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Monday, March 31, 2014

Herath bamboozles while it is double dutch for England...

Have you heard of Mudassar Bukhari, 30 year old born at  Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan and Logan Verjus van Beek, 23 year old from Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand ………. and what could connect them…  When you read the next lengthy name – ‘Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath’ – you feel that the connection is Cricket.  Rangana Herath has taken 217 wickets in 51 tests and 54 wickets in 55 one dayers… not touted as a T20 player for he is a left arm spinner.

Before that 88 all out with only four boundaries and a 45-run defeat, monumental by Twenty20 terms, a shameful margin against an Associate nation – it is all happening after the early exit of Australia, now it is turn of another originator of the game……. Double Dutch’ – is a phrase meaning : Nonsense; gibberish - a language one cannot understand. There are a host of phrases in English that include the word 'Dutch'; that's hardly surprising as The Netherlands is just a few miles across the sea from England.  There are some decrying French and some Dutch – reasons, trade and war. 

In T20 WC with 2 more matches to go – one half is complete… Sri Lanka and South Africa have qualified with 3 wins each; Lanka with NRR of +2.233 tops the pool and hence South Africa will play India in the Semis on 4th; while Lanka will take on the winner of WI and Pak. 

A spot in the semi-finals of the World T20 could well be heavily weighted on the toss of a coin, stand-in captain Lasith Malinga  lost the toss and Brendon McCullum chose to bowl in the virtual quarter-final in Chittagong,  courting success to restrict Lankans to a manageable 119………… but Herath had other ideas as he ran through the Kiwis in a breathtaking spell of 3.3-2-3-5.  He snared out Brendon McCullum; struck the pads of Taylor; next ball beat and hit the leg stump of Neesham, scalped Ronchi and then Boult. NZ were all out for 60. 

Before that England reached a new low – they had been defeated by Ireland and Netherlands, but today’s  defeat at the hands of Netherlands - the second time they have lost to them in two meetings following the result in the 2009 World T20 at Lord's - in Chittagong ranks among the worst of England's defeats. It is a defeat that might also prove a fatal blow for Ashley Giles' hopes of gaining the England coaching job.  They lost to a team that were bowled out for 39 by the Lankans a few days ago.   Their colours looked similar but their performance was still lower.

Netherland in Oranje and England in REd.. !!!

Netherlands have become the only Associate team to beat a Test team twice in T20 internationals. Their first win against England was in the only other T20I these teams have played, at Lord's in the 2009 World T20. England's total in this match equalled their second lowest score in T20Is. This was a wretched performance. While Netherlands hit three boundaries in the first over of the game, England managed only four in their entire innings.

Timm van der Gugten bowled with pace and control in taking the key wicket of Eoin Morgan, taking 3  while Mudassar Bukhari's control and variations gave him another 3.  Coming back to colours, Netherlands is Oranje …. Their national football team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal (The Dutch Eleven) and Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes, although incorrectly, referred to as Holland. In football, the  Dutch hold the record for playing the most World Cup finals without ever winning the final. But in Cricket today at Bangladesh the scorecard reveals : Netherlands 133 for 5 (Barresi 48) beat England 88 (van Beek 3-9, Bukhari 3-12) by 45 runs

Backhome, Cricinfo states that Shivlal Yadav's term as the BCCI chief for all matters barring the IPL will begin on a depressingly familiar note: a court hearing in Hyderabad on April 5 in a case related to alleged embezzlement of funds during the construction of a cricket stadium. Yadav is one of 20-odd Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) officials facing various allegations, including misappropriation of funds.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

India thumps Australia ~ Ashwin in news for that 4/11 and for long-sleeves

Those days there used to be ‘benefit matches’ for retired players – in such matches and in Test innings when game meanders to draw – have seen some players mimic the action of others … have seen Sunil Gavaskar bowl like Abdul Qadir … !!!   

I have recently posted about – ‘doosra’ which would  mean "second" or "other" ~ the off-spinner's version of the googly. Britons are good speakers …. England’s off-spinner James Tredwell is yet to strike it big - but  reserved his most lethal delivery in a media session raising suspicions on the doosra.  Saqlain Mushtaq  who hit it big early, was successful but some others were reviewed and questioned on the legitimacy of their doosras – they include : Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal and Johan Botha.  Yesterday against Aussies, Ashwin turned triumphant again – how much one is scrutinized can be gauged by the fact that his wearing a ‘full-arm’ shirt against Bangladesh  is the topic of many discussions !

George Bailey won the toss ….. ‘heads or tails’ and one would simply say 50% one can be right ! ~ that takes us to ‘probabilities’  -  Probabilities are written as numbers between zero and one. A probability of one means that the event is certain. If you toss a coin, it will come up a head or a tail. So there is a probability of one that either of these will happen. A probability of zero means that an event is impossible. If you toss a coin, you cannot get both a head and a tail at the same time, so this has zero probability. So if the probability is say 4 out of 10 and you toss a coin 20 times, still you may not get even once right !! – might startle you but that is real.  For records, it was Dhoni’s first loss of toss in 12 attempts. Odds of winning 12 tosses in a row are 0.0002%

On match stats – India made  159 for 7 (Yuvraj 60) beat Australia 86 (Ashwin 4-11, Mishra 2-13) by 73 runs.  There were some die-hard fans of Yuvraj Singh who wanted him to be picked and hoped that he would score…. India gave him an extra chance dropping Dhawan, bringing in Ajinkya Rahane who simply had to be tried. Sanjay Manjrekar immediately spoke of having a pool to rotate and not drop players ! …  Yuvraj struggled initially, reaching 13 off 21 before he exploded to end up with 60 off 43 ~ then  R Ashwin's wily spin triggered a collapse and sunk Aussies who were already out of tournament. With this win, Indians  have now won six straight matches, making this their longest winning streak in T20 internationals. R Ashwin's figures of 4 for 11 are the best figures by an India bowler in T20 internationals, beating Harbhajan Singh's 4 for 12 against England in the last World T20.

Have also posted on ‘lightning stumps’ – yesterday there was some confusion when MS Dhoni ran Mitchell Starc out-  the stump went ablaze even before he had removed the bail. There was obviously doubt over whether the wicket had been broken even before Dhoni collected the ball. 

Replays showed his arm had come in contact with the stumps before he could collect the ball, but the stumps lit up even though the bail stood its ground. Earlier, Dhoni stood up to Mohit Sharma who bowled Shane Watson – even as the bail came off, Dhoni gesticulated something to the leg umpire…… it was revealed that Dhoni doubted the ball might have hit his pad before ricocheting onto the stumps, the replays showed the ball kissed the top of off before hitting Dhoni, and Watson was on his way out !!

photo credit :

Whether bowling ‘doosra’ or not, Offies’ actions are under scanner.  Ravichandran Ashwin bowls flicked carrom ball to doosra ~ still he was in news for wearing long sleeves in the match against Bangladesh.  Ashwin reportedly defended his action as an experiment, saying he did not want to "lag behind" bowlers who derived more advantage from long sleeves that allowed them to use their elbows a little more.  In an earlier match, Ash had experimented with a totally different action, akin to Sunil Narine's ~ certainly not common for a star bowler to try and change his style !! .

Ashwin is not athletic, neither a brilliant fielder – still stands slips, drops some, catches some.  May not look a fitness-freak, still is  the fastest Indian to 100 Test wickets, and the fifth-fastest overall. His batting also might lack big hits – still he hits sixers and has scored centuries in Tests.  ~ and in bitter cold, when everyone wears a sweater, Ashwin has bowled in half-sleeves …….  So his wearing full-armed shirt being stated as trying to cover his elbow flexing does not have much punch…..  

it is natural to bowl in half-sleeves but still… Ashwin need not be equated with Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels  who regularly wear full sleeves. Samuel’s faster one is much dreaded…. 

In recent form, Ashwin was  dropped for the last three Tests India had played, in Durban, Auckland and Wellington.  Lack of wickets and tougher times perhaps has driven Ashwin to innovate and try out too many things – change his action, bowl in full sleeves and more.  

Against Bangladesh he was the MoM and yesterday, he beat Yuvraj to become the Player of the match again

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

photo credit : youtube

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Anand wins World Candidates .. set to challenge Magnus Carlsen again..

This photo of Anand receiving award did not make us happy – as he lost the challenge ……
Photo credits : //

Anand is back……….  Chennai,  the homeland did not prove to the happy hunting ground  for our beloved – Vishwanathan Anand – as he was dethroned by the challenger -  Magnus Carlsen of Norway—nicknamed the "Mozart of Chess"…. Now the happy news is that Anand has won Candidates earning the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen…. Rolls reversed !

The Irtysh River flows  in Siberia and Kazakhstan and is the chief tributary of the Ob River. On its banks, is located - Khanty-Mansiysk , an oil boom town in Russia, with its inhabitants known as ‘Ob-urgic’ people, based on their langue, which constitutes a language family of some three dozen languages  mostly by  native speakers of  Hungarian, Finnish, and Estonian……… and we are reading about this because of the Candidates match being held there.

The World Chess Championship 2014 will be a match between the current world champion, Magnus Carlsenand challenger Viswanathan Anand, to determine the 2014 World Chess Champion. It will be held from 5 November to 25 November 2014, under the auspices of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).[2] Both players appeared in the 2013 Championship.  Amid mounting tension, Viswanathan Anand’s defensive skills came to the fore and foiled 24-year-old Russian Sergey Karjakin’s desperate bid for victory. After six hours, the eventual draw gave Anand the title with a round to spare in the World Candidates chess tournament at Khanty Mansisyk, Russia, on Saturday.

The Candidates Tournament is a chess tournament organized by the world chess federation FIDE since 1950, as the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship. The winner of the Candidates earns the right to a match for the World Championship against the incumbent World Champion.  In the early history, it was contested as a triennial tournament, but after the split of the World Championship in the early 1990s, followed with the changes in the determination of the World Champion Challenger, the tournament is held only periodically.

The 91-move draw with black pieces took Anand’s tally to eight points from 13 rounds and put him 1.5 points clear of a five-man pack in the second spot. Wishing Anand to beat Carlsen and become the World Champion again soon…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Mar 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

IPL show is on; CSK & RR will play too ... something on BCCI Presidents

Those genuine lovers cannot remain without watching the game … such is the love for the game that as Neville Cardus wrote – you travel in a train, see a bowler in his run-up, have your eyes fixed – though, you know very well aware  that what happened to that delivery – whether was hit for a six or got a wicket – who the bowler or batsman was – would never be know… still you see and enjoy….. that very game is now being dragged through the mud with Qs on integrity of everyone involved.   Whatever it is, IPL will happen and crowds will throng to the stadium…..

The good news for lovers is that – IPL will go on as scheduled ~ Sunil Gavaskar will take charge of BCCI for the duration of the IPL, as directed by Apex Court. "Any Vice-president of the BCCI can take over after the IPL is over," the SC added. "Gavaskar will not be allowed to do commentary during the IPL but he will be compensated." SC refused to pass any order for allowing N Srinivasan to participate in activities of ICC. For non-IPL BCCI affairs, Shivlal Yadav will take charge. The Supreme Court has also said it won't stop any player from playing in IPL. All the IPL teams will continue to play in the tournament. So a reprieve for Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. As interim president of BCCI, Gavaskar will exercise all powers concerning IPL, said the SC.

The present imbroglio is the outcome of a legal battle between the BCCI and the Cricket Association of Bihar, which is not a member of BCCI…. The man arguing their brief is the son of Ex-BCCI President. To recap some legal background last year in May, IPL governing council appointed a three-member commission to investigate the alleged corruption in the IPL; Bihar Association filed petition before Bombay High Court raising issues of conflict of interest.  Panel found nothing wrong and Court called the probe panel illegal.  The matter escalated to the Highest Civilian Court of India.   As appointed by Court,  retired judge Mukul Mudgal became the Head of the probe panel.   The Committee on match fixing, concluded there was not enough evidence to exonerate or condemn Meiyappan and so recommended further investigation. The Committee  deviated from its brief  and submitted a list of six names, including at least one current India player, that came up in the course of its investigations. The committee sealed the names because no investigation of the players has taken place but it felt duty bound to report them to the court because they had come in the course of other investigations.

Now the Supreme Court has directed the BCCI some ….. here is some stray thoughts… the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India is the highest post at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which runs Cricket in India.  Though the Board runs the game, it is not representative of the Indian Govt or perhaps the  people too, and is registered under Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.  The Post of the President of BCCI is an honorary one – over the years high and mighty have been its incumbents.  The post is rotated zone-wise across India and a person can hold the post of BCCI president for a maximum of three years.

There have been many prominent names and the ones from Chennai, I can recall are : P Subbarayan; MA Chidambaram; S Sriraman; AC Muthiah and N Srinivasan himself.

R.E. Grant Govan, (Raymond Grant Govan) a Delhi based British industrialist, a Pilot was the first President in 1928.  The next to hold the post was Khan Bahadur Capt. Sardar Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, politician and statesman from the Punjab. He was a prominent scion of the Khattar tribe of Attock, North Punjab

The 5th in line was Paramasiva Subbarayan, the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency, India's ambassador to Indonesia and Union Minister of Transport and Communications in Jawaharlal Nehru's government. He is the father of General P. P. Kumaramangalam who served as India's Chief of Army staff.

The 11th to hold Office between 1960-63 was ‘Muttaiya Annamalai Chidambaram’ an industrialist after whom the Chepauk stadium is named. His Companies include - Automobile Products of India and Indian Aluminium. He was instrumental in founding the Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) and served as the chairman till his death. He was the Mayor of Madras in 1955. He also started the Tamil Isai Sangam to promote music in Tamil.  His son AC Muthiah also held the post for a tenure.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2014.

UN Resolution against Sri Lanka - India abstains from voting..

Alex Hales hit a sensational unbeaten hundred as England pulled off a dramatic six-wicket win over Sri Lanka to throw open the Group I for semifinals places in the ICC World Twenty20, in Chittagong on Thursday. Chasing a huge 190-run target, England rode on Hales’ magnificent maiden T20 hundred to overhaul the target with four balls to spare after losing two wickets for no score in the first over. Members of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile launch as a violation of U.N. resolutions and will continue discussions on an "appropriate response", the council president said.

This post is about Sri Lanka, but certainly not Cricket …… the International reaction was too varied … while Australia voiced its opposition to an international investigation, David Cameron welcomed the move.  It is all about the UN Resolution on Sri Lanka. The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Thursday to launch an independent investigation into alleged atrocities in Sri Lanka, despite fierce opposition and allegations of bias from Sri Lankan officials. Australia is not one of the 47 voting members of the council but could have co-sponsored the resolution if it backed the inquiry.

Twenty-three countries voted for the bill and 12 against and there were 12 abstentions ~ and India is part of the last 12 !!!. A United Nations resolution (UN resolution) is a formal text adopted by a United Nations (UN) body. Although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice most resolutions are issued by the Security Council or the General Assembly.   Overriding fierce objections from Sri Lanka, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to open an international investigation into possible war crimes by both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the final stages of a 26-year civil war thatended in 2009. The high commissioner, Navi Pillay, had urged the creation of an independent inquiry on the grounds that the Sri Lankan authorities had made little progress in investigating possible war crimes during the military operations that crushed the Tamil Tigers’ brutal rebellion to establish a homeland five years ago. That lack of progress, Ms. Pillay added pointedly in a report to the council in February, is “fundamentally a question of political will.” Sri Lankan investigations of the military’s actions lack independence and credibility, she added.

The present vote is to be seen as the culmination of years of mounting international pressure for a credible investigation. Two months after the war ended, the Human Rights Council passed a resolution commending Sri Lanka’s actions in ending it. Thursday’s vote came after Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the council, Ravinatha Aryasinha, protested that the resolution represented “a grave threat to the sovereignty of U.N. member states” and breached international law. Ambassador Zamir Akram of Pakistan said, “This resolution is about politics, not about human rights.” In this background comes the news that India, which had supported tamer resolutions on Sri Lanka’s war in the last two years, backed both proposals, but abstained from the vote on Thursday, saying it was concerned about the creation of an external investigation with an open-ended mandate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the decision of the UNHRC to initiate its own independent investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. "This is a victory for the people of Sri Lanka who need to know the truth about what happened during those terrible years of the civil war so that they can move forward," he said in a statement.  While the U.S.-sponsored resolution was passed with 23 votes in favour, the immediate neighbour where people have been speaking on this for long – decided to abstain ! evoking mixed response in Sri Lanka.  The resolution itself may not have made everyone in Colombo as happy, but in terms of India’s decision, it did bring some cheer to politicians and rulers of Lanka. In what could be a major boost for Sri Lanka, Russia, India, China and South Africa decided not to support the US-backed United Nations human rights resolution against the island nation. Russia and China have voted against the motion while South Africa and India have abstained.

Looking at it, India has vascillated from supporting Sri Lanka, to voting against it in the last two Human Rights council sessions and now abstaining from voting ! India while defending its decision to abstain argued against the “intrusive” nature of the resolution, said it was concerned that the resolution had the potential to hinder the efforts of the country rather than contribute constructively to its efforts, and “inadvertently complicate the situation.”

One good reason for the Indian decision could be the condition internally – there could be a world of difference in what Delhi perceives as against what those in Tamilnadu do.. UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay recommended authorizing an investigation – India’s move may gain some geo-political mileage.  India’s only domestic worry about the UNHRC vote has been the backlash from Tamil Nadu. On both the occasions in the past, when US-led resolutions were passed against the island nation, India voted in its favour for fear of a backlash from Tamil Nadu after being publicly indecisive till the last minute. Tamil Nadu witnessed widespread protests and rallies demanding India to vote in favour of the resolution. All the political parties in the state wanted India to support the resolution, with the Tamil Nadu assembly even unanimously asking for it.

Now the elections have provided a newer perspective – Congress perhaps has nothing to gain, DMK is no longer constituent of UPA.  Congress for the first time is threatened to be no serious contender with some of its frontline leaders refusing to contest the elections. So, a decision of abstention on Lankan vote does no damage to them.  New  Delhi has been concerned by its curtailed geopolitical leverage with Sri Lanka, with the island nation apparently favouring China over India. so now some political parties would attack as Congress not caring for the  sentiments of tamils now and in the past too.

There is further news that elated by response at UN,  Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody for poaching.  Narendra Rajapaksa, the fisheries ministry spokesman is quoted as saying  that at least 98 Indian fishermen are under Sri Lankan custody for violating the IMBL. 
Before the ink dries, comes the news that Union Minister P Chidambaram said, "Personally, I feel India should have supported the resolution." He is quoted as saying that there was no unanimity among the parties in Tamil Nadu on the resolution and the ruling Congress party took a neutral stand of abstaining ! ~ will it have any impact in the elections in Tamil Nadu remains to be seen

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Mar 2014.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

BCCI & Indian Cricket at Cross roads - Supreme Court proposes Sunil Gavaskar and ...

India play Bangladesh tomorrow and with a win is assured of a Semis berth in T20 WC ~ back home, there is turmoil – for BCCI, its President, IPL and Cricket itself is at the cross roads. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headquartered at Mumbai, is the national governing body for all cricket in India. The board was formed in December 1928; BCCI is a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. As a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has the authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international events and exercises total control over them.

BCCI has a long and chequered history …. dating back to Mughals disintegration, when a British ship dropped anchor off the coast of Kutch in western India. The recreational activities the sailors indulged in on the coast elicited curious reactions from onlookers.  They perhaps brought cricket to India.  Calcutta Cricket Club was established in 1792.  Ten years after its inception, the CCC organized a match between its team and the Old Etonians. The Parsis were the first Indian civilian community to take to cricket. They set up the Oriental Cricket Club in Mumbai in 1848. 1911 witnessed the first-ever tour of England by an 'All-India' team. Sponsored and captained by the Maharaja of Patiala, the team featured the best cricketers of the time.  India got Test status in 1932 and played its inaugural Test at Lords in 1932, captained by Col CK Nayudu.  ~ Cricket which has developed at a very rapid pace, is now at crossroads…… !!!

In a big setback to BCCI president N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court today  proposed his replacement by Sunil Gavaskar and suspension of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL 7 till the pendency of case of betting and spot fixing scandal before it. The court said it is intending to bar CSK, owned by India Cements, which is promoted by Srinivasan, and RR, whose players and team officials are allegedly involved in the scandal, from participating in the IPL 7 tournament slated to begin from April 16. A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik proposed the name of veteran cricketer and commentator Sunil Gavaskar to head the Board during the pendency of the case in the apex court. "(Being recommended for post of BCCI chief) Probably the greatest honor I have received. They will take a call," Sunil Gavaskar was quoted as saying by ANI News. He also said that nobody from the BCCI had contacted him as of now.

In seemingly a rattled response,  India's media manager Dr RN Baba issued a gag order on the media, stating that questions will be entertained "only on ICC World Twenty20". Once Dr Baba came into the press conference arena with Rohit Sharma as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni again stayed away, he first announced that questions should only be based on "India team and the World Twenty20". However, Dr Baba later clarified that Dhoni "will from now on be available if India loses any match or else the man of the match will be coming to attend the customary press meets."

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjurycharge and a charge of abuse of power, failed in the House. He was acquitted of both charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding. Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the legislature that allows for formal charges against a civil officer of government for crimes committed in office. Impeachment is analogous to indictment in regular court proceedings. 

This time last year MS Dhoni had a series of question marks against him through his involvement with India Cements; but the great win in  Champions Trophy extinguished them all… now there is pressure on Dhoni too, on the front that Dhoni had not revealed things about CSK and it  Guruanth Meiyappan, who used team information for illegal betting. The Supreme Court has proposed sweeping changes to the BCCI, including replacing N Srinivasan as the board's chief with Sunil Gavaskar or a "seasoned or respected cricketer" and suspending Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL; the board has been asked to reply to the proposals on Friday, after which the court will issue an interim order. The court also proposed that employees of India Cements, of which Srinivasan is managing director and which owns Super Kings, should be kept out of the BCCI set-up.

Counsel for Cricket Association of Bihar - whose petition in 2013 had led to this hearing - Harish Salve's arguments took up most of the session, with him recommending termination of the Super Kings and Royals franchises. Salve said that in denying any knowledge of Gurunath's role in Super Kings, "the Indian cricket captain has been indulging in corrupt conduct". Interestingly, Harish Salve’s father NKP Salve was a BCCI president in the 1980s. The present occurrence is seen as an unprecedented approach by the Apex Court  to salvaging the cricket establishment in India; and the cleanse promises to unearth much of the rot so far well-hidden under the spanking carpet.

The present occurrences cast a shadow on the IPL 7 itself ~ and there would be no interesting IPL without CsK & RR…
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Mar 2014.

the interesting world of Fish - Arowana

Dear (s)

Inidentally, saw a big fat somewhat ugly looking fish displayed in a big tank in a friend's place this morning.  Have seen this fish few years back.  Here is some info. on this.  For the Chinese and those of related cultures, the dragon is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In the eyes of the Chinese, the dragon fish has the appearance and majesty of the Chinese Dragon.  arowanas are considered "lucky" fish by many people.

This is catching on in Asia (read India) This reputation derives from the species' resemblance to the Chinese dragon, considered an auspicious symbol. belief is that the fish can ward off evil spirits if kept in the home.  This owner, being a businessman told me that business deals would be done before this tank and the fish would rightly (!!) indicate the genuiness of the person with whom the owner is making the deal.   The price tag (all important) is stated to be over Rs.1 lac (depending on the size & ............)

Some varieties can grow up to Four feet long (120cm). They can be feisty, though become tamer with age to the point of eating from your fingers, and not the fingers themselves. The Arowana Fish comes from somewhat primitive origins (Jurassic Age), and some varieties are nicknamed “Bony Tongued Fish”.  Arowana fish are carnivores, though will generally eat nearly anything. Young Arowana Fish may be fed frozen or live brine shrimp, black worms, and even small fish. When older, some larger fish will do. Baby Arowana Fish should be fed maybe 3 times a day, medium sized twice a day, and adults once a day, or even once every other day. Variety is important for a well balanced diet in Arowana Fish just like for most other fish.

Generally, a good healthy Arowana Fish will grow to be at least 24 to 30 inches (60-75cm). Some varieties can become 48 inches (120 cm) in the wild. They may be aggressive (definitely not good community fish), and Arowana fish can sometimes be best kept alone in an aquarium. Remember that other smaller fish in the tank may become their dinner.

Arowana fish will often swim in the top of the aquarium, and are capable of jumping from the aquarium. Keep the aquarium well covered to avoid coming home to a dead pet. Silver Arowana Fish in the wild have been known to jump at insects in trees.  Arowana Fish may live for many years, and if well cared for Arowana fish may live longer than 20 years in captivity. If you keep the aquarium temperature towards the lower end, they may look young and live  longer than they would in a higher temperature…

With Regards,

S. Sampathkumar
PS : circulated to my group on 12th Sept 2006 and posted on my blog

Dr Conrad Murray found guilty in MJ death but may not be imprisoned ?

In US the rate of incarceration is very high as compared to other Nations. Logically, one’s punishment is proportion to the crime and an accused is likely to be sent to prison for a term as merited by his misdeed.
Or so, one thought, but curiously in USA, it is stated that in a much publicized case, that the offender might be in jail for a much shorter duration – and the reason ? – no nothing to do with himself or with the judgment or anything else…  it is because of the crimes committed by others.  It is stated that the % of offenders who are to be jailed is so high, that there is serious thinking of keeping lesser criminals for shorter durations !
Strange are the ways of people; strange and mysterious is everything associated with the pop star – Michael Jackson.  Perhaps very little of what was made public is correct or true as far as Jackson is concerned !  Michael Joseph Jackson  or MJ was considered as King of Pop, most successful entertainer of all times – a cult figure in the World of Music, dance and entertainment.   From his birth in 1958 as the 7th child of Jackson family till his death on 25th June 2009, lot was shrouded with mystery.  When he died, his doctor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The much followed high profile case of ‘People of the State of California v. Conrad Robert Murray’  is the trial of of Michael Jackson's personal physician Conrad Murray who was charged with involuntary manslaughter of the pop singer.  After a total deliberation time of eight hours and fifteen minutes, on Nov 7, 2011,  a guilty verdict was announced  stating Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter.  A charge on which he might receive maximum of 4 year jail sentence for killing the singer with a fatal dose of proipofol.
But reports suggest that the Doctor could walk free within months even if he receives the maximum four-year jail sentence.  According to sources, the disgraced doctor, who could even serve his time under house arrest wearing an electronic tag.  It could be recalled that in June 2009, Jackson died while in his bed at his rented mansion at  100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by Conrad Murray, his personal physician, were unsuccessful.  Legal analysts said the three-year prison sentence seen as the most likely punishment for Murray might amount to less than six months behind bars.  A sentence on  house arrest or other possible alternatives to prison are also not ruled out.  
It is not due to the capacity of the offender nor the extent of the crime but due to the new guidelines on overcrowding !  - it is suggested that under the new guidelines,  non-violent criminals must be sent to local jails rather than tough state prisons.  The new state prison alignment law  allows early release for people convicted of non-violent felonies.
The finding of the Los Angeles Jury that Conrad Murray was guilty of killing MJ was received with euphoria.   The Doctor has been found guilty and has lost the right ever to practise medicine again.  Possibly most damning for Murray was the fact that he failed to call 911 for 20 minutes, or possibly longer, after Jackson stopped breathing. But after the verdict, the Doctor has received solace from the new California law designed to alleviate overcrowding in State’s prisons.  The new law sends low-risk inmates to county jails, and officials running Los Angeles county jails have been releasing prisoners early due to a lack of space.
Over there, there has been much debate over the privatization of prisons. Both publicly provided and publicly financed prisons operate under the supervision of the Department of Corrections that exists at the state and federal level. The concern is that the bureau will not operate at the efficient budget, or where the public’s marginal demand for prison services meets the least marginal cost of operations.
So, the Court has convicted Conrad Murray but he would still remain free and spend his time away from the prison cell. Strange are the ways of life where the crimes of other offenders determine the punishment of another offender. !!

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
Nov.10, 2011.... made now posted.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Women's World Cup too... is underway...

Tico is a colloquial term for a native of Costa Rica. Costa Ricans are usually called ticos –  the feminine is tica and plural is ‘ticos; ticas’…….Costa Rica (meaning "rich coast" in Spanish), is  a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  It is in news ….but before that something on our neighbour…

Sylhet, also known as Jalalabad; is one of the richest cities of Bangladesh. It is the principal city and administrative capital of Sylhet Division. The city is located on the banks of Surma River in the Surma Valley.  Every year, Sylhet receives hundreds and thousands of pilgrims to the Dargahs of Shah Jalal and Shah Paran. Sylhet is also famed for its natural setting, amidst rainforests, waterfalls, hills and river valleys. Sylhet is a hub of the tea but derives more money from its people who have emigrated abroad over the years, especially to Britain.  Sylhet is also a center of the Bangladeshi oil and gas sector, with the country’s largest natural gas reserves located in Sylhet Division.

Not many are watching or following -  the T20 World Cup for women concurrently being held at Bangladesh alongside the Men’s version.  In a recent match, India chasing 129 set by Srilankan women made 106/9, losing the match by 22 runs.  The ICC Women's World Twenty20 for women runs parallel to the men's ICC World Twenty20. The event  organized by International Cricket Council has eight teams, the top six teams of the ICC Women's T20 rankings and the rest two determined by a qualification process. The tournament was first held in 2009, when hosts England won the tournament; followed by West Indies hosting the event in 2010, and Sri Lanka in 2012.  The 2014 version is held in Bangladesh and in 2016, it would happen in India
Mithali Raj  tosses - Sasikala Siriwardene and David Boon looks on 

Not many would know that the Women’s World Cup (ODI format) was first held in 1973 in England, a good two years before the inaugural Men’s Prudential World Cup, won by Clive Lloyd’s West Indies.  In the first version of Women  Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Young England  appeared.  The most recent tournament, the 2013 Women's Cricket World Cup, was held in India and in the finals, Australia beat West Indies by 114 runs at the Brabourne Stadium.

Away in Costa Rica, the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, the 4th edition of the youth association football tournament for women under the age of 17 is underway.  The tourney was to conclude on 4th Apr 2014 but has been re-scheduled a day in advance due to government elections there.   The first round of the 2014 Under-17 Women’s World Cup concluded  recently ~ the host country will not be marching on after Italy eliminated the Ticas last Tuesday. The eight remaining teams will battle for a spot in the semifinals  - those in fray are : Canada, Venezuela; Italy, Ghana; Mexico, Japan; Spain, Nigeria

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

26th Mar 2014.

Insurers directed to pay compensation to injured worker - GPA Vs WC

In common law legal systems, a contract is an agreement having a lawful object entered into voluntarily by two or more parties, each of whom intends to create one or more legal obligations between them. The elements of a contract are "offer" and "acceptance" by "competent persons" having legal capacity who exchange "consideration" to create "mutuality of obligation.

Insurance Policy is a contract – a written one at that, between the Insurer and the Insured – whereby the Insurer upon payment of premium agrees to indemnify the policy holder in respect of loss or damage arising out of insured perils.  The insuring terms are of utmost significance as the policy is subject to terms, conditions, exceptions, exclusions and more, clearly stated in the pOlicy. For getting indemnity under the Policy, loss or damage should occur, that should cause monetary loss; the policy should be prejudiced by such loss & should have insurable interest over the subject matter – such loss should be caused by a peril insured against, further subjected to insuring terms and conditions.

One of the many policies is ‘Group Personal Accident Insurance’. – where the Insured covers ‘a named or specified group’ of persons against accidental bodily injury sustained by the insured person(s) during the policy period.  The Policy generally has difference table of benefits, ranging from Basic cover of death only to wider cover of death; permanent total disability & permanent partial disability to comprehensive cover of death + PTD + PPD + temporary total disability ~ which is a weekly benefit, subject to caps.

While GPA policy would provide compensation only for expenses arising out of accidental injuries, a Group Mediclaim policy would provide compensation in respect of hospitalization expenses for treatment of illness also.

There is another – Employees Compensation [Workmen Compensation earlier] – is based on the Act which provides for payment of compensation by the employer to his employees (or their dependents in the event of fatal accidents) in respect of personal injury due to accidents arising out of and in the course of their employment. The Insurance covers such liability of the employer.  Sec 3 of the WC Act 1923 reads “ If personal injury is caused to a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with provision of this Chapter”. The section talks of : personal injury, accident, employment and compensation.

Here is a newsitem that appeared in Times of India Chennai edition titled ‘ Insurance firm to pay compensation to injured worker’ (reproduced below in Arial font Blue colour)….. Chennai: Brushing aside technical objections raised by an insurance company, the Madras high court has asked it to pay compensation to a worker injured while on duty.

In 2005, D Sivasankar, a helper earning a monthly salary of 3,650/- was shifting a granite stone weighing 50kg when he lost balance. The stone fell on his hand, injuring him grievously. He was administered 17 stitches at a private hospital and later shifted to a government hospital. Claiming he suffered a permanent disability of 15% and lost 17% of his earning capacity, he sought compensation.

The owner of the firm said the “injuries were superficial” and Sivasankar had not produced any documents to prove loss in his employment opportunities. Further, he was covered by a group insurance policy of Oriental Insurance. Sivasankar filed an insurance claim, but Oriental rejected it. Sivasankar filed a complaint before the commissioner for workmen’s compensation seeking a compensation of 1.5 lakh. Partly allowing the claim, the deputy commissioner of labour directed the insurance company to pay 53,394/-  to Sivasankar within 30 days.

Oriental Insurance moved the high court, saying since it was a group personal accident policy, it did not cover a claim under the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Unless the policy specifically covered a claim under the Workmen’s Compensation act, no direction could be issued for making the payment, it said. Counsel for Sivasankar said as the insurance policy was valid at the time of injury, there was no illegality in the order.

In a recent order, Justice R Mahadevan said an insurer could be directed to pay compensation even if it was not covered under the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act. As Sivasankar was injured during employment, he was correct in approaching the commissioner. “The concept of insurance is to indemnify the insured against the claims,” said the court.

It would inappropriate to understand and comment based on newspaper report alone….. but – GPA policy is governed by its terms and conditions and is no substitute for a WC (Employers liability) insurance.  While the person had every right to file for compensation before the WC commissioner, in respect of an injury sustained at a work place (occurring during and in course of employment), the Insurers would be liable only when there existed a policy covering WC liability taken out by the employer.  A GPA policy would provide compensation, provided the injured was an insured person and was eligible for compensation under the table of benefits opted for.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Mar 2014.

Lendl Simmons makes 'diamond duck' ... will BCCI President resign ?

A simple Q – how many ways can a batsman get out without facing a ball [on record !] ….the first possibility is getting ‘run-out’ before facing a ball… then the way Lendl Simmons got out yesterday – stumped off a wide ball – the delivery would not count and scored card would read : Lendl Simmons out stumped 0(0)…………. You will see the illumination – and batsman clearly out of frame …

Before his entry and exit without troubling the scorers, much was expected from the tall man – a man who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect causing a cardiac dysrhythmia.  He is truly an International – having represented - Jamaica, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Thunder, Dhaka Gladiators, Worcestershire, Western Warriors, Barisal Burners and the Kolkata Knight Riders ; and was also selected fro Uva Next for the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League.  No prize for guessing it is Christopher Henry Gayle, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, whom Indian fans have seen much – of the many remember that carnage in May 2012  at Ferozeshah Kotla  where he hit one 110m and made 128 off mere 62  balls with 13 sixers….. everytime he walks in crowds expect the ball to be hit near them, irrespective of how farther they are sitting. 

Yesterday he looked very unconvincing – as Dwayne Smith changed gears after a slow start – the target of 171 was way beyond the hosts is a different story ! – as Badree, Sunil Narine and Krishmar Santokie - a left-arm seamer !  sent them crashing.  After Smith’s dismissal in 12th over, Lendl Simmons walked in – was beaten by the wide spin of Shakib Al Hasan and even as the ball nested in keeper’s gloves, he sort of wandered away, to be stumped for a ‘diamond duck’ – duck without facing a legal delivery … he is the 3rd in T20 internationals – other two being his friends, countrymen -  Kieron Pollard and Narsingh Deonarine.

Chris Gayle is the king of Twenty20 and his very presence is intimidating -  he is one of only four players who have scored two triple centuries at Test level: 317 against South Africa in 2005, and 333 against Sri Lanka in 2010 – yet touted as T20 specialist – a six hitter at will. Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, he scored a 30-ball century, the fastest across any format, that became the highest individual T20 score (175). At  Shere Bangla Stadium – he nudged and stood uncomfortably and till 46 balls was scoring less than deliveries – eventually he got out for 48 off 48. Tamim Iqbal took a well judged catch – juggling it, throwing it on air, getting back inside and taking it.  Like Dhoni taking matches to the last delivery, sometimes Gayle leaves the opposition more anxious on when he would start hitting big…. Many a times, he has been successful – but that is a huge risk and that magnified risk did not work yesterday.  When Bangla chased, Denesh Ramdin pulled off a sharp stumping, standing up to a seamer. Mominul Haque missed one going across him from Krishmar Santokie, but later Lendl Simmons kept wickets. 

Getting back – spectators get nervy – as Indians would vouch for when Suresh Raina made that winning run against WI.  That day, Yuvraj had walked in with 23 needed off 32, consumed 19 of those for his 10 runs and had fallen dabbing a turner straight to slip. In the last over with just a solitary run required – he fended two and was out to the third ball !   against Pakistan, he missed a full delivery and was bowled second ball. In both matches, he put down what could have been costly misses - Chris Gayle and Mohammad Hafeez - but India created and converted more chances soon after. His solitary over in the tournament so far went for 13. that is a matter of serious concern for Team India – Dhoni is doing the right thing by backing the senior player  who aims to play only T20 these days …. Sure, he would get another chance against Bangladesh this Friday – but continuing him against Australia might be dicey, especially, if he were to fail again. 

~ and ….. somewhere in the coming hours, N Srinivasan is  most likely to resign as the BCCI president. That is the feeling among BCCI officials, who say his decision will be influenced by the possible alternative: the Supreme Court appointing an administrator of its own choice to run the board.  The name doing circles is the former Offie – Shivlal Yadav – whether stepping down is to control remains to be seen.  Reports suggest that the two judges, Justices AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla, delivered blunt observations while hearing arguments in a special leave petition probing corruption in the 2013 IPL. The SLP was filed by Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar, a body the BCCI said it does not recognise.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Mar 2014.