Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hand of God!

Diego Maradona again reconfirms what we have all known for years – The Hand of God was indeed Gods (read Maradona) hands ;-)

But what stands out is the following:

After the score, Maradona said he quickly realized the line referee had allowed the goal but none of his teammates had rushed to celebrate with him -- themselves figuring the goal would be waved off.

``I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me and no one came,'' said Maradona, who was the team captain. ``I told them, 'Come hug me or the referee isn't going to allow it.'''

Read the full article here.

But what is surprising is that there is no mention about the Greatest Goal in FIFA World Cup History (aka the Goal of the Century) there. Anyway here is a take on that:

Four minutes later, Maradona put on a 10-second, one-man show unequaled in World Cup.

Taking the ball near the right sideline 10 yards on Argentina's half of the field, he executed a 180-degree spin that rooted Peter Reid and Peter Beardsley to the spot, sprinted down the sideline past Ray Wilkins, avoided an attempted tackle by Terry Fenwick, faked past Shilton, who had come out to block him, and finally escaped a tackle by Terry Butcher and kicked a low 10-yarder into the unguarded goal.

England could manage only one goal and lost 2-1.

Even British coach Bobby Robson could not contain his admiration for Maradona's goal. "Today he scored one of the most beautiful goals you'll ever see," he said. "That first goal was dubious; the second one was a miracle, a fantastic goal. It's marvelous (for soccer) that every now and then the world produces a player like Maradona. I didn't like his second goal, but I admire it."

Read the full article here.

Am I the only one seeing a similarity between another contemporary genius & Maradona? Yes, I am referring to Shane Warne. The similarities are there for all to see, from having produced one brilliant moment that is being talked as the best in century to off-field incidents which have disrupted their sporting careers to making comebacks when people have written them off…the similarities list is endless. But the biggest advantage is their influence on their respective sports…the respective sports have been richer in all aspects due to the accomplishments of these fine individuals on the field!

Where is Aloo?

I went through the list twice, thrice. Then I gave up. I was looking for Aloo-ul Haq ;-) in the list of Word XI team for October's Super Series against Australia. I couldn’t believe he was not there. I thought to myself that he is probably injured or unavailable. But now I realize that he has actually been dropped! What?! I completely agree with Hanif Mohammad.

When Hanif Mohammad was reached for his comments on Inzamam's exclusion, his first reaction was: "Please read the team sheet again and that too carefully."

When insisted that Inzamam's name was not there, he said, "There must have been a typographical error because no sane selector can drop such a great batsman."

Mr. Sunny, you have made a mistake. Accept the fact & correct the mistake at the earliest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There is no dead rubber!

Yes. That’s the biggest outcome of this Ashes series. In the past, Australia has steam rolled England and ashes as a contest never existed. This time it’s different. Whatever happens in Trent Bridge in the fourth test, England & Australia will have everything to fight for in The Oval as well! With the tests tied at 1-1 after 3 tests, there is no dead rubber, this time around! What a series! I believe that Australia is favorites to win this year as well…the reasons are simple. England has played their best game in the past 2 tests and the outcome has been…a win by 2 runs and a draw! Australia has not played anywhere up to their potential. They seem to be carrying a lot of passengers in their playing XI, once these passengers (read Gillespie, Hayden) are discarded/find their form; Australia should be hot to handle. England seems to be the favorites for everyone, but write off Australia at your own peril!

Guess what they are saying to each other: "We should open the batting as well!" ;-)

pic courtesy: cricinfo

Friday, August 12, 2005

Prince regains the throne!

Welcome back Ganguly! :) Almost everyone (I am sure that it includes Ganguly) and including yours truly had doubts whether Ganguly would be reinstated as the captain – which precisely proves that Ganguly is not delivering. While his record as a captain is not bad, it doesn’t take too much time to figure out that as a player his batting sucks, bowling is on wane & fielding is non existent! Ganguly has forced his way into the team based on his captaincy records, which I feel is very well deserved. But he now has to deliver. I personally feel that the selectors or the chairman of the selectors should tell him very clearly that he must deliver now or he must quit on his own rather than being forced out. I personally feel that India’s most successful captain should go out on his own terms rather than being publicly humiliated & thrown out.

Looking forward to EPL

The EPL starts tomorrow and thanks to Fox sports world, I can watch a triple header tomorrow right from the comfy of my house. The biggest game of course is Manchester United vs. Everton. Man U are looking really good. Since it is the start of the season, all the big players are without any injuries & this is the first time in a really long time that the starting XI looks really strong. We must remember that Rooney was signed late last year, Ruuuud was injured & we had the butter finger Carroll at the goal. With all these worries gone, the red devils should be off to a promising start.

My prediction…3 – 0 to Man U ;-)

P.S: My only cause of concern watching some of their pre-season tour games is the aggression shown by Ruuuud. Ruud van Nistelrooy is usually a very cool person. He is usually unfazed by whatever happens around him. He is suddenly starting to be more aggressive & getting involved in a lot of stupid incidents. That is worrying! I just hope he gets back quickly to the form that he was in before getting injured.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Felipe Massa – test driver?

Honestly, that was my first reaction when I heard that Felipe Massa is going to join Ferrari next year, I though he was going to join in as a test driver for Ferrari. But then when I heard that he is going to replace Rubens in Ferrari next year, I was surprised (to say the least)!

Ferrari should have definitely gone for a better driver. Agreed that the team is centered around Michael, but that is no excuse not to go for a better driver. For all you know that could have been Michael’s (its not that Michael is short of motivation, you just had to watch the last race – Hungary. It was the exactly the same car but the difference between Michael & the other Ferrari was there for everyone to see) motivation for next year!

It is sad to see Rubens Barrichello go, the tifosi/tifoc are really grateful to him for having played a perfect no 2 role in Ferrari. Ferrari have won the constructors championship every year since he has joined Ferrari in 2000 and coincidentally Michael has been the champion every year as well!

There is a new way to follow cricket…

Some said it was out, others disagreed, some of them cribbed about the tv commentary, all of them had ideas…a lot of them were passionate…and everyone clicked on refresh @ click/second & noticed that there was always new information there!

If you still haven’t got it, I am referring to Prem Panicker’s Sight Screen. A blog that is a boon to cricket followers!

Suddenly I found a new way to follow cricket, where passionate people around the world were posting their own take on the game. I saw around 1300 comments for a game & thought to myself… that if on a weekend & without Sachin/Saurav playing it can attract 1300 comments, I was confident that 5000 was just a matter of days.

But then came the idiots (I wanted to call them morons, but wiki says morons have a better IQ level than idiots, so I know that these guys are not morons)…& have spoilt the fun for everyone and have forced Prem to disable anonymous comments.

Honestly Prem’s passion for cricket cannot be questioned. I was astonished by way he was typing in answers to each & everyone and doing it with such enthusiasm like a new bloggie on the web. He encouraged people to comment, opened up discussion boards and blogged about every piece of cricket news that was available. Honestly, he was one of the reasons why I am not blogging anything about cricket these days. ;-) The other is Cricket 24 x 7 - All the cricket. Both these guys analyze all the piece of cricket news that is there in the world & after reading them…I have nothing to blog about cos these guys have already blogged about every cricket topic possible! ;-)

I just wanted to post this to tell Prem that for 1 stupid guy out there, there are 1000’s of silent people who visit your blog & enjoy your blog, writing & comments. Thank you Prem.

P.S: I used to remind this guy that C is for cricket and not cows but now I know the reason, why he does not blog about cricket anymore! ;-)