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Monday, December 25, 2006

Sports Personalities and their Resolutions for 2007


This is my guesses on what New Year Resolutions of sports stars and sports federations heads could be. No offenses to the personalities.

Maria Sharapova: I will stop grunting on the courts
img from: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/


Yuvraj Singh: I will never ever play kabaddi in my life.

K.P.S Gill : I will revive Indian Hockey again.
(By sacking the coach and removing the experienced hockey players. )

Sania Mirza : I will win a grand slam

Greg Chappell: I will patch up with Ganguly

Sharad Pawar : I will pay heed to my agriculture ministry also

Paes-Bhupati : We will not fight and together watch Ekta Kapoor Soaps

Roger Federer : Hope somebody gives me a fight next year

Saurav Ganguly : I will become captain again

Suresh Kalmadi : We will bid for 2016 medals and
prepare a team which will win 10 golds in 2008 olympics.

Dhoni: I will further grow my hair and have a big pony tail like ladies



Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's Stumps for Warne

Here is Shane Warne career in pics. Images from FoxSports




Warne made his debut against India at SCG-1992


Star is born :Took 7-52 against the West Indies in the Boxing Day Test of 1992


Debut in Ashes : Bowled Mike Gatting :Bowl of the Century



Became Notorious for Excessive Appealing

Plagued by shoulder and finger problems in 1995 and 1996 December


Ganguly did this later , dance after securing the Ashes at the Trent Bridge 1997

Warne and Mark Waugh were fined in 1995 after admitting to taking money from an Indian bookmaker for pitch and weather information.


World Cup : Man-of-the-Match, Shane Warne

Warne is relieved of the Test vice-captaincy after sending lewd text messages to English nurse Donna Wright


Warne was given a 12-month ban by Cricket Australia after testing positive to a banned substance in 2003

Warney's 500th victim was Sri Lanka captain Hashan Tillakaratne, taken during the final day of the first Test in Galle in 2004


No.699

Gone with the wind



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Legends Warne & McGrath set to Retire

We have crossed a half century of posts in such a short time kudos to team but I have a sad story to celebrate the event.

Whole cricket world leaving Australia will rejoice when in a few days Shane Warne will announce his retirement from the Test Cricket . Warne is expected to hold a press conference tommorrow to announce his retirement from the test cricket in which he is very near to 700 wicket mark. Another great bowler Glen McGrath is expected to follow soon and announce his retreat later.





The whole would see the players together for the the last time in the fifth Ashes Test against England at Sydney Cricket Ground. A side effect may be some of Australia's other veterans will prolong their careers. They'll all be acutely aware of the Chappell-Lillee-Marsh effect - when three greats simultaneously left the game to devastating effect on Australian cricket. Hayden, Langer and Gilchrist are the other veterans in line for retirement.

Warne will be the most difficult player to replace though we have McGill to replace him but warne is class apart. The key in tests is to take 20 wickets and both Warne and Glen possessed that capability and led aussies to many memorable victories and made the team the world champions, I am not playing down the efforts of other great players in the side, but still , combined loss of McGrath the third-leading Test wicket taker in history with Warne's departure would represent the end of a golden era for Australian cricket. Warne is expected to accept a position on the Nine television commentary team after the Sydney Test.

We will miss Glen's Head brandishing and warne's entertainment.

Cricket will be the duller without them.


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

India break South Africa jinx - WANDERES in....next target: DURBAN

Headingley, Adelaide, Jamaica, Johannesburg.
India are still not the best of travellers in the cricket world, but these four memorable overseas victories in the last four years stand out like beacons of hope.

After winning the Test series in the West Indies in July for the first time since 1971 -- the first outside the subcontinent for 20 years, this maiden Test success comes after 14 long years. South Africa has been the unconquered final frontier; victory has eluded India on three earlier visits and nine different Test matches here.

Little was expected from India on what was always thought to be one of the toughest tours in world cricket and after the way they played in the one-day series, what little expectation there was quickly faded with the ignominy of the 4-0 whitewash.

When the story of this epoch-making Test is told to young cricketers and readers in eras yet to come, it is impossible not to tell, with it, the story of Sourav Ganguly, a man who will probably come to symbolize just what sheer bloody-minded cussedness, indefatigable self-belief and an iron will can do. And though things have been overshadowed by the presence of Ganguly and his now famous phoenix-like rise from the ashes of despair, this is also the story of another yet comeback man, Zaheer Khan, also, for a while, shunned this past year and shoved unceremoniously into the cold.

Given the emergence and energy of Sreesanth, who looks like he will go on to become, in the manner of some fast bowling legends, one of the colourful characters of the game (form and fitness being on his side), it is easy to overlook Zaheer's part in this win but the latter's role (with both bat and ball), cannot be emphasized enough. He has given India the early breaks and kept on the pressure from one end, a pressure that has surely helped while Sreesanth has done his manic, merry dance at the other.



The following table gives details of India's maiden victories in each Test playing country compiled in order of longest wait for the win:
CountryDate of 1st Test 1st Test win achievedTest No.YearDays
Pakistan 1-Jan-1955Multan,1-4-2004 21st4992
England 25-Jun-1932The Oval, 24-8-1971 22nd3961
Australia28-Nov-1947Melbourne, 4-1-1978 12th3038
West Indies21-Jan-1953Port-of-Spain, 10-3-1971 12th1849
South Africa13-Nov-1992Johannesburg,18-12-2006 10th14 35
Zimbabwe 18-Oct-1992Bulawayo,10-6-20013rd8236
Sri Lanka 30-Aug-1985Colombo,1-8-19935th7337
New Zealand15-Feb-1968Dunedin, 20-2-1968 1st06
Bangladesh 10-Nov-2000Dhaka, 13-11-2000 1st04

aahhh...enough of statistics n post-match analogies, its time for some hearts throbbing, some boot shaking, as we join the Indian Team partying at Wanderers.

Everyone............
HU HA INDIA
AAYA INDIA!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Doha Update


3 Golds in Waiting India is assured of three silver medals atleast, there are very high chances of those three medals be golds. All three of them are in Tennis. Sania Mirza has reached the singles finals as well as mixed-doubles with Leander Paes who also has reached the men's doubles finals with Mahesh Bhupati. It has been a fantastic asian games for sania who earlier won the silver medal in the women's team event.



Chess Gold Almost Assured. India is very much assured of team gold in the mind game. The Indians have now won each of their seven matches for a total of 18.5 points - a lead of 4.5 points lead over its nearest rival China (14 points) with two rounds to go. Indian Humpy won the gold earlier in the individual category. Chess is being introduced for the first time in asian games.

Women Athletes Shine.
Indian women athletes continued their fine outing in the Asian Games with a Gold in the 4*400 metres relay bagging gold while the men captured the silver medal. Sinimole Poulose won a bronze medal in the women's 1500 metre with a timing of 4 minutes and 15.09.

China Stun Pakistan Also. China delt a big blow to other hockey giant pakistan by defeating them in the semi finals 2-1 in the games. Lu slammed in a rebound from goalkeeper Nasir Ahmed, who had blocked the penalty corner drive, in the 10th minute of the golden goal extra-period to create a new benchmark in Chinese hockey. China will face South Korea in the finals.

Jaspal Rana to fly back. Jaspal Rana is declared the best sportsperson of the games and he will fly back to receive the honour in the closing ceremony. Rana took three golds in the games.






India is meanwhile 9th in the medal table with 7 Golds 16 silver and 19 bronze (42 total). Today there are high chances of india climbing up the tally.
facts : http://www.dohaasiangames.org/

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

India - South Africa ODI Diary (2006-07)

First ODI @The Wanderers
A wet start to the series

The Wanderers is among the cricketing world's great venues. Here the cricketers walk down steep steps from the pavilion while making their way to the ground. This is a ground with a distinct heartbeat and a soul. Like the Eden Gardens, it has got character. It is also called the Bull Ring. In some senses, Dravid had taunted the South Africans the previous day with the words, "We want to take the bull by its horns."

The battle lines are clearly drawn. Rain spoils the show, rather it is a no show with inclement weather preventing a single ball from being bowled in the first match of the MTN ODI series. The crowd, with a fair sprinkling of fans of Indian origin, waits patiently. Some of the spectators, braving the rain, wave flags and banners in the open enclosures. But this is a day when rain does not relent. The match is called off. It's a wet start to the series. But things could hot up pretty soon.


Second ODI @Durban
Paupers in technique

The Indian innings, shockingly, concluded in the 30th over. It was also India's 13th defeat in 17 ODI outings against South Africa in South Africa. Sachin Tendulkar n Dravid, both fell to sensational incoming deliveries, alone appeared to be confident against the South African pace attack in Durban.

The rest surrendered too meekly. Young Indian batsmen bring with them a flawed technique and they suffer. The support staff can bring about subtle and often critical changes in a batsman's technique, but he needs to possess the basics for the coaches to work on.

Well, India's 91, chasing 249, at Kingsmead was its lowest ODI score against South Africa. The canny Shaun Pollock, with his accuracy and seam movement, scalped two in his first spell. Then Nel, in a burst of sustained hostility, picked up four for very little in eight overs. Jacques Kallis nailed three batsmen for even less.

The shot selection of the Indians was forgettable. They were simply not getting behind the line. They, predictably, departed without offering a fight. If the Indian batting can be destroyed in a manner such as this in one-day cricket, with all its restrictions on the pace bowlers, one shudders to think what could happen to this line-up once the Tests begin.

The Indian bowlers had earlier performed an honest job. The side left out Irfan Pathan, went in with four bowlers, and restricted the host to 248 for eight after Smith opted to bat. Zaheer Khan struck early — the left-armer can be a handful if he lands the ball in the right areas — and Munaf Patel and Ajit Agarkar operated well. Harbhajan Singh — the lone spinner — was attacked by Abraham de Villiers, but Tendulkar bowled a tight spell and Dinesh Mongia chipped in usefully.

The South Africans were made to work for their runs. Not that Kallis was complaining. He was rock-like at No. 3; the South African think-tank had rightly decided to have its technically most accomplished batsman walking in, in the slot immediately after the openers. Kallis' 14th ODI hundred — also the slowest by a South African in ODIs — served the interests of the team. He was able to string together partnerships and the innings revolved around him.

He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match. And Smith was smiling.

THE SCORES

Second ODI, Kingsmead, Durban, November 22, 2006. South Africa won by 157 runs.

South Africa: G. Smith lbw b Zaheer 1; L. Bosman lbw b Zaheer 22; J. Kallis (not out) 119; H. Gibbs c Dhoni b Patel 2; A. B. de Villiers st. Dhoni b Mongia 41; M. Boucher c Zaheer b Patel 23; J. Kemp c Dhoni b Agarkar 8; S. Pollock c Tendulkar b Agarkar 0; A. Nel (run out) 22; Extras (lb-1, w-9) 10. Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs) 248.

Fall of wkts: 1-3, 2-47, 3-63, 4-150, 5-196, 6-209, 7-209, 8-248.

India bowling: Patel 10-2-39-2; Zaheer 8-0-53-2; Agarkar 9-1-47-2; Tendulkar 9-1-33-0; Harbhajan 10-0-59-0; Mongia 4-0-16-1.

India: W. Jaffer b Pollock 0; S. Tendulkar b Nel 35; M. Kaif c Gibbs b Pollock 8; R. Dravid b Langeveldt 18; M. Dhoni c Boucher b Nel 14; S. Raina c Kallis b Nel 4; D. Mongia c Kemp b Kallis 1; Harbhajan lbw b Kallis 1; A. Agarkar b Kallis 6; Zaheer Khan c Boucher b Nel 1; M. Patel (not out) 0; Extras (w-1, nb-2) 3. Total (in 29.1 overs) 91.

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-39, 3-62, 4-62, 5-82, 6-83, 7-83, 8-84, 9-85.

South Africa bowling: Pollock 7-2-17-2; Ntini 6-0-32-0; Langeveldt 4-0-26-1; Nel 8-2-13-4; Kallis 4.1-1-3-3.


Third ODI @Cape Town
Kemp dumps India

The Indians once again lost the plot. From a position of dominance, they slid down the slippery Table Mountain slope overlooking Newlands.

The Indian pacemen disappointed at the `Death.' They erred by bowling a full length — the deliveries were lacking in speed — and were dumped into the stands by the tall and often majestic Justin Kemp. Simply put, the Indians bowled poorly at the crunch, fielded badly, and were never in the hunt with the bat. The 106-run defeat, after India had the South Africans on the mat in the first 20 overs, showed the side did not believe in its capabilities.


Andrew Hall and Kemp joined hands to scatter the attack. The last 10 overs provided South Africa 113 runs, 58 of them arriving from the final five. The unbeaten 138-run partnership between Kemp and Hall in 14.1 overs was the highest eighth-wicket association in ODIs.

The Indians hardly put up a fight, chasing South Africa's 274 for seven. Shaun Pollock, so straight, moved the ball just enough to put the seeds of doubt in the batsmen's mind. His three wickets in his opening burst virtually settled the issue. Skipper Rahul Dravid, ever a fighter, and M. S. Dhoni made contrasting half centuries. Dravid's technical excellence stood out, and Dhoni blazed away. But India had too much catching up to do. And the others were so inadequate.

In the end, the South Africans were jumping for joy. And to think that the day started with skipper Smith and selection panel chief Haroon Lorgat having a public spat over the selection or otherwise of the injured in-form paceman Andre Nel.

Nel's replacement, Hall, sported a grin too.

THE SCORES

Third ODI, Newlands, Cape Town, November 26, 2006. South Africa won by 106 runs.

South Africa: G. Smith b Zaheer 0; L. Bosman c Tendulkar b Zaheer 6; J. Kallis c Tendulkar b Zaheer 0; H. Gibbs c Kaif b Pathan 35; A. B. de Villiers c Dhoni b Agarkar 29; M. Boucher (run out) 4; J. Kemp (not out) 100; S. Pollock (run out) 33; A. Hall (not out) 56; Extras (lb-1, w-8, nb-2) 11. Total (for seven wkts. in 50 overs) 274.

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-0, 3-38, 4-42, 5-71, 6-76, 7-136.

India bowling: Zaheer 10-4-42-3; Agarkar 9-0-71-1; Pathan 8-1-60-1; Kumble 10-1-24-0; Harbhajan 10-0-63-0; Tendulkar 3-0-13-0.

India: V. Sehwag c Hall b Pollock 0; S. Tendulkar c Bosman b Pollock 2; R. Dravid c Hall b Pollock 63; M. Kaif b Pollock 10; D. Karthik c Smith b Ntini 14; M. Dhoni c Bosman b Kallis 55; I. Pathan c Smith b Kallis 1; Harbhajan Singh c Smith b Hall 10; A. Agarkar c Smith b Hall 6; Zaheer Khan (not out) 2; A. Kumble b Hall 0; Extras (lb-1, w-4) 5. Total (in 41.3 overs) 168.

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-7, 3-17, 4-44, 5-129, 6-133, 7-148, 8-156, 9-168.

South Africa bowling: Pollock 9-1-26-4; Ntini 7-2-13-1; Hall 9.3-0-45-3; Langeveldt 5-0-31-0; Kallis 8-0-29-2; Kemp 1-0-13-0; Smith 2-0-10-0.


Fourth ODI @Port Elizabeth
They can't put a proper bat to ball

The South Africans settled the issue at Port Elizabeth. They also played the key moments of the series better. Whenever the host was in trouble, it found men for the occasion. Whenever the Indians were in a hole, they slid further. The South Africans displayed character. This was an attribute found wanting in the Indians. The winner was spotted a long way from the end.

The 80-run victory under lights in the fourth ODI at the charming port city meant Graeme Smith's men had clinched the five-match MTN ODI series 3-0, with one game left.

Smith, who appears to be falling over in his stance, is in horrendous form with the willow. But he led the side with confidence and authority. Sadly, his opposite number Rahul Dravid watched the match from the pavilion. His finger injury — sustained at Cape Town — ruled him out of the rest of the ODIs. Psychologically, this was a major blow for the Indians.

The South Africans sizzled on the field. The pacemen mixed the bouncing deliveries with those of a fuller length well. The Indians capitulated.

Man of the Match, Herschelle Gibbs too was smiling at the end. His unbeaten 93 had taken his side past the 240-run mark. He worked hard for his runs, in front of a capacity crowd. Gibbs was under pressure to perform. He had got a start at Cape Town, blazing an entertaining cameo. But he could not build on that.

The in-form Zaheer Khan probed him early on with some well-directed seam bowling. Then, Anil Kumble bowled with precision, giving little away. South Africa lost wickets regularly at the other end, but Gibbs held firm. Along the way, there were some typically sparkling shots from Gibbs through the covers. And there was a fair sprinkling of well timed flicks as well. It was not the easiest of pitches to play strokes on. The ball was not really coming on to the bat. There was lateral movement for the pacemen, but no appreciable bounce.

The South African pacemen were able to extract a lot more lift from the surface; possibly the evening moisture could have added some nip to the pitch. Somebody like Makhaya Ntini also has stronger shoulders than the Indians. The hefty blows from the lower order helped, but Gibbs marshalled the innings expertly. The side had found another batsman who put his hand up during a crisis.

The tale of the Indian batting was no different from the earlier two games. Much of the batsmen could not cope with the stress. India was bundled out on the chase inside 50 overs for the third successive time. The side folded up for 91 (29.1 overs) at Kingsmead, 168 (41.3 overs) at Newlands, and 163 (38.1 overs) at St. George's Park.

The Indian batting was bereft of application. There was little heart and commitment. Irfan Pathan's 55-ball unbeaten 47 was an exception though. He played correctly, and collected his runs with pleasing strokes on both sides of the wicket. Pathan's knock put the shoddy efforts of the earlier batsmen in proper perspective. The top order was blown away. Exposed early, the middle-order could not last long in the middle.

Andre Nel and Jacques Kallis — both are hustlers who relish testing the batsmen around the rib-cage — did not make life any easier for the Indian batsmen. In other words, there was not let up in pressure. Dravid's absence meant the side was without its only specialist batsman in some kind of form. India wanted runs from Sachin Tendulkar but the master batsman was done in by a lovely away-going delivery from Shaun Pollock.

THE SCORES

Fourth ODI, St. George's Park, Port Elizabeth, November 29, 2006. South Africa won by 80 runs.

South Africa: G. Smith lbw b Zaheer 0; L. Bosman b Sreesanth 0; J. Kallis c Dhoni b Kumble 49; H. Gibbs (not out) 93; A. B. de Villiers lbw b Kumble 13; M. Boucher lbw b Sehwag 29; J. Kemp c Sehwag b Tendulkar 0; S. Pollock (run out) 37; A. Hall (run out) 13; A. Nel (not out) 0; Extras (b-1, lb-4, w-2, nb-2) 9. Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs) 243.

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-6, 3-75, 4-93, 5-154, 6-155, 7-216, 8-240.

India bowling: Zaheer 8-1-38-1; S. Sreesanth 7-1-29-1; Agarkar 5-0-33-0; Pathan 7-0-28-0; Kumble 10-0-42-2; Sehwag 5-0-22-1; Tendulkar 8-0-46-1.

India: W. Jaffer c Smith b Ntini 10; V. Sehwag c Bosman b Ntini 18; S. Tendulkar c Boucher b Pollock 1; M. Kaif (run out) 10; D. Karthik c Nel b Kemp 17; M. S. Dhoni c (sub) b Nel 26; I. Pathan (not out) 47; A. Agarkar c Hall b Kemp 6; Z. Khan c Boucher b Kallis 11; A. Kumble c Smith b Pollock 2; S. Sreesanth c de Villiers b Kemp 3; Extras (b-2, lb-2, w-3, nb-5) 12. Total (in 38.1 overs) 163.

Fall of wkts: 1-23, 2-24, 3-38, 4-39, 5-82, 6-109, 7-128, 8-145, 9-150.

South Africa bowling: Pollock 10-2-23-2; Ntini 9-1-34-2; Kallis 8-1-41-1; Nel 7-0-40-1; Kemp 4.1-0-21-3.


TWENTY20 @Wanderers
Excitement is the name of the game

On a jazzy night at the Wanderers, India finally won a game in South Africa. Its debut in Twenty20 cricket was auspicious indeed.

Dinesh Karthik was the match-winner. The wicket-keeper batsman's footwork is organised. He, thus, collects his runs smartly without resorting to crude methods. He despatched left-arm spinner Robin Peterson over mid-wicket for a six off the first ball of the 20th over. India, chasing 127, had required nine off the last over. After Karthik's strike off the first ball, there was hardly any doubt about the outcome. His fluent 31 was further indication of the fact that he has a future as a batsman.

Sehwag blitzed away at the start, finding gaps and hitting the ropes. Dinesh Mongia, who has experience in this format thanks to his county stint, consolidated with some firm on-side strokes and a telling six over cover off Albie Morkel. He top-scored with 38. Then, Karthik piloted India home with six wickets remaining.

South Africa was without a few of its key players such as Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini, and Andre Nel. Youngsters like Albie Morkel and Johan van der Wath, both pace bowling all-rounders, did showcase their talent; the former slog-swept Harbhajan Singh out of the ground for one of the biggest sixes at the venue. Swing bowler Charl Langeveldt bowled well, as did Van der Wath, still it was not quite like Ntini, Pollock and Nel firing at the Indians.

Earlier, Zaheer Khan bowled quite beautifully, seaming the ball both ways. He once again consumed Graeme Smith, who opted to bat. Ajit Agarkar struck early too, and South Africa lost four quick wickets. Justin Kemp, the impressive Morkel and Van der Wath enabled the host reach a fighting total, although India came back well towards the end. The Indian fielding, however, was patchy.

THE SCORES

Twenty20 International, Johannesburg, December 1, 2006. India won by six wickets.

South Africa: G. Smith lbw b Zaheer 16; L. Bosman c Tendulkar b Zaheer 1; H. Gibbs c Raina b Agarkar 7; J. Kemp lbw b Tendulkar 22; A. B. De Villiers c Dhoni b Agarkar 6; J. Morkel c Mongia b Sreesanth 27; J. Van der Wath c Raina b Harbhajan 21; R. Peterson (run out) 8; T. Henderson (run out) 0; R. Telemachus (not out) 5; C. Langeveldt (not out) 0; Extras (lb-4, w-8, nb-1) 13. Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs) 126.

Fall of wkts: 1-19, 2-31, 3-34, 4-41, 5-64, 6-101, 7-120, 8- 120, 9-123.

India bowling: Zaheer 4-0- 15-2; Sreesanth 4-0-33-1; Agarkar 2.3-1-10-2; Pathan 4- 0-30-0; Tendulkar 2.3-0-12-1; Harbhajan 3-0-22-1.

India: V. Sehwag (run out) 34; S. Tendulkar b Langeveldt 10; D. Mongia c Langeveldt b Peterson 38; M. Dhoni b Langeveldt 0; D. Karthik (not out) 31; S. Raina (not out) 3; Extras (lb-7, w-3, nb-1) 11. Total (for four wkts. in 19.5 overs) 127.

Fall of wkts: 1-17, 2-60, 3-71, 4-108.

South Africa bowling: Van der Wath 4-0-18-0; Langeveldt 4-0-20-2; Telemachus 4-0-28-0; Henderson 4-0-31-0; Morkel 2-0-12-0; Peterson 1.5-0-11-1.


Fifth ODI @Centurion
One-horse race

The South African dominance was complete at Centurion. So was the Indian surrender. The Indians huffed and puffed to 200 for nine. The hosts were home and dry with 18.4 overs to spare. The nature of the South African victory reflects the gulf between the two countries in these conditions. The Indian limitations were once again exposed, rather cruelly.

South Africa romped home 4-0 in the MTN series. The verdict could have been 5-0 had not the first game at the Wanderers been washed out. For the first time in the series, the Indian pacemen bowled in the second half of the contest. They were found wanting in the day game as the moisture had dried out by the afternoon. Earlier, the Indian batsmen, with the exception of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, allowed the South African pacemen to call the shots with some ultra defensive batting.

The Indians made just over 20 in 15 overs. The South Africans were close to a hundred after 90 balls. Even after making some allowance for the easing up of the pitch, the difference in the crucial first phase was too glaring.

Shaun Pollock, accurate and wily, pegged India back at the beginning, as he has done throughout the series. The Indians could not quite pick which way the ball would move. He strangulates the batsmen with his precision, and consumes them with his variations. Here, Pollock conceded just 17 runs in 10 overs and snared Virender Sehwag and V. V. S. Laxman outside the off-stump. Man of the Series he certainly was. That he was chosen as the Man of the Match ahead of the attacking Abraham de Villiers also underlined the fact that it was his first spell that swung the contest, decisively, in South Africa's favour.

South Africa made major gains at the impressive SuperSport Park. Even a dead rubber game can throw up positives. For a start, Smith regained form. The skipper had been in the line of fire after just one run in the three earlier games. The fluent Abraham de Villiers' elevation to the opening slot, and the sheer confidence with which he stroked the ball, rubbed off on Smith. The openers sent the fielders on a leather hunt.

There was a marked difference in the levels of commitment of the two sides. No wonder the Indian supporters were an angry lot. One of them entered the Indian dressing room illegally. He was, rightly, arrested.

THE SCORES

Fifth ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion, December 3, 2006. South Africa won by nine wickets.

India: V. Sehwag c Boucher b Pollock 11; S. Tendulkar c de Villiers b Kemp 55; V. V. S. Laxman c Smith b Pollock 0; D. Mongia b Kemp 41; M. S. Dhoni c Nel b Ntini 44; D. Karthik c Boucher b Nel 11; I. Pathan b Kallis 7; Harbhajan Singh c Pollock b Ntini 1; Zaheer Khan (not out) 16; A. Kumble b Ntini 1; Extras (lb-5, w-8) 13. Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs) 200.

Fall of wkts: 1-18, 2-18, 3-103, 4-127, 5-154, 6-173, 7-183, 8-183, 9-200.

South Africa bowling: Pollock 10-4-17-2; Ntini 10-1-32-3; Kallis 10-1-56-1; Nel 10-1-34-1; Peterson 5-0-33-0; Kemp 5-0-23-2.

South Africa: G. Smith c Karthik b Harbhajan 79; A. B. de Villiers (not out) 92; S. Pollock (not out) 16; Extras (lb-4, w-5, nb-5) 14. Total (for one wkt. in 31.2 overs) 201.

Fall of wkt: 173.

India bowling: Zaheer 7-1-46-0; Sreesanth 3.2-0-31-0; Pathan 6-0-48-0; Harbhajan 8-0-39-1; Kumble 7-0-33-0.

Cricket Updates

Nicky Boje retires from International Cricket

Nicky Boje, the South African left-arm spinner, has decided to retire from international cricket to concentrate on his domestic career.

Boje last played against Sri Lanka at Colombo in August this year. In 43 Tests for South Africa, Boje took 100 wickets at 42.65 and in 115 ODIs 96 wickets at 35.57.

Mumbai to host 2011 cricket World Cup Final

India's commercial capital Mumbai was on Monday chosen as the venue for the 2011 cricket World Cup final while Lahore and Colombo will stage the semifinals of the cricketing extravaganza.

Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, would host the two semifinals, while Bangladesh's Sher-E Bangla National Stadium will host the opening ceremony and the first match, it was announced in Mumbai after a meeting of the representatives of the joint hosts of the tournament.

A central organising committee named as India Pakistan Sri Lanka Bangladesh committee was also set-up at the meeting. BCCI President Sharad Pawar would be the Chairman of the committee while the convener would be from Pakistan. The treasurer will be from Sri Lanka.

The committee will also have three representatives from each of the four nations and the first meeting of IPSB committee will be held in Pakistan on May 19 and 20, 2007.Each host country will also set up a local organising committee.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sports Stars of 2006

Here is my pick for the players of 2006.

Fabio Cannavaro
There is no better defender the cannavaro at present, captained Itlay to lift the 2006 Fifa world cup playing his 100th international match. His performance against Germany in the World Cup Semi-Finals 2006 was earmarked as one of the finest individual performance ever seen in football by many pundits.
He earned a spot on the All-Star Team at the end of the competition - awarded by FIFA's Technical Study Group - alongside six other Italian teammates, Gianluigi Buffon, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni, Francesco Totti and Gianluca Zambrotta.
He was runner up in the race for the Golden Ball, finishing runner-up to French captain Zinedine Zidane. Those who voted for Cannavaro felt that he had played immaculately throughout the tournament, while Zidane only shone in the knockout phase of the competition; it was a close contest with Zidane polling 2012 points to Cannavaro's 1977.
Presently he plays for Real Madrid, shifted from juventus after its relegation to Serie B.



Mohammad Yousuf

Mohammad Yousuf adumbrated any other cricket achievements of this year by breaking one of the longest standing records of all times most runs in a calender year by Sir Viv Richards scored 1710 runs in 1976. He also hit 9 centureis in a year surpassing the 7 centuries scored by Arvinda Desilva and Viv Richards. By scoring 665 runs in a three test match series he broke the record of Zaheer Abbas ( 1978-79 ) of most runs being scored by a Pakistani. He became the first player in Test history to have been dismissed 3 times in the 190's, with all three innings coming in 2006. Hitting nine centuries in a calender year is not a kid's play and Mohammad Yousuf did that elegantly

Mohammad Yousuf 11 1788 99.33 9/ 3


Roger Federer
Piled up records this year , no other player in tennis circuit could match him except Nadal and that too in clay only.

Grand Slams Wins
2006 Australian Open Cyprus Marcos Baghdatis 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2
2006 Wimbledon Spain Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3
2006 U.S. Open United States Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Runner Up
2006 French Open Spain Rafael Nadal 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4)
Other wins of 2006



Fernando Alonso

Alonso became the youngest driver, at 25, to win back-to-back F1 world championships. The Spaniard won six of nine races to start the season and seven total, including an emotional victory in his home Grand Prix at Barcelona. He'll also be remembered as the driver who dethroned Schumacher. Alonso had to work very hard to win the 2006 championship, he was way ahead of schumacher in the early races but the German legend bouced back to make a great finish for this season.
It was the Japanese Grand Prix that sealed the win for Alonso as in this race schumacher suffered a mechanical problem. Alonso will be racing for McLaren from 2007.


Tiger Woods

He is what Federer is to Tennis, Schumacher was to F1, Sachin is to cricket in short god of Golf. He has 12 major career Major Victories and is chasing Jack Nicklaus 's 18. Earl Woods, 74, Tiger's father and the guiding force behind his career, died of cancer in early May.In June, Tiger returns to the links and fails to make the cut for the U.S. Open by three strokes. He had made the cut in 39 consecutive majors, a record he shares with Jack Nicklaus.
Tiger snaged his third British Open claret jug with an 18-under-par score. His 11th major win, he won by two strokes over Chris DiMarco, who also recently lost a parent (his mother on July 4). Tiger won the Buick Open in August becoming the youngest player to win 50 PGA tournaments. Jack Nicklaus, who had previously held the record, had been 33 years old when he snagged his 50th title. Tiger cruises through the last round of the PGA Championship to win the title 5 strokes behind his closest competitor and with an 18-under-par score for the tourney. He racks up his 12th major tournament win and continues his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's records—the Golden Bear had 18 major victories in his career.

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Friday, December 8, 2006

India-South Africa ODI encounters: Memorable Moments (Those were the days...)

Calcutta, November 10, 1991

South Africa's emergence after 21 years of exile attracted a crowd of more than 90,000 people, most of them armed with fireworks.
Its inaugural limited-overs international was also South Africa's first encounter at any level with India. Allan Donald returned figures of 5 for 29 with his lightening pace -- the third best figures for any bowler (at that time) on debut. but India romped home by three wickets, thanks to half centuries from Sachin Tendulkar and debutant Pravin Amre.

Port Elizabeth, December 9, 1992

A straightforward win by South Africa will be remembered less than the controversy which ensued when Kapil Dev ran out Gary Kirsten for backing up before he bowled the ball.
Kapil did not warn the batsman, having done so three times previously on the tour. Kirsten reacted angrily before walking off.
Later, in the same over, Kepler Wessels appears to collide with Kapil as he turned for a second run. India complained that Wessels had hit Kapil on the shin with his bat. The Indians said Kirsten had shown dissent and incited the crowd.
Clive Lloyd, the match referee, announced the next day that Wessels had admitted that his bat had come into contact with Kapil, but said it was unintentional.
Llyod did not see the incident and, as the television cameras had been following the ball, he said the truth could not be established.
Kirsten was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for unacceptable conduct.

Calcutta, November 24, 1993

The match was the first played under lights at the Eden Gardens -- smoke bombs were deployed to deter vast swarms of insects, though a local mongoose remained and fielded enthusiastically in this and the next two games.
It was also the first match in India to feature a video replay umpire: S K Bansal made his mark early on when he sent back Vinod Kambli and Manoj Prabhakar, both run-out by Darryl Cullinan.
Mohammad Azharuddin pulled his team round with Pravin Amre's help, but India failed to reach 200.
South Africa came to the last five overs needing 45, whcih was down to seven when they lost Dave Richardson. They entered the final over looking for six with two wickets remaining.
Television viewers across the world saw the senior members to the Indian team go into a huddle to decide who would bowl the last over.
Javagal Srinath and Manoj Prabhakar had given too many runs in their last two overs and Kapil Dev was hesitant to bowl.
Seeing this, Sachin Tendulkar grabbed the ball. He hadn't bowled a single ball in the match, so it was a big gamble. On the first ball Fanie De Villiers was run-out trying to run a non-existent second run.
Last man Allan Donald failed to connect three consecutive balls and could take only a single off the fifth.
Brian McMillan needed to hit a four off the last ball, but managed only a single as Eden Gardens exploded with ecstasy.

Durban, February 13, 1997

The re-played final of the Standard Bank International One-Day Series, which South Africa won by 16 runs. The pitch played better that on the previous day -- the originally scheduled final day and most of South Africa's top order contributed to getting sufficient runs on the board.
Rain interrupted the match again, but there was time to set India a reduced target, which they pursued with gusto. Sachin Tendulkar smashed 45 off 33 balls, with a six and seven fours, and added 66 with Rahul Dravid at eight an over.
Hansie Cronje had Sachin caught off a well-disguised slower ball, but Dravid kept cranking up the rate, supported by Mohammad Azharuddin. The chase petered out when Azhar fell to a fine diving catch by Jonty Rhodes and Dravid drove to Gary Kirsten on the mid-wicket boundary.
The match will be remembered for Allan Donald's verbal attack on Dravid after getting hit for a six.

Hove, May 15, 1999

The World Cup game was played on a ground that could accommodate only 5,000 spectators. A festive atmosphere and cracking finish were overshadowed by the strange case of Hansie Cronje's earpiece.
South Africa were experimenting with a one-way radio system: Cronje and Allen Donald were wired up to coach Bob Woolmer, who sat in the dressing room dispensing advice.
Match referee Talt Ali was not impressed and pounced at the first drinks break. The ICC later ruled out remote-control captaincy, at least of the rest of the World Cup.

Nairobi (Gym), Semptember 26, 1999

On a wicket perfectly for spin, South Africa scored their second-lowest total (at that time) in limited-overs international.
India's two off-break bowlers, Nikhil Chopra and Vijay Bharadwaj playing his first international, took out four for 42 from their combined 20 overs.
Slow left-armer Sunil Joshi did even better, finishing with five for six from his ten, the best figures by any bowler against South Africa and, at the time, the third most economical analysis by anyone completing his full quota of overs.
Of the South African batsmen, Jacques Kallis alone coped with the turning ball, though he too eventually succumbed to spin.
India lost two wickets to Derek Crookes -- South Africa's only slow bowler, they had misread the pitch and omitted Paul Adams -- but were never in trouble sailing home with more than half their overs unused.

Kochi, March 9, 2000

India successfully chased a target of 302.
However, the farce at the finish made nonsense of the batting feast that preceded it.
The last over began with eight needed. Shaun Pollock's second delivery was called a no-ball -- television indicated overstepping -- and target soon became four from four balls.
Anil Kumble's steer to third man brought three, but in stopping the ball Jacques Kallis crossed the boundary and umpire signalled a four.
Stumps were drawn and the players left the field. The television umpire pointed out that Kallis was not touching the ball when he went over the line and, after some delay, the players were ordered back for Robin Singh to face one more delivery.

Baroda, March 17, 2000

The outcome of the match were decided off only the penultimate ball, though India should have easily wrapped up the match much before that.
Gary Kirsten and Hershelle Gibbs got South Africa going, taking 43 from Javagal Srinath's first five overs. Jacques Kallis atoned for Kirsten's run-out by remaining unbeaten on 81. His quick-fire stands with Dale Benkenstein and Lance Klusener propelled his side to formidable total.
Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar gave India a quick and solid start with an opening stand of 153 in 25 overs. Ganguly scored a riotous 87, inclusive of 12 fours and two sixes.
Tendulkar cut loose on Ganguly's departure to bring India's target down to 27 from 29 balls when he was third out for 122, his 25th one-day international hundred.
Pollock's two wickets in the penultimate over upped the ante, but South Africa's nerve failed first: Klusener dripped Robin Singh at mid-on with four runs needed and three balls remaining.
This was a costly miss as India romped home with one ball to spare.

Nairobi (Gym), October 13, 2000

South Africa were the favorites to win the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final, but they ran into a breathtaking innings from Saurav Ganguly, who creamed an unbeaten 141 from 142 balls, his 14th hundred in ODIs.
India were heading for 300 until he lost the strike in the last over. Ganguly went airborne when left-arm spinner Nicky Boje cam on at the halfway stage. Three of his six sixes came during Boje's two overs, which cost 26 runs and opened the floodgates for some rousing strokeplay.
Ganguly had one lucky break, on 75, when he guided a Lance Klusener no-ball to backward point.
Under pressure to score quickly, South Africa lost their top four inside eight overs.
Ganguly then continued his master class by dismissing Mark Boucher, their top-scorer, for 60, but his exertions caught up with him: fielding at slip, he dropped Boje twice in two balls.
Ganguly had done more that enought earlier with the bat as India won the match by 95 runs.

Colombo (RPS), September 25, 2002

With 14 overs left, the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy was a dead duck. But Virender Sehwag, tossed the ball as late as the 42nd over, won India a match they should have lost by some distance.
Chasing 261, Hershelea Gibbs had torn the bowling with some magnificent cover -drives, sweeps and contemptuous pulls. But an attack of cramp in both hands forced him off after 37 overs and the remaining batsmen took it as a signal to fall apart.
Jonty Rhodes's top-edged sweep off Harbhajan was superbly caught, one handed, by Yuvraj Singh full-stretched at leg-slip, and when Botha Deppenaar and Mark Boucher holed out, the onus was on Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener to see them home.
Klusener batted like a blind man teeing off, while Kallis, who made 97, was apparently playing for a draw.
By the time the final over rolled round, 21 were needed. A Kallis slog-sweep for six off Sehwag gave the Indians a brieg alarm but the encore ended up in Rahul Dravid's gloves.
India won the match by 10 runs.

Damien Martyn Retires


Australian batsman Damien Martyn announced his immediate retirement from international and first class cricket on Friday. Martyn announced his retirement after being dropped from ashes squad for the 3rd test. He has made only 35 runs in the 2 ashes tests of 2006 series . He was dropped from the 2005 ashes because of poor form but with great performance in champions trophy he was selected again. He averaged 76 in 2001 ashes series.

Martyn said in a statement issued by Cricket Australia he no longer felt 100 per cent committed to the sport.

Full Name : Damien Richard Martyn
Born : 21 October 1971, Darwin, Northern Territory
Major Teams : Western Australia, Leicestershire, Australia, Nottinghamshire
Batting Style : Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style : Right Arm Medium
Test Debut : Australia Vs West Indies at Brisbane, 1st Test, 1992/93
ODI Debut :
Australia Vs West Indies at Sydney, World Series, 1992/93

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Thursday, December 7, 2006

F1 2007

The full entry list of constructors and drivers is as follows:

McLaren Mercedes
1 Fernando Alonso (E)
2 Lewis Hamilton (GB)

Renault
3 Giancarlo Fisichella (I)
4 Heikki Kovalained (FIN)

Ferrari
5 Felipe Massa (BR)
6 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)

Honda
7 Jenson Button (GB)
8 Rubens Barrichello (BR)

BMW
9 Nick Heidfeld (D)
10 Robert Kubica (PL)

Toyota
11 Ralf Schumacher (D)
12 Jarno Trulli (I)

Red Bull Renault
14 David Coulthard (GB)
15 Mark Webber (AUS)

Williams Toyota
16 Nico Rosberg (D)
17 Alex Wurz (A)

STR Ferrari
18 TBA
19 TBA

Spyker Ferrari
20 Christijan Albers (NL)
21 TBA

Super Aguri Honda
22 Takuma Sato (J)
23 Anthony Davidson (GB)
.



Waiting for three way fight between Ferrari, Renault and McLaren and Schumacher will be missed.


source : http://www.formula1.com

The Euros the Dollars and the Soccer Golden boots!

BRITISH FOOTBALL'S RICH LIST - THE PLAYERS
David Beckham £87m
Michael Owen £32m
Robbie Fowler £28m
Sol Campbell £27m
Rio Ferdinand £22m
Ryan Giggs £22m
Andriy Shevchenko £22m
Thierry Henry £21m
Wayne Rooney £20m
Michael Ballack £18m

THE RICHEST INVESTORS IN BRITISH FOOTBALL- THE TOP 10
1. Roman Abramovich Chelsea £10.8bn
2. Joe Lewis Tottenham Hotspur £2.1bn
3. Dermot Desmond Glasgow Celtic £1.25bn
4. Malcolm Glazer Man Utd £1.05bn
5. Trevor Hemmings Charlton and Preston NE £900m
6. Sir Alan Sugar Tottenham Hotspur £790m
7. Randy Lerner Aston Villa £789m
8. David Murray Glasgow Rangers £650m
9. Simon Keswick Cheltenham Town £644m
10. David Sullivan Birmingham City £595m

source :
http://goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=184813

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

sports review -part2

Last Night Barcelona showed us why they are considered as the best team in this world.Playing there unique one touch style football, in front of packed Nou Camp,they showed the whole world who is the boss out there.First goal scored by Ronnie was cheeky at worst and masterpiece at best,only someone like him can dare to score a goal like that,second goal has Barca style written all over it,inch-perfect passing selfless play and then cool finishing.The margin could have been had guily not missed an open goal.Although Bremen created few opportunities in seond half but after those two goals result were never a doubt.
In other matches last night most of them were of academin interest so its better not to discuss them here.Now tonight the two most important matches are:MANU-Benfica and arsenal-Porto.Both of them only needs a draw to qualify to knock out stages.Persoanlly speaking MANU will not have any problem in dealing with Benfica as they will be playing in Old-Trafford and morever they are in quite good form in EPL.However Arsenal is really in a tough position they will be playing away,without there best player Henry and with so inconsistent season so far,you never know what to expect from them.But I sincerly hope both these teams win so that Knock-Out stage becomes really interesting.
In Asian Games yesterday was mixed bag for us.We won the Gold and Silver in Billards,but lost in mens Hockey to China. Women tennis Team provided the small consolation by reaching team events semi-final.
That all about yesterdays event will be back tomorrow with more updates.

Ronaldinho - The Genius !!

It was Barcelona in its last group stage match in the Champions League against Werder Bremen here on Tuesday, a must win situation for them...

  • Results :
  • Barcelona 2, Werder Bremen 0.

It was in the 13th minute when Barcelona won a free kick and the ball was in the nets in 12:37 minutes since the start of the game..

Yes, it was Ronaldinho who converted the free kick into a goal but it was not an ordinary kick.

I was pretty impressed with Ronaldinho's display of mind and talent which help Barcelona open its account so early in the game.

The free kick was just on the edge of the penalty area and all Ronaldinho had to do was to beat the 7 man wall and the goalkeeper. I have seen many free kicks not only by Ronaldinho but by other players going into the nets but this one was special beacuase I saw it for the first time (or maybe someone tried this for the first time).


Ronaldinho (like other players and viewers) expected the wall to jump to block his shot, so instead of taking a usual aerial free kick he glided the ball from under the wall and scored.




It was awesome.The wall got up Ronaldinho went down and the ball was in the net.

In a match when Barcelona was in a must win situation, the amount of pressure was tremendous and this kind of free kick really gave another example of Ronaldinho's genius.



India and Pakistan to say Kabaddi Kabaddi for Gold

Game of masses as it is refered because of its popularity in Asia will again become the match between the nations as arch rivals India and Pakistan will fight for Gold on day 6 in Doha Asian Games. Since its inception in Asian Games it's all the way India winning Gold each time in the last four games, reminding of the great indian hockey juggarnaut which used to happen in dhyan chand era.



Yesteday India clinched its second Gold with Pankaj Advani lifting the gold in billiards defeating compatriot Ashok Shandilya. India with only 11 medals is lying at 7th place, minnows Kazakhstan are way up with 7 gold at 4th.

In swimming its neck to neck between China and Japan with Japan ranked one on total count and china one when considered gold medals(2 more then japan). In shooting where India was expected to garner rich haul of medals after a splended performance in commonwealth games is lying 4th with only 7 medals way behind China( 33) , Kaz (16), Korea(16).

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image from http://www.dohaasiangames.org/ uploaded from http://www.riya.com

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

sports review -part1

This is my first Blog...last few days were quite interesting for the whole sports fraternity.India's awesome performance in South Africa,England faces reality test in Australia,Asif-Shoib once again proving true an old saying "Every law has a flaw", Barca facing the test of the season so early in the season and lastly Sania Mirza creating more headlines than the whole Asian games contingent.
Starting with our national obsession(mine too) Cricket, i just keep on wondering wat the hell has happened...last season we were chasing everything...and now we are not even batting our full quota of overs and suddently an image flashes in front of my eyes of Yuvraj singh gettin bowled by Dwayne Bravo slower full toss.I still feel that defeat is hurting us..even after so many other defeats..The Greatness Of The Character is How u bounce back from a setback and I think we just lag in that department...coming to greatness aussies show us why they r considered as best in the business ...that ashes defeat hurts them and hurts them badly...they just galloped the England In the first Test and then stage a remarkable comeback to win 2nd test too...

so lets leave it here for now...today night its barca vs Bremen and i have a gut feeling that those people who will be watching this match live(not me offcourse) will be in for some great piece of Footballing action.

Koneru Bags First Gold for India




Koneru Humpy won the first Gold for India in the Asian Games in the rapid fire swiss category in the first time introduced chess competition. Humpy, 19, defeated Dana Aketayeva of Kazhakstan, her ninth and final-round opponent, to grab the gold medal. In another shocking event indian tennis stars were defeated by the Chinese Taipei players 1-2.

Team was expected to win a few medals. Earlier in the day in men hockey team crushed the bangladesh team 6-0 with Tirkey scoring the hatrick.


Chinese are dominating the games with 38 golds till now almost half of the gold medals given. India is 9th with 1 Gold , 3 Silver and 2 Bronze. Image: http://www.dohaasiangames.org/



In other events Japan football team was really close to set a new Asian Games record, when they trashed Jordan 13-0 in the women's competition. The result is the third-highest winning margin in the history of the competition. Only China (16-0 against India) and North Korea (15-0 against Thailand) have registered higher scores.

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Doha 2006 to officially start today


Biggest ever asian games Doha 2006 will officially start today with a spectacular opening ceremony. The ceremony will last for around three hours and twenty minutes and is directed by the man responsible for the sydney olympic ceremony. IOC president Dr JAcques Rogge will be a guest of honour including various other personalities.

The 15th edition will have around 10000 athletes competiting in 39 disciplines and fighting for around 3000 medals. Last time India finished 7th with 11 golds and 36 medals in total, this time we can expect some increase in medal tally with shooting, chess, kabaddi, cue being our strenghts.

China has landed a big contingent with 70% of the athletes competiting for the first time in a big event, this is all done to give them exposure for the 2008 olympics.



Official Site Doha2006



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