BCCI to retire Sachin Tendulkar’s No. 10 jersey unofficially

Sachin Tendulkar was always seen with his No. 10 jersey on the field. The jersey will not be worn for international matches as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to retire the same unofficially.

India Today informed that the little master wore the famous No. 10 jersey during the ODI match against Pakistan in March 2012. He was seen with it during one day and T20 international matches.

Times Now mentioned that this sudden decision was made after the social media trolls that did the rounds when player Shardul Thakur wore it during his debut match against Sri Lanka. The new player was trolled by people in social media, including cricket players like Rohit Sharma. Thakur informed that he chose the same since it was based on his birth date. Harbhajan Singh spoke in favor of the young cricketer. He also suggested that it could have been a way to acknowledge the immense contribution of the master blaster to cricket.

A BCCI official said that ICC does not allow retiring a jersey. It is however not mandatory to wear any given number. Retiring it unofficially seems to be a way out to avoid unnecessary criticism of players through social media. It can, however, be worn during a non-international A list match.

BMW 5 series launched in India, priced between 49.9l and 61.3l

The new BMW 5 series unveiled its seventh generation in India on Thursday. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched the car at an event in Mumbai.

The luxury sedan, competing with the likes of Audi A6, Mercedes Benz E Class, Jaguar XF and the new entrants Lexus ES and Volvo S90, comes in one petrol and three diesel variants.

The 5 series was unveiled globally in October last year. It is available in three engine configurations – 520i with a 2.0 litre petrol engine priced at 49.9l, 520d with a 2.0 litre diesel engine prices at 49.9l and a 530d with a 3.0 litre diesel engine, with a common eight-speed automatic gearbox in all of them. 530d comes in two variants, viz., Luxuryline and M sport prices at 53.6l and 61.3l respectively

Hindustan Times quoted Sachin Tendulkar as saying, “Features like gesture control and touchscreen key are mesmerising and even my kids were amused by the sheer technology this new car offers”.

President and CEO of BMW Group India Vikram Pawah told Hindustan Times, since the German automaker entered India in 2007, the 5 series had sold more than 19,000 units and contributes 30% to BMW’s sales in India.


Hindustan Times, Financial Express

Image Source:

Autocar India

Questionable decision making after winning the toss in key ICC Tournament matches hurts India

The inexplicable saga of Indian captains choosing to field after winning the toss, irrespective of cricketing conditions has potentially deprived India from winning three ICC Championships. Co-incidentally MS Dhoni lost both the toss at two ICC finals and India won both the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2011 and 2013. The only exception has been the T20 World Cup back in 2007 when India defeated Pakistan by 5 runs by opting to bat first after winning the toss.

On March 13, 1996, the then 110,000 capacity Eden Gardens burnt and glass bottles were used as projectiles to be hurled at the players when India meekly surrendered against Sri Lanka. Vinod Kambli’s tears that day failed to quell the rage in the stands and match referee Clive Llyod abandoned the match and rewarded it to Sri Lanka. Captain Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and elected to field first on a newly re-laid wicket, with negligible grass cover to bind the clay strong. The wicket started to crumble and turn square after the first 10 overs and Sachin Tendulkar was the pick of the bowlers scalping the priceless wicket of Sri Lankan middle order linchpin Arjuna Ranatunga. In the second innings, Sanath Jayasuriya rattled the top-heavy batting line up with a magnificent spell of just 12 runs in seven overs and picking up the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanjay Manjrekar, while Kumar Dharmasena sent back the skipper for a duck.

Fast forward to March 23, 2003; India takes on Australia at Johannesburg in a dream final under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly. As the coin was flipped up Ricky Ponting called ‘heads’ and fortune smiled on India for the first and last time on that day. Australia lost the toss but Ganguly to everyone’s surprise invited the Australian team to bat first. A light drizzle in the morning forced Ganguly to change his mind and take the field. A broad smile gleamed on Ponting’s face as he said that if he had won he would have batted first, as the wicket looked nice and hard and the little bit of moisture will vanish after an hour’s play. At the end of first innings Australia put up a mammoth score of 359/2, with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh getting the two wickets.

14 years later, as India took on arch rival Pakistan at the Oval, Virat Kohli once again won the toss and made a bizzare decision of opting to field first. “Nice and hard wicket,” Kohli said after the toss. “There’s a fresh wicket, even grass covering and we’d like our bowlers to exploit it. Then we like chasing.”

When the drone pitch report came in, it was found that the heart of the pitch near the good length area remained as dry as a straw and only some patches of purple near the popping crease of the bowler. Naseer Hussain, in his pitch report was warning India about the possible reverse swing from Pakistani bowlers as the grass that was there was dead grass and the sun was beating down at 32 degree Celsius.

Kohli must have thought that having chased down gigantic totals like 370 against England in Pune, it would be a cakewalk to chase down anything that a meek Pakistani batting would put up against a fiery pace bowling attack.

But that was not the case and history has repeated itself once again as India continues to suffer because of poor cricketing decisions after winning the toss at crunch ICC matches. Pitch reading is one of the elementary facets of a fertile cricketing brain that a captain is supposed to possess and time again the thinking hat of the Indian captain has gone for a walk when it matters the most.

In all these matches India’s bowling attack has been a dismal failure and the opposition has gone on to score huge totals. Sri Lanka’s 251 back in 1996 on a rank Eden turner carries the same weightage as of modern day cricket’s 338. In pressure games like this even in the era of hit and run T20 cricket, if the team batting first puts up 300 on the scoreboard, they are able to create a psychological pressure which the team batting second falls victim in most occasions.

Azhar’s India suffered a nervous breakdown chasing the total and Ganguly’s India had surrendered just as they were walking up the tunnel of the Wanderer’s after getting hammered by Ponting. Kohli might turn down Pakistan as just any other opposition, but the name itself rings alarm bells in Indian minds because of social and media conditioning. The current lot of players could have chased it down if they had not lost early wickets. But once again the pressure of chasing down 338 against Pakistan and that too in a final got the better of the players.

These three teams belong to three generations but once again it shows us that although cricket has undergone some abysmal changes in two decades the basics of the game still remain the same. Maybe, that’s the beauty of the game!

Australian legends Don Bradman, Greg Chappell and Shane Warne had once said: “If you win the toss, bat. If you are in doubt, think about it, then bat. If you have very big doubts, consult a colleague, then bat”? Hope Kohli reads this piece!

Sachin, Viswanathan Anand join PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat

Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Bharat Ratna awardee and scientist CNR Rao and chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 17th edition of Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.

The main focus of the address was on the students and the pressure they face during examinations.

PM Modi advised the students that examination should not be considered as a number game and that their life should be linked to a much larger purpose.

While Sachin Tendulkar stressed on keeping a positive attitude and achievable target, Viswanathan Anand asked the students not be over-confident, yet not be pessimistic at the same time.

Celebrated scientist CNR Rao asked the students not to get worried and advised them to decide on what they want to do in life and not give up.

Towards the end of the address, PM Modi spoke about the ‘examination’ he would be facing in the Parliament tomorrow— The Union Budget. ” I have an exam tomorrow and 125 crore people are going to test me as the budget will be presented in Parliament,” he said.

Source: TOI

Indian Express

The 35th National games kicks off with much fanfare in Thiruvananthapuram

Soaking in the mood:A section of the crowd at the inaugural ceremony of the 35th National Games at the greenfield stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. Photo: S. Mahinsha

The National Games 2015 kicked off in the capital city of Kerala with a host of cultural events and celebrities galore. With the 2016 Rio Olympics in mind the need to work as a nation together was emphasized in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu delivered the inaugural address at the Greenfield stadium saying “Let us work together as a team.”

Sachin Tendulkar made his presence felt as the crowd cheered the little master after he stepped over to receive the games torch from K.M. Mennamol. Other prominent personalities across all fields including Oommen Chandy, Venkaiah Naidu, I M Vijayan, Beenamol, Anju Bobby George and P T Usha were also present in the states capital.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressed his joy on the big occasion lauding the state for having being prepared for such a big occasion. “It is quite clear that we can achieve a lot if we work with determination. The preparations for the Games are a good lesson on this account,” he said.

Several traditional art performances graced the occasion which showcased the art and culture of Kerala. Mohanlal’s band Lalison also performed on stage with the dynamic actor accompanying the singers.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/exciting-days-ahead-as-state-ushers-in-the-games/article6844626.ece

Photo: S. Mahinsha / The Hindu



One year without Sachin Tendulkar


Photo credit: Getty Images

“Sachin! Sachin!“

This is the one thing every cricket fan in India has missed yawping while watching the Little Master play. The 5.5 inches tall, curly-haired, humble Maharashtrian who needs no introduction, entertained India with his prodigal skills for 24 years till he finally retired from all forms of cricket, a year ago.

16th November 2013, saw the most majestic farewell any cricketer has ever received. 34,000 people in attendance and 1.25 billion people present in spirit, were hooked onto their television and radio sets hoping to see one last fairytale ton from the master. The 74 he hit in his last test innings against West Indies was nothing short of magnificent. He lived up to his name and showcased some great cover drives – the ones he is well-known for.

Tendulkar’s farewell speech left everyone extremely emotional; with a void that has been impossible to fill; an overwhelming feeling of discomfort and reality that hit them hard, really hard – we will never see our dear Sachin play cricket again. “I can imagine cricket without Sachin, but I can’t imagine Sachin without cricket”, said his wife Anjali on his magical bond with the game.

In his unbelievably long career panning over more than two decades, Tendulkar went on to break many records. With a whopping 34,357 runs in his kitty, he has made 452 One Day International appearances and 200 Test match appearances – the highest by any cricketer in the world. His record of 100 centuries is also one that will remain unbroken for a long time.

Tendulkar made his debut against Pakistan in the year 1989. He faced fierce players like WasimAkram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan. He proved his worth and from thereon there was no stopping the Little Master.

In the 90’s, when India was suffering from a huge economic and political crisis – globalization, assassinations of political leaders, the demolition of Babri Masjid, stark chaos all around – it was this humble man who, somewhere on the 22 yards was subtly creating magic; it was when Sachin came on the crease that people longed for him to stay longer. When he batted, people switched on their television sets and switched off their lives.

Back then, most of India’s batting pressure invariably went onto the shoulders of this petite man. Probably this is why people thought he would do miracles with his bat each time he would get onto the crease and raised him to the status of a ‘God’. It was only in the middle of the 90’s that his burden was reduced with the entry of the remaining triad of ‘The Fab Four’ – SauravGanguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. These three were made heroes and Sachin thus became the ‘God’.

Tendulkar’s most memorable match still remains his devastating 134 against Australia in Sharjah. A close favorite by consensus is his fabulous innings at Gwalior in which he made a double ton. The first man to do so; no surprises there!

One of the best moments for any Indian has got to be when India won the World Cup in 2011. “It is the best day of my life!” Sachin exclaimed with the trademark childlike smile of his.

Virat Kohli rightly put all feelings into words by saying, “Sachin has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years on his shoulders, it is time we carried him on our shoulders now.” It is quite a weight to have expectations of 1.25 billion people on your tiny little shoulders.

Each time India won, it gave us a reason to celebrate; a reason to forget that we’re a land which thrives on divides based on caste, class, gender and religion. Cricket became a religion of its own that united each one and made them ‘Indian’, at least for a day.


Sachin wins Cricketer of the Generation; urges ICC to organize more Tests

Speaking at the ESPN cricinfo awards night after being voted ‘Cricketer of the Generation’ on Friday, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has urged the ICC to organize more tests if the shine and glory of the format was to be retained. Sachin, who retired last year in November, was chosen ahead of spin-wiz Shane Warne and Protean legend Jacques Kallis.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup that is due to start on the 16th of this month, the little master said that the shortest version of the game was responsible for the Test matches to have become much more result-oriented with fewer matches ending in a stalemate. “If you see all across the world, most of the Test matches, they have results, very few Test matches are drawn games nowadays and that is due to introduction of T20 as well. It is complementing each other,” he said.

Picture Courtesy – www.mid-day.com

Though banking, that the shortest version of the game, did promote the game and can be used to turn many more heads towards the grounds, but the five-day format is the ideal challenge that the cricketers are to deal with. “If you want more guys to follow cricket, T20 is an ideal format to introduce people to cricket. And then gradually go on to one-day cricket and Test cricket.”

“Test cricket is the ultimate challenge when it comes to picking up wickets or scoring runs. It is one format where bowlers are constantly trying to get you out. In Tests, you require planning, vision and execution. It doesn’t happen that much in T20 cricket. You can face three balls and get back to the pavilion as a hero. It doesn’t happen in any other format,” he said.