piyush kaviraj

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Indian Premier League: 5 reasons why it is right to call it India ka Tyohar!


It is beyond any doubt that Indian Premier League- the self proclaimed ‘India ka Tyohaar’ (Festival of India) is a success story. It is a money minting tool for the organizers and participating players; at the same time, it is a dose of adrenaline and excitement to the viewers and fans. Though, marred by various controversies, from match-fixing to public brawls, somehow, IPL resurfaces every year with the same fanfare. Let us leave aside the negative aspects for today and focus on the positives it has brought.

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Short-cut to glory

IPL has been a boon to less known or unknown players from different regions. One brilliant knock and a player erupts on the glorious side of fame. Sarfaraz Khan, a 17 year old teenager, hogged the limelight with a single innings of 21-ball 45. It paid off immediately with former England player David Lloyd’s tweet, urging English County teams to rope him in.

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Super entertainment in 40 overs

Whether a CEO tired of enduring corporate pressure or a research scholar who has performed failed experiments throughout the day, all need something to cheer them up by dinner time. IPL takes up that perfect slot with 40 overs of non-stop entertainment. So what if rumors of pre-fixed matches prevail. Who cares! Don’t we enjoy scripted movies and plays? Moreover, the sight of cheerleaders dancing on boundaries does cheer up gloomy faces! A tired person just wants some stress buster at the end of the day. IPL succeeds in doing that.

Image: BCCI

No Infidelity issues!

IPL is great for both – fans and general viewers. We all have one or two favorite players in each team. One can enjoy sixes of Chris Gayle in spite of being a supporter of Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings. This makes IPL unique. And one can always shift sides and start cheering for the winning team. No hard luck involved and always a win-win situation for viewers like me who stays away from fanatics.

Expanse of cricket infrastructure

With the inclusion of more teams, cricket will expand beyond big cities. This will not only provide more opportunity to local lads, but also lead to development of stadium and other infrastructure needed for the expanse of cricket.

Image: BCCL

Progress of other sports

IPL has shown how money minting and sports revolution can be carried out at the same time. The success of IPL is now being emulated in other sports and games. The success of Pro-Kabaddi and Indian Super League (Football) means that the largely neglected players from sports other than cricket can also be rewarded with money and fame. Such forays into more such games will follow soon.

The article was first published at: Indian Premier League: 5 reasons why it is right to call it India ka Tyohar!.

© piyushKAVIRAJ

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The Home Advantage


So finally, it was a cousinly clash in the finals of World Cup 2015. Who would have expected such a final after the start the famed tournament got! India, the defending champions seemed to relish a losing streak till their first match in the world cup. Australia was clearly not at their best. England was not so bad while Bangladesh were never in the reckoning. But the league stage did chip in interesting games, with teams like West Indies and Pakistan losing to minnows and England crashing out with a thud, while India and New Zealand romped into the knockouts like stalwarts.

The quarterfinals had the teenagers of cricket, Bangladesh along with the forever ‘favorites’ South Africa, and the rest of the expected favorites. Pakistan, shouldering the weights of non-performing elderly exited with an expected loss to Australia. Sri Lanka were overpowered by South Africa, West Indies were more than humbled by New Zealand while India got better of her daughter nation Bangladesh.

The Semis had undoubtedly the best teams for this edition of World Cup in- India, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. India was, now the favorites of the entire South-Asian subcontinent and had risen in ranks among the bookies of the world. Indian media had already declared India as the finalist and probably the champions. Australia, the crown bearers for the most number of times, with the confidence of not losing any of the semifinals and support of the home crowd couldn’t have asked for less. They accepted the challenge and inched towards the cup in style. South Africa still continuing with the rainy affairs and their not-so-worth monster-in-laws, Duckworth and Lewis, somehow yielded to them once again, though this can’t take away the credit from the New Zealand of their brilliant run-chase. They along with millions bid a teary adieu to the world cup. Finally, the dark horse of all times entered the finals with their black caps firm in their high-held heads. New Zealand entered the finals, chasing a dream run, without losing a single match. That was a splendid performance and now, everyone (except the Australian fans, of course) wanted the Kiwis to win.

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And now, it was the Sunday finals for the two host nations. The Australian-New Zealand cricket-rivalry added another dimension to this match. The team which doesn’t succumb to this enormous pressure would prevail and be crowned. The historic match began with New Zealand winning the toss and electing to bat. The decision seemed to backfire initially as they were bundled out for a paltry 183. Clearly, the Kiwis fumbled in the first innings and would be ruing. The score of 183 is by the way historic as this was the score in the 1983 world cup when India lifted the trophy. The second innings could be one-sided or a thriller, depending on how Australia would play. New Zealand seemed clueless against Australians, unlike the league match, and helplessly saw Australia reaching 50, then 100, and finally kiss the trophy.

The world cup saw records tumbling, giving way to new ones and sensational bowling spells enthralling the audience. A double of double hundreds and a quadruple of centuries were the highlights. The giant West Indian hit a row of sixes, contributing to a total of about 500 sixes in this world cup. Wahab Riaz making Watson toil hard to endure his spell was a sight to see. Many a players ended their journey of cricket, enriching the cricket with their handsome contributions. A jubilant Australia is now the title holder for the most number of times. Better luck to all other cricketing nations, especially New Zealand and South Africa, for the next edition of the World Cup.

Piyush Kaviraj

© piyushKAVIRAJ


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The Girl who Didn’t know Tendulkar !


Cricket- the religion and the path of solace and nirvana to the sports-nationalists and lovers, has Sachin Tendulkar as its undisputed Indian God. The God who commands enough respect, fan-following and loyalty to bring the nation to a halt. There was a time when television sets would be shut off as soon as Tendulkar would get out.

Such was the craze and such is the dedication for Tendulkar. He could overshadow any batsmen with his skills and innovations and would tear apart any bowling attack on this earth. He pulled the chain of the Rawalpindi express like no other, in this journey of cricket. His shots have been copied, emulated and perfected by his self-declared  disciples all across the globe. The Globe of cricket! The globe of Cricket fans!! The globe of Indian cricket fans!!!

Yes, our world of sports and nationalism starts with cricket and ends on Tendulkar. And in the process, we forgot all other sports and every other sportsman. Let me clarify that I am not blaming Tendulkar for this. This has been our inability. Thousands of sportsmen are lying in apathy of sports governing bodies, waiting for better days while doing every odd job on the actual globe.

A recent article in India Today has mentioned about a few sportsperson in oblivion- Sita sahu, Shanti Devi, Nauri Mundu, Nisha Rani Dutt and S, Santhi. Their condition has been such that they have been forced to work as labourers at brick kilns and sell vegetables. I dare our so called sports enthusiasts and lovers if they ever heard these names. There has also been the case of a sportsperson who had to sell his medals and trophies for survival.

Media too has been responsible for this condition. Since cricket is the only sports that guarantees TRP shoot, media provides extensive coverage. Where do national hockey and rural kabbadi stand against even the IPLs!

Let us have a look at the actual global scenario of sports and compare them with cricket. Where does cricket stand against Football, Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Gymnastics and so on. The greatest sporting event, Olympics doesn’t have anything close to cricket and our performance there is really commendable!! Ongoing FIFA World Cup has shown what the people on Globe care and know about, if it comes to sports. Half the world doesn’t even know about cricket and then to expect a Sharapova or a Rooney to know about a Tendulkar is a bit too much. I don’t know how to justify pouncing upon Sharapova on social media.

As an editorial in the Indian Express states- “now at least Sharapova is unlikely to ever forget Tendulkar, or deny knowing him. Mission accomplished, perhaps — except that for the rest of the sporting fraternity who dare not forget his name, Tendulkar will forever remain that guy that Sharapova didn’t know”.

-Piyush Kaviraj

– See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=16064#sthash.LYxXSNvZ.dpuf

The above article has been published at Boloji.com and can be reached by the following link:

The Girl who Didn’t know Tendulkar ! at Boloji.com

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