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Thursday, June 27, 2002

Well, that was one heck of a week. Finally the world-wide football powers of yester-years overcome challenge from the new underdogs and prevail on the final. Interestingly enough these are the two teams with the highest number of finals appearances in the World Cup. That just goes to show that the others are improving and it took the world 2 best teams to beat the rest. Good to see some competition coming from places other than the North-eastern Atlantic.

One of my biggest gripes is the horrible development of football in Asia and especially South Asia. I think football can benefit a lot from the fanaticism that these people bring to a game. I mean look at them they make out an 8-hour long game like cricket to be one of the most exciting sports to watch. It's really amazing how it feels when one goes to a cricket match in the South Asian subcontinent and surrounding areas. The feeling is electric and always vibrant no matter how long the game lasts (and believe me cricket lasts a long time!!).

I think FIFA should help these guys develop better by giving them more incentives to develop. I think FIFA can take the first step in that direction by just increasing the number of guranteed places that Asia can have in the World Cup. That will not only increase interest and viewership from the qualifying countries but will bring more football awareness everywhere and people will start playing it more.

The state of football is not only bad, its horrible in those regions. Most of the money is going to sports like cricket and such, don't get me wrong I'm a big cricket fan myself. But hey cricket is not the only sport, there are other games too you know? Anyway, S. Korea and Japan's run of success couldn't have come at a more opportune moment. I think the time is right for FIFA to increase Asia's representation in the world cup and let the other half of the world enjoy the game as the west has been enjoying for so long.

Well, in Formula1 another DNF for JPM. I can't believe the guy does so well in qualifying and messes up on race day. It's becoming clear that he is not keeping the proper temperament for race day. He is obviously pushing very hard but he has to know his car's limitations and drive it to its optimum. That move of not letting DC by in Nurburgring was dumb and he shouldn't have done that. But, can't take anything away from the guy. He is one guy that I think can give Schumacher a run for his money. But, time is running out and I just hope JPM can beat Schumi to the championship while he is still in the Ferrari.

Apart from that now we come to my favorite: Cricket. So finally India has found a way to defeat teams in English conditions. Let's see how they do in the NatWest series. I don't expect these guys to win but there is always trepidation all around the country when they make it out to a different country and play there. I think the team is developing better now than it has in the last 2 years mainly because there is no chopping going on anymore. Hopefully, that move is here to stay. Ganguly is getting the players that he wants and as long as that is true he will lead the team to glory. The guy is one of the most imbalanced people I've seen. He supports the teammates that he likes and he scorns the one's he doesn't. I can't believe that he shows of his disdain on the field in front of the millions of people watching, I can't even imagine what would go through a player's mind when his captain is yelling at him in front of 1 billion people. But hey as long as he can improve India's record that's fine with me.

You've gotta give it up to the BlackCaps from down under. They come back from a horrible tour of Pakistan (what with the bombing and all) and take the first test comprehensively. That is the level that India has to achieve if it is going to be recognized as a world power. I don't think this team is anywhere near that and I don't think this team has the psychology to cut it as a top team. They're not consistent and they're afraid of getting chopped everytime they go out to play. Selectors are partly to blame for this and I think if India had a better group of selectors they could do wonders with the team.