Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I am not much of a tech guy. So this blog is not meant to highlight the ways and means of installing Windows on a Mac with the help of bootcamp.

First, the Indian cricket team went through drills and exercise regimens that are commonly associated with the armed forces. There were even photographs of the Indian players attired in military fatigues and shooting targets.

The second concerns with the training camp for the Australian team to take on the English in the forthcoming Ashes. Ricky Ponting and his men undertook training that was called ‘bootcamp’. Opinions were divided on the logic of holding such training or conditioning camps. Neil Harvey, one of the few survivors of the 1948 ‘invincibles’ was highly critical of the camp. More recent ex-players were all for the need to toughen up the players in order to recapture the Ashes.

The Indians played just 4 overs and three balls in Sri Lanka after preparing themselves for a war! The Aussies are truly hell bent on revenge. But in the final analysis it may not be necessary considering the absence of key players from the English side.

Why do coaches go to such extremes? Is there any method to this madness?



Andre Agassi overcame a tough challenge in the form of Andrei Pavel to advance to the second round. At times Agassi looked jaded and tired before the experience and determination saw him through on the big points. Every match played by the American will be watched with a great deal of interest for it may be the last.

Andy Roddick gave a powerful display to secure a very comfortable passage into the second round. At times the serve and the returns were simply scorching. The only thing missing so far in the arsenal of Roddick is mental toughness when playing the likes of Federer.

Sania Mirza started her campaign with a straight set win over a fancied opponent. I did not give much chance to Sania considering her form for much of the season.So this win over Sprem was a surprise. It remains to be seen whether Sania can repeat her performance of the last year when she went to the fourth round.

Monday, August 28, 2006



The crisis triggered by the allegation of ball tampering in the Oval test has thrown up the familiar reactions from everyone.

The Aussies stood up in support of their beloved countryman Darrel Hair. Former captains and players were unanimous in their admiration for Hair. The Prime Minister of Australia took time off his busy schedule to speak on the matter.

The Sri Lankan cricket officials were very quick to condemn the actions of Hair. It was Hair who first no balled Muralitharan. So this reaction from the islanders was hardly surprising.

Pakistan as a country felt outraged and hurt. Allegations of racial discrimination flew thick and fast. The old bogey of reverse swing once again came into the spotlight. The part time politician Imran Khan used this opportunity to allege conspiracy.

The Indians have not been able to take a clear stand on this issue. Poor Niranjan Shah was in no position to articulate the stand of the BCCI. Many Indians feel that the whole issue is nothing but racial discrimination. Navjot Sidhu and Ajay Jadeja ‘admitted’ that ball tampering is something that goes on a regular basis in the domestic scene.

The bomb in Colombo shocked the South Africans and so they flew to home. But with the one-dayers between Pakistan and England in doubt, the Proteas expressed their intentions to fill the void caused by the pull out of Pakistan.

The ICC was caught in a quandary with the initial support to Hair receding following the offer of a ‘golden handshake’ from the Umpire. David Richardson of the ICC, however, is confident of Hair’s tenure in the elite panel.

Predictable reactions but what does the future hold?


This year end Grand Slam shall witness the end of a great career. Andre Agassi announced his intention to bid goodbye to professional tennis after the US Open. Looking back, his longevity causes a great deal of amazement and also at the same time, a sense of awe.

Agassi continued to play long after his friends like Sampras and Courier called it a day. The retirement of the Las Vegan comes at a time when good players from the United States have become a rarity.

Martina Navratilova has also made the decision to step off the courts. It is another fact that she called it a day once before in 1994.

It is to be seen whether the tennis world will once again see the likes of Agassi and Martina.