Friday, May 28, 2010

French Open: Day 4 and football news

Was a rain-affected day 4 at Philip Chartier, Roland Garos, Paris.

Andy Murray bt Juan Ignacio Chela. The Argentinian (whose name, I am a fan of along with Juan Sebastian Veron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Juan Pablo Angel), on the back of a victory on the clay court of Houston, threatened briefly, taking the 2nd set. But the Scot came through reasonably comfortably in the end. The Scot now faces the Cypriot, Marcos Baghdatis in another tricky match for Murray. He beat Richard Gasquet in the first round, then Chela and now has Baghdatis.......phew, thats a tough draw.......

A-Rod, lost the 2nd set, but came through in 4 sets. 'Sweet heart' Ivanovic was kind of humiliated really, she lost 6-3, 6-0. Is there something with pretty-looking tennis players? They never seem to play consitent. She was the 2007 French Open champion. But now, is sadly on a downward curve. Anyway, Justin Henin looks to be well-placed before rain-gods obliged again. She was leading 6-3, 3-2. Big serving Isner powered his way through with 36 aces.......

Watch out for Almagro. Touted as the other Nadal by the Spanish press, he could be the surprise package this time. He is similar to Nadal in that he can grind the opponent to pieces. The difference, a major one at that , is that he is right handed. Also, he has a one-handed backhand.

Else where, Maurinho seems to be destined to become the Real Madrid coach. He has already started making his cocky statements. The latest one is something along these lines:

"If I become the coach of Madrid, I will not be the coach of a star-studded team. All the stars are at Inter Milan" !!! As much I a hate this guy's tactics, I love his press ocnferences.......Van Persie sinked Mehico with a brace. Looks to be in the form of his life now. Was good to see him score 2 and yet so frustrating to think what might have been had he been fit for Arsenal

United have officially announced the arrival of talented Mehican Striker....Hernandez. Nicknamed 'Chicharito', he is a hot favorite among the Mexicans. At the match between the Dynamos, I asked this Mexican dude, who is better Carlo Vela and Chicharito and he shouted, much to my disappointment CHICHARRRRRITO.......

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

French Open Updates ,World cup preview, CL review

Somdev Devvarman was ousted in the first round. Disappointing. But lets get behind our guy and hope he does better in the upcoming grand slams. This was his first grand slam. So lot of factors like playing in front of big crowds, nerves etc would come into play.

Federer was in 2nd gear and yet cruised into the 2nd round. Soderling (last year's finalist) eased into 2nd round with a straight-set win. The comedian from Serbia -Dojokovic, (type djovkovic mimicry on youtube, if you have not already), had a little scare but went thru in 4 sets. Jo-wili-Tsonga made heavy weather of little-known German, and battled thru in 5 sets. Best match of the 1st round though was between Gasquet and Murray. The Glasgow boy came back from 2 sets down to beat the local boy to go through in 5 sets. The Scot looked down, when he was 2 sets down and 1 break behind in the 3rd set. But, in an amazing turn around, he silenced the crowd and won in over 3 and a half hrs.
But, it looks like it is going to be the same old, fed-nadal final since there is no Delpotro and no Davydenko due to injuries. Even if they did play, it de-nadal was the likelier final, but now that they are not there, it makes it even more likely.

There is still hope for India, as Paes-Dloughy are seeded 3rd in doubles. Also, Bopanna is playing with a Pakistani guy Qureshi! Sadly, I dont see Sania Mirza in the FO'10. I hope all the Shoaib Malik/ Marriage thing does not take her focus away. If it does, it will be a shame. I cant imagine someone from the US or Europe stops playing because he/she got married!!

Ballack is injured and wont play wc.
Grosso has been left out by Lippi. I remember this guy played really well in the wc'06, he defended awesome and also scored the goal that killed Germany in semi final. So, he must have done something pretty bad to be removed.
Ronaldo is 'worried' about Ivory Coast. Indeed, this group is the 'Group of Death'. Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea. My boss, who is himself from the Ivory Coast, says Brazil and North Korea will go through. Lets see.

Champions League final was pretty boring

I kind of dozed off in between the match 5 or 6 times. Agreed, I was tired after playing cricket in the morning. But, certainly, a football match has to be really boring to make me go to sleep, and that too in a CL final.

But it certainly did escalate Maurinho's figure as the father who work magic. And for those who want trophies at 'any' cost, would be full of praise for the Portugese. He does have an aura about him. But never in my life would I want himto coach Arsenal. Indeed, their path to CL glory could not have been tougher, with the likes of Shelski, Bayern and Barcelona thrown in their path. So well donw Maurinho and well done Inter and well done Zannetti, the 36-yr old captain of Internazionale. And btw, it was sweet revenge for Maurinho. He was fired as the assistant coach of Van Gaal at Barcelona 10 years ago!!

........thats it for now

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hosting Cities & International Sporting Events : Olympics , Asian Games, Commonwealth Games

1951 - Asian Games
1982 - Asian Games
1989 - Asian Track and Field Championship
1993 - Badminton World Cup
2000 - Thomas Cup and Uber Cup
2008 - European Tour Golf
2010 - World Cup Hockey
2010 - Commonwealth Games
2012 - SAARC Games
2024 - Olympics ( may be )

Are you able to find any similarity in the list above? All these big events were and will be hosted by India in only one City - New Delhi.

Besides the above list New Delhi has also hosted many other events like Cycling Championship, World Billiards & Snooker Championship, International Volleyball Championships and many Davis Cup matches. Golf tournaments have also become a regularity in the city now. Lets also not forget that Delhi is the second hub in India after Mumbai.

What does all this details signify?
Is there only one city in India capable of hosting international events in India?
Perhaps no.
Is the love for Delhi of politicians sitting in Delhi?
May be.
IS the easy availability of funds from the center for an event to be hosted in Delhi?
May be.
Or is the attitude that one city is ready and lets host the event here, investment will be less?
Quiet Possible.
or due to callousness of sitting from eternity on their seats as the Chief of various non working sports bodies in India?

There is no single reason for hosting of events regularly in Delhi. Its a combination of reasons listed above, there may be others also. But point is big tournaments are meant for development of the city infrastrucutrally and culturally.

Lets first analyze how much delhi has changed since it got the CWG 2010 hosting rights. Construction of flyovers and broadning of existing roads has increased and its been getting completed before time. Metro rail has spread to NCR region covering Noida, Ghaziabad and will soon be entering Gurgaon. City has got swanky line of red and green low floor buses which are slowly replacing killer blue line buses. Power shortage is rare in major areas of Delhi now. New T3 terminal will be inagurated soon. Various cultural events are lined up during the games times.

More than 1 lakh visitors are expected during the games times, they will be like brand ambassadors of their respective nations and will take away what they see here. In case of toursim word of mouth is most powerful form of advertising. Keeping this in mind tours to major tourists like Agra, Jaipur , Shimla , Amritsar are planned by various travel companies. Economy of the hosting city gets boost due to hosting rights. This is just in brief what can happen to a hosting city. I am not mentioning here what benefits sports persons get due to hosting, there are rarely few benefits visible, we only remember the past heroes at the time of baton relays and in most of cases bollywood celebrities are given limelight.

Crux is India should have tried to spread out hosting of events in major cities of India. VEry few events are hosted in cities apart from Delhi. Youth Commonwealth Games in Pune, first and last Afro Asian games in Hyderabad and may be few more of international scale.

Cluster Model for Asian/Commonwealth/Olympics Games:

We should have followed the cluster model just like in industries in hosting events. Delhi in north , Mumbai/Pune or Ahmedabad in west, Hyderabad/Chennai/Banglore in south, Kolkata/Bhubaneshwar in east. This would have atleast spread the infrastructure development to varios regions in India.

Map Showing hosts cities of CWG Games


South Korea has hosted Asian games in its 3 cities Seol(1986), Busan(2002), Incheon(2014). Only Bankok is following the wrong strategy it has hosted Asian Games 4 times in 1962,1970,1978,1998. China is also spreading the cities Beijin hosted asian games in 1990 and Guangzhou will be hosting in 2010, if they wanted they would have easily hosted games in Beijing again and used olympics infrastructure.
Similarly in case of commonwealth games Australia has hosted games in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane. Scotland hosted in Edinburg and Glasgow(2014).
India needs infra development badly it should use such events as a way to develop cities. We dream of hosting olympics by 2020 but we cant event find place other than Delhi for hosting CWG/Asian games in places other than capital. India can start with bidding for 2018 Asian Games.

Specific Cities for Hosting Individual Sports Championships.

Boxing is popular in North East though due to rein of Mr Chautala as Boxing supremo hub is being shifted to Haryana. Internation Boxing events can be held in North East and Haryana to spread the sports here. We have to target regions from where we can get gold medals at olympics. Chances of a boxer from these region getting medals are slighly higher compared to other places.

In same way Hockey events can be hosted in Punjab, Wrestling in UP, Haryana , Punjab, Delhi. Badminton tournaments in Southern part of countires. By following this method we will be developing small clusters for specific games. These places will have better coaching facilities,infrastrucutre and culture for these sports which is most important.

I hope it would not be See you in Delhi next time
See you in Chennai
See you in Pune
See you in Kolkota .................. next time

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Racial Overtures ...The World Champions..

It happened finally ...after a lull of what it seems a century ,english team has finally pulled the rabbit from the hat and won a world event in a game that seemingly they taught the world and forgot themselves.What a win for UK...

How often it has happened and how often it comes to light ?...Indian athletes were meted out a horrible treatment in UK.What a loss for UK...

Both the incidents above reflects the sport culture as of today.The first marks the transition of the English cricket team from their famous batting collapses,lack of adventerous(traditional) cricket.The men from the english shores were almost out of the tournament (thanks to rain gods),but the way they came back was exemplary.World cricket needed the genitor of the game to come aboard the ship of change and become a force to reckon with.And how well they have done it.Conquering the might of aussies in the finale might seem to many as a lucky shot,but the impression england gave was of a growing avalanche with more and more snow adding on as it rolled on to its victory,whereas the aussies resembled more like a vicious storm now cooling off,out of steam.And look at the transition in some of the english players.They looked their alien self.Stuart broad can now broadly grin and can have a good laugh about that penultimate over 3 years ago.The performance here would easily overshadow the double evil`s number he had to show for in the stats of his one over then.KP stamped his class over the tournament with some brilliantly crafted knocks one after other.Eoin morgan steered the ship through some tempests and has earned plaudits for the maturity he has shown even from the opposite ranks.
The win not only breaks the hegemony of the asian countries in world t20,but also raptures the aussie dominance in world cricket as well renders them void of the only trophy missing from their stacked glory shelves.Now the english team can bury the hatchet of not winning an international cricketing event after coming so close in the Second world cup of 1979,again in 1987,again in 1992 and then in the champions trophy where two tailenders from west indies made them accept silver.Rising from the ashes english team took the glory in this edition of world t20 ,and they would look forward to conquering the world(read australia)in the Ashes this year to tip the icing on the cake.

When a indian is insulted abroad,we feel bad.And when a indian sportsperson is insulted,is castigated just for his colour,we feel blood rising to our brain.But let us look at this incident in complete isolation from emotions.Indian athletes were supposed to be ferried by a bus to their destination,a right they were denied.Learning from the horse`s mouth,indian players were misbehaved by the caretaker staff as well.This incident is very unfortunate and mars the sporting spirit.Indian athletes, who are more often than not (if you arent playing cricket) are meted out a pathetic treatment by the local sports authorities in the level of amenities(financial and structural) are not guaranteed fair treatment at world/international events,then i think its time that india increases its clout in the international sports arena.As in cricket we have successfully made the rest of the world listen and address our redressals,same should be done here also.Also the recent diktat by the government to fix the serving tenure of the head honchos of the sports authorities is a welcome move.Too long have these old bureaucrates denied the players their rights and have wielded unjust levels of power.They have leeched the best of the talents by infusing corrupt and illogical practices.The athletes should be properly compensated for their troubles and to make sure such incident doesnt repeat itself we ask the indians residing there in other countries to do the hospitality.( they are aplenty everywhere and would be delighted to do so)
And here i would like to take my opportunity to congratulate possibly one of best sportsman india has and will produce,Vishy...
vishwanathan Anand on winning the world title in chess and making all of us proud.Keep moving the pieces...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Arsenal Next Season

In Arsene we trust!

Lets start off with the Goalie issue. WE DESPERATELY NEED A HIGH CLASS GOALIE. There is no alternative to that. From what Wenger is saying it looks as though he might put the Pole (Fabianski) between the poles and make Almunia the 2nd choice. That very thought makes me nervous. I am not sure what Wenger sees in him. He may be a good shot stopper and he may have good reactions. But, what we need is a steady presence in our box. Someone who cannot collect (or punch) the corners effectively and efficiently. There are about 20 to 25 corners+freekicks to defend in a game and about 1 or 2 or sometimes up to 4 shots which require quick-reaction/ diving/ spectacular stops. (Arsenal-Barcelona was an exception). It is quite clear that to do the simple things efficiently is more important than to pull-off the spectacular. And this is what Wenger should look at. We know that Arsene will not bring in someone like Buffon or Toldo. I am hoping if he can persuade Lloris from the French team, that would be awesome. But, I think Wenger could go for someone really low-profile. Can he find another Lehman from somewhere? Over to you Arsene........

Gallas' wants and Arsenal/Wenger's policy means that the Frenchman could be on his way out. I have never been a big fan of Gallas ever since he came to Arsenal. Even though he formed a great partnership with TV earlier this season, I wont mind letting him go. BUT, that would leave a huge hole in the defence. We missed out on the Fulham youngster (Smalling). Can we get the Blackburn youngter? Jones? But then again, that would mean too many youngsters. So, in short, if Gallas stays, then TV + Gallas in the center with Djourou and Sol as backups. Otherwise, we need a well established center back. Would be awesome if we could get in a beast in the mould Lucio or Alex.
Over to you Arsene........

Left and right backs?
Clichy and Sagna backed up by Gibbs and Eboue. That is solid for me. There is talk that Clichy might go to Madrid or Barca. If he does, the Gibbs backed up by Armand Traore makes me concerned.
1) Gibbs, (even though, I like him as a player) is coming back from injury.
2) Traore is not a good defender.

Now the big one. The fab-skipper. This is what I think:
a) Fab wants go to Barca "some day". Some day is important.
b) Does he want to go now? Only Cesc knows the answer to that.
Why he would want to go
------Barca will probably win more trophies than Arsenal.
------Barca is his childhood club.
------Barca is in Spain
Why he would not want to go
------Papa Wenger. The person who has almost brought him up
------Feeling of almost there in Arsenal, just a little bit more to go. For a few seasons, we have been "almost there". If we sign a decent goalie and defender, (and having already bought the Morrocan), we should hopefully BE THERE next season instead of almost.
------Skipper at Arsenal, 3rd choice in Barca. Fab can dictate his terms over here. In Barca, Fab will only play if one of Xavi or Iniesta is unavailable.

Rest is upto AW.

There is a possibility that he might still go. But, I say he wont.

Since Cesc is not going, our mid field is pretty strong. We dont need any more re-inforcements in mid-field contrary to the pouplar belied. Song, Diaby, Nasri, Fab and Vin backed up by Walcott, Denislon, , Eboue and Rosicky is awesome, the best mid field in England.

RVP and Chamakh up-front backed up by Bendtner and Eduardo/Vela is still a little weak. But, if Jay-Emmanuel Thomas has matured enough, then we dont really need any more strikers. Jay-Emmanuel Thomas is a tall strong lad. May be just what we need.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

arsenal this season

In wenger we trust!

Oh buoy! yet another season! yet another year! do i need to say .....same old story.....there is a sense of frustration growing around the where the hell did we go wrong?

it could be any one of the following:

no pre-season buys?? fact, our pre-season buys were negetive......we sold traitor ade and kolo habib toure.........and bought in vermaelen....we thought eduardo and rosicky's come-back will fill the adebayor's slot.....vermaelen, along with fabre and sir alex was one of our players of the season and probably would make it to the premier league IX of the i would say pre-season buy was not something where we went wrong.....

we lost nasri for first 3 months, rvp for about 5 months, fab for about 2 months, bendtner for about 3 months and of course aaron the, that would definitely be a factor I would say.......i dint follow shelski so closely......but they lost essien and cashley cole for 2 or 3 months......but no one else really......hope the injury gods are good to us next time.....

big-match losses??
......we lost home and away to shelski and manure......which is losing 12 points....and almost equivalent to 24 points......considering that they are our title if we had even drawn those games or won our home games.....things could have been so different.....but considering that manure lost to loserpool both their matches last year and yet won the title means that we could have still made up for the lost ground.......

no january transfer buys
.......possibly......coz arsene knew we dint have rvp and bendtner......and he asked vin(arsha) to play up front as a lone-striker.....the dimunitive Russsian did a reasonable job.....and also scored a couple of wonder gols......the one against loserpool comes to my mind first......probably maruanne the chamakh boy at this time would have been ideal for much as Bendtner tried.....he is not more than a squad player, an impact player....who could come in the last 20 mins.......if you ask nick to lead the line against Barca at camp nou......oh are asking way too much of him..... we did get sol in January who was a revelation really....but thats all we did

goal keeper???????

oh yes.......this is where we lost the title......

remember the manure again early in the season......we were leading manure 1-0 comfortably .......when manuel stupid almunia charged wayne rooney when there was no need to......rooney dived, made the most of it, got a penalty and united not only got out of jail, they went on to win the game 2-1.......against porto in CL, 2 horrendous flapianski errors cost us the game.......its a different story that that game dint really affect us much.......but its the confidence (or the lack of it in this case) that you instill in your defence as a keeper that was the problem......Verminator tried hard to be the leader.......but with flapianski and silvster arround......oh buoy!........u are asking too much......
against Birmingham......almunia could have punched the ball over but instead let kevin phillips equalize in the 91st minute.......
against wigan......again flapianski was found flapping........
i remember i used to not like leheman......because he used to shove the opposition off .... i remember when he used to rise to catch a ball he used to have his studs any striker near him would get a knock or two on their shins and knees if they dared to go near we miss him now.....
david seaman says that wenger should trust in these 2 glovers......but as much wenger i trust.......i cant take these to flappers......i can even take bendtner......and trust wenger on that........but not on flapianski or almunia please......

Sunday, May 16, 2010

India's T20 WC 2010 Debacle - Who is to blame?

Today is the final of T20 world cup between Australia and England. India got out of the cup 4-5 days ago and since then every news channel is discussing the reasons for the loss and making their own predictions regarding who will be out of the team and who will be retained. From late night brawl in West Indies in which Nehra is accused of misbehaving with the others people in the bar to Kirsten one-o-ones with 7 players, everything is being debated day and night in media.

Here are few reasons which I feel are responsible for India’s debacle.


I don’t think 14 matches are responsible for India’s loss in world cup, not even IPL parties. IPL matches used to end at around 11.30 so what if players came to a party for 1-2 hours to relax and enjoy. Players are expected to be professional and if they feel that they bodies can’t handle the glamour of girls and drinks of IPL Nights they should have controlled themselves. This is at least expected from senior players. IPL nights might have done harm to younger players. Arjun Rampal’s wife the organizer of IPL nights might have said that players were not forced attend the parties but I think their owners might have pushed them to attend these. Sachin could say no to these parties because he is Sachin no player can dare to fight against the BCCI, if you dare to fight you will be kicked out for sure.

Illogical traveling around the country for the matches is the main reason for fatigue and tiring bodies. If a team is playing match in Bangalore schedule should be made such that if plays its following matches in Chennai, Hyderabad so that traveling is less.

Dhoni has given an invalid reason of IPL nights being responsible for the failure.

Team Selection:

I am not lover of BCCI infact all useless sports bodies of India being run by old politicians who I am sure would not clearly know the rules of the sports for whose body they are head.Chief selector is ambassador of Chennai Super Kings, Srinivasan secretary of BCCI is owner of CSK are they working for BCCI of CSK.

Bindra is handling a big Punjab lobby. Arun Jaitely head of Delhi cricket association. n number of politicians are head of their respective sports bodies why because cricket has money and power simple.

Punjab lobby pushed for Chawla as a spinner in Indian team despite the fact that Pragyan Ojha and Mishra. Robin Uthappa is getting huge sympathy votes for not getting selected despite being in from. Sehwag was fit to play matches in IPL but as they were kicked out of IPL he got injured, its clear he wanted to make money playing IPL matches he should have the guts to say that he is injured during the IPL tournament. He clearly put DD over ICC World Cup.

Yuvraj who is now filled with fatty acids and loads of chicken tikka should have been dropped, he is so sad after being kicked out of captaincy of Kings X1 team that he has started eating chicken in breakfast , lunch and dinner.

Shortpitch Delivery

In the last WC we failed against the short pitch balls, this time it also happened. We are vulnerable since time immemorial against the short ball. Its just the last 4-5 years when greats like Sachin, Dravid , Laxman were there in Indian team who could handle short ball easily that opponents stopped using the weapon.

We need to practice for these type of deliveries, point is we don’t have time to practice. BCCI wants to mint as much money as possible by playing use less tournaments against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Srilanka again and again. We have played I think every second month against SriLanka in the past year. Thanks to India being no-1 in test that BCCI now is trying hard to convert 7 ODI series to 2 test 3 odi wherever its possible but to BCCI it’s a loss of huge revenue as ODI gets more ads. Weren’t the BCCI a charitable body who is evading taxes since many years and filling their coffins?

When the player can go to National Cricket Academy to practice?

Poor Fielding and Running between wickets:

Outfield is very slow in west indies and one needs to run fast b/w the wickets but Indians players are adapted to hitting 4s in flat pitches in India. There was no practice match or time to practice in WI so we couldn’t adapt. Who is at fault again here – BCCI.

Player Fatigue:

We play lots of matches round the year. In 90's we were playing 35-40 ODI's are year and now we are playing lot of T20's ODIs round the year. Tours after tours is the routine , we will be playing in Triangular series in Zimbabwe, Asia Cup in Dambulla, Test series again in Sri Lanka , Triangular Series with NZ , SL in August. Australia coming to India and what not.

Ok we can't lesson the tours so lets make a bigger pool of players lets rotate them but that is also not possible till now. Players want to play as much as possible as you never know when you get kicked out, Fear of BCCI. ODI teams are not getting selected on basis of IPL performance which is wrong. Where is our bench strength. How many India A team tours to Australia , England , NZ took place in last 2 years. If same 15-18 players are playing so much cricket they will obviously get tired and fatigued, lets enlarge the pool and try to start rotation policy.

Indian crowd also need to understand that these are players not super humans. Saying that they keep on doing ads, party a lot and not play at all is wrong. Its good they lost now they will focus on test cricket which is the best.

Its very sad that we are having very less test matches when we have players like Sachin, Dravid , Laxman. Australia plays 8-10 tests a year and we should have used given these great players lot more chance to play test cricket in these years.

Its time to celebrate Vishy victory again, its a very big achievement to beat Topalov in his home. Indian hockey team is also performing well reaching the finals of Azlan Shat Tournament , today is the final.