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Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood’

It is Season II for IPL and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has just announced that the tournament will be played off shore this year – that is a BIG change of plan. With India in the throes of a General election in April/ May, the Government has been unable to commit security to the 59 matches originally scheduled at venues all over India! Power of politics eh….!

But is this the real opportunity?

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders

With ambitions to be the NFL of the cricket world, the first season of the Indian Premier League was played with much fanfare, glamour and glitz last year. Eight teams rocked millions in Indian cities with some high octane performances. In January 2008, the television rights to the competition were sold by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the organising body, for $1 billion (£500 million), to confirm India as cricket’s financial superpower. The auction of eight newly created city sides raised another $720 million. Bollywood took centre stage with the Indian corporate world in tow – cheerleaders from the Washington Redskins shook their booty to the tune of Bhangra and the Indian middle class plunged into 45 days of cricketing frenzy!

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Some of the biggest names of Indian Industry joined hands with Bollywood superstars (Shahrukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta) and even Lachlan Murdoch to lap up the eight teams – and we had the Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Hyderabad Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab taking guard for glory. The biggest names in world cricket couldn’t resist the glamour and power of one of the richest cricketing body of the world – Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Virendra Shehwag, Sanath Jayasuria, Daniel Vettori, Shane Warne – provided a fantastic fusion of performance on the pitch and millions of words for the tabloid columns every morning.

Rajasthan Royals - 2008 Champions

Rajasthan Royals - 2008 Champions

Cricket had not seen such glamorous days since Kerry Packer transformed it by taking on the game’s establishment with his World Series in 1977 and luring top players with huge salaries.

The probable venues for this year are now South Africa or England. To some it may seem a futile attempt to keep the tournament going – with questions about the feasibility, the financial viability, the returns, interest levels, ticket sales etc. But this is the chance (by default) for IPL to actually go international. Taking the glamour and excitement to foreign shores and making it a success will probably help breaking the barriers and also help cricket cross the threshold into mass global appeal. This is not copy-book test cricket – this is all about adrenalin, glamour, pace, footwork and only four hours of throbbing appeal! A chance to modify the formula for global appeal!

Shilpa shetty - Co-owner of Rajasthan Royals

Shilpa shetty - Co-owner of Rajasthan Royals

With a move to South Africa , this could be a real test for its 2010 FIFA World Cup preparations.

OR

If England gets to host, it could be a win-win for all. With the current economic mood and no exciting events till the Olympics, this could be a whiff of fresh air, even a distraction for the media from its ever so boring, monotonous attempts to glorify the ‘Credit Crunch’ with soul dampening commentaries on the City and our rudderless politicians! And with doses of Bollywood thrown in, it could just be a start to a gorgeous summer of ’09!

All in the name of the GAME!

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Just as we read about it and may be even feeling the crisis around the world, some one some where is always trying to make their people happy. In tough economic times, nations have set priorities: infrastructure, jobs, drugs, health, dairy products ?

So what do you think about this:

SWITZERLAND:
Swiss voters have approved the creation of permanent, legalized heroin centers aimed at helping hard-core addicts learn to function in society. Rather than getting them off the drug, these centres will avoid ‘cold turkey’ by providing then carefully measured doses twice a day.
Somewhat surprisingly though, the same voters rejected the decriminalisation of marijuana in the same referendum. Huh!

MEXICO:
In the name of “happiness and a better quality of life”, the Mayor of Mexico City (Marcelo Ebrard) plans to give out free erectile dysfunction pills to men over 70. As many as 100k are eligible for the program, at a cost of $4 million. This being the latest of Ebard’s happiness injections after spending millions on an ice-skating rink and artificial beaches. Critics say, this is all a distraction from the real issues of drug, crime,pollution and transportation.
Respect to the elders !!! He seems like a good man.

ITALY:
The Italian Govt is putting $65million to purchase 200,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano cheese to donate to charity. With hundreds of small cheese makers in northern Italy losing money , “theres a need for market intervention, just as there was for bank”, says the agriculture minister.

RUSSIA:
Vodka has been the staple drink for the Russians since the Czars, but the common Russian is cutting back amid the global financial crunch. Even though manufacturers slashed vodka producion 15% because of slumping demands, stores are saddled with some 22 million gallons of unsold spirits – six times their inventory a year ago. Alcohol poisoning fatalities are on the rise , reportedly as drinkers turn to cheap, homemade brews instead.

And….

SOUTH KOREA, in its latest bid to combat rising food costs and economic uncertainty, have signed a 99 year lease to farm oil palms and corn on more than 2.5 million acres of land in Madagascar!

The CHINESE are investing $4billion in the Philippines to grow crops.

SAUDI ARABIA has invested another $4billion in Indonesia to develop 1.25 million acres of farmland.

So what are the INDIANS doing?

Ofcourse waiting for the next Bollywood blockbuster after Ghajini the not-so-well-adapted version of Christopher Nolan’s Memento, to fantasise about.

While the common ISRAELI and PALESTENIAN just wants it to get over ……
in the UK…..we are hoping the Pound (£) picks up value against the Euro, so that this summer we can once again flood the European coastline with our bare bodies and beer fuelled extremities.

And if the British wish comes true, hopefully we will see more people on this deserted beach in Portugal (picture above).

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