Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Politics:: Cricket:: Culprit:: Verdict

In the last few days specially on Monday there was lot of hullabaloo after India lost to SA and when once again our respectable media to make news ( as they don't have any ususally) highlighted chappel quote again and again .
chappel said to MP's " they are doing what they are paid for".

There were protests whole over the country kaif's home was damaged everything was done by people who i fell don't know anything about cricket and just to come in news as our media is always ready to highlight them.

So where is the problem and who is the main culprit


1. Where are bouncy pitches in India.
For the last 40-50 years nothing has been done to improve the pitch conditions in India even after recommendation of pitch committee every time and you guys expect them to win in SA where they have never won.

2. No CEO culture in BCCI
One of the richest sports body in world does not have a CEO, there is no need for a blueprint which will decide the targets for the year and you say we are a corporate body.

3. Biased Selection.
players are selected on the regional basis not on merit and India expect the guys to win. Dinesh Karthik playing as batsman with gambhir not in team what does it shows. Why was jaffer selected just because he is from bombay as is our chief selector. Laxman do not performs in one match and he is thrown out and raina etc are still selected. Selectors said laxman is not physically strong enough while selecting team for SA and now he is rushed to SA when dravid got injured. Some one explain me how can a player suddenly become fit..... golmaal hai bhai sab golmaal hai ..

4.Base is missing
Do anyone watch Ranji matches? No why...? only top layer is watched and you say cricket is heart of india. Something must be done to make ranji interesting and force the India team players to play in local matches also like in Australia. Who will do this BCCI.

5. Politicians in BCCI and Sports
What is sharad pawar doing in BCCI just because it is big money churning body.Even though there are one billion experts of cricket in India but still let the body be run by ex-cricketers only not by politicians. You pick up any sports and find politicians as there head and they keep on ruining the game. Be it Gill in hockey Chautalas in TT and many other ( it will need a another big post to highlight them).

6. Is this perform and earn right.
It is correct when the body first imprves itself not before. When the person who run the puppet show is wrong why blame the puppets. Shukla ji (VP BCCI) do something from your side also.

Another culprit


1. Over hyping everything.

15-16 indian news channels don't have any news to show, one will find the same news whole day be it cricket or any other. Politicians were encouraged shout by showing the chappel reply again and again and this lead to the misintepretions of the quote and gave them topic to discuss and to media the much needed masala news.

MP's discussing cricket -----------
we know what the 540 guys sitting in parliament do wasting 20-30 lakhs in one hour session, shouting , not letting the preceding run properly and who has given them the right to demand removal of chappel and sharad pawar.. its media as it give them cheap publicity.... If they care so much about sports then why penny is given in sports budget ( i guess they don't care) some 500 crores only and that is mainly wasted on funding the relatives of the politicians who accompany as officials in olympics, asian games etc.

I would love to hear sachin Tendulkar saying remove Sonia Gandhi and UPA supremo and let natwar singh be leading.

Instead of showing the MP's the media should telecast shows showing how free are our MP's, they don't want to discuss other important topics like FDI's , quotas but they want cricket.

Politicians you do your work as you have done in last 50 years in terribly slow speed and let others do theirs.What you can do is leave alone all the sports of India then I am sure in 4-8 years we will win atleat 5-6 golds in olympics and a world cup in cricket. ( this include sharad pawar also)

Verdict from my brain and heart...

India will loose again in 4th ODI, let them loose for 5-6 months indians will start looking towards other sports so the corporates will and this will tremendously help the other sports

Responsibility on sehwag and he will hit a century and india will bounce back with a victory.

what do you think guys ......... views

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ballon D'Or - The big European 50

The 50 nominees and their positions in the recent fight for Ballon D'Or according to the number of votes they got:

1. Cannavaro (Italy/Real Madrid) 173
2. Buffon (Italy/Juventus) 124
3. Henry (France/Arsenal) 121
4. Ronaldinho (Brazil/Barcelona) 73
5. Zidane (France) 71
6. Eto'o (Cameroon/Barcellona) 67
7. Klose (Germany/Werder) 29
8. Drogba (Ivory Coast/Chelsea) 25
9. Pirlo (Italy/Milan) 17
10 Lehmann (Germany/Arsenal) 13
11 Deco (Portugal/Barcelona) 11
Kakà (Brazil/Milan) 11
13 Ribery (France/Marseille) 9
14 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Man Utd), 5
Gattuso (Italy/Milan), 5
Vieira (France/Inter) 5
17 Lampard (England/Chelsea), 3
Podolski (Germany/Bayern), 3
Puyol (Spain/Barcelona) 3
20 Juninho Pernambucano (Brazil/Lyon), 2
Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), 2
Terry (England/Chelsea), 2
Toni (Italy/Fiorentina) 2
Zambrotta (Italy/Barcelona) 2
25 Lahm (Germany/Bayern Munich) 1
Villa (Spain/Valencia) 1

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cricket-Chuck it...

Maybe it's a sin even to think about cricket anymore, especially after whatever happened yesterday.
Even the Ashes returns the normal way this time around. All this still gives our MP's lots of things to shout about. Better they think about attending the parliament first.
This Australian still continues to bark and this Indian from Baramati should better concentrate working for the poor dying farmers in Vidarbha, Andhra and all other states rather than feeding a lame bunch of cricketers.
I didn't take much pain for writing this one with all the links stuffed in but as an Indian Cricket fan it pains.

Jose Quotes !!!

After the 1-1 draw between the premiership match between the current leaders of EPL Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho predicts that it will go down the wire. He states :-

"To go to the end of the season with a difference of six points maximum is the reality of the Premiership and the reality between two big teams," said Mourinho, whose side are still three points behind United."

"For me the surprise is what we did last season, with 10 or 12 points difference. For me, this is not a surprise - but I think we are ready and we can go all the way."

"The good thing for me was the mental point of view. We came here and go home with the same distance. No way would a six-point gap kill the Premiership with five months to go, but six and three is a difference."

"I think the result is deserved, because in the first half they were the best team and they scored - and in the second half Chelsea were best team."

"When the game had finished I exchanged quick words with Sir Alex and we agreed the result was very, very fair."

"What was wrong in the first half was maybe the mental aspect of the game, and we were waiting for things to happen. We did not show a lot of ambition, but it looks like a new game in the second half."

UCL Matchday Five Group E-H

Group E:-

Real Madrid 2 - 2 Lyon Steaua
Steaua 1 - 1 Dynamo Kyiv

The group leaders Real and Lyon had a chance to make a point, but both the teams cancelled out each other with the scoreline 2-2, and Lyon looks all set to lead the group, continuing their superb run this season in the French league back home and in UCL as well. Real have been a little unpredictable this season, but has a lot more promise this year than the last one.

Group F:-

Benfica 3 - 1 FC Copenhagen
Celtic 1 - 0 Manchester United

The group is open, thank you Manchester United, first going down to Copenhagen and then to celtic this weekend. Now Celtic is through to the last 16 with 9 points and with the same number Man U play benfica in a virtual knockout encounter, and powered by a 3-1 victory, Benfica will not be an easy team to beat for sir ferguson's boys. But, if Man u can play like they have been playing in the English premier league, and pull at least a draw in the last match, they will be through. Still, group F open for surprises.

Group G:-

CSKA Moscow 0 - 2 FC Porto
Arsenal 3 - 1 Hamburger SV

Group G has always stayed at the top of "My Favourite Group" for a long time now, Arsenal - 10, Porto - 10, CSKA - 8 and we cant wait for the Arsenal Vs Porto match. There are a lot of permutations and combinations for this match day and my favourite one is Arsenal Vs Porto share a point and CSKA win, putting all three on 11 points, there are a lot more possibilities and all three teams can go through. This is the real roller coaster group, and Arsenal has given its fans(includes me) a lot of surprises all the summers(bitter ones), and we want them to SCORE now, please. CSKA finally saw the ball going behind their nets while Arsenal came back from going 1-0 down to Hamburg to finally win the match.

Group H:-

AEK Athens 1 - 0 AC Milan
Lille 2 - 2 Anderlecht

Milan are through to the second stage, in spite of their loss to AEK, but this victory has opened up the fight for the second spot from the group, with Lille not winning against Anderlecht the point difference is just 1, and Lille and AEK are playing away games against Milan and Anderlecht respectively, and looking at the forms and the oppositions my money is on AEK, but still you never know.

So, the wait for 5Th and 6Th December is long, can't wait for Arsenal Vs Porto , Barcelona Vs Bremen and Man U Vs Benfica. Too many and too heavy people are trying to get through the narrow door, and that sounds fun for those who sit back home on their comfortable couches and watch this tussle of the European sumos.

Friday, November 24, 2006

UCL Matchday Five Group A-D

And it doesn't get better than this, five match days over and one to go and still a lot of speculation, there is no better anti-climax that we could have seen than this. Surprises, followed by more surprises and we all can not wait for the first week of December where the group stages lock. Lets look at Match day five. The first four groups:-

Group A:
Levski Sofia 0 - 2 Barcelona
Werder Bremen 1 - 0 Chelsea

This was a must win for Barca, and they did so, in spite of all the injuries few crucial players were nurturing. But, to their surprise Chelsea went down to Bremen, leaving the group open again. Even if Chelsea lose to Sofia, they'll be through, so its like a knockout match for Bremen and Barca on the final match day. A draw can see Bremen toggling the defending champions down.

Group B:
Spartak Moscow 2 - 2 Bayern Munich
Inter Milan 1 - 0 Sporting Lisbon

Bayern through, Inter through(thank you, Crespo). Who gets the top spot. Inter came back strongly in the group stages and Bayern moved downhill, they play each other in the next encounter to decide the boss of group B.

Group C:
Bordeaux 3 - 1 Galatasaray
Liverpool 2 - 0 PSV Eindhoven

The group was locked in the last match day, pride game for all the four sides. Liverpool and Eindhoven fought for supremacy and Bourdaux and Galatasaray fought for respect. Liverpool, currently leading the group, will most certainly be the group headers.

Group D:
Shakhtar Donetsk 1 - 0 AS Roma
Valencia 2 - 0 Olympiakos Piraeus

Who would have thought that after scoring 6 goals in a serie A match Roma would go down to Shakhtar in a crucial match. Roma at 7 and shakhtar at 5 will have to fight it out for the second place from this group. Valencia sit pretty at 13, and in spite their loss to sevilla this weekend in the la liga encounter, they were strong enough to walk though olymiakos easily. Valencia and Roma meet in the last match and this gives a lot of hope to Shakhtar, but even if valencia wins, Shakhtar still need to win against Olympiakos.

Dida out of action

AC Milan star goalkeeper Dida could be out of the game for up to three months after damaging the quadriceps tendon in his left knee during Tuesday's UEFA Champions League defeat at AEK Athens FC which Milan lost 1-0, still Milan all set to top the group in the league stage. The 33 year old star goal keeper will go under further tests in coming time.

In the meantime during his absence, Milan's goalpost will be guarded by Australian goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac.

Consequently, the Rossoneri will be going back to the transfer window coming January and currently the two biggest possibilities are
1. Recall Abbiati from his loan spell at Torino
2.Try to pull Amelia away from Livorno.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Longest Golf Shot

It was not Tiger woods who hit the golf's longest shot but is was Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin who shot it from the International Space Station (ISS) at 0057 GMT wednesday.

Hundreds of miles above China, the ball hurtled toward the Pacific Ocean amid varying estimates of its eventual distance.
The US space agency NASA estimates that the ball will descend out of orbit in three to four days, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere. Where as experts at the Russian Roskosmos space agency predict that the ball could stay in orbit for years and travel tens of thousands of kilometres.

The space walk, one of four planned for the current mission, was given added visibility when a Canadian golf equipment manufacturer partnered with Roskosmos to organize the promotion.

Toronto-based Element 21 manufactures golf equipment from scandium, a rare alloy developed in Russia for use in building MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets.

Scandium is also a major component of the construction of the ISS, explained Bill Dey, the company's chief operating officer. He declined to reveal how much the promotion was costing Element 21.

The event was arranged to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the famous Allen Shepard Jr 1971 golf game on the Moon, during the US Apollo 14 space mission.

Element 21 is launching a new product line in February and specially designed the golf club for Tyurin's swing, a gold-plated six-iron.

NASA originally objected to the stunt, worried that a regular golf ball could stay in orbit for several months, gathering speed and causing damage if it hit a satellite or the ISS itself.

The shot was directed away from the orbit of the space station to minimize any risk that it could return as so-called space junk.

The space marketing event was not the first of its kind. Roskosmos, seeking to replace financial support lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has sold seats on its space capsules to space tourists and advertising to companies.

American businessman Dennis Tito reportedly paid 20 million dollars for the first ticket to space in 2001.

In 2000, fast-food chain Pizza Hut affixed a 9-metre logo to the side of a Russian Proton rocket, reportedly paying 1 million dollars. A year later, the company delivered a vacuum-packed pizza to cosmonauts on the ISS.

US-based electronics retailer Radio Shack produced the first paid endorsement from the space station in 2001, when cosmonaut Yuri Usachev read from a script promoting a Father's Day gift sent by his young daughter.

Soft-drink giants Pepsi and Coca Cola, Popular Mechanics magazine and the LEGO toy company have also paid millions to have their products marketed from space.

All of the text is taken from as i don't know the facts of the act

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Ooh aah India hara India

The great batting line up (on paper it really looks good) tumbled once again in Durban, getting bowled out for 91 and in process making the lowest score for India in one dayers in SA. One saving grace for india was that Ntini was not in the top form otherwise making half century would have been difficult (50/10).

It was only Sachin and to some extend Dravid who were able to face the chin music for some time, rest all were getting out like they were hungry and wanted
to eat their maggi being cooked in the pavillion. Zaffer(0) ,Raina (1) Bhajji (1) ,Mongia(1) ,Agarkar(6) , Z.Khan(1) were the hungriest of all getting out under 7. Other reason can be they may have been any appointment for endorsing any new thing like selling coke,pepsi or some hair gel etc.

Earlier SA made a solid 248 thanks to classy century by Kallis with some support by de Villiers, Boucher, Nel. Munaf Patel bowled well giving away only 39 in his 10 overs.

This batting line up can hardly win India a world cup. Raina has no idea how to play, sehwag throwing his wicket has become a habit, Dhoni is a subcontinent player. Get some experienced player like Laxman he can bat far better then raina, kaif (these guys save 15 runs each and they make under 10 score in every other match but I feel laxman can easily make 30-40 in a match so that is equal and will give some stability to the middle order and dravid could bat easily without taking tension of what will happen when I am out).

Go Players eat your maggi and sell aerated drinks, and shout oh ah India hara India .. you do these things better....... now it's not blue billion it's green (SA).

Share your views guys ... what do you think.........

Meanwhile ashes has started and Ponting has hit another century ..... Aus 346/3 after day one.

Nobody's surprised!

Yesterday only i was watching some domestic match on neo sports, there was this slow flighted spin bowler bowling, ball coming to the knee roll...or below, and the batsman hammering him sitting down, right out of the ground. The captain makes a change and brings back his quickest bowler, probably on the fastest guys around, and he bowls his heart out just to see that there is no help from the soil, no bounce, no speed and the invariable pitch helps the elegance of cover drives and square cuts. This batsman may expect a call from Mr. Vengsarkar to be a part of Indian dressing room in coming days, thanks to the current disarray of Indian batting line-up currently, just to face the fierce pace of Ntini and Nel on some tough bouncing pitch with the spice of ball movement and solid bowling attack.

India succumbed to yet another disastrous tour beginning, but the way Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar got out, there is no point blaming the captain, the coach or the selection committee. We need to give all the credit to the South African team, specially their bowlers for their splendid performance and more importantly their intelligent thought process, because they knew that if someone can win a match in Durban for India its Dravid or Tendulkar, once they are out, just wrap it up and rush to home, wives waiting. But the issues that still remains is that 'Are we ready for fast pitches yet?', after innumerable wake up calls the situation in domestic cricket doesn't change. The slow tracks are killing us, its time to do some thinking back home, unless something is really executed for long term, this is bound to happen time and time again. And for short term, yes, calling back some more experienced guys may help, but if Sachin, Rahul, Dhoni are suffering, I wouldn't be surprised to see others following the same. I am still optimistic like Sunil Gavaskar who quoted post match that this is how India starts every overseas tour and we must wait for at least one more match to make any comments. For me, I can see trouble for the Indian cricket team in the next couple of months. And I would love to get happily shocked and surprised if that doesn't happen.

Hu Ha India...gaya India!!!

I don't know why we always pin hopes on our boys. Maybe its blind optimism. Maybe it's the hope that show us( or the ads). Anyway South Africa tours have been generally this way only. 157 run loss is just the first in series. I don't see the tide turning anyway further in the competition.
So what has been wrong, a recent interview with Wasim Akram on some news channel said it all. According to him we chop-n-change too much, add to that our inexperienced bowling attack. But someone told me Kumble has went for the tour, for what playing kho-kho with the team.
It will be better if Indian team does some batting practice, rather than playing kho-kho and kabbadi which may have left Yuvraj out for the World cup.
With due respects Dravid is a great batsman, but when it comes to captaincy, everyone agrees he could be a bit vocal. Rather than showing his presence on the field he remains a bit laid-back. agree that's his style but even with bowlers bowling all places on field he doesn't seem to wither a bit. He should start doing that otherwise its tough days ahead for him. Ganguly and even Azhar in the past have shown their dominance by having a great field presence which maybe important for a captain to have.
The only special thing yesterday was the knock by Sachin. He is GOD!!! Nothing more I can say about the GOD.
Also another good thing was the television presentation on ESPN, bringing back the great memories of days when commentary used to be on cricket not on spaghetti straps. Also the great atmosphere on the ground and the good pitch added to the presentation, quite a refreshing change from the recently concluded boring Champions trophy.
It seems like Kaif and Raina have to do something, Raina especially isn't a hitter and no great innings to his name. Kaif should stop basking in the glory of past achievements which are long lost in the past.
Dinesh Mongia seems to be a good thing for team. His bowling is quite good but its still puzzling why he was under bowled.
As far as Greg Chappel is considered I completely agree with Durga Puja pendal guys in Kolkata who created a deity of Durga with Mahishasura where the ASURA was Greg Chappel. With him in picture first time it seems Indian cricket operates not from field but from outside it.
Please say bye-bye to experiments, Cricket is a lazy man's game, let it be that way.
Anyway check out this amazing post on the same issue,
Kaho Na Massacre Hai

Disclaimer: I am a hardcore DADA (Sourav Ganguly) fan, so this article may not be considered neutral by few, still this is my personal opinion.
Also the title is not against India, it's against the Indian Cricket team. Still if the title offends any I apologise and will change it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ashes Eternal Records :2

Don Bradman's Final Test

The average 99.94 in today's world is impossible to beat, the best of the best of todays Laras, Tendulkars, Pontings languish in the mid 50's compared to the mighty 99.94. But is was just one googly in the oval's test match that stopped the legend from reaching the century mark and created another eternal record. At the time of the oval test of the 1948 Bradman had scored 6,996 runs in Test cricket from 79 innings, with 10 not outs, his average was 101.4 and needed just 4 runs to make it 100. Bradman scored 173 not out in the first innings and just 4 runs seemed apparent but it was not to happen he was bowled by a Eric Hollies' googly for a duck (0). No other bowl would have shocked the crowd as this and bowler also would not have wanted to take wicket of bradman before 4 runs.

In a career spanning 20 years Bradman scored 117 centuries. As a captain he never lost a series against England.

Bradman's Average against test playing nations



















South Africa









West Indies



























Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thorpedo Retires

One of the greatest swimmers of all time Australian Ian Thorpe also known as Thorpedo announce his retirement from competitive swimming. He is jst 24 years of age. Thorpe has won 11 world titles, five olympic golds and set 13 individual long-course worlds records in a career spanning starting from 1997.

Thorpe told a packed news conference broadcast live on Australian television that he had decided to quit because swimming was no longer the most important thing in his life.

I decided ... I was going to discontinue my professional swimming career," Thorpe said. "I'm very proud of this decision I have made today.

Career Highs

Thorpe made his debut at the age of 14 in 1997 and was the youngest swimmer to be selected on an Australian swimming team. In 1998 he became the youngest ever male world champion winning the 400m freestyle.

In 1999 he smashed 4 world records in 200m, 400m, 4*100m and 4*200m freestyle at Pan Pacific Championship in sydney.

In 2000 olympics he won 3 gold medals 4x100m (WR), 4x100m (WR), 4x200m freestyle (WR) - and two silver - 200m freestyle and 4x100m medley in sydney olympics and was named the youngest Australian of the year in 2000.

In 2001 he won six gold medals - 200m (WR), 400m (WR), 800m (WR), 4x100m, 4x200m (WR) freestyle, 4x100 medley - at World Aquatic Championships in Japan.

Wins six gold - 100m, 200m, 400m (WR), 4x100m, 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley - and a silver - 100m backstroke - at Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002

In 2004 athens olympics thorpe was at his peak winning 6 golds 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m, 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley thus becoming the most succesful Australian in the history of olympics games.

In 2005 he took break from swimming in 2005 skipping 2005 world championships. In the year or so thorpe was struggling with glandular fever which resulted in his withdrawl from Commonwealth games in 2006.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ashes Eternal Records :1

Records keep tumbling regularly but there are two records which I feel would never tumble.

Jim Laker 19 wickets in a Test Match

This was the only moment when no bowler wanted to take wickets but Tony Lock was the unfortunate one (2nd moment came during the Kumble's time 10-74 vs Pakistan) . At old trafford one the finest off-spinners of his time Jim Laker created a record that will never be broken, taking 19 wickets for 90 runs including all 10 in the second innings in the fourth Ashes test.

Match figures

1st Innings 459 all out

1st Innings
84 all out
Jaker 9-37
Lock 1-37

Laker ended the Australian first innings with 7 wickets for 8 runs in 22 balls

2nd Innings following on
205 all out
Laker 10-53

Keith Hayhurst, vice-chairman of Lancashire CC, was 19 when he saw Laker’s amazing feat.

When he got his tenth there was a pitch invasion – people were claiming bits of turf. But in a way that was just exhilaration that we’d got them all out. It was an absolutely crucial win.

I don’t think Laker’s record will ever be beaten, particularly now you’ve got uncovered wickets. I’ve seen a lot of Shane Warne but he couldn’t get 20 wickets. It’s going to take a genius.

Next in line are Don Bradman's final test , shane warne's ball of the century.

Its Ivy League

Ok refer this for this post

Sports Trivia #1

Ok first image is ivy.

Second Image is from the movie Love Story.

So what is it that links them from Sports? It’s Ivy League. Love Story was clue to guess Harvard (Oliver and Father Oliver and Grandpa Oliver and many more all studying there). Last year during a quiz at Synapse I came across this astonishing fact from Sidin, who was conducting the quiz contest there.

Quite nice if you consider the best known group of Universities in the World comes up from simple athletics meet (I won’t blurb much, read the WIKI post linked up).

Anyway Quiz on this blog seems a good idea.

What do you think?

Records Galore : Federer

Roger Federer easily tamed James Blake 60 63 63 to win his third masters title in four years. This was Federer's fifth consecutive Tennis masters cup appearance. He lost in the semifinals at shanghai in 2002 and won consecutive title in Housten in 2003-04 and was defeated last year by David Nalbandian.Federer now holds a 22-2 overall record at the circuit-ending finale.

Federer piled up records this year:

1. First ever player to win $8 million in prize money in single season. He has won $8,343,885 in 2006 and has amassed $29,576,458 in career prize money during a nine-season professional career.

2. Federer is the only player to have won more then 10 tournaments in three consecutive years. 2004-05 (11) 2005-06 (11) 2006-07(12).

3. Federer became the sixt player in open era to win three or more year end championships after John McEnroe (1978, 1983-84), Boris Becker (1988, 1992, 1995), Ilie Nastase (1971-73, 1975), Ivan Lendl (1981-81, 1985-87) and Sampras (1991, 1994, 1996-97, 1999).

4. Federer amassed a 92-5 win loss record the year 2006

5. Roger has till now won 45 career titles and is not ranked 11 in the open era. Records of Rod Laver ,Pete Sampras , Bjorn Borg and many others are in danger.

6. Federer is the only player in the open era to win both the US open and Wimbledon for three consecutive years.

7. Holds the record for longest winning streak both the grass and hard courts.

8. Federer ended the year with 1674 points 780 more then the nearest rival Nadal.

9. He is the third in the open era list on consecutive rein at the top position 147 weeks (Starting from 2nd Feb 2004.) behing Jimmy Connors (160) and Lendl (157). He is fifth in total weeks behind sampras(286), Lendl (270) ), Connors (268), McEnroe (170), and Federer (147).

10. First man in open era to reach 6 consecutive grand slam finals

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Friday, November 17, 2006

It's Federer vs Nadal Again

We will witness another clash of the titans match between Nadal and Federer in the ATP masters semifinals. Nadal defeated Davydenko 57 64 64 in just concluded thriller match for the semifinal birth in Shanghai. They will facing each other for the 6th time in this year with the last match between them was the wimbledon final 2006. Nadal leads 6-2 in head to head with four victories on clay court and one on hardcourt. Federer has one only two matches against the second seed Nadal. Federer will have advantage in this match because it is not being played on clay court and also some psychological edge having won the last clash between the two players.

Head to Head Record.

In another match James blake is now playing Tommy Robredo to make a 3-0 win loss record and in doubles Bjorkman-Mirnyi, Knowles-Nestor have qualified for the SFs with 3-0 and 2-1 win loss record respectively.

Golden Ball to Cannavaro

Adding another feather in the celebrated cap, Fabio Cannavaro, will be named the winner of the Golden Ball (Ballon d'Or) as Europe's top footballer. This information will be officially announced on the 27th later this month.
Currently giving strength to the new-look Real Madrid team, this champion defender stunned everyone this summer and motivated the Italian team to win the world cup.
During the journalists' vote counting session. he got fierce competition from fellow Italian and his juve mate Gianluigi Buffon, who deservingly finished second. The early frontrunner for the race was Arsenal player and French national Thierry Henry, who ended third in the race. An Italian has won this award after a long break of thirteen years after Roberto Baggio won the same in 1993.

Who is your European footballer of the year?
source :

Nalbandian bounces back with semis birth, Paes& Damm also in

Roger Federer and David Nalbandian helped each other to secure a place in the semi finals from the Red Group. Nalbandian first defeated Roddick 62 76 and Federer later on defeated Ljubicic 76 64 to make a 3-0 win loss record in the tournament. With these results red group standing were 3-0 for Federer and 1-2 for Roddick, Nalbandian and Ljubicic but Nalbandian advanced because of better set won percentage (4-4 versus 3-5 for the other two players).

In a similar fashion Damm-Paes also qualified for the semis. World No-1 team of bryan brothers were shocked by the 4th seeded Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett 36 76 64 thus kicking them out of the tournament with 3-0 win loss record.

With this loss the win loss standing in the Red Group were 1-2 for the other three teams of Damm-Paes , Erlich-Ram and Bryan Brothers. Damm-Paes qualified because of better percentage of sets won record.

Today the other semifinalist from the Gold Group will be decided. Nadal will take on Davydenko and Robredo will face in form Blake.

Sports Trivia #1

Link the following images,

with obviously the thing we blog about, SPORTS. Related post will follow.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lippi comes Leaping again

After winning the celebrated world cup title for his country, the legendary coach Marcello Lippi showed interest in reigniting his coaching career for the 2007/2008 season. Lippi quit his job as Italian coach soon after their victory over France in the world cup finals. And now after proudly rejecting a good number of offers coming from many parts of Europe the 58-year-old veteran is now looking at getting back to business. Roberto Donadoni replaced him as the coach of Italian national team.
"I've already received seven or eight offers from Europe and America, but none
from Italy, where the season has just begun, for the moment I've got no
preferences. It could also be that the clubs who have contacted me no longer
need me in the next 10 months."
Hope to see you back soon, sir.

Another Sachin and Kambli !!!

Just came across this article from Mohandas Menon,

Sachin-Kambli record eclipsed

When about 19 years back two Acherakar boys from Mumbai's Shardashram had a 664 run partnership noone would have thought that one of them would be then would go on to become Sachin Tendulkar. The thing is that one of them was Sachin Tendulkar was such an historic event that it overshadows most of the events of that decade and maybe even that century. Noone can deny the god like status Sachin has achieved today but even God shows their best as kids. About Kambli people remember more for his stupid hairstyles (or no-hairstyles) and his crying after the SriLanka semi-final loss at Eden Garden's 1996 rather than his double double centuries against England. He was a good enough batsman always there but never so much there.

Now its the turn of two kids from Hyderabad, India's new sporting hot-pot( Sania and Saina emerging from there) to give us Mohammad Shahbaz Tumbi and B Manoj Kumar. These two non-teenagers have broken one of the longest standing records in Under-18 cricket( Infact highest partnership in CLASS of Cricket) in India scoring 721 runs in a partnership for their school and hope they continue the good efforts till they grow up and play for India one day.

Hoping that both of them goes the Sachin way, not his friends way.

James Blake First into Semis

The last man to qualify for the ATP tennis masters is now the first one into semis. Blake stormed into the semis after defeating Russian Davydenko(3) 26 64 75 to lead the Gold Group 2-0. Rafael Nadal kept hopes of reaching semis alive after defeating Spaniard Tommu Robredo 76 62.

Blake will face Robredo in the last match, even if he loses he will have a 2-1 record and the second semifinalist will be decided in a do or die battle between Nadal(2) and Davydenko. Since blake has scored victory over both the players he will top the Gold group.

Federer will face Ljubicic and Roddick will face Nalbandian today. If Ljubicic and Roddick wins then there will be a three way battle for the semis place as all the three players will have 2-1 record.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

'Nothing's a disaster' - Chappell

"Nothing's a disaster, everything's an opportunity, I keep reading about the Champions Trophy being a disaster. Disappointing, yes, but not a disaster.

"Yuvraj's injury is a disaster for him in that it has come to him at the perfectly wrong time. But who is to say it doesn't become the best thing that has happened to him and make him re-evaluate his love of cricket, his desire to be a good player in both forms of the game and it motivates him like he's never been motivated before? It gives people a chance to take on more responsibility."

"There's not a sport in the world where you don't see a squad adjusting its line-up according to the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and/or the conditions,"

"We can't expect people who are removed a step or more from the team to understand what we're trying to do. Rahul is an extremely talented and experienced cricketer who has one of the toughest jobs in cricket - captaining India. As for the comment that Rahul's a puppet and I'm running the show, only people who don't know either of us will say that. It's an insult to Rahul Dravid to suggest he is anything other than his own man."

"Thankfully our philosophies are quite close and most of the time we agree on things. But when we disagree, when it comes to the point of deciding on a position in the team for example, it will always be his decision that is the final decision because he is the captain."

"Equally players have to realise that they come under pressure to perform and it's not only the media and the general public, but the sponsors, partners, the board, all the people who need the Indian people to do well."

"I live and work with them and at times get frustrated with them. But I can tell you there isn't one of them who isn't giving 100%."

"It will be a lot easier to achieve what we want to in a supporting environment. We need the support of a billion people and we need the support of key people to keep the bulk of this group together. It's been identified as the best group - 20-22 players - that we have and the 15 will come from this."

"The danger for us is that we get diverted by trying to keep everyone happy. It's not a popularity poll. It's about doing the things you believe in. Once you know where you want to go, you need to hold your nerve, and this is one of those times."

About Us

Pen The Game (initially Sportolysis) was started by a bunch of Single, Bored and hopeless Engineering grads having Sports as a Practicing and a Preaching interest. Most of the Single Men are interested in Sports by the way.

The bunch includes - Anand, Raja, Dk, abhi, Giri, Prateek, desh , Zub and Nitesh

All these writers unfortunately or fortunately come from the same College. Pen The Game aims to keep the readers informed and interested in Sports and any kind of news related to it. We will make a continuous effort to improve the blog.

Feel anything, just drop in your comments or mail us using the link given on the Header.

May you enjoy reading the blog and may we enjoy writing it.


Ashes Newses

Marcus Gone

England opener Marcus Trescothick has flown home due to reoccurance of stress related problems. This was not expected because on arriving to Australia he said he is now feeling fresh after skipping champions trophy. It's a big blow to the England side as he was one of the turning point of the last ashes.

Billy Bowden to observe self imposed media ban

One of the umpires to officiate in the Ashes first test along with veteran Bucknor will observe a self imposed media ban in the week leading to the test.

He said

"I'll let you do your job and I will do mine. I won't be talking about anything. It
will be no comment about everything. Obviously you have to do your job. I don't want
to be rude but it's just no comment."

Billy is also coming up with some new signals specially for the Ashes.

Aggression Continues

The act of aggression/rash behavior is on, now not by Australian players but infact by australian crowd abusing Monty Panesar.

One of the fan abused:

“Give us a wave Monty. You can’t speak English you stupid Indian, I’ll have to say it
in Indian. What are you doing playing in the English side, you’re not English,”

England have not lodged any official complaint but this can affect the morale of the players and team. Racial abuse was on the zenith during the South Africans tour downunder.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

EPL – My 5 picks

The Fives that kept us talking, for highs or for downs, for expectations and for under performances, for stunners or for the misses, this is the pleasure and this is pain. Penning down my five and you are welcome to tell about your fives.

5 Clubs

1. Portsmouth: From 17 in the table to a respectable (but not threatening) 6, Portsmouth does a good job this season so far. Report cards smiling.

2. Manchester United: Right at the top of the table, celebrating success and eras. The stars need to shine and currently they are. Watch out Chelsea, EPL isn’t dead.

3. Liverpool: As unpredictable as the line ups thrown per match by Rafa Benitez, the 05 European champions have a lot to prove, for no one else, but for their innumerable fans all over the world. Come on Stevie wonder.

4. Reading: Right in right there, beating spurs lately, fighting it out with both the current table toppers, this new kid on the bloc looks far better than a "right in from relegation" team.

5. Newcastle United: 4 times landing in top three in last decade or so, the club looks too tired to continue at the top level. Testing times, for the team and for the manager.

5 Managers

1. Jose Mourinho: Dare take this name of any list of managers. The good, the bad and the ugly. And my favourite question is “Hey, when is he giving his next interview”.

2. Sir Alex Ferguson: Twenty years, Man U currently winning and game on. All due respect for the great manager of a great team. Ssshhh!!!, not the best time to talk about the losses against Kopenhavn and southend lately.

3. Arsene Wenger: See Arsenal recent games and you’ll have all sympathies for one person and that’s Mr. Wenger. Sometimes it looks that in one of the matches when after all the amazing-goal-making by the arsenal team, no one scores, Mr wenger will substitute himself in, just to try.

4. Steve Coppell: This guy is looking after a kid amazingly. Keep the players happy and they keep you smiling. An A in the grade sheet.

5. Alan Pardew: Now when we have strated playing well, why shouldn’t I be exited, someone explain this to Mr. Wenger. Big and controversial transfers, hollow results. West ham, surprise us.

To be continued…..

Uniform Blues for Team India

kiran-more-india-blue-kitRs. 197 crores (or $29 million) is what Nike paid to the BCCI to be the official kit sponsor for the Men in Blue!!!

And yet, this supposedly "most valued brand in team sponsorship" has sent its team to the South African Tour without official blazers and any formal attire. So, what you saw was Rahul Dravid addressing the media at the press conference just before their departure in a black t-shirt while the board officials present were in their smart BCCI blazers.

btw, what happened to the Team India's navy blue one-day kit that Kiran More showed off sometime last December??

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tennis Spectacle in Madrid

It's a tennis spectale in Madrid alright as it hosts season ending WTA Championship with the world's top eight take to the court. The added incentive: The year-end number one slot still up for grabs and three of the eight with a chance to snap the top-slot!

But it isn't all tennis that's making headlines at Madrid. With eight gussied up women tennis stars, including Maria Sharapova, and Kim Clijsters, and Martina Hingis, there's bound to be more.

Purple courts!

Or is that lilac? (I haven't been all that good in giving names to colours and so, if you happen to know the colour by any other name, do let me know in the comment.) If you thought US open's blue courts were 'happening', what about purple???

Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne looks to return on the "purple" court. Image Source:

And apparently Maria liked purple a tad too much!

Maria Sharapova in purple on the "purple" court. Image Source:

And the Ball Boys!

If the men's tournament at Madrid Masters can have model ball girls, why not the women's event? The tournament has 34 model "ball boys", with their duties being used in 1 match a day!

And by the way, who did the tournament organizers fly in to select this gang of model ballboys??? It was none other than Maria Sharapova!

Picture: Maria Sharapova poses with male models. Image Source:

And some Neon-Night Tennis

If coloured courts and male mode ballboys was just adding some colour and spice on court. How about some Neon-Night Tennis?

black tennis court illuminated solely with UV light, 8 players wearing neon clothes, a bright ball and background live DJ music. That is something!!!

Australian Habit : Aggression

There has been lot of hue and cry over the alleged misbehaviour of the Aussies during the presentation ceremony of the ICC champions tropy in which they pushed Sharad Pawar the BCCI honcho from the dais

Of late we have heard and seen icindents of Aussies being rash , peevish , belligerent and many more words can describe their attitude. Few famous incidents are like one between slater and dravid and who can forget the nasty duel between ramnaresh sarwan and Glen McGrath that included lots of lewd taunts. Lately ponting is in news for the wrong reasons arguing with umpires in almost every tournament and was on the verge of getting suspended for 2-3 one dayers had the incident being repeated.

Australians are the most to violate the ICC code of Conduct in 2006 and Ponting has been reprimanded twice. This is not with cricket only we know about acts of Mark Philippoussis and about some football players also.

But what i feel is the act of nudging the BCCI chief was just another portrayal of their winning habbit which comes from they being "aggressive". They are taught/prepared to be aggressive and this aggressiveness leads to them being unbeatable. This is not individual aggression but it is a team. In india the players are taught to be gentlemen as this game is known as in this part of the world but in Australia winning is the main motive by any means and this is the attitude that have made them invincible.

It is in this field where India is lagging presently and it was only under Ganguly's rein when aggression was clearly visible though more in saurav but it was the attacking attitude which resulted in winning habbits. Though his critics termed it as ego problems. It was the belligerence, combativeness in series against Australia, Pakistan and in world cup which did wonders to india cricket. The aggression lead to self belief, self confidence and was converted into winning habbits.

Rare Aggression From Indians

Habit Of Australians

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell

and Cricket is war and you need to be ruthless to make winning a habit.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Ashes 2006-07 - A follow-up to the revival of the beautiful game

The Big Giants of the game (as per their current ICC Test Rankings) are back again, with the carnival moving this time to the land of kangaroos. And so the memories of their last year clash moves, and so do we; taking into the account the further addition that it needs during next three months of extensive cricket between them. Last time around, no doubt, they touched us and moved us, roused our senses and stirred our souls, made us live through their joy and despair. With no particular preference, the majority of the fans of the game all around the world, were happy to see the outcome of the series when the champions were beaten at their own game. Barring the collective slump, it was more of a busting by pace and bounce, swing and seam. Ofcourse, with pinged Harmison, tentative Hoggard, incessant Flintoff, and pinned Simon Jones, any line-up would have hustled, chinked over.

Australia had held the Ashes since 1989 and there were genuine fears the series was starting to lose its appeal, but all that instantly changed owing everything to this shock of last year. But this time again, this is Advantage Australia, thanks to all those not-so-good phases that England team had gone through, with many of their key players who played an important role in their last encounter, down with injury lay-offs, viz-a-viz, Vaughan, Giles, Jones, Flintoff. England's performances have deteriorated so rapidly since their Ashes win in 2005 having won just five of their last 13 Tests, including one by forfeit. Latest example being their dismal show at the Champions Trophy, ofcourse, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways in Australia. Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones will miss the tour (with former to get fit by third test), and though Giles has been included in the squad, but he was out for most of the year with hip problem.

Unlike that, the manner in which Australia have trampled over all corners this winter (winning CT of late), it suggests that retaining the urn will be an even bigger challenge for England than regaining it.

Nevertheless, Ashes fever is building up making it hard for record-keepers. Still some time left before the first ball is bowled in the follow-up to last summer's classic but interest in this tour is already aproaching fever pitch. James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, claims the series is already "shaping up as the biggest sporting event in Australia since the 2000 Olympics". England's cricketers have already arrived in Sydney on Nov. 5. Unlike their early predecessors who made the trip Down Under in steam ships, Flintoff's team travelled in a real style, flying first-class in a jumbo. The low-key arrival was a far cry from the wild scenes and drunken celebrations that followed their extraordinary show last year, which breathed new life into one of sport's greatest rivalries.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

ICC Champions Trophy 2006 - A Review

A month-long celebration of one-day cricket, the fifth ICC Champions Trophy brings together the 10 Test-playing countries for the only time outside the ICC Cricket World Cup. For the last 30 days, the finest cricketing talent preened and battled around the country, fighting for the second-biggest prize in cricketing world. But still the neither the mood, quality of matches nor excitement just didn't match up.

This ICC Champions Trophy did not produce the cascade of runs that usually come in India. It demanded the batsmen to be more alert to changing conditions, and saw bowlers recall the traditional virtues of swing and accuracy.

Technically-better teams stole a march over the mediocre. In the end, arguably, the best team in the world, Australia, walked away with the trophy.

But the tournament will also be remembered for the West Indies' resurgence and stagnation of India. Defending champions to qualifiers to finalists, the West Indies took its fans on an enjoyable ride while the hosts paid the price for inconsistency with the bat and ball.

Aussie rules
The Champions Trophy and the Australian team mystifyingly had a turbulent relationship till Sunday, November 5. The affair finally became more amiable when skipper Ricky Ponting laid his hands on the second biggest tournament in the world. The monkey is well and truly off the Kangaroo’s back. For the record, the Aussies haven’t lost a final in tournaments featuring more than two teams, since 1999.

The Champions
Chris Gayle made this tournament his own. There are plenty of batsmen in the world capable of scoring 474 runs in a tournament, but few who can do in the crowd-pulling manner that Gayle did. His hitting - against any sort of bowler, on any kind of pitch - was reminiscent somehow of an era when West Indies dominated cricket.

Another star was Jerome Taylor, the leading wicket-taker. Loose limbed and athletic, he ran in with pace and purpose, and really it should have surprised no-one that he did as well as he did, including becoming the first West Indian to pick up a hat-trick. Then there was Damien Martyn, repeatedly coming in to bat after a wobble, steadying the ship with serene batting. There was Stephen Fleming, handing out lessons on how to adjust to different conditions and bat on tricky pitches.

The form book
The early phase of this tournament made it impossible to predict any result with a degree of certainty. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka, West Indies beat Australia, West Indies beat India, New Zealand beat South Africa, South Africa beat Pakistan . The fact that the tournament was played in three different venues, each providing differing pitches, meant that teams had to adapt quickly, and often it was the team that displayed the most tactical nous, and cricketing intelligence, on the day, that won, rather than the better team. This meant that the tournament was wide open for a lot longer than pundits initially expected.

India, the hosts, being knocked out before the semi-final stage, along with Sri Lanka, who appeared to have the early momentum, and Pakistan, left the tournament with no Asian teams going into the last four, and this was a disappointment. But the teams that did make it, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, and of course, Australia, were the ones that had played the best cricket at key moments in the tournament.

Wicked Wickets
Since the tournament was played at the beginning of the Indian cricket season, the pitches were still raw. Besides an extended monsoon didn’t help the curators either. The worst affected was the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai where a string of sub-200 scores resulted in the ICC flying in pitch expert Andy Atkinson, armed with a glue, to ensure the smooth conduct of the final. Oddly enough, the target in the final was an abysmal 138. For a change, the pitch wasn’t blamed.

The noice and the chatter
When the tournament began there was a very real danger that the rumbling spat between the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would blow-up into a full fledged crisis. With the Indian board either taking shots at the ICC, or replying to remarks made by the ICC, in the media, there was the chance that sports pages would have been filled with Malcolm Speed and Lalit Modi, rather than hard cricket. That this tournament began with a qualifying round - and this inevitably yields one-sided matches, meant that it took some time before the cricket was hot enough to push out the officials from the sports pages. Once things began to fall into place, though, it all changed.

No crowds
The administrators thought the cricket crazy junta in India will lap up any international match that is thrown at them. In their overzealousness, they raised the tickets so high that it went beyond reach of the average fan. Only three matches, all featuring India, did roaring business while the remaining 18 ties, were played before nearly-empty galleries. It is another story though that tickets eventually went for free in most centres once India were knocked out. The long, drawn out schedule too was a deterrent.

Just when the tournament was warming up, came a body blow from across the border. Two of the potential stars of the event – Shoaib Akhtar and Mohd Asif – had tested positive to high levels of the banned substance nandrolene before they embarked for the event. The revelation not only rocked the event but also wrecked Pakistan’s challenge. It also meant that the tournament was poorer by the absence of two potent pacers.

...and then there was result
The best team in the world qualified to play the final against the team playing the best cricket in the world at the time. You couldn't ask for more, if you were fair. And in the end, as has been the case in many grand finals now - the 1999 World Cup final in England, the 2003 World Cup final in South Africa, and now this - the Australians just blew away the opposition. West Indies had one of their off days, Australia were too strong overall, and go into the Ashes having won the one tournament that eluded them. West Indies had mounted a creditable defence of their title, and played with pride, something that gives you the hope that they can give a good account of themselves when the carnival travels to their part of the world, for the biggest tournament around, not far from now.