February 2009 - Posts
I fully empathise with the haters of the colour of the new Indian uniform.. It is ugly.. it is repugnant.. But is it really relevant? I don't think so.. Till the time MSD keeps winning matches for India for another 5 years, I don't care if we wear chaddi and zabbas. Powder blue or Clerk blue, my only opinion on the dress is that the fit matters.. the ozs or the kiwis are looking smart because of the tight fitting dresses (I guess because I am an ignoramus at fashion)..Maybe Yuvi's or Rohit Sharma or Raina's figures are not exactly flattering in them.
And then we keep on cribbing about Indian cricketers spending too much time on photo shoots etc!!
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — In his first race this year, Olympic star Usain Bolt won the 400 meters in 46.35 seconds Saturday at the Jamaica Camperdown Classic.
He slowed in the last 50 meters, smiling while looking right and left in winning this event for the second straight year. Bolt refrained from his famed celebratory dance at the finish. Instead, he was greeted by his masseuse for a rubdown.
"The first 300 meters of the race was good, but the last 100 meters need some work," Bolt said. "I am not really in the best of shape, but I'm happy I got through it."
Bolt led a Jamaican sweep, with Yohan Blake second in 46.88 and Ricardo Chambers third in 46.98. The meet at Stadium East drew more than 2,000 international athletes.
Bolt won the 400 in 45.92 and set a personal best of 45.35 in 2003. Michael Johnson holds the world record of 43.18, set in 1999.
Usain broke two world records at the Beijing Games in winning the 100 meters in 9.69 seconds and the 200 in 19.30. He also helped Jamaica win the gold in the 400 relay.
Bolt won Sportsman of the Year 2008 for Jamaica on Friday. He also took the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year award and Jamaica's Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year.
This man is gunning for Michael Johnson's record and after decimating Powell and Gay at the Beijing Olympics, he is actually aiming for the 100, 200 and 400 along with the relays at London 2012 which makes it 5. Carl Lewis got 4. And given his propensity to defy conventional wisdom, one can't argue against the possibility. This win is a step in the right direction for the champion.
Brad Haddin may have never heard of this phrase but he was the lucky recipient of the reaping part today morning, when he was named the captain of the Australian T20team by the Oz selectors. It was the same guy who's 'integrity' was questioned by Dan Vettori and more or less the entire world excepting some die hard Oz fanatic. After escaping the Match Ref's disciplinary action and darkly hinting that Vettori had indeed 'apologised' to him, the Oz selectors had had enough.
Andrew Hilditch said to his fellow selectors - "Guys take a look at this. Haddin reminds me of Ricky at his worst. He should be passed the baton of unsporting, dubious and arrogant position that goes by the name of the captain of the Australian cricket team." The others nodded vigorously and voila! Brad Haddin was captaining Australia on 15th Feb 2009.
Poor Shane Warne must be kicking himself. Only if he had sent the SMSs from the playground. The selectors, it seems, can't tolerate off field indiscretions only. On field antics are well appreciated and rewarded. Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin being the torch bearers of the proud Ponting tradition, are obviously being given their just dues.
One is waiting for Bajji to captain India some day :)
In a cricketcrazy nation lived a superhero called Kriss
selecting players from his Chennai mansion's bliss
Ajinkya and Cheteshwar would raise his heckles
Wasim and Sreesanth, they stung like nettles
Though Vijay and Balaji, he would never miss
With sincere apologies to the inventor of the Limerick :-)
To be read with a
pinch fist of salt
A self proclaimed high brow news channel's top presenter was interviewing
Mr. Dr. Vijay Mallya on his bid for Kevin Pietersen at the 2nd edition of the IPL auction. The first statement which was made was something to the tune of 'Everyone always knew you would get KP into your side Dr. Mallya' with unmasked admiration in the presenters tone. Dr. Mallya smilled laconically (as laconic as on can get under that beard) at the statement, his ego suitably massaged and I switched the channel.
It was the same Dr. Mallya who has been in news over pledging of a decent chunk of his shares in the UB group. The Kingfisher Airline is on the verge of being grounded as the state run oil marketing companies are threatening to pull the plug on their ATF supplies. One may still argue that the KP buy need not be looked at in tandem with his other business ventures. That it is in the Royal Challengers' interest. With the captain (?) Rahul Dravid already under pressure for a place in the team and Mallya hinting at KP being considered for captaincy (a man who lost 5-0 in India and was fired by his selectors), there is going to be tremendous turmoil in the team in the near future.
One suspects though, that it was 'brand KP' that attracted Mallya with his super sized playboy image. He found his own mirror image in KP and he knew that he had to buy KP, come what may. He had already got the flambouyant Uthappa transferred from Mumbai in exchange for Zaheer Khan. KP would make the change from a supposedly dour, boring team (RD, Kallis, Chanderpaul, Jaffer) into an exciting one, complete.
If one looks back at the auction, this open desire of Dr. Mallya to have KP in his team cost him USD 200K more. Dr. Mallya started off the bid at 1.35MM.. one could clearly see that no other team had any real interest in KP, especially as Freddie had gone for USD 1.55MM earlier. Then Rajasthan Royals put in a bid at USD 1.45MM. Now it was an open secret in the auction room that the RR bid was just to make Dr. Mallya pay higher. And as a smart businessman all one had to do was not to hike the RR bid. The RR bid was a bluff which cried out to be called. Imagine what problems the RRs would face if KP went to their team. Warne has already talked about getting an increment on the paltry sum that he was bought for last year. KP getting 4-5 times his fees would have been interesting. Add to this volatile mixture, Graeme Smith and you have a potential money spinning reality show on your hands.
Lalit Modi has famously announced that IPL is free from the dreaded 'R' word. The IPL II results haven't been convincing enough. The same day that KP was bought at the astronomical sum, Kingfisher Airlines announced a cut in its pilots salary by Rs. 80k per month. Welcome to the bad times!!!
Roger Federer was left wondering where will the No 14 come from as he was beaten yet again by his nemesis Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 5 thrilling sets. The quality of tennis was outstanding but the result crushingly familiar for Federer. Nadal may actually claim to be a better all court player than Federer, having won 3 slams on different surfaces. Even Federer hasn't managed that and barring injuries to Nadal, the French Open trophy looks like a distant dream.
Andy Roddick had famously commented ' I need to win once in a while to call it a rivalry', when questioned about his tennis rivalry with Federer. Federer may not say it but coming out second best to Rafa 5 times in a row gives the same deja vu feeling. The last time Federer won against Nadal was in November 2007. And Nadal is improving consistently where Federer seems to be caught in a rut. The vintage Federer has gone missing some where and though we see some glimpses of his mojo, it doesn't seem like the same anymore.
Maybe it's all in the mind for Federer when playing against Nadal is concerned. The only way to equal and then surpass Sampras's record is hope. The hope that Nadal is beaten by some one else. The hope that Nadal gets injured. Or maybe to get back that mojo, the motivation to improve. Nadal's irresistible march to Tennis greatness continues. Time will tell if Federer managed to slow the march down.