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Friday, November 28, 2014

some Cricketing injuries - Sandip Patil ear and Stuart Broad nose .. helmet !!

It will take dedication, time and patience to get a six pack.  The aspirant needs to do  two things: lose fat and build muscle.  Dieting and exercising are both important.   In the film ‘Vedi’ directed by Prabhu Deva featuring Vishal and Sameera Reddy in the lead roles – comedian Vivek will show-off as a muscular man.  He will use air balloons inserted under this dress to make appear muscular.  Once in a park, children will pull out the balloons – then Vivek will fill fresh balloons with helium gas – -  and would go up in the air ! .

Phil Hughes is no more – felled by a bouncer not to regain conscious at all. There is much talk about the helmet, the type worn – and whether something else could have saved him.  Once former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. McGain said that he heard the technology and  liked the idea that it was safer- inviting comments that it resembled ‘Robocap’. Helmet safety  is of importance throughout.  There are some reports that Masuri, the manufacturers  have said that Hughes's accident was unusual and nothing on the market now would likely have prevented it.

A number of players, including West Indies batting great Brian Lara, say the incident was a rare but unavoidable reminder that the game is a dangerous one. Others say that more could be done in a sport that became popular thanks to English aristocrats in the 17th century but only introduced helmets, without enforcement, in the 1970s. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the British Standards Institution (BCI) agreed new helmet safety guidelines a year ago, the first revision of the code in 15 years.

The list of injured is too long – from Anshuman Gaekwad, Mohinder, Ewan Chatfield, Rick Darling to Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson of recent times – many when wearing a helmet.  Sandip Patil made his debut at Chepauk in that Pongal test in 1979 against Pakis –  even before his first International debut, there was craze and we anxiously supported him – he made a little contribution in that innings but best remembered for that tour of Australia in 1981.  In the Test at Sydney he was struck by Len Pascoe and left bleeding in the ear.  One version of Pascoe puts that he was wearing a proper helmet and collapsed on the blow.  But a report in the Hindu reports that he was hit by Rodney Hogg on the neck.  He retired for tea at 65. During the tea break, the legendary Gary Sobers chided Patil for wearing helmet. “You are batting so well, why do you need the helmet, Sir Gary told me.” Flattered by Sobers’s praise, Patil discarded the helmet, wore a floppy hat, and soon came to grief, hit by Len Pascoe.  Pascoe reportedly visited him in the hospital.  Patil, asked to bat in the second innings by skipper Sunil Gavaskar, was greeted by a bouncer from Dennis Lillee. Two weeks later, with a helmet on, Patil hit a spectacular 174 in the Adelaide Test.

In the recent Investec Test Series at Old Trafford, Stuart Broad retired hurt after a rare injury.  A rising delivery from Varun Aaron went straight through the grille of Broad's helmet and hit him on the bridge of the nose, immediately drawing blood. The incident occurred in the first over of the afternoon session of the third day of the match. England had resumed on 325 for eight - a lead of 173 - and Broad had immediately set about accelerating progress by hooking Aaron for successive sixes. India lost the match despite Broad being  not available and Jimmy Anderson unwell. Broad was unavailable to collect his man of the match award for his first-innings figures of six for 25. He messaged that he was viewing the proceedings rom the hospital bed.    It was a nasty blow, fracturing nose through the grill of the helmet.

Broad was wearing the AdiPower PremierTek helmet made by Ayrtek Cricket, which stands out for its ‘unusual’ design. The Ayrtek helmets have made their name over the years for their Air Cushioning Impact System (A.C.I.S.) and odd shape. Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Carberry and Stuart Broad are some cricketers who have preferred the Ayrtek model over the more conventional one.  Its manufacturers had explained that  a 90-degree angle is going to cause flexion of the peak and hence made an odd shape. 

The delivery from Aaron remained lodged inside the helmet, along with Broad’s bloodied features. The ball sneaked through the side of the helmet, ricocheted off the peak and hit Broad in the face. Rahul Dravid, while commenting Cricinfo, mentioned how Broad’s helmet lacked that ‘extra grille’ which other modern helmets have.  In this type of helmet, when a ball hits this new kind of helmet, it is deflected. The force of the impact is diffused, just as the air rushes past the head of the helmeted cyclist.

Its other main feature is that the wearer pumps it with air just before going in to bat, pushing a rubber button about fifteen times to inflate it so that the helmet fits the head exactly. The helmet would stay in its place when hit.  Helmet is a requirement not only when playing against fast bowlers – against spinners too, when players sweep, reverse sweep or a top edge of a bat could hurt badly. 

But whether such modern gadgets are available and are used by lesser fortunate batsman playing in local matches remains a moot Q ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Nov. 2014.

#RIP Phil Hughes ............. some Qs on the accident !

The batsman, from Macksville, New South Wales, never recovered after a ball delivered by Abbott struck him in the back of the head while he was playing first-class cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday afternoon.    He  was born on November 30, 1988, the son of Greg and Virginia. His first international innings was over in a few balls, his pet cut shot drawing an edge behind. It may not happen in many countries but it occurred to Hughes – in his last Test in July against England (2nd test of the the series) he scored 1 & 1 and prior to that he had made unbeaten 81 in the  first test at Trent Bridge – he was dropped not for the first time (but for the last time now !!)  

An air ambulance helicopter landed on the outfield and doctors performed CPR on the field after Hughes was stretchered from the pitch and shrouded by screens. He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst  - and sadly, Phil Hughes, only 25 is dead ! Players, coaches and other friends had been in and out of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney throughout Wednesday and Thursday, visiting Hughes and supporting his family, and each other.  The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy.   Irrespective of his talent, or chances to stage a comeback it is cruel fate befalling on a person just shy of his 26th birthday.  Hughes played 26 Tests for Australia and scored three centuries, and he appeared a strong chance to win a recall for next week's first Test against India at the Gabba, with Clarke expected to be ruled out due to injury.

Doctors who treated Phillip Hughes say there had only been 100 cases of vertebral artery dissection. St Vincent's Hospital Head of Trauma Tony Grabs said he had never encountered the condition before.  The ball hit Hughes on the side of his neck at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday and compressed his verbal artery which carries blood to the brain. It caused the artery to split and led to a 'massive bleed' in the brain, which Dr Brukner said was 'frequently fatal'. Doctors told reporters on Thursday only a hundred cases of vertebral artery dissection had ever been reported.  They stated that Hughes was resuscitated with the help of Cricket NSW doctor John Orchid and Newcastle intensive care specialist Tim Stanley.  'They all did an excellent job of keeping Phillip alive and he was able to transported by ambulance to hospital in reasonable condition,' Dr Brukner said. If there were to be lot of blood around the brain, the person will become unconscious and it was early recognised to make an intervention into the brain to help get the pressure down. An extensive surgery to remove part of the skull around his brain to allow the brain to expand so it wasn't compressed was conducted and it took about an hour and 20 minutes – yet he could not be saved !

The pitches down under offer a lot for pacers – they are hard and bouncy and Aussies are adept in playing fast bowling.  Phil  fell victim to a delivery that did not quite have the pace he had anticipated. He swung, missed, and collapsed in a heap, never to rise.

## As an immediate reaction, fierce debate erupted over how to make cricket safer. Some called for a complete ban on bouncers, saying cricket is not worth dying for. Others dissented, arguing this would only accentuate the growing imbalance in the game, already loaded in favour of batsmen. They also pointed out that the injury suffered by Hughes was an extremely rare one. Some  even said that the real fault was in a diminishing of batsmen's technical skills against the short ball. They say that in the era of no helmets – such incidents did not occur ! ~ this was no chin music by Jeff Thommo, Dennis Lillee, Holding, Croft, Garner, Marshall, Daniels, Imran, Akram, Shoaib,  Bob Willis or …. !!

## Then there was the debate on the head gear – whether he would have been saved by a different kind of gear, not to speak of the quality.   The Masuri helmet that he was using left a significant part of the neck exposed. Most top Indian cricketers prefer to use the Indian-made Forma helmets, which have deeper protection at the back ! They say that fomra helmets offer better protection in the grill plank too, as seen in Broad getting hurt off Varun Aaron.
These were the pre-helmet days and it was indeed a miracle that cricket did not see too many fatalities despite the fact that the protective equipment was not as effective as it is today. What stood out then was the technique of the batsmen. It was a 100 years after the introduction of the abdomen guard that the helmet made its appearance on a cricket field.

I had earlier based on the video clippings and newsitems lauded the alacrity with which treatment was given – but that too is now under scanner.  The players did react swiftly and reacted with awareness on how to handle a victim – but the response time of the  ambulances is now being criticised amidst conflicting reports from various agencies. 

##  Some reports suggest that the head of New South Wales Ambulance was to be hauled before the state health minister Jillian Skinner on Thursday after the ambulance authority issued conflicting statements about their response times. The arrival of the first ambulance took 15 minutes, NSW Ambulance clarified in a statement on Wednesday. The state's median response time for the highest priority "life-threatening cases" was just under eight minutes in 2013-14, according the authority's statistics.

The photos and reports do reveal that an air ambulance helicopter landed on the outfield and doctors performed CPR on the field after Hughes was stretchered from the pitch and shrouded by screens. He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst by road ambulance and arrived on life support.

The timeline was stated to be :
2.23pm: Phil  hit by a bouncer and falls to the ground
2.29pm: Sydney Cricket Ground staff raise the alarm and phone triple-0 for an ambulance
2.37pm: Another call is made to NSW Ambulance
2.44pm: An ambulance that responded to the second call for help arrives at SCG
2.52pm: The ambulance responding to the first call made 23 minutes ago finally arrives at the scene
The NSW Ambulance timeline is bit different.
2.37pm: NSW Ambulance receives first 000call from the ground [i.e., 14 minutes after the fall]
2.44pm: NSW Ambulance and two paramedics arrive at SCG
2.50pm: NSW Ambulance helicopter tasked to respond
3.02pm: Two more ambulances and four paramedics arrive
3.05pm: NSW Ambulance helicopter lands at the SCG

Some experts say that the delay in paramedics reaching batsman  after he was hit in the head by a 135km/h bouncer may have been critical to his chances of survival. Health Minister Jillian Skinner last night confirmed she would be meeting with the state’s ambulance commissioner following confirmation by NSW Ambulance that the first ambulance dispatched took 23 minutes to reach the SCG — despite the nearest ambulance station, at Paddington, being just 800m away. Daily Telegraph reporter Ben Horne was at the SCG and said: “David Warner was signalling for an ambulance to be called and then sprinted to the boundary to make sure that message was delivered. NSW officials were running everywhere looking for help. Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill was standing out on Driver Ave in his whites looking for an ambulance.” For 21 crucial minutes until the paramedics arrived treatment of Hughes was left in the hands of NSW team doctor John Orchard, who administered CPR after Hughes was stretchered to the boundary.
Peter Nevill and Dave Warner Signal 

When the three ambulances arrived and were joined by a doctor on a NSW Ambulance helicopter, a tube was inserted to clear Hughes’s airway before he was finally driven to St Vincent’s Hospital, just 1.5km away. Hughes had been on the ground for 40 minutes.

So, what killed Hughes ????  ~ meantime, the bowler Sean Abbott was visibly distraught after learning of the death.  The young cricketer wiped away tears after visiting the hospital  - the cricketing community has rallied around the 22-year-old bowler over fears for his emotional well-being.  Past and present players have come out to offer their support to Abbott, insisting the tragic death was not his fault.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Nov. 2014.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Phil Hughes injury ~ something on helmet .... and on skullcap too !!

Sadly, Phil Hughes was injured in a Sheffield match – and is in hospital – yesterday I had posted about Cricket injuries – most of them came under hostile conditions like the Kingston carnage when Holding, Daniel and others ripped off, when Sarfraz, Imran, Wasim Akram, Akhthar struck, Bob Willis bounced or Australia served bouncers from slinging Thomson, Lillee, Walker and more ……. Phillip Hughes's injury  is described as  'horribly fluky' occurrence. 

One good thing visible was the way the injury was handled initially by the players and then medicos.  Players did not surround, David Warner and few others appeared concerned and composed in putting him on to a stretcher and to a medical vehicle, trying to provide comfort and first aid; he was taken off the field, given CPR and mouth-to-mouth, then taken in ambulance to  St Vincent's Hospital where he had surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by internal bleeding, before being placed in the hospital's intensive care unit. He remains critical – with the timely and speedy treatment, should recover and be back. 

The South Australia opener, according to Cricket Australia, was “struck on the back, lower left side of the head when he turned away as he followed through with an attempted pull-shot to a regulation short-pitched delivery from young NSW quick Sean Abbott”. Pictures  and videos of the incident shows  hitting Hughes in that place,  Hughes braced himself on his knees and looked at his feet before collapsing forward onto the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground. As the 25-year-old fights for his life, questions are now being asked about player safety.  It is stated that Phil Hughes was not wearing the most up-to-date helmet when a delivery from Sean Abbott struck him in the head, leaving him critically injured.   The British company who made the helmet, Masuri, has refused to say if its newer model would have spared Hughes.

The former Test batsman was wearing an original Test helmet by Masuri when a short-pitched bowl bounced up and hit him behind his left ear. The area is not protected by the helmet so the cricketer can move his head while batting.  The hard ball can obviously break the skin on the surface of the head, which doesn't matter much, unless it fractures the skull," it is stated -  "The skull is the major protective element for the brain, so once that happens you are concerned about injuries underneath." These could include concussion-type injuries, where the brain is shaken inside the skull, which can be mild or severe, and bruise the brain.  If there is bleeding inside the brain, there could be build-up of blood within the skull, and that blood causes pressure on the brain which can cause further injury.

Phil Hughes’ helmet manufacturer Masuri are reportedly seeking video footage of the moment. Hughes was wearing a Masuri Original Test model helmet which does not protect the back of a batsman’s head, a particularly vulnerable area.  It is stated that the  newly-developed Masuri Vision Series helmet, which supersedes the 2013 helmet worn by Phil Hughes, does afford batsmen extra protection in this region – and still allows comfortable movement.

Masuri are one of the helmet manufacturers who have worked closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council and British Standards in developing helmets which pass from stringent testing. But most of the improvements have focused on the front of the helmet to strengthen grilles and reduce the gap between the grille and peak of the helmet to prevent balls penetrating a causing serious facial injuries.

The Company’s web states that the story began in Cape Town in 1988 with the creation of the now commonplace stainless steel grille. They were an instant success, replacing the existing polycarbonate and the heavy, coated mild steel grilles. Somerset and Western Province batsman, Jon Hardy, who designed the grilles, sold the first three to Dean Jones, Geoff Marsh and David Boon at Somerset’s early season match against the Ashes winning 1989 Australians. 3D sports in Cheltenham immediately bought the whole of the initial stock of 1,000 grilles and sold out within weeks. Work then began to create the first lightweight, adjustable helmet and Masuri soon became the most widely worn in the first class and International arena and the choice of players like Mike Atherton, Graham Gooch, Robin Smith and Brian Lara. Masuri were the first to introduce the titanium visor, fielding visor, wicket keeping helmet and the compact, three layer, 'sandwich construction’ shell.

Now based in the UK with distribution throughout the cricketing world, the brand continues to be a market leader and a favourite with International and first class players. This is true regardless of the fact that no player has ever been paid to wear the Masuri helmet whilst Masuri’s competitors pay for the privilege of having professional players wear their helmets.

Whichever brand it be, the safety standards and quality of equipments have improved over the years.  According to Chris Taylor, the former Yorkshire batsman who now runs leading retailer All Rounder Cricket in Leeds, little can be done to protect that area of the body. He is quoted as saying helmet doesn’t protect all of the head, there’s a gap for your eyes, there’s a gap where your neck is, so you have to expect some blows at some stage and this is very unfortunate for Phil Hughes. Simply extending the helmet so that it covers the neck is impractical, Taylor believes. Hughes was wearing a helmet …. ..when  a ball strikes a helmet the helmet's role is to dissipate the energy of the ball by deforming. The energy it takes to deform the helmet is energy that isn't transmitted to the wearer. Masuri utilises energy absorbing foam injected into a cavity between inner and outer shells to fulfil this function.  The key to keeping the wearer safe is dissipating the energy of the ball as it connects with the helmet and reducing the impact pressure on the head.

In olden days, helmets and protective gear were not available.  Pure bowlers like Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, VV Kumar too were not spared – there were times when the tail was bounced and took blows on the body. There was body-line, there was Sabina Park carnage and more. 

The little Master whose technique was so sound, played without a helmet almost throughout his career – and faced the fastest and furious bowlers in West India, Australia, England and Pakistan.  

Towards the close of his career, when had already scored 27 test centuries, in 1983 when Pakistan toured India after World Cup 1983,  Sunil Gavaskar tried a skull cap with Panama cap on for the first time in an ODI against Pak at Delhi – a match played under lights for the first time in India.  It was a skull cap made of fibre – which Gavaskar used against the touring West Indies in 1983 too.  Mike Brearly too used a similar skullcap.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Nov. 2014.

Gavaskar photo credit :

Remembering the heroes of 26/11 ..... when Mumbai (Nation) was under siege !!

Today is a (sad) day to remember – it is 26/11.  Six years ago, as night was to unfold,  fishermen at Mumbai’s Machhimaar Colony saw ten young men with large rucksack disembark from an inflatable Zodiac speedboat. An hour later, armed with hand grenades and automatic rifles, they created terror across the city, held the city and thereby the Nation itself to ransom.  It was indeed India’s time of shame and pain.  Before midnight, over a ton of people including some Top Police cops were dead.   It took nearly 3 days for semblance of total control.  Its perpetrators or executants including the lone arrested Ajmal Kasab is no more – but those schemers are still large and the pain remains !.

The horrific memories of the night when the terrorists hijacked the police vehicle  and killed top cops and then went on shooting innocents haunts people.   Comics are an integral part of every child’s growth – in our days we had the Ambulimama (chandamama) / Amar chitra katha.  Today’s kid are obsessed with Jetix of Walt Disney.     The illustrious   Bhaskar Kadam, Hemant Bawdhankar, Sanjay Govilkar, Tukaram Omble,  Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte ,  Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hawaldar Gajendra Singh – and the like should be the heroes whom the Nation must be reading and knowing.  There were so many unsung heroes too – for example the Fire Service of Mumbai whose personnel did not flinch once as they grabbed their gear and rushed to douse fire amid an intense gun battle. 

Tukaram Omble,  with his sacrifice and his daring act  ensured the arrest of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the sole gunman involved in the terror strikes to be caught alive.

Today marks the Sixth anniversary of that dreaded attack.  The Nation’s  Prime Minister Narendra Modi SAARC leaders that India feels the “endless pain” of lost lives and urged the eight-nation grouping to combat terrorism unitedly. Mr. Modi made a reference to the Mumbai carnage that claimed 166 lives in his maiden address to the 18th SAARC summit during when he reached out to the South Asian countries, announcing business visas to India for three to five years and immediate medical visa for the patient and an attendant travelling to the country for medical treatment.

Today, as we remember the horror of the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, we feel the endless pain of lost lives. Let us work together to fulfil the pledge we have taken to combat terrorism and trans-national crimes,” Mr. Modi told the SAARC leaders who included Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Besides India and Pakistan, the other SAARC countries are  Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.

On 26 November, 2008, the terrorists had gone from Backbay in South Mumbai to different locations undetected by the police.  Now, Chief Minister of Maharashtra  Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, has expedited the process to install 5,000 CCTV cameras at key points in Mumbai. As the last hurdles in the project have been cleared, the work on the installation of cameras would start soon.

Of the many stories that appeared in various sections of Press, here is something written by a survivor in Firstpost as what one should have learnt as a lesson from the incident :
Firstly, value your family and friends. I strongly recommend you check on
1. Make sure you are covered well by insurance. Even if you are well off - leave them better off if the unfortunate were to happen.
2. Let them know details on things like bank accounts, investments etc. Keep a folio with your spouse and close family.
3. Use every waking moment to cherish what you have - family, friends, nature. Stay smiling, laughing and caring.

In the melee, filmmaker  Ram Gopal Varma, who infamously managed to gain access to the Taj Hotel—the most well-known site of the Mumbai attacks—a mere three days after, directed a film that recreating  the events of that first fateful night. Varma’s terror-tourism is seen as shockingly bad taste, amidst claims that his visit has had no role to play in the making of the film, which contains absolutely no actual footage and relies instead on the dramatic recreation of events.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Nov. 2014.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cricket Injuries - Phil Hughes critical - sad remembrance of Sabina Park, Contractor, Lamba and ...

When I faced Holding, I received 4 bouncers in an over and a beamer… the next over from him was the same – when he again said the beamer had slipped, I understood that this was a strategy to intimidate.  Lloyd fearing his future as Captain finding us 98 for no loss was desperate and utterly frustrated. ……………. The carnage ensued .. in the pavilion, there was none to attend to Anshuman Gaekwad.  Jamaican ticket authorities showed no regard for the seriousness of injury.  The whole thing was sickening.  Never have I seen such cold-blooded and indifferent behaviour of Cricket officials, and the spectators to put it mildly, were positively inhuman. – extracted from Sunil Gavaskar’s description of the carnage at Sabina Park. I have posted earlier on ‘worst injuries on Cricketing field’ - In his debut series, Sachin was injured and batted with blood and rose to eminence.  There are very many other stories but a very harsh  one was that of Contractor and the worst being that of Raman Lamba.

Nariman Jamshedji "Nari" Contractor , the left handed opener born in Godhra,  had two ribs broken by Brian Statham at Lords in 1959.   Contractor led India to a series win against England in 1961-62 and captained the side to West Indies the same season. There, in the match against Barbados, he was struck at the back of the skull  by Griffith  and was unconscious for six days, requiring a blood transfusion; his life was saved but his international career was abruptly ended.

Today Australian batsman Phil Hughes is reportedly in a state of induced coma after being struck on his head during a Sheffield Game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.   The 25-year-old cricketer - wearing a helmet - attempted to hook a rising fast delivery from Sean Abbott but was hit on the side of his head instead. He stood on the pitch for a few moments before collapsing face first on the ground. Michael Clarke went to the hospital in a show of support for Hughes' family. His teammates and Coach stated that their thoughts and prayers were with Hughes.  Cricket Australia, in a statement, stated that Team India had also conveyed support for Hughes.

As one could recall, only recently, Ahmed Shehzad, the Pak opener was hit on the helmet by a bouncer by Corey Anderson on the 2nd day of 1st Test against NZ at Abu dhabi – he was diagnosed with a minor skull fracture. The injury caused Shehzad so much pain that he dropped his bat on to the stumps as he wheeled away and collapsed to the ground. He was dismissed hit wicket, after scoring a career-best 176, and walked off the field holding his jaw.

Indians cannot forget  how Clive Lloyd unleashed a torrent of fast, dangerous, short-pitched bowling on India, sent half their top-order to the hospital and caused captain Bishan Singh Bedi to 'surrender' the match.  In that Series, after  a hammering in the Barbados Test, Bedi’s men bounced back hard in the next two matches in Port of Spain. Gavaskar made 156 in the drawn second Test, giving India a 161-run lead. With their confidence high, India created history in the third Test chasing a historic 403 thanks to hundreds from Gavaskar and Viswanath and Mohinder’s 85.    In that Jamaica Test, as Gavaskar describes – the Indian dressing room resembled ‘wounded soldiers’ room’.  Gaekwad remained unattended for a while as manager Umrigar had accompanied Vishwanath.  When Anshuman was transported, Brijesh Patel too accompanied with a mouth injury.   Gavaskar called it 'Barbarism in Kingston'.  First innings had to be declared at 306/6 ; in the 2nd Mohinder hit all  over the body made 60 – Indian innings ended at 97 with Kirmani not out and 5 batsmen (Gaekwad, Vishwanath, Patel, Bedi and Chandrasekhar – absent hurt) – actually it was not a declaration but surrender.

At Chepauk in an isolated incident in  Jan 1979 Herbert Chang,  of Chinese origin, played his lonely test at Chepauk and was  left bleeding in the mouth by a Karsan Ghavri bouncer.   Sadly, Raman Lamba playing club cricket at Dhaka  was hit on the forehead by a full blooded pull by Mehrab Hossain off left arm spinner Saifullah Khan while fielding at forward short leg, without a helmet.   He suffered an internal hemorrhage and slipped into coma, eventually died after 3 days. 

Perhaps what Contractor or Lamba were not fortunate enough - with three ambulances and a medical helicopter on standby for the match, Hughes was treated on the field immediately and was then taken to the boundary for further aid. He was then transferred to a St. Vincent's Hospital nearby. "He arrived in a critical condition and remains in a critical condition," a hospital spokesperson is quoted as saying.  It is said that Hughes arrived in the hospital in a ventilated state. With the Test series against India coming up, Hughes was expecting a Test call to replace an injured Michael Clarke. He was in good form and had hit 63 for South Australia against New South Wales before misjudging the bouncer. Play was suspended for the day as fellow Australian and other international cricketers tweeted their best wishes for the batsman.

Sean Abbot is a promising allrounder, who debuted for New South Wales at the age of 18.  A wicket-taking medium-fast bowler who also strikes the ball cleanly with the bat, Abbott was rewarded with a call-up to Australia's one-day and Twenty20 squads to play Pakistan in the UAE in 2014. Now after today’s incident,  Questions immediately arose as to how Hughes had been hurt given that he was wearing a helmet at the time, and whether the quality of helmet was good enough  but the videos of the incident reveals that the ball just missed the side of it, causing a serious impact the lower-left side of his head.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                     25th Nov. 2014.

Monday, November 24, 2014

some Diabetic patients may not benefit from exercise .... says research !!!!

Asoformin; Avimet; Conformin; dibimet; formet ; Glumet ; Glyciphage ; Glycomet ; Insumet ; Metformin ; Metlife ; Obimet ; Omet ; Walaphage and more………  most likely that you can identify what this is easily as many Indians are buying this daily……..  For decades, patients have managed their type 1 diabetes by injecting themselves with insulin to regulate the glucose in their blood. Initially it was painful ~ now there are fine needles available, still…….. it never is a happy state of affairs…. They say Diabetes is not a disease but only a disorder – howsoever you name it, one has to simply live with it… it is killing mentally ~ as you cannot eat what you want to and would start feeling that the whole World exists to eat ! and you are denied that pleasure.  Injecting insulin addresses the immediate danger of low insulin levels.

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.  This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). There are three main types of diabetes mellitus (DM). Type 1 DM results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and currently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (IDDM) or "juvenile diabetes". Type 2 DM results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. The third  is  gestational diabetes occurring in pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. It may precede development of type 2 DM.

Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. The Nation is earning the dubious distinction of having more diabetics than any other part of the World. Our ancestors lived naturally – longer and healthier at that.  As one could recall, three or four generations earlier, people were used to hard physical labour, would eat natural things, had clean habits, lived happily with lesser worries and lesser medication.  Some attribute the ‘stressful living’ as a major cause of diabetes.  Sedentary lifestyle lacking physical activity too contributes ….

People would immediately start advising on remedies and the way to control (without ever having to control by themselves) ……. Some fruits are often written as possessing magical wonders.  The fact that there cannot be a simple remedy and one should alter their lifestyle, engage in physical activity and have a diet pattern that suits the individual.  If you have type 2 diabetes, you should aim for about 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week, according to the American Diabetes Association. Walking 10,000 steps per day is equal to five miles; most people whose jobs have them largely sitting at desks only take about 4,000 to 5,000 steps each day.  Short walks from the desk may not count and one should devote exclusive time for physical activity.  Yogic exercises would be of help for sure...
Yogathon at Marina

Though physical  activity plays a big role in keeping blood sugar in check mere burning calories will not do – and it may not be the same with all individuals.   If exercise were to throw away diabetes, some known actors who are fitness freaks too, would not be diabetics, so also sportspersons.  In Cricket, bowling is a good physical activity and fast bowlers burn lot of calories.  Wasim Akram was a giant among the pacers and could bowl many overs too – back in 1997, in the middle of a Test Series, he was diagnosed as having diabetes !

It is also a fact that for some, though they exercise good self-restraint in keeping away from food containing sugar – their blood sugar level may still continue to rise – not because of their indulgence,  of not exercising but simply because the body is not cooperating, the way it should.   An article on 20.11.14 by Madlen Davies for MailOnline state that ‘20% of type 2 diabetics will NOT benefit from exercise - and it's their genes that are to blame’.  Here are some excerpts from that article.

For years, doctors have been warning exercise is crucial in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. Those who have already been diagnosed with the condition are told exercise is key to managing their illness.  But a new study has found some patients will not benefit from exercise, turning conventional wisdom on its head.  According to new research, a fifth of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes will not benefit from exercise - because of their genes.  Doctors found as many as one in five people with type 2 do not see any improvement in blood sugar management when they engage in a supervised exercise programme.

People develop type 2 diabetes when their body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, which is the key that unlocks cells in the body to allow sugar inside to be used for energy. Insulin resistance leads to excess sugar in the bloodstream.  Over time high levels of sugar in the blood leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

Doctors analysed clinical studies where people with type 2 diabetes participated in exercise programmes, as well as animal and genetic studies on the topic. In future, people whose genes mean they are not likely to respond to an exercise program could be identified and given other treatment, experts said. 'Most people benefit from an exercise regimen, but recent research indicates that a significant minority of individuals with type 2 diabetes do not experience the same improvements in metabolism due to their genes. Genetic patterns could be the key to differentiating between those who would benefit and those who would not.

Is that in any way good news for people afflicted by diabetes ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                        24th Nov. 2014.

False Impression ~ Van Gogh's bandaged ear.. : Self-portrait to ..... Selfie

I read recently – ‘False Impression’,  a mystery novel by English author Jeffrey Archer, first published in February 2005 (the no. of English novel are less than fingers of both hands !) …. The story occurs mostly in UK and partly USA & Romania,  but traverses through Continents.  In the engrossing tale on a masterpiece artwork, the knowledge of the artwork resonates quite heavily.   Quite a new angle is that upon the occurrence of Sept.11, some people went missing, presumed dead and some who were alive too, chose to  make this an opportunity ! – it has its share of killing starting with that of an English countess and more people by a hired assassin who once was a great gymnast.  The good person is a Japanese Steel magnate who with passion for artwork is willing to spend fortune and  save people.  It is cleverly constructed entanglement that keeps the readers guessed throughout.

In a recent newsitem, tilted ‘Taking Selfies to new heights’ – Daily Mail reports of a photographer snapping nauseating photo from 2,722ft on top of the world's tallest building in Dubai.  The British photographer, Gerald Donovan took a remarkable selfie atop Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.  Donovan, 47, captured a remarkable shot of himself while completing the Dubai 360 project, which allows anyone anywhere in the world to take an interactive tour of the city. 'I'm not usually one for selfies, in fact, I think this could well be the very first one I've ever shared,' he said.  Cheltenham-born Donovan, who has been based in the United Arab Emirates for seven years, used a special panoramic camera controlled by an iPhone app to take his selfie at 2,722 feet.  The timelapse is just a single component of a city-wide interactive tour of still photography, video, and timelapses - all presented in fully interactive 360 degree views.

Selfie may be the newfound addiction of people, taking photos of Self and posting them on Social network …… perhaps it not entirely new – as centuries ago, there existed the practice of portraits (equivalent to photographs of the modern day) and ‘Self-portrait’ – the equivalent to ‘Selfie’ !!

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Post-Impressionist painter of Dutch origin whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold colour. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, the much acclaimed painter of now, died aged 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted. He began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolours, drawings, sketches, and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits as well as paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.

In 1885, he painted his first major work, entitled The Potato Eaters. His palette at the time consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists.  The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death.  The precise chain of events that led to the celebrated incident of van Gogh slicing off his ear is not known reliably in detail. In one evening of Dec 1988, Van Gogh severed his left ear (either wholly or in part; accounts differ) with a razor, inducing a severe haemorrhage.  By some accounts, he bandaged his wound, wrapped the ear in paper, and delivered the package to a brothel frequented. 

The self-portrait [a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist] shows the artist in three-quarter profile standing in a room in the Yellow House wearing a closed coat and a fur cap. His right ear is bandaged. It was in fact his left ear that was bandaged, the painting being a mirror image. Van Gogh shows the bandage on his mutilated ear like a saint displaying the stigmata; the act of self-mutilation changed Van Gogh.
Photo credit :

Getting back, Jeffrey Howard Archer’s novel revolves around this artwork ‘bandaged ear’ – the central characters being the rich but cruel Bryce Fenston, his aid with criminal past Leapman, art expert Anna Petrescu, Jack Delaney,  besides Japanese business magnate and English countess who owns the portrait and whose estate is sinking in debts. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Nov. 2014.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Anand loses game no.11 at Sochi - Magnus Carlsen retains World Chess title

Sad news for Indian fans on Sunday 23rd Nov 2014….. as Norway’s Magnus Carlsen completed the defence of his world chess title by defeating Viswanathan Anand in the eleventh game of the ongoing championship at Sochi as the five-time world from Chennai threw away an advantageous position in the fourth hour of play.

Yes, the news is  Viswanathan Anand playing with black pieces lost to Magnus Carlsen. With this win Carlsen has successfully defended his World Champion title. Trailing by a full point with just two games remaining, Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand desperately needed  a victory to stay afloat - with the scores at 5.5-4.5 in favour of the Norwegian, Anand needed that one extra elusive victory in the penultimate game, when Carlsen played white.      

The chances for Anand had actually been  diminishing with each passing game – we only hoped that the Norwegian would be vulnerable !  One point ahead at the start of the eleventh game, Carlsen needed a win on Sunday to end the match -  Anand’s win  could have taken the contest down to the last game.   

Unlike  what happened in Chennai, where Anand played passively and went down in 10 games, losing his world title,  at Sochi, he played confidently at Sochi- game 3 on Nov. 11 proved good, when Vishy won. 

Sochi,  is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia- and that was the venue for  the ‘World Chess Championship 2014’ - the title  match which has concluded today.   It was held  under the auspices of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Nov. 2014.@ 21.45 hrs.

Mekedatu spells trouble .... the biggest Yalong River project

Arkavati is a large mountain river in Karnataka, originating at Nandi Hills of Chikkaballapura district. It is a tributary of the Kaveri, which it joins at 34 km south of Kanakapura, called Sangama in Kannada, after flowing through ramanagara and Kanakapura.  Thanjavur (Tanjore) the royal city of Cholas, Nayaks and Marathaas was at the height of its glory during Rajaraja Chozha whose coronation took place exactly a thousand years ago.  Thanjavur was touted as ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu ~  வேழம் உடைத்து மழைநாடு மேதக்க  சோழ வளநாடு சோறுடைத்து – the proverb [Chola vala nadu sorudaithu] would mean  - the fertile land of Chola was rich in food. 

The place sadly has lost its glory and is mired in trouble.  There have been protests by farmers of the place with MDMK general secretary Vaiko leading a group of cadres owing allegiance to various political affiliations staging a rail roko in support of farmers’ protest against Karnataka constructing reservoirs across the Cauvery. A strong police posse prevented Mr. Vaiko and surging protesters from entering the junction premises by erecting barricades. The protesters’ plan was to picket the Tiruchi-Chennai Egmore Cholan Express but police thwarted them and the train quietly left the junction unhindered.

Meantime, the Tamil Nadu government has approached the Supreme Court after Karnataka Water Resources Minister's reported speech that the state was planning to implement Mekedatu project by constructing two dams across the Cauvery for which it need not get Tamil Nadu's consent.

Mekedatu  is a location along Kaveri in Kanakapura Taluk. Sangama is the place where Arkavati merges with Kaveri. From this point, about 3.5 kilometers downstream, the river Kaveri flows through a deep gorge so narrow that one would think that a goat can leap across it ('Mekedatu' means 'goat's leap' in Kannada). It is not really so narrow  but is connected to a hearsay story of a  goat being chased by a tiger making a desperate attempt to save its life by leaping from one side of the gorge and managed to cross over the raging river below. 

Responding to DMK president M Karunanidhi’s demand for convening an Assembly session over the Mullaperiyar dam and Mekedatu issues, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the state is filing a case in the Supreme Court on Tuesday to stall dam construction by Karnataka. There was no need to pass a resolution in the state Assembly to increase the height of Mullaperiyar dam to store water in the light of Supreme Court upholding Tamil Nadu's rights on water level, he said.  Karnataka feels that they do not need permission for executing something within their State.

Miles away in China, in a place called Sichuan - China's Yalong River Hydropower Development Company is constructing the 305-meter-high Jinping-1 Dam. Slated for completion in early 2015, it will dwarf even the landmark Three Gorges Dam. Over 1,500 kilometers long, the Yalong River flows from the Tibetan Plateau to southern China, its middle and lower reaches meandering through the narrow valleys of Sichuan province before joining the mighty Yangtze River. It is there in Sichuan that the dam is coming up.   With a 3,600 megawatt capacity, the Jinping-1 Dam costs approximately 54 billion yuan ($8 billion). Set to profit from the project are not only its owners, but also the German companies, including Siemens and Herrenknecht, that have supplied technical know-how every step of the way from the initial excavations to the power conversion process. The dam also serves as a flagship project for Beijing, which is keen to boost alternative energy production.

Away from the site,  a growing population and increased affluence is resulting in increased demand for clean drinking water. But with China building dams, less water is crossing the borders to Southeast Asia. This jeopardizes the water supply in these countries to such an extent that a small country such as Myanmar, heavily dependent on Chinese investment, had to suspend its own Myitsone Dam project, risking a cooling in its ties to China.

Water ….. and construction of dams spells trouble for many at places !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23.11.14 Photo and news of Sierens credit :