Woodland yoga It’s time to change into stylish yoga wardrobe for your workout sessions. Woodland has just launched their new yoga collection in various styles and colours (grey, teal, navy blue and black). Price starts at Rs 1,195. Available at all Woodland outlets. Taste treat Tucked away in the bylanes,Woodland yogaIt’s time to change into stylish yoga wardrobe for your workout sessions. Woodland has just launched their new yoga collection in various styles and colours (grey, teal, navy blue and black). Price starts at Rs 1,195. Available at all Woodland outlets.Taste treatTucked away in the bylanes of Dr. RK Salai, this place offers a variety of food, beverages and desserts.Go to: 6/29, Rajasekaren St, Mylapore, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai. Meal for two: Rs 800 (plus taxes)Must try: FruitlettesTime machineThis watch will take you back in time. Based on the ancient time keeping technique-the Sun Dial, the watch has to be always aligned to the North so that it uses sunlight to indicate the time.Price: Rs 3,995Snip hubWanting a hair cut or a pampering facial? Head to the newly launched Allure Unisex Salon. It has been opened in collaboration with Schwarzkopf Professional at Nungambakkam. And, none other than Kollywood actor Suriya inaugurated the style shop.Happy feetCashing in on the soccer fever amongst sports enthusiasts in India, Lotto Sport Italia recently launched the new Zhero Gravity Ultra, the only laceless football boot in the world. The absence of laces ensures a perfect fit to the shape of the foot. It is available in white and metal blue colours. Grab it before FIFA ends.Cough up: Rs 9,999
“Your name is not registered in the list so I’m afraid you won’t be able to paraglide,” the guide tells me politely. I cannot believe what I am hearing. All my dreams of getting a bird’s eye view of the Swiss landscape and landing at Leysin village come crashing down. Standing at the height of 2,048m, on the Berneuse summit in the Lake Geneva region, I look around at the Alpine peaks like Eiger and Matterhorn, but nothing seems as charming as it did moments ago. I try to convince the guide that I have registered but it just does not work. This cannot be happening. I almost give up till an Israeli fellow traveller asks, “Have you done this before?” I shake my head despondently and then come his kind words, “All right, you can go in my place. I have done it before.” I can’t believe what I’m hearing and ask him if he is sure he wants to give up his turn. For me, Istramius is nothing short of an angel sent from heaven to fulfil my wish. I thank him profusely and soon my dream turns into reality.I am helped into the contraption, attached to a parachute, where a guide can sit behind me. I take a few steps, and up I go. Gliding high above houses nestled in green meadows and villages, with lofty peaks in the distance and the Lake Geneva that now seems a mere stream–it is an experience I’m going to take with me to my grave. Literally flying over the mountains is pure exhilaration and a great adrenalin rush. Initially I had thought it might be a bit scary, but the reassuring presence of the guide and the harness makes me feel quite safe. The guide even has a camera and captures the most beautiful moments of my trip.Fifteen minutes later I land in the middle of a lush pasture close to the cable car station at Leysin village and walk back to the hotel feeling absolutely content and happy. Leysin is popular for winter sports like skiing. It’s my last day in Switzerland and I have made the most of my time in the Alps. I love adventure sports, but have not had the opportunity to do much–this trip makes up for it. If someone had told me a few years ago that I’ll be hiking on a glacier in the Alps, I would have probably laughed out loud. But on the second day of my visit, I am all geared up for it and determined to do it. In fact when the tour leader tells me that my shoes may get wet, I promptly buy a pair of snow boots, not heeding the cost. Nothing can deter me from walking on the glacier at Jungfrau. This is the charm of this fascinating country–you do things which you thought are simply impossible.From Interlaken, we reach Jungfrau by a cog wheel train, which chugs alongside gurgling streams and green Alps that slowly turn white till all you can see around you is pristine snow and high peaks like Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch. Located at the height of 3,454m, Jungfraujoch is the highest rail station in Europe, and the temperature is -1 degree when we start our trek to MÅnchsjoch Hut, the world’s highest altitude mountain hut that offers meals. With the sun shining down, the weather is comfortable, but the 2.5 km hike along the clearly marked snow path seems endless. The breathtaking view of high peaks around me and spotting a few mountain climbers ahead keeps me going. My fellow travellers, who have completely different fitness levels, are way ahead of me, and it takes me longer than them to reach the hut. But the stunning view out there with high peaks all around is well worth the one-hour trek. After lunch, we make our way to a tunnel which leads to the ice palace, where everything, even the walls and floor is made of ice. After spending about half an hour here, we finally back to Interlaken via Grindelwald. Green pastures, charming houses, and of course the towering Swiss Alps in the backdrop makes this one of the most stunning villages I have ever seen. I sit with my jaw open, literally. Images of Yash Chopra movies immediately come to my mind–was this the road where SRK danced or was it that one, I wonder. Switzerland is impossibly pretty with its endless lush pastures, charming villages on the Alpine slopes. Sitting on a mountain with nothing but the sound of cow bells reaching my ears, I get one of my best moments in life.Don’t missLeysin is home to one of the three revolving restaurants in Switzerland. Located at the Berneuse summit, is Le Kuklos that gives a panoramic view of the peaks around. The restaurant revolves 360 degree within one hour and a half. Besides multi cuisines, it serves Swiss dishes as well. Have a meal at Fromagerie, located in the old part of Leysin. It is famous for its cheese fondue, raclette and great selection of Swiss wines. The cheese is homemade and tastes very different from something you may have eaten before.Check out Grand cafe restaurant Schuh in Interlaken for chocolate truffles and desserts.advertisementadvertisement
The only second cricketer who led the country to a World Cup triumph, Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he is not 100 per cent sure of playing in the 2015 edition and will decide on it two years before the mega event.”If you see 2015, still three, three and a half years to go. I don’t really know where I will stand. Everything needs to go off well, and then by close to 2013, I will have to take a call whether I can really 100 per cent be available for the 2015 World Cup,” Dhoni said.”You don’t want a wicketkeeper in the side who has not played at least 100-odd games, at least close to 80-100 games, going into World Cup. So that’s a call that needs to be taken.But if everything goes off well, 2013 end will be time where we will have to carefully study the body and see what can be done,” said Dhoni.Dhoni has held aloft every cricket trophy in the world, from Twenty20 World Cup, IPL and Champions League T20 and to 50-over World Cup, and he said he would want to win the 2015 World Cup though he is not 100 per cent certain to play in it.”Well, why not do it all over again? If you don’t really have a dream, you can’t really push yourself, you don’t really know what the target is. It is important to stay focused, have short-term goals, not look too much in future, and try to win each and every series that is coming. Of course, you won’t be able to do that,” he said.advertisementAsked about his hero in life, Dhoni picked his team-mate and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.”Well, that’s a very difficult one. There’s someone like Sachin Tendulkar, who is a part of the side, whom most of the individual cricketers look up to. And not to forget Amitabh Bachchan, who has been the biggest thing when it comes to Bollywood, and he is known the world over. So if you look at him, still, at his age, he is working, being among the best,” he said.”So these are the two people who are ideal role models, who have struggled through their phases in life and yet come out successful. The best thing is that they are very humble and grounded, which I think is very important to be a successful person,” Dhoni said.Dhoni said he was so emotional after winning the World Cup early this year that he wept after the summit clash along with his team-mates.”We all want to be part of a World Cup-winning side. The last time we won was 28 years back. So most of people (in the) side wanted to win the World Cup, and as soon as we got into a position where we saw World Cup coming into our dressing room, emotions started to flow. If you see, before the post-match presentation, almost every player cried,” he said.Asked if he also cried, he said, “Yes, I did. You don’t have footage of that. It’s very difficult to control emotion like that. I was controlling (myself). I wanted to quickly go up to dressing room, and I saw two players crying and running to me. All of a sudden, I started crying, and I looked up and there was a huddle around me. And each and every one cried.”About the pressure on Indian players to win the World Cup, Dhoni said, “I still remember playing the Australia quarter-final. People thought that was the biggest game when it came to the World Cup. Then it was Pakistan in the semi-final. I remember travelling and people were like, “Win this game and we don’t care about the finals.””As soon as we won the semi-final, it was like, “You have to win this because it doesn’t matter what you’ve done. If you don’t win the final it won’t be really nice.” So I think there was pressure, which was the ultimate thing,” he said.Dhoni said he loves to live in the present.”I love being in present. When I was playing for school, the only thing I wanted was get selected for U-16 or U-19 district teams. When I was selected for district I would think of next level, getting selected for state side. I’m a person who lives in the moment,” he said.
Cricket enthusiasts would soon be able to enjoy the game through the umpires’ eyes.Specially designed sunglasses for umpires would now act as cameras and would be used on Wednesday (February 1) night at the Sydney Cricket Ground for Fox Sports coverage of the Big Bash Twenty20.The glasses are fitted with a micro high definition camera that is wired to a bigger battery, a transmitter and an aerial, which would be kept in a pouch on the umpire’s belt.The new sunglass cameras would allow the TV viewers get the best possible angle for LBW appeals and run outs.
The historic moment has arrived for a radical revolution in the rules of the game. There is no other option, if we want to protect hapless Indian masses from severe bouts of depression, leading directly to loss of national vigour and collapse of carefully nurtured pride. Cricket must now be played according to the laws of boxing.Compared to cricket, boxing is a humane and civilised sport. It knows when to stop. If the referee feels that a contest has become a one-sided exercise in hammering, and infers that while a boxer might remain technically on his feet but his brain has become softer than an election candidate’s morals, he arbitrarily stops a bout. By all norms of decency, the Australia-India series should have been halted. It is immoral to see eleven mature men, a fusion of superb spirit and individual brilliance, pummel a patchwork coalition of Dad’s Army and Mum’s Brats with ruthless ease and consistency. One of the significant successes of 20th century diplomacy was the Geneva Pact. It has banned torture. Why then does this callous world permit such unbridled torture on the cricket field? Why doesn’t the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Amateurs) intervene in such a humanitarian crisis?Purists will argue that India lost its way when Rahul Dravid dropped Mike Hussey at Melbourne in the first Test, and Australia recovered from 27 for 4 to an unbeatable 240 in the second innings. That sort of comment might, at best, fetch you a free coffee from naive friends. Wars are not lost because an officer dropped a flag. Every Indian journalist on tour has by now met the Australian taxi driver who asked the question, “What’s gone wrong with your team, mate?” That question misses the point as inevitably as Indian batsmen miss the ball. India does not have a team. It has half-a-dozen players who are punishing their ageing limbs in search of even more cash from an indefatigable lottery. Some batsmen are more anxious about the prospect of free land from chief ministers under the spurious excuse that they are setting up cricket academies, than about their next score. A heretical question is circling around even the finest we have seen: are you playing for Bharat or for the Bharat Ratna? The formidable patrician Dr W.G. Grace, whose beard was as long as his wit was sharp, once told an uppity bowler who had the temerity to get him out that the British spectator had come to see Grace bat, and an upstart bowl. He continued at the crease. We should now apply that useful principle to Sachin Tendulkar: let him get his 100th 100, and get on with stitching together a totally new team, including at least one 17-year-old who can become our next Sachin.advertisementPerhaps it is wrong to get harsh with Sachin Tendulkar, who still has runs to offer. Cricket is not a game you can play alone. But Sachin might yet want to recall what Vijay Merchant, the great Mumbai sportsman, once said: You should retire when the public still asks why, not when. But Merchant belonged to a generation when a Test player got one pound sterling as spending money per day on a foreign tour. Those players didn’t know how to spell a five-letter word called ‘crore’.Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing unethical about the wealth that now dominates the game. But money increases accountability. Indian cricket is, instead, controlled by a crony system in which administrators, selectors, players and their chosen commentators protect one another. Australia became invincible in my book on the day its captain Michael Clarke refused to cross Don Bradman’s score when he could have easily done so. That was not merely team before self; it was homage to Australia’s history, and a young genius telling us, with astonishing humility, that he would not break an implicit honour code.If there was a Border-Gavaskar trophy for alibis, however, Indians would have returned with heaps of silver. Gautam Gambhir’s throwaway accusation that the hosts had fixed the pitch was beneath contempt. Lose, but don’t cry. It was not defeat that shamed India, but the manner in which the side crumbled repeatedly. Of course the players never allowed their performance to affect their camera-perfect preening. These guys are professional. After all, they spend more time on television than soap opera stars. Even a newcomer grimaces with distaste at the umpire after having pitched four balls short and one full in a single over. Nothing is ever his fault. And he either already has or will soon get an advertising contract to prove it.advertisementThe majestic Dr Grace had some useful advice for fellow cricketers faced with columns such as this one. “Never read print, it spoils one’s eye for the ball.” If India’s present eleven had any eye left for the ball, there wouldn’t be such print either.
Kings XI Punjab would look to continue their winning streak while Rajasthan Royals would be desperately looking for a change of fortunes after four successive defeats when they lock horns at the PCA Stadium on Saturday.Although Rajasthan beat Punjab by 31 runs in Jaipur on April 6, that was just the start of the tournament and the latter have improved a lot since then.Punjab are fresh from two consecutive victories against Indian Premier League (IPL) giants Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, and have 10 points from as many matches. They have jumped to fourth place in the points table and are aiming for a win against Rajasthan in order to stay in contention for the play-offs.Rajasthan Royals, who started well in the tournament, have hit a rough patch and with eight points from 10 matches, are languishing in seventh spot after four successive losses.Punjab’s top order is their strongest aspect. Mandeep Singh, a 20-year-old right-handed batsman, is their highest run-getter with 277 runs in 10 matches. He is in form and can give Punjab a strong start with Shaun Marsh, who has 256 runs from nine matches.Skipper David Hussey is a reliable batsman in crisis situations. But Punjab’s problem is their middle order, which has not been consistent of late. Punjab are strong on the bowling front, which can help them seize the early momentum if they field first on Saturday. Seamer Praveen Kumar might not have taken a lot of wickets but he is a miser.Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla is Punjab’s most successful bowler with 12 wickets in 10 matches. He, along with seamers Parvinder Awana and Azhar Mahmood, can stifle the Rajasthan batting, which lacks consistency.advertisementOn the other hand, Rajatshan biggest drawback is their overdependence on their openers – skipper Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane, the highest run-getter.Dravid has been the most consistent player in the team with scores of at least 25 or above in his last seven matches. He forms a formidable opening partnership with Rahane, who smashed a superb 98 off 66 in Rajasthan’s win against Punjab last month.But once they are out, Rajasthan look like minnows. Shane Watson is yet to settle in. Owais Shah and Brad Hodge once looked great, but seem to have lost touch.Rajasthan’s biggest concern will be their bowling. Their joint highest wicket- taker Kevon Cooper has pulled out after an injury. Watson needs to step up with the ball.
To kick-off what some call “probably the biggest series ever played”, Australia, cricket’s wandering bully-boys, made their opening remarks in a Mumbai disco. Called Insomnia. So do they expect to have a good time? Or a bad one?Stupid question, matey, because this is India. For no reason, the good times,To kick-off what some call “probably the biggest series ever played”, Australia, cricket’s wandering bully-boys, made their opening remarks in a Mumbai disco. Called Insomnia. So do they expect to have a good time? Or a bad one?Stupid question, matey, because this is India. For no reason, the good times can go bad and the bad times rendered rosy. Somewhere, somehow circumstances collide, a switch is thrown and everything changes. Like 2001. Remember it?Matt the bat does, a little mournfully, “Australia probably lost in about 10 minutes of that series. Ten minutes.” In 2001, Matthew Hayden found himself as a Test cricketer scoring 549 runs at 109.8 an innings in India and has not stopped since. “That was almost the perfect Test series,” he says.Almost. In the critical 10 minutes on the third day of the Kolkata Test, India up to their eyebrows in trouble, Rahul Dravid arrived and settled in with V.V.S. Laxman. A week later in Chennai, the series finished 2-1 to India. DVDs of the three Tests are sold under the title The Greatest Series Ever.Dravid on WarneMATCH-UP: Rampant Rahul Dravid (left) up against a fit Shane WarneClick here to EnlargeWarne is a great bowler and he has it all-variety, guile, accuracy and a big heart which is how he has taken 500 wickets. He has had his successes against me and I have had successes against him. To be considered his target is a back-handed compliment in some ways. He has had successes everywhere except in India and we will see how he goes. He had a lot of wickets in Sri Lanka but the conditions are different here.Dravid vs Australia: Tests 12 Runs 1313 Avg 57.09 100s 2 50s 7Warne on DravidI have enjoyed success against Rahul Dravid but I have always respected him. He has developed into a quality player since I first played against him. The main change that I have noticed in Rahul over the past few years is that he has realised how good a player he really is. He is the rock of the Indian batting line-up and at the moment he is on a roll. He is the man to get because all the others, all the stroke players, they bat around him.Warne vs India: Tests 11 Wkts 29 Avg 55.45 The Biggest Series Ever Played,The Greatest Series Ever; when India play Australia, the only sure thing, it seems, is hyperbolic hardsell-and the unpredictable. “In India momentum can switch like that,” Hayden snaps his fingers. “When it is gone, you can never get it back.”advertisementActually, don’t remember 2001 because it is gone too. India and Australia are older, stronger, er… balder and, it must be hoped, smarter. India, whimsical, watchable, seem to be Australia’s natural adversary.Not only were they World Cup finalists, but when they met last in a Test series on Australian soil 10 months ago, India didn’t go down under, squaring four Tests 1-1. Now Australia come ashore on a land where they have not won a Test series since 1969.Steve Waugh called India the Final Frontier. It remains unfinished business. With three tours in eight years, it seems they won’t leave India alone until the resistance breaks.In 2001, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh had provided the magic series taking 32 of 50 Australian wickets. In Kolkata, as India trailed by 276, Laxman’s 281 and a partnership of 376 with Dravid provided the miracle.But October will mark the end of all miracles. The Australians will take Harbhajan into account and factor in Laxman. However strong the temptation, captain Sourav Ganguly will not be dismissed in lazy cliche.Sachin Tendulkar, stricken by tennis elbow, may not be able to strike early blows. Besides, India is not unknown to the Aussies any more; most of the current players have toured here as juniors or seniors. “The mystique of India is not there any more,” says their coach John Buchanan. During the Champions Trophy they trained wearing three layers of clothing and woolly hats to get their bodies used to “Indian” degrees of heat. A yoga instructor, Kate Turner, has joined the touring party. They talk about stretching time and seizing the moment. In March, they swept three Tests in Sri Lanka, their most dominant Asian performance in a decade.The Indians were watching. “They are probably a better team than the one that came here last time, when they had a lot of batting first-timers,” says Indian vice-captain Dravid. “But since then we have developed as a side too.”Ten months ago when the Indians toured Australia, the openers blunted the new ball and gave the middle order a platform to succeed. “The Indians played better than we thought they would,” says pace-man Glenn McGrath, adding helpfully, “but those were batsmen-friendly wickets.” Pre-series jousting dictates that all compliments given with one hand must be of the kind that can be taken away with the other.In truth, Australia did little wrong in 2001. The flaws are probably noted down in some secret Not To Do list. They could not save the Kolkata Test, but after Sri Lanka, they think they have got that sorted. The Indian top six in Australia showed them the way, batting, in Justin Langer words, “like they were in a meditative state”.advertisementCONFIDENCE BUILDERS: Ricky Ponting’s men win in Sri LankaStand-in captain Adam Gilchrist looks inward, “Maybe we celebrated our success too early. We had won 16 Tests in a row and in Kolkata, India were following on and Sachin was out. We were on an absolute high.” Moral of the story? “You can’t get too far ahead of yourself,” he says. Buchanan agrees that the Australians might have wanted victory almost too much and that “it became a bit of a crusade for some players”. The Final Frontiersman probably wore everyone out.In 2004, they choose to open the verbals in India at a nightclub only because all other conference venues at their Mumbai hotel are taken. But it is clear the Aussies are trying a lower pitch. “It is an important tour,” says Gilchrist, “but not the be-allandend-all of our cricketing lives.” So just calm down everybody. If you can when you see a storm is coming.”You are talking it up too much,” says a deep, bass voice that is not known to register a higher decibel- unless, of course, Anil Kumble, for it is his voice, wants to appeal for lbw. Kumble hopes he will do so with success and frequency; he is only three Test wickets away from 400. Only one other Indian, Kapil Dev, has got this far. As the senior most bowler in world cricket, the Bangalore leg spinner has seen it all. Instead of the freaky chakra talk from the Australians, his series is surveyed in succinct bits and bytes. Enough runs on the board to give the bowlers a good crack. And no cheap shots about how taking wickets at home is no big deal.Saurav Ganguly holds off Australia at homeIn 2001, Kumble turned up at a pre-series camp in Chennai after a major surgery, his bowling arm in a sling. He stood in the sun and didn’t stop talking to a bunch of slow bowling rookies. Now, he will be the man to lead the bowlers, and Harbhajan, on the mend from surgery himself, is glad. “Nobody else has what we have-two good spinners bowling in tandem,” says the man whom the Aussies first nicknamed the Turbanator. “Australia has one great leg spinner in Shane Warne but not another one to play with him.”It is not just the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the line but a home record stretching back 18 seasons in which India have lost only one full series. It is poetic justice for Kumble: every wicket he takes in October will not only be precious to his team but also take him, the much-mocked-spinner-who-cannot-spin-it, closer to becoming India’s most successful bowler ever. The world fears the ferocious Aussie batsmen. Kumble fears nothing, he merely knows what he must do. “They take more chances than anyone else. They like to take the initiative away from the bowler early, whether it is seamers or spinners.Runs on the board are important because they knock them off quickly. You have to think and bowl differently,” he says.Kumble’s art like the man himself has developed quietly-in Australia he became India’s main strike bowler when injury ruled Harbhajan out. In his most successful overseas series he picked up 24 wickets, variations in pace his key weapon. A line graph of his bowling speeds during the series looked like the ECG of a heart patient with palpitations. advertisementOddly enough, that could actually be a visual representation of the condition of the Indian batsmen. The same whose patience and discipline were borrowed by the Australians have struggled in one-day cricket all season. They have fallen victim to unexplained flashes of uncontrolled impulse.In the heat of the short game, the form and confidence from last season have melted away. The Indians will have to start all over-against the game’s most relentless team. Nothing like a little crisis to focus the mind.Ricky PontingSachin TendulkarBREAK IN PLAY: Aussie captain Ponting and Tendulkar may not feature in early action As one of two crisis management specialists in the batting lineup, Laxman has a higher average against Australia than even Tendulkar and was part of three triple-century partnerships versus the world champs. A team that turns perfectly decent batsmen into bunnies has been forced to admit that no one makes them look more like pie-chuckers.Brett Lee has been quick in distributing a Waugh witticism to the world: “If you get Dravid, great. If you get Sachin, brilliant. If you get Laxman, it is a miracle.” Laxman said his thank yous but knows fast bowlers donot dish out compliments from the goodness of their hearts.The issue at hand is Indian form. “We haven’t transformed our starts this season,” says Laxman. “Hopefully we will compensate against Australia. Watch every ball and don’t think about who is bowling. Names don’t matter.” In a series like this, nor do reputations on either side.For all their success in Sri Lanka, Australia know that this is a different land, large and boisterous, each Test venue with its own rules set usually by eccentric curators.Wickets in India are neither as slow nor as variable as in Lanka and lend themselves to a sharper bounce and turn.Both camps know what to expect but knowing and preparing means nothing. All the positives from previous tours, from Sri Lanka, from wins over the Indians in one-day cricket will last, says Gilchrist, “only until the first ball is bowled in Bangalore”. Like Helmuth von Moltke, a 19th century Prussian general, once said, no plan survives contact with the enemy.SERIES STALWARTS: Opener Matthew Hayden and Harbhajan Singh (right)Plans may not work but mindsets do. One of Indian cricket’s forgotten men believes Australia demands a man to be “bull-headed”. Samir Dighe kept wickets in the deciding 2001 Chennai Test. As wickets toppled around him, he scored 22 to see India home. He chuckles at one memory: remarking loudly to new man Zaheer Khan that off spinner Colin Mille was looking bloody dangerous. Whether Dighe’s remarks had anything to do with Waugh’s decision to keep bowling Miller (who had taken two wickets) will not be known. But why leave anything to chance? In Miller’s next over, Dighe crashed two boundaries and the Indians inched closer to victory. Today Dighe does long hauls as a flight purser on Air-India and says, “The only way to win against the Aussies is not to be afraid of failure.”The contest has already seized the two teams: Australians are learning to do pranayam and Indians are trying to be cold-eyed. The two nations are not scheduled to meet again until 2007-8 and an Australian side is not likely to return to India before 2010. This is the last time two streams of skill and nerve will rush headlong into each other, a violent, churning rapid which will drown weak men.For one final time, as the world watches, Mc Grath will calibrate the air outside Dravid’s off-stump, two stoics going at each other in silent, bitter conflict. Hayden will wind up that massive log of a bat to try and sweep Kumble, who will be wearing his annoyed accountant’s face. Gillespie will give nothing to no one and Ganguly will let it all hang out.And, if the Gods are kinder still, a short, square man will do his quarter-squat, open up his stance and challenge the chubby pink-faced fella with spiky blond hair to bend that leg-break. India vs Australia is white-knuckle cricket. Insomnia has everything to do with it.
Some of the legendary Indian cricketers who had either given up on many of their dreams or put on hold their pet projects can now fulfil their aspirations or complete their unfinished tasks. The handsome one-time benefit purse that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced for 157 Test and first-class players will help them tide over the situation.For instance, legendary big-hitting batsman Salim Durani can now expand his school in Jamnagar, Gujarat; former India captain Nari Contractor can go on the vacation that he had either been postponing or had completely given up on; 79-year-old Bapu Nadkarni feels the Rs 60 lakh that he would receive will help him see through the “rest of his life”. Legendary spin duo Bishan Singh Bedi and B.S. Chandrasekhar also expressed their happiness at the Board’s largesse.Contractor, who lives in Mumbai, feels that the real beneficiaries would be the children of the players of his generation.Contractor, 78, who will receive Rs 60 lakh for having played 31 Tests for India, hinted that he would spend much of the money on his grandchildren, who also live in Mumbai. “More than anything else, I ask [myself]: how many years of life do I have left in me? I get the BCCI monthly gratis and will now get Rs60 lakh. How do I spend this amount? It’ll definitely Rssettle’ our lives. But the real beneficiaries are the children of players who are being given this largesse. I have a son and a daughter and both of them have two children each,” Contractor, a left-handed batsman, told Mail Today. “Apart from all that, probably I can go on a holiday.”advertisementDurani, who is said to have hit sixes on public demand, will also receive Rs60 lakh for having played 29 Tests. The Jamnagarbased cricketer said that he would now expand the small school that he and his family run in his home city.”Several people in my family are in the teaching line, like my younger sister and a niece. They run a very small school in our ancestral house. We have decided to expand the school and construct a building, and start prep classes with the money that I received as part of the CK Nayudu Award last year (Rs13.50 lakh after deducting the tax) and now this amount,” Durani, now 77, told Mail Today.On being told that when Contractor made his Test debut in 1955 he got Rs 250 and when he left the scene in 1962 he received the same amount, Durani, in a lighter vein, said that the figure was slightly less. “He didn’t give you the correct picture. We used to get 40 annas less than Rs 250 per Test. When we used to go to ‘Mama’ (ND) Karmarkar, the then assistant secretary of the BCCI and a very jovial person, he used to ask jokingly if we had brought the revenue stamp of 40 annas,” he recalled. “And it is only then that we used to get the Rs 250 Test fee on the fifth and last day of a match.”Contractor pointed out that players had to use the Rs250 for their laundry, food, and coolie [porter] etc.And no equipment was available free of cost. So we could hardly save anything from the match fees,” he stressed. Left-arm spinner Nadkarni, who’ll receive Rs 60 lakh, disclosed that he had requested Sharad Pawar “to do something for former players”. “The BCCI monthly pension is very good, but the point is that you cannot survive only on that amount because of the high cost of living. When we retired, our limited income came to a halt,” he said.===Internship will benefit NIS coachesL. S. Ranawat, executive director, NIS, Patiala.For the first time in the 51-year history of India’s premier coaching school – the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala – students who get admission in the diploma course in sports coaching for 2012-13 will undergo a compulsory eight-month internship. The course is of 10 months, starting July 1. Students will be paid a monthly stipend of Rs 10,000 during the internship.LS Ranawat, executive director at NIS, said that even the students who are passing out in 2011-12 session will have a two-month internship. “Last year too we had provided an internship opportunity, though we hadn’t announced it. Students passing out this session will have a two-month internship starting May 17. Each student will be paid Rs 10,000 per month, given two sets of kits, and their lodging will be free,” Ranawat told Mail Today. “From next year, we’ll provide an eight-month internship for the first time in NIS’s history.”advertisementVeteran coaches have welcomed the move by the Sports Authority of India, of which NIS is an important wing. “Previous students used to lose touch with what they had learnt at the NIS in the absence of coaching opportunities. Now, even if they don’t gets jobs they’ll get practical knowledge of coaching and earn some money too,” said one.===By announcing that the BCCI working committee has Rsapproved’ the participation of Pakistani national T20 champions, Sialkot Stallions, in the Champions League T20 in October, BCCI president N Srinivasan has sent people guessing vis-a-vis the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral Test series.In 2004, too, when the series resumed after almost 15 years, it was preceded by junior level tournaments.Will the invitation be a precursor to resumption of the bilateral contests, or purely commercial reasons have prompted the decision?===Master spinner finds T20 a tough formatBapu Nadkarni keeps track of the Mumbai Indians.IPL is bowlers’ nightmare – well, most of the times – as the 20-over format provides undue advantages to batsmen. Bapu Nadkarni, who still holds the world records for bowling maximum successive maiden overs in an innings and a match, says even he would have found the Twenty20 format challenging. “Accuracy doesn’t help in T20; you need something more because batsmen play so many innovative, different shots,” the Mumbai-based Nadkarni told Mail Today. “It’s good fun [nonetheless].”The 79-year-old left-arm spinner, who played 41 Tests between 1955 and 1968, said he often watches the IPL matches. “I follow the Mumbai Indians,” informed the veteran who spends most of the time at home.Asked if youngsters, especially spinners, come to you to seek his advice, the Nadkarni deftly tackled the query. “Where do they have the time? Day in and day out they are playing,” he said, in a way defending the present-generation cricketers for not consulting him.After his Test career, Nadkarni served as a national team manager, his most memorable stint being India’s tour of Australia in 1980-81, when Sunil Gavaskar’s team staged a remarkable comeback to win the third and final Test in Melbourne to level the series 1-1. On that tour, Nadkarni was assistant manager to Shahid Ali Khan Durrani, who saved the potentially explosive situation in Melbourne when Gavaskar almost threatened to concede the match.
Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NU extends win streak to 64, sweeps UE for 4th straight women’s hoops title MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims But it has since faired in and out of the podium with Salinggawi’s last championship happening back in 2006. Salinggawi hit a low point in 2013 when the famed group finished at seventh and the term “Sawinggawi” was infamously coined to mock the once formidable cheerdance institution.is current Salinggawi crop is not letting that 11-year drought taunt them.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We want to bring back the glory days of UST,” said Salinggawi team captain Benjo Gutierrez in Filipino after taking the silver medal of Season 80 Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “We want to become like the original Tigers who won five straight.”UST’s second-place finish was its second in three years, and although it’s still not the luster the Salinggawi is looking for, it’s a step back the right direction. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Malditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads MOST READ Salinggawi Dance Troupe performs during the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere was a time in the history of the UAAP cheerdance competition when the Salinggawi Dance Troupe of University of Santo Tomas would just show up and take the trophy.UST was the first dynasty of the exhibition after winning eight titles in the first 12 years of the competition. ADVERTISEMENT “We have to be passionate, trust the process, and trust ourselves,” said Gutierrez.And pushing the current Salinggawi is a former member turned rookie head coach Marc Chaiwalla who orchestrated UST to 638.50 points in his first UAAP competition.Gutierrez said it was Chaiwalla who pushed them past their limits and made them realize that they are capable of achieving more than what they initially thought of.“Our coach challenged us to be more fearless, to be bolder,” said Gutierrez. “He challenged us to exceed our expectations, he pushed us to newfound capabilities we never knew we could do.”“At first there was an adjustment period when he took over, a really long one, but we trusted the process rather than complaining,” said Gutierrez.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay