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Daily Archives: August 29, 2008

Sands cold on Hengqin, waits for green light on Cotai


by Nigel Huxtable
The  last  stage  of  Las  Vegas  Sands’ plans for the Cotai Strip are currently on hold as the government studies the next wave of casino openings while its enthu-siasm over the development of the adjacent Hengqin Island has diminished.


Following  the April  announcement  that  no new  casinos would be permitted  in Macau, the government is currently considering the future  of  land  parcels  earmarked  for  gam-ing concessionaires,  said president William Weidner yesterday. Sands  is  yet  to  secure  permission  to  build on  its  so-called  parcels  seven  and  eight  at the  southern  end of  the Cotai Strip or par- cel three, situated between the Four Seasons Hotel  and  the  yet  to  be  developed Macao Studio City. It is waiting for further details from the gov-ernment on  if or how  it can proceed before developing the land, said Mr Weidner. “The  government  has  indicated  that  they have a study that will be fnished this fall, so we’ll have a better  indication after that,” he  said yesterday during a press conference  to mark  the  frst  anniversary  of  its  frst Cotai development, the Venetian Macao. The government’s current deliberations will defnitely delay the company’s Cotai projects, at least by a number of months, he said. Sands  hopes  to  build  an  initial  6,150  hotel  rooms and 450 apartments with the Hilton, Conrad, Fairmont and Raffes hotels on par-cel seven and eight. Parcel three, which it has already paid a pre-mium  for according  to Mr Weidner,  is ear- marked for 3,940 hotel rooms with the Holi-day Inn, Intercontinental and Cosmopolitan hotels. Across  the  road  from  the Venetian Macao, Shangri-La, Traders and Sheraton hotels are currently being built on parcels fve and six with  the  6,500  rooms  expected  to  be  open late next year or early 2010.
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Cricket: Hard work key to Vaas’s 400-wicket success

by Manoj Vatsyayana*

If there were an award for the "most consistent fast bowler" in the history of Sri Lankan cricket, it would definitely go to Chaminda Vaas.
The left-arm seamer on Wednesday became the fourth bowler to take 400 wickets in one-day internationals after retired Pakistani pace duo Wasim Akram (502) and Waqar Younis (416), and compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan (479).
Vaas, 34, achieved the feat during the fourth one-dayer against India here when he had Yuvraj Singh caught by skipper Mahela Jayawardene at short mid-wicket for no score.
"Wasim was a very clever bowler. He was lethal and very good at outsmarting the batsmen. Waqar was entirely different. He bowled fast and used the yorker to good effect," Vaas recently told "The Island" newspaper.
"Murali has been an absolute champion and never loses his passion for the game. Soon he will go past Wasim's record as the highest wicket-taker in one-dayers and it will be difficult to surpass him."
Fast bowlers like to hunt in pairs, but Vaas has been mostly toiling alone since his one-day debut against India in 1994. It is a tribute to his consistency that he has rarely let his team down.
Akram and Younis bowled in tandem, keeping pressure on batsmen from both the ends with their different styles. They were instrumental in making Pakistan a formidable bowling outfit in the 1990s and early 2000s.
"There were a lot of guys who were more talented than me. My game was limited, but I worked harder. You have got to make the most of your talent and nothing comes easy," said Vaas.
"I have enjoyed my cricket thoroughly. No regrets whatsoever. There have been a few good performances along the way, but for me winning the (1996) World Cup remains the greatest achievement."
Sri Lanka were often called a two-bowler team because Vaas and off-spinner Muralitharan were the only proven match-winners. The pair kept defying the odds to set up many victories.
Vaas may have just four hauls of five or more wickets in an innings in 322 one-day internationals, but is second to none when it comes to providing crucial breakthroughs with his ability to swing and seam the ball.
His first five-wicket haul came against India at Sharjah in 2000. His victims included ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj.
India could never recover from the Vaas blows and were shot out for a meagre 54 chasing a 300-run target.
The Sri Lankan's best came in 2001 against Zimbabwe in Colombo when he became the first bowler to grab eight wickets (8-19), including a hat-trick. His figures remain the best in one-dayers.
He was to claim one more hat-trick, this time at the biggest stage. He stunned Bangladesh when he took three wickets with the first three balls of a match in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
Vaas may have shed some of his pace of late, but still retains variations to test the batsmen.