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Showing posts from July, 2012

Club Vs Country

With the IPL safely behind us, let us look at the Club Vs Country debate dispassionately.  We will focus on cricket, but learn generously from sports like football - which have been grappling with this issue for a lot longer.   There are 2 primary questions to answer – 1.  If a player has a conflict between a country game and a club game, what should he/she choose?  2.  If the player has to miss playing in order to rest the body (an increasingly important aspect of modern professional sports), should he/she choose to rest country games or club games?  Alas, it is not a easy choice to make because of a few key reasons – playing for the country is considered patriotic (equating players to soldiers in some instances) thus making players feel like they are traitors if they choose club over country.   On the other hand, players do make more money per game playing for a club – and it is hard to choose country over club and end up the poorer because of the choice.   Le

Indian tennis - the cast is bigger than the plot

The Olympics has not yet begun and we already had a thrilling episode wrt the Indian tennis team for London.   We saw the personalities come out in full colour.  Mahesh “He is a back-stabber” Bhupathi, Rohan “no one but Mahesh” Bopanna, Leander “it is all about India” Paes and Sania “I am a victim” Mirza– what a joke.  This was a soap opera playing out in the open and every actor (and atleast one dad) wanted his or her 15 minutes in the limelight.  For those who didn’t follow the story, here is one version of it http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/london-olympics-2012/news/Controversies-mark-Indian-tennis-ahead-of-Olympics/articleshow/14861893.cms Amongst all of this, what was lost was the quality of Team India in Olympics.  We have a 39 year old and a 38 year old representing us in what is clearly a young man’s sport.   Whatever happened to the Yuki Bhambri’s of the world? I remember seeing Yuki play 4 years ago in the juniors in US open and being really impressed by hi
Growing up, we have been told repeatedly – winning is not as important as competing.   Events like the Olympics, with the famed Olympic spirit mantra, reinforce this message.  But how pragmatic is this notion of ‘competing’ as opposed to ‘winning’. Let us leave philosophy aside for a bit and look at this question from a purely commercial angle. Both Roger Federer and David Nalbandian have been in the professional tennis circuit for around the same amount of time.  Early evidence suggests that both of them were equally talented (with David winning almost all matches he played against Roger).  But over the years Roger has figured out how to win – not just against David but also against the other players.  As of now - Roger has taken home 8 times more money than Nalbandian has.  (73M Vs. 11 M).  Both are top-notch tennis players and yet, the difference is so stark. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=F324&oId=N301 And this is just one part of the sto