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Showing posts from 2019

Cricket: India Win ODI Series, Beat A Resistant West Indies!

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Photo: India today.in India have never lost a One-Day International (ODI) Series against the West Indies since 2007, and have become the best world team in terms of maximum ODI Series wins (32) during this decade surpassing Australia and England. In an absorbing match played in Cuttuk last evening India managed to overcome West Indies by 4 wickets in the penultimate over. In a high scoring match WI, put into bat, had a late charge led by skipper Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Puran setting a challenging total of 315--a score over 300 always had a winning chance, and but for the huge hits by Shardul Thakur and in spite of man-of-the-match Virat Kohli's knock of 85 with rollicking half centuries by Rohit Sharma and K Rahul the match could've gone in either direction.  This brings us to the point I'd like to make about West Indies. For the first time WI didn't show their traditional 'unpredictability', and offered a lot of resistance and fighting spirit in a

A Punch In The Lurch!

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Shyam arrived unannounced, as usual. Ram got really annoyed that evening; he had an important task to accomplish, his son being away on a college excursion. “This fellow is incorrigible! We meet five days a week in office and yet he lands up almost every evening!’ Ram thought ruefully. “Perhaps…his bachelorhood, sealed by now, is the crux of the matter!” he added to kinda solace himself. His problem was accentuated, particularly because his wife and son loved passing time with Shyam. In fact, they expected Shyam’s company as often as possible. Ram welcomed him, as always, and Shyam, entering with a yawn, sank lazily in the comfortable sofa. He started talking immediately; nothing of importance, as always. However, that evening Ram was determined not to entertain his visitor for long. Before his wife could emerge he went inside, and said, ‘Give him all the pastries, sweets, salted delicacies with the tea, so that he loses his appetite for supper…and leaves soon.” His wife smile

The Duel!

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“Oh, you’ve come at last! I phoned you several times, you didn’t bother to answer...okay, what did the doctor say? Has your thumb healed?” “Actually, I had to sit there for nearly one hour; but the doctor hardly took any time. I walked out just after 7 PM, I wanted to call you then; but thought you must be on the way back home, and so decided to call later....actually, one of my friends lives nearby, she called me when I was waiting at the clinic; she invited me home. She came up to take me from the clinic. Their flat is nice and cosy...” “That’s fine...but what did the doctor say?” “...not like ours—congested lanes and non-airy—homely locality. I was also feeling tired after a hectic day...she offered to make tea...” “But what did the doctor say?” “You’re always impatient and rude! Just want to know what you want to know, quick and fast! All males are like that! Wait, I’ll come to your point shortly...she made a very nice and tasty roll; I really enjoyed with

Cricket: The First Ever Pink Ball Test A Superhit? And India’s Got Pacers!

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Photo: indiatoday.in Indian cricket fans crowding the Eden Gardens stadium reportedly encouraged Bangladesh players to try prolong the first ever Pink Test a little more; because it was all over in two days and 47 minutes frustrating the general expectation that the match would last at least three days. 45-60 thousand spectators thronged the stadium on the first two days each and even on the third morning when it was apparently clear that India would wrap up the match any moment more than 25000 were present. Such attendance is unprecedented for a five-day Test match ever played in India. Therefore, in terms of pulling people from all strata of society to the stadium the first ever D/N Pink Test is a superhit. However, in Kolkata, the Mecca of Indian Cricket with the famous Eden, enthusiastic crowds are always there for at least two kinds of sports—football and cricket. Given that, one cannot still take away the ‘superhit’ tag, and the fact that the match made Sourav Ganguly, B

Cricket—Balls Over The Years As Kolkata Gets Ready For The Pink Test!

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While the game of cricket originated in England in the late 16 th century and developed globally from the 19 th century the red ball has been used traditionally—since at least the early 19 th century. International cricket matches have been played since 1844 and Test Cricket from 1877. The color change in cricket began only towards the late 20 th century; however, the traditional red ball has continued to be used till today—in test and first-class cricket matches or completions. With the changes in the format of the game the colors of the ball started changing along with the traditional white dress of the cricketers on the field becoming colored. The ‘red’ became ‘white’ in 1977 when Karry Packer introduced World Series Cricket (WSC) in Australia—as a breakaway ‘commercial’ league. It also included colored clothing for different players from different teams, use of floodlights and white balls. The erstwhile ‘day’ one-day international (ODI) matches became day-night, and

Two Strangers At It!

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He stared at me; I stared him back. Our eyes got locked. And he continued to stare at me, and I felt a little uneasy and started roving my eyes here and there, still aware of the fact that he didn’t follow my action, his stare unflinching. We were sitting at a medical clinic on opposite rows, waiting for the doctors’ call. This was a multi-specialty clinic, and so the patients were in the common lounge for doctors of various departments. In all probability my staring stranger was not in the queue for my doctor. After sometime I stared back at him to check the status; to my dismay he was still staring at me. My uneasiness gave way to plain resentment now. I must know why. I stood up, went over to his side and sat down in the vacant seat next to him. He now looked at me with interest, his face beaming. “Do you know me?” I asked him, showing my anger. “In fact, a friend of mine with sharp features and a pointed nose,” he began; “resembles you. That’s why y

IPL: A Liability or Asset?

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The Indian Premiere League (IPL), as a Twenty20 cricket tournament, was founded by business and cricket tycoon of India, Lalit Modi, the then vice president of the BCCI in 2008. The very next year the IPL was shifted to South Africa for the UPA government couldn’t give security assurance due to the General Elections-2009. After the third edition in 2010 the BCCI suspended Lalit Modi thanks to a plethora of allegations and cross allegations that culminated in 2013 when the BCCI banned him for life after a series of investigations. He shifted to London in 2010 and has been living there since. Meanwhile the IPL has emerged as one of the biggest cricket tournaments of the world in terms of chiefly money—by the billions.   From its inception many cricket purists including stalwarts and even politicians criticized it as ‘commercialization’ of cricket with buying and selling of cricketers from across the world, called auction in moderate term, and teams consisting of Indian icon

T20 Cricket: Fans Defy Delhi Pollution, Bangladesh Tigers Register First Ever Win Against India!

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About 25000 cricket fans defied severe levels of pollution and thronged the Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi on the evening of 3 rd November, 2019. Their love for the game and eagerness to support their team prevailed over pollution; as it were, to vindicate BCCI President Sourav’s Ganguly’s decision to go ahead with the match. The efforts taken by the authorities try cut down the pollution level around the stadium were eye-catching; in the sense that no such devotion is as yet to be seen to save the common people of the national capital from AQI levels that reached over 500-mark in some places. Well, this is cricket in India—and the money involved with the game! Now over to the cricket played. The defying fans were ultimately disappointed with their home team’s efforts, and Bangladesh somewhat easily won the first T20I match by 7 wickets. In nine T20I marches played so far between the two sides this was the first ever win for Bangladesh, and that too in India. The joy of the co

New Rivalries: Cricket Vs Delhi Smog; Dada Vs Dew!

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New cricket rivalries are emerging at the moment in India, immediately after former India captain Sourav Ganguly took charge as President, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 23 rd October, 2019. All cricket lovers including cricket commentators and top players welcomed taking over charge by Ganguly, mainly because for the first time a real cricketer—and an aggressive one too—has occupied the most important position. True to his nature, Sourav has already started planning for a productive era of Indian cricket; he met the present India captain Virat Kohli too. In the course of this he took two crucial decisions which are loaded with suspense and tension. India-Bangladesh Series-2019 is set to start with a T20I match to be played in Delhi on 3 rd November and there was a hue and cry over it due to the pollution levels in the national capital spiking to severe levels, particularly after Diwali celebrations and the continued stubble burning in the countryside. Cric

The Rough Cut!

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It was long overdue. The fact of the matter was that there was a problem in that very part of the anatomy that needed the action which therefore had to be postponed indefinitely. Paban’s wife had been complaining a lot; that he looked horribly ruffled, the overgrowth flowing all around uncontrollably and so on. She understood his problem, but looking at him in that state day after day she seemed to forget the unfortunate fact temporarily. Paban often explained to her, ‘Let me recover reasonably well first. Then I’ll definitely complete the task. Rest assured.’ But, as is the way with wives, her taunts, despair continued unabated, Paban accepted.   Paban also had a somewhat contrasting situation. A few of his friends always appreciated his looks in that state and exclaimed that he really looked very handsome. One of them even took a snap of Paban at a family event, and displayed it proudly justifying his assertion. Paban also liked the way he looked. He showed the photo to his wi

Why You Like Being Liked!

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Like, giving or receiving, is the quintessence of life. Life can be reduced only to strife if you do not like or get liked; of course, such a situation is rare in most of the lives lived on this likeable earth. At the very beginning, meaning when you are born, it remains uncertain if you like being born or before that being conceived in the womb; the situation becomes murkier because most babies cry after getting born, and it is considered   a healthy sign. Therefore, we will omit the very beginning of our life when, in any case, we don’t know why that ‘me’ gets into a particular womb through some particular external source amid billions and gets born into a particular family in a particular place on our likeable earth, and focus mainly on the ‘likes’ generated continuously throughout our conscious life and why we always like being liked. We start liking our parents, particularly mom, our food, our relatives, our friends, our teachers, our gender-specific entities, our bosses,

Fade In, Fade Out...!—Part-6

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My mind raging I look around aimlessly. My wife is sitting quietly beside me fiddling with her mobile phone, reclining against the hard back rest. Suddenly, my mind concentrates on our present situation. How long we had been sitting there? Did I doze off there for some time? If it happened like that did I dream about all the recent happenings? But how could that be; because we do not understand our present situation nor we know about our purpose of being there. And then, if indeed I dreamed had I woken up now? There is no way I could be sure of my wakefulness.                                                       In a bid to bring about my deemed wakefulness I start pinching myself hard and harder, try shaking up my hands and legs; but nothing happens. Is this then an out-of-the-body experience? If it is so, then where is my existential body? I can still look at my physical self positioned there with my physical, seemingly, wife by my side. However, as I just narrated I am unabl

Fade In, Fade Out...!—Part-5

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Two yards more to overcome...and I would be a free man, at least for the time being. I could no longer hear his laughter and dared not look back. Perhaps he really appreciated my gesture in not using the opportunity offered by the falling gun; that he was only joking about ‘good guys’ and that he was not going to shoot me down at all. On the other hand, had any murders taken place at the hotel afterwards I would have been a prime witness as I had seen all three thugs from close quarters. In that eventuality I would remain a marked man for eternity. But there was no way to know it for a certainty. Anyway, it would be very clear very soon. I nearly stopped at the final point of the curve, gripped by persisting tension and fear. Taking an instant resolve to make the final dash to escape I rounded the turning successfully. No shots rang out in the air. And then I ran...I ran like a rabbit in pursuit, releasing the built-up tension and relishing my escape. Surprisingly, I never got