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Monday, December 12, 2005 

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Freddie Flintoff was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year yesterday. That he would end the year with this award was a foregone conclusion. There is no doubt at all - in a football crazed country, he has done more than most to bring cricket right back to the sports pages. Even with England struggling in Pakistan after the Ashes euphoria and the Premier League action reaching a cescendo, cricket gets covered in the UK now - and Flintoff is the reason why. Flintoff looked suitably zonked (at 3 AM in Lahore) while receiving the award from another zombie, Botham.

Warne was voted best overseas sports personality of the year, beating the likes of Lance Armstrong, Justin Gatlin and Federer! The English love Warney because he is all they want their sporting heroes to be - brash, super confident, extremely talented and sucessful. Warne has captured the imagination here like no overseas cricketer has save Brian Lara. Tendulkar may be God for us Indians, but in this neck of the woods, he is not anywhere close to being that. Flintoff, Warne and Lara take top billing as cricketing superstars here.

I enjoyed the program on BBC yesterday because of Gary Linekar. His understated presentation skills are so refreshingly different from the over-the-top stuff you see everywhere else on telly. His transformation from goal scorer to TV presenter has been amazing, and he is now going to be the BBC's golf presenter as well. Aah, how cool would it be for Indian telly to get a presenter as good as him. We can only hope!

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