Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just in case…

Just in case the Karmayuddha of BCCI, the IPL falls flat on its face (Com’ on. Most of us, the connoisseurs of the game, so desperately want it to), what will happen to the fate of this idea which is expected to be yet another Taj Mahal on Subhash Chandra’s grave.

SRK – It will surely fulfill his biggest dream – to be bigger than Big B, it will surely beat the debacle known as ABCL. Although the king khan has himself declared some backup plans on increasing the number of marriages he is going to dance in, this may well not be enough. He might well be turning the guest in place of a host in his next TV show . May be his dear friend Karan Johar, who can now officially hold a ration card in Tamil Nadu, will play the host. He deserves it. After all how could he not see ISI’s strategy to plant Shohaib Akhtar in India’s one season old Brett Lee, Ishant Sharma. Doesn’t he know that Shohaib plays with his captain’s balls on the ground and his own bat in the dressing room?

Mukesh Ambani – For the entire stock expert out there predicting to this slowdown dead in a year or two, get ready for a new IPO. The entire reliance group has so many companies under its umbrella that they themselves may not know. If they do not declare a new one for a week, they get constipated. One fine day Mr. Ambani will get up, launch a new company, declare ever than handsome projections for it and launch an IPO. Market, which would just be out of this sub P(L)ime crisis will soar and crash. By than he would have earned and invited SRK for his kids’ marriage.

Wadias – Or shall I say Preity Zinta. I wish I was born as Ness Wadia. Everyone does. Even if they loose everything, they have sufficient land in Mumbai to cover their losses. I hope they don’t go the Pamela – Tommy Lee route as Ms. Zinta was rumored to have her experiences with modern hand held gadgets in the past. Their marriage will happen giving SRK one more platform to dance.

Vijay Mallaya ­ - Only Mr. Mallaya is completely hedged in this lot. If IPL is a success, he earns. If its not, he will have thousands to get drowned riding on a Kingfisher in the oceans of divine liquids. He would later say that he doesn’t mind IPL failing as test cricket is real cricket. After all, with Dravid, Kallis, Kumble, and Jaffer in his side his team would only play test cricket in IPL.

Emerging Media – It will never emerge. Shane Warne being their captain, I hope some MMS on the offer pretty soon.

Deccan Chronicle – They will earn more than enough if they sell Andrew Symonds to Indians.

Sourav Ganguly – Dada would be the happiest in case IPL fails. I am sure he would repeat his Lords – 2002 act in front of BCCI. Just that he would have better words this time rather than the unmentionables ­­- The Dard-e-disco. I am sure he will always keep a slip on as himself during the tests, keep Ponting as 12th man and never let Shohaib Akhtar hold a bat. Only thing he will regret is the ghost of his captaincy days hasn’t stopped following him yet, the best potential all rounder of all times - Ajit Agarkar. Though the job is easier in 20-20 because one just need to hide his 24 balls yet Agarkar has all the talent in the world to surpass all the expectations and get 50s consistently – with ball I meant.

DLF – It will turn to Delhi Liberation Front.

Rest, you can add in comments.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


By the time I started watching cricket seriously, Kapil Dev was in the last quarter of his career and new heroes were emerging. I could not witness his banana swing or destructive batting what he was capable of producing but I did witness the magic of his razor sharp comments. For example, once our medium pacer Anil Kumble got so frustrated by the West Indian pad man Jimmy Adams' "I want to keep my bat young" tactics that he hit his favorite, the apples. At 123kmph, Adams was down on the ground for 5 minutes. The moment he got up, Kapil Dev doing commentary on DD sympathized, "His wife need not worry now. He is fine". The comment was made in such a devastatingly bovine manner on a channel which doesn't even let DharamJi drink his favorite drink (dog's blood) without any volume that I found it the most funny, bold and bizarre piece of commentary. Not surprisingly, that was his last series on DD. I have heard him live once and his comments are mostly from the heart and to the point.

Today I heard him on Ten Sports, roaring as he ever does and making some sense.

BCCI has banned everyone who joins ICL, players that is. ICL started with Subhash Chandra giving his two cents to improve the state of Indian cricket after WC debacle. BCCI politely rejected the idea – “Thanks but no thanks”. Chandra decided to go ahead with it and got some big names signed up – as players and as sponsors. Although most of the players were either retired/nearing retirement or had lost hopes for playing at the highest level. Some though it as an easier means to get some earning, especially foreign players, because no where in the world cricket is not as lucrative as in India in monetary terms. That too when you are a superstar with a screen pleasing charming face. With some success expected in ICL, suddenly Lalit Modi remembered how he had though about the similar idea in 1996 and was discarded. BCCI came up with IPL and Modi is globally praised for his out of the world business idea which is expected to take not only Indian cricket but also world cricket to a new level. BCCI is an autonomous body and in its true dictator spirit, forced ICC to ban players who had joined ICL. May I ask why?

· Only time I can remember ICC banning a player for not so cricketing reason was during South Africa days. Situation is different here. It is like I do not want to sell my product through ebay, I prefer bazee. My ISP cannot cut my connection if I do that, can he?

· Agreed ICC has banned ICL because it’s an arm, BCCI considers it as a rebel. But an associate of a rebel is also a rebel. Should ICC not ban Ten Sports who is currently broadcasting ICL in India and others who are taking it to global viewers? After all, cricket is all about television and ad revenue these days. To get people into the stadium, Chandra has to rely upon the pelvic thrusts of Sameera Reddy and Neha Dhupia.

· What about sponsors? They should also be banned because without them, ICL would not have been possible. If Coke had got the sponsorship of IPL, Pepsi would surely have gone to sponsor ICL. Had BCCI got Pepsi banned too through ICC and forced all its players to cancel their contracts with Pepsi?

· Not every time there is a “first mover’s advantage”. Sometimes there is a “first mover’s disadvantage” as well. When HSBC established its first ATM in India, it took years to get its customers to get into the habit of using ATMs and not rushing to the branches to get their money. Other banks spent lesser time and money on the same because when they entered, the technology and trend were more stable. May be BCCI should have got people used to of ICL style cricket and even helped it. Once you have the EPL like club following in India and rest of the cricket playing nations, IPL might have gained more with the backing of better muscles of money, names and infrastructure.

· One more league means more competition and giving more of the food you want to feed your customers with. This would have given more scope to not only players but sponsors as well to choose from. May be BCCI is used to of its dictator status and likes the monopolistic ways.

The biggest challenge for IPL would be create new parameters for loyalty. If I have been supporting India for all this while, I don’t care much if UP wins in Ranji or Rest of India in Irani Trophy because I get attached to the game only when I see Tendulkar battling it out against Lee. Now when you show me Yuvraj singh getting stumped by Adam Gilchrist and bowled by Shahid Afridi, I would more feel like watching a friendly match than a competitive one. It will take sometime to build the loyalty for club and that will be IPL’s biggest challenge.

One of my Hyderabadi friend asked me – “So, are you looking forward to IPL?”

I said I do not know.

His reply was – “That is because you don’t have a team to support, I have.”

Someone might soon write in some paper in Mumbai now – “No one wants UP-Biharis in this country, not even IPL”.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Experience Vs. Youth.

What seperates men from boys :)

Happy Women’s Day!!!

On this auspicious day of celebrating 99th women’s day (Seems like it started in 1908, may be women’s presence was subjected to only nights before that), let us pay tribute to some of the legends from the other side of sexual divide. My tiny mind can think of only a few, so if I have missed out on your chartbusters, please feel free to write in the comments section. Also, standard disclaimers apply for the post.

Bobby Darling – If you have to reach Gurgaon from Noida, you have to cross Delhi. Do not get me wrong, it’s Delhi where Bobby Darling (Pankaj Sharma) born. Having seen the couches of both the sides in film industry, it was the Big Boss that gave her/him the real fame. In an age where migrants are snatching breads on the streets of Munbai from the locals, its Bobby Darling who kept the likes of Beghum Nawazish away from steeling the market share of Beghum’s look alike Simmy Grewal even after the conspiracies of Indian media.

Rakhi Sawant – In an age when being a north Indian in the country carries the same fate as Jews during WWII as they are not liked anywhere – this is what our leaders led us to , Rakhi Sawant comes across as the modern avatar of a Nobel laureate – Mother Teresa. Like mother embraced the poor and unwanted of society all her life, Rakhi has embraced an unwanted too – a north Indian Abhishek Awasthi. Rakhi is a multi faceted personality. Womanhood in her personality is as high as silicon (or may be silica, please pardon me for being academically challenged) in sand. When Rakhi is not explaining the minute details of her birthday party in order to spread awareness about sexual harassment, she is encaging ( herself to save tigers. Unlike the other struggling stars who sing from the top of their roof that they were robbed in their kitchen last night just to get some chap publicity, Rakhi comes as fresh air by being absolutely secretive about private affairs – her roles in item songs. For her, it’s all an open book .

BahinJi – If there is one woman on the track to be the next Indira Gandhi or Benzir Bhutto, it’s our very dear BahinJi. One of the shrewdest minds in Indian politics, not many would remember that it’s her visit to Mumbai after which the historical North Indians Maharastra Chhodo movement has started. May be it’s her presence which has caused the political stalwarts in Mumbai to work on their basics. Or there is some strategy? To get into the power one has to take the difficult route of taking all walks of voters along in this country which holds the record for most number of parameters to divide. She did so much before their male counterparts could recognized this in recent UP elections. May be she has a vision for Maharastra too. BahinJi holds the record for most number of her statues in a state, the best rewarding birthday in monetary terms and is on her way to be the first living legend to have her birthday named as state holiday.

Shakeela – The goddess of thundering thighs is the most underrated and under garmented female in the history of women liberalization in the country. In the male dominated screen of 70mm, she dominates the males in literal, physical and sexual sense in her most caressing mannerisms as mostly they are on her knees - kissing. For more on the south Indian sex symbol, go to my earlier post – Shakeela.

Monica Lewinsky – This bootylicious unpaid intern at White House holds the unique distinction of having given the spice to the most famous cigar in the history of mankind and providing a new life to the slowing down US economy. The charity generated from the auctioning of cigar sponsored Castro’s treatment hence US could sell its weapons to Cuba for many more years to come – through indirect routes obviously as it always does. Her oral skills earned her such a level of popularity that “Clinton Returns” might never be able to achieve.

Mamta Banerjee – This maverick politician taught the Congress a lesson or two about grass root level politics by forming her own Trinamool Congress Party . She holds the record of having gone for most number of hunger strikes yet has maintained a Body mass index over 30. If Bongs boast of being the better off in personal-professional life mix, India's youngest parliamentarian deserves the credit by organizing most number of public holidays defamed by her opponents as bandh which is the sheer act of downgrading the tigress’s valiant efforts for a social cause.

Deepika Padukone – For last two years, Team India has been boasting of a formidable middle order because of two dangerous hitters. She put it to real stress and the famed middle order bowed down to its knees. Right now the towel’s of the newest leaf of a famed family tree in bollywood is getting pulled down. Luckily, the middle order looks back on track. Cricket has been blamed for the bane of other sports in India. Deepika looked to be all set to take her dad's revenge from the game

And, the list goes on. I apologize to the weaker sex for putting up this a day after the women’s day. But I have been bogged down with my laziness, intellectual incapability and serious lack of alcohol in my blood.

Nobody celebrates a Man’s day because everyday is a man’s day. How? When you slog out the unmentionable parts of your body under a dictator called boss, the day goes out as a man-day in the billing sheet, although it’s rarely a happy one.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Breaking News!!!

We did it. We slapped the two of world’s best teams like a monkey does in this video and emerged victorious. Two things here – first, even if you are forced to visit this page because you just do not want to be too rude to the author, please see the video. It is worth watching. Second – I am not a racist, I am just trying to draw an analogy between the video and the circumstances. This even is the best to have happened after Supreme Court finally recognized the innocence of MunnaBhai – the gandhigiri expert by letting him go off on bail. I don’t claim this but in case you are a religious follower of Indian news channel, you will agree. They celebrated like they ever do. Every picture was exclusive to a particular channel although you could find the same on the other channel – some concurrent, some not. If they could not reach the players, they reached their family. If they could not reach the family, they reached those who claimed to be the family. It was the most stupendous example of investigative journalism. They caught everyone who had happened to touch the life cycle of any player – be it their coaches, their closest family members, their farthest family members, friends with whom they played, friends with whom they studied, friends with whom they watched the porn for first time and the list goes on. You would not have seen so many different versions of breaking news on a single day.

No, no. They are not being racist by calling Andrew Symonds what you are reading on screen. It’s the Kirti Aazad they are referring to as Aadi Manav, and that is why he is blushing. The best line – “Kahte hain nange se to bhagwaan bhi darta hai par Andrew Symonds is nange se bhi nahi dare”.

Come one. Do not laugh. Indian mothers generally slap their sons when they come back home. Hence this incident shows the how beating the world champions has brought us back to our traditions. May be it has something to do with the reminiscence of the ancient men at Australian soil.

As if it were his neighbors who were to welcome Praveen Kumar in regular course of events.

Yeah, she did dance in joy. And we saw it live, whole day. We also came to know about the recipes of Motichoor Laddo, Poori, Malpua from her mother during broadcast.

Na,na. It’s really breaking news. Do not laugh if you are a resident of a city which is spoilt by emigrants from underprivileged states. We hardly get power and to get it for more than 6 hours (we saw the lightened house for at least 6 hours) for such a big house (we even saw the toilets, it was Indian style), this does qualify for the breaking news.

I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. My cell phone is not very good at taking pictures and I was too lazy to get my camera. Let me read it out – “Team india ke 12 kunware, Raj tilak ke baad rajkumari ki bari”. If you are wife hunting and trying to figure out how to go about it, it was a must see for you. Dhoni needs a tall wife because he himself is 5’11”, she should be fair because Dhoni is not, since he goes around the world, wife must be convent educated. Yuvraj wants (at least that is what the channel claimed) a simple wife because he has had enough of T20s with models. If you have such a girl in mind, please sms to 52222.

Praveen Kumar wants a girl like her mother that was what the half an hour long interview said. Ishant Sharma should also get married ASAP. Did anyone say child marriage is banned in India? Well, channel requested its viewers to send a sms to 53333 in support of marriage age for men in India to be shifted down to 18.

As sensational as – “We played very well in Australia”.

What is Suniel Shetty doing on a show that is discussing if we are ready to be the best cricket playing nation? Don’t you remember Matthew Hayden invited Ishant Sharma in boxing ring? Or how Symonds shoulder barged the man who now holds the world record of his Arse’s picture getting blurred/blacked for most number of times? Cricket is no longer just about cricketing skills. You should also know the self defense. And who better than Suniel Shetty, the black belt, to tell you about this. Unfortunately he was more interested in talking about his hotels and how they were ready to be used for IPL.

There were many more like every channel claiming to be the only to channel to arrange a live phone-chat between Rohit Sharma and his mother or interview of the chef in Hotel Intercontinental where team stayed in delhi but I felt sleep. But after so much of hoopla, I just want to ask – is it worth? After all we have just won a tri series. I agree it’s against the best team in the world but do we rate ourselves so low that it was so much unexpected that the success has made everyone go that crazy. Or may be its pre publicity for IPL.

Do not blame the news channels. They are my favorites. But even this time they failed to break the record – to beat the best breaking news till date.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No matter what happens from here!!!

No matter what happens from here, India has done really well in Australia. They meekly surrendered in the first test but bounced back so beautifully that Australia had to rely on the two gentlemen in black & white to win the test. Australians were forced to follow the famous philosophy of “whatever happens on the field, lets report it to the referee”, there was landing problem for BCCI’s private jet was supposed to fly back Indian team and Australian media unearthed the reports of how the Saint of peace, truth and harmony Andrew Symonds came to rescue of Brett Lee when an “Obnoxious Weed” tried to sexually assault him. But Team India rose like a phoenix on a ground where they were supposed to be blown away in 2 days so that Shaun Tait could get some rest after having bowled at a speed of 200KPH and thrashed the World Champions. They drew in Adelaide after typical hiccups and the result of the test series read 2-1 which could so easily have been the same with 180 degree turn had that devastatingly bovine faced old gentleman from Jamaica missed his flight to Sydney. Considering the circumstances, loosing regular bowlers regularly in the series and the opposition, Team India’s performance was stupendous.

The focus shifted from longest version to the shortest than shorter version. Few pairs of old legs (in fact just one, the other pair of legs were dropped in India itself) for the ODIs and as usual, there was lots of hype and hoopla from cricket greats like Surinder Khanna, Nikhil Chopra, Vijay Dahia, Saba Karim etc. The 20-20 champions got themselves thrashed in the only T20 match and the batting started poorly with team bundled out for 190 odd in the first ODI. But the bowlers did a terrific job as they had been doing all summer to restrict Australia at 51/3 when rain god decided to party. It was “got out of the jail” situation for both the sides. The experts voiced their opinions about how the team is missing experience in batting line up and all that. But we reached the final without taking out the calculators in the last league match of the tournament which has been our tradition. We comprehensively defeated Australia in the first of the final something which most of the current Australian players would not have seen – opposition winning comprehensively.

Now, Australia being the world champions can still beat us to lift the last of the tri series trophy and it is still very much possible. If they do, they deserve it. But that won’t take any credit away from the current Indian side. And selectors deserve some credit for it which they normally do not get.

India has a lot of positives to take from this tour. First is the fast bowlers department. Zaheer Khan maintained the tradition of returning back home after the Boxing Day test. S Sreesanth was already enjoying the Kerala winters. But RP Singh took it over from in and he found a very capable Ishant Sharma in him. Zaheer’s absence meant Irfan Pathan’s MoM on his comeback test match. RP lasted till the second or third day of the last test match. But Ishant Sharma, Sreeshanth who was back for ODIs, Irfan Pathan did well in the ODIs with the all rounder getting wickets as well as few runs. So far, Praveen Kumar has done well.

In batting, Gautam Gambeer has been extremely good although he wasn’t facing the best bowling side in the tournament because that was his own side. Apart from being solid behind the stumps, Dhoni was solid with the bat as well. He showed the glimpses in tests as well though without any big scores – remember those crucial 38 in Perth? His approach to the batting, calmness and disaster management technique have been really impressive. Rohit Sharma has also shown some talent. Biggest worries have been Yuvraj but may be he is not fit because he injured his knee while fighting with Ranbeer Kapoor. With two Sharmas doing so well, a third Sharma from other side of sexual divide might offer some help.

One big positive from launching a new side in Australia against Australia – You have seen the toughest. If you survive here, you will survive in most of the situations against most of the opposition. The same could be said about this side. So irrespective of the outcome of the finals, we have a few good probable for the future in form of Gambheer, Sharmas, Praveen Kumar, Chawla apart from the Dhonis and Pathans. With RP and Zaheer expected to be fit in near future, I hope we use the bunch of fast bowler intelligently so that next time Zaheer spends the New Year in Australia. Future, at least now, does not look that bad in ODIs. For tests, we need to start the phase out process.

Although, If we win tomorrow or in the 3rd match, Dhoni and his team might well get the second open bus ride in the same financial year. But if the result turns out to be same as test series result, good luck selectors. Supporters of the oldies would be sharpening their pens, mouths and swords while we are appreciating the efforts of this team.

Lets all hope Brisbane throws a good party for Gilly’s and Hogg’s farewell.