Browsing all articles from January, 2017

Mulder named in squad to play Afganistan

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Jacob Mulder has been called up to Ireland’s Intercontinental Cup squad © Peter Della Penna

Ireland have selected a full-strength squad for their Intercontinental Cup fixture with Afghanistan in March, with legspinner Jacob Mulder in line for a first-class debut. Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien and Tim Murtagh are also included, having missed the Desert T20 – where Ireland lost to Afghanistan in the final – earlier this month.

Ireland are currently top of the Intercontinental Cup table with four wins from four, leading Afghanistan by 19 points. The Intercontinental Cup is expected to provide a pathway into Test cricket, with the winner facing a play-off with the lowest-ranked Test nation in 2018.

Ahead of the four-day match, Ireland and Afghanistan will play three T20s and five ODIs; all of the fixtures will take place in Greater Noida, India. Two ODIs have also been arranged against UAE on March 2 and 4 as part of Ireland’s training camp.

“It’s great to have such a wealth of experience to choose from,” Ireland’s head coach, John Bracewell, said. “We had a full squad available which hasn’t been the case with injuries in recent times but it’s great to have everyone back with such a busy programme in March.

“While we haven’t been at out best in limited-overs cricket in recent times we have a great record in the Intercontinental Cup where we’ve won all our four games taking full points.

“The players are all fully focused on winning the competition for a fifth time, especially with the chance of playing Test cricket on offer. Ed Joyce has been in supreme form in the tournament with two double hundreds and he clearly looks like a man on a mission.

“Young Jacob Mulder was the stand-out bowler in the T20 and the selectors felt he deserved his opportunity in the longer format. With the conditions in India likely to be spin-friendly his legspin gives us added variety which could be so important.”

Boyd Rankin will be rested for the matches in the UAE, but will join up with Ireland during the 10-day training camp to prepare for the Afghanistan games.

Australia-born batsman Nick Larkin, who played twice for Ireland in 2014, has however ruled himself out of involvement for the time being.

“After a lengthy period of discussion between Cricket Ireland and Nick Larkin, the player has finally clarified that his focus right now is on advancing his career with the NSW Blues in Australia,” Cricket Ireland’s performance director, Richard Holdsworth, said. “He is contracted there until 2018 and is not therefore available for Ireland during that period.”

Ireland Intercontinental Cup squad: William Porterfield, John Anderson, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Ireland ODI squad v UAE: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Ireland ODI squad v Afghanistan: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

T20I squad v Afghanistan: William Porterfield, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Jacob Mulder, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Greg Thompson, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali clarifies no objectionable scene in ‘Padmavati’

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The makers of ‘Padmavati’ on Saturday clarified that there is no dream sequence or objectionable scene between the characters of Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji and said the attack on the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was ‘uncalled for’.

“Sanjay Leela Bhansali has shot two films in Jaipur and despite his love for Rajasthan, for the safety of his crew, we have decided to leave the city post the shocking incident where miscreants damaged property and misbehaved with the crew on the shoot of ‘Padmavati’,” said an official statement issued on behalf of Bhansali.

“SLB had directed the opera ‘Padmavati’ to packed houses in Paris and earned worldwide praise for it. He was inspired by the beautiful and courageous queen and is making a feature film on the story.”

“We clarify that there is no dream sequence or any objectionable scene between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji. We have been carefully researching and making the film… The attack on the shoot and crew was uncalled for and was extremely damaging to the image of the beautiful city of Jaipur,” the statement added.

Also Read:
In-depth coverage: Film industry “appalled” as Sanjay Leela Bhansali is assaulted on the sets of ‘Padmavati’

The statement also mentioned that the entire crew of ‘Padmavati’ is “grateful to the authorities at Jaipur who responded promptly and limited the damage. “We are confident that Mewar will be proud of the film made on their revered queen. We do not want to hurt any sentiments and would appreciate if the local people support us in making this film and making their queen revered by the world,” the statement read.

On Friday, the activists of a Rajput organisation, Karni Sena, entered the Jaigarh Fort and assaulted Bhansali, slapped him and tore up his shirt. They even misbehaved with the crew and criticised the National Award-winning director for ‘distorting’ history in the film about the medieval-era Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji, who fell in love with Rajput queen Padmavati.

Also Read:
Sanjay Leela Bhansali assault: ‘Padmavati’ actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor break their silence

They damaged cameras and other equipment, forcing Bhansali to stop shooting. The film stars Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in leading roles.

Bhansali calls off shoot, 5 held for vandalism freedLoading

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India’s investors brace for transaction tax hike, less friendly budget

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MUMBAI Investors in India are bracing for higher taxes and fewer incentives from the government’s annual budget on Feb. 1 as the focus shifts to wringing out revenues to finance giveaways and higher public investment.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is widely seen as being friendly to businesses and investors, it not expected to announce any dramatic moves at a time when the economy is under pressure from a cash squeeze.

Among expected measures are a hike in a transaction tax on stock derivatives trading and a less beneficial approach to long-term capital gains tax exemptions, according to analysts. (For more details, see Factbox

India could also provide additional details for new rules in April that will crack down on tax havens, after the government on Friday provided some, but not all, key clarifications.

Full Budget 2017 coverage here

Foreign portfolio investors are also seeking clarity behind “indirect transfer” rules that could increase tax liabilities for overseas funds.

But any negative impact from such measures could easily be offset should the government also lower corporate tax rates or provide incentives to sectors hit by government’s surprise decision in November to abolish high-value banknotes, analysts said.

“We can certainly see a sensitivity for investor concerns, and the government wants to do things like ease the cost and complexities of doing business, improve India’s competitiveness rankings and attract foreign investors,” said Rajesh H. Gandhi, a tax partner at Deloitte Haskins Sells.

“However, at the same time the government has revenue pressures as it seeks the meet its fiscal targets.”

Expectations for higher taxes for investors have increased since Modi said in December that market participants needed to make a “fair contribution” to nation-building, without providing any details.

Among the potential measures could be a second consecutive annual hike in the Securities Transaction Tax for futures and options markets, currently set at around 0.05 percent for every 10 million trades.

India could also lower the time threshold for long-term capital gains.

Currently, investments sold after at least a 12-month holding period are exempt from taxes, while anything below that is taxed at up to 20 percent of the gains.

For foreign investors, the budget is expected to provide guidelines behind the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) that will start in April that are intended to crack down on tax avoidance.

The government eased some of the doubts on Friday by saying that GAAR would not apply for foreign investors based in a jurisdiction for genuine commercial reasons, while saying investors meeting key conditions of individual tax treaties would not be subject to GAAR.

Overseas portfolio investors will also seek more details after India’s tax department said in December that foreign companies with more than 50 percent of their assets in India could be liable to pay indirect transfer taxes when exiting from their investments.

The comment was seen as potentially ensnaring foreign funds that have more than half of their portfolios invested in India.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Lancashire defend system after double Kolpak deal

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Shivnarine Chanderpaul is still going strong at 42 © WICB

Lancashire have become the latest county to raid South African cricket by signing Dane Vilas, the wicketkeeper-batsman, in a double Kolpak swoop which has also seen them shore up their batting strength by signing the veteran West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Vilas flew 600 miles to Johannesburg from Port Elizabeth as a late substitute in a Test against England at the start of 2016. Roughly a year later, at 31, he will fly around 5,000 miles to Manchester on a two-year Kolpak deal which realistically will bring his brief South Africa career to an end.

He is the seventh South African player to take that option as expectations grow that Brexit might bring an end to the arrangement which exists under EU employment law.

Kyle Abbott (Hampshire), Hardus Viljoen (Derbyshire), Simon Harmer (Essex), Rilee Rossouw (Hampshire) and David Wiese and Stiaan van Zyl (Sussex) have also signed Kolpak deals, although opening batsmen Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook have stayed loyal to South Africa by signing overseas player deals with Somerset and Durham respectively.

Not many 42-year-olds would win a county cricket deal, even in a winter when Kolpak signings have again flooded into the game, but Chanderpaul retains an appetite for batting and has a pragmatic, safety-conscious style which might have been designed to offset the passage of time.

Any burst of regional pride which met Glen Chapple’s progress through the ranks to become Lancashire’s head coach earlier this month will be tempered, for a while at least, by the decision to stock up with overseas reinforcements in an attempt to safeguard their future in Division One of the County Championship.

Lancashire only became sure of safety on the final day of the season when results went their way after they had suffered a heavy defeat against Warwickshire.*

Reeling from the enforced retirement of Tom Smith, they will plead that they have also had to contend with the loss in recent seasons of two further South African batsmen, Alviro Petersen and Ashwell Prince. Luis Reece has also been allowed to join Derbyshire.

Their batting is likely to be further compromised by the loss of one of their homegrown products, Haseeb Hameed, to England for the second half of the summer. Hameed is the first England opening batsman produced by Lancashire since Michael Atherton but it is possible that, after only 23 first-class matches, any further benefits accrued at county level will be strictly limited.

Ashley Giles, Lancashire’s former director of cricket, supervised a successful progression from the Old Trafford academy before returning to Warwickshire to take up a similar role. Four players made their first-class debut in 2016. Liam Livingstone and Rob Jones both went on to hit maiden first-class centuries, with Livingstone earning England Lions selection. The legspinner Matthew Parkinson took a five-for on debut against Warwickshire and England Under-19 fast bowler Saqib Mahmood made his first-class debut against Hampshire as well as breaking into the NatWest Blast side.

Lancashire were at pains to point out that 19 players in the squad have come through the system. The Old Trafford academy, recently audited by the ECB, was ranked second, only to Durham, for producing young homegrown players who went on to make appearances for the club in the Championship in 2016.

“This evidences the club’s ongoing commitment to developing young players to go on and play for England,” a Lancashire media release stated.

Chanderpaul renews acquaintances with Lancashire after a spell at the county in 2010. Only Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis have played more Tests than Chanderpaul, who joins Lancashire on a one-year contract.

Chapple said: “He knows what it takes to be successful and there is no doubt that he will have a positive effect on our squad. The talented squad at Lancashire is very young and Shivnarine will bring a healthy level of experience to help guide them.

“Whilst Shivnarine will undoubtedly have an important role to play on the field, his role off the field will be of huge importance to our young players. He’s one of the most experienced international cricketers in the history of the game and it will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to learn from him, in all aspects of the game.”

Vilas can be expected to make more of an impact in the limited-overs formats, with Chanderpaul unlikely to figure often in T20.

Chapple said: “Signing a player of Dane’s undoubted calibre and experience is a great boost. His aggressive batting style will see him as an important part of our T20 and one-day sides in 2017, as well as in four-day cricket.”

*January 27, 1600GMT: This story was corrected to amend Lancashire’s result

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

Box Office Day 1: Kaabil makes a strong start

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Hrithik Roshan’‘s ambitious film ‘Kaabil’ released on January 25 amidst much hype and hoopla. While Hrithik fans couldn’t wait to catch the movie and made a beeline for it, what made it all the more interesting was that the film was clashing at the box-office with Shah Rukh Khan‘s ‘
‘. Trade analysts were waiting with bated breath to see how the two movies fare amidst the clash.

Also Read:
Kaabil Movie Review

Well, the figures are finally out. Hrithik and Yami Gautam-starrer ‘Kaabil’ has collected Rs 10.43 crore on Day One. That’s a very encouraging number, especially considering that the film released on a weekday and did not enjoy the benefit of a holiday. Considering Thursday is a holiday on account of Republic Day, one can expect the numbers to shoot up dramatically. Combine that with the weekend and the film is expected to rake in the moolah.

What works in the film’s favour is that the Rakesh Roshan production has garnered positive reviews. Hrithik’s portrayal of a visually-impaired man in particular has won appreciation across all quarters.

Also Read:
‘Kaabil’ Audience Review: Here’s what fans have to say about the Hrithik Roshan-Yami Gautam starrer

‘Kaabil’ is a full-fledged revenge drama that narrates the story of Rohan Bhatnagar (Hrithik) and Su (Yami Gautam) who are visually challenged but it doesn’t stop them from living their life to the fullest. However, their world comes crashing down when a tragedy strikes them and Rohan takes it upon himself to seek revenge.

Also Read:
‘Raees’ box-office collection Day 1: Shah Rukh Khan film enjoys a massive opening

While the film has taken a strong start, one will have to see whether ‘Kaabil’ will be able to make the most of the weekend.

Also Read:

Kaabil Box Office Collection in Hindi

Trump says to host Modi for U.S. visit later this year

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WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the United States later this year, during a phone call on Tuesday in which the leaders discussed economic and defense cooperation.

In its readout of the conversation, the White House said the two leaders also discussed security in South and Central Asia. The region includes Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are still battling Taliban militants, and Pakistan.

The two leaders “resolved that the United States and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism,” according to the readout that was posted on the White House website.

Tweeting from his personal account, Modi said his conversation with Trump had been “warm”, and that they would work closely in the coming days to further strengthen bilateral ties. He also invited Trump to visit India.

The U.S.-India relationship has flourished of late and New Delhi is hopeful that this will continue under Trump, who courted the votes of the Indian diaspora in his presidential run.

Trump’s pledge to ban immigration by Muslims from countries he says harbor Islamic militants has also played well among Modi’s Hindu-nationalist base, which is hostile to Pakistan.

There are concerns, though, that Trump may pull back the U.S. security umbrella from the region, exposing India to a rising China. His tough line on immigration and “America First” jobs policy could make it tougher for India’s information technology sector to send staff to the U.S. to do project work.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Douglas Busvine; Editing by G Crosse and Christian Schmollinger)

Moeen Ali withdraws from PSL to undertake pilgrimage

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Moeen Ali will miss the PSL to travel to Mecca © Getty Images

Moeen Ali has opted out of participating in the second season of the Pakistan Super League and will instead join members of his family on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Moeen, who is currently in India with England’s limited-overs squad, was named yesterday as a replacement for Carlos Brathwaite in the Quetta Gladiators squad. He had been negotiating through his agent as to his exact availability when the clash of priorities became apparent.

Quetta were quickly informed of his change of plans, and Moeen has now been replaced by the veteran Australian, Brad Hodge, who represented Peshawar Zalmi in last season’s inaugural tournament.

“Moeen Ali is a top player and a great person,” read a tweet from the franchise. “We respect his decision to honour his family commitment first. Good Luck Moeen.”

It is not the first time that Moeen has performed a swift U-turn when it comes to T20 league availability. Last year, he put himself forward for the IPL auction, only to withdraw hours later after the ECB expressed concerns about his workload.

As England’s premier spin-bowling allrounder, Moeen played 41 matches for England across all three formats in 2016, including all 17 of their Test matches. He faces an even more intense workload in 2017, with England hosting the Champions Trophy in June, as well as multi-format series against South Africa and West Indies ahead of the Ashes tour in October.

Moeen, a devout Muslim, first performed umrah in November 2009, and credited the “inspirational’ experience for a flying start to his county season with Worcestershire the following year.

“I think I came back nice and fresh after that,” he said at the time. “It makes a person strong and it was a chance to just get away from cricket.”

The second season of the PSL gets underway in the UAE on Feb 9, with the final scheduled to take place in Lahore on March 7.

Jackie Chan in Mumbai: Actor promotes ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ with co-stars Sonu Sood, Disha Patani & Amyra Dastur

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At least 39 killed as train derails in Andhra Pradesh

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BHUBANESWAR/MUMBAI, India At least 39 people were killed and 50 injured on Saturday night when nine coaches of a passenger train derailed in eastern India in the latest disaster to hit the vast and accident-prone state railways, police said.

The Hirakhand express train from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneswar derailed at about 11:20 pm near Kuneri station in Andhra Pradesh, about 30 km from the town of Rayagada.

Map: Train derailment location in Andhra Pradesh

“The rescue operation is almost over,” said J.P. Mishra, the chief public relations officer at East Coast Railway, which has jurisdiction over the area where the derailment occurred.

“Our first priority is to take care of the injured passengers and provide proper treatment by shifting them to hospitals. We are also searching all the coaches to ensure that nobody remains stranded in them.”

The reason for the derailment has not been ascertained, Mishra said, adding that they were not ruling out the possibility of foul play and investigations will be conducted. The area in which the incident occurred is one where Maoist rebels typically operate.

Video footage from the scene showed members of the disaster management team and locals trying to rescue trapped passengers from windows and debris using phones to provide light.

“We will take strict action against whoever is behind this act,” said Indian railways minister Suresh Prabhu. “We won’t spare anyone responsible for this accident.”

Nine bogies were derailed of which three fell off the track, said local Superintendent of Police L.K.V. Ranga Rao, adding that most of the casualties and deaths were from the three sleeper-class compartments.

The track repair operations will go on through the night, East Coast Railway’s Mishra said, adding that he expects train service to be normalised by early Monday morning.

India’s state railways, built during British colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of underinvestment and a priority on keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network every day.

In the last serious accident, 150 people died when a train derailed late last year in Uttar Pradesh. India recorded 27,581 railway deaths in 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, with most victims falling from, or being struck by, moving trains. [L8N1DN327]

“Anguished to learn about the train accident near Vizianagaram,” Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, said on Twitter, offering his condolences to the families of the victims. “We are investigating the reason for accident.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted that the tragedy was “saddening” and said that the railways ministry was working to ensure quick relief and rescue operations.

(Additional reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Christian Schmollinger and David Goodman)

Kick-starter Roy aiming to kick on

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Disappointed to be getting out for 70 or 80 – Roy

Jason Roy is the propeller England have come to rely on to speed their ship of batting prowess, which has been travelling at an unprecedented rate of knots in recent times. He has led the way in several 300-plus scores, tall chases, England’s World T20 runners-up campaign and quickly added two half-centuries in the ODI series against India.

What he rued, though, amid all these achievements, was not being able to covert innings of 73 and 82 into bigger scores as England came close to winning both matches but now trail 2-0 before the third and final ODI in Kolkata. A pair of destructive centuries – such as the 112 off 95 balls and a personal best 162 off 118 he made in the space of three ODIs against Sri Lanka at home last summer – could have made all the difference.

“On both occasions I needed to stay in and get big hundreds,” Roy said of his innings in Pune and Cuttack. “I should have done that, that was the plan. It didn’t work out that way but our batting unit got us to 350 and 370. I’m never happy with just a good start. A good start is a good start but winning games is obviously at the forefront of my mind so I’ve got to be a bit disappointed to be getting out at 70 and 80.”

England benefited from his crisp strokeplay and fluency against the new ball, something India’s openers have been unable to do at home against the attack led by Chris Woakes. It was with a similar approach in the same conditions that Roy last year set the tone for their unexpected march to the World T20 final. But against eventual champions West Indies, he fell for a duck in the first over. Now, back in Kolkata, Roy said he was facing contrasting feelings.

“Yeah, a mixed bag really,” he said. “Obviously, being in the final was incredible and then disappointment after the game. But good to be back, obviously it’s a dead rubber but we’ve got to stamp our mark on India a little bit.

“Every game from now until the Champions Trophy is going to be stepping blocks for us going into that huge competition. We’ve got a huge amount of positives to take from the last few games. Although we got outplayed, we’ve put in some seriously good performances. The positives to come out of that are amazing.”

Jason Roy has twice passed 50 but failed to kick on to a hundred in India
© Associated Press

Roy will be without his regular opening partner Alex Hales again, just as he was in Bangladesh, and is likely to be accompanied by Sam Billings, who scored 93 in the first warm-up match on arrival in India after collecting useful runs in the Big Bash League, where he shared a dressing room with Roy for the Sydney Sixers. Billings was used in the middle order by the Sixers but opened on his previous appearance for England, in Chittagong, and Roy was quick to sing his praises.

“We have batted together a couple of times, played against each other a lot,” Roy said. “He’s a fiery batsman, an awesome player. If he gets the role of No. 2, that’s great. He’s a great guy to bat with – runs hard, plays strong shots and that’s exactly what we look for at the top of the order, just to set the tone.”

Roy also stated having back-up openers and depth in the middle order was the added advantage England possess now that has helped them register “good performances” over the last two years.

“Obviously, when you’ve got that kind of competition in the squad it’s always healthy,” he said. “You want to be pushed. You always want to be bettering yourself. You want to be turning up in training with the kind of new idea what you want to work on, your shots and kind of really testing yourself mentally. So yeah we’ve got a very healthy squad.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Halesy and the work we do in the nets and all that sort of stuff but we’ve got other options in our squad. That’s what makes us so special, I think. It’s just a case of getting to know each other and I know everyone in the squad pretty well, so whoever I’m opening up with is not a problem. He’ll fit straight in. You saw over in Bangladesh, when I was unavailable for that one game and two [new] opening partners went out there and played very well.”

England will now be hoping to register a win in the third ODI to carry some confidence into the three-match T20 series and Roy said they would have to improve in one particular aspect to turn things around. “We’ve got to work on our fielding,” he said. “I think we’ve been below standard.”

Vishal Dikshit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Watch: This is how Hrithik Roshan shot action scenes for ‘Kaabil’

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Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let’s work together to keep the conversation civil.

Protesters in Tamil Nadu urge Modi to allow ancient bull-taming rite of ‘jallikattu’

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NEW DELHI Protests by thousands of people demanding the resumption of a traditional bull-taming festival have disrupted daily life across the state of Tamil Nadu, forcing its leader to urge intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Protesters want the central government to reverse a Supreme Court ban on “jallikattu”, a hazardous rite in which youths and men wrestle rampaging bulls, and have made a request to Modi to permit it.

Thousands of small factories, shops and schools were closed across Tamil Nadu for a second day on Thursday by widespread protests against the ban, with the largest crowd gathering on the Marina beach of the state capital, Chennai.

Children carried placards blaming the judiciary and animal rights groups for the ban on what they view as a sport forming a key part of the Pongal harvest festival, which some Hindus celebrate after the winter solstice.

“It is a primitive sport and we love it. No one has the right to stop a sporting activity,” said Kanimozhi Subramanian, 23, a university student spearheading youth protests.

The state’s chief minister, O. Panneerselvam, flew to the capital New Delhi to ask Modi to issue an ordinance allowing the festival this year.

Talks between the state government and protest leaders on Tuesday failed to find a solution allowing the event to be held.

Political parties, college students and cultural groups refused to disperse, leaving police struggling to rein in the protests.

“We fear that the protests could get violent or a stampede could lead to loss of lives. It is hard to contain the outrage,” said Deputy Police Commissioner G. Shasshank Sai.

Animal rights activists have urged Modi to back the ban on a sport in which bullfighters must retain hold of the hump of a bucking animal for three jumps to win a prize. Modi declined to intervene, however.

“While appreciating the cultural significance of ‘jallikattu’, the Prime Minister observed that the matter is presently sub judice,” his office said in a statement.

The reference was to a final ruling awaited from India’s highest court on a 2016 federal measure that permitted the rite.

Hundreds of raging bulls are injured annually because participants twist their tails, beat them and even stab them with knives to control the animals.

More than 1,200 spectators have been injured at such events between 2010 and 2014, says animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“A cruel tradition cannot be part of Indian culture,” said Manilal Valliyate, PETA’s director of veterinary affairs.

“The ban should be respected.”

(Reporting by Rupam Jain Editing by Douglas Busvine and Clarence Fernandez)

Bat-maker and bat beater: Peter Kippax dies

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Peter Kippax (fourth from left) with Idle’s Priestley Cup winning team in 1976 © Getty Images

Peter Kippax, who played for Yorkshire as a legspinner in the early 1960s and became an instantly recognisable figure in cricket circles in the north of England, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, aged 76.

Kippax only played five first-class games but he was notable for the fact that the last two were 25 years apart: after making his final appearance for Yorkshire against the Pakistan tourists in 1962, he reappeared for MCC against his former county at the Scarborough Festival in 1987 – an opportunity he cherished.

Legspin was an unfashionable occupation in Yorkshire, and the presence of England spinners such as Raymond Illingworth and Don Wilson further limited his opportunities, but he went on to enjoy a long career in Minor Counties cricket with Durham and Northumberland, as well as in league cricket in Yorkshire and the north-west. He also coached for many years in Yorkshire cricket circles and was respected as an innovative thinker.

He founded Kippax Bats in 1976 and was a popular, effervescent figure around the county. The business, now based in Methley, is run by his son Chris and is one of a dwindling band of companies to grow its own English willow.

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

How To Jailbreak iPhone: Pros, Cons & How It’s Done | Know Your …

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It’s funny how public perception alters the way we feel about things. We almost feel guilty covering the jailbreaking topic, but there’s really no reason we should. Jailbreaking is perfectly legal. If you wanted, you could put your iPhone in a toaster – we don’t recommend it, but it’s your property and you’re entitled to do whatever you want with it. And that includes installing Pangu and customising your device.

Alternatively, you can use a web resource like THIS, which supports all the latest builds of iOS, including iOS 10. 

So if, like us, you’re pro-choice, let’s take a look at how to free your smartphone or tablet from iTunes. Oh, first things first – this is a jailbreak for iOS 9.2–9.3.3 on 64-bit iPhones and iPads, so update your device as normal if you’re not on the latest firmware already. Also keep in mind 64-bit iOS devices include the iPhone 5s and higher, the latest iPod Touch, the iPad mini 2 or higher, the iPad Air or higher, and the iPad Pro.

Disclaimer: Jailbreaking your iOS device can go wrong, so please, follow these instructions at your own peril. We cannot be held responsible for any damage made to your phone while following these instructions.

Step 1: Backup Your Device

Hook up your iPhone, iPod or iPad to your computer and perfume a full iTunes sync before going any further. The good news about jailbreaking is that if anything goes wrong, you can use this backup to put your device back exactly as it was. It’s a great safety net that removes much of the risk.

Step 2: Turn off Find My iPhone on your iOS device.

Go to Settings iCloud and disable Find My iPhone. This helps stop the iPhone from phoning home.

Step 3: Download the installer from Pangu’s website.

Right now the installer is only in Chinese but an English version is coming very shortly.

Step 4: Run the pphelper installer.

This will install the PP 5.0 tool. Click the installer to begin. When the installation finishes, click the “next” button to launch the PP 5.0.

Step 5: Download the PP 5.0 components.

These components are needed for the actual jailbreaking. Click the green button to begin the download.

Step 6: Enter a fake Apple ID account.

You may be promoted to enter an Apple ID. If so, just enter any fake Apple ID account you want. This account will be used to sign the jailbreak app for your device. After you’ve entered an Apple ID, click the green button below the fields and wait as the jailbreak app gets loaded onto your device. After it gets loaded, click the green button to continue.

Step 7: Trust it.

A device management page will appear with an email address on it. You’ll need to tap TrustTrust to accept and finish the loading of the jailbreak app.

Step 8: Launch the jailbreak app on your iOS device.

Once Step 7 is completed go back to your iOS device’s home screen and tap on the jailbreak tool to launch it.

Step 9: Allow notifications.

Be sure to enable Notifications when asked on the jailbroken device.

Step 10: Tap and lock.

Tap the circle on the screen and now lock your device. Your device will need to restring itself, so wait for that to happen. Bear in mind that this process can take a while. Patience is your friend here, so embrace it.

Step 11: You’re done!

Now, unlock your device, and you’ll see the brown Cydia app icon on your home screen. Congratulations! You, and your iPhone, are now free! The customisation options you always dreamed of are just around the corner…

Shah Rukh Khan launches Karan Johar’s biography ‘An Unsuitable Boy’

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KJo’s best friend Shah Rukh Khan was present to launch the much talked about biography on the filmmaker’s life. The book captures details from Karan’s life, starting right from his childhood to his entry into the film industry with a blockbuster of a debut. The event also saw Karan’s mentees, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in attendance, the two walked in seconds apart. Ayan Mukherjee, Shakun Batra, Suchitra Pillai, Punit Malhotra, and Gauri Khan were also present at the do.

Columnist and novelist Shobhaa De, under whose line of books (Shobhaa De Books) Karan’s biography is released by Penguin Random House India, posed a few questions to the filmmaker. She asked him why are people so obsessed with his sexuality, to which Karan said, “I’ve said what I wanted to in the book. I have nothing more to add to it.” He further added, that he has “learnt to nod along to what people say, as his friend SRK does.” Karan let in that when he’s heckled at airports, he doesn’t like to blow things out of proportion, because he knows he wouldn’t win a fistfight with anyone.

Karan also told Shobhaa that he has used an elite dating site, which in turn set-up a date for him in Tokyo. “Sometimes, you have to use different ways and means to get what you want in life.” The director refused to name the website, but admitted that the date didn’t lead to much more. On his failed relationships, Karan said, “All of those were instances of unrequited love. I can’t have a pragmatic view about relationships.”

He was also asked about his strained relationship with Kajol, “We have a great history. I don’t want to add anything to what has been already said. We have shared a 25 year long friendship.” Talking about Shah Rukh Khan, Karan mentioned that he has deep love and respect for the superstar, ever since the day he first met him with his father Yash Johar to sign Khan for ‘Duplicate’. He said that when there was trouble in their friendship, he sorted out his differences with SRK with a single embrace.

Responding to reports that the book ends with Karan expressing a desire to adopt a child or opt for surrogacy, he said, he still treats Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan as his children even after five years of ‘Student of the Year’. He feels that he has a deep sense of paternal love to offer. He added that, in the future, he does “look forward to having children.”

‘Raees’ star Shah Rukh released Karan’s book by saying that he doesn’t feel that ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ is an apt title for his book, it could have been anything else, ‘A Good Boy’, ‘An Intelligent Boy’, ‘A Sensitive Boy’, ‘A Brave Boy’, or perhaps ‘The Most Beautiful Boy’. Khan added that, “Karan is a good boy, and his parents, Hiroo and Yash, would attest to it. It doesn’t matter even if it’s 3 am, he likes to spend time with his mother. Karan understands people.”

Shah Rukh ended the launch jokingly by adding, “I used to feel I have arrived if I will win a few awards. I will feel that I have arrived, when I sign with a certain director, and so on. But I feel that I have truly made it in Bollywood, because my family has an entire chapter in the book.”

:By Rohan Valecha

Kohli, Jadhav hundreds help India eclipse England’s 350

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PUNE, India Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav hit centuries and combined in a 200-run stand to help India comfortably chase down a steep target of 351 against England and win the first one-day international by three wickets on Sunday.

India’s chase seemed over when England reduced them to 63-4 in the 12th over but captain Kohli and local boy Jadhav turned the match on its head with the hosts reaching the target with 11 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The touring side, who lost a five-match test series 4-0 before returning home for Christmas, would have felt confident of victory after posting 350-7.

Half-centuries from Jason Roy, Joe Root and Ben Stokes took England to their highest ODI total against India, who won the toss and opted to bowl first.

England lost Alex Hales early but opener Roy (73) and Root, who top-scored for his side with 78, added 69 for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation.

Roy was given out leg before on 18 off paceman Umesh Yadav but reviewed successfully to overturn the decision with replays showing the ball was missing the stumps.

Stokes provided the late assault with a 40-ball knock of 62, studded with two fours and five sixes, as India bled 105 runs in the last eight overs.

Slideshow: India vs England – First ODI at Pune

Left-arm seamer David Willey gave England the ideal start with the ball by dismissing Indian openers Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan inside the first six overs.

Yuvraj Singh, playing his first ODI in over three years, and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not last long either as India were left staring at a heavy defeat.

But Kohli, playing his first match as India’s full-time captain across all formats, and Jadhav then took the attack to the England bowlers.

Kohli, who was the highest scorer in the recent test series, was stranded on 99 for three deliveries before he danced down the pitch to hit paceman Chris Woakes for a six and bring up his 27th ODI hundred, which came in 93 balls.

Jadhav, who struggled with cramp towards the end of his knock, guided the same bowler to third man for a boundary to bring up his second ton off 65 balls.

Stokes dismissed Kohli after a 105-ball 122, studded with eight fours and five sixes. Jadhav was out after a 76-ball 120, with 12 fours and four sixes, to fast bowler Jake Ball, the most successful English bowler with three for 67.

Hardik Pandya, unbeaten on 40, and Ravichandran Ashwin (15 not out) combined in a crucial eighth-wicket stand of 38 at the end to take India home.

The second match of the series will be played at Cuttack on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Toby Davis)

Tare blames shoddy Mumbai fielding, shot selection

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Aditya Tare was displeased with his batsmen for their choice of strokes, particularly Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer © Prakash Parsekar

Mumbai’s five-wicket loss to Gujarat in Indore on Saturday was their first defeat in a Ranji Trophy final since 1990-91, where they lost to Haryana. Aditya Tare, who led them to title no. 41 last season, didn’t take too kindly to his side’s shot selection and fielding, which he said should have been “much better” for the standards they set themselves. Mumbai put down seven catches in all, mostly in the slips and behind the wicket.

“Two hundred-odd runs was a below-par score for us, considering we played seven batsmen,” Tare said. “Though we lost the toss, we were 90 for 2 with two set batsman. From there, we should have consolidated and put on a good score but it didn’t happen. That was the first thing that went wrong for us.”

Tare said his batsmen needed to sometimes curb their natural instincts in the face of a challenge, which he felt they hadn’t done in the first innings. The wickets of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav, in particular, proved to change the momentum in the first innings.

“Both Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav like to go after the bowlers. These sort of dismissals aren’t surprising. Sometimes they play their shots and it doesn’t come off, making it look ugly,” Tare said of their dismissals. “But that is their game and we do back their game as it comes naturally to them. But at some stage, they do have to realise that it is going to cost us the games. The second session on the first day (Mumbai lost four wickets for 82 runs) did the game for us. Though we played well in the second innings and came back strongly, what we did in the first innings was really poor.”

While Tare was a little sympathetic towards both batsmen, he wasn’t as forgiving with the catching. “Had we taken those chances, with 50 runs required, it would have been tough for them,” he said. “A couple of wickets and the tail would have started, and Mumbai know how to play under pressure and other teams most of the time don’t know. Fielding, particularly behind the stumps, let us down. Not this whole season, but just this game. We were phenomenal throughout the season in our fielding. But this game, in both the innings we weren’t great.”

During the course of an intense final day, there was plenty of chatter between both camps. Tare was at the centre of it all. He was visibly displeased with Manprit Juneja for what he thought was “time-wasting tactics” shortly after lunch. The umpires needed to intervene on a number of occasions. After the chatter stopped, Juneja and Parthiv Patel went on the offensive to pocket 139 runs.

Tare denied that there was lack of intensity from his team in the post-lunch phase. “Not really. It might have looked like that. They were putting on a good partnership. Juneja played some good shots and took the pressure off Parthiv,” he said. “When he came in, he was complaining about the chatter and was wasting time. We thought we might as well get on with the game and focus on our effort. He was constantly complaining to the umpire and it looked like schoolboy cricket to me.”

He also reaffirmed that this was an unsuccessful season purely because Mumbai hadn’t won it. “We don’t think about the 41 titles. Those were won by our seniors,” he said. “I have been part of just two Ranji Trophy-winning teams. There were some in the dressing room who have not won a title yet. I don’t think we were overconfident because of that.”

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Deepika to have a dance track in ‘xXx’ sequel

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Tata Sons names insider Chandrasekaran as new chairman

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MUMBAI India’s $100 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate named veteran insider Natarajan Chandrasekaran as the new chairman of its holding company on Thursday, looking to soothe investors after a bruising public spat over the ouster of his predecessor.

Chandrasekaran, 53, currently chief executive of IT outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s most-valuable company with a market capitalisation of $67 billion, will take over as Tata Sons executive chairman on Feb. 21, according to a company statement.

Tata Sons, the holding company in a business empire ranging from car maker Jaguar Land Rover and steel mills to aviation and salt pans, is embroiled in a legal battle with former chairman Cyrus Mistry, who was forced out in October.

It has convened an extraordinary general meeting on Feb. 6 to remove him as a director, which Mistry has challenged.

“The first thing for him to do will be to clean up the muck and get rid of all the ongoing court cases,” said a Tata group insider who is close to Chandrasekaran, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Second will be to win over the trust of other Tata executives. And the third will be to define the direction for the group.”

Chandrasekaran takes the helm at a time when several companies in the conglomerate have seen profits come under pressure. Former chairman Mistry has warned of big writedowns and stressed the need for governance reforms at Tata Sons, the charitable trusts that own two-thirds of the holding firm, and Tata group companies. Tata Sons has denied Mistry’s accusations.

Chandrasekaran, a former Tata Group intern widely known as Chandra, said in a statement he was “humbled and honoured” to be chosen to lead Tata Sons.

“At the Tata Group, we are at an inflection point. I am aware that this role comes with huge responsibilities,” he said in a statement.


A masters degree holder in computer applications, Chandrasekaran joined the Tata Group in 1987 and rose through the ranks to become TCS CEO in 2009. He was named to the Tata Sons board in October, after Mistry’s ouster. Chandrasekaran also serves on the board of India’s central bank.

A biography on the central bank’s website describes him as an avid photographer, music aficionado and a passionate long-distance runner who has completed marathons across the world.

Although the appointment of a group lifer shows a desire for continuity, Chandrasekaran is not related to the Tata family and will be the first non-Parsi chairman of Tata Sons.

Like the Tatas, the Mistrys are part of Mumbai’s tight-knit Parsi religious minority, and Cyrus Mistry’s sister is married to Ratan Tata’s half-brother. Chandrasekaran, by contrast, was born into a south Indian agricultural family.

A selection committee appointed by Tata Sons board to choose a new chairman had unanimously recommended Chandrasekaran for the job, according to the company statement.

The five-member selection committee that included group patriarch Ratan Tata had initially set out to appoint a new chairman within four months. Ratan Tata had taken over as interim chairman of Tata Sons after the board fired Mistry.

TCS chief financial officer Rajesh Gopinathan was named as the company’s new CEO, according to a separate statement. TCS earlier on Thursday reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit growth of nearly 11 percent, but faces headwinds in the United States, the biggest market for Indian software services exporters.

Senior bankers including lenders to Tata Group companies such as State Bank of India and ICICI Bank welcomed Chandrasekaran’s appointment.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Sankalp Phartiyal; Additional reporting by Aditi Shah, Euan Rocha, Promit Mukherjee, Swati Bhat and Suvashree Choudhury; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Batsmen have let us down

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Sanath Jayasuriya: “I feel that at least one batsman should have risen to occasion and held on to it, but, sadly that did not happen” © AFP

Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has expressed dismay in the batsmen on tour, and called top order to read match situations better in the third Test in Johannesburg. Sri Lanka have failed to reach 300 in their four innings in South Africa so far, and were dismissed for 110 and 224 in the Newlands Test.

“We selected a side which is a blend of youth and experience,” Jayasuriya told Sunday Times. “Besides, even the younger ones have had their own share of exposure in the recent past. Maybe we can excuse misreading the game in the first Test because for most of the players it was their first time out in South Africa. But, I can’t understand why they failed in the same way in the second Test also.

“I feel that at least one batsman should have risen to occasion and held on to it, but, sadly that did not happen.”

Jayasuriya was especially critical of Sri Lanka’s failure in the second innings in Port Elizabeth, after the openers had put on 87, and other promising top-order partnerships had begun to take root. The last seven wickets had fallen for 88 runs, however, and Sri Lanka were all out for 281.

“In that innings most of the top-order batsmen failed to come up with a commanding innings in spite of four batsmen getting in to positions that they could have capitalised on,” Jayasuriya said. “Now, at least, in the final Test, it’s up to the batters to come up with the much-anticipated satisfactory performance.”

More had been expected of the batsmen in this series following their encouraging performances against Australia at home, and in Zimbabwe over October and November. This is in contrast to what was expected of the attack, which appeared by a distance Sri Lanka’s weaker suit on pitches expected to neutralise Rangana Herath’s spin to some extent.

“The same can’t be said about the bowlers,” Jayasuriya said. “They’ve bowled with a lot of purpose and never let the totals rise up to unmanageable levels. The batsmen they have let the side down”.

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