Wednesday, September 22, 2010

$65 Gift Certificate Giveaway

I'm very happy to announce the first ever giveaway on my blog. This giveaway is open to the residents of US and Canada only. International folks, sorry.  :(

To participate in this giveaway, follow the rules given below.
  • Retweet about the giveaway.
  • Become a follower via Google Friend Connect.
  • Subscribe to this blog.
  • Pick your favorite post from this blog(Cricket Crazy) and leave a comment on that post.
  • Leave a comment with your name, email id, details of your tweet and the post you commented on.
  • Please don't subscribe/follow if you don't wish to continue to do it after the giveaway.
Bonus Entry 1:
Write about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.

Your comment should look like this:

Name, email, tweet details, following the blog or not, subscribed to the blog or not, link to your favorite post on this blog where you left a comment, link to a post on your blog about this giveaway(optional).

The giveaway ends at 11:59pm IST on October 1, 2010. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on 3rd October. One lucky winner gets a $65 gift certificate to use in any of CSN stores.

This giveaway is sponsored by CSN stores. CSN Stores is an e-commerce company based in Boston, Massachusetts. It has been growing rapidly since its inception in 2002 with over 200 online stores. CSN stores sell everything, from furniture like drop leaf table to pet toys to fitness equipment to cookware to baby supplies.

Winner: Liz M.

PS: Gift certificate does not include shipping costs. However, a lot of items in CSN stores do offer free shipping.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cricket’s Growing Popularity: France and Beyond

Guest post by Heather Green.

For many years, the popularity of cricket has seemingly been isolated to very specific regions of the globe, usually those that experienced a great deal of British influence during the Colonial Era. In the last decade, cricket is becoming more popular in European countries outside of England.

France Crazy For Cricket
Perhaps the most surprising addition to the newly cricket crazy country list is France. Traditionally, the French have sported a barely-hidden disdain for this traditional pastime of British elites. Today, their enthusiasm for the sport places its popularity nearly on par with America’s recent rediscovery of lacrosse.

Educational Incentive
It all started with a school program introducing children from 200 French schools to cricket. Students now have the opportunity to join one of the only 69 cricket clubs in the country of France as junior members. The initial government program will fund cricket in the public schools for eight years. During this time, schools will be provided with funding earmarked for the development of cricket teams.

A French Future
More young players will potentially translate into an intimidating lineup of French cricket players on the world tour circuit in the coming years. It wouldn’t be the first time the French have stepped up to bat (to borrow American baseball terminology). Some have even argued that the word “cricket” is derived from an old French word. Archeological evidence indicates that cricket was played in France as early as the 1400’s.

Official Participation
While France Cricket, the only regulatory organization in France devoted to cricket, only reports 850 registered players in the country, this statistic has slowly been increasing over the decades. In the past, members of the organization were generally transplanted foreigners from cricket playing countries. Recent years have seen a reverse of this trend as more young people rediscover this ancient pastime.

Heather Green is a freelance writer, mother, professional model and the resident blogger for An Apple a Day... blog, a free informational website offering tips and advice on online nursing schools.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Events of the last few days

  • Daniel Vettori, a big fish in a small aquarium, wins three prizes at New Zealand Cricket awards.
  • What is Ravindra Jadeja doing in Board President's XI squad that takes on Australia?
  • Spot-fixing controversy - a  big blow to cricket. Who's to blame?
  • Champions League started off with a Mumbai Indians' loss thanks to their poor bowling. Somehow, I feel it's not worth following CLT20.
  • IPL-4 format and number of matches have been announced. Do you think player retention will help the teams?
  • No Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) for India-Australia series. Will BCCI ever allow UDRS?
  • It's all Dhoni on TV.  It's no wonder Mahendra Singh Dhoni regarded as the superstar of commercials.  It's better he concentrates on his game rather than these commercials.
  • Really really surprised to see Mohammad Yusuf in Pakistan's T20 team.
  • Sachin Tendulkar has become the first sportsman to be conferred with the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

An interesting stat: Muttiah Muralitharan is fifth on the all-time list of Sri Lankan Test match six-hitters.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chances of each team for World cup Cricket 2011

The stage is all set for the biggest contest of modern cricket and the countdown has already begun. ICC Cricket World Cup is to begin on the 19th of February, 2011, hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Earlier, Pakistan was to co-host the tournament; however, thanks to an attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in 2009, they lost their rights.

Below are the fourteen teams fighting for the cup, divided into two broad groups. Both the groups are to have their individual league matches, where each team would have to play versus each other. The top four teams based on points awarded or in case tied based on their Net Run Rate, would proceed to the next round i.e. Quarter Finals.

Here on, the knock-out begins and it would drill down to the Last Men standing. 

A prediction in terms of who can win might be a tough job as the teams have evolved over the past four years and quite a few of them have started to make good progress. Let’s take an analytical crack at this.
Group A League Matches: 
Undoubtedly, Australia would be the hot favorites but might end up taking the second and third slot considering the fact that they don’t play as well on the sub-continental pitches as they do outside. However, Sri Lanka should come out victorious in the league table, definitely because they have five home matches out of the six that they are supposed to play.

Pakistan should either trail Sri Lanka or Australia with some of the key players back to their squad. They have a nice blend of youth and experience on their side which might come in handy on the sub continental turfs.  The Kiwis however can be very unpredictable and on a given day can beat any team in the world. They should end up third or fourth on the chart.

Kenya has been a developing team for quite a while and have shown occasional sparks but their performance have not yet established a strong belief in the mind of cricket followers. The same can be stated about Zimbabwe. However, to infer, both the teams don’t have enough fuel to outclass teams like Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand. Canada is still an amateur in this sport. They should be happy to win a match or two on a good day.
Group B League Matches: 
This is the Group of Death. Other than Netherlands and Ireland, all other teams are capable of making it through to the Quarters.

India has quite a few players capable of single-handedly butchering the opposition. Home advantage alone can play a big role in their success story.  Also, unarguably, the best batsman in the world, Sachin Tendulkar would be creating history playing the sixth World Cup. His inclusion in itself is a massive confidence boost.

The South African side has been phenomenal in terms of adapting to various playing conditions. They seem to have what it takes to win the cup, leave aside their chance of making it through to the Quarter Finals. A lot of their players have been playing in the Indian Premier League giving them a lot of comfort.

Bangladesh and West Indies are highly unpredictable in terms of their approach but I would like to keep Bangladesh ahead of West Indies due to their home advantage. They have a lot to play for and history suggests that they are capable of making huge upsets.

The English team is quite unstable and is capable of losing matches from winning situations. However, it’s hard to rule them out as well. They have quite a few match winners in Kevin Peterson, Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood. However, their strong swing attack might find it tough to adjust.

Possibilities and probabilities might be endless but, what all should be looking at is a competitive series and not something like the previous one.