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Cricketers’ wives at IPL 7 post selfies

The wives of cricketers participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL 7) tournament currently being played in Sharjah have been busy posting selfies on Twitter. The photos have gone viral and have been widely circulated in various media.

Seen here are the wives of star cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Balaji, Ashwin, Dinesh Kartik, DuPlessis and many others.

IPL, Indian cricketers wives

R. Ashwin’s wife Prithi Ashwin with a friend

 

 

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Modelling bug bites Shikhar Dhawan

While most Indian cricket fans remember Shikhar Dhawan for his 248-run knock in Pretoria as he  guided India A to a 39-run victory over South Africa A earlier this year, there’s another reason the 27-year old batsman is going to give his fans to remember.

With his unkempt, devil-may-care-attitude, Shikhar takes a fresh guard on a pitch very few can perfect: shooting for India’s Men’s Health magazine’s cover in October.  And guess what he’s holding forth on? On how to get your formal suit look right. Howzzaat!

Shikhar got out for a duck on his debut match, but didn’t show a hint of remorse for playing the rash shot that cost him his wicket; still he’s got the entire country in a twirl with his trademark handlebar moustache, pierced ear, tattoos fighting for real estate on his bulging biceps, and a tiny ponytail.

Much like his other teammates who’ve made it big in the modeling world, Dhawan’s taken to it like a fish takes to water, and even allows his fans a peek into the mind of one of world cricket’s most fierce, and feared, new players.

“I’m always hungry for runs…I’m always looking out for-and becoming-number one in my game,” he says in a candid interview to the magazine. When asked about the false starts to his career, he didn’t mince words and blamed it all on his inexperience.

“I always knew that I am talented, much more than many others. I just knew that I had to wait for my time. It is all destiny.”

Dhawan also bares his heart on the struggles in his career, and how he worked hard to bat for the long innings in life. “Cricket is a lot like life: deal with the lows, keep your mind steady when you are at your peak.

“I just kept telling myself one thing all through those days of struggle: that I will never fail myself in this race. I knew I was in it for the long innings…just that I had to wait for my day. Never lose sight of the bigger picture. Patience pays, and how!”

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IPL attracts 14m online views

The Indian Premier League (IPL) website recorded 13.7 million views, as against 8.8 million views last year in the first week of the tournament, including the opening ceremony.

New Delhi and Bangalore lead the viewership with 14% each, with Mumbai coming in a close second at 13%. This leap reflects the growing trend of watching IPL matches online via live webstreaming. This year, the IPL website offers a virtual battleground for fans to fight it out, which got 1.5 million engagements in the first week.

Delhi Daredevils captain Virendar Sehwag in the nets

The matches registered the maximum online views on 10 April for the matches between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, and between Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings. The day saw a total of 2.15 million views on the site, which included 0.7 million unique visitors.

Viewers also lined up to watch IPL live webstreaming on their mobile, as almost 0.6 million viewers enjoyed the match action on their mobiles over the last seven days on Apalya mobile TV platform across Airtel, Idea and Vodafone. This is double the traffic registered last year.

“This year, our emphasis is on higher interactivity,” says Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Ltd who run the website in partnership with Google-owned YouTube.

Praveen Sharma, Head of Media Sales Google India says, “The viewership numbers clearly indicate the distributed media consumption pattern of the Indian consumers.”

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Kolaveri maker releases Sachin song

South Indian actor-turned-singer Dhanush has released his latest song – The Sachin Song, in a tribute to India’s most adored cricket superstar – Sachin Tendulkar.

Announcing the release of the song on Twitter, the Kolaveri-fame singer said: “THE SACHIN song officially out 4am today. let’s sing along-u. A humble attempt from a simple fan.”

Dhanush’s earlier song, Why This Kolaveri Di, became an overnight sensation worldwide, when it was launched on YouTube last month. The soundtrack of the yet-to-be-released Tamil film 3 was written and sung by Dhanush. The 29-year old actor is son-in-law of South Indian superstar Rajnikanth.

The latest anthem for the iconic cricketer was shot in Hyderabad and features actress Anushka.

The actor has not yet met Sachin Tendulkar. Why is Sachin revered in India?

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Taslima denies advising Sachin against Sathya

Controversial writer Taslima Nasreen has denied a media report which claims that the noted Bangladeshi writer had “advised the cricketing world’s god, Sachin Tendulkar, not to pray for Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away on Sunday morning.”

Protesting against the media report, Taslima tweeted: “Times of India’s headline is ‘Taslima advises Sachin not to pray for Sai Baba’ It’s not TRUE. I DIDN’T GIVE HIM ANY ADVICE.

“I’m shocked to see TOI misleading people by publishing a news that’s not true. Most people don’t know what Retweet is. Doesn’t TOI know it?

“I’m protesting against TOI report. I RT people’s different comments. They’re not mine. I also RT comments that are against me.”

It seems the Times of India’s reporter Bharti Dubey failed to understand the difference between a tweet and a retweet.

Explains Taslima, in a comment that she posted on the inaccurate Times Of India article, “I have never given any advice to Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter or otherwise about Sathya Sai Baba.

“The tweets you see here attributed to me are not my tweets. TOI has quoted tweets that I retweeted as my own tweets. Anyone who is familiar with Twitter will know that retweets do not necesarily become the opinion of the person who retweets it.

“I retweet both things that I agree with and not agree with. Taslima Nasreen.”

Mis-using the power of influencing public opinion, the reporter unfortunately describes the noted writer as someone “who is known more for the controversies chasing her than her literary skills.”

Earlier, India’s cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar visited Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh to pay homage to Sathya Sai Baba who passed away on the Easter day.

Sathya Sai baba, who has millions of followers in India and worldwide, died of liver disease. He was hospitalised for two weeks for jaundice. His organs had gradually stopped responding to treatment.

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World Cup final: Wankhede pitch to help bowlers

The Wankhede Stadium wicket for the ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka will be a slow turner, according to the pitch curator, Sudhir Naik. This is like most wickets in the subcontinent during this time of the year, says Naik who is a former India player.

If the pitch report is anything to go by, the Sangakkara – Mahendra Singh Dhoni battle is likely to be another cliffhanger for the 1.5 billion cricket fans watching the final live worldwide.

The final will also be a deciding factor for the future of both the captions, and many players in the teams.

Naik still expects the pitch to support batsmen and offer opportunities to score runs. He thinks that the team batting first will get the maximum benefit of the turning wicket.

“It will be an ideal one-day wicket,” Naik told news service – IANS. Naik was part of the India squad who toured England in 1974.

If Naik’s interpretation of the wicket is correct, the battle for the world cup will see a score of about 270 to 280 runs. The warring teams will do well to play an extra spinner.

“The bounce will be even with a good carry,” the 66-year old curator said. “The pacers will get something out of the wicket in the initial overs.”

While the team batting first will be able to score runs, spinners will rule the second session of the final match.

The temperatures will be very high, and Mumbai is known for high humidity. This will make it very difficult to score runs in the second half of the Tournament decider.

Khans to attend the ICC World Cup decider

In the meantime, the final between Sri Lanka and India is likely to attract who’s who of Indian business and of course, Bollywood.

The three ruling Khans of Bollywood, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and of course, Aamir Khan are attending the final battle.

During India-Pakistan face off in the second semi final, Shah Rukh Khan had said “if Team India wins no one can stop me from going to the finals at Wankhede.”

Salman Khan also said, “I will try and go for the finals.” Aamir Khan was spotted at the Mohali stadium for the India-Pakistan semi-final and is likely to be at Wankhede with his better half.

President Pratibha Patil will be there

If the prime ministers of India and Pakistan stole limelight from cricketers at the second semi-finals, the presidents of India and Sri Lanka don’t wish to be left behind.

India’s president, Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will attend Saturday’s cricket World Cup final. While Patil will fly to Mumbai, Rajapaksa will arrive from Colombo.

Don’t get carrid away: Dhoni

India’s skipper MS Dhoni has warned his team not to get carried away by the excessive hype ahead of their World Cup final against Sri Lanka and stick to their basic job of playing “good cricket”

Heavy security for India – Sri Lanka game

Aerial and sea surveillance will guard the final match which is likely to be attended by the who’s who of India’s political and business leaders. About one thousand police will be posted at the Wankhede Stadium for Saturday.

The security arrangement is described as the biggest in Mumbai since the US president, Barack Obama’s visit last year.

The security cover is likely to be more extensive than the Mohali match where the prime ministers of India and Pakistan attended the match.

 

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Sachin takes India to World Cup final

India has entered the final of the ICC World Cup, thanks to a heroic knock by master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin was awarded the man of the match award.

Batting first, India put a modest target of 260 for Pakistan to chase, but Pakistan struggled to chase the total.

Pakistan had a good start but lost their opening pair, Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez, before reaching 100 runs.

Indian bowling attack restricted any recovery by Pakistan batsmen, and were 2 wickets down for 103.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 85-run stint wasn’t without lifelines. The batting maestro was survived four dropped catches and two referrals.

India will play Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC World Cup in Mumbai.

INDIA PAKISTAN FINAL SCORECARD – SEMIFINAL

India: V. Sehwag lbw b Riaz 38 (25b, 9×4), S. Tendulkar c Afridi b Ajmal 85 (115b, 11×4), G. Gambhir st. K. Akmal b Hafeez 27 (32b, 2×4), V. Kohli c U Akmal b Riaz 9 (21b), Yuvraj b Riaz 0 (1b), M.S. Dhoni lbw b Riaz 25 (42b, 2×4), Suresh Raina (not out) 36 (39b, 3×4), Harbhajan st. K. Akmal b Ajmal 12 (15b, 2×4), Zaheer c K. Akmal b Riaz 9 (10b, 1×4), A. Nehra (run out) 1 (2b), Munaf (not out) 0; Extras (lb-8, w-8, nb-2): 18; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 260.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Sehwag), 2-116 (Gambhir), 3-141 (Kohli), 4-141 (Yuvraj), 5-187 (Tendulkar), 6-205 (Dhoni), 7-236 (Harbhajan), 8-256 (Zaheer), 9-258 (Nehra).

 

Pakistan bowling: Gul 8-0-69-0, Razzaq 2-0-14-0, Riaz 10-0-46-5, Ajmal 10-0-44-2, Afridi 10-0-45-0, Hafeez 10-0-34-1.

 

Pakistan: K. Akmal c Yuvraj b Zaheer 19 (21b, 3×4), M. Hafeez c Dhoni b Munaf 43 (59b, 7×4), A. Shafiq b Yuvraj 30 (39b, 2×4), Younis c Raina b Yuvraj 13 (32b), Misbah c Kohli b Zaheer 56 (76b, 5×4 1×6), U. Akmal b Harbhajan 29 (24b, 1×4, 2×6), A. Razzaq b Munaf 3 (9b), S. Afridi c Sehwag b Harbhajan 19 (17b, 1×4), W. Riaz c Tendulkar b Nehra 8 (14b, 1×4), U. Gul lbw b Nehra 2 (3b). S. Ajmal (not out) 1 (5b); Extras (w-8): 8; Total (in 49.5 overs): 231.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-44 (K. Akmal), 2-70 (Hafeez), 3-103 (Shafiq), 4-106 (Younis), 5-142 (U. Akmal), 6-150 (Razzaq), 7-184 (Afridi), 8-199 (Riaz), 9-208 (Gul).

 

India bowling: Zaheer 9.5-0-58-2, Nehra 10-0-33-2, Munaf 10-1-40-2, Harbhajan 10-0-43-2, Yuvraj 10-1-57-2.

 

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Will India-Pakistan match be affected by rain?

India-Pakistan cricket match in Mohali came under clouds with a drizle and light storm in Chandigarh just the night before the crucial ICC World Cup match.

However, the met department is predicting the weather to be clear for the match. The temperature is expected to be around 32 degrees, with clear skies and bright sun.

A cricket match between india vs pakistan is always a closely watched battle. Since this is a world cup semi-final match, the cricket fans are worried about potential mohali rain. Mohali weather today is unpredictable with a bit of a drizzle last night.

However, Chandigarh weather is normally warm in the month of March. India Pakistan semifinal is likely to experience nice weather if the met department is to be believed. Weather news from Mohali is positive so far.

Mohali match will experience warm temperature today. The climate in Mohali is a little humid. Overall, weather in India is pleasant since March is the beginning of summer in India.

Worried about the weather, Bollywood actor Rahul Bose tweeted: “Weather report from mohali from friends at stadium – clear skies, sunshine, mild temperatures. Will reach and provide an update.”

Mohali pitch report

Mohali pitch expected to help the batsmen. This should not come as a surprise, since the pitches are mostly prepared to help the host team. India has a strong batting line while Pakistan has a strong bowling team.

While most matches in this ICC World Cup have been low scoring, the Mohali pitch is batsmen’s paradise. The flat wicket are likely to help the seamers than spinners. This should be a good news for Pakistan.

Zaheer Khan is expected to be a beneficiary of this pitch in this match. Indian cricket fans are also expecting their god, Sachin Tendulkar, to complete his 100th ton. As far as Pakistan is concerned, Afridi is likely to rely on Shoaib Akhtar who has bowled well against Indians.

Fierce rivals India and Pakistan will have to deal with huge expectations from their cricket-crazy fans when they clash on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final. Anything but a win will be a shock for either set of supporters when the neighbours, who have fought three wars since their 1947 i

Heavy security for India-Pakistan match

With the heads of the state of the nuclear-armed countries, India and Pakistan, attending the ICC world cup semi-final in Mohali in Chandigarh, the security for the cricket match is the highest ever expected.

The presence of the prime ministers of the countries at war is likely to put more pressure on both the teams. India cricket team captain MS Dhoni is aware of the attention.

“The biggest, distinguished guests will be there to see the game,” MSD told India media. “But they are here to enjoy cricket, so we have to be at our best.”

Indian batsmen vs Pakistan bowlers

While the Indian team will be expecting their batsmen to live up to their reputation, Pakistan is banking on its bowlers, especially its seamers.

Indian fans are expecting Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th century, while there are similar expectations fro Yuvraj Singh who will be playing in his home country.

Dhoni will also be relying on Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina to support him in the batting line.

Tweeted Bollywood producer Pritish Nandy: “Pakistan’s bowlers vs India’s batsmen: thats the real battle today.”

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PETA asks Poonam Pandey to strip for animals

While aspiring Indian model Poonam Pandey reiterated her promise to remove clothes if India wins the ICC Cricket World Cup in Mumbai on Saturday, an NGO has appealed to the 19-year old to strip for animals.

In an open letter to the Kingfisher model, PETA India’s chief functionary, Poorva Joshipura, wrote to Pandey: “I wonder if you would consider using your skin to save animals’ skin and make cricket fun for everyone, animals included, by starring in the buff in an ad for PETA to urge the International Cricket Council to switch to synthetic balls?”

PETA – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is an international charity working to improve conditions for animals.

Joshipura wrote to Pandey: “We at PETA are cricket fans too and, like you, believe that cricket should be fun, but there is nothing fun for the animals who are skinned to make cricket balls.”

“Won’t you consider stripping for a good cause and help us call on the International Cricket Council to show that cricket is truly a gentleman’s sport by choosing synthetic balls over leather ones?

“Your involvement would both turn heads and win hearts to the cause of animal protection.”

Earlier, the cricket fever for the India-Pakistan ICC World Cup semi-final at Mohali had got hotter, with the aspiring actress revealing her intention to reveal all if India won the final encounter.

Poonam Pandey says she will shed her clothes in the view of thousands if India wins the Mohali semifinal against Pakistan, and also wins the world cup.

She says she will also consider a players’ dressing room peep show if the Indian cricket board allows it, according to media reports.

The Indian cricket team is already feeling the pressure to win the most-watched cricket tournament in India. India has won the Cricket World Cup only once, in 1983.

Poonam’s intention to strip for the national cricket team is similar to Argentinian Luciane Salazar and Paraguay’s Larissa Riquelme who had promised to FIFA World Cup.

PoonamPandeyNakedKingfisherCricket

Model Poonam Pandey says she will remove her clothes if India wins the ICC Cricket World Cup

 

The aspiring Bollywood actress refutes allegations that this is her way to get free publicity.

Poonam says, “I’m a cricket fanatic and I’m a die-hard supporter of my nation. India needs a lot of support and this is my way of supporting the team.”

Wonder how this will help the team. “Absolutely not,” she tells media. “I’m confident of my body and I’m doing this to excite our boys to play better.”

The self-proclaimed die-hard cricket fan has even started a Facebook page to support the men in blue, many of who are not married yet.

The 19-year old Kingfisher model from Mumbai is one of the most downloaded pictures on the internet.

 

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PETA wants cricket balls banned

Spare a thought for hapless cows while you enjoy the final battle between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Cricket balls are made of leather, which is procured after slaughtering defenceless animals.

In India, where much of the world’s leather comes from, cattle are marched for days to slaughter without food or water, says People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, which is requesting a ban on leather balls.

PETA suggests using synthetic balls instead.

“Synthetic balls are not only kinder to animals but also safer for the environment”, says PETA campaigner and cricket fan Sachin Bangera.

“They are superior to leather balls because they can be made more durable and water resistant, and with the technology available, they can be customised to meet players’ needs.

“We are calling on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to show that cricket is truly a gentleman’s sport by choosing synthetic balls over leather ones.”

PETA India wants ICC to know that animals killed for their skins are routinely abused and cruelly slaughtered.

Animals slaughtered for their skin endure extreme crowding and deprivation; castration, branding, tail-docking and dehorning without any pain relief and cruel transport and slaughter.

It will be a tough call for Indians who worship both – cricketers and cows.

PETA highlights the inhuman treatment afforded to cows. “Those who collapse from exhaustion have their eyes smeared with chilli peppers and tobacco and their tails broken in an effort to keep them moving. At India’s abattoirs, animals are often skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious,” says a PETA statement.

Also, the process of procuring leather has wide-reaching impact on environment and human health.

“Turning animal skins into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals, and runoff from leather tanneries poisons rivers and streams,” says the statement.

Vellore in Tamil Nadu – which has about 6,000 tanneries – is alarmingly polluted, according to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board.

“The chemicals that tannery workers are exposed to have also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses.

The risks are internationally well-documented. “Studies of leather-tannery workers in Sweden and Italy found cancer risks “between 20% and 50% above [those] expected”.

 

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India-Pak Cricket to slow down work in India

The India-Pakistan cricket match in Mohali in a semi-final of the ICC World Cup is going to be a work-stopper. Described as the battle of battles, this mother of all cricket matches is likely to stop work throughout India.

Sensing the potential impact of the India-Pakistan world cup match on work, many companies are looking at ways to deal with the issue.

Realising the strong-hold of cricket among Indians, and accepting defeat, some companies have offered a day off, or half-day to employees, while other companies want to share the space with cricket, my installing large TV screen in workplaces.

The match is reported to be the most-watched sporting event in the world.

India’s major brand, Dabur India, is considering a day off for its employees but is constrained by the fact that it is the financial year end, and work pressure is going to be very high. Dabur has experienced similar dilemma in 2007 for the T20 final between India and Pakistan. Cricket had won in the battle of attention and the company gave a day off to its employees.

Similarly, PepsiCo India is considering offering half-day leave for employees “if it doesn’t impact the organisation’s functioning” Samik Basu, vice-president (HR) and chief people officer for India Region was quoted in a media report

If a day-off is not a viable option, some employers are allowing its employees to work from home. PVR is one such employer which is open to this option. PVR is also streaming the cricket match live at some of its movie venues, and is considering an exclusive screening for its employees.

However, working from home is not a viable option for customer-facing employees like those of the Future Group’s Big Bazaar, which is India’s largest retailer. The frontline staff will be able to watch the match on large screen especially arranged for the match in the stores.

Some employers have even gone a step further and have come up with ideas of employee involvement. BPO firm Quatrro has organised employee contests about the ICC Cricket World Cup.

 

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42M Indians watched ICC World Cup so far

Sachin Tendulkar, best indian batsman

First 4 non-India matches get high TV rankings

Indians are enjoying the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in a big way.

While Indians glued to their television set during India’s first ICC World Cup match, with a television rating of 10.3 TVR, they also watched non-India matches in high numbers, according to data released by rating agency TAM.

Overall, the first five matches have been watched by 53 percent of the audience in top six metros, which translates to around 38 million cricket fans stopped everything else to watch live cricket matches.

Taking the warm-up matches and the opening ceremony into account, the tournament has already been watched by a whopping 42 million fans in top six metros.

The average rating of the first four non-India matches was very impressive 2.23 TVR in the top six metros.

Netherlands – England encounter gets a peak rating of 8.87 TVR

Tournament is averaging 4.2 TVR in top 6 metros till the 5th match

The match between Netherlands and England rated 2.8 TVR with a peak rating of 8.87 TVR. Three of the first 4 non-India matches have rated more than 2 TVR in the top six metros. This is five times the rating achieved by top non-India series in recent times.

Sachin Tendulkar, best indian batsman“After the blockbuster opening match, the non-India matches too are setting new trends in viewership and I am absolutely delighted with the response the ICC Cricket World Cup has received,” says Sanjay Kailash, an executive vice president for ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd.

“Befitting its stature, the tournament is generating its own euphoria and buzz, the likes of which I have not seen in a very long time.

“With many of the highly anticipated matches still to come, we are confident that ratings will continue to remain very strong and grow even further in the days to come.”

ESPN Star offers live streaming of ICC Cricket World Cup matches.

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Two Kiwis return home from Cricket World Cup

The New Zealand cricket team participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup in India will be short of two staff members.

Dayle Shackel, the physiotherapist for the team, and trainer Bryan Stronach are returning to New Zealand to be with their families after the recent Christchurch earthquake extensively damaged their properties.

The Black Caps manager Dave Currie told Radio New Zealand that Stronach has returned to be with his pregnant wife, and Shackel’s returning to support his family.

Radio New Zealand confirmed that the New Zealand flag will fly at half-mast during the Black Caps match against the defending champions, Australia, in Nagpur.