SA marks Year of Biodiversity

first_imgFlowers growing in the Drakensberg’s Injasuthi nature reserve. (Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), and South Africa, with its wealth of natural treasures, is set to mark the event along with the rest of the world.The year-long celebration of the variety of life on earth is driven by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), under the slogan Biodiversity is life, Biodiversity is our life.The CBD, a global plan to tackle important issues facing biodiversity, entered into force in December 1993. The secretariat exists to facilitate meetings of the parties to the CBD and to coordinate with relevant international bodies.South Africa became a signatory to this important convention in 1993, and a party in 1995. The country has since ratified the instrument, which means that it has been approved by Parliament and is now binding.The 10th conference of the parties, known as COP 10, takes place in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010.The IYB will be officially launched in Berlin on 11 January under the auspices of Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry.Its goals are to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and threats facing natural life, promote understanding of the economic value of biodiversity, encourage organisations and individuals to step up their conservation activities, celebrate achievements, and to forge an effective plan going forward from 2010.Global extinction crisisThe CBD has stated that global biodiversity is in the throes of the greatest extinction crisis since the demise of dinosaurs 65-million years ago.Some experts estimate that precious species are disappearing at up to 1 000 times the natural extinction rate, and worse, the CBD predicts a dramatic rise in the already-frightening rate. Current trends show that around 34 000 plant and 5 200 animal species face extinction at this moment, and that 66% of ecosystems around the world are approaching ruin. Now is the time to act.The IYB also coincides with the 2010 Biodiversity Target, an international conservation agreement to significantly reduce the global biodiversity drain due to often-irresponsible human activity. The target was first adopted by the EU in June 1991 and later confirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.Announcing the IYB, executive secretary of the CBD, Ahmed Djoghlaf, said not one country had met the terms of the target, which were to achieve, by 2010, “a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth”.The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Countdown 2010 branch has brought together around 1 000 participants – representing governments, civil society and corporations – to work towards achieving the 2010 biodiversity target.Celebrating our biodiversityAlthough South Africa covers just 2% of the world’s surface area, it is home to nearly 10% of all the world’s plants, which amounts to 24 000 species. About 7% of the world’s vertebrates and 5.5% of all known insects also call the country home, making it a biodiversity treasure trove.Within its borders lie three internationally renowned biodiversity hotspots. These are the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom, the Succulent Karoo – which flows into Namibia, and the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany region. Maputaland-Pondoland is shared with Mozambique and Swaziland.South Africa is also famed for its marine biodiversity. About 11 000 species – some 15% of the global total – dwell in South African waters, with 3 496 species, or over 25%, endemic to the country. South Africa is the fifth richest country in Africa and 24th in the world in terms of the number of mammal, birds, amphibians and reptiles that are native to her soil.The South African government is well aware of the immense value of the country’s biodiversity, and between 2003 and 2005 developed and implemented a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. This document, overseen by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, identified nine areas for conservation priority and also laid out steps to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.The country’s Biodiversity Act was signed into law in 2004 by then-president Thabo Mbeki, providing biodiversity protection at the highest level. Among others, the act calls for full environmental impact assessments before the development of any genetically modified organisms, and also permits communities to benefit from any profits gained through exploitation of natural materials, such as medicinal plants, that involve their indigenous knowledge.Raising awarenessIn addition to the numerous environment-aware celebrations in South Africa each year, the country is hosting the Biodiversity Expo 2010, a gathering which will explore the work currently being done in that field, and establish what more needs to be done.South Africans are encouraged to attend, if possible, and to broaden their knowledge of biodiversity, perhaps even becoming involved on a volunteer or career basis.The expo takes place from 25-28 March 2010 at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Newlands, Cape Town. This well-known research institute and tourist drawcard is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.South Africa will mark the following environment-related events in 2010:•    World Wetlands Day (2 February);•    National Water Week (15-19 March);•    World Water Day (22 March);•    Earth Hour (27 March);•    Earth Day (22 April);•    International Day for Biodiversity (22 May);•    World Environment Week (31 May-14 June);•    World Environment Day (5 June);•    Arbour Week (1-7 September);•    International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (16 September);•    Marine Week (11-15 October);•    National Bird Week (22-26 November).Football stars support biodiversityThe UN Environmental Programme has teamed up with sportswear manufacturer Puma in an IYB campaign to support Africa’s vulnerable plants and animals, and raise awareness of the year-long event among football fans.Play for Life sees 12 Puma-sponsored African teams adopting a unique continental football strip known as the Africa Unity Kit, as their official third kit. They are Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Mozambique, Togo, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco and Namibia.The 12 teams will also wear the Fifa-approved strip during friendly games in the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June in Johannesburg.The Africa Unity Kit debuts at the 2010 African Cup of Nations football tournament in Angola between 10 and 31 January. All profits from worldwide sales of the replica kit will support biodiversity programmes in Africa. Besides the kit, other items such as Unity t-shirts and lacelets – collectable shoe laces featuring patterns from leading American artist Kehinde Wiley – are available.“In 2010, Africa will be at the centre of the footballing world. The Play for Life campaign and the release of the Africa Unity Kit is a powerful statement for Puma,” said the company’s CEO Jochen Zeitz.“Puma is creating a unique kit embracing the diversity of African teams while valuing the unity of players and supporters towards a common goal – raising both awareness and funds through the sale of our Unity products,” he said.last_img read more

Manilal has plans to boost TIA

first_imgThe new head of the Technology Innovation Agency has a clear plan for his tenure. He aims to get a clean audit for the beleaguered state organisation, become the employer of choice, and make excellence part of the daily work ethic for everyone. Barlow Manilal said he aspirations for TIA include a clean audit and being the employer of choice in South Africa. (Image: Supplied, Technology Innovation Agency)Melissa JavanA clean audit, being the employer of choice in South Africa, and being regarded as benchmark in the funding arena, are just a few of the aspirations of Barlow Manilal, the new chief executive officer of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has pencilled in for his term at the helm.Manilal took office on 1 April, after interim chief executive Prof Rivka Kfir stepped down at the end of her tenure. She was assigned by Derek Hanekom, at the time the minister of science and technology, in April 2014 with a year-long contract.The TIA was established in terms of the TIA Act, with the objective of stimulating and intensifying technological innovation in order to improve economic growth and quality of life in South Africa by developing and exploiting technological innovations.According to the agency, it primarily uses South Africa’s science and technology base to develop new industries, create sustainable jobs and help to diversify the economy. It invests in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, health, mining, energy and information and communications technology.The previous chief executive, Simphiwe Duma, and the chief financial officer, Barbara Kortjass, were dismissed in March 2014 after a disciplinary process. It arose after the TIA board received several allegations in May 2013 levelled against Duma and five other agency officials.“Deloitte was appointed in July to investigate allegations of nepotism, intimidation of external auditors, irregular investment transactions, Duma’s expenses, and procurement of goods and services,” reported News24. “Disciplinary proceedings against six staff members, including the CEO and CFO of TIA, were conducted after the report by Deloitte.”Regarding their dismissal, Manilal said last week it was neither appropriate nor ethical for him to discuss matters of this nature as the processes and parties involved needed to be respected. “We need to put a stake in the ground and say we are moving forward as TIA. I am accountable and my journey starts here.“TIA’s positioning, effectiveness and demonstration of being an effective instrument to advance the objectives of the National System of Innovation are areas of focus. I guess trust is earned and TIA will commence this journey with a view to earning that trust in a very sustainable and credible manner,” he said.Automative chiefManilal holds a Bachelor of Science honours in industrial technology and management, among several other management qualifications.He was previously the head of the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) and is no stranger to working with a big team – he had a team of 160 at the centre. He spend 14 years at this organisation, seven of which he was the chief executive.During his tenure, the institution posted several accomplishments to show. Manilal was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Business Awards in July 2012 and won the Black Business Quarterly’s Public Sector Visionary Award in October 2013. He and the AIDC also won the Oliver Empowerment Awards’ Most Transformed Public Sector Award in 2014.Manilal also served as the national president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation of South Africa from 2006 until the beginning of 2015. He is an editorial advisory board member of Transport World Africa, a representative on the Federation of Supply Chain Management Associations of South Africa, and is on the Automotive Industry Advisory Council to the University of Johannesburg.The challengesHis challenges at the TIA, he said, included a restructuring process, dealing with day-to-day business activities and service delivery. He planned to work closely with staff and management so that nobody was left behind in the process. “We then have to take a very pragmatic approach and prioritise effectively. The most important factors will be diligence, discipline and accountability.”“Make excellence an attitude” is his motto, which he takes to his private life too. Manilal once said that Richard Branson was his favourite businessman. “He [Branson] is one of the few people who has mastered the art of having outrageous fun whilst achieving immense success… having fun is extremely important to me.”last_img read more

Even Microsoft Wishes Internet Explorer 6 Would Just Die Already

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts For the most part, Internet Explorer 6 falls well below 5% for many countries. The problem, it seems, is in Asia. China tops the list of problem countries, with 34%, while South Korea comes in with around 25%, followed by a number of countries in the region at around 10%. IE6 only accounts for 3% of browser usage in the U.S., while both Norway and Finland lead the world with under 1% each. Why do people still use the now ancient browser? Some companies actually use it as a form of control. Websites like Facebook and YouTube are not accessible using IE6, meaning employees can’t mess around while they’re on the job. But why is the browser so popular in countries like China and South Korea? According to Download Squad‘s Sebastian Anthony, it could be a result of piracy. “China is notorious for its number of pirate Windows installs, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even claiming that as 9 in 10 copies of Windows in China are pirated,” writes Anthony. Nonetheless, even usage there has dropped dramatically, with IE6 falling from more than 50% last August to 35% today. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Browsers#Microsoft#news#NYT#web mike melanson Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Web developers, designers and users rejoice: Internet Explorer 6 use is quickly on the decline. Even Microsoft, the company that released Internet Explorer 6 more than a decade ago, has joined in on the celebration.“Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011, in an era of modern web standards,it’s time to say goodbye,” writes the company on a website it launched today to track the browser’s demise.“This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers,” writes Microsoft.As part of its countdown, Microsoft released a detailed map of where the browser is still being used the most.last_img read more

13 railway employees of Khatauli station terminated for Utkal Express derailment

first_imgThe Railway administration on Wednesday terminated the services of 13 railway employees of the Khatauli station for the derailment of Utkal Express on August 19. More than 24 people were killed and 154 injured during the derailment which happened when Utkal Express was allowed to cross the track even when the track was being repaired. The local track men and railway engineers allowed repair work without taking the prior permission of senior officials. Superintendent of Khatauli railway station Rajendra Singh told The Hindu that the tracks were being repaired without informing senior officials. Those who were removed include 11 trackmen, 1 junior engineer and 1 hammer man. They were found to have committed “serious lapse during duty.” Neeraj Sharma, the chief spokesperson of the Northern Railway told The Hindu, “In connection with Khatauli train accident, 13 Railway employee including 11 trackmen, 1 Junior engineer, 1 hammer man, have been removed from service by Railway administration. They were involved in serious lapse during duty.”The termination of services of employees comes in a series of major reshuffle in the administrative set up of the railways following the derailment.last_img read more

No place for gods at Nashik Municipal Corporation

first_imgWith slackers in the Nashik Municipal Corporation feeling the heat of the newly appointed commissioner Tukaram Mundhe’s functioning methods, the IAS officer on Tuesday issued yet another directive prohibiting display of images of gods and religious figures at work tables and stations of the employees.Mr. Mundhe has ordered work places and desks across departments in the NMC to be cleared of religious imagery.Government orderThe Commissioner was acting on a government order which dissuades government employees from adorning offices with such pictures or performing rituals.According to sources, the clearing has already begun in right earnest. In another move literally aimed at dusting off bureaucratic spider webs, the Commissioner has ordered that the NMC premises be cleaned every Saturday and Sunday, and dust from files to be swept away.Transferred nearly a dozen times in his 13-year tenure as IAS officer, Mr. Mundhe is a darling of the vernacular press, which minutely tracks his actions and pronouncements.One of his first acts on taking charge of the NMC on February 9 was to send the chief of the Nashik Fire Brigade home after he failed to appear in ‘proper uniform’.Imposing strict sartorial discipline, Mr. Mundhe has also warned all NMC employees to follow a formal dress code during work hours and that wearing casuals and sport shoes would not be tolerated.Determined to make his staff look crisp and sharp, Mr. Mundhe, while outlining his vision to transform Nashik into an ideal city on the cleanliness, environment and civic amenities fronts, has ordered that employees adhere to punctuality.His no-nonsense style of functioning has found himself perpetually at daggers drawn with politicos and contractors, while earning plaudits and cheers from citizens.His previous posting as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) lasted barely 10 months, with the city’s corporators resenting Mr. Mundhe’s efforts to revive the moribund PMPML as “overbearing”.In a bid to make the organization [PMPML] efficient, Mr. Mundhe had sacked nearly 160 contract drivers for poor attendance records – a move that drew the ire of populist politicians.last_img read more

Undisputed champ: Crawford stops Indongo in 3rd round

first_imgSEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program MOST READ Chaos ensues as McIntyre wins NXT title in NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III Crawford (32-0, 23 knockouts) was in his home state for the fifth time in nine fights but for the first time in Lincoln, 45 minutes from his Omaha base.Indongo (22-1, 11 knockouts) was fighting for the first time in the United States after winning bouts in Russia and Scotland to win his titles.Crawford entered the ring to roars from the Pinnacle Bank Arena sellout crowd of 12,121 after coming down the steps from the arena concourse. He wore a red No. 140 Nebraska Cornhuskers football jersey, a nod to this city being home to the University of Nebraska.With fans on their feet and chanting his name, the 29-year-old Crawford seized control early. When his final blow took down Indongo, the decibel level increased even more, and Crawford jumped in the air in the middle of the ring in celebration.Indongo couldn’t get up.ADVERTISEMENT Terence “Bud” Crawford celebrates his victory by knockout over Julius Indongo in the third round of their junior welterweight world title unification boxing bout in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)LINCOLN, Neb. — Terence Crawford stopped Julius Indongo in the third round Saturday night to become the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds.Crawford sent Indongo to the canvas with a right to the body in the last minute of the second round and just missed with a massive left hook before the bell. Midway through the third round, Crawford caught Indongo with a left hook to the body that put him down writhing in pain.ADVERTISEMENT “When he hit me, it hurt so bad,” he said. “When he hit me like that, my mind was gone.”On the undercard, 20-year-old Shakur Stevenson scored a unanimous decision over Argentinian David Paz in a super featherweight bout. Stevenson (3-0, 1 knockout) flashed superior speed and finesse throughout the six rounds and knocked down Paz (4-4-1) late in the fifth.Stevenson, of Newark, New Jersey, is considered a rising star in the pro ranks after earning a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.“I feel like the competition stepped up this fight and I feel like I put on a good show, a good boxing display,” Stevenson said. “I was really trying to get the knockout, and I was trying to get him with a good hard punch. I was trying to hit him with my left hand and my hook. I do need to use my jab a lot more.”Light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) of Ukraine stopped Craig Baker (17-2, 13 KOs) of Baytown, Texas, at 2:40 of the sixth round. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses The fight was the first four-belt unification bout since 2004, when Bernard Hopkins stopped Oscar De La Hoya to claim all the belts in the 160-pound division. Crawford came in with the WBC and WBO belts; Indongo, from Namibia, was the WBA and IBF champion.“It means everything,” Crawford said. “I’m the only one who can I’m the undisputed champion of the world. That’s big because there’s nobody else who can they’re undisputed in their weight division.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPromoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said the plan is for Crawford to go with him to Australia for the expected November rematch between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao. Arum wants Crawford to fight the winner.“I’m all for it,” Crawford said. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

Moved to tears, Rudy Gobert feels disrespect in NBA All-Star snub

first_imgView comments Fans reach for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert as he leaves the court following the team’s NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was in tears Friday after being snubbed for even a reserve spot in this year’s NBA All-Star Game despite a standout campaign.The 26-year-old French 7-footer (2.16m) is this year’s most accurate NBA shooter, connecting on 65% of shots from the floor, and has had a strong follow up to last season’s Defensive Player of the Year honors.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss With NBA coaches making the call on backup players, Gobert felt especially insulted at his defensive efforts being unrewarded, even knowing the all-star matchup is typically a score-fest with half-hearted defensive work.“I think it’s disrespectful. I feel disrespected,” Gobert said. “It’s disrespectful not only toward me but toward the team, the organization and toward the game.“Because all the coaches preach about defense. Every day they talk about defense, they talk about how important it is to get stops in order to win basketball games.“And when it’s time to vote, they don’t reward the best defensive player in the world.”Gobert said he resisted the urge to take his displeasure to Twitter but Utah Jazz president Steve Starks did not, tweeting: “Rudy deserved to be named an All-Star. Complete non-sense and we need more integrity and accountability. If the coaches vote then their ballots should be made public.”ADVERTISEMENT But he waited in vain Thursday night to hear his name when the list of reserve players for the February 17 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte was announced.“My mom called me crying,” Gobert said in a posting on the club website. “It was tough.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesGobert turned off his television and admitted Friday he felt disrespected and frustrated by the all-star snub.“I was surprised,” he said. “We all know how the league works, the direction the league is heading to. I thought there was a chance I might not make it, but just surprised.” ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Towns crier: Timberwolves big man emotional over NBA All-Star honor Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Jazz GM ‘disgusted’Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said he was “disgusted” and “flabbergasted” by the snub that upset Gobert so deeply.And Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, averaging 22.5 points a game, tweeted to Gobert that “Together we will prevail big fella” with a hashtag of “robbed.”“The first year, it was OK. I was 24. It was my first year playing well. I thought maybe I have to make a name for myself, earn the respect,” Gobert said.“But I’ve won the Defensive Player of the Year. I should have two, by the way. All-NBA Second Team. And they still don’t give me that respect.“I’m always going to be about winning. I don’t want to be focused on those things. But at one point I’d still like to get that recognition.”Gobert says he would take an all-star nod as an injury replacement selection but added, “It’s not the same as being selected.”It also wouldn’t pay him the $1 million bonus Gobert would have had from being selected, but that means less, Gobert said, than how his career will be regarded once it’s done.“It’s my legacy,” Gobert said. “I don’t even play for money. I don’t care about that All-Star bonus, to be honest. It’s just about my legacy. Everything I do, I do it to win. It would be good if you could get some reward for that.” PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woeslast_img read more

People did not know where Vidarbha was but it won’t be so after Ranji triumph: Umesh Yadav

first_imgVidarbha lifted their second successive Ranji Trophy title with a comfortable 78-run win over Saurashtra in the final, proving that their maiden triumph last year was no “fluke”.Vidarbha needed five wickets to defend their title while Saurashtra, in a chase of 206, were left a mountain to climb after a top-order collapse on Wednesday. They required 148 runs for their maiden title on the fifth and final day at the VCA stadium.”Everyone thought it was a fluke when we won last year and we were under pressure to retain the title. But our focus was process, we never bothered about reputation,” Vidarbha’s talismanic coach Chandrakant Pandit said.The fiercely fought final swung early on but Vidarbha went into the final day with a tight hold on the proceedings and bundled out the visitors for 127 with more than two sessions to spare.Overnight batsmen Vishvaraj Jadeja (52) and Kamlesh Makvana (14) batted resolutely for the first hour but once the partnership was broken, the end was inevitable for Saurashtra.Man of the match left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate claimed three of the five wickets that fell on Thursday, to end with career-best match figures of 11/57. He took six for 59 in the second innings.It was his maiden haul of 10 or more wickets in a first-class match. He had scalped five batsmen in the first innings.Sarwate, without doubt, was the star of the match for Vidarbha as he not only took 11 of the 20 Saurashtra wickets with his left-arm spin, his 49-run knock in the second innings played a key role in his side setting the stiff 206-run target.advertisementVidarbha is only the sixth team in the tournament’s long history to have defended the title.Mumbai, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Delhi are the other teams who have managed to win consecutive titles.Saurashtra had ended runners-up to Mumbai in 2012-13 and 2015-16 and again it was a case of so close yet so far for them.The batting failure of star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara hurt Saurashtra badly. But Vidarbha managed to stay unaffected by Wasim Jaffer’s poor contribution.”People did not know where Vidarbha was but it will not be the case now. It is huge for Vidarbha. The team is doing a great job,” said India pacer Umesh Uadav.”I never thought I will win two titles with Vidarbha after playing 10 finals (eight with Mumbai),” gushed veteran Jaffer.Earlier, for Saurashtra Makvana and Vishvaraj were not afraid to go for their shots as they swept Sarwate with confidence to send a few to the boundary ropes.With Umesh Yadav and Sarwate not getting the desired results, Vidarbha brought Akshay Wakhare into the attack.Both Jadeja and Makvana though kept rotating the strike.Sarwate soon started extracting sharp turn from the wicket and tested Makvana’s defense. After a close appeal for leg-before, Makvana swept the bowler for a four in the deep mid-wicket region.However, two balls later, Sarwate bowled Makvana who left the ball, thinking it will turn away, but it remained straight and hit the top of the off-stump.They batted for one hour together and added 33 runs for the sixth wicket.Only three runs were added to the total when Wakhare trapped new man in Prerak Mankad (2) to push Saurashtra to 91 for seven.Vishvaraj completed his half-century but Sarwate trapped both him and rival captain Jaydev Unadkat.Wakhare brought the curtains down on the match when Dharmendrasinh Jadeja lofted one straight to Sarwate.Also Read | Unreal feeling: Faiz Fazal after Vidarbha defend Ranji Trophy titleAlso Read | Vidarbha beat Saurashtra by 78 runs to defend Ranji Trophy titlelast_img read more

22 days agoArsenal boss Emery: Martinelli’s long-term position?

first_imgArsenal boss Emery: Martinelli’s long-term position?by Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGabriel Martinelli is set for more action with Arsenal tonight.Martinelli finds himself in line to feature for Arsenal tonight, when they host Standard Liege in the Europa League.Gunners head coach Unai Emery said: “He is with us because he deserves to be with us. Pre-season was his chance to show and to work with us and we are very, very happy with him. He is a very fast player and that is a quality that is very important. “He gives us good pressing ­without the ball, good pace in the final third, chances to score and he’s getting better. He is young but if his ­performances are getting better every day, it is good for him to carry on being with us.”On Martinelli’s long-term position, he added: “We used him in training and against Nottingham Forest as a striker.“It is not the best position for him but he played well and he played there sometimes in Brazil but he can play right or left.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

The 76ers Would Be The Worst Expansion Team In Modern NBA History

Lewis Schaffel1989Miami1300-726 Bernie Bickerstaff1991Denver1479-2335 Michael Jordan2001Washington1436-150146 Chris Wallace2008Memphis1416-9296 Pat Williams1990Orlando1300-9252 Rod Thorn2001New Jersey1446-109234 Walter Brown1947Boston1300-82100 Harry Weltman1988New Jersey1412-80-49 GMs inheriting rebuilding teams Stu Jackson1996Vancouver1300-7540 Ernie Grunfeld2004Washington1444-119114 Sam Presti2008Seattle1440-137119 John Paxson2004Chicago1420-109112 Jack McCloskey1993Minnesota1325-60-59 Billy King2011New Jersey1352-5197 Grizzlies1996-75-62+35 The average GM in that situation saw a 62-point Elo improvement from the beginning of Year Two through 27 games of his third season, and 24 of 32 GMs oversaw some kind of improvement. Hinkie, by contrast, saw a loss of 84 Elo points over the same span — by far the steepest drop on a list littered with some of the most glaring managerial failures in league history. Adding insult to embarrassment: yes, that’s Colangelo up at the top, albeit navigating a very different NBA in 1969.You’ll notice that a few of the GMs on the above list took the reins of an expansion club. Certainly, the 2013-14 76ers featured a roster that could pass for a brand-new NBA franchise. This raises the question: How might the Sixers fare if we arbitrarily (but, let’s be honest, justifiably) assigned them an expansion-level Elo of 1300 before the 2013-14 season and compared their progress to those of the NBA’s other modern expansion teams, going back to the 1976 ABA-NBA merger? Now that Jerry Colangelo is Skyping in to the Wells Fargo Center for what The New York Times calls a “father figure” role in the 76ers front office — which, suuure — it seems like an opportune time to take inventory of just how big a mess Sam Hinkie and his Process have made.We know, we know: The Sixers want to be this bad; these are planned grotesqueries; the trades have been fine and the picks are still coming and never you mind the reported dozen-odd team owners banging down Adam Silver’s door demanding a good waterboarding for ol’ Sam. Silver, of course, denies intervening (which you can hear for yourself on a special episode of Hot Takedown), and that’s practically a co-sign from the man in charge, isn’t it now? A full-on prosecution of Hinkie’s process is justified and overdue. For now, however, we’ll confine ourselves to discussing the shape of Philadelphia’s evolution in the broadest possible sense, comparing its progress during Hinkie’s reign with that of other teams also undergoing such radical, um, rebirths.We looked at this a few ways. First, we used our Elo ratings to find all GMs who took over a below-average team that got worse in the GM’s first year in control — specifically, overseeing an Elo decline of at least 50 points,1The equivalent of a 2-point drop in point spread each game. enough of a drop to pick up teams that needed more than one offseason’s worth of work. We then looked for the Elo gains or losses each made between the start of his second season and the 27-game mark of his third — i.e., where Hinkie is with the Sixers right now.We’re trying to isolate full-on rebuilding jobs: teams that were already bad and were still in demolition mode during Year One but were presumably trying (or at least should have been trying) to lay down some semblance of a foundation after that. We can then judge Philadelphia’s progress against this historical standard. Turns out, Hinkie has ruled over the biggest Elo decline of any GM under those circumstances, ever: Hornets1989-24+5+41 Kiki Vandeweghe2002Denver1469-9065 Carl Bennett1949Fort Wayne1495-11388 Nick Mileti1971Cleveland1300-10354 Danny Ainge2004Boston1481-6834 David Kahn2010Minnesota1371-129137 What if the Sixers were an expansion team? Edwin Coil1966Detroit1428-11075 John Nash1991Washington1416-63-31 Mavericks1981-31+78+134 Pepper Wilson1959Cincinnati1481-174-16 Jerry Colangelo1969Phoenix1300-133243 Magic1990-92+137+34 Check out our 2015-16 NBA Predictions. Jim Paxson2000Cleveland1468-57-30 Rich Cho2012Charlotte1422-271168 ELO CHANGE FROM 1300 THROUGH SEASON Bobcats2005-5+80+65 Elo change for season three is through the first 27 gamesSource: Basketball-REFERENCE.com Garry St. Jean1998Golden State1406-11038 Glen Grunwald1998Toronto1445-202185 Rob Hennigan2013Orlando1478-22980 EXPANSION TEAM1ST YEARONETWOTHREE (1ST 27G) Elgin Baylor1987L.A. Clippers1424-21749 Sixers2014-137-68-88 EXECUTIVE1ST YEARTEAMINITIAL ELOYEAR 1YEAR 2 TO YEAR 3 Again, the Sixers are way behind schedule. Not only would their Elo change since “expansion” rank last among modern expansion franchises, they’re also the only team to be in worse shape after 27 games of Year Three than they were when the franchise “began.” Being a team with no past at all is better than being these Sixers.Now, the standard procession of Hinkie Stan counter-arguments. Argument the first: Expansion teams are generally trying to make incremental progress in their first few seasons, which is not necessarily what Hinkie’s Sixers are pursuing. Argument the second: The draft is an imperfect science with bad luck lurking behind every lottery pick, and the lottery itself is based on probabilities as well. When your entire team-building concept relies heavily on risk tolerance, it’s no surprise that busts are likely when the boom doesn’t come. Argument the third: The Only Goal Is Winning A Championship (And Building A Dynasty), and the Sixers remain well-positioned to draft or develop a superstar.We’ll leave those arguments to be settled another day. What this research suggests is that the Sixers have made significantly less progress than their historical analogs (to the extent those exist), and NBA fans looking to watch a decent game of basketball in Philadelphia these last three years would have been better served if the league had dissolved the 76ers and held tryouts. Eddie Donovan1971Buffalo1300-89-35 Timberwolves1990+41+108+33 Raptors1996-37+125+25 Heat1989-72-55+3 Sam Hinkie2014Philadelphia1460-206-84 Source: basketball-reference.com Mike Dunleavy1993Milwaukee1412-54-37 ELO CHANGE read more