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03 July 2012

Malaysian mornings

Nasi Lemak
Unlike in my home country, Sri lanka, it take a while to sunrise here in Malaysia. But mornings become annoying if you get out of the house after 8.30 and search for transportation source. Don’t ruine your day arguing with taxi drivers. It is useless; you can never win the argument. It is scorching hot here! Yes Hotter than Colombo. So the best option is to wake up early (if possible; :p), and start your day at around 7 am. Mammak stalls are easily approachable and you can have Hoppers or string hoppers for breakfast. (Yes, not for dinner but for breakfast). Or the local favourite, Nasi lemak is another option if you are familiar with spicy food. As it passes 8.30 the roads become jam packed with vehicles and constant blocks have to be expected. On top of that, you the sun will give you a head ache. It gets hotter as the day goes on. In this country, Rain is never predictable. So, be prepared. Air conditioning is a must if you stay in Malaysia, otherwise you will literally, burn to death.

20 March 2012

From minnows to Winners

In 1988, when Arjuna Ranatunga took over the captaincy of a soft hopeless Sri Lankan cricket team, he had a task ahead. The team was never fearful, but were rated as under dogs. Eight years later in 1996 His team went on to complete a victorious world cup campaign against all the odds beating Australia in the final. The win was not completely due to his leadership skills but there were incidents that are still discussed in the modern game.
Sri Lanka was a side known to get bullied easily on the ground. Ranatunga prepared his team mates to go word to word with those sledgers. Australians were surprised by this body language of the Sri Lankans and the Indians were intimidated. Tactics were invented during his era. The rest of the world was stunned when the tactic of pinch hitting was implemented. Pinch hitting tactic was considered stupid by many pundits during the time. But Ranatunga believed in his players and stunned the teams around the world scoring tons of runs. He inspired the team to be as tuff as it gets. He dropped his own brother from the playing 11 and picked players who went on to become legends thereafter. When youngster Muttiah Muralitharan was accused for throwing the ball (an illegal bowling action) by the Australian umpire Daryl hair, he had an argument with the umpire and almost forfeited the match. After a long delay, match referee came on to the field and settled the matter. After the incident ICC cleared Murali’s action. The youngster went on to become the world’s greatest bowler of all time beating all the records. If it wasn’t for Ranatunga on that day, Cricket would have lost this player. Ranatunga is a role model that is praised by the cricketing world even after 12 years of his retirement.


A word on Leadership

Leadership is the steering wheel of a vehicle; a helm of a ship, which directs the rest of the body. For example, in an organization’s hierarchy there are various break downs and each has to handle these wheels. The only difference is that when you drive you can use a GPS gadget in order to direct you, but as a leader in real life correct directions and roots can only be identified with aspects like experience, knowledge and intelligence. The recognition could be an asset but what you have to bear in mind is that expectations are also endless. Responsibility can give you sleepless nights and suggestions can make things complicated. When you put a thread in to a needle, what matters is whether you have the eye on the correct goal. You can be a hero by achieving something blindly and you can be criticized for failing after doing the right thing.  After all, what matters is what your own knowledge’s and intelligence’s feedback regarding your decision, and if you have gathered some sort of an experience or knowledge, that should be the ultimate plus despite the end result. Good leaders do make mistakes, but they don’t repeat them.

24 January 2012

If Chinese play cricket!

Out of the billions of the Chinese only a few thousand knows the game and only a few hundreds who play the game. From the cricketing point of view, it is sad that china was not a British colony in order to be like Pakistan or Australia in the modern game. However, cricket is globalising. The game has spread from Bermuda to Papua new guinea and yet a new country has not gained ICC full states since Bangladesh, while Ireland is more likely to do so in a couple of years. Furthermore, out of the 10 world cups only 5 countries have been able to grab it at least once. Even founding fathers “English” have been unable to do so. Cricket needs to be decentralized and games should not always be between India and Australia. If cricket becomes a major sport in china, things will start to get fascinating.
When the whites, English, invented the game, it was called a gentlemen’s game played gently. When it moved to Australia the game became flame buoyant. West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad etc) made the game a carnival and South Africans added colour. New Zealanders added class. India and Pakistan brought massive numbers of spectators and Sri Lanka added pride. If the game had got stuck in the queen’s country we will only see orthodox Strauss and cooks. But no we see different brands of the game around the world with the likes of flame buoyant Gayle’s from the Caribbean and slinging Malingas from the Asian continent. Imagine a kung fu Foo King Fai from china.
It is encouraging the interest shown by Hong Kong towards the game. One could actually expect them to emerge as a cricket nation with the involvement and the tournaments that they hold. But what cricket is missing is yellow people in white uniforms inside the boundary ropes along with whites, blacks and browns.
If china becomes and emerge as a cricket nation they will add new dimensions to the game. They will invent new tactics and techniques just like Sri Lanka invented pinch hitting in 1996. Will they bring kung fu into the game? How will the pitches behave in china? Will Ian Chappell have more complains about pronouncing names? After all, will Chinese produce fake kookaburra cricket bats and balls? If china makes it to the top level they will not just be like ausies or the Indians, but will create a new era in the game of cricket.