Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ingrida Šimonytė ~ becomes Prime Minister of Baltic Country

Following the 2019 presidential election, Šhe emerged as an unofficial leader of the Homeland Union and one of the most prominent politicians affiliated with the party, despite being officially an independent.  She stood for reelection to the Seimas in the 2020 parliamentary election, where she once again became one of only three constituency candidates nationwide to win their elections in the first round, this time having received more than 60% of the vote. Following the certification of the election results, it emerged that the Homeland Union had won a plurality of seats, overtaking the incumbent government led by the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.

On 9 November, the coalition agreement was signed between the Homeland Union, Liberal Movement, and Freedom Party, paving the way for Šimonytė to become prime minister.   Šimonytė was appointed prime minister on 25 November 2020 by President Gitanas Nausėda, becoming the second woman to serve in the role, following Kazimira Prunskienė.

The Vilnia  is a river that emanates from ge of Vindžiūnai, 5 km south of Šumskas, at the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. The Vilnia is 79.6 km long and its basin covers 624 sq. km, flowing into the Baltic Sea. Its confluence with the Neris lies within the city of Vilnius, and the river's name was probably the source of the city's name.  Bruno of Querfurt  was a Christian missionary   who was beheaded near the border of Kievan Rus and Lithuania for trying to spread Christianity.  .. able to identity who is -  Ingrida Šimonytė, talked about in this post ?

The Seimas   is the unicameral parliament of Lithuania. The Seimas constitutes the legislative branch of government in Lithuania, enacting laws and amendments to the Constitution, passing the budget, confirming the Prime Minister and the Government and controlling their activities. Its 141 members are elected for a four-year term, with 71 elected in individual constituencies, and 70 elected in a nationwide vote based on open list proportional representation. A party must receive at least 5%, and a multi-party union at least 7%, of the national vote to qualify for the proportional representation seats.

Lithuania  is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the southeast of Sweden and Denmark, Lithuania is bordered by Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave).   The capital and largest city is Vilnius and other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. The official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family, the other being Latvian.

                 In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas and the Kingdom of Lithuania was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy.  As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 Feb 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. During the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to proclaim its independence, resulting in the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, a very high Human Development Index, a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD.  

Ingrida Šimonytė  is an economist who is the current Prime Minister of Lithuania, having taken office on 25 Nov 2020. She is the second woman to hold the office, following Kazimira Prunskienė. Šimonytė has served as a member of the Seimas for the Antakalnis constituency since 2016 and was minister of finance in the second Kubilius cabinet from 2009 until 2012. She was a candidate in the 2019 presidential election. Šimonytė is an independent politician, although she has been affiliated with the Homeland Union.

                            Šimonytė graduated from Vilnius University with a degree in business in 1996, later receiving a master's degree as well in 1998. She began her career as an economist and public servant, working as chief of the tax division within the Ministry of Finance until 2004.  Šimonytė returned to politics in 2016, when she ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 parliamentary election to represent Antakalnis constituency in Vilnius, ultimately winning a seat in parliament.  

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Saturday, November 28, 2020

barefoot at Sydney ......... ‘telephone manipol sirippaval ivala' !!

In the popular Shankar film “Indian” –  ‘telephone manipol sirippaval ivala – Melbourne malarpol melliya magala” song was a big hit – factually not right  as though the lyrical reference was to Melbourne, it was elsewhere !!

It is a bridge that is  equipped for tidal flow operation, permitting the direction of traffic flow on the bridge to be altered to better suit the morning and evening rush hours' traffic patterns.  The bridge has eight lanes in total, numbered one through eight from west to east. Lanes three, four and five are reversible. One and two always flow north. Six, seven and eight always flow south. The default is four each way. The bridge has a series of overhead gantries which indicate the direction of flow for each traffic lane.   It is the Sydney Harbour Bridge,  one of Australia's most well known and photographed landmarks.  The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia.   It is the world's largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. Fondly known by the locals as the 'Coathanger', the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrated its 70th birthday  on  19th March 2012. 

Sydney  located on South east coast of the Tasman sea, is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently.   Sydney has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.

Way back in 1978 with series 2-1 in their favour, Australia batted disastrously and were dismissed for a paltry 131.  BS Chandrasekhar was the wrecker-in-chief with 15-3-30-4 and Bedi taking 3 for 49.  Karsan Ghavri bowled 7 overs; while Mohinder took one wicket in the same no. of overs conceding only 6 runs. When India batted, it was a remarkable team effort.  Gavaskar 49; Chetan Chauhan 42; Vishwanath 79; Vengsarkar 48; Kirmani 42; Ghavri 64; Prasanna 25 all made runs enabling India to declare at 396/8 !!

For a change Australians were under pressure in a turning track.  Dyson was out cheaply and at draw of stumps on day 3 Gary Cosier and Kim Hughes were at the crease with score 40/1 ; the 4th day was the rest day in the Series which had 8 balls per over.   On playing day 4, Australians lost wickets regularly and at end of day, they were 243/8 still struggling to make India bat again, but had pushed the game to the fifth day of the match.   The hero was Peter Toohey who was unbeaten with 77.

On the 5th day morning (early morning in India) the commentator screamed when Madanlal covering lot of ground got under the skier at long leg catching Toohey off Ghavri for 85 enabling Indian win by an Innings and 2 runs.   Madanlal was a substitute fielder and those days there was the restriction that a substitute shall not stand in close-in positions or in any specialist  fielding positions !! Strange rule considering that substitutes, later,  were allowed to bat or bowl also in some Onedayers.  That day, the commentator remarked that given his abilities, Madanlal should not be allowed to be inside the field at all as he appeared to be a specialist in any position !! Really great appreciation for the die-hard cricketer Madanlal.   Prasanna took 4; while Bedi, Chandra and Ghavri captured 2 apiece.

For many of us – walking barefoot was nothing.  Many of my colleagues in 1970s would come to school without a slipper or would wear a hawai ! chappal – and we have played Cricket in hot summer afternoons getting roasted on the sands running without a footwear !!   ~ but this barefoot was a major event !

The barefoot circle is a cricket centric way for players and teams to take a moment prior to matches to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, connect to each other as opponents and pay respect to the country (land). This is done barefoot as a way to connect to country, but also a moment to reflect that we are all common ground, we are all human beings and we need to stand strong with each other, for each other ..

Cricket Australia, planned and took the  unique step in supporting the anti-racism movement. A month before the start of the India series, Cricket Australia announced the barefoot circle movement. This statement was created broadly to connect with Aboriginal culture and the land on which matches are played. Pat Cummins had said that it was the team's way of demonstrating an anti-racism feeling as well as celebrating the indigenous culture of Australia. Before the start of the Sydney ODI, both Indian cricket team and Australian cricket teams stood around an Aboriginal mural and stood barefoot in support of the indigenous people of Australia. The ‘barefoot circle’ is one of the symbolic statements made by Australia as they look to grapple with the injustice committed on the Aboriginals in early times. 

Australia's first match of a Covid-19 international summer that might have begun in Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide before finally settling upon the grand old SCG was fitting in that it was both bracingly uneven and also a commanding victory for a home side that was as organised as the logistical efforts that had allowed the series to get underway in the first place.

Playing in Australia is difficult ~ and it was no surprise.  Players who had not made a great mark in IPL were different.  A backbone century from Aaron Finch and a blistering one from Steven Smith, coupled with characteristic contributions from David Warner and Glenn Maxwell, vaulted Australia to an imposing 6 for 374, before India's chase was unable to maintain the runaway momentum of a beginning that benefitted from a rare case of Mitchell Starc losing control of the ball. The hosts were concerned primarily by a side problem that afflicted Marcus Stoinis - in a tight schedule his injury may open a path for Moises Henriques or Cameron Green.

In chasing a tall score, after a good start, Indian batsmen faltered – Shikhar Dhawan could not force the pace.  The man who has returned after lower-back injury,  Hardik Pandya was playing as a pure batsman and he silenced all his critics with a great innings.  He top scored with  90 off 76 from 101 for 4,  and there is a hint he might be ready to bowl come the World Cups. There are three of those in the next three years. 

Their bowlers and fielders let India down – and India has been fined 20% of their match fee for their slow over rate during the first ODI in Sydney. The match ran an hour beyond the scheduled finish, and techically went past the SCG's curfew limit for lights, but no one flicked the switch as the contest finally ended at 11.10pm.  Tomorrow the teams meet again at the same venue.  The second game of a three-match series is by default a must-win for one team and a chance to sew up the series for the other. More than losing, or winning, the series though, this will be an opportunity for several of the players to continue the adjusting phase to a format longer than 20 overs.  

Not pertinent to the result of the series, but not insignificantly either, the first ODI was also the first international cricket match post the Covid-19 pandemic to have spectators in the stands.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



Friday, November 27, 2020

huge six hit out of ground is a potential liability situation !!

A tort, in common law jurisdiction, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.  Tort law involves claims in an action seeking to obtain a private civil remedy, typically money damages.  .. thus, for an act of wrong or negligence – causing danger, injury, or nuisance to anyother person, the tortfeasor ie., the person committing such act would be legally liable !

Ever heard of  Bolton v. Stone [1951]  is a leading House of Lords case in the tort of negligence, establishing that a defendant is not negligent if the damage to the plaintiff was not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of his conduct.   Even in a Private place, but allowing access to public – the common duty of care is to take such care as in all circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor is reasonably safe in using the premises.


At Sydney today, fans returned for the game – but the Aussies put up a top-notch performance making 374/6, their highest against India in one-dayers and the charge of Hardik Pandya was not good enough !.. sixes galored though !. – wonder what will happen if the Cricket ball were to cause harm to someone else!

Way back in 1977 - in that Pongal Test, Mike Brearly pulled Prasanna.  The sound could be heard on the stadium.  Mohinder Amarnath standing at forward short leg took evasive action, but the ball struck his head and ricocheted towards the bowler, Prasanna took a simple catch.  It became a Caught & Bowled dismissal.

Perhaps before 10 pm on 27.9.2020, he was trolled as badly or more than what Murali Vijay has been receiving – he himself had to say – ‘that was the worst first 20 balls that I have ever played.  Leg-spin bowling all-rounder Rahul Tewatia was traded to Rajasthan Royals from Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2020.  Tewatia smacked Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in a match-turning, match-defining 18th over, and an improbable 51 off 18 balls turned into a far more straightforward 21 off 12.  IPL 2020 also saw legendary Chris Gayle hitting   1000 (ONE THOUSAND) sixes in Twenty20 cricket.  Way back in 2012 at Bangalore, a 10-year-old spectator Tia Bhatia,  was injured when a six from Chris Gayle broke her nose, she was admitted into and provided care in a hospital, where Gayle later visited.  

Matches at Sharjah saw some huge sixers.  AB de Villiers was at his imperious best against Kolkata Knight  Riders – his hits sailed over the stadium and landed on the streets. In fact, one of the sixes literally stopped the traffic.  Decades ago, a young bowler in Buchi Babu (was it Hoshidar Contractor ?) was hit out of the park in Marina by Krish Srikkanth and the ball landed crossing the beach road !

This is no post on such huge hits – in 1983 WC, when David Hookes sent the ball soaring, commentator said, not a great shot – for my car is parked over there. Yes, the ball clearing the field could cause damages – of personal injuries and property damage – who would then be responsible ? – the player, the team, or the Ground or the Association staging the game ???

Read this interesting newsitem in today’s MailOnline  detailing a case decided in the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division in UK -  A woman who was struck in the eye with a cricket ball at a local park has lost her £17,000 damages claim. Phoebe Lewis was hit in the face as she walked near to a boundary rope during a match in Battersea Park, London.   She successfully sued Wandsworth Council in the county courts, claiming signs should have been erected while the match was being played.  But a High Court judge has now overruled her win in the lower courts, according to a judgement from the case which has been posted online.

The judge said it was 'obvious' a match was being played and rubbished the idea that a 'reasonable passer-by' would think the players would be using a soft ball. In overturning the decision by the county courts, Judge Mr Justice Stewart said: 'What I frankly fail to understand is how the Recorder [the judge in the case] could envisage that a cricket match played by adult men could be assumed by any reasonable passer-by to be using a soft ball.

Battersea Park is a 200-acre (83-hectare) green space in south-west London;  cricket fields have been laid out in the park since it was opened. The initial incident took place in August 2014 and involved amateur players from a league. Ms Lewis was walking with a friend on a path around eight metres from the boundary of the match at Battersea Park when she heard shouts from cricket players. As she looked up she was struck by the ball 'square' in the eye.  She  suffered a 'serious injury'.  She later told the court that she was a 'regular user' of the park and that  'could not deny' that she knew a pitch was there. But she said that she 'never thought there were professional-style players using them'. She later said she 'did not see any signs', adding: 'I think there ought to have been some form of signage. 'I did not know that cricket played in a public park was played with a real cricket ball, which is really hard. If there had been a sign I think I would have noticed it. 'If a sign had warned me of either hard balls or a risk of injury, I would have paid more attention to the game.' She later took her claim against the council to Wandsworth County Court.

Wandsworth Council disputed her claim, saying the pitch is 'clearly visible' from where she was walking, that it was 'obvious' a game was being played and that 'anyone who frequents the park on a reasonably regular basis during the summer months would be aware that cricket is taking place'. But a Recorder ruled in Ms Lewis' favour, saying the council did owe a duty of care and had 'failed' in that duty because it had allowed pedestrians to walk along the boundary and had 'failed to warn' the claimant that a game was in progress. Last year she was awarded almost £17,000 in damages and an equal sum in costs.

But at the High Court earlier this month Mr Justice Stewart overturned the decision. He said: 'I reach the conclusion that the Recorder's judgement was wrong. 'He failed to take account of material factors and there was a lack of logic in his analysis of the facts. 'In the circumstances which obtained, allowing pedestrians to walk along the path when a cricket match was taking place was reasonably safe, the prospects of an accident (albeit nasty if it occurred) being remote.'

In the case referred earlier - Bolton v. Stone, the  plaintiff was hit by a cricket ball which had been hit out of the ground; the defendants were members of the club committee. On 9 August 1947, during a game of cricket against the Cheetham 2nd XI at Cheetham Cricket Ground in Manchester, a batsman from the visiting team hit the ball for six. The ball flew out of the ground, hitting the claimant, Miss Stone, who was standing outside her house in Cheetham Hill Road, approximately 100 yards (91 m) from the batsman.  The claimant argued that the ball being hit so far even once was sufficient to give the club warning that there was a risk of injuring a passer-by, fixing it with liability in negligence for the plaintiff's injuries. The claimant also claimed under the principle in Rylands v Fletcher, that the ball was a dangerous item that had "escaped" from the cricket ground, and in nuisance.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



Thursday, November 26, 2020

more International Cricket - India takes on Australia at Sydney 2020

Covid statistics are alarming ~ 60578423 affected globally !  .. USA it is 128,51,208 with 180830 cases reported yesterday; India 92,66,705;  Brazil 61,66,606; France 21,69,336; Russia 21,44,229  … while that is top 5 – New Zealand has an envious story – new cases reported during past 24 hours 1; total active cases 60 !

The Indian men's cricket team, who stayed away from international cricket for more than eight months due to coronavirus crises, will return to action playing Australia in the opening One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series tomorrow on November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Expectations naturally run very high ! - In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal is likely to partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order with KL Rahul continuing to keep wicket and bat at No. 5. If India pick both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, they will have to choose between Navdeep Saini's pace and Shardul Thakur's lower-order batting for the third seamer's role. Also, Chahal's IPL form may help him edge out Kuldeep Yadav for the lone wristspinner's slot.

IPL was very interesting but may not the guidebook of form and class ….  A great player by every standards Glenn Maxwell had an horror tournament with  average of 15.42, a strike rate barely scraping above a run-a-ball, and no sixes in 106 balls. .. yet he could be a tormentor just as India looks to Hardik Pandya.  Hardeek  didn't bowl a ball right through IPL 2020, and while that didn't necessarily hurt the Mumbai Indians' campaign, it could upset India's ODI balance given none of their other batsmen is a viable sixth bowling option. Pandya was in terrific hitting form right through the IPL, but he may have to show a little more versatility as a top-six batsman in ODI cricket.  

Virat Kohli will continue to lead the Men in Blue in the 50-over format, while KL Rahul will serve as his deputy in the absence of regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma. Australia's blueprint to topple Virat Kohli has been revealed, with the host nation set to relentlessly attack India's master batsman when the two nations open the international summer at the SCG on Friday. In a year like no other, the tourists and those Australians who had been in the Indian Premier League emerged from a fortnight of quarantine at 4pm on Thursday and now prepare to step into battle less than 24 hours later. While they have been able to train in a bio-secure bubble, it's been far from a normal routine heading into the first of three one-day internationals.

Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that the entire episode surrounding Rohit Sharma's injury has been "very confusing", exacerbated by a "lot of uncertainty and lack of clarity". Speaking on the eve of India's ODI series opener against Australia, Kohli said that ideally both Rohit and fast bowler Ishant Sharma should have been in Australia to complete recovery from their respective injuries which would have allowed them to play in the Test leg of the tour. Both players were ruled out of the first two Tests of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is scheduled to start with the day-night Test in Adelaide on December 17.

Miles closer, another Asian team, Pakistan is touring New Zealand. .. ..but - six members of Pakistan's touring contingent in New Zealand have tested positive for Covid-19. According to an NZC release, four are new cases, while two of the positive results have been deemed "historical". It is unclear whether the six who tested positive are players or other members of Pakistan's touring party. The results are from tests conducted upon Pakistan's arrival in New Zealand on November 24. Each member of the squad will have to undergo a minimum of four tests while in managed isolation.

The six who tested positive have been moved to a different floor of the managed isolation facility in Christchurch where Pakistan are currently based. The team will not be able to train until investigations are completed, and their 14-day quarantine period has been reset, meaning it begins afresh. NZC also revealed that some members of the Pakistan contingent had "contravened protocols" on day one of their managed isolation. "We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements," the release said.  

Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan was told by the New Zealand government that one more breach of New Zealand's Covid-19 protocols by the Pakistan squad would result in the entire travelling party being deported. In a WhatsApp voice message to the travelling players which ESPNcricinfo has obtained, the PCB CEO addressed his players candidly, telling them being sent back home would be "hugely embarrassing". "Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols," Wasim Khan said in the voice note. "They have a zero-tolerance policy and they've given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England. It's not easy. But this is a matter of the nation's respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you'll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they'll send us home."

The Pakistan squad is due to play three T20s and two Tests in New Zealand, and landed in Auckland on a chartered flight with special permission obtained from the New Zealand government. They moved on to Christchurch, where they were set to undergo 14 days of strict isolation. The arrangements, however, got off to a rocky start when six players returned positive Covid-19 tests upon landing in New Zealand; the PCB had claimed there were no positive tests in the travelling party in Lahore, from where the team flew. The six players were moved into a separate isolation facility.

More significantly, New Zealand Cricket issued a statement revealing several players had breached quarantine regulations, and that the team would be put on a "final warning". It prompted a rebuke from New Zealand's director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who said it was "a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep Covid-19 out of our communities".

Interesting !

With regards – S.Sampathkumar