Past forward

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 10:42 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

With live sports a no-show, what nostalgia shows are sportspeople watching right now? We spoke to players across fields to find out

Roger Federer is a favourite among different sportpersons. Pic/AFP
Roger Federer is a favourite among different sportpersons. Pic/AFP

Test your spirit

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Racing driver Karun Chandhok is in England right now, where he finished watching The Test, a documentary about the Australian cricket team. "It follows how Justin Langer rebuilt the team and its reputation after the ball-tampering controversy. I didn't know much about him and have a renewed sense of respect. Any sports team would benefit from having someone like him, since he's conscious about his role as a public ambassador," Chandhok says. He also watched a documentary about tennis player Andy Murray, called Reform. "It shows his amazing commitment and work ethic to get back to fitness after injuries." And of course, being a racer, he keeps watching F1 videos especially while exercising, such as of the season finale from 1986.

Log on to primevideo.com to watch The Test

Holding the flag high

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One of athlete Anju Bobby George's favourite races is the 100m one that Carl Lewis won in the 1990 World Championships. "I also enjoy watching the long jump competitions between Lewis and Mike Powell. And of course, there is no one like Usain Bolt. I get goose bumps every time I watch him race," George says, adding that she is a fan of Federer, about whom she has a funny incident to narrate. "I was the flag bearer for Indian team in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and he was the same for Switzerland. He was sitting next to me and people were rushing to shake his hand. But I was like, 'What is this about?" because I wasn't really aware of him. It's only later that I realised who he was."

Log on to bit.ly/2JWKL8k

Setting the table

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People of a certain vintage will remember the exploits of table tennis champion Chetan Baboor. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the country's highest-ranking table tennis player right now (No.30, January 2020 rankings), relives erstwhile TT champ Chetan Baboor's glory days online. "He used to play doubles with Raman Subramanian, my coach. Most younger people haven't seen them play, and it would be great if they watch videos of their matches," Gnanasekaran says. He adds that like Pankaj Advani, he too looks up to Roger Federer. Gnanasekaran says, "I have been following him for 12 to 13 years, and watch his Grand Slam victories on repeat. I watch some basketball as well, apart from football games."

Log on to bit.ly/39ZijgO

Taking cue

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A few days ago, Roger Federer put on a dapper fedora and posted a video on YouTube, where he challenged people to repeatedly hit a tennis ball against a wall from close range. Billiards champion Pankaj Advani didn't try it, but he was still aware of it because he is an avid Federer fan. That's why he watches videos of the maestro, be it his Wimbledon triumphs or Indian Wells victories. "We are constantly being subjected to negative news around us. The situation is sad, of course, but sometimes, it's good to get away and watch world-class sportsmen like Federer doing their thing. His spectacular rallies, wizardry, famous points that you'll never forget — those are the things that give you an adrenaline rush," Advani says, adding that he also revisits billiard games featuring Mike Russell and Peter Gilchrist.

Log on to bit.ly/2JT6Ww6

Telly tales

It's not just on the Internet. There are a plethora of options on TV too for sports fans to roll back the years. Cricket fans can watch reruns of India's matches in the 2007 T20 World Cup, There are also the best moments from the Pro Kabbadi league, featuring teams like Dabang Delhi. And there are famous F1 races with the likes of the late Aryton Senna.

Watch on Star Sports

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