FIFA World Cup 2018 is over. And so is India’s obsession with football

first_imgSunil Chhetri had to plead with football fans in India to come watch the national team play in Mumbai. But the same fans did not need a second invitation to watch the FIFA World Cup, riveting as the tournament was.The spectacular tournament in Russia – and make no mistake, it was a spectacular tournament – came to a dramatic end Sunday night. For starters, France played brilliant football and Croatia tried heroically. Then there was a pitch invasion and then there was rain.Even as it poured, a chaotic presentation ceremony ensued but there were smiles all around as France lifted the trophy that matters most in the football world. Paris was jubilant and Zagreb was proud. But the joy spread across different parts of India. It was like India had come out all guns blazing in the World Cup.For the last one month, Indians were glued to football. There was talk of football in offices, parks, pubs, malls. You could be forgiven for thinking India was far from a football nation.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGERohit Sharma’s exploits, KL Rahul’s hundred, Kuldeep Yadav’s wile – the Indian cricket team has had a pretty impressive tour of the United Kingdom but nothing mattered. Football was the flavour of the season.Yet, the same football fans would think twice about watching Indian football. The dedicated few – who follow Premier League clubs as religiously as Chhetri’s men, would be fretting their absence in the Asian Games but for the recently converted, it would be back to routine. Rest assured, the converts would return to cricket and Kohli and Dhoni.advertisementFrom June 14 to July 15, all corners of India were echoing of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar were the names majorly known but they knew the countries. Everyone had taken sides.Also read – FIFA World Cup 2018: Full list of prize winnersFootball-mad cities like Kolkata, Kerala and Chennai were obviously divided between the age old rivalry of Brazil and Argentina but the rest of the country had chosen their favourites too.Some had chosen out of the sheer display of football they had seen from a team while others had picked just for the country or one player, regardless of everything else, football had become a part of majority of people’s lives.If people were not planning to follow, they did it so that they will not be left out of conversations while some genuinely liked what they so. It is the beautiful game after all.Also read – France vs Croatia World Cup final: A crash course on what makes football so addictiveHowever, as the 2018 FIFA World Cup comes to a close, so does the game in India. For the next four years, India will remain the cricket-crazy nation and only the football enthusiasts will follow the game.International football brings people together, perhaps it’s easier to understand and grasp. There is no complication of cities, clubs, players from different countries coming together at one club, maintaining the points tables year long — there is no such hassle when it comes to World Cup. It’s just simple to follow and lasts a month!Moroever, India is not a country that loves it football too much. Barring the diehard followers, players and a few regions that follow their local football, the game does not boast of a pan-India reach.Also read – France youngest team since Pele’s 1970 triumphant Brazil to win World CupBlame it on the football federation, lack of India’s success on the international arena or just people’s choices, the football fanaticism that you witnessed this past month will only come back after four years.India will play the Asian Cup 2019, I-League and Indian Super League will take place for the coming years and India will play various friendlies but you won’t see a lot of love and madness.When Qatar comes calling with the 2022 World Cup, these fans will resurface, flags will be hoisted, banners will be unfurled, football euphoria will engulf the country again.last_img read more

Etihad says not feasible to reinvest in Jet Airways

first_imgNew Delhi: Gulf carrier Etihad, which holds 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, on Monday said it has decided not to reinvest in the airline due to unresolved issues concerning liabilities. Jet Airways, which shuttered operations on April 17, is undergoing insolvency proceedings and at least three entities have put in initial bids for the carrier. In a statement, Etihad said it declined to lodge an Expression of Interest (EoI) to reinvest in Jet Airways because of unresolved issues concerning the airline’s liabilities. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe deadline for submission of EoIs was August 10. While noting that it was “neither feasible for nor responsible of Etihad to reinvest in Jet Airways at this time, Etihad asserted that the decision does not affect its commitment to India. “Since then, Etihad has consistently and constructively sought and advanced solutions to help resolve Jet’s issues. But as a minority shareholder, Etihad has had limited capacity to secure required changes,” the statement said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe national carrier of the UAE picked up 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways in 2013. Earlier this year, Etihad said it made a conditional expression of interest to reinvest in the Indian airline as a minority stakeholder, with an agreed partner, but unfortunately this did not materialise. “Etihad remained engaged in the process, but despite the endeavours of everyone involved, there remained very significant issues relating to Jet’s previous liabilities,” the statement noted. “Regrettably, in these circumstances, it was neither feasible for nor responsible of Etihad to reinvest in Jet at this time. This decision is unrelated to and does not affect Etihad’s continued commitment to India, the airline’s largest single market, and one which it has served for 15 years,” it said. According to the statement, Etihad flies between Abu Dhabi and 10 destinations in India, and is continually increasing the frequency of its flights, the size of its aircraft, the quality of its product and the international route connections it offers beyond its hub in Abu Dhabi.last_img read more

Dont Worry MLB — Hitters Are Killing The Shift On Their Own

When asked about Major League Baseball’s interest in restricting defensive shifts, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle recalled that when he was growing up in Merritt Island, Florida, they were often short on players for neighborhood games. Hurdle said they would arbitrarily cut the field in half to solve the problem. “Sometimes we’d shut down the pull field. … We just would do it to change the game and realized we learned how to hit the ball the other way,” said Hurdle. “What the shifts are telling hitters is, ‘Here’s what you do. Where is your counterpunch? Where is your answer?’”Many coaches, commentators and baseball observers have asked the same question, bemoaning batters’ seeming inability to adjust to opponents’ shifts — the tactic of moving defensive players out of their usual position to overload one side of the infield, a strategy that has proliferated across the sport in the past decade. The shifts have also become one of the most conspicuous on-field byproducts of baseball’s data age as more and more teams decide how to align their defenses using actual batted-ball data. In December, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had “strong” backing from baseball’s competition committee to limit defensive shifts. Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo’s Christmas wish was to see shifts banned.But in all the hand-wringing over the shift, one detail has been overlooked: Batters have adjusted, and they’ve done it without league intervention or legislation. What’s more, there’s reason to believe shifts are actually encouraging increasingly efficient offensive behavior.Shifts have grown at a staggering rate. In 2011, defenses deployed the shift — counting both the traditional (three infielders to one side of second base) and non-traditional varieties — during 3,065 major league plate appearances that ended with a ball being put into play,1Shifts can only be tracked on when the ball is put into play, so shifts deployed on strikeouts, walks and home runs aren’t included in any of the data used for this article, nor are any shifts that were deployed during an at-bat but taken off before the batter put the ball into play. according to Baseball Info Solutions data housed at FanGraphs. That’s only 2.6 percent of all at-bats where balls were put in play. The number of plate appearances where hitters faced the shift has increased every year since, save for 2017. Last season, batters faced the shift in a record 40,730 total plate appearances ending on balls in play — that’s about 34 percent of such plate appearances.The era of the shift has coincided with a league-wide decline in batting average, though that is more a product of the record strikeout rates in recent years as fewer and fewer balls are put in play, as batting averages on balls that are put into play has remained steady despite all the shifting, as you can see on the chart below. Not all hitters try to adapt — Bryce Harper, for example, has a career 1.4 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio both when facing a shift and when not facing a shift. But those who do, Joey Votto, tend to go high. Votto’s career ratio when not facing a shift is 1.57 ground balls to fly balls, but that drops to 1.44 against the shift.“I’ve tried to avoid the right side of the infield shift,” Votto said in 2017. “I’m not excited about hitting balls to that side because I could hammer a one-hopper to the second baseman or shortstop, or whoever they have stationed over there. … Personally, I embrace the fly-ball thing just because of that reason.”The average launch angle of a batted ball has increased in every year of the Statcast era,2 Since 2015, when Statcast tracking technology was installed in all major league ballparks. rising gradually from 10.1 degrees in 2015 to 11.7 in 2018. But with the shift on, batters are even more likely to hit the ball in the air. The average launch angle against the shift last season was 14.7 degrees, a notable jump up from 13.1 in 2015.In addition to MLB-wide trends, I looked at the behavior of the regularly shifted-upon batters in 2018 to see how their approaches changed.3Batters who put at least 40 balls in play against shifts in each of the last two seasons. This group combined for a 42.5 percent ground-ball rate when facing shifts and a 44.1 percent rate when not facing shifts.“Is that [banning the shift] going to produce more batting average? Maybe,” said Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch at the winter meetings. “More runs? Debatable. A more energized and entertaining game? I doubt it.”Left-handed hitters are an interesting study since they now put more balls in play with the shift on (26,076 last season vs. shift) than off (23,214 against no form of shift).Last season, left-handed batters hit for a higher average (.300), greater slugging percentage (.388) and lower ground-ball rate (44.0 percent) when the shift was on compared to when there was no shift (.295 average, .380 slugging mark, 45.7 groundball rate). And because Baseball Info Solutions can only track shift data when a ball is put into play, those stats do not include home runs, since they are not in play.In some ways, the shift has backfired. Batters have an incentive to hit more balls in the air, and balls hit in the air are more valuable. When batters faced a shift last season, 5.2 percent of balls they put in play went for a home run. When they didn’t face a shift, 4.1 percent of balls went for home runs, according to Statcast data.While more batters try to go over shifts, they are not always going to the air in the most optimized manner. Every hitter who has faced a shift has probably been advised to try to go the other way. And as a result, the percentage of batters pulling line drives and fly balls against the shift has fallen off notably since 2010, from a 31.5 percent pull rate in 2010 to 26.2 percent in 2018. But by going the other way, batters might actually be hurting themselves. They are purposely avoiding the most valuable batted ball in baseball: a pulled ball in the air.Consider that in 2018, 32.7 percent of fly balls to a batter’s pull side went for home runs, compared to 8.1 percent of fly balls to center field and 3.8 percent to the opposite field. Batters across the league had a .429 average and 1.514 slugging percentage on fly balls hit to the pull side and a .135 average and .324 slugging mark on balls hit to the opposite field. That’s not much more valuable than a ground ball. Last season, MLB batters hit .236 and had a .258 slugging percentage on ground balls.Many have made the case for batters facing the shift to simply bunt more often. After all, batters have hit at least .357 when bunting against a shift every season since 2010. Would bunting be more effective than, say, trying to go over the shift? Not for most batters.According to weighted runs created plus (wRC+) — a metric that adjusts for ballpark and scoring environments, with 100 representing league average — batters produced a 53 wRC+ mark on bunts against all shift types last season compared to a 127 wRC+ mark when putting the ball in the air against shifts.Batters seem to be unwilling to sacrifice potential power in pursuit of infield bunt singles. The percentage of at-bats against the shift where the batter bunted has fallen four straight years, from 2.92 percent (2015) to 2.12 percent (2016), 1.88 percent (2017) and 1.73 percent (2018).One other issue: Teams are pitching less effectively to the shift.As more and more batters use an uppercut swing to better combat sinking fastballs, which are designed to produce ground balls, the percentage of sinkers thrown has decreased. Sinkers represented 22.4 percent of all pitches thrown in 2010. Last year? 16.9 percent.The shift will always be effective against pull-side ground balls and low line drives. Batters who hit those batted ball types often, especially left-handed hitters, can see their batting average drop. But more and more batters might be learning to combat the shift. When factoring in all batted ball types — not just grounders and low liners — the MLB batting average on balls in play has remained stagnant. In 2010 — a relatively shift-free season — league-wide batting average on balls in play for all defensive configurations was .297. Last season? .296. The figure has held relatively steady even while scoring and slugging have increased, despite the growing use of shifts. Maybe shifts aren’t such a problem after all.“The beauty of the game is all the strategies that we can employ,” Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said at the winter meetings. So “attacking strategies to win baseball games, man, I just don’t see that as improving the game.” While shift usage has grown dramatically, there’s evidence that batters have adjusted by going over the shift, which reduced the overall effectiveness of the shift across baseball.In 2011, batters hit ground balls 53.2 percent of the time when they put a ball in play against the shift. Last season that number was 43.9 percent, which is the lowest such rate since at least 2010, the first year for which data is available on FanGraphs. When batters are not facing shifts, ground-ball rates have remained steady. Batters had a 45.9 percent ground-ball rate in 2011 when not facing a shift and a 45.9 percent ground-ball mark last season. You can see the divergence in strategies in the following chart. The drop in ground-ball rates against the shift suggests that more players are trying to bypass the infielders altogether by knocking one over their heads. read more

3DAY BAHAMAS MARINE FORECAST

first_img Related Items:bahamas weather, turks and caicos weather Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamas Marine Forecast – 10th August 2015 Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTHIS IS THE MARINE FORECAST FOR THE BAHAMAS FOR 24 HOURS FROM 12AM TUESDAY 3RD FEBRUARY 2015, ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY AT 0900UTC.GENERAL SITUATION: A VERY WEAK COLD FRONT ACROSS THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS WILL CONTINUE PUSHING SOUTHEASTWARDS WHILE DISSAPPATING TODAY. NORTHWEST BAHAMASWEATHER: NONE SIGNIFICANT.WINDS: SOUTHWEST TO WEST AT 15 KNOTS AHEAD OF THE FRONT BECOMING NORTH TO NORHTEAST AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS BEHIND THE FRONT.SEAS: 3 TO 5 FEET AHEAD OF THE FRONT BECOMING 2 TO 4 FEET BEHIND THE FRONT.CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDSWEATHER: NONE SIGNIFICANT.WINDS: VARIABLE LESS THAN 10 KNOTSSEAS: LESS THAN THREE FEET OVER OPEN WATERMOONRISE AT 5.55 PM AND MOONSET AT 6.32 AMHIGH TIDE AT 7.22 AM AND LOW TIDE AT 1.04 AMHIGH TIDE AT 7.39 PM AND LOW TIDE AT 1.46 PMEXTENDED FORECAST: HIGH PRESSURE WILL DOMINATE THE WEATHER ACROSS THE ISLANDS WEDNESDAY AND SHIFT EASTWARDS AS ANOTHER FRONT PUSHES INTO THE BAHAMAS LATE THURSDAY/EARLY FRIDAY.FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY:WEATHER: NONE SIGNIFICANT.WINDS: EASTERLY AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS.SEAS: 2 TO 4 FEET OVER OPEN WATERS.FORECAST FOR THURSDAY:ADVISORY: SMALL CRAFT IN THE NW BAHAMAS URGED TO EXERCISE CAUTIONWEATHER: CHANCE FOR SHOWERS BY NIGHTFALL AS A FRONT MOVES INTO THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS.WINDS: S TO SW 15 TO 20 KNOTS IN THE NW BAHAMAS AND SE TO S 10 TO 15 KNOTS IN THE CNTRL/SE BAHAMAS.SEAS: 4 TO 6 FEET IN THE NW BAHAMAS AND 2 TO 4 FEET IN THE CNTRL/SE BAHAMAS. Marine Forecast 18th August 2015 Noon Bahamas Marine Forecastlast_img read more

Klopp stands by comments over Burnleys dangerous challenges

first_imgLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists that using aggressive measures in tackling results is a dangerous risk and needs to be carefully monitoredThe German’s comments come following Joe Gomez’s fractured leg injury due to a heavy challenge from Burnley’s Ben Mee.Gomez was forced to withdraw after just 23 minutes of Wednesday’s game at Turf Moor and is expected to miss up to six weeks of action.Afterwards, Klopp hit out at Burnley’s dangerous challenges – which left the Clarets coach Sean Dyche fuming.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…But, while accepting Mee did not intentionally hurt Gomez, Klopp insists football needs to take a more careful approach to slide tackles in the future.“It’s not about sliding tackles,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “It’s about doing it in the right moment and not for impressing the opponent.”On Burnley’s style of play, Klopp added: “It’s a bit of dangerous play, I stick to that opinion.”Liverpool, who won 3-1 at Burnley in the end, will face Bournemouth away this Saturday in the Premier League.last_img read more