Paul Valthaty

Paul Valthaty

Valthaty’s hundred against Chennai Super Kings would be somewhat of a fairytale, considering his only worthwhile performance in top-level cricket was a streaky 44 in a warm-up one-day game for a Mumbai Cricket Association XI (made up of reserves) against the touring England team at the Brabourne Stadium. Today was the stage he had waited for, having failed to break into Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy team and having played a solitary one-dayer for them in February 2006.

In Mumbai circles, Valthaty is a T20 legend, known from his early days for his ability to thump the ball as hard as anyone else, so much so that he’s made the format his own, both in the club and domestic circles for Mumbai.

Abhishek Nayar, his close friend and team-mate from Mumbai and Kings XI Punjab told Yahoo! Cricket, “Paul is pretty much a T20 specialist in Mumbai, and his track record in the past two-three years in almost every tournament in that format tells you that he’s done extremely well. Even in the Mumbai Cricket Association T20 Championship in 2009/10 (where Valthaty represented Payyade Sports Club), he was adjudged the player of the tournament.

Nayar added, “It was really heartening to see him do well, given the fact that he’s seen almost all his peers make it big for Mumbai in all formats. And even as Valthaty was the quintessential journeyman in the IPL circuit if you like, having previously represented the Mumbai and Rajasthan franchises respectively, it was on Nayar’s recommendation that the Kings XI Punjab decided to rope in Valthaty.

After I got picked by Kings XI Punjab, I had a talk with the franchise about giving Paul an opportunity to play for them, and since the past two months, he’s been training really hard and the result is here to see. I am very happy for what he achieved today, Nayar said.

To Valthaty’s credit, he was always earmarked by his coaches and peers for success as a stroke-player of some ability. An early graduate of the Elf Vengsarkar Academy, Valthaty was spotted through his big-scoring exploits for Don Bosco School in both the Giles and Harris Shield, and subsequently, he went on to represent Podar College in Central Mumbai, where he was a B.Com student.

Cricket, then took over and impressive show in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (national U-16s) for two consecutive seasons, with a follow up in the Cooch Behar Trophy (national U-19s) for Mumbai, earned him with an junior India cap, whom he represented in the Under-19 World Cup of 2002 in New Zealand, with the added distinction of being the only Mumbai cricketer to make that squad.

Sadly, fate had something else in store for the young lad. Opening the batting for India in a game against Bangladesh U-19s, Valthaty was batting on 5, when he was hit on the face (right eye to be precise) by a bouncer from pacer Shafaq Al Zabir and subsequently taken to the hospital and that’s when his progress was halted, and delayed.

Unfortunately, as some argue, Valthaty might have been a Mumbai cricketer born at a wrong time, given that he’s unlikely to break into the first Ranji XI anytime soon — given the strength and class of that batting order, and a faint recognition that First Class cricket might never quite be his cup of tea.

But what today’s performance at Mohali has underlined is the very the essence of anonymous talent Indian cricketers, a somewhat romantic notion that all it needs is a platform, a stage to display what we might have never seen or heard before. Go ask that boy, Paul Valthaty.

Stake Land Trailer Starring Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris

Release Date: April 22, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Jim Mickle
Screenwriter: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici
Starring: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Sean Nelson, Michael Cerveris
Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: Not Available

Plot Summary: America is a lost nation. When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Cities are tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearful of nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin ("Gossip Girl's" Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter ("In the Cut's" Nick Damici) whose new prey are the undead. Simply known as Mister, the vampire stalker takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America's heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travellers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts. This ragtag family unit cautiously moves north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brethren, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Tony award-winning actor Michael Cerveris) that interprets the plague as the Lord's work.

Abduction Trailer Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina

Release Date: September 23, 2011
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: John Singleton
Screenwriter: Shawn Christensen, Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver, Denzel Whitaker, Tim Griffin, Elisabeth Rohm
Genre: Thriller

Plot Summary: "Abduction" is a thriller that focuses on a youth (Lautner) who discovers the parents who raised him aren't his real folks, a revelation that triggers events and leaves him running for his life.

Taylor Lautner stars as a teen who discovers that the people that he thought were his parents may have kidnapped him as an infant. Attempting to find his true identity, Lautner's character winds up unraveling a complex conspiracy, calling everything he thought he knew into question.

The film also stars Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver, Denzel Whitaker, Tim Griffin and Elisabeth Rohm and is targeted for a September 23rd release.

The Debt Starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain

Release Date: August 31, 2011
Studio: Focus Features
Director: John Madden
Screenwriter: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan
Starring: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Jesper Christensen, Marton Csokas, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson
Genre: Drama, War
MPAA Rating: R (for some violence and language)

Plot Summary: The story begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (played by Mirren) and Stefan (Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Chastain, Csokas, and Worthington) tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Christensen) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations

That’s What I Am, starring Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Molly Parker

Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, "That's What I Am" is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers.

Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical school project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and ears too big for his head, "Big G" has been the object of ridicule since grade school. Before long, Andy will learn that there was truly a method behind Mr. Simon's madness as to why he teamed these two up.

After a dramatic incident in the schoolyard, teachers and parents rethink their roles in school and society. Principal Kelner (Amy Madigan) suspends a school bully for brutally beating up a female classmate. The vindictive father of the bully makes Mr. Simon the target of a malicious rumor about his sexuality, causing Mr. Simon to question his calling as an educator and mentor to his students.

When Andy watches "Big G" fearlessly confront the school bully about the incident, a series of events are triggered. Much to Andy's surprise, he learns that "Big G" is a brilliant, kind, tolerant human being, who has more dignity than anyone Andy has ever encountered.

Big G personifies Mr. Simon's four word answer on how to obtain world peace: HUMAN DIGNITY + COMPASSION = PEACE.

Go for It! Trailer Starring Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, Jossara Jinaro

Director: Carmen Marron
Writers: Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, Jossara Jinaro
Cast: Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, Jossara Jinaro, Gina Rodriguez, Louie Alegria, Derrick Denicola, Andres Perez-Molina, Gustavo Mellado, Rene Rosado, David Hernandez, Liliana Montenegro, Safia Hannin, Peggy Goss, Daniel Yabut, Brad Armacost

Plot: Carmen is a good student with a bad attitude who lives for dancing in the underground clubs of Chicago. She yearns to be 'somebody' but is afraid to believe in herself. Her immigrant Mexican, working-class parents want her to stay in school and get an education, so she attends junior college while working at a grocery store. Carmen's professor catches her performing one day in the neighborhood and challenges her to audition to a formal dance school in California. She gets into a fight with her chaotic family and runs away to her best friend Gina's place only to find out Gina's been getting beat up by her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Carmen's boyfriend, Jared wants her to commit and move in with him. Pulled apart in every direction, her dream of dancing fades. Can Carmen overcome her fears and take the biggest chance of her life, or will she succumb to her self-doubt?
Genre: Drama

Love, Wedding, Marriage Stariing Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz Trailer

Release Date: June 3, 2011

Director: Dermot Mulroney
Writers: Anouska Chydzik, Caprice Crane
Cast: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, Jessica Szohr, Jane Seymour, James Brolin, Michael Weston, Joe Chrest, Monica Acosta, Sarah Lieving, Richard Reid, Michael Arata, Beau Brasso, Dean J. West, Mindy Caraccioli, Douglas M. Griffin, Cynthia LeBlanc

Plot: A happy newlywed marriage counselor's views on wedded bliss get thrown for a loop when she finds out her parents are getting divorced.
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance