Tag Archives: Indian Premier League

Indian Street Cricket From The Eyes Of Jack Hoyle – 2

Here’s presenting the second part of the three-part series on Street Cricket in India from Jack Hoyle. Watching these pics and his travel, one thing is sure, he definitely has a good book in his camera. 

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The batsman makes a dash for it and picks up a quick single.

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Any patch of land will do. A recently ploughed field hosts an impromptu game.

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The ball gets lost down a rabbit hole

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A young batsman takes a swing.

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That’s what mostly happens in the ultra-short format on the streets. A big swing and a miss.

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No space is free from cricket. Local common ground in Khajuraho is taken over by a group of cricket players.

Indian Street Cricket From The Eyes Of Jack Hoyle

Jack Hoyle is writing a book on the madness that cricket incites in Indian minds. He is a fascinating photographer and here he produces street cricket in India while he travelled the country during the IPL. Here’s presenting the first part of the three-part series. Enjoy 🙂

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In the backstreets of New Delhi a group of youths squeeze a quick game in.

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In Varanasi a group of boys find space between the winding alleys. If the wicket keeper misses it’s a long chase to retrieve the ball out of the Ganges.

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The emblem of a street cricket club in Varanasi.

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A man sits oblivious as a young cricketer strikes the ball, while playing on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi.

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A typical Sunday in Khajuraho; the streets are closed and the adults look on as the young boys take each other on.

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A dubious action, but you can’t fault the effort as a young bowler comes steaming in.

Why Dhoni’s Silence On IPL Spot-Fixing Is Not Justified!

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Ravi Sharma, Sports Editor, Novosol Mobile Magic writes why Dhoni’s silence on the entire spot-fixing scandal does not justify his position as Indian captain and also shakes the faith of a cricket fan on him. 

The last few days in Indian cricket have been the darkest since the 2000 match-fixing fiasco which saw the fall of stalwarts like Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja amongst others. The names of famous players went for a toss as Indian cricket’s image got tarnished. After 13 years, the rot of fixing is back but with a new name
 This time, it is called spot-fixing! But the fact of the matter is that fixing of any sort remains ‘fixing’ and courtesy that, the sport and the ordinary cricket fan have suffered the most.

From cricketers to bookies to team owners
 From spot-fixing to betting to conflict of interest in the Indian cricket board
 From Delhi Police to Mumbai Police to the crisis in the BCCI, this scandal has got murkier by every passing day! IPL’s credibility has hit rockbottom and a cricket enthusiast will find it difficult to believe what he sees on TV is true from now onwards! So, what happens to this fan, who has seen, followed and loved this game so passionately for all these years? How does his faith in the game get restored?

A statement from the legends of the game would help the cause. The Sachins, the Dravids, the Dhonis are players people trust. And few words from them will help cricket’s diehard fans getting their confidence back in the game and its players. However, Sachin and Dravid have commented on this issue but the biggest name in Indian cricket at the moment is silent
 MS Dhoni is tightlipped on this whole issue! He is yet to speak on the burning topic in Indian cricket.

It was a mockery of a press conference from the Indian skipper ahead of India’s departure to England for the Champions Trophy! The Indian skipper chose not to respond to questions related to the spot-fixing case. He didn’t even say ‘no comments’. And that too, many times! Evidently, the BCCI had gagged him over this issue. Since the time this scandal came into light, he has skipped two press conferences also.

Yes, Mahi is a contracted employee of BCCI. But why can’t Mahendra Singh Dhoni understand that he plays cricket for INDIA! MSD is a national icon apart from being the Indian skipper and he shouldn’t succumb to BCCI diktat! He is answerable to millions of fans who have followed Indian cricket like a religion all these years!

It’s high time Dhoni should retain his dignity and answer the ordinary cricket fan! A man of such high dignity, so much credibility and a true leader is fast reducing to a mere puppet of a corrupt cricket board! Time to break your silence, Mr Captain Cool!

CSK rocks

Get Srini: The Comedy Show

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N. Srinivasan stepping aside should have been a passing reference in the so-called news channels, instead of being a do or die effort at one-upmanship between some megalomaniacs, says Jaideep Ghosh

It was with a feeling of intense relief that I picked up a newspaper this morning. The lead headline wasn’t about BCCI, fixing, Srinivasan, Shirke, Jagdale, Dalmiya, Jaitley or any of the names, organisations or gangs that has held the nation, or rather, the nation’s media, captive for the past week.

Let’s face it. What exactly is wrong? Three players – two minor hopefuls and one has been – fixed some overs (allegedly) and made money and Srinivasan’s son-in-law was in the thick of things. And? Some bookies bet on the IPL, which never was the paragon of virtue ever. On the contrary, it was always a veritable den of vice. So where’s the surprise.

And where is the case? I am no lawyer, but one of the Penal Code sections being thrown at the cricketers is 420 – cheating. But who did they cheat? No one has complained, as far as I know. There has to be an aggrieved party, but there is none.

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So essentially, a dodgy tournament saw some betting and fixing (allegedly). That became the life blood of a few television channels and hogged newsprint, when it should ideally have been a news item, developing story, to be reported, maybe even commented on, and left for that. The country faces enough problems otherwise.

But no. From the beginning, the Delhi Police, and subsequently their Mumbai counterparts, made this a platform to preen about how efficient they are, with both Police Commissioners seen in action, mostly on TV.

Thereafter, the TV barons stepped in with their own brand of justice, trying to dethrone Srinivasan, who declared at the outset he wouldn’t resign.

Oh yeah? You know who we are? We are TV! We can change sarkar, stock market, crime index and even the weather! You think you’ll get away? Watch your least favourite channel then!

So come Sunday, and there was euphoria galore ‘Yeh (Srini, as he is so endearingly called) to gaya”, was the buzzword, as smug smiles were all over the screen. The smiles changed rapidly into frowns and then expressions of consternation as ‘Srini’ didn’t go anywhere. He stuck to his guns and just took what may be best explained as an involuntary vacation – that too on paper.

The great ‘Get Srini’ campaign ended up as a laughing stock, with increasingly shrill screams on the channels reflecting agony more than conviction.

Anyone who has covered sports in India knows that the BCCI won’t be bullied. Many have tried and failed, including the ICC, the Government, the media and even some players. They have tremendous infighting, but when it comes to ‘foreign’ invasions, they close ranks tighter that the Spartan 300.

This little nugget of knowledge seems to be missing from our generic media bosses. It would have saved them much agony and even more embarrassment had they worked on this premise.

But then, where would be the fun in that?

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IPL, Indian Politics And The People of India

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Our anonymous government critic points down why IPL is the least important with what is happening around India and its governance. 

One of those special weapons, super power which is used by spin doctors is the hook, a competitive mental angle, weapon of mass distraction which came in the form of the Indian Premier League and the Congress spin doctors are rejoicing. The UPA celebrates its fourth birthday recently, they tried distracting the public sentiments by their ‘Bharat Nirmaan’, their Bharat Nirmaan sounds like a female wore a mini-skirt, not because she was independent, but because, she shaved her legs. The Bharat Nirman sounded like those advertising programs decreed to vagaries of ignorance.

What the Congress could not do with crores of advertising budget, a hook in the form of the IPL did. Even Rajiv’s birthday and the Congress failures in the fourth-term did not defer our mass media. They covered the IPL with much-gusto disregarding Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress.

What is more surprising is how the media/police/officialdom found a Bollywood scape goat in the form of Vindoo. Everything said and done, the Congress is loving this moment in history. For once no one wants to know of strategic matters and corruption they are involved in. The Japan-China-India foreign affairs is now less important in the media than having foreign players in the Indian Premier League. With the spot-fixing, there are more hooks for story-telling linked to legalizing of betting, increasing role of the BCCI and the thin line between cricket and entertainment.

If you need to look at breaking news, ask yourself, what are they breaking news against. Perhaps, we owe much political debate against our government and Congress’ performance than the IPL, also important, but not at this moment.

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Rebut To The Author Who Wrote “Rebut To Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion Indians”

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By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

Pretty lousy in your rebuttal Mr. Author! For starters, if the article written by Anuj was “unnecessary”, you needn’t have published it in the first place. You ought to be careful of your words when you write dude! Being a critic is alright, but you’ve gone the extra mile, hurting the sentiments of many with your HATRED!

So, here goes my rebuttal of certain points you’ve made.

1. Dude, all the teams playing in the IPL have the same amount to spend on their players. It’s no different for CSK/MI and for the rest of the teams. Ain’t our fault if RR and Punjab spend their money on unknown players. N all the franchise players pockets runs “deep” (quoting you)!

2. As far as exploitation by the auto drivers, what has that to do with cricket dude?!? Makes no sense. N FYI, exploitation by auto drivers happens in other states as well
not jus limited to Tamil Nadu! I ve faced the heat in Bangalore despite being a “South Indian”! And up north, the first question the auto/cab drivers ask is “Madamji, aapp “Madrasi” eh?” Ain’t that exploitation??? Dude, you oughta realise that it happens across the length and breadth of the nation. not jus in CHENNAI!

Guess this link would tell you how gracious we the Chennai crowd are to any team – regional/international whenever a match is played in MAC

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/a-rewind-of-indiapak-matches-in-chennai/article4256150.ece

3. Music is the passion of every Chennaite! You’ve jus touched a raw nerve there. True, Halla Bol & Korbo are catchy – pockets of the two Bollywood stars there run “deep”! The two teams spent more money on advertising than on their players
ha ha ha! We were sensible enough to create a simple, yet effective anthem for our team. No stars – focus remains on the true flavors of Chennai

“Kolaveri Di” alone doesn’t explain the music of Chennai. We are a state which dives deep down to the fundamentals of music, providing the nation and the world with some of the best Carnatic musicians! Come December, we host the entire nation and people across the world to some delightful music and dance, n mind you, it’s not jus Carnatic but also Hindustani vocalists from across the country. Music runs deep in all of us. Looks like you turn a deaf ear
I ll send you season tickets for December tis year and then I dare you to talk about our music!

4. As far as your wonderful embrace to us, thanks (but no thanks!) It’s people like you who create a divide n rule policy and it sucks dude! Quoting you again “Change YOUR thinking, embrace US, and believe me the feeling will be mutual”

5. As much as you put up a disclaimer that you don’t mean to hurt us, IT HAS!

For someone who jus said that you were angered by only the fanaticism, this article throws light on how much of hatred you have to a state which is a part of the nation we all belong to. It’s people like you who create the divide. Tis article was totally uncalled for and shows you in poor light! Disgraceful Mr. Author!

CSK rocks

 

 

 

 

5 Times Our Heart Was In Our Mouth During IPL 6

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Action cinema and T20 cricket have many similarities, the most important being the fact that good ones in both do not give you breathing space. You have your heart in your mouth for most of the time as they happen. And though IPL 6 will always be seen from eyes full of doubt, there were moments when we all enjoyed the cricket on the ground. Here are the best 5 of them. 

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1. Gurkeerat Singh Flies: Did you see who was given the best catch of the tournament. The little unknown lad from Punjab, Gurkeerat Singh, took something most of us and even most cricketers would find hard dreaming. The batsman (Ross Taylor) had played one of his favourite shots and must  have added 6 to his tally but our man had better ideas. The celebrations after the catch were as good as the catch itself.

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2. Sanju Samson, the pocket sized dynamite: Rajasthan Royals have a habit of finding stars for IPL. If it was Swapnil Asnodkar once, it was 18-year-old Sanju Samson this time and if you listen to your heart this lad looks like having a longer shelf life than Asnodkar did. His innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the shots hit had to make you sit up and take notice. Rahul Dravid speaking highly of him was no-coincidence and if you thought the one innings against Bangalore was one off, the one’s after that broke the notion.

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3. Chris Gayle and his molestation of Pune Warriors: When Chris Gayle gets going the opposition do not stand a chance but when he molests a team, what do you do, that too a team with Allan Donald as bowling coach. Allan Donald admitted the assault left his bowlers ‘scared’. His 30-odd ball hundred and 66-ball 175 left an impression in the cricketing fraternities mind that no total is a good total in this format, provided you have in your ranks, someone who can tame any warrior.

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4. The Gambhir-Kohli Spat: How many occasions would two players from the same city fight with each other in front of the entire ground. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli did not leave any mother-sister untouched when they took over each other in one of the games between their respective sides. Some event in a tournament which rewards fair play. As they say From among all the mysteries surrounding the Indian Premier League emerges one ever-lasting truth – you can take a Delhi guy to Kolkata or Bangalore, out can’t get Dilli of the said guy. 

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5. Pollard and his All-Round Abilities and Capabilities: We went about charming Shane Watson with all awards we had on Valuable quotient. We forgot though that we had someone called Keiron Pollard in the tournament who could bat like a monster, bowl like a miser, field like a agile leopard and in need sledge someone like Watson out of the match and even out of the dug-out. His catches will be known for more than just one season, his fielding would become education for the next of wannabees, his bowling in need was as awesome as anything and in need his batting was just one word, fabulously devastating (correction two words). Remember the final, it was he who actually made sure Mumbai had a total that was better than average. Sans he and Mumbai would have struggled against a menacing side like Chennai.

 

 

Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion People

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Finally Mission Sharing Knowledge gets into a Chennai Fan and finds reasons as to why they think their team has maximum haters. Anuj R, who famously uses Anuj Chennai on his facebook handle has this to say on this. 

1)  Oh please bear with me! Yes we are indeed the most consistent team. Guess its one of the similar reason that people of other cricketing nations unite while playing against Australia as well. Aussies, the most consistent team used to have the maximum haters as well.

2)  Majority of the people love MSD, Ashwin , Raina , Jadeja and Chika (Kris Srikkanth)… Then I think its definitely not the players. Its got to be the CSK fans who add fuel to the fire by acting fanatical. But are we the same fans who praised Pakistanis at MAC stadium. Irony!!!!!!!!!

3) From the heart, we all know and have heard this statement that Chennai is not colourful like the other states. Sounds crazy but yes indeed there is a deep connection. It seriously adds to frustration to any other team’s fan sitting at the stadium. Though, a fervent CSK fan, I will completely agree with you brother.

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4) Whistle Podu – One of the best and catchy sporting anthem. Yes that also belongs to Chennai Super Kings. Mind It !

5) Chennai ? Does that belong to India is what I have heard since ages. If you alienate us like that you will despise us as well.

God save Chennai and CSK from hate and yes let us all “Rise Above Hate”.
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Rajasthan Royals: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Having had its best year in the last five years, the Rajasthan Royals definitely won many a hearts during IPL 6, even with Spot-Fixing allegations initially surfacing from their own premises. 

Rahul Dravid was very clear from the outset that they were the underdogs and moneyball team in front of the mighty Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier. The fact that his team actually stretched the game to the last over from a position of losing it says much about a side which on paper look rank underdogs in front of the might of some teams in the tournament. There had to be some highlights of the team, some good and bad. Let’s look at them one by one. 

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1. Home Advantage: If there is one team which actually took the home advantage seriously, it has to be Royals. With that kind of a team winning 8 out of 8 at Jaipur is phenomenal. No matter how much we stress on home conditions, to be fair, no ground except for crowd support, which we know is how hollow sometimes during the IPL, can actually be called home to any team. All the teams being Indian and most players coming from India, makes real advantages like knowledge of pitch, weather etc redundant. Rajasthan though played like they know Sawai Man Singh more than any other team, any other captain. The results are there for all to see.

2. Inspiring Captaincy: Frankly if you ask me one highlight of the IPL, it has to be seeing Rahul Dravid cross bat and heave deliveries over mid-wicket. No one could have made him do that in his international career and he actually customized himself to suit the format. He came out at the top like a role model to his players as to how to take the challenges front-on. He created stars like Share Warne did and am sure players like Sanju Samson will be indebted for life to him. His strategies where-in he made his superstars wait till the threat of new ball was off paid off more times than one. All-in-all we know his was a stint cut-to-made to suit an underdog side.

3. The Good Things: Start counting 

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– Sanju Samson: Fabulous batting and what a find

– Stuart Binny: No one thought he is a threat, he proved everyone wrong

– Dravid’s tactics: Wrote about that above

– A brilliant seam attack – That came out of nowhere.

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– Team Effort: Someone or the other stepped up, raised his hand and did it for them. Kemon Cooper, Brad Hodge, Samson, Binny and even Trivedi.

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– Shane Mighty Watson: Do we even need to name him. He is one rockstar that always proved his mettle for the RR.

4. The Bad Things: A few of them are here

– No quality spinners: They always lacked one and especially at the business end because of wrong reasons. In fact in their last two games, on spinning tracks they actually went in with an all-seam attack and actually won one of them. Speaks some thing about confidence, doesn’t it. To add to this RR lacked a very threatening bowler and though Shaun Tait was in the squad, it would be correct to assume he is well past his prime.

– The rate of scoring: This is one area that the Royals struggled all-through. Except sometime when Watson got going, they hardly had a net run-rate of 8 plus to boast of. Even Rahane who otherwise has been seen as someone with a more than decent T20 strike-rate looked like playing safe this time more often than not.

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5. The Ugly: Enough has been spoken of the spot-fixing saga and for the sake of Rahul Dravid, let’s keep the ugly to only the three of the so called “Rotten Eggs”. We hope and pray not any other of that side is involved in the rut.

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6. Best Player: Without a doubt this could have gone to either Watson or Hodge. While Watson kept playing good cricket through, it was Hodge who proved what he is capable of in the all important eliminator when he took upon the mantle of cracking down on the best bowling attack on display and winning the game for his side, all this after his name was also being discussed in the fixing saga. Some mettle these Aussies are made up of, isn’t it? And yes, while we keep talking of the batsmen because of the format, we should not forget, it was James Faulkner who won all our hearts with some supremely good bowling in the tournament. Not many end up with two five-fors in the same IPL, do they? Faulkner actually did it. My prize for best player goes to the Purple Cap holder Faulkner.

This team has always been a surprise package and it would be extremely interesting to see what and who they buy next year when everyone goes under the hammer for only the second time. They though cannot afford to let go of the fact that they first need an inspiring captain to lead them like Warne and Dravid have done. 

 

 

Leaving Cricket be-Sahara?

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Sahara pulling out of the IPL as well as the Team India contract at the end of the year comes almost as a natural sequence to the fixing scandal and potential threats of more exposures, says Jaideep Ghosh

The Sahara India Pariwar isn’t quite in the best of health financially, that is no secret. On the contrary, what surprises people is the fact that they seem to be able to conjure up immense amounts of money from the proverbial thin air. But that magic trick is obviously not working too well now. Pune Warriors alone cost Sahara Rs 1700 crore. Then we have other assorted commitments – hockey is one, though that is loose change for the Sahara Group.

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The other big thing is the Formula One deal, where Vijay Mallya virtually hypnotized Subroto Roy Sahara into dishing out some obscene amount to get a sticker on the Force India car – a barely-visible sticker. Then of course, we have assorted commitments like sponsoring the Bangladesh cricket team.

All of this shows just one thing – having money does not necessarily mean being able to spend it. On the flip side, from the BCCI’s viewpoint, there is only so much arrogance that anyone will take, especially those investing millions of dollars in what is essentially the BCCI’s domain, without any arguments.

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Sahara has a record of pouting and walking out, like they did in 2012. That didn’t evidently come as ample lesson for BCCI, who encashed their bank guarantee, almost instantly, the moment the deadline for the contentious franchise fees had ended.

Also, Sahara, already under the microscope, would definitely be in some rush to dissociate from anything that looks shady – which the IPL has become in a span of just two days. So this is a good time to take a hike which serves two purposes.

For one, Sahara managed to jolt BCCI again. The second is that they have wriggled out of what was a disastrous deal for Pune Warriors. That they did it like some small-time retailer reflects the general mindset of the company.

There is a third thing too. God forbid any Pune players are hauled up by any of the state police forces (after all, you can only fix to lose, and who loses more than Pune?); Sahara can say they aren’t in the mix any more. As it is they don’t need more bad publicity.

The sad fallout of it all is that what used to be a sport is fast becoming a joke. Sure, marketing forces will make it a saleable property again soon (read, as soon as the IPL ends and the action shifts to the Champions Trophy), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that cricket by and large is played in a shadow of illegal or not-so-legal activities. And no one can change that in a hurry.

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