Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Monday, January 19, 2015

7 points batting tips to help Nepal do well in WCL Division 2.

Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 2 has been underway since January 17, 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia. 

Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Netherlands, Uganda, and host Namibia are locking horns in the eight-day tournament across three grounds, Wanderers, Wanderers Affies, and United, while final to be played at Wanderers on January 24, 2015.

The top two teams will progress to the ICC’s four-day, first class competition for Associate and Affiliate Members (AMs), the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17, as well as the 50-over Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship. 

Plus, following recent decision of the ICC to break the glass ceiling and allow the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup the opportunity to qualify to play Test cricket, the WCL has become even more significant. 

In that situation, little surprise that all six participating nations in the WCL Division 2 have to put their best foot forward to qualify for the IC Cup. 

However, it's Nepal that got to walk an extra mile to be in the position of the top two to keep the overwhelming enthusiasm alive at home for Nepali Cricket.

More so, as that might do a world of good to the 'Cricket of Association of Nepal' (CAN), while CAN's newly appointed CEO, Ms. Bhawana Ghimire, seems to have been pushing the envelope quite prudently towards all stake holders of cricket with a productive agenda on mind for the development of the game.

Bhawana's vision seems to be clear and it's like: "If Nepal develops cricket, cricket will develop Nepal, so let's join hands, perform and deliver, because WE CAN."  

Her initiatives are no doubt drawing attention notwithstanding all adversities that CAN is subjected to thanks to the financial irregularities committed by the previous board, which actually helped cricket in Nepal regress catering to a few persons' vested interest at the cost of the larger interest of Nepal and its people.

Losing the first match to the weakest team Uganda, Nepal definitely didn't serve any purpose. Though, beating Netherlands in their second match, they somehow regained the lost ground. 

If the score-sheet is looked at, it is getting clear, Nepal's batting remained a big question mark in the two games to chase even a moderate total - below 160. On the contrary, bowling, without qualms, performed quite well.

To win matches in such a high-octane tournament, where there is no room to either relax or rest, 'articulate planning' is imperative for batting. 

In my opinion, Nepal must do the following things to get things right: 

1. Unless there is moisture in the air or the wicket is damp or a dew factor is likely, Nepal should bat first whenever they win a toss. That will help their batsmen bat freely without keeping any score on mind to chase.

2. 50 overs of Nepal innings should be divided into three parts: First 15 overs; 16th over to 40th over; and the last 10 overs. And then planning should be made accordingly. 

3. In the first 15 overs, more than 3 wickets should never be lost and at least 70-75 runs got to be scored. In the mid 25 overs, again, maximum 3 wickets could be lost and minimum 100-110 runs should be accumulated by rotating strikes. When fielders are spread, not getting 4 runs per over is a criminal offence in any form of the cricket, if not the ball is turning square. In the last 10 overs, target should be to make minimum 60 runs; however if it is 8 down already within 45th over then the main target should be to play full 50 overs.       
4. During batting, no T20 type, insane improvisation is needed. In the first 15 overs, no wild slog or cross-batted heave on the front-foot to send the ball into the stands over mid-wicket is required. Proper cricketing shots are sufficient to score adequate runs in the first 15 overs. 

5. Taking a middle-stump guard instead of leg-stump might also help to a great extent. For that could entice the opposition bowlers bowl more into the pads for easy pickings. Also, it might win a few more leg-side wides, creating a bit of doubt in umpires. 

6. The middle-stump guard can reduce the unnecessary shuffling towards the off-stump thereby will help the head remain steady while playing shots to good effect. 

7. Time to time, mostly against pacers, a Nepalese batsman can walk down the crease while the bowler is about to release the ball. It has two advantages:

a) The bowler might be tempted to pitch it short and, in the process, concede a no or a wide, or bowl a full-toss at a comfortable height to be banged

b) The umpire might be confused to give an LBW decision, looking at the point of impact

One thing, Nepalese batsmen should always remember that cricket is a mind-game, and they can only make runs and win it for the team and the nation, if they play to a bowler's weaknesses than their own strengths.

Net-net, what I feel CAN should appoint a 'batting planner or batting strategist' as soon as possible. Because, in a 50-over game, more than technique commonsense is needed.

PS: The knock that AB de Villiers played against West Indies was a magic, and a magic is not the ground reality. So, mindful and mature batting is the need of the hour for Nepal to macho flourish or brandish of the willow. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

For her Sakhi, Kaushiki has to change her Perception about marketing.

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."


Just the reason, it's commonsense to write about a mind used sensibly to ideate and create.

If that is 'music' then it can't be helped but written about, so some confusions about it get marginalised, minimised and, eventually, eradicated. 

As confusions create myths and myths create confusions, so no wonder music is considered as either divine to worship or evil to curse. 

Probably that's why, Friedrich Nietzsche had to quote: "Without music, life would be a mistake."

Of course it would be. If there is no mind to use sensibly to ideate and create, so obviously, life will become the biggest mistake to survive but live. 

For that matter, it's not only important but rather imperative to appreciate the fact life is synonymous to marketing. 

And whatever we think and/or do is/are nothing but marketing, notwithstanding our belief, faith or conviction that we do something exceptional or unique, which is not marketing. 

Though Philip Kotler's 4Ps of marketing have now become 7Ps, or even 8Ps, but still the fact remains as simple as that that marketing is all about only one P, and that is 'People'. 

However, the initial and basic 4Ps -- Product, Price, Place, and Promotion -- could never be avoided, even if infinite number of other Ps added, or some evolution takes place -- because in human society jargon and glossaries work wonders in terms of innovation or evolution -- to use 'Consumable for Product'; 'Cost for Price'; 'Convenience for Place'; and 'Communication for Promotion', spreading false hopes and utter rubbish that by converting Ps into Cs, the business approach gets changed from 'Company Centric' to 'Consumer Centric'; from 'Capitalism' to 'Communism'.

In light of that, if a musician proclaims and claims, "I am not into marketing then s/he is not into music either." 

Because, if s/he is not into marketing then s/he has nothing to offer by singing or playing an instrument -- as there is no product or consumable -- s/he performs (what?) for free then -- as there is no price or cost attached -- s/he is available nowhere -- as there is no place or convenience -- and s/he doesn't communicate -- as there is no promotion or communication. 

If this is the case then what does a musician do? Or, how come s/he is a musician in the first place, or for that matter, a living thing let alone music?

I guess, being a musician of global repute, if Kaushiki understands it, her interest in marketing will grow rather automatically to help (her) music only -- which has actually and factually made her what she is today. 

Once it happens, she might also realise the importance of 'marketing communications' (marcom) that noway will deter her musical prowess -- if indulged, nourished, and cherished. On the contrary, the right kind of marcom can add more value to her music and musical endeavours. 

Be it her workshop 'Perception' or her band 'Sakhi' will surely reach a new height, if her matchless musical dexterity and leadership quality are duly complemented with well-planned and proper marcom through step by step procedures, which might be costly but worth investing upon -- more so, as almost nothing needs to be spent from own pocket these days thanks to corporate sponsors -- for greater rewards.  

For instance, she created a piece of marcom -- looking at it, I suppose that was a hoarding -- for her band Sakhi's first ever appearance on stage.

While I looked at it, closely, with due attention, some issues bothered me: 

1. Is Sakhi getting presented by Kaushiki Arts along with Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers? Because 'A Kaushiki Chakraborty Initiative' doesn't substantiate the fact, from marcom point of view, that Kaushiki Arts -- the company -- is presenting Sakhi, which is getting sponsored by the said Jewellers, primarily. 

2. The essence of the band, or even the crux of the show, which I reckon happens to be 'celebrating womanhood, musically, minus any dogma of feminism or misandry', is not coming out, visually, without which, the payoff 'her resonance...' is creating ambiguity to a great extent. 

3. Human eyes move to see things in a 'Z' order. That is from left top to right bottom, following a 'Z' shape or a 'reverse S'. Therefore the visual, the way it's been treated is creating quite a visual jerk. The scattered snaps of individuals should have been executed in a much better way, so as to maintain the visual balance. As Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni do maintain the balance of music, similarly, a visual balance with text or without is always required to maintain the balance of communications, which are visible. 

I am providing below a thumbnail design, so as to give an indication how the visual of a piece of marcom could be improved from the previous one: 

Here is the comparison between two pieces: 

Now, the inevitable question might arise for a debate's sake, "How does it matter, when everyone knows Kaushiki and her genre of music?"

To answer to that, if it doesn't matter, one would eat a piece of bread first then a dollop of butter to have bread and butter, instead of caressing the butter on the bread, fondly, to enjoy his/her breakfast. 

In short, for her Sakhi, Kaushiki has to change her Perception about marketing.

Finally, as Nietzsche had quoted, "There are no facts, only interpretations," so it's wise not to take chance with people's interpretations for facts.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Was Steven Smith invincible or India's think-tank thoughtless?

As the India-Australia Test series is coming to an end for now, the splendour of Steven Smith would surely be missed. 

The way he batted in the entire series, especially when chips were down, no adjectives are sufficient to revere that.

To some extent, it was scary, and of course phenomenal in terms of lust and lustre what Smith brought into his batting, as if batting is nothing but a child's play. 

One second, dancing down the track against spinners to send the ball into the stands and the next moment, rocking back into the crease to play horizontal shots against pacers, well, to be precise, couldn't have been more sublime... manifesting sheer confidence and utter disdain with a matchless confluence. 

Worth mentioning, that too, almost giving no chance or getting beaten rarely throughout an innings. On that count, Smith definitely remained ahead of Kohli in light of batsmanship in this series. 

However, under pressure Kohli perhaps overtook Smith time to time in phases.

Even if talent, temperament, and technique are put aside, the number of runs Smith amassed in only four tests did not only humble Ponting but also surpassed the legend Don Bradman, adding more pride to the Aussies' glory!

162* + 52* = 214 in Adelaide 
133 + 28 = 161 in Brisbane
192 + 14 = 206 in Melbourne
117 + 71 = 188 in Sydney 

'769' runs, simply incredible! Gorgeously magical to believe. 

But, as no magic is magic in real sense, similarly Steven Smith's batting technique was not, and still is not, free from flaws. 

In fact, if India's think-tank or the so-called (technical) director afforded to use the brain a bit, they could have helped the clueless and hopeless pace attack get an idea on how to get Smith out early without being hammered by him all over the ground, as a consequence of mindless short balls. 

Looking at the ludicrous bowling by all Indian pacers, following a pathetic game-plan, I couldn't help but writing a Facebook status on December 31st, 2014, as follows: 

"Since, Steven Smith hardly commits on the front-foot but keeps waiting on the back-foot, so pitching anything even a fraction short will actually help him 'stand and deliver'. More so, as the batting stance he uses that practically lets his waist and hips remain very flexible. In fact, that also allows him to play as late as possible, while generating massive power in strokes, using his bottom-hand even in drives on the rise. But, as his front leg doesn't come forward or go across, and the front knee doesn't bend that way during drives, so anything nipping back to him constantly from good-length, even if 'slightly over-pitched' to reduce the rise of the ball, is likely to put him into trouble. In fact, that's the ploy 'Shami should keep trying, relentlessly, given his natural off-cutter and in-swing'. Five balls in an over got to be there, while an odd one should hold its line or out-swing or leg-cut off the same spot. Otherwise, stopping Smith is almost impossible, when he has been in such a good nick."  

Whether I was right or wrong got evident from the delivery, bowling which Shami sent Smith back to pavilion in the Sydney Test, getting the LBW decision in his favour, while Steven was looking ominously invincible once again during Australia's second innings.   

If you look at the picture below (click on it to enlarge), you will get to know how, in the entire series, India's think-tank has planned to have no plan to get Smith out by letting the pacers understand his weakness in batting, so as to encourage them to capitalise on it. 

In case, Shami did swing it reverse, instead of a genuine in-swing, then also the pitch of the delivery duly suggests what has been, and should be, the ideal length to dismiss Smith, which the coveted, hyped, and media-fied think-tank was reluctant identify to let the bowlers exploit that in the process.

Frankly, if this is the condition of Indian dressing room and their cricketing intelligence then India should keep playing only T20s ad ODIs overseas, for they are not mentally fit enough to play Test cricket, where it's imperative to get 20 wickets in a match. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Cricket Development Model that CAN Develop Nepali Cricket and Nepal.

As per ICSS Report, while the sports economy accounts for 2% of the global GDP, organised crime estimated to launder over US$140 billion annually through sports-betting, while football and cricket contribute to this, mostly.

The transnational sports-betting market, which is worth somewhere between €200 – 500 billion with 80% of it is illegal, literally fuels and fans the corruption in sports that mars the spirit, goodwill and economic base of sports, spoiling the sports economy, worldwide.

As a result, nations, precisely developing nations, suffer. 


United Nations Report on Global Situation of Youth shows most young people - about 85% - live in developing countries with 60% in Asia. 

Apparently that might look like a demographic dividend, whereas, in reality, that is a major threat, given the unemployability of the youth, leading to not only 'unemployment' but also 'underemployment', which is more dangerous than unemployment. 

In that situation, especially in the Indian sub-continent, where the consumer market drives the economy, SAARC nations simply can't afford to ignore the impact and effect of the sports economy just in case they don't wish to turn the demographic dividend into 'socio-economic and political disasters'. 

For that, the need of the hour is to concentrate on the HDI (Human Development Index) and GINI Coefficient like anything, besides GDP, to get rid of the toxic inequality - prevalent between genders and among classes.

Easier said than done; however not impossible, if sports, precisely cricket and football, are taken into account rather seriously, as development instruments for equality. 

It would be great, if greater emphasis is put on cricket, for its delicacy and criticality, which helps one develop better cognitive ability, enhancing employability, as an economic booster. 


Let's consider Nepal.   

The cricket crazy nation, which holds tremendous possibility to develop cricket for its own (sports) economy, as well as other SAARC nations'. 

But it can only do that, if it acknowledges, appreciates and accepts cricket as a development tool over mere entertainment. 

Here is the model, slide by slide, created at SHOTS & DOTS, and has already been presented to Ms. Bhawana Ghimire, CEO, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN):      

Should this model be implemented with necessary customisation at the micro-level, accommodating and utilising ACC and ICC's mandates and grants, Nepali Cricket is bound to become a force to energise the youth of Nepal, who, in the process, slowly but steadily, CAN build Nepal, as a developed country.