IPL all set to start amid covid surge

News Network
April 7, 2021

Mumbai, Apr 7: The Indian Premier League is not only one of the world's most lucrative annual sporting properties but also among the most durable, with not even the lengthening shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic apparently able to stop the Twenty20 juggernaut.

Last year's delayed tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates but the 14th edition returns to India, where the coronavirus situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks.

The surge in new cases could yet scupper plans to host the tournament in bio-secure bubbles at six venues across the country, starting on Friday in Chennai and climaxing at the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on May 30.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI), however, is bullish about the chances of pulling it off.

"We did it successfully in Dubai last year. We are confident we are going to do it again this time," BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly told the press.

Champions Mumbai Indians, captained by Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore get the eight-team tournament going at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

Both teams have already been hit by Covid-19 cases in their camps, however, raising questions over the effectiveness of the health protections afforded to the cricketers by the bubble.

Players will be well compensated for their stint in India as, even without ticket sales, the IPL was still worth $6.19 billion last year, according to financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps. That was down from $6.78 billion in 2019.

The BCCI would have been left with a $542 million hole in its coffers if it had cancelled its flagship event last year but ended up with record TV and digital viewership.

With curfews currently in force in many Indian states, the IPL can be expected to surpass last year's viewership numbers with cricket fans in the world's second most populous nation set to be glued to TV sets and electronic devices.

Bhairav Shanth, the managing director of global sport consulting firm ITW, said interest among advertisers has been high this year and predicted a windfall for broadcasters because of the "tremendous" pull of the IPL.

"For a tournament that is having another edition barely six months removed from the last one, the appetite has been fantastic," Shanth told Reuters. "In 2020, there was a slight dip in deal volume and sizes.

"But now as we see this edition occupy the prime summer slot with nothing else significant on TV to compete against, we have already seen new partners come on board in the league at a premium of 30-40 per cent from what it was last year."

Even the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases has not deterred the cream of world cricket from heading to India, where the T20 World Cup will also be held later this year.

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has been delighted to see so many of his England colleagues plying their trade in recent editions of the IPL.

"Being constantly exposed to that is a huge benefit to us as a team, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year in India," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a great chance for the English guys to get more experience in these conditions." 

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 8,2021

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Mangaluru, Apr 8: A youth stabbed a girl after barging into her house last night near Layila in Belthangady of Dakshina Kannada district. 

The miscreant, identified as Shameer (22), a resident of Punjalkatte, has been arrested by the police. 

The 21-year-old girl, who suffered stab injuries on her both hands and neck, is undergoing treatment at a hospital. She is said to be out of danger. 

Sources said that the miscreant was in love with the girl belonging to same community and he attacked her for refusing to elope with him. 

The family members managed to catch the accused and hand him over to the police. 

A case has been registered at Belthangady police station. 

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News Network
April 7,2021

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Bengaluru, Apr 7: Normal life was affected across Karnataka as the strike called by the workers of the road transport corporations brought to halt the operation of bus services, leaving commuters with no option but to pay hefty fares for alternative arrangements.

The state government threatened to invoke Essential Services Management Act (Esma) to force the employees back to work. However, officials on Wednesday were yet to issue any communication in this regard.

In coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, government buses remained off the roads. None of the drivers and conductors reported to duty today, though in some bus stations a few passengers were seen waiting for the buses. 

In Bengaluru, commuters who came to bus stations waited more than an hour in the hope of boarding alternative private buses or cabs arranged by the government. However, except for a handful of major routes, alternative arrangements were absent.

However, the number of commuters in bus stations was less compared to regular days. The crowded bus terminals at Yeshwantpur, Mysore Road, Shivajinagar, Shantinagar and Banashankari had less than half the usual crowd. However, in a rare occurrence, the terminals played host to private buses whose presence nearby had previously prompted officials to write to the transport commissioner.

The travelling public seemed to have shifted to autorickshaws, taxi and other modes realising the futility of waiting in terminals. However, thousands who can't shell out hefty fares decided to wait for the alternative arrangements promised by the government.

The state government threatened to invoke Essential Services Management Act (Esma) to force the employees back to work. However, officials on Wednesday were yet to issue any communication in this regard.

Meanwhile, the BMTC, KSRTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC have invoked the 'no work, no pay' principle and decided to cut salaries of those who fail to turn up for work.

On their part, the protesting workers heeded the advice of their honorary president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar and avoided taking to the streets for protests, to avoid violation of Covid-19 guidelines.

The workers have decided not to give up their struggle without getting salary on par with 6th pay commission recommendations. The government, however, has offered only an 8% increase in existing salaries with the chief secretary ruling out any more negotiations with the protesters.
 

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Agencies
April 13,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 13: Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday said that there is no question of imposing lockdown right now while urging the people to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour.

The chief minister also called an all-party meeting on April 18 to discuss the COVID situation in the state.

"I have called an all-party meeting on April 18 regarding the COVID situation here. There is no question of lockdown right now. The technical advisory committee has suggested that positive cases will increase here till May 2. Hence, people must abide by COVID appropriate behaviour," said Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has imposed 'corona curfew' (night curfew) between 10 pm to 5 am in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumkuru, Udupi and Manipal till April 20 in view of the surge in coronavirus cases.

The Karnataka Chief Minister on Monday said if the number of positive cases does not come down soon, a night curfew will be imposed in other districts in the state where it has not yet been imposed.

Karnataka reported 9,579 new COVID-19 cases, 2,767 discharges, and 52 deaths on Monday. With this, the coronavirus tally reached 10,74,869 in the state. Currently, there are 75,985 active cases in the state.

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