Ganguly sidelined….Again!

March 25, 2009

Deja vu strikes. At the risk of sounding like an irrational fan, why does this keep happening to Sourav? How many public insults does the man deserve? I’m sure the Dada-haters will be unfurling the scroll again, but seriously, I ask why? Is that streak of arrogance, or the Princely power hunger, or perhaps the defiance of authority that has epitomized the Sourav that we know?

To me, an IPL free spirit – who doesn’t give too much about the fact that’s it’s moved to South Africa, or that it’s even happening this year – Ganguly’s sidelining as captain makes it the IPL all the more insignificant. I’m sure I’m not alone for there were many of us Ganguly fans who were not too long ago haunting Reebok stores in the cities scouting for KKR T-shirts. Maybe we don’t need that KKR T-shirt anymore for now we do not have a team to support!

The KKR team derives it’s spirit from Ganguly. From the point of view of the team management, that the sidelining happened this year, when there wouldn’t be a match played in Kolkata is smart. But Kolkata does not forget or forgive.

“…let’s wait and see..” was what Ganguly had to say on the issue. Yes, we shall definitely wait and see how Kolkata reacts.


More IPL Drama: of support, captaincy, thrashings and ban-reductions

May 17, 2008

The IPL has become the new source of endless drama, probably the best reality TV ever. There has been more off-the-field action than even a tour of Australia. 

 

Where shall I begin. Yes, the Shoaib story. Media sources now reveal that BCCI’s knee-jerk cousin PCB might soften down Shoaib’s five-year ban. Considering that it might be based solely on his show for the Kolkata Knight Riders, is that justified? Not really. Neither was the five-year ban that was slapped on him only weeks ago.

 

On the Bangalore front, some buffoonery is now being offered for free. Apparently, BRC’s Praveen Kumar ended up in a police station for involvement in a drunken brawl with a doctor in his hometown of Meerut. While fellow blogger Ottayan asks two questions on this. I have only one question, which is Ottayan’s second: Praveen, was it Kingfisher or Royal Challenge?  J

 

Furthermore, after VVS Laxman’s show of support for Dravid, his Royal Challengers’ team mate, Kumble minces nothing while adding to the support in his Hindustan times column, saying that those who matter must understand what sport is about. Mallya in response, has half-heartedly declared faith in his team, after reiterating concerns on team performance and selection. Dr. Mallya, it is about the people, the faces who wear the team T-shirt. If you aren’t supporting the people in the team, what is the Royal Challengers team? Just a red-and-yellow T-shirt.

 

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh on being asked of the corporate culture and sacking creeping into cricket, gushes over having Ganguly as captain till he turns 106. Ganguly, on the other hand, had only diplomatic answers when asked of Dravid’s position.

 

“..Rahul Dravid is a great friend of yours. What if Vijay Mallya were to tell Rahul, ‘I don’t want you as a captain.’ Would you like that as a cricketer?

Sourav Ganguly: I’ve been in the situation of not being wanted as a captain (laughs). I haven’t liked it so I am sure Rahul won’t like it either.”

Perhaps, Ganguly is just thinking “nalla vennum, da unakku” (Tamil for now it’s your turn). I only hope that we don’t loose Dravid through this crisis.

 Back to cricket, Mumbai routed Kolkata today for an embarassing 67 from 15-odd overs. I almost wrote a post before the match with some hype for Ganguly, Shoaib, and Kolkatta’s odds, but my pre-match-hype-jinxed stopped me. But not posting didn’t help Kolkata, though Sachin flopped royally with a duck. Something told me that today, Tendulkar will get his first IPL duck, and for the first time, I wasn’t too upset about it.


The IPL and its confusions

April 13, 2008

The IPL has become a much blogged about topic ever since the auctions. Now that all that halchal is over, shall we turn to the other confusions in/as a result of the IPL?

1. Where will your loyalties be?
With your city or linguistically closest team, if you don’t have a team for your city? With your favorite Indian cricketer’s team or one in which he is in? What about when two of your favorites are in opposing teams? Would you even take to take sides? or be a swing-fan, switching sides every over?

As for me, I’m not supporting my city – Chennai – primarily because I don’t identify with it too much. To me, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not the ideal ambassador of Chennai. I would have preferred someone from the South Zone. Even Muttiah Muralitharan would have been a better pick for me. I will instead be supporting Bangalore, for two reasons: the city and Rahul Dravid. However, when Bangalore plays Kolkata, with both my favorites Dravid and Ganguly leading the respective sides, I might turn into a swing-fan myself. 🙂

2. Does the fact that the teams are run by Bollywood stars and industrialists actually help or hamper the cause?
Some of these folk seem to be confused. Ottayan points out Shah Rukh’s ticket sales woes on his blog. On the one hand you have Shah Rukh expecting a first-day-release type of phenomenon; on the other, you have Priety Zinta autographing tickets (if the media reports are to be believed). Somehow to me, Bollywood stars running cricket teams strikes a strong resemblance to small Tech companies run by bankers and other non-Tech folk. Time will tell the fortune of cricket teams run by the non-sporting folk, but the story with the latter is often rather predictable. The non-Tech folk look for the revenue from day 1 – which is a non starter for Tech companies – and that while trying to squeeze every penny’s worth out of the developer. The end result is often a massive non-revenue generating chaotic something!

3. The format seems more sleep-worthy than the 2007 ODI World Cup.
Will the spectator interest sustain over the period of over a month?

4. Does this whole 20-20 gaga help cricket at all?
Won’t we be nurturing more Yuvrajs and to a lesser extent Dhonis – who don’t seem to be able to handle batting in Test cricket?

5. Will this help Indian cricket at all?
Or will any rivalries between the city teams blow up into conspiracy ala the Greg Chappell-Ganguly or Chappell-Dravid when the same folks end up in the national side?

Time will give us some of the answers. But meanwhile allow me cheer my (adopted) team. Go Bangalore! Knock ’em out!


Kirsten signs on as India cricket coach

December 4, 2007

Cricinfo confirms the end of India bizarre search for a coach. Personally, I think this is an insult to the 20 odd folks who applied and more so to Lalchand Rajput. Considering his record which includes a World Cup victory (come on, lets not brush the T20 tournament which set the tone for an aggressively fought ODI series against Australia), a fairly good run against the mighty Aussies and an impressive series against Pakistan, any sane board would have at least given him some sort of a contract. Perhaps Rajput would have been considered for coach was if he wasn’t Indian. Meanwhile, the question hangs as to what will become of Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad, the fielding and bowling coaches respectively, who till now don’t have any contract from BCCI. In my opinion, the Rajput-Singh-Prasad trio have done better than some of the previous coaches India has had.

The rationale for hiring Kirsten for the job seems to me to be something along these lines.
– We are going to Australia. It would be embarrassing to go there without a coach.
– We are going to Australia, so get a South African
– We need a big name (Shah Rukh Khan, Micheal Jackson, Bill Gates and many others fit the bill here)
– We need a puppet, so get a mild-mannered guy without too much experience
To the BCCI, Kirsten fit this bill.

Maybe if he had refused, they would have gone with Bill Gates; if Gates turned it down, Shah Rukh Khan would have been a front-runner (the minor BCCI-Shah Rukh issue notwithstanding). 🙂

Good luck Team India!


Om Shanti Om Soundtrack rocks!

November 2, 2007

It has been almost a month since I first heard the soundtrack from Om Shanti Om and I’m still listening to it. The soundtrack has kept me company mostly while unit testing my code or writing those mundane DAO classes at work, so I feel obliged to write (or should I say croon) about it here. Interestingly, I unwittingly chose to write about OSO today, it being Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday. Happy Birthday Shah Rukh!

Alright, about the music, I think it a good mix a soft-sweet songs and racy item number. Of the 12 songs, 4 are remixed (faster pace with disco-ish feel), and one is the instrumental theme. In the version I received, Ajab Si is the first song, a very sweet, pleasantly haunting number rendered by KK. It is the kind of song you can listen to with your eyes closed and feel at peace. One refreshing thing about this song that I feel obliged to comment on is that there isn’t much of that distracting electronic music. I will guarantee you that listening to this once will have you humming it endlessly. Another tidbit I can’t resist holding back, it was this song that featured in the Headlines Today segment (speculating about the MS Dhoni and Deepika Padukone link) that I wrote about earlier.

In total contrast to Ajab Si is Dard-e-disco, a racy one by Sukwinder Singh; after the title song in Chak de India, he makes magic again with this song. I loved this one and its remix. Dewangi is a happy number full of energy and has woken me up from a good number of naps at my desk in the afternoons :); here again the ‘original’ and the remix don’t fail to please. Mein Agar Kahoon and Jag Soona Soona (the next two songs) are more of the wistful-sounding ones; my only issue with the latter is with the beginning where the female lead seems to drill through your ears; the rest of the song is worthy of listening a good number of times. What follows is another happy number Dhoom Taana. Here again the blaring instrumentals that are used at the beginning seem to ruin the rest of a good number. Song number 7 Daastan-e Om Shanti Om, is a moderately paced darkish song by Shaan is also done very well. My guess is that this features when the Om played by Shah Rukh from the 70s gives way to the one from the 90s. The remix numbers of Dard-e-disco, Dewangi, and Daasthan all impressed considerably in that order with Daasthan-remix being a distant third. The mother-of-all-remixes appears under the name of ‘Om Shanti Om Medley‘. This is basically a mix of all the songs (except Ajab Si) with a disco-ish feel to it. The concluding piece is the ‘Om Shanti Om theme’ which is an instrumental version of the medley mix with a few variations thrown in.

In summary, a very good soundtrack album, in fact the best I’ve heard since Dhoom 2; having said that, I must add that I think this one is way better than Dhoom 2 with the balance and variety it offers. I will give it a whopping 95 out of 100. If you haven’t heard it, you’re missing out!