Monday, February 25, 2008


Apparently trying to compete with the lucrative IPL, maverick Texan billionaire Allen Stanford has offered the Australian, English and Indian cricketers USD 20 million from a single Twenty20 match next year in the West Indies.
He is wooing Australian and English cricketers to play against an all-star team from around the West Indies for a winner-takes-all prize of USD 20 million.
"If enough players in Australia or England or India know they have a chance to come down here to the Caribbean and walk away, each one of them, with millions of dollars in their pocket, I think it will probably happen," Stanford said.
"All this junk I had to go through in the beginning... well, the project is too big now. So I think next year it is
absolutely certain to happen," he was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
The Indian Cricket Board had snubbed a similar invitation after its cricketers won the Twenty20 World Cup in September last year and has since trumped Stanford by launching the IPL.
The Texan had suggested that the IPL tapped into the mercenary instincts of the modern sportsman. By contrast, he is adamant that in Stanford Twenty20, the domestic competition involving 21 Caribbean nations, cricketers will represent only their own islands.
"I invited the winner (of the Twenty20 world championship) to come over here (the West Indies) and play
first for USD 5 million and then I said, 'I'll give you USD 10 million'. The (Indian board) said, 'No, we don't want to do that, because it would be endorsing a privately funded programme', and look what they've done.
"What I eventually want to have is what I call 'the OK Corral'. Anytime, any place, you come to our field and play one game, Twenty20, for USD 20 million. The best of our players against your team," said the man whose previous proposal of an international quadrangular Twenty20 tournament was shot down by the ICC.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Yahoo Inc. formally rejected Microsoft Corp.'s unsolicited $44.6 billion offer, saying it "substantially undervalues" Yahoo but leaving the door open for further negotiations.
In a press release, Yahoo said its board is "continually evaluating all of its strategic options in the context of the rapidly evolving industry environment and we remain committed to pursuing initiatives that maximize value for all stockholders."
Yahoo's decision will test whether the software giant is willing to pay a lot more for the Internet company -- or risk a truly hostile takeover attempt.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Pace bowlers Ishant Sharma and Sree Santh proved too much for Australia as India won a low-scoring tri-series game in Melbourne by five wickets.
The home side lost Adam Gilchrist for a duck to the third ball of the game and were bowled out for just 159.
It could have been even worse but for Mike Hussey's unbeaten 65 as Sharma took 4-38 and Santh 3-31.
India slumped to 102-5 in reply but Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Dhoni held their nerve to see them home on 160-5.
They reached their target with 4.1 overs to spare to register their first win in the series, also involving Sri Lanka, after two no-results caused by rain.
The hosts were soon in trouble after Gilchrist was controversially adjudged lbw off the bowling of Santh in the first over.

Matthew Hayden (25) became Ishant's first victim soon after when he was caught behind by Dhoni.
Captain Ricky Ponting was caught at first slip by Sachin Tendulkar for nine, again off Ishant.
And Australia were 64-4 when Irfan Pathan removed Michael Clarke before Ishant dismissed Andrew Symonds caught behind for 14.
Dhoni claimed his third victim of the innings when he stumped Brad Haddin as the batsman came down the pitch to Harbhajan Singh.

That left the hosts in real trouble on 92-6 and, though Brett Lee and Mike Hussey put on 53 for the seventh wicket, there was little resistance after the former was caught by Dhoni off Pathan.

India bowled well and fielded well but we have some work to do on our batting.
"We played a few loose shots at the top of the order.
"When you have a low total to defend you have to find a way of getting wickets. We tried lots of different things but we were not good enough.
"There is a good series shaping up here and the next few games are going to be very important.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Pakistan's controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar could dump the BCCI-backed Indian Premier League to sign up for the rebel Indian Cricket League as his relations with the national board continue to deteriorate by the day.Sources close to Akhtar say that the speedster has only signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IPL which is backed by the Pakistan board as well.And since he is unhappy with the treatment being meted out to him, he is now considering taking on the Board by signing up for the ICL.

Moin Khan, a representative of the ICL in Pakistan, said that he could not comment on Shoaib's intentions but confirmed the fast bowler was made an offer last year when the ICL had started procuring players for its tournament.But he confirmed that at present the ICL was looking at signing up around nine more players from Pakistan and negotiations were continuing with them."There is a proposal to field one team of Pakistani players in the next league and we need more players to add to the six we already have with us," he said.Inzamam-ul Haq, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed and Azhar Mahmood, all Test players are already on the ICL payroll


We are disappointed but not despondent: Chidambaram.

Strong indications of a slowdown in 2007-8 emerged from the government’s advance estimates today that put gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 8.7 per cent, raising concern over whether the Indian economy could sustain growth at over 9 per cent in 2008-09.

The estimate, the first in a sequence of five national income estimates put out by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) over two years after the first data are released, suggests that high interest rates have impacted manufacturing and construction, dampening overall growth.However, the CSO’s growth estimate is still higher than the Reserve Bank of India’s forecast of 8.5 per cent GDP growth for 2007-08 but lower than Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s prediction of 9 per cent. The Planning Commission has targeted an average GDP growth rate of 9 per cent during the 11th Plan (2007-12).

Describing the GDP numbers as lower than expected, the finance minister nevertheless said he is "disappointed but not despondent".

I am reasonably confident that the figures may be revised and economy will grow at close to 9 per cent," he added.

Agriculture is expected to grow at 2.6 per cent in 2007-08, while the industry and services sectors, which together account for over three-quarters of GDP, are projected to grow at 8.6 and 10.6 per cent, respectively.

"The pace of economic growth is in line with growth in potential output. We have estimated that the economy’s potential growth rate is between 8 and 8.5 per cent and it will continue to grow in that range", said Joshua Felman, the International Monetary Fund’s senior resident representative in India.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


''Meet Mr Sonia Gandhi'' that was how a PPP spokesperson recently introduced party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to a group of journalists.Spokesperson Sherry Rehman's reference to Zardari, the husband of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto, was in a lighter vein but he took it more seriously.Zardari explained to the journalists who met him in Bhutto's ancestral village of Naudero that he, like the Congress President, wanted to take a back seat and let the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leadership decide things.''I think we should have a national government after the elections as this country has become ungovernable,'' Zardari was quoted as saying by the Dawn.'

'It's not about power this time; we want to set things right first, strengthen institutions by taking everybody along, including (former premier and PML-N chief) Nawaz Sharif.''Zardari said he saw his role as a cementing force to keep the PPP together. He would try to keep a balance among divergent forces and preserve Bhutto's legacy.''If our party wins a majority in (the) elections, I will not take a Cabinet post but will act like Sonia Gandhi, as an advisory figure without a seat in Parliament,'' he had said.Just a few days after Bhutto's assassination on December 27, Zardari had said he would be an ''advisory figure'' like Sonia Gandhi, but without a seat in Parliament, if the PPP is voted to power in the February 18 general election.


It was "better to be friends" with Sachin Tendulkar than sledge him, says former leg-spinner Shane Warne of his contest with the Indian batting maestro, even though the Australian believed that sledging without abusing opponents is fine.

"I found it an extremely effective tactic against an insecure batsman who could be intimidated. South Africa's Darryl Cullinan springs to mind as a good player who was not confident against Australia, particularly leg spin," Warne wrote in his column in The Times newspaper here.

"On the other hand, with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, it was better to be friends and make them smile rather than wind them up," he said.

Tendulkar and Warne are known to be friends off the field. Even after being thrashed mercilessly by Tendulkar on Australia's tour of India in late 1990s and famously in a one-day tournament in Sharjah besides elsewhere, Warne has remained friends with him.

Warne also disclosed that he called Tendulkar up after he scored a century in the fourth and final Test of the series in Adelaide.

"Tendulkar batted brilliantly for his hundred in Adelaide. I am pleased that he marked his last Test in Australia that way," he said.

"I spoke to him before the game and we reminisced about going to see Sir Donald Bradman together many years ago. Sachin has been a great ambassador and he deserved to leave on a strong personal note."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Now that Kuselan, Rajinikanth's quickie before his Robot, is all set to take off, the gossip mongers are working overtime. Each day some new incredible rumour starts making the rounds.
The latest buzz is that director P Vasu plans to include a song that will have some of Tamil cinema's biggest stars sharing screen space together for the first time ever. And yes, in all probability the creative inspiration behind this idea is Shah Rukh's film Om Shanti Om. One of the most popular songs from this film was All Hot Girls, which featured 31 major stars from Bollywood.

In OSO, Shah Rukh Khan plays a superstar who throws a party after winning an award. Since Kuselan is also about a superstar, Vasu is eager to include a similar sequence in the film.
Although sequences similar to the one in Om Shanti Om have been shot many a time in Bollywood, one has never seen similar sequences in Tamil cinema. But Vasu, who has good rapport with all the stars, hopes to achieve the impossible with Rajini's help.

According to sources, Kamal Haasan, Ajith, Vijay Vikram Trisha, Nayantara and Namitha, are some of the popular actors who Vasu hopes will feature in this song

Your 500 rupee note can be a fake

The Tamil Nadu Police suspect that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has mounted a major operation in southern India to circulate "authentic looking fake 500-rupee notes".Having stumbled upon a gang of youths pretending to be from Malda district of West Bengal but later found out to be illegals from Bangladesh, police recovered a cache of Rs.200,000 from them late on Monday after sustained questioning.

"The suspects are claiming that someone palmed off the currency during their travel from Kolkata. But the inconsistencies in their story and the admission that they are from Bangladesh alerted us to the possibility that a huge gang may be indulging in this mischief," said Deputy Commissioner of Police A.G. Mourya."Probably this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg because all of them are carrying mobiles from which several overseas calls have been made. Some of them were made to some parts of Bangladesh known for being ISI hubs," Mourya said.

An officer from the police Q Branch, which investigates terrorist offences, revealed that some leads were being pursued to find out the reasons as why some calls were made to the Middle East."There are some untraceable calls - which may have been made to places in Pakistan. We are continuing our interrogation," the official said. Cases have been filed against the offenders under the Foreigners Act.

Britney Manager Accused Of Drugging Her

A restraining order against Britney Spears' manager Sam Lutfi accuses him of drugging the troubled singer, taking over her home, life and finances and cutting her phone lines

He is also accused of controlling the paparazzi who have pursued her for months.
The order, based on a lengthy declaration from Spears' mother, Lynne, says the troubled singer met Mr Lutfi in October 2007.
It goes on to say that "Mr Lutfi has essentially moved into Britney's home and has purported to take control of her life, home and finances".
The documents, which have been released by the court where they were filed, order him to stay away from her and stop the harassment.

In a section of the order that detailed previous harassment, Lynne Spears said: "Mr Lutfi drugged Britney, he has cut Britney's home phone lines and removed her cell phone chargers.
"He yells at her. He claims to control everything."
The 26-year-old singer's assets have been temporarily put under her father's control after she suffered an apparent mental breakdown.

McCain cements lead; Dems' race not settled after super tuesday

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split victories in primary elections and caucuses Tuesday, known as Super Tuesday, when voters in two dozen American states voiced their preference for presidential nominees. Mike O'Sullivan reports, John McCain scored important wins over two rivals, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, to claim the title of frontrunner in the Republican race.

Arizona Senator John McCain won races in New York, New Jersey, California and a number of other key states. He called them important victories in the closest contest the country has to a national primary election.
"We've won primaries in the West, the South, the Midwest, and the Northeast," McCain said. "And, although I've never minded the role of the underdog and have relished as much as anyone come-from-behind wins, tonight I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party frontrunner for the nomination for president of the United States."

In Democratic races, Senator Hillary Clinton won her home state of New York and neighboring New Jersey and also scored other key wins around the country.
"Tonight in record numbers you voted not just to make history, but to remake America - People in American Samoa, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee and the great state of New York," Clinton said.
Hispanic support helped Clinton clinch a win in California, which offers the largest number of delegates to the nominating conventions of both parties. However, as in most states, California's delegates will be proportioned among the vote-getters
Clinton's Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, scored important wins in his home state, Illinois, and in other parts of the country, from Alabama and Georgia in the South to the western states, Colorado and Utah.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chewing gum may bring Harbhajan, Symonds together

Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds may patch up soon - thanks to an Indian chewing gum manufacturer's offer to make a television advertisement in which the two warring players are supposed to say "Gum Mein Hai Dum (This gum has power)".

"An Indian chewing gum manufacturer could bring a quirky end to cricket's great racial spat by doing what the game's top officials couldn't ... It is understood initial feelers have already been sent out to the warring cricketers and they will examine the proposal in the coming weeks," said Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"The extraordinary proposal could cool tensions between Harbhajan and Symonds who have been at each others' throats since the combustible Sydney Test where Harbhajan allegedly called the Australian a monkey," it said.

Harbhajan, in a second hearing by a New Zealand High Court Judge, was let off with a 50 percent fine, instead of the three-Test suspension imposed by match referee Mike Proctor, after the charge could not be proved.


After a successful stint with Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), Star Plus is bringing back Shah Rukh Khan to anchor a reality game show.
To be produced by Reliance ADAG's Synergy Adlabs, the mega show is based on an international game format called Are You Smarter Than a 5th grader?
Sources close to the development say that Khan is likely to give away Rs 50 million as prize money for the winner.

Although the name of the show is yet to be finalised, sources report that it will be a direct Hindi translation of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, or Bade Hue To Kya Hua?
Refusing to divulge any details on the prize money, Star Plus EVP and GM Keertan Adyanthaya said, "Star Plus is launching a new show with Shah Rukh Khan as host. We will announce details of format and prizes shortly."

When contacted, Synergy Adlabs CMD Siddhartha Basu was also not willing to talk about the prize money. "It is premature to tell about it now. We can only share that Synergy Adlabs is producing the show, the name of which is yet to be finalised."
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is a television game show format based on asking grade-school level questions to adults. Devised in the United States, the show format has since been replicated in several foreign countries.


Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman in the history of one-day cricket to cross 16,000 runs in the shorter format of the game. The veteran batsman achieved this feat today off the last ball of the 12th over bowled by Sri Lankan veteran medium pacer Chaminda Vaas.

When the master batsman tucked Vaas's last delivery towards mid-wicket, the giant screen on the stadium put up the record and the crowd rose to its feet as one to acknowledge the feat of the one of cricket's best batsmen ever.

Tendulkar has played 408 one-day matches in a career spanning 18 years and three months scoring over 16,000 runs at an astronomical average of 44.24 per innings (without taking the current innings into account) at a strike rate of 85.47 per innings. He has scored 41 centuries in the one-day format besides going past the half-century mark on 87 occasions.

Sachin Tendulkar has 80hundreds in international cricket, that includes 39 in Test matches. The Little Champion has also turned his arm over quite efficiently for the team in one-day cricket, claiming 154 scalps including two five-wicket hauls and four four-fors.

Will he get past 20k in one dayers alone ? I just think he will make it adding another feather in his glittering career.

Bachchans head back home as Big B falls ill

After flying last evening to Jaipur to celebrate the 32nd birthday of Abhishek, the Bachchan family is now heading back to Mumbai as actor Amitabh Bachchan complained of being unwell due to the extremely cold weather that is prevailing in the northern part of the country. Unfazed by reports of their house getting attacked in Mumbai, the Bachchan family along with friend and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh had headed to Jaipur for a quiet celebration. Amitabh Bachchan, who hails from UP, had been facing critical accusations of being biased by Raj Thackeray for the newly opened all girls collage in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh named Shrimati Aishwarya Bachchan Girls’ Degree College. The social move outraged the head of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Raj Thackeray, on grounds that immigrants are sidelining Maharashtrians, the city`s original inhabitants.

The party has since been leading the campaigning against "outsiders" which has targetted migrants from northern India in Mumbai. Apparently Thackeray is of the view that Mumbai should have been the first preference for the Bachchans for opening up a charitable educational institute. However the MNS chief washed his hands off the attack on Big B’s house at Juhu called Pratiksha, saying his men were not responsible for the act.Amitabh Bachchan, who has not issued any public statement on the matter yet has however, let known from sources that he shall be willing to open up a school in Mumbai too, but has been unable to do so as the city has no large-scale property to offer.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Today's team selection is for 2011 World Cup: Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Monday that the selection approach adopted by the country was aimed at nurturing a winning team for the 2011 World Cup in Asia.
'If I am the captain (at the World Cup), I would love to have 14 cricketers who have played at least 80 to 100 internationals,' Dhoni

'That's very important to play guys now because we don't play too many internationals in the coming year and there are only a couple of years until the 2011 World Cup. It's important (to gain experience) because there will be pressure on the guys; if they have those 80 to 100 internationals under their belts it will be slightly more comfortable,' he explained, a day ahead of India's match against Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Bank Triangular One-day Series at the Gabba in Brisbane.

While Dhoni was confident the youngsters would gain rich experience in Australia, he admitted: 'It can backfire with new guys coming in and playing against a team like Australia. But it will depend on the individual, how they take responsibility, whether they take it as a challenge.
'It depends on the individual more than the team. You can motivate them but it is up to them to show courage and go out there and perform.'

Deepika cheers Yuvraj in Australia

Deepika Padukone has flown to Australia to cheer 'close friend' Yuvraj Singh .
The Om Shanti Om actress also celebrated her 22nd birthday on January 5 with the cricketer.
Deepika is expected to spend a month in Australia for the shooting of her Yash Raj film. But the actress left Mumbai two days before the start of her shooting schedule to spend time with Yuvraj.

"She wanted to cheer him up and also spend quality time with him on her birthday," sources said.

Yuvi would definitely need the cheering after his dismal performance against the Aussies.
Deepika and Yuvraj have been linked up by the media on numerous occasions, though the couple have always mainatined that they are 'good friends.' Before Yuvraj came into the picture, Deepika was paired up with Indian captain M S Dhoni ,but she denied that as well.

Deepika's Yash Raj film will costar Ranbir Kapoor , and will be directed by Siddharth Anand

Aishwarya Rai : "Saying no to Shankar & Rajini can be a problem"

Aishwarya Rai opened up to the media first time on her upcoming Tamil project – 'Robot' to be directed by the renowned craftsman Shankar. She would star against Superstar Rajinikanth.

Readers might remember that most of the heroine roles in Rajini's last few projects starting from Nilambari in 'Padayappa' were offered to Aishwarya Rai, only to be turned down owing to the date issues of the actress.

Talking on Shankar and Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai expressed, "They are super entertainers, independently and together; it can be a problem saying no to them. I did get an enquiry last year when I was away on Pink Panther. This time I am happy that we could work out our schedule." On heroines getting sidelined in a Rajini movie, Aishwarya was quick to refute the claim, "I don't think it's a fair statement. You can't but be fascinated by this phenomenon called Rajini sir. He is so super fascinating and intriguing to his audience. I don't think it's a deliberate attempt by any director to sideline any actor / character working along with him."

She went on to add, "Rajini Sir is such a wonderful human being. He has been so close to the family too. I am glad and honored to be working with him" With Shankar finally managing to rope in Aishwarya Rai into his dream project, the expectations on 'Robot' would now touch sky high. The project to be produced by Ayngaran and Eros International has A.R.Rahman for music and will be the second film for Aishwarya Rai under Shankar's direction after 'Jeans'.

Sania Mirza not play in any indian tennis tournaments again

Sania Mirza's fans are in for a big disappointment as the Indian tennis sensation has chosen not to participate in the 600,000 Dollar WTA Tier II Bangalore Open, to be held here from March 3.
Disclosing her non-participation in the week-long event, Tournament Director R Sunder Raju said that no reason had been described by Sania for not participating in the event. "It is a disappointment," he added.

"Her entry was not received at the closure of entry for the qualifying rounds on January 20," he added.

Reliance Power to list on Feb. 11

Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power, which had raised Rs 11,560 crores in the largest IPO on the Indian capital market, will list on the bourses on February 11.
The company, with about 42 lakh shareholders, would list its shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange on February 11, it said in a statement.
Reliance Power has already credited its shares to the demat accounts of successful allotees in the IPO, it said.

The company had carried out the allotment and refund exercise within 10 working days after the closure of the IPO.
Reliance Power IPO had attracted over five million bids from all categories of domestic and international investors with a demand of shares worth over Rs 7,50,000 crore, resulting in the offer being oversubscribed by about 70 times.

The portion reserved for Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) was oversubscribed 82.5 times, while that for Non Institutional Investors received bids for over 159 times the shares marked for them. The part reserved for retail investors was oversubscribed 13.6 times.
With about 42 lakh shareholders, Reliance Power would have the largest shareholder-base company listed on the stock exchanges


Director Shankar, who is set to make the biggest movie in Indian history, informed that the title of the mega project featuring the superstar Rajinikanth would be changed in due course. He informed this while talking about the film in an interview given to a TV channel on the eve of Pongal festival.The film will be the richest movie in terms of special effects. The special effects will be the highlights of the science fiction movie, informed the director. According to him, the work for the special effects would require much time, almost equal to that of making a film.The shooting of the movie will be started after July.


For a French president likened by critics to a power-crazed elected monarch with a love of "bling-bling", it was perhaps an act of defiance for Nicolas Sarkozy to spend his wedding night in the grounds of the opulent Palace of Versailles.
But wearing his trademark aviator shades, Sarkozy showed off his new première dame yesterday in the park of the palace remembered for revolution, ensuring that his foreign bride would, as with all first ladies, spark comparisons with the ill-fated Marie Antoinette.

Barely 11 weeks after first meeting the Italian ex-model Carla Bruni, Sarkozy married her on Saturday in a hasty private ceremony at Paris's Élysée Palace - an act advisers hoped would stem his dire poll ratings and draw a line under the celebrity romance that has enthralled and nauseated the nation.
The couple refused to issue an official wedding portrait and instead invited a scrum of photographers to pursue them on a stroll through the park after spending the night at Versailles' hunting lodge, which they had made their weekend retreat. They kissed and whispered over a coffee in the palace grounds.

Big B's house vandalised in Mumbai

Vandals tried to attack Amitabh Bachchan's residence 'Prateeksha' in Mumbai on Sunday night, hurling bottles into the compound.Security has been increased outside Bachchan's residence.The attack came hours after supporters of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray attacked taxi drivers and others from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Mumbai's Dadar area.

Over the last few days, Thackeray had made public statements questioning Bachchan's loyalty to the state.The Bachchans don't live in 'Prateeksha' but in another house called 'Jalsa'. Bachchan family is originally from Uttar Pradesh while Jaya Bachchan is a Samajwadi party MP.High securityPolice stations in Mumbai are on alert to avoid a possible attack on milkmen and hawkers, many of whom are from UP and Bihar.Police had to stop the screening of a Bhojpuri film in a Mumbai cinema hall on Sunday after Thackeray's supporters attacked the theatre. Twenty-two workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman sena have been arrested for rioting. They will be produced in court on Monday.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister has said attacks on north Indians will not be tolerated.''Security has been stepped up, especially in areas that have theatres showing Bhojpuri films. Security has been increased in areas with a large North Indian population. The police is ready to face any eventuality,'' said R Pawar, Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai.Meanwhile, a high-level police probe has been ordered into the violence at the Samajwadi party rally in Mumbai on Sunday.Samajwadi party leader Amar Singh has filed an FIR against Raj Thackeray and has blamed the centre and the state for inaction.


The Polly Parade came to an end on Sunday when South Africa's leading wicket taker Shaun Pollock hit the winning runs in the fifth and final MTN one-day international against the West Indies at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
"The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster ride, but I've been blown away by the reception I've had all round the country.
"It has been quite an experience, bowling my last ball at the various venues and getting so much support, and I couldn't have chosen a better place to end my career - the Bull Ring is always fantastic," Pollock told journalists after his final match in the green and gold.
"It could have been very sad, but the crowds have lifted me. It's been awesome. I've never had so many cheers just for doing some ordinary fielding."
Pollock said he was at peace about his decision. "It's nice to go out on a high," he said. "I've known for some time that I wanted to retire, and I've been preparing for this. I always wanted to get out at the right time."
In a storybook ending to his career, Pollock hit the winning runs in the last two matches. "When it got to 50 runs needed, everyone else was telling me to pad up - they were scared of being booed!
"Bowling the last ball in each match has been very emotional, with the crowds giving me standing ovations and cheering each ball.
"I think the last one I bowled at Kingsmead was the hardest - I got through that on muscle memory. But it prepared me for the last one here - at least I knew how I was going to feel. Saying goodbye to Kingsmead was the saddest - that was really emotional."
Pollock, who conceded less than 40 runs in each of the five matches, was named joint Man of the Series, with batsman JP Duminy

Sunday, February 03, 2008


On whether he had any advice for the young brigade led by M S Dhoni for the tri series in australia, sourav who had come to Eden Gardens to autograph the certificates of the blood doners on Frank Worrell Day said, ''What suggestions can I give. I can only wish them luck.''
Sourav Ganguly was recently dropped from the one day squad reportedly on the insistence of ODI captain M.S.Dhoni.

It is evident that Ganguly was 'shocked' after being axed from the ODI team unceremoniously along with Rahul Dravid.
In a recent interview he said, ''Even I'm surprised I'm at home here and not at the Gabba.''

Sourav Ganguly on Sunday also said debutante Bengal batsman Manoj Tewari would require more time to acclimatise to the conditions in Australia.
Manoj was bowled for two runs in his debut match at Gabba against Australia.

''Manoj is a good cricketer and has loads of runs in domestic cricket. He will do well the faster he can acclimatise with the weather and conditions in Australia. You cannot judge a cricketer form one match,'' Sourav said.

Reminded about the similarity of Manoj making his debut in Australia like he did in 1992, he said, ''That is really nice. I wish all the best. Hope he plays well for the country and makes us proud.''
Sourav also informed that Manoj had some discussions with him before he left for Australia.
''Just a few little words some suggestions. He will turnaround given a chance,'' Ganguly said.

2.6 tons of cocaine recovered on Liberian ship

Liberian officials have a good catch, it is the country's largest ever drug seizure. Officials found 2.6 tons of cocaine hidden in barrels after intercepting a ship off the Liberian coast.

The crew of a French naval vessel saw people on board the ship, the Blue Atlantic, throwing barrels overboard when they went to intercept it late Thursday.
The ship was towed to port and authorities eventually recovered 92 barrels from the ship and the sea containing a total of 2.65 tons of cocaine.

"It's huge. If this had hit the Liberian market, it would have destroyed the entire country," Monrovia Port Security Chief Ashford Pearl said.
With cocaine prices in Europe now double those in the United States, drug smugglers in South America are increasingly ferrying cocaine to West Africa, from where it is parceled out to hundreds of individual traffickers who carry it north, especially via Spain.
Wholesale prices for the drug are 18,000 dollars per pound in Spain and almost 32,000 dollars per pound in Norway, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. At those rates, the estimated wholesale value of the haul would be 95 million dollars in Spain and 169 million dollars in Norway.

Pearl said the nine members of the crew of the Blue Atlantic were Ghanaian. They have been turned over to Liberian police.
"It wasn't in Liberian waters, but they towed it to Liberia because the ship was flying the flag of Liberia," said Pearl.


Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday snubs Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss who had advised him not to smoke in public .

The Superstar had recently said in an interview that he did not like anyone telling him what to do and what not to.
"I do not endorse smoking and I do not like anyone telling me personally what to do and what not to do," Khan said in an interview to a private news channel.
Defending smoking scenes on the screen, the actor contended that the depiction of such habits are just a part of the characters.

I want to tell on behalf of every actor, director and producer that anything negative in movies like, fighting, firing, smoking, drinking and rapes are not for their glorification, but they are a part of characters. Films can't be all about good things or god and goddess," he said.
The actor advocated, "There should not be a blanket ban on anything. But yes you have to be responsible about what you show in your films. And I can say with pride that with 17 years and 60 films I have been one of the most responsible actor as far as what kind of the entertainment I am giving to the country."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

NASA Says, ‘Hello, Universe. Meet the Beatles.’

If you’re out there in deep space, you’ll want to be tuning in at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Feb. 4 (plus however long it takes electromagnetic radiation to reach you from Earth doing the 186,000-miles-a-second speed limit).

That’s when NASA will be celebratrating the 50th anniversary of its first space mission — the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite — by using the system of huge antennas that usually listen for inbound signals from space to send one outbound instead: the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe,” which as it happens was mostly recorded exactly 40 years earlier, on Feb. 4, 1968.

Reception will be best in the general direction of Polaris, 431 lightyears away, which is where NASA is aiming the signal. (That would be the North Star to us laymen.)

But it ought to be audible in plenty of places on Earth as well, at least by imitation: NASA is encouraging space fans and Beatle fans alike to play the song themselves at the same time.

The event also commemorates the 45th anniversary of the creation of the antenna system, the Deep Space Network, which NASA uses to explore space at one remove by listening to the electromagnetic radiation coming our way from Out There; the system also comes in handy for picking up data sent by space probes we have dispatched to the planets and beyond over the years.


Saif Ali Khan has solemnised his affections for Kareena Kapoor in an unexpected way. He has got her name tattooed on his arm.

Admitting for the first time to the permanent love mark, Saif said, "Yes, I've tattooed her name. It's on my forearm. And very visible to the world."

According to friends of both, he has never been more committed in a relationship. Marriage is definitely on the cards.

A close friend said: "There's a kind of fierce and single-minded determination in Saif to make this relationship work for keeps. And it isn't a defiant determination to disprove the cynics who say it won't last. Saif doesn't give a damn about what people say. He has always gone by his gut feelings, regardless of others.
Kareena and Saif then brought in the New Year in Hong Kong with Saif's two children.

Now shooting in Greece for Yash Raj Films' ‘Tashan’, Saif and Kareena spend as much time together as possible, oblivious to all around, though they don't have too many scenes together in the film.


Australian fans showed no let up in their hostility towards Muttiah Muralitharan and a group of fans threw an egg on the Sri Lankan spin wizard's face in Hobart.

"An egg was thrown at Muralitharan and it struck him", said a top Sri Lankan cricket official, adding that the authorities were looking into the incident that happened on Friday night.
The Sri Lankans are in Australia to play a tri-nation ODI series which also involves India.
The Island Newspaper reported that Sri Lankan cricketers, including Muralitharan, were jeered and attacked by some local residents in Hobart when they were returning to their hotel after dinner on Friday night.

"The Sri Lanka team management had then taken action to safely guide the players back to their hotel and the police arrived at the scene," the Newspaper said.
The off spinner has had a history of hostility with the Australian spectators, who have jeered him on previous tours, forcing him to stop going Down Under for some time

Muralitharan was no-balled by Aussie umpires and the bowler had to undergo laboratory tests to prove the legality of his bowling action.


Country's largest software exporter TCS plans a 1.5 per cent cut in salaries of its over one lakh employees in the fourth quarter, as it fell short of certain financial targets.

Currently, the company offers a two tier pay package consisting 70 per cent fixed and 30 per cent variable pay. The variable has two components -- company and individual performance. The company's Economic Value Added (EVA) for the third quarter was slightly short of target, which has forced it to cut down the salaries, TCS General Manager (Corporate Communications) Pradipta Bagchi said. "The cut down is just a small adjustment as against the total compensation paid by the company before starting of the third quarter,” he said, adding that a combination of various factors including rupee appreciation led to shortfall in the target. Rupee has appreciated about 14 per cent against the US dollar in the last one year.

TCS has about 1,08,229 employees and posted a 19 per cent net profit during the third quarter at Rs 1,327 crore. EVA is the difference between net profit and the cost of capital. According to reports, the EVA-based variable payout for the company stood at Rs 293 crore for the quarter. The actual variable payout, made in advance, based on expected EVA amounts to Rs 376 crore. The advance payment that has to be adjusted amounts to Rs 83 crore which will be recovered during Q4 from the employees.

Microsoft and Yahoo: Will Your Favorite Service Disappear?

While the marriage of Microsoft and Yahoo may make sense for the online advertising fortunes of both companies, what's to become of all the services the two companies have in common?
If you've gotten used to Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, or Yahoo Groups, you have to be wondering if those would go away or become MSN services with a Microsoft acquisition. Will Yahoo's Messenger instant messaging, for instance, vanish and become part of MSN Messenger IM?

There are many more examples of Yahoo services that overlap with Microsoft services, including Yahoo News, Mail, Maps, Mobile, Shopping, and Travel. Some of Yahoo's acquired properties may be considered overlaps, too--sites likethe Flickr photo siteand theMusicMatchsite. The list of services goes on and on--both companies have nurtured massive internet portals with tons of separate services.

Analysts , says Microsoft should think twice before shutting down or slapping an MSN label on the Yahoo services. "In general, I think Microsoft would be well advised to keep the Yahoo brand, and merge their media properties--i.e.,MSNand theWindows Live services--into Yahoo." "That's because Yahoo is a stronger brand in the media world, and also their services are, for the most part, bigger than Microsoft's," Weide explains.
The truth is, nobody really knows what Microsoft would do with all the Yahoo services if an acquisition takes place.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bihar boost to Hillary?

US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton might consider taking litti-chokha lessons to appease her Bihar brothers if she wishes to avoid a repeat of January 26 South Carolina shocker.
It seems that campaign managers of Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have approached Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and senior JD(U) MP Digvijay Singh to canvass for the presidential polls among the Indians settled in the United States.
Though none of the two candidates received any formal invite, Digvijay Singh said: “We may go to the USA to drum up support for Hillary Clinton. The campaign executives for the Democratic Party nominee approached us. We have all the sympathy for the party.”
The Bihar chief minister, however, would be too busy to make the trip to the USA after all. “Digvijay Singh who is also an expert on the foreign affairs may go,” Nitish Kumar said, adding: “We support the Democratic Party presidential nominee.”
On February 5 the two candidates — Hillary and Barack Obama — go for the Super Tuesday battle where 22 states would be out to vote for their candidates. Among the 22, New York and New Jersey are the key states and have a sizeable population of Indians — many of them from Bihar — whose votes can be crucial in deciding the fate of the candidates in the fray.
Few days back, Hillary was trounced by 28 points by Barack Obama who won 55 per cent of the votes in a landslide victory in South Carolina, which makes him a favourite for the Super Tuesday battle.

PS3 Version of Devil May Cry 4 Tops Xbox 360

According to reports out of Japan, the Sony PS3 version of Capcom’s Devil May Cry 4 is performing far better than the Xbox 360 version. The reports are that the PS3 version of Devil May Cry 4 is outselling the Xbox 360 version at a rate of 5 to 1.
The sales report coming out of Japan is that the first day of sales for Devil May Cry 4 was mainly made up of PS3 software sales.
The PS3 version outsold the Xbox 360 version of Devil May Cry 4 at a rate of 5 to 1.
The PS3 version sold 140,000 units in Japan compared to the Xbox 360 version, which only sold 30,000 copies.
It is going to be very interesting when the game launches in North America and Europe, as it should be curious to see how the Xbox 360 and PS3 sales compare there.
The game for the Xbox 360 in North American and Japan will be cheaper at retail than the PS3 version, and traditionally, games which launch on the Xbox 360 and PS3 tend to sell better on the Xbox 360 in North America.
Either way, right now in Japan it is the PS3 version of Devil May Cry 4 that has taken the early lead.

Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion

Technology giant Microsoft Corp said on Friday that it had offered to acquire Internet media company Yahoo Inc for $44.6 billion in cash and stock.
Microsoft said it had offered to buy Yahoo for $31 per share, which it said represented a 62 percent premium above the company's closing stock price on Nasdaq on Thursday.
"We have great respect for Yahoo, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market," Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

Yahoo was not immediately available for comment.
Microsoft said it had identified four areas that would generate at least $1 billion in annual synergies for the combined entity.
Yahoo shares rose 56 percent to $29.95 in premarket trading on Friday following the announcement. U.S. stock index futures also jumped after the news was released.

Indians crushed and mauled

Indians were humiliated, decimated and tumbled like humpty dumpty against mediocre Australian attack in T20 match in melbourne.

These youngsters buckled and crumbled like mash potatoes. The youngsters are no match for the Aussies and on this performance will lose every match from here on.

It was so silly of BCCI to have sent its seniors back home and they may have to call Ganguly and dravid back.Dhoni and his eleven were taken to cleaners as the dhobis would do them in India.