Jun 052010
 

Woke up this morning to read the news flashed by the (good/bad)times of India that the NCP chief Sharad Pawar had been distanced by friends and foes alike. Though he has negated his involvement in the IPL bid, the reports by the times of India claiming his involvement in the bid, through a company owned by him, is damaging enough for him to be left alone.

But will the veteran politican be bowled out by this delivery? It’s for time to tell. For me, I believe that this person is capable of coming clean out of every situation. If politics is a board of chess, Sharad Pawar is not the queen on it. He is the person who handles the queen, king, rook, knight, bishop and pawn. And he has managed to win by his moves, each time.

So, even if the media, who will stop pursuing this case in short time, has managed to enforce a check in this game, lets find who the checkmate will be.

Jun 042010
 

Events after events are going by in the world of sports. We had that controversy filled IPL, then the T20 world cup. The Roland Garros is on at the moment. And up next is the much awaited FIFA 2010. The enthusiasm around the world is highest during the soccer world cup. Every one is getting busy preparing for the event at this moment. But long before the even will start, the books are open around the world and bets are being accepted. Few people play by heart and bid on their hot favourite, and others play by mind to maximise the chances of winning.

I would be glad to bet on someone for the first time in my life. But I am in India, where gambling is illegal, except on horse racing, at few casinos and the online lotteries run by few states. The only bet I am allowed to take is by travelling in a suburban train compartment, and I have managed to come out alive till now.

Anyway, why is it not legallised in India? I do not understand the logic behind it, if the government is unable to curb all the illegal betting that goes on during the sporting events. I was recently told that the bets are accepted even on the propability of the rains in India, illegally. Stock market, which many consider as a gamble is legal in India. But betting on sporting events isn’t.

India has an estimated $60 billion turnover per year through betting channels. This proves how inefficient our governance is in curbing it. So why not legalise it. First of all the government would surely do well with additional revenue that will be generated through legal betting. Secondly the bookies will be under government scanner, reducing the chances of matches being fixed. Black money will have restricted access into circulation. Of course, illegal betting will still flourish as the bookies have lots of tricks(and powerful men) under their sleeves, but the common man will prefer legal channels, reducing the load on them. Lots of new jobs will be created for the man at the betting hubs and kiosks( and I do not intend sarcasm in that statement).

So if the government of India legalises betting, they manage to reduce the fiscal deficit, they curb illegal practices in sporting events, they create employment, they put some bottle neck to the flow of blackmoney.

And Nilesh Gonsalves here gets to bet on one of his favourite FIFA worldcup teams.

Mar 112010
 

Its a week of new starts in the world of sports. And the population on this planet is ready to rejoice.

The first event that starts tomorrow is the IPL or the Indian Premier League, the shortest version of  cricket so far. I am not at all a huge fan of this form of the game. I prefer the longest version of the game, the test cricket. I feel that a five day game gives enough time for a team to prove their strength. Of course, I am not the one to buy a ticket and watch the game at the stadium for five whole days(who has that much time these days?), but I do follow the progress of the game through media, when two strong teams are playing each other. I feel the 20 over version is sort of a hit or miss affair, with the luckiest team ending up as champions. People get fascinated by this series due to the amount of entertainment provided in the shortest possible time. And hats off to the organisers, who have come up with such a brilliant idea for generating higher revenues to the players involved, and have managed to make this affair a grand success.

The second sport that starts this weekend, is the one which fascinated me much more. The Formula 1 Circus is back, and along with it has come back Micheal Schumacher the seven times world champion of this sport. Also I am happy for the new face from my country, Karan Chandhok, and an upgraded version of the car from my favourite team, Force India.

Nothing creates more buzz than the return of Schumi after two years out of the sport. This has offset the drop in enthusiasm about formula 1, due to many different rules introduced. One of them being the ban on midrace refuelling. This has taken away most of the excitement, that was generated due to strategic fuel loads in the car. Now there won’t be any strategies for pitstops. All cars will be loaded to maximum, and will go round and round till tires wear out, forcing a change, which normally happens almost around the same time for cars with similar tyre compound. Overtaking during pit stops will be minimal, and will lead to the pole position driver winning quite frequently. Where’s the excitement in that?

Karan Chandhok is signed up as a driver for the team HRT(Hispania Racing F1 Team). Its a good opportunity for the youngster, who has been aspiring this position since long back, and have put in lots of efforts towards this. Though we do not have any over expectations from him, since its the debut of him and his team, we do expect him to prove his worth and consistency.

And before I end, its good to see that Force India has begun its season with good performance at the test drive. They had put up a very notewrothy performance last year, being in points with a podium finish. I will put down my money on this team to be up amongst the middle order(or may be among the top, who knows!!).

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