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As Dhoni Gets His Mojo Back, Will CSK Lift The IPL Cup?

Not for nothing is he known as Captain Cool. CSK coach Stephen Fleming said that Dhoni had that look in his eye which said: “I will take this on.” In the match against Delhi Capitals on October 10, Dhoni went out to bat with that intent when 24 were needed off the last two overs even if he wasn’t in the best of nick. That didn’t mean anything though as Dhoni dispatched the ball to the fence whenever it was within his sight and reach. That sight and reach may have dimmed or shortened but it didn’t matter as Dhoni made 18 off six balls and miraculously led his CSK into a ninth final in just 12 seasons — Remember his team was banned for two years. Dhoni never explains what he does at the batting crease. There were several revelations: “I wasn’t thinking too much. If you think too much while batting then you mess your plans up.” Also, Dhoni revealed a Sehwag-like code to batting, “My plan was simple, see the ball, hit the ball.” Dhoni can make that Sehwag plan seem even simpler while captaining too as he backed his bowlers even on a hard day when the ball was flying all around like when Hetmeyer and Pant were batting. But nothing is beyond Dhoni, the magician, not when it comes to the finish.

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Will Varun Gandhi Quit BJP To Join The Grand Old Party?

Soon after mother-son duo Maneka and Varun Gandhi were dropped from the National Executive of BJP, the central decision-making body, there was speculation that Varun would join his cousin Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra. There was a buzz that he might even show up at her Congress kissan rally in Varanasi. Though no such thing happened. His exclusion is attributed to his indiscreet utterances on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident that saw a hit-and-run accident and retaliatory lynchings, leaving eight dead.  On his part Varun played down his exclusion by saying that he had never attended any of National Executive meetings in the last five years. However, BJP sources say, Varun’s activities have been under the radar of the top bosses for the last five years. In 2016, Varun had found himself embroiled in a major controversy after he was accused of leaking military secrets to an arms dealer and weapon manufacturers after being “honey-trapped.” Varun did toy with the idea of leaving BJP five years ago when Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka sent word through an intermediary. But eventually he decided to bide his time, fearing action over allegations, and also because of Maneka’s equations with Sonia. Sheltered during Vajpayee rule, now it looks likely that Maneka and Varun won’t get a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2024. And Maneka may not mind Varun joining hands with Priyanka. But, will Rahul welcome his cousin?

N Srinivasan Turns To High-Performance Dhoni-CSK To Craft New Brand Strategy For India Cements

Sankar Cement and Coromandel Cement of India Cements have been part of some of the country’s iconic structures. Sankar Cement is associated with the building of Idukki Dam in Kerala, Pamban Bridge in Tamil Nadu and Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari. Infosys Building in Bengaluru and Rajiv Gandhi International Sports Stadium in Hyderabad were built with Coromandel cement. Well, Sankar and Coromandel are trusted brands in the cement industry for many summers and belong to 75-year-old India Cements Ltd (ICL), a leader in south India. With such history behind it, the ICL management, led by N Srinivasan, vice chairman & MD, is now engaged in the process of reconfiguring the brand strategy. The time appears to have arrived now. With the Chennai Super Kings having a dream run in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), team ICL chose to celebrate Platinum jubilee of the company with Captain Cool Dhoni & his boys and the dealers in a live engagement. This is perhaps the first and unique exercise to leverage CSK to promote India Cements, which is the principal sponsor of Chennai Super Kings. The focus now is on creating a distinct and strong corporate brand identity for India Cements. Iconic cement brands are to be promoted around this corporate brand among dealers and influencers. Well, the pitch is clear indeed!

What’s Confidential About Capt Amarinder’s Talks With Amit Shah & Ajit Doval?

Various theories have been doing the rounds in the Capital ever since Captain Amarinder Singh, former chief minister of Punjab, met with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. His meeting with Doval made it loud and clear that Captain was not joining BJP. So, what was the meeting all about? One theory is that Captain came to reveal his game plan of floating his own party and seek an alliance with the BJP so as to not only turf out Congress but also put AAP on the back foot. But, the real reason Captain met with both these gentlemen is to give information on Navjot Singh Sidhu that when divulged or leaked to the media may derail Sidhu’s political career and embarrass the Gandhis for backing him. Captain, it is learnt, is miffed that a die-hard party loyalist like him who was close to Gandhi family since Rajiv Gandhi’s days was given a shoddy treatment by brother-sister duo in order to accommodate a newcomer like Sidhu. So, over the next few months, it will be interesting to watch which way Sidhu’s political graph is headed — North or South?

Will Sansad TV Be The New Voice Of The Parliament?

Union Home Minister Amit Shah decided to give an interview on 20 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s elective politics. Interestingly, he did not choose any of the private channels to air his views. Rather, he chose to speak to Sansad TV — a relaunched Parliament TV. Interestingly, it was aired on a day Congress leader Priyanka Vadra addressed a kissan nyay rally at Varanasi. The Shah interview naturally monopolised airtime as all private channels went live with the interview. Sansad TV, a news channel that has combined the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha TV, was launched on September 15, 2021.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called it the new voice of the Parliament. In a break from the past, the news channel is roping in well-known MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to host their own shows or conduct panel discussions. First, one saw Congress MP Shashi Tharoor interview renowned Kathak danseuse Shovana Narayan and painter Anjali Ela Menon. Other well-known names that will be regularly seen on the channel are: Economist and author Dr Bibek Debroy who will be hosting a show on religion. Former diplomat Vikas Swarup will moderate a show on foreign affairs while Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will be doing a weekly show on government reforms. Well, it seems interesting on the face of it.
bjp veteran

L to R clockwise : Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Prakash Javadekar, Sadananda Gowda, Ramesh Pokariyal, Dr.Harsh Vardhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad

Future Uncertain For Veterans As BJP Bets On Young Leaders

When it comes to axing ministers in his cabinet and chief ministers in the States over their performances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ruthless. In July this year, Modi shocked and surprised everybody by dropping 12 ministers from his cabinet which included the likes of IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, I&B and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, and Health & Science Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. There were murmurs of protests and then came the news that some of the dropped ministers will land top positions in the party or hold gubernatorial positions. But some leaders like Minister of State Babul Supriyo felt badly insulted and decided to switch sides by joining Trinamool Congress. Will more follow as many veterans have lost hope? According to sources in BJP’s HQ, those dropped both at the Centre and States may not return to power or hold important positions in the party as long as Modi is the PM. He adds that Modi has seen their worth and capabilities, so has decided to build the next line of leaders. This exercise was evident in the recent cabinet reshuffle in Gujarat too. Scotching rumours that some of these veteran leaders may join other parties, the source said it is “unlikely.” They will remain permanent party soldiers. Is it? Only time will tell.

Sivakarthikeyan: Kollywood’s New Superstar & Serious Comedian

Sitting next to SK on the metro, you could easily take him for just another middle-class commuter. His simple, boy next door, no airs looks hide a volcano of talent and dedication to cinema. Currently, he commands Rs 35 crore per movie, overtaking his finder and mentor Dhanush at Rs 28 crore. Thirty-six-year-old Sivakarthikeyan made his debut in Tamil cinema in 2012.  With over 22 movies, this stand-up comedian and TV show host has seamlessly transformed himself into a saleable star, singer, lyricist and film producer. Yet, he has not lost his simplicity and humility, and wins over his audience with his tongue-in-cheek portrayals of the accidental hero. His just released Doctor in cinemas after a gap of nearly two years of lockdown is already wowing his fans. As its producer, SK had a few serious financial hiccups prior to release, he was bailed out by a well-known production house. Doctor is drawing appreciation as just the right prognosis for a good cinema house run, post Corona blues. The black comedy is all set to rake in the Dhan, though audiences are a bit baffled by a new look SK — all stern and serious throughout the movie. Oh, well, the director must have wanted him to play a serious comedian.
indian women cricket

Is The Time Ripe For BCCI To Launch IPL For Women?

While the BCCI is dilly-dallying with the idea of founding the Women’s IPL Twenty20 competition, Cricket Australia has not lost the opportunity to draft in eight Indian players for the ever so popular Women’s Big Bash League. The most exciting batter of recent times, India opener Shafali Verma and left arm spinner Radha Yadav will feature in the Sydney Sixers on Thursday, October 14. The Indians — apart from Shafali and Radha, the magnificent stroke player Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemima Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma — will earn decent Australian dollars, but what’s of importance is the players will get some experience of competitive cricket before the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in March-April 2022. There have been conflicting views on the need to start the IPL for women; some among the discerning believe India doesn’t have the talent pool to start one but is it not a good thought to start one when women’s cricket has a successful face in Smriti, who was in rollicking form in the pink ball Test against Australia at the Gold Coast. The BCCI should cash in on the opportunity that has presented itself now with a handful of young players showing the desire to embrace the sport.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.