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Why this years IPL has been the most open ever

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IPL Opening.jpgWe are at the fag end of IPL and still the top four are not decided. Even the table toppers can still get eliminated with just two games left to play. Have all the teams suddenly started competing or have all become equally bad?

Well the answer is not as straight forward. It lies in the end of Srinivasan era. Srini, a master at quid pro quo. He knew how to keep people happy and keep them shut up. Ever since he grew in stature in BCCI and bagged the IPL team, courtesy Pawar power, he kept Chennai Team head and shoulder above the rest. How? Well there have been auctions after auctions after the first one. Remember the 4 player retainer rule; it was there as Srini had a good team. Had his team ended bottom of table first 3 IPL, do you imagine the retainer rule ever being there.

Then during subsequent auctions, players that Chennai wanted were put in later rounds of auction, as by then others have lost their purse. Everybody knew that, some raised their voices, none listened. There were these small things that added to Chennai Superpower and never let it diminish.

Who would take Srini on? Even Subroto Sahara was helpless and had to exit IPL.

An open IPL bodes well for the tournament. I wish it remain that way in future. But given the ills of BCCI I suspect some other Srini to emerge from the gravel.

Written by arpitgarg

May 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

Posted in Political, Sports

Tagged with , , , ,

ISL: Tough For Football to survive in India

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Hero_Indian_Super_LeagueThis weekend I went to ISL Football match between Mumbai and Goa. I have witnessed a good number of IPL cricket matches at DY Patil Stadium in the past; hence the place was not new to me. The atmosphere was starkly different from IPL. Easy parking, no traffic jam and hassle free entry. The entry was made free for everyone by the time the match started.

The point that I want to discuss is why football is not popular in India and why it is difficult to get people interested to come to stadium. Let’s contrast it with cricket. The earliest memories of cricket we have are playing in the backyard with siblings, friends. How we remember stopping near a ground where people happened to be playing cricket; soaking in any and every bit of action. We have been brought up viewing/playing cricket on ground. Out visual impulses are used to watching cricket; basically we are able to make out what is happening in stadium and hence enjoy it.

Football is different. The earliest memories of football are seeing on TV. The high octane clashes in European countries. Also only people who got used to good football were people who had cable TV connection. We didn’t grow up seeing football in stadium. Hence it becomes difficult for us to comprehend it on ground. For those who have seen cricket in stadium would understand what I am talking about. Experience is totally different from TV. Majority of us won’t enjoy football in stadium for that very reason. We started up with football in TV and that’s what we understand.

The major issue is lack of quality. Substandard quality of players in ISL makes the watch painful. After watching EPL, CL on TV, it’s not possible to enjoy ISL matches. Imagine watching Zimbabwe/Afghanistan cricket match in stadium. Would you enjoy it? ISL is not even that. It’s as bad as a cricket match between Division C/D countries.

All the interest in ISL is due to the owners Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly etc. These were people who invested here as they lost out on IPL teams earlier. Their interest was to own a sports team rather than Football. Football is not the selling point yet. And going by the weekend Mumbai vs Goa match, where people were more engulfed in selfies, food than football, it’s hard to see the interest growing.

Written by arpitgarg

October 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Sachin’s Jersey No. 10

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I have seen re-runs of last moments of Mumbai Test a dozen times already. Sachin’s farewell speech, weeping stadium, lap of honor, Sachin taking pitch’s blessing. It has all been a bit surreal. Unfortunately like million others, I couldn’t procure the tickets to the stadium, and I am sure it will haunt me for lifetime.

What is it that takes Sachin head and shoulders above the rest? Why we say that there can be no other Sachin? Well it originates from being a one man army. Before Sachin, Indians just watched cricket. With the advent of Sachin, Indians watched cricket to win. Sachin’s popularity stems from knocks like Sandstorm, Chennai Test, Hero Cup last over and innumerable others. Sachin had already earned eternal space even before 2000’s.

Yes, it was the 90’s that made Sachin God. When the inept teammates used to abjectly surrender, Sachin was there to steer through to win. When major players around him were selling matches, Sachin was the one who took it upon himself to see India won. 2000’s was when India started reaping benefits of what Tendulkar sowed. A generation of cricketers came who has seen Sachin’s bravery and was modeled upon him. Since 2000 there have been many who did match Sachin but were all “after the fact”. None had the originality, charisma or longevity of Sachin.

Legends are born out of adversity. But for 17/5, would Kapil Dev’s knock be the same? But for fixing scandal and all time low for Indian cricket, would Ganguly’s captaincy be equally revered? But for knack of losing finals, would Dhoni’s calmness that won us number of series, be so much talked about?

Since balance needs to be maintained. Sometimes I think, But for inept teammates of 90’s, would Sachin be the same? I think, 10 on Sachin’s jersey stood for the 10 teammates whom Sachin had to carry on his back to take India to victory.

Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

The Day the Earth stood still

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1996 was year that marked my generations tryst with cricket. Kirsten’s 188; Jayasurya’s revelations; Indo/Pak Q/F; the Eden heartbreak. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. It had all, save the Heroic ending. The script seemed flawed; a job left unfinished.

Post ’98 Sharjah exploits, the team fell apart under the match fixing allegations. We were no longer a force in the world cricket. Two of the most controversial figures of Indian cricketing history the Raja and the Senapati fell and gave way to yet another controversial figure of all times. Though his were the controversies we took pride in.

Eden curse was cured by a Lanky personality who gave us reasons to be proud of. The high moon, the tide, the ebbs, the flows all became but adjectives when the cricketing history was re-written. A giant was born. The journey culminated in Jo ’burg when the mighty batting lineup was but a step away from laying its claim.

Albeit, that was not to be. Undone by a legend from down under, it paved way to of one of the most hate-filled cricketing rivalry. The Sydney fiasco was just waiting to happen. It turned out to be the Pearl Harbor of Indian cricket. We have never looked back since. The zeal, the aggression, the will has never been higher. Post 3 IPL’s, high dose of Indo-SL matches and a resurrection of The God of Cricket, it’s time to cross the final hurdle.

The SF match between Indo-Pak, was the most anticipated and followed match in the history of cricket. Everything was to its maximum. Imagine anti-aircraft guns around the stadium! I travelled from Mumbai to Pune to celebrate the festival with friends. With Holi/Diwali/Ganesh Pooja being celebrated with varying vigor across the country, the festival of cricket is the only one which whole nation celebrates equally.

The scenes I saw in Pune were unparalleled. The roads were jammed post the win. I could see thousands of bikes/cars/tempo/buses parading round the city. Flags/colors/sweets aplenty. The whole city was one. It was the day for no hatred.

On field/off field the camaraderie between the two nations was a sight to behold. The old sins were washed off. The 26/11 seemed a distant memory. One match turned the hostile relations between two nations onto its head, into Aman Ki Fuhaar.

My feet were trembling and emotions flowing unrestrained. It was day when 1/5th of humanity gasped in unison, It was a day when the Earth stood still.

Dhoni Under ICC Scanner

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Dhoni seems to be in the middle of yet another controversy. After the “Glove Web” fiasco and “Two and a half (2.5) Jam” hiccup, Dhoni has irated ICC once again. According to our sources, Dhoni is under investigation from ICC for the potential theft of cricketing material.

Controversy

An ICC internal memo, a copy of which is present with us states, “Mr. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captain Indian cricket team is hereby charged under Section 25.2 for stealing stumps from the field. Stumps are ICC property; hence he is in breach of ICC code of conduct.”

Wicket

Sources inside ICC has told us, “Dhoni targets the middle stump which has camera and microphone attached to it. This has resulted in huge losses to our broadcasters”.

It might be recalled, Dhoni was censured by ICC for causing loss of cricket balls by hitting huge sixes out of the ground. Dhoni has curbed his aggression since, to stay away from any controversy.

ballGone

ICC says Dhoni is not only involved in this gross theft but also encourages the same by his team mates. It’s has become a bloody team game.

Team

Insiders have told us, “One who steals stumps in a match is guaranteed in playing XI, in the next.”

“Why else do you think Munaf and Yuvraj are still in the team?”

munafyuvi

“Why else do you think Bhajji is so close to Dhoni?”

bhajji

Theft of every stump is celebrated heavily. “Let’s concentrate one stump at a time. Records will be made themselves. Soon we will have 1000 stumps in our armory”, Dhoni is supposed to have boasted once.

celebrate

Dhoni was enraged. “It’s not just me; every cricketer keeps stumps as a memento”. “If you win today, you lay claim to the stumps. This is my mantra to motivate the team. Media and ICC can say anything; I have support of my team.

support

Opposition players are aware of this. In fact some very much appreciate him. “The knack that Dhoni has for grabbing stumps is uncanny. No surprise that he is a wicketkeeper”.

opposition

BCCI has been enraged with these reports. In their press brief they contested, “Our crickets are extremely rich owing to IPL. Why would they steal if they can afford to bribe grounds men. ICC should stop being pain in the back.”

pain

Post the media reports that it was Steve Bucknor who first reported Indian team for stealing, proof of Bucknor himself being involved with the racket has emerged. “He was unhappy with the profit sharing and hence he bitched about Indian players”, said a report.

bucknor

Legendary Indian opener, Sunil Gavaskar has come out strongly in support of Indian players. He presented his own dossier on international cricketers who have been involved in such thefts from a long time. “Why is ICC silent on these people? Just because Dhoni is an Asian, it does not give ICC the right to level such serious charges”.

white

It seems highly unlikely that ICC will act against Indian captain and annoy the cash cow BCCI. ICC has infact designed theft proof stumps (pic below). Given its dual purpose, ICC has also tied up with clean-the-nation program run by Sharad Pawar.

pawar

Sachin Tendulkar: Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO

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With Cricket World Cup played in India this time, CBI tried its level best to nab the betting mafia across the country. They raided many places, intercepted a number of calls, rounded up various persons.

In due course of their investigation they tumbled upon a secret. A secret so explosive, it had the potential to rock the very foundations of cricket. CBI sought help of Colin Powel who was able to sniff Biological Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD’s) in Iraq even before they were made. “He can sniff into the future”, said a source.

Powell’s sniffing powers were used to sniff out the truth which caused sniffing problems to the CBI sniffers. How sniffy!

Colin1 Colin2

I somehow got hold of For Eyes Only report submitted to the CBI by Powell. Being an ardent fan of Wikileaks, I can’t hold but leak it over on you guys. The truth being,

Sachin Tendulkar is not human. He is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine
from DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation)

Master Blaster

The Fact Finding Closure Report
on
The secret that caused sniffing problems to the CBI

Object:
Sniff out the truth about Sachin being Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO.

Findings:
When CBI first called me, I was sniffing Hamburgers in my sleep. Turned out I had some extra the night before. Anyways, I have been on the job from day one. My findings are based on observations, proofs and witnesses below.

1. Twin Bat Theory
Sachin uses Not One but Two Bats simultaneously. It is just not possible for a human to use Two Bats. As an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO, only Sachin has such a power. The other bat being invisible we are not able to see it from naked eyes. Hot Spot might be able to intercept it, hence Sachin has opposed UDRS. CBI used military grade technology to get the pictorial evidence. Look closely.

Two Bats1 Two Bats3

Two Bats4 Two Bats2

2. Sachin can inflate/deflate himself
This came as a shock even to CBI. Kudos to DRDO! It’s very tough to infuse inflation/deflation power in a machine. In fact very few super heroes have such a power. He uses the scientific fact that air has weight. He inflates his right arm with air and generates huge power to play master strokes.

InflateAir

3. Multiple Sachin
There are multiple Sachin roaming around. No two consecutive matches are played by same Sachin. This gives time to rectify any wear and tear which leads to consistency. Evidence has been provided by a dysfunctional prototype of the same generation known as Vinod Kambli who was created along with Sachin.

Multiple1 Multiple4 Multiple3

4. Project Sachin was commissioned two years before the first World Cup
Investigators have found out that Project Sachin was started way back in 1973 in a bid to win the inaugural World Cup. Like everything else in India, it got delayed too. On when to retire Sachin, a prominent scientist associated with the project told us on the promise of anonymity, “We can’t stop it. It’s out of our hands. It won’t stop till it fulfills its target of winning the World Cup. It’s designed that way. Don’t you get it?”

Born1 Born2 Born3

5. Sachin is Ambidextrous
Like all other machines, Sachin is ambidextrous. He has tried to keep it hidden from public but we are not the ones to be fooled. He writes with his left hand, Cuts cake with right hand, bats with right hand. A perfect machine!

Ambi5 Ambi2

He can even bowl from one hand and bat from the other simultaneously.

Ambi4 Ambi3

6. Anatomically Speaking
Sachin’s Infra-Red imaging and its subsequent studies have revealed that he is not human; definitely a machine. Look closely at the curves, the joints and the posture; the ligament, the tissue and the liver; the heart, the head and the toe and tell me that he looks Human.

Ana1 Ana3 Ana4

7. Induction in Air Force
Give the shortage of pilots, Sachin has been inducted into the Indian Air Force. They made it to look like an honorary post. It’s far from truth. It is said that Sachin can convert his body into a fighter jet just like Tranformers and IAF will reach invincible levels post his induction.

IAF3 IAF2 IAF1

8. He lives in shell shaped chamber
Sachin lives in a shell shaped chamber. He is not designed to stay in a normal house. He wanted the new house to be built like a shell but has to reject the idea coz media got hold of it. Here is what the house would have looked had it been build. Similar is the shape of the chamber inside his house in which he resides.

House1

9. The record speaks for itself
If all this proof if not enough, just look at his batting records. Don’t tell me you think a human can play for so long and create such records. While we are sure Don Bradman was an alien, Sachin indeed is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO.

Record1 Record2 Record3

10. Testimony Down Under
Ricky Ponting and Greg Chappell have stated on record that Sachin indeed is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO, that they have no doubt whatsoever.

“I tried sniffing, licking and eating Sachin’s bat in order to get some DNA proof, but never found any, thereby confirming that he is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO  and thus have no DNA at all for me to lick”, said Ponting.

Aussie1

Greg Chappell said, “I never wanted Sachin to open the batting and suggested him to retire coz I always had my doubts about him being human. He confessed to me once that he indeed is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO and that he uses Two Bats. He even showed me how. He then injected some serum into my neck and I forgot all about it, until now when everything is coming back to me.

Aussie2 Aussie3

Deduction:
My sniffometer says that Sachin indeed is an Ultimate Experimental Thrashing Machine from DRDO. My recommendation is to invade Iraq.

Deduct Iraq

Sumbitted by:
Colin Powell
One man sniffing machine

Cricket and my Grandpa

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A: “Sachin plays for himself. I better, he stops playing”
B: “Hey! What are you saying? He is a great match winner”
A: “But don’t you think he is old enough to be pensioned?”
B: “He is still scoring tons. Isn’t he?”
A: “He is past his prime”
B: “Yeah with average of 50 during last year! I think your mind is sub-prime”
A:  “Go to hell”
B: “You go to hell”


A: “Coffee?”
B: “Ok.”

This is what a cricket discussion in India sounds like. A general discussion suddenly gets focused on Sachin and from no where rival gangs sprout up. Pro and anti Sachin sentiments start flaring. Swear words and curses are thrown all around. Then there is truce. This cycle repeats itself day after day.

My earliest encounters with cricket date back to my Grandfather. He was a great cricket enthusiast and even greater Sachin basher. I reckon he lost a bet or two coz of Sachin and he remained pissed off with him forever. “Out ho gaya. Yeh bhi nahin socha ki mausa ji ke paise lage hain”, I remember him mumbling when Sachin got out stumped while chasing against NZ. Above statement is a classical example of raw humor of the oldies. It relates the player who got out to my grandmothers family. So the loss is blamed squarely on the player and my poor old grandmother. I tell you, these oldies can be quite cruel sometimes. The trick lies in not being over smart with them.

He was not a fan of what we call the purest form, the Gavaskar style of cricket. He adored Windies team of 70-80’s. “Lala, kaalon ka aakhiri khiladi bhi aata tha toh chakka maarata hua aata tha” (Even their last player started off with a six). The only Indian player of old about whom I heard anything positive from him was Kris Srikkanth. “Jab who ballebaaji karta tha toh bazaar soone ho jaate the” (Streets got deserted when he came on to bat). For all those who say that oldies preferred Tests to ODIs here’s the last salvo. “Are yeh paanch din ka khel humse nahin dekha jaata. Ghanton baithe raho, ek bhi chowka chakka nahin lagta” (Not a single boundary is hit for hours).

From the current era Jayasurya and Afridi (Afriki for him) were his favorites. Indian team was the most unreliable team as far as he was concerned. “Are inka koi bharosa nahin. Lanka ke khilaaf 200 kuch banana the, saala aaya raam gaya raam shuru ho gaya, aur sab ke sab 78 run pe simat gaye. Mausaji ka nuksaan ho gaya”.

I think T20 would have been the best format for him. Sadly it was during his last years that T20 got popular. It would have been wonderful to watch IPL with him. However he took off even before season one.

Regardless of what people are saying nowadays, I can never lose interest in and ODI game. I have grown up with it. It’s like a ritual to me. And of course it has memories of my grandpa. I remember one of his favorite quotes. Whenever Azhar played well, he used to say, “Captaan hai koi naayi ka launda thode hi hai” (He is not a commoner, he is the captain after all). So it goes for the ODIs.

Written by arpitgarg

November 13, 2009 at 7:07 am

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