Joseph Hoover

Straight Drive

Joseph Hoover is a veteran cricket writer, environmentalist and a wildlife activist. He has had an illustrious career as a journalist with leading publications and is feared as well as revered for his hard hitting and upright writings.

Recent Posts

I write to you with a hope that at least in the future the KSCA, as a responsible and transparent cricket body, will consider the performance of players who strive hard to show their prowess in the league and other tournaments. The T20 team, announced this morning (Jan 24, 2017), does not do justice to players who have performed consistently in the inter-club tournament. KSCA has spent over 15 lakh to conduct the inter-club T20 tournament, including the cost for illuminating the M Chinnaswamy stadium for the finale between Vultures CC and FUCC.

Bengaluru: Anil Kumble may not have done a certification course and coached a first class team, but he is the best available head coach for the Indian cricket team right now. Period. If he wasn’t suited for the job, the cricket advisory committee – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – wouldn’t have recommended him for the position to the BCCI. He is determined to change India’s cricketing fortunes. Winning matches away from home will be a challenge that he will relish.

Bengaluru: Anil Kumble may not have done a certification course and coached a first class team, but he is the best available head coach for the Indian cricket team right now. Period. If he wasn’t suited for the job, the cricket advisory committee – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – wouldn’t have recommended him for the position to the BCCI. He is determined to change India’s cricketing fortunes. Winning matches away from home will be a challenge that he will relish.

He has been the most destructive forest minister we ever had It is good tidings that the Narendra Modi-led government has envisaged to remove Prakash Javadekar as the minister for environment, forest and climate change. By all records, Javadekar has been most destructive forest minister we ever had. He has been a bane to our forests and wildlife, recklessly clearing development projects in the heart of our tiger reserves.

As many as seven former cricketers have applied for the coveted post. But master tactician Ravi Shastri is the right man for the job, feels Joseph Hoover

The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League is yet to finish, but the BCCI is already in a hurry to conduct a mini-IPL. If only, it could show the same urgency in addressing the issues that have been afflicting our domestic cricket, India could produce some quality cricketers. Domestic cricket is ailing. Barring a couple of young, talented batsmen and a couple of aspiring all-rounders, there isn’t much to choose from the first class circuit. Not one note worthy bowler, be him a seamer or spinner has emerged from it in the last three seasons.

The time is apt for Virat Kohli to be elevated to captaincy in all formats of the game. His leadership has been the talking point in the current edition of the Indian Premier League. He has led from the front, motivated his ranks, won matches on his own and shown great character to get onto the field even after sustaining an injury.

It is rather surprising that not many former international cricketers have lambasted the International Cricket Council (ICC) for censuring the triumphant West Indies T20 World Cup team. Perhaps, they care little about the welfare of the game and the players. Possibly, they do not want to rub shoulders with the apex cricket body.

He wants to save tigers by exporting them, and by allowing minings in core tiger areas Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar is a riddle in a mystery, inside an enigma. Do we believe in what he says? Does he mean what he says? Most times he confounds us. When he took charge as forest minister, he offered to “export” Indian tigers to other countries. Today, he is even ready to consider a request from Cambodia to translocate six wild tigers from our dedicated reserves.

Carlos Brathwaite is justifiably the toast of West Indies cricket. In one decisive over, he became a hero, achieving what many other established cricketers failed to accomplish in international cricket. With 19 runs required in six balls, West Indies were staring down the barrel. Eoin Morgan’s Englishmen seemed firmly in control of the World T20 final. But, Brathwaite turned the table upon England, smashing four massive sixes off successive balls to script an improbable triumph for the Islanders.

While Mahender Singh Dhoni has to be commended for inspiring his boys to pull off a dramatic one-run win over Bangladesh, we need to also put Hardik Pandya’s contribution in perspective. Thrust with the responsibility to bowl the last over when Bangladesh needed 11 runs to upset India’s applecart in the ICC T20 World Cup, the sinewy 22-year-old rose to the challenge, bowling his best over of his life in only his 14th international games.

We were masters at playing spin bowling in the halcyon days. Not anymore. The demoralising defeat to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup at Nagpur has only exposed our batsmen’s vulnerability against spinners. Chasing 127 for win, India stumbled and crashed for a parsimonious 79. Evidently, there was no demon in the wicket. Except for Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santer and Ish Sodhi lacked international experience. They merely used acumen and accuracy to drive Dhoni’s boys in blue to their doom, sharing nine wickets between them. Shocking.

It has become a norm among wildlife conservationists to throw barbs at forest staff whenever there is fire in any of our tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Most often it is the foot soldiers who cop the blame when an angry farmer or shepherd sets our forests afire. If only they were in the shoes of those underpaid, impoverished, ill-equipped, fatigued forest guards and watchers, they would understand the enormity of the task and risk of protecting our forests and wildlife, against great odds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government's hostility towards non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India is understandable. These so-called crusaders are not only destroying the religious and social fabric of our country, they are also assisting poachers to decimate the endangered tiger. Take the case of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a registered NGO in Karnataka. WCS has been accused of supporting Selvakumar and Jayachandran, who the Karnataka forest department believe are party to a poaching syndicate.

New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum was an embodiment of a free spirit. Be it a Test match, an ODI or a T20 international, the Kiwi master blaster batted with the same measure of belligerence, flair and pugnacity. He demolished bowlers and defeated team strategies, defying the shrewdest cricketing brain.

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