GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings “That’s dope,” he said.The three billboards were unveiled on Monday on busy Interstate-480 outside Cleveland, and each contains a message asking James to sign with the Sixers this summer as a free agent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe signs, which were paid for by a Chester, Pennsylvania, company were inspired by the Oscar-nominated film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” But their objective was to entice James to come to Philadelphia.Although James may not see the signs because they’re not on any route he would take from his home in Bath, Ohio, to Quicken Loans Arena, the three-time champion was warmed by their sentiment. UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Three billboards trying to entice Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James to come to Philadelphia are shown near a highway, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Cleveland. The three billboards were unveiled on Monday on busy Interstate-480 outside Cleveland, and each contains a message asking James to sign with the Sixers this summer as a free agent. Although James may not see the signs because they’re not on any route he would take from his home in Bath, Ohio, to Quicken Loans Arena, the three-time champion was warmed by their sentiment. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)“It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys — I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering — but people in their respective city want me to play for them,” he said. “That’s cool I think.”James’ appreciation caused a commotion on social media as Sixers fans began dreaming of No. 23 in one of the team’s jerseys. NBA tampering rules prohibit teams from having any involvement in recruiting players, but there’s nothing to stop fans from making their pitch.“We’re passionate about Philadelphia,” Asher Raphael, co-CEO of by Power Home Remodeling, the company that paid for the billboards told ESPN. “We have an amazing city. It’s the best sports town and it’s an awesome place to live. We think the best athletes should want to play here.”The Sixers will visit the Cavaliers on Thursday night.James can opt out of his contract with Cleveland following this season and the superstar can hit the free-agency market.ADVERTISEMENT Without Ronaldo, Madrid loses to Espanyol in Spanish league One of three billboards trying to entice Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James to come to Philadelphia are shown near a highway, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Cleveland. The three billboards were unveiled on Monday on busy Interstate-480 outside Cleveland, and each contains a message asking James to sign with the Sixers this summer as a free agent. Although James may not see the signs because they’re not on any route he would take from his home in Bath, Ohio, to Quicken Loans Arena, the three-time champion was warmed by their sentiment. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James has Philadelphia’s basketball pulse racing.The NBA superstar still hasn’t seen three billboards urging him to join the 76ers, but he’s flattered by the idea that a city would want him to play there.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball PLAY LIST 02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City View comments It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson The first billboard includes a “#23” in maroon with a crown, on a court with four numbers — the jerseys for Sixers Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Robert Covington. The second billboard has the motto: “Complete The Process,” a takeoff on the Sixers’ “Trust The Process” mantra and the third says: “#PhillyWantsLeBron.”James’ free agency figures to be the NBA’s biggest offseason story, and the four-time champion recently shot down any discussion about his future until this season ends.Following Tuesday’s shootaround before the Cavs hosted Brooklyn, James initially pretended he was unaware of the billboards.“A lot of potholes on 480,” James joked. “Got to be careful with the cars. Got to be very careful. That’s why I don’t do much driving. I sit in the backseat. You talking about the billboards, though?”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
This Editorial is directed at the people of Monrovia, Paynesville, the ELWA and Juarzon communities, Mount Barclay, Fendall, Careysburg, the Fifteen Gate Community, Number Seven, the Cooper and Morris Farm communities, the Booker Washington Institute campus and Kakata itself. You all will exactly a week from today receive one of the most important visitors in recent memory. How will you receive and welcome her?We believe that you will ensure that all the schools will turn out in their smart uniforms all their students to line the routes through which the American First Lady, her two daughters and mother will pass. That would be a great scene, which will be much appreciated, especially your beautiful singing.The officials of these communities will also come out to greet the U.S. First Lady and her entourage. That is all well and good. But the main point of this Editorial is to encourage all of the people in your communities, beginning with the City Mayors, Council Men and Women, Chiefs and Elders to MAKE SURE THAT YOUR COMMUNITIES ARE CLEAN!Let us start with Paynesville. We call on Mayor Cevette Gibson to make sure that her city is spick and span. All the dumpsites MUST be cleaned and removed. Take the watery dumpsite right in front of Matilda Parker’s homestead, in the rear of which is a health center. The whole area is lined right on the main road with probably two weeks heaps of garbage. Let Mayor Gibson ensure that the trash in that area is permanently removed, for it is one of the nastiest sore eyes in Paynesville. At 6 p.m. last night, that obnoxious garbage and a another huge pile in front of Paynesville Market were still there.Moving on to the Red Light Market, we commend Mayor Gibson for removing all the traffic congestion caused by marketers, which has now made passage in that area much easier and quicker. On both sides of the market, however, we hope that the Mayor will ensure that they are cleaned. All buildings on both sides of the street should be painted and made decent to receive our most distinguished guests.We appeal to Public Works Minister Gyude Moore to ensure that the passage through the Red Light to Coca Cola Factory is decently passable.We make the same appeal to all the other communities where our distinguished guests may pass. Please, please do not say that because you are not sure that the American First Lady and her entourage will pass through your communities, so you will do nothing to prepare for them. Nothing would be more irresponsible, more mean-spirited, more unpatriotic. Remember the ancient dictum, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Remember, too, that it was to the United States, to Mrs. Obama’s husband, President Barrack Obama, that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf sent the SOS message to help free us from the deadly Ebola virus that caused thousands of deaths in Liberia, the worst hit country in the sub region.Should she find our communities filthy, what will she tell her husband on her return? She will tell him, “Those people are not serious. The same things that cause the deadly diseases of malaria, dysentery and Ebola—unclean environments—are the same conditions we found in Liberia.”No! That cannot, must not be said of us! Let us welcome our eminent visitors with appreciation, honor and respect. Remember, too, that they are coming here and going to other places to promote girls’ education. Every campus they visit should be clean, well-organized and exude (display, radiate) a yearning for learning and high regard for all students, most especially our girl students.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died today shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73. Ron Godwin, the university’s executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. “CPR efforts were unsuccessful,” he said. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell “has a history of heart challenges.” “I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast,” Godwin said. “He went to his office, I went to mine, and they found him unresponsive.” Falwell had survived two serious health scares in early 2005. He was hospitalized for two weeks with what was described as a viral infection, then was hospitalized again a few weeks later after going into respiratory arrest. Later that year, doctors found a 70 percent blockage in an artery, which they opened with stents. Falwell credited his Moral Majority with getting millions of conservative voters registered, electing Ronald Reagan and giving Republicans Senate control in 1980. “I shudder to think where the country would be right now if the religious right had not evolved,” Falwell said when he stepped down as Moral Majority president in 1987. The fundamentalist church that Falwell started in an abandoned bottling plant in 1956 grew into a religious empire that includes the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church, the “Old Time Gospel Hour” carried on television stations around the country and 7,700-student Liberty University. He built Christian elementary schools, homes for unwed mothers and a home for alcoholics. He also founded Liberty University in Lynchburg, which began as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971. Liberty University’s commencement is scheduled for Saturday, with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the featured speaker. In 2006, Falwell marked the 50th anniversary of his church and spoke out on stem cell research, saying he sympathized with people with medical problems, but that any medical research must pass a three-part test: “Is it ethically correct? Is it biblically correct? Is it morally correct?” Falwell had once opposed mixing preaching with politics, but he changed his view and in 1979, founded the Moral Majority. The political lobbying organization grew to 6.5 million members and raised $69 million as it supported conservative politicians and campaigned against abortion, homosexuality, pornography and bans on school prayer. Falwell became the face of the religious right, appearing on national magazine covers and on television talk shows. In 1983, U.S. News & World Report named him one of 25 most influential people in America. In 1984, he sued Hustler magazine for $45 million, charging that he was libeled by an ad parody depicting him as an incestuous drunkard. A federal jury found the fake ad did not libel him, but awarded him $200,000 for emotional distress. That verdict was overturned, however, in a landmark 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that even pornographic spoofs about a public figure enjoy First Amendment protection. The case was depicted in the 1996 movie “The People v. Larry Flynt.” With Falwell’s high profile came frequent criticism, even from fellow ministers. The Rev. Billy Graham once rebuked him for political sermonizing on “non-moral issues.” Falwell quit the Moral Majority in 1987, saying he was tired of being “a lightning rod” and wanted to devote his time to his ministry and Liberty University. But he remained outspoken and continued to draw criticism for his remarks. Days after Sept. 11, 2001, Falwell essentially blamed feminists, gays, lesbians and liberal groups for bringing on the terrorist attacks. He later apologized. In 1999, he told a evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive. Falwell later apologized for the remark but not for holding the belief. A month later, his National Liberty Journal warned parents that Tinky Winky, a purple, purse-toting character on television’s “Teletubbies” show, was a gay role model and morally damaging to children. Falwell was re-energized after moral values issues proved important in the 2004 presidential election. He formed the Faith and Values Coalition as the “21st Century resurrection of the Moral Majority,” to seek anti-abortion judges, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and more conservative elected officials. The big, blue-eyed preacher with a booming voice started his independent Baptist church with 35 members. From his living room, he began broadcasting his message of salvation and raising the donations that helped his ministry grow. “He was one of the first to come up with ways to use television to expand his ministry,” said Robert Alley, a retired University of Richmond religion professor who studied and criticized Falwell’s career.165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omolloo shouts instructions on teh touchline during his side’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Nakumatt FC on September 9, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1, 2018 – Chemelil Sugar picked up their third win in four games after beating Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0 at their Awasi backyard on Monday afternoon, a result that hoisted the sugar belt side to 14th in the standings with 38 points.Jacob Ombija and Lucas Waitere struck the two goals, one in either half as the sugar millers handed themselves a huge relief from the relegation axe. The result took Francis Baraza’s men to 38 points, one ahead of Nakumatt and Posta Rangers who have now slipped down to 15th and 16th respectively. Chemelil just need to win their final game of the season against Kariobangi Sharks in Narok to avoid relegation nightmares.Last year’s fourth placed team Posta Rangers who have had a horrendous season now occupy the relegation play-off 16th place slot and have to win their final game of the season against Homeboyz and hope either Chemelil or Nakumatt lose.Whoever does not win on the final day of the season will drop down to the 16th place spot which will condemn them to play the dreaded play-off against the third placed team from the National Super League (NSL) which can either be KCB, Nairobi Stima or Ushuru.Nakumatt had results going their way after a new owner breathed a new lease of financial life, but they have found the rhythm fading over the last five games losing three and drawing the last two.-Posta torrid campaignHaving been held to a 2-2 draw by Sofapaka in Narok on Sunday, they will face Vihiga United in Thika on the final day of the season in a must win tie.Posta have had a torrid campaign and Sunday’s 2-0 loss at the hands of a resurgent Sony Sugar in Ruaraka gave just but a glimpse of how their season has unfolded.Head coach Sammy Omollo said his team lacked desire to win and has now called on them to pull up their effort for the crucial final tie in Kakamega to avoid going back to the second tier.“We are in a very bad position and I believe the players know that. They have to know the importance of our last game because if we slip it is going to be very bad for us,” the tactician said after watching his side’s lackluster performance against Sony.Both Nakumatt and Posta are on 37 points and a -10 goal difference, but Nakumatt are 15th by virtue of having scored more goals.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Lorenzo Insigne 1 The agent of Arsenal and Tottenham target Lorenzo Insigne claims his client rejected “English teams who would have showered him with money”.The Italian has been hyped from a young age and, at 24, he is now fulfilling his promise for Napoli.However his agent, Fabio Andreotti, has evealed he could have left Naples during his academy days as English clubs came in with big-money offers.“Insigne has always been a symbol for the Azzurri, even in the youth teams,” Andreotti told Radio Punto Zero.“When he wasn’t yet under contract, there were English teams who would have showered him with money, but he chose to stay at Napoli.“He made the same choice after a year at Pescara, when there were so many teams interested. His is a nice story to tell.”
Janne Andersson has backed England to go all the way in Russia and win the World Cup.The Sweden head coach could only watch on as Gareth Southgate’s young and exciting side tore the Swedes to ribbons, sealing a 2-0 win in the process. 1 After advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990, Andersson has backed the Three Lions to end 52 years of pain in Moscow on July 15.“Yes, I definitely believe England are good enough to win it,” he said.“They are forceful, well-organised. I’d like to pay tribute to the team and coach.“They are a good footballing side. I think they would be perfectly able to go all the way.”Goals from Dele Alli and Harry Maguire sealed the victory for England in Samara on Saturday afternoon.After the result, the odds on an English World Cup win shortened even further.They now face Croatia in their semi-final clash on Wednesday at 7pm, where they will face the winners of the Belgium v France game the day before.You can listen to both semi-final fixtures live on talkSPORT. Gareth Southgate celebrates the victory over the Swedes
About Drake Graduate & Professional ProgramsDrake University offers graduate and professional programs in business, law, health care, leadership, education, public administration, counseling, executive education, and communication. At Drake, students discover proven outcomes, flexible scheduling for working professionals, and career advancement. Learn more about how Drake’s graduate and professional programs can take your career to the next level at www.drake.edu/graduate Print Friendly Version In the loss against Bradley, he was 5-of-7 from the arc and 6-of-9 from the floor. He also added three assists and no turnovers in that contest. At Loyola, he led the team with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the three-point range and had a pair of assists. In the last two weeks, he has shot 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) from the three-point range and averaged 15.5 points per game. Woodward, a guard for the Drake men’s basketball team, averaged 18.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a pair of games on the week. He shot 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) from the three-point arc and 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) from the field. Against Bradley, he recorded a season-high of 22 points in 33 minutes, one point shy of matching his career high. He also matched a career high with five three-pointers. Woodward and the men’s basketball team travel to St. Louis, Mo., next for the first round of the MVC Tournament March 2. The Bulldogs open tournament play against Bradley with tipoff set for 8:30 p.m. Graham Woodward, a redshirt junior from Edina, Minn., has been named this week’s Bulldog Student-Athlete of the Week, presented by Drake Graduate and Professional Programs. Academically, Woodward holds a 3.34 grade point average and is majoring in marketing.
AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#cybersecurity#data science Related Posts Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Ryan Ayers Cybersecurity is of increasing importance to enterprise and public leaders. In their efforts to mitigate cybercrime, organizations are increasingly leveraging data to protect sensitive information. Now, the world’s computer scientists are levering big data technology to stay ahead of hackers. But, the key will be to improve global cybersecurity.Statistical research, among other data science techniques, is generating impressive advancements in cyber defense. Time is of the essence in this regard. As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands the digital universe, cybercriminals are leveraging this increasingly prominent attack vector to compromise information networks.Data on the front lines of cyber defense.Historically, the media represented hackers as mischievous teens with a penchant for wreaking havoc. More recently, however, the media — as well as the general public — increasingly recognize that hackers are cunning craftsmen who compromise networks for profit.On the other side of the coin, ethical hackers acquire the same skills as cybercriminals to protect sensitive enterprise data. In addition, data scientists develop programs that detect unusual traffic to thwart the work of cybercriminals.Although cybersecurity is a global problem, the United States experiences the most incidents of cyber breaches.According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, U.S. organizations were attacked by cybercriminals over 100 times in 2018. The intrusion events represented the most significant number of breaches in any single country in the world.Due to the rise of cyber breaches, many organizations employ ethical hackers to protect their sensitive data. White hat hackers start their work by learning what information needs protection. Furthermore, they develop theories as to what hackers could do with that information. Ethical hackers also assess an organization’s current cybersecurity resources and practices.Ethical hackers are using varying tools to discover and repair network vulnerabilities.Their toolkit includes software designed especially for cybersecurity. As an example, information security specialists use the NMAP tool for port scanning and identifying operation systems. They also use Nikto or Metasploit to scan for Web server attack vectors.Increasingly, cybersecurity specialists use big data analyses to test for network aberrations. Data, however, is not the only new resource in the ethical hacker toolkit.The latest in high-tech cyber defense.A growing digital universe generated by innovations such as social media and the IoT has provided hackers with an increasing amount of valuable bounties. Today, expert hackers collaborate with criminal syndicates and even government agencies to compromise organizational networks.Digital malicious actors are skilled at finding any and every vulnerability in a network. Hackers easily bypass advanced security measures that enterprises believe will keep their information safe. Resultingly, security vendors are working on creative technologies to stymie cybercriminals.One company is working on what could become the evolution of the firewall. Illusive Networks specializes in using virtual and augmented reality to create facsimiles of enterprise networks.The idea is that the faux digital networks will contain malicious actors by providing a harmless twin environment. Once hackers have entered this false environment, they will continue their efforts to compromise the network and eventually give up, or administrators will kick the intruders out of the system.The technology is a new branch of cybersecurity called deception technology. Illusive Network officials express that their innovation can map potential attack vectors, help administrators patch vulnerabilities and provide real-time forensic reporting.Skilling up for the fight.Professionals across many industries and fields leverage data to improve operations. However, select professions are only open to individuals with mathematics or statistics training. These professionals help organizations solve intricate information related problems. They also analyze data generated by emerging innovations such as deceptive technologies. What’s more, they work with security vendors to develop new, powerful cybersecurity resources.The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine gathered to discuss cybersecurity in 2018. The main topic was the rapidly growing threat that’s emerging because of security gaps in the Internet of Things.According to symposium literature, malicious actors have executed notable cyber attacks using IoT devices. Standard technologies such as firewall and encryption are designed to stop these intrusions. However, cites the group, IT professionals need new countermeasures to discover and react to malicious activity. The conversation about securing the IoT and neutralizing cyber threats is an ongoing discussion among IT security experts.Data scientists are developing amazing technologies to protect the world’s information. Time, however, will tell which side will emerge as the victor.One day, data scientists may succeed in creating impenetrable information networks. For now, researchers are looking to innovations such as deceptive technologies as the next best alternative to bulletproof security. Soon, malicious actors could face myriad obstacles, making network intrusion a trivial pursuit. Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…
Coach Greg Chappell with Rahul DravidThe Indian team’s theme for this World Cup was called, “Let’s Win Together.” In Trinidad, the man on the street has his own theme. India, they sigh, shaking their heads and smiling crooked smiles, “plenty licks, man, plenty licks.” On the morning of match against,Coach Greg Chappell with Rahul DravidThe Indian team’s theme for this World Cup was called, “Let’s Win Together.” In Trinidad, the man on the street has his own theme. India, they sigh, shaking their heads and smiling crooked smiles, “plenty licks, man, plenty licks.” On the morning of match against Sri Lanka, Marvan Atapattu looked across at a bystander. “If we make 220, it’s enough, we’re through.” The bystander, an Indian, asked how could the Lankan could be so confident? “Look at their faces,” Atapattu said, “For them, 220 is like 350.”In the last 11 months, India’s batsmen have failed to bat out a full 50 overs in 12 of 17 ODIs outside home. Is this really what the world thinks of our cricket team? The envy that a strong India generates has given way to something approaching the ranks of tongue-clucking sympathy in the Caribbean and scorn in the Anglo-Australian cricket world. Former West Indian captain Richie Richardson admits to disappointment, “I thought India had the best batting line up on paper. We all wanted India to go a little bit further. I can’t work out what went wrong, lack of confidence maybe, or internal problems.” It’s like Indian cricket has been struck over the head with a blunt instrument and is trying to regain consciousness and comprehension. The questions are short, sharp and seek meaning from the muddle: What the…? But why? Now what?Team IndiaWhat the…? The Indian team’s training sessions at the Cup were two-faced: one, a spurt of enthusiasm in Jamaica for the warmup games, the other, a few ho-hum sessions in Port of Spain. Like all other teams, India were allotted only two and a half hours, but their sessions looked like they were men on borrowed time.”You practise like you play,” said one Indian player, indicating that younger players needed to go into nets with a purpose. May be the Indians did play like they practised: flat, perfunctory, with no urgency. Former West Indian fast bowler Ian Bishop has seen a trend over the last season: “Their fielding is un-athletic and that is just based on those matches I saw.”advertisementThe Australians, who set the benchmark in the field, have hired former American baseball pro Mike Young as their fielding coach. Their sessions work around improving ‘balance and vision’. Sri Lanka, constitutionally, temperamentally much like the Indians, put in a minimum of an hour of fielding practice in every training session, concentrating on what captain Mahela Jayawardene calls, “the small things” in one-day cricket, every run-out, every half-chance taken puts you a step closer to winning.”Sharad Pawar to take a drastic stepBut let’s not be harsh: the Indians did try, and not just the boring stuff like fielding practice. After losing to Bangladesh there were apparently attempts made to straighten out kinks in the cricketers’ ‘auras’, to rid them of ‘negative energies’. In keeping with the principles of pranic healing, the men in blue stood around a bowl of water where their bad vibes were flung in; they even tried collective prayer. It worked against Bermuda, but the gods needed more appeasement against Lanka. Okay, what the hell, let’s be harsh: maybe what cricketing deities really wanted, guys, was more fight with the bat, ball, more signs of spirit and sweat on the field.There’s a view that Dravid and Chappell should continue while four ‘difficult’ senior players must go.But why? Captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell have said it repeatedly: “We didn’t play well. Yes, but why not? Here comes Indian cricket’s now de rigueur fig leaf, hastily put into place after every big loss: our system stinks, you see. On the surface of it, a soothing explanation: the Indian team has no permanent manager, no media manager, no medical back up at home, its itinerary is far too crowded, selection is a minefield, players have not been paid their dues for more than half a year. Words that matterSir Vivan Richards “Your team has a lot of ability, but lacks mental strength. They are babies in the mind.” SIR VIVIAN RICHARDS WEST INDIAN CRICKET LEGENDJohn Buchanan “India is one of the excitement machines that heighten competition. As a coach I’m glad they are not here.” JOHN BUCHANAN COACH, AUSTRALIAN TEAMDilip Vengsarkar “Every debacle has a silver lining. We have a young team and I have tremendous faith in them despite everything.”DILIP VENGSARKAR CHAIRMAN, SELECTION COMMITTEEIan Bishop “I did not feel from what I saw with India last year that I fancied them doing well away from home.” IAN BISHOP FORMER FAST BOWLER, WEST INDIESadvertisementSharad Pawar “Even England, where cricket originated, has not won the Cup but their players didn’t face mindless protests.” SHARAD PAWAR PRESIDENT, BCCIRichie Richardson “India had the best batting line up. We wanted India to go a little bit further. I can’t work out what went wrong.”RICHIE RICHARDSON FORMER CAPTAIN, WEST INDIESBut the system is merely the backdrop; it is not central to the plot of why India’s team bombed in the World Cup. India bombed because they didn’t hit the ground running. Dravid believes the 2003 format gave teams time to hit their stride unlike in 2007. Four years ago, despite putting up their best impersonation of struggling fish on a line of hooks, once the Cup began, India beat the teams they were expected to beat, losing only to Australia.In the last 11 months, India’s batsmen have failed to bat out a full 50 overs in 12 of 17 ODIs outside home. They have won only three of those, beating West Indies twice and Bermuda once. Bishop saw it coming. He didn’t rank India amongst his pick of four potential semi-finalists before the event: “I didn’t feel from what I saw with India last year in the West Indies, Malaysia, Champions Trophy and South Africa that I fancied them doing well away from home.” Former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Ranjit Fernando stands back from making the linkage between systemic malaise and specific results. Whenever Sri Lanka loses, he says the same arguments are proffered. “What does a system have to do? At the very basic, produce three-four players a generation who can play for the country. Our systems-India’s, Sri Lanka’s- are far from perfect, but every generation, they produce those threefour players.”Between May 2006 and the West Indies World Cup, despite a notoriously fractious Board, Sri Lanka ensured that its team played all its ODIs away from home. The one tournament scheduled on the island was washed out. Of course, the BCCI needs to overhaul how they run domestic cricket and how they manage the Indian team. But does the BCCI’s blinkered inefficiency explain why India couldn’t dismiss Bermuda for less than 156 and take 43.1 overs to do it? Or, heck, why it lost to Bangladesh?Now what? Now is when the mills of Indian cricket begin to churn. Insiders say that the next man who takes over will have to start from scratch, which means the team is back to where they were just before 2000-splintered, insecure, on the edge. One distinct murmur emerging from team management centres round Sourav Ganguly’s low strike rate and the failure to rotate the strike in his three innings in the Cup. Another backed by the powerful in the BCCI, name Sachin Tendulkar as Dravid’s successor. A third point of view insists that the BCCI wants Chappell and Dravid to continue in their respective positions but the team needs to purge the ‘spoilers’-Ganguly, Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.A player said, “I feel for Rahul, it’s hard when the team loses, even more so as captain. Rahul really tried to keep the team together, but it didn’t work out.” In the post-Lanka press conference, Dravid walked on the edge of composure, saying quickly that his tenure ended with the World Cup, so he was, in fact, no longer the captain. After an India defeat, Chappell had once produced this Zen-like epigram, “Nothing’s a disaster.” Specially called into the press conference, Chappell stonewalled questions with, “We just didn’t play well,” until an exasperated Caribbean journalist asked, “Coach, by saying that all the time, aren’t you trying to shirk responsibility?” Halfprotecting his own position, half-extending sympathy to his players, Chappell, who has aimed to coach and spread his gospel through the written press, tried to spread accountability and blame around, like it were marmalade on toast.advertisementWhat could rescue Dravid’s captaincy is the fact that there is no clear choice over his succession. Dravid understands and can internalise Chappell’s philosophies but their intellectual compatibility has not found resonance with the rest of the team. It may well be the players’ own weaknesses and inadequacies, but a cricket match is not a steeplechase race in which the captain can run alone. Everyone has to be pulled along, which the team of Dravid and Chappell have been unable to do.So Indian cricket has three choices: Plans A: Dravid and Chappell stay and four ‘difficult’ players go. Plan B: Chappell goes, Dravid stays and tries to reconnect with his squad and take another shot at the job with a coach who is more of a backroom worker and less of a ruckus-magnet. Plan C: Dravid and Chappell go as team leaders, India gets a new captain and the entire churning begins again.To many, Plan A might seem like the way forward: get rid of the old, the deadwood, start with the new. Going by the Dravid-Chappell record in man management, even if the selectors get rid of the spoilers, consistency or growth is not guaranteed. The players who the two men seem to prefer have either come undone (a la Irfan Pathan) or have been undercooked at the international level (Suresh Raina). This means one of them will have to go.At the moment, Dravid is far more valuable to the team than Chappell is; whether he is valuable as captain still or if he can rescue his leadership away from the looming presence of his first coach, is a call the selectors must take. What could rescue Dravid’s captaincy is the fact that his succession is not as clear cut as it could be. Dravid’s deputy and the front runner for the job, Tendulkar faces the wrath of public disappointment. Sehwag’s return to form is tenuous and the outsider Yuvraj Singh is seen as too callow. There is, of course, another man, who has done the job before with some success, but declared since that captaincy doesn’t excite him. Sourav Ganguly doesn’t smile much these days, but surely the thought enters his head: what goes around, comes around.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) soldiers will soon get a net zero, self sustainable border outposts (BoPs).Realising tough working conditions of soldiers guarding the Sino-India border at high altitudes where temperature often drops to minus 40 degree, centre has approved 54 temperature controlled integrated BOPs, 47 of which will be solely for ITBP.Sources in the force confirmed that the first state-of-the-art composite BOP in Ladakh is almost near completion.In a first of its kind, eco-friendly BOP are being constructed at a forward location near the China border. The project is being built under Make in India theme with the force engaging IIT, Delhi and IIT, Roorkee.The BOPs will reportedly have room for 100 jawans, mess, toilets, medical room, and office of senior officers at a height of 15,000 feet.Besides underground bunker for security, the post will have space for each soldier. The BOP will have insulated walls, roof and windows protecting it from severe weather condition especially the sub zero minus temperatures, solar power electricity and heating system, 24 hour liquid water supply and fresh air supply with the help of Geo Thermal ducts with no dependence on fossil fuel.”Soldiers fight hard conditions maintaining highest level of vigil. The new BOP will make life much easier for the soldier,” a source said.These BOP will maintain the inside temperature at 20-22 degree celsius and are being built at a cost of nearly Rs 20 crore in Lukung Valley.The ITBP is deployed in Ladakh, Sikkim, Uttrakhand, Himachal. Evenutally, such BOPs will be constructed in the Arunachal region as well.advertisementUnion Home Ministry in the recently concluded winter session restated its committment to the development of border infrastructure to strengthen the operational capabilities of ITBP.This comes in the backdrop of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh ringing in the New Year with ITBP troops in Uttarakhand’s Nelong valley along the China border.Meanwhile, the centre has agreed to provide light weight clothing to the jawans above 9,000 feet, previously only provided to the jawans of BOP at a height of 14,000 feet and above.The Union Minister also recently assured the force to give better and modern weapons, more snow scooters and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV).