Month: November 2019

Highlights: Inter 2-2 Parma

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: It was a dramatic match at San Siro, as Parma went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up in seven minutes, only for Romelu Lukaku to secure a point for Inter. There was no shortage of talking points, as after Antonio Candreva’s deflected opener, the Ducali turned it all around with ex-Nerazzurri winger Yann Karamoh’s goal and assist for Gervinho. If we saw three goals in seven minutes, it took four just for VAR to decide if Lukaku’s equaliser was going to stand. Click here for the full match report.last_img read more

Kambli gets brickbats for ’96 WC claim

Indian designers: Merry time in global arena

first_imgWhen international pop icon Lady Gaga flew down here, she sported desi designers Nida Mehmood and Tarun Tahiliani’s creations and was not the first one to do so. Throughout the year, high profile celebs like Britney Spears and Katy Perry sported Indian designers’ creations and helped in augmenting demand for their sartorial elegance.”India is the market to watch out for. So we must credit India first because it has put itself on the global map for so many reasons. It’s not just fashion that is being liked and popular, India as a whole is becoming the place to invest in,” Suneet Varma told IANS, commenting on the designer fraternity getting the spotlight in the global arena.Varma was roped in by American luxury brand Judith Leiber to design its international collections in 2009 and continues to churn out an Indianised line for the brand.When the West walks into an Indian designers’ wardrobe, it is a notable act because they are looking beyond the four main cities London, Paris, Milan and New York that are known as trend-setters.These four cities sport three different trends — London for the British, New York for the American and Paris-Milan for European fashion.India is nowhere on their radar. So when Manish Arora was roped in as creative-artistic director for Spanish brand Paco Rabanne in Feburary, it was considered an auspicious start. Later, Gaga walked in his Paco Rabanne design to collect her trophy at the MTV European Music Awards.It’s no mean feat, said Varma, lauding Arora’s achievement. “In terms of fashion, I think this year’s real hero is Manish Arora who has truly put India on the map of international fashion scene. He is the global voice for India,” he added.And what followed thereafter was like a dream come true.Supermodel Heidi Klum wore a psychedelic skin tight outfit designed by Arora for a TV show in July and Mischa Barton endorsed Ritu Kumar’s ankle length flared dress with dorri work from her pret line Label.”India is definitely more on people’s radar than ever before. From being a country identified for its exotic religion and palaces, it’s being seen differently today. There is an awareness about Indian fashion and its unique contribution which is different to that of the prescribed dress forms relevant in the western world,” Kumar told IANS.Actor Naomi Harris flaunted digital-printed by Mumbai-based Falguni and Shane Peacock and later an array of stars – Fergie, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Cheryl Cole and Kelly Rowland — dazzled in their outfits.The duo once said that targeting international name was a strategic move and that after showcasing at London Fashion Week they managed to create a niche for themselves.Even on home turf, Indian designers dressed international guests — Tahiliani and Rocky S took care of Gaga and socialite Paris Hilton.Varma gives credit to events like F1 and Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise landing on Indian territory for the Indian fashion scene getting a fillip.”This year so many firsts happened for India. First F1 circuit, then Lady Gaga came here and then Tom Cruise. Apart from them, so many others too headed this side and it explains everything,” he said.Trade pundits feel the trend could be a result of clever marketing and smart public relations skill.”What you see here is clever marketing skill. It is a vicious cycle and if you have right contacts then the world is at your feet. So, when you see celebrities wearing a certain brand, you know, there are many stakes involved and one who is convincing and clever wins the race,” said a source.Fashion Design Council of India president Sunil Sethi, however, believes in pushing the envelope further.”A celebrity wearing an Indian designer is less important for me as my aim is to look at the growth of designers. I believe in collective growth and not individual growth,” Sethi told IANS.”So my sole aim is to get more buyers, generate better business and make sure that Indian designer clothes are available in various stores through fashion weeks. If this happens, you will see more and more people wearing our designs. And that will be an achievement for me,” he added.Whether it is a clever game or plain creative genius, as long as Hollywood swears by Indian fashion designers, it’s merry time for them!advertisementlast_img read more

National Youth Festival in Mangalore this year, begins Jan 12

first_imgThe seventeenth National Youth Festival will be held in Mangalore from January 12 to 16, 2012.The festival will be inaugurated by Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday at Mangala Stadium. Shri M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs will be the Chief Guest while Shri Ajay Maken, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Shri Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari, Dharmasthala will be the “Guests of Honour”. Shri Maken will give away the National Youth Awards to 28 individuals and two organisations at the inaugural function. This is the first time that the Festival is being organised in Karnataka.The theme of this year’s event will be “Celebrating Diversity in Unity”. As many as 5000 young persons from all States and UTs are expected to participate in the Youth Festival. Apart from that, young delegates from SAARC countries will also participate in the festival thereby giving it truly “diversified” character.National Youth Festival, since its inception and first successful organisation in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) in 1995, is organised every year from January 12-16 across different states of the country to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand which falls on January 12.last_img read more

WTA rankings: Sania Mirza in doubles top-10 for first time

first_imgSania Mirza has broken into the top-10 of the doubles ranking for the first time in her career. The Indian, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open with Russian Elena Vesnina, jumped four spots to take seventh position in the WTA rankings announced on Monday.Vesnina is placed a rung below her partner after climbing two places. Sania and Vesnina had upset second-seeded American pair of Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber to make it to the last four but bowed out to eventual champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonerava of Russia.An ecstatic Sania said that making to the top-10 in doubles was an “unbelievable feeling.””I used to be excited when I figured in the top-10 students of my class in school! To be ranked at seven in the world is an unbelievable feeling!” she told Mail Today.If Sania stays in the top 10 till June 21, 2012, she will get a direct entry into the London Olympics.Sania and Vesnina, both 25, have been making waves in the international arena since coming together early last year. The two are longtime friends on tour and the chemistry showed on the court.They won at Indian Wells and the Family Circle Cup in Charleston before making it big at the French Open where they scythed through the draw to enter the final. They also made it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon.This year Sania and Vesnina warmed up for the season’s first Grand Slam with a semi-final appearance at the ASB Classic in Auckland.advertisementHowever, in singles, though, Sania fell five places to 111.In men’s doubles, Leander Paes was static at the seventh place despite winning the Australian Open with Czech Radek Stepanek. The Indo- Czech pair came through the draw unseeded and became the first team in the Open era to defeat the top three seeds at the Australian Open. They upset No. 3 Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic in the third round, No. 2 Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in the semi-finals, and Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, in the final.For 33-year-old Stepanek, it was his maiden Grand Slam title and he leapfrogged a whopping 68 places to be ranked 23rd.Paes’s compatriot Rohan Bopanna, too, retained his 11th position, but his partner Mahesh Bhupathi slid eight places to 16th. It is the first time since mid-November 2010 that Mahesh has dropped out of the top 10. He broke up for the second time with Paes having come together last year, and partnered Bopanna keeping in mind the London Olympics. The two lost in the pre-quarters.last_img read more

J Dey murder case: Mumbai Police’ case against Jigna Vora is weak

first_imgIt’s been three months and three days since the Mumbai Crime Branch caused a sensation by arresting journalist Jigna Vora in the Mid-Day journalist J Dey’s murder case. The police had then claimed that Jigna had ‘facilitated’ the murder, by providing gangster Chotta Rajan Dey’s bike registration number, as also his home and office address through either her phone or computer. Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik and Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy said then that they had ‘strong’ evidence against Jigna, evidence that had been vetted by legal experts.On February 21, the Mumbai Crime Branch filed a chargesheet against Jigna. However, the more than 1,400 page chargesheet seemed short of the ‘strong’ evidence against the journalist that the police had spoken of earlier. The police did not put forth the ‘crucial’ and ‘clinching’ piece of evidence in the case, of emails containing Dey’s bike registration number and his home and office address that Jigna allegedly sent to Rajan.Evidence on the basis of which they arrested her. What the police have instead provided is a record of 36 calls exchanged between Rajan and the journalist. The chargesheet says the calls went up a few days before Dey was killed.The Mumbai police holding up the number of calls between Jigna and Rajan as evidence of the former’s guilt seems pathetic, as a journalist talking to a gangster is not something new. What the cops have failed to present is evidence of the two indeed planning the crime. Unfortunately the Mumbai Crime Branch only has the call records and no transcripts of the conversations between Jigna and Rajan.advertisementThis also raises a question about journalism because every time a journalist talks to any gangster he may be exposing himself to the hazard of being implicated in case another journalist or even a gangster is bumped off.Another ‘strong’ piece of evidence the police claim to have is yet to be presented. Apparently the police have witnesses (journalists) who claim that Rajan called them after Dey’s murder and confessed to having killed Dey at Jigna’s instigation. This again seems to lack evidentiary value for, legally speaking, the police can’t claim to be sure about the man on the other end who ‘confessed’ indeed being Rajan. Two, Rajan had also supposedly spoken to some journalists after Dey’s murder claiming he was not involved in the crime. So which Rajan does one believe?The other pieces of ‘strong’ evidence that the Mumbai police have are again questionable. The police claim that Jigna got Dey murdered due to professional rivalry and to prove this they have attached a report by Dey who claimed in June 2011 that underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim had fled Pakistan after the US special forces killed Osama bin Laden there. Jigna however wrote a report soon after that claimed that Dawood and Shakeel were hiding in the mountains of Waziristan. What does the police claim imply here? Are they saying that the mere fact that one journalist’s story has been contradicted by another can be cited by the law enforcement agencies as proof against the latter in case the former meets with an unnatural death? If this becomes a precedent, journalists would find it very difficult to ply their trade.This is not to assert that Jigna is an innocent who is being victimised by the police. The point I am trying to make is that the police must do their homework well if they are serious about ensuring conviction in the case. Jigna should be punished if she is guilty but this will not happen on the basis of flimsy evidence that is not likely to stand up in a court of law.===BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari is upset with Shiv Sena.Despite the Shiv Sena and the BJP emerging victorious in Mumbai and Thane there is growing trouble between the two parties. BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari recently complained in an interview about editorials in Sena mouthpiece Saamna being critical of leaders like LK Advani, Narendra Modi and Gadkari himself.The BJP chief said such articles were hitting ties between the BJP and the Sena. While the Sena has denied that it has been deliberately targetting BJP leaders, the rift between the two parties seems no sign of abating.BJP leader Vinod Tawde on Monday stunned the Sena when he demanded that since his party had performed better in the civic polls, its candidate should be allowed to be the Mayor of Mumbai for at least one year. This is bound to upset the Sena as the post of Mumbai Mayor has always been held by it. Sena leaders say the BJP’s demand would be rebuffed in style. Looks like the BJP’s grievances against the Sena are not likely to end soon.advertisement===Raj ploughs a lonely furrow Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray was touted as the ‘kingmaker’ prior to the BMC elections. However, while his party’s tally improved from 8 to 28, he wasn’t able to prevent his cousin and arch rival Uddhav’s party, the Shiv Sena, from coming to power in the BMC.Though Raj is seeking consolation in the fact that MNS has emerged as the largest party in Nashik with 40 seats, there too he is facing obstacles. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chaggan Bhujbal whose political future is at stake in Nashik has decided to cobble up a coalition with the Congress and the Republican Party of India (RPI).Bhujbal has offered RPI chief Ramdas Athavale the post of Nashik Mayor if he lends two corporators to the NCP- Cong combine. An ecstatic Athavale has gone to town saying that Raj has turned from being ‘kingmaker’ to ‘kingfisher’, in a reference to his isolation. ===Double whammy for Cong has it smarting The case against former Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh is strong.There have been plenty of red faces in the Congress over the past ten days. Barely had the party been able to stomach its embarrassing defeat in the BMC polls that news came in about the Bombay High Court ordering the Mumbai Police commissioner to inquire into the assets of Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh.The court order came on a PIL filed in the High Court on the issue. Interestingly, while the Congress high command is upset with the verdict, many Congressmen in Mumbai are sporting a ‘I told you so’ expression on their faces.Even before the PIL against Kripashankar was filed last year, Congressmen from the city had sent a file on Singh’s huge assets and numerous bank accounts to Congress leaders in Delhi.In fact, a few Congressmen had alleged that Singh was selling tickets for the BMC polls. However, no action was taken against him.Now another file on Kripashankar has been sent to Delhi. This time careful attention is being paid to it in Delhi, as it contains the complete judgement of the Bombay HC against Singh.While Singh is apparently planning to appeal in the Supreme Court, many legal experts felt that the damning evidence against Singh makes it unlikely that he will get relief from the SC.last_img read more

Sensationalism: 24-hour TV channels redefine news to cater to new viewing preferences

first_imgIt sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra,It sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra had drowned in a waterfall near Ranchi, a death instantly propelled into the spotlight because he was accompanied to the excursion by Railways Minister Lalu Prasad’s daughter Ragini.Welcome to the loud, weird world of 24-hour news television with its parallel universe of breathless and sometimes heartless anchors, the unlikely stars and specials with cheesy B-movie titles. It’s a mad mix of news and nonsense, causes and circuses, fundamental issues and feel-good frivolity. It is often grisly, sometimes ghoulish and usually plain voyeuristic.Sensationalism is taking over Indian mediaClick here to EnlargeFrom the public visit to Varanasi of a very private couple (Abhishek Ki Ash) to the private spat between a very public couple (Rahul Ne Shweta Ko Rulaya), every episode is designed for maximum impact and minimum illumination. Want a quick scroll?Try this. Nagin Ka Khauf, the saga of a 12-year old boy pursued by a snake; Prem Tapasya, the tale of a yogi living in with his disciple; Gharwali Baharwali, the story of a man’s extramarital affair; or Maut ka Drama, wherein Kunjilal, a 75-year-old astrologer from Betul, Madhya Pradesh, had the country holding its collective breath after claiming he would die between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on October 20 last year.advertisementIt’s the kind of shrill in-your-face coverage that had Naresh Gupta, Adobe India CEO, bowing before the media and beseeching them to stop the saturation coverage of his four-year old son Anant because the kidnappers could have harmed him.”In the new global economy viewers look for titillation in news which is why we show a lot of cinema, lots of cricket and plenty of crime.”LAXMI NARAIN GOEL,  DIRECTOR – NEWS GROUP, ZEE NEWS It’s also the kind of relentless campaigning that can force Priyadarshini Mattoo (see box) to get justice seven years after she was murdered.In this chaos and cacophony, it is easy to miss the real megastar-the medium itself: Twenty-four-hour news TV, which reaches out to 50 million cable homes in a dozen languages. At nearly 20 per cent per annum, it’s growing full throttle. With 38 news channels at last count, more than in any nation on the planet, news TV is growing faster than any other genre in India.From just two channels six years ago, one new news channel joins the race every four months now. As a genre, television news viewership ranks fifth, below  entertainment, regional, sports and children’s channels.”Viewership ratings are a critical element because we depend on advertising revenue and clients go by research findings.” G . KRISHNAN , CEO , TV TODAY From a nation that first tasted satellite TV thanks to a news event, the 1991 Gulf War, India now binges on news TV. A study by public relations firm Edelman shows that 49 per cent of Indians tune in to TV first for trustworthy news and information, compared to just 31 per cent in Asia Pacific-TV has clearly beaten newspapers as the medium of first contact with news.When a five-year-old boy spends 52 Truman Show-like hours in a 60-ft well, the entire nation watches and prays even if it means listening to: “Dharti mata ki god mein pachaas ghante bitane ke baad, ab apni ma ki god mein hai Prince (after spending 50 hours in the lap of the earth, Prince is now in his mother’s lap).””Sensationalism in place of substance, trivia in place of content, exaggeration instead of moderation and living for the instant and not even the hour have become the greed of contemporary visual media,” says Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, himself no stranger to the siren-like allure of the cameras.A 61-hour songathon by Aakansha Jachak of Indore created a world recordClick here to EnlargeFrom political parties to business houses, everyone courts news channels, timing their announcements around prime time and judging the importance of a news event by the presence of OB vans. It’s also raking in the cash.Six years back, news television had less than a 2 per cent share of the total TV advertising market. It now stands at nearly 12 per cent or Rs 650 crore of the annual Rs 5,500 crore TV ad spend. “It’s a demand-and-supply combination, because there is a certain male audience for products like automobiles, banking and finance which TV news brings in,” says Shekhar Swamy, president of R.K. Swamy BBDO Advertising.advertisement”As the fastest growing genre of television, news has in fact been eating into the primetime viewing of popular soaps.”L.V. KRISHNAN, CEO, TAM MEDIA RESEARCH The growth of news television has also been fuelled by lower launch costs. Aaj Tak, a 24-hour news channel which is part of the India Today Group, was launched at a cost of Rs 40 crore in December 2000. Today, however, it costs only Rs 3 crore to launch a small news channel.Bandwidth costs on satellites have dropped from approximately $3500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) per Mhz per month to $2000 (Rs 90,000) per Mhz per month for regional beam and $6500 (Rs 2.9 lakh) per Mhz per month for wide beam to $5000 (Rs 2.2 lakh) per Mhz per month.This growth is now beginning to bite at the heels of TV’s prime locomotive, the soap. Two years ago Delhi housewife Nancy Hajela, 42, cut down on watching Ekta Kapoor serials because they were getting increasingly predictable.News TV is mutating, changing the audienceClick here to EnlargeShe watches over four hours of news every day now. “It’s much more interesting,” she says. Now, Harish Tomar driving a car from the passenger seat triggers more public debate than Parvati’s travails in Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii.This broadening of the audience has led to a change in the profile of the TV news advertiser. The usual profile of the TV advertiser-a mix of corporates and financial services-is now slowly giving way to FMCG firms and consumer durables. “News TV has managed to broad-base itself to a mass audience,” says Television Audience Measurement (TAM) CEO L.V. Krishnan.Very hyped Prince case and ghost running a carClick here to EnlargeTelevision news, which would have completely ignored nobodies like Kunjilal even two years ago, has now begun chasing them. The interest is often mutual. So when retired government employee Chedi Lal, borrowing from Lage Raho Munnabhai’s Gandhigiri, stripped down to his briefs in Lucknow in October to demand a revision in pension, he remembered to bring a TV camera crew along.If the definition of news has changed, so has the coverage-with well-groomed anchors, anchors, designer clothes and colloquial Hindi. “TV covers everything from a funeral to a Friday cricket match with the same sense of breathless urgency. If everything is important and nothing is trivial, then what is news,” asks sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.Well, how about rival ghosts battling over a village belle and women claiming to be reincarnated snakes- Zee News even runs a half-hour weekly show, Kaal Kapaal Mahakaal, devoted to the paranormal. Critics say the channels that blur the distinctions between news and entertainment run the risk of diluting their brand character.TV’S BODY LINEEven gestures, a lack thereof, make headlines and multiple action replaysSALMAN’S HUG: All his Salaam-e-Ishq co-stars got a hug onstage at a fashion show, except John AbrahamCHAPPELL’S MIDDLE FINGER: The coach showed it to Ganguly supporters at Eden GardensadvertisementPONTING’S PUSH: The Aussie captain and his mates shoved Sharad Pawar off the frameUMA’S TEARS: Her tearful allegations of a murder plot at a press meet got her ratings “The day you become entertainment, you lose your credibility as a news channel,” says Channel V head Amar K. Deb, who has launched the show Well Done, a spoof on the TV news genre, with fake anchors like Charkha Bahar. MTV veejay Cyrus Broacha, who anchors another news spoof on CNN-IBN, is on his knees: “We were always the most shallow form of television and we looked up to news TV. Now, after stories of milk adulteration and casting couches, we bow to them. They are the originals.”Sometimes news TV crosses the line altogether-media persons who handed 30-year-old Manoj Mishra diesel and a matchbox in Patna to set himself on fire on August 15, now stand charged with homicide and abetment of suicide.Sometimes, it gets taken for a ride-TV crews in Delhi were shocked to discover that the ‘special police officer’ they were interviewing over a Belgian diplomat’s murder in September, was actually a local resident who did a Borat on the channels.TV reporters from the “aap ko kaisa lagta hain (how do you feel)” school of journalism routinely quiz their subjects with this line. When asked how he felt when his older brother Shammi was in the ICU, actor Shashi Kapoor retorted that he felt like dancing. Another bright-eyed reporter asked Naresh Gupta’s distraught wife if she felt like crying because her son had been kidnapped. “Vultures aren’t becoming extinct,” rues a senior TV journalist, “they are joining TV.””There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market. The challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit.” RAJ DEEP SARDESAI , EDITOR – IN – CHIEF, CNN – IBN Channel heads, however, say trivial TV is the exception and not the rule, and point to the larger crisis of content that all media faces. “There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market; the challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit,” says Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief, CNN-IBN. The sandpit is the mayhem called primetime which has Hindi language channels battling to the death with stories of shock and awe.”In an average of 500 hours of fresh programming beamed every day, such incidents don’t take up even five hours or just 1 per cent of programming,” says Star News CEO Uday Shankar. Yet, it is these exceptions which supply the rocket fuel for channel ratings in an age when channel heads say the ordinary simply doesn’t sell.Matuk Nath, Julie case in Patna and Maut ka drama in MPClick here to EnlargeThe problem is no one knows what will sell. “How can we explain that even in a mature market like Delhi, the viewership of Mumbai blasts was a lot lower than that of the small boy who miraculously survived a 60-ft fall?” asks G. Krishnan, CEO, TV Today, which broadcasts Aaj Tak and Headlines Today (both sister concerns of INDIA TODAY).On December 12, 2005, Aaj Tak exposed 11 corrupt MPs accepting cash on camera in return for asking questions in Parliament, a moral victory for the traditional tenets of journalism. “Yet, when we showcased a car being driven without anyone on the driver’s seat, it drove our viewership through the roof. The car story got a channel share of 41 per cent, while Operation Duryodhan got just 35 per cent,” says Krishnan.Sameer Manchanda, joint managing director, CNN-IBN, says the media is at an evolutionary cusp which channels looking for their own evolutionary positioning. “It’s not always a numbers game-a loyal audience gets a bigger premium than a mass audience.”Indian media has turned the spotlight on the corrupt and crimesClick here to EnlargeWith channels engaged in a bloody war for ratings based on TAM, channel heads privately rue what they call the TAM-ification of news TV. “If you don’t have high ratings, you don’t have ads and if you don’t have ads, you are dead in the water as TV has no secondary revenue source,” says a channel head.Is this race sustainable? Sociologists predict the end of tamasha news. “Indian viewers are gradually learning to discern the difference between news and trivia and they are now much more critical. I only expect it to get sharper over the years,” says sociologist Ashis Nandy. Until then, it’s going to be snake chases, ghost sightings, reincarnation dramas and driverless cars.last_img read more

The cricket carnival has turned into a suspect circus

first_imgClick here to EnlargeA late-night bust-up involving charges of molestation and assault at a hotel suite in Delhi booked in the name of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Deccan Chargers on May 18. An early morning Income Tax raid at the offices of Pune Warriors and Royal Challengers Bangalore on,Click here to EnlargeA late-night bust-up involving charges of molestation and assault at a hotel suite in Delhi booked in the name of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Deccan Chargers on May 18. An early morning Income Tax raid at the offices of Pune Warriors and Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 23 following a TV sting operation in which five fringe players were caught striking deals on spot-fixing and switching teams for more money. A brawl at Wankhede Stadium leading to a five-year ban by the Mumbai Cricket Association on Shah Rukh Khan on May 16. It was a week from hell for IPL. And the week promised to stretch into a long year.  Click here to EnlargeAround 6.30 p.m. on May 22, Zohal Hamid, 27, was giving yet another live interview on her now famous charge of molestation by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach. The incident acquired bizarre momentum, especially after her ‘fiance’ Sahil Peerzada, 33, was hit by Pomersbach and she turned out to be close to a defence agent. India Today was present at the plush farmhouse of her “rakhi” brother Abhishek Verma, an accused in the naval war room leak and under investigation for his suspected role in defence deals. Sahil made a dramatic entry while she was on camera. “How dare you speak to the media without my permission?” he asked. Zohal placated him and they then drove off in Verma’s Hyundai Sonata. Both she and Sahil then went incommunicado. Clearly, they had received instructions to go quiet. Some deal had been struck to cover up an intoxication-fuelled, unscripted drama that threatened to blow apart the nocturnal mix of sex and money that plays behind the televised scenes of IPL. Sahil and Zohal met their lawyer Rajneesh Chopra who had worked out a compromise with RCB owner Sidhartha Mallya, who had so charmingly described Zohal’s allegations against Pomerbasch as a “load of f…..g s..t” in a tweet. On May 22, Zohal agreed to withdraw her case against Pomersbach and drop the defamation threat against Mallya, who has not even deigned to remove the offending tweets from his account-another said “what this girl is doing is idiotic”. On May 23, though, he tweeted, “So glad all charges have been dropped and Luke can return Down Under a free man!”, followed by “Oh and btw, I know ppl can be cynical, so just so u know, the settlement wasn’t financial in any way!”advertisementCheerleaders at an IPL game in Dharamshala. (Photo: PTI)These shenanigans took TV cameras into the bedroom, the last thing IPL wanted as its oversold carnival becomes a sordid circus. The manufactured silence was designed to avoid some basic questions:Why did Deccan Chargers book a Rs 20,000-a-day suite for Sahil at ITC Maurya?What is Sahil’s connection, if any, with cricket and IPL?What is Zohal’s real link with Sahil? She claims he is her “fiance”. Sahil is a trifle hesitant about the honour.Why was Zohal sleeping in Sahil’s suite if she was not booked there?Why were two men, Miraj and Moin, sleeping in Sahil’s room?Why was RCB hosting an after-party despite an IPL ban on them in 2010?The mystery became more mysterious with Verma’s involvement. His former New York-based business partner and lawyer C. Edmonds Allen claims that Zohal was an employee of Ganton Indian Private Limited, and that he recommended her for a visa to visit India on Verma’s request last year. Allen is the president of Ganton, which he claimed he set up to handle $205 million (Rs 1,127 crore) made by Verma through arms deals and lobbying for defence firms. Verma denies any link with Ganton and claims that Zohal too has nothing to do with Ganton. He says “my wife Anca Neacsu is best friends with Zohal” and recommended her for an Indian visa through Allen. THE BOOKIE UNDERBELLYBorn in Afghanistan to an Afghan father and an Iranian mother, Zohal’s family migrated to US in the late 1980s. Now an American citizen, she works for a cosmetics company in New York as a sales manager. She did part of her schooling in India, where she picked up conversational though accented Hindi. She went to Rutgers University in New York. After watching her first IPL match on May 17, goes her story, she landed at the RCB party and in the room booked by Deccan Chargers at ITC Maurya. Every answer begs a further question.IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla.But Rajiv Shukla, who took over as the IPL commissioner in September 2011 and is also a Union minister, has no answers, except an evasive one. “I am the IPL commissioner, not police commissioner. I have nothing to do with what is happening in the hotel room.” The fact that he mentioned “police commissioner” involuntarily speaks for itself. He believes media is exaggerating the problems of the league by highlighting stray off-field incidents. He does not deny knowing Sahil Peerzada. “He is the son of a Congressman,” he says. Sahil’s father, Peerzada Ghulam Mohammed, who died in 1994 at the age of 52, was a ticketing agent at the Sopore (J&K) bus stand in the 1970s, and went on to become a junior-level Congress leader. The family migrated to Mumbai in 1992.Sahil’s brother, Feroze, says he has a real estate business in Mumbai, as well as two Kashmir handicrafts showrooms at the Leela in Bangalore and near Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur. But Sahil’s reputation has been made in bedrooms rather than boardrooms. He is a serial dater of semi-famous women such as TV actors Shama Sikander and Gauhar Khan. Deccan Chargers is silent about why they rented such an expensive suite for him. Manjula Harpanahalli, media coordinator for Deccan Chargers, told India Today that they had no comments to offer. Repeated calls and text messages to E. Venkatram Reddy, director (operations), Deccan Chargers, went unanswered.Investigating agencies are silent but taking a keen interest in the events. They have been busy. There has long been a suspicion that IPL is a breeding ground for bookies. Days before the start of the tournament, CID officers of Mumbai Police traced a conference of bookies from all over India huddled inside a five-star hotel room in Mumbai to plan their strategy: Essentially, to cooperate in the milking of those who like a flutter.advertisementOn May 17, when Chennai Super Kings was taking on Kings XI Punjab, Arun Chavan, head of Mumbai Police’s Property Cell, arrested two well-known bookies from a Lokhandwala flat. Devendra Kothari, 42, and Sonu Jalan, 30, were taking bets on the crucial match. Both were arrested immediately and 20 mobile handsets, a dozen SIM cards, two laptops, two voice recorders and an LCD T recovered. They led the police to another bookie, Mohammad Feroze Ansari, 38, from Nagpada in Mumbai. On May 19, the police arrested him too. The probe has now moved to Delhi. A team from Mumbai Police left for Delhi on May 21. Their goal: Check the truth in Kothari’s claim that he paid Rs 10 crore to a Sri Lankan cricketer to fix a one-day international match in 2006. “We cannot reveal the name of the Sri Lankan player. Investigations are still on,” said Mumbai Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil.In Delhi, the police confirmed that Kothari and Jalan were part of a global betting racket and among 170 suspects scheduled to visit Sri Lanka to fix matches. “There was to be a meeting in Colombo in anticipation of the fourth T20 World Cup which will take place in Sri Lanka. But it was cancelled,” says Brijesh Kumar Gupta, Delhi’s police commissioner. The police’s suspicions about a Colombo meeting were confirmed when a woman they picked up on May 19 from Delhi for possessing cocaine confessed to her involvement in the betting racket and said she was to travel to Colombo. On May 24, Delhi Police busted a betting racket in west Delhi, unearthing a mini-telephone exchange comprising 113 lines used for transmitting information about rates to over 300 betting syndicates across India.advertisementIndia’s betting laws date back to the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Bail, therefore, is guaranteed for a paltry Rs 100 and allows bookies to get free within days of their arrest. No one has bothered to change this. “There’s very little time for questioning. And rarely are the big fish netted because the bookie chain is inordinately long,” says Gupta. This year alone, Delhi Police conducted more than 75 raids on bookies in Delhi and arrested over 100 people placing bets on IPL, the highest since the tournament started four years ago. The core problem hampering investigations is that there is no complaint, says Gupta. ULTIMATE SECRET SOCIETYSports Minister Ajay Maken.Cricket is hardly the primary activity in IPL. The large, growing and dark circle around the field includes a secret society of franchise owners, pretty party girls and men of unknown means. Presiding over this is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which has ensured lack of transparency. BCCI is a registered society completely autonomous from the Government. It only started paying income tax in 2007 after authorities decided that it wasn’t simply a charitable organisation “promoting the sport of cricket”. In the effort to become successful, IPL has cut corners. Interpol wanted to investigate the bookie phenomenon and and asked for Rs 90 crore as expenses, just as it had asked FIFA when it set out to investigate football sleaze. FIFA paid. International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar refused. Very conveniently, ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit was hired. “If ICC had hired Interpol, cricket’s cleansing process would have begun. But that did not happen,” says Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken.In 2011, IPL had hit a ratings low. A new model was sought to be created, as highlighted in broadcaster Set Max’s ads which encouraged viewers to watch the game on the ground. Rajiv Shukla says that the average gate receipts for the 2012 season will be Rs 30 crore for each franchise. He also argues that the decline in TAM TRP ratings, from an average of 4.81 in IPL-1 to 3.33 in IPL-5 so far, is misleading because the goalposts have changed. “The ratings of even the most popular entertainment programmes have fallen as a result. IPL is still doing very well on television,” he says. Shukla is also buoyant about overseas revenues. EVADING THE TAX NETClick here to EnlargeAll nine IPL franchises have been under the scanner of the Income Tax Department after a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance in July 2011 instructed tax officials to scrutinise the accounts of all IPL teams. What aroused the suspicion of the Standing Committee was a wide discrepancy between the annual financial returns statements for the assessment year 2008-09 and the assessment year 2009-10. For the year 2008-09, also the first year of IPL, three of the eight franchises, Mumbai, Chennai and Deccan Chargers, showed nil loss. The remaining five showed minor losses-Rajasthan Rs 6 lakh, Punjab Rs 14 lakh, Kolkata Rs 50 lakh, Bangalore Rs 79 lakh and Delhi Rs 2.92 crore. In 2009-10, each franchise reported huge losses-Rajasthan Rs 35.5 crore, Punjab Rs 65.68 crore, Kolkata Rs 11.85 crore, Mumbai Rs 42.89 crore, Chennai Rs 19.3 crore, Bangalore Rs 5.58 crore, Deccan Rs 87.09 crore and Delhi Rs 47.11 crore.There was no particular reason why losses should have mounted so steeply. The player auctions had been conducted before IPL-1. The cost of players would be the same for IPL-2. The revenue streams would have been greater-the success of IPL drew more advertisers and spectators to the second edition. The only reason for higher costs was the move to South Africa, but that alone could not explain the wide discrepancies. According to sources at the Income Tax Department, while the assessment is complete, investigation is ongoing and franchises have been asked to furnish details.There are several other issues of apparent financial irregularities red-flagged in the report of the Standing Committee. At least four teams-Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians- received investments from abroad from tax havens such as Mauritius, Bahamas and British Virgin Islands. BCCI, in its reply to the committee, put all the blame on former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. Even if true, and that is not proven, how does this exonerate the franchise owners who got the money from questionable unnamed sources? The Enforcement Directorate (ED), charged with investigating these violations, said its investigations have not been completed.Even BCCI and IPL are under investigation by ED and Reserve Bank of India for operating bank accounts along with Cricket South Africa during IPL-2 without permission. IPL Commissioner Shukla shrugs aside the allegations of financial irregularities, just as he dismisses anything in convention with his usual bluster. PLAYERS DON’T HAVE LEVEL PLAYING FIELDThere are other problems, inbuilt into IPL, which have created irregular incentives for players. In 2010, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was banned from season 3 of IPL for trying to negotiate a contract in violation of league rules. Jadeja, who at the time had not played for the Indian national team, was entitled to a salary of Rs 25 lakh, not more, set by the IPL Governing Council. Already a rising star in his franchise, Rajasthan Royals, Jadeja believed he deserved more money. This perverse rule on pay caps for Indian players who have never represented the country has made them vulnerable to the lure of illegal negotiations with franchises and offers from bookies. Curiously, no such cap is applicable to foreign players who have not represented their countries.A recent TV sting operation on five Indian players who have never represented India revealed the dangerous consequences. The players-T.P. Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali-were caught on camera either offering to indulge in spot-fixing or ready to negotiate with other franchises or admitting that their franchises paid them significantly more than the official figure, in cash. An underground economy is clearly thriving in IPL. Modi, the creator of IPL and commissioner in its first three editions, admits that not auctioning uncapped players was a mistake.There are several possible reforms that can salvage the situation:No player should be retained by a franchise without an auction. In 2008, for example, M.S. Dhoni was bought by Chennai Super Kings at the highest bid price of $1.5 million (Rs 7.5 crore). He was not put up for auction for the 2011 and 2012 seasons in which Gautam Gambhir came out on top with a bid price of $2.5 million (Rs 12.5 crore) from Kolkata Knight Riders. It would be unreasonable to expect Dhoni to have commanded anything less in an open auction.The only players not subject to an auction in IPL-1 were the icon players-Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai), Rahul Dravid (Bangalore), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata), Yuvraj Singh (Punjab) and Virender Sehwag (Delhi). Each was, however, to be paid a 10 per cent premium on the highest bid paid out by their team in the open auction. There was some transparency then. Now, with the icon system being replaced by the system of retaining players (icons or not), no one knows how much players are being paid, whether by cheque or in cash. Says Modi, “No one should be allowed to be retained. If a player is important for the franchise, let them bid for him.” Rajiv Shukla also recognises the opacity of retaining players. “We will consider revising this in our next Governing Council meeting,” he says.There should be an independent regulator for sports. “No one is being able to self-regulate. If not for anything else, let the regulator look into the alleged financial bungling of the state cricket associations,” says Ajay Maken. “Put rules in place, things will start moving,” says Bishen Singh Bedi. The former Indian captain says it’s time BCCI auctions each player every year. “Let there be transparency, let us see who is paying what for whom. Let the juniors get a price for themselves so that they do not take money under the table,” adds Bedi. POLITICS OF CRICKETIPL would not have survived its serious flaws were it not for a strong cross-party political alliance lending its weight. Shukla is a prominent minister. Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is on IPL’s Governing Council and heads its legal and disciplinary committee. The cricket establishment of BCCI and its regional components are packed with powerful politicians. Four are members of the Union Cabinet-Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar (ICC president), Congressmen C.P. Joshi (president, Rajasthan Cricket Association) and Vilasrao Deshmukh (president, Mumbai Cricket Association), and Farooq Abdullah (president of the J&K Cricket Association) of the National Conference. The quartet has successfully stalled Maken’s attempts to legislate a sports bill that will force BCCI to be more accountable. “What can I do if no one wants to clean the dirt from cricket?” says Maken.Kirti Azad (centre) protests against the IPL mess, in Delhi. (Photo: PTI)Shukla says there is no need for BCCI to be under the Government. “We don’t take a penny from the Government. And we have made a global name for ourselves,” he says. The cricket establishment can count on some support from outside the Government. Apart from Jaitley, Anurag Thakur, a BJP MP and son of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, is president of his state’s cricket association which hosts IPL games at its stadium in Dharamshala. His party colleague, Kirti Azad, is however a staunch opponent of IPL and went on dharna demanding the abolishing of the league after its string of recent scandals. Azad said that India’s image was being spoilt at an international level because of IPL debauchery and that he has written a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take action against IPL.Politics is a power game, and for now Maken and Azad are weak before a muscular establishment. But a poisonous worm is corroding the IPL apple from within, and all the might of Pawar, Shukla and friends will not stop this disease from spreading, if they do not use a sharp scalpel.- With Kiran Tare and Nishat Barilast_img read more

On point: Thomas making progress, could join Cavs earlier

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FILE – In this Friday, May 19, 2017 file photo, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas looks to pass the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert, left, defends during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals in Boston. Day by day, Isaiah Thomas looks a little more like an All-Star point guard like himself. And just maybe like one who can rescue the reeling Cavaliers. Thomas has been increasing his workout load and is making strong progress in his recovery from a hip injury that ended his 2016 in Boston and delayed the start of his 2017 season with Cleveland, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Day by day, dribble by dribble, Isaiah Thomas looks a little more like an All-Star point guard – like himself.And just maybe like one who can rescue the reeling Cavaliers.ADVERTISEMENT “We have to make sure he’s 100 percent,” Lue said Monday as the Cavs regrouped following an embarrassing loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “We have to worry about him as a player and a person. If he’s not right, not healthy, we don’t want to rush him back to set him back even more.”Thomas isn’t keeping his status any kind of secret. In the first few weeks of his rehab, he kept a lower profile as he worked out in the team’s facility away from reporters and cameras. Lately, he’s been front and center, giving everyone a glimpse of the strides he’s made in coming back from a torn labrum.Lue credited Cleveland’s training staff with a slow, steady approach in bringing along Thomas, who came to the Cavs in the blockbuster trade last summer that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.Irving and the Celtics have won nine straight and lead the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Cleveland has remained patient, although it’s clear that Thomas can’t wait to get back onto the floor in meaningful games.“I just wanna HOOP!!!!!” he tweeted Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Cavs need him. Without Irving, the Eastern Conference champions lack a proven scorer to take some pressure off James. Thomas won’t help Cleveland’s suspect defense. In fact, it might be a little worse with him on the court, but its offense would go to another level with Thomas.He can drive. He can shoot. He can get to the line.“We still have a 30-point scorer, All-Star point guard that’s coming soon,” James said recently. “So that’s exciting.”Once he returns, Thomas is expected to move into the starting lineup, with Derrick Rose coming off the bench and running the Cavs’ second unit. It’s been dreadful starts by the Cavs’ first five that have been at the heart of their early struggles. Thomas could fix that, but until he’s ready, the Cavs have to come out with more energy and a greater sense of urgency.Thomas should also help Cleveland’s woeful 3-point shooting. The Cavs enter Tuesday night’s game against Milwaukee 25th in the league in 3-point accuracy (33 percent) and tied for 16th in 3-pointers made per game. Thomas made a Celtics record 245 3-pointers last season and knocked down at least one in 57 straight games.Against the Hawks, the Cavs started 3 of 25 from behind the arc and finished 10 of 36 – thanks mostly to Kyle Korver heating up during a fourth-quarter comeback.“We have guys that can shoot the ball,” said Kevin Love, who was taken to the hospital Sunday after falling ill. “I don’t know what it says on pace, but last year we really pushed the ball with ‘Bron and Ky and really opened up the floor. But we’re just not shooting the ball well from 3, and that has to change.”There need to be other changes, and Lue said it’s time for his team to begin making them.“Just have to keep attacking it,” he said. “Have to keep showing film and continue to keep talking about it. I think guys are embarrassed and we should be embarrassed of how we’re getting beat. Teams that we’re playing, having guys out, key guys out and still not being able to win. We all have to continue to keep searching and continue to keep fighting and continue to play hard.”And at some point, they might get some help. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Malditas save PH from shutout MOST READ Russell drops 23 points, 8 assists as Nets beat Suns Thomas has been increasing the intensity of his workouts and is making strong progress in his recovery from a serious hip injury that ended his 2016 season in Boston and delayed his debut with Cleveland.As Cavs coach Tyronn Lue and a member of Cleveland’s medical staff kept an eye on him from an adjacent floor at Cleveland Clinic Courts, Thomas broke a healthy sweat during a workout Monday under the guidance of assistant coach Phil Handy, who fired him passes and praise. Thomas worked on his 3-pointer , man-to-man defense, conditioning, ball handling and free throws as he nears a return that may be coming sooner than imagined.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAlthough the team has not disclosed any change from its original timetable estimate of the end of December, it’s apparent that Thomas is getting closer.At 4-6, and lacking a second scorer to complement LeBron James, the Cavs might be tempted to rush Thomas along. But Lue said it’s imperative for the team to stick with its plan so as not to harm the 28-year-old. Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Alas sets sight on NLEX, son Kevin with 1st Phoenix win out of way

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives “They’re going to be a big problem for us because before, when you trap Kevin, you don’t have to think much of the others. But now, they have lots of weapons especially with Kief and Larry Fonacier, so you really have to put a lot of defensive schemes against them,” he said.But this early, the elder Alas is playing mindgames with his son, baring what he feels as Kevin’s weaknesses going to the tussle.“Kevin really has a difficulty with the trap. I’m really saying this out loud so they have to think about it,” he said. “Half-court, full-court, we will trap. Now, even up to the parking lot, we will trap him.”ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thaiscenter_img “It’s been a long time. I know I’m younger then,” he said with a chuckle as he nabbed his first conquest in the pro league since steering Talk ’N Text to an 86-76 win over Tanduay at Cuneta Astrodome.The feeling of responsibility, though, hasn’t changed for Alas as he couldn’t really savor his victory as he has his eyes set on the team’s next game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“All I’m thinking of is NLEX,” he said of the Fuel Masters’ next assignment on January 7. “You can’t relax here because every team is a strong team. [NLEX] has a deep lineup and we almost have the same system offensively, run-and-gun. So we just have to play non-stop defense against them.”It also puts Alas in a tight spot as he has to devise a plan to stop his son and Road Warriors star Kevin Alas, as well as super rookie Kiefer Ravena. MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO — It has been 16 years since Louie Alas tasted a victory as a head coach in the PBA.Winning in his second game at the helm for the Fuel Masters on Wednesday, a 125-102 triumph over Kia at Ynares Center, the congenial mentor couldn’t help but reminisce on the old days.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Solid second half spurs Phoenix past pesky Kia ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View commentslast_img read more

Keep on shooting: James Yap regains touch in Rain or Shine win

first_imgSEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJames Yap may have been in a shooting slump in his first three games of the season, but it never affected his confidence heading into Rain or Shine’s game against Phoenix on Wednesday.Yap kept shooting and finally regained his touch to help the Elasto Painters cruise to a 120-99 win over the Fuel Masters and avoid his team from slipping further into the standings.ADVERTISEMENT PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES “I just kept working hard. I never got discouraged despite how bad my last three games were,” said Yap in Filipino.“Of course, we thought if we lose we’ll be closer to the bottom of the standings and coach reminded us that we need to win for us to at least be in the middle of the pack.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingThe star swingman shot a combined 4-of-26 from the field in his first three games, averaging just 3.3 points during the stretch.But his bad days are over after exploding for 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from deep in 20 minutes. “I think everybody expects James to play well but he’s just human,” said ROS coach Caloy Garcia. “But what we want from James is to basically play his best. Whether he’s in a slump, we still want him taking shots.”Yap, who turns 36 next month, hopes his efficient outing is the start of a string of good shooting games.“I hope we can carry this performance over into our next game.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH NCAA volleyball: Perpetual claims solo 3rd, keeps EAC winless ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims View commentslast_img read more

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Spain

first_imgSergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta will be crucial for Spain at the World CupSpain has a surplus of talented players at nearly every position, so picking the right team will likely be Spain coach Vicente del Bosque’s biggest dilemma.The defending champions have been afforded little time to experiment with tough matches against the Netherlands and Chile before facing Australia in Group B.The team’s core is aging but still capable, while an incoming crop of young talent will offer Del Bosque further options.Here are five Spain players to watch:DIEGO COSTADiego Costa brings a new dynamic to the world champions, if coach Vicente del Bosque uses the Atletico Madrid striker correctly.The Brazilian-born Costa has chosen to play for his adopted homeland of Spain, which has not possessed a player with his qualities since it began its trophy-winning ways at the 2008 European Championship.Costa’s gritty, physical play lends better to open space and long balls compared to Spain’s short passing, possession style, with the quick-tempered striker terrorizing defenses when given space to run at them.But the tight confines of Spain’s play could limit Costa’s impact unless Del Bosque embraces his qualities and character, which will be under duress from the home fans for choosing to play for Spain.IKER CASILLASIker Casillas has been relegated to backup goalkeeper at Real Madrid, but the Spain captain has been stellar in that role by leading his club to the Copa del Rey final and deep into the knockout stages of the Champions League.advertisementNo player has made as many appearances for Spain as Casillas, who will be at his eighth major championship, including four World Cups.XAVI HERNANDEZAt 34, this could surely be Xavi Hernandez’s last World Cup.Spain’s key midfield navigator has spoken about his desire to lead the team in South America, and it is hard to imagine Xavi failing to be one of the difference-makers in the tournament, especially when motivated.Much of Spain’s play is directed off his boot, and much of Spain’s success over the past six years can be attributed to his ability to set the tempo of a match.ANDRES INIESTASpain’s wealth of midfield talent is a key difference-maker for the world champions, and Andres Iniesta is a key cog in that engine.Iniesta, who scored in the 116th minute to give Spain its first World Cup title four years ago, has had a subdued season at Barcelona with occasional flashes of brilliance. But he seems to turn it on for Spain, when he normally proves to be a key player in unlocking defenses that tend to stack the area and stay behind the ball.SERGIO RAMOSOnly 27, Sergio Ramos has already made 115 appearances for the national team. And with Carles Puyol gone, the Real Madrid center back is the natural successor to lead the team from the back.While teammate Gerard Pique may be more attuned to a “sweeper” role of carrying the ball forward, Ramos has been stellar in the center of defense where his speed, size and ability to read the game means he rarely gets beat.While much of the talk of Spain’s success surrounds the midfield, the defense has not conceded a goal in the knockout stages of the past two European Championships and the World Cup – a span of 10 games.last_img read more

I’m still hopeful of playing the World Cup: Harbhajan Singh

first_imgFresh from leading Punjab to a runner-up finish in the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament, out-of-favour Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh is happy with his own showing in the domestic circuit and is keen to make a comeback into the national team for the 2015 World Cup.”I’m targeting the World Cup. It would be great to be a part of the team in Australia and New Zealand. For a player, World Cup is a big tournament and I’m keeping my hopes alive,” Harbhajan, who was part of India’s World Cup-winning team in the 2011 tournament, told.”Everyday I wake up, I stay positive and think that I am going to be part of the team. I’m motivating myself to do well for India again. And of course I’m looking forward to play all the games, make sure I perform well and get back into the Indian side,” he added.After maintaining a good run in the national one-day tournament, Punjab were outplayed by Karnataka in the title clash, but skipper Harbhajan was content with the team’s performance.”I am really happy with my bowling efforts, happy that I led the team to the Vijay Hazare finals. I am proud of my Punjab boys that they performed well. A bit unfortunate that we could not lift the trophy, just had a bad day in office. We should make sure that we come better prepared and we do even better to lift the trophy.”We should just continue the hard work, the results will follow. If not today then tomorrow,” said the 34-year-old spinner, who last played for India in March 2013 in a Test match against Australia.advertisementA veteran of 101 Tests and 229 ODIs, Harbhajan, who has a lot of experience of playing in Australia, does have a word of advice for the present lot.”The best way to play in Australia is to stay positive. People are saying that it’s their weakest side. I know it’s not the same side as it was 10 or 5 years back, when we last played them,” Harbhajan said.Being part of the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ scandal involving Andrew Symonds in the 2007-08 tour, Harbhajan said that by aggression he doesn’t mean verbal banter.”By aggression I don’t mean sledging or doing things the wrong way. Aggression comes from how you play. The batting, the bowling, making the right moves and setting the right field and bowling according to the team’s demands is what aggression means to me. I believe in keeping things simple.”You have to be in the driver’s seat, you have to be the boss and show them that you are controlling the game. And that is what I call aggression and it comes from positive intent.”Harbhajan had recently come in for a lot of praise by ICC CEO Dave Richardson for not only working on his action but also coming out clean with the questionable ‘doosra’. The spinner is just happy to get lauded by the ICC.”It’s nice to get encouraging words from the highest quarter. I will keep on working hard to serve my country in the future as well. A lot of other spinners have been called for their actions and my advice to them is just follow the rules and regulations,” said Harbhajan.Harbhajan cannot forget Umpire Darrel Hair’s jibe at his bowling action and said that the latest ICC comment should put everything to rest.”Darrel Hair once remarked that I am the role model for chuckers and now the ICC has said that I am the role model for bowlers who have a perfect action, so that answers everything,” concluded Harbhajan.last_img read more

IPTL: UAE Royals beat Singapore in one-sided affair

Melbourne Test: Australia end Day 1 at 259/5

Microsoft offering smart exchange for Asha owners

first_imgIn a move to offer the latest OS experience to itsconsumers, Microsoft has come-up with a new ” Smart Exchange” offerfor existing Asha consumers. The offer will let existing Asha consumers to exchangethe phone and get a discount on the latest Lumia 435.The Smart Exchange is valid till April 15, 2015 or tillstocks last across the country. Consumers of  Asha 500, Asha 501, Asha 502 and Asha 503 getan assured discount of Rs 1,500 and an assured discount of Rs 1,000 for Asha305, Asha 306, Asha 308, Asha 309, Asha 310 and Asha 311 consumers.  The Lumia 435 is priced at Rs 5,999 andprovides a decent Windows phone experience.According to Microsoft this offer will enable its consumersto access the latest and always upgradable software on high quality Lumiadevices. Another offer by Paytm makes the deal even more attractive. Paytm willprovide a cashback of Rs 1,250 through the Paytm app during the offer period(Rs. 250 per transaction).Lumia 435 is the cheapest Windows phone offered by Microsofttill date. It comes with Snapdragon 200 chipset, 1GB RAM and the typical Lumiadesign. The phone sports a 4-inch WVGA 800×480 screen backed up by a  1,560 mAh battery. On the camera front, thephone comes with a 2MP primary camera and 0.3 MP front facing camera. The phoneoffers 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 128GB using a MiroSDcard.last_img read more

Justin Gatlin wins 200m at US trials; sets stage for showdown with Usain Bolt

first_imgAmerican sprinter Justin Gatlin set the stage for a world championship showdown with Usain Bolt when he won the 200 metres in a blazing 19.57 seconds at the U.S. trials in Oregon on Sunday.Only four people, including world record holder Bolt, have ever run faster than the 33-year-old, whose previous best was 19.68 seconds.”I wanted to come out and make a statement, and that’s what I did,” said the fast starting Gatlin.”I would say it’s the most complete, technically 200m I ever ran,” he added.”A lot of people were asking me what could I run if I ran through the finish line, so obviously I went out there and ran 19.5 so I hope I can do better than that.”Gatlin was so exhausted he bent over after the race.”It hurt,” he said. “My body has never been there before.But it felt great.”Only Jamaicans Bolt and Yohan Blake and Americans Michael Johnson and Walter Dix have gone faster.Training partner Isiah Young was second in 19.93 with the 30-year-old Wallace Spearmon taking third in 20.10.The wind was an allowable 0.4 metres per second.Gatlin, the year’s fastest at 100 and 200, had a bye in the 100 at the trials, but plans to challenge Bolt at both distances in the August world championships in Beijing.They have not met since 2013 with Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, piling up a two-year unbeaten streak.last_img read more

Weekend blockbuster: Double dose of Salman, Shahid’s TV debut & nail biting action from Wimbledon

first_imgWhat are you doing this weekend? Whether you have plans to go outside, watch a movie, go out for dinner or to go for a drive in this weather, just drop all the plans because these two days are meant for curling on your couch with remote in your hand and watching weekend shows.While you can get stuck in traffic due to rains, we guarantee you that if you stay at home you will not spend this weekend just flipping through channels in an unsuccessful quest of a good show or a good movie. This weekend has a plethora of exciting shows to look forward to.So, here is our guide to help you spend Saturday and Sunday glued to the small screen. Happy TV viewing!11th July, Saturday:Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Reloaded, Colors (9PM)Karan Johar, Lauren Gottlieb, Shahid Kapoor, Ganesh HegdeThere are many reasons to watch this season of Jhalak with the biggest being Shahid Kapoor. The actor is making his television debut as a judge with this show. Not only this, he will be seen as a married man for the first time on this show. What more? Well, he will dance and rap too.Dance India Dance 5, Zee TV (9 PM)Salman Khan with the contestants of Dance India Dance 5After the selection of the top 15 contestants, the show will have its grand premiere on Saturday and none other than Salman Khan will be there on the show. Salman also danced with Grand Master Mithun Chakraborty. We bet you don’t want to miss this one.Voice India, &TV (9PM)advertisementHimesh Reshammiya, Shaan, Sunidi Chauhan, Mika SinghThe show will now move from blind auditions round to the battle round on Saturday. In the battle round, each coach pairs two of his or her team members to perform together, then he/she chooses one to advance in the competition. If nothing else, we will at least see the four coaches, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mika Singh, Himesh Reshammiya and Shaan, in different clothes. They were seen wearing the same clothes throughout the blind auditions.Wimbledon 2015 women’s finals, Serena Williams vs Garbine Muguruza, Star Sports (6:30 PM)If music and dance don’t interest you, then watch the Wimbledon women’s final on Star Sports. Don’t forget to grab some beer while you catch the nail-biting action from the grass court.12th July, Sunday:Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Reloaded, Colors (9PM)Shahid Kapoor and Karan JoharWho says watching Shahid Kapoor just once in a week is enough. If you can’t get enough of the actor, he will be there on your television set again. Watch him and sigh because he is now officially taken. Apart from Shahid’s moves, we are also expecting fabulous dancing from the contestants.Comedy Nights With Kapil, Colors (10PM)Salman Khan and Kapil SharmaNow you can’t miss this one for more than one reason. Firstly, this will be Comedy Nights With Kapil’s last episode with Kapil as a host. He is taking a break from the show because of his ill health. Secondly, Salman Khan will be there on the show to promote his upcoming film Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The promo was quite funny and we know the episode will be funnier.Dance India Dance 5, Zee TV (9 PM)The grand premiere of the show will continue on Sunday. Going by the last few seasons of the show, we can guarantee extraordinary dance acts.Voice India, &TV (9PM)Sunidhi, Himesh Reshammiya, Mika Singh, ShaanThe battle round will continue on Sunday also. It would be interesting to see how the coaches choose contestants from their own teams, thus eliminating a few.Wimbledon 2015 Men’s finals, Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic, Star Sports (6:30 PM)Get ready for the mother of all tennis matches! All year round tennis lovers wait for the men’s final of Wimbledon and French Open. Get an adrenaline rush as the tennis stalwarts sweat it out on the grass court.last_img read more


first_imgAs per sources, Assams Gautam Roy is currently a As per sources, Assams Gautam Roy is currently a fence-sitter and did not want to make his position clear. The CAB had already clarified that they wont attend any meeting till Dalmiyas condolence meeting gets over on October 2. Amitabh Chaudhary, while making it clear that he wants a candidate from East, also clarified that he is currently in Kolkata. “As far as I am concerned, it is East Zones turn to have their president from 2014 to 2017. I want the bylaws of BCCI constitution to be followed in letter and spirit. As far as I am concerned, I am currently in Kolkata and if any group is having a meeting, they are free to do so,” Chaudhary said. National Cricket Club, which is like Jagmohan Dalmiyas family club, represented by his friend KP Kajaria also were not present. Kajaria himself is not keeping well these days. Tripura CAs Sourav Dasgupta, who is a known Anurag Thakur loyalist in any case would not have attended the meeting. While Thakur faction is in favour of Rajeev Shukla taking over as the President, it does not have the clear majority to ensure victory for the Congress MP. Similarly Pawar group also have four committed voters in Mumbai CA, Vidarbha CA (Shashank Manohar), Mahrashtra CA (Ajay Shirke) and Saurashtra CA (Niranjan Shah). Pawar group would certainly need Thakur and his party BJPs explicit support to pull it off. Pawar met Srini in order to test whether the current ICC chairman would support him and then calculate how many of the floating votes can come in his favour. PTI KHS MRM MRMadvertisementlast_img read more


first_imgThe teams: The teams: Bermuda Bowl: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Guadeloupe, India, Japan, Jordan New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, USA 1, USA2. Venice Cup: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Guadeloupe, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, USA 1, USA 2, Venezuela d Órsi seniors trophy: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile,China, Egypt, England, Guadeloupe, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Tunisia, USA 1, USA 2. The Indian teams: Bermuda Bowl: The Indian Railways side (Amarnath Banerjee, Debabrata Majumdar, Gopinath Manna, Sumit Mukherjee, Rana Roy) Venice Cup: Puja Batra, Firoza Chothia, Hema Deora, Monica Jajoo, Marianne Karmarkar, Aparna Sain, Kawaljit Singh (npc), Niranjan (Manager) d Órsi trophy: Badal Chandra Das, Ashok Kumar Goel, R. Krishnan, Sunil Machhar, Aloke Sadhu, K.R. Venkatraman, Anil Padhye (npc), Arun Bapat(Coach) PTI RE AT ATlast_img read more