Ponting hopes for friendly series
Pacers will play crucial role: Gillespie
Australia A crush New Zealand
David Hussey scored 78
Uncertainty clouds Shoaib’s fate
Asif trains with ICL ‘rebels’
Dempo look to up the tempo
Mayo girls defend title
Govt go-ahead for HOA poll
Sub-Jr National Soccer C’ship
Jaipur, September 22
The 15-member squad, which was received by RCA officials at Sanganer airport, was immediately taken to the team hotel amidst tight security. The visitors, accompanied by former India coach Greg Chappell, are scheduled to hold practice sessions for three days before the warm up game, starting on September 27.
The cricketers would leave for Hyderabad on September 29, where they will play a four-day practice match against TBC.
"We have arranged all facilities for the visiting team. Wickets are of different nature, including variable bounce and spinning tracks, have been prepared for them," Bimal Soni, deputy president of RCA said.
The squad earlier arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport here but did not come out of the international terminal as they were scheduled to take a connecting flight from the domestic terminal to Jaipur.
The team is scheduled to play a few practice games in Jaipur before reaching Hyderabad on September 29 to commence official part of the tour, they added.
The Aussies are without all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who was involved in the racism row with Harbhajan Singh when India toured down under last year, after he was disciplined for going fishing rather than attending a compulsory team meeting during the one-day series against Bangladesh last month.
The Indian squad for the first Test in Bangalore will be named after the Irani Trophy match.
Earlier, the tour of India was early put in jeopardy after 20 people were killed in the serial blasts in Delhi, the venue of the third Test.
Cricket Australia confirmed the tour after a review was carried out following the terrorist attacks, receiving input from the Australian government's department of foreign affairs as well as conducting their own independent assessment.
SYDNEY: Australia captain Ricky Ponting has vowed there will no repeat of the bitter feuding that marred his team’s last series against India when the sides lock horns again next month. Ponting is expecting both teams to be on their best behaviour for the four-test series, to be played on the Indian subcontinent in October and November.
Both teams have been put on notice by their boards after relations between the sides plunged to an all-time low during India’s tour of Australia last season, forcing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene and broker a truce.
The Indian board suspended the tour for two days after their spinner Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of racially abusing Australia’s only coloured player Andrew Symonds. The crisis was averted when the ICC agreed to India’s demands to sack West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor and Harbhajan’s charges were downgraded to the lesser offence of using abusive language.
Ponting told reporters before the team flew out of Sydney yesterday that he expected the series would be played hard but fair. “There’s been a very healthy rivalry between India and Australia in ODI and Test cricket and our last few test encounters have been very good and some very close results,” he said.
“Hopefully this is another great series played in the right spirit.” Ponting also expressed his confidence in the security arrangements for the tour after the trip was almost cancelled because of a bombing in New Delhi last week.
Australia’s planned tour of Pakistan and this year’s Champions Trophy in Pakistan were both postponed because of safety fears. “Our advice was not to go to Pakistan and the advice that we received the last few weeks to tour India has been positive,” Ponting said.
The Australians have dominated world cricket for the past decade but India pose the biggest threat as they continue rebuilding after the retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer.
The Indians won last year’s inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, beat the Australians away from home in their triangular one-day series and only lost the test series 2-1. Australia are also missing key all-rounder Symonds.
“There’s no doubt they have got a lot more experience than we have going into this series,” Ponting said. “But I think we made too much of the conditions in India a lot of the time before we get there. I think quite often the less that you talk about it and the more you just get to understand it, the people and the conditions, the better off you are over there.” — Agencies
Sydney: Former fast bowler Jason Gillespie has given the thumbs-up to the Australian selectors for picking a pace-oriented bowling attack for the difficult tour of India.
Gillespie was part of a three-man pace attack that also comprised Glenn McGrath and Michael Kasprowicz when the Australians last toured India in 2004. The world champions had won the Bangalore and Nagpur Tests to win the series 2-1 and Gillespie was confident the same tactics will work this time round.
''I heard Ricky Ponting say that they'll probably use tactics similar to 2004, and I think that's the right way to go,'' Gillespie said.
''I remember one of the big things we did was working on the fitness of the Indian batsmen. They're not regarded as the fittest blokes in the world, and generally score their runs either walking singles or hitting fours. So we would have three or four sweepers out at different times, and the tactic worked really well. To VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag it was particularly effective.''
''Probably, the most enjoyable thing about that tour for me was the different plans we used. At one stage, you had Glenn McGrath taking the new ball with four blokes on the fence. You had to put your ego to one side, and everyone was happy to do that. We did the jobs we had to do as a fast-bowling unit, and it worked. I'm sure they'll try something similar again,'' he added.
The 33-year-old believes Brett Lee will play a crucial role in India. Lee was a fast-bowling reserve in 2004, and Gillespie believes that experience helped transform him into a driven, ferocious competitor.
''We must have been bowling well to keep a bowler like Brett Lee out of the team'' he said. ''I really think that the period where Glenn, 'Kasper' and myself were bowling together was the real turning point for Brett. It gave him an incredible hunger for Test cricket, and he just trained the house down. He knew that his mates were in really good form, and that he had to work hard. I think that, in part, it made him the bowler he is today.
''He will go down as one of the best fast bowlers the game has seen. He looks like a bit of a pretty boy with the blond hair and the guitar, but he's an absolute warrior underneath. You can't imagine what he puts his body through. He's in agony a lot of the time, but he's as tough as they come and doesn't complain. He's a completely different bowler to the one in the 2001 Ashes series. Back then, he was trying to do something different with every ball, but now he is patient and works to a plan.''
The Australians start their Indian sojourn with a warm-up game against Rajasthan Cricket Association's Centre of Excellence with the first Test in Bangalore from October 9-13. — PTI/UNI
Chennai, September 22
The second successive defeat suffered by the Kiwis has reduced the final league match between India and Australia on September 24 to academic interest, but would serve as a dress rehearsal for both the teams ahead of the final.
Badly in need of a win to stay afloat, the Kiwis chose to bat first under cloudy skies. But the decision boomeranged as they collapsed like a pack of cards and were dismissed for 144 in 37.3 overs.
From two for two, the Kiwi innings got a facelift through a 97-run stand for the third wicket between Peter Fulton and Greg Hay in 21 overs.
Fulton added another 28 with Grant Elliot for the fourth wicket, before the Kiwis caved in meekly from 127 for three in 29.3 overs, to be bowled out for a poor total. They lost their last seven wickets for 17 runs in eight overs with leg spinner Cameroon White returning with a haul of four wickets. —UNI
New Zealand A
Redmond run out 0
Guptill c North b Geeves 1
Fulton c D. Hussey b White 65
Hay b Tait 36
Elliot c Ronchi b Doherty 12
Broom c and b White 6
Young c D. Hussey b Doherty 0
Scott c Baily b Tait 3
Patel lbw White 0
Gillespie st Ronchi b White 6
Mason not out 0
Extras (lb-2, nb-1, w-12) 15
Total: all out, 37.3 ovrs 144
FoW: 1-2, 2-2, 3-99, 4-127, 5-127, 6-127, 7-138, 8-138, 9-138, 10-144.
Bowling: Tait 8-3-24-2, Geeves 8-0-37-1, Noffke 6-0-17-0, Doherty 8-0-32-2, White 7.3-0-32-4.
Hughes not out 37
Ronchi c Broom b Mason 2
D. Hussey c Mason b Patel 78
White not out 22
Extras (lb-1, nb-3, w-2) 6
Total: for 2 wkts, 24.5 ovrs 145
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-118.
Bowling: Gillespie 7.5-0-49-0, Mason 5-0-24-1, Scott 3-0-19-0, Patel 7-2-35-1, Redmond 2-0-17-0.— UNI
Lahore, September 22
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked the Lahore High Court judge Sayed Zahid Hussain to give a clearance whether Shoaib could play in for Pakistan without paying the fine of Rs 7 million.
The seamer was included in the Islamabad team for the domestic T20 tournament, scheduled to be played from October 4-8.
However, PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi has overruled Shoaib's selection saying, ''he cannot play in and for Pakistan until he pays the fine''.
It should be noted that any player not featuring in the domestic T20 tournament will not be eligible for the four-nation event in Canada from October 10-13.
In July, the court suspended Shoaib's 18-month ban, but did not give any ruling against the fine imposed.
Earlier, in April, Shoaib was fined and handed a five-year ban by a PCB tribunal for a disciplinary breach after he criticised the board.
However, the ban was reduced to 18 months by another appellate tribunal, with recommendation of a financial penalty of Rs 7 million.
In today's proceeding, Shoaib's lawyer was not present but is expected to be at the October 3 hearing.
''Since Akhtar's lawyer was not in the court today, the judge has postponed the hearing,'' Rizvi said.
''October 3 was the earliest possible date that the judge could give.'' ''If the paceman's issue of fine could not be cleared from the court on October 3, Akhtar will not be able to compete in the domestic tournament without paying up the fine,'' he maintained.
Shoaib, who is currently in England where he played two games for the English county - Surrey, is expected to return on September 26. — UNI
Karachi, September 22
Asif has been suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board for testing positive for a banned substance in the Indian Premier League and the ICL rebels are also banned by the PCB.
Asif played in a practice game at the Model Town ground against the ICL rebels, whose ranks are expected to expand this season with some more signings.
Former captain Inzamam-ul Haq confirmed there were some new signings.
"In order to increase the elements of competition and excitement in the league a number of young players and promising players have been signed for this season of ICL," Inzamam said.
Pakistan's former Test spinner and now an ICL signing, Mushtaq Ahmed and colleagues Imran Nazir, Taufiq Umar and Shahid Nazir all promised an exciting new season and also called on the board to lift the domestic bans on them.
"The authorities have tried to discourage and scare players from signing up for the ICL but it is not working. I think the authorities should accept the ICL as a legal body as it is also working for the promotion of cricket and providing livelihood for new and old players," Mushtaq said. — PTI
Dempo look to up the tempo
New Delhi, September 22
Dempo squandered a golden opportunity to win their AFC Cup home match played in Hyderabad as the Nehru Stadium in Margao does not have floodlights. They dominated the encounter but trailed early into the match and had to wait till the 78th minute to get the equaliser for a 1-1 draw.
They can ill-afford to repeat that performance in their away match at the Jalan Besar Stadium tomorrow. “My strikers will have to convert the chances that come their way,” Dempo coach Armando Colaco told PTI from Goa just before departing for Singapore.
They will have to win or at least draw 2-2 to make it to the last four stage of the competition meant for “developing countries” of the continent. A goalless draw will see the Singapore side through to the semifinals on away goal rule.
In case the match finishes 1-1 in regulation time, the issue will have to be thrashed in extra time as both sides will be on even keel on goal difference and away goals. If the game is tied 1-1 even after extra time, penalty shootout will have to be enforced to decide the winner.
But if Ranty Martins and Mboyo Iyomi get going, then Dempo may not have to wait that long. The African duo will have to shrug off their shyness in front of the goal and utilise the service provided by Roberto Mendes Silva and Climax Lawrence against the two-time Singapore League champions, known as the Protectors by their fans.
Armando Colaco’s charges would do well to take inspiration from their 2-1 away win in the preliminary round over 2006 AFC Cup runners-up and this edition’s quarterfinalists, Al Muharraq of Bahrain, that put the I-League champions on track for a last-eight berth after suffering two straight defeats.
The scorer of both goals in that match - Ranty Martins - will have to fire again tomorrow if Dempo have to book a semifinal berth after failing to make it to the last-four stage in their two earlier attempts in 2005 and 2006. His strike partner Iyomi, who scored the lone goal for Dempo in Hyderabad, will have to think of ways to beat Singapore goalkeeper Lionel Lewis who denied the Congolese a couple of times in the first leg.
Home United were in good form in the domestic league and were in second place, a point behind leaders and another AFC Cup quarterfinalist Singapore Armed Forces. They too would be keen to make it to the last four for the second time after the 2004 edition.
The Dempo coach expressed satisfaction with the 1-1 draw in Hyderabad, saying his side dominated proceedings and could have won had the strikers been on target. “We missed at least 10 scoring chances though the number included those saved by the goalkeeper. We were clearly the better side in Hyderabad. Even though we are playing at their home (in Singapore), I still feel that we will have the upper hand,” Colaco said.
Dempo: Abhijt Mondal, John Dias, Climax Lawrence (C), Ranti Martins, Roberto Mendes Silva, Anthony Perreira, Clifford Miranda, Samir Naik, Valeriano Rebello, Mboyo Iyomi, Mahesh Gawli, Creson Antao, Nascimento Silveira, Joaquim Abranches, VP Sathish Kumar, Nicolau Borges, Dominic Noronha, Joe Rodrigues.
Home United: Mohammad Farhan, Indra sahdan Daud, Juma'at Jantan, Subramani Shanmugham (C), Valery Hiek, Kengne Ludovick, Syed Mohammad Fadhil, Mohammad Rosman Sulaiman, Tengku Mushadad, Lionel Lewis, Peres De Oliviera, Mohammad Rizuan Fatah, Shukor Zailan, MOhammad Nur Azreen, Ram Shankar, Mohammad Saiful Nasri, Mohammad Azhar Bib Sairuddin. — PTI
Mayo girls defend title
Chandigarh, September 22
It was all set to be a cracker of a match. Ultimately, Mayo maintained their cool with experience and maturity to emerge worthy winners. They managed to keep the scoreboard ticking while the Pinegrove batting line-up started crumbling to the pressure. Both teams exhibited the highest standards of fielding and bowling but in the end Mayo outplayed the hosts Pinegrove School and defended the title.
Put into bat after losing the toss, the Mayo girls started on a jittery note with just 42 on the board with 4 wickets down at the end of the first 10 overs. From there on they got their act together with some aggressive batting. Pankhuri top scored for Mayo with a defiant 35 runs and Rachika stood her ground and contributed a valuable 20.
Mayo was successful in putting a decent score of 116 for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. For Pinegrove, Urvashi was the pick of the bowlers and captured 2 wickets while Kirat, Akshi and Rajnimrit took one wicket each.
Chasing the target under flood-lights proved difficult for the home team and the overcast conditions made stroke making all the more difficult.
The openers gave the home team a good start but the top order Pinegrove batsmen could not stand the test of the pressure of a crunch game. The wonderful bowling attack and stupendous fielding exhibited by the Mayo girls added to their misery and they folded up for a mere 54 runs in 15 overs. For Pinegrove, Kirat and Rupinder waged a losing battle scoring 13 runs and 11 runs, respectively. Shruti took 3 important wickets for the Mayo girls. Pankhuri was given the Player of the Match award for her commendable performance with the bat.
The Best Wicketkeeper award went to Rukaiya of Mayo Girls team Ajmer. The Best Bowler award was given to Shruti of Mayo Girls, Ajmer while Harleen of YPS, Mohali was awarded the Best Fielder award. The Best Batsman award was presented to Jyoti of Ashok Hall, Nainital. All these players were presented cheques worth Rs 6000 each by Adidas and a trip to Goa sponsored by makemytrip.com. Rajnimrit Sidhu of Pinegrove walked away with the Player of the Tournament award. She was given a cheque of Rs 11000 and tickets for a trip to Singapore.
Govt go-ahead for HOA poll
Chandigarh, September 22 "The filing of nominations and elections of the Executive Committee and other office-bearers of the HOA will be held from 9 a.m. onwards on September 25 at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3," the HOA's Administrator R R Jowel said here today. He said a Special Emergency Meeting of the HOA will also be held on that day. The ruling Congress regime headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had sometime back appointed Jowel as the Administrator of the HOA. Opposition Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhey Singh Chautala led HOA claims they are the "genuine HOA" having due recognition from the IOA.
Chandigarh, September 22
"The filing of nominations and elections of the Executive Committee and other office-bearers of the HOA will be held from 9 a.m. onwards on September 25 at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3," the HOA's Administrator R R Jowel said here today.
He said a Special Emergency Meeting of the HOA will also be held on that day.
The ruling Congress regime headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had sometime back appointed Jowel as the Administrator of the HOA.
Opposition Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhey Singh Chautala led HOA claims they are the "genuine HOA" having due recognition from the IOA. — PTI
Sub-Jr National Soccer C’ship
Chandigarh, September 22
Four matches of intra-cluster league were played today. In the morning session Tamil Nadu against Orissa in an interesting match in which former emerged winners by 5-4.
S. Murugan opened the score for Tamil Nadu in the 13th minute, while Orissa finding the net with a long looping high shot through Dhaneshwar in the 18th minute. Thereafter, it was a ding-dong battle with Tamil Nadu scoring in the 28th, 48th, 64th and 76th minutes and Orissa in the 37th, 63rd, and 86th minutes. Finally time and luck run out for Orissa leaving Tamil Nadu winners by 5-4.
The match between Punjab and Pondicherry was a virtual replay of their earlier encounter with Punjab scoring 14 goals to nil of Pondicherry. The goals were record by Rajvir (8), Harpreet and Harpreet Sr (3 goals each).
The match between Mizoram and Chhattisgarh was a lop-sided affair in which the former won by 8-0.
The last match of the day between Meghalaya and Kerela resulted in Meghalaya scoring the lone goal of the match through Reghunath in the first half. The match was interrupted by a duststorm.