INDIANAPOLIS, IN – APRIL 03: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats acknowledges the fans during practice for the NCAA Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Twitter/CalipariThe U.S. Basketball Writers Association recently voted Virginia’s Tony Bennett its Henry Iba Award Winner as the national Coach of the Year. According to the Associated Press, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was asked on Tuesday about Bennett taking home the honor, and his response is one that probably caused a ripple across the Bluegrass State. “I think John Calipari has done a brilliant job, so I’d put him at the top” of the list of candidates.Pitino added, “When you’re undefeated and nobody’s beaten you, it’s clear cut who the coach of the year is right now.”Sure, Calipari is the skipper of the undefeated and top-ranked team in the nation, but that team is Kentucky, Pitino’s former employer and Louisville’s biggest rival, so this response is somewhat noteworthy. Still, Calipari as coach of the year isn’t exactly an outside-the-box thought from anyone.The most surprising thing, given Pitino and Calipari’s respective resumes, is that neither of them has ever won the USBWA Coach of the Year award.
Melbourne: Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari have the edge going into the opening Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, but the Mercedes ace remains quietly confident in his bid for a sixth world title. The 34-year-old, who was dominant in 2018, is gunning to go one better than legendary five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio and close in on Michael Schumacher’s all-time record seven Formula One crowns. But it was Ferrari who sizzled in pre-season testing to emerge as the early favourites in Australia, with Hamilton claiming the Italian team could be up to half a second quicker around Albert Park on Sunday. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “This is going to be the toughest battle yet,” said the Briton, although Mercedes, who have won five drivers’ and constructors’ titles in a row, may not have shown their full hand yet. “We’ve got the best team around us. We have experience, it’s no coincidence that we are world champions so we have to be diligent and stay balanced,” added Hamilton, who has won twice in Melbourne, in 2008 and 2015. “But as a driver for sure I have to figure out how can I pull more out, which I don’t have the current answer for.” His Ferrari arch-rival Sebastian Vettel swept home in an Australian thriller last year, getting a jump on Hamilton after Mercedes miscalculated a pit stop under virtual safety car conditions. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open It was the four-time world champion’s second straight win in Melbourne and he followed it up with victory at Bahrain before a resurgent and doggedly consistent Hamilton won 11 of the final 19 races to leave the frustrated German in his wake. While Mercedes have retained Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton’s partner this year, one of only two unchanged driver line-ups, Vettel has a new teammate in Charles Leclerc who shifted from Sauber — now branded Alfa Romeo — in a swap for Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel said he considered 21-year-old Leclerc a “full rival” despite his relative inexperience and expressed confidence that Ferrari can clinch their first drivers’ crown since Raikkonen’s triumph in 2007. “I hope that this year we get to have a lot of fun. Fun is to win a lot of races and then ultimately you are fighting for the championship,” said the 31-year-old, who won four successive world championships at Red Bull from 2010-2013. The bookmakers have Vettel as clear favourite to win on Sunday although new Ferrari team chief Mattia Binotto suggested Mercedes were not as far off the pace as Hamilton suggested. “I believe that Mercedes will be very strong in Australia and I think that we would be completely wrong to believe that we are faster than them,” he said. Meanwhile Red Bull, powered by new Honda engines, have high hopes that Max Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers’ standings last year, can crash the Hamilton-Vettel party. He has a new partner in Pierre Gasly after Daniel Ricciardo’s shock decision to leave for Renault. Three drivers make their race debuts in Australia — Lando Norris (McLaren), Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso) and George Russell (Williams). Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) was a stand-in at two Grand Prix for Sauber in 2017, but is embarking on his first full season. The race also marks the amazing comeback of Poland’s Robert Kubica, who eight years ago partially severed his right arm in an accident that many believed would never see him driving a car again, let alone a Formula One machine. He gets his opportunity at Williams, which finished last in the constructors’ championship in 2018. In a new concept this year, a bonus point will be awarded for the fastest lap during the race should the driver finish inside the top 10. A winner currently gets 25 points with 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and one for the subsequent places. A new set of aero regulations have also been introduced, featuring simpler front wings and brake ducts, in a bid to improve the quality of racing.
New Delhi: The NCLAT has sought a response from Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani within 10 days over a contempt plea filed against him and other officials by the minority shareholders alleging non-payment of dues by one of its group firms. An NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya said he would like to hear Ambani and other respondents over the contempt petition filed by HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) and some other minority shareholders of the company over alleged breach of undertaking for payment by group firm Reliance Infratel. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We intend to hear the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the contemnor-respondents (Anil Ambani and others),” the bench said. “They may file short reply within ten days. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed by the appellants within a week thereof,” it added. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)has directed that the matter be listed on May 20, 2019 for admission. HSBC Daisy moved the appellate tribunal over alleged default of payment of Rs 230 crore by Reliance Infratel. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostDuring the proceedings, counsel appearing for HSBC Daisy submitted that the order passed by NCLAT on June 29, 2018 amounts to an undertaking given by the parties in a consent decree over payment of Rs 230 crore and a breach of such undertaking amounts to Contempt of Court. As per the consent terms of the agreement between Reliance Infratel, HSBC Daisy and others, recorded by the NCLAT in its order dated June 26, 2018, the Anil Ambani-owned firm was to pay the amount in the next six months. The six-month period has come to an end following which HSBC Daisy and other nine minority shareholders holding 4.26 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel filed the contempt plea. Earlier, on January 2, NCLAT had disposed of the contempt plea filed by HSBC Daisy on technical grounds. However, the tribunal had given it the liberty to withdraw its plea to approach again with its contempt plea against the officials of Reliance Infratel. HSBC Daisy and other minority investors of Reliance Infratel had moved National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai alleging oppression and mismanagement after the company had allegedly not taken their consent for selling the tower and fiber assets.
Kolkata: Election Commission has sought a report from the District Magistrate of East Midnapore on the derogatory statement of BJP candidate from Tamluk, Siddhartha Nashkar.During an election campaign in Tamluk, Nashkar allegedly made some derogatory remarks on Friday and allegedly urged the BJP workers to beat up other party activists. Following the incident, various political parties moved to the Commission demanding action against the BJP candidate from Tamluk. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state sought a detailed report from the DM and also the video of the election rally. The Election Commission will examine the video footages of the BJP candidate. They will take a decision after going through the video. It may be mentioned that many BJP candidates have courted controversy in the recent past for their derogatory remarks and it seems to continue unabated. BJP’s Basirhat candidate Sayantan Basu, Dilip Ghosh contesting the elections from Midnapore, Babul Supriyo contesting from Asansol had been under the scanner of the Election Commission for triggering controversies. It may also be mentioned here that some polling personnel from Birbhum have urged the Election Commission to keep an eye on Anubrata Mondal, Trinamool Congress president of the district, on the day of elections as they fear that Mondal may try to intimidate voters.
New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has told Air India that it should prepare 2018-19 financials for itself and its subsidiaries by end of June as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has decided to speed up the disinvestment process of three of its wings, according to an official document.After a botched attempt to sell Air India in May last year, a panel led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had decided in June to scrap the stake-sale plan for the time being. It was then decided to infuse more funds into the carrier and cut down debt by raising resources by selling land assets and other subsidiaries. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraAir India has a total debt burden of around Rs 55,000 crore. On April 1 this year, a meeting was held in the PMO under the chairmanship of Nripendra Misra, the principal secretary to the Prime Minister, to discuss the matter regarding strategic disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries. “A meeting was held on April 1 under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to PM in which it was, inter-alia, decided to speed up the process of disinvestment of AIATSL, AIESL and AASL,” civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola told Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani in a letter dated May 6. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysAir India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL), Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) and Airline Allied Services Limited (AASL) are subsidiaries of the national carrier. Kharola said that in order to proceed with disinvestment process of Air India and its subsidiaries, audited financials for 2018-19 will be required. “I would, therefore, request you to kindly get financials of Air India and its subsidiaries for the financial year 2018-19 finalised by end of June,” Kharola said. Aviation secretary also said that since the accounts for 2018-19 would form the “basis of bidding”, it is necessary that they are prepared with “utmost caution so as to reflect the correct financial status”. He added that contingent liabilities must be thoroughly verified. Moreover, he added that “account receivables” and “account payables” must be verified and confirmed from the other parties. “A physical verification of the inventories need to be done so as to ensure that the value of inventories shown on the balance sheet matches with the assets physically,” Kharola told Lohani. The secretary also told Air India CMD that a list of all pending litigations have to be drawn up. As a precursor to sale of Air India, the Cabinet on February 28 had approved setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) –Air India Assets Holding Limited–to transfer Rs 29,464 crore worth loans of the national carrier and its four subsidiaries. The four subsidiaries which have been transferred to the SPV are AIATSL, AASL, AIESL and Hotel Corporation of India (HCI).