The Great Brown Hope

vikash.jpg I don’t know about you, but my attention next month will turn to Germany, host of this year’s football – yeah, yeah, soccer – World Cup. The 32-team tournament kicks off June 9 with Germany vs. Costa Rica; the final is a month later. To succeed Brazil as world champions, the bookies favor the Brazilians themselves, at 9/4. Argentina and Germany follow at 7/1. Asia’s four entries get little respect: Japan and Korea are at 150/1, Iran at 250/1, and should Saudi Arabia win it all, you’d pocket 500 times your bet.

Oh. You were looking for a desi angle?

Well, there barely is one – no thanks to the South Asian teams, which lived down to their reputation as doormats in the Asia qualifying rounds. India got a 6-0 spanking from Japan and lost 5-1 to Oman. At least it had one win, against Singapore; the same cannot be said of Sri Lanka or the Maldives, which finished last in their groups. Pakistan didn’t even make the group stage, falling by a total 6-0 in a playoff against Kyrgyzstan.

Yet despite this abysmal performance, you can be sure that TV screens across South Asia will be bursting with football. And fans seeking a tiny taste of sepia glory will be rooting at least in part for France, which fields the competition’s only desi. Standing a mighty 5’6” and weighing in at 140 lbs., midfielder Vikash Dhorasoo is our Great Brown Hope. As the photo shows, Vikash doesn’t just have a desi body; he’s also one desi-looking dude. In authentic desi fashion, he and his siblings alliterate: Vironi, Vipin, Vishna. The family come from Andhra Pradesh, by way of the sugar plantations of Mauritius. Vikash was born and raised in the unprepossessing French port of Le Havre. He played for the local club before finding glory at Bordeaux, Lyon (where he twice won the French championship), AC Milan, and currently Paris St.-Germain, for whom he scored the winning goal in this year’s French Cup final against arch-rivals Marseille.

Vikash is an interesting brother. He enjoyed math (of course) in high school and started university in economics before committing to professional football. Married with children, he leads a quiet life, dislikes television, listens to music. (Apparently Bloc Party are a recent fave.) HeÂ’s a sponsor of a Paris gay football league, which has earned him scorn from the more ignorant supporters. As a player, he uses his small size and low center of gravity to execute nimble, precise moves. An attacking midfielder, his main responsibility is quick runs and pure passes that set up goals.

Mauritian bulletin boards reveal some discontent toward their native son, supposedly for having disparaged the Mauritius national team, and certainly because he chose to play for France rather than the island. (Mauritius, incidentally, narrowly missed pulling off a major upset in its playoff against Uganda for a spot in the African qualifying rounds, losing 3-0 in Kampala but winning 3-1 at Curepipe, for a heartbreaking tally of 4-3.) No such qualms in the Indian press (thanks, tipster 3rd Eye). In any event: Bonne chance, mon frère Vikash; allez, allez, allez!

96 thoughts on “The Great Brown Hope

  1. Well how do you judge. having never seen Pele, its hard to judge. I watched some video of him on You Tube;

    I’d day, number one; David Beckham. Number two Thierry Henry. hahah kidding

    I’m not the most knowledgeable soccer fan, but from video of Maradona and Pele, and seeing Zidane and Ronaldo, I’d day Pele was the best, because he could make runs like no one could believe, and had power and strength. And I think he carried Brasil for a longer period of time then Maradona did Argentina. Zidane I agree is a great playmaker, but to have his team lose so early in the last world cup to me puts a damper on him. I’d say Ronaldo is a really fun player to watch. So I’d say Maradona is great, he has a great spirit, but that Pele in the end had both a spirit and a style that goes beyond Maradona. Granted I’m a novice in soccer

  2. different skills and contributions. zidane at his peak was the quintessential number 10, the playmaking attacking midfielder, the straw that stirs the drink.

    ranking cats like him, maradona, pele, et al, is like ranking miles davis, charlie parker, john coltrane… it makes no sense. mastery is mastery.

  3. is like ranking miles davis, charlie parker, john coltrane… it makes no sense. mastery is mastery.

    Don’t make me come over there! Saint John Coltrane is above all. How can you doubt it? Then all the others must compete for second place (Miles, Monk, Parker, Satchmo)…

    OK, OK, just kidding. What we can do is talk about tiers, and all the cats you mentioned are in the first tier, and the same is true of footballers like Pele, Zidane, Maradona, Cruyff. The argument would be whether a given player (say, Beckham) deserves to be classed with them. or at one level below. As you said, mastery is mastery.

  4. i’d say Thierry Henry belongs in the second tier

    also, what about playing styles of nations, which do you prefer?

    I like France’s and the old Dutch style, free-flowing. France 8 years ago played a great style, defence solid, with great midfield and attackers. Also England, straight ahead. I dislike the German style intensly! Brasil and Argentina play well, to be cliche, they play with passion. I think though that Brasil needs to just play the game and not worry about being “Brasil” at times. Italy is almost as bad as Germany, except they usually have a striker or two with style, and Maldini was always classy. Last time Senegal played a courageous style as did South Korea I thought. with the under-dogs there’s always a sense of exhiliration that they are still in the game, so you don’t really mind what style of play they are under-taking as long as they are still in it

  5. Organized Sports is racist, sexist, homophobic and classist. It is a creation of the patriachy which was designed to enslave and oppress colored L/G/T folk. It also has deep connections to the military industrial complex.

    Down with Mogambo. Viva la Raza. Peace.

  6. Organized Sports is racist, sexist, homophobic and classist. It is a creation of the patriachy which was designed to enslave and oppress colored L/G/T folk. It also has deep connections to the military industrial complex. Down with Mogambo. Viva la Raza. Peace

    Heh, Heh, Heh

  7. Looking forward to other Desi angles.

    There’s got to be a Alvin Kallicharran element buried deep in the TRINI squad. I’m sure Siddhartha will find it.

    Danny Fonseca of Costa Rica is an up and coming midfield player much in the mold of Vikash. I’s got my money on Danny Boy to score the first goal of the tournament.

    And speaking of Fonsecas, if not Desis, you may also want to get a few bob on Francisco Fonseca of Mexico to lead all scorers at the tournament. Anyone else feeling Mexico?

    And if gambling and distant Desis are your thing, the big Angolan Number 5, Carlos Kali, looks a good bet to get the first red card of the tournament. The last time the Angolans played the Portuguese, the game had to be abandoned because most of the Angolans got themselves sent off, unable to resist the opportunity to give the Portugese a good kicking.

  8. Even with Rooney unlikely to play, England still stands a very good chance, me thinks.

    Gerrard could move up to be second striker, and they have the Chelsea elements – JT, Lampard and Cole to spruce things up.

    Spain looks quite dangerous as well.And Brasil of course !

    Oh yea..me a Chelsea fan :-)

    Some of us (in UK) are wondering how to catch the big matches at the Pubs during work hours ! Any ideas?

  9. Looking forward to other Desi angles. There’s got to be a Alvin Kallicharran element buried deep in the TRINI squad. I’m sure Siddhartha will find it.

    I totally forgot about Trinidad & Tobago. Quoting from this letter to the editor in T&T’s Newday :

    …how come after more than forty years in control of local football, our national team to Germany does not have a single Indian player. I must admit though, a couple of years ago we had one Indian on the National Team, Arnold Dwarika half, plus Brent Rahim the other half.

    So no desi representation there either. [Here's the squad from some years ago btw].

    I was just having the conversation, that comes up at every international sporting event, about why desis suck at sports and my friend was trying to say that it was all about the lack of economic incentives. The poor desi representation on the T&T soccer squad (from a country with a 50% desi population) suggests to me that it might be more than just that though.

    Funny comment Farouk.

  10. i get so tired of this discussion. Unless Razib has an answer, i’m going to say it cultural. if people want to believe south asians are somehow physically inferior in sport, i can’t see the justification for it

  11. Even if by some chance it were try, what good does it do to say South Asians suck at sport? What are the options? Should nations just not play sports? Should the South Asians in cricket just stop playing? Should parents take their kids out of soccer teams? Should we all just resign to playing table tennis as long as it doesn’t become too strenous?

    Even if by some chance it were true, why not rise to the challenge? Sorry Ashvin but this topic, until I came to Sepia Mutiny I never heard of this discussed before

  12. i get so tired of this discussion.

    I agree with you that discussing why we suck can get tiring. But finding evidence for how much we suck is still fun :)

  13. :-)

    Well I guess its good for a few laughs, but….where would we be if Gandhi ji never thought we had more in us that to give up!

  14. sorry I had to bring in Gandhji! :-) thats how much I hope we don’t really suck in sport!

  15. So no desi representation there either.

    I’ll bet if you did some genetic testing on the Trini and Jamaican squads, you’d fine a few people with some desi blood. Not sure about Guyana.

    -s

  16. Sahej:

    Even if by some chance it were try, what good does it do to say South Asians suck at sport? What are the options? Should nations just not play sports? Should the South Asians in cricket just stop playing? Should parents take their kids out of soccer teams? Should we all just resign to playing table tennis as long as it doesn’t become too strenous?

    What are the options, you ask.

    Chess. Desis should stick to playing Chess.

  17. Sahej,

    Unless Razib has an answer, i’m going to say it cultural.

    Me too.

    if people want to believe south asians are somehow physically inferior in sport, i can’t see the justification for it

    Agreed. The “physical inferiority” claim is nonsense considering the numbers of South Asians who are descended from some kind of military ancestry*, along with the obvious “hardiness” of many desis in general regardless of their historical lineage. Others who insist on subscribing to the skinny stereotype should stop making excuses and start pumping some iron. You won’t necessarily end up looking like Mike Tyson, but being “athletic” in build and fitness is something everyone has the capacity to become, given the right exercise and nutrition.

    CAD,

    Chess. Desis should stick to playing Chess.

    They’d probably be very good at it too, given the labyrinthine social politics and Machiavellian behaviour often prevalent in many quarters of desi society ;)

    *In fact, to give one pertinent example, until about 300 years ago most Sikhs were not actually from any kind of organised “warrior” background at all. Yet we know the course that history subsequently took. We can extrapolate this further to the desi population as a whole. Obviously some people will have a greater intrinsic capacity for physical prowess than others, but to claim that South Asians in general are inherently “hard-wired” to be weaker or “inferior” in any kind of physical confrontation (whether sports or military) is not only a self-defeating notion and one which would further feed people’s lack of self-esteem in this regard, it’s also dead wrong.

  18. Jai:

    They’d probably be very good at it

    Probably? Desis are very good at Chess; we’ve been occupying the top tiers of Chess for years!

    given the labyrinthine social politics and Machiavellian behaviour often prevalent in many quarters of desi society ;)

    It explains why Desis invented Chess to begin with ;)

    Sahej:

    Another option for Desis: spelling bees!

    Desis: renounce sports. Spelling bees, Chess, and table ping pong are the only Great Hope for Browns.

    –Cheap Ass Desi

  19. Jai:

    Others who insist on subscribing to the skinny stereotype should stop making excuses and start pumping some iron. You won’t necessarily end up looking like Mike Tyson, but being “athletic” in build and fitness is something everyone has the capacity to become, given the right exercise and nutrition.

    Agreed. But size can matter. In the past, I was a swimmer for 4 years, a water polo player for 6 years, a soccer player for 4 years, and attempted to be an excellent volleyball player. Not reaching the 5 ft. mark myself, I used to have to really exert myself just to stay in tow of the long long limbed swimmers. Body length does help. Re: water polo, this was a bit different where you’re not constantly sprinting and many other moves are in order. Re: volleyball, forget it– I just wasn’t tall enough. Soccer was the one sport where my smallness was an advantage. So while I agree with you that being “athletic” is something that everyone has the capacity to do (you didn’t want to mess with me when I was a water polo player– I was one Hard Ass Desi!!), I don’t think you can neglect and/or discount the fact that height and body weight does play a role in sports. This is why we do not see teeny weeny guys as defense in American football, 4ft.10 swimmers in the Olympics, 5ft. NBA basketball players, and 4ft.11 professional Volleyball players. Not to say that it is not possible, but I’d like to see that happen without the aid of any drugs.

    –Cheap Ass Desi

  20. Jai:

    Others who insist on subscribing to the skinny stereotype should stop making excuses and start pumping some iron. You won’t necessarily end up looking like Mike Tyson, but being “athletic” in build and fitness is something everyone has the capacity to become, given the right exercise and nutrition.

    Agreed. But size can matter. In the past, I was a swimmer for 4 years, a water polo player for 6 years, a soccer player for 4 years, and attempted to be an excellent volleyball player. Not reaching the 5 ft. mark myself, I used to have to really exert myself just to stay in tow of the long long limbed swimmers right from the beginning of the race. At the end of the race, they ended up just smoking my Ass because they didn’t have to go all out as much as I had to. Body length does help. Re: water polo, this was a bit different where you’re not constantly sprinting and many other moves are in order. Re: volleyball, forget it– I just wasn’t tall enough. Soccer was the one sport where my smallness was an advantage. So while I agree with you that being “athletic” is something that everyone has the capacity to do (you didn’t want to mess with me when I was a water polo player– I was one Hard Ass Desi!!), I don’t think you can neglect and/or discount that height and body weight does play a role in sports. This is why we do not see teeny weeny guys as defense in American football, 4ft.10 swimmers in the Olympics, 5ft. NBA basketball players, and miniture professional Volleyball players. Not to say that it is not possible, but I’d like to see that happen without the aid of any drugs.

    –Cheap Ass Desi

  21. “…Not reaching the 5 ft. mark myself”

    CAD, that’s a tough break, man.

    it was stressful enough to have to endure the irritating screeds of my parents continual reminders of how much fun i’d be having during our family trips to Six flags Great Adventure but how having “too much fun in row” was no good for me, only to agonize over the fact, as i gnawed on cold roti and achar, that i was too fucking short, according to a flimsily planted BUGS BUNNY sign whose hand reached JUST above my head, to join my Dad and two sisters on “Rolling Thunder”

    sure, it maybe have been over 25 years ago, but THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF BUGS BUNNY IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO.

    FREE BHUDIA

  22. AC:

    CAD, that’s a tough break, man.

    I’m not a man, but a woman!

    It’s not too bad being a shorty. I buy my clothes at much lower prices from the girls’ section– coats, jackets, jeans, pants (agh– finding pants are a nightmare) and so on.

    The only time it sucks being short is when I am in crowded situations, and my face is basically in people’s backs, butts, etc. This is where I get claustrophobic and start panicking about not being able to breathe. Other than that, I quite like my height.

  23. I noticed that Vikash is growing some serious facial hair, per AP photos of him training in the Alps today. I mean the brother is starting to look scary. Maybe he is building toward some mean game face. Real warrior stuff going on in his head, I suspect. If he keeps going this way, some of the sistahs in these here parts may start hearting the bald brown man, Danny Fonseca of Costa Rica, quicker than you can say two weeks with lots of bananas, beaches, hammocks and honeys and no armed forces for $399 return. I also just saw a picture of Carlos Kali with the rest of the Angolan team at the airport in Hannover. He’s one tallsmilingdistantdesimf!

  24. CAD,

    Well, personality-wise and fitness-wise, you seem to have more than compensated for what you perceive to be your lack of height, so I’m sure it’s a non-issue in your case anyway ;)

    Interestingly, I’ve met desi women of the 5-foot-or-under persuasion here in the UK who seem to try to overcompensate for it by insisting on dating only very tall guys, and by having a very disparaging/condescending/dismissive attitude indeed towards desi guys who don’t meet those requirements…..

  25. Ahh…So when the enormously tall, taller than a cocunut tree, even taller than a $4.59 starbucks coconut frappaccino grande mocha with extra cinnamon, carlos kali goes clattering into some portuguese short-arse in cologne on june 11th, he’ll be the next great brown hope. Oh Vikash, we hardly knew you.

  26. I noticed that Vikash is growing some serious facial hair

    it could also, be, by word of fashionista that’s he embraced the recent Grizzly Adams look that i’ve noticed amongst desi dudes in NYC, like the young guitar-carrying gentleman i saw on the N train last week who looked like Chewbacca, although, presumably, with better SAT scores.

  27. Jai:

    Well, personality-wise and fitness-wise, you seem to have more than compensated for what you perceive to be your lack of height, so I’m sure it’s a non-issue in your case anyway ;)

    My “lack of height” is only highlighted in particular sports where height and weight can and do (sometimes) play determinant roles. But that didn’t stop me from winning MVP for Defense in Water Polo and MVP in soccer :) . So it’s not that I am “percieving” my lack of height, it’s that lack of height can often be an impediment in sports that require substantial body weight and height.

    Re: me compensating for being a shorty, there was a price to pay for that: when I was playing soccer and water polo in high school, I was benchpressing over half my body weight in an attempt to be a Bad Ass CAD (I was 95lbs at the time; all muscle, baby) and as a result, I popped a hernia and subsequently I had to get surgery.

    Re: personality: I can honestly say that I truly don’t think my “lack of height” factors into my personality much; I simply take after my father, who is also extremely opinionated, and he’s 6ft.

    Speaking from personal experience, I don’t think short girls generally feel an inferiority complex due to their height. Many of my tiny female friends don’t think it is an issue, and I like being short, for all of the advantages that come with it, ie buying clothes from the Girls’ Department and paying half the price than clothes from the Women’s Dept., etc. And if I can get away with spending half the money than I hypothetically would, this fact is of tantamount importance to me, especially since I’m a Cheap Ass Desi.

    Interestingly, I’ve met desi women of the 5-foot-or-under persuasion here in the UK who seem to try to overcompensate for it by insisting on dating only very tall guys, and by having a very disparaging/condescending/dismissive attitude indeed towards desi guys who don’t meet those requirements…..

    Women under the 5ft mark may prefer tall men not because they are “overcompensating” for their height– again, I don’t think women generally feel the inferiority complex– but perhaps because opposites attract. Speaking for myself, I prefer men ranging from 5ft.8-ish to 6’2. Anything above 6’5 is just too scary and literally unthinkable.

    I don’t ridicule or hold contempt towards short Desi men; if anything, I think a short man is endearing; furthermore, I often feel a surge of maternal instinct towards him. However, I don’t think that either member of the party wants to be dating someone where the most intense emotion of the relationship is maternal. I presume this is a dynamic similar to when men say “It felt like I was dating my sister; it was just too wierd”. Not exactly romantic.

    Jai, see how you’ve jacked this thread?! Talking about height preferences and dating…

    Anyway, back to the topic: Mutineers, what do you think about Desis and sports? :)

    –Cheap Ass Desi

  28. Jai:

    Well, personality-wise and fitness-wise, you seem to have more than compensated for what you perceive to be your lack of height, so I’m sure it’s a non-issue in your case anyway ;)

    Rereading my response to you, I have realized that I didn’t read your comment above closely enough and thus, I misinterpreted it. Sorry! So, you can disregard the first half of my reply (that is, the section where I address the above quote).

  29. Siddharta:

    In my comments re: this blog, I have noticed an unmistakable trend in my comments whereby I am still propping up and exploiting my past soccer successes and achievements. The fact that I am still reminiscing about the by-gone hey days of my soccer career 8 years ago and refer to it continuously is, to put it mildly, loser-ish. Something needs to be done. I need to retrieve my soccer glory days.

    Can you put me in touch with Vikash? I’m still a pretty kick ass soccer player. True, the fact that I’d rather drink a glass of red wine in lieu of Gatorade, or smoke a cigarette rather than eat a Powerbar might dent my style and performance, but still, I think this can be overcome. So I am asking you as a bhai, cousin, priend: can you talk to Vikash and see if he get me a spot as right wing forward? Also, not to sound pushy, but could you call him up as soon as possible? Because I want to be able to get into shape before the World Cup finals. I need to start training right away.

    I can already imagine it…. [commentator] “Uh-oh, is that Cheap Ass Desi who stole the ball?! [fans roaring at the stadium] Yes, yes, YES!! That’s her! Oh god, she’s streaking by as fast as lightening, there she goes, there she goes–[fans jumping onto their feet] and she- DID YOU SEE THAT?! She just slipped under those guys’ legs in the wink of an eye!! Oh, she’s getting closer to the goal….but there’s two bulky defensive players heading right towards her, but—Cheap Ass Desi outmaneuvered them!!![crowd losing control in the stadium, chanting, "Go Cheap Ass! Go Cheap Ass!! Go Cheap ASS!!"]and [sound of thud; ball slicing through the air and hits the upper right-hand corner of net like a meteorite] GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. A good TRINI friend informs me that non of the final 23 have desi blood. However, the original squad of 60 did have a couple guys with desi heritage. Arnold dwarika being the closest to making the squad.

  31. Brown? Since when do Indians or I’d better say the Indian diaspora finds a better adjective to portrait an Indian guy. By the way, he’s neither a ‘brother’ or as one would drag the skin colour issue in this matter. Even French people don’t look at it this way. The French team itself hardly has any player of pure French descent. The majority are un mistakably African by origin.

    FYI, I’m Mauritian like Vikash and even had the occasion to meet him personally for a few minutes when he came just a year ago as a guest player in a game against Spurs in Mauritius (20 May 2006). I can even add that he speaks excellent French (I bet how many Frenchies can articulate their own language properly and of course, I speak French too unlike other Indians). I feel proud of him for he’s just the ONLY Indian to excel in sports in Europe. Forget the rest like Chopra (he’s not 100% Indian by the way… you can call him a 50% British bastard).

    For those of you who think Zidane’s better, ask yourself why he was substituted against Mexico in a warm-up game last weekend and replaced by Dhorasoo. Zidane plays because of his fame and the fact that he plays for Real Madrid. Beyond this fact, he’s as good as any average player.

    And for any jealous idiots around, go have a look at the state of Indian sports: apart from that gay sports known as cricket (Pakistan hehe, England but especially Australia own you). If you don’t want to support him, go find something more interesting to watch e.g. gay cricket.

    And finally, I wish to point out that Dhorasoo is French by birth and has the entire right to play for the French national team as much as Mauritian-born players play for their own nation. He was never approached by Mauritius to play since I bet we all know that the rest of the Mauritian team is composed of mediocre players. Why waste his precious time and his hard-earned skills in a worthless team?

  32. Australia is better than everyone else, but Britain has not been super successful on the cricket pitch against India since before the match that inspired Lagaan

  33. Ravi # 84, 85

    Since when do Indians or I’d better say the Indian diaspora finds a better adjective to portrait an Indian guy
    By ‘Mauritian like Vikash’, I mean Indian Mauritian

    You are making a very cardinal mistake in this board. The correct PC term to use in this board is South Asian, not Indian.

  34. One day before the Event begins.

    There are some World Cup viewing locations, for those of you in the New York area.

    And there’s always my living room, where all the commentary will be in Spanish.

    Long live Univision!

  35. I just saw the game France played. Our great brown hope did get to play in the final 8 minutes. He almost scored. His attempt was one of the better ones. Go Vikash !!!!!

  36. I just saw the match too, Vikash did a great job in the few minutes that he played!

  37. Vikash had the best scoring chance of the game for France. My Dhorasoo jersey is in the mail.

  38. well did watch vikash dhorasoo play for mauritius in a friendly game vs marseille two years ago in mauritius (marseille and mauritius drew 1-1 for that game)

    he has class speed nice vision and is a really good player

    i wonder why he wasnt included in the france squad long before

    and if am not mistaken vikash’s parents are mauritian but he was born in france?!!??

  39. “FYI, I’m Mauritian like Vikash…” “By ‘Mauritian like Vikash’, I mean Indian Mauritian…” “I feel proud of him for he’s just the ONLY Indian to excel in sports in Europe.”

    OK Ravi, get your ****ing head sorted out. Being Mauritian isn’t being Indian. I’m mauritian as well, and athough roots are indian it does NOT mean i call myself an Indian over a Mauritian. ‘Mauritian like Vikash’? You mean both your parents are Mauritian? How does that make you ‘Indian Mauritian’?

    Also this crap stand out most in your bunch of rubbish:

    “Forget the rest like Chopra (he’s not 100% Indian by the way… you can call him a 50% British bastard).”

    Chopra’s mother is Indian, which makes him much more Indian than Vikash Dhorasoo- who is hardly indian at all (please not he has never even been there) VIKASH DHORASOO IS FRENCH/MAURITIAN

    So India need to find an actual indian to get glory from and not countries like Mauritius.

    And oh yes of course:

    Why waste his precious time and his hard-earned skills in a worthless team?

    For pride and passion. Thats what playing for your country is all about.

  40. Hey “Cheap Ass Desi”, you are under 5 feet tall and were called “speedy gonzalez” on the field. Could you be the one and only Ashimendra Chowdhury (aka Delta) that blazed the soccer fields at Narendrapur RKM School and IIT Kharagpur? If so, please send me e-mail at uttam_m@hotmail.com, with “Ashimendra” in the subject heading.

  41. Hey people, I think it’s time for S. Asia to rework their sports… More emphasis on soccer, the international sport, and less on cricket!

  42. Hiya everyone,

    My name s Nitish and I am currently residing in the UK. Originally I am from Mauritius, lived there most of my life and happens to be one of Vikash’s second cousins that he has most probably heard of, or met once..Dats not the important point. I just randomly came across this blog. However after reading thru some of the posted msg, esp. from my compatriot Ravi, I d like to apologise for the utter ignorance and contempt in his msg..I do watch cricket sometimes having been initiated by friends and it is a complicated but interesting sports, and it has a lot of tradition and history! And i do understand that Indians are so good at it as they practise hard at it..dats y India has such amazing cricket players. My point is that as in any sports activities, if you put your head to it, you will be quite successful at it…be it swimming, football, cricket, basketball, gold…etc etc etc. I know that as I was quite good at football myself as well as swimming and used to compete.. My college team in Mauritius even played against the Manchester United under-16 team and we drew; most of us on that team were of Indian origin! However I do not know if this is the case in India as in Mauritius: Sports are not regarded by Indian parents as a means to achieve future expectations.. It is not as seriously taken and there are not as many infrastrutures, coaching, etc dedicated to develop prospective talents. For example, one of my cousins who attended the same college as myself and who was on that very same team that played against MANU under-16 team (his name was Rubesh), and Rubesh was an amazing central midfielder with some very good dribbling skills…Now he s studying medecine in the UK. I was a winger and always thought that with more coaching, I would ve been a better player. However now, I work for one of the Big Fours.. Basically, the point is that if Indian kids are given the same opportunities in any sports, they will be just as good or maybe even better! lol N btw, I am not short as someone said about Indians in his blog… I am at a 6ft1in, and I would say that this is an average height amongst my cousins.