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Phuket Sports: Pietersen – draw card or drawback?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Pietersen – draw card or drawback? | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Kevin Pietersen, who has a reputation for dropping bomb shells – and not just while he is at the crease – has announced his retirement from limited overs cricket.

Surprising?

Yes, considering the fact that “KP” (as he is known to followers of the game) was voted ‘Player of the Tournament’ in England’s Twenty20 triumph at the last World Cup. He had a batting average of 62. In a format where team totals rarely exceed 190, that is a stupendous achievement.

Apparently the English Cricket Board does not allow players to choose between playing either one day or Twenty20 formats. It’s all or nothing, and KP is opting for nothing.

But he is also on record as saying that “were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20.” Clearly, Pietersen is not one to be tied down, either by the opposition bowlers or by the dictates of the English game’s governing body.

We know about his headstrong antics: his spat with Peter Moores, then the England coach, in India, and his recent tweeting denunciation – which incurred a reported 3,000-pound fine – of Nick Knight’s role as a cricket commentator.

There must be other reasons. In company with several other English Test players including Graeme Swann, he apparently now has less enthusiasm for “one dayers”, despite 4,184 runs at an average of over 48 in that format.

It is also evident that, at 31, he feels the need to conserve his energies and, in his own words, “to consider the intensity of the schedule and the increasing demands on my body”.

That may well be a fair assessment, but it is worth remembering that other top-notch batsmen – Ponting, Kallis, Tendulkar and Hussey among them – have continued to play limited-overs cricket with considerable success until their late thirties.

Perhaps KP has other agendas. The shortened forms of the game demand that players attempt more precarious shots, and even, in Pietersen’s case, invent them. Indeed, he is widely known for popularizing the “switch hit”, whereby a player changes his stance during the bowler’s run-up, and plays as a left-hander.

As a batsman whose supreme gift lies in driving the ball straight and with great power in the “v” between mid-off and mid-on, he knows that contrived and cross-batted strokes are fraught with infinitely more risk than shots played with the full blade of the willow. As Eoin Morgan, a brilliant limited-overs player can attest, bringing your unconventional one-day shots to the test arena does not always work.

Money may be a factor. KP will still make himself eligible for the Indian league (IPL), where he plays for the Delhi Daredevils for a reputed fee of 1.28 million pounds. Not bad for six weeks’ work.

Certainly, the financial rewards in the sub-continent are far higher then anything he can earn by playing for his country. He is, moreover, a married man with a young family. Those considerations are bound to have played a part in his decision-making.

His resolve has polarized expert opinion. Jonathan Agnew of the BBC has defended his decision; so too Geoffrey Boycott, who maintains it is a distant legacy of his treatment by the selectors when they relieved him of the captaincy.

On the other hand, Patrick Collins of The Daily Mail has described it as “resentful”, and former captain Michael Vaughan as “staggering”. Unsurprisingly, the current England coach Andy Flower says he “tried to dissuade him”.

But unless there is a change of heart somewhere fast, Pietersen is going to be lost to the game of one-day cricket. England’s most exciting, most enigmatic, most powerful and arguably most talented batsman is going to be sorely missed.

— Patrick Campbell

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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Phuket

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
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Police in Phuket are looking for a suspect who residents say has been stealing women’s underwear. Surveillance camera footage from a resident’s home shows a teenager driving through a neighbourhood, then stopping and stealing ladies panties that were hanging up to dry.

One resident told Phuket News that numerous residents in Thalang’s Baan Lipon area have reported missing underwear.

“Recently neighbors have been reporting that many items of their underwear have been stolen. Many residents are worried about the man hovering around here trying to steal underwear.”

A man told the Phuket News that his wife’s underwear was stolen and he’s now worried about his family’s safety. Another resident says he’s also concerned.

“As a resident in this area, I am worried about the safety of the local residents. Underwear has been stolen, something else could happen as well.”

In a similar case back in October, a 46 year old man was arrested for allegedly breaking into homes in Ratchaburi and stealing women’s underwear. Police says they seized 70 pairs of panties.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October

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Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to open its doors to vaccinated, international tourists by October, pending the government’s approval. The local government’s initiative, named Phuket First October, proposes vaccinating a majority of its population over 18 years of age in time for the high season. The move would allow thousands of vaccinated Europeans to enter Thailand, while locals would be protected from the virus symptoms.

Protecting the locals would include achieving herd immunity in time for reopening the province, which would need 70% of the population to be vaccinated. The local government’s goal would not wait for the government to roll out vaccines, and instead, use its own resources to vaccinate the public. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association told the Thai Enquirer over the phone, that they won’t stop pushing for ways to help the tourist destination survive.

“I think there must be a solution that balances controlling the outbreak and stimulating the economy.”

The island is also looking to waive the 14 day quarantine, with PM Prayut recently changing his stance by announcing that a quarantine waiver is being considered for those vaccinated tourists.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Initial research shows that around 250,000 citizens per month must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Initially, the province’s request was denied by the federal government, but business leaders are not giving up hope. Recently, they submitted a petition to PM Prayut to appeal the denial citing lack of income, mounting debts and increasing financial disputes due to over eight months without international or domestic flights.

The second wave has also plummeted tourism even lower than before, as the industry has seen a 93% drop in visitors since the same time last year.

Phuket has already kicked off its vaccine rollout as of yesterday, after receiving a delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab. Priority is being given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials that have been exposed to Covid-19 patients.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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