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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mount Maunganui ~ Sangha, Austin, Sutherland, Prithvi Shaw and more .... !!

Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha ~ heard ? – does it sound something to you – he is the Aussie Captain, in case you don’t know !!!

Watching the match – right handed Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra played so well, but missed out when century was well in the offing as the camera zoomed on a familiar face of Steve Waugh and his wife .. at Mount Maunganui,  a holiday paradise – know for  surfing, swimming and relaxing. 

Mount Maunganui of Tauranga, located on a peninsula to the north-east of Tauranga's city centre. It was an independent town from Tauranga until the completion of the Tauranga Harbour Bridge in 1988, which connects Mount Maunganui to Tauranga's central business district.  Located across the harbour from Tauranga, “the Mount” is almost surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, with New Zealand’s best beach on one side of its peninsula, and the sheltered waters of Pilot Bay on the other. Standing 232m above sea level, this iconic landmark is treasured by Maori and it is here that the U19 World Cup match between India and Australia is happening. 

It is the 7th match, Group B (D/N), ICC Under-19 World Cup at Mount Maunganui, Jan 14 2018 – India won the toss and is batting – and batting well too.

The inaugural event was titled the McDonald's Bicentennial Youth World Cup, and was held in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentenary celebrations. It took place in South Australia and Victoria. Teams from the seven Test-playing nations, as well as an ICC Associates XI, competed in a round-robin format. The tournament was notable for the number of future international players who competed. Future England captains Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton played, as did Indian spinner Venkatapathy Raju, New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns, Pakistanis Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq, Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, and West Indians Brian Lara, Ridley Jacobs, and Jimmy Adams.

ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is an international cricket tournament organised by the ICC contested by national under-19 teams. First contested in 1988, as the Youth World Cup, it was not staged again until 1998. Since then, the World Cup has been held as a biennial event, organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The first edition of the tournament had only eight participants, but every subsequent edition has included sixteen teams. Australia and India have both won the World Cup three times, and India has been in the finals twice more. It won in 2000, 2008 & 2012, losing in finals in 2006 & 2016.

The 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is currently being held in New Zealand from 13 January to 3 February 2018. It is the twelfth edition of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, and the third to be held in New Zealand.  West Indies are the defending champions.

In one surprise result, Afghanistan Under-19 194 for 5 (Rasooli 76*, Khil 46) beat Pakistan U-19 - 188 (Nazir 81, Omarzai 3-34, Ahmad 3-38) by five wickets.  Darwish Rasooli struck an unbeaten 78-ball 76 to lead Afghanistan to victory in their opening match of the Under-19 World Cup, beating Pakistan by five wickets. Chasing 189, Afghanistan were reduced to 50 for 3, before Rasooli, in the company of wicketkeeper Ikram Ali Khil, staved off Pakistan's challenge.

Australia's squad for the Under-19 World Cup is  by batsman Jason Sangha, and include allrounder Austin Waugh - son of former captain Steve Waugh. Another allrounder, Will Sutherland, son of Cricket Australia's (CA) chief executive James Sutherland, is named vice-captain.  Sangha had become the youngest Australian to make a first-class century against England, scoring 133 for the CA XI in a tour game in Townsville in the lead up to the Ashes. In July last, Sutherland, a powerful batsman and fast-medium bowler, had chosen cricket over football, accepting a multi-year rookie deal with Victoria rather than nominating himself for the AFL draft.

Sangha has already led Australia Under-19s in a bilateral series against Sri Lanka at home in April. He made news in November when he became the youngest first-class centurion in the country since Ricky Ponting in 1992-93. It was a pre-Ashes warm-up fixture and Sangha was facing an attack that included Chris Woakes, Craig Overton and Moeen Ali. He held firm to bring up a superb century, one he says gave him oodles of belief.  So much, excitement," he says. "Indian roots. How could I not be mad about cricket?"

Rahul Dravid is the coach for the Indian U 19 team.  Lot of interesting things in store for the cricket fan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2018.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Donald Trump cancels trip to London ~ the new building for US embassy

US President Donald Trump today,  cancelled a trip to the UK to open the new US embassy on the grounds that it was a “bad deal” concluded by the Obama administration.  .. .. that obviously attracted lot of media attention, with Britain trying to project that none in Britain wanted him to come.  One will understand the truth based on whichever version one gets to read !   ..  Chennaites would know the surging crowds that stand in front of the US embassy near Gemini bridge every day waiting to get visas. Also we would never understand why fringe parties would paste posters and conduct some demonstration nearer the Embassy [though permission is denied mostly ~ some had always violated such permissions] – would it in any manner reach the US administration – would the shouts ‘imperialism down, down !’ would ever be heard in US – and have some effect ??

US Consulate is an all important building ~ a diplomatic mission  is  an organisation present in another country  facilitating  visas and many many other documentary and other processes..  The  embassy, which is the main office of a country's diplomatic representatives in the capital city of another country, whereas consulates are smaller diplomatic missions which are normally located outside the capital of the receiving state.  Though believed to be so, not all diplomatic missions  enjoy full extraterritorial status and in those cases are not sovereign territory of the represented state.  However, most major countries do enjoy that right and are afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, and (as an adherent to the Vienna Convention) the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country, even to put out a fire.  Thus sometimes, people do take political asylums in diplomatic missions !

Trump is in news for altogether different reasons ~ the much commented man’s cancelled trip to London  is the news !!  ~ it is all about a building which was never owned by United States but it had control -  a 999-year leasehold, but the freehold is owned by Grosvenor Estates.  BBC reports that the  decision to move away from the Grade II listed building to Nine Elms was taken by the George W Bush administration in October 2008, shortly before he left office. The state department said it would begin construction on a new site in Nine Elms and the existing embassy was put up for sale immediately. It said it considered renovating the existing building but said the goal of moving to a secure, modern and environmentally sustainable site could best be met by moving.

There were reports of Donald Trump blaming Obama's 'bad deal' for cancelling his trip to Britain ~ the US  President pulls out of US embassy opening because old site was 'sold for peanuts.' US President was expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office but that has turned damp-squib or rather has triggered a huge political row in UK. 

The US President condemned his predecessor Barack Obama  tweeting shortly before midnight in Washington to criticise the move to an 'off location' at Nine Elms, south of the River Thames, as a 'bad deal'. The tweet to his 47million followers sparked an overwhelming social media backlash.  Meanwhile, as questions were raised over whether it was a 'bad deal', property experts said the US may have 'sold the family silver' - but sold high and bought low. Mr Trump tweeted overnight that he was 'not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts', only to build a new one in an off location for $1.2billion'

At a cost of £750million ($1billion), the new embassy near Battersea is significantly more expensive than the £315million ($431million) the Mayfair site was sold for, as revealed by Land Registry documents today.  And some media experts pointed out that Mr Trump wrongly blamed Barack Obama for the embassy sale, when George W. Bush was actually in the White House at the time in 2008. 

London Mayor, who has clashed with the US President in the past, said a visit by Mr Trump would have been met by 'mass peaceful protests'. Donald Trump was ridiculed by the people of Battersea today after saying the US embassy was moving to an 'off location'. Mr Trump's dismissal of Vauxhall was also questioned by David Hatcher, of Estates Gazette, who described it as 'a prime central London location'. 'At pre sent to some it might look like a load of cranes and construction sites with not going on around them,' he said. 'However, Vauxhall's star has undoubtedly risen and Apple's decision to locate its giant new headquarters at the iconic Battersea Power Station is perhaps the ultimate rubber stamp of approval that shows it is establishing itself as a prime central London location.  Given its long-established history as an area rich with nightlife with ever more techhie types with plenty of disposable income set to move, as well as those that have bought pricey flats, it will likely only become more appealing as time goes.' Situated in the London Borough of Wandsworth, Battersea boasts many attractions, including its iconic power station, which first started operating in 1933, when it was only half-built. It is also home to the capital's only licensed heliport on the south bank, as well as a family-run zoo designed specially for children in Battersea Park. Its Peace Pagoda - which offers panoramic views of Chelsea Embankment - was presented by Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fuji in 1984 as part of a Japanese movement to promote peace across the globe following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And Nine Elms, where the embassy is located, is home to the New Covent Garden Market. The biggest wholesale flower, fruit and vegetable market in the UK, it spans 57 acres and is used by 200 firms.  His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.  MailOnline and other British media feels that this  just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.

Standing in London's Grosvenor Square, in the heart of Mayfair, itself the wealthiest part of the city, the old embassy was bought by Qatari Diar – the property development arm of the Qatari royal family – in 2013. The Qataris will now spend $1.4bn (£1.08bn) to refurbish the building and turn it into a five-star Rosewood hotel with 137 bedrooms.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Jan 2018.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

cargo carriage by drones ~ addition to modes of transportation !

Marine Insurance is all about cargo and its movement from one place to another.  Underwriting is the art of evaluating the potential of the risk, deciding on offering indemnity and then deciding on the rates, terms and conditions of insurance.   A good underwriter with keen eye to details would look in to the risk studying its physical hazards and other possible situations that might render a loss or damage to the subject matter about to be insured.  The physical features of the subject matter including its fragility, susceptibility to external factors, shelf life, whether perishable, its packing, its size, they way they would be handled and whether they will withstand such handling,  its commercial value and utility value, its marketability all can impact the decision of the Insurer.

In insuring cargo in transit from place to place and specific emphasis is on the way the goods are carried, handled, moved, the mode, packing, stowage and other aspects.  Containers by their standardisation eased space and brought in a revolution. ~ and there is one important aspect of carriage – who is the carrier or what is the mode of transit ?  in general – it would by trucks (lorries); railway; sea (ship / country crafts) and by air [cargo carriers].  There is ‘Courier’ too ~ but that is more of a carrier than a mode, as a Courier could again transport goods by rail / road / sea / air. Can you ponder over  adding something more to the ‘mode’ !! ~ the clue is cargo hanging !!

A huge autonomous drone that can carry the weight of two baby elephants has been unveiled by Boeing states an interesting article in MailOnline.  The heavy-duty quadrocopter can transport payloads up to quarter-of-a-ton, and Boeing says it may use the drone to shift heavy cargo in future.  After designing and building the craft in just three months, Boeing says it has already put the vehicle through flight tests at one of its research centres.

A huge autonomous drone that can carry the weight of two baby elephants has been unveiled by Boeing. The heavy-duty quadrocopter (pictured) can transport payloads up to quarter-of-a-ton, and Boeing says it may use the craft to shift cargo in future. 

BOEING'S CAV PROTOTYPE :  Powered by an electric propulsion system, Boeing's CAV prototype has eight helicopter-like rotors, allowing for vertical take-off and landing. The craft weighs 339 kg (747 lbs), but is capable of carrying a further 226 kg (500 lbs) of cargo. It measures 4.6m long (15 ft), 5.5m wide (18 ft) and 1.2m (4 ft) tall. Boeing may use the heavy-duty quadrocopter to shift heavy cargo in future.

The aerospace firm, based in Chicago, Illinois, calls the vehicle an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype. It dwarfs the average drone, measuring 4.6 meters long (15 ft), 5.5 metres wide (18 ft) and 1.2 metres (4 ft) tall.

The cargo can be attached to the drone with cables.  Boeing says the drone is a precursor to its future autonomous flying craft. 'This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy,' said Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop in a statement. 'We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we'll look back on this day as a major step in that journey.'

Powered by an electric propulsion system, Boeing's CAV prototype has eight helicopter-like rotors, allowing for vertical flight. The craft weighs 339 kg (747 lbs), but is capable of carrying a further 226kg (500 lbs) of cargo. The quadrocopter has completed initial tests at a Boeing autonomous research laboratory in St Charles, Missouri, but the firm did not provide details of the flights.  Today's commercial airplanes already use sophisticated computer systems that have automated key aspects of flying. But Aurora aims to go far beyond that, aspiring to a completely autonomous flight, from take-off to landing. In April last year, Aurora was selected by Uber to develop its on-demand urban air transportation system.

Interesting and innovative ~ how much % it is going to have market share of cargo movement would remain to be seen.  In between, as an Insurer, do you foresee any new challenges in this new form of transit; what could be the recovery and whether there could be new perils added ‘cargo dropped and damaged’ and whether there could be liability scenario from such mishandled heavy cargo ???

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Jan 2018.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Google doodle on Nobel laureate Har Gobind Khorana

Google doodles are interesting and make us learn lot of things ~ today’s (9th Jan) is another good one !

In the 1950s, it was established that genetic information is transferred from DNA to RNA, to protein. One sequence of three nucleotides in DNA corresponds to a certain amino acid within a protein. How could this genetic code be cracked? The doodle is all about the man of Indian origin who made important contributions to this field by building different RNA chains with the help of enzymes.

Har Gobind Khorana, the Nobel laureate was born this day in 1922 in Raipur and passed away on 9th Nov 2011 at Concord, USA.  He was affiliated to University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA at the time of award when he was awarded  "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis".  The famous biochemist shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that showed how the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids.  Khorana and Nirenberg were also awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in the same year.

Khorana was born in Raipur,  youngest of five children of Ganpat Rai Khorana, a taxation clerk and Krishna Devi Khorana. He served on the faculty of the University of British Columbia from 1952-1960, where he initiated his Nobel Prize winning work. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1966, and subsequently received the National Medal of Science. He co-directed the Institute for Enzyme Research, became a professor of biochemistry in 1962 and was named Conrad A. Elvehjem Professor of Life Sciences at University of Wisconsin–Madison. He served as MIT's Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Emeritus and was a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.

He attended D.A.V. High School in Multan;  Ratan Lal, one of his teachers, influenced him greatly during that period. Later, he studied at the Punjab University in Lahore where he obtained an M. Sc. degree. Mahan Singh, a great teacher and accurate experimentalist, was his supervisor. 

Khorana lived in India until 1945, when the award of a Government of India Fellowship made it possible for him to go to England and he studied for a Ph. D. degree at the University of Liverpool.

After going places, in 1960 Khorana moved to the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States. As of the fall of 1970 Khorana has been Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Raipur is a city in Raipur district, the erstwhile capital city of the state of Chhattisgarh. It was formerly a part of Madhya Pradesh before the state of Chhattisgarh was formed and this is not the place associated with Har Gobind. Raipur,  a village in the Kabirwala Tehsil of Khanewal District in Western Punjab earlier part of Multan Division is the one where the Nobel Laureate was born. Its capital is Khanewal the host city to the second-largest railway station in the country.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Jan 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Astronaut John Young who walked on moon is no more

Venmathi, nilavu, chandamama, ambuli .. and more – Luna  by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks, and many other names in other mythologies. The Moon, of course, has been known since prehistoric times. It is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. As the Moon orbits around the Earth once per month, the angle between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun changes; we see this as the cycle of the Moon's phases. Moon has always attracted mankind and mankind has been able to reach that brilliant object on sky.

Of the many missions, Apollo 16 was the fifth mission to land men on the moon and return them to Earth. It was also the second flight of the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Apollo 16 landed in a highlands area, a region not yet explored on the Moon. Astronauts collected samples, took photographs and conducted experiments that included the first use of an ultraviolet camera/spectrograph on the Moon.  The successful Apollo 16 manned lunar landing mission was the second in a series of three science-oriented J series missions planned for the Apollo program. The major objective of the mission was to investigate the lunar surface in the Descartes highlands area because it was considered to be representative of much of the Moon's surface, and an area of this type had not been previously visited.

Apollo 16 space vehicle was launched from the Kennedy Space Centre at 12:55:00 p.m. EST on April 16, 1972. The crew members for this mission were John W. Young, Commander, Thomas K. Mattingly II, Command Module Pilot, and Charles M. Duke, Jr., Lunar Module Pilot.   The first extravehicular activity (EVA) [lunar roving vehicle]  was initiated at 119 GET. Television coverage of surface activity was delayed until the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) systems were activated because the steerable antenna on the LM could not be used.  The duration of the first EVA was approximately 7 hours 11 minutes and a distance of 4.2 kilometers was traveled. It definitely was another giant leap for the mankind.

The maneuvering of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was done by astronaut John W. Young. The World had a glimpse of the same from motion picture film exposed by a 16mm Maurer camera held by astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr. While astronaut's Young, commander, and Duke, lunar module pilot, descended in the Lunar Module (LM) "Orion" to explore the Descartes highlands region of the moon, astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Casper" in lunar orbit.

The man in that picture astronaut John Young achieved a number of milestones over the course of his 42 year career at NASA: a Navy pilot who served during the Korean War, he flew in space six time with some of the agency’s biggest programs, was the ninth person to walk on the moon, and was the first to pilot the Space Shuttle.

NASA has announced that Young died at the age of 87 due to complications from pneumonia. Born in 1930, Young attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his degree in aeronautical engineering in 1952. From there, he joined the US Navy, served aboard the USS LAWS during the Korean War, and went on to attend the Navy Test Pilot School. In 1962, NASA selected him as part of Astronaut Group where had a long and cherished career.  He  was the pilot for Gemini 3 in 1965, the first crewed mission of the program. Together, they orbited Earth three times, testing thrusters that allowed the crew to maneuver in space, and was later reprimanded for smuggling a corn beef sandwich for the ride. Young returned to space again in 1966 as the Command Pilot for Gemini 10, along with future Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.  From there, Young joined the Apollo program.  After walking on moon and driving lunar rover, and upon return,  NASA promoted him to Chief of the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office in 1973.

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle mission, died Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at the age of 87 from complications of pneumonia. The  career that  spanned three generations of spaceflight has come to a natural end.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Jan 2018.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

South Africa pins down India ~ Hardik Pandya dazzles !!

After many years, India toured Pakistan – sort of disastrous tour; Indian spinners were decimated, Erapalli Prasanna bowled 25 overs for 94 runs without a wicket in the 2nd test, was not even given a bowl in the 2nd and that turned out to be his last Test.  In the 3rd One dayer at Sahiwal,  Indian captain Bishan Bedi called his batsmen from the field - they needed only 23 off 14 balls with eight wickets in hand - as a protest against the bowling of Sarfraz Nawaz, who sent down four bouncers on the trot, none of which were called a wide.

In that tour in the First test at Faisalabad, Mushtaq Mohammad won the toss and the Pakistani openers — the belligerent Majid Khan and the gutsy Sadiq Mohammad  expected as usual a couple of overs from trundlers  to take the shine off the ball before the spin trinity of Bishan Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and EAS Prasanna would take over.  In that match the bowler from Haryana made his debut, ran in fast and let some rip off the field.   The fury and bounce made the Paki batsman call for helmet, which all along only Indians had to wear and none against India !! 

In fact in the 2nd Test, Kapil Dev that young nippy pacer had Sunil Gavaskar opening the attack, bowling 4 overs and in the 2nd it was Bishan Singh Bedi.  Have read that in that test, in the 2nd innings, Kapil Dev was sent in as a night watchman (scored 43) – had to face a couple of overs, and in one, he hoisted over midwicket for a six.  As he returned a furious Bedi was to greet him and scold him on his reckless way of playing – the expectation was a nightwatchman should only defend a few balls and ensure that no wicket falls – scoring runs was not the expectation. 

Those days the matches were telecast in Doordarshan (black & white and with a single camera – from one end bowler would come running in to you and in the next, bowler would run away !]  ~ the man born this day 6th Jan – Kapil Dev exhibited greatness in that tour itself – bowling fast and then scoring runs fast, and he could hit big sixers !! ~ was a treat to watch, though some would criticize that he tries to play more on the On and thus is not playing well !!

In the 3rd Test at Karachi, in Nov 1978, Sunil Gavaskar scored century in each innings.  The batting line up was Chetan Chauhan, Surinder Amarnath, Gundappa Viswanath,  Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath, Syed Kirmani  - Kapil, Karsan Ghavri, Bishan Bedi and Chandrasekhar completed the playing eleven.   Against the attack of Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Sikhander Bakht, Mustaq Muhammed and Iqbal Qasim, Karsan Ghavri (42) and Kapil dev (53) had a good partnership and the hard hitting Kapil was the last man out.

This year in Sri Lanka,  Hardik Pandya made his debut.  At Pallekele, Indians were on a roll.  Hardik Pandya registered his maiden hundred in first-class cricket taking the total to  487.  Hardik put on 62 with Kuldeep Yadav for the eighth wicket and 66 with Umesh Yadav for the last wicket. During that epic innings, he hoisted Malinda Pushpakumara for 26 runs  2 fours and 3 sixers eclipsed 24 runs scored by Sandeep Patil off Bob Willis in Manchester in 1982, and by Kapil Dev off Eddie Hemmings at Lord's in 1990.   The  7 Sixes hit by Hardik is the joint-second most in an innings for India.  There were comparisons with legendary Kapil Dev.  Two months ago, when Hardik Pandya was rested from the Test team, he spoke about playing in South Africa in this way.

Living up to his own lofty billing, the 24-year old allrounder defied one of the most fearsome fast-bowling attacks in history to make 93 off 95 balls. South Africa did eventually secure a lead of 77 runs, bowling India out for 209, but it might have come at a sizeable cost.   Indian top order struggled, yesterday they lost wickets with memes coming up on whether they would avoid follow on making 86.  Today they made only 29 in the first 18 overs - the point when they lost their first wicket of the day. Back then, the plan was to survive. Invest time in the middle as the surface flattens out and hope to have wickets in hand when the bowlers start to tire.  Hardik Pandya played a different game, the attacking game and made runs bringing lot of respectability to the total and semblance chance to the team pinned down.

Pandya's day was not quite done yet. He came on second-change for India and dismissed both of South Africa's openers but their lead is already at 142 and the Test remains in their control.

Hail Hardik Pandya !!

6th Jan 2018.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Capetown, Bhuvi dazzles ~ water crisis and Johnny Higgs, who ??

Ever heard of - John Briggs, born in   Sutton-in-Ashfield, who played for England.

The 1st test between India South Africa got off to a flyer today. The match is played at Newlands, Capetown.  Newlands Cricket Ground (known as PPC Newlands for sponsorship reasons) in Cape Town is the home of the Cape Cobras. Newlands is regarded as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world, being overlooked by Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. Wiki reveals that  the  title deed for the land currently containing the ground was granted to a brewer, Jacob Letterstedt in 1845, who then presented it to his daughter, Lydia Corrina, as a wedding present upon her marriage to the Vicomte de Montmort.

Cape Town,  is a coastal city in South Africa.  As the seat of the Parliament of South Africa, it is also the legislative capital of the country.   The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was first developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply  station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck's arrival in  1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa.

The rival captains sport tattoos.  To Du Plessis, all his tattoos, are stories of his life. He has one on the side of his ribs which reads ‘Grace’ as he feels that his life has changed by the grace of God. He has a quarter sleeve on his arm which deciphers all the important events in his life. The one on the inside of his arm was the day he made his debut for South Africa and above that ‘A day from the Lord’ is written in Latin. On the side he has a compass directed towards the Adelaide Oval where he made his Test debut. It also has the dates of his marriage  !  ~ Indian skipper Virat Kohli too has many tattoos and perhaps thought that he had an even better day than what an ardent fan could dream about this match. 
Indian Express photo

Before that Murali Vijay and Ravi Ashwin travelling might have seen scenes similar to Chennai – people standing with plastic pots for water.  There is sever water shortage and the team India   in Cape Town has been officially asked to not use the shower for more than two minutes. It’s one of the several water conservation messages that the Indian cricketers came across on reaching their hotel after a sweaty and tiring day under the relentless sun. With many in the Indian team hailing from areas with water problems, they understand the severity of the situation, but they aren’t quite timing their baths as of now. The unusually dry winter, the dipping underground water level and the dangerously shrinking dam level has resulted in Cape Town pressing the panic button by enforcing crisis Level 6 water restrictions. These are a strings of curbs to make every drop count.

In such times, Cape Town sees the irony of calling the Test between the top two teams a “mouth-watering contest”.  Indians had that drooling as they had SA reeling at 12/3.  Now the score card reads :  South Africa 286 (De Villiers 65, Du Plessis 62, Bhuvneshwar 4-87) v India 28/3 ~ but can they recover the way, the Proteas did ?

Faf du Plessis confessed he had a score to settle, and so he armed himself with four fast bowlers the envy of the world. Virat Kohli saw Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander during warm-ups. India too had 4 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah making his debut and Hardik Pandya.  Bhuvi struck with the third ball of the series, and then struck again in each of his next two overs, providing India with one of their best starts ever in an overseas series. It was the earliest wicket for India on tour since Kapil Dev dismissed Jimmy Cook off the first ball of the first Test in the 1992-93 series in Durban.

From 12/3 (Dean Elgar, AK Markram & Hashim Amla gone); SA recovered to 142/3, eventually all out for 286.  Bhuvneshwar took 4, while Ravichandran Ashwin who was given only 7 overs, polished the tail, taking 2.  SA played their first ever test in Mar 1889, at Port Elizabeth ~ and were beaten by England by 8 wickets.  India was the first team to tour South Africa in 1992, after South Africa was reinducted  into international cricket after the end of Apartheid era. That series was called the Friendship Series. Mohammad Azharuddin was India captain while South Africa were led by Clive Rice.  Indians have South African connection prior to that also. 

Gandhi arrived in Durban in  1893 aboard the SS Safari. Dada Abdulla, whose firm had hired him to act on its behalf in a commercial dispute with a family member, awaited him on the wharf.  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi arrived in South Africa at the relatively tender age of 24 as a newly qualified lawyer on a temporary assignment.  By the time Gandhi left South Africa for the last time in 1914, he had already earned the appellation Mahatma for his work in securing significant legal concessions for the local Indian population in South Africa.

SA was to play their 2nd test at Capetown in 1889 and it was a match to be remembered for Johnny Briggs -  the slow left-arm spinner from Lancashire, who was to become  the first man to scale the 100-wicket peak later  in the fourth Ashes Test at Sydney.  In that 2nd test of the Series at Capetown, England were bundled out for 292 !  ~ yet won the match by an innings and 202 runs as South Africa made scores of 47 & 43.  Johnny Briggs had figures of 19.1-11-17-7 and 14.2-5-11-8 !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th Jan 2018.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Melbourne pitch report : Ranji Finals and ... coaches

Following Ashes or Ranji or both ??

Good news is India has a new Ranji champion – Vidarbha – score card reads : Vidarbha 547 (Wadkar 133, Sarwate 79, Jaffer 78, Saini 5-135) and 32 for 1 (Jaffer 17*) beat Delhi 295 (Shorey 145, Himmat 66, Gurbani 6-59(including a hattrick)) and 280 (Rana 64, Shorey 62, Wakhare 4-95, Sarwate 3-30) by nine wickets.  The team is naturally elated.  Captain Faiz Fazal believes Vidarbha's first match of the season, which they won against Punjab by an innings and 117 runs, "set the tone" for their victorious Ranji Trophy campaign. Vidarbha lifted the prestigious domestic trophy for the first time in their 61st  attempt by beating Delhi comprehensively in Indore on the first day of 2018. Overall, Vidarbha registered an impressive seven wins in nine matches and only drew against Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh.

Down under there was some respite for England at Melbourne but not from the barrage of media.  Australian television broadcast footage  showed James Anderson digging his thumb nail into the ball during Australia's second innings. Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne said Anderson's actions "might get people talking".  However England coach Trevor Bayliss was to dismiss that quickly stating that he talked to the Umpires who found no problem.  Umpires Kumar Dharmasena of Srilanka  and Indian  S Ravi spoke with England captain Joe Root, but they were satisfied that nothing improper had taken place and the ball was not changed.

Amidst the Ashes, Australian coach Darren Lehmann says he will not seek a contract renewal when his current deal expires at the end of 2019. Lehmann outlined his plans to Fox Sports News 500 in a special Boxing Day Test one-on-one interview, declaring a jam-packed English summer in 18 months will be his last hurrah. England appear set to hand a Test debut to novice leg-spinner Mason Crane in Sydney. Coach Trevor Bayliss has given the strongest hint yet that the 20-year-old will win his maiden cap in the Ashes finale, with England able to 'look at some different people' as they try to break their duck in a series lost in Perth before Christmas.  In case you are wondering how a Coach could change the fortunes of any team, read on !!  Ricky Ponting has responded to reports that he is in line to coach the national side at the next World T20 tournament, saying he'd loved to be involved in the game again but that nothing has been decided with Cricket Australia.

Melbourne is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria.  The metropolis is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands towards the Dandenongand Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. Founded by free settlers from the British Crown colony of Van Diemen's Land in 1835, in what was then the colony of New South Wales, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837.

More than the city, we are aware of MCG, the ground where Boxing Test is played. The marquee match of Australia’s home summer schedule – the annual day Boxing Day Test in Melbourne – could be stripped from the MCG if there are repeats of this year’s sub-standard pitch that has been formally rated as ‘poor’ by the International Cricket Council. In the wake of the drawn fourth Magellan Ashes Test that attracted criticism from both competing teams, commentators and administrators, the ICC acted upon a report from their Chief Referee Ranjan Madugalle (who officiated at the match) to deliver the verdict which is unprecedented for an international venue in Australia.

Had the Test finished two days later, the nation’s most famous cricket ground would have been slapped with three demerit points as part of a new ‘name and shame’ system from the ICC that came into effect on Monday.  The real penalty for the MCG, and for CA by extension, is in reputational damage.  The Boxing Day Test is seen by many in the game as the pinnacle event on the cricket calendar, certainly in Australia, and more than 260,000 spectators watched last week's match between Australia and England.

Can never forget that Tied Test – India Vs Australia at Chepauk – Sep 18-22, 1986.

Soon after arriving in Nagpur and signing the contract to take over from Paras Mhambrey as Vidarbha's head coach at the start of the season, Chandrakant Pandit, who played that Tied test as a batsman, reportedly  asked the state association's vice-president Prashant Vaidya: "What happens to the prize money?" Vaidya thought he hadn't heard Pandit right and asked: "Kaunsa prize money [what prize money]?" Pandit was clear in his head and told Vaidya he was referring to the prize money the Ranji Trophy champions are entitled to. His planning of winning the Ranji Trophy had begun even before he had met the players.

After passage of months, Vidarbha has done what they could not do in 61 seasons, win their   maiden Ranji Trophy title. They appeared in Ranji Trophy for the first time in 1957-58, and played 260 matches before coming into this season. Only two teams have taken longer to win their first title - Gujarat (83 seasons) and Uttar Pradesh (72). Vidarbha are the 18th team to become Ranji Trophy champions.  The present decade has seen Rajasthan, Gujarat and Vidarbha getting their maiden title.  Last decade, Railways and Uttar Pradesh crowned glory.  The hat-trick bowler Rajneesh Gurbani took 27 - Wickets in the knockout stage this season (at an average of 14.11), which is 12 more than any other bowler. All other Vidarbha bowlers together picked up 32 wickets in this period at 30.96.

The man who coached Vidarbha, Chandrakant Pandit spent the last two seasons coaching Mumbai, the 41-time champions. He was replaced by Sameer Dighe for the want of "fresh faces and fresh outlook" after the side finished runners-up last season.  For the opponent, the losing finalists, Delhi, the coach was Bhaskar Pillai who was once to play for India against New Zealand at Jammu, the match was abandoned and he never got to play another game.  KP Bhaskar was a prolific run-scorer for a strong Delhi side during the 80s but was never selected for India, despite remaining on the periphery for years. He was a standby for India's tour of Sri Lanka in 1985

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2nd Jan 2018.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2018 ( in association with Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd)

Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2018
in association with Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd

Dear Student(s)  & Parent(s) ….

Chennaites traverse this road almost daily – perhaps the most important arterial road is Mount Road [Anna Salai] running from Coovum creek, Island grounds to Kathipara flyover, Guindy.  Sooner we will have Chennai Metro running underground along this stretch.  One of the  most prominent landmarks on this road is Spencer Plaza, a great mall, which perhaps most would have visited for shopping.

Welcome to :  Goldwinner – SYMA Child Fest 2018 – to be conducted at Spencer Plaza on 20th and 21st of Jan 2018 in association with Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd.

SYMA Childfest -  is the grand Inter-school competitions being organized by SYMA.  Srinivas Youngmens Association, (popularly SYMA) has been in the field of Social service since 1977.  We run a  Medical Centre providing consultation @ Rs.2/- and free medicines to poor patients from 5 pm to 7 pm on all days excluding Sundays and National holidays.  We run a  Medical lab providing medical analysis at very cheap rates.   We run a Educational Tuition centre titled ‘SYMA Growth’ providing free tuition through the academic year to select 120 students (X & +2) every year.     We have been actively engaged in various other activities including provision of free uniforms, educational aid, health camps, blood donation, environmental cleanliness, civic programmes and more.

Children are our future and inculcating good qualities in them and making them responsible citizens is the responsibility of the Society.  SYMA all along has been striving betterment of society  and imbibing discipline, commitment, mental strength, self-consciousness and other virtues.  Child Fest is one such attempt aimed at imbibing in them the skill sets, confidence and more importantly competitiveness. Child Fest provides a competitive platform for showcasing talent in various fields.

Over the years, this has become immensely popular with schools and with children, as the numbers are growing multifold year after year. The fete is a two day affair with individual participation in Drawing and Fancy Dress – the rest are representation through schools. This year, at Goldwinner- SYMA Childfest, we will have the following competitions :-

1.       Drawing Competition : (6 groups) on 20th Jan 2018

Lkg-Ukg (9.00 am); 1st  & 2nd  (11:ooam);  3rd – 5th (1:00 noon); 6th – 8th (3:00pm); 9th & 10th; 11th & 12th (09.0 am)  

      Students can come direct to the Venue, register and participate.
      Students are required to carry School identity card
      Students are required to report 30 minutes before the schedule time
      there is no topic for students.
      Chart  for drawing would be provided by SYMA - participants have to bring pen, pencil, colouring material of their choice.

2.       Group Dance (representing School)  -  @  17.00 hrs  20.1.2018

      Team event open to students of L.Kg to 5th Standard Only
      Each school shall send Only one team.  Team to carry the authorization form.
Students are required to carry School identity card
      each team shall comprise of a minimum of 6 and max of 10 students only
      Participating team can select a song of their choice
Students are required to carry School identity card
      Each Team will be given max of 15 min for performance
      Team to report at the venue and register at least 30 min before commencement of the programme.
3.       Fancy Dress Competiton   09.30 am  - 21.1.2018

      Students can come direct to the Venue, register and participate.
      Students are required to carry School identity card
      Students are required to report 15  minutes before the schedule time
      no verses, dialogues, action allowed .
4.       Quiz  Competiton   10.30 am  - 21.1.2018

      Two Groups :  A – 6th to 9th & B – 10th, 11th and 12th.
      One team per school in each group allowed
      Teams to register 30 minutes before the schedule time
      Written Preliminary round followed by Multimedia Quiz on stage

5.       Art work  Competiton  using junk material   11.00  am  - 21.1.2018

      Team event open to students of 6th to 12th standard
      One team per school only  allowed
      team to consist of min of 3 and max of 6 students
      No given topic for this competition
      Each team would be given 60 min for completion
      Teams should report at the venue 30 minutes prior to the commencement.

6.       Innovative Thinking  Competiton   01.30 noon  - 21.1.2018

      Team event open to students of 6th to 12th standard
      One team per school only  allowed
      team to consist of  3 students only (exactly 3 – not less, not more)
      No given topic for this competition; Teams to choose of their choice,  a project that will benefit the Society.
       Teams are permitted to conceptualize and complete their project before coming to the venue. 
      Each team would be given 15 minutes in which time, they are to present, explain, demonstrate their concept.
      Teams should report at the venue 30 minutes prior to the commencement.

7.       Instrumental   Fusion Innovative Thinking  Competiton   01.30 noon  - 21.1.2018

      Team event open to students of 6th to 12th standard
      One team per school only  allowed
      Teams shall comprise of min of 6 to max of 12 students only
      Accompaniments on their own arrangement permitted.  Students to bring their own musical instruments which can be played by the team members only.
       Team can choose any song of their choice 
      Each team would be given 15 minutes to perform
      Teams should report at the venue 30 minutes prior to the commencement.

8.       Group  Singing  @    03.30 noon  - 21.1.2018

      Team event open to students of 6th to 12th standard
      One team per school only  allowed
      Teams shall comprise of min of 6 to max of 12 students only
      Accompaniments on their own arrangement permitted.  Students to bring their own musical instruments which can be played by the team members only.
       Team can choose any song of their choice 
      Each team would be given 15 minutes to perform
      Teams should report at the venue 30 minutes prior to the commencement.

The venue for the two day fete :  “Spencer Plaza”  is a famous shopping mall situate in the middle of Mount road (Anna Salai) – a landmark by itself.  It dates back to the days of Spencer’s  departmental store, and is perhaps the first biggest mall in City of Chennai.  Its history can be traced to the origin of Spencers way back in 1863  established by Charles Durant and J. W. Spencer.  The present Spencer Plaza constructed on site measuring about 10 acres  opened in 1991, attracting thousands of visitors daily and has ample car parking.   Our Co-sponsor for the event, Mangal Tirth Estate Limited, a property development company  promoted this Spencer Plaza.

The winners of  all the events will be awarded Prizes at a function to be held at 0600 pm on 21st Jan 2018 at the venue itself. For all further enquiries contact : 

Srinivas Youngmen’s Association,
29 TP Koil Street (Opp to Barathiyar illam), Triplicane, Chennai 600005.
P :  73388 63050       (between 10.00 am to 8.30 pm only please)
e mail us at :

With regards – S. Sampathkumar, Secretary, SYMA.
1st Jan 2018

** for full details and for downloading brochure, visit our website :