In the wake of media reports that the security situation at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is not favorable, the management has assured the public of the airport is safe to host the pending ECOWAS Summit.Liberia Airport Authority’s (LAA) says its attention has been drawn to a banner headline in the May 24 edition of Frontpage Africa newspaper captioned: “RIA Embarrassment: Serious Concerns as Liberia Prepares to host ECOWAS Leaders.”In the report, the paper cited or quoted Israeli security sources on the airport’s state of security for the summit and an airline routine audit findings.The LAA assures the public that preparations leading to the successful hosting of this year’s ECOWAS Heads of State Summit are well on course and that these unwarranted distractions will not be heeded.The LAA would also like to clarify that the security situation at the airport is safe as evidenced by all the airlines that are currently flying into the country, the most recent being the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.All other airlines flying into Liberia perform regular routine audits of the operations, facilities, safety and security of the airport and all of the findings have deemed RIA as being operationally safe and effective to handle their flights in conformity with International Aviation Standards.The management assures the traveling public that the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is safe and in compliance with all international aviation standards.“The new runway, terminal and cargo facilities will continue to enhance the operations and conditions at the airport,” the management assured.While the Daily Observer is yet to independently verify condition around the airport, FrontPage Africa yesterday reported that there are concerns within the diplomatic circles over the status and security conditions at the airport.According to the paper, it reliably learnt that the advance security team of the Israeli Prime Minister has already condemned security situation on the ground, especially the surrounding of Farmington Hotel where some members of his delegation would be lodged.Meanwhile, the paper said a Kenya Airways Ground Handling Audit of the RIA which was conducted from December 5-7, 2016 uncovered, amongst other things, that there was no training program at the RIA to ensure there is close monitoring and that all required training are carried out in agreed frequencies as per their departmental requirements to track expiry dates.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
India wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is buoyant over his understanding with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and hopes it would augur well for the team as it readies to host New Zealand in a three-Test series, with the first match in Kanpur next week.Saha notched up his maiden ton in the longest format of the game with a patient 104 in the third Test against the West Indies at St. Lucia’s picturesque Gross Islet, cobbling up in the process a risk-free 213-run sixth wicket stand with Ashwin (118) that helped India recover from a precarious position to a thumping 237-run win last month.”Ashwin has been playing for a longer time than me. But yes, in the last three to four series that I have been consistently part of, our understanding has improved. I hope that will help the team’s cause,” Saha told IANS in an interview. (Also read: Birthday boy Ashwin set to break Waqar Younis’ Test record )”I tell him which line to bowl at times, which position is better and the length to bowl to a particular batsman. In the batting department, I can talk about that innings where he told me to wait for the loose ball and take my time. We were doing that. My understanding with Ashwin while keeping to him has helped better our running between the wickets,” said the Bengal boy.According to Saha, Ashwin is the hardest to keep wickets to among the trio that also included Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja.”On turning tracks, he gets sharp turn and bounce since he is tall. Jadeja is not always a huge turner of the ball, and Amit is slow with not as much bounce. So, yes, Ashwin is the toughest.”advertisementOf the pacers, it is Umesh Yadav who hits Saha’s gloves the hardest. “Consistently, Umesh is the fastest. It varies from spell to spell though. At times, due to the bounce he generates, Ishant is quite fast.”Saha’s maiden Test hundred came after 22 innings. His two fifties in Sri Lanka came last year, before which the diminutive right-hander failed to convert the starts. In the first two Tests in the West Indies, he had scores of 40 and 47.Today, when a keeper is judged not just by his performance behind the stumps but also in front, is Saha walking that extra yard on his batting?”I do concentrate on my batting though I haven’t had many big scores. I like to contribute to the team’s cause and the hundred against West Indies surely boosted my morale. I know batting is important, but first I consider myself as a wicketkeeper as I am in the team because of that.”Coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli, he says, made the job easier for him. “They always told me a hundred is just around the corner. The entire team was so happy when I reached the milestone. (Also read: Former captains to be invited for India’s 500th Test)”Anil bhai knows how to bond with players. He always tells us how to approach a match. He doesn’t try to change much. He believes we all should play our natural game.”An Indian coach, Saha believes, is always better than a foreign counterpart. “Someone like Anil bhai has seen us play from a very young age. That is not possible for a foreign coach. Indian coaches get to see us in the IPL and the domestic circuit. So it is definitely better to have an Indian coach than a foreign coach.”Saha did not get much time to assess the New Zealand team when the Kiwis were in South Africa, but he feels the battle won’t be easy though India will have home advantage. (Also read: New Zealand pacer Tim Southee ruled out of India Test series)”We need also to play well on turning pitches. They will probably play two spinners and one all-rounder that could add up to three spinners. We will hold the advantage as the hosts. They will need to acclimatise.”Saha signed off by picking England’s in-form wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal as the two best stumpers.
India batsman Suresh Raina is likely to be sidelined from competitive action during the initial part of India’s 2019-20 domestic season. Raina underwent knee surgery in Amsterdam on Friday and will need at least four to six weeks for recovery.Suresh Raina had been suffering from a knee issue over the last few months and had to undergo surgery to overcome the issue, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Friday.”Mr Suresh Raina underwent a knee surgery where he had been facing discomfort for the last few months. The surgery has been successful and it will require him 4-6 week of rehab for recovery,” BCCI posted on social media.Mr Suresh Raina underwent a knee surgery where he had been facing discomfort for the last few months. The surgery has been successful and it will require him 4-6 week of rehab for recovery.We wish him a speedy recovery pic.twitter.com/osOHnFLqpBBCCI (@BCCI) August 9, 2019Out-of-favour Suresh last played for India in July 2018 in a limited-overs series in England. The 2011 World Cup-winning all-rounder represented Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.He managed 383 runs from 17 matches at an average of 23.93. Raina struggled for consistency in IPL 2019 as he had finished with less than 400 runs for the first time in 3 seasons.India’s domestic season is all set to commence later this month with Duleep Trophy in Bengaluru from August 17. Raina was not named in any of the three sides — India Blue, India Green and India Red participating in the tournament.advertisementVijay Hazare Trophy, India’s premier 50-over domestic tournament, kicks off from September 24 and Raina, who represents Uttar Pradesh, may target a return in the latter half of the said tourney.After Vijay Hazare Trophy, the focus shifts to The Deodhar Trophy following which Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament will be played. India’s premier red-ball tournament — Ranji Trophy will be played from December 9 to March 13, 2020.Also Read | Why the BCCI was reluctant to become NADA compliantAlso Read | England drop Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer set for Ashes debutAlso See:
Chelsea VAR decision cost Chelsea despite FA Cup win, says frustrated Antonio Conte Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent 08:59 1/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Clive Rose Chelsea Antonio Conte Willian Norwich City FA Cup The Blues boss was unhappy at how the VAR wasn’t used as Willian was harshly booked for diving after contact was made with the Norwich defender Antonio Conte was left fuming with the referees as Willian was not only turned down for a penalty appeal in the first half of injury time but he was booked for diving after Norwich’s Timm Klose made contact with his leg in the box.Chelsea struggled past Norwich City on the night as Michy Batshuayi’s opener was cancelled out by Jamal Lewis’s stunning header in the 94th minute of normal time. The game went into extra time and no goals were scored, though Pedro and Alvaro Morata were both sent off. The Blues then won 5-3 on penalties, with Eden Hazard netting the winning spot kick. However, VAR became a huge talking point as the referee arguably made a mistake over a penalty decision despite having the tools at his disposal. Conte went on an extended rant as journalists quizzed him over the new system which has its first controversy in English football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I think that we need to improve if we want to use this new system,” Conte said at Stamford Bridge. “Today, in this game, there is a situation very clear with Willian at the start of the first period of extra-time. I think the situation was very clear. I watched it and this is a penalty. Very clear.”But this is not because I’m not happy with a referee’s decision. The referee took quickly a decision to book Willian. That means you don’t have doubt. If you do this quickly, it means you don’t have doubt.“Instead, I repeat, if we want to improve – it’s only to try and improve the system – we have to wait to check with the person who is watching the game and then, if this person is sure 100 per cent that it is simulation, go and book Willian. Instead, I think the person watching the game, at least you must have a doubt.”There is a kick to Willian and he should call the referee and tell him. Maybe it’s a penalty, for me. In Italy, before to arrive to use this new system, they tried, tried, tried… But if you want to try quickly this new system, then you have to find the best solution.”For me, this is not the right solution if the referee doesn’t refer a doubtful decision. The final decision stays with the referee on the pitch, not the one watching the game. But it’s only because we want to try and use this new system, and this is my opinion to help the referee use this new system.”We have been using it in Italy for six months, and you can reduce a lot the referee’s mistakes. But you must be sure, 100%. And, despite this, there is another person checking the situation.”If the person checking the situation calls you and says it’s a penalty, you say you made a mistake, take back the yellow card and give the penalty. I think we have to find the right solution to try to help the referee.”Chelsea had three players booked for diving during the match and five yellow cards with Pedro and Morata’s red cards meaning that they will miss the upcoming Premier League game against Brighton on Saturday. Conte conceded that he was unhappy with Pedro for diving, while he thought Morata’s first yellow card was a little harsh. He did add that Morata shouldn’t have reacted to get his second yellow card for dissent. “I don’t know, but I don’t want an advantage [by cheating],” Conte added. “About Pedro, if there is a dive, it’s right to take a yellow card. It’s the same for Morata. I don’t want an advantage, especially if you know this system is being used.”You can watch every situation with this situation. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must pay great attention. In this case, if it wasn’t a penalty, it was right to give a yellow card.“For sure, I’m not happy for the second yellow card for Morata. The first yellow card was for a doubtful situation – I didn’t watch Morata’s situation yet – but the second was for dissent. You must pay great attention. In this moment of the game, you have to pay great attention to stay calm and make the best decision.”Chelsea’s win in over 210 minutes of football in the FA Cup third round against Norwich City has set up a fourth round tie against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. The match will take place on 28 January.