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Sports Watch

by Zulquar

Ok people, question here? How many of you were outside during the sudden lightning and thunderstorm that struck Dhaka a while back? If you were outside (especially in an open field or open square) you probably know what I am talking about. Yours truly was in a field playing kick about with a few friends and I am not ashamed to admit that I was scared out of my wits. It sounded like a war zone and lightning kept raining down here and there (I imagined Zeus showering thunderbolts upon us). Well this probably should go in Sci-Zone but I should tell you-the safest place to be in during a lightning and thunderstorm is inside your vehicle-unless of course it's a rickshaw. For further explanations on why, ask Tawsif!

Anyway, on with sports!
The world of cricket takes us to locations far and wide this next week.

First and foremost we have the Indo Pak series continuing into the one-day leg. An exciting Test series ended 1-1 and so it is all up for grabs in the one-day series. Arguably the biggest rivalry is world sports, Pakistan and India will be both keen to prove their mettle.

We move to the Caribbean where South African and the West Indies continue their battle. The two sides are evenly matched but the West Indies are boosted by the fact that star batsman Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan will all be available for selection in from the next Test, after settling the contractual row with the WICB.

In other news, the groups for the 2007 World Cup have been revealed and Bangladesh have been drawn in a very South Asian group. India and Sri Lanka are the other two certainties while the final team will come through the ICC Cup. None of the groups are too difficult but South Africa and Australia have been drawn together and West Indies and Pakistan will also face off against Zimbabwe. The other group sees England and New Zealand drawn together.

By the time you read this, the first legs of the quarterfinals of the Champions League will already have been completed and most people would have a more lucid idea about which teams will advance. There are some titanic clashes in store the pick of the lot being AC v Inter Milan.

The Chelsea v Bayern Munich game was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that Chelsea's media-hogging manager Jose Mourinho, who is more a star that some of his own players, has been suspended for both legs by UEFA. How far the repercussions from this decision will be- it remains to be seen.

Elsewhere, all the domestic leagues reach the home straight with about the last third of the season only remaining. The action is hot in Italy and Germany where the top two are locked on points and separated only on goal difference. Barcelona and Chelsea however look cast iron certainties for their domestic crowns with a lead in excess of ten points over their nearest rivals.

That's about it for this week. I will end bringing to your attention a news item that has shocked me greatly. Mohammedan FC's, South Korean manager and two South Korean players, have been sacked by the club, for poor performances. While that is understandable given their poor performance, what is not is the fact that many of the players claimed to have not been paid and therefore had to go without food. That is astounding indeed and does not bode well for the image of our country. I understand that there is probably two sides to this story but Mohammedan are a hugely successful club and something like this should not happen in their domain.

Anyway have fun!





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