Monthly Archive: November 2019

Sarri: ‘Juve thank Ronaldo’

first_imgMaurizio Sarri said Juventus “can only thank” Cristiano Ronaldo for pushing through pain to play and explained the on-going knee injury. The Bianconeri needed a victory to go into the break for international duty as Serie A leaders, following Inter’s win at Hellas Verona, and they achieved it with substitute Paulo Dybala’s moment of magic against Milan. Sarri raised eyebrows by substituting Cristiano Ronaldo after just 55 minutes, days after replacing him against Lokomotiv Moscow, a decision CR7 did not seem happy with. “We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation. He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there. Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles. “It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment. All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would in general be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset.” Juventus are top of the table again, but once more they only managed to win by a one-goal margin. “I liked the spirit of the team, but we have to improve immensely in terms of quality, as we made too many mistakes, gave the ball away cheaply and opened up spaces for Milan. The hunger and determination to win is what kept us going. “Milan had shots on goal, but they were almost all efforts from outside the penalty area. They have impressive passing quality, played clearly above their average performance level of this season and have strong technique. “Gonzalo Higuain isn’t scoring as much as he did in the past, but he is working hard to help the defence, combines better with his teammates and is always ready for the assist.” 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: read more

Marca: Real Madrid rejected Icardi

first_imgSpanish paper Marca claim Mauro Icardi tried to engineer a transfer to Real Madrid in 2017 and 2018, but the club had concerns over his character. Icardi left Inter on loan to Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day and has been a huge success, scoring 10 goals in 11 competitive games. PSG hope he can continue that trend when facing Real Madrid in the Champions League this evening at the Bernabeu. According to Marca, he could’ve played this fixture with the Merengues jersey, as he and wife/agent Wanda Nara had advanced negotiations for a transfer in both 2017 and 2018. However, on both occasions, Real Madrid patron Florentino Perez scrapped the deal, as he had concerns over Icardi’s personality. This was ultimately was prompted Inter to push him out the door and he eventually accepted the loan move to Paris Saint-Germain. 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: read more

BCCI to commence post-Modi era in IPL tomorrow

first_imgThe post-Lalit Modi era in the Indian Premier League is set to commence on Thursday when Cricket Board’s office bearers and the franchisees meet to discuss the way forward after the financial scandal that led to the IPL commissioner’s suspension.”It’s the first meeting of the BCCI office bearers with the IPL franchisee owners after the conclusion of the third season. That’s all which can be said to the media,” said Board’s CAO, Prof. Ratnakar Shetty when asked about the agenda for the meeting.There are enough indications that this meeting, to be followed the next day by the Governing Council meeting of the Twenty20 League to be chaired by Chirayu Amin, will chart the roadmap for the season ahead in the post-Modi scenario.All the happenings during the run-up to the suspension of Modi and afterwards are expected to be presented to the 10 franchisee owners/representatives who would attend the meeting at the Board’s headquarters.The franchisees are bound to air their views about the future conduct of the IPL, in particular about the number of matches and format of the tournament with the addition of two more teams – Pune and Kochi – and modalities for the new players’ auction.If played as per the existing home and away format, the 60-game event would balloon to 94 games, which has raised concerns about player burn-outs and injuries.The Board officials are bound to take the broader view by pencilling in the hectic schedule of the Indian team before and after the IPL.advertisementThe 2011 World Cup, scheduled from February 19-April 2, is immediately preceding IPL 4 after the Indian team completes a home series against Australia and New Zealand followed by a tour of South Africa.Though a visit to the West Indies is scheduled but not confirmed as per the ICC’s Future Tours Programme in April-May, but it seems unlikely as the dates are set to clash with IPL.A full tour of England, from July to September, is on the cards to leave the top Indian cricketers very little breathing time before and after the T20 League.Reduced number of matches in IPL may not be to the liking of every franchisee as their revenues would take a hit and it is to be seen how the Board officials negotiate this tricky issue.The number of Indian and overseas players who can be retained by the original eight franchisees when the players’ auction is held before the start of the next season is another contentious issue that will come up for debate in the meeting.These issues, and the franchisees’ views on them, would be put up before the Governing Council (GC) on Friday.The decisions taken at the GC meeting are set to come up for ratification at the Special General Meeting of the BCCI that has been convened by the Board on July 3.last_img read more

Scotland Yard arrests man for fixing Pakistan-England Test match

first_imgThe ghost of match-fixing returned to the world of cricket on Saturday with Scotland Yard arresting an alleged fixer after a British tabloid revealed sordid details about corruption in the Pakistan cricket team currently facing defeat in the Lord’s Test.’The News of the World’ tabloid splashed details of a sting operation it conducted on one London-based individual, Mazhar Majeed.The tabloid said it gave 150,000 pounds to him after he promised to arrange for Pakistan bowlers to bowl no-balls during a match.Majeed, 35, was arrested late last night after the tabloid handed over details of its sting operation to Scotland Yard.The two Pakistan cricketers who allegedly bowled no-balls under directions from Majeed were Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif.Both bowlers delivered three no-balls in the ongoing Test against England on Thursday and Friday at the historic Lord’s.The two bowlers delivered the no-balls ‘at precisely the moments promised to our reporter’, the tabloid said.”Our undercover team was posing as front men for a Far East gambling cartel. In return for their suitcase of money Majeed then calmly detailed what would happen – and when – on the field of play next day, as a taster of all the lucrative information he could supply in future,” it reported.Majeed reportedly said: “I’m going to give you three no-balls to prove to you firstly that this is what’s happening. They’ve all been organised, okay? This is ‘exactly’ what’s going to happen, you’re going to ‘see’ these three things happen. I’m telling you, if you play this right you’re going to make a lot of money, believe me!”advertisementMajeed identified Pakistan captain Salman Butt as the ‘ringleader of the band of cheats’. He also reportedly named wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and boasted that he had a total of seven corrupt cricketers in his pocket, the report said.Majeed is identified as a property tycoon with a house in Surrey worth 1.8 million pounds.The tabloid reporter’s meetings with Majeed were held in the Bombay Brasserie Indian restaurant here, and Majeed reportedly went on to allege an Indian connection as well.He is quoted as saying: “I deal with an Indian party. They pay me for the information.”Yawar Saeed, Pakistan’s manager, said his team members spoke to the police at their hotel.He said he was shocked by the allegations, as were the team members to whom he had spoken.last_img read more

Delhi social hubs, nightclubs ensure boredom is not a capital punishment

first_imgFrom movie watching in cushioned comfort to playing golf in green peace and head banging to death metal and hard rock to just sitting back with a drink, delhi’s social hubs and nightclubs have ensured that boredom is not a capital punishment. PVR CINEMAS Who would have thought that a,From movie watching in cushioned comfort to playing golf in green peace and head banging to death metal and hard rock to just sitting back with a drink, delhi’s social hubs and nightclubs have ensured that boredom is not a capital punishment. PVR CINEMASWho would have thought that a man whose family business involved running the 500-truck Amritsar Transport Company would transform the way Delhi saw movies?”I knew it was a risk back then, but I took it anyway,” says Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director, PVR, who bought over the floundering Priya theatre in 1990 and successfully restored it (twice over) to glory.Though he says that he always believed in the concept of “making movie-watching a complete family entertainment experience,” public validation of his belief came from the first House Full sign on the ticket counter for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Not stopping at Priya, Bijli launched a multiplex in 1997. “For the first four to five days, I would just stand outside the box office and watch people buy the tickets,” he recalls. But that was then.Now, almost a decade later, Bijli no longer has reason to watch or worry-he knows he has a winner on his hands. Or rather winners, for he now has 12 PVRs spread across the NCR. And what’s more, they all provide fun experiences-you get everything from nachos to chocolates, besides popcorn in various flavours. The seats are large and spacious and viewers get to choose from four different movies running at the same time. Ask cinegoer Dr Ritu Dangwal, assistant professor at NIIT, why she goes to the movies at least five times a month and she says: “The hall is close to my home and it gives me a number of viewing options.”advertisementFor 30-year-old Sneha Sharma, it is the best place to meet up with family and friends. Entrepreneur Rina Mishra says she’s happy that PVRs have started showing small-budget films as well which she would not have otherwise had the chance to watch. Though she loved Iqbal, her four-year-old son couldn’t stop raving over Krissh. Clearly a winner by all standards, these days Bijli gets a high hearing “Dad, you rock,” from his sevenyear-old son, who too, loves the big screen experience.IICThe more uncharitable say that the India International Centre (IIC) is a relic run by relics, and they wouldn’t be far from wrong. The illustrious members who have a dominant say in its activities are mostly septugenarians-and it shows. The most exciting event here is the Saturday Club where the aforementioned, joined by elder statesmen, academics and bureaucrats, meet to discuss weighty issues of the day. Other days are spent largely at the 35,000-volume library or the sole dining hall whose speciality befits its lineage-lamb chops or fish and chips.But still, the IIC, with its old worldliness and exclusivity of membership, continues to remain a distant dream for most Delhiites. As veteran Congressman Dr Karan Singh once put it: “It is much easier to become a Member of Parliament than a member of IIC.” Or as former Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee, a trustee for nearly two decades, says: “This is not a yuppie place where you can go get a drink. It has certain values.”ELEVATEOkay, we bet you weren’t the only one who had no idea that Noida had the potential to become the hub of the clubbing circuit. That too on the fifth floor of a family-infested mall. Watching Centrestage Mall transform itself rather eerily from a mallrats’ paradise to party central come sundown is as tough as imagining a paanwala with a pipe. But it does. All due to 26-year-old Monty Chaddha who has brought back the punch in partying till 5 am in the capital.Inspired by Fabric in London, not only does his appropriately named threelevel club, Elevate, (it’s on the fifth floor of the mall) attract rockers, ravers and the never-too-old-toparty lot, it has also manged to entice in an entire subset of Israeli and European DJs, Bhangra breakbeat acts and a medley of popular musicians making this a must-swing-for-a-gig destination. But here’s an insider tip: to really enjoy yourself at Elevate, go to the seventh floor terrace, check out the 5 am bars of Orion, down a few Mohitos and enjoy the music bellowing out from inside. That’s nirvana.OLIVEIf you look at Olive from atop the Qutub Minar, it might seem like a set from a magic realism film. Lime-white walls lit up with candles, gravel scattered down the path and a banyan tree stretching its limbs across the courtyard make it seem like you’re floating somewhere in Middle Earth. While the food here is comme ci comme ca, the wine list can stir a sommelier to ecstasy.No surprise why diplomats and designers have made Olive their sweet spot. Its by now famous Wednesday flea market is a centre of creative chaos where aspiring and established fashionistas showcase their work (that can, quite frankly, be got for half the price elsewhere). But as the wine and moon make you giddy, trust us, you’ll go with the flow and happily pay a mini bomb for the trinkets sold here.advertisementCOLONY CLUBSNothing provides wholesome family entertainment better than the friendly neighbourhood club down the road. From competitively priced liquor and food, card rooms and ball rooms and tennis courts and swimming pools, these clubs are not just great places to unwind, they are also the best way to get to know one’s neighbours. Or bump into Shah Rukh Khan at Panchshila Club (below) if you’re lucky. The libraries at the clubs are also a big draw. “I find it difficult to keep track of time when I’m in the reading room,” says ex Lt-Governor of Delhi, D.R. Kohli, member of Vasant Vihar Club.Noida residents say they have a great social life owing to the Sports and Cultural Club as do members of the DLF City Club in Gurgaon. As designer Nikhil Mehra, who often plays on the synthetic tennis court at the Friends Colony Club, puts it: “The club was a part of my childhood. I learnt to value and enjoy sports here.”IHCThere is no doubt that in the nine years of its existence, the India Habitat Centre (IHC) has long shaken off its tag of the upstart down the road from the elitist IIC. If the latter revels in its old world charm, the former celebrates its youthful vigour. But like the IIC, membership here, too, is now a near impossibility.IHC’s elegant landcaping, contemporary ambience, well-appointed rooms with conference facilties and the variety of multi-cuisine restaurants combine to give it a special buzz. And with plays, movies and exhibitions on all year round, you get culture on a platter, as well. Incidentally, Wipro chairman Azim Premji stays at the Habitat when he’s visiting Delhi.DELHI GOLF CLUBArjun Atwal (PGA golf champion, 2003) has swung his club to many wins here and Ashok Kumar, one of India’s leading golfers, was once a caddy at this most exclusive of the capital’s courses. Coming to the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) is like walking in Lodhi Gardens. You bump into senior bureaucrats, judges, politicians and corporate honchos at virtually every step. The best part: everyone knows everyone at DGC, originally called the Lodhi Golf Course after the Tughlaq and Lodhi dynasty monuments that dot the place.If you start early enough, chances of your seeing neelgai footprints are high, not to mention cheetals, jackals and over 300 species of birds and 200 kinds of trees. All this in the shadow of The Oberoi. “The location is good and the grounds are well maintained,” says Prem K. Khanna, Chief Resident Executive, Birla Group, who has been playing here for 13 years. Try getting a membership and you’re likely to be waiting for the next 20 years. But put in your application anyway, your children will thank you for it.advertisementTC, MEZZ, CAFE MORRISON, BUZZAll crooners and critics have at some point or the other haunted Mezz and Turquoise Cottage in their quest for rock music in the capital. Mezz at New Friends Colony is more of the old school, with a dark smoke pit where rockers turn up in pajamas and head bang themselves into oblivion even as hardcore death metal and classic rock anthems play through the night. Turquoise Cottage, on the other hand, is the hub for those who like their rock music to be a little more mainstream.Parikrama’s Subir Malik says, “Over 10 years ago, Mezz was rock central while TC’s rocking music scene and great ambience make it seem like one big party.” Caf Morrison in South Extension is an updated version of Mezz. Named after (who else but) Jim of The Doors, this caf has become an instant hit with collegians rocking on a budget. Live gigs by new, upcoming and established Indian musicians are a regular feature here. Buzz (at Saket and at Metropolitan Mall, Gurgaon) is perfect for whiling away the evening over ear-splitting sound. DJ Kary mixes across easy listening genres at the Gurgaon Buzz where the best option on a Saturday is to stop by, order snacks and a pitcher of beer, and chill.LAIDBACK WATERS, SHALOMWhen Shalom set up camp three years ago, its strict door policy shook up every lounge lizard in the capital. With owner Dhiraj Arora manning the gate himself, the club thought nothing of turning away the capital’s crass cash lot. Perhaps that’s what has gave this GK1 Med lounge its cool edge, besides its easy seating, dim lighting and delicious food platters. Add to that the perfect ingredient for a good time: acoustic alchemy, inspired by the Buddha Bar lounge in Paris. “Music is the soul of Shalom,” says Arora who is working on the club’s second lounger music compilation CD.Across town at the Qutub, Arora’s other club, Laidback Waters, specialises in sea food. Expansive and slightly baroque, Laidback Waters is a quiet gem among Delhi’s noisy nocturnal jaunts. With live Indifusion music every Wednesday night and capital bands and DJs playing on weekends, Laidback Waters has given the capital’s disco-hating tribe a new reason to bebop to a new, alternative groove.AGNIThis hotspot at The Park has proved that good things (like Someplace Else) can get even better. Experimental, unlike most other capital clubs, Agni has held some great theme parties like masquerade balls and a Chameli Night inspired by the movie starring Kareena Kapoor. Designer Mandira Wirk, who hosted the Chameli Night, says: “Agni is the only space in the capital that lets you go a little eccentric.” The bartenders are friendly and musical and remember your favourite drink. It’s little gestures like that which make Agni a firecracker of a place.DELHI GYMKHANAFuddy-duddy, out of sync with the times or a 27-acre white elephant occupying a large stretch of prime LBZ-the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC) has been called all that and more. But it’s just a case of sour grapes. A frozen membership ensures that this is a closed club, with no sign of the door opening. In fact, members like to brag that the waiting list is so long that if one applies today, the application will come up for review 30 years hence. If you’re lucky, that is. Such is the pride associated with DGC membership that matrimonial columns have been known to carry insertions stating “the girl’s father is a Gymkhana member.” Says DGC secretary Col O.P. Malhotra: “The club is more than a social or sporting hub, members consider it their second home.”last_img read more

Amrapali adds an Italian jewel to its sparkling crown

first_imgThey made a sparkling debut in Hollywood with costume period drama, Troy, and ever since then, Amrapali Jewels of Jaipur has left a glittering tale of success both in India and on the global front.The latest jewel in its crown comes from being nominated for the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards (APIJA) instituted by the Fiera di Vicenza. These awards are considered the Oscars for jewellery.The Jaipur-origin jewellery brand has bagged a nomination in the category of ‘The Best International Jewellery Brand Collection’, along with other renowned luxury jewellery labels such as Tiffany & Co., Brumani, H. Stern & Van Cleef and Arpels.Talking about the huge honour, Amrapali Jewels co-founder Rajiv Arora said, “This nomination is an important recognition of our design language and worldwide appeal; Amrapali is the first Indian brand to be accepted as truly international.” Amrapali Jewels, a favourite for red carpet appearances and celebrity stylists, traces its origins to 1978. Every jewelled piece is created with the help of master craftsmen and goldsmiths within and around Jaipur. Its loyal clientele include royalty, corporate honchos and celebrities from across the globe. From IIFA and Cannes to the Grammys and the Oscars, no heavy duty red carpet event ever goes without sightings of beautiful Amrapali jewellery, complimenting the best designs of the fashion world.The APIJA are the most prestigious awards for the jewellery industry. Nominated brands and winners go down in jewellery history as they are hand-picked by an international jury of experts in design and execution in the various stages of jewellery making all the way to advertising and retail.It is an international award dedicated to excellence in the Best Italian Jewellery designer, Best International Jewellery Designer, Best Jewellery Website, Best Jewellery Brand Collection, Best Jewellery Communication Campaign and Best Jewellery Packaging.Amrapali is the only Indian design house to be nominated for the awards.advertisementlast_img read more

Stindl equalizer saves Germany’s 21-match unbeaten run

first_imgGermany’s striker Lars Stindl (C) celebrates scoring the 2-2 with his team-mates during the international friendly football match Germany against France in Cologne on November 14, 2017. The match ended 2-2. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALLSubstitute Lars Stindl extended world champions Germany’s unbeaten run to 21 matches with a 93rd-minute equalizer in a 2-2 friendly draw against France in Cologne on Tuesday.A first international double by Alexandre Lacazette put France on the verge of a deserved victory in a clash of two of the favorites for next year’s World Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Germany coach Joachim Loew made six changes from the team which were held to a goalless draw by England at Wembley on Friday, switching from a 4-3-3 line-up to their trusted 4-2-3-1 formation.Paris Saint-Germain second-choice goalkeeper Kevin Trapp replaced Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Emre Can, Niklas Suele, Marvin Plattenhardt, Toni Kroos, who missed the England game with a gastrointestinal infection, and Sami Khedira, who took over the captaincy, also came into the side.French boss Didier Deschamps left star forward Antoine Griezmann on the bench and started with Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Lacazette in a 4-3-3 formation.The trio were a constant menace and the French deservedly grabbed the opening goal on 34 minutes after Mbappe and Lacazette had early chances.ADVERTISEMENT 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 The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay A diagonal long pass to Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne was squared to Manchester United’s Martial, who weaved past Suele, drew Trapp and squared to Lacazette who fired home.It stayed 1-0 at the break and Loew reshuffled his defensive options by swapping Mats Hummels for Antonio Ruediger.The burly Chelsea center-back had a golden chance on 52 minutes, but he fired Julian Draxler’s cross wide.The Germans equalized in the 56th minute when Mesut Ozil’s superb final pass released Werner, who slotted his shot past French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.Loew brought on World Cup winner Mario Goetze for the last half an hour—his first international appearance for a year after a metabolic disorder.Kroos clattered the crossbar with a free-kick with 20 minutes left, but France retook the lead almost immediately.The German defense left Mbappe in acres of space and his through ball put Lacazette into the box to again shoot past Trapp with 19 minutes to go.Lacazette made way for Griezmann for the final quarter of an hour as the French national anthem – La Marseillaise – echoed around the Cologne stadium as Stindl came on.But the Germans grabbed a draw right at the death when Ozil’s pass found Goetze, who set up Stindl and the Moenchengladbach forward drilled home the equalizer.Loew said he was pleased with the draws against England and France in Germany’s final internationals of 2017. DeRozan scores 27 as Raptors beat Rockets Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments The Arsenal striker scored either side of a Timo Werner goal, before Stindl struck to maintain Germany’s unbeaten run dating back to their 2-0 defeat by France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.“We conceded the goal from nothing to make it 2-1, but we also showed the morale to come back from behind,” said stand-in Germany captain Sami Khedira.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 openingSecurity was tight in Cologne almost two years to the day since the Paris terror attacks of November 13, 2015, when 130 people were killed and over 400 injured.On that night, three suicide bombers set off devices at the Stade de France during a France v Germany friendly and the shocked visiting players had to spend the night at the stadium during a security crackdown. Malditas save PH from shutout After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “We played better in the second half after not everything worked so well in the first 45 minutes as we had hoped,” he said.“That can always happen when you are behind at the break, but we had our chances when we put pressure on in the second half.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Lok Sabha elections: Polling touches 81 pc in West Bengal, 57 pc in Uttar Pradesh

first_imgAn women quenches her thirst at a polling station in Howrah district, West Bengal on Wednesday. (PTI photo) West Bengal was ahead of other states in polling percentage as voting continued at a brisk pace in seven states and two union territories in seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday.Till 6 pm, 81 per cent voting was recorded in polling for nine seats in West Bengal while the numbers were 70 per cent in Telangana and 62 per cent in Gujarat. WEST BENGAL A voter turnout of 81 per cent was recorded in nine Lok Sabha seats in the third leg of the five-phase elections in West Bengal till 6 pm.”On an average 81.35 per cent of the voters cast their votes till 6.00 pm in the nine constituencies of Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan (East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.”However, there are long queues in many polling stations and the polling will continue till they are cleared. The final turnout can go up a little,” Gupta said.Barring some stray incident the election was free, fair and peaceful, the CEO said.EC’s Special Observer for the state Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, however, said: “The election was free and fair, but I can’t say peaceful. Better you say if it was peaceful or not.”A presiding officer and a polling officer were removed following complaints of partiality and show-cause notice and departmental proceedings were slapped against them, Gupta said.The action was taken against the presiding officer at Moigram Primary School booth under Arambagh Parliamentary constituency. advertisementGUJARAT The polling percentage was very good in the first four hours in WB.62 per cent was recorded in Gujarat,where voting is underway for 26 Lok Sabha constituencies even as Modi’shome turf Vadodara witnessed a high turnout of 50.46 per cent .In Gujarat, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party veteran L K Advani were among the early voters in Gandhinagar.Long queues were witnessed all over the state outside polling booths since early morning hours. People were found queueing up in front of the polling booths even before the polling started at 7 am.According to election officials, the state notched up a healthy 31 percent polling by 11 a.m.Vadodara, from where Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting, recorded a whopping 32 percent in the first four hours of balloting.Ahmedabad, the smallest constituency in terms of electorate with a large minority population, touched barely 15 percent, followed by Kachchh, the sparse and largest constituency in terms of area, at 17 percent.Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben casted her ballot in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Mehsana recorded 30 percent, Chhota Udepur 30, Valsad 26, Navsari 24, Bhavnagar 23, Porbandar 16, Dahod 22, Anand 27, Ahmedabad East 17, Patan 17, Amreli 21, Khed 21, Sabarkantha 32, Bardoli 25, Jambusar 21, Surendranagar 21, Junagadh 28, Rajkot 24, Surat 26, Panchmahal 22.A total of 334 candidates, among them many bigwigs, are in the fray, including 67 Muslims – one from the Congress, seven from the Samajwadi Party and the rest nominated by regional parties or contesting as Independents.An electorate of around 4.05 crore is eligible to exercise its franchise at 45,380 polling stations across the state. Lok Sabha polls in all 26 seats of Gujarat and by-polls for seven state assembly seats began on Wednesday, officials said.A total of 334 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha. Balloting is taking place at 45,380 polling stations where over 234,000 polling personnel have been deployed. More than 40 million people are eligible to vote in all 26 constituencies where voting is being held in a single phase.PUNJABCongress leader Dinsha Patel casted his vote in Kheda, Gujarat. A record 73 per cent of total 1.95 crore electors today voted to elect 13 Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab where the polling was largely peaceful, barring few incidents of violence.The voter turnout was 73 per cent, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Raminder Singh said, adding that the polling was by and large peaceful throughout the state.”No major incident was reported across the state as the polling was more or less peaceful. The poll percentage is likely to touch 73 to 74 per cent after as voters are still in queues to cast their votes,” he said.Earlier in 1967 general polls, Punjab had registered 71.13 per cent polling, the highest ever in the state.Voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise amid sun beating down since morning as Punjab recorded a sizzling above 40 degrees Celsius temperature at most places.Ten persons were injured in a clash between Akali Dal and Congress workers at Sangatpura village in Moga district, officials said, adding that three workers from Aam Aadmi Party sustained injuries after a brawl between them and Akalis at Devigarh village in Patiala Lok Sabha constituency.advertisementSAD sitting MP from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat Harsimrat Kaur Badal interacts with media after casting her vote.AAP candidate from Patiala Dharamvir Gandhi was injured after he was allegedly attacked by some 25 unidentified youths owing allegiance to SAD-BJP at Rassolpura Saidan village in Patiala constituency, sources said.Three persons were injured when supporters of SAD nominee Manpreet Singh and Independent candidate and sitting MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains clashed at Kot Mangal Singh locality in Ludhiana, police said, adding that two vehicles were also vandalised during the conflict.Some Akali Dal workers allegedly vandalized the control unit of EVM at the Bajwa Colony in Patiala, officials said.Minor clashes also took place between Akali and Congress supporters at Amritsar and Khadoor Sahib, but no one was injured in it.The Akali workers earlier vandalized the booth of Congress party and tried to take control, officials said.Polling came to a halt at Booth No 166 in SD Model School in Phagwara for half an hour after the EVMs developed a technical snag, officials said, adding that polling resumed after the balloting units were replaced.Besides, 3 other malfunctioning EVMs were replaced at booth numbers 104, 137 and 151 in Phagwara. UTTAR PRADESHVoters in Patiala queued up at polling stations to caste their votes. Nearly 57 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.UP Governor B L Joshi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP National President Rajnath Singh and party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise.Dhaurahra witnessed 62.8 per cent polling till 1700 hours while Sitapur and Mishrikh recorded 59.4 and 53.96 per cent polling respectively.Unnao recorded 50.94 per cent polling, Mohanlalganj 56 per cent, Lucknow 50.5 per cent, Rae Bareli 48.1 per cent, Kanpur 50.2 per cent, Jalaun 52 per cent, Jhansi 63 per cent, Hamirpur 49.1 per cent, Banda 47.52 per cent, Fatehpur 54.58 per cent and Barabanki recorded 58.19 per cent polling.In Sitapur an FIR has been lodged against SP MLA Rampal Yadav after he entered into an altercation with CRPF jawan Dharampal Singh at Nauabehad polling booth in Biswan area.The fate of 233 candidates will be decided by 2.46 crore voters that include 1.34 crore men and 1.12 crore women.A total of 25,485 polling centres have been set up in which 3554 have been identified as critical. The focus would be on Rae Bareli and Lucknow seats from where Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Rajnath Singh are in the fray.Gandhi, who is contesting from her traditional Rae Bareli seat, has no major contestant against her with SP deciding not to field its candidate against her.The prestigious Lucknow seat, which is in the limelight with the entry of the BJP’s national president, is set to witness a tricky contest.Rajnath, who is facing a four-cornered contest has two tasks at hand – first to maintain legacy of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and second to ensure a victory margin matching with his political stature.advertisementMeanwhile, British High Commissioner James David Bevan today reached Lucknow and visited a number of polling centres to see the polling exercise.According to official sources he also visited the election commission office and met Governor Joshi, Rajnath, Mayawati and Rita Joshi.He is also to visited polling centre in Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.ANDHRA PRADESH Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi.Barring a few sporadic incidents, polling in 15 assembly seats and two parliamentary constituencies in Hyderabad city that were held as part of first phase of general elections in Andhra Pradesh went off peacefully.Police booked cases against contesting candidates of different parties on various allegations including for violating model code of conduct.Voting was held in 3,446 polling stations from 7 AM to 6 PM and about 55 per cent of polling was reported in the city. The polling went off peacefully, except sporadic incidents reported in Goshamahal, Amberpet and Yakuthpura assembly constituencies, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said.City police had made elaborate arrangements by deploying 18,000 personnel covering all sensitive and hyper sensitive polling stations and areas to ensure free and fair polling and also to prevent occurrence of any untoward incidents.Contesting candidates Mumtaz Ahmed Khan of MIM and Majeedullah Khan alias Farhat Khan of MBT were taken into preventive custody, as they were moving in the Yakuthpura Assembly Constituency along with their followers (numbering 150-200) violating the Model Code of Conduct, the Hyderabad Police chief said.Apart from this, two cases have been registered against Vikram Goud, son of contesting candidate Mukesh Goud of Congress from Goshamahal assembly seat, besides against V Hanumanth Rao, Contesting candidate of Congress from Amberpet assembly segment respectively on charge of assaulting the rival party workers.Other four cases were reported: one against Venkat Rao, contesting candidate of YSRCP from Cantonment assembly seat for distributing pamphlets, another against Mohammed Amer, a resident of Gowlipura for casting bogus vote at polling booth No.116 at Deewan Devdi.A case was also booked against Mujeedullah Khan, an MBT candidate contesting from Yakuthpura assembly seat for obstructing the voters at Chacha Auto Garage, at Bhavaninagar besides one registered against Gajjela Kantham, contesting candidate of Congress from Cantonment assembly segment for obstructing police from discharging their duties, police said.”Overall the polling went off peacefully, due to constant vigil and good work done by security forces. We thank the people of Hyderabad city for maintain peace and calm during process,” Anurag Sharma said.BIHARAccompanied by his security guards, Chiranjeevi, his wife, their actor son Ramcharan Teja and other family members were standing in the queue at the polling centre in the posh Jubliee Hills neighbourhood. Despite scorching sun, about 58 per cent voter turnout was recorded at the end of polling in seven Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha election.It was 12 per cent more than recorded in the 2009 elections.Sixty per cent polling was recorded at Madhepura constituency where JD(U) president Sharad Yadav is contesting.Madhubani witnessed 56 per cent, Jhanjharpur 56 per cent, Darbhanga 57 per cent, Samastipur 55 per cent, Begusarai 64 per cent and Khagaria 55 per cent at the end of polling at 6 pm, Chief Election Officer Ajay Nayak told reporters.A bypoll is also being held in Sahebpur Kamal Assembly seat following resignation of former minister Parveen Amanullah from the Nitish Kumar Cabinet.Sixty-one per cent voting was recorded in the bypoll there.Sharad Yadav, crickter-turned BJP leader Kiriti Azad, former Union ministers M A A Fatmi and Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav are among 94 candidates whose fates have been sealed today.With completion of polling today, 27 seats of a total of 40 in Bihar have witnessed voting. The remaining 13 will go to poll on May 7 and May 12.Nearly 72 per cent, peaceful voting in Telangana’s first poll Nearly 72 per cent peaceful polling was recorded for 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 state assembly seats in the first election in Telangana, which is set to born as India’s 29th state on June 2.Officials said the polling was 68 percent at 5 p.m. Those standing in queues at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote, said chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal.Barring minor incidents, balloting was on peacefully amid tight security at 30,574 polling booths across 10 districts of Telangana including Hyderabad.While nine districts recorded heavy polling, the turnout was low in Hyderabad. Bhanwarlal said 53 percent votes were polled in the city. Highest turnout of 75 percent was recorded in Khammam district.No incident was reported from any of the 10 Maoist affected assembly constituencies, he said. Polling in three of these constituencies ended at 4 p.m. and in the rest at 5 p.m.Clashes between workers of rival parties were reported from Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy districts.Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) candidate Mumtaz Ahmed Khan was arrested after a clash between MIM and Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) activists in Yakutpura assembly constituency in the old city of Hyderabad.In Gajwel assembly segment of Medak Lok Sabha constituency, police kept Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate Pratap Reddy under house arrest after a clash between TDP and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) activists. TRS chief K. Chandrasekara Rao is contesting for both Medak Lok Sabha and Gajwel assembly seats.In Maharajgunj assembly constituency in Hyderabad, Congress candidate and former minister Mukesh Goud’s son Vikram Goud allegedly attacked workers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally TDP.Two people were injured in a clash between Congress and TRS supporters in Kollapur constituency in Mahabubnagar district.A vehicle allegedly belonging to a Congress leader mysteriously caught fire in Suryapet in Nalgonda district. Bundles of currency notes of Rs.1,000 and 500 denominations, hidden in the engine, were found burnt. The driver escaped after the Innova vehicle caught fire.The vehicle carried legislator sticker reportedly belonging to Telangana Congress committee’s working president Uttam Kumar Reddy, who is seeking re-election from Huzurnagar assembly constituency.The CEO said the vehicle was carrying Rs.2.5 crore cash. He, however, said the identity of the owner and other details would be known only after the driver is caught.More than 28.17 million electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the first election in Telangana since parliament passed a bill in February for separate statehood to the region.As many as 265 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha and 1,669 for the assembly constituencies.Technical snag in electronic voting machines (EVMs) led to delay in start of the polling at some polling centres.Bhanwarlal told reporters that some EVMs received from Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad were in factory mode and the polling staff was unable to use them.He, however, said such EVMs were replaced in 20 minutes to half-an-hour as every district has 2,000 EVMs in reserve.”There was a small technical snag in new EVMs. They are in factory mode and they have to be sent back to the factory but we have sufficient number of machines for immediate replacement,” he said.The election authorities are using 100,000 EVMs. The CEO said these were new machines which arrived two days ago from ECIL and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).Director General of Police B. Prasada Rao said the polling was on in a peaceful manner. He said no untoward incident was reported from any part of Telangana.The CEO said 150,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces were deployed as part of the massive security arrangements. Four helicopters were also kept ready for contingency.Prominent among the contestants for Lok Sabha elections include union cabinet Minister S. Jaipal Reddy (Mahabubnagar), TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao (Medak), his daughter K. Kavitha (Nizamabad), Lok Satta chief Jayaprakash Narayan (Malkajgiri) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad).As the state will be formally bifurcated in June, the Election Commission is conducting the polls in the undivided state.The elected legislators will be allotted to the respective states after June 2.J&KAn electorate of 1.12 crore voters will exercise their franchise in 10,521 polling stations. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 25.62 per cent voter turn out.Balloting for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir began on Wednesday, officials said.As many as 14 candidates are in the fray, including Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.Over 1.23 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 1,546 polling booths.Around 50 companies of central armed forces and over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed.DAMAN AND DIUOver two-thirds of the electors in Daman and Diu voted on Wednesday for the lone parliamentary seat in the union territory, officials said.Poll officials said 76 percent voting was recorded.”Balloting has been largely peaceful and is moving on smoothly. No untoward incident has been reported yet,” an official said.Incumbent MP Lalubhai Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party faces Ketan Dahyabhai Patel of the Congress, Bhavesh Patel of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Kessur Goan of the Aam Aadmi Party.Voting was moderate in the first couple of hours, with 14.35 percent turnout after polling began at 7 a.m. However, it picked up during the day. By 1 p.m., the turnout was 52.65 percent.District Election Officer Ramesh Verma said the turnout was expected to be higher than the 71.32 percent recorded in the 2009 polls.Polling is taking place Wednesday at 119 polling stations, with over 111,000 people eligible to exercise their franchise.Daman and Diu comprise two broadly detached districts in the country’s western coast. Daman is an enclave on Gujarat’s southern coast, situated 160 km north of Mumbai, while Diu covers an island off the southern coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar Peninsula, 64 km southeast of Veraval, as well as a small area on the mainland.The union territory is a former Portuguese colony. DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELIDadra and Nagar Haveli also recorded their highest-ever voter turnout of 85 per cent.Balloting for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Dadra and Nagar Haveli began on Wednesday, officials said.As many as 11 candidates are in the fray.A total of 188,783 people are eligible to vote at 163 polling booths across the union territory.last_img read more

ICC considers restricting bat sizes before World Cup

first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering placing limitations on the depth of a bat with less than a fortnight left for the World Cup to begin to restore the balance between batsman and bowler.ICC chief executive David Richardson has said the balance between batsman and bowler “may have shifted a bit too much” in favour of the former.”No one begrudges an AB de Villiers, who plays some superb shots, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, they are exceptionally talented and no one minds if they hit some great shots which go for six,” Richardson was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.”But where some batsmen are mishitting balls and it is just carrying over the rope and going for a six instead of being caught at the boundary, that is what some cricket people believe has become unfair,” he said.”The MCC (World Cricket Committee), as law makers, and the ICC will be looking at giving perhaps some consideration to placing limitations on the depth of a bat in particular,” he added.The idea, however, has been met with criticism from bat manufacturers who said they do not think it is quite “fair” to reduce the width of a bat.Greg Eime, the brand manager at Gunn and Moore, said smaller grounds were a big factor for batsmen mishitting balls for sixes.”Effectively the game has changed and the way the batsmen play has changed,” Eime said.”It’s a combination of a lot of things, even down to the players’ physical fitness and strength. To go finger pointing at the bats, I don’t think that’s quite fair.”advertisementMichael Reid, the sponsor manager at bat manufacturer Gray-Nicolls, said there has been “a number of changes to the game which contribute to the higher scores and so forth. Not necessarily the bat sizes.”last_img read more

Busy in office? Keep track of Cricket World Cup with these 5 apps

first_imgTomorrow, as you may already know, the 2015 Cricket World Cup starts. The Indian cricket team are the defending world champions and they face arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday in their first group match. However, if you happen to be stuck in a place where you don’t have access to a TV, then you still have options to keep a track on India’s progress. We have listed out the 5 best options.Star SportsStar Sports is the official ICC Broadcast Partner for the World Cup, so apart from Doordarshan it is the channel that will broadcast the matches in India. This is the reason it remains the best option for watching the matches in the absence of a TV. Its mobile apps for iOS and Android, and its website will live stream the games if you pay a subscription fee of Rs 120. It will also provide much more like stats, analysis, and highlights.ESPN CricinfoESPN Cricinfo is the site to go to if you are interested in cricket related news. It is one of the oldest websites dedicated to cricket coverage. Likewise, its mobile app is perhaps the best one for keeping track of all the updates, be it scores, raw statistics or team news. The app is also home to a host of content authored by some of the most well-known cricket writers from around the world.Yahoo CricketYahoo Cricket is one of Yahoo’s most popular apps. It is also one of the few apps that Yahoo makes that has a dedicated following in India. The app offers an array of features that include interactive scorecards, notifications, news aggregated from various portals and best of all, it is free. Notably, the biggest USP of the app has to be ‘literal’ real-time updates, which means if a boundary is struck you will receive a notification. This can be handy in the case you don’t want to stay glued to the scoreboard all the time.advertisementICC Cricket World Cup 2015Developed specifically for the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand by the International Cricket Council, it is the app made by the caretakers of the game. The app will do all the usual stuff like providing scores, ball-by-ball coverage, and team news. It provides for a customized experience as you can pick your own team and have curated news delivered to you. It is also home to a number of polls that have been designed for the world cup.CricBuzzCricBuzz is yet another app that offers real time information and scores related to the matches in the world cup in Australia and New Zealand. Like Cricinfo, it also is home to a lot of exclusive commentary from some of the best cricket pundits in the world. It is also one of the few apps that is also available for Windows Phone users, in addition to iOS and Android.last_img read more

World Cup 2015: Horoscopes of 8 quarter-final captains

first_imgExcept the exit of England, there has been no real surprises in this World Cup. Eight cricket teams have already qualified for the quarter finals and we’ll have to wait till March 29 to know which team will win the World Cup. Here’s what the individual horoscope says of the captains of the eight teams that have made it to the quarterfinals.Eight Quarter-finalists Mar 5-Mar 23The Sun taking over house #1 will offer mixed results for Dhoni. He is advised to avoid conflicts with the authorities and team-mates alike, even as some colleagues may try to undermine him.Mar 23-Mar 29 (final)If India do make it to the last four, dicey situations continue for MS with the Moon dominant in house #5. Mar 10-Mar 29Later in the tournament, Ketu’s presence in house #3 ends his golden run. Ventures (like the World Cup) in distant or foreign places are destined to bear no fruit ultimately. Feb 16-Mar 18As the Moon takes over house #10, fortune will smile on Mathews. Great success is predicted as he steamrolls opponents.Mar 18-Mar 29But towards the business end of the tournament, Mars in house #12, undoes all the good work. The campaign is destined to bring no prize ultimately, with team-mates being uncooperative, particularly at this time. Feb 14-Mar 29With Saturn steady in house #9, this is going to be a dream run for Clarke and his team. With Mercury occupying house #1, a good momentum will develop as he uses his intellect to good effect. Despite Steven Smith’s growing popularity, Clarke will enjoy the trust of his team-mates. Great success and honour is in store for him, and the four-time world champions.advertisement Feb 14-Mar 29Mixed results in the early part are in store for the perennial chokers. However, with Ketu in house #1 for de Villiers’ the World Cup journey will largely be positive. Feb 14-Mar 19McCullum’s kundli has Saturn in house #4-an unfavourable position. And despite being in-form co-hosts, a few hiccups are in store. But the period could also make him more cautious, prudent and astute. Focussing on the present and not the future would serve him well.Mar 19-Mar 29With the onset of crucial knockout games, and Mercury in house #3, a frenetic McCullum comes to the fore. If he handles this phase well, NZ have no reason to bother. Feb 25-Mar 18It doesn’t get better as the tournament progresses with Ketu in house #1. But the constant travel will yield some positives. Holder’s influence on the team is also expected to grow.Mar 18-Mar 29With Venus entering house #8, any chance of a reversal in fortunes evaporate. Plenty of problems are predicted, and Holder will need to handle people and events more tactfully during this period.Mashrafe Mortaza’s #10 house is governed by Saturn, and the moon is also sitting in the same house. This indicates that the captain of Bangladesh will have to work hard and stick to his decisions. The moon will entice him to alter his decisions every other moment.last_img read more

India fought hard but Australia and New Zealand had that little extra to reach the final. This edition may give us a first-time winner.

first_imgAt one stage Australia looked set to cross 350, but the Indian team did reasonably well to restrict them to 328.The semi-finals have been as exciting as any in World Cup history. I am elated that New Zealand made it to the final for the first time ever, and one,At one stage Australia looked set to cross 350, but the Indian team did reasonably well to restrict them to 328.The semi-finals have been as exciting as any in World Cup history. I am elated that New Zealand made it to the final for the first time ever, and one must give full credit to Brendon McCullum for his leadership. He has aggressively captained a side that almost no critic had backed to go all the way. This final is evenly matched, and I feel this tournament may get a first-time winner.Hard luck to the Indian team: they won all matches convincingly but finally lost to a resilient Australian side in the semi-final. The match was snatched away by Steve Smith at the very start of the Australian innings. The Indian bowlers started well with movement in the air and off the wicket but there were also boundary balls which Smith did not hesitate to put away. Aaron Finch didn’t get his rhythm but was prepared to play second fiddle to Smith. This wasn’t one of his most fluent batting performances but he would probably still rate it as one of his best.The Indian bowlers and fielders eventually did reasonably well to restrict Australia to 328, which was a very competitive score in the context of the match because Australia looked almost certain to cross 350 at one stage. Our boys pulled it back really well after getting the wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Finch and Michael Clarke quickly. But Mitchell Johnson’s cameo of 27 made a crucial difference and allowed Australia to finish strong.advertisementIndia had a solid start and the openers batted well, striking a fine balance between caution and aggression. But between the 15th and 22nd overs, we scored only 22 runs while losing three important wickets, which tilted the scales in Australia’s favour. Dhoni and Rahane were unable to accelerate due to the loss of wickets, and after Rahane’s freak dismissal came against the run of play, it got quite difficult for the batsmen who followed.A lot has happened in the knockout stages. The quarter-finals and the semis have shown that this stage of the World Cup is as much about nerves as it is about talent and potential. If I were to draw a comparison between the four quarter-finals and the two semifinals, the most fascinating aspect was how each team responded to the occasion. The Sri Lankans allowed the big stage get the better of them by losing quick wickets and letting the terms be dictated to them, resulting in their World Cup campaign coming to a sudden halt. Sri Lanka had been firing on all cylinders in the tournament with Kumar Sangakkara leading the batting and the bowlers doing a creditable job. Unfortunately they had one bad day in the office against the Proteas.It was disappointing that the South African team could not carry its momentum to the semi-final and was beaten by New Zealand in a match that went down to the last over. Their clash was one of the greatest games ever in cricketing history, with exhilarating moments in each innings and a historic finish by Grant Elliot that mirrored a movie script. New Zealand will now take this confidence into the final against Australia.Nerves played a pivotal role in some teams winning and some teams losing. New Zealand held their nerve in crucial stages in the semi-final. I empathise with the South Africans, who fought valiantly but missed out on the final yet again. I can imagine what the team must have felt, having been there on a few occasions myself. A.B. De Villiers led them brilliantly right through the tournament and the bowlers and batsmen seemed to be comingto the party at the right time, but a few misses at crucial moments cost them the game. Similarly, Dhoni and his men must be congratulated for having fought hard till the very end and for playing some magnificent cricket all through the tournament.Grant ElliottOne must also remember that the brilliant performance by South Africa in the quarter-final brought a sad end to the glorious careers of two of the game’s greatest-Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Both are skilled batsmen who have played with finesse and poise all through their careers. They have served the game with some classic performances and memorable partnerships, which are case studies in constructing a one-day innings.As A.B. rightly said, the sun rises and life goes on. But there also are those career sunsets for some greats which go devoid of the applause they truly deserve.advertisementMy memory of the 2011 final is something I will always cherish, unlike my memory of the 2003 final, where we lost to Australia. Playing in a World Cup final is a unique and irreplaceable feeling. There is a thrill in getting there, which is then replaced by nervousness and pressure, and then by sheer joy when you win. Losing the final, on the other hand, is not something I want anyone to experience, but it is a reality of this great game. In some sense, having experienced both feelings, I am almost glad that South Africa lost in the semis. It is better than finishing the runner-up after losing the World Cup final. This holds true for India as well-losing a World Cup final isn’t something I would have wanted the Boys in Blue to go through again.A.B. de VilliersI can only imagine the nervousness and happiness that New Zealand must be experiencing after entering their maiden final. Australia definitely have the home advantage, but we cannot count the New Zealanders out. They have played some fabulous cricket through the tournament and have the chance to create history.While we wait for fireworks from both teams, we must also congratulate the other teams who have played magical cricket in this edition of the World Cup -India, South Africa and Sri Lanka.Until 2011, no team had ever won a World Cup on home soil. The last edition saw two of the host nations reaching the final and the team that had home ground advantage won. Now, we again see two host nations in the final. May the better team win!To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

HTC Desire 826 review: A good upgrade to Desire

first_imgHTC is busy launching one handset after another nowadays, particularly in the mid-range segment serviced by its Desire phones. Most of these handsets are just minor upgrades to one another. And that is a problem. A lot many of these handsets don’t actually bring what you call visible changes to an earlier variant.In fact, the changes are so subtle that we fail to understand the whole point of launching a brand new handset in the first place. The Desire 820, Desire 820Q and Desire 820S are the kind of devices that bring hardly anything new to the table.Clearly, three isn’t so much as a crowd for the Taiwanese company. If it was, a fourth handset, the Desire 826, wouldn’t have seen the light of day. Now that it has, let’s just say we are glad HTC came out with this one.Of all the upgrades that we have seen in the recent past from HTC, the Desire 826 is the one that really makes sense.But, at Rs.25,600 does it do any good to the brand HTC? We find out… Design and build qualityDesire 826 on the left, Desire Eye on the right HTC makes some good looking handsets. However, most of its handsets also tend to look more or less similar, which is not always good. The Desire 820, Desire 820q and Desire 820s are classic examples: place them side by side and you can’t tell which one is what.Thankfully, the Desire 826 is different, even if not entirely. It doesn’t end up being a clone of the Desire 820. But, at the same time, it looks lot similar to HTC’s Desire Eye.advertisementThis is not all that bad since the Eye is priced a good odd Rs.10,000 more than the Desire 826. Getting a similar design at a lower cost therefore adds to the device’s ‘premium’ quotient to some extent.You get HTC’s double-shot design, which is a candy bar form factor built entirely of plastic in two distinct colour tones. The Desire 826 certainly looks and feels better than either of the Desire 820 handsets especially since it gives way to glossy plastic in favour of the Eye’s more premium and matte finish.This may be a step forward for HTC, but it’s still not doing enough to impact the market per se. We have better looking handsets in this price range that are giving users a good mix of metal and plastic. HTC, on the other hand, is still stuck with plastic.     While, it may look and feel good, there’s another problem lurking underneath: the Desire 826 is huge. Of course, it’s a 5.5-inch device, but that’s no excuse for those chunky bezels. It would have been nice if HTC had trimmed that fat.At 158×77.5×8 mm and 183 grams, the Desire 826 is one of the most bulky of handsets in its price range. Simply put, it is ‘fat’ in comparison to the OnePlus One, the Honor 6 Plus, the Asus ZenFone 2 (all 5.5-inchers) and lot many other devices. In fact, it’s way heavier than either of the Desire 820 smartphones, even the Eye for that matter.HTC hasn’t made this one to be used with just one hand. You’ll have to use both hands at all times.But, once you get used to the size; you will find that the Desire 826 is a well-built device. With this one you won’t be complaining about squeaky parts, flimsy flaps and loose buttons.The right edge houses the volume rocker and the power button. These are built way into the edge, so some people may find them hard to press. The left-edge has two nano-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot, both of which are covered by a single protective flap.You get HTC’s trademark BoomSound speakers. Here they occupy a thin strip above and below the display, just like in the case of the Eye. Display The Desire 826 has a 5.5-inch full-HD Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution which roughly translates to 401ppi.That’s the exact resolution you get on the OnePlus One and the Honor 6 Plus while the Asus ZenFone 2 has only a slightly better pixel density. The Xiaomi Mi 4 is still the winner here, but then it has a smaller 5-inch display.Keeping numbers aside, the Desire 826 with its full-HD display somehow brings HTC back into the game. The Desire 826 is one of the better display options you have in the market right now, at its price point.Although colours were a tad on the warmer side on the Desire 826, the overall display output is certainly one of the better ones we have seen in recent times.advertisementThe brightness was just adequate, in fact pleasing to the eye. The overall colour scheme (although warm) was rich with detail. We were impressed with the viewing angles on the Desire 826, and we did not witness any evident discoloration/pixilation on viewing from different angles.That said outdoor visibility could have been better. It’s good but is not in the same league as the OnePlus One or the Honor 6 Plus.On the plus side, the display is not prone to smudge/fingerprint unless you have very greasy fingers.   Software The Desire 826 is the first HTC Desire range handset to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Yes, finally as some may say.Also, you get the company’s proprietary Sense 6 UI on top. It would be getting the new Sense 7 in the later part of this year.HTC doesn’t bring what you call a dramatic change to its user interface in subsequent iterations. In fact, if you look closely, there is very little difference between the Sense 6 and Sense 5 UIs (the most important change being the power saver feature that comes in version 6.0).You do get Google’s Material Design elements here and there, you also get a revamped pull down notification panel and the characteristic stack of Lollipop’s notification cards. But, the core colour schemes and icons remain the same (similar to what you got in a KitKat with Sense 6 on top), which feels kind of dated.HTC has introduced a new themes manager — apparently that’s the in-thing lately, everyone seems to be doing it — which lets you download themes and stuff like wallpapers, icon packs, ringtones etc. Still, it seems like a work in progress and the customization options are in no way close to what you get in the OnePlus One or the Xiaomi Mi 4. Also, it’s not something unique to the Desire 826. It can be downloaded to any HTC handset running Sense 6 and above. Another downside is most of the customisation options require Sense 7 so you won’t be enjoying its full potential anytime soon (at least on the Desire 826). Performance The Desire 826 is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 CPU with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB RAM (1,846MB available). This is basically the same deal we got in the Desire 820, the only difference being the latter was clocked at 1.5GHz.Now the Snapdragon 615 is a decent 64-bit mid-range processor, but there’s a problem. You’re getting it in a device like the Yu Yureka and the recently launched Xiaomi Mi 4i (a second generation 615) which cost way less than the Desire 826.Also, in terms of performance output, let’s just say, the Desire 826 comes nowhere close to either of the two handsets.Popular smartphones in the Rs.20,000 price bracket (the OnePlus One, the Mi 4, the Honor 6 Plus etc) have far better processors in comparison to the Desire 826.In short, the Desire 826 doesn’t justify its price bracket looking at what’s under the hood.advertisementStill, the Snapdragon 615 will see you sail through your everyday tasks with ease and the 2GB RAM ensures multi-tasking is not much of a problem. At a time we had as many as 20 apps (including graphics-intensive games) opened simultaneously and we did not witness much lag.The Adreno 405 GPU can handle graphic-intensive games (like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5, Real Racing 3 etc) at medium/low graphics settings. But this GPU has its limitations; lag is evident when the games are running at their maximum graphics fidelity, especially when playing for longer periods.Basic games like Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers are handled well by the device.   The Desire 826 comes with 16GB of internal storage of which about 10GB is available for use. The device supports expandable storage of up to 128GB via micro-SD card.The two BoomSound speakers on-board the Desire 826 do not disappoint. They put out good quality sound, which is loud and punchy. The sound output is way better compared to the other Desire 820 range handsets. Also, it’s better than counterparts in this price range.Phone calls made with the Desire 826 are of acceptable quality, although we did find inserting a SIM card in this one quite a tiring affair.The Desire 826 supports 4G LTE on both SIMs. Camera The Desire 826 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash. It also comes with a 13-megapixel front-facing snapper!Looking at the numbers, the Desire 826 seems to be a well-endowed device, at least on paper. Sadly, that’s not the case in terms of actual usage.While photos clicked in outdoor ambient lighting conditions came out well and had good amount of detail, they also showed metering issues. Most of these images were underexposed so that end result was images that looked pale. Some of these images also had a small amount of noise, which was surprising considering the good light in scenes.Indoor photos clicked in well-lit environment came out nice in most instances, but the metering issues continued, and noise was more frequent. The amount of noise grew as the intensity of light came down.Low-light photos clicked with the Desire 826 were disappointing. Even when we used flash, the result was washed out pictures.All in all, the Desire 826 is not a ‘good’ camera phone at its price. The Mi 4 is definitely a much better option, and the Honor 6 Plus is quite a steal in this department.The front-facing camera puts in a better performance. If you’re looking for a better selfie phone at this price, the Desire 826 does tick that box. Sadly, the selfie camera has an average performance in low-light environments.   Check the following image samples to get an idea of HTC Desire 826 Camera performance: Sample 1 , Sample 2 , Sample 3 , Sample 4 , Sample 5 , Sample 6 , Sample 7 , Sample 8 , Sample 9 , Sample 10 , Sample 11 , Sample 12 , Sample 13 , Sample 14 , Sample 15 , Sample 16 .  BatteryThe Desire 826 comes with a 2600mAh non-removable battery. It is rated to deliver up to 19 hours of 3G talk-time and up to 687 hours of stand-by.   While using the device we found the battery life decent but not particularly impressive.In our battery benchmark we subjected the device to two hours of 1080p video playback, one hour of music playback, half an hour of graphics-intensive gaming, phone calls every now and then (to the tune of one hour) over 3G some web browsing. We also clicked some photos with the device. Over all, a mixture of extreme to moderate usage gave us close to 8 hours on the device which is decent.With most of the users, with more typical workload, we feel that the Desire 826 will provide a battery life of around 13 to 14 hours.The Sense 6 UI’s power saving and extreme power saving mode do help in churning out an extra hour or two, but then you’ll be restricted to using just the core functionalities of the device, like calling and messaging etc.   Should you buy it? The Desire 826 is finally an upgrade that makes some sense in the current scheme of things. It comes with handy improvements over its predecessors which is nice, meaning HTC is finally learning from its mistakes of giving us almost the same devices again and again.Of course, it is still dated in its design aesthetics, but we can live with that. However, the processor could be a deal-breaker for many, considering the fact that you’re getting better performers in the OnePlus One, the Mi 4, even the Asus ZenFone 2 with it massive 4GBRAM.The camera is the weakest link of the Desire 826.Now, most of you would be scratching your heads thinking, if it’s got a mainstream CPU, an average camera and battery, then why buy this at all? That’s a question only you can answer. If you’re an HTC fan — for example if you love their Sense users interface — the Desire 826 would make a lot of sense to you, and we would recommend it for the Full-HD vivid display and the Lollipop OS. But if you are not sold on the brand HTC, there are better options for you in the market.last_img read more

Jonny Bairstow leads England to series win over New Zealand

first_imgJonny Bairstow scored a brilliant 83 not out in Durham to lead England to a three-wicket win over New Zealand on the Duckworth-Lewis method on Saturday, earning a 3-2 victory in the five-match series of one-dayers.In a rain-affected final game, Bairstow’s classy knock and a hard-hitting 41 in 30 deliveries from Sam Billings helped England chase down a revised total of 192 from 26 overs with six balls to spare.World Cup runners-up New Zealand hit 283 for nine off 50 overs and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory after taking several early wickets.Wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow, replacing the injured Jos Buttler, then produced an innings worthy of a thrilling series that yielded more than 3,000 runs for the first time in a five-match ODI encounter.”It’s been fantastic to come back in. The guys have put in some great performances in this series … to top it off is very special,” he said.England, who won the toss and opted to bowl, broke through in the first over when New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (6) played on to a delivery from Steven Finn.Martin Guptill (67) and Kane Williamson (50) then shared a stand of 94 before Ben Stokes dismissed the pair and the Kiwis were reduced to 155 for four when leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled Mitchell Santner (2).Grant Elliott was on 35 when he was stumped and the tourists looked to be in trouble when left-arm seamer David Willey removed Ross Taylor (47) and Luke Ronchi (2).New Zealand finished with a flourish when Ben Wheeler blasted a quickfire undefeated 39 that included 16 runs off the last three balls of the innings.advertisementAfter a rain delay England’s reply got off to a dismal start with spinner Santner removing Alex Hales (1), Joe Root (4) and Eoin Morgan (0) to reduce the hosts to 20 for three.Stokes (17) quickly came and went and New Zealand were in complete control when opener Jason Roy was dismissed for 12 to leave his team 45 for five.Bairstow, however, turned the game around with his 60-ball innings.”Credit to England they held their nerve under pressure,” said McCullum. “They had the series on the line but managed to stay true to their attacking philosophies.”It’s been a tremendous series.”England and New Zealand will now contest a one-off Twenty20 match in Manchester on Tuesday.last_img read more

Gurbaj Singh misses out as Indian hockey team tours Europe

first_imgA 21-member Indian men’s hockey team will embark on a 15-day tour of Europe starting July 31 under the watchful guidance of High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, who will also take over as the chief coach of the side after the unceremonious ouster of Paul Van Ass.India will play five matches during the tour to France and Spain which will culminate on August 14.During the tour, seen as preparations for the all-important FIH Hockey World League Final to be held in the country later this year, India will play twice against France and thrice versus Spain.The squad was selected following a preparatory camp held in Shilaroo near Shimla from July 19.Star midfielder Sardar Singh will continue to lead while goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will be his deputy.The squad consists of two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and seven forwards.Also read: Harbinder-led panel hangs Paul van Ass without a hearing Ace dragflicker VR Raghunath, defenders Kothajit Singh, and Gurjinder Singh, midfielders SK Uthappa and Danish Mujtaba, and strikers SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, who were not part of the 18-member squad that finished fourth in the World League Semifinals in Antwerp, have all made comebacks to the side.Forward Mohd Amir Khan is the lone new face in the team. Midfielder Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Satbir Singh, Gurmail Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki have been omitted from the Europe tour squad.Also to miss out was senior midfielder Gurbaj Singh, against whom Hockey India’s Special Committee has recommended disciplinary action for alleged misbehaviour with the coaching staff and creating disharmony in the side.advertisementAlso read: Dhyan Chand to be honoured with ‘Bharat Gaurav’ award in British Parliament India will open their tour with a match against hosts France at Le Touquet.Speaking on the significance of the tour, High Performance Director and India’s new chief coach Oltmans said: “It’s a very important series for us as this will be a base for us to understand how do we perform and deliver as a unit and the grey areas to be improved upon before the FIH World League Finals.”After World League Finals, our next step is Rio Olympics. Hence from here on, all tournaments are very important for us. We have to keep working and growing as a team. We are not taking the upcoming series lightly as both the teams (France and Spain) are very competitive and playing against them will help better our tackle against the European style of hockey.last_img read more