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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IPL Spot Fixing: Supreme Court Stumps Srinivasan! Resign Or Face Action!

We wrote in this site on June 2, 2013: “…the millions of Indian cricket fans must take up this issue and decide the next course of action. They must do enough to take the issue to the Supreme Court of India and believe in the apex court to deliver the final and lasting justice. They also must realize the immensity of the cowardly silence still maintained by cricket legends and former greats of this country and adopt their stand on cricket at large clearly.” (Read The Full Post)

And the day of justice has arrived. Today, the Supreme Court of India has described N Srinivasan, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as ‘filthy’ and ‘nauseating’ while asking as to why he “sticking to his chair”. The Court asked Srinivasan to resign so as to enable an independent probe into the dirty IPL Spot Fixing case and held that if he failed to resign within forty eight hours the Court would take action and issue proper order. The Supreme Court had appointed the Mudgal Committee to look into the matter and the Committee submitted its report on 10th February, 2014.

We wrote on 11th February, 2014: “One police officer from Tamil Nadu is believed to have deposed before the Committee and made some startling revelations casting doubt on Dhoni for his possible involvement in fixing an IPL match between CSK (Chennai Super Kings) captained by him and Rajasthan Royals teams…More crucially the Committee has implicated Gurunath Meiyappan for being involved in betting and passing information about his team. The Committee also confirms him to be an official of CSK, if not the owner. He is the son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan. And who is Dhoni? Answers are not hard to find in this dirty saga of money, corruption and greed. Maybe Dhoni is still considered to be king like many of his team on slow and flat subcontinental pitches. The Mudgal Report also names six Indian cricketers apparently involved in match fixing and a reputed one of them is still a part of the current Indian team. The Report has a sealed envelope too that will be opened…” (Read The Full Post)

The Supreme Court bench said that the sealed envelope contained very serious allegations and the bench decided against opening it in public. The Bench will resume the hearing on Thursday, the 27th of March and will most probably take action if Srinivasan does not quit his post till then. The fate of the ‘reputed’ cricketer still in Team India playing the ICC World Twenty20 presently in Bangladesh is likely to be sealed too by that mysterious sealed envelope. The countdown has started for arguably the most powerful man in international cricket.

He defied every possible authority of the country, he defied the media and he defied the saner voices in his own Board. Now what would he do with his money power and clout? A day of reckoning inevitably comes for every sinner of this world. Already cricketers and BCCI members have put pressure on him to resign saying that Supreme Court verdict must be honored. Officially, the obsessively and endlessly greedy President maintains absolute silence, so deos the BCCI and the even the International Cricket Council (ICC) which was penetrated by the Srinivasan clout again and again.

Justice will be ensured now. The guilty will be punished. Indian Cricket and the BCCI have to come clean and be accountable from now onwards.  A very important day for the fight against corruption, greed and degeneration. Jai Ho!  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Election Politics: Trepidation, Euphoria, Desperation And Opportunism!

As political parties all over India announce list after list of candidates for the General Elections-2014 with the first phase of voting happening on 7th April; as political parties nominate their candidates for the constituencies; as political leaders file their nominations for the hot seats and as political parties sort out their priorities getting ready for declaring their manifestos certain entertainingly rampant characteristics are popping up and out bringing out the essence of election politicking in the largest democracy of the world. You can like it or dislike it, you can abhor it or ignore it, you can debate aloud about it or keep mum about it, but you cannot help enjoying it. And it’s your right to get entertained before you decide about your vote which you must exercise anyway with the latest option of rejecting all the candidates in your constituency.

A sense of trepidation seems to have engulfed the ruling coalition particularly for Congress party that leads it. After all the scams, all the corruption charges, inflation and an alleged policy paralysis many stalwarts have either refused to contest or have joined or decided to join other political parties that seem to be winning. Many still within the party or the coalition seem to have resigned to the emerging view that they after all will have to sit in the opposition this time around taking consolation in the fact that they have ruled the country for the last ten years.

A sense of euphoria seems to have engulfed the main opposition parties particularly the BJP who, in the soothing company of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, starts to feel almost secure in the emerging view that this party will after all get the chance to rule the country after a gap of ten years. Many stalwarts within the BJP are eager to stick their necks in and be a part of the expected victory. However, the euphoria seems to have made the party dream of a single party rule creating in its wake internal egoistic and power-mongering trouble. Okay, the Prime Ministerial candidate has already been announced, but the position of Deputy PM or even Associate PM or Assistant PM are still open for grabs. So furious is the euphoria that even its potentially powerful allies are no longer safe—if you care to go through the snubbing game going on between BJP and Shiv Sean in Maharashtra.  

Therefore, be it trepidation or euphoria, a sense of desperation seems to have engulfed the entire political community. Everybody, be it their plain greed for power or be it their 'commitment' to continuing public service, wants somehow to be on the winning side, by hook or by crook. As we have mentioned earlier many stalwarts belonging to Congress and other parties have betrayed and joined rival parties with the enlivening hope of ending up with the winning ones. As you know winning means cornering power and cornering power know well after living in the largest democracy of the world for decades. Many other stalwarts including granddads or senior most leaders have been bickering for more lucrative or prestigious constituencies. Such was the fury of this desperation that within BJP it has raised the specter of a Modi-Advani confrontation once again and has created divisions that are hardly healthy for a party that is hopeful of forming the next government.

All these inevitably lead to an air of rank opportunism that has in fact been so characteristic of Indian politics over the decades. Leaders are running here and there looking for the best chance of reaping the maximum benefits and finally or hopefully grabbing positions of power. More frighteningly, the party that took up the cudgels for the common man on the ideal of a corruption-free country has managed to beat the masters in their own games. It has matched the masters bit by bit with expertise and elan in every aspect of dirty politicking. Its front runner—the run-away Chief Minister— has got used to creating controversy and turmoil wherever he sets his 'preaching' feet in, so much so that his party now has effectually become the common man's most common tormentor.
And incidentally his mentor cum anti-corruption crusader has become a perfect comedian siding with or deserting any political party at will all the while maintaining that he would never support any political party. Our dear 'merciless Mamata' had recently shown a helluva lot of ‘mamata’ on this crusader, but had to go back to her merciless ways when the former left her midway and abandoned. However, in the first place nobody quite understood why both needed each other so suddenly.

To end on a rather positive note we must point out one emerging trend which is valid for all political parties. In their desperation to get the best possible 'winning' candidates political parties have been roping in celebrities including film actors and professional comedians. Maybe this could act as a distinct dampener for prospective criminals who could have qualified otherwise.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sri Lanka Walk Away With The Asia Cup Beating Pakistan! ICC World T20 Starts 16th March!

Lasith Malinga
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan quite easily in the final of the Asia Cup-2014 yesterday in Bangladesh and deservedly won the title for the fifth time now equaling India who crashed out this time. Sri Lanka overhauled Pakistan total of 260/5 by five wickets with 22 balls to spare. Mahela Jaywardene (75) played the first big knock of this tournament and helped a terrific Thirimanne to his century enabling Sri Lanka cruise over to victory. Man of the Match Lasith Malinga had an opening spell of fierce fast bowling mopping up top three Pakistan batsmen for just 18 runs on the board. Malinga maintained it in all his three spells taking up all the Pakistan wickets to fall with the figure 5 for 56. Put down from the start Pakistan fought bravely with two 100+ partnerships with a patient century from Fawad Alam (114 off 134 balls) and useful contributions from skipper Misbah (65 off 98) and a quicker 59 off 42 balls by keeper Umar Akmal. However, Pakistan failed to capitalize on these partnerships and fell short setting a target in excess of 275 runs. It was also inexplicable why Pakistan chose to bat first since their last two breathtaking victories  had been achieved while chasing. Their major weapon of these wins, Shahid Afridi, was not pushed up in the order and finally he could not get a single ball. Perhaps the doubt over Afridi’s fitness pushed things back for Pakistan. After some thrilling and incredible cricket in the tournament the final turned out to be a tame affair. Of course not undermining the consistent dominance of Sri Lanka.  The Scorecard:

Sri Lanka remained the only undefeated team in Asia Cup-2014 while hosts Bangladesh could not win even a single match despite giving running Pakistan and Sri Lanka close. India crashing out early did not have the satisfaction of at least defeating Pakistan as is expected in these parts and hardly had any plus from this tournament. Afghanistan had the supreme satisfaction of defeating a test-playing team for the first time in their cricketing history and Pakistan had only themselves to blame for not being able to take the Cup home.

The ICC World T20 Championship starts in Bangladesh from 16th March, 2014. With all the major competitive cricketing nations involved the shortest and the most commercial format of cricket is set to hot up. India start the tournament with a blockbuster against Pakistan on 21st March and with Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni coming back Team India would hope to put the bad memory of Asia Cup behind. ICC World T20 Schedule:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Politics-Cricket: General Elections-2014, Political Violence and Asia Cup!

General Elections-2014 starts on 7th April with the largest number ever of 9 polling phases till 12th of May and the counting of votes will be taken up on Friday, May 16. In 2009 General Elections there were 5 phases, but lasted for a period of 73 days as against 69 days this time. The Chief Election Commissioner of India declared the dates and phases with all details of polling in different states and union territories of India at a press conference in New Delhi last morning. The Model of Code of Conduct is thus being ushered in from yesterday till the end of elections during which time governments and authorities would be prevented from announcing policies or any sort of new schemes of development. For most other normal administrative decisions the consent of the Election Commission of India would be required. The General Elections will be held along with assembly elections in three states of Sikkim, Odissa and Andhra Pradesh which had just been divided into Telangana and Seemandhra. In Maharashtra we will have polling in three phases—10th , 17th and 24th of April with all the seats in Mumbai slated to go for voting at the last phase.
Political violence erupted in the capital and other parts as the country got set for the biggest democratic exercise of the world. The Common Man’s Party (AAP) showed this time that they could be as violent as any other party. Their runaway ex-Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal was briefly detained in Gujarat by the police reportedly owing to a possible violation of the model code of conduct. And as is usual with the self-styled ‘untouchables’, there was a mix-up with Kejriwal making allegations against the police of the BJP ruled state where Narendra Modi has been Chief Minister for three consecutive terms. The AAP workers in their typical ‘righteous’ spirit attacked the BJP offices in Delhi and other places leading to ugly clashes. The AAP is now viewed as a party that can hardly impact at the national level with some following mostly in urban areas that too seems to be dwindling after that Delhi ‘Governance’ experiment. Maybe, that is why the party workers are desperate for some consistent media attention.
In Asia Cup Cricket neither Sri Lanka nor Pakistan came to India’s mathematical aid and the latter crashed out of the tournament as was apparent. Sri Lanka routed Afghanistan and Pakistan beat Bangladesh in another incredible thriller led in the end again by Shahid Afridi. In a match totally devoid of any importance Team India, of course, defeated Afghanistan yesterday with the expected bonus point. However, it came a little too late. Indians have themselves to blame for having to bring their overseas misery back in familiar tracks too. Sri Lanka meet Pakistan in the Asia Cup-2014 Final this Saturday, 8th of March. Sri Lanka have already beaten Pakistan in the very opener of the Tournament, but Pakistan have become more resilient and spirited of late thanks to thrilling victories over arch-rivals India and Bangladesh. Today there is another inconsequential match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which is the last league encounter.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Asia Cup-2014: Pakistan Beat India By 1 Wicket In An Incredible Thriller!

Shahid Afridi today reminded all India and Pakistan fans of the Sharjah one day international in 1986 between the two countries when Javed Miandad gave Pakistan an incredible victory by sending the last ball of the match sailing over the boundary. An impulsive cricketer, as always, Afridi today became the hero of his fans after quite a long time. 
Pakistan beat India by 1 wicket today in the sixth match of Asia Cup-2014 ODI Cricket tournament played in Bangladesh. This Pak win almost ends India's hopes of staying afloat.Now India would like to beat Afghanistan with a bonus point and hope Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka. Pakistan is on top now with 9 points (one bonus point earned against Afghanistan) and is almost through the final even if beaten by Bangladesh in their last encounter.

Pakistan bowlers did better than India in both pace and spin; Pakistan batsmen did better than India building longer partnerships and Pakistan fielded better than India in terms of letting go the least chances.

For India the same nightmarish story of missed opportunities continues. The Kohli centric team folded up for less than 250 being put in to bat as Kohli failed to get going this time. Stand-in wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik continues to mess up huge stumping chances. However, for the avid fans this encounter too lived up to a typical India-Pakistan blockbuster with ups and downs till the last minute. When Indian fans resigned to accept the verdict of a defeat Team India turned the match on its head reducing Pakistan to 235 for 8 needing 11 runs off the last over. First ball 50th over one more Pak wicket making Indian fans celebrate victory. Next ball a single and Afridi regains strike. He hits two huge sixes next two balls and Pakistan finally prevailed overhauling the target of 246 with 2 balls to spare driving Pak fans into an ecstatic frenzy! 

India disappointed again, but then what a match!
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