Friday, February 29, 2008

The World's Costliest Hotel

The world's costliest hotel is the Emirates Palace located in Abu Dhabi and owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. The estimated cost of the hotel is rumored to be a whopping $3.8 million. The architects describe it as the Taj Mahal of the Middle East. It would take more than an hour just to walk around the hotel. The 16 palace suites cost $15,200 a night. For lesser mortals there are cheaper rooms at $1805 a week!

ICL 20s Grand Championship Tournament Schedule

Amidst all the hype and hoopla surrounding the IPL, the rebel Indian Cricket League has announced its new T20 tournament called "ICL 20s Grand Championship" which features new teams, venues and a new broadcaster as well. The new teams are one from Pakistan, Lahore Badshahs and the other Ahmedabad Rockets apart from the six teams that featured in the previous tournament. Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Panchkula will be the venues for the matches. Ten Sports, owned partly by the Zee group will telecast the matches live along with Zee Sports. The tournament is to be played from March 9 to April 7.

Here is the tournament schedule.

1st Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Chandigarh Lions at Panchkula - Mar 9, 2008

2nd Match: Delhi Giants v Mumbai Champs at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 10, 2008

3rd Match: Chennai Superstars v Lahore Badshahs at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 11, 2008

4th Match:Hyderabad Heroes v Lahore Badshahs at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 12, 2008

5th Match: Kolkata Tigers v Mumbai Champs at Panchkula - Mar 13, 2008

6th Match: Chandigarh Lions v Delhi Giants at Panchkula - Mar 15, 2008

7th Match: Chennai Superstars v Hyderabad Heroes at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 15, 2008

8th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Delhi Giants at Panchkula - Mar 16, 2008

9th Match: Chandigarh Lions v Lahore Badshahs at Panchkula - Mar 16, 2008

10th Match: Chennai Superstars v Kolkata Tigers at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 17, 2008

11th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Mumbai Champs at Panchkula - Mar 18, 2008

12th Match: Hyderabad Heroes v Kolkata Tigers at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 19, 2008

13th Match: Chennai Superstars v Delhi Giants at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 20, 2008

14th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Hyderabad Heroes at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 21, 2008

15th Match: Lahore Badshahs v Mumbai Champs at Panchkula - Mar 21, 2008

16th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Kolkata Tigers at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 22, 2008

17th Match: Chandigarh Lions v Chennai Superstars at Panchkula - Mar 22, 2008

18th Match: Chennai Superstars v Mumbai Champs at Panchkula - Mar 23, 2008

19th Match: Delhi Giants v Lahore Badshahs at Gurgaon - Mar 23, 2008

20th Match: Delhi Giants v Hyderabad Heroes at Gurgaon - Mar 24, 2008

21st Match: Chandigarh Lions v Mumbai Champs at Panchkula - Mar 25, 2008

22nd Match: Kolkata Tigers v Lahore Badshahs at Gurgaon - Mar 26, 2008

23rd Match: Chandigarh Lions v Kolkata Tigers at Gurgaon - Mar 27, 2008

24th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Chennai Superstars at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 28, 2008

25th Match: Chandigarh Lions v Hyderabad Heroes at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 29, 2008

26th Match: Ahmedabad Rockets v Lahore Badshahs at Gurgaon - Mar 30, 2008

27th Match: Delhi Giants v Kolkata Tigers at Gurgaon - Mar 30, 2008

28th Match: Hyderabad Heroes v Mumbai Champs at Hyderabad (Decc) - Mar 31, 2008

Semi Final 1: at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad, Deccan- Apr 2, 2008

Semi Final 2: at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium, Panchkula, Chandigarh - Apr 3, 2008

1st Final: at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium, Panchkula, Chandigarh - Apr 4, 2008

3rd Place Play-off: at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium, Panchkula, Chandigarh - Apr 4, 2008

2nd Final: at Teri Oval, Gual Pahari, Gurgaon - Apr 6, 2008

3rd Final: at Teri Oval, Gual Pahari, Gurgaon - Apr 7, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Force India.... taking Indian sports to new heights

Finally, India has got a chance to etch its name in Formula One history. While Narain Karthikeyan's brief appearance for Jordan was nothing much to remember about, this new venture by Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya could offer some excitement for Indian Formula One fans. With Delhi set to host the first ever Indian Grand Prix in 2010, Formula One has arrived in India once and for all. In a land dominated by cricket, providing little chance for hockey, football, athletics and other sports, one would have hardly imagined Formula One becoming an integral part of the country's sporting calendar. But Dr. Vijay Mallya has made the dream become a reality. Force India was created after Dr. Mallya bought the troubled F1 team Spyker, who had bought the Jordan team the previous year. The drivers who have been assigned are Giancarlo Fisichella formerly of Renault and German Adrian Sutil. Though one would have expected the Indian drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karan Chandok to have been assigned, Vijay Mallya felt that they were inexperienced to assist the engineers in the development of the car. Though not much expectations have been placed upon Force India whose budget is one-fourth that of Ferrari, a decent performance in this year's Grand Prix will help the team to take positive steps forward. More importantly, Indian F1 fans have something to look forward to and cheer about in the coming season.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tribute to the 'Busby Babes'

"They came to conquer but perished in the process"
February 6th of 1958 witnessed one of the most terrible tragedies in world sports. That was the day when 23 people including 8 Manchester United footballers lost their lives in a plane crash in Munich. Manchester Utd. took on Red Stars Belgrade in the European Cup quarterfinals. The match was drawn 3-3 but ManU qualified on a 5-4 aggregate. That was the last time the 'Busby Babes' played together. They took the British European Airways from Belgrade and made a scheduled stop at Munich to refuel. The plane did not take off on two attempts due to engine problems. But on the third attempt the plane failed to gain enough height and crashed into a nearby fence and into an unoccupied house. 23 of the 44 passengers succumbed to injuries including 8 of the ManU players. The players who lost their lives were Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, David Pegg, Duncan Edwards, Eddie Colman, Tommy Taylor, Liam Whelan and Mark Jones. The survivors included the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton. ManU finally won the European Cup in 1968 but the players and manager Matt Busby were too moved with emotion to celebrate. On 10th February 2008 the derby clash between ManU and Manchester City was played after players and fans paid tribute to those who died in the crash. The ManU players wore jerseys without displaying the sponsor or player names. Recently striker Wayne Rooney said in an interview"For a disaster like that to happen is horrible in any walk of life. For a football club to bounce back from something as terrible as Munich, and to go on and become the huge club it is today, it's just an honour to be a part of it and part of the history of United,". Be proud to be a Manchester United fan.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The technique of reverse swing in cricket....

Have you ever wondered why fielders apply saliva or sweat to the ball and rub them like mad on their pants??? Well, for those who don't know, this is the basic of reverse swing. But before going into it, one must first understand conventional swing. In this type of swing the bowler aligns the seam position of the ball in the direction where he wants it to go. For instance, when the seam points towards the slip cordon and the rough side is on the left, the ball moves away from the batsman and we get what is called the outswinger. If the seam points towards the leg slip and the rough side is on the right, the ball moves into the batsman and we get what is called the inswinger. As the ball gets older, one side is allowed to deteriorate while the other side is kept shiny by applying sweat or saliva. Hence one side of the ball is slightly heavier than the other thus changing the dynamics of the ball. Hence the ball starts moving in the direction of the shiny side instead of the rough side.The result is reverse swing where the ball that was supposed to move away from the batsman in conventional swing now moves into him and vice versa thus confusing the batsman. Reverse was founded by Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz in the late 70s. He taught it to Imran Khan who in turn passed the baton to Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, the deadliest bowling pair in modern one day cricket. Waqar told of this art to Simon Jones, his Glamorgan team mate who shared the knowledge with English team mate Andrew Flintoff. The pair went on to play a major part in England's 2-1 Ashes victory in 2005 over the Aussies who succumbed to the reverse swing hurled at them at around 90 miles an hour. Reverse swing continues to live in a controversial environment where ball tampering has become a major issue. Pakistani bowlers were initially accused of ball tampering in a bid to aid reverse swing. The ball tampering issue resurfaced in 2006 leading to the Oval Test fiasco when umpire Darell Hair accused the Pakistanis of tampering with the ball to aid reverse swing. ICCs new rule of mandatory ball change after 34 overs has hurt reverse swing bowlers because they cannot use that deadly weapon in the slog overs. But the legacy of reverse swing continues in Test matches and provides some hope for the bowlers on flat tracks with little assistance for them.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Remember the Titans---- Gundappa Viswanath

If one needed proof that statistics can sometimes be misleading, look no further than Gundappa Viswanath. While another little master of his time, Sunil Gavaskar, had a record that was a statisticians delight, Viswanath's record was nothing to drool over. But his contribution to the team as a crisis man was every bit as important as Gavaskar's. No wonder each of his 14 Test centuries either resulted in a victory or a draw for the team. Vishy had a number of shots in his repertoire but his most lethal and effective one was the thunderous square cut off the fast bowlers. He was equally adept at playing both spin and fast bowling and adjusted very well in all conditions. Two of his best innings came at the bouncy track of Madras. One was a match-winning 124 against West Indies in 1978-79. But his best ever and one of the most highly remembered innings was the 97 he made against West Indies in 1974-75. India was stuttering at 76 for 6 and Andy Roberts was breathing fire making a mockery of the Indian batting. In came Vishy and played a innings of such resolve and defiance that it eventually laid the foundation for an Indian victory. He was also highly renowned as a honest cricketer who believed in fair play. He recalled Bob Taylor to the crease in a match against England in 1979-80 even though he was given out by the umpire. India went on to lose that match but the spirit of the game won.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The longest name for a place

`Taumatawkakatangihakoauauotanenuiarangikitanatahu.’ Well, that’s the longest name you will ever find for a place and its that for a nine hundred-foot hill in New Zealand. This 52-letter name is in the Maori language and means `the hill upon which Rangi sat and played the flute to his lady love.’

Longest movie title!!!

India has the distinction of producing a feature film with the longest title. At Chennai in December 1994, a Telegu-film was released with 20 words in its title: Shree Shree Rajadhiraja Shree Shree Madana Kamaraja Shree Shree Vilasa Raja Shree Shree Mahdubana Raja Shree Shree Krishnadeva Donda Raja.

Hello guys....

This is a wonderful platform for sharing and learning. I hope to contribute to this knowledge flow in every way possible.