And here it starts.. World Cup 2011

19th February 2011 and its the first match of the World Cup of Cricket 2011 being hosted in India, Sri Lanka and Bangaldesh.

There is enough material about the world cup on the internet, television, radio and wherever you go. So no point mentioning the details like who’s playing whom and when and who is the favorite and who is the underdog.  We all Indians want our country to win like most other cricket fans from their nation.

This is my 8th World Cup beginning from 1983 when I was 9 years old, so technically I was a toddler during the first one and a bumbling 5 year old during the 2nd. I remember the 3rd world cup, known as Prudential World Cup. I remember watching the Finals LIVE on Doordarshan, interrupted by ‘Batmya’ at 7.30 pm and ‘Samachar’ at 9.00 pm but it was a memorable night when India lifted the cup, although honestly I now have a very vague memory of that night but enough to feel proud of witnessing history.

1987 was a heart breaker when India lost to England in the semis and i remember the pin-drop silence walking out of the Wankhede at the end of that match. I was there and do not want to remember it. 1992 was the best format where every team played every other. I remember breaking my home window grill when India lost to Australia and our batsman did not take the match tieing run when it was available. I remember running home from my final board exams to watch the semifinals and i remember the 2 deadly in-swingers Wasim Akram bowled in the finals.

1996 was watched with friends either at a different freinds house every match and India Australia match in Wankhede is memorable, not only because it was an electrifying atmosphere but also because the manner in which all our freinds procured the tickets withstanding lathicharge from police. I had my arm swollen for a week. The semifinal loss was the worst though and I stopped watching after stone-pelting started.

1999 world cup has mixed emories with superb victory over Sri Lanka and Pakistan followed by ugly losses against Zimbabwe only to lose badly against South Africa and Australia

2003 was of course the best so far with India doing really well, Nehra’s 6 wickets in Durban and Sachin’s 98 against Pakistan are 2 of the favorite matches. The loss in Finals made me hate Australia and Ricky Ponting even more and I continue to dislike them.

2007 was blink and miss and literally I missed it as I was travelling during both of India’s losses against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Both times I was in the train, night journey with matches being in Caribbean I was checking scores through cell phone and SMS’s only to discover that India was losing and the world cup was over before it started.

Now its 2011. This one is huge. Its at home and as mentioned above all of us have high hopes for India to win it. This also is Sachin’s  ( hopefully not) realistically last world cup. He is the guy who has defined ODI cricket and it would be a Billion people’s dream come true if he were to lift the world cup on his home ground on 2nd April, 2011.

My elder son is about the same age I was in 1983. Maybe the history would repeat itself. Fingers Crossed.

Advertisements

Champions League T20 – 2nd Edition

2nd Edition of Champions League of T20 cricket begin in South Africa on 10th Sept- 2010.

The First edition was played in India in 2009 October. The first edition had 12 teams. This one has 10 teams owing to the fact that 2 English teams are not participating this year due to clash of the schedule with their domestic commitments.

10 Teams meaning there are 2 groups of 5 each, with each team playing their group members once. Thus resulting in 20 games followed by 2 semi finals and final. 23 Games in the period of 16 days or so. The matches would be played across South Africa under lights in the evening period which is a prime television time for the subcontinent viewers.

The 3 IPL teams qualified are the 2010 Champions Chennai Superkings, runner up Mumbai Indians and 3rd placed Banagalore Royal Challengers. Winners of the first edition of Champions were New South Wales from Australia who defeated Trnidad and Tobago from West Indies in the finals. Sadly both these teams have not qualified for the Champions League this year. Infact such is the unpredictability of T20 cricket that only 2 teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Wayamba from Sri Lanka were present in the previous edition.

Looking at the draws, the teams, the schedule, the South African conditions with early season pitches and the nature of T20 cricket it would be very difficult to predict anything. My support is of course for all 3 Indian teams and especially Mumbai Indians with Sachin Tendulkar leading it.

Lets see how it goes !

FIFA 2010 Anthem – K’Naan – Waving Flag

This is the song which is not getting out of my head. This is the anthem of the FIFA 2010 World Cup of Soccer to be held in South Africa. The song is by Somalian artist K’Naan and is called Waving Flag

Here are the lyrics of the remix song:

Ooooooh Wooooooh, Ooooooh Wooooooh

Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets our heads are lifting, as we lose our inhibition,
Celebration, it surround us, every nations, all around us

Singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun
rejoice in the beautiful game,
And together at the end of the day.
We all say

When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag

Oooohhh, Oooooooooh wooooohh, Oooooooooh wooooohh

Give you freedom, give you fire, give you reason, take you higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets our heads are lifting, as we lose our inhibition,
Celebration, its around us, every nations, all around us

Singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun
Lets rejoice in the beautiful game,
And together at the end of the day.
We all say

When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag
Now wave your flag (4x)

Oohhoooohh Woooh Ohohooooh Wooohoooh

We all say
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag
So wave your flag, now wave your flag, now wave your flag
Now wave your flag (4x)

Oooooh woowoo ooh Wooo ooohh ooohoh
And everybody will be singing it
Oooooh woowoo ooh Wooo ooohh ooohoh
And we all will be singing it

Superb Pepsi Ad – FIFA Worldcup 2010

Here’s a great Pepsi ad featuring most prolific footballers like Messi, Henry, Kaka, Arshavin, Drogba, Lampard playing football on the tune of ‘Oh Africa’ by Akon released 100 days prior to the greatest spectacle on earth, FIFA Worldcup to be held in South Africa.