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General Discussion / 4 charged with severing pot clinic owner's privates
« on: November 09, 2013, 10:29:38 AM »
4 charged with severing pot clinic owner's privates
Four have been charged with kidnapping, torture, burglary and inflicting bodily injury.

AP 3:59 a.m. EST November 9, 2013

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Four people were charged with kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner, torturing him with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis during a robbery because they thought he was burying piles of cash in the desert, authorities said Friday.

Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested Friday in Fresno, a day after the FBI arrested 34-year-old Hossein Nayeri in Prague in the Czech Republic, Orange County authorities said in a statement.

Nayeri was expected to face extradition proceedings.

Another man, Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 34, was arrested in October of last year.

The four have been charged with kidnapping for ransom, aggravated mayhem, torture, burglary and a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. They were being held without bail and could face up to life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted, prosecutors said.

It was not immediately known whether the Kevorkians and Nayeri had obtained lawyers.

Handley pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.

"It is my hope that by bringing to justice these three additional people it will become clear that Mr. Handley was not involved in this demonic criminal enterprise," Robert K. Weinberg, Handley's attorney, said Friday.

Prosecutors said the victim was a prosperous medical marijuana dispensary owner who took some of his pot suppliers — including Handley — to Las Vegas last year for an extravagant weekend.

After the trip, Handley told some friends that the dispensary owner was extremely wealthy and they came up with a plan to kidnap and rob him, according to a statement from the county district attorney's office and Newport Beach police.

Four weeks before the kidnapping, the would-be robbers began shadowing the dispensary owner, following him on frequent trips he made to the desert outside of Palm Springs.

He went out to discuss a possible investment deal, but the four wrongly believed he was driving there "to bury large amounts of cash," according to the statement.

On Oct. 2, 2012, Handley, Nayeri and Ryan Kevorkian went to the man's Newport Beach home, stole cash, bound and beat him and kidnapped him along with his roommate's girlfriend, then drove them out to a desert spot in a van, authorities contend.

Throughout the drive, they allegedly burned the dispensary owner with a blowtorch.

At the spot where the men believed the victim had hidden his money, they cut off his penis, poured bleach on him in an effort to destroy any DNA evidence and dumped him and the woman on the side of the road, authorities alleged.

The three men then drove away with the penis so that it couldn't be reattached, authorities claimed.
"The woman ran over a mile to a main road in the dark, while still bound with zip ties, and flagged down a police car," according to the statement.

The man survived his injuries.

After the crime, Nayeri fled to Iran, where he remained for several months, prosecutors said. He was arrested in Prague while changing flights from Iran to Spain to visit family, authorities said.

I was going to comment on Lloris's obvious concussion Sunday, but got caught up in other things, then I see this article in the Washington Post. I still can't believe the Spurs doctors let Lloris continue playing.

Her biggest save
Soccer star confronts the concussion that killed her career and clouded her life

Briana Scurry couldn’t be sure if it was the painkillers or the fact that surgeons had just plucked pea-size balls of damaged tissue from the back of her head. But when the two-time Olympic goalkeeper and Women’s World Cup champion awoke at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Oct. 18,  the headache that had hijacked her life for the past 3-1/2 years was gone.

Since an April 2010 game, when an overeager forward slammed into Scurry, that headache chased her from one defeat to another: forcing her to quietly retire from soccer, tripping her up during a short-lived gig with ESPN and finally pushing her into depression. Her roommate would come home from work and find Scurry listless on the couch, where she’d been all afternoon.

On those days, Scurry found herself beset with questions familiar to many athletes who suffer serious concussions: What is wrong with me? And why am I not better yet?

Scientists can’t entirely answer those questions, but a growing body of research suggests that - counter to the popular imagery of young men smashing into each other in football and hockey - female athletes suffer relatively more concussions than their male counterparts, and they struggle with more dramatic symptoms when they do.

In high school sports that have similar rules for boys and girls, girls get concussions at twice the rate, according to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Another study found that among all collegiate athletes, female soccer players had the highest overall concussion rates.

Even as she came up from the haze of anesthesia, Scurry could mumble one estimate to a curious hospital employee:  about one in two female soccer players will get a concussion in her career.

Scurry has become something of an expert on concussions. For her, the biggest problem was always the headache, a relic of the damage done to her neck and occipital nerve when the blow to her temple snapped her head back. Neck damage occasionally accompanies serious concussions, says Kevin Crutchfield, the neurologist Scurry turned to in February. Many clinicians respond with prescriptions for drugs such as Vicodin.

But Crutchfield, in collaboration with MedStar Georgetown peripheral nerve surgeon Ivica Ducic, has pioneered a new approach to post-concussion recovery: occipital nerve release surgery, a procedure common for patients who suffer migraines and chronic headaches. The occipital nerve - a slimy, five-millimeter cord that runs up from the spine and fans across the back of the head - tunnels through muscles that can pinch it and cause pain.

It was the persistent pain that felled Scurry, 42, a slim, no-nonsense jock known for her on-field glower and intensity. The crowning moment of her career - a shootout save in the 1999 World Cup final against China - was a dramatic, across-the-goal dive memorialized on sports pages around the world. Scurry yelled and fist-pumped afterward, but she didn’t really smile.

Then again, maybe Scurry had simply grown accustomed to success. A native of Dayton, Minn. - “3,000 people, no stoplights,” she says - she tried out for the local boys’ soccer team at age 12. She wound up in the net only because that’s where her coach assumed a girl would feel safest. But Scurry’s father, Ernest, told his daughter - the baby of the family and the youngest, by nine years, of nine children - to play hard and “always be first,” whether in line at the bus stop or at the Olympics. She listened.

She went on to play varsity soccer, basketball, softball and track for the Anoka High School Tornadoes, deciding to continue with soccer only when the University of Massachusetts at Amherst made it clear that it was the best route to an athletic scholarship. She majored in political science with the vague plan of someday attending law school.

But in 1993, before she finished her undergraduate degree, Scurry got a call from Tony DiCicco, coach of the women’s national soccer team, who had heard good things about the U-Mass. Minutewomen’s goalie.

She started in the 1995 Women’s World Cup, where the United States placed third, and won gold at the 1996 Olympics, allowing only three goals during the five-game tournament.

But women’s soccer didn’t make many magazine covers or prime-time newscasts until 1999, when Scurry and the rest of the U.S. national team packed the Rose Bowl with a record 90,000 fans and beat China in an overtime shootout for the World Cup. History would remember Brandi Chastain’s shirtless celebration at the top of the penalty box, but Scurry’s save three minutes earlier made that possible.

“Briana Scurry at her peak -- no one has ever played better than that for the USA," said DiCicco, who coached Scurry for five years on the women's national team. "She was the best in the world. That's the truth.”

Scurry’s career got rocky after the World Cup. In the months that followed, she spent too much time appearing on talk shows and too little time at the gym, gaining 15 pounds and falling so far out of shape that April Heinrichs, who was then the coach of the national team, sidelined her in favor of newcomer Siri Mullinix. Scurry played not a minute in the 2000 Olympic Games.

“I was so incredibly bitter. I felt betrayed,” Scurry said in an interview last month at the apartment she recently began renting in Adams Morgan. “There was no way I was going out like that, not if I had anything to say about it.”

Scurry hit the weight room - and put on 10 pounds of muscle. She played three seasons for Atlanta’s professional team, the Beat, compiling the lowest goals-against average in the league. In 2002, two years after Mullinix unseated her, Heinrichs returned Scurry to the starting lineup. The United States went on to win gold in Athens in 2004.

She would always need to fight for her starting spot, however, first against Mullinix and then against the fresh-faced media favorite Hope Solo. During the 2007 World Cup semifinals, when Scurry gave up four goals to give Brazil the win, fans called for Scurry and her coach to retire.

But even before the rivalries, goalkeeping was intensely psychological for Scurry. After all, a professional soccer net offers almost 200 square feet of scoring opportunities. Missed saves are inevitable, and rarely forgiven.

To cope with this, Scurry gave herself a rigid mental rule: You have the time between the goal you just allowed and the start of the next play to sulk. When the whistle blows, you forget that anything bad ever happened.

That strategy served her well - until April 2010.

The hit happened during her second season on the Washington Freedom, D.C.’s defunct professional team. She had warmed up as usual for an away game against the Philadelphia Independence, diving and falling for balls thrown by her trainer and listening to the mix of Eminem and Nine Inch Nails that always got her pumped for play. The game started, then lagged, as the ball ping-ponged around the center of the field. Then, with 10 minutes left in the first half, a ball finally skidded toward Scurry and she dropped low for a routine grab.

She didn’t see the 165-pound, fast-charging forward from the Philadelphia Independence before her knee slammed into Scurry’s right temple, leaving them both on the turf.

“ ‘Let’s go, keep,’ ” Scurry remembers the referee saying, urging her to get up. She had, miraculously, blocked the shot. “ ‘You’re all right, keep.’ “

Scurry played for several minutes after the collision, even saving a few more balls, as the world began to tip up at odd angles and the numbers on her teammates’ jerseys zoomed in and out of focus. Anxious that she might throw up, Scurry stumbled to the sideline and down to the locker room, where she couldn’t repeat the string of words a trainer read her to test for brain trauma. Doctors initially estimated that she’d need a few days to recover, as most people who suffer concussions do. When her symptoms persisted, they revised that estimate to two weeks. Then 60 days. Then indefinitely. Her career was over.

You can read the rest @ the post. The article is really well done.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / NJAC’s Top 40 Calypsoes of 2013
« on: November 02, 2013, 01:15:17 PM »
Top 40 calypso snub for Differentology
Friday, November 1, 2013


Bunji Garlin’s Differentology was one of the monster hits of Carnival 2013, yet it was not included on the NJAC’s Top 40 Calypsoes list.

At a glance, the calypsoes chosen for the National Joint Action Committee’s (NJAC) top 40 of 2013 appears to be a good mix of social commentary and party music. However, many calypso and soca fans will be alarmed to see that Bunji Garlin’s smash hit Differentology is not on the list.
Differentology, one of the anthems for Carnival 2013, was hailed by soca fans and industry pundits as one of the most refreshingly different tunes for several years. The collaboration between Bunji Garlin and Nigel Rojas of the rock band Orange Sky has been nominated for a Soul Train Award and a remix of the tune by DJ collective Major Lazer was one of the go-to tunes for DJs playing at dance music festivals around the world. It’s extremely surprising that it didn’t make the top 40, considering that most people probably can’t even hum the chorus of some of those that are on the list.
One of songwriter Christophe Grant’s strongest compositions for the year is among the calypsoes chosen. The song – Politics Does Spoil de Lime - won Stephen Marcelle this year’s Young Kings Monarch title.
My favourite political commentary for the year though, Kurt Allen’s Political Symphony, is also among the top 40 calypsoes chosen by the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC), cultural arm of the NJAC, producers of the Young Kings Calypso Monarch and the Veterans Calypso competitions.
Also selected is Travel Woes, the song which won Pink Panther (Eric Taylor) this year’s National Calypso Monarch title, as well as Fantastic Friday (SuperBlue); Float (Machel Montano); Bubble (Iwer George); and, Live Life Like You Playing Mas (Kees Dieffenthaler and David Rudder).
From the 40 calypsoes selected a panel of judges will select the Top 20 Calypsoes of 2013 which will be awarded at the 26th Annual Top 20 Calypso Stars of Gold and Calypso of the Year Awards on January 11 at the Ballroom, Cascadia Hotel, St Anns.
The Top 20 Awards are awards of distinction and represent the pinnacle of achievement for excellence in calypso composition and our system of adjudication seeks to tap our collective wisdom in order to establish national consensus about the essence of truly great calypsoes.
You can read the other sections of the Pulse article in the Guardian at the link above
The list in alphabetical order of the selections is as follows:

Able Disable    Hamidullah (Hamidullah Wahid)
Ah Buying    Ninja (Kenson Neptune)
Apple From the Snake    Diamond (Patrick Lewis)
Asylum Without a Gate    Henson Wright (Prince)
Bear With Me    Chucky (Roderick Gordon)
Bubble    Iwer George
Call Meh Name    Destra Garcia
Come Back to What    Marvellous Marva (Marva Joseph)
Ent Yuh Know    Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal)
Failure Is Not an Option    Singing Sandra (Sandra desVignes-Millington)
Fantastic Friday    Super Blue (Austin Lyons)
Float    Machel Montano
For ah Crown    Dillon Thomas
I Ain’t Marrying No More    Raymond Ramnarine
I Pay Honour    Cindy Alleyne (Ife Alleyne)
Implementation a Must    Joy C (Bridgette Creese)
In the Age of Blog    Kizzie Ruiz
Key to Success    Nature (Michael John)
Live Life Like You Playing Mas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kes Dieffenthaler (Kes) and David Rudder
Look How Trinbago Come    All Rounder (Anthony Hendrickson)
Meh Partnership    Karene Asche
More Questions    Bro Valentino (Anthony Emrold Phillip)
More Than Oil Drum    Joanne Foster
My Response    Sugar Aloes (Michael Osouna)
No Guns, No Weapons    King Luta (Morel Peters)
No Moral Authority    Alana Sinnette
None of The Above    Eunice Peters
One More Recruit    Ezekiel Yorke
Political Symphony    Kurt Allen
Politics Does Spoil de Lime    Stephen Marcelle
Prodigal Son     Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool)
Say a Prayer    Shirlane Hendrickson
Sparrow’s Advice    Duane O’Connor
Tainted Legacy    Helon Francis
Target 365    Malaika Ballantyne
Tears For the Children    Khadja Antoine
The Old Man’s Lament    Heather Mac Intosh
Travel Woes    Pink Panther (Eric Taylor)
When You Take a Life    Sergio Francisco
With You I Belong    Roslyn Reid

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Calypso History Month
« on: October 06, 2013, 05:39:42 PM »
I'm a week late, but October is Calypso History Month.

First observed in 2002, Calypso History Month 2013 continues.

The schedule of events and activities during Calypso History Month 2013 include workshops for schoolchildren, shows across the island, seminars, an art exhibition, the launch of the Kaiso Magazine and programmes on radio and television.

Wednesday 2ndCalypso Show
Launch OF “Calypso History Month”
8:00PMNu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook.
Sunday 6thSoca On De Sea
Presented by Divas Calypso Cabaret International
Boarding 3:00PM
Sailing 4:00PM
Aboard the Harbor Master
Just after PEAKES Western Main Road.
Wednesday 9thCalypso Show
TUCO North Zone Present
“Little Name – Big Song”
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Thursday 10thCalypso Film Festival
Film – “Bacchanal Time
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Wednesday 16thTUCO North Zone Junior Calypso Workshop
(Primary Schools)
10:00AM  National Library (NALIS),
Abercromby Street, P.O.S 
Wednesday 16thTUCO North Zone Junior Calypso Workshop
(Primary Schools)
10:00AM  National Library (NALIS),
Abercromby Street, P.O.S
Wednesday 16thCalypso Show
“Kaiso House”
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Thursday 17thTUCO North Zone Senior Calypso Workshop
(Secondary Schools)
10:00AM  National Library (NALIS),
Abercromby Street, P.O.S 
Thursday 17thCalypso Stories8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Wednesday 23rdCalypso Show
“Remembering Rolph Warner” 
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Friday 25thCocktail Reception
Hosted By His Excellency,
Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, SC,ORTT
6:30PM  T.B.A 
Sunday 27thFamily Day
“Road March Past to Present”
9:00AM  National Carnival Commission (NCC) Pavilion,
Queen’s Park Savannah, P.O.S 
Wednesday 30thCalypso Show
“Youth in Calypso”
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Thursday 31stTommy Joseph in Concert
(Gary Cardinez)
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 

Saturday 2ndTUCO North Zone “EXTEMPORAMA” 6:00PM  Grand Stand Queen’s Park Savannah Port of Spain 
Sunday 3rdCalypso Boat Ride
“Road March Past to Present
Boarding 6:00PM Sailing 7:00PMAboard the Coral Vision, (Breakfast Shed) Wrifhtson Road,
Wednesday 6thCalypso Show
Launch of “Calypso is Christmas Too”
Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 
Thursday 7thVintage Calypso Classics
Hosted by Central Bank
6:00PM  Central Bank Auditorium
Independence Square, Port of Spain 
Tuesday 12thThe GALA
Under the Distinguished Patronage of His Excellency, President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona SC,ORTT (Invitation Only)
"Showtime 8:00PM Cocktail
6:45PM To 7:30PM "
Lord Kitchener Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts,(NAPA)
Wednesday 13thEXPLAINER
(Birth Nite Show)
8:00PM  Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub),
Corner Ariapita Avenue & French Street, Woodbrook. 

Other Sports / Field Hockey: Pan Am Cup - Women
« on: September 23, 2013, 04:43:48 PM »
Hockey women rebound to beat Guyana
Story Created: Sep 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM ECT
Story Updated: Sep 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM ECT

Trinidad and Tobago’s female national hockey team edged Guyana 1-0 yesterday to rebound from a 12-0 whipping by the hosts Argentina on Saturday at the fourth Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina.

In their second match yesterday evening, T&T gained three valuable points to be in third place in Pool A behind Argentina and Canada.

An own goal in the fourth minute secured the win for T&T against their Caribbean counterparts at the Mendocino Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Against Argentina on Saturday, T&T were 4-0 down at half time and the number two world ranked Argentinian team poured on the pressure with eight goals in the second half to rout the local squad and put themselves in pole position in the group. Argentina’s Carla Rebecchi notched four goals for the hosts.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Alphabet of Trinidad &Tobago
« on: September 21, 2013, 10:53:12 PM »
Not the greatest calypso ever...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_uLUHqj1264" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_uLUHqj1264</a>

A Calypso that highlights some of the unusual words in the Trinidad & Tobago vocabulary, like Aieu, Badjohn, Bobolee, Cunumunu, Daaru, Doux doux, Douen, Dingolay, Extempo, Foufoulou, Goumangala, Hototo, Icacos, Jook, Kuchela, Limin', Lickerish, Lugarhou, Mamagism, Nancy story, Obzokie, Parang, Papa bois, Queff, Qualey, Quiteo, Rou-coung-cou-toung-coung, Ratchifee, Simi-dimi, Suçoyer, Totalebé, Tizik, Tabanca, Tobago love, Unks, Vai-que-vai, Well-tie, Xanté, Yaz, Zandouille...

Other Sports / US Open Tennis
« on: September 09, 2013, 06:24:36 PM »
Watching the Men's Final - This is like a video game.
One ridiculous shot after another.

Football / UEFA Super Cup 2013
« on: August 30, 2013, 01:57:24 PM »
Chelsea vs Bayern.

Torres start it off with a really nice goal, Ribery responds in the second half with an even better one.

Luiz getting a sweat, Mata on the bench. Schweinsteiger out injured for Bayern, Götze on the bench.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / KERI MOSS- MASTERCHEF
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:13:14 AM »

Keri Moss gained her notoriety as a not-to-be-messed with chef when she won MasterChef: The Professionals 2012.

Since then she continues to work for Smart Hospitality (nominated for Caterer of the Year 2013) and opened her first restaurant, the Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar, at London’s Selfridges earlier this year.

We were honoured and extremely pleased when Keri agreed to join us at the Skyroom for a night of creative collaboration and gastronomic exploration.



Keri delves back to her roots for an exclusive one-off night of Caribbean cuisine like you have never experienced before!


A quick word from Keri about the menu…

“The reason for this menu was to say a big thank you to my nan and my heritage. Since winning MasterChef I haven’t really paid any homage to my beautiful heritage until now!

The dishes that I have chosen are things that remind me of all of the beautiful places that I have been in Tobago with my Trini family and the great love that I have for my grandmother.

 My first taste of curried goat and roti was with my step mum and two sisters on the way back from sun bathing from Castara beach, my all time favourite beach in Tobago. The soft unleavened bread filled with a deliciously spiced curry where the meat is so soft it just melts in your mouth with a little bit of Chana- oh my Lord it was just fantastic, I couldn’t eat it quick enough!

As for the crab, we have beautiful fish and shellfish which I love… I wanted to put it with something light and tangy to get you ready for the next course so the pineapple reminded me of a hot hot day going into town grocery shopping and to cool down I’d get a bag of chilled pineapple to munch on the way home!

Then for dessert, what better than mango, we have mango trees at the family house in Tobago. I was always the one going outside to check them to see if they were ready, if they were then I wouldn’t wait to make something from them they’d just be eaten straight away!”

 Keri will be treating the lucky few to a 7 course meal on the night. Numbers are limited so get booking quickly!

Tickets only £45!

Book here: http://billetto.co.uk/kerimossattheskyroom




Corn soup, soused vegetables
Spiced soft shell crab, pineapple salsa
Nan’s recipe reconstructed chicken stew served on skewers with eggplant relish and tomato chutney vinaigrette
Buljol salted codfish with fried plantain
Cou Cou- baked tilapia and callaloo
Curried goat, chana and roti
Mango creme

General Discussion / Police free key suspects
« on: August 20, 2013, 07:53:31 AM »
Police free key suspects
Not enough evidence in PoS gang cases

Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Derek Achong

After spending a little over fours days in custody, police have released 12 “major players” in gang and criminal activity in east Port-of-Spain. The men were arrested in connection with the recent upsurge in gang violence which saw six people being murdered within 24 hours last week. The release came hours after more than 400 law enforcement officers raided apartment building complexes in east Port-of-Spain on Sunday morning and arrested 90 residents. Senior police sources revealed last night, however, that the majority of those arrested during Sunday’s raids were also released yesterday, with only a handful being charged with drug possession offences and on outstanding warrants for unpaid court fines.
Some of Sunday’s detainees were also kept in custody to appear on identification parades relation to recent serious crimes, police said. The ID parades are scheduled for this morning. Of the 90 people who were originally detained, 47 were released, 26 went to court and 17 were kept in custody. Of the 26 who were charged and taken to court, 22 of them were for outstanding warrants and not for anything related to Sunday’s raids. Police said, however, that the arrested suspects from Sunday were “profiled” and “interrogated” before their eventual release. However, the dozen main detainees, who were arrested at their homes last Thursday in response to the spate of murders, were released from police custody between Sunday night and yesterday morning.
Officers of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit interviewed the dozen and were initially considering charging them under the Anti-Gang Act of 2011. However, police sources said there was insufficient evidence to charge them at the time and they were released “pending further inquires.” Some of the detainees had been prosecuted under the legislation during the state of emergency in 2011 but were later released after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard stated that there was insufficient evidence against them. Police sources said the latest releases came after attorney Criston J Williams wrote to the police on Sunday afternoon, threatening legal action over the continued detainment of one of the men.
In the letter to police, which was obtained by the T&T Guardian, Williams stated: “I have advised my client that his continued detention in excess of 72 hours is a breach of his constitutional rights contrary to Section 4(a), 4(b) and 5 (2) (h) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the provisions of the Anti Gang legislation.” Williams refered to section 13 of the legislation, which permits police to detain a suspect under the legislation for 72 hours without charges being laid. “To date my client has not been charged and has not been informed of any steps that have been taken by the State to lawfully continue his detention,” Williams said. He also stated if his client was not released he would be pursuing a habeas corpus writ in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday. If pursued, the writ would have forced the police to attend court to justify his client’s continued detainment to a High Court Judge. He was eventually released around 6.30 am yesterday and the lawsuit was withdrawn.
Meanwhile, two women and a man arrested during Sunday’s police exercise appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court yesterday charged with marijuana possession. Merlin Roberts, of Nelson Street, was put on a two-year bond to keep the peace after he pleaded guilty to being in possession of 5.8 grammes of marijuana. Ria Durity, of Belleview, Long Circular, St James, was ordered to pay a $500 fine or serve 30 days’ in prison. Durity’s sentence would be suspended on the completion of 80 hours of community service. Durity was arrested while driving through Laventille on Sunday morning. She was found in possession of one gramme of marijuana. Beetham Gardens resident, Alana Villafana, 31, was also given a suspended sentence on the completion of 100 hours of community service after she pleaded guilty to possession of 17 grammes of marijuana. In default, Villafana will pay a $700 fine or serve six months in prison. The trio appeared before Magistrate Debbie-Ann Bassaw in the Tenth Court.

Other Sports / Field Hockey: Pan Am Cup
« on: August 14, 2013, 08:32:02 AM »
Calypso Stickmen spank Brazil 5-2

Published:Monday, August 12, 2013
Nigel Simon

The quintet of vice-captain Dwain Quan Chan, Kwandwane Browne, Wayne Legerton, Kiel Murray and Dillet Gilkes were all on target as this country’s senior men’s hockeymen spanked Brazil 5-2 to make a winning start to Pool B play at the fourth Pan American Cup, Brampton, Toronto, Canada, yesterday.
The local squad skippered by Darren Cowie was originally carded to meet Chile in its opener on Saturday, however due to travel delays, the T&T Hockey Board made a request for a change in fixture to the Pan American Hockey Board, which was agreed too.
The change in fixtures now sees T&T playing Chile on Monday along with the Uruguay and USA match after the South Americans were delayed due to severe storms which resulted in their plane being struck by lightning.
Despite their late arrival in Canada, the “Calypso Stickmen” adjusted well to the spanking new surface quickly and went ahead against the South Americans as early as the third minute through Quan Chan from field goal play before 35-year-old Browne, made it 2-0 in the 29th, in his 288th international match, having played in all Pan American competitions since 1999.
On the resumption, T&T ranked 30th in the world continued to dominate, but some sloppy defensive work at the other end allowed Brazil to pull a goal back via Bruno Paes in the 45th minute.
However, that was as close as the Brazilians came as Legerton rifled home a third from penalty-corner play in the 54th followed by a solo effort from Murray in the 59th for a 4-1 cushion and Gilkes, with a close range rebound four minutes from the final whistle to complete T&T’s scoring. Brazil ended the match on a high though, with a last minute penalty-corner conversion from Stephane Vehrle-Smith.
With the win, T&T moved to top spot in the pool ahead of Canada, which defeated the Brazilians 3-1 on Saturday.
Speaking after the match, Browne said the team was extremely pleased to get the win under their belt especially seeing how tough the Brazilians played against Canada on Saturday.
He added, “The early goal by Dwain was key to helping us settle our nerves and now we have some confidence to take into our next match.”
Today, T&T will play Chile from 5pm followed by Canada tomorrow at 7pm to end round-robin group play. When the tournament began on Saturday, top ranked team Argentina took advantage of a young and inexperienced Mexican team with a 13-2 triumph led by five goals from Facundo Gallioni while it also crushed USA 8-0 yesterday for a 2-0 record and maximum six points while Mexico edged Uruguay, 2-1. At the end of the pool round-robin series, the top two teams will advance to the cross-over semifinals while third and fourth go to semifinals for fifth to eighth spot ahead of the final playoffs for bronze and gold. The winner of the tournament qualifies for next year’s Men’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland while the top six teams qualify for the 2017 Men’s Pan American Cup.
Teams placed seventh and eight will play in the 2015 Men’s Pan American Challenge. Argentina, ranked tenth in the world has already qualified for the World Cup after their superb performance at the recent FIH World League semifinal in Johor, Malaysia, where they finished second to Germany, but ahead of England and Korea.
Tournament results:
Pool A:
      Argentina 13 (Facundo Gallioni 3rd, 4th, 4th, 56th, 59th, Matias Paredes 1st, 33rd, Guido Barreiros 21st, 68th, Lucas Vila 22nd, Guillermo Schickendantz 33rd, own-goal 50th, Leandro Tolini 67th)
      vs Mexico 2 (Argenis Garcia 52nd, Oscar Rosales 59th)
Pool B:
    Canada 3 (David Jameson 30th, Matthew Sormento 49th, Keegan Pereira 55th)
    vs Brazil 1 (Ernst Rost 43rd)
    Pool A:
      Mexico 2 (Guillermo Pedraza 56th, Alex Valdes 62nd)
      vs Uruguay 1 (Maximilano Tixe 64th)
   Argentina 8 (Guillermo Schickendantz 17th, 50th, Facundo Gallioni 5th, Lucas Vila 9th, Matias Paredes 30th, Juan Martin Lopez 42nd, Matias Rey 56th, Pedro Ibarra 65th)
    vs USA 0
   Pool B:
     T&T 5 (Dwain Quan Chan 3rd, Kwandwane Browne 29th, Wayne Legerton 54th, Kiel Murray 59th, Dillet Gilkes 66th)
     vs Brazil 2 (Bruno Paes 45th, Stephane Vehrle-Smith 70th)
   Chile vs Canada (late match)
   Pool A: USA vs Uruguay, 3 pm
   Pool B: Chile vs T&T, 5 pm
   Pool A: Mexico vs USA, 11 am; Argentina vs Uruguay, 5 pm
   Pool B: Brazil vs Chile, 9 am; Canada vs T&T, 7 pm
   5th—8th semifinals
   1st—4th semifinals
   final playoffs:

General Discussion / How 'Badjohn' Became A Word
« on: August 12, 2013, 11:59:59 AM »
How 'Badjohn' Became A Word
Kim Johnson

Of the countless jailbirds to tread this island, none has cast a longer shadow than John Archer, who set the local, probably the regional, and - who knows? - maybe even a world record with 119 criminal convictions, and whose very name would come to mean a ruffian and a bully.
"John Archer, a notorious Police Court character," reported the Mirror in 1902, "better known as ’Bad John’."

It was from him we got the term badjohn, which lexicographer Lise Winer defines as ’a kind of ruffian; a man willing to use violence and who likes being known as a dangerous person.’

So the above Mirror report continued:
’’Bad John," and a woman named Augusta Wood, were charged by Detective John Dash with fighting in London Street, Corbeaux Town, on Wednesday morning

’When the woman was arrested a sharp table knife was found in her pocket, and - at this stage the woman was heard to hiss in an under-tone, ’I should have killed him’

’Before the stalwart constable at his side was able to divine his meaning the incorrigible ’Bad John’ hurled himself on the object of his wrath, and with a terrific and lightning-like right-hander on the jaw, sent her reeling against the dock he encircled the woman’s neck with his vice-like fingers, and bit her on her forehead

’In an instant five burly constables and a corporal were upon the fierce combatants trying to separate them. They soon succeeded and ’Bad John’ was observed to pull a tuft of the woman’s hair from between his teeth.’

He was dangerous all right, to others as well as to himself. Although it seems he had greater success against women, John was an equal-opportunities fighter, tackling women and men indiscriminately, as willing to give a good thrashing as to receive one.

James Inniss, for instance, fought John over a plank of wood on which John intended to sleep. Inniss ’fell upon John with his fist and foot and beat him mercilessly... Some time later he again met John on the reclaimed lands and broke a piece of an oar upon his head and again kicked and cuffed him John seized a bottle and struck him on the forehead.’

In another case, Charlie Crab-Back beat John and convinced the magistrate that a woman had paid Bad John to beat him. Crab-Back was fined ten shillings for beating John, who was then sentenced to two months’ hard labour for throwing a bottle at Crab-Back.

His 45 previous convictions turned the magistrate against him, yet Bad John was also famed as a ’friend and protector of all little children,’ although no exemplary incident has so far come to light.

It’s not certain when John Archer was born. At his death in 1916 he was, according to the Port of Spain Gazette, 62 years old, although three years earlier the Argos had put him at between 76 and 80. We do know, however, that he was born and grew up in Barbados, where as a young man he served in the Second West India Regiment. The combination of a Bajan upbringing and military experience explains much of his character: his fierce loyalty to Britain; his obedience to figures in authority; and his proud if peculiar sense of probity.

Responding in 1904 to a charge of disorderly conduct John stated that he was in St James singing ’Rule Britannia, Rule,’ for which, ironically, he was arrested.

’He then told the Magistrate that he had been a soldier and would never tell a lie. If he did anything he would say he did it. He had been to gaol 60 times - not once for stealing.’

The magistrate asked: ’You want to go up there to spend a few weeks?’

John replied: ’Just as you choose, sir, I never fight against a power. I was a soldier.’

Such acceptance never faltered, although he often insisted that he did no wrong and never lied, but magistrates inevitably gave credence to the flimsy evidence of the police.

Bad John had left the regiment and Barbados in the mid-1880s with 300 others to work on the Panama Canal. It was the worst place for him. In the last half of the 19th century Panama experienced 40 administrations, 50 rebellions, five attempted secessions and 13 interventions by the US. Between 1863 and 1886 the isthmus had 26 presidents and almost continuous rebellions.

According to an account in the Argos, ’Bad John raised a fearful riot in which 230 of the number were shot dead, and running for his life, he got on board the s.s. Don, which was lying in Colón Harbour Two days after the Don was out to sea, the stokers noticed Bad John hiding in the coal bunkers, and he was taken on deck and made to work for his meals.’

He landed in Trinidad in 1887. ’On getting here,’ continues the Argos, ’he was charged as being a stowaway and was sent to gaol for 14 days, that being the maiden imprisonment of his notorious career.’
He worked on the wharves, a very black man in ragged clothes. He frequently wore a battered old beaver hat which helda Union Jack or a small likeness of the king. John read the papers, discussed politics knowledgeably and carried himself with dignity. A fervent Methodist, he regularly attended the Hanover and Tranquillity churches.

’I know him and have always found him very civil and decently spoken,’ said one anonymous commentator in the Mirror, who described one of many occasions on which John was arrested:

’Presently the policeman asked his captive to wait a moment while he went round the corner in search of a witness. The prisoner affably consented and sat down on the kerb. Sundry evilly disposed persons urged upon him the desirability of vamoosing. But the arrested one said ’no,’ he had promised to stay.’

He held no fear of gaol, where he was the most well-behaved prisoner, because ’it is just as the Queen’s Park Hotel to me.’

On the occasion of his 96th conviction, when he was sentenced to 30 days, he shouted to the magistrate: ’I thought you would have given me some more.’

Indeed, one limerick published in 1912 has him asking Magistrate Blackwood Wright for a month in gaol because of the high price of food.

The truth is, Bad John disliked going to gaol. He mourned the death of Magistrate H.P. Hopson, who was lenient with him, and he hated Magistrate Wright for his harshness. John swore to suitably celebrate Wright’s retirement, and he kept his promise, informing all that Wright was a dog. For that he was charged with being drunk and disorderly and sent up for seven days.

John also refused to speak to constables, but he had much in common with them, for most were Bajans who spoke only English and hated the rowdy, patois-speaking masses. And the 1880s saw the height of conflict between those of British culture and the rest of the society. Education and the civil service were being anglicised; the Canboulay Carnival procession and the drum dances were outlawed; the Hosay was brutally suppressed; and stern measures were taken against African customs, such as religious practices and especially music-making.

John, naturally, despised the jamettes. Their anarchy would have gone against everything his Bajan heart held dear. At his trial in August 1904 for assaulting Louisa Brown, who tried to pick his pocket, he refused to cross-examine her. ’I have nothing to ask her, she is a common prostitute, and your worship knows what a prostitute is,’ he sneered, causing much laughter in court.

Despite all his fights he never took a life, but, rather ,saved several.

’When the south-westers blew at the wharf, and craft and men were in danger, none so brave as he in plunging off into the heaving swells to save life and property,’ eulogised the white planter Edgar Tripp. ’Some three or four human beings owe their lives to him today - saved by him from the muddy depths of the harbour when seemingly all hope had gone.’

Indeed, Bad John held a certificate and medal for heroic deeds from the Humane Society, and he might have ascended further up the social ladder, given his Britishness, his literacy and general rectitude, but for his thirst for strong drink, which made him both patriotic and quick to take offence. Alas, 19th-century Port of Spain was not a place for the thin-skinned. Here the concept of picong was created and Indians and old people were mercilessly baited.

’There are men who like to experiment and give him spirits which they know have a maddening effect upon him,’ noted a commentator. ’Then some stupid, idle boy or girl or woman begins to tease the old man, and he in his rage shies a stone or a bottle, or he commits an assault and then off to gaol he goes.’

His notoriety brought unending trouble, but fame, however acquired, can have its sweeter moments, and Bad John’s ’career’ was recounted in the Argos and his portrait published. He was extremely pleased with his photograph, and showed it to people around the town, for which he was often tipped. Of course he got drunk and was again hauled before the magistrate.

’Give him a chance,’ begged a gentleman who was in court. ’I think he was jubilating over having seen his photograph in the Argos.’

Magistrate G.C. Deane: ’I have given him several.’

John: ’You have never.’

The magistrate gave him seven days.

A modest man, John didn’t boast of the lives he’d saved, although he once petitioned the Governor for compensation for recovering a corpse.

As fate would have it, he met his death on August 3, 1916, saving a bucket which had fallen overboard from a schooner. He dived for it several times but without success, and was told not to bother. John persisted until, rushing up for air, he hit the keel of the schooner and was sent back down unconscious.
’Onlookers waited fully 20 minutes when they saw a fragment of John’s pants rise to the surface and bubbles coming from below. Knowing the wonderful feats already performed by him in the Gulf, they believed that John was only fooling,’ reported the Mirror.

Hours later: ’When the body was taken out of the water much amusement was caused by ’Sweet Minnie’ remarking that drowning is the fate of all great men such as Lord Kitchener and ’Bad John’ undoubtedly were.’

It seems he left no wife nor child behind, because it took a ’distant relative’ named Catherine Rawlins to launch the subscription which quickly raised the sum necessary for John to be given a decent burial at the Lapeyrouse Cemetery.

The Port of Spain Gazette noted sourly ’His death was the principal theme down town yesterday as if the colony had lost one of its great sons,’ leaving it to an unlikely admirer, Edgar Tripp, secretary of the Agricultural Society and committee member of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, to record in the august West India Committee Circular that:

’Poor Bad John has passed into the great unknown, taking with him the record of his 119 convictions more than wiped out, let us hope, by the honest bravery of his soul and the acts of heroism which will always remain to his credit.’

Read more: MASSASSINATION.: The Legend of Bad John.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Note: This was originally in the Express in March 2010, but I can't find that article anymore.

The electric ascendance of Etienne Charles: Creole Soul – a CD Review


With his simple declaration to this writer, “sound is my art…I just try to create,” Trinidadian jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles puts into context his role of creator and producer in relation to his latest recording Creole Soul, out now on Culture Shock Music and distributed in North America by RED/Sony Music Entertainment. This new album, previewed earlier this year in Tobago at Jazz on the Beach at Mt Irvine reveals to this writer an evolution of his art that parallels our most distinguished author and the jazz idiom’s most eclectic trumpeter and influence.

The fourth studio album from this US-based musician and teacher bristles with a kind of energy that comes from the realization that one has gone beyond; beyond the usual expectations of a Caribbean existence, beyond the boundary of the usual sonic influences that have paved the way for this jazz lion. The familiar tropes of calypso rhythm inflected jazz that have been a hallmark of our jazz here for decades—from Duke Ellington’s A Drum is a Woman (1956) to Rupert Clemendore’s Le Jazz Trinidad (1961) and Dizzy Gillespie’s Jambo Caribe (1964)—are abandoned for a modern post-bop and jazz fusion take on the material and all its thematic and stylistic influences in the New World.

Thematically, this should come as no surprise. Etienne has posited that the vision of this album is the showcasing of the influences of all this music in the African diaspora, a melting pot of sounds that shape and determine who he is as a musician and who we are as a people. Etienne Charles tells New York-based jazz writer Eric Sandler:

Creole to me means a world within a world…I’m Trinidadian, but being Trinidadian means that I have many different cultural influences as well as many different influences based on my bloodline.

This statement echoes a famous stanza of Derek Walcott’s: “I have Dutch, nigger, and English in me/and either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.” We are all creole.

The artistic parallel does not stop there. Deciphering an arc in the themes of the four albums of Etienne to date, one sees in Culture Shock (2006), the name says it all, a musical diary of the newly minted artist in his New World of America. Folklore (2009), the suite based on local legends and Kaiso (2011) are his “Trinidad” albums; going back to the source of inspiration. Now, with Creole Soul, he takes flight. A parallel to VS Naipaul: after his first four books set in Trinidad, he began to travel—“…my writing ambition grew. But when it was over I felt I had done all that I could do with my island material. No matter how much I meditated on it, no further fiction would come…”—ultimately to a Nobel prize. Where Etienne will go from here is the surprise that jazz holds in store for listeners.

On this recording, there are two distinctive threads, the original compositions and the covers. On the original compositions, we can hear the rhythmic melange that defines a creole soul. Haitian mascaron dance groove meets bomba rhythms and jazz syncopation on “Midnight” (an ode to the end of day), “The Folks” (a dedication to this parents) incorporating calypso’s syncopated bass with rhythm & blues, and “Doin’ The Thing” featuring jump blues and calypso, all majestically anchored by Grammy award-winning bassist Ben Williams and drummer Obed Calvaire.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Yeu5UDL_mA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/-Yeu5UDL_mA</a>

Etienne strategically makes use of the covers: Bob Marley’s “Turn the Lights Down Low” and the Dawn Penn popularized “You Don’t Love Me (No No No)” (the latter serendipitously being performed for millions on the BET Awards 2013 in June), position this CD to be heard in the right places by the right ears. Reggae/dancehall music is embedded into mainstream consciousness to a greater extent than calypso. The reverential cover of Winsford ‘Joker’ Devine’s “Memories” and the bouncy cover of Thelonius Monk’s “Green Chimneys” (with the “distinctive calypso lope to the beat” that relocates Monk in the old San Juan Hill district of Caribbean New York) complete this West Indian quartet of memorable melodies and artistic legacies that are easily saleable.

Creole Soul may also be considered as Etienne’s electric album. Landmark distinctions in popular music have been made by pioneers. Dylan going electric in 1965 with Bringing It All Back Home, and Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew in 1969/70 transformed their respective genres by utilising electric instruments. Etienne, on this CD, introduces listeners to the sounds of the electric guitar marking a shift in the sound, previously all acoustic.


The album opener “Creole” (a reflection on his first Haitian sojourn in 2012), featuring the Haitian singer and Houngan Erol Josué combines the kongo drum rhythm of northern Haiti with the urgent funky electric guitar of Alex Wintz that forces one to get up and dance. This is spirit moving feet. This is jazz in the Caribbean. This is improvised joy. Kris Bowers’ meandering Fender Rhodes on “The Folks” signals that the intention is to keep the arrangements and sound modern. The electric guitar and piano is again repeated on “Roots” (an ode to his family roots) featuring the Martiniquan belair rhythm; the French Caribbean rhythms seem to lend a place for the electric ascendance of Etienne.

An artist/producer subliminally makes commercial decisions that affect aesthetic outcomes. Etienne disagrees, however:

I didn’t really think about business when I was writing the music or choosing the tunes. Business happens after the music is made. Business folks will decide based on what they hear if it’s worth selling. If we’re not happy with what we record, we won’t sell it.

The sum of these songs say otherwise. That said, I am positing that this CD can have an impact on the consideration of music from these islands. Like Geoffrey Holder a generation before who had a significant impact on Trinidad music via House of Flowers before Belafonte’s Calypso, Creole Soul is in that mould of trend setter. Ideas of jazz globalization, Caribbean transnation, diaspora, which Etienne suggests is the arithmetic of creolization, as formulae to contextualise this recording clouds the simple fact that this is a exceptional record by an artist who has grown technically in both his playing and improvisation. We all are creole!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/huRmU7UyIOw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/huRmU7UyIOw</a>

Cricket Anyone / West Indies v Pakistan, 1st T20
« on: July 27, 2013, 12:38:48 PM »
Licks sharing.

Windies 55/4

Charles 1
Gayle 5
Simmons 6
and Samuels 25

9 overs gone so far

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Walk it off....
« on: July 24, 2013, 07:40:07 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5S-YsfLPPfY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5S-YsfLPPfY</a>

Cricket Anyone / West Indies v Pakistan, 5th ODI, St Lucia
« on: July 24, 2013, 07:08:35 AM »
Tough contest set for final scrap
The Preview by Abhishek Purohit
July 23, 2013

Match facts
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Start time 0900 local (1300 GMT)

Big Picture
Tough, hard-fought cricket, along with the usual doses of excitement when you least expect them. Star player makes umpteenth comeback, walks in at 47 for 5, cracks 76 off 55 and then takes other-worldly figures of 9-3-12-7. Home side rebound from the thrashing with a convincing win in the second game, then follow it up with a last-ball, last-wicket train robbery of a tie when they are all but derailed. West Indies and Pakistan, true to reputation, have given us what they were expected to.

And the Caribbean has given us another ODI series with twists and turns, following the tri-series also involving India and Sri Lanka. The balance between bat and ball, the absence of which renders so many one-day contests into one-dimensional batting gluts, has set this series up for one, final tussle between the two sides.

In what has become unfortunately recurring due to the forced change in the West Indies home season, rain influenced the result of the fourth game. It arrived while the Pakistan chase was on, and imposed a revised target. West Indies found their three specialist bowlers had already bowled most of their quota; Pakistan had lost only their openers. Although the conditions and the situation were more in favour of the chasing side than the defending one, it must be said that more than those two, Pakistan's self-destructing tendency often proves to be their undoing. That they didn't succumb to any of the three is creditable, and irrespective of what happens in the final game, they have maintained their record of not losing a bilateral ODI series in the West Indies since 1988. They have, in fact, won the last two, in 2005 and 2011; even another tie will suit them fine.

A lot has been said about West Indies' improvement, recent and continuing, in limited-overs cricket. The improvement, however, does not seem to be translating itself clearly into results yet. In the past year, away series losses to Bangladesh and Australia, the latter a 0-5 whitewash, have been followed by an early exit from the Champions Trophy in England, and failure to make the final of a home tri-series. They are now faced with the task of winning the fifth match to avoid losing another home series to Pakistan. It is also crucial for Dwayne Bravo's fledgling captaincy that he comes out of this scrap with a tied series.

Form guide
West Indies LTWLL (most recent first, last five completed matches)
Pakistan WTLWL

In the spotlight
This is Chris Gayle's worst year in ODIs, after his debut year in 1999, with an average just above 20. In a way, he is to the Caribbean what Shahid Afridi is to Pakistan. The star who towers above the rest of his team-mates, peerless in fan following. You don't drop Afridi without expecting a backlash from the public; the same applies to Gayle. At 33, though, he is at an age where similar batsmen such as Virender Sehwag, batsmen who rely more on timing or power than on technique, have found it difficult to reinvent themselves in the face of dwindling returns. He was demoted to as low as No. 5 in the previous match and made 30 at a strike-rate of 65. How will he respond to this late challenge in his career?

Mohammad Hafeez needed that fifty in the previous game. He'd gone 11 innings for a lone score of 50-plus, a century against Ireland. While Hafeez's bowling in limited-overs is always handy, he is also a top-order batsman, and the Twenty20 captain. Given the long struggle to prove himself that Hafeez's career has been, you sense that the feeling of insecurity somehow still lurks somewhere inside, and is likely to worsen matters when the runs are not coming. It also does not help that Hafeez is a rhythm player, and when the rhythm deserts him, it really does. Has he regained it after that 59?

Team news
West Indies demoted Gayle and chose Devon Smith to open instead in the previous game. Another failure for Smith followed, but it will be unfair on him if he gets just the one chance.

West Indies: (probable) 1 Devon Smith, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Chris Gayle, 6 Lendl Simmons, 7 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Jason Holder

Given Ahmed Shehzad's continuing struggles, Pakistan have the choice of opening with Asad Shafiq, who's batted at the top before on a few occasions. Umar Amin played the tour match against Guyana but hasn't got a game yet in the series. He is another option.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Haris Sohail, 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Junaid Khan, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammad Irfan

Stats and trivia
Dwayne Bravo has the worst economy-rate in the series - 6.44. Hafeez has the best - 3.24
Including the fourth game, Gayle has batted at No. 5 only eight times in 248 ODI innings

"I had a good talk with Dr Scott Hamilton [West Indies' sports psychologist] and I was trying to refresh my memory of the way my style of play is. My style of play is give myself a chance and push it around, and then I can definitely make up at the end."
Marlon Samuels, on rediscovering his touch

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Abhishek Purohit
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

General Discussion / Goodbye to my American dream
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:27:46 PM »
Goodbye to my American dream
My mom moved us here for a better life. But as a black woman, I'm tired of loving a country that can't love me back

A photo of the author

On the day of college graduation, I told my friends and family the news: I was leaving the country I had lived in since childhood.

“I just need a change,” I told them, but they knew there was more. Was it some romance gone awry, they wondered? Some impulsive response to a broken heart? And I was running from heartbreak. My relationship with the United States of America is the most tumultuous relationship I have ever had, and it ended with the heart-rending realization that a country I loved and believed in did not love me back.

Back in the ’90s, my mother brought me from our home in the Caribbean islands to the U.S., along with my brother and sister. I was 4 years old. She worked as a live-in nanny for two years, playing mommy for white kids whose parents had better things to do. She took trips to the Hamptons and even flew on a private jet to California as “the help.” My mom didn’t believe that nanny meant maid, but she did whatever was asked of her, because she was thirsty. She had a thirst that could only be quenched by the American dream. One day, she thought, her children would be educated. One day, they might have nannies of their own.

That was our path. Get a “good education.” When the neighborhoods with quality schools became too expensive for my mom to afford as a single parent with three kids, we traversed the United States with GreatSchools.net as our compass. New Jersey, elementary school: decent, mostly Hispanic school, even though my gifted and talented program was predominantly Indian. Texas, middle school: “Found a great school for you guys,” my mom said while rain poured into our car through the open windows where the straps of our mattresses were tied down. It had an “A” grade and was 70 percent white. Florida, high school: “Hey, Tiffanie, you should have this egg. It’s the only brown one like you!” my classmate told me during AP biology. Philadelphia, Hawaii, North, South, East, West. Car, U-Haul, Greyhound, plane, train. New York City, private university: “I really want to write an essay on being the gentrifier,” one courageous young man pitched in a journalism class. I was one of only two people who were disturbed.

For a long time I survived by covering myself in the labels I’d accumulated over the years.  I plastered each one to my body with super glue as if they were Post-It note reminders that I was someone.  Sports fanatic (hot pink). Feminist, beautiful, writer, comedian, fashionista, friend (fuchsia, yellow, blue, purple, red, green). I hid behind them; they were my only shields.

‪Green covered my eyes when a childhood friend’s family banged down my front door and demanded their daughter get out of the house full of blacks. Blue protected my heart when my black peers ostracized my enjoyment of complete, complex sentences. Yellow blocked my ears when whispers floated through the air at my ex-white-American boyfriend’s home like haunted ghosts: I can’t believe he is dating a black girl. The words passed like a gentle breeze barely creating flutter.‬

I existed right there on the fringe of ugly, ignorant and uncultured. Black but not black enough for my positive attributes to be justified. “Where are you from?” potential dates asked when they met me. “I am from Trinidad and Tobago,” I said. “Oh, that’s why you are so beautiful and exotic — I knew you couldn’t be all black.”

“Black people don’t really  know how to swim,” my co-worker once told me when I worked as a swim instructor at my neighborhood’s pool. “What about me?” I asked. “Oh, you aren’t black. You’re from Trinidad,” she said.

“The black children don’t like to read very much,” I overheard one librarian discussing with another while I sat down reading a book a couple feet away. They passed right by me with smiles.

I was the model minority — absent, yet present. The yardstick to which other minorities were measured.  If I could finish high school and college, why couldn’t so many African-American people find their way out of their hoods and pull themselves up by their bootstraps? If I could speak English without using a single ebonic slang, why do others call themselves “niggas”? If I managed to make it through 23 years without contracting an STD or getting pregnant, why do black women have the highest statistical risk of disease and teenage motherhood? Daddy America looked to me to prove that he did something right. After all, one of his children turned out all right. The others must simply be problem kids.

I survived because I was never able to make America my home. I never watched my childhood neighborhood become whitened by helicopter lights in search of criminals or hipsters in search of apartments. No state, city or town has been a mother to me, cradling generations of my family near her bosom, to then be destroyed by unemployment or poverty. No school system had the time or opportunity to relegate me to “remedial,” “rejected” or “unteachable.” I never accepted the misogynistic, drug-infested, stripper-glamorizing, hip-hop culture that is force-fed to black youths through square tubes. I am not a product of a state of greatness but a byproduct of emptiness.

In that empty, dark space I found my blackness. I stripped myself of the labels, painfully peeling them off one by one. Beneath them there is a wounded, disfigured colored woman who refuses to be faceless anymore, remain hidden any longer. My face may be repulsive to some since it bears proof that race continues to be a problem.

Still, I count myself lucky. Where my open cuts remain, eventually scars will take their place and those scars will fade with time. For many, their wounds will never heal. Gunshots bore coin-size holes into their chests that will never close. Their chained wrists and ankles will continue to bruise. Their minds have collapsed under the weight of a failed education system.

I was already back in Trinidad and Tobago when the Trayvon Martin verdict came down last week. I wasn’t surprised, but I was speechless. My hope is that it will force Americans to reexamine their “post-racial” beliefs. A friend of mine posted on my Facebook page, “You made the right choice.” I think I did, too.

I have found freedom by leaving the land of the free.

Tiffanie Drayton is a freelance writer and graduate of The New School University. She hopes to one day return to an equal and racially tolerant America.

Nigerian soccer federation: Teams involved in games with scores of 79-0 and 67-0 suspended

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 10:44 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria — The two Nigerian soccer teams each figured it needed a big win in the final round at an amateur tournament to outdo the other and earn promotion to the country’s professional leagues.

Plateau United Feeders’ and Police Machine’s victories were certainly big: 79-0 and 67-0.

The results have sparked outrage, an indefinite suspension of the four clubs involved in the games, and an investigation into match-fixing by the Nigeria Football Federation.

On Tuesday, the NFF called the scores from Monday’s tournament in the northeastern city of Bauchi “a mind-boggling show of shame.”

“The teams involved, their players and officials, match officials, (tournament) coordinator and anyone found to have played some role in this despicable matter (will) be severely dealt with,” NFF director of competitions Mohammed Sanusi said.

Chasing a place in Nationwide League Division 3, Nigeria’s lowest professional league, Plateau United Feeders reportedly scored 72 of their goals against Akurba FC in the second half — a rate of more than a goal a minute. In fact, a goal about every 40 seconds. Non-stop for 45 minutes.

At the same time, Police Machine reportedly scored 61 times against Babayaro FC in the second half.

Based on those scores, Plateau United Feeders would have won promotion to the big leagues with 81 goals — in three games. Police Machine ultimately could manage only 69.

Plateau and Police won their opening games 2-0, then tied 0-0 when they met in the second round, meaning goals would be the decisive factor for promotion if both won their finales.

They got the goals they wanted.

And a suspension and a match-fixing investigation.

“This is a scandal of huge proportions,” NFF vice president Mike Umeh said. “The four teams involved are suspended immediately and indefinitely, pending further sanctions. We will investigate this matter thoroughly and get to the bottom of it.”

Intrepid beachgoers frolic as algae bloom engulfs China's coast

By Julie Makinen
July 5, 2013, 10:04 a.m.

BEIJING — Like a bright green shag carpet mutating uncontrollably, an algae bloom twice the area of Los Angeles County has engulfed the Chinese coast around the city of Qingdao and buried beaches knee-high in grass-like material.

Bulldozers and brigades of workers with pitchforks have been deployed to clean up the algae, called Enteromorpha prolifera, which began to appear a month ago. Though crews are hauling away hundreds of tons of the material per day, it’s unclear whether they’re even keeping pace with the growth.

The algae, known as hutai in Mandarin, is now covering an area of some 11,500 square miles. Scientists say the growth is spurred by an abundance of phosphorus and other nutrients in the water, probably from agricultural runoff, industrial pollution or even human waste.

A woman who answered the Qingdao Tourism Hotline on Friday said officials have delayed the traditional July 1 opening of the city’s designated beach swimming zone due to the algae bloom, which is 16 inches deep in some areas, though the plant poses no danger to humans.

Intrepid beachgoers have been frolicking in the green seas, lounging on plushy-looking green beds of the material on shore, even burying themselves in big green haystacks of the stuff.

This is the seventh year running that Qingdao has lived up to its name, which means “Green Island.” In 2008, when Qingdao was to host the Olympic sailing competition, the government dispatched 1,000 soldiers to the area to scoop up the algae using boats, trucks, bulldozers and nets.

Conditions for the algae growth are now ideal, with water temperatures about 68 degrees. Once temperatures rise to about 73, the algae will begin to die off naturally, experts said.

In the meantime, Chinese netizens are actively discussing how to put the mass of algae to good use. One Weibo user posted a recipe for a hutai dish that resembled guacamole.

Hutai is enjoyed as a food in southern China; dried it sells for about $6 a pound. It can be fried with peanuts or shrimp, mixed into spring rolls, and even made into pancakes with tofu, egg and flour. Low in calories and high in fiber, hutai is also said to lower cholesterol.

Some local seafood farms have been harvesting the algae, planning to dry it and use it as feed in the winter months.

Local authorities have tried to keep the algae away from the beach by installing more than seven miles of netting along the shore, but this year’s bloom has proved overwhelming.

At the Qingdao Holiday Inn, a concierge who wouldn’t give her name said Friday that some visitors were canceling their reservations due to the algae and that the water in the area was “not very clean.”

“Some people who love swimming very much are still going in,” she said. “But I wouldn’t recommend it.”


Cricket Anyone / Tri-Nation Series: West Indies v India, 4th ODI, PoS
« on: July 05, 2013, 05:42:31 AM »
Battered India face uphill task
The Preview by Devashish Fuloria
July 4, 2013

Friday, July 5
Start time 09:30 local | 13:30 GMT | 09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT | 06:30 PDT

Big Picture
India arrived in the West Indies with their confidence rocketing sky-high but in just over a week, the engines have come off. The two losses in Kingston mean they now find themselves in a position where even two wins won't be enough to guarantee their progression. Both Sri Lanka and West Indies have the cushion of a bonus point and India will need to find at least one to improve their position. A loss won't totally obliterate India's chances either but will leave them hoping for the remaining results to work in their favour. West Indies, on the other hand, are sitting comfortably with nine points from two games and a win will confirm them as one of the finalists.

India were rightly being showered with a lot of praise after their success in the Champions Trophy which was built on the energy the young shoulders brought. Since then, the players, as well as the captain, have proudly talked about them being the No. 1 side in the ODIs in a manner reminiscent of India's Test team a couple of years back. But there are lessons to be learnt from the nosedive India took in Tests after that.

Top sides are not dependent on a couple of players to pull them through every tricky situation. Top sides have attacks that are not neutralised by conditions. Top sides do not let everything through in the field all day after proclaiming themselves as the best fielding unit. Till India can bring the consistency to deliver in a variety of conditions, their hold on that No. 1 ODI ranking will remain slippery. One thing in their favour, however, is that they have a young team which has shown the right facets to be successful in the longer term.

India's free-flowing batsmen found the going tough on the slowish pitches at Sabina Park and with the conditions not likely to be too different in Port-of-Spain, the lesson for them is that once you are in, make it count. Chris Gayle did that in the first match, then Johnson Charles followed that route in the second and in the third, Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga proved how effective it can be. Rohit Sharma did the tough part in the first match before taking a wrong turn when the freeway beckoned.

India's bowling remains a bigger worry and it remains to be seen how they regroup after the battering they received in the previous match. Shami Ahmed lacked rhythm and at times, his run-up reminded of Munaf Patel's slow amble to the crease. Despite him being as guilty of leaking runs as anyone else, he could be the first head to roll, and the onus could be back on Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring the bowling unit's confidence back.

West Indies' bowling has thrived in home conditions. Their fast bowlers were the only ones who managed to make use of the moisture in the Sabina Park pitch and their medium-pacers and spinners have been tough to score off. With their long batting order in good nick, they are finally showing signs of extending their Twenty20 form to ODIs.

Form guide
West Indies WWTLW (most recent first, last five completed matches)

In the spotlight
His claim to fame maybe T20s, but after six years and 80 matches, you would expect Kieron Pollard to crack the ODI code. But he hasn't. His average throughout his career has stayed below 30 and his underachievement in the format can be likened to how West Indies themselves have fared in ODIs - replete with talent, but nothing to show for it. Pollard has been generally found out by quality quick bowlers around the world, but in this series, he has two of the slower attacks in cricket, and in India, one of the weakest too. After scoring 0 and 4 in the series, it is high time he takes the advantage.

In a line-up full of generous bowlers, R Ashwin boasts of an economy of less than five but for a lead spinner, he doesn't buy his captain many wickets. After 55 ODIs, his best is 3 for 24. His numbers suffer further when he bowls outside the subcontinent. Two days ago, when Ashwin was introduced to rein in the Sri Lanka openers, he had no answer. India's weakness in pace is well-known, but it's the ineffectiveness of their spinners in this series that is worrying.

Team news
West Indies made one change to their squad for the Trinidad matches, bringing in fast bowler Jason Holder in place of the injured Ravi Rampaul, but they are likely to keep their pace combination of Kemar Roach and Tino Best to hustle the India batsmen. Dwayne Bravo, who was rested in the previous match as a precautionary measure following a groin strain, will return to lead the side at his home ground.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Tino Best

India felt Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence in their previous game as the first wicket that usually comes early took 39 overs to come. He could replace Shami Ahmed in the XI.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 M Vijay, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav

Stats and trivia
  • West Indies' win-loss record against India at Queen's Park Oval stands at 7-4
  • In this series, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the most economical of India's frontline bowlers. He is No. 15 on the list
  • Chris Gayle has four centuries against India, his most against any country

"The wicket last time was really slow and I just had a look, it has a bit of grass this time around, but it seems to be the same as the last time. I don't think there is much of an adjustment needed as far as the conditions are concerned."
Virat Kohli on what the Queen's Park Oval might have in store

"It's like a dream come true for me. It's always good to play in the Oval. But to be the captain of the West Indies team is something special."
Dwayne Bravo on leading West Indies for the first time at his home ground

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Island Pop? Groovy Soca?
« on: July 02, 2013, 01:37:44 PM »
Nigerian Idol?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PBeNgHZ_sKo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PBeNgHZ_sKo</a>

John Rapsey—creator of hops bread and biscuit cake
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Angelo Bissessarsingh

Rapsey advert 1892

Hops bread is a national staple and here is the origin. Brothers Horatio and John Alfred Rapsey left England to seek their fortunes. By 1845, the two were in Port-of-Spain, operating a tailor’s shop from a building on Edward St where John Alfred died in 1853 from yellow fever.
Horatio left tailoring and opened a bakery at 62 Queen St, later moving to 9 Frederick Street. He married an English woman who bore him three sons. Horatio Jr (Ned) took over the grocery and was known as an amateur magician which earned him a reputation as an obeah man. Thomas died young and John Alfred (born in the same year his namesake uncle died) inherited the bakery after his father, Horatio Snr died in 1892.
John Alfred is credited with using an old technique he observed among the French Creole kitchens of Trinidad which involved leavening a dough roll with an extract of the male hop flower which gave it unusual crust and size.
Originally, the loaves were baked wrapped in green banana leaves which resulted in the finished product being delivered with dried leaf still stuck to it. Thus, hops bread began to be commercially baked around 1893, with each loaf being sold at a penny a piece (day-old loaves being sold in front the bakery for half penny). Because of the price, hops bread was originally known as ‘penny loaves’ and were a blessing to the impoverished barrack-yard dwellers of the city.
Rapsey was also credited with either inventing or popularising the “biscuit cake” by taking crates of the unpalatable American hardtack biscuits, soaking them in milk and then sprinkling sugar before baking, thus producing another Trini classic. In 1893, he added a soft drink factory to the business. Not surprisingly, Rapsey became rich and in 1901 bought the entire Aranguez estate for $18,000 where he continued sugar cultivation and also raised excellent cattle.
He produced excellent cheese and milk which were sold from the bakery and was also delivered to consumers packed in ice in a horse-drawn van, and later, one of the earliest motor trucks in the island. Queso de Mano Cheese provided a welcome contrast to the heavily salted white Venezuelan product then swamping the market.
While the other cheeses did not need refrigeration and thus could stay on a shop counter for months, Queso de Mano with its low sodium content spoiled rapidly and thus was sold mainly in and around PoS.
John Alfred purchased the old home of the Zurcher family, Blarney, near to Maraval which was a magnificent house he renamed Ellerslie. John Alfred died in 1912 but his widow and children continued to run Aranguez estate, with emphasis on housing development rather than agriculture. The bakery was also closed in 1928 with the famous Queso de Mano cheese disappearing in 1929.
Today, the Rapseys still maintain an interest in Aranguez estate, although most of the lands have now been sold or leased, and the grand family home is now the site of Ellerslie Plaza.

Young champions start afresh against hosts
The Preview by Abhishek Purohit
June 29, 2013

Match facts
Sunday, June 30
Start time 09:30 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT

Big Picture
Six months ago, Indian cricket was supposed to be at its nadir. On the back of those eight successive overseas Test defeats came a shocking home Test series loss to England. Reeling in the face of doomed conquests and fallen bastions, MS Dhoni and his men managed to come up with the ultimate public relations disaster - a home one-day series defeat to Pakistan. There was nowhere to hide. Australia had arrived to play four Tests. Fortunately for India, the visitors had no clue about facing spin and had plenty of demons of their own to handle. Then came the IPL to distract everyone. And then India went to England - where their mighty had begun to fall in 2011 - and won the Champions Trophy with a squad so young and inexperienced the major justification for its selection was that planning for the 2015 World Cup had already started.

Suddenly, it is India this and India that, Dhoni this and Dhoni that. So what do the No. 1 ranked ODI side, the World Cup and Champions Trophy holders have to gain from a tri-series arranged primarily so that the other participating boards could gain from their financial clout? To appreciate that, we have to recall what Dhoni often says about young players in the squad. As a World Cup approaches, he wants them to have played around 100-150 ODIs so that they have been exposed to multiple situations and have gained enough experience to tackle them. About half of the current squad have not even played 30. Yes, they won the Champions Trophy, but taking that as anything more than a start is to forget what state the side was in just six months ago.

The opening combination is nascent. The fast bowlers, barring Ishant Sharma, are new to international cricket. India need them to gain as much exposure as possible in the next 18 months or so, provided the selectors show their faith in this set of men can last longer than a couple of series.

India's opponents, West Indies, showed against Sri Lanka in the opening game why an ODI ranking of No. 8 does them no justice, especially when they actually use some of their enormous potential. West Indies have done little more recently than to terrorise Zimbabwe and New Zealand at home. A bonus-point win over Sri Lanka was a refreshing start but, as always, the question with West Indies will be, can they reproduce that kind of performance all through this series?

Form guide
West Indies WTLWW (most recent first, last five completed matches)

In the spotlight
India's openers had a dream run in the Champions Trophy, their partnerships reading 127, 101, 58, 77 and 19. Shikhar Dhawan returns to the venue of a failed comeback to the India side in 2011, while Rohit Sharma returns to the place where he was Man of the Series in 2011. Dhawan is the man who can do no wrong at the moment, while - despite successive fifties at an unfamiliar position in the Champions Trophy - Rohit is still walking around with the familiar tag of the underachiever. Both would have developed some sort of understanding during the Champions Trophy. How will they build on it in this series?

After 57 ODIs, Darren Bravo's average is similar to Rohit's, with a strike-rate from the 1990s. The aesthetic comparisons with his great uncle will probably continue for as long as he plays, but after four years of international cricket, it is time Bravo starts to draw comparisons in the areas of consistency and impact. He has shown glimpses of that at the Test level, and a 71-ball ODI hundred against Zimbabwe earlier this year was a sign of what he is capable of in this format.

Team news
The big win against Sri Lanka should encourage West Indies to go in with the same XI. Kemar Roach was a bit of a letdown in that match, but he earned backing from his captain, who said while West Indies were glad to have someone like Tino Best in the reserves, there was no issue with Roach's performance.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach

The conditions might have changed completely, but that does not mean India will be rushing to change the combination that won five successive games in the Champions Trophy.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav

Pitch and conditions
Angelo Mathews thought the toss was crucial on Friday, as the Sabina Park pitch eased out in the second innings. Sri Lanka had been put in on what Mathews called a two-paced surface, which had a few dark patches suggesting uneven distribution of moisture. However, there was no alarming swing or seam.
The expected rain didn't arrive on Friday though skies remained overcast for large parts of the game. There is some chance of rain again on Sunday.

Stats and trivia
  • Amit Mishra's last ODI was in June 2011 against West Indies in Kingston
  • West Indies lead India 3-2 in completed one-dayers at Sabina Park
  • Chris Gayle is only the third batsman to hit 200 sixes in ODIs. MS Dhoni is the next current player on the list, and eighth overall, with 152
  • Denesh Ramdin will be playing his 100th ODI

"That's a big advantage. It gives me, as a captain, and the team a better insight into how individual players think and how they play."
Dwayne Bravo on another positive of the IPL

"If I'm happier than the person who has actually scored a century or a fifty, you understand that's the kind of atmosphere you want, because at the end of the day, what we play is a team sport.".
MS Dhoni on the vibes in the India dressing room

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Cricket Anyone / Tri-Nation Series: West Indies v Sri Lanka
« on: June 28, 2013, 08:17:25 AM »
West Indies seek home advantage in opener
The Preview by Devashish Fuloria
June 27, 2013

Match Facts
Friday, June 28
Start time 0930 (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)

The Big Picture
Ideally, West Indies and Sri Lanka should have been playing a Test series at the moment, but economic forces have meant that not only have the Tests been scrapped, but a third participant - India - has joined to make it a tripartite ODI competition. It's not all gloom though. A triangular competition can produce more twists and turns than a monotonous five-match series and a closely-contested first match between these two contrasting teams could be the caffeine kick the fans in the subcontinent need to follow a series being played halfway across the planet.

For Sri Lanka, Tests or no Tests, it's a big tour. It's not often that they travel to the western edge of the cricketing world - this is only their sixth trip to the Caribbean, including the 2007 World Cup - and the last time they were here five years ago, they drew the Test series 1-1 but failed to win anything in the three-match ODI series. A team in transition, Sri Lanka have had mixed results this year under the new leadership of Angelo Mathews. The big positive came in Australia where they drew the five-match series, but they suffered a setback at home soon after, failing to win the ODI series against Bangladesh. They found their A-game during the Champions Trophy, making it to yet another semi-final of a big tournament, before bowing out to India.

That run in England was largely based on their senior players repeatedly leading the team to safety. What was keenly awaited, but never came in England, was an innings, a spell, or a moment of brilliance from the new generation of Sri Lankan cricketers. Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Shamida Eranga - the list is full of promise that is yet to show its worth. In this series, on the slow-low pitches of the Caribbean, against two tough opponents and away from the peering eyes of the media, they have a glorious opportunity to make some progress.

West Indies are a strong side in limited-overs, or so it seems because of the presence of a number of power-packed players. However, most of these players have earned their reputations playing in faraway lands for an assortment of teams. The truth is, West Indies, much like Sri Lanka's younger generation, has teased with sporadic flashes of brilliance for far too long. Yes, they won the T20 World Cup, but soon after they lost an ODI series in Bangladesh, before Australia blanked them in a five-match series.

They were at touching distance of a semi-final place in the Champions Trophy, but even there, they didn't impose themselves with either bat or ball. One silver lining for them is that they have tasted some success in home conditions. However, given the strength of the other two teams, West Indies won't mind considering themselves underdogs.

Form guide
(Most recent first, last five completed matches)
West Indies TLWWW
Sri Lanka LWWLL

In the spotlight
Upul Tharanga was a regular in the side after making his debut in 2005, but lean returns in 2011-12 and the rise in the reputation of Perera, saw the latter edge Tharanga out for the home series against Bangladesh. A sparkling debut by Perera meant Tharanga was left waiting for an opening in the side, which has now come due to Tillakaratne Dilshan's injury. Tharanga can take encouragement from the fact that there are places in the batting order still up for grabs - Perera's form has disappeared too - and that there are at least four matches to make his case.

The appointment of Dwayne Bravo as the captain of the ODI side raised a few eyebrows around the world, but Bravo brushed doubts aside saying it was part of rotation policy. He promised proactive captaincy with 'strange' tactics before the start of the Champions Trophy, but the team missed out on a semi-final spot when Kieron Pollard lost his wicket off what proved to be the last ball of the innings. Bravo was at the non-striker's end then and walked off dejected. However, having spent some time in England as a leader, Bravo has a chance to establish his style of leadership in home conditions.

Team news
Mathews had said the injury to Dilshan would be an opportunity for others to step up and the most likely player to lend solidity at the top could be Tharanga. Although the pitches in the Caribbean are not going to be markedly different from the ones laid out in England this season, Sri Lanka could include either Sachithra Senanayake or Ajantha Mendis or both in their squad.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Dinesh Chandimal, 7 Lahiru Thirimanne, 8 Ajantha Mendis, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Nuwan Kulasekara, 11 Lasith Malinga

West Indies settled into a combination that worked for them in England after the suspension of Denesh Ramdin. Although Ramdin is available for selection, West Indies are unlikely to disturb that arrangement, which means that Darren Sammy is likely to remain in the team while Johnson Charles will keep wickets.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Devon Smith, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Darren Bravo, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Tino Best/Kemar Roach, 11 Ravi Rampaul

Pitch and conditions
Wet weather is expected to further interfere with the cricket. However, the warmer temperatures and the subcontinent-like pitch conditions will suit Sri Lanka's game.

Stats and trivia
  • Upul Tharanga is 46 runs short of completing 5000 runs in ODIs. He has scored 12 centuries and his average is marginally better than Mahela Jayawardene's.
  • West Indies' head-to-head record against Sri Lanka at home stands at 4-4
  • Only two batsmen - Brian Lara and Sanath Jayasuriya - have scored hundreds in Sri Lanka-West Indies matches in the West Indies.

"It's to put those little mistakes that we made in England away. We felt we had a good opportunity to win that tournament and we want to win this one and prove ourselves right."
Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, is hoping to set things right at home

"West Indies and India are two very good teams in the shorter format of the game and I think that we really need to play some good cricket to win against them."
Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka captain

Cricket Anyone / ICC CT: South Africa v West Indies, June 14, 2013
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:17:16 PM »
Rain threat looms over crucial tie
The Preview by Firdose Moonda at Cardiff
June 13, 2013

Match Facts
Friday, June 14, 2013, Cardiff
Start time 10.30am (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)

Big Picture
A glance at Cardiff's pregnant skies is enough to set the tone for the knockout clash between South Africa and West Indies and it is not a positive one. What should be a fascinating clash between a team that dominates outside of major tournaments and a team trying to recreate their glory days may not even happen. If it does, it is likely to be interrupted by rain.

Should the wet weather have the final say, South Africa will progress by virtue of a better net run-rate but they will not want to go into the real knockouts in such fortunate circumstances. Neither will West Indies want to exit the tournament in a drizzle of disappointment, although they have two poor batting performances to blame for their current standing in the group.

While South Africa showed improvement, particularly in the bowling department, in their second game, West Indies remained static. As a result, they have not managed a total of even 240 so far and against South Africa, it would be safe to assume, they may need many more to win.

But this is not a normal occasion for South Africa; this is a pressure game and that alone could scramble their minds. Even if Dale Steyn is fit and firing, their main battle will be with themselves as they try to rewrite their reputations as big-game bloopers.

West Indies will fancy themselves more than usual, especially because they have been the team that have put South Africa out of tournaments the most. On three occasions, they have been responsible for South Africa taking the next flight home and their cavalier confidence has often given them the edge over a team paranoid of failure.

Form guide
(Most recent first)
South Africa: WLWWL
West Indies: LWWWW

In the Spotlight
There hasn't been much opportunity for a finisher like David Miller to show what he is capable of. The "in the arc, out of the park" hitter has had mixed results in a tournament where run-scoring has tapered as innings go on, but team management remains confident Miller will be able to make an impact at some point. Given a firm foundation and licence to thrill, it may be his big day.

Sunil Narine has encountered South Africans at the IPL but has never played against South Africa and he may well be relishing the opportunity. Despite reams of video evidence, Narine remains difficult to pick - with both his offbreak and doosra bowled out of the front of the hand and made trickier by his pace. Although the stereotype about South Africa's batsmen being spun into submission doesn't apply anymore, he could still cause ample problems for a team under pressure.

Team news
With Dale Steyn declared fit and available, South Africa will likely go in with four seamers, one specialist spinner in Robin Peterson and JP Duminy as an allrounder. That will mean only one change for them with Colin Ingram occupying the top spot ahead of specialist opener Alviro Petersen and Farhaan Behardien missing out again.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Colin Ingram, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt, wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson 9 Chris Morris, 10 Dale Steyn/Aaron Phangiso, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

An unchanged XI is expected and with Denesh Ramdin still suspended, Johnson Charles will keep wickets again.

West Indies: (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach

Pitch and conditions
Rain fell consistently throughout Wednesday and Thursday and more showers are forecast for match day with a window of clear weather predicted only between 2pm and 5pm. That could be enough to squeeze in a 20-over shootout, but both teams will want more than that. Should play take place, the moisture is likely to make conditions conducive for the pacers.

The ground has seen one run-fest between India and South Africa and one low-scoring scuffle between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, but both took place before the rains. So fairly fresh conditions can be expected for this match.

Stats and Trivia
  • Chris Gayle has scored three hundreds against South Africa, two of them in losing causes.
  • Three of the 12 ODIs played at Sophia Gardens have been washed out - 25%. South Africa have been involved in two of those.

"They know if they lose, they are going back home. They have a tag of being chokers that do well in big tournaments, so that would be added pressure on them."
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo

"They always say batting second is easier when there is a bit of weather around. I'm not too fussed about that. Whether we play a shortened game or a normal game, it's all about focus and team intensity off the field."
South African captain AB de Villiers

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Cricket Anyone / ICC CT: India v West Indies, June 11, 2013
« on: June 10, 2013, 03:18:29 PM »
Contest between two batting units
The Preview by Sidharth Monga
June 10, 2013

Match Facts
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, The Oval
Start time 1030 (0930GMT)

Big Picture
It is a little surprising that these two sides, hugely popular among the expatriate population in England, haven't faced each other in an ODI in England in the last 30 years. When India last played West Indies in an ODI in England, ODI cricket and West Indies were the kings. India upset West Indies that afternoon, became the new kings of ODI cricket, and paved the way for a whole new commercial explosion in the format. Thirty years later, as they face off in England again, India are the world champions and the No. 1 ODI side, but the format itself is fighting for relevance, at least in popular discourse.

West Indies, knocked off their proud perch long ago, will like to believe they have begun the resurgence through Twenty20, the format that is supposed to be the premier limited-overs format. This Champions Trophy provides them a big opportunity to carry that resurgence into the ODIs. And if they can beat India, the only way to keep West Indies out of the semi-finals will be net run rate. The same holds for India, who can perhaps afford to lose more than West Indies because they will be playing last in the group.

These are teams built around batting might. The new regulations might have made India sacrifice one of the seven batsmen they loved to play, but they still rely on their batsmen, who racked up 331 against South Africa. West Indies' win might have come in a low-scoring game, but they played with just three specialist bowlers, with captain Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle left to share 20 overs between them. West Indies might add one bowler to the line-up, but it still remains a contest between the mighty batting units.

Form guide
(Most recent first)
West Indies WWWWL

In the Spotlight
Before Shikhar Dhawan stunned the world with his back-to-back centuries in international cricket, he was discarded because he had failed against West Indies in the West Indies. Going through a phase of supreme form and high confidence, Dhawan now has a chance to set that record straight. Or do West Indies know how to bowl to him better than others do?

India's policy has been clear: play out the initial overs, and the batsmen coming in later can make up for the run rate if there are wickets in hand. Kemar Roach is a man who can put spanners in those works. He did so against Pakistan too, with 3 for 28.

Team news
India had to make two choices going into the Champions Trophy, and both have come off. Rohit Sharma succeeded as opener, and Ravindra Jadeja as allrounder. Don't expect any changes there

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav

Denesh Ramdin will not be available for selection after he was suspended for two ODIs by the ICC. Johnson Charles is likely to keep wicket, and either Darren Sammy or Tino Best will play. Charles had good wicketkeeping practice at The Oval on the eve of the game, first standing to Sunil Narine and then having more drills from the fielding coach.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt.), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy/Tino Best, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach

Pitch and conditions
Conditions have been quite unpredictable. On the same Cardiff pitch that India scored 331, New Zealand and Sri Lanka lost 19 wickets for 277 runs. West Indies might have played a low-scoring thriller against Pakistan at The Oval, but you can't surely say this game, too, will be difficult for the batsmen. A cool day with a 10% chance of rain is expected.

Stats and Trivia
In 23 matches against West Indies, Suresh Raina has scored just one fifty and averages 19.72 with a strike rate of 77.
Chris Gayle, with 734 at 56.46, has scored the most runs in Champions Trophy.

"The Gayle factor will always be there. These are sort of individuals who have a big impact on the game. So it is good to get them out early. Our fast bowlers will have fair chance in the sense they have two new balls and with overcast conditions they will get a bit of help, too."
MS Dhoni is aware of the kind of damage Gayle can do on opponents.

Other Sports / 2013 French Open
« on: June 08, 2013, 08:34:54 AM »
Sharapova is just getting overpowered by Serena here.

This will be over quickly.

Hard to belive Serena is 31. Everyone else in tennis seems like 17

Windies seek to revive Oval memories
The Preview by Siddhartha Talya
June 6, 2013

Match facts
Friday, June 7, The Oval
Start time: 10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT

Big Picture
West Indies have fond memories of playing in the Champions Trophy, famously winning the tournament in 2004 at The Oval, the venue where they will be beginning their campaign on Friday. Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Ramnaresh Sarwan played that game almost nine years ago and are part of a side that can go all the way in this competition. West Indies seemed to gel well under the leadership of Darren Sammy, who led them to the World Twenty20 title, but poor returns in the ODI format meant Bravo was appointed his replacement as captain in 50-over cricket. This Champions Trophy will be his first major assignment, starting against opponents who have consistently been strong contenders in ICC tournaments.

Even though Pakistan are missing players who've been key members of their side in the past, and just barely managed to beat Ireland ahead of the Champions Trophy warm-ups, they've grown accustomed to the conditions and have a strong bowling attack to defend competitive scores. Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan have been dropped; Umar Gul is out due to injury; Mohammad Hafeez has been solid at the top of the order; there's the experience of Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq in the middle, and Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan have been impressive as seamers.

A defeat is a significant setback in a short competition such as this, so expect both sides to be high on intensity, also in part because of the support they are likely to receive at the ground. West Indies, in their pomp, were best supported at The Oval when they played in England, and Pakistan are never short of followers wherever they go.

Form Guide
(most recent first)
Pakistan: WTWLW (last five completed games)
West Indies: WWWLL

Watch out for...
Ramnaresh Sarwan was once the most important member of West Indies' top and middle orders, but didn't play ODIs for almost a year-and-a-half until his return against Australia in February this year. Though that series was a disappointment, he struck a century in the three-match series against Zimbabwe, followed by a stint with Leicestershire, which would have helped him get used to the conditions.

Wahab Riaz could be a handful in favourable conditions in England. He bowls with pace, can swing it and can be effective in the shorter format with his ability to bowl the yorker on target. He is more than handy with the bat, having played a key role in Pakistan's close victory over Ireland followed by a three-for in the warm-up win over South Africa.

Team news
West Indies could have some tough choices to make. They have plenty of depth in their batting, and it'll be interesting to see if they pick Sammy in the playing XI. They opened with Sarwan in the ODI series against Zimbabwe in February, but Johnson Charles is fresh from two straight half-centuries in the warm-ups. Would they prefer going in with an extra specialist batsman?

West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach/Tino Best.

Pakistan played just one warm-up game (their first was washed out) and gave Umar Amin a go in the middle order, but it remains to be seen if he's picked tomorrow.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Imran Farhat, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Saeed Ajmal, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Asad Ali/Ehsan Adil.

Pitch and conditions
On a sunny day, The Oval track could cater to a high-scoring game, and take a bit of turn. The conditions may not support much swing. There hasn't been an ODI played at The Oval in almost 10 months; scores of 238 and 252 were chased down comfortably by West Indies and England there last year.

In ICC ODI tournaments, Pakistan have beaten West Indies on four occasions and lost eight times. They won the last two encounters between the teams in ICC tournaments - in the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa and the World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka.
Chris Gayle has scored 840 runs against Pakistan in ODIs, at 31.11. Sarwan has a good record against Pakistan in the format, scoring 514 runs in 14 games at 46.72.

"The plan should be that Imran Farhat plays as an anchor and last for 40 overs or so and the boys around him play freely but sensibly. Pakistani batting always comes under pressure if the openers fall early."
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on what should be Pakistan's ODI batting strategy.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Football / German Cup Final
« on: June 01, 2013, 01:04:21 PM »
Live on ESPN News and ESPN 3

2nd half now start.

General Discussion / Fake pilot flew Airbus A320 into London
« on: May 13, 2013, 02:23:33 PM »
Fake pilot flew Airbus A320 into London
May 13, 2013 - 10:40AM

Claire Duffin

A conman forged a pilot's licence and medical certificates to get a job flying airliners into Gatwick Airport.

Michael Fay, 59, an American who settled in Alton, Hampshire, spent eight months piloting an Airbus A320, landing at Gatwick.

He is now being hunted by police after he failed to appear in court to be sentenced for fraud. Fay is believed to have fled Britain and may be seeking work as a pilot or flying instructor, police said.

Fay, a former US Air Force pilot, worked for Afriqiyah Airways, the Libyan national carrier, and made eight landings at Gatwick between June 1, 2010, and his arrest, on February 3, 2011. Police were alerted to his fraud when another pilot became suspicious while talking to him on an internet forum.

The conman was due to appear at Winchester Crown Court on Friday, May 3, but failed to appear. He was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison.

Detective Constable Chris Thorne, from Hampshire Police, said: "Fay is a clever and resourceful man who clearly shows no concern for public safety if he's willing to work without the correct licences and medical certification."

An international hunt for him is under way and the Civil Aviation Authority has been alerted.

The fraud came shortly before the collapse of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, which owned Afriqiyah Airways. It resumed its European service in July 2012 after losing safety accreditation during the conflict in Libya.

Medium-range A320 jets seat 144 passengers in two classes.

Detective Con Thorne added: "He targeted Libyan aviation at a time when the country's political and economic standing was vulnerable and volatile. Had it not been for the quick thinking of a genuine pilot on the internet forum, Fay may have continued to put the public at risk in this manner unnoticed."

The company said Fay's employment "may have been arranged through a third-party broker" who should have checked his documents. A spokesman added: "We place great emphasis on the safety and integrity of our crews and aircraft, and will treat the investigation of this matter with the utmost seriousness it deserves."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/fake-pilot-flew-airbus-a320-into-london-20130513-2jh2q.html#ixzz2TCq0UQYN

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