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Five landmark events that changed the course of Indian Cricket
Since it's first game in 1932 till today, Indian Cricket has come a long way. It's journey from being a dark horse to a sporting powerhouse was marked by several landmark events that in turn went on to change the face of Indian Cricket and helped it shape into what it is today - the most prosperous and indomitable fortress in World Cricket.
Here we look at top five of these historic events that we believe were instrumental in changing the course of Indian cricket.
1. India's first series win on foreign soil - New Zealand, 1968
Often regarded as the architect of Modern Indian Cricket, former Indian skipper Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi led from the front to ensure India of a notable mention in cricketing history during the test series against New Zealand in 1968. The Kiwis had the most magical bowling line up that could wreck the most dangerous batting order in the world. However, Indian spin duo of Bishen Singh Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna managed to get under the skin of the black cap's batting line up to guide India to their history first overseas win. With this result, India registered their first ever series victory on a foreign turf with a 3-1 win in a four match test series, thus announcing their serious arrival into the world of Cricket.
2. Winning the 1983 World Cup
Team India shocked the world with their victory in the 1983 World Cup finals against the two time champions West Indies at the Lord's. A young team India under Kapil Dev's courageous leadership had done the impossible and caused a major coup in world cricket. The visuals of Kapil Dev holding the World Cup at the Lord's balcony were a declaration of what future held on the cards for Indian Cricket and it's rise in the coming days. Back home, the inspiring win brought in a great sense of pride and self belief in the heart of a newly Independent India and the sport became a massive hit among the masses. Not only that, India's illustrious success inspired a generation of future cricketing greats of the country.
3. Natwest Trophy 2002
One of India's greatest series wins ever, Natwest series has been etched as one of the most defining chapters in the history of Indian Cricket. Team India, had become a formidable side with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VSS Laxman and Saurav Ganguly but seemed to lack aggression and had a mixed start to the 2000s. In the finals, England had handed India a target of 326, which in those days was considered insurmountable. The loss of Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly had further added to India's miseries. However, a young Yuvraj Singh and Muhammad Kaif pulled India out of troubled waters and guided them to what we today know as one of India's most iconic wins. The scene of Dada taking off his shirt and waving it at the Lord's balcony was a roaring announcement of what India was becoming as a nation - a superpower with a strong intent to win at all costs and well aware of its weight and worth, both on and off the field.
4. India winning the T20 World cup in 2007
The T20 format received mixed response in the beginning with some conservatives dismissing it as 'non serious cricket'. Many Cricket boards also had a dismissive approach towards the format. Nonetheless, the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup began in South Africa in the year 2007. India, after enduring a heartbreaking exit from the 50 over world cup at the hands of Bangladesh arrived for the tournament with a young and inexperienced team in the absence of regular veterans under a new captain - MS Dhoni. The events that unfolded in South Africa helped the fans quickly pick the format. India's journey was marked by many thrilling and exciting contests that included a fun bowl out victory against arch rivals Pakistan, Yuvraj Singh launching English pacer Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over and of course the nail-biting victory against Pakistan in the finals. All this contributed to the format becoming an instant hit among the cricket fans. The huge success of the tournament also added to the excitement for the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. Not to forget, the victory also marked the arrival of India's most brilliant and successful captain MS Dhoni who in turn scripted many chapters of guts and glory for Indian Cricket.
5. Inception of the Indian Premier League, 2008
Indian Premier League or the IPL is the biggest testament of Indian supremacy in world cricket. Introduced in the year 2008, the glamour rich cricketing extravaganza instantly struck a chord with the fans around the world and went on to become one the most popular sporting spectacle. Since its inception till today, the tournament has only gotten bigger and better. The cash rich league featuring big names from India and around the world with the added 'tadka' of Bollywood celebrities as owners and ambassadors has added to the popularity of the game even among young girls, women and people from non-cricketing nations who otherwise take no major interest in the sport. Most importantly, the league has served as the biggest talent hunt platform for the youth of the country, giving them righteous rewards, experience and top notch exposure that has gone into building many world class cricketers for India.
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Five worst Cricketing heartbreaks that left the fans in tears
Cricket just like many other sports has been a source of countless joys and moments of pride for its fans, but the game we so deeply love and cherish at times has also taken us to a rollercoaster ride of emotions and heart breaks leaving us dejected for our teams.
Here we list down 5 worst cricketing heartbreaks that left fans in tears
1. South Africa vs New Zealand, 2015 WC Semifinal, Auckland
Think of the saddest moments of cricket and the first picture that will crop up in your head will be of a teary Morne Morkle and AB de Villiers after the Semi Final loss against New Zealand in 2015. South Africa were in total control of their innings with 216/3 in 38th over when the rains brought with them a great deal of misfortune forcing them to finish their inning on 281/5 as the match was reduced to 43 overs each setting a DLS target of 298 runs for New Zealand.
New Zealand were off to a flying start with their gutsy leader Brendon McCullum smashing 59 off 26. South African bowlers gave their all to shift the momentum on their side with regular wickets, but the day belonged to the blackcaps as South African born Grant Elliot was having a dream run with the bat performing at the stage when it mattered the most. In the most incredible semi final things came down to 12 needing off the final over with South Africa relying on an injured Dale Steyn. 5 were needed off 2 deliveries when Elliot pulled him over the mid on to seal the World Cup Final berth in Melbourne, leaving the South African fielders in tears as many of them stood freezed to their positions on the outfield for a few moments finding it hard to believe what had just happened!
2. England Vs New Zealand, 2019 WC Final, Lords
Registered as one of the greatest games of 50 over cricket, this game was an epitome of how cruel the game of cricket can get at times. In a match that was a real test of temperament, Character and determination both teams were proved to be at par with each other. The game ended in a draw as England too finished at 241 chasing 242. The final then progressed to a super over shootout to determine the world champions. Ben Stokes powered England to a competitive 15 in their super over with blackcaps requiring 16 to engrave their name on the World Cup Trophy. Jimmy Neesham launched Jofra Archer's second legal delivery into the stands bringing the equation to 7 off 4. A string twos followed and Archer took Neesham off strike. 2 was required off 1 with Martin Guptill on strike and with everything at stake for both the sides who had never won a world cup before, Archer fired a Yorker as Guptill found deep mid wicket, but fell short as Jos Buttler completed the run out off a Jason Roy throw to also end the super over in a tie. England were declared the World Champions on Boundary count as they had 26 boundaries against New Zealand's 17. The memory of Guptill's tears, Neesham's six and Williamson's graceful smile got forever etched in every fan's heart!
3. India Vs New Zealand , 2019 World Cup semi final, Manchester
One of India's biggest heartbreaks in recent years came in the form of their semi final loss against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup Semi final. Top Title contenders India were hot favourites in the match when they restricted New Zealand to a below par 239/8. In a game that was stretched for 2 days due to delay owing to rain, India to everyone's surprise were reduced to 5 for 3 thanks to the immaculate bowling by Matt Henry and Trent Boult. India did pull a brilliant comeback as they reached 203/6 from 92/6 with 37 required off the last 18. However, Ravindra Jadeja after giving his very best with the bat had to depart at 77 off his 59 after miscalculating a slower one from Boult. MS Dhoni who crawled his way to 43 with just 1 boundary smashed Lockie Ferguson for 6 at the start of 49th over with India then requiring 25 off 11, but the dreams of Men in blue along with their millions of fans came to a crashing end when Dhoni in order to keep the strike sprinted for a desperate second run two balls later only to be beaten by a exhilarating direct hit from Martin Guptill.
4. South Africa Vs Australia, 1999 World Cup semi final, Birmingham
The South Africa Vs Australia 1999 World Cup semi final will always find a mention in the list of World Cup Classics. Chasing a target of 213 South Africa needed 9 runs in last over of Damien Fleming with 1 wicket in hand. Lance Klusener who was having a great World cup smashed two boundaries off the first two balls, with this South Africa needed only 1 in 4 balls. The tension built up further as the 3rd one went for a dot. On the 4th ball Klusner attempted to steal a single but Allan Donald's poor response at the non striker's end allowed the Waugh, Fleming and Gilchrist trio to run him out and hence tie the match. Australia then qualified on the basis of Super Six result as there they beat South Africa.
5. Edgbaston Test, 2005 Ashes
As someone once correctly said 'White ball cricket is fast food, red ball cricket is fine dining' . The 2005 Ashes Edgbaston Test will always be remembered for the absolute treat it gave to the cricket fans around the World. In a game that was a perfect combination of emotions, thrill and sportsmanship England edged out Australia by just 2 runs as valiant efforts by Shane Warne (42) and Brett Lee (43) went in vain while they attempted to get 107 with 2 wickets remaining, chasing 282.
The sight of Andrew Flintoff consoling a dejected Brett Lee, when Michael Kasprowicz fell prey to Steve Harmison to hand England the win went down in history as one of the most iconic moments of sportsmanship.
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Clash of the titans: Everything you can expect from tonight’s France vs Germany Euro 2020 clash
It’s rare when two european football heavyweights clash so early in an international competition, but world champions France are all set to take on former world champions Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich. While the ‘Group of Death’ is certainly a loosely used word in every important football competition, Group F in Euro 2020 features France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary and the expectations from every team would be to progress beyond the group stage.
Favourites France have a squad full of talent and will be looking to add to their World Cup triumph by finally winning the Euro 2020, having lost the finals to Portugal in 2016.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Mike Maignan
Defenders: Lucas Digne, Leo Dubois, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Jules Kounde, Clement Lenglet, Benjamin Pavard,
Raphael Varane, Kurt Zouma
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Thomas Lemar, Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot, Moussa Sissoko, Corentin Tolisso
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder, Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Marcus Thuram
As for Germany, they would hope to do better than their group stage elimination in the World Cup 2018. It’s predicted that Leroy Sane will be dropped for Kai Havertz who will feature alongside Serge Gnabry and the experienced Thomas Muller. Joshua Kimmich is expected to feature in the right back position while Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan seem like a solid option to control the midfield. Mats Hummels, Antonio Rudiger and Matthias Ginter are expected at the center back position with the experienced 35 year old Manuel Neuer as the last line of defence.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Manuel Neuer, Kevin Trapp
Defenders: Matthias Ginter, Robin Gosens, Christian Gunter, Marcel Halstenberg, Mats Hummels, Lukas Klostermann, Robin Koch,
Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule
Midfielders: Emre Can, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gundogan, Kai Havertz, Jonas Hofmann, Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Florian Neuhaus
Forwards: Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala, Timo Werner, Leroy Sane, Kevin Kolland
Stay up to date with the latest football news and in depth coverage of Euro 2020 right here at SPOGO
Five best sports movies you should stream right now!
We all love sports movies. The thrill, action packed drama, songs that make you feel super motivated, rags to riches stories, they have it all. Sports documentaries and movies give rare, behind the scene access to the journey, hard work, dedication, obstacles and what really goes behind making an athlete or a team successful. Even if you’re not a sports enthusiast, there are valuable lessons of teamwork, dedication, passion and following your dreams that can be applied to any aspect of life.
We’re sharing our pick of our top five sports movies that you can watch while you’re at home during this never ending lockdown.
All or Nothing
While not a ‘movie’ but a brand of sports documentary series, the All or Nothing series on Amazon Prime is a must watch. It provides exclusive, behind the scene access to some of the biggest teams in the world of sports such as Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, New Zealand national rugby union team, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. They will also be featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs in the upcoming season. The All or Nothing series is a complete sports treat for your visual entertainment with in depth insights of sports teams which are expertly edited with brilliant soundtracks. We cannot recommend this enough!
Produced and directed by Bennet Miller, Foxcatcher is an American biographical sports drama loosely based on the events surrounding multimillionaire wrestling enthusiast John du Pont when he recruited two 1984 U.S Olympic gold medallists Mark and David Schultz for various wrestling championships. Despite its slow narrative, the movie is undeniably gripping and is one of the best sports drama’s you can watch on Amazon Prime.
Inside Borussia Dortmund
This behind the scenes series 4 part docu-series takes you up close and personal with the everyday life at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. Explore how one of the biggest Bundesliga clubs prepares to compete for the highest honours in Europe, groom some of the most exciting football prospects in the world, locker room drama and the personal lives of the players. A must watch for football fans!
Released in 2011, Moneyball is an American sports drama film by Bennet Miller. It is based on Oakland Athletics baseball team and general manager Billy Beane’s attempt to create a competitive team with a limited budget. Peter Brand, a Yale economics graduate with radical ideas of player valuation joins Beane as assistant general manager and acquires undervalued players despite the resistance from the scouts. The movie then goes on to depict how the Athletics become a winning team for a record 20 consecutive times. This utterly engrossing baseball film is a must watch for all sports lovers.
This entertaining blockbuster is a classic, collaborating two unlikely superstars in Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Directed by Joe Pytka, the movie provides a fictional account of the events that took place between Jordan’s retirement in 1993 and his comeback in 1995. The Looney Tunes kidnap Jordan to help them win a basketball match against a group of aliens looking to enslave them as theme park attractions. The movie grossed over $250 million worldwide and is the highest grossing basketball film to date. If you’ve not seen it already, what are you waiting for?
Rockstars on & off the field - Cricketers with incredible music talents!
Cricketers leave no stone unturned to entertain their fans on the field. An innovative shot clearing the boundary, an immaculate yorker shattering the stumps or simply a brilliant fielding effort that changes the course of the game - all adds up to the thrill and entertainment the cricketers provide their fans with. However, there are plenty of Cricketers who are also capable of treating their fans beyond the twenty two yards of the cricket pitch thanks to the artistic skills they possess.
Here, we list down five cricketers with incredible musical talents who are completely capable of having a music career, as illustrious as their cricket careers!
The legendary Australian pacer who enjoys a massive fan following in India is not just gifted with great cricketing skills but also with talents such as acting and singing. The former cricketer is part of the rock band 'Six & Out' as a guitarist and vocalist. The band also includes his brother and former Australian Cricketer Shane Lee along with New South Wales players Brad McNamara, Gavin Robertson and Richard Chee Quee. In 2006, Lee collaborated with legendary Indian singer Asha Bhosale and recorded a song 'You're the One for me' which he himself penned. The song topped the charts in India and South Africa.
AB de Villiers
The South African great has earned massive respect and fan following from around the world due to his extraordinary batting and sportsmanship but only some are aware of his singing skills. The former protea captain is an amazing singer and guitarist. In 2010, he collaborated with singer Ampie Du Preez for his debut song 'Maak Jou Drome Waar. ' The song was a big hit in South Africa. AB has also performed at the ICC Awards night. Many of his singing videos were well received by his fans, especially the one with his wife Danielle de Villiers, where the couple is seen performing the beautiful cover of Ronan Keating's 'When you say nothing at all' crossed over 1 million views with fans lavishing praise in the comment section.
Probably the most entertaining of all the fun loving Caribbean cricketers, Bravo has garnered praises not just for his aggressive batting and brilliant death over bowling but also for his incredible singing and dancing Skills. In 2016, he released his superhit song 'Champion' which went on to become the unofficial anthem of the ICC T20 World Cup the same year. He had also collaborated with Nisha B for the song 'Chalo Chalo' in 2015.
The stylish Indian left hander is blessed with a melodious voice and is often seen politely agreeing to requests during interviews and shows to sing a line or two. Raina marked his singing debut in the year 2016 with the film 'Meeruthiya Gangsters' in which he lent his voice to the beautiful song 'Tu Mili sab Mila'. The southpaw who has smashed bowlers around the world is undoubtedly capable of smashing music records in future, as evident by the number of views below his videos, with the aforementioned song amassing 2.9 million views.
The former Australian Cricketer is an all rounder in a sense not just limited to cricket but also in the field of music. Watson, just like his compatriot Brett Lee, is a guitarist and a singer. In 2015, Watson performed at the IPL opening ceremony, singing a duet with Danielle de Villiers, wife of AB. The Aussie has collaborated with Lee quite a few times and the videos of their jamming sessions are a treat for their fans.
Top 5 football transfer speculation that you should keep an eye on
It’s that time of the year again when social media is buzzing with transfer news, rumors and leaked deals. If you’re like me and try to keep yourself updated with the latest transfer news, you would know it's a hard task. Every ITK (In the know) social account claims to have inside sources revealing the most high profile transfers, all eyes are on Fabrizio Romano’s twitter handle for that much awaited ‘Here we go!’ and official confirmation of Man City buying their fourth choice full back for another 50 million pounds is an inevitable reality. Some things never change.
A little birdie has given us a heads up about the upcoming transfer deals that could soon become a reality and we thought it’s best for you to know first! Here are the top 5 transfers that could happen this summer.
Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
They say good things happen to those who wait, and Manchester United fans have been really patient in the last few years. The club’s trophy room may be collecting dust, having not one a single piece of silverware since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken over but they continue to be linked to every world class player out there. Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund is one of them, who was strongly linked with a move to the English giants last year. While Dortmund stood their ground and refused to budge on their asking price, Manchester United were determined not to overpay for one of the hottest talents in world football. This time however, the move seems more likely with Dortmund reducing their asking price and Man Utd looking to make amends with their fans after the disastrous Super League debacle. Certainly a transfer worth keeping an eye on.
Harry Kane to Manchester City
It’s fair to say that Harry Kane deserves better. As one of the most prolific strikers in the game, Kane has nothing to show for it as Tottenham failed to secure any silverware again this year. At 27 years of age, Kane is in the prime years of his footballing career and deserves to set his ambitions high in a team that can regularly compete for trophies. Manchester City is one such destination, the champions of England have offloaded the club’s best ever goalscorer in Sergio Aguero and certainly have the finances to make a deal of this sort a reality. Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy has a reputation for being notoriously difficult to deal with, but if Harry Kane forces a transfer and Manchester City makes an offer that cannot be refused, the deal is very much possible.
Cristiano Ronaldo to PSG/Manchester United
Ronaldo may be 37 years old, but as the popular saying goes “Form is temporary, class is permanent” and it has never been more applicable in this case. As one of the greatest players to have ever played the sport, Ronaldo’s transfer will always generate headlines with the Portuguese being rumored for a romantic return back to Manchester United. Most fans at Old Trafford would welcome the return of their hero with open arms as the player led the club to one of it’s most successful periods in history. It does seem like a long short as the deal would make little financial sense for a player who is already in the twilight of his career. The other possibility is Paris St-Germain which already boasts an attack featuring Neymar and Mbappe, two of the best players in the world. The inclusion of Ronaldo in this star studded lineup will definitely send shivers down the spine of Europe’s elite.
Erling Haaland with any rich club that can afford him
When you’re managed by Mino Raiola, the possibility of a transfer is never far away. The 20 year old is already one of the best strikers in the world, having scored 57 goals in 59 appearances for Borussia Dortmund. There is no football club in the world who does not want the prolific Norweigan but the German club is in no pressure to sell, having tied their prized asset with a contract until 2024. However, Dortmund have the infamous reputation of selling their biggest stars in their prime and the COVID-19 pandemic might force the club to sell Haaland if a sizable offer is made, especially considering a 75 million euro release clause in Haaland’s contract will be activated 12 months later.
Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea
Newly crowned champions of Europe Chelsea have already set their sights on next season and have identified Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku as the ideal replacement for Timo Werner, who has failed to make an impact in his maiden season in England. It’s a well known fact that Inter Milan are struggling financially and the Italian giants could be forced to let Lukaku leave if an irresistible offer is made. Having spent 220 million pounds in last year's transfer window, the London based club could have an even bigger transfer kitty with their recent accomplishments in Europe and could possibly sign a player they let go of back in 2014.