Mahi is my Captain

Few days ago, a friend on mine asked me, “Which is your happiest moment of life?” My answer was “2007 T20 World Cup win”.

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Few days ago, a friend on mine asked me, “Which is your happiest moment of life?” My answer was “2007 T20 World Cup win”.

Back in 2003, I was only 12 and in India, it is a good enough age to understand all the nitty-gritties of cricket. After the disastrous start of campaign, it was an astonishing feat to even reach the finals. At the same time, it was very clear that India can’t move ahead further. Defeating the then Australian team was virtually not possible. I was in front of TV during the whole match, but couldn’t dare to watch the match beyond that 15 runs Zaheer Khan over. I could not see India being defeated, yet after every few minutes, I will change the channel to Set Max hoping for a miracle. It never happened. We lost, but it was that team lead by Saurav Ganguly who actually, for the first time. made us dream about the World Cup.

Four years had passed and it was time to fulfill the dream seen in 2003. The first round of world cup was clashing with the board exams. It wasn’t a big deal, because by the time, the Super 8s would have started, exams would have been over. It was our Science exam, but we were discussing the yesterday night’s India-Sri Lanka match. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I had never expected that the dream would end so early. Neither in my wildest thoughts I had imagined that I would actually be living the dreams in just few months time.

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of team India and that too directly in such a big tournament, the first ever World T20 World Cup and without any senior player- is BCCI even serious about T20? But nevertheless, it will be good exposure for new players to participate in this tournament.” This is what I and most of us thought. That guy, who had long hairs, who was crazy about bikes and who was just a hitter, was he even responsible enough to lead the side? For us, India was only a participant in that tournament. The ball was in the air. I was almost into tears praying, ‘God, please not a six, not a six!’ Next moment, I saw Sreesanth completing the catch.

I was jumping on the floors, dancing on the bed, screaming in balcony! I had no idea how to express my joy. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in his first tournament as captain had won India a World Cup. He accepts the trophy, hand it over to the team and moves aside, letting others enjoy the glory. He was unruffled by his enormous achievement. I was still jumping in front of my television set.

where-is-dhoni
dhoni-was-in-the-corner

IPL Six or Fix- An inside Story

We all have heard how the spots were fixed, but this is the inside account of how Fixing Scandal was fixed!

The only difference between Sehwag and Delhi Commissioner of Police Neeraj Kumar was that the former was already out  from the team India and the latter was of the verge of being thrown out. This IPL was their last chance of redemption, one succeeded and the other one failed.

April 6, 2012- Date when it all began!

It was the first match at Ferozshah Kotla stadium, against Rajashtan Royals! Ajit Moonila was all ready to shine on this turning pitch. But even before the match could start, he made a small little mistake- He abused a mahela in the opposition team, and we all know how strict Delhi police is against crime against women! Moonila was taking into custody, but this turned out to be blessing in disguise! The CP of Delhi got the opportunity to fix his chair. The 10th team of IPL- The Fixing Fiasco- was created that day, with moonila as captain.

For the next few days, the moonila got his team build up with  Moonila, Sree 420 and Ankit Chorhan as 3 genuine bowlers, 6 bookies for who were expert in betting,1 keeper in Jiju to keep everyone together and an all rounder, A-meet Singh who bowls as well as bet.

They were coached by Mohammad Ass-if, the best in the business of fixing. The Roadies duo of Raghu and Rajeev were hired for scripting the reality. There were regular match practices to play badly. But there was one player, a prodigy, who needed no practice in bowling badly. Yes you guessed it right, Mr. Sree 420 who could leak away runs despite double coating of M-Seal. The way every cricketer idolizes Sachin or Warne, these playe..err..rr.. fixers had their idol too. They all dreamt of becoming MP, like their idol Md. Agarmagarudinn.

After 1 month of regular practice sessions , it was time to deliver. The date was 5th May 2012. The captain decided to open the innings himself. All was set, the CP was preparing himself for all the interviews he would give after exposing everything. But a small mistake, and the plan went haywire!

Moonila forgot to wax his body and hence failed to give the signal by pulling out his shirt! Despite scoring sufficient runs, they lost! But this was not the end. In the next game, the team’s most reliable and trustworthy bowler had the bowl in his hand. Everyone was confident, that no-one can stop him from giving runs, not even he himself. But, Sree failed by 1 run. (There are strong rumors that batsmen were fixed to not to make runs by the opposition party. What else can be the reason for failing to score on Sree”s bowling!) The CPs interview practices continued.

Now this IPL No.10 team was all dependent on tail enders. It was the match against Delhi police’s arch rival, Mumbai! The target was 13 runs. Chorhan had the ball. First ball- short, slow and it was a 6! Next ball, outside off- 2 runs. Five required from 4 balls. But Chorhan did not require 4, the next ball was fuller and it went on for 6! And that’s it! The match fixing was all set to roll!

For the whole night, the team along with CP were busy creating all the evidences. The voices were recorded, missed calls were given to random Dubai numbers to involve D-Company. A random number booklet was prepared as betting document. Micromaxx and Lava mobiles were purchased. But the most challenging was, doing this keeping it hidden from Mumbai Police!

At around 3AM, the team was finally awarded with handcuffs and a chartered plane was arranged to carry them for facilitation at Delhi.  The whole media was there to welcome them, probably more than what was there at World Cup’s triumph.

The dark horses of IPL-6
The dark horses of IPL-6

 

While the original Delhi franchise, failed to make any mark, the team owned by Delhi CP turned out to be dark horses and took the whole IPL by storm. The Gayle storm or the Steyn-gun- all seemed diminutive against the performance of this team! No matter how the Delhi (team) performed throughput the season, but it is Delhi (police), which deserves the trophy!

The next day CP made it to the Fanta Books of Records for maximum number of interviews in a day!

No matter which team wins the IPL final, but this team has proved it again. A sports is not about winning or losing. Its about what impact you have on it, its about the mark you leave on the game. And these players have left such a dark mark which will never be forgotten!

Can Manmohan Singh replace Dhoni?

What’s the biggest challenge that India faces today? Corruption? Price rise?

No! Its the 4th Test against England at Nagpur..!! And out netas have decided to face the challenge themselves. Forgetting all their difference they have made a team which is expected to perform atleast some point better than the current team.

The Netas XI

Digvijay Singh– Fearless like Sehwag. Just like Sehwag’s shots, his words are neither technically correct and nor do they make any sense. But one things is for sure, whenever he hits, he hits it hard enough.

Sushma Swaraj– Aggressive, but with an intent. People considered her as the next captain of the team, but the beacon was passed to some-one else (Read: Virat Kohli/Narendra Modi). Too often gets herself run-out unnecessary.

Arvind Kejrival– At number 3, you need to have your most trusted batsman. This new guy has played some fantastic innings in his short carrier. But he is still inexperienced and there are questions on his survival in the long run.

Sachin Tendulkar– Considering the recent form, if not in the whole world, he still is the best cricketer among all other MPs.

Narendra Modi– A hot property at the moment. People calls him the next leader, but there are many critics of his brashness. A tough challenge looms ahead, will need control over his vocals.

Rahul Gandhi– So! so much promise. But nothing yet fulfilled. People calls him the Yuvraj, but has failed to survived the bouncers at the pitch of UP.

Manmohan Singh (captain)– Agreed that in past he had many glories (the World Cup/1991 Economic Reform), but the recent failures (England-Aus series/2G-Coalgate) has made people asking him to quit. In spite, he is probably our only choice as a leader.

Mayawati (as part of dalit reservation quota)– Her carrom balls, leaves everyone guessing. So what if she has failed to do what is expected from her (ie to take wickets/win UP elections), she is making her marks elsewhere (batting/FDI voting).

Nitish Kumar– So long this position was reserved for some-one else (Bhajji/Lalu), but by bowling consistent line and length, Nitish has now taken over this positions. But there is still a lot of scope of improvement.

Mamta Banerjee– The best in business when it comes to reverse swing, right from the times of Vajpayee. But her government..err.. wicket taking abilities are now in question.

Meira Kumar– Neither Ishant nor she know what are they doing in the team except to fill up their position.

The above team has been made after taking into account reservations for dalits and 33% for women. No reservation for religious minorities could be provided, as the same is still not provided in our Constitution. However, for their appropriate representation Salman Khurshid has been included as 12th men in the team.

Btw, the coach, as expected, is a foreigner and no prize for guessing her name.

P.S.: I apologize and is very ashamed for putting such derogatory remarks on such eminent persons. Pls don’t arrest me..!!  :P

Which sperm is your IPL team? (2012)

Dr. Chaddha, the fertility specialist, is back. After making the life of Vicky Donor, he has been appointed by IPL to analyze the sperms of each team. This is what he has to say about the sperms of each team-

Which sperm is your IPL team

Delhi Daredevils- Dabanng sperm

Llike name, like sperm- fearless i.e. DABANGG. With such a strong batting line up and an inform bowling attack, this team fearlessly sits at the top of the points table. No doubt  the sperm donor for this team is the captain and dabanggest of all, Virendra Sehwag

Royal Challenger Banglore- High flying sperm

No prizes for guessing why this team is never low on spirit. Whether its airline flies or not, but one person is making the bowl fly like anything. Credit to this man-Chris Gayle- whose sperms are taking them higher and higher on the points table.

Rajasthan Royals- The vintage sperm
The team which gives you a glimpse of classic vintage cricket combined with new generation extravaganza. The team has class of dravid and the young blood of Rahane who idolizes the former. Having warne as the original donor, this team now feeds on the sperms of the wall and despite playing so well, is unfortunate to be out of the tournament.

Kolkata Knightriders- The serious sperm
For first three season, the time was on high doze of entertainment sperm of their team owner. But last season, they got blessed with the ‘gambhir ‘(serious) sperm of Gautam Gambhir and the results are for everyone to see. The effect of this serious sperm can be clearly seen in the way you will find SRK watching match hiding all his emotions against the SRK of Season 1 who would be dancing on every single taken.

Pune Warriors India- The supportive sperm

They formed a team, played and justified their name, “Sahara” by supporting other teams in winning.   Wish they gain some comeback sperms from their current and ex-captains and make a bang in the next season.

Mumbai Indians- The powerpuff sperm

With so many powerpuff donors in the likes of Sachin, Malinga and Pollard, this side is by far the most powerful side of the tournament. Despite performing way below their capability, they are a strong contender of making all the way. Just wished they would have got some better captaincy sperms.

Kings XI Punjab- The silent sperm

People of Punjab are probably the loudest in the way they live, but their team bears the sperms of a silent killer. The team does not have any star name in their line up, but quietly they kept on performing and may well qualify for the playoffs.

Deccan Chargers- The buttery sperm

What’s the biggest irony then having the world’s best bowler in your squad and still being labelled as the weakest bowling attack. And the major culprit for the same, are their fielders who are blessed with buttery fingers. No doubt their sperm donor is a worker in Amul factory. The team will surely like to forget this disastrous season and would like to recharge themselves for next year.

Chennai SuperKings- The lost-charisma sperm

The biggest disappointment of this year’s IPL has been the defending champion CSK. Like leader, like team- the team appears to has lost its charisma and were never able to present themselves as a strong defender.  Captain’s sperms have surely lost their count.

With sperm racing entering in its last leg, it would be interesting to see that who makes it to the cup of 27th of May.

The Burst Of IPL Bubble: Reasons Why IPL 2011 failed!

Has the IPL bubble finally burst?

Answer the following question and you may yourself get the answer-

>Do you know which team is currently at top of points table in IPL?
>Do you know that IPL this year has a new trophy?
>Do you know when are the finals?
>Do you even remember any particular match from this year’s season?
>Do you know the format of this year’s tournament?
>Do you know who is the chairman of IPL this season?
>Do you know which team Dele Styne plays for in IPL?
>Do you regularly watch IPL on TV?
>Are you even interested in IPL this year?

Isn’t it amazing how most of the YES have now changed to NO this year!

I have tried to put up some of the key reasons why we are getting such a dip in TV ratings and empty stands during the matches.

1. Excess of anything is bad
The death certificate of IPL was already signed when BCCI decided to coduct it just 5 days after the World Cup. Cmon not even a die hard fan can take so much dosage of cricket! We wanted to see our cricketers resting, not again playing in some domestic tournament, after giving us the biggest gift.

2. The pinnacle of everything
The World Cup win! After reaching the highest peak, everything else appears low. It was the biggest dream of every cricket fan in India and it had finally came true. And after that nothing else matters. We all wanted to further enjoy and live in our dreams. But IPL gave us very little time to even allow the feeling to sunk in. When you have just experienced how it feels to win a World Cup, can a win by Mumbai or CSK mean anything to you???? No! And when you are not emotionally attached to a match, you just can’t enjoy it!

3. Swapping of players
I support a team for three years. I support their players. I follow them. I discuss about their strenghts and weaknesses. And what happens after 3 years? The team is entirely dissolved! And you have all new players in your team. Sangakara, the captain of Punjab is now the captain of Deccan and Gilchrist the captain of Deccan is now the captain of Punjab. Gambhir the captain of Delhi is now captaining Kolkatta and the prince of Kolkatta Ganguly is playing for Pune, Pune also comprises the Punjab guy Yuvraj. Yusuf who touched the fame through Rajasthan is now with Kolkatta while Rajasthan has Banglore‘s once icon player Dravid. Whenever Gayle hits a six, I still feel he is playing for Kolkatta.
I don’t what the teams thought. But they simply acted foolishly- both in cricketing and business sense. One of the basic funda of marketing is thatyou have to keep your identity intact. But the IPL teams (barring Chennai and Mumbai) lost their identity in players auction. Not only it created confusion, teams also lost their loyal fanbase (Read: The great IPL breakup)

4. The deteriorating quality
The two new teams were added. And with the clause of maximum of 4 foreign players in a team, this meant there were 70 positions available for Indians. And that’s obvious, that not all 70 can be of international standards. Even among foreign players, there were no English, Pakistanis, West Indians (barring Gayle) and most of the Australians. Thats why probably you had so many dropped catches!

5. The row over pitch
In one match, you have teams chasing down targets in excess of 200. Then in another match, team faces difficulty in achieving 100 runs only! It was required that pitches should have been uniform with only slight variations. Such inconsistency, puts people off.

6. The longer and confusing format
Even team is supposed to play 2 matches with every other team. Yet you have a team only playing 14 matches in a league of 10 teams. This is because a team plays two matches with 5 teams and only one with other 4. Nobody had the clue which team will play which team and how many teams. Everything was all so confusing. Even the semi-final stage has been twisted and made more complicated.

7. Where are the nail-bitters?
It is expected that shorter the version of cricket, more close finishes it will have. But except the first game, not even a single game had gone down to wire. If a sporting can’t give you adrenaline rush, it’s a waste!
There was either no competition for top 4 slot. Only about at the half stage of league, 4 teams to make it to the semis were clear and it was only a formality left to go through the next half.

8. Missing media buzz
For good or bad reasons, IPL had always remained on the front page during the first three season. Its coverage used to begin from weeks before its actual commencement. Call it the World Cup effect or the lack of glitters from IPL (the opening ceremony was so plain!), this time the IPL buzz just didn”t go around. From hours of non-stop coverage, it was reduced to only a scroll at the bottom of the screen.

9. We missed Lalit Modi
Love him or hate him, but you can’t deny that he was the face of IPL. Under him, IPL was an ambitious project with different ideas and innovations. It was something larger than life. Now, it only appears to be a monotonously managed business.

10. The IPL controversies
There was Modi vs Tharoor, then there was exit of Modi, IT raiding IPL offices, and then there were suspension of teams, followed by court orders to revoke the suspensions. Latest acquisition by Shane Warne over pitch makes you wonder if all teams actually get equal opportunity. While controversies surrounding players, attract more eye balls, these internal politics are only sore for the eyes!

Here, I would also to make a point that its only the 2011 season which has failed, not the whole of the IPL. IPL is still the future of cricket and nothing has affected its viability in the long run. But certain things are required to be taken care of for fututre seasons-

  • Have a clear window in the calender for IPL
  • Such swapping of the whole teams should be avoided in future
  • Allow pakistanis to participate in next season. They add that extra spice in the whole league.
  • Spend some money on advertisement, for creating a buzz.
  • Don’t forget only way to have IPL at par with EPL or NBA is by creation of team loyalities
  • Don’t let the standard of cricket fall, even if it means taking the I for India away from IPL
  • Most importantly, don’t forget, IPL is still all about cricket!

This season is only a correction, and a message for business houses that IPL is no longer a money-making machine. You will earn money only if you will perform well and make your strategies with cricket in mind.

I am eagerly waiting for the IPL’s next season to see what BCCI and team franchisees will do to bring IPL on track. What do you think? Will the next season of IPL again be a success?

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The Great IPL Break-up: Changing loyalties from Delhi to KKR

Break-ups are never so easy. But one has to face them. This IPL season, I am facing this bitter truth of life.

 

It was 2008. A new cricketing era, IPL began. Among the 8 teams, it was natural for me to fall in for my own city team, Delhi Daredevils. No it didn’t has Priety or Shilpa or Sharukh, neither did it has hot cheerleaders. Even the God Sachin and King Dhoni were not there. But I backed my home city. And it wasn’t just an emotional choice. With SehwagGambhir, Warner, Dilshan and Devillers in batting, and the great McGrath, Vettori, Mishra, Nannes and Nehra in bowling, Delhi was one heck of a formidable side!

 

I cheered them, whenever Sehwag blasted the opposition bowlers or Dilshan played his dil-scoop; I applauded McGrath’s accuracy, Nannes’ speed and Mishra’s cunningness. I was with them, when Shoib Akhtar destroyed their batting line up, and also when Gilchrist’s blinder threw them out from the semis. They didn’t make it to the semis in 2010, but there were hopes and confidence that this Delhi Daredevils squad will gain the glory this season.

 

But in January 2011, something happened and all the dreams were shattered and hopes flew away. That month, players’ auction took place and with almost all top Delhi players (barring Sehwag and Warner), all my dreams were also auctioned. I was a heartbreak. The new team was not the team I supported for three years. Gambhir, the devil’s captain in 2010 and a trademark Delhi lad, was no-more ours (and I will never forgive you for that GMR). Team neither had the big names or fire power, nor the talent. And soon, it also lost my support. :(

 

It wasn’t an easy decision. My mind was full of thoughts. “C’mon, Delhi is my hometown! How can I not support it? And still we have Sehwag, so anything is possible!” But then, “how can I support a team whose even 11 players I can’t name! Compare it with last year’s squad. Is it even worth being called a team?” I no longer could have bear the pain. To make decision easier (and more painful) was Delhi’s performance in initial matches. And finally, I took that hard step- I broke up with Delhi, my once very own team.

 

Disappointed, without any team to support, IPL seemed to be of no interest. I had to choose a new team to support- a team which is as strong as Delhi once was and a team which can still make me feel proud to be Delhite. And there I was, doing korbo, lorbo, jeetbo for Kokatta Knightriders– the team led my Delhi’s very own Gautam Gambhir.

 

This season I am up for you Shahrukh. This season is will cheer for Kallis consistency, Gauti’s class and Yusuf’s unleashing power. Then we have Lee’s pace as well as World No.2 all rounder Shakib ul Hasan. This is the team of the season, and I am sure on 28th May, Gambhir will lift that IPL trophy. And that would be a big slap on the face of GMR!

 

Korbo lorbo jeetbo re! Korbo lorbo re! Jeetbo re! Jeetbo re! Go KKR!!!

 

 

P.S.: I must also admit that though I am 100% committed to KKR, but my first love will always remain Delhi :(. And I hope they make a comeback next season with a better team and also with a better jersey!

 

Tryst with KKR: Meeting Gambhir, Yusuf, Lee, Kallis, Wasim Akram and others

It was a dream come true. Call it destiny or what, this season I decided to support Kolkatta Knightriders and there I was with whole of KKR team.

Also Read : The Great IPL Break Up: Changing Loyalities from Delhi to KKR

It was some promotional event by DishTV where my dad was also invited. And for obvious reason, I accompany him. And there they were all- Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Jaques Kallis, Brett Lee, legendary Wasim Akram and the whole KKR team.

Meeting them, getting photographed with them- it was all amazing and beyond any expression.All I wonder is why Sachin do not play for KKR. :P


Some of the pics of the event:


With legendary fast bowler and now KKR’s coach, Wasim Akram
With boom boom Yusuf Pathan
With one of my favourites, Gautam Gambhir- whose 97 was the most crucial in India’s WC win
Lakshmipathy Balaji– one time India’s most liked bowler
Yusuf, Gauti, Kallis and Lee- answering our questions!
And well! This is me. :)
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