Hindi: No smoking and Cricket Auctions

TodayKhabar reports that results of a survey done by a non-governmental organisation say that majority of women stay away from men who smoke. According to the surveyed women, 75% don't want to marry men who smoke while 67% wouldn't go on a date with a smoker. The tolerance level seems to be high in men though with only 47% of them saying that they wouldn't want to hang around with smokers. The survey further reveals that out of the smokers surveyed, 46.4% say that they acquire the smoking habit under the influence of their smoker friends and coworkers etc. while 30% smoke to relieve themselves of mental tension.

BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) sometime back brought out its plans for its domestic Twenty20 tournament Indian Premier League(IPL) and recently auctioned different teams which were bought by multi-billionaires like Mukesh Ambani, beer king Vijay Mallya and movie stars like Shahrukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta and other business houses. Now a couple of days back both Indian & international cricketers were auctioned and were bought by different teams in the run up to the first IPL (Indian Premier League) season kickstarting in mid April this year.

TodayKhabar reports that the Hyderabad team seems to come off as the strongest as its captain & star player VVS Laxman denied the status of icon player thus making it possible for his team to get star players like Andrew Symonds & Adam Gilchrist from Australia, Shahid Afridi from Pakistan and Herschelle Gibbs from South Africa as all teams were allowed to spend only 5 million USD at most in the auction to keep the buying field even for all. All these four players are explosive batsmen who can rip apart any bowling attack in the world and are thus very good choices for the shortest version of the game. Similarly Chennai team also have managed to come off good; even though it got the Indian One Day team's captain M.S.Dhoni for 1.5 million dollars, they managed to get all rounder Jacob Oram and ex-skipper Stephen Fleming both from New Zealand, star batsman Matthew Hayden from Australia and master off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka. Sharukh Khan and Juhi Chawla's team Kolkata doesn't seem to be that good with only ex-Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, New Zealander Brendon McCullum, West Indies star batsmen Chris Gayle and one of world's fastest bowlers Shoaib Akhtar from Pakistan. Similarly Mr.Mukesh Ambani's team didn't manage to lay its hands on many good players and have to be content with master blaster indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, explosive Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya and ex-South African skipper and opening bowler Shaun Pollock. Preity Zinta's team Mohali managed to have only one biggie in the aussie ripping fast bowler Brett Lee besides the sixer king Yuvraj Singh and Kumar Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene both from Sri Lanka. Other teams were left sort of deprived and only the outcome of the tournament will show how their less famous lineups fare against the heavyweights.

Dilip Mandal at RejectMaal is reporting that some US$2.9 billion will be spent over the period of next five years in India by the Indian government as well as other international organisations towards AIDS prevention program to ensure people don't get the disease. Highlighting the names of organisations contributing big amounts, he reports that about US$356 million will be contributed by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation while about US$447 million will be coming from The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and approximately US$281 million will be put forth by World Bank, among others. All projected accounts etc. are available here at the website of National Advisory Council of India. Dilip further writes that US$2.9 billion in five years means more than half a billion dollars per year will be spent on a disease because of which less than 2000 people die in a year, a count which is in no ways increasing. However only US$10 million(approx.) were spent on the National Cancer Control Program in 2006-2007 and this amount has been increased to about US$35.5 million. The problem is that about 440,000 people die every year because of cancer. On the other hand, Tuberculosis accounts for about 370,000 deaths per year while approximately US$56.5 million were spent to fight this spreading disease!! So he wonders if really the aim is to spend this huge AIDS bounty to curb the disease and are the hearts in right places; somehow he seems to doubt that himself.

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