India-Oz rivalry bigger than India-Pak
Akhtar in provisional T20 squad
Yousuf to face life ban if he joins ICL
Ex-Pak captains seek rule review on tour refusal
India take on Romania
SNGPL win Nissar Trophy
Pinegrove, Mayo College enter semis
Mumbai, September 18
"I think it (India v Australia) has become bigger largely because of the competitiveness. All the series between us from 2001 onwards have been very keenly fought and have been very close ones," said Tendulkar at a function here to unveil him as the global brand ambassador of Royal Scottish Bank Group.
The ace batsman, who is at handshaking distance of overtaking West Indian great Brian Lara as Test cricket's highest run-getter, pointed out that India have been the only team in the world to have run world champions Australia close of late in the latter's backyard.
"We have gone to Australia and beaten them. We have been able to surprise the Australian team and that's what the Australian public likes: competition and high standards of play. They love to see challenges and competitiveness.”
"The fan following for the India-Australia series has definitely increased as compared to say 15 years ago. The coming series would also be very closely fought. Talking on behalf of the Indian team I can say we will play hard but fair and I feel the Australians also will do so," said Tendulkar.
Asked whether the absence of Andrew Symonds from the Australian side would lessen the tension in the upcoming rubber starting on October 9, Tendulkar said such things had happened even before the unsavoury spat between the Aussie all-rounder and Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh during the ill-tempered Sydney Test in January.
"Such things happen but don't happen every week. They have happened in the past (before the Sydney Test)," Tendulkar said and indicated the incidents grabbed more attention nowadays because of media coverage and the presence of ICC match referees.
Tendulkar did not lay too much emphasis on the fact that the Australian team, led by Ricky Ponting, was lacking in experience, saying the team looked to be a good blend of experienced players and new comers with lots of first class experience.
"They (Australian squad) have a lot of experienced players and some of them have been playing for a long time now. They are the number one team in the world and we are prepared to face all challenges,” said the scorer of 81 Test and ODI hundreds.
Asked about his impending landmark (of highest Test runs), Tendulkar said he never played with an eye on creating records but if and when they come they were welcome additions to his well-adorned cricket cap.
"I don't think much about records. I want to enjoy my game. If players focus on their performance, records automatically fall into place. I focus on playing the game well. If it (new landmark) comes in doing so I will be happy," said the ace batsman who is only 76 runs short of overtaking Lara's world benchmark.
Tendulkar has 11,877 Test runs to his credit as compared to the retired West Indian champion's 11,953.
The champion batsman did not agree with the general view that he had the habit of singling out Australia for special punishment.
"I look at it differently. Whenever I play, whether for India or not, and against any opposition, I try and put my best foot forward. Whenever I lift my bat I do so. I respect cricket and enjoy playing it," he countered.
He also dismissed a scribe's inappropriate query about his retirement plans by shooting back, "I think you are at the wrong press conference." — PTI
Lahore, September 18
“The national selection committee has chosen 20 odd players for the Canadian assignment, out of which 15 will be playing in the October 10-13 quadrangular,” the sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told ‘The News’ yesterday.
The list includes Shoaib Akhtar, who was recently axed from next month's National Twenty20 Cup over his failure to pay up a fine of Rs 7 million imposed on him by a court over repeated breaches of discipline.
But Shoaib has managed to find a place in the provisional squad for the four-nation event as the selectors have given the names of all leading cricketers so that they can be issued Canadian visas ahead of the Pakistan team's departure for Toronto on October 8.
Sources said Shoaib's name will be included in the final squad provided he resolved the fine issue with the PCB ahead of the team announcement.
The PCB has already made it clear that the Rawalpindi Express cannot return to national duty till he clears the fine.
Shoaib's lawyers have assured the PCB that their client will try to resolve the issue soon.
Can Shoaib play without paying up?
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought advice from the Lahore High Court on whether it can allow controversial Shoaib Akhtar to play in the domestic Twenty20 tournament even if the paceman delays the payment of a fine of seven million rupees. The PCB’s legal counsel confirmed they have submitted an application with the Lahore High Court, which will hear a writ petition filed by Shoaib against his 18-months ban and fine imposed on him by an appellate tribunal of the Board. Tafazzul Rizvi said the Board had asked him to get a court advice on the payment of fine as the legal notice sent to Shoaib clearly states that he can't play for Pakistan and anywhere in Pakistan without first paying the fine.
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought advice from the Lahore High Court on whether it can allow controversial Shoaib Akhtar to play in the domestic Twenty20 tournament even if the paceman delays the payment of a fine of seven million rupees. The PCB’s legal counsel confirmed they have submitted an application with the Lahore High Court, which will hear a writ petition filed by Shoaib against his 18-months ban and fine imposed on him by an appellate tribunal of the Board. Tafazzul Rizvi said the Board had asked him to get a court advice on the payment of fine as the legal notice sent to Shoaib clearly states that he can't play for Pakistan and anywhere in Pakistan without first paying the fine. — Agencies
Karachi, September 18
“We have banned all our cricketers, who joined the ICL and if Yousuf will also play for the unauthorized league then he will have to face the same punishment,” the official said.
Yousuf, who is regarded among the world’s best batsmen, is considering joining the ICL after it became clear that he doesn’t feature in Pakistan’s one-day and Twenty20 plans. Pakistan selectors consider Yousuf as a specialist Test batsman and are unlikely to consider him for national duty in next month's four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada.
Yousuf, however, believes that he can be equally useful in the shorter version of the game and feels insulted for being overlooked for Pakistan duty. The Lahore-based player almost defected from the Pakistan ranks after being axed from the national team for the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa last September. Then, he decided to join the ICL. But even after signing a deal with the ICL, Yousuf made a u-turn and tried to sign up for the official Indian Premier League (IPL) with the help of the PCB. — IANS
Karachi, September 18
Their demand came after Australia decided to tour India despite last week's bomb blasts in New Delhi that killed over 20 people, having repeatedly refused to travel to Pakistan over security concerns.
“For Pakistani cricket administrators, players and fans the situation is very frustrating and it is wrong and I think the fault lies with the ICC,” Raja said today. Australia postponed a test tour of Pakistan earlier this year for security reasons and were among the four nations who refused to send teams for this month's ICC Champions Trophy, forcing its postponement until October next year.‘Stop relying on BCCI’
LAHORE: In a statement that might sour relations between two cricketing giants, former national cricket chief Arif Ali Abbasi has advised the PCB to stop relying on its powerful Indian counterpart BCCI. “The Board has to stop this total reliance on India,” said Abbasi who is a former chief executive of the PCB. — Agencies
Bucharest, September 18
It will be a tough test for the four-member Indian team on the red clay with Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi once again holding the key in doubles rubber.
Somdev, who has shown an exceptionally good form in the last three months, and Prakash Amritraj will play singles matches.
Amritraj, struggling with his form at present, being the weak link in the team, it is imperative for Somdev to win both singles and reverse singles matches while Lee-Hesh have to live up to their reputation if India has to enter the elite group.
India had defeated Japan in the Asia/Oceania Group semifinals to earn the right to contest in the World Group play-off while Romania lost to France in first round of World Group to drop to play-offs.
India last played in the World Group in 1998 when it lost to Italy 1-4 on clay in the away tie.
The visitors dropped Rohan Bopanna from the team to include Somdev and have a non-playing captain in S.P. Mishra as Paes decided to step down as the skipper after the Beijing Olympics.
This was a fall out of his teammates' - Bhupathi, Amritraj, Bopanna - revolt against him, who questioned his leadership qualities ahead of the Japan tie in April.
Indians have a dominating game on grass courts but this crucial tie is being played on clay court and Romanians, led by world number 67 Victor Hanescu, surely hold advantage.
The hosts have made two changes in their side, bringing in Adrian Cruciat (ranked 170) and Victor Crivoi (158) in place of Andrei Pavel and Florin Mergea.
Horia Tecau makes the fourth member of the team with Florin Segarceanu as non-playing captain.
Prakash is yet to play a clay court match in the Davis Cup and his current form could be a worry for the team though he did well earlier.
Somdev will play only his second Davis Cup tie but showed prime form as he won an ATP Challenger tournament in Lexington and reached quarterfinals of Vanvouver Challenger in July.
He also reached the last-eight stage of the Washington ATP event last month and toppled top-100 players like American Bobby Reynolds. — PTI
Belgrade, September 18
The champions were let off the hook on the hour when Guille Franco’s clever back-heel came off the inside of the post before they also hit the woodwork with a Johnny Evans header from a Cristiano Ronaldo cross.
The Portuguese winger made his first appearance as a substitute after recovering from ankle surgery but overall United once again looked short of last season’s cutting edge.
Alessandro Del Piero drove in a 76th-minute free kick to give Juventus, who were stripped of their Italian league title in 2006 and demoted to Serie B after a match-fixing scandal, victory against last season’s UEFA Cup winners.
At the Bernabeu, Sergio Ramos gave Real an early lead and Ruud van Nistelrooy pounced in the second half to seal the match with his 54th goal in 69 Champions League appearances. But Real’s German coach Bernd Schuster was not happy with his team’s performance. The nine-times winners of Europe’s premier club competition failed to take full advantage of the gulf in class.
“Seeing the start we made I expected us to score more goals so I am disappointed,” he said. “After our first goal we could see that BATE could not react and I didn’t like the way we eased off. You should ask the players why they did.”
Real moved up a gear in the second half but missed several good chances. The visitors had defender Anri Khagush sent off for two bookable fouls. A late goal from captain William Gallas earned Arsenal a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev after Ismael Bangoura had fired the home side ahead with a 64th-minute penalty.
There was more drama when Olympique Lyon fought back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Fiorentina while Barry Robson missed a penalty for Celtic in their 0-0 home draw with Danish side Aalborg. A pair of Alberto Gilardino headers handed Fiorentina a 2-0 lead at the Stade de Gerland before substitute Frederic Piquionne and France striker Karim Benzema hit back.
Daniel Van Buyten’s 15th-minute header gave Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at Steaua Bucharest while 2003 winners Porto enjoyed a 3-1 home success against Fenerbahce. Early goals from Lisandro Lopez and Lucho Gonzales fired Porto into a 2-0 lead and Lino made it 3-1 in injury time after Daniel Guiza had pulled one back for the visitors. — Reuters
SNGPL win Nissar Trophy
New Delhi, September 18 Umpires S.A. Asani and U.L. Dubey held two inspections and found the ground conditions unplayable due to rains and called off the match at 1.30 pm local time without a ball being bowled at the Ferozshah Kotla ground. Benefiting from their first innings lead of 132 runs, Sui Gas became the first Quaid-e-Azam champions to clinch the honour even as Virender Sehwag led-Ranji champions Delhi were leading by 384 runs. Delhi were 516 for 4 in their second innings when the rains lashed the city and the play was suspended in the last session yesterday. While 17 overs of play was lost yesterday, the opening day had also seen rain-interruptions.
New Delhi, September 18
Umpires S.A. Asani and U.L. Dubey held two inspections and found the ground conditions unplayable due to rains and called off the match at 1.30 pm local time without a ball being bowled at the Ferozshah Kotla ground.
Benefiting from their first innings lead of 132 runs, Sui Gas became the first Quaid-e-Azam champions to clinch the honour even as Virender Sehwag led-Ranji champions Delhi were leading by 384 runs.
Delhi were 516 for 4 in their second innings when the rains lashed the city and the play was suspended in the last session yesterday. While 17 overs of play was lost yesterday, the opening day had also seen rain-interruptions. — PTI
Gurgaon, September 18
Harmeet Kahlon's 68 placed him second, while Himmat Singh Rai was third at three under 69. Jyoti Randhawa shot even par 72 to be tied seventh and Shiv Kapur's four over 76 helped him end the day in tied 39th.
Bhullar's clinical five under 67 on day one was punctuated by seven birdies and two bogeys. He sank birdies on the 3rd, 6th, 9th and dropped a bogey on the fifth to make the turn at two under.
He made it three birdies in a row when he followed up his birdie on the ninth with two more on the 10th and 11th. He then bogeyed the 12th but came back well as he picked up a couple of birdies on the 16th and 18th.
Kahlon (68) began his campaign at the DLF Masters on a solid note as he made seven consecutive pars and then followed that up with three back-to-back birdies on the eighth, ninth and 10th.
Thereafter, he dropped his first bogey on the 11th. This was followed by another birdie on the 12th and a bogey on the 16th.
He signed off his first round with an eagle on the par five 18th.
Himmat Rai was third at three under 69. He sank five birdies and made a couple of bogeys. Ajeetesh Sandhu (70) was a further stroke in fourth place.
Harendra Gupta and Arjun Singh shot matching scores of one under 71 to be tied fifth.
Defending champion Jyoti Randhawa, Ashok Kumar, Mukesh Kumar, Feroz Ali Mollah, Naman Dawar, C Muniyappa, Shamim Khan and Sandeep Syal are all tied seventh at even par 72.
Randhawa made an eagle on the 15th, birdied the 18th and bogeyed the first, fifth and 12th. Rahul Ganapathy and Digvijay Singh are both tied 15th at one over 73.
Gaurav Ghei fired 75 to be tied 31st while Shiv Kapur ended the day at tied 39th after shooting a 76. — UNI
Pinegrove, Mayo College enter semis
Chandigarh, September 18
Mayo College, Ajmer, and hosts Pinegrove School have won all their league matches and topped their respective pools to secure berths in the semifinals. The other two teams are still to be decided.
In the match between Pinegrove and YPS, Patiala, YPS girls were scuttled out for a meagre 44 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Nupur stood her ground and put up some resistance by scoring 17 runs. Pinegrovian wicketkeeper Surgeet Kaur did a commendable job by effecting three run-outs. Chasing the target, Pinegrove scored the required runs in just 5.4 overs.
Kavya scored 16 while Gurmehak contributed 12 not out for Pinegrove. Urvashi Shekhawat of Pinegrove was declared Player of the Match for her excellent bowling as she just gave just 1 run in the 4 overs she bowled.
In the next match played between the Lawrence School, Lovedale, and Modi School, Laxmangarh, Modi girls made 130 runs for three wickets in a rain-affected match that was reduced to 15 overs. Kirti was the highest scorer for Modi School as she scored 40 runs. In reply, The Lawrence School girls made 16 runs for the loss of two wickets before rain stopped play. Modi School was declared the winner on the basis of a better run-rate. Kirti of Modi School was declared Player of the Match.
In a late night match played, MGD, Jaipur, outplayed YPS, Patiala. MGD scored 165 runs for the loss of four wickets. Sonali was the highest scorer with 49 runs while Shreya made 43. Nikita took two wickets for YPS while Mukta and Nupur took one each.
YPS, Patiala could only make 67 for the loss of six wickets at the end of their stipulated overs with Nupur chipping in with 21 runs. For MGD girls, Shreya scored 43 and took two wickets and was presented the Player of the Match award.
Baba Farid hockey tourney from today
10-member contingent for Women’s Wrestling meet
Monika dope case: SAI
Support Oly sports, Kalmadi to corporates
Umpire Robinson retires, takes up ICC role
Boxing academy to help coaches too: Hooda