sand's view on everything sane insane in india

hello this blog will be at most times offer a critical view on mad mad things that every indian sees

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

World Cup Soccer!!!

I know that the world cup soccer is still many moons away june 2006 but it was touching to see Superhuman sportsmen like Roger federer ,Ricky ponting and Brian lara all feel elated that their nations had made it to world cup soccer finals .The Real Story is about Trinidad and tobago ,i know a lot of people will say Australia finally beat Uruguay, that their region does no have direct entry always have to play tricky play off but cant beat the story of T&T.The population of trinidad and tobago is about one million yes one million (btw hope all indians know what is India's population ).They are tiny island in the carribean island now making them one of smallest nations to play in FIFA world cup .Even Brian lara amidst his record breaking feat spoke of how his child hood mate Dwight yorke who is in the twlight of his career will finally play on world' biggest stage ,on what impact his record breaking feat and football team qualifying will have on people of trinidad .I know lot of people have said that nations like Trinidad &tobago playing in world cup means that its not the best 32 teams etc some of bigger european teams like greece ,turkey have missed out blah blah etc etc.But these guys are missing the point.A world cup needs to have Global represenation but keeping quality in mind (else India too should have been there) ,Trinidad and tobago beat baharain in the play offs now these middle east countries what do they do ?? using petro dollars lure poor african players change their names (remember the middle distance runner Stepahno now his name is saif and runs for qatar), why people dont talk about them?? is it fine for country to use short cuts like this ,look at most football teams around middle east many have african orgin players isnt making fun of their poverty?Then look at Trnindad and tobago and smiling faces they had and we realise that money cant always buy success and reinforces belief that Sports is Pure and Real.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Why Indians Love Cricket !!

A lot of people have tried to analyze why cricket is so popular in India. Cricket in India began taking roots when the British introduced it and later on given patronage by the local Maharajas. So cricket became an expression of national sentiment for Indians it’s as if when we win we escape from worries of day to day and lose we vent our frustration on members of national cricket team.
Before they said Indians were not world class in anything else but cricket this includes all sections of society not just sports. I don’t think it’s true because organizations like ISRO were after all dealing in rocket science! Now slowly but surely our IT/BT industries are attaining that standard our automobile auxiliary industry like Bharath forge are reaching that level as well.
Now since we our into 2005-06 15 years after we have began open up our economy and getting to exposed to all kinds of entertainment Cricket continues to rule the roost .Lack of heroes in other sports cannot be excuse with people like Rathore,Paes ,Bhupathi and Sania Mirza along with Arjun Atwal,Anju George and Narian karthikayen and of course the peerless Vishy Anand have made their mark in truly global sports (lets accept it that cricket is not a global sport in the real sense )However cricket will continue to dominate the Indian psyche because even before we had a world class hockey team which was sweeping every one before them. We had great touch artistry on display when the Krishnan’s Ramanathan and Ramesh played and if story of Vijay Amritraj who from being sick child to top tennis Pro is not inspiring enough then nothing else is…. so lack of heroes can’t be the reason.

Poor marketing well…BCCI is not the organization known for marketing skills are they?
They schedule matches in Chennai in midst of north east monsoon and hope it’s a drought year! They schedule D/N matches in November December and make ODI’s a lottery. They can’t decide the television deals well in advance leaving two companies in court fighting it out .Contrast this with EPL which starts matches in mid afternoon GMT on weekends so that large parts of south East Asia like Malaysia Singapore are able to watch the games and newer markets are open and lots more revenue comes in. Yet Indians love cricket. Cricket inherently has certain distinct disadvantages like length of playing time, complex playing conditions difficult to comprehend etc.
So the single most important reason why Indians love cricket is STATISTICS. Yes this angle has not been explored by people when they analyze Indians love for the game .of cricket; How Cricket has entered into the sub consciousness of the Indian mind.
We love discussing statistics why sehwag has not scored fifty since X matches why agarkar has high economy rate, how many runs will Tendulkar end up scoring in his career. Now lets compare cricket with some other sports swimming and athletics only winning time/jump/throw with Olympic or world records are the only stats perhaps time taken to begin the race/swim measured in micro seconds and maybe wind aided/unaided timing etc then football the no of corners, no of fouls .shots on goal, % ball possession of each team, but all this we come to know only during half-time or full time only after data has been keyed into a computer and results shown so anybody just cant calculate all this, same holds true with tennis unforced errors ,winners ,first serve %,points won on first serve etc, Only after a set/match is over all data that is keyed into computer is processed we get to know the stats .
Contrast this with cricket each individual player records like matches played, runs, centuries wickets are all tracked by supporters with all help from willing media. Each player’s home average away average is calibrated .Then of course during course of the matches itself current run rate, Required run rate is on everybody’s lips .Lots of afternoons are spent by Indians over tea and snacks discussing which player X orY is better based on stats by which time is night!!!
We are happy on numerous occasions even when the Indian team lost because some Indian player would have broken some record by scoring century/crossed milestone etc so irrespective of team’s performance there will be Individual statistics that game provides which can discussed and debated over the dinner table, office canteen, bus stops etc
Maybe this because Brahmins, bania’s ,marwari’s are traditionally good at maths/arthimetic .Counting and number crouching comes easily to Indians that’s the reason we love stats and since cricket cricket offers the most stats we have embraced cricket totally
Its quite strange situation but that’s what it is Indians are perhaps the biggest consumers of international sport without being participants themselves .The reasons why Yankees don’t like cricket like its a complex sport too much stats might be exactly the reasons why Indians love cricket .

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Domestic Cricket

For a country that's mad almost fanatical about cricket the amount of interest or rather the lack of it is staggering indeed!!,in many other countries also domestic cricket is played in front of empty stands expect England where county championship is popular .Yet in Australia and south Africa people have sense of affinity towards their regional team province etc .Here we often complain that domestic cricket is not marketed well perhaps true but some comments like "i don't support karnataka but India"is amusing to say the least .Its almost as if you support karnataka it sure that its going against India's interest .They don't understand that if domestic cricket improves the national team will do well in long run .Coming to forthcoming season karnataka has become an also rans for quite some time now , i know after producing India's greatest test batsman anything else will be let down but such huge letdown?? . Other non traditional teams have gone on to produce india players which is very good from the indian team's perspective .Orissa had D.Mohanty and SS das who was decent while he lasted ,kerala had Tinu youhanan and now sreesanth and UP has now kaif ,raina and R P singh, and the biggest of emm all dhoni from ranchi .So karnataka has not been able to replicate its mid and late 70's success and mid 90's success.Perphaps mumbai too faces same problem after sachin tendulkar(who is a once in a lifetime,one in planet player) no one has been permanent member yet i think mumbai cricket association can pat itself for players like Wasim jaffer and romesh powar coming from very very humble bakgrounds have able to play for india (please dont tell me to go to stats guru and show that they didnt do well thats besides the point)so that shows that mumbai is always in the business end of ranji trophy unlike karnataka who have become quite useless .My fear is that cricket in karnataka is becoming an elitist game if dont believe me just see the trials for U-13, U-16 and other age groups
its like carnival atmosphere lots of cars lined up and parents being pushy trying to initiate contact with talent scouts and selectors. Poor selectors trying their best to be polite and same time be impartial .Now in such a scenario some one somewhere might fall prey .I know if non performer gets in he will be shown up in match but spare a thought for guy misses out he will bid good bye to cricket altogether and will be lost to cricket .In Mumbai with people like powar and jaffer coming through such things happening is unlikey i hope !!! To finish off the post during my interaction with cricket lovers/authorities in karnataka they have special delight that Anil kumble and Rahul dravid do well when they play arch rival pakistan since some of finest players that karnataka or indeed india has produed like EAS prasanna BS chandrashekar's career was terminated by zaheer abbas in 1978-79 and G R vishwanath by sarfaraz nazwaz "reverse swing"remember those days no match refree or close in camera in 1982-83(thank god i wasnt born in 1979 and too young to know about cricket in 1983).Hopefully guys like robin uttapa gaurav dhiman and rowland barrigton can redeem karnataka this season and hopefully ranji trophy will throw up some more stars from any corner of india for national team

indian television !!!

two shows on indian TV today one is mission udan on national geo promises to be exciting stuff REAL reality Tv unlike some crap like nach baliya fame gurukul etc this one really rocks now thats the sublime part the funny part is star news boy these hindi channels, star news is discussing the wedding of zayed khan what dishes who are the guests what clothes comon man if two people want to get married fine why are they telling the viewers ehhh ??this star news is totally disgrace match ki mujrim being another hall of fame or rather hall of shame

Roger federer is human !!!

today must be some be day indeed roger lost in the finals finally !!! the swiss watch got a bit slow even after leading two sets to love still lost but indeed it will be harsh to judge him on basis of this the guy was coming off injury to reach finals was quite good achievement though for david nalabadian this must be huge to win the year end masters take no credit away from him that hewitt safin and roddick didnt play and agassi and nadal withdrew after going to shangai beating the tennis god is some achievement for nalabandian who had beat roger in q/f of us open in 2003 but surely beating federer is something else so looking forward to 2006 tennis season with nadal hopefuly coming to chennai open to kick start the year
eleswhere barca thumped real madrid 3-0 in santigo barnabeau with ronaldihino scoring two goals and samueal eto one i think barca will retain la liga champions league also well chelsea maybe promising stuff ahead