Month: February 2012

Ricky Ponting Dropped

Ricky Ponting was dropped from Australian ODI team on 20/2/2012. He was captain in the previous match which Australia had won by 110 runs against India. He had hoped to continue in ODI team. John Inverarity, chief selector, said Rick Ponting would not be considered for future ODIs. He said “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to lack of form. The team will not seem the same without him. But moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.”

Ricky Ponting was captain of the Australian team that won World Cups in 2003 and 2007. After Australia’s defeat against India in World Cup 2011 he stepped down from captaincy. Ricky Ponting’s predecessors had ceased to be team members when they ceased to be captains. Australian policy was not to have former captains in teams. In Ricky Ponting’s case an exception was made and he continued in Test and ODI teams.

Ricky Ponting was successful against India in the Test series. He had a double century, century, three fifties, total of 544 runs and the average of 108.8. In ODI series he did not score many runs. He scored 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7, a total of 18 runs in five matches. There was criticism when he was made captain for two matches when Michael Clarke could not play due to injury. The critics felt David Warner who was vice captain should have been made captain. About his poor form Ricky Ponting had said “People asked me similar questions before the Test series against India, and during it as well. I had a lot of questions asked.” Selectors thought he did not deserve to be in ODI team.

Ricky Ponting retired from ODIs on 21/2/2012. A great ODI career came to an end.

Cancel Kingfisher Licence

Kingfisher is in trouble again. It has cancelled flights without informing passengers and DGCA and passengers are suffering. DGCA should cancel its licence. Excuse of bird hits should not be accepted. Passengers book their tickets in advance. When they come to the airport and know flights are cancelled there is not much they can do. To get tickets on other airlines they may have to pay more.

Ajit Singh has rightly said there will be no bail out of private airlines. If airlines suffer losses they are responsible for them. Passengers pay the fare fixed by airlines. If on an average airlines lose 900 rupees per seat they should increase the average fare by more than 900 rupees per seat. As a consequence if some people stop airline travel so be it. Air travel is not supposed to be cheap.

Kingfisher has borrowed money from banks and has not paid them. It has deducted taxes but not paid them. Its employees do not receive their salaries for months. Vijay Mallya has money for IPL but not for Kingfisher. A cricketer gets hired for almost 10 crore rupees for 45 days. Pilots don’t get paid. It seems many pilots have left Kingfisher and joined other airlines. Kingfisher has 7,000 crore rupees debt. It would not have been more if government had not bailed him out by turning loans payable to government banks into shares. Vijay Mallya blaming Income Tax Department for freezing accounts is of no use. Pilots were getting notices for taxes deducted by Kingfisher over the years but not paid to the government.

Foreign airlines are expected to be allowed to invest in private airlines in India but no one has come forward. Perhaps they have their own problems. Recently Air Australia went bankrupt. Passengers were stranded in Honolulu and other places.

Air India also should not get bail out. The freebies and concessions its present and former CMDs, directors, pilots and other employees get should be abolished. High salaries should be cut down. Some pilots get almost one crore rupees per year.

Kingfisher is not aviation industry. If it goes down it will not be the end of industry. Over the years East West, Modiluft, Damania Airways and many other airlines have shut down and aviation industry continues.

India and Iran

USA and EU want India to stop dealing with Iran. Sometime back India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai visited USA. It is reported that American officials asked him why cannot India reduce its ties with Iran. He replied India imports oil from Iran, there are six million Indians in the Gulf region and Iran is the only land access to Afghanistan and hence difficult to stop reducing ties with Iran.

The reply should have been “Why should India reduce its ties with Iran? India has its interests. India’s foreign policy will not be subservient to foreign policy of any other country.”

Iran becoming a nuclear power is not against India’s national interest. USA did not stop Pakistan from becoming a nuclear power. Israel has nuclear weapons. It is not under IAEA. It has no right to criticize Iran. USA, UK, France and Norway violated NPT and abetted in Israel becoming a nuclear power. They have no right to criticize Iran. Israel has employed terror tactics in various countries. It has killed four Iranian nuclear scientists.

India should tell Iran that it does not want its soil to be used for terror against any country. Some in India objected to Mossad and FBI being part of investigation as Israel and USA were against Iran.

Iran has shown its centrifuges. It has cut off oil supply to Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. India needs Iran to have access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. There was trilateral summit where presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan participated. It seems USA is getting isolated in Af-Pak region.

Some months back I wrote that India should defy USA, NATO and EU to maintain balance of power. India did not heed my advice. Russia and China did and vetoed two resolutions on Syria in four months.

India gave up Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline deal to suit USA. India voted against Iran in IAEA. India got a nuclear deal with USA. With protests against nuclear reactors the deal is of no use.