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International Cricket: Clarke blasts a double; Proteas lose pace

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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International Cricket: Clarke blasts a double; Proteas lose pace | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Michael Clarke blasted his second double-century in consecutive innings to drive Australia to a mammoth first-day total of 482-5 in the second test today as South Africa’s pace attack was brought to its knees by injury.

Captain Clarke blasted 39 fours and a six in a sparkling unbeaten 224 in bright sunshine at Adelaide Oval to demoralise the Proteas after they lost paceman Vernon Philander before play started with a back injury and Jacques Kallis with a suspected hamstring injury after lunch.

Dale Steyn, the world’s top-ranked test bowler, took himself off after tea with another suspected hamstring strain, leaving the tourists at the mercy of a withering barrage from Clarke and fellow century-makers David Warner and Mike Hussey.

Steyn later returned but the horse had already bolted as Clarke compiled a 155-run stand with opener Warner before adding another 272 runs with Hussey.

Clarke and Warner had steadied the innings after the top order collapsed to 55-3, with Kallis striking twice, but the pair hit out after lunch as South Africa captain Graeme Smith rested Steyn and threw spinner Imran Tahir to the wolves.

Clarke and Warner plundered 108 runs in less than an hour after lunch, with the latter lofting a six over bowler Tahir’s head and then stroking a sublime cover drive for four on the next bowl to bring up his third test century.

Having had his place in the test side questioned after an indifferent run of form, an ecstatic Warner bounded down the wicket and punched the air in delight as the fans squeezed into the half of the ground not under renovation roared.

The belligerent 26-year-old was eventually caught behind for 119 off the bowling of paceman Morne Morkel, having blasted 16 fours and four sixes, but Australia were in control at 210-4.

White hot
Clarke, in white-hot form following an unbeaten 259 in the drawn first test in Brisbane, barely lost step as he combined with Hussey after tea.

The 31-year-old skipper brought up his first 100 with a cut to the backward point boundary off Tahir, having survived an appeal for caught behind when on 73 off the bowling of paceman Rory Kleinveldt that umpire Billy Bowden gave not out.

South Africa referred the decision but it was turned down after a video review, the second declined for the innings, leaving the visitors with no more referrals.

As shadows crept across the ground, Clarke began a renewed assault before stumps and charged to 198 with a slogged drive over extra cover.

He flicked a single off his pads to bring up his 200th run and spark a standing ovation from a roaring crowd.

Clarke punched the air and kissed the badge on his helmet as he celebrated becoming the first batsman to surpass 200 four times in a calendar year.

The crowd was back on their feet one ball later as 37-year-old Hussey slogged over midwicket for six to bring up his 17th test century and second in succession after scoring 100 in Brisbane.

South Africa’s bowlers ended with ugly figures, with Tahir going wicketless for 159 runs, pillaged for more than seven runs an over.

The tourists face a Herculean task to turn things around at Adelaide and could lose their top test ranking should they lose the three-match series.

All-rounder Kallis had made an immediate impact when he came on in the morning, catching Ed Cowan off his own bowling for 10 with his third ball.

He then bowled Ricky Ponting for four when the former Australia captain’s footwork fell apart to leave him slumped on the deck after the ball had clattered into his off-stump.

In the over between Kallis’s strikes, Morkel had Rob Quiney caught behind for a duck by Smith at first slip.

Kleinveldt, who went wicketless on debut in Brisbane, replaced Philander in the attack. Du Plessis makes his debut in the side in place of JP Duminy, while spinner Tahir was recalled after being benched at the Gabba.

— Reuters

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Tourism

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar (Phuket Hotels Association) is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader

Maya Taylor

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Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

The owner of a luxury resort on the Thai island of Phuket is facing a social media storm after condemning the current pro-democracy movement and one of its main organisers. Taking to Instagram, Vorasit Issara, owner of the five-star Sri Panwa Phuket Resort, singles out protest leader, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul for his disapproval, saying “she should be in prison”.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is he working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Sharing a photo of Panusaya, he adds, “arrest this child.” Vorasit incorrectly stated that asserted that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul isn’t Thai. In fact she was born in 1998 in Nonthaburi and IS a Thai citizen.

His post has since gone viral, prompting outrage from those who support the anti-government movement. A hashtag calling for a boycott of his Sri Panwa Phuket resort has taken off on Twitter, at a time when almost all hotels are battling for survival, especially on Phuket. The hashtag #แบนศรีพันวา (Ban Sri Panwa) is trending on top on Twitter.

Digging up the 38 year old’s past indicates hissupport of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the coup that brought him to power in 2014. Speaking to Coconuts Bangkok, Vorasit denied being “out-of-touch” and “elite” and said he’s unconcerned about the boycott call.

“If you don’t love (the political) establishment, you better not come to my resort. Don’t be my guest,” he said in the Coconuts story.

Others are now using Google reviews to attack the property, accusing Vorasit of supporting a dictatorship.

The anti-government rally held in Bangkok, at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the Sanam Luang royal parade grounds over the weekend, drew up to 30,000 people in Bangkok’s drizzly wet-season weather. Panusaya was one of the protesters who organised the event and was the first, in July, to read out a 10 point manifesto that, for the first time, openly mentioned the reform of the Thai monarchy.

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Vorasit’s comments come as the newly-crowned Miss Grand Thailand also faces a backlash, after speaking up in support of anti-government protesters. Pacharaporn Chantarapadit has been hit with racist insults on social media after condemning the current administration and saying she stands with the protesters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Weather

Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued

The Thaiger

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Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued | The Thaiger

Phuket’s Rawai Mayor, Aroon Solos, ordered all beaches in the area to close after a foreigner was rescued this morning after being unable to make it back to shore. The foreigner was swimming off Ao Sane beach, just north of the popular Nai Harn Beach, when lifeguards were sent out to help bring him back to shore. The recent weather has been partly attributed to Tropical Storm Noul as other beaches areas around Patong have been closed since Friday.

Mayor Aroon ordered both the Nai Harn and Ya Nui beaches closed until further notice.

Noul crossed over the Vietnamese coastline in the early hours of Friday morning and tracked westwards into Laos, then Thailand’s north east, dragging in moisture from the Indian Ocean and intensifying the south-west monsoon.

The Chief of the Cherngtalay Tambon says that, once weather is more stable, the island’s beaches will reopen.

“All beaches in our area, Surin Beach, Bang Tao beach and other beaches, are closed today. We will reopen them when the weather improves.” Strong winds have contributed to falling trees and power outages across the island with one tree falling on the island’s main traffic artery, Thepkasattri Road, blocking traffic.

Officials are also warning road travellers to drive carefully after a car reportedly flipped over yesterday during wet conditions. The Thai Meteorological Department has also re-issued a weather warning today, saying that Noul has been now downgraded from a Category 3 tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The remnants of Noul currently sit over the Kancanaburi province after surging through Thailand’s north eastern and central provinces earlier today.

“Strong wind waves are likely in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. In the upper portion of both seas, the waves will be likely 2-4 meters high and more than 4 meters high in thundershowers. In the lower portion, the waves will be likely about 2 meters and in thundershower areas more than 3 meters high. All ships keep ashore through 20 September.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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