Rain threatens Guwahati tie
Fresh allegations of fund misuse against Dalmiya
Paes-Bhupathi put India ahead
Paes ready for reverse singles
Murgunde dethrones Popat
Promoted, Manjit still
gets SI’s pay
East Bengal pip Mohun Bagan
Eves go down
0-11 to Korea
Guwahati, April 8
Heavy unseasonal rains lashed this north-eastern city in the evening for about an hour and with the met office predicting more showers tomorrow, chances of the match being held looked bleak.
However, Assam Cricket Association officials were optimistic of staging a truncated game provided there were no fresh downpours.
The weather has further contributed to the receding interest level in the match with India having already clinched the seven-match one-day series by taking an unassailable 4-0 lead.
The 4-0 cushion has allowed the Indian team management the luxury of resting skipper Rahul Dravid and handing over the responsibility to his out-of-form deputy Virender Sehwag who now has to rise up to the double challenge of leading the side and getting back among runs.
Karnataka opener Robin Uthappa is almost certain to make his international debut while VRV Singh, who replaces Dravid in the squad, is also likely to get a chance to play against the visitors.
The hosts have made it clear that they would try out a few experiments in their bid to develop the squad further but a lot of their efforts will also go into ensuring that Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif find their form which has eluded them for long.
Coach Greg Chappell, though not wanting to concede an inch to the visitors, Would like to watch the young guns charging up at the middle to create more options in the run-up up to next year’s World Cup.
The poor batting form of Sehwag and Kaif has stuck out like a sore thumb in the otherwise superlative show from the hosts, who are in the midst of an unprecedented run, winning 16 of their last 20 one-day games.
An aggregate of 95 runs at a miserly average of 19 in the Test series followed by a paltry 73 in the four ODIs has raised questions about Sehwag’s continuation in the team, with even Chappell going on record that his chances of getting into form would not be endless.
The England bowlers seem to have done their homework on Sehwag well, as they have consistently denied him any leeway to launch into his trademark aggressive shots.
But with the series decided, there should be less pressure on the Delhi marauder and the team management will be hoping that he breaks his prolonged form slump tomorrow on a track which was expected to suit the batsmen.
Kaif’s form has been worse. Scores of 4, 0, 0 and 5 totalling 9 seems like the statistics of a tailender who is a rabbit with the bat, and the middle-order batsman needs to get cracking soon to keep his place in the side, with several promising cricketers waiting on the sidelines.
On the positive side, the Indian batting resources look formidable, with the stress being heavily on youth.
Uthappa, 20, is a bright prospect whose inclusion in the squad increases the options of the team management.
Suresh Raina, having played a lead role in shaping wins for the team in two of the matches, has been a real revelation and his batting talent added to the power of the fast-maturing Mahendra Singh Dhoni, makes the Indian batting line-up a headache for England skipper Andrew Flintoff and his men.
In the bowling department, India also have a lot more options and the inclusion of VRV Singh has strengthened the pace attack.
With Irfan Pathan having played a lot of cricket in recent times, the team management may decide to rest him for the inconsequential match. In that case, Munaf Patel, who bowled quite well in the Test matches, could get another opportunity to play.
England, on the other hand, would try to salvage some prestige, as star batsman Kevin Pietersen said his team would try to take the positives from the string of defeats.
“Though we have lost the series, there are three more games and we will put in an extra effort to come out with good performances,” he said.
“We need to take some positive steps in the next three games and get things right and achieve something.” With half the side back home due to injuries, England have looked rugged in both the batting and bowling departments in the one-dayers after their impressive showing in the Tests.
England’s batting has been solely dependent on Kevin Pieterson, with Paul Collingwood coming up with the occasional good knocks, but Flintoff has failed to find his rhythm.
The showers have made the outfield slow, but curator Sunil Baruah feels that the pitch would still be full of runs. — PTI
New Delhi, April 8
In addition, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) alleges that Dalmiya withdrew Rs. 585,000 without proper explanation, says a board document prepared after Dalmiya’s reply to the show-cause notice on “misappropriation of funds”.
All this is besides the Rs. 21.74 lakh of the 1996 World Cup money that Dalmiya has allegedly spent on travel and hotel expenses after laying down the office of BCCI president in 2004.
“Huge cash withdrawals amounting to approximately Rs. 1.52 crore from Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Bhowanipore, Kolkata, have been made for which no proper explanation is available,” BCCI says in the document, a copy of which is with the IANS.
“In particular, cash withdrawals of Rs 65,000 per month during the period April to December, 2005, have not been properly explained by Mr Dalmiya in spite of a specific mention in the notice served on him,” it says.
The document further alleges that Rs. 1.28 crore had been paid for Dalmiya and his family. “Telephone bills amounting to Rs. 1.28 crore have been paid for M.L. Dalmiya & Co. and other individuals in Mr. Dalmiya’s family,” it says.
“Moreover, payments have been made for telephone bills to the MTNL, New Delhi, amounting to Rs. 12.62 lakh. Why should Mr Dalmiya pay telephone bill for a New Delhi telephone No.? The World Cup legal cases were only fought in Kolkata. This is obviously not related to BCCI/World Cup 1996.”
BCCI says in the document that “enough material” has been collected against Dalmiya that a second show-cause notice could be slapped on him.
The above allegations come on the heels of an investigation by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Dalmiya, former treasurers Kishore Rungta and Jyoti Bajpai, ex-secretary S.K. Nair, manager of IOB, Bhowanipore, Kolkata, where the account in question, No. 1223, was maintained, and Dalmiya’s personal secretary K.N. Choudhury.
After BCCI lodged an FIR with the Marine Drive police station in Mumbai last month, Dalmiya moved the Bombay High Court that gave them a reprieve till April 10, during which period the EOW officials quizzed the five in Mumbai and in Kolkata.
The main charge against Dalmiya is that he has not provided satisfactory proof of Rs. 21.74 lakh, taken out of BCCI’s A/c No. 1223. He has told the media that he was entitled to reimbursement of this amount as per a resolution of the BCCI working committee.
“However, in his latest reply he has come up with a totally different explanation saying that these expenses relate to travel and other expenses for attending meetings of special nature during the period after laying down office as president of the BCCI,” says the document.
“This clearly shows that he is confused and is not able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for the amount of Rs. 21.74 lakh spent out of this bank account,” it said. — IANS
Mumbai, April 8
Captain Paes and Bhupathi carried too many guns for the inexperienced Pakistani pair and gave the rivals a sound thrashing, winning the second day’s doubles rubber 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 40 minutes.
The “Indian Express”, winners of multiple Grand Slam titles, broke their rivals’ serve twice in the opening set, in the third and fifth games, to clinch it in 28 minutes.
The home team pair were even more dominating in the next set, breaking the Pak duo three times, in the first, seventh and ninth games, to grab the set in 33 minutes.
Paes, brilliant with his net interceptions as is his wont, and Bhupathi — with excellent returns of serve, went into overdrive in the decider and took it with the help of two service breaks (4th and 6th), again in 33 minutes.
The Indian pair put tremendous pressure on the Pakistanis serve from the beginning and the weakling was Jalil Khan.
While Paes was at his best with his drive and punch-volleys at the net, Bhupathi complemented him very well and was especially good in his returns that had the Pakistanis scampering endlessly.
The serves of both Khan and Shafik were returned with a measure of comfort by both the Indians while the former especially found it difficult to face the Indian duo’s deliveries even as his partner improved as the match progressed.
The Pak players were also guilty of committing quite a few unforced errors, including double faults, at crucial stages.
The fast grass court were also to the Indians’ liking who belted winners often to leave their opponents flummoxed.
The first break for the Indians came in Khan’s opening service game, set up by Paes with a screaming forehand cross-court winner that bisected the two rival players and Bhupathi followed suit with a well-measured backhand lob that was returned long by Khan to put India 2-1 up.
The Indians broke again in the very next game by attacking Shafik’s serve to go up 4-1 and they closed out the set when the India skipper held serve.
Paes and Bhupathi attacked their rivals with vigour from the beginning of the second set to earn a break in the very first game.
After deuce was called thrice on Shafik’s serve, the Pakistan player volleyed wide to provide India with a break-point that was converted by Bhupathi’s excellent return at the server’s feet.
Games went with serve from then on till the score read 3-2 in India's favour when Bhupathi’s serve was broken. Two good returns of serve and a double fault by the Indian gave Pakistan the chance to break back.
Bhupathi managed to save two break points but was broken on the third, set up by Khan with a forehand winner, when a Shafik cross court backhand volley beat a lunging Paes at the net.
But that was the last piece of fight Pakistan showed in the match as Paes and Bhupathi stormed their way back to dominant position by breaking Khan in the very next game to lead 4-3.
A fine backhand return by Bhupathi did the trick, and then the Indian pair broke Shafik’s serve again at 30, after Paes held his at love, with some superb volleying by Bhupathi which brooked no stopping to help India clinch the set 6-3.
The Indian pair simply toyed with their rivals in the last set.
The first break of serve for the home team came in the fourth game when Khan double faulted at 30-all.
Paes took advantage of the break-point with a timely interception at the net with his forehand that put India 3-1 ahead. After Bhupathi held serve, the Indians broke Shafik’s serve for a commanding 5-1 lead.
Paes then saved a breakpoint with an ace before Bhupathi came up with drop-volley to complete the rout. — PTI
Mumbai, April 8
Paes let his wards Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna battle it out in the opening singles on Friday. But with the tie delicately poised 2-1 in India’s favour and Bopanna’s form in question, Paes could play himself the deciding rubber tomorrow.
“All three — Rohan (Bopanna), Prakash (Amritraj) and myself — are ready to play tomorrow. Pakistan are up against the wall at 1-2 behind. We are going to give it to them and make it as hard as possible for them (to win the tie),” Paes said.
Paes combined with his former world number one partner Mahesh Bhupathi to beat Jalil Khan and Asim Shafit 6-2 6-3 6-1 for the pair’s 19th straight win in Davis Cup competition.
As per the original nomination, Amritraj is to play Aisam Qureshi in the first reverse singles and Bopanna is to take on Aqeel Khan in the fifth and final rubber tomorrow.
But the rules permit the captains to change the nominations an hour before the start of the day’s play.
“All three of us are feeling good. Both Rohan and Prakash had a day of rest today.
“We ensured Prakash did not get under the sun today (after his bout of cramps yesterday). Rohan has a little more time tomorrow as he will be playing in the second half (the fifth match against Aqeel Khan),” he added.
Paes has stopped playing singles on the professional circuit and the last time he played in a Cup tie was an year ago against Uzbekistan at Jaipur.
“It was good to get our 19th victory under our belt in our tenth year together. But it was not something out of the ordinary,” the captain said.
“We had decided to play at 50 per cent of our potential to conserve our energy in this heat and I am happy the match got over quickly,” Paes said after winning in an hour and 40 minutes. — PTI
New Delhi, April 8
The 24-year-old shuttler, who reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in Johor Baru, Malaysia, upsetting world No. 17 Kanako Yonekura of Japan, jumped 16 places in the latest world rankings.
National champion Popat, who for long has been Indian highest ranked woman player, did not participate in the elite event and saw her rankings drop 17 places to number 89.
Teenage star Saina Nehwal, who lost in the pre-quarterfinals in Malaysia, also jumped eight spots to be a notch higher than Popat.
In men’s singles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Chetan Anand lost four places to number 25 while Arvind Bhat is down 10 spots to 50th spot. National champion Anup Sridhar is up two places at number 58. — PTI
Promoted, Manjit still
gets SI’s pay
Jalandhar, April 8 The Police department, which announced the promotion of Manjit Kaur on October 21 to the rank of Inspector then decided to promote three others — Rajwinder Kaur, Jagdish Bishnoi and Navneet Singh — on October 23 to the rank of Inspector. DGP Virk himself pinned the rank on the atheletes’ uniforms. Now the department has, apparently, forgotten about the decision and is yet to do anything concrete. When contacted, the athletes have confirmed that they are still getting the salaries of Sub- Inspectors. Manjit Kaur said ADGP Rajan Gupta had assured her that a meeting with the DGP will be held, in which she will be present, to take up the issue of her promotion.
Jalandhar, April 8
The Police department, which announced the promotion of Manjit Kaur on October 21 to the rank of Inspector then decided to promote three others — Rajwinder Kaur, Jagdish Bishnoi and Navneet Singh — on October 23 to the rank of Inspector. DGP Virk himself pinned the rank on the atheletes’ uniforms.
Now the department has, apparently, forgotten about the decision and is yet to do anything concrete.
When contacted, the athletes have confirmed that they are still getting the salaries of Sub- Inspectors.
Manjit Kaur said ADGP Rajan Gupta had assured her that a meeting with the DGP will be held, in which she will be present, to take up the issue of her promotion.
East Bengal pip Mohun Bagan
Kolkata, April 8 Bhaichung Bhutia put East Bengal ahead in the 48th minute. Shylo Malswan (61st) and Gauranga Dutta (88th) scored the other two goals for East Bengal. Mehtab Hussain reduced the margin for Bagan in the 73rd minute.
Bhaichung Bhutia put East Bengal ahead in the 48th minute. Shylo Malswan (61st) and Gauranga Dutta (88th) scored the other two goals for East Bengal. Mehtab Hussain reduced the margin for Bagan in the 73rd minute.
Mohammedan Sporting lose Mapusa (Goa): A splendid hat-trick by Nigerian Dudu Omaghbhemi of the local Sporting Club de Goa helped his team trounce Mohammedan Sporting 3-0 in 10th ONGC National Football League at Duler ground here today. Dudu, who scored in 24th, 29th and 64th minutes, was adjudged man of the match.
— PTI, UNI
Mapusa (Goa): A splendid hat-trick by Nigerian Dudu Omaghbhemi of the local Sporting Club de Goa helped his team trounce Mohammedan Sporting 3-0 in 10th ONGC National Football League at Duler ground here today. Dudu, who scored in 24th, 29th and 64th minutes, was adjudged man of the match. — PTI, UNI
Eves go down
0-11 to Korea
New Delhi, April 8 India had made it to the championship by beating Kyrgyzstan 7-0 and a nascent Bangladesh side 10-0 but the level of competition in Malaysia was clearly more than what they could handle. The going is not expected to get any easier as the Indian girls will face continental powerhouses Japan and North Korea in the remaining pool matches.
New Delhi, April 8
India had made it to the championship by beating Kyrgyzstan 7-0 and a nascent Bangladesh side 10-0 but the level of competition in Malaysia was clearly more than what they could handle.
The going is not expected to get any easier as the Indian girls will face continental powerhouses Japan and North Korea in the remaining pool matches. — PTI
Yuki Bhambri shines Cricket academy Selection trials Shooting meet