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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cheteshwar Pujara carries the bat through !!

It started with AB Tancred  in Test no. 32 in Mar 1889 ** and till date less than 50 [49 to be precise !!]  have achieved this feat !  ~ the last time, it occurred in a Test match was in Dec 2011...

Tinotenda Mbiri Kanayi Mawoyo is not exactly a household name but he too joined that elite batsmen list that has names of Barrett, R Abel, PF Warner, ending with David Warner.  The list has illustrious openers like Glenn Turner, Sunil Gavaskar, Mudassar Nazaar, Boycott, Haynes, Gooch to name a few and in this century – those in the list are : Javed Omar, Virender Sehwag, Simon Katich, Chris Gayle, Imran Farhat, Rahul Dravid and Mawoyo.   Yes it is the list of ‘batsmen who carried their bat through a completed innings’ – a remarkable feat to open the batting remaining unbeaten when 10 others fall down..

In the ongoing 3rd Test No. 2179 at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo, the make-shift opener, who is playing only because the Series has seen regular openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay suffering injuries - Cheteshwar Pujara became the fourth Indian to carry his bat through a Test innings as India's last two wickets lasted 25 minutes on the third morning.  India managed to add 20 runs to their overnight total of 292 for 8 with Rangana Herath hitting the stumps of both Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Pujara whom many would not like as an Opener joins the Indians – Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul DRavid and Virender SEhwag.

In  22 innings in Asian subcontinent,  he has six hundreds and three fifties. Among batsmen who've scored at least 1000 runs in Asia since 2010, only two batsmen - Hashim Amla and VVS Laxman - have a higher average.  He had 104 run partnership with Amit Mishra, India's highest for the eighth wicket against Sri Lanka, and also the highest for the eighth wicket by any team at the SSC. The partnership was also by far the highest stand of the innings - the next-best was 55, by Pujara and Rohit Sharma, followed by 54 (Pujara and Naman Ojha) and 50 (Pujara and Virat Kohli).

29.21 Amit Mishra's average in overseas Tests: in 14 overseas innings he has three fifties, including a highest of 84 at The Oval in 2011. In 10 innings in India, he averages only 12.62, with a highest of 28. 59 Mishra's score; he is the first Indian No. 9 batsman to score a Test half-century in Sri Lanka.  Would he fear scoring that ? – the last time he made that 84, he had to sit out of the team for 4 years !!!

I fondly remember the occasion when an Indian first did – though that Series was a nightmare for the Team.  That was the Test at Faislabad in Jan 1983 – when India toured Pakistan with Gavaskar at the helm.  The First Test at Lahore was a honourable draw.  In the next at Karachi, Pak beat India by an innings and 86 runs. The third at Faislabad in Jan 1983 was won by Pak by 10 wickets; 4th at Sind by an Innings & 119 runs.  Indians salvaged a draw in the 5th and 6th.  Thirmalai Anandanpillai Sekar made his debut (Vengsarkar dropped 2 catches in one over of his); Mohinder remarkably made 3 centuries.  Gavaskar made only one.  Imran was at his peak taking more than 40 wickets with prodigious inswingers.

The Indians were mauled at Faislabad - Test no. 945 played at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad in Jan 1983.  The only consolation in defeat was Sunil’s 26th Test century – he equalled Gary Sobers and was hotly in pursuit of Bradman’s World record of 29 centuries.  He achieved another record – that of carrying his bat through, battling for more than 7 hours.

Batting first India made 372  helped by Vishwanath 53; Kapil 41, Sandip Patil 84, Kirmani 66 and Madanlal 54.  Imran took 6 for 98.  Pakistan made a massive 652 with centuries by  Miandad (126), Zaheer Abbas (168), Saleem Malik (168) and Imran 117.  Kapil took 7 wickets but conceded 220 runs. In the second essay Indians were all out for 286.  Mohinder made 78.  Gavaskar remained unbeaten on 127 facing 262 balls.  The fall of wickets would partly tell you the story :  1-27 (Arun Lal), 2-28 (Vengsarkar), 3-48 (Viswanath), 4-193 (Amarnath), 5-201 (Patil), 6-227 (Kapil Dev),7-236 (Kirmani), 8-261 (Madan Lal), 9-282 (Maninder Singh), 10-286 (Doshi)

Sehwag the most unlikely one achieved this at Galle during his great knock of 201 at  Galle and Dravid accomplished that feat at Oval against England.

Certainly ‘ carrying the bat’ is one the toughest accomplishments !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Aug 2015. @ 1 noon

Photo credit : Bcci,tv

PS :  that’s what makes Test Cricket interesting.  The 1st day play was marred by rain.  Pujara carried the bat through ~ Lankans were all out; Pujara was out for a duck in the 2nd ball of 2nd innings – with India at 21/3 – rain again stopped play  @ 17.00 hrs

**  Incidentally, AB Tancred playing for South Africa in Capetown against England remained unbeaten on 26 in team’s total of 47 in that test in Mar 1889. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin again ~ this time in 200M at Beijing

Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest is the venue for  15th World Athletics Championship.

For the second time in four days, Usain Bolt held off the challenge of Justin Gatlin of the United States in the Bird’sNest to complete his world 100/200m double in 19.55, the fastest 200m time run this year, and conclude a rare night of athletics that had already been punctuated with a historic triple jump of 18.21m by Christian Taylor, the second best ever achieved.

Bolt’s season has been so undermined and delayed by a lingering joint problem that he had not even run a single 200m in competition before coming to Beijing. Here, against an opponent who headed the world lists with 19.57, he was – incredibly – close to his imperious best.  As he crossed the line he pointed at his chest with both hands and nodded his head, just in case anyone should doubt that he, rather than the shorter figure in red who strained two lanes inside him, was The Man. Gatlin looked almost relieved after taking silver in 19.74, with Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa claiming bronze with a national record of 19.87.

The Star reports that when time came for Usain Bolt to celebrate a record 10th world championship title, a clumsy cameraman got a little too close for comfort. A man riding a Segway and holding a video camera upended Bolt in the excitement of the celebrations of his 200-metre victory, losing control after hitting a metal rail on the side of the track and barging into Bolt from behind.

Bolt tumbled to the ground, flipped over to get back on his feet and then briefly held his left leg. He then walked back to the cameraman to make sure he was OK, too.  “There was no doubt,” Bolt said after winning his fourth 200 world title in a row to add to two Olympic titles. “I told you guys that I would do it.”

Before the start of the tournament, to the media it appeared that Justin Gatlin was the favourite, mainly because Bolt has not run much in recent past. All such uncertainty was put in back burner as Usain Bolt produced his biggest clutch performance to beat rival Justin Gatlin on Sunday in the 100m final at the World Championships with a lunge at the line.  Bolt was trailing for almost all the race, the biggest showdown in the sport in years. But with gritted teeth, the two-time Olympic champion clawed back into contention and made his giant stride count to win in 9.79 seconds, .01 seconds faster than the American veteran.Two lanes to his right, Gatlin was as good as perfect for most of the race,  but just could not finish it off !!  

Today, it was not that close !!  With a time of 19.55 seconds, Bolt set the best time of the season. And despite slowing down, he still beat Gatlin by 0.19.   Even if Gatlin ran a good bend Thursday, Bolt’s was better and the Jamaican was clear coming into the finishing straight. His huge stride has made the difference throughout his career, and it was on full display again. With 20 metres to go, he eased up and started the theatrics as the Bolt of old ran through the line.

He capped it with his trademark “Lightning Bolt” pose.  Bolt is now 2-0 in Beijing against Gatlin, who had been unbeaten in two seasons, with only the 4x100 relay to come Saturday.  Seven years ago, Bolt started his amazing run of gold at the Beijing Olympics and has not lost a major 200 race since. The Jamaican, however, had been struggling with injury since winning his third straight 200 title at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

During the 2008 Olympics, Beijing's National Stadium was China's pride, the 90,000-seat physical embodiment of the country's economic ascendance. "The stadium lives up to its aspiration as a global landmark," New York Times architecture critic wrote at the time. "Its elliptical latticework shell, which has earned it the nickname the Bird's Nest, has an intoxicating beauty that lingers in the imagination. Its allure is only likely to deepen once the enormous crowds disperse and the Olympic Games fade into memory." Time has not, in fact, been so kind.  In later years,  the Birds Nest is a mostly empty "museum piece."

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Aug 2015.

Source : photo credit :

Transfer window ~ AC Milan gags Mario Balotelli with good behaviour clause

Indian Premier League got mired in controversies.  On Sunday, the Pro Kabbadi League, which made the likes of Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and ManjeetChhillar emerge household names, came to a close.  There are some youngsters too, and one among them is  17-year-old MohitChhillar, cousin of Manjeet.  In the finals 2015, U Mumba defeated Bengaluru Bulls.

Miles away, the start of the new Premier league season makes news of 110 signings in the  transfer window – enough to field 10 teams.Liverpool have been involved in the two transfers with fees in excess of £30m. Raheem Sterling left Anfield for £49m to join Manchester City in what has so far been the biggest deal this summer. Shortly after Brendan Rodgers’ side met Aston Villa’s £32.5m minimum release clause to sign Belgian striker Christian Benteke. Manchester City are confident they have finally agreed a deal to sign the former Chelsea midfielder Kevin  De Bruyne from Wolfsburg for an initial €74m (£54m).  It is stated that De Bruyne will fly to England on Thursday for his medical and is expected to be officially unveiled as a City player on Friday.

In Contracts, a  morals clause or morality clause is a provision within instruments of the contract which curtail, or restrain, or proscribe certain behaviour of individuals or part(y)ies to the contract.A moral clause within contracts used as a means of holding the individual or party(s) to a certain behavioural standard so as not to bring disrepute, contempt or scandal to other individual or party to the contract and their interests. It attempts to preserve a public and private image of such a party to the contract. Commonly proscribed activity include the use or abuse of alcohol, the use of illegal drugs or narcotics or illegal or illicit sexual activity.

AC Milan [AssociazioneCalcio Milan], is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy.  Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others.  With 18 officially recognised UEFA and FIFA titles, they are the second most successful club in the world in terms of number of international titles, together with Boca Juniors and Real Madrid C.F., and behind Al Ahly SC with twenty titles. Milan's home games are played at San Siro, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The stadium, which is shared with long-lasting city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018.  The owner of the club is former Italian Prime Minister and controlling shareholder of Mediaset Silvio Berlusconi. The club is one of the wealthiest and most valuable in Italian and world football.

The club, its signing and a new clause are making news.  The club's chief executive Adriano Galliani based the clause on regulations which are applied to people who serve in the Italian air force. The incumbent must not damage the image of the club and his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts will be closely monitored.He will be banned from extravagant haircuts and clothing, from smoking and from visiting nightclubs and must turn up on time for training. His drinking will also be limited.

It is - Mario Barwuah Balotelli, an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for A.C. Milan on loan from Liverpool and the Italy national team.  He started his professional football career at Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at FC Barcelona, and subsequently joining Internazionale in 2007. Balotelli earned his first cap for Italy in a friendly match against Côte d'Ivoire in Aug 2010. He has since amassed over 30 caps and represented his country at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, helping them reach the final of the former.

Reports state that Mario Balotelli will have a good behaviour clause inserted into his contract with Milan which will ban extravagant haircuts and clothing and commit him to a healthy lifestyle.   Italian sports daily Gazzettadello Sport said on Wednesday that the club's chief executive Adriano Galliani had based the clause on regulations which are applied to people who serve in the Italian air force.The 25-year-old, repeatedly criticised for his poor work rate, is set to return to Milan a year after leaving for Liverpool, where he had a dismal season.

He underwent a medical in Milan on Tuesday ahead of an unexpected loan move, although the deal has not yet been officially confirmed. Balottelli has used Facebook, though, to bid goodbye to Liverpool’s supporters. The striker’s first spell at Milan was relatively successful and uneventful with a respectable scoring rate although there were some misdemeanours. He lost his temper in front of the cameras after one performance was criticised by Italian television pundits, telling his interviewers that they did not understand football and throwing his microphone down.He was also booked for making a vulgar gesture at Cagliari supporters, served two three-match bans and was caught smoking in the toilet of a train by a ticket collector. However, these incidents paled in comparison to some of his antics at Manchester City earlier in his career, where he famously set fire to his house after letting off fireworks in his bathroom.

After paying so much, the club only wants him to fire in the ground and not outside !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Aug 2015.

100m Sprint Women at Beijing ~ Veronica Campbell crosses lane - not disqualified

Life is a race they say – but even in race, things may not be equal.  Lane one is viewed as an inconvenience in certain sprint races (mainly the 200m) because sprinters are a bit slower running curves than running straightaways, and the curve in lane one feels like it goes on forever. Curve running in the sprints is an art form.  At the start of the race, athletes on the block have to adjust to the curve – have to run diagonal, not straight.  Different lanes have different curve angles. Lane one has one of the tightest turns, while lanes 7 and 8 have very wide turns.

Today, will feature another most watched one – touted as :Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin: Part Two, the men's 200m final,  scheduled for 13.55 BST on Thursday, August 27.  Bolt will be taking on Gatlin over 200m for only the second time in their careers.Bolt has won the past three world titles over this distance - a run which began with his world record-breaking, 19.19 second-performance in Berlin in 2009.Gatlin's fastest time in the 200m was set in June this year, in Eugene, as he finished in 19.57 - the fifth fastest time ever and the fastest time in the world this year!

Bolt has only raced over the distance once in this injury-hit summer before arriving in Beijing, an unimpressive 20.13secs in New York two months ago.Under normal circumstances that would make Gatlin favourite. But he's racing against Bolt and, well, you just don't bet against Bolt.  Of the others, it is Zharnel Hughes’s dubious fortune to be trapped in the middle of the most formidable sandwich in sprinting. On his inside in the 200 metres final on Thursday is Usain Bolt, on the  outside is Justin Gatlin, the bête noire of Beijing, with three of the four quickest times this season.  What will Britain’s 20 year bullet do remains to be seen !

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor beat Australia’s Melissa Breen and other challengers in the heat of the 100m women race but failed miserably in the finals finishing last.   In a field filled with some of the stars Okagbare-Ighoteguonor has been beaten constantly in the past two years, the Nigerian came last out of the eight competitors in the 100 metres women race.  In the Semis, she had a good race of 10.89 secs behind Jamaican Shelly Pryce who won at 10.82 secs.  In the 200M, Okagbare was missing from the starting blocks in the Heat 3.  After her disappointing eighth-place finish in the 100m on Monday, Nigerians had hoped that the 2014 Commonwealth gold medallist would redeem herself in the 200m which she was billed to take part in. Sources in Beijing said the African champion was nursing an injury, which could become aggravated if she had participated in the race.

Meanwhile, former World and Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, and her Jamaican teammate, Elaine Thompson, have qualified for the semi-finals of the event. The photo at the start of   Veronica Campbell-Brown crossing  the finish line first in her women’s 200m will not give the right message of the drama that occurred.

Veronica Campbell-Brown rounded the curve in the 200m and kept going and going, straight into the next lane.The Jamaican started in lane 5 and wound up in lane 6 at the world championships on Wednesday. She won her heat, and the rules allowed her to qualify for the semi-finals despite the mistake.Campbell-Brown, the 2011 world champion in the event, didn’t stop to talk after her mistake, saying she was, “having a headache.”

British sprinter Margaret Adeoye was shocked to see Campbell-Brown suddenly appear in front of her.The presence of Campbell-Brown nearly gave Adeoye a headache of her own, thinking she may have made an error.“I was like, ‘Was that me or was that her?’” said Adeoye, who finished third in the heat to qualify for the semi-finals. “It helped me get to the finish line, so it’s fine. I just wanted to get as close to her as possible, because I knew she’d probably get DQed.”

IAAF rules dictate Adeoye’s trespasser progresses to the next round, because she crossed lanes “in the straight with no material advantage being gained, and no other athlete being jostled or obstructed so as to impede his or her progress.”

Rules are complicated for common people to understand !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Aug 2015.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Appreciate Nana Patekar for being a real hero - making difference to poverty-stricken farmers !!!

According to UNICEF, more than 30 per cent of children in developing countries – about 600 million – live on less than US $1 a day.Every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5.Poverty hits children hardest. While a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human, it is most threatening to children’s rights: survival, health and nutrition, education, participation, and protection from harm and exploitation.

Poverty is not unfamiliar to India; often we hear and read a lot of sad and pitiful stories about farmers committing suicide due to it. The reasons for it also include monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems. Perhaps some blame is due to erstwhile rulers – the British who systematically robbed our Nation of its resources !

My knowledge of Cinema is low, and when it comes to Bollywood, it is almost nil.  Have heard of this film ~ Krantiveer which grossed some awards in 1994.  Read that it was remade in Telugu as PunyaBhoomiNaaDesam (1995) with Mohan Babu and in Kannada as Parodi (2007) withUpendra.  The film’s hero was Nana Patekar.  Vishwanath Nana Patekar, born in Raigad and another - MakarandAnaspure deserve greater coverage in media and all appreciation for their attitude and action.  They decided to help the families of the deceased farmers with some financial assistance.

We all know Nana Patekar for being the amazing actor that he is, but here is a side of him that most of us might not be aware of. The veteran actor is associated with the cause against farmer suicides in Maharashtra. Not only does he extend financial aid to each of the suffering families, he personally visits them, initiates conversation and has even made himself accessible to them at all times. "If you ever think of committing suicide, please give me a call first," he said to farmers at an event in Maharashtra recently.

On 18th Aug had a good article featuring Nana Patekar – which is partly reproduced here :

While doing his bit to help poor farmers in Maharashtra, Nana Patekar says he is worried that they might just rise up in revolution if not helped immediately....Nana Patekar's is a fascinating story. He is a 'star' who would rather travel in an autorickshaw than buy a luxury car for himself, and decides to spend his hard earned money on the grieving families of farmers who have committed suicide. The actor has shown us what it takes to be a conscientious citizen by quietly practising what he doesn't even preach.

It is not often that you come across someone like Nana. While most of us on an everyday basis read the pitiful stories of farmers, who are ending their lives due to penury and poverty, and then move on, Nana decided to do something about it. He's been visiting the widows of the farmers and extending financial assistance.At the same time, he is trying to start a dialogue with the government to aid their cause. Prod him about it and he brushes it off initially. "I am not doing a big deal. All of us want to help, but most of us are not sure if the money we want to give will reach the right people. So, I decided to visit these people myself and help them," he says.

Nana has visited 112 widows in MarathwadaBeed and now he plans to interact with 700 more in Nagpur, Latur, Hingoli, Parbani, Nanded, Aurangabad, Usmanabad, Jalna, Bhusawal, Jalgaon, etc. He says, "I just received a call from DevendraFadnavis (Maharashtra chief minister). We have been friends before he became the CM. I can talk to him one on one. At the same time, I can go to farmers and talk to them. I am hoping my being a mediator will help."

Why the farmer's issue? "Right now, it is of utmost importance. Today, I heard someone committed suicide. If after 69 years of independence, we can't provide water and electricity to people, it is ridiculous. Now the BJP has taken over, earlier there was Congress. We need to take these things seriously. I feel it is time for a revolution. If a farmer can kill himself, tomorrow he can kill you. Look at the level of his frustration. Beware, this situation could become dangerous. Their helplessness could turn into rage, they might turn Naxalites. You are creating that kind of a situation. Just give them electricity and water, which is their basic right. Come on, they provide you bread," he states.

For someone who comes from a humble background himself, isn't he insecure of not having money when he's giving away most of what he's earned?"Paisa is a by-product. I will get it anyway. Rs 10 crore or Rs 100 crore won't give me security. I feel secure by doing this. It is only a bandage on a huge wound. But in the process I am securing that human being that is still alive in me. Everyone will forget me if I stop acting in films. You won't come to interview me, but I know that those people (farmers) will remember me for life," he says matter-of-factly.

Ask him about certain uncomfortable changes that are taking place in the country and he simply says, "Why would I care about what they are banning? They should know that before implementing bans. Their responsibility is to provide basic things to the people. Sixty five per cent of the populace lives in villages and for them, nothing matters as long as they get basic facilities like electricity and water. Unfortunately, we have not been able to provide them even that."

The other person associated - Makarand Anaspure is a popular actor  on television who has featured in Marathi movies, known for his comedy and intelligent roles in Marathi cinema.

Remember – ‘Bommalattam’ directed by the Bharathiraja! ~the opening shot was director Rana shooting a scene with his film’s heroine and not happy with her performance – that was Nana Patekar !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Aug 2015.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Delhi's AAP Govt seeks Central support in curbing price spiral of Onions !!!

The onion (Allium cepa) (Latin 'cepa' = onion), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is used as a vegetable and is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Actually, it is not this bulb onion, which is used to make tasteful sambar…. is the smaller ones – ‘the shallot’ (Allium cepa var. aggregatum).

Onions make people cry –  at times, it is not that property of Onions that makes Indians cry …. ~ but  thespiralling increase in prices reaching Rs.80 per kg and more that does.  A few years back, when onions became the butt of cartoons,  there was this  amazing deal that Groupon offered in India.  People keep telling that you can purchase things at unbelievably low prices on the net…. Groupon India, home of India’s biggest discounts and best deals online- offered something totally unrealistic and unbelievable.  A peep on to their website revealed that lunched in April 2011, Groupon (formerly Crazeal) claims to feature one daily deal on the best things to do, see, eat, and buy across India. They state that it is not  about being cheap! It’s about presenting their customers with the best quality merchants promoting themselves in a truly crazy fashion! At a time when prices sky-rocketed the e-commerce firm Groupon sought to boost its popularity by offering a mouth-watering deal by pricing it at Rs 9 a kilo.

In 2010, there was dramatic rise in the cost of onions across markets in India. The crisis was caused by errant rainfall in the onion producing regions which led to a shortage of onion production. The crisis caused political tension in the country and was described as "a grave concern" by the then  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Now the prices of onions have been skyrocketing to over Rs 80 per kg in the Capital and  theAamAadmi Party government has sought intervention by the Union government to overcome the crisis.The government has sought the Centre’s assistance in procuring bulk supplies of onions from states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to meet the demand in Delhi. The unabated price rise has also scuppered the Delhi government’s plan to sell onions through mobile vans.Delhi’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Asim Ahmed Khan on Sunday urged the Union agriculture minister to facilitate bulk procurement of onions in order to curb rising prices. The Food and Civil Supplies Minister said the Center’s support is required to supplement the efforts of Delhi government for ensuring sufficient supplies of onions in order to contain their retail prices in the market.The move comes after facing flak for not procuring onions in advance despite being cautioned by Nafed.

For the past three months, central government agency Nafed and the Union Ministry of Agriculture had repeatedly written to the Delhi government alerting it about the imminent price rise of onions and potatoes. The agency had suggested that the government should stock up by buying onions at Rs 19 per kg. However, according to Nafed, the Delhi government did not bother to reply to these letters, thereby forcing Delhiites to buy onions at Rs 70-80 per kg in the open market.

Today, comes the news that wholesale prices of onion fell below the Rs 50 per kg mark at the Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia’s biggest onion market, due to curbs on exports and fear of action against hoarding.Even at Azadpurmandi in Delhi, wholesale onion price declined by Rs 3-5 per kg to Rs 53 today on increase in arrival of new crop from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.However, retail onion prices across the country continue to rule as high as Rs 80 per kg.

At Lasalgaon, which sets the price trend across the country, the wholesale onion price declined to Rs 48.5 per kg today from Rs 57 per kg last week, according to the data maintained by Nashik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).Also, fear of action against hoarding along with MMTC importing 10,000 tonnes of onion helped, they added.On Monday, the Centre had asked the Maharashtra government to crack down on hoarders and take adequate measures.

Thanks to increased arrival of new crop from in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the wholesale prices in Delhi markets have declined by 3-5 per kg to Rs 53 today, Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) member said.The arrival of early kharif crop of onion in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has picked up momentum, which would help improve supply across the country till harvesting of new crop begins in Maharashtra, the country's largest onion growing state, from October onwards.

So crisis seems to have been averted now !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Aug 2015.

Molly Huddle realises that it is not 9999M race ~ Mo Farah wins !!!

How would you react when you have everything going and have won almost but a silly error places you out !! ~ this woman has reasons to be unhappy !!!

The 10,000 metres run, longest track event,  is a common long-distance track running event. The event is part of the athletics programme at the Olympic and the World Championships. The 10,000 metres track race is usually distinguished from its road running counterpart, the 10K run, by the referring to the distance in metres, rather than kilometres.  It has been part of Olympics since 1912.  The world record for men is held by Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in 26:17.53, posted at Brussels, in 2005.  For women, the  record is held by Wang Junxia of China in 29:31.78 in 1993. The race demands exceptional levels of aerobic endurance.

At 15th World Athletic Championship in Beijing, Mo Farah defended his title in the 10,000 meters at the world track and field championships furthering the British distance runner’s legacy as one of the all-time greats, while his training partner, Galen Rupp of the U.S., faded over the final meters to a disappointing fifth place.It was the sixth consecutive gold medal at a global championships for Farah, 32, who completed the feat of double golds in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at both the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. He will seek to do the same here in Beijing, where the heats for the 5,000 meters begin on Wednesday.

In Women’s section, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya won the gold medal ahead of Ethiopian Gelete Burka in second place – but more news focus is on Molly Huddle, of US, who currently lives on Rhodes island.

American long distance runner Molly Huddle raised her arms triumphantly in the air as she won a bronze medal in the women's 9,999m race at the IAAF World Championships. The only problem for Huddle was that she had another metre to go. The premature celebration was an embarrassing stuff-up for Huddle, who like all the other athletes in the race has trained her entire life to be where she is.   That runner, Huddle's American teammate, Emily Infeld, took advantage of Huddle's nonchalant finish and just barely slipped past her to claim the bronze medal. Infield was out-of-her-mind happy after winning a bronze that, for the previous 9,999 meters of the race, was not hers to win.

The American runner was competing in the 10,000m final at the Athletics World Championships in Beijing and looked to have secured the bronze medal.With Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and Ethiopia's Gelete Burka already over the line, Huddle had third place assured and was so delighted with the result that as she reached the line, she raised her arms in celebration.Only she did it too early, and compatriot Emily Infeld was able to sneak in and take the third place medal.Huddle looked utterly shocked - and furious with herself - before mustering the sportsmanship to congratulate Infeld.

With the medal winners off celebrating, Huddle appeared to be fighting back tears at the Bird's Nest stadium. Infeld's was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the 10,000 meter since her compatriot Kara Goucherin 2007.  In the end it was Emily Infeld (31.43.49), pipping Molly Huddle (31:43.58) on the line.

'In that last half step, I just let up too much,' said a hugely disappointed Huddle. So in a split second, Huddle's celebratory expression changed as shee cringed burying her face in her hands.Huddle said the crowd noise was so loud on the final lap that she couldn't tell who was near her at the end.The 5'5 runner will return home to husband Kurt Benninger, whom she married in 2009, without a medal in this event, looking ahead to a better strategy in Rio.

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot won a thrilling last lap sprint to claim the gold medal, capping her comeback season with her second world title in the longest track event.The 31-year-old, who took 2014 off to have a child, hit the front with 300 metres to go and powered her way to victory in 31 minutes, 41.31 seconds to reclaim the title she won as part of a 5,000-10,000 double at the 2011 world championships in Daegu.Ethiopia's Gelete Burka stayed with Cheruiyot when the Kenyan sprinted away on the back straight but could not handle the pace in the final 100 metres and had to settle for silver in 31.41.77.In the absence of Ethiopia's three-times world champion TiruneshDibaba, who has taken the year off to have a child, Cheruiyot's victory kept the title in East Africa for the 10th straight championships.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Aug 2015.

Jamaican spree - Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce wins 100M at Beijing

There are many islands of the Caribbean and Jamaica is an island Nation of the Greater Antilles – 234 km in length.  Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the south-eastern coast of the island. 

The island Nation Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies.  Jamaica attained full independence by leaving the federation in 1962 – that was on 6th August 1962. 

In 2012 Olympics, after the much touted 00M – it was Men’s 200M finals and it was to be Usain Bolt again…. –the problem with Legends is that the expectation of the people builds up expecting them to outperform themselves everytime.   Bolt won in style but not a World Record – it was the 4th fastest and of the 3 in front, it was Bolt himself twice and running mate Yohan Blake once.  With Warren Weir claiming a shock bronze in 19.84sec.  it was 1-2-3 for Jamaica.

Now at Beijing, in World Athletic Championship, Gatlin was beaten and Usain Bolt maintained his considerable reputation; it was the turn of his compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, as she added to her growing legacy as the possibly the greatest female sprinter in history.Despite facing the fiercest of competition, the diminutive Fraser-Pryce continues to defy her lack of inches to deliver time and time again.

No matter how hard her rivals try, nobody can knock the outgoing Jamaican from her perch as the empress of sprinting.   Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce underlined her status as Queen of the Sprints with an unprecedented third world championship 100 metres title at the Bird's Nest stadium on Monday.  With her long, dyed green braids flowing behind her, the diminutive Jamaican was not quickest out of the blocks but soon got into her stride and powered down the track in 10.76 seconds to add to her titles in Berlin in 2009 and Moscow two years ago.Back at the same arena where she won the first of her two Olympic gold medals at the 2008 Games, Fraser-Pryce locked up a fifth title in the last six major championships in the blue riband sprint.
Photo credit :

 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is a Jamaican track and field sprinter. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Fraser-Pryce ascended to prominence in the 2008 Olympic Games when at 21 years old, the relatively unknown athlete became the first Caribbean woman to win 100 m gold at the Olympics. In 2012, she successfully defended her 100m title, becoming the third woman to win two consecutive 100m events at the Olympics.
No woman in history can boast of as many global 100m titles.It was also her sixth World Championship gold medal and she now sits on her own as the woman with the second highest total of golds in the 32-year history of the event, one clear of five-time world champions Gail Devers, Sanya Richards-Ross and TiruneshDibaba. US sprinter Allyson Felix is top of the pile on eight gold medals.

The 28-year-old Jamaican, sporting an unusual look of green hair with five yellow sunflowers on the fringe, has an uncanny ability to reach top speed quicker than her rivals out of the blocks. By 30 metres, the Jamaican ‘Pocket Rocket’ had already established a gap on her rivals with her countrywoman Veronica Campbell-Brown – one of a trio of Jamaicans in the final – prominent with US champion Tori Bowie also in the mix.

The  long-striding European champion DafneSchippers presented the Jamaican’s most demanding challenge over the second half of the race.Schippers had an outstanding race clocking 10.81 to trim 0.02 off the Dutch record she had set just two hours earlier in the semi-finals.Schippers became the first athlete from the Netherlands to win a women’s 100m medal at a global championship since the great Fanny Blankers-Koen, the IAAF female athlete of the 20thcentury, struck gold at the 1948 London Olympic Games.  

Behind the leading two, Bowie backed up the prevailing mood that she was a smart medal chance following her outings through the rounds and took the bronze in 10.86.The big disappointment was Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who, after running 10.89 in her semi-final earlier, clocked 11.02 for eighth.

Concluding there has to be reference to Cricket ! – the Jamaican ground has the spectacular backdrop of Blue mountains.  In 1976, India toured West Indies under Bishan Singh Bedi.    WI won the first test atBridgetown, by an innings and 97 runs.  The second one at Port of Spain was drawn and the third one on Apr 1976 was historic.  Indians chased 405 in the fourth innings and won by 6 wickets with Sunil Gavaskar and Vishwanath making centuries, ably supported by MohinderAmarnath, Brijesh Patel and Madanlal.

With that background of humiliated pride of WI -  Test no. 776 on 21 – 25th April 1976 was bloody.  The scorecard would read  India 306/6 decl !! ; WI 391 all out.  India 97 all out and West Indies making the 13 runs required without losing a wicket.  Statistics will never reveal the real story.

WW Daniel made his debut in a bloody test, where Indians were intimidated with crowds calling for blood.  Wisden reported that the bounce was uneven and match folded much earlier.  No doubt the WI had class quickies but the strategy was questionable and many batsmen suffered nasty injuries trying to take evasive action.  The short pitched bowling was overdone and Holding from round the wickets caused most damage to the bodies of Indians.  The result could not have been dreamt of from the first day.  At stumps on bad light curtailed day one Indians were 178/1; Gavaskar bowled Holding for 66; AnshumanGaekwad 58* and Mohinder 25* firm at the crease.  Gaekwad’s innings was one of raw courage taking several blows on the body and arms – the gears were not so protective those days.  With the score at 237 Gaekwad was forced to retire bleeding in his ears.  At 273 Brijesh Patel retired hit on the mouth.  At 306 Venkatraghavan got out.  Bedi wished to protect himself and Chandrasekhar from injuries and hence declared at 306/6.  That would be remembered as the  test when one player after other had to be escorted to hospital with bleeding injuries.  Fredericks scored 82 and at one stage WI floundered at 217/6 recovered to make 391.  Chandra took 5 for 135; Bedi&Venkat two apiece.

In the Second essay, Gavaskar failed to Holding and half of the team was not fit to play.   Mohinder made a gutsy 60.  Only Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Mohinder, Madanlal, Kirmani and Venkat padded up.  Gaekwad was not in a position to play – so also were GundappaVishwanath and Brijesh Patel.  Bedi& Chandra did not bat for the second time and with 5 batsmen absent hurt – it was recorded that Indians were all out for 97.

A sad test it was – with such a bloody end.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Aug 2015.

Monday, August 24, 2015

An Indian win after more than a year .... Sangakkara retires !!

An Indian win is always sweet – today : India 393 (Rahul 108, Rohit 79, Kohli 78, Herath 4-81) and 325 for 8 dec. (Rahane 126, Vijay 82, Prasad 4-43, Kaushal 4-118) beat Sri Lanka 306 (Mathews 102, Thirimanne 62, Mishra 4-43) and 134 (Karunaratne 46, Ashwin 5-42, Mishra 3-29) by 278 runs   - which is  their fourth-highest margin in terms of runs (excluding innings wins) and their biggest away win since they won by 279 runs at Headingley in 1986. Overall, this was their tenth-biggest win in terms of innings or runs in away Tests and their biggest since they beat Bangladesh by an innings and 239 runs in Dhaka in 2007.

It is not the margin but the  dry gap – it has  been more than a year since India last won a Test match, at Lord's in 2014.  Indians had to wait for the rain to stop and  seven balls after lunch on the fifth day, Dushmantha Chameera padded up to an Amit Mishra googly. Mishra spun around in appeal; Rod Tucker's finger went up immediately.

It will be too premature to give credit and start praising Virat Kohli for his first win – it was against an ordinary opponent – the team clicked and there are some areas for which the Captain deserves credit, especially handling of leggie Amit Mishra, who played after 4 years of wilderness.    Ravichandran Ashwin has had 17 wickets thus far -  with one more Test to go this is already the most taken by an India bowler in a series in Sri Lanka. He has taken one more wicket than the 16 taken by Harbhajan Singh in the 2008 series. This is also the first time an India bowler has taken two five-fors in a series in Sri Lanka.

It was Kumar Sangakkara's final day -  Test match concluded by  about 111 minutes for the Indians to take the last eight Sri Lanka wickets and level the series. Once the game ended, the occasion that its end contained took over.  When someone questioned how he went from being a "just a good" Trinity College cricketer to an international "legend" he smiled widely and said, "For me it was a case of working, changing, working, changing and trying to find a formula. More often than not, I was fortunate that what I tried worked. I wish there was a secret like I knew exactly what's working. At time you just don't know what is working and you keep doing it. You don't count the teeth of a gift horse when it's running. You change it only when you hit a stumbling block and try something new."

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara bid a tearful farewell to international cricket and was immediately offered the post of the island's top envoy in Britain where he plays county cricket. Several thousand cheering fans, many of them school children waving Sri Lankan flags, along with VIPs, turned out to farewell Sangakkara on the final day.  "You have been a great honour to Sri Lanka," Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said in a televised ceremony at P. Sara Oval for the formidable cricketer after the match.

Sangakkara, who turns out for Surrey in England, did not directly address Sirisena's announcement on the offer of the post of High Commissioner to Britain, equivalent to the role of ambassador, later telling reporters he had been unprepared for the gesture. "It was a surprise, I have to go and think about it and discuss with his excellency (the president)," Sangakkara said.  During the formal sendoff, the 37-year-old broke down as he thanked his parents for standing by him during his 15 years of cricket.  

In ODIs, he scored 14,234 runs in 404 matches, averaging nearly 42 with 25 centuries. He took 402 catches in ODIs and has 99 stumpings against his name.  In Tests, he has ended with 12400 runs with 319 as highest; 38 tons and 52 fifties in 134 tests – 182 catches and 20 stumpings …. Rich indeed !!

At the Oval, in 5th Investec  Tec – Aussies who have lost the Series salvaged some pride by winning the Test and giving a good farewell to opener Chris Rogers and Captain Michael Clarke.  Australia 481 (Smith 143, Warner 85, Voges 76, Starc 58) beat England 149 and 286 (Cook 85, Siddle 4-35) by an innings and 46 runs.

Back home, in what could otherwise go unnoticed on so much happening in a day, the swashbuckler, Virender Sehwag has quit Delhi to move to Haryana for the forthcoming domestic season. Sehwag's switch doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, his departure from his home team was anticipated this season. Even in 2009, he had threatened to walk out, alleging nepotism and corruption in Delhi cricket.

At Srilanka, after injury to Shikhar Dhawan, more worries - Wriddhiman Saha and Murali  Vijay have been ruled out of the final Test of the Sri Lanka series due to hamstring injuries. Wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha will replace Saha in the squad, while Karun Nair comes in for Vijay.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Aug 2015.

World's fastest woman Becci Ellis survives crash at 254 mph !!!!

Can you spot out who this person is ?

In the serene morning 0r in the dead of night, suddenly a group of bikers would speed down in Beach road racing amongst themselves sending shivers on the spine … it is mad mad driving  -  Herbert James "Burt" Munro, at the age of 68 riding a 47 year old machine set  an under-1,000 cc world record, at Bonneville in 1967.   In mid 1970s and 1980s, when we gazed at motorcycles, a sudden shriek will garner everyone’s attention – a motorcycle whizzing past in the not so crowded beach road ….those informed will tell that it is someone preparing to drive at racetrack in Sholavaram – the vehicle would look funny, devoid of any extra fittings, head light housing removed, no mudguards and even no kick-starter – would require a push start ………….. and DD would show live those races …life has changed fast !!

The motorcycle land speed record is the fastest speed achieved by a motorcycle on land. It is standardized as the speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs in opposite directions. These are special or modified motorcycles, distinct from the fastest production motorcycles.  In Oct 2014, an IT analyst set a new record by going 264mph on her modified bike  - she was - amateur racer Becci Ellis, 46.  The world's fastest woman  was revealed to be  a British mother-of-two who smashed the land speed record by going 264mph on a motorbike her husband built.

The 46-year-old has been riding motorbikes since she was a youngster and says it give her an adrenalin rush. Her husband Mick spent the last two years tweaking the 1300cc bike and developing a one-of-a-kind turbo system so his wife can reach break-neck speeds. Mrs Ellis blasted down the mile-long course at Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire on her beloved 500bhp Suzuki Hayabusa bike at 264.1mph, destroying American rider Jennifer Robertson's existing record of 243.6mph. The lightning-quick speed is the equivalent of travelling at a 118 metres a second and it took her just over 20 seconds to complete the course.

Now Becci Ellis is in news again ~this time not by breaking any record – but surviving motorbike crash at an incredible 254mph after she is hit by gust of wind while trying to break her own speed record.

The world's fastest female biker cheated death after crashing her bike at over 200mph in front of horrified motorsport fans.Becci Ellis, 46, was trying to beat her own speed record and had reached 254mph when her 1300cc superbike was hit by a gust of wind and veered off the track.Spectators - including husband Mick - watched as the turbo-powered Suzuki Hayabusa swerved onto the grass and careered out of control for a quarter of a mile before the mother-of-two was violently thrown off.

Thanks to armour-plating inside her racing suit, the IT analyst escaped with just a broken ankle, severe bruising and whiplash.MailOnline reports further that she was able to leave hospital within eight hours to watch the motorcycle competition continue at Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire.Recuperating at her home in Scunthorpe, Mrs Ellis said: ‘I had just gone through the speed gate at 254mph when the wind caught me. I was still doing around 220 and it made me sit up in the saddle and in less than a second the bike hadgot onto the grass.‘It was a very bumpy ride - and I knew it was going to end in pain. I managed to keep the bike upright but I was still doing around 90mph when the bike finally dug into the dirt and spat me off. I landed on my front and blacked out briefly but the paramedics were there very quickly.‘When they got to me I saw that Mick was looking a bit grey - it must have been very worrying for people watching but my armour under my leathers saved me from a lot more serious injuries.It was decided that because of the high speed of the impact I should go to casualty so they called the air ambulance which meant I was in Leeds hospital fifteen minutes after the crash.

Mrs Ellis added - ‘Other women are still trying to beat me but we made such a leap with the performance of my bike that it will be a long time before anyone goes faster’ !   Strange are the ways of people.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Aug 2015.