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Friday, December 23, 2011

Tendulkar greater than Bradman: Oz researcher

An economics researcher claims to have found an answer to one of the biggest debates in international cricket by picking Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest Test batsman ever over late Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman.

Who's greater?"Griffith University researcher Dr Nicholas Rohde has used economic theory to compare batsmen from different eras, and says India's Little Master, who will pad up against the Aussies at the MCG on Boxing Day, is history's premier willow wielder," reported The Australian.

The 38-year-old Tendulkar has a world-record 15,183 runs from 184 Tests at an average of 56.02 since making his debut in 1989. Bradman, on the other hand, played 52 Tests from 1928 to 1948, scoring 6996 runs at an astonishing average of 99.94. He died in 2001 aged 92.
Dr Rohde said a theoretical analysis puts Tendulkar above Bradman. "The rankings are designed to allow for meaningful comparisons of players with careers of different lengths," Dr Rohde said.
"It's an emotional issue and there will always be debate between followers of Test cricket about the relative career performances of various batsmen," he added. The rankings by the researcher have been created according to a player's career aggregate runs, minus the total number of runs that an average player of that era would accumulate over the same number of innings.
Allan Border (seven) and Steve Waugh (nine) are the other Australian batsmen in the top 10. Rahul Dravid (fourth) and Sunil Gavaskar (eighth) are the other Indians in the list. Dr Rohde's said it was possible that Tendulkar and Bradman could swap their places many times before the Indian retires as a dip in form would affect his standing.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar Invited by Amitabh Bachchan for Polio Campaign


Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai and cricket star Sachin Tendulkar are among those Amitabh Bachchan has invited to participate in his campaign against Polio in India. Rai is also Big B's daughter-in-law, who recently gave birth to his new baby granddaughter, Beti B.

A report from Pink Villa gives the news that Amitabh is quite pleased with how the number of cases has decreased. He reported on Twitter that since he took over as Polio UNICEF campaign's Ambassador, there are now zero cases in India. He goes on to say it was started in 2002 when there were "over 1,000 cases," yet today there is only one in West Bengal.

On Thursday, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Mumbai for a special event to launch a new UNICEF campaign for polio. He let his Twitter followers know about the success of the campaign, as well as how the incurable disease can be prevented. Big B said on Twitter:

"May I also add here that polio is incurable, but it can be prevented provided the vaccine is taken in time... And yes, on some of the campaign videos I did invite Sachin (Tendulkar), Aishwarya, SRK (Shah Rukh Khan), and Jaya (Bachchan) to promote the cause... so thank you to all!!"

When it comes to major causes, it's always good to get major stars on board. Amitabh certainly has the respect of many in his country and elsewhere, so it shouldn't be tough to get the help of these individuals. Aishwarya Rai in particular is a close family member whom Amitabh seems to care for greatly. After all, she's married to his son, Abhishek. Now it will be up to other celebrities and individuals to get involved in the campaign to help decrease polio occurrences that much more. This is a great cause, so hopefully Amitabh gets the support he needs from others!

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Sachin Tendulkar sparkles in India's tour opener


SACHIN Tendulkar started what is likely to be his last tour of Australia with a typically classy 92 in India's drawn match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Canberra. 
 
The two-day match ended today when rain intervened with the tourists 6-320 after 83.1 overs in reply to the home side's 6-398 on a very flat Manuka Oval pitch.

With the exception of opener Gautam Gambhir, who looked a little edgy in his knock of 35, India's available first-string batsmen looked in ominous touch ahead of the four-Test series against Australia.

Tendulkar was the star and, after going to lunch 13 not out, the 38-year-old unleashed in the second session in facing just 132 balls and smashing 15 boundaries.

The small but vocal crowd of around 2000 were disappointed when Tendulkar and VVS Laxman (57 not out) both retired at tea after combining for a 133-run stand.

However, they'd already seen Rahul Dravid - Tendulkar's only partner in the 13,000 club for Test runs - make 45 in a solid day for India's big three.

Dravid, who is India's captain for the first of two practice games against Chairman's selections, looked in good touch before he was out trying to clear the mid-off fieldsman off the bowling of leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2-74).

Laxman, who has performed unbelievably well in Australia throughout his career, also looked in impressive nick. He took just 76 balls for his unbeaten stint at the crease and found the fence nine times.

Young opener Ajinkya Rahane (three), who is yet to make his Test debut, missed his opportunity and was out early to promising South Australian quick Jake Haberfield (1-54).

Rahane's partner Gautam Gambhir got himself set before hitting one to Chairman's XI captain Ryan Broad at short cover off the bowling of Victorian off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (1-84).

One-Test quick Peter George failed to make a breakthrough but was the most economical, going for just 38 runs from his 19 overs.

Middle-order batsman Virat Kholi was the only other to fail, out for one caught and bowled to Boyce, while Rohit Sharma (56no) and keeper Wriddhiman Saha (23no) were the unbeaten batsmen for India at the close of play.

Source : The Australian

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Sachin Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand can now be given Bharat Ratna

In a significant move clearing decks for Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand and others to get Bharat Ratna, the government has made a necessary change in eligibility criteria for a person getting the India's highest civilian honour.

The Bharat Ratna will now be awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order "in any field of human endeavour" - covering almost all the fields that had earlier remained out of the purview of this civilian award.

Earlier, it was restricted to areas like "Art, Literature, Science and Public Service", making it difficult for government to consider names of those, who contributed immensely to other fields, including sports.

"The change is made through notification by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on recommendation of the home and sports ministries," said a senior official.

Supporting sports ministry's demand to include 'sports' as a category for the award of Bharat Ratna, the home ministry had written to the PMO in July, asking it to take the call as the decision would help outstanding sportspersons to be considered for the highest civilian award.

As the clamour for awarding Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar and Dhyan Chand gets louder, sports minister Ajay Maken had earlier written to home minister P Chidambaram seeking inclusion of 'sports' as a category for the award of Bharat Ratna. Maken, however, did not plead for any specific sportsperson or sports.

Before the change which is made now, the Bharat Ratna was considered only for those, who excelled for "exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order". The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna - that was instituted in 1954 - are made by Prime Minister himself to President.

Though names of persons as per the eligibility criteria can be recommended by different state\Union Territories governments, organizations and individuals to PMO for consideration, no "formal recommendation" for this is necessary. It is also not mandatory that Bharat Ratna is awarded every year. The number of awards is, however, restricted to a maximum of three in a year.

So far, 41 people have been conferred with Bharat Ratna. The first three Indians, who received the prestigious award, were Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sarvapali Radhakrishnan in 1954. There is no written provision that Bharat Ratna should be awarded to Indian citizens only.

The award has been conferred to a naturalized Indian citizen Mother Teresa (1980) and to two non-Indians - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990). Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was the last recipient of the award in 2009.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Lata Mangeshkar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Amartya Sen, Jayprakash Narayan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, M S Subbulakshmi, J R D Tata, A P J Abdul Kalam, Rajiv Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai and Bhimrao Ambedkar are among the other recipients of Bharat Ratna.  


Source: Times of India

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag's common link

What is common between the double hundreds scored by Sachin Tendulkar in Gwalior last year and Virender Sehwag here on Thursday?

While both the batsmen are Indians and the knocks have been scored in Madhya Pradesh, it also happens that both the innings have come on tracks prepared by the same man.

Curator of the Hoklar Stadium Samandar Singh Chauhan was a happy man on Thursday when Sehwag became the second man to score a double hundred in an ODI. He was also incharge of the wicket at the Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior where Tendulkar breached the 200-run barrier.

Singh, who has been a curator for Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association for the last 17 years, said he enjoyed watching Sehwag score 219 against West Indies on a wicket prepared by him.

“Bada mazaa aagaya Sehwag ko dekhkar (It was fun watching Sehwag bat like this). I have always loved preparing batting tracks for the ODIs” he told DNA.

Singh said he had a feeling that Sehwag would be the person to repeat Tendulkar’s feat, but said he had no inkling that it would happen in his venue.

“I knew that Sehwag can do the unthinkable because of the way he bats and given his approach to the game. It is a proud feeling both the double hundreds have come on the pitches prepared by me,” added Singh.

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Sachin Tendulkar has best chance for 100th ton in Australia: Gilchrist


Australian cricketing legend Adam Gilchrist said that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has the best chance of scoring his 100th international century in the upcoming India-Australia series.

"Sachin has a very good chance of scoring his 100th ton in the series as he knows Australian conditions well. It is a matter of time he does that," he told reporters on Thursday.

"However, the Australian bowlers would be unhappy to give it away to the Indian master to get his 100th international ton," Gilchrist said.

Asked about calls for Ricky Ponting's retirement, Gilchrist said his last two innings were extremely encouraging and was playing with freedom and skill that the world knows about him.

"I am sure Ponting is feeling good about his game as he works hard on his batting. I think he is looking forward to India's tour to Australia," Gilchrist said.

On India's chances in Australia, Gilchrist said it would an exciting series and both teams were evenly matched.

"Whichever bowling attack dominates opponent batsmen will get gain advantage (of winning the series)," the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman said.

Gilchrist said Australia would miss its strike bowler Mitchell Johnson. "Definitely it is a loss for us as he has the ability to change the course of a Test match. But at times he is inconsistent," he added.

Gilchrist also said Pat Cummins has had an impressive debut against New Zealand, but how much his non-availability (against India) would be a cause of worry is difficult to say.

He also lavished praise on rookie Indian pacers Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. "Varun and Umesh have impressed me in IPL. They have made a reasonable start to their international career," he said.

On Harbhajan Singh, who would be missed in Australia, Gilchrist said, "Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have performed well to keep Singh out."

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Tendulkar's lonely pitch

AN MCG tour group stopped and listened to an informative briefing about the indoor cricket facilities without realising the small man having a private net session below was Sachin Tendulkar, and that was just how he wanted it.

The greatest batsman of his generation practised alone in the greatest cricket ground, away from the cameras (banned by Indian cricket board decree) and in quiet broken only by the crack of the ball on his bat.
Safe to say it will be the last time he will go unrecognised this summer.

The tour will not officially begin until next week when the full Indian squad and its entourage gathers in Canberra, but an advance party of seven, with champion batsmen Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman among them, touched down in Melbourne on Thursday night to get a head start. They vanished behind layers of security, into the team bus and to their hotel just in time to witness the outbreak of Sehwagology that took down one of Tendulkar's many world records.

But he has plenty more of those, and the celebration that followed Virender Sehwag's astonishing 219 in Indore, a delicious appetiser to the Border-Gavaskar series, will seem tame if Tendulkar scores his one-hundredth hundred on Boxing Day. Tendulkar seized the earliest start to his Australian preparation of all the Indian players in town, venturing to the MCG yesterday with two support staff while James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, his next opponents, scythed through New Zealand in Hobart.

The outdoor nets were under covers so he picked one of the indoor ones designed to replicate pace and bounce, and faced throw-downs for almost two hours.

You cannot get near the nets while the Indians are in town without special security clearance, but from behind a distant pillar he could be seen stretching forward with a straight bat to the fuller balls.

He was relaxed but serious, fetching his own balls at the end of a batch, and didn't flinch when one ball shot up and hit him on the side of the helmet.

No one except a couple of MCG caterers, who flipped out their camera phones, gave him a second glance. For a couple of quiet hours, Sachin Tendulkar was just a batsman batting.

All that will change 16 days from now when he begins his fifth Test series in Australia searching for his nation's first ever series win in these parts.

Already his presence has created a buzz. ''Tendulkar's in town,'' said the man on the No. 48 tram, and soon enough he will be the focus of the cricket world's gaze again.

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