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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

what big valour in killing poor animal with sophisticated weapons !! ~ legalised trophy killing !!!

When a man kills a Tiger – it is called Sport; when Tiger kills man, it is ferocity – a quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw.   You may have bought electronics and other items Online in the much-hyped sales – this site however, gives people killing opportunity at a price !!  -- the site addes that their fees include all applicable taxes as well as licence and permit fees. The minimum duration of an elephant and leopard hunt is 14 days, the minimum duration of a buffalo hunt is 10 days. All other species can be hunted in 7 days.  Those who nurse sympathy towards animals feel that at a time when elephants are poached in high numbers, it is absolutely sickening to see anyone celebrating taking even one innocent life of this magnificent species.

The website brazenly advertises – all  prices quoted  are in United States Dollar. The prices inclusive of taxes and permit fees and would depend on whether  one is  hunting for plains game or the Big Five and other dangerous game. African elephants are in trouble. Their numbers have fallen from as many as ten million a hundred years ago to as few as 400,000 today. Recent losses are largely from poaching for the illegal ivory trade (some 30,000 elephants a year), but also because of the shrinking habitat for elephants, as people open up land for farming and development. 

In between there is a sick theory that killing  more elephants help save the species is one counterintuitive strategy ! – and the Govt makes it legal, invites  hunters from rich countries to pay generous fees to shoot specified numbers of elephants, and use that money for conservation and to help give local communities a boost. Do that, the theory goes, and poor villagers won’t need to poach elephants to feed their families.

Man-Eaters of Kumaon is a book written by Jim Corbett. It details the experiences that Corbett had in the Kumaon region of India from the 1900s to the 1930s, while hunting man-eating tigers and leopards.  Man-eater is a colloquial term for an animal that preys upon humans. Although human beings can be attacked by many kinds of animals, man-eaters are those that have incorporated human flesh into their usual diet. Most reported cases of man-eaters have involved tigers, leopards, lions and crocodiles.

MailOnline reports of a shocking video showing French former goalkeeper, Pascal Olmeta, as part of a hunting trip that kills an elephant by shooting it in the head before laughing and congratulating each other. The former Marseille and Lyon footballer advertised photos of the trip on his children's charity website and said took part in the hunt because they are over-populated.  The four-minute clip shows the footballer and a guide both armed with rifles tracking an elephant before shooting.

With the animal crying in pain on the ground in Zimbabwe, the fatal bullet is shot straight through the elephant's head, and the pair laugh, congratulate and pose for pictures with its carcass.  What is great to celebrate ? – killing an innocent giant animal, with sophisticated gadget – is this valour. 

The video shows the elegant animals in the wild with a serene backing track.  But after two minutes and 40 seconds of footage, it takes a sinister turn and the music stops as the men hunt the elephant. After the first bullet is fired, the soundtrack becomes the heartbreaking wailing of the animal as it fights for its life.  A second bullet is fired straight through its head and after the guide pokes it twice with the end of his rifle to make sure it is dead, the pair embrace in celebration.  The video was from a trip to Africa in 2011 and photos of his travels are advertised on the website of his children's charity A Smile, A Hope For Life.

Sickening and sad !! ~ back home, a  man-eating tiger that killed three Indian villagers has been shot dead after hunters used drones, helicopters and even elephants to track down the big cat. The three-year-old animal had been blamed for attacking six people and killing three since September prompting a massive search operation in the forests of Himalayan Uttarakhand State. It was eventually found and shot dead before villagers broke into celebrations and paraded with the dead animal's carcass.

'There was resentment among the villagers, who were gripped with fear and panic after several attacks,' Uttarakhand chief warden of forest and wildlife  said. 'Although she was a man eater, our priority was to tranquillise her but we had to fire bullets to kill her after many failed attempts to capture her,' he added. Hunters and locals villagers jointly conducted the 44-day long operation;   Authorities used drones and helicopters along with elephants and hunting dogs to assist the scores of ground staff to track the evasive animal.

In a different view, the killing by Pascal Olmet, the footballer at Zimbabwe, occurred in 2011 aiming to reduce the risks caused by the overpopulation. In 2011, Pascal Olmeta went to Zimbabwe to attend an annual elephant hunting that is not only legal, but which aims to reduce the risks caused by the overpopulation of elephants in the area. Zimbabwe organises each year a legal and regulated hunting in order to meet the need for regulation of the species.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Oct 2016.

photo credit : Mr Supratik Biswas

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kabaddi World Cup 2016 - Ajay Thakur ensures Championship >>!!

Feeling ecstatic   ~ 

Feeling very happy  ~ India has won the Kabaddi World Cup 2016 – win, yet another time.  This time it was the brilliance of Ajay Thakur that enabled finish, beating  Iran 38-29- a win by 9 matches, in a match that had tense moments and Iran leading comfortably at one stage.

The swashbuckler, instant hitter – Virender Sehwag has already tweeted : ‘Yeh Jazba ,yeh Spirit ,Hamka De De Thakur. Ajay Thakur, you are a rockstar. Haar ke Jeetne waale ko Team India kehta hain.Champions#INDvIRN’ …

What a win ~ and that means a lot to Kabaddi fans. I remember that day of 25th June 1983 – late night, when Kapil Devils, written off by the media, beat the mighty West Indies – getting India much needed credibility and that win, perhaps changed the way, Indians have been regarded in the Cricket field.  This win may not be the same ~ Indians have won Kabaddi World Cups and were indeed the favourites, yet the match was not won easily, in fact for sometime, Iran were perched on top.

It all happened well for Team India at  ‘the Arena by TransStadia’ situate in the heart of Ahmedabad, a first-of-its-kind multi-purpose stadium in India with state-of-the-art facilities, built as a Public Private Partnership project with the Department of Tourism and approved by the then Chief Minister, Shri  Narendra Modiji. Kabaddi World Cup has been  running since 2004. India has always won Gold Medals in Both men's and women's teams. The 1st  Kabaddi World Cup was held in 2004, 2nd was in 2007, and then annually from 2010 onwards.  Last year it could not be held and now Indians are the undisputed Champions.

India team led by Anup Kumar has always dominated this event by winning all the gold medals in both categories of men's and women's.  The mens’ team has won all the 7 World Cups.  This year Kabaddi world cup  was contested by  12 teams : Poland made its debut – the others are : United States of America, Canada, England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Argentina, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and Kenya.

In the final of last edition of the Kabaddi world cup India defeated Pakistan to win the gold medal.  This version began with a shock defeat.  In the inaugural match, India looked comfortably closing in – but in dying moments, they were stunned by Korea.   The finish came with a grand move by  Jan Kun Lee at the death.  The stadium fell silent as  Korea  upset the starter  winning 34-32 in the first match of the competition.  Today, there was so much noise as the entire stadium filled in, supported the National team. 

The final result is a 9 point win – India beats Iran 38-29. Pardeep Narwal had some poor day today – was unable to take points despite many raids.  At a stage when Iran were up 20-17, it was Ajay Thakur’s sterling performance.  With his upper part of the body grabbed upon by the Iranian player, he used his foot to equal things. 20-20! ~ and from that time, India never looked back. The dying moments were a bit tense for the fan, not for the Captain and the team – they kept adding points. With close to  six minutes left in the contest Nitin Tomar with an impeccable raid  picked up two points;  Iran were down to two; another raid two points + all out points – and Indians were clearly breathing easy, exhibiting their clear dominance with talent and strategy.

22nd Oct 2016 – a day to remember for fans ! – Well done, Team India.

A happy fan – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Oct 2o16 # 21.40 hrs.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Perspex ~ Kotla - Kiwi win and that long over of Martin Guptill

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also known as acrylic or acrylic glass as well as by the trade names Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite, and Perspex among several others, is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. The same material can be utilised as a casting resin, in inks and coatings, and has many other uses.Although not a type of familiar silica-based glass, the substance, like many thermoplastics, is often technically classified as a type of glass. PMMA is an economical alternative to polycarbonate (PC) when extreme strength is not necessary. Perspex is a tradename of Lucite International and is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) acrylic sheet which is manufactured from methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA).

You have seen it recently – wonder what this is all about ??  -  Perspex and acrylic are essentially the same thing. Perspex is a premium branded acrylic and, as such, is manufactured to the highest industry standards possible.  It has high shock, abrasion and flex resistance.

At  Kotla, Kiwis struck a purple patch - Kane Williamson made the  first hundred for the Black Caps on their tour of India and was named man of the match in his side's thrilling six-run victory.  His fine century, 118 off 128 balls at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla, gave New Zealand just enough runs to hold off India and put themselves on the board for the first time on tour. It was his eighth ODI century, level with Stephen Fleming and with only Nathan Astle (16), Ross Taylor (15) and Martin Guptill (10) ahead of him.

Most importantly, the result has given life to a series that was in danger of slipping away. No wonder the New Zealanders punched the air in delight and hugged each other in relief after pulling off their first win of their Indian tour.The five-match one-day series is now level 1-1 with the third game at Mohali on Sunday, and comes on the back of the 3-0 hammering New Zealand received in the test series.

India would not have expected a target of 243 to trouble them. But it did. Their top order tends to finish games off. Not this time. That left the job to MS Dhoni and a set of batsmen not accustomed to finishing an innings. New Zealand exploited that weakness to pull off a six-run victory and level the five-match series at 1-1. It was a chaotic scrap at the finish, even at 172 for 6 when Dhoni got out, there was real chance.  Then a goofy over from Martin Guptill - four wides, ten balls, and two wickets - brought Hardik Pandya front and centre for the second match in a row. He wrestled an equation of 48 off 36 balls down to 11 off eight. India had two wickets left. The 9th wicket partnership made  49 at a run-a-ball. In the end all that was not enough.

Last time, I wrote about Bruce Oxenford and his innovative arm-guard for Umpire safety.  This guard is made of Perspex, details of which you read in the 1st para. 

Yesterday there was a shot by Latham straight back of Umesh Yadav, which threatened Anil Chaudhary taking ungainly action, only to be saved by Yadav deflecting it.  He perhaps thought Bruce was well protected – but is guard on one hand enough ??  - perhaps not.  Corey Anderson's throw from the deep at the bowler's end headed straight at him and he was struck on the box. This time, he was not facing the incoming throw and the armoured left hand just could not come in the line of the ball, keeping him exposed to that hit.

The 41st over was a comedy – Martin Guptill drifted down leg side to left handed Axar Patel, followed up once again; then of a donkey-drop got Axar hitting to longon; his third ODI wicket in his 131st match; another wide down the leg side, this time to Amit Mishra. Struck again with Mishra  top edging a swipe to be caught by substitute fielder Doug Bracewell at short fine leg.  There was another leg side wide there after –a 10 delivery over at crunch, yet his 2 wickets turned the match. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st Oct 2016.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

India play New Zealand at Kotla ~ some history; some int tweets

Unlike the Southern parts of India, Delhi has seen much of occupation and wars.  By some accounts Delhi is  known to have been continuously inhabited since 6th  century BC ~ and in most of its history, it has been the capital of many kingdoms, starting from the days of Pandavas when it was Indraprastha.   In AD 1639, the Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a new walled city in Delhi which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649  which was later captured by British. The Feroz Shah Kotla  is a fortress built by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq to house his version of Delhi city called Ferozabad. It was the new capital of the Sultan of Delhi on the banks of Yamuna river.  History states that  most classical music performances were staged here.

Kotla ground is different ~ mostly no music to bowlers – reportedly smaller where batsmen make merry.  The Feroz Shah Kotla Ground was established as a cricket ground in colonial days of 1883. It is the second oldest international cricket stadium still functional in India, only after the Eden Gardens in Kolkata

In a normal Indian season, this ODI would have been played on Wednesday and not Thursday, but it  was  postponed to accommodate the festival of Karva Chauth. This is festival season in India; the Kolkata Test was advanced to avoid a clash with Durga Puja and Diwali, one of the biggest pan-Indian festivals, takes place during the ODI series. For India, the festivities seem to have extended to the field - they have beaten New Zealand in all four matches of the tour, the Dharamsala ODI being the latest. But it is easier to recover from a loss in ODIs than it is in Tests, even a comprehensive one. For today match too, illness keeps Suresh Raina out.

Remember New Zealand played so well in the last World Cup and were the runners-up. India played NZ first in inaugural World Cup in ODI no. 28 – and lost the match.  It was a 60 overs a side match on 14th June 1975 at Manchester.  Abid Ali made 70 and his grand partnership with Srinivasa Venkatraghavan (26) gave some respect to the total, after the first six batsmen had gone for 101 runs in face of accurate but by no means hostile pace bowling by the Hadlee brothers, Dayle and Richard. Chasing 231, mammoth those days, New Zealand won rather comfortably with  a superb century by their captain, Glenn Turner, who batted stylishly and productively for three hours. He hit thirteen boundaries and remained unbeaten for 114.

The next One dayer was at Lancaster Park, Christchurch in Feb 1976.  In the 35 overs match, helped by Gundappa Viswanath’s 56, India made 154.  Richard Collinge took 5 for 22.  NZ knocked off the required runs losing G Edwards (42); Glenn Turner (53) and Bevan Congdon 45 remained not out. 

Virupa is a smasher and continues to be so entertaining  after his retirement also.  One of his tweets after Ashwin’s great performance at Holkar, read Congrats, Only a married man can understand d urgency of going home early.. Ash quickly thanked him.  The casual exchange took a hilarious turn when Ashwin's better half, Prithi Ashwin  tweeted - hahaha I didn't do much :) – and  Viru's wife Aarti Sehwag joined the party :  Neither did I. Both in a hurry as always ..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Oct 2016.