Football, the Cricket Way

Football The Cricket WayLet’s admit it, India is a Cricket crazy nation and though as other sports gain in prominence, the country’s first love will always be cricket. Thus not surprisingly Cricket facts, records, numbers and names are at the tip of most tongues.  Yes, the masses may cheer for Boxing, Football and Hockey, but when it comes to trivia Cricket takes the whole 9 yards. So taking this Road Most Taken, let’s explore the world of Football.

Sir Viv Richards (need I mention he is from West Indies), was not only a great Batsman, but also a good Footballer. Being the only Cricketer to have played in both the World Cups, namely Cricket and Football; representing the Antigua Football Team in the 1974 Football World Cup. Similarly the reputed international Empire Steve Bucknor also played the referee in the World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles in 1988.

This next question goes out to all die-hard Cricket fans who live, sleep and dream Cricket: Who is Sir Bobby Moore? The answer is: He was a County Cricket player for the Essex Youth team. However, not Cricket but Football brought him glory, when England won the 1966 Football World Cup under his Captainship. The funny thing being, that people who saw him play County Cricket still swear that he played better Cricket than Football.

Cricket fans will be forgiven not to know the next player. While, growing up in Australia this player harbored dreams to be a great Cricketer, idolizing the legendary Allan Border.  Border would later claim that the boy would have made a fine Test cricket player, if only his father hadn’t moved to Italy, where the young boy eventually became the lead striker in the Italian national Football Team. Any Guesses, who we are talking about (this one is for the Football fans)? Yes, it’s none other than Christian Vieri – the man who went on to become Italy’s highest ever goal-scorer in the FIFA World Cup.Blog CF

Mary Kom’s Raging Bulls

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

The vision of the Boxing Academy set up by Mary Kom states “Quality Boxers with Prestigious Sports Medals from under-privileged potentials”. So far its Boxers have taken part at various state and national level championships and tournaments brining back Gold and Silver.

The Star Boxer after having realized that there is a lot of hidden talent, very like her, living untraceable lives in the interior parts of our country, set up the academy in 2006. These unacknowledged young people, she believes posses skills and enough will-power to bring laurels to the country. And with this motive she goes about inspiring and training our future champions.

No, wonder after speaking at The HAB by Usha she updated her Facebook Status to #UshaIntl Thanks for a great evening. I’m sure our paths will cross again when it comes to empowering women #UshaMpower

Mary Kom Facebook Status

Mary Kom Facebook Status

For just like her USHA INITIATIVES is empowering both women through its various Silai Schools and supporting and sponsoring various sports events – Marathon, Frisbee, Golf and Cricket. The former Silai Schools are an attempt to empower under-privileged women in rural areas of the country. Whereas, the latter sports initiatives do not only encompass urban areas but go on to include rural Frisbee camps for the marginalized.

USHA INITIATIVES

USHA INITIATIVES

In a recent interview the Magnificent Mary said “With women’s boxing becoming an Olympic event, lot more nations will compete in 2016 and the competition will be tough. I hope it helps Indian women boxing as well and there’s a growing awareness about the sport, and we hope to see lot more talent in the country.”

Just as Dingkok Singh’s success in the ring, got Mary into boxing, so has Mary’s success inspired many to enter the ring. Now with the release of the biopic Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra, there is hope that many more women will take up boxing against all odds.

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom

The Luck Factor

ImageIn her book The Zoya Factor Anuja Chauhan explores the world of Indian Cricket through the book’s protagonist after whom the novel is named – Zoya Singh Solanki. It is a romantic tale along the lines of Jane Austen, where the sparks of love bring together two opposite souls –Zoya and the Indian Team Captain Nikhil Khoda. In it Zoya becomes the lucky charm of the Indian cricket team: Apparently the team wins all matches when lady luck Zoya is present. Weird huh? Well, not at all. The truth my friend is stranger than fiction. Cricketers worldwide believe in stranger superstitions bearing with them even stranger charms.

During the last edition of IPL Virender Shewag always carried with him a red handkerchief. While, Rahul Dravid always wears the right pad first and puts his right foot forward when he enters the ground. Sourav Ganguly carries a picture of his Guru in his pocket. Gautam Gambhir is a firm believer in Numerology; his Indian jersey number is 5, while for KKR it is 14 – his Date of Birth. And if you watch closely you will notice that Harbhajan Singh bends forward and prays whenever he comes on to bowl.

These little eccentricities are not just confined to IPL or our times. Cricketers through history have always believed in lucky charms. For example like the Wall, Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, used to put on his left pad and left shoe first; and just like Shewag, Steve Waugh always carries a red handkerchief. Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya hits his pads with his bat before every ball. Bowler Zaheer Khan makes it a point to carry his lucky yellow scarf; and the legend Sachin Tendulkar has a lucky pad. However, the prize goes to South African opener Neil McKenzie, who once believed that he wouldn’t be able to score runs unless the Dressing Room’s toilet seats were closed and flushed before he ventured out onto the pitch.

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For the Love of Cricket

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Every time an interesting Cricket match takes place the entire country suffers from a momentary lapse of reason. Traffic, work and life come to a standstill – a feature that has become pretty regular ever since Twenty20 was introduced. (We are not complaining)

Most Indians know their Cricket better than their work and family! (That is not an exaggeration) Yes, they know their teams, batsmen, bowlers and fielders, where they live, what they eat and a lot more than necessary. But how well do fans know Cricket as a game? Come find out if you happen to be a fan, if not find out anyway, we promise to be interesting.

  • ImageThe longest Cricket match in history was played between England and South Africa in 1939. It lasted for 14 days and ended in a tie as Team England had to catch a ship back home!
  • It is legal to suspend a Cricket match if an animal enters the field. A few animals who have disrupted Cricket matches in the past are a Pig (Worchestershire v Derbyshire 1889), a Sparrow (MCC v Cambridge University, 1936) and Bees (Oxford University v Worchestershire, 1962)
  • In a match between Barbados and British Guyana in 1946 there occurred an over with 14 balls, not counting Wides or No Balls’. Apparently the Umpire miscounted the number of deliveries!
  • Cricket was the forerunner of the game Rounders, which developed into Townball and eventually into New York Baseball.
  • Over the years between all the Boards and formats from Test to Twenty20 the only Cricket rule that has not changed is the length of the pitch.(Even the number of stumps has changed, with the game originally being played with just two stumps till 1775)