BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Phil Simmons was yesterday suspended as West Indies head coach for criticising the selection process regarding the one-day team for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.The Trinidadian, only appointed six months ago, made the shocking move of slamming the omission of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the yet-to-be announced ODI squad, claiming there had been “outside interference” in the selection process.In a statement, the West Indies Cricket Board said it had “learnt of the comments from head coach of the West Indies team Phil Simmons in the print and electronic media which appear to question the legitimacy of the selection process of the one-day international squad for the tour of Sri Lanka”.”As a result, the management of the WICB has taken action to suspend the head coach, pending an investigation into the issue,” the release said.”The head coach will not now travel with the team on the tour of Sri Lanka.”Ironically, one group of West Indies players were scheduled to leave here yesterday for the Test tour of Sri Lanka, with the second group set to depart today.Eldine Baptiste, who was expected to be the ‘selector on tour’, will now replace Simmons for the two-Test series which will be followed by the one-day series.In a media conference at the conclusion of the team-preparation camp last Friday, Simmons took the unusual step of accusing “people” of using their “influence” to determine squad selection.”I think it’s disappointing from the fact that I haven’t got the best 50-over ODI squad that we can select in the Caribbean,” Simmons said.”The chairman, Mr (Clive) Lloyd, he came and he gave an exceptional speech, saying that he thinks it is time they (Bravo and Pollard) are back in the squad, and he gave exceptional reasons for them being back in the squad.No success in meeting”Unfortunately, when we went into the selection [meeting], we lost it 3-2. Him and myself – the captain (Jason Holder) doesn’t have a vote in this – but the captain also gave his views as why they need to be back.”He added: “That’s not the disappointing fact. The disappointing fact is that you can lose 3-2 in a vote-off, but there is too much interference from outside in the selection of the ODI squad, and it’s disappointing for me to know that in any aspect of life … [people would use] their position to get people into a squad, or in this case, get people left out of a squad.”It is wrong, and I don’t like it, and that is my beef with the selection of the ODI team.”Simmons was appointed last March following the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and has overseen home series against England and Australia.West Indies drew the three-Test series against England, 1-1, but lost the two-Test series to Australia, 2-0.Simmons, 52, is a former West Indies cricketer, who played 26 Tests and 143 ODIs between 1987 and 1999.
27 August 2013 For one week in September, South Africans will once again be allowed to enjoy their natural heritage free of charge, with day visitors getting free access to the Kruger National Park and almost all other national parks in the country. The eighth annual South African National Parks (SANParks) Week runs from 9 to 13 September, and offers South African citizens free entry into almost all 19 national parks, with the exception of the Namaqua National Park and the Boulders Penguin Colony in Table Mountain National Park. “A number of events have been lined up to encourage South African citizens to visit the park and experience the beauty,” Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa said this week. Mabasa said the aim was to encourage South Africans to take care of the country’s conservation areas. South African day visitors who present their green bar-coded identity documents will be allowed free entry that week. Children under the age of 12 will not need proof of identity. Groups regarded as commercial ventures, such as private open safari vehicle operators, tourists who come to the park on tour buses, and overnight visitors will not qualify for free access. “The normal daily quota at the gates will still apply during that week, and preference will be given based on first come, first served basis,” Mabasa said. As part of the week, Kruger Park management will be engaging with neighbouring communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga province. “We will be visiting sick children at Maphutha L Malatji Hospital in Phalaborwa and hosting a group of individuals with visual disabilities, affording them an opportunity to touch and feel the bush.” Mabasa said that nature conservation should not be out of anyone’s reach as it formed part their culture and heritage.Table Mountain National Park For Capetonians, there’s the opportunity to visit Cape Point – part of the Table Mountain National Park – and spend the day exploring the majestic most south-westerly point in Africa. Free guided walks along the coast of the Cape of Good Hope will be available from Tuesday, 10 September to Thursday, 12 September on a first come, first served basis. Walks are scheduled for 10h00, 11h00 and 12h00 from Tuesday to Thursday and are two to three hours in length. Early registration is essential, as there is only space for 20 people per walk – email firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday, 5 September to sign up. Metrorail and their preferred bus-service provider, HGTS Tours, are offering daily return train-trips from Cape Town to Simons Town, followed by a luxury coach journey to Cape Point for the duration of SA National Parks Week (including Saturday 14 September). The cost for this transport package is R120 per adult and R60 for children up to the age of 12, students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Meghan Horne of Metrorail’s Rail Tourism Promotions Department on 021 449 3018 / 2366 or email email@example.com. SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter
CWG OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi is being held responsible for all the Games irregularities.The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has widened its probe into the alleged financial and administrative irregularities related to the Commonwealth Games and put purchase of medical equipment and selection of tainted project officers for the sporting event among others under its scanner.The Commission is also looking into the whole process for production of vehicle graphics, standees, banners and signages for national sector of Queen’s Baton Relay, 2010 and directed the Delhi Government to take necessary action in this regard.”Some other complaints regarding purchase of medical equipment for Commonwealth Games, selection of tainted project officers for CWG, proposal for production of vehicle graphics, standees, banners and signages for national sector of Queen’s Baton Relay, 2010 have been sent to Delhi Government for necessary action at their end,” the Central Vigilance Commission said in response to an RTI application filed by PTI.According to the information, the CVC is probing at least 22 more Games-related construction and procurement works carried out by different government agencies here for alleged financial irregularities.Out of the total of 22 projects, six were carried out by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, four by Delhi Development Authority, three by Organising Committee and two each by Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Central Public Works Department, Government of Delhi.One work each relating to Department of Commerce, Indian Meteorological Department and New Delhi Municipal Council is also being probed, the reply said.The CVC has also found alleged misuse of official position by Raj Kumar Sacheti, Joint Director General of Commonwealth Games, who is considered a close aide of Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi.advertisementGiving details of the complaint, it said there is a “complaint against A K Jain, Chief Engineer, CPWD regarding alleged irregularities in tenders for LED display board at MCD National Stadium, Mathura Road, New Delhi. The factual report is awaited from CVO, CPWD since January 7, 2010.”There is a complaint regarding alleged irregularities in purchase of air conditioners for DDA flats. A factual report is awaited from CVO, DDA since March 18, 2010,” the RTI reply said.The anti-corruption watchdog is also investigating procurement of “secure communication network” or Tetra for the Games on the basis of complaint received from Dr Harsh Vardhan, Member of Legislative Assembly, Delhi.”The Commission sought comments from Delhi government on the complaint, which is awaited since May 7, 2010,” the reply said. .The CVC has also received a complaint regarding alleged irregularities in the construction of bus queue shelters for Commonwealth Games by DIMTS. A factual report has been sought from Government of NCT of Delhi on June 3, 2010 and reply is awaited.The anti-corruption watchdog is also looking into the complaint regarding alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for PA/Sound System, LED display boards and other communication systems for various Commonwealth Games stadia in which national exchequer borne loss of crores of rupees.”A report was sought from CPWD on September 8, 2010 and is still awaited,” the reply read.An analysis by Chief Technical Examination Wing of CVC has earlier found alleged financial and administrative irregularities in 16 construction and procurement projects.Six of them were done by PWD, three by MCD, two each by CPWD, DDA, NDMC and one by RITES, a Government of India Enterprise, the CVC report said.The expansion of the probe by the CVC came even as it directed all agencies concerned to submit their reports by the month-end.Official sources said a reminder has recently been issued to Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) in this regard.The move came after Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas objected to the “lackadaisical approach” and continuous delay by agencies in submitting replies to the queries raised by the anti-corruption watchdog, they said.A senior CVC official said that based on their replies, the CVC will give its findings or final report to a committee formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V K Shunglu.As per the RTI information, it has been found out that some of the agencies are sitting on the clarification or delaying their replies asked by CVC on corruption charges since January this year.There is also a “complaint regarding misuse of official position and corruption by Raj Kumar Sacheti, Joint Director General of Commonwealth Games, 2010. A factual report is awaited from the CVO, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,” the CVC said.- With PTI inputsadvertisement