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November, 2009

First Edition

Sp rtske da

www.sportskeeda.com Page no. 3

Page no. 23

Page no. 25

Indian Baseball Superstars

A Tribute to the legend

Del Potro’s amazing season


Contents India’s First Baseball Superstars

3

Formula 1 New Regulations

4

(It’s a home run not a six)

8

(F1 Rulez! F1 Rules!) SuperCross India

6

(Is it a bird? Is it a kite? No its SuperCross) ONGC I-League

8

(Mind your own football) Interview with a Cager

12

9

(3 points someone) Future Perfect

15

(Old, Older, Oldest) Yamaha’s Day

21

(Roooooosi the new Zooooooom!!) Remembering David Shepherd

23

(Grave loss to Cricket) Del Potro’s amazing season

25

(World is not big enough for three of us) SirAlex: 23 years at ManUtd

(Alex United)

27

15 27


November, 09

Editor’s Page

Sportskeeda

W

hat is a keeda? As a literal translation, it means an insect, but there is a higher- moral translation of this word. It means an unending passion/ addiction/ love/ interest for a tangible or intangible thing close to ones heart. Sports in India is still something that we love to ignore (except maybe one or two like cricket). But there is a significant amount of interest towards sports from a young generation looking out for something exciting. Obviously, the best way to justify this keeda would be to pursue ones hobby and actually play but there should be other avenues to pursue this ‘keeda’. With the explosive growth in blogging in the last few years, more and more people are looking to express their ideas and emotions. What SportsKeeda.com strives to do is to bring this community of passionate sports fans together and to give them an audience. It invites sports fans with the ‘keeda’. We have a great open forum where passionate fans go against and for towards each other’s opinions. It already has 19 different sports tagged in the website. What Sportskeeda.com intends to do is to show the whole world that the Indian sports scene is alive and kicking and that there is an entire untapped audience for sports, be it football, hockey, athletics, basketball, motorsports etc which has been ignored since time immemorial. That the Indian sports fan will not be held at the mercy of some publication which gives sports a step motherly treatment. That blogging can be an enabler to generate more interest towards sports in India. This is our unending vision and this inaugural magazine is a significant milestone in a journey which has just begun.


November, 09

Baseball: It’s a home run not a six!

Sportskeeda

Getting to Know India’s First Baseball Superstars Finally Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel were chosen as the winners and were sent to America for further training

F

or quite some time, America has been casting its network towards the more populous east. Korea and Japan have responded well to America’s baseball charms and the Yankee land more-or-less has captured the big audience in China by signing Yao Ming for the NBA. While India along with the rest of the world is trying to cash-in on the tremendous potential for cricket in the States, America has in cast its nest in India in the hope of unearthing a Yao Ming like baseball pitcher. They launched their “Million Dollar Arm” search all over India and 37,000 turned-up to participate. Finally Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel were chosen as the winners and were sent to America for further training. For Pirates’ management team of Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly, it is a significant moment as Rinku and Dinesh are the first nonAmericans they have signed. They both must feel vindicated with MLB.com having only good things to say about their India signings, “the 6′2″ Singh throws 89-90 mph and has a split-finger changeup pitch, [while] the 5′11″ Patel throws a circle change and can reach 91-92 mph with his heater” America and Pirates will hope that they can tap into the riches India has to offer–both economically and in providing a pool of talent.

3


November, 09

F1 Rulezz !

F1 Rules !

Sportskeeda

FIA’s original 2010 Formula 1 regulations explained

F

IA had tried to spice the rules for next year by proposing a budget cap, which failed. A recap of the regulations that were proposed by FIA, many of which were later scrapped due to the FOTA threat of a rival series launch: This is what it looked like Car Weight: Increased Mid race Refuelling Banned: Minimum car weight has been increased to 620 kg (previously 605 So lightening short pit stops for tyre kg).This will address the issue of only changes are back! Bit of history weight imbalance in KERS fitted cars. Refuelling was brought back into F1 in Actually, the placement of KERS on 1994 season. Why? The reason was side of the car caused weight Williams had created a car that was distribution issues and hence whole seconds quicker than the compromised the cars traction and opposition at most circuits. It was the cornering speeds on slow speed norm at this time (1992 & early 1993) circuits. to see the Williams cars claim the With minimum weight increased, the front row of the grid & disappear in KERS teams can play with the ballast the horizon at the race start. and balance the car as per the Thus the FIA began pushing for the individual circuit. reintroduction of refuelling in the hope Pre race selection: it would cause more changes in the running order. Come the start of the Qualifying will now be contested on 1994 season Williams’ performance low fuel (Q3 previously contested on advantage had been completely eroded race fuel) Heating devices totally banned: anyway. The refuelling ban also takes away the Tyre warmers & blankets are now fun to see some drivers running away banned along with existing banned with their refuelling rig still attached! heating equipment. Brawn GP better find a way to heat their tyres on the race track as this has been their biggest excuse for performance loss in 2009.

4


November, 09

F1 Rulez !

Two more cars on the grid: Maximum number of teams allowed competing in the championship raised to 13 (from 12).Let me do the complicated math here – 26 cars?

F1 Rules !

Sportskeeda

Engine count for the season: No restriction on use of engines during a season. Non-capped teams: Allowed eight engines per season.

Stewards can play Gods now: Stewards can now drop a driver any number of grid positions at a driver’s next race if he is involved in a racing incident. (previously drivers were dropped 10 grid places)

The Author Mayank Grover: Rally Enthusiast, F1 fanatic

Kinetic Energy Recovery System – totally redefined: a) When a car is traveling above 300 km/h, KERS usage is disallowed. b) KERS energy storage media (battery or flywheel) must be located behind the driver and in front of the engine c) Rear brake pressure may be reduced by use of a valve during KERS use d) Carbon Dioxide cannot be used anymore i.e Tyres must now be inflated with only air or nitrogen.

Gear Box limit: No restriction on use of gearboxes during a season. Non-capped teams: Would be only allowed to run with four-race gearboxes. Front Wing: Moveable front wing allowed moving 10° any number of times per lap & moveable rear wing permitted, controlled by driver. Non-capped teams: Only allowed 6° movement twice per lap & rear wing has to be fixed.

Budget Cap & KERS: Teams can avail of a voluntary £40m (may be raised) budget cap, offering them greater ‘technical freedom’.

Engine RPM restriction: No restriction on engine revs. Non-capped teams: 18,000 rpm limit. KERS power output allocation: KERS will be twice as powerful, producing over 160 hp of boost for 6.67s per lap. Non-capped teams: KERS generated power limited to 80 hp for 6.67s per lap.

Technical freedom offered to budgetcapped teams is as follows: Testing: No limit on testing mileage or dates. Non-capped teams: Testing limited to 15,000 km between 1 January 2010 and first race week. Wind Tunnel: No restrictions on wind tunnel scale or speed. Non-capped teams: Restricted to 60% scale and 50m/s rolling road speed.

Two wheel drive and 4 wheel drive: Four-wheel drive permitted & KERS permitted to drive all four wheels. Noncapped teams: 2 wheel drive transmission permitted & KERS can only power the rear wheels.

5


November, 09

Is it a bird ? Is it a kite ? No its Supercross!

Sportskeeda

National SuperCross Bike racing Chhattisgarh

aipur 5th Oct 2009: Strong men were seen on strong machines displaying controlling skills, riders took their bikes as high as 50 feet into the air through bumps as Chhattisgarh Played host to the National SuperCross Bike racing 2009 on 3rd & 4th Oct 09. The event was staged at Govt. Science College ground, Raipur, the Capital of Chhattisgarh.

serpentine bends while doing several laps. Chhattisgarh is capable of organizing such events and in future, the Govt. will provide more support to promote adventure sports & tourism in the state�

R

Organized by Chhattisgarh Motor Sports Association in technical association with Sportstrek under the aegis of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India’ FMSCI, promoted by Dept. of Sports and Youth Welfare, Govt. of Chhattisgarh & Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, riders from various parts of the country had accumulated to strive for the honors. All dressed in their safety gear, riders were a pleasure and thrill for the 30,000 plus spectators who had come to cheer along with placards. The audience was thrilled to be a part of this speed event over an artificially prepared course consisting of a series of obstacles. It was all about riding at high speed on a specially-laid out track The riders had to negotiate

said Mr. Brijmohan Agrawal Minister of Tourism & PWD. emonstrating thrill and courage, riders performed amazing stunts. As the event took off, there was lots of applauding from the crowd as they were thrilled to see the spectacular, breath taking event. As

D 6


Is it a bird ? Is it a kite ? No its Supercross!

November, 09

much as the spectators enjoyed the event, the competitors were more charged competing and displayed moment-holding performance on several occasions. TVS Racing team added glamour to the show, exhibiting their skills at high speed, their braking ability over bends and controlling their machines superbly in the slush. Half a dozen riders from Chhattisgarh along with some of the best riders of the country participated in the event.

Sportskeeda

Category, KP Aravind from TVS Racing team Bangalore was the man who made the most use of the lively environment with his TVS RTS 250 FX. He won the first place followed by HK Pradeep and Pramod Joshua, both from TVS Racing team. While in Novice Class (motorcycles up to 165CC),

R Natraj and Sudeep Kotegar, both from TVS Racing team, Bangalore stole the show being on position 1st and 2nd respectively.

Pravin Sangumare

from Nagpur finished third place with his 135 CC bike. t was also heartening to watch the local Chhattisgarhi riders in Chhattisgarh Class (Motorcycles up to

I

165

But

it

was

KP

Aravind

cc).

Pravin Yadav

proved

a

cut above all in on his Pulsar 150 while Sanjay Minj won the second slot with his RX 100. Rajesh Chakravarty finished in third position riding on Hero Honda Glamour. The riders from Chhattisgarh showed promise of developing into champion riders. In the Indian Expert Class C, TVS Racing team biker Vishal Barguje secured the first place while Snehal Chavan clinched the second position. The third position went to R Nataraj of TVS Racing team.

from

Bangalore, who walked away with the winners’ trophy. Aravind, who has taken part in many national and international championships, appreciated the efforts of the organizers and cheering crowd. “It takes a combination of fitness, strength of a rider and good engine of the bike to win a championship” said Aravind Riding a TVS RTR 125 FX, Aravind extracted the maximum from his well-prepared machine to emerge triumphant in the event and be the star performer. He was always under pressure as he went around the specially-laid out course, but to his credit he did well to overcome a strong challenge from his TVS team mates H K Pradeep & Pramod Joshua.

The event went off with precision timing and it was not surprising that it was applauded not only by the participants, but also spectators. In sum, it was a perfect outing for both participants and spectators. Chhattisgarh Motor Sports Association’s meticulousness ensured there was nothing to complain about. The Spectators were totally entertained and went back cheering the daredevils while few wished they were a part of it.

The young TVS Racing rider was awarded the best rider of the day in this glamorous and thrilling event. verall there were five classes. In the Foreign open class (Motorcycles up to 450 CC)

Ujjwal Deepak Secretary General, Chhattisgarh Motor Sports Association.

O

7


November, 09

Mind your own football : I league

Sportskeeda

I-League The top tier of the Indian football system is the I-League. Sponsored by ONGC, it started in 2007-2008 when it replaced the National Football League. Because the NFL was deteriorating, AIFF took the decision of relaunching it

i

I-League in India

f I ask you what does EPL stand for or what does La Liga and Serie A mean , everyone will give me the correct answers in a flash. But does anyone know what does the Ileague stand for? Have you heard the term before? I am sure I will not be getting many answers. There may be some of you, who know exactly what I am refering to, there may be some, who by guess work will get the right answer….and there may be those for whom the word is greek. So for people who are clueless, it is nothing but the Indian league referred to as the ONGC ILeague. Most of us know almost everything about the EPL, La Liga and the Serie A….but what about the I-League. So here I am, trying to give everyone a brief insight of India’s own football league, the history of the league and the various teams involved in the fight to be called the best team in India.

under the banner of the I-league. Some changes were introduced in this new format. The most important ones are listed below. Each team was allowed to have 4 foreign players, with the restriction that only 3 of them would be allowed to play in the match. Each team was required to register a minimum of 14 professional footballers. It was mandatory for each team to have an u-19 development setup. The first season saw 10 teams go head to head. It went all the way to the wire with Dempo, the defending NFL champions, winning the inaugral season in the end, based on goal difference. The second season saw the number of teams being increased to 12. Churchill Brothers who finished second in the first season, came up tops this time around. Currently the third season is in progress with around 7 matches gone.

8


November, 09

Mind your own football : I league

Teams in I-League 2009-2010 : Churchill Brothers SC Dempo SC

Goa

Sportskeeda

Quality

O

ne of my friends asked me last week during the Goa Pune-Mumbai match” You can never compare this with club football in England, Spain or Italy. Sporting Clube Goa It is light years apart “. Yes I De Goa agree, in terms of quality what he Salgaocar SC Goa said is right. Someone who is accustomed to watching club Mohun Bagan Kolkata football on a regular basis will feel the same. That does not mean that the league lacks quality. East Bengal Kolkata There is great talent on show. Indian internationals like Bhaichung Chirag United Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, Antony Kolkata Pereira, Subrata Paul and foreigners like Ranty Martins Mahindra Mumbai Soleye and the league’s best United player Odafe Onyeka Obolie of Churchill Brothers. However the Air-India Mumbai important thing here is the passion, the commitment and the Pune FC Pune heart with which they play is the same. When the players put on JCT FC Phagwara their jerseys, they go out onto the field and give it their all. It doesn matter, if you are playing Shillong Lajong Shillong for Churchill or Pune or for FC Manchester United. What matters Viva Kerala Kochi is you are playing football. You are playing to win. We as fans need to back them. Remember the Mumbai FC Mumbai days when you used to represent your class, your school or your department. You will then understand what I am trying to It doesn matter, if you are playing convey. Football in India needs to for Churchill or Pune or for Manchester be looked upon differently from the United. What matters is you are playing grass root level. The good news football.

9


November, 09

Mind your own football : I league

Sportskeeda

clubs here. There are various divisions in club football. Even if the guys who play for these clubs come over, the stands will no longer be empty. Schools should encourage their students to go ahead and watch the game. They will learn so much by just watching a game of football. They will get to see the Bhutia’s, the Chhetri’s and the Subrata Paul’s of Indian football. Home support is always referred to as the 12th man in a game. Nothing can be more motivating for a team, than the crowd getting behind them. Soccer fans will be well aware of the famous Anfield crowd and the European nights in football. What is it that makes them so special? It is the atmosphere, the atmosphere that is created by the home fans. All of us dream of going and watching a game at one of the churches of football someday. Why not live part of this dream. During the Dempo game in Pune, the crowd startd chanting “ Pune Pune Pune Pune Pune ” and “ Who are we …..PFC ”. Believe me, I had goose bumps.

here is that the picture is improving day by day. Clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool are slowly trying to make their presence felt in India. Remember one thing the EPL, the La Liga did not emerge one fine day all of its own. It started small and has now reached the top of club football. It is a journey. A journey that starts small, but surely ends big.

Support

I

was shocked to see empty stands in Balewadi the other day, when I had gone to watch Pune play against Dempo. Everywhere you go people are talking only about football. Sadly, the seats in the stadium were not reflecting this fact. People set their weekend schedules so that they will not miss their weekly action of the EPL. They stay awake till early morning to cover the Champions League. All I could ask myself is” where is everyone??? “. Talking about Pune there are some many

During the Dempo game in Pune, the crowd startd chanting “ Pune Pune Pune Pune Pune ” and “ Who are we …..PFC ”. Believe me, I had goose bumps.

10


November, 09

Mind your own football : I league

Sportskeeda

People were howling, shouting, abusing the referee and what not. You need to be there to feel it, to live it. Two months ago, if you had asked me about the I-League I would have been on the other side of the fence. But now, I know almost everything about the league. I follow the league and I love this league. I reach the stadium two hours prior to kick off. We have all seen players training prior to the match on tv, but seeing it in real is something completely different. The way I look at football in India has changed over the last month or so. All thanks to Pune Football Club. They have changed my outlook. It is high time you change your’s too. As they say better late than never. I do not know where this article will help change your mindset or not. Hope it does. One thing is for sure, you will one guy sitting in the D stand of the Balewadi stadium in Pune, way before anyone else turns up. Me.

Chhetri on the Move ! 11


Three Point Someone

November, 09

divya singh S

portsKeeda

had

the

opportunity

to interview India’s former Basketball Captain Divya Singh. She lead the women’s National Team for India at 2006 Melbourne Common Wealth games. Currently persuing PG in Sports management at University of Delaware and is also an assistant women’s basketball coach in the same university. Divya Singh is from a family where basketball runs deep. They are 5 sisters in which 4 of them represent Indian national team including her.

Sportskeeda

singh


November, 09

Sportskeeda

3 point someone play

Interview with Former India Basketball Captain Divya Singh

in

the school or colleges are going to welcome basketball if we present them in a good way. What is one thing that you will like to bring from US to improve Basketball in India?

I wish I could bring everything, but to be more precise I think, professionalism is a key factor to make everything up to the mark. If we become professional, its not very hard to get our goal, it can take little time though to set up. I love American professionalism.

You are in the national basketball team, PG in sports management and now also a basketball coach. Tell us how you managed all this? Well, when I came to USA I was playing for Indian team as well as Delhi team, to tell you truth first of all I did not like to stop playing and get in to studies again. But for future of basketball it was important to think differently. Still I am doing my PG, and 8 months are left, I am getting very excited to go back to India and start working. The course I’m doing here is a challenging course. It includes all the aspects of sports management from marketing to media. Also working with women’s Basketball team of University of Delaware is one more life time experience and I believe what I’m learning here would pay a fruitful result to improve basketball in India.

NBA has shown interest in India with “Basketball beyond Borders” events and then JD Walsh conducting various workshops. Do you see them making any headway? I feel NBA’s name is working, I am not keeping check for what are they doing in India right now but when I came to India in the summer break I went to Mumbai for ‘’hoops school’’ conducted in American school, Mumbai where Baron Devis came to help the clinic. Also they organized an event at a huge mall and I must say people were getting attracted, kids were playing basketball and youth were enjoying. All these are positive signs of NBA’s initiatives. For JD Walsh I must say he is doing a great job. I am looking forward to talk to him.

Your future plans and aspirations? First of all, I think to start working with basketball federation of India, secondly take the game to every corner with campaign and camps including top basketball players. What I believe is players are our assets which we should focus on first. I m not sure how long it going to take but I am very sure that if millions of kids who

What is the key to Basketballs future in India? Govt. spending, corporate sponsorship culture? I wish or I Club could bring

everything, but to be start club Divya : I think Indian should culture or start a league to go to next more precise I think,

level. It’s not doable to get money

professionalism is a key

factor to make everything up to the mark.

13


November, 09

3 point someone

Sportskeeda

What is the key to Basketballs future in India? Govt spending, Corporate sponsorship or Club culture? I think Indian should start club culture or start a league to go to next level. It’s not doable to get money without having a league. I’m sure it’s not that hard as people assume in the land of cricket. We have to make money to make this game famous. Govt part is non profit, and it’s going on from many decades. We should change things according to this generation; we should see that they enjoy NBA. We cannot be that big now but we should start changing the way we organize things in India. Is cricket a restraining factor for basketball in India? Not only basketball, every sport! But they have work really hard to get to this position. Good thing about cricket is that they apply what is good and trendy for today. What all improvements would you like to see in BFI (Basketball Federation of India) There are list of things but I would not like to mention, they are doing what they know and I hope I can go and add things to their present work culture.

We should change things according to this generation; we should see that they enjoy NBA. We cannot be that big now but we should start changing the way we organize things in India.

14


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Quiz 1:

Identify the Sportsman Send your answer to Blog@sportskeeda.com

*A draw will determine the winner *The winner’s name will appear in the next issue

www.SportsKeeda.com


November, 09

I as

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

ndian cricket has been through a

To

golden phase for the past year or

evolved as a team over the past two

two. In fact, we have moved on

years when the team has slowly gone

a

on to reach the top of ODI rankings.

nation

since

the

world

cup

put

facts

straight,

debacle in 2007. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

We’ve

been

has been prodigious over the last two

same

Gambhirs,

years since he took over the reign of

and

captaincy

with

first

from

Rahul

Dravid

and

and

have

around

with

Tendulkars,

The

bowling

explored

the

Sehwags

same

holds

unit.

We

outside

not

good haven’t

the

likes

of

RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel

But, after the first round exits in World championship

the

actually

later from Anil Kumble.

T20

Yuvrajs.

playing

we

and Zaheer Khan.

Champions

Trophy in South Africa, questions arise

Supreme teams are not built by a few

as

to

really moved

men, but by a huge set of characters

on

from

and

who can respond very well in different

whether

we have

those

debacles

whether

we have become stronger and fervid in

scenarios.

our

diverse

roles

and

can

even

bigger

names

as

well.

All

pursuit

to

claim

the

World

Cup

which starts in another 18 months time.

Some

of

them

can

play

substitute in

all,

a

team needs to be robust if it has any dream

FUTURE PERFECT? Has the Indian team stumbled upon a block which it is not able to come over? Why have we

not

actually

found

sound

batsmen with good techniques in the past year or two? Why have we not developed better spinners

and

fast

tackle

different

bowlers

to

conditions

around the world?

15

a

to

claim

highly

itself

invincible

unit. THE WALL’S INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION One

of

the

more

surprising inclusions in the

Indian

team,


November, 09

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

recently,

has

been

Rahul

Dravid.

For

him happy, he dumps the other woman

starters Dravid’s selection, emotionally a

who

sensational decision, was nothing more

period!

than

respect he commands.

a

ludicrous

decision.

Selectors

must have had the guts to make the

Once

same set of young players play on the bouncy recently

tracks

of

South

concluded

Africa

Champions

in

like

the

counter

bounce,

was

a

him

Let’s

better

Dravid him

happy

give

was

cannot

for

that

brief

Dravid

the

selected,

be

a

dumped

legend

within

a

few days. He has performed reasonably

Trophy.

well in almost all matches and dropped

To select Dravid for just a tournament to

kept

the anchor on most occassions. As far

thought

as

process that has taken Indian team a

I

can

see,

through

my

television

set, Rahul Dravid performed his role to

step back.

perfection. should

In

such

Dravid

a

scenario,

be

why

dropped?

If

performance is not the only criteria to select a player, then why should Dravid be

selected

for

South

Africa?

Don’t

players like Subramaniam Badrinath and Robin

Uthappa

deserve

a

chance

to

represent India?

One of the more surprising inclusions

in

the

team,

recently,

Rahul

Dravid.

Indian

has For

Dravid’s

been starters

selection,

emotionally decision,

a

was

sensational nothing

more

than a ludicrous decision. Amidst all this I am not against Rahul Dravid, the player. Dravid’s commitment to the Indian team goes beyond these

Selectors

blogs and books written on him. But,

Dravid once Sehwag and Yuvraj come

the real villain in this circus has been

back. But, wouldn’t it be prudent if the

the

selectors

selectors

just

one

right

who

recalled

tournament

away.

disinterested

It’s

a

responsibility

players on

them

play

a

thrusting than

for

younger more selecting

else who can make him happy. After a

India.

own

wife

a

is

of

to

place

dropping him when Australia is touring

his

for

group

on

a

days and hence is looking for someone when

wife

husband

him

went

see

Rahul Dravid for South Africa and later

days,

his

if

dropped

for

not

few

few

with

as

and

Dravid

might

makes

16


November, 09

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

THE NEED FOR FRESH LEGS Indian cricket needs fresh legs and not old

ones,

cricket.

at

We

least

in

ODI

and

T20

started

off

very

well

with

this plan early in 2008, but somehow went down again with the selection and exclusion

of

that

start

we

Rahul

Dravid.

rotating

It’s

our

time

players

to

prevent any burn-out again. In fact, a big

reason

for

India’s

downfall

in

England and South Africa this year is because we missed three big guns in Sehwag, Yuvraj and Zaheer. These

three

tremendous

players impact

have on

the

had

a

game,

whenever they have played. In fact, on players in their team are world beaters and

they

impact

cannot

provide

togather

as

the

same

a

team.

In fact, a big reason for India’s downfall in England and South Africa this year is because we missed

three

big

guns

in

Sehwag, Yuvraj and Zaheer.

most

occasions,

decided

the

these

fate

of

three the

have

with

These

normal teams

and would

ordinary

teams.

never

become

is

world-beaters

rely

the on.

only

factor

Australia

that

proved

this yet again in the recently concluded

game.

Champions Trophy. The likes of White,

Dependency is one element that always lie

Independency

Watson, Siddle, Johnson, Ferguson and Paine have showed the way as to why Australia

world-beaters, because only one or two

17

still

remains

a

team

to

be


November, 09

beaten.

India

also

needs

to

get

this

to

opening

It is not as if India lacks talent, but some

selections

administrators Would

in

and

the

watch

lie

Indian

the

hands

marketing

same

number

team

play

Zimbabwe

if

out

gurus.

of

Tendulkar

players

Wouldn’t

there

such be

a

but

it’s

selectors

and

administrators

and

this

concept

put

in

time

and

some

players

into

new

who

we

only

(slowly

and

help

phasing

Sehwag

(still

as

is

if

the

under to

set

performing.

give is up

current

some no

than

set

of

But,

it’s

players

player

a

in

Badrinath

the who

Badri,

Rohit

Sharma,

Manoj

Pujara need to be pulled into the team

2011

over

the

next

few

months.

The

team

might not look settled. The same team might as well lose a few games. But,

with the same set of tired souls. We look

would

Tendulkar

There

team.

away and we just cannot keep playing definitely

can

deserves a chance to play for Indian

the

World Cup is just a year and a half

must

not

current

understood place.

is

break.

It is very difficult for Indians to accept policy,

This

cricket)

important

backlash against such selections?

rotational

players

The middle order also needs a revamp.

Would

selections?

Such

recovering from his shoulder injury).

people

accept

like

of

It

public

slot.

players

of

and Dhoni rest for a particular series? the

soon.

be experimented time-and-again for the

independency element flowing.

the

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

on the long run, the results will start

players

to show, only positively.

have

Dhoni

invested heavily in the past.

would

definitely love ROTATIONAL POLICY – BOON OR BANE?

in

Robin

hard

Uthappa

looks

middle

an

Saha

the better of Parthiv

It is not as if we bring in

Even

and

Ojha

South Africa. We do play a few low important

matches

Patel

recently.

players like Mukund and Vijay

but

have

somehow got

Abhinav Mukund.

profile

and

Wriddhiman

Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay and

Australia

fought

Karthik

and

again along with players like

against

a

Dinesh

Sehwag can be rotated time and

straight

of

season.

the international scene again. Tendulkar

rest the

exciting option to be tried on Gambhir,

to

Parthiv

against

is

in

the

nowadays.

limelight Some

Naman

more

than

of

these

keepers can do good, if selected and

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the near

used

future. And yes, we might also travel

instead

of

Dhoni

for

a

few

matches in between. Just look at how

18


November, 09

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

Ricky

Ponting

has

become

since

his

the

next

few

years

rest post Ashes. He was rested for 2

become

one

of

T20Is

bowlers.

But

right

and

once

he

4

ODIs

came

among the runs hundreds

and

in

England

back, (A

the

he of

India’s

might

well

greatest

fast

now,

the

situation

has

been

isn’t rosy. He has been bowling hard

of

good

over the last few months and has lost

the

Series

couple Man

and

he

his

brilliant

These

awards @ Champions Trophy).

wrist

position

things

controlled

can

and

it

is

and

pace.

definitely only

time

be before

Harbhajan never looked like Harbhajan

when Ishant Sharma would start again

during Champions Trophy. May be, he

to trouble batsmen all over the world.

did

But, it is important to leave Ishant out

not

from

the

pitches on offer at South Africa.

May

be

he

get

any

was

support

never

in

good

form

at

South Africa. India’s lead spinner would also love to have extra support added to

him

Amit

if

Mishra

players and

like

Pragyan

Ravindra

Ojha,

Jadeja

are

kept in loop for most of the selections in

the

near

future.It

is very important

to have a variety in the spin bowling department,.

and

give

him

the

space

out

in

the

darkness to stage his comeback. What has happened to a upcoming fast bowlers like Dhawal Kulkarni? If people remember,

Kulkarni

was

selected

for

the India’s tour of New Zealand earlier this year. And that was the end of it. Dhawal,

since

then,

has

been

playing

only for Mumbai back in the domestic arena. India has also invested in the likes of Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar. Munaf and Praveen

are

who

would

greater

control

bowling. hand,

excellent generally over

Sreesanth,

can

be

have

things

while

the

other

on

breathtaking

swing. An in-form

bowlers

with

his

Irfan Pathan, is an

automatic selection. While others cannot contribute has

Lastly,

worry

the pacemen be

after

well. Ishant has to

say

the

least.

been

is

bat,

Irfan’s

failed.

All

he

about

his

batting

needs

swing,

his

to

control

looks montonous with the same set of

very

fast-bowlers,

awful

the

inclusion

of

Sudeep

Tyagi give us the breathe of fresh air.

Selectors might

prefer to make him sit on the bench

Tyagi

for this series than play him on dead tracks against a world champion

seldom

the

and his speed. While this bowling unit

need to

looked

with

lanky,

side.

is

a

Tyagi

great can

prospect. be

Tall

quick

and and

deceptive with his swing and speed. In

Ishant is a big asset for India. Over

fact, his bowling map match with Ishant

19


November, 09

Sportskeeda

Old , Older , Oldest

Sharma’s bowling map.

He might well

of the game within the team will grow.

be a like-for-like replacement for Ishant.

This would also help the team to win

Bhuvaneshwar

Kumar

is

more

upcoming

bowler

who

fast

another can

be

matches

against other

opponents

Indian

does not

also.

given an opportunity in the near future. Kumar

has

been

consistent

over

the

past season or two and has not done anything This

wrong

to

18-year

not

old

is

get

selected.

another

good

prospect and a fresh face India might look forward to see. When

Zaheer

comeback, become fast

the

even

bowlers

spots.

It

would bowling

unit

stronger fighting

is

very

make with

for

his

will

only

so

many

or

three

two

important

for

The lie

the

are

equally

the

competition

pool

talented for

of

will the

players only

eleven

to

increase

fighting

for

3-4

players.

make

elusive

a Sachin

done

their

bit

life

The ever

change so

that

competitive

would for

an

already competitive Indian team. The toughest match to win is, winning

and the selector when the team has 7 players

have

or

change that would enable lesser injuries

who

a happy situation for the captain, coach 8

They

Dravid

would call for rotation of players. The

spots in the Indian team. It is always

or

a Rahul

cricket

time for the change. The change that

2011 World Cup. bigger

of

over the past 15 years. Now it’s the

the future if they dream of winning the

a

with

Tendulkar.

selectors to have a clear road map for

Having

future

against

places.

oneself,

be

it

the

fight

you or the fight within your team.

The complacency factor will fly out of the window and the competitive nature

20

within


Rooooooosi the new Zooooooom !!

November, 09

S

unday,

25th

of

Malaysian GP where the

October

2009

will

rains showed up at the

in

very last minute for the

go

down

history as a unique and one

of

days

the

greatest

for

Yamaha

Motorsport. It is the day on

which

managed the

to

driver’s

win

both

titles

in

racings classes,

viz.

MotoGP and Superbikes.

Valentino Rossi + Ben Spies = One hell of a day for yamaha

Valentino Rossi managed to

finish

for Yamaha, his most for any manufacturer (He won three for Honda- 1 500cc and 2 MotoGP, and two for Aprilia125cc and 250cc).

Yamaha

motorcycle premiere

Sportskeeda

third

in

a

MotoGP

class

wrapped

up

and

his

title

with one race to go in Valencia.

Just a few hours later, Ben Spies finished Race 2 of the last round of WSBK

in

5th

place,

and more importantly for him,

Noriyuki

not

win,

him

to

here

is

thus clinch the

Haga

did

allowing his

and

surprising

part- Yamaha’s first title in that series.

Vale’ won his 9th (yeah thats right-9th) title in motorcycle racing and his 7th in the premiere class (500cc+MotoGP). He might just have come closer to people actually recognizing him as THE greatest man to have ever raced motorcycles after this win. This is his 4th title

21

He has been a significant signing for Yamaha especially because of the fact that they were always a distant second behind Honda in the championships before his arrival. Rossi not only could ride the bike fast, but he brought along with him Jeremy Burgess and others from his previous setup and helped immensely in developing the YZRM1, Yamaha’s MotoGP contender.

In his earlier seasons with the factory Yamaha team, he was the sole fighter on the track and the distinct lack of support from his teammates was apparent and he was mostly fighting hard to stave off rivals from Honda


November, 09

Rooooooosi the new Zooooooom !!

especially. This could be essentially attributed to the Honda RC211V’s early superiority over the M1 and partly to the lack of quality teammates. Although Colin Edwards is a great rider in his own right, he never would turn up for more than a couple of races a season.

But over the years, the M1 has seen greater development and the levelling out of the field due to the 800cc class restrictions. In no small measure could this also be attributed to Rossi’s development efforts. But this season, his primary rival was his own team mate Jorge’ Lorenzo. The rookie Spaniard has been sensational and things could have been different for him had luck been on his side. Time and again though, Rossi has shown tremendous mental strength over the course of a season especially with his mind games against Se’te’ Gibernau in his first two years at Yamaha and against Casey Stoner two seasons ago. But it was much friendlier this

time round and the now veteran of MotoGP has another reason and another of his unique methods of celebrations to offer us all. If it had been the ‘doctor’ act before, this time round it was the egg. According to Rossi, this is the rationale behind his celebrations-” In Italy we say an old chicken makes good soup but can no longer lay eggs! I am like the old chicken – 30 years now – but I have made another egg! That’s nine!”

If it was rivalry against a younger teammate for Rossi, it was the exact opposite for Ben Spies. He had to fight off an experienced adversary who was an old faithful to his current team in the form of Noriyuki Haga. In his rookie year itself, the reigning AMA Superbike champion won the WSBK title. ‘Nitro’ Nori was actually in the points lead before coming into the last round at Portimao. He crashed out on

22

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lap 7 of Race1 which Spies won. This made matters easier for the Texan who had to just finish sixth or higher if Haga won. The rest as they are history and we have a rookie champion in WSBK. One surprising fact is that this is Yamaha’s maiden WSBK title. Especially hard to fathom because over the years, their YZF-R1 street bike has outperformed the CBR and the Ducati 998. But this year Yamaha took the title in stunning fashion.

What made the titles special for this great Japanese manufacturer is that they came on the same day, don’t know when has that happened to any other team. I mean Honda and others might have won both the premiere titles in the same year previously, but actually whether anyone managed it on the same day, I don’t know!!!


November, 09

Grave loss to Cricket

I

t was a dull day for me yesterday and nothing was in its place, I was not feeling happy and well when I came to know about the sad demise of the great “David Shepherd”, it was more pain. All my life I have grown seeing this “Legend” of an umpire on the Cricket field with his near perfect umpiring expertise and rather the odd Nelson jig which has

Sportskeeda

at his First class debut for Gloucestershire against Oxford Universities but his career as a player was never set rolling although he scored 12 centuries to prove his mettle with the bat. Shepherd turned to umpiring in 1981 and later in 1985 he had his first assignment at the

REMEMBERING DAVID SHEPHERD: A LEGEND David Shepherd was one of those cricketing personalities who with his honesty, integrity and perseverance took the game to high sporting standards always been his signature move. His demise was a shock. David Shepherd was one of those cricketing personalitites who with his honesty, integrity and perseverance took the game to high sporting standards. With his roly poly appearance and with his jovial behaviour Shepherd was always a treat to watch. Shepherd holds the distinction of officiating three World cup Finals at Lahore, Lord’s and Johannesburg. Shepherd officiated in 172 ODIs and 92 tests between 1983 and 2005. Shepherd started his cricketing career with a bang as he scored a hundred

International level and since has always been a favourite.

then

he

Shepherd can be thought of sometimes a taskmaster where in one could see his displeasure or discomfort for excessively appealing bowlers. I personally have seen him frown for some appeals where even the bowlers knew that it was’nt out and still went on appealing and the look on Shepherd’s face used to say it all. Throughout his career he maintained good record and arguably maintained

23


November, 09

Grave loss to cricket

Sportskeeda

other than Brian lara who presented him with a cricket bat. Also he was always looked and honoured as a gentleman who knew his job pretty well. But the most striking part of his personality was his famous “Jig” whenever the Scoreboards showed: Nelson” (i.e 111 or its multiples). The entire English crowd would wait for the scoreboard to show Nelson and would instantly enjoy the famous jig. The crowds loved him, the commentators loved him and so did the Purists. He was not after introducing “Technology” in the game initially but later accepted that it cannot be ignored. Cricket has lost its old statesman and one of the Umpiring Greats.In short he was education for all the new age

very high accuracy. Never one could ever think of Shepherd give a wrong decision. He was a strong willed man and knew what his job was. Standing in three consecutive finals is not an easy job and when one does that job with no hassles; it speaks a lot about the person’s credentials.

But towards the end of his career somewhere in 2001, he was criticized for overlooking “Saqlain Mushtaq’s” no balls which earned him wickets which made Shepherd think of resigning, such was his level of commitment. Letters from friends and relatives and continuous pleading from well wishers made him revert his decision.

Good bye

Dave…

umpires who have followed him and try to match his level of expertise and sportsmanship. It was a pleasure to write about a Legend and I offer my condolences to his family and ask the Supreme lord to give strength to his friends and family during these testing times. May his soul rest in peace.

Dave, We shall always miss you and your famous “Nelson”..

Even when he was standing in his last match at West Indies his professionalism was honoured by none

24


November, 09

World is not big enough for three of us?

Del Potro’s amazing season

C

ouple of months back, common opinion said that Juan Martin del Potro was not good enough to stay with the big five. Such ideas have been sent to hibernation. Having caused the biggest upset of the tennis season by halting Federer’s sixth consecutive attempt at the US Open, Del Potro is clearly a threatening prospect in contemporary men’s tennis. Not only is he not going to relinquish his number five ATP singles ranking anytime soon, he is also looking at bettering upon it. Depending on how he does in Shanghai, Juan could be knocking at the door of Murray’s number four slot. Rankings should be the least important of things on Juan’s 2009 agenda. He started the year by winning at Auckland, and followed it up by reaching the quarter finals of the Australian Open. There, he got demolished by Roger Federer and a lot of people questioned his drive and potential to succeed. Juan kept insisting he just needed time, and he was right. A few months later he reached the semi finals of Roland Garros. He again fell to Federer, but this time it was in an epic five setter. Del Potro struggled at Wimbledon and was upset in the second round by an unstoppable Lleyton Hewitt. By this time he had gone up to number five in the world, but heading into the hard court season where he had points to defend and prove. He defended the Legg Mason Classic, beating Andy Roddick in a pulsating three setter, and moved rapidly onto

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November, 09

World is not big enough for three of us?

Toronto. Here he lost to Andy Murray in another tight three setter final.

Sportskeeda

this far ahead. Nobody wants to put too much pressure on the young man. DelPo, as I like to call him, is now 21 years old and only seems to be improving. Having won a Grand Slam

Del Potro made the decision to pull out of Cincy, sighting fatigue. This turned out to be one of the smartest decisions in his career. Well rested and confident, Juan Martin stormed through his US Open draw, crushing Rafael Nadal on his way to the final. Here, he met Federer once again. This time, the man was ready. He came from two sets to one down to post the biggest win of his career. Juan Martin Del Potro beat Roger Federer to claim the US Open title. Tennis had a new champion!

title should give him a lot of confidence to carry on with his style of play. His game looks decent though he plays a power-game from the baseline. Of course he may look more gracious if he learns to volley well.

If you are looking for an X factor in DelPo, his sense of judgement, anticipation and timing of the baseline shots put him in a different league He lost early in Tokyo to a qualifier, but was clearly battling fatigue and injury. Though Del Potro is clearly feeling the physcial and emotional strains of his amazing season, wins in Shaghai or London would probably boost his ranking. If he could finish inside the top four this year and hang onto it till Australian Open, Del Potro’s draw would be far more favourable than a five seeding would be. Of course, he probably doesn’t want to be thinking

If you are looking for an X factor in DelPo, his sense of judgement, anticipation and timing of the baseline shots puts him in a different league. And to top it all, the composure he has shown for someone his age, pushes him a notch ahead of Novak and probably even both the Andy’s. Juan Martin has had the season of his life this year. The future only looks brighter.

26


Alex United

November, 09

Sportskeeda

Sir Alex Ferguson Completes 23 years at Manchester United

23 years ago, November 06 1986, a man walked into Old Trafford. This man was handed the mantle at Manchester United with the responsibility of getting its glory days back. It was going to be a historical day. A day when Sir Alex Ferguson started his journey at Old Trafford. A journey that has completed 23 years and still counting. Prior to his appointment, the English league was being dominated by Liverpool. The Scot had conquered everything in Scotland. He had inspired Aberdeen to break the domination of Celtic and Rangers in Scottish football. He was brought in to do the same here in England. Break Liverpool’s domination.

Start Sir Alex had a tough opening few years at Old Trafford. United were struggling when he took over. The players lacked discipline and there were questions over their fitness levels. He managed to set things right as United climbed up the table to finish 11 th. The bright point was the 1-0 win at Anfield. A win that proved costly for Liverpool as they lost their grasp on the title. It was a sign of things to come. Steve Bruce, Viv Anderson, Brian McClair and Jim Leighton were brought in by the Scotsman the following season. It paid off as United finished second behind Liverpool that year. Things started to drift apart as United slumped to 11 th place in 88-89.


Alex United

November, 09 Inspite Pallister

of

major

and

a

signings great

of

start

Paul to

Ince

the

and

89-90

Sportskeeda

Gary

season,

United started to slump in form. If things were to continue the way they were, it would not be long before Sir Alex would lose his job. Then came the match against Nottingham Forest in the third round of

the

FA

Cup.

A

defeat

here

and

a

sack

was

certain. Defying all odds United managed to get past Forest and in the process gave

Sir Alex

his first

major trophy as manager, beating Crystal Palace in the final. That match against Forrest saved his Old Trafford career.

First title Sir Alex was brought in to do just one thing, win the league. Inspite of doing well in the League Cup and Cup Winners Cup the league title still eluded him. Sir Alex felt that there was one player missing, who would make the difference. That’s when he brought in French striker Eric Cantona. He had finally found his missing piece, as Cantona and Mark Hughes ended the drought at Old Trafford. United were crowned the first Premier League Champions. The 26 year old wait was finally over.

The Treble Back to Back titles followed in 92-93 and 93-94. Sir Alex decided to rebuild his team. In the process he created his first team at United. Roy Keane was brought in to replace Bryan Robson. Cantona had a horrid 95 season as United lost the title on the last day of the season. Andy Cole was also brought into to bolster the attack. It was now time to bring in the “ Fergie Fledlings “ . Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt headed by Welshman Ryan Giggs. The fact being that Sir Alex turned up at Giggs’s house to sign him as a youngster on his 14th birthday.

United were quickly written off by the media as they felt the youngsters could not possibly win anything. How wrong they were. The young guns along with Cantona fought back from 14 points down to win the league on the last day. It was number 4 next year. However Cantona the man who inspired United to 4 league triumphs retired. Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Jaap Stam and Jesper Blomqvist joined United. Sir Alex had finally rebuilt his team. 1999 was a magical year for United and Sir Alex. Down and out in the semi-finals of the Champions league against Juventus, it was captain Roy Keane who inspired them to victory.

28


November, 09

Alex United

Again in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, it took a wonder goal from Ryan Giggs to get past Arsenal. Staring defeat in the Champions league final against Bayern Munich with only minutes to go, goals from Sheringham

great comeback giving Sir most satisfying title triumph.

Sportskeeda

Alex

his

Time to rebuild again

The next 4 years were part of a rebuilding process. It started in 2003 with the arrival of 19 year old Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo. A player who 6 years from then was going to crowned the world’s best player. Next followed English sensation Wayne Rooney. Edwin Van der Sar and Park Ji Sung followed. It was during this time that Roy Keane decided to retire.

Staring defeat in the Champions league final against Bayern Munich with only minutes to go, goals from Sheringham and Ole

and Ole Gunnar Solsjaer in injury time gave Sir Alex his first European triumph. The team had created history. An unprecedented treble – Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League. A hattrick of titles accompanied the treble. Ruud Van Nistelrooy was brought in along with Fabian Barthez. 2001-02 season was tipped to be Ferguson’s last year in change at Old Trafford. However it wasnt to be as Ferguson signed a three year extension to his contract. Rio Ferdinand was bought from Leeds United in a record British transfer. The 8 th premier league title in 02-03 was a remarkable season. With 2 months left to go, United were trailing Arsenal by 8 points. Arsenal’s form dipped at the wrong time and United completed a

Gunnar Solsjaer in injury time gave Sir Alex his first European triumph. The team had created history.

Defenders Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra joined the team in the January transfer window. Michael Carrick was signed as a replacement for Keane. Sir Alex had almost formed his second team at Old Trafford. With Van De Sar in goal, a solid back four in the form of Ferdinand, Vidic, Neville and Evra, a midfield marshalled by Scholes and Giggs and a attack comprising of Ronaldo and Rooney, things had never looked better.

29


November, 09

Alex united

The last missing piece was the transfer of Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich. He was brought in for one reason. To aid United towards another European triumph. The following year the team gave him what he wanted. His second European crown. A season in which they almost completed their second treble. 06-07, 07-08, 08-09 made it 11 Premier league titles. Departures of Ronaldo and Tevez and with Giggs and Scholes nearing the end of their playing careers, the process of rebuilding has started again. Whenever he has rebuilt his team, Sir Alex has always done something special. His first team achieved greatness, his second team went further ahead, and it is time now for his third. Who would bet against it???

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what Sir Alex and his United team did last week when they visited Anfield. They had come back after equaling Liverpool’s 18 titles.

11 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 8 Community Shields, 2 UEFA Champions League, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup

A master tactician, Sir Alex has undoubtedly been the greatest man manager. During his time at Old Trafford, he has handled players like Cantona, Keane, Ronaldo and Rooney which is no small feat. People say that Sir Alex would have saved Paul Gascoigne’s career had he joined United. One more thing that he has always maintained throughout his stay here at Old Trafford is that no one becomes bigger than the club. No one, not even himself. I just dread the day he will hang up his boots. The thing I will miss the most is his peculiar celebration after a goal. I have still not understood his childish jump and the pump of his fists. All I know is that it brings a big smile on my face every time I see it. Someone once said Sir Alex has “no managerial ability“. Another banner said “Three years of excuses and its crap. Ta ra Fergie “……Do you want to know what was his reply…… 11 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 8 Community Shields, 2 UEFA Champions League, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. Sir Alex Ferguson, I salute you.

The only thing that can stop him is his age. But he wants one thing more before he retires. Another European triumph. What he has achieved here at Old Trafford is astounding. He is the second longest serving manager in United history after Sir Matt Busby. He holds the record for most Manager of the Year awards in British football history. He is only the third British manager to win the European cup on more than one occasion. But his greatest achievement is something else. In 1994 on a freezing January night at Anfield, following their maiden league success, Sir Alex’s team visited Liverpool. A banner read “Come back and sing“ Ooh Aah Cantona “ when you’ve won 18 “ . That is exactly

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