Daily Archives: December 4, 2014

World Cup 2015: India leave out 2011 World Cup heroes, opt for youth in 30-man probables list

Time up? It looks like the end of the road for the 2011 World Cup heroes Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (last two not in picture) (Source: File Photo)

India’s out-of-favour senior cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir were omitted from the 30-member probables list for next year’s World Cup with the selectors reposing faith on the young guns to retain the title in Australia and New Zealand.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Zaheer Khan, who were a part of the 2011 World Cup winning team along with Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir, were also left out of the list, putting a question mark on their future given that none of the five have featured in an ODI for the last one year.

Apart from the famed five, pacers Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel, spinner Piyush Chawla and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan were also among the players axed from the list announced by BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee.

Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool, Uttar Pradesh spinner Kuldeep Yadav, batting duo of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav along with spinner Axar Patel benefitted from the overhaul, riding on their consistent performance in the domestic circuit.

With the selectors opting to ignore the out-of-favour seniors, there were no major surprises on offer in the list of probables.

The selectors included all-rounder Stuart Binny and in-form batsman Manoj Tiwary and young wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson in the list which would be further pruned to 15 in early January ahead of the World Cup starting February 14.

Eleven players from the 2011 World Cup-winning squad will not be seen in action when the team goes Down Under to defend the trophy. While most of them have been ignored for poor form, Sachin Tendulkar has retired and pacer S Sreesanth has been banned for spot-fixing.

Of all the players ignored, Yuvraj’s journey has been the most dramatic. The left-handed batsman was named Player of the Tournament for his fantastic run in the 2011 World Cup but his career took a hit after he had to undergo treatment for rare form of germ cell cancer between his lungs.

His attempts at a comeback were not too successful and he was eventually pushed to the sidelines.

Of the selected players, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja picked themselves after delivering consistently.

Among the bowlers, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Sharma and Ashoke Dinda got the selectors’ nod by virtue of their fine performances in both the international and domestic circuit.

Apart from Dhoni, the list has two wicketkeepers in Wriddhiman Saha and young Sanju Samson, who has also impressed with his batting in the domestic arena.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who is regarded a Test specialist, Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Karthik and Naman Ojha were among the other notable omissions.

Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa, who have been in and out of the national squad in recent times have also found a place in the probables list.

MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, .
TIE

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IBM Signs $1.25 Billion Cloud Deal, Says More Coming

LONDON: IBM is enjoying a wave of major technology outsourcing deals from European customers in the fourth quarter and the new contract signings are not over yet, an executive for the computer services giant said in an interview.

Late on Tuesday, IBM announced the third in a string of billion dollar plus contracts, saying it had won a seven-year, $1.25 billion deal with WPP, the world’s top advertising firm, to run WPP operations in the cloud.

On Monday, IBM disclosed a multi-billion-dollar deal to provide computer infrastructure services to Dutch bank ABN Amro. And last month, Lufthansa agreed a $1.25 billion contract for IBM to take over the German airline’s information technology operations and staff.

Bart Van den Daele, IBM’s general manager for strategic outsourcing in Europe, said big contract signings slowed in the depths of the euro crisis but that the region’s customers are ready to play catch-up.

“(There’s) a new wave of these deals which is still continuing and we see it going forward,” Van den Daele said in a phone interview, referring to cloud contracts. He did not specify, however, whether these deals would be similar in scale to the recent billion-dollar plus awards. “Now you see the first results with Lufthansa, ABN Amro and WPP and there will be others,” he added.

The common theme among European customers is their growing willingness to embrace the global corporate shift to internet-based computing, or so-called cloud services, but while demanding several local twists, he said.

IBM seeks to differentiate its offering by focusing on hybrid clouds, which mix together the private, on-premise computer systems for which it has long been known with newer public-facing internet, mobile and analytics systems, allowing clients to move existing systems to the cloud at their own pace.

This hybrid approach means companies can wait for years before they consider moving their most sensitive core financial systems to the cloud computers. It also gives them the option of never having to move.

Secondly, European clients demand that their data remain stored locally in European data center, a requirement IBM has met by building seven public cloud data centers across Europe in London, Amsterdam, Paris and one in Germany, with another to follow there shortly.

WPP’s deal will allow the London-based company to stitch together the operations of the more than 300 agencies it has acquired through a relentless roll-up of the advertising business over the past decade and more.

WPP signed its contract last quarter but it only went live recently, IBM’s Van den Daele said. ABN was signed in the fourth quarter, while Lufthansa was also agreed this quarter but it won’t start up until early 2015.

TG

Twitter Unveils Improved Tools To Report Harassment

NEW YORK: Twitter announced on Tuesday improvements to simplify the way users report abuse and harassment on the social media platform.

The company said it will now require less information from users flagging inappropriate content and that it will be easier to submit tweets and accounts for review, even when wrongful behaviour is simply observed and not received directly.

“We are nowhere near being done making changes in this area,” Shreyas Doshi, director of product management and user safety said in a message posted on Twitter’s website.

“In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts.”

Users also will be able to view all the accounts they have blocked in a new blocked accounts page accessible from the settings menu on Twitter.

The changes, which will be rolled out to all users in the next few weeks, include modifications designed to speed up Twitter’s response by better streamlining and prioritising reports of abusive content, technology news website The Verge reported.

A way to block multiple accounts at once also appears to be in the works, according to The Verge.

Twitter has faced criticism in the past over a response to harassment and abuse deemed too lax by many of its users.

In December last year, the company was forced to nix a change to its “block” feature under criticism that the new policy still allowed blocked users to interact with those who had blocked them..

Earlier this year, a survey by online advocacy groups found that nearly half of Americans under the age of 35 have been bullied, harassed or threatened online.

Twenty-four percent of the people surveyed said the harassment happened on Twitter.

TG

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