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Archive for September, 2009

Fitness for Cricket

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Being fit is critical in every sport as it will have huge difference in the application of skills pertaining to the game. Cricket is no exception. Modern day cricketers are very much cautious about their body as most of the matches are decided by the best fielding units that will be attainable only through high level of fitness. Here are some fitness tips, which would beneficial even for an amateur cricketer, who plays cricket not very often.

  • Start every Routine with a good warm up followed by stretches.
  • Focus on building a lower body and core
  • Use low-weights or free-weights to built a strong foundation
  • Mix long distance running and sprints to improve endurance and speed
  • Shuttle runs will improve the running between the wickets
  • Regular abs-workout can help you to improve your bowling.
  • Do small warm ups on match days and don’t try to work harder as you tend to become tired as the match starts.

Nutrition plays a very important role in fitness. If the workouts are not supported by proper nutrition, then the entire effort will go waste.  There are different aspects to be considered as far as nutrition is concerned. It is quite different for match days and practice sessions.

  • Drink more fluids to avoid de-hydration; especially salt-lime
  • Avoid consuming soft-drinks.
  • Avoid fatty and fried foods on match days as it can make you more tired and also fried foods
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables as it can increase your metabolism
  • Avoid food supplements unless you are a professional cricketer
  • Drink more water and fruit juices when your body is resting- This is the time where the nutrition comes in to play

All these points when combined will give you basic fitness. However, for a professional cricketer, a more structured program is vital.  If you are a beginner, remember that you must consult a doctor before starting any sort of work out regimes.

Battle Resumes for the Arch-Rivals

Friday, September 25th, 2009
Hard to choose the winner....

Hard to choose the winner....

Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain has started the verbal-battle by saying that Sachin Tendulkar is not as threatening as he was in 2003. In that match, Sachin single-handedly demolished the Pakistan attack that included Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akthar.

India- Pak matches has always been real feasts for the spectators due to the hype it creates and the quality of players in both teams.  Pakistan had the edge in ODI’s in the 70’s, 80’s and till the mid 90’s, before the arrival of the Little Master (perhaps, the little demolisher) Sachin Tendulkar. The primary reason behind the success was their quality pool of fast bowlers, which India had lacked greatly.

Post 2000 saw the dominance of India as they evolved drastically under the helm of Sourav Ganguly.  They outplayed Pakistan in majority of the matches including India’s undefeatable run in the World Cups against Pakistan. India became much stronger after 2005 and they managed to win the majority of the matches against Pakistan. The Epic win at the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup reaffirmed India’s dominance against Pakistan.

It’s after 14 months that the arch rivals are locking their horns again and we can’t ask for a better place than the Super Sports Park at Centurion. The memories of the 2003 match will be big confidence booster for India, while Pakistan would be looking for turning things this time around. A win will not only change their fate against India at the big-stages but also seal a place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.

Extra-time or Sudden-death?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

ODI cricket has reached a critical juncture now and the success or failure of Champions Trophy 2009 will determine its future. The cricketing world is abuzz about ‘Saving ODI’ Cricket or scrapping it off. Plenty of attractive ideas have been invoked by several former and current players including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.

This edition of Champions Trophy is perhaps the best edition according to format. It is short, sweet and would provide plenty of high-voltage contests due to the participation of all the strong teams. A mediocre West Indies would remain as an aberration, however most of the matches promise high-octane contests.

This is the first ICC tournament after a draggy World Cup at the Caribbean in 2007. The criticisms raised from that tournament could be decisive in the growth of ODI’s.

If the Champions Trophy turns out as a failure, then ICC would be pondering on different ideas to improve ODI Cricket. And, if it turns out as a success, then also ICC would have to take some measures to make this attractive, as at present, several bi-lateral series are being played in front of fewer crowds. So this Champion’s Trophy would be either give some extra-time for the ODI’s or it will mark its demise.

Tendulkar puts Youngsters to Shame

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

When Sachin Tendulkar bats like he did at the final match of the Compaq Cup, you can only sit back and enjoy it. The few who might have doubts that Tendulkar was beginning to rust would have to look the other way. The master blaster showed yesterday that he has absolutely no rust and no plans of slowing down as well.

During the post match interview yesterday, Tendulkar looked delighted and he had every reason to be. When asked about his body was holding up he replied that the body was holding up pretty well in spite of a few cramps and stuff. He has the payers of millions that his body continues to hold up as he goes on to conquer many many more records.

Ian Bishop’s comment at the end of the tournament really had me thinking. He said Tendulkar has only few demons to battle in his mind. It is very rarely that you would see a player sharing light talk with the opposition team’s players after the match. However Sachin has no qualms about doing chit chat with players from any team. This is an indication of his cool and composed nature. He keeps himself out of controversies which seem to be quite difficult for the likes of Harbhajan, Sreesanth and Symonds.

All in all, words cannot describe Sachin Tendulkar. He truly is a model for young and old alike. I guess we can take pride in the fact that we lived in the same era as him.

Master Proves His Class Yet Again

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar has scored 9 ODI centuries and scored 7 times above 90 in the last 2 years. He is going strong as he gets older like a superior wine and his performance in the crunch matches has been quite exemplary. Sri Lanka didn’t had any clue of how to tame the master blaster when he was playing risk free yet sublime knock.

Sachin has been terrific in the last 3 finals which he played and amassed a mammoth 346 runs including 2 centuries and a fifty. He was accused of not playing to his potential after India lost several finals from 2000 to 2007 although he has played some terrific knock in the 1998 Sharjah cup and several other matches. He has silenced his critics with the help of these innings and the most important thing is that India triumphed in all these 3 finals.

Team India is in the race for the World No: 1 spot along with Australia and South Africa. If India wants to reach there and sustain it, Sachin will have a great role to play; playing solidly at the top and mentoring the youngsters to perform well when it matters. All the mentioned tasks are executed perfectly by Sachin and the performance of the team is a testimony of that.

Too Much of Cricket Will Spoil the Game

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

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There have been a lot of heated discussions prevailing in the cricketing world to ‘control’ the game. What does this ‘control’ imply? Is this to control the T20 matches to make the traditional versions alive or to truncate the Test matches and the ODI matches to increase the gush of money to cricket? ICC, at the helm of cricket is in a dilemma to choose the best for cricket; to make it popular at the same time not diluting it.

FIFA – the perfect example

So, what is the real concern? There are lots of wise men at the helm; however they couldn’t come to a conclusion to find the resolution for this ‘concern’. There are many things which cricket could learn from Football.  Being a game of small-duration, spectators endorse the brevity of Football, which perhaps is the main reason why it has roots across the globe. Being played in over 200 countries, football hardly has any crisis which threatens its existence. FIFA, the governing body of Football has the last word in football, when it comes to a decision. They continuously improve the game by applying new rules that would entice the spectators at the same time won’t kill the soul of the game. ICC should come up with new revenue models so that they stay on the top of the national cricket boards. Currently, ICC hardly has any power to stand against the power houses – India, Australia, England and South Africa. BCCI, the Indian cricket board stands tall due to the chunk of revenue coming from India.

Too Many Matches

‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ is perhaps 100% correct in the case of cricket. Let’s take the example of India – Pakistan matches before 2005 and after 2005. Though the matches played after 2005 were in front of a full house, the intensity plunged due to matches played often between them. The 80’s and the 90’s experienced lot of high-voltage contests between the two and never lacked the exuberance. Contrary to the current scenario is the Ashes series, which is not played very often, attracts lot of spectators and never lacks the intensity. It is the dream of every Aussie or English player to win the Ashes urn more than a World Cup simply because of the legacy it carries. Downsizing the number of bilateral series and implementing more 3 nation or 4 nation tournaments is also another solution.

Fortifying the grass-root level

The respective Cricket Boards should strengthen their domestic structure to form a good pool of potential players, who could represent their nation at any point. If the domestic structure is robust then, the team won’t lose its momentum when a senior player retires. Apart from this effort, the ICC should conduct the U-19 World Cup and other junior level ICC tournaments in more serious ways as these tournaments are the stepping stone for the youngsters to the International cricket.

All the efforts will go fruitless, if the member nations won’t participate actively. ICC could only formulate plans, which should be carried out by the member nations, who should not show their financial arrogance when decisions concerning the fate of the game are made.

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