Thursday, April 23, 2009

IPL gets underway in South Africa

IPL T20 cricket-Edition II- kicked off in the Rainbow country South Africa on the 16th of April.Funny that the Indian Premier League had to be played outside of India. Can anyone imagine Wimbledon being played in, say, India? But, considering the fact that the dates for the "slam bang" version of the game clashed with the Indian polls,the security arrangements for the elections obviously took precedence over IPL.

Full marks to the IPL commissioner Lalit Modi for making all necessary arrangements in three weeks time to shift the tourney to South Africa. The host country also deserves full praise.The response to the tournament in South Africa was fantastic.The atmosphere was carnival and the players were taken out in motorcade in Capetown. These were superbly organized and so was the opening ceremony with the African drum beats and the fireworks.

The initial matches have not evoked that much interest in India. Maybe because the "emotional connect" was missing but more so due to the poor weather conditions curtailing even the already curtailed version of the game. Also,some funny innovations have been introduced to the game which breaks the momentum, eg, the seven and half minutes " strategy break" after 10 overs is a big sham. Most players have objected to it and rightly so. This break is mainly created for the benefit of sponsors who can use it for TV ads for product promotion.

I hope that the matches get tight and have close finishes. That would enhance viewer interest and the TRP ratings. There is still a lot of matches to go but from what i have seen from the early games, my pick for the semi-finals would be Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Deccan. My winners pick would be Mumbai. I believe they have the most balanced side.
Lets wait and watch. we will know in a months time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Polling gets underway in the most populous democracy in the world-India

The first phase of the polling to nominate a party at the centre has come to an end today. By the time the other phases of the polling get over,it would be another month. There is a definite sense of uneasiness among the leading parties. Broadly there are three fronts in the fray-The United Progressive Alliance(UPA)with Congress as the main party,The National Democratic Alliance(NDA)with the BJP as the leading party and the third front comprising the Communist parties and Regional parties.

Regional parties are becoming stronger by the day and are likely to be the King makers in forming the Government at the centre.The first phase of polling has seen very poor voter turnout. Whether it is because of peak summer or a general apathy of the public remains to be seen. But the voters are getting fed up and frustrated with the parties for how little they have done or achieved.

I am pretty sure that none of the three fronts are going to get an absolute majority and it will be a hung parliament. But come mid May when the results are announced, one can see frenzied activities among parties having parleys to tie up an alliance. Individual parties would jump from one front to another to piggyback with the possible ruler of the country. Shame, principles and policies have no place in politics and shuttling to and fro to gain and lend favours are the norm.

With so much of "horse trading" likely to go on after the results, one hopes to have a "stable" government.

Friday, April 10, 2009

41 years victory drought in New Zealand ends

Dhoni's men did what no other Indian cricket team did for the last 41 years in New Zealand( NZ).Yes! Dhoni's team went, saw and conquered the lion in it's own den. Team India won the one day series 3-1 and also won the three test match series 1-0. It could well have been 2-0 had not the rain Gods taken pity on NZ.

NZ was always a nemesis for the Indian team. The cold and blustery wind and the seaming pitches were always a matter of extreme discomfort for the Indians in earlier years. But the present team didn't carry any baggage of the yesteryears and went with an attitude to win. True, the pitches in NZ this time were more like sub-continent stuff except in Wellington where it was cold and gusty winds and the NZ team looked like a 'work in progress' side.But our batsmen and bowlers did their part to perfection in grinding the opposition to the dust.

Team India is well on it's way to staking a claim for the No.1 spot in world cricket. All they have to gaurd against is a feeling of complascency. Under " captain cool' Dhoni, one believes that the No.1 spot is not very far off.

Best Wishes

Friday, April 3, 2009

G-20 agrees to regulatory crackdown

The much awaited G-20 came and went by. There were lots of apprehensions that the divide between U.S.A and the EU on the methodology of economic stimulus may derail the Summit. However, saner sense prevailed and with a lot of behind the scene activity and persuasion, an effective agreement was dished out.

The world leaders agreed on stricter limits on Hedge funds, Executive pay, credit-rating companies and risk taking banks. They also bolstered IMF and offered cash to revitalize trade to help governments tide over the economic turmoil. More than $ 1 trillion was pledged in emergency aid to cushion the global economic debacle. This is apart from the $5 trillion already planned by nations as stimulus package till 2010.

The rules of capitalism are being rewritten where governance and regulation are the watch words rather than blind speculation and non-transparency. Tax haven nations might be a thing of the past or they have to be transparent in providing information. The G-20 have vowed to” name and shame” nations resorting to protectionism.

One hopes that with these measures and much more to follow in the months to come, the economy will slowly but steadily limp back to normal at least in 2010. Free market per se is welcome. However, greed coupled with pure speculation and irrational exuberance is a sure recipe for disaster. People seem to have realized this now and it is fondly hoped that the mistakes committed by the developed world is not repeated again.