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Sometimes a Pakistani fan will find cricket love in the oddest of places, such as east of the border with India. Nike Air Vapormax Mens Australia . In fact, from this side of the divide, odd doesnt even begin to describe it.There is, first of all, the subcontinents geopolitical backstory, spread over a thousand restless years and weighed down with enough psychological baggage to jeopardise any rapprochement for the foreseeable future. There is the serpentine barbed-wire fence snaking the border, from the coast in the south to the mountains in the north. Of course, there is the flashpoint, the K-word, whose mere mention can set off bullets and bombs. Unavoidably, there is the contemporary narrative, a Gordian tangle with finger-pointing and anxieties over nuclear war.In this twisted snarl of hysteria and hostility, I somehow lost my cricketing heart to a rising Indian star. The attraction I felt was overpowering, yet so were the barriers. Often the most exciting kind of love is forbidden love, and what better place to find forbidden love than in forbidden territory?Mahendra Singh Dhoni was 23 years old and playing his fifth ODI when he savaged the Pakistan attack in Visakhapatnam in 2005. The crowd was at capacity, the ground awash in coastal sunshine. India won the toss and batted. There had been some hype about Dhoni, and he more than lived up to it, coming in at No. 3 and plundering 148 at a strike rate above 120. Flowing red-tinted hair framing a strutting mien, he cut a captivating figure, giving off the smell of a future Indian great. It is a smell that we in Pakistan know only too well. It fills us with dread.As Dhonis career progressed and he kept winning laurels, including against Pakistan, those initial fears gave way to grudging admiration and, in time, to outright adoration and fondness. Much of his allure lies in the way he carries himself. When he bats, he is poised at the crease as if nestled in a comfortable leather sofa. His technique is to combine brilliant footwork with a secure bottom-hand grip showing the full face of the bat. He has the brain of an astute strategist and the temperament of a finisher. His manner is calm as night, solid as oak. You can see him trying, but never too hard. When he crouches behind the stumps, he is like a big cat huddled in the grassland, eying its prey.Above all, Dhoni appears utterly snug in his skin, going about his business with ease and flair, as graceful in victory as in defeat. There isnt the agitation of Kohli, the swagger of Sehwag, or the circumspection of Dravid. When he celebrates, it is easy on the eye. No jingoistic delirium or madness, no self-conscious understatement or taciturnity either. There is just this fluent channeling of cheerful emotions. You feel like smiling with him and celebrating along.There is no shortage of cricketing legends in India, but you could make a compelling argument that Dhoni stands taller than the rest. Yes, the likes of Tendulkar, Gavaskar and Dravid have the runs; Kumble, Bedi and Chandrasekhar - and Ashwin catching up fast - have the wickets; Kapil and Mankad have their all-round charisma. And Dhoni? He has the success. He has captained his team in more Tests (60), more ODIs (199) and more T20Is (72) than anybody else. Under his leadership, India attained the top Test ranking for a 21-month stretch, starting November 2009, lifted the World Cup in 2011, captured the World T20 in 2007, and the Champions Trophy in 2013. Dhoni does have detractors, but really, who can argue with this record?He has been able to ask much of his team because he has given much as well. In the list of historys most effective wicketkeepers, he stands fifth in Tests, fourth in ODIs, and first in T20Is. As a batsman he has over 15,000 international runs at a composite average of almost 45; this career tally places him fifth among his compatriots. Most impressive is his deftness at the death. On the 40 occasions that Dhoni has been at the crease at the end of an ODI, India have lost only once. In Tests and T20Is too, Dhoni staying till the end strongly protects the team against defeat. The same aura of invincibility emanates from his captaincy. There is this unfailing level-headedness and cool, quick thinking. You always feel he has got your back. Along with all the applause and adulation have come material rewards. We never thought cricket could make one as rich as European footballers or American sportspersons, but Forbes magazine has repeatedly named Dhoni among the highest-paid athletes in the world, the only cricketer to crack the global top 100. Indias surging economy, with a billion-plus consumers, and Dhonis brand as a champion, explain his wealth, the bulk of which comes from sponsorships and endorsements. When I first heard of the Forbes mention, I was happy; not just for Dhoni, but happy - even in our part of the world, cash in sport had started to flow. That is promising and gratifying.As one might imagine, nursing a passion for Dhoni has been something of a struggle as a Pakistani. Apart from the fact that not many people get it, there is the inner conflict. A close friend, who happens to be a psychiatrist as well as a cricket buff, explained it away as reaction formation - a psychological phenomenon where you end up praising what you actually dislike. An honest examination leaves me unconvinced of this theory. Another friend, a self-proclaimed expert on relationships, opined that I am confusing admiration with envy. I dont think I am.I do wish that Sarfraz Ahmed will blossom into a Pakistani version of Dhoni before long, but I dont begrudge India its great good fortune. Dhoni is a creation of India and the modern Indian cricket scene, and he fits that setting incredibly well. Its a joy to see him perform, though when he does it against Pakistan, things get complicated. Five of Dhonis 22 Man-of-the-Match awards have come against my team, and I have watched all of those games. Naturally, it is no fun to see my team lose but it lifts my spirits to know that Dhoni has done well. It is not a case of divided loyalty. It is hearty applause for a man who so abundantly deserves his success. Cheap Air Max 95 Wholesale .Y. - Rob Manfred was promoted Monday to Major League Baseballs chief operating officer, which may make him a candidate to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner. Nike Air Vapormax Womens Australia . Hargreaves began his career in 2008 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and has played with the Edmonton Eskimos and last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. . Thats about all he can do right now, so hes trying not to think about when he might be able to play again for the Los Angeles Lakers. NEW YORK -- With his mink coat left in the locker room, Conor McGregor is set to take a swing at UFC history.No metal chair needed.McGregor, who attempted to use a chair in a violent fashion at a pre-fight press conference, can become the first UFC fighter to hold championship belts in two divisions at the same time.Its never even been close to a reality in this game, in the UFC, McGregor said. And then to do it on such a monumental stage like this, of course, this will be one of my shining moments.Imagine, McGregor strutting out of Madison Square Garden with two title belts over his shoulder in the same arena where the New York Rangers and New York Knicks arent even factors for one championship.McGregor, boffo at the box office, earned his headline shot at a slice of UFC history once mixed martial arts and New York ended a two-decade fight and legalized the sport.New York stripped the no shirt, no shoes, no service sign down and UFC stormed in with perhaps the most loaded card in the promotions history. McGregor fights UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 on Saturday night at MSG. Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends the womens strawweight title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz and UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley fights Stephen Thompson.Its a card so yuge, so bigly, so terrific and fantastic, that President-elect Donald Trump has told UFC President White he may sit cageside. Seeing Trump at MSG wouldnt be a surprise; White has talked about their friendship and even spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.StubHub sold seats no cheaper than $700 as of Friday afternoon and a pair of floor seats could be yours for a cool $30,000.Thats chump change for the Irish superstar McGregor. He rolled around New York in a custom-made black Rolls Royce Ghost with his Notorious nickname and his image emblazoned on the sides.UFC could never have imagined such an uncomfortable ride toward New York legalization.UFC worked for years on convincing politicians it made sense to regulate MMA and grant its fighters the opportunity to fight in the same venue as boxing champions like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. UFC often thumbed its nose at state lawmakers and held press conferences, fan expos, autograph sessions and meet-and-greets in Manhattan.UFC ran its biggest cards in the East -- including a Super Bowl weekend show in 2014 -- roughly 14 miles west of Madison Square Garden at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.State lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed in April to end the ban. The law authorizing the sport took effect in September.The fight was ridiculous to get there, UFC President Dana White said. It should have never happened. But at the end of the day, it made it bigger.White billed 205 as the biggest, baddest fight card in UFC history, though the card was trimmed two bouts from the original slate. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans had a medical issue and his fight againsst Tim Kennedy was scrapped and booked for UFC 206. Air Max 270 Mens Black. . Kelvin Gastelum failed to make weight Friday and his fight against Donald Cowboy Cerrone was canceled. Cerrone will be paid his show money and rebooked on a future card.MSG will be stuffed with nearly 20,000 fans, 250 credentialed journalists, and make a serious run at some of the arenas gate record.Heres some of what theyll see:-----ALVAREZ (C) vs. MCGREGORAlvarez, a Philadelphia native, makes his first title defense since he defeated Rafael Dos Anjos for the belt in July. Alvarez (28-4) also held the lightweight title in Bellator and has won the biggest bouts in front of him in various promotions.He certainly doesnt have McGregors name recognition. But he does have that belt. McGregor, also UFCs featherweight champ following a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo, could be forced to vacate one of the belts if he holds both. White hasnt decided if he will let McGregor defend championships in two classes. McGregor (20-3) made retirement threats earlier this year when he balked at some promotional demands and was yanked from UFC 200. He promised a big announcement after Saturdays fight, though he offered few hints about his future.Alvarez had said he would welcome a gimme fight with McGregor. McGregor vowed to retire Alvarez and attempt to swing a chair at the champs direction during a theatrical press conference at MSG.As far as the prediction, I believe fourth round, McGregor said. I know hes durable. I dont believe hes been hit by anybody like me.-----WOODLEY (C) VS. THOMPSONWoodley (16-3) is making his first title defense since he KOd Robbie Lawlor in the first round at UFC 201. Thompson (13-1) has defeated Rory MacDonald and Johny Hendricks as part of a seven-fight winning streak that earned him a shot at the title.Woodley, a collegiate wrester at the University of Missouri, looks to validate his title reign against one on the top strikers in MMA in Thompson.Ive been working on my wrestling tremendously, Thompson said. Every time I step out there, I expect to get taken down, but Im ready for it and Ill pop right back up and get the fight where I want to keep it, and thats standing.-----JEDRZEJCZYK (C) VS. KOWALKIEWICZThis battle of unbeaten Polish fighters turned vicious when Jedrzejczyk (12-0) head-butted Kowalkiewicz (10-0) during a pre-fight staredown.UFC has hyped this fight throughout Poland and every Polish bar it could find in New York. Jedrzejczyk shared a spot on the card with Ronda Rousey last year in Australia. She gets top billing this time on a card that also boasts former champ Miesha Tate fighting Raquel Pennington.I know that Im not the prettiest one, Im not having big boobies or Im not American, Jedrzejczyk said. But I want people remember me as the best female fighter and as the undefeated MMA and the UFC champion of the world. Cheap NFL Hoodies Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Jerseys NFL China Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '

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Added Jul 11


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