take bagful of wickets in his short career.
Winston Benjamin (WI) - A True caribbean speedster. His venomous bouncers were rendered useless on lifeless pitches of Jamaica & Trinidad.
Pubudu Dassanayake (SL) - A world class keeper and an immaculate batsman.
Dulip Liyanage (SL) - Fastest Srilankan bowler of the last decade. Only Nuwan Zoysa has come close since.

Honarable Mentions (i.e. AJMs)
Sujith Somasunder (IND): A dashing, dynamic opener who stood tall to McGrath, even when his stumps did not.
Noel David (IND): A Mystery Spinner.
Blair Hartland (NZ): A Calm and composed player who can stabilize any innings.
Amay Khurasiya (IND): Classy left hander capable of some lusty blows.
Niroshan Bandaratilleke (SL): Left Arm Orthodox spinner who can control the run flow in any situation.
Ashish Kapoor (IND): Still waiting for his recall into the squad.

Are you still reading? OK...
Now that you are well familiar with the teams, can you predict the winner if these two powerhouse teams meet head to head?
For added effect, imagine this match being umpired by Ameish Saheba and Steve Bucknor, match refereed by Mike Denness and commentated by Ranjith (Wickath Crickath) Fernando,  Arun (Insightful) Lal and Sidhu.
(Extraaa Innings hosted by Charu Sharma with guests Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath & Aamir Sohail all speaking English)

(Suggestions to the team composition are most welcome. Only rule is that they should be from my generation i.e. late 80s - present day.)


K said...

"superhero-esque memory powers".. I'm really proud of ur memory power, honey!!

perplexed said...

I only know Dhoni, Dravid, Kumble and Vittori(only coz i find him super cute!)Oh and sujith Somsunder happens to be related to me! will direct him to this blog if I meet him somewhere! hehe.. he should be glad he made it to some list!

Jayded said...

LOL... A cricket buff myself, I dont think I could come up with such a magnificent collection of cricketers! Amazing idea I say.. Only a fellow Banalorean can come up with such brilliance I guess!

Oh btw... Love Andy Zaltzman's blog. The man is a genius.

Err.. might I add a few gems to your list?
A certain Mr. Vijay Bharadwaj (who faints at the mention of one Mr. Bret Lee) will surely make your list.. no?

Ben Hollioake? (Thankfully no more - A-dam shame)

Tim May (The biggest 6 I ever saw hit was of his bowling... By Azharuddin... the lad just fizzled away from the international scene post this onslaught)

Salil Ankola - The poster boy of cricket... not because of cricket though

Dodda Ganesh - The fastest thing about his bowling was his run up... Super fast

DewdropDream said...

Errrr... I've never been into kirkitt so I'm quite lost here.

How're things with you? Have you and the missus had time for doing touristy stuff yet? Post with photus? Plisssss?

serendipity said...

beautiful i loved it to the core........

Anonymous said...

LOL!! awesome blog. A bit miffed by the fact that inspite being from Karnataka, you missed our home grown David Johnson, the only bowler to out pace the ball once it was released from his hands


Anonymous said...

Cool teams.

You forget 2 names -

Vinod Kambli - He can bat, entertain and give commentary simultaneously.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi - It was just reported in all leading sports papers that Sidhu would not give his comments if you did not include him in team.


Anna Bond said...

Thank you everyone for your valuable suggestions. They will be definitely considered for the next version!

AMIT said...

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Jeremy James said...

my only objection is Benkenstein. He was/is a fine cricketer whose contributions on domestic level for his county and my province, Natal were exemplary.

I must admire you though for a fine post and extensive cricket knowledge.

I am a cricket fan myself - Go Hansie!

You might want to add Vernon Philander (Most expensive over in T20 cricket in South Africa domestically.