Eye On BMC Polls, Political Leverage Over Chhat To Gather Votes
- With an eye on north Indian votes in the megalopolis which can tilt scales in upcoming high-stakes BMC polls, various political parties are trying to leverage the forthcoming Chhat festival, mainly celebrated by people from Bihar. While city unit of ruling BJP has organised Chhat puja at various places, Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which thrives on the sons-of-soil agenda, feels the saffron party was trying to "woo" outsiders ahead of BMC polls through the festival.
- Country's richest civic body the Brihanumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been ruled by Sena, with BJP as a junior partner. The 2017 BMC polls are crucial for Sena, which is facing aggressive BJP on its home turf. Mumbai BJP is actively involved in organising Chhat Puja at around a dozen locations including popular Juhu beach. "BJP is holding Chhat puja to attract 'outsiders'", an MNS leader said, in a veiled reference to north Indian voters in Mumbai.
England Will Struggle In India : Rhodes
- Former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes, who has plied his trade here both as a cricketer and a coach, feels England will find it difficult to cope with the Indian conditions during the upcoming Test series. The visiting English side will play five Tests against India, starting with the first match in Rajkot from November 9. Besides the five-day games, the long tour will also feature three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals. "It's going to be tough for England. Being in India for five Tests is going to be physically and mentally very demanding because you are in a situation where conditions are not comfortable to you and it puts you under a bit more pressure," said Rhodes, who has been the fielding coach of the IPL side Mumbai Indians for long.
- "If you are in a three-Test series, you kind of can get in and get out but it is going to be tough in a five-match series," he added. Rhodes, who is here as a mentor of Indian Junior Players League (IJPL) T20 tournament -- a cricket talent hunt, feels T20 cricket is not just entertainment and the shortest format of the game has produced some serious skillful cricketers, like India Test captain Virat Kohli. "What T20 cricket has done is that there is no longer a case between bat and ball. The skill level of players have improved tremendously. Players are playing shots all around the ground," the South African fielding legend said. "Bowlers now have to adapt. They can't just bowl reverse swinging yorkers. You need to bowl the slower ball, slower ball bouncers, different kind of cutters.
- It"s all about adapting the skills as quickly as possible," he added. The 47-year-old, who has played 52 Tests and 245 ODIs for South Africa, further said: "I don't think it's just a batters game. I have seen enough T20 cricket in my time to know that if you have good enough skills you can be successful. "Every one thought that spin bowlers will never compete and dominate in T20 cricket but often they are ones who are on top. It's a game that requires a bit of skill and great intensity."
- Talking about fielding skills, Rhodes said : "In our time, I was the number one fielder because there was no number 2 or 3 but now you have got youngsters throwing themselves around. So the standard of the game has certainly improved and T20 cricket has done that. People were critical of T20 cricket, saying that it is not real cricket but it brings young players who are the future generation of your Test teams". "It makes Virat Kohlis. Limited overs players have done well and made name for themselves and T20 cricket has helped them convert into very good Test players". (PTI)
Indian Face China In Asian Champions Trophy Final
- Indian face China in Asian Champions Trophy final Singapore: India today tasted their first defeat in the 4th Women's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament here as they went down fighting 2-3 against China in their final league encounter and will take on the same opponents in the summit clash tomorrow. The match was a pulsating one with both teams pushing each other to their limit. However, in the end it was China who scored the winning goal with just two minutes left for the match to end.
- The win put China on top of the table with nine points, pushing India to second spot with seven points, followed by Japan, Korea and Malaysia. The two sides again face each other in the summit clash tomorrow, starting at 5:00 pm IST. Both teams started strong and displayed some skillful hockey to enthrall the Singapore crowd that turned up in large numbers. The Indians were unlucky in their two attempts from the penalty corner and both teams went into the first half in a stalemate.
No Threat To India-Eng Series : ECB Spokesperson
- The upcoming Test series between India and England, starting next week, is very much on and there was no threat to the contest due to any financial constraints of the BCCI, an ECB spokesman assured today. It had been reported that BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke has written a letter to England and Wales Cricket Board, asking the ECB to arrange for the expenses of its players in India since the Indian Board cannot carry out financial transactions. "We are already in India, there is no change to any plans and we are looking forward to the series against India," an ECB spokesperson told PTI.
- Shirke had approached the Lodha Panel, seeking directions since the home Board makes all the arrangements and payments for the visiting team during a bilateral series. The Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee had replied that the proposed MoU between the ECB and the BCCI is not a part of the mandate and no directions can be issued on payments unless details are furnished. The Lodha Panel also stated that as far as payments are concerned, if they are to be made directly by the BCCI, no directions can be given by the Committee until relevant details are furnished by the BCCI. (PTI) Spotlight