England Team was successful in registering a fantastic victory over the Indians in the second Test played at Trent Bridge. However, the “Bellgate” issue has stained the glorious victory. This match has added an infamous chapter in the history of cricket. A chapter which any cricket lover would like least to remember, after all, it highlights the decline in playing standards. The English Team has proved beyond doubt that hypocrisy is integral part of Victorian culture.
The English Team resting on likes of Michael Paul Vaughan and Stuart Broad, firm believers and followers, of corrupt Vaseline Theory have the guts to remind about the spirit of the game. Why is the Indian team all the time expected to honour the sportsmanship? It’s most unfortunate that Ian Bell was allowed to play again after declared out. It’s not sportsmanship but it’s dictatorship of England team, British Media And British spectators.The glaring contradictions inherent in the approach of England Team and British Media would make any cricket lover bow down its head in shame. I mean the same team who few hours back shamelessly projected a dubious Vaseline theory making Stuart Broad check the bat of V V S Laxman was now cursing Indian team for making a valid appeal against Ian Bell!
The British Media, representative of truth and transparency, was busy engaged in making mockery of mannerism and sensibility of the Indian team. The British Media failed to remember that just few hours ago when English team made a flawed lbw appeal against Harbhajan Singh and eventually got his wicket, the English players had already lost all moral rights to preach others about sportsmanship. No wonder the British crowd too lost its cool and entered in booing, failing to realize that there was nothing wrong with India’s appeal. However, the teams like England and Australia when visit Indian subcontinent often clamour against crowd mismanagement, security, weather, food and lots of other silly concerns. This incident shows that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. The way crowd treated with Indian players makes one feel that Indian players owe more to the interests of crowd than interests related with the game.
Ironically, a latest news report has rubbished the claims of Michael Paul Vaughan, which states that “the makers of the Hot Spot technology insisted it could not be nobbled by grease” .”We have done testing over the past two days in our office and can conclude that putting Vaseline on the side of a cricket bat has no discernible effect on our Hot Spot system. Maybe if you were able to apply 10 millimetres (a centimetre) of Vaseline on the side of the bat it would make a difference but we believe that this would be near impossible to achieve.”(BBG Sports). Coming back to the Ian Bell issue I must say that in no case he should have been recalled or I must say as per letter of the law he had no rights to be in the field again.
“Under Law 27.8, the reprieve shouldn’t have been allowed anyway, as any player must be recalled before they have left the field of play.”. I stand by the side of the Telegraph report which ,in fact, is one of the few newspapers which took a perfect stand on it. Hailing the decision of India to recall as “illogical” it clearly states that: “The spirit of cricket has its place but it was not being abused here. Bell, who’d played superbly to that point, should have remained dismissed, following his naive presumption that a leg-side flick from Eoin Morgan, which had been clumsily fielded at long leg by Praveen Kumar, had gone for 4.”
However, something more disastrous was in the cards. It’s shocking that England team’s coach Andy Flower and Captain Andrew Strauss visited India’s dressing-room during the tea break virtually compelling Mahendra Singh Dhoni to quash his appeal. The Indian captain instead of acting in tough way for the sake of game exhibited mindless “generosity” and gave way to the indecent demand all in name of sportsmanship. I wonder how does honouring the illegal wish honours the sportsmanship? I am really stunned the way British and Indian media both see it as a great gesture in league with real sportsmanship. Even some great names, who differ in their off-the record versions, are hailing the immaturity shown by M S Dhoni. How come asking the batsmen to bat again when he is really out constitutes sportsmanship?
Many in India are wrongly comparing Dhoni’s gesture to withdraw the appeal with Gundappa Viswanath’s gesture to recall Bob Taylor in 1980 Mumbai Test. However, one forgets that in Vishwanath’s case the batsmen was wrongly given out, and therefore, it was quite appropriate gesture on part of Vishhwanath to recall Taylor. That’s indeed within purview of sportsmanship. In Dhoni’s case not only the batsman was perfectly out but also the scope of making a recall had absolutely no chance since a new session came into effect. One needs to take into account the fact that the way Indian dressing room was visited by the coach and captain is a various serious issue. Once the third umpire has delivered his verdict what was the urgency on part of English team to see Bell back on the field?
I need to appreciate the stand of Ian Botham. Thank God there are some people still left who can speak in unambiguous terms! Botham in his column in The Mirror stated that” having been legitimately run out by the Indians with his mind on a huge round of applause and a cup of tea he had no right to expect to be batting after the break He was out I can understand why MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal and decided to go along with the spirit of the game but I would have had no problem if he had upheld it and sent a message about dopey cricket.” He then says that ” the game should be played fair but it should be played hard and if you don’t know the laws then find them out quickly because it is no place to wander about with your head in the clouds.”
Shane Warne stating that “Bell was at fault in the episode” rightly treats recall as one that would be “seen in the prism of politics”. However, the English media feels otherwise. Derek Pringle in The Telegraph conveys the impression that ultimately English team ‘won the moral debate” even after the Bell’s admission that he was indeed out if one goes by the letter of the law. Bell calls himself to be “naive” but how should we react to the crowd’s stupid behaviour and unusual gesture of Captain and the Coach of England who dared to visit the dressing room? Should they also now declare themselves to be “naive”?
In nutshell, it would be hard to forget this tragic episode which let the gentleman’s game succumb to double standards and hypocrisy at its best. I am still trying to find the answer to this question but the answer remains elusive. If Bell knew he was out then what made him come back on the crease in the post-Tea session?The anarchism that prevails in ordinary human life now seems to have entered in the world of cricket, giving rise to use of unfair means and cheap manipulation with the help of power and money.
Last time when India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the people of my generation were too young to acknowledge the worth of the India’s victory over West Indies. Since then we all wished to see India holding the Cup again. Now after 28 years, the Team India loaded with GenNext sentiments made possible for we guys to share the feelings of being a World Champion. We did it in style when Mr Cool struck a massive six over the long on in the 49th over bowled by Kulasekara. A classic and unique way to make the World Cup ours. It’s a memorable victory as unlike in 1983 when few thought that we would emerge as Champions, this time, however, we had to merely honour the expectations of billion plus people, who saw in Indian team the potential to emerge as a World Champion. And we did that in style by beating a formidable team. We didn’t provide the fans to feel disappointed like other times.
To be honest, I was not sure that India will emerge as World Champions even as Team India was hot favourite in the eyes of Cricket Pundits. The fielding was not up to the mark and our bowling lacked killer instincts. The turning point came when we defeated the Australians. The team showed a dramatic change in its attitude after defeating the three times World Champions Australia. We became like a disciplined army, who worked in tandem with well carved plan in an organized way. That made us to defeat another World Champion Pakistan in Semi-final. It wasn’t easy to tame the Sri Lankan lions, who were comprised of legendary players like Muralitharan and some real talented guys like Malinga, Sangakara and Mahela Jaywardene .
When Mahela Jayawardene made mockery of the Indian pace attack in final overs of their inning, I saw Sri Lankan fans giving big smiles. The Sri Lankan fans and Sri Lankan team were on seventh cloud after the dismissals of Tendulkar and Sehwag. However, the destiny had something else in store for them. The two Indian players who in rest of the World Cup matches hardly made significant contribution came to act as saviours. Gambhir and Virat Kohli by their cool and intelligent approach ensured that we would not let Tendulkar retire without World Cup in his record book. I am really unhappy that Man-of-the-Match went to Dhoni. I think the real credit need to be given to scintillating innings of Kohli and Gambhir during tense crucial phase of the game. They were the ones who brought India back in the game. Anyway, let’s hear what Gambhir has to say: “The 2007 World Cup was a nightmare, this was a dream come true. We’re so pleased for Sachin Tendulkar, this is for him.”
This World Cup saw end of the careers of many legendary players like Ponting. In this match we were seeing for the last time the two geniuses: Sachin and Murali. I must salute the attitude of this two great souls. I am sure we would have to wait for couple of centuries more to see such greatness again. Sachin has every moment to feel the heat of being the World Champions. This was the dream, which acted as no less than nightmare for him for past two decades. However, the emotions are hard to control when I hear him saying : “This is the proudest moment of my life – it’s never too late, as they say. The team stuck together and proved all the people who doubted us wrong.”
We Indians, who are on route to emerge as new superpowers, are still devoid of moments that make us feel really great. The Indian cricket team new Avatara (incarnation) as World Champions has provided us some moments to be on top of the world. Let this inspire us to emerge as better human beings in other spheres of life. It’s time to celebrate. Along with noise of crackers, I can also hear the words of Gavaskar in my ears: ”
What a way to win the World Cup, with the Indian captain hitting a six! Look at Sachin Tendulkar out there, he’s like a little kid – this was the one medal missing from his collection. This is great for Indian cricket, and for India, as the country has had a few problems over the last few months – hopefully it will bring everyone together.”
India’s victory against Pakistan in semi-final of Cricket World Cup 2011 shall be remembered for a long time. This ‘mother of all the matches’ kept millions across the globe tense and anxious. The result was quite predictable but cricket is game of glorious uncertainties.Right from the beginning, the Indian fans were convinced that Pakistan had little chance of beating India. Both records and attitude of Indian Team signaled India’s victory. The 29 run victory came to confirm the signals of optimism. It had to be 5-0 and the victory made it a reality.
There was a dubious attempt to make the match a political drama. This was sabotaged as India has reached in the final dominated the post-match celebrations. The talk of cricket diplomacy hit the pre-match discussions. This is a sinister affair to make sport a mean to serve political ends. Why should sport be a medium to better the tense relationship? What’s the need to blend cricket with politics? The premier tournaments should maintain a safe distance from such political dramas. The game should be treated like a game and not a round table conference.
Let’s talk about role of Tendulkar as well. Many dull headed critics always accuse him of never playing a match winning innings even as the record books suggest otherwise. In the very first clash between India and Pakistan in 1992 World Cup, played in Australia, Sachin was awarded Man-of-the-match. Sachin again made India attain victory over Pakistan in 2003 World Cup clash in South Africa by his classic innings of 98 runs. Needless to state, he was once again the Man-of-the-match.
Now at Mohali in 2011, we once again witnessed how he made Pakistan away from the door of victory. True, the lady luck made him survive four dismissal chances but can we deny the fact that his runs shaped the victory of India ? I am happy that all biased analysts will now think twice before stupidly suggesting that Tendulkar’s big innings are sometimes bad omens and counter-productive. Or, for that matter, just better his individual records! Oh yes, sounding deja vu, he became Man-of-the-match at Mohali as well!
Lastly, the Indian team has displayed a rare spirit. It’s now playing more like an organized group. It’s indicative of the fact that the Indians have gained the ability to perform better in tougher conditions.It also shows that team is learning the art to play as group and not as one man show. It’s time to deliver this collective spirit once again to make World Cup ours after we kissed it in 1983. Sri Lanka is a very good team. Let’s not blue waves commit the fatal blunder of ignoring the mighty roar of Sri Lankan lions. It’s time to tame the lions! It’s time to kiss the World Cup again!
Sachin’s marvelous double century in the second test match in India Vs Australia series has proved beyond doubt that this man is a rare genius.The batting legend made 214 and 53 in the Bangalore Test Match to help India gain a historic series win against the Australians. A clean sweep that enabled India to attain number one spot in ICC test ranking list with 127 rating points,making Australia attain its lowest test ranking since the introduction of rankings.
The superb bowling and batting by the spirited Indians made the Australians bite the dust allowing Indians another blissful moment after series of blissful episodes in CWG games.The test series shall be remembered for Tendulkar’s heroic innings but one just cannot ignore the brilliant bowling spell by Harbhajan,Pragyan Ojha ,Sreesanth amd Zaheer which forced Australians to taste three successive Test loss after 22 years.Anyway ,I will restrict myself to Tendulkar awarded man of the match (second test) and man of the series. The Australian press has showered loads of compliments on this evergreen living legend by naming him “man of the century“.
The Sydney Morning Herald states that : “How he haunts the Australians. Last time they were in India, Ricky Ponting’s men watched him score his 13,000th run. In this Test he brought up his 14,000th and at times he seemed to be on his way to 15,000th. God alone knows when he will desist.” It stated further that Tendulkar remains ‘the one constant in an ever-changing cricket universe, ever present, always scoring. He has been at the crease for 21 years.’ The Age newspaper said: “The Little Master serves up a lesson. If October 10, 2010 was to be Sachin Tendulkar’s day, then the 11th was his honorary parade, one which may roll over the top of the hapless Australians in the second Test.” Peter Roebuck didn’t hesitate to call him “exceptional” who never misses to play compelling shots on every ball.The media there compared our little master with a kid “who wished it wouldn’t get dark “.
At this moment I will like to quote two memorable quotes that appeared in Indian media when he scored a double ton in an one-dayer against South Africa . The Times Of India then said that ” treasure this new, improved Tendulkar.He is, by far, still India’s most valuable player, and will remain so till he decides to call it quits.” The Hindustan Times paying rich tribute stated : ” To Sachin Tendulkar, on whom more words have been written than any other cricketer, including Sir Donald Bradman, two words will suffice: Thank you.” I am amazed at the improvisation level of Tendulkar.Not long back ago when Tendulkar was crippled with injuries like tennis elbow and other such problems there were rumours that his career may give to unfortunate end.Some so-called enthusiastic cricket pundits has already published obituaries speculating about his career in doldrums.However,Tendulkar rising from the ashes like a phoenix,always managed to silence the critics by playing scintillating shots in crucial innings against powerful teams like South Africa and Australia.
I find it remarkable that this guy named Tendulkar has mastered the art to remain cool in crisis.It’s never easy thing for a celebrity to add infamous chapters in one’s stardom via reckless behaviour. No wonder, Sachin in my eyes is owner of flawless popularity called “yash” in Hindi.One may be popular figure but one may not be “Yashashvi” (flawless popularity). At least,this guy has taught all of us that success should not go to your head. Let’s be humble when destiny gives you a reason to smile with episodes mired in success.
I will finish my article with what Anjali ,the wife of Tendulkar,has to say about this recent achievement of Tendulkar.” I am always excited. Whatever Sachin does, I am very excited. If he makes a double century I am all the more excited and if it is against Australia I am very excited. For me whatever he does I am very happy. Today, according to me his 53 was also very important, so I feel equally happy with that as long as we win,” said Anjali.It’s no secret that we Indians are also very excited when the “God of cricket” is in full form on a cricket field.