All posts by Rajgopal Nidamboor

The Gandhian Olympian

His supreme athletic excellence had always been an evolution of mind: a progression of modes of response: from the simple to the compound, from the compound to the complex, from reflex to tropism, and from tropism to instinct. His prowess was also obvious: nothing beneath science, nor above it. Appa...more

English Sonata & Dilemma

The spectacular scenery of the English countryside is as quaint as its wonderful 'innovation' - the willow game. Generations of cricket aspirants, and professionals, from the world over, have reached the shores of England, and played the game in the English circuit with enthusiasm, conscientiousn...more

Of Dope & Hope

That Maria Sharapova failed a dope test, last year, was nothing new. A swift flashback would reveal that it was Martina Hingis before her - one of tennis' princess charming - who carried that jinxed alchemy for doping. That Hingis retired from tennis and is now on a new-fangled winning spree, in ...more

Whither Kenya Cricket?

First, the flashback. It's a paradox that is part of life itself. Of difference too - a virtual duality of both design and presence. Long thought to be minnows, Kenya delivered a superb KO punch, which would have made Muhammed Ali proud - not just in terms of its inspired performances, but at lea...more

‘Coupling’ it Up

For Fred Couples, the 'Boom-Boom' man of golf, life had, sort of, gone up and down with golf - the graphics of the game to be precise. Add to this a fussy, messy and stressful first marriage, which finally ended in divorce, and you had had the theme song of one's burden when things go wrong. It was ...more

Kafelnikov 2000

When Yevgeny Kafelnikov deservedly won his second Aussie Open singles crown in succession - his third Grand Slam title in five years, it was for him the perfect icing on the cake, thanks or no thanks to Pete Sampras. Kafelnikov's cerebral skills were just as good as his racquet skills and the fau...more

The Modern Owens

The genius of Carl Lewis, modern athletics' version of Jesse Owens, the legendary Olympian, was always obvious.  But, in professional sports, it's easy to get emotionally lost, particularly when you are performing below expectation. Linking who you are as a person with how you do on the playin...more

Limits of Being a Genius

Tennis, in more ways than one, is akin to formulation: of what to do, how, when, and where. Agreed that anybody can hit forehands, backhands, serves, and volleys; but, for the best, and the gifted, tennis is a game of intelligence - a sport that is not only played with a ball and a racquet, but betw...more

Taylor: Mark of Class

Mark Taylor, who played his last Test match in January 1999, exemplified the game's most basic motif - selflessness in the light of having almost reached the highest level of individual achievement, like no other leader in contemporary sport. Flashback. The genteel manner in which he 'gy...more

Soft & Tough As Gough

Darren Gough won the Vodafone England Cricketer of the Year award, 15 years ago... When Darren Gough arrived on the English cricket horizon like a breath of fresh air, the otherwise reticent, and tight-lipped Poms lost no time in heralding the onset of the Gough Era. Critics too joined the bandwa...more