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Friday, February 22, 2013

MJ Gopalan, Ric Charlesworth, Ellysse Perry, Suzie Bates ~ the double Internationals

Dr. Richard Ian (Ric) Charlesworth AM  is a very active person.  He is a sports and performance consultant,  a former Australian cricketer and field hockey player and coach. He is also a medical doctor and former federal politician. 

Decades ago, played MJ Gopalan, a double Inernational. Morappakam Josyam Gopalan  [1906 – 2003] represented India in cricket and hockey. When Ranji Trophy was inaugurated in 1934, MJ Gopalan delivered  the first ball of the tournament. His only Test match was against England at Calcutta in early 1934.  In 1936 he was selected in the hockey team for the Berlin Olympics and the cricket team to tour England. It was known beforehand that Gopalan would have a small role to play in the England tour because of the presence of Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh. Still he chose the latter, which turned out to be a terrible decision. The hockey team captained by Dhyan Chand, one of the finest teams in the history of the sport, won the gold medal with little difficulty. As it turned out, Gopalan did not play a Test in England. The tour was marred by internal politics and the team returned in disgrace. 
photo from The Hindu

He lived in Triplicane and I have seen him at close quarters on many occasions.  The bi-annual Cricket tournament between Ceylon and Madras was named after him and called ‘MJ Gopalan Trophy’.

Not sure how many of you, especially women followed the 2013 Women's Cricket World Cup held in India recently.  It  was the tenth Women's Cricket World Cup.   Australia won the tournament for the sixth time, beating West Indies easily by a big margin of  114 runs in the final.  In the finals, after setting a huge target of 260, Aussie captain was worried for once… WI were coasting at 32 for no loss and their change bowler Ellysse Perry who had not figured in the Super 6 started her run-up limping up,  did not deliver in her first attempts, visibly feeling the pain of her foot.  She had earlier smacked 25 off 22 balls.  Will she bowl was the question ?

She did, and struck in her first over, trapping Kycia Knight in front and taking two more wickets at a miserly spell.  She is a national footballer too. Ellyse Alexandra Perry is the  youngest person, male or female, to represent Australia in cricket and the first Australian woman to have appeared in both cricket and association football World Cups.

I had posted about the lonely female Umpire in the middle Kathy Cross from New Zealand who finished 4th losing to England for the 3rd place; another Newzealander had reasons to be happy, it was Suzie Bates who topped the tournament with 407 runs distantly followed by WI Stefanie Taylor with 309.  Anya Shrubsole and Megan Schutt took 13 wickets each.

Suzannah Wilson Bates is 25 and is an all rounder.  This stylish player made her international debut against India in the ODI series in 2006.  Suzie Bates, New Zealand captain and allrounder, is more – she is a  basketball player  and also an Olympian having participated in Beijing  Olympics2008. Bates says basketball has had a role to play in improving her mental and physical fitness. Basketball fulfilled Bates' dream of going to the Olympics and gave her a chance to see athletes that one would otherwise "only see on television. It sounds as good as it can get - representing your country at the highest level in two sports in parallel, but it puts enormous strain on body and mind. In mid-2011, Bates  got the New Zealand captaincy and has done more than reasonably well in Cricket.  While she adores basketball, cricket is clearly Bates' greater passion. Dual internationals face constant, conflicting demands on their time.

Just to emphasise the point that women are good at multi-tasking, New Zealand had two dual internationals in their World Cup squad.  Sophie Devine was the other, though she could not make to finals, she was part of  New Zealand’s Olympic training squad in Hockey.

‘White Ferns’ is the nickname for the New Zealand women’s cricket teame ‘Tall Ferns’ is the name of their Basketball team.    

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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