WI aim to make home turf count

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):West Indies batting coach Toby Radford said yesterday that the regional side would try to make home advantage count in the upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan, as they attempted to make amends for their dismal showing last September.Just seven months ago, the reigning T20 World champions found themselves on the end of a humiliating series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates as Pakistan convincingly won the three-match series on ‘home turf’.However, with much more familiar conditions expected, Radford said he was anticipating a change in fortunes.”I think the big thing when we played out there is we found that the pitches were particularly slow and obviously suited their spin bowlers, and they made very, very big boundaries and made us run a lot,” the Englishman pointed out.The four-match series opens on Sunday at Kensington Oval here before heading to Trinidad and Tobago for the last three games at Queen’s Park Oval.West Indies have been in training since they assembled on Wednesday and Radford said everyone looked in fine form.”We had a good session this morning and all the batters looked in really good touch, which is encouraging,” he said.”There’s one big game coming up in Barbados this weekend and then it’s off to Trinidad for three games there. It will be a really exciting series and, hopefully, they’ll put in a really good performance.”While the side will be without the likes of T20 stars Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, it includes other big names like batsmen Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree.GOOD FORMSelectors have also opted for first-timers Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed and Veerasammy Permaul coming on the heels of their good form against England in the recent one-day series, and the move is one Radford endorsed.”Carter and Jason Mohammed played very well in the 50-over tournament recently against England, and I think it is great their form has been recognised by the board and they’ve been given an opportunity in this format as well,” he pointed out.Radford continued: “I think it’s an exciting team, a mix of real talent that’s been there and done it and some youngsters who show real quality, and I think putting those together, I would love to see [West Indies] put some good performances together.”last_img read more

World Bank Forecasts US$32.6bn Loss if Ebola Lasts Longer

first_imgThe World Bank Group has released a second report in less than a week forecasting a devastating economic impact of the Ebola virus in West Africa if the international community fails to move quickly to contain the disease in the sub-region.With the latest death toll from Ebola now put at about 3,439 in the three worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the Bank’s new economic impact assessment warned that if the epidemic was to significantly infect people in neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the two-year regional financial impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015.The report notes,” as it is far from certain that the epidemic will be fully contained by December 2014, and in light of the considerable uncertainty about its future trajectory, two alternative scenarios are used to estimate the medium-term (2015) impact of the epidemic, extending to the end of calendar year 2015.” A “Low Ebola” scenario corresponds to rapid containment within the three most severely affected countries, while “High Ebola” corresponds to slower containment in the three countries, with broader regional contagion.According to the Bank’s new analysis, the economic impacts of Ebola are already very serious in the core three countries,  particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone, and could become catastrophic under a slow-containment, High Ebola scenario.Our business desk says the Ebola virus has hit the Liberian economy to the extent that all major sectors of the economy,  including agriculture, mining and the service sector have slowed or shut down completely. The hospitality sector is also down amidst less demand. The government says it would need about US$375 million to fight the virus.Atop of the slowdown in major sectors of the economy is huge public spending to contain the virus in the face of dwindling revenue generation.  In broader regional terms, the economic impact could be limited if immediate national and international action stop the epidemic and alleviate the “aversion behavior” or fear factor that is causing neighboring countries to close their borders, and airlines and other regional and international companies to suspend their commercial activities in the three worst-affected countries.The successful containment of Ebola in Nigeria and Senegal so far is evidence that this is possible, given some existing health system capacity and a resolute policy response, the Bank said.”With Ebola’s potential to inflict massive economic costs on Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and the rest of their neighbors in West Africa, the international community must find ways to get past logistical roadblocks and bring in more doctors and trained medical staff, more hospital beds, and more health and development support to help stop Ebola in its tracks,” says Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group.””The international community now must act on the knowledge that weak public health infrastructure, institutions, and systems in many fragile countries are a threat not only to their own citizens but also to their trading partners and the world at large,” says WBG President Kim.”The enormous economic cost of the current outbreak to the affected countries and the world could have been avoided by prudent ongoing investment in health systems-strengthening,” he added.The World Bank Group is supporting country responses in line with the WHO Roadmap, and is coordinating assistance closely with the United Nations and other international and country partners.As the new report notes, “effort and memory will be required to sustain and continue strengthening this early warning network and the complementary investments in effective and resilient African health systems after the Ebola outbreak has been contained. Taken together, the containment effort, the fiscal support, the restoration of investor confidence, and the expanded disease surveillance, diagnostic and treatment capacity promise to first stem the Ebola epidemic, and then help to reverse as quickly as possible the aversion behavior that is causing so much economic damage. “A key issue looking forward will be to re-establish investor trust so that as the epidemic is contained, domestic and international investment can return. The World Bank Group says urgent policies will be needed to jumpstart the renewed flow of relief and commercial activity (for health, business, and tourism purposes) with the affected countries while also safeguarding other countries from epidemiological contagion. To this end, options should be explored for financing improvements to health security infrastructure and protocols of the seaports and airports of the three core countries and their neighbors.To this end, the World Bank Group is mobilizing $400 million in emergency financing for the three countries hardest-hit by the crisis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more