Tony Becca: Sehwag: I did it my way

first_img As one of four batsmen, Don Bradman, Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Sehwag, to score triple centuries on two occasions, Sehwag’s 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008 was scored off 304 deliveries and included 42 fours and five sixes, and his 309 versus Pakistan in Multan in 2004 came off 375 deliveries and included six sixes and 39 fours were awesome. In some respects, however, although they were bigger scores, they failed to compare with many of his smaller yet exquisite offerings. Sehwag’s 195 off 233 deliveries with five sixes and 25 fours against Australia at Melbourne in 2003 before he got out caught on the boundary was mind-boggling. His 254 scored off a mere 247 deliveries with one six and 49 fours against Pakistan at Lahore in 2006 was earth shattering, and his 180 off 190 deliveries with two sixes and 20 fours was devastating. There were also his 173 off 197 deliveries with one six and 24 fours against New Zealand at Ahmedabad in 2010, and his 117 off 117 deliveries with one six and 15 fours against England at Ahmedabad in 2012. Probably the best of them all, however, according to those who saw it, was his innings of 297 versus Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009, an innings which lasted for 254 deliveries, and included seven towering sixes and 40 powerful and wonderful fours. Sehwag failed sometimes, but it never mattered to him. He played cricket like how the fans loved to see cricket play. His Test career, studded with 1,233 fours and 91 sixes, was a glittering and unforgettable one. “God has been good to me and I have done what I wanted to do”, said Sehwag on the day he retired. “I did it my way.” There was never a dull moment when Virender Sehwag was batting. Thank God, he did it his way. Rare accomplishment Virender Sehwag was an opening batsman like no other. He was not a sheet anchor, and he was not a man who played cautiously and sometimes timidly. He was a happy, carefree batsman. He feared no one. He was also, especially in his early days, a lookalike of India’s great batsman, and his cricketing hero, Sachin Tendulkar. On his Test debut versus South Africa at Bloemfontein in 200, he totally enjoyed himself. Batting alongside Tendulkar, who scored a century, he was in seventh heaven. Sehwag scored a century also, a lovely, attractive innings of 105 off 173 deliveries with 19 boundaries. Those who saw it said there was hardly a debut like it. It was as if he and Tendulkar were twins, reeling off classic and elegant stroke after stroke. That was the early Sehwag. Three years after that, however, in 2003 against Australia in Melbourne, Sehwag exploded, and the explosion lasted for another 10 years, until 2013 when he played his last Test match. Sehwag played in 104 Test matches and scored 8,586 runs at an average of 49.34 while notching 23 centuries, including two triple centuries, and a top score of 319. Although he once scored 201 out of 329 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2008, the runs he scored were only a part of his legacy. They marked him as one of India’s best batsmen, as one of the world’s greatest batsmen, and, even if this is not important, one of my favourite batsmen of all time. His victims included bowlers of the quality of fast bowlers Chaminda Vaas, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, James Anderson, and Stuart Broad as well as spin bowlers like Saqlain Mushtaq, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Shane Warne. Sehwag was not a stodgy batsman, and he was not just an attractive batsman. He was the most attacking and ruthless batsman the game has ever seen. Left to him, there would have been no need for the one-day or the T20 versions of the game, if the intention was solely that of playing entertaining cricket in order to attract spectators. As he said, his mission in life was to entertain the fans. To see him driving off the back-foot, driving straight along the ground and in the air, or whipping the ball off his legs was something special. His square-drives were also powerful and beautiful. For those who do not know, Sehwag, in Test matches, scored at a rate faster than anyone else has ever done, which means he is the fastest scorer in Test cricket’s history. His 8,273 runs and 15 centuries from 251 ODI’s, including his best of 219 versus the West Indies at Indore in 2012, is impressive. They were, however, not as staggering or as dazzling as his collection of amazing deeds in Test matches, some of them achieved against the odds whenever India were facing long odds on troublesome pitches and against the fast bowlers, especially really fast and fearsome bowlers.last_img read more

Showing Gratitude

first_imgIt is indeed welcome news to the outside world that the Ebola Virus Disease which devastated Liberia, bringing her to her knees, is now virtually wiped out of the country with the last confirmed patient’s death more than three weeks ago.As Liberians retrospect on last year, many are expressing thanks to local health authorities and caregivers, and especially the international community, including medical organizations and individuals, who came to Liberia’s defense to help defeat the deadly virus.Several institutions highly grateful for the level of support received from their international partners are health care facilities in Lofa County, specifically the Foya-Borma Hospital, which, during the heat of the crisis, benefited from a donation of a 40-foot container of Ebola specific logistics relief supplies and medical equipment from three US-based organizations.The Container Project was an initiative of the Friends of Foya-Borma Hospital (FOFBH) of Indiana, in collaboration with the Association of Citizens and Friends of Liberia (ACFLi) of Sacramento, California and the Liberian Association of Northern California (LANC). The relief supplies and medical equipment were valued at US$200,000.The Administrator of Foya-Borma Hospital, Mr. Francis Forndia, and the administrators of the other healthcare facilities in Lofa County thanked the funding organizations, FOFBH, ACFLi, LANC, and other contributors.In an interview with the Daily Observer’s Health Desk, Mr. Forndia said, “This donation could not have come at any better time. We were devastated and we needed help. Our county, being the epicenter of the crisis, was in desperate need of assistance. And we will remain forever grateful to our brothers and sisters, who saw the need to identify with us when we were confused and distressed.”The Foya-Borma Hospital Administrator also lauded MedShare, a leading US medical supply recovery organization, which has its headquarters in San Leandro, California; the United Parcel Services (UPS), which provided the transportation for the shipment of the container to Foya, and the Permanente Group of Central Valley, California, which provided funding for the project.“We really want to say a ‘Big Thank You’ to all these people. Their help was very instrumental in finally controlling and eradicating the virus from this county,” he said, adding that “additional funding was also provided by various members of the above organizations, friends as well as business organizations.”Mr. Forndia disclosed that the container project was the “dream come true” of Dr. Mary Zozulin, an Ob-GYN in Waterbury, Connecticut, who worked at the Foya-Borma Hospital. “This Lady was actually one of those who initiated the entire process,” Forndia added.Dr. Zozulin had gone to Foya because her daughter, Kristen, was assigned there as a Peace Corp Volunteer. Dr. Zozulin and her daughter were forced to leave Liberia as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic. This was after the virus had taken the lives of five healthcare workers at the hospital. They included three nurses, a nurse’s aide and a laboratory aid.Upon her return to the USA, Dr. Zozulin felt the need to help the people of Foya. She got in touch with FOFBH to help coordinate a medical supply shipment for the people of Lofa. With her help they filed an application with MedShare for medical supplies for the hospital.At the same time in Sacramento, California, ACFLi had established the “Kick Ebola out of Liberia,” campaign. Along with LANC, the two organizations initiated a fund drive to send Ebola-related medical supplies to the epicenter of the virus, which coincidentally happened to be Foya, Lofa County. When they approached MedShare, through Mr. Andrew Pines, the Executive Director, he informed them about an initiative by another organization, FOFBH, which had undergone a complete application process but was constrained by limited funding. Mr. Pines suggested that they could collaborate and provide the necessary funding in time so that they could all take advantage of an Emergency Ebola Shipment available only to Liberia. This was the beginning of the joint venture between FOFBH, ACFLi and LANC.Although the donation was intended directly for Foya-Borma Hospital, several other health care facilities in the county benefitted substantially. The other health care facilities that benefited from this generosity are Telewoyen Hospital in Voinjama, Kolahun Health Facility, the Currant Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor and the Yekpedu Clinic. Others are Limgbamba Clinic, Foya Tangia, Gbemah Clinic, Worsornga Clinic, Solormba Clinic, Shelloe Clinic and Mendekorma Clinic.“We alone could not use all those medical supplies, therefore, along with the other county authorities we decided to distribute some of the medical supplies to the other health centers in the county. These were highly appreciated because they too were in dire need,” Forndia stated.He lauded Lofa County Superintendent George Dunor and the County Health Officer (CHO), Dr. Josephus Bolongei, for their efforts in getting the container to Liberia and subsequently, to the intended destination of Lofa County.These gentlemen played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Container Project became a local and international success story. They provided the necessary guarantee to the donor agencies, that they would obtain all duty-free privileges and that the Container would be received and delivered to the Foya-Borma Hospital at no additional cost to the donor agency. They, along with the Foya-Borma Hospital Administrator, Forndia, worked assiduously in making sure that the container reached Foya in a timely and secure manner especially during the Ebola crisis.Forndia noted that the success of this project proves that Liberian organizations can indeed collaborate, and be reliable, successful and in the end make a difference when it comes to the welfare of the Liberian people.Some of those who worked very hard to make the project a success, according to Mr. Forndia, include Narwale Washington-Agborsangaya, President of ACFLi and Chairlady of Keep Ebola out of Liberia Campaign, Sam Koaloe, ACFLi Board Chairman, J. Mwah Polson,   Senior Advisor to the President; James King, Advisor to the President on Logistics; and, Dr. Goffa Beh, Advisor to the President on Medical Affairs.Others were Paul Boakai, the President of LANC, Zoe Butcher-Washington, Chairlady of the Board of Directors of LANC, the president, secretary and treasurer of FOFBH, Dr. Nathaniel Samba, James F. Salifu and Mr. Sahr A. A. Nyorkor respectively. Members of the Board of Directors for FOBH are William S. Kamanda, MD, Daniel Saah MD, Mr. Henry Hali, and Mr. Saah Kanda.“We are indeed grateful, and fully acknowledge the untiring efforts of all the people and organizations here named and unnamed that contributed directly and indirectly to the successful and total eradication of the national tragedy and crisis called EBOLA from our dear Homeland Liberia over the last one year,” said Forndia.Shelloe Clinic, one of the local clinics, which received some of the donated items, has a catchment of 6,574. The Officer in Charge, Mr. Jallah K. Baysah, said, “This is true love. We are very grateful to the donors that came through Foya-Borma Hospital. We receive in good faith and will use the donations for the health of our people. Freely we have received and freely we will give.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more