Sports Reviews

Putt with Robert Rock

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Putt with Robert Rock, European Tour title winner at the 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship,
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
11 April 2013 @ Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi

After all, we love cricket – Vow Virat !

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What a match man! What to say? All through the last two months the team saved me from my valuable TV time with display on fiield and off. Honestly, I have never been a big fan of you for your four lettered usages, but today, just take time to salute you man.

 “When you are winning you can stay on tour for five months. You won’t mind a single day, but when you are not doing well as a team it is really difficult to hold yourself together mentally”. That was his post match comment. Sidharth Monga wrote it rightly at cricinfo “There is something dangerous about those who have lost it all.”

We, as mad cricket fans, have lot to look forward if you play like this. Well done, but as usual, we all put ourselves and love to be in situations to be at the mercy of others, or their deeds to move ahead. I am not different and my national cricket team too. No choice other than to wait till Australia play Sri Lanka and hopefully win over them in the next match.

Volvo Ocean Race 2011 – 2012 – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing wins Leg 3 First Stage and also clinches Etihad Airways In-Port race

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Volvo Ocean Race 2011 – 2012 – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing wins Leg 3 First Stage and also clinches Etihad Airways In-Port race
Abu Dhabi – 14 Jan 2012
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing clinched this victory by little more than one minute over PUMA in a thrilling finish of the first stage of Leg 3, continuing their winning streak in home waters.
 Within two miles of the finish Abu Dhabi skipper British Olympian Ian Walker stole the lead from Team Telefónica, who had held pole position over the fleet from the start of the 106 nautical mile race to Sharjah.
The first Emirati team to ever compete in the race crossed the finish line at 1629 UTC, scoring the maximum six points and boosting their points tally to 31.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG netted five points for second place, finishing just one minute and 16 seconds behind Abu Dhabi. Groupama sailing team earned four points for third, Telefónica placed fourth for three and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand will receive two for fifth.
Winning the sprint capped off a stellar week of racing for the locals, who leave their homeport as heroes having also won the Etihad Airways In-Port Race on Friday.
Overall Standings:
1. Team Telefonica 71
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 64
3. Groupama sailing team 51
4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 36
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 31
6. Team Sanya 4
Today’s results:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing — 57min 51sec, 6pts
2. Groupama sailing team — 58.48, 5pts
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand – 60.47, 4pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG – 62.22, 3pts
5. Team Telefonica – 62.47, 2pts
The first stage of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race starts today (2pm), with the fleet sprinting from Abu Dhabi back up to Sharjah, from where the boats will be transported to an Indian Ocean safe haven ahead of their journey to Sanya in China.

News source:

Photos: On board clicks by Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi  / 14.01.2012

Wish they were cricketers! India Seniors Volleyball team at Abu Dhbi airport

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This is the Indian Senior Volley Ball team on their way back to Madras after winning a prestigious tournament. I met them at Abu Dhabi Duty Free. There was no fanfare, no one even asking them who they were.
I happened to meet them, the Indian Senior Men’s Volley Ball Team members at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free on 28th August 2011. They were returning to Madras via Abu Dhabi after winning the 18TH NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV PRESIDENT’S CUP INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN beating Tunisia in the finals held on 27th August.
Watching those unsung heroes moving around silently and unattended, I was thinking of the scenario then and there, if it were players from Cricket or other sports. I wish there exists a strong campaign to Promote All Sports Simultaneously (I call it Campaign PASS) so that all athletes get due share of accolades and privileges.
They were with established Volley Ball coach Mr. Sridhar.
Repeatedly, I was thinking, if this group belonged to a Ranji trophy or IPL team playing in India. No sports, other than Cricket get due recognition and popularity. Forget about the rewards for those who pursue it.
No wonder children or parents do not favor other sports these days. Money matters. Popularity too.
Indian Sports Ministry should come out with more support, as do organisations and individuals.
Sad to say,  I send this photo and news of the victorious return to several news media. But none were interested. Obviously, they are not cricketers!!!
These athletes do deserve due credits.
Ramesh Menon
16 October 2011

Mind Speaks – Arrival of Kochi Rajas – 2011 IPL T20

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Mind Speaks – Arrival of Kochi Rajas – 2011 IPL T20

Well. Well. Well. A few weeks ago, I was writing against the domination of cricket and the prominence its players were getting when compared to other sports. Now, I am changing side. I haven’t got any bribe from the cricketing gods. It’s just because of the starting of the domination by some – individuals – underdogs like Paul Valthaty, Ravindra Jadeja, and – team – Kochi Tuskers Kerala playing in the 4th edition of IPL 2011.

A few days ago, everyone got carried away when Sachin Tendulkar got a 100 although getting out twice on his way to it. That day, while coming in to field, the whole of Mumbai Indian supporters including him and his team never believed the impossible to happen. They silently let loose a winning combination to perform and a team in its teething stages enjoy learning the “Will to Win”. With their bold decision to leave Muralidharan and Sreesanth out of the playnig eleven, Kochi Tuskers Kerala showed that the choice of playing good cricket is in the players hands. Wickets were falling at regular intervals and till the time Ravindra Jadeja hit those two powerful sixes, Mumbai Indians never really accepted that enemy have arrived in their front door, in fact already entered inside. I think it was an experience that would have taught Mumbai Indians to “never underestimate anyone” and today Chennai Super Kings too got a taste of this time proven mantra.

Every one might have thought that it was a one off display until the match that finished a few moments ago at Cochin with Chennai Super Kings. M S Dhoni and his team were unable to digest the fact that a team comprising of no big names when compared to theirs offering winning shake hands. Slow motion TV replays showed many of the players in yellow were unable to look at the face of Ravindra Jadeja. Its true, they just can’t believe or digest it. That was the effect of his sixes in this match that it could be termed the most outrageous act of recent cricket. It was as if he was proving a point or two to many.

Yes, this seasons T20 is proving out to be a commoners sports. Imagine any game that the village boys play with conviction and courage. It reminds me of my own younger days, when we used to play matches between village teams. Having left with limited cricket gears many times we go out to bat with one pad and one glows. We used to have a courageous young boy, Justin, amongst us, who worked part time as a taxi driver for his living. He was our trump card while playing bigger teams. He practiced with focus whenever he could get a chance that he was so accurate to hit the knee cap or toe end at any given opportunity to ball. He was thus lethal. When given the bat, the opposition had to always keep extra balls as his hits were outrageously huge to go far beyond our playground and reach the temple pond. Batters like Paul Valthaty and Ravindra Jadeja and our own RV Gomez with the ball brought back his memories. Its just a matter of will to win and winning ways.

Of course the rain gods kindness yesterday and the winning toss meant that it saved KTK from any further helicopter attack by MSD and company during the end overs.

For KTK batters like Brenden McCullum, Mahela Jayawardane, Parthiv Patil and Ravindra Jadeja have all stood up to the challenge they were thrown in. With no gimmicks or paints around, bowlers like RP Sing, R Vinay Kumar and Raphi Gomez comes in a bowl according to captains plans. We could see fielders throw in and “do all little little things right to get the final thing perfect”. I am sure these winning ways and cool approach by Mahela Jayawardane will give sufficient learning opportunities, self control techniques and winning ways to some of our temperamental players. This is a long series and if they re-learn those tricks fast, they too can join the party from within the ground.

Well done KOCHI TUSKERS KERALA. MY COLOR IS ORANGE AND PURPLE from now on. Good luck to all of you in the future games. For viewers these T20 matches gives a few management techniques along with sheer joy of power cricket within the shortest time. No two minds – this game is going to stay longer and its players with more money.

Ramesh Menon

Mind Speaks – Looking forward to ICC 2011 World Cup India – Pakistan Semi Finals / Sreesanth should be given a chance

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Mind Speaks – Looking forward to ICC 2011 World Cup India – Pakistan Semi Finals / Sreesanth should be given a chance.

Well, well, well. What at an exciting game of knock-out matches happening at WC 2011. Australian team were really floored by both Pakistan and India in consecutive matches. Each
player looked responsible and played a pre-defined plan to perfection. The exuberance of confidence and focus level shown by Yuvraj Singh was are getting to its timely peak for a go at the cup this time.
Whether we win the semi final match against Pakistan or not, the tournament has been given a momentum by the attitude of the attitude to win by those 8 teams. They have already
captured the hearts of millions of Cricket fans, irrespective of whether they come from India, Pakistan, England, Australia or wherever.
I hope Mahindra Singh Dhoni and Indian Team think tank take a final look at the non-performers before they go in to the field for the match with Pakistan. By all means, Sreesanth deserves a chance to prove that it was a one-off day for him against Bangladesh. If Dhoni, persists on sidelining him once again, it will be demoralising factor for the player, who could come out with unplayable deliveries consecutively. Even if it does happen, for a player of his caliber, it will not be the end of the world.
Looking forward to an interesting end to WC 2011.

Ramesh Menon

PS: I know it is an extremely dangerous act to write a commentary supporting Sreesanth. God willing if given a chance and he gets on to the playing eleven, my prayers are he keeps his cool and take wickets, a bag full. My Short Take Published in Gulf Today of 26th March is thus dedicated to him.

Call for punishment and control of Piyush Chawla and other Indian Bowlers from using foul language on field

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Call for punishment and control of Piyush Chawla and other Indian Bowlers from using foul language on field

The 2011 World Cup match between India and England played at Banglore was made exciting by an absolutely poor bowling performance by the Indian bowlers. Barring, Zaheer Khan’s lucky spell in the later part of the game, England won the game convincingly. Even the last partnership proved that ours is a toothless attack hitting them for sixes at will. Indian Captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni has been riding on his luck for quite some time and looks like this is the borderline match that will drift his lucky ride down to a different level.

What made me more disgusting was the onfield conduct of the Piyush Chawla after getting hit and taking the wicket of Bresnan in the penultimate over. He was using an swearing publicly at the player and using the most unwarranted language (Ba*** Ch**th) to be exhibited to millions of public especially youngsters watching the game at the stadium and live on TV worldwide. It added more insult and opportunity of public display as all the TV channels showing expert commentary showed the particular over which was one of the turning point for the match.

As an ardent cricket lover and of Indian Cricket Team, I feel extremely ashamed by his conduct and display which is devaluing our culture and hospitality. In addition, conduct of such types seen by youths may be an unwanted example to emulate.

Piyush Chawla by his conduct therefore have done an offense (No. 2.1.4) according to the ICC Code of Conduct and I humbly request ICC and BCCI to act strongly against him by imposing suitable fine and/or even banning from one match.

All Indian players, in particular bowlers should also be warned against using abusive language in Hindi or any other language when on field.

I wonder where are the Shiv Sena, Rama Sena and the women rights wing members, when players freely exhibit such unwarranted public display against of emotions about our motherhood and culture. Wake up and act against them.

Not to forget one of the recent YouTube videos of a match played (not world cup) where the stump mike picked Mahendra Singh Dhoni commenting on Sreesanth fielding at the boundary line not to watch girls and request MSD to control what is happening just under his nose being done by some of his favorites. In that way, looking at Sreesanth’s aggresion and the punishment he has received were mostly biased when considering these type of abusive expressions happening on the field.

Cricket is a game involving huge money and television audience. Thus, code of conduct by players have great value.

Ramesh Menon

Mind Speaks – When the tail just can’t tell On India/South Africa One day Series 2011

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Mind Speaks – When the tail just can’t tell  On India/South Africa  One day Series 2011

The just concluded series between South Africa and India brought out exciting cricket. The new breed of South African players who did well in the UAE grounds recently against Pakistan continued there excellent learning curve against the depleted Indian eleven. When the seniors opted and injured out, the onus was left with the new generation players of Team India to prove their mettle. Some of them are in the 15 selected for the forthcoming World Cup tournament and it was a real testing ground indeed. Results will speak by itself how many of them proved their worth. The opening slot remained open only with the makeshift openers failing. Parthiv Patel did well using his opportunity, but he was not to be in the squad for World Cup. Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina and Ashish Nehra failed to prove their selection a right choice. Of course the argument is there, it is a different track in India and they will come good. Except for Virat Kohli no batters performed consistantly.

Hope we come out good in our own home conditions. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We have a long batting line up on paper, if not the bowling attack. And yes, we do have singh of spin who bat golden runs for the team in every type of this game. It’s true. Gone are the days where Indian spinners are those who can’t bat. But, we expect more. What if our tail just can’t tell the tricks of the opposition team, when our frontline batters fail often. Not much time left for M S Dhoni and company to sort it out.

Ramesh Menon

My Letters – Khaleej Times – dT. 01.11.2010 – Pakistan SA Cricket

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My Letters – Khaleej Times – dT. 01.11.2010 – Pakistan SA Cricket

Pakistan, SA cricket
1 November 2010

The T-20 series between Pakistan and South Africa finished with South African winning on a 2-0 margin. The series moved on to one-day matches and as cricket lovers we all expected a come back attitude from Pakistan. It looks like the Pakistan team has taken this South African team and its members very lightly.

The Pakistan cricket team with its fondness, familiarity for the UAE grounds and local support were expected to give a tough fight. However, against all expectations, and with some unimaginative batting and bowling display, they proved otherwise.
The Shaikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi is one of the most beautiful green grounds currently available for international matches. Although the grass is thick, the outfield is short and fast. During this time of the year, there is a certain element of humidity making batting second difficult. There is also a fair amount of air movement making accurate bowling and hitting highly difficult. It is here that the batsman and bowlers have to show patience and skill.
With the 1st one-day match also going against them, cricket lovers hope the Pakistan team learn fast from the mistakes.

-Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read this in original, please visit Khaleej Times online.

My letters – GULF NEWS – Dt. 26.10.2010 – Give them attention

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My letters – GULF NEWS – Dt. 26.10.2010 – Give them attention

Give them attention

I refer to the news of Indian football team’s visit to train in Dubai (“India team to train in Dubai for a month”, Gulf News, October 20). It is an opportunity to promote the game by regional associations and interested corporate bodies, who could think outside cricket as the only commercially viable marketing option. This visit should therefore be utilised to give necessary support and encouragement to the Indian football team during the time they are in the UAE. This will be inspiring for them, for the game and for all non-cricket playing athletes. Let us hope that it will gain bigger momentum in India and benefit all track and field sports personnel who deserve more attention and pampering.

From Mr Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online.