Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC And compete the Fighting Maroons did.Manzo scored five straight points for UP with his booming triple giving the Fighting Maroons an 86-77 lead with 3:07 to go.The rookie guard then came up with another big play with 52.8 seconds remainin, scoring on a break away layup for UP’s 90-79 lead.Manzo finished with 17 points to help UP’s cause with the Gomez de Liaño brothers of Javi and Juan putting up 10 points apiece.Ben Mbala had a game-high 34 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Green Archers.ADVERTISEMENT Kazakh club import calls PH team ‘sorriest team I ever played against’ after loss For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of the Philippines pulled off an absolute stunner, silencing defending champion De La Salle, 98-87, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.Paul Desiderio caught fire for the Fighting Maroons and unleashed a career-high 30 points, 18 of which came from beyond the arc, along with six rebounds, and five assists to lead UP.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients The Fighting Maroons tacked their second consecutive win and third overall to improve to 3-1 while the Green Archers lost for the first time this season and slipped to the same card.Head coach Bo Perasol admitted that he was intimidated going against a team like La Salle, who has reigning MVP Ben Mbala.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 shutout“I may be a little bit shamed to admit this but in the days coming over to this game my thoughts really were that we’ll be going up against a powerhouse team and I was already thinking what good we could get from this,” said Perasol in Filipino. “If we lose, what will we get from this?”“Then I read Jun’s [Manzo] tweet that said ‘nothing’s impossible to a person who believes’ and I got ashamed because my players believed we could compete against a powerhouse.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters 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
Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9300:50Trending Articles01:18Inquirer Varsity Seven: San Beda’s Robert Bolick01:37Protesters 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 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAll is fair in love and war.After San Beda’s 76-71 win over San Sebastian in their stepladder semifinals clash on Tuesday, Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez took the time to hug Golden Stags mentor Egay Macaraya and call it a truce.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding “I said what I’ve said before, and if San Sebastian was hurt with that, I think if you look at the end result of that, if you look at Calisaan, he played as a normal player after that and he’s been playing well,” he said. “I just say what I have to say because I also have to protect my players. But my players know. They saw the tapes, everything, they saw it, because as you all know, we always scout, and we got it. We just want to protect players, we don’t want to destroy them.”Fernandez also would like to think that it helped Calisaan be a better player, as evidenced by his performance in the homestretch to lead the Golden Stags to where they got in NCAA Season 93.“I do respect what they’re saying, and if that’s the way they appreciate what Calisaan is doing, then that’s their system, that’s their program, and I do respect that,” he said.“I really admire Calisaan and the way he’s playing. I even hugged Coach Egay today and told him you did a good job with San Sebastian.”ADVERTISEMENT “It’s really a hard fought game today, and as I’ve always said, it’s only one team who will prevail, and we’re happy we won it. But I will not take away anything from San Sebastian,” he said.Fernandez accused Calisaan of being a “dirty player” after their second round clash, which led to Macaraya coming to the defense of his senior forward.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 shutoutThat triggered an uneasy feeling between the two squads going into the much anticipated duel on Tuesday.But after 40 minutes of hard fought basketball, Fernandez stands by his actions as he believes that the criticisms he hurled towards San Sebastian made both sides better. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ONE: Kingad pressured, excited for ‘biggest fight’ of his career
Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ McGregor fans have flooded sports books with $100 bills backing the mixed martial arts fighter, and even a late surge of money on Mayweather might not be enough to balance the books.“I’m OK now,” said William Hill oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “But you might want to have a heart monitor on me when the bell rings and Conor starts throwing wild lefts.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBogdanovich said his chain of sports books will suffer multimillion dollar losses — their worst ever — should McGregor win the fight in any fashion. If he wins early as he has promised, the losses would be even worse.The big bettors are putting their money on Mayweather, who is 49-0 as a pro. But so many McGregor fans are betting small amounts that the betting slips at William Hill were 18-1 in the Irish fighter’s favor. “This isn’t professional money, just the regular Joe,” Bogdanovich said. “The butcher and the barber are putting their $100 on McGregor and it’s added up.”The action is reflected in the odds, which bookmakers adjust either way as money comes in on the two fighters. Bookmakers have been lowering the odds steadily since the fight was announced, but even that hasn’t stopped the deluge of McGregor bets.A fight that began with Mayweather an 11-1 favorite is now 5-1 or even less in some sports books. Even that hasn’t stopped McGregor supporters from lining up at the betting windows to hand over even more cash.They’re backing a longshot, hoping that the payoff will be huge.“There’s plenty of money on a guy who has never been in a boxing ring,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker at the South Point resort. “It’s uncharted waters and that’s what makes it so interesting.”ADVERTISEMENT 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 MOST READ PH football teams finish fourth in SEA Games Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “We don’t mind a large decision on a big spectacle like this,” Bogdanovich said. “It gets people in our books.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Vaccaro said his sports book stood to lose about $400,000 on a McGregor win, but that was balanced off a bit by a bettor who put $100,000 Wednesday night on Mayweather. His book also took an $880,000 bet on Mayweather earlier that would pay off just $160,000 if he wins.There have also been big Mayweather bets at the MGM Grand, including a $500,000 wager on Wednesday. MGM Resorts oddsmaker Jay Rood, though, said the sheer volume of McGregor bets is overwhelming the big Mayweather bet.Rood said his books have taken 6,700 bets on McGregor and only 300 on Mayweather. The average bet on McGregor is $125, while the average for Mayweather is $4,000.If McGregor wins, Rood said MGM will be a big loser and the state will suffer its biggest single event loss ever.“We’re all in the same boat,” Rood said. “Anything McGregor one to four rounds is pretty bad. Any McGregor knockout is not going to be good.”So far, the betting has been unusually active around town, bringing predictions that the volume could set records. Bookmakers say as the fight draws closer the heaviest influx of money will come, especially on Saturday.The news is not all bad for oddsmakers, who have struggled to make lines for a fight that has no precedent. Most believe Mayweather is an easy winner and should be favored by a much bigger margin, but have had to cut odds to try and balance their books.Though an overwhelming majority of the tickets are on McGregor, a lot of books have more money wagered on Mayweather. Since bookmakers will have to pay out a lot less to those betting Mayweather, they will likely score big if Mayweather wins as expected.“We’re just kind of going along balancing and are in great shape win on both sides, no matter who wins,” said Johnny Avello, oddsmaker at the Wynn resort. “A lot of guys are putting down $125,000 or so to win whatever on Mayweather so we’re high on him now.”Even if McGregor wins and the sports books lose big, all is not lost. Bettors like to be reminded they can win, and the extra betting on football generated by McGregor bettors at the books will help ease some of the pain. Floyd Mayweather Jr., izquierda, y Conor McGregor posan para fotógrafos durante una conferencia de prensa el miércoles, 23 de agosto del 2017, en Las Vegas. (AP Foto/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is making a lot of wise guys nervous in this gambling city.Should he somehow manage to knock out Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the early rounds Saturday night, the city’s bookmakers would lose millions of dollars in the biggest single event loss in the history of sports betting.ADVERTISEMENT
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini PonnappaThey are a formidable force. Fresh from the crowning triumph at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Jwala Gutta, 27, and Ashwini Ponnappa, 21, are determined to be to the badminton world what the Williams sisters- Serena and Venus-are to tennis. Power and pizzazz, style and sport,,Jwala Gutta and Ashwini PonnappaThey are a formidable force. Fresh from the crowning triumph at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Jwala Gutta, 27, and Ashwini Ponnappa, 21, are determined to be to the badminton world what the Williams sisters- Serena and Venus-are to tennis. Power and pizzazz, style and sport, gloss and grit, the duo hope to bask in the renewed interest that badminton has attracted after the winning ways of their more famous compatriot, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal.It hasn’t been easy. Gutta, born to a Chinese mother and Andhra father, has been battling both the Badminton Association of India as well as the buzz of divorce from fellow player Chetan Anand for the past year. Both refuse to talk about it but all is over between them. And the occasional presence of ex-cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin and his sons Ashaduddin, 19, and Ayazuddin, 18, in her company in public has only fuelled speculation. “Personally, I have gone through a tough phase and to come out of it to win a gold is an unforgettable experience,” says Gutta candidly.Ponnappa has been luckier, coming from a Coorgi family, with working parents who have had to relocate to Hyderabad. Together though they make up for each other’s flaws. “We are distinctly different. Ashwini is a very hard hitter and I am very good at the net. She too plays well on the net, so even if I go back, she can take care of things. That makes ours a deadly combination,” explains Gutta, on why she split from her former partner Shruti Kurien.Ponnappa couldn’t be happier, though she did have her initial reservations. She was quite in sync with her former partner and childhood friend, Nitya Sosale. For the last 10 years, the two, beginning in the juniors category, had won four national championships. Gutta, on the other hand, was a senior, far more experienced. “I was taken by surprise when Jwala asked me. I could not make up my mind and so turned to my coach Vimal Kumar who asked me to go ahead,” recalls Ponnappa.The advice of the former national champion worked for both. Playing together for the first time two years ago, they discovered that they clicked. “On court she is constantly talking to me-always motivating. And if I have something to tell her, she’s very receptive too. It’s a two way communication, which is very important especially when playing doubles. It’s all about the partnership,” says Ponnappa.Indeed. Gutta is an experienced doubles player, having played mixed doubles as well with Valiyaveetil Diju. “It is technically a totally different game for I have to face a man in the mixed doubles. There is a change of role from that in the women’s doubles,” points out Gutta. “What is common is that both have to combine and play in tandem. I am used to that.” Apart from their amazing equation with each other, they have also had the advantage of the Indonesian coach Atiq Johari that the government brought in to improve the fitness of the Indian badminton players in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.Now, eyeing brighter prospects beyond the gold they just won, the two are keeping to a strict training regimen. What also works for them is that both are based in Hyderabad, as they can practise and train for at least three hours, six days a week at the wellequipped Pullela Gopichand Academy. The Chinese, Korean and Indonesian players who they face on the Asia, Super Series and World circuits offer a daunting challenge. “But they are not always unbeatable,” says the flamboyant Gutta, with a wave of her hand, confident of overcoming odds with their strategic mix of offensive and defensive play. The demure and soft spoken Ponnappa agrees.For the duo, there is a lot of fun and drama in life besides badminton. They get along well off court as well, hanging out and even shopping together. Gutta does have a higher public profile though Ponnappa, who moved from Bangalore to Hyderabad only two years ago, is as she admits “rather on the quieter side”. Ponnappa reads fiction, “mostly the romantic kind and occasionally serious, substantive stuff”, listens to Western music, and is in the final year of her B.Com. course at the city’s St. Mary’s College.For Gutta, life begins and ends at badminton. “I do not have time for anything else except family and friends. I love sleeping and it’s crucial for my game too. The only other thing that I love to do but don’t have time for is going out shopping with my mother,” says Gutta who works as an executive officer at Bharat Petroleum. “They have told me to treat badminton as work and to visit the office occasionally as a hobby,” she says laughing.Mothers are important to both. “My mother, Yelan, left her family in China and came with her grandfather who was staying at the Sevagram Ashram, Wardha, to study and translate the works of Mahatma Gandhi. It was here that she met my father, Kranti Gutta, and is now very much part of Indian culture. Here for the last 30 years, she has learnt the language and the way of life in India,” says Gutta, who has a younger sister Insi, now doubling as a ‘notso-efficient’ manager. Her unusual name comes from IN for India and SI for Sino. “My father found it to be a catchy one,” smiles Gutta.Ashwini is also the elder sibling-her brother Appanna is a first year engineering student in Bangalore. Sports runs in the family. Her father, M.A. Ponnappa, who works at the Reserve Bank of India, played hockey for Karnataka. Her mother, Kaveri, is employed with New India Insurance in the city. “She handles a lot and that has made her strong. She’s very much my role model,” says the adoring daughter, who works as a grade one assistant with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).Perhaps it is the inspirational influence of their mothers that has also raised the duo’s awareness about gender bias which is pronounced particularly in the badminton bureaucracy. “I am not from a modern family but a typical Telugu one. My father faced a lot of criticism when he used to take me for training in the early days. Some called him crazy,” says Gutta. Things have improved but there is still a lot of discrimination-women still get half the opportunities that men do in sports. “What makes it worse is the favouritism irrespective of your performance. It’s unfair,” says Gutta.For Ponnappa, it’s all about learning from others. “I have not faced gender inequity like girls have in the North. That is possibly because I was brought up in Bangalore. But my mother is wary about sending me out alone and things like that,” she says with the guilelessness of someone who has just stepped out of her teens. “Women everywhere are breaking barriers while we as a team are putting our heart and soul into the game.” You can hear the sound of yet another glass ceiling shattering. Double takeJwala on Ashwini: She is fearless, smashes hard, learns fast as her grasping power is very good. But needs more tours as she is new to the international circuit.Ashwini on Jwala: She is extremely confident and shows it on court. She is also powerful at the net. and an effective communicator, an asset during doubles play.Perfect holidayAshwini: Relaxing at a resort or going out on the beach. Spending time with animals. I will run a horse orphanage after my badminton years.Jwala: Lazing around. I love sleeping. Check into a nice hotel, order room service and enjoy its spa. That’s my dream vacation.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement
The squabbling Kochi IPL franchise on Sunday got yet another breather from the BCCI which decided to defer the decision on its fate till December 5 after the consortium’s investors reached a last-minute agreement over their shareholding pattern.At a meeting of the IPL’s Governing Council here, the BCCI deferred the decision on the franchise for a third time after the expiry of a month-long deadline given to it for sorting out its internal bickering.”They have disclosed their ownership pattern. Our legal experts will study the papers. There was no discussion with the investors because we are not legal experts. BCCI will take a decision on December 5 in Mumbai, ” BCCI President Shashank Manohar told reporters after the meeting.Barely seven months after becoming the second most costliest team in the Indian Premier League, Kochi was on the verge of being thrown out of the event.But the owners of the beleaguered franchise made a last ditch attempt to save the outfit by reaching a compromise last night.Before the compromise, the investors of the franchise, which was bought for a staggering sum of Rs 1533.33 crore, had written to the BCCI informing them of their intention to withdraw from the IPL.That letter was sent after the BCCI, which had on October 10 expelled Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals for allegedly violating contractual agreements, gave a termination notice of 30 days to the franchise to sort out internal disputes regarding the shareholding pattern.The investors in the consortium — Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave – hold 74 per cent of the equity.advertisementThe remaining 26 per cent lies with the Gaikwad family — Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents all part of Rendezvous Sports World – as free equity for services rendered while bidding.It is this 26 per cent which became a bone of contention among the stakeholders as the investors were in no mood to give free equity to the Gaikwad family.The Gaikwads, on their part, initially refused to part with the equity but have now agreed to forego at least some of it to put an end to the squabbling which threatens the very existence of the team.The BCCI has made it clear that eight teams will take part in the fourth edition of the league scheduled from April 8, just six days after the World Cup.With PTI inputs
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) went against a general practice encouraged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to almost spoil India’s party at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.Suresh Sathya, who took part in the 200m and 4x100m relay events at the Asiad, flunked a dope test and the callousness on the part of AFI has come for serious questioning.Though the federation was aware of Sathya’s positive dope test, it kept the result under wraps and allowed the athlete to compete in not one but two events even as his results were disclosed a couple of days before the events.The federation took the samples of some of the athletes for dope testing on November 14 after their return from Ukraine where they had gone for training in the lead-up to the Guangzhou Games. The AFI sent the samples to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) on the evening of November 15.But thereafter, the AFI did not bother to check the results of the samples and their athletes headed for Guangzhou without any knowledge of the outcome of their samples.The question that remains to be answered is about the urgency that the federation showed for the sample testing even though the Games were already underway. WADA strongly discourages the federations, or even the national dope-testing bodies for that matter, to conduct tests just before any competition.Even though the AFI showed urgency in sample collection, it was hardly bothered to know the results of these samples and it was only a day before the 200m event on November 24 that it got to know about Sathya’s positive dope test.advertisement”Firstly, it was the AFI which collected the dope samples that were sent directly to the NDTL and we had no idea about it.But when we did come to know about the result, we notified both the athlete and federation on November 24,” NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar told MAIL TODAY on Sunday.The AFI continues to remain tight- lipped on the issue and its joint secretary ML Dogra said he was not aware of any notification that the NADA issued about Sathya’s dope flunk.” I have no idea if any of our athletes tested positive and whether NADA notified the federation or not.” But since the samples were coded and NADA was not aware of the athlete who flunked the dope test, it could not reveal the name of the athlete.” The samples are coded and even the NDTL doesn’t know who the athlete is. But the NADA notified the federation that one particular athlete has tested positive for nandrolone and is therefore provisionally suspended from taking part in any competition.” It was the federation’s responsibility to check up with NDTL about the result of the samples which it had collected on an urgent basis. NADA makes sure that it keeps a check on the results of the samples that go for lab testing. The federation, however, did not do that but we still informed them about Sathya’s case in whatever little time that we had,” Bhatnagar added.Sathya ran in the 4x100m relay in which India missed out on a bronze by a whisker. A medal would have meant a mandatory dope test for the athlete.India tasted unprecedented success in athletics at the Asian Games this year and a positive dope test would have come as a major embarrassment for the country.The officials at the AFI refused to respond on the issue and passed the buck to their colleagues, each of whom said that he had no clue about the whole incident.
Praja Rajyam Party chief K Chiranjeevi on Thursday said he strongly desired to merge his party with Congress in the temple town of Tirupati where he launched his party two years ago. The actor-turned politician said he had floated his party on August 26, 2008 on a grand scale and on the same magnitude he would like to merge the PRP with Congress. However, Chiranjeevi said that he left the final decision to the Congress High command on the venue of the merger. The PRP has now 18 legislators in the 294 member Andhra Pradesh Assembly.- With PTI inputs For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni top-scored with an unbeaten 65 in a strong batting show as India strengthened its position in the third cricket Test against the West Indies by taking a healthy 104-run lead on day three here on Friday. Score | PhotosAs many as four visiting batsmen scored fifties as India, resuming at eight for no loss, ended the day at 308 for six while replying to hosts’ 204 all out.Dhoni shared 103-run sixth wicket stand with Suresh Raina (50) and made sure that the good work of opener Abhinav Mukund (62), VVS Laxman (56) Virat Kohli (30) does not go waste.West Indies, deprived of services of Ravi Rampaul and handicapped by a hobbling Darren Sammy, never quite wilted under a scorching sun and on a flat pitch on a day when 94 overs were bowled at Windsor Park.Nearly 90 overs were lost on the first two days of the match due to poor light and rain but no such problem emerged on Friday.India lost two early wickets of Murali Vijay (1) and Rahul Dravid (5) but thereafter steadily mounted their total without ever dominating a depleted attack.Dhoni, played his first innings of substance of tour, and when on 52 completed 3000 runs in Test cricket in the 86th innings of his 57th Test.The Indian captain has so far batted for 157 minutes and struck three fours from 109 balls. He walked in when India were frittering away the advantage, losing three wickets in the afternoon to nothing balls.Mukund, Kohli and Laxman were all guilty of poor judgment as the visitors lost three wickets in the middle session.advertisementMukund had serenely moved to his top Test score of 62 when he shaped to play a rising leg-spin from Bishoo towards mid-wicket but only edged it on to his pads and the lobbed chance was gratefully accepted by Adrian Barath at forward short leg.Kohli seemed intent on making up for his lost chances of the series and had reached 30 without much ado but poked at a harmless delivery from Sammy down the leg-side and was brilliantly caught low by wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh.Laxman’s dismissal was a freak one when he allowed a leg-spin delivery from Shivnarine Chanderpaul to go to Baugh but his backfoot lost contact with the ground for just a fraction of second, which was enough for the keeper to whip off the bails.Laxman was flabbergasted but there was little doubt that it was his own carelessness which had did him in. He shared a 84-run stand for the third wicket with Mukund and added 52 for the next wicket with Kohli.Mukund batted for 176 minutes and hit five fours from 149 balls while Laxman handled 129 balls in 207 minutes, caressing three boundaries.Dhoni, in the company of Raina, then put his head down and began rebuilding the innings with singles and twos.There was never any temptation to throw their bats at a wilting attack, or at least cart the leg-spin of Chanderpaul around the park, as the two showed intent to build a sizeable lead over West Indies.Their stand occupied the most of final session and raised 100 runs in 113 minutes from 182 balls.Raina showed uncharacteristic restraint and reached his half-century from 131 minutes of batting, hitting three fours from 103 balls.There was no further joy for West Indies but for the emergence of Rampaul from the dressing room as Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh (12) helped India reach their first 300-plus score of the series.Earlier in the day, India lost Vijay (1) and Dravid (5) within the first five overs to be 18 for two before normalcy was restored.Vijay was nearly bowled off a low full toss in Edwards’ first over, squeezing the ball between the slip cordon for a four, but his tendency to push at the ball once again proved his undoing.In Edwards’ next over, a delivery took the edge of his bat on way to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh?s gloves.The Tamil Nadu opener is in the middle of a wretched run of scores, the sequence of his five innings in the series reading 8,0,11,3 and 1.Dravid then fell to Sammy, making the normally passive West Indian captain roar in triumph as he has not done at any stage in this series.Dravid played for an away movement at the delivery which kept coming straight and went between bat and pad to rattle the stumps.- With inputs from PTI
One of the most difficult things for a sportsperson to deal with is an injury. As Zaheer Khan walked off the ground at Lord’s in the first Test on Thursday, it was agony for cricket fans.A day later, watching skipper MS Dhoni bowl and Rahul Dravid keep wickets, what stood out was the desperation on part of the Indian skipper.Indian hockey team’s goalie Baljit Singh lost sight after a golf ball hit one of his eyes during practice. He recovered vision, but not enough to play for India.While it may be too early to read much into this in the four- Test series against England, the recall and rejection of hockey goalkeeper Baljit Singh was an episode which could easily have been avoided.When Baljit was hit in the eye two years ago at the national camp in Pune while testing his reflexes with a golf ball, it was big news.He almost went blind in that eye and was then treated in India and in the United States. He got his vision back, played domestic hockey and hopes were raised that he would be back in the India squad.And even as the sports ministry was trying to broker a peace deal between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation, trials for the national team were on in Bangalore.A day before the actual trial was to begin, India’s Australian coach Michael Nobbs decided in all his wisdom to get Baljit’e vision tested.Much to the chagrin and devastation of the goalkeeper, Nobbs told him his peripheral vision was poor and he could forget playing for India again.advertisementBaljit held a press conference in Bangalore and lambasted the new coach as he felt injustice had been done to him. For the reporters, it made great copy as an emotional player attempting a national comeback had been ruled out purely on medical grounds.This is the baptism by fire which Nobbs would have never expected as he attempts putting Indian hockey back on the rails after the disaster at the Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia.My heart goes out to Baljit as to be told that your vision is not a 100 per cent is distressing. Perhaps, had Baljit lived abroad, he may have been counselled better. But this is India, where despite huge medical advancement sportspersons still prefer to travel abroad for treatment.I would like to explain what exactly loss of peripheral vision means as I have interacted myself with eye specialists.While Baljit may have no problem at all spotting the hockey ball when it comes flying towards him straight on, he would not know what loss of peripheral vision is.It is about how well one is able to see from the corners of the eyes. For checking how good a person’s peripheral vision is, there are enough techniques now available, with the Humphreys’ field test used most commonly.It is unnerving for anyone to undergo that test for the first time, as a doctor checks the peripheral vision with the help of a machine.In the case of Baljit, in the first place, he is indeed lucky he got his vision back and can lead a normal life.As one who has devoted him- self to Indian hockey, it is hard to accept he may never get to play for India again. Then again, after such a major eye injury, for Baljit to make a comeback is indeed a brave effort.My advice to Baljit is not to take this to heart and lambast the coach but see how he can still help Indian hockey. He was apparently offered an advisory position as goalkeeping coach.This is not the first instance where an Indian sportsperson has suffered because of a serious injury. Rewind to the days of Nari Contractor and you will get to know how the left- handed opener was lucky to survive after he was struck on the back of his head by West Indian Charlie Griffith’s bouncer.Contractor made a miraculous recovery after being in coma for almost a week but never got to play for India again.Even in interviews a couple of years ago, the Mumbaikar lamented how he did not get to play even one Test after that incident.Yet, when one talks of injuries and handicaps and how Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi still led India superbly despite losing an eye in a car accident in England, it’s an unbelievable story.Pataudi has told people that when he was fielding, he actually could see two cricket balls. How he went for the right red ball and fielded with such aplomb is well known to every fan.advertisementThere again, if Pataudi was lucky, it was quite the opposite with wicketkeeper Saba Karim.Having been struck in the eye by an Anil Kumble delivery in a freak incident, Karim knew after some months he could not play again and in 2001 retired from international as well as domestic cricket.Fitness worries and injuries can happen to any sportsperson.Sadly in Baljit’s case, nobody seems to have given him proper advice as to how risky it is being a goalkeeper.Even with perfect vision, spotting the ball which comes at such fast speeds and different angles is tricky.To not play again for India will hurt Baljit but still it’s not as bad as being unable to see with one eye.
For the first time in its 84-year-old history, the BCCI has added an in-house television production unit and it will make debut with the home Test series against New Zealand next month.BCCI president N Srinivasan.The BCCI Broadcasting Services will not only do the production for international home series, but also the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League T20.”Yes, a decision has been taken and the BCCI will do the production now, starting with the New Zealand series. We decided at a working committee meeting to go ahead with it,” BCCI president N Srinivasan told Mail Today. The two-Test series against New Zealand begins on August 23 in Uppal, Hyderabad. The Kiwis will also play two Twenty20 Internationals in a packed season in which England and Australia – and possibly Pakistan – too will visit India.Till now, the company that held the BCCI media rights also used to do the production work, too, in return for a fee. Nimbus Communications held the previous contract.But after terminating its contract on December 12 last year, for regularly defaulting on payments, the BCCI did not hire anyone to do the production for international matches as well as domestic tournaments.Srinivasan declined to give reasons for breaking the traditional practice. “Instead of tendering it, we decided to do production ourselves. What were the reasons behind this decision, I do not want to disclose,” he said.However, a top BCCI official said that the world’s richest cricket board decided against floating tender as it was confronting “a lot of problems”, and they resulted from extremely limited options in the market.advertisement”It is a fact that the Indian market for this kind of production work is very limited. There are only a handful of companies that have the expertise. And the BCCI has been finding it difficult to deal with them,” the official told Mail Today.When the BCCI terminated Nimbus’ contract, more than two years were left in the 2010-2014 deal. The BCCI then floated tenders, inviting companies to bid for a total of six years – two years left in the Nimbus contract plus a separate four-year (2014-18) block.The Rupert Murdoch-owned STAR India Ltd., which was one of the only two bidders, quoted Rs 3,851.52 crore ($ 757.6 million) to bag the six-year deal that includes the television, mobile and internet rights. It, however, did not hire STAR India Ltd. for production.The BCCI assured STAR India Ltd. of 96 international matches in addition to select domestic tournament matches. Multi Screen Media (Singapore) bid Rs 3,700.032, only to lose by a huge difference of Rs 151.488 crore.In 2005, Lalit Modi, then a Board vice-president, and IS Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association, had announced that the BCCI would launch its own cricket channel. But it never materialised.The BCCI official said that Srinivasan himself raised the issue of inhouse production at a recent working committee meeting.”He told the gathering that only a handful of production houses were available and emphasised that the BCCI was finding it difficult to deal with its production partners,” he disclosed. “Srinivasan invited members’ opinion on the proposal that was on the table. The proposal was prepared by BCCI’s Broadcasting Services director James Rego.” The official revealed that Srinivasan then requested IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman, who was a special invitee at the working committee meeting, to explain the proposal in detail.”He said that if the BCCI has an in-house production unit, the quality of telecast could be maintained,” he said. “BCCI will also produce IPL and Champions League T20. The house approved the proposal unanimously.” Sources say that the BCCI has no plans to purchase expensive equipment straightaway, but will instead hire cameras and other gadgets for production, to be overseen by Rego, who joined the BCCI in 2009 from Nimbus. A few more old Nimbus hands have also joined the BCCI Broadcast Services.”After the working committee approved the proposal, the top guns of the BCCI Broadcast Services have been calling a variety of professionals to hire them for the New Zealand series and the domestic season that begins on September 21 with the Irani Cup.” In all probability, the same freelance professionals who did duty for Nimbus will turn out for the BCCI too.