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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

World Cup 2014: Rise of the Underdogs

So, the quarterfinal lineup for World Cup is ready and the big names like Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Netherlands are in the quarterfinals. Joining them are Belgium, Columbia and Costa Rica. Well, some big names like Italy, England, Portugal and even Uruguay are out. We have seen some spirited performance from the underdogs. Thus, World Cup 2014 perhaps can be termed as the rise of underdogs. Let us take a look at the underdogs this time.
Algeria: May be, I put their names at the beginning because they came alphabetically. However, the way they fought against Germany to the end was an epic match of this world cup. They did not play like an underdog at all but was the better team. They were unlucky not to have won the match and Germany was lucky that Ozil found the net at the right moment. In the group stage, Algeria was unlucky to lose to Belgium 1-2 despite finishing the first half with a lead of 1-0. They demolished South Korea and drew with Russia.
Costa Rica: It is a fairy tale World Cup for Costa Rica. In the group stage they remained undefeated and even won 2 matches and drew 1-1. They won against Italy and Uruguay and drew with England. According to FIFA ranking, Costa Rica is the 28th ranked country in the world. So, it is indeed a fairy tale run for them and they are going to face Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Hardly anyone is expecting them to win against the mighty Holland but who knows fairy tales can come true.
Chile: They almost had a fairy tale run too. In the group stage, Chile lost to Netherlands but they defeated Australia and the reigning champion Spain. IN the round of 16, they held Brazil to the 120 minutes but then lost in the penalty shootout. Defeating Spain and holding Brazil to 120 minutes are not that easy tasks. In both the matches, they looked strong. If they had advanced to the quarterfinal then it would have been simply great but they were unlucky.
USA: Things would have changed a lot of USA could win against Portugal in the stage. They suffered a goal in the 95th minute and until that point, USA was leading 2-1. This caused a loss of confidence and in the next match, they lost to Germany. Then in round of 16, they lost to Belgium 1-2. In Tim Howard, they have got a superb goalkeeper. He was at his best form against Belgium. Most of the time, it was Belgium vs Tim Howard. The spirited performance of USA brought a lot of interest among American people. President Obama enjoyed the matches too.
Belgium: You may call them dark horse but they are red in color. They have won every match so far. They defeated Algeria, Russia and South Korea. In the round of 16, Belgium overcame USA. The only thing that might cause some worry for them is the fact that they are finding it some difficult to get goals. In the group stage, Belgium scored only 4 goals in 3 matches. This does not look to be many for a team that scored full 9 points in the group stage. Well Argentina got only 5. Belgium has conceded only 2 goals so far and that is surely impressive.
Columbia: Columbia is going to face Brazil in the quarterfinals and if they can win this match the players will become immortal in the country’s history. This is the best run for Columbia in the history of world cup. In the group stage, Columbia defeated, Greece, Japan and Ivory Coast. They scored 9 goals while conceding just 2. Then, in the round of 16, they defeated Urugay 2-0. Thus, they have scored 11 goals and suffered just 2 in their 4 matches so far. However, defeating Brazil in Brazil may just prove to be too difficult for Columbia.
Switzerland: I feel somewhat sad for the Swiss team. They suffered exit after losing to Argentina by 1-0 yesterday. They played well and contained Argentina for 90 minutes quite well. Then towards the end of the extra time, Messi showed his magic and passed the ball to Di Maria. The Swizz suffered a humiliating defeat of 2-5 at the hands of France but apart from that they played well in the tournament. It was not an easy game for Argentina despite Messi creating 8 chances for his teammates.  
Most competitive world cup: I have been keeping track of World Cup since 1982. I feel that it is the most competitive world cup. It has happened mainly because of the rise of underdogs. I will not be shocked if one of teams among Columbia, Costa Rica and Belgium can move to the semis. However, I don’t see any of these 3 teams winning the title. Still, the gap among the football superpowers and underdogs has decreased a lot. It is clear in this world cup.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Who will Win World Cup Football 2014?

This World Cup Football 2014 will be memorable for many reasons. Not to mention that it has broken records in viewership in TV and Internet. Everyone is busy in social media. We could hardly imagine that there were so many football fans in USA. Ronaldo and Rooney, Italy and the current champion Spain all suffered an early exit from group stage. Now, the question comes who will the world cup football 2014? In this blog post, I am going to take a look at the current form of 5-6 teams.
Brazil: They are the host team and they are one of the favorites. Brazil has remained undefeated so far but has not impressed the fans totally. Not only they could not defeat Mexico in the group stage but their performance against Chile was lackluster too. The only good thing about this team is that they have Neymar in form scoring 4 goals so far. In quarterfinal they are taking on Colombia and if they win that then they will face either Germany or France in semis. So, it will be a tough fixture. A lot depends on how Neymar plays.
France: In 2010, France played poorly and the team suffered a lot of criticism at home. However, this time they look solid and did very well in the group stage. They scored 8 goals in the group stage. Their strikers are on fire and they look solid defensively. In the round of 16, France defeated Nigeria by 2-0. Well, in the quarterfinal they will have to face Germany and even if they win that match then in semis they will have perhaps Brazi. So, things can go only difficult from here on for France.
Germany: I have a mixed feeling about the performance of Germany this time. They have perhaps the strongest squad. They were in a difficult group. They demolished Portugal in the opening match by 4-0 but since then they have not totally impressed anyone. They drew with Ghana, luckily defeated USA and had to work very hard to overcome Algeria after extra time in round of 16. Thus, their performance is going downward and they have to be at their very best if they wish to defeat France in the quarterfinal. I am not that impressed with Germany this time.
Netherlands: Netherlands has scored the highest number of goals in this world cup so far. Arjen Robben is on fire. He is scoring goals, assisting and causing havoc among defenders of the opposition team. The Dutch have won every game and they just looked some nervous against Australia. Except it, they are in fine form. They reached the final in 2010 and this time, they might just go all the way. They are now the hot favorite among millions of people in the world. In quarterfinal, Holland will face Costa Rica and after that they may have to face Argentina in the quarterfinal.
Argentina: Argentina has won all the 3 matches in the group and Messi is in great form. He has scored 4 goals and all 4 of them were among the top ten goals of this world cup. However, except this, Argentina looks to be a very ordinary side. Luck is with them so far. At the right time, they are getting the goals. If Messi can keep us his luck and play his natural game then he is unstoppable and can do better than Diego Maradona of 1986. Well, they have to pass Switzerland first.
In my book, these are the teams favorite to win World Cup Football 2014. Among the other teams, Columbia won 3 of their group matches and scored 9 goals. In the knockout stage, they defeated Uruguay by 2-0. However, Brazil may prove to be too good for them. If you talk about fairy tale campaign then Costa Rica surely has this time. They topped their group ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England and that is something that you cannot imagine every day. Costa Rica defeated Greece and now going to face Netherlands.
The good performance of USA will help to increase the popularity of soccer in USA. This time, many people really enjoyed the event. Well, one reason perhaps is that Brazil is near to US time zone but still, this is a ground breaking time for the soccer in America. It may result bringing more TV viewership and commercial revenue for MLS. I must say a few words about Mexico. They were unlucky against Holland. Mexico drew with Brazil in the first round. They have a great goalkeeper. Belgium looks like a dark horse as they have advanced with confidence. Switzerland also looks dangerous and they will surely give Messi and Argentina very hard time later tonight.
I still think that someone from the big names will become champion of 2014 World Cup Football. Remember that until now, no European team has been able to win the world cup in America. This time, Argentina and Brazil look a bit shaky but no European team looks that solid either. Netherland had a close call against Australia and Mexico. Who knows we might just see a Brazil vs Argentina final and the way things have moved, it is possible.

This is a very exciting world cup. Brazil has acted a good host despite the discontent among many workers. TV viewership is moving towards greater heights. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have seen unprecedented growth in messages and discussion related to football/soccer. It is nice to see that American people now watch and even play this game more. The next world cup is going to take place in Russia.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What is my biggest mistake in Blogging?

I had everything to become a successful blogger. I am an educated person, I love browsing Internet, I am a hardworking and motivated person. I could work 12-16 hours a day. I had all the ingredients of becoming a legendary blogger. Still I failed so miserably that I am not a blogger anymore. So, it is time for me to find own my mistakes. The single biggest mistake was not focusing on a single blog or a single topic.
Yes, if I could get back to the past or the year 2006, I would have just focused on a single blog and make it have 1 million page views a month. I really had the potential for that. However, I was always in a hurry and I was running from one blog to another blog. I was running from one topic to another. Even in a single blog, I was running from one topic to another.
What can I say? I was immature and not wise. Well, on the other hand, my life was full of mental stress and I was passing through a very tough time.
Thus, it was my biggest mistake but at the same time, it was my toughest time in life. There was so much stress that I could not focus at all.
The second biggest mistake that I made was that I could not understand the full potential of blogging. I was just concerned with getting more traffic from search engines like Google. Except it, I did not bother about anything else. I did not bother about the other things that blogging could give me- getting interviewed by prestigious media like BBC, CNN or speaking in local TV channels or radio stations etc. Again, my life was full of problems and thinking about them was impossible.
The final big mistake that I made was not trying to establish myself as an expert on a particular topic. My biggest opportunity was to establish myself as an expert on South Asia, India and Bangladesh. Again, I was passing through a very tough time. Then I became very sick. So, I could not get any real success in blogging.
I had some limitations too and the biggest limitation was not having high speed Internet for the first 4 years of blogging. For four years, the average speed was just 10 KBPS or 80 kbps or even less than that. There were some other limitations too. There were serious problems in my life. My wife got very sick and then I became very sick.
So, while I had made some mistakes in blogging, I also suffered from abnormal problems too. To be honest, my serious problems started at the same time I started professional blogging. Bad health also caused that I could not try. I was and still not a lazy person. I love to try and work hard. I still love to try my best. So, I am unlucky that stress and bad health both happened at the same time.
Now, I need to learn from my mistakes and at the same time, I am deeply grateful to God that my condition has improved a lot. The most important thing that I have learnt is that you must never give up. Secondly, if you keep on trying then you will come out of the bad condition sooner or later and you will become stronger. Thirdly, it is important to learn from our mistakes. It is important to gain wisdom from our tough condition.
What is next? I want to be a writer and I wish that someday, I can be a successful blogger. My life still needs a lot of adjustment. I still have some complicated problems and limitations to pass. However, I feel simply great to be able to write this entry without putting any pressure on my health or mind. This post will not bring any money or anything at all. It will not be ready by hundreds of people. May be, 100 or maximum 1000 people will read in one year.
Still, in a long time, this is the first entry that I could type without any stress. It has taken almost 3 hours to write it. I could have finished it within an hour but then would have suffered some stress. Slow and steady wins the race. I hope to go slow and move as slowly as possible. I love speed but it is time I should focus on going slow and improving my quality as a writer. It will take time but hopefully, if I can work regularly then each month would bring some improvement slowly and steadily.
Thanks a lot for reading it. I know it is a nonsense blog post to you but for me it is the beginning of a new stage in my life.


Thanks a lot to all our Readers, Visitors and Followers

This has been perhaps my most successful blog with 1400+ Facebook likes, 1550+ Feedburner Subscribers and 367 Google followers. It is my bad luck that I became very sick and suffered numerous accidents and could not continue this blog. I wish that I could come back to this blog and write here full time. However, I know that it is not possible but the good thing is that I am going to use this blog to come back to writing.
After suffering almost 5 years of bad health and a too much mental stress, I am now back to writing again. I love to write and perhaps I was born to write only. It is such a good feeling to be able to blog again. It is such a good feeling to be able to write again.
I know that I will cause some annoyance to many of the followers of this blog. Actually, now I realize the main problem of this blog- it never had any focus. I wrote about many topics and this way main mistake in blogging. I did not stick to any blog or any topic.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Schedule of T20 World Cup Cricket 2014

Schedule of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, the fifth edition of the tournament, has been finalized. The T20-based cricket tournament, which will be hosted by Bangladesh, is scheduled to start from March 16 to April 6. All the matches of this tournament will be played in three venues- Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (Dhaka), Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (Chittagong) and Sylhet Divisional Stadium (Sylhet).
Unlike the previous editions of the tournament, this edition will be a different one. In the previous editions, teams had to compete in group stage and super-eight round before the knockout round. However, the format of this edition includes a qualifying round and a super 10 round.
It is perhaps going to be the biggest ever T20 World Cup tournament with having 16 teams, including 10 full members qualified directly and 6 associate members qualified through the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. Out of 16 teams, top eight Test teams has directly entered into super 10 stage leaving Zimbabwe and Bangladesh who finished ninth and tenth ranked team in the ICC Test rankings. These two teams will have to compete with other qualifying teams (Afghanistan, Ireland, Nepal, Hong Kong, UAE and Netherlands) in the first round between March 16 and 21 for the remaining two places in the super 10 stage.
Bangladesh has been included in Group A along with Nepal, Afghanistan and Hong Kong while Group B consists of Zimbabwe, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Netherlands. Winner from each group will be qualified to play in Super 10 round. Group B winner will be included in Group 1 along with South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand. On the other hand, Group A winner will make their place in Group 2 along with Australia, India, Pakistan and West Indies.
It is nice to see that timing for the matches of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 is suitable for the viewers living in other Asian countries because there is not much difference between the local times in Asian subcontinent. So, it can be said without any doubt that timing of the T20 World Cup fixture would be compatible for the Asian viewers.
A total of 35 matches will be played in this tournament. Before taking part in the tournament, teams will compete with each other in practice matches starting from March 12. Practice matches will be played in the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Narayanganj, BKSP Ground in Savar and Cox's Bazar Stadium will host practice matches.
Bangladesh’s chance of hosting the Twenty20 World Cup tournament was doubt due to political turmoil inside the country. Countries like Pakistan also raised their concern over security. It was thought that tournament will be rescheduled and shifted to another Asian country. However, thanks to the decision of the ICC officials, Bangladesh has remained the host of the Twenty20 World Cup 2014. Bangladesh has become the second Asian country to host this event second consecutive time. Sri Lanka hosted the previous tournament in 2012.
Date
Match
Group
Teams
Time
Venue
16-03-2014
1st Match
Group A
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
16-03-2014
2nd Match
Group A
Hong Kong vs Nepal
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
17-03-2014
3rd Match
Group B
Ireland vs Zimbabwe
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Sylhet Stadium
17-03-2014
4th Match
Group B
Netherlands vs United Arab Emirates
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Sylhet Stadium
18-03-2014
5th Match
Group A
Afghanistan vs Hong Kong
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
18-03-2014
6th Match
Group A
Bangladesh vs Nepal
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
19-03-2014
7th Match
Group B
Netherlands vs Zimbabwe
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Sylhet Stadium
19-03-2014
8th Match
Group B
Ireland vs United Arab Emirates
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Sylhet Stadium
20-03-2014
9th Match
Group A
Afghanistan vs Nepal
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
20-03-2014
10th Match
Group A
Bangladesh vs Hong Kong
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
21-03-2014
11th Match
Group B
Zimbabwe vs United Arab
Local 11:30
GMT 05:30
Sylhet Stadium
21-03-2014
12th Match
Group B
Ireland vs Netherlands
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Sylhet Stadium
21-03-2014
13th Match
Group 2
India vs Pakistan
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
22-03-2014
14th Match
Group 1
South Africa vs Sri Lanka
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
22-03-2014
15th Match
Group 1
England vs New Zealand
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
23-03-2014
16th Match
Group 2
Australia vs Pakistan
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
23-03-2014
17th Match
Group 2
India vs West Indies
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
24-03-2014
18th Match
Group 1
New Zealand vs South Africa
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
24-03-2014
19th Match
Group 1
Sri Lanka vs TBC (Qualifier B1)
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
25-03-2014
20th Match
Group 2
West Indies vs TBC (Qualifier A1)
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
27-03-2014
21st March
Group 1
South Africa vs TBC (Qualifier B1)
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
27-03-2014
22nd Match
Group 1
England vs Sri Lanka
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
28-03-2014
23rd Match
Group 2
Australia vs West Indies
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
28-03-2014
24th Match
Group 2
India vs TBC (Qualifier A1)
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
29-03-2014
25th Match
Group 1
New Zealand vs TBC (Qualifier B1)
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
29-03-2014
26th Match
Group 1
England vs South Africa
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
30-03-2014
27th Match
Group 2
Pakistan vs TBC (Qualifier A1)
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
30-03-2014
28th Match
Group 2
Australia vs India
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
31-03-2014
29th Match
Group 1
England vs TBC (Qualifier B1)
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
31-03-2014
30th Match
Group 1
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
01-04-2014
31st Match
Group 2
Australia vs TBC (Qualifier A1)
Local 15:30
GMT 09:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
01-04-2014
32nd Match
Group 2
Pakistan vs West Indies
Local 19:30
GMT 13:30
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
03-04-2014
33rd Match
Semi-Final 1
Group 1 winners vs Group 2 runners-up
Local 19:00
GMT 13:00
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
04-04-2014
34th Match
Semi-Final 2
Group 2 winners vs Group 1 runners-up
Local 19:00
GMT 13:00
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
06-04-2014
35th Match
Final
TBD vs TBD
Local 19:00
GMT 13:00
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

To get more information, one can visit the official website of ICC, ICC World Twenty20

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