Tony Becca: Going, going, and may be almost gone

first_imgWest Indies cricket, the envy of the world for decades past because of its exiting and brilliant batsmen, fast and furious fast bowlers, and its acrobatic fielders, and undisputed champions of the world for 19 years up to 1995, is now at rock bottom and looks like getting deeper and deeper. In fact, based on the events of this week, and after all that have gone on in the past 15 or 20 years, a good bet is that the West Indies days are numbered. West Indies cricket is not the West Indies team alone. It is the West Indies teams and West Indies cricketers, all West Indian cricketers. And every penny belongs to the West Indies – to be added up, divided up fairly and equitably, and to be distributed to the players according to merit and on value to the team. The West Indies players have been on so many strikes, it has not been funny. Some have gone ahead, and some have been short-lived. Almost after every one of them there have been court cases, all sorts of meetings, all sorts of plans, and all sorts of MOUs and understandings. There have also been all kinds of pay structures agreed on. After 2014 and the Indian embarrassment, there were all kind of calls for all kinds of meetings, for all kinds of take-overs, and there were meetings involving prime ministers, Dave Cameron and board members, players, lawyers, and players association members. Although it is common knowledge that the West Indies have lost 80 of 132 Test matches while winning only 14 against the top eight teams since losing 5-0 to England in 2000 and 5-0 to Australia in 2000-1, and have failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy while Bangladesh have done so, cricket, results on the field, have nothing to do with it, not really. The problem which threatens to explode and blow West Indies to the four corners of the earth is money, pure and simply money. The West Indies are set to participate in the World Twenty20 tournament in March in India, but once again, as happened so many times in the recent past, including the 2014 Test tour of India, the squad of players, led by captain Daren Sammy, wrote the board, demanding more money for the services. In a nutshell, that’s what the players want, more money. The players, led by Sammy, want double the match fee, 50 per cent of sponsorship money, and 100 per cent of any prize-money won. On top of that, they don’t want to deal with the West Indies Players’ Association whatsoever. The board seems adamant that it will not pay. According to the board, it cannot pay. It is as simple as that. The board, if needs be, will select a new team for the tournament. The players claim they are losing money, that they are losing as much as 85 per cent of their money, and that they cannot afford that, even if some of that money is going to subsidise the salaries of contracted Caribbean first-class players for the newly formed Professional Cricket League. The West Indies players, it seems, cannot afford to subsidise Caribbean first-class players, not even for the suffering first-class players to go from getting nothing to getting something. The West Indies players, however, would be comfortable if they were to be, as they are now, subsidised by the cricket world from the money earned by the money-spinners elsewhere in the world. Is it right for the non-West Indies player to run around in the sun day after day for days at a time and then sit down and twiddle his thumbs, with nothing to do or eat, just looking on from the outside? No, it is not right, it was never right, and it can never be right. The West Indies Cricket Board has made many mistakes in their time, but this is not one. This is one to produce for West Indies cricket. This is one to ensure that what is happening now never happens again. This is one for West Indies cricket. Finding a vision Top eight teams There were mediations and arbitrations at which there were ICC representatives, FICA representatives, WICB members, WIPA members, and accountants, at which the players and the board discussed their responsibilities along with finding a vision of West Indies cricket. The meetings, all of them, one or the other, agreed and decided on all categories of remuneration, on player compensation re West Indies, international, franchise, or first-class levels, incentive payments, down to injury payments, and with the help and agreement of ICC and FICA.at that, according to the board. All this was done from May, and then suddenly, two few weeks before the deadline, comes another storm. “I am sending this as captain of the West Indies T20 side as a collective representative of the 15-man squad selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” said Sammy. And then he proceeded to say that WIPA does not represent the players, that the money is not what the players had expected, that they wanted it doubled at least, and he made it clear, in his first letter, that the players would not accept the current offer. “If you don’t agree to the above, would you consider that this matter goes to mediation for a settlement?” said Sammy. Michael Muirhead, CEO of the board, replied, politely, “If we should not hear from any player by February 14, we will presume that you have refused selection.” The West Indies payment structure was changed in 2014, partly by the ICC because of the money they decided to share around: 25 per cent of ICC cricket money guaranteed from the player pool per year, 53 per cent to international players, 47 per cent to 90 contracted first-class players, at the end of four years fund assessed and any excess will be paid to international players only. For all fees retainers, Test match fees, ODI fees, T20 fees, ICC, events, practice matches, captains fees, and per diems fees will be paid separately, worked out with WICB, WIPA, FICA, and ICC, who added on US$1,000 per day of cricket for each player who is not on a senior contract for the use of their image rights. According to the board, the retainer fees were increased in 2013 from US$5,000 to US$160,000 to most of the top players in the T20 league. Additionally, the windows are left open for Indian Premier League and Big Bash League twice a year. It is now possible for top West Indies players to earn, according the board, US$315,000 per year ($155,000 from WICB and $160,000 from CPL). West Indies cricket has so much money and no more, and they can pay only what they can afford to pay. The cricket has to be supported, and other players have to be looked after. Why, for example, wait from May until now to deal with these things? Money is money, and it is important, no doubt about it. There are times, however, when some things are more important, when one can do with a little less for the benefit of a brother or a sister. If this tour beaks up again, it may be the end of West Indies cricket. Trinidad and Tobago have already whispered the idea to members of the ICC, and Richard Pybus, West Indies director of cricket, has already said, just recently, “A split can’t be discounted in 10 years.” According to meritlast_img read more

Barcelona ready to unleash rested Messi

first_imgBarcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admits it is a boost that Lionel Messi was able to rest during the international break.The forward declared himself unavailable for Argentina’s friendly matches against Guatemala and Colombia, which took place in the United States during the past week.It means Messi will have had close to two weeks off between the 8-2 thrashing of Huesca and Saturday’s game against Real Sociedad at Anoeta, where Barca have won only once in their previous eight visits. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Valverde is prepared to rotate his squad given Barca have five matches in 15 days, but he is glad to have his number 10 well-rested.”Those players [who didn’t play in the international break] didn’t have that wear,” he told a news conference. “They’ve had more time to train, to rest.”There’s that tiring experience of travelling, a lot of air miles, other players have had to do that, so generally it’s better for us, I won’t deny that.”We always expect the best from Messi, as we do from any player, regardless of whether there’s a midweek game or not. We knew when players had to travel for their national teams and there are away games immediately afterwards, of course it’s a huge advantage to have him rested for the last week.”We have another game in just three days’ time. Some of the players have been playing with small fitness issues so, yes, I might make some changes.”020918 Barcelona Huesca Arturo Vidal Luis Suárez Jordi AlbaValverde suggested Arthur and Arturo Vidal are likely to become more involved in the coming weeks, although the Brazil midfielder is not in the squad to face Sociedad.”Yes, I’ve got to find room for them all and hopefully when they play we’ll win our games,” Valverde said of the midfield duo. “We have a lot of competition for places.”Vidal had to do a lot of travelling this week but we have a lot of hopes pinned on them. Perhaps this isn’t the best week for them. They’ve had some long trips.”Valverde went on to praise the commitment levels of Ousmane Dembele, who endured a tough first season with injury problems.”He’s the same player. He’s great going forward, great at finding space, he scores goals. We also want consistency from him,” said Valverde.”He’s working very hard in training but essentially he is the same player. There will be big games when we need him to rise to the occasion, but that’s his job.”last_img read more

PNCT Secures Financing for Expansion Works

first_imgzoom Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) has secured USD 298 million in bond proceeds that will be used to refinance existing debt and finance its future terminal development project.The company, which closed on a tax-exempt bond transaction on December 28, 2017, plans to expand the terminal footprint by 17 percent to 309 acres and increase the terminal capacity to 1.3 million container lifts to handle 2.3 million TEUs.The project includes the expansion and improvement of the terminal yard and construction of a new gate facility, as well as upgrading, deepening and expanding berths.Additionally, PNCT has ordered four new gantry cranes capable of servicing ultra-large container vessels and will continue with the expansion of its straddle carrier fleet. The terminal development project is expected to be completed by 2019.PNCT is an integrated marine terminal operator and stevedore company that currently handles some 20 percent of the container volume in the Port of New York and New Jersey.The terminal operates within a 263-acre footprint with a capacity of 850,000 containers (1.49 million TEU).last_img read more

WBBSE suspends errant headmaster

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on Thursday suspended the headmaster of Maynaguri Subhasnagar High School Haridayal Roy, on charges of opening the seal of question papers much before the scheduled time. He had allegedly made question papers of more than one subject available to the topper of the school, during the Madhyamik examination a few months ago.”We have suspended Roy and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him,” said Kalyanmoy Ganguly, president of WBBSE, who had led the enquiry that was conducted in this regard. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe WBBSE also announced strong action against some others who, according to the probe, were involved in the entire matter. The Board has started disciplinary proceedings against Biswajit Roy, the English teacher of the school who had videographed the strongroom of the school, where the question papers were kept. It may be mentioned that during the enquiry, Roy had admitted his wrongful act.”Samrat Biswas, the history teacher of the school, who had given contradictory statements regarding the matter during the probe, is being handed over ‘stricture.’ He has been warned that if he is found to be involved in similar acts in future, strong action will be taken against him,” a senior WBBSE official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAt the same time, the School Education department has showcaused sub-inspector of school of the region Biswanath Bhowmick. He has been directed to respond to the showcause within three days.”Bhowmick has been found guilty of making statements without verification of facts and has even spoken to a number of media persons, which has given a wrong message regarding the entire matter,” the official added.The WBBSE has also not spared Mantu Roy, the additional venue supervisor, for dereliction of duty. “We have started disciplinary proceedings against him,” Gangulysaid.However, Board officials remained tight lipped on the allegations of question paper leak that had been triggered as the seal of the papers were opened before the scheduled time.A number of teachers of Maynaguri School in Jalpaiguri district had been vocal against Roy and had told the Board that he had provided undue benefit to the topper of the school through his act and demanded exemplary punishment for him.It may be recalled that state Education minister Partha Chatterjee had condemned the incident and had said that if the accused teacher is found guilty, then the Shiksha Ratna award conferred upon him will be taken back.last_img read more

Redbird a modern reverse proxy for node

first_imgThe latest version, 8.0 of Redbird got released last month. It is a modern reverse proxy for node. Redbird comes with built in Cluster, HTTP2, LetsEncrypt and Docker support which helps in the handling of load balancing, dynamic virtual hosts, proxying web sockets and SSL encryption. It comes with a complete library for building dynamic reverse proxies with the speed and robustness of http-proxy.It is a light-weight package that includes everything that is needed for easy reverse routing of applications. It is useful for routing applications from different domains in one single host. It is also used for easy handling of SSL. What’s new in Redbird? Support for HTTP2: One can now enable HTTP2 easily by setting the HTTP2 flag to true. Note: HTTP2 requires SSL/TLS certificates. Support for LetsEncrypt: Redbird now supports automatic generation of SSL certificates using LetsEncrypt. While using LetsEncrypt, the obtained certificates will be copied to the specific path on disk. One should take the backup, or save them. Features It provides flexible and easy routing It also supports websockets The users can experience seamless SSL Support. It also, automatically redirects the user from HTTP to HTTPS It enables automatic TLS certificates generation and renewal It supports load balancing after following a round-robin algorithm It helps in registering and unregistering routes programmatically without restart which allows zero downtime deployments It helps in the automatic registration of running containers by enabling docker support. It enables automatic multi-process with the help of cluster support It is based on top of rock-solid node-http-proxy. It also offers optional logging which is based on bunyan It uses node-etcd to create proxy records automatically from an etcd cluster. Cluster Support in Redbird Redbird supports automatic generation of node cluster. To use the cluster support feature one needs to specify the number of processes that one wants it to use. Redbird automatically restarts any thread that crashes and hence increases reliability. If one needs NTLM support, Redbird adds the required header handler. This then registers a response handler. This handler makes sure that the NTLM auth header is properly split into two entries from http-proxy. Custom resolvers in Redbird Redbird comes with custom resolvers that helps one to decide how the proxy server handles the request. Custom resolvers help in path-based routing, headers based routing and wildcard domain routing. The install command for Redbird is npm install redbird. To read more about this news, check out the official page of Github. Read Next Squid Proxy Server: debugging problems How to Configure Squid Proxy Server Squid Proxy Server: Fine Tuning to Achieve Better Performancelast_img read more