West Indies Cricket- T20 Specialists

West Indies cricket team has turned into an average team from a powerhouse of 1970-1980 whom every team used to fear.

No one say that they were world champions in the ODIs and won almost all test series in the past. Today they are mediocre in ODIs and Tests. But T20 is one format in which they are still a threat.

So what is the reason for this??

Money for sure is the biggest reason for this. Grade A contracted West Indies cricketer gets USD 1,00,000 per year compared to around £4,50,000 of England grade A cricketer and USD 2,50,000 of Indian cricketers. West Indians cricketers are the least paid.

So the players have to look at alternatives like IPL and Big Bash and other T20 leagues wolrdwide to earn a decent living. For instance Kieron Pollard earns around $1million in IPL alone leave the other leagues aside.

Almost all WI cricketers play in all T20 leagues like IPL, Big Bash, Bangladesh Premiere League, Carribean League etc.

They hardly play and tests and ODI series in a year. Due to this WI is producing talented but T20 cricketers like Narine, Pollard, Sammy, Bravo etc.

Their rankings also point to the same story. They currently lie 8th in ICC rankings in both tests and ODIs but lie at respectable 5th in T20 rankings above Australia and England.

WICB is also not helping matters by not remunerating the players better to encourage them to play more tests and ODI for the country. Neither are they improvibg the sad state of cricket infrastructure in the country.

WI cricketers are known for their fighting spirit and the fun nature in which they play. Their flair combined with enjoyment is important to increase the viewership of ever falling ratings of test cricket.

We hope that WICB abd ICC will look into this and do something to encourage young and budding cricketers in WI to play test and ODIs

Missing malaysian airlines flight search – From mysterious to downright sinister – Part 2

Malaysian PM Mr Najib Razak announced on March 24, 2014 that based on analysis by Inmarsat, a British satellite firm, which provided satellite data and Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the UK, “.. that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth” He added “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”  

Meanwhile Malaysian Airlines sent this text message, “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived… we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”

Lets get some facts before moving ahead;

00.41 hrs, 8 March: Malaysian Airlines flight MH – 370 takes off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing

01:19 hrs 8 March: Final contact with the plane

Kuala Lumpur – Beijing distance ~ 2650 miles, 6 hr 10 min duration

So basically the PM says that the flight crashed somewhere in South Indian Ocean off Australian coast. But the million dollar question is, where is the physical evidence to back it? Also, why did the plane change course so dramatically? Why were the communications sytems shut down? How could it evade civil & military radars? Was there any logical explanation to the sequence of events? Well according to one blogger Chris Goodfellow , yes , here https://plus.google.com/106271056358366282907/posts/GoeVjHJaGBz He argues that there is sane answer, fire in the aircraft, to the hapennings.    

The angle that the flight might have landed somewhere secretly arose partly since the pilot’s simulator at his home had data of runways of Male airport, Diego Garcia (territory of UK but leased to US), Indian & Sri Lankan airports. Also, since the communications systems were shut down systematically to avoid detection evokes suspicion since there were no SOS calls. Zero Hedge has this http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-18/did-missing-flight-mh370-land-maldives-or-diego-garcia-full-updated-summary

Then there is this Maldivian angle http://www.haveeru.com.mv/news/54062 whereby residents of a remote Maldives angle Kuda Huvadhoo seeing a  “low flying jumbo jet” on the morning the jet disappeared at around 6.15 am local time.

Although this revealation came in slightly late, about 11 days after the disappearance, the time / distance looks right. Think  of it. The plane with enough fuel to traverse 6 – 7 hrs or ~ 2700 miles http://www.distance.to/Kuala-Lumpur/Beijing  with last contact point 40 mins into flight dramatically changed course over Vietnam taking a U – turn. Now, the distance from KL to Maldives is ~ 2000 miles accounting for the 40 mins which the plane flew in the other direction http://www.distance.to/Kuala-Lumpur/Maldives And finally, the distance to Diego Garcia is 729 miles http://www.distance.to/Maldives/Diego-Garcia or about 2700 miles in total. And the time ~ 6.15 am is about the time the jet liner would have taken to reach the place. So the plane had enough fuel to reach this top secret base leased to the US. Again, why Diego Garcia? Well, may be there was something that interesting in the cargo which had to be transported to a secret destination for unloading? Anyone checked the cargo ?

We all love conspiracy theories, dont we?. Dont like simple explanations to stuf. Spare a thought to the relatives and friends of those who disappeared in the longest disappearance of a jetliner in commercial aviation history. 

Gavaskar rewarded for the gutsy revelations

Sunil Gavaskar has been selected as the interim BCCI president replacing the under fire Srinivasan whose name is involved in the IPL match fixing saga along with in son-in-law Meiyyappan.

http://www.midnightbreakfast.wordpress.com in their article dated on 8th March 2014 had highlighted how Gavaskar had come out in open questioning the Nazi like behaviour of Srinivasan in the BCCI and IPL working and how his close aide Dhoni is dictating terms in Indian team selection for playing XI.

Now the apex legal authority of India has probably liked this and recommended Gavaskar’s name for post of BCCI president till the time probe is being carried out against Srinivasan.

This is a right step forward and this also proves that the analysis, arguements and prediction made by Midnight Breakfast were correct.

Another knock to the city

Congress led Maharashtra government recently announced the extension of the cut off date for regularising illegal encroachments in Mumbai to 2000 from the year 1995, just before the model code of conduct came into existence. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-clears-bill-to-make-pre-2000-slums-legal/articleshow/31186880.cms.

Just wondering, isnt there any way to just stop this? This is such a convenient way for the government to garner brownie points before every election.

By continuously extending dates and providing alternative accomodation to the encroachers, they are encouraging more and more squatting / encroachment in the city. Such moral hazard behaviour is encouraged as the date of slum regularising is extended continuously. Some real estate developer then comes into the picture by undertaking “rehabilitation schemes” for the squatters. The developer gets development rights in return which they exploit commercially elsewhere. The costs are huge with the little open spaces squatted up.

In the above chain, the politician benefits as he panders to his vote – bank, the squatters get free accomodation at the expense of the tax paying junta (who now might be cursing themselves for taking mortgages to buy homes), the real estate developer benefits as he rakes in the moolah by developing prime real estate in most cases. But the losers are the tax paying public and the city

In another story, apparently two ministers in the present government have stalled the rightful return of ~ 18 acres of Aarey land from a developer to the local authority.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Cong-ministers-stalled-return-of-18-5-acres-to-Aarey-Colony-by-builder/articleshow/32094476.cms

The above stories sums up the sorry state of affairs and the plight of this great city. Cut – off dates for slum regularisation keep on getting extended, the original date being 1976 then 1985 then 1995 and now 2000. Encroachment in Aarey, the only sizable green stretch of the city left, is a serious issue, may be topic for another blog post. Politicians, most of whom are non – Mumbaikars, in their attempt to garner a few more votes are irrepairably damaging the city.

Missing malaysian airlines flight search – From mysterious to downright sinister

It been almost 10 days since the Malaysian Airlines flight, a Boeing 777, from KL to Beijing went missing just hours after take off and the only thing that is clear is things are unclear. With the number of countries in the search & rescue effort now totalling 26 things are only getting complicated. Typically, with the passage of time, a search of this nature becomes more focused, whereas in this case its the opposite. The corridor of search is now from the Caspian Sea in Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. Only thing which is getting established is that the flight was hijacked since the communications systems of the plane were apparently systematically switched off.

We all so love conspiracy theories. Following is the list of some of the theories doing the rounds;

– Flight hijacked, took a U turn headed towards India in a 9/11 style attack: No less than former US Deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott pointed to the possibility of it being used as a projectile attacking an Indian city. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Was-Flight-370-hijacked-for-9/11-type-attack-in-India/articleshow/32106334.cms

– Flight hijacked and flown to the Afghan – Pak border: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/missing-malaysian-airlines-mh370-plane-3251347

– Flight hijacked with the help of onboard passengers which had among them a group from a semi – conductor company that is engaged in building of advanced and embedded processors capable of stealth technology.

Its really shocking that something as big as an airplane can go undetected on civilian and even military radars as also the almost crowd of satellites orbiting earth. 

Mumbai Metro Train- A Saga with enduring delays and Red Tapism

India is one of the fastest developing countries in the world with Mumbai as the financial hub with a population of around 25 million. Great infrastructure viz., public transport, which enables the people to smoothly travel to and fro for work and recreation, is imperative which would increase productivity and the quality of life in the city.

Keeping this in mind an ambitious project for Metro Rail was flagged off in 2006 by Manmohan Singh on lines with Delhi Metro to reduce the traffic congestion.

The project had three phases and was expected to complete in 2021:

Phase 1
Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar
Colaba-Bandra-Charkop
Bandra-Kurla-Mankhurd

Phase 2
Charkop-Dahisar
Ghatkopar-Mulund

Phase 3
BKC-Kanjurmarg via Andheri Andheri East-Dahisar East
Hutatma Chowk-Ghatkopar
Sewri-Prabhadevi

Total project length was 160 km with an estimated cost of INR 19,000 cr. It’s Private-Public partnership (PPP) between MMRDA (26%), Reliance Infra (69%) and Veolia (Residual). Construction work started in 2008 citing to feasibility and cost delays.

Cut to 2014, after 7 years now the testing and trial run is getting completed but that too of only ONE LINE of PHASE 1. The cost of the entire project has also increased to INR 67,000 cr now (+) 250%, ~ 400 Cr per km. Contractor and the government agency keep on parroting the lack of ‘unencumbered ROW’s, underground utilities and a generally dense population in the city excuse for the incessant delays.

Consider Delhi Metro, which was conceptualised and the physical construction began in 1998 by DMRC under Sreedharan. According to Wikipedia, Delhi Metro was planned to be built in phases spread over around 20 years as with each phase having a target of five years and end of one phase marking the beginning of another. Phase I (65 km) and Phase II (125 km) were completed in 2006 and 2011, respectively, and Phase III and Phase IV are scheduled for completion in 2016 and 2021, respectively. Work on Phase III has already started while planning for Phase IV has begun. Ex-chief of DMRC hinted that by the time Phase IV is completed, the city will need Phase V to cope with rising population and transport needs.

With 190 kms of length operational with a capital cost of Rs 200 Cr / km, is one of the cheapest.

When Mumbaikars finally thought that they might be able to have the metro experience, we came to know that there might be more cost and delay in the project. The entry and exits at the various points of several metro stations are near schools, shops, bus stops etc. and will be shifted which would mean increased cost of INR 36 cr and further delay.

Mumbai Metro train is a classic case of bureaucracy and red tapism in India and is a big black mark for a country wanting to compete with other developed countries.