Jamaica’s Economic Prospects are good – Ambassador Marks

first_imgJamaica’s Economic Prospects are good – Ambassador Marks Foreign AffairsNovember 8, 2010 Advertisements RelatedJamaica’s Economic Prospects are good – Ambassador Marks FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks has said that while the island is faced with the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, the prospects for its long-term sustainable economic development are strong.Addressing over 70 members of the Philadelphia business community, at a luncheon hosted by the Jamaica Trade Council of Greater Philadelphia, at the Duane Morris Law firm in downtown Philadelphia on Friday, November 5, Ambassador said, “Jamaica continues to show strong macro-economic indicators, which augur well for the stimulation of the productive capacity of the country. Since this year, a number of developments have given rise to a renewed optimism about the direction of the economy.”She pointed to the reduction of interest rates and Government treasury bills to single digit figures, down from over 15 years of double-digit rates. Ambassador Marks noted that the government was examining a range of options to entice the commercial banks to follow its lead and, from recent indications the rates in the banking sector have been unmoored, and were now moving downwards.“From my previous incarnation as an entrepreneur, I can appreciate the significance of this development – cheaper access to capital will have a positive impact on an increase in business activity in the country,” she said.Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (centre), has the attention of pastor of the Saint Memorial Baptist church in Philadelphia, the Rev. Dr. Horace O. Russel (right); and pastor of the Clinton Avenue Presbyterian church in New Jersey, the Rev. Dr. Alfred B. Johnson, after delivering the main address at an investment luncheon hosted by the Jamaica Trade Council of Greater Philadelphia at the Duane Morris Law firm in downtown Philadelphia on Friday, November 5, 2010.Ambassador Marks told the Philadelphia business community that the successful implementation of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX) programme had realised savings of $41 billion for the country. The government has also re-engaged the multilateral financial institutions, to access loans at very low interest rates, she pointed out.The Ambassador outlined that a number of major investment projects were either underway or were in the finals stages of planning. These include the US$220 million construction of the Falmouth cruise ship terminal; the Harmony Cove Casino and Hotel development of US$1.5 billion; conversion to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which will reduce fuels costs to the consumer by 30 per cent; the rehabilitation of the Palisadoes shoreline at a cost of US$56 million; and the US$2.5 billion Kingston re-development project.She pointed out that the government’s medium-term economic and financial programme was designed to return Jamaica to a path of sustainable growth and development.“One of my primary mission as Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America is to secure greater investment and business opportunities for Jamaica.in this regard, I see today as the beginning of my interaction with you to further develop and strengthen the cooperation between the Embassy and the Trade Council, with a view to promoting trade and investment in Jamaica,” said Ambassador Marks.Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (left) is presented with a copy of the Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper by President and Chief Executive Officer of the 125 year old publication, Robert Bogle, after she toured the plant on Friday, November 5, while on an official visit to Philadelphia.She also lauded the conceptualisers and founders of the Jamaica Trade Council of Greater Philadelphia, stating that, “The Trade Council is perfectly placed to make an important contribution to the creation of business opportunities, promote trade, and encourage investment opportunities between Jamaica and the Greater Philadelphia area”.In his remarks, President of the Trade Council, Dr. Harold Mignott, explained that the Trade Council of Greater Philadelphia was established in January 2003 to promote trade and economic cooperation through public-private sector partnerships. He noted that since that time, there have been a number of activities that have been geared towards realizing these objectives.Ambassador Marks, who is on a two-day official visit to Philadelphia, will participate in a number of activities, which include an address to African and Caribbean round table investment seminar, a courtesy call on the Mayor of Philadelphia and delivering the keynote address at the African and Caribbean Awards Banquet. She also toured the 125 year old Philadelphia Tribune newspaper and met with the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robert Bogle, and the editorial staff.center_img RelatedJamaica’s Economic Prospects are good – Ambassador Marks RelatedJamaica’s Economic Prospects are good – Ambassador Markslast_img read more

Artemis Film Fest puts focus on female-fronted movies

first_imgHomeLifeEntertainmentArtsArtemis Film Fest puts focus on female-fronted movies Apr. 25, 2019 at 8:00 amArtsEntertainmentEventsFeaturedNewsArtemis Film Fest puts focus on female-fronted moviesAngel Carreras2 years agoAWIAFFMichelle Rodriguezpaul feigThe Artemis Women in Action Film FestivalZac BaldwinZoe BellFILMS: Dot-Marie Jones, Melanie Wise, Grace Parra, at the 2018 Artemis Awards Gala. Santa Monica has had many film festivals as of late with some powered by short films and others powered by indie films. This weekend, however, a film festival will come to Santa Monica powered by a much more distinctive force — women. The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival (AWIAFF) will hold it’s festival’s fifth edition in Santa Monica this week and weekend at the Laemmle. The AWIAFF aims to celebrate powerful women on and off screen, from stunt women to activists and films ranging from documentaries to narratives. “Pointedly, we are the only festival that celebrates bad-ass women,” AWIAFF founder and multihyphenate Melanie Wise said. “We celebrate women and we place women front and center and we do it with an incredible amount of diversity.”Wise, an actress-editor-producer first began the festival half a decade ago after becoming frustrated trying to push female-led content. She tried in all her roles over many years with little results. “I was trying and trying and just failing miserably,” she said. In late 2015, she and AWIAFF co-founder Zac Baldwin decided to start their own festival to create a space for such content, a space where women would be recognized for their talents. “In a two-month submission period, we got 200 films from 25 countries,” Wise said. “I knew it’d be big. I studied box office data for years and had a sneaking suspicion that female-centric movies were a box office beast. You’d read in the trades that, oh, ‘Women are poison to box office,’ but I knew otherwise.” Over the years, the festival has grown in scope of names, filmmaker diversity and film diversity. Names such as Zoe Bell, Paul Feig and Michelle Rodriguez have made their way to the film festival. Films this year will center on everything from a thought-provoking documentary about the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of women in film to a tense thriller detailing a woman stranded in the woods, pushed to her limits after an encounter with hijackers leaves her without resources.The festival continues to attract filmmakers with a message, such as KT Curran. Curran is showing her film “Surviving Lunch” at AWIAFF, a film dealing with such themes as school bullying and high school shootings. A Sarasota, Florida native, Curran says she caught wind of AWIAFF and submitted to the festival based on its reputation alone.“There’s a lot of reasons, but I felt that between all these film festivals out there, this was the one I most wanted to get into,” Curran said. She adds that her film, centering on a teen girl finding herself, isn’t focused on what most might consider a “quintessential bad-ass or a Wonder Woman”, but that AWIAFF recognized the importance of helping Curran showcase a story of a teen finding her voice and the journey to become an activist, a “female warrior”.“They see women in power at all moments of development,” Curran said. “We all have that moment where the fire is lit, where we get where we want to go in the world. The fact that they could recognize that is so kick-ass. All of my movies I try to tell a story and make a difference and Artemis celebrates that.”For more information, visit http://[email protected] :AWIAFFMichelle Rodriguezpaul feigThe Artemis Women in Action Film FestivalZac BaldwinZoe Bellshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCouncil rejects appeal of Ocean Front housingFire Breaks Out at Santa Monica High Rise ApartmentYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall8 hours agoEntertainmentLifeNoteworthyTales of Two DaughtersCharles Andrews14 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter19 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor19 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press19 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press19 hours agolast_img read more

DA to decide alleged cheaters’ fate

first_img RelatedGame warden rescues kayakerBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] A quick-thinking Texas Game Warden saved the life of a Port Isabel man after his wife reported that he had not come back from a solo kayaking trip on the Laguna Madre Monday. Matthew Miller, 41, was reported missing Monday afternoon by his…April 14, 2017In “News”7 arrested on fraud chargesBy CRAIG ALANIZ Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS Seven participants of the Ladies Kingfish Tournament have been accused of felony fraud, charges which stem from their participation in the competition. Five of the participants were arraigned Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Municipal Court in Port Isabel. The other two will…August 20, 2012In “News”Great Outdoors: Fishermen Behaving BadlyBy JIM FOSTER Special to the Parade Could it be that we are living in a time when the pressures of our work environment and life in general are entering our recreational pursuits? Maybe? Near the end of last year, I experienced two such events in the course of several…January 12, 2012In “Opinion & Advice” By HEATHER C. COXSpecial to the PRESSSeven individuals associated with a boat called Nice Tails face third-degree felony charges for alleged fraud in the Ladies Kingfish Tournament, hosted by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce on August 11.According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the team’s winning flounder was not reported in the Nice Tails boat at a regulated checkpoint, just one hour before the tournament’s end. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Report states, “The team and their guide were contacted by game wardens in Port Mansfield for a compliance check. The group was observed to have spotted sea trout and red drum in their possession… Suspicious marks on several of the trout led the wardens on that scene to contact wardens that were at the weigh-in. No flounder were observed at this time.”Some minutes later, wardens at the weigh-in received “a tip that the father of the guide and one participant were seen receiving a flounder from another individual in Arroyo City. Approximately an hour after leaving Port Mansfield the group submitted their catch to tournament personnel for weigh-in,” indicating a flounder as part of their catch which placed second at the tournament.An individual came forward after the tournament and provided a statement which indicated that he supplied a flounder to the father and another man for use in the tournament. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Jason Duke said, “He also indicated that the guide for the party called him several times requesting his assistance with the scheme.”Justice of the Peace Bennie Ochoa III issued warrants of arrest for the following individuals, for submitting the fraudulent flounder to judges: Nice Tails’ captain Jose Manuel Cavasos (Manuel), 32, with Stacy McMillen, Judith Schroder, Jose Cavasos, David Garcia, Andrina Cavasos and Ada Guijardo; all are reportedly related and/or otherwise connected.Duke explained the connections as follows: “Manuel and his father, Jose, were arrested (for fraud) in the Lady Kingfish Tournament. The father was arrested along with Manuel’s sister, aunt and other family members. They were all related to Manuel Cavasos.”This was not Manuel’s first fishy situation, in which tournament fraud was involved. In an unrelated incident, Manuel was accused of and disqualified for cheating in a September 2010 fishing tournament at Parrot Eyes, also located on South Padre Island.Owner of Parrot Eyes, Ron Guillot, explained, “When they cut Manuel’s fish open, all this water came out, not from the stomach but the stomach cavity. Marine biologists and parks and wildlife said [the water] was put in there somehow by someone. The fish’s weight changed by half a pound after the water escaped.”Duke explains, “It’s physiologically impossible for a fish to have water in its stomach cavity unless it was injected.”In an October 1 article in the New York Times, Manuel Cavasos’ mother, alderwoman E. G. Cavasos of Combes, claims her son is a perpetuated target of racism. She said, “They just happened to hate him from the first time he entered [a fishing tournament] because he’s a Hispanic. It’s discrimination.”Guillot refuted the woman’s claim, stating, “I’m half Hispanic, and at least half of the people who enter these fishing tournaments are Hispanic.”After Manuel was discovered allegedly cheating at the 2010 Parrot Eyes tournament, he was asked to leave the premises. Additionally, Guillot alleges that E.G. and Manuel’s wife Patricia – who were in his restaurant, dining – were approached by representatives of Parrot Eyes for being rowdy. “Manuel’s mother was starting to cause a scene after her son was disqualified. She got a little loud. We asked her to leave the restaurant. There was really no reason for them to be there, anyway. We told her we’d take care of her bill and we did,” said Guillot.At a later date, a comment surfaced on the Parrot Eyes Facebook page, labeling Manuel a cheater.Duke said, “Manuel sued [Parrot Eyes] for defamation of character. Manuel’s wife, Patricia Cavasos, is stating that she was caused embarrassment when she was asked to leave Parrot Eyes.”Brownsville attorney Gilberto Hinojosa is not only the Combes town attorney and the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party but is also Manuel’s legal representation in his suit against Guillot. “Why is this high-price attorney taking this lawsuit? The reason,” Guillot poses, “is the guy’s mother signs his paycheck in the city of Combes.”He continued, “It’s quite a coincidence that his attorney happens to be the attorney for the City of Combes when his mother is a city commissioner.”“I have nothing to do with that case,” said Hinojosa of the Ladies Kingfish Tournament proceedings. “I’m representing my client in a lawsuit against individuals on the Island, involving slander.” Hinojosa was referencing Manuel’s lawsuit against Parrot Eyes.Duke said, “Mr. Cavasos is suing for defamation of character. Mrs. Patricia Cavasos is claiming that [Parrot Eyes] caused a scene of embarrassment when asking her to leave.” Subsequently, Guillot said he did not feel the need to press charges on these individuals at the time of said occurrence.Texas is the only state which has a tournament fishing fraud law. Cheating offenses at tournaments with prizes exceeding $10,000 are considered a third-degree felony and are punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and fines not to exceed $10,000.According to the Cameron County District Attorney’s office, the case of alleged fraud in the Kingfish Tournament has been received and is being reviewed by an assistant district attorney. It is still pending at the intake level.For decades, fishing tournaments have meant tourism, camaraderie and revenue to South Padre Island and in its surrounding bay areas. Fishermen and women travel across the nation and even internationally to enter what were once-friendly competitions. According to Duke, “People who would normally want to enter tournaments are losing interest because they fear cheating. I didn’t really know anything about people cheating until we had our first tournament. It seems like people enter these tournaments and they win money by cheating…or if someone accuses them of cheating, they file a lawsuit and win money.”The Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden sighed, saying, “Now, it’s all about winning money.”Read this story in the October 15 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. Sharelast_img read more

State Bills Filed to Shift Costs to Municipalities

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享State lawmakers are looking to shift the cost of public employee and teacher retirement systems to local municipalities, but critics say it’s a shell game and doesn’t shrink the size of government. Kathie Wasserman from the Alaska Municipal League criticized the proposals, along with another bill which would cut state revenue sharing with municipalities in half. Sen. Kelly(R-Fairbanks): “We can’t just keep giving money to the municipalities so that they’ll  be happy and they’ll vote for us. We have to do the right thing.” But local leaders insist it’s due to mismanagement at the state level that the PERS and TERS accounts are underfunded. This isn’t the first time the municipalities have been put on the hook for a greater share of the PERS and TERS liability; under the Parnell Administration, the terms of the agreement were extended. The state’s annual payment was lowered, but the municipal rate remained the same, ultimately leading to the cities paying more in the long-term. The bills were filed in the Senate yesterday would increase the percentage that municipalities pay towards the system. Senate Finance Co-Chair Pete Kelly says it’s the reasonable thing to do… Wasserman: “I’m just amazed at this. This is not shrinking the footprint of government. This is simply taking your bills and handing them to someone else.”last_img read more

Ferrari wants to put ‘smiles on faces’ as Italy locks down

first_imgFerrari Formula One boss Mattia Binotto Tuesday urged his team to “put a smile on people’s faces” at the Australian Grand Prix as Italy went into lockdown to combat coronavirus.Most teams, including the Scuderia, are already in Melbourne or en route for the opening race of the year on Sunday, which organisers have said will go ahead as scheduled in front of packed grandstands despite the coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, all sporting events in Italy have been suspended until April 3 as part of tough measures announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday to tackle the disease, and Bahrain, the season’s second race, has barred fans.Italy’s clampdown came into force after the country reported 97 more deaths on Monday, taking its toll to 463. Australia has recorded three deaths with 101 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning.Ferarri said in a statement that despite it being “a very difficult time in Italy” the Australian Grand Prix would start as planned and the Scuderia “will be there”.Binotto added that he hoped the Maranello-based team, and the grand prix weekend as a whole, could help take people’s minds off the crisis.“At what is a difficult time for Italy and the world as a whole, as part of a global sport, it is our obligation to try and put a smile on people’s faces as they prepare to watch the first race of the season with the same sense of anticipation as ourselves,” he said.Ferrari head into the season with a new SF1000 car, which is narrower than last season’s SF90, and with a deeper red colouring.The team is pinning its hopes on the machine earning the drivers’ and constructors’ titles that have eluded them for 12 and 11 years respectively.“After a long winter working on building and developing our car, the time has come to get a first indication of our performance level and how effective are the improvements we have introduced over the past few months,” said Binotto.“We know that the opposition is strong, but we also know that it is the start of a long season where development rate, reliability, and our operational effectiveness will be key.”Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, who impressed on his debut last season, will again be in the cockpits.Vettel said he was keen to get racing underway after pre-season testing in Spain suggested world champions Mercedes would be the team to beat once more.“The first race of the season is always special and I think it will allow us to get a better idea than we had in testing as to what the hierarchy is between the teams,” said the German.He added that the Albert Park track was “a real technical challenge and that’s probably the reason we drivers like it so much”.Ferrari has nine wins in Australia, the first through Gerhard Berger in 1987 and the last from Vettel in 2018.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

Man United ‘confident’ of signing Tottenham ace for £40m next month

first_img Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Alderweireld has been linked to Manchester United for many years Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED MONEY Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Manchester United are preparing to make a January move for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, according to reports.Jose Mourinho, the Man United manager, has held discussions with club chiefs who have signed off the purchase of a new defender. Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED However, a compromise has been reached as Mourinho’s number one target, Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli, is too expensive.And so, according to The Sun, Mourinho has turned attentions to Alderweireld, who he is ‘confident’ of signing from Spurs in a £40million deal. shining Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won ADVICE Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Getty center_img REPLY Latest Football News Alderweireld is out of contract next summer and there has yet to be any indication he will sign a new deal with the north London club.The 29-year-old has proven himself in the Premier League for many years, and he would also be available to play for United in the Champions League in the new year due to UEFA changing their rules on player registrations for the knockout stage. Mourinho has been allowed to buy a new defender in January huge blow Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card 2 2 Mourinho has vocally criticised Manchester United for their failure to buy a new centre-half throughout the summer, and the Red Devils have already conceded 26 goals this season – just one fewer than Huddersfield who sit in the relegation places.The signing of Alderweireld is seen as a short-term fix for the club, however, rather than any vote of confidence for the under-pressure Mourinho. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury no dice BEST OF RANKED Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars last_img read more

South Africa’s Mboweni goes to university

first_imgA former Reserve Bank governor, Tito Mboweni, has been named an honorary professor in the School of Economics and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).“I am delighted to be associated in such a meaningful way with Wits, its students and faculty,” Mboweni said in a university statement yesterday.“As one of the leading institutions located in the heart of the financial markets in South Africa and on the continent, Wits has an important contribution to make through its academic endeavours in these relevant areas.”Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib said the university was privileged to welcome Mboweni to the institution.“His knowledge, expertise and political and economic savvy will add value to our teaching and research programmes and will be hugely beneficial to our staff, students and members of the Wits community. We look forward to many debates and robust interactions going forward,” he said.“Given our current economic circumstances and Africa’s role in the global economy, we require many more intellectuals of the calibre of Mr Mboweni to influence young minds and to develop our future leaders.”About MboweniMboweni was appointed to the board of the New Development Bank, the newly established Brics bank, as a non-executive director.He served as the minister of labour from 1994 to 1998, and as the governor of the Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2009. He was the eighth governor of the central bank and the first black South African to hold the post.According to Wits, Mboweni holds a Batchelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Lesotho and a Master of Arts degree in development economics from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.He also served as the chancellor of North-West University from 2002 to 2005 and has been awarded several honorary doctorates locally and abroad.At present, he serves as an adviser to Goldman Sachs International, and is the non-executive chairman of the boards of Nampak Limited, SacOil Holdings, Accelerate Property Fund and the African Centre for Economic Transformation.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Facebook Week Update

first_imgThis week is Facebook Week on Read/WriteWeb. Here we’ll re-cap the week so far and see what else is happening on other blogs.Firstly the Read/WriteWeb Facebook Group already has over 400 members, after just a few days. It’s open to anyone and you can join here. We’re currently looking at what apps to implement to make the group compelling – if you have any suggestions, please comment here or on the group’s ‘wall’.Top Facebook Apps The highlight of Facebook Week has been Josh Catone’s Top 10 posts. With nearly 1800 apps, the platform has been a runaway success for Facebook, and the most popular ten applications reach over 46 million users. Josh has picked his favorite 50 apps, across 5 categories. He’s doing one Top 10 every day. Here are his posts so far:Top 10 Facebook Apps: Work – can Facebook be used as an online office? You can but try, using these ten apps!Top 10 Facebook Apps: Play – proving that he’s a dedicated reviewer, Josh told me this morning on IM that he’s been playing a game of facebook scrabble for 3 days now! What else can you play on Facebook? Check this post to find out 🙂Top 10 Facebook Apps: Media – today’s list showcases apps that let users watch, display, look at, and remix video, audio, and photo content.Facebook AnalysisEarlier this week I looked at how open Facebook is, really. Good comments to this post, including one from Omar Ismail who rightly asks: “is it possible to get data OUT of Facebook using REST APIs? If so, then I’d say that is quite open.” Another commenter, William, answered that as follows:“The Data and content that members own cannot be easily exported out, or used with many other existing internet applications. The flow of data and information is one way. The Open platform is in fact open for developers, but closed to the rest of the internet.”There’s a lot of great Facebook analysis going on elsewhere too. Robert Scoble has a post entitled Why Microsoft doesn‚Äôt deserve Facebook. Dave McClure is possibly the most obsessed Facebook geek currently! He has loads of FB posts on his blog. Not forgetting the excellent Inside facebook, a blog devoted full-time to this topic.Poll: How many Facebook friends do you have?Don’t forget to vote in our current poll: Tags:#Facebook#web Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification richard macmanus A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Disappointed with India’s performance in Australia: Olympians

first_imgFor the last 10 days, champion double trap shooter Ronjan Sondhi has been in a quandary. For someone who is used to hitting the bull’s eye, he doesn’t know how to react to the taunting SMSes of his first coach, Australian Russell Mark, who has been messaging him after India’s defeat in the first Test in Melbourne.Sodhi’s other Australian friends have joined in, adding to the bulging inbox of his mobile phone after India lost the second Test as well. But Sodhi, a keen cricket follower and a staunch Sachin Tendulkar fan, has gone silent.”My Australian friends, including Russell, have been bombarding me with messages after the defeats. But I’ve not replied for the last 10 days as I don’t know what to say,” Sodhi told MAIL TODAY. “They are teasing me because in shooting, we beat Australia all the time. And when India beats Australia in cricket, I also send similar SMSes to them.”Sodhi, the reigning World Cup Finals winner, copped some more embarrassment for Virat Kohli’s finger gesture in Sydney. “After the Kohli incident, one of my Aussie friends sent a message saying ‘the Indians have forgotten to play with the bat and ball, and now they have started playing with fingers’,” he disclosed. “It was embarrassing.”Not just Sodhi, but the entire Indian sports fraternity seems to be in a state of shock.Sodhi’s senior Mansher Singh, a member of the Indian trap team, and an avid cricket fan, has stronger views. “Every morning I wake up charged, hoping to see India’s revival. But it’s not happening,” he said.advertisement”It’s basically the mindset. The cricketers’ mindset has gone completely haywire. These people have lost out the sharpness to win while the Australians are scoring triple centuries. I’m shocked to see that they can’t stay at the crease and the team loses several wickets in every session. They are in IPL mode, in terms of their thought process,” he pointed out. “They also look fatigued after the World Cup triumph.”Former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal opined that Dhoni’s men are not playing as a team and lack planning. “The Aussies have the home advantage and, no doubt, they’re a good team. Their teamwork is always very strong, even in hockey. They have a clear-cut game plan and they are not bothered by big names, like a Tendulkar or a Dhanraj Pillay, in the opposition ranks,” he averred.Zafar felt that the famed Indian batting line-up has failed to adjust to the pitches. “What I’ve noticed is that they are not able to play on the bouncier and faster pitches. Also, they (Aussies) have looked more determined than us.”Ace golfer Gaurav Ghei concurred with Zafar. “Obviously, there’s something wrong, if you are not winning. Every time we play, our batsmen have a problem in handling pacers on bouncy pitches. We should get stronger in that area,” Ghei, the first Indian to win an Asian Tour event in 1995, told MAIL TODAY.However, Ghei, known as a gentleman on the circuit, said the criticism should be balanced as cricket should not be treated as just another sport. “It’s more than a game, bordering on fanaticism, considering its large following. It has a different bond with people. We’re very negative about cricketers,” he said.Multiple world billiards champion Michael Ferreira is disappointed too, but agreed with Ghei on the issue of heavy criticism. “We are always ready to criticise; we’ve to remember they too are human beings,” he told MAIL TODAY.Former India football captain Chuni Goswami, who also captained Bengal in the Ranji Trophy, refused to believe that an overdose of cricket could be cited as a reason for the team’s abysmal performance.”Unfortunately, this (defeats) has happened earlier – on the recent England tour. The team has been at sea, but I don’t subscribe to the view that they are playing too much cricket,” said the man who played 46 first-class cricket matches.”Our batsmen can’t play when the ball comes consistently at a height. For eight-nine months, they play on Indian pitches where the ball comes at only knee height and can be tackled by going forward,” said the batsman whose favourite shot was the square cut.Ferreira had the last word: “Forget about the past and get on with the job at hand. Also, my suggestion to my countrymen is: lay off and let them do their job and they’ll come back strongly.”last_img read more