As a cricket lover one tends to compare other sports with their cricketing equivalents. This Euro 2012 conjured a few images (very badly photo shopped) that one could think in their cricketing equivalent terms.
One understands that this image does a great disservice to Misbah but in the current generation of wham bam players he is the most defensive batsman that comes to mind (in terms of strike rate). England v/s France had a moment though where Misbah hit a Six. That was the England goal. Beyond that it was all quiet.
Kamran Akmal has been alleged to be a football goal keeper but the Cech flounder would have made even Kamran proud.
More pictures coming up soon.
In these times of doom and gloom where India as a nation
seems to on a self destruct mode, a story in the TOI uplifted one's spirits to
a great extent. The upliftment was felt for 2 reasons. The first reason was the
warmth of the story itself and the other and the more important one was that
even a TOI reader once in a while gets to read a decent article. It actually
features a Deepika who on the sports page and not on Page 3 like her other more
photogenic namesake. There is hope for us yet!!
I won't repeat the entire story
here. It’s an amazing story of a girl trying to learn a sport to spare her
father an additional mouth to feed and actually ending up as a London Olympian
for NOW. The more awe inspiring part of the interview is the way the unassuming
kid in a matter of fact way says that she can’t promise to get back a Gold
medal from London
but she will surely get back some medal.
Some may call it overconfidence, some may call it a bluff
but just the fact that an Indian athlete today talks of an Olympic medal as a
natural expectation shows that something has changed for the better. It was
just a decade ago that going to the Olympics for India was all about a nice time for
the athletes and an even nicer time for the IOA officials accompanying them. One
is not saying that the athletes were not serious about their quest. It was with
a sense of resignation that they went, beaten even before they entered the
arena. They went with an inferiority complex which was well rooted in reality.
Their job was to fulfil the Olympic creed ("The most important thing in
the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,.”), when the
rest of the world was trying to put in practice the Olympic motto (Citius,
In spite of all those complaints about officialdom, lack of
accountability across various sports federations, allegations of nepotism, financial
irregularities, something somewhere is working. It is not even an iota of the
potential windfall if the system was as good as other sporting nations but
that’s the way India
works. A nation can’t suddenly excel at well organised sport if it can’t plan
and execute its own economic, political and social agenda. But surely a start
has been made. India has
around 8-10 reasonable medal hopes at London
and if the shooters perform to their potential maybe even more.
One is not even suggesting that Deepika will win an Olympic
medal at London.
There are so many slips between the cup and the lip as Abhinav Bindra
experienced at Athens.
One is also not suggesting that the current system of sports in India is ideal.
Some may say that most medals that India may win will be in spite of
the Associations. That may be a harsh statement. It was true for Bindra but one
doesn’t think that to be true in Deepika’s case. It is indeed ironical that
Vijay Kumar Malhotra a much maligned man during the Kalmadi saga is still the
president of the Archery association.
With so much clamour, and rightly so, for our sporting world
class champions to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, mainly 3 names have been
discussed - Dhyanchand, Tendulkar and Anand. If one were ever able to fulfil
one’s dreams about future Indian champions, one would write a book dedicated to
Mother India with a slightly modified title of ‘May You Be The Mother of a
Hundred Bharat Ratnas’.