Posts Under Tag: Great Sportsmen

Read Biography of Vijay Hazare

Vijay Hazare

Read Biography of Vijay Hazare Vijay Samuel Hazare was born on 11 March 1915 in Sangli, India & died on 18 December 2004 in Baroda, India, was an Indian cricket player from the state of Maharashtra. He captained the Indian cricket team in 14 matches between 1951 and 1953. In India’s 25th Test match, nearly 20 years after India achieved Test status, he led India to her first ever Test win in 1951-52 against England at Madras, winning by an innings and eight runs in a match that began on the day that King George VI died.

Hazare was born in a working-class Marathi Christian Protestant family in Sangli, Maharashtra in 1915, one of eight children of a schoolteacher.

He studied at the Presbyterian Mission Industrial School in Sangli. His mother taught him at a young age to trust and pray to Jesus. His simple faith and daily reliance on Jesus prepared him to spiritually and psychologically to give credit for all the success to Jesus.

Hazare says, “I will never forget my humble beginning and my faith.” At one point, it seemed his faith was an obstacle to his career. He relates an instance when he was invited to play for the Hindu Gymkhana. The invitation was a very prestigious honor. Anyone who played for the Hindu Gymkhana was sure to be invited to the Indian team. Vijay turned down the offer saying, “I am a Christian.’ (In those days, only Hindus were allowed to play on the team). Vijay’s stand was vindicated when Mr. De Mello, the President of the Cricket Control Board decided that the talented persons from other communities should also be given a chance. His decision led to the founding of the Catholic Gymkhana Cricket Team.

Primarily a right-hand batsman, Hazare was also a right-hand medium-pace bowler. A “shy, retiring” man (according to Wisden in 1952), it was widely thought that he was not a natural captain, and that his batting suffered as a result. His rival, Vijay Merchant said that the captaincy prevented Hazare from becoming India’s finest batsman: “It was one of the tragedies of cricket.”

Even so, Hazare’s Test record is very respectable: he amassed 2,192 runs in 30 Test matches with a batting average of 47.65. His first-class record is even more impressive, with a batting average of 58.38 for his 18,740 runs (highest first-class aggregate for an Indian player after Sunil Gavaskar , Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid). He scored 60 first-class centuries (including 7 in Tests), the third highest for an Indian player (behind Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar), and 10 first-class double centuries (including six during World War II, when India was the only major cricket-playing country to continue holding its domestic first-class cricket competition without interruption).

His bowling record was more modest, and he took 595 first-class wickets (including 20 in Tests, and Donald Bradman’s wicket three times) at an bowling average of 24.61. On the Indian domestic circuit, Hazare played for the Maharashtra, Central India and Baroda teams.

In retirement, he was for a short while an Indian Test cricket selector. He has been honoured with a trophy in his name, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, a zonal-cricket tournament in India. He died in December 2004 following prolonged illness caused by intestinal cancer.

He and Jasu Patel were the first cricketers to be honoured with the Padma Shri.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 10, 2015

Read Biography of Narain Karthikeyan

Narain Karthikeyan

Read Biography of Narain Karthikeyan Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan was born on 14 January 1977, Coimbatore, India, is the first Formula One motor racing driver from India. He has previously competed in Formula One, A1GP, and the Le Mans Series. He made his Formula One debut in 2005 with the Jordan team, and was a WilliamsF1 test driver in 2006 and 2007.

Like several other former F1 drivers, Karthikeyan moved to stock car racing and drove the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Company Toyota Tundra for Wyler Racing in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In January 2011, however, he announced that he has signed to drive for the Hispania Racing team in the 2011 Formula One season.

Karthikeyan was born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Karthikeyan did his schooling at Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore. Karthikeyan’s interest in motorsport began at an early age, as his father was a former Indian national rally champion winning South India Rally no less than seven times. He is also related to the late S. Karivardhan, India’s most famous racing driver until Karthikeyan came along. With the ambition of becoming India’s first Formula One driver, Karthikeyan finished on the podium in his first ever race, at Sriperumpudur in a Formula Maruti (a.k.a.FISSME). He then went onto the Elf Winfield Racing School in France, showing his talent by becoming a semi-finalist in the Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault cars in 1992. He returned to India to race in Formula Maruti for the 1993 season, and in the same year, he also competed in the Formula Vauxhall Junior championship in Great Britain. This gave him valuable experience in European racing, and he was keen to return for the following year.

In 1994, he returned to the UK, racing in the Formula Ford Zetec series as the number two works Vector driver for the Foundation Racing team. The highlight of the season was a podium finish in a support race for the Portuguese Grand Prix held at Estoril. Karthikeyan also took part in the British Formula Ford Winter Series, and became the first Indian to win any championship in Europe.

In 1995, Karthikeyan graduated to the Formula Asia Championship for just four races. However, he showed pace immediately and was able to finish second in the race at Shah Alam, Malaysia. In 1996, he had a full season in the series and became the first Indian and the first Asian to win the Formula Asia International series. He moved back to Britain in 1997 to compete in the British Formula Opel Championship, taking a pole position and win at Donington Park and finishing sixth in the overall points standings.

On 1 February 2005, Karthikeyan announced that he had signed the preliminary deal with Jordan Formula One team and said that he would be their main driver for the 2005 Formula One season, thus making him India’s first Formula One racing driver. His partner was the Portuguese driver, Tiago Monteiro. Karthikeyan completed the necessary testing distance of 300 km in an F1 car in order to gain his superlicence at the Silverstone Circuit on February 10.

Karthikeyan made his NASCAR debut at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2010 driving in the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series for Wyler Racing in the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Company Chevrolet Silverado. Qualifying was rained out and the field set by 2009 owner points, putting the first Indian-born driver to compete in NASCAR in the 11th starting spot. After a slow start and coming to grips with driving a race truck and racing on an American oval short track for the first time, Karthikeyan did manage to put in a very respectable effort and finished on the lead lap in 13th place. Karthikeyan went on to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award for the 2010 season which was voted by the fans.

Tags: , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: January 13, 2015

Read Biography of Apoorva Sengupta

Apoorva Sengupta

Read Biography of Apoorva Sengupta Apoorva Kumar Sengupta was born on August 3, 1938, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, is a former Indian cricketer who played in one Test in 1959.made his first class debut earlier in that season against West Indies. Playing for Services, he scored 32 & 100 notout. Two months later he took 6 for 32 against Delhi on his first appearance in the Ranji Trophy. These two performances had led to the selection for the Test match. He continued to play first class cricket for ten years. His only other hundred was a 146* scored against Bombay in the 1959-60 semifinal.

He served as an officer in the Indian army. He had the honor to rise to the rank of Lt. General (3 star) in the Indian Army, during his career. He was also selected to serve as the defense attache for USA and Canada, based out of Washington DC. He retired from the Indian army, and lives with his wife Meena Sengupta in New Delhi. He has two children Amitabh and Surojit Sengupta.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: August 2, 2014

Read Biography of Arun Lal

Arun Lal

Read Biography of Arun Lal Jagdishlal Arun Lal was born on 1 August 1955 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, is a retired Indian cricketer, and a cricket commentator.

Arun Lal played for India between 1982 and 1989. He was a right-handed batsman. He struggled at the international level with a relatively poor Test batting average of 26.03. His ODI average was even poorer at 9.36. At Indian domestic level he represented Bengal and Delhi and has a record of scoring over 10,000 runs with a top score of 287 and a batting average of 46.94. He resigned from domestic cricket in March, 2001. His last club match was in an East Bengal jersey.

He represented Bengal in the iconic Doordarshan national integration song, “Mile Sur Mera Tumara”. In that he comes out of the Kolkata metro rail.

He usually does commentary for matches India play at home, broadcasted by Neo Sports.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 31, 2014

Read Biography of Mohammad Nissar

Mohammad Nissar

Read Biography of Mohammad Nissar Shaikh Mohammad Nissar was born on 1 August 1910 in Hoshiarpur, Punjab & died on 11 March 1963 in Lahore, was a cricketer, who played as a fast bowler for the pre-partition Indian cricket team and domestic teams in India and Pakistan. He was considered the fastest pre-partition Indian pace bowler. He was arguably one of the fastest bowlers in the world during his time.

Indian batsman C.K. Nayudu claimed in writings that during his first spell, Nissar was faster than Englishman Harold Larwood, who terrorized Australia in 1932 in the infamous Bodyline series.

Nissar along with Amar Singh formed an Indian fast bowling duo that was considered one of the best in the world during the 1930s.

Outside of cricket he was a tribal leader of a large Pushtun tribe and also a pro-Pakistan leader. His memoirs are being compiled and include letters from Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and Gandhi. He was one of the founders of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and considered to be the first Pakistani cricketer.

He migrated to Pakistan in 1947 and died in Lahore in 1963.

Mohammed Nissar was drafted into the Indian team which toured England in 1932. He was a part of the side which contained players like CK Nayudu, the brothers Wazir Ali and Nazir Ali, and of course, his famous bowling partner, Amar Singh. Even today, Nissar’s main claim to fame was of being the first man to take a wicket for India, and for being the most fastest pre-war bowler India have produced. Nissar’s career kick-started right in his first match, as he, in the first ball of his second over, dismissed Herbert Sutcliffe for 3, knocking over Sutcliffe’s stumps. Then, with the fifth ball of the very same over, he bowled the other opener, Percy Holmes.

What made this fact extraordinary was that Holmes and Sutcliffe were involved in an opening stand of 555 for Yorkshire just ten days ago. In the course of his 26-over spell, Nissar scalped five wickets for 93 runs, as England were skittled for 259, a below-par score for a team that had looked much stronger on paper. In the second innings, Nissar bowled 18 overs and took a wicket, of Walter Robins, who was a victim of his in the first innings as well, for 42 runs. Overall, with a strike rate of 44, and with match figures of 6 for 135, Nissar gave a glimpse of other performances England should have watched out for when he played them.

That was to be the only test match for India that year, but there were many other first-class matches on the tour, where Nissar grabbed 71 wickets at an average of 18.09. In the winter of 1935, when Jack Ryder’s Australian XI toured India to play against Maharaja “Vizzy” Vizianagaram’s Indian team. He made a mark there too, grabbing 32 wickets in 4 unofficial tests and 12 in 3 tests.

Nissar’s last test was against England in August 1936, at The Oval, where he managed to take six wickets, including a five wicket haul, even though India lost the match.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 31, 2014

Read Biography of Wayne Parnell

Wayne Parnell

Read Biography of Wayne Parnell Wayne Waleed Parnell was born on 30 July 1989 in Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa, is a cricketer who plays Tests, One Day International and Twenty20 matches for South Africa. He accepted Islam in July 2011. At domestic level he plays for the Warriors having previously represented Eastern Province, he has also played county cricket for Kent. In 2010, Parnell was signed by the Delhi Daredevils for the 2010 Indian Premier League, in 2011 he joined the Pune Warriors.

On 20th July 2012, Wayne Parnell along with Rahul Sharma , players representing Pune Warriors India in the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League, both tested positive for recreational drugs, after being detained by the Mumbai police on May 20. The duo were detained following a police raid on a rave party in the upmarket Mumbai area of Juhu during IPL V.

Parnell made his first-class debut for Eastern Province in October 2006, at the age of seventeen, against South Western Districts scoring 17 and taking one wicket. In his second first-class match, he recorded figures of four for seven, and, in only his fifth first-class match, he took a hat-trick against Western Province: all three batsman were bowled.

At the start of the 2009 season Parnell was signed as an overseas player by Kent on a six week contract, serving as a replacement for Stuart Clark. On his county debut against Essex he took 4/78 in the first innings and top scored with 69 in the second, his maiden first-class fifty the innings contained 11 boundaries. Despite following on Kent won the match, with Parnell claiming three further wickets. In Kent’s next first-class match, against Glamorgan he bettered his maiden fifty with an innings of 90, again top scoring from number eight. Parnell left Kent to join up with South Africa ahead of the World Twenty20, but after the tournament he returned for a further five weeks. Opening the bowling in Kent’s successful defence of 149 runs against Durham in the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final, Parnell dismissed opening batsmen Phil Mustard for a golden duck from the first delivery of the Dynamos’ run chase and David Warner in the second over of his spell, also for a duck. Though returning to South Africa after his second spell ends, Parnell has been cleared by Cricket South Africa to return to Kent and feature for the Spitfires on finals day of the competition.

Parnell was selected as captain of the South Africa team for the 2008 U/19 Cricket World Cup having also played for the team in 2006 U/19 Cricket World Cup. He finished the 2008 tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 18 wickets at 8.38. In the quarter-final against Bangladesh he took six for eight as well as top-scoring with 57.

Parnell was selected in the ODI and T20 squads for South Africa’s tour of Australia in 2008–09, and made his international debut in the second Twenty20 International at Brisbane on 13 January 2009. He was expensive with the ball and put down a crucial catch, but it was later suggested that this was the result of a green laser light beamed into his eyes by a member of the crowd.

Parnell was included in South Africa’s squad for the third and final Test against Australia in Cape Town and although he wasn’t selected, he was again named for the Twenty20 and ODI series which followed. Sharing the new ball with Dale Steyn, he played a key role in South Africa’s seven-wicket win in the second ODI at Centurion by taking four for 25.

In May 2009 Parnell was selected in the South African squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in England. He had an excellent tournament, taking nine wickets at 13.22 with an economy rate of less than six. Against the hosts he took figures of 3/14, which included an opening spell of 2–0–2–1. In the following match against the West Indies he was named man-of-the-match after taking 4/13. His performances earned him a place in the World team of the tournament. Parnell won the golden ball for being the leading wicket taker in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 with 11 wickets.

Parnell matriculated from Grey High School, Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 2007. He is currently studying Human Resource Management at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (2009).

On 28 July 2011 Parnell announced that he has converted to Islam. He converted to Islam in January 2011, after a period of personal study. Parnell confirmed that his team-mates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir along with team manager Mohammad Moosajee had no influence over his decision to convert to Islam.

Wayne Parnell has been tested positive for drugs at a high profile Juhu rave party in Mumbai.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 29, 2014

Read Biography of Roger Binny

Roger Binny

Read Biography of Roger Binny Roger Michael Humphrey Binny was born on 19 July 1955 in Bangalore, Karnataka, is an Indian former cricket all-rounder who is best known for his impressive bowling performance in the 1983 Cricket World Cup where he was the highest wicket-taker (18 wickets), and in the 1985 World Series Cricket Championship in Australia where he repeated this feat (17 wickets).

Binny started his international career on his home ground, the KSCA Stadium in Bangalore in the first Test of the 1979 home series against Pakistan. Against bowlers of the calibre of Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz, he performed creditably in his debut match scoring 46 runs. Viewers still remember the six he scored off an Imran Khan bouncer in the 5th Test of that series. He was a useful swing bowler and one of the better fielders in the Indian team of that time.

Somehow his Test career floundered, but he came into his own in the next World Cup. The wickets suited his medium-pace, and in tandem with Madan Lal, and led by the inspirational Kapil Dev, he helped India win their first World Cup title.

He was the first Anglo-Indian to play cricket for India. His son Stuart is following in his footsteps and played state cricket for Karnataka. Roger Binny is currently serving as an Office Bearer at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). He appeared as the in-house cricket expert for national news channel – NewsX, during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

He had his schooling first at St Germain’s in Bangalore and then at St Joseph’s Indian High School where he broke the boys Indian national record for Javelin. He played football and hockey at school level. He grew up in Benson Town in Bangalore.

Happily married to his boyhood sweetheart Cynthia, who was his best friend’s sister, Binny has three children: Laura, Lisa and Stuart.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 18, 2014

Read Biography of Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar

Read Biography of Sunil Gavaskar Sunil Manohar “Sunny” Gavaskar was born on 10 July 1949 in Bombay, Bombay State, Dominion of India, is a former cricketer who played during the 1970s and 1980s for Bombay and India. Widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen in cricket history, Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005.

Gavaskar was widely admired for his technique against fast bowling, with a particularly high average of 65.45 against the West Indies, who possessed a four-pronged fast bowling attack regarded as the most vicious in Test history. His captaincy of the Indian team, however, was less successful. The team at one stage went 31 Test matches without a victory. There were incidents like crowd displeasure at Eden Gardens in Calcutta leading to multiple matches being disrupted, in response to the poor performance of the Indian team. Turbulent performances of the team led to multiple exchanges of captaincy between Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, with one of Gavaskar’s sackings coming just six months before Kapil led India to victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

In 2012 Gavaskar was awarded the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for Cricket in India.

Born to a Goud Saraswat Brahmin family in Bombay and growing up in the city, young Sunil was named India’s Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1966. He scored 246*, 222 and 85 in school cricket in his final year of secondary education, before striking a century against the touring London schoolboys. He made his first-class debut for Vazir Sultan Colts XI against an XI from Dungarpur, in 1966/67, but remained in Bombay’s Ranji Trophy squad for two further years without playing a match. An alumnus of Bombay’s renown St. Xavier’s College, he made his debut in the 1968/69 season against Karnataka, but made a duck and was the subject of derisive claims that his selection was due to the presence of his uncle Madhav Mantri, a former Indian Test wicketkeeper on Bombay’s selection committee. He responded with 114 against Rajasthan in his second match, and two further consecutive centuries saw him selected in the 1970/71 Indian team to tour the West Indies. He is the first batsman to score 10,000 runs.

A diminutive player, Gavaskar stood at 165 cm. After missing the first Test due to an infected fingernail, Gavaskar scored 61 and 67 not out in the second Test in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, hitting the winning runs which gave India its first ever win over the West Indies. He followed this with his first century, 116 and 64* in the third Test in Georgetown, Guyana, and 1 and 117* in the Fourth Test in Bridgetown, Barbados. He returned to Trinidad for the fifth Test and scored 124 and 220 to help India to its first ever series victory over the West Indies, and the only one until 2006. His performance in the Test made him the second player after Doug Walters to score a century and double century in the same match. He also became the first Indian to make four centuries in one Test series, the second Indian after Vijay Hazare to score two centuries in the same Test, and the third after Hazare and Polly Umrigar to score centuries in three consecutive innings. He was the first Indian to aggregate more than 700 runs in a series, and this 774 runs at 154.80 remains the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman. Trinidad Calypso singer Lord Relator (Willard Harris) wrote a song in Gavaskar’s honour.

Gavaskar’s arrival in England in 1971 for a three-Test series generated substantial publicity in light of his debut series. He was unable to maintain his performance, making only two half centuries. He was involved in controversy when taking a quick single from the bowling of John Snow. They collided and Gavaskar fell over. Snow was charged with deliberately barging into the Gavaskar and was suspended. Gavaskar’s 144 runs at the low average of 24, led some to question Gavaskar’s worthiness in international cricket.

In 1972–73, England toured India for a five-Test series, Gavaskar’s first on home soil. He was ineffective in the first three Tests, accumulating only sixty runs in five innings as India took a 2–1 lead. He scored some runs in the final two Tests which India drew to complete consecutive series wins over England. His first home series was largely disappointing, aggregating 224 runs at 24.89. His English critics were placated when India returned in 1974 and Gavaskar scored 101 and 58 in the First Test at Old Trafford. He managed 227 runs at 37.83 as India were whitewashed 3–0.

Gavaskar’s 1974–75 series against the West Indies was interrupted, playing in only the First and fifth and final Test of the series against the West Indies. He scored 108 runs at 27, with an 86 at Bombay the closest the Indian public got to seeing a century. The Test was the start of a world record streak of 106 Test appearances.

The 1975–76 season saw three and four Test tours of New Zealand and the West Indies respectively. Gavaskar led India in a Test for the first time in January 1976 against New Zealand during the First Test in Auckland when regular captain Bishen Bedi was suffering from a leg injury. Standing in despite having scored only 703 runs at 28.12 since his debut series, Gavaskar rewarded the selectors with 116 and 35*. As a result, India secured an eight wicket victory. He ended the series with 266 runs at 66.33. On the West Indian leg of the tour, Gavaskar scored consecutive centuries of 156 and 102 in the Second and Third Tests, both in Port of Spain, Trinidad. These were his third and fourth centuries at the grounds. In the Third Test, his 102 helped India post 4/406 to set a world record for the highest winning fourth innings score. The Indians’ mastery of the Caribbean spinners on a turning track reportedly led West Indian captain Clive Lloyd to vow that he would rely on pace alone in future Tests. Gavaskar totalled 390 runs at 55.71 for the series.

Gavaskar was not to score a century on home soil until November 1976. In an eight Test summer, three and five against New Zealand and England respectively, Gavaskar scored centuries in the first and last Tests of the season. The first was 119 in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium, helping India to a victory. Gavaskar scored another half century in the Second Test to end the series with 259 at 43.16. In the First Test against England at Delhi, he was mobbed upon becoming the first Indian to reach 1000 Test runs in a calendar year. A steady series saw him finish with 394 runs at 39.4 with a century coming in the Fifth Test and two half centuries.

In 1977–78 he toured Australia, scoring three consecutive Test centuries (113, 127, 118) in the second innings of the first three Tests at Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne respectively. India won the third but lost the earlier two. He finished the Five Test series with 450 runs at 50, failing twice as India lost the final Test and the series 3–2.

1978–79 saw India tour Pakistan for the first series between the arch rivals for 17 years. For the first time, Gavaskar faced Pakistani pace spearhead Imran Khan, who described him as “The most compact batsman I’ve bowled to.” Gavaskar scored 89 in the First Test and 97 in the Second, which India drew and lost respectively. Gavaskar saved his best for the Third Test in Karachi, scoring 111 and 137 in the Third, but was unable to prevent a defeat and series loss. His twin centuries made him the first Indian to score two centuries in one Test on two occasions, and saw him pass Umrigar as India’s leading Test run-scorer. Gavaskar had finished the series with 447 runs at 89.40.

Gavaskar was captain of the Indian team on several occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s, although his record is less than impressive. Often equipped with unpenetrative bowling attacks he tended to use conservative tactics which resulted in a large number of draws. During his tenure Kapil Dev emerged as a leading pace bowler for the country. He captained India to nine victories and eight losses, but most of the games were drawn, 30.

His first series in charge was a West Indian visit to India for a six Test series. Gavaskar’s several large centuries contrasted with several failures. His 205 in the First Test made him the first Indian to score a double century in India against the West Indies. He added a further 73 in the second innings of a high scoring draw. After failing to score in the Second Test, he scored 107 and 182 not out in the Third Test at Calcutta, another high scoring draw. This made him the first player in Test history to achieve centuries in both innings of a Test three times. He managed only 4 and 1 in the Fourth Test in Madras as India forced the only win of the series. He posted a fourth century for the series, scoring 120 in the Fifth Test at Delhi, becoming the first Indian to pass 4000 Test runs. He aggregated 732 runs at 91.50 for the series, securing India a 1–0 win in his first series as captain.

Despite this, he was stripped of the captaincy when India toured England in 1979 for a four Test tour. The official reason given was that Srinivas Venkataraghavan was preferred due to his superior experience on English soil, but most observers believed that Gavaskar was punished because he was believed to be considering defecting to World Series Cricket. He started consistently, scoring four half centuries in five innings of the first three Tests. It was in the Fourth Test at The Oval that he produced his finest innings on English soil. India were 1–0 down needed to reach a world record target of 438 to square the series. They reached 76/0 at stumps on the fourth day. Led by Gavaskar, India made steady progress to be 328/1 with 20 overs remaining on the final day with a record breaking victory still possible. An Ian Botham led fightback saw Gavaskar removed, with India still needing 49 runs from 46 balls. With three balls left in the match, all four results were possible. India ended nine runs short with two wickets in hand when stumps were drawn. According to Sanjay Manjrekar, it was “Vintage Gavaskar, playing swing bowling to perfection, taking his time initially and then opening up. Nothing in the air, everything copybook.” He ended the series with 542 runs at 77.42 and was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

Gavaskar was restored to the captaincy for the gruelling 1979–80 season, with six Test home series against both Australia and Pakistan. The first two Tests against Australia were high scoring draws where only 45 wickets fell, with India taking a first innings lead in both after making scores over 400. India broke through for a 153 run win in the Third Test at Kanpur, where Gavaskar scored 76. He made 115 in the Fourth Test in Delhi, where India were unable to convert a 212 run first innings lead, resulting in a draw. After another stalemate in the Fifth Test, Gavaskar scored 123 in the Sixth Test, where Australia collapsed by an innings after India posted their fourth first innings in excess of 400 for the series. The series against Pakistan was similarly high scoring, with four draws, three of which did not reach the fourth innings. India won the Third and Fifth Tests in Bombay and Madras. At Madras, he made 166 in the first innings and was unbeaten on 29 when India brought up the winning runs. Having secured the series 2–0, Gavaskar was removed from the captaincy for the drawn Sixth Test. This occurred because Gavaskar had refused to tour the West Indies for another series immediately afterwards, asking for a rest. As a result, Gundappa Viswanath was appointed so that he could prepare his leadership skills for the tour. In the end the tour did not go ahead as the West Indian board were not interested in a team without Gavaskar. The season ended with a one off Test against England in Bombay, which India lost. In the 13 Tests that season, he made 1027 runs at 51.35 with three centuries and four half centuries. This ended a 14-month span in which Gavaskar played in 22 Tests and the 1979 Cricket World Cup. In that time, he scored 2301 Test runs including eight centuries.

The 1980–81 season saw Gavaskar returned as captain for the Australasian tour, but it was to be the start of an unhappy reign for Gavaskar and India. He managed only 118 runs at 19.66 in the three Tests against Australia, but his impact in Australia was for a controversial incident. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, when Gavaskar was given out by the Australian umpire Rex Whitehead, he ordered his fellow opener Chetan Chauhan off the field. Instead of abandoning the match, the Indian manager, SK Durani persuaded Chauhan to return to the match which India went on to win by 59 runs as Australia collapsed to 83 in their second innings. India drew the series 1–1 but the following three Test series in New Zealand was to signal the start of a barren run of 19 Tests under Gavaskar of which India were to win only one and lose five. India lost to New Zealand 1–0, with Gavaskar managing 126 runs at 25.2. He finished the Oceania tour with 244 runs at 22.18, with only two half centuries, making little impact.

The 1981–82 Indian season saw a hard-fought 1–0 series win over England in six Tests. India took the First Test, before five consecutive draws resulted, four of which did not even reach the fourth innings. Gavaskar made 172 in the Second Test at Bangalore and reached a half century on three further occasions to compile 500 runs at 62.5. India reciprocated England’s visit in 1982 for a three Test series, which was lost 1–0. Gavaskar made 74 runs at 24.66 but was unable to bat in the Third Test.

The 1982–83 subcontinental season started well for Gavaskar on an individual note, as he made 155 in a one off Test against Sri Lanka in Madras. It was the first Test between the two nations, with Sri Lankan having only recently been awarded Test status. Despite this, India were unable to finish off their novice opponents, the draw heralding a start of a winless summer. India played in twelve Tests, losing five and drawing seven. The first series was a six Test tour to Pakistan. India started well enough, drawing the First Test in Lahore, with Gavaskar scoring 83. Pakistan then defeated India in three consecutive matches. In the Third Test in Faisalabad, Gavaskar managed an unbeaten 127 in the second innings to force Pakistan into a run chase, but the other two losses were substantial, both by an innings. Despite holding on for draws in the last two Tests, Gavaskar was replaced by Kapil Dev as captain after the 3–0 loss. Despite his team’s difficulties, Gavaskar remained productive with 434 runs at 47.18 with a century and three half centuries. Gavaskar went on to the West Indies for a five Test tour purely as a batsman, but could not reproduce the form that he had shown in the Caribbean in 1971 and 1976. He managed only 240 runs at 30, as India were crushed 2–0 by the world champions. Apart from an unbeaten 147 in the drawn Third Test in Georgetown, Guyana, his next best effort was 32.

The 1983–84 season started with a home series against Pakistan, with all three matches being drawn. Gavaskar scored an unbeaten 103 in the First Test in Bangalore, and made two further half centuries to total 264 runs at 66. This was followed by a six Test series against the touring West Indies at the height of their powers. The First Test was held in Kanpur and India were crushed by an innings. Gavaskar had his bat knocked out of his hand by a hostile delivery from Malcolm Marshall before being dismissed. In the Second Test in Delhi, Gavaskar delivered his riposte to Marshall, hooking him for a consecutive four and six to start his innings. Gavaskar, unwilling to be dictated to by the Caribbean pacemen, hooked the short pitched barrage relentlessly, reaching his half century in 37 balls. He then went on to score 121, his 29th Test century in 94 balls, equalling Don Bradman’s world record. He also passed 8000 Test runs in the innings, and was personally honoured by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India at the ground. The match was drawn. Gavaskar’s 90 in the Third Test at Ahmedabad saw him pass Geoff Boycott’s Test world record of 8114 career runs, but was insufficient to prevent another defeat. During the Fifth Test in the series, India were defeated by an innings at Calcutta to concede a 3–0 series lead. India had won only one of their 32 most recent Tests and none of their last 28. The Bengali crowd singled out the Marathi Gavaskar, who had made a golden duck and 20. Angry spectators pelted objects onto the playing arena and clashed with police, before stoning the team bus. In the Sixth Test in Madras, he compiled his 30th Test century, with an unbeaten 236 which was the highest Test score by an Indian. It was his 13th Test century and third double century against the West Indies. He had aggregated 505 at 50.50 for the series.

With India having failed to win for 29 successive Tests, Kapil was sacked as captain and Gavaskar resumed leadership at the start of the 1984–85 season. The two Test tour of Pakistan resulted in two further draws, with Gavaskar compiling 120 runs at 40. The First Test against England saw India break through for its first Test victory in 32 matches. It proved to be a false dawn, with England squaring the series 1–1 in Delhi before another controversial Third Test at Eden Gardens in Calcutta. The hostile crowd watched as India batted for over two days to reach 7/437 after 203 overs. Angry with the slow pace of India’s innings, the crowd chanted “Gavaskar down! Gavaskar out!” blaming him for India’ performance. The local police chief reportedly asked Gavaskar to declare to placate the angry crowd. When Gavaskar led his team onto the field, he was pelted with fruit. Gavaskar vowed never to play at Eden Gardens again, and duly withdrew from the team for India’s next fixture at the Bengali capital two years later, ending his record of 106 consecutive Tests. The match was drawn, but India conceded the series after losing the Fourth. The series ended 1–2, and with a poor display of 140 runs at 17.5, Gavaskar resigned, although he had already announced his intention to relinquish the leadership before the series. The change of captain improved the form of neither Gavaskar nor India as they toured Sri Lanka for a three Test series. India were embarrassed 1–0 by the Test minnows, with Gavaskar managing only 186 runs at 37.2.

In 1985–86, India toured Australia, playing against a team in a poor form slump. India were unable to capitalise as all three Tests were drawn, but Gavaskar did. He scored an unbeaten 166 in the First Test in Adelaide and 172 in the Third Test in Sydney, ending the series with 352 runs at 117.33. A three Test tour of England saw him score only 185 runs at 30.83, which India won 2–0 despite his unproductivity. In 1986–87, Gavaskar’s final season in Test cricket, India faced a long season of eleven home Tests. Against a team regarded as the worst to leave Australian shores, Gavaskar made 90 in the second innings of the First Test in Madras, giving India a chance to reach the target of 348, which ended in a tie. He scored 103 in the Third Test to end the series with 205 runs at 51.66. The First Test against Sri Lanka in Kanpur saw Gavaskar’s 34th and final Test century of 176. He scored 74 and 5 in the next two Tests as India won the three match series 2–0. The five Test series against arch enemies Pakistan was to be his last. Gavaskar scored 91 in the drawn First Test in Madras before withdrawing from the Second Test in Calcutta as he had promised. In the Fourth Test in Ahmedabad, Gavaskar’s 63 made him the first batsman to pass 10,000 runs. With the teams locked 0–0 leading into the final Test in Bangalore, there was to be no fairytale. Gavaskar was dismissed for 96 in the second innings as India were bowled out to give Pakistan a 1–0 series win.

Gavaskar was also a fine slip fielder and his safe catching in the slips helped him become the first Indian (excluding wicket-keepers) to take over a hundred catches in Test matches. In one ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1985, he took four catches and helped India defend a small total of 125. Early in his Test career, when India rarely used pace bowlers, Gavaskar also opened the bowling for a short spell on occasions if only one pace bowler was playing, before a three-pronged spin attack took over. The only wicket claimed by him is that of Pakistani Zaheer Abbas in 1978–79.

While Gavaskar could not be described as an attacking batsman, he had the ability of keeping the scoreboard ticking with unique shots such as the “late flick”. His focus of technical correctness over flair meant that his style of play was usually less suited to the shorter form of the game, at which he had less success. His renowned 36 not out in the 1975 World Cup, carrying his bat through the full 60 overs against England, led Indian supporters to storm the field and confront him for scoring so slowly when India needed nearly a run a ball to win; at the end of the game India had lost only three wickets but scored 200 runs less than England. Gavaskar almost went through his career without scoring a one-day century. He managed his first (and only ODI century) in the 1987 World Cup, when he hit 103 not out against New Zealand in his penultimate ODI innings at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur.

Gavaskar has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan. In December 1994 he was appointed the Sheriff of Mumbai, an honorary post, for a year. After retirement, he has been a popular, if sometimes controversial commentator, both on TV and in print. He has written four books on cricket – Sunny Days (autobiography), Idols, Runs n’ Ruins and One Day Wonders. He also served as an advisor to the India national cricket team during the home series against Australia in 2004. He was the Chairman of the ICC cricket committee until the time he was forced to choose between commenting and being on the committee. He left the committee to continue his career as a broadcaster.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Sunil Gavaskar as the recipient of the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for Cricket in India in 2012. Gavaskar will receive the trophy, a citation and a cheque for Rs 2.5 million at the BCCI awards function.

The inaugural Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture was given by Gavaskar on 20 February 2013 at Taj Coromandel, Chennai.

His son Rohan was also a cricketer who played for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy. He has played some One Day Internationals for India, but could not cement his spot in the team.

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been instituted in his (co-)honour.

Gavaskar also tried his hand at acting on the silver screen. He played the lead role in the Marathi movie “Savli Premachi”. The movie did not receive much appreciation though. After many years he appeared in a guest role in a Hindi movie “Maalamal”. He has sung a Marathi song “Ya Duniyemadhye Thambayaala Vel Konala” which was written by noted Marathi lyricist Shantaram Nandgaonkar. The song depicted the similarities between a cricket match and real life. It had become popular.

In a notorious ODI performance in 1975, he opened the batting and managed just 36 (not out) off 174 balls (scoring just one four). Replying to England’s 334 from 60 overs, India managed only 132 for 3 from the 60 overs. It was alleged that Gavaskar deliberately performed poorly in that match, due to his annoyance with the promotion of Srinivas Venkataraghavan to the captaincy. He later claimed that he simply could not adjust to the pace of the game.

Recently, he has been involved in a string of controversies as an ICC official. He has been criticised for supporting changes in cricket rules that tend to favour batsmen. In addition, his role as the chief selector for ICC World XI also came under criticism due to some controversial selections, which resulted in one sided matches against the ICC World Champion, Australia.

On 25 March 2008, Malcolm Speed, ICC chief executive, told Gavaskar “very clearly”, during a meeting between the two at Dubai, that he would have to quit his post at the ICC if he failed to give up his job of commentator and newspaper columnist, in which capacity he has frequently criticised his employers and levelled serious accusations of racism. He sparked a controversy in early 2008 for his comments on the contentious Sydney Test Match: “Millions of Indians want to know if it was a ‘white man’ taking the ‘white man’s’ word against that of the ‘brown man’. Quite simply, if there was no audio evidence, nor did the officials hear anything, then the charge did not stand.” Despite the fact that Gavaskar’s comment referenced Mike Procter and not the ICC, Australian writer Gideon Haigh said that, if Gavaskar genuinely believed this, “then he should almost certainly resign, for if the ICC is a bastion of ‘white man’s justice’, Gavaskar bears some of the blame for having failed to change it.”

Sunil is married to Marshniel Gavaskar, daughter of a leather industrialist in Kanpur. They have a son Rohan, who played for Bengal.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 9, 2014

Read Biography of Mahendra Singh (MS) Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Read Biography of Mahendra Singh (MS) Dhoni Mahendra Singh Dhoni was born on 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), India, is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian national cricket team and the Chennai Super Kings cricket team. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and a year later played his first Test, this time against Sri Lanka.

His paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District of Uttarakhand. Dhoni’s parents, moved from Uttarakhand to Ranchi where Pan Singh worked in junior management positions in MECON. Dhoni has a sister Jayanti and a brother Narendra. Dhoni is a fan of Adam Gilchrist, and his childhood idols were cricket teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and singer Lata Mangeshkar.Shreya Ghoshal is his current favourite singer. He said this in front a press conference with Pune Mirror.

Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali,(now the school is known as JVM, Shyamli, Ranchi) Ranchi, Jharkhand where he initially excelled in badminton and football and was selected at district and club level in these sports. Dhoni was a goalkeeper for his football team and was sent to play cricket for a local cricket club by his football coach. Though he had not played cricket, Dhoni impressed with his wicket-keeping skills and became the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando cricket club (1995–1998). Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship and he performed well. Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard. MS Dhoni was a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003, under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore (W), a district in West Bengal. His colleagues remember him as a very honest, straight-forward employee of the Indian Railways. But he also had a mischevious side to his personality. Once, while staying at the railway quarters, Dhoni and a couple of his friends covered themselves in white bedsheets and walked around in the complex late in the night. The night guards were fooled into believing that there were ghosts moving around in the complex. The story made big news on the next day.

Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007–08, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008 and 2010 against Australia 2–0 and 2011 World Cup. His Test, ODI record is best among all the Indian captains to date. He also captained Chennai Super Kings to victory in the recent 2011 IPL and in the Champions League. He is now captain of India in all three forms of the game and also led the team to their first ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under Dhoni’s captaincy India became the first team after a gap of more than 20 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. Dhoni also led the Indian team to the number one position in ICC rankings in Test cricket for the first time.
Dhoni has also been the recipient of many awards including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first Indian player to achieve this feat), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2009. In 2009 Dhoni topped the list of world’s top 10 earning cricketers compiled by Forbes and he has been ranked as 31st richest sportsman in the world according to the Forbes Highest Paid Athletes for the year 2012. Dhoni’s total earnings are estimated to be USD 26.5 million according to Forbes. Thus he has became the richest Indian sportsman surpassing Sachin Tendulkar. He was named as the captain of ICC World Test and ICC ODI teams for 2009. In the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, he hit 91 not out of just 79 balls to lead India to victory. For his outstanding batting in the final, he was awarded as the man of the match. The TIME magazine added him in its “Time 100” list of 100 most influential people of 2011. SportsPro has rated MS Dhoni as the 16th most remarkable athelete in the world.

Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat on 4 July 2010. Sakshi Dhoni, a native of Dehradun, Uttarakhand. At the time of their marriage, she was studying Hotel Management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata. After the retirement of Sakshi’s father from tea gardens, their family shifted to their native place, Dehradun.

The wedding stumped the media and the fans as it took place only a day after the couple got engaged. Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, a close friend of Dhoni, was quick to inform the media that the wedding was planned for months and was not a spur of the moment decision.

Dhoni is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper. Dhoni is one of the number of wicket-keepers who have come through the ranks of junior and India A cricket teams to represent the national team – Parthiv Patel, Ajay Ratra and Dinesh Karthik also followed this route. Dhoni, referred to as ‘Mahi’ by his friends, debuted in the Bihar cricket team during the 1998/99 cricket season and was selected to represent India-A for a tour to Kenya in 2004. Along with Gautam Gambhir, Dhoni made multiple centuries against the Pakistan-A team in a tri-nation series and was selected in the Indian national team later in that year.

Dhoni tends to play mostly from the back foot with a pronounced bottom hand grip. He has a very fast hand speed through the ball which often results in the ball racing across the ground. From this initial stance his feet do not show much movement which sometimes results in chasing balls while not coming to the pitch of the ball or to some deliveries catching the inside edge.

Dhoni scored 148 against Pakistan in his fifth ODI match in 2005 – then the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper. Later in the year, he broke his own record as well as set the current world record for the highest score in the second innings in ODI matches as he scored 183* against Sri Lanka. Dhoni’s success in the limited overs format secured him a place in the Test team. Consistent performances in ODI cricket through the end of the 2005/06 season saw Dhoni briefly ranked as the No. 1 batsman in the ICC ODI ratings.

Dhoni’s form dipped through 2006 as India lost matches at the ICC Champions trophy, DLF Cup, away bilateral series against West Indies and South Africa. A return to form in the home series against West Indies and Sri Lanka in early 2007 proved to be an inaccurate indicator of Dhoni’s form as India crashed out of the first round in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Dhoni was out for a duck in both India’s losses. After the World Cup, Dhoni won the Man of the series award in the bilateral ODI tournament against Bangladesh. For the tour of England, Dhoni was named the ODI team vice-captain.

Only nine players have captained ten or more Tests while playing as a wicket-keeper. Dhoni leads the field with 33 Tests as captain, 15 ahead of Gerry Alexander in second place.

Dhoni was included in the Bihar U-19 squad for the 1998/99 season and scored 176 runs in 5 matches (7 innings) as the team finished fourth in the group of six and did not make it to the quarter finals. Dhoni was not picked for the East Zone U-19 squad (CK Nayudu Trophy) and Rest of India squad (MA Chidambaram Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy). Bihar U-19 cricket team advanced to the finals of the 1999–2000 Cooch Behar Trophy where Dhoni made 84 to help Bihar post a total of 357. Bihar’s efforts were dwarfed by Punjab U-19’s 839 with Dhoni’s future national squad teammate Yuvraj Singh making 358. Dhoni’s contribution for the tournament included 488 runs (9 matches, 12 innings), 5 fifties, 17 catches and 7 stumpings. MS Dhoni made it to the East Zone U-19 squad for the CK Nayudu trophy but scored only 97 runs in four matches as East Zone lost all four matches and finished last in the tournament.

Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar in the 1999–2000 season as an eighteen year old. He made a half century in his debut match scoring 68* in the second innings against Assam cricket team. Dhoni finished the season with 283 runs in 5 matches. Dhoni scored his maiden first-class century against Bengal in the 2000/01 season in a losing cause. Apart from the century, his performance in the 2000/01 did not include another score over fifty and in 2001/02 season he scored just five fifty in each season in four Ranji matches. Dhoni’s performance for the 2002/03 season in the Ranji Trophy included three half centuries in the Ranji Trophy and a couple of half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy competition as he started winning recognition for his lower-order run contribution as well as hard hitting batting style.

In the 2003/04 season, Dhoni scored a century (128*) against Assam in the first match of the Ranji ODI trophy. He was part of the East Zone squad that won the Deodhar Trophy for the year and contributed with 244 runs in 4 matches. In the Duleep Trophy finals, Dhoni was picked over International cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East zone. He scored a fighting half century in the second innings in a losing cause.

The future captain was discovered via the BCCI’s small-town talent-spotting initiative TRDW. Dhoni was discovered by TRDO PC Podar, captain of Bengal in the 1960s, when he saw Dhoni play for Jharkhand at a match in Jamshedpur in 2003, and sent a report to the National Cricket Academy.

He was recognised for his efforts in the 2003/04 season, especially in the ODI format and was picked for the India A squad for a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. Against the Zimbabwe XI in Harare Sports Club, Dhoni had his best wicket-keeping effort with 7 catches and 4 stumpings in the match. In the tri-nation tournament involving Kenya, India ‘A’ and Pakistan ‘A’, Dhoni helped India ‘A’ chase their target of 223 against Pakistan ‘A’ with a half-century. Stressing on his performance, he scored back to back centuries – 120 and 119* against the same squad. Dhoni scored 362 runs in 7 matches (6 innings, Avg:72.40), and his performance in the series received attention from the then Indian Cricket team captain – Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri amongst others. However, the India ‘A’ team coach Sandeep Patil recommended Dinesh Karthik for a place in the Indian squad as Wicket-keeper/Batsman.

M.S.Dhoni was contracted by the Chennai Super Kings for 1.5 Million USD. This made him the most expensive player in the IPL for the first season auctions. Dhoni is the present captain of the Chennai Super Kings Team. Under his captaincy, Chennai Super Kings have won 2 Indian Premier League titles and the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: July 6, 2014

Read Biography of Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya

Read Biography of Sanath Jayasuriya Sanath Teran Jayasuriya was born on 30 June 1969 in Matara, Dominion of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and a current member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Jayasuriya was an all-rounder, who had an international cricket career that spread over two decades. He is the only player to score over 12,000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in One Day Internationals, and hence regarded as one of the best all rounders in the history of limited-overs cricket. He was named the Most Valuable Player of 1996 Cricket World Cup and Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack broke an age old tradition by naming him one of Five Cricketers’ of the Year 1997 despite not playing the previous season in England. Jayasuriya was also the captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team from 1999 to 2003. He retired from test cricket in December 2007 and from limited overs cricket in June 2011.

Jayasuriya ran for public office at the 2010 Sri Lankan general elections and was elected to the parliament from his native Matara District. He topped the UPFA parliamentary election list for Matara district by obtaining 74,352 preferential votes. He is now serving as the deputy minister of Postal services in the UPFA government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka Cricket appointed him as the chairman of cricket selecting committee on 28 January 2013. Sri Lanka won the ICC World Twenty20 for the first time in 2014 during his tenure as the chief selector.

Sanath Jayasuriya was born to the family of Dunstan and Breeda Jayasuriya. He has an elder brother, Chandana Jayasuriya. He was educated at St. Servatius’ College, Matara, where his cricketing talents were nourished by his school principal, G.L. Galappathy, and cricket coach, Lionel Wagasinghe. He excelled in cricket while at St. Servatius College, Matara and was picked as Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the Outstation Segment in 1988. He was also picked as the Best Batsman and Best All-rounder in the Outstation Section. Jayasuriya also represented Sri Lanka in the inaugural ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup which was held in Australia in 1988. Jayasuriya was subsequently selected for a tour in Pakistan a few months later with the Sri Lanka ‘B’ team where he made two unbeaten double centuries. Shortly afterwards he was drafted into the national side for the tour to Australia in 1989–90. He made his One Day International debut against Australia at Melbourne on Boxing Day of 1989 and his Test debut against New Zealand at Hamilton in February 1991.

Along with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana, Jayasuriya revolutionized One Day International batting with his aggressive tactics during the 1996 Cricket World Cup, a strategy they first tried on the preceding tour of Australia. The tactic used was to take advantage of the early fielding restrictions by smashing the opening bowlers to all parts of the cricket ground, particularly by lofting their deliveries over the mandatory infielders, rather than the established tactic of building up momentum gradually. This was a novel but potentially match-winning tactic at that time, and Sri Lanka, who had previously never made it out of the preliminary rounds, went on to win the World Cup without a single defeat. Their new gameplan is now the standard opening batting strategy in limited overs cricket for the modern era. Glenn McGrath cited Jayasuriya in his XI of toughest batsmen, noting “it is always a massive compliment to someone to say they changed the game, and his storming innings in the 1996 World Cup changed everyone’s thinking about how to start innings.”

Jayasuriya is known for both cuts and pulls along with his trademark shot, a lofted cut over point. He was one of the key players in Sri Lanka’s victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup, where he was adjudged Man of the Tournament in recognition of his all-round contributions. His philosophy towards batting is summarized by an all-aggression approach and over the years he has dominated almost every one day bowling combination that he has faced at one stage or another. This is because of his ability to make huge match-winning contributions at rapid pace once he gets in, he holds the record for the second highest number of one day centuries and has scored the second most 150+ scores (4 scores) (Sachin Tendulkar has the most 150+ scores at 5). His devastating performances have ensured that Sri Lanka have won almost 80% of the matches that he scored over 50 runs in limited overs cricket. When asked in an interview who are the most challenging bowlers he had faced in the game, he named in the order Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose.

Sanath Jayasuriya held the record for the highest Test score made by a Sri Lankan, 340 against India in 1997. This effort was part of a second-wicket partnership with Roshan Mahanama that set the then all-time record for any partnership in Test history, with 576 runs. Both records were surpassed in July 2006 when fellow Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene scored 374 as part of a 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara against South Africa. On 20 September 2005, during the Second Test of the home series against Bangladesh, Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan to play 100 Tests, and the 33rd Test cricketer to achieve this feat.

Jayasuriya announced his intention to retire from Test cricket following the Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in April 2006. He reversed his decision soon after, however, joining the Sri Lankan cricket team in England in May 2006. Missing the first two Tests, Jayasuriya returned in the Third Test at Trent Bridge.

After scoring 78 runs on day three of the first Test against England in Kandy in 2007, he announced he was to retire from Test cricket at the end of the match. In that inning he hit six fours in one over against James Anderson.

Sanath Jayasuriya held the records for the fastest fifty (against Pakistan 17 balls), fastest 100 (against Pakistan 48 balls) and fastest 150 (against England in 95 balls) in ODI cricket. Though he lost the fastest 100 to Shahid Afridi and fastest 150 to Shane Watson, he still holds the record for the fastest fifty. Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar are the only players in history to have 4 ODI scores over 150. Jayasuriya’s highest ODI score is 189 runs, scored against India in Sharjah in 2000. It remains the highest ODI score by a Sri Lankan, and at the time of the innings it was the third-highestNote 1 in ODI history. Until December 2009, he held the four highest individual scores by a Sri Lankan, and seven of the top nine.

He currently holds the record fastest fifty in ODIs, scored off just 17 balls. Jayasuriya was the previous record-holder for the fastest century (off 48 balls), before losing that claim to Shahid Afridi of Pakistan. He has also held the world record for most ODI sixes (270 in 441 ODIs), which was surpassed by Shahid Afridi during the 2010 Asia Cup match against Bangladesh. He has become the fourth batsman to score more than 10,000 runs and the second batsman to score more than 12,000, and 13,000 runs in the history of ODIs. He also is the third highest century getter in ODIs with 28 centuries. He used to hold the record of scoring most runs in an ODI over (30; he has achieved this twice).This record is now with South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs (36 runs in an over).He used to hold the record of heading the most ODI caps by an international cricketer 444, till Sachin Tendulkar (India) equalled the record in January 2011 against South Africa.

During the one-day Natwest series in May 2006 in England, he scored two centuries, including scoring 152 off 99 balls in the final match. In that innings, he and Upul Tharanga (109) put on 286 runs for the first wicket, a new record. Jayasuriya’s batting display earned him the Man of the Series award as Sri Lanka won the series 5–0.

Following the Natwest Trophy, Sri Lanka travelled to the Netherlands for a two-match one-day series. In the first game, Jayasuriya scored 157 off 104 balls as Sri Lanka posted 443/9, beating the 438/9 South Africa scored against Australia in March 2006. Sri Lanka won the match by 195 runs. On a personal note the innings was his 4th score of over 150 in ODI cricket and he is currently the only player to do so other than Sachin Tendulkar who has achieved it five times. It was also his second successive score of 150 plus, another first in ODI cricket.

He also scored 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries in the 2007 Cricket World Cup held in the West Indies.In 2008, his one-day career was all but over when he was omitted for the ODIs in the West Indies. However, a stirring performance in the IPL—finishing the third-highest run-getter with 514 runs—prompted his country’s sports minister to intervene in his selection for the Asia Cup. He ultimately shaped Sri Lanka’s title victory with a blistering hundred under pressure. His international career has been revived at the age of 41, after being recalled to the One-day and Twenty-20 squads for Sri Lanka’s 2011 tour of England and Scotland.

During the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, Jayasuriya appeared to break his tradition of using Kookaburra bats by wielding a normal Reebok sponsored bat. He achieved two half centuries in the group stages against New Zealand and Kenya in this tournament. He also shares a dubious record with James Anderson for having the most expensive figures in a Twenty20 international, having been hit for 64 runs in the maximum of 4 overs. After the Twenty20 World Cup, Jayasuriya played in Sri Lanka’s 3–2 One Day International series defeat against England, achieving limited success and then in the 2–0 Test series defeat in Australia. In December 2007, Jayasuriya confirmed that he has signed for Warwickshire for the Twenty20 Cup.

In April 2008, he joined the Mumbai Indians to play in the Indian Premier League T20. After scoring a devastating 114 not out off just 48 balls for the Mumbai Indians against Chennai, Jayasuriya regained his position in the one-day side after he had been dropped for the West Indies tour. He then followed up his century with a 17-ball 48 not out to surpass the Kolkata Knight Riders’ score of 67 in just the 6th over, resulting in the biggest victory in Twenty20 history in terms of balls remaining. In 2010 has signed with Worcestershire for their Twenty20 campaign. At the age of 42, Jayasuriya played for the Ruhuna Rhinos in the qualifying round of the 2011 Champions League. In February 2012 Jayasuria played for the Khulna Royal Bengals in the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League, later that year he played for Kandurata Warriors in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League.

Jayasuriya was chosen as the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1996 and was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1997. He served as the captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team in 38 test matches and 117 one day internationals from 1999 to 2003. Jayasuriya led Sri Lanka to the knock-out stage of the 2003 cricket world cup, but stepped down from the captaincy after the loss to Australia in the semi final. He was also a very useful all-rounder with a good batting average in both Test cricket and One Day Internationals, and had an excellent batting strike rate in One Day Internationals.

As a left-arm orthodox spin bowler, he had a reasonable bowling average and an economy rate. He regularly helped to decrease the workloads of contemporary Sri Lankan strike bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. At the end of his career Jayasuriya took more than 400 wickets in international cricket with over 300 wickets in One Day Internationals. Jayasuriya was also a skillful infielder, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the seventh highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the eleventh highest success rate.

Although Jayasuriya made his Test debut in 1991, it was not until 1996 that he scored his first century, when he had become a regular player in the Sri Lankan side. His career high of 340 against India in August 1997 was the highest score by a Sri Lankan cricketer until 2006, and is also part of the highest team total (952/6) made in Test cricket. He has also scored two double centuries; 213 against England and 253 against Pakistan. His 157 against Zimbabwe in 2004 is the second fastest century by a Sri Lankan player. Jayasuriya, having scored centuries against every Test playing nation except New Zealand and West Indies, retired from Test cricket in 2007 with 14 to his name.

Jayasuriya made his ODI debut in 1989, and started playing as an opening batsman in 1993. He went on to score his first century in 1994 against New Zealand. From then on, Jayasuriya has scored the highest number of ODI centuries for Sri Lanka with 28 to his name. He currently holds the third place for most centuries in a career, behind Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (with 49 ODI centuries) and Ricky Ponting (30 centuries). His second century, 134 against Pakistan in 1996, was scored at a strike rate of 206.15 and was the fastest century in ODI cricket at the time. This record was later broken by Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi. The 189 he made against India in 2000 is the sixth highest ODI score in a single innings. Making his second highest ODI score of 157 against the Netherlands in 2006, Jayasuriya paved the way for Sri Lanka to set the world record for the highest ODI team total of 443/9. With his 107 against India on 28 January 2009, Jayasuriya—39 years and 212 days old at the time—became the oldest player to score a century and also became the second player to score more than 13,000 runs in a career. Sanath Jayasuriya holds record of fastest 150 in one day internationals. he made 152 vs England at Leeds on 1 July 2006, off just 99 balls prior to Shane Watson who holds the record for the fastest 150 currently.

Tags: , , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 30, 2014

Read Biography of Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Read Biography of Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina, is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He serves as the captain of his country’s national football team.

By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. At the age of 24, Messi became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer in all official club competitions. At age 25, Messi became the youngest player to score 200 goals in La Liga’s matches.

Commonly ranked as the best player in the world and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time, Messi is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d’Or, all of which he won consecutively, as well as the first to win three European Golden Shoe awards. With Barcelona, Messi has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, five Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

Messi is the first and only player to top-score in four consecutive Champions League campaigns, and also holds the record for the most hat-tricks scored (4) in the competition. In March 2012, Messi made Champions League history by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match. He also matched José Altafini’s record of 14 goals in a single Champions League season. Messi set the European record for most goals scored in a season during the 2011–12 season, with 73 goals. In the same season, he set the current goalscoring record in a single La Liga season, scoring 50 goals. Also in that season, Messi became the first player ever to score and assist in six different official competitions in one season. On 16 February 2013, Messi scored his 300th Barcelona goal. On 30 March 2013, Messi scored in his 19th consecutive La Liga game, becoming the first footballer in history to net in consecutive matches against every team in a professional football league. He extended his record scoring streak to 21 consecutive league matches, and the run came to a halt only when he sustained a hamstring injury. In March 2014, with a hat-trick against Real Madrid, Messi became the player with most goals and most hat-tricks in the history of El Clásico.

Messi helped Argentina win the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup, finishing as both the best player and the top scorer (with 6 goals). In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play and score in the FIFA World Cup, and won a runners-up medal at the Copa América in 2007, in which he was elected young player of the tournament. In 2008, he won his first international honour, an Olympic Gold Medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team. SportsPro has rated him as the second-most marketable athlete in the world. His playing style and stature have drawn comparisons to compatriot Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his “successor”.

Messi was born to parents Jorge Horácio Messi, a factory steel worker, and Celia María Cuccittini, a part-time cleaner. His paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona, from where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883. He has two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and a sister, María Sol. At the age of five, Messi started playing football for Grandoli, a local club coached by his father Jorge. In 1995, Messi switched to Newell’s Old Boys who were based in his home city Rosario. He became part of a local youth powerhouse that lost only one match in the next four years and became locally known as “The Machine of ’87”, from the year of their birth.

At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Local powerhouse River Plate showed interest in Messi’s progress, but were not willing to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a month. Carles Rexach, the sporting director of FC Barcelona, was made aware of his talent as Messi had relatives in Lleida in western Catalonia, and Messi and his father were able to arrange a trial with the team. Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered Messi a contract written on a paper napkin. Barcelona offered to pay Messi’s medical bills on the condition that he moved to Spain. Messi and his father duly moved to Barcelona, where Messi enrolled in the club’s youth academy.

Messi played in Barcelona’s junior Infantil B and Cadete B & A teams from 2000 to 2003 (scoring 37 goals in 30 matches in Cadete A). He was nearly released from the club in 2003 because of financial constraints, but his youth coaches convinced management to keep him (Cesc Fabregas was released during this purge). Season 2003–04 saw him on a record five different teams: He started one match in Juvenil B (one goal) and got promoted to Juvenil A (14 matches, 21 goals). Later, he debuted for the FC Barcelona C team (Tercera División) on 29 November 2003 and for FC Barcelona B (Segunda División B) on 6 March 2004. He played for both teams during the season (10 matches, five goals and five matches, zero goals, respectively). Even before these two debuts, Messi made his official debut for the first-team on 16 November 2003 aged 16 years and 145 days, in a friendly match against Porto.

Less than a year after his start, Frank Rijkaard gave him his league debut against RCD Espanyol on 16 October 2004 (at 17 years and 114 days), becoming the third-youngest player ever to play for Barcelona and youngest club player to play in La Liga, which would be broken by Bojan Krki? in September 2007. When he scored his first senior goal for the club against Albacete Balompié on 1 May 2005, Messi was 17 years, ten months and seven days old, becoming the youngest to ever score in a La Liga game for Barcelona until the record was broken by Bojan Krki? in 2007, scoring from a Messi assist. Messi said about his ex-coach Rijkaard: “I’ll never forget the fact that he launched my career, that he had confidence in me while I was only sixteen or seventeen.” During the season, Messi played also in Barcelona B (Segunda División B) scoring 6 goals in 17 matches.

On 16 September, for the second time in three months, Barcelona announced an update to Messi’s contract; this time it was improved to pay him as a first team member and extended until June 2014. Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on 26 September 2005 and was finally able to make his debut in the season’s Spanish First Division. Messi’s first home outing in the Champions League came on 27 September against Italian club Udinese. Fans at Barcelona’s stadium, the Camp Nou, gave Messi a standing ovation upon his substitution, as his composure on the ball and passing combinations with Ronaldinho had paid dividends for Barcelona.

Messi netted six goals in 17 league appearances, and scored one Champions League goal in six. His season ended prematurely on 7 March 2006, however, when he suffered a muscle tear in his right thigh during the second leg of the second round Champions League tie against Chelsea. Rijkaard’s Barcelona ended the season as champions of Spain and Europe.

In the 2006–07 season, Messi established himself as a regular first team player, scoring 14 times in 26 matches. On 12 November, in the game against Real Zaragoza, Messi suffered a broken metatarsal, ruling him out for three months. On 10 March, El Clásico saw Messi in top form, scoring a hat-trick to earn 10-man Barcelona a 3–3 draw, equalising three times, with the final equaliser coming in injury time. In doing so he became the first player since Iván Zamorano (for Real Madrid in the 1994–95 season) to score a hat-trick in El Clásico. Messi is also the youngest player ever to have scored in this fixture. Towards the end of the season he began finding the net more often; 11 of his 14 league goals for the season came from the last 13 games.

Regularly compared to Maradona, Messi proved the comparison was not all hype by nearly replicating the former player’s most famous goals in the space of the single season. On 18 April 2007, he scored two goals during a 2006-07 Copa del Rey semi-final against Getafe CF, one of which was very similar to Maradona’s famous goal against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, known as the Goal of the Century. The world’s sports press drew comparisons with Maradona, and the Spanish press labelled Messi as “Messidona”. He ran about the same distance, 62 metres (203 ft), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before. In a press conference after the game, Messi’s team-mate Deco said: “It was the best goal I have ever seen in my life.” Against RCD Espanyol Messi also scored a goal which was remarkably similar to Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the World Cup quarter-finals. Messi launched himself at the ball and connected with his hand to guide the ball past the goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. Despite protests by Espanyol players and replays showing it was clear handball, the goal stood. During his time at FC Barcelona, manager Frank Rijkaard decided to move Messi from the left flank onto the right wing, initially against the player’s wishes, allowing him to cut into the centre of the pitch and shoot or cross with his left foot.

Messi was nominated for a FIFPro World XI Player Award under the category of Forward. A poll conducted in the online edition of the Spanish newspaper Marca had him as the best player in the world with 77 percent of the vote. Columnists from Barcelona-based newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport stated that the Ballon d’Or should be given to Messi, a view supported by Franz Beckenbauer. Football personalities such as Francesco Totti have declared that they consider Messi to be one of the current best footballers in the world. Messi finished third in the 2007 Ballon d’Or, behind Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo, and finished second in the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award, once again behind Kaká. He also came in third in the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker Award, once again behind Kaká and Andrea Pirlo.

On 27 February, Messi played in his 100th official match for Barcelona against Valencia CF but only a few days later he was sidelined for six weeks following an injury on 4 March when he suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh during a Champions League match against Celtic FC. It was the fourth time in three seasons that Messi suffered this type of injury. Messi scored 6 goals and provided 1 assist during the Champions League that season, as Barcelona were knocked out in the semi-finals, to the eventual winners Manchester United. When the season was over Messi had managed to score 16 goals and assisted 13 times in all competitions.

Upon Ronaldinho’s departure from the club, Messi inherited his number 10 jersey. During this season he placed second in the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year awards with 678 points and third in the 2008 IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker Award for the second consecutive year.

Messi scored his first hat-trick of 2009 in a Copa del Rey tie against Atlético Madrid which Barcelona won 3–1. Messi scored another important double on 1 February 2009, coming on as a second half substitute to help Barcelona defeat Racing Santander 1–2 after being 1–0 down. The second of the two strikes was Barcelona’s 5000th league goal. On 8 April 2009, he scored twice against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, setting a personal record of eight goals in the competition.

As Barcelona’s season was drawing to a close, Messi scored twice (his 35th and 36th goals in all competitions) to cap a 6–2 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in what was Real’s heaviest defeat since 1930. He won his first Copa del Rey on 13 May, scoring one goal and assisting another two, in a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao. He helped his team win the double by winning La Liga. On 27 May he helped Barcelona win the Champions League by scoring a second goal in the 70th minute giving Barcelona a two goal lead; he also became the top scorer in the Champions League, the youngest in the tournament’s history, with nine goals. Messi also won the UEFA Club Forward of the Year: and the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year rounding off a spectacular year in Europe. This victory meant Barcelona had won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and Champions League in the one season, and was the first time a Spanish club had ever won the treble. Messi finished the season with 38 goals and 18 assists in all competitions.

After winning the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola asserted that Messi was probably the best player he had ever seen. This would also be the season in which Guardiola would first move Messi from the position of right winger into his now iconic “false-9” role in the centre of the front line at Barcelona. On 18 September, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona, running until 2016 and with a buy-out clause of €250 million included, making Messi, then along with Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, the highest paid players in La Liga, with earnings of around €9.5 million yearly.

Messi was named winner of the 2009 Ballon d’Or on 1 December 2009, beating runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo by largest ever margin of 473 to 233. He also placed 2nd in the 2009 IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker Award. behind team mate Xavi.

On 19 December, Messi scored the winner in the final of the 2009 Club World Cup against Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi, giving the club their sixth title of the year. Two days later, he was given the FIFA World Player of the Year award, beating Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaká and Andrés Iniesta. This was the first time he had won the award, and he became the first Argentinian to ever receive this honour. On 10 January 2010, Messi scored his first hat-trick in 2010 and his first hat-trick of the season against CD Tenerife in the 0–5 victory, and on 17 January he scored his 100th goal for the club in the 4–0 victory over Sevilla FC.

Messi scored a hat-trick against Valencia CF in a 3–0 home win, and finally he scored another hat-trick against Real Zaragoza in a 4–2 away win, becoming the first Barcelona player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in La Liga. He played his 200th official match for Barcelona against CA Osasuna on 24 March 2010.

On 6 April 2010, for the first time in Messi’s career he scored four goals in a single match, netting the lot in a 4–1 home win over Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final second leg. This also saw him overtake Rivaldo as Barcelona’s all time greatest scorer in the competition. In the final league match of the season against Valladolid, he scored two goals in the second half to tie Ronaldo’s club record of 34 goals in a single league season, set in 1996–97, and to finish four goals behind the all-time record held by Telmo Zarra. He was named La Liga player of the year for the second year in a row on 3 June 2010. He finished the season with 47 goals in all competitions, tying Ronaldo’s record from the 1996–97 season, and he provided 11 assists.

On 21 August 2010, Messi scored a hat-trick in his first start of the season in a 4–0 victory over Sevilla FC in the Supercopa de España, helping Barcelona secure their first trophy of the season after a 1–3 first leg loss.

On 19 September 2010, Messi suffered an ankle injury due to an ill-advised tackle by Atlético Madrid defender Tomáš Ujfaluši in the 92nd minute of their Round 3 match at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. At first sight it was feared that Messi suffered a broken ankle that could have kept the star player away from the pitch for a minimum of six months, but MRI performed the next day in Barcelona showed he suffered a sprain in the internal and external ligaments of his right ankle. Team-mate David Villa stated “the tackle on Messi was brutal” after watching the video of the play and also added that he believed the Atlético defender “didn’t go into the tackle to hurt”. The incident caused widespread media attention and brought up the debate of equality in protecting all players in the game. Against UD Almería Messi scored his second hat-trick of the season in an impressive 8–0 away win, the second of which was his 100th La Liga goal.

Messi won the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or, beating his Barcelona teammates Xavi and Iniesta. Messi had been nominated for the awards for the fourth consecutive year. On 5 February, Barcelona broke the record for most consecutive league wins with 16 victories after they defeated Atlético Madrid 3–0 at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to ensure the victory for his side and after the match he stated, “it’s an honor to be able to pass a record set by a great like “Di Stéfano” and “if the record has been around for so long is because it’s very complicated to achieve and we have reached it by defeating a very difficult team who’s going through a bad situation, which makes it even more difficult.”

After failing to score for a month he scored a brace against UD Almería; the second goal was his 47th of the season, equalling his club record return of the previous season. He surpassed his record on 12 April 2011 by scoring the winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in a UEFA Champions League game, which put him in the record book as all time top scorer in a single season for Barcelona. He scored his eighth goal on El Clásico on a 1–1 tie at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. On 23 April, Messi scored his 50th goal of the season against CA Osasuna in a 2–0 home victory which he came on as a substitute in the 60th minute. He finished the season by winning La Liga and scoring 31 goals as he finished runner-up in the Pichichi trophy to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had managed to score 40. Messi finished the league season as the top assist provider with 18 assists.

On 20 April, Barcelona were defeated by arch-rivals Real Madrid in the 2011 Copa del Rey Final. Messi set up a goal for Pedro, which was however ruled offside. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the match in extra time. Messi was however the joint top-scorer of the tournament along with Cristiano Ronaldo, with 7 goals.

In the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, he gave a memorable performance, scoring twice against Real Madrid in a 2–0 win, the second goal (a dribble past several players) being acclaimed as one of the best ever at that stage of the competition. At the Champions League Final at Wembley, Messi scored the eventual game-clinching goal to give Barcelona their third title in six years and fourth overall. This was also Messi’s 12th goal in the Champions League that season, which allowed him to tie Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 goals in a single European Cup season, after it was re-established as the UEFA Champions League, in 1992. The overall record of goals scored in a single European Cup Season, is José Altafini’s record of 14 goals, which Messi did however equal in the following season. Messi finished the 2010–11 season with 53 goals and 24 assists in all competitions combined.

Messi started the season by lifting the Spanish Supercup with Barcelona, scoring three goals and providing two assists in a 5–4 aggregate win against Real Madrid. His vital interventions continued in the next official match played against Porto when he scored again following a weak back pass from Fredy Guarín before setting up Cesc Fàbregas to give Barcelona a 2–0 victory and the UEFA Super Cup, then the only official competition that remained for him to score in.

In August, Messi became the second highest goalscorer surpassing László Kubala on 194 goals, being behind only to César Rodríguez on 232 goals in all official competitions.

On 28 September, Messi scored his first two Champions League goals of the season against BATE Borisov, becoming Barcelona’s second highest goalscorer in its history, tying László Kubala, at 194 goals in all official competitions. He surpassed that record when he scored two goals against Racing Santander. He became second in Barcelona’s La Liga goalscorers list with 132 goals, one more than Kubala. He scored his 200th Barcelona goal and two more as part of a hat-trick in his next game against Viktoria Plze? in the Champions League.

Messi scored a brace in the Club World Cup Final against Santos FC and was recognized as the man of the match and also awarded the Golden Ball for his performance during the tournament.

Messi won the 2011 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, beating his Barcelona team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi won the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or, again beating his team-mate Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo. By winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or again, Messi become the fourth player to win three Ballons d’Or, after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten and the second player to win three consecutive Ballons d’Or, after Michel Platini (although two of his Ballons d’Or are FIFA Ballons d’Or, which he won consecutively). Messi also won the IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer award, with 19 goals in 2011.

On 19 February 2012, Messi, on his 200th La Liga appearance, scored four goals against Valencia CF in a 5–1 win. On 7 March, Messi became the first player to score five goals in an UEFA Champions League match since the tournament’s re-establishment in 1992, helping the defending champions Barcelona win 7–1 against Bayer Leverkusen.

On 20 March, Messi scored three goals against Granada, making him FC Barcelona’s leading goalscorer in official competitions, surpassing club legend César Rodríguez, who had previously held the record with 232.

On 3 April, Messi scored two goals from penalty kicks against Milan in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, allowing him to surpass his personal record, joint with Ruud van Nistelrooy, of 12 goals in a single UEFA Champions League season. These goals allowed him to tie José Altafini’s record of 14 goals in a single European Cup season in the 1962–63 season, before the tournament’s re-establishment as the UEFA Champions League in 1992. Messi was unable to score in the semi-finals, although he provided an assist in the second leg, as Barcelona were knocked out to eventual winners Chelsea. During the second leg match, Messi missed an important penalty, hitting the crossbar. The goal would have put Barcelona ahead on aggregate.

On 11 April, Messi scored his 61st goal of the season against Getafe CF, and made two assists. On 2 May, Messi scored a hat-trick against Málaga CF surpassing Gerd Müller’s record (67 goals in 1972–73) with 68 goals, and thus becoming the best goalscorer in history in one season in Europe. It was the 21st multi-goal game of the season for Messi and his seventh La Liga hat-trick. He then scored four goals on 5 May against RCD Espanyol to take his tally to an unprecedented 72 goals, in the process becoming only the second player to pass 70 goals in a first division season since Archie Stark of Bethlehem Steel in the American Soccer League in 1924–25.

On 25 May, he scored again in the 2012 Copa del Rey Final, helping Barcelona win their 26th Spanish Cup title, and increasing his seasonal goalscoring record to an unmatched 73 goals in all competitions. This was also Guardiola’s last match as Barcelona’s manager, and the Cup win marked Messi’s second Copa del Rey title, after losing the final the year before, as well as his 14th Barcelona trophy during Guardiola’s four seasons at the club. Although Barcelona failed to win their 4th consecutive Liga title under Guardiola, finishing runners up to arch-rivals Real Madrid, Messi finished the 2011–12 season as the top goalscorer in La Liga for a second time, with a Liga record of 50 goals. He was the second best assist provider in La Liga that season with 16 assists, after Mesut Özil, who managed 17. He also ended the season as the UEFA Champions’ League Top Scorer for a fourth consecutive time, with 14 goals. He was one of the top assist providers of the tournament with 5 assists and finished the season with 73 goals and 29 assists in all club competitions, with more goals and assists than any other player.

During Barcelona’s first game of the season against Real Sociedad, Messi continued his goalscoring run with a brace in a 5–1 win at the Camp Nou. Messi added another goal from a penalty in a 3–2 win against rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the 2012 Supercopa de España in Barcelona on 23 August. He added another brace against CA Osasuna as Barcelona came from behind away from home to beat them 2–1. Messi added another goal from a free kick in the second leg of the Supercopa de España, as Barcelona, down to ten men, were defeated by Real Madrid on away goals. This marked his 15th goal in the El Clásico Real Madrid-Barcelona derby, which made him Barcelona’s top scorer in Clasico matches, putting him tied with Raúl, behind only Alfredo Di Stefano, with 18 goals. Messi placed second along with Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, with 17 votes each. The award was won by Messi’s Barcelona team mate Andrés Iniesta. In his third league appearance on 2 September against Valencia CF, Messi assisted the only goal of the match, by team mate Adriano, from a short corner. Messi scored two more goals in a win against Getafe on 15 September and added another brace in his first Champions League match of the season against Spartak Moscow on 20 September, ending in a 3–2 win to Barcelona, also marking his tenth goal of the season.

On 11 November, Messi scored twice at RCD Mallorca, his 75th and 76th goals in 2012, surpassing Pelé’s milestone of 75 goals (1958) in a calendar year, and moved within nine of German legend Gerd Müller’s all-time Guinness World Records title. His 77th and 78th goals came against Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou which moved Messi seven goals away from the record. On 20 November, Messi scored twice at Spartak Moscow, his 79th and 80th goals of 2012 and moved to within five goals of the record. Messi continued his scoring run against Levante UD on 25 November with his 81st and 82nd goals of the year which moved him within three goals of Müller. On 1 December, Messi scored twice against Athletic Bilbao, his 83rd and 84th goals of the year, meaning he pulled to within one goal of Müller’s record set in 1972. The two goals also meant Messi equaled the record for Barcelona’s all time leading goalscoring record in La Liga, which was held by César Rodríguez with 190 goals. On 9 December, Messi scored twice against Real Betis, his 85th and 86th goals in 2012, surpassing Müller’s milestone of 85 goals scored in a calendar year in 1972 with Bayern Munich and the German national team, as well as surpassing Rodríguez’s record for most league goals for Barcelona. Messi sent Müller a No.10 Barcelona shirt, signed “with respect and admiration”, after breaking his record. On 12 December, Messi increased his record to 88, after scoring twice against Córdoba CF in the first leg of a Copa del Rey game. On 16 December, Messi scored twice in a 4–1 Barcelona victory against Atlético Madrid, increasing his record to 90 goals. The tally found its end at 91 goals in a year after Messi scored once against Real Valladolid. FIFA, however, refuses to acknowledge the record for the most goals in a calendar year, citing verifiability issues. On 18 December 2012, it was announced that Barcelona would renew the contract of Messi, extending it until 30 June 2018. The contract was signed 7 February 2013.

On 7 January 2013 odds-on favourite Messi won the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or, again beating Cristiano Ronaldo into second place with team-mate Andrés Iniesta third. In doing this, Messi became the only player in history to win the Ballon d’Or four times. Messi described receiving the accolade as “really quite unbelievable” and “too great for words”. The achievement fuelled media comparison of Messi with former greats of the sport such as Diego Maradona and Pelé.

On 27 January 2013, Messi scored 4 goals in a 5–1 win against Osasuna, including his 200th goal in La Liga, becoming the eighth and youngest player to do so. This brought his La Liga tally for the season up to 33, and his goalscoring total to 44 goals in all competitions. On 16 February 2013, Messi scored his 300th Barcelona goal the La Liga match against Granada CF, later scoring again in the match to bring his tally to 301 goals in 365 official matches. On 2 March 2013, Messi scored a goal against Real Madrid in a match that Barcelona lost 2–1. With that goal, Lionel Messi equalled Alfredo Di Stefano’s Clasico goals record of 18. On 9 March 2013, Messi scored after coming on as a substitute against Deportivo de La Coruña, scoring in his 17th consecutive league match and breaking the all-time world record. Messi’s record goalscoring run of 33 goals in 21 games ended against Atletico Madrid.

On 12 March, Messi scored two goals, and helped create the fourth, to help Barcelona defeat A.C. Milan (4–0) in the 2nd leg of their Champions League game and reach the quarter-finals. Messi’s opening goal against Milan once again drew further comparisons between himself and Diego Maradona, due to the similarity between Messi’s opening goal of the match and Maradona’s famous goal against Greece in the 1994 World Cup. On 17 March 2013, in a match against Rayo Vallecano, Messi wore the captain’s armband for the first time in an official match for Barcelona, taking over after Andrés Iniesta was substituted. On 30 March, Messi scored for the 19th consecutive La Liga game, netting Barcelona’s second goal at Celta de Vigo and thus becoming the first footballer in La Liga’s history to score in consecutive matches against every team.

On 2 April 2013, after scoring a goal in a match against Paris Saint-Germain, Messi suffered from a hamstring problem in his left leg and was substituted at half time. Since then his first team appearances have been irregular. On 13 May 2013, Messi was unable to finish the match against Atletico Madrid due to recurrence of the hamstring injury in his left leg, he was forced to leave the field midway through the second half. It was later announced that he could miss the rest of the season due to the injury. In the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona were down a goal, and Messi was on the bench due to a recurring injury problem. In the second half, Messi came off the bench and combined with David Villa to help create Pedro’s game tying goal for Barcelona, which allowed them to progress to the semi-finals. Barcelona were eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual winners of the competition, Bayern Munich. Barcelona were also eliminated in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, by arch-rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona, however, managed to regain the La Liga title from Real Madrid, equalling their record 100 point campaign, which had been accomplished during the previous season. Messi once again finished as La Liga’s top scorer for the second consecutive year, with 46 goals, also producing 12 assists in the competition. Messi scored 60 goals and provided 16 assists in all competitions that season.

Messi was nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribéry, for a third consecutive year. Ribéry won the award with 36 votes. Messi finished in second place with 14 votes, while Ronaldo finished in third-place with 3 votes. On 18 August 2013, Messi opened the 2013–14 La Liga Season with two goals and an assist against Levante UD, as Barcelona went on to win the match 7–0. On 28 August, Barcelona claimed their eleventh Supercopa de España title over Atlético Madrid on away goals.

On 1 September, Messi scored his twenty third career hat-trick in a 3–2 win against Valencia CF. With these goals he became the player to score 100 away goals and become highest scorer in away fixtures in the league’s history. These goals made him the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of La Liga, surpassing Quini’s tally of 219. On 18 September 2013, Messi scored his 24th career hat-trick in Barcelona’s first Champions League win of the season, at home against Ajax, which ended 4–0. The goals made him the second-highest goalscorer of all time in the Champions League, with 62 goals, only behind Raúl, and the fourth-highest goalscorer of all time in European Competitions, with 63. With this hatrick Messi became the first player to score four hat tricks in the Champions League. On 10 November, Messi suffered an injury in a 4–1 away win against Real Betis, which would keep him sidelined until January 2014. This was his third injury of the season.

On 8 January 2014, Messi returned from injury to score twice for Barça in a 4–0 Copa del Rey win against Getafe. On January 13, he placed second in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, behind Cristiano Ronaldo. On 15 February, Messi scored twice against Rayo Vallecano in a 6–0 win to overtake fellow Argentine Alfredo di Stéfano and draw level with Raúl as the third-highest goalscorer in La Liga history with 228 goals.

On 16 March 2014, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 7–0 defeat of Osasuna to overtake Paulino Alcántara as Barça’s top goalscorer in all competitions, including friendlies. On 23 March, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–3 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu to become the outright all-time top goalscorer in El Clásico fixtures.

Messi finished his season with Barcelona with only Spanish Super Cup and finished as runner ups in in La Liga, behind Atletico Madrid, who had also eliminated them in the quarter finals of the Champion’s League. Messi concluded the season with 41 goals and 15 assists in all competitions, but his 28 league goals were not enough for him to defend the Pichichi trophy, which went to Cristiano Ronaldo, who managed 31 goals. On 16 May 2014, Messi agreed a new contract with the Catalan club.

Often referred to as an Argentine-Spanish player, this crossover was brought into sharp focus when in 2004, Lionel was offered the chance to play for the Spanish national U-20 team. He declined the offer given his Argentinian heritage, and was given the opportunity to play for Argentina’s U-20 team in a friendly match against Paraguay in June 2004. Messi scored once against Paraguay and twice in friendly against Uruguay in July 2004. In 2005 he was part of a team that finished third in 2005 South American Youth Championship in Colombia. He won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands with the team and won the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe, scoring in the last four of Argentina’s matches and netting a total of six for the tournament.

He made his full international debut on 17 August 2005 against Hungary at the age of 18. He was substituted on during the 63rd minute, but was sent off on the 65th minute because the referee, Markus Merk, claimed that Messi had allegedly elbowed defender Vilmos Vanczák, who was tugging Messi’s shirt. The decision was contentious and Diego Maradona even claimed the decision was pre-meditated. Messi was later reportedly found weeping in the changing rooms after the decision. Messi returned to the team on 3 September in Argentina’s 1–0 World Cup qualifier away defeat to Paraguay. Ahead of the match he had said “This is a re-debut. The first one was a bit short.” He then started his first game for Argentina against Peru, in which he was able to win a crucial penalty for Argentina; after the match national coach José Pékerman described Messi as “a jewel”. He scored his first goal for Argentina in a friendly match against Croatia on 1 March 2006.

An injury that kept Messi from playing for two months at the end of the 2005–06 season jeopardised his presence in the 2006 World Cup. Nevertheless, Messi was selected in the Argentina squad for the tournament on 15 May 2006. He also played in the final match before the World Cup against the Argentine U-20 team for 15 minutes and a friendly match against Angola from the 64th minute. He witnessed Argentina’s opening match victory against Ivory Coast from the substitutes’ bench. In the next match against Serbia and Montenegro, Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Maxi Rodríguez in the 74th minute. He assisted Hernán Crespo’s goal within minutes of entering the game and also scored the final goal in the 6–0 victory, making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth youngest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup. Messi started in Argentina’s following 0–0 draw against the Netherlands. In the following game against Mexico, Messi came on as a substitute in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 1–1. He appeared to score a goal, but it was ruled offside with Argentina needing a late goal in extra time to proceed. José Pekerman left Messi on the bench during the quarter-final match against Germany, which they lost 4–2 on a penalty shootout.

Messi played his first game in the 2007 Copa América on 29 June 2007, when Argentina defeated United States 4–1 in the first game. In this game, he showed his capabilities as a playmaker. He set up a goal for fellow striker Hernán Crespo and had numerous shots on target. Carlos Tevez came on as a substitute for Messi in the 79th minute and scored minutes later.

His second game was against Colombia, in which he won a penalty that Crespo converted to tie the game at 1–1. He also played a part in Argentina’s second goal as he was fouled outside the box, which allowed Juan Roman Riquelme to score from a free kick, and increase Argentina’s lead to 3–1. The final score of the game was 4–2 in Argentina’s favor and guaranteed them a spot in the tournament’s quarter-finals.

In the third game, against Paraguay the coach rested Messi having already qualified for the quarter-finals. He came off the bench in place of Esteban Cambiasso in the 64th minute, with the score at 0–0. In the 79th minute, he assisted a goal for Javier Mascherano. In the quarter-finals, as Argentina faced Peru, Messi scored the second goal of the game, from a Riquelme pass in a 4–0 win. During the semi-final match against Mexico, Messi scored a lob over Oswaldo Sánchez to see Argentina through to the final with a 3–0 win. Argentina went on to lose 3–0 to Brazil in the final. Messi was elected young player of the tournament.

Having barred Messi from playing for Argentina in the 2008 Olympics, Barcelona agreed to release him after he held talks with newly appointed coach Pep Guardiola. He joined the Argentina squad and scored the first goal in a 2–1 victory over Ivory Coast. He then scored the opening goal and assisted Ángel di María in the second to help his side to a 2–1 extra-time win against the Netherlands. He also featured in Argentina’s match against rivals Brazil, in which Argentina took a 3–0 victory, thus advancing to the final. In the gold medal match, Messi again assisted Di María for the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Nigeria.

On 28 March 2009, in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, Messi wore the number 10 jersey for the first time with Argentina. This match was the first official match for Diego Maradona as the Argentina manager. Argentina won the match 4–0 with Messi opening the scoring. Overall, Messi scored four goals in 18 appearances during the South American 2010 World Cup qualifying process.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Messi wore the number 10 shirt for the first time in a major tournament. He played the entire game on Argentina’s opening match of the tournament, the 1–0 victory against Nigeria. He had several opportunities to score but was repeatedly denied by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who was named man of the match by FIFA. Messi started in Argentina’s following 4–1 win against Korea Republic; he played in more of an attacking midfielder and playmaking role under Maradona, and participated in all of the goals of his team, helping Gonzalo Higuaín score a hat-trick. In the third group match, Messi was named captain for Argentina in a 2–0 win over Greece. He was again the centrepoint of Argentina’s play, playing an important role in both of his team’s goals, and was voted man of the match.

At the Round of 16 he assisted Carlos Tevez for the first goal in a 3–1 win against Mexico. The World Cup ended for Argentina with a 4–0 loss against Germany in the quarter-finals.

Messi was nominated in ten player shortlist for Golden Ball award by FIFA Technical Study Group. The group identified Messi with the following words: “Outstanding in his pace and creativity for his team, dribbling, shooting, passing – spectacular and efficient”.

On 17 November 2010, Messi scored a last-minute goal against South American rivals Brazil after an individual effort to help his team to a 1–0 win in the friendly match, which was held in Doha. This was the first time that he had scored against Brazil at senior level. Messi scored another last-minute goal on 9 February 2011 against Portugal from a penalty kick which gave his side a 2–1 victory in the friendly match, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland. He had also previously assisted the first goal.

Messi took part in the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, where he failed to score a goal but made three assists, finishing as the joint top assist provider of the tournament. He was selected as man of the match in the group matches against Bolivia (1–1) and Costa Rica (3–0). Argentina were eliminated in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot-out against the eventual winners of the Copa América, Uruguay (1–1 a.e.t.), with Messi scoring as the first penalty taker. Messi had also previously assisted Higuaín’s equaliser in the seventeenth minute.

After Argentina’s unsuccessful performance in the Copa América, Sergio Batista was replaced as Argentina coach with Alejandro Sabella. In August 2011, Sabella named Messi as the new permanent captain of the Argentina national team. Messi’s first hat-trick for the Albiceleste came in a friendly match against Switzerland, on 29 February 2012, in a 3–1 win for Argentina.

On 9 June 2012, Messi scored his second international hat-trick in a friendly match against rivals Brazil, including the match winner. The match ended 4–3 to Argentina and Messi was voted man of the match. This brought his international goalscoring tally up to 26 goals in 70 matches, and brought his 2012 tally up to 7 goals in 3 matches. This was also his record-breaking 82nd goal of the season, including all club and international matches. These goals also made him the fourth-highest goalscorer for the Argentinian national team.

On 7 September, Messi scored his 28th goal for Argentina in a 3–1 victory against Paraguay in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match, sending them to the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table. This was his fourth goal in the current World Cup qualifying campaign and his eighth overall in World Cup qualifying matches, making him the third-highest scorer for Argentina in World Cup qualifying matches. This was also his tenth goal for Argentina in the past six matches and his ninth in five matches played in 2012. After scoring twice against Uruguay and once against Chile in October, Messi finished 2012 with 12 goals in nine appearances for Argentina.

On 22 March 2013, Messi scored his first international goal of 2013 from the penalty spot in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela. In the same match he provided two assists for Gonzalo Higuaín as Argentina won 3–0. On 14 June 2013, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 friendly win against Guatemala, surpassing Diego Maradona’s 34 goals on Argentina’s all-time top scorer’s list and matching Hernán Crespo for second with 35 goals. Messi surpassed Crespo’s tally in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, scoring two goals from penalties as well as providing an assist for Sergio Agüero. The match finished 5–2 to Argentina, ensuring their qualification for the 2014 World Cup with two matches at hand. Messi ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as second-top scorer in the South American section with ten goals. On 7 June 2014, Messi scored in a 2–0 win against Slovenia coming on as a substitute, this was his first goal for his national side in the year 2014.

Messi captained the Argentina side in their first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, leading them to a 2–1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 June 2014. Argentina’s opening goal of the match came from an own goal just before the third minute, when Messi whipped in a cross from a free kick, and Rojo’s header was deflected into the net by Kolasinac. In the 65th minute of the match, Messi scored Argentina’s second goal, going on a trademark dribbling run past three players, after a one-two exchange with Higuaín, before scoring from the edge of the penalty area via a slight deflection off Mensur Mujdža. It was his first World Cup goal since scoring against Serbia and Montenegro on his World Cup debut in a 6–0 win in the 2006 tournament. In the team’s second fixture, Messi scored a stoppage time winner against Iran, with a strike from 25 metres, which was curled into the top corner. This goal brought Messi’s international goalscoring tally up to 40, and the 1–0 win allowed Argentina to qualify for the knockout stage.

Messi has been compared to compatriot Diego Maradona, due to their similar playing style and stature, which gives him a lower centre of gravity than most players, allowing him to be more agile and change direction more quickly, helping him to evade tackles. His short, strong legs allow him to excel in short bursts of acceleration and his quick feet allow him to keep control of the ball when dribbling at speed. His former FC Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, once stated: “Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it.” Like Maradona before him, Messi is predominantly a left footed player. With the outside of his left foot, he usually begins dribbling runs, whilst he uses the inside of his foot to finish and provide passes and assists to team mates. Alongside Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi is widely regarded as one of the two best players in the world of his generation, and as one of the best players of all time.

Messi often undertakes individual dribbling runs towards goal, in particular during counterattacks, usually starting from the halfway line, or the right side of the pitch, although he has also been described as a versatile team player, with good vision, known for his passing and his creative combinations, in particular with Barcelona team mates Xavi and Iniesta. He is also an accurate set piece and penalty kick taker. With regards to his dribbling ability, Maradona has said of Messi: “The ball stays glued to his foot; I’ve seen great players in my career, but I’ve never seen anyone with Messi’s ball control.” Maradona has stated that he believes Messi to currently be the greatest player in the world.

Tactically, Messi plays a free attacking and occasionally a playmaking role, known for his finishing, pace, dribbling, balance, positioning, vision and passing ability. He is comfortable attacking on either wing or through the centre of the pitch. He began his career as a left-winger and forward, but was later moved onto the right wing by former manager Frank Rijkaard, who noticed that from this position, Messi could cut through the defense into the middle of the pitch more easily, allowing him to curl shots on goal with his left foot, rather than predominantly crossing balls for team mates. He has more recently played in a false 9 role under Guardiola. This role is characterized by Messi’s tendency to seemingly be playing as a centre forward, or as a lone striker, although he will often run back into deep positions drawing defenders with him, creating space for wingers, other forwards, and attacking midfielders to make runs, allowing him to provide them with assists or giving him space to begin dribbling runs, score goals or create attacking plays. With the Argentinian National team, Messi usually plays anywhere along the front line. He began as a forward or winger but has also played in a deeper role, in particular under Maradona, in more of an attacking midfield and playmaking role.

Messi was at one stage romantically linked to Macarena Lemos, also from his hometown of Rosario. He is said to have been introduced to her by the girl’s father when he returned to Rosario to recover from his injury a few days before the start of the 2006 World Cup. He has in the past also been linked to the Argentine glamour model Luciana Salazar.

In January 2009, he told “Hat Trick Barça”, a programme on Canal 33: “I have a girlfriend and she is living in Argentina. I am relaxed and happy”. He was seen with the girl, Antonella Roccuzzo, at a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby. Roccuzzo is a fellow native of Rosario. On 2 June 2012, Messi assisted and scored a goal in Argentina’s 4–0 win against Ecuador in a World Cup 2014 Qualifying match. He celebrated scoring his 23rd goal for Argentina, by placing the ball under his jersey, as his girlfriend was reportedly 12 weeks pregnant. She posted on Twitter that she expected to give birth in September. Messi stated that the child, a son, would be born in October, and that he and his girlfriend would name him Thiago.

However, the birth came later than expected. On 2 November 2012, Messi became a father for the first time following the birth of his son Thiago. FC Barcelona’s official website briefly stated “Leo Messi is a father”. Besides, the Argentine striker added on his Facebook page: “Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!” He also had the boy’s name and handprints tattooed on his left calf.

To celebrate his son’s first birthday, Messi and Thiago were part of a publicity campaign for UNICEF Those who signed up and participated in the social-media campaign had the chance to win a pair of Messi’s shoes or a signed Messi T-shirt.

Messi has two cousins also involved in football: Maxi, a winger for Club Olimpia of Paraguay, and Emanuel Biancucchi, who plays as a midfielder for Paraguay’s Independiente F.B.C..

In 2013, Messi, a devout Roman Catholic, met Pope Francis, himself a fan of Argentinian club San Lorenzo, at the Vatican, with Messi stating; “Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have to excel on and off the field.”

According to American writer Wright Thompson, Messi has maintained close ties to Rosario and his family since leaving for Spain, and has gone to great lengths to maintain them. These ties begin with his speech—to this day, Messi speaks Spanish with the distinctive accent of Rosario, even though he has now lived in Spain as long as he has in Rosario. He also keeps in daily contact via phone and text with a small group of confidants from Rosario, most of them fellow members of “The Machine of ’87”. One time when he was in training with the Argentina national team in Buenos Aires, he made a three-hour trip by car to Rosario immediately after practice to have dinner with his family, spent the night with them, and then returned to Buenos Aires the next day in time for practice. Messi has also kept ownership of his old house in Rosario, although his family no longer lives in it; he maintains a penthouse apartment in an exclusive residential building in which his mother lives (Messi’s father spends most of his time in Spain with him), as well as a family compound just outside the city.

In 2007, Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation, a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children. In response to Messi’s own childhood medical difficulties, the Leo Messi Foundation has offered Argentine children diagnosed with illnesses treatment in Spain and funds covering the transport, hospital and recuperation costs. Messi’s foundation is supported by his own fundraising activity with additional assistance from Herbalife.

On 11 March 2010 Messi was announced as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Messi’s UNICEF ambassador activities are aimed at supporting children’s rights. Messi is supported in this by Barcelona, who also have a strong association with UNICEF.

He and Newell’s have also ended a long public feud. Messi funded the construction of a dormitory inside Newell’s stadium for the club’s youth academy, as well as a new gymnasium for the club. For its part, Newell’s has begun to embrace its ties with Messi, and plans to issue a special club membership card to Messi’s son.

On March 2013, Lionel Messi donated €600,000 towards the refurbishment of a children’s hospital in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The money was used to renovate the oncology unit at the Victor J Vilela Children’s Hospital, as well as paying for doctors to travel to Barcelona for training.

In March 2010, France Football ranked Messi at the top of its list of the world’s richest footballers, ahead of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, with €33 million ($45 million) in combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings for the previous 12 months. In May 2014, Forbes ranked Messi second behind Cristiano Ronaldo in their list of the world’s highest paid players with earnings of $65 million in the previous 12 months.

In December 2012, Barcelona announced that Messi would sign a five-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2018 and raising his base salary to €16 million ($21.2 million) net, which will make him the highest on-field earner in football. As the tax bracket for this level of income in Spain is 56%, it means that Barcelona will have to pay Messi’s income tax of a little over €20 million ($26.5 million). His formal buy-out clause remains at €250 million.

In September 2012, Messi became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines. Messi shot a commercial for the airline with NBA star Kobe Bryant. In the airline’s latest commercial, the duo competes to win the attention of a young boy. Messi appeared in a 2012 television advert for Japanese face wash Scalp-D.

In July 2013, Messi appeared in an advertisement of WeChat messaging application in China. He was wearing Adidas clothes and holding two WeChat mascots. WeChat is a cross platform messaging application from Tencent. In February 2014, Messi appeared on a Gillette commercial with tennis star Roger Federer. He was announced as the global face of the company’s international football campaign. Gillette has also become a partner of the Leo Messi Foundation to support its mission.

Messi was featured on the front covers of the video games Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 and is also involved in promotional campaigns for the games. Messi, along with Fernando Torres, is the face of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, and was also involved in the motion capturing and the trailer. However in November 2011, Messi was confirmed as the new face of PES’s rival football series FIFA with his debut as a cover star of the series coming in 2012’s FIFA Street. Messi was also chosen to be on the cover of FIFA 13 and FIFA 14. Messi is sponsored by the German sportswear company Adidas and features in their television advertisements. In June 2010, Messi also signed a three–year contract with Herbalife which further supports the Leo Messi Foundation.

Messi was named twice in the Time 100, Time magazine’s annual list of the most influential people in the world, in 2011 and in 2012.

Within a few hours of its launch in April 2011, Messi’s Facebook page had more than six million followers, and in 2013, Messi became the second sportsperson, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to amass over 50 million followers.

Messi ranked second behind Neymar in SportsPro magazine’s 2013 list of the world’s most marketable athletes.

Japanese jeweller Ginza Takana used a cast of Messi’s left foot to create a solid gold replica, weighing 25 kilograms (55 lb), which went on sale in Japan in March 2013 to raise funds for victims of the 2011 T?hoku earthquake and tsunami. It was valued at $5.25 million.

Tags: , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 23, 2014

Read Biography of Ramakant Desai

Ramakant Desai

Read Biography of Ramakant Desai Ramakant Bhikaji Desai About this sound pronunciation was born on June 20, 1939 in Bombay & died on April 28, 1998 in Mumbai, represented India in Test cricket as fast bowler.

Ramakant Desai was unusually fast for a bowler who stood less than 5 feet 6 inches. His size earned him the nickname ‘Tiny’. As the only bowler of pace in the Indian team, he was perennially overworked. He made his Test debut against West Indies in 1958/59 took 4/169 in 49 overs. He troubled the batsmen with bouncers, which was unusual for an Indian bowler at the time.

He toured England in 1959, West Indies in 1961/62 and Australia and New Zealand in 1967/68. Against Pakistan in 1960/61, he took 21 wickets in the series. At Bombay, he scored a quick 85 batting at No.10, an Indian record, and added a record 149 for the ninth wicket with Nana Joshi. His best bowling performance in Tests was 6 for 56 against New Zealand in 1964/65. At Dunedin his jaw was fractured by Dick Motz, despite which he added 57 runs for the last wicket Bishen Bedi.

In his first year in Ranji Trophy, he took 50 wickets in 7 matches at an average. It is still a record for Bombay. In his 11 years in the Bombay team (1958/59 – 1968/69), he never finished in a losing side.

Desai was the chairman of selectors from 1996/97. He resigned the post a month before his death. He died four days after being admitted in a hospital for a cardiac arrest.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 19, 2014

Read Biography of Mahesh Bhupathi

Mahesh Bhupathi

Read Biography of Mahesh Bhupathi Mahesh Shrinivas Bhupathi was born on 7 June 1974 in Chennai is an Indian professional tennis player widely regarded as among the best doubles players in the world with 11 Grand Slam titles to his credit. In 1997, he became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam tournament. With his win of the Australian Open Mixed Doubles in 2006, he joined the elite group of eight tennis players who have achieved a Career Mixed Doubles Grand Slam.

Mahesh Bhupathi is best known as one of the top doubles players in the ’90s and the ’00s. In 1999, Bhupathi won three doubles titles with Leander Paes including Roland Garros and Wimbledon. He and Leander became the first doubles team to reach finals of all four Grand Slams, the first time such a feat has been achieved in the Open era and the first time since 1952. On 26 April that year, they became the World No. 1 doubles team. Bhupathi also won the US Open mixed doubles with Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

In 2006, Bhupathi teamed with Martina Hingis in the Australian Open mixed doubles competition. Entering the tournament unseeded and as wildcards, the first-time pair defeated four seeded opponents along the way, while only dropping a single set throughout. Bhupathi and Hingis defeated the sixth-seeded team of Daniel Nestor and Elena Likhovtseva in straight sets, 6–3, 6–3 to capture the championship. It was the sixth mixed doubles Grand Slam for Bhupathi, and a first for Hingis. By winning Australian Open, Bhupathi completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles.

In 2007, Bhupathi and Czech Radek Št?pánek reached the 2007 Australian Open men’s doubles event’s quarterfinals. He teamed with Št?pánek at the 2007 French Open to make the doubles semifinals, defeating dual-year defending champions Jonas Björkman and Max Mirnyi in the quarterfinals. The team lost to the eventual champions Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor. After Wimbledon Bhupathi teamed along with Pavel Vízner to win the 2007 Canada Masters defeating the top-ranked doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan en route. After this victory, he won a tournament in New Haven with Nenad Zimonji?. At the 2007 U.S. Open, he and Zimonji? paired in doubles. After the U.S. Open, the team that beat Bhupathi and Št?pánek in the French Open semifinals, Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, split. Bhupathi was to become the new partner of Mark Knowles while Zimonji? will partner Nestor, but back surgery means he is now expected to be out until the end of the year.

In 2009, Bhupathi and doubles partner Sania Mirza won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open, beating Nathalie Dechy (France) and Andy Ram (Israel) 6–3, 6–1 in the final in Melbourne. The ace Indian pair thus made up for the disappointment of last year’s final when they were beaten by Tiantian Sun and Nenad Zimonji?. With this win, Bhupathi’s count in mixed doubles Grand Slam titles swells to seven.

Bhupathi broke up his partnership with Knowles and began playing once again with Max Mirnyi, whom he played with to win the 2002 U.S. Open. In 2011, Bhupathi reunited with former playing partner Leander Paes for the 2011 Australian Open. The team of Bhupathi and Paes reached the final, but lost 3–6, 4–6 to Bob and Mike Bryan.

Mahesh Bhupathi has donned Indian colors numerous times for the Davis Cup as well as other international fixtures including Asian Games.

Mahesh Bhupathi has played 46 matches for India in the Davis Cup (from 1995 to 2006), winning 28 and losing 18. Out of the 28 matches that he won, 20 of his victories came in doubles matches.

In 2006, Bhupathi won the doubles championship with Leander Paes at the Asian Games in Doha.

Bhupathi is Christian. His mother tongue is Telugu.

In 2001, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards. Bhupathi is an alumnus of the University of Mississippi in the United States. He was married to model Shvetha Jaishankar, but after been married for seven years, the couple have divorced.

He then married Lara Dutta, Miss Universe of 2000 in a Civil Ceremony on 16 February 2011 at Bandra, Mumbai And later followed by a Christian Ceremony on 20 February 2011 at Sunset Point in Goa.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 6, 2014

Read Biography of Kirti Azad

Kirti Azad

Read Biography of Kirti Azad Kirtivardhan Bhagwat Jha Azad was born on 2 January 1959 in Purnea, Bihar, is a former Indian cricketer who played in seven Tests and 25 ODIs from 1980 to 1986. He attended Modern School in Delhi where he was part of the school cricket team. The highlight of his career was being part of the Indian team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

Kirti Azad also played a memorable innings against Pakistan in 1983 at New Delhi, in an exhibition day/night match. Pakistan batted first and made 197 runs for 3 wickets in 50 overs with Kirti Azad taking all 3 wickets. In India’s reply, Kirti scored a rapid 71 not-out and steered India to a one-wicket victory. He hit seven sixes, including three consecutive sixes off Pakistani medium pacer Jalaluddin.

Kirti Azad is married to Poonam and has two sons. Both his sons, Surya Azad and Somya Azad, have played national level cricket for Delhi.

Later he followed his father Bhagwat Jha Azad, former Chief Minister of Bihar, into politics and was elected to Parliament on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from Darbhanga, Bihar. He is currently serving his second term in the Lok Sabha. He was previously an MLA from Delhi’s Gole Market constituency.

Following a sting operation on players of Indian Premier League in 2012, Azad came out in opposition of the tournament and demanded for it to be banned. He talking about Indian t20 team and zaheer khan,all players play for only money not for country.Kirti Azad said he felt really agitated and ashamed that he is associated with BCCI in the wake of IPL Controversey.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: January 1, 2014

Read Biography of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Read Biography of Tiger Woods Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods was born on December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California, is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years according to Forbes.

Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he had already won his first major, the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as world number one. From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His multiple infidelities were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-long winless streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 Ranking once again.

Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been world number one for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any other golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18), and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead. He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999. Woods is the only golfer to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship.

Woods was born in Cypress, California, to Earl (1932–2006) and Kultida (Tida) Woods (born 1944). He is the only child of their marriage, but does have two half-brothers, Earl Jr. (born 1955) and Kevin (born 1957), and a half-sister, Royce (born 1958) from the 18-year marriage of Earl Woods and his first wife, Barbara Woods Gray. Earl, a retired lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran, was of mostly African American, as well as caucasian, and possible Native American and Chinese, ancestry. Kultida (née Punsawad), originally from Thailand (where Earl had met her on a tour of duty in 1968), is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. He refers to his ethnic make-up as “Cablinasian” (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian).

Woods’ first name, Eldrick, was coined by his mother because it began with “E” (for Earl) and ended with “K” (for Kultida). His middle name Tont is a traditional Thai name. He was nicknamed Tiger in honor of his father’s friend Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who had also been known as Tiger.

Woods has a niece, Cheyenne Woods, who played for Wake Forest University’s golf team and turned professional in 2012, making her pro debut in the LPGA Championship.

Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, a single-figure handicap amateur golfer who had been one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University. In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC’s That’s Incredible. Before turning seven, Tiger won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California. In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys’ event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships. He first broke 80 at age eight. He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991.

Woods’ father Earl wrote that Tiger first beat him when he was 11 years old, with Earl trying his best. Earl lost to Tiger every time from then on. Woods first broke 70 on a regulation golf course at age 12.

Woods’ first major national junior tournament was the 1989 Big I, when he was 13 years old. Woods was paired with pro John Daly, then relatively unknown, in the final round; the event’s format placed a professional with each group of juniors who had qualified. Daly birdied three of the last four holes to beat Woods by only one stroke. As a young teenager, Woods first met Jack Nicklaus in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, when Nicklaus was performing a clinic for the club’s members. Woods was part of the show, and impressed Nicklaus and the crowd with his skills and potential. Earl Woods had researched in detail the career accomplishments of Nicklaus, and had set his young son the goals of breaking those records.

While attending Western High School in Anaheim at the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur champion (a record which stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010). He was named 1991’s Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the first multiple winner; competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut); and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.

The following year, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he remains the event’s only three-time winner. In 1994, at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record he held until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee. He was a member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships (winning), and the 1995 Walker Cup (losing).

Woods graduated from Western High School in 1994 at age 18, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” among the graduating class. He had starred for the high school’s golf team under coach Don Crosby.

Woods was recruited very heavily by college golf powers, and chose Stanford University, the 1994 NCAA Division I champions. He enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994 under a golf scholarship, winning his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational, that September. He declared a major in economics, and was nicknamed “Urkel” by college teammate Notah Begay III. In 1995, he successfully defended his U.S. Amateur title at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports).

Woods participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters Tournament, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut. At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles and won the NCAA individual golf championship. In winning the Silver Medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship, he tied the record for an amateur aggregate score of 281. He left college after two years and turned professional. In 1996, Woods moved out of California, stating in 2013 that it was due to the state’s tax rate.

Woods became a professional golfer in August 1996, and immediately signed deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time. Woods was named Sports Illustrated’s 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. In April 1997, he won his first major, the Masters, becoming the tournament’s youngest-ever winner. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest-ever ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. After a lackluster 1998, Woods finished the 1999 season with eight wins, including the PGA Championship, a feat not achieved since 1974.

In 2000, Woods achieved six consecutive wins, the longest winning streak since 1948. One of these was the 2000 U.S. Open, where he broke or tied nine tournament records in what Sports Illustrated called “the greatest performance in golf history.” At age 24, he became the youngest golfer to achieve the Career Grand Slam. At the end of 2000, Woods had won nine of the twenty PGA Tour events he entered and had broken the record for lowest scoring average in tour history. He was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, the only athlete to be honored twice, and was ranked by Golf Digest magazine as the twelfth-best golfer of all time.

Woods’ victory in the 2001 Masters Tournament made him the first player to hold all four major professional golf titles at the same time. Following a stellar 2001 and 2002 in which Woods continued to dominate the tour, Woods’ career hit a “slump”. He did not win a major in 2003 or 2004. In September 2004, Vijay Singh overtook Woods in the Official World Golf Rankings, ending Woods’ record streak of 264 weeks at #1.

Woods rebounded in 2005, winning six official PGA Tour money events and reclaiming the top spot in July after swapping it back and forth with Singh over the first half of the year.

In 2006, Woods began dominantly, winning his first two PGA tournaments but failing to capture his fifth Masters championship in April. Following the death of his father in May, Woods took a nine-week hiatus from the tour and appeared rusty upon his return at the U.S. Open, missing the cut at Winged Foot. However, he quickly returned to form and ended the year by winning six consecutive tour events. At the season’s close, with 54 wins and 12 majors wins, Woods had broken the tour records for both total wins and total majors wins over eleven seasons.

Woods continued to excel in 2007 and the first part of 2008. In April 2008, he underwent knee surgery and missed the next two months on the tour. Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open, where he struggled the first day but ultimately claimed a dramatic victory over Rocco Mediate, after which Mediate said, “This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination,” and Kenny Perry added, “He beat everybody on one leg.” Two days later, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to further knee surgery, and that his knee was more severely damaged than previously revealed, prompting even greater praise for his U.S. Open performance. Woods called it “my greatest ever championship.” In Woods’ absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.

Upon Woods’ much-anticipated return in 2009, he performed well, including a spectacular performance at the 2009 Presidents Cup, but failed to win a major, the first year since 2004 that he had not done so. After his marital infidelities came to light at the end of 2009 and received massive media coverage, Woods announced in December that he would be taking an indefinite break from competitive golf. In February 2010, he delivered a televised apology for his behavior. During this period, several companies ended their endorsement deals with Woods.

Woods returned to competition in April at the 2010 Masters Tournament, where he finished in a tie for fourth place. He followed the Masters with poor showings at the Quail Hollow Championship and the Players Championship, where he withdrew in the fourth round citing injury. Shortly afterward, Woods’ coach since 2003, Hank Haney, resigned the position; he was replaced in August by Sean Foley. The rest of the season went badly for Woods, who failed to win a single event for the first time since turning professional, while nevertheless finishing the season ranked No. 2 in the world.

Woods’ performance continued to suffer in 2011, taking its toll on his ranking. After falling to No. 7 in March, he rebounded to No. 5 with a strong showing at the 2011 Masters Tournament, where he tied for fourth place. Due to leg injuries incurred at the Masters, he missed several summer events; in July he fired his longtime caddy Steve Williams, replacing him temporarily with friend Bryon Bell. After returning to tournament play in August, Woods continued to falter, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of #58. He rose to No. 50 in mid-November after a third-place finish at the Emirates Australian Open, and broke his winless streak with a victory at December’s Chevron World Challenge.

Woods began his 2012 season with two tournaments (the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) where he started off well, but struggled on the final rounds. Following the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he was knocked out in the second round by missing a 5-foot putt, Woods revised his putting technique and tied for second at the Honda Classic, with the lowest final round score in his PGA Tour career. After a short time off due to another leg injury, Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first win on the PGA Tour since the BMW Championship in September 2009. Following several dismal performances, Woods notched his 73rd PGA Tour win at the Memorial Tournament in June, tying Jack Nicklaus’ record for most PGA Tour victories; a month later, Woods surpassed Nicklaus’ record with a win at the AT&T National.

2013 would bring a return of Woods’ dominating play. He won the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2013 by four shots for his 75th PGA Tour win. It was the seventh time he had won the event. In March, he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship, also for the seventh time, giving him his 17th WGC title and first since 2009. Two weeks later, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, winning the event for a record-tying 8th time. The win moved him back to the top of the world rankings. To commemorate that achievement, Nike was quick to launch an ad with the tagline “winning takes care of everything”.

On April 13, 2013, Woods was up for disqualification from the 2013 Masters Tournament over claims he took an illegal drop after his third shot on the par-5 15th hole bounced off of the pin and into the water. After further review, Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty for the drop and not disqualified. He finished T4 in the event. Woods won The Players Championship in May 2013, his second career win at the event, notching his fourth win of the 2013 season. It was the quickest he had ever gotten to four wins in any season in his professional career.

Woods had a poor showing at the 2013 U.S Open as a result of an elbow injury sustained at The Players Championship. In finishing at +13, he recorded his worst score ever as a professional and finished 12 strokes behind winner Justin Rose. After a prolonged break because of the injury, during which he missed the Greenbrier Classic and his own AT&T National, he returned at the Open Championship at Muirfield. Despite being in contention all week and beginning the final round only two stokes behind Lee Westwood, he struggled with the speed of the greens and could only manage a 3-over-par 74 which left him tied for 6th place, five strokes behind eventual winner Phil Mickelson. Two weeks later, Woods returned to form at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, recording his 5th win of the season and 8th win at the event in its 15 year history. His second round 61 matched his record score on the PGA Tour and could easily have been a 59 were it not for some short missed birdie putts on the closing holes. This gave him a seven stroke lead which he held on to for the rest of the tournament. Woods would come short of winning a major for the 5th full season, only contending in two of the four majors in 2013.

On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced that Woods would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame. He was inducted December 5, 2007 at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

He has been named “Athlete of the Decade” by the Associated Press in December 2009. He has been named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year a record-tying four times, and is the only person to be named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year more than once.

Since his record-breaking win at the 1997 Masters Tournament, golf’s increased popularity is commonly attributed to Woods’ presence. He is credited by some sources for dramatically increasing prize money in golf, generating interest in new audiences, and for drawing the largest TV audiences in golf history.

Woods has been called the world’s most marketable athlete. Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he began signing endorsement deals with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture, and Nike, Inc. In 2000, he signed a 5-year, $105 million contract extension with Nike. It was the largest endorsing deal ever signed by an athlete at that time. Woods’ endorsement has been credited with playing a significant role in taking the Nike Golf brand from a “start-up” golf company earlier in the past decade, to becoming the leading golf apparel company in the world, and a major player in the equipment and golf ball market. Nike Golf is one of the fastest growing brands in the sport, with an estimated $600 million in sales. Woods has been described as the “ultimate endorser” for Nike Golf, frequently seen wearing Nike gear during tournaments, and even in advertisements for other products. Woods receives a percentage from the sales of Nike Golf apparel, footwear, golf equipment, golf balls, and has a building named after him at Nike’s headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

In 2002, Woods was involved in every aspect of the launch of Buick’s Rendezvous SUV. A company spokesman stated that Buick was happy with the value of Woods’ endorsement, pointing out that more than 130,000 Rendezvous vehicles were sold in 2002 and 2003. “That exceeded our forecasts,” he was quoted as saying, “It has to be in recognition of Tiger.” In February 2004, Buick renewed Woods’ endorsement contract for another five years, in a deal reportedly worth $40 million.

Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world’s first professional golf watch, released in April 2005. The lightweight, titanium-construction watch, designed to be worn while playing the game, incorporates numerous innovative design features to accommodate golf play. It is capable of absorbing up to 5,000 Gs of shock, far in excess of the forces generated by a normal golf swing. In 2006, the TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch won the prestigious iF product design award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.

Woods also endorses the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of video games; he has done so since 1999. In 2006, he signed a six-year contract with Electronic Arts, the series’ publisher.

In February 2007, along with Roger Federer and Thierry Henry, Woods became an ambassador for the “Gillette Champions” marketing campaign. Gillette did not disclose financial terms, though an expert estimated the deal could total between $10 million and $20 million.

In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand of sports drink starting in March 2008. “Gatorade Tiger” was his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million. The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak sales.

According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicted that by 2010, Woods would pass one billion dollars in earnings. In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world’s first athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career (before taxes), after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title. The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest “African American” behind only Oprah Winfrey.

In July 2011, Woods appeared on a 15-second Japanese television commercial, endorsing a heat back rub by Kowa Co., the Vantelin Kowa rub. Details of the deal, which was made in late 2010, were not disclosed.

In October 2012, it was announced that Woods had signed an exclusive endorsement deal with Fuse Science, Inc, a sports nutrition firm.

Early in Woods’ career, a small number of golf experts expressed concern about his impact on the competitiveness of the game and the public appeal of professional golf. Sportswriter Bill Lyon of Knight-Ridder asked in a column, “Isn’t Tiger Woods actually bad for golf?” (though Lyon ultimately concluded that he was not). At first, some pundits feared that Woods would drive the spirit of competition out of the game of golf by making existing courses obsolete and relegating opponents to simply competing for second place each week.

A related effect was measured by economist Jennifer Brown of the University of California, Berkeley who found that other golfers played worse when competing against Woods than when he was not in the tournament. The scores of highly skilled (exempt) golfers are nearly one stroke higher when playing against Woods. This effect was larger when he was on winning streaks and disappeared during his well-publicized slump in 2003–04. Brown explains the results by noting that competitors of similar skill can hope to win by increasing their level of effort, but that, when facing a “superstar” competitor, extra exertion does not significantly raise one’s level of winning while increasing risk of injury or exhaustion, leading to reduced effort.

Many courses in the PGA Tour rotation (including Major Championship sites like Augusta National) have added yardage to their tees in an effort to reduce the advantage of long hitters like Woods, a strategy that became known as “Tiger-Proofing”. Woods said he welcomed the change, in that adding yardage to courses did not affect his ability to win.

When Woods first joined the professional tour in 1996, his long drives had a large impact on the world of golf. However, when he did not upgrade his equipment in the following years (insisting upon the use of True Temper Dynamic Gold steel-shafted clubs and smaller steel clubheads that promoted accuracy over distance), many opponents caught up to him. Phil Mickelson even made a joke in 2003 about Woods using “inferior equipment”, which did not sit well with Nike, Titleist or Woods. During 2004, Woods finally upgraded his driver technology to a larger clubhead and graphite shaft, which, coupled with his clubhead speed, made him one of the Tour’s lengthier players off the tee once again.

Despite his power advantage, Woods has always focused on developing an excellent all-around game. Although in recent years he has typically been near the bottom of the Tour rankings in driving accuracy, his iron play is generally accurate, his recovery and bunker play is very strong, and his putting (especially under pressure) is possibly his greatest asset. He is largely responsible for a shift to higher standards of athleticism amongst professional golfers, and is known for putting in more hours of practice than most.

From mid-1993, while he was still an amateur, until 2004, Woods worked almost exclusively with leading swing coach Butch Harmon. From mid-1997, Harmon and Woods fashioned a major redevelopment of Woods’ full swing, achieving greater consistency, better distance control, and better kinesiology. The changes began to pay off in 1999. From March 2004 to 2010, Woods was coached by Hank Haney, who worked on flattening his swing plane. Woods continued to win tournaments with Haney, but his driving accuracy dropped significantly. Haney resigned in May 2010 and was replaced by Sean Foley.

Mike “Fluff” Cowan served as Woods’ caddy from the start of his professional career until March 1999. He was replaced by Steve Williams, who became a close friend of Woods and is often credited with helping him with key shots and putts. In June 2011, Woods fired Williams and replaced him with Woods’ friend Bryon Bell, on an interim basis. Joe LaCava, a former caddy of both Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, was hired by Woods shortly after.

The Tiger Woods Foundation was established in 1996 by Woods and his father Earl, with the primary goal of promoting golf among inner-city children. The foundation has conducted junior golf clinics across the country, and sponsors the Tiger Woods Foundation National Junior Golf Team in the Junior World Golf Championships. As of December 2010, TWF employed approximately 55 people.

The foundation operates the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a $50 million, 35,000-square-foot facility in Anaheim, California, providing college-access programs for underserved youth. The TWLC opened in 2006 and features seven classrooms, extensive multi-media facilities and an outdoor golf teaching area. The center has since expanded to four additional campuses: two in Washington, DC; one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and one in Stuart, Florida.

The foundation benefits from the annual Chevron World Challenge and AT&T National golf tournaments hosted by Woods. In October 2011, the foundation hosted the first Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach. Other annual fundraisers have included the concert events Block Party, last held in 2009 in Anaheim, and Tiger Jam, last held in 2011 in Las Vegas after a one-year hiatus.

In November 2006, Woods announced his intention to begin designing golf courses around the world through a new company, Tiger Woods Design. A month later, he announced that the company’s first course would be in Dubai as part of a 25.3 million-square-foot development, The Tiger Woods Dubai. The Al Ruwaya Golf Course was initially expected to finish construction in 2009. As of February 2010, only seven holes had been completed; in April 2011, The New York Times reported that the project had been shelved permanently.

Tiger Woods Design has taken on two other courses, neither of which has materialized. In August 2007, Woods announced The Cliffs at High Carolina, a private course in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. After a groundbreaking in November 2008, the project suffered cash flow problems and suspended construction. A third course, in Punta Brava, Mexico, was announced in October 2008, but incurred delays due to issues with permits and an environmental impact study. Construction on the Punta Brava course has not yet begun.

The problems encountered by these projects have been credited to factors including overly optimistic estimates of their value; declines throughout the global economy, particularly the U.S. crash in home prices; and decreased appeal of Woods following his 2009 infidelity scandal.

Woods wrote a golf instruction column for Golf Digest magazine from 1997 to February 2011. In 2001 he wrote a best-selling golf instruction book, How I Play Golf, which had the largest print run of any golf book for its first edition, 1.5 million copies.

In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren. They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. They married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, and lived at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. In 2006, they purchased a $39 million estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, and began constructing a 10,000-square-foot home; Woods moved there in 2010 following the couple’s divorce.

Woods and Nordegren’s first child, a daughter named Sam Alexis Woods, was born in 2007. Woods chose the name because his own father had always called him Sam.

On November 25, 2009, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had an extramarital affair with New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, a claim she denied. Two days later, around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, Woods left home in his Cadillac Escalade SUV and, while still on his street, collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and several hedges. He was treated for minor facial lacerations and received a ticket for careless driving. Following intense media speculation about the accident, Woods released a statement on his website taking sole responsibility for the accident, calling it a “private matter” and crediting his wife for helping him from the car. On November 30, Woods announced that he would not be appearing at his own charity golf tournament, the Chevron World Challenge, nor any other tournaments in 2009, due to his injuries.

On December 2, following the release by US Weekly of a voicemail message allegedly left by Tiger for a mistress, Woods released another statement in which he admitted “transgressions” and apologized to “all of those who have supported over the years”, while reiterating his and his family’s right to privacy. Over the next few days, more than a dozen women claimed in various media outlets to have had affairs with Woods. On December 11, he released a third statement admitting to infidelity and apologizing again, as well as announcing that he would be taking “an indefinite break from professional golf.”

In the days and months following Woods’ admission of infidelity, several companies re-evaluated their relationships with him. Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and General Motors completely ended their sponsorship deals, while Gillette suspended advertising featuring Woods. TAG Heuer dropped Woods from advertising in December 2009 and officially ended their deal when his contract expired in August 2011. The magazine Golf Digest suspended Woods’ monthly column beginning with the February 2010 issue. In contrast, Nike continued to support Woods, as did Electronic Arts, which was working with Woods on the game Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. A December 2009 study estimated the shareholder loss caused by Woods’ affairs to be between $5 billion and $12 billion.

On February 19, 2010, Woods gave a televised statement in which he said he had been in a 45-day therapy program since the end of December. He again apologized for his actions. “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to,” he said. “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish.” He said he did not know yet when he would be returning to golf. He announced a few weeks later on March 16 that he would be returning at the 2010 Masters Tournament on April 8.

Woods and Nordegren divorced on August 23, 2010.

From childhood Woods was raised as a Buddhist, and he actively practiced this faith from childhood until well into his adult professional golf career. In a 2000 article, Woods was quoted as saying he “believes in Buddhism… Not every aspect, but most of it.” He has attributed his deviations and infidelity to his losing track of Buddhism. He said, “Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.”

Tiger Woods is registered to vote as an independent. In January 2009, Woods delivered a speech commemorating the military at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. In April 2009, Woods visited the White House while in the Washington, D.C. area promoting the golf tournament he hosts, the AT&T National.

Woods underwent laser eye surgery in 1999. Before this surgery, Woods eyesight was minus 11, meaning he was almost legally blind. He considered the surgery a big help in his career and a good alternative to the glasses and contact lenses. He immediately started winning tour events after the surgery. He received money from TLC Laser Eye Centers to endorse them. In 2007, he had a second laser eye surgery when his vision began to deteriorate again.

On March 18, 2013, Woods announced that he and skier Lindsey Vonn were dating.

Woods has won 79 official PGA Tour events including 14 majors. He is 14–1 when going into the final round of a major with at least a share of the lead. He has been heralded as “the greatest closer in history” by multiple golf experts. He owns the lowest career scoring average and the most career earnings of any player in PGA Tour history.

Woods victory at the 2013 Players Championship also marked a win in his 300th PGA Tour start. He also won golf tournaments in his 100th (in 2000) and 200th (in 2006) tour starts.

Woods has spent the most consecutive and cumulative weeks atop the world rankings. He is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus) to have won all four professional major championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and was the youngest to do so. Woods is the only player to have won all four professional major championships in a row, accomplishing the feat in the 2000–2001 seasons.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: December 30, 2013