?Go fetch Warne from the commentary box!? | india | Hindustan Times
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?Go fetch Warne from the commentary box!?

We make records but they make museums, an eminent Indian player is reported to have said when told how cricket heroes are honoured in Australia. Today, the Indians made many records, Sachin and Laxman humbling the arrogant Aussies and completely souring Waugh's grand farewell.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2004 23:56 IST

We make records but they make museums, an eminent Indian player is reported to have said when told how cricket heroes are honoured in Australia. Today, the Indians made many records, Sachin and Laxman humbling the arrogant Aussies and completely souring Waugh's grand farewell.

Sachin discarded indifferent form, dropped hesitation and rediscovered himself. Only in terms of runs though, because this was a grinding, head down, I-won't-get-out attitude, instead of I-will-smash-you innings. But such is his mastery that even when not at his best he has a huge total on the board.

Laxman was fluent, flowing and faultless, his form so astonishing that the second hundred of the series was never in doubt. He has done everything right in Australia, what is surprising he perished, twice, that too to MacGill in the last game.

But yes, the Aussies do make good museums and the SCG is a great example that they genuinely respect retired players. The museum has lots of Bradman (portraits, signed photos), bats of McCartney/Trumper/Noble, New South Wales caps of 1889, boots belonging to Ponsford, even a sandstone roller used in 1901.

The small Indian section has pictures of Hazare, and Pataudi's 1967 team. SMG is remembered for scoring 34 Test hundreds, for helping Indian cricket come of age, and, interestingly, for being an ICC official and criticising sledging. Among other items on display: photographs of Kapil/Vengsarkar/ Srinath and one really strange exhibit, the batting spikes of Farokh Engineer. A large, and growing, section belongs to Steve Waugh -- his shirts, gloves, pads, helmet worn against Bangladesh are in glass cases.

Sydney has lost its famous hill but the occupants of the area behind third man have not abandoned their right to free and frank speech. The crowd is interactive (it is on chat mode with fielders standing close by), spirited (minor fumbles in the field are loudly criticised) and opinion/advise is never in short supply.Their blunt advise to Brett Lee today: Go fetch Shane Warne from the commentary box.

The Aussies are good at other things besides establishing cricket museums. They have successfully connected cricket skills with science, based on an understanding that modern sport requires modern inputs and that sports is a specialised activity. Maybe not as complex as rocket science but something that can't be left to coaches who learnt the mechanics of the forward defensive push in 1950.

Alert to the opportunities for marketing its cricket knowledge, Australia is set to launch a major export initiative. Its new Centre Of Excellence (the earlier Cricket Academy, run jointly by the Queensland government, Griffith University and Cricket Australia) has designed special modules for players, officials, umpires, curators and even cricket lawyers and business managers.

Michael Jay, coordinator of the project, says they are in the business of cricket management and marketing, research and education. The Centre will focus on India and to connect with potential customers, the Queensland government is sending a cricket team led by Allan Border on a goodwill mission.