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Thursday, November 28, 2019

ringing of bells ~ recognising Cricketers !!


There was some flutter but the first day-night test at Kolkata played with pink ball ended short.  It took India about 47 minutes on the third day to become the first team in Test cricket to win four straight matches by an innings. At 968 balls, this was the shortest Test with an outright result in India, beating the 1028 balls against Afghanistan last year. This was India's first home Test win without a single wicket from a spinner. It was only their second such win overall, after Johannesburg in 2018.

Can you identify this footballer ~ who was at Eden Gardens too !!

Away, Bangladesh batsman Saif Hassan was denied boarding pass by Biman Bangladesh airlines ! On reaching the airport, Saif learnt that his six-month visa had expired a day before, on November 24.  Since he was ruled out of the tour due to split webbing, there was no reason for the Bangladesh Cricket Board to keep him in India for so long. But even if he had played the pink ball Test here, he would have missed the visa expiry cut-off date.  He stayed back to complete visa formalities - to extend the validity - with the help of the High Commission.  The incident reflects BCB's responsibility lapse and lack of planning. Saif is expected to leave for Dhaka on Wednesday.

This series was about Indian pacers especially Ishant Sharma, Mohd Shami  & Umesh Yadav.  Umesh Yadav is quoted as saying that  he knew.  he would get another shot at the highest level if he kept himself fit and trained hard when he was picked only occasionally across formats over the last two years.  Yadav was often badly treated, either not selected for prolonged periods and when getting a chance once a while, would get only very few overs at home then would get dropped on performance ! However, in India's last two home Test series - against South Africa and Bangladesh - he has emerged with the most wickets, the best strike rate and the best average among India's quicks.  .. .. he has a point in telling that it is hard to remain positive, when not playing and getting dropped often .. .

In the broad  corridors of the Red Building of Hindu High School, the walk of the attender would attract the attention of students inside the class room – before it even sounds, some would ready to fly away….  It was the sweet sound of school bell – #not physically a  bell# – but that of a metal hammered with a wooden object, creating enough sound audible to the locality.  There was a Public address system too,  through which Morning prayer was heard and some important announcements would be made. 

At Lords, the  ringing of 5 minute bell is ceremonious – and is usually done by an international cricketer, administrator or well-known enthusiast of the sport,  a recent tradition introduced in 2007. The bell located outside the Bowlers’ Bar of the Lord’s Pavilion, is rung to signify the imminent start of play,.    In 2014 during England India Investec Test on day 4, it was our World Cup winning Captain Kapil Dev who rung the bell.  .. .. and a few years back the iconic Eden Gardens got a ‘bell’ like the one that hangs at the hallowed Lord’s ground in London. 

Away from Cricket, in Nov 2013, Vishwanathan  Anand to played the challenge matches against Carlsen - FIDE World Championship 2013.  The reigning champion Vishy Anand faced   22-year-old upstart Magnus Carlsen of Norway—nicknamed the "Mozart of Chess" because of his meteoric rise at such a young age.  The FIDE World Chess Championship Match ( FWCM) is the final event of the World Championship cycle... ..  all roads led to the National Library   as Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen squared off in a Round 7 rapid game of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) meet. All 600 seats at the Bhasha Bhawan auditorium were taken up even before the chess greats reached the venue. A huge applause greeted Anand, who arrived with wife Aruna, and Carlsen.

Years have rolled by .. .. Eden Gardens welcomed two special guests recently,  when chess wizards Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand made a quick visit to ring the ceremonial bell to signal the start of second day’s play in the pink-ball Test between India and Bangladesh. Since both Grandmasters had three rapid games lined up in the penultimate leg of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) later in the day, they didn’t get time to watch any cricket. Asked about his Eden experience, the World chess champion Carlsen  revealed he had no clue of what was happening. “What actually happened was Anand rang the bell and I stood there stupidly having no knowledge of what was happening… That was my experience to sum it up,” he admitted.

Young Vidit Gujrathi, Grand Master  however, did not miss the chance to catch some cricket after finishing his matches at National Library’s Bhasha Bhawan. “Watching the cricket match #IndvsBan. The perfect way to unwind after a long day of chess,” the Nashik-based GM tweeted. Vidith, the India No. 3, was happy to bump into one of his idols Rahul Dravid at the team hotel. With the cricketers and chess stars staying in the same hotel, Dutch GM Anish Giri came across Virat Kohli, but could not recognize the India skipper. “I was in the hotel gym and there was an Indian guy right next to me. He was doing the stuff very well and looked quite tough. Later I came to know that he is a cricket legend — Virat Kohli,” Giri told a website. Giri, however, found time to visit the Eden Gardens, on Saturday afternoon.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Nov. 2019.


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