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The Indian Cricket Team

– by Salil Gewali

Any sports are for recreation, for the inner rejuvenation. It is intended to add joy and happiness to life. It is also intended to help build a sense of friendliness, to make everyone cheery. This automatically increases the warmth of kinship.


The sporty audience who enjoy the event should feel they are de-stressed and have become bouncy, not at all belligerent and hateful. Of course, every sport contributes to increase our efficiency as it lubricates the mind, and considerably helps us to be focused on a job we do. But these days, particularly by watching the never-ending cricket matches, we notice that the surge of negativity overwhelms many of us.


Cricket audience in India

True, the cricket audience in India has for decades been so worked up by the media that a good many have become excessively obsessed with this game. Obsession with particular sense objects is itself harmful.

Needless to say, in favor of the cricket many others exciting outdoor games have been deliberately undermined. 90-minute brisk and lively football game is unjustifiably overshadowed. Just imagine how countless fans, particularly our youths, are wasting their precious times of their lives being only glued to TV’s screen to watch overstretched cricket matches.

Maybe over 80% of their minds are taken over by the “chitchat” and the attachment to the ceaseless cricket. One game ends and immediately another begins! Have they not adversely affected the academic pursuit or carriers of the millions of our youths? For many crazy fans everything is relegated to backburner during the cricket season. I, being an erstwhile cricket fanatic, consider myself as one of the addicted victims which I realized pretty late. It only fills me now with loads of remorse that what I gathered over the decades from this game are bubbles of nothing. It rather literally kept me far away from the realities of life and family obligation et al.

Very funnily, if one’s son gets sick or fails in the exam he will not definitely break the window panes in fury but when India loses the cricket match he might break the TV set into pieces, or rush for the binge drinking or get into a scuffle! Yes, you drink more and get high when India wins, and you also drink more and go wobbly when India loses! I guess, this a win-win game for you.

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Excessive idling away of the precious time will certainly hit back at us later. Naturally, our inner being and situation demand from us more realistic and pragmatic engagements and perseverance so we are capable of facing the life’s misfortune and challenges head on.

The recent India-Pak match witnessed bouts of crazy hysteria and violence where some people smashed the TV sets, pelted stones, shouted the slogans of Moordabad/Jindabad. Is this what we should expect after a cricket match? Cruelty, enmity should not be the vocabulary of any sporty activities. No sports should be instrumental in making the audience into a frenzied mob! But due to addictive Cricket, a good many have become abnormal to a certain degree. Has BCCI ever kept an account how many sane persons become insane and act violently and sometimes become brutally hurtful to the people around? Alas, this body which can’t even “control” the cricket management how could it control the audience who are already overdosed with the hooking game?

Here is another bane of the cricket. One can’t overlook how the flood of money is ceaselessly gushed into this particular game, and how the corrupt practices find their best expression here? The secret nexus between the “bookies and cricket players” is no joke? How can the audience tolerate when the integrity of the game and the players are doubtful. Well, how many such unholy ties between the bookie and players and other felonies should break out to bring us to sense that we are well into the false game of illusion where our “faith” is merrily crushed into powder? The players whom we adore and call oh dear icons, are trading their own souls for petty money behind the pitch. I think no one disagrees that boom-boom farts of IPL stink to high heaven which its cheerleaders can’t suppress.

No wonder, the media often touts Virat Kohli as a role model for the youth and many fans highly idolize him. But soon after India lost the match to Pakistan some of his ardent admirers cracked in a rage — Kutta-sala Virat Kohli. I think it is never a fair game!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Char Dham Yatra resumed on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.

As weather cleared up in Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra restored on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.

According to sources, road leading to Badrinath has been repaired and helicopter service has also resumed.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited Dungi village and met families of people who were missing after the landslip incident, and consoled them.

Dhami assured them of all possible assistance. Two people from the village are still reported to be missing.

Pilgrims were seen leaving from Rishikesh Char Dham Bus terminal and Haridwar bus station for the pilgrimage since morning.

As per the state government, various departments -- Devasthanam Board, police are assisting the pilgrims.

Police Chowki Yatra Bus Terminal, Rishikesh, was announcing passenger-information via loudspeaker.

Free RT-PCR tests of pilgrims were being conducted at Rishikesh bus terminal.

Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board's media in-charge Dr Harish Gaur said pilgrimage was on in Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, while for Kedarnath, helicopter service was also available.

Though the weather was cold in all dhams, thankfully there was no rain, he added.

Portals of the temple in Badrinath will close on November 20, Gangotri on November 5, while that of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on November 6.

Uttarakhand floods, triggered by a major downpour from October 17 to 19, have claimed 65 lives so far, 3,500 people have been rescued while 16,000 evacuated to safety.

Seventeen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), seven teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 5,000 police personnel have been engaged in rescue and relief operations.

The state has already been provided with Rs 250 crore Disaster Fund which is being used for relief works.

To prevent spread of the diseases, the Central and state governments have decided to send medical teams to the affected areas.

Snapped power lines will be restored at the earliest, the government assured.

The state government said that as soon as alert for heavy rainfall was issued, the Incident Response System was activated at state and district levels, and pilgrims were halted at safer places. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Uttarakhand, India, Char Dham Yatra, PushkarDhami, Rishikesh.


Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.

The Centre has continued the Naga peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) leaders, but negotiations face roadblocks as the Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.

The sources aware of these developments said that the Centre was hopeful that a successful solution of the six decades-long peace talks would arrive at a logical conclusion, but in the recent statements, Naga leaders have accused the Centre of offering post-solution options.

Sources quoting the stand of Naga leaders said that NSCN's stand was loud and clear that it would not follow the forbidden route to the Naga solution that was linked to foregoing the Naga national flag and Constitution, which is the face of the Naga political struggle and identity.

The Naga leaders have also said that the Centre has been using divisive policy and flattery in the name of finding the Naga political solution when the matters heated up.

When the Centre resumed the peace process in September this year and sent the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) A.K. Mishra as the Ministry of Home Affairs' emissary to the rebel outfit's chief negotiator and general secretary T. Muivah, he assured him (Muivah) that the peace talks would be initiated under the original framework signed in 2015, a source in the Naga rebel group said.

"Here we are talking about the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (Constitution), the two issues that are holding up the Naga solution under the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks in Delhi.

"The chequered history of the Indo-Naga political issue is clear enough before us, with accords and agreements that were never meant to be implemented in letter and spirit", an important office-bearer of the rebel outfit said while criticizing the governments' stand.

Accusing the Centre, he further accused the Centre of persuading the Naga people again to accept whatever is being offered to hurry up the Naga talks.

On the invitation of the Centre, the senior leaders of the NSCN-IM including T. Muivah arrived in the national capital on October 6 this year to hold another round of talks with the Centre.

Both, the Centre and the Naga leaders had indicated their keenness on resolving this long pending issue by the end of this year in an amicable manner.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, who is also chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had been actively involved in the resumption of the peace talks and taking it forward to a logical conclusion.

Soon after the transfer of Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who was appointed as the Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace talks on August 29, 2014, to Tamil Nadu, the peace talks resumed on September 20 in Kohima when the Centre representative met the Naga leaders and invited them to visit Delhi for further rounds of peace talks.

The NSCN-IM and the other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in 1997 and over 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre have been held in the past in successive governments. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Nagaland, India, Constitution, Politics, Flag.


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

India-England test series will now be played next year from July 1 at Edgbaston Stadium

The series decider for the Test series between England and India will now be played at Edgbaston from July 1 next year, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday. India is currently leading the series 2-1 before the fifth Test at Old Trafford was cancelled hours before the start due to concerns over COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.

"The fifth match of the LV= Insurance Test Series between England Men and India Men has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022. The match, which was due to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid-19 cases inside the camp," said an ECB statement.

"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," added the statement.

ECB also said that due to the rescheduled Test, the white-ball series between England and India will now start six days later than originally planned. The T20I series will begin on July 7 at Ageas Bowl with Edgbaston and Trent Bridge hosting the second and third matches respectively on July 9 and 10. It will be followed by the ODI series starting on July 12 at The Oval followed by Lord's and Old Trafford hosting the second and third ODI on July 14 and 17 respectively.

"Ticket holders do not have to take any action as all tickets will remain valid for the equivalent rearranged matchday at their host venue. Host venues will communicate the new fixture details to ticket purchasers and the options available to them, including the timeframe for requesting a refund if they are not able to attend the new match day," further said the statement.

"We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with BCCI to creating a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far. I'm very grateful to all the venues involved for the cooperation they've shown in allowing us to reschedule this match. I'd also like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding to allow these changes to be possible," said Tom Harrison, the CEO of the ECB.

"We would like to apologise again to fans for the disruption and disappointment of September events. We know it was a day that so many had planned long in advance. We recognise that accommodating this extra match means a tighter schedule for the white ball series. We will continue to manage our players' welfare and workloads through next year while we also continue to seek the optimum schedule for fans, players and our partners across the game."

"I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale. The BCCI recognizes and respects the traditional form of the game and is also mindful of its role and obligations towards fellow Board Members. In the last two months, both BCCI and the ECB have been engaged in discussions and our efforts were aimed at finding a suitable window. I thank the ECB for their understanding and patience in finding an amicable solution," said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Britain, BCCI, Test Match, Cricket.