The Lighter Side – This Week In Sport : Episode 7

Welcome to the another edition of ‘The lighter side – This week in Sport’, a weekly review show of all the goings on in the world of sport over the past week.
Before we get to the show,

a disclaimer: All the reports here are based on completely baseless unreliable sources. We only compile them and present it to you. If we catch hold of our reporters, we will sue them on your behalf.

On tonight’s show:
The Eden gardens
The Australian open
New Zealand cricket
South Korean money-man


The Eden gardens

With hardly a few weeks to go before the start of the biggest spectacle in world cricket, The Cricket World Cup, the organizing committee and the people of Kolkata received a shock when the Eden Gardens was deemed ‘unfit’ and ‘not ready’ to host the world cup match between India and England to be held on the 27th of February. ‘It is sad and unfortunate but the stadium is just not ready’, said Mr.Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the ICC. ‘The stadia were given ample time to get prepared but since the level of preparation does not meet the strict ICC norms, we have no option but to reschedule the game and shift the venue.’

This has left BCCI officials red-faced but they have tried to put up a brave face. ‘There is no need for any emergency meeting. It is but a minor glitch and will be sorted out. The ground is actually ready but the ICC has taken the name a bit too seriously. They came in expecting to find apples. Why apples? Well, it is Eden’s garden of course. They thought that apples were of the essence and without which, the name of the ground would not hold true. See, we did not know about this earlier. In fact, we came to know only a couple of days earlier and we even tried to get apples and clandestinely place them so that they appeared to have been grown that. Unfortunately, the ICC saw through that. We even tried to explain to them that we had iPods, iPhones and iPads in all the stands but they said that those Apples did not count. We’re trying to rope in Steve Jobs and hopefully, he will agree. So there is really, no point in being alarmed.’

Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Bengal has cried foul. ‘We are being framed here!’, said a spokesperson. ‘For no fault of our own, the people of Kolkata are losing the opportunity to watch a match. A major conspiracy is being perpetrated against Bengal. First, no one bid for Dada at the IPL auction and now this. The worst thing is that, in both cases, the same reasons are being cited – ‘not ready’ and ‘unfit’. We are launching a national level agitation in the city of Kolkata to protest.’ When asked how it would be national level if it was only in the city, he said, ‘We will protest in the National Library!’


The Australian Open

The Australian Open 2011 is drawing to a close and it has proven to be a tournament of upsets. The top two seeds in both the men’s and the women’s draw have been knocked out. In the men’s draw, FedEx has been derailed by the Djoker in straight sets. In typical NoJo style, seeing Roger upset after the loss, he walked upto him and said, ‘Why so serious?’ Runor has it that he will appear for the final with a bandage on his nose. Roger apparently punched him square on the nose. Apparently, not everyone appreciates the DJoker’s humor.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s quest for the Rafa-slam, to hold all 4 grand slam titles at the same time came to an abrupt halt when he was beaten in straight sets by David Ferrer. When asked, Nadal said, ‘well he just played a great match and I was also not in the peak of my fitness. I did not want to give up though and tried to continue but the pain was just too much.’ When asked about the much fabled meeting with Roger Federer in the final, he said, ‘well, people have expectations but in the end it wasn’t to be. I thought I might be beaten by Federer. In the end, I was beaten by a man whose name is a few letters short – Ferrer’, and grinned.

Meanwhile, Justine Henin has re-retired from tennis. She said, ‘normally, this would be a very hard moment but since I’ve already retired in the past, I have my speech ready. There are some advantages, you see’, she said in a matter-of-fact way. The other Belgian, ‘supermom’ Kim Clijsters is well on her way to the title and will face off against Li Na in the final.

In other news, in a surprising show of unity, except one solitary newspaper, the Indian newspapers have reported absolutely nothing on the progress of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. When contacted, a spokesperson said, ‘We are totally against this publicity stunt that has been perpetrated. The New Indian Express started calling Leander-Mahesh pair as the ‘Indian Express’. Imagine the amount of free publicity that the paper would garner if we too reported about that!’


New Zealand cricket

In an event that has sent shockwaves through the New Zealand cricket circles, Daniel Vettori has announced his decision to step down from captaincy after the 2011 World Cup. He said, ‘I have been in this job, and in other jobs such as selector, top scorer, top wicket-taker, best average-er, best all-rounder, best mid-on fielder for a long time now. I think that it is time that the young lads step up and take charge. I think that I would like to concentrate on my other jobs and leave the captaincy to someone else. I only think this is fair. Although I am stepping down from captaincy, I will still play an active role in the team and hope to continue bowling and batting.’

The New Zealand board is clearly shell-shocked. ‘New Zealand cricket has been indebted to the services of Daniel Vettori. He has been a great captain and we fully respect his decision. We are looking at the possibile replacements and at the moment, we have not ruled out any replacement for Daniel, not even Daniel Vettori himself.’, said Mr.Daniel Vettori, the spokesperson of the New Zealand cricket board. Clearly, he is a man who dons many a hat.

Martin Guptil, meanwhile, has come out and said that he would be happy to bat anywhere in the New Zealand batting order. ‘I have found a new lease of life as an opener but would revert to any position if the team demands it. The team always comes first. The opinion on Guptil, however, is still mixed. When we asked around the streets of Auckland on what people thought of this statement of Guptil, a man said, ‘He’ll bat anywhere, eh? Well, then ask him to bat in the nets. And stay there!’


South Korean monkey man

The ongoing Asian cup has thrown up a major controversy. In the match between South Korea and Japan, Ki Sung-Yueng, a South Korean player scored a goal against Japan and then celebrated in a way in which he made a face like a monkey. The Japanese have taken offence to this gesture as, apparently, is used by the South Koreans to mock the Japanese. This was first picked up by TV cameras but when questioned after the game, he denied it. Later on, however, he tweeted saying that it was more important to be a Korean than a football player. Consequently, he clarified that it was indeed a slur on the Japanese. ‘I saw so many rising suns’, he said, referring to the Japanese flags, ‘and I got so ticked off! I mean, come on! I’m a late night person. We were playing at 9 in the evening, and already the sun was rising. You tell me how someone will not get ticked off!’

Meanwhile, the police protection outside Harbhajan Singh’s house has increased manifold. ‘Everytime the word ‘monkey’ is heard, we beef up the security’, said a security personnel. ‘We never know when or how accusations might come the way of Mr.Singh.’ Harbhajan himself was not available for comment. Neither was Andrew Symonds.


That’s it from this week’s bulletin. We hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, its good bye from us …

15 of the best !


     WIMBLEDON 2004
           US OPEN 2004
          WIMBLEDON 2005
                   US OPEN 2005
        AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2006
  US OPEN 2006
     US OPEN 2007
  US OPEN 2008

Fifteen with love


Sampras’ seemingly unbeatable record of 15 grand slams has been overhauled. All 4 majors have been won. The no.1 ranking has been reclaimed and all the while grace, poise and elegance has been maintained. Thats Roger Federer for you. peRFect.

If someone had told you about 10 years ago, that a Swiss would become the greatest player of all time, you would probably have laughed, and so would I. But it has happened. Not only has Roger Federer become the most successful player player in Grand Slam history, but has also done it by playing a brand of tennis that can only be described as, well, magical.

When he first burst onto the scene, it was all guns blazing. A victory over the mighty Pete Sampras at Wimbledon ( which ironically became Sampras’ last match on the lawns of SW19 ). He had arrived on the scene.

The years that followed can only be described as ‘The Federer Era’ and there was hardly a hiccup( except in the clay of Paris, which a certain matador from Spain called his own ). Major after major came his way, and world #1 was a given.

Then came 2008. The year, I am sure that tennis fans will remember for a long long while to come. It was when Federer was dethroned as the king of England( well, of Wimbledon at least). In what was the longest final in Wimbledon history and perhaps, the greatest final ever, Rafael Nadal prevailed over Federer to add insult to the injury blows that he inflicted on Federer in the final of the French hardly a month before. And now doubts arose.

Naturally, whispers started of Federer losing it and not having anything left in him. These soon turned into full blown shouts when he lost his world #1 ranking to Nadal later that year. But just as great champions do, Federer won the US Open, albeit not playing the best tennis that he is capable of.

And this vulnerability was yet again exposed by Nadal when he beat Federer in the final of the Australian open. The scenes that ensued will certainly be fresh in the minds of all tennis fans. Federer breaking down and sobbing hysterically with Nadal, in what can only be described as one of the greatest shows of sportsmanship that the sport has ever seen, consoling him. This was probably a bit too much for Roger and soon enough, the axe was wielded and the guillotine lowered.

Yet again, as only great champions can, he rose from the ashes, to claim the one major trophy to elude him. He won the French open in some style and thus joined the pantheon of greats like Don Budge, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and others, to be only one of a select few to hold all 4 major trophies. He had indeed come a full circle.

Then came Wimbledon and another epic final. Andy Roddick gave as good as he got and a bit more but in the end, Roger Federer had done it. He had eclipsed Pete Sampras to become THE HISTORY MAN ! The Undisputed king. Whats more, he’s got his #1 ranking back.

His critics will always say that he never had the competition that other great players like Sampras or Borg had. You know what? It only seems that way because he was head and shoulders above the rest. The competition that Borg had can very well be equated to the competition that Federer had without any disrespect to the players of either eras. The difference was that while Borg and Sampras were ahead of the competition, Federer was well ahead and well, as they say, it gets quite lonely at the top.

He does not have the biggest serve; Roddick does. He does not have the best forehand; Djokovic probably does. He does not have the best backhand; Richard Gasquet does. he does not have the best physique or legs; Nadal does. But you know what? He has what it takes to be a champion, and a great one at that; probably the greatest.

 Kudos to the great man.