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Analysis: It’s Knicks-Nets in Big Apple free agency battle

first_imgHeavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Game on.Brooklyn is feeling good about its chances of winning it. Having recovered from an ill-fated trade with Boston in 2013 that cost the Nets years of high draft picks, Brooklyn has constructed a team that surprisingly made the playoffs. Even if it lets D’Angelo Russell go after an All-Star season to pursue bigger fish, there are young core pieces such as Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, along with a player-friendly style under Kenny Atkinson that should be attractive to many players.Forced to build slowly and small for years, the Nets appear ready to make a big move. A trade with Atlanta to shed Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million contract for next season left the Nets in position to go for two top players, without having to gut a promising roster to do so. Throw in a well-regarded medical staff and a recently built training center with nice views of Manhattan, and the Nets have plenty to sell.They believe someone will want to buy.“All I can say is a team like Brooklyn, when they look at us from afar, I think we’ve got to give them some credit. Because the guys that are free agents, all of them I would assume have spent the last year or two surveying the league,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said. “I mean, they know where they want to go. They know what they want to be a part of. I think our young guys have done a nice job to put themselves in that position.”ADVERTISEMENT The Knicks were first to signal their plans to look to free agency. During a 17-65 season — the worst in the NBA — they traded star Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. The deal also allowed them to move the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, clearing nearly $70 million. The Knicks can easily be positioned to offer two max deals.Now, they have to see if anyone wants them.The allure of Madison Square Garden hasn’t proven to be enough, not with the years of bad play and bad press under owner James Dolan and a series of front-office executives. The current leadership of president Steve Mills, general manager Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale hoped landing Zion Williamson would be the first step to a big summer and help interest free agents, but the lottery put them third instead of first — though they were happy to get RJ Barrett.At the news conference to introduce Barrett last week, the Knicks didn’t exactly tell their fans to prepare for big news.“I think we’re asking them to continue to be patient,” Mills said. “We laid out a plan when Scott came on board and then David joined us that we were going to build this team the right way. We were going to draft well and we were going to be diligent about how we built this team and not take any short cuts, and not follow a path.”Their path could lead them in plenty of successful directions, even if they miss out on the biggest targets. There is still a wide range of All-Star players below the top tier — including Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris and Al Horford. If the Knicks can’t or won’t get any of them, there would be plenty of cap space and future first-round picks available to use in trades.But the easiest way to make a leap is with a quick strike or two next week, and the fact that both teams can make one has the Big Apple buzzing. There was hope that a rivalry could be created when the Nets moved from New Jersey in 2012, but even with stars such as Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire in New York, and Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams in Brooklyn, it never really took off before both teams crashed.Now appears to be the time.“Sometimes teams are able to make those quantum leaps. Other times you’ve got to not skip steps and take the slow road and continue to build,” Marks said. “And I think we’ll be able to make those judgments in a couple weeks’ time.”On both teams. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Steph Curry makes faithful moves through production company Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Rarely relevant at the same time on the basketball court, the Knicks and Nets are front and center in the free agency race, two of the teams best positioned to make a splash when the market opens.Both can afford two top players, with hopes of landing not only a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, but possibly both. New York, home of the worst team in the NBA in two of the last seasons, could be the epicenter of the league in early July.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsAfter years of bad play, bad trades and often bad basketball, at least one team in the city could look really good in a few days.The Nets seem confident. The Knicks sound cautious. 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay View comments FILE – At left, in a March 20, 2019, file photo, Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving is shown during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. At right, in a May 8, 2019, file photo, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant is shown during the first half of Game 5 of the team’s second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif. Rarely relevant at the same time on the basketball court, the Knicks and Nets are front and center in the free agency race, two of the teams best positioned to make a splash when the market opens.Both can afford two top players, with hopes of landing not only a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, but possibly even both. (AP Photo/File)NEW YORK— It’s been seven years since the Nets crossed the Hudson River and took up residence in the Knicks’ city.A real rivalry might finally arrive Sunday.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Couples hope theirs is a match made in seven

first_imgCraig Knass, owner of Seven Seas Travel in Corona, said cruise bookings from Mexico to the Caribbean are up 135 percent for the first week of July over last year. “It’s amazing,” he said. “You would expect all the honeymooners, but people just want to be traveling on that day. It’s huge.” While many tout 07-07-07 as lucky, 08-08-08 next year may be equally fortunate, especially among Asians, who see the No. 8 as especially propitious. Others, however, say Saturday won’t be so promising. Maria Shaw, a Detroit-based astrologer who writes horoscopes for National Enquirer, said Mercury will be in retrograde, an unlucky time prone to travel delays. “I wouldn’t get married on 777, I’d pick a different date,” Shaw said. “Heaven help us if we have a groom stalled in traffic on the way to the wedding, or if Aunt Bertha sits in the cake.” In Las Vegas, hotels, chapels and casinos expect a 07-07-07 stampede. “We are certain that 777 will draw a lot of gamblers because of its implied luckiness,” said Alicia Malone, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. “777 is a lucky number in Las Vegas. “Our wedding chapels are booked beyond capacity, opening earlier and staying open later.” Local racetracks also expect to benefit. At Hollywood Park, fillies will take to the track for the American Oaks Invitational – and $750,000 in prizes. “We’re anticipating a very good crowd,” said track spokesman Mike Mooney. “I’m sure the numbers players may go for certain combinations on the 777, definitely.” But it’s Magic Mountain that will host the harrowing 07-07-07 event, a “Thrilled Ever After” wedding in which more than 400 couples competed last month for seven lucky slots. During their first moments as man and wife, the couples will see some dramatic ups and downs. But they hope to steer clear of the emotional roller coasters that doom so many unions. On Saturday, seven grooms will lie face forward with seven brides joined by best men and bride’s maids to tie the knot during a record-breaking 124-foot pretzel loop. And Kieft, decked in a white tux with a checkered slip tie, and Lemus, in a flowing white dress, will consider themselves the luckiest couple in the world. “There is a little bit of a possibility of a yak factor,” said Kieft, a self-proclaimed thrill seeker who took his fiance to second and third dates at Magic Mountain. “But I’m not worried – because 777 is lucky.” dana.bartholomew@dailynews.com (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On Saturday, couples will hitch on the most popular wedding day in history. Gamblers will flock to casinos. And seagoers will pack cruises for the most auspicious voyages in years. Across the nation, couples have staked their lucky day with seven-course receptions, seven kinds of flowers, seven-seven cocktails and No. 7 bridal hotel suites. In the San Fernando Valley, July 7 weddings have long been booked with a last-chance-lucky frenzy. “I have a lot of clients who say: `We must get married this year because it’s good luck. We can’t wait ’til next year,”‘ said wedding consultant Mary Sushinski, owner of Occasions in Glendale. Others are just as hopeful about having a lucky day. Dustin Kieft and Heather Lemus are bracing for the ultimate plunge – a 62 mph marriage from atop the world’s tallest, flying roller coaster. One of seven couples set to scream “I do” Saturday from Magic Mountain’s heart-stopping Tatsu, they’ll be wed at 7 a.m. on 07-07-07 – a day many hope to be the luckiest day of the century. “It is the most unbelievably lucky day ever,” said Kieft, 20, of Riverside. “We plan on being able to stay together forever. This will just ensure it will all turn out good, no matter what.” For superstitious brides, grooms and gamblers across the nation, the triple- seven date bodes well for lucky stars. last_img

Manchester United seek striker in January and Real Madrid star eyes Manchester City move – it’s the transfer rumours and paper review

first_img1 Transfer rumours and paper review Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Sunday’s newspapers…Real Madrid superstar Isco is hoping to pave the way for a move to Manchester City. (Mirror)Roma are looking to sign Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy. According to Italian publication Football Italia, Roma are busy scouring the market to find a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Douglas Maicon. (Daily Star)Arsenal are preparing to make a £15million move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot according to reports. (Express)Lorenzo Insigne is being pursued by both Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, according to his agent, but appears set to stay with Napoli for now as they chase a first Serie A title since 1990. (ESPN)West Ham will make a cut-price January bid for Leeds United prospect Sam Byram, whose contract expires at the end of the season. (Telegraph)Newcastle United’s bid to sign Henri Saivet could be in danger after the player expressed concerns about the Magpies’ Premier League position. (Newcastle Chronicle)Swansea are planning talks with Ajax coach Frank De Boer afterhis surprise declaration of interest in succeeding Garry Monk. (Mirror)Manuel Pellegrini has no plans to bring in another central defender in the January transfer window, insisting Manchester City can win the title without their inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany. (Manchester Evening News)Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is ready to hit the January sales for a new striker who can help save his job. (The Sun)Mino Raiola is planning talks with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in an attempt to convince him Mario Balotelli deserves a chance to revive his career at Anfield. (Daily Mail)And here’s the latest talkSPORT headlines…Arsenal transfer news: Deal could be done within ten days, confirms Arsene Wengerlast_img read more

Leitrim GAA Fixtures March 24-25

first_img12NOONDRUMKEERINDRUMKEERINGLENCAR-MANOR 12 NOONBALLINAMOREBALLINAMORE SOHDROMAHAIR UNDER 13 (15) UNDER 13 (13) 12 NOONBORNACOOLARINN GAELSDROMAHAIR RD 6SUN 25TH MAR12 NOONKINLOUGHMELVIN GAELSLEITRIM GAELS Satharn 24th Marta 2018 Coiste Chontae Liatroma CLG AughavasACLD44Aughavas v Bornacoola5 00 FenaghACLD31Fenagh-St.Caillins v Allen Gaels5 00 Pairc SeanAFLD47Leitrim v Wicklow3 00 BallinamoreACLD44Ballinamore-SOH v Mohill5 00 Fixtures 24th -25th Marta 2018 RD 3SAT MAR 24TH12 NOONANNADUFFANNADUFFMELVIN GAELS Pairc Naomh MhuireACLD44St.Marys v Cloone5 00 RD 6SUN 25TH MAR12 NOONGORTLETTERAGHGORTLETTERAGHDRUMKEERIN RD 6SAT 24TH MARCH12NOONPAIRC NAONH MUIREST MARYSST JOSEPHS BallyconnellAHLD3BFinalLeitrim v Lancashire12 00 12 NOONDRUMSHANBOALLEN GAELSMOHILL AnnaduffACLD35Annaduff v Carrigallen5 00 DromahairACLD44Dromahair v Kiltubrid5 00 12 NOONFENAGHFENAGH ST CAILLINSBALLINAMORE SOH VenueGradeRoundFixtureTime UNDER 17 DIV1 LeitrimACLD44Leitrim Gaels v Ballinaglera5 00 UNDERAGE FIXTURES WEEKEND 24/25TH MARCH 12 NOONPAIRC NAOMH MUIREST MARYSST JOSEPHS 12 NOONMANORHAMILTONGLENCAR-MANORMOHILL UNDER 17 DIV 2 DrumkeerinACLD35Drumkeerin v Glenfarne/Kilty5 00 12 NOONKILTUBRIDKILTUBRIDANNADUFF Domhnach 25th Marta 2018 12 NOONTBCST BRIGIDSFENAGH ST CAILLINSlast_img read more

What’s a Snuggle Snapper?

first_imgThese are priced at $19.99 each. We’ve seen versions with Mickey, Minnie, Baymax, Lotso, Dumbo, Marie, Yoda, and an Ewok. Which one would you choose?Photos: Christina Harrison Share This!We’re seeing a lot Snuggle Snappers in the theme parks these days. What’s a Snuggle Snapper you ask? Well, it turns out that a Snuggle Snapper is cross between a plush (the snuggle part) and a snap bracelet (the snap part). Basically its for the kid (or the adult, we do not judge) who can’t decide what kind of souvenir they want so is excited to find an item that fits more than one category.last_img read more

Transnet wins US loan for locomotives

first_img11 July 2013South African state company Transnet has secured US$108-million (approximately R1.1-billion) in financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States to support its purchase of 53 locomotives from US company General Electric Transportation.The grant, announced on Monday, follows Ex-Im Bank’s approval, in February 2011, of a R1.1-billion loan to Transnet for the purchase of 47 locomotive kits from General Electric (GE), adding up to a total of $230-million in financing for the purchase of 100 GE locomotives.Ex-Im chairman Fred Hochberg, referring to US President Barack Obama’s recent trip to South Africa, said in a statement on Monday: “As the President highlighted on his recent trip, there are enormous opportunities for US exporters in South Africa and across the broader region.”The bank, which provides below-market financing to facilitate sales of US goods abroad, would “continue to help American companies expand their reach into this dynamic market,” Hochberg said.In April 2012, Transnet has announced the details of a R300-billion investment in infrastructure aimed at creating over half-a-million new jobs while making its freight rail division the fifth-largest in the world.Transnet plans to spend the lion’s share of this capital investment, R205-billion, on rail projects – R151-billion of this on freight rail – as the company pushes to increase South African freight rail volumes from about 200-million to 350-million tons by 2019, while increasing its market share of container traffic from around 79% to 92%.Achieving such an increase would significantly reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa, Transnet said last year, citing internal studies showing that rail in the country was on average 75% cheaper than road transport.The 47 GE locomotive kits are due to be shipped to Transnet Rail Engineering’s facilities in Koedoespoort, Pretoria later this year, where they will be assembled by local workers to include up to 37% local content.“I greatly appreciate Ex-Im’s financing arrangements for this sale, which supports jobs in the United States and South Africa,” GE Transportation CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said on Monday.Ex-Im Bank said South Africa was “one of nine key markets Ex-Im Bank has identified as having strong opportunities for US exporters. In financial year 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized approximately $130-million in financing to South Africa, and the bank’s current exposure is more than $1-billion.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Dubai’s marhaba opens new Melbourne lounge

first_imgThe entrance to the new marhaba lounge in Melbourne. Passengers flying out of Melbourne have a new pay-as-you go lounge option after Dubai’s marhaba on Tuesday established a beachhead in the Australian market with a 200-guest facility.Marhaba, a unit of air services giant dnata, has partnered with lounge access provider Priority Pass and is also working with several international airlines on complimentary access for some passengers.But passengers who are not flying in a premium cabin and are not elite frequent flyers will be able to buy up to four hours access on a walk-up basis for $A65 and $A35 for kids 12 and under.The lounge opens from 6am to midnight and offers a quiet zone, shower facilities, free wi-fi  an international buffet and a selection of Australian premium wines.marhaba lounge melbourneA staff of 26 is on hand to help out passengers and a barista serves coffee at a Hudson Coffee station.“Australia is a very important market to us and we continue to look for opportunities to bring more of our services to customers here,” dnata president Gary Chapman said in a statement.“We already operate Australia’s leading in-flight catering company, Alpha Flight Services, and are delighted to add the marhaba brand of airport hospitality to serve Melbourne and those passing through Melbourne Airport.”marhaba lounge melbourneMarhaba has been around since 1991 and also has lounges in Dubai, Bahrian and Karachi.It also offers meet and greet services at airports worldwide, including Sydney.The Australian move comes as a number of airlines, including dnata sister company Emirates Airlines, are now allowing customers to buy lounge access.Companies such as marhaba and Priority Pass provide alternatives.Priority Pass touts access to more than 1000 airport lounges for an annual fee.The basic pass costs $US99 a year but people using this pass must part with a further $US27 to access a lounge for up to three hours.The $US249 standard plus pass comes with 10 free visits, while the $US399 prestige version gives the holder unlimited access.last_img read more

Mark Crowley Promoted to Head of Profit Protection at John Lewis Department Stores

first_imgMark Crowley has been promoted to Head of Profit Protection at John Lewis Department Stores in the United Kingdom. Mark was formerly the Senior Manager of Profit Protection for the retailer, a position that he held since joining the company in 2014. After serving with the British Army as an Officer Cadet, he joined Arcadia Group Ltd. as a Fraud Investigations Manager in 2005, where he was promoted to Audit/Head Office Loss Prevention Manager in 2007. Mark moved to Gap Inc. as a District Loss Prevention Manager, and then to Burberry as Senior Manager-Global Asset & Profit Protection Operations prior to joining John Lewis. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with Business Information Systems from Middlesex University.Congratulations Mark! Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Mobile Computing: Working Out the Rough Edges of Collaborative Mobile

first_imgBy 2016 Gartner predicts that most collaborative tools will run on any type of device, across smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers. Fragmentation of communication technologies has been a pain point with many IT shops, but collaborative technologies are expected to evolve and eventually provide a more seamless experience across platforms.Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum, said that the combination of cloud and mobile mean that users need no longer be “tethered to one location… The way in which we work will change dramatically over the next seven years, more than in the previous 30, meaning the enterprise of 2020 will need to be more agile and more responsive than it is today.”Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner, said that “mobile devices enable a new generation of collaboration and three trends are rapidly boosting mobile collaboration strategies and investments in organizations. These are: bring your own device (BYOD), personal cloud file sharing and the increasing availability of mobile applications. Empowering workers with mobile collaboration capabilities through smart devices, personal cloud sharing and mobile apps is a smart move for organizations to innovate in the workplace and stay competitive.” Personal cloud file sharing will allow users to be able to more easily swap and get access to files no matter what their device or location is. Cloud sharing will allow users to move their files, documents, audio, pictures and video easily among multiple machines. Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, told Will Kelly of the Tech Republic, that the lines across the devices that connect into collaborative apps will blur blurring. “So the first piece of advice is not to think about it as mobile collaboration per se. It’s really about how we do we give access to the content, information, and the customers that the people in the small business need to work with and on from wherever they might be. That might be on a tablet, a smartphone, or even a laptop–but on the go.”last_img read more

Indo-Pak series sees largest influx of Pakistani citizens to India in search of friends

first_imgShehzada Shahrukh, Pakistani Olympian met old friend and former Indian hockey captain Balbir Singh (right) in ChandigarhRana Khurshid Alam looks out of the window of the car on a road flanked by endless wheat fields and wipes tears from his eyes.Spotting the signboard which reads Institute of Engineering and Technology,,Shehzada Shahrukh, Pakistani Olympian met old friend and former Indian hockey captain Balbir Singh (right) in ChandigarhRana Khurshid Alam looks out of the window of the car on a road flanked by endless wheat fields and wipes tears from his eyes.Spotting the signboard which reads Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, he says, “Our village has become famous.” This is Alam’s first visit to Bhaddal, a small, farming village in Ropar district, an hour’s drive from Chandigarh.But for this 53-year-old jeweller from Kassowal in Pakistan’s Sahiwal district, it is a homecoming of sorts. His forefathers, hereditary goldsmiths, left this village for Pakistan during Partition.Alam grew up on nostalgic reminiscences of Sonaron di Kothi (the house of goldsmiths), the ancestral home which his grandfather longed to return to but never could. Today, Alam stands in the pillar-lined courtyard, caresses its walls like he would his children and reaches out to the past.Pakistani cricket fans cross the Wagah borderIn the village of Mehmoodwal Yusuf pur on the outskirts of Jalandhar, Darshan Singh, 75, squints through his spectacles at the visitor from Pakistan: “Aren’t you Ghulam Nabi’s son? You look exactly like him.”It has been over 50 years since Abdul Majeed Khan’s father crossed the border. Now, the 53-year-old audit officer with the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation Ltd hugs the villager and weeps at the memory of his father. Alam and Khan weren’t alone. Such poignant scenes were replayed across Punjab’s countryside as nearly 4,000 Pakistanis used their short-stay cricket visas to fan out into the countryside, to home in with salmon-like instincts on the land of their forefathers.Cricket was merely an excuse, an afterthought. At the PCA Stadium in Mohali, as Pakistan played its first Test in India in six years, white-bearded Abdul Jalil “Chacha Cricket”, Pakistan’s best known cricket fan, and his cohorts swathed in green clothes filled the near-empty Pakistani stands with chants of “Jivey Jivey Pakistan”. advertisementRana Khurshid Alam, Jeweller at his ancestral house in Bhaddal, Ropar, which his forefathers left during PartitionFor the past 12 months, cricket, once the stress-generator between India and Pakistan, has become a bureaucracy-booster. Over 8,000 Indian fans crossed the border last spring for India’s first tour of Pakistan in 14 years. A year later, the largest influx of Pakistanis in recent memory has made a new passage to India.Some belonged to a generation that knew India only through family stories. Others knew the pain of fleeing home first-hand. Fifty-eight years after he left as a distraught refugee, Syed Athar Hussain, 72, stepped across the old Radcliffe Line at the Wagah border. He now lives near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore but had never bought a match ticket-until last month when he paid $35 (Rs 1,575) to come home. Once in India, Hussain didn’t need directions to find his way to Ropar. “It was out of sight but never out of mind,” he says.For Shehzada Shahrukh, an 82-year-old Pakistani hockey Olympian, India was home turf. In Chandigarh, this Olympic vice-captain was reunited after two decades with an Indian hockey legend-Olympic gold medallist and former captain Balbir Singh. The duo, sporting foes-turned friends, relived a friendship that went back to the 1940s when Balbir played in Amritsar’s Khalsa College team, captained by Shahrukh’s brother Khurram.Shahrukh rolls his dentures and demonstrates Balbir’s flick to score a winning goal in an old Punjab vs Punjab hockey match. Balbir chuckles, “Is that why I was the first person you asked for at Wagah?”Fans at Mohali stadiumShahrukh-who would have you believe that the Bollywood superstar was named after him, after a chance encounter with King Khan’s father in Bombay in the 1950s-says he doesn’t have much time left and has many friends to meet. There is Pran Nath, a school buddy from Lahore, now a gold trader in Kolkata. Three years ago, Nath came to Lahore looking for him but the two could not meet. “Please tell Pran,” he says, as tears begin again, “His friend Shahrukh is alive.”At the Mohali stadium, the only reminder of conflict was a few hundred feet above the pitch- the steady stream of Indian Air Force transport aircraft taking off from Chandigarh air force base with belly loads of supplies for soldiers in Kashmir. But outside, India’s Track II diplomacy over whelmed Pakistani fans.The Nada Sahib Gurdwara ran a non-stop langar and the Chandigarh Club hosted a dinner for every Pakistani. The Chandigarh administration laid out a week-long carnival-from halal meat burgers and prayer mats in hotel rooms to special screenings of Veer-Zaara and Mughal-e-Azam. Shops often dispensed with the formality of seeing the Pakistani passport before granting 10 per cent discount. “I had to force shopkeepers to accept money,” grins Ammad Arshad from Lahore.Meanwhile, Shahrukh was hosted by Arun Bakshi, a 43-year-old marketing executive. In the past decade, Bakshi had twice tried to go back to his father’s village in Pakistan but his visa applications were turned down. This week he did, however, persuade Sajjad Shah and his family to vacate their hotel room and be his guests. The Bakshis sleep in the drawing room.Only half of 7,000 tickets the Punjab Cricket Association sent to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have been sold but no one cares. This is not about filling stadia. “Cricket is the new goodwill multiplier. It will put people-to-people ties on a stronger wicket,” says Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Perhaps it is time for Bakshi to apply for that visa.- with Ramesh Vinayakadvertisementlast_img read more