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Friday, April 20, 2018

CSK train chugs off ~ CSKku Punela visil podu !!


It is ten years  since the first match in IPL was played  in 2008. Ten full years since Brendon McCullum smashed 158* for Kolkata Knight Riders – between and more so, much has changed since Chennai Super Kings last played Rajasthan Royals in 2015. Shane Watson has switched camps. Suresh Raina has missed an IPL game in yellow jersey  ~  MA Chidambaram Stadium will not host CSK's home matches this season. This isn't the first time that CSK have had to move to a new home - MS Dhoni's hometown of Ranchi hosted them in 2014 and 2015. But with 34 wins in 48 IPL matches, the MA Chidambaram Stadium has for long been a stronghold, and how they adapt to a forced change of venue will be key to the remainder of their season.

Namma ooru Chennai ku periya whistle adinga..!!   Namma thala Dhoni ku periya whistle adinga..!!

Don’t worry fans – CSK is there to win ! – as somebody wrote – IPL is the game where other teams battle out to meet CSK in the finals  - today’s venue Pune is  around 1100 kms away from Chennai Chepauk – there are many trains – passing through Arakonam, Renigunta, Guntakkal, Raichur, Daund .. to the destination Pune.

Yesterday, the person who went unsold in first 2 rounds of the auction, Chris Gayle lit up the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali scoring  the first hundred of VIVO IPL 2018 and powered his team, Kings XI Punjab, to a big first innings total. Riding on the Jamaican’s knock, KXIP posted 193-3, after which the home team’s bowlers restricted the visiting Sunrisers Hyderabad to 178-4.   Earlier,  Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin broke the trend of all the captains winning the toss and opting to field so far in the tournament. The hosts got off to a slow start, scoring just 13 runs off the first three overs.  Chris Gayle broke the shackles when he launched into Chris Jordan in the fourth over, and there was no stopping him thereafter; the Jamaican, 3 from 8 after the first three overs, would score 97 off the following 50 balls, to register his sixth hundred in the IPL. He would bat through the twenty overs and walk back to the dressing room unbeaten on 104, made from 63 balls.

Was infuriated hearing a commentator stating – Chris Gayle is hitting International bowler Rashid Khan to all parts of the ground .. .. .. dear man, please have your facts rechecked – the so called bowling sensation Rashid Khan is an Afghan yet to play against big teams at International and the giant Chris Gayle has scored 7214 test runs with 333 as highest; 9585 ODI runs  (23 tons) – 215 as highest and 1589  T20 International runs with 2 centuries.

The game of Cricket has seen many drastic changes – in Melbourne in 1971 when the 3rd Test was washed out due to rain, it was thought fit to have a single match day – a limited over version and thus the popular ODI was born. Years later in 2005, the first T20 match was played.  Now ECB is mulling a  new city-based competition set to be a 100-balls-a-side affair ! The concept proposes two eight-team competitions - for men's and women's teams - consisting of 15 traditional six-ball overs, and a final 10-ball over, a 20-delivery shortfall on traditional T20 matches.

The proposed approach was presented by the ECB to the chairmen and chief executives of the first-class counties and MCC on Thursday, and has been unanimously supported by the board of the new competition. The ECB have also confirmed that Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham will be the host cities for the five-week competition, with Lord's and The Oval each playing host to a London-based team. The loss of 20 balls per innings will help to ensure that the competition fits comfortably into a three-hour window, with all matches expected to finish by 9pm. However, the proposed 10-ball final over may require buy-in from MCC's law-makers, seeing as Law 17.1 currently states: "The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls."~ are they trying to shake something off from the popularity of Indian Premier League.

Even as the matches of CSK had to be moved out of Chepauk due to political reasons, Chennai Central station witnessed a celebration of sorts on Thursday as hundreds of cheering fans boarded the Whistle Podu Express, a fans-only special train to Pune. A sea of yellow jerseys took over platform number 2,  dancing and waving Chennai Super Kings banners and whistling their way to the train.

The special train was organised by the CSK management board to cheer up their fans who were dejected after the team decided to host its home games in Pune.  Close to 1,000 CSK fans from across all age groups started their journey to Pune in a special train — Whitlsepodu Express — to cheer for MS Dhoni's men during their "home game" against Rajasthan Royals at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, April 20.  "We were initially disappointed over the decision to shift matches to Pune. We were expecting a venue in Kerala as we believed it would be easier to travel to the neighboring state and support the team. But this is an unprecedented move from Chennai Super Kings' management, we are extremely happy," a spokesperson of the  franchise's official fan club is quoted as saying.

So even Chennai Super Kings' home matches in IPL 2018 have been moved out of Chennai, they won't be lacking in support in Pune/  The arrangements have been made only for the game against Rajasthan Royals on Friday, but CSK officials are keen to bring the fans back for the remaining 'home' matches in Pune too.

Come one namma CsKku oru visil podu !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Apr 2018.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

technology howler in IPL ~ DK hand directs bowler Mavi


Remember that Chepauk Test in Dec 1983 – Sunil Gavaskar made an unbeaten 236 – but did not open.  Anshuman Gaekwad opened with Navjot singh Sidhu.  Gaekwad was out for a duck and Dilip Vengsarkar too failed to open his account – both caught by Roger Harper off Malcolm Marshall – and Sunil Gavaskar who refused to open was at the crease at 0/2 .. .. something akin  - Rohit Sharma's decision to bat at No. 4 after Mumbai Indians' first two games was to play the anchor role in the middle order, it seemed to have flopped as soon as their innings started against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Umesh Yadav's two swinging deliveries removed Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan for golden ducks, and the captain was effectively opening the batting again.

As a 19 year-old bowling all-rounder, Shivam Mavi captured the attention of cricket fans bowling fast and dismissing Delhi Daredevils’s skipper, Gautam Gambhir in Monday’s match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. His accuracy and ability to clock up pace consistently has enamoured one and all. He’d previously burst into the scene with his impressive bowling performances in the 2018 U-19 World Cup, which India went on to win.  Today at Jaipur, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik stuck to this season's IPL trend of teams opting to bowl first, against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. Both teams, coming off wins in their previous games, remained unchanged.

As D Short and Ajinkya Rahane opened, KKR opened with Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav and kept things too tight.  Another spinner, Sunil Narine came on to bowl in the power play and was hit for 4 fours by Rahane.  Then came Nitish Rana, not a regular bowler, but who has dismissed Kohli and de Villiers.  Off the 3rd ball, Kartik went for an unnecessary review as Rana’s delivery to Short, hit the bat, pad, ground and everything before going on to Dinesh Kartik and another ball later, DK did a brilliant  back-handed flick onto the stumps off his right hand; Rahane was done by the smart work of the keeper.

Elsewhere, Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto has left the door ajar for David Warnerand Steven Smith to play for the county during their ball-tampering bans if the ECB were to permit the pair to be available for the English domestic game. Di Venuto is a former Australia batting coach, having held the role from 2013 to 2016, and said it would be "mad" not to consider signing either of the duo should it be allowed. The bans handed down by Cricket Australia only cover Australian international and domestic cricket, although any position in the county game would need ECB sign-off.

"From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage," Di Venuto said. "I don't know if they are allowed to play in this competition. I know what it states in their sanctions that they can't play domestic cricket in Australia. "If they are in the right mental state to play cricket and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we'd be mad not to look at some of the world's best players potentially playing."

At Jaipur, today, in the last over, DK was too critical putting pressure on young Mavi, literally directing him with hand directions which did not go unnoticed. He directed for bowling wide off, a bouncer, full pitched one and more .. .. IPL is reliant on technology and there have been some good decisions aided by technology – yet there can be howlers too .. .. ..

It might not have had much of a bearing on the result of the match, but the third umpire might have looked at the wrong replay when the on-field officials turned to him to check on a no-ball during the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Jasprit Bumrah is no stranger to bowling no-balls - his costliest one coming in last year's Champions Trophy final - but he got away without scrutiny when he dismissed Umesh Yadav, the eighth Royal Challengers batsman to fall, on Tuesday. The on-field umpire immediately asked to see if he had overstepped. The replay shown, though, has Umesh at the non-striker's end, and the heel of Bumrah's front foot lands well inside the crease. The commentators were surprised that it was even checked. "No need to go [to the third umpire] for that," commentator Sunil Gavaskar said on air.

It went unnoticed that Umesh was in the picture at the non-striker's end until Twitter user @ronak_169 brought it to ESPNcricinfo's notice. While this was not significant to the result - Royal Challengers were 137 for 7, chasing 214, with only 13 balls left - it once again raises the possibility of this human error in more critical stages of the match. Nor is this the first time that the third umpire has ruled on a no-ball when watching the wrong replay.  It is reported that this  kind of error often occurs when the replay operator clicks twice, thus going to the previous ball and missing the ball in question. In this case, Umesh was indeed at the non-striker's end one ball before he got out. There is no plausible reason for this to be anything other than an innocent human mistake, but such an error has the potential to attain major significance in a tight situation.

In this particular instance, perhaps the third umpire could have been more vigilant. Perhaps checking who is at the non-striker's end when checking for no-balls can be added to the third umpire's protocols, but by no means is it an exhaustive check: in this case, for example, if the previous ball had been a dot played out by Umesh, a wrong replay would have shown Virat Kohli at the non-striker's end.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th Apr 2018
PS: majorly reproduced from cricinfo.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CSK forced to shift home ~ why DD & KX1 missed out 1 foreign player ??


On Sunday, 8th Apr 2018 – Delhi Daredevils played Kings X1 Punjab – and some observed that both teams were short by one foreign player, in specific – Aussies !  ~ the reason ??

                       Indian opener  KL Rahul blasted the IPL's fastest half-century to give Kings XI Punjab a rousing start to their 2018 IPL campaign. Rahul razed the Daredevils attack in a brutal performance, getting to the landmark inside three overs and off just 14 balls.  Incongruously, though, Kings XI ended up huffing and puffing to their target of 167. After Rahul's dismissal, Kings XI only managed 103 runs in 84 balls. But such had been the damage inflicted by Rahul that they still ended up winning with seven balls to spare.

~ and on Tuesday at Chennai emotions ran riot.  The lead-up to Chennai Super Kings' homecoming after nearly three years was insane. Several local political parties and fringe groups had threatened to disrupt the match against Kolkata Knight Riders to show solidarity with protests calling for the resolution of the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and neighboring state Karnataka.  Police cordoned off  several routes leading to MA Chidambaram Stadium and several roads experienced traffic jams.  The standing Umpires were delayed and that resulted in delay of 15 minutes for the toss.  Eight overs into the match, though, panic set in when a group of spectators flung a pair of shoes at the edge of the boundary in the vicinity of Ravindra Jadeja and substitute Faf du Plessis. Du Plessis picked up the shoe, smiled at the crowd and tossed it back amid delirious chants of "CSK! CSK! CSK!" The contrasting emotions summed up the night for the CSK faithful.

CSK homecoming was celebrated with a fine knock by newbie Sam Billings rising above the chaos. Earlier Andre Russell's brutal 88 not out off 36 balls launched Knight Riders to 202 for 6. In the end, it was another CSK win.  Vinaykumar  was given a tough task by rookie KKR captain Dinesh Karthik. Having not bowled since the first over of the chase, in which he conceded 16 runs, Vinay was given the responsibility of defending 16 in the final over against Chennai Super Kings. "It's just a game." Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Vinay Kumar took  to Twitter to ask people mocking him to ease off.

Now comes the sad news for Cricket fan - Chennai Super Kings will lose their home advantage for the rest of the IPL.  The IPL has decided to move their six remaining home games out of the city in the wake of protests during the venue's first match and threats to disrupt more fixtures. Kasi Viswananthan, Super Kings' chief executive officer, reportedly met the Chennai police commissioner on Wednesday afternoon and was advised to "reschedule" the matches in the wake of the ongoing protests in the city over the Cauvery river water issue, a long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring state Karnataka. "Because of the volatile situation we have been apprised that it is better to reschedule the games," Viswanathan said. "We have conveyed that to the BCCI and awaiting [further] information."

It could well be Thiruvananthapuram which would be CSK’s home venue. Super Kings already have experience playing home games away from home; four of their home matches were moved to Ranchi in 2014 due to the dispute between Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the local municipal corporation.

Back to the Q at the start, the annual Australian cricketers' wedding season got underway, with two of the nation’s leading batsmen taking advantage of a brief break in the jam-packed calendar to marry their respective partners over the weekend. Limited-overs star Aaron Finch, who had scheduled his wedding for under the impression the Indian Premier League season would start a week later than it has, married Amy Griffiths at a picturesque venue in country Victoria. Both Finch and close friend Glenn Maxwell, who was emcee of the wedding, missed that IPL side's season-opener when DD played KX1. 

Away, in Queensland Test No.3 Khawaja, fresh off returning from Australia's tour of South Africa, married Rachel McLellan in the Sunshine Coast.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Apr 2018.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Iceland bans palm oil products in super markets ~ Saving Orangutans


Do you know that one  species affected by palm oil production is the orangutan population. In some regions, oil palm cultivation has resulted in deforestation, leaving species that lived in virgin forest without a home. Some palm plantations have been developed without consulting local communities over the use of their land, or even caused them to be forcibly displaced.  The orangutans are three extant species of great apes native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Orangutans are currently only found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.
Pic credit : https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, and to a lesser extent from the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and the maripa palm Attalea maripa.  Palm oil is naturally reddish in color because of a high beta-carotene content. Along with coconut oil, palm oil is one of the few highly saturated vegetable fats and is semisolid at room temperature.  Palm oil is a common cooking ingredient in the tropical belt of Africa, Southeast Asia and parts of Brazil.

In India, we have a different one – the ‘palmolein’.  The fad for this oil was so high a couple of decades ago, that the Govt. was importing them in bulk tankers and redistributing to households, who were using this oil moving away from dalda vanaspathi, groundnut oil, gingelly oil, bran oil and other cooking oils. Now refined oils like sunflower, olive, safflower, avocado have all taken over.  There were concerns that at any point time, the palmolein available in the market far exceed the quantity of oil that had been importing, hinting that there was heavy adulteration in this brand. 

Palm oil and palm olein originate from the same plant, a palm species known as E. Guineesis. Palmolein has different characteristics than the palm oil, most notably that it remains completely liquid at room temperature. It is highly heat resistant, similar to palm oil, and it also resists the formation of breakdown products during frying and increases the shelf life of many products. The Palm Olein Import Scam refers to the alleged irregularities in the import of palmolein by the K. Karunakaran-led United Democratic Front government of the state of Kerala,  through the Power and Energy Limited Company. The Kerala government selected Power and Energy Limited arbitrarily without inviting tenders, allegedly at an inflated price and at an excessive service charge and in violation of central and state government procedure and this scam was first brought to light officially by a report of the Accountant-General of Kerala in July 1993, a Comptroller and Auditor General report in February 1994, and subsequently by a report of the Public Undertakings Committee of the Kerala Legislative Assembly in March 1996.

Although palm oil and palm olein are produced from the same plant and share many similar properties, the main difference between them is their chemical state at room temperature. Lliquid palmolein is considered the "gold standard" and is the most widely used oil for frying in the world.  Now comes the news that Palm oil is to be removed from all own-label food sold by Iceland amid concerns over its impact on wildlife. The oil is used in a huge number of products on supermarket shelves ranging from bread to soap.

In some advanced countries, the demand against palm oil has come as it is voice against   the destruction of tropical rainforests across south-east Asia, which threatens the existence of  endangered orangutan in Indonesia.  The Deeside-based chain - the first major UK supermarket to ban palm oil - said it was used in more than half of its products, from biscuits to soap. Iceland said growing demand for the oil was devastating tropical rainforests across southeast Asia. The frozen food specialist said it was alerted to the environmental challenges that palm oil presented by campaigners at Greenpeace. The ban only applies to Iceland-brand products, meaning other products sold by the retailer may still contain palm oil.

Iceland managing director is quoted as saying that  there was "no such thing" as properly sustainable palm oil. Millions of acres of forests across Indonesia have been burned to make way for plantations producing palm oil. Orangutan populations have been particularly devastated by the resulting habitat destruction. Iceland has now vowed to remove all palm oil from its own-brand food by the end of 2018.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th Apr 2018.