Archive for the ‘IPL’ Category

So who let the dogs out? Did you notice how the Income tax department jumped to do their master’s bidding the day Tharoor was accused of doing a few underhand things to get his pals the IPl franchise? Will the government call off the I-T guys, now that Tharoor has quit and Modi is also being sidelined? I don’t think so.

Looks like the BCCI and IPL will have to pay a heavy price for unwittingly getting involved in a sordid game of knots and crosses between a few powerful politicians, who have their own agenda. And the media is busy publishing stories planted by ‘interested’ parties, while going around in circles, like a dog chasing its own tail.

Let’s face it, Tharoor presented his head to his critics on a platter. The Congress claims they heard him out and would obviously like us to believe that they didn’t believe him. Is that really the truth? Has the Congress edged him out just to keep some regional politicians quiet, while they plan their next move?

This whole Tharoor issue, seems to me, a case of inflated egos and attempts at one-upmanship between two or three powerful politicians, all hell-bent on hurting each other’s interests, because one decides the other is now expendable. So word gets around that such a plan is being hatched and some politicians decided to scuttle it.

Mark my words, but six months from now, will emerge the news that Tharoor was as a clean as a whistle, because by then the political drama would have reached its logical conclusion. So they’ll say he recommended his girl friend for a place on the Kochi franchise. So big deal? Why did Lalit Modi accept? After all, he struts around with the pompous sounding title of ‘Commissioner.’ Why didn’t he just tell Tharoor to pipe down, or tell his erstwhile boss Sharad Pawar to lean on him?

Doesn’t it seem strange that Sharad Pawar is backing Modi, when in reality he should have been supporting an MP, who is a member of his alliance partner? What’s the guarantee that some smart politician didn’t offer pay the moon to move the IPL out of Kochi to a city of his choice, Ahmedabad, Kanpur… wherever, because of his business interests there.

I think for Modi and the BCCI, their woes are just beginning. Something tell me they will be taught a lesson. They’re going to be brought to their knees, made examples of, because someone in power wants to teach someone else a lesson. Either that or the powers-that-be will call a truce, kiss and make up, and completely ignore the collateral damage, their little ego battle has caused – the reputation of Indian cricket. That’s politics, and you still think it’s cricket?


I wonder, if in a fit of rage, Lalit Modi called Shashi Tharoor “Faale Manhoof!”

The war of the tweeters has entered the political arena. And now that the politicians have stepped in to the IPL circus we can expect some fun and games and the inevitable scapegoat. I am afraid the articulate and genteel Tharoor is being fattened for the sacrifice – if not now then sometime in the future.

Remember the IPL commercial aired before the IPL, with a politician wondering whether he would get a ticket, and his dumb followers swearing revenge if he didn’t? Does it remind you of the BJP’s ‘spin meisters’ and the others in the opposition screaming for Tharoor’s blood? I am pretty sure a majority of them don’t even know what the controversy is about. Just like the time they made a big noise about Jaswant Singh’s book without even having read it.

Going by Tharoor’s ‘clarification’ in the press, what he says seems pretty logical. So what if he tried to use his influence to get Kochi an IPL ticket? Pray tell me what are Krish Srikkanth, N Srinivasan and other well-known faces doing in the IPL franchisees. Look at the manner in which the Indian T 20 team was selected for the World Cup. Didn’t the IPL owners have a say in selections? The selectors can go blue in the face protesting that selections were clean, but some of the choices did raise eyebrows. So, till it is proved in a court of law that Tharoor is a liar and a cheat, I am going to give him the benefit of doubt.

Somehow I’ve liked neither Mr Modi nor his lisping tongue from the time he appeared on the scene from his home state of Rajasthan. He bears a striking resemblance to Jagmohan Dalmiya (erstwhile head honcho of Indian cricket and in his time cricket’s most powerful administrator), if only for the manner in which he has made money for the Indian cricket board. The similarity ends there.

In spite of all of Jaggu’s dada’s sometimes dubious style of functioning, I admired him because he gave the impression that he put Indian cricket and its players above all else, when it came to taking on the establishment (Read ICC and its supporters among the White cricketing nations). No one dared to tangle with Dalmiya and even a person as mild mannered as John Wright said he was relieved that Dalmiya was at the helm when Mike Denness allegedly called Tendulkar a cheat in South Africa. Wright didn’t believe anyone else could have taken on the ICC and shown them their place. It was an incident that virtually threatened to split the cricket world. But Dalmiya refused to back down until Tendulkar was reinstated and cleared off the charges.

But Modi, somehow, looks the type who’ll sell Indian cricket to the highest bidder, which is what he has been doing successfully these past three seasons. He reminds me of Kaa the boa constrictor in Jungle Book. I can visualise him lisping his way through “Trust in me”. Would you trust Mr Modi?

According to the Government of India’s Sports Ministry, Formula One racing is not purely a sport, it is entertainment and the proposed F1 race “does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others.”

Such hogwash. Tell that to Felipe Massa, Roland Ratzenberger, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna or the countless others who have suffered either crippling injuries or have died on the track. Maybe, the FI organisers could ask the official concerned to get into an F1 car and take it for a spin. He’ll get a good feel of the human endeavour involved, when his car spins out of control and crashes into one of the berms! Hopefully, he’ll emerge from the experience, a much wiser man!

When you have a sports minister who doesn’t believe athletes are doing anything wrong while serving tea and biscuits to officials, the level of ignorance of his officials comes as no surprise. Of course, like all government officials they obviously believe that they should be served and doors opened for them. Is it any wonder that every sports body, but for cricket to some extent, is still caught in a time warp, with politicians and bureaucrats, with little or no knowledge of sports at the helm?

What’s wrong if motor sport is entertainment as well? Isn’t that what sports is all about? If this is the ministry’s thinking, why doesn’t the minister call for a ban on IPL? After all, IPL is pure entertainment; it has not got much to do with human endeavour, nationalism, or even pride. Everyone is in it for the money, and the more they rake in the better. We all know what transpired in the IPL in South Africa. It was less a cricket tournament and more a film party.

There is, of course, another possibility. You have to be blind, deaf…oops, sorry for being politically incorrect…physically and mentally challenged, not to know that the Formula One body is among the richest in the world. Have you tried squeezing lime into a glass? The more the lime, better the drink tastes! Is this really what it’s all about?

The sports ministry official’s comments remind me of the music company executive who once said of a now-legendary band: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” He was referring to The Beatles!

Sir Ian Botham (now don’t ask me who he is), once very sarcastically remarked that a lot of Australians are like their country – big and empty. Seeing the events of the past month, I couldn’t help agree with the great man.
What do you expect from a bunch of obnoxious twits who’s forefathers were bank robbers, rapists and murderers? And their kids think that’s a qualification that should earn them a college degree. Of course, there are the likes of Andrew Symonds and the rest of the Australian sportsmen like Mathew Hayden and Lleyton Hewitt who badmouth India, but are the first to come here when they want to make a quick buck. Take Symonds, he is too busy getting drunk on the millions he made FROM THE IPL! Basically that’s crux of the issue.
If you ask me, it’s pure envy. If Australia is such a great place to be in, why do they keep asking for Indian students and tourists? Because they need the money, stupid! And India is one of the few countries that can give it to them.
Look at the rest of the world. It’s reeling under a recession. Indians, on the other hand, are doing reasonably well. Sure, there are people losing their jobs here as well, but compare that to the numbers elsewhere in the world. The stock markets here are up and running and Indians are still going abroad to study and work – and never mind what Barack Obama says.
That is what bugs the Americans and the Australians. How can this ‘Third World’ country be doing so well while we suffer? That India is not in a situation as hopeless as theirs is something they can’t swallow. So the illiterate Australian who’s education doesn’t get him beyond sheep rearing or driving a truck, is looking at these ‘brownies’ walking around with expensive laptops, spending money. While the Indians there go to college and even drive cabs because they want a better life, the dumb Aussie either hangs around street corners smoking weed or gets into brawls at a pub. And when he isn’t doing either, and needs some money for his next fix, he bangs up some Indian kid, who’s minding his own business. That’s the fair dinkum Aussie for you mate.

If you’ve been watching the IPL, like me, I am sure you too are thinking that this edition just isn’t as good enough as the first. Half the reason for that is that it isn’t being played in India and the other half is that a lot of the big names are missing. But the one player whio has really impressed me is Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Suresh Raina. This kid has class stamped all over him. I’ll go as far as to say that if there’s one player who should find a place, not just in the one-day squad, but in the Test side, it’s this boy from Uttar Pradesh. 

I’ve been watching all his innings in the IPL and I watched every ball of his innings against the Rajasthan Royals today. I couldn’t help marvelling at his timing, power and grace as he blasted the RR bowlers. If CSK win today’s match, they have only Raina to thank for. They had their backs to the wall till he opened up.  If the Indian selectors have any sense they should draft him in to the Test side without too much discussion. 
Chandu Borde had told me some time last year that the two youngsters he was very impressed with and who he believed have a great future, are Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina. I can see why.