Got Pain All Over Your Body? But don’t understand why? While fatigue may be a probable cause, it may also be fibromyalgia – a mysterious disease that doctors around the world argue about. Continue reading “Got Pain All Over Your Body? Don’t Ignore These Symptoms”
Each day I see more and more chronically unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy people and wonder why they choose to be miserable when they can take a few actions to become more successful. You will never know the true joy of happiness and success if you don’t admit that you chose the wrong path in life. There are many successful people who consider themselves unhappy and unsuccessful because they are not grateful for what they already have and they are stuck in their own negative thoughts, which prevent them from reaching their full potential. Stop living in misery, here are 8 important actions you can take today that will make you more successful.
1. Love your job
Successful people always do what they love and this actually makes them so happy and successful. Spending 8 (or more) hours at work you don’t like is one of the worst things you can do in life. When you love your job, you are more productive and eager to reach success. Never stop looking for your favorite job and you will definitely find it.
2. Cultivate your creativity
Just don’t tell me that you are not creative. I believe every person in the world is creative, but the problem is that most of us don’t explore and cultivate that creativity. If you have any creative ideas, share them with your coworkers or boss. Even if they don’t love your ideas, don’t give up. Learn how to think outside the box, cultivate your creativity daily, train your brain and be open to new ideas. It’s one of the most important actions that will make you more successful.
3. Focus on one goal at a time
Multitasking is a common thing these days. Whether it’s good or bad, but it will get you nowhere. Trying to reach a few goals or accomplishing a few tasks at once will never make you successful. You will end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed out. When you have a huge to-do list, take a deep breath to calm down (when I see a long list of tasks I should accomplish, the first thing I usually feel is panic), prioritize your tasks and focus on accomplishing one task at a time. This will help you stay productive, avoid stress and meet all your deadlines.
4. Believe in yourself
No matter what you do, believe in yourself. If you made a mistake, admit it, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. Believe that you will be successful, happy and healthy. Believe that you can make your dreams come true. Faith is a crucial part of life, remember it.
5. Ignore negative criticism
There’s a huge difference between negative criticism and constructive criticism. When you see that people give negative and rude criticism that has no sense at all, ignore it. We can’t avoid toxic people in the workplace, but we can ignore their rude comments. Don’t let people’s negative criticism affect your mood, productivity and success.
6. Never stop learning
The majority of people stop learning once they graduate from college or university. Highly successful people never stop learning, no matter the age. You may know a lot of useful things and have fantastic abilities, but they won’t make you more successful. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take new responsibilities. Read books and share your knowledge with others.
7. Don’t lie
If you don’t have fantastic computer skills, let your potential employer know about it. If you can’t accomplish a project, let your manager or boss know about it. Be honest and ask for help when you really need it. It’s impossible to know everything in life, so it’s okay when someone helps you. Successful people can’t do many things, they admit it and their honesty help them reach the true joy of success.
8. Take care of your health
Wealth is nothing without health. When you have numerous health issues, it’s hard to enjoy your success. You should never forget to take care of your health. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and stay hydrated to be more productive and have more energy to accomplish any project and achieve any goal.
I hope these tiny pieces of advice inspired you to take some actions to improve your life and reach the true joy of success. Stay motivated and productive during the day, learn and try new things, believe in yourself and you will never feel unhappy again. What actions are you going to take to become more successful?
All people try to reach independence throughout their life, however, not everyone can fulfill this great desire successfully. Independence is the first step we should take on our way to freedom, self-development and happiness. That’s why it is extremely important for us to do our best in order to enhance our independence. I should say it’s not difficult but it is really worth trying. Certainly, you won’t feel happy and satisfied when you always have to rely on others and depend on them. It would be much better if you could control your life without anyone’s help and interference. Make sure you use at least some of the tips below and you’ll be able to become an independent personality.
1. Surround Yourself with Positivity
I’m strongly convinced that communication with negative people may influence my mood and finally spoil the whole day. Even if you are a positive personality, someone’s pessimistic words and attitude to life will make you lose your joy and inspiration. Whenever you come to some place and meet with people you expect to feel only cheerful and pleasant emotions. So, I would recommend you to avoid those personalities who bring you sadness and frustration. Instead surround yourself with positivity, communicating with those who make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Such people will support you in your attempts to be more independent.
2. Ignore Others’ Opinions
Every time you need to make some serious decision, keep to your own opinion and don’t mind what others say. You should understand clearly what you really like in your life and get pleasure from everything you do. Think of all your achievements, surely, you can be proud of yourself as you’ve done a lot. No matter whether others approve your methods or not, your success is evident. To become an independent individual you shouldn’t follow the ideals and thoughts of the masses but to preserve your own vision of this world.
3. Develop Your Self-Confidence
Undoubtedly, self-confidence contributes greatly to our success and it determines our relations with people who surround us. Being non-confident, you will face numerous problems while making efforts to achieve your goal. Simply relax and go to your dream with a bit of self-confidence. You’ll be amazed at the final outcome. This way you’ll demonstrate others that you are certain in what you say and do. Though it doesn’t mean you have to behave arrogantly. These are rather different things. Self-confidence is only the way to show people that you are content and happy.
4. Make Your Own Decisions
Making decisions is not an easy job to do. Sometimes it can take you a lot of time to make the final choice without any hesitations. In such situations most of us usually turn to our close people for advice. But still the last word must be yours because you have your own point of view, interests and characteristics that will influence your decision. First of all, you should trust yourself and then you can let someone else come into your life.
5. Be Self-Motivated
The next thing I would advise you to do is to find out your talents and passion so that you can definitely see your dream. Then you should spare no efforts to improve your skills and abilities. Focus on those aspects that are the most significant for you and don’t get distracted by any trifles that can ruin all your plans. If you are devoted to something you can be sure you will reach the best results ever. Self-motivation is an indispensable part of your success as it will give you inspiration even when the things are going tough.
6. Stick to Your Own Standards
Surely, it’s great if you have a person who can be a model for you. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t try to repeat the achievements of other people. You’ve got a great number of characteristics that make you unique and it is necessary to stick to them when you work for your dream. As a rule, we constantly compare ourselves to someone else and tend to think that they are much better than we are. This is one of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid if you want to become more independent.
7. Be Financially Responsible
There are certain periods in our life when we financially depend on our parents. For most of us, it’s the perfect time because we can get money whenever we need it and moreover we don’t have to do anything for that. Due to this we should appreciate every minute of our childhood and be grateful to our parents for everything they do for us. Sooner or later we become adult and we begin to earn money ourselves. In my opinion, children must learn to value money from an early age and later they’ll be able to boost their independence and freedom. At the very moment you start being financially responsible you will get a wonderful feeling of self-satisfaction. Don’t forget that we have to pay for everything in our life.
Once you have decided to become more independent you should change your attitude to life and to yourself either. Always believe in yourself and don’t let little things restrict your freedom and desires. Are you an independent personality? What techniques helped you to boost your independence?
Nowadays a great number of jobs require people to cooperate with others. I have met different people on my way. The most annoying thing is that you don’t always get a choice about whether to spend time with that person or not. It is essential to have harmonious and cooperative work environment to be able to reach productivity. Productivity goes up if people are motivated, engaged and happy. Different conflicts or tensions in the workplace can have an adverse effect on motivation and productivity. Sometimes difficult coworkers seem to be your life burden, but it’s not the reason to panic. Try to follow these tips on how to cope with a difficult coworker and you will have a chance to handle the situation in a short period of time.
1. Don’t focus on negativity
If you are surrounded by difficult coworkers, you shouldn’t focus on their negativity. I think it is necessary to set boundaries and veer away unpleasant talks and conflict situations which make you absorb the bad energy of your coworkers. Don’t waste your valuable time and nerves on negativity, if you don’t want to become a negative and difficult person. However, don’t let others get you down. Listen to your intuition and if you feel uncomfortable about something, try to address it. You should show them that you know that you are someone worth treating with respect.
2. Be kind
Leo Buscaglia once said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, smile, a kind of word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”Try to be pleasant and treat your difficult coworker with respect. Moreover, if you have a good sense of humor, you will be loved and respected by your colleagues. This tip really works and reduces tension inside your work team.
3. Keep calm
Never hate your enemies, it affects your judgment. This quote is taken from the film “The Godfather,” which is one of my favorite films. By all means, you should keep calm and avoid actions and emotions which you might regret later. As a matter of fact, when you get into a tough spot, keep your voice at a normal volume and pitch it slightly lower than usual. If you cannot keep your temper, you should try to use some breathing practices which will help your nervous system be strong enough to resist a stress.
I understand that it’s very difficult, but you should listen and hear your coworkers when they talk to you. Let your colleague explain their point of view. Maybe these small talks will help you find the solution of the issue. Though, long and tiresome venting of your workmate’s thoughts can make you feel tired and exhausted. I think 5 minutes a day will be enough. Try to be friendly and show attention to other colleagues as well. It will help you earn respect inside your team.
If the situation doesn’t change for better, you should use more effective ways of solving interpersonal issues. You don’t have to fight in no circumstances! Just have a private and frank discussion with them to reduce the tension. Try to be polite and show the best qualities of your character. Try to understand the position of your workmate. No one is perfect and we all have upset others inadvertently one time or another, so give your workmate a chance to know what you find difficult and to set it straight.
The best way to win the battle is to avoid it and find a compromise. Unfortunately, there are situations where compromise is just not possible. The best civilized way out is to ignore them. Put some distance between you and the person who is driving you crazy. Mind your business and focus on your direct responsibilities. It will help you enjoy the day and work with a smile on your face.
7. Ask your manager for help
This is the extra way to solve this annoying problem. If your coworker’s behavior is interfering with your ability to do your job, you should take appropriate measures. Don’t suffer in silence. Ask your manager or a human resources representative for help. Higher authorities usually try to solve such issues, because they are interested in productive work of the company.
I hope these tips on how to deal with difficult workmates will help you in a certain way. There are many life situations when nothing depends on you, but you should have control over your feelings and behavior towards difficult people. Have you ever faced such a difficulty? How do you deal with difficult coworkers?
Living a fast life often leaves no time to make a pause and put your life in order. Sooner or later you find out that you’re overwhelmed with tasks, you have no time for your personal life and you just can’t cope with anything. A few years ago I experienced exactly the same situation. I felt like my life was full of unnecessary stuff, which prevented me from focusing on something really important. I just seemed to lose control over my life. If you feel the same, it’s time to simplify your life. The earlier you start doing it, the earlier you feel happy and content. Changing your habits and way of life isn’t so hard if you know some tips and tricks. Read on to find out efficient ways to unclutter your life.
1. Start with your home
Indeed, if you want to unclutter your life you should start with something simpler, for example your home. The way you arrange your routines or household items reflects how organized you’re. No wonder you feel distracted if you live in a messy house. I didn’t believe it, but creating order in your house can create order in your mind. Devote a weekend to unclutter your rooms, closet, kitchen. Clean everything thoroughly and throw out old, unnecessary and broken things that just clutter your dwelling. If you work from home, organizing your desk is of critical importance. You should get rid of unnecessary programs and files on your computer as well. When you finish with your home, you can move on to more complicated things.
2. Accomplish what is undone
You might not notice that, but every task that you put off gradually develop into a huge pile of undone things. Even if you don’t think about them, the feeling that something should be accomplished drains your energy and strength. To call a classmate, start learning a new language daily, buy a gym membership…the list may be endless and it depends only on your imagination. Unless you carry out all the undone tasks you will feel overwhelmed and helpless. Try to list everything you should do and make a point of fulfilling at least several tasks a day. It requires a lot of courage, but when you finish with the last point from the list you will definitely breathe easier.
3. Reconsider your friends list
Your surrounding has major effect on your well-being, mindset and behavior. While some friends encourage you to be a better person, there are many toxic people who undermine your self-esteem and just waste your time. Keep your friends list simple. Delete phone numbers of people you don’t communicate with, limit your appointments and maintain relationship only with those who make you feel comfortable. Understand that you owe people nothing. And you shouldn’t feel guilty just because you don’t want to get along with someone. Don’t forget to check your friends list on Facebook either. I bet you hardly know the half of the people. Trimming your friends list will greatly help you to unclutter your life.
4. Find out your ultimate goal
If you live without a sense of purpose you risk wasting your time on utterly wrong things. Sure, you cannot create a detailed plan of your life for many years ahead. But if you really want to unclutter your life, you do need a blueprint. Learn to set goals and see your destination. This way, you’ll scarcely lose the direction or get lost in your life. Having an ultimate goal makes you get up earlier with determination and work hard each day. It’s the source of motivation and inspiration. Moreover, if you know your priorities you won’t spend time on useless things and have more time to concentrate on reaching your goal.
5. Learn to be self-disciplined and organized
It’s really problematic for most people, and I was no exception. Nobody has more than 24 hours a day, but the fact is that some people manage to do a lot during this time, while others cannot get done anything. I always lacked a sense of discipline and it took me lots of time and efforts to develop this feature. First of all, you should start planning your week on Sunday evening. Develop a habit to wake up and go to bed at the same time every single day. Organize your household chores and you’ll see how simple the life can be. Don’t think that being organized is boring. You can always alter your plans and carve out time for something else. Being organized just means you take control over your time and life.
6. Consider taking a break
If you cannot push forward, consider taking a short break to think over your life. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed because they do the wrong job or maintain a toxic relationship. You need some time to realize it. A short break will help you look at your life from another perspective and see everything that you should change. Perhaps, you just need to get enough sleep and restore your energy. Chances are that you return an absolutely different person with a wealth of fresh ideas and enthusiasm. After a break you’ll find it easier to unclutter your life and keep it simple.
7. Learn to ignore
People constantly live a stressful life and they desperately try to eliminate stress factors. In fact you’ll never eliminate stressors from your life no matter how hard you try. You should just change your attitude. In other words, you should learn to ignore a great deal of things in your life to feel happy and satisfied. People often worry about situations that they cannot control, which also makes them feel overwhelmed. You should understand what is really important to you and what can be neglected. Life is simpler than you may think.
Uncluttering your life is a great challenge that requires a lot of time and efforts. But when you manage to put your life in order, you should do your best not to slack off. Once you develop a system, stick to it and enjoy yourself. Make use of these tips to achieve peace of mind and create a more enjoyable life. If you have any other tips, share them with me, please.
Everyone wants to be successful and happy these days, but there are so many things that prevent us from being happy. The truth is, we are the only ones that can decide whether to live a happy life or spend the life doing things that make us unhappy. You will never become successful if you don’t learn how to be happy. It’s hard to learn to ignore negativity, stereotypes, and naysayers, but it’s extremely important. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain to make a difference by doing things your own way. Here are a few things you should ignore if you want to be a happy and successful person.
1. The past
You can’t change your past, so there’s no sense in dwelling on it. Forget all your old troubles and mistakes. What’s done is done and you can’t change it, no matter how hard you try. In fact, our mistakes help us become stronger and wiser. We learn from them and we learn our weaknesses. Even the most stressful and tragic situations eventually teach you vital lessons that you never thought you’re going to learn. Just because you are not a successful person today doesn’t mean you will not be the one someday. You will be happy and successful – maybe not right now, but eventually. Just don’t give up and don’t let your past ruin your present.
2. The things they can’t control
Happy and successful people never force anything. They don’t hold themselves down with things they can’t control. Successful people never talk about the problem, they think about the solution. So if you have some problems, start thinking about the solutions. If you can’t change your current situation, let it be. Remember, changes happen for a reason. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
3. Other people’s opinions
It’s great to listen to people around you, but it doesn’t mean you should act up to their opinions. If you spend too much time thinking of everyone else’s perception of you and if you pay attention to everyone else’s judgment, you will eventually forget who you truly are. You know who you are, so don’t let the judgments of other people affect your life. Impress and inspire people around you and show them how happy and successful you are.
4. Impatient thoughts
Joyce Meyer once said, “Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Patience allows you to stay focused, confidently taking one small step at a time. Every step you take, no matter how small, is a huge progress. Whether you’re working on getting a promotion, improving your health, or learning a new language, don’t expect instant results. Every change, big and small, takes patience and time. Ignore those impatient thoughts, focus on your goals, stay positive and you will definitely see your progress. Trust me, I know how it’s frustrating when the results don’t appear as fast as you’d hoped. But if you put in the work and have a little patience, you will achieve any goal, I promise!
Successful people always believe in their capacity to succeed. They ignore all nagging doubts and keep a positive attitude no matter how bad things get. Even if you made many mistakes, you should still believe in yourself and your strength. Believe that your career is worth the efforts. Believe that people can be intelligent and foolish, generous and selfish, happy and stressed all at once. Believe that you are successful even if you don’t earn millions. Believe in your intuition when you should choose between something. Believe that your life is happy and it will bring you joy again and again. Believe in magic when it seems like there’s no way out of the situation you are in. Remember, belief is always better than doubt.
6. Inessential tasks
Successful people know when and how to say no. You are not superhuman – you can’t do everything and you can’t help everyone. You need to focus on your goals. Stop trying to do too much things at once. If you never say no, you will stress yourself out since you might fail to do everything at once. Don’t be afraid to say no more often. Sometimes we spend a lot of time on what is urgent and less time on what is important. Try to focus on more important things and it will certainly help you achieve success.
7. Everyday frustrations
Bad days are just bad days. They come and they go. Although you might feel overly stressed, try to ignore them. It’s much easier to enjoy your life when you stay positive even if you have a bad day. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid everyday frustrations. We fall, we rise, we make mistakes, we learn, and we live. We are all humans, we can’t be perfect. Practice gratitude daily and it will help you cope with the hard times. Realize that life is beautiful. Sometimes there’s sadness, but there are also plenty of beautiful things. Learn to ignore everyday frustrations even when it hurts, and you will see how happy and successful you are.
Often we don’t take risks because of fear of failing, judgment, or rejection. This is one of the main reasons why so many people are not successful these days. Successful people overcome their fears and they often take risks. In fact, almost everything in life is a risk, including just being alive. If you don’t take risks, you won’t grow and thrive and you won’t know what you are capable of. When you feel fear, doubt, frustration, or anxiety, know that you can fight it. Just focus on the possibilities, on the goodness and on your goals and you will feel much better in no time.
I know it’s much easier for me to tell you to ignore all these things. But success can’t be achieved without efforts. Sometimes you need to make a small change in your life in order to become happier. Which of the things above have you struggled with?
Learning several tips on how to deal with his female friend can help you reduce feelings of insecurity and jealousy. You can’t forbid your partner from having female friends because he might think you’re controlling his friendships. And this may cause lots of problems. Here are eight tips I follow when dealing with my partner’s female friends. My sweetheart has a few female friends, and even though I know that they are just friends, I try to keep everything under control.
1. Give her a chance
When you meet your boyfriend’s female friend, make sure you act like yourself. Don’t act like a jealous girlfriend and don’t be rude or cold to her as it could build negativity and tension, and make everybody feel uncomfortable. Maybe she is a good person and she might become your best friend, so give her a chance.
2. Become her ally
One of the reasons why you’re so jealous over your partner’s female friend is that you are afraid that he will leave you for her. In this situation, one of the smartest things you can do is to become her ally. Get to know her better in order to calm your fears. Invite her to go shopping together or have dinner with you. Chances are that she will tell you more interesting things about her private life and she might even tell you about her crush
3. Hang out with her
If you don’t want to meet one-on-one with her, you can invite this girl to hang out with you, your boyfriend and other friends. In case she has a boyfriend, you can also invite him. You will see what she acts like when she’s around your boyfriend. Be sure to pay more attention to her body language, it will certainly give it away.
4. The flirty friend
Well, if your boyfriend’s female friend is a flirtatious one, it will be rather difficult to deal with her. She is incessantly texting, calling or e-mailing him. She could call late at night without thinking that it’s late or she could purposely call late at night because she knows you and your man are in bed together. In this case, your man should set the friendship boundaries. Don’t try to do it alone as she could increase her highly annoying man stealing behavior.
5. Calls and texts
Perhaps you become suspicious whenever you see a call or text message from his female friend who you don’t know yet. Before making the worst assumptions, try to ask your partner to tell something about this girl. He should tell you some facts like how they met, the length of time they’ve been good friends, and something about her boyfriend/husband. Moreover, your man should be willing to show you text messages from her.
6. Don’t worry over her
If your partner treats this girl like one of the guys, there is no need to worry over her. Even though she may be incredibly beautiful and have a wonderful personality, keep in mind that your man is committed to you. If you don’t see signs of suspicious behavior, make sure you trust him. When you don’t trust your partner it makes him miserable and often strain the relationship. You don’t want that, do you?
7. Discuss it with your partner
If you feel uncomfortable when your man spends time with his female friend, ask yourself why. Maybe it’s because you’re very jealous or maybe you are insecure about your relationship. Or, maybe you have concrete proof that they have a romantic relationship. If you suspect your man or his female friend, discuss it with him.
Finally, when it comes to dealing with your partner’s female friend, ignoring may also help. If she is rude to you or she disrespects you, don’t be mean and don’t show her that her words hurt you. Remember, you are not she, you are better, and your sweetheart loves you, not her.
Sometimes it’s hard to deal with your partner’s female friends, but try not to give him ultimatums unless you’re going to break up with him. Perhaps you have a few male friends and there’s nothing wrong with it. Do you have any tips for dealing with his female friends? Share them with us, please.
West Indies captain Jason Holder leaves the field after being dismissed by Stuart Broad Getty
And so it begins, again: the existential fears for Test cricket so beloved of its fans. The West Indies’ desultory performance at Edgbaston, losing 19 wickets in a single day, combined with Sri Lanka being eviscerated 3-0 by India at home, has provoked a new bout of angst about the state of the Test game.
In a format so small – only 10 nations have ever played, though that will soon increase to 12 when Afghanistan and Ireland play their first Tests – Test cricket cannot afford to lose teams. This century, it has effectively lost both Zimbabwe – who once beat Pakistan and India in consecutive Test series – and the West Indies, who have won 16 and lost 89 of their 146 matches against other top eight teams since June 2000, as competitive sides.
The West Indies’ complicity in their own downfall – the endless petty politicking, the stubbornness, the squabbling between islands – is well-known. Yet England should not feel entitled to any sanctimony. The West Indies are also the victims of a broken structure in international cricket – one that England, the second wealthiest cricket nation, did a great deal to build.
If countries like the West Indies get the message that they aren’t cared for in Test cricket, they could hardly be blamed. From 2011-15, four of England’s five major home series were against Australia or India – not because of the quality of the contests, but because those matches were the most lucrative.
West Indies, it is true, have hardly made a compelling case for more fixtures. But consider the case of New Zealand. In 2013-15, they went seven series undefeated, toppling India at home and being thrilling tourists to England in their two-Test drawn series in 2015. At the time, Mike Hesson, New Zealand’s coach, said his side had “earned the right” to play longer Test series.
But to get bilateral fixtures what matters is not the quality of cricket. Instead fixtures are determined by a combination of short-term alliances and politicking – Sri Lanka are touring India for another three Tests later this year, and it may or may not be coincidence that they joined India in opposing ICC reforms earlier this year – and the size of a country’s GDP, which is where New Zealand fall short. Although they are still competitive, they have trimmed their forthcoming summer to just four Tests, with a gaping three months in the middle of the summer with no Tests at all. Senior players are frustrated, but the board can hardly be blamed: unless it is against England or India, hosting a Test typically loses the home board around $500,000.
Unlike most sports leagues, there is no central dividing up of TV rights. But then Test cricket has never really been a league at all; instead, its quaint structure of bilateral matches, meandering on without any final, is out of kilter with all other sports.
That bodes ill for the West Indies who, as a small and relatively penurious nation, will never – even with the best administration in the world – be able to generate anything like enough to prevent leading talents from playing in T20 leagues instead. The West Indies earn around £12m a year for their domestic TV rights; England’s new broadcasting deal is worth £220m a year. Given this disparity, it is curious how England, even after agreeing to a substantial reduction in their ICC funding in June, can justify receiving over £1m more than the West Indies from the ICC a year. In England that money will do little more than swell the ECB’s £35m reserves; in the West Indies it could improve facilities in the region – most territories lack decent indoor training centres – and salaries for playing regional and international cricket.
Root and Cook dominated against a weak bowling line-up (Getty Images)
Enriching the English game – through the ICC, and through not pooling TV rights – has actually helped deprive Test fans at home of competitive cricket. A lack of cash for their board means that leading West Indies players in all three formats can earn $225,000 a year, according to a FICA report last year – or they can earn in the region of $1m playing in T20 leagues. England’s clout is even hollowing out South Africa who, after losing Kyle Abbott to a Kolpak deal, as well as a raft of fringe players, now face Morne Morkel retiring too.
Ironically, the largest nations do recognise the need for financial equality. That’s why, both the Big Bash, Indian Premier League have salary caps designed to ensure competitive balance on the pitch; the new English T20 competition will do the same. Yet this logic does not apply to international cricket itself.
And then there is the structure of Test cricket: there is none. When England lost the 2013/14 Ashes 5-0, it had no impact on their their fixtures or future. Even the players barely feign to care about the world rankings, which, with no semblance of equity in the fixture list, are scarcely valid anyway. Test matches have no more consequences for success or failure than friendlies in other sports.
It was the first international day-night Test played in England (Getty Images)
There were issues with the ICC’s plans for two divisions, which was abandoned last year after the Full Member boards refused to endorse it, fearing the consequences of relegation. Yet the meritocracy and context beloved of English sports could, if implemented sensibly, have improved the spectacle of Test cricket. “It will make people look at their high-performance programmes and their systems, so the product of Test cricket will improve as well,” David White, New Zealand’s chief executive, said at the time. The nine-team league structure that the ICC hopes will be passed in October is also imperfect – series would be of different length, though count for the same number of overall points; and it remains unlikely that India would be sanctioned to play Pakistan.
But any genuine context would be better than the status quo which is, essentially, the worst of all worlds. For smaller countries, there are no real incentives to improve. Without any semblance of meritocracy, success is not rewarded; nor is failure punished. The fixture list is unfathomable. Fans have no incentive to follow games involving other nations. The empty platitudes about ‘protecting the primacy of Test cricket’ continue, along with the format’s inadequate structure. Where dynamic T20 leagues produce a clear champion, Test cricket just bumbles on.
The best that can be said is that it always has done so – and, after 140 years, Test cricket is still here. But never has it faced so many challenges – from other sports and cricket’s own shorter formats, which are not only engaging fans but also incentivising players from smaller nations to quit Tests prematurely.
Together with ensuring context, Test cricket would also do well to learn from the world’s most lucrative sports league. In 1962, the NFL’s club owners met to discuss their network television revenue. By dint of being in a far larger market, the New York Giants received five times more than the Green Bay Packers. Yet the Giants argued that “the NFL was only as strong as its weakest link, that Green Bay should receive as much money as any of the other teams,” as the NFL commissioner at the time later said. With a little of such thinking in cricket, it would be possible for the ICC to guarantee a minimum sum for each Test cricketer from the 12 nations, perhaps funded by the proceeds of a Test league, to ensure that teams from smaller economies would be able to actually pick their strongest possible side.
The alternative to radical reform, both to the fixture list and economic structure, threatens to be a further erosion of competitive balance, and an accelerating hollowing out of Test talent in smaller countries. All accompanied by more tedious laments for how the West Indies’ maroon cap has been devalued.
The sport of cricket is far richer than it’s ever been. When it’s not in players’ economic interests to play Tests, administrators have failed abjectly.
Winter Garden, FL — A dramatic video of a police officer shooting a family’s dogs was shared with the Free Thought Project this week. After shooting the dogs, who appeared to be coming to greet him, the video shows the officer immediately tell a story that clearly did not happen.
According to the person who submitted the video, his aunt was visiting his parent’s home in Florida. When she arrived at the home, she accidentally put in the wrong alarm code, but it was cleared within just a few seconds.
Despite the alarm being cleared, police showed up 45 minutes later.
“Both dogs have never bitten anyone. They were just coming up to say hey,” writes L Chastang, as he describes the officer’s body camera footage.
“The three dogs are on electric collars that runs the property line. The beware of dog signs in the front of the entrance and just before entering the courtyard are obvious,” he said.
Clearly ignoring the beware of dog signs and the cleared alarm notice, the officers entered the property anyway. When the dogs ran up to greet them, an officer shot.
The first part of the body camera video has no sound, so we cannot hear the dog or how many shots are fired. However, we can see the dogs wagging their tails right before they are shot.
Also, you can clearly see that both dogs stopped right at the officer’s feet when the got to him. They didn’t jump up or attempt to bite him. It looked like they were just excited to see someone.
After shooting the dogs, they run away, leaving behind a trail of blood. The family’s Rottweiler, Bane, did not survive.
When the homeowner’s sister comes out after hearing the gunshots, she asks police what happened.
“They charged me and backed me into a corner ma’am,” says the officer.
“Both of them?” the woman asks.
“Three of them,” says the officer, clearly recalling a story that the body camera shows did not happen.
The Free Thought Project reached out to the Winter Garden police department for a statement on this incident which allegedly happened on July 3, 2016. They told us that it looks like a possible Orange County incident.