Archive for category cricket
Tomorrow we play one of the crucial games of the year (yes, this year, not of four years) when we face Sri Lanka in World Cup Finals. I don’t know why this game does not excite me much. May be because we have played Sri Lanka too much in recent time or may be because I feel so many similarities between Indian and Sri Lankan team. May be because I would have supported Sri Lanka for World Cup if India exited earlier. There can be many reasons, but this game does not enthuse me as an India-Australia or India-Pakistan final.
Most of the let down in energy comes from the fact that both teams are similarly placed – heavily dependent on batting line up, masters of spin pitches, donning heavy spin attack spearheaded by one fast bowler. This makes both teams adopt similar strategy and that does not make me happy. I wanted it to be a battle of bat and ball, but it seems like a contest of bat and bat.
But that’s not the biggest thing going on in my head. Sachin Tendulkar is the key, not because he will play a crucial role in game but because this is his final World Cup. We need to win this cup for him. If we succeed, India’s greatest star will get the gift he deserves. If it was just up to his performance we would have secured at least four out of five cups he has played in, but cricket is a team sport and there are too many aspects for a victory or failure than just an individual’s brilliance.
Then is the idea, that it might be the last time we will watch Sachin Tendulkar bat in a One Day International. And if that is going to be the case then I want time to stop now, I don’t want to see what happens tomorrow, I don’t even want to imagine what happens afterwards. World Cup or not, without Sachin Tendulkar, cricket will never be same again.
Two big news coming from Cricketing world today – Sachin Tendulkar crossing 14,000 runs in test cricket and BCCI suspending Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. Two pieces of info, about almost the same set of players but still making a huge difference to fans.
We cricket loving fans live in a different world, we treat cricket as religion and love it more than anything, and when people try to take advantage of that fact it hurts us the most. In last couple of years, money has taken the center stage, most people would not have noticed yet but will notice it now. The kind of corruption is in under either in form of spot fixing, match fixing or accounting irregularities it hurts us the most.
We are the fans, when we wake up at 5 AM to watch Sachin Tendulkar play against Australia, we do not care about what logo is on his shirt – either it be Nike or Sahara it does not matter us. It does not matter to us what advertisements are played, it is Coca Cola or Pepsi. What matters to us is the straight drive, hook and the pull, that battle between bat and ball is so powerful that when Ravi Sashtri says “when Sachin plays well, India sleeps well” is absolutely true.
Cricket is healer for this developing country. We get in all sorts of arguments, fights, reservations, and demolitions and are even hit by internal and external terrorism. But when it comes to Cricket it does not take much, we just need a TV in a show room and outside public becomes happy. People forget they have to go for work, college or meetings, they forget what religion or cast they are from, they forget what language they speak, and there is only one thing which wins – the joy of watching our favorite team play.
And it is not just about our team; we appreciate and cheer good Cricket from everywhere. We cheer for good bowling from Muralidharan, nice hitting by Peterson, fast bowling from Bond, Andy Flower’s reverse sweep or anything nice which is played with proper sprit.
Lately it has been hit by scandals. It all started with Hansie Cronje’s revelations a decade ago. Some players got greedy and we got a setback that caused us a lot of players. Because of that we would never be able to see Azharuddin’s masterful wrist strokes. What caused it all, it was the greed of certain players.
Now in 2010 we uncovered the story of Lalit Modi and how his greed is causing problems again. Not just some teams are being kicked out of tournament, he has taken a format of the game to such high level where it has started to outshine the real cricket. It hurts not only the fans but players as well, as summarized by Coach and Captain of Rajasthan Royals, Shane Warne in his tweet:
3 seasons ago royals won the first ever ipl, underdogs come good what a story, it helped give credibility to the competition !!! Now look. The royals gave young unknown Indian players a chance and I as captain backed them, and our coaching staff supported them we were a team. What now for the youngsters, I hope BCCI come to there senses, fingers crossed!
Who has the answer to these questions? It’s all well and good that new players got chance to play, it gave stage to new stars to shine but was that just a cover for a scandal that was brewing up beneath? The story is not just limited to Cricket, but if we look around all major sports have issues like these – be it match fixing scandal of Serie A and Serie B league of Italy, or Nelson Piquet Jr. slamming his car into barriers in Singapore GP, or NBA referee gambling on the games he was officiating.
Till we have a lot of money in sports we will have these problems. And without money we will also have problems as we see in case of Indian athletes, who do not have proper infrastructure. We need money, but at the same time a system that regulated the kind of money getting into the system. This calls for a wide reform of the system and almost seems impossible, but things can be changed. Same way we could throw out tobacco sponsorship out of sports, we can deal with this issue as well. Government has to step-in, authorities have to be less corrupt and more passionate about the games they are involved in. Lets just keep the sports what it is, lets keep the passion alive for the fans and players and it will last forever. Learn a lesion from Sachin Tendulkar, he has lasted 21 years playing international, which is not just mentally but physically impossible. With his simple lifestyle, passion for the game and not letting success get into his head can last him this long why can’t we adopt same approach to the sport. Lets bring in more administrators who are passionate about game rather than about money or politics and we can be on right track.
I am not saying cricket is simple, but everything around it, if you keep simple, it becomes relatively easy
On the eve of becoming the most capped player in Test Cricket, these words perfectly sum the way he thinks and explains how he handles the burden of expectations from millions. I like this statement very much because I believe the same in technology arena. Technology is not simple, but if separate it out from other things and remove all the jargons, it can be understood easily.
People who do not know Sachin would always wonder how can one person dominate World cricket for more then 20 years and still remain simple, down to earth person who when walks on the filed is hope for billion people and nightmare for opposition. Answer is simple – his simplicity and love for game acts helps him play but he never allows that success to get into his head. He answers it simple -
Time flies. You just need to enjoy it, it’s a circle. You are not always on the top, sometimes there are rough patches, but the simple formula that I have followed is, whenever I have gone through tough phases, I have found a reason to work harder. And try and spend all my energy at something I have been wanting to get better at.
Congratulations on yet another record and lets level this ‘dead’ series.
Today was the day that will go down in golden world in Cricketing history. The mythical 200 run mark in ODI was broken and it was by none other than India’s proudest possession, Sachin Tendulkar. For last 20 years he has given India a consistent performance that is unparallel to any other effort. He has many names – God, Master Blaster, Little Master, Tendya, One man army etc. He has many names and I won’t get into detail which one I like, but what he means to country. He is HOPE, he is the one who can swing the game in India’s favor. Till he is on crease no Indian ever loses hope, opposition fears him more than anything and bowlers have nightmares before and after the game. He has played many great innings – ranging from his ‘Desert Storm’ inning in Sharjah to ‘cut shot’ in 2003 world cup which sent Pakistan back home.
He not only survives the tremendous pressure put by opposition but also the enormous amount of expectations from more than a billion people. When he walks onto the filed every fans wants a century from him and nothing less. To meet those levels of expectations constantly for twenty years is phenomenal.
He has literally almost all the batting records to his name, but the one he created today has eluded him few times. Why is this great (if not greatest) inning? why does it carry more weight than anything when it is just six run ahead of previous record? What makes this the one to remember for life? Here are my reasons:
‘Carry the bat’ is not an easy thing to achieve. It takes immense concentration, stamina, patience and requires perfection of the incomparable level. It takes just one mistake – a slight miscalculation, loss of concentration or something minute and you are sent back to pavilion. To perform such task in changing conditions and distractions all around is huge task. In not only requires patience but also controlling the emotions. One cannot achieve such perfection without hard work, dedication or letting success get into head. Even one survives those five grueling hours on pitch, it takes enormous effort to scores runs consistently at such high rate. One is not just concentrating on batting but also running, keep the score ticking and attacking the opposition mentally. To achieve such a feat at age of 37 in itself is amazing. He not only has stamina to survive, which he has developed over years of rigorous training and immense discipline, but also cunningness to adapt to situation. The way he switched from hitting shots to using bowler’s pace was marvelous. To end this argument, I would say, he does not have the body structure of modern day players who believe in power hitting. Sachin Tendulkar is not six foot tall with broad shoulders to attack all the balls, he is a class act – a mix of brilliance, elegance and ability to innovate shots. All these things make this one of the greatest innings of Cricket.
What now? Sachin Tendulkar has one more dream, to win the World Cup for India. We know he is going to do his best and he will have more than a billion fans to support from him. If he continues this form, I have no qualms in proclaiming that India will not fail to win the World Cup. What could be a better gift than winning the World Cup on home turf. We all LOVE you Sachin! You are Cricket to me and I don’t want to imagine…
Congratulation Sachin for another milestone in your kitty. We have been waiting for you to surpass Brian Lara for highest run scorer in Test Cricket, but due to injuries and being ‘out of form’ we have to wait for long. But this innings at Mohali was superb and whole nation along with cricket lovers from all over the world will remember it for long.
There are stones thrown at you and you turn it in to milestones.
Yes, for last 19 years (since I started watching cricket) you have been doing so and I wish you could do this for next 20 years too. Sadly, we know this is not possible. [ I do not want to think of that day, have not yet recovered from Ganguly's announcement to retire.]
I was not that excited to be honest.
-Sachin in an interview after breaking the record.
This is the main reason for your success besides the talent. Over many years many talented cricketers have come and gone and none have left an impact or could not last long because they could handle the success. He has not only made this country proud but lived to expectations of billion people, that itself is the biggest achievement of life. He is not just a great cricketer but the greatest sportsman this country has every seen. We are proud of you.
T20 (IPL) has already started having impact on me. Yesterday was India-Pakistan match, something that I would never miss. But when I reached home I switched on TV, saw it for 5 mins and went to sleep. A friend woke me up with a call and asked ‘you are not watching cricket?’ I replied ‘I don’t know, but I don’t find it interesting enough to keep me awake (it was 6 PM)’.
This is all because of too much cricket, but I don’t think its permanent damage, once test series starts (and Sachin is back in side) I will be back to normal.
Cricket, the game of uncertainty, the game where change in wind/temperature/humidity/cloud cover can have big impact on result, the game we all love. It’s a game of strategy and planning, endurance, ability to handle pressure, ability to stay on crease for as long as possible are cheered by fans all over the world.
When Sunil Gavaskar visited out campus last year, I had one question for him, the question that has been bugging me since the arrival of T20 cricket.
Q: Is 20-twenty cricket ruining test/one day cricket? (Veetrag)
SG: No, actually it helps in improvement. The same things were said when One day cricket came into picture, people used to say that no one with watch test matches. But nothing like this happened, the playing style of crickets changed and it helped Tests. Previously test matches were mostly draws now you don’t see that many draws and most of the draws are result of bad weather. Scoring rates have changed; batsmen have started taking more risks.
Same will happen to ODIs too; now ODIs are too predictable. We know batsmen will come and hit for first 20 overs and then last 10 overs, I hope with 20-twenty we will see a change in style of playing and that would reflect someday in ODIs too.
Only concern I had was, will T20 cricket turn the classy game into ‘power game’, where to be batsmen you should have a minimum height of 6ft 2 , have a build like a bull and you should be able to pick up the ball as soon it hits the pitch and slog it into the space. T20 is such a shorter version of game that terms like cracking of pitch and reverse swing are unheard of, where the class of batsmen is measured by the number of meters ball covered in air, where the classy batsmen like Rahul Dravid and VVS Lakshman are considered as boring and senseless hitting by Ravindu Jadeja is considered great action.
Clear evidences of viewers discontent with slow scoring rate were visible during first test match at Chennai between India and SA, where Rahul Dravid’s 111 in 396 balls was considered painfully slow and commentators even went ahead to say that Dravid does not want India to win. But if we take Dravid out of that score board (along with the balls he played) it will not take rocket science to figure out that instead of a draw game we could have lost that test.
I was not much worried as T20 was not catching up, but with IPL the complete scenario is changed. I don’t care about the money that has been pumped in or the impact caused by cheerleaders, I don’t care if Chennai Super Knights win or Kolkata King Riders take the championship, I just want nice cricket action, and that should have no impact on Test/One day cricket. I guess the scene is changing now, T20 cricket has taken over and speculation of new tournaments like EPL and PCL are indication that test cricket will be pushed aside someday. Only hope that I have is, people will get bored of these run feasts and will come back to classy cricket.