first_imgHe also credits his decision to stay with the franchise to other factors aside basketball, particularly his tight relationship with team owner Mark Cuban and the loyal Dallas fan base.“I think I’m old school,” Dirk, who led Dallas to an NBA title in 2011, said. “Some of these guys that are now stars are obviously younger. The business has changed a bit. You know, I never knew what to expect when I came to Dallas, but everything just came together here. The way, when I got here, that the community embraced me and wanted me to succeed.”He added: “Cuban buying the team at the end of my second year was a huge part of why I was here my entire career. He was a huge supporter of mine. He’s a friend of mine and he’s always supported me throughout my career. So I was here, I belong to this community, and for me, it was always easy for me to be loyal.” /raADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Folayang working on ground game, striking as he awaits next fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during play against the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Center on March 3, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPDirk Nowitzki certainly knows a thing or two about loyalty.Although the German-born superstar has received a lot of enticing offers whenever he hits free agency, the 39-year-old forward has often made compromises to stay with the only team he has ever known, the Dallas Mavericks.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Now entering his 20th NBA season with the team, the one-time NBA MVP acknowledged that loyalty is a rare trait to have in the league these days.“The new NBA is a little different. It’s about making money and winning and not as much about being loyal anymore,” he said during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio and relayed by The Score.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNowitzki recently inked a $10-million contract over the summer—which is a relatively modest contract for someone of his stature. Although he has gotten up in age, the 13-time All-Star remains as one of the best stretch forwards around.Having accumulated around  $245 million since entering the league in 1998, Dirk has willingly taken pay cuts in order to sign other talents and help improve the Mavs roster. View commentslast_img read more

first_imgView comments LATEST STORIES CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Languido, Miranda nail Milo 42k finals slots Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Powerhouse squads Ceres Negros and Kaya Makati took a step closer to the four-team Finals Series with gritty wins on Saturday in the Philippines Football League.The Busmen leaned on a 27th minute goal from Bienvenido Marañon to subdue Stallion Laguna, 1-0, at Biñan Football Stadium, while Kaya slipped past Global Cebu, 2-0, at University of Makati.ADVERTISEMENT Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Kaya, with 44 points from 25 matches, is four points behind Meralco Manila which has already secured a place in the Finals Series, while Ceres remained in third with 42 points in just 19 matches.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00PH military destroys thousands of illegal guns, ammo01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Bucks get Bledsoe from Suns for Monroe, 2 draft picks A US State Department official told AFP: “We are aware of reports of three US citizens arrested in China and stand ready to assist.” The official declined further comment, citing “privacy considerations”.UCLA had said Tuesday it was “aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes” and was cooperating with local authorities, but otherwise declined comment. Georgia Tech said none of its athletes were involved.The Pac-12 conference to which UCLA belongs issued a Twitter statement saying it was “very disappointed by any situation that detracts” from the China visit.“Whether in the United States or abroad, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards,” it said.LiAngelo Ball is one of three basketball-playing siblings who have emerged on the national stage in recent years, fueled in part by father LaVar’s aggressive promotion of his sons as future NBA superstars.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next MOST READ Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:43Man arrested for slipping alcoholic drinks inside Manila North Cemetery00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The shoplifting reports threaten to tarnish that campaign, which has included LaVar Ball’s creation of the “Big Baller Brand” shoe and apparel line “inspired” by his three sons.The brand has promotional events planned for Friday in Shanghai, including an appearance by LaVar with autograph signings, according to the store where it will be held.Eldest brother Lonzo joined the Lakers this year after just one season with UCLA, while youngest brother LaMelo Ball is still in high school but also on the radar as a future professional.LaVar Ball is frequently criticized over his brash claims, and Twitter users wasted little time taking shots at LiAngelo.“Season hasn’t even started and he already leads the nation in steals,” said one posting, while others launched a cheeky #FreeLiAngelo hashtag. A Hangzhou government spokesperson confirmed to AFP that three American citizens had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting but referred further questions to police, who could not immediately be reached.ESPN said the players were arrested Tuesday after around 20 police officers descended on their hotel in Hangzhou near Shanghai, where the team had gone to tour the corporate campus of China e-commerce giant Alibaba, a sponsor of the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutESPN had reported that police questioned members of both teams in the hotel before taking away the three UCLA players.The fate of the players on Wednesday, and whether they would face charges, was unclear. Shoplifting can bring a prison term of several years in China. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LiAngelo Ball of Chino Hills High School dribbles the ball down court during the game against Mater Dei High School at the Galen Center on February 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images/AFPLiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball, was among three college basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting, reports said Tuesday.Ball, who is with the UCLA basketball team ahead of their season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, was detained with teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, ESPN reported.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View commentslast_img read more

first_imgHouston Rockets guard James Harden (13) loses the ball as he collides with Toronto Raptors forward CJ Miles (0) on a drive to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)HOUSTON, Texas—The Toronto Raptors have struggled to close out games against good teams this season.They solved that Tuesday night, getting 27 points from DeMar DeRozan while holding off the Rockets 129-113 despite a couple late runs by Houston.ADVERTISEMENT Masked man: Irving returns as Celtics win 13th straight MOST READ DeRozan and Serge Ibaka had back-to-back dunks after Harden’s big play to make it 120-107 with about three minutes left and send many of the home fans toward the exits.Harden had 11 assists and six rebounds. He has scored at least 20 points and had seven or more assists in every game this season.The Raptors scored the first five points of the second half to make it 81-64 and pushed their lead to 19 points midway through the third on Lowry’s 3-pointer.Toronto led by 21 before Houston made five straight points, capped by a 3-point play by Tarik Black. That was the start of a nice run for the Rockets, and they used a 9-3 spurt after that to cut the lead to 97-87. Harden made four points in that span, and Eric Gordon capped it with a layup.Houston led by eight points during the first half, but the Raptors used a 45-point second quarter to take a 76-64 edge into halftime. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC James Harden had 38 points and made 19 of 19 foul shots for the Rockets, who ended a six-game winning streak.“We weren’t sharp,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Sometimes you let down and it’s hard to turn it back on. We tried, we got close in the second half, but we just didn’t have enough.”Houston scored six straight points, including three free throws from Harden, to make it 108-103 with about 7 1/2 minutes left.Delon Wright made a free throw for the Raptors soon after that, and OG Anunoby connected for Toronto’s first field goal in more than three minutes on a 3-pointer with 6:25 remaining. After Wright’s layup, Kyle Lowry stole the ball from Harden, and DeRozan finished on the other end with a dunk to make it 116-103.Harden got Houston going again with a four-point play. The free throw was his 19th, setting a franchise record for most foul shots without a miss in a game.ADVERTISEMENT Just as important, DeRozan thinks he knows the key for Toronto holding leads going forward.“Liking this feeling,” he said. “You’ve got to love this feeling so you don’t got to go out there having too many of them close games that you lost, feeling upset, got to wait until the next game. You’ve got to want to continue to have this feeling and that should work out everything else.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutToronto led by 12 at halftime and had to repeatedly shut down rally attempts from the Rockets.“Consistency in this league is a hard thing to grab, and that’s what we’ve got to reach for, grab for each and every night,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “If we could bottle tonight, the energy, the toughness, the togetherness we had tonight, it (would be) special.” LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win PLAY LIST 01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View commentslast_img read more

first_imgIt’s no surprise that the undermanned Gilas Pilipinas has been playing with full of heart of in the continental championships, already taking out powerhouse China and a taller Iraq side to clinch the top seed in Group B.Photographers from Fiba.com were able to capture the heartwarming sight of Gilas Pilipinas’ cheering squad in action.Cheering hard for Gilas Pilipinas. Photo from Fiba.comFilipinos in Lebanon let our cheers in support of Gilas Pilipinas. Photo from Fiba.comTerrence Romeo gets some love from Filipino fans after the game vs Iran. Photo from Fiba.comRomeo, who has been starring for Gilas Pilipinas, take photos with fans. Photo from Fiba.comJapeth Aguilar mingles with Filipino fans.Gilas Pilipinas wave to Filipino fans in the gallery. Photo from Fiba.comFilipino fans react after a play. Photo from Fiba.comMatthew Wright nails a triple—and Filipino fans explode in cheers. Photo from Fiba.comWith game all but decided against Iraq, Filipino fans take photos with Gabe Norwood and Jayson Castro. Photo from Fiba.comThe Filipino gallery at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex. Photo from Fiba.comRising star Christian Standhardinger takes fun photos with Filipino fans. Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas bids the crowd goodbye after the big win over China. Photo from Fiba.comMore FIlipino fans in the gallery. Photo from Fiba.comArmed with banners and flags, Filipino fans in Beirut cheer for Gilas Pilipinas. Photo from Fiba.comSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters The support for Gilas Pilipinas from overseas Filipinos has been overwhelming so far in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup. For the past two games, we’ve seen and heard them cheer their hearts out—something you can’t miss when you’re watching on your television here in the Philippines—and shower the players with love.READ: Players, coaches turn into fans after Gilas’ big win over ChinaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWith games scheduled on weekdays, most of them must’ve taken a day off work just to watch at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut. They may have not been able to fill the entire stadium, but they were loud enough to make it feel like they did.READ: Gilas sews up QF berth  Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Gilas Pilipinas national team sing the national anthem. Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas may be a long way from home, but Filipinos in Lebanon have not failed to make the national team feel it was still playing on its home floor.READ: Philippines stuns China to open 2017 Fiba Asia Cup bid ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES McGregor holds strong on prediction of a knockout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelolast_img read more

first_imgBJP on Friday said the raids on CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi’s premises are an “eyewash” and demanded that others “including those in the PMO” should be probed in connection with alleged irregularities in Games projects.”Kalmadi is a symbol of corruption. Taking action against him is welcome. But he should not be made a scapegoat. His masters who took the decisions and sanctioned the funds should also be punished,” BJP President Nitin Gadkari told reporters in Jammu.He named the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet, Cabinet sub-committee, Group of Ministers dealing with the CWG issues, expenditure committee, among others as those who were involved in the preparations for the mega event and said they should all be probed.”The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium could have been renovated at a cost of Rs 100 crore but Rs 980 crore was spent on it. Spending Rs 70,000 crore on the event was sheer waste of money. This is nothing less than a loot. 50 per cent of the people in this country earn less than Rs 20 per day,” Gadkari said.Asked about the Prime Minister, whose resignation was demanded by the BJP at its rally against corruption in New Delhi on December 22, Gadkari said, “Directly or indirectly” the permission for CWG projects and even the 2-G Spectrum allocation came from his office.”Action against A Raja (former Telecom Minister) and Kalmadi is an eyewash. Action against them is not enough. A letter written by Raja to the PM which has been published in newspapers shows the latter’s permission was taken,” Gadkari said.advertisementParty spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy earlier said, “The raids are too little, too late. This is what the BJP thinks on the development”.Party chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said BJP is “not very happy with this delayed raid, but would certainly expect a prompt, fair investigation and nabbing of the culprit as promised by the Prime Minister.””Why so much of a delay, why so much of documents being allowed to be misplaced deliberately. I think this explanation is required….so much delay in raiding the premises of Kalmadi, who almost became a disgrace for the country. It is a very sorry state of affairs,” he said, adding “None of the guilty should be spared including those who have given quick approval to the loot of public money”.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

first_imgMarch 18, 2011: Enjoy a special World Cup menu and beer buckets at Svenska Design Hotels, Oberoi Complex, Lokhandvala, Andheri. March 19, 2011: Take part in a music workshop by percussionist Taufiq Qureshi at Blue Frog, 6 pm onwards.March 20, 2011: Attend a photography exhibition for children (9 to 14 years) by Dr PKM Pillai. At Piramal Art Gallery , opposite Narian Bhawan.March 21, 2011: Get ready for Foster’s chill out loud nights by stand-up comedian Rohan Joshi at Rude Lounge from 8:30 pm to 10 pm.March 22, 2011: Attend a project management workshop titled Prince 2 at Hotel Lotus Suites, 9 pm onwards. March 23, 2011: Savour an Italian treat by Chef Daniele Capobianco at Trident Hotel, C-56, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex.March 25, 2011: Attend a special screening of the movie City of God by Enlighten Film Society at NCPA, Godrej theatre. March 27, 2011: Enjoy the screening of the movie Dharavi, followed by a discussion with Sudhir Mishra at Cinemax, 12 pm onwards.March 30, 2011: Get ready for an orchestra performance by Maggio Musicale Florentino and Zubin Mehta at NCPA, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre.March 31, 2011: Enjoy a rocking performance by Les Boukakes at the Mathuradas Mills Compound, NM Joshi Marg.April 1, 2011: Be part of the Art and Design Trade Fair organised by Times at Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.April 2, 2011: Watch the big game-ICC World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium, 2:30 pm onwards.April 4, 2011: Enjoy a solo exhibition of recent art works by Maya Burman at Art Musings, Admiralty Bldg, Colaba.cApril 5, 2011: Enjoy a seafood extravaganza at Intercontinental , The Lalit Hotel, Airport Rd, Vile Parle, 7 pm onwards.April 7, 2011: Celebrate Ravindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Syani Road.April 10, 2011: Indulge in the liquor chocolate fest at Pure Sin Chocolates, G-5, Pil Court, Maharishi Karve Road from 10:30 am to 6 pm.April 12, 2011: Attend a solo show by Poonam K Rangan representing Indian life at the Southern Art Gallery, Maxus Mall.April 13, 2011: Watch IPL league 2011-Pune Warriors vs Indi Commandos at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, 4 pm onwards.April 15, 2011: Get your name and your favourite player’s number printed on your Manchester United jersey at Manchester United Cafe Bar, Mulund.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgThe five-member Indian badminton team led by Saina Nehwal arrived in Delhi on Monday evening enroute to London for the Olympics beginning on Friday.The contingent comprising Saina, Ashwini Ponnappa, Jwala Gutta, Parupalli Kashyap and V. Diju will leave for London on Tuesday morning under the supervision of chief coach Pullela Gopichand. The majority of India’s 81-member Olympic contingent has reached London.”The reason we stayed back in India is that we prefer training amongst ourselves. We would do the same in London rather than sparring with players from other countries,” Ashwini, who will be representing India in the women’s doubles with Jwala, told IANS.World No.5 Saina, one of India’s brightest medal hopes in London, starts her women’s singles campaign on Saturday.Kashyap, ranked 21, will be the sole representative in men’s singles after pipping Ajay Jayaram for the Olympic qualification.A medal can be expected from Jwala and Ashwini, who made history by wining a bronze at the World Championships last year.Jwala will also pair up with Diju for the mixed doubles event.last_img read more

first_imgIndia Today Editorial Director M J Akbar.When propaganda works, it becomes conventional wisdom fairly quickly. As the Olympic torch fleets from hand to heroic hand on its way to the London Games, we offer it the aura of a tradition stretching back to that hoary past when this event was restricted to a few nude Greek men.There is certainly a very pre-electricity touch to this torch which conjures up visions of an olden golden age. A bit of reflection suggests that a torch could not have been much use, since the sports were held during daylight. In fact, this wheeze was dreamt up by the Nazis for the 1936 Berlin extravaganza as part of a publicity drive for Hitler’s pseudo-white Aryan maniac delusions. The world destroyed Nazis, but kept the torch.Nor did the logo, of five interlinked circles, originate in some great architectural symbol of ancient Greece. It was born in the intelligent imagination of the man who reinvented the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, when he saw a magazine advertisement for Dunlop bicycle tyres with a similar display. It might however be the most significant contribution made by an ad agency to world history.This logo was first revealed in 1914, so in two years it will reach its centenary moment. Surely this is sufficient cause for the advertising and sports industries to pool their considerable talents, and raise sufficient funds to celebrate in the manner to which they are accustomed. 1914 also saw the advent of the First World War, but no one seems particularly eager to recall that first instance of organised, relentless and often pointless carnage on a multinational scale.Baron Coubertin became convinced that sport was a better option than war, and who can blame him. But, to succeed, he argued, sport had to be organised on the lines of religion, with its own church, dogma and ritual. This profound insight is the basis of the commercial success of all contemporary sport.Each sport has its own Pope, who is infallible as long as he is in office. His support system is a cluster of cardinals and a structured order of bishops. This should end all questions about why politicians want to be at the command centre. It is not the sport that they love, but the infallibility that they crave.There is nothing democratic about sports management. Its culture is that of an opaque cabal, and woe behold any heretic who attempts to disturb its secret society methods of insider trading, as the current Sports Minister Ajay Maken discovered when he thought that the Government of India was more important than the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The chorus that silenced him was a formidable all-party alliance.If the alliance that squashed Maken formed a coalition government in Delhi, it would be the strongest, most stable, policy-focused ruling partnership in Indian history. Perhaps Rahul Gandhi should, when he takes effective charge of Congress in September, hire Lalit Modi as consultant to decipher the BCCI code of management. If Modi is held up in London, there is always Jagmohan Dalmiya waiting to serve in Calcutta.Politics, far more than sport, needs the glue of symbols. The BJP revived from a near-death experience in the 1984 General Elections by turning a brick into a magnet during its campaign for the construction of a temple at Ayodhya. The Gandhi cap has rather lost its adhesive quality for the Congress. When its leaders are forced by protocol to wear them, they look faintly ridiculous. Moreover, Anna Hazare has co-opted the cap into his own brand image.A torch could be a good substitute. One can visualise the excitement created by Youth Congress volunteers holding aloft the Torch of Reform, as they race from village to village, behind a bus with dancing and music on the upper deck. This in turn would ensure TV coverage, as news channels need the barest excuse to show free footage of Hindi film songs. TV would also encourage sponsors to jump in with free packets of sweets for children among the spectators. Every PCC would send one torch to an AICC session; all of them would be used to ignite one giant flame to inaugurate a fiery start.Sceptics will always dismiss any revolutionary idea. When Baron Coubertin persuaded a few countries to throw a javelin, did he know that one day, more than a century later, a blond mayor of London called Boris Johnson would aspire to become Prime Minister of a Great Power on the strength of his Olympic skills? A sneer is the privilege of a pessimist.The Congress is in obvious need of a strong dose of optimism. The Olympic spirit is in the air. It should breathe deeply.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more