Ramnaresh Sarwan denies Chris Gayle’s allegations on ouster from Jamaica Tallawahs, says ‘record must be set straight’- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Ramnaresh Sarwan denies Chris Gayle's allegations on ouster from Jamaica Tallawahs, says 'record must be set straight'- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Ramnaresh Sarwan denies Chris Gayle’s allegations on ouster from Jamaica Tallawahs, says ‘record must be set straight’- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Former West Indies cricketer and Jamaica Tallawahs assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan has dismissed all the allegations levelled by Chris Gayle.

The big-hitting Gayle blamed Sarwan for an alleged fallout with Tallawahs, who did not retain him for the 2020 season. The opener claimed that Sarwan was behind his ouster and wanted to take control of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise.

Ramnaresh Sarwan denies Chris Gayles allegations on ouster from Jamaica Tallawahs, says record must be set straight

File image of Chris Gayle. AP

“I categorically deny any involvement in the decision, or the decision-making process, which led to Gayle’s non-selection to represent the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Tournament,” Sarwan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on his Facebook page.

“In that video, he has levelled false allegations and tarnished the good name and reputation of a series of persons.

“I was the focus of most of the onslaughts. I reply, not because I feel that Gayle’s rantings are worthy of it, but because I feel that the public’s record must be set straight and also, to protect the character and careers of so many people, whose image he sought to besmirch,” he added.

In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Gayle had earlier referred to Sarwan as “a snake”.

Sarwan, in response, said that he respected Gayle but was utterly surprised by the Jamaican’s allegations.

“Let me make this abundantly clear that I played with Gayle since the inception of my career. I have always respected him as an extraordinary talent, a colleague and most importantly as a close friend. Hence, my utter shock at these allegations,” said Sarwan.

In a statement, Jamaica Tallawahs had also clarified that Sarwan had no role to play in Gayle’s ouster from the squad and added that the decision of not retaining Gayle for 2020 was based on “business and cricketing reasoning”.

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Updated Date: May 01, 2020 17:22:15 IST

Ross Taylor wins New Zealand Cricket's player of the year award for third time- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Ross Taylor wins New Zealand Cricket’s player of the year award for third time- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Wellington: Veteran batsman Ross Taylor has won the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal as New Zealand’s cricket player of the year, claiming the top award for the third time in its 10-year history.

Ross Taylor wins New Zealand Crickets player of the year award for third time

File image of New Zealand’s Ross Taylor. AP

The presentation was made by Hadlee on Friday, on the final day of New Zealand Cricket’s virtual awards ceremony.

In a season of milestones, Taylor surpassed Stephen Fleming as New Zealand’s leading Test run-scorer and became the first player from any nation to play 100 international matches in all three formats.

The 36-year-old scored 1,389 runs across in tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches in the 2019-2020 season, playing in all but one of New Zealand’s 32 internationals in the awards period.

“It’s been full of ups and downs,” Taylor said. “A World Cup final, losing that final. The Boxing Day test which was such a proud moment to be part of and to have so many Kiwis there supporting us was something I’ll never forget.”

Hadlee, regarded as New Zealand’s greatest cricketer, spoke to Taylor by video link in a ceremony forced online by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve followed your career since 2006 as I was part of the selection panel when you played your first ODI and then Test match,” Hadlee said. “I’ve watched your progress over the past 14 years and I just want to congratulate you on all your performances and records to date.

“You’ve been a wonderful performer, you’ve got a fantastic record and on behalf of New Zealand Cricket I’d just like to say thanks very much for your contribution, not only to New Zealand cricket, but to world cricket.”

Seam bowler Tim Southee was named New Zealand’s Test Player of the Year after previously winning the award as best bowler. In the four tests New Zealand won during the awards period Southee took 25 wickets at an average of 16.4.

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Updated Date: May 01, 2020 08:45:19 IST

Australia claim top spot in ICC's Test and T20I rankings; India slip to third in longest format- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Australia claim top spot in ICC’s Test and T20I rankings; India slip to third in longest format- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Australia have moved to the top of the Test and T20I rankings for men while England continue to lead the men’s ODI rankings after the annual update carried out on Friday, which eliminates results from 2016-17.

Australia claim top spot in ICCs Test and T20I rankings; India slip to third in longest format

Australia Men’s team climb to the top spot of ICC Test rankings. AP

In the latest update, that rates all matches played since May 2019 at 100 per cent and those of the previous two years at 50 per cent, Australia (116) have taken over from India as the top ranked side in the Men’s Test Team Rankings with New Zealand (115) remaining in second place. India are now third with 114 points.

With only two points separating them, this is the second closest the top three teams have been since the Test rankings were launched in 2003. The closest for the top three teams was in January 2016, when India had led Australia and South Africa by a single point.

India have yielded the top spot for the first time since October 2016. This is largely because India had won 12 Tests and lost just one Test in 2016-17, the records of which were removed in the latest update. They had won all five series during this period including against Australia and England. On the other hand, Australia had lost to South Africa as well as to India in the same period.

South Africa have suffered the biggest rating fall of eight points, which sees them drop below Sri Lanka into sixth place. They had won three series in the period culled, while they have lost eight of their nine Tests since February 2019, playing against Sri Lanka, India and England.

India still lead the ICC World Test Championship, a league comprising six series played by each of the top nine Test sides.

In the Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings, reigning World champions England (127) have increased their lead over India from six to eight points. New Zealand remain in third place, three points behind India. The top ten rankings remain unchanged.

By contrast, the updated ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings see plenty of changes. Australia (278) top the list for the first time since the T20I rankings were introduced in 2011. Pakistan, who had overtaken New Zealand to reach top position in January 2018 and then spent 27 months there, are now fourth with 260 points.

England have moved into second position with 268 points while India are up one place to third, just two points behind.

Afghanistan are down from seventh to 10th while Bulgaria are the biggest gainers, up 12 places to 51st in the 84-country list of teams that played the requisite six matches in the past three years.

When the global T20I rankings were launched 12 months ago, there were 80 ranked teams. Since then seven teams have joined the table (Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania and Turkey), while three countries (France, Isle of Man and France) have lost their rankings having played insufficient matches.

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Updated Date: May 01, 2020 12:32:49 IST

Zoom announces 300 million daily meeting participants despite growing ban list- Technology News, Firstpost

Zoom announces 300 million daily meeting participants despite growing ban list- Technology News, Firstpost

Video conferencing provider Zoom said on Thursday it had mistakenly published a blog last week that put its daily users at 300 million people when the figure instead referred to the number of meeting participants.

The Zoom blog from 22 April has now been edited to say that the company had surpassed “300 million daily Zoom meeting participants” instead of “more than 300 million daily users”.

Shares of the video conferencing app fell nearly 7 percent to $136.86 in afternoon trade following an initial report by The Verge, which spotted the change in the blog post to meeting participants.

 Zoom announces 300 million daily meeting participants despite growing ban list

Zoom video conferencing app.

Reuters and other media outlets have been reporting Zoom’s meeting participants figure as daily active users. The company had not issued any clarification on how it was calculating its daily active users before the Verge report.

A daily active user is defined as using the video conferencing service at least once a day and a meeting participant is counted as the member of a meeting. Thus a single daily active user could be counted multiple times as a meeting participant in a single day.

Shares of Zoom rose 12 percent to a record high of $168.24 in April when it first reported that its daily active users had topped 300 million.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that its Teams had 75 million daily active users and had at least one day in April when there were 200 million meeting participants. Cisco Systems Inc’s video-conferencing app Webex also said it registered a record 324 million attendees in March.

As corporations and schools shift to remote work and billions of people subject to stay-at-home orders seek ways to remain connected, Zoom has seen a surge in demand for its services. But it has also experienced a backlash as the increased use exposed privacy and security flaws.

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Facebook releases an open-source, ‘human-like’ chatbot called Blender- Technology News, Firstpost

Facebook releases an open-source, ‘human-like’ chatbot called Blender- Technology News, Firstpost

For years, AI researchers have been working on building an artificial intelligence system that can converse as well as humans. Facebook has now introduced a lifelike chatbot, named Blender that outperforms other bots in terms of engagement, and also feels more human-like in its conversations.

Blender is an open-source resource for AI research. The social media giant claims that blender is the largest-ever open-domain chatbot.

The chatbot has the ability to blend several conversational skills in natural, “14-turn conversation flows”. Basically, it can discuss nearly any topic, show empathy, and assume a persona.

 Facebook releases an open-source, ‘human-like’ chatbot called Blender

With the advent of Facebook’s Blender, users can expect more talkative chatbots. Image: Pixabay

Facebook says it has trained the bot on 9.4 billion parameters, which is nearly four times as many as Google’s Meena, and over ten times as many as the previous largest OS chatbot.

Chatbots can, as of now, respond to specific commands and actions like getting updates on the weather or checking on restaurant reservations. They are not capable of having an in-depth conversation with a human.

With the advent of Facebook’s Blender, users can expect more talkative chatbots.

“One of the recent findings in the area of NLP, and AI in general, has been that as you scale, as these neural network models get larger and larger, they tend to perform better,” Engadget reported Stephen Roller, a research engineer at Facebook’s AI lab (FAIR) as saying.

The social media giant has worked on the chatbot’s ability to display personality, knowledge and empathy to make its response more human-like.

“We, in the past two years of research, have designed tasks for each one of these skills,” the tech website further quoted Emily Dinan, a research engineer at FAIR, as saying.

Back in 2018, FAIR had tested a new approach that taught chatbots how to talk like humans. The test was a significant move forward, in an earlier test, Facebook had to shut down one of its AI systems in 2017 after chatbots started speaking in their own language, which they created without human input.

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