The Haryana Assembly Monday witnessed an hour-long ruckus during the Zero Hour when Speaker Kanwar Pal disallowed INLD’s adjournment motion on the SYL canal issue, following which the opposition members staged a symbolic walkout from the House. As soon as the Zero Hour began, INLD’s senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, sought to know from the Speaker the fate of his party’s adjournment motion moved over non-completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal. However, the Speaker disallowed the motion, saying “the matter is sub-judice and therefore, cannot be taken up in the Assembly for debate.” Dissatisfied with his reply, Mr. Chautala said, “There is no issue concerning SYL which is pending before courts.” Congress’ Karan Singh Dalal said, “Employees of various departments are protesting on the streets, but the government has invoked ESMA to crush their democratic right to protest.” Mr. Chautala also made a mention of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), saying “it has been invoked to create fear among employees so that they do not raise their voice in the future”. “How can this (SYL) be disallowed…there is nothing pending before court. Is SYL issue not important? Should it not be discussed in the House. First and foremost, this issue should be taken up,” Mr. Chautala said.Slogans against govt. Later, the Indian National Lok Dal members raised slogans against government. The Congress MLAs raised slogans and dubbed the government as “anti-farmers, anti-traders and anti-employees“. As the ruckus in the House continued, the INLD members staged a symbolic walkout to protest their adjournment motion on SYL being disallowed.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday said they will badly miss “street-smart” Praveen Kumar in the upcoming World Cup as the pacer has been ruled out of cricket’s showpiece event due to an elbow injury.Praveen, who has been a vital cog in India’s ODI scheme of things for a little over three years and was certain in India’s seam attack in the World Cup, was ruled out on Monday after failing to recover from an elbow injury which he sustained during the South Africa tour.”It is very unfortunate that Praveen had to miss the World Cup. He featured consistently in the ODIs for us. He is a street-smart cricketer and he will miss him a lot,” Dhoni said during a pre-tournament press conference in Bangalore.”But you can’t really restrict injuries from happening to players,” he added.Without mentioning the names, he also indicated that Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar all have recovered from their injuries and will be totally fit by the time India play their tournament-opener against Bangladesh in Dhaka on February 19.”A few players are suffering from slight niggles, which is always there but nothing serious. Hopefully, nothing major happens to any player,” the skipper said.The World Cup has come in for its share of criticism from some quarters for its length which spans around 45 days, but Dhoni reiterated that a perfect scheduling is always difficult to churn out and the rest period between matches will help the players to recover from their niggles.advertisement”As I have said earlier it is very difficult to form a perfect schedule and format. A tournament schedule will be either too long or too short but I am quite happy with the schedule. It will give us time to recover from small niggles,” he insisted.Dhoni also reiterated that pressure for his side is added responsibility and will not be a deterrent in their World Cup quest after 28 long years.”It (pressure) is an added responsibility. Whenever you play for India there is always pressure. But the good thing is that we have a very experienced team. Most of the guys have been there for 5-7 years and know how to handle pressure. We have some talented youngsters who can change the course of any game,” he said.Asked about the heavy burden of responsibility on his own shoulders in the tournament, the wicket-keeper batsman said, “I have been doing it for the last four-and-a-half, five years.”He refused to give importance to the fact that the World Cup is being held at home after 15 years and said the event is just any other tournament for the Indian team.”There is a lot of hype and expectation around the World Cup. But every series we have played so far there is always lot of expectation. Expectations will always be there but we need to consider it just as a big tournament,” Dhoni said.The Indian skipper said to taste success in the World Cup what India need is right strategies and not worry about other factors. Sachin TendulkarAsked whether the team had special feeling for the tournament, which expectedly is coach Gary Kirsten’s last assignment with the Indian cricket team and also swansong World Cup for batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, the skipper replied in the negative.”Feel is the same irrespective of what is the position. We are concentrating on our preparation rather than thinking about other things. We are quite good at distracting ourselves from all issues,” Dhoni said.He also said that as of now all the 12 countries have equal chances but as the tournament progresses the sub-continent teams will have an edge because of the climatic conditions.”It is cooler now but as we come to the middle of the tournament it will be hotter,” he added.With four formidable and three not-so-strong teams featuring in both the pools, many are of the view that the real excitement and competitiveness in the World Cup will start only from the quarterfinals but the India captain feels otherwise.”For us the World Cup will start from game one and not quarter-finals. Many are saying that group matches will be boring but these small (teams) surprised in the 2007 World Cup. So wait and watch what they can do,” Dhoni said.Asked about potential threat for India, he refused to pinpoint any country and said all the teams will approach tournament with a positive frame of mind.”All the teams are dangerous. As a team it is always better to back your strength. I think most of the teams will go with a strong bowling attack,” Dhoni said.advertisementTerming himself a big fan of ODI cricket, Dhoni said powerplay is a thing to watch out for in the World Cup.”I am a big fan of 50-over cricket. It is a mix of Test cricket and T20. You see glimpses of both Test and T20 in ODIs. I love ODIs but it doesn’t mean I don’t like Test or T20.”With PTI inputs
Which is the oldest trophy in sport? Football’s FA Cup, of course. Which is the most expensive sport in the world? Formula One, but naturally. In which sport do big money, big egos and big mouths collide in a constant clamour? Heavyweight boxing, without a doubt. Wrong every time.It is,Which is the oldest trophy in sport? Football’s FA Cup, of course. Which is the most expensive sport in the world? Formula One, but naturally. In which sport do big money, big egos and big mouths collide in a constant clamour? Heavyweight boxing, without a doubt. Wrong every time.It is yachting’s America’s Cup, which began in 1851, 20 years before the FA Cup. It is still going even though no one but the Americans won for 132 years. Right now it is being sailed off the coast of Spain between a yacht from New Zealand, a country of naturally nautical islanders, and another from Switzerland, a country surrounded by land on all sides.Among those who have actually raced in this ultraprestigious event are media magnate Ted Turner and software tycoon Larry Ellison. The leader of the champion Swiss team is a biotech billionaire named Ernesto Bertarelli. The collective budget for teams competing in the America’s Cup crosses $500 million without sneezing.The Cup could have turned into an event meant only for the monstrously rich and the chronically famous. For mad billionaires willing to gamble away their moolah for extra cred at the home yacht club. In any case, the sport is also extremely spectator and TV-unfriendly. But still the lure of America’s Cup is growing. Olympic medallists vie to make it to competing syndicates even though one NBA player’s salary can pay for an entire Cup team. Boats are covered with the logos of big-ticket sponsors and mounted with cameras and mikes that fill TV screen with sea spray and the swearing of sailors.advertisementThe challenger races for the right to meet defending Swiss yacht Alinghi included first-time teams from South Africa and China. The New Zealand Government has put in $26 million in the 2007 challenge, after Bertarelli signed up leading Kiwi yachtsmen and went on to win the Cup for the Swiss in 2003. The venue for the Cup defence was open to bidding, and already the turnstiles at the racing dock in Valencia, Spain, have registered five million entries. The port city has been revitalised. Bertarelli, despised by many for competing with his cheque book, says he wants to make the Cup self-sustaining and not dependant on the deep pockets of a few.Everyone opposing Formula One in India should take a cue from what is happening out at sea in Spain. Behind every extravagant sporting event, lies an opportunity.
Suspended India all-rounder Hardik Pandya was on Saturday spotted at the Mumbai airport along with his elder brother Krunal.Hardik is back home in India after being suspended and called back from the tour of Australia following his sexist comments against women on the TV show Koffee with Karan.He had appeared on the show with teammates KL Rahul, who was also suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), pending an inquiry. Both players missed the three-ODI series against Australia, which India won on Friday night, and are also set to miss out on the limited-overs series in New Zealand later this month. Hardik Pandya’s father had said his son was not taking calls and avoiding leaving the house since returning home (Yogen Shah Photo)Hardik’s father had earlier stated that his son is keeping a low profile and not leaving the house and has even stopped taking calls after returning to India.Himanshu, Hardik’s father, also said that his son was very disappointed with the comments that he made on Karan Johar’s talk show but added that the family has not brought the topic up at home: “We have decided not to talk to him on this subject. Even his elder brother Krunal has not discussed anything about the episode with him. We are waiting for the BCCI’s decision.” Hardik didn’t pose for the pictures but just walked past the paparazzi at the Mumbai airport (Yogen Shah Photo)Indian cricket administrators recalled all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul from a tour of Australia and charged them with misconduct and indiscipline after remarks condemned on social media as sexist, racist and misogynist.advertisementA committee of administrators (COA) that is running Indian cricket this week asked the top court to appoint an ombudsman to investigate the case and punish the cricketers if they were found to have brought disrepute to the game.The court will provide directions on the next steps at its hearing next week, a cricket official said.However, the fact that the court put off a hearing on the matter until next week, prolonging the players’ uncertainty, fuelled criticism that they were being judged too harshly.”People make mistakes, let’s not go too far here. I am sure, .. whoever has done it will realise and come out a better person,” former Indian Test captain Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying.The show went viral, prompting such fury on social media that some demanded a life ban, while others called for the cricketers’ lucrative contracts for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be torn up.Hardik has already lost an endorsement contract with Gillette while Mumbai’s Khar Gymkhana, a reputed sports club, has also revoked his honorary three-year membership.”Our 4000 member strong social media handle has received a lot of outcry against Hardik Pandya and his comments. They, particularly the women members wanted the club to take some action and be pro active. So in our managing committee meeting, we decided to revoke the three year membership we had given him last October,” Gaurav Kapadia, Khar Gymkhana Gen Secretary told India Today.Khar Gymkhana has awarded honarary club membership to reputed sportsmen from Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal amongst others in the past.Also Read | How Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul got into trouble for Koffee with Karan: A timelineAlso Read | Hardik, Rahul suspended for Koffee with Karan controversy: What lies ahead for the two?Also Read | Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul tender unconditional apology to BCCI’s show cause notice