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In an interview with Shirin Sadikot for the BCCI, Gautam Gambhir opens up about his brand of cricket, leading Kolkata Knight Riders' to their longest winning streak, and being left out of the Indian squad while dealing with a personal tragedy.
This phase was the most difficult one of my life, not only from the cricketing point of view but also personal. I lost two of the closest people in my life within the span of a year. I was trying to get my career back on track by going to England and playing for Essex. I scored a century and I began to regain my confidence, started to believe again. Just then I got the news of the death in the family. I had to fly back home and miss two championship games. The hardest part was when I had to go back to England just four days after the tragedy. My wife couldn't travel with me because she had to be with the family. I was on my own there, coping with the loss while trying to resurrect my career. It was a very difficult time. But then these are the times that teach you a lot about yourself.
Fines, not fun. That's what awaits you should you decide to streak at World Cup matches in New Zealand next year. And that's if you're lucky. Else you might find yourself locked up for three months.
Keen to 'showcase New Zealand in a perfect light', the powers that be have sanctioned penalties for streakers which include fines up to NZ$ 5,000 (US$ 3900 approx) and jail terms of up to three months, the Dominion Post reported. "We will have waited 23 years for the return of what is now one of the world's biggest sporting events," a World Cup spokesman was quoted as saying. "This is not the time to let the side down."
Leicestershire have not won a county championship game for two seasons. They are stuck in the second division. They lost promising young talent to other teams as well and were forced to issue a press release accepting the situation needs to change. BBC spoke to former and current players from the county, coaches and administrators to get to the root of the problem and Shiv Thakor, a recent export to Derbyshire, mentioned the off-field support was lacking.
"Leicestershire are going through a rebuilding phase - both on and off the field - and I felt I need to be somewhere where they had an established programme in place. "I really wanted to make a push to play for England and I want go somewhere that will give me an opportunity me to do so and has a structure in place immediately.
If it is superheroes in Hollywood, it is sports biopics in India. After the stories of Olympic medal-winning boxer Mary Kom and legendary athlete Milkha Singh hit theatres, it is the turn of India's captain MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni - the untold story is a biopic produced by Rhiti Sports, the company that manages Dhoni's commercial interests. The film, due to release in 2015, hopes to highlight Dhoni's life prior to becoming one of the most successful cricketers on the international circuit. It will be directed by Neeraj Pandey, who was at the helm of the acclaimed thriller A Wednesday. Sushant Singh Rajput, who is two films old and also has experience on the television circuit, plays the lead.
"MS Dhoni is one of the biggest sporting icons in this world, and his biopic will certainly be an inspiration to those who dare to dream and then go all out to achieve their dreams," said chairman of Rhiti Sports Arun Pandey.
Nasir Khan, a Pakistani-born coach living in South Korea, was searching for a way to motivate South Korea's Asian Games team. His idea: showing clips of Sachin Tendulkar to the local players. Nasir's efforts have led to several local girls slowly shifting disciplines from swimming, golf, tennis and badminton, to a "new sport" called cricket.
Eunjin Lee, a 21-year-old former lifeguard, is one such batsman who has copied Tendulkar's style. "She used to fret over the lack of strength in her arms, and her height. But I motivated her by showing her videos of the great man," Nasir told Daily News and Analysis. 'See, this guy is short in stature, but he's very tall in his achievements'," Nasir tells Lee and her other team-mates during training sessions.
Though South Korea has had a cricket league in place since the early 90s, it mostly consisted of players from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia. It wasn't until the 2010 Asian Games that South Korea even formed a men's team, and it took another three years to create one for the women. Nasir was then tasked with finding women who could be trained for these games, and he set out by putting up banners in colleges and universities for the same. He next had to take these women to a cricket-playing country for exposure, and surprisingly, Nasir chose Nepal.
Why? "The girls were not ready to go to Pakistan," he said. "Sri Lanka would be too rainy and Australia too cold. We were also worried that I could be denied an Indian visa because of my Pakistani background.
"It was during our stay in Nepal that the girls watched the IPL. As cricket in Asian Games is a T20 affair, the girls could understand the game better."