ICC Champions Trophy 2013

                    Champions trophy is second most prestigious Cricket tournament after the world cup organized by the International Cricket Council. It was started way back in 1998 and first edition was hosted by Dhaka, Bangladesh. In first edition of the champions trophy it was a knock out format. It was decided to organize it regularly over the gap period of 2 years. Like cricket world cup it is a ODI cricket tournament i.e, 50 over match. First two editions were of the knock out format later it was changed to Round Robin format, so this time too it will be round robin format.

Team Australia with ICC champions trophy 2009
Australian Team with Champions Trophy 2009
First edition saw the participation of  ICC’s all member teams; later associate nations were also given chance to participate. But from 2009 onwards only the Eight highest ranked team are allowed to participate and in 2013 edition also there will be only top 8 teams participating for this prestigious title. This will be 7th and also the last edition of Champions trophy and it will be held in the England for 2nd time.  England is only nation to host this tournament twice, but they are yet to win this tournament.

Earlier Edition Winners:-

South Africa
West Indies
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
India and Sri Lanka
West Indies
West Indies
South Africa
New Zealand

Contenders :-

This edition is starting from 6th June 2013, with match between India and South Africa. The final of the tournament will be played on the 23rd June 2013. Top 8 teams which are participating :-  India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Australia and West Indies. Out of these countries Australia is only nation who has won it twice and they are also the current champion. In recent past there hasn’t been too many international ODI matches, so its very tough to say which team is in form and rhythm form the title. But looking at team compositions of all teams West Indies, Australia, India, South Africa are the strong contenders.


                  Being a two time champion and also the current champions we can’t deny the fact they are the strong contender. They have the good young side led by the Michael Clarke who has been in the amazing form and also the condition is helpful for them.

West Indies

                  They are the current T20 champions and also a very young side led by the Darren Sammy. They have the players like Gayle, Bravo, Narnie and Rampal which makes their side a strong contender and also they have have won the title in the same country.  


               They are current 50 over World Cup champions and have a strong team including Kohli, Raina and others led by the Charismatic captain MS Dhoni. Only thing that goes against them is the condition that creates more problem than anything else.

South  Africa

                 In the absence of Kallis and Smith they look inexperienced in batting still they have Amla, Ingram and the skipper AB Devilliers. Their pace bowling is best in the world so that can be lethal in the helping conditions of England, so they have fair chance.

Sri Lanka

           The team which depends heavenly on the shoulders of Jayawardene and K Sangakkara is going through the phase of transition. This team looks too dependent on these two batsman along with Dilshan for the big score and bowling is too much dependent on the Lasith Malinga.


                 The team that is prone to controversies has decent batting and bowling attack and good captain in Misbah ul Haq. They have the right balance in team and their bowling looks stronger, so they have good chance.

New Zealand

               The black caps have always been the dark horses in ICC tournaments and they have always performed well in the ICC tournaments. So, here also they are the underdogs.


          The hosts are yet to win a 50-over ICC tournament but, we can’t write them off completely. As they will be playing in their home country so they are aware with the conditions and pitches better than the others . Led by A Cook they have last chance to win this title and write the history for them.  

            It is very clear that every team has fair chance for the champions trophy, but it is very tough to put the money on a single team for title. Still, I put my money on the Team India, as whenever Dhoni has been counted out he came with something special.

          So, my bet is on team India, what about yours ? Which team you are supporting for this last  edition of ICC Champions Trophy ?

Mumbai Indians: IPL 6 Champion

                         Sixth edition of the Indian Premier League ended with a bang. The cricket tournament that began on April 3rd at Kolkata saw the participation of 9 teams having 16 matches for each of them to make into Qualifiers. In total there were 72 matches to decide the top 4 teams to play in qualifiers.  After  72 league matches CSK, MI, RR and SRH made their way into the qualifiers, while CSK topped the point table followed by the MI. MI and CSK made their way into the finals from the qualifiers while RR and SRH ended their journey in qualifiers. CSK lead by the charismatic Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni under whose captaincy CSK has already won this tournaments for two time, while MI was lead by one of the greatest captain in the Cricket history Ricky Ponting for first 6 matches but due to lack of form he dropped himself and also resigned from the captainship and Rohit Sharma was appointed as captain for the remaining matches. He did impressive job and under his captaincy MI managed to get into final for 2nd time. Now they were just one game away from the IPL championship.

mumbai Indians defeat Chennai Super Kings to win maiden IPL title
Mumbai Indians team with IPL 2013 trophy


                         Controversies do followed the IPL from last season like bad umpiring and Spot fixing. Most shocking was to see the involvement of the international cricketers from Indian like S Sreesanth along with some domestic players A Chandelia and A Chawan from the IPL team Rajasthan Royals.  Mumbai crime branch do revealed the news of involvements of the artists from the Bollywood and as well as team officials like the CSK owner G Meiyappan. These things will definitely depreciate the market value of the brand IPL and it does hurt to sentiments of cricket followers. But that depend on BCCI, how they come out of it and try to make the tournament as clean and fair as much possible   But, the IPL final saw a full house Eden gardens, and that was really good for the tournaments point of view. As the local team KKR failed to qualify for the finals, still the stadium was jam packed. Being a huge cricket follower it was really great to see the presence of that much crowd in the final.

MI Batting

                          The toss was won by MI skipper Rohit Sharma and he elected to bat first. As it is very famous in the cricket in pressure game like finals always go for bat first. Sachin was absent in the final like past four games due to his tendon injury. MI started their inning with openers D Smith and A Tare. The inning started in very dramatic fashion for MI as they lost inform batsman D Smith for 4 in very first over & other opener A Tare on duck at team score of 8. In 2nd over itself the skipper was on the field to make recovery and provide some stability. But at the team score of 16, he too got out of the bowling of A Morkel contributing just 2 runs to the team. It was looking like as if it’s going to be a low scoring affair. But next in Ambati Raidu and D Karthik put on some resistance and took the score of MI  from 16/3 to 52/3 at the same score D Kartick got out and big hitter west Indian Kieron Pollard made his way to the ground. Raidu and Pollard took the score forward, Pollard played with aggression while Raidy played sensibly for his 37 from 36 deliveries before getting out at the score of 100. In slog overs Pollard started striking big and he was doing very well but from other side he was losing on  his partners and he finished the MI inning 2 back to back sixes of fellow countrymen D Bravo and took the score of MI  to 148/9 at the end of allotted 20 over’s. K Pollard top scored for the MI scoring 60 runs from just 32 deliveries. CSK bowled  and fielded brilliantly and all the wickets were took by the fast bowlers. Bravo took 4 wickets while 2 wickets went to Morkel while 1wicket each for Morris and M Sharma. Now it was upto the CSK batsmen the chase the score of 149 within the allotted 20 overs and get their hand on the IPL trophy for 3rd time.    

CSK Chase

                           In form batsman and orange cap holder Mike Hussey and Murli Vijay made their way to the pitch to chase the target of 149 while Rohit Sharma choose to start with Lasith Malinga. The way SCK bowlers bowled in the first inning it looked like there was something for the fast bowlers. Chasing 149, Hussey got his stumps uprooted on a fast Yorker from the Malinga and on the very next bowl he removed in form batsman Suresh Raina at widish fine leg on a fast short pitch delivery. So, CSK lost two in form batsmen at the score of 2 and it was clear that its not going to be that easy for  CSK to chase the target. At the score of 3 they lost another batsman Badrinath, now they were 3/3.  CSK batsmen created a complete chaotic situation and that resulted in the collapse and they were reeling on the score of 39/6. So, it looked like as if it’s going to be a one sided affair but CSK skipper decided to fight and he made some small partnerships with lower order batsmens but couldn’t succeed to chase the target as he was losing his partners on regular basis and CSK could manage 125/9 at the end of allotted 20 overs. He got no support that resulted  23 run loss for the CSK and they lost the final for 2nd time in a row. It was a kind of worst chase in the final of all editions of IPL from the most balanced and consistent team in IPL. MS Dhoni top scored for the CSK scoring 63 from 45 deliveries hitting 3 boundaries and 5 big sixes but that wasn’t enough for the cause. Mumbai like CSK bowled and fielded brilliantly, Malinga, Jhonson and Bhajji picked up two wickets each while Pollard, Dhawan and Ojha managed to grab 1 wicket each. For Mumbai it was brilliant team work, they bowled brilliantly, fielded brilliantly and captaincy was marvelous from the young Rohit Sharma.


             As it was the final match of the IPL edition 6 so, lots of award were distributed. All of them are listed below with the team's name in the bracket.

               Catch of the Season                         :-  Gurkeerat Singh Mann (Punjab Kings XI)
               Youngster of the Season                  :-  Sanju Samson (Rajsthan Royals)
               Orange Cap (for most runs)             :-  Michael Hussey(Chennai Super Kings)
               Purple Cap (For most wickets)        :-  Dwayne Bravo(Chennai Super Kings)
               Most Valuable Player                        :-  Shane Watson(Rajsthan Royals)
               Fair play Team Award                      :-  Chennai Super Kings
               Winner’s Trophy                               :-  Mumbai Indians

                            One more important news for the all cricket followers that Sachin took retirement from the IPL, so we are surely going to miss the “God of Cricket“ in the  IPL. That may be an indication that the South African tour of the team India may be the last international match for the Master Blaster and he may took the retirement from the Test like ODIs.

Who Will Win French Open 2013 ?

                         French Open is one of the most prestigious grand slams in the lawn tennis. It is the only grand slam played on the red clay. It does make it special as the all four grand slams are played on three different kinds of surfaces i.e., Hard, Grass and Clay court. It is also considered as the toughest surface to deal with due to the variance in speed on this surface. This championship is played in Paris starts in late May and early June. It is second grand slam in tennis grand slam calendar year. Early it was for only the club members and for the French nationals but in 1925 it was opened for everyone. So it can be said that formally it was started in 1925. 

Rafael Nadal & Maria Sharapova Holding their French Open Trophy 2012
French Open 2012 Champions with their trophies

Men and Women who won French Open most in their Career:-

Men’s Champions(Singles)
Women’s Champions(Singles)
          Rafael Nadal            -  7    
        Chris Evert                       -  7
          Bjorn Borg                -  6
        Steffi Graf                        -  6
           Mats Wilander        -  3
        Justine Henin                  -  4
           Ivan Lendl               -  3
        Margaret Court               -  3
           Gustavo Kuerten    -  3
        Arantxa Sanchez            -  3

                     One day to go and the race for French open get started. In present scenario, there is stiff competition in Men’s circuit in comparison of the Women’s circuit. There is huge competition in top 5 players of Men circuit, but there is lack of consistency in women’s circuit. That is easily visible through the continuous change in seeding of the women players.
                      In women circuit, the way Serena Williams has played throughout the year and the kind of form and domination she has shown over her opponents she is a clear favorite for title for the 2nd time in her career. Mario Sharapova, Li Na and Victoria Azarenka are the other contenders for the title. Even though Serena has won 4 consecutive titles before she is going into the French open, she has a poor record over there and she could win only one French open title.
                   Just like previous years Rafael Nadal will start as a favorite for his 8th French open title while Novak Djokovic who has played very good tennis throughout will be eying for his first French open title. You can’t underestimate the presence of the Swiss Legend Roger Federer, David Ferrer with the Juan Del Potro. So, all these four players will give tough completion to the “King of Clay”. So, it will be interesting to see whether Nadal gets his hand on the 8th title or French Open gets a new champion.

 My favorites for French Open 2013 Title:-

Men’s Section
Women’s Section
              1.     Rafael Nadal                     
 1.    Serena Williams
              2.     Novak Djokovic
       2.    Maria Sharapova
              3.     Roger Federer
       3.    Victoria Azarenka
              4.     Andy Murray
       4.     Li Na
              5.     David Ferrer
       5.     Agnieszka Radwanska 
                         What makes Nadal and Williams as my favorites is there current form. Nadal has won 6 titles after making his comeback from the injury and also Serena has won 4 consecutive titles and she is in awesome form. If Nadal wins this title he will win it for the record 8th time while if Serena wins she will win it for the 2nd time in her glorious career.
                        " If Nadal wins the French Open 2013, then he will be first player in the world to win a single grand slam title for 8 or more times. " 

                     As, you are aware with my favorites for the French Open Title. So, do let me know who is your favorite for the title through your comments. Be quick, I am waiting for your responses !

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