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Monthly Archives: APRIL 2016


IPL: No more matches in drought-hit Maharashtra
27.04.16 - KRISHNADAS RAJAGOPAL*
IPL: No more matches in drought-hit Maharashtra



The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the Maharshtra Cricket Association’s appeal against the Bombay High Court order to shift IPL matches out of the State post April 30.

According to a report in The Hindu, a Bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur was initially inclined to allow the matches in Maharashtra with some strict conditions like the stadium authorities will not be permitted to use "even a drop of potable water” for their matches.

However, the bench also comprising Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit dismissed the petition and said that let the matches be shifted out of the state.

At the outset, senior advocate P Chidambaram and A.M. Singhvi, appearing for the State cricket bodies, sought a stay on the Bombay High Court order, saying that they will not be using potable water for any cricketing activity in stadiums in Mumbai and Pune and rather use treated sewage water.

The Bench, during the hearing, sought response from the lawyers about the claim that 60 lakh litres of water would be required for maintenance of the grounds on the eve of IPL matches which were scheduled to be played in the state.

Mr. Chidambaram referred to certain letters and said that the stadiums would be needing 10,000 litres a day for six days and potable water will not be used.

He refuted the claim that 60 lakh litres of water would be required and said that at best, 60,000 litres of treated water would be used for watering the grounds which would be brought in tankers.

Considering the submissions, the bench said, "We will direct the civic bodies to disconnect the drinking water to the establishment and not a drop of potable water will be used. We will appoint a judicial officer who, with the help of police, will ensure that drinking water is not used.”

The court later dismissed the plea after having noted it would be better to shift the matches out rather than to create a situation where all kinds of regulations would be needed.

The dismissal of the petition would lead to relocation of five IPL matches which were to be played at homegrounds of IPL franchises — Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants.

The Bombay High Court had on April 13 ordered shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after April 30 to another state in view of the severe drought in the State.
 
(Courtesy : *The Hindu)




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Rio Olympics: Salman Khan To Be India's Goodwill Ambassador
23.04.16 - pt team
Rio Olympics: Salman Khan To Be India's Goodwill Ambassador



Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been named Indian Contingent's goodwill ambassador for the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is the first time that a Bollywood superstar will be a goodwill ambassador for the national squad for as big an event like the Summer Olympics.
 
The announcement was made in Delhi in front of sporting stars like MC Mary Kom, Sardar Singh, Ritu Rani, Deepika Kumari, Apurvi Chandela, Manika Batra. The Games start from August 5.
 
"Olympic sports don't get enough viewership as compared to cricket. It's not cricket's fault but our fault for not watching. They need our support," Salman Khan said after being named as India's goodwill ambassador for Olympics. " I will try to go to Rio for a while if not for full duration."
 
He also revealed that he is a fan of Sania Mirza, Sushil Kumar and Vijender Singh.
 
"My sporting heroes are Sania, Sushil and Vijender. I hope I can give them the push that they need, in my role as goodwill ambassador. Kuch Na much zaroor leke aana (Bring medals for country)," he said.
 
Salman, who in Bollywood movies show him as an icon of strength and power, has been seen at Pro-Kabaddi league matches. In July last year, Salman was seen at the match between U Mumba and Puneri Paltan.
 
The Bollywood star has also been linked to the Indian Super League football team FC Pune City.




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After historic 2016 Olympics qualification, Dipa 'vaults' to gold
19.04.16 - pt team
After historic 2016 Olympics qualification, Dipa 'vaults' to gold



Rio de Janeiro: Hours after creating history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Dipa Karmakar clinched the gold in vaults finals at the test event of the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

The 22-year-old scored 14.833 as her best effort to finish first in the women's vaults finals and win the gold in a rare such feat by an Indian gymnast in a global event.
Dipa came up with her gold-winning effort in the first attempt itself and she scored 14.566 in her second and last try. This gold won by Dipa in vaults has nothing to do with her Olympic qualification in the artistic event, which is an all-round competition.
 
Gymnastics officials said that Dipa's feat was the first time an Indian woman clinched a gold in a global gymnastic competition.
 
"No Indian has ever won a gold at a global event earlier and Dipa's gold is the first time this is happening. She has qualified for the Olympics and then has won a gold now. It is fantastic stuff," international referee Deepak Kagra told PTI.
 
Earlier in the day, Dipa created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics as she booked a berth for the Rio Games after a strong performance at the final qualifying and test event.
 
The Tripura girl garnered a total score of 52.698 points in the Olympics qualifying event to book a berth for artistic gymnastics in Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August.
 
Apart from being the first Indian woman, she will also be an Indian gymnast qualifying for the quadrennial extravaganza after 52 long years.
 
Since the independence of the country, 11 Indian male gymnast have taken part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964) but this will be the first for an Indian woman at the Olympics.
 
The International Federation of Gymnastics (Federation Internationale de Gymnastique) has confirmed Dipa's Rio Games qualification in its official release.
 
"Following the Women's Qualification Competition at the Gymnastics Test Event in Rio, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) herewith confirms the list of nations and individual gymnasts that have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," the world body said in its release.
 
Dipa has been listed as the 79th gymnast among individual qualifiers in the list of women's artistic gymnast who have qualified for the Rio Olympics.




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Golf is no more a crime: China's Communist party
15.04.16 - Tom Phillips*
Golf is no more a crime: China's Communist party



Teeing off is not a crime, the Communist party of China has decreed, lifting millions of fairway fanatics out of the rough.
 
Banned by Mao Zedong – who despised the "sport for millionaires” – golf enjoyed a renaissance during the 80s and 90s only to be outlawed for the party’s 85 million members in 2015 as a result of president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive.
 
Articles in the party-controlled media have painted China’s golf courses as cauldrons of profiteering where the palms of rotten officials are greased by favour-seeking business people.
 
"The golf course is gradually changing into a muddy field where they trade money for power,” one state-run newspaper complained in 2015.
 
Party leaders appeared to step back from their condemnation of the game this week.
 
"Since it is only a sport, there is no right or wrong about playing golf,” an article in the Discipline Inspection and Supervision News, the official newspaper of China’s anti-corruption agency, declared.
 
The newspaper pointed to article 87 of the Communist party’s disciplinary regulations which deals with potential punishments for the illicit possession of golf membership cards.
 
"Can officials play golf while the nation steps up efforts to clamp down on corruption and promote austerity?” the China Daily asked. "The answer is yes - if they pay out of their own pockets.”
 
"Playing golf itself is not a wrongdoing,” the newspaper confirmed.
 
A report in the Global Times tabloid suggested the Communist party continued to harbour serious reservations about golf.
 
Su Wei, an academic at a school for Communist party cadres in Chongqing, told the newspaper Chinese golf course had become "an arena for corruption” where bribes were routinely offered to government officials.  
 
"Golf can satisfy some officials’ vanity, corrupting their lifestyle, which can lead to damage to the Party’s image and the erosion of officials’ ability to serve,” Su was quoted sa saying.
 
China’s burgeoning golfing community is one of many to have been affected by president Xi’s bid to eradicate corruption.
 
Since he came to power some of the party’s most powerful figures have been thrown into jail including former security chief Zhou Yongkang and some of the most senior members of the People’s Liberation Army.
 
Speaking in January Xi used words straight from the clubhouse to announce his determination to cleanse China’s government.
 
"To forge iron,” he said, "one must be strong.”
 
Courtesy ; *The Guardian
 
Photograph : A golf course in Shenzhen, China. The Communist Party has decreed that golf is not a crime. Courtesy: Bobby Yip/Reuters




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IPL 9: HC asks BCCI to shift matches out of Maharashtra after April 30
13.04.16 - pt team
IPL 9: HC asks BCCI to shift matches out of Maharashtra after April 30



The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that it will allow Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Maharashtra until April 30 after which the rest of the matches must be shifted out of the state.
 
The hearing was in respect to the petition filed by an NGO asking that IPL matches be shifted out of the drought affected state.
 
The direction was given after BCCI informed the court that it would henceforth use treated sewage water, provided by the Royal Western Indian Turf Club (RWITC) in Mumbai and Pune, to maintain its grounds and pitches.
 
The BCCI on Wednesday in a reply to a plea in Bombay High Court asking the cricket body to shift IPL matches out of drought-hit Maharashtra said that the cricket body and three IPL franchise teams are willing to pay money for the CM's Drought Relief Fund and supply over 40 lakh water to affected areas.
 
According to a DNA report, a division bench of justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik in the Bombay HC asked yesterday the BCCI to inform them if it was willing to donate to the chief minister's drought relief fund and if it would provide around 40 lakh litres of water to areas where there is scarcity. It further asked the BCCI to consider shifting a few IPL matches, to be held in Pune, out of the state.
 
The BCCI replied to it saying, "We are ready to supply more than 40 lakh litres of water to the drought hit areas, be it Latur or any place. We're paying Rs five crores directly for the drought relief and the RWITC has given in undertaking that they will not back out.'' The Mumbai and Pune team franchises are willing to give Rs five crore each towards CM drought relief fund, the BCCI told HC.
 
BCCI also said that it will consult Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA )to shift Nagpur matches somewhere else. It also reiterated that the RWITC has given undertaking about supply of required recycled sewage water for Mumbai and Pune stadiums.
 
The HC ordered the government to monitor the promised water (by BCCI) and see that it has supplied it to affected areas. "We propose to monitor state water policy," said HC.
 
Hitting out at the state government, HC said, "The state Govt files affidavit, says they have no objection if the matches are shifted out of the state but on the other hand they are saying that shifting matches will not solve the problem, but the court can't close eyes from the plight of millions.
 
Bombay HC observes that Maharashtra Govt is passing bucks to municipal corporation
 
"Tickets are sold, there are many other people involved who are benefited by IPL, so the IPL should be allowed," says BCCI. The cricket body also said, "There are many ways to find long term solutions for water scarcity.
 
"As far as BCCI or MCA is concerned, they just get the rent of the stadium, rest is franchise's profit."
 
The Pune franchise lawyer before the hearing had opposed shifting of IPL matches outside Pune, saying "If the matches are shifted our local support benefit will go and we will suffer financial losses." The Pune franchise's lawyer also said that large part of what the court and the petitioner suggested is being done and that they were ready for something more as suggested by petitioners and court.
 
The petitioner that asked whether money can be substituted for water, in response to the Pune franchise lawyer statement about facing losses over shifting of venue. "In 2009 also, IPL was shifted to South Africa," the petitioner said.
 
During the hearing, petitioner's lawyer said, "We have report confirming that RWITC was penalised in past for illegal usage of water."
 
The Bombay High Court had on Tuesday asked the cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it would compensate the state by donating money and providing water to drought-affected areas for holding the
Indian Premier League (IPL) in Maharashtra, and using non-potable water for maintaining grounds and pitches. The state is facing a severe drought, and as many as nine IPL matches are to be played in Pune and eight in Mumbai.
 
Petitioners also informed the court that Kings 11 Punjab and VCA have been served notice through email to be made party in the matter
 
The directions were given during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Loksatta Movement, seeking directions to the government to shift IPL matches outside Maharashtra. The petition claimed that around 40-60 lakh litres of water will be used to maintain pitches, which instead could be diverted to people facing severe shortage of water in Vidarbha and Marathwada.




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