|Tuesday, April 25, 2000,
Court may hear all match-fixing cases
may be given to CBI: Dhindsa
Qayyum report public, PCB told
beat Windies by 4 wkts
benefit tie tomorrow
Police team not invited
player banned for 3 years
Daljit out of hockey team
|No fresh talent in Santosh Trophy
THRISSUR, April 24 Yet another soccer extravaganza has come and gone with the conclusion of the 56th Senior National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here yesterday in this soccer crazy town of Kerala.
whips Arantxa in final
eves have edge on India
not in mental shape to play: Kapil
Sinha may head AITA
Pillay heads for Germany
crown for Punjab
S. Court may hear all match-fixing cases
NEW DELHI, April 24 (PTI) The government may move the Supreme Court to club all match-fixing cases for hearing before it, filed in different High Courts, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.B Jaisinghani said today.
The government will not hesitate moving the Supreme Court and request it to call for all cases on match-fixing from different High Courts for hearing before it, he told reporters after appearing in the Delhi High Court in yet another public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue.
During arguments he told a Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Devinder Gupta and Mr Justice A.K. Sikri that a floodgate of such petitions had been opened.
Several petitions were being filed on the same subject in different High Courts. This will confuse the entire issue, he submitted before the court which declined to issue any direction on the PIL filed by Health Fitness Trust (HFT).
Adjourning the hearing on the PIL to May 4, the court said the petitioner had jumbled many issues together in the plea and directed HFT to separate every issue and specify clearly the remedy sought.
The ASG said the present petition was not clear about the relief sought as several issues like Arjuna Award, doping, ethics in sports and of course match-fixing had been jumbled together by the petitioner.
Seeking the Courts direction to the Government for framing a proper statute, guidelines and regulatory mechanism, HFT counsel Raman Kapoor said no proper rules and regulations existed in the country on management of sports.
The petitioner requested the Court to issue a direction to the government for an independent investigation into the match fixing and doping scandals and at the same time provide an interim protection to honest sports persons against unnecessary harassment.
In the absence of proper laws on sports, the Government has merely been working through contingency plans, policies and bargaining procedures, the PIL said.
Accusing the Government of adopting a policy of ad hocism, the HFT said an exercise to bring in rule of law in sports in India is long overdue to rectify the anomalies.
It said the developed countries like the USA, Australia and many European nations had framed comprehensive legislation for development of sports in a systematic way.
Even the highest national award - Arjuna and others -were not given on merit and many an eligible sports persons were not being considered, the PIL alleged.
A look at the list of Arjuna Awardees over a period of time and the criteria for selection show a complete arbitrary exercise of power by the Government, it said, adding the selection committees during the past several years had decided these awards on the basis of incomplete, false and manipulated data.
The Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, has failed miserably in its duty to carefully check, the achievements and credentials of the nominees of national federations for this purpose, it claimed.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has completed the analysis of documents relating to the match-fixing scandal seized from various cities and is likely to arrest more people in this connection.
The Delhi Police will soon send teams to various cities on the basis of the analysis to arrest bookies and punters whose role has been established in the scandal, which rocked the whole cricketing world, official sources said.
They said the police was trying to probe the source of the huge amount of money that was involved in the scandal.
The sleuths of the crime branch have so far identified the underworld gang of Dubai-based Dawood Ibrahim behind the scandal but did not rule out the possibility of involvement of more gangs.
The sources said the police was trying to find the whereabouts of a woman, who had allegedly acted as conduit between bookies and the South African cricketers.
The lady, whose identity has so far not been revealed and is believed to be running the bookie racket from Mumbai and Gujarat, is alleged of having links with underworld gangs of Ibrahim and Chota Shakeel.
Police teams, which had gone to Mumbai and Bangalore, have also alleged that some calls made by Mumbai-based bookies to Dubai were made to Anis Ibrahim, brother of Dawood, the sources said.
The bookies chain is
alleged to be operating from Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and
Delhi, the sources said, adding the police was trying to
find out the missing links before arriving at any
conclusion in the case.
Case may be given to CBI: Dhindsa
NEW DELHI, April 24 (UNI) Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa today assured the Rajya Sabha that the Government was serious about getting the match-fixing episode investigated and had convened a meeting of all those associated with cricket here on April 27 before taking a final decision on the matter.
The people invited to the meeting would include the captain and manager of the cricket team, the secretary, BCCI, former cricketers Nawab Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kirti Azad, besides Mr Madhav Rao Scindia and Union Minister Arun Jaitley, Mr Dhindsa said, replying to the clarifications sought by the members on his statement made in the House.
Mr Dhindsa indicated that investigation might be handed over to any government agency, including the CBI. There was no unanimity as yet on the issue of the CBI being handed over the probe, he said, adding that a final decision would be taken after the April 27 meeting.
Mr Dhindsa said the government was ready to provide security to any one facing threat from any quarter, be it Mr Inderjit Singh Bindra, Manoj Prabhakar or anybody associated with the BCCI.
Mr Dhindsa said that following the revelation of match-fixing he had sought a report from the Delhi police. He felt that the Delhi police was inquiring into the case on the right lines as it had proof in its possession.
He said the Government did not take over the probe from the Delhi Police as it would have led to allegation that the government was coming in the way of investigation.
Members expressed concern over the practice of match-fixing in cricket and pulled up the Government for not being sincere in its effort to bring the culprits to book.
Mr Kapil Sibal of the Congress expressed surprise as to why the Delhi Police did not care to inform the Home Ministry before filing a FIR against the South African captain but chose to report the matter directly to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Mr Sibal said the case would not stand in a court of law and wanted the Government to come out with a clear cut definition of match-fixing.
Mr Bratin Sen Gupta (CPM) said the BCCI was against any thorough probe into match-fixing by any central agency. He expressed surprise that an Indian involved in match-fixing has been allowed to flee the country within the last three to four days.
Mr Satish Pradhan (Shiv Sena) lamented that from the statement of the Sports Minister it appeared that he had not taken cognisance of the discussion on match-fixing in the House. He said if a cricketer surrendered a sum of Rs 16 crore under the voluntary disclosure scheme, the intelligence agencies should have made an attempt to probe his assets.
Mr Narendra Mohan (BJP)
said that match-fixing could not be made out as a case of
cheating in court since there was no gambling law in the
country. He said the Sports Minister has not even
conducted a preliminary inquiry into the episode.
Make Qayyum report public, PCB told
NEW DELHI, April 24 (PTI) International Cricket Council has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to make public before May 2 the report of Justice Qayyum, who investigated allegations of betting and match-fixing against Pak cricketers, and in which he had recommended severe action against some of the current players.
I have written to them two days ago. We (ICC) have asked them to make the report public before the May 2-3 meeting, ICC President Jagmohan Dalmiya told Star TV lastnight.
ICC is to meet in London on May 2 and 3 to discuss the current crises in cricket following the Hansie Cronje controversy that has shaken the cricket world over.
PCB is saying that the report is with the government and it had very limited powers to make it public, Dalmiya said.
The Pakistani team and its players have been alleged of match fixing and betting since 1994 and the Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum commission inquiry report has been pending with higher authorities for action since November last year.
Pak beat Windies by 4 wkts
PORT-OF-SPAIN, April 24 (AFP) Their bowlers led by Mushtaq Ahmed set it up and their batsmen fought long and hard to formalise a four-wicket triumph for Pakistan over West Indies in the last match of the best-of-three finals to clinch the 2000 Trophy Series.
The baby-faced Mushtaq, named Man of the Match, took four wickets for 22 runs from eight overs to trigger a West Indies collapse yesterday that saw them skid from 61 without loss to 114 all out in 33.2 overs, the lowest limited-overs international total at Queens Park Oval.
When fast bowler Reon King captured three of his career-best four wickets for 25 runs from 10 overs to leave Pakistan 19 for three in the 10th over, West Indies had visions of another batting collapse from their opponents that would hand them the title.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistans most prolific batsman in the series with 295 runs and eventual Man of the Series, batted through the pain of a foot injury to anchor the side with an unbeaten 39 off 98 balls and had the pleasure of hitting the winnings runs, a cut for four through backward point.
Earlier choosing to bat, West Indies benefited from their best opening stand of the series from Philo Wallace and Sherwin Campbell. They took 17.1 overs to gather 61, but things fell apart for West Indies after they were separated.
The breakthrough came for Pakistan when Campbell flicked the first ball of Abdur Razzaqs fifth over to Inzamam at mid-wicket. His 26 off 45 balls carried his aggregate in the series to 315, the most by any batsman, at an average of 45.
Wallace, whose 30 off 64 balls was the top score and one of three double-figure scores in the innings, became the first of Mushtaqs wickets when he overbalanced out of the crease playing a drive and was stumped by wicketkeeper Moin Khan, the Pakistan captain.
The real drama in the West Indies, however, unfolded in Mushtaqs fifth over, the 23rd of the innings. He removed Wavel Hinds, Chris Gayle and Ricardo Powell in the space of five balls in it and West Indies never recovered.
West Indies total was one run less than New Zealands 116 against them 15 years ago and five less than their own 121 against India three years ago.
The match marked the return to the Pakistan side of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who took two for 31 off seven overs, and Saqlain Mushtaq, two for 20 off 5.2 overs, both of whom were recovering from ailments of a varying nature.
Wallace st Moin Khan b Mushtaq 30
Campbell c Inzaman b Razzaq 26
Hinds b Mushtaq 7
Adams b Shoaib 9
Gayle c Afridi b Mushtaq 0
Powell c Afridi b Mushtaq 0
Jacobs c Imran b Saqlain 7
Rose not out 9
Ambrose b Shoaib 0
McLean c and b Saqlain 15
King run out (Afridi) 0
Extras (lb2, w6, nb3) 11
Total (all out 33.2 overs) 114
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-61, 3-71, 4-71, 5-71, 6-83, 7-97, 8-97, 9-114.
Bowling: Wasim Akram 7-0-22-0 (w1), Shoaib Akhtar 7-0-31-2 (nb3, w1), Abdur Razzaq 6-1-17-1, Mushtaq Ahmed 8-1-22-4 (w4), Saqlain Mushtaq 5.2-0-20-2.
Imran Nazir c Jacobs b King 4
Afridi c Rose b King 13
Younis c and b Adams 17
Razzaq c Jacobs b King 0
Inzamam not out 39
Youhana c Campbell b Adams 4
Moin Khan c Jacobs b King 10
Akram not out 10
Extras (lb7, w7, nb5) 19
Total (6 wkts. 45.1 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-18, 3-19, 4-61, 5-73, 6-93.
Yashpal benefit tie tomorrow
NEW DELHI, April 24 Despite the raging match-fixing and betting controversies rocking the cricket world, former Indian Test cricketer Yashpal Sharma has decided to go ahead with his benefit match, a day-night affair, to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on April 26.
A star-studded Kapil Dev XI will take an equally flamboyant Sachin Tendulkar XI for the Oxemberg Cup. Yashpal Sharma played international cricket from 1979 to 1985, with his hour of glory coming in the 1983 Prudential World Cup when he played crucial knocks in both the semi-final against England, and in the final against the then mighty West Indies.
Yashpal Sharma made his Test debut at the Lords in 1979, and he played 37 Test matches in a six-year career, scoring 1606 runs at an average of 33.45. He also played 42 one-dayers, scoring 883 runs at an average of 28.48 with 89 being the highest.
Teams: Kapil Dev XI: Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, VVS Laxman, Nayan Mongia, K Srikkanth, Debashish Mohanty, Vinod Kambli, Harbhajan Singh, Manoj Prabhakar, Sanjeev Sharma, Atul Wassan, Chetan Sharma, Rajesh Chauhan, Syed Kirmani and Ajay Sharma.
Sachin Tendulkar XI:
Sachin Tendulkar, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh, Srinath,
Venkatesh Prasad, Mohd Azharuddin, Ajit Agarkar, Sunil
Joshi, Saba Karim, Nikhil Chopra, T Kumaran, Amit
Bhandari and Murali Kartik. Former Indian captain Sunil
Gavaskar will be the guest of honour.
Punjab Police team not invited
MUMBAI, April 24 (PTI) The Bombay Hockey Association (BHA) has not invited top-notch Jalandhar outfit Punjab Police for the 6th Guru Tegh Bahadur All-India Gold Cup tournament, to be held here from April 25 to May 5 because of its not up to the mark behaviour on and off the field in the past.
Punjab Polices demand to be given five-star treatment for the event could not be accommodated by the organisers, who are hosting the tournament without any sponsors support, BHA president Bakshi Dilbagh Singh said at a press conference here.
Besides, their on-field and off-field behaviour have not been up to the mark, he said in reply to a query on why the glamour Punjab outfit, winners of the Bombay Gold Cup tournament last year, were not included in the draw for the tourmament, revived after a very long period.
Organising secretary P.S. Sujlana, who has been the tournament director of past senior nationals, also revealed at the press conference that 20 top national grade I umpires had recently taken a decision not to officiate in matches featuring Punjab Police in the wake of their continued bad behaviour with umpires.
The decision was taken after one of the top umpires, Avinash Sharma, was struck on his back with a stick by Punjab Polices Manpreet Singh at the end of the final of the all-India Police tournament in December at New Delhi, Sujlana said.
He also charged the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) with not having taken any action on the issue so far despite its president K.P.S. Gill having witnessed the unsavoury incident.
But there are other top outstation teams in the fray, including Jalandhars Punjab and Sind Bank, the Bombay Gold Cup runners-up, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Delhis star-studded Indian Airlines and Kapurthalas Rail Coach Factory.
The local challenge would be spearheaded by Air India, Tata Sports Club and Bharat Petroleum.
A couple of rule changes made by the Rules Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) would be implemented in the tournament, Sujlana said.
The new rules include the trial rule regarding the penalty-corner wherein a broken line five metres outside the striking circle has been introduced and until the ball has been played no attacker, except the one taking the push, can enter the area inside the broken line.
The winners of the tournament would take home Rs 40,000 and the runners-up would get Rs 25,000, it was announced.
PP player banned for 3 years
NEW DELHI, April 24 (PTI) The Indian Hockey Federation has banned Manpreet Singh of Punjab Police from playing in any grade of the game for three years for assaulting an umpire after a match last December.
IHF president K.P.S.
Gill told PTI here today "we have accepted the
recommendation" made by tournament director P.S.
Sujlana who reported in writing that Manpreet Singh had
struck umpire Avinash Sharma with his stick after the
final in the Police Games here in December last year.
Raghuvanshi, Daljit out of hockey team
BANGALORE, April 24 (PTI) India, to be led by Lazarus Barla, will miss medically-unfit Anurag Raghuvanshi and Daljit Singh in the Junior Asia Cup Hockey Tournament beginning in the Malyasian capital of Kuala Lumpur on May 3.
Hirojit Singh, Baljit Singh and Gurjant Singh have also been omitted in the 18-member Indian squad announced today.
Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan, Bhart Chettri; fullbacks: Lazarus Barla (cap), Len Aiyappa, Bikramjit Singh, Kanwalpreet Singh; halfbacks: Paramjith Singh, Bimal Lakra, Prabodh Tirkey, Natarajan, Bipin Fernandez, Shamsuz Zoha; forwards: Arjun Halappa, Deepak Thakur, Gagan Ajit Singh, Inderjit Singh, Amarjit Pratap, Probhjot Singh. Officials: chief coach: C.R. Kumar; assistant coach: E. Brient; team doctor: Dr Ramesh; physio: Saju Joseph; manager: D.S. Murthy.
Sports authority of Karnatakas vice-chairman A.J. Anandan announed the team on behalf of Indian Hockey Federation president K.P.S. Gill.
Mr Anandan said Raghuvanshi and Daljit Singh were found medically unfit, with the former suffering from thigh injury and the latter from backache.
Certainly we are missing Raghuvanshi. His services would have made a difference, coach Kumar said. Though he has recovered, he is not fit to play in competitive tournaments.
The following is the schedule of the tournament.
May 3: Oman v Malaysia, Pakistan v Singapore, India vs Bangladesh Japan v Iran.
May 4: Singapore v Chinese Taipei, Korea v Oman, Japan v China, Uzbekistan v Bangladesh.
May 5: Pakistan v Korea, Malaysia v Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan v Iran, India v China.
May 6: Singapore v Oman, Bangladesh v Iran, India v Japan.
May 7: Japan v Bangladesh, India v Iran, Malaysia v Singapore, Oman v Chinese Taipei.
May 8: Japan v Bangladesh, India v Iran, Malaysia v Singapore, Oman v Chinese Taipei.
May 9: India v Uzbekistan, Bangladesh v China, Pakistan v Oman, Korea v Singapore.
May 10: China v Iran, Japan v Uzbekistan, Korea v Chinese Taipei, Pakistan v Malaysia.
May 11: Rest day.
May 12: Pool A v pool B-6, pool A-6 v pool B-5, pool A-3 v pool B-4, pool A-1 v pool B-2, pool A-4 v pool B-3, pool A-2 v pool B-1.
May 13: Qualification matches for 5th to 12th places.
May 14: Match for 3rd/4th place and final.
Former Indian Olympic goalkeeper Muneer Sait has been appointed as tournament director. There are also two Indian umpires M. Mohd Muneer for mens competition and Madhu Yadav for womens tournament.
No fresh talent in Santosh Trophy
THRISSUR, April 24 (PTI) Yet another soccer extravaganza has come and gone with the conclusion of the 56th Senior National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here yesterday in this soccer crazy town of Kerala.
Though the 37-day tourney had nothing to boast of, this edition found a new champion in Maharashtra, who annexed the prestigious trophy, beating Kerala by a solitary goal, after their last title triumph in 1990-91 at Palakkad.
Maharashtras success was all the more credible as they had to make it from the preliminary rounds. The team, a mixture of youth and experience and drawn mainly from Mahindra and Mahindra, got off to a flying start routing Haryana 7-0 in the lone match from their cluster at Chalakudy, on their way to the quarter-final league.
Maharashtra, led by brainy medio Akhil Ansari, proved a cut above the rest in the quarter-final league. The well balanced team routed Tamil Nadu 4-0 in their opener and then stunned fancied Punjab 2-0. However, in their match against Goa, Maharashtra rallied brilliantly after being down 0-1 to hold their rivals to a 1-1 draw and duly emerged as the winners from that pool.
Improving with each outing, Maharashtra were at their best against 29-time champion Bengal in the semi-finals, in which they shocked them 3-1 to make it to the final again after 1992-93 at the Kochi national.
Maharashtra continued their good form in the title clash also against Kerala, who were surprisingly subdued, before star forward Najeeb struck an early goal.
On the other hand, Keralas progress into the final was rather comfortable. Directly seeded into the quarter-final league along with Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Goa, Kerala got off to a rousing start, demolishing Services 5-2 and later Karnataka 2-1, before sharing points with mighty Bengal in their last league encounter with a 1-1 draw to take the top place from that pool.
Kerala were at their best against Goa in the semi-finals, which the hosts won 2-0.
Among other teams, much was expected from Bengal, who failed to defend their title, won on the trot since 1993-94 at Cuttack. They could not maintain their supremacy while Goa, who showed promise, paid the penalty for inconsistency. Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Services did not perform well.
Twentytwo teams, divided into eight groups, participated in the preliminary at Chalakudy. However, the organisers were forced to reschedule some fixtures due to last-minute withdrawals by Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Andamans and Nicobar. Even the preliminaries scheduled at Ernakulam had to be shifted to Chalakudy. Besides these teams, last years four semi-finalists had been seeded straight into the quarter-finals.
Most of the 24 preliminary matches played at Chalakudy were one-sided affairs, affecting spectator interest.
Maharashtras Akhil Ansari was the cynosure of all eyes with his brilliant display throughout the tournament and was deservedly adjudged player of the tournament and given a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. Khalid Jamil (Maharashtra), Amjad Hussain (Bihar), Manglem Jao Singh (Manipur), Bantu Golmei (Manipur), Ravinder Singh (Delhi), Akum Ao (Assam), Balai Mondal and Manjinder Singh (Railways) were impressive with their performances.
Keralas Ashif Saheer and Ignatius Sylvester, Peter (Karnataka), Basudev Mandal (Bengal), Rakesh Kumar Verma and Ajay Singh Rawat (both of U.P.) and Maharashtra goalkeeper Virender Singh also put up brilliant performances for their respective teams.
Pierce whips Arantxa in final
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, (South Carolina), April 24 (Reuters) Top seed Mary Pierce blitzed fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-1, 6-0 to win the $ 166,000 first prize in the womens tennis tournament at Hilton Head Island.
Pierce matched one of the tournaments older records, the one game Chris Evert gave up to Billie Jean King in the 1977 final. The Frenchwoman lost just 12 games in five matches here, shattering Everts record of 15 games in 1985.
Pierce needed 56 minutes in the final yesterday, 12 minutes more than she required to defeat Monica Seles in the semifinals.
Seles said she had never seen Pierce serve better than she served in the semifinals. Sanchez-Vicario said she had never seen Pierce play so well for an entire week.
The 25-year-old Pierce put on a groundstroke and serving clinic at Sea Pines Racquet Club. She nailed 27 winners to just five for Sanchez-Vicario. Pierce had 15 unforced errors, enough to give the Spaniard a couple of openings that Pierce quickly closed.
Sanchez-Vicario had one real chance to make a match of it, in the fourth game.
The gritty Spaniard had closed to 2-1 on an amazing show of energy when she ran down what looked like a sure winner off a Pierce forehand, then recovered to guess right on a Pierce overhead and finally picked off a Pierce drop shot to win a break point, before sliding down to the clay to avoid running into one of the green sofas on the side of the court.
Pierce clapped to compliment her opponent for the display of hustle, then went about her job.
Sanchez-Vicario kept the heat on by gaining an advantage on her serve in the fourth game, but then lost the advantage. Another deuce later, Pierce drilled back-to-back forehand winners to take a 3-1 lead, and never looked back.
That was a very, very big game at 2-1 for me to go up 3-1, Pierce said. It was very good that I won that game because if its 2-2, things change. Its a big difference between 3-1 and 2-2 in the first set.
Pierce breezed in the second set, winning 12 straight points in one stretch to move to 30-love in the sixth game.
POA meetings postponed
CHANDIGARH, April 24 The meetings of the executive Committee and the general council of the Punjab Olympic Association (POA) which were scheduled to be held on May 14 next at Chandigarh have been postponed, according to Mr Arvind Khanna, secretary-general of the association.
Mr Khanna said that at the meeting of the presidents of all the state sports associations held on April 21 to review arrangements made for holding the National Games prior to the first meeting of the organising committee for the National Games, most of them were of the unanimous opinion that the meeting of the executive committee and the general council in May should be cancelled and in view of the forthcoming National Games. They recommended that the present set of office-bearers and members of the executive committee should continue to remain in office till the National Games were over.
They were of the unanimous view that any changes now might effect the smooth conduct of the National Games and would not be desirable in the larger interest of the games and the successful and effective conduct of this multi-sports event, the first to be conducted in the new millennium, the POA secretary-general added.
It was reasoned out that the present set of officials, particularly its president, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who is also at present holding the portfolio of Sports and Youth Affairs at the Centre and the secretary-general had done all the spadework for the successful conduct of the national Games should not be disturbed at this critical juncture. Hence it was resolved that the annual general meeting of the general council should be conducted after the National Games were over.
Meanwhile, it was also recommended that the POA should in the first instance consider the amendments to the constitution already proposed by the sub-committee headed by Mr Umrao Singh, vice-president, POA, preferably at a special meeting of the general council and all business, including election of new office-bearers, should be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in the proposed amended constitution.
In this context it was
also felt that the present constitution, which was framed
over four decades back should undergo total revision in
view at the events that had taken place in the
intervening period and bring about desirable changes in
the constitution to be in tune with the constitution of
the IOA, to which the POA stands affiliated, Mr Khanna
Thailand eves have edge on India
TOKYO, April 24 (PTI) India were drawn in tough pool A featuring favourites Japan and strong Thailand in the preliminary round robin stage of the Asian Oceanian Group I Fed Cup tennis championship which starts in Osaka tomorrow.
Eleven countries were divided into two pools of five and six, respectively. The pool toppers will compete in a playoff on Sunday for a place in the World Group next season. India, led by fit-again Nirupama Vaidyanathan, square up against Thailand in the opening tie tomorrow with Sai Jayalakshmi playing the second singles match.
With tenacious Tamarine Tanasugarn, who figures in top 100 of the WTA rankings, in their side, Thailand have a slight edge on India.
Apart from Nirupama and Sai, India have Manisha Malhotra and national grasscourt champion Radhika Tulpule in their ranks who could prove good against other Thai players.
The format of Fed Cup two singles and a doubles will give Indian team coach Nandan Bal opportunity to work out various combinations for the crucial doubles tie provided Sai wins her second singles to keep India in contention. In a match between two number one players, Tanasugarn is expected to get the better of Nirupama.
Players not in mental shape to play: Kapil
NEW DELHI, April 24 (UNI) As a plethora of allegations of match-fixing in cricket fill the air, Indian coach Kapil Dev feels the players are not in the right frame of mind to participate at the international level till the cloud of suspicion is cleared.
The selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might be preparing to pick the Indian squad for next months Asia Cup in Dhaka, but Kapil reiterates his suggestion for a break from the game till it is cleaned up.
It is my personal opinion to save the game, he adds.
Yashwant Sinha may head AITA
NEW DELHI, April 24 Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is likely to be the next president of the All-India Tennis Association (AITA).
According to sources, the long-serving president, Mr Raj Kumar Khanna, is all set to be elevated as the life president of the AITA with all the executive powers vested in him, while Mr Sinha is slated to be elected as the AITA president.
With the Khannas having taken a strangle hold of the AITA, Mr Anil Khanna, son of Mr R.K. Khanna, is poised to become the new secretary, while the incumbent, Mr Ramesh Desai, may be accommodated in some other honorary post. The AITA elections are scheduled to be held in June-July.
Dhanraj Pillay heads for Germany
MUMBAI, April 24 (PTI) Indias dashing centre forward, Dhanraj Pillay will play for Stuttgart Kickers in the German hockey league from April 25 till the end of June.
Pillay, who is very popular in Holland and Germany, headed straight for Germany from Perth, where India won the four-nation tournament with a 3-2 victory over Germany in the final on April 16.
The former Indian
captain will be available to play for India whenever the
country needs his services, a release from Acosa, the
sports organisation managing the players foreign
contracts, said here today.
Handball crown for Punjab
PONDICHERRY, April 24 (UNI) Last years runner up Punjab bagged the title of the fifth Inter-Zonal Handball Championships edging out defending champions Karnataka 33-19 in the final here last night.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Karnataka outplayed Madhya Pradesh 24-21 while Punjab prevailed over Pondicherry 30-14. Karnataka women had already bagged the title with an all win record in the three team event.
In the meeting it was also decided to appoint Mr Kuldeep Singh, SSP, and Mr Parminder Singh Garcha as chairman and patron of the association, respectively.
MES snatch 1-run
Some of the youngsters like Ankur Jund, Shanker Sachin and Vinay Murli showed tremendous resilience and the right technique a tight match.
Brief scores: PCA 150 for 7 in 25 overs (Ankur Jund 47, Vinay Murli 40, Ravinder 11, Sandeep 5 for 18, Maninder 1 for 10),
MES Coaching Centre 151 for 5 (Shanker 57, Sachin 41 n.o, Maninder 22, Pushpinder 2 for 12, Harinder 1 for 15, Vinay 1 for 16).
Badal to meet
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