Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball poses for a picture during the NBA basketball team’s media day in El Segundo, Calif., Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — He has a Facebook reality show and a family shoe brand. His dad talks big on ESPN. He was the No. 2 overall draft pick and expects to transform one of the NBA’s glamor franchises.Other than that, Lonzo Ball is an ordinary teenager.The 19-year-old guard comes with otherworldly expectations, with the Los Angeles Lakers having fallen on hard times. They hope the local product can help them rejoin the NBA’s elite.ADVERTISEMENT Clippers are Griffin’s team more than ever with Paul gone Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It was a rare glimpse of the sense of humor that teammates say is not uncommon when the cameras are off.As for those lofty expectations? Like most everything else, Ball just shrugs and flashes a hint of his confidence.“I think I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life and I’m pretty good at it.” Read Next Ball’s journey officially begins Tuesday when the Lakers open training camp, but he appears to have already won over his new teammates during summer workouts.“When you play with a pure point guard like that, it just makes it easier for everyone,” center Brook Lopez said. “He elevates players to a whole other level.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I know it’s going to be great for me, just being on the receiving end of his passes. He’s going to gift-wrap baskets for me. He’s so good at turning other players into impact, amazing players. He’s going to be a transcendent talent.”That has been the plan all along, particularly from his outspoken father LaVar Ball, who almost seemed to will his son’s journey from Chino Hills High School to UCLA to the Lakers. NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa If Lonzo Ball seems to arrive with the trappings of circus, he appears the calm in the center of the storm.“Honestly, Zo is relaxed,” forward Julius Randle said. “Zo is chill. He’s one of the guys. For as much as he has going around him, you would never know.”Ball doesn’t say a lot himself, and what he does say comes out in rapid-fire fashion. Reporters circled around some eight deep Monday at the team’s media day, but Ball appeared to take it in stride.“I’ve been kinda like this my whole life, so I really don’t feel anything to be honest,” he said. “It’s just playing a game, the game I love.”That approach has hardly gone unnoticed by legendary point guard Magic Johnson, now the Lakers’ president of basketball operations.“I told him, he’s just like me,” Johnson said. “When I came here there were a lot of expectations put on my shoulders and the Lakers as an organization. Now I’m his boss, but I’m also his big brother.”When those comments were relayed to Ball, the rookie responded: “More like an uncle. He looks older than my brother.”ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next MOST READ Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Magnolia cruised to victory despite missing the services of playmaker Jio Jalalon. Jalalon, a native of Cagayan de Oro, is with Gilas Pilipinas, which plays Japan on Sunday in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers at Mall of Asia Arena. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding The heady playmaker was pretty much unguardable throughout the game, especially in early part of the fourth quarter, where he toyed with Meralco’s defense. He hit a triple to make it 73-52, before zig-zagging his way for a nifty drive to make it 77-55, with 9:07 remaining.Lee finished with 21 points and three steals in just less than 20 minutes on the floor as he towed Magnolia (8-3) to the top two where it will be joined by San Miguel Beer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMeralco (4-7) will miss the all-Filipino playoffs for the third consecutive season.Ian Sangalang and Marc Pingris combined for 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for the Hotshots, who shot 50 percent from the field while limiting the Bolts to just 35 percent. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City PBA IMAGESMagnolia locked up the second twice-to-beat advantage and eliminated Meralco from playoff contention after a 94-65 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Xavier University Gym Saturday in Cagayan de Oro City.Paul Lee sparked a second-quarter breakaway that saw the Hotshots go on a 10-0 run to put the game away for good.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Nietes, Viloria go for world crowns AFP official booed out of forum Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Sato put the Water Defenders on the hill before Grethcel Soltones capped off the victory with a killer spike to seal the deal.Kuttika Kaewpin fired 26 points in the sorry defeat for Creamline (3-6), while fellow guest player Laura Schaudt got 16.Alyssa Valdez played limited minutes as she nursed a sprained ankle, but was hardly a factor in the match, finishing with only two points in the losing effort.Still, the Cool Smashers are locked at the fifth seed with their 3-6 card regardless of the result of their match against Perlas on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF View comments 250 enrolled at phony school arrested in immigration scam BaliPure’s Risa Sato.BaliPure had to sweat it out but was still able to pull off the come-from-behind five-set win over Creamline, 20-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 15-7, to clinch a seat in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference semifinals Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.Guest player Jennifer Keddy topped the Water Defenders with 18 points, powered by 14 kills, two blocks, and two service aces, while Risa Sato provided the much needed support with her 16 markers.ADVERTISEMENT Hornets beat Pistons for 8th straight time Man who told immigrant to go back to country asked to write essay SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder Jeng Bualee chimed in 15 points for BaliPure, which stayed on top with its 7-2 slate.“We’re thankful,” said coach Roger Gorayeb in Filipino. “The way the game was played earlier, the girls were really tired from our game on Sunday. It was evident on the way Jeng hit the ball. But we’re just thankful to get the win.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingThe Water Defenders had to play catchup for the first time this conference, losing two of the first three sets as they stared at a 2-1 set deficit.But a better showing from Sato and Bualee anchored BaliPure in the fourth set, which continued in the clincher as it broke off of a 3-all deadlock and took a 13-6 lead. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next So long, Wayne?: Cup final may be Rooney’s last United game
For all the parents who keep wondering where to take their children for some fun and learning both, this is nothing but list-heaven. Tick off from this list during summer holidays. Don’t miss the book suggestions!Penguins, South AfricaMake your children meet happy feet in Simon’s Town (one of the only 20-odd sites in the world you can find penguins), where wooden walkways let you watch these fascinating birds on Boulders Beach. They will love to watch the actions and antics of these African penguins in their natural habitat, and build sand castles besides at this perfect picnic spot. Sidelight: The scientific name for the African Penguin is Jackass sphensicus demersus–for the braying sounds they make when on land, and the penguin colony has grown due to the protection efforts of ‘Van the Penguin Man’– Mr van der Merwe. Take along: 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc FromentalDead SeaIn less than an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, you can be at this famous lowest point on Earth (400m below sea level) and floating–yes, actually bobbing like a buoy–on the salty sea that never ceases to astonish. Your children (and you) will never get over this weird and wonderful feeling of weightlessness. The sea is so salty that no fish can live in it–and while the water is said to be curative, it’s best for kids not to swallow the water. Follow it up with a cruise on the Dead Sea in a double-decker boat, and a visit to the House of Scribe museum that tells the story of how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Take along: The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Hagit Allon, Iena Zehavi and Lena ZehaviadvertisementPyramids, GizaDo you need a reason? Your children will see the only ancient wonder still standing. They will be overawed by the pyramids of Khufu (Cheops), his son Khafra (Chephren), and grandson Menkaura (Mycerinus). The ramps that lead into the pyramids are just right for a child’s height. The ‘sun boat’ (meant to carry Cheops across the heavens) is a must-see. Take along: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder! by Jacqueline Morley & David AntramCadbury World, BirminghamThe century-old home of chocolates is a candyhouse-dream come true for children. The three-hour tour tells you the history of chocolate through colourful presentations. It offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like seeing how you look as a choco-statue, toy-car rides through Cadabra, write your name in chocolate, and eat your on-the-spot scrumptious treat and get a goody-bag. Take along: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlSan Diego ZooBeautifully laid out over thousands of acres in Balboa Park, and accessible by the free Skyfari tram, this is a joy for children used to seeing cramped cages. There’s spectacle upon spectacle: the giant pandas via a 24-hour panda cam, or polar bears in a recreated tundra habitat filled with tons of shaved snow, the rainforest aviary with over 200 birds, or Indo-Chinese tigers, gorillas, hippos in a recreated Congo basin. Don’t miss the Children’s Zoo, where they can pet animals and watch baby animals being bottle-fed! Take along: Alphabets Are Amazing Animals by Anushka RavishankarBig Five, KenyaAnyone, but especially children, would be thrilled to see a lion lazing about in the open. The most famous of Kenya animals are the ‘Big Five’–Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos and Rhinos–but there are other amazing sights: zebras in the grasslands, pink flamingos in the lakes. A place like Lake Nakuru National Park will offer you a lifetime’s opportunity. Plus, on the road from Nakuru to Lake Baringo, you’ll cross the equator–an unmatched joy for the children! Take along: How to Draw Kenya’s Sights and Symbols by Melody S. Mis.Disneyland, Anaheim, LAThe ultimate magical land, every child’s wonderland, this ‘happiest place on earth’ doesn’t need introduction. From character-themed attractions such as Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Di to car spins; from Indiana Jones adventure to Matterhorn bobsleds, from the Finding Nemo trip to the Pirates of the Caribbean cruise… What doesn’t this big daddy of theme parks have for every age and stage of childhood. You’ll be spoilt for choice and the children will have no complaints–for once. Take along: Who Was Walt Disney? by Whitney Stewart & Nancy HarrisonUniversal Studios, HollywoodThis one will leave your children shrieking with delight–right from the freaky Revenge of the Mummy ride to the fun Simpsons motion simulator, not to mention the Terminator show and the Jurassic Park splashdown with a T-Rex attack! The Shrek-4D is tops–the 4th Dimension is made of water-sprays, bumps, tickles, and other tactile experiences. The studio tram tour takes you past famous movie sets. Take along: Special Effects In Film And Television by Jake HamiltonadvertisementAnne Frank House, AmsterdamOn the Prinsengracht, an unassuming house is a living history lesson. The secret annexe here is where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for over two years, and wrote her diary. The house and museum is a perfect show-and-tell to talks about the cruelty of prejudice, undying courage against extreme odds. Children will be awed at seeing the bookshelf that swung on its hinges (and hid the entrance to the annexe), and the wall on which Anne taped her postcard collection. Take along: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNational Air and Space Museum, Washington DCFlights of fantasy for your child! The museum records the story of flight, from Kitty Hawk to outer space, through about 50,000 aircraft and spacecraft–all original. The IMAX films are not to be missed; likewise the 3-D space-imagery show, or the Cosmic Collisions experience. The flight simulators, with VR images and sound-effects will drive them wild. Take along: The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System by Joanna Cole & Bruce DegenAmazon RainforestThis is the best place for children with a sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors. Here a puffbird, there a monkey frog, now a colourful macaw, now a howler monkey, a viper, and perhaps even a sloth bear… Spotting amazing wildlife and climbing into the rainforest canopy will fascinate children of all ages. Most lodges do not have electricity so it’s great if you want to show children that fun is possible without TV. This is where the wild things are–wilder than even your kids even! Take along: The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry.Taj MahalOf course, the children will get an opportunity to see it as adults, but nothing is quite like the first time you see the Taj Mahal–as a child–gleaming, white, almost unreal. However often they may have seen its pictures in books or caught it on TV, the very scale and beauty of it will be something they will always remember. The perfectly symmetrical monument, the stories of the emperor Shah Jahan who had it built, the designs in the marble, the cool floor however hot the weather is, the glimmering reflections in the pool… truly memorable. Forever. Take along: The Taj Mahal: How and Why It Was Built (Great Buildings) by Christine MoorcroftIgloo Village, Hotel Kakslauttanen, FinlandIgloos are always fascinating to children. Close to the Urho Kekkonen National Park along the road that goes to the Arctic Ocean, Hotel Kakslauttanen is where you can book your own igloo–from your bed–between December and April in the Igloo Village with the extraordinary glass and snow igloos, and the largest snow restaurant in the world. The leaping, mesmerising, Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) can be seen from late August to late April. The glass igloos are warm, and in the snow ones, you get insulated sleeping bags, socks and head-cover. Brrr outisde, but unforgettable. Take along: The Igloo by Charlotte & David YueadvertisementGiant’s Causeway, antrim, IrelandA World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is said to be the result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. But younger children will be more fascinated by the other story: the legend of Finn MacCool, a great giant of a man, who built this causeway in order to fight a Scottish giant! Take along: Finn MacCool and the Giant’s Causeway by Malachy Doyle, Peter UttonHarry Potter Tour, EnglandThe Harry Potter London Black Taxi Tour takes you to the 150-year-old King’s Cross Station where you can try to find Platform 9, between platform 9 and 10, to catch the Hogwarts Express! Go on to Oxford to see Bodleian Library, the Hogwarts dining room and library, and Christ Church College that was the Hogwarts School. Take along: The Harry Potter series by J.K. RowlingMadame Tussaud’s Waxwork Museum, LondonA bit of a queue-up for this, yes, but still worth it as this is the closest your children (and you) will get to some of the people you admire–whether it is kings and queens, actors, and musicians of the past, or present-day stars such as Beckham, SRK or Sachin Tendulkar. The wax sculptures are surprisingly lifelike and there’s a lot of interactive fun to be had–such as giving a speech at the UN beside world leaders, or grooving with Beyonce. The macabre Chamber of Horrors (hoodlums, Dracula et al) is a big hit with older ones; and for 12-plus children there’s the new Chamber Live exhibit. Take along: The Fascinating Madame Tussaud by Rene FolletGreat Barrier ReefThere’s so much to do on this natural wonder of the world, the largest reef system, off the Queensland coast, made of more than 2900 reefs and 900 islands, that the children will never be bored–especially when you tell them it’s made of living things! They will enjoy snorkelling, exploring tide pools and looking at the corals… while you chill on the beach. Or take them for a glass-bottomed boat ride or on a helicopter joyride to get a bird’s eye view. Take along: The Great Barrier Reef by Erinn Banting.Bentota MangrovesIt’s a magical mystery tour meandering through the tangled roots of the amazing mangroves and the scattered islets on the Bentota river in Sri Lanka. Children will be delighted to catch sight of exciting wildlife like the ‘kabaragoya’ (water monitor). The hour-plus cruise is recommended because as you go further upstream the scenery is more unspoilt. An added plus in Bentota is the acre-wide Meetiyagoda moonstone mine. Take along: The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne CherryMadurodam, The HagueMake your Lilliputian feel like Gulliver at Madurodam, a miniature city, with the Netherlands’ tourist attractions, skyscrapers, railroads, harbours… All built at a 1:25 scale. The best part is that the miniatures work and move too–cars careen down the highway, and airplanes taxi in at Schipol. The mayor of Madurodam is elected by a youth municipal council of 25 pupils from schools in the region! Take along: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan SwiftMount EverestWhich child doesn’t love records–biggest, widest, fastest, longest… How about getting the ‘highest’ one into their memory pockets, with a Mount Everest flypast that offers the thrill of seeing it up close–flights, lasting an hour, leave every morning around 6a.m. from Kathmandu to go within four nautical miles! On a clear day (Feb-April and Oct-Nov) you can see a magical view of the grandest mountains Everyone gets a window-seat on the small light aircraft, so no squabbling! Take along: The Top of the World by Steve JenkinsSabarmati Ashram, GujaratAfter textbooks and Munnabhai, time for the children to get a glimpse of the real thing–the ashram of the man of the millennium, Mahatma Gandhi. Historically important for housing the Father of the Nation, but also for being the site from where he began his Dandi March in 1930, taking your children here will ensure that they know he really is not just a history lesson! Places to see are Gandhi’s own cottage–Hriday Kun, Upasana Mandir–the open-air prayer ground, and the museum. At Hriday Kunj, Gandhi’s personal things are on display, including his charkha. Take along: The Mahatma and the Monkeys edited by Anu KumarThe Terracotta Army, Xi’anBe ready for big boggled eyes as rows upon rows of amazingly life-like ceramic soldiers stand at attention in three underground pits. The militia of 8,000 statues was built more than 2,000 years ago by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, to guard him in the next world, and was discovered accidentally by farmers in 1974. No two soldiers are alike and there are also horses, chariots, acrobats and musicians. Take along: The Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O’Connor.Corbett National ParkJust the thought of maybe, just maybe, being able to see a tiger will get the kids all excited. But children will be happy with every small, or big, creature they see. There are some 50 species of mammals in the park, including elephants, leopards, wild boar, sambhar, barking deer, and many species of reptiles, and birds. Many hotels have children’s camps and the jeep safari is always a thrill. Take along: Man Eaters of Kumaon by Jim CorbettZorb, RotoruaAn impossible looking adventure sport, zorbing is basically hurtling down inside a big ball, usually on a gentle slope, but also sometimes on a level surface (which allows more rider control). It should be tried out only at official Zorb sites; the first was established in Rotorua by Akers and David Akers. There are two kinds of orbs, harnessed (one or two riders) and non-harnessed (up to three riders). Children over six can try this but even if they are not up to doing it, they will love to watch! Take along: Kid’s Trip Diary by Loris and Marlin BreeNek Chand’s Rock Garden, chandigarhTell your children that the creator of this sculpture garden hid it from the authorities for over ten years and you’ll have their attention–if they are not already riveted by courtyard upon interconnected courtyard filled with many creatures real and imaginary. All made by a Road Inspector who used everything from forks, wires to broken bangles. Take along: Trash Crafts by Benita Sen Fact fileCape Town, SA: Delhi-Dubai-Cape Town on Emirates. Fare: Rs. 51,000Jordan: Delhi-Amman-Delhi on Royal Jordanian; Dead Sea is an hour away by road. Fare: Rs. 30,000Cairo: Delhi-Bahrain-Cairo on Gulf Air. Fare: Rs. 28,000London & Birmingham: Delhi-London-Delhi on Jet Airways. Fly or take the train to Birmingham. Fare: Rs. 37,000San Diego: Delhi-Chicago-San Diego on American Airlines. Fare: Rs. 67,000Kenya: Delhi-Dubai-Nairobi on Emirates. Fare: Rs, 39,000Los Angeles: Delhi-HK-Los Angeles on Cathay Pacific. Fare: Rs. 58,000Amsterdam & the hague: Delhi-Amsterdam-Delhi on KLM. The Hague is 30 minutes away by train. Fare: Rs. 25,000Washington: Delhi-Chicago-Washington on American Airlines. Fare: Rs. 60,000Amazon: Delhi-Amsterdam-Lima on KLM; and then Lima-Iquitos on Lan Peru Airlines. Fare: Rs. 90,000Agra: Fly to Delhi and take the Shatabdi.Finland: Delhi-Helinski-Ivalo on Finnair; Igloo Village is 30 minutes away by road. Fare: Rs. 45,000Ireland: Delhi-Belfast on BA; Giant’s Causeway is 2 hours away. Fare: Rs. 46,000Great Barrier Reef: Delhi-Singapore-Sydney-Cairns on Quantas. Fare: Rs. 60,000Bentota: Delhi-Chennai-Colombo on Kingfisher Airlines. Fare: Rs. 17,000Mt everest: Delhi-Kathmandu on Air India. Fare: Rs. 10,000Ahmedabad: Fly directly from any metro.Xi’an: Delhi-Shanghai-Xi’an on China Eastern Airlines. Fare: Rs. 42,000Corbett national park: Fly to Delhi and drive the six hours to Corbett.New Zealand: Delhi-HK on Air India; HK-Auckland-Roturua on Air New Zealand. Fare: Rs. 75,000Chandigarh: Fly or take the train from New Delhi. Information courtesy HRG SITA, New Delhi, tel: (011) 4122 6666. Fares are from Delhi, in approximation and may change according to your city of travel. They are up to date at the time of going to press, and subject to change.
A wry smile played on Gagan Narang’s face as he addressed the media at the Karni Singh Shooting Range on Wednesday. What his optimistic words failed to do, however, was hide his disappointment at finishing with four gold medals instead of the six he was aiming for at the Games.Narang’s failure to make it to the 50m rifle prone singles final put India’s final medal tally in shooting at 14 gold, 11 silver and five bronze medals. This is after Heena Sidhu took second spot in the women’s 10m air pistol and Samaresh Jung settled for bronze in the 25m standard pistol event.The tally was three more than India’s overall total of 27 medals from Melbourne, but two shy of the mark of 16 gold set there. Narang could only manage a 590 in the qualification round to finish tied eighth. He missed out on the final in a shoot-off, managing 51.6 points, the same as Wynn Payne of Canada. Sri Lanka’s Mangala Samarakoon shot 53.2.Hariom Singh made it to the final but finished eighth with a total of 689.6 points, seven behind the winner, Jonathan Hammond of Scotland. Australian Warren Potent, the bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics, took silver with 695.4 while Northern Ireland’s Matthew Hall finished third.Narang still counted the positives. “I am happy with my perform- By Shreyas Sharma in New Delhi ance, four gold medals with four new Games record is good. I did struggle a bit with prone position but I think we should look at the positives,” he said.advertisementNational coach Sunny Thomas said: “I have mixed feelings. The number of medals increased, but I wish the colour of a few of them was different. We could’ve got five more gold medals,” he said. Earlier, Heena suffered a heartbreaking loss in the 10m air pistol event.Leading Malaysia’s Pei Chin Bibiana Ng into the final on the basis of more perfect 10s after both had shot 383s in qualification, Heena only managed 98.6 compared to Pei’s 98.9 to end up with the silver medal.The other Indian in the fray, Annu Raj Singh, finished fourth, 3.1 points behind bronze medallist Dina Aspandiyarova of Australia. Jung, meanwhile, could not find his mark in the 25m standard pistol singles after having finished second in the pairs with C.K. Chaudhary.Any hopes of an addition to the tally in the last event of the Games evaporated with Allan Daniel Peoples (8th) and Mairaj Ahmad Khan (16th) failing to make the final in the men’s skeet singles.The surprise winner was England’s Richard Brickell, who beat former world champion Georgios Achilleos and his fellow Cypriot Andreas Chasikos in a shoot-off.Meanwhile, at the Kadarpur range, India managed to finish 11th in the full bore rifle pairs event, despite the athletes, Sushil Ghaley and Praveen Dahiya, having got their first experience of the guns just days before the competition.New Zealand won the pairs gold ahead of Scotland and England. Ghaley later finished 29th in the singles while Dahiya was 32nd, as England’s Parag Patel won gold, ahead of Australia’s James Corbett and Northern Ireland’s David Calvert.
Veteran actress Dimple Kapadia is still gorgeous at 53. She also has an impeccable sense of style.This was evident during the shooting of Dimple’s soon- tobe- released film, Patiala House . Sources from the unit of the film, in which Dimple plays Rishi Kapoor’s wife Mrs Kahlon, say she loves to dress up in full Punjabi attire and swears by designer clothes.In the film, where she was to sport a traditional Punjabi look, she told the producer she would wear outfits and jewellery from her personal collection, as she wanted to look different from the stereotyped appearance of Punjabi women.A little birdie on the sets tells us she looked gorgeous in her elegant dresses and expensive jewellery. The actress, who happens to be Akshay Kumar’s mother- in- law, also plays Akki’s mother in Patiala House, which is slated to release on February 11. It looks like Dimple is in no mood to compromise on her style quotient and keeps it top notch even today.It’s no surprise that one still remembers her hot look in early films such as Bobby and Sagar . Her glamourous avatar had been spoken about since those days and she has always been a trendsetter.Says producer Bhushan Kumar: “She is an amazing actress. Her performance in Patiala House is commendable. She looks elegant and in sync with her character. Fans will get a glimpse of a completely new Dimple in the film.”
Subhash ChandraSubhash Chandra53, Industrialist (22)Foreign ForayBecause he has expanded his footprint in the US by launching Veria, a 24-hour holistic health channel, and his company has become the biggest distributor of Indian content in the overseas market, with a viewership of 500 million in 160 countries.Because he got down to,Subhash ChandraSubhash Chandra53, Industrialist (22)Foreign ForayBecause he has expanded his footprint in the US by launching Veria, a 24-hour holistic health channel, and his company has become the biggest distributor of Indian content in the overseas market, with a viewership of 500 million in 160 countries.Because he got down to work at the seven-year-old Mumbai daily DNA, stemming losses by slashing costs and achieving record sales of over 5 lakh copies during this year’s Budget edition.Because he is the largest distributor of cable television in India reaching nearly 100 million homes.Because even through the global downturn, he managed to post a 20 per cent increase in group turnover to reach $3 billion.Power move He has handed over the reins of the day-to-day management of his business to son Puneet Goenka to concentrate on education, having listed Zee Learn last year.Favourite food Homecooked Marwari dishesPower drive Audi A8 N SrinivasanN. SRINIVASAN66, Industrialist (New)Match WinnerBecause he controls the purse strings of the world’s richest cricket board as secretary, BCCI.Because his company, India Cements, bankrolls IPL’s most valuable team and winner of Season 3, Chennai Super Kings, that is worth Rs 224 crore.Because he ensured the exit of Lalit Modi, the controversial creator of the IPL franchise.Because he is so obsessed with cricket that he is often criticised for not paying attention to his other portfolio: he is president of the Indian chess federation.Because he is the czar of India Cements, southern India’s largest cement maker, with a turnover of Rs 3,500 crore.advertisementPower passion All his cars from, the BMW to the Rolls Royce Phantom, have the number ‘9001’Power icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Malvinder and Shivender Mohan SinghMALVINDER AND SHIVENDER MOHAN SINGH38 & 35, Businessmen (36)Awesome TwosomeBecause they aim to completely dominate India’s twin obsessions, health and wealth, with Religare and Fortis healthcare companies.Because Religare, one of India’s fastest growing integrated financial services institutions, has acquired two funds in the US, taking the total assets under its management to $18 billion in just two years.Because having made a Rs 10,000 crore profit from the sale of Ranbaxy, they also made a profit of $100 million on the sale of the Singapore-based healthcare company Parkway, with a return of 37 per cent in four months.Austerity drive Despite having a fleet of jets in various air transport firms, they fly commercial.Power passion Movies. Their movie fund Religare Vistaar is financing the Shahid Kapur starrer, Mausam.Winning smile Own the largest dental clinic chain in Australia and New ZealandDid you know That they own the largest private healthcare network in Hongkong? Pawan MunjalPAWAN MUNJAL57, Industrialist (23)Lone RiderBecause he thought nothing of splitting from Honda, his partner of nearly three decades, and decided to ride it alone in the highly competitive nine million vehicles a year two-wheeler market.Because Hero Honda has been the largest seller of two-wheelers in the world for 10 years now and accounts for 50 per cent of the Indian motorcycle market.Because In the month of December, when automobile sales tend to drop significantly, the company sold five lakh bikes, more than double of its biggest competitor.Because whether it is cricket, hockey, golf or the CWG, he understands the sporting pulse of the nation.Style statement Wears the tricolour on his lapel, wrist and even on the number plate of his cars. “I’m a proud Indian,” he says.Power toys The iPad and iPhone 4Power wheels Acquired a Jaguar a month ago Harish SalveHARISH SALVE55, Lawyer (27)A Perfect ArgumentBecause he is the first person on the speed dial of corporate titans, politicians, and even state Governments in trouble.Because when Ratan Tata wanted to take on the government, he chose Salve, as did Mukesh Ambani when he went to war with his industrialist brother Anil Ambani on the right price for getting oil from the Krishna-Godavari basin.Because his powerful clients will go to any lengths to oblige him, whether it is flying him down on a private jet or buying him pyjamas for a last-minute overnight stay.Legal style Quotes from the film The Godfather. Once told the Supreme Court the opposition reminded him of a scene where the mafia don places a gun on his enemy’s head and says “be reasonable, do it my way”.The boy toy Bentley Flying SpurHis style statement “My wife Meenakshi,” he grins Chanda KochharCHANDA KOCHHAR49, Banker (45)Trusted AssetBecause she heads India’s second-largest bank with total assets of Rs 3,63,400 crore and in the two years since she has taken over, the company has grown by over 3 per cent.advertisementBecause she changed the rules of the game, making ICICI branches operate 12 hours a day, unlike its competitors, which function only for four to seven hours.Because customer satisfaction is her top-most priority and she makes it a point to read every e-mail that comes in.Because she was ranked 92 in the Forbes 2010 list of most powerful women in the world.Because she was one of the first bankers in India to promote electronic banking, installing 2,000 atm machines across the country.Power moment Getting the Padma Bhushan. Not bad for a working woman from a middle-class family.Her kind of music The Gayatrimantra is her ringtonePower dressing Wears saris to work. It’s Western wear for weekends. Parmeshwar GodrejPARMESHWAR GODREJ65, Social Arbiter (43)Cause and AweBecause she has roped in everyone, from Bill and Melinda Gates to Carla Bruni to Bono, from NACO to UNAIDS to participate in her advocacy work on AIDS through her Heroes Project.Because the work of the Heroes Project has been incorporated into the State aids Control 2011-2012 annual action plan.Because she has managed to get Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to host a media summit on HIV/AIDS, just like the one at his home in 2005.Favourite things The song I did it my way and a poem by Rudyard Kipling, If.Treasured gifts Birthday cards made by grandsons Aryaan and Azaar.Recently discovered “That I’m happy being by myself.”Favourite designers Herve Leger, Shahab Durazi, Giorgio ArmaniHoliday spot The Amalfi Coast, Italy RAHUL BHATIA48, Businessman (New)Rapid AscentBecause his five-year-old Indigo’s 19.2 per cent market share has zoomed past the 80-year-old national carrier Air India into the number three spot.Because in January, his company placed the largest-ever order for aircraft in Indian civil aviation history for 180 Airbus A320 planes worth Rs 72,000 crore to be delivered between 2016 and 2025.Because by 2025, with a fleet size of 280 aircraft, Indigo will be India’s largest airline.Power moment When Indigo recorded a profit of Rs 550 crore in 2009-10 even as Jet and Kingfisher airlines registered a combined loss of more than Rs 2,000 crore.Smart move He lets Aditya Ghosh, CEO of Indigo, handle the media.Big switch He is a trained engineer and has worked with IBMValue for money Plans to set up 200 mid-budget Ibis hotels by 2015 Ram JethmalaniRAM JETHMALANI87, MP and Lawyer (39)The Duel Master Because his apparent shot in the dark, the April 2009 petition with the Supreme Court to get back India’s money stashed in foreign banks accounts, has become the most effective anti-corruption campaign administered by the Supreme Court.Because his petition, seeking to make public names of all holders of foreign banks accounts, has given sleepless nights to many powerful people.Because his intervention has uncovered Hassan Ali, India’s biggest tax defaulter and alleged hawala operator.Because he has leapt over the generation gap-he was India’s leading criminal lawyer in the 1960s and remains the first resort for the last resort even today.advertisementLucky mascot The indoor badminton court at his home on Delhi’s Akbar Road is lucky for Congressmen who aspire to be chief ministers: Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Prithviraj Chavan were regulars there before they became cms of Haryana and Maharashtra.Travel bug Has cruised Scandinavia, Alaska and the CaribbeanDid you know He became a lawyer at 18? Uday KotakUDAY KOTAK52, Banker (38)Money SpinnerBecause his 25-year-old company, Kotak Bank, is now worth $7.1 billion, from $70 million a decade ago, becoming the biggest private bank created by an entrepreneur in the country.Because Japanese firm Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. will invest in a $300 million fund of Kotak Mahindra that will buy stakes in infrastructure projects such as power units, roads and airports.Because with his long experience in the stock market, investment banking and now commercial and retail banking, he is evolving as a thought leader in the financial services sector.Because he has a finger in the academic and media pie as a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and owns the Business Standard newspaper.Calm quotient Practising on the sitar takes his mind off business.Power statement Still writes notes with a pencilPower wheels Drives a Toyota Camry Jaggi VasudevJAGGI VASUDEV54, Yogi (43)Mod MantrasBecause he mentors many of India’s high and mighty, from Vasundhara Raje to Shekhar Kapur.Because he is the coolest of the cool: an agnostic who became a yogi, an adventure geek who turned guru, a sceptic who found a new route to bliss, Isha Yoga.Because he spices up spirituality with science, mysticism with materialism, wisdom with wit.Because he built a 270-acre ashram in the foothills of the Velliangiri range in Coimbatore from scratch.Sultan of style He rides dirt bikes and SUVs at breakneck speed, tees up golf balls with effortless elan, plays frisbee in jeans and tees.In his own words “If you don’t want your children to go the Coca-Cola way, you must dig into your culture and pull out something really valuable.”Invisible army One lakh volunteers work at his 150 centresPower of pride The two-ft tall mercury lingam at Theerthakund in Coimbatore K. Srinath ReddyK. SRINATH REDDY59, Doctor (New)The Good DoctorBecause the former head of the cardiology department at AIIMS, New Delhi, monitors the heartbeat of the nation in his role as personal physician to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Because as president of the Public Health Foundation of India, which has a corpus of Rs 230 crore, he is engaged in building critical research and institutional infrastructure in the much neglected field of public health.Did you know That he is a man of literary talent and won the Economists Allied for Arms Reduction Global Peace Essay contest, adjudged by 11 Nobel laureate, in 1992?Mr brainy He is an ace quizzerInternational connection He is the Bernard Lown Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health Saina NehwalSAINA NEHWAL21, Sportsperson (New)Smash HitBecause her phenomenal dedication made her rise to the No.2 slot in world badminton, the highest position attained by a sportswoman in the country.Because she became the unofficial spokesperson of ambitious Jat women when she spoke up against Haryana’s skewed sex ratio.Because she is poised to become one of the richest young women in the country, with annual sponsorships, endorsements and incentives from employer Bharat Petroleum crossing the Rs 10 crore mark this year.Big acquisition Buying a diamond ring for Rs 1.60 lakh at Heathrow airport.Power move The Apple iPad to review her own and other players’ games while travelling.Diet secret Rotis of specially milled wheat, dry fruits, eggsHer hairstylist Vicki Gillani of Paris de Salon, Hyderabad Jean DrezeJEAN DREZE, 51, Economist (New)The Social NetworkBecause he has the courage the challenge the government that wants to coopt him through the nac and convened a press conference in September 2010 to openly criticise the working of the government’s flagship programme, nrega.Because the honorary professor at the Delhi School of Economics, and senior professor at the G.B. Pant Institute of Social Sciences in Allahabad has the academic credentials to back his social activism.Did you know That when he first came to Delhi in 1979, Dreze lived in a slum in Safdarjung rather than in a students’ hostel?Family connection Father Jacques Dreze is an eminent Belgian economist. Brother Xavier Dreze is professor at ucla.Power ride A bicycle Katrina KaifKATRINA KAIF26, Actor (New)Bollywood BabeBecause though she has a British passport, her midriff, post Sheila ki jawani, has become a national asset.Because she is the most sucessful Indian actress today with an earning of over Rs 40 crore in 2010, enough to send Income Tax officials knocking at her door.Because with 11 brand endorsements, a Barbie doll in her image, the season’s most downloaded item song, and as the most googled Indian celebrity, she has emerged as the woman India loves to love.Because despite being gossip staple, she has consistently refused to comment on her private life.Because she’s set off a frenzy among Western women wanting to make it big in Hollywood whose first stop is invariably the Kingfisher calendar.What she wants The rights to a three-year-old Hollywood romantic comedy that she hopes to produce.Power tool An iPad, on which she listens to music and watches moviesLikes to Wear her sisters’ clothes when she is at home in London
During his recent interaction with the media, an editor asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the letters written by former sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar exposing glaring financial irregularities in the run up to the Commonwealth Games (CWG). But the prime minister claimed that the content of Aiyar’s letters was “purely ideological”. Two days after the prime minister’s statement given at his 7 RCR residence, Headlines Today accessed those letters which clearly go beyond ideology. These letters were written by Aiyar over a span of two years starting 2006. Aiyar’s letters quoted specific figures of financial bungling by the sacked chairperson of the CWG organising committee (OC) Suresh Kalmadi and his team during the preparation for the 2010 Games. In one of these letters, written on March 9, 2006, Aiyar stated: “I write to seek a meeting with you to discuss gargantuan gap between expenditure projections given in 2003 and present projected figures. As against the figure of Rs 150 crore for physical infrastructure, current estimates have been ramped up to over Rs 500 crore. On organisation of games, the figure has been ramped from Rs 250 crore to Rs 900 crore.” In another letter, which directly targets the former OC boss, Aiyar stated on October 25, 2007: “I grow increasingly alarmed at the profligacy of CWG OC chairman. Military Games held with nearly 3 quarters the number of athletes and officials expected for CWG came to under Rs 200 crore. Present projections of CWG expenditure have topped Rs 20,000 crore!” ‘I didn’t want to share a cell with Kalmadi in Tihar’Confirming that he did write to the prime minister warning about the CWG scam, Aiyar said he “didn’t carry the conviction” while warning the head of the government about it. He was talking to Headlines Today over phone from Kathmandu after the news channel showed his letters. “It (CWG fiasco) was entirely avoidable. But I will blame myself,” Aiyar said, adding, “My fault is I didn’t carry the conviction… everyone thought it was a personality clash.” “My primary concern was ideological. Then I realised there was a great deal of financial impropriety,” he said. “I am sure publication of letters will refresh the prime minister’s memory. I brought it to the attention of the prime minister, cabinet ministers and the group of ministers (GoM). I was overruled in the GoM by the finance minister. The seriousness of my charges was dismissed by the GoM,” Aiyar said. “The next step was that I was sacked and Suresh Kalmadi was retained,” Aiyar said, adding, “But now I am sitting in Kathmandu, while Kalmadi is grieving in Tihar jail.” “I did not want to share a cell with Suresh Kalmadi in Tihar jail,” the senior Congress MP said. PM trashed Aiyar’s letters as ‘purely ideological’It was on June 29 when T.N. Ninan of the Business Standard raised the issue of CWG scam citing Aiyar’s letters ahead of the games before the prime minister as the latter launched a public relations drive using the media platform in a bid to explain his policies and address government’s concerns on a host of issues. In reply, the prime minister said: “You have also written Mr Ninan that our friend Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote to me, but he wrote to me on purely ideological grounds. He was opposed to hosting the Commonwealth Games.”advertisement
A Corner of a Foreign field: The Indian History of a British Sport By Ramachandra Guha Picador When Aamir Khan turned the story of a fictional cricket match in the 19th century into both a commercial success and a bold cultural statement, it appeared that Ashis Nandy’s contention that cricket,A Corner of a Foreign field: The Indian History of a British Sport By Ramachandra Guha Picador When Aamir Khan turned the story of a fictional cricket match in the 19th century into both a commercial success and a bold cultural statement, it appeared that Ashis Nandy’s contention that cricket was an Indian game invented by the English had received the final endorsement. After all, now, Bollywood had even decided to create a mythology around it.Indian sport’s most famous and historically documented anti-colonial statement was the 1911 victory of the barefoot Mohun Bagan football team over the East Yorkshire Regiment. But in the early 21st century football didn’t give rise to a Lagaan. Cricket did.Ramachandra Guha, writer and historian, throws this pitiful piece of sociological analysis into the dustbin. Well before the Yorkshire Regiment and Lagaan, in 1906 a team of Hindus beat a team of Europeans in a match in Bombay that was written about with great glee in the press, including in the faraway Madras Mail.Guha recounts this and more with relish in his new book, a social history of Indian cricket. It will drive large holes in popular perceptions about the growth and development of cricket in the Indian imagination. Urban India, Guha believes, was drawn to cricket and deeply linked with it long before Independence. A Corner of a Foreign Field is, he says, the story of “forgotten connections and forgotten cricketers”.Ramachandra Guha: Historian on weekdays, cricket writer over the weekendsThe 44-year-old Bangalore-based writer says, “Indian cricket has always reflected the issues of the society around it-whether it was caste, race and religion in the early years of the 20th century or nationalism and commerce today.” That’s not the story we’ve been told.The accepted social history of Indian cricket involves colonial inheritance, princely patronage, quirky tales about Porbander and Vizzy and Lord Harris slowly evolving into the inspired leadership of the Nawab of Pataudi, the great wins in 1971, followed by the era of Sunil Gavaskar, the 1983 World Cup, Kapil Dev, satellite television, Sachin Tendulkar and the high-pitched mayhem we now know and love.advertisementThat remained the tale because, says Guha, “historians are not interested in sports and sports writers are not interested in history and politics”. Er … guilty as charged, on both sides.Guha too considers himself a historian on weekdays and a cricket writer over the weekend, choosing to keep the two occupations divorced from each other. “I always thought cricket and history would be separate. Maybe at the back of my mind I didn’t want to contaminate a sport I loved with politics.”Foreign Field then is a masterly crossover both ways. The differences between Indian history and Indian cricket history were, he discovered, not quite irreconcilable. They came together in the form of a man who is one of Guha’s two personal favourites: the Dalit cricketer Palwankar Baloo, researched and reintroduced to the wider world by Guha in the 1990s.This book happened, he says, by “accident” as he continued his research into Baloo’s life. Baloo, in fact, is almost a metaphor for the entire book, for the centrality of cricket in Indian cultural life: a cricketer of great skill, Baloo was a giant to his own community, a figure so influential he mediated between Gandhi and Ambedkar in 1932. In 1937, he was the Congress candidate against Ambedkar in an election which he lost by a nar row margin. “It started with Baloo but by the time I’d finished … I didn’t think I’d have so much.”Indians have, he says, “always been crazy about cricket”-their adoration for the marvellous Colonel C.K. Nayudu is proof enough. In Nayudu, they had a “nationalist icon-easily the equal of Tendulkar” in an age before mass media and live television.Guha’s writing on cricketers of old has always been like a good sepia-toned photograph, containing within it both nostalgia and clarity. On the contemporary batch he is understated and generous, qualities hard to find in the quote-and-dagger, push-and-shove of the modern cricket press.He certainly has more sympathy for Sourav Ganguly & Co. “In the 1950s, when India began to win Test matches, Jawaharlal Nehru never entered the picture. Today our cricketers are expected to substitute for all our failures-they must win matches because our economy is bad or whatever. It’s an unfair burden.”Losing is a “national humiliation/ shame/ disgrace”, India-Pakistan cricket is a crown of thorns and we are forever being told that the sport has a special status because it evokes “national sentiment”; Guha pokes the cricket chauvinists in the eye in Foreign Field, recounting the time when RSS leader M.S. Golwalkar demanded that the game be banned from post-Independence India. Today, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani smiles and feeds Wasim Akram a few ladoos.advertisementForeign Field will become-and it’s not even a professional risk to say this-a modern classic of Indian cricket writing. There are bound to be comparisons to C.L.R. James’ Beyond the Boundary, something that makes the genteel Guha wince.This is not-the Arundhati Roy episode notwithstanding-a man of the screaming headline or the 10-second soundbite. “Boundary is inimitable. All I wanted to do was write a social history of Indian cricket and make it interesting.” He is currently working on a history of Independent India. Don’t be too surprised if cricketers begin to pop up in it.There are, he believes, entire libraries waiting to be written on the subject, treasures waiting to be found for the scholar or the cricket writer who ventures beyond the conventional boundaries of their individual subject- regional histories, cricket folklore or even the spread of the game beyond the major metros. Foreign Field should certainly spark off a few other searches. Cultural anthropologist, social historian, sociologist, cricket writer … whoever turns to Indian cricket will not end up emptyhanded.Plus, of course, there could even be another Bollywood blockbuster waiting to be made. Based, this time, on a true story.EXCERPTCricket chauvinismAfter their victories in the West Indies and England in 1971, a further twelve years were to pass before India won anything of substance on the cricket field. But this was the big prize, the World Cup itself.The tournament was played in England, and the fancied teams included the hosts, Pakistan, and the West Indies. India started at 50 to 1 outsiders, and even the captain, the superb all-round cricketer Kapil Dev, thought only that his men were ‘capable of a surprise or two’.But they played above themselves to reach the semi-finals. In this round they beat England. Now they would play the West Indies, who had won the trophy in 1975 and 1979, and were generally regarded as unbeatable in the one-day game.For the final at Lord’s the rival supporters ‘had turned the ground into a carnival with the cymbals and bongos of the West Indian supporters in disharmonious rhythm with the dholaks and temple bells of the Indian supporters’.The latter fell silent when Kapil Dev’s side were shot out for the low score of 183. But a few West Indian wickets fell early, panic set in the lower-middle order, and finally they fell forty-three runs short.As it happened, Indira Gandhi was now prime minister once more. Mrs Gandhi sent an early telegram to the cricketers, which said, interalia, that ‘My slogan is India can do it. Thank you for living up to it’. (This slogan, with the cricketers’ photographs, was then displayed on state-owned petrol stations all over India.)The patriotic spirit had caught the players. When they landed at Bombay airport to a crowd shouting ‘Kapil Dev zindabad’, the captain immediately corrected them by saying ‘Bharat zindabad’.advertisementAfter a reception in Bombay the players went home for a few days, and reassembled in Delhi to meet the prime minister. For her reception to the players, held on the lawns of Hyderabad House, Mrs Gandhi was dressed in cricket colours: a dotted white sari with a matching white blouse.The Prime Minister spoke to each player, held the Cup herself, posed for photographs and made a short speech where she told the players: ‘Shabash, keep the flag flying.’What she said next was more notable: to quote a press report, ‘the Prime Minister however expressed surprise that the English press was underplaying the achievement of the Indian team. She said the entire nation had been thrilled at the victory’ The Indian cricket victories of 1971 had taken place in between two personal political victories for Mrs Gandhi; in the elections of January, and on the battlefield in December.Indeed, after that winter’s war against Pakistan-which India won, comprehensively-the cricketers were commandeered for national service. They were asked to play a round of matches to raise money for the Bangladesh Fund.At these games, played all over India, lesser politicians sought also to reflect some of the glory onto themselves. The cricketers, wrote one critic in disgust, ‘became part of a multipurpose circus that went round and round the country- a bandwagon to climb for leaders from all shades of public life’.The nationalism of Mrs Gandhi was a curious mixture of paranoia and triumphalism. Even at the time of her greatest victories she spoke darkly of the ‘enemies of the nation’. In 1971 these were the princes, the capitalists, and the western world.The United States had openly supported Pakistan, and even sent the Seventh Fleet into the Indian Ocean. In this context cricket and cricketers would be used to help Indira, and India, keep those ever-threatening forces at bay.When the Indian team won the World Cup in 1983 Mrs Gandhi was not as firmly in control as in 1971. Her party was riven by inner tensions, her nation riven by regional loyalties-or disloyalties-in particular the rebellions then active in Assam and the Punjab.And the external enemies were also present: note the brooding reference in her speech to the apparent hostility to Indian cricketers of the British press. To suggest that Indira Gandhi saw herself as the Kapil Dev of politics may not be entirely far-fetched.Should the cricket craze in India be compared with the Brazilian love for soccer, then? In that country soccer has become the vehicle for the unfulfilled aspirations of everyday life.The game of football provides a ‘breathing space between a horrific immediate past and an anxiously uncertain future’. Brazil still grapples with an unequal society and an imperfect democracy, but at least they win the World Cup, world sport’s greatest prize, once in every two or three attempts.In India, however, the expression of sporting nationalism is accentuated both by the continuing poverty of its peoples and the very widely dispersed nature of its on-field triumphs.Between 1986 and 1999 India did not lose a single Test series at home, playing in a climate and general environment suitable to its players and on pitches doctored for its spin bowlers. In that same period it only won one Test match overseas, in Sri Lanka.It has won one World Cup out of seven played thus far. It is thirty years since it won a Test series in West Indies, and it has still never won one in Australia. But hope lingers, kept alive by memories of other victories: in West Indies and England in 1971, the World Cup in 1983, the World Championship of Cricket in 1985.Meanwhile, the integration of the world through television and the liberalisation of India’s own economy have made comparisons with other countries more obvious and less palatable.India will never be a Tiger to match the other Asian Tigers. India ranks at about 150 in the World Development Report, just below Namibia and just above Haiti. It is the cricketers, and they alone, who are asked to redeem these failures.Especially in the last decade, cricket nationalism has become more intense and ferocious. One sign is the increasing hostility to cricketers from other countries. In the past, the Indian cricket fan was inclusive in his sympathies; he would worship the West Indian Frankie Worrell and the Englishman Tony Greig alongside Vinoo Mankad and Gundappa Viswanath.This characteristic seemed to confirm the remark of the anthropologist Verrier Elwin that where Christians believe more in God, Hindus believe in more Gods. But it appears that Hinduism has become semiticised.Chauvinism has triumphed over generosity. Our side must win, at any cost. Stone throwing, arson and other acts of vandalism have become increasingly common, especially when India is on the verge of defeat.Such hyper-nationalism places a massive burden on our cricketers. When they lose, the response tends to the vicious. Newspapers call into question the fitness, probity and patriotism of the defeated cricketers.Fans burn their effigies on the streets, and sometimes throw stones at their homes. Win or lose, it is hard work playing cricket for India nowadays. I suppose the ever-increasing pay packet compensates.Edited excerpts from A Corner of a Foreign Field. Ramachandra Guha 2002