|Thursday, May 18, 2000,
BCCI chief warns warring members
Police unlikely to hand over tapes
Sarwan poses Windies a dilemma
CHENNAI, May 17 (PTI) The President of the board of control for cricket in India (BCCI), Mr A.C. Muthiah, today warned members involved in the furious exchange of charges in recent days, of possible expulsion from the BCCI if they continued to make baseless allegations, but said they were free to approach the CBI with complaints on match-fixing.
In an apparent attempt to put an end to what he called a slander campaign against the boards functioning two days ahead of its Working Committee meeting in New Delhi, Mr Muthiah told a press conference here that both former BCCI chief I.S. Bindra and his rivals in the board should refrain from going to the media with their charges.
He expressed surprise that the BCCIs decisions on financial matters and contracts which had been accepted by the Working Committee and general body meetings should now be raked up after many years. This diverts attention from the main issue of match-fixing that is of great public concern.
He said while as the BCCI President, he himself would remain neutral, he would caution all board members that none who made rash allegations would be spared.
Mr Muthiah, who faced a barrage of questions on his expulsion threat against vocal members, denied suggestions that it was intended to intimidate people like Mr Bindra from speaking out. Nor was there a hidden signal to functionaries not to disclose anything to the CBI. we have already made a public appeal to everyone to cooperate with the CBI.
He was at pains to explain that expulsion was provided for in the boards constitution and only the Working Committee could decide what constituted behaviour that affected its reputation. what is going on is a slander campaign, an attempt to settle personal scores, Mr Muthiah said.
He said the Working Committee, which meets in New Delhi on May 19, would discuss two letters received from rival groups demanding an enquiry into charges made by each other. One group included Mr Bindra and the other comprised members like Mr P.M. Rungta and Mr Kamal Morarka.
Asked if he favoured a thorough inquiry into the boards functioning, Mr Muthiah said: Absolutely. We are willing to face an inquiry into its functioning in its entirety. Even the Comptroller and Auditor General can look into its accounts.
It was upto the CBI to decide whether it should expand the scope of its probe, currently restricted to the charges of match-fixing and betting, to include the boards financial matters, Mr Muthiah said.
Asked why his statement seemed to be dismissive of all issues raised by Mr Bindra, as it referred to his charges as baseless, Mr Muthiah said Mr Bindra himself had said he had no evidence to back his allegation that it was Kapil Dev who made an offer to Manoj Prabhakar to throw a match in 1994.
Mr Bindra had also watered down his other allegations including the one that he had reprimanded three players for betting, Mr Muthiah said adding that instead of naming them, he had later claimed the players were only placing small bets on non-Indian matches in countries where betting was legal.
On the claim that Mr Jyoti Bajpai, manager of the team for the Australasia Cup in Sharjah, had mentioned in his report names of cricketers allegedly involved in match-fixing, the BCCI President said Mr Bindra later clarified that Mr Bajpai had only told him orally about this. When contacted, Mr Bajpai denied making any such statement. But Bindra was free to take up these matters with the CBI, Mr Muthiah added.
Referring to the charges against Bindra made by Rungta and Morarka, he said they had participated in meetings and had acquiesced in administrative decisions.
Replying to a question on the advisability of playing in non-cricketing centres like Toronto and Singapore, he said it had helped development of cricket there but the issue could be reconsidered, if necessary. The Board, he said, was spending a lot on the games development. In the coming year, it would distribute 70 per cent of its revenue of Rs 45 crore to Rs 50 crore to various state associations.
UNI adds: Mr Muthiah warned that players found guilty by the CBI would be banned for life and their official records erased from the annals of cricket.
Mr Muthiah said the BCCI would also be introducing a code of conduct regarding logos and product endorsements for players selected to represent the country. Anyone approaching the players would have to reveal the details to the board, he added.
NEW DELHI, May 17 (PTI) Former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Inderjit Singh Bindra today described as diversionary tactics attacks on him by another ex-BCCI chief P.M. Rungta and other board officials in the ongoing statement war over the raging betting and match-fixing controversy.
The recent allegations by Mr Rungta against him pertaining to his tenure as BCCI President from 1993-96 and by board Vice-President Kamal Morarka in Delhi two days back were only aimed at countering allegations made by the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) in its written report to the CBI which is probing the match-fixing allegations, Mr Bindra said in a statement here.
The PCA President urged Mr Rungta and Mr Morarka to send whatever allegations they had made against him to the CBI for a thorough probe.
Mr Bindra said some allegations against him first surfaced in the 1997 AGM in Chennai and he had then wanted the charges along with his own complaints against some officials to be referred to the CBI.
The proceedings were video-taped by an observer appointed by the Madras High Court and the tape should also be forwarded to the investigating agency, he added.
Meanwhile, the Delhi police, probing the sensational match-fixing scandal involving sacked South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, is preparing papers for submission to the courts for issuance of letters rogatory seeking details of the players bank accounts, their contacts and other information from the authorities in South Africa.
It would also solicit detailed information about bank accounts and travel documents of Muhammad Banjo Cassim, a Johannesburg businessman of Indian origin, who allegedly acted as a middleman between Hansie Cronje and London-based NRI businessman Sanjeev Chawla, sources in the Delhi Police said.
The papers would be submitted to the courts in a fortnight, the sources said.
The Delhi Police is probing the cheating and conspiracy angle in the case of match-fixing and betting against Hansie Cronje and four of his teammates Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje, Pieter Strydom and Henry Williams during the one-day series against India.
The sources said they had substantial evidence in the scandal in addition to the transcript of telephone conversation between Hansie Cronje and Sanjeev Chawla to file chargesheet in the case, though all the South African players have denied the charges.
A team of the Delhi
Police Crime Branch under Assistant Commissioner of
Police (ACP) Rishi Pal had blown the lid off a
match-fixing scandal in April this year and failed
Bollywood actor Kishan Kumar and a bookmaker Rajesh Kalra
are presently in prison in connection with the case.
indifferent towards scribes
PUNE, May 17 Mums the mantra cricketers swear by these days. The 22 probables for the Indian squad for the Asia Cup in Dhaka who are participating in a 10-day conditioning camp here refuse to even look at press persons, leave alone talk to them.
With the dark cloud of match-fixing allegations looming over Indian cricket as well, the days of players slapping their journalist buddies on their backs and being ever ready to make statements have suddenly disappeared.
To any query now they say they need permission from the coach before talking to the press.
Attempts to talk to former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, whose wife actress wife Sangeeta Bijlani has accompanied him here, were met with I am not giving any interviews. The flamboyant Ajay Jadeja merely says, You can see the crowds that are gathering here to watch the players practise. As long as they are with us, we will keep going. The names of both Azharuddin and Jadeja have figured in the allegations of match-fixing and betting in Indian cricket.
Coach Kapil Dev, who led India to its lone World Cup victory in 1983, is equally reticent. Kapil, who has been accused by a former cricket board official of offering a teammate money to underperform, told reporters that he has been advised by his lawyers against speaking to the press about the match-fixing allegations.
Asked about the conditioning camp, Kapil said, You can see whats happening here. God has given me hands and I am working.
The teams new physiotherapist, Andrew Leipus, vouches for the players, saying they are doing their utmost in their bid to be picked for the team to participate in the Dhaka tournament beginning on May 28. Their schedule begins at 7.00 a.m. with an exercise routine followed by breakfast at 8.30. Then they are back at the nets till noon.
Leipus said the players work out in the gymnasium in the evenings and he puts them through some hydro-exercises. Stating that he is going to make the regimen gradually harder, he conceded that some of the players are finding it tough to keep up.
This morning the players were made to don shorts and T-shirts and the willow gave way to a soccer ball. The game proved to be a slightly bloody affair with all-rounder Robin Singh hurting himself on the forehead and getting five stitches.
Though the gentlemans game is caught in the quagmire of match-rigging allegations, Pune proved that its popularity has not waned with a huge number of cricket fans lining up outside the club where the players are practising.
While only a privileged few can gain entry by virtue of being members of the Poona Club, those outside have been craning their necks at the wire-fenced boundary to catch a glimpse of their idols at work. A posse of policemen guarding the premises said they expected the crowds to swell with each passing day.
Skipper Saurav Ganguly,
who is away in England playing county matches, will reach
Pune on May 21 and the Indian team for the four-nation
Asia Cup involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
will be announced the following day, Jaywant Lele,
secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI), said here. Batsman Rahul Dravid and leg-spinner
Anil Kumble are also in England for their county matches.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (UNI) It will be a China-Denmark final in the Uber Cup badminton championship here on May 20.
Both Denmark and China had easy wins in semifinals with Denmark defeating South Korea 3-0 and China edging out Indonesia with an identical margin, as per the recent rules of the IBF, and for next Sudirman Cup in Spain in 2001 the same rules will apply, the tie has to stop as soon as any country has taken an unbeatable lead in the best-of-five matches.
Denmark won the first three matches, without losing even one game. World champion Camilla Martin was in great form as she bundled out Kim Jee Hyun, 11-5, 11-7 in 21 minutes. The winning match for the Danes came through Mette Sorenson yet again in the second singles, with the Danish shuttler winning 11-8, 11-3 against Lee Kyung Won. The world No 5 Danish pair Helen Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen then went on to stun the higher ranked Korean pair of Lee Hyo Jung and Chung Jae Hee 15-5, 15-6.
In a post match press conference, Danish team manager Keneth Larsen said: We prepared well for this years Uber and Thomas Cup and I think that we are on target. In mens we will reach finals and in ladies we have already done so. I can say that it a tremendous achievement for my players, considering that we come from a nation of only some five million people. That the Danish girls defeated such powers as Korea and Indonesia is a story of fortitude and hard work.
I have played in five Uber Cups now and this is going to be my first finals. We go as underdogs against China the best team in history, but if they underestimate us they will be making a mistake, said team captain Camilla Martin, who has led her country by example, winning all her matches in style.
The highlight of the finals should be her clash against world No 2 Gong Zhaichao, whom Camilla defeated last time two years back 12-11, 12-10 in the finals of the Copenhagen Masters. In their last clash, in a group match of the world grand prix finals in Brunei, Gong had prevailed 11-6, 11-7. A clash between two of the top ranked world singles players, who play with contrasting styles, is being eagerly awaited in this badminton loving nation. China, of course, start as hot favourites, as apart from Camilla no other Danish player has ever defeated any of the current Chinese star.
China beat Indonesia 3-0 without much effort. Zhiachao beat Ellen Angelina 11-2, 11-1 and the best ever ladies doubles pair De-Fei and Gu Jun took 34 minutes to smash their way to victory against Nathanael and Anna Lomban 15-9, 15-7. The final winning match for China was from Yun Dai, world No 3, who easily beat Uli Martuah 11-6, 11-4.
Chinese coach Li Yong Bo is more than satisfied with his teams performance in Uber Cup. We have not even lost one game. What more can I ask of them? They are all in terrific form and it cannot come as any surprise to any badminton fan when China lifts the Uber Cup again.
A pleasant surprise for Pete Sampras on clay
HAMBURG, May 17 (AFP) Hes supposed to hate clay but Pete Sampras admitted hed had a pleasant surprise after arriving for his first appearance in four years at the Hamburg Masters.
After beating compatriot Chris Woodruff in two hard-fought sets to set up a second-round tie with unheralded Arnaud di Pasquale of France Sampras explained he was actually enjoying himself in his first tournament back after a thigh injury.
One reason was the win the second the hot and sticky weather, one of the prime factors in his solid showing as it made the clay a little quicker than on previous visits.
It was pretty warm. I didnt expect it coming to Hamburg. The last time I was here it was snowing! laughed the former world number one, who hopes to use the $ 2.95 million as a springboard towards capturing the French Open crown the only Grand Slam still to elude him.
The weather has been nice all week. I hope it stays that way, said Sampras, who is top seed here in the absence of reigning Roland Garros champion Andre Agassi.
With five seeds having bit the dust in the opening round Sampras chances of capturing Hamburg have markedly improved and, aside from a second set lapse which almost let Woodruff snatch a set off him, he was largely pleased with his performance on centre court.
I was playing well, doing anything that I wanted to do, said Sampras, who skipped Rome with the thigh problem which he says has now cleared up.
He admitted, however, to being a little rusty after spending precious little time in competitive action since March.
You look at clay and its a challenge to me, said Sampras, who has won only three clay events out of a total title haul of 62, the fourth-highest Total in tour history.
The interesting thing about clay is closing out a match. You cant take anything for granted, he explained.
All of a sudden I was in a dogfight in the second set, explained the former world number one who has fallen to fifth in the new-fangled ATP Champions race 2000 standings -in allusion to Woodruffs four-game winning streak from 2-5 down before Sampras forced and won the tiebreak.
The 28-year-old Sampras, who has won a record-tying 12 Grand Slam titles, is determined to better his previous best showing at the Rothenbaum stadium, where he reached the semifinals in 1995 before falling to three-time Hamburg champion Andrei Medvedev.
Should he see off di Pasquale then Sampras could face either tenth-seeded Aussie youngster Lleyton Hewitt, whom he beat in three sets on the way to winning Miami earlier this year, or British eighth seed Tim Henman in the quarter-finals.
Sampras proved Henmans nemesis last year when he won their Wimbledon semifinal. But neither man is happy on clay, where an encounter between the two would prove highly intriguing.
The American insists he has been doing his homework to try to combat his weakness on the surface.
You know clay can change in a couple of minutes. Youve got to be careful.
And he added he would not obsess over his previous failures at Roland Garros.
My goal for the French Open this year is to try to let go of the pressure that I put on myself to do well there. I just need to keep it simple. Just let it happen and not force it to happen as I have done over the last couple of years.
ROME: A nostalgic Monica Seles joined world number one Lindsay Davenport in the Italian Open tennis tournament third round here Tuesday evening after both women sealed convincing two set victories.
Davenport hammered Russias Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2, while Seles defeated Magdalena Maleeva 7-5, 6-1 on her return to a tournament that she claimed will always have a place in her heart.
Davenport, making her first ever appearance in Rome, is back on the WTA Tour after a month and a halfs break since the Ericsson Open in Miami.
Davenport has reached the final of all five tournaments she has entered this year winning two, losing two and failing to play when two days of rain washed out the final at Scottsdale.
Up until now its been just an amazing year for myself, she said. Since last November, Ive been winning a lot of tournaments and not losing very many times. Always being such a highly consistent performer is very satisfying.
And Davenport, who won her third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, has not finished yet.
So far, its been a tremendous year, she said. And I hope to add another Grand Slam title somewhere along the line this year, just to try and maintain what Ive already accomplished.
Seles, who won this tournament for Yugoslavia 10 years ago, was still suffering from transatlantic jetlag as she stepped on the centre court.
She led 2-1 and had two chances to break for a comfortable lead. Instead, the naturalised American lost four games in a row to trail 5-2 and was even 30-40 down and facing set point on the Bulgarians serve.
But she pulled her game together in the nick of time to break for 5-5 and then again to take the set when a disputed shot of hers was called in and Maleeva swept a forehand long. Seles was a different player in the second set, rediscovering her old clay-court power and precision while Maleevas confidence simply faded away.
The turning point came in the fourth game. Maleeva thundered an overhead smash into the net from point-blank range, to the gasps of the Foro Italico crowd, and then found the net again to be broken for 3-1.
Seles reached 4-1 with one her booming two-fisted drives into the corner and simply destroyed her opponent in the sixth game before serving out for 6-1.
Seles and Davenport were
joined in the last 16 by French 12th seed Amelie
Mauresmo, who dispatched Czech Kveta Hrdlickova 6-0 6-2,
and Aussie teenager Jelena Dokic, who comfortably beat
Russian Tatiana Panova 6-3 6-1.
NEW DELHI, May 17 (PTI) The Delhi police is unlikely to handover tapes purportedly containing conversation between sacked South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje and London-based NRI businessman Sanjeev Chawla as demanded by South African authorities, police sources said.
While Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) K.K. Paul told PTI that they were yet to receive any request from the South African authorities, sources in the crime branch said the possibility of acceeding to such a request was remote. The South African Government has made the request for the tapes of conversations purportedly between Cronje and Chawla through its Foreign Office as the commission set up to probe cricket match-fixing wanted the tapes.
The sources said the South African courts would have to issue letters rogatory to their Indian counterparts to get the tapes, which is a case property and the only concrete evidence available with the Delhi police.
The police is also not happy with the inadequate response of the South African authorities in providing Hansie Cronjes voice samples, the sources said.
The South African officials said in Johannesburg that the Indian request through Interpol for Cronjes voice sample would be considered once the tapes were handed over to them.
Meanwhile, the sources said the Delhi police is preparing papers for submission to the courts for issuance of letters rogatory seeking details of the players bank accounts, their contacts and other information from authorities in South Africa.
The police would also solicit detailed information about bank accounts and travel documents of Muhammad Banjo Cassim, a Johannesburg businessman of Indian origin, who allegedly acted as a middleman between Cronje and Chawla, the sources said. The papers would be submitted to the courts in a fortnight, they said.
PUNE, May 17 (PTI) Unseasonal rain put a damper on the Asia Cup probables conditioning camp in progress here after the players had finished their morning session on the third day today.
With covers being available for protecting only two practise wickets, the other two pitches at the Poona Club have been left at the mercy of the weather.
Curator and former Maharashtra Ranji player Ramesh Borde said rolling of the pitches will not be possible until tomorrow morning if the rain persisted till late evening today.
On the first day of the camp, coach Kapil Dev had told reporters that after three days they might have two sessions daily.
But so far no intimation has come to this effect from the coach, according to Pune-based national selection committee Chairman Chandu Borde.
CHANDIGARH, May 17 Irina Brar has done it. Yes, this 16-year-old girl from Chandigarh has just come back after rubbing shoulders with the top lady golfers of Asia. And to top it she has clinched the seventh position in the Queen Sirikit Cup tournament played at Taipei (Taiwan).
At one stage Irina, a Class XI student of Vivek High School, was sharing the lead with Rebecca Stevenson of Australia. In fact at the midway stage she and Rebecca were co-leaders. Irina played a two-under after the ninth hole on the second day. This 16-year-old girl did not realise at that moment that she was on her way to rewriting golf history as far as Indian womens golf was concerned. But then Irina struck an unlucky patch. Or was it anxiety of her success. She fumbled and finished three over after the second day s play.
She went on to return a two over card of 74 on the final day to finish seventh. This was an achievement no other lady golfers had done. The previous best in the Queen Sirikit Cup had been a 10th spot scored by Vandana Aggarwal.
What was Irinas feeling when she realised that she was a co-leader with Rebecca at the mid-way stage. The realisation dawned on Irina only after the days play. Wow, that was a great spot to be in, said Irina.
What does she plan to do? Irina wants to do exercises to gain strength. She also wants to go in for yoga training. These things are essential, she feels, to meet the competition in the international level.
Although Irina finished a good seventh, her other teammates, Anjali Chopra and Shalini Malik, finished 19th and 29th, respectively. But as a team India finished with an aggregate of 452. This was also the best score by an Indian team on foreign soil. A similar aggregate had been scored by the Indian girls in the Queen Sirikit Cup played in Mumbai.
Mom is my friend and guide. She is the person because of whom I have reached this position, said Irina. She was also all praise for the Principal of Vivek School. She had allowed her to take part in all tournaments. But then Irina is a good student. In fact she has been a topper in her class.
International lady golfer Nonita Qureshi also had positive vibes with her. She told Irina that she was not shifting her weight while attempting strokes. This what she had noticed during the Asia Pacific in Calcutta. Irina overcame these shortcomings and the end result was her grand performance at Taipei.
Irina has been playing
with her same old set from the time she took to golf five
years back. At that time her handicap was 36. At Taipei
she played with her same old set and gave a fine
performance. She also talks highly of Champika Syal,
Convener of the Indian Golf Union Ladies section. She
took the girls round the course in Taipei to give them a
feel of the greens.
COPENHAGEN, May 17 (AFP) An English football fan was stabbed and a policeman injured today as violence erupted in central Copenhagen between English and Turkish supporters ahead of the UEFA Cup final here, police said.
The Englishman who was taken to hospital in the capital, was lightly wounded, after being stabbed with a knife, a police officer Finn Bach told AFP. A policeman was also injured by a stone thrown during the incidents, he added.
Another British man was seen wearing a blood-stained Arsenal shirt, but was not apparently badly injured.
Around ten British and Turkish fans who took part in the fighting between fans of English premier league side Arsenal and their Turkish opponents Galatasaray had been arrested, the police officer said.
forces had been on red alert for todays Union of
European Footall Associations (UEFA) Cup final because of
a feared repeat of the violence that marred the
semi-final in Istanbul between Galatasaray and English
side Leeds United last month, when two Leeds fans were
BRIDGETOWN, May 17 (AFP) West Indies and Pakistan would have had much to consider about their team selection on the run-up to the pivotal second cricket Test starting at Kensington Oval here tomorrow.
Defending an impressive record of losing only one Test series in the last 25 years at home is enough motivation for Jimmy Adams West Indies side that has exhibited passion, purpose and perseverance in the last two months.
For Pakistan, winning the fifth series between the two sides in the Caribbean would be something extra-special for Moin Khan and his gifted bunch, becoming the first side from their nation to achieve such a distinction.
West Indies selection panels have traditionally been very conservative and it would not be surprising if they retain the same 11 that played the opening Test.
The batting of teenager Ramnaresh Sarwan, however, will make the selection panel scratch their heads a bit when they sit down to decide upon the final 11 for this Test.
Sarwan, 19, is a young batsman of rich potential. He batted with aplomb for West Indies A in the preceding four-day match against the Pakistanis on the weekend, making 32 and 75.
KARACHI, May 17 (AFP) Pakistans cricket icon Imran Khan yesterday demanded immediate publication of a judicial report on match-fixing allegations and said any delay would further damage the countrys image.
The report of judge Malik Abdul Qayyum, who concluded a year-long probe in September last year, should have been made public months ago, Imran Khan told reporters here.
It (delay) has and is damaging Pakistans cricket image and has given a chance to others to hurl anything they want at Pakistan, he said.
He said Pakistani cricketers currently playing in the West Indies are disturbed, referring to leaks and speculation about the contents of the report.
When they know things like some players are involved they come under pressure, said the cricketer-turned-politician, Tehrik-e-Insaf which was founded by him in 1996.
Had the report came out when Cronjes case surfaced it might have formed a good image for Pakistan that here is one country which has done a comprehensive inquiry, he said.
The former Pakistan captain said he was told by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Tauqir Zia when he met him on Monday that the report was about to be made public.
Imran Khan also expressed surprise at Indian coach Kapil Devs behaviour in a recent television interview, saying he was at a loss to understand why he cried.
I would never cry. I can understand somebody becoming angry but I cannot understand Kapils crying, he said.
LUDHIANA, May 17 The Asian Junior Volleyball Championship for men would be held in Iran from August 18 to 25, according to the secretary general of the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).
Three coaching camps would be organised with the assistance of Sports Authority of India in South, East and North Zones and the probables would be selected in the trials for the championship.
The selection trials for South and East Zones would be held in Chennai on May 30 and in Calcutta on May 31. Twenty players will be selected from each zone.
The trials for the North Zone will be conducted at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar on May 24 and 25. The players selected in the trials will join the coaching camps to commence from June 1.
School to honour cricketers
PATIALA May 17 (FOSR) Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Tripuri, has decided to honour eight of its girl students who have played for Punjab in the recently concluded first national indoor cricket tournament for women. This was stated in a press note of the school.
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