Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netCoach Chot Reyes is well aware of how good Andray Blatche is, being Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player for the better half of the past three years.One player in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas who hasn’t seen the 31-year-old in action first hand, though, is Isaiah Austin.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “I’ve seen a lot of his games and I know his style of play. He’s a very crafty player, a very good post player. Whenever I can, I study film of a lot of players and I can definitely learn a lot of things from watching him play,” he said.Austin will be tasked to steer Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the 10-team tournament in Chenzhou, China from September 22 to 30. /idl Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES MOST READ But that doesn’t mean that the import, who is also a prospective naturalization candidate for the Philippines, will back down against the seasoned Blatche.“I’m excited,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s always exciting to be able to go against great competition, but as a basketball player, I was thought to never back down from anybody. When it comes time for us to match up, I’m gonna play hard, that’s all I can do.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThere’s a high chance that Blatche’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers will meet Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup if the two teams make it past the group stages.Austin, however, said that Chooks should have no fear in the continental club tourney if it finds itself in a collision course against Blatche. NBA: Ex-teammate Kanter on Durant’s Twitter comments: ‘It’s just really sad’ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH “Probably dead last,” Love said, joking.“Kev would say that,” James said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCleveland’s All-Stars will indeed play together in the Feb. 18 game after James selected his teammate — and former Cavs guard Kyrie Irving — to join him on a squad that will face a team featuring Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in Los Angeles.As the top two vote-getters, James and Curry were named captains and selected their teams for the All-Star game, which the league has acknowledged needs a jolt of excitement, intrigue and intensity following some lackluster affairs. Last year, the West won 192-182 in a game devoid of defense or much competitiveness. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Celtics guard Marcus Smart injures hand hitting picture frame MOST READ Westbrook scored a season-high 46 points on Thursday night against Washington after seeing a list in which he was the final name, not realizing it was alphabetical.James repeated his belief that the league should televise the draft going forward. In the meantime, he’s hoping to put on a good show for fans.“We’ve got a good team,” he said of a squad Love feels would go 82-0 in the regular season. “We’re looking forward to competing. That’s what the fans want. A lot of people are very excited about the game because of the draft. There was a lot of excitement I heard about on social media and things on television. It’s up to us to go out and actually put the product on the floor now and give the fans what they want.”Love had posted on Twitter that he hoped to be All-Star teammates with Thompson, whom he has known since they were kids.So will he ask for a trade?“No, no, no,” he said, laughing. “That was all surface level and myself going way back with their family and growing up in Portland together. We’ve got that Little League Baseball photo together. My dad used to take photos all the time, so pictures of us growing up and playing in the backyard, so it’s fun.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James warms up for an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in San Antonio. James is 7 points away from hitting the 30,000 mark for his career. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James wouldn’t reveal the order he drafted players for his All-Star team.Kevin Love had an idea when he was chosen.ADVERTISEMENT James, who will be playing in his 14th consecutive All-Star game, nabbed Warriors star Kevin Durant with his first pick. But he wouldn’t divulge how the rest of the draft unfolded or the reasons for taking certain players.“I drafted according to best players available, filling out my roster,” James said, sounding like an NBA general manager. “I picked, Steph picked and my next available guy was there. He took the next one, so I had to go down to who I wanted next. At some point I’ll tell you all about the draft, but it won’t be here.”Before the draft, speculation swirled about whether James would take Irving, his former teammate who requested a trade this summer after reaching three consecutive Finals in Cleveland.James didn’t say when he took Irving, but like Love, he joked about his final pick.“The only thing I know for sure is that Russ (Thunder star Russell Westbrook), went last,” James said of the reigning league MVP. “He’s crazy.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES
Cameroonian slotman Mike Nzeusseu contributed 13 markers and 15 boards, while MJ Ayaay got 12 points for Lyceum, which managed to advance despite playing its sixth game in seven days, including its stint in the PBA D-League under the banner of Zark’s Burger.“For us, it’s about ‘yung perseverance and grit,” said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson. “This is our fourth game in four days and it really is going to take a lot to be mentally tough. We can’t find any excuse because we know the other team is also tired.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMarcelino triggered the Pirates’ 33-17 outburst to turn a close 35-30 halftime advantage into a decisive 68-47 lead early in the fourth quarter and never look back.The Pirates now await their date in the championship game between rival and NCAA champs San Beda and UAAP titlist Ateneo later in the day. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers AFP official booed out of forum MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Ryan Costelo paced San Sebastian with 15 points.The scores:LYCEUM 82 — Jc. Marcelino 24, Nzeusseu 13, Ayaay 12, Perez 11, Ibanez 10, Tansingco 7, Caduyac 2, Jv. Marcelino 2, Cinco 0, Santos 0, Serrano 0.SAN SEBASTIAN 69 — Costelo 15, Capobres 12, Bulanadi 9, David 8, Navarro 6, Calisaan 5, Ilagan 5, Cosari 4, Baytan 3, Baetiong 2, Calma 0, Dela Cruz 0, Valdez 0, Mercado 0.Quarters: 19-20, 35-30, 61-47, 82-69.ADVERTISEMENT PH kiteboarding hopes to get nat’l attention by winning YOG medal Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates02:06Lyceum Pirates on being NCAA ‘dark horse’: We always want to better ourselves01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next Jaycee Marcelino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJaycee Marcelino showed the way as Lyceum booked a spot in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Finals with an 82-69 victory over San Sebastian in the crossover semifinals Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The reigning NCAA Rookie of the Year finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds to carry the Pirates to another win.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. View comments
San Miguel also chalked up their first win streak since beginning the conference at 5-0. Despite the win, Beermen head coach Leo Austria said he was dissatisfied with how his team allowed itself to be lambasted in the first half after the 2-9 Elite took a 72-56 lead after the second quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“We were down by 16 points and that 16-point lead forced us to work hard,” said Austria. “I think that game was the scariest game I’ve experienced this season. We were down and everybody from our opponent had the momentum and wanted to upset us.”“The players realized they have to work hard. We have talent but talent alone cannot win games, you need to work hard.” NBA: LeBron James bares ownership aspiration upon retirement BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds San Miguel gained its composure late in the third when it capped off a blistering 27-9 run with Alex Cabagnot giving the Beermen an 83-81 lead with 3:52 remaining in the period.Charles Rhodes had a game-high 32 points to lead San Miguel while three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo had 28 points and seven rebounds.Marcio Lassiter not only provided the offensive punch but also the defensive tenacity when he finished with 21 points, six rebounds, and eight steals for the Beermen.Greg Smith led the Elite with 21 points and 22 boards.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast PBA IMAGESSan Miguel bagged a second straight victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after fending off Blackwater, 124-113, Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome. The Beermen, who have yet to play their final game, improved to 8-2 to tie Ginebra and Star but the Hotshots will play their last game later in the evening. ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments
The relentless scathing criticism around the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games on Tuesday waned with top sporting nations Australia and England leading a stream of contingents in expressing satisfaction at the arrangements in the village even as star pull-outs continued.New Zealand, one of the countries which raised a strong pitch on the issue of cleanliness, also expressed satisfaction with the condition at the Village while neighbouring Pakistan also took a U-turn after its initial complaints on Monday.Sensing the positive buzz in the controversy-marred Games, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi asserted that all the 71 participating nations have reposed full faith in them to pull off a spectacular show.”Three thousand athletes and officials have already entered, many (visitors) are coming and returning home satisfied. Let me tell you that all the 71 participating nations have full confidence that we will do it well.””Notwithstanding the controversy and all the bad publicity that has come out, I want to make it clear that the Commonwealth Games infrastructure is fully ready… the Games Village is in place,” Kalmadi said.However, top athletes continued to pull out of the Games, already hit hard by star withdrawals.South African world champion 800m runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi today became the latest high-profile athlete to pull out of Commonwealth Games due to injury while English tennis player Richard Bloomfield also decided to skip the event.Mulaudzi, who won men’s 800m gold in the Berlin World Championships last year and a silver winner in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has a nagging back injury problem.advertisementAnother South African and women’s 800m world champion, Caster Semenya will take a decision on her participation in the Games following a back injury.Australia, which has been severely critical of the Games arrangements, today said they are satisfied over the preparations and sought to downplay the remarks of its Prime Minister Julia Gillard cautioning her countrymen while travelling in India.Three days after India took exception to Gillard’s comments with regard to security here, High Commissioner Peter Varghese said, “I don’t think we should read too much into it” as she only stated the “factual material” in the travel advisory.He said Australian authorities are “impressed” with the “strong commitment” and “vigour” on the part of organisers with regard to security arrangements. Australian Chef-de-Mission Steve Moneghetti said his country’s athletes earlier had some doubts about the conditions at the Village but were pleasantly surprised after checking-in at their accommodations.”There were some doubts regarding the condition at the Village before coming but our athletes have been pleasantly surprised after the feel of the arena themselves. There has been no problem as such. We are happy with the residential tower, training facilities and dinning area. Our team is arriving in batches. Some have arrived and some will check into the Games Village in the next 48 hours,” he said.England, whose first batch of athletes were put up in city hotels initially before checking into the Village after the cleaning works in their residential zone were over, said they are “reasonably satisfied” with the facilities at the Games Village.”This is not a five star … it is reasonable three star and athletes are fine with that,” England’s Chief-de Mission, Craig Hunter said.One of the New Zealand coaches, Dave Edwards said his country’s athletes have no complaints after their first night in the Village.”Obviously, there’s been a bit of work over the past few days, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s fine. There’s a little bit of dust and some poor finishing with plaster and paint and things like that, but we’re very happy with what we’ve got,” he said.”Our flats are roomy and spacious in that regard and the rest of the Village is all fine. The dining hall is excellent,” he added.A day after complaining about the arrangements at the Games Village, Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik took a U-Turn and expressed satisfaction at the facilities, saying most of his country’s athletes will check in at the 63.5 acre sprawling complex here tomorrow.”We are quite satisfied with the facilities and the credit for this goes to Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit, who has taken personal interest,”Malik said.”Pakistan has never raised any security issue and never did they say that they are not willing to stay at the village.We are satisfied with the security and 90 per cent of our athletes are coming tomorrow and the rest will be coming in a day or two,” he said.His Bangladesh counterpart Tarik A Karim also gave thumbs up to the arrangements and said athletes from his country will arrive here on Thursday.Meanwhile, foreign contingents continue to check-in at the Village with around 3000 athletes and officials from 46 countries having given accommodation at the 63.5 hectare sprawling campus.advertisementAnother 850 foreign athletes and officials are arriving the national capital on Tuesday.-With inputs from PTI
Gadgets, innovations, the internet and moreIPod NanoTechnically, a Nano review shouldn’t be more than 140 characters. We’ll make it even nano-er. “Looks Good. Works Great. Not Edible. Buy. www.apple.com”Takara TomyRemember those Spiderman 3D comics that came along with stereoscopic glasses? Excellent memory! Now, here’s a camera that will surely accelerate that geriatric feeling. Takara Tomy has this delightful US$ 70, 3D camera. No fancy features, just a 0.3 MP(!) basic camera that shoots 3D images on to a SD Card which needs to be printed out; before being viewed through a viewer. Basically, you’re shooting two images which look like cool 3D when seen through a stereoscopic viewer. Bag this if you’re heading Japan-side.Samsung S2Very soon, you will be overwhelmed with words like USB 3.0–it is a fast way of exchanging data between the hard drive and the computer. You need to have two USB 3.0. compatible devices to enjoy that luxury of speed. OK! Class over. Now, here’s our Korean friend with some shiny wares that sport USB 3.0! The Samsung S2 Portable range of hard drives are USB 3.0 enabled, have a 7,200 rpm hard drive and are just 2.5 inches thick. These land in Europe and US this month. Choose between 320 GB and 640 GB. www.samsung.comZotacIf you’re a fan of well designed computers but ain’t too keen about those Macs, here’s Zotac’s ZBox line of PCs with an integrated Blu-Ray drive. If plain looks ain’t killing it for you, this one is powered by an Intel Atom processor at 1.8 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, a NVIDIA Ion graphics platform and carries along a HDMI port, b/g/n Wifi, USB 2.0 ports and surprisingly USB 3.0 ports too! The shining star in the arsenal is surely the integrated Blu-Ray drive. No news on the cost yet, but expect to raise an eyebrow considering this has Blu-Ray in an admirable package. www.zotac.comNikon S8100Aah Nikon. Another of those proper nouns which mortals can never seem to pronounce right. This time, they’re in the spotlight with his rather dapper camera. The S8100 joins the Coolpix family with a muscle power of 14.2 MP and a light sensitivity of ISO 3200. Adding to the ogle factor is 1080p recording and multi-coloured hues to choose from. With features like these, you cannot blame the camera for bad pictures. Spill US$ 300 for one of these and head to www.nikon.com for the buy!Pico ProjectorDon’t be a pedant! You know that Pico is a smaller unit than a Nano; so don’t ask why a Philips Pico Projector is larger than a Nano. For the uninitiated, a Pico Projector is a pocket projector designed to impose pictures and media on unsuspecting co-passengers. So, the PPX 1430 is a tiny Philips projector that accepts content from SD cards and spits out projections at 800 X 600 & 400:1 contrast! Damages begin from 199 pieces of European silver. www.philips.comadvertisement
In a matter of two months Ashwini Akkunji has shot to stardom with a brilliant performance at the Commonwealth Games in the Capital which was followed by two gold medals at the Asian Games.Her overwhelming success at the Commonwealth Games even forced the women’s relay coach to persuade the Karnataka athlete to pull out of the 400m hurdles but Ashwini did not cave in under pressure and emerged with flying colours in Guangzhou.Ashwini scripted India’s most memorable Asian Games campaign with two gold medals – 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay – in athletics but the feeling is yet to sink in for the lanky hurdler. “The past two months have been just unbelievable for me and I can’t believe what I have achieved,” Ashwini told MAIL TODAY on Monday.While a gold in the women’s 4x400m relay was predicted well before the Asian Games but the pole position in 400m hurdles came as a huge surprise even for Ashwini. “I thought I was good enough to get a medal in 400m hurdles but honestly, I never thought I would outsprint a strong field to get a gold.”But Ashwini had her strategy planned and executed it brilliantly although there were jitters before the start of her race. “Just when I was about to start my race, I went completely blank but I regained my focus well before it was too late,” she recalled.”Hurdle race is something where you have to be self dependent. I made sure that I don’t look around my opponents during the race because if someone hits the hurdle it can affect your concentration.advertisement”But I had my strategy in place which I employed to good effect and the result was there for everyone to see,” she added.However, Ashwini’s brilliant sprint in the penultimate lap of 4x400m at the Commonwealth Games could have robbed India of a valuable gold. “Our relay coach was a little concerned about my fitness so he asked me to concentrate on the relay even and skip the hurdles event.”But I wanted to test myself in hurdles as well and was optimistic about my chances of winning at least a medal. So I decided to participate in both the races,” she said.While the accolades are flowing from all corners for Ashwini, she does not want to rest on her laurels. She feels the need to improve her timing if she has to make her presence felt at the Olympics and World Championships.”I know what I have achieved but there is still a lot to be done before I become a prominent name worldwide. I have to work more on improving my speed and and will get back to my training soon.”With London Olympics in 2012 being the ultimate goal for her, Ashwini wants to approach the event well prepared and is targeting Asian Championships in July and the World Championships in August next year as her next big stop.”The London Olympics is not too far and I have to be in good shape to get a medal there. The Asian Championships in Japan next year will test my mettle which will be followed by the Worlds in August. “So I will get back to training sooner than what I had expected but I need to keep up my fitness as well,” she noted.But at the moment, Ashwini can do nothing but savour her success with her relatives and neighbours in Kundapura Taluk, Karnataka who are waiting to welcome their star athlete. “I have been getting phone calls regularly ever since I landed in Delhi last night and people back home are eagerly waiting for my return.”I guess they have planned a massive celebration for me and I can understand their emotions. But for me, rest is all what I need at the moment.” But the journey to success hasn’t been that easy for Ashwini who took up athletics in 2000 as her father saw a lot of promise in her.”I used to run in school and was fairly quick but it was after my father suggested me to take up athletics that I took it seriously.” “We used to see PT Usha and Shiny Wilson in those days and they were a great source of inspiration for me,” she pointed.
Describing Sachin Tendulkar as worthy recipient of the Bharat Ratna award, sportspersons from different disciplines lend their voice to confer the iconic batsman with the country’s highest civilian honour.”It is the government that has to decide whether he (Tendulkar) should be given the award or not but as far as I am concerned, he definitely deserves the accolades. He has made every Indian proud,” said ace shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gagan Narang.”Sachin is playing since the time when many of the current generation Indian cricket players were not even born and still his hunger for runs has not diminished, which is quite remarkable,” the shooter added.Star boxer Vijender Singh who won the gold medal at last month’s Asian Games at Guangzhou, China said, “Players like Sachin are born once in a millennium. His game has improved with age. He should be conferred with the Bharat Ratna for his achievements.””We all take inspiration from Sachin. He has a unique way of replying his critics with the bat. I have met him on numerous occasions and it is difficult to find a person as humble as him,” Singh mentioned.Karnataka’s Ashwini Akkunji was also in favour of the government bestowing Tendulkar with the Bharat Ratna award.The athlete who clinched a pair of gold medals in 4X400 metre relay and 400m hurdles at Guangzhou Games said, “Sachin has given numerous happy moments to his countrymen. Despite being so successful he is very down-to-earth, which is quite inspiring.”advertisement”Watching him play motivates us to do well for our country on consistent basis,” the athlete added.Earlier chess champion Viswanathan Anand, melody queen Lata Mangeshkar and world cup winning captain Kapil Dev also asked the government to honour the star cricketer with the prestigious award.With inputs from PTI
Just five days before India play the World Cup opener against Bangladesh, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has sprung a big surprise by saying that the “mindset” of his team was not into the warm-up game against Australia due to its hectic schedule.Dhoni also said, again rather surprisingly, that he and his team was not ready for the warm-up game, which India eventually won by 38 runs in Bangalore on Sunday, but not before a middle order collapse. India lost five wickets for just 37 runs, before Yusuf Pathan, R Ashwin and Ashish Nehra saved the team further embarrassment.”The mindset was not really there. Mentally, we were not ready, that’s one of the reasons why we couldn’t bat well,” Dhoni told reporters after India defeated World Cup holders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. “Of course, for the warm-up game, mentally it was very difficult to prepare yourself,” he said.More than anything, what was more surprising was the timing of Dhoni’s comments.Is it that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed Dhoni and the team about the warm-up game “suddenly”? It just can’t be, as the warm-up schedule was declared by the International Cricket Council in August last year.It was also announced that each team will play two matches each, that the games will not have an official ODI status, and that the venues will be Bangalore, Chennai, Chittagong, Colombo, Dhaka, Nagpur and Pallekele.Or is it that Dhoni is insuring his team in case of a poor performance? Well, that is a matter of conjecture as the Indian team has been playing well lately, if Sunday’s batting performance is discounted.”If you play 35-odd One-Day Internationals in a year and 10 Test matches and 45 days of the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the Champions League T20, then all of a sudden you hear there’s a warm-up game, it’s a very difficult scenario to mentally prepare yourself for the game which really reflected on the field,” Dhoni said.The BCCI, while admitting that the international schedule is indeed hectic and tight, said that if someone is tired he can rest by all means.”It’s true that the international calendar is hectic, with back-to-back series being scheduled. But nobody is forcing you to play. If you are tired, then inform the board and take rest. That’s the board’s policy,” Rajeev Shukla, a BCCI vice-president and its spokesman, told Mail Today.”It is because of the hectic schedule, the players’ base has been enlarged. This bank has been created to rotate players. When anyone is tired he can take rest after informing the board,” he explained. In reality, the rotation policy is only on paper; even Dhoni has admitted several times that the rotation policy is difficult to implement in India.It is also a fact that Dhoni, along with Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan, play all three formats – Tests, ODIs and T20. There are several other players, like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, who play two formats regularly. So, tired they would be, considering the constant travelling they have to do.There’s no denying that Dhoni has the added responsibility of captaining the team in all formats, and it is extremely energy sapping, what with the constant pressure of expectations. It’s commendable that he retains his cool at most times.So, why did Dhoni utter those words? Was he taking pot shots at someone in the BCCI? It cannot be said with certainty. And, if he indeed intended to do that, it is not clear as yet. India play one more warm-up, against New Zealand on Wednesday in Chennai.advertisement