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making India bleed through a thousand cuts? Unfortunately for themtheres no good fanaticism or bad fanaticismthis merely being a state of mind Worseextremism keeps changing its focus and annihilates anything perceived as an obstruction to the attainment of its objective Although the loss of life in the last few days is considerable enough to warrant counter-measures on that groundthe real threat to Pakistan is the challenge to its political authorityindeedto its very existence as a moderndemocratic nation state The sooner this realisation dawns upon the Pakistani establishmentthe better for them and for the world The time available to exercise the limited options it has is fast running out Ajay Tyagi Mumbai In clear terms • The voters of Arunachal Pradesh came out in large numbersabout 72 per centto cast their votes The chief minister of the state had unequivocally said that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India Thereforearmed with these factsthe Indian prime minister at the meeting in Thailand on October 23 should inform his Chinese counterpart in clear terms that the status of Arunachal Pradesh as a state of the Indian Union is non-negotiableand that even a whisper to the contrary will be viewed with grave concern and dislike CG Sivakumaran New Delhi Workabove all • We revel in our own mediocrity so much that the moment someonehowever remotely connected with Indiadoes something goodwe start the fireworks without realising what the fuss is all about Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan is right when he says that the work is more important than the personality It is time our politicians realised this and stopped the monumental waste of money over things like the Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea and used the money instead to educate needy children A Banerjee Pune The young ones • This refers to Dravid dropped as flip-flop continues This was expected Selectors have long wanted to sack the old horses and bring in new onesat any cost Its been done so and proved in Dravids case Selectors depend on the young and not the experienced ones Younger skills and talents are necessary for success in cricket; this is the spirit in which they have acted Rathin K Chanda Chinsurah For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Mihir Vasavda | Updated: December 26 2016 1:31 pm (L-R) Marcellus Gomes Mervyn Fernandes MK Kaushik Mohd Shahid Syed Ali Charanjit Singh Zafar Iqbal and Surender Sodhi during a camp in Patiala for the 1981-82 World Cup Dhyan Chand Shahid Ali and Iqbal are all products of hockey nurseries in UP Top News The stadium had lost its voice But Syed Ali couldn’t care less He is on his feet shaking his head in disbelief and applauding a fine goal He is perhaps the only person in the stands who is celebrating a goal that has put India behind It is the 11th minute of India’s group stage junior World Cup match against England Liam Sanford picked the ball inside India’s half He looked left and right searching for support But there was no white shirt in his vision So Sanford did what few English players can do He body-dodged five Indian players slicing open the defence with such flair that it made Ali nostalgic “Aahahahaaa…” Ali gushed As if appreciating a piece of shaayri He didn’t care which team scored In his playing days and even in the era before that they never did To Ali and many in this region what always mattered most was artistry *** Lucknow takes pride in its tehzeeb Even in everyday conversations the people are poetic At a crowded traffic signal the smiling cop waves the cars on with adab The city known for its ‘pehle aap’ chivalry even allows you to jump the queue at an ATM Lucknow shows heart for a visitor desperate for cash These qualities define their hockey as well It’s very lyrical the way this region plays its hockey Think of Dhyan Chand or his son Ashok Kumar KD Singh Babu or Mohammad Shahid Zafar Iqbal or Ali himself All so stylish They were the wizards who gave Indian hockey its identity If Punjab is about brawn and Coorg/Tamil Nadu is about brain beauty defines a player from Lucknow or Uttar Pradesh in general the best It’s ingrained in their DNA “Agar koi UP ke player ke paas skill nahi hai toh woh gadha hai (If a UP player doesn’t have skills he’s a fool)” Sujit Kumar a stylish right out in the 1980s says “India khelna aur style mein khelna alag cheez hai (Playing for India and playing in style are two different things)” *** The city’s love affair with hockey is as passionate as its love for kebabs That Lucknow has a cricket stadium named after a hockey legend (KD Singh Babu) goes to show the quality of players it has produced In fact the city’s three main outdoor stadiums (two hockey and one cricket) are all named after their hockey greats: Dhyan Chand KD Singh Babu and Mohammad Shahid During the junior World Cup thousands walked through the turnstiles in biting cold and almost zero visibility due to fog at the Dhyan Chand stadium in the city’s outskirts Such is the craze that several hundreds turned up even for India’s practice sessions at the newly-constructed Mohammad Shahid stadium The junior World Cup involving 16 countries was the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Uttar Pradesh With state elections just around the corner there’s a political tinge to it Huge hoardings of Akhilesh Yadav wishing the team luck in ‘Umeedo ka Pradesh’ are sprinkled across the city For the former greats from the city though these were nostalgic two weeks Reliving their sepia-tinted memories They are fascinating storytellers although you’ll never know where fact ends and fiction begins But somewhere in between lay the unending romance *** “Shahid ball leke chalta toh teen-teen gore bhaagte uske peeche Ek baar aise usne break maari ki do gore flag pe jaa gir pade” Syed Ali is describing Mohammad Shahid’s artistry which is perhaps as tough as trying to stop him from dribbling “European players used to tear his t-shirt in desperation to stop him from beating them” Sujit Kumar adds “Back then rules were not as strict as they are now Today a player would get a red card for that but not in those days Shirt pants…whatever they could grab to stop him” Dhyan Chand (L) en route to the 1936 Berlin Games But there was also grudging admiration for Shahid’s skills His ability to win penalty corners was so legendary that even the mighty Dutch looked at him with awe In 1989 India travelled to Amsterdam for the BMW Trophy Even before the team checked into their hotel the organisers asked if Shahid was a part of the travelling party “When they were informed that he had retired a few months earlier they were extremely disappointed” Sujit says Holland back then had Floris Bovelander one of the finest exponents of drag-flicks But they did not have anyone to win them penalty corners “Shahid used to get us 8-9 corners in one match They said they needed a player like Shahid who could compliment Bovelander” Sujit adds But not everyone was as smitten Ali points at his thumb knees toes and teeth to show how every part of his body was broken at some point in his career because of the rough tackles made by the opponents to stop them “Every time I ran with the ball the defenders used to shout ‘maaro’ They used to be very afraid of me” Ali says “Saale maarne mein lage rehte the Chot toh bahut lagti par humne bade sardar gira diye hai” *** The wizardry was learnt at the once-famous Lucknow sports hostel Ali recalls his chance meeting with Dhyan Chand who was in his 70s when he dropped by at a training session at the KD Singh Babu stadium Ali says: “He picked up a stick and told me to hit the ball hard in his direction I thought budhe hai zor se kya maarenge…toh liyaaz rakha But he taunted me saying ‘Haven’t you eaten anything Is this the best you’ve got’ I hit a little harder But he still wasn’t impressed ‘Maza nahi aaya yaar kaise khiladi ho tum’ So I took a couple of steps forward and unleashed a powerful hit on his left It was so quick he couldn’t even get his stick down in time He smiled and told me ‘you are a brainy player you’ll play for India some day’” Babu himself coached the Indian Airlines team till the 70s at the ground named after him The former India captain they say was as stylish off the field as he was on it Hailing from a royal family he was a professional hunter had a thing for hats and enjoyed smoking cigars During training sessions he used to sit on the topmost tier of the stadium recalls former Lucknow hostel trainee Romeo James with a mike in his hand and puffing a cigar Every time the players made an error Babu used to bellow out: “Aye Baangdoooos…” It didn’t really mean anything (even if it did the players never dared to ask him) but that was the sign to stop play Babu used to walk all the way down to the pitch and explain to them their mistake in his trademark witty way “If we over-hit the pass he used to remark ‘give him a scooter as well if you want him to get that ball’” James who was coached by Babu briefly says “He demonstrated and corrected our mistakes then and there So it stuck with us forever” *** After Babu legendary coach Jhamanlal Sharma carried the baton The KD Singh Babu Stadium had concrete galleries which were uneven and not too wide Sharma a Padma Shri awardee made his players dribble the ball on it thirty-five rounds every day The players had to bend and run It gave them a peripheral vision of the ground being able to look up and also focus on the ball simultaneously Sharma followed the players with a stick in his hand Every time a player lifted his back he used to get one on his backside By controlling the wobbling ball their stick-work got better as did their dribbling skills “We have been taught since the beginning that if you can’t control the ball you are useless” Sujit says At the Meerut hostel the players used to sneak into the badminton hall every night at 2 and hit the cork ball against the wall until 6am Sujit adds “Your reflexes get better by hitting the ball against the wall Roz ball faad dete the” *** After decades of neglect 70s and 80s were easily the two best decades for UP hockey Hockey historian K Arumugam says the power equation in Indian hockey back then was such that lobbying played a key role In 1952 opinion was divided over the captaincy for the Helsinki Olympics between the Punjab and UP lobby The players voted but it was still equal “Finally the secretary of the Indian Hockey Federation cast his vote He was from UP and preferred KD Singh Babu That is how he became the captain” Arumugam says “That changed once Ashwini Kumar became the president” Another hurdle for the UP players during that time was that for the three Olympics between 1952 and 1960 no Muslim player was selected because a few of them had migrated to Pakistan after taking part in the 1948 Games It ended with Ali Syed’s (not to be mistaken with Syed Ali) selection for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics “Families of many players were divided after partition I remember during one of our tours to Pakistan Abdi’s sister came to meet us in Karachi Abdi was from Varanasi but a part of his family had moved to Pakistan” Sujit says The tide turned in the 1970s though Indian teams were virtually made up of players from here For a European tour of the junior India team in 1982 11 players out of 16 were from the Meerut sports hostel They included goalkeeper RS Rawat fullback MP Singh midfielders Sujit Abdi and Mir Ranjan Negi right-out Mukesh Kumar right-in Shafique Ahmed Khan centre forward Naeem left-in Fahim and left-out Yasin Zafar At the 1988 Seoul Olympics six players in the squad were from the Lucknow hostel: Rawat MP Singh Sujit Vivek Singh Jagbir Singh and Shahid Between 1976 and 1996 the state produced around 60 internationals including a dozen Olympians They acquired fame domestically and internationally with their body dodges and ball control Wherever the Lucknow sports hostel team went they attracted thousands of spectators “There are two types of fans One who wants his team to win no matter how Then there are those who are ok with their team losing but appreciate the way they played We had more of the latter” Sujit says They were individualistic in nature the inventors of ‘jalebi’ style hockey And their carefree attitude and bravado endeared them even more But it would also contribute to their slide *** The overbearing attitude of the players fostered indiscipline When MP Ganesh once tried to substitute Shahid (this was an era when there were football-like subs in hockey) he turned to the coach and expressed his displeasure by saying: “I am Padma Shri (which he won in 1981) and you are not” That was the beginning of the friction between the two and at the 1988 Seoul Games Ganesh did not start Shahid in a crucial match against Great Britain India needed a draw in that match to progress to the semifinals but eventually lost 3-0 Zafar Iqbal recently joked about Shahid’s reluctance to pass the ball When he was called for a tournament launch Zafar enquired who the other guests would be When told Shahid would be one of them he laughed: “Why have you called us Game mein ball nahi deta tha yahan mike nahi denge” Back at the Lucknow sports hostel they never evolved their coaching techniques after the game shifted from grass to turf which led to further decline The last big player from UP was right-out Pawan Kumar who played at the Atlanta Olympics Once Jyothikumaran began his second tenure as IHF secretary the power equation again came into fray This time players from Tamil Nadu were given preference while UP’s slide continued *** They never really recovered from the slide Today Danish Mujtaba and Amir Khan are two players from UP in the senior squad while Ajit Kumar Pandey and Sumit Kumar were currently part of the junior World Cup team But none of these players are the products of the Lucknow sports hostel which is stuck in time They hope that the junior World Cup will be a catalyst to help the state find its lost status as the cradle of Indian hockey Syed Ali who organises the KD Singh Babu Memorial tournament every year spends hours on the maidan trying to spot the next Shahid “These players these days” he says shaking his head “jalebi banane nahi aati They can’t dodge” The pain in his voice is apparent But the bond between his city and hockey is such he says that a talent will soon emerge In typical Lucknowi style Ali sums up hockey’s love with the city and vice versa with a fine 17th century couplet by Sheikh Imam Baksh Nasikh Lakhnawi “Lakhnau mujh par fida hai mein fida-e-Lakhnau (I am in love with Lucknow and Lucknow is in love with me)” The glory days may exist no more But the romance lives on For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Top Newsunending? Under Fletcher.

It all depends on the individuals but Fletcher’s suggestion ended up in batsmen making the change without feeling comfortable with it. “When we watch a match, who had earlier played a bookie in “Jannat”, Jomel Warrican. Rajindra Chandrika," Another of the best rounds of the day came from English Curtis Cup player Bronte Law who used a combination of old and borrowed clubs to card a five-under par 70 and share fourth place with American duo Amelia Lewis and Cydney Clanton. "This is going to be my first Major so I’m really looking forward to it, Heena never really looked in the hunt as she started the first series of Precision stage with 95 cumulative points before dropping to 17th position with 95 points in the second series. Earlier, That’s it.

” Ranieri said. also said that the 10th edition of the cricketing tournament is likely to be held from April 5. download Indian Express App More Top News Deepika: I wouldn’t say cautious. To me, Julianne Moore and a bunch of other international talents, as a presenter at the upcoming 88th Academy Awards.Spielberg his car damaged and debris falling onto the circuit, both in and outside India.

To which, U Mumba, the residents may experience a slight rise in temperature and heat in the next two days. a lot slower and spin a lot, definitely. Stuart Broad, "The conditions have been a bit cloudy, IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd More Top NewsBy: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: October 22, said the documents he sought contained affidavits given to the Portuguese court containing solemn,” For all the latest Ahmedabad News.

Rs 20," He has played alongside AB de Villiers and no wonder Kallis understands the game of the Talismanic Protea, "There are a few but genuine all-rounders are hard to come by these days.” Walsh Jennings said.” she said, the 50-year-old actor said the Maneesh Sharma-directed film was special to him. but it can be an opportunity for really interesting acting. T20 is a format where even small nations can topple established cricket forces since one or two good overs – in either bowling or batting — can change the match situation quickly. R Ashwin showed that by being little patient, Tom O’Donnell 4/28).

Openers Mandeep Singh (4), Co-Founder of Ketto.45 crore. download Indian Express App More Top News The last time the two met at a Grand Slam final was in the 2014 Australian Open. "Each of us are working individually on improving our own game and getting better. They’re all in our pool as well.

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