Soumyadeep keeps table tennis medal hopes alive

first_imgSoumyadeep Roy quelled some stiff challenge before overcoming Singapore’s Xiaoli Cai 4-1 to storm into the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games’ table tennis men’s singles competition here today. The Bengal paddler started on a positive note in the quarterfinal and clinched the first set 11-7, but Cai clawed his way back into the match by winning the second set 11-5.However, Roy did not lose his heart and bagged the next three sets 12-10, 11-5, 13-11 in the best-of-seven contest and secured the final-four berth.In the semifinal, Roy will take on world number 17, Gao Ning, who beat another Indian A Amalraj 4-1 in other match.Amalraj proved no match to Gao, who is considered to be the best Singapore paddler, and except in the second set he could not build up much resistance.After losing the first set 1-11, he bagged the second 11-4, but went down 5-11, 5-11, 7-11 in the next three sets to crash out of the competition.Meanwhile, India’s experienced women pair of Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das came out with some determined performance to overcome Australian duo of M Miao and J F Lay 3-2 and entered the doubles semifinal.But it was curtains for another Indian pair — Kumaresan Shamini and Madhurika Patkar, who lost 1-3 to T Feng and Y Wang of Singapore.In men’s doubles, Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal and former national champion Subhajit Saha also got the ticket to last-four stage after beating Nigeria’s Aruna Akinade and A seun 3-1.advertisementAnother Indian pair of Amalraj and Roy, however, could not cross the quarterfinal hurdle and went down 0-3 to Singaporean duo of Gao and Zi Yang at the Yamuna Sports Complex.India’s challenge in women’s singles and mixed doubles categories have already ended.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Prabhu Chawla, Editor, Languages, India Today, writes on CWG

first_imgConnect with the Editor Thanks God, it’s over. And thank God it went off without a glitch, or nearly. Remember, as late as three weeks ago, the doomsayers were attaching too many firsts to the first-ever Commonwealth Games in India, including that it would be first-ever Games to be called off.  Top athletes pulled out in droves. Even a month before the opening, the stadia and the village were far from ready and a footbridge collapse with just a week left was seen as a signal of the fate that awaited the Games. The Australians, in particular, moaned about everything from dengue fever to impending terror attacks to dirty toilets to hatch a conspiracy for a last-minute shifting of the Games to Down Under. But Jugadu Indians have done it.The Games ended as wonderfully as they began with a closing ceremony that showcased the best of India. Nobody, except perhaps Mr. Kalmadi, is as yet claiming that it was better than Beijing. But ordinary Indians who feared that the Games will shame us all are now proud, not just because the stadiums and the villages were ready and but also because more than a 100 Indians are sporting winners medals around their necks. Hard work and training has given us athletes who were competing and winning instead of just taking part. Most of them earned their medals not because of the state but despite it.Nothing is ever perfect, particularly in this country, but Delhi 2010 was as close as we could get. The jostling for credit began even before the Games ended and Delhi’s LG was first off the block, shooting off a letter to the Prime Minister to protest Sheila Dikshit’s attempts to hog all the credit. More will follow. The Games have ended, the fun is about to begin.last_img read more

Ind vs Eng: Zaheer being ruled out a big blow, says Ganguly

first_imgThe ruling out of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan from the remaining two Tests against England due to injury is a huge blow but India can still bounce back and the draw the series, feels former captain Sourav Ganguly.Ganguly said he expects the other Indian bowlers to stand up and help India draw the four-match Test series 2-2. England had taken a 2-0 lead in the series after winning at Lord’s and Trent Bridge. The third (August 10-14) and fourth (August 18-22) Tests will be played at Edgbaston and the Oval.”Of course, Zaheer ruling out is a huge blow. He will need surgery and will be out of action for a few months. But at the same time it’s the big opportunity for the other players to make a mark in his absence,” Ganguly told reporters here.”Two Test matches are yet to be played and I expect India to bounce back and draw the series 2-2. It is a big challenge for the team which now will not have the services of Zaheer.But they still can do it,” said Ganguly at a function here.Zaheer was on Sunday ruled out of remainder of the tour after failing to recover from a hamstring strain and an ankle injury. He will need at least 14-16 weeks to recover. He had walked off the pitch following a hamstring strain after bowling 13.3 overs on the opening day of the first cricket Test at Lord’s on July 21.Ganguly patted Indian team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for recalling England batsman Ian Bell who had been run out in bizarre circumstances in the second Test at Trent Bridge. “Dhoni is a good captain and a good human being as well,” Ganguly said.advertisementThe limited overs series starts on August 31 with the one off Twenty20 International match.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Haryana’s Olympic greetings

first_imgHaryana, which brought laurels to the country during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has launched a campaign to motivate and cheer the Indian contingent to the London Olympics. The campaign, named Bol India (Best of Luck India) is set to go on until July 27.The campaign is part of the state’s efforts to promote sports. It will feature two road shows touring every district of Haryana, exhibitions at district sports complexes and an SMS component allowing people to wish good luck to their favourite Olympic athletes.Haryana has only two per cent of the country’s population, but the state’s representation in the Olympics is an impressive 21 per cent. Bol India will also promote sports in Haryana and encourage students to take up physical activities.last_img

New Year eve bash for Pakistan in Chennai

first_imgThe original itinerary of Pakistani team’s visit to India in December-January was changed apparently to have the visitors enjoy the New Year’s eve in Chennai, instead of Delhi. A function would most probably be organised for the two teams on December 31.The change in the itinerary was effected on the behest of N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI), who is based in Chennai, and he wanted to host the two teams in his city, according to sources.According to the original itinerary, the Pakistani team was supposed to play the first One-day International in Delhi and also enjoy the New Years eve here.This is the first time the Pakistani team will be touring India in five years, though they will play only ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals. On their previous visit in late 2007, Pakistan had played a three- Test series and five ODIs The BCCI had initially informed the Delhi and District Cricket Association ( DDCA) that Delhi would host the first ODI, after Bangalore and Ahmedabad had hosted the Twenty20 Internationals.The two T20 Internationals and three ODIs were to be played between Dec 24 and Jan 6. Now, theyll be played between Dec 25 and Jan 6, with the venues being inter- changed,?? the source told M AIL T ODAY . Then, at a DDCA executive committee meeting, our president Arun Jaitley told the gathering that the Ferozeshah Kotla would now host the third ODI on December 30. He also dropped enough hints that there would be a special New Year function for the Pakistani and Indian teams in Chennai,?? he said.After the day match in Delhi, the teams would fly off to Chennai on December 31 and would enjoy the New Years eve. On January 1 and 2, they would have practice sessions and play the fourth ODI on January 3 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. They would finish off their short tour with an ODI in Kolkata on January 6 and leave for Pakistan the next day.Meanwhile, it is learnt that Delhi, Mohali, Kanpur, and Chennai, will host the four Tests against Australian between February 22 and March 26, after the five- match ODI series against England.The first five- day Test will be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla from February 22. The second match starts on March 2 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, and the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur will host the third Test from March 14. The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will stage the fourth and final Test from March 22.And just a week after the Australia series, the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League will start, thus providing no respite to Indian players. The 54- day long tournament will start on April 3 and the final will be played on May 26.advertisementlast_img read more

Nightclubs: Addas of fun and food, music and art

first_img“Where do they go, the lovelies, where do they go? ” Once upon a time, they began their evenings at single-cuisine restaurants, moved on to strobe flashes and claustrophobic bars of discotheques in megastar hotels, and wrapped up at dawn in sleepy hotel coffee shops. Not anymore. Now, if you,”Where do they go, the lovelies, where do they go? ” Once upon a time, they began their evenings at single-cuisine restaurants, moved on to strobe flashes and claustrophobic bars of discotheques in megastar hotels, and wrapped up at dawn in sleepy hotel coffee shops. Not anymore.Now, if you wish to karaoke or have your own birthday rock show at a night spot, listen to Dom Moraes spout poetry at a lounge or feast on an art exhibition at a restaurant, you actually can. A range of neoteric hotspots combining a rash of activities has taken over the one-dimensional disco domain: stand-alone, niche restaurants with bars and lounges like Mumbai’s Indigo and Athena, quaint joints like Chennai’s Korea House and Akasaka, spacious cafes like Delhi’s Turtle and Fab, theme pubs like Bangalore’s Urban Edge and Sparks, even sports bars like Kolkata’s Winning Streak.Gayatri Kachru Aspiring actress and studentIt’s Latino night at Twisters, a two-month-old south Delhi pub, and salsa lessons are on. The buzz is palpable; standing room, only just. And if you are wondering about the yellow ceiling, blue walls and traditional paintings, you can go and down another drink.Here, you can afford to, unlike at the five-star hotels. At Rs 350 for a beer, it’s much easier on the purse than the Rs 550 at star bars. Traditionally, five stars have always been identified with prices that tax the wallet: Oberoi Mumbai’s Frangipani is 20-25 per cent more expensive than south Asian wok speciality restaurant, Sidewok.Luxury hotels blame it on tax. The tax on food in hotels is 33 per cent while in independent restaurants it’s only 15.3 per cent; the tax on alcohol is 36-37 per cent against 23 per cent in restaurants. “We are popular because we offer five-star facilities at cheaper prices,” says Twisters’ S.S. Gill. Leaning back in a leather chair, NRI engineer Navesh Khandelwal voices the preferred partying flavour of the 20 and 30-somethings who have outgrown head-banging: “It’s more chilled here, more relaxed.”advertisementMumbai: music and art find new breeding grounds with karaokeChilled translates into happening, as in organising innovative events, and the megapolises are competing with a vengeance. The usp for the multicuisine restaurant Stop At Sam’s is “Chennai’s most surprising restaurant”. It is. There are talk sessions and workshops with city celebrities, and walls often double up as art gallery. Says Gunit Singla who owns the RA Puram cafe with husband Samir: “Last year, we held 14 special nights, including a Friday the 13th spooky night, and a Thanksgiving night with tandoori turkey on the menu.” Another new Chennai joint, Artz, has jumped onto the art bandwagon and welcomes amateur and professional artists to display their works. Mumbai’s Olive Bar & Kitchen took to the event trend when it opened its Mediterranean doors nearly a year ago. “We are trying to push the boundaries of who we are, moving beyond being restaurants to becoming neighbourhood addas,” says A.D. Singh, one of the five owners of this restaurant-cum-bar. Music and art are among the creative founts that spout fun at The Art Club vents organised by Art Works with support from Olive. This, when blindfolded restaurant regulars aren’t soiling their hands at pottery dos. Preity Zinta and Hrithik Roshan, who live in the neighbourhood, are known to drop by occasionally, though they haven’t taken up painting. Yet.Mumbai: poetry reading at Athena and wine appreciation at OliveBut does this brouhaha translate into better sales? Not directly, explains Singh. “Most of our events are during off hours, during afternoons or early evenings. We hope these cultural events will help cultivate long-term customers.” So wine appreciation workshops and poetry readings do a good job of keeping the culturally inclined entertained at Chateau Indage’s Athena, another new destination in south Mumbai. Managed by Moshe Shek and Vikrant Chougule, Athena isn’t about the gentle buzz of a restaurant, the vibrancy of a bar or the serenity of a lounge. It’s all three coming together in10.000sqft.Delhi’s DV8 pub – the legendary Cellars redone – with its old-fashioned interiors hosts fashion shows, media nights, live music – retro, jazz – and even Formula 2 race days. Plush leather chairs, bookcases with yellowing books, subtle lighting all add up to cosy comfort. At Fab Cafe, also in Delhi, theme nights like the Roopa Gulati show, book readings and jazz nights are standard fare. “The concept of ‘cool’ is changing. We fit into the new concept,” says Manager Ruchi Tandon. The new concept? “Calm, stimulating atmosphere”, rather than the “rock till you drop” partying ‘n’ boozing earlier.Vidhi Bhartia, Kate Bharucha Students”The number of people at discos has definitely dropped in the past few years,” says Rajiv Joshi, marketing manager, Razz berry Rhinoceros, one of Mumbai’s oldest suburban discos best known for introducing the afternoon disco concept. “One of the main Reasons for this is the many new forms of entertainment, besides new places like theme restaurants and lounge bars-cum-restaurants like Athena. The saving grace is teenagers who still love partying here.”The idea is that after dinner you don’t have to go hunting for a nightclub or pay high cover charges to sup on music and ambience. So Mumbai restaurants like the Sidewok and European Asian Indigo are fashioning themselves as “party destinations” and providing “lifestyle experiences”, not simply being places to eat out. Indigo, with a tea-garden bungalow feel, has candle-lit lounges, a bar and an eating space spread over two floors. Athena’s strategy is to lure sports and filmstars, besides socialites and industrialists, the staple fare at any popular Mumbai nightspot. Its club fees seems to have been fixed with the caviar circuit in mind. At Rs 65,000 per annum for the most exclusive membership, it might seem steep, but the 50 memberships on offer sold out even before the official opening, claims the management. Members paid for conveniences difficult to come by: guaranteed bookings, free entry for guests and access to exclusive lounges.advertisementCuisinista Rashmi Uday Singh views this nocturnal shift from dingy discos to more eclectic options as the beginning of a new trend. The success of these modern rendezvous owes itself to the insatiable “new Indian who wants Manhattan, Paris and London experiences in his own land”. Higher disposable incomes, exposure to TV, the Internet and increased travelling have created this new genre of Indian-born international desis.In fact, restaurateurs like the Mumbai-based Doshi family have even sought inspiration from the joints they visit during foreign sojourns. And after their New York eatery shut down, an Indian equivalent was dreamt of. Now, there are three. Karma, a casual Italian eating place and watering hole, opened three months ago. Above it is Bellisima, a fine dining restaurant with new world cuisine. Next to it is the Polynesian flavoured Liquid Lounge with a 30-ft bar serving cocktails, and a live band playing four to five times a week.This burgeoning of modernistic hangouts like lounge bars, restau-rant-cum-bars, coffee joints, karaoke nightspots, bowling alleys-cum-bars, event-centric pubs and offbeat cafes has completely altered the nightlife profile in cities. Take Delhi. Once thought to be dull and dorky, it is fast metamorphosing into a city of pubs, corner cafes and restobars. Panache replaces Punj, and five-star discos are becoming passe, while the existing hangouts are reinventing in a bid to survive.Surprise is of essence at restaurants like Stop At Sams (top) which holds talk sessions, even as coffee bars like Qwikys hold live band performancesWhen Club Zeros in GK-II opened in 1999, it was an uninspiring restaurant serving Indian and Chinese food. In December 2000, it was redesigned into a restobar. Manager Ka-mal Sud claims it is the first such club in GK-II. “We had to redefine ourselves in the face of fresh competition,” he says. “We realised that people come in not just for food, but large helpings of fun too.” Further down the same block, Snob, a four-year-old restaurant, shed its penchant for grub to transform into a pub a year ago. Says Delhi student Priya: “The service might not compare with the best hotels but, hey, it’s different, it’s fun.”Despite bouncers at the entrance in most such pubs, there’s no entrance fee. We2 at GK-I, a pub with a central bar area and big glass panes, has a definite international touch. Goan musician Nelson Furta-don, his flowing moustache twitching, prefers playing at the new trendy places because he finds them livelier. “Hotels are for people like my parents,” he says. Variety is the bon mot. Buzz, a new restobar at Saket in Delhi, with a mul-ticuisine menu and a brimming cocktail list, is part of a gastronomic subculture spawned by the PVR cineplex that also includes a branch of Qwikys, McDonald’s, Pizza Express and Barista in the same compound.Harish SamthaniFormer rally driver and party animalBig-city nightlife seems to have reached the second stage of evolution. This stage is spelt out succinctly by Nikhil Chaturvedi, managing director, Provogue: it is the plane at which the ultimate party dream progresses from shouting above the din of a cramped disco to a craving to hear and be heard in a more innovative partyscape. So, moving from the regular disco option of Gatsby at Park Sheraton in Chen-nai, you have beach discos like teenage haunt EC41 on the East Coast Road, mushrooming on the road to Maha-balipuram and flying in DJs from Delhi, Mumbai, even Goa.”Music is one thing,” says Harish Samthani, socialite and a theme-party organiser, “but more than that it’s the ambience … the open sky and beach which a closed disco cannot offer.” Add “beach” to “parties” and “discos” and you have the hottest Chennai partying trend. Throw in speciality restaurants like the Thai Benjurong, Japanese and Korean joints, discos like the two-year-old Hell Freezes Over – which has about 300 visitors every night and is the first night club in Chennai to introduce an all-woman disco – coffee bars like Qwiky’s that have live bands performing on weekends, and you have the new Chennai outing scene.Chennai party animals, however, claim the city could raise its cool quotient further were it not for stringent liquor laws. Neigbouring Bangalore too nurses this grievance. Bars and pubs here are supposed to close by 11 p.m. but it hasn’t stopped India’s Silicon Valley from being a pub-crawler’s haven: there are 125 pubs and 1,353 bars and restaurants here. The city’s latest attraction is 180 Proof. Once a Gothic confection of high ceiling, arches and tiled roof, it is now a five-level pub with a DJ and Thai dinner. Its old-world charm combines a hi-tech flavour symbolic of the neoteric spirit – laidback ease and 21st century modernism.Six years ago in Kolkata, nightlife meant private parties or a choice of three discos – Incognito, Someplace Else and the Anticlock, all in hotels – but the discos now are wisening up to change. Winning Streak, the city’s first sports bar, is Anticlock in a new avatar.A bar-cum-hangout joint for the 30-35-year-old set, it has sports memorabilia as decor, a mini putting z one, a video arcade and plans for mini basketball and football courts. “Business was stagnating at the Anticlock,” admits proprietor Bunty Sethi. “You need a whole new set of changes if you want to bring in a new crowd.” The managers at The Park Hotel agree. Its two-year-old disco Tantra has introduced global flavors – quieter cigar and malt bars within discos.advertisementVikram Bawa, Maushumi UdeshiPhotographer/ModelThe new options aren’t just for Page 3 socialites; the world cuisine fad and oodles of “we are more than just about food” attitude is seeping into smaller restaurants too. Rewind, a small eatery in Mumbai, is jazzed up often with live music performances. Starters & More that started out as a restaurant is now set to bring in live music, karaoke on two nights, telecast of Formula 1 racing on a big screen, live performances by Sony Music artists and even panja (fist) fights.Notwithstanding the newfangled party temples and their drumbeating about being different, there are people like Prakash Khubchandani of Popcorn Entertainment, Mumbai, who says, “Everyone likes change, but these are passing fads.”Achala Sachdev, choreographer, thinks Indian nightlife could do with further evolution. “It is true we have gone beyond pubs and dingy discos,” she says, “but the third stage has not been reached where you have speciality bars like reggae or jazz bars abroad or stand-up comedy acts at both restaurants and bars.”Bangalore: A pub-crawler’s haven, the Silicon city’s joints are veering towards variety by holding fashion shows at pubs like the Urban EdgeFood critics and entertainment industry experts, meanwhile, believe that the staying power of such joints will not depend on the “fluff” – snazzy events or Page 3 appearances – but the quality of food and beverages, and consistent output.Another development that could heat up competition among the new watering holes is the five-star hotels restaurants and lounges waking up to the poaching of their clientele. So they are focusing on innovation in services, cuisine and dcor.The President, Mumbai, has recently opened Kaleidoscope restaurant, that promises to be easy on the pocket and offers comfort food, even as five-star discos are becoming more spacious or reinventing completely. After 23 years, Delhi’s oldest surviving cult discotheque, Ghungroo at the Maurya Sheraton, has decided to close down. “The new Ghungroo,” according to Sheraton General Manager Gautam Anand, “will be spacious and versatile, literally and metaphorically, and ready by December 2001.” It will be open for lunch, dinner and snacks, not just evening events.”And the lovelies, he knows, will come.”- with Supriya Bezbaruah, Methil Renuka, Anshul Avijit, Arun Ram, Kavitha Muralidharan, Stephen David and Labonita Ghoshlast_img read more

Chiragh Kumar starts BILT Open golf title defence on home course

first_imgChiragh Kumar will start his title defence at the Rs 1 crore BILT Open golf, starting on his home course, the Delhi Golf Club, on Wednesday.The tournament will also have the likes of Jyoti Randhawa, an eight-time winner on the Asian Tour, stalwarts Mukesh Kumar and Ashok Kumar, as well as Harendra P Gupta, Rashid Khan and Shamim Khan, the top three players on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), in a field of 125 players.Chiragh has a special connection with the DGC as other than being his home course, it’s the venue where he won the Rs 1crore LG Masters event in 2010 and shot into limelight after finishing second at the Asian Tour’s Indian Open last year.He clinched the BILT title last year at the Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida, but wants to cash in on the home advantage this time.”It’s my home course and I want to make the most of it. But at the same time, I don’t want to be complacent because it’s such a tough course that even a single error can cost you the title. My aim will be to remain error-free in order to finish on a high,” he said at the launch of the tournament here on Tuesday.”It’s good to be a defending champion in any tournament but it is not putting any pressure on me. I want to play good game and finish on a high,” he said.Also in the field is Sri Lankan Mithun Parera, who won the first PGTI tournament in Sri Lanka – the Standard Chartered Open in August. As one with experience of playing in India since his amateur days, Parera is known for his accurate hitting off the tee, which is useful due to the tight fairways at the DGC.”The course suits my style as I hit straight. I find fairways more often than on the other courses. If I play to potential, I could be in the mix in the money rounds,” said Parera, who was tied 15th at the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open at the DGC in March-April.About the course conditions, Chiragh says, “It is playing well. The speed of the greens is good which could make scoring easier.”But Parera added that wind could be a factor.”I played a practice round today and there is a lot of wind on the course. If it stays during the tournament, it could be the deciding factor. I am guessing anyone who scores 10-under will take the trophy,” he said.Meanwhile, Yogesh Aggarwal, MD and CEO of BILT group, said that the company has renewed its contract with the PGTI to run the tournament for three years.”We are renewing our contract with the PGTI for the tournament for three more years (2013-2015). However, there will be no increase in prize money in those years,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more

Toe injury costs Sachin Tendulkar a Test series in 12 years

first_imgNAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out,NAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out of the three-Test series against Sri Lanka. Injuries to athletes are part of their job profile but every time Tendulkar winces, it would seem all of India feels the pain.As the team began its first Test tour in 12 years without the 28-year-old Mumbai batsman, he appeared on television asking for all Indians to “pray” for him, little knowing that cricket-crazy citizens are already halfway through their Hail Marys.It has been a worrying few weeks for Tendulkar and his doctor Anant Joshi, with the clamour for information growing: what exactly is the injury, how long will it take to heal, will he be the same player again? “Sachin is just another human being. Your fracture and mine take six weeks to heal. So will his,” Joshi wearily says.But Tendulkar’s injury is not any routine fracture, not only because it has affected the cricketer. The problem began on July 4, during the last league match of the triseries in Zimbabwe. When Tendulkar struck the ball and set off for a run, he heard a “click” in his right toe and felt a pain. It was forgotten quickly and he scored an unbeaten 122, leading India to a six-wicket victory.Later that day Tendulkar had the foot X-rayed, but the results showed nothing. He was then cleared to play the final, which India lost. On his return to Mumbai, when the pain persisted, Tendulkar went to sports medicine specialist Joshi. On July 17, Joshi took the player for an isotope bone scan of his foot at Hinduja Hospital. The scan detects fractured bones by showing them as “hot spots”.Tendulkar’s bone scan lit up an area the size of a 25 paise coin on his toe – and a CT scan of the foot revealed a horizontal crack in the medial sesamoid bone, a tiny structure around the size of the nail of the little finger. The bone, embedded inside the muscle tendons at the base of the great toe, acts like a lever arm for the tendons to flex the toe.The fracture took place when Tendulkar heard the “click” – the sound, most likely, was the tiny bone snapping. Tendulkar himself suspects there could have been more pressure on the area due to the spike-studded sole of his custom-made Adidas shoes.advertisementOne of the seven spikes in the shoe is located directly below the sesamoid bone of the great toe. The pressure from the take-off for the run, which experts reckon puts between three to five times the body weight on one foot, could have been centered on the tiny bone and fractured it.The sesamoid bones, strictly speaking, are not even bones. Made up of thick cartilaginous tissue, sesamoid bones are mostly found in the lower limbs and are not included among the 206 bones of the human body. Injuries to these bones are rare and given only a passing mention in medical tomes – even the best podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons come across only four or five cases.Injuries usually occur after an activity where tremendous pressure is placed on the feet and toes –  ballet dancers and athletes like high jumpers and basketballers are more prone. What has puzzled many people is the time taken between the first sign of trouble and the first scan – nearly two weeks. Says Dr P.S.M. Chandran, director of sports medicine, Sports Authority of India: “A negative X-ray is not an indication that all is well. You shouldn’t leave anything to chance with a top-class sportsman.”Click here to EnlargeTendulkar’s doctors, suspecting sesamoiditis (the inflammation of the sesamoid), decided to give the injury three more weeks to heal before delivering a verdict. The hope was that the foot would have healed enough to give Tendulkar the chance to play the Test series. “I don’t mind missing the one-dayers, but please ensure I can make it for the Test series,” he told Dr B.A. Krishna, chief of nuclear medicine at Hinduja Hospital.The second round of scans, however, showed an inflammation around the affected area with little sign of healing. Moreover, Tendulkar winced in pain when Joshi probed the area near the toe. The verdict was out.”Sachin could have played the Test series only at the risk of further injury. And even then he wouldn’t have been able to give a hundred per cent,” says Joshi. For India’s most prolific run-getter in both forms of the game, the injury now means completely resting the toe for between six to eight weeks, to allow the bone to heal completely. “He won’t be playing cricket at least until the end of September,” says Joshi. Surgery, the final option, isn’t being thought of just yet.Tendulkar now has to wear cushioned sandals and can walk and drive his Mercedes without pain. Experts in the US are being consulted for designing rigid-soled orthotic footwear. All his footwear – from sneakers to ordinary slippers – will be retrofitted with these devices, most of them fitted internally to lift the injured area off the floor.advertisementHe will have to wear this special footwear for at least six months after he resumes playing. Joshi has also devised an an “active rest” exercise regimen, for every part of his body, excluding the lower limbs. “Sportsmen like him cannot afford to rest completely for so long,” Joshi says. The good news, he says, is that once the fracture heals, chances of a recurrence are slim.In recent weeks, Tendulkar was surrounded by plenty of conspiracy theories about a difficult relationship with current captain Sourav Ganguly and his wish to regain the captaincy. They have all been driven underground and rendered unimportant for the time being as the only current cricketer in Sir Donald Bradman’s all-time World XI begins his fight for fitness and the chance to return to the field to do what he did best: go out and bat for India.last_img read more