Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from India Insight:

Sachin Tendulkar: What his peers said over the years

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Aditya Kalra

Sachin Tendulkar's 200th test match, against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium, will also be his last as the 'Little Master' brings the curtain down on a glittering 24-year cricket career at the age of 40. (Click here for main story)

Here’s a look at how Tendulkar’s peers on the cricketing field have described him over the years:

    The nature of the cricket fans in this region is such that if a player tries to prolong his international career they tend to forget him soon after he retires - Javed Miandad (Nov. 2013) I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests - Mathew Hayden (1998) Don Bradman is the greatest, there is no debate. Don is the No. 1 and then come the rest. And among the rest, Tendulkar probably is as good as anyone. So legitimately, he may be the second best cricketer to have played the game - Steve Waugh (March 2010) I played 122 tests alongside Sachin, I never threatened his place as a batsman but he threatened mine as a bowler. He was a natural with leg spin - Anil Kumble (Nov. 2013)

    He was shy and withdrawn. He wouldn't have enjoyed captaincy. His middle class upbringing was a great sign for batting but to a certain extent restricted his leadership qualities - Bishen Singh Bedi (Nov. 2013) If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn’t arrived yet -  Viv Richards (June 2011) To bat for my life, I would probably choose Sachin; and if I had a ticket and if I had enough money to watch one, I would choose Lara - Rahul Dravid (Nov. 2013) From what we have seen in the last three months, he (Sachin) should have announced his retirement after the World Cup or even earlier. It's important to know that every cricketer has his time - Kapil Dev (Feb. 2012) After Nov. 18, there will be no Tendulkar in action. So the frenzy is understandable. He is the biggest cricketer after Sir Don Bradman and his retirement is the biggest of them all - Sunil Gavaskar (Nov. 2013) ....Vivian Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and the likes of them are great batsmen who dominated with the bat and were truly match-winners. Initially, when I bowled against Sachin, I found these qualities missing. He might have had more runs and records, he lacked the ability to finish the game - Shoaib Akhtar, in his autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’ There are boxers with better records than Muhammad Ali, but if you mention the word boxing, you have to mention Muhammad Ali. When you talk of basketball, you have to mention Michael Jordan. When you speak about cricket, I’d speak of Tendulkar - Brian Lara (Nov. 2013)

(Disclaimer: These quotes have not been verified for authenticity)

from India Insight:

Anand, and India, stand in Carlsen’s path to chess glory

Magnus Carlsen is the world's number one chess player but that counts for little in India, where he'll have to conquer local favourite Viswanathan Anand to become the first world chess champion from the West in nearly 40 years.

Anand, the undisputed world champion since 2007, has slumped to eighth in the rankings but has the experience of five world titles to thwart his 22-year-old Norwegian rival. If Carlsen wins the title this month, he'll be the first champion from the West since American Bobby Fischer’s reign ended in 1975.

from Photographers' Blog:

Gaining Ben Johnson’s trust

(Editor's note: Gary Hershorn, now Global Editor, Sports Pictures, for Reuters, has covered sport for 35 years. A Canadian, he gained the trust of compatriot Ben Johnson in the run-up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics and had special access to the sprinter's training. Here, Hershorn, looks back at that time and at Johnson's downfall.)

By Gary Hershorn

Standing shirtless on the training track, Ben Johnson looked at me, then dropped his running shorts. He stared at me, apparently willing me to take a picture and prove I was just another paparazzo desperate to get a sensational shot of the world's most famous athlete ahead of the Seoul Olympics.

Manchester United likely to show patience with David Moyes…for now

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Two defeats and one scrappy draw amid a hat-trick of pitiful performances in as many heavyweight bouts showed in no uncertain terms just why Manchester United manager David Moyes lamented over a tough Premier League start for the English champions when the fixture list was drawn during the close-season.

Sunday’s comprehensive 4-1 drubbing by cross-town rivals City, which followed a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool and a tame goalless stalemate with Chelsea, exposed all the chinks in the armour of a squad who won their 20th league title last season thanks to the scoring prowess of Robin van Persie and the firm steering hand of Alex Ferguson.

Life in the time of Federer and Tendulkar

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In sports, the fear of loss does different things to different people. It spurs athletes to greater heights; for spectators, it often changes the topography of their nails. In some, it induces mild depression.

Its inevitability is creeping into the minds of even the most stoic spectators. Soon, they won’t have Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar around anymore. What will be the world like without Federer and Sachin? Surely, the sporting world will move on, for no athlete is bigger than the game. But will it be the same again? Maybe not. Federer brought to tennis a “complete game”, rarely seen before. What made it even surreal was the ease and elegance with which he wielded his racquet.

Interpretation is the problem, not DRS

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The Decision Review System (DRS) in itself can be difficult to comprehend but what is hurting the game more is its varied interpretation by umpires.

The system was introduced to eliminate blatant errors in umpiring but it has failed to do so since there is still enough discretion resting with the umpires, who might or might not have faith in the technology that supports the system.

Confederations Cup: Can the real thing match its dress rehearsal?

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I don’t know if Brazil’s rout of Spain means there will be a shift in the balance of power, but one thing seems pretty certain: If the Confederations Cup was a taste of things to come, we should have a delicious World Cup in a year’s time.

Wildly entertaining in all aspects, the eight-nation tournament, seen as an acid test for the world’s biggest soccer event, produced all the thrills a fan could ask for and was capped by a memorable final in which the reigning world and double European champions were outplayed like never before in recent history.

South Africans haunted by “choker” tag again

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“Chokers” is not an easy tag to get rid of and South Africa’s latest attempt to shed it will haunt them for a while. Worse, they may have ended up reinforcing it.

The Proteas were so afraid of fumbling again that they failed to perform on the field; and the result was a thrashing at the hands of England in the Champions Trophy semi-final.

Champions League final live blog – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund

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The first all German final of the world’s most prestigious club soccer competition comes to Wembley in London as some of Europe’s finest look to put on a show. Click here to leave comments http://live.reuters.com/Event/Champions_League_final_-_Bayern_Munich_v_Borussia_Dortmund

 

from Photographers' Blog:

Beckham’s final 81st minute

Paris, France

By Gonzalo Fuentes

Since David Beckham arrived in Paris the media have captured every move, every training session, every single time he and his family have roamed around the city.

The infrastructure of the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) stadium was upgraded to handle all the media that he attracts. The media in Paris was ready to follow all his actions as evidenced when 150 journalists were accredited to cover the presentation of his PSG jersey.

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