… Boards have 14 days to respondTHE outfields at Kingsmead and Queen’s Park Oval have been rated poor by the ICC match referees who oversaw the washed-out Tests between South Africa and New Zealand in Durban, and West Indies and India in Trinidad.The ICC said the officials – Andy Pycroft in Durban and Ranjan Madugalle in Trinidad – had expressed concerns in accordance with clause three of the Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. The match referees’ reports have been forwarded to the concerned home boards, the WICB and Cricket South Africa, which now have 14 days to respond. CSA’s response, the ICC said, will be reviewed by ICC general manager, cricket, Geoff Allardice, while match referee David Boon will assess the WICB’s reply.Then, as per the rules, the grounds will either receive a warning or a fine not exceeding US$15 000, along with “a directive for appropriate corrective action”. A repeat offence over the next five years would draw a fine not exceeding US$30 000.In all, 11 sessions out of 15 were lost to a wet and soft outfield at Kingsmead, while in Port of Spain, West Indies and India were able to play only one session across five days.It was the first Test played in Trinidad in August, which is the wet season there, and rain had hampered preparations in the days leading up to the match but during the game itself there was largely sunshine.However, with there not being enough covers at the ground to protect the bowlers’ run-ups or the outfield, and no super sopper available either, the outfield did not recover enough to allow play. The draw meant that India, who needed to win the Test to retain their No.1 Test ranking, lost the top spot to Pakistan. The Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board had already said it would investigate the reasons behind the washout.The Durban Test was also scheduled in what is traditionally the off-season in South Africa, during the winter. Rain forced the players off the field around lunch on day two, and the big damage was done to the outfield that night, when the ground took 65mm of water. Here, too, the covers did not protect large parts of the field, and the super sopper was made to stop operating for fear it would do further damage to the soft patches that persisted into day five despite no more rainfall.There were concerns over the Kingsmead outfield being underprepared even before the match began, as it had been relaid in June following complaints from South Africa and New Zealand that the surface was too hard during the limited-overs games played there last year.Similar comments were levelled at Centurion, the venue of the upcoming second Test, but the SuperSport Park outfield was relaid in April once the season ended; work could not get underway at Kingsmead till the Comrades Marathon – for which it is the ending point – was completed on May 29.
While the house of the player’s father, Salah Ghali, resembles others in the village, it was quieter: no-one was looking out of an open window, and no clothes hung from the house.The village has been the focus of huge media interest as Salah has risen to stardom, but family members at his house in Nagrig refused to talk to reporters “out of respect for his wishes”.– Gruelling daily journey –Salah’s journey, figuratively as well as literally, was anything but easy.“His talent clearly showed from the beginning,” said Ghamri Abdel-Hameed el-Saadani, who was the juniors coach at the Nagrig Youth Centre, where Salah started training at the age of eight.Still, Salah’s success is not just due to his talent, “it’s also a product of a will of steel, effort, and determination”, said Saadani.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 On Wednesday his talent will be on show in the Champions League as Liverpool tackle Porto.Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, 12, gazes in admiration at the three-storey house where Salah was born and raised, which overlooks a narrow dirt road like most of the houses in the village, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Cairo.“I hope to be like Mohamed Salah when I grow up,” Abdel-Gawad told AFP.“Mohamed Salah has become a professional player because of his ethics and humbleness.”In Nagrig as well as in Basyoun, the closest town, the youth centres were renamed after the Egyptian star.Fully aware that his success has become an inspiration for children in Egypt and Africa more widely, Salah addressed them in his acceptance speech when he won the African player of the year accolade in January, telling them: “Never stop dreaming, never stop believing.” Mohamed SalahCairo, Egypt | AFP | Deep in Egypt’s Nile Delta region, the children of Nagrig village have a clear goal in life: they want to become football stars like Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer and Africa’s top player.Salah, who hails from their village, has been one of the sensations of the Premier League since joining Liverpool — his goal in the victory against Southampton on Sunday was his 29th of the season.Further enhancing his status as a national hero, Salah played a key role in leading Egypt to the World Cup finals in Russia later this year.
Authorities in the city of Bayannur, in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, issued a warning on Sunday after a hospital patient, reported to be a herdsman, contracted the disease from eating marmot meat last week.There were four reported cases of plague in people in the same region last November, including two cases of the deadlier pneumonic plague.The case triggered a level-three alert Sunday in the Bayannur district. Health officials released a statement ordering residents not to hunt wild animals, such as rodents like marmots, and to report anyone with fever or showing other possible signs of infection.The infected herdsman is being treated at a hospital and is in stable condition, according to state reports. While occasional cases are still reported among hunters encountering fleas carrying the bacterium, it is unknown how the man became infected.