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On This Day in 2022 – World Cup winner Anya Shrubsole retires from England duty

Anya Shrubsole, so instrumental in helping England win the 2017 World Cup, announced her international retirement on this day two years ago. Shrubsole took 227 wickets in 173 matches in all formats in a distinguished 14-year career for England, where she was part of two Ashes-winning sides and hoisted aloft the 50-over World Cup in 2009 and 2017. Her finest hour undoubtedly came at Lord’s in the 2017 World Cup final against India, which was in the balance before she tipped the scales decisively in England’s favour with stellar figures of six for 46. As well as collecting player of the match, she finished the tournament as England’s leading wicket-taker with 12 dismissals and earlier hit the winning runs in a tense semi-final against South Africa. The seam bowler took nine wickets in eight matches in England’s defence of the title in 2022, including another star turn in the final but her three for 46 was in vain as Australia regained the trophy. “I feel immensely privileged to have been able to represent my country for the past 14 years,” said Shrubsole, the first woman to grace the front cover of the prestigious Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. “To have been involved in women’s cricket at a time of such growth has been an honour but it has become clear to me that it is moving forward faster than I can keep up with, so it is time for me to step away. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be lucky enough to play for England for so long, I’d have been happy with one game. “There have been many ups and downs along the way but it was all worth it to be able to lift the ICC Women’s World Cup at Lord’s in 2017.” Shrubsole retires as England’s leading Twenty20 wicket-taker with 102 dismissals while she is fourth in the country’s all-time list in one-day internationals, having taken 106 scalps at an average of 26.53. She memorably took a hat-trick at the 2018 T20 World Cup against South Africa before England were again denied by Australia in the final. After bowing out of England duty, the then 30-year-old continued to play domestically before calling it quits altogether at the end of the 2023 summer.

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‘Uncomfortable, unpleasant, unsafe’: How London’s Euston Station became hell on earth

If hell exists, then surely it resembles the concourse at Euston station. You stand, neck craned towards the departures board, squinting under artificial lights that seem perfectly calibrated to induce migraines. You dodge passengers who stampede like wildebeests towards platforms announced moments before trains are due to leave. Venture outside for air, and it’s grey as far as the eye can see: the concrete rectangle of the station, the equally drab units housing Pret and Nando’s on the forecourt, the faces of the people freshly traumatised by their Euston experience. It is an ugly, smelly, joy-sapping experience. “Absolute chaos – never again,” one recent Tripadvisor review sighs. “Depressing and disgusting,” another snappily sums it up. And then there are the delays, the cancellations, the throngs of pissed-off travellers packing the main hall. Barely a week seems to go by without reports of some fresh form of carnage breaking out at the station, accompanied by videos showing vast crowds jammed shoulder to shoulder (in the run-up to Christmas, Euston’s seasonal nadir, one memorable tweet described it as “a Petri dish of chaos”). It’s enough to send any regular travellers into fight-or-flight mode. I’ve had the misfortune to journey to and from Euston on the West Coast Main Line – which runs to cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow – for about a decade. It’s never been an especially enjoyable experience. I used to put on my running shoes before attempting to travel on a Friday night, kidding myself that it might give me the edge in the infamous “Euston dash”. But in recent years, it has sharply deteriorated. Last autumn, the Office of Rail and Road said that crowds had reached “unacceptable levels” at Euston, and issued Network Rail with an improvement notice (at the time, a Network Rail spokesperson said that managing “a busy and popular station like Euston is a daily challenge”, and said they were trialling measures like earlier boarding to reduce crowding). A few months later, Avanti, the rail company that operates along the west coast, emerged as Britain’s least punctual train operator, with just 46.3 per cent of services arriving on time. And huge question marks surround plans to bring HS2 there: in October, the government said that the route will only terminate at a new station in Euston if it can partly be financed by private investment. How did Euston acquire such a grim reputation? The great irony of its backstory is that, as London’s first inter-city railway station, it was once an aspirational, innovative place. George and Robert Stephenson, engineers for the London and Birmingham Railway, chose a spot on what was then the edge of London, surrounded by farmland owned by the Dukes of Grafton; their family seat, Euston Hall in Suffolk, gave the new terminus its name. Work began in the 1830s, and Charles Dickens would later recall the “dire disorder” of the railway’s construction in his novel Dombey and Son. “Houses were knocked down; streets broken through and stopped; deep pits and trenches dug in the ground, enormous heaps of earth and clay thrown up,” he wrote. The station opened in 1837, initially taking passengers to Boxmoor in Hertfordshire. When the line was extended to Birmingham the following year, the trip took just over five hours (I’ll leave you to insert your own punchline about 21st-century journey times here). The man in charge of its design was the architect Philip Hardwick. Train travel was in its infancy, so railway companies wanted their stations to evoke a reassuring sense of tradition. To pull this off, Hardwick looked to the ancient Greeks to dream up a worthy “gateway to the North”. In 1838, a 72-foot-tall propylaeum supported by Doric columns, like the entrance to a Greek temple, was unveiled outside the station. Propylaeum, of course, doesn’t really roll off the tongue, so the structure became known as the Euston Arch. Fast-forward 10 years and Euston also boasted a beautiful, neoclassical Great Hall designed by Hardwick’s son, complete with plaster reliefs inspired by the cities it served and a coffered ceiling that recalled Rome’s Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. But being the first of its kind had drawbacks. “Generally when you do new things, you get a dominant design: people work out how to do things, and it sticks,” says Marcus Mayers, a visiting research fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University who has decades of experience in the railway industry. “Euston was built before the dominant design of railway stations and services had been established.” It expanded piecemeal: although the Great Hall was a stunner, much of the rest was “dilapidated and derelict”, with outdated platforms, Mayers explains. Plans for an overhaul were put on hold during the Second World War, and the station was further damaged in the blitz. In the Sixties, the whole site was earmarked for demolition. The poet John Betjeman was among those who campaigned for the Arch to be saved, but then-prime minister Harold Macmillan was unmoved. “An obsession with such buildings will drain our national vitality,” he said. The Arch was unceremoniously destroyed, in what the Royal Institute of British Architects has described as one of the country’s “greatest acts of post-war architectural vandalism”. Stones from the monument were eventually discovered in a back garden in Kent and at the bottom of the River Lea. The Sixties redesign gave us the Brutalist-style concrete box we know and love to hate today. It might not appeal to contemporary sensibilities, but at the time it was functional and fresh, thanks to simple, clean lines and more natural light. “It was the opposite of what it is today: it was clean, it was slick, it was modern,” says railway engineer and writer Gareth Dennis. “It felt like the future.” A brochure showing off the new station describes fancy facilities like a “catering room” available for “banquets and buffet dances”, as well as “high-class toilets with showers and baths”. Now, it’s hard to think of somewhere you’d be less willing to have a bath than Euston station. What went so very wrong? One of the biggest issues, Dennis suggests, is that the volume of trains going in and out of Euston has vastly increased since then, but the station itself hasn’t grown in tandem. “The station is still the same size station that carried six times fewer trains a day,” he says. “[It] needs to be literally double the size it is to deal with the number of passengers.” HS2 and even Crossrail 2, he argues, might have taken some of that pressure off. Plus, shops and cafes have encroached on the floor space (the new-ish mezzanine level, where you can pick up a Leon wrap while surveying the frazzled passengers below, only enhances the sense of claustrophobia). “All of a sudden, that station that once felt large and airy feels like a small shed,” Dennis adds. And when multiple trains are delayed or cancelled, “you’re talking about thousands of people squished into that space. It’s not just uncomfortable, it’s not just unpleasant, it’s unsafe.” There are other factors that help compound Euston’s woeful reputation. “If people get frustrated, their perception of an environment changes,” explains David Bamford, professor of operations management at Manchester Metropolitan University. And Euston is certainly a dispiriting place for a passenger. Bamford’s research has found that poor signage only makes stressful places more stressful – and “the signage in Euston is absolutely rubbish”. The station, he adds “seems more interested in advertising with a big LED screen” – a relatively recent addition that now dominates the station’s back wall – “than it does in actually helping you get on your journey.” Platform information is non-existent, too, until a few minutes before departure. This all creates a lack of passenger trust, he argues, which is only compounded by “the uncertainty that you’re actually going to reach your destination”. Euston, Mayers suggests, is currently “in a horrible locked position because of politics. No one’s going to do anything because they don’t know what’s going to happen next”. But it’s not all doom and gloom: he reckons that the station is “eminently redesignable”, as there’s “no shortage of space”. In the short term, the first point of action should be “ensuring the reliability on that line goes way back up into the high 90 per cent [range]”, Dennis suggests, “so you don’t have the situation where thousands of people are stuck”. To make things better for those who do end up waiting for delayed trains, he says, he recommends “getting rid of all the advertising, pulling back retail [spaces] even more, more seating: all those things that really prioritise the passenger who’s stuck”. Euston is the start and end point of one of the busiest routes in the UK: we deserve a station that’s fit for purpose (I’d even settle for one that doesn’t frequently reduce me to tears). But we’ll only get that if the people in charge are willing to make big decisions, instead of papering over the cracks. “Euston should be a grand gateway station, rather than ‘how do we deliver as cheaply as possible?’” Dennis says. “It’s never going to be fixed long term without us going ‘We want something that’s brilliant, rather than the minimum viable product.’”

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Yum Bug: The London restaurant ditching beef for bugs

Sorry, did you say worm?” I practically splutter at Leonard Trang, executive chef at omakase bar Juno. He’s just casually mentioned that the piece of tuna nigiri in my mouth is garnished with ground mezcal-cured agave worm. Like it’s no more interesting than regular seasoning. I thought it took a lot for an ingredient to surprise me these days – clearly, I was wrong. The poster child of fussy eating growing up – I’d pick onions out of everything and performatively retch at the sight of broccoli – now I’m eating a dehydrated, powdered version of one of my least favourite creatures. My reformed eating habits have long been a source of amusement for my parents, siblings and long-suffering friends. But still, worms are on another level of the omnivore scale. In my defence, it wasn’t in the press release; in fact, not much at all is mentioned about the bug offering at Juno, the new-ish omakase bar hidden behind a curtain on the first floor of Mexican-Japanese restaurant Los Mochis in Notting Hill. That’s by design, Trang tells me. “You wouldn’t talk about salt and pepper and things like that. It’s just another ingredient, and we’re trying to normalise it a bit.” I suppose that at an intimate six-seater counter – the smallest in London – they’d also like to be out of spitting range. Trang laughs mischievously; waiting until the last possible moment to divulge his secret ingredient is also deliberate. “I don’t tell people it’s bugs until they’ve eaten it because we don’t want to poison their minds, because they’ll immediately think it’s gross.” In fact, it’s not gross at all. It’s subtler than you’d think; sweeter, too, with a bit of umami and plenty of smoke from the mezcal. The simplicity of sushi is the perfect vehicle to carry the complex flavours, albeit in small doses: Trang dabs a dusted pinky finger-sized amount on each piece before handing it over. Gusano, the worms, are one of three ground insects you’ll find lined up on the bar at Juno, though you wouldn’t know it. They masquerade as innocent little pots of seasonings – right next to the salt. The others are chicatanas (flying ants) and chapuline (grasshoppers), and Trang mostly uses them on the nigiri. “It’s like a blank canvas. It has a very subtle flavour so I’ve chosen the bugs and the spices to just put a little bit of an accentuation on it, an emphasis, to enhance the flavour of the fish, rather than taking over.” True, a dab is preferable to a spoonful of the stuff; it packs a punch. The bugs arrived on the counter as a natural evolution of the restaurant, which has always been focused on sustainability and whose menu reflects the cuisines Trang encounters on his travels. He came across the bugs in Oaxaca, where they’ve been on the menu as far back as the 16th century when they’re a vital protein source before the Spanish introduced domesticated animals. “Chicatanas (flying ants) are very, very rare,” he tells me. “You can harvest them just one day a year. They come out early in the morning around 2 or 3am, and if the sun comes up, it becomes very difficult” to catch them. Last year, Trang travelled to Mexico for the harvest – which typically occurs after the first major rainstorm in spring floods the ants’ nests – because he “really wanted to experience what the farmers experience when catching these bugs. It’s very difficult because they are flying and they are biting you.” Some of the ants fall to the ground and are gathered by foragers, while more daring collectors stand in buckets of water to avoid getting bitten. They’re not easy to catch mid-flight, and they’re around for only a couple of days, so the harvest has to be swift. The trip gave him a full appreciation of the process. I, meanwhile, am horrified by the prospect and will be sticking to the eating part. He also came across the mezcal-cured worms in Oaxaca, after spying them in a shop window. In the 1950s, a mezcal brewer discovered a larva in a batch and thought it improved the flavour. Other producers quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Today, you’ll often see shots served with a worm floating inside. It was long thought that eating the worm had hallucinogenic or aphrodisiac effects – easy to see how they drew that conclusion after downing a bottle of mezcal. In some parts of Mexico, it’s traditional for the maid of honour to eat the worm on a hen do. “I asked the guy if I could taste it,” says Trang. “It was unlike anything I’d had before. I had to use it in my work.” Part of that work takes place in Mexico, where the bugs are heated over a flat griddle to dry and preserve them. Back in the UK, Trang grinds them into a powder with a texture not dissimilar to salt, and experiments with the flavour by adding different ingredients. “I don’t like it to be too strong a flavour for the nigiri because I have to deal with a delicate balance between smoky and sweetness and saltiness,” he explains. He adds arbol chilli to the chicatanas to give them more of a kick, and to the gusano, to balance out the smokiness. As he’s only using a dab here and there, a single trip to Mexico can supply the restaurant for a long time. But it’s the sustainability of edible bugs that first attracted Trang to the idea. Sustainability and seasonality have always been embedded in the concept at Los Mochis – they source the best possible ingredients from the best possible, mostly local, suppliers – so introducing insects never felt outlandish. “Insects are very sustainable because they don’t use up any resources. They don’t need any facilities or big spaces with water and things like that,” he says. They’re often harvested, not farmed, in the wild where they’re considered pests. “And they’re also a very high source of protein and they have natural amino acids, which are good for the body.” So you can guzzle down that gusano guilt-free. Edible bugs are hardly a new concept. Indeed, they’ve been eaten in less finicky countries for centuries, including Trang’s home country Japan. A few years ago, they became a short-lived “trend” in the UK: sustainable, nutritious, tasty and surely destined for a supermarket near you. But they never quite took off (pun intended). And, actually, Trang doesn’t want them to. He prefers to use them as a secret seasoning rather than a full-blown protein alternative. “I don’t want bugs to become a main meal. If they become really popular, they’re going to do mass production. If they do mass production, they’re going to use chemicals.” He might not be that keen to learn, then, that bugs aren’t limited to hen dos in Mexico or £200 tasting menus in London. Or that a couple of pioneering restaurateurs on the other side of town see much greater potential – and longevity – in the bug trend. So much so, they’re betting their savings on it. After launching an insect-ready meal delivery service in lockdown and a successful pop-up restaurant in 2023, Leo Taylor and friend Aaron Thomas opened their first permanent site Yum Bug earlier this year. The tagline is: “Turning CRICKETS into delicious meat that’s sustainable AF”. Needless to say, it’s aimed at quite a different target market. One with TikTok. For Taylor, who’s half Thai and grew up all over southeast Asia, eating insects “was just part of the everyday of growing up”, but he never set out to make it part of the everyday in London. He was working in design when he saw a report from the UN in 2013 that said bugs as a food source could help boost nutrition, reduce pollution and help fight world hunger. Several years later came Covid-19 and, with more time on their hands during lockdown, Taylor and Thomas “decided to launch our first product, a recipe box called the Bug Box”, which they put together in his mum’s garage – “the best place to experiment with cooking with insects,” he jests. The recipes included cricket and bean stew, chilli con cricket, cricket jalfrezi and cricket lasagne. With some investment from “people like the Bransons … as well as a big one recently, Brewdog”, Yum Bug’s first iteration was a pop-up at Old Street’s The Bower last October. Chefs like Sam Clark, Clem Haxby, Tim Molena and James Nathan churned out dishes like cricket mince topped with hummus, Calabrian chilli and tomato pappardelle with cricket pieces, cricket ragu… you get the idea. It was a hit. If only the name Kricket hadn’t already been trademarked by an Indian restaurant chain. “James Watt, the founder of BrewDog, was the one who said to us that maybe we should open the restaurant and we unequivocally said that was a terrible idea, because of all the restaurants closing down at the moment. It’s a tough place to be in, let alone if your entire offering is insects,” Taylor says. I would have thought much the same if the man behind a campaign to chuck taxidermy cats over parliament from a helicopter suggested such a thing. Turns out, this was one of his better ideas – within a few months of opening, they were “serving thousands of people”. The menu is much the same as the pop-up: bug-based small plates. “Everything from the burrata to the dessert all contains insects. Anywhere that you would typically find meat, there would be the insect version,” he says. “We also use the whole insect, so we’ve got roasted cricket cooked into a chilli oil dressed over a burrata. That’s a crowd favourite.” So is the cricket mince kofta, their best-selling dish, and the cricket brisket tacos. It all sounds pretty good to me – but what do fussy Londoners think? Whole crickets were “a much harder sell. People don’t like to eat something that’s got eyes on it. If you think about fish or seafood, people can be weirded out,” Taylor explains. “We find that when it doesn’t look like an insect, that immediately helps a lot.” In the equally competitive dating scene, it’s become somewhat of a novelty. “We’ve had quite a few date nights where the person booking hasn’t necessarily told the other person what it is. So there’s been a freakout at the door, but typically they’re coming in and I think what’s good about the small plate concept is it’s very non-committal,” says Taylor. I can’t decide which is more alarming: that my date might trick me into eating a burrata with a cricket on it or that I’m hearing someone extol the virtues of small plates. Either way, it’s a concept people are clearly willing to buy into. I suppose after last year’s tripe fascination, it was only a matter of time before something even weirder appeared on menus. While the offering at Yum Bug might be a far cry from that at Juno, Taylor’s motivations to get into the bug business were much the same. He cites the fact that “they’re one of the most sustainable proteins in the world.” He might have zero experience in running a restaurant, but he’s got the facts to back it up: “Crickets use 15 times less carbon dioxide compared to beef. It’s the same amount of protein for a fraction of the water and land compared to traditional livestock. You’re looking at about 10 times less land for the same amount of food output.” It helps that they source their crickets from a farm up the road in Cambridgeshire, rather than booking a return flight to Mexico to catch them by hand. “And from a nutritional perspective, our mince has 50 per cent more protein than your supermarket beef mince. There’s more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, more B12 than red meat, more fibre than brown rice, similar omega 3 and 6 to salmon. It’s an ongoing list.” That list also includes a buzzword from the 2024 bingo card: ultra-processed. “If you look at the meat alternatives category right now” – though Taylor considers Yum Bug to be a protein alternative, as it’s still meat – “a lot of stuff is full of ultra-processed ingredients. In order to get a plant-based thing to look like meat and bleed, you have to add loads of stuff that’s not particularly great for us.” It’s straight out of the Tim Spector playbook. “Our mince, as an example, contains three ingredients: it’s cricket, wholewheat flour and salt. And 75 per cent cricket – so natural, high-quality food.” OK, we get it. Clearly convincing people that we should be ditching cow for cricket isn’t as far out as it might have seemed a decade ago. The biggest issue Yum Bug is facing is actually one of business and bureaucracy. While we’re at a premium on beef right now – you’re looking at around £9 or £10 per kilo for the good stuff – crickets come in at about £12 per kilo, and Yum Bug sells it on for £15. “One of our central challenges right now is getting prices down.” In a market and era as challenging as this one, I don’t need to tell him that it will be imperative to their survival. Secondly, though Yum Bug chose crickets for their sustainability, nutritional benefits and because they’re the tastiest, there’s also legislation that makes it illegal for them to sell anything other than a handful of species. So despite that UN report suggesting that wasps, beetles and other insects are underutilised as food for both people and livestock, there’s some way to go in persuading legislators that bugs have a place in British diets for the sake of the environment and public health. It’s certainly not me, or the thousands of people booking up these restaurants, that need convincing. The bug trend has well and truly landed.

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Dear Dáithí: My husband has changed since our wedding. Should I give him an ultimatum?

We had a whirlwind romance and we got married within eight months of meeting each other. Since we got married, he seems to have changed, he’s working longer hours, he doesn’t seem happy in work, and he has become very distant towards me. We are both nearly 30 and we had been planning a big party, we made a joke at our wedding that we’d see everyone again for the big Three-Oh! I’ve tried approaching him, saying we need to organise the venue and we had always planned to invite everyone who was at our wedding (it was small) to our joint 30th birthday party. But he keeps fobbing me off, I don’t want to be the only one driving it, but I’m really hurt that he isn’t excited about it like I am. He’s always on the phone and he is not loving or attentive with me, and I’m sick of it. My friends say I should I give him an ultimatum about the party, what do you think? I think you’re in a tough place with no simple answers and it’s also unchartered waters which can be a cold and lonely place to be, but to me, the fact you want to do something about it and are not willing to give up is a positive thing. Some people would have had enough by now and moved on, not you or maybe not yet. You are looking for answers, and I believe you are entitled to get them, but they might have a sting in them. Whirlwind romances can be great and exciting and really nobody can say whether they work or not, some do and some don’t, it’s as simple as that. The fact that ye got married would tell me that this was more than one of those. Marrying after eight months isn’t a big deal for me when you are both almost 30, now if you were 18 and getting married at all, or even after eight months, I’d be sending a flare up. The whirlwind part of all of this is not the problem for me at all, it’s what happened after that is what we need to look at. You say your husband has changed. To be honest, we all change after getting married, or after going out with someone for a long time which I think is natural, the thing here is that it seemed to have happened not long after getting married. I wonder why? Did something happen that you don’t know about? I think a lot of people’s minds will go straight to ‘Is there someone else?’ This might be the case, but realistically we don’t know so don’t go there. You can’t worry yourself about something that might not have happened. That said, then why is he working longer hours and being distant towards you? You need to find out why. Whatever about working longer hours, not being loving or attentive with you is a big problem and you are very hurt over this. This can’t go on. You can’t live like this, nobody can. Also is there something on his phone that is drawing him in more than you? I know again this might seem like there is someone else, with him being on the phone all the time, and I’m trying very hard not to go down this road, but he is not making it easy. But I’ll say it again, we don’t know, so this is where you start. It’s time now for a sit-down, this is not going to be easy, and you might not want to hear what is said, but we are drawing a line in the sand here one way or another. No more fobbing off and I’m not talking about the party. The 30th birthday party is dead and gone, forget about it. Even if it went ahead now, the spark of it is well over. This is what’s going on with you, and you have to ask him are we going to change things, or are we going to go our separate ways? As I said, this is not going to be easy. Find the friend you trust the most, tell them what you’re going to do and have her or him on standby. There is clearly something up, now this could be anything. Yes, there could be someone else or he might be sick and doesn’t know how to tell you. He might be used to going on this journey alone all his life and doesn’t know what to do. Nobody knows what’s really happening here, only him! From your letter, it is clear that communication is not his strong point, but he will have to explain himself one way or another. Whatever it is, it will have to come out on this occasion. I wouldn’t go straight in with an ultimatum like your friends want, the discussion needs to happen first and then if your back is against the wall and he keeps fobbing you off that’s when you say, I can’t live like this. As you’ve said, you’re sick of it, and so you should be. You are a young woman, and you should be enjoying life, that’s what it is there for. You didn’t mention if you wanted to have children, but let’s say you do. How do you think that would work out? I’m sure you thought of this. I know you’re looking down the road to the future and really, we need to be making things easy for ourselves not harder. High up or low down the future of your relationship depends on the answers you get. You need to be happy with them, at this stage, I wouldn’t take any flaky bullshit answers, we are gone way past that. He needs to know what he’s done and how he has made you feel. Be strong and stick to your values. Follow your gut, don’t settle for half-measures!

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Why Hardik Pandya Shouldn't Be Picked For India's T20 World Cup 2024 Squad

Hardik Pandya’s possible inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad has sparked debate among cricket experts and fans of late. The 30-year-old has been a major talking point during the first three weeks of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Ever since Pandya was announced as Mumbai Indians’ new captain in place of India’s all-format skipper Rohit Sharma ahead of IPL 2024, the controversial decision has received widespread disappointment from fans. (function(v,d,o,ai){ai=d.createElement(“script”);ai.defer=true;ai.async=true;ai.src=v.location.protocol+o;d.head.appendChild(ai);})(window, document, “//a.vdo.ai/core/v-ndtv/vdo.ai.js”);MI’s newly-appointed captain has been booed heavily at various stadiums, including at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad as well at Mumbai’s home ground – the Wankhede Stadium.Furthermore, MI started their IPL 2024 campaign with three consecutive losses under Hardik’s leadership although the five-time IPL winners have bounced back with back-to-back wins in their next two games.Fitness and finishing ability concernsApart from Hardik’s captaincy, his all-round form and finishing ability have been under scanner in the ongoing IPL.Indian cricket team’s limited-overs vice-captain, Hardik has scored 129 runs in five matches for MI this season.The hard-hitting batter showed glimpses of regaining form after he slammed an unbeaten 21 runs off just six balls against Royals Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) to help MI chase down 197 in just 15.3 overs at the Wankhede on Thursday.Additionally, there have been questions about Hardik’s fitness for ICC’s marquee T20 tournament.The Indian all-rounder has endured his fair share of fitness concerns over the years and has cut down on his workload with the ball to get the best out of him from an all-round perspective.The Gujarat-born cricketer has bowled just eight overs in five matches in IPL 2024, picking just a solitary wicket at an economy of 11.13.Hardik recently made a comeback in IPL 2024 after he was ruled out of ICC ODI World Cup 2023 having sustained an ankle injury against Bangladesh in October.The Rohit Sharma-led India, of course, will need a fully-fit Hardik at the T20 World Cup 2024 to be held in the West Indies and the United States.In-form Shivam Dube could pip Hardik PandyaWhile Hardik’s all-round capabilities provide Team India great balance in the T20 format, if he’s not fully fit then the likes of Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh could be better picks as finishers in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad.Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad has voiced support for Shivam Dube’s inclusion in the upcoming T20 World Cup squad.”Shivam Dube for his striking ability against spinners, Surya for being the best T20 international batter and Rinku Singh for his exceptional finishing ability. It will be great if India finds a way to have these 3 in the 11 in the T20 WC. With Virat and Rohit, this will leave a spot for just a keeper batsman. Interesting to see how it pans out,” Prasad posted on X (formerly Twitter).Chennai Super Kings’ Shivam Dube has been in impressive form in IPL 2024. Batting in the middle-order, Dube has amassed 176 runs in five matches at an average of 44 and a strike rate of 160. He has hit 10 fours and 13 sixes so far.Apart from Prasad, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has stated that Dube must be included in India’s T20 World Cup squad.”Good to watch@IamShivamDube clearing the field with ease!! I feel he has to be in the World Cup squad. Has got the skill to be the #gamechanger,” Yuvraj wrote on X.Earlier, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin urged India to pick Dube in the T20 World Cup squad after his brilliant performances against Afghanistan in a three-match series in January.”Hardik Pandya is an indispensable member of the Indian team. However, with Shivam Dube’s emergence, especially in conditions similar to CSK in the West Indies, he becomes a spin-hitting monster,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.”I can proudly call him a ‘Yuvraj Singh lite’ package. There are so many facets of Yuvraj Singh that I see in his game – the downswing, the height, and the reach. I’m not saying he’s exactly like Yuvraj Singh, but he reminds me a lot of him. The beauty here is that he hits spin straight down the ground,” Ashwin added.With Hardik facing strong competition from Shivam Dube, he will need to prove his fitness as well as impress the selectors with his all-round game in the remaining games for MI before the squad is finalised.The Indian cricket team’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup is likely to be announced in the last week of April and vice-captain Hardik’s spot still remains uncertain as of now.While a return to form and maintaining his fitness will most likely see Hardik make the cut for the T20 World Cup, judging by the all-rounder’s recent form when batting in death overs as well as his fitness issues, it’s safe to say that the 30-year-old’s inclusion in the squad is certainly not a given.

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Personalised ‘Daddy Book’ Celebrates Unique Bond of Love Between Father & Child

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Not since the Lindt siege has Sydney known grief like this

By contrast – mercifully – Saturday’s unspeakable barbarism was not a terrorist incident. Monis had a history of mental illness. However, he was also clearly radicalised, and had an overtly stated political agenda. As the then NSW coroner Michael Barnes later found, “the siege was no less a terrorist incident by reason of the fact that … Monis had a severe mixed form of personality disorder”. That Saturday’s murderous rampage was perpetrated by a lone individual seemingly in the grip of a mental health episode will, however, offer no comfort at all to the bereaved. Yet there will be profound relief inside the state and federal governments and their security agencies that terrorism has effectively been ruled out as a driver of Saturday’s attack.

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Rough seas detaches locking beam at Scarborough port – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THE TT Inter-Island Transportation Co Ltd says repair work on the ramp locking beam at the Port of Scarborough, Tobago, is being carried out after they became detached by rough seas. In a statement, the company said beam brackets from the locking beam at the port became dislodged shortly after the inter-island ferry, Buccoo Reef, arrived in Scarborough at 10.06 am on April 13. The company said shortly into the vessel’s operations, at around 10.30 am, the ramp locking beam became loose owing to the rough seas and increased wave action in the harbour caused by the cruise liner that was berthed at the finger pier. The company said the operation was stopped and the ramp was lifted to assess the situation. It was observed that three out of the five beam brackets were detached from the locking beam. It said a pedestrian ramp was placed on the side of vessel to allow the remaining walk-off passengers to disembark. A contractor was hired to carry out a temporary fix to allow the remaining vehicles to disembark. The company said the remaining vehicles began disembarking at around 1:05 pm. It said repair work is continuing to prevent any further disruption to the service.

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Red Force crush CCC in West Indies Championship – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

RED FORCE crushed the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) by 123 runs on April 13 to wrap up a dominating performance in round six of the West Indies Championship, at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground, UWI, St Augustine. Heading into the final day on 67 for one in their second innings, still 382 runs adrift of the massive 449 victory target set by TT, CCC put up an excellent fight to take the match into the last hour of play. However, spinners Bryan Charles (4/46) and Khary Pierre (3/90) kept chipping away at the CCC batting lineup until there was nothing left. Opener Damel Evelyn put down the anchor early with a patient 73 off 182 balls (seven fours) while skipper Sharmar Brooks sought to lead from the front with a knock of 62 from 101 balls (nine boundaries). However, when both were dismissed, it was left up to Demario Richards (66 not out) to keep TT at bay. CCC went into tea at 253 for seven with Richards leading the resistance. Charles would have none of it after the interval, cleaning up the remaining wickets as Richards looked on helplessly from the other end. The off-spinner induced a leading edge from No 11 batsman Jediah Blades which was snapped up by Anderson Phillip to spark the celebrations. Scores: RED FORCE 591 for seven declared (Amir Jangoo 218 not out, Jason Mohammed 157, Joshua Da Silva 79, Kjorn Ottley 47, Terrance Hinds 35 not out, Khary Pierre 26 not out; Amari Goodridge 5-92) and 95 for two declared (Jason Mohammed 41 not out, Amir Jangoo 34 not out) MAROONERS 231 all out (Yannick Ottley 56, Kamil Pooran 40, Amari Goodridge 24; Anderson Phillip 5-71, Bryan Charles 2-30, Terrance Hinds 2-43) and 325 (Damel Evelyn 73, Demario Richards 66, Shamarh Brooks 62, Romario Greaves 47; Bryan Charles 4-46, Khary Pierre 3-90)

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US helped Israel down ‘nearly all’ Iran drones – Biden

President Joe Biden said Saturday that US forces helped take down “nearly all” the drones and missiles fired by Iran at Israel, adding that he had reaffirmed his “ironclad” support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden added in a statement that he would convene his fellow leaders of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Sunday to coordinate a “united diplomatic response” to Iran’s “brazen” attack. “Iran — and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq — launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel. I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms,” Biden said. He said he had ordered US military aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the Middle East in recent days as the likely Iranian threat to the key US ally became clear. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” Biden said. Biden added that he had spoken to Netanyahu to “reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security. “I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks — sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” he said. No US forces or facilities had come under attack from Iran, he said. AFP

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