Former pacer Ajit Agarkar says someone like Ravichandran Ashwin not making it to the India’s playing eleven in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy, speaks volumes about the strength of the bowling attack of the defending champions.
“At the start of the tournament some of the batters were not in a great form, but once the tournament started all the batsmen are in good form and bowlers are doing well. All the five bowlers are in good form. A guy like Ashwin not making the eleven tells you how well the bowling unit is doing,” Agarkar said in Mumbai on Friday.
India suffered defeat at the hands of a gutsy Sri Lanka, who chased down a massive 321-run target but Agarkar believes that the Virat Kohl-led side are still favourites to lift the Champions Trophy.
In their first game, India had hammered arch rivals Pakistan but following the loss against Sri Lanka, they face South Africa on Sunday, in a virtual quarter-final.
Ashwin, a seasoned off-spinner, did not make it to the playing eleven in both the games.
“They (India) are one of the favourites because of the form the players have shown,” said Agarkar, who grabbed 288 wickets 191 in ODIs.
The former speedster also strongly believes that this is the best bowling attack in recent times, which has variety.
“As a combined attack, one of the best attacks we (India) had for a while. Even the ball has not swung in England, you got (Jasprit) Bumrah, Umesh (Yadav), variety is there, which helps the team always. Quite a complete attack. Not just balance, but there is variety, which makes captain’s life easier,” he added.
According to the former Mumbai pacer, form of both openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma is pleasing.
“Shikar’s form is very encouraging, but Rohit who did not have much cricket in the last six months due to injury, his form is biggest plus for India, because coming into the tournament, probably he didn’t have enough runs that he would have liked but both the games (in which) he has batted, he looked comfortable,” said the former pacer.
On the India-South Africa clash, he said the game will be a tough challenge for the Indians.
“They (South Africa) are the number one side (in ODIs) and had a bad game against Pakistan, so it will be a tough game. They have not won an ICC tournament before in-spite of having such a good game. It will be a tough game for India. They will have to play well. South Africa like India is a balanced team and on the day they play well, they are difficult to beat,” he added
Audio Books Attract More Livestream Hosts
The rise in the popularity of audio books has triggered a growing number of livestream hosts on many popular audio book platforms in China.
Statistics say that each year, over 20,000 candidates participated in the audition of Ximalaya FM, one of the applications for audio books. Another platform Qingting FM has a total of 350,000 professional hosts. On We Read, a reading platform developed by China’s technology giant Tencent, professional livestream hosts and agencies are the main providers of the audio reading services.
The hosts, each with their own characteristics, tell or read the stories using microphones, and they even play multiple roles in one story.
With different life experiences and professional backgrounds, the anchors have their own reflection on how to attract listeners with their voice and how to work together with the platforms to improve their services.
“It’s very challenging yet interesting to immerse the listeners in the stories only with my voice, since there is no image in audio works,” said Zhang Anqi, a professional dubbing artist who has voiced a couple of animations.
Zhang took her experience in recording a children’s book called “Daddy in the Pocket” as an example to illustrate how to handle different characters in the book. She studied the features of the speeches and the frequently used expressions of the characters such as students, teachers, and parents beforehand, and differentiated them through different tempo and mood during recording.
“The dubber switches roles when performing multiple roles, to help listeners identify different characters,” Zhang introduced.
Besides, the hosts also add their own emotions to their narration based on the original works, as many of them come from different professional backgrounds and have different life experiences.
Li Xiaoyu, a high school English teacher in north China’s Hebei province, recorded his first audio book in 2009. He started in his study, with merely a laptop computer and a cheap microphone which was only 15 yuan ($2.1) and the tone quality was bad.
Today, he has shaped up to be a successful livestream host on Ximalaya FM with nearly 400,000 followers. A historic fiction he recorded has been played 190 million times.
“For audio books, the capabilities of the host outweigh the recording equipment,” he said, adding that “the hosts must choose different tones for different types of works. For Chinese martial arts fictions, the voice of the host must be imbued with enthusiasm and passion, while a mild tone and a slow tempo fit romantic fictions.”
“What I have gained from recording audio books is not just professional skills. I feel satisfied when I see the messages of the listeners, some call my performances heart-warming, some say they could sleep well after listening,” said a student surnamed Wang in Southwest University in China’s Chongqing municipality.
Wang, who ekes out time to narrate audio books every day, hopes to help people see the bright side of life.
The performances of the hosts upgrade the reading experience of the readers, giving them new understanding of the original texts. The interaction between the listeners and the hosts could in turn inspire the hosts to improve their service and flesh out the content. It is a virtuous circle, revealed Cui Cui, a product manager of We Read.
“As sound has the advantages in spreading messages, it offers opportunities for different genres of book resources, especially classical literature and academic works in liberal education to get closer to a wider range of readers, Chang Jiang, a distinguished professor at the School of Media and Communication at Shenzhen University remarked.
The radio play of The Three-Body Problem, winner of Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, was launched on Ximalaya FM at the end of 2019. It was produced by a professional dubbing team called 729 Voice Studio.
Liu Cong, one of the dubbers, said that the whole procedure, which included adaption of the script, assigning roles, recording, post-production and launching, almost lasted a year. To adapt the science fiction for radio play requires imagination, the professional knowledge in the original work, and looking for the right dubbing artists for the characters. The radio play had been perfected again and again before it was launched.
So far, the book has been played nearly 20 million times, receiving many positive comments such as “all the characters are great, making the radio play very attractive.”
“The rights of audio adaption of literature works are not expressly written down in most of the copyright contracts and contracts for publication. As the digital publishing sees continuous development, the capacity of the market of audio books and habits of the users keep evolving, too. Therefore, we hope the rights of audio adaption will be clearly defined,” introduced Yu Jianjun, founder and CEO of Ximalaya FM.
So far, the platform has forged cooperative relations with over 500 publishing houses and next to 200 online literature organizations.
Kagame to Buhari: Fight Against Corruption is Good But We Have to Create wealth
Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, has told President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders, that it is not enough to fight corruption — but to also add value to human life.
Speaking at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) summit in Abuja on Tuesday, Kagame congratulated Buhari on his victory at the poll and said Nigeria must share resources equitably, so everyone can join the fight against corruption.
He also called on the president and other attendees to add value, create wealth, while fighting corruption, and not merely to fight corruption.
“There is one of your own [Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala], who wrote a book, titled, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous; so she gave me the book, and as I was looking at the title, I reminded her and said you need to be thinking of writing another book to state that not fighting corruption is even more dangerous.
“This is a fight that can be won; tolerating corruption is a choice, not an inevitability. It is within our power to end it. That is the most important starting point, otherwise, it will be a waste of time to keep talking about it.
“Corruptions does not take decades to eradicate once we decide to break the habit.
“We have to set our sights high, it is not enough to fight corruption just as merely fighting poverty, it is too small an ambition for Africa. We want to create value, we want to create wealth, not merely fighting corruption.”
Kagame said Buhari is AU anti-corruption champion, appreciating the president for his drive against corruption.
“President Buhari, I wish to give you our very warm congratulations on your re-election and best wishes for the entire Nigerian people, on the road ahead,” Kagame said.
“I also want to mention here, that President Buhari is AU (African Union) champion in the fight against corruption, and we thank you.”
Kagame said corruption must be fought from top to bottom, using four key principles: “culture, responsibility, accountability and effectiveness”.
“We must discard the myth that corruption is endemic to particular cultures. corruption is a universal weakness, not an African one, and it is not part of our destiny as a continent.
He said research has shown that “the biggest sources and beneficiaries of corruptions are outside of Africa”.
Emir Sanusi Speaks Again
Emir Sanusi fire back at Jafar Jafar says
There are no corruption allegations against me
there was never anything like N3b or even N2b in the Emirate council’s account when i became Emir,
The Rolls Royces they talked about were bought by my two friends, Kola Kareem and Bola Shagaya. This is normal. The late Emir’s limousines were bought by Aminu Dantata, Fernandez, Isiaka Rabiu, Sani Abacha and Ahmed Muazu. Everyone has friends and well wishers.
I am renovating the palace at my expense drawing on my overdraft with First Bank and liquidating assets and i dont mind being paid over a long period. And if i am not paid back by Government, it is still fine because the decision to use personal resources was mine.
Now, these famous photos of my “romancing” a woman in public.
First, this was a public event and it could have been anyone and it wouldnt matter in anyway. But as it happened, this lady is called Maryam. Her grandmother, Fulani Halin is the daughter of late Emir, Bayero and still lives in the palace. She is my cousin and has always loved photos.
The second picture the SA posted was this one. This woman is Maryam Lamido Sanusi nee Maitama. She’s my cousin and my second wife. We have been married for 25 years and she is the mother of six of my twelve children. The photo was taken many years ago when i took her to mauritius and this was on a valentine’s day. Okay, i am sorry if Northern conservative society has a problem with a man romancing his wife on a beach and embarassed that a private family picture is online but this is not a crime.
Sarauta ba abinda ya fi ta dadi. Ka zauna a gida a busa algaita da tambari a zo a gaishe ka. Watakila ma a baka gaisuwa. Support and praise every Government and avoid causing them offence. I am thinking, may be, the biggest problem i have is that i believed people actually expect more from Sarakunan su. Maybe, they dont. Time for reflection. Let’s all siddon look and watch the North be destroyed. Emirs should not talk.
Kola Kareem, the MD of Costain and Shoreline is an old friend of mine right from my banking days. Bola Shagaya was my classmate in SBS (1977) and in Economics class (1978-1981) in ABU, Zaria. These were their contributions to me. They asked what can we do and i said ‘buy me new cars’. The limos here are all antique and dead.
The only sad thing about all this nonsense is that it was posted by an SA to the Governor. He did not even tried to be smart and assigned someone to do it.
And what is all the noise about? I never insulted Northern people. I said the poverty levels in the north are among the highest in the world. How does that become insulting people. I also said it is fine to build light rails but, please, let private sector do it. And dont borrow N800b to build N10km of urban rail. I did not abuse anyone or call any name or insult anyone. I said the FG is spending 66% of its revenue on interest payment quoting the IMF article IV. And when you are in a debt hole this big, you dont dig. States have just been bailed out of debt by CBN. They should not be pilling more debt for future generations. Their resources should be for education and health. Where in this did i insult either politicians or the people?
I have reflected over and over on my speech and i still dont see what i said that is so wrong and offensive. I didnt say the North cannot survive as a country. Afterall, Niger Republic is there with some help from Paris. I didnt say that the North in the past had no glory. I know it has a rich history. I didnt say the North can not be rich and better. In fact, i think it can and it is a disgrace we are where we are.”
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