A collage of pictures of West Indies cricketer and all-rounder Garry Sobers’ playing days. (from left) Garfield Sobers hits Trueman for four during his fine innings which pulled the West Indies from an early collapse against England in the fourth Test match on the opening day at Leeds on July 25, 1963. (Pubd. in Sport and Pastime on August 10, 1963); a close-up of Sobers’ lively bowling action from December 1965; Sobers hits a might drive off the bowling of Ray Inningworth (not in picture) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on July 4, 1966. — The Hindu Archives SHARE COMMENT COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL × He was one of a kind who put West Indies on top Published on A collage of pictures of West Indies cricketer and all-rounder Garry Sobers’ playing days. (from left) Garfield Sobers hits Trueman for four during his fine innings which pulled the West Indies from an early collapse against England in the fourth Test match on the opening day at Leeds on July 25, 1963. (Pubd. in Sport and Pastime on August 10, 1963); a close-up of Sobers’ lively bowling action from December 1965; Sobers hits a might drive off the bowling of Ray Inningworth (not in picture) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on July 4, 1966. — The Hindu Archives cricket It may seem almost laughable today but growing up as a lefthander in India during the 1960s and ‘70s was not the easiest of things. People stared at you in restaurants while temple priests frowned at the use of my ‘wrong’ hand.These were difficult times for a youngster and my father would then talk to me about this left-handed wizard called Garry Sobers and his artistry on the cricket field. I saw his pictures in magazines and was delighted to know that here was a southpaw who was a hero in everyone’s eyes. Being a lefthander did not seem so morbid anymore and Sobers became my hero even though I never saw him bat or bowl.It was during my teenage years that I read more about this incredible cricketer who was clearly one of a kind. Today, as Sobers turns 80, it is with a sense of gratitude and admiration that I salute him on this momentous occasion. Over the years, I have devoured so much information about this remarkable individual that it is impossible to think that there will be another like him on the cricket field.His records are staggering with over 8,000 runs as a batsman and well over 200 wickets with the ball, where he could conjure up just about anything from raw pace to swing and spin. For nearly 35 years, he held the highest Test score record of 365 not out till a fellow West Indian, Brian Lara, surpassed it in the mid-1990s.While these are one part of the genius that was Garry Sobers, it was his ability to change the script of a Test match which was well and truly awesome. You only need to see the video of that breathtaking 254 for the Word XI against Australia to understand this better. Here was a 36-year-old Sobers against a ferociously quick Dennis Lillee and smashing him to all ends of the ground. It won the match for the World XI when all seemed lost at one point.Then you need to read about his incredible 163 not out against England at Lords in 1966. This was the time the West Indies had their backs to the wall with just a nine-run lead and half the side down in the second innings. Along came Sobers’ cousin, David Holford, and the two put on an unbeaten stand of 274 runs, which saved the game for the West Indies.It was during this series against England that the cricketing genius was at his best with the bat and ball. He had three big 100s in addition to a 94 and 81, which catapulted his tally to 722 runs in the five Tests. In addition, he picked up a pile of wickets which ensured that the West Indies walked away comfortably with a 3-1 win.Yet, my favourite anecdote is the Kingston Test of 1968 when Sobers proved yet again why he was simply the best of all time. The opponents were England again and the match was played on a treacherous wicket. Sobers was out for a duck in the first innings and, when his side followed on with a deficit of over 200 runs, scored a masterly 113 not out.There was more to come, though. After establishing a lead of 150-plus runs, he declared and threw down the gauntlet to England. Sobers then opened the bowling and the wickets began falling as the West Indies nearly pulled off a miraculous win. Imagine something like this happening after being in a bottomless abyss; only someone like Sobers could have written such a script.Ironically, it was this same kind of challenge which cost his side the series when he abruptly declared the West Indies’ second innings at Port of Spain, setting England a target of 215. This time around, there were no hiccups like the one seen at Kingston and the match was won. It was a crushing blow for the West Indies even though Sobers almost single-handedly won them the decider at Georgetown even while England’s last pair hung in there to claim the series 1-0.Today, on his 80th birthday, the gift he would cherish the most is to see West Indies cricket emerge a force to reckon with all over again. The absence of Tony Cozier, the celebrated West Indian journalist, who died a couple of months ago, will doubtless be felt too. Garry Sobers was an extraordinary cricketer to whom we owe plenty for those extraordinary moments. He deserves a special birthday treat. July 28, 2016
zoom Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has formed joint venture with gas shipping company BW Group Limited to own the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) BW Integrity.Mitsui & Co. has purchased a 49% share in BW Integrity, while BW continues to own a 51% share in the vessel. In line with the deal, BW will continue to provide commercial and technical management services for the vessel.The deal is expected to close as soon as the payment for the acquisition is completed, Mitsui said.This is the first FSRU project for Mitsui, and the first project for a Japanese company to participate in the LNG receiving infrastructure business in Pakistan.BW Integrity is currently in Port Qasim on a 15-year charter to PGP Consortium Limited (PGPC), to provide LNG regasification services at Pakistan’s second LNG import terminal. The demand for imported LNG in Pakistan is expected to grow steadily and reach 20 million tons per annum by 2022.“BW and Mitsui have a long history of close cooperation in many business areas and having Mitsui as a JV partner is a special relationship on which we hope to build for many years to come,” BW Group’s CEO Carsten Mortensen said.“The opportunity for us to enter the FSRU business is a very big step forward for our future business strategy. As an LNG receiving/regasification base project is an extension of the LNG shipping business area, it is important to acquire know-how of the FSRU business and to maintain effective relationships with partners like BW. I am convinced that this partnership will also greatly contribute to Mitsui &Co.’s gas sales strategy. I would like to continue to expand this business area firmly in the future,” Mitsui & Co.’s Chief Operating Officer of the Integrated Transportation Systems Business Unit II, Takeshi Setozaki said.BW’s first FSRU, the BW Singapore, is currently involved in a five-year contract providing LNG regasification and storage services in Sumed, Egypt.BW has a fleet of over 150 vessels, including 21 LNG carriers and FSRUs including newbuildings.Just two weeks ago, BW LNG welcomed two new MEGI LNG carriers into the fleet, BW Tulip and BW Lilac.The identical sisters were named at Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) two weeks ago and are the first two-stroke propulsion vessels in the fleet.
Moody’s rating agency has upgraded Royal Caribbean Cruises’ senior unsecured rating to Baa2 from Baa3, and assigned a P-2 rating to the company’s planned USD 1.15 billion commercial paper program.The rating agency added that the company’s rating outlook is stable.“The upgrade to Baa2 reflects Moody’s expectation that Royal Caribbean will benefit from strong booking trends, increased onboard spending and the introduction of new ships which will enable the company to maintain leverage below 3.5x,” Pete Trombetta, Moody’s lead lodging and cruise analyst, said.“The upgrade also reflects the company’s improved liquidity position, including reduced outstandings under its committed revolving credit facilities,” Trombetta added.The P-2 commercial paper rating reflects RCL’s adequate liquidity, supported by its strong free cash flow generation which is sufficient to cover debt maturities over the next 24 months.Constraining the company’s liquidity profile is the large cash outflows related to new ship deliveries which cause spikes in capital expenditures throughout the year.RCL also has a USD 1.4 billion revolver due 2020 and a USD 1.2 billion revolver due in 2022; combined outstandings of about USD 700 million at March 31, 2018.The revolvers do not require a material adverse change representation at borrowing, but do contain financial covenants which are expected to maintain ample headroom, Moody’s concluded.