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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Players can appeal to third umpire
Champions Trophy to see new move on trial basis
Dubai, May 6
In spite of having its reservations, the International Cricket Council today agreed to players’ making a limited number of appeals to the third umpire in case of difference of opinion with the on-field umpire during the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

Sehwag for easing workload on players
New Delhi, May 6
Fearing burnout from too much cricket, India’s top cricketers have told the BCCI to reduce the number of matches they play, vice-captain Virender Sehwag disclosed here today.
Team India’s vice-captain Virendra Sehwag during an interview in New Delhi Team India’s vice-captain Virendra Sehwag during an interview in New Delhi on Saturday.
— PTI photo

India open World Cup campaign against B’desh
New Delhi, May 6
Rahul Dravid-led Team India will kick-off their campaign in the World Cup with a Group B match against Bangladesh at Trinidad & Tobago on March 17 next year.

PCB seeks control of stadiums
Karachi, May 6
Pakistan have already started gearing up for World Cup 2011, urging the government to transfer control of the international stadiums to their cricket board.


World Cup Countdown

Team profile: Trinidad & Tobago



EARLIER STORIES

  New Zealand fight to stay in hunt
Johannesburg, May 6
A five-wicket haul by fast bowler Chris Martin and an improved second innings batting performance gave New Zealand a chance to save the series on the second day of the third and final cricket Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium today.

Salahuddin passes away
Abu Dhabi, May 6
Cricketer Masud Salahuddin, who passed away at the age of 90 in Lahore, was probably the last link between India’s first Test in 1932 and the present generation. Salahuddin, who was born in Meerut and lived in Lahore with his wife and son, was an understudy of Mohammed Nisar, a speedster who bowled the first ball for India in Test cricket in 1932.

China clinch Uber Cup
Tokyo, May 6
World No. 1 Zhang Ning spearheaded China to a 3-0 victory over the Netherlands to win their fifth straight and 10th overall Uber Cup team badminton championships today.

 

China’s women’s badminton team members celebrate their victory at the award ceremony of the Uber Cup badminton tournament in Tokyo on Saturday. — Reuters photo

China’s women’s badminton team members celebrate their victory at the award ceremony of the Uber Cup badminton tournament in Tokyo

Badminton to get new scoring format
Tokyo, May 6
Badminton will have a new set of scoring rules intended to shorten matches and broaden its appeal, the game’s governing body announced today, despite objections from some top shuttlers.

Former Olympians flay IHF, IOA
New Delhi, May 6
Former Olympians have jointly flayed the Indian Hockey Federation and the Indian Olympic Association for not doing anything concrete to perpetuate the memory of sporting heroes of yesteryears like Shankar Laxman, who breathed his last this week.

Clijsters to play Kuznetsova in final
Warsaw, May 6
Kim Clijsters reached her second final of the season today when she defeated Russian third seed Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-4 at the Warsaw Cup. The top seeded Belgian, who was beaten by Amelie Mauresmo in February’s Antwerp final, improved her winning record against Dementieva to 10 victories in 13 meetings.



Kim Clijsters of Belgium returns a shot to Elena Dementieva of Russia during their semifinal match of the J&S Cup in Warsaw on Saturday. Clijsters won 7-5, 6-4. — Reuters photo

Kim Clijsters of Belgium returns a shot to Elena Dementieva of Russia during their semifinal match of the J&S Cup in Warsaw

Army XI win hockey title
Solan, May 6
Army XI lifted the 13th Indian Oil Himgold Cup Hockey Tournament today by defeating Sikh Regimental Centre 2-0. The Army team dominated the game and procured an early lead in the 20th minute when its centre forward Ignace Tirkey sounded the board.

China’s Liu Xiang, world record holder and Athens Olympic champion, leaps over the last hurdle during the men’s 110-metre hurdles of the IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka
China’s Liu Xiang, world record holder and Athens Olympic champion, leaps over the last hurdle during the men’s 110-metre hurdles of the IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka on Saturday. Liu clocked 13.05 seconds to win the final.
— Reuters photo
Paula Creamer of the US watches her tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the Salonpas World Ladies Golf Tournament in Tokyo
Paula Creamer of the US watches her tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the Salonpas World Ladies Golf Tournament in Tokyo on Saturday. — Reuters photo

 


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Players can appeal to third umpire
Champions Trophy to see new move on trial basis

Dubai, May 6
In spite of having its reservations, the International Cricket Council today agreed to players’ making a limited number of appeals to the third umpire in case of difference of opinion with the on-field umpire during the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

The ICC Cricket Committee decided at its two-day meeting to first implement the recommendation on trial basis in the October-November tournament and review it after the event.

“Each team will be allowed three appeals to the third umpire per innings. If the appeal is successful they will retain the right to three appeals but if not, then it is lost,” ICC General Manager David Richardson said.

The recommendation was, however, made by the narrowest possible margin (six votes to five) with reservations expressed over what it will mean for the spirit of cricket, the fabric of the game and the role and authority of the on-field umpire.

The committee also recommended that the equipping of umpires with earpieces connected to the stump microphones be mandatory in all international matches.

“The main point of the trial would be to see how much this use of technology may impact on the spirit of cricket,” said Richardson.

The recommendations made by the ICC Cricket Committee have to be approved by the Chief Executives’ Committee and if that approval is forthcoming then the decisions can be ratified at the ICC board meeting, with both meetings set for London in July.

The trial would not include the use of technology such as Hawkeye or the Snickometer but would include the LBW mat, the solid line super-imposed on the screen between the two sets of stumps and used by broadcasters to determine where the ball pitches and the point of impact on the batsman’s pads.

“What we hope the trial will do, if approved, is to help eradicate the very few obvious errors that may be made by umpires, who already get between 94 and 96 per cent of decisions right at international level,” Richardson said.

ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said: “Ever since the ICC Champions Trophy of 2002, the ICC has been keen to explore the possibilities offered by technology.

“What we have consistently sought to do is to increase the already-high numbers of correct decisions made by umpires while, at the same time, not diminishing their on-field role and authority,” he said.

Explaining the working of the new appeal system, Richardson said: “Only the captain from the fielding side will be entitled to make the appeal by approaching the on-field umpire making the sign of a TV with his hands. For the batting side, only the batsman involved in the decision would be able to make the appeal, which he would do in the same way,” he said.

The committee agreed playing conditions for the ICC Champions Trophy, next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup and for international Twenty20 matches, sought to establish new standardised criteria for the measurement of bad light, and a sub-committee appointed last year reported back on the Laws governing what constitutes a cricket bat.

It decided to recommend that the use of artificial lights during Test matches be discontinued and at the same time, agreed that umpires should be issued with a directive that play should be maximised wherever possible.

It was also agreed that light meters should be utilised to a greater degree to establish a benchmark of what constitutes unacceptable light.

The committee also recommended that the current field restrictions that apply to ODI cricket (Powerplays) should remain in place up to and including the ICC CWC and be reviewed after that event.

It was recommended that in ‘dead’ Test matches, where a result was not possible, stumps could be drawn after 75 overs on the final day or at the commencement of the final hour, whichever was the later.

Regarding recommendations on the ‘Law governing the bat’, it said the balance that exists between a wooden bat and a leather ball should be retained.

It should be made of a single piece of wood. The issues of “corking” and bat covers should be investigated further by the sub-committee. Bats should be the colour of wood except for permitted logos. — PTI

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Sehwag for easing workload on players

New Delhi, May 6
Fearing burnout from too much cricket, India’s top cricketers have told the BCCI to reduce the number of matches they play, vice-captain Virender Sehwag disclosed here today.

“There is too much cricket... Players need a break because they (may) burnout from cricket. They need time for fitness also, time to think about their game and to recharge their batteries... If we want to win the World Cup, we need every player to be fit,” Sehwag told PTI in an interview.

Skipper Rahul Dravid and other senior players, including him, had taken up the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which had pleaded inability to do anything about it immediately since the current cricket calendar had been fixed long ago, he said.

The 27-year-old dashing batsman spoke candidly about the raging controversy regarding the amount of international cricket, his own recent lean patch with the bat and a wide range of other issues concerning Indian team.

About the burn-out issue, the Board had been understanding and had promised to give the players adequate breaks after the commitments already fixed were fulfilled, he said.

How much rest did the players ideally need ?. “I think after every series a player should get 20 to 25 days rest. If a player gets three to four months’ break in a year, it is good for players and good for BCCI also,” Sehwag said. His recent poor form, which saw him average just 15 runs in last nine Test innings and 31 in his last 15 ODIs, is seen by Sehwag as something that happens to international cricketers.

A slump suddenly “comes into your life” and in some ways “I was ready for that”, he said, adding “I was just praying to myself that this patch will go quickly but that did not happen”.

After his 73 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in his most recent one-day innings, Sehwag declared with confidence, “I am now pretty confident because I have learnt my lessons”. He is grateful for the guidance he received from Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, coach Greg Chappell and others during the lean patch.

Does he worry a lot about his batting or is his approach cavalier ? “Of course, I worry about my performance. But I also have so much confidence while I am batting. I just watch the ball and play my shots,” he says simply.

Which bowler does he fear the most ? “When I am not in form, I fear every bowler,” he laughs, suggesting that fear does not cross his mind when at the wicket.

“I have faced Glen McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Andrew Flintoff, Brett Lee, Shoiab Akhtar, Shaun Pollock, Steve Harmison and Muthiah Muralitharan. In good form, I have scored runs against all of them.”

His happiest cricketing moment was when he scored triple Test century against Pakistan in Multan two years ago, Sehwag says, noting that he is the only Indian to have crossed the 300 mark although there have been such great players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sourav Ganguly etc.

And the saddest moment ? That was when India lost to Pakistan in the Bangalore Test last year, chasing over 300 and losing only one wicket in the first session. We lost that match in just one session after that,” he says shaking his head.

Sehwag welcomed the move for wider use of technology in umpiring decisions, including lbw, and also to give the batsman the right to appeal decisions of umpires.

“If a bowler can appeal for a decision, why can’t a batsman appeal against it. It is fair for both,” he said recalling that he had felt miserable in the dressing room watching replays of the wrong decisions against him.

Technology is being used in every game — football, hockey, basketball, table tennis. He was all for its full usage in cricket.

He does not agree with those who argue that the ground umpire would not have much to do in that case. Technology would, in fact, strengthen the hands of the ground umpire.

Sehwag sums up his cricketing philosophy thus : “whenever I play cricket I want to be just happy and make others happy.” — PTI

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India open World Cup campaign against B’desh

New Delhi, May 6
Rahul Dravid-led Team India will kick-off their campaign in the World Cup with a Group B match against Bangladesh at Trinidad & Tobago on March 17 next year.

Prior to their first Group Stage match, India will meet the Netherlands in a warm-up match on March 6 at Jamaica and will play another match against hosts West Indies at the same venue three days later.

India is clubbed in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda, while World champion Australia, South Africa, Scotland and the Netherlands make Group A.

New Zealand, England, Kenya and Canada comprise Group C while Group D includes Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

In Group B matches at Trinidad & Tobago, India plays Bangladesh on March 17, Bermuda on March 19 and Sri Lanka on March 23.

India will arrive at their base in Trinidad and Tobago on March 2, according to a BCCI release here today.

Jamaica hosts the first semifinal on April 24 while the second is scheduled at St Lucia the next day. Barbados hosts the final on March 28.

Groups:

Group A (St Kitts & Nevis): Australia, South Africa, Scotland, The Netherlands.

Group B (Trinidad & Tobago): Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Bermuda.

Group C (St. Lucia): New Zealand, England, Kenya, Canada.

Group D (Jamaica): Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland. — UNI

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PCB seeks control of stadiums

Karachi, May 6
Pakistan have already started gearing up for World Cup 2011, urging the government to transfer control of the international stadiums to their cricket board.

After a meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s ad hoc committee at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore yesterday, PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan appealed to the government to transfer control of stadiums at Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, venues for World Cup matches.

“A lot of effort is needed to upgrade the existing infrastructure in terms of increasing capacity in the stadiums besides adding facilities like laying of new pitches and installation of replay screens,” he was quoted as saying in local daily The News.

Shaharyar said it was also decided at the meeting that the ad hoc committee would invite coach Bob Woolmer, Chairman of Selectors Wasim Bari and captain Inzamam-ul Haq to discuss the strategy for the World Cup next year. — PTI

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New Zealand fight to stay in hunt

Johannesburg, May 6
A five-wicket haul by fast bowler Chris Martin and an improved second innings batting performance gave New Zealand a chance to save the series on the second day of the third and final cricket Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium today.

Martin took five for 37 as South Africa were bowled out for 186 in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 119.

New Zealand were 214 for six in their second innings at the close, a lead of 147.

New Zealand need to win the Test to share the series and to keep their fifth place on the International Cricket Council's rankings. If sixth-ranked South Africa win the series, they will swop places with the Kiwis.

New Zealand quickly lost Jamie How at the start of their second innings and were 40 for two when Kallis dismissed Michael Papps in the last over before lunch.

But captain Stephen Fleming (37), Scott Styris (42) and Nathan Astle (45) led a solid batting effort on a pitch which continued to help the bowlers, although playing easier than it had in the morning.

Tomorrow morning could be a key time in the game, with the pitch having given inordinate help to the bowlers on the first two mornings because of dampness on the pitch because of the early starts in the South African autumn.

On the first day, New Zealand started the slide which led to their low total and Saturday it was South Africa's turn to collapse as they lost their last six wickets for 53 runs.

Only a hard-hit 32 not out off 19 balls by Shaun Pollock prevented a complete rout of the South African lower order batting.

The collapse started in the third over of the day when left-armer James Franklin had AB de Villiers caught at second slip for two. Five balls later he trapped Mark Boucher leg before for nought.

Martin struck with the fifth ball of the next over when Ashwell Prince was caught behind for four. He followed up with the wickets of Andrew Hall and Dale Steyn, while Pollock went for his shots, hitting two sixes and three fours.

Pollock and Makhaya Ntini added 25 for the last wicket before Ntini was caught behind off Kyle Mills.

It was Martin's seventh five-wicket haul in Tests.

The South Africans had to work much harder for their wickets in the afternoon but did not help their cause by dropping four catches, although three were difficult. Makhaya Ntini, who took five for 35 in the first innings, saw three chances go down off his bowling.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn took the wickets of Styris and Astle after tea and had figures of three for 62.

Kallis reaches milestone

South Africa’s Jacques Kallis became the second player in the world to score 8,000 runs and take 200 wickets when he dismissed New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming today.

Kallis and former West Indian great Garfield Sobers are the only players to have scored 8000 runs and taken 200 wickets in Tests.

Scoreboard

NZ (1st innings) 119

South Africa (1st innings)

Smith c McCullum b Franklin 63

Dippenaar b Martin 0

Amla c Papps b Styris 56

Kallis b Martin 9

Prince c McCullum b Martin 4

De Villiers c Styris b Franklin 2

Boucher lbw Franklin 0

Pollock not out 32

Hall lbw Martin 5

Steyn b Martin 2

Ntini c McCullum b Mills 8

Extras (nb-5) 5

Total (all out, 44 overs) 186

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-99, 3-131, 4-131, 5-139, 6-139, 7-139, 8-145, 9-161.

Bowling: Martin 15-2-37-5, Franklin 13-2-87-3, Oram 4-0-20-0, Mills 8-0-30-1, Astle 2-0-11-0, Styris 2-1-1-1.

New Zealand (2nd innings)

Papps c Hall b Kallis 15

How lbw Steyn 4

Fleming c De Villiers b Kallis 37

Styris c&b Steyn 42

Astle c Boucher b Steyn 45

Oram not out 19

McCullum c Boucher b Pollock 5

Vettori not out 21

Extras (b-5, lb-16, nb-3, w-2) 26

Total (for 6 wkts, 57.5 overs) 214

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-40, 3-82, 4-158, 5-177, 6-190.

Bowling: Steyn 16-2-62-3, Ntini 13-2-41-0, Kallis 8-1-20-2, Hall 11-1-47-0, Pollock 9.5-3-23-1. — AFP

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Salahuddin passes away

Abu Dhabi, May 6
Cricketer Masud Salahuddin, who passed away at the age of 90 in Lahore, was probably the last link between India’s first Test in 1932 and the present generation.

Salahuddin, who was born in Meerut and lived in Lahore with his wife and son, was an understudy of Mohammed Nisar, a speedster who bowled the first ball for India in Test cricket in 1932.

Salahuddin, who played first class cricket for Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan Railways between 1934-35 and 1958-59, opened the attack with Nisar in a few unofficial ‘Tests’ in the 1930s before World War II terminated his career.

The circumstances of his death have been wrongly reported, said Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, his nephew and a former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO, who was here for the EurAsia Cricket Series.

“It is wrong that he died in a car accident in Lahore on March 21,” Abbasi told IANS.

During the Indian team’s recent tour of Pakistan, when IANS met him at his Lahore residence, he seemed hale and hearty and walked straight. Flipping through his album, he recalled his playing days over a cup of tea on that February morning.

“I was in the reckoning for India’s tour of England in 1936, but eventually Shute Bannerjee was preferred,” he had said. “I was probably faster than Bannerjee, who was more experienced than me.” It was the closest Salahuddin, who opened the bowling and batted at No.6 and 7, had come to playing official Test matches.

When World War II started, Salahuddin was holidaying in India during a break from studying architecture at London’s University College. His mother did not allow him to return to England to complete his five-year course.

During the war years, Salahuddin, who worked with Indian Railways and later with Pakistan Railways after Pakistan’s creation in 1947, was at his peak but could not play as international cricket was put on hold.

“My peak years were lost to the World War,” Salahuddin had rued.

His father Salamuddin Khan was born in Jalandhar and also played first class cricket in India. — IANS

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China clinch Uber Cup

Tokyo, May 6
World No. 1 Zhang Ning spearheaded China to a 3-0 victory over the Netherlands to win their fifth straight and 10th overall Uber Cup team badminton championships today.

Zhang repeated her excellent performance from the Athens Olympics gold medal showdown against Mia Audina Tjiptawan by beating her 21-18, 19-21, 21-18 in the opening match of the best-of-five rubber.

“I’m satisfied with my play in the first two games. I just rushed too much when I was leading 19-16 in the second, I tried to drop the shuttle too much and it often landed in the net,” said Zhang.

“It was the same in the third game after leading 12-2. I rushed too much again and made many errors. I stopped dropping the shuttle and just kept it in the back of the court. It worked very well.”

It was sweet revenge for her loss 12 years ago to Audina, who clinched the final match to secure the 1994 Uber Cup for her native homeland Indonesia.

“I lost to Audina in the Uber Cup when we played for the first time. Since then, we played each other so many times in the world. She’s still a very good player,” said Zhang, 31.

Audina, the Atlanta Olympic silver medallist, was philosophical about her loss. “That’s why I’m still playing,” she said. “Today, it was a question of who has the best day, and she had the best day.”

World champion Xhie Xingfang gave China a 2-0 lead with a 21-17, 21-18 victory over world No. 39 Judith Meulendijks.

Jiang Yanjiao, ranked 14th in the world, sealed China’s defence of the cup, beating Rachel van Cutsen 21-9, 21-7. — AFP

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Badminton to get new scoring format

Tokyo, May 6
Badminton will have a new set of scoring rules intended to shorten matches and broaden its appeal, the game’s governing body announced today, despite objections from some top shuttlers.

The Congress of the International Badminton Federation voted unanimously at their annual meeting in Tokyo to adopt the new format, which will come into effect at the next tournament.

Under the new system, points will be scored by the winner of every rally, not just by a player who wins a point while serving as is the case under the current rules. There will also be no second service in doubles.

In line with these fundamental changes to the game, the IBF agreed that matches would remain best of three for both men and women but would now be the first to 21 points for everyone.

Presently, the men play up to 15 and the ladies to 11.

“It was unanimously adopted and the 21 rally-point system will be used from now on,” IBF vice president Punch Gunalan said.

“It’s permanent (for the) future. The only request we had was not to change it again as soon as possible,” Gunalan said.

The IBF hopes the new system will shorten the duration of the match and make the sport more appealing to the media, in particular television.

“The time of the game is more predictable, not so long as before, that means you can be sure the game is over in 40 minutes, 20 minutes. That’s very important for television coverage,” said Gunalan.

During the Thomas and Uber Cup team championships in Tokyo, some top players expressed strong opposition to the new scoring system.

“I don’t like it. I don’t understand why the IBF always tries to change the rules,” said World and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia.

“Under the new format, there’s not an exciting situation and spectators also do not like it. The game has become monotonous.

“Previously they tried to introduce a seven-point system.

Why can’t they stick to the same rules like tennis? Of course, sponsors and television are important, but they should also think about players,” Hidayat added.

China’s Zhang Ning and Xie Xingfang, the world's top ranked women shuttlers, also criticised the changes during their defence of the Uber Cup.

“The duration of a match in the women’s singles has become longer. Even if you have a weak opponent, it doesn’t become shorter and you need more physical strength. I’m against it,” said world champion Xie.

Athens Olympic gold medallist Zhang agreed, saying, “You have to keep your concentration longer and it’s physically tougher, regardless of your opponent. I feel a match has become longer than before.” The IBF, the world ruling body of the sport, had been experimented with the new scoring system for more than three months before the final vote. — AFP

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Former Olympians flay IHF, IOA

New Delhi, May 6
Former Olympians have jointly flayed the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for not doing anything concrete to perpetuate the memory of sporting heroes of yesteryears like Shankar Laxman, who breathed his last this week.

“Influential people are heading organisations like the IHF and IOA, which also generate a lot of public money. Why are they so indifferent towards legendary players, who brought Olympic medals, and allow them to die unsung and unheralded,” triple Olympian Haripal Kaushik said.

Kaushik, who played in 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics along side Shankar Laxman, was speaking at a condolence meeting for Lazman here yesterday.

“Leave aside organising a condolence meeting, they don’t even bother to send a condolence message to the bereaved family.” Echoing his sentiments, Olympian R S Bhola pleaded, “I request the IHF and the institutions to which the players belong, to do more and evolve a system of recognition of players’ services. Why not a fix a honorium for the family and a condolence meeting for every Olympic medallist? It’s not going to cost much, but only some efforts,” he said.

Another triple Olympian Harbinder Singh urged the public to be more conscious and aware of our own great players.

“The present generation does not know much about us as we are hardly projected in the media,” he lamented.

Ashok Kumar, son of legendary Dhyan Chand, suggested staging of an exhibition match in the name of Shankar Laxman.

“My father liked Shankar Laxman for his commitment and dedication to the game,” Ashok recollected.

Celebrated goalkeeper Shankar Laxman’s life and times were fondly recollected and recounted by some of his Olympian peers at the meeting.

According to Harbinder, Indian Gold at both the 1964 Olympics and 1966 Asian Games were due to Laxman's stellar goalkeeping.

“He was so daring and intimidating that awesome players like Munir Dar of Pakistan could do nothing in those two events.” Shankar Laxman’s Services peer HJS Chimni, former national coach Rajinder Singh Sr, IHF Treasurer J N Thyagi, Indian Army’s Mission Olympics in-charge Col RK Sharma, many media personalities, a 40-strong Maratha Light Infantry jawans, sports administrators and Hockey Training Centre players were present in large number on the occasion.

Before the condolence meeting commenced, all the dignitaries assembled near the Dhyan Chand statue at the National Stadium, garlanded Shankar Laxman’s portrait and observed a minute’s silence. — PTI

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Clijsters to play Kuznetsova in final

Warsaw, May 6
Kim Clijsters reached her second final of the season today when she defeated Russian third seed Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-4 at the Warsaw Cup.

The top seeded Belgian, who was beaten by Amelie Mauresmo in February’s Antwerp final, improved her winning record against Dementieva to 10 victories in 13 meetings.

Her opponent in tomorrow’s final will be fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who swept aside fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze 6-1, 6-1. — Reuters

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Army XI win hockey title

Solan, May 6
Army XI lifted the 13th Indian Oil Himgold Cup Hockey Tournament today by defeating Sikh Regimental Centre 2-0.

The Army team dominated the game and procured an early lead in the 20th minute when its centre forward Ignace Tirkey sounded the board. Another field goal by right forward S. Munda won the second goal for the team in the 42nd minute.

Himachal Forest Minister Ram Lal, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away the prizes. — OC

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Graphic: Gaurav Sood; Compiled by Pankaj Vasudeva

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 BRIEFLY

Henry is player of the year
London:
Arsenal captain Thierry Henry has been named player of the year by English Premiership sponsors.
Henry is the leading scorer in English football’s top flight with 24 goals and has scored two or more goals on eight occasions in the league this season. — AFP

Selection trials
CHANDIGARH:
Selection trials for induction in the day-boarding as well as in regular scheme of STC for the year 2006-2007 will be held from May 11-12, at Sports Authority of India Training Centre, Sector 18-C, Chandigarh, in the sports disciplines of athletics, basketball, hockey and volleyball.
Girls in the age group of 14-18 can participate in the trials. The registration process will start at 8 am on May 11. — TNS

Handball trials
Ludhiana:
Trials to select the Punjab handball team (sub-junior boys) will be conducted at the Government Model Senior Secondary School ground, PAU campus, here, on May 7 at 10 am, according to Mr S. S. Channy, President, Punjab Handball Association.
Players born on or after January 1, 1991, are eligible for the trials. Interested boys should report to Mr Balkar Singh Brar, general secretary, PHA, or Mr Harinder Sharma, coach, at the venue on time. — OSR

New HOA chief
Hisar:
The Congress MP from Kurukshetra, Mr Naveen Jindal, who has been unanimously elected chairman of the Haryana Olympic Association (HOA), has stated that his top priority would be to put the country on the number one pedestal in the international sports arena.
Naveen, who is a national shooting champion, captain of a national-level polo team and vice-chairman of the All-India Cycling Association, has represented the country at various international championships. It is for the first time in the history of the HOA that an international sportsman has been elected its chairman. — TNS
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