SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension A successful routine counts as one point, and the team with the most points after a 10-minute round wins.READ: PH bags silver medal in men’s sepak takrawPassing should be seamless because it’s a race against time. A failed routine would require the ball to be served—which takes precious time.“So it’s important that you communicate very well with you teammates,” said Bobier.“I think we did well considering we only trained for four months,” he added. “Malaysia has been a team for years. But I think we can still improve and raise our level.”ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH goal scorer Cubon hurt but will be ready for Indonesia LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago View comments Rhemwil Catana of Philippines. during the Chinlone event at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where Chinlone team won the 1st silver for the country. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZKUALA LUMPUR—Chinlone, the event that broke the Philippines into medal column, requires hand-foot-eye coordination as much as cohesion and team work.Team member Johnjohn Bobier said they may have came up short in skills department — after settling for silver behind gold winner Malaysia — but not in camaraderie.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES For one, Bobier said the team regularly takes a shower together.READ: Sepak takraw targeting 2 golds 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 shutout“We are like family. We shower together. Eat together and dress together,” said the 25-year-old Army First Class.Chinlone, a discipline under the sport of sepak takraw, requires six players in a circle performing a routine of kicking a ball made of wicker one after another. Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd MOST READ
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Hicks #31 and Brett Gardner #11 after defeating the Minnesota Twins in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 3, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins with a score of 4 to 8. Elsa/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — Minutes into the playoff debut for these young New York Yankees, they trailed Minnesota by three runs. Their starting pitcher lasted just one out. A sellout crowd was stunned.Could their postseason be over almost before it began?ADVERTISEMENT Nope. A strange AL wild-card game was only just beginning.“We’ve had a quite a few games where we’ve gotten down early,” Aaron Judge said. “Just keep battling. Just stay calm. Just play your game, and good things will happen.”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 shutoutJudge, Didi Gregorius and a brilliant bullpen rescued New York and lifted the Yankees to their first postseason victory in five years.Gregorius’ three-run homer tied the score in the first inning after Minnesota knocked out Luis Severino, a pumped-up Judge showed his most emotion this season when he hit a two-run shot in his playoff debut and the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 Tuesday night. New York plays the Indians in a best-of-five Division Series starting Thursday. “We’re not done yet,” Judge said. “We’ve just got to keep it rolling in Cleveland.”Brett Gardner also homered for the Yankees, who chased Ervin Santana after two innings and once again eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs.Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman combined for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief, striking out 13 to tie the postseason record for a bullpen.“It was just remarkable,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.Twins manager Paul Molitor marveled at the Yankees relievers and Girardi’s use of them over 142 pitches.“He extended some guys probably past their comfort zone,” the Hall of Famer said. “They still performed.”ADVERTISEMENT Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run and Eddie Rosario hit a two-run drive as the Twins burst to a quick lead.But Santana went to full counts on eight of 11 batters, and he was removed after six outs and 64 pitches with the Twins trailing 4-3.“It’s the exhilaration of jumping out,” Molitor said, “and then the deflation of giving it back so quickly.”Minnesota, the first team to follow a 100-loss season with a playoff appearance, lost its 13th consecutive postseason game, tying the record set by Boston from 1986-95. The Twins have been eliminated by the Yankees in five of their last six postseason appearances and have not won a playoff series since 2002.“Nobody expected us to be here,” Byron Buxton said. “That’s an amazing achievement.”New York won nine regular-season games after trailing by three runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau — including when Severino fell behind against the Twins on Sept. 20 as New York rebounded to complete a series sweep. Gregorius erased the deficit in this one four batters into the bottom of the first.“I was hyped, and I tried to get the game going, tried to get the guys going,” he said.Judge, the 6-foot-7 sensation who set a rookie record with 52 home runs, was given a Ruthian ovation, with several sections of fans holding signs in his honor spelling out “All Rise!” He scored three runs, hitting a single to help ignite the first-inning rally, smoking a 108 mph home run off loser Jose Berrios in the fourth and walking in the seventh before coming home when Alan Busenitz walked Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded.Judge shouted in excitement as he rounded first base after the homer, his face flush with emotion.“This place was rocking. It was incredible,” he said. New York had made only one postseason appearance since 2012, losing the 2015 wild-card game to Houston 3-0. Just three Yankees who started that game were in the starting lineup, part of a Baby Bombers movement that purged the roster of veterans.At 23, Severino was the youngest Yankees postseason starter since Andy Pettitte in 1995. The right-hander lasted only 29 pitches on a crisp autumn night and matched the Yankees’ shortest postseason start, by Bob Turley in Game 2 of the 1958 World Series and Art Ditmar in the 1960 World Series opener.Severino was shaking his head as walked to the dugout and Green replaced him with runners at second and third. Green struck out Buxton and Jason Castro , then fanned three in a row in the second.“I think we’re all ready to be in from the first to the ninth,” Green said.Robertson came in with the bases loaded in the third and allowed Buxton’s RBI grounder , then struck out Castro.Robertson tired in the sixth but earned the win, leaving after 52 pitches and 3 1/3 innings. His only longer professional outing was 3 2/3 innings for Double-A Trenton in April 2008.Kahnle relieved with a runner on and retired Joe Mauer on a flyout to the warning track . After Kahnle threw 2 1/3 perfect innings , Chapman struck out three around a hit in the ninth.A pitcher named Santana — Johan Santana — beat the Yankees for the Twins’ last postseason win in 2004. But Ervin Santana’s career postseason ERA climbed to 6.57, contributing to a first inning that lasted 45 minutes and three innings that took 1:43.Gardner walked leading off, Judge poked a single to center and Gregorius lined a fastball over the right-field scoreboard. Brushed off the plate by a 2-2 pitch in the second, Gardner sent Santana’s next offering into the second deck in right for a 4-3 lead.Green struck out the side in the second, but left in the third after a leadoff single and two walks loaded the bases. Buxton hit into a run-scoring forceout before Robertson struck out Castro, and the Yankees went ahead for good in the bottom half when Gary Sanchez doubled off Berrios leading off and scored on Greg Bird’s two-out single. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments Anthony sharp in OKC debut, Rockets look fine without him CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices PLAY LIST 01:16CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices01:07Cops linking 2 drug cases to murder of Tagudin judge – CJ Peralta00:50Trending 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 Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients MOST READ “”I think we can win it all,” Todd Frazier said after a draining game that took 3:51. “If we just keep doing what we’ve been doing, like we did today, sky’s the limit.” BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City
Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Chung saved four break points in a fourth game of the second set lasting 12 minutes, holding for 2-2. But Nadal accelerated after that and served out the victory on his second match point.Nadal, who is tied for a record 30 Masters titles with Djokovic, has never won the tournament in Paris. He will next face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, who beat 15th-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-2.Third-seeded Marin Cilic won 6-4, 6-3 against Borna Coric in an all-Croatian match.Cilic, who had 13 aces, will next play 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. He eased past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-1.No. 4 Alexander Zverev lost to Robin Haase 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 9 John Isner beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 6-3.Haase next plays No. 13 Juan Martin del Potro, who eased past Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 6-2. The big-serving Argentine needs to win in Paris to have a chance of reaching the Finals in London.Isner, who lost last year’s final to Murray, faces No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov. He beat Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4.Frenchman Lucas Pouille kept alive his slim chances of qualifying for London with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Feliciano Lopez, but No. 12 Kevin Anderson’s chances took a blow after a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 loss to Fernando Verdasco.No. 11 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s bid to reach London is over following a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 loss to Julien Benneteau in an all-French match.Benneteau plays No. 7 David Goffin of Belgium, who won 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 against Adrian Mannarino.Also, No. 16 Jack Sock of the United States had 14 aces in a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) win against Kyle Edmund and faces Pouille in Thursday’s third round. Nadal is also the oldest year-ending No. 1, testimony to his relentless determination.“It’s about the passion for what you are doing. It’s about the mentality of waking up every morning with the right motivation to go on court and improve something. That’s the winning mentality, no?” he replied, when asked what drives him. “The passion to improve something and practice every day with the right attitude to try to make that happen … not everybody is able to do it.”The only downside this season has been always losing to Federer, who leads the ATP Tour with seven titles.Federer has beaten Nadal four consecutive times — not dropping a set in three of them — and the 19-time Grand Slam champion was in outside contention for the No. 1 ranking before pulling out of Paris to focus on the season-ending ATP Finals in London next week.The 21-year-old Chung broke Nadal in the ninth game of the first set and held for 5-5. But Nadal took the first set after breaking Chung to love.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Hyeon Chung of South Korea during the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)PARIS — Rafael Nadal will finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fourth time, surprising even the fiercest of competitors after a wrist injury and a lack of form severely dented his steely confidence.The 31-year-old Spaniard assured himself the No. 1 ranking by beating Hyeon Chung 7-5, 6-3 Wednesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30PNP officials inspect Cubao bus terminals ahead of Undas03:38Magalong slams ‘selective’ PNP ranks cleansing01:37Protesters 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 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Read Next The 16-time Grand Slam winner had not finished the year at the top since 2013, with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray doing so after that.“One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being No. 1 again at the end of the season,” said Nadal, who missed large parts of 2016 because of a troublesome wrist. “It has been an amazing year.”Nadal’s comeback has been truly remarkable, even by his lofty standards.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 shutoutHe reached three Grand Slam finals this year, losing to Roger Federer at the Australian Open and winning a 10th French Open title before clinching the U.S. Open for the third time.“It was impossible for me to think about (being No. 1) coming back from a tough period without playing, and with so many injuries in the last couple of years,” said Nadal, who also finished as No. 1 in ’08 and ’10. “It means a lot. After almost 10 years since the first time.” MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Russian gold medalist disqualified for Sochi Olympics doping
Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters “I think, to be safe, 12 points should see us through to the Asian Cup,” said Palami. “It also depends on the other games, but for us the objective is to win all of our games which will give us a lot of confidence going to the finals of the Asian Cup.”After the Yemen match in Qatar, the Azkals still have two matches left in the third round—an away game against Nepal in Kathmandu on Nov. 14 and a home duel with Tajikistan on March 27.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul 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 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Read Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Can Sen. Pacquiao outfox the sly Bob Arum? MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES BACOLOD CITY—Regardless of the result of the clash against Yemen in Asian Cup Qualifying Tuesday night, the Philippines is already planning another training camp in the Middle East next month to prepare for the return leg against the Yemenis who play home matches in Doha, Qatar.Azkals manager Dan Palami believes a more intensive buildup will be key against Yemen in their Oct. 10 match. The Filipinos currently sit on top of Group F with six points from their first two matches.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Chitrangada on a rollChitrangada Singh has interesting plans to make the best of her time. The dusky actor will be going for adventure sports like sky diving and river rafting with her friends. Meanwhile, the beautiful actress has been signed for movies opposite John Abraham and Akshay Kumar in the lead. Must admit, the diva is going places!Rain Rain, come again!Hina Khan and Karan Mehra of the serial Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai shot for a rain sequence recently. The actors who are known for their onscreen chemistry sizzled on the telly show once again.Singing praisesBollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, who is currently shooting for his father’s directorial debut Mausam, is all praises for him. “I have done lot of films with new directors, but with dad, it is not the same. My father has made me more professional, he wants every shot to be perfect,” says the 29-year-old star.Dance pe chanceTelevision actress Pooja Kanwal is elated to be nominated for the “Jodi Awards” on Sony Television in the Devrani Jethani category. According to the grapevine, she would now display her dancing skills in a new reality show.Decor with loveNandish Sandhu bought a new house recently and when his girlfriend volunteered to do up his place, he obviously was super excited. Loving the place already, eh?Desi girl turns love guruPunjabi kudi Roshni Chopra is all set to sizzle on the small screen again. The sultry actress, who was last seen on telly as the winner of reality show Desi Girl, will now be jazzing up a sitcom by the name of Love Mein Twist which would air on star plus soon.advertisement
Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi’s name is not mentioned in the Games legacy report prepared by authorities in Delhi to give a bird’s eye view of delays, successes and other issues in the conduct of the sporting extravaganza.Sources said the four-volume legacy report and a 50-minute film on the Games, which focuses on minute aspects of preparations of the event held in Delhi between October 3 and 14 last year, mentions every thing except the sacked top boss of the OC.”We have not mentioned any individual’s name. There are many Function Areas heads who were handling different responsibilities in the conduct of the Games. We are not giving any photo or name of anybody in the legacy report,” CEO and Chairman of OC Jarnail Singh said.He said the report will have all aspects including how contracts were awarded and executed and what led to delays in implementing works on time and escalation of costs.Sources said the decision not to credit any individual was taken unanimously by the OC considering that Kalmadi and sacked Secretary General Lalit Bhanot among other former officials have been involved in the CBI investigation into financial irregularities in the conduct of the mega sporting extravaganza.They said the report, both in print and electronic format, will give details of the work carried out by those in-charge of 278 function areas like overlays, sports, technology, accommodation, sponsorship and event management among others.One of the crucial aspects mentioned in the report is the number of contracts delayed by certain unnamed OC officials who did not follow Games master schedule prepared by the international federation, the sources said.advertisementGiving details of the delays in awarding overlays contracts, the report said the work was given in a hurry to a contractor in April last year, about a year after its expected deadline of March 2009.Interestingly, the fact that out of a total of 540 contracts to be completed by 2009, OC had executed 37, which led to supply of inferior quality products at highly-inflated rates, is being mentioned in the report.Remaining 503 contracts were carried out by the firms after January 2010, the sources said.”Most of the contracts by the OC were well behind the deadline set by the international federation for Commonwealth Games. Thus, to complete all of them on time, the officials had to violate certain official norms and procedures which attracted the eyes of CVC and CBI for financial bunglings,” an OC official said requesting anonymity.The legacy report is being reviewed and will be finalised within two months time and made public, the sources said.CBI, CVC, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department are probing several cases related to financial and managerial bunglings in Games-related projects carried out by OC, civic and construction agencies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, Public Works Department and New Delhi Municipal Council.
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The British government has been accused of spying on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, sparking an outrage among civil rights campaigners in the country. A video released by WikiLeaks claim that three cameras have been erected outside the entrance of his temporary home in Ellingham Hall, Norfolk, to keep track of people visiting him. “We suddenly noticed them appearing since we have been here. We believe they are monitoring everything that goes in and out of the property,” Sarah Harrison, one of the WikiLeaks’ team, was quoted as saying in the video, titled ‘House Arrest’, published by Telegraph online. “I am not an expert on cameras but I believe that these take number plates and report number plates. I think the country is full of them but I don?t know why I need quite so many of them around my house,” said Vaughan Smith, the owner of the Ellingham Hall, where Assange moved into in mid– December as he fights extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual crimes. The 39-year-old Australian has denied charges. But the clamp on his movement and spying on his visitors has sparked an outrage, with civil liberties campaign groups slamming the government. “Regardless of the allegations made against Mr Assange, he has not been charged with any crime,” said Daniel Hamilton, director of Big Brother Watch. “For his movements ? and those of his visitors ? to be monitored in this way constitutes an outrageous invasion of personal privacy. These cameras must be removed immediately,” he demanded.advertisement- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Sreesanth mocks Hashim Amla after dismissing himIt may come as a bit of a shock, particularly to Andre Nel, but Shanthakumaran Sreesanth is actually a good, respectful Indian boy. When he puts on an India uniform, be it blue or white, something else happens: rather than adopting a disguise, a,Sreesanth mocks Hashim Amla after dismissing himIt may come as a bit of a shock, particularly to Andre Nel, but Shanthakumaran Sreesanth is actually a good, respectful Indian boy. When he puts on an India uniform, be it blue or white, something else happens: rather than adopting a disguise, a disguise adopts him. Then come the glares, the stares, the dance and the prance.It’s difficult to ignore the sideshow that make the bowler that is Sreesanth, but in Johannesburg, India took it all. Primarily it came accompanied by the most delicious outswinger since Kapil Dev’s and the most decisive Test match spell by an Indian fast bowler since Ajit Agarkar’s six-wicket haul against the Aussies in Adelaide in 2003 and before that Javagal Srinath’s 6-21 vs South Africa in Ahmedabad 10 summers ago. Sreesanth’s hijinks on the Highveld have led to a first-ever Test win on South African soil, a 1-0 lead in a three-Test series, with the hosts in a sweat and the match referee sitting up in his chair.But behind the manic Indian strike bowler is the boy Gopu who instructs his family to keep a lamp lit in the family prayer room during every big game he plays. It started with school cricket and the flame stayed lit all through the Johannesburg Test in the family home in Palarivattom on the outskirts of Kochi.Sreesanth is now being called the ‘character’ of the team who lights up the dressing room.Only the second Test cricketer from Kerala, Sreesanth’s profile in his home state has gone from being a local celebrity to the player whose giant portrait stares out from Nike posters.He is now being called the ‘character’ of the Indian team, the cricketer who lights the spark in the dressing room and it is easy to think of him as the clown. But somewhere behind the antics is a kernel of hard resolution and ambition. Old friend Pinku Thomas remembers Sreesanth solemnly, declaring he would play in a cricket World Cup and the rest of them laughing, “A Keralite playing in the World Cup. We could not imagine it!”advertisementHis bat, ball and body language psyched the oppositionJust like his tiny state in sport, Sreesanth has revelled in punching above his weight in cricket. As a young boy, he would voluntarily join weaker teams to try and beat stronger sides. “For all of us, playing cricket was just fun, for him it was sacred-like going to a temple,” says Thomas. A boy who took his college psychology textbooks to heart and read self-improvement books wrote in his 2000 diary that he would be playing for India by 2006.A Kochi coaching camp held in 1997 by a former Karnataka Ranji player Sashikanth changed Sreesanth’s life. Sashikanth recommended that Sreesanth move to Bangalore to join Florence Public School which had good facilities for cricket training.The next big step was in Chennai’s MRF Pace Academy, which eventually opened his way to cricket’s big league. After taking 22 wickets in his first seven matches for Kerala, he found his way into the south zone Duleep Trophy team, usually the platform for the best players to India colours. As the 2005 season witnessed a cleanout of old faces, a superb performance in the Challenger Trophy propelled him into the India team, where his idiosyncrasies caught the eye as much as his bowling.”He may look like it but I don’t think he’s a lunatic, there’s a lot of intelligence in his bowling” Sreekumar Nair, his Kerala state captain, believes it is the MRF Academy that sharpened the edges of an otherwise quiet, bespectacled boy. Nair usually carried two bats into the nets when facing Sreesanth, just in case one of them would break after by a succession of yorkers.Rahul Dravid came out of a corporate match in Chennai with his eyebrows raised and asked South Zone selection chief and former national selector V.B. Chandrasekhar if the nagging youngster had made the zonal team. That season he had not, on the advice of the Kerala selector who cited an “attitude problem”.Chandrasekhar, who faced Sreesanth two years ago in a company match, remembers the experience well. “I was 42 years old batting with a broken thumb, and this guy kept coming at me… short balls, yorkers, good reverse. He wouldn’t let up. I went away feeling that this is a guy India could need. He may look like it but I don’t think he’s a lunatic, there’s a lot of intelligence in his bowling.”advertisementEarlier this season in the Challenger Trophy, a batsman ticked Sreesanth off for marching down the pitch eye-balling him too much. When team coach Lalchand Rajput asked him later what he was trying to prove, Sreesanth said he tended to get “charged” while bowling and tended not to notice who the batsman was. “Don’t ever come that close to me again,” Sachin Tendulkar is rumoured to have said during the Challenger Trophy match. Due apologies were issued later.Suddenly the boy from Kerala is everyone toastIn a short career that is merely over a season old, Sreesanth has taken 27 wickets in six Tests at an average of 24.62 runs and an economy rate of 3.24 runs an over, a much better return for his work than in his ODI stats (22 ODIs, 29 wickets at an average of 34.37 runs, economy rate of 5.58).His future depends on the state of his fitness and how he is handled by the Indian team management. Chandrasekhar says, “The approach has to be well-balanced. If you try to admonish him, you run the risk of him going into shell and that’s not a good idea. You have to let him be himself but keep reminding him that he has a great deal of responsibility.”There is little doubt that Sreesanth enjoys all the attention and is engaging material for the cameras and the reporters’ notebooks. The son of S. Santhakumaran Nair, a retired officer with Life Insurance Corporation and Savitri Devi, a district treasury officer, the fast bowler’s family is full of performers. No mean dancer and drummer himself, Sreesanth’s elder sister Nivedita is an actress in Malayalam cinema and TV, brother-in-law Madhu Balakrishnan, is a prominent playback singer and brother Deepu runs a TV production house, but has spent the last few days handling the flood of endorsement offers that the most famous member of the family has received. Another celebrity cricketer in the making, and he better last.