Tricky point

Sometimes the simplest of things are most difficult to comprehend. I always thought the multiples of one and 10 were the easiest to understand. But I am quite confused after knowing that Ricky Ponting has been nominated by a panel of experts as the ‘best cricketer of the decade.’ I have no problem with the decision as the experts are entitled to their controversial opinion. My problem is with the ‘decade’.

There have also been articles galore on events, scandals, superstars, biggest flops and failures, best and worst, etc in the ‘decade’ from the year 2000 to the year 2009. I am at a loss to understand how the year 2000 could be a part of both the second millennium and the first decade of the third millennium. When so many people say a decade is a decade ending with a figure nine, how come that I thought the current decade would end only on the last day of the year 2010. So, I search for an answer.

Any period of 10 years from a starting point is a decade. If a flyover’s construction starts on Nov 1, 1998, a decade is completed on Oct 31, 2008 notwithstanding incomplete construction. So, a decade starting on Jan 1, 2000 ends on  Dec 31, 2009. That means the previous decade in a continuum must have ended on the last day of 1999.
Working backwards, the other previous decades must have ended on the respective last days of 1989, 1979 and so on. Keep on working backwards and you will arithmetically find the first decade ending on the last day of the year 0009. It must have started on the first day of the year 0001. This gives only nine years in the first decade. I am back to square one.

Somewhere a very smart justification appeared that the decade of 90s started with 1990 and ended with 1999 and thereafter it will be ‘noughties’ for next 10 years. Please pardon my ignorance for not knowing the modern term for the figures 10 to 19, which will become a decade if the current one prematurely ended with the year 2009.
Notwithstanding anything stated above, I lapped up all the items dished out in the name of a decade. There is no harm in taking stock every year of what happened in the last one year as well as 10 years. I am sure the show will be re-enacted next year too as the decade will be rightfully taken up to end with 2010 in the arithmetical series. With some more catches dropped or LBWs not given, Ponting’s status may still remain unaltered.