Category Archives: Sports

From a wow to a whinge- A weekend of Indian Sport!

From a wow to a whinge- A weekend of Indian Sport!

As the weekend of exciting sporting action came to an end, , the two days gave us plenty to cheer

about- Force India finishing at the podium and the Indians defeating the Koreans at their home turf to

enter the Davis Cup World Group Playoffs. Save the World Cup T20 final, this weekend has been the

celebration of Indian sport indeed.

India’s Tennis stars gave us reasons to celebrate as Team India notched up a historic win over

Koreans in their backyard- A terrific feat in itself; and a spot in the World Group Playoffs- An icing on

the cake! As Somdev Devvarman continued on his peachy form, he put the final nail on the coffin by

defeating Korean top-seed Yong-Kyu Lim and taking the team through. The Indian Davis Cup team,

with just one third-set loss, won the majority of the Korean ties, handing the Koreans a shocking 3-

1 defeat. Busting quite the move in Busan, the Indian Team is all set to announce its arrival on the

India’s winning streak came to a halt when India lost the World T20 finals to the 4-time unsuccessful

World Cup veterans- Sri Lanka, who pulled a rabbit out of their hat, winning the tournament, putting

an end to the Finals Jinx. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, played to their strengths and

exploited our weaknesses quite well. Chasing a modest total of just 130 runs, the Lankan stalwarts

took the game away from us after a squeaky start. The relieved Jayawardene-Sangakkara duo played

their last T20 game and won hearts winning the cup for the country, one last time.

Shifting gears, after a long 5 year wait, since Giancarlo Fisichella put Force India on pole at the iconic

Spa Francorchomps in Belgium, he followed up with a historic 2nd place finish, marking the team’s

first podium in 29 starts. The 2014 season has thus far seen a resurgence in the strength of Mercedes

powered teams, now taking up the top three spots in the Constructors World Championship. In

perhaps an all-time classic, Sergio Perez fought hard to stay third, taking his first podium for the

season and the team’s second ever podium finish. It may not have been a ‘first’, but with strong

finishes from both the Force India drivers, the team now for the very first time, finds itself in 2nd place

in the Constructors Championship.

With a historic Davis Cup win, a shocking defeat and an honourable position at the F1 podium- the

weekend was quite the ideal dose of sporting entertainment we all love with a little bit of everything.

Here’s looking forward to weekends of such wins without the spoilsport of any whinge.

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From the desk of a Sachinist… Blog by a fan of Collectabillia – Manish Agarwal

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Well, there are something in the world which money can’t buy….but the limited edition shoes with God’s real autograph is not that at all…if I wanted and had that much of surplus funds i.e. 80K, I would had certainly bought the same long time back since it was launched in Collectabillia, but it was destiny and God’s blessings that I had to win the lucky draw contest from Collectabillia itself and save that 80K for my Dhwani’s (my daughter) future. You would appreciate that every penny counts for ones kids 
I can’t explain in words the amount of inner satisfaction, completeness which I got when my name was announced as the winner of the contest which I had waited, waited and waited so so long…but as said in “better late than never” or “bhagwan ke ghar main der hai andher nahi”…and finally the wait paid off…on a personal note, I didn’t had to wait so long to find my life partner Anamika and get married to her, which happened in just 45 days…
And to my surprise, you guys shipped the shoes the same day you announced me as the winner…in the past by God’s grace I have won a few contests, but have never seen such fast service…for this you earned one extra brownie point from my side…I was in office when the courier was delivered at my residence on Feb 24, 2014 and got a call from my wife that a courier has come…and I knew that “This is it…finally”…but had to wait for at least 6 hours to reach home and grab my hands onto the same…opened the packing and there came the most awaited New Family Member into my small “memorabilia collection”…and wait…then I saw something written on the shoes…it says “007 of 100” – while I would had wanted the number to be read as “010 of 100” or “100 of 100” (is there any scope for exchange 😉 see – Yeh Dil Mange more) which means this was one of the 100 pair of shoes and the number is 007 – so much significance, like 7 wonders of the world, days of the week, etc….oops how can I forget James Bond 007…and yes my email ID also is manishagarwal007@gmail.com and last but not the least 7 is also the jersey number of our current India captain i.e. Captain Cool Dhoni 
Sachin has always been my idol at least for the last 15 years to be true and have not seen such a humble person…he has actually shown the world that when one can actually live his / her dreams and see them come together…hats off to his…today also whenever I hear his farewell speech I still get tears in my eyes as whatever he said was straight from the heart…
I infact yesterday received a 200gms Silver Coin which was issued by a Private Jeweller a few months back, before writing this letter.
Thanks would be a small word for the Priceless stuff you have given me.
Once a Sachinist…Always a Sachinist


Boom boom GONE!

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Lights, camera, action! The field was set, the colours were out and HOW!  That’s right it was that time of the cricket calendar one of the biggest rivalries in the world of cricket came to life – It was India vs. Pakistan at Bangladesh this Sunday- And sadly for us, it was weekend ruined!

While all traffic across the country came to a halt and Facebook and Twitter started trending with #IndVsPak, our bowlers witnessed some ‘boom-boom’ fireworks, Shahid Afridi style- not the kinds we were hoping for though, especially as the last two sixes almost brought a certain finger belonging to Mr. Kohli out! 

With Rohit Sharma giving his two-minute noodles a miss and scoring a half century, and a certain Mr. Rayadu also stepping up, we posted quite a modest total- 245, Yeah, modest if you are sure of bowling line-up; not so modest if you have a line-up that is more favourable to the opponent. Though we took the game to the very last over, we had opportunities to finish it off as soon as Pakistan went on a self-destruction mode- putting up a nine-pin act towards the end.

All said and well, undone, we took the match to the final over. A matter of nerves Kohli’s men had quite a breakdown. Between Ashwin infamously emulating Chetan Sharma to an extent and Dinesh Karthik losing the plot, we gave away the match and let Mr. Boom Boom Afridi become the first batsman to hit 50 sixes against India. Boom boom indeed!

Winning with the narrowest margin ever in Asia Cup- 1 wicket, Pakistan is a step away from finals- the step of conquering the host. As for us, we are nearly there too, there as spectators that is. We need to beat the underdogs of the tournament- Afghanistan with a huge margin to earn that coveted bonus point. The only way to win pull this miracle off- echo of a billion heartbeats!


Sold!

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2008 was a defining year for International Cricket as the Indian Premier League made a grand debut. Smothered with money and all the glitz and glamour that the high-profile team owners brought along, the ‘cricketainment’ began and how! With all big names going under the hammer, the IPL auctions have come on their own and have become the perfect pot-boiler for all ages. Audience verdict: SOLD!

A perfect starter to the main course that IPL is, the auctions, to many, have become more entertaining than the tournament itself. Let’s take this year for example- two days of ruthlessness, of entertainment and of new beginnings.

The flamboyant Mr. Mallya went all guns blazing and lightened his wallet by shelling out 14 crores for Yuvraj Singh. With the highest price tag of this season, beating his ‘best friend’ Kevin Pietersen by quite some crores, the man from Punjab is headed south to play for the Red and Gold Brigade- the Royal Challengers from Bangalore.  So that’s Yuvi, Kohli and Gayle all in the same mix- quite the party starter, hopefully on the field too. As if this wasn’t quite the heart-stopper, one of the biggest surprises, or shocks, came as Dinesh Karthik became the second costliest on the IPL grocery list. Why the Delhi franchise decided to cough up such an amount for the player? Well, a huge part of Daredevilry lies in taking risks, right?! Even players like Rishi Dhawan and Karn Sharma hit the cash register pretty hard- over 3 crores each! Another pleasant surprise was how the team owners showed their trust in buddying and established Indian talents instead of going after international bigwigs, a theory only time will validate.

While these were some of the surprise, there were quite a few shocks too. With the Ranji winning Karntaka team being completely snubbed by the state’s franchise, there were quite a few questions raised. Another shock came as the Sri Lankan and English players were snubbed due to availability issues. How’s this for a shocker: Dilshan, one of the most explosive T20 batsmen: UNSOLD!

With so much money being showered over the sport and players being bought and sold like mere items, the question remains- How much is too much?

 


At football’s BECK and call!

If there was ever a checklist for a Football Superstar, David Robert Joseph Beckham a.k.a Becks would not only have checked all the boxes, but also would have added a few more benchmarks of his own. Style, chutzpah, charisma, coupled with some gifted skills with the football, the lad from London has made it BIG and how! After a successful stint at playing football across the world, Becks has now decided to be an active part of the South Beach boardroom, becoming the owner of the Miami franchise at the MLS expansion team. Like a boss!

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If his determination on-field is anything to go by, Beckham’s stint at managing a team would not only be successful but also would be an example of how far a man would go to prove his love for the game- giving back to world of football, who has made him what he is today!

Even here as an owner, like throughout his career, Beckham has his tasks cut out for him- first things first, getting a stadium for the team in Miami will not be easy. Considering the political pressures and a vibrant real estate market that is driving up its price with each passing minute, building the stadium will be quite a challenge. But this is DAVID BECKHAM we’re talking about! The man, whose charm has even got Barack Obama singing praises. Can the iron of his charm straighten these creases out- we’d like to hope so! After all Beckham was the one who famously said: “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – There cannot be a better occasion for him to validate this statement.

Determined to make football the next big sport in the U.S.A, Beckham will do all that it takes to popularize and promote the sport that he has loved and valued perhaps only next to his family. With efforts like these we can sure see Beckham, bending it American style!


‘WAW’ing and ‘WINK’ing

This year’s Australian Open saw the emergence of Stanislas Wawrinka, a Swiss tennis star who took the tournament by a storm. Defeating the incredible Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Grand Slam, Wawrinka has got everyone talking about him.
So what is it about this man, apart from his natural racquet skills, that make him such a hit with the tennis fans across the world? After being shadowed by fellow countryman- the 17-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer throughout his career, Wawrinka decided to change things around a bit. He worked, tweaked with his technique and through an undying determination lifted his first-ever Grand Slam Trophy. He also decided, it was time he announced his grand arrival in the World Tennis stage- he overtook his compatriot in the World Rankings and now stands third in the coveted order. Immediately after his maiden Grand Slam Victory, he was also congratulated by an ecstatic Roger Federer, who was quite the sport while letting Wawrinka know how he was ‘crazy with happiness’ for the latter’s victory. Quite a heart-warming tale isn’t it?!
Homecoming after that fairy-tale victory, was also quite a delightful occasion for the 28-year old. In his beautiful little hometown, 20 kilometres from Lausanne, his family, friends and everyone from his village gathered together to congratulate him and express their delight on having only the second Swiss Grand Slam winner amongst them.
After the celebration, after the adulation, Wawrinka is back in action. Leading the Swiss charge alongside Roger Federer, we hope Switzerland’s newest poster boy has more reasons to celebrate this year.
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Michael Schumacher- The Red Baron

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Statistically, the greatest driver of all time, there is no record that the Red baron hasn’t blitzed in his racing hay-day. A seven-time world champion who just fell shy of a probable 9. His impact on the sport has been so immense, that rules needed to be changed, the point system re-worked and team orders abolished, all to make the sport seem more competitive, as for the largest part of his career the races finished much like they began in practice, with Schumacher at the very front.

Now, with his retirement well settled much like the ash of Mount Vesuvius over the city of Pompeii, we can wind back the clock to those glory days, and gaze in amazement, of how a single man changed the sport forever.

Witnessing a drop of sweat on Schumacher’s brow after a hard fought three hour race was as rare a sighting as that of a purple moon. It was not uncommon among the generation of racers that preceded Schumacher to be hauled out of their machines, nor was it surprising to see them so visibly drained that they struggled to make it to the top step of the podium, without bending over to catch their breath. Schumacher, on the other hand celebrated his race victories with his typical trademark victory leap, atop the top step of the podium. He took fitness to a whole other level, spending countless hours in the gym, to sculpt himself into the perfect race car driver. His fitness was on par with football and Tennis stars the world over. It was Schumacher that inspired teams around the paddock to mandate such levels of fitness for generations to come.

It is no secret that Schumacher took the concept of teamwork to a new level during his time at Ferrari. From the very start of his career, he understood and appreciated the importance of the people around him. He was never just a driver, but a crucial part of the management team and a key advisor on how the entire package for the season should be developed.
First at Benetton then at Ferrari he focused on getting the team, and the figure-heads above not on his side of the garage. Tragically, his team-mates were there simply as another part of his armoury, to help him out “for the sake of the championship” if ever, he needed their support.
What made Schumacher such an inspiration was his will to succeed, his ability to post blistering lap times at the most crucial points of the race, his smile and wit in front of the world media and his ability to always remain cool, calm and collected. But, what really made Schumacher stand out was his ferocity on the track, and his endless desire to continue wining. It is this indomitable spirit of Schumacher that we hope revives the Red Baron to the legions of fans standing by on vigil.

Schumacher’s Records:
• Total Race Wins-91
• Most Wins in a Season-13
• Most consecutive race wins from the start of the season-5
• Total Pole Positions-68
• Total Fastest Laps-77
• Most Fastest Laps in a season-18
• Most Podium Finishes-155
• Most Podium Finishes in a season-17
• Most Consecutive Podium finishes-19
• Most Consecutive Podium finishes from first race of the season-17
• Total Races Finished in the points-221
• Race Leader for at least 1 lap-142
• Most laps led, total-5111
• Longest distance led- 24,148 Kms
• Pole position and subsequent victory in the same race-40
• Pole, wins and fastest laps in the same race-22
• World Champions with most races left in the season- 6 races to go
• Most consecutive races as championship leader-37
• Most consecutive days as world champion-1813 days
• Most wins with the same team- 72( Ferrari)