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Cricket News Sport

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



Art Lifestyle Sport

Prince George gets his first bike in NZ

Prince George will take his first bike home from New Zealand – an Avanti Lil Ripper 12” bike with a bespoke design.

The Avanti Lil Ripper was gifted to the Duke of Cambridge by Avanti New Zealand founder John Struthers at the official opening of the Avantidrome – an indoor cycling track for all types of cyclists – from beginner enthusiasts to professionals.

British Royal Family in New Zealand

The bike features a bespoke design by Shane Hansen, one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists.

John Struthers, Avanti founder, said it is a privilege to gift one of Avanti’s popular children’s bikes to Prince George on his first visit to New Zealand.

“We’re sure, as with all new parents, it will be exciting for the Duke and Duchess to see their son riding his first bike. We understand a child’s first bike has always been a significant event in any family.”

“It is a pleasure to be part of the official opening of the Avantidrome. Avanti is committed to cycling in New Zealand and to continually designing bikes with leading edge technology, for family recreation through to high performance cycling teams. We are excited that this new world-class facility will cater to these groups,” he said.

The Avanti Lil Ripper’s lightweight alloy frame, wheels and no pedals is perfect for teaching balance and confidence in the early years of learning to ride, said an Avanti spokesperson, in a statement. Integrating bespoke artwork personalised the bike for the Royal family and will be a reminder of their time in New Zealand, the statement said.

Artist Shane Hansen said the Big Adventure design was aptly named because a bike signified a “big adventure” for young and old alike.

“The design was created to represent Prince George’s first visit to New Zealand and in a bigger context, his future journey through life.

“Maori motifs signify the planting of seeds, the nurturing and growing of relationships and connection to the people of this land. The flowing nature of the design creates movement, helping to carry Prince George forward and negotiate life’s ups and downs, with a balanced approach,” he said.

A replica of the Prince’s bike has been made as a reminder of the Royal visit and will be on display at the Avantidrome.

Avanti has a long and strong association with cycling in New Zealand and Australia. This includes more than $1m to develop the platform of bikes that will power the Avanti Racing Team during 2014.

News Sport

Football betting ban likely

football betting ban

Football betting will soon be history, if Football Association (FA) has its way.

After Newcastle United’s Dan Gosling admitting to FA betting charge, the association is considering a football betting ban on staff and players.

FA chairman Greg Dyke told BBC no final decision has been made, but it [a complete ban] is one of the things that’s being discussed.

However, the question being raised is whether a blanket ban on betting on football matches is a good solution.

“The FA is looking again at the whole of betting and who should be allowed to bet on football in the football industry. In the next few weeks, we’ll come out with a policy.”

Scotland already bans football betting but the staff of English clubs are allowed to gamble on football matches.

For details of rules controlling football gambling are on FA website.

The current rules prohibit players from gambling on matches involving themselves or their team as well as on the opposition team.

No player is allowed to bet on any club participating in any league where the player is playing during the season.

The 24 year-old Dan Gosling is one of the latest players to be charged with football betting.

Tottenham and England winger Townsend and Stoke striker Jerome were fined last year for betting.

According to BBC, Accrington Stanley managing director Robert Heys was banned for 21 months after admitting 735 breaches – including 231 bets on the outcome of matches involving his own club.

Greg wants a complete ban. “Perhaps the answer is to ban all betting on football for anyone who’s involved in football.”

“We’ve got to take it more seriously and do a bigger education programme among players and the rest of the staff in football.

However, many clubs want ambiguous betting regulations to be changed to bring more clarity.

Not many clubs are in favour of a complete ban on betting.

News Sport

Indian athletes suffer over politics

India Winter Olympics Sochi Russia

 Winter Olympics games are about to begin without an official entry from the second-most populated country in the world.

India is not participating in the games, and there will be no team walking out with the Indian national flag at Sochi in Russia – for the first time since India began to participate in the games in 1920 (under the British empire).

Top-performing athletes from more than 200 countries wait for four years for the Olympics. Being able to qualify for the Olympics gives athletes an opportunity to walk with the national flag, possibly win a medal and bring honour to the country.

To be deprived of that honour for a game adds four more years of wait for athletes – eight years is a lifetime for high-performance games as these atheletes can maintain top form for only a few years. In more than 100 years of history of the Olympics, only 488 athletes have participated in more than four Olympics in their lifetime, and none of them is from India.

International Olympics Council (IOC) has suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and as a result Indian athletes cannot participate in the Olympics. Not as India’s official entry.

Three Indian athletes have gone to Sochi as ‘independent athletes‘, a category mostly used for nations that have dissolved and don’t exist anymore.

In India’s case, the situation is a result of a stand-off between the international and national bodies governing Olympics. India’s Suresh Kalmadi is indicted in the Commonwealth Games corruption case and his close aide, Lalit Bhanot has been elected on the governing body of IOA.

IOC has asked IOA to put a clause banning members facing criminal or corruption charges. India has refused to do so, sighting the law of the land and insisting on following the doctrine of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

This was back in December 2012. India had 13 months to reach a compromise, so that athletes did not suffer. Indian politicians were not keen.

The next Olympics is summer Olympics in 2016. Hopefully our athletes are able to represent the nation as part of an official contingent.

Image courtesy: Creative Commons RubyGoes

Immigration News Sport

Coke Super Bowl ad upsets many

Coca Cola Super Bowl

Coca Cola Super Bowl

Soft drink giant Coca Cola’s multi-million dollar campaign at the Super Bowl drew extensive criticism for its multicultural message.

The one-minute video, a multilingual rendition of “America Is Beautiful” in Spanish, Arabic and English showcased cultural and racial diversity of the United States.

The commercial exposed cultural intolerance of many in the audience, including former Congressman Allen West who took to blogging about his displeasure with the Coke ad during the game.

“If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘American (sic) the Beautiful’ in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition,” he wrote.

Allen went on to include the words of  President Teddy Roosevelt, “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”



Entertainment Lifestyle News Sport

Game On: What world is playing in 2014

Suddenly, it seems, it’s possible to have a conversation with your grandmother about what her favourite online games are.

Ten years ago such a dialogue would have been unthinkable, but now smartphones have spread into every section of society.


Affordable touchscreen technology, the spread of connectivity via Wi-Fi, and ingenious game designers are responsible for this state of affairs.

Prices are likely to come down as devices spread further into the market, and ported versions of console games and gaming websites are released for smartphones.

In some developing countries, the used mobile phone market is huge. As the first wave of smartphones enters these markets we’re likely to see a situation where, eventually, the majority of humanity owns – and plays games on – such a device.

So, what’s the world playing? Anyone who can predict what we’ll want to do with our smartphones in, say, 18 months time is likely to make a lot of money.

So let’s have a look at the best and most successful games available now.


One of the biggest markets in the world is online gambling. The ability to play poker, blackjack, roulette and slots on a smartphone is now limited only by connectivity and, sometimes, the legal situation in various countries.

In India, for example, Maharashtra is the only state that expressly forbids online gambling, and if you’re looking for a smartphone casino the choice is huge.

Some of the biggest casinos originate in the UK, where a well-regulated, legal online gambling industry contributes to billions of dollars that change hands every year globally.

Big Franchises

Grand Theft Auto V was the console hit of 2013, and developers Rockstar Games have managed to keep smartphone gamers excited by releasing mobile versions of earlier games including GTA: San Andreas. GTA V had sold nearly 30 million copies six weeks after its release in September 2013.

If that figure doesn’t blow your mind, consider the case of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon”. It’s one of the biggest-selling records of all time, having been on the market for forty years.

In that time, industry figures suggest sales of 50 million. GTA isn’t for everyone, but smartphone gamers around the world love it.

Addictive Simplicity

Simpler games continue to keep people amused on the way to work, with well-designed puzzles like Candy Crush Saga played by millions. Angry Birds Star Wars seems uncannily designed to appeal to everyone on the planet, and has managed to fit that appeal into a four-word title!

Smartphone gaming is not going away – quite the opposite. Guessing how the market will look by the end of 2014 is a very interesting – and potentially rewarding – exercise. (Images courtesy of,,,,

Cricket Sport

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!”

Bollywood Editor recommends News Sport

Akshay Kumar calls for support for sports

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is appealing for support for sporting talent in the country. And he is not referring to cricket.

“I want something else to come out of this country,” says Akshay Kumar. “I just want it to happen.”

Akshay wants to lead by example. His support for martial arts is already well-documented. Now he is supporting some more families where children have shown sporting talent.

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar

Akshay insists that the diversity in sporting talent in India’s youth is the key to help propel the country forward.

He asks that India’s corporates and those who are fortunate should help support India’s poorest youth and encourage them to take part in sports other than Cricket.

The actor has reportedly donated money and time to invest in a few families who are unable to provide resources for their sport-passionate children.

“If all the corporates support four to five families and give them all the money they need, I think we can come up with gold medals,” Akshay says.

“Support these families; their children are made of something which can get us gold medals at Olympics.”

It takes belief as well as money to ensure that these underprivileged communities nurture their children’s innate talents. “I support three families Akshay Kumarwhose children are eight to nine years old.

I support them completely — their father, mother, everything, so that they can come up in the sports field. The children are very interested in sports, so they can come up and become great sports persons,” says Akshay.


Editor recommends News Sport

London, Auckland top sports cities

Rugby World Cup New Zealand

The international focus, adrenalin rush and chance for Aucklanders to see top international athletes in the Fast5 Netball series this weekend is being described by the city mayor as a great example of why Auckland has been named the number two Sports City in the world.

Auckland has taken the second spot, behind Olympic Games host London, and ahead of the city recognised as our main regional competitor, Melbourne, in the 2012 International Sports Event Management Awards.

Rugby World Cup New Zealand

London Olympics

The awards recognise excellence in the global sports event management industry.

“Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 put Auckland on the world stage as a great place to enjoy major sporting events, and everything else the city has to offer,” says Auckland Mayor Len Brown. “And for the city aspiring to be the world’s most liveable city, beating the current number one liveable city, Melbourne, is a major coup.”

“We capitalised on RWC 2011 with events like the Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover, Brother Rally New Zealand, and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, which continue to position us internationally.”

The focus will be sustained with events including the World Softball Championships in March, the V8s returning to Pukekohe in April, the 2015 under-20 FIFA World Cup, the 2017 World Masters Games, and regular fixtures like the Heineken Open and ASB Classic Tennis tournaments.

“To be right up there with London and the Olympics is a phenomenal achievement for Auckland. This win keeps the international spotlight on us as a world-class event destination.

“Major sporting events are a win-win for us – it means Aucklanders and visitors from around New Zealand and around the world can come and see international athletes at the top of their game, they promote Auckland to the world, and bring us visitors who return to their home countries as ambassadors to spread the world about travelling here.

“When visitors come here for these events, they also discover Auckland is a vibrant and innovative multi-cultural city with a fabulous waterfront, museum and art gallery, an array of superb restaurants, shopping precincts and markets, with wonderful islands, beaches and forests on our doorstep.”

“Each event, the local and international visitors who come to them, their participants and support teams make a significant contribution to our local economy.”

Editor recommends Global Indians Hockey Immigration News Sport

Indian sportsmen succeeded despite racism – book

While there have been a few New Zealand cricketers of Indian origin, including the current Black Cap Tarun Nathula, it’s not an easy ride in the sporting field for minorities, suggests a historian in a new book.

The courage of Kiwi Indian pioneers in forming sporting clubs against the odds is captured in the book “Sporting Foundations of New Zealand Indians” by historian Dr Geoff Watson.

The book’s launch is timely as Auckland is named the number two sports city in the world.

Geoff, a senior lecturer in history at Massey’s School of Humanities, says he was struck by the remarkable courage the pioneers showed in founding these clubs in the 1930s, a time when there were only 1200 Indians in New Zealand.

Author Dr Geoff Watson

“The founders of these clubs travelled half-way around the world and were trying to make their way in a new country which is difficult enough, but many of the Indian immigrants had little, if any, English.

“Moreover, racist sentiment was openly expressed in New Zealand during this time, even government publications such as the 1921 Census warning ‘the coalescence of the white and the so-called coloured races is not conducive to improvement in racial types’,” Geoff says.

However, some local sport icons helped Indian talent. Eddie McLeod, then captain of the New Zealand Hockey team, was the first coach of Wellington Indian Sports Club.

“Given this background, and with many of the young Indian men working long hours for low pay, it would have been very easy to have put sport in the ‘too hard’ basket. But they pressed ahead and formed clubs, despite the opposition of some of their elders,” Geoff says.

The oldest of the clubs, Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, were founded in the 1930s and inspired, in part, by Indian hockey teams, which toured New Zealand in 1926, 1935 and 1938.

From the first clubs and inter-club games the national association was founded in 1962. It now oversees a cricket tournament, golf tournament, an Under-23 men’s and women’s hockey tournament and Queen’s Birthday tournament, which attracts approximately 25 teams in three codes: hockey, netball and soccer.

Many Indians who played in these tournaments have since gone on to achieve representative honours at provincial and national level.

Geoff is impressed that all of this has been achieved on a voluntary basis, which is a “remarkable achievement at a time when many sports operate on a professional basis”.

The book  is published by the New Zealand Indian Sports Association which celebrated its 50th jubilee this year.

Global Indians News Sport

Appeal to support rising sporting hero

Ayush bhatnagar

Ayush is a shy 17-year old; but he is not shy of dreaming big.

He’s won a number of national and international competitions in the last two years, which has given him enough confidence to aim for the sky – to represent New Zealand at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

Ayush was diagnosed with cogenital myopathy – a muscular condition that makes an infant weak and floppy.

Ayush bhatnagar

However, Ayush started playing physical games despite his weakness, probably to prove a point.

“Since the time he was diagnosed I started looking deeply into the things in which my son would be happy doing,” says Vimmi Bhatnagar, Ayush’s doting mother.

“Table Tennis was one which he picked up in intermediate; then came his swimming, athletics, cricket and so on.”

He represented New Zealand at the 2011 Oceania Paralympic Championships in Darwin, winning silver in both the singles and doubles competition. He then competed at the 2011 PNZ National Championships, winning gold in the doubles and silver in the singles.

His disability hasn’t been a block for his achievements, neither has it created a mental block for young Ayush who is warmly supported by his mother.

“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision,” says his mother.

“For Ayush, he doesn’t lack the skill to succeed even though he has a disability. Simply, he does not agree to place ‘DIS’ with ability because he has realised his talents and I am very well proud of that.

Ayush receives his strength from the care he gets at home. “It just shows what giving proper love, focus and attention to your children can achieve.”

Ayush’s mother is fundraising for his participation in future international competitions, as he hopes to represent New Zealand in New Caledonia Para Tournament next month, compete in National Games in October this year and New Zealand Para Open Table Tennis Championship in November 2012.

He wishes to mentor and coach others with a disability.

“The money raised will go towards coaching fees, his fitness programme, table tennis equipment and the cost of travel and accommodation at tournament venues. It will also cover the cost of the coach/team manager accompanying.

Please support Ayush by making donations of any amount to his bank account: 12-3077-0571438-50. You can email his mother Vimmi Bhatnagar at: vimbhat912(at)

Ayush Bhatnagar

Cricket Sport

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.”