Kunal Pradhan

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Articles by Kunal Pradhan
 (Shutterstock, Imaging: Hindustan Times) Exclusive
(Shutterstock, Imaging: Hindustan Times)

Higher, faster, stronger: A tribute to the Indian Olympian

UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2021 04:26 PM IST
As you cheer for India at the Tokyo Games, spare a thought for every athlete’s journey to the Olympics. They deserve our support not just once in four years but at every stage of the struggle
“Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona. Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been.” That was Messi on Maradona (above), who died on November 25, aged 60.(AP File)
“Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona. Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been.” That was Messi on Maradona (above), who died on November 25, aged 60.(AP File)

I am black and white. I’ll never be grey in my life: The Maradona legacy

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 03:02 PM IST
It’s easy to box Maradona into what he did in 1986, his cult following at Napoli, the problems (drugs, obesity, the Mafia). But the truth is his legacy goes far beyond all that. He is the single largest factor responsible for the true globalisation of football — as a sport, as a passion, as a form of entertainment.
BJP chief JP Nadda says he is indebted to Bihar for the political exposure he got in his initial days.(PTI)
BJP chief JP Nadda says he is indebted to Bihar for the political exposure he got in his initial days.(PTI)

‘We don’t believe in abandoning allies’, says BJP chief JP Nadda

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Smriti Kak Ramachandran and Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON OCT 29, 2020 09:07 AM IST
The president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, JP Nadda says Nitish Kumar faced a problem when he went with Lalu, so even after winning the election (in 2015) he eventually left that alliance, and whenever he has been with the BJP, the pace of development picks up.
Charming, yet abrasive, passionate, yet disengaged, Dhoni gave India moments of joy and anguish.(AP photo)
Charming, yet abrasive, passionate, yet disengaged, Dhoni gave India moments of joy and anguish.(AP photo)

Dhoni: The first hero of ‘real India’

UPDATED ON AUG 16, 2020 08:18 PM IST
A study in contrast, Dhoni symbolised the hopes, aspirations and abilities of small-town India
A roadshow in Malappuram heralding the start of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June 2014. Fandom doesn’t just unite; it also teaches us to accept when we’re beaten, be okay with not always winning, but have the resilience to keep fighting back.(HT Archive)
A roadshow in Malappuram heralding the start of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June 2014. Fandom doesn’t just unite; it also teaches us to accept when we’re beaten, be okay with not always winning, but have the resilience to keep fighting back.(HT Archive)

Lessons from the field, lessons for life

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 04:22 AM IST
For the first time, we, the ones on this side of the sport-watching fence, are envying those on the other side who don’t have to rely on events thousands of miles away—events they have absolutely no control over—for their sanity.

Decade Ender: New feats same old superstars

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON DEC 27, 2019 11:42 AM IST
DECADE OF UN-CHANGE: The Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio-poly, the Bolt and Phelps monopolies, and the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly continued to thrive as an age of deep analysis gave us glorious certainties instead of fresh sporting narratives
What are tie­-breaker rules but stipulations never meant to be activated? Rather than a way to select the winner, they are, in reality, an admission of the inability to pick one.(Photos: AFP)
What are tie­-breaker rules but stipulations never meant to be activated? Rather than a way to select the winner, they are, in reality, an admission of the inability to pick one.(Photos: AFP)

When human endeavour beat human imagination

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2019 08:59 PM IST
Every emotion, quality and nuance of sport came alive on Sunday. Were there really only two winners?
What spirit did it violate when R Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler in the IPL match on March 25?(AFP)
What spirit did it violate when R Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler in the IPL match on March 25?(AFP)

Cricket a gentleman’s game? Pshaw! — Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 30, 2019 06:06 PM IST
Cricket is not, and need not, be different from any other sport. There is no need for it to take itself so seriously that it has “laws” instead of “rules” and believes that it must be played with a superior “spirit”.
Virat Kohli leads his team out, all wearing camouflage caps, during the series between India and Australia in Ranchi.(Getty Images)
Virat Kohli leads his team out, all wearing camouflage caps, during the series between India and Australia in Ranchi.(Getty Images)

A camouflage cap has nothing to do with cricket Why play to a different gallery?

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON MAR 16, 2019 04:31 PM IST
Even at the worst of times, sport has played the role of a healer despite the war metaphors that are freely attached to it
The West Indies cricket team with the World Cup trophy in 1979.(Popperfoto/Getty Images)
The West Indies cricket team with the World Cup trophy in 1979.(Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan: Windies revival – An elusive dream

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 16, 2019 06:19 PM IST
What does a West Indies renaissance really mean? The glory of West Indies cricket in the 1970s and 1980s was not just about victories and defeats. It was about race, culture, music, and the significance of lives lived on tiny islands figuring like dots on a world map
Left to right: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated world tennis for more than a decade.(GettyImages)
Left to right: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated world tennis for more than a decade.(GettyImages)

There has never been anything like Federer vs Nadal vs Djokovic: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2019 01:54 PM IST
Tennis, in fact individual sport as a whole, was spoiling for a fight of this nature for nearly two decades
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul on the Karan Johan TV chat show.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul on the Karan Johan TV chat show.

Rahul and Hardik go to White Castle: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2019 05:06 PM IST
If the two cricketers behaved like monsters that must be brought to book, then what about us, the Frankenstein who created them?
Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates his century on the first day of the fourth Test against Australia. When Rahul Dravid retired, Pujara was considered the perfect replacement. But the comparison has not always worked for the younger player.(AFP)
Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates his century on the first day of the fourth Test against Australia. When Rahul Dravid retired, Pujara was considered the perfect replacement. But the comparison has not always worked for the younger player.(AFP)

Not the next Dravid; the first Cheteshwar Pujara: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2019 11:37 AM IST
Indian cricket’s searches to replace great players who have retired with others who appear to be their replicas is perhaps more than is healthy
Hima Das in action during the women's 400m semi final on day two of the IAAF World U20 Championships in Finland.(Getty Images for IAAF)
Hima Das in action during the women's 400m semi final on day two of the IAAF World U20 Championships in Finland.(Getty Images for IAAF)

Reviewing 2018, the year of India’s sporting revolution: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2018 07:08 PM IST
It’s been a watershed year for Indian sport, writes Kunal Pradhan in his fortnightly column this week. But, for him, the two stories that really herald India’s wider sporting revolution are of Hima Das and Shubhankar Sharma
The 1983 World Cup victory in London helped Team India gain confidence in their game, overseas.(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
The 1983 World Cup victory in London helped Team India gain confidence in their game, overseas.(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

A toast to cricket nostalgia on a quilted winter morning: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON DEC 07, 2018 10:25 PM IST
There was no social media then to proclaim victory over those who hadn’t woken up, or share the triumph with fellow warriors who had.
Silver medallist athletes Mohammad Anas Yahiya, Hima Das, MR Poovamma and Arokia Rajiv at the Asian Games in August. Never before have we fired across sports at the same time.(Shahbaz Khan / PTI)
Silver medallist athletes Mohammad Anas Yahiya, Hima Das, MR Poovamma and Arokia Rajiv at the Asian Games in August. Never before have we fired across sports at the same time.(Shahbaz Khan / PTI)

What a thrill to be aiming better, higher in sport: Flip Side by Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
PUBLISHED ON NOV 24, 2018 05:11 PM IST
A new fortnightly column looks at the landscape of sport in India, and how much greener it’s got.
The FIFA World Cup is a coming together of peoples like no other, making it the ultimate sporting carnival.(AFP)
The FIFA World Cup is a coming together of peoples like no other, making it the ultimate sporting carnival.(AFP)

FIFA World Cup 2018: Root for your club, but say cheers to the cup

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2018 09:25 AM IST
The FIFA World Cup is an unadulterated celebration of football in the modern era where loyalty to European club teams is the new normal in fandom.
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger gestures during the English Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Arsenal at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, England on May 13, 2018.(AFP)
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger gestures during the English Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Arsenal at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, England on May 13, 2018.(AFP)

From moderniser to purist: Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal legacy is unmatchable

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2018 07:02 PM IST
Arsene Wenger was first a moderniser credited with transforming British football and later a purist who fought against the temptations of consumerist team-building.
The government may think its decision is politically rewarding but there are economic implications across the board on exports, environment and the rural economy.(Ravi Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)
The government may think its decision is politically rewarding but there are economic implications across the board on exports, environment and the rural economy.(Ravi Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)

Why Modi govt’s new cattle slaughter rules will hurt India

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2017 01:15 PM IST
When the Government of India issued an ‘extraordinary’ notification on Tuesday, restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets and imposing rules that put a majority of the country’s animal markets in danger, it willy-nilly hit much more than the meat industry.
The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, are a routine occurrence for the Nordic masses(Anuraag Mehandiratta)
The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, are a routine occurrence for the Nordic masses(Anuraag Mehandiratta)

What’s so enticing about the Northern Lights?

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON APR 24, 2017 11:56 AM IST
Iceland’s surreal landscape is infested with myth and folklore, and the dazzling display of Northern Lights makes it worth a visit
Cheerleaders for Kings XI Punjab perform during the IPL season of 2013. No one goes regularly to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for the cheerleaders, or takes the train from central London to Wimbledon because Cliff Richard might sing a few oldies if it’s raining.These may be welcome bonuses, but the reason one makes these trips is a chance to witness the pinnacle of sport.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)
Cheerleaders for Kings XI Punjab perform during the IPL season of 2013. No one goes regularly to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for the cheerleaders, or takes the train from central London to Wimbledon because Cliff Richard might sing a few oldies if it’s raining.These may be welcome bonuses, but the reason one makes these trips is a chance to witness the pinnacle of sport.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)

I don’t watch the IPL because I love cricket | Opinion

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2017 05:30 PM IST
The true joy of cricket is far removed from what the cricket league venerates. This made-for-TV Twenty20 league does not mean you’re open-mindedly embracing modernity, it means you’re celebrating mediocrity.
This file photograph taken in 2013 shows Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav (L) listening to his father Mulayam Singh at an event. In a country used to dynastic feuds, the battle between Akhilesh and his father Mulayam has been gripping stuff.(AFP Photo)
This file photograph taken in 2013 shows Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav (L) listening to his father Mulayam Singh at an event. In a country used to dynastic feuds, the battle between Akhilesh and his father Mulayam has been gripping stuff.(AFP Photo)

Five things Akhilesh Yadav gets by winning the cycle symbol

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2017 08:19 PM IST
The political journey of Mulayam Singh that began in 1969 seems to have been reduced to a sad state, with a party and family split down the middle. Netaji, as he is popularly known as, floated the Samajwadi Party in 1992.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav gets a firm grip over the Samajwadi Party.(PTI file photo)
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav gets a firm grip over the Samajwadi Party.(PTI file photo)

UP election 2017: Why getting the SP ‘cycle’ is Akhilesh Yadav’s biggest victory

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2017 08:11 PM IST
For the first time, a Yadav leader in UP will be heading to the 2017 election with the ability to create a larger coalition than the traditional backward-Muslim vote bank.
For two-and-a-half decades, Samajwadi Party’s cycle has represented a social identity that has grown stronger than the leaders who own it.(Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times)
For two-and-a-half decades, Samajwadi Party’s cycle has represented a social identity that has grown stronger than the leaders who own it.(Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times)

Akhilesh Yadav needs SP cycle to change the poll narrative in UP

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON JAN 03, 2017 12:00 PM IST
Having won the ‘pari­war’, the CM can change the Samajwadi narrative if he retains the party symbol.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is flanked by his father Mulayam (R) and uncle Shivpal in this picture from a time when their family was united.(PTI)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is flanked by his father Mulayam (R) and uncle Shivpal in this picture from a time when their family was united.(PTI)

Winter is coming: Akhilesh not blameless in Yadav family’s game of thrones

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2016 02:43 PM IST
Over five years he did precious little to stamp his authority on either the government or the party, as all strong leaders must.
People stand in a queue to withdraw currency notes at an ATM in Allahabad . At last count 62 rule modifications had been made by the government and the Reserve Bank of India since demonetisation was announced.(PTI)
People stand in a queue to withdraw currency notes at an ATM in Allahabad . At last count 62 rule modifications had been made by the government and the Reserve Bank of India since demonetisation was announced.(PTI)

Howzzat! If demonetisation is cricket, the govt appears stumped

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Pradhan
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2016 07:11 PM IST
A plan that was questioned from the start now finds itself, head down, arms akimbo, waiting desperately for the innings to end
HT Image
HT Image

Positives for Pak, negatives for India

PTI | By Kunal Pradhan (Reuters), Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 18, 2005 03:10 PM IST
Pak return home having taken what they say could be a step towards excellence. India are left pondering their future.
HT Image
HT Image

Pak bounce back with emphatic win

PTI | By Kunal Pradhan (Reuters), Jamshedpur
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2005 07:13 PM IST
Butt cracked a solid 101 and Rana grabbed 6-27 as Pak whipped India. Score | Replay | Player of the day | Photos
HT Image
HT Image

Cavaliar Dhoni makes his presence felt

PTI | By Kunal Pradhan (Reuters), Visakhapatnam
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2005 12:16 PM IST
When Mahendra Dhoni went out to bat against Pakistan in the second One-Day International he knew he had everything to lose.
HT Image
HT Image

I can spin Pakistan to victory: Kaneria

PTI | By Kunal Pradhan (Reuters), Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAR 28, 2005 11:09 AM IST
"The fifth day is always for spinners. I believe I can do the job and the team have belief in me," the 24-year-old leg-spinner from Karachi said.
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