Reading is dangerous

Dear Readers of the world,

Yes you who has a book in her hand. And you who has a kindle in his bag.
Reading is dangerous.
It exposes you to the beauty that lies within pages but rarely seeps into real life.
It makes you believe that a character as strong as the one you read about can exist.
It leads you to imagine a land more perfect than you’ve traveled to, grass greener than you’ve ever traded upon.
It sets you too free to be caged ever again.
Not by them. Not by yourself.
And what is that if not dangerous? Because the words you read were indelible. They changed you. And changed you for good.
But I know you’re not afraid to be dangerous. I know you will give up anything but reading. Because I’m one of you.
Wordily,
Literally and figuratively,
Your partner in crime.

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The 44 Balls that Shook the World

AB

Johannesburg.

It’s not a pretty place. It’s a place where strange things happen. It is cricket’s Bermuda Triangle.

Former Australian quick Mick Lewis probably shares the same thoughts.

He holds the record for the most runs conceded in an ODI.

It happened in Johannesburg.

0/113

He would tell you that for bowlers, Johannesburg is unsafe and that strange things happen there. That was his experience in March 2006.

January 2015 has seen another bowling apocalypse. Same place. Different names. Bigger scale.

Under normal circumstances, Rilee Rossouw making a century would be a headline event.

Before yesterday, 50% of his 10 ODI innings had returned an aggregate of zero runs.

Take a minute to let that sink in. Absorb it.

Under normal circumstances, Hashim Amla posting his highest ever ODI score would also be headline news.

153 (142)*

Under normal circumstances, people drive across continents to watch ‘The Hash’ bat. You would walk across the solar system to see him make 150.

Under normal circumstances, an opening batting partnership of 247 would usually be a talking point. No South African opening pair had ever achieved more.

It is a hard one to break.

But normal is probably a word that needs to be left at the door when AB de Villiers is the topic.

People bemoan the slow death of Test and ODI cricket due to the extremeness of T20.

Those people fail to realise that greatness can redefine, reshape and reset almost anything.

AB de Villiers has done that with the One Day game.

To be more precise, it was achieved in only 44 balls.

The 44 balls that shook the world.

It was carnage. He lobbed a grenade into the West Indian team huddle. It was unfair. They had no warning. They didn’t see it coming. They didn’t even know they were at war.

Those 44 balls that conceded 149 runs.

That’s a strike rate per ball of 3.38. In reality, you can’t hit a 3.38. Cricket is not that precise.

To achieve it, you need to be hitting or clearing the boundary. Continually. Practically every ball.

AB only faced the equivalent of 7.2 overs. He made 149 runs. That’s 20.32 per over.

If you extrapolate that over a full 50 over game, de Villiers was capable of making 1016 runs. Do the boring middle overs exist in this environment?

[Insert Dramatic Hyperbole praising AB de Villiers even further]

The truth of the matter is that those 44 balls are said to have claimed at least 10 world records.

They include the fastest ODI fifty and hundred, the fastest ODI century partnership, the highest strike rate for someone making a fifty or hundred and he is the only person to make an ODI ton when coming in after the 30th over has commenced. In fact, he’s done that one twice.

Why does he come in so late?

Coincidentally, multiple bowling records were also broken during those 44 balls. But they were not the good ones. Mick Lewis can rest easy knowing his 0/113 is still safe.

AB is fallible though.

He unselfishly got himself dismissed for 149.

If that wicket delivery had instead been a single, he would have also claimed the record for the fastest ever 150 in an ODI. It would have beaten the old record by only 37 balls.

That’s only a lazy 6 overs faster than the next best.

Cricket archaeologists will one day sift through the ruins of those 44 balls and discover yet more unrealised treasure. Of this, I am certain.

Under normal circumstances, the 44 balls that shook the world would not exist.

But this is Johannesburg..

Strange things happen in Johannesburg.

‘Normal circumstances’ is a term that never applies to AB de Villiers.

Did that really happen?

Solitude

I make them run, when I need them to stay.
I say all the things I know I should never say.
I want them to hold me, to make it okay.
But to them I’m just another person, it’s just another day.
And they know I won’t hurt them if they just walk away.
And so they do, and so now here I lay,
Wishing that it was just as easy, for me to walk away.rh

Players with high test cricket + one day international cricket batting averages

Chaitanya's Random Pages

Jacques Kallis recently retired from international cricket with a phenomenal record of close to 25,000 runs, almost 600 wickets and 300+ catches on the international stage. He ended up with batting averages of 55.37 in test cricket and 44.36 in one day internationals (ODIs), leading to a sum just shy of 100. In turns out this is the highest sum of averages for any retired player who has played both of these forms of the game, just ahead of Michael Hussey (not counting players with a small number of innings).

The following tables show current and former players with a sum of test and ODI batting average above 90. Sangakkara has improved his numbers in both formats dramatically in recent years while Amla and de Villiers are the only players with sum exceeding 100. Statistics are current to August 30 2014.

Current players

Test cricket One day international cricket
Player Innings Runs Average Innings Runs

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The Kind Of Girl You Should Date

Date a girl. Date a girl because she’s a girl and she’s beautiful that way. Not because she reads books or is illiterate. Not because she dresses up or doesn’t.

Find a girl who challenges you. Don’t care about how many unread books she has in her bag. Don’t care about how much unused space she has in her closet. Care about how many unread looks she has on her face. Care about how many unused smiles she has on her lips.

When you buy a girl a cup of coffee, or buy her a bottle of vodka — if you do it just to get in her bed, she’ll know it before you do, whether she reads, or whether she doesn’t.

On anniversaries or birthdays, don’t gift your girl books — she can buy all she wants. Don’t buy her expensive dresses; she can buy all she wants and more. If you can, gift her life a much better story than the one she searches for. If you can, gift her all the next years of your life. Tell her you love her in a way she doesn’t expect. She’ll be much more happy and contented with your gift.

Date someone who’ll rather be with you than read. Be someone for whom she’d gladly put that book down for, when you go to meet her. Be someone who makes her life far more romantic than those silly romance novels. Be someone who writes poetry for her, which is far better and personalized than the drab novels. Show her that not all stories need a villain. Take her out to far more beautiful places than the books describe. Give her such a gala time that there’s no need for a plot, a climax — no need for an end — that at each moment, the cup keeps on overflowing. Show her that there is no need to read too much — that she can instead experience it first-hand. Date a girl who’s ready to experience all this — rather than read about it.

Be someone who finds no need to lie to her. Propose to her in a way that puts the heroes in the books to shame. She’ll give you a smile that’s worth more than a billion books. Be all this for her. But please don’t date her just because she reads.

Date someone who’ll rather be with you than go to a pub and be wasted. Be someone for whom she’d rather put that wine glass down, when you go to meet her. Be someone who finds her beautiful even when she’s wearing pajamas. Be someone who eases out her insecurities, who doesn’t let the routine get boring. Be someone for whom she’d rather stay up at midnight for a chat than sleep in with a hangover. Be someone who can listen to the music in her voice rather than sharing her taste in music. If the girl you date never made your heart oscillate with passion, it’s great — yes; because hearts were never made to oscillate. They were made to beat. Date someone who makes your heart skip a beat or two every time you see her. Date a girl who knows when to lend an ear to listen to you when you want to talk. Date a girl who can read the anger in your eyes, even though she doesn’t read books.

Be someone who doesn’t care whether she reads or not. Be the man who is dating her because he has started loving her.

Date a girl who has the guts to scold you when you do wrong and still love you like an idiot all the same.

N Srinivasan’s Ten Commandments

BCCI-Srinivasan-Despicable(1)IT’S ALL DONE AND DUSTED. The governing body of the International Cricket Council has passed constitutional changes, altering its structure to make Mr. N. Srinivasan the most powerful man in world cricket. Currently barred from his role as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India by the Supreme Court of India, it isn’t hard to imagine Mr. Srinivasan’s ‘Ten Commandments’, his first call of order as Chairman of the ICC!

1. Mr. Srinivasan shall only be addressed as ‘His Excellency’.

2. Mr. Giles Clarke and Mr. Wally Edwards shall begin proceedings at every ICC meeting with a traditional South Indian puja, in lungis of their respective national colours.

3. ICC will shift headquarters to Chennai, India. An ICC ‘Cement Throne’ shall be made for His Excellency to conduct every meeting. A statue of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan shall also be erected in front of the headquarters.

4. At the start of every International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting, each board member must kiss His Excellency’s BCCI emblazoned 24 carat gold ring.

5. Every board member will travel business class, stay in five star hotels, and watch cricket in the best seats, over and above being paid large sums of money to do as your heart desires.

6. Loyalty may be rewarded in the form of a stake in an Indian Premier League team.

7. Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan will head the ICC Anti-­‐Corruption Unit. Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja will assist him.

8. It is mandatory for every board member to stand and applaud His Excellency’s immaculate golf swing.

9. ‘Vande Mataram’ by A. R. Rahman is the new ICC anthem, which must be memorized and sung by all board members.

10. Filter coffee and Idlis must be served at every ICC meeting.

With the future of world cricket in apparently ‘safe’ hands, may Sachin bless fans of the gentleman’s game!

Everybody Is Screwed Up. Nobody Is Perfect.

Thought Catalog

The following is an excerpt of my upcoming book, Wisdom of Action.

Successful People ______

There are thousands of bloggers filling in that blank space every day.

Millions click the headline hoping for the answer. The one that was missing from the last hundred times they clicked the identical headline.

Successful people are humans. Meaning they do all the wrong things: they worry about competition, they abandon their children, they ignore the emotional needs of their spouses, they go insane, they procrastinate, they have negative thoughts, they waste money, they’re shortsighted, they’re everything you are and worse.

Read a couple biographies. Walt Disney chain-smoked, is rumored to have sympathized with Nazis, and was a terrible boss. Steve Jobs would tell an employee his idea was terrible and then present it as his own the next day. Warren Buffett drinks five Cherry Cokes a day, lived with another woman while married…

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