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Twist in the Tail

Author: Shourov, Brian and Abhik

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A podcast about cricket games and life by Brian, Shourov and Abhik. Each episode, one of us picks an old cricket game and leads a conversation about why it is significant. Somewhere along the line there is a twist, which takes us away from cricket and into more weighty matters of life.
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Cricket and Music

Cricket and Music

2020-11-0338:18

Shourov brings in a game from the 2006 Champions Trophy with standout performances from a number of the greats of Windies and Aussie cricket - and a rare game that had a successful musician and recording artist on each team! It's a great excuse to do something a little unconventional and  intersect our love of cricket with our love of music. The boys spend an enlightening session reviewing the most memorable cricketer-musicians in history, including some (uneven) performances from Brett Lee, Dwayne Bravo, Virat Kohli and more - before launching into a reminiscence of the songs that have formed a soundtrack to our own lives. Everything from Dire Straits to Bengali folk music to Tupac Shakur to Asha Bhosle has inspired us ... what are the songs that have formed the soundtrack to your cricketing life? Brett Lee feat. Asha Bhosle - You're the One for MeCurtly Ambrose and Richie Richardson on stageSix and Out - Can't Bowl, Can't ThrowDwayne Bravo - Beenie Man and BravoVirat Kohli's ad for pimple creamToday's game - Australia vs West Indies, October 18th 2006, ICC Champions Trophy
Special Skills

Special Skills

2020-10-1745:07

March 6, 1971.  A revered day for Indian cricket fans. The debut of Sunil Manohar Gavaskar.  A West Indian  team in transition  still has a star studded batting line-up and a usual bowling attack.   In opposition the fabled Indian spin trio, a colourful cast of journeymen and two young batting stars on the rise.  A lot to like about this game, but Abhik has brought it in honour of one special man.  Eknath "Ekky" Solkar - enigmatic allrounder, unusual sledger, fast mover on the dance floor and perhaps the greatest short leg fielder ever.  A carnival atmosphere, a famous victory and an unusual record leads to stories of special skills elsewhere in life.Today's game:2nd Test, Port of Spain, Mar 6-10 1971, India tour of West Indies 
Zimbabwe vs india at Faridabad in 2002 - a nondescript ODI that was the scene of something extraordinary - one of the cricket world's first scoop shots! Douglas Marillier came in at number ten and blew away the Indian bowlers with an inventive, astonishing innings, at the same time confounding them by playing a shot they had never seen before. Our special guest Arnav Datta takes us through this game and how it changed his views on cricket to see someone who did something truly different. We segue into an entertaining discussion about Arnav's own career as a Kuwaiti cricketer on the international stage, before exchanging notes on how we have "played the scoop" (metaphorically, at least) in our own lives. Today's game - Zimbabwe vs India, Faridabad, March 7, 2002... and Arnav's cricinfo page
Love to Hate

Love to Hate

2020-08-2236:15

Finally a game with no Australian or Indian connection.  Or is there ? This game features Sir Ian Botham and Sir Richard Hadlee, two players we loved to hate, and Dickie Bird, an umpire we loved to love. Why do we hate some players and teams more than others.  Not just a phenomenon unique to sport, do our enemies define us more than our friends ? And do we need the other side to define our own existence ?Today's game: 4th Test, Nottingham, Aug 25-29 1983, New Zealand tour of EnglandAnd a picture of the three protagonists
Giving Back

Giving Back

2020-08-1145:35

Abhik brings another game that is obscure to many but well known in the right circles.  Perhaps the greatest Ranji trophy final of them all. In May 1991, A star studded Bombay team looking to continue their dominance of Indian domestic cricket.  Standing in their way, Kapil Dev and an upstart Haryana team looking for their first bit of silverware.  After a back and forth battle over 5 days, it comes down to one final last wicket partnership, as the two old stalwarts, Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev,  team-mates and protagonists over a generation, face off in the final stretch.  But why did this game mean so much to these storied cricketers, who had already achieved so much in their lives ?  We discuss tradition, culture and passing the torch between generations in the context of perhaps the last time when domestic first class cricket really meant something.  Today's Game: Ranji Trophy Final, Bombay vs Haryana, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, May 3-7 1991And the story from Cricket Country
Black and White

Black and White

2020-07-2441:38

January 1984, at the height of the apartheid regime, a team of West Indian cricketers is in the middle of a "rebel" tour of South Africa.  Fringe players unable to break into one of the strongest test teams of all time take the opportunity to play international cricket and earn a tidy sum of money.  They play good cricket, break down barriers and receive almost universal adulation wherever they go.However, when they return home, all hell breaks lose. They are banned for life, ostracised by society and many end up destitute.  But was what they did so bad ? And why was the reaction to this tour so much more visceral than those faced by English and Australian sides of the same era.  A serious discussion with a surprising denouement, this episode has resonance with a number of modern thematics on race relations, cancel culture and political polarisation.Today's game:3rd 'Test' (D/N), Johannesburg, Jan 13-17 1984, West Indies XI tour of South AfricaThe article:https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/21298477/the-unforgivenThe book:https://www.amazon.com.au/Unforgiven-Ashley-Gray/dp/1785315323
**BONUS episode with Special Guest**Everyone loves a list, and most of all our special guest Gajanan Skandakumar ('Gaj'). Not only a handy left-handed batsman, Gaj is also a student of the game, and today he brings in his special "Impressionist" list of his most memorable cricket players (one from each Test-playing nation). From the expected candidates such the great Viv to more obscure choices such as Kris Srikkanth, there is plenty of passion and argument in this episode - everything from cricket to political wrangling over the monarchy to a comparison to Monica Lewinsky. Many of these players aren't necessarily the best on paper - which leads us into a more philosophical discussion on the value of data itself. Do we rely too much on data to make decisions, and have we forgotten that there is more to life than what can be captured in the numbers? Join us in our special bonus length episode - and send us your own impressions via social media!
Impetuous Youth

Impetuous Youth

2020-06-1634:15

Perth 2008 - after the bitter acrimony of the "Monkey-gate" affair, two fired up teams face off on a unusually placid WACA track.  Australia brings one of the fastest bowling attacks ever assembled, but a lanky young fast bowler from Delhi turns heads by shaking up the legendary Ricky Ponting.Shourov brings a classic game full of surprises, including a characteristically execrable spell from Shaun Tait and an uncharacteristic brain-fade from Rahul Dravid.  But Ishant Sharma vs Ponting is the real game within a game, leading to tales of other young firebrands from our lives.Today's game: 3rd Test, India tour of Australia at Perth, Jan 16-19 2008
Before Kohli and Tendulkar, there was one man who single-handedly carried India's hopes with the bat.   In this week's family special, Abhik's brother Shomik comes on to discuss an uncharacteristically swashbuckling innings from the one and only Sunil Gavaskar against the mighty Windies of the eighties.The discussion soon turns to the blind hero worship that characterises Indian cricket.  But are all of our heroes worthy of our adulation and what happens when our heroes don't live up to our expectations ?
The Saviour

The Saviour

2020-05-0537:01

The year 1984 was a tough one by the high standards of the Australian cricket team.  As well as a string of losses home and away against the West Indies, they lost their captain and were on the verge of losing their dignity, and perhaps hope for the future.  Enter a fiery red-headed fast bowler from Ipswich.But was Craig McDermott really the messiah or a very naughty boy ?  As Brian is overwhelmed with gushing admiration and Abhik manages to offend everyone from Sri Lankan cricket fans to Rodney Hogg, Shourov keeps some sense in the discussion by asking whether waiting for a saviour really is that good for either party involved.
This week the boys are joined by Australian podcast royalty.  Andrew (Menners) Menczel from the Cricket Unfiltered Podcast reminisces about a formative time of his life, as he travelled around England following the Australian team during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.After a patchy start, Steve Waugh's team had to win every game to lift the Cup. After a come from behind victory against South Africa in the Super Sixes, the same two teams met for this iconic game in the Semi-final. Both sides struggled to take their opportunities in this game, leading to lots of reminisces about missed opportunities in our life.  From failed business ventures to bitcoin and hash cookies in Amsterdam, the discussion ranges widely before landing back home in cricket.
In this episode, Shourov brings another famous game and an iconic image.  Edgbaston, August 2005 - England haven't won the Ashes for 16 years and are one Test down once again.  Glenn McGrath misses with a freak injury.  Ricky Ponting wins the toss and puts England in.  A five day rollercoaster ensues, as an outgunned England team, led by the  shrewd Michael Vaughan and inspired by Freddie Flintoff's heroics, takes it up to the Aussies.The Aussie tail take it to the wire on the final day, but fall at the final hurdle.  In a famous image of sportsmanship, Flintoff consoles a devastated Brett Lee.  The boys discuss the game, the photograph, examples of grace in victory and defeat, the best way to deal with disappointment and, perhaps most memorably, Brian's infallible ability to forget Australian defeats.Today's game - England vs Australia, Birmingham, August 4-7 2005
Coming Back

Coming Back

2020-03-2930:26

This week the boys look back an another time when cricket was interrupted by pandemic. Almost exactly a century ago, a group of English cricketers toured Australia. Amongst them were legendary players like Jack Hobbs and others who had been through the trauma of the World War. Though the cricket was one-sided, the games brought the joys of Test cricket back into the lives of a weary public. There is a special moment that we can look forward to soon when a batsman will again lift an enormous six into a stand packed with spectators. A moment of triumph over adversity. We've been through this before (and much worse), but we'll came back and keep on playing.  Today's game - England vs Australia, January 14-21st, 1921
This week we are joined by New Zealand cricketer Bradley Scott who brings in a game from his own career, the NZ domestic cricket final between Auckland and Otago in 2008. Brad leads us through the game, reminisces on his time playing with legends such as Brendan McCullum and Daniel Vettori and gives the boys an inside perspective on the players and teams, life after cricket and how data and technology is changing the game. The victory in the final was sweet for Otago after a long premiership drought. We discuss other times in our lives when we have to wait years or even decades for success - whether in our careers, as sport fans or our personal lives. Brad reminds us that sticking at it eventually pays off - even the longest wait is worth it in the end!  Today's game - State Shield Final, Auckland vs Otago, March 2nd 2008
Love Lost And Found

Love Lost And Found

2020-02-2327:03

Abhik brings in what seems to be an obscure game between India and Australia during the famous "Monkeygate" series of 2008. There was plenty of drama both on and off the field, with racially charged sledging, batsmen being hit and seesawing results between these two iconic teams. The boys agree that cricket in the 2000s was losing its mojo, but Abhik recounts his joy at encountering Rohit Sharma for the first time in this game and how it rekindled his love for the game. Whether it's sport, music or any other passion in life, it's always possible to light the flame - and sometimes it is the next generation that inspires us. We sign off this week with this hopeful message, that love lost can always be found again!Today's game - Australia vs India, Feb 10th, 2008 at the MCG
Brian brings in a game from 1990 between Australia and Pakistan that featured a famous and very funny sledging exchange between the great Javed Miandad and one of the most entertaining Australian bowlers, the great Merv Hughes. The game was a draw but cricket and the art of sledging was the winner. The boys discuss the merits of the 1980s mullet hairstyle before diving into a more philosophical discussion about the ethics of retribution and 'poetic justice'. Sometimes abuse on the cricket field (and life) crosses the line - do two wrongs ever make a right?  Perhaps we should all learn from Big Merv and keep our sense of humour intact.This week's game - Pakistan vs Australia, January 19th-23rd, 1990
The Law is An Ass

The Law is An Ass

2020-02-0231:34

Abhik brings in an infamous game from 1987 - at the end of a frustrating tour, a seemingly innocuous incident leads to an unseemly escalation between player and umpire. Mike Gatting vs Shakoor Rana - it made for an iconic photograph but who was in the right? And should you still respect the law if the law is an ass? We cover defamation law, ancient Babylonian ethics and the meta-question of "who umpires the umpires" before recounting some personal episodes of poor officiating, including unconventional childhood bowling actions and an umpire who mistook off stump for leg.Today's game - England vs Pakistan, Faisalabad, Dec 7-12 1987
A classic nostalgia episode for Aussie cricket fans as our special guest Chris Fluke brings in an iconic Boxing Day Test Match between Australia and New Zealand. We reminisce about the heroics and standout performances from both sides and review some surprising statistics before Chris recaps the debut of local boy Tony Dodemaide and asks us an interesting question - Do you remember your first time watching cricket? Childhood memories segue into discussions about other firsts in our life and the value of experiencing the new. Todays' game - Australia vs New Zealand, December 26-30th, 1987
Xmas Special

Xmas Special

2019-12-1816:04

It's holiday time and the cricket season is in full swing. We recap memorable moments in the first year of the podcast, remember our special guests and send out a big thank you to you, our listeners, for joining us in our first year. A happy and healthy Xmas to all and we hope you get to enjoy a lot of wonderful cricket. See you in 2020 for our second season of Twist In The Tail!
Our special guest Ben Mercuri brings in a one-sided but memorable game with contrasting debuts - Ricky Ponting and Stuart Law. Sri Lanka suffered a big loss, despite bowling Murali into the ground and having an opener called Mahanama. Ponting went on to a famous career whilst Law never played a Test match again, although he had an amazing first-class record. Surely he was hard done by? Law had some bitter years but eventually came to terms with his fate. The boys ponder the role of timing and luck  and the Sliding Doors in the lottery that we call life.   Today's game - Australia vs Sri Lanka, December 8th-11th, 1995
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