SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Pathan may be dropped
Jaipur, October 14
Irfan Pathan might end up warming the bench once again as India looked to field a two-pronged spin attack against England in their opening match of the Champions Trophy here tomorrow.
In video (56k)

Rahul Dravid (left) and Virender Sehwag take part in a practice session at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday. India take on England in their first Champions Trophy match on Sunday. — PTI photo
Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag take part in a practice session at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday. India take on England in their first Champions Trophy match on Sunday.

David Gower India favourites against England
On the face of it, the first big clash of the group stage of the Champions Trophy would appear to be tilted very much in favour of hosts India. It is only six months since India were wiping the floor with England in the seven-match one-day series that followed the drawn Test series.                David Gower






Sri Lanka’s Farveez Maharoof successfully appeals for the lbw dismissal of West Indies captain Brian Lara during the Champions Trophy qualifying match in Mumbai on Saturday. Lanka maul Windies
Mumbai, October 14
Seamer Farveez Maharoof picked a career-best 6 for 14 as Sri Lanka thrashed title holders West Indies by nine wickets to finish on top of the four-team qualifying in the ICC Champions Trophy here today. The Lankans shot out the West Indies on a wicket that afforded help to the seam bowlers but had not devil in it for 80 in 30.4 overs, the tournament’s lowest score so far and the third-lowest score in the event’s short history.

Sri Lanka’s Farveez Maharoof successfully appeals for the lbw dismissal of West Indies captain Brian Lara during the Champions Trophy qualifying match in Mumbai on Saturday. — Reuters photo

ICC has understood our concerns, says Modi
Jaipur, October 14
Singing a conciliatory tune, BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi today said discussions on the vexed MPA were on with the International Cricket Council who he claimed had “understood” the board’s concerns.

Bindra decries ICC’s ‘hypocrisy’
Mohali, October 14
Taking serious note of the double standards adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) while dealing with players from the subcontinent and those from other countries, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president I.S. Bindra called the supreme cricketing body a “hypocrite”.

Haq told not to visit India
Karachi, October 14
The new regime in the Pakistan Cricket Board has denied Inzamam-ul Haq the permission to visit India and commentate on television during the Champions Trophy in line with its policy to keep tight control on the players.

SGPC lauds Panesar
New Delhi, October 14
In the midst of its row with cricketer Harbhajan Singh for featuring in a liquor advertisement, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has described England’s spin bowling hero Monty Panesar as a “true” Sikh sports icon.

Punjab crush J&K
Patiala, October 14
Punjab thrashed Jammu and Kashmir by an innings and 128 runs on the second day of the three-day match of the Inter-State Under-22 Cricket Tournament at the Dhruv Pandove Stadium here today.

Purav, Isha win tennis titles
New Delhi, October 14
Seventh-seeded Purav Raja of Maharashtra won a battle of attrition against fourth-seeded Vishnu Vardhan of Andhra Pradesh, lasting six minutes shy of four hours, to record a 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-3 victory and annex the men’s singles title of the DSCL Open National Tennis Championship at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association deco-turf court here today.

Punjab defeat Goa 2-0
Gurgaon, October 14
Former champions Punjab outplayed holders Goa 2-0 in a quarterfinal league match of the Santosh Trophy here tonight. Sukhjinder Singh (44th minute) and Manjit Singh (79th) were the scorers. Punjab thus avenged their loss to Goa in the semifinals last year.

Jeev tied 14th
Kawagoe, October 14
Jeev Milkha Singh’s title hopes suffered a blow as he carded a poor three-over 74 to drop to the tied 14th spot after the penultimate round of the Japan Open here today.


Top


 

 

 



Pathan may be dropped
K. Kumaraswamy

Jaipur, October 14
Irfan Pathan might end up warming the bench once again as India looked to field a two-pronged spin attack against England in their opening match of the Champions Trophy here tomorrow.

Captain Rahul Dravid said the team would give weight to India’s past record against the visitors and the conditions before finalising the playing eleven but playing two spinners was an option they were looking at.

“The idea will be to pick the best team that can win against England and that can play well in these conditions. We will look at playing two spinners,” Dravid said on the eve of the day-night encounter at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.

“The spinners have generally done well in the past and that will come under serious consideration.”

Pathan, who has been struggling for form with the ball in recent times, was dropped from the Test team on the tour of the West Indies in May-July and from the one-day team during the tri-series in Malaysia last month. In a warm-up game here, Pathan was carted for 83 runs in 10 overs.

Dravid also said the batting combinations tried out in the warm-up game were no indication of what was to come in the matches ahead.

“What happens with players like Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is they play at No. 5, 6 and 7, and sometimes they go without getting enough batting. We wanted to give them an opportunity to bat in match conditions,” he said.

He said the team was not unduly worried about the “shaky start” it has had to the season and was confident about being a “force to reckon with” in the Champions Trophy.

India go into their opening match against England on the back of a flop show in a tri-series in Malaysia where their batting failed to stand up to the pace test of the West Indies and Australia.

The team suffered two defeats to go out of the tournament, and stretching back to the 1-4 defeat in the Caribbean, Dravid’s men have lost six of the last nine one-dayers, out of which one was a no-result.

He denied that England, who haven’t been a great one-day side, would be a “soft” target.

Dravid said he was “disappointed” at the 11-day break forced on the team between the first and second matches.

“Even the last time, we played Kenya and then, after a long gap, against Pakistan. The scheduling is done keeping in mind that we play the first game and then the last game, and we end up with a 11-day break,” he said.

Flintoff to bat at number three

Big-hitting England captain Andrew Flintoff today declared that he would bat at number 3 in tomorrow’s match.

Flintoff sounded confident about the middle order holding itself in his absence.

“We have the batting strength. With all-rounders Jamie Dalrymple and Michael Yardy coming in, the middle overs can be better used. It is an opportunity for me to step up at No. 3,” he said. — PTI

Top


India favourites against England

On the face of it, the first big clash of the group stage of the Champions Trophy would appear to be tilted very much in favour of hosts India. It is only six months since India were wiping the floor with England in the seven-match one-day series that followed the drawn Test series. The one match that England won came only when India already had an unassailable lead in the series and the pressure, if not the April heat, was very much off.

There were weaknesses then in England’s one-day cricket and there are weaknesses now. Only towards the end of the English summer did the team start to play more effectively in the one-day game and its two wins to tie the series against Pakistan will have started the process of restoring some self-belief to a team that has really struggled to get results in ODIs.

It is high time to start afresh for England. The leadership debate has been settled with Flintoff now the man in charge. For the selectors, it was one of those tricky but pleasant decisions to make — tricky in that both Flintoff and Strauss had much to recommend them but pleasant in the sense that whichever way that decision went the job would be in good hands. Flintoff is a mighty character and would influence this team hugely whether captain or not but in the short term it will be frustrating for him that he is still obliged to be very cautious with his ankle and thus not at full all-round capacity.

It also means that England will be forced to continue experimenting with the eleven. They will miss Trescothick at the top of the order and it will be interesting to see who walks out to open. Although it was the resurgent Ian Bell who opened in the practice match on Thursday, there has been speculation that maybe Flintoff himself will fancy the chance to make the most of the power-play overs, and one can easily see the temptation to go with such a ploy in Jaipur where it seems the pitch plays at its best in the early overs of the innings.

It would raise the question about England’s longer term plans because I would be looking to try and keep everyone in the place in the line up that they would expect to occupy in the World Cup next year, simply because I feel that one of the problems for England has been the way that players have been up and down the order, not knowing from one week to the next which position they will be in. There is much to be said for stability but of course there is even more to be said for winning strategies and if in the process England discover a way of making more than they have been of the first 20 overs of the innings, then it might also be a plan they could take to Australia and the World Cup.

For India, home advantage and a wealth of talent ideally suited to the one-day game mean that they can expect to get off to a good start and though, of course, there will be the weight of expectation to be borne, expectation that as ever brings pressure. A tricky time in Malaysia recently means that confidence will not be at a peak until the side starts winning again consistently.

The major plus for India is the return to form in Malaysia of Sachin Tendulkar. It was fascinating to watch the reaction in India earlier in the year to his loss of form and far from edifying to see how many former fans were predicting the end of the road for him. Well, the best way to silence the critics is to get back to scoring runs, which is what he managed to do very confidently by all accounts in Kuala Lumpur. This will be a big tournament for him, in which he will most certainly want to carry on convincing the doubters that there are still many more runs to come from his bat in international cricket. Success in this competition will be good for him and India. — PMG

Top

 

Lanka maul Windies
S.S. Ramaswamy

Mumbai, October 14
Seamer Farveez Maharoof picked a career-best 6 for 14 as Sri Lanka thrashed title holders West Indies by nine wickets to finish on top of the four-team qualifying in the ICC Champions Trophy here today.

The Lankans shot out the West Indies on a wicket that afforded help to the seam bowlers but had not devil in it for 80 in 30.4 overs, the tournament’s lowest score so far and the third-lowest score in the event’s short history.

Sanath Jayasuriya (45 not out) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (34 not out) rattled off 83 for one in just 13.2 overs to win the match and take their team to the relatively easier Group B which has New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.

West Indies, on the other hand, find themselves in Group A which boasts of such teams as Australia, India and England.

Maharoof wrecked the West Indian innings with his devastating spell. He picked the prized wicket of Brian Lara as also the rest five wickets in nine overs on the trot after the Caribbean islanders had opted to bat first on winning the toss. The 22-year-old bowler was declared the man of the match.

Scoreboard

West Indies

Gayle c Sangakkara b Vaas 0

Chanderpaul c Sangakkara b Malinga 8

Sarwan lbw Vaas 0

Lara lbw Maharoof 13

Hinds c Jayasuriya b Maharoof 28

Bravo lbw Maharoof 0

Samuels b Maharoof 1

Smith c Muralitharan b Maharoof 0

Baugh lbw Maharoof 1

Edwards b Malinga 4

Collymore not out 8

Extras (lb-5, nb-10, w-2) 17

Total (all out, 30.4 overs) 80

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-12, 3-13, 4-51, 5-55, 6-58, 7-58, 8-64, 9-67.

Bowling: Vaas 6-2-6-2, Malinga 5.4-0-26-2, Fernando 5-0-15-0, Maharoof 9-2-14-6, Muralitharan 5-0-14-0.

Sri Lanka

Tharanga b Edwards 0

Jayasuriya not out 45

Jayawardene not out 34

Extras (nb-3, w-1) 4

Total (1 wkt, 13.2 overs) 83

Fall of wicket: 1-0.

Bowling: Edwards 4-0-17-1, Collymore 5-0-21-0, Smith 3-0-29-0, Samuels 1.2-0-16-0. — PTI

Top

 

ICC has understood our concerns, says Modi

Jaipur, October 14
Singing a conciliatory tune, BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi today said discussions on the vexed MPA were on with the International Cricket Council who he claimed had “understood” the board’s concerns.

Modi also said the board will use ICC CEO Malcolm Speed’s visit to the country to thrash out all outstanding issues.

Asked about his reported comments on a website that India would pull out of Champions Trophy if BCCI’s demands were not met, Modi said he had been quoted out of context.

“The reporter asked me: “What is the worst to worst case scenario? What would happen if you don’t sign the agreement?” I said, “You can see that we can’t play,” Modi told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Modi said he did not think things would go to that extent. “It is not going to go to that extent. Already the discussions are on and they (the ICC) have understood our concerns,” Modi, also the BCCI marketing sub-committee chairman, said.

The report had quoted Modi as saying, “we don’t have to play all tournaments. If things don’t work out, we could choose not to play in the Champions Trophy and the World Cup.”

Modi, however, said the issues on hand demanded immediate attention. “This is a critical issue for the BCCI. It is not just about one or two matches. It is a matter of next eight years. Naturally, we are apprehensive about signing it (MPA),” he said.

Modi said he was looking forward to meeting Speed, who is coming here tomorrow to watch the India-England Champions Trophy tie. — PTI

Top

 

Bindra decries ICC’s ‘hypocrisy’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 14
Taking serious note of the double standards adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) while dealing with players from the subcontinent and those from other countries, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president I.S. Bindra called the supreme cricketing body a “hypocrite”.

On the ICC’s concerns over the issue of former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Mr Bindra backed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on its stand of inviting the banned captain to attend its November 4 function at Mumbai. Azhar is undergoing life ban for match-fixing.

“It is totally an internal issue of the BCCI and we are inviting all former captains on the unveiling of new headquarter at Mumbai,” said Mr Bindra, addressing mediapersons at the PCA Stadium here today.

Mr Bindra compared the ICC’s attitude with that of the East India Company. He also accused the ICC of singling out players from the subcontinent. “When other countries have swept the issue of match-fixing under the carpet, then why they are targeting the players of India and Pakistan,” he asked.

Quoting the examples of Australia’s Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs, in whose cases the ICC took a lenient view, Mr Bindra said the BCCI should revoke the punitive against the Indian players facing ban for the match-fixing scandals. But he hastened to add that he was not encouraging match-fixing.

On the vexed issue of signing of the host-venue agreement with the ICC, Mr Bindra said, “It would only be signed on our conditions. We are ready to quit and the ICC is free to hold the Champions Trophy matches on other venues if they do not agree with our conditions.”

For the next match here on October 25 between Pakistan and New Zealand, Mr Bindra said the association has reserved around 4,000 seats for guests from Pakistan. “It is the government which will decide the number of guests for issuing visas. After that, the Pakistan Cricket Board will be roped in to set up a counter at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, for the sale of tickets,” said Mr Bindra.

On the issue of Harbhajan Singh appearing in a liquor advertisement with his hair open, Mr Bindra said the matter involved Harbhajan and the SGPC, adding that he had no moral right to comment as he (Bindra) was also a Sikh with his hair cut.

Top

 

Haq told not to visit India

Karachi, October 14
The new regime in the Pakistan Cricket Board has denied Inzamam-ul Haq the permission to visit India and commentate on television during the Champions Trophy in line with its policy to keep tight control on the players.

Even as Inzamam was packing his bags to leave for India, he was told that it was not the best time for him to visit India.

PCB’s concerns are primarily twofold. At a time when Pakistan cricket is shrouded in controversies, the PCB thinks any ill-judged comment by Inzamam could add fuel to the fire.

Also, Inzamam was to return home only on November 7 and just four days later Pakistan are due to meet West Indies in the first Test in Lahore. — PTI

Top

 

SGPC lauds Panesar

New Delhi, October 14
In the midst of its row with cricketer Harbhajan Singh for featuring in a liquor advertisement, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has described England’s spin bowling hero Monty Panesar as a “true” Sikh sports icon.

“We want to honour Panesar. We have tried to contact him also but he has not been available. In our view, he is the true Sikh sports icon,” SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar told PTI on the sidelines of a religious event here last evening.

Born in Luton, Madhusuden Singh Panesar, known as Monty, became the first Sikh to play for England.

Rapidly vanishing turbans and sporting of trimmed beards in Punjab, the heartland of the Sikh faith, have sparked concerns among community elders about what they see as a mounting crisis regarding the religion’s distinct identity.

Panesar is one of the few Sikh sportsmen who do not trim beard and hair.

Notwithstanding Harbhajan’s apology for featuring in an advertisement with his hair open, an act seen as a disgrace in the faith, Makkar said he was disappointed that the cricketer had not quit as a model for a liquor brand.

“He called himself a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh, but he has not yet quit the liquor advertisement. He has appeared again in it, this time wearing a patka,” the SGPC chief said. — PTI

Top

 

Punjab crush J&K

Patiala, October 14
Punjab thrashed Jammu and Kashmir by an innings and 128 runs on the second day of the three-day match of the Inter-State Under-22 Cricket Tournament at the Dhruv Pandove Stadium here today.

Punjab resumed their innings at 167 for three. The overnight not-out batsmen, Gaurav Gupta and Uday Kaul, sent the J&K bowlers on a leather hunt.

While Gaurav scored a breezy 170 in 224 balls, studded with 25 fours, Uday scored a painstaking 100 in 154 balls. Punjab declared their innings at 398 for four.

In their second innings, J&K were shot out for 132. Of the J&K batsmen, only U Bashir stood like a rock, scoring 60 runs. Hardevinder Singh took four for 43, while Ankur Jund captured 3 wickets, giving away 14 runs. — UNI

Top

 

Purav, Isha win tennis titles
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, October 14
Seventh-seeded Purav Raja of Maharashtra won a battle of attrition against fourth-seeded Vishnu Vardhan of Andhra Pradesh, lasting six minutes shy of four hours, to record a 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-3 victory and annex the men’s singles title of the DSCL Open National Tennis Championship at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association deco-turf court here today.

Purav thus completed a grand double as he had also won the doubles title in the company of his mentor and coach Sandeep Kirtane. In fact, Maharashtra swept all titles except the boys under-18 crown.

Purav, who seems to have made it a habit to pick up the threads after conceding some ground to his rival, did not alter the script in the final either as he woke up only after losing the first set rather tamely and trading breaks in the second set. The second set was stretched to the tie-breaker where Purav triumphed with a steady serve and some solid winners. He executed some amazing down-the-line and cross-court winners which unsettled Vishnu.

Top-seeded Isha Lakhani, also of Maharashtra, too hit back strongly after losing the first set to conquer second-seeded Sandhya Nagraj 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 55 minutes to retain the women’s singles title.

Like Purav, Isha also went home with a double crown as she had earlier annexed the doubles title in the company of Sandhya Nagraj.

Seventh-seeded Krya Shroff of Maharashtra outgunned Kelsey Sunderam of Tamil Nadu 7-5, 6-4 to bag the girls under-18 title. Unseeded Sriram Balaji of Tamil Nadu broke the Maharashtra monopoly when he defeated state-mate Fariz Mohammad 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 to clinch the boys under-18 title.

Top

 

Punjab defeat Goa 2-0

Gurgaon, October 14
Former champions Punjab outplayed holders Goa 2-0 in a quarterfinal league match of the Santosh Trophy here tonight. Sukhjinder Singh (44th minute) and Manjit Singh (79th) were the scorers. Punjab thus avenged their loss to Goa in the semifinals last year.

In a fast-paced encounter, Punjab dominated throughout the match with India striker Manjit Singh and Praveen Kumar giving an outstanding performance upfront and making dangerous moves in the rival citadel. Punjab in fact could have won by a bigger margin had they not wasted a couple of golden chances.

On the other hand, Goa, who have several players from the last edition of the tournament, got a single chance in the entire match as their midfielders were overshadowed by their Punjab counterparts.

Punjab took the lead just before the breather when Hardeep Singh Saini’s long free kick from the right was powerfully headed home by Sukhjinder who outjumped rival defenders.

Punjab dominated the second half as well. They increased the lead through Manjit, who found himself unmarked in the box, and fed by a Jaswinder Singh pass, he slotted it home to make it 2-0.

Goa got the only chance in the 84th minute but Peter Cardalho, latching on to a Sameer Naik pass, rounded off the goalkeeper but failed to regain position to take a shot as rival defenders cleared the ball.

Bengal scrape past Haryana

An early goal by Dipendu Biswas was enough for a largely unimpressive Bengal to collect three points from their quarterfinal league opener against Haryana here today.

Bengal had the perfect start with Dipendu putting them ahead in the second minute. Receiving a throw-in from the right flank, he found himself in space before unleashing a powerful grounder which beat Navjot in the Haryana goal. — UNI, PTI

Top

 

Jeev tied 14th

Kawagoe, October 14
Jeev Milkha Singh’s title hopes suffered a blow as he carded a poor three-over 74 to drop to the tied 14th spot after the penultimate round of the Japan Open here today.

The dismal show, which pushed him out of the top 10, left the seasoned Indian pro with a three-day total of two-under 211, five shots adrift of leader Paul Sheehan (68).

Jeev, who was at the tied second spot on Friday, stumbled to a bogey and a double bogey on the fifth and sixth to make the turn at even-par. — UNI

Top

 

150 take part in roller skating meet

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 14
The 6th District Roller Skating Championship was held at Saffron City School, Kotla Bajwara, today. Mr Amrinder Singh, president of the District Roller Skating Association, inaugurated the championship.

More than 150 students from different schools participated in the events — rink race1, rink race 2 and hockey matches for sub-junior, junior and senior (both boys and girls). — OC

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |