SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Pawar springs to Greg’s defence
Coach’s effigy burnt; Kaif’s house vandalised

New Delhi, November 27
BCCI President Sharad Pawar today came out in strong support of Greg Chappell in the ongoing controversy triggered by the coach’s remarks on Parliamentarians and accused television channels of “instigating” MPs.

Indian cricket fans burn an effigy of coach Greg Chappell in Kolkata on Monday.
Indian cricket fans burn an effigy of coach Greg Chappell in Kolkata on Monday. — PTI photo

Laxman to replace injured Dravid
VVS Laxman
Sehwag to lead in last two ODIs 
Cape Town, November 27
India’s disastrous tour of South Africa took a nightmarish turn today with skipper and batting mainstay Rahul Dravid being ruled out of the remainder of the one-day series with a finger injury. VVS Laxman will replace Dravid for the last two ODIs.

VVS Laxman


 

EARLIER STORIES




Indians lack killer instinct
A battering innings from Justin Kemp put India out of the second one-dayer and gave South Africa a lead which cannot be beaten. Kemp came in to bat with South Africa reeling, but by the time the innings ended it was the Indian team that was trying to recover from the onslaught that had derailed their ambitions to level the series.

India can still turn things around
India is in deep trouble. They did too many things wrong in the Newlands: batting, bowling or fielding.

Australia complete formalities
Brisbane, November 27
Australia polished off England’s lower order to wrap up an emphatic 277-run victory in the first Ashes Test today and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. England lost their last five wickets for just 77 runs to be all out for 370 half an hour before lunch on the fifth day after resuming on 293 for five.

Yousuf’s run feast continues
Karachi, November 27
Mohammad Yousuf set a batting record with his eighth hundred of 2006 but the West Indies restricted Pakistan to 257 for seven at close of play on the first day of the third and final Test here today. Pakistan lost four wickets for 83 in the last session, including that of Yousuf, who made 102, his 22nd Test hundred. Yousuf broke the old record of seven hundreds in a calendar year jointly held by West Indian Vivian Richards and Sri Lankan Aravinda de Silva.



Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf raises his bat after scoring a century on the first day of the third Test against the West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday. — AFP photo
Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf raises his bat after scoring a century on the first day of the third Test against the West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday.

Dempo lift Durand Cup

New Delhi, November 27
Dempo Club, Goa, edged past JCT, Phagwara, through a second-half goal to lift the trophy in the 119th edition of the Osian’s Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.




Dempo Sports Club players celebrate after winning the 119th Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Monday. Dempo beat JCT Mills 1-0 in the final. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi 

Dempo Sports Club players celebrate after winning the 119th Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Monday. Dempo beat JCT Mills 1-0 in the final.

Axed Rasquinha cries foul
Mumbai, November 27
Olympian Viren Rasquinha today blamed some “vested interests” in the national selection panel for his last-minute ouster from the hockey squad for the Doha Asian Games.

National school games begin
Ferozepore, November 27
The National Inter-School Games for under-16 boys and girls were inaugurated here at the Shahid Bhagat Singh Stadium. The chief guest, Mr Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Youth Affairs and Sports, declared the four-day meet open and took the salute from the participating contingents, representing various states, during the colourful march past.Rajinder Singh Rahelu

Rahelu wins bronze in Asian meet
Chandigarh, November 27
Punjab’s Paralympic powerlifter Rajinder Singh Rahelu has bagged the bronze medal (60 kg category) in the 9th Fespic Games (Para-Asian games for the disabled) being held in Kuala Lumpur.

Bopanna rues lack of sponsors
Bangalore, November 27
On the eve of the Doha Asian Games, the highest-ranked Indian in world tennis singles Rohan Bopanna has a valid grouse. He says lack of sponsors for players like him, who normally travel 25-30 weeks in a year, will take Indian tennis nowhere.

Negi set to join the blind fold
New Delhi, November 27
In a unique attempt early in his career, world’s second youngest ever Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi will simultaneously play four blindfold chess matches here tomorrow.

 

 


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Pawar springs to Greg’s defence
Coach’s effigy burnt; Kaif’s house vandalised

New Delhi, November 27
BCCI President Sharad Pawar today came out in strong support of Greg Chappell in the ongoing controversy triggered by the coach’s remarks on Parliamentarians and accused television channels of “instigating” MPs.

He said Chappell’s comments were misinterpreted and that the controversy was a result of provocative journalism.

“He (Chappell) hasn’t said anything like this,” Pawar, the Union Agriculture Minister, said when told that Chappell had said that MPs get paid to make comments.

“I am glad that most of the news channels are providing subject to the Parliament... I know that there is an instigation from most of the channel owners and they are instigating MPs... (this is what) many MPs told me ...

“But Members are not going to act as per the advice of channelwallahs. These are not the issues which one can discuss in Parliament.

“This is a game and one should not give disproportionate importance to it.” Reacting to concerns expressed by various political leaders on India’s poor performance in South Africa, Chappell had said, “I am not surprised. That is what they are paid for to do in Parliament.”

Allahabad: A group of people, claiming to be supporters of the Lok Janshakti Party, on Monday vandalised the house of cricketer Mohammad Kaif after his poor show in the ongoing one-day series against South Africa.

Kaif scored 8 and 10 in the two one-dayers against South Africa who drubbed India in both the matches so far.

“A number of them tried to storm the house, broke some electric bulbs and plastered the name plate with mud,” police said.

“They also raised slogans against BCCI Chief Sharad Pawar for persisting with Greg Chappell as the coach of the Indian team and burnt their effigies,” they added.

The police said the protestors, who appeared to be well-known to some TV channel reporters, were persuaded not to go inside Kaif’s house but only to burn the effigies.

They were also chased away by the police party which arrived on the spot.

Nobody except servants were present at Kaif’s house during the protest as his parents live in their ancestral house in another part of the city.

People had twice last year protested non-inclusion of Kaif in the Indian team and burnt effigies of the captain and selectors.

Kolkata: West Bengal Sports Minister Subhash Chakraborty on Monday described Team India coach Greg Chappell’s purported comment about MPs as ‘uncivilised’.

Talking to reporters here he said BCCI President Sharad Pawar should seek an apology from the coach.

Meanwhile, angry city youths burnt the coach’s effigy at various places and demanded his immediate sacking “to save” Indian cricket.

They demanded recalling of former captain Sourav Ganguly in the Indian squad, “which was facing demoralising defeats” at the hand of South Africa.

Earlier, in the day West Bengal Assembly Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim rejected a motion demanding condemnation of Chappell’s comment.

Meanwhile, Chakraborty today pitched for re-induction of Sourav Ganguly in the team in the wake of its recent poor showings. — PTI, UNI

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Laxman to replace injured Dravid
Sehwag to lead in last two ODIs 

Cape Town, November 27
India’s disastrous tour of South Africa took a nightmarish turn today with skipper and batting mainstay Rahul Dravid being ruled out of the remainder of the one-day series with a finger injury. VVS Laxman will replace Dravid for the last two ODIs.

Tests revealed that Dravid, who was hit on his finger while batting in the third one-dayer yesterday, had sustained a fracture and would not be able to take part in the last two matches of the series, which South Africa lead 2-0.

Virender Sehwag, who himself has just come out of a finger injury and is struggling for runs, will lead the side at Port Elizabeth on November 29 and Centurion on December 3.

Dravid, however, would remain with the team as physio John Gloster's report suggests that he would be fit in time for the first Test beginning on December 15 in Johannesburg.

Interestingly, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah had said in a statement issued earlier in Mumbai that no replacement would be send for the injured Dravid.

The tour has started on a horrendous note for the Indians who have been saddled by injuries and poor form which saw them crash to huge defeats in the two matches so far.

Sehwag cut his middle finger before the start of the tour-opening warm-up match in Benoni on November 16 and missed out on the second match in Durban after the first was washed out by rain. Paceman Munaf Patel sat out of the third match yesterday owing to a sore left ankle.

India are already without key ODI player Yuvraj Singh who hurt his knee during Champions Trophy in late October. — PTI

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Indians lack killer instinct
Sunil Gavaskar

A battering innings from Justin Kemp put India out of the second one-dayer and gave South Africa a lead which cannot be beaten. Kemp came in to bat with South Africa reeling, but by the time the innings ended it was the Indian team that was trying to recover from the onslaught that had derailed their ambitions to level the series.

Kemp was helped by Andrew Hall whose selection had made ripples in the South African camp to the extent that Greame Smith and Jaques Kallis’ concentration was affected and they played truly forgettable shots to be dismissed without troubling the scorers. There were unpleasant scenes but in the end the decision of the selectors proved right as Hall built that partnership with Kemp that took the game away from the Indians.

As has happened so often in the past, the Indians were not able to deliver the killer punch after having the Proteas on the ropes and once the recovery was complete there was not much the Indians could do. The Indians may have been bowled out for a meager score here as well as at Durban but the bowling is also a cause for concern after the Cape Town performance and if anything, the performances show that India may have to look at a new set of bowlers for future one-dayers after this tour. Zaheer and Kumble were the exceptions with both bowling quite superbly. Kumble was his usual economic self giving hardly anything away and Zaheer’s first spell was a terrific one where he got the scalps of Smith and Kallis.

It’s the second spell of the Indian bowlers when they are under the cosh that is worrying for then even Zaheer got clobbered as did every body else. What Kumble’s spell and the earlier spell from Harbahjan showed is that irrespective of the pitches India's strength will always be spin which is a commodity that is not seen often by other teams and so is not as easy to belt around as medium pacers.

The medium pacers are just the right speed and they also bowl the right length for the big hitters of the opposition to prosper as Kemp did while getting his first ton in limited overs cricket. It was some massive hitting that took him to his second fifty in just 22 balls and he treated the medium pacers as spin bowlers.

There was hardly any change of pace nor was there any variation in the line of attack by the Indian medium pacers. Dravid also could have brought back Tendulkar when the medium pacers were being hit out of the ground, for his slower deliveries would have made it that much harder for Kemp and Hall to hit. Both however used the extra pace of the seamers to give South Africa a total that they would never have envisaged when they were 6 wickets down for only 76. That the South Africans scored another 198 while losing only one more wicket is an indication of how well they batted as also how badly the Indians bowled.

The Indian batting showed marginal improvement and that too due to the efforts of Dravid and Dhoni otherwise there was the same collapse that occurred in Durban. It was good to see Dravid come in at number three but surely Dinesh Kaarthick is not a number five batsman for India. Once again the selection of the final eleven has not been right and this is where India needs to shed off its stubbornness and look to getting the right balance, else the series will be the most one-sided one that can ever be. — PMG

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India can still turn things around
Allan Donald

India is in deep trouble. They did too many things wrong in the Newlands: batting, bowling or fielding.

If an opposition cannot be put away from a position in which India was in, then the hopes recede faster than the sum in your wallet in a club. This spells big time trouble.

Sure, the lost chances in the field would be mulled over for long. Justin Kemp included there were as many as three lives afforded to key South African batsmen.

This is not just your ability with bat and ball failing you in testing conditions: it is a major negation of even ordinary skills which most of us cricketers possess at all times. There are too many pieces on the floor for India to pick up and rearrange in the thick of battle. The wind is too strong and the foothold too skewed, I am afraid.

You can meet as many times as you want in the hotel; have as many meetings as you could possibly squeeze in; hold as many video analysis as you humanly could; hold up coach or captain for your ills but the basic surge has got to come from the men in the squad.

It is they who form the muscles, sinews, bones everything of a team’s form. There simply are too many failures for any single individual to be held responsible. The buck stops with them.

I have spoken to a few distinguished old-timers of Indian cricket in recent days and most of them are unanimous that there are not enough good core of talented cricketers in the land. They all speak of a core group of 15-18 cricketers and then the list runs out. It is thus a difficult choice for selectors: whether to lay off those who are not measuring up and replace them with some little known names.

Wholesome replacements have never been the answer. I know fans and media back home are unforgiving and it is a big-time trouble leading up to the World Cup but pulling these men out of the fray at this juncture is not going to be a help.

Every time I speak in support of the visitors, the voice sounds shriller and lost in the din of criticism but I still feel this Indian team can turn things around. They can work on South African batting and build on the advantage which they have over the top order.

In both games, India has been good with the new ball and have made early inroads. It is a good starting point, the window of light, which should offer them energy and hope. They must push on from this basic premise. — PTI

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Australia complete formalities

Brisbane, November 27
Australia polished off England’s lower order to wrap up an emphatic 277-run victory in the first Ashes Test today and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. England lost their last five wickets for just 77 runs to be all out for 370 half an hour before lunch on the fifth day after resuming on 293 for five.

Ponting was named man of the match for making 196 and 60 not out.

Scoreboard

Australia (1st innings) 602-9

England (1st innings) 157

Australia (2nd innings) 202-1

England (2nd innings)

Strauss c sub b Clark 11

Cook c Hussey b Warne 43

Bell lbw Warne 0

Collingwood st Gilchrist b Warne 96

Pietersen c Martyn b Lee 92

Flintoff c Langer b Warne 16

Jones b McGrath 33

Giles c Warne b Clark 23

Hoggard c Warne b Clark 8

Harmison c McGrath b Clark 13

Anderson not out 4

Extras (b-8 lb-10 w-2 nb-11) 31

Total (all out, 100.1 overs) 370

FoW: 1-29, 2-36, 3-91, 4-244, 5-271, 6-293, 7-326, 8-346, 9-361.

Bowling: Lee 22-1-98-1, McGrath 19-3-53-1, Clark 24.1-6-72-4, Warne 34-7-124-4, Hussey 1-0-5-0. — Reuters

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Yousuf’s run feast continues

Karachi, November 27
Mohammad Yousuf set a batting record with his eighth hundred of 2006 but the West Indies restricted Pakistan to 257 for seven at close of play on the first day of the third and final Test here today.

Pakistan lost four wickets for 83 in the last session, including that of Yousuf, who made 102, his 22nd Test hundred.

Yousuf broke the old record of seven hundreds in a calendar year jointly held by West Indian Vivian Richards and Sri Lankan Aravinda de Silva.

Yousuf’s hard-fought century was also his sixth against the West Indies in eight Tests and his fifth in successive matches. He has now accumulated 1,664 runs in 11 Tests this year. The Pakistani batsman is now 47 runs short of breaking Richards’ record of scoring most number of runs in a calender year — 1710 in 11 matches set way back in 1976.

The last few months have turned out to be a prolific one for Yousuf, who last year converted to Islam from Christianity. A deeply religious person, Yousuf has scored as many as nine hundreds in his last 12 Tests, with the last seven having produced a glut of 1,172 runs so far.

Apart from his stylish knock, the rest of the batting was unimpressive.

Scoreboard

Pakistan (1st innings)

Hafeez b Collymore 18

Farhat c Ramdin b Bravo 47

Younis run out 20

Yousuf lbw Collymore 102

Haq c Chanderpaul b Ganga 18

Malik lbw Taylor 18

Razzaq c Ramdin b Bravo 7

Akmal not out 18

Nazir not out 0

Extras (b-1, lb-6, nb-2) 9

Total (7 wickets, 88 overs) 257

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-72, 3-112, 4-178, 5-222, 6-239, 7-248.

Bowling: Taylor 17-3-55-1, Collymore 17-6-41-2, Gayle 16-3-27-0, Powell 20-4-74-0, Bravo 14-6-33-2, Ganga 4-0-20-1. — PTI, Reuters

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Dempo lift Durand Cup
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 27
Dempo Club, Goa, edged past JCT, Phagwara, through a second-half goal to lift the trophy in the 119th edition of the Osian’s Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.

Though the final rose to dizzy heights only in spurts, with school children and JCT backers packing the stadium, there was no dearth of attempts at the goal. Dempo got the match-winner 29 minutes into the second half when their Nigerian forward Ranti Martins’ angled right-footer from the top of the box curled into the net, catching the otherwise alert and tough JCT defence and custodian off guard.

Anthony Pereira out dribbled JCT striker Parveen Kumar and passed the ball to Ranti Martins, who controlled the ball, turned on his axis before despatching a thunderbolt of a shot into the goal.

Surprisingly, JCT, instead of going full throttle after the setback, with enough time in their hands, opted to play second fiddle, thus offering the prestigious trophy vitually on a platter to the Goan team. But being the second best also had its rewards, as the Punjab team pocketed Rs 4 lakh in prize money while Dempo collected a huge purse of Rs 10 lakh.

The winners thus justified their direct seeding into the quarterfinal while JCT, who had to fight their way up from the pre-quarter-final league, could not reproduce the form when they held Dempo 1-1 in their group match. JCT and Dempo had qualified for the semi-finals as group winners and runners-up respectively, with both logging five points each, but JCT topped with better goal difference. It was Dempo’s maiden Durand Cup title triumph, and the second Goan team to lift the coveted trophy. Salgaocar, who made their exit in the preliminary round itself, had won the title twice — in 1999 and 2003.

JCT, playing in a 4-4-2 formation with Parveen Kumar and Chidi Edeh marshalling their attacks, could have easily altered the final script had Parveen succeeded in putting the ball into a virtually untenated goal, with the match barely two minutes old. Chidi Edeh, the Nigerian import, relayed a neat pass to Parveen from the edge of the box, and the JCT striker moved forward to sidestep and beat the rival custodian, but only to power the ball out. A quick counter attack followed, and the JCT goal had a narrow shave, despite the Punjab defenders playing tough. It was a common sight of Dempo players being carried out on stretcher for medical attention, and stopper back Meteck Bolaji was even rushed to hospital to attend to a deep depression on his temple, but the match continued without Dempo being cowed down.

The ball kept travelling up and down, yet the spark of a final clash was missing. JCT almost got a “free” goal when Goan winger Valeriano Rebelo, in a bid to fox Chidi, headed the ball towards his won goal but Satish Kumar rose to the occasion to stop the ball in its flight. JCT took the long ball course to punch holes into the Dempo defence while the Goan team tried the right wing to dribble into the JCT box.

The strategies of both the teams worked to an extent in creating in openings, but the strikers failed to convert those chances into goals. The Goan attack was kept well-oiled by Anthony Pereira, and he himself came close to hitting the mark a couple of time, but the agile display of the JCT custodian, foiled his attemps.

It was surprising that JCT did not attempt the long shots from outside the box for which the Phagwara players are famous for. When Jasinder Singh came as a substitute in the second half, he did take a few crack shots from outside the box, which rattled the Dempo goal, though the ball was stopped in the nick of time. Adebayo Tokunbo kept the JCT assaults going in his role as a roving medio, but Chidi and Parveen failed to find the mark.

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Axed Rasquinha cries foul

Ace centre-half Viren Rasquinha has demanded that the reasons behind his omission from the Asiad hockey squad be made public
Ace centre-half Viren Rasquinha has demanded that the reasons behind his omission from the Asiad hockey squad be made public

Mumbai, November 27
Olympian Viren Rasquinha today blamed some “vested interests” in the national selection panel for his last-minute ouster from the hockey squad for the Doha Asian Games.

Vowing to fight the injustice done to him, the ace centre-half demanded that the reasons behind his omission be made public.

Rubbishing reports that his omission was done due to lack of fitness, Rasquinha claimed that chief coach Vasudevan Baskaran still wanted him in the squad for the quadrennial event next month.

“I was named in the Indian hockey team for the Doha Asian Games about a week ago. The list of 16 members was told to us by chief coach Baskaran and camp manager Brig Siddiqui in Rourkela on November 17, a day after fitness tests and selection trials conducted by the coaches and selectors,” Rasquinha read out from a prepared statement at a media conference here today.

“On November 25, much to my surprise and shock, I was informed by Baskaran that I had been dropped. He told me I deserved to be in the Indian team on current form and fitness but that he was sorry,” Rasquinha, who has played nearly 200 internationals, said.

“Later in the day, I spoke to the Secretary-General of the IHF, K Jyothikumaran, and he too told me that I deserved to be in the team and he was also sorry,” said Rasquinha, adding that neither Baskaran nor Jyothikumaran preferred to explain to him the reasons of axing him from the squad.

“As far as I know, no one questioned my on field performance or my discipline. I have done five fitness tests in the duration of this camp and in all but one of the 2.4 km run I have finished well under the stipulated nine minutes each time. In the 40m speed tests I was always within the top three finishers,” Rasquinha said.

The 26-year-old claimed that he had done better than some other players at the camp in Rourkela.

“What about the overall fitness tests and performances over the entire duration of the two-month long training camp," he said, adding he had lost all respect for members of the selection panel, all of whom were Olympians.

“There is a government nominee on the selection panel whose job is to ensure that the selection procedure is transparent. I request the reason for my dropping be made public,” he said.

Saying that it had become a fashion to blame IHF President KPS Gill and Jothikumaran for all the selection blunders in Indian hockey, Rasquinha said in his case, as well as in other recent cases, some insecure vested interests were responsible for the systematic elimination of most of the players who helped India win the 2001 Junior World Cup in Hobart. — PTI 

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National school games begin
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 27
The National Inter-School Games for under-16 boys and girls were inaugurated here at the Shahid Bhagat Singh Stadium. The chief guest, Mr Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Youth Affairs and Sports, declared the four-day meet open and took the salute from the participating contingents, representing various states, during the colourful march past.

In his inaugural address, Mr Sodhi said the Punjab Government had embarked on several measures for development of sports under which those players from the state who win gold, silver or bronze medal at the Olympics would be given a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh, and Rs 25 lakh, respectively. He said similarly medal winners at the Asian Games would pocket prize money of Rs 10 lakh, Rs 7 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively, for gold, silver and bronze medals.

He said the sports department had requested the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to increase the percentage of reservation quota for sportsmen in various government jobs. He said that in order to give boost to sports in rural areas, the state government had already constructed 11 new stadiums, and further 11 more stadiums would be sanctioned shortly.

Mr Sodhi further stated that the third edition of Indo-Pakistan (Punjab) Games would be held in Jalandhar in early 2007. Mr Bhagwant Singh, DC, Mr Pargat Singh, Director, Sports, Mr Arpit Shukla SSP also addressed the gathering on the occasion.

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Rahelu wins bronze in Asian meet
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Punjab’s Paralympic powerlifter Rajinder Singh Rahelu has bagged the bronze medal (60 kg category) in the 9th Fespic Games (Para-Asian games for the disabled) being held in Kuala Lumpur.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone from Malaysia, Rahelu said, “I could have won the second place but as luck would have it, I committed a foul in 170 kg bench press in the powerlifting event. My overall lift of 165 kg (bench press) secured me the third place.”

“I am the only one from the Indian contingent to win any medal so far,” he said.

Rahelu, along with five other special sportspersons, were asked by the Paralympic Committee of India to incur the proposed travelling expenditure of Rs 40,150 (entry fee of Rs 21,150 and transport expenditure of Rs 19,000).

On being asked, Rahelu said, “After the news published earlier about our resentment in this regard, the Sports Ministry consented to bear the expenditure of 102 players and I was lucky to be among them. About 75 other players are spending from their own pocket”.

However, the Mehsampur (Jalandhar) based Rahelu will at least be richer by Rs 2 lakh as the Punjab Government has made an announcement for grant of Rs 2 lakh for a bronze medallist in an international meet.

A five- time national gold medallist in general category and three-time national gold medallist in the disabled category, Rahelu received the Arjuna Award for winning the bronze medal in the Paralympic Games at Athens in 2004, but he was denied the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award earlier this year on the pretext that there was no provision to confer the award upon disabled sportspersons.

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Bopanna rues lack of sponsors

Bangalore, November 27
On the eve of the Doha Asian Games, the highest-ranked Indian in world tennis singles Rohan Bopanna has a valid grouse. He says lack of sponsors for players like him, who normally travel 25-30 weeks in a year, will take Indian tennis nowhere.

“Sponsorships are there for tournaments but not for players which makes it very difficult for them. You are always paying for your tickets and stay,” the Bangalore-born Rohan told PTI in an interview from Hyderabad. — PTI

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Negi set to join the blind fold

New Delhi, November 27
In a unique attempt early in his career, world’s second youngest ever Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi will simultaneously play four blindfold chess matches here tomorrow.

This is a first instance in the country when a Grandmaster will be playing blindfold matches simultaneously against more than one opponent. The 13-year-old Negi, with his eyes closed, will be pitted against city’s four talented players in the event to be held at the Russian Centre for Science Arts and Culture. — PTI

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 BRIEFLY

Sania among top tennis beauties
Beijing:
The Chinese media has included Sania Mirza among the world’s all-time ‘Top 10 Tennis Beauties’ along with Russian star Maria Sharapova and former player Gabriela Sabatini. Sania figured 10th in the list carried out by the official Xinhua news agency. The Indian star, currently ranked 66 in the world, was shown wearing a traditional Indian dress as well as donning a skimpy tennis attire, a picture apparently shot during a Grand Slam. The ten who figured in the list in order: Gabriela Sabatini, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis, Daniela Hantuchova, Mary Pierce, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Sania Mirza. — PTI

Jeev soars
New Delhi:
Jeev Milkha Singh took a giant leap forward to climb up to 55 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings, thus inching close towards his goal of breaking into the top 50, which would earn him an invitation to the US Masters next April.
Among his compatriots, Indian Open winner Jyoti Randhawa hangs on to his 80th place to remain the only other Indian in the top 100. Among his compatriots, Shiv Kapur, who would defend his Volvo Masters title next month, moved up for rungs to 171, while Gaurav Ghei, winner of the Taiwan Masters, is at 214. Orlando-based Arjun Atwal, who failed to secure his PGA Tour card after a highly disappointing season, plummeted further to 255th, according to information received here on Monday. — UNI

Football team
New Delhi:
Star forward Bhaichung Bhutia would lead the 20-member Indian football team in the 15th Asian Games at Doha.
India, placed in Group D alongside Hong Kong, Maldives and Iraq, will launch their campaign against Hong Kong on Wednesday. Team: Goalkeepers: Sandip Nandy, Subrata Pal, Subhasis Roy Chaudhary; Defenders: Surkumar Singh, NS Manju, Anupam Sarkar, Habibur Rehman Mondal, Debbarta Roy; Midfielders: Steven Dias, Th Bungo Singh, Subhash Chakraborty, NP Pradeep, Gouramangi Singh, Climax Lawrence, Chandam Chitrasen; Forwards: Syed Rahim Nabi, Manjit Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia (captain) and Sushil Kumar Singh. Chief coach: Robert Houghton. — PTI

Under-22 cricket
Patiala: Wilkon Victor (118) scored an authoritative century to put Delhi in a comfortable position against Kerala on the opening day of the CK Nayudu Trophy (Under-22) match at the Dhruv Pandove Cricket Stadium here on Monday.
Kerala won the toss and elected to field on a cloudy day which augured well for the new-ball bowlers. But Delhi batsmen played with great confidence to reach 274 for six at draw of stumps. Kerala’s left-arm medium fast bowler Prashant Parmeswaran was impressive, capturing 3 for 76, while Rohan Prem took 1 for 25. — UNI

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