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Asia Cup final: Best of frenemies Pakistan and Sri Lanka set for another edition of old, but cordial rivalry

Madison Franz



Asia Cup final: Best of frenemies Pakistan and Sri Lanka set for another edition of old, but cordial rivalry
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After the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Super Four game ended and the players waited for the presentation ceremony, Babar Azam and Wanindu Hasaranga were spotted engaged in a chat near the boundary rope. Both were chuckling and guffawing, even though Hasaranga had taken out Babar in the match. Beside them, Mohammad Rizwan, Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis were rolling in laughter.

Not far from them Maheesh Theekshana was obediently listening to Saqlain Mushtaq, like an apprentice to a master. Some time ago, Wasim Akram was seen talking to Sri Lanka’s left-arm seamer Dilshan Madhushanka. As the players exited the stadium, a horde of Sri Lankan fans sought the autograph of Naseem Shah, just as a few Pakistan teenagers were queuing up beside Hasaranga for his signature.

Evident thus was an overwhelming camaraderie, an uncomplicated natural friendly vibe, not one for the camera, but one fostered by their frequent cricketing exchanges, their shared experience playing in leagues around the world and historically smooth cricketing ties.

So much so that it’s the most harmonious of cricketing rivalries in the subcontinent, unstained by geopolitical tensions or cultural antagonism.

Pakistan-India match-ups might be devoid of the old hostility, but it is still an intense rivalry with deep nationalistic undertones, so much so that another bilateral series between them is a distant possibility.

Pakistan-Afghanistan encounters could be crudely bitter affairs, as was witnessed in Headingley and Sharjah. Pakistan-Bangladesh match-ups too have an uneasy, expected layer of friction. Bangladesh-Sri Lanka face-offs, a pure cricketing rivalry though it is, have of late turned spicy, replete with heated barbs and cartoonish charades. So have India-Bangladesh duels turned out to be.

Among the mutually squabbling South Asian cricketing siblings exists the Pakistan-Sri Lanka rivalry as an island of peace. Not that they have no reasons to emerge as a feisty rivalry, from the mid-90s to mid-2010s, they competed for continental and global glory, had players capable of turning the scene ugly, and there was a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore, yet they have maintained firm and cordial ties, cricketing-wise as well as diplomatically.

In troubled times, they have been by each other’s side, lugging onto the shoulder. Upon cricket’s resumption in Pakistan, no team has toured the country as frequently as Sri Lanka have.

In the last five years, they have travelled to Pakistan three times, twice for white-ball series and in 2019 for Test matches.

No team had visited the UAE for a full-fledged series against Pakistan as much as Sri Lanka (three times in seven years) had either. They were each other’s dial-a-friend lifeline.

There is a deeper cricketing affinity between them too. Unorthodoxy has flourished in both countries — who else would have produced outlier talents such as Shoaib Akhtar, Lasith Malinga or Muttiah Muralitharan? Which other countries would have provided the fertile grounds for the carrom ball and doosra to develop, or the Dillscoop and reverse-sweep? Where else would players who had played just tape-ball or beach-ball cricket on streets and beaches be plucked from obscurity and pitched into international cricket. Who else would have produced leaders like Imran and Arjuna Ranatunga, or stylists like Saeed Anwar and Aravinda de Silva? There are heart-warming life stories, cricketers from deep interiors, those fighting poverty and battling floods and tsunamis, those emerging from outside the cricketing systems.

In a sense, theirs is the ideal sporting rivalry. Fiercely competitive and gentlemanly on the field, and friendly off it. One can remember a raft of classics the two teams have dished out, yet not an instance where they were locked in a bust-up or pre-game rattle, or scandals or gossip. After the Super Four match on Friday, both skippers lavished praise on each other. Shanaka said: “Don’t be fooled by Pakistan’s performance [on Friday], they are a good team and could beat anyone on their day. We have seen that several times and we know the quality they possess.” His counterpart Azam reciprocated at the presentation ceremony: “Even after they lost to Afghanistan in the first match, we never wrote them off. Today, they showed you why and they have been the most consistent team in the Asia Cup.”

Both made a mockery of pre-tournament odds, where India were predicted to encounter Pakistan. A dream final of sorts. The possibility seemed even more realistic when Afghanistan thumped Sri Lanka in the opening fixture. But thereafter, they scripted a stunning turnaround, as only Sri Lanka, or Pakistan, can. They went on to win four games on the trot — three in the last over and one comprehensively. But with each game, they kept unearthing more heroes. Apart from the usual suspects like Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shanaka emerged new heroes like Pathum Nissanka, the feisty opener, Madushanka, the left-arm seamer and Theekshana, the mystery spinner. An old hero remerged too — Mendis. The words of former Bangladesh cricketer Khaled Mahmud, that they don’t have a world-class bowler, turned out to be a spur-on in hindsight. Shanaka dwelled on that again on Friday, rather indirectly: “Bowling combination, starting with left-arm fast bowler, off-spinner, leg-spinner, variation from the spinners, any kind of batting line-up will be challenged. The combination as well as the variation we have is amazing,” he said.

But the Lankan top order is vulnerable to pure pace. Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain made them look like novices at times in the Super Four game. So had Afghanistan left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi and Bangladesh’s Ebadot Hussain. With Naseem Shah returning for the final, and a bouncier and quicker surface expected for the game, a baptism by pace awaits them. That’s how Pakistan have historically won tournaments, with the magic and mystique of the pacers. Think of Wasim Akram in the 1992 World Cup; or Mohammad Amir in the 2017 Champions Trophy.

On the other hand, Pakistan kicked off the tournament as overwhelming favourites but had to scrape through nervous moments, both their Super Four victories being exceedingly tight. They were beset with unusual problems — like the indifferent touch of Azam, the flaky middle order and an erratic Rizwan, who would look sublime one day and banal the next. Apart from Rizwan with 256 runs, no other Pakistani batsman has scored more than 100 runs in the tournament (Babar 63, Fakhar Zaman 96, Asif Ali 41, Khushdil Shah 56 and Ifthikar Ahmed 73). But little doubt that they have the mettle and quality to reverse the tide and put on a larger-than-life show in the final. Saqlain defended each of the spaces that had been holding Pakistan from fully blooming.

On Babar, he said: “It is just that his luck is not going his way. The kind of boundaries he has hit against India. A batter with deeper eyes will say that his form is fine. It is his luck which is not going his way.” On Rizwan: “Rizwan is superhuman and he is very spiritual, the energy he brings to the team is amazing.” On the middle order: “They have done well against India and Afghanistan when we chased. You might think that it was a small total and Naseem Shah won it for us but all 11 players batted. We have a big-match temperament.” And the arsenal of bowlers—the fast bowling trio has wizardry and the spin pair of Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz smarts and nous.

None, thus, would dispute that Pakistan could reverse the Super Four defeat. Then none would argue that Sri Lanka don’t possess the ammo to rattle Pakistan either. Both have imperfections, but both have the incandescence to beat any team in the world on their day as well. Thus, an ideal final between ideal rivals, unbound by geopolitical tensions and bound by warm diplomatic and cricketing ties.

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What Are Raptor Lights? (Or: Tacoma Bros, Stop Putting Them on Your Trucks)




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Three orange LEDs won’t add inches to your truck’s girth.

The luminescent phenomenon known as “Raptor lights” lit up in 2010 with the arrival of the Ford F-150 Raptor, but the idea of putting three orange lights on a big truck is nothing new. These lights have been legally required on semi trucks, buses, and other large vehicles for decades. You see them on all kinds of pickup trucks and SUVs these days, although technically they have no business on your Tacoma.

What Are Raptor Lights?

Officially, they’re “identification lamps,” but whatever you call them, the three small amber lights in the grille of a truck have become a styling cue for off-road trucks. The F-150 Raptor wasn’t the first truck to wear them, but it definitely started the trend, hence why enthusiasts and the aftermarket often use the term “Raptor lights” regardless of what truck they’re on.

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You can thank the federal government, at least in part, for the current fad. When Ford’s extra-girthy, desert-running Raptor checked in at 86.3 inches wide back in 2010, the automaker was obligated to put them on the pickup—any passenger vehicle over 80 inches wide is subject to the same lighting regulations governing commercial vehicles. In addition to amber front identification lights, a set of three red lights must be installed on the rear of these vehicles. These vehicles also require clearance lamps at the corners that are similar to identification lights but called out separately in the regulations.

Here’s The Legal Definition

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108, (aka Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter Five, Section 571.108 of the Code of Federal Regulations) lays out the legal details around vehicle lighting. Among the statutes you’ll find this gem describing how the identification lamps should be placed on any vehicle 80 inches or wider: “On the front and rear—3 lamps, amber in front, red in rear, as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle, at the same height, and as close as practicable to the vertical centerline, with lamp centers spaced not less than 6 inches or more than 12 inches apart. Alternatively, the front lamps may be located as close as practicable to the top of the cab.”

04 what are raptor lights tacoma indicator marker lamps

In other words, the Raptor is wide enough to require the same lighting as big rigs and dump trucks. These lights are like bright colors on a poisonous frog, but instead of saying, “Don’t eat me, I’m deadly,” they say, “Watch the heck out, there’s one big chungus of a truck coming your way.”

Now, why do so many pickup trucks put Raptor lights in the grille rather than on top of the truck like a semi? If you read the regulations like a lawyer, you’ll notice that the feds want these lights both high and at the front of the vehicle. In other words, the default location is along the front edge of the hood. Placing them along the top of the cab like you see on semis is spelled out as an exception to the rule. Heavy-duty pickups with hips exceeding 80 inches often have the indicator lamps affixed to the top of the cab, although nothing’s stopping automakers from placing them into the grilles.

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Which Other Trucks And SUVs Have Raptor Lights?

The 88.0-inch-wide Ram 1500 TRX followed in the gigantic footsteps of Ford F-150 Raptor and helped make “Raptor lights” a symbol of modern off-road machines, with the orange identifiers mounted high inside its hood scoop. The Bronco Raptor, which measures 85.7 inches between its fat fenders, and the TRD Pro versions of the third-gen Toyota Tundra and Toyota Sequoia are also lit up like big rigs. Heavy-duty pickups outfitted with dually rear axles (and, subsequently, large width measurements) also bear identification lamps.

There has been some documented conflict between OEMs and state laws concerning these indicator lamps. The identifier lamps atop the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD trucks, required by federal law because of the trucks’ width, violated an annoyingly specific bit of California Vehicle Code 27606, which states, “No person shall own or operate a motor vehicle which is equipped with a light bar, or facsimile thereof, to resemble a motor vehicle used by a peace officer or traffic officer while on duty within that jurisdiction.” To summarize, the code suggests the indicator lamps too closely resemble the amber light bars atop some government vehicles and therefore cannot adorn trucks sold in California.

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Why Your Tacoma Should Not Have Raptor Lights

It’s simple: Your midsize truck is not wide enough to leave the factory with Raptor lights and pressing any number of orange LEDs into your grille won’t add inches to your vehicle’s girth. Notice that neither the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter nor the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor are fitted with these orange telltales, although you can imagine the marketers certainly wish they were.

The legality of adding aftermarket Raptor lights to your rig will come down to local laws, but vehicle lighting is heavily regulated. Unless you’ve installed fenders that push the body beyond 80 inches, adding exterior lights to your vehicle could earn you a ticket from a knowledgeable and ornery cop. When in doubt, refer to your local vehicle code.

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Why show jumping is one of the most thrilling horse sports?

Odyssey News



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Think horse sports and the first thing that comes to mind is probably dressage. But for many equestrian enthusiasts, show jumping is considered the ultimate horse sport. There are several reasons why this is the case. First, it is one of the most challenging disciplines because riders must balance speed, precision, and control while jumping over obstacles.

Second, it is a spectator-friendly sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. And lastly, it requires a high level of athleticism and training from both horses and riders. If you’re looking for an intense and exciting horse competition, then show jumping is definitely worth checking out!

What is horse show jumping?

Horse show jumping is better known by the name “Show Jumping.” This event is performed by the horse and rider navigating a specific obstacle course by jumping over hurdles. The obstacle course is designed by the organizers of the event and is in accordance with the intention of the event. There is a specific time limit as to the duration of the event. Judges grade and score the skill and efficiency and time taken to perform the event, said Alec Lawler, a talented show jumping athlete and business owner with a passion for identifying and securing international equine investment opportunities. He has competed at the highest international level in show jumping throughout North America and Europe, and has won numerous awards and accolades, including the CSI 3* Grand Prix of Lummen Belgium in 2016. Alec founded Lawler Show Jumping LLC in 2019, where he selects, imports, develops, and sells dozens of horses annually.


History of Show Jumping

The tradition of the English fox hunt is what gave birth to “Show Jumping” in the 1700’s. The laws known as “The Enclosure Acts” were written to put controlling guidelines on horse riding in order to ensure the safety of the horses.

Show Jumping events were originally mostly informal and were held in the British Isles and France throughout the 1800’s; the sport was not popular until fans were able to view the jumps in a controlled space (such as a stadium.)

In Italy Army Captain Caprilli revolutionized show jumping by introducing the “forward seat.” The rider’s position on the horse was changed which provided better balance for the horse while jumping. This new riding position was immediately adopted worldwide and is still used today. It replaced the “Dressage seat” which hindered the horse’s jumping potential. The first formal jumping event was held in England in 1907.

The riders were soldiers . There were no formal rules for these competitions as the judges wrote a personal opinion of what they had witnessed. In 1925 The BSJA (British Show Jumping Association) was established, and made specific rules for jumping events. It was preceded by The American Horse Show Association founded in 1917.

What are the jumping horses breeds

There are twelve horse breeds that are considered to be the best jumpers. They are The Holsteiner, The Arabian, The Oldenburg, The WestPhalian, The Trakehner, The Morgan, The Quarter Horse, The Connemara, The Dutch WarmBlood, The Irish Sport Horse, The Hanoverian, The Thoroughbreds. We will briefly describe their specific positive attributes.

  • The Holsteiner has a long lifespan (35 to 40 years)
  • The Arabian is very beautiful and has great athletic abilities and stature
  • The Oldenburg is kind hearted, easily trained and strong
  • The Westphalian Is easily trained, a fine athlete, and traces its bloodline to the first Persian King
  • The Trakehner has great style and jumping ability
  • The Morgan is much smaller than the other breeds, easily trained and friendly
  • The Quarter Horse is good tempered, has great strength, trainable, and very popular in the USA
  • The Connemara is of Irish origin, smaller, well balanced and ideal for training youngsters
  • The Dutch Warmblood is good natured and placid
  • The Irish Sport Horse is very calm and muscular
  • The Hanoverian is considered to be a great investment and a great performer
  •  The Thoroughbred is highly intelligent, loyal, agile and fast

Is it necessary to train a horse to jump?

All horses naturally know how to jump. Any horse will instinctively know when it is necessary to jump. If you do not plan to have your horse perform jumping training is not necessary. However, if your intention is to compete with your horse in Show Jumping events it is recommended that both you and your horse have training with a seasoned professional trainer.

You both will learn the fine points of jumping and how to jump correctly according to standardized jumping procedures. These procedures must comply with strict internationally prescribed rules. In a competitive tournament, your jumping activity and jumping time will be keenly observed and scored by professional judges. This process will determine who is considered as the best jumper and the winner of the event.

These competitive events are conducted mostly on an adult level. However, there are also competitions for teenagers only.

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