The rapid rise of uncapped pacer Navdeep Saini could actually see him making a World Cup debut, his Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling coach Ashish Nehra said here Thursday.Snapped up for Rs 3 crore for IPL 2018, the pacer did not play any match for RCB last season but he has been a revelation this time.The 26-year-old from Haryana was named as a standby for the World Cup beginning May 30.”He’s got pace and bounce and the most important thing is he’s confident right now especially in this format because it’s really quick,” Nehra told reporters ahead of their match against Kolkata Knight Riders.”Within two games his confidence is high when nobody thought he will do well. That’s the beauty of IPL. He’s not going to come good in every game. He will go for runs but he’s got all the ingredients to be a good bowler.”Look where he’s today. He is the first standby so if any fast bowler gets injured he (Saini) will be the one playing the World Cup,” he added.A find of Gautam Gambhir, Saini, who made the Delhi Ranji team despite initial resistance from the DDCA officials, is known for cranking up raw pace.Nehra said people kept questioning their decision to invest so heavily on Saini despite his limited success in white-ball cricket.”He didn’t play last year. So many guys came up to me and said he plays only tournament games…. So many people were actually doubting his abilities and said you bought him for Rs 3 crores,” he said.advertisementSaini has stood out at a time when senior pro Umesh Yadav and talented Mohammed Siraj have faltered especially at the death.”It’s not easy to bowl at the death in this format. Skill-wise, I don’t think there’s any other team who have got three good fast bowlers in one team. The next name that comes to my mind is Sunrisers,” Nehra said.”Yes they have not bowled the way they would have liked to bowl at the death or up front. But they can do better than this. Every cricketer will not have the same season.”Last year, Umesh Yadav had a really good season. These bowlers have the skill, hope they will do better in coming games. They are working hard,” he said defending the pace duo.Pacer Dale Steyn has come on board as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile and Nehra said the South African great has very high chances of playing Friday.”He is a very experienced campaigner. We have all seen him doing so well not only in test cricket but for other franchises also.”With one win from eight matches, RCB’s chance of making the play-offs appears really slim but Nehra said a turnaround is still possible.”We are always hopeful. We have seen teams qualifying winning last six games and with 14 points. We are not thinking of qualification but to play good cricket right now.”We need to take one game at a time. We have lost a couple of really close games. It’s all about winning those moments,” the former left-arm seamer, said.In the first leg, Andre Russell had left RCB in shambles smashing seven sixes en route to his 13-ball 48 not out as KKR had chased down a tall 206 by five wickets with fives balls to spare.Down with a shoulder injury after being hit by a bouncer in Thursday’s practice, Russell is a doubtful starter.Asked whether they’re relieved with Russell being doubtful for Friday’s game, Nehra said: “As a cricketer, I would like to see him playing and bowlers doing well against him and get him out. Fans also want to see good cricket. It’s not for Russell to hit big sixes every time.
Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says an assessment of the island’s healthcare infrastructure will be undertaken over the next six months. More than $40 million was provided by the National Health Fund (NHF) for the waste-water treatment system, and renovation of the hospital’s general and maternity wards and the Hanover Health Department offices located on the premises. Story Highlights Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says an assessment of the island’s healthcare infrastructure will be undertaken over the next six months.He said the assessment will determine what the needs are in terms of specialist care, additional beds and operating theatres, among other things.This is in keeping with health infrastructure development and upgrading being undertaken by the Government in order to better align the provision of healthcare services with the needs of the population.Dr. Tufton informed that a number of facilities are benefiting from overhaul and maintenance. “This current budget has in it… over $700 million just to deal with maintenance issues,” he noted.He said the anticipation “is that over the next three to five years, the health infrastructure of the country is going to change for the better”.“And, on a parallel track, we have to find the personnel to man the infrastructure and the equipment – the diagnostics. It is one thing to build the building; you have to have the doctors and nurses to staff it,” he pointed out.Dr. Tufton was speaking at the official handover of a biodigester septic tank built by the Scientific Research Council (SRC), at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea on October 26.More than $40 million was provided by the National Health Fund (NHF) for the waste-water treatment system, and renovation of the hospital’s general and maternity wards and the Hanover Health Department offices located on the premises.The Health Minister said he intends to revisit a $50-million proposal for reconstruction of the hospital’s main operating theatre.“I am seized with the need for major surgeries to be performed here (Noel Holmes), and the main operating theatre was damaged some time ago and representation has been made to me to get that back up and running,” he noted.“I have asked the NHF to pull that file, to review that project, and I am going to make a special effort, if not in this financial year, the next, to ensure that we start the repairs to the main operating theatre, so we can make additional value to the facility,” he said.Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton informed that “good progress” is being made on the construction of a new children and adolescents’ hospital in Montego Bay, with the Ministry expected to break ground for the project next year.“The implementation agreement was signed recently and taken to Cabinet and approved; that is an over US$40-million expenditure. We are going to create a specialist institution, which deals with adolescents and children, which is a very positive development for this region and for Jamaica,” he pointed out. This is in keeping with health infrastructure development and upgrading being undertaken by the Government in order to better align the provision of healthcare services with the needs of the population.
APTN National NewsWinnipeg’s North End neighbourhood is coming together in vigils and rallies to promote positive change, in the wake of recent violence in the community.Attendance was strong at two vigils held in remembrance of recent deaths in the community, while a weekly rally called “Meet Me At The Bell Tower” is seeing growing support from residents.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler speaks with some of the activists and leaders in the North End about their efforts and the response they’re seeing.
Novak Djokovic isn’t just chasing the records of his sport’s all-time greats. He’s accelerating in his pursuit.After winning his first French Open title on Sunday, Djokovic holds all four major titles at the same time, the first man to do so since Rod Laver in 1969. He is halfway to winning all four in one year, leaving him closer to winning a Grand Slam than any man since Jim Courier won the first two in 1992.1Mats Wilander was the only man other than Courier to win the Australian Open and French Open back-to-back since Laver’s 1969 Grand Slam. Wilander did it in 1984-85 (back when the Australian Open was in December) and in 1988. He has won 12 major titles, just two behind Rafael Nadal and five behind all-time leader Roger Federer. And on Monday he will be No. 1 in the rankings by the enormous margin of 8,045 points, leaving him in a strong position to overtake Federer’s record for the most weeks at No. 1 as soon as 2018.History suggests Djokovic should be slowing down, not speeding up, at age 29. Even all-time greats have rarely won many major titles so close to 30. While the sport has become kinder to veterans, just two majors were won by a man 29 or older in the last decade: Federer, at Wimbledon in 2012; and Stan Wawrinka, over Djokovic at last year’s French Open. Three factors are speeding Djokovic’s chase:1) He’s playing outstanding tennis, the most dominant of the Open era. Our Elo ratings at the end of last year showed Djokovic topping all other men since 1968, an era that encompasses just about every contender for the greatest career of all time, though it omits many of Laver’s best years. More conventional stats confirm Djokovic’s dominance. Men’s tennis has three types of events that feature nearly all of the best players who are fit to play: the four majors, nine Masters and the World Tour Finals. Djokovic has reached the final of 21 of the last 22 of these events he has entered, winning 17 of them. No man has ever had a stretch that dominant.Andy Murray should be Djokovic’s biggest rival. Murray was born exactly a week before Djokovic, has an eerily similar game and has dealt him three of his biggest recent losses: in the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon, and in the 2012 Olympics semifinal. But since Murray’s Wimbledon win, Djokovic has beaten him in 13 of their 15 meetings, including all five of their matches at Grand Slams. The reasons were evident in Djokovic’s defeat of Murray in Sunday’s final: In just about every facet of the game, Murray is great but Djokovic is greater. Murray has an edge in one scenario: When he’s lobbing the ball and Djokovic is smashing it. That doesn’t happen often enough to swing a tennis match.2) The men who used to hold Djokovic back when they were at their peak are fading as he continues to soar. If Federer and Nadal hadn’t been around, Djokovic probably would have won many more majors by 2010. He faced them 11 times at majors through the 2010 U.S. Open and lost nine of those matches. Since then, Djokovic has beaten them in 11 of 17 meetings at majors, including the last five. And he may not meet them many more times at majors, with both men struggling with injuries. Federer withdrew from the French Open before it began, and Nadal withdrew after the first two rounds.3) Djokovic doesn’t yet have any younger rivals. That is stunning for a man at age 29. Players younger than him have won just two majors combined: Marin Cilic and Juan Martín del Potro, both born a year after Djokovic, have one apiece. Neither has made more than one major final. And men born in 1989 or later have not won a single title of note. No major, no Masters, no tour final. The entire generation of men younger than Djokovic who should be leading the sport hasn’t lifted a single significant trophy. By this stage of the season two years ago — when he was the same age as the 1989ers — Djokovic by himself had won six majors, three tour finals and 19 Masters titles.This might look like a chicken-and-egg problem: Have players younger than Djokovic struggled because he is an all-time great who keeps ousting them, or because they’re not very good? The answer is a little of both, but more the latter. Djokovic has ousted men younger than him from Slams in the fourth round or later only 17 times in his career. None were in a final. The primary reason the younger guys aren’t breaking through isn’t because Djokovic keeps stopping them. It’s because other older guys are.While the men ages 23 to 28 might retire as a collective lost cause — a weird void in the tennis record books — the men younger than them show real promise, including Dominic Thiem, who will enter the Top 10 on Monday, and Nick Kyrgios. They will have to grow up in a hurry if they are to slow Djokovic’s run at the record book. At the moment, aging or injury look likely to be his biggest obstacle.