Coach of the seasonThe Absa Premiership Coach of the Season award, not surprisingly, went to SuperSport United’s Gavin Hunt who, despite losing a number of players from his title-winning side of last season, led Matsatsantsa to their third league title in succession. Referee of the SeasonBuyile Gqubule – winner – R50 000Jerome DamonDaniel Bennett He was up against Katlego Mphela and Elias Pelembe, both of Mamelodi Sundowns, for the title, which was voted on by the coaches of the 16 PSL clubs. They unanimously agreed that Gould was choice. It was worth R250 000 to the defender. MTN8 Player of the TournamentNjabulo Manqana – winner – R150 000Dispy SelolwaneRichard Henyekane 24 May 2010 Goal of the seasonThe Absa-lutley Awesome Goal of the Season went to Maritzburg United’s Namibian international Rudolf Bester for his strike against Kaizer Chiefs on 12 September last year. Katlego Mphela picked up a second award, one which he had long ago secured when he finished as the top goalscorer in the PSL: the Absa Premiership Top Goalscorer. Telkom Knockout Player of the TournamentArthur Baartman – winner – R200 000Mandla MasangoDipsey Selolwane Golden Arrows won their first silverware when they crushed Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in the final of the MTN 8 and thus it was not a surprise when one of Arrows’ players won the MTN8 Player of the Tournament Award, with Njabulo Manqana receiving it. Absa Premiership Coach of the SeasonGavin Hunt – winner – R75 000Boebie SolomonsHristo Stoichkov SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould was named South Africa’s Premier Soccer League Player of the Year at a function at the State Theatre in Pretoria on Sunday evening. ‘Extremely happy’“It was an extremely challenging season, but I’m extremely happy at what we have achieved on and off the field.” Another player from SuperSport United, Daine Klate, picked up the Absa Premiership Player of the Season award, while Mphela was named the Absa Premiership Players Player of the Season. Chairman’s AwardSuperSport United – R100 000 Nedbank Cup awardsMidfielder Matthew Pattison won another award for Sundowns when he was named the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament. Patrick Phungwayo of Nedbank Cup champions Bidvest Wits grabbed was named the tournament’s Most Promising Player. Kaizer Chiefs claimed the Telkom Knockout Cup and their goalkeeper Arthur Baartman, who plays behind Bafana Bafana incumbent Itumeleng Khune, was honoured with the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament gong. Mamelodi Sundowns captured another award when defender Siyanda Xulu was named the Absa Red Hot Young Player. PSL Player of the Year Morgan Gould – winner – R250 000Elias PelembeKatlego Mphela “Tonight is not only a celebration of player excellence, but also the achievement of the PSL this season,” PSL CEO Kjetil Siem said. Absa Premiership Player of the SeasonDaine Klate – Winner – R150 000Morgan GouldKatlego Mphela Absa-lutley Awesome Goal of the SeasonRudolf Bester – winner – R50 000Tlou SegolelaVinent Khobola After leading Orlando Pirates to the best defensive record in the league, Moneeb Josephs won the Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season. Award Winners and Nominees “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees this evening. You certainly deserve all the accolades,” he added. National First Division Top GoalscorerMulondo Sikhiwhivilu and Tebogo Masahaba – R25 000 each Assistant Referee of the SeasonGeronimo Piedt – winner – R40 000Toko MaleboEnoch Molefe Absa Red Hot Young PlayerSiyanda Xulu – winner – R50 000Andile JaliThandani Ntshumayelo SuperSport United were presented with the Chairman’s Award by PSL chairman Irvin Khoza. Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament Matthew Pattison – winner – R100 000Pere Arewariyai Patrick Phungwayo SAinfo reporter and PSL Absa Premiership Players Player of the SeasonKatlego Mphela – Winner – R150 000Elias PelembeDaine Klate Absa Premiership Top GoalscorerKatlego Mphela – winner – R50 000 Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the SeasonMoeneeb Josephs – winner – R50 000Tshepo MotsoenengEmile Baron Nedbank Cup Most Promising PlayerPatrick Phungwayo – winner – R25 000Simangeliso BiyelaNdumiso Mabena
The Johannesburg City Hall is a colonial architectural jewel in the heart of the city. It boasts a beautiful pipe organ, which was until a few years ago, the largest in the world. A wooden traveling chest with iron banding and lined with blue marbled paper which can be viewed at Groote Schuur in Cape Town. (Images: Sahris) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nicholas Wiltshire Sahris Project Manager +27 21 462 4502 RELATED ARTICLES • Trekker site gets heritage status • Africa takes charge of its heritage • Capturing our heritage on camera • New deal to protect Mapungubwe siteTiisetso TlelimaA first of its kind in the world, Sahris, the South African Heritage Resources Agency’s new online heritage resource, catalogues South African historical sites and offers users a unique platform that displays the diversity and richness of the country’s heritage resources.Sahris is a database of heritage sites that includes archaeological and paleontological sites, shipwrecks, graves and burial grounds, battlefields, buildings, cultural landscapes, meteorites and natural sites. Since its launch on 5 August 2012, 6 550 archive developments dating between the 1980s and 2009 have been uploaded.Over 3 500 declared heritage sites are listed on the portal, including the country’s 24 national heritage sites. Notable listings range from Robben Island in the Western Cape to Mapungubwe in Mpumalanga, Kaditshwene in North West, the Sara Bartmann site in Eastern Cape and the Voortrekker Monument in Gauteng.“Recording our past is an important part of our present as it is an essential key to people’s sense of identity,” explained Nicholas Wiltshire, the project manager of Sahris at the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra). Heritage resources were not renewable and arguably we had a much bigger challenge to record these resources than our natural environment, he added.“Documenting and preserving our heritage makes all of our lives more meaningful and we have a lot to learn from our ancestors. For instance, studies in human evolution would not be possible without proper archives being maintained by heritage custodians.”Integrated management systemApproximately 855 people have registered to use the system thus far, and the site’s traffic has grown from 6 000 page views since launch to just over 36 000 page views in November last year.Sahris is the first system in the world where users can view developments in their area and comment on them online. More than 21 000 heritage sites can be viewed, with thousands more still to be loaded this year. These sites contain detailed research information and over a terabyte of photographs have been uploaded and are shared freely under the Creative Commons Licence.It also lists thousands of heritage objects, moveable cultural heritage, declared as such by Sahra in order to control their export. Thousands of heritage impact assessments, together with the Sahra Records of Decision for each proposal, are now easily available online in PDF format, with descriptions.The site provides a heritage management tool to all heritage bodies and custodians of heritage as well as to local planning authorities and provincial heritage resources authorities. “The system enables efficient and co-ordinated management of our heritage and the maximisation of benefit to be attained from our heritage resources by appropriate promotion and use of these resources,” explained Wiltshire.“Ultimately, we would like every South African to use Sahris in some way to learn about their heritage and to engage in the democratic and transparent planning system established in Sahris.” As an integrated management system, it also allows heritage managers to carry out their duties stipulated under the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA) of 1999, which replaced the old National Monuments Act.Free open source softwareIt took 10 years for the database to be created because at R50-million (about $5.7m), the initial quote for the software was too high. There were also very few people who had the necessary heritage skills blended with a sufficient knowledge of IT to take the project forward, added Wiltshire.The first phase of Sahris was concluded between 2005 and 2006, after a thorough investigation and public participation formulated the scope of what would need to be included. Unfortunately, the quotes for phase two – the actual development of the database – ranged from R18m to R50m. This significantly increased the risks of failure.Three attempts to establish Sahris failed between 2005 and 2011. To achieve the level of functionality required by the NHRA, it is only the recent software revolution created by the open source community around such platforms as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and others, that has made Sahris possible.“Over the last five years, free open source content management systems have undergone a revolution, with Wikipedia being a notable example of a major success,” said Wiltshire. “This paved the way for a radically different way of solving the development problem for Sahris.”Drupal, the largest free open source content management system, was chosen and the first version of the portal was completed in a little over three months before debugging and testing. This was possible as most of the coding is handled by the modules provided by the Drupal Community. The developer at Sahra applied the modules in a particular configuration for Sahris rather than wrote code from scratch, explained Wiltshire.The portal also has a fully integrated geographic information system (GIS) making use of two modules, called Open Layers and G-map. These modules allow live mapping and input of spatial information into Sahris.“We are running a dedicated map server called Geoserver, which is also a free open source software, and we use this server to help shape up files and spatial overlays such as the latest development footprints and cadastral information,” said Wiltshire. “Sites and developments are seamlessly overlaid and the GIS modules allow the user to navigate information spatially and visually across the landscape.”Although the portal doesn’t document oral histories unless these are related to the history of sites, landscapes or objects, Wiltshire has high expectations that it will cater for more of these forms of records in the future.
Compiled by Mary AlexanderPopular images of Africa tend to be of two types: beautiful landscapes and exotic wildlife, or distressing poverty, disease and suffering. But Africa is not a country, easily reduced to stereotypes. It’s a vast, diverse continent with 54 separate countries, well over a thousand languages and a range of cultures, histories and religions. People live, work, love and raise families here, just like anywhere else.In the first in a series of photo galleries refocusing the image of African countries, we look at the West African nation of Ghana, on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of some 27-million, Ghana is rated the seventh-best governed and fifth-most stable country in Africa, with the continent’s sixth-largest economy.Maths teacher Winston Mills-Compton explains a concept to his class at the Mfantsipim Boys School in the coastal city of Cape Coast. Founded in 1876, the school is one of the oldest in the city, which is the academic centre of Ghana. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan was a student at Mfantsipim. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst, World Bank)The mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of post-colonial Ghana, in the capital city of Accra. From 1951 Nkrumah served as the leader of the Gold Coast, the colonial name for the country, oversaw independence from Britain in 1957, and was president of the newly free country until 1966. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence from colonial rule. Nkrumah was an influential activist for Pan-Africanism, and a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity. (Photo: Walter Callens, Retlaw Snellac Photography)A young woman in front of the Black Star Monument in Independence Square, Accra. The second-largest city square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China, Independence Square was commissioned by Kwame Nkrumah to honour both the country’s independence in 1957 and a visit to Ghana by British Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A female shopkeeper takes delivery of goods in Accra. Wholesale and retail trade is one of the most common forms of self-employment for women in Ghana’s cities. (Photo: Arne Hoel, The World Bank)A woman works in a small shop in Accra. Women make up 43.1% of economically active population of Ghana, most working in the informal sector and in food crop farming. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A baby lies on a bed protected with a mosquito net, which helps prevent the spread of malaria. Ghana’s attempts to control the disease, a major cause of poverty and low productivity, began in the 1950s. The country’s Roll Back Malaria initiative was launched in 1999. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood in eastern Accra. Jamestown and bordering Usshertown are the oldest districts in the city, today home to a fishing community made up largely of the Ga linguistic group. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. Boxing is Accra’s citywide obsession, and Jamestown the centre of the sport. There are more boxing schools per square mile in Jamestown than anywhere else on earth. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. Internationally renowned boxers such as Professor Azuma Nelson and Joshua Clottey learned to fight in one of the over 20 boxing clubs in the neighbourhood. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A young boxer and his trainer at a boxing school in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. The trainer’s shirt bears the image of George “Red Tiger” Ashie, an Accra-born international professional fighter who won the African Boxing Union super featherweight title, Universal Boxing Council super featherweight title, and Commonwealth lightweight title. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A student solves a problem in maths class at the Mfantsipim Boys School, one of Ghana’s oldest and best-performing schools, in the city of Cape Coast. The educational centre of Ghana, Cape Coast is home to the University of Ghana, the country’s leading university in teaching and research, as well as Cape Coast Polytechnic, Wesley Girls’ High School, St Augustine College, Adisadel College, Aggrey Memorial Senior High School and Ghana National College. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A Ghanaian girl walking to school. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A billboard advertising mobile phones flanks a cellphone tower in Accra. Ghana is the second-biggest ICT destination in Africa, after South Africa. Mobile phone penetration stands at 27-million, bigger than the national population. A 780-kilometre fibre optic cable is currently being laid across the country. (Photo: Arne Hoel)The grounds of the University of Ghana in the city of Gold Coast, with the entrance to the Balme Library in the distance. The oldest and largest Ghana’s 13 universities and tertiary institutions, it was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast. It was originally an affiliate college of the University of London, which supervised its academic programmes and awarded degrees. In 1961 it gained full university status and, today, has some 40 000 students. (Photo: Arne Hoel)The cargo terminal of the port at the city of Tema in southeastern Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea. Tema harbour is a major export link for goods from land-locked countries to the north of Ghana, such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A truck mechanic at the cargo terminal in the port of Tema. The port handles 80% of Ghana’s national exports and imports, including the bulk of the country’s major export product, cocoa. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Relaxing on a four-hour Sunday pleasure cruise on the MV Dodi Princess on Lake Volta, the largest manmade water reservoir by surface area – some 8 502 square kilometres – in the world. Attractions on the Dodi Princess include a highlife band, a wading pool, lunch and an air-conditioned cabin for refuge from the sun. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traditional Ghanaian fishing boats set out from the ancient settlement of Elmina, once part of a colony Portuguese sea traders built on the coast of Ghana in 1482. Before the Portuguese, the town was called Anomansah, meaning “the perpetual drink”. Elmina was the first European settlement in West Africa, the site of the Africa’s first European colonial war – between Spain and Portugal in 1478 – and for centuries the launch point of the Transatlantic slave trade from West Africa. (Photo: Walter Callens, Retlaw Snellac Photography)Hulls of ships docked at Tema Harbour on the southeastern coast of Ghana. (Photo: Curt Carnemark, World Bank)Boys play on a pirogue, a traditional fishing boat, on a beach in coastal Ghana. Pirogue boats are found all over the world, from Louisiana to Madagascar, but Ghana’s handmade dugouts are possibly the most ornate – carved with motifs, painted in bright colours, and often captioned with biblical quotes and smart sayings. Artisanal fishing in pirogues contributes a great deal to Ghana’s informal economy. (Ghana. Photo: Arne Hoel)A technician supervises the processing of cocoa beans into cocoa liquor at the Golden Tree chocolate plant in the port city of Tema. Cocoa – raw and processed – is Ghana’s main export, even though the cocoa plant is not indigenous to the country. The Golden Tree company produces high-quality cocoa products, including chocolate bars that will not melt in the West African heat. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The control room at the Takoradi thermal power station in Aboadze, 17 kilometres east of the city of Sekondi-Takoradi on the southwestern coast of Ghana. The country generates electricity from hydropower, fossil fuels, thermal energy and renewable energy sources. Ghana’s power generation infrastructure is so developed it is able to not only meet local needs, but export electricity to neighbouring countries. The country is also committed to carbon-free, renewable energy. A $400-million project to build the largest solar power plant in Africa is likely to go online in 2015. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traders work on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra. The exchange, established in 1990, is one of the best-performing in Africa. Its composite index rose by 78.8% in 2013. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A trader working the Ghana Stock Exchange in the financial district of Accra. The exchange has 37 listed companies, who saw a 55% increase in value, in US dollar terms, in 2013. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A worker mixes concrete for maintenance of the N1 national road between Accra, the capital of Ghana, and Gold Coast, the country’s centre of education. Roads and highways, the country’s main transport systems, are constantly being upgraded. In 2012 some US$500-million was spent on expanding Ghana’s road network. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The clock tower of Balme Library reflected in the sunglasses of a student at the University of Ghana in the city of Gold Coast. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A worker feeling the heat at 330 metres underground at the Anglo Ashanti gold mine in Obuasi. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Workers sprayed with sawdust at a lumber factory in Accra. (Photo: Curt Carnemark)A young Ghanaian man holding a child. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A child of Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Ghanaian girls eat a school-sponsored lunch. (Photo: Arne Hoe)A woman walks through the streets of Accra, Ghana’s capital and major city. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A woman entrepreneur outside her business. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Morning assembly at a rural primary school in Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A news camera captures proceedings at Ghana’s parliament in Accra. As a former British colony, the country’s lawmaking process is based on the UK parliamentary system. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The newsroom at the Joy FM radio studios in Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)On air at the Joy FM studios in Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A radio technician at work. (Photo: Arne Hoel)People’s reflections in a water tank in rural Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Pineapple seedlings being planted in the nursery at Bomart Farms in Nsawam, near Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traditional Kente cloth on sale at a market in Kumasi, the centre of the Ashanti region of southern Ghana. (Photo: Adam Jones)Air Ghana aircraft on runway at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. The carrier provides cargo and passenger services throughout West and Central Africa. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Buildings in Accra’s financial district. (Photo: JB Dodane, Flickr)
Former Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had switched over to the BJP in April last year, rejoined the Congress party on Saturday in the presence of the party’s Delhi in-charge P.C. Chacko and the present chief of Delhi Congress Ajay Maken Before the photo opportunity at the 24 Akbar Road headquarters of the Congress party, Mr. Lovely met party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence. He told the media that “he had left the party in pain”. I was an ideological misfitThough he didn’t elaborate, it was well known that he left because of his differences with Mr. Maken, who had replaced him [Mr. Lovely] as the party’s Delhi unit chief. “I was an ideological misfit in the BJP,” said Mr. Lovely during the brief interaction with the media after his re-induction into the Congress. His one time mentor and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that she is happy at Mr. Lovely’s homecoming.The development comes barely a couple of days after Mr. Maken and Ms. Dikshit addressed a joint press conference against the AAP government’s third anniversary in Delhi in an effort to show a picture of unity.The Delhi unit of the Congress has witnessed factionalism with both Ms. Dikshit and Mr. Maken openly blaming each other for the party’s debacle in the 2015 Assembly election where it didn’t win a single seat.
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO — On a night where almost every San Miguel player struggled to buy a basket, Chico Lanete emerged as the lone offensive bright spot for the Beermen on Sunday.Inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this conference, the 38-year-old guard was the latest Beermen to step up to the plate, drilling four treys to help his crew hack out a hard-fought 77-76 victory over Magnolia.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Read Next AFP official booed out of forum “I just repaid the trust coach gave me so that I can bring that to our next game,” Lanete, the Zamboanga native, said in Filipino after finishing with 14 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals.Lanete influence in the game in a big way, capping his performance with a clutch triple from the left wing with 1:31 remaining that gave San Miguel a 73-71 lead to hold off Magnolia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDespite shooting 31 percent from the field, the Beermen were able to pull off the close win to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup standings at 6-1.READ: Beermen regain top spot, halt Hotshots’ run LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Beermen regain top spot, halt Hotshots’ 5-game run Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Chico is a veteran and we had the right timing to insert him after that timeout,” said SMB coach Leo Austria, who expected nothing less from the 11-year PBA veteran given his wealth of experience.Lanete, however, said that he’s just trying his best to live up to Austria’s expectations as the Beermen try to stay afloat with their star guard Alex Cabagnot still recovering from plantar fasciitis.“Alex is really a big help for our team. I’m just making the most of the opportunity given to me,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises
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