Monthly archives: November, 2019

The African basketball championship: Unique and entertaining

first_imgMOST READ Arenas are abuzz with drumming, dancing, and flag waving. Boisterous Senegalese supporters packed Marius Ndiaye Stadium on Friday hours before their team took the floor, a floor that was freshly painted just three days earlier.Even referees seem to feel it. In a March qualifier, a Malian player sank a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer against Senegal, pulled off his jersey and sprinted toward fans as if he had scored a goal at the soccer World Cup. No technical foul.Wearing national colors is serious business for players, some of whom have grandparents who lived under colonial oppression.“I take pride in it,” said Senegal’s Maurice Ndour, who played for the New York Knicks last season. “It will be my first time playing in Senegal in front of the home crowd. It’s huge.”South Africa’s Chris Gabriel, center front, launches a hook shot over Senegal’s Gorgui Dieng during AfroBasket tournament at Marius Ndiaye stadium in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The African basketball championship may lack star power, even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains. AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut. (AP Photo/ Ken Maguire)Senegal, with Minnesota Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng on board, will be under pressure to win the title, something it hasn’t done since 1997. Angola is the 11-time African champion and hasn’t missed the final since 1997. Nigeria captured its first title at the last AfroBasket in 2015.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Despite Africa’s basketball potential, Ujiri warns that mismanagement threatens to stall progress. Uriji said governments must take responsibility for neglected stadiums and subpar sports programs. Leaks in the Dakar stadium’s roof were patched up 48 hours before the tournament. It’s the rainy season here.“We’re (Africa) moving forward in technology, we’re moving forward in banking, we’re moving forward in real estate,” Uriji said. “While these things are getting better, sports are being left behind. How is that possible?”The NBA has seen opportunity in Africa and has an academy outside Dakar to train the continent’s top young players. The NBA has put on exhibition games in South Africa and says a regular-season game is coming to Africa at some point.Ujiri said it’s also a good sign that Africans — like him — are earning jobs in leadership positions, including coaching and scouting.“I see that as growth of the game that’s going to help get kids playing at a younger age,” he said. Senegal’s supporters drum during an AfroBasket match between Senegal against South Africa at Marius Ndiaye stadium in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The African basketball championship may lack star power, even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains. AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut. (AP Photo/ Ken Maguire)DAKAR, Senegal — The African basketball championship may lack star power — even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains.AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:41UK’s Prince Harry detonates landmine in Angola as visits site being cleared by Halo Trust01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Tunisia won in 2011 but will play without Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri, who said that the Mavericks preferred he rest a sore knee. Tunisia hosts the knockout phase after this weekend’s flurry of games in Dakar and Rades. AfroBasket also provides a qualification path to FIBA’s world championship in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics.Top players sometimes opt out because of scheduling conflicts and, especially, their national federations’ unwillingness to pay for insurance. Other NBA players not coming are Cameroonians Joel Embiid, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Pascal Siakam, as well as Congo’s Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay.The delayed tournament also makes it hard for Africans in American schools. Angolan Bruno Fernando, identified by FIBA as Bruno “Fernandes,” has begun his freshman year at the University of Maryland.Still, NBA and other scouts are expected, so players like 25-year-old Ndour, now a free agent, can help themselves as they help their teams. Carlos Morais of Angola was invited to the Raptors’ training camp after earning MVP honors at the 2013 African championship.Silvio De Sousa, who has committed to Kansas for 2018, is suiting up for Angola.Joe Lopez, president of the SEED Academy, said many participants play professionally, “but you have two or three that will be discovered.” He pointed to SEED student Privat Koyamba, 19, of Central African Republic.“This will be for him a golden opportunity to showcase his talent,” said Lopez, who was the starting center on Senegal’s victorious team in 1978.SEED is an international NGO in Senegal that trains promising young players with a goal to build future leaders.Reggie Moore, born and raised in California and a naturalized Angolan, said AfroBasket play is “very physical” but he wasn’t worried about the lack of air conditioning.“It’s not a big deal. We’re used to it,” said Moore, a 6-foot-7 power forward and Oral Roberts University alum. McGrady, Lobo, Self and McGraw headline Hall of Fame class LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary International basketball federation FIBA turned to Senegal and Tunisia as emergency co-hosts of this men’s championship just two months ago because Republic of Congo backed out, as did replacement host Angola. The 16-team tournament was pushed back to September, too close to training camps for many Africans who play in the NBA.Tunisia hosted in August 2015, two months after 38 people were killed in a terrorist attack at a beach resort. As a precaution, games were moved to Rades, outside the capital Tunis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe tournament still carries on, as it has done since 1962.“They always end up finding a way, and it always ends up being a great tournament, so we must find a way to improve it, to get more out of it,” said Masai Ujiri, a Nigerian who is president of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. “I’ve played in that tournament. I’ve coached in it. It’s an unbelievable feeling. There’s a remarkable atmosphere. I wish more people knew about it.”last_img read more

Jordan Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers playoff

first_imgMOST READ “Jordan does Jordan things,” Berger said. “So there’s not really much you can say. I’m obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today.”Berger began the round in third place, three shots back. He tied Spieth for a lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on 15 as Spieth was making bogey on 14 and tied him again with a birdie from 8 feet at 17.The pair, playing a group apart, both hit their approach shots on 18 into the same greenside bunker. Both chipped out close to the hole and both saved par to force the playoff.Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth’s drive clipped a tree to the left and landed in the fairway, but about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.Spieth’s approach fell into bunker. Berger’s ran off the green to the left.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Boo Weekley, who began the round a shot back in second place, shot 37 on the back nine to tie for fifth at 9 under, despite the support of a large gallery, which could be heard cheering “Boooo!” and “Boo-S-A!” every time he did something good.Rory McIlroy tried to find his short game this week and used his third putter Sunday to help him shoot a 64, his lowest round on the tour this season. He tied for 17th at 6 under.“I must say I felt a little more comfortable on the greens than I did the previous three days,” McIlroy said. “So, this might be one that stays (in the bag) for a few weeks.”Defending champion Russell Knox had a poor round, with six bogeys on his first 10 holes. He shot a 73 to finish at even par.Grayson Murray had the tournament’s only hole-in-one, acing the 177 yard eighth hole with an 8-iron. It also was the first on tour for the 23-year-old North Carolinian. He shot a 68 to finish at 5 under.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight in the cup he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.“If I was in Berger’s shoes, I be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said.Spieth didn’t waste any time extending his lead to three strokes Sunday. He hit his approach shot to 6 feet on the first hole and made the birdie putt, then made a 5-footer at No. 2. But those would be his final two birdies until a 16-footer on the 15th hole.He also survived a couple of big scares. The first came when his drive on 13 went right but stuck on the side of a hill to stay out of the water. He missed a 7-foot birdie putt, but saved par.He then hit his tee shot on the 15th left, just avoiding the water and the hazard line in the rough. He chipped to the middle of the green and made a 16-foot putt for birdie, which he thought he had missed. .His second shot at 17 also looked as if it might hit the course’s signature lake, but landed just on the edge of the green and he made par.“That’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said. “But I took advantage of the good breaks and am happy to come out on top.”He’s the third player to go wire-to-wire alone in the lead at the Connecticut event. Gene Littler did it in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. Spieth’s only other wire-to-wire win was the 2015 Masters.Sunday’s win was also his first win in a tournament debut. The last player to win in Cromwell in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.Charley Hoffman (66) and Danny Lee (67) tied for third, three strokes back. Big3 begins: 3-on-3 league has close games, not much Iverson The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players with 10 victories in the era since World War II. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.“That was one for the ages,” said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSpieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger — who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 — at 12-under 268.Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES What ‘missteps’? Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan Spieth tips his hat to fans as he is introduced at the first hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament, Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)CROMWELL, Conn. — Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

San Miguel wins 5th title in 3 years, conquers PBA Comm’s Cup

first_imgThe Beermen picked up their fifth title in three years, all under coach Leo Austria, and hiked the franchise’s overall championships to a league-best 24 in 38 Finals appearances.San Miguel also claimed its first Commissioner’s Cup title since 2000, when it topped Sta. Lucia in five games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe championship also brings the Beermen closer to a Grand Slam this season with only the Governor’s Cup title left to win.Alex Cabagnot registered a rare triple-double in the game-clinching conquest with his 19 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, and three steals to be adjudged as the Cignal-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP. MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Motivated to seal his first title in his professional career, Charles Rhodes came out smoking to open the game as he dropped 14 of his 30 markers in the first quarter. He also had 11 boards, four blocks, three assists, and two steals.Marcio Lassiter also had his best game to date, shooting 5-of-13 from thres to finish with 24 points, alongside five boards and four dimes.With Rhodes leading the charge, the Beermen turned a close 23-21 lead to a 37-26 edge to end the opening frame.They continued to pounce on the hapless KaTropa, sharing the rock with 24 assists and shooting 12-of-29 from beyond the arc, to extend the lead to as high as 28, 94-66, late in the third period.Arwind Santos came off the bench and dropped 17 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while Chris Ross got 14 markers, seven boards, three dimes, and three steals to make up for June Mar Fajardo’s struggles in the game.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Troy Rosario topped TNT with 21 points and five rebounds, while Roger Pogoy got 16 in the loss.The Scores:SAN MIGUEL 115 – Rhodes 30, Lassiter 24, Cabagnot 19, Santos 17, Ross 14, Espinas 5, Semerad 4, Fajardo 2, Agovida 0, Heruela 0, McCarthy 0, Van Opstal 0, De Ocampo 0.TNT 91 – Rosario 21, Pogoy 16, Smith 15, Castro 13, De Ocampo 7, Garcia 7, Tautuaa 4, Williams 4, Rosales 2, Semerad 2, Reyes 0.Quarters: 37-26, 62-42, 94-69, 115-91. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? Visayan fans stunned by Pacquiao loss to Horn Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLooking back at San Miguel’s second conference struggles in the past, coach Leo Austria called his team’s Finals appearance this season as destiny.And on Sunday, that destiny became a reality as the Beermen closed out the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals in style, dominating TNT in Game 6, 115-91, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

Star taps Malcolm Hill to replace import Cinmeon Bowers

first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sources: Blatche reluctant to join Gilas in Lebanon Fiba Asia View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ Hill last played with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the recently concluded Orlando Summer League.He will make his debut for the Hotshots in their next game against Alaska on Friday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Hill, meanwhile, went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft after four years in Illinois.He averaged a team-best 17.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in his senior year with the Fighting Illini. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Cinmeon Bowers. PBA IMAGESStar is leaving no stone unturned this 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup as the team decided to replace Cinmeon Bowers with Malcolm Hill on Monday.Coach Chito Victolero confirmed the news as the Hotshots are set to parade the 21-year-old Hill after just one game with Bowers.ADVERTISEMENT “Yes, nagpalit na po kami (Yes, we’ve already changed our imports.),” the soft-spoken mentor in Filipino when asked if the development was indeed true.Bowers posted 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in Star’s 103-86 victory over Blackwater on Sunday but left a lot of pundits unimpressed with his style of play, with the most notable being his lackluster showing in the team’s tuneup game against Ginebra in the offseason.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starslast_img read more

Crucial Barapullah Nallah elevated road inaugurated

first_imgAfter missing several deadlines, the crucial Barapullah Nallah elevated road, linking the Commonwealth Games Village in east Delhi with the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was finally inaugurated today.Barapullah Nallah elevated roadThe four-km-long corridor, the first elevated road in the city, will now be exclusively used for ferrying Games participants from the athletes’ village near Akshardham temple to the main venue and vice versa.It will be a six-seven minute-drive for the athletes and other officials staying in the Games Village to reach the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium using the elevated road which otherwise would have taken nearly 40 minutes.Delhi PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chouhan, whose department has constructed the showpiece infrastructure, flagged off 240 low floor airconditioned buses from the Saraikale Khan side of the road to the stadium. The road will be opened for general traffic after the Games.”I am proud to dedicate the elevated road to the people of the city. After the Games, it will provide a key link between east Delhi and south Delhi,” he said. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has already announced that the elevated road will further be extended up to INA market so that people from east Delhi and Noida can reach south Delhi without using the Ring Road.Built at a cost of Rs 550 crore on a Nullah bed, the road criss crosses the Ring Road, Railway tracks near Nizamuddin Railway station, Mathura Road and Lala Lajpat Rai Marg.”At Mathura Road, the hight of the road has been kept 20 meters above the bed of the drain to maintain proper visibility of heritage structures near Nizamuddin,” an official said. The project has already missed several deadlines and the city government had faced criticism for the persistent delay in its completion. PWD officials blamed “unprecedented rains” for the delay. Officials claimed the department has saved nearly Rs 25 crore in project out of the allocated amount. They said the amount could be saved due optimisation and reduction in the prices of raw material like cement and steel during last one and half years. The actual work in the project was started in December 2008.advertisementlast_img read more

Raided Kalmadi seeks to put govt in the dock

first_imgSuresh KalmadiAfter the government claimed it was powerless to remove Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi, the CBI appears to have taken things in its own hands.The agency sleuths swooped down on Kalmadi’s houses in Delhi and Pune in simultaneous raids on Friday morning and seized several documents.The officials raided his palatial government bungalow on Kamraj Lane at 7 am as well as his houses and office premises at four other locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, including the OC office.The CBI also quizzed Kalmadi’s personal secretary Shekhar Shrivastava at its headquarters for nearly five hours. The house of his other personal secretary, Manoj Bhure, in Pune was also raided.A CBI spokesperson said “important documents” were seized during the raids.But a defiant Kalmadi emerged from his bungalow to proclaim his innocence. “I am innocent till proved guilty. The media is the one pronouncing me guilty,” he said.In fact, he sought to put the government in the dock saying it was privy to all the decisions taken by the OC. “All the decisions in the OC have been taken by an executive board. So many government officers are on that board,” he said. “The CBI has raided my house, my office, my house in Pune and also my brother.” The CBI had earlier this month requested the government to remove Kalmadi from the OC, saying he and some of his aides were obstructing the probe into the alleged irregularities in organisation of the Games. CBI director A. P. Singh had written to cabinet secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar in this regard.advertisementThe OC chief, however, stoutly denied that. “The CBI chief says I am interfering in the probe. That is not correct. Three days ago, I wrote to the CBI director and informed that the OC had handed over all the documents. In case there were some more left, the same would be provided. I have offered all cooperation to the CBI today,” he said.The CBI said in a statement that the raids on Kalmadi were a part of the ongoing probe into the scam in the Queens’ Baton Relay. He has not been named as an accused in the baton relay case so far.But CBI sources said the agency had over a dozen specific complaints against Kalmadi which it was probing.They said fresh FIRs may be lodged against him, especially in the alleged scam in procurement of CWG overlays.The Congress left Kalmadi, who is the party’s MP from Pune, to fend for himself, saying the government or the party had nothing to do with his role as the OC chief . ” Law is equal for all.There is no question of backing anybody,” Congress spokesman Abhishek M. Singhvi said.The BJP said the CBI action was an eyewash and the raids had come too late. “Why so much of a delay? Why so many documents being allowed to be misplaced deliberately?” party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.last_img read more

Sri Lankans advised to polish up etiquettes before World Cup

first_imgPreparing to be a perfect co-host of World Cup, Sri Lankans have been advised to refrain from the habit of drying clothes in public among others and to polish their etiquettes before the mega event, a media report said on Sunday.A Sri Lankan laundry man washes clothes on the banks of river Kelani in Colombo. APThe etiquette orders have been issued to residents living around the Premadasa international cricket stadium in Colombo, the Independent Sunday Times reported.”These include abstaining from hanging out clothes for drying in public view, putting out garbage on the road sides and engaging in street games such as hop scotch and cricket matches,” the paper said.The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be the 10th Cricket World Cup and will be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2.Sri Lanka would co-host the world cup series for the second time and several matches are scheduled to be played in Colombo and two other grounds developed recently in Pallekele in central hill country and Suriyawewa in deep south.”Our country will get a lot of exposure from this event.So, we have told the people to take special care during this time to keep their surroundings neat,” Colombo’s Special Commissioner Omar Kamil was quoted as saying in the report.The Urban Development Authority would colour wash all the buildings around the stadium at its own expense.-With PTI inputslast_img read more

ICC World Cup 2011: Dhoni backs long format of tournament

first_imgIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave the thumbs-up to the World Cup format, saying the gaps between matches would help players recover from minor injuries to allow him field the best XI.On the other hand, several of Dhoni’s counterparts felt that adapting quickly to the subcontinent conditions would be a challenge in the 45-day tournament being played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. “What’s good is that all the teams are looking in good nick. And the format… there are long breaks in between [matches]. What it means is that if you play and have a bit of a niggle you can really recover and we all can always field our best XI. That’s a big plus point for us. I think it will be an open tournament and the team that will play consistent cricket over the 45 days will lift the World Cup,” Dhoni said.”A lot has been said about the gap that exists between matches. So we will look to go to [see] some historical monuments during these gaps,” he said, in a lighter vein, at a press conference here where captains of all 14 teams were present.Dhoni also made the opening remarks after Australia captain Ricky Ponting. “The next 35 to 45 days will be really interesting for cricket because it’s a mega event. Of course, you know that it will be held in sub-continental countries where cricket is among the biggest sports. I welcome all the other teams and ask them to enjoy the hospitality of the subcontinent and at the same enjoy cricket,” he said, dressed in navy blue team blazer.advertisementWhen asked about his reaction to Suresh Raina coming close to missing the flight from Chennai to Dhaka, Dhoni said he was not too concerned. “Not really when you have a squad of 15 you don’t really mind it,” he said. “Anyway there is always someone to give a lift to a cricketer in India. I didn’t worry so much about it; just hoped all was well with him and which was the case.”Ponting admitted that a few senior players were not in the team due to injuries, but hoped that the replacements would step into their shoes well to fill the void.Aiming for a fourth straight World Cup title for Australia – and his third successive as captain – Ponting said that he was confident that his team can go all the way to retain the crown if it adapts quickly to the conditions and the crowds of the subcontinent.”Conditions we faced in both practice games [in India] were difficult. But we are actually quite happy going into our first game against Zimbabwe [in Ahmedabad on Monday] since arriving in the country two days before our first practice game,” he said.”We are looking ahead to the tournament. We are very proud of our record in the subcontinent as far as ODI cricket is concerned.”Andrew Strauss, who captained England to an Ashes win over Australia but lost the ODI series 1-6 Down Under recently, agreed with Ponting on adapting to local conditions quickly. “The conditions here are very different from what we encountered in Australia.The key is to make the adjustments very quickly. There are not going to be any easy fixtures in this tournament,” he averred.Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara said that the real test for teams will come in the quarterfinals and semi-finals.”In a World Cup, you have got to be better than all the teams, not just the teams that you have mentioned [India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka]. Playing in from of home crowds and home grounds for most of the games will be quite important for us,” he said.”At the same time, the format itself means that if you manage to qualify for the quarter-finals, you’ve got a good chance to play two good games to get into the final. Consistency is the key, but if in the quarterfinals and the semifinals you get that it will be the most important thing.”Bangladesh captain Shakib-al Hasan said he has set high goals for his team. “We want to play the whole tournament. We had very good preparations in the last two-three weeks and guys are confident and they all are fit. We are looking forward to the tournament.”last_img read more

F1rst ride of his life

first_imgHe inched out of a melee of engineers and mechanics clad in a famous deep green, out from a jungle of wires, cables, car parts and computer equipment, out over the boundaries that separate the impossible from the possible. One cautious but steady right turn out of the Jaguar Racing,He inched out of a melee of engineers and mechanics clad in a famous deep green, out from a jungle of wires, cables, car parts and computer equipment, out over the boundaries that separate the impossible from the possible. One cautious but steady right turn out of the Jaguar Racing Formula One garage at a racetrack called Silverstone, in the UK, under the kind of sun that warms his home town of Coimbatore, and Narain Karthikeyan had driven straight into the pages of Indian sporting history.Being the first Indian to drive an F1 car is like being the first Indian to step on the moon. Every steering wheel costs $25,000 (Rs 11.5 lakh), team budgets flutter at $80-100 million (Rs 368-460 crore) a year, Porsches and Ferraris ease their way past giant lorries that carry the race equipment around the world and diners in the hospitality “motor homes” recall meetings with the late King Hussain of Jordan and discuss the benefits of signing up popstar Robbie Williams for some Grand Prix publicity.It is not a world for timid spenders or weak hearts. It is a world dominated by European wealth and tradition. The way in is through a very strongly guarded door. Karthikeyan, India’s most successful race driver whose helmet carries the blue “chakra” of the Indian flag on its crown, has got a foot in. “Narain’s obviously got the talent and it’s a significant day for him. So far it’s gone well,” remarked Bobby Rahal, ceo and Team Principal of Jaguar Racing.advertisementRahal exudes the aura of glamour and high technology that is F1, the very peak of the motor racing world. It can intimidate any outsider, why only a first-time test driver: a few rows down from the Jaguar “paddock” where Karthikeyan ate cereal for breakfast before the test, so did world champion Michael Schumacher and his closest competitor, the Finn Mika Hakkinen. Just before he pulled out for the first time ever in a F1 car, the vehicle that exited before him belonged to veteran driver Jean Alesi.But Karthikeyan, 24, an incongruous wisp of a figure amidst heavy machinery, has spent more than eight years in motor racing and knows where everything finally comes to a head: behind the wheel of a machine only 22 men in the world are allowed to race, on tracks that test ability and nerve and strength. In F1 testing, there are no rehearsals, no simulations. All a test driver can do is get briefed, get in, sit down and drive. The car is connected in no less than 100 places to computers in a hushed, air-conditioned it truck back in the paddock that monitors every change in the car. That is all that is silent about the science.When an F1 engine revs up, it is as though an angry beast were beginning to howl at being caged. Once on the track there is a gunshot of defiance when it shifts down a gear to take a corner and the scream down the straights is every driver and team’s call to attention. A few laps around Silverstone and Karthikeyan’s Jaguar – a 2000 model – was howling, shooting and screaming with the rest of them.NO LIMITS: Karthikeyan is aiming to become one of the 22 who get to drive F1 carsAn F1 test though is not merely about flamboyance and speed. “We don’t want him to be breaking world records in a test, it’s not about that,” said Jaguar Racing spokesman Nav Sidhu, a British Asian who moved to the team six months ago. “It is about the smoothness with which he drives, how quickly he adapts and most importantly how well he understands the machine. Everything that Narain does today will be noticed, not just by our guys, but by everyone in every pit. If people want to know how he did, they’ll give us a call,” Sidhu told India Today.The business of getting just a test drive with a F1 car is linked with networking, management and contacts. Karthikeyan’s current test was part of a contractual agreement leveraged by one of his sponsors, Ford India, when he signed on with Stewart Racing (an arm of Jaguar Racing) in the F3 season in 2000 after coming up through the ranks in Asia. Karthikeyan’s manager Steve Robinson who manages F1 phenomenon Kimi Raikkonen told India Today, “We aim to have Narain into a Formula One team – if not to drive then definitely a test drive by the next season.”The “Formula” refers to the specifications and regulations – minimum weight, size, engine displacement, among others – used to categorise single-seaters race cars in a world inhabited by engineers wearing oversized headphones and earmuffs, smouldering women in spandex carrying umbrellas (genus: “Pit Babes”), scuttling pit crew and adoring fans.advertisementRacing a Formula machine is not like a Sunday spin in your Zen. A driver sits in a single seater like you would in a tub, legs stretched out, his feet ready to tap dance on the accelerator and brake pedals, upper body and arms ready to absorb the kind of non-stop bone-jarring impact that Lennox Lewis could inflict for two long hours. Cars scream down the track at 300 kmph and then brake for corners at 40 kmph before stepping on the gas again. The sudden acceleration could snap your neck and it creates G-forces (the force exerted by gravity) that fighter pilots deal with. “You can face up to 4.5 Gs in some races,” says Karthikeyan. That is four and a half times your body weight bearing down on you so that moving a finger is like lifting a barbell. Karthikeyan weighs in at 55 kg (“it’s not a handicap, Alain Prost was world champion and he only weighed about 60 kg”) and admits he was not one for pumping weights but quickly hired a personal trainer, Gerry Convey, a few years into pro racing.The real business is negotiating the car through a maze of machines, looking for the opening to overtake, working out the most precise line with which to take a tricky corner, all the time keeping an eye in the rear-view mirror for the man behind. He could be craftier, he could be quicker, he could be crazier. Race car driving is the walk on the fine line between calculation and creativity, inspiration and insanity, the walk sometimes between life and death. Or as former world champion Graham Hill, father of Damon Hill, put it, “like balancing an egg on a spoon while shooting the rapids”.From the moment he watched a video of the 1989 Formula One World Championship season as a 12-year-old in Coimbatore, Karthikeyan has chased his impossible dream: “For me it was always Formula One or nothing.” Nothing was always an easier option. Do you know what it’s going to cost, his father G. Karthikeyan would ask and the son would say he would find the sponsors. Who’s going to give money to a 16-year-old nobody? Someone. Don’t you know Indians only race and rally at home? Not this one. “To be honest, if we’d been given a choice, we wanted him to do his MBA and join the family business in textiles,” says his father. “We’ve learnt from him about attitude.”Click here to EnlargeInitially the family indulged their second child, though his mother Sheela is still too anxious to watch him race. Narain has an elder sister Deepika who he says understands him best and a younger brother Rajeev who has no love for race cars. His father first built the nine-year-old a go-kart using a 50 cc moped engine and paid $8,000 (around Rs 3.5 lakh) to enrol him in prestigious Elf-Winfield at the age of 16. Once the coaches – who had seen Alain Prost, Alesi and Damon Hill drive in their youth – told the Indian family that this was a special talent, Karthikeyan’s dream went into overdrive.To compete a driver has to pay a team to sign him on. The sums begin at Rs 30,000 per race for the Indian Formula Maruti to Rs 60 lakh per year for a Formula Asia Car, pound 3,50,000 pounds (Rs 2.3 crore) a year for the Formula 3 class in Britain and $1.2 million (Rs 5.5 crore) in Formula Nippon. Karthikeyan’s current ride with Formula Nippon team excite Team Impul has been subsidised because of his past results. But he still has to pay $3,00,000 for the ride, the expenses now taken care by his sponsors, including Kingfisher, JK Tyres, Ford India, which stepped in two years ago, Amaron and for the first time, to everyone’s amusement, a clothing company called Triad. Only when a driver graduates to Formula One does he get paid for the privilege of driving.advertisementIn 1995, the first year Karthikeyan raced in Formula Asia, it was in a second-hand car, his team consisting of one engineer, no spare engine or spare gear box. “I look back now and think it was ridiculous,” says his father. But he put bigger teams to shame. It was his foot on the bottom rung of the ladder. “When I went to England as Formula Asia Champion, they said so what? It means nothing.”In 1999, Karthikeyan raced for Carlin Motorsport set up by Martin Stone and Trevor Carlin and Vicky Chandok, a friend of Karthikeyan’s family and head of the Wallace Sports and Research Foundation, an arm of JK Tyres involved with R&D in motor sport technology. He beat current F1 drivers Jenson Button and Luciano Burti and finished sixth overall, winning two races in England, another first for an Indian. Pushed by Ford India, he was able to move on to the high-profile Stewart Racing (the F3 arm of Jaguar) with whom he shared mixed luck and mixed vibes in 2000, finishing fourth overall. Ford India md Phil Spender says, “Indian drivers are an unknown quantity in Europe but Narain’s been pioneering in that way.”Sanjay Sharma, head of JK Tyres Motor Sports division, says Karthikeyan’s success has changed the way the world of motor sport looks at an Indian drivers. “They look at us now and say, oh Indian team-Narain!” Parthiva Sureshwaran, 20, who has graduated from the Formula Asia series, now races for ME Motorsport in F3 in the UK. Karun Chandok, 18, won all his first four Asian Formula 2000 races in his maiden season. Of the top four places in the current Asian Formula 2000, three are held by Indian drivers, Chandok, Asif Nazir and Kaushik Harita.Which way Narain Karthikeyan’s career goes from this day on is immaterial. In the history books he will always be the boy who dared. The one who stood at the lip of a great chasm and looked not below but ahead. And leaped.last_img read more

Mystery woman leads Indian contingent at Olympics, India clueless

first_imgThe presence of an unidentified lady beside flag-bearer Sushil Kumar in the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony of the Olympics has prompted the country’s miffed officials to take up the issue with the Games organisers.A young lady in red shirt and blue trouser was seen leading the Indian contingent in the march past alongside Beijing Games bronze-medal winner Sushil Kumar and her unwanted presence has not gone down well with the Indians who had no clue as to who she was.Acting chef de mission of the Indian contingent Brig P K Muralidharan Raja is understandably agitated that a person who was not part of the delegation was allowed to accompany the team and hog the limelight in the process.”She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers. We don’t know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in. It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past,” Raja told PTI in London.”We were initially told that she would accompany the contingent till the track but she went on to take the entire lap. There was another man also but he stayed back and did not enter the stadium,” Raja added.”We have taken strong exception to this. The march past is for the athletes and officials attached to the contingent. We are totally taken by surprise how a person could just intrude into the track,” he wondered.advertisementThe lady’s presence had created a flutter Friday night itself and the Indian media covering the Games, had sought clarification from the team management.”The Indian contingent was shown for hardly ten seconds in the tv coverage and the entire focus sadly was on this lady, instead of the athletes,” Raja rued.The Indians have fielded 81 athletes, the largest ever in the history of the Games, but only 40 athletes and around 11 officials participated in the parade at the opening ceremony, which showcased Great Britain’s rich heritage combined with dazzling fireworks and stunning visual effects.The Indian men wore traditional blazers and Rajasthani yellow turbans while the female atheletes wore yellow sarees.last_img read more

‘Nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has acted as a deterrent to war’

first_imgIn Search of a Direction “Let nuclear warmongers bear in mind that a bloody battle does not determine what is right, but only what is left.” S. SANATH KUMAR, on e-mail Apocalypse Now Barking dogs do not bite and we have learnt with time that Pakistan barks whenever pushed into,In Search of a Direction “Let nuclear warmongers bear in mind that a bloody battle does not determine what is right, but only what is left.” S. SANATH KUMAR, on e-mail Apocalypse Now Barking dogs do not bite and we have learnt with time that Pakistan barks whenever pushed into a corner (“If Pakistan Nukes India”, June 10). However, if General Pervez Musharraf gambles on biting India with a nuclear strike, he will do so at his own peril as Pakistan will be wiped out. R.S. JOSHI, Bharuch In a nuclear war there are no winners, no losers and no survivors, only annihilation. There is still time for Musharraf to change his stance. But as the proverb goes, can a leopard change its spots? DR V.T. BALACHANDRAN, Chennai Why would Musharraf want to destroy terrorist camps in Pakistan when almost all successive rulers reign only by instigating the Pakistanis to become jehadis in their fight against India? G. BALATHANDABANI, Chennai Our no-first-use policy along with the possibility of a virtual extinction of our adversary should keep a nuclear exchange between the two countries at bay. NAVNEET DHAWAN, Delhi “Liberation is both a single woman’s bravado to conceal her insecurity and a euphemism for promiscuity.” H.R. BAPUSATYANARAYAN, MysoreTill now, the only mature act of Indian leaders has been to generate world opinion against Pakistan. It is time for them to exploit the situation and get Pakistan to enter into a dialogue with us to solve all disputes, including the Jammu and Kashmir one. SONIA GARG, on e-mail The nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has acted as a deterrent to war because the global community can no longer afford to look the other way. But for that, the current military brinkmanship would have burgeoned into another full-fledged, ruinous war. NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, Thiruvananthapuram Despite a nuclear threat looming large on the subcontinent for the past few years, we cannot churn out gory facts about nuclear holocausts each time tensions escalate. Reporting the possible scenario is acceptable, making it look like the inevitable is not. NATASHA JOSHI, on e-mail The conjecture was inappropriate given the tension simmering between India and Pakistan. Instead of dealing with possible solutions for changing the hostile stances or elaborating on the developments in the conflict between the two countries, you chose to focus on the sensational subject of the effects of a nuclear war. Such writing only creates panic. A. ALEXANDER, on e-mail Perhaps your intention was to impress upon the enemy the dangers of nuclear warfare. Sadly, the images accompanying the article only helped in sparking fear in the minds of Indians. Humphrey Hawksley’s Dragonfire- an equally sobering but toned down interpretation of just such an event- makes for better reading. RISHABH GULATI, on e-mail Your article does not answer the obvious question: where would India’s command and control be to retaliate in case Pakistan’s nuclear weapons simultaneously destroy Delhi, Mumbai and a good part of north India? And who would be there to execute the counterstrikes? K.R. SHARMA, Mumbai Is there any way in which one could know if a missile is carrying a nu- clear warhead and how the targeted country should react to such an attack? COLONEL (RETD) RIAZ JAFRI, Rawalpindi Self Assertion It is baffling why India is looking for the cooperation and encouragement of other countries in its war against terrorism (“In Striking Distance”, June 3). In a real sense there is no friendship among countries, only interests-economic or political. It is about time India took an independent stand. DIPTANSU SHARMA, Guwahati Might is Right The prospect of war is never far but efforts to delay the battle should not be construed as India’s weakness (“Defending Kashmir”, June 3). In view of the present crisis,we have to defeat the nefarious designs of the enemy and fight a decisive battle. We cannot and should not suffer the terrorist torment forever. R.R. SAMI, Tiruvannamalai The present crisis reminds me of the words of former army chief General K. Sundarji: “Something deep down bothers me. We seem to be convinced that it is immoral to be strong and virtuous to be weak.” It appears that nothing has changed in the past two decades. C.B. DYUTHIKAR, Bangalore Blight Spirit After witnessing the state-sponsored anarchy during the wedding of Laloo Prasad Yadav’s second daughter, I would prefer dying in a war to living in a peaceful democracy where a Laloo-Rabri Devi combine keeps hurting my sensibilities beyond repair (“Married by the Mob”, June 10). SANKALP PRATAP, on e-mail After the wedding of Laloo’s first daughter, there was an income-tax raid at his house. Wiser, he chose the son of an IT commissioner for his second daughter. Sure enough, there was no raid this time. For the next girl in line, he would perhaps be looking for a groom from a judge’s family. DR MANASH R. GHOSE, Kolkata The only silver lining is that Laloo-Rabri have seven more children to marry off so at least seven more villages in Bihar like Hichhanbigha can look forward to salvation. SHITANSHU PRASAD, on e-mail What is frightening businessmen dealing in cars, furniture and jewellery in Patna? The fact that there is a large brood of the Laloo dynasty which will also be married in the near future. UDITA AGRAWAL, Delhi Historical Court The story of a real king was a welcome departure from the self-made royals of modern India-the politicians (“Crowning Glory”, June 10). India is known around the world as the land of maharajas but sadly we are forgetting our history while Britain continues to accord privileged status to its royalty. NANDITA THAKUR, Nadiad The Other Half It is a relief to know that from now on men can be equally responsible for containing a family (“The Male Initiative”, June 10). In a sense, RISUG spells the actual liberation of women. ANUPAMA RAISANGHANI, on e-mail Messiah of Mute Maneka Gandhi needs to be lauded for her courage and for staying true to her principles in a political world where nothing is constant, certainly not principles (“Custodial Crisis”, June 3). There will come a day when we will recognise that she is far more than a politician- she is a national resource. If not for her, savage humans would be running amok and ruining the world of animals. SANGEETHA LAKSHIMI-NARAYANAN, Bangalore Maneka Gandhi’s idea of enforcing the rules of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) is ridiculous. In the new era, rules that are almost four decades old are obsolete. It is clear that Gandhi is doing all she can to remain in the limelight. She does not realise that the purpose of experiments on animals is for the betterment of human beings and not to exercise cruelty on them. ANSHU MATHUR, Ahmedabad Since most diseases result from a faulty lifestyle or bad eating habits, why should animals suffer in the search for a cure for these man-made ills? There is no logic in killing animals in the name of research to develop drugs that will save human beings. We should switch to other alternative systems of treatments where no such experiments are required. If this is not checked in time it will also encourage the cosmetic industry to try such experiments and the poachers to have their way. DR RAJIV CHOPRA, Dehradun advertisementadvertisementClan PrerogativeYour article on 50 years of my ascension to the throne covered the event honestly and was visually very pleasing with excellent photographs (“Crowning Glory”, June 10). Unfortunately, when it comes to covering traditional India the media invariably highlights the trivia – the “chiffons and diamonds” – and the exotica – the “pomp and pageantry” with marginalising sidelines like “Indira Gandhi made them relics of the Raj.” The point here is that she may have pulled the official ceremonial red carpet from under our feet but the Gaddi of the clan is very much our own business. Incidentally, contrary to what the article says, my ascension to it was recognised in 1952 by the then President Rajendra Prasad and accordingly I was recognised as a ruler as defined in the Indian Constitution. The privy purses, the official perks and the privileges went with the XXVIth Amendment to the Constitution but the centuries-old Gaddi of the Rathores will remain till such time as the clan and brotherhood will it and with it the social customs, our lifestyles and order of doing things. GAJSINGH, Jodhpur Passion Play With a budget of RS 50 crore, Devdas is the most expensive movie in the history of Bollywood (“Devdas: Bollywood’s Biggest Gamble”, May 20). One must not be surprised at the cost as the investment is not purely in terms of money but also in art and creativity. Devdas could open up new vistas in an industry that is addicted to schmaltzy love stories. RAKESH MOHAPATRA, Bhubaneswar Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be lauded and not criticised for the huge budget of Devdas because unless we pump in money we cannot be the best in any field-perhaps the reason why we lag in the fields of entertainment and sports vis-a-vis developed nations. HIPPU KANUNGO, Cuttack Learning by Rut Our entire system needs to be faulted for the board examination stress: students who do not fare well are shunned in society, they do not get admission into good colleges and lose out on career openings that a prestigious college offers (“Board Games”, May 20). Even at the high school level, those not doing well are denied the subjects of their choice for Class XI. Some schools even refuse re-admission to Class XI. Parents too have become ambitious. Everyone forgets that a three-hour examination is not the only way in which a student can be judged. MAHESH KUMAR, Delhiadvertisementlast_img read more

‘The West Indies need to win against India and bring pleasure back to the Caribbean’

first_imgColin CroftIf things are to change for the West Indies, the change must start with the Indian tour beginning this week.When he took over as president of the West Indies Cricket Board, the Reverend Wesley Hall had said there was a desperate need to do away with old methods.After all,Colin CroftIf things are to change for the West Indies, the change must start with the Indian tour beginning this week.When he took over as president of the West Indies Cricket Board, the Reverend Wesley Hall had said there was a desperate need to do away with old methods.After all the West Indies had lost to South Africa at home last year, only the second time that they had lost a series at home since the 1995 defeat to Australia.In truth, the West Indies should have lost to Pakistan in 2000 too but for one of the worst umpiring decisions ever when debutant West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove ruled Courtney Walsh “not out” after he hit a ball to short-leg with the home team a few runs short of their target at St John’s, Antigua.In due course, Jimmy Adams, then captain, made the winning run. The problem with West Indies cricket is their recent away record. Of the last 27 away Tests, the West Indies have lost 23, with one win and a draw against England in 2000 and a win and a draw against Zimbabwe last year.Coming back: (From left) Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Cameron Cuffy at a training camp before the India seriesThere have been weaker teams and worse results in the history of Test cricket but no team has ever kept trudging through such a wasteland of defeat.Nothing seems to be learnt from the losses and the team continues in the same fashion, seemingly unconcerned by their defeats. Sports psychologists keep reminding us that winning is a habit, just as is losing.advertisementThe West Indies seem to have developed the habit of losing. All attempts at getting to lose that habit are being directed at technique rather than at the attitude of the players. Somehow, the latter seems to be more necessary.Wes Hall, in fact, says, “We know there is an intestinal resistance to change. But we have to change or perish, it’s as obvious as that. We have to look at this ‘dinosaurial’ syndrome.”As a first step, the West Indies decided to break with convention and conduct a protracted camp for the home series and called in some names from our legendary past to pass on tips to the players who will be facing the Indians over the next two months.Sir Gary Sobers, Andy Roberts and Gus Logie were some who were involved in the week-long camp held in Trinidad.When I asked Sir Gary about the possibility of developing the will to fight back in a team that had been consistently beaten in the past seven years, he said, “I’ve been sitting on the outside, so I don’t have the information to make an accurate assessment. But when you have been losing 3-0, 2-0, 5-0 for four or five years, morale cannot be very high.” He believes, “The Indians are coming to win. This is where we will find out how much these boys have improved or how badly their morale has been damaged.”The way ahead for the West Indies, says Sir Gary, is to put the past behind.The way ahead for the West Indies in this series, Sir Gary says, is to put the past where it belongs- behind them. “They need a bit of insurance by having a good start in the series. They need someone to talk to them, to make them realise the circumstances of the game and boost their morale.”Sir Gary, Roberts and West Indian coach Roger Harper spent long hours in discussion about inputs that would benefit the team. The problems that beset West Indian cricket are many.Harper says that the claim that West Indian players were technically strong is a “great myth”. In my conversations with him, the former Guyana captain said, “We have a lot of technical deficiencies-it’s not a case of us having great technique and not being able to execute it. Our techniques are not up to Test level.”His understanding of the situation is that even though the previous generation of West Indian cricketers had no coaches, his generation of players had a number of people who filled in the role and mentored players who-and this is important-“wanted to be the best”.”It was an informal structure that worked wonderfully well. You had old experienced players who took it upon themselves at the club level to develop the young players, imparting the technical knowledge and shared their experiences. After the 1980s, that sort of thing did not happen.”advertisementOlder players-former Test and first-class players-left the game, some migrated or, because of economic reasons, weren’t able to put in enough time at the club level with the younger players.Of the last 27 away Tests, the West Indies have lost 23 and won only two.IT all led to a situation where a generation of players did not grow up in the same way as those cricketers who represented the Caribbean did from the 1970s through to the 1990s.”Young players were coming through without the proper background they needed to have when they got to the first-class level, much less the international level,” says Harper.To this end, the 22-member training camp included four newcomers and two players who had spent three years in the wilderness. The new players in the running are opening batsman Devon Smith of the Windward Islands, off-spin all-rounder Gareth Breese of Jamaica and fast bowlers Adam Sanford of the Leeward Islands and Darrell Powell of Jamaica.Opening batsman Stuart Williams of the Leeward Islands and wicketkeeper-batsman Junior Murray of the Windward Islands, two players who have not featured in recent selections but have played against India, were also called in.Two of the West Indies’ key batsmen-Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan-are returning from injury. Lara has only recently started net practice following a near three-month break from the game and Sarwan returned to first-class cricket after two months off due to a back injury.This is a series that is being highly anticipated everywhere in the Caribbean but especially in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago where 45 per cent of the populations are of Indian descent. After losing so regularly, it would be very difficult for the West Indies to beat India even though we are at home. But it can be done if there is resolve.The two touring Indians spinners-leg-spinner Anil Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh-have already proved that they are quite capable of blowing opposing batsmen away.The Caribbean pitches-except perhaps Barbados and Jamaica-could be very helpful to them. The West Indies batsmen would have to take out their dancing shoes if they are to cope with the Indian spin twins.The West Indies would do well to win and bring some pleasure back to the Caribbean population. My guess is that fast bowler Adam Sanford could be a surprise selection and a surprise performer-even though this is his debut year in first-class cricket.He belongs to Antigua and Barbuda and has already taken 37 wickets at 24.24 in the Busta Cup Series, the West Indies’ premier first-class competition.If Sanford fires well and the rest of the players rally around Lara, if he is fully fit to play, then the West Indies could be more than competitive. They can actually surprise us all and win.Former West Indian fast bowler Colin Croft is an expert columnist for the website cricinfo.com.last_img read more

Attracted by yoga, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles reach Bangalore for alternative healing

first_imgThe Duchess of Cornwell, Camilla Parker-Bowles, who happens to be the wife of Prince Charles, has secretly checked into the Soukya Holistic Health Centre on the city’s outskirts for a week-long alternative therapy. However, Prince Charles has not accompanied her.This is her second visit to Soukya, run by the Dr Isaac Mathai. The centre specializes in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and various forms of indigenous medicine for treatment and cure of various ailments. It is a popular destination for international VIPs and sports personalities, who want to rejuvenate themselves.Camilla had checked into the high-end centre in 2008 for four days and seemed to be impressed with the various therapies offered there. “She is interested in Yoga and various therapies under Ayurveda. We are giving her a customized treatment package,” a spokesperson of Soukya said, without revealing anything further.Prince Charles has not accompanied Camilla Parker-Bowles.According to police sources, the Duchess of Cornwell came to Bangalore last Saturday and checked into Soukya the same day. She will be leaving Bangalore next Saturday and her visit has been kept secret, as she reportedly felt her presence may disturb her privacy.”We get such requests whenever there are VVIP guests in Bangalore. We are deploying additional security at Soukya to ensure that she is not disturbed,” police officials said. Soukya, located amidst pristine surroundings in Whitefield, Bangalore West, has restricted the entry of other visitors.According to sources, Camilla and her staff have been assigned the Presidential suite, which is isolated from the rest of the centre. “We often have international guests at our centre. But we prefer not to reveal their names, as they are sensitive about it,” the sources added.Soukya has treated several high profile guests. The centre shot into limelight after the Kerala based People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasser Madani, an accused in the Bangalore serial blasts (2008), was referred to the centre for treatment. Madani, who underwent ‘Panchakarma’ treatment, ran a bill of Rs 10 lakh, which the government paid.advertisementlast_img read more

Elite will not tolerate Rabeh Al-Hussaini’s absence from team

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Blackwater head coach Bong Ramos and team manager Joel Co gave one piece of important advice to beleaguered center Rabeh Al-Hussaini.Both had the same message to Al-Hussaini, who hasn’t reported to the Elite’s practice for several days now, and that is he should be able to deal with his personal problems while still having time to fulfill his duties with the team.ADVERTISEMENT TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LATEST STORIES “As a player, he has to separate his personal problems no matter how heavy it is,” said Ramos in Filipino. “If this happened to me I will find time to fix the problem and at the same time, I’ll put the practices first then, do whatever I have to do to fix the problem.”Al-Hussaini has reportedly already received 30 percent of his salary in the form a cash advance and that the 6-foot-7 big man is also wishing for a buyout, something Blackwater ownership isn’t willing to give.“No way we’re giving to buy him out, he already had a 30 percent advance from his one-year salary and then more than month he went AWOL (absent without leave),” said team owner Dioceldo Sy in a report on ESPN5.Co added that Al-Hussaini even told the team that he’s committed to the club and help the squad improve its fifth-seed finish, 7-4, in the Governors’ Cup—Blackwater’s best conference in franchise history.“We had a team lunch, just before Christmas, and he told us of his problem and he somehow made a commitment to coach and to everybody in the whole team that we’re going to move forward and pick up from where we left off,” said Co.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Manny Pacquiao gets visit from MMA star Cris Cyborg Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:50Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments MOST READ Co said he and Ramos already talked with Al-Hussaini during the holiday season telling him that they understand the problem but he still has a responsibility as professional basketball player.“Coach Bong and I talked to him and he told us his problem, and we respect that, but regardless of what’s happening we made him understand that this isn’t easy,” said Co in Filipino after the team’s Saturday practice at Reyes Gym.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“We made him understand that as a professional, regardless if you’re a professional athlete or in the corporate world, of course, you should find a away to separate your problem with your work. A similar thing happened to me before and I brought my problem to work and that is really a recipe for disaster,” added Co.Al-Hussaini, Co said, last reported to the team right before Christmas when the players were given the signal to go on break for the offseason. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionlast_img read more

Far from satisfied, Team Lakay aims to continue success in 2019

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparc SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “While the rest of the world sleeps, we train, and when the world wakes up, we still train. Hard work, dedication, and learning will bring us success in 2019, despite the challenges we face.”The first test for Team Lakay comes on January 19 when Pacio defends his strawweight strap against Yosuke Saruta of Japan in ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia.Team Lakay’s journey to the top did not come without adversities, but Sangiao and the rest of Team Lakay are ready to conquer more challenges in 2019.“Together, we were able to overcome adversity. We’ll do the same in 2019,” Sangiao said.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Bradley Beal, Wizards silence Thunder MOST READ Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “This game is evolving every second. Right now, there is a martial artist out there developing a new training method, working on a new technique, and building a new set of skills we have never seen before,” said Team Lakay’s master tactician Mark Sangiao.“This is the nature of our sport. Mixed martial arts is the ultimate proving ground of combat. It combines every style and discipline into one cohesive system. That being said, the key to success is continuous learning.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Eduard Folayang and Joshua Pacio earned world titles in their respective divisions and for them to keep their status, they must continue to hone their craft.“As martial artists, we have to keep learning and improving — that’s the only way we can win. We have to keep up with the competition and train harder than our opponents,” Sangiao said. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES FILE – Team Lakay now has four current ONE world champions after Eduard Folayang regained the lightweight title following a unanimous decision win over Singapore’s Amir Khan in Manila. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTeam Lakay won four world titles in ONE Championship in 2018, but that doesn’t mean the Baguio City-based stable can afford to rest on its laurels this year.Winning is one thing and staying on top is a whole different story.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Toni Basas’ status still uncertain ahead of UAAP Season 81

first_imgSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PBA: Calvin Abueva nails game-winning putback as Phoenix escapes Meralco “Chinchin is at 50-50 right now because our main concern is the injury on her right shoulder, she still needs to have a medical clearance before she’s allowed to play,” said Pascua in Filipino Wednesday at FEU.“We’re still hoping that she can come back. She didn’t report to us physically but we’ve been keeping tabs through chat.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBasas also underwent an operation to fix her infected ear during the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.The absence of Basas is a big blow to the Lady Tamaraws’ bid to get back to the championship round after they finished as the runners-up in Season 80.center_img Basas did average 11.7 points-per-game in Season 80 while playing a support role to captain Bernadeth Pons who averaged 15.4 a match.Middle blocker Celine Domingo added that Basas is still resting from the two medical operations she went through and that her teammate is still with FEU.“She’s just resting right now since she’s had an operation to cure her infected ear and she also suffered a shoulder injury but she’s still here in FEU,” said Domingo in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.NETMANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University will enter the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament without one of its most reliable hitters in Toni Rose Basas.Lady Tamaraws head coach George Pascua said Basas’ situation is still uncertain with the outside hitter still nursing a right shoulder injury she suffered before the start of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference in 2018.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PNP officials inspect Cubao bus terminals ahead of Undas PLAY LIST 01:30PNP officials inspect Cubao bus terminals ahead of Undas00:50Trending Articles01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201302:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

ONE: Lowen Tynanes triumphant in return from serious injury

first_imgGrace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town It was during this time that Tynanes further patched things up with his mother whom he lived with until second grade when his parents split up.“Mixed martial arts is my first love, and it’s always been my number one desire. I really got to see things from different angles. I went back to school, I worked on myself, my relationship with my mom, my family and traveled a bunch,” said Tynanes.“My little sister is turning two, and I found happiness in other things. But I’m back to my first love and the love was never gone. I took a little break and I’m physically ready again.”ADVERTISEMENT Versatile forward Lamar Odom sees self in Warriors’ Draymond Green View comments US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Lowen Tynanes dominates in his return to the ring. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Lowen Tynanes proved he’s back and ready for the title picture when he put on a dominant display in ONE: Hero’s Ascent to take the technical knockout win over Honorio Banario in the quarterfinals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.The undefeated lightweight finished the match against Banario 4:46 into the first round with a vicious ground-and-pound in what he said was the culmination of nearly three years of preparation.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Tynanes (10-0) was sidelined with a back injury that almost ended his career after he defeated Koji Ando in April of 2016.Since then, Tynanes used his layoff to become slow down and get a different perspective in life.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I live in the gym and when it was taken away from me due to injury. I went to school, I setup a foundation, and I donated a lot of my time to my little sister,” said Tynanes Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.Tynanes had a recurring back injury since his high school days but his fight with Ando further aggravated it when he suffered herniated disks that was almost, to some extent, some type of sciatica that left a painful sensation on his lower back down to his buttocks. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

UPA’s PMO swapped Dhyan Chand with Sachin for Bharat Ratna

first_imgDhyan ChandThe Manmohan Singh-led UPA government made the last minute, but vital, change to ignore hockey wizard Dhyan Chand for the Bharat Ratna by replacing the hockey great’s candidature with that of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from Test cricket last year.The dishonour meted out to Chand is visible in the mail trail, accessed by Headlines Today, involving the Prime Minister’s Office which show how the government snubbed Dhyan Chand to favour Sachin, no doubt two greats.On July 16 last year, then Sports Minister Jitendra Singh recommended the hockey legend’s name for the Bharat Ratna which was acknowledged by former PM Manmohan Singh nine days later. The internal PMO note reveals Dhyan Chand’s name was making rounds for the award till early August 2013. This was possible due to an amendment in 2011 to the law which made sportspersons eligible for the country’s highest honour.Sachin Tendulkar receives the Bharat Ratna award from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi February 4, 2014. Reuters PhotoSingh approved eminent scientist CNR Rao for the award on October 24. But all of a sudden on November 14, the PMO asked the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to send the bio-data of Sachin Tendulkar and that too within a day. The ministry submitted it the same day.The UPA government’s desperation can be gauged by the fact that it was able to get the approval for Rao and Tendulkar for the Bharat Ratna on the same day from the Election Commission. Incidentally, it was the last day of Sachin’s cricketing career.advertisementReacting to the controversial switch, Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar, himself an accomplished hockey player, said, “It is a matter of great disappointment for crores of Indians that Dhyan Chand’s name was excluded and Sachin Tendulkar’s name was brought forward. It was a political game played against Major Dhyan Chand.”Considered the greatest ever hockey player, Dhyan Chand helped India win three Olympic golds in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics.Speaking on the issue, Congress MP and BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla sought to distance the two greats. “No comparison should be done between Sachin Tendulkar and Major Dhyan Chand,” he said.last_img read more