Archive for the ‘Gilchrist & the Squash Ball’ Category

It’s unofficial: 2009 is the year of mother & child

16 March 2008

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: As I went round Delhi, I saw pictures of the mother and child pasted everywhere: on Kashmiri Gate, at INA market and Sarojini Nagar market, and on the walls of Qutub Minar and Lal Qila.

I was lucky to get couple of minutes with rail mantri Lalu Prasad at Rail Bhavan to get it clarified.

“Laluji! You presented a great budget although you gave zilch to Karnataka. I see the mother and child highlighted all over Delhi. Are you planning to anything for M-C?”

“Definitely! This year I gave 50% discount for female senior citizens. Next year, I will give 100% free for mother and child. I will declare a mother-child year for Indian Railways. An all-expenses-tour on the Golden Chariot for mother-child for all ages will be borne by Railways next year. This is my tribute to Karnataka!”

As I was coming out, I bumped into finance minister P. Chidambaram.

“Are you too planning to do anything for Mother-Child, sir,” I asked him.

“How did you guess? Saint Thiruvalluvar said in Tirukkural in the first century BC, in Verse VII(2), and I quote:

The gruel that children’s little hands have stirred is sweeter than nectar‘.

I will make it the year of the Mother-Child in the next budget. The child will get everything free, and so too will the mother. I will write off all expenses incurred by mother and children of all ages. This will cost around Rs 100,000 crore to the exchequer.”

“Can you afford it? I mean can India afford this? Only last month you wrote off Rs 60,000 crore of farmers’ loans.”

“Poet Subramanya Bharati wrote in the Nineteenth century thus:

Destroy the world, if even single person doesn’t have food‘.

Mother and child are the backbone of a nation. It is only fair I am doing my bit in the 21st century.”

Before leaving, I told him, “I am sure a future finance minister, say in 2045-2050, will quote you and do his bit for grandmother and grandchild.”

The more time I spent in Delhi, I realised the government had drawn even bigger plans for mother-child.

Free Blackberrys for mother-child and two-way free talking time for them. Free air travel for mother and child to and fro whenever they travel together in Indian Airlines and Air-India.

Anbumani Ramadoss announced free treatment for both mother and child for any age group in government hospitals, with free boarding and lodging facility at PSU guest houses post-recovery. I thought this would create a huge rush for marriage. Girls, working women who had decided to remain single will chase perfect strangers for marriage with the hope of getting free mother-child bonanza. DINKS (Double Income No Kids), no doubt will drop their silly idea and rush home early to make babies…

As I was heading to the the North Block canteen, Mani Shankar Aiyar called out for me. Before I could escape, he almost yanked me out of my collar and shoes.

Aiyar, who was burning high-octane petrol flying between world capitals trying to get gas through pipes from Iran has been grounded to look after Panchayat Raj and speaks only Dakshin Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha shuddh Hindi. Ever since, he buttonholes anyone coming 10 feet of his vicinity with news of his pet projects.

“Just this morning I have launched “Rashtriya Yojana Mein Maa-Shishu Vikas ke liye Panchayat Raaj ka Punarnirman (RYMMSVPRP)”. Chaps in Churumuri daily churn out at least 4,000 words, can’t they write 40 words on this? What a shame!” Aiyar thundered.

As I approached the Election Commission building, I could see Election Commissioner Gopalaswamy in a tearing hurry to get the dates organized for General Election 2009.

Only then it became apparent the reason behind the mother-child propaganda: The Queen Mother was making preparations for her child to be the next Prime Minister. The courtiers were already drumming up their bit.

What you see on TV is not what you get

9 May 2007


Tongue firmly in cheek, an Australian reader, Andrew Jackson, captures his country’s feelings at accusations that Adam Gilchrist‘s “hidden squash ball” gave him an unfair advantage in the World Cup finals against Sri Lanka. Following the report, a Sri Lanka Cricket official has called Gilchrist’s use of the ball “unethical”, and a Cricket Australia yesterday responded by calling the issue a “storm in a tea cup or a batting glove.”

Muttiah Muralitharan has distanced himself from Sri Lanka Cricket secretay Kangadaran Mathivanan‘s remark that Gilchrist’s move was “unethical”. “I would think having a squash ball in your glove would be uncomfortabe. I don’t know if I could even hold a bat with something like that in my glove. So if Gilchrist wants to do it, it’s OK with me,” the offspinner, often the target of Australian attacks, said.

John Buchanan back’s Gilchrist’s tactics

MCC: Gilchrist perfectly entitled to under Law 3.6(c)

Sri Lanka to take Gilchrist’s “hidden ball” to ICC

7 May 2007

Responding to mounting media and fans’ pressure, Sri Lanka Cricket has termed Adam Gilchrist‘s the use of a squash ball in his left glove during his World Cup finals innings as “unethical”. And an SLC official, Kangadaran Mathivanan, has indicated that Sri Lanka Cricket may take up the issue at the annual general meeting of the International Cricket Council next month.

“We are of the opinion that it was unethical for Gilchrist to use a squash ball to give unfair advantage,” Mathivanan told Agence France Presse. He said Sri Lanka could call on the ICC’s cricket committee for stringent application of Law 42 on fair and unfair play to ensure only the approved protection equipment was used. He said that SLC would discuss the issue before deciding whether to raise it in London.

Cricinfo: ‘Gilly’s squash ball was unethical’

The Nation, Colombo: Sri Lankans cry foul

Sydney Morning Herald: Sri Lankan sour grapes or Australian trickery

Prem Panicker: What the eye doesn’t see

The Sunday Times, Colombo: By hook or by crook

BBC: Sri Lanka plan Gilchrist protest

CHURUMURI IMPACT: Gilchrist & the hidden ball

4 May 2007‘s post on the legality of Adam Gilchrist’s hidden squash ball during his World Cup finals knock has created an international splash.

First, dozens of Sri Lankan newspapers and websites reproduced in toto an Indo-Asian News Service story that was up on Yahoo and several other news sites. Now, the Australian papers too are taking a look. Barry Dick of The Courier-Mail has addressed the ‘Legal’ query on Gilly’s innings.

Result: Sri Lankan cricket fans across the world, especially those based Down Under, and the Sri Lankan media are mustering support to get the International Cricket Council to address the key questions raised by the piece and subsequent pieces. Namely, was the use of the ball legal, did it give the Australian wicket-keeper batsman an unfair advantage in slamming those huge sixes, and do the runs scored count?

On the other hand, tens of Australian cricket fans are calling the Sri Lankans wimps and sore losers, in comments delightful for their biting humour and condescension that borders on racism. “If Gilchrist’s squash ball gave him an unfair advantage, probably Steve Waugh‘s red handkerchief too did,” writes one correspondent.

Read all three stories: How legal was Adam Gilchrist’s “hidden ball”?

Gilly’s squash ball helped hit more 4s and 6s

‘World Cup finals was Sri Lanka vs Gilchrist’

‘World Cup finals was Sri Lanka vs Gilchrist’

3 May 2007

JG writes from Australia: I read the article “How legal was Adam Gilchrist’s ‘hidden ball’?” You have very valid points and there are a few more unanswered questions that are worth pursuing further.

The other points to note are:

# Gilchrist never used the “squash ball” in the past and also in any of the other 10 games prior to the finals. Did the “squash ball” help?

# Gilchrist was out of form and didn’t score many runs in the whole World Cup tour apart from the finals. Did the “squash ball” provide Gilchrist the required assistance to bring him back to form?

# The World Cup final was between Sri Lanka and Gilchrist (not Australia). All other inform Australian batsmen were struggling to score except the out-of-form Gilchrist who had this “squash ball” to enhance his grip or did it?

# Most of his shots, mainly his eight sixes, were massive and cleared the grounds. Did the “squash ball” help?

# The number of sixes hit by Gilchrist amounts to eight in the finals, compared to two in the previous 10 games. Is it because of the “squash ball”?

# Gilchrist’s average without the last innings would have been a mere 30.40 compared to the 45.30 after the finals. Did the “squash ball” help to boost his average?

# Gilchrist’s strike rate without the last innings would have been 91.57 compared to the 103.89 after the finals. Again, did the “squash ball” provide that extra power?

Given the above and the points you raised, your natural tendency would be to believe that the “squash ball” might have given him that extra edge or did it?

His 2007 World Cup Statistics are as follows:

Matches 11, Innings 11, Not Out 1, Runs 453, Highest Score 149, Average 45.30, Balls faced 436, Strike rate 103.89, Hundreds 1, Fifties 2, Zeroes 0, Fours 58, Sixes 10.

I am not taking anything away from Adam Gilchrist’s excellent innings. That was an amazing innings which will be remembered by many for years to come. However, the question still remains: is it legal to use such equipment and will it provide assistance?

Also read: ‘Gilly’s hidden ball helped hit more 6s & 4s

‘Gilly’s hidden ball helped hit more 4s and 6s’

2 May 2007

VIJITHA HERATH of the University of Paderborn, Germany, writes: Apropos the claim that Adam Gilchrist had a squash ball in his left glove during his innings at the finals of the cricket World Cup.

Let me offer a scientific perspective.

A squash ball is a rubber ball. Unlike a cricket (leather) ball, it compresses when pressure is applied on it. When the pressure is released, it take its original shape. In short, it acts like a spring ( e.g.: a motorcycle shock absorber).

So what happens when a batman has a squash ball in the palm of his bottom hand?

When a batsman swings the bat until it hits the ball, there is pressure on his bottom hand. This pressure compresses the squash ball thus storing energy in the ball similar to spring. Just after the ball hits the bat (ball still touching the bat) this pressure starts to relax while the bat is moving forward.

At the same time the energy stored in the squash ball releases its energy to the bat in the form of kinetic energy. The result is that the bat moves faster than normal (without a ball in the glove).

As a result, the release-speed of the cricket ball becomes faster resulting in the ball traveling further before hitting the ground. Therefore it results in more sixes and fours being scored.

The downside is because the bat travels faster than normal the batmen might lose control of the bat. This happened once in the Adam Gilchrist’s innings when the bat slipped out of his hands and fell behind the wickets. If you have any doubts please try to do it yourself and see the result.

In brief Gilchrist’s use of the squash ball allowed him to hit the ball further in the field.

An interesting statistic: Gilchrist faced 104 balls and hit thriteen 4s and eight 6s. All the other Australian batsmen (Hayden, Ponting, Symonds, Watson, et al) faced 127 balls and hit just seven 4s and two 6s.

Is this method legal? I don’t know.

Are other batsmen using this method? I don’t know either.

How legal was Adam Gilchrist’s “hidden ball”?

1 May 2007

Two days after Adam Gilchrist‘s slaughter of the lambs in the finals of the 2007 World Cup, cricket’s fans and fanatics are still coming to terms with the onslaught that fetched 149 off just 103 balls and took the truncated game away from the Lankans even before they began their reply.But, how legal was the wicket-keeper’s innings?

And, as a direct corollary, therefore, how authentic is Australia’s ‘Cup triumph?

By Gilchrist’s own admission, he had “something” in his left glove all through his knock. In fact, upon reaching the century, Gilchrist first doffed his bat towards his teammates in the pavilion, acknowledged the applause of the spectators, and then kept repeatedly pointing to his left batting glove with his right hand.

“I had a little message, to wave to someone at home in Australia about something in my glove,” he is quoted as saying at the post-match media conference.

The intended recipient of that little message was his batting coach and former Western Australia player Bob Meuleman, also a noted squash player. Turns out that upon Meuleman ‘s advice, Gilchrist had been carrying a squash ball in his left, bottom hand to help him with his grip.

His (Bob’s) last words to me before I left the indoor training centre where I train with him in Perth were, ‘Well, if you are going to use it (squash ball), make sure when you score a hundred in the final you show me and prove to me you got it in there’. I had stayed true to that.”

That’s as clear a confirmation that Gilchrist had the squash ball in his left glove to help him with his grip during his stupendous knock. But that’s also where questions over the legality of Gilchrist’s innings, or the seeming lack of it, come in.

Can a batsman carry an object—in this case, a squash ball—not connected with cricket to help him on the field? Did he secure the prior permission of the umpires? Was the fielding side captain aware of the use of the squash ball? Did Mahela Jayawardene approve its use?

And, above all, and in a manner of speaking, did Gilchrist’s “hidden ball” give him an unfair advantage in knocking the daylights out of the Lankan bowlers?

These are hypothetical questions, of course, but cricket—a sport governed by mighty “Laws” not lowly rules—is always full of ifs and buts that leaves cricket haters plain mystified but keeps cricket lovers breathlessly debating the whys and wherefores till kingdom come.

Law 3 of cricket deals with the umpires. Subsection 6 of law 3 deals with the conduct of the game, implements and equipment. It reads as under:

Before the toss and during the match, the umpires shall satisfy themselves that

(a) the conduct of the game is strictly in accordance with the Laws.

(b) the implements of the game conform to the requirements of Laws 5 (the ball) and 6 (the bat), together with either Laws 8.2 (size of stumps) and 8.3 (the bails) or, if appropriate, Law 8.4 (junior cricket).

(c) (i) no player uses equipment other than that permitted.

(ii) the wicket-keeper’s gloves comply with the requirements of Law 40.2 (gloves).

The well-known Karnataka umpire M.R. Suresh, citing Tom Smith‘s New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, the manual on the implementation of cricket’s laws that umpires use, says the list of permitted external items for a batsman are a helmet, leg guards (pads), hand gloves and, if visible, fore arm guards.

Spectacles and jewellery are classified under clothing items.

Gilchrist’s squash ball was, therefore, neither a piece of protective equipment, nor a clothing item, and was most certainly not visible to either side or the umpires.

In other words, Law 3 (6) (c) (i) specifically prohibits a player from using equipment other than that permitted. And nowhere in cricket’s 42 laws is there a mention of a squash ball as a permitted item.

If Dennis Lilee‘s aluminium bat and Ricky Ponting‘s graphite-coated bat could be deemed illegal, if Hansie Cronje‘s earpiece experiment was not OK, if Scott Styris had to remove all the bandage from his right hand before he could bowl in the Super 8 match, can Adam Gilchrist’s “hidden ball” pass muster?

No law can, of course, take the sheen away from Gilchrist’s knock. Batting with a normal grip against the world’s best bowlers is tough enough, batting with a squash ball in one of your gloves is worse. To score 149 scintillating runs is, well, incredible.

And, as a “walker“, Eric Gilchurch is among the fairest cricketers to have ever graced the field.

Still, two questions arise: if the using a squash ball isn’t OK as per the laws of the game, is his innings legal, does it count? And if it doesn’t count, can Australia claim to have won a hopelessly one-sided and farcical victory?


(Many thanks to E.R. RAMACHANDRAN for pointing out the anomaly)


Churumuri story on Yahoo, The Courier-Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald