Friday, June 27, 2008

Roddick ousted by a brave Tipsaravic

Another historically bad day for American tennis ended with Andy Roddick demonstrating much better touch in the Wimbledon interview room than he had on Centre Court, where he was eliminated in the second round by Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
But it was hardly a day worth bemoaning for all those with American tennis connections. Alla Kudryavtseva, an outspoken Russian who trains in Florida with an American coach, burst into the light in dramatic fashion by upsetting third-seeded Maria Sharapova, 6-2, 6-4, in their second-round encounter.
Holding a match point has been no guarantee of a major upset at the All England Club this year. Ana Ivanovic, the No. 1 women's seed, saved two on Wednesday before defeating the French veteran Nathalie Dechy. But there would be no reprieve for Sharapova, who played tentatively in the earliest defeat of her career at Wimbledon.
Like Sharapova, Kudryavtseva is a Russian blonde in her early 20s with a two-handed backhand and connections to the United States. But unlike Sharapova, one of the world's most recognizable athletes, the 20-year-old Kudryavtseva was ranked just 154th before Wimbledon and had earned less than $400,000 in her career, less than a quarter of what the 21-year-old Sharapova has earned this season alone.
But in tennis, you have to keep proving yourself every round, and the Wimbledon title that Sharapova won in 2004 at 17 or the Australian Open championship she won in such convincing fashion in January were of no help to her Thursday. Instead, she failed to control the shots and nerves that have helped make her into a self-described "global brand."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Inflation breaches double digit, on a 13 year high of 11.05%

Inflation has risen to a 13-year high of 11.05% for the week ending on June 7, 2008. This rise mainly due to crude oil prices rising by 7.8% with diesel increasing by 21%, petrol prices growing by 11% and LPG by 20%. Prices of soyabean, pulses have increased closed to 2-3%. RBI is expected to increase the CRR, Repo rate. This means, the banks would increase the interest rates as they are the worst hit due to the huge spike in inflation.
The Indian GDP growth is expected to slow down from the present 9% to about 6.5-7%. This comes as a huge shock to both the Indian public as well as the UPA government. But analysts say that the inflation could moderate on a fall in food prices, led by a good monsoon. The inflation could cool to 6-6.5% by year end.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Umpire referrals, Is it the move in the right direction?

Many who witnessed the second test between India and Australia in Sydney, early this year, would welcome the decision to introduce umpire referrals.The ICC has decided to use this summer's Test series between Sri Lanka and India as an experiment to see if the referral system works on the field.With this system, each side will have three referrals per innings where the fielding captain or a batsman can ask for a decision made by the umpire to be subject to a television review. This may sound like a good way to integrate technology with the sport.

But many in the cricketing fraternity believe,this may make the role of an umpire redundant. Its all right, to bring more clarity into the umpire's decision, but it could take away the eternal charm of the game.

Present Cricketeres like, Indian opening batsman,Gautam Gambir and Sri Lankan Captain Mahela Jayawardane have welcomed this move. They do have point in supporting it. After all,they are the ones who suffer because of certain poor decisions by the umpires. Due to the referral sysytem,there will be less pressure on the umpires too.

The great umpiring legend, Dickie Bird, lambasts the decision sayin thinking umpires will no longer exists.He also feels compromising with the sole authority figure on the field will lead to confusion, and that the latest decision is a direct fallout of the umpiring controversies in the last India-Australia Test series Down Under a few months back.

So, the latest decision by the ICC, leads to a long drawn debate, which has its own advantages compromising on the beauty and the great tradition of the game,i.e, "Umpire's word is final".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whats all about the big deal ?

The UPA government appears to have made up its mind on signing the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, even as the Left parties continue to stick to their original position.Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the last few days point towards the government’s renewed resolve to go ahead with the controversial deal.But the Left parties are stuborn in their position to not let the deal go throgh. So, what's the big deal about this Indo-US nuclear deal ?

The deal ended India's isolation among many nuclear capable states like USA,Germany, China and France.It also ended the over four decades-old American sanctions slapped on India after its first nuclear tests in 1974. Agreement also means that the hurdles faced by India in procuring nuclear technology and fuel have been removed for good. Moreover, all other current restrictions on India's access to America's high and dual technologies will also be withdrawn as a result.India will be able to build more nuclear power plants. At present it has 15 functional plants with an additional seven under construction.

Delhi thinks that the nuclear energy is the answer to its ever-growing needs for power. With this deal India will not have to depend totally on foreign oil and gas for its increasing energy needs.In a way the American acceptance of the Indian nuclear position is a reward to India for its consistent defiance and refusal to join the NPT. In contrast, the US is adamant to deny nuclear power to Iran which is not only a signatory to the NPT but has also signed an additional protocol which provides more transparency to Tehran's nuclear activities.US wants to engage India in its global schemes. India is already a military partner of the US. Since 2001 it has carried out 35 joint military exercises at sea, land and air, both in the US and in India.

The withdrawal of sanctions against Delhi will help India in many ways. It will open the gates for Indo-US cooperation in lucrative space research and scientific cooperation in many fields which are currently barred to Indians. The US has refused to offer a similar deal to Pakistan. India, Washington says, has demonstrated that it is a responsible nuclear power. Pakistan, on the other hand, is accused of helping nuclear proliferation.

So, this is all the reasons why, India and UPA is very adamant in this deal. Readers should also weigh the deal and ask themselves which side of the coin they support. I, for one will definetely support the deal, no matter what the Left and the BJP say. If this deal do not go through, then it will be very difficult to meet our energy needs in the future.

MCC gives green signal for switch shots

Will Kevin Pietersen attempt to repeat his remarkable switch-hitting feats of the weekend in today's second NatWest Series match against New Zealand, or will England's finest batsman stick to rather more orthodox methods?
The Marylebone Cricket Club, guardians of the Laws of Cricket, yesterday encouraged Pietersen to continue playing shots as audacious as those at Chester-le-Street on Sunday, when he twice switched from his usual right-handed stance to that of a left-hander and smashed Scott Styris for six.Around 20,000 spectators will arrive at Edgbaston today expecting a repeat performance and, as we all know, Pietersen does like to put on a show. He could, however, deliberately leave them wanting for more. Whatever Pietersen chooses to do, he has the crowd where he wants them, in the palm of his right, or possibly left, hand.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ozone trouble to India

The closing down of Antarctic ozone hole in the second half of this century will spell trouble for the rest of the globe, a recent study led by scientists from Columbia University has hinted. Countries like India could be especially vulnerable. The closing of the hole will intensify climate change near the equator. The finding is in contrast to the observations made by the report of the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Earth’s ozone layer is in the lower stratosphere, which is just above the troposphere (from the planet’s surface to a height of about 12 km). It absorbs harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Studies in the past few years found that ozone depletion has largely halted and is expected to completely reverse. As a consequence, the climate in the southern hemisphere may change, affecting climate elsewhere.The IPCC models predict that this effect will continue, albeit at a slower pace. In contrast, the latest study predicts that, as a consequence of ozone recovery — a factor largely ignored by the IPCC models — the tropospheric winds in the southern hemisphere may actually decelerate in the high latitudes and move toward the equator, potentially reversing the direction of climate change in that hemisphere. The effects will be felt the most by countries close to the equator. India, naturally, could be affect

Monday, June 09, 2008

King of clay !!!!

It was Rafael Nadal all the way in this year's French Open. Nobody dared to stop him including the legendary Roger Federer. Infact, Rafa didnot lose even a single set throghout the championships. The usually suave and flawless Federer was made to sweat it out for each point. Rafael Nadal's forehand cross courts had to answer from the Swiss master. Federer lost his first sevice game to Nadal and from then he just went down without a fight. This perhaps is the worst performance by Federer in any finals till date. He was totally dominated by the Spanish teenager who played near perfect tennis in his favourite surface. Nadal's tennis against both Djokovic and Federer was at its best and on sunday once again proved who is the "King of Clay!!!"

Coming back to Federer, he has been out of sorts throughout the French open struggling to beat French rokkie Monfils in the Semi-Final. With that kind of form, his probability of winning or atleast putting up a good show against Nadal was miniscule. His win-loss ratio this year is a pathetic 32-9. He has been troubled by a virus throghout this season and maybe thats why he is not at his best. Anyway, the caravan now moves to the Wimbledon, Federer's favourite surface and lets see how he shapes up there. For, Nadal, though he has dominated everyone in clay, he has not been effective in both grass and in hard court surfaces. Many believe he has the talent to win grand slams outside Paris and that itself is enough of a challenge for the spaniard. Only thing is that, he has "King of Grass" Fedex to be contented with.

French Open 2008:

Men's Champion: Rafael Nadal.

Women's Champion: Ana Ivanovic.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Aamir Khan lauds Sachin's acumen

Actor-director Aamir Khan, who is leaving no stone unturned to give his nephew Imraan Khan a grand launch with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is awe struck by the genius called Sachin Tendulkar.He believes and writes in his blog that Sachin is the greatest player he has ever met.

At the final Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings held in Mumbai Sunday, Aamir was seated next to Sachin. "The match was certainly exciting but what made it a unique experience for me was that I had Sachin next to me," Aamir wrote in his latest blog entry.The actor is totally in awe of Sachin, who, according to Aamir was able to predict every ball before it was bowled."'He is going to bowl a bouncer next', 'This one is going to be a slower one', 'Full tilt outside the off stump', 'Next one will be a yorker', 'short of length' - it was uncanny. He got it right each time. No wonder it's so difficult to bowl to him. He has an amazing instinct," Aamir wroteApparently, Sachin also shared his logic for each prediction with Aamir. "I won't share it (the logic) with you as I don't want to reveal how his mind works. But all of us were dumbfounded with his instinct and his acumen. So at the end of it I told him next time we watch a film together, I'm going to tell him what is going to happen next!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Petrol,diesel to be Rs.5 and Rs.3 dearer

The Petroleum ministry of India has hiked the prices of petrol and diesel to about Rs.5 and Rs.3 respectively.This was conveyed by Petroleum Minister MR.Murali Deora.Customs duty on crude has been reduced to nil from 5%. The duty cuts would amount to Rs 22,660 crore in revenue loss, the Revenue Secretary said.
The Cabinet has decidedly approved the fuel price hike, said Murli Deora, Petroleum Minister.The LPG also has been hiked by around Rs.50 per cylinder.

Obama wins Democratic Presidential nomination

US Senator Barack Obama won enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination for president, according to US media projections.
'Our contest has finally come to an end', Mr Obama said in a victory speech in St Paul, Minnesota.
He will be the first major party African-American nominee in that country's history.The projection came just moments after polls closed in South Dakota. While Senator Hillary Clinton won in that high plains state, Mr Obama received a share of the delegates he needed to put him over the top.

Mr Obama's victory celebration took place in the same Minnesota arena where the Republicans will hold their convention this September

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Asif detained in Dubai for allegedly carrying drugs

In a sensational turn of events, Pakistani pacer Mohd Asif has been detained at the Dubai International airport for allegedly carrying drugs in his luggage. The pacer, who was on his way back to Pakistan after a stint in the Indian Premier League, was detained on Sunday. Due to the hectic efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), he is due to appear before a magistrate today in Dubai and is expected to be granted bail.

It is the second drug scandal involving Asif, who along with Shoaib Akhtar, tested positive for banned anabolic steroids before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. They were initially banned for two years by a drugs inquiry tribunal but later the ban was removed on appeal by an appellate tribunal formed by the PCB. As expected no official of the board was willing to come on record on the issue. Ironically Asif was picked in the Pakistan squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh this month on Monday.

Move over IPL !!! Time for some movies !!!!

With curtains on the IPL cricket tournament, Bollywood is all set to regain its title of the king of entertainment as a slew of big-budget movies are slated for release.
Major releases were held back as the 44-day-cricket tournament grabbed all the eyeballs giving Bollywood a run for its money.
While the main attraction in June will be Ram Gopal Verma's 'Sarkar Raj', July will see the clash of debutants Harman Baweja and Imram Khan in 'Love Story 2050' and 'Jaane Tu...' respectively on July 4, followed by Apoorva Lakhia's 'Mission Istanbul' on July 11.
'Sarkar Raj' has Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek and daughter-in law Aishwarya sharing the same frame, 'Love Stoy 2050' is a sci-fi with liberal doses of romance thrown in.
Noted actor Aamir Khan will launch his nephew Imran Khan in his home production 'Jaane Tu...', 'Mission Istanbul' is another multi-starrer thriller.
Also, it is 'Drona' and 'God Tussi Great Ho' that are being keenly awaited by movie buffs.
Eros International will be releasing Salman Khan-starrer "God Tussi Great Ho" and Abhishek Bachchan starrer "Drona" on August 15 and October two respectively.
'Drona', replete with visual effects and directed by Goldie Behl, will release during the weekend that has holidays on the occasion of Id and Gandhi Jayanti. Apart from Abhishek, "Drona" stars Priyanka Chopra, Jaya Bachchan and K K Menon.
Now in post-production stages, 'Drona' is a contemporary fantasy fable, Behl said. "Drona is a compelling modern tale of one man's spectacular voyage and a journey that will force him to face his fears and make him the hero he was born to become, he said.