With hot teams, Davis, Lillard hot names in MVP discussion

first_imgWhat about March 9?That date probably wasn’t circled by many looking for potential NBA Finals previews this season, but it sure looks possible now.Houston visits Toronto in that Friday night showdown, a matchup of the best in the West and the leaders in the East.The Rockets take a 16-game winning streak and the league’s best record into their game Wednesday at Milwaukee. They have won nine straight on the road.The Raptors are an NBA-best 27-5 at home and have won five in a row overall.___Other games to watch this week:San Antonio at Golden State, Thursday. Start of a treacherous three-game trip for the Spurs, who then go to Oklahoma City and Houston.Philadelphia at Miami, Thursday. The sixth-place 76ers are two games ahead of the Heat, who are eighth in the East.Golden State at Portland, Friday. The Blazers beat the Warriors 123-117 on Feb. 14, when Kevin Durant scored 50 points and Lillard had 44. Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH New York at Milwaukee, Friday. It’ll bring up bad memories for the Knicks, since it was against the Bucks last month that Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL.Cleveland at the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday. Think Isaiah Thomas would like to have a good game against the team that sent him west at the trade deadline? With stellar play steering their sizzling teams, they have at least entered their names in the conversation with a little more than a month left in the regular season.Harden has been runner-up to Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook in recent years, but it’s looked like his time this season. With more than 31 points and nearly nine assists per game — third in the league in that category — for a team with the league’s best record, it’s hard to imagine needing to look elsewhere.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“What Harden and Houston is doing right now, he’s the MVP of the league right now,” Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas said on NBA TV.Davis and Lillard could deserve some thought. US women’s hockey goalie challenges Justin Bieber to score goal against her Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City Davis has carried New Orleans with dominant basketball since DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season last month. The Western Conference player of the month for February opened March by winning player of the week, largely on the strength of a 53-point, 18-rebound, five-block effort that rallied the Pelicans from a 17-point deficit to a victory over Phoenix on Feb. 26.Then he went for 41 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday in his first game this week, hitting the tiebreaking shot as the Pelicans beat the Clippers in Los Angeles.He’s second in the league in scoring and blocks, and eighth in rebounds.Lillard is building a good resume for this week’s honor. He’s scored 39 and 37 in two games thus far, with 19 in the fourth quarter Monday to rally Portland past the Lakers, and eight 3-pointers Tuesday in a rout of the Knicks. That gave the league leader in second-half scoring 35 or more in seven of the last 10 games.Most importantly — for their teams and their candidacies — their clubs are rolling. New Orleans has won nine straight and Portland has won eight in a row.ADVERTISEMENT Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket on New York Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Lillard scored 37 points as the Blazers won 111-87.(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)With the Houston Rockets on top of the NBA and James Harden on top of the scoring race, he may be running away with the MVP vote.Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard might have something to say about that.ADVERTISEMENT ___The top four teams in the Western Conference have combined for 39 straight victories.And if a couple of them have even a minor slump, they might fall right out of the playoff picture.That’s how tight things are in the West headed down the stretch. Golden State is 6-0 since the All-Star break and can’t gain on Houston, which has won 16 in a row to remain a half-game ahead.Third-place Portland has won eight consecutive games and is a game up on New Orleans, winner of nine in a row. Yet the Pelicans are just three games ahead of ninth place, and there remains just a 4 ½-game difference between No. 3 and No. 10.“There’s just not a whole lot of separation,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, “so I think that’s what you’re going to see for the rest of the year.”___Christmas? Certainly.Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Same.Those were the dates of the two Golden State-Cleveland matchups, so they were obvious. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Read Next MOST READ Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Creamline on top as Alyssa leaves

first_imgAlyssa Valdez made sure she leaves Creamline on a winning note.ADVERTISEMENT Off to join the Philippine team’s training in Japan, Valdez unloaded 30 points to lead Creamline past defending champion Pocari Sweat, 25-15, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre on Saturday.The win gave the Cool Smashers their fourth straight win and solo leadership. They also inflicted the Lady Warriors’ first defeat in the conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBut they will miss the services of Valdez in the next three matches as she is scheduled to return Aug. 2.“Pocari gave us a good fight,” said Valdez who will join the Nationals on Monday when they start a multicity training camp in preparation for the Asian championship and Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games next month. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Deliver when called Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES View comments FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’center_img MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Pocari was within 19-21 but committed successive errors, including a Pablo attacking miss. Pau Soriano ended it with a block off an exhausted Pablo.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. By the time Valdez returns, Creamline would either be in the playoffs or already assured of a semifinal berth.Jia Morado said Creamline will surely feel Valdez’s absence but is confident that “my teammates will step up.”“We are not relying only on Alyssa, we’re relying on everyone,” said Morado.It was a virtual spiking derby between Valdez and Pocari gunner Myla Pablo, who accounted for 25 points.The two main draws of the league fueled their respective teams, keeping the match tight until the Lady Warriors, champions of the past three conferences, lost their momentum late in the fourth.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress El Nido residents told to vacate beach homeslast_img read more

Eng vs Ire: Kevin O’Brien scores fastest WC ton as Ireland beat England by 3 wickets

first_imgIreland’s Kevin O’Brien scored the fastest century of the World Cup as his team caused the biggest upset of the tournament beating England by three wickets. Score | PhotosSuch was the irony of the match that saw Ireland rise above their “minnows” tag and chase down a three hundred plus total against England in their World Cup Group B match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday.Chasing 328, the Irish team started off as minnows losing wickets regularly even as the England bowlers made merry.Sitting on 111/5, Ireland had no hope of coming back into the game until, Kevin O’Brien along with Alex Cusack decided to turn the match on its head.The duo batted on to milk the English bowlers just the like the way the England batsmen had down to their bowlers earlier.It wasn’t as if the earlier Irish batsmen didn’t try. They did but failed even as Paul Stirling and and Ed Joyce, who had represented England in the last World Cup in 2007, scored 32 each – the highest till Kevin and Cusack came to the crease.Kevin’s brother Niall O’Brien had managed to scored 29 before England offie Graeme Swann got the better of him. In the 21st over Swann claimed him with a ball that skid through to crash against O’Brien’s stumps. He fell for 29 and Ireland slumped to 103/3.Swann hadn’t finished as yet and he made sure that Joyce didn’t stay on for long. His turner beat him and keeper Matt Prior removed the bails off from this stumps. Joyce fell for 32 and Ireland slumped to 106/4. In the 25th over, Swann struck again to send home Gary Wilson leg before as Ireland went down to 111/5.advertisementBut, the game was far from over for Ireland.Soon Kevin and Cusack came to the crease and did something no one could have imagined, attempt a revival. They charged down at the England bowlers with gusto and numbed their attack with their flurry of strokes.Kevin scored competed his half-century off just 30 balls. But he was hungry for more and went on hit more boundaries and over the fence shots even the once daunting target seemed gettable.Getting good support from his partner Alex Cusack, he Ireland cross 200-run mark.Post his fifty Kevin let loose a flurry boundaries and sixes taking up the England challenge in his stride. More drama followed when batting in the 90’s England skipper Andrew Strauss dropped him off Collingwood.Then it was Cusack’s turn to get a brush with luck as Michael Yardy dropped him off his own bowling. At this stage the England team seemed to come under pressure.It was then Kevin realised that the England had come under pressure and he upped the tempo to complete his ton and that too is impressive fashion. Scoring it off just 50 balls – the fasted in World Cup history.Unfortunately, Cusack got run out in Stuart Broad’s over, missing his half-century by 47. But, Kevin was still at the crease. With new man John Mooney, he brought the scores at par with the number of balls.Finally, he too was run out in the 49th over with an impressive 113 written against his name. His fine innings was decorated with 13 fours and six over the fence shots.The best part was that Ireland reached the target with five balls remaining.England inningsEarlier, Jonathan Trott put on 92 runs as England put on 327/8 on board. England skipper Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat against the punching bags Ireland.Clearly England wanted their batsmen to get some good match-practice ahead of their big game against South Africa on Sunday.Captain Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen started off with all guns blazing. Clearly, the two were having a ball at the cost of the Irish bowlers, who looked like novices in front of them.After much effort Ireland managed to break their partnership with 18-year-old George Dockrell claiming Strauss. The ball crashed into Strauss’ stumps on 34.Strangely enough, Strauss fell for 34 on his 34th birthday. England were 91/1 at this stage.With Strauss gone, the other opener Kevin Pietersen too lost his rhythm and departed. Pietersen tried to play a reverse sweep on offie Paul Stirling but failed and ended up giving a top edge to keeper Niall O’Brien on 59. An England lost their second wicket on 111/2 on the last ball of the 17th over.But England were hardly concerned, no wonder that Ireland are rank outsiders in this tournament. Soon, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell got on with a partnership milking the opposition bowlers at ease. The two put on 167 runs for the third wicket even as the Irish bowlers lost hope of producing a breakthrough.advertisementHowever, the breakthrough did come about for Ireland when on the last ball of the 43rd over Bell went for a big hit off John Mooney’s full toss. Stirling leaped and plucked the ball mid-air and Bell was walking back on 81 with 278/3 on board.There was more in store for Ireland. An over later Trott too departed with Mooney uprooting his stumps when he was just 8 runs shy of his century. He fell for 92 and England fell to 288/4.With Trott and Bell in the pavilion, Ireland pressed further and were rewarded. First Trent Johnston claimed Prior and then Mooney scalped his third wicket of the day in the form of Paul Collingwood at death.The way England were batting earlier, a 350-plus score wasn’t far, but thanks to Mooney and Johnston, who restricted them to 327/8 in 50 overs. Money finished with a four-wicket haul.last_img read more

Brendon slams ton as New Zealand rout Canada

first_imgBrendon McCullum slammed his maiden World Cup century as New Zealand routed minnows Canada by 97 runs in their penultimate Group A match to seal a berth in the quarterfinals here today.Wicketkeeper McCullum slammed 101 in 109 balls, studded with 12 fours and two sixes, to help New Zealand amass 358 for six, the highest ODI score at Wankhede Stadium, before the Kiwis restricted their unfancied rivals to 261 for nine to take full two points.Chasing the huge target, Canada gave a semblance of fight by skipper Ashish Bagai who made 84 in 87 balls with ten fours and Jimmy Hansra, who made a determined unbeaten 105-ball 70 with the help of four fours and a six.The dismissal of Bagai, who put on 125 runs with Hansra before edging off-break bowler Nathan McCullum to the latter’s brother and wicketkeeper Brendon, and a cameo knock of 31 in 35 balls by opener Hiren Patel were the few highlights of Canadian run chase.Brendon McCullum claimed three catches and also contributed to a run out to emerge the man of the match.The Black Caps were handicapped in the bowling by the absence of their captain Daniel Vettori, nursing a knee injury sustained during their big victory over Pakistan. They suffered another blow after speedster Kyle Mills, who grabbed the first two Canadian wickets quickly, limped off the field with a leg injury.After today’s victory, New Zealand are on top of Group A with eight points from five matches and they play their last league match against Sri Lanka at this venue on March 18.advertisementCanada, with only two points from five ties, have no chance to progress further. They face defending champions Australia on March 16 in Bangalore in their last match.The North Americans’ run-chase, after the Black Caps posted the highest-ever ODI total at this venue, never took off in serious vein after they lost two wickets within the first five overs, Kyle Mills accounting for both the victims.Mills sent back opener Ruvendu Gunasekara and one-down Zubin Surkari in his second and third overs before leaving the field because of a quadriceps injury in his left leg.Both were snapped up by Taylor in the slip cordon to leave Canada gasping at 2 for 4.There was a period of counterattack from the minnows when Hiren Patel struck three fours in an over from Tim Southee, one of which was a top edge behind wicketkeeper Brendon.It was, however, too good to last as he departed for a 35-ball 31, that included five fours and a six off James Franklin, edging Jacob Oram to Brendon behind the stumps after having added 46 runs for the third wicket with Bagai.Bagai and Hansra kept the Canadians in the hunt with their century stand for the fourth wicket that ended when the former was caught behind trying to accelerate scoring in the face of climbing asking rate.Hansra retired hurt when on 53 in the 39th over when the total was 179 for five and Canada needed a staggering 180 runs in 71 balls. He later came back to resume his innings at the fall of the eighth wicket but the fight, whatever was left of it, was over though the minnows prevented their rivals from bowling them out.Mills was the most impressive bowler for the Black Caps with two for two while the tall Oram (3 for 47), Tim Southee (1 fo 36), Jesse Ryder (1 for 15) and spinner Nathan McCullum (1 for 56) were the other wicket takers.Earlier, New Zealand rode on Brendon McCullum’s maiden World Cup ton and stand-in skipper Ross Taylor’s breezy half century to post 358 for six after being sent into bat.Apart from McCullum and Taylor, other contributors were Jesse Ryder (38), Scott Styris (20-ball 35), Kane Williamson (34) and James Franklin (31 not out in eight balls). Franklin hoisted Rizwan Cheema for three sixes and a four in the final over to help the Kiwis cross the 350 mark.The last ten overs yielded 122 runs, including 31 runs in the last, that helped the Black Caps shoot past the previous highest aggregate of 299 for four made by India against Sri Lanka in 1987 at this ground which is hosting its first tie in the ongoing World Cup and first international in more than three and a half years.McCullum was on song from the start after New Zealand were asked to bat on the newly laid turf and proceeded to cut, pull and drive his way to his hundred, his third in 189 ODIs.The 29-year-old wicketkeeper also put on 53 runs for the first wicket in 9.5 overs with his in-form opening partner Martin Guptill (17) to lay foundation of the massive total.advertisementMcCullum consolidated the innings with another partnership of 96 with one-down batman Ryder before giving further impetus with Taylor through a stand of 36 for the third wicket.He fell just after Canada opted for the bowling power play, unable to clear short cover fielder Ruvindu Gunasekar.He had raced to his 100 in 107 balls a few minutes earlier.Taylor, captaining the side in place of injured Daniel Vettori and coming into the tie after his match-winning 131 not out against Pakistan at Pallekelle, then took over the attacking reins. He slammed four sixes and a four to take 30 runs off Harvir Baidwan in the 39th over to up the tempo.Taylor, appearing well set to race to his second hundred of the tournament, was dismissed in the 41st over.For Canada, off-spinner John Davison, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns, applied the brakes with an economical spell of nine overs while leg-spinner Balaji Rao finished with two wickets, including that of Taylor, while Harvin Baiwan grabbed three.-With PTI Inputslast_img read more

London Olympics: China’s Guo Wenjun wins gold in women’s 10m air pistol shooting

first_imgChina’s Guo Wenjun took a second-consecutive Olympic gold medal with a last-ditch bullseye in the women’s 10m air pistol on Sunday. Guo pounced on an errant final shot from France’s Celine Goberville, ranked sixth in the world, who had led for most of the final but could only manage 8.8 in the last round.Guo kept her cool to hit a 10.8, one tenth of a point short of a perfect shot, to overtake Goberville and claim the gold, more than making up the 0.5 difference between the top two.It was a second-consecutive gold for the 26-year-old, who won on home soil in Beijing four years ago.Goberville claimed the silver in a shootout with Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych, who took the bronze, after they finished level after 10 rounds.It is second shooting gold for China, which claimed the first top prize of the London Games with Yi Siling’s victory in the 10m air rifle on Saturday.last_img read more

Hockey is not our national game, says Sports Ministry in reply to an RTI query

first_imgChildren in school learn that hockey is the national game of India. It is also there in any book of general knowledge. Even in competitive examinations, an aspirant is expected to know that hockey is our national game. But now the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has replied to an RTI query that India has not notified any national game as such. Ten-year-old Aishwarya Parashar had asked the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) when the government of India had notified hockey as a national game.But SPS Tomar, Under Secretary, Union Ministry of Youth Affairs has replied that there was no such record available in his archive.”I haven’t come across any official order or notification in the ministry saying that hockey is our national game. It is known to be a national game in general parlance,” Tomar has stated.”I had asked the government when hockey was notified as national game. The question assumes significance in the backdrop of the fact that we have been learning since Class I that hockey is our national game. We attach this game with our nationalism and take pride in the fact that Indian hockey team has been the most successful in the history of Olympics. We have won eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympics in past,” Aishwarya said.”Interestingly, the government of India website calls hockey our national game but as per the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs, India has no national game as such,” she said.advertisementPreviously, Aishwarya, a Class VI student, had also brought to the knowledge of the people that Mahatma Gandhi was never identified by the Government of India as Father of the Nation.In reply to her RTI query to the PMO in March this year, she was informed that as per the public records in the National Archives of India, there was no specific document to support the popular claim that the government had bestowed on Gandhi the honour of Father of the Nation.last_img read more

You got to be nuts if you don’t love Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt!

first_imgI got into the Olympic Stadium almost three hours before the 100 metres final to get the best possible seat.Unlike those who pay 800 pounds for a ticket and have a fixed seat which cannot be changed, the media people are lucky.As I did not want a tabled seat, I chose to sit just one tier above the finish line. It was an incredible feeling as I had done the same in Beijing, wanting to ensure I could catch the finish without having to rely on the electronic scoreboard.The 400 metres semi-finals took place earlier and my eyes were focused on a man named Oscar Pistorious. I have seen innumerable images of the Blade Runner as he is called, but to see him in real was so different.It takes amazing courage and guts to run in a field with able bodied athletes. Standing in his lane and waiting for the race to begin, Pistorious was a picture of concentration. Midway through the race, he did fall back and did not make the final, but he had done enough to capture my attention.In a sport where even one muscle pull or cramps can ruin your race, Blade Runner is so different. He had to fight to get into these Olympics because if it had been left to the officials, they would have let him compete only in the Paralympics.In each sport at the Olympics, champions get plaudits and reams are written about them. Sadly, there was no press conference with Blade Runner and I will try and get him one day just to hear about his spirit of fighting against all odds and how he prepares for such a gruelling sport.Its one thing to have all your limbs intact and race and another to be handicapped and still not give up. I guess for people in India, who generally feel the loss of a limb is the end of life, Pistorious should become a real life hero.Having though so much about Pistorious, when the time came for the 100 metres race, the mother of all competitions at the Olympics, there was a strong chill. Each spectator was in a state of delirium waiting for the classy field to epxlode where Usain Bolt versus Yohan Blake had been hyped up so much.But just when the race was to begin, there was a huge shock for me as a spectator threw an empty water bottle on the track. I am sure the London cops would have dealt with the miscreant suitably, but to disturb eight athletes concentration in their respective running lanes before such a huge race was indeed shameful.I mean these kind of things happen not just in India but also in football venues like Wembley. But there is certainly no place for any hooliganism at the Olympucs as the spirit of the Games is disturbed.Finally, when the eight runners crouched on the starters block and waited for the gun to go off, the atmosphere was amazing. Imagine, being one of the 80,000 spectators and there is pin-drop silence just before the race is to begin. And once the race starts, you have to focus all 10 seconds on the runners.As Bolt left me electrified I did not want to get up from my seat. The replays kept appearing even as Bolt was doing all the stuntman stuff, carting on the ground, posing with the Jamaican flag and shaking hands with thousands.There are some champions for whom celebration is like hugging the coach or teammates. In the case of Bolt, he responds to thousands who keep yelling “U-uusain… U-uusain…”Well for an hour after his race ended, Bolt was in the arena. And even after that, when he spoke to the media, none could complain they didnt have quotes from him or the right picture.Not only does this man provide you with so much joy when he runs, after the race he is a thorough entertainer as he poses in so many ways for photo ops. From media pressure to crazy security in London and challenges ahead, he talks about everything.Yet, what I like most about this six feet and five inches tall giant is his simplicity. Youve got to be nuts if you dont love Bolt!advertisementlast_img read more

Indian hockey needs a big clean-up, feels Qaiser Mohammad Ali

first_imgFirst, the vastly popular Indian Premier League cast its huge shadow on a preparatory camp of the Indian national hockey team. And then the build-up to the football World Cup, which is set to start on Thursday, further pushed the ongoing hockey World Cup into the background.The point here is not the significance of the hockey World Cup or the negligible media coverage it received this time around. It’s the abysmal performance of the Indian team that once again brought disappointment to the receding hockey fan base in the country.The Indian men’s team, which is currently ranked a lowly ninth in the world, began as usual on the wrong foot, with a defeat, and then failed to make it to the semi-finals. Now, the team is even struggling to play for pride.Why has hockey, which fetched India eight Olympic gold medals when selfishness among administrators and players is believed to have been much less, slipped into a quagmire? The reasons are many, and it doesn’t require rocket science to uncover them.Honesty and selflessness are the most important aspect for any project or blueprint to succeed. Things like focus, hard work and determination follow automatically when you are honest and unselfish. If these two ingredients are there, scientific planning, use of technology, and infrastructure etc. would also be beneficial.We have lived far too long in the past. It has suited successive administrative set-ups to easily make a fool of fans for many years by invoking the era that fetched eight Olympic gold medals whenever the team didn’t perform up to expectations. They don’t mention the fact that India hasn’t won a World Cup in 39 years and an Olympic gold in the 34 years.advertisementSo, let’s live in the present. Sentiments will take Indian hockey only backwards, as it has done all these years. But it suits the administrators perfectly if fans continue to live in the past and don’t question the current failures.Distributing one-time benefit purses to the great players, strategically just before a World Cup, would not improve the performance of the present team. Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean that that the greats don’t deserve the honour.Or a few minutes of pep talk by a Sachin Tendulkar wouldn’t alter the fortunes of a team. Honesty in every sphere of the game – administration, selection, policy implementation, appointment of coaches etc. – is the dire need of today, perhaps more than ever in the annals of Indian hockey. Let’s run a reality check on all these issues – and above all accountability. But it won’t happen because many people who run the game fear it might expose them, and therefore successive dispensations have got away with murder, so to say. Unfortunately, the media scrutiny of hockey administrators has proportionally lessened over the years, and this suits them perfectly.Few seem to be worried or bothered about the performance of the team. Same would happen this time. When the defeated team returns in a few days from the Netherlands, sports fans would already be drowned in World Cup football fever. Few – including the Sports Authority of India, which provides all the infrastructure and fat salaries of coaches employed by Hockey India – would make an effort to ask tough questions of the people in responsible positions, the coaches, and the players. “Today, hardly anything is done in a proper manner. For example, the selection of selectors is not fair while players are virtually elected these days, not selected,” a top coach told Mail Today. “Although the Hockey India website claims it has drawn out a Long-Term Development Programme, we’ve not been given any.”Both good work and rot start at the top. What we need are clean administrators who quit if teams fail, honest selection of players, accountability and, above all, transparency in all spheres. Selflessness, did someone say that?last_img read more

BMW IBFW 2014: High on heritage

first_imgIt was a spectacle of nostalgia on Day Two of the BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014, being held at DLF Emporio mall, with styles ranging from the days of the Raj to Independent India. The first presentation was ‘Jashn’ by designer duo Ashima Leena, who transformed the stage into a desert pathway with the use of real sand in keeping with the Rajasthani mood of the collection.Set to live music by Gaurav Raina of Midival Punditz, mystic sufi vocals by Kutle Khan and Pandit Ajay Prasanna on the flute, models walked down the runway in delicate rose-hued cocktail wear. Shades like old gold, shimmering pastel pink and antique silver made up the collection palette while the ensembles included a variety of sharara pants, georgette saris and lehenga sets. Designer duo Ashima and Leena recently launched their flagship store at the DLF Emporio Mall in New DelhiEmbroidered English roses in soft pink with leaves in pale pistachio green were the recurring motifs, giving the collection a period/classic feel of sepia-toned memories. Supermodel Ujjwala Raut made a comeback on the ramp as the showstopper for Ashima-Leena. Decked up in a blue and silver plunging choli with a multi-hued lehenga and red dupatta, the diva sizzled on the catwalk. The jewellery by designer Alpana Gujral was sophisticated and elegant and added that final touch to the looks.The second show of the evening was by Raghavendra Rathore, who started off his heritageinspired collection on the charming French song C’est si bon by Eartha Kitt. While the stage set-up wasn’t as grand as last year’s show, Rathore managed to stay true to his inspiration and created a royal enclosure with crestbearing crestbearing flags. It was heartening to see the show beginning with the men’s collection that continued with his trademark use of royal Jodhpurs, bandhgalas and achkans, long kurtas and embroidered long jackets. advertisementDegigner Raghavendra Rathore’s collection altogether re-invented the look of the modern brideThe highlights of the menswear were the use of bright colours such as rani pink and bright orange alongside traditional tones for the groom like aubergine, cream, black and blue. Rathore even laid emphasis on reviving the classic dhoti, the topic of a recent controversy. “I know there is a political debate going on on this. But I want dhoti to be in trend. I want the relics from our ancestral wardrobes to become wearable. I somehow want to revive India. Dhoti is generally seen as something that can be worn only during puja or such functions, but I want it to be worn by men on other occasions too,” Rathore said.Meanwhile, the women’s range of the Re-incarnating Relics collection that comprised chic bandhgalas with trousers, sherwanis and organza asymmetric skirts and lehengas, which altogether re-invented the look of the modern bride. The showstoppers for the show were actress Aditi Rao Hydari who sported a cream-coloured sari with a fullsleeved bandhgala jacket and Bobby Jasoos star Ali Fazal who looked dashing in a pink kurta with an open achkan and cream dhoti with sandals. Talking on the occasion, Aditi said, “I am so glad that Raghavendra is reviving Indian heritage while keeping modern sensibilities in mind. It’s so heartening to see the Jodhpur pants and bandhgala combinations because it reminds me of my grandfather, who I’ve grown up seeing wearing the same combination.” Spotted at the show were Jyotiraditya Scindia, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan, Priya Sachdev and Sanjay Kapur.last_img read more

How to avoid poor judgements and ensure financial prosperity

first_imgHere’s what 100 ml potion of financial disaster comprises-40 ml of igno-rance, 30 ml of laziness, 20 ml of arrogance and 10 ml of overconfidence. Now ask a couple of well-placed people for some simple financial ad-vice. It could be anyone from senior colleagues to successful persons in your family,Here’s what 100 ml potion of financial disaster comprises-40 ml of igno-rance, 30 ml of laziness, 20 ml of arrogance and 10 ml of overconfidence. Now ask a couple of well-placed people for some simple financial ad-vice. It could be anyone from senior colleagues to successful persons in your family and circle of friends. Ask them to advise you on tax planning or about company stocks you could in-vest in or whether term insurance is a good idea or whether you should pre-pay your loan etc. You will be able to gauge how much they understand personal finance by their response. From stashing cash in the banks to investing in fixed deposits and insur-ance policies, most people feel fi-nances will eventually work out.Sample this: thirty-year-old Amit has a household expense of Rs 25,000 per month. Considering just 7 per cent as inflation, what would be his position when he is 60? His household ex-penses will be about Rs 3.25 lakh per month. The retirement corpus should be large enough to bear such monthly expenses as well as an additional 7 per cent each subsequent year due to in-flation. Such retirement corpus should be approximately Rs 8.6 crore. He has 30 years to accumulate that and three options. Firstly, equity option (growth rate 14 per cent). Here, he needs to in-vest Rs 16,000 per month. Then fixed deposit (growth rate 8 per cent). Here, he needs to invest Rs 58,000 per month. Lastly, insurance (growth rate 4 per cent). Here, he needs to invest Rs 125,000 per month. The above op-tions will only fund his post-retirement days, what would happen to his chil-dren’s education, their wedding? Amit is blissfully unaware of all this.advertisementVikram Kapoor too feels every-thing will work out fine. He is 40 and head of operations at an MNC. He earns about Rs 48 lakh per annum. His assets include a bank balance of Rs 6 lakh and an ancestral home about 50 km from Kanpur. He has no life insur-ance cover, no investment in stocks, mutual funds. A huge portion of his in-come goes into paying home loan EMIs. Now, his expenses. He wears Armani suits, sports a Movado watch and uses the latest gadgets. His family has three cars, travels only business class, dines at five-star hotels.There are more people like him. Karsan Patel also has a similar lifestyle. The 40-year-old business-man earns about Rs 48 lakh per an-num and his assets include a cash balance of Rs 6 lakh, life insurance policies worth Rs 4 crore, Rs 5 lakh in stocks, no mutual funds, few plots of land worth Rs 10 lakh and an ances-tral home worth Rs 2 crore. However, the ancestral house has little invest-ment value for him since he lives in it. He has a few recurring deposits as well as fixed deposit accounts.While Amit’s case is that of ‘igno-rance is bliss’, Vikram is being com-pletely reckless and Karsan is just giving away his hard-earned money. What is common among them is that they are all enjoying the 100 ml of disaster potion.The point to ponder upon is why prosperous families go bust over time. Why is it that money does not last for more than two to three generations? The truth is, you need everything to have the right potion of financial pros-perity. Everything has a time and pur-pose. Life insurance is necessary and so is a loan. Deposits are needed to provide stability and equities are needed to fulfil dreams. For every ru-pee that you want to invest into real estate, be sure that you have Rs 2 of your money in liquid wealth. That will save you from distress sales. Get good ideas and opinions. Do not try and do everything yourself unless you are willing to quit your work and do wealth management full-time.last_img read more