New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) Appointed coach of the national team for the tour of Zimbabwe, Sanjay Bangar says the upcoming limited overs fixtures against the minnows will be a good opportunity for Indias young cricketers to prove their mettle in international cricket. Former India and Railways all-rounder Bangar was last month named India coach for the tour that will have three ODIs and three T20 Internationals starting June 11. The selectors named a largely inexperienced squad for the tour, which will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I am very excited and I would like to thank the BCCI for this huge honour. This is a very important tour for the young players. It provides them an ideal opportunity to test themselves in international waters. It is the start of a new season and it gives them an opportunity to make a mark and keep knocking at the doors of the Indian team,” Bangar was quoted as saying by bcci.tv. During their last two tours to Zimbabwe in 2013 and 2015, India whitewashed the hosts. With a squad that has many young players, Bangars task will be cut out. “Among the few things that are important when we land in Zimbabwe is being aware of the individual strengths, the position that they play in, what we expect from them and then fit them in the scheme of things as far as the team composition is concerned,” Bangar said. “We have a fair idea of what they are capable of and how we can optimise their strengths into the composition of the team. Not many of them would have played in Zimbabwe and getting used to the conditions in such a short period would be a major challenge. “The conditions too are a bit challenging as compared to the other parts of the world. We dont really have a lot of time there and we play our (first) match straightaway. Passing on the information and experiences that we have had from the previous tour would be vital. We have to make sure that the players are very well prepared and equipped to counter the challenges.” Asked about the pitch conditions in Zimbabwe, Bangar said, “It is not really a high scoring venue (All the matches will be played at Harare Sports Club). At the moment, it is sort of winter there and this year we are going to be playing with Kookaburra balls. We played with Duke balls last year. The Duke ball tends to do a bit more than the Kookaburra ball. “We will have to go there and find out what is the behaviour of a Kookaburra ball vis–vis a Duke ball. Zimbabwe is also at a higher altitude. So fielding wise, the ball tends to travel slightly quicker. Those are the small adjustments you need to make to make sure that you are on top of the game.” PTI AH PDS PDSadvertisement
View of a building destroyed in Anchorage, Alaska after the March 27, 1964 earthquake. (Photo: Doyle and Gloria Bushman papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage)Law Makers are passing bills to recognize March 27th as the official Rembembrance Day of the Good Friday Earthquake that struck Alaska 51 years ago. In the Legislature, House Bill 35 is awaiting Governor Bill Walker’s signature. Independently, the Anchorage Assembly passed its own local version last week.Download AudioBoth efforts came about because of the same man.Chuck Volanti was only 24-years-old when Alaska was hit by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America.“I was working at the Alaska Air National Guard during the time of the quake,” Volanti said by phone. “That evening is an evening that I will never forget.”Volanti was part of a four-man unit in the Air National Guard. Weeks after the quake, the crew was on a humanitarian mission to Valdez. As they flew out ahead of bad weather the plane went down, killing three guardsmen, as well as Adjutant General Thomas Carol, who was with them. Volanti was not on board, and is the only survivor from the office.The seed for the Remembrance Day resolutions was planted when he visited Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in 2013.“I wanted to put a wreath at the wall of honor, in memory of fallen comrades,” said Volanti.In March of 2014, Governor Sean Parnell signed into law a bill recognizing March 27th as the 50th anniversary of the disaster. But as Volanti puts it, that was “law for a day,” and he felt that the deceased, as well as the survivors, deserved something more lasting. So he brought the issue back up with House Republican Charisse Millett of Anchorage.“This legislation honors these people, it remembers these people,” Volanti said. “So in a subsequent conversation with Representative Millet I said ‘This is a date that should be, now and forever, remembered.’ And I said ‘Representative Millet would you kindly consider sponsoring a bill?’ which she did do.”The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. But Volanti didn’t stop there. He mentioned the issue to Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who helped get a local version in front of the Assembly. Flags will fly at half-mast, and clergy in Anchorage and elsewhere have agreed to toll their bells to mark the date each year. They are symbolic steps that Assembly chair Dick Traini believes will carry forward the lessons learned after the quake.“So the purpose of this is to just remind Alaskans about what happened in the past, and what will happen again,” Traini said by phone. “Because there will be another earthquake–it’s a matter of when it happens, not if.”Traini hopes the official remembrance will help remind residents to take steps to prepare, like having a three day supply of food and water at home.And though Volanti and his wife now live outside of Alaska, his work commemorating the quake isn’t over, even half a century later.“One of the last things I have left to do is see some kind of a memorial…placed in Valdez in honor of this flight crew,” Volanti said. “Like I say, to me these men were more like family than a formal military command.”The Anchorage resolution passed unanimously last week in the Assembly.