Former cricketers back Sachin
Ganguly’s e-mail causes flutter
Indian colts win cliffhanger, beat England by 1 wicket
Chopra, Atwal make cut
PCA to develop
Former cricketers back Sachin
New Delhi, July 22
However, while the majority of the former players threw their weight behind Tendulkar, former India opener Chetan Chauhan said star players should be able to take criticism in their stride.
Manjrekar had written in a column recently that Tendulkar should play even if he was not 100 per cent fit since he brought in a lot of experience to the side, and that the timings of his injuries were dubious.
Former wicketkeeper and Selection Committee Chairman Syed Kirmani said it was unfair to make comments without ascertaining the facts.
“Be it senior cricketers or commentators, it is wrong on their part to write without going into the fact of the matter.
“It is unfair that people write columns on assumptions and presumptions. If one knows for fact that Sachin faked injuries, he can write with authority. Without knowing the reality, one should not express his opinion or views to the extent of hurting one’s feelings,” he said.
Former coach and all-rounder Madan Lal said Tendulkar is criticised either way.
“It is sad that Tendulkar is criticised if he does not play when he is injured and also when he plays with an injury,” he said.
“Manjrekar’s comments are not in good taste. It is not the right thing to say about a player just before a series.
Sachin is such a big player, he is the best judge of his injuries. You do get hurt by such comments, after all Sachin is also human,” Lal said.
Tendulkar, on his part, has already expressed “surprise” over the comments.
“I don’t want to comment much but I feel sorry that an ex-India player has made statements without checking the facts and without talking to the people concerned. I also find it surprising that he has made the statements without being in the dressing room and knowing the true situation,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by a newspaper.
Chauhan, however, said Manjrekar was free to give his opinion on the matter.
“There is nothing wrong with his comments. He is a former player and a commentator and follows cricket closely. Everyone cannot be a sycophant and praise you always. Former players have to give the correct picture. If players commit mistakes, one should point out.
“Although my opinion is different — Tendulkar is a great player, there is nothing wrong with Manjrekar’s opinion.
“If a player is failing to perform, it has to be written about. He has to make way for someone who is performing because it is the team which should come first and not individuals.”
Former spinner and ICC umpire S Venkataraghavan was of the view that current players needed encouragement above anything else.
“It is a grave mistake by Manjrekar. We all know Tendulkar’s passion for cricket and I have no doubt in my mind that Sachin would never purposely avoid tours. It is a far-fetched suggestion.” Former off-spinner Shivlal Yadav termed the comments as nothing but a publicity seeking stunt by Manjrekar.
“No past cricketer or commentator should venture into writing on things happening in the dressing room or on fitness of senior players like Tendulkar.
“Manjrekar might have written that article only to attract publicity. There is no way Tendulkar would fake injuries for fear of failure. I was there with him for three months as manager during the Australian tour and I know for sure that Sachin gives more than 100 per cent.
“It is a great honour for our country that a player of Sachin’s calibre and commitment is playing the game. Sachin is also a human being and not a machine, which also needs a break for service. Sachin also requires a break and a man of his stature should not be talked about,” Yadav said.
Former selector Pranab Roy vouched for Tendulkar’s commitment.
“During my stint with the selection committee, I never found Sachin Tendulkar wanting in commitment. I do not agree with Manjerkar. No one should raise such questions about a great player like Tendulkar.” Another former selector Sambran Banerjee said: “I think this is not at all a valid point. It is a very bad comment. Sachin is beyond such things.” — PTI
Kolkata, July 22
While some quarters construed it as Ganguly’s effort to make it to the good book of the current BCCI regime, the language of the e-mail raised questions about who actually drafted the mail.
Ganguly, known for his straight talk, opted for the most indirect manner by sending an e-mail to his brother Snehashis just before the CAB election, which pits Mr Dalmiya against the state government backed city police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee.
This comes at a time when Mr Dalmiya is waging a grim war against the present BCCI top brass and the city businessman doesn’t have the state government’s support either.
Though Sports Minister Subhash Chakraborty was entrusted by Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee with the job of dissuading Mr Dalmiya to opt out of the election, the effort fell flat on its face and Mr Chakraborty, a long time Dalmiya ally, admitted his failure in the mission.
Mr Dalmiya, meanwhile, was curt in his reaction to Ganguly’s mail. “I’m no longer in power in the BCCI. Since I have nothing to give, I no longer expect loyalty,” he remarked.
Some have also questioned whether Ganguly himself drafted the e-mail or not. The language of the mail, dotted with casual errors like “heavy punished” raised doubts for the southpaw is known to be precise and correct with his language.
His brother Snehashis, however, confirmed Ganguly himself wrote it and top cop Prasun Banerjee disclosed it to the media.
Though Mr Dalmiya seems to have gone ahead ignoring the wish of the Chief Minister, it seems that the CAB President has the number. — UNI
London, July 22
Kumble, here to play for Surrey until the end of the season, says selectors have promised to consider his selection for “the bigger tournaments”.
‘I’ve been told that I’m still in the scheme of things for the bigger tournaments. So I haven’t ruled out the World Cup,” said the 35-year-old who was ignored earlier this week for India’s tri-series in Sri Lanka next month.
Kumble said he was indeed disappointed when he was left out of the squad for 2003 World Cup but gradually he took it in his stride.
“Being left out of the one-day squad did upset me after the 2003 World Cup and it affected my performance but I decided not to worry about it.
“I need to get some one-day games under my belt and hopefully I will get some opportunities with Surrey,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport today.
Kumble also said he was delighted to see Sachin Tendulkar come back to the side after missing action for four months due to a shoulder injury.
“It is good for India and for cricket to have Sachin back. He has had more than his fair share of injuries but he has coped with them all really well so he is bound to come back stronger for it.
“With his batting and overall skills and as a mentor for the younger lads, he brings so much to the team. Opposition teams still fear him and that obviously helps.” — PTI
London, July 22
Sumanath was unbeaten on 97 as India, needing four runs from last over, chased the victory target of 231 runs with just two balls to spare at the Sophia Garden yesterday.
Earlier, Abu Ahmed (7), who faced only two balls in the middle, turned the match in India’s favour with a six when 11 was needed from 12 balls.
Indians had a disappointing beginning as they lost first two wickets within the space of eight runs to leave the team struggling at 17 for two but opener Parvez Aziz made a breezy 34 from 29 balls and Virat Kohli hung on to contribute a patient 41.
For England, Stephen Finn, who failed to contain the Indians in the last over, was otherwise most successful bowler for the hosts with four for 47 in his 8.4 overs.
The hosts, electing to bat, were able to put on board a challenging total only after their batsmen scored 90 runs in their last 10 overs when Ben Wright and Steven Mullaney added 63 runs in 49 balls to push England to 230 for 7.
Wright made an unbeaten 68 from as many deliveries while Mullaney score 33 off 23 balls, aided by three sixes.
Sumanath was awarded players-of-the-match award.
The two teams will now play two-match Test series beginning next week. — PTI
Mason (Ohio), July 22
The ninth seed Indian, who was playing her first quarterfinal of the season, made Schnyder to toil for the 6-7 (7/9), 5-7 victory in the tie which was interrupted twice.
The 19-year-old Sania will now concentrate on her doubles semifinals, where she is partnering Poland’s Marta Domachowska, as the third seeds at the Tier III event.
Schnyder, who is yet to lose a set in the tournament, will be up against fourth seed Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in the semifinal en route to winning her 10th title.
Srebotnik overwhelmed sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 6-1, to reach her first semi-final of the year.
Schnyder has won both previous meetings between the two, including one at Miami earlier this year.
In the other last eight stage match, Serena Williams advanced to semifinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow American Amy Frazier. — PTI
Masterly display by Woods
Hoylake, July 22
Playing some sensational golf, Woods strode the links course at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake with a stunning course record equaling seven-under par 65 to go into sole lead at 12-under 132 after two rounds at the 135th edition of the British Open.
But not allowing him to get too far away was the smiling and easy-looking Ernie Els, who has had a tough time in the past 12 months.
A champion at this event, Els, playing tentatively since his return from a knee injury in a freakish boat accident late last year, showed the form which once made him the strongest challenger to Woods.
He matched Woods’ 65 and was a mere one shot behind, setting up a mouth-watering lead two-ball for the third round.
Daly as usual was the most dramatic. After an eagle on 16th, the American shot an eight on the 18th to miss the cut by two.
Also going out were Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and David Howell.
With the cut coming at one-under, the lowest at the Open since St Andrews in 1990, 71 players made the weekend rounds.
Woods and later Els were not the only ones to crack seven-under 65, as earlier in the morning, Chris DiMarco set the bar with the same score.
DiMarco, nine-under for two rounds by the end of the day was third behind Woods and Els.
Retief Goosen also indicated that he was in the fight with a 66 that saw him at eight-under for 36 holes and in fourth place.
Behind the leading lot was a trio of Mikko Ilonen (69), Adam Scott (69) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (70) at seven-under and in tied fifth.
The little-known name in the mix was Robert Rock (69) at six-under in sole eighth place.
There were 13 players, including Asia’s best hope and debutant at the Open Thaworn Wiratchant (68), charismatic Sergio Garcia (71) and first-round leader Graeme McDowell (73) at five-under.
Kapur misses cut
A late fight did not prove enough as India’s Shiv Kapur missed the cut in his first Major at the British Open golf tournament after carding one-over 73 in the second round at the Royal Liverpool course here.
Kapur missed the halfway cut by two strokes despite a courageous attempt, which saw him birdie two of his closing three holes.
“It was so near and yet so far,” said Kapur after his bid to make the cut ended in disappointment despite a superb birdie on the last hole yesterday.
Standing on the last tee, Kapur realised he needed to eagle the 18th to have any chance of staying on for the weekend at the British Open.
He hit a brilliant second shot, a three wood from 260 yards and came within 18 feet of the pin. And then the putt, a near-perfect one stopped inches short leaving him only a tap-in for a birdie which was not enough.
“This is a game of inches and I learnt it the hard way today,” he said. “I’m just learning and I’m basically a baby in the world of golf. I was trying my heart out. When you’re in a Major, you’re giving 150 per cent. I grinded on every single shot,” Kapur said, trying to shrug aside the disappointment.
The cut was the lowest since one-under at St. Andrews in 1990 and since that the cutline has always been even or over par.
Kapur found him on the wayside along with some big names like Vijay Singh (70, 76), Colin Montgomerie (73, 75), John Daly (72, 73), Stuart Appleby (74, 72), KJ Choi (72, 74) and legends Nick Faldo (77, 71) and Seve Ballesteros (74, 77).
Kapur, the winner of Volvo Masters of Asia and Rookie of the Year on Asian Tour in 2005, was candid enough to admit that he had left himself too much to do towards the end. “I thought it (cut) would be even par or one-under but, I blew my chances with those bogeys at 14 and 15,” he said. — PTI
Chopra, Atwal make cut
New York, July 22 The lead was shared by three players — Gabriel Hjertstedt (67), Scott Gump (67) and Daisuke Maruyama (67), who shot 67 each on both days and are at 10-under for two rounds. Hjertstedt won the title nine years ago and he could well repeat it this year. Chopra had birdies on the first, third and 12th and bogeys on the 11th and 18th holes while Atwal had birdies on the ninth and 10th and bogeys on fourth and 16th but once again faced problems with his putting and needed 33 of them. Chopra too needed 30 putts.
New York, July 22
The lead was shared by three players — Gabriel Hjertstedt (67), Scott Gump (67) and Daisuke Maruyama (67), who shot 67 each on both days and are at 10-under for two rounds. Hjertstedt won the title nine years ago and he could well repeat it this year.
Chopra had birdies on the first, third and 12th and bogeys on the 11th and 18th holes while Atwal had birdies on the ninth and 10th and bogeys on fourth and 16th but once again faced problems with his putting and needed 33 of them. Chopra too needed 30 putts. — PTI
PCA to develop
cricket ground Ropar, July 22 Mr Reddy was here to give away prizes to members of the cricket team here, which won the Minor Inter-District Senior Katoch Trophy organised by the
PCA. Besides Mr Reddy, the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, and the vice-president of the cricket association, Dr R.S.
Parmar, gave away prizes to the team members. On this occasion, the secretary of the district cricket association, Mr Sandeep
Budhiraja, said in the last four tournaments organised by the PCA, the cricket team of Ropar remained winners in the three.
Ropar, July 22
Mr Reddy was here to give away prizes to members of the cricket team here, which won the Minor Inter-District Senior Katoch Trophy organised by the PCA. Besides Mr Reddy, the SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, and the vice-president of the cricket association, Dr R.S. Parmar, gave away prizes to the team members.
On this occasion, the secretary of the district cricket association, Mr Sandeep Budhiraja, said in the last four tournaments organised by the PCA, the cricket team of Ropar remained winners in the three.
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