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Thursday, October 15, 2009

A new word and some update on Pak cricket

Dear (s)

Not many of you would be following up the Champions League as it entered its next phase - with an interesting super over result. Lot happened at Pakistan after the Champions Trophy.

----- but before all that the word in the caption "triskaidekaphobia" - a noun meaning ‘fear or phobia concerning the number 13’. It might strike one to ask what is there in a number. This word is from Greek tris meaning 3 and deka meaning "10" + phobos: fear. The fear of no. 13 is number commonly associated with bad luck in Western culture. Though the fear is traced back to olden days, the word appears to be of recent origin reportedly coined during 1911 and having appeared in New Yorks time article in 1953.

Triskaidekaphobia also may be related to Norse mythology, which tells how the god Odin invited eleven of his closest friends to a dinner party at his home in Valhalla, only to have his party crashed by Loki, the god of evil and turmoil, thus giving a total of 13 people. Past disasters linked to the number 13 hardly help triskaidekaphobics overcome their affliction. The most famous is the Apollo 13 mission, launched on April 11, 1970 (the sum of 4, 11 and 70 equals 85 - which when added together comes to 13), from Pad 39 (three times 13) at 13:13 local time, and struck by an explosion on April 13. It is also widely circulated that seemingly ingrained case of triskaidekaphobia, forced managers to impose the bizarre, '13-free' numbering system on its flights. Some famous historic persons are reportedly triskaidekaphobes which would include Napoleon, Mark Twain, Richard Wagner and Franklin Roosevelt.

One would like to pooh pooh this as superstition and not a notion based on reason, knowledge or experience. There is yet another phobia combining the no. 13th with day Friday and it is called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.

Why bad luck should be associated with a common week end day is ......... some have tried to list out events of Hurricane Charlen in 13/8/2004; the storm that struck Buffalo, NY on 13/10/2006; Continental Flight 3407 crashin ginto a house at NY on 12/02/09, Asteroid 2004 , Andes Plane crash of 1972 and hurricane sinking manhy ships at Havana Cuba way back in 13/2/1733. Lot can be read into coincidences !!!

Coming back to my pet topic lot more is being forced into the match between Pak and Aussies - the match most Indians wanted Pakis to win. (Read my earlier article : when Indians wanted a Paki win here)

Chasing a modest 206 for a victory and easy entry in to Semis, Aussies started well, were 59 for 2 and cruised to 150 and were 157 for 3 in 36 overs which meant 49 runs in around 80 balls with 7 wickets in hand. The end result had Punter chewing all his nails due to the improbable aussie middle order failture but scampering home off the last ball. That match effectively ended the Indian challenge securing a first round elimination. Pak qualified well but succumbed to Kiwis in the next match.

In cricket crazy Nations, lot more is read and understood. There were incendiary report somewhere that Paki loss was much intentional to keep India out. This had no credence but germ perhaps had been planted. This was picked up by Pak’s hyperactive media big on headlines. The head of Pakistan's national parliamentary committee on sports has accused the team of deliberately losing to Australia and called for changes in the national cricket board. It had its repercussions even in the Pak Parliament and the captain Younis promptly, in a temperamental rage announced his resignation. To many Younis was the most fascinating personality at the Champions Trophy, endearingly honest, open and refreshing. Broadly speaking, he was thought to be a good, calming influence on the side. That message seems not to have reached Pakistan.

In a game which is to be fought on field, Pak always had its share of controversies off the field also. Remember the death of Bob Woolmer, the coach during the World Cup at West Indies and mysteries that shrouded his death. There was a shoot out at the Lankan team which pushed them to abysmal depths. Efforts were made to overcome all this but whatever was achieved by the recent commendable performances in the T 20 WC and Champions trophy, seem to be going down in the drain once again.

With regards - S Sampathkumar

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