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Monthly Archives: JUNE 2016


Pink ball revolution should not lead to anarchy
21.06.16 - Pradeep Magazine
Pink ball revolution should not lead to anarchy



The pink ball revolution, which is bound to change the fundamentals of Test cricket, is right upon us. Whenever India takes an initiative or willingly accepts a change mooted somewhere else, the spread of that move accelerates and gains wider acceptance.

The debate here is not the strength of India’s financial muscle power but the ramifications of day-night Test cricket, of which the pink ball is a key component.

One Test match has been already played under lights – Australia-New Zealand in Adelaide ---even though the reaction from the crowds has been positive, but the players who participated in the match or watched are not too sure of what the future holds. It is one thing to be concerned about the survival of Test cricket but to find a solution in playing the game in conditions diametrically different from the existing one needs serious debate.

As England cricketer, Kevin Pietersen put it: "Test cricket is the pinnacle. Wickets change at night. Who wants to see a new ball at certain grounds around the world at 8 o’clock at night under lights. Are you mad? You’ve got to change all the statistics.”

Implicit in his statement is one basic fact that when conditions and the behaviour of the ball will transform drastically, the game too will change from what it has been so far. From an Indian perspective, they will lose what is called home advantage on which they rely so much.
As must be evident to everyone watching a local match at the Eden, which is being beamed live and marketed vociferously by the commentators, the pink ball requires the wicket to be left with a thick grass cover. This is being done so that the shine of the ball does not dissipate quickly as that will make it very difficult for the batsmen to spot the ball.

Since the match starts in the afternoon, the pacers have no morning advantage but once the lights are on, they become unplayable. As Pietersen said, he will send his openers to bat in the lights as the ball will start moving then and not in the morning.

Besides, since there is going to be no wear and tear on the ball, the spinners are going to be ineffective. Ashwin will no longer be the wizard he has been in home conditions. It is possible, as we see in T20 cricket, spinners could open the bowling and pacers will come into play in the third session.

That wickets will fall more regularly, batsmen will no longer be dominant and pacers will command greater respect, which may or may not be bad for the game. There could also be more changes that may be necessitated by conditions. As more games are played – an Australia-Pakistan Test is scheduled in Dubai – more innovations will come into play.
India is also playing its Duleep Trophy matches under lights in which most of the top cricketers will play. What new questions it will throw up no one is sure. From a traditionalist’s point of view, the worry is that in luring crowds to the stadium or getting more television viewers, administrators need to be careful that in the name of change, cricket should not embark on a path that could end up being more anarchic than revolutionary.
 
(Courtesy: hindustantimes.com)




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All Set to Kickoff at Euro 2016
08.06.16 - Harpreet Singh
All Set to Kickoff at Euro 2016



A month-long feast of football is on its way, which will certainly make the summers hotter. The tournament brings a thankful feeling for those footy fans who demand that football should never go off the television. So this summer all they require is to shutter up their sets for the duration of Euro 16 in France.
 
The forthcoming, World Cup-sized tournament is considered as a gift by provisionally suspended UEFA President Michel Platini to his home country. Platini’s urge to compete against FIFA and Sep Blatter has shown through his plans to radically expand the European Championship. German and English football associations opposed his idea to magnify the tournament from 16 teams to 24. However, he got success as the other European Football Associations backed his notion of providing an opportunity to the small nations to compete in the finals.

 

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Albania

England

Germany

Croatia

Belgium

Austria

France

Russia

Northern Ireland

Czech Republic

Italy

Hungary

Romania

Slovakia

Poland

Spain

Republic of Ireland

Iceland

Switzerland

Wales

Ukraine

Turkey

Sweden

Portugal

 


This will be a third time when the European Continent Championship will be held in France. Earlier the host nation has organized the tournament in 1960 and 1984. 51 matches of the final stage, 20 more than the last finals, will be played in the 10 cities of the country.
 
Now with the Euro Cup set to begin, every team will try to put their name on the stake. Football pundits are expecting France to repeat the history of 2000 under the command of Coach Didier Deschamps. He has won the Euro title in 2000 as a player in the French side. Midfielder Paul Pogba is the key player in their side with Anthony Martial in front seeking ball from the midfield areas.
 
World Champions Germany has already proved their bid for winning this prestigious trophy. Players like Muller, Schweinsteiger and Hummels are raring to go to add another trophy to their football career. However, the absence of Philip Lahm has left a void in the defense.
 
Spaniards are heading to Euro Cup chasing a remarkable hat-trick of titles but their era of continental dominance will be fully tested this summer as their best defense and
midfield has been retired last summer. With an experience of both international and club finals, Sergio Ramos will be a key player for them. 
 
Vicente del Bosque's side stormed to a 4-0 win in the final in Kiev, becoming the first team to win three straight major international tournaments following on from their triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. However, the flaws that first started to appear in Confederations Cup and then in World Cup when their title defense lasted only just two matches.
 
England’s young guns are desperate to heal the 52 years of hurt. The young lions are also quite impressive in their premier league matches. Players like Dele Ali, Rushford and have proved their potential and outclassed several experienced players to make their way in the final eleven. Roy Hodgson showed his faith in this inexperienced side with Rooney the only player who have more than 5 years of international experience.
 
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portuguese side working hard to earn their reputation they lost in 2004 when Greece lifted the trophy beating them in the final. The long accurate passes of both Bruno Alves and Joao Moutinho can cause problems for any team, anytime. Pepe with his killer headers not only forces the ball away for clearances but for goals also. However, his disciplinary record is the major problem for them. 
 
Belgian side, one of the favourites, looks quite solid with Thibaut Courtois in the goals.  Lukaku's season with Everton also went excellent as he scored 18 goals for the Merseyside Blue. Underdogs Iceland also has pretty much class to show as they did in the qualifiers. Their playing style in last few months has attracted the attention of football fans.
 
The major blow for the fans is the disqualification of Netherlands from the tournament. Nobody ever thought that Netherlands would not make to the Europe's biggest summer party. The Oranje wowed in Brazil and reached the World Cup semifinals but somehow failed to reach France after suffering embarrassment in qualifying. The winners of Euro Cup back in 1988 lost the leadership of former Manchester United coach Luis Van Gaal, a tactical genius, two years ago which is considered as a prime cause for their exclusion.
 
2.5 million Fans are expected in the stadiums, including 1.5 million foreign visitors comparative to the 1.5 million fans in 2012. Visitors are expected to spend €1bn in the course of the tournament. The matches will be broadcast live by 150 broadcasters in more than 230 territories around the world with an approximately 8 billion viewership altogether.
 
Euro Football promises to produce some new superstars every time. This summer as nations battle out for the biggest footballing prize on the continent. The tournament has also been used as a shop window in previous years to raise the profile of flourishing players into superstars. Michel Platini, Marco van Basten, David Trezeguet and Robert Lewandowski are just some of the names that excelled through this European Championship. 
 
There will be stars forged in France this summer during the 51 games played across 10 stadiums. Some veterans like Gianluigi Buffon will  show their experience while the newcomers show their potential to take the first step on that road to fame.
 
So which nation can earn the pride to lift the Euro Cup 2016? Let’s take a look at the big names.
  

Title Contenders

Key Player

Who will be missed

France

Paul Pogba

K.Benzema

Germany

Muller

P.Lahm

Spain

Ramos

Xavi

England

J.Vardy

J.Terry

Italy

Buffon

Andre Pirlo

Belgium

Hazard

V.Kompany

Portugal

C.Ronaldo

Varela


 




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