sportsperson

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Of Bharat Ratnas, Dhyan Chand and Sachin Tendulkar


 

The late Major Dhyan Chand is in the news once more this time of  year. And again it is connected with speculation that he might be one of the recipients of the Bharat Ratna.

When there was a debate about whether sports persons should be awarded the Bharat Ratna , and if so , who first, yours truly along with many others felt that arguably the world’s greatest hockey player was preeminent among all current and past Indian sports persons.

But the Indian government played to the gallery and awarded the country’s most prestigious award to Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of his retirement from the game.

This is not to deny Mr. Sachin Tendulkar his spot in the sun. God knows, he did not need another award. He is the most beloved of all sports stars on the Indian firmament.  But surely Dhyan Chand and his descendants were done a disservice.

Sachin is in the news too; this time for his leave of absence from the Upper House of Parliament. ‘Aap la Sachin’ is not the dedicated parliamentarian—neither posting any questions in the house nor spending his quota of allocated funds for his constituents’ betterment. And now, he has decided to go AWL  (Absent With Leave) citing personal and professional commitments.

It does make one wonder if Tendulkar considered the Rajya Sabha selection as just yet another award and not a call to service—a thought echoed by Pradeep Magazine in his column for the Hindustan Times.

The man cannot be solely blamed. Politics is a different kettle of fish—a fact that Amitabh Bachchan can attest to.

Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer, versus Sachin Tendulkar, the ‘artiste’


Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, doing what...

Sachin Tendulkar is an “artiste”. Not a mere cricketer, not a mere entertainer but a performer who uses creativity, imagination and skill arranging elements in such a way to to affect the human senses and emotions and having a certain aesthetic value.

This definition of the batsman comes courtesy that Income Tax Appellate Tribunal which overruled an IT officer’s objections that Tendulkar’s income earned via commercials should not be granted tax-exemption.

The said officer contended that by appearing in commercials Tendulkar does not become an actor.

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Cricketing Bits: MFN UK, Ranji , Hyderabad Test and Gary Kirsten


Manoj Tiwary at Adelaide Oval

Image via Wikipedia

The UK has acquired most favoured nation status among asylum seekers —at least among cricketing ones. Pakistani cricketer and wicket-keeper Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has sought safety there following threats from match-fixers. The 24 year old hit the winning run in the fourth one-dayer against the Proteas in the five match series in Dubai.

Haider alleged that he was approached to fix the fourth and fifth ODIs. Pakistani cricket continues to shrivel under the shadow of the recent spot-fixing scandal.

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Indian badminton: Jwala Gutta, the doubles flame


jwalaImage via Wikipedia

 

Jwala Gutta has always been in the news but always for the wrong reasons.

Unlike her singles counterpart, Saina Nehwal, controversy seems to court her with a vengeance.

So who is Jwala Gutta?

Jwala is a left-handed badminton player of mixed Indian and Chinese descent.

According to Wikipedia:

“Her mother’s grandfather, Tseng from Tianjin, was a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and stayed with him at Sevagram ashram, where he translated Gandhi’s autobiography and other works into Chinese.”

With her doubles victory partnering Ashwini Ponappa at the CommonWealth Games 2010 , New Delhi, Gutta is now a household name and can count herself among the limited pantheon of Indian sports heroes.

Jwala and her partner Diju also clinched a silver at the CWG in the mixed doubles , going down in the final to the Malaysian pair Koo Kien Keat and Chin Ee Hui 14-21, 21-10, 10-21.

But the path to glory has been a thorny one.

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