|Wednesday, January 5, 2000, |
|Kiwis take 2-0 lead over WI |
TAUPO, New Zealand, Jan 4 New Zealand romped to a seven-wicket win in the second one-day international against the west Indies today in a day-night match to take a 2-0 lead in the five match series.
Paes wins; Black bows out
CHENNAI, Jan 4 Leander Paes kept Indias flag flying high as he won his first round match against Jullien Boutter of France 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the ATP Tour Gold Flake Open Tennis Championship here this evening.
Thailand stun Australia
Huge defeat for India despite Laxmans 167
SYDNEY, Jan 4 (PTI) Opener V V S Laxmans glorious 167 for his maiden Test hundred went in vain as India crashed to an embarrassing innings and 141-run defeat against Australia in the third and final cricket Test with two full days to spare as the hosts completed a 3-0 series sweep here today.
The Indian batting once again cut a sorry figure and was terminated for 261 in the second innings after Australia rode on left-hander Justin Langers (223) maiden double century to amass 552 for five declared and leave the visitors to fight a losing battle to reach 402 to avert an innings defeat.
The 25-year-old Laxman was the only saving grace as he finally clicked and played brilliant shots all over the ground and dominated young pace sensation Brett Lee and leg spinner Shane Warne in a racy knock studded with 27 fours and a five.
But the tall opener, who took off courageously after being struck by fast bowler Glenn McGrath at the outset, got little support from the other end and once skipper Sachin Tendulkar fell for a rare failure, the writing was on the wall.
Laxman was all elegance in a stay of 255 minutes facing 198 balls as he stole the thunder from Langer and Ricky Ponting, who cracked an unbeaten 141, to reduce the deficit.
Fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who was an epitome of control on a wicket which held no terrors, captured five for 55 for a superb match haul of 10 for 103 to be named man of the match as the Australians clinched their seventh straight Test win.
India, facing an uphill task as Australia resumed at 331 for four this morning in reply to Indias measly 150, were sent on a leather hunt as 29-year-old Langer (223 - 355 b, 523 m, 30x4) and the aggressive Ricky Ponting (141 n.o. - 183 b, 262 m, 17x4, 1x6) piled up 190 runs for the fifth wicket.
It required the genius of Tendulkar to finally evict Langer who had survived several close calls yesterday but Australia showed no let up in their rapid scoring to leave India with a virtually impossible task of making 402 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
The Indian innings was once again rocked early as McGrath dismissed makeshift opener MSK Prasad (3) and Rahul Dravid (0) before Damien Fleming claimed the prized scalp of Tendulkar for just four to leave the innings in disarray.
But Laxman, who is not included for the coming one-day series, reminded the selectors of his value by playing superb shots on both sides of the wicket to keep the innings alive.
He first added 68 runs with left-hander Saurav Ganguly (25) and then dominated an 89-run partnership with Anil Kumble and also reached his maiden Test century smashing Brett Lee for two consecutive fours and a single in one over.
Laxman, who drove impeccably square of the wicket and ondrove and flicked with elan, reached his 100 in only 114 balls with the help of 16 fours and a five in just under two and a half hours.
For once, the Indian batsmen did not go into a defensive shell as Laxman led the way. He rocked back to pull and was all timing as he drove on either side of the wicket.
Tendulkar, who has been battling the Australian attack on his own, fell early as he uppishly drove a Fleming delivery into the hands of Justin Langer at extra cover.
Ganguly was not too convincing and McGrath, going round the wicket to cramp him for space, found immediate success as Mark Waugh took a regulation, low catch at second slip.
Fellow left-hander Hrishikesh Kanitkar (8) was also not upto the task and it was left to Kumble (15), who gave fine support to the fluent Laxman to cut down the margin of defeat and push the match into the fourth day.
The Australians seemed a frustrated lot as no breakthrough was coming as McGrath came on to bowl the last over of the day. But Kumble fell trying to drive a widish ball and Ajit Agarkar was gone two balls later for his fifth successive duck, following four first ball dismissals.
The dismissal of Agarkar, who equalled the dubious world record of five consecutive ducks held by Bob Holland, led the umpires to extend play by half an hour in a quest for result as the light was good.
Laxman looked visibly tired after notching up Indias highest score in this highly forgettable series, behind Tendulkars 116 at Melbourne in the second Test.
He eventually edged Lee tamely behind the stumps and Venkatesh Prasad was run out soon after to signal Australias second straight 3-0 home series victory, after inflicting a similar defeat on Pakistan.
Laxman, playing his 17th Test hit back at the selectors after being ignored for the one-dayers in a team saddled with several non-performing batsmen.
Laxman ended the tour the way he had begun, hitting 113 against Queensland in the tour opener. He always looked to play shots despite wickets falling at steady intervals at the other end, pulling with panache and playing wristy strokes all around the huge ground.
Tendulkar, who top-scored with 45 in the first innings before falling to dubious umpiring, stood as the final hope to keep India afloat with Laxman.
The Indian skipper hooked the first ball he faced from McGrath for four, but soon did not get to the pitch of the ball as he shaped to drive Flemings slower ball to fall tamely.
But Laxman kept up his scoring momentum, punishing Lee with stunning fours square of the wicket and through the on side. Lee, who captured seven wickets on debut in Melbourne and took four in the first innings conceded 52 runs in a five over spell as Laxman gave him the treatment.
He then picked out Warne, hitting him for straight fours and then going down on his knee to hoist him over midwicket.
India (1st innings): 150
Australia (1st innings):
Blewett b V Prasad 19
Slater c MSK Prasad b Srinath 1
Langer c V Prasad b Tendulkar 223
M. Waugh b Ganguly 32
S. Waugh lbw b Srinath 57
Ponting not out 141
Gilchrist not out 45
Extras (b-2, lb-21, nb-11) 34
Total (for 5 wkts decl in 140.2 overs) 552
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-49, 3-146, 4-267, 5-457.
Bowling: Srinath 28-4-105-2, Agarkar 19-3-95-0, Prasad 28-10-86-1, Kumble 33.2-6-126-0, Ganguly 12-1-46-1, Bharadwaj 12-1-35-0, Tendulkar 7-0-34-1, Kanitkar 1-0-2-0.
India (2nd innings)
MSK Prasad c Waugh b McGrath 3
Laxman c Gilchrist b Lee 167
Dravid c Warne b McGrath 0
Tendulkar c Langer b Fleming 4
Ganguly c M. Waugh b McGrath 25
Kanitkar c Slater b Lee 8
Kumble c Ponting b McGrath 15
Agarkar c Gilchrist b McGrath 0
Srinath not out 15
Prasad run out (Gilchrist) 3
Extras (4b, 2lb, 1w, 14nb) 21
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-26, 3-33, 4-101, 5-145, 6-234, 7-234, 8-258, 9-261
Tendulkar blames batsmen
SYDNEY, Jan 4 (PTI) Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar blamed his batsmens inability to stitch partnerships together as a major reason for Indias 0-3 Test series defeat by Australia.
Tendulkar, who has been named man-of-the-series, said there were not many big partnerships even though the batters spent enough time in the middle, the batting maestro who by and large had to wage a lone battle in the series, said.
Tendulkar made 61 in the first innings at Adelaide, hit 116 and 52 in Melbourne and made 45 in the first innings here as the only consistent Indian batsmen, despite three crucial umpiring decisions going against him.
Despite repeatedly falling victim to poor umpiring, Tendulkar refused to criticise the umpires saying the batsmen make mistakes and the umpires are human too.
On controversy over umpiring, he said: We just have to try to maintain a healthy relationship between the umpires and players. If the problem is solved then and there it would not happen again, he said.
Coach Kapil Dev, when asked whether his team had any problem with Australian umpire Darrel Hair, who turned down leg before shouts against double-century maker Justin Langer, ignored a request for sawdust and a complaint after a boot was thrown at Venkatesh Prasad said, umpires should try to run the game and not try to be policemen.
Aussie skipper Steve Waugh, whose team completed their seventh straight win in a row to be one short of his countrys record, said his team had worked out a plan against India.
He said Indias poor record playing abroad prompted his team to pile on the pressure in Adelaide and marked out the heavy bats used by the Indians as a major reason for failure.
Then it was their heavy bats. We thought it could affect their strokeplay in Australia and the cross batted shots. Heavy bats dont work well in Australia.
Waugh felt India had been negative from the start and attributed it to Indias poor away record. He said his batsmen also succeeded in wearing down the patience of Indian bowlers.
Praising 10-wicket hero, Glenn McGrath, Waugh said if you have two McGraths you are going to beat any side. He is an all-time great bowler.
Paying tributes to McGrath, Waugh said He is the kind of bowler who doesnt get headlines all the time. But he hardly bowls a bad over, always wants an extra over and what more can you ask from a bowler?
McGrath, who claimed a 10-wicket haul against his home fans at the New South Wales capital, said: Having played his first full series against Tendulkar and having got him out three times, I still feel he is the best batsman in the world.
Laxman in reckoning for one-dayers
SYDNEY, Jan 4 (PTI) Dropped from the squad for the coming one-day tri-series, V.V.S. Laxman has left the Indian team management in a dilemma after his brilliant 167 in the third and final Test against Australia today.
Both skipper Sachin Tendulkar and coach Kapil Dev lavished praise on the stylish batsman and said they would request the cricket board to retain the batsman for the series to shore up the struggling Indian batting.
I will be very happy to have him here (for the one-day series), Tendulkar said when asked whether he would prefer to retain Laxman for the tri-series.
I loved the way Laxman batted today. We will request to the board for the same (to include him in the squad). He has just now showed the rest of the team what happens when you spend some time in the middle, he said.
Kapil Dev said: I can only request. I will speak to them tonight and make a request. The 15-member squad was finalised a few days ago.
Asked whether he was hopeful that the selectors will provide him a berth in the one-day squad after his performance today, the stylish batsman said it is up to the selectors. If it happens, I will really be glad.
Going out to play his last innings of the tour, Laxman turned the equation in his favour with a strokeful century and received a standing ovation from the Sydney crowd as the opener was out as the eighth batsman after holding centrestage for over four hours.
The 25-year-old Laxman, who was not considered for the home series against New Zealand and was handed the thankless job of opening again only because Devang Gandhi failed in the first Test, said he was disappointed with his performance in Melbourne.
I really thought I let down the team there by playing rash strokes. My captain advised me to just hang around and spend some more time at the wicket. I thought I played well in the first innings, when Laxman managed only seven despite a long tenure at the crease.
Asked about his thrashing new Aussie paceman Brett Lee, Laxman said it was not intentional. I just wanted to play positively, hang around there and if a bad ball comes, to play strokes.
Kiwis take 2-0 lead over WI
TAUPO, New Zealand, Jan 4 (Reuters) New Zealand romped to a seven-wicket win in the second one-day international against the west Indies today in a day-night match to take a 2-0 lead in the five match series.
The home side reached the 193 target with more than seven overs to spare in the match reduced to 42 overs-a-side because of a late start due to rain.
Captain Stephen Fleming with an unbeaten 59 and Chris Cairns (27 not out) led New Zealand home after the West Indies were bowled out for 192.
Daniel Vettori, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner, had set the Kiwis up for victory with a superb bowling display.
He took four for 24 from his eight overs and frustrated the West Indian batsmen with his unwavering length and accuracy. His efforts earned him the Man of the Match award.
Only the evergreen Jimmy Adams got on top of the bowling with a superbly compiled 69, although Ricardo Powell (35) provided some big-hitting thrills for the 9,000 crowd after Brian Lara was out for two.
New Zealand tore into their task with Nathan Astle leading the charge with 32 off 25 balls, hitting four fours and a six.
He and Craig Spearman (42) shared an opening stand of 55 off seven overs before Astle was caught at wide long-on by Mervyn Dillon off Adams.
Campbell c Fleming b Cairns 0
Jacobs c Cairns b OConnor 13
Adams b Vettori 69
Lara c Vettori b Cairns 2
Chanderpaul c Vettori b Harris 26
Powell c Cairns b Vettori 35
Perry b Vettori 0
Rose not out 21
Dillon c Astle b Vettori 10
King lbw Astle 0
Walsh c Twose b Nash 0
Extras: (w-5, nb-2, b-5, lb-4)16
Total: (all out, 41.3 overs) 192
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-29, 3-31, 4-88, 5-150, 6-151, 7-171, 8-183, 9-187.
Bowling: Cairns 9-1-25-2 (w-2), OConnor 5-0-39-1 (w-3, nb-1), Nash 7-0-27-1, Harris 9-1-42-1 (nb-1), Vettori 8-1-24-4, Astle 4-0-26-1.
Spearman c Jacobs b Dillon 42
Astle c Dillon b Adams 32
Fleming not out 59
McMillan c Jacobs b Rose 13
Cairns not out 27
Extras: (lb-4, nb-12, w-5) 21
Total: (for 3 wkts in 35.4 overs)194
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-98, 3-137.
Paes wins; Black bows out
CHENNAI, Jan 4 (PTI) Leander Paes kept Indias flag flying high as he won his first round match against Jullien Boutter of France 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the ATP Tour Gold Flake Open Tennis Championship here this evening.
Adding to the spate of withdrawals including that of third seeded Carlos Moya of Spain, defending champion Byron Black of Zimbabwe fell by the wayside, scalped by seventh seeded Jamie Delgado of England in another first round match on the outside court 2-6 6-7 (4-7).
Paes started the match breaking Boutter in the very first game and then held his own service games to clinch the first set in 41 minutes.
Paes, known for his late charge, was finding difficulties with his first serves, missing easy volleys and mishitting backhands, battled back well saving break points in almost all his service games, except the 10th which he won at love.
On the other hand, Boutter was serving big and his service return percentage was also good. Boutter showed more accuracy than Paes in his mixture of back and forehands shots and the Frenchman won few worthy rallies in style.
However, Paes never relented in his attacking game though his return of serve was not upto the mark.
In another first round match, Czech Jiri Venek defeated Japans Yaoki Ishi 6-3, 6-4, in 90 minutes.
Paes broke his rival in the very first game before wrapping up the set 6-4.
The Frenchman was in total command making few mistakes in the second set and games went on serve till 3-3.
Boutter broke Paes in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead but the Indian broke back immediately and then took firm control of the set.
He made amends for his earlier waywardness and was more accurate with his passing shots and placements from close to the net to make it 6-all.
In the tiebreak, he was leading 4-1 only to allow his rival to claw back. Leading 5-4 the Indian ace double faulted but Boutter also committed the same mistake to surrender the initiative and Paes clinched the match with a high volley which brooked no response.
Delgado showed a better all-round game against Black and played a variety of shots which quite often reduced Black to a mere spectator.
After taking the first at 6-2, Delgado was made to work harder by Black but the latter came up with winners at crucial times to notch up a fine victory, exhibiting better skills in the tie-break.
Pak slump to 6-wkt defeat
ADELAIDE, Jan 4 (Reuters) Pakistan crashed to a second straight defeat when Australia A beat them by six wickets in a one-day match today.
Australias second team followed up their win in Perth on Sunday after Pakistan slumped to 167 all out in 47.5 overs.
Yousuf Youhana was the only Pakistani to make a reasonable contribution with the bat. He hit 63 before he was run out.
Paul Wilson and former Test leg-spinner Stuart McGill took three wickets each for the hosts.
Pakistan appeared to have a fighting chance when Wasim Akram dismissed David Fitzgerald for two and Waqar Younis removed fellow opener Matthew Hayden for six.
But Brad Hodge (46) and Shane Lee (60 not out) steered the Australians to victory with 16 overs to spare.
Pakistan play Queensland in Brisbane on Thursday before facing Australia on Sunday in the opening match of the international triangular series that also includes India.
Anwar c Haddin b Wilson 10
Afridi c Symonds b Wilson 11
Wasti c Lee b MacGill 31
Ijaz c Harvey b Wilson 2
Youhana run out 63
Mohammad b MacGill 2
Azhar c Symonds b Marsh 10
Akram c Symonds b Marsh 15
Ruzzaq st Haddin b MacGill 0
Saqlain c Symonds b Harvey 8
Waqar not out 1
Extras (lb-5 w-7 nb-2) 14
Total (47.5 overs) 167
Fall of wickets: 1-25 2-26 3-30 4-107 5-123 6-137 7-144 8-145 9-159 10-167.
Bowling: Williams 7-2-16-0 (w-2), Wilson 6-2-14-3 (w-1), Harvey 7.5-0-35-1 (nb-2), Lee 4-0-18-0 (w-1), Symonds 3-0-17-0 (w-1), MacGill 10-2-26-3 (w-2), Marsh 10-0-36-2
Fitzgerland c Azhar b Akram 2
Hayden c Ijaz b Waqar 6
Symonds lbw b Akram 17
Hodge c Wasti b Azhar 46
Lee not out 60
Harvey not out 13
Extras (lb-10 w-10 nb-4) 24
Total (for four wickets,
33.4 overs) 168.
Fall of wickets: 1-9 2-14 3-45 4-120.
Bowling: Wasim Akram 7-2-22-2 (nb-1 w-4), Waqar Younis 8-1-24-1 (w-2), Azhar Mahmood 5.3-0-26-1 (nb-1), Abdur Razzaq 3.3-0-22-0, Saqlain Mushtaq 6.4-1-41-0 (w-1 nb-1), Shahid Afridi 3-0-23-0 (nb-1 w-3).
ICC must set up expert panel
CHANDIGARH, Jan 4 The International Cricket Council (ICC) should at the earliest set up an expert panel to decide what exactly constitutes throwing in cricket. If is not done at the earliest there is every possibility that cricket playing countries might be divided vertically on the contentious issue. Currently, the ICC decides the question of throwing, or chucking as it is more commonly called, on a case-by-case basis. The international body also has an expert panel with nine members (one from each Test playing country) who meet every time doubt is created about the legality of the bowling action of any player.
The worrying aspect about the issue of throwing is the one-month suspension slapped on Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar just prior to the three-nation tournament involving Pakistan, India and Australia in Australia commencing on January 9. Shoaib was banned for one month after an ICC panel ruled that the Pakistani fast bowler was indeed guilty of chucking. Maybe, Shoaibs action is suspect. But it must be remembered that it was in Australia that his action was put under the microscope and the matter referred to the ICC.
However, it must be noted that of late it is the bowlers from the sub-continent who have been picked up for throwing. First it was Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka, then it were Harbhajan Singh and Rajesh Chauhan from India and now Shoaib Akhtar from Pakistan. Does the action of the ICC mean that only bowlers from the sub-continent are involved in throwing and nobody else? No bowler from say England, Australia, South Africa or even New Zealand has , in the recent past, been called or suspended from the game for chucking. Why only the ICC can say.
Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh as also Rajesh Chauhan returned to playing international cricket after undergoing the necessary correction. However, while Muralitharan had the wholehearted support of his cricket board, the Indian players had to go through a reorientation course before playing international cricket again.
Another issue which immediately comes to mind while discussing the question of chucking is the fact that rarely have umpires called the bowlers in the middle of a game. Barring the case of Muralitharan, who was called by umpire Darrel Hair during a series between Australia and Sri Lanka in Australia, in all other cases the issue was discussed and debated off the field. This is not cricket one would say.
India have strong doubts about the legality of the action of Brett Lee, the Australian credited to be the fastest bowler in the world today. The Indian cricket coach Kapil Dev has sought footage of Lees action following doubts raised by Indian players but till now the international body is yet to react. Even the match referee has not , at least officially, made any complaints about the bowling of Lee although television replays have shown that he does bend his arm while sending down express deliveries.
New system will improve quality
CHENNAI, Jan 4 (PTI) World No 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia feels the new ATP ranking system, called the ATP Champions Race, will improve the quality of the game considerably.
Players have to give 100 per cent. You cannot afford to relax, Kafelnikov, the top seed for the Gold Flake Open here, said at a press conference yesterday.
This is the first tournament of the season and every high ranking player should be prepared to give his best. Of course, there will be lesser tournaments, but then the quality of play will be better as the player keeps an eye on the points. I am definitely prepared for the Chennai Open.
Kafelnikov, 26, said his goal was to win as many tournaments as possible. I will be playing lesser doubles matches this year. When I started my professional career, I used to play a lot of doubles to improve my singles play. Now I am an established player and there is no need to do that.
Referring to the world number one pair of Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi, Kafelnikov said: They are a big team, and are friends off the court also, adding this factor had a positive effect on their performance.
Doubles is much more difficult to play than singles. You have to give 100 per cent to your partner.
On his slump after winning the Australia Open and Rotter-dam event in early 1999, said tournaments were played on different surfaces and players had to be prepared for this.
But I was not prepared to play on the clay court surfaces, where most of the tournaments were held after that. That was the reason for the slump.
Kafelnikov said winning the French and Australian Open events were the high points in his career.
I have a good chance of winning the US Open as it is played on my favourite hard court. Grass is not my favourite surface and so I have the least chance of winning Wimbledon.
On participating in the Sydney Olympics, he said: I will definitely take part. Winning a medal for the country at the Olympics means a lot than winning a grand-slam event.
He said the loss to eventual winners Australia in the Davis Cup semifinal was unfortunate. We were the clear favourites.
My disappointment is never having won the Davis Cup for Russia, he said.
Referring to former world number one Pete Sampras, who has been replaced at the top by fellow American Andre Agassi, Kafelnikov said: Pete is a different player, ahead of the rest. He has a big serve and an aggressive game and this makes it so difficult to compete against him.
Kafelnikov said he was happy to be in Chennai.I have never been to this part of this wonderful country. That is the reason why I decided to come.
On Russias tennis future, Kafelnikov said it was very good. I am happy that I played a big role in this. A lot of kids have taken to this game in our country and we have a lot of tennis centres to hone the childrens skills.
Asked how he was able to participate in a lot of tournaments, Kafelnikov said he was very strong and his body could take a lot of punishment.
I was raised to be the best and my strength comes from my heart. Of course, I am afraid of failures. It makes feel humble at times. But a career always go up and down, he said.
On Marat Safin, the Russian teenage sensation, he said: Safin is young and has the potential to become a top player.
Thailand stun Australia
PERTH, Jan 4 (AFP) Unseeded Thailand caused the biggest upset in the history of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament here today when they beat reigning champions and favourites Australia 2-1.
Thailand, competing for the first time in the tournament, snatched the honours on the fourth day of the eight-nation mixed teams contest at Burswood Dome.
Their triumph came in the crucial doubles, after each side won one of the singles matches, when Paradorn Srichaphan and Tamarine Tasasugarn beat Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Thai pair were ecstatic at their victory, after Thailand only reached the main draw following a win against Japan in a qualifying clash on Saturday.
Both Thailand and Australia were playing their first matches in the main round robin tournament.
In the womens singles, American-born Tanasugarn caused a major upset when she walloped Dokic 6-1, 6-4 in 62 minutes.
But Mark Philippoussis revived Australias hopes when he thumped Srichaphan just as convincingly, 6-1, 6-4, in 65 minutes.
Tanasugarn, 22, ranked 72nd in the world, swamped the 16-year-old Dokic (43rd). I knew I had to try hard, and thats what I did, Tanasugarn said.
In the mens singles, Philippoussis, 23, the big hitter who piloted Australia to their Davis Cup final win over France, overpowered Srichaphan, three years his junior.
But Philippoussis, ranked 19th, had some words of encouragement for the 20-year-old. He has a great future in the game, he said. It is the first time I have played him and I am impressed. He played much better in the second set.
Philippoussis and Dokic carried Australia to their first win in the competition last year when they beat Swedish pair Jonas Bjorkman and Asa Carlsson in the final.
Earlier, unseeded Austria scored a major upset by beating the third-seeded Slovak Republic 2-1 in a marathon clash late last night.
Austrias Stefan Koubek and Barbara Schett snatched victory for their country when they beat Karol Kucera and Henrieta Nagyova in the crucial mixed doubles, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, after the singles ties had been shared
Schett, 23, gave Austria a flying start in the womens singles, overpowering the 21-year-old Nagyova 6-2, 6-3 in only 68 minutes.
Bhupathi to be fit by May
BANGALORE, Jan 4 (PTI) World No 1 doubles tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, who is recovering from a right shoulder injury, today said be would be fit and back into the game by May.
With a sling on his right shoulder after a surgery he underwent in New York late last month, Bhupathi told reporters I will be more fit, since I have four months to work out and the sling will be removed in another 10 days. I am planning to start practising.
Bhupathi said he would be in a different role at Chennai Gold Flake Open, where he is on an assignment for a sports channel.
Sydney Olympics is a long way but before that US Open is a good goal to aim at. When once I am out of the injury, I will have to sit with Leander Paes and work out the itinerary and decide when we can start playing together, said Bhupathi.
IOA keen to develop winter sports
SHIMLA, Jan 4 Lack of adequate facilities was the main hurdle in the development of winter sports for which there was vast scope in the country, says Mr Randhir Singh, General Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association.
While there was only one fair weather ice skating rink at Shimla, which functioned for about two months, the ski slopes at Auli, Manali and Gulmarg were not of international standard. Unlike developed countries, the winter sport was entirely dependent on weather in India.
He said the South Asian Federation Winter Games which were to be hosted by Himachal along with National Games, had to be postponed due to lack of equipment like snow beaters, snow scooters and snow making machines. One could not organise an international event without these machines as weather could play spoil sport any moment.
Mr Randhir Singh felt that Shimla, which has the distinction of having the South Asias oldest ice skating rink, should have the artificial ice making system so that it could function at least for six months. Similarly, other hill stations like Manali, Auli, Darjeeling, Gulmarg, Dalhousie and metropolitan cities should also have ice-skating rinks.
Auli in Garhwal had the best facilities but it did not have an ice-skating rink. The ski slopes were good and a lift had also been installed. In Manali the slopes were available for skiing but there was no skilift. He said in Korea, where the last Asian Winter Games were held, there were 21 ski lopes at one place.
The IOA accorded recognition to Winter Games only two years ago. Since then the event was being organised regularly. The first games were held in Gulmarg, second were underway here and the third would be held at Auli. This would enable the three centres to acquire adequate facilities.
He was hopeful that Himachal Pradesh would be able to acquire snow beaters and snow making machines, for which 50 per cent funds were provided by the Centre for the SAF winter games next year. Once these machines were available the IOA would have no problems in organising international events.
Regarding the non-availability of sketes, ice-hockey sticks and other winter sport gear, he said once facilities like all weather ice-skating rinks and ski slopes were developed, the indigenous sports goods manufacturing industry would take care of the equipment.
Mr Randhir said the association would make all efforts to develop winter sports in the country. It was planning to send some promising skiers like Neha Ahuja of Himachal for training abroad. Besides, it would also try to hire the services of coaches from other countries to train upcoming players here.
SAI adopts Bhutias school
CALCUTTA, Jan 4 (PTI) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has adopted the Namchi Senior Boys Secondary School at soccer star Baichung Bhutias village Namchi in Sikkim as part of its talent search programme.
SAI Eastern Centre Director Somen Chaudhuri told reporters here that two other schools Khamarpara Boys Secondary School in West Bengal and Chatakachari Senior Boys School in Tripura have also been adopted under the programme.
He said under the scheme, 25 selected students in each school would be given Rs 8,000 each annually. Of the amount, Rs 5,000 would be given as stipend, Rs 1,500 as competition expenses and Rs 1,500 as kit allowance.
Indian spikers finish third
DUBAI, Jan 4 (PTI) Ukraine staged a magnificent rally from two sets down to wear down African champions Tunisia in five thrilling sets to retain the title while India claimed the third place in the fifth Rashid International Volleyball Championship here last night.
Ukraine faced the threat of an upset as Tunisia, the team ranked 14th in the world which had beaten India in the semifinal, claimed the first two sets but the winners clawed their way back before winning the tie-break decider on extra points.
Ukraine won the marathon final 23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 19-17.
Thrice champions and last years runners-up India had some consolation when they prevailed over a youthful Cuba in straight sets in the classification match.
DP Azad: pull out of triangular series
CHANDIGARH, Jan 4 Dronacharya Award winner D.P. Azad feels that India would withdraw from the triangular cricket series starting in Australia in the second week of this month.
Mr Azad, who has produced such cricketers like Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma, said India should not have any sporting links with Pakistan till it behaves like a good neighbour.
Stunning 3-0 victory for PAU
LUDHIANA, Jan 4 Hosts Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, scored a 3-0 stunning victory over the current champions Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, while Kurukshetra University edged out last years losing semi-finalists Punjabi University, Patiala, 3-1 on the fourth day of the North Zone Inter University Hockey Tournament for men at the astro turf ground of PAU here today.
In other two quarter-final matches Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, defeated Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, 3-1 while last years runners-up Panjab University, Chandigarh, scored an emphatic 8-1 victory over Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
PAU surged ahead in the sixth minute through Jagroop and consolidated the lead in the 24th minute through Yadwinder Singh (2-0). After leading by two goals at the interval PAU men eased out but still pumped in another goal in the 51st minute to complete the rout.
PAU men were so dominating that they earned 13 penalty corners though they could not take advantage out of these chances. On the other hand, the current champions CCS University, Meerut, failed to get any penalty corner. With this loss, Meerut varsity were eliminated from the race for a berth in the inter zonal varsity hockey tournament scheduled to be held here from January 12.
In the second quarterfinal between last years losing semifinalist Punjabi University, Patiala, and Kurukshetra University, the later emerged winners 3-1 after playing an unproductive first half.
For the winners, the scorers were Prabhdeep Singh, Sawaran Singh and Rashpal Singh while Aminderpal Singh struck once for the losers in another quarterfinal fixture last years losing semifinalists Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, scored an identical (3-1) victory against Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi. The winners were leading 2-0 at half time.
In the fourth quarter-final match, last years runners-up Panjab University, Chandigarh, pushed Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, on the defensive and ran over them in no time to take 5-1 lead till the breather.
Winter games can promote tourism
SHIMLA, Jan 4 The second National Winter Games got off to a colourful start here today.
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal Chief Minister, declared the games open at an impressive ceremony on the Ridge. He said winter sports were getting importance all over the world these days and the Himachal Government was also keen to develop facilities for it in the state. It had very good slopes for skiing and helisking. The state had awarded a 30- year contract for conducting helisktiing in Manali to a foreign company. It had also hired the services of an Austrian expert to explore the possibility of organising helisktiing at Holi in Chamba and Chanshal in Shimla district.
The fascinating Winter Games had a vast potential for promoting tourism. Sports like heliskiing, in particular, attracted a lot of foreign tourists.
Besides, the government was also making efforts to encourage adventure activities like paragliding, river rafting, hang gliding and water sports. The state had two big lakes Gobind Sagar in Bilaspur and Pong Dam in Kangra which were ideal for water sports.
Mr Praveen Sharma Minister of State for Sports and Youth Services, gave details of the events to be held during the four-day games.
Earlier, the participants presented an impressive march past. A cultural programme in which folk dancers regaled the audience was the main attraction of the opening ceremony.
Anil Bhardwaj captain of the Himachal team, administered oath to the participants after lighting the Winter Games flame. Chunni Lal carried the flame around the stadium.
While the competitive event will commence from tomorrow, the participants will perform exhibition figure skating and speed skating during the winter carnival to be held late in the evening. Exhibition ice-hockey matches will also be held.
SBT beat ITI
BANGALORE, Jan 4 (PTI) State Bank of Travancore (SBT) defeated Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) 1-0 in the fourth edition of the National Football League here yesterday.
SBT found its bearings in the 73rd minute through Shabir Ali, who tapped a pass from Thomas. ITI messed up on number of occasions and lack of co-ordination was evident from their moves. At one stage they failed to capitalise on three corners in a row.
MUKTSAR, Jan 4 (TNS) On the second day of fourth state-level Dashmesh Hockey Championship, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) defeated the Namdhari IX (in tie breaker) by 2-1. In another match, Dashmesh Hockey Club, Muktsar, defeated Baba Farid Hockey Club, Faridkot, by 5-4, also through tie breaker.
Punjab and Sind Bank Academy got a walkover as Bhaj Behlon Club Bhagta failed to turn up.
Paramjit to lead
PHAGWARA, Jan 4 (FOC) Six footballers of the local Guru Nanak College have been included in 18-member Punjab football team that will take part in the under-21 North Zone Football Championship being held at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh from January 6.
Paramjit will lead the squad. Prof Sital Singh and Mr Jagir Singh will accompany team as manager and coach, respectively. The Team Paramjit (captain), Paramjit Singh, Parminder Singh, Palwinder, Sukhwinder Singh, Jasbir Singh, Inderjit Singh (all GNC), Kuldip, Sumir, Vijay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Balbir Singh, Charanjit Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Rimpa, Onkar, Pardeep and Paramvir.
GCPE win 4-0
PATIALA, Jan 4 Government College of Physical Education (GCPE) drubbed Youth Sports Club 4-0 on the second day of the Patiala District Football Championship league match played at the local Polo grounds here today.
Avishek put his team a goal up when he slotted the ball home from a goal mouth melee. Avisheks 40-yard kick made it 2-0. He completed a hattrick when he nudged the ball in the goal to make it 3-0. Satinder headed the ball home to make it 4-0
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