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 on: November 04, 2015, 03:57:38 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Yogeshwar pips friend Sushil

Our Special Correspondent
New Delhi: India's Olympic medal-winning wrestlers - Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt - attracted highest bids among the "icon" wrestlers, during the Pro Wrestling league (PWL) auction, in the capital, on Tuesday.

In fact, Yogeshwar, a bronze medallist in the 2012 London Olympics, did better than Sushil as the Haryana franchise bought him for Rs 39.70 lakh in the 65kg category, after some fierce bidding with their Mumbai, Punjab and Delhi counterparts.

However, Oksana Herhel, a woman grappler from the Ukraine, was sold for Rs 41.30 lakh to Haryana. A gold medallist in the world championships, she emerged the overall top priced wrestler in the league. Her base price was Rs 33 lakh

A total of six "icon" wrestlers, four of them Indians, went under the hammer first, in a five-star facility here. Six franchises - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Punjab, Haryana and UP - went for the bidding. All "icon" players had a base price of Rs 33 lakh.

When Sushil's name was announced first, Delhi were the first to start the bidding, but Mumbai, UP and Punjab joined in soon in an effort to grab the services of the double Olympic medallist. Finally, UP bought the 74 kg star for Rs 38.20 lakh. The other wrestlers clubbed in the "icon" category were Narsingh Yadav in the 74 kg, female wrestler Geeta Phogat in the 58 kg, star female foreigners American Adeline Gray and Sweden's Sofia Mattsson.


 on: November 04, 2015, 03:55:04 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Pro Vijender has a great future: Amir

New Delhi: British boxer Amir Khan, whose roots are in Pakistan, was overwhelmed by the love and hospitality he received during his five-day stay in India. "I never expected this kind of love and warmth," said Amir, on Tuesday, on the sidelines of an event to announce his plan to launch an academy in the capital.

"I was here for the first time and attended a couple of weddings, including that of Harbhajan Singh. I also went to Ajmer Sharif. It was an unforgettable experience. I would definitely come back again," said the boxer, who was born to a Pakistani family in England.

"India is a beautiful place. I always wanted to come here. My parents were here during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and my brother (Haroon) boxed here in Delhi. It's my first time here, and I think it's an amazing place," he added.

Amir shot into fame in 2004 when at 17, he became the youngest British boxer to win an Olympic silver medal.

"I am setting up five academies in Pakistan and they will be ready in about one year. Then once the academy in India takes off, who knows you might have bouts between boys from both sides. So there will be fights, but with a referee in between," Amir said.

Asked what he felt about the future of Indian boxing, Amir said: "I believe India can produce a Muhammad Ali. I cannot accept that with that huge population and talent that you guys have, it's not possible. "

Amir said he was impressed with Vijender Singh, who turned professional recently. The Indian made his professional debut by knocking out Britain's Sonny Whiting in Manchester last month.

"Vijender is doing really well. Obviously, the transition was going to be hard from an amateur to professional. But he has done it wonderfully. He has a great future ahead of him. We need more people like Vijender because having more people like him will promote boxing in India."


 on: November 04, 2015, 03:45:36 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Rahul Dravid was India's best player away from home: Matthew Hayden

Abhimanyu Mathur | TNN | Nov 4, 2015, 07.04 PM IST

Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden is no stranger to India. This is the place where his Test career was given a new lease of life through his performances on the 2000-01 tour. Some of his best innings were against Indian bowling and he also had a successful stint during the IPL here. His recent visit to the country, however, was not as a player but as a coach. He coached a group of about 60 cricketers from different age groups during a camp organised by the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association in Noida. We caught up with him on the sidelines, where he told us about his assessment of the talent in the region, why Rahul Dravid is the best role model for young cricketers, and which Indian dish is his absolute favourite.

Today, Indian cricketers are known for their aggressive game. Do you see a bit of the Australian cricketing approach in this?
Everyone has an aggressive approach here, that's for sure, and that is somewhat similar to the way we play back in Australia too. But I feel it's a product of the pitches they play on, which are batsman-friendly and where it's easy to strike the ball. But the main reason behind this I think is that the role models for budding cricketers in this region over the last 10 or 15 years have also been quite attacking in their approach to the game. You have your Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, and of course MS Dhoni. They're all stroke players and play a fearless, aggressive brand of cricket. From what I've learnt, they are extremely popular in the small towns here. The youngsters here start off following the likes of Dhoni and Kohli and Sehwag. I've been attracted to Indian cricket for a long time, and now that I've retired from the game, I can see the influence of these masters on the kids here through my interactions with them.

So not many followers of Dravid, in that case?
I've said it many times and I'll say it again. I feel Rahul Dravid is the best role model for kids. I told the kids at the training camp in Noida that they need to look up to someone like Dravid as a role model. Even though he was rightly called the 'Wall' and he based his game purely on defence, he was a great competitor. He made so many runs away from home, which is the hallmark of a great player. He was India's best player away from home and in order to be the best in the world, you have to be the best around the world, not just at home. That's what set Dravid apart.

You were in Noida for a coaching camp. Are you looking at full-time coaching in the future?
Not really, because I run a research and analysis production agency back home. We create and produce TV and radio programs related to sports. So you could say I'm on the other side of the camera now.

In that case, what was it that compelled you to take up the coaching/mentoring stint in UP?
That's due to two reasons. One, because I still love the game and wanted to contribute to it in any way possible. I chose UP because of my relationship with Suresh Raina. I've known him since our IPL days. Suresh and I are like brothers; we played four seasons together and we still remain in touch constantly. He approached me about this and that's what got me here. According to me, I'm just trying to help the emerging talent from the region. From what I see, young cricketers of India are seriously talented. They already have a fair idea of how to develop their game, which is great. Looking at the kids in India, I'm convinced that the future of Indian cricket is secure.

You certainly know a lot about the talent from this region. You've played with and against a few players from UP during your international career and in the IPL.
Like other regions in India, the game is alive and well in UP. The state has contributed some fine players to the game. Suresh Raina is one of the most talented ones I've seen. Then there's Praveen Kumar, the way he went about his game was a joy to watch. RP Singh, who is also from this region, was a decent bowler too. It's a really good set-up and it's a big state, so it's natural that there'll be ample talent here.

Your career was resurrected on that 2000-01 tour and you have played well in the IPL for over three seasons. What is your fondest memory from your trips to India?
I won't talk about one memory because my entire experience here has been pretty memorable. Apart from the cricket itself, I've always felt very relaxed and comfortable in India. I've admired and appreciated the affection that India has shown me over the years. Right from the start, I've felt that the people of India love cricket more than any other place in the world that I've travelled to. As a cricketer, it's a nice feeling. So, I've always had a very lovely association with the people, the game and the food here. The general culture here, the way you celebrate your festivals. There seems to be no indifference among the people of India.

You spoke about the food here. That's something that India is known for. As a cricketer, you probably had your dietary restrictions but now you must be free to indulge. Any favourites in India?

Here, you are famous for your tandoors, sheesh kebabs and things like that. I think Lucknow and Delhi are famous for that. Just like when you say biryani, you think Hyderabad, North India expresses itself through its meats. Then you have the Rajasthani platters, which are magical. So, it's great coming to these parts of the country. I love food; so, to me, it's an easy and diverse place to eat. Talking about favourites, I really loved the buffalo milk curd here, and of course the pickles. I love how they play with the flavours on that one. It's something that is always very tasty yet simple. Then you have your signature Indian breads like the phulkas, the naans, and the parathas. All that stuff is simply magic. But the best and my absolute favourite by a long way is the yellow dal. That's a kind of comfort food for me.


 on: November 04, 2015, 07:27:14 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Saurav Ganguly: Right choice, but challenges aplenty

It was a paradigm shift. Forgive me for drawing a musical analogy, but it was like changing the tenor from Rabindrasangeet to Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up.
By: Shamik Chakrabarty | October 18, 2015 12:15 AM

It was a paradigm shift. Forgive me for drawing a musical analogy, but it was like changing the tenor from Rabindrasangeet to Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) was unveiling its sponsor for Bengal teams across formats and age groups. The whole thing had been given the spice it deserved. Welcome to Sourav Ganguly’s domain.
No disrespect to the late Jagmohan Dalmiya. He gave Bengal cricket its identity. But he was a little old-school in terms of managing his home association. His colleagues never tried to convince him that a change was necessary.
Ganguly, at 43 years of age, is the CAB’s youngest-ever president. He’s expected to be refreshingly different.
Ganguly’s nomination as CAB president had sparked criticisms from different quarters because the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, announced his name at the state secretariat. It was a departure from the norm. The president’s nomination is the state association’s prerogative, be it by consensus or through elections. After all, it was the CAB’s internal matter. But extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures. Dalmiya was a giant of an administrator and his sudden demise had created a serious leadership void. Only Ganguly had the stature to fill the big boots, his relative inexperience in cricket administration notwithstanding. The chief minister took the right decision, notwithstanding the fact that the process had irked other aspirants. Remember, the Supreme Court had appointed Sunil Gavaskar as BCCI president (IPL) in the wake of the 2013 spot-fixing and betting controversy.
There’s an apprehension that Ganguly’s appointment will allow the ruling Trinamool Congress to call the shots in Bengal cricket. But hang on, we must wait and see. If the political party and/or state government overstep their brief, they won’t be spared (by the fans and media).
Those who’ve watched Ganguly over the years know that he’s too strong a personality to be dictated by others. He showed real intent during his 12-month tenure as CAB joint secretary. Roping in VVS Laxman, Muttiah Muralitharan and TA Sekhar for the ‘Vision 20-20’ project to unearth future Test players from Bengal was a very good initiative. He also tried to overhaul local cricket, sending instructions to prepare green-tops for league matches and holding the AN GHOSH Trophy fixtures on matting wickets. He wanted the young players to learn the art of coping with seam movement and extra bounce. Ganguly wanted his association to break out of stagnation.
Unlike Mumbai, Bengal doesn’t have a proper cricket culture. It has produced only two players of international repute since its inception—Pankaj Roy and Ganguly (Dilip Doshi gets an honourable mention). The left-hander, however, made the biggest impact as he went on to become one of India’s finest captains. Frankly speaking, he became Dalmiya’s natural successor once he decided to come into cricket administration last year. Those (in the CAB) who still grumble are prisoners of naivety or over-ambition.
Former players have usually struggled in sports administration. Raj Singh Dungarpur, Polly Umrigar and Ghulam Ahmed were exceptions, but by and large former cricketers have been done in by administrative intrigues. Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad are the latest examples. They learnt the hard way that it was a different world, not as straightforward as a contest between bat and ball. Completely fed up, they decided to walk out of the Karnataka State Cricket Association after three years in charge. Ganguly rightly pointed out that as a captain he had to manage 15 players. Now, he has 121 members to deal with.
He made the right noises in his first press conference after assuming office. Eden Gardens’ infrastructure needs immediate overhaul. Facilities are average compared to other top cricketing venues in the country. Drainage system is archaic. The ground couldn’t take even 14.2 mm of rainfall during the T20 international between India and South Africa on October 8. The match had to be called off without a ball being bowled because of the wet outfield. It added to the long list of bloopers.
Ganguly doesn’t live in denial. He admitted that improvement has become the need of the hour. He has promised to make Eden Gardens world-class within three months. “Every infrastructure needs remodelling. Not just in cricket but in office, business enterprises, everywhere and this association as well. We will try and do the best possible things. I’ve been around the world for 20 years. I’ve seen almost every cricket venues around the world. I know what exists there. Give me some time. I can guarantee you that within the next three months, Eden Gardens will have the same facilities as anywhere else in the world,” he said.
“We’ve got some issues with the ground. We’ve to try and rectify that. It’s not a major issue. We will try and get it sorted. We will try and bring system into the association and make sure that the best possible equipment is available to play cricket,” he added.
Eden Gardens is scheduled to host the World T20 final on April 3 next year and it can’t afford another slip-up. As for Ganguly, CAB president, the challenge will be to get out of Dalmiya’s shadow and “walk on his own feet”.  The hawks will pounce at the first available opportunity. He also must keep the political parties at arm’s length.


 on: November 02, 2015, 07:09:58 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Blast From the Past: Virender Sehwag Reveals Knock That Got him India Cap
Virender Sehwag, who announced his retirement from international cricket and the IPL recently, tweeted about the one special knock that helped him get into the Indian team.
Reported By Siddharth Vishwanathan Last updated on Sunday, 01 November, 2015 21:30 IST

Virender Sehwag says that his knock at Faridabad during a practice game against Zimbabwe in 2000 helped him earn his place in the Indian team.
© AP

New Delhi: Virender Sehwag's journey in Indian cricket is a fascinating story. From his debut in 1999 to his exploits in the IPL in 2014, Sehwag has thrilled the world with his aggressive batting. However, on Sunday, he revealed the one knock that helped him get a berth in the Indian team. Sehwag had announced his retirement on October 20 from both international cricket and IPL.
Sehwag tweeted about an old scorecard that helped him get into the Indian team. He also pointed out that in that match, his strike-rate was sizzling and one to be proud of.

The old scorecard that gave Sehwag the ticket to the Indian team was in the year 2000 when Zimbabwe had come to India for two Tests and five ODIs. Zimbabwe were scheduled to play two warm-up games before the start of the first Test in New Delhi on November 18. After a strong showing in the first warm-up game at Indore, they arrived at the Nahar Singh stadium in Faridabad for their second warm-up game.

The Board President's XI won the toss and chose to bat first and they were in a spot of bother at 119/3. In stepped Sehwag at number six and he shared a magnificent 108-run partnership with Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Sehwag blasted 60 off 78 balls at a strike-rate of 76, including nine fours and two sixes. Thanks to Sehwag's blitz and Kanitkar's century, Board President's XI managed 314/5 declared.
Zimbabwe responded with 236/5 declared and in the second innings, Sehwag slammed a whirlwind 58 off 47 balls, including 13 fours and a strike-rate of 123. Although Board President's XI lost the match by four wickets, his wonderful knocks garnered the attention of the selectors.

After India won the Test and ODI series 1-0 and 4-1 respectively, Sehwag continued his fine form in domestic cricket for Delhi in the 2000/01 season, scoring 757 runs at an average of 58. His good show at home resulted in his call-up for the series against South Africa in 2001 and in the first Test in Bloemfontein, he responded with a magnificent 105 and shared a 220-run stand with his idol, Sachin Tendulkar.
Sehwag's international journey began in 2001 on that cloudy, tough morning in Bloemfontein. 8586 Test runs, 8273 ODI runs later, Sehwag's exploits for India are sensational. However, the seeds of Sehwag's India success were sown in Nahar Singh stadium in Faridabad on a cold, November morning 15 years ago.


 on: November 01, 2015, 07:44:00 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
All Blacks overwhelm Australia to win record third Rugby World Cup

AP | Nov 1, 2015, 08.38 AM IST

LONDON: New Zealand cemented their status as the greatest team in rugby history when they overwhelmed Australia 34-17 at Twickenham on Saturday to become world champions for a record third time, and the first nation to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
Tries from Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma'a Nonu had the All Blacks cruising 21-3 early in the second half before Ben Smith's yellow card opened the door for Australia, who got back within four points with tries by David Pocock and Tuvita Kuridrani.
But flyhalf Dan Carter, who missed most of the 2011 tournament through injury and who is retiring from international rugby after Saturday's match, stepped up with an exquisite drop goal and a 50-metre penalty to put the result beyond doubt.
Replacement wing Beauden Barrett applied the black icing to the Kiwi World Cup cake with a late try which Carter converted to take his personal tally to 19 points. New Zealand have lost just three times in 54 matches since their triumph on home soil four years ago, and have won every World Cup match since losing to France in the 2007 quarter-finals.
"I'm pretty grateful to be where I am considering what happened four years ago," said Carter, who was also part of the unsuccessful 2003 and 2007 campaigns. I'm so proud of the team. To win back-to-back World Cups is a dream come true. It's a pretty strong group of guys. We try to do things no other team has done before... it's a special feeling to be part of such a great team."
New Zealand looked on their game from the start, zipping the ball sharply along the lines and creating quick ball at every ruck to keep the Wallabies on the back foot. Their pressure enabled Carter to thump over three penalties to one from Bernard Foley to make it 9-3 after half an hour. But it was a controversial lead.
Referee Nigel Owens missed a clear forward pass by Milner-Skudder moments before penalising the Wallabies, and though 80,000 fans inside Twickenham and millions around the world could see it on replays, the strict TMO protocols prevented the officials from checking the incident -- although they could have done had it led to a try instead of a penalty. Australia suffered another blow when they lost centre Matt Giteau to a head injury and their first-half misery was completed when Conrad Smith, Aaron Smith and Richie McCaw fired the ball wide for Milner-Skudder to score in the corner
Carter converted for a 16-3 halftime lead and it took only two minutes of the second half for New Zealand to effectively put the game to bed. Sonny Bill Williams, on for Conrad Smith, delivered a trademark offload to Nonu and the centre tore through some soft defending and sprinted 30 metres to mark his 103rd and last New Zealand appearance with a killer try.
Australia, as always, refused to lie down though and immediately roared back into the attack. Smith was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Drew Mitchell -- the first yellow card in a final -- and from the resulting penalty Australia drove over the line with Pocock the man at the bottom. Foley converted to make it 21-10 with 28 minutes remaining. That spurred Australia into greater efforts and they got their second try after 63 minutes when a probing kick by Will Genia bounced perfectly for Foley who fed Kuridrani to slide over and with Foley slotting the conversion they were back within four points.
The atmosphere at Twickenham revved, but once again it was the cool head of Carter who regained control. The flyhalf, whose dropped goal in the semi-final against South Africa set in motion a momentum shift that turned that match, slotted another despite being under huge pressure. Carter then applied the coup de grace with a 50-metre penalty to make it 27-17 with five minutes remaining.
Australia attacked again but great defence kept them out and Ben Smith then kicked into space for the fresh-legged replacement winger Barrett to collect the ball and score under the posts. The New Zealand bench erupted, celebrating their third triumph after 1987 and 2011, and their first on foreign soil.
"It's a great way to finish," said their coach Steve Hansen of Carter's orchestration of the win. "You couldn't script it any better."


 on: October 31, 2015, 02:51:54 PM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Should a player who played for 13 years not deserve a farewell match, asks Virender Sehwag

PTI | Oct 31, 2015, 05.52 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Virender Sehwag who has recently called time on his glorious international cricket career, says the sadness of being "deprived of a farewell game shall always remain" in his mind.
"Had the selectors told me that they were going to drop me, I could have requested them to allow me to play my last Test in Delhi and then announce my retirement, but they did not give me that opportunity.
"A sort of sadness shall always remain in my mind that I was not allowed to retire while playing, but anyway, it's all a part of life for a sportsman, who, while playing, never realises when he should retire, but he starts thinking about it when he is dropped," Sehwag said in a TV show.
The explosive batsman made 23 Test centuries and 15 tons in ODIs.
"I would like to ask: Should not a player who has played 12 to 13 years for his country, deserve a farewell match?"
On organisers planning to give him a farewell during the forthcoming Test in Delhi between India and South Africa starting December 3, Sehwag said: "If that is so, it will be good. If BCCI cannot organise, at least DDCA should do. It's not a question of me alone, every player who retires should get a farewell."
The former opener said there should be fixed criteria for selection of players, whether senior or junior.
"If a player fails to perform in four or five consecutive matches, he should be dropped irrespective of whether he is a senior or a junior player," he said.
Sehwag recounted an incident involving Australian player Michael Clarke.
"I and Sachin were batting in Australia. Michael Clarke had been inducted fresh. He was frequently telling Sachin 'you're too old, you can't field, you can't do this, you can't do that'. I went up to Clarke and asked his age. He said, 23. I told him Tendulkar has made more centuries than your age".

The 37-year-old further said, "Had India played two more Test series against Pakistan, I could have completed 10,000 Test runs. I have made 8,586 Test runs. We stopped playing home series or away series against Pakistan since 2006. If you see my batting averages particularly against Pakistan, you will find my batting averages between 90 and 100."
Asked why he had been prolific in his performances particularly against Pakistan, Sehwag said, "It's because of rivalry between both countries in sports. The grounds are always full, and the expectations among fans are high. This is because Pakistan was earlier a part of undivided India, that's why the rivalry is big and everybody becomes excited."


 on: October 31, 2015, 06:32:24 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
My name is Khan, and I feel safe in India: Amir Khan

Siddharth Saxena | TNN | Oct 31, 2015, 08.36 AM IST

Amir Khan, a Britisher of Pakistani origin, is on his first trip to India. Normally, such a description would seem unnecessary, Olympic silver medallist (at 17!) should be more fitting. Amir himself would frown inwardly to it, though those big, earnest eyes do well not to betray it. But these are strange times. India will continue to not play Pakistan in sport; worse, eminent Pakistanis will not be allowed in cities once famous for their multiculturalism, ink flows freely, not in creating words of protest but as a shaming medium and there is no apology or remorse for any of it.
Maybe we are stretching the Khan's Pakistan-iyat here. He is, after all, a Bolton boy through and through, but then it is also true that Amir Khan is the most-famous Pakistani out of Pakistan. He ticks all the boxes in the rabble-rousers' hate list. But Amir himself can't really understand what the fuss is all about. Sinking deeper in his chair, leaning back, arm stretched over his head for more comfort, he says with a wry smile, "Hey, I feel safe here. No problem."
He asks you how to get to Ajmer Sahrif Dargah, apart from the Taj Mahal, and then tells us that countries need to play sport with each other if they have to hope to correct wrongs - perceived or otherwise. "What sport does, boxing, it could be cricket, is that it brings countries together. It re-unites them.

"As a boxer, that's what I think will happen. Boxing will change the perspective of how people think. By having academies, boxing shows and events (between India and Pakistan), it's the only way forward to break these barriers. With whatever's going on in the political part, the only way to beat this is by having sport," he says.
"As a Pakistani I want to say I feel safe here and I want to promote sports here. I go to Pakistan a lot too. Both are beautiful places. And I'd like to see more people travelling to and fro. There is a lot of peace in this country. We have to send the right message. I think it is sport that can get people out of poverty."he says.

While he is usually in a quandary over whom to support when England plays Pakistan, Amir is clear that India and Pakistan should play more often. "Definitely. We should learn from each other and work for each other. Sports breaks all boundaries. It brings people together. Imagine how amazing it would be to see India and Pakistan fans together. Supporting the same sport together instead of fighting each other."

Today, a good decade since he became Britain's youngest-ever Olympic medallist and promptly turned professional, Amir Khan is at a peculiar stage of his career. He feels fitter than ever, trains better but are the options on the wane? Despite all the talent and popularity, the big ticket breakthrough fight doesn't seem to happen. Maybe it is his current weight category - welterweight - that is the curse. "At the moment, the world welterweight category is very exciting," he explains, "The Top 10 in the class are very close and breaking through is not easy."

He has learnt to live with not being 'chosen' to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr and then have the strange disappointment of seeing another - Andre Berto -- from his gym picked to fight the American in his farewell bout. Then there's the uncertainty over the much-desired Manny Pacquiao meeting next year, with Amir declaring, almost with a sense of desperation, that he is the front-runner to challenge the legendary Filipino. And at the current stage, in a possible new career turn, maybe even a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) endeavour, though Amir remains cagey about his participation despite labelling it a sport with a great future.
Till then, all Amir Khan can do is wait.
In 2006, there was that famous interview when novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi visited him in Bolton. A 19-year-old Amir, fresh from signing on the professional contract, spoke of how he would be thinking of retirement at 27 or 28. Today, at 28, Amir laughs it off. "Hey I was just 19 then. You don't look that far ahead when you are 19. You are more involved with the moment then.
"My mum always keeps asking me, 'Amir, you still haven't retired.' My body seems better today than five years ago. I have a good ten years in the tank," he exclaims.
Today, a decade later, he is also aware of his responsibility of the multiple Amir Khans that he carries within his persona - British Muslim dispelling growing suspicion of Muslims worldwide to a global symbol of Asian sporting excellence.

"I get pulled over (at airports) in the US because my name pops up and they say it's a routine check. I'm 100% against the terrorism and against killing people. And I also stand up against all that being a Pakistani-Muslim-British guy, it doesn't say in the Quran to kill innocent people. These are things that some silly people do. People need to get on with each other. Boxing does that, it brings people together. It has done that for me.
Somewhere, Ali-like, the dream is to become the People's Champion. "There is a difference between Mayweather, he's not a people's champion. I want to be a People's Champion. After my boxing career, people will still talk about that he helped communities.

Through his Amir Khan Foundation, which has helped carry out a lot of work in Pakistan during the floods and earthquake, the boxer wants to extend to India too. "I want to help India too, where people need help. India's population is huge and I'd like to do my bit and support them."
The current plan, though, is the setting up of academies. "I'm in India now, I'm also spending a lot of time in Asia and the plan is building boxing academies around the world. We have lots of them in England, we are building one in Doha, opening five in Pakistan."
"As far as the facilities are concerned, we are going to start with one in Delhi and one in Mumbai. I think that's where champions come from, champions come from grassroots."


 on: October 30, 2015, 06:51:54 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Sachin Tendulkar did not do full justice to his talent: Kapil Dev
Last updated on Friday, 30 October, 2015, 07:39 AM

Stirring a hornet's nest, former India captain Kapil Dev has suggested that Sachin Tendulkar, despite his numerous records, may not have done full justice to his talent. Tendulkar "did not know how to make double hundreds, triple hundreds and 400 though he had the ability to scale such peaks" and was "stuck in the Bombay school of cricket", the famed all-rounder said.

"Don't get me wrong, but I think Sachin didn't do justice to his talent," Kapil was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times during an event in Dubai. Kapil said Sachin could have modelled himself more on Vivian Richards and played like Virender Sehwag. "He (Sachin) got stuck with Bombay cricket. He didn't apply himself to ruthless international cricket. I think he should have spent more time with Vivian Richards than some of the Bombay guys who played just neat and straight cricket," he said. Kapil Dev's comments are sure to rile a lot of Tendulkar supporters not just in Mumbai but all across the cricketing fraternity. It's also clear that Kapil took a dig at Mumbai cricket while speaking on Tendulkar.

Reacting to Kapil's thoughts, former India cap tain and Mumbai stalwart Ajit Wadekar told TOI, "Records didn't matter to Sachin. He played for the team. And when it comes to Bombay school of cricket, I think Sachin knew how to win games. That's what's important."

Kapil said he would have advised Tendulkar to play like Sehwag. "He (Sachin) had the ability. He was technically sound but I felt he was there to get his hundred and that's it. Unlike Richards, Sachin wasn't ruthless; he was more of a perfect, or rather correct cricketer. Had I spent more time with him I would have told him 'Go enjoy yourself, play like Virender Sehwag'. You will be a much better cricketer."

The 56-year-old made these remarks before a select crowd at an event at a Dubai hotel which also had legends like Shane Warne, Wasim Akram and Ian Botham.

Former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi, however felt that the Kapil's observations were 'elder brotherly' in nature. "It's an elder brother kind of observation. If the report is true, I feel Kapil felt Sachin was capable of much more, without undermining what he has achieved. And speaking about Bombay cricket, Kapil is probably implying that he could have been more carefree and flamboyant and not khadoos. I would have appreciated this if this advice had come earlier when Sachin was playing."

Kapil hasn't had the highest respect for Mumbai cricket over the years. During his playing days, Kapil had taken pot shots on Mumbai cricket. He has been critical of Tendulkar too on occasions in the past. In 2003, Kapil had slammed the government for waiving the Rs 1.13 crore duty on the Ferrari car gifted to Tendulkar by Fiat.



 on: October 22, 2015, 03:43:08 AM 
Started by Blwe_torch - Last post by Blwe_torch
Sehwag was whistling as we began chasing 325 in NatWest Trophy final, says Ganguly

TNN | Oct 21, 2015, 08.05 AM IST

As Virender Sehwag quits international cricket, Sourav Ganguly, the man under whose captaincy he made his Test debut, analyses what made Sehwag a true great who revolutionised the opener's role in Tests.
In my book, along with Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag is one of the greatest opening batsmen the world has seen. Viru was not as technically gifted as Gavaskar, but his transformation from a middle-order batsman to a successful opener and the loads of runs he scored both home and overseas bear testimony to his unique craftsmanship with the willow.
In fact, he went on to revolutionise the opener's role with his aggressive approach. What set him apart was his mindset. He always backed himself to take on bowlers, irrespective of their reputation. He has been criticised for taking undue risks at times and getting out, but if the ball landed in his 'zone', he would back himself to hit it to the boundary, or beyond. I remember Viru hit ting a six to get to a hundred and send the ball over the rope to get to a double hundred.
His confidence stemmed from a deep-rooted belief in his own ability. I will never forget the NatWest Trophy final. When the two of us were walking out to chase England's 325, Sehwag was whistling. I was tense and told him to focus on the task. He told me, 'Captain, we will win this game'!
Sehwag didn't dabble too much into technique because he liked to keep things simple. Yet, he had the basics right. The head was always still and the still and the bat always came down straight. I have been privileged to see some of his best knocks and I would rate his century against England on a green top at Trent Bridge in 2002 as his best in Test cricket. The manner in which he negotiated Hoggard, Harmison and Flintoff's swing convinced me that he had it in him to be a top-class opener.

He was equally good against spin. He may rate Muralitharan as the toughest bowler he has faced, but I can assure you that Murali too would rate Sehwag among the toughest batsmen he has bowled to.
I remember Sehwag decimating a Sri Lanka attack comprising Murali and Herath in making 284 in just under a day's play at the Brabourne Stadium in 2009. He fell for 293 the next day, failing to complete what would have been his third triple century, but he never had any qualms about it.

And how can I forget his off-spin. He was a trifle under-rated but I always treated him as a trump card. It was only because of his ability as a spinner that allowed me to play three pacers, and rarely disappointed.
I would have loved to see him on the field while bidding adieu. I urge the BCCI to accord a fitting farewell to this extraordinarily gifted cricketer. It wouldn't be a bad idea to felicitate Viru - in India colours - during the Mumbai ODI.
(As told to Sumit Mukherjee)


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