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