2 ‘secret’ stocks I’d happily buy for my ISA as global recession looms

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first_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. 2 ‘secret’ stocks I’d happily buy for my ISA as global recession looms Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Adventurous investors like you won’t want to miss out on what could be a truly astonishing opportunity…You see, over the past three years, this AIM-listed company has been quietly powering ahead… rewarding its shareholders with generous share price growth thanks to a carefully orchestrated ‘buy and build’ strategy.And with a first-class management team at the helm, a proven, well-executed business model, plus market-leading positions in high-margin, niche products… our analysts believe there’s still plenty more potential growth in the pipeline.Here’s your chance to discover exactly what has got our Motley Fool UK investment team all hot-under-the-collar about this tiny £350+ million enterprise… inside a specially prepared free investment report.But here’s the really exciting part… right now, we believe many UK investors have quite simply never heard of this company before! Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Looking for lifeboats during what promises to be a tough time for the global economy? Well, Stock Spirits Group (LSE: STCK) is a brilliant buy for ISA investors to consider today, certainly in my opinion.Alcohol sales don’t just hold up in times of social, macroeconomic, and geopolitical turmoil. They positively thrive, as data shows. It’s a theme this small-cap underlined in half-year financials released this month. In them, it said volumes leapt 8.4% in the six months to March. And, consequently, revenues boomed 15.1% year-on-year to €189.6m.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…But don’t just buy Stock Spirits for its near-term resilience. This is a strong long-term ISA purchase too, owing to its core operations in Poland and Czechia. These are top European emerging economies that provide plenty of sales potential as wealth levels grow.Cloud 9IT services provider CloudCall Group (LSE: CALL) is another top ISA buy well-placed to thrive in a post-coronavirus landscape. In its own words, it provides cloud-based products that “allow customers’ staff to work remotely with full access to systems that they would use in their normal place of work.”Businesses all over the globe are likely to invest heavily to allow their workers to plug in from home. It’s not just that lockdown has illustrated the benefits and efficacy of home working to many companies. It’s that they won’t want to be caught out by a second covornavirus wave or, indeed, a brand new pandemic.A survey from Studio Graphene shows that just under half of UK businesses (49%) were ready to effectively transition to a landscape of home working when the lockdown started. The software developer says 48% of companies have had to invest in new technologies as a result. It’s a phenomenon that CloudCall has benefitted from, with the AIM entity commenting it has enjoyed “a flurry of orders from existing customers preparing for their staff to work from home.”Another great ISA buyCloudCall has, as you’d expect, seen a number of new customers postpone putting down an order more recently. But, as I say, its operations should benefit now that the consequences of Covid-19 are becoming clearer and companies spend to boost their tech capabilities.It’s also in good shape to ride out the developing economic downturn better than many. Because of its ‘software as a service’ (or SaaS) model, it has brilliant earnings visibility as its customers are contracted. It also benefits from a more flexible cost base. Combined with its strong balance sheet — it currently has £13.1m of cash on the books — CloudCall looks in great shape to ride out the current storm.I’m confident the tech play has all the tools to thrive in the long term. The company has seen revenues from the US explode in recent times. And it’s hoping to repeat the trick in Australia after launching there a couple of months ago. I’d happily buy CloudCall for my ISA today. Enter Your Email Addresscenter_img Royston Wild | Friday, 29th May, 2020 | More on: CALL STCK Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The high-calibre small-cap stock flying under the City’s radar Click here to claim your copy of this special investment report — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top Small-Cap Stock… free of charge! Image source: Getty Images See all posts by Royston Wildlast_img read more

Top Cyclists Pedal into FH

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first_imgBy Celia BelmonteFAIR HAVEN – The borough is gearing up for Sunday’s fourth annual Tour de Fair Haven as more than 400 of the nation’s top cyclists are set to fly through the town’s signature streets.“There is definitely a bicycling flair to the town,” Fair Haven Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Hoffman said. “It is great opportunity to see top quality cycling.”Borough residents will not only get a chance to witness star cyclists square off head-to-head, but new this year, they will also be able to battle it out, neighbor against neighbor, friend versus friend, with the implementation of new spectator contests.A $100 gift card, which can be used at any Fair Haven store or restaurant, will be awarded to the family with the best home decorations.“There are no instructions or guidelines,” Council­woman Susan Sorensen said. “We appreciate and understand if you live along the race route that it can be an inconvenience so we want to do something that people can have fun with.”Decorations will be judged on how participants not only show hometown spirit, with Fair Haven celebrating its centennial this year, but also how much they have gotten involved in the race itself.“People can go with a centennial theme or a cycling theme,” said Christine Burke Eskwitt of Full Circle Com­munications, which is handling public relations for the race.The prize will be awarded to a home decorated along the race route, which has been reconfigured for the 2012 competition.“The route has been changed into a quick circle,” Hoffmann said.As in past years, the race will start and finish at the Fair Haven Fire Department on River Road. However, this year, cyclists will then make a right onto Fair Haven Road, turn onto Third Street, and continue onto Hance Road past Knollwood Elementary School before turning right back onto River Road.“Every 4 or 5 minutes the racers will whiz by pretty quickly,” Hoffmann said. “So this route is a little more viewer friendly.”Another $100 gift card will be awarded for hosting the best tailgate. The borough is welcoming tailgaters to gather at the Youth Center fields, located behind police headquarters.“Because the route has changed, people who used to have lawn parties will not be able to see the race from their houses anymore,” Sorensen said. “We added the tailgate at the Youth Center to allow them the same opportunity.”In addition, Coastal Décor, an interior design studio and gift shop based in Fair Haven, will donate cowbells while supplies last to spectators cheering on the cyclists as they speed past.The New Jersey Wheelmen will display and ride antique bicycles at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the fire department for the Tour de Fair Haven.Also new this year will be an exhibit and demonstration of American antique high-wheel bicycles from the New Jersey Wheelmen collection.The New Jersey Wheel­men is the state’s chapter of a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving American bicycling heritage, encouraging cycling as part of modern-day activity, and promoting the riding and restoration of cycles manufactured prior to 1918.The collection of restored bicycles will be on display at the Fair Haven Fire Depart­ment beginning around 11:30 a.m. Dressed in period cycling gear, riders from the New Jersey Wheelmen will put on a show for spectators. People from the crowd will also be able to take an 1884 Rudge Rotary tandem tricycle from England for a spin.“Because of the centennial, we thought it would be an appropriate flavor to add to the race,” Sorensen said.Along with a commitment to drawing top cyclists, including a number of current and former U.S. National Champions, Tour de Fair Haven organizers are dedicated to making it a fun, family-oriented day for the community. The kids’ race, one of the event’s most anticipated activities, is slated to start at noon.“We have had about 100 kids each of the last few years,” Hoffmann said. “It is usually really loud and there are a lot of people watching. The kids love riding under the big finishing banner.”In partnership with The Foundation of Fair Haven, the event is sponsored by USA Cycling Federation (USCF) affiliate Cycles54, ForeFront, Inc., Saker ShopRites, and Circle BMW. With the support of these local businesses, the event will help fund new bike safety programs for residents.“The borough of Fair Haven is adopting a ‘Com­plete Streets’ policy with the overall vision of creating dedicated cycling lanes that would start at the grammar school,” Sorensen said.The race also will benefit the Fair Haven Centennial Celebration, which includes a yearlong calendar of special events to mark the town’s 100th birthday.“Fair Haven is having one heck of a year,” Sorensen said. “Between our centennial and having an Olympian [Connor Jaeger] in our town, the whole year has been amazing. To me, you can’t ask for more in an all-American hometown than Fair Haven.”last_img read more

Transfer gossip: Spurs linked with Mawson

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first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Tottenham have opened talks to sign Alfie Mawson, the Sun on Sunday say.The Hillingdon-born defender has impressed since joining Swansea from Barnsley last year and the Sun on Sunday say Spurs have contacted the Welsh club about a potential deal.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to be keen on the former England Under-21 international. The newspaper also say Tottenham are set to offer £15m for Mawson and that he could replace Toby Alderweireld at the north London club.Embed from Getty ImagesIt comes amid speculation over the future of Alderweireld, who has been linked with a possible move.Mawson, 23, started his career at Brentford but left Griffin Park without making a league appearance, having rejected a new contract.He signed for Barnsley, where his excellent performances earned him a move to the Premier League.last_img read more

Heating a Superinsulated House in a Cold Climate

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first_imgDiscuss options with the teamIt was decided that the best means to make this difficult decision was to sit down as a team and discuss. We had a meeting with our team of four engineers, all trained in LEED building, one with Passivhaus certification and one with R-2000 (and extensive energy modelling) experience, along with the mechanical contractor and Darcie and I. We went through and made a list of advantages of each system — which essentially is what I wrote above.In-floor hydronic heating was the clear winner.All of my questions about setting up this system and my concerns about overheating were alleviated in this meeting. We would use our PV system to power a simple, small, two-element, 100% efficient electric boiler by Argo. (We did briefly play around with the idea of an air-source heat pump hot water heater from Germany for both in-floor heat and domestic hot water, but due to the high capital cost and potential issues of no one knowing how to service it here, we canceled this idea. The thought still seems intriguing, however, and in another few years this may become the best solution. Check out this article for more information.)On the domestic hot water side, we selected a fairly straightforward, 47-gallon Bradford White high-efficiency electric-resistance hot water heater. We also planned to insulate this with its own extra insulated jacket. Really, in the end, it came down what is the simplest, most cost-effective solution to meet our needs.As for overheating, the engineers would design the system so that areas hit with solar gain would not overlap with those of the in-floor system, while those not receiving solar gain could be controlled separately to deliver us the best of both worlds. On the extremely cold days, our little Norwegian wood-burning stove would take the edge off.Boom. Decision made. Now I could sleep again. The radiant floor optionA lot of conventional builders, and I’ll say “lay-people,” suggested in-floor heat. Actually they said if we didn’t use in-floor heat then we were idiots. OK, they didn’t quite call us that, but I felt their judgment. In-floor radiant heat is certainly appealing for a lot of reasons.We planned to install a 1 1/2-inch concrete slab topper on the main floor of the house for passive heating purposes as well as the required 4-inch slab for the basement. And we also really like the aesthetic of nicely finished concrete floors (remember we are modern minimalists). But there was one problem: concrete floors are cold. When we told people that we might not use in-floor heat in the concrete, this is when their judging eyes showed themselves.Second, in-floor heat is very comfortable without a doubt. We have several friends who have in-floor hydronic heat and walking into their house and feeling the warmth in the winter is very pleasing.Third, you don’t actually see the heat system. It is embedded in the floors. No wall panels, no horrendous baseboard heaters.Fourth, it can be zoned and controlled. Each room can have a thermostat installed individually with piping running specifically to each room with a sensor in the floor that allows for it to be controlled. This was a big bonus, because rooms like the mater bedroom and living/dining room do not need as much floor heat because the thermal mass and solar gain will heat these areas, whereas the north rooms and hallways do not have solar gain so would need to have a higher floor temperature.OK, so you can begin to see where my bias was leaning. That is, until I started to read about radiant floor heating in superinsulated and well-built houses. (For links to some of these articles, see the “Related Articles” box above). Then there’s electric heatAnother option that was brought forward was to use an electric-resistance heating coil. Basically how this worked was like a typical forced air ducted system, but a little bit different. A no-brainer, must-have appliance for an airtight house is a ventilation system. If you don’t put one of these in then you are going to have serious problems from moisture build-up and air quality. We had already decided that we would use a Vanee HRV (this was developed by Dick Vanee through the University of Saskatchewan, who is credited with developing the first widely available and mass produced HRV system) in our place, which as with all other ERV/HRV systems, uses ductwork to each room or area of the house to deliver fresh air and draw out stale air.Here’s how the heating coil works: It is mounted in the mechanical room in the supply air duct, thereby preheating the ventilation air before it is distributed to the house. The cool thing about this is that you can use the ductwork already present for the HRV system. This approach only works in a superinsulated house; in a conventionally built house you would need separate ductwork. For this reason, this approach leads to the claim by some that in Passive Houses, “conventional heating systems are rendered unnecessary throughout even the coldest of winters.” (This is a fairly misleading statement, as the suggested approach uses the pre-existing ventilation system to distribute space heat.)There are a few downsides with this system, however. The longer the ductwork, the greater the heat loss prior to reaching its end point. We are a building a long narrow house and have one length of wall that is 48 feet.Second, this is basically a forced-air system. An HRV flow rate is a lot less than a true forced-air system, but essentially you are just heating the air, not surfaces as is the case with “radiant” heat.Third, this system cannot be well controlled. It is one system for the whole house. So in our living/dining room and master bedroom that get more solar gain, they would also get the same air heating, which could lead to overheating concerns.Fourth, we would likely still need to supplement the system… and we’re not going to talk about that again. Too much heat for a not-so-crappy house?Damn. The basic argument was that radiant in-floor is nice and makes sense in crappy houses. I don’t want a crappy house! Also the general agreement was that these systems were overkill. Passivhaus is called “passive” for a reason: the idea is to reduce the use of non-passive, mechanical systems. The heat load of 10,000 to15,000 BTU/h does not require a big system including a boiler, pump, and in-floor piping. In fact, when we talked to a couple friends who had built well-insulated houses with passive solar orientation, they told us that overheating in the winter did happen and they would have to open their windows in the dead of winter. This seemed crazy!I had no straight answer and everything that I read either did not seem appropriate for our climate’s peak loads (coldest times of the year) or was apparently overkill. Sleepless nights were the result.However, as I talked to others in the Passivhaus field, they admitted some problems with the Passivhaus model for a northern climate with frigid temperatures like ours. Passivhaus was really designed for moderate climates in Germany and a lot of the articles I had read were discussing moderate climates in the U.S.Indeed, radiant floor heating would be overkill for those climates, but those climates do not get down to extremely low temperatures like ours. BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Is Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate?Choosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHow Small Can We Go?Picking High-Performance WindowsLet Construction BeginMaking an ICF FoundationDealing With Really Bad Water Radiant-Floor HeatingAll About Radiant FloorsGoodbye Radiant FloorHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated House We are putting in a wood-burning stove as a backup heat source. Now, I know Passivhaus purists think that this is a bad idea and Wolfgang Fiest, the Passivhaus guru in Germany, has outright said that there are no wood-burning stoves that meet Passivhaus standard, but we don’t care. I know of nothing more comfortable than sitting next to a crackling fire. Also, wood is considered to be a renewable resource: cut down a tree for fire and plant a tree in its place. (I’ll write a separate post about wood-burning stoves later).OK, so now that we have those issues out of the way, there were still huge decisions to make. Over the past few months I’ve read innumerable articles on heating options for northern climates in general and superinsulated houses in particular, as well as received everyone else’s biases on the optimal heat source. What I realized is that there are many different options and all of them have pros and cons. The biggest question mark for us up to this point was, “how the heck are we going to heat this place?”First, we should list a few conditions and limiting factors.We had no natural gas to our site. This is probably a moot point anyway because even if we did have ‘natural’ gas we would not have used it. We did have a neighbor ask us if we would consider bringing it in. But this just seemed ridiculous. For a cost of $20,000 you can pipe in a non-renewable resource and then pay monthly fees for it for as long as it is available, and given the rising energy prices this cost is only going to go up and up.We do have grid electricity at our site, but we intend to be net-zero or net-positive if possible. The power delivered to our site comes from the Queen Elizabeth power station which is a natural gas-burning. This is a big reason why people in places where you “must” choose from grid-tied power (which is often still coal) or ‘natural’ gas, select the apparent lesser of two evils and choose natural gas for heating/cooling and for appliances.Still, there is a third option that people seem to forget: solar power! For less than or equal to the cost of bringing natural gas to our site, we can put solar panels on our roof with a battery and generate not only our own electricity for heating, but also our own power for running everything else in the house. RELATED ARTICLES Editor’s note: Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus, which documents their journey “from urbanites to ruralites” and the construction of a superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. GBA first posted a blog about their decision not to seek Passivhaus certification in May 2015. The minisplit routeMost Passive Houses that I read about used a ductless minisplit heat pump, and the majority of these seem to be made by a Japanese company called Fujitsu. These are pretty cool little devices.In a Passivhaus, the heat load is so low (usually between 10,000 to 15,000 BTU/hour — as an aside, most standard furnaces are 60,000+ BTU/h) that usually two of these little systems are sufficient for heating a 2,000-square-foot house with ease.As the name implies, they do not use any ductwork, and essentially function like a space heater mounted on the wall. There is a pipe with refrigerant that passes through the exterior wall to an outdoor unit that draws air in, extracts heat from that air, and delivers a hot fluid (refrigerant) to the indoor unit. In the moderate climates of Asia, Europe, and the U.S., these are great. A major appeal is that in the summer these units act in reverse, providing air conditioning. In a northern climate like Saskatchewan, though, these are likely not the best option.Previously these units would operate when the outdoor temperature was as low as -5°C (23°F). Fujitsu has recently come out with a new model for “extreme low temperature heating,” which will heat when the outdoor temperature is as low as -25°C (-15°F). Unfortunately, this is not sufficient for our cold Canadian prairie winters. Last year we had a record number of cold days for the winter: 58 days of -30°C (-22°F) or colder. A couple years ago for the entire month of December it did not get above -25°C (-13°F) for a high! There will be days, every year, when it is -50°C (-58°F) in the morning. That is insanely cold. If you have never experienced cold like that, it is really something to behold. Fujitsu would have to come out with a “Super-Duper Ridiculously Extreme Low Temp Heating” minisplit to cope with that, I’m afraid.If we were to use the minisplit system then we would need to have backup heat sources in each of the rooms of the house, such as radiant wall panels or baseboard heaters. Although these are relatively cheap at less than $100 each, I must admit that I think they are ugly. Super ugly. Even the fancy ‘modern’ ones are ugly. I know, that shouldn’t be one of my criteria, but it is, I’m extremely particular and I think they’re ugly and cheap looking. And I think the minisplits are ugly too! Gah — the truth comes out.You see, we like minimalism. Our house was going to be simply designed: no casing around doors and windows, no crown molding, no baseboards. Adding baseboard heaters just seemed like a mortal sin to my minimalist aesthetic.last_img read more

‘I am sure Bob Willis is happy with the cricket as also the results in England’

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first_imgFor the Indian cricket team, which concluded its disappointing tour of England last week, it proved to be a long and gruelling summer. The three-Test matches produced some brilliant individual performances but also some very obvious weaknesses and a lack of collective cohesion that does not bode well for the,For the Indian cricket team, which concluded its disappointing tour of England last week, it proved to be a long and gruelling summer. The three-Test matches produced some brilliant individual performances but also some very obvious weaknesses and a lack of collective cohesion that does not bode well for the forthcoming tours of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the West Indies.To capture the triumphs and tragedies of the series and sum up India’s performance in his own inimitable style, India Today commissioned former Indian Test captain Bishen Singh Bedi. For deadline reasons, Bedi’s report was phoned in after the fourth day’s play at the Oval with the final Test heading for a dull draw. His report :As I write this about the 1982 Anglo-Indian Test series after the fourth day of the third and final Cornhill Test, the game is headed for a tame draw. England, being already one up by virtue of their convincing victory in the first Test at Lord’s, have avenged the defeat of last winter in India.A lot of dull and inept cricket was played then. According to Bob Willis, the present English captain: “After the Bombay Test, which the Indians won somehow or the other, the tour should have been terminated for there was no action at all in the remainder of the series.”I am sure Bob Willis is happy with the cricket as also the results in England, particularly so as England’s captain for the first time. Not many were enamoured by the English selectors’ choice of Willis. Not that he did not possess the requisite qualities. But his down physical fitness has been known to be suspect for some time and he is also known to indulge in mysterious hypnotics to keep his big, lean figure going.advertisementThe usual but needless cries of “a bowler not making a good captain” were brushed aside by Peter May and company and big Bob was given the job of captaincy, perhaps more so to honour and acknowledge his great contribution to English cricket.Bob is aware that his reign as captain of England is going to be short. “In the very near future somebody else has to take over, for my legs can’t keep pounding in for very long,” he says. “But as long as I’m out there I will give everything I have.” And he is doing just that, leading by personal example. He is still by far the quickest bowler on both sides.Controversy: What of the Indian team? How well have we fared on this tour? When the present side was picked I remember there was a lot of hue and cry about favouritism and parochialism which I thought was a bit unfair to the selectors.Dilip Doshi winds up before delivery at Old Trafford and Sandeep Patil hits Willis for one of six fours in a single over: Not enough to winI also remember having written for an Indian daily that the selectors were entrusted with a job and that they were supposed to have done it to the best of their ability and knowledge. And that it was for events to prove whether the selection of the team was right.I am sad to report now that the Indian selectors failed in their job in a number of cases. It is worth mentioning that the last Indian tour was to Australia and New Zealand in 1980-81.But several from that touring party were not good enough for this English summer. In all probability, six or seven of them may not be found good enough for future tours.The fact is that the cricketing potential of the team as a whole has not been fully realised. Raj Singh, the elegant Indian manager and a former national selector Feels our boys “lack professional commitment”. Both he and Sunil Gavaskar emphasise that the better side has not won.I met Sunil in the Indian dressing-room after he was knocked out of the Oval Test by a scorching back-foot drive from the likely ‘man of the series’, Ian Botham. Sunil was sad and lonely and I felt sorry for the great Indian opener.”I’m disappointed,” he said. “One first innings collapse at Lord’s decided the whole series. Losing eight tosses in a row and now with a broken left leg. What more is in store for me.”Amateur Performance: “Do you miss Chetan Chauhan?” I asked. “Of course I do,” he replied, and then went on to categorically deny that he was a party to Chetan’s omission. The two new openers, Ghulam Parkar and Pranab Roy were found wanting from every aspect of Test participation.advertisementBotham powers his way to a century at Old TraffordRaj Singh is convinced that some in the team simply don’t possess “an adult cricketing attitude necessary for survival in modern professional sport. Our boys are still very amateurish.” I retorted: “Only technically,” to which the Indian manager replied with a deep sigh.I have known Raj for many, many years. He has played and lived cricket all his life. He is so intensely involved with the game, often to the extent of being unwanted in the dressing-room. He has not served the cause of his popularity by shouting and screaming at the boys, especially the youngsters.But with all good intentions. Raj believes that “the time has come to produce professional cricket managers in India whose job should be to instill cricketing IQ along with cricket-oriented physical fitness”, which he thought was not up to international standards. Raj indicated that he meant professional managers at all first-class levels in the country.It was a delight to meet Raj with such an important portfolio. If only the team’s performances were in keeping with his own expectations. Did we have any disagreement? Of course, we did. For example, when I queried if our main line bowlers had enough preparation for Test matches his plain reply was: “Our policy was to have none of the top bowlers bowl more than 125 overs before the start of the first Test.”I chuckled to myself and wondered: what sort of yardstick do you use for main line batsmen? I have always believed that one can bowl endlessly in the nets but without sufficient first class wickets against one’s name, the preparation for the Test matches is not quite complete. I would hate to think that, “in our days”, bowlers were more competent.Rising Star: I think it is more pertinent to point out that a fellow called Abdul Qadir, a leg spinner now touring with the Pakistani team, has already captured more than 30 wickets in four matches while none of the Indian bowlers has captured more than 25.Gavaskar and Willis: ExperiencedAnd to make matters worse Shivlal Yadav and Randhir Singh never quite lived up to the expectations of international cricket. And what about Shastri and Sum Nayak? Madan Lal was, at best, a good trier and essentially a stock bowler.Only Kapil Dev and Dilip Doshi were our main strike bowlers. And that too when the conditions agreed with the captain’s pre-conceived ideas.It is a matter of great shame when the team doesn’t have any faith in its striking force. No matter how great the batting lineup is, it is the bowlers who are entrusted with the job of bowling the opposition out twice in order to win games. Unfortunately, we were always suffering from handicaps on this count.Analysing individual bowlers, Kapil bowled well at Lord’s and thereafter struggled to come back into the game, once the shine was off the new ball. And that is exactly what the English openers Cook and Tavare did at Old Trafford and at the Oval.advertisementNot that Cook and Tavare are the best openers around but they are doing a good job of frustrating the Indian attack on wickets which have surprisingly low bounce and no pace. And yet the Indian slip fielders throughout opted to stand a couple of yards too deep even when quite a few half chances went a begging. That was poor cricket, I thought.Weak Links: In sharp contrast, the English close-in fielding, particularly the slip cordon, was more willing to stand up and convert half chances into reality. As far as bat and pad chances were concerned, there was not a soul with enough courage of conviction to assist the bowling.Kapil Dev in action at Lord’sIn fact, Gavaskar admits that our weakest link was our close-in catching, particularly so at forward short-leg the position where Abid Ali and Solkar thrived and the spinners flourished. I do feel concerned that a thoroughbred professional like Dilip Doshi could not get the close-in cooperation of the fielders.I thought he bowled remarkably well at Old Trafford except for a number of no-balls that were credited to him. He is by far the best spinner on both sides. But I’m not sure whether he is given the confidence that a strike bowler deserves.For some strange, inexplicable reason, Doshi and Ravi Shastri have not really complemented each other. Often a conflicting attitude by the captain has not escaped keen observation. I would have no hesitation in putting Doshi as our number one spinner.Shastri has been around for a couple of years now without quite realising his full potential. I hope I am proved wrong, but I can’t really see Shastri developing into a match-winning bowler and the same goes for his batting if he keeps climbing and dropping in the batting order.I hope, for the sake of Indian cricket, that he is allowed to settle into a more permanent position. He is quite a compact batsman and very tenacious. Runs should come to him with more consistency than wickets. There are certain technical problems with his bowling which are not likely to be remedied at this stage of his career.Except for the one collapse at Lord’s, the rest of the Indian batting has generally lived up to its reputation. The unfortunate part was that after the opposition was allowed to score 400 runs or more, we were always batting under pressure. Even modest trundlers like Pringle, Allott and Edmonds were made to appear menacing, quite needlessly though.Disciplined: Dilip Vengsarkar’s century at Lord’s was a gem of an innings, well disciplined and authoritative. But I can’t figure out why he is so aloof from the rest of the team. I have a sneaking suspicion that he still hasn’t forgiven the rest of the team for whatever happened at Sharjah a few months ago.Vengsarkar hatting during his 157 at Lord’sSandeep Patil belted the hell out of the English bowlers at Old Trafford with an attitude of nothing to lose and everything to gain. He went for his shots from the word go and made the tour selection committee look like absolute idiots for having left him out of the first Test.He is such a natural, brilliant striker of the ball and a proven sucess at Test level as well, that a string of low scores could have been easily or conveniently ignored. Like Vishwanath and Gavaskar, he seems to possess the big match temperament and if there are any streaks of casualness in his general make-up I’m sure that they can be harnessed with proper handling.Sandeep played like a champion throughout and literally stole the limelight from England’s one-man team, Ian Botham. One particular over from Willis is history now and the England captain will have to live with it for the rest of his life.Both at Old Trafford and at the Oval, that supreme artist Vishwanath was among the runs. How thrilled I was for him! He’s still a great Test match player and I wish he could go on forever.But the time has come for Vishy to realise that he’s not getting any younger and he must look after himself more. The strains of socialising and travelling normally associated with lengthy tours are more likely diminish Vishy’s interest in anything less than a Test match.Lean Period: One hopes Gavaskar’s lean period with the bat is only temporary. Clearly, the element of luck was not always with him. Maybe, not having a regular opener at the other end is putting extra pressure on him.Plus the fact that captaining abroad is a very taxing job. His commercial commitments off the field project him as a big loner. It is very obvious that the Indian captain is out to make a quick buck, however and from wherever. He is the trendsetter and the rest of the team are following him gleefully.I think it is absolutely fair that modern cricketers should demand and get their share of commercial gimmicks. Sensibly, it should be cricket first and publicity stunts afterwards. But regrettably, the priorities of this touring side appear to be a bit mixed up.I was sad to observe that there is very little “character” in the Indian dressing-room. A few of the senior players confided in me that “the team spirit is at a very low ebb. There are a lot of undercurrents and back-biting all stemming from an atmosphere of pure and simple materialistic greed.”Criticism: The selection of the Test eleven and the subsequent handling of his bowlers have brought the Indian captain severe criticism. Henry Blofeld, an English cricket writer and commentator wrote thus about the inclusion of Suru Nayak in the third Test: “Nayak had already shown in the second Test at Old Trafford that his medium-paced offerings are almost a batsman’s delight. On a pitch like this he was surely a luxury India could ill afford.The Indian selectors should have played off spinner Shivlal Yadav. The fact that Nayak bowls occasional leg-breaks is an excuse rather than an explanation. In the team selection and also in the way he has handled his bowlers, Gavaskar, who plays for Bombay, has left himself open to the charge that he is looking after his own.” Such an observation coming from a British writer makes interesting reading.Yesterday, India wasted a good two hours before lunch waiting for the light to clear. Such a strategy suited England fine as they are already sitting on the one-nil lead. Admittedly the light wasn’t good but it wasn’t any better when play eventually got under way after lunch.I would have thought that the Indians would take all possible risks to square the series, like continuing to play even in adverse conditions and perhaps declaring as soon as the follow-on was saved, which required a hell of a lot of courage.The onus would have been on the England team to throw a challenging declaration to India. But sadly, the thought of not losing was more prominent than the stiff possibility of going for a win.Kapil Dev played yet another of his belligerent knocks, giving special treatment to his arch rival Ian Botham. Kapil is the only crowd-puller in the present Indian squad and yesterday there was not a soul on the ground who would have begrudged Kapil his third Test hundred.Kapil Dev receives his ‘man of the match’ award after the Lord’s test: Spectators’ delightExcept, perhaps, Kapil himself. Such a fine hitter of the ball, Kapil Dev often refuses to tighten up his defence, essential for the demands of Test cricket.That, to my mind, is the only difference between him and Ian Botham. Whereas the England all-rounder judiciously mixes his aggression with organised defence, the Indian merely relies on impulsive hitting.Arduous Future: Well, this series is over. England has won but India has not been disgraced. There are a few question marks in the bowling department of both the teams. As an Indian I would like to confine my concern to my own country.Ahead lies an arduous tour of Pakistan and then an equally hard one to the West Indies. There is a lot of improvement in the Indian camp. Tony Lewis, a former England captain and now a popular cricket journalist made this comment after England had scored 594 runs in the first innings of the Oval Test: “After that, India’s only spur was pride, though maybe there was an aroma of self-preservation floating through the dressing-room.Humiliating defeats in England are not forgiven back home, and many a selector has been known to slice off a player’s head to save his own.” How very true, Welshman! However, I sincerely hope that good sense and positive thinking are the main criteria when any post-mortem of this tour takes place in the Indian board circles.One sad aspect of this Indian tour was the poor attendance at the Tests. According to Peter Lush, the chief marketing manager of the TCCB (Test and Country Cricket Board): “One of the reasons could be the poor quality of cricket played in India last winter and then the South African situation, where a three-year ban had to be imposed on 12 English cricketers, did not help.” I would tend to agree with Peter Lush’s honest assessment. This business of South Africa smacks of total hypocrisy. Twelve English players are forced out but there was room for Allan Lamb, a South African.He is a brilliant cricketer, no doubt, and will enjoy the fruits of Test cricket for many years. I was amused by a remark from TV commentator Jim Laker in the Test at Old Trafford: “Madan Lal bowls a short one to Allan Lamb and the South African hooks him gloriously in front of square.” The English will surely use Allan Lamb as best as they can but the blatant truth is that, like Tony Greig and Basil D’Oliveira, Allan Lamb will always remain an “outsider”.Talent Tussle: One of the most exciting aspects of this series has been the individual tussle between Kapil Dev and Ian Botham. It has been a delight to watch both these young strong men trying to outdo each other.It is always difficult to compare such talented all-rounders who are both fantastic cricketers, great competitors and have done great service for their respective countries. While Botham can boast of the support of two or three medium pacers. Kapil has to do it alone and he has done it pretty well.Both Kapil and Botham started out as strike bowlers but seem to be more keen on their batting now. particularly when facing each other. Generally speaking, because of the good quality of the wickets, both Kapil and Botham have thrown the bat at the ball with powerful delight.I am very pleased to note the overall improvement in Kapil Dev. He is a highly mature cricketer now and fully deserving the title of one of the great all-rounders in the game today. His youthful exuberance is a spectators’ delight.He is obviously enjoying his cricket and so are we. He is well-equipped to lake on either Botham or Imran Khan for the title of the best alLrounder in the world. We would like to think he is the best but the overall performance of the team will go a long way to determine that.Kapil is at the peak of his career and exhibits all intentions of staying there for some time. For me Kapil is a prized possession of India, the Kohinoor of cricket who can’t be locked up in the British Museum.last_img read more

Hope Mathews can do something special for us with ball: Perera

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first_imgDharamsala, Dec 9 (PTI) All-rounder Angelo Mathews brings in a lot of balance to the side with his bowling and Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera hopes that he does something special for the team tomorrow in the first ODI against India here.”He is bowling in this series. He didnt bowl in the Tests. He is prepared for ODIs and T20s. That gives us an option to balance the side. Hopefully he can do something special for us,” said Perera on the eve of the opening One dayer of the three-match series.India will be without the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli in the limited overs series after he opted for rest, but Perera feels that his team would still has to put its best foot forward against the hosts.”India dont have Virat Kohli. He is their best batsman. But we actually dont think on those lines. We have to do our best. We will assess the wicket and if we play our best cricket, we can beat them,” he said.Talking about the preparation of the team, Perera said: “We have prepared well. We had two good sessions over the last two days. We have a nice balance in the side. Hopefully we can do something special. Mentally and fitness wise we have done well.”Asked about the players who are making a comeback to the team after recovering from injuries, Perera said: “We have a couple of players who have come from injury. It is a balanced side at the moment. We can assess what we want to do. I think (Asele) Gunaratne is back after injury and he is definitely playing. Hopefully we can do something special.”advertisementPerera did not agree that his team lacked power-hitters.”We have power hitters. When you look at Dick (Niroshan Dickwella), Danushka (Gunathilaka), Upul (Tharanga) and Angelo (Mathews) all are power hitters. We can beat any team.”Meanwhile, Sri Lankan team manager Asanka Gurusinha informed that batsman Dhananjaya de Silva, who played with a glute muscle condition during his match-saving century against India in the third and final Test in Delhi, will not play in the opening game tomorrow.”He (Dhananjaya) has been ruled out. He is pretty close, but didnt want to take the risk,” Gurusinha said.The Sri Lankan Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera had stopped nine players from travelling to India.Asked about the incident, Gurusinha said: “It is not a case of Minister not being happy with them. We had four days of holidays and the processes was missed (so they were not being cleared). Nothing else. Same team we selected. Nothing was changed. Small hiccup. It was due to four days of holidays.” PTI ATK CM CMlast_img read more

9 months agoVives insists Barcelona have no regrets selling Alcacer

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first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Vives insists Barcelona have no regrets selling Alcacerby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona chief Josep Vives insists there’s no regrets over the sale of Paco Alcacer.Alcacer is starring with Borussia Dortmund this season, while Barca are now in the market for a new backup striker.But Vives says they’re happy with the squad’s makeup.”There is no regret about the departure of Paco Alcacer. The management was very happy with him,” he said. “We are happy that things are going well.” last_img read more

10 days agoChelsea, Southampton chasing Linfield whizkid Charlie Allen

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first_imgChelsea, Southampton chasing Linfield whizkid Charlie Allenby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea and Southampton are both chasing Linfield whizkid Charlie Allen.The 15-year-old has already impressed on trials with Spurs and Manchester City.The Daily Express says Chelsea and Saints want to now run the rule over Allen during a trial period.Rangers are also interested in the Northern Irish attacking midfielder.Allen has already made his debut for the Linfield first-team this season. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Syracuse Fans Took Out An Ad In Student Newspaper Chastising Administration For Botched Roosevelt Bouie Ceremony

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first_imgSyracuse basketball has picked up two huge victories over Louisville and Notre Dame in the last week, but they bookended a home loss to Pittsburgh that also featured an embarrassing botched jersey retirement ceremony. The school retired the jerseys of greats Roosevelt Bouie and Louis Orr, but misspelled Bouie’s name as “Bowie” on the jersey it gave the former Orange center. While Bouie was very understanding about the mishap, Syracuse fans, who are already smarting from the program’s self-imposed post-season ban, were not happy about the oversight, which many deemed disrespectful. Two Orange fans let their opinion be known by taking out an ad in today’s edition of The Daily Orange, Syracuse’s independent student newspaper:suangryadThe letter is addressed to Syracuse Athletics’ Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief Communications Officer Joe Giansante, who referred to the gaffe as a “Snickers’ commercial come to life.”“It was not something that — how can I say it — it wasn’t something that you’d think would need to be looked at beforehand,” Giansante said. “There were a lot of people surprised. It was an honest, human mistake. It was a Snickers’ commercial come to life.”Giansante declined to name the athletic department employee who was tasked with the jersey.“Look, it’s an error,” Giansante said. “An honest mistake. We’re a team. An error was made and everyone bears the brunt of that, not a specific individual.”Giansante repeatedly referenced “regret” and “honest mistake.”“It’s not something you want to happen,” Giansante said. “You regret it.”Syracuse plays at Duke on Saturday. A third big win for the Orange late in the season would probably help put smiles back on the faces of Syracuse fans disgruntled by recent events like this.last_img read more

Closed sugar mills may see revival soon for ethanol production

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first_imgNew Delhi: The government is planning to come out with a policy to revive closed sugar mills by using their land for ethanol production, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday. He said the ethanol economy has the potential to reach Rs 1 lakh crore from about Rs 25,000 crore and can reduce the annual Rs 7 lakh crore crude imports. “A lot of sugar mills are closed… I am going to frame a policy. Condition of these sugar mills is such that they are not getting finances. I want to proceed for a Cabinet note. …Some 5-6 acres of land in a closed sugar mill which can be used for making of ethanol,” Gadkari said. The minister said land of the sugar mill can be utilised for ethanol production from sugar, sugarcane juice and molasses and a policy will be framed soon. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraGadkari said there was an agreement with multilateral banks like KfW for low-cost funds green energy. “Already we have signed an agreement with KfW for green energy in MSMEes. I will try to convince them to finance sugar mills proposal and we will find out a mechanism with the petroleum ministry for this,” the minister said. He said ethanol production through sugar could boost the economy of sugarcane-producing states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana.last_img read more