New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum jumps in air to play a cut shot during a training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum jumps in air to play a cut shot during a training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Brendon McCullum’s New Zealand approach World Cup final as the ‘ultimate game’

MELBOURNE // Given the other distractions at hand, the fact the Dubai World Cup was on this weekend may have bypassed Brendon McCullum.

It would not usually have done. New Zealand’s cricket captain is an avid fan of horse racing, and even owns his own bloodstock company.

When the Black Caps toured the UAE recently, he had planned a team night out at Meydan, only for it to fall through because the Dubai Test against Pakistan was delicately poised at the time.

And even though he is just about to be a central protagonist in the biggest cricket match in his country’s history, he has still found time for the races.

“I went to Moonee Valley [on Friday night], and managed to watch some horses,” McCullum said on the eve of the World Cup final against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“That was good fun. We got entertained there and it was great to get to relax leading into such a big game.”

If New Zealand’s cricketers are overawed by the challenge they about to face, they are not showing it.

Australia, the world’s No 1 ranked side, the country who have won the World Cup more times than anyone else, on their own patch, with the best part of 100,000 people watching in person, and millions more on the television.

Daunting? Exciting, more like, according to McCullum, who deems it the “ultimate game”.

“A hundred thousand people in Australia’s backyard, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the history and traditions and against a very good Australian side,” he said.

“It’s been a great ride so far. This is the ultimate game for us to be able to play in.

“So with that I’m sure some guys will be nervous tomorrow morning. I guess there is some excitement about us going out there tomorrow and putting our skills against the best in their backyard.

“That certainly whets the appetite and creates the greatest stage we can ask for. So it’s certainly going to be a special day.”

It is a tough assignment, definitely, but McCullum has an impenetrable can-do attitude.

ALSO: Areas where the final will be won or lost

In a throwaway comment on a different topic this week, he used the phrase “nothing is too difficult”.

It turned out that was actually in reference to a game of golf he was trying to organise.

Fitting nine players into two tee-times, it seems, was providing more of a headache than the boundaries at the MCG.

The dimensions of this stadium, and the fact New Zealand rarely play at such big grounds, has been much talked about in the build up to this match.

McCullum pointed to the fact they have recently played at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, in the series against Pakistan, as reason to believe they can cope with the extra range of hitting.

“If you look at Abu Dhabi in the emirates, that’s a big ground as well,” he said.

“Obviously it doesn’t have the same amphitheatre the MCG presents, but I think boundary size it’s bigger.

“But in this day and age with bigger bats as well it still brings into play the fours and sixes.

“So we’ll adapt accordingly. It’s something that we’ll relish, I think.”

The idea there will be a partisan crowd, barking raucous support for the home time may also be wide of the mark, too.

While McCullum and Michel Clarke, his opposite number, were giving their obligatory pre-match press conferences, there were hundreds of Indians outside the ground.

Many are said to have bought up tickets in advance of the final, on the assumption MS Dhoni’s side would be there.

Plenty were queuing for New Zealand shirts at the merchandising stalls on the concourse outside the stadium, and McCullum is expecting some borrowed support.

“I reckon we might have the home crowd,” the captain said.

“I think it’s probably no secret most of the other teams around the world would probably prefer New Zealand to win.

“So hopefully we’ll get a good smattering of support tomorrow, and I’m sure the Indian guys will certainly be rooting for us.”

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Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

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Funding: $40 million

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Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Under 19 World Cup

Group A: India, Japan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka

Group B: Australia, England, Nigeria, West Indies

Group C: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Scotland, Zimbabwe

Group D: Afghanistan, Canada, South Africa, UAE


UAE fixtures

Saturday, January 18, v Canada

Wednesday, January 22, v Afghanistan

Saturday, January 25, v South Africa

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Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Power: 240hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 390Nm at 3,000rpm

Transmission: eight-speed auto

Price: from Dh122,745

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How to keep control of your emotions

If your investment decisions are being dictated by emotions such as fear, greed, hope, frustration and boredom, it is time for a rethink, Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, says.


Greedy investors trade beyond their means, open more positions than usual or hold on to positions too long to chase an even greater gain. “All too often, they incur a heavy loss and may even wipe out the profit already made.

Tip: Ignore the short-term hype, noise and froth and invest for the long-term plan, based on sound fundamentals.


The risk of making a loss can cloud decision-making. “This can cause you to close out a position too early, or miss out on a profit by being too afraid to open a trade,” he says.

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While all traders need hope to start trading, excessive optimism can backfire. Too many traders hold on to a losing trade because they believe that it will reverse its trend and become profitable.

Tip: Set realistic goals. Be happy with what you have earned, rather than frustrated by what you could have earned.


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Tip: Accept in advance that asset price movements are completely unpredictable and you will suffer losses at some point. These can be managed, say, by attaching stops and limits to your trades.


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Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Museum of the Future in numbers
  • 78 metres is the height of the museum
  • 30,000 square metres is its total area
  • 17,000 square metres is the length of the stainless steel facade
  • 14 kilometres is the length of LED lights used on the facade
  • 1,024 individual pieces make up the exterior 
  • 7 floors in all, with one for administrative offices
  • 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members frame the torus shape
  • 100 species of trees and plants dot the gardens
  • Dh145 is the price of a ticket
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The flights
The closest international airport to the TMB trail is Geneva (just over an hour’s drive from the French ski town of Chamonix where most people start and end the walk). Direct flights from the UAE to Geneva are available with Etihad and Emirates from about Dh2,790 including taxes.

The trek
The Tour du Mont Blanc takes about 10 to 14 days to complete if walked in its entirety, but by using the services of a tour operator such as Raw Travel, a shorter “highlights” version allows you to complete the best of the route in a week, from Dh6,750 per person. The trails are blocked by snow from about late October to early May. Most people walk in July and August, but be warned that trails are often uncomfortably busy at this time and it can be very hot. The prime months are June and September.



Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Illegal shipments intercepted in Gulf region

The Royal Navy raid is the latest in a series of successful interceptions of drugs and arms in the Gulf

May 11: US coastguard recovers $80 million heroin haul from fishing vessel in Gulf of Oman

May 8: US coastguard vessel USCGC Glen Harris seizes heroin and meth worth more than $30 million from a fishing boat

March 2: Anti-tank guided missiles and missile components seized by HMS Lancaster from a small boat travelling from Iran

October 9, 2022: Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose recovers drugs worth $17.8 million from a dhow in Arabian Sea

September 27, 2022: US Naval Forces Central Command reports a find of 2.4 tonnes of heroin on board fishing boat in Gulf of Oman 

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Rooh Afza
100ml contains 414 calories
Tang orange drink
100ml serving contains 300 calories
Carob beverage mix
100ml serving contains about 300 calories
Qamar Al Din apricot drink
100ml saving contains 61 calories
Vimto fruit squash
100ml serving contains 30 calories


Director Hansal Mehta

Stars: Kangana Ranaut, Soham Shah, Esha Tiwari Pandey

Three stars

UK - UAE Trade

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and the UAE in 2022 was £21.6 billion (Dh98 billion). 

This is an increase of 63.0 per cent or £8.3 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of 2021.


The UAE was the UK’s 19th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022 accounting for 1.3 per cent of total UK trade.

The specs: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Price, base / as tested Dh220,000 / Dh320,000

Engine 3.5L V6

Transmission 10-speed automatic

Power 421hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 678Nm @ 3,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.1L / 100km


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