Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Thirteenth Catch Dropped Off Sreesanth

The phrase ‘lost in translation’ is usually associated with poetry. But a recent sports feature in a Malayalam daily called Kerala Kaumudi ( proved that this phrase is very much valid for sports reporting also. The essence of cricket writing, as that of poetry, can be lost in translation. Or take this instance.

On February 22, 2007, Kerala Kaumudi carried a report titled “Perfect Fifteen”. It contained Indian cricket team coach Greg Chappell’s views and comments on each of the fifteen players selected in the Indian team for this year’s World Cup. It was a clever translated re-mix of Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan’s interview with Greg Chappell published on Cricinfo a few days earlier titled “This is the team India wanted” (click here to read the article).
About Sreesanth, among other things, Chappell said in that interview:

“Sree comes from a Plate team. There was one first-class game he played before he played for India where he had 12 catches dropped. Now how many people have to go through that to get into the international team? I don't think there's one bowler in the history of Australian cricket who would have had to go through something like that. Twelve catches in an innings, maybe all in a day. How many opportunities can you create? Selectors can look at the wickets column and see he's not picking but he creates opportunities. When he came into the Mumbai Test (his first series) he had some catches dropped off him. Flintoff was let off twice. We were talking about it and he said, 'I expect to have catches dropped off me when I play for Kerala but didn't expect this when I played for India.’”

The translation that appeared on the online edition ( of the newspaper is shown in the picture.

Its English translation goes something like this:

“Sree should concentrate on his fielding. In one of the first class games, he dropped 12 catches. In his first test, against England, he dropped Andrew Flintoff twice. He remarked about that match later, ‘I expect myself to drop catches when I play for Kerala, but never thought that would occur when I play for India’. And this confidence is Sreesanth’s strength.”

A person who has not read the Cricinfo interview may well think that Sreesanth did actually drop 12 catches in a first class match. But even such a reader would wonder how can Sreesanth get confidence from dropping catches. It can very well be termed as the thirteenth catch dropped off Sreesanth.