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Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

The IPL marketing managers have, so far, failed to arouse both interest and enthusiasm amongst the viewers. How they are going to grab the eyeballs is a million dollar question on every one’s mind. If, at all, IPL has dominated the news headlines; it has done so for all the wrong reasons. A couple of days ago there was a news item about the Sri Lankan players not allowed to play the IPL matches in Chennai.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the politicians have started using IPL as a tool to settle their political scores. Cricketers and the cricket managers have been deprived of an opportunity to milk IPL for their personal popularity and gains. Be that as it may, the fact that IPL is likely to prove to be a damp squib this time around has left the organisers a worried lot. Suddenly they have realised that the cricket fatigue is setting and the upcoming edition of IPL is yet to find many takers.

Since the stakes are high and big bucks are riding on the success of this IPL tournament, the strategy makers have gone into a huddle so as to come out with a winning formula that makes this edition of IPL a super success. The major stakeholders in IPL are not the players but beleaguered businessman like Vijay Mallya who is hoping that his team RCB will turn around the fortunes of debt ridden KFA and employees will finally receive their much awaited salaries.

In terms of debts, inflated egos, political rivalries and sinking popularity, there is indeed a lot that is at stake with regards to IPL. This IPL edition is a make or break for many stakeholders including players in more ways than one. Keeping all these factors in mind, the marketing in-charge of IPL has got a few game changing ideas in one of the brain storming sessions.

This self proclaimed reporter filed an RTI to get the minutes of the strategy meet of the IPL marketing team. According to the highly confidential documents available with this reporter, in the said meeting, a unanimous decision has been taken to withdraw all TV commercials featuring Farah Khan whose irritating dance moves have enraged the viewers world wide. There were reports of a few frustrated viewers having smashed their TV sets as soon as the ad had appeared on their TV screens. Somehow the IPL organising committee managed to stop those news items from making it to the headlines of the newspapers and TV news channels. 

However, with less than a week to go before the IPL tournament gets underway, all is not lost. The think tank has been surfing the latest trends in the cyberspace. The startling revelation is Justice Katju. His open letters have got an uncanny knack of ending up as the talk of the nation. These MBA guys have reportedly roped in Mr. Justice Katju to write an open letter to the cricket lovers. In his soon to come out open letter – the draft of which is being carefully reviewed – he is going to cite example of how this IPL edition is different from the previous ones and why watching IPL will improve the overall IQ of the nation and how each countryman will be doing a great service to the nation by watching those games.

This move will really hit the bull’s eye and do wonders for IPL and its popularity. In addition to Katju’s open letter, Sanjay Dutt has been roped in to file a petition in the court requesting that he be granted time till IPL is over to surrender. In the run up to the final date of IPL, a lot many things are expected to make the IPL tournament the top most trending topics across various online social  platforms.

Marketing is an art of making the shit hit the fan. Once the shit hits the fan, there’s no looking back. The IPL marketers are just going to do that. After all, isn’t everything fair in love and war?

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What’s with the batting maestro Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and controversies? Of late, the Little Master has courted more than his share of controversies all that he has done for the country not withstanding. His recent failures are hard to explain away. Finally the age is catching up with him. This is precisely why the time for him has come to hang the boots and walk into the sunset.

This is what every expert on the subject has been suggesting to whoever cares to listen. Some of these experts have been close SRT watchers ever since his debut. It is indeed ironical that the same experts had never grown tired of waxing eloquences on the man when he was on a song and no world record – however big – seemed to pose any major challenge to his magical willow.

The reason often cited apart from his recent loss of form both home and abroad is all his contemporaries have called it a day. What for SRT is waiting? Every time he interacts with the media, the million dollar question invariably crops up which he politely leaves alone like a delivery outside his off-stump. He is a genius who doesn’t like to be told what he should do next although he may be acutely aware of the growing clamour for his retirement all around him. He just shrugs it off and moves on.

What makes him hang in there? He has everything. He has broken every record there was to break. Then why not give up? Why not make way for younger feet and fitter body? Well, it is easier said than done especially when all you have done throughout the life is just go out there and play cricket.

However dangerous it may be to mix politics and sports together, nobody can deny that when mixed together, they produce a heady effect. For example, try as one might to control the temptation to draw certain parallels between Sachin Tendulkar and Dr. Manmohan Singh, it is so difficult since they are so glaring.

At the moment both these men are under tremendous pressure to give up their jobs. The louder the demands for their resignations, the more tightly they appear to be clinging to their respective jobs. Although cricket is a team game, the individual performances do matter. If a member of playing eleven is unable to contribute to the side’s victory, he has to face the axe. This is a rule supposed to be applicable for all the players irrespective of their stature. Nobody can rest on his past laurels to quote a famous adage, “you are as good as your last innings.”

The similarities between SRT and MMS are many. In SRT’s case, despite his poor run the team is winning. In MMS’ case, both he and country are losing. SRT is unable to move his feet to face the delivery bowled at him. MMS is unable to move his lips to answer questions put to him. SRT undergoes long practice sessions at the nets to play himself back into the form. MMS holds long closed doors meetings with the party High Command to keep himself glued to the chair.

Noticing their present discomfiture both their respective well-wishers and detractors unite to demand their resignations which always falls on deaf ears.Do we have any right to sharpen our knives and bay for these two gentlemen’s blood? Haven’t they done this country enough proud during their hay days?

As one extremely knowledgeable gentleman rightly put it on Twitter that those who have never held a cricket bat are demanding SRT’s retirement. How true this observation is! Come to think of the fact that more than fifty percent cricket lovers who watch the teams play either in stadiums or on TVs have never held cricket bats in their hands.

I wished the gentleman had gone on to say that those who have never held prime minister’s post are asking for his resignation. How apt it would have been!

Morale of the whole retirement/resignation saga is ex-cricketrs and ex-prime ministers have the exclusive rights to demand their counterparts’ retirement/resignation. If this point goes across, then hopefully all the noise will die down.

 

Shah Rukh Khan is an undisputed king. This Badshah of Bollywood has got an uncanny knack of hogging the media spotlight by getting into controversies. His IPL team KKR is on fire in the current season and has emerged as one of the hot-favourites to claim the title of the champions.

Well, but Shah Rukh Khan is an actor. Acting is his sole forte. Since he is an entrepreneur, he has made his foray into the sports arena. Of late the magic of Shah Rukh Khan on the celluloid appears to be on the wane. The rival Khans have outsmarted him and now in the race of Number One they’ve left him far behind. The latest salvo is from the Aamir Khan camp in the form of a much-talked reality TV show “Satyameva Jayate”.

Obviously these latest developments have left the King Khan scratching his head. The crown is in danger of either falling off or being snatched away. His insecurity has begun to manifest itself in various ways. In the recent past he has got himself involved in a couple of scuffles. In one incident he had allegedly given a tight slap to the  poor Shirish Kunder. And in the latest incident he has bravely taken on the cops of Mumbai at the Wankhede stadium.

The allegations of Shah Rukh in inebriated condition at the stadium have flying thick and fast although the actor had categorically denied them. The million dollar question is why does Shah Rukh Khan get angry? Why is the King Khan so temperamental? What makes the Badshah of Bollywood so controversial? Has all these recent incidents of his public display of machoism got something to do with his failing charisma on the celluloid?

The competition is cut-throat in the film industry. It’s a high pressure job where every Friday determines your present status and the rightful place in the hierarchy. It is a snake and ladder game where a wrong throw of dice can plunge you into the depth of despair. In such a scenario, he seems to be making a bold statement through his off-screen actions.

By taking on the mighty cops of Mumbai in front of cameras, he has sent out a strong signal to his detractors and competitors alike. The message is “I am the King Khan and I will be back with a bang. You can keep me down for a while. But you cannot throw me out forever.” Otherwise how else can you explain his stand on the manhandling of little girls by the policemen on duty at the stadium?

He seems to have killed two birds with one stone. Aamir Khan took up the issue of the female infanticide in the inaugural episode of “Satyameva Jayte” and got the whole world talking about it. Shah Rukh soon realised that the issue of girl child is an emotive one that has tremendous potential to whip up the frenzy and hysteria. Which is why he highlighted in no uncertain terms that he was only trying to rescue the young girls from the clutches of the evil men (and thereby professing his unconditional love for the girl child).

Secondly, by taking on the men in uniform he was sounding a warning bell to Salman Khan aka Bodyguard who is all set to take the world by storm with his upcoming Ek Tha Tiger. The message for Sallubhai was it is no use acting Bodyguard or tiger on screen if in real life you’re scared of flexing your muscles. Whether both these Khans will get the messages through these actions or not remains to be seen. The fact is Shah Rukh Khan is likely to face a life-ban on his entry into the Wankhede stadium.

But the King Khan is too smart to care for such bans. He will pull a few strings in the capital and have the whole issue hushed up. Nobody will be surprised when the story of the matter between him and the cops having been amicably sorted out breaks before the IPL final complete with the pictures of the King Khan giving a big beer hug to all the policemen present on that fateful evening at Wankhede.

As they say, “As in cricket, class is permanent and form is temporary so in stardom controversies are permanent and charisma is slippery.” Are we witnessing the end of an era for the King Khan?

 

 

 

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has achieved everything at such a young age. Many of his achievements are so rare and extraordinary in nature that most of us cannot even think of achieving them in our dreams. He has not only broken all the records on the cricket ground but  also set many new records. In every sense of the word he is the God of cricket.

Then why this outrage against someone upon whom we have bestowed the sobriquet of God so adoringly? Sachin Tendulkar is an extremely smart icon of the contemporary India. He is one of those rare living legends who has never courted any controversies in his career spanning across a couple of decades. His integrity is beyond reproach. His level of commitment speaks for itself. If he wants to become the Rajya Sabha MP, let him become. It is a matter of his personal choice.

 

 

Quite surprisingly those who claim to be the fans of Sachin Tendulkar have gone on a rampage in the cyberspace with a cry of their idol being used as a pawn in the great game of politics. The problem is it is the Congress which has nominated him as the Rajya Sabha MP. In the recent times, the Congress-led UPA government has been at the receiving end for almost everything under the sun. The government has been battling against the corruption charges. The leaders are often seen squabbling in public and to the party’s embarrassment coming out with the contradictory statements.

Many blame this government for muzzling Team Anna’s anti-corruption movement that had the massive popular support and was promising to root out the corruption completely by introducing the Jan Lokapal. The devil lies in these details here. According to those who are protesting the master blaster has committed a grave sin by accepting the nomination as the Rajya Sabha PM from such a corrupt government. And this is why many fans have begun to paint him with the same brush as they paint this corrupt government.

His former colleagues too have expressed concern over such a move the God of cricket seems determined to make. The path that he is contemplating is fraught with many dangers and this may harm his status and popularity adversely. There’s nothing wrong in what they are saying publicly. Even Sachin Tendulkar knows that the politics is a dirty game and the politicians are hated by one and all in our country although we cannot do without them.

Sachin Tendulkar knows what he is doing. He has always known what he has done in the past. When he completed his hundredth hundred, rumours were rife that he was going to hang his boots. But he surprised everyone by saying that there was still a lot of cricket left in him and the retirement was the last thing on his mind. This goes to show how well the world knows Sachin Tendulkar.

All said and done, every cricket lover has followed Sachin’s on and off field heroics closely ever since he made his debut. But nobody can claim to know Sachin Tendulkar fully. He is one person who holds his cards close to his chest. Politics is one field that tends to attract every celebrity in some way after he or she has achieved everything and the popularity is all time high.

Sachin Tendulkar rarely does anything without thinking the matter thoroughly. His decision to join the Rajya Sabha as an MP too must have undergone vigorous thinking before the final call. Who knows he has got some grand vision for the sporting fraternity? Who knows he has some plans up his sleeve that he wants to share with his countrymen as an MP? He has not joined the Congress or any other political party for the sake of becoming a CM or PM. Nor he has vowed to support or campaign for any political outfit in the upcoming elections.

Then what has got his fans’ knickers in a twist? Why are they suddenly turning into foes with the hashtag #UnfollowSachin on twitter and other forms of venomous abuses against him? Instead of wishing him all the best for the new career he has chosen for himself, why subject him to unnecessary character assassination? He is not some retired and out-of-work cricketer who has  nothing else to do and therefore he has decided to  join politics.

He deserves a lot of praise for becoming the MP when he is still playing and looks forward to taking an active part in the next World Cup too. When I think of his desire to serve the people of this country selflessly after entertaining them for so many years, the admiration grows for him by leaps and bounds. He is surely going to do justice to what he has taken up and won’t merely end up as an ornamental MP as some are suggesting.

As far as the controversies go, he has got years of experience behind him and he knows how to steer clear of them. All year round he is busy playing cricket and how he is going to be able to attend the sessions of parliament and take part in the proceedings to share his vision. Well, to this hypothetical theory nobody can give convincing answer until the man is seen in action inside the parliament.

This stint as the Rajya Sabha MP he fully deserves and moreover going by his track record, the God is going to come out smelling of roses in this endeavour as well. All the best, Sachin.

 

 

This is the time when everybody wants to prop up his or her candidate for the post of the President of India. Although this is not the most powerful post in the Indian polity, every political party wants to install their man at the helm so that when the time comes, he can return the favour.

Many out-of-work politicians throw their hats in the ring. Before they fade into the oblivion, they want to try their luck at the shot of immortality that the post of the Prez tends to offer. Having said that there are many politicians who would like to have a young President this time around who is not necessarily from the political background. The J&K CM tweeted earlier in the day to convey this message.

Now if this were to really happen, who fits the bill? India is a young country, and; the young generation would love to have a young President if given a chance. The President should be someone who is always in the news for the bold decision he takes and thereby controversies that he generates. At any given point of time half a dozen OB vans belonging to various media houses ought to be stationed outside the official residence of the Prez awaiting breaking news or some juicy stories.

Who can call a spade a spade and cope up with the pulls and pressures that are such an integral part of the life after occupying the chair of the President? Well, there is only one brave heart who can set a new precedent by becoming the President of India. That person is none other than Mr. Lalit Modi.

Mr. Lalit Modi needs no introduction. The whole world knows him. The politicians cutting across the party lines swear by his popularity. He has forever changed the face of cricket by launching the IPL and introducing the concept of franchising into the much loved sport of this country. Who can forget the initial shock waves generated by the auction of big cricketers?

If he becomes the President of India, the first thing he will do is introduce the same concept of franchising into the politics as well. Unlike IPL, this political franchises will have state wise teams. This means the number of Indian states will equal the number of political teams. Each team will be known by the name of the state it represents and not by the name the respective franchise owners choose for their respective teams.Each team will comprise of twenty five politicians from the state the team comes. International politicians will not be allowed to be a part of any team.

Imagine the high profile politicians owned by the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis,  Khans, Adanis and Mittals of this country. Their job will be to legislate maximum laws favouring their masters. If any politicians fail to do so, his owner has every right to discard him or her before the next general elections that take place every five years.

The official residence of the President boasts of a palatial bungalow that never sees much partying or flurry of guests. But with Mr. Lalit Modi at the helm the bungalow will see as many parties as possible. After the grueling day at the Parliament he would love to relax amidst young and bubbly cheerleaders from across the country. All the franchise owners too will gather there and have a good time by socialising with one another over free flow of liquor with the liquor baron Mr. Vijay Mallya promising to provide unlimited supply of all his famous brands of whiskey and beer.

All his detractors will flee the country and live in exile when he becomes the  President. But Mr. Lalit Modi won’t indulge in any kind of political vendetta. On the other hand, he will pursue them to return to the country by rolling a red carpet upon their arrival. Mr. Modi is a kind soul who wants every human being on earth to prosper and enjoy. This is precisely why he gifted IPL to his countrymen by bringing together players, coaches and commentators from across the world.

Similarly he will bring together the politicians of all hues and cries by promising them mega bucks from their respective owners. This will foster a lot of healthy competition amongst the politicians as their prices and selection will depend purely on their performances, and not on any kind of muscle power. The party high command culture will make way for the board-room kind of culture as “shape-up-or-ship-out” will be the only motto that will come to determine the worth and usefulness of any politician worth his salt.

Finally the biggest advantage or disadvantage (depending upon the way you look at it) of Mr. Lalit Modi becoming the President of India will be that Narendra Modi will have to wait few more years to stake his claim to become the prime minister since two Modis at the helm will send out wrong signals and their common last names will create a lot of confusion amongst the visiting foreign dignitaries.

This means one Modi’s gain is another Modi’s loss. But all said and done Mr. Lalit Modi is the one man who can bring much needed glamour to the post of the President of India which it lacks as of now.

 

 

Lalit Modi is a very nice man. He has done a big favour to the cricket crazy nation like India by having launched IPL. In the process, he has made the BCCI rich, many cricketers richer and has given the film-stars a golden opportunity to stay in the limelight for all the reasons right or wrong. The name of Lalit Modi will go down in history as someone who tortured the Indian cinema goers with an utterly ridiculous flick like Ra-One. How? Had Shah Rukh Khan not bought KKR, he wouldn’t have got enough money to make Ra-One and we all would have been spared from the traumatic three hours of watching it.

Lalit Modi is the man responsible for Shashi Tharoor’s marriage to Sunanda Pushker. It was he who made things easier for the dapper Mr Tharoor by tweeting about his interest in Sunanda Pushker and setting the couple up nicely for the marital bliss. Had he not done so, Mr. Tharoor would still be pulling his hair out thinking about how to propose to Sunanda Madam. As we all know Mr Vijay Mallya’s passion for sports in general and the cheer leaders in particular, it was Lalit Modi who made it possible for him to import the scantily clad cheer leaders from the USA.

The more one talks about Lalit Modi’s favours to the world cricket and the upper strata of the society, the less it is. One has to write a book of several hundred pages to do justice to the immense contribution this man has made and continues to make even as I write this piece in his honour. Everybody wants to have a friend like Lalit Modi as he is the man of all seasons.

The icing on the cake is when Lalit Modi learnt of his poor countrymen living on a paltry sum of Rs. 28/- per day, his heart went out to those poor people. And as a result, since he is a man of action, he has decided to take a vow of a simple living by abandoning the luxurious and lavish life he has been leading until now. To make things easier for this extraordinary son of the soil, the London Court has come to the rescue by declaring him bankrupt so that he cannot change his mind at the last minute.

The word out there is he failed to pay the Page Group – an international securities and risk assessment company – the fee of Rs 53 lakhs for the services provided in the year 2010. Nobody is ready to believe this news to be true. Lalit Modi is a generous human being who gave away crores of rupees to Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shashtri just to sing the praises of IPL on air. How can such a man of impeccable integrity and sound character refuse to pay the monies for the securities and risk assessment knowing he has plenty of enemies out there?

The world has no idea how simple a person Lalit Modi is. Everybody who supported him for his IPL venture has made millions of dollars. Whereas the brain behind the venture has given it all up for his destitute fellow countrymen. Living on Rs 28 abroad is going to be a tough challenge for this 21st century saint. But he is not the one to shy away from the challenges however tough they may be. Keeping all this in mind, it is going to be really interesting to see how he pulls this-living-on-Rs.-28 per day off successfully.

At last, the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has scored his hundredth hundred. The entire nation has heaved a sigh of relief. Right from the PM of India to the aam aadmi, congratulatory messages for the little master has been flying thick and fast. This feat has overshadowed the Union Budget 2012. What makes this hundred so special? Every cricket lover in general and the Sachin Tendulkar fan in particular knows for sure what this hundred means since it is the ultimate pinnacle of success any sportsman can ever dream of. Nobody can break this incredible record achieved after giving everything that only someone as lion-hearted as Sachin Tendulkar could have given.

But not everybody is happy with this hundredth hundred. This record has been in the making for quite some time now and the delay has caused this record to get into the eye of an storm. Little Master must have been quite appalled and perhaps this is why even he didn’t seem quite happy or elated after scoring that elusive hundred. Bangladesh are easy opponents, and, Sachin Tendulkar getting his hundred in this game was a given fact even before the first ball was bowled. All said and done, little master has yet again made all the Indians feel immensely proud and what he has done today, only he could have done.

Every cricket lover knows that Sachin has been playing tirelessly for his country for over two decades now. He has entertained us, come to our rescue and given us plenty of reasons to smile whenever we, as a nation, have felt down and out. This is why when some so-called high fliers masquerading as the intelligentsia of this country give unsolicited advice to the God of cricket for bowing out like Rahul Dravid did recently angers all Sachin and non-Sachin fans alike. The man has done something that we cannot imagine doing in our wildest dreams. Scoring a hundredth hundred against any opposition on any soil is not a child’s play. Then why this clamour for his retirement?

It is really sad to see some people thinking so shallow for the man who has done so much for his country. He has endured it all from endless jokes about his hundredth hundred to growing criticism for continuing in the face of poor form to not making way for a younger player to build the team for the next World Cup. God alone knows what it feels like to be in Sachin Tendulkar’s shoes at this moment. I am sure nobody wants to be Sachin Tendulkar at the moment although the man has set a new record and truly deserves to be called the God of Cricket.

Those who are calling for his retirement instead of Bharat Ratna are showing themselves in a very poor light. God will take a call when the time comes to call it a day. By spreading the message he ought to retire now makes it sound as if he only plays for his personal milestones and not for the country. Cricket is a team game and nobody can play for such a long time if he plays only for his personal milestones.

Long live Sachin Tendulkar for creating a new record, for creating a history and for generating so much of hysteria. Down with all those snobs calling for his retirement for only those with twisted mentality can do so.