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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Today - midpoint of the year ~ WW1 deaths and more of history !! - biosecure bubble !!!

Many of the ardent Cricket fans are not in favour of this move .. .. yet after months of wait and anxiety, cricket is to be back on the grounds as  England will take on Windies in a three-Test series , to be played during the time of coronavirus. The Test series will be played within a biosecure bubble, with on-site hotels being their quarantine base. It clearly is an attempt to cash on media marketing, not on the game or the spectators but those who would watch the forecasts even when drowning under fear of Covid 19.  Not many eyes will feel relaxed watching   Jason Holder and possibly, Ben Stokes take to the field for the toss in what will be the first Test match since India’s loss to New Zealand in Christchurch in Mar 2020. It can be presumed that this will not only set a whole new TV record but also give a sneak-peek into how the future looks like until some sort of vaccine is out.

What is being hawked as a bio-secure environment for cricket to be played in spite of the sweepingly lethal progress of the novel coronavirus pandemic at many places implies two things. First, there will be no spectators in the stands and, secondly, the players in the fray will be socially distanced !  

Already something is brewing ! the President of the Barbados Cricket Association has called for the "immediate removal" of Phil Simmons as head coach of West Indies. Conde' Riley, who is also on the board of directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI), has described Simmons' decision to attend a family funeral as "inconsiderate and reckless" and claimed it has "endangered the lives" of the rest of the touring party.  Phil Simmons, who is based in the UK, was allowed to leave the West Indies training base to attend the funeral of his father-in-law at the end of last week. As a consequence, he was obliged to go into quarantine in the team hotel upon his return.

UK is badly affected by Covid 19.  Labour has urged Boris Johnson to extend the government’s furlough scheme, telling the prime minister it could be the “last chance to save millions of jobs". It comes as more towns and cities are monitored for coronavirus spikes that could see them placed under local lockdowns. Ministers have faced criticism for the handling of the surge in cases in Leicester, which was put into the UK’s first local lockdown on Tuesday.

salute Covid warriros of Tamil Nadu

Amidst all the melee, today is mid-way!, July 2 is the 183rd  day of the year   in the Gregorian calendar. 182 days have passed by and same no. of days  remain until the end of the year. The exact time of the middle of the year is at noon. In a leap year in those countries, the middle of the year is at midnight.

Exactly Hundred years ago, 1920 Summer Olympics was held at  Antwerp, Belgium. The 1916 Summer Olympics, to be held in Berlin, capital of the German Empire, had been cancelled due to World War I. The aftermath of the war and the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 affected the Olympic Games not only due to new states being created, but also by sanctions against the nations that lost the war and were blamed for starting it. Hungary, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire were banned from competing in the Games. Germany did not return to Olympic competition until 1928 and instead hosted a series of games called Deutsche Kampfspiele, starting with the Winter edition of 1922 (which predated the first Winter Olympics). The United States won the most gold and overall medals.

General elections were held in British India in 1920 to elect members to the Imperial Legislative Council and the Provincial Councils. They were the first elections in the Nation’s modern history.  The new Central Legislative Assembly which was the lower chamber of the Imperial Legislative Council was based in Delhi had 104 elected seats, of which 66 were contested and thirty eight were reserved for Europeans elected through the Chambers of Commerce. For the upper chamber, the Council of State, 24 of the 34 seats were contested, whilst five were reserved for Muslims, three for Whites, one for Sikhs and one for the United Provinces.  The Parliament was opened by the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in  1921.  Alongside the national elections there were also elections to 637 seats in Provincial Assemblies. Of these, 440 were contested, 188 had a single candidate elected unopposed. Despite the calls by Mahatma Gandhi for a boycott of the elections, only six had no candidate. Within the Provincial Assemblies 38 were reserved for White voters.

The Battle of Albert (1–13 July 1916) comprised the first two weeks of Anglo-French offensive operations in the Battle of the Somme. The Allied preparatory artillery bombardment commenced on 24 June and the Anglo-French infantry attacked on 1 July, on the south bank from Foucaucourt to the Somme and from the Somme north to Gommecourt, 2 mi (3.2 km) beyond Serre. The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

The first day on the Somme (1 July) saw a serious defeat for the German Second Army.   This first day was, in terms of casualties, also the worst day in the history of the British Army, which suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 killed in action. These occurred mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. The battle became notable for the importance of air power, and the first use of the tank in September. Tanks were still being developed and were prone to breaking down. At the end of the battle, British and French forces had penetrated 6 mi (10 km) into German-occupied territory. This was their largest territorial gain since the Battle of the Marne in 1914.  

The loss of about 57,000 British casualties in one day was never repeated but from 2 to 13 July, the British had about 25,000 more casualties; the rate of loss changed from about 60,000 to 2,083 per day. From 1 to 10 July, the Germans had 40,187 casualties against a British total of about 85,000 from 1 to 13 July.

It was a time when blood ran in barrels on fields, people died in thousands, yet none were satisfied, perhaps the Covid 19 effect is more than those bloody hell.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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