Title-chasers Jamaica Scorpions and Barbados Pride will square-off in a crucial encounter in the penultimate set of matches of the group phase of the WICB/NAGICO Insurance Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago today.Second and third, respectively, in Group A with 10 and nine points each, the two will enter the contest knowing that a win for eight team would all but secure them a place in the semi-finals.Group leaders Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who oppose cellar dwellers ICC America, are presently on 17 points and have already qualified for the semi-finals.”It’s a (virtual) must-win for both of us, so I guess they (Barbados) will be playing it like a final and we will be doing the same,” Jamaica’s captain, John Campbell, said yesterday.The return-led round-robin fixture will see both teams entering the contest with a win two, lose two record, with Jamaica ahead based on having two bonus points compared to Barbados’ one.The Scorpions, however, can claim bragging rights, having defeated Barbados by two wickets when the two met earlier this week.Led by a man-of-the-match bowling performance of three for 18 from left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, Jamaica bowled out the Pride for a mere 138 before replying with 139 for eight.The in-form Andre McCarthy, who also has a tournament century, and Antiguan Devon Thomas led the batting for the Scorpions with 49 and 33, respectively.However, with the end of the Australian Test series both teams have been strengthened with the return of West Indies players to their line-ups.Barbados has been injected with seven players – Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Dowich, Miguel Cummins, and Jomel Warrican, while Jamaica will benefit from the return of Jerome Taylor and Jermaine Blackwood.”They have got back all their players from Australia, and have a better squad, and are also coming off a win, so they should be confident,” remarked Campbell.”But we are not too concerned,” he said. “We have seen signs of improvement throughout the tournament, and, it is just for us to put it together.”Jamaica will play the Americas and Barbados will tackle Trinidad in the final set of group matches scheduled for Sunday.The semi-finals will be played next Wednesday and Thursday, with the final carded for next Saturday, all at Queen’s Park Oval.
Fixed-line operators in developed economies are expected to spend a total of US$53.5 billion (€40.6 billion) on rolling out fibre networks, according to research group Analysys Mason.Operators in western Europe are expected to spend the greatest amount of the four regions covered, the others being central and eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. Operators in western Europe are expected to spend US$25.9 billion on fibre over the next five years, according to Analysys Mason.About 82% of the predicted expenditure will be on FTTH services. The report’s authors warned that countries rolling out less expensive FTTC and VDSL networks would have higher availability of fast broadband at a lower cost, with cable and mobile operators also able to roll high-speed services out more quickly and cost-effectively.
Faith MuthambiSouth African communications minister Faith Muthambi is to face parliamentarians today amid criticism of her lack of action over a crisis enveloping state broadcasters SABC.The hearing follows a series of controversial editorial decisions by SABC including the alleged censorship of violent protests and demands from broadcasting regulator Icasa that the banning of coverage of the protests was unacceptable.SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has denied he was censoring news and dismissing staff who dissented from his views.Muthambi has defended her policy of non-intervention and said she had faith in SABC’s board to regulate the broadcaster.“We deliberately decided not to pursue an interventionist stance as the ministry. Our view is that, these are in fact operational issues which need to be resolved by the board as the accounting authority for the Corporation,” she said in a statement.“Failure to observe this key constitutional and policy provision would, in fact, render the ministry as interfering with the duties of the board and management of the public broadcaster. This is something we have not done in the past, and that we do not wish to do in the future.”