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The new President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly has truly ignited and lit a fire for Test Cricket in India. The first Day-Night Test match to be played in India at one of the most famous cricket venues, Eden Gardens Kolkata, will begin from November 22. This has brought about an interest and excitement, which itself is wonderful for Test cricket.
The old conservative and traditional form of the game, in the fast moving world of today, requires every bit of innovation to get the dwindling crowds back into the stadium. The Day-Night match will give the spectators a better chance to come to watch the game, as not only will some of them be able to see it after a day’s work but also two sessions of the match will be seen in cooler comfort. Most of the grounds in India do not have adequate roof covering and so the heat becomes a major factor, especially while watching the slower format of the game, Test cricket.
One is extremely happy that India, who were reluctant to play a Day-Night Test, have finally accepted to do so. A similar tale of apprehension from India was also seen when the ODI night cricket was being introduced as well as the now most popular cricket format, the T20. India and Indian crowds took to the latter forms
of the limited-overs version, like duck to water and one hopes that the Day-Night Test matches are also followed with the same enthusiasm.
The idea of night cricket is a very progressive one, however, one of the concerns of a spectator is the lack of facilities and comfort in the stadiums in India. The ordeal starts from the very outset when one is enters the stadium. At most venues the lack of parking and the uncaring attitude at the entrance, whether in the queue or through the security check can be the first of ones disappointments. Unlike abroad where one can enter and also exit whenever one desires to, is another no-no where India is concerned.
At most venues in India, if one goes out of the gate, one is not allowed entry again. A ridiculous rule that makes it impossible for one to enter and exit the stadium at will. The seating and seats are another hardship that one has to encounter. A numbered seat has no relevance to the Indian cricket watcher.
An uncomfortable seat is another matter but to get to it and actually sit on it is a challenge not only at the initial stage but even when one needs to go for a stroll or a break during the match. The idea of a clean and hygienic toilet at the stadium is a dream yet to materialize at most Indian venues. The food and snacks apart from the inferior quality are sold at horrendous prices. Water becomes a luxury rather than a necessity. Those good old days of watching cricket, sharing home cooked delicious snacks and meals was what Test cricket was all about during the match. The companionship of the players on the field and the spectators off it was what made Test matches interesting. The Day-Night match may be a novel way of getting spectators to the ground, but comfort, good seating, affordable tickets and food, good treatment and facilities will be the only way to sustain it in the long run.
England and Australia are good examples of how Test cricket can still be an enjoyable viewing sport and India needs to follow their success structure. Indian cricket seems to have taken the plunge into the Day-Night Test match in a state of great euphoria for all concerned. However, this is an untested area that Indian cricket is venturing into and that too at the highest level of the game without adequate knowledge and trial.
There is uncertainty in the most essential ingredient of the game, ‘the cricket ball’. India, two years ago, played a Duleep Trophy final match with the pink ball which did not prove successful. Players were not happy as to how the ball became soft and dirty in our conditions and the ball used then was a tested Australian ‘Kookaburra’. Sighting the ball was an issue and with additional lacquer and shine on the pink ball, the variables in playing conditions were quite a lot during the period of the match. One feels that although Virat Kohli and his team have accepted to play an important Test match, that has a significant impact on the points in the World Test Championship, that India should have played many more matches in domestic cricket before venturing into that area of uncertainty.
The curator, with minimum experience in the preparation of the wicket for such a game, will be as much at sea as the bowlers and the batsmen, who have just a few days to acclimatize themselves. India, are planning to use an ‘SG Ball’, which is a novelty in itself, as it has never been used in a match of any significance. How that pink ball will behave in a five day encounter is anyone’s guess.
India may have felt that with a side that has all the ingredients to counter any conditions, victory will still prevail against a weaker opposition such as Bangladesh. On paper that looks correct but Test cricket has brought many such predictions to its knees. One only hopes that the uncertainties of the game with the added uncertainties of the playing conditions do favour India.
The Day-Night cricket may be a great initiative but till thousands of balls with the right specifications and knowledge of the playing surface and its preparation, are not fully understood and most importantly, the spectators comfort improved, this could remain an event to ponder on for time to come. (IANS)
Indian origin girls -- New Jersey-based Natasha Peri (11) and Dubai-based Priyamvada Deshmukh (12) -- have been named in the worlds "brightest" students list based on results of above-grade-level testing of 19,000 students across 84 countries, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), a part of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
"Peri, a student at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School, was honored for exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, or similar assessment is taken as part of the CTY Talent Search," said a statement from the CTY.
Deshmukh, a student of GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai, has been honored for her exceptional performance on the SCAT assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent Search, a university statement said.
She was one of nearly 19,000 students from 84 countries who joined CTY in the 2019-21 Talent Search years. CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their true academic abilities.
Peri took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2021 when she was in Grade 5. Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections leveled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance.
"This motivates me to do more," she said, adding that doodling and reading J.R.R Tolkien's novels may have worked for her.
Deshmukh took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2020 when she was still in Grade 6. Her results in the verbal sections leveled with the advanced Grade 10 performance. She made the cut for Johns Hopkins CTY 'High Honors Awards'.
Due to the Covid19, induced delay in Global logistics support, she finally received her much-awaited "High Honors" pin this week, which she lovingly kept in front of her Grandparents photograph as a tribute to her roots.
The delay in officially getting the certificates did not stop her from attending the summer program at John Hopkins University's CTY in English literature where she studied the confluence of Art and Science in literary writing and completed the course scoring 'A' Grade.
She followed up with top-scoring the second level of Asset Talent Examination which also qualified her for the summer program at Northwestern University this year, where she is learning about world-building in fiction writing this year.
Her elder brother was among the first UAE students to have cleared the Duke University TIP (Talent Identification Programme) when he was in Class 8.
Her parents joke that it's nothing but routine sibling rivalry that she wanted to achieve the same, just a year ahead of her brother. Even though she loves Physics and Computer Science as subjects, unlike her elder brother (who is Chancellor's Scholarship holder student of Astro Physics at the University of Massachusetts), Deshmukh wants to pursue humanities and literature when she goes to college five years down the lane.
As part of Johns Hopkins policy, granular information is not broken down by age or race.
Likewise, it is left to the guardian to disclose the prodigy's name. Within the US, awardees come from all 50 US states.
"We are thrilled to celebrate these students," said Virginia Roach, CTY's executive director.
"In a year that was anything but ordinary, their love of learning shined through, and we are excited to help cultivate their growth as scholars and citizens throughout high school, college, and beyond," Roach added.
The quantitative section of the Johns Hopkins CTY test measures the ability to see relationships between quantities expressed in mathematical terms, the verbal section measures understanding of the meaning of words and the relationships between them.
Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.
Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.
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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.
In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.
The herb has rounded leaves.Pixabay
There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colorful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.
It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their color. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks, and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.
For better digestion, weight loss, and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:
*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 liter of water +10 mint leaves crushed
*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)
*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.
*Mix it well and drink it.
This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS/SP)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)