Well Of Course -- this was Important!!!

The media would tell you that there are many reasons why winning this cup was important
-- It ensured that Sachin Tendulkar was a World Champion before bowing out of the game.
-- It established that Dhoni was among the best captains that India had ever had
but none of what they say , would be important for a generation that was scarred by the 1996 World Cup Semi Final.

For my generation, although the 1992 world cup was telecast and followed, the hype machine was truly at work only during the 1996 World Cup. It was the first cup that I followed ball to ball. Enterprising folks released trump cards with cricket stats during this time as opposed to the wildly popular WWF cards. But I deviate.

Having won "that quarter final",India were the favourites to lift the trophy. Despite a loss to Sri Lanka at Kotla, for most of my friends and me... the Semi-Finals were a done deal. There was no way , India would lose twice in a single world cup , against a nation, which till some time back had been playing Tamil Nadu often to improve their cricket. So cocksure were we.. that we even spoke about what a travesty it was that we had to play the finals in Pakistan instead of India. But Sri-Lanka knocked the living day-light out of us. What hurt was not that Sri Lanka had won, but the feeling that India had not played to potential and let us down. ( I later realised that this SriLankan team was perhaps one of their best ever.. especially during the 18 months that Jayasuriya ran amock).

2011 therefore was very important. In 1999 and 2003 , India had pummeled Sri Lanka into submission but it was not the home conditions. India like conditions in 2007, and we faltered again. This final therefore was important. It could reopen the old wounds or it could heal them permanently. When the entire team was talking about doing it for Sachin.. and the other side was commenting about doing it for their country... you were worried, Worried because one persons overpowering ambition might burn the entire house down. And on cue when Tendulkar was dismissed , the memories of a famous collapse while chasing resurfaced. However Gambhir, Dhoni , Kohli and Yuvraj prevented any such mishap. While one feels for Tendulkar (for  not getting his 100th century in the WC finals) it is perhaps poetic justice that a generation that was inspired to play cricket because of Tendulkar , rose to the occasion when the little master himself failed and helped heal the wounds of 1996.

Journalists curse?

Every once so often we hear about the commentators curse - What should we call this?

Just this morning I read this article on Cricinfo. Just check the Subtitle of the article.

And then this happens - Australia's first Innings Hussey gone for a Duck. :)

Will India Inc./BCCI let Team India boycott the tour?

As events unfold one by one after the 2nd test at SCG , an interesting angle involving Corporate India and BCCI seem to be evolving as well. With threats of boycotting the tour ( which is absolutely justified IMHO), A lot of companies would be anxiously waiting for the events to unfold.

A whole lot of companies stand to lose if India decides to boycott the rest of the Tour.

ESPN/Star Sports - as the owner of telecast rights- ESPN/Star stands to lose a chunk of money as they lose out on advertisement revenue. Companies that had earlier spent money in buying Ad slots would be reimbused by ESS if the series stands cancelled.

Companies with Australian Cricketers as Brand Ambassadors(Timex,AMP,etc...) would not want to air the ads that have already been created , in light of all the anger that is being shown against the Aussie Players by the general public.

The Australian Players themselves stand to lose as Indian Companies rethink the idea of associating themselves with 'champion' Australian cricketers.

The BCCI has a whole different agenda with its IPL(The 'formal' 20/20 league) and the effects that boycotting of the tour would have on its IPL.BCCI would be trying to maintain good relationships with Cricket Australia in order to woo the Australian Players for the IPL. (Would they still want to have them ?)

With so many people likely to be affected , would the Indian Team be allowed to boycott the series?

It comes down to

Sense of Justness+ Respect vs Cricket - The Money Spinner.

Harsha in a candid Interview.

I have been a big fan of Harsha Bhogle ever since I started following cricket. In a very candid interview , he talks about what it takes to be a commentator and a presenter. Some of his statements about Radio commentary and the state of affairs are very candid. One of the things that I have enjoyed over the years in Harsha's commentary is his choice of words. Even in this Podcast - his choice of words to put his ideas across are brilliant. His opinions on Dravid and Ganguly were interesting and it was surprising to see no mention of Tendulkar from him ( or did I miss it?) . All in all a really nice Interview

Link to the Podcast

Proof that Thalaivar is the best

This clipping is just another piece which proves why Thalaivar is the best. Just listen to the Dialogue delivery in the two videos and see Rajni Punch. Class Act!!!

India does it!!!

When Australia was on the verge of losing to Zimbabwe , my GChat status message was - will it be a repeat of 1983? , but I had no inclination of what was to happen with the Indian team. All I had in mind was Zim Beating Aus in a first round match like in 1983. A week and a half later , it was India doing that 1983 Jig. India had beaten England , South Africa , Australia and Pakistan in a series of must win matches to win the inaugural Twenty20 World Tournament.

Some similarities with the 1983 World Cup.

It was a Team performance , with no major person standing out

One of the openers was the top scorer in both the finals (Srikanth and Gautam Gambir)

Just when needed , Yuvraj played a couple of Blinders just like Kapils 175 against Zim when India were down at 17/5

India had batted first in the finals and had managed a below par score. After a couple of wickets early on ,Imran Nazir threatened to get the game away before brilliance on the field stopped his innings short. Similarly - India made 183 in the 1983 finals and after a couple of early wickets - Richards threatened to take it away before , Kapil's Brilliant catch stopped his innings short.

Karunanidhi - The legend of two tongues.

The recent Ram Setu 'debate' is not a debate anymore. It is a public slandering match played out in front of the media and The Honorable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu wins the battle for making the ugliest and most insensitive statements on record. Even for a guy who has thrived on suppressing the Hindus in order to gain an electoral advantage from the numerical majority of the state , the recent statements are insensitive and inflammatory. Mr. Karunanidhi might be an atheist but in a secular country , It is only fair to respect other people's faith - especially when you are in a public position of respect and power.

Every election that he had stood for in his initial days - the promise was for a dravidanadu. He won his elections based on promises that he never upheld. (I am not even for a minute suggesting that sedition was a good idea - It never is and it never will be - a united India moves forward much better than the multiple factions that can be created out of it). The Sangh Parivar has also brought to the attention of the media the foreword written in the Gazeteer of Ramanathapuram district in 1972 by Karunanidhi. Well - Perhaps there was enough scientific evidence for Karunanidhi to change his views. There are multiple cases of his flip flops and one more would be his welcoming of Indira Gandhi to power although he had criticized the establishment of dynasty rule before she came to power (transfer of power from father to daughter - eh? what has he done to Tamilnadu Politics now?).

Perhaps people will start realising that the days of winning people with just words is over and vote them out of power.

Here is the video in which Karunanidhi calls Rama a drunkard and the Rama being a lie