Monday, January 21, 2008


New life for a young rivalry
Australia v India has, over the last decade, grown into cricket's premier face-off, and on the evidence of the current series there's plenty to come

January 20, 2008

Ian Chappel wrote:

The intense rivalry that now exists between Australia and India kicked into high gear in 1997-98, appropriately initiated by a wonderful contest between two champions Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar in Chennai.

With Warne now more interested in straight flushes than turning legbreaks, and Tendulkar's glittering career winding down, it was easy to assume this rivalry had been a sprint rather than a marathon. However, the startling events in the current Test series have shown that the contest has had a second wind. We're in for many more years of intense competition between these two proud cricketing nations.

The once great divide that characterised these two teams, the inability to compete away from home, has closed like an unhinged door over the last few years. Under Ricky Ponting, Australia broke their hoodoo and won a series in India for the first time in 35 years. Now Anil Kumble has led a vibrant side to an inspired win at the WACA, the bouncy graveyard of many touring sides, not just India.

For Australia, talented young cricketers like Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and a revitalised Brett Lee are providing the spark for a continued run of success. On the other side, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma are inspiring an Indian side that has for long been top-heavy in batting. The successful injection of new blood into both teams provides ample evidence that this rivalry is far from a dwindling affair.

The fact that India has been able to shrug off a turbulent loss at the SCG and disregard the ridiculous hyperbole surrounding the WACA pitch to bat first and dictate terms in the third Test is indicative of a changing mindset in the team. India is unearthing a new breed of Test match player, more competitive and resilient. Kumble has embraced this trend and Mahendra Singh Dhoni embodies its spirit.

The resurgence of Irfan Pathan is a particularly pleasing aspect of India's determined performance. Pathan has always been a talented and smart cricketer but that doesn't make him immune to the peaks and troughs all players have to endure. The good signs at the WACA suggest he's been to the valley and is now on the ascent, as a far stronger character.

His grit and strokeplay when batting was encouraging but it was the sight of him swinging the new ball at a reasonable pace that suggested his confidence was returning. He knew his bowling was needed in Adelaide, but just so the selectors would have no doubts about picking him, he strode to the wicket as a night-watchman and after outlasting four illustrious partners, returned to the pavilion a bonafide top-order batsman. He won't always have good days but this Test should have given him the confidence to avoid slipping back to the dark times he has just endured.

On the other side of the ledger a young Australian fast bowler will have learned a good lesson after a few demoralising days at the WACA. With so much talk about the pitch being fast and bouncy, Shaun Tait was sucked into making an ill-advised comment about bowling the fastest ball ever delivered. This comment was delivered before the match started but he was unable to deliver on the field and finished low on confidence, bowling in the 130s, and couldn't even erase the tailenders at a crucial time in the match. Tait should now know that it's wiser to let your deeds do the talking and that Test matches are a far cry from the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am razzmatazz of Twenty20 cricket.

Test cricket can be an absorbing contest when bat and ball are evenly matched. And in a game that can be sheep-like in its ability to follow meaningless trends, it's to be hoped the impact of swinging deliveries on recent Test series has been noted. The fate of the Ashes in 2005 turned on England's ability to swing the ball, and last year India turned the tables on Michael Vaughan's side in the same way. Now we've had the result of a wonderful contest at the WACA determined by the swinging ball. It's a timely reminder of the importance of this often undervalued skill.
Twenty years ago talk of an intense rivalry between Australia and India receiving a boost on the bouncy WACA pitch would have been sufficient grounds for certification, followed by insertion into a white gown and a padded cell. There's nothing like a healthy rivalry and a keen contest to quickly erase any thoughts of madness and conspiracy.

© Cricinfo

Thursday, January 17, 2008

...howwwzattt for the bad boy of cricket???

Because he's Shane Warne...

CANBERRA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Australian test cricket great Shane Warne has been caught out by another text message on the first day of his new career as a poker professional.

Warne, who retired from test cricket last year with a record 708 wickets, was given a five minute penalty for sending a text message during a poker game while taking part on Wednesday in the Aussie Millions tournament in Melbourne.

Warne's marriage broke down over a series of text messages scandals involving other women.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Casino, where the tournament is taking place, said a penalty could have cost Warne money as other players continued playing.

Texting is a common infraction by gamblers. "It happens all the time. It's just that it was Shane Warne," she said.

Warne has signed with online poker company to play the World Series of Poker, won by his Australian poker mentor Joe Hachem in 2005.

During his controversial career Warne was suspended for passing tips to an Indian bookmaker and served a ban for testing positive to a prohibited diuretic.

But Warne is also acknowledged as one of the finest leg spin bowlers the world has seen and in 2000 was the only bowler selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

...howwwzattt mr. umpire???

A FRIEND who knows little of cricket enquired of the week's unrest: "What was it all about?"

It's a good question and one that would be answered differently by different observers. Peter Roebuck, who earlier in the week called for the sacking of Ricky Ponting as Australian captain, saw the Sydney Test match as a specific conflagration. I would suggest, having followed the match from afar, it was more a culmination.

The public intervention this week of John Bertrand, Herb Elliott and Rob de Castella was, I suspect, not the result of a spur-of-the-moment reaction but of a growing frustration.

The same applies to the letters that have filled the correspondence columns of newspapers.

Four years ago, a story appeared in The Age reporting that Cricket Australia had confronted its players with the division of opinion they
were arousing in their community.

A CA switchboard operator was summoned to describe the sort of uncomplimentary feedback she was regularly forced to deal with.

At around this time the players committed to their Spirit of Australian Cricket manifesto. Since then they have consistently asserted that their conduct is governed by that commitment.

It refers to "playing hard but fair", describes "banter between opponents and ourselves as legitimate tactics", but also states that "we do not condone or engage in sledging".

This was undoubtedly well intentioned, but such black-and-white documentation was never more than an invitation to competitive young men to find their way around it. Apart from the fact that distinguishing "legitimate banter" from "sledging" might test the best legal minds, how do you define the spirit of a game?

This is what has brought Australian cricket undone this week. It has been playing by its own book. It lays down its rules and then stretches them. The events in Sydney that sparked the week's crisis are but manifestations of an established attitude.

An example is the matter of appealing. The Spirit of Australian Cricket refers to the acceptance "of all umpiring decisions as a mark of respect for our opponents, the umpires, ourselves and the game". But what of the matter of appealing for decisions players know, or at least suspect, would be unjust?

Did the Aussies really believe Rahul Dravid edged the ball to Adam Gilchrist on the last day in Sydney? It might have won them a 16th straight Test but was it worth it? Apart from anything else it has led to the sacking of a distinguished umpire for the next Test.

The other matter that has inflamed India is Ricky Ponting's decision to report Harbhajan Singh for using racist language.

The Australian captain did as he had been encouraged to do by officialdom. He may also have been influenced by his awareness that indigenous AFL footballers have been urged not to hesitate in making a complaint if they are racially vilified.

Unlike the AFL, though, the ICC has no mediation phase within its process. Upon a complaint being lodged, it lays a charge. A guilty finding brings a penalty from two to four games. Harbhajan Singh received three.

Presumably, Ponting failed to realise that within such a volatile environment this could have serious consequences. How the hard-nosed Aussies would look complaining against their underdog rival appears also to have escaped the skipper.

Being an international cricket captain these days requires some sophisticated thinking.
The crisis that was unleashed has produced other unedifying responses.

The CEO of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, opted for unity over statesmanship and took issue with Bertrand and company. He sought to justify the team's behaviour on the basis that it is not playing tiddlywinks. Neither, though, is it fighting a war.

India's reaction to the issues of Sydney was equally unworthy.

Amid all the cultural differences within, international sport has always stood one universal truth: the role of the umpire as impartial arbiter is inviolable. That the tourists breached this by refusing to play under Steve Bucknor in Perth is to their shame.

Then, of course, there was the International Cricket Council. It assured us that Bucknor was not replaced for the third Test "due to any representations made by any team or individuals".

Is it any wonder cricket's players are less than perfect when its bosses treat them, and us, as fools?
*Note: The piece was taken from Australian's The Age.

...howwwzattt for whose to blame...

The blogger with some of his batchmate of 89 with the former teachers and
HM, Dato' Haji Khairuddin (3rd from right) during SERATAS Silver Jubilee
celebration in August 2007.

When reading today’s The StarOnlinePrincipal ‘got carried away’”, I was quite amused on how the principal got carried away that much. According to the e-paper, the gender segregation was introduced in effort to discipline the students which the school’s principal felt were “overly mischievous” and the only way to make them toe the line was to keep them away from the girls.

So, what did he meant by “overly mischievous”? If by that statement alone, I’m very much felt the principal, the teachers, the school authority and the PIBG had lost their cause in giving proper education and direction to prepare these young generation for the future. In other words, they have failed the system.

During my time, the only segregation we have was only different dormitories for the boys and girls and different washroom of course. Don't say that we're not a mischievous lot, but somehow we understand that the thin line was not to be crossed...

Monday, January 7, 2008

...howwwzattt... refund anyone???

This was taken from malaysia today

Posted by Raja Petra
Monday, 07 January 2008

This is a real tough week. First we had Dr SL Chua’s open confession and his gentlemanly conduct of resigning from his post for his admission of unacceptable immoral conduct.
What is morality? Some woman who had no option in life than to sell her body to feed her own family? Isn’t that immoral? What about people who steal from others or taking money from various contracts within the binds of a contract? Is that morally acceptable? How about lying to your friend or to your parents? Is that morally acceptable? What happens when you are a public figure and lie repeatedly to the nation? Is that morally acceptable? These are issues of morality that is hounding us today.

In my opinion his conduct in the alleged DVD is immoral but he regained his stature as a leader with his open admission. Hey! Wait a minute! By the way this guy is not a Muslim that prays 5 times a day. In fact many of my peers and me felt that his exit from politics in a gentlemanly conduct deserves a special mention in our nation’s history. In the past fifty years, I don't know of anyone else who did the same?

In Victoria, Australia, Steve Bracks resigned as the Premier on July 30th 2007, when his son was caught for drunk driving. In countries like Australia, the people there take issues of driving under the influence of alcohol seriously. Here we have a Premier who wasn't drunk, neither was he having an affair but it was that of his son who was involved in an accident after driving under the influence of Alcohol. He resigned immediately after the incident because he felt that there was no honor for him to run the state when his own son was involved in an incident which was relatively a minor happening here in Malaysia.

What do you do when the PM of country lies to the nation in the noble house, called Parliament. Is it acceptable? Is it acceptable that the PM announces in Parliament in his budget speech that all school fees will be removed in the coming year and giving false hopes to millions of people by claiming that education Malaysia is free? Is it morally acceptable when an Education Minister goes to the United Nations (Unesco) and lies about the same matter to the whole world. This raised a lot of morality issues.

Surprisingly today NST (Sunday Times 6/1/2008) headlines on the front page showed the picture of the Education Minister slamming parents and making people feel small by saying "Go ahead, Get your refund" and Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh, the President of Integrity Institute of Malaysia talks about leaders and morality. Was it a pure coincidence or planned? I felt Dato Hishamuddin’s out burst on TV3 last night is simply immature. He has shown very little maturity as a politician. From the ramblings of the issue of School Fees during the past 2 weeks which was played again and again on the media and the various statements issued by the Minister, it appears that the Education Minister has got himself confused on the issue of "School Fees", "Additional Payments", "PIBG Fees" and the role of the PIBG. Now everyone is more confused than ever. I think he has not been properly advised. He should find some time and do some reading on Education Regulation 1998, various ministry circulars like SPI 4/1998 , 13/2007. Hey I am an ordinary citizen. How come I seem to know something about this regulation? hmmmm. I wonder!!

Dato Hishamuddin, please allow me to save you sometime and explain the above and hopefully you are better prepared when a parent should ask you.
First of all, in parliament the PM said "all school fees" SPI 4/1998 dated 16 March 1998 clearly explains what constitute "school fees". In this aspect it is quite clear that your boss, the PM in parliament had said all fees and not just "Yuran Khas". You can check the budget speech text on this if you don't believe. It is available in BNM website (Item 49 and 50). In SPI 13/2007 it is clearly stated that that all parents must (in Malay - di kehendaki/dikenakan) pay the so called new additional payments but when we studied the so called new additional payments, it appears that 95% of the charges are for the same charges as in the "old school fees". This means that the bayaran tambahan is now the new name for "fees" and the school authorities must decide on the amount after discussing with the PIBG... Let me remind you, the word is discussing and not approval of the PIBG. The decision lies with the school head and the Education Department Director. I hope I have not confused you just yet. And at no time in the past was this a PIBG fees. The money doesn’t go into the PIBG accounts. It goes into the school’s "Akaun Kerajaan".
The PIBG, as clearly stated in the Education Regulation 1998, cannot collect any fees. So it is quite clear that the PIBG do not collect any fees. However being an association guided by its AGM, the PIBG can request and collect some reasonable amount from parents (i.e. members) to run it's own activities as guided by the charter of the Association. There is no where in the charter it says that PIBG has to pay for maintenance, pay for peperiksaan selaras, pay for examination papers, maintain school toilets, halls, pay electricity etc. That is the school management’s/government’s responsibilities. We pay tax so that the government can manage this government asset. In some schools, I was told that the students must buy socks from the school carrying the school’s initials. Of boy! what is next .. panties, bras, under wears. The students are so scared that their name will be taken down by the Prefects, so they actually force their parents to buy the socks. The school and the PIBG are two distinct and separate organisations which has 2 different roles on the same target group i.e. the children.
So, this is why the parents are screaming? The minister said that this is only a small number of parents. Did you do any actual studies? If so what were the findings? Publish it. TV3 did an SMS studies. 80% said abolish it? They don’t agree with the MOE’s latest ruling. I believe there are people who were looking forward to not paying any school fees because they can’t afford it. But for many people like me the issue is not the amount. The issue here is, principle and morality. It is quite obvious that someone did a wrong calculation and realised that by abolishing the school fees the MOE would not have adequate budget to run the schools. At the very last moment they, the MOE issued a circular 13/2007 discerning the information that the government had spent RM 2.5 billion. Why then the sarcasm on TV, asking the parents to come and collect their money? Might as well instruct all the schools to refund the collected fees? That would have been better. After all, the MOE has money. RM 2.5 billion to be exact (quoting the Minister). Someone made a mistake. Admit it.

I would have a greater respect for you, Dato Hishamuddin if you come forward on TV, and say on behalf of the MOE that you would like to apologise because we had miscalculated the cost of running the schools and as such we cannot abolish the school fees just yet. This would have put you in a higher stature. Probably as high as Steve Bracks and Dr Chua. I think when we make a mistake, we should apologize and as a kind and decent person, we should forgive. I am not asking you to resign. I believe the majority including me are willing to forgive. There is no need to twist and turn the story up side down to confuse the lot and hopping that by the end of the day, the majority will just say, let it be lah! This is Malaysia. For me this is a matter of principle. Do the right thing.

So Dato Hishamuddin, I as a citizen of this country humbly request that you apologise to the nation over this matter and your subsequent reaction. Your sarcasm on TV3 on the 5/1/2008 is completely unwarranted.

Regards and best wishes.

Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan bin Abdul Rahman MD, MMed(OM),MBA(IT),Dip Ae Med, CTM, AME (17)
Taman Bukit Utama
Bukit Antarabangsa
Ampang, Selangor

Thursday, January 3, 2008

...howwwzattt... our very own pornstar pt2...

I don’t know what else to say apart from, “holier than thou” my ass… Seems like we Malaysian are more dependent on SMSes result rather than your integrity in doing the only way by resigning from whatever post you hold. I was quite amazed when I read the statement by this bugger relating on whether to step down or not by depending on the polling conducted by the mass media. Weiiii… it’s not the results that count, it was your duty to step down from further embarrassing the country and from betraying the PEOPLE that have elected you in representing themselves.

So, what have the SMSes say? 90 percents say, get lost you the cheater of the wife, the children, the country and the PEOPLE. Interesting enough when this bugger put the blame on others for being a so-called “holier than thou” when passing the judgment against him. What sadden me the most was the way that our mainstream medias handle the issue which seems that it was okay for you to commit such behavior on the pretext that we are all human. Human makes mistake, is it???
So, what has our Islam Hadhari administration has to say on this? Apart from the PM's statement last night on the local news which seems like "macam nak taknak je komen", no other damning comments were made by the current reigning politicians. Where are the champions have gone???

...howwwzattt for the birds of the same feather flock together...

The photo shows a repair just aft of the front cargo of this 737-400 being done.

You guys must be wondering that for such repair normally carried out by 2 technicians, there were 5 guys trying to outdo each other in that area.

Nah, look upon closely shows that there was a lone female trainee doing her task inside the forward cargo. No wonder laaaa...

...howwwzattt... our very own pornstar...

2 Jan 2008

Whoaaaaa… what a great sensation that hits our political scene for the New Year. It’s me”, boldly printed in today’s The STAR edition. I’ve yet to read others but I’m sure each and every newspaper in the nation will carry the same frontpage headline.

When somebody with that kind of profile suddenly made news with that kind of act, one might wonder that how many more of these prolific profiles out there? I praise for this bugger bravery and honesty in admitting his lustful deed even with a so called “personal friend”, but what disturbs me most is that this bloody bugger had the cheek to still stay in his office to serve the PEOPLE. Asked by the reporter on his stand whether to make a police report or not, this bugger will think about it but the police had already launch an investigation on the ground of intruding with people’s privacy. Bollock, his privacy I say.

Step down laaa period; don’t even wait for the PM’s mercy for you to continue heading the Ministry Of Health. It will tarnish more his administration which is already stained with plenty of misdeed either by him or his ministers. A person with this kind of moral value is not fit to be a leader except for being a bapak ayam”…

P.s. By the way, did this bugger practice safe sex with his “personal friend” hehehe…?