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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Brisbane Test ... or Sydney .. ! - Gavaskar bats for Ashwin and T Natarajan !!

Wonder what this woman has to do in this predominant Cricket post !!

At a time when  pacers Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Chris Old, Bob Willis, Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee and others dominated the Test scene – the opener stood up (not even wearing a helmet for almost all of his career).  Apart from his physical appearance, everything about Sunil Gavaskar was immense, especially the statistical milestones he achieved over his 17-year international career.  He was the first to make 10000 runs in Test Cricket.   Now that elite club has 12 members and none of them are presently playing !

In 2011, India toured England and were whitewashed – Indian fans were despaired.  Around the time of First Test elections were held for the President of the Mumbai Cricket Association, Dilip Vengsarkar was defeated by a politician named Vilasrao Deshmukh.  There was an article by  Ramachandra Guha wondering why the  two most famous former cricketers from the city, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri who  had played alongside Vengsarkar for many years, for both Mumbai and India did not support him !   .. .. .. paying annually  Rs 3.6 crore annually to both of them as centrally contracted commentators, with instructions to toe the official line, which is implicit in any employer-employee relationship.   

One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane was founded upon the ancient traditional lands of the Jagera people, including the Turrbal group, who named the area Meanjin. Named after the Brisbane River on which it is located—which in turn takes its name from Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales at the time of the city's founding.     Brisbane is the Capital of Queensland, Australia. 

When Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the return of border checkpoints on Monday her spin doctors pumped her social media pages with propaganda hailing the decision as a huge win for Queenslanders. A video of the premier announcing the change was posted on her Facebook and Twitter pages with the title 'Queensland reinstates hard border closure with Greater Sydney'. There was not a hint of a genuine apology for the thousands of tourism businesses who had bookings cancelled, the families who were split apart, or the hardworking Aussies whose Christmas holiday plans were shattered after such a difficult year. To make matters worse, in her haste to show off her toughness, Ms Palaszczuk actually caused mass confusion by failing to clearly explain the policy change. Annastacia Palaszczuk  has been the Premier of Queensland since 2015 and the Leader of the Labour Party in Queensland since 2012. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland for the seat of Inala at the 2006 election.


In one afternoon the foundation of Indian batting line-up was cluttered as they collapsed to an unimaginable low of 36.  Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins destroyed them  with Josh returning a miserly 5 for 8 !  .. .. India would play their 2nd test on Boxing day at Melbourne –in Jan 2021, 3rd Test at Sydney and 4th at Brisbane.  .. .. there could be some changes in the venue !!

It was only earlier this week that the New Year Test was in doubt to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but the iconic Moore Park venue could now be set to host two of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series matches as COVID-19 continues to inflict mayhem on Cricket Australia. While the outbreak of the virus on Sydney's Northern Beaches originally forced Cricket Australia to consider handing either the MCG or the Gabba a second match, The Daily Telegraph and ESPN Cricinfo say the governing body is now rethinking its plans as a result of the Queensland government's latest move. Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the state's southern border was closed to Greater Sydney, meaning broadcasters and Cricket Australia staff could have trouble travelling to Brisbane for the fourth Test.

David Warner and Sean Abbott won't feature in the Test series until at least the third match, set to begin on January 7, after the duo were today ruled out of the Boxing Day Test because they had been in Sydney too recently. Cricket Australia on Saturday rushed the pair to Melbourne so they could quarantine before the arrival of the rest of the squad for the Boxing Day Test.

Back home, former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi has written to Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rohan Jaitley, asking for the removal of his name from a stand at the Feroz Shah Kotla after coming to know about plans to install a statue of Rohan’s father and former head of the state association, Arun Jaitley, at the stadium. Bedi and Jaitley were often at loggerheads during the latter’s lifetime.

Ravichandran Ashwin has “suffered” within the Indian team because of his “forthrightness”, such that he has always had to fight for his place in the XI, said Sunil Gavaskar. Claiming there are “different rules for different players” within the national side, Gavaskar said T Natarajan — who had become a father during the IPL season — would also be wondering about such “rules”. Writing a column on Sportstar, Gavaskar said: “For far too long Ashwin has suffered not for his bowling ability of which only the churlish will have doubts, but for his forthrightness and speaking his mind at meetings where most others just nod even if they don’t agree. If Ashwin doesn’t take heaps of wickets in one game he is invariably sidelined for the next one. That does not happen to established batsmen though.”

He then went on to speak about T Natarajan, who made his international debut days after having becoming a father, travelling directly to Australia from the IPL bio-bubble in the UAE, where he had burst onto the stage. Natarajan is yet to see his daughter and is with the Indian team as a net bowler even though he is not part of the Test side. Virat Kohli has left Australia after the 1st Test to be present for the birth of his child in India.  Speaking about this, Gavaskar said, “(T Natarajan) had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on. He was asked to stay on for the (Australia) Test series but not as a part of the team but as a net bowler. Imagine that. A match winner, albeit in another format, being asked to be a net bowler. He will thus return home only after the series ends in the third week of January and get to see his daughter for the first time then. And there is the captain (Virat Kohli) going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child.”

Though his batting and his straight drives were immaculate, I feel, the comparison here is not correct .. .. Virat Kohli has taken a personal decision to be with his wife at the time of childbirth (being an established star, he is in a position to decide) – paternity leave is not new in Cricket – there have been many stars who have stayed off their National duties for this – Natarajan is a rising star and that time, he was not even sure of his debut – perhaps it was his own decision to look at his career than take paternity leave !  There cannot be any comments on that as it is a personal logical decision.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sydney mulls strict Covid restrictions ~ and .. would that imperil the Test match ?

For Indian Cricket fans, the scars of that afternoon (19.12.2020) at Adelaide Oval will remain for ever – 36 All out (technically 36/9 Shami injured hurt).. .. Away from Cricket, one must admire and appreciate the way Australian citizens abide by rules and how laws are imposed stringently.  Sadly, as you walk on the streets of Chennai, with Marina beach too now opened to public – one would find hundreds of people walking but not wearing mask and not keeping social distance.  This is a post on India’s Cricket tour to Australia and some more on Covid front too. 

In one afternoon the foundation of Indian batting line-up was cluttered as they collapsed to an unimaginable low of 36.  Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins destroyed them  with Josh returning a miserly 5 for 8 !  .. .. India would play their 2nd test on Boxing day at Melbourne –in Jan 2021, 3rd Test at Sydney and 4th at Brisbane.

Sydney  is the capital city of the state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in Oceania.  Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west.    Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney.    It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an Australian heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is widely regarded as an iconic image of Sydney, and of Australia itself. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.

Australia's most populous state has announced new restrictions for the Greater Sydney area in an attempt to contain a growing outbreak of Covid-19. Household gatherings will be capped at 10 people and hospitality venues at 300 until Wednesday. Residents had already been told to stay at home. The cases were found in the city's Northern Beaches area, which entered a five-day lockdown on Saturday. Since then Sydney residents have rushed to leave the city ahead of Christmas. Thousands have travelled from the city in New South Wales (NSW) to the neighbouring state of Victoria. In response, Victoria will close its borders to residents of Greater Sydney and the NSW Central Coast from midnight. People will then face a 14-day quarantine. South Australia state also said all arrivals from the Greater Sydney area would have to quarantine for 14 days from midnight. People who have been in the Northern Beaches area will be barred from the state entirely.

The outbreak has also forced organisers of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race to cancel the event for the first time in its history.  Sydney's Northern Beaches outbreak grew to 68 cases on Sunday, with 30 new cases recorded in the previous 24 hours. The new cluster emerged just days before the Christmas period, prompting concern that travel restrictions may impact festive plans. More than 250,000 residents have been banned from leaving their homes except for work, exercise, essential shopping and compassionate reasons until Wednesday. Those living in other parts of Sydney have been told to avoid the area. The NSW government has urged all locals to wear masks in public areas like supermarkets and churches and to be on "high alert". The next five days has been described as a "tipping point" by epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws. "We can only hope that it remains focused in the Northern Beaches, but if it goes across all of Australian than we will need more tightening."

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New South Wales climbed to 71 this weekend, prompting Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews the shut the border to New South Wales from midnight on Sunday. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced new lockdown restrictions for Greater Sydney as the northern beaches cluster continues to spread.  Whilst reading this cannot help recalling what happened in our street in Apr-May 2020, our street (Venkatrangam Pillai Street, in Triplicane – to be precise one small cluster had more than 90 covid identified persons, all of them turned normal after quarantined)

The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is scheduled to commence on January 7th. Despite suggestions the five-day fixture should be played at the MCG or Canberra’s Manuka Oval, CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley confirmed the SCG remains the preferred venue.  Cricket Australia is reportedly considering contingency plans should the New Year’s Test in Sydney need to be delayed or cancelled altogether, but has not rushed into making any changes just yet and is hopeful the schedule will remain untouched.  These are because of the fresh COVID-19 outbreak in the northern beaches that  has put NSW on high alert.  CA is hopeful it will still be able to stage the third Test between Australia and India, scheduled to begin on January 7, in Sydney, but is preparing for the fact that may not be possible.

As reported by The Daily Telegraph, if the virus situation worsens, the governing body may need to scrap the Test and return for a second match in Adelaide or hold two Tests in Melbourne or Brisbane.  As the schedule stands, the fourth Test in Brisbane is slated to begin on January 15, but that could be brought forward to give Sydney extra time to get the coronavirus situation under control and allow for the SCG to host what would then be the fourth Test of the series.  CA interim CEO Nick Hockley said no changes had yet been made to the schedule. Queensland looms as a potential option, although Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already rejected the Indian cricket team. The state earlier relinquished the right to host white ball fixtures between Australia and India after it was not satisfied with the biosecurity protocols around the Indian team.

It was only recently the SCG hosted more than 30,000 fans for the third T20 match between Australia and India. Famous former Australian paceman Brett Lee was  forced to leave the Adelaide Test to head home after Sydney's Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak. Lee is a resident of the Northern Beaches and is one of a number of staff members from both broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel 7 who have been sent home after the cluster. According to the Daily Telegraph, Lee has no symptoms of the virus and has not been to any of the notified hot spots.  Another Australian cricket legend - who has a grandstand at the ground named after him - was fulfilling his commentary duties for the ABC on day two of the first Test against India. But as a Sydney Northern Beaches resident, the South Australian government came knocking as the COVID-19 cluster toll continued to mount.  Amidst dramatic scenes Ian Chappell, 77, was asked to leave his beloved ground and isolate before undertaking a COVID test

.. .. .. and that is Australia, the Govt is tough, citizens cooperate without murmur.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Worst day for Indian Cricket #Adelaide36Allout

This is not the best Australian team – the bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood,  Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Nathan Lyon did not sound – Jeff Thomson, Max Walker, Dennis Lillee,  Len Pascoe, Rod Hogg, Alderman,  Mcdermott, Glenn Mcgrath, Bret Lee  .. .. but today for  the devout Indian Cricket fan, utterly devastating – depressed, the ignominy is complete.  Never expected this.  How sad to see a Scorecard of :

4, 9, 2, 0, 4, 0, 8, 4, 0, 4, 1 .. ..  +  0 extras  = 36 / 9 (1 retired hurt)


Was reading that David Warner hitched a ride on a private jet to Melbourne on Saturday to avoid being stranded in the NSW capital for next week's Boxing Day Test if Victoria shuts its border to people from Sydney due to a virus outbreak.  Fellow Test squad member Sean Abbott also headed to Melbourne early, driving to Canberra to catch a plane, but Warner took a more direct route.  .. .. and sometime during the match there was some suggestion that this Aussie team is a much weakened one – and the way they folded in the 1st innings did suggest that there were interesting probabilities, to put mildly, expectations of an Indian Win !!

As Jasprit Bumrah completed the day as ‘night-watchman’ after Prithvi Shaw’s exit thought the match was intricately balanced.   There were some thoughts on - What sort of target could Australia chase? The scene set for Virat Kohli to sign off the tour with a defining innings? The third day in Adelaide promised so much - in many ways it delivered, but in scarcely believable fashion as Josh Hazlewood - who reached 200 Test wickets - and Pat Cummins dismantled India for their lowest-ever Test total with Australia securing victory before the floodlights were even needed. 

When play started, it was totally different -  Aussies bowled to a plan, nagging length Every good ball took an edge, every edge went to fieldsman, every fieldsman caught it. Five went to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, the safest hands. None needed a dive or other acrobatics;  they came and sat in their hands.   Even the one catch that was dropped was re-caught, by the tryo Cameron Green lunging forward from gully and clutching the rebound to his chest as he rolled. It had to be Virat Kohli, and it was.     Pat Cummins was breathtaking and on the way took his 150th Test wicket, average 21. Josh Hazlewood saw him and upped him one, and now has 200 Test wickets, average 25. To make matters worse, star pacer Mohammed Shami's series could well be over due to a wrist injury from a short ball from Pat Cummins, which could potentially be a fracture. Shami could not continue and the Indian innings was terminated at 36 for 9 in 21.2 overs. 

Pat Cummins figures of 10.2-4-21-4 were truly upstaged by Josh Hazlewood 5-3-8-5.


To take solace that this is India’s lowest ever but not the ‘lowest ever’ would be foolish as this would rankle for long.  Way back in Mar 1955 at Auckland, England scoring 246 won by an innings and twenty runs.  NZ scored 200 in their first essay but were shot out for 26, which remain the lowest ever.







New Zealand






south Africa




Port Elizabeth


south Africa






south Africa




Cape Town








south Africa













1971 was a great year for India as Ajit Wadekar led them to Series victories against the mighty West Indies and England.  3 years later, India had arrived in England as one of the best teams in Test cricket.   They had beaten England at home and away after their undefeated three-year streak. They had also managed to defeat West Indies at their den.  The team led by Ajit Wadekar read :  Sunil Gavaskar ;  Farokh Engineer †;  Ajit Wadekar (c); Gundappa Viswanath; Brijesh Patel; Eknath Solkar ; Syed Abid Ali ; Madan Lal; Erapalli Prasanna ; Bishan Bedi  & Bhagwath Chandrasekhar.  India lost the first Test at on a wet, green Old Trafford pitch despite Sunil Gavaskar’s long-awaited hundred — the first since his maiden tour — and a quality all-round show from Syed Abid Ali. The 113-run defeat on a seamer-friendly track did not look that bad — India, after all, were nowhere close to England in terms of a seam attack. But at Leeds they were bowled out for a dismal 42, which had remained our lowest all these years – now History has been rewritten.  

Today becomes the first instance of  all of Test cricket that all 11 batsmen, and extras, couldn't cross single-figures in an innings. The highest score was Mayank Agarwal who made 9. 

Worst day for Indian Cricket  #Adelaide36Allout


Sad fan – S. Sampathkumar



Thursday, December 17, 2020

India survives day 1 at Adelaide .. .. know .. ‘Dianthus plumarius’,

Are you the one who would ask – what is there in a colour ?  . .. how fast would you select your apparel.  For many of us – there are only a handful of colours – Red, Blue, Green, Orange and Black & White, if you can add them too. Rest are only shades !   Can you identify the flower ‘Dianthus plumarius’, a species of   in the family Caryophyllaceae.

The much awaited Border-Gavaskar Test Series was off to a start at Adelaide today. Remember this is a Day-Night match test.  Both captains wanted to bat first and it was Kohli who had the choice,.  Disaster was to strike sooner as Starc, found the sizeable gap between bat and pad into the stumps via an inside edge. One of  pre-Test debates was Prithvi Shaw vs Shubham Gill and the second innings of this match may dictate how much that dominates the build-up to the second Test. Cheteswar Pujara walled for long without scoring much but his presence was intimidating enough.   The team recovered well thought kept losing wickets at regular intervals.  Virat Kohli was well set, and was forging a good partnership with composed  Ajinkya Rahane.

Then came another horrible mix-up.  Rahane regrettably offered when he called for a run to Hazlewood's left at mid-off, only to reverse his decision when he saw the fast bowler was neither slow nor clumsy in getting to the ball and sending a return in perfectly to Lyon at the non-striker's end. Rahane's exasperation was clear in his reflexive f-bomb and immediate apology to Kohli, but the damage had been done.  TV camera crew, commentators and everyone else expected Kohli to react badly and let out some expletives BUT he walked way simply shaking his heads. 

The First Test, first Session or first innings is very important and I somehow had some innate fears that India could fold below 150.  In 1977 at Brisbane, India opened with Chetan Chauhan and Sunil Gavaskar.  At 15 it was two wickets down with Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath out of ducks ! – India recovered to make 153 !;  in Dec 2007, in the First test the could muster only 196.   In Dec 2018, Pujara made 123 and recovered India from deep trouble as they were 86/5 at one stage but reached 250,   It was :   1-3 (KL Rahul, 1.6 ov), 2-15 (Murali Vijay, 6.6 ov), 3-19 (Virat Kohli, 10.3 ov), 4-41 (Ajinkya Rahane, 20.2 ov), 5-86 (Rohit Sharma, 37.3 ov), .. .. .. So a score of 233/6 at Stumps looks reasonable enough .. and if India could reach 300, it would be great !

South Africa face a potential selection headache, with 10 members of their 16-man squad to play Sri Lanka involved in domestic first-class matches in which positive cases of Covid-19 have been detected.   It is not yet known which, if any, of the 10 are infected or are deemed close contacts of those who are infected. If any of them fall into these two categories they will need to isolate for 10 days from December 16. The first Test against Sri Lanka starts on December 26 and only Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortje, Kyle Verreynne and Glenton Stuurman are confirmed as available. De Kock, du Plessis, Bavuma and Nortje did not play in this round and Verreynne and Stuurman played in the Cobras-Warriors match, which was unaffected by the virus. The latest round of domestic first-class matches saw the first franchise cricket match called off because of Covid-19 in South Africa. The top of the table clash, between the Titans and the Dolphins, was abandoned after the first day when a Dolphins player tested positive. At least three more players from that franchise have also been infected.

On day 1 at Adelaide, it was an engrossing opening day  - but at 206/6 it looked worser that what is now as the expected threat of Australia's quicks with a pink ball under lights was staved off. Starc and Josh Hazlewood made the incisions before Wriddhiman Saha, who was preferred over Rishabh Pant, and R Ashwin did well to remain intact, carrying India's hopes of 300-plus with them.

Before concluding :  Dianthus plumarius, also known as the common pink, garden pink, or wild pink, is a species of pink-coloured flower in the family Caryophyllaceae.  Pink is a pale tint of red that is named after a flower of the same name. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the colour most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and romance.  

Cricket Australia have unveiled an updated pink Kookaburra ball, featuring a completely black seam, and announced it will be used in the day-night round of Sheffield Shield matches next week.  Calling the red balls "rubbish", Shane Warne has said that they don't swing or do anything after 25 overs of use. Test cricket's second-highest wicket-taker Warne further stated that Pink-ball Test matches look "fantastic" on the TV. "I've been saying this for the last few years. I believe the pink ball should be used in all Test matches. Day games, not just day-night games," Warne said on 'Fox Cricket'.

"The pink ball, you can actually see the ball easier, crowd can see the ball easier. It generally does more than the red ball and it looks fantastic on TV. So why not use a pink ball the whole time? "Maybe change it at 60 overs because it goes soft, but I'd be using the pink ball for every Test match so more of it I would say.  A cricket ball is not a perfect sphere. The seam of the ball is the circular stitching which joins the two halves of the cricket ball. Hence, the seam joining the pieces of leather is circumferential and the stitching is noticeably raised.

Interesting and hope you are in the pink of your health. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

class is permanent .. form is temporary .. .. rusty pilots !!

Form is temporary; Class is permanent !  .. .. cycling, swimming would never be forgotten – even if one had not practised them for long years, they could continue at the given opportunity and time ! ..   Cliches often heard. 

Most property policies are peril driven – ie., provide coverage against loss or damage caused by specified perils – do you perceive insects ! as possible cause of damage, especially when the subject matter of insurance is high quality metal !  .. .. … do ponder this ………….

Tomorrow starts day-night Test at Adelaide Oval. Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin and Prithvi Shaw have been named in the final playing X1. Umesh Yadav will be the third seamer. Tickets for the initial three days have sold out, with capacity limited to about 21,000 spectators by coronavirus protocols.  Good news, is  Rohit “Hitman” Sharma has landed in Down Under for the Test series. The Indian batsman had left for Australia in the early hours of Tuesday after confirming fitness. Rohit shared a picture with his fans on Instagram from inside the flight with a thumbs up to inform that he is now in Australia. He will now be put in a 14-day quarantine as per COVID-19 protocol after which he will be put to another fitness test. The Indian vice-captain needs to clear it, in order to be in contention for selection for the Sydney Test starting January 7. 

I am no fan of Yoyo test or any other fitness test to ascertain the quality of a Cricketer – some are fitness freaks but gleaning the past, perhaps the likes of Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Ashok Malhothra, Erapalli Prasanna  may not pass the fitness test, may not have been greatly fit but were very capable performers.  So fitness should not be a criterion for judging the class of Rohit Sharma, who though looking bulkier, can effortless smash any bowler over the country – outside the ground for huge sixers.

Some had earlier also made some unsavour remarks on how the performance in T20 (IPL) and  Onedayers could translate in Test where a pacer could bowl with 4 slips and a Gully – ‘Class would reveal itself’.  In Cricket, when some struggle temporarily, the commentator would often say the cliché – ‘class is permanent, form is temporary’.

Aviation experts have raised concerns about 'rusty' pilots and planes being reactivated after storage during the coronavirus pandemic. Travel restrictions caused a huge decrease in flying this year in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 across borders.  Pilots returning to work and insect nests have been raised as potential problems for airlines as they restart business. There has been a spike in reported maintenance problems as planes are brought out of storage on a scale not seen in the industry before, reports MailOnline. 

Aviation insurers and regulators have raised concerns about how airlines return to full functionality. Head of Asia aviation at insurance broker Aon Gary Moran told the BBC: 'We've got people returning to work who are quite rusty, which is a big issue.' Asia managing editor of aviation magazine FlightGlobal Greg Waldron said: 'Flying an aircraft can be quite technical. 'If you haven't been doing it for a while, it's certainly not second nature like riding a bike.'  But Mr Waldron said airlines are aware of pilots being more cautious on their return and many have booked extra time for them in flight simulators. The number of 'unstabilised' or poorly handled approaches has risen sharply this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  Such mishaps can result in hard landings, runway overshoots or even crashes.


Worried by IATA's data, insurers are questioning airlines about whether they are doing extra pilot training to focus on landings, said Mr Moran. 'They want to know about the circumstances of the training,' he said. Pilots returning to work and insect nests have been raised as potential problems for airlines as they restart business. According to aircraft maker Airbus SE, the largest category of fatal accidents can be traced back to the approach to an airport, while the largest number of non-fatal accidents happen during landing. In May, a Pakistan International Airlines jet crashed after an unstabilised approach, killing 97 people, while 18 died in an Air India Express crash on landing in August, also after an unstabilised approach. But training is not the only concern.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reported an 'alarming trend' in the number of reports of unreliable airspeed and altitude readings during the first flight after a plane leaves storage. In some cases, take-offs had to be abandoned or the aircraft had to return to base. In most cases, the problem was traced back to undetected insect nests inside the aircraft's pitot tubes, pressure-sensitive sensors that feed key data to an avionics computer. In June, a Wizz Air Holdings PLC jet halted take-off after the captain found the airspeed was reading zero. Examination of the plane found insect larvae in one of the pitot tubes, with the aircraft having been parked for 12 weeks before the flight, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch said last month. No passengers were on board. Insects blocking a pitot tube contributed to the 1996 crash of a chartered Birgenair plane in the Dominican Republic that killed all 189 people on board.

Kate Seaton, a Singapore-based aerospace partner at law firm HFW, said flight crews need to be aware of potential defects that might not have been identified properly as planes return to service after an unprecedented grounding. 'We are in new territory - the industry must take steps to mitigate the risks but need to be prepared for the unexpected,' she said. EASA said last month that issues found after prolonged parking included an engine shutdown in flight after technical problems, fuel system contamination, reduced parking brake pressure and emergency batteries losing their charge.

Covid has created more problems than could be fathomed at present 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Friday, December 11, 2020

பார்மீது நான் சாகாதிருப்பேன், காண்பீர்! : celebrating birth of Subramaniya Barathiyar

வந்தே மாதரம் என்போம்-எங்கள்  மாநிலத் தாயை வணங்குதல் என்போம்.

- என்ற வரிகளை கேட்டு மெய் சிலிர்த்தது உண்டா ?


பார்மீது நான் சாகாதிருப்பேன், காண்பீர்!

மலிவுகண்டீர் இவ்வுண்மை பொய்கூறேன் யான் !!,

மடிந்தாலும் பொய்கூறேன் மானுடர்க்கே,

நலிவுமில்லை;  சாவுமில்லை,கேளீர்,கேளீர்!  

சுப்ரமணிய பாரதியார் ~ ஒரு உன்னத பிறவி.   கவிதைகள் வாயிலாக மக்களின் மனதில் விடுதலை உணர்வை ஊட்டியவர். இவர் ஒரு கவிஞர் மட்டுமல்லாமல் ஒரு எழுத்தாளர், பத்திரிக்கை ஆசிரியர், சமூக சீர்திருத்தவாதி - தன்  காலத்துக்கு  மிகவும் பல்லாண்டுகள்  பிறகு நடக்க வல்லவை பற்றி  கூர் நோக்குடன் சிந்தித்தவர்.  நம் கருத்துக்களை ஏன் மக்கள் எதிர்க்கிறார்கள் என்று ஒருநாள் கண்ணன் கேட்டார். அதற்கு பாரதி,  ‘ஏனெனில் நம் கருத்துக்கள் இன்னும் நானூறு ஆண்டுகள் கழித்து சொல்லப்பட வேண்டியவை. இவர்களால் புரிந்துகொள்ள முடியாது’ என்றார்.  பாரதி மஹாகவி மட்டுமல்லன் ! ~ கவிதை அவர்க்கு சரஸ்வதி தேவியின் வரம்.  அவரது சிந்தனை, வார்த்தைகள்,  செயல் எல்லாமே தேசபக்தி. விடுதலை உணர்வு ~  ஆங்கிலேயர்க்கு அடிமைப்பட்டிருந்த பாரதத்தை   உலுக்கி   எழுப்பின  அவர்தம்  பாடல்கள். அவர்தம் எண்ணங்கள் காலத்தை கடந்தவை.  உண்மையிலேயே அவர் தாம் வாழ்ந்த காலத்தினை தாண்டி சிந்தனை கொண்ட தீர்க்கதரிசி.


Today 11th  Dec  is a day to remember ~ it marks the 137th birth   anniversary of the greatest poet, a great son of India – Mahakavi Subrahmanya Barathiyar.  

பாரத சமுதாயம் வாழ்கவே! - வாழ்க வாழ்க!

பாரத சமுதாயம் வாழ்கவே! - ஜய ஜய ஜய

முப்பது கோடி ஜனங்களின் சங்கம் - முழுமைக்கும் பொது உடைமை

ஒப்பிலாத சமுதாயம்  - உலகத்துக்கொரு புதுமை - வாழ்க! (பாரத)

~ என்று நம் தேசத்தை வியந்த எந்தை எங்கள் மஹாகவி ஒப்புயர்வற்ற ஞானி தீர்க்கதரிசி அஞ்சாநெஞ்சன் சுதந்திர போராட்ட மாவீரன் சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதி!


The man who was to become an iconoclastic freedom fighter was born in a small village called Ettayapuram on Dec 11, 1882. His  parents  Chinnasami Subramanya Iyer and Lakhsmiammaal named him Subbaiah.  From a very young age he learnt music and at 11th , he learnt songs; he was conferred the title of "Bharathi" (one blessed by Saraswati, the goddess of learning).  Interestingly, this is what he claimed himself to be (at a much later stage !)


நமக்குத் தொழில்கவிதை,  நாட்டிற்கு உழைத்தல்*

இமைப் பொழுதுஞ் சோராதிருத்தல்- உமைக்கினிய

மைந்தன் கணநாதன் நங்குடியை வாழ்விப்பான்;

சிந்தையே! இன்மூன்றும் செய்.


He prayed Lord Siva (Umainathan) to bless the community stating that his avocation was ‘writing poetry, working for mother land and persevering without battling eye-lid for the cause’ – appeals blessing for these three !


                    ~   இளமையிலேயே கவிபாடும் திறமை பெற்றிருந்த சுப்பிரமணியன், எட்டையபுர சமஸ்தானப் புலவர்கள் அவையில் பாரதி என்ற பட்டம் பெற்றார். அன்று முதல் இவர்“சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதியார்”என அழைக்கப்பெற்றார்.  

 Sri Kannan purappadu and Barathiyar residence at Thiruvallikkeni

Bharathi started his own journal India in 1906 and published his fiery patriotic poems and blunt anti-colonial articles. His association with V. O. C. became more intimate, the latter floated his Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company in 1906. Bharathi helped him in getting contributions for shares in the company and donations. The great man hailed as Kappalottiya thamizhan fought  Imperial British traders challenging them at sea.  Irked by this, VOC  was subsequently foisted with  serious charges of sedition and conspiracy, which got him two life terms of rigorous imprisonment whence he was physically assaulted and humiliated.  Barathiyar too underwent harassment and was severely injured in prison, which infact led to his death.  

By his songs and concerted actions, he reached to the masses making the aware of the need for freedom struggle and could make a great movement in Southern part of the Nation.  He was a fiery leader with progressive leader and great vision, clearly a man who lived much beyond his age and foresaw things clearly.  Bharathi supported Tilak and Aurobindo together with V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Kanchi Varathaachariyar. Tilak openly supported armed resistance against the British. In 1908, he gave evidence in the case which had been instituted by the British against V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. In the same year, the proprietor of the journal India was arrested in Madras. Faced with the prospect of arrest, Bharathi escaped to Pondicherry which was under French rule. From there he edited and published the weekly journal India, Vijaya, a Tamil daily, Bala Bharatha, an English monthly, and Suryothayam, a local weekly of Pondicherry. The British tried to suppress Bharathi's output by stopping remittances and letters to the papers. Both India and Vijaya were banned in British India in 1909.  

His poetry stands out for many facets of his love for his motherland. He berates his countrymen for many social evils. He chastises them for a fearful and pusillanimous attitude towards the rulers. He gave a clarion call for national unity, removal of casteism and the removal of oppression of women. He calls for the British to leave the motherland in forceful ways at one point saying "Even if Indians are divided, they are children of One Mother, where is the need for foreigners to interfere?".  

The land of Pondicherry bears connection to this great revolutionary.  Apart from running journals and magazines from here, he sung about the famous deity of Pondy ~ “Manakula Vinayagar” in his Vinayagar Nanmani Maalai [விநாயகர் நான்மணி மாலை] – by some accounts this was published out of handwritten manuscripts in 1929 posthomously.  


Bharati’s knowledge of the happenings around him, and all over the world was accurate and detailed. As a journalist, who had to deal with international matters, he read almost all the English newspapers, especially those published from England. He discussed in his articles many matters relating to the freedom of India, its economic, political, artistic and spiritual growth, in comparison with other nations, who were caught in a similar predicament.

An Organisation ~ “Vaanavil Panpattu Maiyam”  has been celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahakavi every year, by organizing various programmes at Triplicane at the house where Bharatiyar resided.   This year due to Corona, perhaps it is muted – this morning there would be ‘jathi pallakku’ purappadu from Sri Parthasarathi swami temple (near thirukulam) to the house in Thulasingaperumal Koil Street where he resided.    


In the words of Bharathi, those who are truly devoted would not be impatient and would not do things in a hurry for they know how life grows out steadily out of seed; and for those who are given to understanding the divine power is everything ~ also know that all they need to do is to work with esteem rest being taken by Divine shakthi. 

பக்தியுடையார் காரியத்திற் பதறார், மிகுந்த பொறுமையுடன்

வித்து முளைக்குந் தன்மைபோல் மெல்லச்செய்து பயனடைவார்,

சக்தி தொழிலே அனைத்துமெனிற் சார்ந்த நமக்குச் சஞ்சலமேன்?

வித்தைக்கிறைவா, கணநாதா, மேன்மைத் தொழிலிற் பணியெனையே. 


Fortunate to live in the land where great people like Bharathiyar lived and happy to be participating in such events. 

With great reverence to the poet – S. Sampathkumar.
11th Dec 2020