Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

20/20 vision at Lalbagh

And I would have to take the road on this day…. Mumbai’s twin obsessions – Ganeshji and cricket (okay, that’s national mania) spiral their noisy, raucous ways into my senses. The roads are alive and a heady hysteria of celebration. Like an oil colour with neon under-tints that someone smudged before it was completely dry. Colours blurring into lights, sounds echoing into one another, it is all one royal, spectacularly messy picture. What picture? A panorama – a constantly shifting, moving scene.

Mumbai Reign Supreme in Ranji Trophy

In the melee about the BMC elections, another important event got overlooked. The juggernaut that is the Mumbai cricket team won the Ranji Trophy for the 37th time. For the uninitiated, the Ranji Trophy is the National Championship for Cricket in India.

The Mumbai cricket team is to Ranji Trophy what the New York Yankees are to Major League Baseball, only much more.

This time around the team had all its stalwarts playing, including Sachin Tendulkar, Agarkar and Zaheer Khan. Even the opposition had the newly resurrected Saurav Ganguly.

Played at the Wankhede Stadium

The home team emerged India’s champion side for the 37th time in Ranji history, under skipper Amol Muzumdar — given full-time charge for the first time — and new coach Praveen Amre.

Ahead of the World Cup, this was much needed match practise for all the India probables.

Read the entire news article here.

More on the Mumbai Cricket Team here.

This happens only in India

Its 11;30 in the morning. A street urchin, a young boy with a guitar slung casually over his shoulder, a middle aged diamond merchant, a twenty something lugging a laptop, a beggar on wheels, a little girl with a torn pink frock, a jeans and noodle strap clad trendy chick, a female coyly pulling her sari palu down her arms, an old man, clasping a little boy’s little hand, a dabbawallah early on duty. All of them, staring intently through the bars. Staring out at the open greens of Oval Maidan. Staring out at 15 or so young lads clad in whites. Whites in action. Beauty in the strokes they paint with their bowling and swinging their bats. Beauty in the soft trot to catch the ball, the quick dash to stop the ball. All activity has stopped for this eclectic mix of people. Because the pulse of Mumbai lies in Cricket. The pulse of India lies in cricket. Gully cricket, professional cricket or under-arm one tappi cricket.

Gift # 4: Cricket

Over the past few days Metroblogging cities have been posting about unique gifts that their city has given to the world. This is in the spirit of the holiday season and gift-giving which ensues in most parts of the world. In the same vein, we start our series. The countdown will go in reverse till we reach Gift #1. Note that they are not in any priority of importance, rather just gifts that India’s greatest city has to offer. Earlier posts are here

Before you jump and scream that this is a lie, read the entire post. Cricket was invented by the British. However today Indian cricket is the financial and organisational powerhouse like no other sport in the world. And the center of all this is in Bombay.

Eden Gardens may boast the biggest stadium but then also the most unruly and uncouth rowdy fans. Delhi and Madras, are wannabes when it comes to cricket. The real heart and soul of Indian cricket lies in Bombay and the talent and chutzpah that has made Indian cricket what it is is the gift from the maidans and the cricketers of Bombay.

Cricket came to India in the 18th Century.

In 1848, the Parsi community in Mumbai formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Parsis were eventually invited by the Europeans to play a match in 1877.[7] By 1912, the Parsis, Hindus, and Muslims of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year [link]

At the Wankhede

Since then Bombay hasn’t looked back. It is one of the only three cities in the world to have had three different test match grounds. The Bombay Gymkhana Grounds, The Brabourne Stadium and the Wankhede Stadium.

Besides these, the Azad Maidan, Cross Maidan, Oval and countless other such smaller maidans and the Gymkhanas have nurtured some of the greatest Indian cricketers to don the Indian colors.

It is one of the few cities which has its own team for the national Ranji Trophy. And it has won the trophy about half the time in the last 60 years since the inception of the Ranji Trophy.

Cricketers from Bombay, bring the die hard, play in all conditions, no nonsense spirit that is the embodiment of Bombay. An example of how seriously we take our cricket is the fact that we have a special tournament, the Kanga League played only during the monsoon season on pitches which are deathbeds for batsmen and bowler alike.

While most of India forgets cricket during the monsoon season, it thrives in Bombay.

A famous international cricketer had said that Bombay is the only ground in the world where the crowd in the stadium is as educated as the commentators on radio and TV. Hence a good stroke by even the opposition batsmen is applauded for the joy of the sport and not dependant on the nationality of the player. That is the true hallmark of India’s premier cricketing city.

The city has arguably provided the best Indian players from any city or state in the country. From Polly Umrigar, to Wadekar, Solkar, Gavaskar, Vengsarkar et al to today and Tendulkar. Its been an amazing line of batsmen, bowlers, and fielders that have donned the Bombay Jersey and the India Cap.

There was a time in the 70’s and 80’s when 7 of 11 players in the team were from Bombay. In recent times, the pickings have been leaner, but a lot of that has to do with the regionalism that has set in to Indian cricket.

Watching a one day international match from the East Stand or North Stand at Wankhede is an experience one has to partake at least once in their lives. The crowd chanting “Galli Galli mein shor Hai, Pakistan Chor Hai” and “Ravi Shastri Hai Hai” even as Tendulkar is on fire in the middle is an experience one will never ever forget.

Boycott Shiv Sena

I seriously feel that the main honcho-ponchos of Shiv Sena Party have nothing better to do these days. Not that they ever did much for the city’s betterment but atleast they were never so frequent with daily new headlines.

Couple of day’s back they were busy ripping off posters and having a showdown with their newly-found opposition, Raj Thackeray’s Maharahtra Navnirman Sena. And on Sunday, Mr. Bal Thackeray threw another bouncer by urging fellow Indians to boycott all the matches involving the Pakistani cricket team during the on-going Champions Trophy.

DNA Mumbai Reports:

In a hard-hitting article in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna, he said, “We have been saying for years now that there should not be any cricket match between Pakistan and India. We are also cricket lovers but not at the cost of our national pride.”

Citing the July 11 train bombings here in which nearly 200 persons were killed, Thackeray asked, “How will the country progress if we are not even able to demonstrate our condemnation of Pakistan’s terrorist activity by boycotting cricket match with it?”

On the heightened security around the stadium here to prevent Shiv Sena members from disturbing the match or digging up the pitch, he asked, “Why so much effort to protect our enemies?”

For once I agree with Mr. Bal Thackeray’s ideology. I mean seriously, why we should go thru so much effort to protect or bear our enemies – So let’s start by boycotting the Shiv Sainiks from creating nuisance in Mumbai city. Haven’t we been tortured and troubled by them enough!

Sshhhh ladies..

This is from Mid-Day Diary….but oh !! so apt.

And this is for the women who chat constantly with each other while working out on the treadmill. They discuss their social life, the classes they conduct, the movies they are to watch among other things.

While walking on the treadmill your pace should be comfortable enough to allow you to speak — but only just.

Long conversations about ma-in-law’s quirks or a recently cooked dish that everybody loved, interspersed with giggles, exclamations, explanations and questions are certainly not okay. All this just proves too that you are not working out hard enough.

Women (and we say that because most women tend to do this) talking over another person’s head while on the treadmill are also irritating with a capital ‘I’.

Then, there are inane cellphone conversations on the treadmill that are enough to raise hackles and tempers alike. In fact, talking while exercising is bad for a scientific reason too. It is quite energy-depleting, sending the breathing rhythm that sets in during exercise awry. The only thing that should be flying, instead of all this conversation, is the sweat off your brow.

Mumbai Marathon: Coming soon

mumbai_marathon.gifJust a day after the Mumbai Festival starts, is the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon. This is the third time of what has become an annual event.

Around 27,000 people are taking part, including many international runners

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