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Posts Tagged ‘Cricket

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The Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah is a passionate cricket lover these days. He’s following the national side’s selection process quite closely nowadays. Today he went one step further. He aired his opinion on Twitter as to who should be picked up and dropped from the playing eleven.

Needless to say this unsolicited advice has obviously not gone down well with many cricket fans and he has drawn a lot of flak. The question is why is cricket Mr. Omar Abdullah’s new found love? Why this sudden interest in cricket and the functioning of national side?

Well, the answer is for the ongoing India-Zimbabwe series, the national selectors have picked a promising cricketer Parvez Rasool who hails from Jammu & Kashmir. And as it turns out, Mr. Omar Abdullah is very keen on Parvez Rasool making his debut in the ongoing series against Zimbabwe.

Though Parvez Rasool is with the Indian cricket team right now, he’s yet to get a game. He’s warming the benches. And according to Mr. Omar Abdullah, this could be demoralising for Parvez Rasool. He blamed BCCI for this on his Twitter page. He went on to say that if BCCI wanted to do this, why did it send Parvez Rasool all the way to Zimbabwe. It could have demoralised him here in India.

Nobody knows whether BCCI wants to demoralise Parvez Rasool or make him a cricketing hero. Why Mr. Omar Abdullah is taking a dig at BCCI is confusing all cricket lovers who had never expected a CM to speak on behalf of a player from his state selected to play for the country. This is as strange as it can get.

This pressure tactic from Mr. Omar Abdullah has left genuine cricket lovers fuming and frothing at their mouths. This happens in cricket. Many cricketers get selected for a particular series or tournament. But they don’t get chance to play and make their debut in that series or tournament because the captain and the coach don’t want to tinker with the winning combination.

But it doesn’t mean that they are always denied a chance. Later on, when they do get a chance, they make the most of it. As a result, they end up becoming an integral part of the national side and go on to play for the country for years together.

What’s the big deal?

What’s the fuss all about?

What prompted Mr. Omar Abdullah to jump the gun and slam BCCI? Should politics and sports be mixed? The national selectors have found Parvez Rasool to be a talented player. This is why they’ve selected him. Let’s assume that he doesn’t get a game in the ongoing series. After returning, he continues to perform at domestic level. Selectors will certainly give him another chance.

When the national captain and the coach place their trust in Parvez Rasool, he will make the most of it and leave no stones unturned to create a lasting impression. But unfortunately, CM Mr. Omar Abdullah’s over-enthusiasm has created an unnecessary controversy and opened a whole new debate.

Why should politicians interfere in the affairs of Cricket? Selectors pick up a formidable national side and hand it over to the captain and the coach. If the politicians start putting pressure on the captain to include players from their respective states in the playing eleven, nothing can be more damaging for the spirit of the game.

What’s even more surprising is Mr. Omar Abdullah is worried that this warming the bench would demoralise Parvez Rasool. But he is not bothered what kind of demoralisation his tweet would cause to the captain, his team members and BCCI.

Will BCCI ignore this diatribe and nurture Parvez Rasool’s talent for future? Or has Mr. Omar Abdullah’s ill-fated tweet ended the career of a promising player like Parvez Rasool even before it kicked off? Only time will tell.

To all angry fans out there, MS Dhoni is innocent. He is under threat from Srini and his cahoots. He cannot open his mouth if he loves his life. This is why he kept mum when reporters asked him questions on the spot fixing saga in recently concluded IPL.

The fans are disappointed. Journalists are feeling let down. Angry TV anchors are asking questions that nobody wants to answer. With each passing day the spot fixing saga is getting murkier and murkier. To this the Indian Captain MS Dhoni’s silence has added fuel to fire.

Now why did MS Dhoni buckle under pressure? Why did he choose to look the other way when he had an opportunity to express his views and feelings? Didn’t his loyal fans have every right to know how strongly their beloved captain cool feels about the spot fixing and players-bookies nexus for a widespread betting network across the country? Maybe, the loyal fans were expecting too much. Even the noisy reporters were creating obstacles for him by subjecting him to silly questions. The ever angry TV anchors were going over the top in a desperate bid to gain TRPs for their shows.

Everybody is wrong in asking MS Dhoni questions on spot fixing. Nobody should have asked him questions simply because he has won India a world cup. He has done a lot for the country. By this logic he is not answerable to either reporters or fans. He is answerable to the BCCI President. He will follow what the president says. In the bargain, if he has to lose a few fans, so be it.

After all, you cannot go on playing cricket forever. There is, of course, life post retirement. There are various career options available even after you hang your boots. You can become a coach or a selector or a commentator. But for this to happen you must be in the good books of BCCI,  mustn’t you?

This explains MS Dhoni’s silence. After all, he seems to have taken a leaf put of PM’s book. Silence is golden. Maybe BCCI has browbeaten him into that silence. But in times like this silence is the last resort. In a country prone to mind boggling scandals at regular intervals, soon spot fixing will be off the media radar. Sreesanth and co. will be out of jail after the dust settles. It will be back to business in another fortnight or so. Then why should MS Dhoni say something in the prime of his career and chuck it all away?

Silence is invaluable. What MS Dhoni has done is remarkable. He has come across as a diplomat dodging all bullets with a smile and without trace of remorse. Today MS Dhoni has lost a few fans but certainly gladdened the heart of his master and earned himself a lifetime membership in the elite club that matters the most.

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?

 

I am glad that I received a hero’s welcome after returning home from abroad. Past few months have been extremely daunting for me in terms of my battle against cancer. I’ve proven that I am the toughest cricketer around. Following the news of me having diagnosed with cancer a kind of strong sympathy wave has swept across the country.

There are times when I cannot help wondering whether I have overtaken Sachin Paaji in terms of popularity. It makes a beautiful story, doesn’t it? A young and dashing cricketer in the prime of his career suffering from a rare germ cancer between his lungs, supported by his single mother with the whole country praying for his well-being when he leaves abroad for the treatment.

Let me reveal one more secret since it is a secret diary and nobody is supposed to read it. The credit for whipping up this incredible sympathy wave goes to my PR machinery that came out with the elaborate strategy of bombarding my fans and the media with the latest updates and details of my recently concluded treatment. The idea to tweet pictures of my shaven head while undergoing chemotherapy struck a right chord and then there was no looking back.

Not only the whole strategy has helped me remain in the news throughout but it has also killed two birds with one stone. All my detractors had to pretend that they were my well-wishers and they began to air get-well-soon messages right, left and centre through media and social networking sites which resulted in massive publicity for my rare condition. Another advantage was by revealing this secret I checkmated BCCI cunningly.

Well, I should never bite the hands that feed but this is my secret diary and nobody has access to it so let me pour my heart out.  I am having a last laugh at BCCI’s expense and here’s how I outsmarted those big boys up there. I learnt a lot from Sachin Paaji’s tennis elbow. When the poor Sachin Paaji took a break to recover from his tennis elbow, he remained incommunicado throughout. That allowed the BCCI to spin the yarn it pleased to fool the public and misguide the media. Sachin Paaji too shy to confront the Big Boss remained oblivious to all those under-hand techniques.

But I am Yuvraj Singh. I believe in taking the fight to the enemy camp. To me the best form of defense is to attack. I was riding high on the massive hysteria that had followed our World Cup Victory in which I had a major role to play. So why not make hay while the sun is shining? When I am fit to play again after a couple of months, my popularity will be all time high. The selectors and the captain won’t have any other option except to include me in the playing eleven.

The fans too will be delighted to see me back in the action. That way I have ensured my place in the playing eleven for next one decade. One more important thing is I have done a great service to cancer by making it the prime time discussion topic on the television channels. Suddenly cancer is in the limelight. What Sachin Paaji couldn’t do for the poor tennis elbow I have done for the deadly cancer. People suffering from cancer will look at my smiling face and say, “If Yuvraj Singh can win the battle against cancer, why can’t we?”

I am a great guy and nobody can beat me. I am sure Deepika Padukone too is ruing her decision to dump me. What a super publicity she would have got! Imagine the pictures of this lass leaning on my shoulders while I’m undergoing the chemotherapy. It would have provided the much-needed boost to her almost defunct career by now. The producers would have chased this tigress big time to cast her opposite any big hero of the day. She would have given Katrina Kaifs and Priyanka Chopras run for their money. What a loser she has turned out to be! I’ve been really feeling sorry for her.

Do you know what else? I am on cloud nine with the big publishers making a beeline outside my house to sign me for a tell-all autobiography for a whopping undisclosed sum of money with which I can buy a house bigger than Mukesh Bhai Ambani’s Antilia. Oh my god, life has never been so good. I never knew cancer would bring me so much luck and adulation.

My countrymen are the real suckers for the motherly love and a hero with some Greek tragedy up his sleeve. I am loving all my fans out there. Without whose love this epic tale of my battle against cancer and the eventual victory would never have been possible.

I must sleep for now. Haven’t the doctors advised early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

How fickle-minded the cricket fans can be! The latest example is the reaction of fans at the speculation of Rahul Dravid’s impending retirement supposed to take place tomorrow. Until a fortnight ago, following India’s poor performance Down Under there was a talk of dropping seniors from the team and infusing the young blood. No sooner the news of Rahul Dravid’s press-conference tomorrow trickled in than the roumours of him going to announce his retirement began to do the rounds in the cyberspace and some sentimental fans even began to shed tears. Are these crocodile’s tears?

Rahul Dravid has been forming the backbone of the Indian batting line-up ever since his international debut. He is fondly called “The Wall” because he puts a price on his wicket and makes the bowlers toil for his wicket. He came to be known as the most dependable batsman in the world-class Indian batting line-up. He is a true genius whose exploits with the willow are going to be sorely missed when he hangs his boots. Who next after Rahul Dravid? Is Sachin Tendulkar going to take a cue? Is he going to be the next player to announce his retirement? Of late murmurs have begun calling for the maestro’s retirement and with each passing day they are only getting louder. What happens next remains to be seen.

Amidst all this there are many who have not had enough of poor Rahul Gandhi. He has become a butt of ridicule following the poor show at UP polls. Many people want Rahul Gandhi to announce retirement from active politics instead of Rahul Dravid from the international cricket. The irony is not lost on anyone. They both belong to totally different fields. Rahul Dravid has proven himself time and again by winning many games for his country under tight situations. But, unfortunately, he always had to live under Sachin Tendulkar’s shadow. He belongs to the quintessential middle-class family with strict upbringing and special thrust on education and academic achievements. For him, nothing came easily. He worked hard for everything that came his way.

This is the reason why the entire country takes pride in his success story. He always holds a special place in our hearts as the ultimate boy next door who never resorted to controversies to gain publicity and always maintained a low profile. His strong character and his flawless (read technically sound) batting inspired awe and respect even in the members of opposition teams across the world. Therefore, it is only natural when the news of such a highly accomplished living legend’s retirement leaves many a hearts broken. Nobody would mind shedding bucketful of tears at the mere thought of India taking the field without one of her key players.

Moving on to the other Rahul known as Rahul Gandhi, he was born with the silver spoon. From the day one, he is a celebrity,  a son of the ex-prime minister who got assassinated in the worst possible manner when he was barely out of his teens. He also happens to be the son of a mother who declined the post of prime minister after leading her party to a thumping victory in the 2004 general elections much to the dismay of opposition parties. From such a man when he steps into the battlefield expectations are bound to be as high as they can get. For he is someone who belongs to the dynasty with a history of ruling this country for generations.

But Rahul Gandhi is no Rahul Dravid, and politics is no cricket. Indian cricket fans are fickle minded and forgiving. They may hurl stones and burn effigies at the poor show of their idols. Very next day they tend to forget everything and begin to worship the same idols as soon as a convincing victory takes place against any opposition. Unfortunately, one cannot say the same thing about the Indian voters. They may flock to Rahul Gandhi’s election rallies and wait for hours under the sweltering sun to hear him speak. But nobody can influence their decision when it comes to casting their votes. They know what to do and how to do it.

The people of this country may cheer encouragingly when Rahul Baba is taking baby steps expecting him to grow soon and take his own decision instead of surrounding himself with the so-called experts relying heavily on the Gandhi charisma to deliver. But the same people may not hesitate to turn their faces when they realise the baby doesn’t want to grow soon and instead wants to hold her mama’s hand. This is precisely what is happening with Rahul Gandhi. He is neither a wall nor a dependable campaigner. He could never take the fight to the enemy camp to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat for his party. Instead of carving a niche for himself, he decided to rely on age-old formulas to win the election.

Rahul Dravid never shied away from playing it straight. He rose above the occasion whenever his team demanded although he remained an unsung hero. But the other Rahul is yet to rise above the occasion. Without doing anything significant (except staying overnight in poor farmers’ huts in the presence of media), he has become the toast of this country. Now people have realised the vanity of all his acts and begun to question his credentials as the future prime-minister of India. Does he have any vision for the country he wants to lead? If yes, can he share the same with his countrymen? Whereas Rahul Dravid always had a vision for his team. The vision continued to inspire him right through his long career. One could see the determination to win at any cost in his eyes. Every time he stepped into the field, he gave out his best and made his country proud.

Needless to say it is the other Rahul who must announce his retirement tomorrow and not the Rahul Dravid who always gave tirelessly without asking for anything in return.

 

 

Now we all know why Rahul Dravid is the wall. First test between the world champions India and England at the Lord’s is underway. Today is the day three. India were batting. All eyes were on Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th ton. But as it sometimes happens, Sachin Tendulkar disappointed his fans.

 

Rahul Dravid rose to the occasion and he bailed out his team yet another time in style by scoring an unbeaten century even as the wickets fell around him at the regular intervals. Rahul Dravid keeps proving himself time and again. The more he proves himself, the more we want him to prove himself. He is a true fighter with a never-say-die attitude. He has rarely let his country down. He forms the solid backbone of India’s middle order. He brings lots of depth to the batting line up. Imagine what the Indian score card would have liked like without Rahul Dravid’s unbeaten century?

 

At home or abroad he has always performed. His sound technique makes him one of the most dangerous test players. After the legendary Sunny Gavaskar, he is someone who treats batting like a game of chess. He plays the waiting game. He knows when to attack. He puts a prize on his wicket. Nobody can penetrate his defenses as he stands between him and his wicket like a strong wall.

 

Coming back to this ongoing game between Indian and England, at home England are the toughest side to beat. India will have to play out of their skin to score a win to go one up in the series. Whether Sachin Tendulkar’s most talked about 100th century comes through in the second innings or no remains to be seen. At the time of writing this, England seem to have an upper hand. All said and done, Rahul Dravid’s this unbeaten century will rank as one of the best centuries in the times to come. This century has proven that with age he has got only  better and still many years of cricket are left in him.

 

He has done a lot for the country. The heart bleeds for this true gentleman of the game who too should have been a part of the Team India that won the World Cup of 2011. Sometimes destiny plays cruel jokes on those who are determined to change it by a dent of sheer hard work. Perhaps Rahul Dravid is one of them.

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Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

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