Bob Woolmer with Pakistan Cricket TeamDeath of the Game The grand celebrations of the World Cup have now paved the way for a series of upsets in the form of a death and match-fixing allegations (“Tragedy, Mystery and a Cup of Woe”, April 2). This ninth edition of cricket’s most-celebrated,Bob Woolmer with Pakistan Cricket TeamDeath of the GameThe grand celebrations of the World Cup have now paved the way for a series of upsets in the form of a death and match-fixing allegations (“Tragedy, Mystery and a Cup of Woe”, April 2). This ninth edition of cricket’s most-celebrated tournament will forever remain etched in history.-C.K. SUBRAMANIAM, on e-mailFor cricket lovers, Woolmer’s murder is a matter of shame and has cast a pall of gloom on the World Cup.-BIDYUT KUMAR CHATTERJEE, FaridabadWhen commercialisation of this erstwhile gent-leman’s game had reached its zenith, could crime have remained far behind?-NAVNEET DHAWAN, DelhiWhat led to Woolmer’s death may soon come to light, yet the game’s real disease is its “overmonetisation”. When any creative pursuit becomes infested with too much lucre, it tends to degenerate, and instead of a “play” it changes into a “question of life and death”.-VIRENDRA KUMAR TANGRI, DehradunAll facets of the gentleman’s game now lie open in front of us. Woolmer’s death and the subsequent investigations pointing towards match-fixing, are enough reasons for one to give up on the game. But the love for cricket just refuses to die.-LALIT VERMA, Delhi And They all Fell Down…The performance of the Indian cricket team gives rise to a range of emotions, from ecstasy to happiness to doubt and finally to alarm (“It’s all Mathematics Now”, April 2). These men in blue take us through such an unwelcome rollercoaster rides that I wonder sometimes if it is really time to switch from cricket to kabaddi. At least then the pain of loss would not be ours and the panic attacks would not make a billion lives shorter by the ball.-J. AKSHAY, SecunderabadadvertisementThe build-up was exemplary, the expectations were scary, the hype was exponential and as usual the papered team was at its best (losing of course!). The bubble has burst. Team India of the World Cup is not about crushing the minnows, but putting a commendable performance against A-class opponents, and not being tamed by the tame.-CARLITO MONTEIRO, on e-mailThe Centre should enact a law curbing the cricketers’ commercial contracts as long as they are of playing for the country to assuage the feelings of millions of fans who are taken for a ride by our so-called champions who are actually minnows.-V.S. GANESHAN, BangaloreThe shock and grief at our performance in the World Cup cricket is immature and uncalled-for. The media hyped the Indian team as pretenders to the world crown for monetary reasons. India was knocking at the door of minnows club before the start of the World Cup. Hence there is no point in the blame game and further research on the nonexistent “debacle”.-DILIP GULWADI, on e-mailFutile ConjecturesGoing by Rahul Gandhi’s claim, 30 years from now his progeny may well say that “my father always told my mother that if he and not the other Rahul had been captain of the cricket team, India would have won the 2007 World Cup” (“Baptism by Fire”, April 2). K.R. RAVI, Maryland, USA Little history, like little knowledge, is a dangerous thing, particularly when a little politician like Rahul Gandhi unleashes it in a little town in Uttar Pradesh. Now that the “Gandhis” are in power, what about rebuilding the masjid? The taste of the pudding lies in its eating.-J. AKSHOBHYA, MysoreVote-catching is an essential feature of any democracy, but digging up an unsavoury piece of history to bolster up the sagging fortunes of one’s party may turn out to be a futile exercise. It would be a tragedy for the entire nation, if the fall of Babri Masjid continues to be viewed only through narrow political angles.-T.S. PATTABHI RAMAN, CoimbatureCost of DevelopmentWest Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s struggle is the struggle of the Communist party in West Bengal (“The Struggle of Buddha”, April 2). Perhaps for the first time they are tasting their own bitter pill. He didn’t realise that this is not China and took it as easy as winning an election. Nandigram is a lesson for all but at the cost of 14 lives.-A. JACOB SAHAYAM, ThiruvananthapuramThe killings have taken place in a state governed by the “champions of poor”. The murder of innocent people has exposed that the difference between the Leftists and the agents of globalisation has vanished.-ARVIND K, PANDEY, AllahabadThe Watchdog’s Role I hope the media takes the Uttar Pradesh elections seriously and guides the electorate (“Three Horses and a Pony”, April 2). The voters are looking forward to a detailed analysis of the election strategies of all political parties.-SHIV SHANKER ALMAL, KolkataadvertisementCredit DeniedThe real architect of Karnataka Common Entrance Test was late Ramakrishna Hegde, whose vision had put the state on the world map and not Veerappa Moily (“Tale of Two Worlds”, April 2).-VATSALA VEDANTAM, on e-mailFashion ContoursFashion is unfair for commonman as it is beyond his reach (“Fair is Lovely”, April 2). Models are happy to expose their bodies, which onlookers are only too happy to see.-M. KUMAR, DelhiCorrectionIn the Power List (“Power Pyramid”, March 26), we erroneously mentioned that Videocon had acquired Whirlpool. The error is regretted.-EDITOR POWER PLAY Dirubhai AmbaniMukesh AmbaniSunil Bharti MittalAmitabh Bachchan Kumar Mangalam BirlaAnil AmbaniAnand MahindraNandan M. Nilekani In your list there are a number of tax-dodgers and blackmoney holders (“Power Pyramid”, March 26). The day their number decreases, the nation will prosper.S.S. RAJAGOPALAN, ChennaiFor too long you have been depriving me of the regular day-to-day current event stories. For example, your recent Power List special took away so many pages that very little space was left for other stories. Please do not deprive me of my weekly reading.H.P. SHUKLA, on e-mailArvind Kejriwal and Vikram Akula deserve a standing ovation for the work they have done and for having made it to this Power List.ANIKA MOHLA, Delhi
Since the last few weeks, Samsung has been going gaga over its brand new Galaxy M series smartphones. The company has been stressing highly that the new Galaxy M series is designed for millennials, while indirectly, it’s Samsung’s deadly weapon against the arsenal of various smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Honor, Motorola, Asus and even Nokia. The Galaxy M20 is the most expensive model in the M series for now. Starting at Rs 10,990, the Galaxy M20 goes up against popular offerings from Nokia, Asus and Xiaomi.The top-end variant of the Galaxy M20 costs Rs 12,990, which is similar to the entry-level variant of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2. The Max Pro M2 came out late last year and has proven to be the smartphone of choice for power users under Rs 15,000. The Max Pro M2 is the only smartphone in its category to offer Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Equipped with a Snapdragon 660 chip and a stock Android interface, the Max Pro M2 is easily one of the best affordable smartphones you can buy right now.Therefore, if you have Rs 12,990 to spare on a smartphone, which one would you prefer? I took both the Galaxy M20 and Max Pro M2 out for a spin for a few days and here’s how they compared.Design and build — Samsung impresses highlyThe sub-Rs 15,000 category now demands companies to offer attractive designs inspired from flagship smartphones. Samsung goes for the trend with the Galaxy M20 with a vertically stacked dual rear camera setup and an oval-shaped fingerprint scanner on the glossy plastic body. The plastic unibody design makes the M20 look smooth and elegant with lesser lines of separation. The M20 offers a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single loudspeaker and a USB-C port. Wait, what?advertisementA USB-C port on a budget Samsung smartphone? The Galaxy M20 has broken Samsung’s norm of reserving modern features only for flagships. Wonder what else is modern? The display. The Galaxy M20 sports a modern narrow-bezel display with a water drop notch on top. This is one of the first Samsung phones to feature a notch. Samsung has also reduced the chin drastically, which is appreciable for a smartphone with an LCD display. The ZenFone Max Pro M2, on the other hand, grabs eyeballs with Asus’ trademark reflective gradient on the plastic rear panel. In fact, it’s difficult not to get distracted the when the phone is kept flat on its face. The vertically-aligned dual camera module resembles a triple camera setup, which also adds to the looks. Asus’ cost-cutting measure is evident elsewhere a micro USB port on a 2019 midrange smartphone feels archaic. Also, the front of the phone features a notched display with a thick chin and big bathtub notch. With Gorilla Glass 6, the display should hold up well against scratches and damage when its dropped. However, our review unit sustained some scratchesboth on the display as well as the rear panel, when I was using it as my daily driver hence, get a screen guard and a case.Out of the two, the Galaxy M20 easily feels more modern with its minimalist approach to styling and a narrow-bezel display. However, the Max Pro M2 is a better bet for show-offs. My money would go for the Galaxy M20, considering my preference for understated designs.Display — both are equally goodI will make it short both the Galaxy M20 and Max Pro M2 look equally good in their own ways. The 6.3-inch TFT display on the Galaxy M20 renders vibrant colours with high contrasts that resembles Samsung’s AMOLED panels from other premium Samsung phones. The waterdrop notch and the narrow chin makes for an uninterrupted viewing experience, especially while streaming YouTube videos.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has chunkier bezels, but the IPS LCD panel renders equally vibrant colours with similarly high contrasts. The bigger notch and chin make the phone a bit bulkier, even as it sports an equally big 6.3-inch display. However, I felt the Max Pro M2’s touch sensitivity is a tad better than that of the Galaxy M20’s display.Performance — You can’t beat muscle with smartnessThe Galaxy M20 debuts Samsung’s new Exynos 7904 chipset. This is an octa-core chip, with the processor consisting of 2 Cortex-A73 cores and 6 Cortex-A53 cores. With a Mali G71-2 GPU, the Galaxy M20 looks like a fairly competent performer. And for the most part, it does. Samsung’s Exynos processors are always well optimised and the Exynos 7904 handles most daily tasks thrown at it with ease. The Mali G71-2 GPU is not meant for gaming, but I was still able to play PUBG MOBILE in low graphics with medium frame rates. However, I wish Samsung offered a louder speaker on the M20.advertisement As for the ZenFone Max Pro M2, the fast and reliable performance doesn’t surprise. The Snapdragon 660, despite being a chip from 2017, can handle regular tasks without even batting an eyelid. The Adreno 512 GPU is very powerful I was able to play PUBG MOBILE in medium settings for longer sessions with absolute ease. The base variant with 3GB RAM may not hold as many apps as the Galaxy M20’s 4GB RAM, but in my daily usage, I never found it to lag or force close apps.Software — Samsung shows stock Android can be beatenThe Galaxy M20 cracks it with the software too. Yes, it runs on an old Android 8.1 Oreo in 2019, but the Samsung Experience 9.5 skin on top is, in my opinion, one of the most polished UI’s in sub-Rs 15,000 smartphones. The layout is spacious while fonts are easy to rear. The entire UI is snappy and unlike previous Samsung phones, the bloat is minimal. I spent an entire week with the phone and never did I felt installing a third-party launcher. Well done Samsung. The Max Pro M2 relies on a stock AOSP launcher based on Android 8.1 Oreo as well. While the stock UI is fast and fluid, it lacks the polish that Samsung packs in the M20’s UI. It feels rough around the edges, especially with disproportionate icons. For power users, this is exceptional as there’s no bloat or nonsensical apps to deal with. But I feel Asus could have used an Android One ROM for a more polished experience. Maybe the Android Pie update could offer a fix.Camera — Samsung knows what Indians wantSamsung has been promoting the wide-angle camera in the Galaxy M20’s marketing efforts. However, the standard 13-megapixel camera impresses more than the wide-angle camera. Especially when you compare it with the Asus phone, the Galaxy M20’s camera comes across as the better one. In daylight, photos are sharp and images exhibit vibrant colours. On occasions, I found the camera oversaturating the colours a little, but I was impressed with the outcome every time so did my friends. Low light performance is decent as the camera suppresses noise to make for useable photos. Sadly, the 8-megapixel selfie camera has some room to be improved.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has received several camera updates that claim performance improvements. However, our review unit hasn’t received any update so far. Hence, the Max Pro M2’s camera performs similarly to what I wrote in my review two months ago. Daylight photos are good but sharpness is lost up to an extent. As for low light, the camera neither impresses with noise reduction nor with detail retention. The 13-megapixel selfie camera does a good job of retaining details as well as a wide dynamic range.advertisementOne thing’s clear — both these phones still can’t beat the Redmi Note 6 Pro in terms of camera performance.Battery — Goodbye power banks Both the ZenFone Max Pro M2 and Galaxy M20 feature a 5000mAh battery. And both of them can easily last more than an entire day after a full charge. Even with heavy usage, I was able to make it to the end of the day before I was hunting for the charger. The Samsung galaxy M20 does have an advantage though it comes with support for 15W fast charging, which should charge it faster than the Max Pro M2’s battery with its 10W fast charging support.ZenFone Max Pro M2 vs Galaxy M20 — And the winner is…After going through some key parameters, the Samsung Galaxy M20 comes across easily as the better option of the two. Samsung has heard and obliged to the market’s demands a very good display with a tiny notch, big battery with fast charging support and pleasant user experience. The Galaxy M20 has been designed smartly to keep up with India’s demands specifically.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has its own advantages though the robust performance and a stock Android interface. The Max Pro M2 is for anyone who prioritises raw performance over everything else PUBG lovers on a budget shouldn’t look any further. However, even as a power user, I felt Asus launched an unfinished product and it requires more polishing to make it an unbeatable choice.ALSO READ | Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 review: Fast hardware, crazy good battery helps it compete with Redmi Note 6 ProALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy M20 review: Great display, superb battery life make for a good startALSO READ | Asus Zenfone Max M2 quick review: Big screen, big battery, two cameras at a bargain
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Officials with the City of Fort St. John say that voter turnout in this year’s municipal election is more than double what it was in the previous local election four years ago.After two days of advance polling in this year’s election, the City’s Chief Election Officer Janet Prestley recorded 1,227 votes cast so far.By comparison, there were just 570 votes cast on both advance voting days in the 2014 election, when Fort St. John recorded the lowest voter turnout in all of B.C. This past Wednesday’s poll alone saw 752 votes cast – more than last year and a big increase over the turnout on October 10th of 475 voters.There are 12 candidates vying for six seats on Fort St. John City Council in this year’s election. Learn more about each by clicking the links below.Chuck FowlerLarry EvansGord KlassenBruce ChristensenJim HarrisLilia HansenBecky GrimsrudTrevor BolinGabor HarisByron StewartJustin JonesTony ZabinskyGeneral voting day in this year’s election is Saturday, October 20th at the Fort St. John Legion.
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday criticised BJP for its “ill treatment” towards party veterans L K Adavani and Murli Manohar Moshi and said it is “really sad” to see the way the party is treating its founding members. “Today I spoke to Adavaniji in the morning. I enquired about his health. He said he felt good that I had called him. “It is really sad to see the way BJP is treating its founding members. I don’t want to say much more as it is the internal matter of their party,” Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress supremo said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Advani and Joshi have been denied ticket by BJP to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in their states. In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign, Banerjee said she has immense respect for real chowkidars and not for political chowkidars who are trying to derive “political mileage” out of it. She also criticised Modi for trying to derive “political mileage” out of the achievements of scientists. “Has Modi gone to space or has he done any research? He is just trying to gain political mileage out of it,” she said on the prime minister’s announcement that the country had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.
Khartoum: Huge crowds are expected to join a “million-strong” protest march Thursday in Sudan to turn up the heat on the ruling military council after three of its members resigned following talks on handing over power. The rally outside the army headquarters comes after the military rulers and protest leaders agreed to set up a joint committee, to chart the way forward two weeks since the ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir. “We expect huge crowds to come to the protest site, including people from outside of Khartoum,” activist Ahmed Najdi told AFP. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDemonstrator Ayman Ali Mohamed was among those preparing to march in the capital. “We fear that the military council might steal our revolution, so we have to participate until the transfer to civilian rule is accomplished,” he said. “We are standing our ground no matter what.” The planned march follows a late-night meeting between the military council and leaders of the umbrella group heading the protest movement. “We have an agreement on most demands presented in the document of the Alliance for Freedom and Change,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman of the military council, told reporters afterwards. He did not elaborate on the key demand of handing power to a civilian government, but said there “were no big disputes”. The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded months of protests against Bashir, described the meeting as a step towards “confidence-building”. “Both sides agreed on the importance of joint cooperation to steer the country toward peace and stability,” the SPA said Thursday.
Brighton: Manchester City held off a titanic challenge from Liverpool to become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League title by coming from behind to beat Brighton 4-1 on Sunday. A 14th straight league win ensured Pep Guardiola’s men pipped Liverpool by a solitary point as the Reds’ long wait to win the league continued despite a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Anfield that saw them post the third highest points tally in Premier League history. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuCity remain on course to complete the first ever domestic treble in English football in the FA Cup final next weekend as goals from Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan saw the visitors recover from Glenn Murray’s shock opener. For 83 seconds Liverpool fans were able to dream, but City showed why they are champions and have racked up a remarkable 98 points, just two shy of their record century of points last season. Liverpool applied as much pressure as they could with their own nine-game winning run to end the season and went in front early against Wolves to raise the tension inside the Amex Stadium. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersCity had not conceded in their previous four games, but Brighton were playing on their nerves as they sought revenge for defeat in their FA Cup semi-final last month. Ali Jahanbakhsh flashed a shot just wide of Ederson’s right-hand post before the moment that was celebrated as wildly 270 miles north at Anfield as it was on the south coast. Pascal Gross’s dangerous in-swinging corner was powered home by veteran striker Murray at the near post on 27 minutes. This was the first time City had failed to score first in a league game since early December and the first time they had trailed at all in the 14-game winning run that has carried them to the title. However, Brighton’s lead and Liverpool’s hope lasted just over a minute. Aguero scored the sensational last-gasp goal that ended City’s own 44-year wait for the title in 2011/12 and his goals have been a constant of their now four Premier League triumphs in eight seasons. David Silva’s wonderful flick freed the Argentine in behind the Brighton defence and Aguero made no mistake with a powerful low finish. The brief shock of going behind sparked City into life as Mathew Ryan was then forced into saves at his near post from Bernardo Silva and Mahrez. However, Brighton were undone from a simple set-piece when Mahrez’s corner found Laporte completely unmarked to head City in front seven minutes before half-time. The champions still had nervy moments to see through as Ederson only just scrambled Lewis Dunk’s dipping free-kick over the bar with the last action of the first half. And the Brazilian goalkeeper was lucky not to concede a free-kick yards from the City goal line when he collected a back pass from Laporte. Yet, 27 minutes from time they had the breathing space they desired in a moment of magic and redemption for Mahrez. The Algerian has failed to make a big impact in his first season since joining for a club record Euro 60 million from Leicester. Until now his most noteworthy moment was a late missed penalty in a 0-0 draw at Anfield in October that could easily have cost City the title. Instead, he scored the goal to ensure Liverpool were denied at the end of a remarkable title tussle by cutting inside Dunk before firing into the top corner on his weaker right foot. Nine minutes later Gundogan added the icing on the champions’ cake with a glorious free-kick from 25 yards. Liverpool may have fallen just a point short, but the Anfield faithful were determined to remind the world that Sunday’s 2-0 win against Wolves in their last domestic game of the season wasn’t the end of an incredible campaign for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side hope to turn the agony of their title near-miss into the ecstasy of a sixth European Cup when they face Tottenham in the Champions League final on June 1. Tuesday’s incredible 4-0 win against Barcelona that erased a 3-0 first leg deficit and sent Liverpool to their second successive Champions League final, ensuring their last shot at winning the title for this season didn’t feel quite so painful. Sadio Mane’s double gave them 97 points — the third highest total in Premier League history behind only City’s tallies this season and last. Liverpool, beaten only once all season in the league, also equalled the club’s top-flight record of 30 wins, set over 42 matches in 1978-79, after recording a ninth consecutive league victory. No wonder Liverpool were given a standing ovation when the final whistle sounded. Ninety minutes earlier, under picture-perfect blue skies, fans arrived at Anfield more in hope than expectation. Many Liverpool supporters were decked in the hastily made replicas of the ‘Never give up’ t-shirt Mohamed Salah wore during the post-match celebrations against Barcelona on Tuesday, while the PA system blared out Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing’ before kick-off. But, with even the most diehard Kopite expecting City to win at Brighton, the mood around Anfield was one of pride in Liverpool’s season rather than genuine belief the afternoon would end in a title party. With Liverpool and Tottenham’s Champions League heroics showing anything is possible, Klopp had insisted one more football miracle couldn’t be ruled out.
Tennis players are allowed to take 20 seconds before serving at Wimbledon, as they are in all Grand Slam tournaments. Some players think it’s time for this rule to start being enforced — with a “shot clock,” a phrase borrowed from basketball and other sports.“I think it’s the only way to go, to be honest, because how are you supposed to know as a player how long 20 seconds is, or 25 seconds, between a point?” asked Andy Murray, last year’s champion, in a post-match press conference Monday. Two other players — Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki — have also endorsed the idea.The 20-second rule is almost never enforced. Some players complain this gives those who abuse it an unfair advantage, by giving them extra time to recover. Slow play can also turn off fans and disrupt tournament schedules. Yet some players value extra time to gather their thoughts, catch their breath and wipe their brows. The issue starkly divides the men’s game’s two living legends, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have comparable career accomplishments but very different paces of play.A first-time violation of the 20-second rule at a Grand Slam match earns merely a warning. The next and all subsequent violations cost a point. But because umpires almost never hand out time violations, players often flout the rule — sometimes dozens of times in a single match.That last sentence is qualitative, not quantitative, because data isn’t readily available. Umpires are supposed to track time between points from their chairs, but unlike other stats and events they monitor during a match — the score, aces, first serves in — time between points isn’t reported as an official stat. And the Grand Slams, the men’s tour and the women’s tour don’t include time violations among player stats.Without an official shot clock to refer to, I took an unofficial one — the stopwatch on my smartphone — to two men’s matches on Centre Court at Wimbledon on Saturday. The first pitted Nadal, known for his slow play, against Mikhail Kukushkin. The second featured Federer, famously fast between points, against Santiago Giraldo.1I counted the time between when the prior point was officially over — the ball landed out of play or bounced twice — and when the server made contact with the ball for his first serve. I didn’t count the time before a player’s first serve in a game, nor his first of two serves in his serving turn in a tiebreaker, nor just after changing sides of the court in a tiebreaker. I didn’t include any serves which were delayed by factors outside the server’s control — such as a challenge to a call, or a loose ball on the court. I also missed a handful of points in Federer-Giraldo because, hey, I’m not a human stopwatch.According to my stopwatch, Kukushkin and especially Nadal were in no hurry, while Federer and Giraldo raced through their encounter. Kukushkin averaged 18.7 seconds before serves, and went over the 20-second limit about one-third of the time. Nadal averaged 22.5 seconds before serves, and went over the limit more than two-thirds of the time.Meanwhile, Federer averaged 15.3 seconds before serves, and went over 20 seconds on just 4 percent of his service points. Giraldo averaged 16.6 seconds, and went over the limit 18 percent of the time.2If Nadal and Kukushkin had played at Giraldo’s pace, their match would have been faster by 13 minutes and 57 seconds. If they’d served at Federer’s pace they would have been done 19 minutes and 9 seconds sooner.The pace of these Saturday matches was particularly relevant because two days earlier, Nadal’s defeated opponent in the second round, Lukas Rosol, complained that Nadal wasn’t penalized for slow play. In his post-match press conference Rosol said, “The referee was not going with the rules.” He added, “Always best players, they’re taking much more than the normal players, you know, and nobody is telling them nothing.”Federer weighed in that same day, saying, “I just think it’s important that we, as players, play up to speed.” He added, “What I don’t want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow” — noting that he recently found himself among such impatient viewers while watching a match on TV. “They were playing so slow I was like, ‘OK, I really — I can’t watch it.’”Raw averages don’t tell the whole story. Perhaps Nadal and Kukushkin were playing bruising rallies that required longer recovery time, or were playing many pivotal points, at deuce or break point. To see which factors were significant drivers of how long players took between points, I cross-referenced each serve with stats that Wimbledon data-provider IBM offers journalists at the tournament: how many strokes the prior rally had, and whether it ended with a winner, an unforced error or a forced error. I also tagged each point as either significant or not. Significant points included any point in which the server trailed — since breaking serve is so rare on Wimbledon’s fast grass — plus 30-all, 40-30, deuce and any advantage or tiebreaker points. Then I combined all the serve timings I had for each player from Saturday’s matches — 302 timings in all, at least 50 for each man. And I ran a series of ANCOVA regressions.It turns out long rallies do make a difference: According to the regressions, each extra stroke in a rally adds about four-tenths of a second to the time the server takes before the next point. The four players also added about two seconds to their pre-serve routine before crucial points. But even after controlling for these factors, the identity of the man serving mattered, too. Kukushkin added about two seconds per serve compared to Federer, while Nadal added seven seconds.3Giraldo didn’t add a significant amount of time, nor did it matter how the prior point ended — by winner, or forced or unforced error — so I removed that from the final analysis. Rally length, importance of points, and the presence of Kukushkin and Nadal all were highly statistically significant (p<0.0005).Many tennis fans know that Federer plays faster than Nadal. The two all-time greats often have been compared on pace of play — such as in this video showing Federer finishing a service game in the time it takes Nadal to play one service point — as well as on more significant accomplishments, such as number of Grand Slam titles won. This analysis, of just one match for each, won’t settle anything — and I have better things to do than time every match.4Federer and Nadal sometimes go against the grain. I timed a handful of their serves in their Tuesday matches. Federer sped through his penultimate service game of his fourth-round match against Tommy Robredo, but he slowed down significantly when serving for the match — not when a man in the crowd yelled out, “Roger, marry me!” but after Robredo won three straight points and threatened to break. Nadal, meanwhile, was brisk, by his standards, late in the second set of his fourth-round match against Nick Kyrgios. In the next set, as he bounced the ball before serving at three games apiece, umpire Carlos Bernardes gave Nadal a time violation — a mere warning Nadal shrugged off to win the point. However, Nadal went on to lose the match in four sets. Without more comprehensive data, the analysis does suggest that Nadal’s pre-serving routine — including toweling off, picking between at least three balls, touching his face and clothing, bouncing the ball and then rocking his body — affects his pace of play more than the punishing rallies he’s known for.There are other, incomplete or indirect indicators of players’ pace of play, many of which corroborate the finding that Nadal takes his time before serving. I’ve stopwatched players at prior Grand Slams and found there, too, that Federer is fast and Nadal is slow. Occasionally television broadcasts report average time between points during matches. “You can see on TV the stat, sometimes the average time is 28 or 30 seconds,” Wawrinka said. Federer was told in his press conference that a broadcast of Nadal-Rosol showed Nadal averaged 25 seconds between points. These stats are unofficial, however, and not recorded or compiled in a systematic way.The crudest method to approximate pace of play is to divide the total time a player is on the court by the number of points he or she plays. Nadal ranks first among men’s tour regulars in time per point, at 46.5 seconds over the last year. Federer is among the fastest, at 38.5 seconds.5The WTA Tour, which governs women’s events outside Slams, doesn’t report as many stats as the men’s ATP World Tour, making comparisons difficult. Also, time between points has been a bigger priority for the ATP, which attempted to crack down on slow play at the start of last year with rule changes and an emphasis on greater enforcement. The WTA, like the Slams, allows 20 seconds before serves at its events.Simply dividing time by points is crude because it doesn’t account for time elapsed during points themselves. It also bundles together Grand Slams — where players get 20 seconds before serving — and tour events, where men get 25 seconds. One indicator that the Slam rules aren’t enforced and aren’t heeded by players: Nadal, Federer and the average man all take longer per point at Grand Slams than at tour events.At Wimbledon, Nadal averaged 40.7 seconds per point, while Federer has averaged 7.2 fewer seconds — with Novak Djokovic and Murray, the other two men to win Wimbledon in the last decade, closer to Nadal’s pace. Again, this measure includes actual tennis, not just time in between tennis. Just 23 percent of rallies in Federer matches through the fourth round extended past four shots, compared to 27 percent for Nadal and 39 percent for Murray.Will Wimbledon take up players’ suggestions for a shot clock? It’s not clear. I saw Pascal Maria, the umpire who presided over the Nadal-Kushkin match, outside Centre Court on Tuesday and asked him about my data and about time violations. He declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the All England Club, which hosts the tournament, told me umpires had handed out 33 time violations as of Tuesday — or fewer than one every six matches. Some of these were mere warnings; she didn’t know how many times players lost points for playing slow. She declined to comment about slow play and the possibility of a shot clock.CORRECTION (July 2, 6:14 p.m.): An earlier version of this article said the analysis consisted of a series of logistic regressions. It was a series of ANCOVA regressions.
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the second quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Monday after No. 6 Ohio State’s 39-38 comeback win against Penn State in which freshman running back J.K. Dobbins took 13 carries for 88 yards, head coach Urban Meyer was adamant he would not “micromanage” which backs deserved carries. Two days following the victory, Meyer said he deferred to running backs coach Tony Alford and co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson when determining who carries the ball. Two days after that, Wilson said Alford controlled carry counts and had no idea the total number of carries Dobbins had until he was told because he is a “big-picture guy” and was focused on “getting the offense going.”Dobbins, who leads the team with 119 carries for 914 yards (7.7 yards per carry), carried the ball four times for 50 yards in the first quarter against the Nittany Lions, then did not touch the ball again until the third quarter.In the Buckeyes’ 55-24 loss to Iowa, the issue resurfaced after Dobbins had four carries for 45 yards in the first quarter, but finished the game with just six carries for 51 yards. On Monday, Meyer said the coaches discuss running back carry counts and added he believes the star freshman deserves more touches.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) warms up prior to the game against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“We have conversation about it,” Meyer said. “If there’s a huge disparity between — I think, [redshirt sophomore Mike Weber is] playing hard. I think J.K. is our starter, had a couple of nice runs. Those are things we talk about. But once again I think coach Alford does a nice job. He should have more than six carries, but we got behind and started throwing it a lot.”Dobbins’ usage against Iowa and inconsistent playing time against Penn State come in stark contrast to his high carry counts at the beginning of the year. Starting in his first-ever collegiate game due to Weber’s injury, the freshman totalled 29 carries for 181 yards, more carries and yards than both Weber or former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott had in their debuts.In six of the next seven games, Dobbins received between 12 and 14 carries. He has not rushed for less than 5.5 yards per carry in a single game. “I want to wear him out,” Meyer said on Oct. 11 following Dobbins’ 13-rush, 96-yard performance against Maryland. “Seriously, I want to wear him out.”That has not happened. In contrast, Ohio State fans have worn themselves out yelling for Dobbins to get more carries.This is not the first time Ohio State’s star skill position player has not consistently received touches. On nearly every occasion, quarterback J.T. Barrett has tallied more carries than the running back or H-back. While Dobbins had just six carries against Iowa, Barrett rushed the ball 14 times for 72 yards, averaging four yards less per carry than the freshman.In Ohio State’s loss to Oklahoma earlier this season, Barrett had 18 carries for 66 yards while Dobbins took 13 carries 72 yards. In the loss to Penn State last year, Barrett had 17 carries for 26 yards while former H-back Curtis Samuel had two rushes for 71 yards and caught six passes for 68 yards. In a 2015 loss to Michigan State, Barrett rushed 15 times for 44 yards while Elliott had 12 carries for 33 yards. Like many other teams during Barrett’s tenure as Ohio State’s quarterback, Iowa focused on keeping the ball out of the running back’s hand and forcing the dual-threat to beat them on the ground. Meyer said he and the offensive coaching staff must figure out how to improve the game plan to get more handoffs to the running backs.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) tosses the ball to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the first quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“A lot of times when you’re struggling, [Barrett running is] your kind of get-out-of-jail-free card,” Meyer said. But Barrett’s increased runs have not got the Buckeyes out of jail. Instead, they take the ball out of the more dynamic playmaker and give it to Barrett who, despite being a dual-threat quarterback, averages 2.6 less yards per carry than Dobbins.Meyer said he prefers his quarterbacks to run between eight and 12 times per game, and noted he does not want Barrett to run as much. However, he also said he and the assistant coaches have talked about whether Ohio State has passed the ball too much in favor of trying to focus on improving the aerial attack, which struggled early in the season.“We discussed that as well,” Meyer said. “Really through about a six-game run there, we were a nice balance as far as run-pass ratio, throwing for a little bit more than we have. But, yeah, that’s much different makeup right now than when we were a heavy, heavy — used to be about a 70 percent run. It’s about 65 [percent run], about 55/45 now.”Ohio State has rushed the ball on just 52.2 percent of its plays this season. Last season, the Buckeyes rushed the ball on 58.8 percent of offensive plays. In Meyer’s four prior seasons, his teams did not run the ball on less than 62.8 percent of its plays.Since Meyer wants less quarterback runs and has considered whether Ohio State has become too pass-happy, only one antidote exists: increased running back carries.It should be an easy change. All Ohio State must do is hand the ball to one of its most explosive skill position players. Yet Meyer has dealt with this issue in years prior and it continues to surface. The time to “micromanage” Dobbins’ carries is not now. It was before Iowa embarrassed Ohio State and eliminated it from playoff contention.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have stated that they will be setting off three of their players on a loan. The trio include: Michal Zyro, Phil Ofusu-Ayeh, and Paul Gladon.Zyro, the 25-year-old Polish midfielder, will have to complete the remainder of the season with a club in his home country, Pogon Szczecin.Ofusu-Ayeh, a defender and a Ghanain birthed and raised in Germany, will also be joining a club in his home country, Hansa Rostock. The 26-year-old has suffered an injury-plagued season last year in his first season at Molineux after moving from Eintracht Braunschweig.Four players who should definitely start for Manchester United against Wolves Taimoor Khan – August 19, 2019 Manchester United would be eager to register back to back victories in the Premier League as they take on a difficult Wolves side at…The Dutchman, Gladon, will be joining a Belgian club in a four month loan. He’ll be playing for Sint-Truiden in the Belgian first division for his stay with the club. The 26-year-old has played out the previous season at Heracles after making only three appearances for Wolves.Wolves will be playing against West Ham United on Saturday to decide the fate of their current 14th ranking on the Premier League table.
IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, on Thursday announced 14 new flights to its network starting from next month, between May 1 and May 6, taking the total number of flights operated to 759. The flights will commence on routes including Bengaluru to Ahmedabad, Kolkata to Hyderabad, Bengaluru to Jaipur, Chennai to Kochi and also the third non-stop daily flight between Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, and the fourth non-stop daily flight between Kolkata and Hyderabad, PTI quoted an IndiGo statement as saying.The budget carrier will also commence the third non-stop daily flight between Kochi and Chennai, and Jaipur and Bengaluru from next Monday. Later, from May 6, IndiGo will introduce the third non-stop daily flight between Delhi and Jaipur, the fifth non-stop daily flight between Srinagar and Delhi and the sixth non-stop daily flight between Delhi and Srinagar, PTI added. Interglobe Aviation, the owner of IndiGo, will be declaring its fourth quarter results on Friday.The news comes within a week of another budget carrier, SpiceJet, announcing three new flights and six new frequencies to its summer schedule, taking its operations to 306 daily flights from 240 flights operated last summer, according to SpiceJet website.The Ajay Singh-promoted airline launched direct flights for Mumbai-Udaipur, Tirupati-Vijayawada, and Vijayawada-Vishakhapatnam. The Mumbai-Udaipur flight was launched early this month, while the other two on Monday.Read: Domestic air traffic: How IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India, Go Air, AirAsia India, Vistara performed in March [PHOTOS]Domestic passenger air traffic to cross 100 million in FY17; IndiGo, SpiceJet to outperform industry: AnalystMumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad airports post high growth in domestic passenger volumesThe aviation space in India is witnessing consistent buoyancy and most of the airlines are expected to post record profits in view of strong passenger volume growth and low operating costs.