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Cricket in India was seen as a game played by amateurs since a person could not make a living by only playing the sport. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not have money in abundance, so players did not have the luxury of a contract in the past. This changed when India modernized it electronically and digitally. The BCCI, though some exceptionally brilliant administrators, monetized the sport in India and made it into a money-spinner by making itself the richest cricket establishment.
The poor Indian cricketer without a voice in earlier days became an iconic superstar, and this is precisely why Indian cricket is flourishing and the cricketers are confident in showcasing their ability.
I remember an incident during the fourth Test at the Oval in 1979. The astute and legendry cricketer, Geoffrey Boycott was at the crease accumulating runs slowly towards a century. Fielding at forwarding short leg and getting bored with the way the game was progressing, I decided to have some fun with the fielders close by. We joked and laughed between each delivery. The boycott was amused and said, “Boys, this is a professional game, so stop laughing as amateurs”.
My retort to him was, “Geoff, you play it for your bread and butter, we play it for fun and recreation”. Although an Indian cricketer by then had started thinking as a professional, the attitude and approach needed to be a hardcore professional had still not been entirely understood by most of us.
One is, therefore, amused to read the remarks recently made by Tim Paine, the Australian captain of how the Indian cricketers niggled and did side-show to distract the Australians during the last series. If so, one is proud that Indian cricket has finally reached a height where it is taken seriously on and off the field.
Cricket is now a full-fledged profession in India and similar to a business and corporate venture. The bottom line is to be successful. The days of taking an Indian cricketer as a mentally weak and gentle individual are far behind. In the competitive cricket environment in India at present, each cricketer is a hardcore professional with only one aim and that is to be a winner.
India till the early 1960s had professional cricketers playing for a stateside in domestic tournaments. Most of India’s greats like Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Chandu Borde, Salim Durani, Vijay Manjrekar, and many more played for sides as pure professionals. The state associations then had some powerful patrons who, in their quest to win the Ranji Trophy, compiled a team of players similar to what we today term franchisees. The cricketer was well looked after and his needs taken care of.
Foreign cricketers were also invited as professionals to enhance Indian cricket. Charlie Stayers, the West Indian pacer was one of the four who came to India to get domestic cricketers accustomed to pace bowling. He played for Mumbai (Bombay then) in 1962-63 and took six wickets in the Ranji Trophy final to help them win.
During the Indian off-season, many of the Indian cricketers played professional cricket in England. However, the word “professional” was frowned upon by men who ran Indian cricket. A famous incident comes to light when Vinoo Mankad in 1952, because of his commitment to a club side in England, was not chosen to be part of the Indian touring squad. Similarly, Russi Surti and Farokh Engineer were not chosen for India’s tour of the West Indies in 1971 because they were playing professional cricket, the former in Australia and the latter in England.
Indian cricket administration, in trying to encourage local talent, set regulations to ensure that professional cricket was not encouraged in domestic cricket. The criteria to play for a state association in the 1960s stated that a cricketer could only play from a state in which he was either born or living. The major cities became the hotbed for an Indian cricketer, as apart from employment one got a good state team to play cricket for. This is precisely why Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad became popular cricket destinations and controlled Indian cricket.
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Presently, cricket has taken a complete turn, with each association allowed to play 3 professionals. The IPL has furthered the very essence of cricket as a profession. The greatest benefit that has arisen is that Indian cricket has become purified of zonal, state and city biases. Indian cricket reeked of such petty rivalry and internal enmity earlier. At present, one is pleased to see that the side looks to be a well-integrated and a single fighting unit under the Indian banner.
In the world of free enterprise and futuristic thinking, the Indian cricketers not contracted by the BCCI should be allowed to play cricket wherever they want to. In today’s world, professionals in all fields are free to take up assignments anywhere. To restrict an Indian domestic cricketer from not playing in other cricket tournaments around the world is just not acceptable. The old tales of Mankad, Surti, Engineer, and many others who played cricket for a living come to mind. The BCCI needs to think beyond it, after all an Indian cricketer is no more an amateur! (IANS/JC)
Over the last one-and-a-half-year, people have been vocal about both mental and physical health in relationships. Even while miles away from one another, people kept checking on the health and well-being of their loved ones. However, one issue, i.e., breast cancer has been affecting women throughout the world, and it still needs much more focus and attention.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2020 itself, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer in the world. A report published by National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) estimates that breast cancer cases are likely to increase by nearly 20 per cent. Throughout the world, the tenth month of the year is recognized as the month of "Pink October" to raise awareness about breast cancer. The month should also be a celebration of encouraging the women in our lives to take the first step in this journey of staying in "Pink of Health". happen, an international dating app, conducted an in-app survey to understand how Indians discuss health issues like breast cancer with their partners. The survey gave a glimpse of whether health issues are impacting the life and relationships of singles.
41 per cent of users are not aware of examinations related to women's health
Forty-one per cent of users shared that they did not encourage the women in their life (mother, sister, friend, etc.) to go for checkups for issues related to health. Sixteen per cent of the respondents confessed that they did not remind women in their life to take examinations for their own health. It is important to note that regular self-examination is likely to detect breast lumps early. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If it is detected in time, it will be cured in nine out of 10 cases.
41 per cent of users are not aware of examinations related to women's health. | Photo by Unsplash
49 per cent of users said, "Breast Cancer is not an impediment when in love"
A disease like breast cancer is likely to affect the confidence and self-esteem of women who are diagnosed with the same. With the change in the body, they might feel scared, less confident, and unloved at times. However, when questioned if breast cancer can be a deal-breaker for men, 49 per cent of them shared that it is not a problem.
When questioned if breast cancer can be a deal-breaker for men, 49 per cent of them shared that it is not a problem. | Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash
55 per cent believe talking about physical and mental health is no longer a stigma
The past year provided users with an opportunity to be open about their health issues--both mental and physical. Fifty-five per cent of users agreed that they are comfortable talking about such issues even when they still explore the relationship. Thus, establishing how the new generation is not shying away from breaking the taboo and stigmas around the notion of keeping one's health issues secret.
Fifty-five per cent of users agreed that they are comfortable talking about such issues even when they still explore the relationship. | Photo by Unsplash
40 per cent of users believe that a couple's everyday life can be affected by some health problems
A minimal headache can disrupt our whole routine for the day, so relationships are bound to be impacted by the health problems of our partner. Users shared that health issues can bring a little bit of tension and worry in the relationship with their partners. Health issues can be overwhelming for couples; thus, it becomes essential to voice your concerns to your partner. Sharing what you feel will provide you with clarity and make your partner your biggest support system. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Indians, women health, relationship, breast cancer, mental health, examinations
One of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach "net zero" greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change.
The announcement, made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in brief scripted remarks at the start of the kingdom's first-ever Saudi Green Initiative Forum, was timed to make a splash a little more than a week before the start of the global COP26 climate conference being held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Although the kingdom will aim to reduce its emissions, Prince Mohammed said the kingdom would do so through a so-called "Carbon Circular Economy" approach. That approach focuses on still unreliable carbon capture and storage technologies over efforts to actually reduce global reliance on fossil fuels. The announcement only pertains to Saudi Arabia's efforts within its national borders and does not impact its continued aggressive investment in oil and exporting its fossil fuels to Asia and other regions.
"The transition to net zero carbon emissions will be delivered in a manner that preserves the kingdom's leading role in enhancing the security and stability of global energy markets, particularly considering the maturity and availability of technologies necessary to manage and reduce emissions," a statement by the Saudi Green Initiative forum said.
The kingdom's oil and gas exports form the backbone of its economy, despite efforts to diversify away from reliance on fossil fuels for revenue.
The global summit COP26 starting Oct. 31 will draw heads of state from across the world to try and tackle global warming and its challenges. It is being described as "the world's last best chance "to prevent global warming from reaching dangerous levels. The summit is expected to see a flurry of new commitments from governments and businesses to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
Leaked documents first reported by the BBC emerged Thursday showing how Saudi Arabia and other countries, including Australia, Brazil and Japan, are apparently trying to water down an upcoming U.N. science panel report on global warming. The documents are purportedly evidence of the way in which some governments' public support for climate action is undermined by their efforts behind closed doors.
Saudi Arabia has pushed back against the recommendation that fossil fuels be urgently phased out of the energy sector. Instead, the kingdom is touting, thus enabling nations to continue burning fossil fuels by sucking the resulting emissions out of the atmosphere, according to Greenpeace, which obtained the documents.
The kingdom repeatedly seeks to have the report's authors delete references to the need to phase out fossil fuels, as well as the panel's conclusion that there is a "need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales," according to the leaked documents
Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates - another major Gulf Arab energy producer - announced it too would join the "net zero" club of nations with a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The UAE did not announce specifics on how it will reach this target but said its Ministry of Climate Change and Environment would work with the energy, economy, industry, infrastructure, transport, waste, agriculture and other sectors on the government's strategies and policies to achieve net zero by 2050.
The UAE says it is home to three of the largest solar facilities in the world and is the first country in the Middle East to deploy nuclear power. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: UAE, Oil Producer, Carbon Economy, COP26, Saudi Arabia
Apple has updated its App Store rules to allow developers to contact users directly about payments, a concession in a legal settlement with companies challenging its tightly controlled marketplace.
According to App Store rules updated Friday, developers can now contact consumers directly about alternate payment methods, bypassing Apple's commission of 15 or 30%.
They will be able to ask users for basic information, such as names and e-mail addresses, "as long as this request remains optional", said the iPhone maker.
Apple proposed the changes in August in a legal settlement with small app developers.
But the concession is unlikely to satisfy firms like "Fortnite" developer Epic Games, with which the tech giant has been grappling in a drawn-out dispute over its payments policy.
Epic launched a case aiming to break Apple's grip on the App Store, accusing the iPhone maker of operating a monopoly in its shop for digital goods or services.
In September, a judge ordered Apple to loosen control of its App Store payment options, but said Epic had failed to prove that antitrust violations had taken place.
For Epic and others, the ability to redirect users to an out-of-app payment method is not enough: it wants players to be able to pay directly without leaving the game.
Both sides have appealed.
Apple is also facing investigations from US and European authorities that accuse it of abusing its dominant position. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Apple, App store, Epic, Games