Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella, who learnt leadership values and survival instinct while playing cricket in India, now wants his workforce to replay his past at the company’s upcoming revitalised campus.As part of a plan to overhaul its 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington State, Microsoft will start a multi-year project in 2018 to create 18 new buildings, alongside new public spaces, transportation and, a world-class cricket field.Cricket players already have been coming for years at Microsoft, negotiating their way onto softball diamonds and soccer fields to play their sport.”But in a few years, they will have their own field of dreams — an oval, wicket and stumps that reflect the growing influence of employees from the cricket-mad nations of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, West Indies, South Africa and England,” Greg Shaw, Senior Director in the Office of the CEO at Microsoft, wrote in a post on LinkedIn.The renderings of the new Microsoft campus reveal a surprising, oval-shaped ground with a wicket in the middle next to a lush green soccer field.”This may be the first proper, recreational cricket ground ever designed and built as part of a major corporate or community project in the United States. Wikipedia shows less than a handful of cricket grounds west of the Mississippi, and the few that do exist are in the ancestral American cricket homelands of Philadelphia and New York,” Shaw wrote.Vishwa Gaddamanugu, who manages several cricket endeavours in the Pacific Northwest and has served as a selector for USA Cricket, cannot recall another project of this scale that incorporated a cricket grounds.advertisementAlso Read: Microsoft Edge browser now available for Android and iOS”He and others in the Indian community have advocated for years to have King County parks build an official cricket ground, even offering private financing. But to no avail,” Shaw noted.The cricket space, located where Microsoft Buildings 5 and 6 presently stand, is currently envisioned to be about 250-feet by over 320-feet, but there is also room to expand.”The team is speaking with cricket experts to get it just right. In that location, a well-struck ball — a six as they call it in cricket — could crash into Lake Bill, named for founder Bill Gates,” Shaw mentioned.That Nadella is an avid cricket fan is no mystery.In his newly-launched book “Hit Refresh,” Nadella wrote: “No matter where I am, this beautiful game is always in the back of my mind. The joy, the memories, the drama, the complexities, and the ups and downs – the infinite possibilities”.”…On those fields, I learned a lot about myself – succeeding and failing as a bowler, a batsman, and a fielder. Even today I catch myself reflecting on the nuances within the cricket rulebook and the inherent grace of a team of eleven working together as one unit,” he continued.In India recently, the Microsoft CEO shared the stage with veteran cricketer Anil Kumble during a discussion on his book, saying the leadership values he learnt while playing cricket in India helped him compete vigorously in the face of uncertainty — putting the team first and bringing out the best in everybody — during his 25-year career at the company.Now with a lush-green cricket field right within the campus, Nadella can keep doing that – this time watching Microsoft employees learn those lessons.
NEW YORK — Instead of Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer for the U.S. Open title, first-time Grand Slam finalists Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic will vie for the championship after a pair of semifinal surprises Sept. 6.First, Japan’s Nishikori became the first man from Asia to reach a major singles championship match by staying fresher than Djokovic in stifling heat and winning 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.Then, Croatia’s Cilic used every bit of his 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) frame to deliver stinging serves and flat groundstrokes during a quick-as-can-be 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Federer.“It’s fairly simple, I think: Marin played great and I maybe didn’t catch my best day,” Federer said after his 1-hour, 45-minute loss. “That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”So much for No. 1-seeded Djokovic facing the No. 2-seeded Federer in a matchup between men who have combined to win 24 Grand Slam trophies. In what some will see as signaling a generational shift in tennis, the Sept. 8 final will be No. 10 Nishikori against No. 14 Cilic.“That’s going to be a sensational day for both of us,” said Cilic, who at 25 is a year older than Nishikori.For the first time in nearly a decade — since Marat Safin beat Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open in January 2005 — a major final will be contested without at least one of Federer, Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, who didn’t attempt to defend his 2013 U.S. Open title because of a right wrist injury.That trio won 34 of the past 38 Grand Slam trophies, including two months ago at Wimbledon, when Djokovic edged Federer in a five-set final.“It’s exciting for the game to have different faces from time to time,” the 33-year-old Federer said. “It’s definitely refreshing to some extent. It’s big for Croatia; it’s big for Japan.”Cilic, forced to sit out last year’s U.S. Open during a doping suspension, is the first man from Croatia to get this far at a major since his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, won Wimbledon in 2001.That’s nothing compared to Japan’s wait. As it is, Nishikori was the first man from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since 1933.“Very happy to make history,” said Nishikori, who moved to Florida at age 14.He weaved his way through a pair of five-setters totaling more than 8 1/2 hours while No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 Milos Raonic, yet appeared much more lively as the temperature neared 100 degrees (37 Celsius) than Djokovic, a guy widely considered as fit as they come.“Just wasn’t myself,” Djokovic said.Especially in the pivotal third-set tiebreaker. He missed a pair of backhands. He double-faulted. He missed a forehand, and another to end the set, then smacked a ball in anger. Up in the stands, Nishikori’s coach, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, rose to his feet and pumped his fists.Making Nishikori’s performance all the more impressive is that as recently as a few weeks ago, he was swinging a racket while seated in practice, unable to run because he had a cyst removed from the bottom of his right foot in August.“I didn’t even know if I should come to New York,” he said, “so I wasn’t expecting nothing, actually.”Chang refused to let Nishikori think that way.“He might not have prepared the best way he knows how. But just because you haven’t done that doesn’t mean that you don’t give yourself the opportunity to come out and play,” Chang said. “That’s why I told him, ‘You get past the first round, the second round, anything can happen.’”This unforeseeable U.S. Open final shows that’s true.In the quarterfinals Sept. 4, Federer dropped the first two sets against Gael Monfils and faced two match points, but escaped.There would be no such comeback against Cilic, who worked to improve his game while sidelined after testing positive for a stimulant in May 2013. He said he ingested the substance accidentally via a glucose tablet; the International Tennis Federation sought a two-year ban but it eventually was reduced to four months.Cilic had only played one previous major semifinal, at the 2010 Australian Open, while this was Federer’s 36th. And Cilic came into the day with an 0-5 head-to-head record.But this one went the other way. Wasn’t even close.Cilic hit serves at up to 132 mph (213 kph) and finished with 13 aces, including three in the final game. That he would serve effectively was no surprise. What truly stood out, though, was the way Cilic managed to hang with Federer in exchanges from the baseline.“He played,” Federer said, “with no fear.”(HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
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