By Amrit Mathur
Match referee Javagal Srinath plays different roles. He is also the hands-on Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). But fast bowling remains a priority for him. That’s why he took young Delhi Daredevils quickie Umesh Yadav aside to have a chat at the Ferozshah Kotla.
Srinath said the change from player to administrator is reality, the real world. High on Srinath’s agenda is creating turf pitches across the state, building basic infrastructure (not mega showpiece stadia) and spreading cricket coaching to small towns outside Bangalore.
Steve Waugh, a surprise visitor during the game against Mumbai Indians, was visibly impressed by the raunaq at the Kotla. “This is amazing. A bigger and more exciting version of the Big Bash,” he said.
An old friend of India, Steve Waugh is involved with various charitable activities, has a special fondness for the Daredevils. Trent Woodhill, Assistant Coach of the Delhi Daredevils and New Zealand, worked with him and younger brother Dean.
On his part, Trent is a huge Steve Waugh fan. “In all my experience of coaching in different countries over a long period, I have not come across anyone with a tougher work ethic. Steve trained twice as hard as anyone else. He’d push himself like nobody else can. Also, nobody was tougher mentally than him. He just never gave up.”
Sanjay Manjrekar, in the commentary box for the Indian Premier League (IPL), is a recent convert to the merits of the T20 format. “Whatever opinion people may have about this,” he says, “IPL has advanced cricket with both bowlers and batsmen learning and using new tricks. At the same time, IPL has interestingly confirmed that no game is over till the last ball is bowled or the last run scored.”
Tailpiece: Before the Mumbai Indians’ game in Delhi, there was some speculation about Lasith Malinga’s fitness. But this ended – before the toss. The giveaway act was the Sri Lankan measuring his run-up, and marking LM on the turf!
(Amrit Mathur is a former bureaucrat who is Head (Operations), GMR Sports. He was Director (Media), BCCI and has been on cricketer tours either as Manager or Media Manager. He is a columnist with Hindustan Times and plays golf in his spare time)