Monday, November 25, 2013

The Curious Case of Pakistan Cricket Team: Part 5

Pakistan played the Asia Cup in June 2010 and did not qualify for the final. Next, was the tour to England. Pakistan faced Australia in 2 T20s (and won both) and 2 tests in England. Shahid Afridi left Test captaincy after losing the first test. Salman Butt was made captain for the second. The test series was drawn 1-1. Then Pakistan faced England for four tests. The series was lost 3-1 and everyone knows the "shenanigans" for which the tour is famous. The T20 series was lost 2-0 and the ODI series 3-0. 
Pakistan flew to Abu Dhabi to face SA. Greenshirts lost the ODI series 3-2 but surprised everyone by drawing both Tests under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq.
Pakistan travelled to New Zealand next. The T20 series was lost 2-1 but the Greenshirts showed composure and won the tests 1-0 and the ODIs 3-2. Next assignment was the World Cup 2011. Pakistan surprised everyone by qualifying for the semifinal after beating Sri Lanka, Australia and West Indies. India spoiled Pakistan's party and Greenshirts headed home after the semifinal.
Next was the tour to West Indies. Pakistan lost the only T20 but won the ODI series 3-2. The first test saw Pakistan's trademark collapse. Chasing 219, Pakistan were bundled out for 178. The second test was won by Greenshirts and series ended 1-1. Shahid Afridi had some concerns with the management and Waqar Younis and he quit captaincy after the WI series. Misbah ul Haq was made captain for all three formats.
Pakistan won all their games on the tour to Zimbabwe. Waqar quit coaching after this series.
 Next was the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.Mohsin Khan was installed as an interim coach. Pakistan won the tests 1-0, the ODIs 4-1 and also won the only T20. Pakistan travelled to Bangladesh where they won all the games.

England came to the UAE to face the Greenshirts. They were humiliated in the test series where they had no idea where the doosra of Saeed Ajmal was spinning. Pakistan took the Test series 3-0 but the ODI series saw a total reversal and Pakistan lost 4-0. The 3 T20 series ended 2-1 to England. PCB felt Misbah was not the perfect T20 captain and Hafeez was installed as T20 captain. Dav Whatmore was made coach and Mohsin Khan was removed, although he had done wonders as coach of the team.
Pakistan went to Bangladesh to play the Asia Cup 2012. Pakistan won the final against Bangladesh (although they were beaten by India in league games).
Next was the tour to Sri Lanka. Pakistan drew the T20 series 1-1, but lost the ODIs 3-1 and the tests 1-0. Australia came to UAE in September 2012. Pakistan lost the ODI series 2-1 but won the T20s 2-1. 
Next was the ICC T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. Pakistan showed impressive form by beating Australia but lost the semifinal to Sri Lanka. 
A small series was scheduled in India. Pakistan showed great skill in the entire series. Although the T20 series was 1-1, a great innings by Mohammad Hafeez was about to win it for Pakistan. The Greenshirts manhandled India in the ODIs 2-1 but it could easily have 3-0 had Pakistan's batting shown some strength in the final ODI.
The tour of SA proved horrible for Pakistan as they were whitewashed 3-0 in the tests. They won the T20 1-0 but were beaten again in the ODIs 3-2 due to lacklustre batting performances.
ICC Champions Trophy also was dreadful for Pakistan as they lost all three group games and went out of the tournament.
The tour of West Indies was beneficial as Pakistan won the ODIs 3-1 and the T20s 2-0. But the following tour of Zimbabwe was marred by poor batting of the Greenshirts. Pakistan lost an ODI in the series but won the series 2-1 to match with the T20 win of 2-0. Unfortunately, a test was also lost after a collapse and the series ended 1-1.
South Africa faced Pakistan in UAE in October 2013. Pakistan won the first test but a batting collapse meant the series was tied 1-1. The ODIs were lost 4-1 although it was closely contested. Pakistan blew off two ODIs. The first one was lost by a single run and the fourth one saw a batting collapse while cruising on 239-5 while chasing 270 odd. The T20 series was also lost 2-0.


The purpose of this circumlocution was not to bore you, but to make you understand that it is not just a lack of consistency that has left Pakistan cricket in the state that it is today. 
* Pakistan have tried being consistent. First giving Waqar Younis a reign of 2 years. Then Inzimam a reign of 4 years. Shoaib Malik had a reign of almost 2 years and now Misbah has been the captain for almost 3 years in tests and 2 in ODIs. But we haven't seen huge performances from the team during these consistent eras as well. Yes, there have been strong performance like against India and England in tests, but they are soon forgotten due to poor shows in the following series.
* Changing captains does not work. From 1999 till today, Pakistan has had 13 captains. 
* It does not matter whether the coach is foreign or local. Mohsin Khan did great work with the team, something Geoff Lawson and Dav Whatmore haven't been able too. Pakistan did win under Woolmer but there are no major world events to brag about.
* Interestingly, Pakistan won the T20 World Cup under Younis Khan who was made captain just 5 months prior to the event. The coach in the series was Intikhab Alam.
* The domestic structure was changed from departments to regions in 2007 apparently after the advice given by Imran Khan to Dr. Nasim Ashraf. Cricket greats say that cricket has been effected badly by this change. I'll say, cricket wasn't touching heights before the change either.

So as I conclude, Pakistan get ready to play their 2nd ODI in South Africa. I hope they win the series.There are rumours of Waqar Younis joining the team as coach after the board fires Whatmore. But bear this in mind, changing captains, boards or coaches won't help Pakistan cricket. It will stay the way it has for the past 14 years.

The Curious Case of Pakistan Cricket Team: Part 4

The year 2006 started with India touring Pakistan for a second time in two years. The first two tests were tame draws but the third test in Karachi produced a demons for the Indian batsmen. Chasing around 600 in the fourth innings, India crumbled losing by over 350 runs. Pakistan won the test series 1-0 but where thrashed 4-1 by India in ODIs. Reasons were the loss were a failing batting line, one-dimensional pace attack and great Indian chasing ability. Next, Pakistan travelled to Sri Lanka and won the ODI series 2-0 and the test series 1-0. A 2 match DLF Cup in Abu Dhabi was shared 1-1 by Pakistan and India.
Next was the fateful tour of England. Pakistan lost the test series 3-0 after forfeiting the fourth test, thanks to Inzimam's refusal to play after the hare-brained Daryll Hair declared that Pakistan had tampered with the ball. The ODI series was ended 2-2.
Pakistan lost in the group stage of the Champions Trophy after back to back defeats against New Zealand and South Africa. Pakistan lost both Shoaib Akhter and Mohammad Asif due to a positive dope test. Next was the home series against WI which saw Pakistan win the tests 2-0 and the ODIs 3-1.
Next, the Greenshirts flew to South Africa. They lost the test series 2-1 and the ODI series 3-1. Another botched tour before the World Cup meant Pakistan went into the World Cup 2007 under pressure. The pressure showed itself as Pakistan lost to both West Indies and Ireland (minnows) to exit just two days after the start of the World Cup. Bob Woolmer suffered a heart stroke and passed away. The lacklustre performance meant another operation cleanup. Inzimam was removed from captaincy and youngster Shoaib Malik was made captain. Jeff Lawson was hired as coach of the PCT.
Pakistan started well under Malik, beating World Cup finalist Sri Lanka 2-1 in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan went into the inaugural World T20 and surprised everyone by making it to final after beating Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Luck wasn't on the Greenshirts side as they lost by 5 runs in the final to India.
Next, Pakistan faced SA at home. Pakistan lost the test series 1-0 and the ODIs 3-2 after a batting collapse in the final ODI. The team travelled to India and lost the ODI series 3-2 and the test series 1-0.
Pakistan started 2008 by clean sweeping Zimbabwe and Bangladesh 5-0 in the ODI series. Pakistan defeated India in the final of the Kitply Cup to win the triseries.
 Pakistan hosted the Asia Cup in June-July and did not qualify for the final. A T20 series was arranged in Canada, where Pakistan played Sri Lanka in the final and lost. Coach Lawson's contract was not renewed and he was ousted and Intikhab Alam was made coach. The Greenshirts faced WI in Abu Dhabi and won the ODI series 3-0. Next, in January 2009 they hosted Sri Lanka at home and lost the ODI series 2-1 after losing the third ODI at Lahore in uninspired fashion. This led to Shoaib Malik's sacking as captain. Younis Khan took over captaincy.
The first assignment was the Test series against Sri Lanka. The series was drawn 0-0 after the third day of the second test saw the biggest drama in cricketing history. Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorist metres away from the Gaddafi Stadium. This shamed PCB as the SL team had favoured the Board by coming to Pakistan while other teams were not willing to.
Pakistan faced Australia in May and lost the ODI series 3-2 after a collapse in the third ODI.  Pakistan did win the T20 against the Aussies. Next was the ICC T20 which Pakistan won against all odds beating South Africa in the semifinals and SL in the final. Younis retired from T20 and Shahid Afridi was made T20 captain. Sri Lanka took revenge by winning the next series against Pakistan. The tests were won by SL 2-0 and the ODIs 3-2. Pakistan took a consolation win in the T20s.
Next was the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. Pakistan went into the semis after beating India and West Indies and coming close to beating Australia as well. The semifinal was won by New Zealand after Younis Khan dropped Grant Elliot. The maniacs in Pakistan's parliament and the PCB started asking questions and suggested that the catch was dropped as a match fixing scheme. Younis was grilled by the parliamentary committee and resigned as captain under protest. It took efforts from PCB to pacify the right-hander and he was asked to continue as captain. Next was the series against NZ in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan lost the ODIs 2-1 after a farcical performance in the third ODI. There were rumours of grouping inside the team and Younis was "rested" for the Tests (to be played in NZ). The following T20 series was won by Pakistan 2-0.
Waqar Younis was chosen as the bowling coach for the team. Mohammad Yousuf was given the captaincy for the NZ tests. The first test was lost by the Greenshirts in trademark fashion. Chasing 251, the team were restricted to 218. The following test was won by Pakistan and the three match series ended 1-1. Yousaf led Pakistan to Australia. The test series was lost 3-0 after Pakistan failed to chase 179 in the 4th innings of the 2nd test. The ODI Series was lost 5-0. Yousaf too wanted "rest" in the final ODI and the reigns were handed to Shahid Afridi who bit the ball and was removed from the following T20 games for ball tampering. Shoaib Malik was made captain for the T20 game which Pakistan also lost. Mohammed Yousuf alleged that Shoaib Malik was responsible for the teams losses in Australia since he had made groups within the team while Malik called Yousuf a terrible captain. After all the hubbub, Malik captained the Greenshirts in the two T20s in Abu Dhabi against England. Series ended 1-1.
In March, an operation clean up was undertaken by the PCB with regards to poor performance in Australia. PCB shocked everyone by banning Younis and Yousuf indefinitely and Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Umer Akmal were fined for unruly behaviour on the tour. Shahid Afridi was made the captain for all three formats.
Pakistan went into the World T20 2010 and were defeated by a master knock by Mike Hussey in the semifinal. Needing 18 of the last over, Hussey clobbered Saeed Ajmal around the park, reaching the target with a ball to spare.

-- to be continued

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Curious Case of Pakistan Cricket Team: Part 3

We ended the last part at Pakistan's humiliating first round exit from the World Cup. So, as has been the norm, an operation clean up was undertaken and Waqar and Richard Pybus were sacked. Rashid Latif was made captain and Miandad was named coach for a third time. Senior players like Inzimam and Shahid Afridi were not included in the Cherry Blossom Cup that followed. Pakistan won the Cup after beating Zimbabwe (tournament also featured World Cup Semifinalist Sri Lanka). Next was a tri-series in Sri Lanka also involving New Zealand. Pakistan were beaten by the Blackcaps in the final. Pakistan headed to England for the Natwest Challenge which the Greenshirts lost 2-1.
In the following series, Pakistan hosted Bangladesh. Inzimam saved Pakistan from embarrassment by winning the the third test by a wicket. As if fate was on his side, Rashid Latif was banned for five ODIs for claiming a dropped catch and Inzimam was made captain (first temporarily but eventually permanently). Rashid never played a game for Pakistan again. The ODI series was whitewashed by Pakistan.
Pakistan hosted South Africa next. A closely contested ODI series was won by the Proteas 3-2 but Pakistan came back strong and won the test series 1-0 (Pakistan's first test series victory against SA).
Next NZ was mauled by Pakistan 5-0 in the ODI series in Pakistan. In the return series to NZ, Pakistan won the test series 1-0 but lost the ODI series 4-1.
Next Pakistan faced India after a long time. The ODI series was tightly contested but Pakistan lost 3-2. India went on to win the 3 test series 2-1 after lacklustre performance by Pakistan in Match 1 and 3. Miandad was removed as coach and Bob Woolmer was inducted.
Asia Cup followed in August 2004. Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka, beat India but did not qualify for the final. Pakistan faced Australia and India in the Amstelveen Cup where Pakistan beat India but were defeated in the final by the Aussies.
ICC Champions Trophy saw Pakistan beat Kenya and India to qualify for the semifinals. Inconsistency came back to haunt Pakistan during the semifinal against West Indies. The whole team was bundled out for 130 odd.
Next was Paktel Cup in Pakistan which Pakistan lost in the final to Sri Lanka. The corresponding test series was drawn 1-1. Pakistan faced India in a one-off ODI to commemorate BCCI's 75 years, and spoiled the party for Indians by winning comprehensively.
In December, Pakistan toured Australia and were drubbed 3-0 in the test series including a 491 run loss. In the VB series that followed, Pakistan grudgingly qualified for the finals, getting beaten 2-0 by Australia.
The Indian tour followed this horrendous defeat. Pakistan drew the first test match courtesy Kamran Akmal and Abdur Razzaq's famous stance at Mohali. They were not so lucky in the second test but went on to draw the series 1-1 in the third. The ODI series was a great boost for Pakistan. Greenshirts won 4-2 after losing the first two games.
The next series was in the Caribbean where Pakistan won the ODI series 3-0 but went on to lose the first test due to the same inconsistency of the batting time up. The second test was won and series drawn 1-1.
England toured Pakistan in November 2005. The English team was fresh from a great Ashes victory but were mauled 2-0 in the test series by Pakistan, only because the second test was drawn due to insufficient light. Pakistan dominated the ODI series winning it in the 4th game (3-1) but went on to lose the last game.

-- to be continued  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Curious case of Pakistan Cricket Team: Part 2

So we start from where we left off last time. In late 2001, Pakistan toured New Zealand under Moin Khan's captaincy and the coaching of Javed Miandad. The ODI series was tightly contested, ending 3-2 in favour of the kiwis. The Test series raised some eye brows with Pakistan leading 1-0 at the start of the third test. A poor batting display led Pakistan to a loss by an innings. The series ended 1-1. There were rumours of match fixing too. Moin Khan and Javed Miandad were both sacked and Waqar Younis was made captain.
Waqar's first challenge was ARY Gold Cup featuring New Zealand and Sri Lanka. After winning all round games, Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the final by 77 runs.
Richard Pybus returned for a third time as coach for Pakistan's tour to England. After getting hammered in the first test, Pakistani pacers helped the team level the series 1-1. Natwest Tri-series followed the Test series. Pakistan qualified to the final after beating England in all games and defeating Australia once. Unfortunately, the final was a replay of the 1999 World Cup. Pakistan were bowled out for 152. 
Next, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in the 2nd edition of the Asian Test Championship, and qualified for the final with Sri Lanka. Muddasar Nazar was named Coach after Pybus left the job citing security concerns in South Asia after the 9/11 attacks. The Greenshirts headed to Sharjah (second time this year) for the Khaleej Times Trophy featuring Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka easily in the final.
Next Pakistan went to Bangladesh and won both tests and all ODIs. West Indies flew to Sharjah (due to security situation in Pakistan), where Pakistan won both tests and also won the 3 match ODI series 2-1.
Pakistan were defeated in the Final of the Asian Test Championship. This defeat only bit temporarily since Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka a month later in the final of Sharjah Cup (April).
New Zealand visited Pakistan in April-May 2002 after serious security concerns caused a series to be cancelled in 2001. Pakistan won the 3-match ODI series comprehensively (3-0) and also won the first test handsomely thanks to Inzimam's 329. The second test was cancelled after a bomb exploded near New Zealand team's hotel. Pakistan won the series 1-0. 
Pakistan headed to Australia for a 3 match challenge. The tightly contest series was won by the Greenshirts 2-1. In August Pakistan went to Tangiers for the Morocco Cup featuring SA and Sri Lanka. Pakistan lost 3 out of the four round games and did not qualify for the final. Next came a PSO tri-series in Kenya, featuring Australia and Kenya. Pakistan lost both games to Australia, getting bowled out less than 120 on both occasions but qualified for the final by beating Kenya. Luck helped Pakistan share the trophy in the final as rain halted Australia's chase of 228.
Pakistan were knocked out of Champion Trophy 2002 by Sri Lanka in the very first game. PCB tried shaking things up by employing Richard Pybus as coach for a fourth time. But the worst
was to follow. Pakistan faced Australia in a first "international home test series" with the first game played in Colombo and the rest being placed in Sharjah. Pakistan were in control of the first test, on 173-3 chasing 316 but trademark inconsistency came to haunt the team, the match was lost by 41 runs. More misery awaited Greenshirts as they were bowled out for 59 and 53 in the 2nd test match and lost this one as well as the next one by an innings.
Next, Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe 5-0 in the ODIs and 2-0 in the tests. Pakistan were annihilated in South Africa. The greenshirts lost 4-1 in the ODI series and and then were embarrassed 2-0 by SA in the test series where they followed on in both tests losing the first one by 10 wickets and the second one by an innings. 
Such "fruitful" preparation before the World Cup brought "reward". Pakistan were sent home before the Super-6 stage and their only victories were against Namibia and the Netherlands. Please note that Pakistan had the services of Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam and Yousaf at this time. Coach Richard Pybus and Waqar Younis were both removed from coaching and captaincy respectively.

Half time conclusions:

* Usually we blame PCB's adhoc policies for Pakistan Cricket's sorry condition. But if you look at both the previous part, PCB showed great restraint by keeping Waqar Younis as captain from April 2001 till the World Cup 2003 although Pakistan lost series during the two periods.
* Second, people blame inaction on part of the PCB that leads to Pakistan team's poor performance. PCB tried using a foreign coach four times with the national team, but nothing came off it as Pakistan lost both Champions Trophies and World Cups.
* After every series loss, people cry out for change in PCB as well as the captaincy. We saw what happened under Saeed Anwar and then Waqar Younis. Moreover, the board was changed 3 times in 1999-2000. Had change been the catalyst to success Pakistan would have shown great success during this period.
* Another criticism is that younger players are not included in the side. Many youngsters were included after the 2000 loss to Australia, but the nation cannot tolerate loss and after every series there is hue and cry to bring back the legends. Same is true today about Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq.
* Wasim & Waqar era is a bit over-rated

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Curious case of Pakistan Cricket Team: Part 1

As I sat watching Pakistan choke once again in the 2nd T20 against the South Africans (the original chokers), I thought to myself, how can consistency be made a forte of Pakistan cricket (some might say that they are losing consistently, but lets not go there). The answer came to me fast: You can't.
If we analyze Pakistan's performance in the last 15 years we can fairly say that consistency is alien to Pakistan cricket team.
We start with 1999, a year when Pakistan's team had greats like Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhter, Waqar Younis, Inzimam, Yousaf, etc. The only difference between the team then and now is that the team won Sharjah cups which at times took place twice a year. Unfortunately, Sharjah Cup doesn't take place anymore. Many people refer to Wasim-Waqar era as the Golden Era of Pakistan. Please! Pakistan people only remember those years fondly because its been too long and because Pakistan beat India alot in those yeas.
Pakistan started the year by defeating India in India but then lost the next match with wickets falling like 9-pins. Series Ended 1-1. Pakistan did come back to beat India in the badly construed Asian Test Championship and won the Championship by beating Sri Lanka in the final. Pakistan also went on to win the Pepsi Tri-series in India. But before we get all patriotic, let me clarify that Sri Lankan and Indian teams in 1999 were skeletons of what they are today. Both had some star players but they lacked coordination and lost many times to Pakistan. In April, Pakistan won the Sharjah Cup but due to differences Coach Javed Miandad was removed. Pakistan went into the World Cup (under Coach Richard Pybus) in England as one of the favorites. Pakistan had a good world cup winning all games in Group stage (except Bangladesh, but we all know what was going on there). In the super-6 stage, we lost to South Africa and India and only qualified for the semifinal by beating Zimbabwe. After comprehensively downing New Zealand in the Semis, Pakistan were drubbed for 132 by Australia in the final of the 1999 World Cup. Richard Pybus was removed. Say hello to inconsistency.
Pakistan rehired Pybus later in the year and Pakistan won another Sharjah Cup but were severely beaten in Australia where they lost 3-0 in the test series and also lost both finals of the Tri-series.
Heads rolled after the defeat. Pybus was shown the door and Wasim Akram was removed from captaincy, placing the reigns in the hand of Saeed Anwar. The Board (which itself was changed 3 times in as many months) wanted to "introduce young blood" and many youngsters were given a chance in the series against Sri Lanka. Result: Pakistan lost ODI series 3-0. Pakistan went on to lose 2 games in the Test series before Saeed Anwar gave up captaincy and Moin Khan was made captain and Javed Miandad was named the Coach. Moin won his first test making it a 2-1 in the Test Series for Pakistan.
Pakistan went on to win the Sharjah Cup (this was a real achievement since they beat SA in the finals), the West Indies ODI tri-series (but were beaten 2 times by the West Indies) but lost the WI test series 1-0 (thanks to Umpire Billy Doctrove). Then Pakistan won the Asia Cup in June. Next was the tour of Sri Lanka where Pakistan won the test series 2-0 but were hammered in the tri series (also including South Africa) and could not even win a single match. 
Pakistan went to Singapore in August to play a short tri-series featuring South Africa and New Zealand. Moin was injured so Waqar captained the side. Pakistan won both league games but were beaten by South Africa in the final. Next was ICC Champions Trophy in Nairobi in which Pakistan lost to New Zealand in the semifinal.  

-- To be continued

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Economist School Briefs

Recently, the Economist published a crash course on understanding the Financial Crisis. That made me search for the earlier school briefs the magazine published in 1999. Those were a series of eight articles on Finance. You can find links to them below
1: Finance Trick or Treat  (Published Oct 21, 1999)
2: The business of banking (Published Oct 28, 1999)
3: Moneyed men in institutions (Published Nov 4, 1999)
4: Stocks in trade (Published Nov 11, 1999)
5: Monopoly power over money (Published Nov 18, 1999)
6: Future perfect (Published Nov 25, 1999)
7: Shared Values (Published Dec 2, 1999)
8: The future of finance (Published Dec 9, 1999)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

About Cable Networks

With rising inflation and a sinking economy, it is heartening to see that prices of Cable TV, broadband internet and mobile networks are falling or are at least are stable.
I remember paying the first bill for cable TV, which was around Rs. 150 in 2000. Today prices are around 350 (max). Over the 13 years, more channels have been added including some from our neighbouring country India and others from the USA. Moreover, the mushroom growth of Pakistan's own TV channels is astonishing. In 2000, Indus TV was the first private channel to start its operations. But today the number of Pakistani channels has skyrocketed (can't even remember how many or what their names are).
Probably, the Cable Networks are trying to target volume rather than margin. The two top networks in Lahore, Wateen & Worldcall offer similar channels although Wateen's own channels do not feature 60-minute Bahria Town Ads.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

PTCL comes to Phase 5

PTCL has finally decided to lay fibre optics cable in DHA Phase 5 after almost a four-year standoff. Exclusive rights for broadband were awarded to Wateen telecom since 2008 which led to PTCL's absence from the area.
After an anti-trust court case in 2010, DHA has finally yielded and allowed PTCL to enter the precinct.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Quagmire called Zimbabwe Cricket

It seems Zimbabwe Cricket is destined to be continuously involved in scandals. Starting in 2003, we saw Andy Flower and Henry Olongo mourning the death of Democracy. Reports of racism within the team started doing rounds in the media, although the committee set up by the ICC did not find any truth in them.
More recently, Zimbabwe players have gone up in arms over their match fee. Zimbabwe Cricket is in dire straits, which was evident from their preference for shifting the second test to Harare from Bulawayo. Cricketers wanted to boycott the first test but some last minute diplomacy made sure that the team went out to play, sans Sean Williams who didn't want to set foot in the ground without getting paid first.
Despite their financial troubles, Zimbabwe have shown great spirit in both test matches, something that had been missing during their previous outings. It is high time ICC takes some action and either directly pays the players or sets up an independent unit under a respectable individual, say Heath Streak, who would route the payment from the Council to the players. If the practice of putting faith in ZC to pay the players continues, we might keep seeing more instances vis a vis Kyle Jarvis.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time flies by..

Today, I came across a magazine solely for watches, WATCHTIME. As I perused through the pages, I was mesmerized by the sheer volume of watch brands that exist in the market. I, being a watch collector (although small) myself, I found the magazine truly entertaining. But this is not why I'm writing this post. 
At the end, I came across a watch by Ferrari (see picture attached) which looked more like an engine. Additionally, I for one, found the reading time off the watch extremely hard. But the price tag on the watch read $235,000. I rubbed my eyes into see if it was actually $235.000 and not $235,000 but to my dismay it was the latter. Moreover, another watch I saw took GPS signals from 24 satellites to show you the correct time wherever you go.
I see both these watches as a waste. I mean can't you just change the time when you get off at an airport? Why do these rich people have to complicate even the simplest of things in life. People don't have clean water to drink and these snobs spend $235,000 on a watch that doesn't even show time correctly. Get a $2 disposable watch you stiff-necks.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

End of an Era

So its official. March 15 will mark the end of a revolutionary product in the history of the internet, the MSN Messenger (a.k.a Windows Live Messenger). As a management student, this didn't come as a surprise since all products have to go through the "disposal" phase. But I will admit feeling a tinge of nostalgia. My first encounter with MSN Messenger was during 2001, when I was just 11 years old. The concept amazed me; send messages to people sitting at the other end of the world and get their replies immediately. I still remember, the version than was 4.6. 
As time passed, features were rolled in MSN Messenger. Emoticons, Winks, Display pictures all made their way into the program. A more simpler version was kept as Windows Messenger though we don't know what its purpose was.

Then in 2005, the big news came. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger announced interoperability, allowing users of both programs to chat with each either cross-platform. It was nothing less than magical in those days. 
In 2008, the MSN Messenger was rebranded Windows Live Messenger in order to bundle it with Windows Live Essentials. The latest version (version 15) was released in 2010. 
During the last two years, I felt that messenger was being underused. Due to the introduction of Facebook chat and Google Chat, right into the websites, meant that the need for a standalone chat client was fast diminishing. Even the Messenger add on website, was not updated after June 2010.
Then, in November 2012, the interoperability with Yahoo Messenger was cancelled and in January this year,  Microsoft announced that the plug will be pulled on Messenger on the 15th of March 2013 (with contacts being added to Skype). This date in spring, will mark an end of an era.