|Tuesday, January 11, 2000,
snatch 2-wkt victory
No problems with Sachin,
Pak snatch 2-wkt victory
BRISBANE, Jan 10 (PTI) India failed to keep their nerves intact at the fag end of a valiant defence of their low total as arch rivals Pakistan registered a two-wicket victory off the very last delivery in an absolutely thrilling league tie in the one-day Triseries Cricket Tournament here tonight.
India, bowled out for 195 in 48.5 overs, had a vice-like grip on the match after reducing their arch-rivals to 153 for eight wickets but failed to prise out the last two wickets as Pakistan, docked one over for slow bowling, reached 196 for eight wickets in exactly 49 overs at the Gabba.
The nerve-wracking final over bowled by paceman Venkatesh Prasad saw Pakistan requiring six runs after defiant knocks by Saqlain Mushtaq and Waqar Younis helped their team bounce back, but the nervous Indians conceded an overthrow and wide to leave their rivals needing two runs from as many balls.
A single off the penultimate ball helped Pakistan tie the scores and with the batsmen taking off for a winning bye, new wicketkeeper Sameer Dighe failed to hit the stumps at the batsmans end and Sachin Tendulkars desperate throw at the non-strikers end also was wide.
Pakistan, who beat Australia last night by 45 runs at the same venue, scored their second straight victory riding on their tail-enders while India were left to rue their inability to complete the job after a superb effort by their pacemen, led by Javagal Srinaths four-wicket haul, brought them on the verge of a thrilling win.
Saqlain Mushtaq, who also played a crucial knock yesterday, struck an unbeaten 27 and with Waqar Younis (13 not out) kept his cool in the unfinished stand after Pakistan were left at 153 for eight in the 43rd over. The low-scoring match for the second successive day saw India manage to compile their modest score only due to invaluable half-centuries by left-handers Saurav Ganguly (61) and Robin Singh.
The duo withstood another fine pace effort by their rivals led by the controversial Shoaib Akhtar, who finished with another three-wicket haul, giving away just 19 runs in eight overs, and their 66-run fifth wicket stand lifted India to a fighting total.
The charged-up Indian bowlers led by Srinath fought back brilliantly to leave Pakistan at a seemingly hopeless 71 for six after claiming the entire top-order quite cheaply.
Laxman c Afridi b Younis 9
Ganguly b Shoaib 61
Dravid c Moin b Shoaib 8
Tendulkar b Razzaq 13
Kanitkar c Moin b Saqlain 0
R. Singh c Younis b Saqlain 50
Dighe lbw b Shoaib 6
Kumble run out 16
Agarkar run out 2
Srinath b Akram 0
Prasad not out 0
Extras (B-1, LB-8, W-14, NB-7) 30
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-50, 3-76, 4-77, 5-143, 6-150, 7-186, 8-194, 9-150.
Bowling: Akram 9.5-1-45-1, Younis 8-0-30-1, Razzaq 8-1-31-1, Shoaib 8-1-19-3, Saqlain 9-0-35-2, Afridi 6-0-26-0.
Anwar c Singh b Srinath 24
Afridi c Laxman b Srinath 0
Ahmed lbw b Agarkar 13
Inzamam lbw b Agarkar 4
Youhana c Dighe b Srinath 63
Razzaq lbw b Kumble 6
M. Khan c Dravid b Srinath 3
Wasim Akram b Ganguly 24
Saqlain not out 27
Waqar Younis not out 13
Extras (B-1, LB-9, NB-3, W-6) 19
Total (for eight wickets, 49 overs) 196
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-36, 3-42, 4-55, 5-64, 6-71, 7-120, 8-153.
Kapil flays Hair for outburst
BRISBANE, Jan 10 (PTI) Indian cricket coach Kapil Dev yesterday criticised controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair for his outburst against the Indian and Pakistani teams for reported comments that racism had influenced decisions by Australian umpires.
Who said the word racial or that the decisions (were influenced by racism)?, asked Kapil Dev when asked to react to Hairs strongly-worded statement at the match referees meeting here two days ahead of the tri-series tournament.
Kapil Dev said if neither the Indian or Pakistan camp had attributed racial motives to decisions handed down by the host umpires what was the need for Hair to come out with such a statement, which said the two teams should either specify their grievances or shut up.
But the Indian coach said he would rather concentrate on the job at hand in the tri-series than join issue with Hair.
Indian tour manager, Mahender Bhargava, has denied his team had complained to Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed over the host umpires stand.
Basically whether we are satisfied or not, we are not, allowed to comment because it is not in the right spirit. We had a meeting and everybody agreed the series should be played in good spirit. We have come here to play cricket, Bhargava said.
But Australian skipper
Steve Waugh defended Hair by saying his reading out the
statement was fair. As long as youre open and
you can discuss these things, it is much better than
whispering behind closed doors. They (umpires) probably
should get more respect, he added.
No problems with Sachin, Kapil: Azharuddin
NEW DELHI, Jan 10 (PTI) Former India cricket captain Mohd Azharuddin yesterday denied any rift with coach Kapil Dev and skipper Sachin Tendulkar and said he had no problem playing under anyone. Media has always said such things ever since I have been dropped but so far as I know I really have no problems with anybody.
I really played
for the team and I dont think I have to justify
that after having played for 15-16 years because for
playing this long one has to be really committed,
the stylish batsman told Star News from Hyderabad in
response to a query on the team managements
reported opposition to his inclusion in the team for
one-day triangular series in Australia.
Mobile phones banned in Pak dressing room
BRISBANE, Jan 10 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board has barred its players from using mobile phones in the dressing room in a bid to ensure that the image of the team, hit by betting and match-fixing allegations, was not sullied again.
Lt Gen Tauqir Zia, the army appointed chief of PCB, has asked the team management to stop players from using mobile phones in the dressing room and strictly enforce the rule.
During the match fixing
scandal that broke out last year following
Pakistans debacle against Australia in the World
Cup final, allegations were made that players used to
receive calls from bookies in the dressing room.
Kiwis proving unbeatable
WELLINGTON, Jan 10 (AFP) The New Zealand cricket teams win against the West Indies here yesterday went some way towards evening up the historical ledger between the two sides in one-day cricket.
The four wins in the series so far have doubled New Zealands total number of wins over the West Indies, which stood at four from 25 matches before the start of the series.
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said his team took a lot of pride in the win in trying conditions.
There was a lot of professionalism in the win, its something were trying to develop and we did it well in difficult circumstances.
Coming off the series win, we did want to win 5-0, but the fourth was a tough one, especially with the way the game went with the weather.
A crowd of around 15,000 returned to watch the second stanza of the game in Wellington which was re-scheduled after only 10.5 overs were possible on Saturday because of rain.
West Indies restarted on 43 for one.
The weather stayed cold and gloomy throughout but the crowd warmed up as Astle and Twose helped themselves and the West Indies produced more of the same ordinary bowling and fielding.
After the early wickets of Craig Spearman, for nought off the second ball of the innings by Mervyn Dillon and Fleming for 10 with the score on 23, Astle and Twose sealed the game.
Astle, in his 100th one-day international, continued on from the previous three matches and posted his 21st half-century off 72 balls with seven fours.
It continued his fine sequence of scores in the series of 77, 32 and 50.
Two overs later, Twose responded to the roars of his home crowd to notch up his 12th one-day half-century off 82 balls. The 100 partnership, off 136 balls, came up with Astles 50 in the 28th over.
But they were given some lucky breaks by the West Indies, with Astle dropped on 26 by Wavell Hinds and 63 by Jimmy Adams, and Twose missed on 17 by Reon King.
The West Indies had a long debrief after the match.
They have just one chance to salvage anything from their tour when they play New Zealand for the fifth and last one-day match in Christchurch this week, and captain Brian Lara said there were some honest words spoken.
West Indies crickets always going to be around, its just a matter of whether we want to be part of it, Lara said.
Its a great legacy, were trying to salvage a match and also salvage our legacy. We need to play with a little bit more pride and determination.
The West Indies struggled on resuming their innings yesterday morning with the pitch assisting all the bowlers.
Chris Cairns completed his 10 over spell to take one for 27 before Harris heroics, then Scott Styris also proved his worth with three for 37 off 10 overs and included the wickets of Ridley Jacobs, Lara and Sherwin Campbell.
Top golfers for ONGC Open
NOIDA, Jan 10 (UNI) Leading golfers of the country, including Vijay Kumar, Jyoti Randhawa, Feroz Ali, Amritinder Singh and Mukesh Kumar, will be seen in action in the Rs 6,00,000 prize money second ONGC-NGC open championship to be held here from January 13 to 16.
Talking to newspersons here today, the tournament organising committee chairman Lt Gen (retd) Satish Nambiar said 100 professionals and 12 amateurs are expected to take part in the race for the top prize of Rs 97,200. The runner up will receive Rs 67,200.
General Nambiar said the traditional pro-am event will be held a day prior to the start of the event, on January 12.
He said hosting of the second edition of the ONGC sponsored tournament will give a boost to the 10 year old Noida Golf Club (NGC).
The club had relaid nine green in 1998 and three last year and we hope to relay the remaining six this year, he said.
In the two tournaments played here last season, only two players managed to score under par-champion Vijay Kumar (12 under 276) and runner up Uttam Mundy (two under 286).
General Nambiar said the cut will be applied after the second round with 50 and ties making it to the third round.
Meanwhile the NGC announced it would not charge any green fee from the top 15 golfers on the PGA merit list while others would have to pay 50 per cent of the fee.
All the top 20 players on the order of merit, with the sole exception of no 8 Basad Ali, have entered the tournament.
Kuerten stumbles in first tie
SYDNEY, Jan 10 (DPA) Top seed Gustavo Kuerten today stumbled in Australia in his first year 2000 outing, losing a battle with wily Spanish veteran Francisco Clavet 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at the $ 810,000 Adidas International.
Kuerten, ranked fifth in the world and a former French Open champion, came up short in a struggle that lasted nearly two hours.
World No. 38 Clavet, at 31 the oldest man inside the top 50 ranking on the ATP tour, concluded the upset after Kuerten saved two match points.
On his third winning chance, Clavet came good, profiting as Kuerten hit a return wide to go out at Homebush Bay, site of the September Olympic tennis event.
It was difficult, it was first match, said Kuerten. I had a lot of time off not playing at all.
It was difficult to play my best. I had hoped to play well... and get some more matches in.
But he added: Ill be playing some doubles this week which will help me prepare for the Australian Open.
The Sydney event is serving as a Test bed for the Olympic Games, which begin in nine months.
Construction cranes still dot the site 15 km west of central Sydney but the majority of stadiums on the former abattoir and toxic dump site are up and have reached the final construction stage.
Holder Todd Martin, the world No. 8 and third seed, was to begin his campaign with a first-round match against Andrei Medvedev.
The battle for 1999 Grand Slam Finals victims of Andre Agassi Medvedev lost in Paris, Martin in New York was staged on the showcase centre court, which has drawn good reviews so far from players.
Trailing in the wake of world No. 1 Agassi and No. 13 Pete Sampras, Martin has only an outside chance of qualifying for the American Olympic squad.
But the rangy right-hander has been heartened by the recent declarations by Sampras that the games would not be a top priority for him this season.
I heard that and turned a couple of cartwheels and somersaults. If thats the case, it makes it a lot easier for me to qualify, said Martin.
I hate playing for a ranking and worrying about a ranking, but after Wimbledon (early July) Ill be very concerned about what my ranking is.
I hope its high enough for me to qualify and come down in September.
Seventh seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia advanced easily in bright summer sunshine over Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 6-1, 7-5.
Frenchman Arnaud Clement ousted Argentine Mariano Zabaleta 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
On the womens side of the draw, last years Australian Open finalist Amelie Mauresmo, seeded sixth, needed three sets to finally hold off AI Sugiyama of Japan 7-6 (7-2), 0-6, 7-6 (7-5). Belgian Dominique Van Roost defeated Paola Suarez of Argentina 6-2, 6-2, while Olga Barbanschikova of Belarus made it a day of disappointment for Germanys Anke Huber, winning their opening-round contest 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Russian Elena Likhovtseva needed to go the distance before controlling Sandra Nacuk of Yugoslavia 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
DOHA (Qatar), (AP): Fabrice Santoro of France made tennis history by winning the Qatar Mobil Open 2000 to become the first leader of the ATPs inaugural Champions Race.
Punjab trounce Madhya Pradesh
LUDHIANA, Jan 10Last years runners-up, Punjab trounced holders Madhya Pradesh 32-9 and National Handball Academy, Bhilai, defeated SAI, Gandhinagar, 29-23 to set up the title clash on the penultimate day of the 22nd Junior National Handball Championship for Boys at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today. In the first semifinal, the current champions, Madhya Pradesh were no match to hosts Punjab who immediately went into the lead and gave no chance to their rivals to settle down. Till the breather, Punjab had established an unbeatable lead of 19 points (25-6).
In the second session, Punjab boys added seven more points while the defending champions scored just three goals. Centre back, Rajesh Thakur and right winger, Pawan Kumar of Punjab stole the limelight scoring seven and five goals, respectively. For the losers, Dhanraj and Munnu Swamy chipped in with four and two goals respectively.
The second semifinal was played between National Handball Academy, Bhilai, and SAI (W) Gandhinagar in which the former emerged victorious 29-23. The winners led 13-8 at half time. During the first 10 minutes both the teams were equally matched displaying good coordination in the front line while their defence also looked solid giving few opportunities to the rivals to score.
However, as the game progressed the academy lads exhibited fine passing and catching to carve out a 29-23 victory.
Academys Jain Prasad topped the scorers list with 10 goals followed by Shekhar who netted six goals. For SAI, the main scorers were Mandeep and Ashok who scored eight and six goals respectively.
Earlier, in the last
four super league matches played in the morning, Madhya
Pradesh beat Chandigarh 15-9; SAI, Gandhinagar outplayed
Kerala 28-18, Punjab edged out Maharashtra and NHA,
Bhilai drubbed Himachal Pradesh 31-10.
Churchill Bros hope to bounce back
MARGAO, Jan 10 (UNI) Goas professional league champions Churchill Brothers, placed second on the league table with 12 points from six matches below defending champions Salgoacar Sports Club who have 14 points, will hope to bounce back from 1-3 goal defeat they suffered at the hands of the State Bank of Travancore last Friday, when they take on lowly-placed BSF (Jalandhar) in the fourth edition of the National Football League match at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, here tomorrow.
A win for Churchill Brothers tomorrow will help them regain the top place on the league table.
Far from impressive BSF, now placed 11th with four points above the bottom-placed Dempo with two points, will have to pull out all stops to at least take a point to avoid slipping further.
Churchill Brothers have done reasonably well in their first four matches against Dempo, Mahindra and Mahindra (Mumbai), F C Kochi and ITI (Bangalore) but failed to repeat the performance against Salgoacar and two State Bank of Travancore whom they had lost by 0-1 and 1-3, respectively.
If they show the form which they displayed against Dempo, it will not be difficult for them to find the opening against BSF.
Churchill Brothers midfield also failed to perform and create the openings for their forwards against the SBI in the away match. Their nimble-footed striker Francise Silveira, who performed brilliantly against Dempo, also failed with little support from the medios Rokcy Barreto, Mario Soares, Mykolav and Somatai Shaiza and was rendered ineffective.
Churchill have a well knit team with striker Francise Silveira, Andriy, Marcus Carvalho and Kaustav Ghose and also a good midfield. The defence too has done creditably marshelled by Osumnai Hussain, Denzil Ferrao, Antohny Mathew and Anthrony Pereira. They will have to play a well organised game if they want to win tomorrow Edward Anshaha has done a fine job under the bar.
Lowly-placed BSF conceeded four goals against Salgoacar in their last match, depending heavily on Satinder Singh, Ranbhir Singh, K Mobi Singh and Tapan Bhatacharjee in the defence.
Helping the forwards line will be Sane Lama, Jasbir Singh, J Ouseph. They also have a good attacking line-up comprising Gurjit Atwal, D S Negi, Gouring Paul and Prashnata Das. Bibash Saha will guard the goal.
BSF coach Shyam Kumar
said: We lost badly against Salgoacar in the last
match due to our teams defensive lapse and even midfield
failed to combine well. Though Churchill is a good team.
We will play our own game and try to split the
JCT hold FC Kochin
KOCHI, Jan 10 (PTI) Former champions JCT, Phagwara survived a barrage of attacks from local outfit FC Kochin before holding them to a 2-all draw in an evenly contested match at the fourth National Football League here tonight.
JCTs nippy striker Hardip Gill scored both goals for his team. In the 32nd minute, Gill drew first blood, which was neutralised by Noel Wilson for FC Kochin through a penalty conversion in the 46th minute. Mercurial striker I.M. Vijayan put the professional club in the lead with a powerful header in the 73rd minute. But hardly had the cheers died down when Gill struck his second goal and the equaliser in the 74th minute.
With this match, JCT have increased their points tally to nine from seven matches (2 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses), while FC Kochin have eight from seven matches (1 win, 5 draws, 1 loss).
Kochin had a distinct edge over their rivals in the second session, but met with stiff resistance as the millmen mounted pressure and threatened the Kochin citadel on a few occasions.
Hardworking medio Tejinder Kumar initiated moves from deep inside his own half with long diagonal passes. Though Tejinder sent his striking duo Vijayan and substitute Jithesh away a number of times, their final passes went astray or were cleared by the strong defence manned by Prabhjot Singh and Deepak Mandal.
East Bengal-Dempo tie drawn
CALCUTTA (UNI): Calcutta giants East Bengal today looked a broken house and somehow saved their face scoring the equaliser to share points in a 1-1 encounter against Dempo Sports Club in the Football League here today.
The visitors were leading by a brilliant goal off Iranian Kamal Seied in the 18th minute.He was nicely fed by defender Sameer Naik from the right flank and the former made no mistake in beating Prasanta Dora hands down.
But they failed to retain the lead against the onslaught of the local side in the second half and left the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium with one point in their kitty.
The much-needed equaliser came for East Bengal in 30th minute of the second half through substitute Tushar Rakshit, who in a melee found the net defeating Vikrant Sharma under the bar.
With this, East Bengal earned eight points out of six matches while Goa side secured three point in as many outings.
MUMBAI: Jordanian centre forward Bassam Khatib today gave a superb demonstration of touch football by scoring a brace in Mahindras 3-0 rout of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) in the National Football League here at the Cooperage.
It was Mahindras third consecutive win which took their seven-match tally to 12 points while SBT remain on six out of seven. Now they play Salgaocar on Saturday here.
Bassam, who joined Mahindras after five matches were played, would have today scored one more but his measured header off the third flag kick in the 21st minute hit the inside of the cross and came back into play.
Bassam played one-two
with Aqeel Ansari in the fourth minute and deceived
substitute goalie Feroz Seriff with a deft heel shot for
the second goal. That touch of class was followed by
another show of grand understanding in the 59th minute
with Ansari who today played his providers role in
the absence of Mohammed Najeeb with perfection. Bassam
chested the ball and toed it to Ansari who dodged past a
defender and then gave a forward ball to Bassam who had
already read Ansaris mind and was in position to
collect it before the defence could gather its wits and
posted the third goal.
Mexico beat Iran in opener
OAKLAND (California), Jan 10 (Reuters) Mexico beat Iran 2-1 in a memorable first encounter on the soccer pitch between the two nations as Iran began their three-match California tour on a losing note.
All three goals in the friendly match played yesterday were scored by veterans of the 1998 World Cup finals with Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco scoring for Mexico and Ali Daei recording Irans goal. The match featured a total of 10 France 98 starters six from Iran and four for Mexico.
Although both managers had played down the importance of results, vast sections of Iranian and Mexican supporters urged their teams with chants and cheers, and the two sides responded with spirited attacks.
Mexico, prompted by 20-year-old midfielder Juan Pablo Rodriguez, applied pressure from the opening kickoff and free kicks by the young star from Mexican club Atlas set up both of his teams goals.
Iranian keeper Handi Tabatebei rescued his team with a fine save of a shot by Daniel Osorno in the first minute as the Iranians struggled to match the Mexicans pace. Two minutes later, Mexico grabbed a 1-0 lead on a near-post header by Hernandez from a Rodriguez free kick.
Mexico doubled their lead in the 18th minute with a similar set piece from the opposite side. This time, Rodriguezs curling ball was met by Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who stooped to flick a header over Tabatebei.
Panja-Srinath duo falls at last hurdle
CHENNAI, Jan 10 (PTI) Indian dreams of a doubles title at the ATP Gold Flake Open-tennis tournament were shattered when Saurav Panja and Prahlad Srinath were outplayed by the French-Belgian combination of Julien Boutter and Christophe Rochus 7-5, 6-1 in the final.
Rochus-Boutter thus prevented another Indian pair from etching a new chapter in the $ 400,000 tournament here, as Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi had done three years ago.
Incidentally, both pairs were given a wild card into the main doubles draw. Rochus and Boutter had ousted top-seeded Leander Paes-Byron Black in the quarterfinals.
The winners secured $ 26,550 and 35 ATP points while Panja-Srinath claimed $ 15,630 and 24 points.
For Panja and Srinath this was a big achievement, as they made it to the final of a ATP event, playing together for the first time.
Except for the first set, the match was totally one-sided.
Surprisingly, it was the big servers, Boutter and Srinath, on the Indian side, who had problems with serve.
Though Boutter regained his touch later, Srinath was under so much pressure that he tended to doublefault. The winners were never broken and Rochus supported the Frenchman well with his angled drop shots.
Games went with serve till the ninth in the first set. With the French-Belgian duo leading 5-4, Srinath staved off two set-points (15-40) on serve in the 10th game, took it to deuce and fired in two aces to make it 5-5.
But in the crucial 12th game, with Panja serving, a backhand error from Srinath set up a set-point and Boutter converted it with a backhand volley down the middle. The first set lasted 43 minutes.
The Indians lost the second set in just 22 minutes. Panja was broken in the fourth and Srinath in the sixth game as the Indians went down 1-5.
But to the Indians credit, they tried their best to prevent Rochus from serving out the seventh game. At 40-30, the Indians were staring down the barrel but saved a matchpoint, took the game to deuce twice before a good drop shot by Boutter set up another match-point.
Rochus sent in a good serve, but Srinaths backhand found the net to give Boutter/Rochus a good win.
This is the French/Belgian pairs first ATP doubles title and they are also teaming up for the first time.
In the singles event fourth seed Jerome Golmard of France made a late charge to beat Markus Hantschk of Germany to clinch the title yesterday.
Golmard, who lived up to his billing by beating Hantschk 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 in 150 minutes, was richer by $ 54,000 while the German collected $ 31,500 along with glittering Gold Flake trophies.
Hantschks performance in going down fighting proved the depth in the mens circuit these days. Making his first ever appearance in the final of an ATP tour event, Hantschk displayed the rise of Germans in this popular game.
The fact that Golmard was, on at least 10 occasions, passed on his right by Hantschk to win rallies proved the Germans superior variety but the Germans weak serve proved his undoing.
Neither of the finalists were prepared to take chances but Golmard was the best on the day as his plan to keep the ball in play and wait for mistakes by his rival paid off in the first set.
Hantschk was broken in the very first game and was erratic. He did come up with few worthy winners but never showed any consistency.
Gopi Chand, Popat named skippers
MUMBAI, Jan 10 (UNI) P. Gopi Chand and Aparna Popat will lead the Indian mens and womens badminton teams, respectively, in the forthcoming Thomas and Uber Cups preliminary championships to be held in New Delhi in February, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced here yesterday.
The other members of the mens team for the Thomas Cup include Abhin Shyam Gupta, Nikhal Kanetkar, Ajit Vijetilak, Siddharth Jain, Ismail, Vencent Lobo, Marcos Bristo, V. Singh and Jose George. Chetan Anand will be the reserve.
The womens team includes B.R. Meenakshi, Manjusha Kanwar, P.V.V. Laksmi, C.H. Depti, Madhumati Bist, Archana Deodhar, G. Jwala and S. Kurien.
The coaches are S.M. Arif, Uday Pawar, Leroy DSa and Vimal Kumar.
The selection meeting was chaired by Mr Dinesh Khanna and attended by Mr Pradeep Gandhe, Mr S.S. Mani, Mr Partho Ganguly and Mr L.C. Gupta.
When asked about the inclusion of Madhumati Bist who is in her thirties and a housewife, Mr Khanna said that for the Thomas and Uber Cups we do not try out youngsters. She is number six in India. We respect her talent and performance therefore we have selected her, he added.
On the non-inclusion of Sachin Ratti, Mr Khanna admitted he was a good player. However, he is not in the top team and the performances of the other players have also to be accounted for, he stated.
The team will undergo a camp at Bangalore from January 15 to February 2 before the tournament starts on February 13 at New Delhi.
The mens team has already qualified for the main draw of the preliminary tournament and are placed in A group consisting of South Korea, Japan and winner of group B of the preliminary tournament. The other group consists of China-Chinese Taipei and winners of group A and C of the preliminary tournament.
The countries in group A for the first stage of the preliminary consists of Thailand, Iran, Nepal and Burma, while group B consists of Pakistan, Australia, Zambia and Singapore. Hong Kong, Mauritius and Sri Lanka are in group C. The top team in each group will advance to the next stage of the preliminary tournament.
The womens team, however, will have to qualify for the main draw of the qualifying tournament. They are placed in group A along with Sri Lanka and Zambia, while group B consists of Australia, Singapore and Pakistan. The winner of each group will advance to the next stage of the preliminary tournament.
If India manage to
qualify for the next stage of the preliminary tournament
they will be placed in a tough group consisting of Japan,
South Korea and Thailand. The other group consists of
Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and winner of group
Punjab lift trophy
PATIALA, Jan 10 Punjab by virtue of their massive 142-run first innings lead against Rest of India, won the coveted M.A. Chidambram Trophy here today.
The hero for the hosts was their skipper Vivek Mahajan who scored a superb unbeaten 185. Mahajan showed sound technique and rock-solid defence to thwart the designs of the rival spinners who were turning the ball heavily on a fourth day wicket which was showing signs of breaking up fast.
Mahajan, coming at one drop, played the role of the sheet anchor to near perfection and like a seasoned campaigner took upon himself the onerous task of building the innings to ensure that the hosts could get all-important first innings lead.
It was a pity that his innings could not be evaluated by any junior national selector. He cut and pulled with aplomb and his flowing drives on both sides of the wicket were neatly executed.
Vivek Mahajan, who has a string of good scores this season with his highest being the unbeaten 205 he scored against Bihar in the final of this years All-India Cooch Behar Trophy, also played some wristy strokes on the on-side and showed remarkable footwork facing spinners.
Ashu Sharma and Udey Karvara did spin the ball, sometimes visciously, but all their attempts to dislodge Mahajan came to a naught as the Punjab skipper showed remarkable skill and neat footwork to smother the spin.
For the past four years, the Rest of India had been winning the trophy, but Mahajan ensured that their monopoly was broken.
Rest of India (1st innings): 237 all out Punjab (1st innings): 379 all out (Vivek Mahajan 185 n.o, Binwant Singh 43, Ankur Sondhi 40, Amit Uniyal 34, Ashu Sharma 3 for 61, Uday Karkara 3 for 80, Ashok 2 for 81.)
Ronaldo can play in Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 10 (AFP) Brazil striker Ronaldo could play for his country at the Sydney Olympics later this year, national team coach Wanderley Luxemburgo has said.
Luxemburgo said in the southern Brazilian town of Londrina yesterday that the 22-year-old was in his plans but made it clear the forward would have to regain his form. Luxemburgo said: For him to become the player he once was depends on him alone.
The Brazil under-23 side is currently preparing for the qualification tournament for Sydney which will be held between January 18 and February 6 in the Parana region of the country.
Ronaldo will not be able
to play in the qualifiers as he is still recovering from
a knee operation in Paris on November 30 and will be out
of action for five months. If all goes well, though, he
would be fit for the Olympics.
Maradona returns for heart treatment
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 10 (AP) Diego Maradona, who tested positive for cocaine last week after being hospitalised in Uruguay, has returned to Argentina for more treatment of a severe heart condition.
Televised images from
Uruguay showed hospital officials helping a weakened and
Woozy Maradona to his feet to board a private jet bound
for Buenos Aires. After he arrived yesterday in
Argentina, an ambulance transported the former soccer
star to hospital.
Injured Warne may miss series
BRISBANE, Jan 10 (Reuters) Australian leg spinner Shane Warne could miss the remainder of the triangular limited overs series with Pakistan and India after tearing a muscle in his side.
Chopra, Sarkar move up in TT
LUCKNOW, Jan 10 (UNI) Delhis Harsh Chopra and Uttar Pradeshs Kaushik Dey Sarkar and Zabarjeet Singh moved up in the second round of the mens singles event of the 61st Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championship here this evening.
In the first round matches of the main draw, Harsh Chopra defeated Mukul Boro (RBI) 21-9,6-21,21-17,22-20 while UPs Kaushik Dey Sarkar defeated Maharashtras Saplinnam Joshi 21-13, 21-18,21-19. Zabar Jeet Singh (UP) defeated Mahendra Chiplunkar (Maharashtra) 23-21,21-15,21-11.
Rahul Prakash went down fighting to Nachiket Chowate of
Railways in a well contested fight at 22-20 13-21,
16-21, 21-18 and 18-21. Nupur Santra of Railways lost to
A. Sarath Kamal of Tamil Nadu.
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