Friday, October 23, 2009

Is it Worth Spending Rs 3000 Cr. on Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in New Dehi next year in October are embroiled in one dispute after another. After the environment related issues regarding construction of Games village, then comes the stand off between the Organising committee and the Federation itself. Mr Suresh Kalmadi, the IOA president who is also the chief of the Organising committee, is having a running feud with Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) CEO Mike Hooper.

Amidst all this a question comes to mind whether it is worth to spend such a huge money for the conduct of CG? The budget of commonwealth Games 2010 is more than 3000 Cr. Of course, renovated and modern sports facillities will be erected in New Delhi. But like in 1982, these faillities are only likely to be underutilized. Secondly how important are the commonwealth Games in the world context? With the US and China not being a part of commonwealth, the standard of the Games is far too inferior. In a way these games are no different than the SAF Games or Afro-Asian Games which are of no significance. India routinely bags heaps of medals in in these Games. But where does India stand in olympics?

In fact, holding Commonwealth Games is redundent now as the Commonwealth doesn't exist. the days of world wide British empire are long gone. Most of the participating countries are independent and only a few countries have the British King as the constitutional Head. India for instance is a soverign country trying to emerge as a superpower. Is that the reason for the stand off between the Organising committe and CGF that the CGF is unable to tolerate India's emergence as strong nation?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

T-20 bubble busted : No Indian Team in Semifinals of Champions League

The on-going Champions League T-20 has put the popularity of shortest version of Cricket in India in right perspective. The competition was slotted so as to encash the Diwali festive season. But the tournament has truned into a damp squib both in terms of stadium audeience and TV viewership. In the preliminaries, the matches involving Non-Indian teams, the response was poor, whereas for even for matches involving Indian clubs - Challengers, Chargers and DareDevils, the frenzy that all of us witnessed at the time of IPL-I was missing. Lalit Modi must have realised that you can't sell anything to Indian public in the name of Cricket.

What the Champions League is missing from earlier IPLs is the filmi flavour. With their teams not in the fray, the scenes of the filmi team owners SRK, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty charming the audience are no more there. The teams that were the part of champions League - and none of them has progressed to semifinals - Challengers, chargers and Devils - don't have that glamour content.

Chargers, IPL-II winners were knocked out in preliminary round itself while neither Challengers nor Delhi Daredevils could go through from League A. The phase of lacklustre performances by members of current Indian team continued as they could not take their respective teams further. How will the semifinals and final be received by the spectators and TV audience - is anybody's guess.

The tournament has busted another myth created by IPL success - that India has rich talemt of up-coming Cricketers. The so-called emerging talent of Indian teams failed miserably. In contrast, teams from south Africa and Australia have shown tremandous depth. The surprise package really has been Trinidad and Tobaggo. Inspite of tremandous turbulence in domestic Cricket of West Indies, the T & T outfit has displayed impressive talent in the form of Simmins, Pollard, Bravo brothers and Ganga brothers with captaincy of Darren Ganga being a revelation. The victory of T&T versus NSW was stunning. don't be surprised if Calypso dance is performed after the finals!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama Gets IOC Snub : 2016 Olympics in Land of Samba - Rio de Janeiro

Neither the charishma of Obamas nor Winfery could win Chicago the honour to host 2016 Olympics. Instead, an emtionally charged appeal by Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva resulted in a historical decision by IOC delegates : Olympics going to a Latin American country for the first time!

So last year it was humiliation at the hands of China at Beijing Olympics and now comes another embarrassment for US - losing Olympics bid to a third world country. Other contenders, Tokyo and Madrid too could not muster enough support as the delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of Samba Land.

Even before the event started, success of last year's Beijing Olympics was never i doubt. It remains to be seen if Brazil, whose economy is not as strong as China's, also is able to stage the Games as successfully. But developing countries have in past done this fairly satisfactorily. South Korea made 1988 Seul Games a grand success even in pre-globalisation era.

Brazil has had a moderate success in Olympics over the years. Last year it had won 15 medals. It is a force to recon with in volletball, Basketball and sailimg. Ironically, multiple world champions have failed to win Olympics gold in Football. May be the Football crazy country's first gold will come in front of its own people!

BRIC : This term is being recently used to denote a group of fast growing economies in the world - comprising of Brazil, Russia, India and China. While Russia (formerly part of USSR) and China have hosted Olympics and Brazil due to host one in 2016, can we Indians ever hope to expereince the greatest sporting carnival being conducted in our country? Well, the way IOA (Indian olympics Association) is huffing and puffing its way to ensuing CommonWealth Games, it seems highly unlikely in near future!