India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday rued absence of Virender Sehwag from the first two Tests against England, saying the opener is one of the few players in the world who could influence the outcome of a game on his own.Sehwag, included in the squad of 17, is recovering from an operation on his right shoulder and in his absence, young Chennai opener Abhinav Mukund will open the innings with Gautam Gambhir at least in the first two Tests.”We, as a side, rely on our openers quite a bit. A good start helps our middle order. There aren’t many cricketers in the world who impact a game like Sehwag does. We will miss him,” Dhoni said in Taunton, as India open the tour with a three-day game against Somerset on Friday.Dhoni insisted that it was important for the openers to stand up to possibly the best attack in the world. The Test series will begin at Lord’s from July 21.”England is a very good side, they regularly get plenty of runs. They take 20 wickets. We have to be at our very best,” he said.The Indian captain did not allow himself to be weighed down by the fact that England could displace them as number one Test team in the world.”The basis of sport is to enjoy it. A lot of times you don’t enjoy sport while playing top class cricket. We don’t want to get into it. The ratings aren’t that important.” Dhoni was also not ready to be overwhelmed by England’s strength and also looked at a few positives.advertisement”In West Indies, it was difficult to consistently score runs. Shot-playing wasn’t that easy. It could be different here. You can play shots. The outfield surely will be 200 miles faster than in the Caribbean which can be a great help to score runs,” he said.Over the next five weeks, in the four Tests, Indians can be assured of a huge support in the stands by the massive Asian population in the country.Dhoni acknowledged it but didn’t think it would be the determining factor.”Crowd support can push bowlers and batters to do that bit extra, but frankly it’s up to 11 players playing the match. The bench strength and the support staff.”Former England and current India coach Duncan Fletcher said he did not think he would come back to England in such a manner.”Once I left England, I thought that’s it. I did a bit of consultancy before the coaching bug bit me again. When this opportunity came along, I couldn’t turn it down.”During his short stint with the Indians so far, Fletcher is impressed how too much cricket or lack of preparation isn’t much of an issue with his players.- With inputs from PTI
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is remaining cautious over Dele Alli’s comeback ahead of Monday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester CityThe 22-year-old midfielder has returned to training after being sidelined with a recurring hamstring problem for the past month.Alli, who was also absent for England over the recent international break, is believed to be in contention to make his return to action at Wembley.It will be his first appearance since Spurs’ 2-2 draw against Watford on September 26.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…But, while feeling optimistic about Alli’s progress, Pochettino is reluctant to force him back into action before he is ready.“Yes I think it’s good news but we need to be careful. He started today with the group,” Pochettino told reporters on Football London.“Sure we hope he will be available for Monday but I’m not sure if we’re going to put him in the squad or not.”Injured defenders Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose will likely remain on the sidelines for Spurs as they continue to recover from their hamstring and groin issues respectively.
The Indian power ministry announced on Thursday that it will invest $4 billion (INR 25,300 crore) in the power industry to roll out a new metering system and upgrade distribution networks around the country to help tackle the power theft issue.The announcement is a key step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to wipe out the electricity theft problem plaguing the country and to introduce uninterrupted power supply. The total project will reportedly cost $5.27 billion of which $4 billion will be contributed by the government.The new scheme will see the power ministry rolling out new meters for distribution feeders, transformers and consumers. The plan also intends to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution networks, Reuters reports. The project will help cut technical and commercial losses in the power department.Power theft has been a major problem in the country. According to a previous Bloomberg analysis, India loses $17 billion in revenue annually due to prolonged power cuts and blackouts. The country also loses over a quarter of its power due to poor wiring.Billing rates “are too low, and theft is too high. If you look at the power losses, 80 percent is theft,” Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects , a privately held power plant operator told Businessweek in an earlier interview.The government has raided several private companies after the Modi administration stepped in. More than 750 cases of power theft were reported before June.Experts suggested that power should be subsidized to solve the emerging problem. But theft- from both the poor and rich – made it unfeasible.In a 2013 feature for The Hindu, William Ash, a Strategic Program Manager at the IEEE Standards Association explained that “smart meters” are a great way to tackle the theft problem.”Most of the time, this theft happens through tapping of electricity from live wires, which also poses risks to people’s lives. The use of smart meters thus becomes extremely relevant in developing countries such as India,” Ash wrote.A smart meter is an electricity-measuring device that remotely switches “the customer’s power supply off and/or individual appliances based on demand response. It can remotely control electricity consumption to maximise energy efficiency and load balancing,” Ash explained.The Modi government has set a goal to use renewable energy to power at least one light bulb in the remote areas of India by 2019. Narendra Modi has been credited for solving the power theft problem in Gujarat when he was the chief minister. o f the state
Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AFPIsraeli police were expected to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday over whether he illegally accepted gifts from wealthy supporters, media reports said, in a probe shaking the country’s political scene.The long-running inquiry has looked into whether Israeli and foreign businessmen have offered gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars as well as another unspecified issue, according to the reports.Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has reportedly decided to upgrade the inquiry to a criminal probe, though he has yet to confirm this.Police and Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Monday.Public radio said Netanyahu has agreed to be questioned at his residence. It was not clear when it would occur, though some reports said it would not be until 7:00 pm (1700 GMT).Screens were mounted at the entrance to the compound in central Jerusalem in an apparent bid to shield the investigators’ arrival.In a Facebook post at the weekend, Netanyahu rejected all allegations against him and said his political opponents and some news outlets wanted to bring down his government.Police have carried out the inquiry in secret over the course of some eight months and recently arrived at an important breakthrough, reports said. Some 50 witnesses are said to have been questioned.In July, Mandelblit said he had ordered a preliminary examination into an unspecified affair involving Netanyahu, with no details given.US billionaire and World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder has been among those questioned in the probe over gifts he allegedly gave Netanyahu and alleged spending on trips for him, Israeli media reported.Lauder, whose family founded the Estee Lauder cosmetics giant, has long been seen as an ally of Netanyahu, who in the late 1990s put him in charge of negotiating with then Syrian president Hafez al-Assad. ‘Campaign of provocation’ Netanyahu has acknowledged receiving money from French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who was sentenced to eight years in prison over a scam amounting to 283 million euros involving the trade of carbon emissions permits and the taxes on them.Netanyahu’s office said he had received $40,000 in contributions from Mimran in 2001, when he was not in office, as part of a fund for public activities, including appearances abroad to promote Israel.He has also come under scrutiny over an alleged conflict of interest in the purchase of submarines from a German firm.Media reports have alleged a conflict of interest over the role played by the Netanyahu family lawyer, David Shimron, who also acts for the Israeli agent of Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, which builds the Dolphin submarines.Beyond those issues, Israel’s state comptroller released a critical report in May about Netanyahu’s foreign trips, some with his wife and children, between 2003 and 2005 when he was finance minister.Netanyahu, 67, is in his fourth term as prime minister and currently heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.He has served as premier for a total of nearly 11 years, fast approaching revered founding father David Ben-Gurion’s 13 years.Polls have shown that if elections were held today, his Likud party would finish behind the centrist Yesh Atid, but that voters still prefer Netanyahu as prime minister.The inquiry has led to fierce debate in Israeli politics, with Netanyahu’s allies accusing opposition politicians and some in the news media of unfairly pressuring the attorney general.Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, in comments on army radio on Monday, denounced what he called a “campaign of provocation and incitement” against Mandelblit.Others have however accused Mandelblit of moving too slowly.Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was forced to resign while dogged by corruption allegations.He entered prison in February and is serving 27 months for corruption, making Olmert the first former Israeli premier to serve jail time.
Salauddin AhmedThe candidate for Dhaka-4 constituency Salauddin Ahmed was injured after being allegedly shoved by supporters of the Awami League-led grand alliance. His family alleged the supporters of the grand alliance or mahajote shoved him while he was walking down the stairs from the fourth floor of Shyampur Model School and College, a polling station in the capital.The grand alliance supporters, however, denied the allegation.Witnesses said some unidentified people pushed him while he was walking down the stairs at about 9:15am on Sunday.They said Salauddin’s nose and legs were imjured. He went home from there. He emerged from his house, blood-stained and bandaged. He was taken to Asghar Ali Hospital in Gandaria. According to members of BNP and his family, Salauddin and his supporters came under attack when he went to the voting centre at Shyampur Model School and College.Speaking to Prothom Alo, presiding officer SM Rezaul Kabir said Salauddin Ahmed entered Room No. 408 on fourth floor of the voting centre and wanted to know why his polling agents were absent.Salauddin also alleged that his polling agents were driven out, the presiding officer quoted him as saying. Assistant presiding officer denied the allegation and asked Salauddin to bring his polling agents.SM Rezaul Kabir claimed Salauddin misbehaved with assistant sub inspector of police Md Arif.Salauddin threatened to throw the police officer from the fourth floor, the presiding officer added.