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Cricket is no more a gentlemen’s game

We are living in times of fast food where time is essence and the game of cricket is no exception.

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Cricket is traditionally known as the gentlemen’s game but after the advent of T-20 it has witnessed a sea change and of late some outrageous shots have become part of batsmen repertoire. This raises a serious question whether cricket is still a gentlemen’s game which hitherto was known for its strictly copybook shots.

We are living in times of fast food where time is essence and the game of cricket is no exception. The game has changed a lot after T-20 became popular in last 10 years and now emphasis is more on scoring maximum runs at a faster rate in 20 overs. The finesse and elegance of batting has taken a backseat while improvisation and thinking out of box is the necessity.

I have chosen six most popular shots which were not part of the game few years back but now we often see these shots being executed by most of the international players. These unconventional shots are associated with specific players who made it popular. Let us find out which are those six shots which of late are producing the bulk of runs in the instant version of cricket.

Upper Cut

The best exponent of this unique shot was our own master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who used it so successfully against Shoaib Akhtar in the semi final of 2002 world cup in South Africa. Before that classic duel Shoaib Akhtar always used to have the upper hand against the ace batsman as his main weapon was a bouncer delivered at 100 kmph. Shoaib Akhtar got such a battering from Tendulkar in this match that he never used this weapon again against him.

Sachin also used this shot to tackle the bounce of Makhaya Ntini and Nantie Hayward of South Africa on the South Africa tour of 1996-97. Sachin’s partner Virender Sehwag took a cue from great Tendulkar and used this shot quite effectively against world’s top speedsters.

Image result for Tendulkar plays the Upper Cut

IMAGE: Tendulkar plays the Upper Cut. Photograph: ICC

After T20 became the most popular version, almost every batsman has tried to include this shot in his arsenal but no one did it better than Sachin.

Reverse Sweep

A B de Villiers of South Africa and Glenn Maxwell of Australia are two names which come to our mind when we talk about reverse sweep. These are the two most destructive batsmen in the shortest form of cricket who use this shot when field on the off-side is up inside the circle.

They also used this particular shot adeptly to negotiate and unsettle the Indian spinners R Ashwin and R Jadeja which made Indian skipper to scratch his head.

Image result for A B de Villiers Reverse Sweep

IMAGE: AB Devilliers Photo Gallery ICC World Cup 2011

This shot also needs lot of skill as it involves a high degree of risk resulting in most of batsmen getting caught at point or cover after they miscue the shot.

Switch Hit

When we talk about swich hit, the only batsman who perfectly used this shot was none other than Kevin Pietersen, the South African born batsman who played as a middle order batsman for England.

This may look very similar to the reverse sweep but in this shot the batsman deliberately changes his regular stance and plays the ball in the gap to help him with much needed four or a six.

In the local lingo, it is also called as Alti-palti in India but KP was the first international batsman who mastered this stroke to perfection. To start with, this shot created lot of debate in the world cricket, some calling it outstanding display of skill while others labeling it as unethical as in their opinion if a batsman changes his stance; he gains an unfair hand over the bowler.

But ICC, which administers the game, declared it legitimate in 2012 and who can forget David Warner, who used this shot so skillfully to punish the top bowlers.

Image result for Kevin Pietersen plays the Switch Hit

IMAGE: Kevin Pietersen plays the Switch Hit. Photograph Cricket.com

Helicopter Shot

This is the trademark shot of current Indian one day and T-20 team’s wicketkeeper batsman and the ex captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The Helicopter shot is an expression of Dhoni’s brute power coupled with amazing wrist work and bat speed.

Image result for Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best exponent of the Helicopter Shot

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best exponent of the Helicopter Shot. Photograph: Dailymotion

This shot helped Dhoni to score against the most difficult ball of the game known as Yorkers. This ball is among the safest deliveries for a fast baller to be bowled during the death overs. Though, of late many batsmen have adopted this shot but the Helicopter Shot will always remind cricket aficionados of Dhoni who has undisputedly patented this.

Dilscoop

You talk of Dilscoop or a ‘ramp shot’ and you immediately think of Srilankan opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, who during the 2009 ICC T-20 World cup, played it quite consistently . The other leading batsmen who play this shot to good effect are India’s Rohit Sharma and Brendon McCullum of New Zealand. It is also one of the most difficult and innovative strokes to play which is also used by the tail enders quite regularly.

Image result for Tillakaratne Dilshan attempts the Dil-scoop

Tillakaratne Dilshan attempts the Dil-scoop. Photographs: Pic Espn

The technique required to play this stroke is for batsman to go on one knee to a normal good length or slightly short of length delivery from a fast or medium pace bowler and ‘scoop’ the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head where in all probably there is no fielder.

Paddle Sweep

Cricket fans all over the world will always remember Sachin playing this shot to counter the legendary Australian leg spinner, Shane Warne in the 1998 ODI tri-series at Sharjah where he scored back to back hundreds.

In the modern era of T20 cricket, batsmen try this shot in order to take advantage of wide gaps in the fine-leg region. Gautam Gambhir, the ex Indian opener and captain of Knight riders franchise in the IPL plays it quite beautifully.

Image result for Sachin Tendulkar plays the Paddle Sweep

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar plays the Paddle Sweep. Photograph: ICC Cricket Live

Now most of international batsmen have paddle sweep in their repertoire of shots which makes life more difficult for the fielding captain. The game is continuously evolving and batsmen are not scared of trying new shots to outwit the bowlers which will only make the game more interesting and breathtaking.

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This antiviral drug blocks Covid virus within 24 hrs: Study

The scientists infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2, and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed virus from the nose.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

Treating novel coronavirus infection in ferrets with the antiviral drug Molnupiravir completely suppressed virus transmission among the mammals within 24 hours, reports a new study which may lead to a new therapeutic to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

The researchers, including those from the Georgia State University in the US, originally discovered that the drug — also known as MK-4482/EIDD-2801 — is potent against influenza viruses.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the scientists repurposed MK-4482/EIDD-2801 against the novel coronavirus, and used a ferret model to test the effect of the drug in halting virus spread.

“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission. MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing,” said Richard Plemper, a co-author of the study from Georgia State University.

Until mass vaccination is available, the scientists believe interrupting widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is paramount to managing the pandemic.

“We noted early on that MK-4482/EIDD-2801 has broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating infected animals by mouth with the drug lowers the amount of shed viral particles by several orders of magnitude, dramatically reducing transmission,” said Plemper. “These properties made MK-4482/EIDD-2801 a powerful candidate for pharmacologic control of Covid-19,” he added.

The scientists infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2, and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed virus from the nose.

“When we co-housed those infected and then treated source animals with untreated contact ferrets in the same cage, none of the contacts became infected,” said Josef Wolf another co-author of the study. By comparison, all contacts of source ferrets that had received placebo became infected, the study noted.

If these ferret-based results translate to humans in further studies, the scientists believe Covid-19 patients treated with the drug could become non-infectious within 24 hours after the beginning of treatment.

They noted that the drug is currently in advanced phase II/III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection to check for its effectiveness in curbing the transmission of the virus.

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Once dreaded ‘queen of outlaws’ Phoolan now a ‘veerangana’

Phoolan Devi emerged as an icon for the Nishad community (boatmen) but after her brutal death in 2001, the community was not given adequate representation by political parties.

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phoolan devi Bandit Queen

Bandit queen-turned-politician Phoolan Devi has been conferred the title of ‘veerangana’ (a brave warrior) by the Eklavya Welfare Society in Jalaun district.

Phoolan’s native village Garha Ka Purwa is located in Jalaun district and the Eklavya Welfare Society represents the Nishad community to which Phoolan belonged.

“The title of Veerangna has been conferred on Phoolan Devi because she was a true warrior — she fought for her honour and later, for the welfare of the oppressed.

“She deserves her and the young generations need to be told about her contribution. We will soon install her statue here,” said Gopalm Nishad, a member of the Eklavya Welfare Society.

Phoolan Devi, a bandit in the ravines across Uttar Pradesh and present Chhattisgarh and also Madhya Pradesh, had hit the headlines when she massacred 22 Thakurs in Behmai in Kanpur in February 1981 to avenge her sexual exploitation by a Thakur gang led by Lala Ram and Sri Ram.

In 1994, then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh withdrew the cases against Phoolan and she contested and won the Lok Sabha elections from Mirzapur in 1996 on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Phoolan Devi emerged as an icon for the Nishad community (boatmen) but after her brutal death in 2001, the community was not given adequate representation by political parties.

The Nishad community constitutes about 4.5 per cent of the state’s population and are known to be among the Most Backward Castes (MBC).

The Nishad community has a sizeable population in about 40 assembly segments. Since the past one decade, they are trying to be included in the Scheduled Caste’s category but their demand has been caught in legal hassles.

An attempt was made to install Phoolan’s statue in Gorakhpur in 2016 but the attempt was foiled by the district administration that claimed that requisite permission for same had not been obtained.

The issue had revived an intense caste war between OBCs and MBCs in Uttar Pradesh.

Last year, Phoolan’s mother, Moola Devi, 90, who still lives in the village in abject poverty, had released the Chambal Manifesto on the eve of Lok Sabha elections to press for development of the Chambal region.

The 4-page manifesto was a compilation of the demands for the region which included the formation of the Chambal Commission for a scientific study of the issues and challenges faced by the people living in Chambal region along with solutions.

More than 40 years after she picked up the gun and turned into a bandit, following a dispute over four bighas of land with her cousin Maya Din, Phoolan Devi’s family in her native village in Jalaun district is still waiting to reclaim that elusive piece of land.

Meanwhile, the land that was initially owned by Phoolan’s father, Devi Din Mallah, and after his death, it still eludes her mother Moola Devi as the rightful owner.

Maya Din, son of late Devi Din’s elder brother allegedly grabbed the plot and did not allow Phoolan’s mother to till the land. Maya Din claimed the land was passed on to him as legacy.

Moola Devi said, “My daughter Phoolan fought with Maya Din for this land. Maya Din and his men ridiculed her and hurled abuses at her. She got together some girls from the village and staged a dharna on the land. The village elders tried to remove her from the land but failed. Then Maya Din hurled a brick at her and she fell unconscious. After this, she became a ‘baaghi’ (rebel).”

It is said that Maya Din ‘sold’ her off to Lal Ram and Shri Ram — heads of a Thakur gang of dacoits — who not only raped her but also held her captive.

A few years later, Phoolan Devi fell in love with another dacoit Vikram Mallah, who was later killed by the Lala Ram and Shri Ram gang.

To avenge the wrong done to her by the Thakur gang, Phoolan Devi gradually built up her own gang and the rest, as they say, is history.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Theme, Date and history of the day

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It is celebrated on December 3 all around the world. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

IDPD mobilizes support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promotes awareness-raising about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are motivated to support IDPD by collaborating with organizations for people with disabilities to arrange events and activities.

International Day of People with Disability: Theme

The theme for IDPwD 2020 is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.

Every year the UN announces a theme to observe for International Day of People with Disability. The annual theme provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity through the removal of physical, technological and attitudinal barriers for people with disabilities.

This has been occurring since 1992 when the General Assembly announced 3 December as the International Day of Disabled Persons.

National Disability Strategy 2010–2020

In Australia, the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 commits all governments to a nationwide approach aimed at improving the lives of disabled people, their families and carers.

The Strategy’s ten-year national framework for reform concentrates on better inclusion for people with disabilities and seeks to create a society that enables people with disabilities to fulfill their potential as equal citizens.

On the 2012 International Day of People with Disability, the United Kingdom government introduced mandatory work for disabled people who received welfare benefits in order to “Improve disabled peoples chances of getting work by mandatory employment”.

A program is also launched on December 3 across India to serve the differently-able community of the country as an initiative called Accessible India Campaign under the Article 9 of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

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