Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes highest paid athletes list, earns $22 mn

Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list with a total pay of $93 mn; Serena Williamssole woman listed

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Current Affairs : Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature among the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kohli, 28, has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Virat Kohli In Forbes List of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $22 million, which includes $3 million from salary and winnings and another $19 million from endorsements.

Describing Kohli as the “Indian cricket phenom”, Forbes said the sports star has “for good reason” already drawn comparisons to all-time great Sachin Tendulkar.

It added that Kohli has continuously shattered batting records and in 2015 was named the captain of the Indian national team, making him one of the youngest players to ever hold the job.

It noted that last year, Kohli made nearly $1 million in salary and match fees from his national team play, and he’s also among the Indian Premier League’s highest-paid players thanks to a $2.3 million salary from Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“The vast majority of his income, however, comes from one of the sports world’s most impressive sponsorships portfolios,” Forbes said.

The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of $93 million. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot with $86.2 million, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3) with $80 million, tennis star Roger Federer (4) with $64 million and American basketball player Kevin Durant. Read Full Story >>>

ICC Champions Trophy: Top 8 memorable India vs Pakistan matches

Ahead of the Champions Trophy clash, we look at India-Pakistan ODI matches in ICC tournaments

The most awaited contest in the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017, will be the one between arch-rivals India and Pakistan — on Sunday, June 4, at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The match is sure to refresh the age-old rivalry followed closely over decades, and it promises to be one of the highlights of the tournament.

While India-Pakistan Cricket matches had been more common in earlier years of this decade, things have changed in the past few years, and India-Pak clashes on cricket field have become few and far in between. Matches in marquee ICC tournaments have an added significance, given the prize that any team wins is much bigger. While India has never lost a match to Pakistan in World Cup tournaments, it has been beated in two of the three times the two teams have met in Champions Trophy tournaments.

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India-Pakistan Cricket has been known to stop traffic, give people racing heartbeats and force students to skip studies even during exams. Fans expect Sunday’s match to be nothing short of great, despite Indian captain Virat Kohli playing down the importance of this clash and branding it as ‘any other match’. Even as we wonder if India will begin its defence of the Champions Trophy title on a successful note, let’s take a look at earlier memorable India-Pakistan matches in World Cup and Champions Trophy tournaments.

1. 1992 World Cup

This was during the 1992 World Cup at SCG in Sydney that these two nations from the Indian sub-continent played together in a World Cup match for the first time. (more)

AB de Villiers No 1 batsman in ICC ODI list, Kohli only Indian in top 10

Kagiso Rabada ranked No 1 bowler, not a single Indian player in top 10 bowlers ranking

India captain Virat Kohli is the lone cricketer from the country to feature in the top 10 of the ICC Players Rankings for ODIs as he managed to hold on to his third spot in the batsman’s chart.

The intense competition in the individual rankings justifies the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy’s significance as players from the eight participating teams feature prominently in it and not much separates the top players in the fray.

The top three batsmen – South Africa’s AB de Villiers (874 rating points), Australian David Warner (871) and Kohli (852) are separated by just 22 points.

Among other Indians to feature in the top 20 of the ICC Players Ranking for ODI batsmen are Rohit Sharma (12th), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13th) and Shikhar Dhawan, who dropped a place to 15th.

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However, there was disappointment for India in the bowlers chart as not a single cricketer from the country features in the top 10 list which is being headed by Kagiso Rabada of South Africa.

Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel finds himself at joint 11th spot along with New Zealand’s Matt Henry while Amit Mishra (13th) and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (joint 18th) are the other two Indian bowlers to feature in the top 20 list.

Only 23 points separate the top three bowlers – Rabada (724 points), Imran Tahir (722) and Mitchell Starc (701).

India, South Africa and England have four batsmen each inside the top 20 with New Zealand (three), Australia and Pakistan (two each) also having significant presence. Read more

Movie review: Wonder Woman reinvigorates tired superhero conventions

The story is repositioned to the trenches of World War I

“Wonder Woman! All the world’s waiting for you,” rang the theme song to the classic 1970s television show as one-time Miss World America, Lynda Carter, transformed into the star-spangled superhero. Yet while gun-toting raccoons headline today’s superhero movies, the world has waited a long time for its most famous female superhero to receive a dedicated film.

Female superheroes have been confined to sidekick roles (Black Widow is the highest profile Avenger without her own movie) or relegated to TV (where Jessica Jones and Supergirl kick ass on a weekly basis). Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is the first major female-led superhero movie – and as a hero, her antecedents reach back to the suffragettes.

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As historian Jill Lepore details in The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the formative years of Wonder Woman’s creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, took place against the backdrop of the suffragette movement. As a freshman, he had heard Emmeline Pankhurst speak when she visited Harvard in 1911.

An advocate for women’s rights, Marston would later describe the “blood-curdling masculinity” of comic books as their “worst offence”. His remedy? To create a “feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman”. So in October 1941, All Star Comics introduced Wonder Woman, “to whom the problems and feats of men are mere child’s play”. Read more

Smartron srt.phone: A fine deal if you are a die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fan

Powerful innards of Smartron’s ‘all-rounder’ smartphone are failed by its many software glitches

Domestic information technology (IT) start-up Smartron, which counts Indian cricket legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and former Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha among its investors, recently launched the srt.phone smartphone, “inspired by the dependable traits of Tendulkar”.

At the launch of srt.phone, the company claimed that the smartphone used the best antennas and other security features that made it an all-rounder. Indeed, Smartron has pleased investors with its manoeuvres to deliver solutions ranging from internet of things (IoT) to smartphones built specifically for Indian consumers. But how does the srt.phone fare against the claims of dependability and the inspiration it apparently draws from one of the tallest role models for India in recent times?

To find out, Business Standard took the device for a spin and tested its real-life performance. Here is an in-depth review of the srt.phone:

Watch the hands-on review here
Design

The srt.phone offers a no-frills design, with rounded edges and curved sides. The smartphone might look appealing, but its polycarbonate built with metallic finish seems to somewhat spoil the experience. The plastic built is not loose or creaky – it fits perfectly on all sides and the matte touch adds to the aesthetics – but the pseudo metallic look was not necessary; it is way too prominent even at the first glance.

The front of the srt.phone is dominated by a 5.5-inch full-HD display protected with Gorilla Glass 3. There are three capacitive keys below the display, but these are without any sign or icon, just three flat dots. These dots acts are the home button and navigation keys. The earpiece along with sensors are placed neatly on the top, next to the front camera. (more)

Sachin: A Billion Dreams: A glorified account of an over-glorified celeb

Like his book, Tendulkar’s biopic is a nostalgic cruise through his career

As I walked out of the cinema hall after watching Sachin: A Billion Dreams, I wondered: Would I have thought differently of this biopic had I not known anything about the person it is based on? James Erskine’s documentary on one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world – one who has achieved a near-deific status in India – went along expected lines.

But was that because I, like many Indians and cricket followers around the world, already knew so much about Sachin Tendulkar? How would someone living under a rock for the last quarter of a century, and did not know who Tendulkar was, have liked it?

Sachin: A Billion Dreams starts off rather nicely, showing us a naughty curly-haired boy of seven or eight years living in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, getting up to the usual seven-or-eight-year-old boy things like annoying his neighbours with pranks. The boy then receives a cricket bat as a gift from his elder sister, and this is where the story that most Indians and cricket followers already know begins.

This wasn’t the first time I was watching the celluloid adaptation of a story I already knew. I wasn’t, of course, expecting any suspense or plot twists, but I have been far more entertained by some of those other movies where I already knew what was going to happen, than I was by Sachin: A Billion Dreams. Maybe our man under the rock might think differently, but then a story still needs to be told properly, completely and honestly, and this is where Erskine’s attempt is found lacking. (more)

OnePlus 5 launch imminent; company halts ‘flagship’ OnePlus 3T production

OnePlus 5 is due to be launched soon and it will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor

OnePlus has announced that its latest flagship OnePlus 3T, will soon be discontinued. The production of OnePlus 3T has already reached the end of its production life, and sale of the devices will continue till the stock lasts.

The latest development comes days after the company’s CEO revealed that the next flagship smartphone OnePlus 5 will be launched soon and will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor.

Recently, the China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus teamed up with DxO, a software company with expertise in image processing software, to enhance the photography capabilities of the upcoming OnePlus 5 smartphone.

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In a blog post on the OnePlus official forum, the company said: “We are happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.”

“But we can only go so far in telling you that we’re excited to be working with DxO. Our friend Etienne Knauer, SVP Sales & Marketing at DxO, had this to say: “OnePlus has always been one of the leading innovators in the smartphone industry, and we are proud to partner with them and support their exciting mobile photography strategy.” (more)

Salman Khan not worried about Baahubali 2 box office record

Baahubali: The Conclusion has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world

SS Rajamouli’s “Baahubali: The Conclusion” may be setting the box office on fire but superstar Salman Khan said he doesn’t get worried about the business of a film as he thinks every movie has its own destiny.

“Baahubali: The Beginning” released on July 10, 2015, a week before Salman’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.

“Baahubali: The Conclusion”, which hit theatres on April 28, has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world.

“After ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, we came up with “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. Now after ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’, we are coming up with ‘Tubelight’. There is a lot of pressure on the CEO of Salman Khan Films. I don’t get worried so much. It is a phenomenal success and it is amazing.

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“I have not seen the film but I will watch it. But it doesn’t matter (box office records) as I think every film has its own destiny. Lets see what the destiny of ‘Tubelight’ is and how much it earns,” Salman told reporters here at the trailer launch of “Tubelight”.

The “Dabangg” star on a lighter note further said, “They (referring to Rajamouli doing one film in four years) do one film in four years, I do two films in a year and the average is that much.”

Salman’s brother, actor Sohail Khan, who also stars in “Tubelight”, said it’s good if a movie sets a record at the box office.

“It’s lovely when a film does well commercially as it sets a yardstick (for other films). It’s nice that ‘Baahubali…’ did well,” Sohail said.

During the launch, Salman seemed emotional while talking about his other co-star, legendary actor Om Puri. (more)

Brad Pitt in Mumbai to attend War Machine screening, meets Shah Rukh Khan

The 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan

Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt is in India to promote his latest film, the Netflix satire “War Machine”.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will be moderating a special chat session here with Pitt, in which the two actors will discuss the project.

In the movie, the 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan.

Directed by David Michod, of “Animal Kingdom” fame, the Netflix Original film is inspired by the book “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by late journalist Michael Hastings.

An investment in the range of $60 million also makes it Netflix’s biggest-budget feature to date.

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Surprise! Brad Pitt in India to promote ‘War Machine’

Pitt’s character is loosely based on General Stanley A McChrystal, a retired United States Army general best-known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan.

Hastings’s blistering profile on McChrystal led to his firing by Obama.

Pitt’s company Plan B is also one of the producers of the film.

The first big-budget Hollywood movie on Netflix will be released on May 26.