Indian Cricket – 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards !

What a week this has been for Indian cricket. Accusations of team politics, inefficient captain, character-less coach, management mishap etc – you name it and it has been there. Indian cricket probably reached its lowest point ever since the match-fixing accusations broke out in 2000. At that time, we believed that this could probably the worst thing possible for Indian cricket and so, the positive was that we only had to look forward – we had a talented team and we could go places if they just keep their mind on the game.

5 years on and we seemed to have reached another low point – but this time the issue seems to be more internal – rift between the coach and the captain. Of course, Greg Chappel is very new to this role and Saurav has been the Indian captain for the last 5 years. Probably, it would have been better if Chappel could have waited for a couple of more series – many of the issues that were brought about in the limelight “might” have been “miscommunication” issues, as the BCCI officials and the review committee, set up to investigate the affair, put it. But Chappel is no rookie – he has played cricket the hard way and so seen it all. In fairness, I think he did what he thought was indeed beneficial to the Indian cricket team. He has tried to bring the aggressive Australian attitude – if you are not good, then you don’t fit into the team – it doesn’t matter whether you are the captain or a newcomer. You need to perform well to merit your position in the team. Especially in a team such as India, where there is so much of talent waiting to enter into the Indian team, the stakes are even higher.

Coming to Saurav Ganguly as a whole, he obviously is going through a pretty bad patch in his career and that seems to have affected him as a person and a captain. I find it surprising that the man who had eradicated favoritism and regionalism from the Indian cricket team – epidemics that had always affected the Indian team – and brought in fresh ideas and always backed his players is now himself playing the same game. Something obviously has gone wrong somewhere. Obviously, if you do not include some player in the team, you are going to ruff their feathers – that is another matter. But manouevering team composition so as to protect oneself and to feign injury to avoid the hard workouts is another. Mind you, all this is straight from Chappel’s email – so, it could indeed be “miscommunication” after all 🙂 !

Given that there has been such an issue between the captain and the coach, the Indian board had a review committee to look into this issue and the wise men of the committee included :
3 former captains – Gavaskar, Shastri and Venkatraghavan
The manager of the Indian team – Amitava Choudhury
and Jagmohan Dalmia and Mahendra !

I don’t understand what the last 2 mentioned gentlemen were doing in the committee – it looks like the Indian cricket team does not play for India anymore but for the BCCI ! – someone really needs to take a look into this, else these mercenaries will kill Indian cricket as a whole ! Everyone knows the closeness Dalmia and Ganguly share and so, even if Chappel had brought about the issues in front of them, it might have been swiftly swept under the carpet.

It is tough to comprehend how Ganguly and Chappel are going to work this thing out – given that this has been in the public eye for so long. I, as an ardent fan and follower of Indian cricket, sincerely pray that Indian cricket forgets this ugly episode and looks ahead to achieve the goals and targets ahead. Yes, I need to mention this as a swan song to my Blog – we need DIVINE intervention – tennis elbow or no tennis elbow ! WE NEED HIM !

— Thyaga

Snaps from our weekend trips


We have been travelling in and around the Bay Area quite a bit over the past few weekends with my parents – here are some of the snaps that we took. It has taken me a while to post them – hopefully, it has been worth the wait ;-).

Enjoy !

Trip to Berkeley


Over the last weekend on Saturday, September 24th 2005, we had been to Berkeley. Although Susmita & I had seen Berkeley before, we hadn’t been there for quite some time. Also, we had a lot about the marina from my people and so, we really wanted to check it out. Also, it would be another outing for my parents.

We started off after lunch to Berkeley – I had expected some traffic on the road because it was a gorgeous day perfect to be spent in the beach. However, the traffic was normal and we reached the marina within an hour or so of leaving home. The marina was just wonderful – there were people who were sailing, boating, kayaking, yatching etc. There were also some classes being conducted for the enthusiats – we walked along the marina and then went along a boardwalk where people were fishing. It was a little windy out here but the warm sun made it a wonderful experience.

From there, we headed to the famous University Avenue of Berkeley. Now, a trip along University Avenue is similar to a trip along any shopping area in India. Saree shops, salwar shops, jewellery shops, Indian sweet shops, Indian restaurants – you name it and it is there on that street. We spent some time doing some window shopping and made our way to the famous Vic’s chaat shop. Now, this shop is quite well known all over the Bay Area and for a good reason too. The chat was excellent and so was the tea ! We had couldn’t resist ourselves and had some sumptuous food there.

With our stomachs now full and our hearts filled with enthusiasm, we made our way to the Berkeley Rose Garden. This is supposed to a FREE garden where you can stroll and look at all the different varieties of roses that were grown there. It was just fabulous and my mom took a special liking to some of the roses. We sat there for a while and spent some time thinking as to what it would take to grow some of those roses in our little garden :).

Finally, we entered the University campus and also saw the Computer Science building (Soda Hall). I wasn’t very impressed by it – it didn’t look impressive at all. Anyway, after taking some photographs, we decided to call it a day and headed home. So, the trip to Berkeley was a short and sweet trip – something that we shall all remember. Here are some snapshots from our trip – relive the experience.

Cheers,
Thyaga

More on Sports and Religion …

I had posted an article a couple of days ago about the raging debate that has been sparked as a result of Yousuf Youhana’s conversion to Islam. Here is the Cricinfo article on the same subject written by Osman Samiuddin, the Pakistan editor of Cricinfo.

— T

Durga Puja in the Bay Area, 2005

Durga Puja is just around the corner. Here is an update on the list of Durga Pujas that are going to be celebrated in the Bay Area this year.

  1. Sanskriti – Oct 15 th and Oct 16th at Gunn High School Spangenberg Auditorium, Palo Alto. Directions.
  2. Prabasi – Oct 15th and Oct 16th at Chabot College, Hayward.
  3. Pashchimi – Oct 8th – Oct 12th at Sunnyvale, Temple.
  4. Livermore Hindu Temple – Oct 8th – Oct 12th

See u at one of the Pujas 🙂 !

Cheers,
Thyaga

Sports and Religion – keep them separate

A couple of days ago, Yousuf Youhana, one of the 2 non-Muslim cricketers of the Pakistan cricket team (the other being Danish Kaneria) converted to a Muslim, much to the chagrin of his family and relatives, who believe that he was persuaded by some current and ex-members of the team. Whatever be the reason, this incident has brought up a very sensitive topic into the forefront of the current cricketing news – religion. I really don’t understand this fanaticism of mixing religion with sports (and to that matter, with any other important facet of life – more later on that).

Does the fact that you are a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh or a Christian make any difference to your performance on the cricket field ? Yousuf Youhana has been a prolific scorer for Pakistan for the last few years and so, I don’t see his religion having caused any hindrance to his scoring ability. Of course, the choice of religion should ultimately rest with the person but from what his family members have to say, it seems more out of compulsion rather than choice and that is what I cannot accept.

Time and again, we see the same incidents happening all over the world. Whether be it in secular India or conservative America, religion is always considered a stealth weapon for political victories. This clearly creates a divide among sections of people of the country and instead of belonging to one unified country, we belong to different religions within one country. Every religion is different and it should be respected for its ideals and values – but if you tend to identify a person for his religion and not for what he / she is, then that is where the problems seep in.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Danish Kaneria, the sole non-Muslim now in the Pakistan cricket team is converted too. That would be really sad indeed. Perhaps they could take a cue from their Indian neighbours – the president is a Muslim, the PM is a sikh, the second in command is a Christian and leader of the opposition is a Hindu !

Spread your wings, open ur eyes, turn on ur antenna – there are miles to go, wonderful things to see and great things to learn.

— Thyaga

Some useful Govt initiatives

We always say that the Govt. does not do this, should do this, should have done this etc. But this Blog for a change will be on a couple of Govt. of USA initiatives for the consumers. I think, that this is a really useful and cool thing to have.

(1). Do not call registry – I think this one is around a year or so old now, but I think many of us still don’t know about it. Even if we know, I think we don’t really know how it works. Basically, it is a database of phone numbers which the telemarketeers CANNOT call into. So, if you add your home telephone number into the database, then rest assured – you will not get any tele-marketeer calls. In other words, you can have your dinner in absolute harmony !

(2). Free Credit Report – this initiative entitles a consumer to a FREE Credit Report once every 12 months from any of the 3 Credit agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. I got to know about this service sometime last week. Although this is useful to have, there have been some worrying reports about this service – so, look before you leap :).

Take care,
T