Monday, December 17, 2007

Hail the Indian Cricket League (ICL)

It started with nobody giving any thought to it but slowly as it progressed it gathered momentum and i am sure the TRP's for the semis and finals must be very high.

It came it showed and it conquered finally


  • People will watch cricket if its played competitively stars don't make hell of a difference, Lara failed and as the tournament progressed Indian players rose and showed their caliber. Now I know a lot of players thiru kumaran, abas ali and many more who I would never have known had they languished under the BCCI.
  • Hats of the Chandigarh and Panchkula people who came in large numbers in every match in this chilling winter, it again showed indian people will support cricket by anybody if its good.
  • ICL is a good platform for those products and companies who cannot spent exorbitantly for marketing and advertising purposes, I expect more products to come in the future events and being city centric the companies of that particular cities can market themselves
  • It gave a new meaning to advertising and marketing , fashion show between the innings in the finals, movies promos like Sunday team was there in the finals, previously Dus Kahaniya team was there.
  • Learning experience for ex-cricketers who were coaches for the 6 teams and the results were visible in the splendid fielding done by the lads awesome catches and run outs. Hats off to the spirit :).
  • I felt very bad when Chandigarh lost as I could co-relate to the team , being from haryana living in noida , cities team concept is good. I am sure the teams would increase slowly we can expect Lucknow Nawabs, Pune Hunks, Ahmedabad Rockies.
  • Hats of to the Essel group for bringing such a good panel of umpires, commentators and specially Whitney.
  • Now about the dancers, I observer them growing fatter day be day :) all thanks to the Punjabi food they must be relishing the Indian experience.
  • Big pat on the back for the whole team for success of the tournament.
  • Calendar Year 2008 (from ICL website)

    S.No Month Tournament Particulars
    1. February 08 Domestic Championship 50 Over tournament Indian players to play
    2. February – March 08 Triangular Series to field ICL XI. 20 20 Over Tournament
    3. March – April 08 ICL Grand Championship 20 20 Over Tournament 8 Teams to participate in the tournament. Increase of 2 Teams.
    4. April – May 08 ICL to Open Academies in prominent cities.
    5. September – October 08 ICL Invitation Cup 20 20 Over Tournament 8 Teams to participate in the tournament
    6. November – December 08 ICL 20 20 Indian Championships 2nd Edition. 20 20 Over Tournament 8 Teams to participate in the tournament.

Work to be done

  • We need more grounds, I hope now ICL would be able to get more grounds and I think ICL can play a leading role in spreading the cricket to far off places in India, we normally have stadiums in every city and that can be uplifted for playing cricket and the crowd is sure to come, I remember 2-3 years back in my native city Hisar Asian Junior Boxing Championship was organized and I was shocked to see the crowd going to watch that. Play some matches in East India in Assam, play some in Orissa. Spread ICL spread cricket, if England can have 3-4 football leagues India can have many cricket leagues.
  • Reachability of the Zee Sports has to be increased , more the eyes watching the better it is.
  • Spread it outside India, i have written it before also, go to Pakistan, go to Sri lanka , go to Bangladesh and even bring one team of native Asian community with some england players from South Hall UK and even one from USA. It will take time but there is lot of scope
Special Hats Off to the one and only one Legend Kapil Dev who is not working just to earn money and filling the coffers like the other greats of Indian cricket are doing, i don't want to name them but you could guess easily.


Meanwhile Arsenal Won vo hoooooooooooo
Khali Lost watched today morning on IndiaTV to a 49 year old lad, felt sad :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Australia Tour : What should be the playing eleven

Sachin is batting like his good old days, dada is scoring centuries , laxman there can be no doubt ever at his abilities the wall dravid can never be out of form for long , yuvraj has joined the party even pathan has scored century with such form who would say that we can loose.

But this is all true in subcontinent what will happen in Australia a month will tell and i am waiting anxiously for Aussies series this time I am not saying words like this is the last chance like the media hyped during the world cup 2007 but we stand a decent chance not good though.

Let's analyze

Openers: who will open karthik is struggling in scoring runs jaffer is certainty, yuvraj is banging for place in the playing 11 so who will open with Jaffer, perhaps the selectors will ask dravid to open giving reason that he normally bats at number 3 so one position will not affect, but you cannot expose the best player of the team so early to the opposition like Australia remember the last tour it was only because of the start given by akash chopra and sehwag that we were able to score above 400 runs in good number of innings.

But most probable opening stand looking so far

now whom to send one down sending sachin one down is not good ploy he is a shaky started all knows that and when the pitch is having moisture in the early one hour you are exposing another top class player too early.

Best bet can be Laxman



Now coming to bowlers

Zaheer , sreesanth , rp singh is injured, i wish they recover early and are ready for the tour. From Sreesanth I am expecting exploits downunder they will go after him and will surely give them wickets and first of all he is a good pace bowler in SA he showed that and in Australia he can be evil a mix of agression and pace will do the work.

RP Singh

But pathan is also bowling good so if one of the bowler is not fit Pathan should be taken but in first test sreesanth should be given chance.

It all depends on start in Australia if we get a good start we will get to their never, their bowling attack is not that lethal now and the way indian team is scoring runs though in India but it must have given the players confidence for the australian tour.

Lets get used to the habit of waking up early in the morning nowadays if we want to watch the series of the year.

What say you guys is this the best playing eleven available and what about the order also ?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Something to Write

It's been a long long time since I have written anything, no not anything , anything except code. In the initial days Luthra kept egging us on to write something but now even he has got into the habit of writing only Code. Now since I have got no body to motivate me, I remember the words of one of our Professor – Self – motivation, ya self motivation is the word. So here I am trying to put something which makes some sense.
Last time I wrote I think it was after Wimbledon, some 5 month back. So I will try to recount all those events which occur in these months.
Cricket –we won the world Cup, what a tournament that was, that victory was the clear reflection of new India, bold, fearless and in your face attitude. But that victory gives rise to another debate, seniors vs. juniors, which is quite a natural thing corresponding to the fact that it was the youth which brought glory to our country. But do u think that Sachin Tendulkar is not among the best 11 players. Well I cant imagine an Indian team without Sachin, may be I am biased, but for me he alone is the man who is responsible for the growth of cricket. For my generation the image of Tendulkar Cover drive will always be the first one which comes to our mind, when the topic of Cricket comes up. And as far as Indian Cricket is concerned best is to enjoy it and then forget it. Leave the analyzing and dissecting part to India TV and AajTak Experts. They will definitely find out who is “Match ka Muzrim” .
Tennis – the only new finding of the past quarter Roger Federer can be defeated and that too by a 35 year old man. But that man is one Pete Sampras. Man that guy at 35 can still play, and play well to defeat Federer. Roddick hasn’t done that for I don’t know how many years. Well I would strongly suggest USTA to contact him for Davis Cup final against Russia. There is no way he will ever lose against the likes of Daveydenko and company. Other than that FedEx was quite awesome, you just cant hate that guy , you will want the other guy to win but still you will never want him to lose, and in most of the other cases it’s the second feeling which get the better of the first.
Football – beautiful game is it?? Arsene Wenger young lad shows us it’s still a beautiful game. Fabregas,Hleb,Rosicky,van persie make us forget certain Thierry Henry. Arsenal right now is at top , but this time surely the league is much more interesting with anyone of the big 4 having good chance of lifting the cup. And one more thing we wont be able to Stevei G and Wayne Rooney in next years Euro.
So my crap comes to an end. Do I miss something ya one thing Chak De India !! wonderful movie desi do write something on that….


Thursday, November 29, 2007

ICL : Beginning of a new ERA

Tomorrow a new chapter will be written in the history of cricket in India, when the monopoly of the most mismanaged highly bureaucratic and run by the same politicians who have ruined this nation in short BCCI will be challenged with the opening game of the ICL between Chandigarh Lions and Delhi Jets . Lot of people are saying that the launch of BCCI's IPL have taken away the craze or hype or motive from the ICL but in my opinion in a big country like India there is a scope for 2-3 cricket leagues.

Lots of sponsors have gone away at the last moment but these initial glitches are bound to take place whenever a new thing is started. The league will be a learning platform for the youngsters who have decided to leave the tent of monopolistic BCCI and join the ICL. All the 6 teams have got players of awesome reputation as the coach also.

jerseys of the teams

These is a lot of scope for the ICL, it can be expanded to the subcontinent. There will be lot of players in the pakistan who will be game for ICL same is the case in lanka and bangladesh. I see the number of teams like Lahore Warriors, Karachi Champs , Dhaka Tigers and Colombo Rambos coming in few years and even more teams because there are lot of cricket players in the subcontinent who deserve more then what they are getting now. One would say that without stars nobody would watch them play, in my opinion there are lot of fans of the game in the world who would watch the young players become stars, many of us watch the county twenty20 cricket and we enjoy the matches.

With great Kapil Dev at the helm there is no doubt that the ICL's 3D strategy of Discovery, Diligence and Display succeeds will succeed.

Now coming to the launch, its expected to be a gala event. Business tycoons like Anil Ambani filmstars Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan are expected to grace the ocassion and with Zee deciding the telecast 30 minutes of game in every zee channel I would be able to watch the game :)

img: from ICL website

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good Luck Kumble

Though a bit late as the test has already been started but still better late then never, we wish good luck to kumble for his first test as captain.
We at penthegame were the first one to predict that ' kumble will be made captain' because we always believed that kumble deserve more then what he has been given till now.
In the poll conducted we got 199 votes though there were some hard core dada fans polling for him many times.
I believe that series against pakistan will be cakewalk for the Indians as Pakistani team is missing the aggression required to win the series.
Regular meetings between the two teams is slowly deteriorating the passion which used to be there when India Pakistan used to meet.

Real test for kumble will come in the series against Australia and I am eagerly waiting for that series.

Will write about the ICL soon :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bhains Ki Taang, We Won!!!

It was the Great Indian Wet Dream, having an India-Pakistan WorldCup final, and surely proved to be one. Starting with the resolution this tournament has been quite up on its sex quotient. This was twenty twenty is all about, its what Sex and Violence do to frigid cinema, its all about adding that extra much needed masala to a great game going through its worst phase after a uber-boring World Cup and suppa-disappointing Champion's Trophy last year.

It hits back badly on purists, most notably the well known Greg Chappell, last employed on the post of decimator of Indian Cricket Team, the one who thought Tendulkar lacked attitude and skill, Pathan is always low on confidence and I won't mention what he did to my favourite cricketer Dada. According to that guy this is just hitting, I just pity him now that this team which doesn't include his favourite player Suresh Raina (wtf) won the world Cup without the coach.

Match Day

Superstitions, a Mallu Star, a Mazdur and a back in Form Pathan

Venue- Quark's Den
Edibles- Veg Puffs, thums Up, Some Desi Namkeen, Some Haldiram stuff and those cheesy chips by Lays (which give me a nauseating hit)

Match started on a poor note, our Match routine which involved,

  • a can of Kingfisher for the quark.
  • a bottle of Knock Out again for quark.
  • a bottle of Fosters/Budweiser for Daisy. ( no Fosters in Australian Match)
  • Mast Mirchi Bhajji worth Rs.15.00

was missing. As if this was not enough our sitting arrangements were much more varied then the previous ones and I think that lead ton India's debacle.

Although the Pakistani Bowling was superb. Main mast moments were the opening sequence(run out appeal against Yusuf Pathan), six hit again by him and Rohit Sharma's mast knock. I like this guy because his favourite dish is Kanda Poha which his family was telling the recipe on AajTak. I love Poha(also called Pouva someweher). Just one of many reasons why I simply adore Shara-Pova ;-)...

The second one was the real thing, RP was up right from the word go, it just took an innovative profanity(read Mayawati ka Bhai) to generate that spark and make him pick up the first wicket.

Sreesanth according to me was the real match winner for us, offlate we have compared him to a dangai (rowdy or something, the one involved actively in riots) who can't even throw stones properly. They are all over the place. The Mallu Star is as unpredictable as one could get. Ok he is a match winner if can bowl well, but that rarely happens as it happened against Australia. But I don't really see him out of the team too. surely we have next Ajit Agarkar ready.

Anyway in case these kinds of bowlers are more popularly known as Rhythm bowlers, who bowl when they are Rhythm, utter crap, even I can bowl 6 yorkers an over if I am in Rhythm. Also I think Agression is OK as long as you have stuff within, a samosa without aloo can't even become a papdi.

So such a bowler didn't even hear to all the profanities flying all around the room like charms were in Howgarts (refer final few chapters The Deathly Hallows). In came a new idea to call on Sankatmochan and a round of Hanauman Chalisa brought calm and produced a maiden and another good over.

Similar chants were fixed for each and every bowler,

  • Irfan- Jai Dada, with dashes of Jai Dona-Dada
  • Sreesanth- Hanuman Chalisa
  • Bhajji- Nothing really worked, we tried everything from Jai Siddhu to Jai Monty Panessar to Jai Bhajji himself.
  • Joginder- Main Mazdur mujhe devo ki basti se kya- "Ramdhari Singh Dinkar". Refer Bal Bharti NCERT, Class VII. It seems people identified him as a Mazdur from that poem.

We were damn superstitious with sitting arrangements fixed, a particular person locked inside a room and me diving at every lofted bowl to the foot of TV stand.

Anyway all this crap somehow worked till the deadly bhajji over and then it were the Indians who won the game. Although I should Pakistanis were an awesome side. Misab is surely the new age Miandad (he almost did a name change from Joginder to Chetan...)

The end would have been surely a disastrous one, all the mantras failed in final four overs, so our brave Sreesanth didn't find his Rhythm and jerked of few forgettable ones. He took a wicket later with a sensible one. RP's next over was again a mast one.

Then came the final one, I have backed Joginder throughout this tournament, according to me belongs to the league of Gavin Larsen/Chris Harris kinda bowlers who can suck of the runs in the middle overs for opposition by their slow line length bowling. Although when his first wide happened, I thought its over, and then a six and it WAS over.

The End couldn't have been this bigger, bigger than the Jim Morrison the end or a Hindi Cinema The End. Or much ironical as Sreesanth held on to an awesome catch (whatever it be it was still awesome for me). In the words of one of my friends company mate,

Misbah thought he was sending the ball to a place where there was no one. He did not know that there is a Malayali in every corner of the world!!!

Anyhow no qualms against Sreesanth as of now, he is the part of the best cricketing moment we ever witnessed. Pathan's comeback has been the most delightful thing which happened, amazing comeback to prove his strength as a bowler and fowl all attempts made by Chappel to destroy his career. Also RP has been awesome throughout the tournament. all in all our bowling looked nice and quite non-scrappy.

What we witnessed was the Best Blue Film ever with 11 Men in Blue completely You-Know-What the pakistanis...

Post Match

It was surreal, completely unbelievable, we were dancing, hugging each other, the neighbours and their kids came out to the balconies, everyone was dancing running around, firecrakcers all around, millions of SMS's being sent around. And when Dhoni lifted the Cup, it was just so GREAT.

Shoaib Malik's post match comments etc...hmm, they were extremely disappointingly. I won't reiterate the same but with so much ire back home it must have been something to avoid it. Pakistan has always been my favourite team when it comes to any tournament (obviously after India) and the only thing I sometimes not so like about them is the importance religion takes in the proceedings. Cricket is the last thing we want to be hampered by such differences. Also I think that it would be better if players are allowed to speak in language of their own choice, it avoids confusion and players can speak out what they feel properly. With Ravi Shastri up their a normal conversation could have been struck and maybe what Shoaib actually wanted to say would have been much more clearer. Even French, Russians, Chinese etc. do it in every game, I think Cricket should get past its colonial hangover of English usage.

Aur Main Ban Gaya Dhoni!!!

Dhoni is here to stay, after Dada he looks the only guy who suits the job. Dravid's captaincy should be forgotten as a pathetic phase in Indian Cricket(though I don't have anything against Dravid the batsman). Dhoni is calm on field, he TALKS, shows less of emotional jhol jhaal, has loads of ads under his tummy (he too has one) and quite unlike most of the Captain brigade he is much more fit.

He has lead India to its greatest victory after 83 world Cup, the first big Indian victory in my life span and many others. Add to that the batting by Yuvraj and comeback of Pathan and you egt the best three things to India this World Cup.

What Next???

Nothing let us roll our Aussies in India, about Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar I won't comment much, but for people already starting to shout in favour me not so much in agreement with them.

All in all a great victory and a moment to cherish throughout our lifetime. But all this makes the next year for me and few of my friends so much difficult following celibacy as fallout of the victory.

Never mind anything for the country...:)

Pics from WorldTwentyTwenty

Technorati Tags: Cricket, TwentyTwentyWorldCup, Final, India, Pakistan, Dhoni

Shoaib Malik and his remarks

First of all, I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world,” Malik said at the awards ceremony on Monday night.
This comment cannot be attributed to the poor english of the pakistani captain but this was intentional.

Islamist pakistani cricket team this is what I can interpret from this statement. Earlier the team under Inzy used to show its religious side by praying on the field and doing other Islamic rituals but now they have openly declared that they only play for Islam.

How will Dinesh Kaneria , Iftikar Rao and other not Muslim players react to this i don't know. Above all this statement has shown that sentiments of people of other religions who support their cricket team have no value.

Shoaib Malik your please remember that India has more Muslims that your country. Though there is no gainsaying that many muslims in India support the pakistani cricket team. Many time my colleagues who stay near Jama Masjid area have told me how the muslims play crackers when India looses. When Pakistan defeated the NZ in the semis sweets were distributed in the area. When you congratulate a Muslim (not all but there are few like this) on India victory they will feel sad.

But I reckon these unpatriotic people to be very few in India the supporters of the India will be far more then those not supporting.

This islamic sentiments and jehadi feelings will surely lead the whole pakistan to doom few years down the line. You don't have a political stability you allow militants to grow in your county. Though under General Pervez your country has grown because of his dictatorship but the same militants who were allowed to grow as they had to attacks other nations will attack your country in few years and spell doom.

You represent your self as a Islamist first not as a pakistani and this is the real difference between you and us. (Chak De !!!) The Indian team members see themselves as Indian first then from different states and the religion would be the least in their mind I am sure.

Cricket Unites India and Cricket has now Divided the unsecularized Pakistan

Hail the Team and Hail the Indians

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Awards Now

Awards are being announced each hour since the team won the World Cup. Apart from the hefty cash prize by the ICC prizes are pouring in from all the corners of India.

  • My state government (Haryana) has been the most generous announcing 21 Lakhs for Joginder Sharma
  • Delhi lads Gambhir and Sehwag will be given 5 Lakhs each by Delhi Government
  • RP Singh 10 Lakhs UP Government
  • Sreesant 5 Lakhs
  • Agarkar and Rohit Sharma 10 Lakhs each
  • Uthappa 5 Lakhs
  • Dhoni has been awarded Jharkhand Ratna by his state government

Gujarat CM has not offered any congratulations and not announced any awards because the Pathan brothers are Muslims and his hindu vote bank might be affected in the coming elections.
Tamil Nadu government is also quite because they are busy in launching their channel and agitating against the sethu issue.

Now BCCI has also opened its coffers 2 million dollars for the team and One crore for Yuvraj and a sports car promised by vice president Lalit Modi.

You deserve all this but be generous and give some to Misbah who gave you the cup in the last moment :)

img: cricketNext

India comes to PARTY!!!

ChakDe took another toll on Indian junta as India lifted Inaugural Tournament of World T20 championship.

The contest couldn't be more match would have witnessed more turning points, lesser to mention there couldn't be a final more closer than this. Nobody can single-out an individual effort, as it was an altogether India's party who held their nerve in this there-couldn't-be-more-surprises encounter, and came out victorious & worthy of the occasion.

The bunch of youngsters had their high-time learning moment in South Africa, as the whole world witnessed them coming out of shell under the inspired leadership of Mahinder Singh Dhoni who has helped India reignite that fire that we once saw in Dada's men. Regarded as one of the weakest combination in the tournament, supposedly these boys had nothing to loose. Not only they have defied their critics, the whole nation couldn't be more proud of them as they retained their supremacy over Pakistan twice in the tournament. Shoaib Malik's side who looked like another good team into making after their dismal show in 2007 WC (ala India), showed a better character and were a deserving second-best in the tournament.

Even a 1000 words or 1000 pictures would be less to define this nail-biting encounter between the teams who eliminated (South Africa, Australia) & (New Zealand, Sri Lanka) apiece on their way to the finals. And what a match---where Asif started with his normal routine of taking wickets (Point-to-Mention, Yousuf Pathan got off the mark after hitting him for SIX)---Gambhir composure helped him anchor the innings in the middle order using some lightening footwork---Hafeez restricting Yuvraj (who went without hitting a six today [plus] strike rate < 100)---Gul taking out late scalps with his consistent yorkers---Rohit Sharma again providing a cameo burst of late.

But Dhoni's men meant only business today. Not wanting to be left behind, Pakistan innings witnessed many if-else moments. Rudra was at his nominal best as he got rid of Hafeez n Akmal early---But this doesn't stop Nazir who carried an injury from semis agains NZ and was denied the runner two balls before he was run-out---followed by dollies from Joginder Sharma being left away by Younus before himself giving one to Yousuf Pathan---then some decent shuffling of pace n spin from Irfan Pathan to get rid of Afridi especially (in the same over in which Shoaib Malik also departed)---then came one defining moment when Misbah-Ul-Haq hit Bhajji for 3 sixes in an over followed by Tanvir hitting another 2 off Sreesanth in next over. Dhoni played his trump card with RP Singh bowling penultimate over to reduce Pakistan to 9 wickets followed by Joginder Sharma with only 13 needed off last over. He was hit for a six off full toss and then came that scoop which could have been a four off even Bhajji but with that over pitch delivery from Joginder Sharma sans pace rise high in the air and even cameraman expected it to reach the boundary as he kept his camera high but it landed safely in the hands of Sreesanth who started (rather restarted) the joy among Indian camp as they all celebrated this occasion by doing a lap of honour around the ground carrying Indian flags high.

There couldn't be a better turning point.
Misbah Wicket Twenty20 Final India Vs Pakistan Video Clip

The tournament also proved to be fruitful for the comeback trio of Sehwag-Bhajji-Pathan. Now is the time to let go off the fireworks, champagne all around, big hit slogans before it gets down convincingly among Indian camp as they are deservingly crowned as Champions today against a really good show being put up by their neighbours. Hope this win helps India secure a better future of Indian Cricket, as we treasure this one for the rest of our lives (ala Dhoni).

Images: cricinfo
Videos: dipvid
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Pen The Game's Resolution

Cricket is back and whatever have been the debates going around this blog all of us want Indian team to go and win the the Twenty-Twenty World Cup. For Indian team to win it has to play, and play better than it has done anytime in the past year. But all we can do is pray.

So all of us at Pen The Game take the resolution that if India wins the Twenty Twenty World Cup, all the members of this blog would follow Celibacy for the next one year. For those who don't understand what this means Celibacy refers to the act of Sexual Abstinence and we are surely doing it if Indian team win the tournament. Ronaldo did it for Football World Cup, and it worked, we are doing it for Cricket and our Country.
Let us all pray for the Indian team in whatever way possible, the evil of Chappell is gone, the days of hope are here.

Go India Go...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Speculations are rife for the result that is not far. The D-Day is here n the situation is nothing less that Do or Die for India (like it has ever been..ha). Group E will see its most eventful day which is also its second last one since its inception last Sunday. No less bored I have been now reading previews n reviews, its time to sit back, analyse the points table, predict each ones fate and stand up. Don't be surprised, because thats all the time u gonna get while New Zealand takes on South Africa as I m writing this, and India enters into business with England while I get my first reader :P

So it could have been anybody's match (NZ vs Eng) yesterday before Shane Bond came up with that decisive spell rooting 3 wickets spanning just 5 balls. With Kiwis almost qualified for a berth in Semi Finals (2 wins out of 2), Proteas are not gonna have any stone unturned to clear any doubts on their chance. Being at home is an advantage or not, that is left for them to decide.

// myteam = "IND"
// otherTeam1 = "NZ"
// otherTeam2 = "SAF"
// otherTeam3 = "ENG"
teams[] guessQualifiers() {
    if(whoWins("NZ", "SAF") is "NZ") {
        if(whoWins("IND", "ENG") is "IND") {
            if(whoWins("IND", "SAF") is "IND") {
                return ["NZ", "IND"];
            else {
                return ["NZ", "SAF"];
        else {
            if(whoWins("IND", "SAF") is "IND") {
                //ambiguous, will be decided on NRR.
            else {
                return ["NZ", "SAF"];
    else {
        if(whoWins("IND", "ENG") is "IND") {
            if(whoWins("IND", "SAF") is "IND") {
                //ambiguous, will be decided on NRR.
            else {
                return ["NZ", "SAF"];
        else {
            return ["NZ", "SAF"];

team whoWins(team1, team2) {
    // returns the winning team

So as we see here, things are not looking good for India out here, with only one realistic and two outside chances to qualify for a place in semis. But given the history that this team has, the heart of this sensitive blogger still lies where it has always been without listening to his brain. So here we are, hands joined (may be biting our nails as well), praying, and let the better teams qualify (with India among them :P), and the AIDS campaign ambassadored by all participating nation be a success.

ps] In god we trust, rest we test. The Algorithm hasn't undergone any QA cycle yet, so no prizes for catching any bugs :P. Though logging them here would be no less appreciated ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Captain Saga

Rumors are rife in the market regarding Sachin being made the test captain and dhoni the ODI captain. Captaining the Indian cricket team is one of the toughest job in the world because of the pressure it brings with it.
Dravid has resigned and I respect his decision a lot, infact it is a good slap on the mismanaged BCCI. They might have kicked him after a year or two, so a good decision time for him to enjoy his game and try to win the series downunder.

So now what options we have

Saurav Ganguly : Both for ODI and Test
Pros : One of the most successful captain of India
Very aggressive

Cons: Captaincy can effect his form
Doesn't have the respect from the players which was there 3-4 years earlier

Should say no for captaincy if offered and let his record of most successful captain stay intact


Pros: Has huge respect from the team
Can lead from front with his fine batting

Cons: Past 2 failures

He has said no to the ODI captaincy but I think he is ready for Tests captaincy. In the past 2 occasions this role affected his batting, he should not take the role of captain and with the last tour of Australia of all the three stalwarts he should try to end on a winning note i.e a series victory in Australia.

Kumble : For Tests

Pros: Real Fighter bigger then the above three you all will agree
Team man
Has not been given his due for the services he has done for the Indian cricket

Cons : I don't find any

Kumble should be made the Test captain in my opinion

Laxman can be the dark horse but his batting form is a big drawback

Now ODIs'

Dhoni :

Pros: Age .. can lead India for the coming 6-7 years

Cons: Inexperience (though Smith was also made when he was 21)
His batting (I doubt he can win matches for India outside India)


Pros: Age
Batting.. for the past 1.5 years he has shown fine batting display so can lead from front

Cons: Not a permanent player in test side ... but we should understand that when the stalwarts
will retire he will be the backbone of India in Test cricket

I am not able to understand why his name is not being considered

Yuvraj for ODI and Kumble for Tests from my side

Share your views ...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reply to Luthra

luthra.......first I wanted to put this as a comment....but then I decided to post it since its too long....and also we are not getting too many posts these days :D

i agree cricket needs to be globalized.....i know we need to attract masses....I understand that cricket needs more money.......but there are certain things that we cannot afford to compromise........When I talk to the Americans here about cricket, they are like "5 days for a match!!!"......but what the hell and who cares.....We cant play that baseball.....

You know what even I was looking forward to this tournament....and I was really enjoying when Gayle flicked Pollock over mid-wicket for a six......he did it again....and i loved it even more......and again.....this time to Ntini....and again.....and again....and again.....i could not enjoy it anymore....we were about to switch our laptops off......but Gayle was so close to his we continued to watch......not with much interest though.....switched our laptops off after Gayle reached his century......

seriously....i was watching the match with a few friends here.....and they shared the same feelings....I hope few of you guys will agree with me on that....

The same thing happened in the second innings......and we switched our laptops off a the end of arround 10th over.....

One thing, I dont know if its good or bad, it bridges the gap between the good and bad teams......Zim beat Aus today......Its obvious that the shorter the game gets the more upsets there will day Germany might beat India by 5 wickets and Pakistan might lose to Finland.......
And this might attract more Fins and Germans to play there are a few positives.....but I think the negetives outscore the positives.......

If we have twenty20 for globalization of sport......why not have a test world cup......may be i am going over the line a bit.......since test world cup may not be possible.......but I hpe you understand my feelings....

So, my conclusion would be that the twenty20 world cup is a good idea for globalization.....but it cant be a scale on which to judge teams......

But we all know, whatever happens in this twent20 world cup, who ever wins it......the best team in the world will still be Australia......

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cricket has Reborn

Alok really nice post

But I don't totally agree with you. Cricket can never me murdered though this Twenty20 is driven mostly by commercialization and to spread this game to hugely profitable markets like USA.

But you should understand that with time we need to evolve continuously i.e. we need to modify and change the rules to suit the game for the interests of crowd/audience, see how the off side rule in hockey was scrapped even football has seen major changes to make it more fast and attacking. If we don't accept change the game in this case or in general case the interest will die.

Take for example the case of Sanskrit language, the language didn't excepted the change i.e. if you pick Sanskrit of today and compare it with that of 100 years ago you will find very less change and this has lead to its downfall, how many people do you know who speak the oldest language.

You said temperament will not be tested mind games will not be played if you had watched yesterday's first game you must have seen how Smith was mobilizing his fielders when gayle was on a rampage, Twenty20 game will bring more alertness agility and will demand more from the captains, there is no doubt in my mind that Twenty20 will overtake the 50 over format soon.

But alok cricket will never die, if a player is a good test player he will be a good player in ODI and even Twenty20. Test cricket will always be there for the die hard cricket fans but I agree will you that the coming generation will not like the test cricket this is similar to kids liking King Khan more then the Big B.
Alok said
I used to love the game. Not sure anymore.
Wait till the whole tournament gets over.

But I am sure you will agree that 50over was getting boring, this format will bring in more countries and expand the cricket. In this flat world you cannot ignore the globalization and cricket has to be globalized and Twenty20 is the way which can do that.
Otherwise it will remain the favorite of only those people who have 8-10 hours free to watch the game and in future nobody will have that time even now we don't have enough time


Obituary of Cricket

Sorry Luthra. I dont agree with you.

Its a sad occassion and the world seems to be celebrating. Driven by the large potential for money minting and provinding entertainment to masses, a beautiful (gentleman's) game called cricket has been murdered brutally by so called harbingers of the sport that to some was more than a religion. Sport that in its subtleties is much more than just hitting the ball has been reduced precisely to that.

No more mind games, no more temperament being tested, and no more application of the 'real' technique. I pity those who used the statement "what a leave !". Sadly we wont hear that ever again. You better return back to the pavillion. We cannot afford a dot ball. Its no more a game of setting yourself in and reading the situation. There is no situation. Its only about how well you can take the shine off that spherical leather object. Keep hitting or get lost. We also used to hear a statement " What a great batsman, really puts a heavy price tag on his wicket ". Haha ! no more. Its sheer stupidity. There's no concept of 'throwing' your wicket away anymore. Its just the rule of the game. Batsmen can live happily. No more blames for playing a rash shot. Its all they have to play. "Get your body behind the ball" wont be appreciated anymore. I guess, all the coaching manuals have to be re-written now. Spinners might well be an extint species in the world of cricket. The next generation wouldn't even know what a flighted delivery is, nobody would tech them. Never leave a delivery. Forget the sound of willow of that solid forward/backfoot defence. Who the hell tries to play straight!! "Elbow straight and body behind the line" stop kidding !! .. and so on.

Cricket will die soon. Transition from test to one-dayers and now 20 20. I love the play on the wearing down 4th day pitch. I love the 1st session with batsmen showcasing an art of leaving the ball. Get through the initial spell of pacers moving the ball. How each day of a test match was a battle in iteslf. A battle of techniques, mind and application.
Alas! coming generations might not even know that a cricket match lasted for 5 days! How experts used to comment "see through the spell of new ball". Now that is what all is left. No more specialist openers, no more specific players at specific positions. No more spinners, no more flight. A highly reduced commentator's lexicon "Thats a biggie and here's another one". That's all what's left.

I used to love the game. Not sure anymore.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Let the Twenty20 party begin

Cheer Girls , beers , loud music and much more we can expect when the Twenty20 carnival begins today in South Africa. This day will mark the beginning of new era in cricket, Kerry Packer revolutionized the cricket in 1977 bringing in colored clothing, day-night matches and stump microphone.

Till now the Twenty20 was taken lightly as time pass game as you can see in the image which is the first Twenty20 international match between Aus and NZ

But when the cup is at stake you cannot expect any one to be complacent. This world cup will not be like the WestIndies failure where the stand were empty because of high ticket prices set by ICC , tickets are cheap here in South Africa and almost all are sold out.

There is still doubts as to whether who brought this mini version of ODI - South Africa or England, but South Africans reckon themselves way ahead of others as they have a Pro20 league running in the 4th year now. We don't worry for that its a win win situation for cricket to spread to new areas like USA , China etc.

People expected that the test cricket will loose its significance with the advent of 50 over ODIs, but they were proved wrong as the ODI format also did wonders to the test as the team played fast as in ODI mode and we were seeing lot more results in the tests. But this Twenty20 cricket has the full capability the lessen the significance of 50 overs matches.
There is excitement in it, there are sixes and fours and this is what the crowd want. This fact is proven by the packed houses in the South African Pro20 and English Twenty20 championships.

But the format is yet to come to the commercial capital of cricket which is India and if it is hit in India then you know we can expect more tight scheduling by the ICC with more and more Twenty20 matches being incorporated. Ideally this should not happen, but this is not the time to talk stuff like this.

Now is the time to cut loose and enjoy the spirit of cricket
Get your popcorns pizzas etc near your seat for the 3 hour matches and 3 matches a day in many cases.

This time India is not in the favorite who ever win but one thing is for sure we all will enjoy this World Cup :)

Match Schedule
Official Site

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chak Diya India Ne

In a rarest of rarest delight for Indian football fans India lifted the Nehru cup after defeating Syria a very high ranked team 39 places to be precise (another rare for India). This is the first time India has lifted the Nehru cup in total 13 attempts.

All are saying that the face of Indian football will change with this, I don't think this even in my dreams.

Era of Indian football when it came 4th in Olympics in 1956 will never come back in the coming 60-70 years I am damn sure about it. But all kudos to the coach Bob Houghten for doing such good work for Indian football.

p.s This is the 200th post though posts in the past month has decreased considerably as all are busy but still we have crossed the 200 barrier in less than a year time

Thursday, August 16, 2007

60 Years in 60 Words

All about Indian Sports , last 6 decades

  1. P.T. Usha ,
  2. Jeev Milkha Singh,
  3. Bishen Singh Bedi,
  4. Gundappa Vishwanath,
  5. Baichung Bhutia,
  6. Kapil Dev,
  7. Mohinder Amarnath ,
  8. Geet Sethi,
  9. Pankaj Advani,
  10. Sachin Tendulkar,
  11. Saurav Ganguly,
  12. Anil Kumble,
  13. Rahul Dravid,
  14. Sandip Patil ,
  15. Leander Paes,
  16. Mahesh Bhupati,
  17. Karnam Malleshwari,
  18. Sunil Gavaskar,
  19. Prakash Padukone,
  20. Viswanathan Anand,
  21. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore,
  22. Vijay Amritraj,
  23. Dhanraj Pillay,
  24. Pargat Singh,
  25. Naryan Kartikeyan,
  26. Abhinav Bindra,
  27. Anjali Bhagwat,
  28. Samresh Jung,
  29. Dinko Singh,
  30. Hawa Singh,
  31. Jyoti Randhawa
  32. Arjun Atwal,
  33. Limba Ram,
  34. Anju Bobby George
  35. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar
  36. T. C. Yohannan
  37. Gagan Ajit Singh
  38. Chetan Baboor
  39. Saina Nehwal
  40. Aparna Popat
  41. Pullela Gopichand
  42. Sania Mirza
  43. Koneru Humpi
  44. Dola Banerjee
  45. Khazan Singh
  46. Pataudi
  47. Vijay Hazare
  48. Erapalli Anatharao Prasanna
  49. Javagal Srinath
  50. Dilip Vengsarkar
  51. Kris Shrikant
  52. Kabaddi Team
  53. Jaspal Rana
  54. Mihir Sen
  55. K. Kunjarani Devi
  56. Saurav Ghoshal
  57. Khali (WWE :) )
  58. All Politicians who head the various Committees
  59. Indian Fans specially of cricket
  60. Coaches and Trainers
If i missed someone do tell me :)

As commented by saurabh I missed some important players

Ramesh Krishnan
Ramanathan Krishnan

To adjust these 3 players we have to strike out the football player and other 2 could be Saina Nehwal and Pargat Singh

Thanks saurabh :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

2 days to go!!

We are almost there.......Its the 8th of August and in a couple of days, when referee Graham Poll, puts his whistle to mouth, Tottenham and Sunderland will set the ball rolling to start off one of the most eagerly awaited English Premier League ever.

Yes, every time it looks like--"This" time is the most awaited EPL. But, to me there have never been as many contenders to the EPL. Well, speaking from my brain, I would say Chelsea are favorites--simply because of the depth in their squad. There have
been very few notable exclusions apart from Robben(Has his transfer to Madrid finalised?), and yet they have signed Florent Malouda, Sidwell, Telal Ben Haim. And I wont be surprised if Ballack and Sheva have a bigger impact this time round.

Generally, the foreign players take an year or two to settle down in the EPL. Everyone do their normal business. Terry will be a rock, Cech will be reliable as ever, Dargar,oh sorry Drogba will continue from where he left last season.....etc etc. But, to me, what puts them ahead of Man Utd is, the one year of English football experiance that Ballack and Sheva will carry. No one ever doubted the quality that these two possessed. I think these 2 are too good players to perform badly for two season in a row. (Lots of 'to's eh!!)

Manchester United to me, are second favorites, marginally behind Chelsea. While they will welcome with open arms, the Paul Collingwood of English football--Owen Hargreaves

and the highly talented Nani(I assume he is highly talented since he is from Portugal and the Brazilians speak Portugese right!!) and Pederson(was that the other guy's name?), they will be praying that their solid back four of Vidic, Fedinand, Evra and Neville carry on from where they left last season. I thought, the form and more importantly, the injury free'ness of these four was a reason often overlooked because of the huhaha behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

No doubt, Mr.Basu had a great season, but defence is such a non-glamorous part of football, that I wont blame people if they forgot the United back four.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that it is very very unlikely that these four will be as injury free as last season and hence the defence might just struggle.

Liverpool......well I thought I would leave this for Raja or Abhishek to complete. Anyway, I will make an honest attempt to assess their chances. On first sight, it looks like they are too much dependent on Gerrard. But they have made a couple of decent signings, in Babel and Benayoun. While Babel brings some fresh legs into the Liverpool strike force, Benayoun's experiance of playing in England and the

creativity he posesses might just be what Liverpool may be looking for. Solid defence and disciplined football has always been their forte, and i dont expect that to change. Like Shave and Ballack, I expect Kuyt(probably Liverpool's best player last season) to improve and the arrival of fellow dutchman, Rayen Babel, might just make him feel better. I think Torres will be a flop. Big statement?? May be. But, anyway.....lets see.

Totenham look good, with the ever improving Berbatov threatening to replace Henry as premiership's best striker. They have been improving consistently over the past few years. This might be the season, where they might break into the top four.

Last season's surprise package was Portsmouth. Remember, they were second in the league for a couple of monhts into the season. And to finish in the top 10 after almost being relegated the previous season was a commendable achievemnt. This season's surprise package could be West Ham. Yes, they have lost Tevez. But a look at their strike force of -- Bobby Zamora, Dean Ashton and Carlton Cole and the midfield of Freddie Ljungberg and Scott Parker tells me that they could be a force to reckon with. Dont be surprised if they make a top 8 finish

I will come to MY team in another post!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Van Der Sar – Man, U did it!!

Nobody was sent out, No serious injuries, No physical combats and performances at par, and thus there was dawn of the football season. Manchester United and Chelsea met at the Wembley to fight for the Community shield and the so much celebrated rivalry was revisited in a nonetheless dramatic fashion.

Chelsea was weakened by absence of the in-form-of-his-life striker Drogba and skipper Terry. And Ballack and Shevy couldn’t be spotted as well, giving chance to a lot many players to play a full length game against their famous rivals. Man U drew first blood, when in the 35th skipper Ryan Giggs put one behind the net on a Patrick Evra assist.

Chelsea came back in the game as Malouda did some exceptional work to take the ball past Van Der Sar with a left foot flick causing him a sprain in his thigh. Later he was substituted by Claudio Pizzaro.

The game went to the penalties and Van Der Sar rocked. He saved consecutive penalties shot by Claudio Pizarro, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Philips while Peter Cech wasn’t able to wall out the hits of Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney.

The victorious goal keeper told in an interview "It's a little revenge for the cup final and also gives us a boost before the start of the league. I've never saved three penalties in a row. I was 5-2 down on penalty shootouts during my career, so this makes it 5-3.”

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rhain : The Wonder Kid

He is Nine.

His shots are compared to Rooney's.

His tricks are compared to C.Ronaldo's.

He is Rhain Davis.

This Brisbane born, Australian wonder kid has been signed by Manchester United.

His grandfather sent a DVD of the youngster in action to the Premiership Champions. Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed enough to invite him to move to England and train with the club.

He is required to earn a full-time scholarship with United, which is awrded to promising 12-year old football geniuses.

Have a look at why United was impressed.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sports Updates

I would define the later half of the july as dull period for sports, one big event was the awesome European F1. I saw for the first time race being red flagged all due to the rain gods which are angry on whole of the world of sports it seems specially in Europe, England is reeling under floods first it was Wimbledon now its India-England Test Series.

But off the fields there is lot of happenings going on.

Talking about Football : Pre season tours of EPL teams are in the last stages ManU , Liverpool all came down to South East Asia and China for expanding the EPL and may be money for pre season team builds up. All thanks to the professionalism of EPL organizers who have expanded the popularity of EPL to almost whole of Asia and now its have become profitable to be compared to American NBA and NHL leagues, EPL is far ahead in terms of viewership.

Transfers is in full flow with last 2-3 days left. Tevez saga has not yet been cleared if he stays in WestHam he will be joined by another Arsenal great Freddie Ljungberg who has left Arsenal another big exit after Henry. Mourinho is trying to avoid Robben from going to Real Madrid, Kaka has made it clear that he will remain in AC Milan.

Manchester city has been brought by ex Thailand Premier Shinowatra and has pumped in 100 million dollars to Sven Erricson new manager for transfer. Big money spending is done by almost all the teams in the EPL.

Beckham made his lackluster debut in LA-Galaxy against Chelsea, he is injured and will miss the initial 2-3 matches of LA, Giri can give more updates on the Beckham from US.

In the AFC whole of Iraq has been united by its splendid performance in the competition , it has reached the finals and will face Saudi Arabia. Big teams of Asia Japan, Korea have been kicked out, even Australia has not felt that its not easy playing football in Asia as the team studded will players who play in EPL also couldn't do anything.

Indian football is also trying to improve its game, team is touring Portugal and is playing matches against League 3/2, thanks to fine display by bhutia it has won 2 matches also.

Moving over to India's religion Cricket:

Star Cricket, they are saying they have reached 75% of ESPN-Star Sports coverage, i don't know how, my cable wala is not showing it. Its not in half of haryana and many parts of UP. Cable guy said they are demanding 8 Lakhs, he said its not worth spending for test matches only as the ODI's will come on DD1 itself. Great :)

India's famed line failed again in Lords, dk has already written about that. In second test bowlers have performed well despite of rain England is on backfoot at 167/7 .

Off the field ICL is slowly bulding up. Lara is coming Warne and McGrath are also expected to join. Sportscenter rumors say Fleming has also been offered a lucrative deal to join. With the league being run by ex-players and professionals not by unknowledgable politicians in case of BCCI we can expect it to promote cricket and provide good players for Indian cricket. Some of the lashings players are also expected to join. If planned properly i feel the T20 T20 format can become very popular and we can expect like county and even like WI, T20 leagues.

T20 world cup has been launched in SA. The 13-day event will have 12 nations compete in 27 matches for one trophy. It starts from September 11 with matches being played in Johannesburg, Capetown and Durban. I am looking forward to the cup as my interest in 50 overs format is at all time low. Music, cheer boys and girls it will be all exciting. To the top of the excitement India has been placed with Pakistan in group D, other team being Scotland. Australia are in Group B along with England and Zimbabe, while hosts South Africa have been teamed up with West Indies and Bangladesh in Group A. New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Kenya constitute Group C. India play Pakistan on September 14.


Mclarean is cleared of all the charges of stealing Ferrari's documents, there will be no punishment and points deductions.

18 race calender for 2008 has been announced by FIA with two new entrants Singapore and Valencia and there will be no race in USA.

Last race was awesome though i couldn't watch the whole race, Hamilton was without points for the first time, ups and downs do happen to all. Alonso showed why he is still the best when he overcame Massa with only few laps remaining.

Kartikeyan chances of driving again for spyker were dealt a blow when Sakon Yamamoto was signed by spyker, money is the only reason seems to me as he has given around 33 crores rupees to driver the Spyker car and spyker needs money badly.

In other sports Tour De France has become Dope De France, doping has again affected the event, I reckon the event to be the toughest in the world, cycling association should take some stringent measures to stop the doping saga affecting the event every year. If Armstrong can do it 7 times without doping (though charges were also raised against him but not proved) why can't others do it.

In tennis hard court season has begun Sania is participating in tier 3/4 events and performing well. Great ..... Do you see any chances of here getting into top 10 in coming year ????

In other sports political news IOA is fighting with sports ministry over some sports policy which the ministry is framing to encourage the sports. IOA is complaining that ignoring it is unethical. Well to me the policy will not do anything IOA supremo Kalmadi who has been at the helm for the past 2 decades has done nothing and with meagre 500 crores sports budget the ministry expect to win golds!!!!! hahahhahhaha. We hire cheap coaches and many are not upto the marks , we compare ourselves to china LOL china spends millions and millions in sports and you will see China pipping USA handsomely in 2008 Olympics.

Comments expected!!!!

I have written about 4-5 sports so a small check of interest of readers

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

But It Rained...

My intense disbelief in Hindu mythology dies on many last days of Indian test matches. 23rd July 2007 was one of those days when I sit quiet praying Lord Indra. 47 years and 19 days after John Sturges came up with his classic version, protagonist Mahendra Singh Dhoni scripted 'The Great Escape' version II as India denied England victory in the first test here (i mean there) at Lord's, to most of my pleasure. And when I say India denies them, I am referring to the rain god Indra.

Before the start of this series I (optimistically) believed that rookie Englishmen will find it difficult to get the visually impenetrable Indian batting order. And you know what happened; I became a derisory element yet again. And Very Celebrated but never published non fiction called The great Indian Overseas Tragedies get yet another chapter. It's such a heavy book now that BCCI has taken up a new office to manage the space required to keep it.

In the midst of the entire hullabaloo about THE post of Indian coach, we are left stranded to find answer to basic questions regarding implementation of ground skills. But, I will not stop myself from praising RP Singh. He is promising, and I personally feel that he is an element to be nurtured for future. And one reason India failed to dominate in this test is the lack of the Kumble effect. Happens, we are all human!

RP was in great touch, and KP was in even better. Wow! Amazed by his awesome bating, I felt a little distress as he was taking the match away from the clutches of the lusterless Indian bowling attack. Still, his batting was the only advertise-able part of this test match.

Now let’s go to the next match and hope for an Indian victory. Indian fans are grim followers, try moving their optimism, it’s considered to be a great challenge, greater than getting their demi-gods out.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Arsene Wenger - A True Genius

Many might not be completely convinced with the genius of Wenger. But I am ,so and I shall try to convince you. If you look at the club,Arsenal has failed to land any silverware for the last two years and lost Henry to Barca.Realistically it looks Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool will fight it out for the Premiership title with the money they are putting in. But for me the most beautiful team continues to be the fourth-placed Arsenal. It is so interesting how Arsene Wenger continues to surprise and create teams of interest and beauty when spending so little in the transfer market in relation to the other three?

The defense which did not concede a goal on route to the Champions Leaque 2005-06 final cost Arsenal less than £5m to assemble. The purchase of Nicolas Anelka cost £500,000 and his subsequent sale to Real Madrid just two years later for £22.3m. The money was used to buy three players Henry ,Pires and Wiltord who all played a significant role in the Double of 2001-02 and the league title win of 2003-04.From the year 1996-2007 has any club grown
at such rate ? I am not talking about chelsea (grown inorganically by means of a Russian Billionaire) .This is where in the genius of Wenger lies.

When I looked upon for Wenger in the wikepedia,I found that he had an economics degree, guess his Economics degree is helping him out all the way. What an inspiration to anyone who's thinking of going into management and wasn't a huge star as a footballer.I guess Wenger in this transfer season along with Da Silva will continue to assemble a mixture of young talent from different nationalities. The Arsenal board deserves high praise as they have allowed him to build the club his own way.

Generation one might be over under Arsene Wenger with the departure of Henry.Now Generation2 is on rise and beware (Manu and Chelsea) Wenger is going to get the titles soon.

Hail Arsene Wenger
Long Live Arsenal!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sports Movies

W ith the ever babbling desi giving a new twist to the pen the game with first movie review. I have gone into the miracle mode after installing NHL on my laptop, Fifa, NFSMW and cricket are already there :) . Meanwhile you all vote for your favorite sports movie.

Read about Miracle and Chariots of Fire below

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Torres moves to Anfield

Benitiz's three years at Liverpool have been full of signings, the shopping bills more than any other manager in Liverpool history. The items in shopping bag have been little more than exciting and their performances have not been the same either. Especially Liverpool I have always felt has been into a de-glammed shopping mode which obviously produces less excitement than buying stars. Finally it seems to have made the right choice by picking up Fernando Torres from Athletico Madrid with a 20 Million pounds price tag.

Torres is undoubtedly the best of Spanish next-gen lot. Last year ManUtd had a chance to catch hold of this guy but talks failed to materialize. Although I am happy that he chose Liverpool as this makes EPL a more level playing field, Liverpool for sure needs to rise above the Steven Gerrard influence and have more players other than him running the game. Players like Crouch and Kyut have shown promise but nothing more than that. Winning EPL requires a year long performance which Liverpool has failed to deliver.

Torres sure has the potential to be Liverpool great like Alan Hansen or Gerrard what he will require is a great team support. Good that after Henry going to LA Liga EPL finally has something to compensate for him, but I am sure he will be lot more than a mere compensation, putting my money on Torres to be the Bestest Player in the coming years.

Torres gives hope to Liverpool Fans, and he for sure will never walk alone now.

Technorati Tags: Fernando Torres, Liverpool, EPL

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Do you believe in miracles? YES!

Miracle is based on true story about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach, Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory over the heavily favored Soviet team in the medal round was dubbed the Miracle on Ice.

Movie begins with scenes depicting the cold war era of late 60's and 70's. The oil shortage and long gasoline lines. The disgraced President Nixon. The embattled President Carter. The Russians invading Afghanistan, Armstrong landing on the moon. Then we see coach Brooks played by Kurt Russel getting ready for the interview to become the coach of the USA's ice hockey team. He says the Americans would have to change their style of playing and adapt to a mix style of Canadians and Russians. Despite the fact that the Olympic Committee seem very skeptical of his ambitious goal, Brooks is hired.

Brooks meets his assistant coach Craig Patrick at the tryouts in Colorado Springs, they were their to select the preliminary rooster of 26 players later to be cut to 20 only. Brooks selection totally differs from the Olympic committee members and even his assistant coach's.
Brooks argues when his assistant coach says you are missing some of the best players:
"I'm not looking for the best players, I'm looking for the right ones."

He manages to convince Walter Bush, the executive director of the committee that he has the best interests at heart. Brooks says that he selected these 26 players through preparation in advance, talking with coaches and scouts about the players. Bush sides with Brooks and agrees to take the heat from the committee, saying, "I'll back you up on this one."

Then begins the long process of making the team, binding the bunch of 26 individuals into a family. Brooks tells his assistant coach that he should be near to his team .i.e more attached to his team, every move of Brooks has a motive.
He tells to his team about the 45 second drill
Red line, back. Blue line, back. Far blue line, back. Far red line, back. And you have 45 seconds to do it. Get used to this drill. You'll be doing it *a lot*. Why? Because the legs feed the wolf, gentlemen. I can't promise you we'll be the best team at Lake Placid next February. But we will be the best conditioned. That I can promise you.
He then calls for introductions, in which each player states his name, his hometown, and for whom he plays.
One such talk.....
Herb Brooks: What's your name?
Mark Johnson: Mark Johnson.
Herb Brooks: Where you from, Mark?
Mark Johnson: Madison, Wisconsin.
Herb Brooks: Who do you play for?
Mark Johnson: University of Wisconsin, Coach.

Still the team has not become a team.

Meanwhile in the family of Herb, there is small fight with his wife regarding his unassailable dream of beating the mighty unbeatable Russians. He says to his wife this is his dream and without her support this victory w

During an exhibition game against the Norwegian National Team in Oslo that ends in a 3-3 tie, Brooks notices the players are distracted and not playing up to their potential. Many of them are talking about the girls sitting in the stadium.
After the game even before the stadium has emptied he starts the 45 second drill known as herbies as punishment for their lack of effort.

Herb Brooks: 1. Again.
[whistle blows]

This goes on for hours, in between he through to them various
think you can win on talent alone
gentlemen you don't have enough talent to win on talent alone
Herb Brooks: 1. Again.
[whistle blows]

Herb Brooks: When you pull on that jersey, the name on the front is a hell of alot more important than the one on the back.
Herb Brooks: 1. Again.
[whistle blows]

win loose or tie you gonna play like champions

Brooks continues the brutal drill; several players are on the verge of collapse; Doc Nagobads gets angry and accuses Brooks of sabotaging his players but Brooks wouldn't listen. Finally exhausted forward Mike Eruzione shouts.

Mike Eruzione: Mike Eruzione! Winthrop, Massachusettes!
Herb Brooks: Who do you play for?
Mike Eruzione: I play for the United States of America!

This is one of the best moment of the movie.

Brooks concludes the drill. Assistant coach gives a smile as he now have understood the reason behind the drill, in fact he gives such smiles many times whenever Brooks uses his unconventional style.

The team has become team now.

Brooks also brings in Tim Harrer, a star from Brooks' University of Minnesota team, to test the players commitment. Despite having a good year playing with his current team, the University of Minnesota, some feel Harrer is an obstacle to them making the final roster, but mainly he didn't fit within their "family".

The team plays the Soviets in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden. The Russians manhandle the young American team, winning by a score of 10-3. During the game, O'Callahan receives an injury that could keep him out of the entire Olympics, and starting goaltender Jim Craig is told he may be benched in favor of back-up goalie Steve Janaszak. Craig ends up retaining his starting job.

As the Olympic tournament begins, the Americans trail Sweden 2-1 in the first game, Brooks fire up the team by accusing injured McClanahan

Herb Brooks: This is unbelievable. You guys are playing like this is some throw away game up in Rochester. Who we playing Rammer?
Mike Ramsey: Sweden.
Herb Brooks: Yeah. You're damn right Sweden! In the Olympics!
[Turns to McClanahan]
Herb Brooks: What the hell is wrong with you? Put your gear on!
Herb Brooks: I said put your gear on!
Rob McClanahan: Doc told me I can't play.
Herb Brooks: Yeah, yeah, yeah I know. You got a bad bruise. You know what put youre street clothes on because I got no time for quitters!
Mike Eruzione: Come on Herb! No body is quitting here!
Herb Brooks: You worry about your own game. Plenty there to keep you busy.
Herb Brooks: A bruise on the leg is a hell of a long way from the heart, candy ass.
Rob McClanahan: What'd you call me?
Herb Brooks: You heard me!
Rob McClanahan: You want me to play huh? Is that what you want?
Herb Brooks: I want you to be a hockey player!
Herb Brooks: [walking out of the locker room with McClanahan still screaming] That'll get him going.
Craig Patrick: O yeah. I'll clean up!

McClanahan ends up playing despite his pain, and the inspired American team came through as Bill Baker scores a goal in the final minute for a dramatic 2-2 tie. They follow that up with a 7-3 win over heavily favored Czechoslovakia, then victories over Romania and West Germany to earn a spot in the medal round.

Then comes the big one clash with the Russians in the semis, battled is tilted highly in favor of Russians who are unbeatable in the last 16 years in olympics. Before the game Brooks gives the team an inspirational speech in which he tells them.

Herb Brooks: Great moments... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.

I would not tell you about the match you need to watch the movie to feel it. The match has huge emotions attached with it, in the late 70's when Russia and USA are fighting the cold war this is of huge significance, Americans are loosing hope and this match would give them hope that they are the best in the world. You can only feel the emotions attached to the match only after watching the movie.

Crowd: USA, USA, USA.

Feel the need to watch the movie

[last lines]
Herb Brooks: [voiceover] Two days later the miracle was made complete.

This movie is about coach Brook only, it inspires me ... everything is possible if you have believe in yourself.

Movie ends with song Dream On Dream On .......................................
you will like you have to do something big in this world, remember everything is possible

anyone coming up with Lagaan desi..


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