By Raj Bhandari: This is perhaps the most befitting answer to all the critics we have ever come across. Of course, yet again Sachin has given the message loud & clear (through his bat) and proved that nothing is ruined so far, as believed by some. The extreme bias shown against Sachin, by some ‘experts’ has clearly shown their naivety.
A quick online search on Sachin Tendulkar shows up over 20 million results. As one of the hardcore Sachin fan observed clearly – it has become more of a fashion than a passion to jump in the ”Free for all” fray, criticising the Master Blaster for such a petty gain of drawing popularity.
24 glorious years, hell of a consistency, tons of records, universally acclaimed gentlemen cricketer, still delivering even after 40, role model for youngsters (off/ on the field), revolutionised the concept of brand value & endorsement, heart throbbing star of millions, most sought after media personality, famous for keeping a low profile despite sky rocketing achievements – what more does one really expect from a sportsperson?
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League 2 Play-off Final Preview
By Chris Cummings: Starting the season, you would have got a lot of money for a Northampton Town vs. Bradford City League 2 playoff-final, but this coming Saturday, the 18th May; those are exactly the two teams who will face each other at Wembley for a place in League 1. It is Phil Parkinson’s men who are marginal favourites ahead of the game, but it is without doubt the biggest game of Northampton’s season – if only that were the case for Bradford…
Last season, Northampton could only manage a meagre 20th position, a long way from the dizzy heights of this year’s 6th place finish. It was generally felt that the Cobblers did well to avoid relegation last year and would focus on rebuilding the club and ensuring permanent league football for years to come this time around.
But Mr. Boothroyd had other ideas and has managed to replicate his success at Watford thus far, coming in to narrowly rescue them from relegation, before making a charge up the league table to claim promotion via the Playoffs the following year. The Cobblers’ fans will be hoping for something similar on Saturday.
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By Steven Back
Around the All-star break last year a debate raged amongst NBA circles as to who the best big man in the game was, with the 2 front runners being Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. Some 15 months later on and now we have to question as to what their futures hold in the NBA.
After getting his trade to the Lakers, Dwight Howard worked hard to return ahead of schedule in order to start the NBA season however with both himself and his Laker teammates plagued by injuries all season it has left many wondering whether he has the love and respect for the game. After seeing flashes of potential earlier one in his career after beating LeBron James, carrying his Orlando Magic team into the NBA finals back in 2008 we have yet to see any significant progress in his offence game. Despite visits to hall of famer Hakeem Olajuwon he has not been able to dominate like many thought he would.
After the “nightmare season” has ended for the Lakers it has many questioning whether Dwight will re-sign for the Purple and Gold to become the next face of the Laker franchise. After struggling to play with Kobe early on in the season, fighting to come to terms with being the number 2 option on offence, a role of which he has never had throughout his career. Many questioning his willingness to play through pain and injury throughout the season after major back surgery and subsequently tearing the Labrum in his shoulder, has left many wondering whether he is worth the max contract that many expected he would be worth prior to leaving the Magic.
With a roster that is already old and about to get older with another off-season, should Howard stick it out in LA to reap the financial benefits of up to an extra $30 million in guaranteed salary? With only Steve Nash signed beyond the summer of 2014 the roster will be free to mould around Howard however after Bryant will bring his career to an end in the coming years. With Cap space and free agents classes similar to that of 2010 in the years to come the future could look bright for Howard and the Lakers.
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By Steven Back
Injuries are in most cases are an inevitability in sports. No matter how much we want our favorite athletes to be like superman, everyone gets hurt and injured at some point. Every streak comes to an end, for example in the NFL Brett Favre the model for consistency played every game, every weekend for the best part of 19 years, starting 297 consecutive games for the Packers, Jets and Vikings until one cold fateful day in Minnesota when he suffered a shoulder injury which subsequently ended his career.
In the NBA devastating injuries happen to players every year, however in the past couple of seasons more major injuries are occurring to marque players which is beginning to raise question that the NBA schedule is too long, players need more rest however this is not always the case.
However we cannot dispute the fact that these injuries have dramatically changed the landscape of the NBA. Here are 5 examples of how the injuries compiled this season have changed the outlook of the 2013 playoffs.
NBA rookie of the year, 1st team all NBA and MVP in 2011. One of the biggest question surrounding the league this year and in particular the Chicago bulls organization is when will Derrick rose return. After tearing the ACL in his left knee in the 1st game of the 2012 playoffs, he has yet to be seen in uniform for the bulls this season. However this horrific injury was unexpected and nothing could have been done about it as all rose did was make a drive the basket and as he pushed off his knee buckled. A move he had performed a 1000 times in his basketball career. (the only question at the time was why was rose still on the court in the first place as the bulls had a 12 point lead with a minute and change on the clock.)
The absence of Rose this season has dramatically shifted the balance of power in the eastern conference over to the Miami Heat. Despite hard fought wins this season by the injury stricken bulls (significantly beating the heat and snapping their historical 27 game win streak) it will still be hard to believe that they can challenge to win the east without the former MVP running the show.
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