Tag Archive | "India"

Pakistan Wins 12th West Asia Baseball Cup

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan recently wrapped up the 12th West Asia Baseball Cup with a perfect record and a title. It was Pakistan’s third straight title winning both the 10th and 11th edition of the biannual tournament.

Iran finished with the silver medal losing only to tournament champion Pakistan. Unranked India wound up with the bronze medal after defeating Iraq 20-0.

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Schedule:

Monday February 23rd
Pakistan 20, Iraq 0

Tuesday February 24th
Iran 15, India 0

Wednesday February 25th
India vs. Iraq – postponed due to rain

Thursday February 26th
India 20, Iraq 0
Pakistan 12, Iran 0

Friday February 27th
Iran 18, Iraq 4
Pakistan 11, India 0

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Standings:
1. Pakistan 3-0
1. Iran 2-1
3. India 1-2
3. Iraq 0-3

Photo Courtesy Baseball Federation of Asia

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Asia: 12th West Asia Baseball Cup Starts Today

The 12th West Asia Baseball Cup is set to start today in Islamabad, Pakistan. Put on by the Baseball Federation of Asia, five teams will compete for the title.

Pakistan, No. 24 in the world rankings, is the defending champion having won the 2013 edition of the tournament.

Also competing will be Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. Afghanistan ranks No. 35 in the world rankings while Iran is No. 49. Both Iraq and India are both unranked.

2015 West Asia Baseball Cup Schedule:

2015 West Asia Baseball Cup

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Disney to Release Million Dollar Arm in 2014

Walt Disney Pictures is set to release a baseball move in May 2014 based on the true story of pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel who won a reality show competition called Million Dollar Arm.

The show was the brainchild of American sports agent J.B. Bernstein. The goal was to find the person who could throw the hardest and most accurate baseball in India. More than 37,000 participated with Singh winning the competition and the $100,000 grand prize.

After the competition, Singh and runner-up Patel went to the United States to train with renown pitching coach Tom House in southern California. Then in November 2008, the two tried out before 20 MLB teams.

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed the pair to a minor league contract becoming the first Indians to sign American baseball contracts.

Now Disney is set to make a movie of it all, and it will have star power. Jon Hamm will play Bernstien and Bill Paxton will play the role of Tom House. Also joining the cast will be Alan Arkin and Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma playing Singh.

The movie is set to release May 16, 2014.

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Baseball Dreams continue in India

by Reuters, www.english.aljazeera.net

Success of ‘Million Dollar Arm’ duo at Pittsburgh Pirates minor league team has other hopefuls winding up for fame.

The arrival of Indian Premier League cricket has allowed Twenty20 cricket specialists to make fortunes on the field, but the chance of more glamour on the other side of the world is proving almost as tempting.

Young men all over India are flexing their muscles in the hope that a strong arm will carry them into a money-spinning career in baseball in the United States.

Despite the lack of a baseball tradition in cricket-crazy India, the dream is not an impossible one, as Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel proved in a tale that is being immortalised in a Walt Disney film.

Singh beat 35,000 rivals three years ago in a talent-hunt in India dubbed “The Million-Dollar Arm” (TMDA) and is tipped to break into Major League Baseball (MLB) after a spell with the minor-league Pittsburg Pirates.

Patel, second in the throwing contest, also earned a contract with the Pirates and, after a lucrative stint in the US which included a meeting with President Barack Obama, is back home looking for a coaching job.

Now, India is looking for someone to follow in their footsteps, with the second TMDA contest beginning in Bangalore last week and due to trawl 60 cities, towns and villages in search of potential baseball talent.

Rural potential

“India’s rural belt has unbelievable potential,” said Vivek Daglur, vice president of Turn On, TMDA’s official partner in India.

“So many are pursuing sports just to get a job in the army or the railways. Their dedication is unbelievable. Some I met could afford only one meal a day but still ran 20km just to be a marathon runner.

“TMDA is the perfect platform for anyone with that simple thing. You just need to have a strong arm, nothing else. There are tremendous possibilities that we would take you and sculpt a champion out of you.”

The last contest changed the lives of Singh, son of a truck driver, and Patel, whose father was unemployed.

Both were javelin throwers nursing Olympic dreams before they won the chance to leave their homes near the north Indian holy city of Varanasi and go to the States.

“I don’t know how to put it in words; I’m still living the dream,” the soft-spoken Patel told the Reuters news agency by telephone.

“I had not even seen a baseball before turning up for that talent show. Suddenly I found myself training in Los Angeles,” the 23-year-old added, briefly hesitating before abandoning broken English for fluent Hindi.

“One day, we went to Washington to meet President Barack Obama. You don’t get such opportunities. I did not say much, just met him, shook his hand and told him we are baseball players from India.

“He said something in English…we gave him a jersey with his name on the back.”

Patel said he was proud to have been a pioneer.

Read the complete story at www.english.aljazeera.net

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India: Snow Baseball Tournament A Hit

INDIA – A snow baseball championship, organized by the Baseball Association of Jammu and Kashmir, in collaboration with the State Tourism Department, saw scores of young players displaying their skills as they took part in the game.

Gulmarg experiences heavy snowfall during winter and remains covered with snow for about six months, offering an excellent playground for winter sports, including snow Rugby and skiing.

The town has around 40 hotels of all grades. The peak season starts with the snow fall in December and lasts until April. The charges for one night stay in off season range between Rs500 – Rs4000+. The off-season rates usually have a discount of about 60%.

The main objective behind organizing this unusual event was to attract tourists to the picturesque town.

“If we look at the baseball game, it is the national game of the United States of America. It snows in America, England and Russia, but nowhere is baseball played on snowy fields. So, we consider ourselves as the frontrunners of playing this game on snowfields. We want some development in this game as Gulmarg is the perfect spot for national and international championships,” said Fida Hussain, a baseball coach and organizer of the championship.

This action-packed sport, requiring a lot of courage and determination from the participants, has fascinated the youth, and that has prompted local evolution of the game.

“We are happy that we participated in this baseball championship. Now we will be able to play baseball on the snowfields. This is the first time that baseball is being played on snow and our experience has been very satisfying,” said Asif Farooq, a baseball player.

Gulmarg, which is considered the country’s premier ski resort with its natural slopes and inclines, has been a resort for the kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and Jahangir who used to visit frequently.

The old name of Gulmarg was “Gaurimarg”, the name of Lord Shiva’s wife. Yousuf Shah Chak changed its name to Gulmarg, meaning the place of roses. During the early part of the 20th century the famous Central Asian explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862 – 1943), made his home here in a tent between his expeditions. It was a favorite summer holiday destination for the British stationed in India.

Source: ANI

Photo courtesy of alyb.org

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