Sunday October 22, 2017
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Proteas juggernaut halted by skilled Indians

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New Delhi: South Africa tried to replicate on the fifth day of the fourth Test against India what they had been doing for the past nine years so as to maintain the streak of not losing abroad, that is, put your head down and take it on. Proteas tried it in Delhi too but were halted by Indians, finally.

India wrapped up the resilient South Africa in the fourth and last test at Firozshah Kotla in Delhi and won the series by 3-0. The number one team in test cricket, South Africa suffered its first away series loss in nine years.

India team climbed up to number two in rankings with this series win. Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin was declared the Man of the series for his tally of 31 wickets and Ajinkya Rahane, who scored hundreds in each inning of this test, was awarded the Man of the match.

India, who had taken an unassailable lead before the start of this test, set a target of 481 for South Africa. Proteas in reply went for a dig in. Captain Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers defended out of their skin. Amla played 244 balls for his 25 and AB batted 297 deliveries for 43. In the end, this valiant effort fell short of the mammoth target.

This is India’s first series win against South Africa since 1997.  The whole series drew a lot of conflicted point of views over the nature of pitches. Nagpur pitch was rated as ‘poor’ by ICC. However, Indian team defended themselves that every country created pitches that suit home team.

This is a pattern in the world cricket that as soon as there is a turn on the wicket, eyebrows are raised over the quality of the 22 yards. If there is extravagant movement in the form of seam or swing then it is said to be a ‘use of skills’. This double standard is unfair. If one needs talent and temperament to play on seaming deck then it must be the same for turners too.

A normal wicket in India is either batting friendly or a turner and people tend to have ‘problems’ with both. If India makes a batting deck then everyone comes up with ‘flattrack bully’ tag for the Indian team. Recently, Perth had a batting paradise where David Warner scored 253 and Ross Taylor replied with 290 runs.

A Nagpur-like rank turner is any day better than Perth’s heaven for the batsman. But not one person questioned the quality of Perth wicket and everyone praised Warner which he deserved. However, if the same Test would have been played in India and, let’s suppose, Dhawan had scored those 253 runs, then the world media and specialist would, for sure, have rated it as a flat track inning and blamed India for creating a pitch that is finishing Test cricket.

Even now, when India is the ‘super power’ in world cricket, people have their doubts whenever the sub-continent team wins. According to them, it happens either because of pitch or luck; talent can’t get these teams a win.

When Pakistan created reverse swing, they were called cheaters and today when James Anderson does it, it is a skill.

A seaming deck gets Stuart Broad wickets, it is purely his talent but if Ashwin gets wickets on a turner, it is all pitch. Indian batsmen are considered as the ones who score only at home. This series proved that scoring in India is not really that easy.

If one checks the stats, then one would realize that Virat has just three test hundreds at home out of his total of 11 and, on the other hand, David Warner has 12 tons at home out of 15 and still Virat has to prove time and again that he can bat anywhere in the world.

India won the series, but Indian batting which is relatively new has to bat well. Except for Rahane, nobody reached three figures. The worst part is Indians did not look that comfortable against spin which they should have. Indians were lucky that Ashwin was bowling for them, not against them.

This series is a special win. The result might show it as one sided, but this took a lot of efforts from the team, especially from the spinners who were not defending big totals.

While people will always have their doubts but nobody can take away the credit that Indian team deserves for the win. There will be challenges ahead in future, but it is important that this win is celebrated and not overshadowed by pitches and other unnecessary talks.

(Image: Cricinfo.com)

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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Film Stars step out for a Friendly Cricket Match to Raise Awareness and Funds for Cancer Patients

Cricket is something everyone plays since childhood in India. It is the biggest sport in India and to mix it with a social cause is the best thing

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Rajneesh Duggal was part of the crew who played the friendly match. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 22, 2017 : Film celebrities like Rajneesh Duggall, Zayed Khan and Saqib Saleem stepped out for a friendly cricket match to create awareness and raise funds for cancer patients.

They played as part of the Ink Cricket Blast 2017 here on Saturday.

The cause is close to Rajneesh’s heart as someone in his family is suffering from cancer.

“This is a great initiative and I am always up for a social issue. This is something which is very close to my heart. Someone in my life has been suffering from it and cancer is something I’ve always personally associated with and I feel whatever I can do from my side, I must do,” he said.

“Fukrey” fame actor Varun didn’t participate in the game, but he was there to show support.

“There is always a connection with a social cause. If you combine sports with a social cause, there is nothing better than that! Cricket is something everyone plays since childhood in India. It is the biggest sport in India and to mix it with a social cause is the best thing,” he said.

Saqib said “it’s a great cause and cricket is religion in India”.

The actor is currently finishing a film with Taapsee Pannu. It’s tentatively called “Makhna”, which will come out early next year. (IANS)

 

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)