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Monday, August 30, 2021

Binny retires from all forms of Cricket


I have watched his father play at Chepauk in Ranji match and later in Test too ! – now comes the news of son retiring from all forms of Cricket.  There was a time when he was brutally trolled yet – he holds a grand record and retires gracefully.

You may not connect Florida to Cricket.  Florida is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico,  Alabama, Georgia, Bahamas,  Atlantic Ocean, the Straits of Florida and Cuba.   The state capital is Tallahassee and the most populous city is Jacksonville.  The man in news, would not like to remember Florida, especially, Lauderhill,   a city in Broward County, Florida, United States.  But would proudly remember June 17, 2014 and Dhaka. 

The man first talked about – Roger Binny – an all rounder – a valuable bits and pieces man for Indian team, a good fielder, safe catcher, good bowler in swing friendly conditions and useful batter.  He scored 83 not out and shared a record 155 run seventh-wicket partnership with Madan Lal against Pakistan at Bangalore in 1983. In India's victorious campaign in Prudential World Cup, he took 18 wickets, then the record in the competition.

Not a post on Roger but on his son Stuart Binny .. .. Stuart, former India allrounder who boasts the country's best bowling figures in ODIs, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.  "It has given me tremendous joy to have represented my country at the highest international level," Binny, son of 1983 World Cup-winning allrounder Roger Binny and a two-time Ranji Trophy winner, said in a statement. "I would like to acknowledge the huge role the BCCI has played in my cricketing journey. Their support and faith over the years have been invaluable. My cricketing journey would not even have started had it not been for Karnataka state and their support. It has been an honour to captain and win trophies with my state. "I am grateful to the coaches who encouraged me, to the selectors who put their faith in me. To my captains who entrusted me. None of this would have been possible without my family, I stepped out on the field every day thinking of them.

Stuart Binny, 37, represented India across 23 matches - six Tests, 14 ODIs and three T20Is. His first-class career spanned nearly 17 years, and he played the bulk of those 95 matches for his home state Karnataka;  playing a key role in Karnataka's run to the Ranji Trophy title. Overall, he ended his first-class career with 4796 runs and 146 wickets.

His finest hour came at Dhaka - After being skittled out for 105 in an One dayer, India bowled Bangladesh for 55 – with Mohit Sharma taking 4 wickets and .. .. .. and Stuart Binny returning figures of 4.4 – 2 – 4 – 6 – yes 6 wickets for 4 runs.      He last played an international match in 2016, a T20I, and was hit all over the park in the solitary over he bowled, conceding 32 runs in an over to West Indies in Lauderhill.

His wife is a famous Sports journalist – Mayanti Langer who has hosted many tournaments – Cricket and Football.

Wishing Stuart Binny a peaceful retired happy life.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Aug 2021.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Madras High Court orders compulsory "bumper-to-bumper" Insurance

As we travel on roads, we see hundreds of motor vehicles of various hues – and sadly there are accidents too .. .. .. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the major causes of death and injuries in India. By some statistics citing Ministry of Road & Transport, around 1.5 lakh people die every year in five lakh road accidents in the country.  Motor Vehicles Act 1988 covenants various aspects of automobiles on road. .. .. it could undergo a lot of changes with the proposed amendment.

This post is on a landmark judgment by Hon’ble Justice S Vaidyanathan in a recent case before Madras High Court in an appeal filed by an Insurer. The cause of action relates to an accident that occurred on 3.8.2016 near Hogenekal .  

For the benefit of all, a couple of Sections of MV Act 1988 are (partially) reproduced here :

146. (1) No person shall use, except as a passenger, or cause or allow any other person to use, a motor vehicle in a public place, unless there is in force, in relation to the use of the vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, a policy of insurance complying with the requirements of this Chapter: Provided that in the case of a vehicle carrying, or meant to carry, dangerous or hazardous goods, there shall also be a policy of insurance under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.

147. (1) In order to comply with the requirements of this Chapter, a policy of insurance must be a policy which— (a) is issued by a person who is an authorised insurer; and (b) insures the person or classes of persons specified in the policy to the extent specified in sub-section (2)— (i) against any liability which may be incurred by him in respect of the death of or bodily injury to any person including owner of the goods or his authorised representative carried in the motor vehicle or damage to any property of a third party caused by or arising out of the use of the motor vehicle in a public place; (ii) against the death of or bodily injury to any passenger of a transport vehicle, except gratuitous passengers of a goods vehicle, caused by or arising out of the use of the motor vehicle in a public place.

In 1980s, there were broadly 3 types of policy coverages in Motor Insurance : Act only policy; Third Party insurance and Comprehensive Policy.  Act was almost out of vogue.  For Two wheelers Act only premium was Rs.40/-; for Third Party it was Rs.48 and for comprehensive Rs.48 + premium charged on SI.  TP Policy offered slightly increased coverage than Act.

Now there typically are two : Liability Only & Package Policies.  Liability are Act Policies that cover  the insured’s   Third Party Liability for bodily injury and/ or death and Property Damage. Package policies are Comprehensive policies that besides TP liability cover the OD ie., damage to vehicle also. Both the policies extend to cover Personal accident to owner-cum-driver of vehicles. There are very many variants – additional coverages known as ‘Add-ons’  .. .. . and in tune with times, there is coverage available for stand-along ‘own damage’ if TP cover otherwise exists !

For long there had been extention of Personal accident covers (not compulsory and not envisaged in Act).  GR 36 of India Motor Tariff mandated  provision of Compulsory Personal Accident on every policy be it ‘Act only’ or Comprehensive.  Earlier the SI under this section was 1 lakh only for 2 wheeler/ Private car and 2 lakhs for commercial vehicles.  By an order - Madras High Court in CMA 1428/2017 – United India Vs R Rekha & Ors directed IRDA to enhance the CPA (Compulsory Personal Accident)  to minimum  of 15 lakhs to ensure that motor vehicle accident victim is adequately compensated.  Consequently IRDA had to amend coverage to a min of 15 lakhs. Initially the premium was Rs.750/- then brought down to Rs.330/- + GST.  Here too, any person owning multiple vehicles had to take coverage in every policy covering the vehicle, as the CPA in any way was restricted to usage of the vehicle insured and would not contribute when the  vehicle insured  is not involved.  So, Insurers introduced standalone CPA policy.

Now the judgement of Honble Justice S Vaidyanathan is talked about because of the directive that “ all vehicles sold after September 1, should have bumper-to-bumper insurance cover for five years mandatorily” that whenever a new vehicle is sold after September 1, 2021,  it is mandatory for coverage of bumper to bumper insurance every year, in addition to covering the driver, passengers and owner of the vehicle, for a period of five years. Justice Thiru  S Vaidyanathan passed an order while hearing a writ petition from the New India Assurance Company Limited, challenging the orders of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Special District Court given on December 7, 2019 in Erode.

Some details on this .. .. this was a Civil Misc Appeal preferred by New India Assurance Co Ltd, challenging award of MACT Erode – K Parvathi and others being Respondents.  The Tribunal had directed the Insurer to pay compensation of Rs.14,65,800/- as compensation of death of deceased Sadayappan @ dhanapal on 3.8.2016. 

Before the Tribunal, Insurers agitated that the Policy was ‘Act Only’ policy and as per insuring terms,  the Driver-cum-Owner would be entitled to a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- and for the purpose of claiming compensation, it has been stated in the Claim Petition that Sadayappan @ Dhanapal was driving the Car. It was further stated by the Insurance Company that the deceased Sadayappan @ Dhanapal was not at all a driver of the vehicle at the time of accident, as the vehicle was originally driven by the 4th respondent herein.  It was stated that not a single pie was paid as premium for passengers and hence there was no coverage.

Upon appeal, the High Court stated that   not even a pie has been paid towards premium with regard to driver and for other passengers and the stand taken in the Claim Petition filed before the Tribunal was in total contra to the contents in the F.I.R., marked as Exhibit-A1 on the side of the Claimants. That being the case, the Tribunal completely erred in granting compensation only on the ground that the conditions of the policy have not been produced. In fact, the Tribunal should have rejected the claim petition for non-filing of the details of the Policy by the Claimants, as it was claimants, who had approached the Tribunal, with unclean hands, by taking a different stand. Hence, I am of the view that the award of Tribunal is liable to be interfered with and set aside.

Accordingly, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is allowed and the Award of the Tribunal   is hereby set aside. It is made clear that this order will not preclude theClaimants and others from claiming compensation for the death of the deceased from the owner of the Car / 4th Respondent herein, who also travelled in the Car along with them, in terms of the judgment of a Division Bench of this Court (supra)

Before parting with this judgment, it is saddening to point out that when a vehicle is sold, the purchaser / buyer is not clearly informed about the terms of policy and its importance. Similarly, at the time of buying the vehicle, the buyer is also not interested in thoroughly understanding the terms and conditions of the policy, as he/she is more concerned about the vehicle's performance and not about the policy. When a buyer is ready to pay a huge amount for purchase of a vehicle, it is really shocking as to why the buyer is not interested in spending a paltry sum to take a policy so as to safeguard himself/herself and others.

13. Therefore, this Court directs that whenever a new vehicle is sold after 01.09.2021, it is mandatory for coverage of bumper to bumper insurance every year, in addition to covering the driver, passengers and owner of the vehicle, for a period of five years. Thereafter, the owner of the vehicle must be cautious in safeguarding the interest of driver, passengers, third parties and himself/herself, so as to avoid unnecessary liability being foisted on the owner of the vehicle, as beyond five years, as on date there is no provision to extend the bumper to bumper policy, due to its nonavailability.

In view of untoward incidents like the present one on hand, then order shall be circulated by the Additional Chief Secretary, Transport Department, Chennai, to all the Insurance Companies and the said Officer must ensure that the above direction is followed scrupulously in letter and in letter and spirit without any deviation.  The Hon’ble Court further listed the matter  for reporting compliance on 30.09.2021.

The intention of the Judgement is noble and is landmark in providing coverage as appropriate.  Perhaps the intention is to provide mandatory coverage for Third party property / persons as envisaged in MV Act + compulsory personal accident for driver, and all passengers – still insuring the vehicle could be an individual choice ! . Moving slightly away, perhaps some of the words do not perhaps rightly represent the intention.

Theoretically, every Comprehensive policy provides coverage for the vehicle totally from its front shield to bumper covering all its parts in toto – yet ‘bumper to bumper insurance’ is a fancy term in Motor Insurance.

Normally in a Comprehensive coverage, own damage portion is subjected to depreciation that is deduction towards usage / wear & tear.  Every part including the automobile depreciates in value arising out of natural wear and tear due to its age.  The older the vehicle, the higher is the depreciation.   According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), following are the depreciation rates, on the basis of which the total depreciation of your car is calculated:     Rubber, Nylon, and Plastic Parts, and Batteries: 50%; Fiber Glass Components:  30%; Wooden Parts: 5% in the first year, 10% in the second year, and so on.

What is promoted as ‘Bumper-to-Bumper’ in reality is ‘Nil depreciation’ coverage ie.,  policy that provides a 100% coverage of damages to the fibre, metal, and rubber parts of your car.  Some call it  Zero Depreciation while others thrive as  Bumper to Bumper Insurance – there are still some exclusions in the nature of coverage for batteries and tyres; bi-fuel kit, gas kits and the mechanical breakdown of the car. This coverage would not  cover engine damages caused due to the leakage of the fuel or water ingression. In case, a change in the fuel of the car is made, that expense is also not covered by such insurance policy.  Some Insurers have a separate add-on - Engine Protection.

Before concluding the limit prescribed under Act for  Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) Cover is Rs.6000/- only while Motor vehicles Insurance policies offer coverage of Rs.7.50 lakhs under this for Commercial vehicles and Private cars and Rs.1 lakh for Motorized Two wheelers.  

One shall wait to see the response of various stakeholders to the Court Judgement – there could be some practical issues as Insurers are presently providing long-term coverage for Act only section and reduced one for Own damage portion – there is now provision for taking coverage for Act Only as also Own damage portion alone too.

Look forward to your views and comments

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Aug 2021.



Saturday, August 28, 2021

Ignominy at Leeds ! ~ India defeated by an innings and 76 runs !!!


Do you know or remember ‘Nadodi, nadodi, poga vendum ododi’ song from MGR starrer !!  An Innings defeat is an ignominy !!  Do you get irritated in seeing ‘you can trust on MRF advt’ ??  -  Anbe Vaa, the movie starring M. G. Ramachandran and Saroja Devi released in 1966  had the Q ‘Test match puriyuma ?’ ~ do you understand Test match, which at that time was considered to be understood only  by elites.  .. .. MGR would try his hand in bowling action .. ..

One need not watch the movie to understand the nuances of the game – elementary, My Dear Watson – batsman should score runs and bowlers should 20 wickets of the opposition !  ~  .. .. .. and a Team getting Allout in double digits is most unlikely to win any Test.

The combination itself appears faulty ! – India is keeping out its best International bowler and playing with 2 openers, 3 middle order, followed by WK, a spinning all-rounder and 4 pacers and at the end you will see the performance of them (the 3 middle order and 4 pacers) in last 15 innings – that describes it all !!!!

India captain Virat Kohli admitted his side left themselves no way out after a “bizarre” batting collapse on day one effectively settled the third LV Insurance Test at Headingley.  This evening England levelled the series with an innings-and-76-run victory, a heavy victory that was on the cards from the moment they skittled the tourists for 78 at the start of the match. The hosts never relinquished control from that point on, stockpiling a 354-run lead before finishing the job on Saturday morning with another clatter of wickets. Having fought hard to frustrate England for 80 overs on day three, India were still 139 behind when play resumed and lost their last eight wickets for 63.

Innings defeat though ignominious are not new !  way back in Aug 2002, the score card read : India: 628/8d; England (110.5 ov)(f/o) 273 & 309 - India won by an innings and 46 runs- that of course was a rarity.  England can usually rely on Headingley for home comforts. So it was a nasty shock  when India scored their highest against England and Sourav Ganguly declared majestically.  

That is a tale of the past and present is pretty gloomy.  Today the card reads : England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95) beat India 78 (Sharma 19, Anderson 3-6, Overton 3-14) and 278 (Pujara 91, Sharma 59, Kohli 55, Robinson 5-65) by an innings and 76 runs. It promised to be a high-stakes morning. On one side, India's two most experienced batters, out of form on this series, but who had rediscovered a little of their resilience on day three. That they had blue skies to bat beneath will have put them more at ease, also. On the other, James Anderson and co. running in with a bright red Dukes, on a Headingley surface that never really dies. It was supposed to be a big showdown, but for India, it turned out to be a shambles. They lost their last eight wickets for 63 runs; their last seven for 41. And they didn't last till lunch, going down by an innings and 76. Ollie Robinson, England's best bowler in the second innings, claimed 5 for 65 - a second career five-for in just his fourth Test. Craig Overton took two wickets to wipe out the tail and seal the match. Moeen Ali produced a big-spinning beauty to get a wicket of his own, and Anderson was unlucky to wind up with just one dismissal to his name - he'd been all over Virat Kohli in his first spell.

Way back in 1952 in the 3rd Test at Manchester,  England: 347/9d won by an innings and 207 runs with India scoring a lowly 58 & 82. 

Then in the 1st Test at Nottingham in June 1959 -  England 422 beat India by an innings and 59 runs with India scoring 206 & 157. 

The 1974 ignominy is known to everyone. In the 2nd Test at Lords England made 629, India made 302 and following on were dismissed by a paltry 42 !  England won by an innings and 285 runs

Exactly a decade ago at Birmingham in the 3rd test – India 224 & 244 lost by an Innings and 242 runs to England who amassed 710 /7 and declared. 

A few days later in the 4th test at Oval, England 591/6d defeated India by an innings and 8 runs with Team India making 300 & 283. 

3 years later in the 4th Investec Test,  at Manchester, England again won by an innings and 54 runs – India 152 & 161; England 367 !

In the next Test at Oval in Aug 2014,  India were again bowled for double digits – 148 & 94 defeated by an innings and 244 4uns. 

In the 2nd Test at Lords in Aug 2018, India 107 & 130 lost to England by an innings and 159 runs -  England 396/7d

BUT please do not ask, what is new – England tour – test matches in August, India time and again has been beaten by an innings but when such ignominies happen, the cupboard will have to be cleaned .. will the selectors have the courage to bench some high profile cricketers who have not been performing.  The list of non-performers includes the high octane Captain too !!

Here are some statistics of the batters and bowlers – please note that it is in reverse order ie., the latest innings is no. 1 – and all of them do not correspond to the same test matches

If one continues to have the same answer to the troubles, then result cannot be far too different !! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Aug 2021.

Friday, August 27, 2021

naming - heatwaves ??


One feels that Chennai is unusually hot these days of August ? – true or only a feeling ??

In Oct 1977 – kotturpuram was badly affected among other areas of Chennai – it was a cyclone of great intensity . .. the cyclonic  storm made landfall between Nellore and Kavali in Andhra Pradesh on 31 Oct 1977.  Its remnants tracked into the Arabian Sea by the next day. It meandered at the same place for three more days until dissipated on 4 November. Nearly 80 km of telegram line was cut off between Singarayakonda and Kovvur due to the storm which disrupted the telegraph connection between Andhra and other states of India. It also caused huge damages to agricultural crops and property.  .. .. we have seen many other cyclones – Nisha, Phyan, Nilam, Phailin, Huhdhud, Vardah, Ockhi, Fani, Ampan, Tauktae, Yaas .. . .. .. !!

Recently read a report that global temperatures and the frequency and intensity of heatwaves will rise in the 21st century as a result of climate change. High air temperatures can affect human health and lead to additional deaths.  Extended periods of high day and nighttime temperatures create cumulative physiological stress on the human body which exacerbates the top causes of death globally, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and renal disease. Heatwaves can acutely impact large populations for short periods of time, often trigger public health emergencies, and result in excess mortality, and cascading socioeconomic impacts.  In India  Heatwaves typically occur from March to June, and in some rare cases, even extend till July. On an average, five-six heat wave events occur every year over the northern parts of the country. Single events can last weeks, occur consecutively, and can impact large population. In 2016, severe heat wave conditions affected Bihar, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

A heatwave,  is a period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries. While definitions vary, a heat wave is usually measured relative to the usual weather in the area and relative to normal temperatures for the season. Temperatures that people from a hotter climate consider normal can be called a heat wave in a cooler area if they are outside the normal climate pattern for that area.  A heat wave is considered extreme weather that can be a natural disaster, and a danger because heat and sunlight may overheat the human body. Heat waves can usually be detected using forecasting instruments so that a warning call can be issued.

“Tropical cyclones” is the generic term for an organized system of convective clouds that rotate around an area of low pressure over tropical or subtropical waters. Tropical cyclones usually have catastrophic consequences, causing immense damage to life and property. Storms are seasonal phenomenon appearing in post and pre-Monsoon seasons in India.  Prior to 2000, there was no practice of naming cyclones in the Indian seas. However, the 1999 cyclonic storm which ripped Odisha, triggered the necessity of naming storms. The WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) envisaged a panel, comprising of members from 8 countries, to assign names to storms forming in the Indian Ocean. These countries have prepared 64 names which have been in use on a rotational basis. The names of the countries are listed alphabetically and names given by them are used sequentially column-wise.  .. .. you read some names of recent cyclones in 2nd para of this post.

Spurred on by this summer’s record temperatures, Greek scientists have begun discussing the need to name and rank heatwaves, better known for their invisibility, before rampant wildfires made the realities of the climate crisis increasingly stark. A preventative measure, the move would enable policymakers and affected populations to be more prepared for what are being described by experts as “silent killers.”

Greece has experienced two bouts of extreme heat since June, both unusually prolonged and intense, with the second wave lasting almost three weeks. A new rise in temperatures last week saw Athens once again fall victim to peri-urban fires, with devastating blazes breaking out north-west of the capital. Dr Kostas Lagouvardos, research director at the National Observatory of Athens, told the Observer it is clear the extreme heat has been underestimated. “This very hot summer has given us a snapshot of a future climate in 20 or 30 years’ time when we’re likely to have very long periods of very high temperatures,” he said. “It’s extreme behaviour but it could become the norm. Unlike other adverse weather events, you can’t see extreme heat.” It was essential, he insisted, that both state authorities and citizens were aware of the dangers. “We believe people will be more prepared to face an upcoming weather event when the event has a name,” he said. “They’ll become more aware of the possible problems it could cause to their lives and to their properties … heatwaves cause a lot of deaths; they don’t make noise and they may not be visible but they’re a silent killer.”

Greece has been far from alone in enduring extreme heat or forest fires in recent months. The mercury hit 48.8C in Syracuse, Sicily on 11 August – the hottest temperature recorded in Europe – with infernos erupting across the Mediterranean. But in a region regarded as a climate crisis hotspot, Athens is mainland Europe’s hottest metropolis, singled out in repeated studies as likely to suffer hugely from the consequences of a warmer planet. On 3 August, the country’s highest ever temperature of 47.1C was registered in northern Greece.

Mega fires – some blamed on arsonists – have consumed vast tracts of land in recent weeks, destroying homes and leading to mass evacuations, most noticeably on Evia, the nation’s second largest island. Forced to issue an apology following fierce criticism over his administration’s handling of the blazes, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the unprecedented weather had effectively “turned the country into a powder keg” with close to 600 fires flaring up in the space of a week. “This is the climate crisis striking here and now,” he told CNN. “We need to drastically change the way we produce electricity, build our buildings, grow our food and move around.”

The fall-out from what Mitsotakis also described as the nation’s biggest ecological disaster in decades has been immense, with the leader also being forced to announce a €500m relief package and create a new ministerial post overseeing recovery from natural disasters. More than 20 countries dispatched firefighters, equipment and planes to Greece.  Four years ago, Greek meteorologists began naming winter storms and other adverse weather phenomena as the challenges to lives and properties became clear.  Lagouvardos, who trained in France and is the Observatory’s chief meteorologist, said ranking heatwaves would be “trickier” because categorisation inevitably involved gauging temperature distribution and population densities. But, more generally, heatwaves were easier to predict in intensity and duration than storms. If temperatures of over 40C persisted for more than a week, Greek scientists believed they should be named, he said. The same series of alternate male and female monikers drawn from Greek history and mythology that had been used for storms could now be applied to heatwaves.

Athens is among the few cities globally – and the only metropolis in Europe – to have appointed a chief heat officer. Less than a month after she assumed the role, Eleni Myrivili, an academic and former vice-mayor, regards the initiative as a possible game-changer in the way extreme temperatures are managed.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Aug 2021. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Rip Tex Dexter !

At Leeds, England is mercilessly grinding India – and all those pundits who spoke of English weakness are singing a different tune altogether. The best meme read: Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat and bowl on the same day !  ..  as Team India struggle, it is time, we searched about an Indian win ! – those of you watching might have observed the black armband worn by English batsman.

Gleaning records, read of that 5th Test at Chennai (Pongal Test) in 1962 -  India: 428 & 190  beat England : (92.3 ov, target 338)281 & 209 by 128 runs.  Famous Indian Offie Erapalli Prasanna debuted in that match at Corporation Grounds, Madras !  

Ted Dexter, is no more !  - the man  who has died aged 86, was a truly rare cricketer, remembered beyond his playing days less for the quantity of runs he scored than for the debonair manner in which he acquired them. At the crease he looked every inch the aristocrat, tall and erect, and with a preference for flamboyant strokeplay.  Guardian’s obituary reads : What made him doubly interesting was the sense of adventure that went with an unpredictable mindset. Teammates often felt that while he was fielding his thoughts were away from the cricket ground. Asked some years later where his one Test double century was scored, he simply could not recall. And when the telephone at home rang at an inconvenient time he answered: “This is Ted Dexter. I’m sorry I can’t take your call at present. Please ring later,” leaving the caller to assume that this had been a recorded response.

Former England Test cricket captain Ted Dexter has died at the age of 86 following a 'recent illness'. The former all-rounder - who captained his country in 30 of his 62 Test matches - passed away peacefully in the Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton at midday on Wednesday surrounded by his family.   Edward Ralph Dexter, CBE (15 May 1935 – 25 August 2021)- was son of  Elise (nee Dartnall) and Ralph Dexter, and  was born in Milan, Italy, where his father, a former major with the Royal Field Artillery, was a prosperous underwriter.   An aggressive middle-order batsman of ferocious power and a right-arm medium bowler, he captained Sussex and England in the early 1960s. He captained England in 30 test matches out of his 62 test match appearances. He is known by the nickname Lord Ted. He is credited for his instrumental role in the formation of the modern ICC Player Rankings system.  In June 2021, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame as one of the special inductees to mark the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship final

On the outbreak of the second world war, Ted and his brother were enrolled at several UK prep schools before he went to Radley college in Oxfordshire. There he dedicated himself to cricket, and was dubbed “Lord Edward” or “Lord Ted” by the coach, Ivor Gilliat, for his insouciant (showing a casual lack of concern) attitude. “It’s been applied with envy, malice, sarcasm and downright good humour,” Dexter later wrote. “I’ve enjoyed it.” Among the junior pupils he felt disposed to punish by caning was the future comedian Peter Cook.

The MCC paid tribute to their former president, describing him as 'remarkable' and as someone who played the game with 'adventure and fun'. 'His off-field contribution to the game was substantial too, most notably his work, with Colin Cowdrey, on the Spirit of Cricket. 'Through his own PR agency, he became a pioneer in cricket's digital technology revolution and was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame earlier this summer. Dexter scored 4,502 runs as a strong middle-order batsman for England and also combined that with excellent medium-pace bowling, claiming 66 wickets for his country at an average of 34.93.

He made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1958, and went on to captain England between 1961 and 1964 as well as Sussex, also during the early 1960s. One of his most famous innings came against the West Indies at Lord's in 1963. Dexter came in with his side a wicket down without a run on the board, but counterpunched in trademark fashion by smashing 70 off just 73 balls. He missed the start of the 1964-65 tour to South Africa because he was standing as a Conservative Party candidate for Cardiff South East. He would later join the team as vice-captain however after coming second in the constituency. The hard-hitting former cricketer is also just one of just five England batsmen to record a score of at least 50 in six straight innings, an honour he shares along with Patsy Hendren, Ken Barrington, Sir Alastair Cook and current skipper Joe Root.

He later became  the chairman on England's panel of selectors between 1989 and 1993 after retiring, before being made MCC president in 2002 a year on from being awarded a CBE. Dexter also devised a method of ranking Test match players - known initially as the Deloitte Rankings - in the late 1980s, which has now come to be implemented as the ICC Player Rankings.

In that Madras Test, in which Prasanna debuted, Indians captained by Nari Contractor beat England by 128 runs and secured the Series two nil.   Prasanna had an ordinary debut taking a solitary wicket while Salim Durrani had match figures of 10/177.  .. .. the reference is not only for an Indian win, but the fact that Ted Dexter captained England at that Madras Test.

RIP Ted Dexter !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

SYMA remembers KE Raghavan this day !

 Today is Wednesday - 25th Aug 2021

On this day in 1258, George Mouzalon, the regent of the Empire of Nicaea, was assassinated as part of a conspiracy led by nobles under the future emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

On this day in 1609 - Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.

.. .. and today, Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat in the  high-intensity series – 3rd Test at Headingley in Leeds, playing the same team.  The best Indian bowler is kept out but the strong middle order (including the Captain) struggling to find runs get chance after chance. It was a dismal performance as India went to lunch, only to come back and lose their last   six wickets for 20 runs, and England didn't need James Anderson to take a single one of those - Craig Overton, who ? -  taking three, In terms of historically low scores, it's not quite India's worst after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, but it's not far off.

.. .. no post on History or Cricket but on a man who made a deep impact in our lives as also in Social service ! Srinivas Youngmens Association (SYMA) has been doing service relentlessly since 1977.  Of our many services, Medical services and Education services are our prime activities.

We have come a long way since 1989 when our medical services were launched in a small street corner at Peyalwar Street ~ many our volunteers have striven so hard ensuring that pleasant and quality service is extended to poor and needy.  Of the many people involved – we recall and remember the passionate services of dear KE Raghavan born on 12.10.1953

14 years have rolled by since that sad day [fateful Saturday 25.8.2007] the person liked by us all “Kunnavakkam Elayavalli Raghavan”  [Alamu Stores] passed away – his sudden death shocked Triplicane and hundreds turned up at his funeral.  He would ever be remembered for his nice words, smiling face, hard work done always at the background without ever showing up on stage.  On a day when Sri Sankaracharya was to visit our medical centre in its nascent stage, he took upon himself, the task of whitewashing the entire premises and the day beckoned with the place so neat and clean.  He was exceptionally good in cooking and the sambar that he used to make still lingers.  In SYMA tours, besides other manual work, cooking and serving was his area and he made everyone feel happy with that.

Every year we remember him on 25th of August – this year on Nation’s Independence day - around 225  people were screened ~ 23 persons were selected, were taken to Sri Sankara Eye Hospital, Pammal on the same day.  Cataract surgery was done free for them, later,  they were brought back to Triplicane.   

60+  persons were prescribed spectacles.  The eye-glasses were made by Sri Sankara Eye Hospital, Pammal and they were distributed in a function held at SYMA Medical Centre today @ 7.00 pm.

Today SYMA remembers Mr KE Raghavan, who left us this day in 2007.  The edifice of SYMA has been built brick by brick by the efforts of some and late KE Raghavan played a great part in maintaining the Centre those days. His brother Mr KE Srinivasan, Prop. Alamu Stores, distributed the glasses alongwith Mr TJ Ramani, Mr Kasthuri and others.  Many Office bearers and members were also present.

Me with KE Raghavan ~ photo taken in 1994 at Vellore – SPIC Viji marriage !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Aug 2021.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

containing Covid 19 - news, views and awards ! - from New Zealand to Kerala models !!

How dreaded is Corona ? – Statistics can always give different views ! – According to John Hopkins University – the total cases affected globally is 21,23,28,733 with 44,38,511 deaths.  USA has 38038263 while India has 32449306.  6,29,641 have died in USA; 4,34,756 in India and 5,74,527 in Brazil.   New cases per day in USA in recent 24 hours is 2,60,656 in USA – while it is 25,072 in India !  If these nos. are real indicators – India can certainly heave a sigh of relief.

It was June 2020 – Globe was reeling under the dreaded Corona virus, the first country that handled it most efficiently was New Zealand as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand  moving  to alert level 1 under which life returns almost to normal. The stunning announcement was appreciated all over as Kiwi health officials said that it has no active cases of Covid-19. The Pacific island nation was among only a handful of countries that could emerge out from the pandemic, which was at its height in USA, Latin American countries, Europe and India.  When that announcement came, it was 17 days since a single case was reported in NZ.  New Zealand enforced a strict lockdown for nearly seven weeks, in which most businesses were shut and everyone except essential workers had to stay at home. Experts stated that its isolated location in the South Pacific also gave New Zealand vital time to see how outbreaks spread in other countries. Just over 1,500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, and death toll was only  22.

Around that time, one State in India basked in glory as many experts (!) hailed and recommended adopting ‘Kerala model” !  -  Kerala bagged  United Nations award too for its "outstanding contribution" towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals. The UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) award  on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases was announced by World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Health Minister K K Shailaja claimed that the award was a recognition of the tireless service of Kerala in the health sector. Ms Shailaja said in a statement. "We were able to control the death rate during the COVID-19 period as we were able to focus on the NCDs."

Life has changed and some facts too have !!

                               Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended New Zealand's coronavirus lockdown on Monday, saying the current outbreak has not peaked, as criticism mounts of her strategy to eliminate COVID-19 amid the slow rollout of its vaccine programme.  Ardern garnered global praise for stamping out COVID-19 in New Zealand last year and the country was virus-free since February. But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus last week while few people have been vaccinated has called into question the approach of snap lockdowns and border restrictions that have curtailed the economy. Ardern extended the strict level 4 national lockdown by three days until midnight on Aug. 27 while its largest city Auckland, the epicentre of the current outbreak, will have restrictions in place at least until Aug. 31. "We don't yet believe that we have reached the peak of this outbreak, or necessarily the edge of it," Ardern said at a news conference in the capital Wellington.

Are the numbers so alarming, one tends to ask ? - New Zealand is bracing for its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet as cases rise, the locations of interest balloon to more than 400 sites, and the number of close contacts swells to more than 15,700 people. Recently, the country recorded 41 new positive cases (at one point of time, in a cluster in my street, close to 190 people were affected and were living in a single complex in Triplicane – Chennai, India), bringing the total number in its outbreak to 148 – the majority of whom are Samoan, and linked to a sub-cluster who assembled at the Assembly of God church in Mangere, Auckland before the lockdown.  A nationwide, level 4 lockdown – the highest setting – has been extended until at least the end of the week, as the country battles to contain the outbreak of the Delta variant.

New Zealand Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins made an unfortunate error when he advised people to socially distance when they go outside to “spread their legs”. Of the 41 new cases, 38 are in Auckland, and 3 are in Wellington. Of the total 148 cases, 89 are epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster, with the remaining still under investigation, but likely to be linked because they are either household contacts or have been at a location of interest. Eight people are in hospital with the virus, but no one is in intensive care. Genome sequencing has linked the cluster to a returnee from Australia. It is not yet known how the virus was transmitted from the traveller, who was in quarantine, to the community, but a walkway and an atrium in the facility is being investigated.   All non-essential businesses are closed, including bars, restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds. All indoor and outdoor events are banned, while schools have switched to online learning. Essential services remain open, including supermarkets and pharmacies.  Health workers continue to find people who are likely to have been in contact with a Covid-19 case and could have been infectious before the lockdown started, Ardern said.

Ms Ardern, who made the decision to suspend the house, said MPs coming from around the country risked spreading the virus further. The move has riled opposition parties, who say the suspension could allow the government to avoid scrutiny and criticism of its lockdown policies and pandemic management.

Before concluding, Ernakulam (Cochin in Kerala) on Sunday reported 1,101 cases. Test positivity rate touched 12.44% on Sunday. The highest cases of the day were  reported from Thrikkakara with 55, followed by Nayarambalam 39 and Elamkunnapuzha 31.  The number of patients undergoing treatment at hospitals and houses touched 19,470 on Sunday. Of the total, 90 are in Kalamassery medical college, 1,089 in private hospitals and the rest in first and second-line treatment centres, houses and other government hospitals.

On Monday, the country logged just 25,072 cases, taking the total past 3.24 crore.  But a report in a leading newspaper questioned it stating -  a closer look at the numbers suggests that this significant drop could rather be a “manufactured” one on account of declining tests in Kerala. The country has now reported less than 40,000 cases 10 days in a row and the fall in cases on Monday meant a decline of about 19 per cent as compared to the previous day. Kerala has been reporting the highest number of daily infections over nearly two months now, but over the last two weeks, there has been a decline of 14 per cent in seven-day average of daily cases.  On Monday, for instance, Kerala reported just 10,402 new cases —  down from 20,242 daily infections registered on the previous day.

Busting of the Kerala model !- but those who hailed it so soundly are deaf and silent !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Aug 2021. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

SYMA honours frontline works and helps needy with the support of Gartner

“Frontline workers” – a term we have been hearing quite frequently ! – who are they and what have  WE done to them ??    

Last year, Covid 19 was so severe that people were afraid of coming out of homes – and during those critical times, a bunch of young men and women kept coming to all homes in Triplicane and all other areas – checking for people who were ill and who required to be tested – and they provided great guidance, support in finding out hospitals and reaching out to medical centres for treatment of dreaded Corona. We respect them .. .. WE salute the silent warriors of the Society that include : all front-line warriors against Covid

‘Nurses, Doctors and other staff of Govt and other Hospitals, the Corporation workers, health-workers, Sanitary and cleaning workers like Urbaser Sumeet, Electricity board workers, and many many thousands of others who were out on streets serving people afflicted and those who were forced to live inside’ – SYMA too had a role and participated in doing something to the Society, by providing some essentials, ensuring auto and other medical services, organizing awareness programmes, coordinating with Greater Chennai Corporation in vaccination camps and like.

Srinivas Youngmen’s Association [SYMA]  has been doing service to the society ever since 1977.  Our services spread to various lines such as civic welfare, medicine, health, environment, education, personality development more.  The medical services and laboratory which remained closed during Covid 19 are open to public now.  Our Educational service (free tuition centre) is yet to function in this educational year.  SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society.     We at SYMA, feel strongly the primary responsibility  of improving the Society and helping the underprivileged.

.. .. and this week-end SYMA Office remains very active with hundreds of people coming and returning happily – in fact they are only making us at SYMA happy by coming there !  .. ..

Founded in 1979, this Organisation is a  leading research and advisory company.  They have expanded beyond their flagship technology research to provide senior leaders across the enterprise with the indispensable business insights, advice and tools they need to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the organizations of tomorrow.  It is a Company known as “Gartner” -  a global research and advisory firm providing information, advice, and tools for leaders in IT, finance, HR, customer service and support, communications, legal and compliance, marketing, sales, and supply chain functions.  It is headquartered in  Stamford, Connecticut, United States. They provided us the financial assistance – and SYMA has organized neatly packed ‘food essentials’ weighing more than 15 kg – a price of approx. Rs.1000/- per bag.

These are being distributed at Triplicane SYMA Office by our volunteers to : the Conservancy workers, frontline workers, vendors at Triplicane and other needy.  We deem it an opportunity to honour those workers and say “Thank You” for protecting us from the dreaded disease and ensuring hygiene in the Society.

We heartily thank M/s Gartner, the Sponsor, Mrs Saranya for the great coordination – Mr SRP for identifying and distributing, TJ Ramani for his zeal in coordinating with conservancy and other workers – zestful volunteers like Mr – Ramesh (Vasu); Mr Kasthuri, Sanjeevi Ragunathan, Mrs Jayasudha Sanjeevi, VP Manivannan, Mr Parthasarathi, Aravind,  Venkatesh, Venkatramana, Mrs Mahalakshmi, Rajkumar and host of others involved in proper distribution. 

By this small gesture and by appreciating those workers, WE feel happy in recognizing and honouring them.  SYMA in service to the poor – with your support and help, we have grown over the years.  We thank  all our donors and well wishers and look forward to your continued support.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Secretary SYMA

[random photos – many workers may not be seen in these photos !]