My tribute to the little master….

Sachin Tendulkar

Cricket to me is something that I do not take cognizance of mostly. But, in the last couple of weeks, I lost to my perception, I lost to the grandeur, I lost to the stature of a legend -the little master. A defeat was pleasing to the senses for the first time ever.  I found the feeling difficult to contain within & hence have set out to this space with the outpour.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a name that is an introduction in itself. I am already convinced that if there is a synonym to the word Cricket, it surely is just one ‘Sachin’. Days are not far when children, young & ambitious, would utter “I am playing Sachin mom, allow me  some more time please”. And that benevolent mother would bow down to the request of her child for the love of nation, for the love of Sachin. Due to my limited interest in the game as mentioned, I know not much about Sir Donald Bradman. I have come to terms with this fact realizing that I at least know who is the Bradman of today. Sachin, no doubt, has proved to be the Bradman of this era.  A player who has a ton of tons in international cricket is truly a magician. Sachin has set out some stupendous benchmarks during his cricketing career. Some of them are almost unbreakable, but would be a great impetus for the youngsters in trying to achieve them. His last inning was absolutely a treat to watch as he rose to the occasion gracefully. This seclusion from the sport wouldn’t be less than a nightmare for him. That last march to the dressing room after his dismissal, would have been an enormously cumbersome one to tread. The way he played leaves me pondering like many others, was there more of cricket left in the little master? Was it an early deprival for his fans?

The post-match speech of Sachin was one of the best I had ever lent ears to. He commenced with thanking his father & continued down the list, though it was such a difficult time to speak. I believe that to emerge victorious in any walk of life, a person first needs to have a good character. Sachin has had this attribute in handsome proportion. From what we know about him, he is an obeying son, a loving brother, a wonderful husband, a caring father, an encouraging teammate & above all a generous human being. This was all evident on the countenance of those near & dear ones present around him. Life is a melange of several transitions & plenty of events. What dominates at the end is the family bonding. At this difficult moment of parting away from his passion, it is the support of his family that would help him ease the ordeal.

The 24 years of relentless cricket, filled with numerous moments of euphoria, have suddenly ceased. The hero has gifted so much to his country throughout the course of his career & now it was our turn to reciprocate.  The media played its part by dedicating bulletins to his name, the spectators turned up in multitude, there might be some penning up praises for him like me, but still it is no match against his contributions.

I wish I could have kept from loosing my interest in cricket, only had Sachin been a part. You wouldn’t be missed Sachin, for missed are those who are forgotten at first. You live in our hearts. Stay blessed……

Photo Source: Sachin’s Facebook page


Asia Cup in review

What began on the 11th of March, couldn’t have ended in such fashion, even in the wildest of comtemplations. I can’t express the feeling of what I am to put in words after a few minutes. Wow! Never could have I or either one around the globe deliberated on such an exciting finish to this contest. First of all felicitations to the winners, Team Pakistan & my best wishes to the runners up, Bangladesh. This tournament has certainly unveiled great amount of talent and must have boosted the morale of young cricketers like Kohli & Shakib. Meanwhile, it has also furnished their skills to a great extent.

If we analyze the role & performance of each team, I would prefer starting with SL and then ascend in discussion based on the results of each one. Sri Lanka really couldn’t taste anything more than defeat. They failed to maintain the tempo, which helped them succeed in different forms of the game so far. To talk about India, I consider them to be a bit unlucky this time. Tendulkar got to his much awaited hundredth ton, but my fears turned to reality seeing the aftermath of that particular match. This is what my status update was on Facebook, when Sachin got to his century, “Environs reverberate with extols about the Little Master. But, my fears elevate further. Sachin’s ton doesn’t give immunity against a defeat. Rather degenerates the likelihood to some extent. Hoping for the best. Fingers crossed….” All the jubilation subsided into an air of eerie discomfort. Dejection rose to its zenith, as the spectators left the stadium, ensnared by grief. But, the Indian team recovered and outsmarted its arch rivals in the batting department. Kohli seemed to have had a lions lunch that day. He batted wonderfully well in a game that was looked forward to with an unimaginable curiosity. Later, it was an incredulous win by Bangladesh against Sri Lanka, that seized the fate of our Indian team. Pakistan in my opinion, as usual struggled to perform consistently. Their fielding and batting is highly unreliable & they have only the bowling department to count on. In both the games against Bangladesh, it was only their bowlers who helped dock their ship. Had they not been there, it would have become extremely difficult to evade the tides. The other two sectors were a failure again.

Bangladesh definitely needs a separate mention. They have performed beyond expectations. For me, they were the best team in this competition. They showed improvements in all areas of the game. Their batting was superb, they bowled positively & fielded to their best. To summarize it all, we saw a new Bangladesh team grooming up to face the upcoming challenges. I take pride to applaud them for their resplendent performance in Asia Cup. For me they didn’t lose and should be regarded as winners too. Though, they failed to win the Cup, but have undoubtedly won the hearts of millions. This is where the real beauty of Cricket lies!

Battle of the best…..

What en eventful World Cup this has been so far.We have seen a few hat tricks,a nail-biting tie between India and England and of course there were a few pearls to offer,by the masters of this game to their respective teams.There were quite a few anticipations before the contest had begun that the archrivals are unlikely to face each other.But now,the world waits to witness them play at such a crucial stage of this event.The match has been scheduled on the 30th of March,Wednesday in Mohali’s Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.The PCA Stadium with a capacity of around 30,000 audience will be ready to host at least the same number.

It has literally become the talk of the town with regard to what the outcome of this match would be,who would startle the spectators and so on and and so forth.An air of aggression seems to have ensnared the cricket fans of these two countries and truly emotions are ascending to their zenith.If we have a look at what the stats say,it comes to notice that it is the fifth occasion when these two cricket crazy nations are meeting since the 1992 CWC.However,never has it happened that they met at the knockout stage.It may be a staggering fact for many that India has not lost to Pakistan in the World Cup even a single time.In the previous four matches,the teams have met once in Australia,India,England and South Africa, respectively.Due to the fact that Pakistan is playing in India,security concerns are bound to make an appearance.When Haroon Lorgat,ICC Chief Executive was asked about these issues,he said “Why would there be concerns? We’ve got very, very robust and secure security processes in place.”Thousands of security personnel are deployed in the area to ensure adequate safety for those present.It was assumed that if Pakistan reaches the final four,the venue for the semi-final would be shifted to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.But Lorgat insisted to keep the schedule unchanged.

We are well acquainted with the fact that the relations between India and Pakistan do not stand as good as they should have been.Ergo,PM Manmohan Singh has taken a bold yet appreciative step by inviting some men of the highest political ranks from the neighboring country.Some even say that its just diplomacy being played under the guise of cricket.It is expected that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,along with the Governor of Punjab,Latif Khosa will be among the VVIP audience.

Albeit,the aftermath of this ODI is still not very clear at the moment,but the sentiments are already conquering skies.It goes without question that the Indian team will have to face the brunt of exertion because of the huge expectations of the home crowd,media,bollywood stars and above all the fear of,god forbid,a loss against Pakistan.What each team needs is to stick to the basics of the game,amass their strengths,eliminate their weaknesses and play normal cricket.And I hope the rancor overcomes not the sportsman spirit of the game.I wish both the teams good luck and the viewers an enjoyable game of cricket.

Did India lose???

It was a fantastic contest last night between two nations that stand high in stature to engrave their name on the World Cup trophy this time.England were fresh from a victory over the Dutch last week and held their spirits high against one of the most destructive batting line up in the world.India too would have stepped in to plunder Strauss’s intentions of spoiling its party in Bangalore.The Chinnaswamy stadium was ready to serve these highly ambitious players and of course the audience who built up the ferocious heat in the environs of the stadium.If I were to classify the game in different phases without iniquity of course,the first one would be India winning then,England reaching its triumph and lastly India loosing.Following is my interpretation and elaboration of these stages.

They say winning the toss is tantamount to winning half the match.India won the coin toss and chose to bat.Tendulkar came to the crease to help India reach victory yet another time by strutting out a ton and scoring his fifth WC century that included five sixes and ten fours.His vital partnership with Gambhir for the second wicket of 134 runs helped India post a mammoth target of 338.He again put the fact to picture that how important a player he is for India. Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Dhoni also performed fair enough.India were now determined to win the match by bowling the opposition out before they reach the required number of runs.Dhoni would surely have visualised him on the winning side now.But the time had come for the English captain Andrew Strauss to make known his mettle.Verily,not many players possess the ability to obscure the efforts of Sachin Tendulkar.But the Kismet and skills of Strauss helped him do so.His impeccable innings seemed to have bewitched all those witnessing him play.He clobbered the Indian bowlers and went on to score 158 that constituted 18 fours and a six.Ian Bell on the other hand supported him well,thereby adding 170 runs to the total before the third wicket fell.This innings of AJ Strauss is his career best and also his maiden World Cup hundred.Besides,he has also broken the record of Dennis Amiss,another English cricketer who scored 137 runs at the inaugural match in 1975 of the same event at Lords.And that too was against India.We thought the British would easily dock their ship till the shore.No tactics of Dhoni were proving helpful to debar the Englishmen from being victorious till came the 43rd over.Suddenly,England started to stray away from the winning path.Many would have criticised England for having taken that Powerplay then,asZaheer decimated the hopes of these two well set batsmen.The tide again turned in India’s favour and England tottered.Indians became favorites again.But yet again,the hard work of Yardy,Bresnan, Swann and Shahzad paid off by the end of the penultimate over.At this point I felt India lost because they were twice in control of the game and let it go away from their hands even though England fluttered and faltered at regular intervals.

I think only a few may be aware of what Shane Warne’s said before the match had begun.He tweeted “Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker.. My prediction a tie !”And truly,it came out to be one.Its incredulous to see that 676 runs were scored and still there wasn’t a winner.If we look at the history of Cricket,it comes to notice that there have been twenty six ODI ties so far.And it is the fourth consecutive tie in the World Cup.

Before concluding,I must say that MS Dhoni needs to settle issues with his bowling(and fielding to some extent).You cannot win with just one bowler bowling good for you.It would be a blight for the Indian team if they employ not other techniques of play in the days to come.

T20 World Cup

It didn’t take long for the cricket fans to wander around scrounging for entertainment after the third season of IPL ended the previous month.Soon,it was the T20 world cup that attracted attention of the audience worldwide.As expected it is turning out to be an outstanding tournament so far,despite the fact that Indians are now standing out.As I write this,England outplays Sri Lanka to qualify for the final.

The men in blue actually lost hope to win the WC prior to having been beaten by Sri Lanka.The comprehensive win by Sri Lanka later in that match just facilitated the media to criticize the Indian team even more than if Dhoni’s young brigade had not have lost that final match of the Super eights.Our media which continuously flaunts meaningless taglines like “Apko rakhe age” and “Zara sochiye” doesn’t even have the slightest idea of the extent to which it can damage the perception of an individual.

We know that Pakistan had lost to the Kiwis in their second match of the S8’s.There was an immediate response to this on one of the channels that seemed to have taken pride in reporting about Pakistan’s departure from the T20 World cup.We now know what lies ahead for Pakistan in this event.And it was this very media that may have felt monotonous to showcase the news of Pakistan entering the semi’s.Huh!!!Such blatant discrimination?Okay,I know there may be some agony in between Pakistan and our Indian media(esp. after Sania’s marriage with Shoaib,notwithstanding their desperate attempts to create turbulence before this wedding),but what about India itself.It is this very biased Indian media that is now raising eye brows on players of the Indian team which at times lifts them up into the skies whilst praising them.To spice up the whole news piece,IPL has been introduced to the allegation process.Earlier,at the commencement of this major event,it was analysed that it would help the Indian players to prepare themselves for the upcoming WC.But now,the whole blame has been put on the it.The players are being asked to choose between their country and the Indian Premiere League.Had IPL have really affected the teams performance,the aftermath would have similar on the players of all the other teams that had participated in it.Its absolutely foolish to put allegations on IPL for this unexpected performance from our team.

An exclusive thought for the Indian media “Cats like men are flatterers”.