Chester, a 10-month-old Border Collie and Blue Heeler mix, is enjoying his social distancing Tuesday at home with a snack treat. Chester is a member of the Melissa Salmon family. As he munches on his treat he is thinking about how he might lift spirits around the community. Courtesy photo
IntroductionsEsports Insider held conversations with Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director at NODWIN Gaming operating just southwest of New Delhi in Gurgaon, India and Bo Shen, VP of International Development and Innovation at Royal Never Give Up (RNG) Esports from Shanghai, China – both speaking during ESI Digital Summer next week and representing very different corners and markets of the monstrous Asia-Pacific esports region.Started in 2015, NODWIN Gaming focuses on gaming and esports entertainment in developing markets by creating linear television programming formats, white-label content creation, and as a media company licensing IPs, among other endeavours.Royal Never Give Up (RNG) began as Star Horn Royal Club in May of 2012, rebranding to RNG in 2015. They are one of today’s most influential esports organisations in the industry. The organisation manages a total of 10 teams in different esports and leagues including team RNG in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), team Royal in Dota 2, and the Chengdu Hunters Overwatch League team. The RNG Stadium, previously in Beijing, will reopen in Shanghai this fall.Two very different organisations representing completely different aspects of the industry: Rathee’s wheelhouse is in media rights, where Shen’s expertise focuses on esports organisational business. Our conversations with the two will hopefully be helpful to inform those who have interest in the region but are not sure where to begin to try to understand some of the nuances of these large and diverse foreign markets.The OverviewChina and South Korea have served as an example for many outside of the region on possibilities of a local and international competitive esports scenes. Japan has slowly begun to enter the arena, as noted by Michael Sheetal, Founder and CEO of PlayBrain Inc, during May’s ESI Digital Summit.WATCH Michael’s Esports in Japan presentation at the ESI Digital SummitSoutheast Asia and India’s competitive gaming scenes, in particular, have exploded via mobile gaming. It’s safe to say that regardless of the region, some purists look down their nose at mobile esports, but in these regions, mobile esports have more than a leg to stand on. They reign supreme over their PC and console counterparts, whereas China and South Korea embrace all aspects of esports thanks to their established PC bang and internet café cultures.Rathee prefers to think of the area that NODWIN Gaming operates within as “Emerging Market Mobile Esports Economies,” rather than within a specific geographic region. While they are an Indian company, if tomorrow’s newest emerging market is Venezuela, South Africa, or Nigeria: “NODWIN will go where esports will be predicated on mobile networks,” Rathee explained.Mobile gaming is big in countries where these devices are the first owned gaming system for most players, like consoles have been for the past 40 years in other markets. Rathee said that in these markets, spending a lot of money on hardware dedicated gaming isn’t perceived as kosher within the culture – especially when a gamer can purchase a mobile device to play titles popular in the region for a similar price point.WATCH Rathee on the ESI Digital Summit Mobile Esports panelShen shared that the sheer size of RNG comes with a hefty price tag: after paying for their myriad social media, international, and production arms of the organisation, on top of the company’s own stadium – it still manages to be one of the only profitable esports organisations. Shen explained it is because RNG enjoys some of the largest sponsorship deals in the whole of China, including Mercedes-Benz, HUYA, CITIC Bank, and Logitech.While many esports organisations have a content or media division, NODWIN Gaming is fully committed to a media and content business model – it views itself as the end-all of non-live content in gaming for their markets. It partnered with MTV India last year to produce various series broadcasted on mainstream television. The company views itself as agnostic, thus not tying itself to a specific title or publisher, allowing it to create a plethora of gaming and esports content.NODWIN Gaming also manages some of the most popular Indian gaming YouTubers and has recently expanded into the Middle East, opening offices in Dubai and Saudi Arabia respectively, we’ll cover details of those markets in the Middle East segment of the series.The OpportunitiesProximity to other emerging mobile marketsRathee believes that his regional market advantage – while he generally views NODWIN Gaming as regionally agnostic – is its proximity to other emerging mobile esports markets and understanding of the mobile gaming and esports scenes. When asked which market he would love to move to next, Rathee replied: “I am where I want to be.”Rathee looks at new communities as new potential markets rather than new regions and thus forming new relationships with publishers, such as a recent one with Activision Blizzard, it hopes that being able to expand its IP portfolio where it operates, it can service more corners of the gaming and esports population.Huge potential cross-region audiencesWhile it is difficult for many esports clubs to gain international fans and sponsors, due to cultural differences and language barriers, both Shen and Ashkat believe that the Asia-Pacific region has great strength in its very large and active gaming and esports market share. Shen believes this should attract international companies to pay attention to the possibilities of the region.Shen views North America, Europe, and China as ideal cross-regional markets, and many Chinese brands are already expanding globally, despite the current trade war. By pursuing esports fans, companies can tap into younger audiences that are interested in lifestyle apparel, hardware, and gaming, this strategy can work conversely for foreign brands looking to expand into China and the greater Asia-Pacific region.Social media activations galoreShen advised that while the best ways to enter the Chinese market are to invest into an established organisation or create a partnership with a local club that can help navigate the government regulations, media rights, and local cultures – there is another way.“Open their own branch of social media to do some marketing activation in China. At RNG, we helped Team Vitality [LoL] do a bootcamp in China. They spent one month in China and produced a lot of content for social media. We even did a show match and invited about 30 esports media [companies] to cover the show match. The overall online impressions were over 50 million, that’s a very big number,” Shen shared.He continued, “This shows the potential of the [Chinese] market, if you want to seek the exposure and if you want to have a solid fanbase in China: come to China, work with local organisations or club, do social media promotions or bootcamping – which probably a lot of teams will do this year for Worlds – this is going to help them a lot.” The reason for pursuing this strategy is “more fans, more opportunity for sponsorships,” according to Shen.The Challenges Language and cultural differencesWhile all interviews were conducted in English and in the global esports industry at large, English is the lingua franca especially for business – for content and other consumer media in each region, communication needs to be localised. And due to the localisation, the scene can be hard to understand and follow for outsiders – much less the case in North American and European markets.As mentioned above, NODWIN Gaming has recently moved into the Middle East and South Africa, but in order for it to find suitable partners in the region, it had to expand its organisation to include Arabic speakers. Its proximity makes this potentially less difficult, but far distant outsiders to new regions will find this challenging without an in through its network.Navigating nuanced and foreign platformsShen shared that in comparison to North America or Europe, where it’s common for the youth to grow up with athletics, in Asia they grow up with games, leading to the Asian proliferation of its streaming culture, years ahead of the West. While the West features only a few streaming services all generally resembling each other, the Asia-Pacific region offers dozens – each with different streaming cultures, audiences, and popular users. This fragmentation can be difficult to understand for insiders and outsiders alike.WATCH ESI Digital Summit Esports in South East Asia PanelLack of talented professionalsThe size of the esports market and of the audience offers a great benefit to the region, offering expansive reach, but because of the youth of the industry, even in China, the lack of experience and professionalism leads to its own challenges, a sentiment shared across all regions based on our interviews.Due to the lack of regulations, established best practices, and guidelines, Shen explained that the turnover rate of esports employees is astounding in China. Many people try to come in from traditional sports or internet companies, but due to poor organisational structures and lack of talent and professionalism, many leave as quickly as they came.Employment data – Powered by HitmarkerDuring Esports Insider’s conversation with Hitmarker’s Managing Director, Richard Huggan (featured in the Europe-focused entry of this series) he shared regional data from the premier English-language esports and gaming job site. You’ll find these insights in each respective entry of the series. In anticipation of ESI Digital Summer (#ESIDIGITAL), presented by Kinguin LOUNGE, we’ve taken the time to speak with a number of our esteemed panelists and partners involved in the biggest online B2B esports conference of 2020, to share their perspectives of the unique regional esports scenes represented during the event.ESI Digital Summer is the second digital conference in line this year for Esports Insider, and we invite stakeholders from in and around the industry globally to join us over August 17th-21st for five consecutive days of content, including 35+ live hours wherein each day will focus on a different and important regional market for the esports industry.To make reading up on the global perspectives from industry veterans and developing brands easy – we’ve broken up the conversations into regional entries, following the itinerary of ESI Digital Summer.Each entry also features a shortlist of opportunities and challenges – gleaned from our conversations – and employment data powered by Hitmarker. These are not meant to be exhaustive, rather to provide context for each region from the perspectives of some of the industry’s finest.Regional Esports Market Report – Asia-PacificThe OpportunitiesProximity to other emerging mobile marketsHuge potential cross-region audiencesSocial media activations galoreThe ChallengesFragmented landscape, with various languages and cultural differencesNavigating nuanced and foreign social media platformsLack of experienced, highly skilled workers within local esports industryEmployment Data – Powered by Hitmarker7.24 percent of total global market share of newly-posted jobs in July During July of 2020, Hitmarker registered 245 new job listings for the Asia-Pacific region, claiming 7.24 percent of the total market share globally, including remote, of active jobs on the site.With half as many countries represented compared to the Europe region, Huggan noted that these figures cannot be representative of the real number of opportunities in the region, as Hitmarker is currently focussed on the English-language market.English-native Australia shows 14 job listings, while India and Singapore both number in the mid-40s.Gaming giants China, South Korea, and Japan collectively host only 37 jobs on the site, which clearly does not correspond with the reality of opportunities in the countries, more so, it indicates the prevalence of local language in their gaming and esports industries.The top five companies hiring in the region, according to Hitmarker’s data from March 1st – July 31st, are: Ubisoft, Razer, Electronic Arts, Logitech, and Gameloft.Final thoughtsRathee shared his thought process for entering esports: “For me, it’s like building a skyscraper. Esports is the lighthouse on top of a huge building. However, if you just build a tall building just as a lighthouse, you will crumble and fall everytime the wind [blows], because you just don’t have a solid enough foundation. Understanding the life journey of gaming – from casual gaming to social gaming to competitive gaming to esports – is the depth of the foundation that you need to go ahead and understand. That will give you depth. Esports doesn’t happen on day one.”He continued to explain that for any professional sport circuit, you want the top 200 competitors and ideally these would come from a huge pool. The reasoning is that the top 200 from a pool of 20 million is going to produce more “Wow!” moments than the same slice from a pool of 20,000 – thus being proportionately more entertaining, leading more people to want to watch.Esports is ultimately entertainment for the average consumer, just like ‘traditional sports’, the reason people watch is to get their money’s worth (however figuratively) by witnessing highlight reel performances. The dopamine rush accompanied by such a moment is proportionate to the level of skill perceived to accomplish said feat, which is why, according to Rathee, why there are so many more players of FIFA than there are viewers – the spectator experience doesn’t make the game look that difficult. Viewers would rather play themselves to earn the dopamine than watch something that doesn’t appear difficult thanks to the broadcast. Rathee claimed that this is why FIFA also doesn’t label itself as an esport.Because esports is so international, Shen explained, if you want to be a true top tier organisation you have to generate attention from outside of your country, otherwise you’ll be extremely limited. In China, it’s tough for RNG to get another million followers, and in order for that to happen, it has to “steal” those followers from another rival club. But if it is performing well in competitions it will be easier to attract followers from North America or Europe so it can continue to perform well on the social media aspect of the organisation, and vice versa for foreign teams.This thought process could very well be applied to any other region with established organisations – expanding into other markets because the only viable option for continued growth in many cases, as both NODWIN Gaming and RNG are exemplary of this. It’s easier said than done, as most markets prefer to support their homegrown organisations than to pile on to new foreign influences.What it comes down to for both enterprises is the community. NODWIN Gaming provides its communities with IPs to license and distribute, allowing tournaments and competitions for their communities and providing top-tier broadcast entertainment to keep the fans coming back for more. RNG focuses on increasing its audience abroad and helping others grow within its market while continually striving to be the best-in-game with its various esports teams.Be sure to watch both Rathee and Shen speak during ESI Digital Summer during the Asia-Pacific programming Monday, August 17th.See Full Agenda and secure your ticket for ESI Digital Summer
Share This!Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebrations kick off at Disneyland! Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland preview.Special Events and NotesIt might be just past Labor Day on the calendar, but that means it’s Halloween time at Disneyland! In addition to lots and lots of Halloween decor, you can expect characters to be in special costumes (including the Cars cast, which is fantastic), plenty of unique seasonal treats, and several rides with holiday-themed overlays. This year sees the return of perennial favorites Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, and last year’s new Halloween makeovers at California Adventure — Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-o-Ween, Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree and Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark — will be back as well (note that the latter transforms in the evening only). For more information, make sure you check out our preview here.This will be the last week before Disneyland Park sees early closures for Mickey’s Halloween Party, so make sure you take advantage of that this week. These parties do sell out, so get tickets as soon as possible if you’d like to go in the weeks ahead.Finally, the Dia de los Muertos celebration is underway at Zocalo Park in Frontierland in Disneyland Park. Stop by there, and nearby Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante for photo opportunities, face painting, and treats like Pumpkin Flan.CrowdsLow post-summer crowds continue this week, with only Saturday seeing even average level crowds — every other day is predicted to be level 3 or below. Rosh Hashanah should not alter this — Monday is predicted to have level 3 crowds.Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.WeatherThe weekend is going to be HOT, with highs approaching 100 on Saturday, which is also the day we’re predicting to have the highest crowds. The work week will be slightly more moderate, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. As is normal this time of year, there’s no chance of rain to speak of.As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.ShowsThere’s a light entertainment schedule during the week — for example, neither the fireworks nor Fantasmic! will be shown at all Monday through Thursday — with regular schedules on the weekends (including Friday). Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like The Straw Hatters can be found here. Pixar Play Parade2211112 California Adventure9-108-109-99-99-99-59-10 Fireworks1100001 SatSunMonTuesWedThurFri Paint the Night1111111 Fantasmic!2200002 ShowSatSunMonTueWedThuFri As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.RefurbishmentsThe Enchanted Tiki Room continues its refurbishment through October 3 (note, this is a revised date), the Main Street Cinema is offline through September 27, and the Matterhorn is down indefinitely; we’ll let you know when Disney announces its anticipated return. The Sailing Ship Columbia will also not be running during the week, just on the weekends.Over at California Adventure, Golden Zephyr will be undergoing a brief refurbishment from September 10-17. World of Color remains offline until further notice — we’ll let you know when we have a better idea of when it will return as well, but we are not anticipating it back until the latter part of the year. All other attractions are currently operational, but as always, be aware that refurbishments can pop up unexpectedly, so check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.That should do it for this week’s preview. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments. Admission and HoursPassholder blockouts taper off a bit this week; Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out Saturday and Sunday, and Southern California Passholders are blocked out on Saturday only. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Regular Price ($117/$110) on Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, and Value Price ($97/$91) the remainder of the week.Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week: Disneyland9-128-129-109-99-99-99-12
22 January 2013An action packed weekend on the mighty Umzimkulu River for the 20th edition of the N3TC Drak Challenge was one to remember for under-23 world marathon champion Grant van der Walt as he earned his first senior singles river marathon title.Van der Walt narrowly outsprinted Len Jenkins on Sunday’s second and final stage and in so doing smashed the men’s overall and second stage records by 11 and 20 minutes respectively.The win will be one the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre athlete with treasure for many years to come. Under the guidance of Hank McGregor, he has worked his way through the ranks over the past few years.The pace of the two-day contest will no doubt become a topic of conversation for quite some time in the paddling community as no fewer than 26 K1s crossed the line faster the previous overall record.‘Super stoked’“I’m just super stoked!” said an elated van der Walt. “It was an awesome couple of days of racing and to have won is amazing!”“It’s also really special to have won my first here at the Drak. The Drak has been my favourite race since I raced it for the first time seven years ago, so to have won here, in the 20th year, is awesome!”“It’s always nice when Hank and I race against each other and it was unfortunate he wasn’t here, but I’m just chuffed with the win and am looking forward to the next K1 race that we can hopefully have a good race against each other,” he added.Having started side-by-side, the lead pair were soon joined by Brandon van der Walt (Team Jeep) and Donavan Wewege and the four-boat group watched each other closely until the compulsory portage at Mineshaft Weir saw things shaken up quite abruptly.Made his moveJenkins made his move shortly before the portage and had soon opened up a significant lead shortly after the put in.“Len put in first and really worked hard to get away from there. I unfortunately got a bit stuck as I tried to put in, which cost me about 30 seconds, and when I looked up Len was almost out of sight,” said Van der Walt.“Len was really working hard to really get away after that, but fortunately I managed to pretty much hold the gap but kept losing a little bit more on the portages.”Option“I was faced with either settling for second place or really dig deep and try go for the win. I just put my head down and gave it a go and finally managed to catch Len with about a kilometre to go.”“I then edged ahead in the final rapid and was able to finish a couple lengths ahead of Len and I’m just super stoked to have won!” he added.Three times Drak winner Jenkins had to settle for his third consecutive Drak Challenge second place, having finished behind McGregor in 2011 and 2012.He will, however, take confidence from his performance, especially ahead of The Unlimited Dusi in just a few weeks’ time.PodiumThe younger of the two Van der Walt brothers, Brandon, came home to claim the final step on the podium and in so doing also secured a first, having never previously set foot on a river marathon podium in the senior category.Under-23 newcomer Don Wewege (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) claimed the surprise result of the weekend finishing fourth overall with Gauteng-based veteran Jacques Theron rounding out the top five.Another notable mover in the men’s field on day two were Dusi podium hopeful Lance Kime, who made up for his two day one swims by finishing sixth.Outside of the top three it was multiple Drak winner Ant Stott (Team Matelec) who posted the fastest time of the day in the men’s top 20 as he rose from 11th to seventh.Czech Republic marathon paddler Jakub Adam also had an impressive second day’s performance moving up from 20th to 14th overall.Women’s raceThe women’s race was once again dominated by Team Best 4 Kayak Centre team mates Abby Adie and Robyn Kime, with Adie coming out trumps for the third time in four years and in the process smashed the women’s second stage and overall records by 17 and 37 minutes respectively. She also claimed a hugely impressive top 20 finish overall.Kime erased Adie’s overnight lead of 33 seconds by halfway through the 38km second stage and the pair continued side by side until shortly before Heaven and Hell Rapid where Kime had a contest-ending swim and handed Adie the title.“Robs and I had a brilliant race and I’m obviously very happy to have won,” said Adie. “The fact that we were together for much of the race and that I could stay with her when she tried to get away was also a big confidence booster ahead of Dusi.‘Making the least mistakes’“It was a shame Robs swam towards the end there because she was probably the stronger of the two of us on the day but I guess, like I said yesterday, it came down to making the least mistakes and fortunately that’s what I was able to do.”Having been disallowed to paddle on Saturday’s heaving river the junior members of the field enjoyed their return to action on Sunday’s second stage and it was one, two, three for Maritzburg College in the junior boys’ race as Louis Hattingh, Damon Stamp and Travis Wilson claimed all three spots on the podium. Epworth’s Bianca Haw walked away with the junior girls’ spoils.It was a memorable two days for Pope’s Canoe’s Owen Hemmingway, who when he crossed the finishing line became the only man to have completed all 20 editions of the event.Big river“The first one definitely sticks in the memory but this one, having made it through yesterday’s massive river, is probably just as special considering it was probably even a bit bigger than it was in the first race in 1994,” said Hemmingway.“I was only happy once I got under the final bridge just before the finish line because with the river being so full so much can happen at any stage.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Cloud computing comes in a variety of flavors. There’s public, private, and hybrid. But now, some are talking about the “Personal Cloud“. It’s a term that Gartner and some analysts are using to describe cloud data and services that are accessible to individuals across any (or at least many) devices.A report by Allied Market Research estimates the size of the personal cloud market to grow more than 30 percent annually over the next five years, reaching $90 billion in 2020Gartner says that “the personal cloud is not a tangible entity, but rather the realization of four different types of experience in which users store, synchronize, stream and share content on a contextual basis, moving from one platform, screen and location to another. Founded on interconnected services and applications, it both reflects and sets consumers’ expectations for how next-generation computing services will work.”Stephen Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner, said that “looking forward, we see continued upheaval and challenges from the blending of personal and corporate digital tools and information within each user’s life. Each user’s personal cloud is unique and evolving, as the user’s daily needs change and as vendors and products come and go.”Gartner says that critical to the viability of the personal cloud is strong authentication so that the integrity and security of data stored in the cloud can be ensured.
How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … If sensors were placed in common water filters used in homes, the Flint water crisis could have been discovered and remediated. This could extend to solve other environmental problems, for example:If air quality sensors were as inexpensive and easy to install as LED garden lights, how many homeowners would be willing to place them in their yard and contribute to an early warning system for abnormal levels of pollution? And if micro-thermometers could be packaged with meat and produce from the time of harvest to the time of consumption, how quickly would noxious foods and their origins be identified and mitigated? Buddy has a goal, to use IoT for the greater good. They’ve created a water quality demo that showcases how Buddy integrates with distributed devices and sensors as part of an initiative they are setting up called IoT for Impact.The result is quality, real-time data, that could be used to preemptively alert health officials of system abnormalities – like those that impacted Flint, Michigan, recently – that could then be addressed immediately.I spoke to CEO and co-founder David McLauchlan, about the initiative. He explained: To some, IoT data is seen as superfluous. Events with disastrous impact are surfacing all around us and coming to a head. The contaminated drinking water in Flint, poisoned water from fracking in New York and Pennsylvania, continued e. coli and listeria break outs in Massachusetts, or air quality issues in Oregon — these problems could have been predicted or in some way contained if IoT technology had been implemented. Cate Lawrence The Buddy demo uses water turbidity as a proxy for the overall water quality. A variety of other water quality characteristics could be measured using this same design. In their demo, data is captured from a turbidity sensor and displayed real-time on a dashboard. If the turbidity level crosses a certain threshold (for example, 100 NTU), the sensor alerts by changing the color of smart lightbulbs in two separate locations.The demo can be broken down into the following key steps:Turbidity sensor is placed in water sampleData is collected, processed, and streamed real-time to SplunkAs the sensor detects key thresholds, light bulbs change color indicating a threshold was metData is compared against a data-set of water quality data provided by USGS The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… Flint and other cities need help from all sectorsMcLaughlan admits that none of this is easy. Sensor and beacon developers must work with product manufacturers to enable easy, low-cost data generation and transmission. Data collection, aggregation and processing platforms must be able to ingest the data, connect it to advanced software tools and make it accessible for in-depth analyses. And public agencies, policymakers, advocacy groups and scientific organizations must leverage the data in ways that increase our collective ability to prevent or minimize social crises.This type of information supply chain can’t happen in a vacuum. It can’t be achieved through closed-door meetings, and it can’t be contained in a lab. It requires widespread participation and collaboration, but the incentives are clear. Businesses can profit. Public agencies can reduce the human and financial cost of health crises. And individuals can play a greater role in their own safety and well-being.It will be exciting to follow up on IoT for Impact and the goal to create an information supply chain that would help confront—and in many cases prevent—human emergencies. Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… McLauchlan believes there’s a real opportunity for IoT data to bring value to communities by predicting these events. He wants to start a conversation that will engage and ideally move other IoT and data solution providers into taking action. Fundamentally, he believes that people and positive social impact should be at the center of IoT value creation. How could it work? 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruption Tags:#Buddy#environmental health#featured#Flint#health#innovation#Internet of Things#IoT#sensors#social change#social collaboration#water quality
Saeed Ajmal has also added two new deliveries to his armoury to trouble the opposition batsmenPakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has revealed that not only has he remodelled his action to legally bowl again in international cricket, he has added two new deliveries to his armoury and hinted he could return to Australia for the Big Bash League next summer.In an exclusive chat with cricket.com.au, Ajmal also revealed the reasons behind his decision to opt out of playing for Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup despite still being the World’s No 1 ranked one-day bowler.”I withdrew my name from the World Cup squad because I felt I was not at my best yet and I didn’t want to play as second fiddle to anyone,” Ajmal said from the National Cricket Academy.”I have always wanted to be leader of the pack and played cricket as a front-line bowler and will continue to do so in future as well. I would have featured in the World Cup if I wanted to play but I opted against it as I didn’t want to be a burden on the team.”Now that my action is cleared I will work more on my bowling. I have already started playing club cricket.”Pakistan’s next bilateral series is still three months away and I will have gained significant improvement by the time Pakistan plays the next series.”The off-spinner underwent the ICC’s strict biomechanical testing January 24, but only learned he had passed the tests and been cleared to resume his international career Saturday.advertisementHe celebrated with friends and close family in his hometown of Faisalabad, a three-hour drive away from Lahore.Ajmal could make his return to the national team during a planned tour of Zimbabwe before a likely bilateral series against arch-rivals India later this year.When he does, he says he will bringing all his old tricks in a new action, as well as a few new ones.”The ICC has cleared my five different bowling varieties, including the doosra,” Ajmal said.”I will bowl all of my varieties and trouble batsmen with them. While serving the suspension and remodelling the action I have added two more varieties in my bowling arsenal. I can now also bowl seam up and for it I am thankful to Mohammad Akram who worked with me on it.”The other delivery I have learned is the carrom ball, which works like doosra. Carrom ball is a lethal delivery in the death overs to counter batsmen’s slog shots, especially under the recent changes in ICC laws which don’t allow more than four fielders outside the circle.”