Category: Interviews

Asanka Gurusinha

Gurusinha in Melbourne: Christmas lunch with a forgotten hero

Five years ago, when India were in Australia, I was intrigued by the manner in which so many cricketers from around the world had made that country their second home. One such was Asanka Gurusinha, one of the stars of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup win.

Even though he was overshadowed by many of his team-mates, Gurusinha’s contribution through that tournament cannot be underestimated. When I sought an appointment to meet him in Melbourne, the only time that worked for both of us was lunch on Christmas day.

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Cricket in the Emirates without Sharjah? But why?

Inside one mall, you can ski down an 85 metre slope — about the height of 25 storeys — perfectly snow-clad, all year round, even if the temperature is pushing 50°C outside. In another, you can get in a protective cage and, wetsuits and breathing gear in place, feed sharks, even as experienced divers draw them to you. In a third location, you can experience the thrill of sky diving, without being anywhere near the sky or even jumping, forget about diving — the wind tunnel doing all the work for you.

This is Dubai, where the premium is on gratification and customer satisfaction, even as authenticity dies quietly in a corner.

That’s why it simply does not feel right that the Asia Cup 2018 is being played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, cricketing venues that have come up more recently, while Sharjah has got the cool shoulder (There is no such thing as a cold shoulder in this region, air-conditioning notwithstanding).

The Asia Cup reflects this dichotomy perfectly. No cricket would have been played in this desert had it not been for Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, who put Sharjah on the global cricket map.

Actually, that does him little justice. He brought cricket to the region in the early 1980s when most international cricketers could not find the region on a map.

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Off the field, this Rahul is still silken

KL Rahul nurses his injured shoulder

KL Rahul nurses his injured shoulder

On a warm summer’s afternoon an unremarkable scene plays out in a coffee shop just out of range of a long Chinnaswamy Stadium drive from Chris Gayle. Four young men are huddled around a table, dressed fashionably casually, beards, sassy spiked hair, flip-flops and tee-shirts of varying hues, sipping exotic teas. But there is something remarkable about one of those young men, KL Rahul, who has enjoyed one of the best years of his fledgling cricket career. Recovering from a shoulder injury that needed surgical intervention, Rahul is forced to cool his heels, missing the very tournament that provided the breakthrough in his career.

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The art of batting and bowling on turners, L Siva deconstructs

L Sivaramakrishnan on what bowlers and batsmen need to do on turners

L Sivaramakrishnan on what bowlers and batsmen need to do on turners

At the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore India and Australia are locked in a battle that has all the best of Test cricket. The bowlers are constantly asking questions and batsmen are forced to fight not merely to stay at the crease but for every run. The art of bowling and batting on surfaces such as this one are unfamiliar to players from both teams. What exactly are the challenges? What do they need to do to adapt? L Sivaramakrishnan, the former India spinner who has spent a lifetime watching cricket deconstructs the art of bowling and batting on turning tracks:

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ICC should know what happens if they try to kill Indian cricket, the golden goose: Shastri

Ravi Shastri at his candid best
© Cricbuzz

Indian cricket has rarely been in the pink of health, on the field, as it is now. The team, under the unified captaincy of Virat Kohli across formats, has begun to produce results consistently and Anil Kumble has put in place practices in the background that are ensuring steady growth. Off the field, however, turmoil has been the order of the day, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), at large, and certain administrators in particular, coming to grips with the sweeping changes laid down via the courts. Ravi Shastri, former India captain, long-standing commentator and recently head honcho of the team, pulls no punches when addressing these issues in a hard-hitting interview. Excerpts:

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No doubt some of Australia’s problems were self-inflicted: Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell on the health of Australian and world cricket
© Cricbuzz

It has been a decidedly difficult few weeks for Australian cricket. A confident, aggressive and organised South African unit has handed out tough defeats, leaving the players reeling and the public shocked. Understandably there were changes on and off the field. One that raised a few eyebrows was the appointment of Greg Chappell, the former Australian captain and batting great, as a selector. Chappell was only given the role on an interim basis, but the fact that he was removed as selector five years ago, after the Argus Review suggested exhaustive changes to cricket structures makes his return a talking point. Chappell, whose insight into the bigger picture in cricket is unparalleled, took time off to chat with Cricbuzz.

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