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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Test spots

This, again, in the nota bene category: The venues for the three Tests versus SL has been announced. Incidentally, last I heard Chennai has been getting more than its fair share of rain.
PS: Off for a while, see you guys back on here much later in my evening


  • Why have we chosen to play in the Chennai heat against Sri Lanka, but not against England? I would really love to see England sent to Chennai in March in searing conditions. It would be nice to see how effective four quicks are when it is 100 degrees Farenheit and 90% humididty.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 13:49  

  • Prem,
    Want to know your opinion on Sanjay Jha's comments about Chappell
    "At CricketNext we have been vocal and upfront in stating that judging by his performance so far in India, Chappell is a bogus coach, much Flintstone fire and academic mumbo-jumbo. Let us see that on the field, Chappell, where under him we have had two monumental embarrassments in both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe already."

    You can have difference of opinion on Chappell's ways but to call a India coach bogus and academic mumbo-jumbo is blasphemy...
    I am sorry to say but some of your tribesman have a personal axe to grind ....and use media as their tool..
    Does something called as media ethics even exist?

    By Blogger Anirudh, at 13:50  

  • anirudh
    does prem even know about JackAss oops JHAkas

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:07  

  • have u seen the quality of that website? What else can u expect?

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:08  

  • anirudh: I have no comments I want to make about the site, and Mr Jha. Politeness forbids. :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:12  

  • you are a good man Prem

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:36  

  • Well,

    Jha's only objective in life is to side the ex-prince and turn everything to suit his claim.

    By Blogger Realms, at 14:40  

  • Its like this...a celebrity does not give your journalist a interview or gives you a cold shoulder, so you castigate the celebrity in the media, call him names and call his craft numbo-jumbo.And all he is doing as a coach for cricket be damned...

    By Blogger Anirudh, at 14:43  

  • http://cricket.expressindia.com/fulleistory.php?content_id=58008

    srely this is a sign of good coaching.
    Can't beleive I would live to see the day when India is called a better fielding side in any contest.

    By Blogger Amit, at 14:47  

  • The problem with Jha is that he makes stupid statements while both in support or against the team. HE constantly switches sides too within a few days depending on whether the team wins or loses. There use to be another loser on the same site - Tapan Joshi - who was similar to Jha. Tapan Joshi I think writes for Toilet-Paper of India

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:50  

  • Tapan Joshi was actually pretty good. If I remember right he was named for some journalistic award.

    good for him that he left
    His reports were decent. After he left cricketnext site has become cricketwaste.

    By Blogger Amit, at 15:03  

  • Did you read this?>


    Vengsarkar says that role of TRDO helps ... hahahahahahaha

    By Blogger @mit, at 15:16  

  • I was reading few of the articles on Jha. Oh My GOD!!!! I dont think any journo would carry a personal vendetta this way in all his columns. Such a shame

    By Blogger The Suds, at 15:16  

  • sorry.
    few articles OF jha

    By Blogger The Suds, at 15:17  

  • This is off topic but did not know where else to post it.

    Here is a take on the miscommunication that resulted in VRV singh's selction even while he was injured.


    Makes me wonder why the BCCI does not have a reasonable system in place to take care of these basic issues -- proper communication plus follow up on injuries / doctor's recommendations.

    By Blogger kban1, at 15:27  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:41  

  • Regarding Jha's article,
    Complex theories are often labeled "academic mumbo-jumbo" by those who fail to understand them. Just because I don't understand rocket science, I would not say all rocket scientists at NASA are quacks.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:42  

  • I was trying to recollect the name of a cricket website that was getting so popular during the last world cup and its CEO trying all means to get attention and publicity, there you go, I found that site's name here cricketnext and the guy is Jha. He was one cheap fellow thinking he was one guy born to write about or promote cricket(in a cheap way). I would stay that I still don't recollect the name of that shameless website.

    Btw, any one heard of Krishna Prasad, he used to write excellent cricket articles in Outlook, but when Outlook ran a article, suggesting what sachin 'should' do when he got ankle injury and kinda abusing great sachin, I stopped reading that magazine.

    Prem, howz your back doin now?

    By Blogger Sree, at 15:53  

  • Krishna Prasad used to try hard to show himself as a "SECULAR" writer by bashing everything Hindu. He exhibited his bias against Sachin in a looooot of articles also. Wasn't worth reading

    By Blogger Prabu, at 16:07  

  • Somebody over here once said that JackAss's wife owns the site, so he could do as he pleased. No wonder...

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:54  

  • Toney,

    Do u really think any other investor would put money down for JackAss to write on it? His wife probably couldn't take any more of his rants and decided she will channelize his energy in a positive (for her, negative for us) way.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 17:01  

  • yep toney that is me. Jha has married some one who is a part of the indian express grooup. she floated this outfit and I remember it.
    Starting of sanjay stayed away as he had couple of good people manage the website. then slowly but sure instead ofcricketnest it has become jackassnext.com

    By Blogger tombaan, at 17:06  

  • LOL @ prabu.

    I don't think that this guy is worth discussing. Please do not visit his website and increase the number of hits.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:07  

  • poondu,
    I have started going to his website andrating each of his creations "poor". At least, he'll get the message. Or maybe, he'll think those are jealouse people in the industry (Harsha, Prem etc)

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:29  

  • Jha writes...
    "Let us see that on the field, Chappell, where under him we have had two monumental embarrassments in both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe already"

    So losing to the then no.2 team and the no.4 ( not sure what NZ's ranking was ) team in the ODIs and expectedly winning the tests against zimbabwe was a monumental embarrassment eh?

    Then what was losing enough matches to end up no 7 in the world under "His majesty"s captaincy called??

    He is truly a moron....

    By Blogger cartan, at 17:33  

  • Toney,

    From what I saw, most of the readers were rebuking his articles. I don't think he reads the comments . If he did, he wouldn't even be writing .

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:43  

  • cartan - If Jha is morone then you are a bigger who first reads such nonsense and then copy-pastes here and then ignites discussion.

    By Blogger J, at 17:48  

  • Awww! u r a genius! how did u figure that out!

    By Blogger cartan, at 18:15  

  • Fellowes,
    I think we are discussing too much about a crap guy, enuf is enuf lets moveon.org :)

    Now what do you guys think would or should be the 12 for match #7?

    By Blogger Sree, at 18:28  

  • Comment #2:
    Where has Mr.Ran(walka)tunga gone? just for the heck of writing or being paid, he writes about every match. For SL's mercy win on match #5, he had said 'India has left the cat out of the bag', now has it gone **shopping/fishing**??

    By Blogger Sree, at 18:37  

  • Ranatunga it seems is bafllled (as are all of us) about the form (or rather lack of it) of SL. He started pompously....whined...cried....got aghast and then finally gave up.. Typically Fan mentality in general....

    But that apart he was one of the best captains of his time

    By Blogger @mit, at 18:52  

  • As for last match ... I think we will play full strength


    Super Sub - Raina

    The above order obviously is not true as we do not have an order anymore :-)

    By Blogger @mit, at 18:54  

  • Prem,
    Don't you think that planning a ODI in Chennai on November 2nd (against South Africa) and a test from Dec 2 to 6 (against Sri Lanka) is a great risk in view the wet spells forcast there till December 15th? Why can't they atleast have the third test at chennai instead 0f the first.

    By Blogger Krish, at 19:00  

  • Guys,
    Don't you think this last ODI is a perfect opportunity to give Chawla a taste of international cricket? We don't have to stick with the guy after that, but I think it is a terrific opportunity to give him some exposure. Plus, should he surprise, and perform very well, I would really love to play a leggie against RSA who have been notoriously susceptible to wrist spin.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 19:22  

  • Dear Anirudh,
    You wrote: Its like this...a celebrity does not give your journalist a interview or gives you a cold shoulder, so you castigate the celebrity in the media, call him names and call his craft numbo-jumbo.And all he is doing as a coach for cricket be damned...

    I agree, completely with you... the likes of LP Sahi and Sanjay Jha [JhaKass, as you put it] must be an embarassment for even SG...

    Now, isn't this also the REAL axe that Cricinfo, Harsha Bhogle [Authorized Biographer of Mian Azhar] and ESPN/STAR Sports, Mid-Day, even rediff [and may I also say, Panix and his gang] have to grind with SG... that he would give 'exclusive' interviews to 'Kolkata journos/sycophants' [outside his duty as captain in the official press conferences, mind you], and not extend the same hospitality to the rest? I am sure that if I had the time or energy, I could dig up from the net several instances when some, if not all of the above mentioned have actually expressed their frustration regarding the matter in their private fiefdoms [read - blogs, rags and websites]... and never minced their words enough! But I am sure as a diligent follower of cricket, it has not escaped your eyes...

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 19:32  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 19:51  

  • Guys guys guys!!! You still dont get it do you? Ganguly, LP Sahi and Jha are the same person i.e. Ganguly himself, in person.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 19:52  

  • And pray what is wrong with BCCI announcing the test match venue so much in advance!! Dont they have anything better to do? Like rig elections. Somebody seriously needs to be hauled up - we have lost the element of surprise over the Lankans by disclosing the test match venue more than a week in advance.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 19:55  

  • jat_in_ny, am I supposed to laugh at your monicker or your statements?

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 20:32  

  • Here is a Chappell interview..


    Your thoughts on the progress the team has made since your first assignment in Sri Lanka, and where it stands today...

    It has been steady progress. Sri Lanka was more of a discovery tour as far as I was concerned. That was where we devised training methods and showed the things we felt would help the team improve in specific areas. Zimbabwe was more of a bootcamp, we knew that quite a bit of work had to be done quite quickly. Once we got back home, with the kind of programme we had, it wasn’t going to be possible to do fitness work. It wasn’t a pleasant shock to the system for many of them, we really had to push them in Zimbabwe.

    Despite the fact that a few of the players felt it was a little bit too much, I think it really worked quite well. It did set the foundation that has allowed us to do what has happened since we came back — the day before the game, just to give them reasonably good work-outs in terms of fielding without affecting their ability to play the next day.

    If their fitness level was the same now as it was in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, they wouldn’t be able to do that sort of work the day before a game. I think we are probably pleasantly surprised that it has happened as quickly as it has. I thought maybe the best we could hope for was a good fielding team in time. But already, we are seeing better than a good fielding team. Some of the fielding we have seen in the early games has been very impressive.

    We have reached where Sangakkara made the comment after the first two games that we had outfielded them. Whereas when we were in Sri Lanka not so long ago, Jayasuriya said we were the worst fielding team in the competition. To have that turnaround as quickly as this has been very pleasing. I think it is better than gradual.

    Sri Lanka have a very good record in one-day cricket. Playing at home is an advantage, everyone seems to play better at home. But India’s record at home in recent times hasn’t been that good. While I was hoping we could win the series, I didn’t expect it would be 4-0.

    What was your state of mind like going into the Nagpur game?

    It was pretty good. The Challenger Series in Mohali was excellent. I thought we saw some of the things we worked with on the players through Zimbabwe were showing through there. Then the camp in Bangalore, even though Rahul and Virender weren’t available for that. A factor that had a positive effect was Sachin coming back. Again, we have been pleasantly surprised with how well he came back. The camp in Bangalore was excellent, and I started to believe then that the improvement was happening more rapidly than we hoped for.

    By the end of Bangalore, I knew Sachin was ready. The way he was talking, the way he was thinking, the way he was moving, the confidence level was 200 percent higher than it was in Mohali. He was a player searching for form, searching for something in Mohali but at the end of the camp in Bangalore, he was confident and moving well. We can’t underestimate the impact that he has had in the dressing room and on the field just by his presence, his integrity. It has made a big difference.

    For Rahul, it was tough having to be away when the team was getting together, but he wanted the team early in Nagpur. His first statements to the team were very positive and very strong. He outlined what his expectations were, and they were very good. The response from the guys was very positive. By the time we walked on to the ground in that first game, it was a strong unit, and there was a lot of positive energy. I felt we were well prepared, we had our strategies pretty well in place, we knew we had to play positively and get on top of Sri Lanka early, and I was quite confident just with the air. In the bus driving to the ground, there was quiet, but it was a contemplative quiet. That was very different to the feel I had in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on the morning of the big games. I could feel the wheel was turning.

    Was there personal pressure, considering this was the first series after the Zimbabwe dramatics and after?

    Yes, I think so. There is always pressure as a coach because it is a little bit like being a parent. You are watching your children play sport, you send them out there with all your best wishes but there is nothing you can do to help them. If you are tense, that tension is picked up by the players. I felt quite relaxed but I knew we had to get away to a good start.

    Those first two games were going to be important for the immediate and the long-term future. Yes, there was pressure, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

    How do you assess players as regards the roles assigned to them?

    It is more how they approach the tasks. We are aiming at performances based on the process rather than the outcome. Cricket’s a game of failure. On a given day, there will be players who will fail to live up to their expectations, my expectations or the world’s expectations, but that’s all part of the process. I understand that you have to make mistakes to learn. The important thing is that we are putting the processes in place. Hopefully, we have given the players confidence to take on the roles, knowing that we accept that from time to time, it is not going to work out.

    I think that has helped them achieve probably better than we could have hoped for.

    But will there not be pressure to justify those processes if the outcome is not favourable?

    We expect that. The fans will be like fans in most places. They are great fans when you are winning, they are much more critical when you are not winning. But I have been around long enough to know that if you focus on the processes, there is a greater chance of the outcome being what you want it to be or what the fans want it to be. From time to time, players get panicked by the circumstances, but as long as they learn from that experience, I don’t have a problem. I don’t expect us to win every game.

    What is the secret behind India playing as a team after a long while?

    It comes from confidence, from respect, from giving people responsibility, and allowing them to know we do accept that sometimes it won’t work out. We try to encourage them to approach it in the best possible way and give themselves the best possible chance of achieving success.

    The other players then respond to each other in that way. It is a general confidence, confidence in individuals and confidence in the group, and getting them to understand that if you play well together, there is a better chance that they will all get what they want.

    The individual is stronger, safer in a strong team than he is in a team of individuals because if the team is not doing well, the individual is more vulnerable to selection vagaries. I think it is just by emphasising on the processes —partnerships in batting, strong fielding efforts, understanding that there are things we have control over, and things that we cannot control. To focus on the processes that are team-oriented has its impact on building that sort of team effort. Again, whilst you are winning, it all looks a bit rosy. The real test is when you are losing.

    In Ahmedabad, the guys all responded well. No one enjoyed the fact that we had lost, but there was no petulant behaviour. There was a lot of respect given to the guys who had put in a lot of hard work. There was real unity in defeat and that’s when you feel that you are building a unit. If you want a motivated team, you need a lot of self-motivated people working together. The selection process has been good, the selectors have shown a lot of courage, and that courage is being rewarded. If you put a group of the right people together, you are going to get a lot of good things happening.

    By rewarding domestic performances and still focussing on freshness, what message are you sending out to the Gangulys and the Laxmans, the Zaheers and the Nehras?

    The message is that performances are important when the opportunites come up. These are all players who have had a lot of experience and been successful at different times. But the message is loud and clear — that attitude and performance are critical.

    The fact is that the selectors are rewarding good behaviour — and that is not suggesting that anyone who is not in the team is guilty of bad behaviour. You don’t build strength and team unity by chopping and changing the team.

    At times, you have got to make some tough calls as a selector, and you have to give young people time to learn what it is all about at that level.

    A successful team is much harder to get into, but once you get in and if it continues to be successful, it is much easier to stay there. What it means is a lot of stability for the guys who perform, and fit the criteria the selectors are looking for.

    Has the message got through that there is no substitute for discipline and commitment?

    I hope so, because I have never seen any successful individual or successful unit that is not disciplined. Self-discipline is the best discipline, because it is hard to impose discipline. What you can do is create a framework within which you want people to be able to discipline themselves. If you are having to run around and continually discipline people, you are not going anywhere except backwards. It is about finding people who are self-motivated, self-disciplined, who want to be part of a successful unit, who want to take responsibility for their actions. I don’t expect us to be perfect at any stage.

    I have been accused of many things, I have been called ruthless, among other things. Most people who know me know that I am not ruthless, but rigorous. I believe in rigorously applying certain disciplines. To be successful, you have to. There is no short-cut for success. All I want to see from our guys is that they are applying the right attitudes and the right processes to give themselves and us a chance for success.

    At this level, you don’t have the time to bend down and pick people up. If they can’t keep up, they will fall by the wayside. If that comes across as being ruthless, maybe I am ruthless. At the end of the day, successful individuals become their own best coaches. A good team doesn’t need a lot of coaching, it probably needs some direction from time to time, a light hand on the wheel just to keep the focus in the right direction.

    By Blogger Neelan, at 21:03  

  • lovely interview. could you pleae post the link?

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 21:28  

  • @Sahir,

    Chawla is not part of the team chosen for the last two games and hencec cannot be included unless an injury occurs to one of the existing members

    By Blogger Amit, at 21:49  

  • excellent Neelan. Thank you so much. Just reading his interview pumps the adrenaline. Great man chappel is indeed.

    By Blogger J, at 22:02  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Phattycow, at 22:14  

  • neelan
    can u post the url link for interview

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 22:17  

  • Here is the link.


    By Blogger Neelan, at 22:28  

  • Prem/Ruchir/Worma.....one writer I haven't seen you folks reference is Ayaz Memon...he used to write for the Indian Express, but from the looks of it has now moved to DNA....here's his latest article...a pretty balanced take on things, as always....


    By Blogger The Straighter Neo, at 22:53  

  • test message

    By Blogger wowcricket, at 22:58  

  • Wonderful interview by Chappel.Very refreshing and intriguing.Thanks for the post.

    By Blogger Sree, at 23:11  

  • Looks like Michael Vaughan is out of the first test v/s Pak....all that running between first slip and leg slip must have bummed his knee out...

    By Blogger The Straighter Neo, at 23:23  

  • Ethics in journalism is as prevalent as in any other profession. There are ethical journalists and unethical journalists. So is true about any other profession. The suggestion is to take anything with a pinch of salt; and make your own judgement.

    And SG giving exclusive interviews only to Kolkata journos is not fully true. Harsha Bhogle and Sharda Ugra (Sports editor of India Today) have excellent relationships with him. The only Kolkata journo who is really close to SG is Gautam Bhattacharya (you may ask Prem, Gautam is very highly respected in sports journo community) who is not a sycophant in any measure; he kept on writing about SG not being able to justify his place in the team in his personal column. Faisal Shariff from rediff also had a good relationship with Ganguly.

    SG expected a certain degree of knowledge from the people he was talking to. Maybe it was wrong; maybe it was even audacious. But as an individual, he has his prerogatives, right? One female Page 3 journo from Bangalore Times had fixed up an interview with SG last year when the Indian team was in Bangalore. SG was expecting a TOI scribe; however the first question was, "how do you like the pubs in Bangalore, sir?". He was put off and called off the interview.

    Different people have different opinions. My wife felt it was audacious on the part of SG to have called off a scheduled interview. After all, he did not have to lose anything. I, however, felt, that as an individual, one should be always free "not to do" what one does not like.

    It is another matter, however, that you can get away with asking such asinine questions to Rahul. Even if he feels bad, he won't call off the interview. Its a difference of personalities.

    By Blogger Santanu De, at 00:46  

  • de saab - well put - point noted

    By Blogger @mit, at 02:48  

  • Neelan: Here is the guy whom we all were wary of from day one. Now he throws all conventional theories out of the window and yet comes up trumps. “Get back to the basics” is what Chappell says and how true is that. All this talk about batting positions and settled team has been proved to be crap by him. Greg’s a great thinker and very positive person. Would recommend you guys to get hold of his book “The making of champions” – awesome and brilliant.

    His secret is “what makes it happen is different from what happens”. Simple but yet full of depth.


    By Blogger Nigel John, at 03:08  

  • Santanu...u are RD's neighbor...So a fellow Bangalorean like me.Why don't u walk up to his house(he is believed to "not shut the door on visitors") and check on what are the possibilities of SG making it back to the team??

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 03:14  

  • Brilliant interview... shows that he is a thinking personality. There was no doubt about that, but there was a lot of anguish over how his ideas would be accepted by the team.

    By Blogger Kannan, at 04:21  

  • hi,i am new
    i wrote my veiws on england 2005 series and india 2001 seires with comments on indian cricket since then [will write on present team and post when i have time]will post it later and would like all your veiws . its long, i love writting on cricket.

    By Blogger team, at 04:58  

  • Rahul hasn't been home for the last couple of months; first, he was in Australia, then in Nagpur with his wife and his newborn and joined the team for the first ODI straight from there.

    I don't think Rahul would give any straight comments on SG's comeback
    possibilities; his virtues notwithstanding, he never speaks his heart out. That does not get him many friends, but he does not have any enemies either.

    By Blogger Santanu De, at 05:37  

  • Have u spoken to Rahul santanu ...????
    Share some incidents with Rahul if u have interacted with him so that we can understand how rahul is ... and whether the rahul projected by media is correct or not????

    By Blogger rajesh, at 05:56  

  • lovely interview and very articulate...no doubt he would get along with a captian who reads philosophy

    i like the fact that we have such visionaries of the game...hats of to chappell
    i like what he says abot nehra and zaheer

    By Blogger tombaan, at 06:13  

  • Chetan Chauhan's son dies in accident
    By: PTI
    November 10, 2005
    New Delhi: Karan, son of former India Test opener Chetan Chauhan, was killed in a road accident in Australia today. He was 19.

    Karan, who was studying bio-technology at Flinders University in Adelaide, was driving home from the library when the unfortunate incident took place, his father said.

    The teenager was to come to India on December 2 for his holidays, Chauhan said, adding that he was leaving for Australia tonight

    By Blogger tombaan, at 07:10  

  • santanu,
    can you tell us whether there was any truth in the rumors doing the rounds that he was furious when he was not made captain for zim and that before accepting captaincy this time he made sure that he was in the long-term plans as captain ? also heard that he had decided to step down from vice-captaincy ater zimbabwe ... if he was not going to be made long term captain in the future

    By Blogger GK, at 07:30  

  • the bottomline is indians are after power. this is no different from politics. historically all indian cricketers want to lead the team. and noone ready to give up despite poor performance.
    look at some other contries.. the players are not like that. stephen fleming has bee leading for ages now. and in sa, jacques kallis never wanted to become the captain. even boucher had turned down the captaincy..

    By Blogger idli vade, at 07:45  

  • There you go, Mr.Tunga(as in Ranatunga) has written an article at Match#6, he now feels 'cat is still in the bag' and India are not 'cocky' but 'whacky'. He wants them to do the same against Aussies, he is painting 'big' picture now. Nice idea.
    Check it on rediff.com

    By Blogger Sree, at 09:08  

  • Yeah I agree, Ranatunga's comments after the 5th match was really stupid and now he has suddenly changed his tone. He makes a bad journalist for sure.

    By Blogger Hemal, at 10:01  

  • tombaan,

    really sad news abt Chetan chauhan's son

    By Blogger suraj, at 10:24  

  • My team for ODI 7 - in this order


    SS: SR

    By Blogger nilcritz, at 11:04  

  • yehan itna sannata kyon hai bhai

    By Blogger tombaan, at 11:26  

  • Ravi1010whatever,

    I've seen your posts before and all you can talk about is whether SG gets back in the team or not. Why don't YOU take a walk to SG's place and ask him why he got kicked out of the team in the first place?

    The guy is a good player, but he has to perform consistently in domestic cricket over a period of time before being allowed back. Get used to reality (which for once is the way it should be).

    And your italicising of comments is almost as annoying as your endless "I want my idol SG back" bawling. Talk about something else for once, will ya!

    By Blogger BothOfYouThreeComeHere, at 12:23  

  • sorry...

    By Blogger Roman, at 11:36  

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