Mar 22, 2005

Sports - definitely worth watching

I've been a serious cricket, WWF and Formula - 1 fan from the age of 15. Thanks to my brother, who used to surf Star Sports, ESPN and Ten Sports as soon as he gets back home from school. I had to literally beg him to get the TV remote to watch my favourite music channels. After a while, I gave up and started watching sports channels with my brother. I still remember the day when I first watched a cricket match. It was the 1996 Wills World Cup, the qualifying match between India and West Indies. India was chasing an achievable score of around 220 (don't remember the exact score !!!). A short, smashing batsman scored 70 and won the match for India. None other than my favourite sportsperson of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. I got so addicted to cricket and Sachin's batting that I started to enjoy this sport very much.

The next qualifying match for India was against Australia. Again, India chasing a big total of 250. Again, Sachin smashed all the bowlers round the stadium. When everyone was expecting a century, he got out on 90 and apparently, India lost. Tears started to flow down my eyes that night. A sport stirred my emotions as well as my patriotism.

I followed the statistics so keenly for about 2 years. I should admit that I lost a bit of touch after that. Now I do read in newspapers and get the score from rediff when India plays. But I don't really know about the matches played by other countries.

Speed fascinated me, at least in terms of watching racing F-1 cars. It suited my time perfectly as F-1 races are held only on alternate Sundays. These races are far better to watch than a Sunday evening regional film. Since I always tend to like people who are the most successful in their fields, it wasn't a surprise for anyone to know that I'm a fan of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. Should Schumy take a 2 pit stop or a 3 pit stop strategy, Who will win the qualifying rounds next week, Which tyres are better - Bridgestone or Michelin -- Some of the questions which pondered in my mind and are keen topics of discussion with my brother on a quiet Saturday afternoon lunch time.

What happened to cricket happened to F-1 as well. I didn't really follow the game in the whole of 2004. But I decided to watch in 2005, not just because of Michael, but India's new racing hero Narain Karthikeyan. The last 2 races were very disappointing for Schumacher but quite satisfying for a newcomer like Narain. I'm sure Michael will bounce back and get the championship.

Many of my friends couldn't believe that being a girl, I watch WWF. The reasoning was nonsense. Why can't a girl watch WWF? It's way ahead in terms of entertainment it provides than a typical Hindi cinema. I especially liked when Kurt Angle and HHH were fighting for Stephaney McMahon. How can I forget Bret Hart and The Undertaker? Not bulky fellows like Yokazuna or Rikishi, but still their sharp shooters and choke slams were amazing. Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogun, Lex Luger, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin ........so many wonderful wrestlers. Many of them have retired now while some of them keep coming and going. But this game is definitely a fantasy for many kids like me.

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