|SPORT TRIBUNE||Saturday, March 18, 2000, Chandigarh, India|
to change Indian football
change Indian football
THE Asian Football Confederation has demanded a complete change of approach in the running of the game in India. Unhappy with the standard of fare dished out by the Indian team in the international arena, the AFC has not just advised but ruled that the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) concentrate just on upgrading the standard of the national team and overlook the domestic requirements. As a first step, the AFC wants the tenure of the National Football League to be extended from the present three months to six months. It also wants the AIFF to introduce a knock out tournament on the lines of the FA Cup in England.
Spelling out the AFC stand was their Secretary General Mr. Peter Velappan who was in Delhi as a member of the Asian and African Olympic bodies which had come to inspect the facilities for the Afro-Asian Games scheduled to be held in the Indian capital in November next year. Mr. Velappan had taken this opportunity to discuss the reasons for the continued stagnation of Indian football at the international level with the officials of the All-India Football Federation.
Mr Velappan and the AFC appear to be dissatisfied not only with the overall attitude to the game at the official level but also the manner of administration. He wanted professionals to run the game and demanded total transparency in the handling of the finances. He also stressed the need to centralise the administration.
One of the major points made by the AFC Secretary-General related to the national league and its extension to six months followed by a knock out tournament. He felt that the NFL, started four years ago, was now in dire need of help and that rescheduling to make it last six months would not only ensure a longer period of sustained effort but at the same time prevent the players from rushing back to state leagues.
He may have a point. Indian football does need a dose of energy injection desperately. The standard of the game has fallen. No doubt about that, but extending the national league and elaborating it further with a knock-out tournament may not be the answer to the problems.
Mr Velappan and others in the AFC mean well but are not fully appreciative of the unique problem India faces. Indian football cannot be compressed into one league, one tournament. The country is huge and weather conditions vary. Transportation is not all that easy. It is very easy to give examples of European countries. They are all small entities and one national league cum knock-out tournament is a sufficient index of the general standard. India cannot be placed in that category.
Running a competition in India is a different kettle of fish. Extending the national league to six months and beyond means that other major competitions like the Santosh Trophy Championship, the high profile leagues of Calcutta, Mumbai, Goa and other centres, the Federation Cup and of course traditional tournaments like the Durand, Rovers and the IFA Shield will have to be given a short shift. That is something impossible.
Any overhaul of the current system which cuts into the set pattern of football in India would have far reaching consequences. By all means extend the national league to six months and beyond but make sure that the state leagues in particular are not affected. The minute the AIFF interferes with the conduct of say, the Calcutta League, it will be end of the federation itself. The federation cannot exist without the Calcutta league and the IFA Shield even as it cannot survive without the high profile league in Goa or any other league elsewhere in the country.
The AFC perhaps does not understand that for all the noise made about cricket it is football which is the most popular game in the country. And the game is not meant just for the twenty odd players selected to wear the national colours. Club football is the base for the achievements and then comes football at the all India level in which all the state teams take part. The national championship for Santosh Trophy is as important as the NFL, the Federation Cup and the leagues in the various centres. The Federation faces numerous problems while scheduling the various competitions in the country. It has to please so many people, so many players, associations while adjusting the dates. As it is, because of the NFL, some of the old tournaments like the DCM have had to virtually fight for dates with the federation. The tournament in fact has not been held for two years. More importantly even the AIFFs own tournament, the Federation Cup could not be accommodated one year.
In this context the AFC directive on the extended period for NFL would be difficult to comply with. The All-India Football Federation is no position to dictate terms to the affiliated units. It knows fully well that any demands on the Calcutta Football League would spell doom for Indian football, since it is the league in this metropolis that controls Indian football. Of course in recent times the leagues in Goa and Mumbai too have gained in importance but nothing to touch the one in Calcutta which draws players from all over the country.
At the same time the AIFF cannot but heed AFCs advice about running of the game in the country and the need for streamlining the administration. What it can do is to plug the loopholes in the running of the league and if possible reduce the duration of the major leagues in Calcutta, Mumbai and Goa.
Whatever happens, the AIFF cannot minimise the importance of the local leagues. After all it is the clubs that look after the financial needs of the players not the All-India Football Federation. The clubs have a right to claim the loyalty of the player and this is something true of clubs all over the world. The only difference in other countries is that there is one national league and rarely if all any other competition at district level. India is a different proposition.
The AFC and the AIFF
will have to look for some other means of changing the
pattern of competition in India. The existing system can
be tightened but not replaced or done away with. No one
will quarrel with the entry of foreign coaches for the
national team but one has to work at the base for the
overall standards to improve. And that can be done if
foreign coaches are given a chance to study the standard
at the club level and then devise ways and means of
expanding their ideas to cover a wider field. India
football does need help but it is doubtful if the
solution lies in extending the duration of the national
league. There must be some other way.
youngest to score 6000 runs
SACHIN TENDULKAR became the fifth Indian and 29th batsman in Test cricket to complete 6000 runs. He achieved this feat during his 21-run knock in Indias first innings in the second Test match against South Africa at Bangalore on March 2.
The list of 29 batsmen who have completed 6000 runs includes nine Englishmen, eight Australians, six West Indians, five Indians and one Pakistani.
At 26 years and 313 days, Tendulkar is the youngest to accomplish this feat beating Pakistans Javed Miandad, who was 30 years and 57 days old when he completed his 6000 runs.
Tendulkar played 120 innings in 76 Test matches to reach this milestone. Only six batsmen have completed 6000 runs in lesser time than Tendulkar. They are Don Bradman (Australia-68 innings), Garry Sobers (West Indies-111 innings), Wally Hammond (England-114 innings), Len Hutton (England-116 innings), Ken Barrington (England-116 innings) and Sunil Gavaskar (India-117 innings). West Indian Vivian Richards had also taken 120 innings to achieve this distinction.
The first Indian to complete 6000 runs in Test cricket was little master Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar achieved this feat during the 117th innings of his 65th Test match against Australia at Adelaide in 1980-81 series.
Gundappa Vishwanath was the second Indian to aggregate 6000 runs in Test cricket. Vishwanath reached this milestone during his 53-run knock against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1982-83 series. It was 151st innings of his 88th Test match.
After Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath, Dilip Vengsarkar entered this elite club of 6000 runs. He achieved this distinction during his 102-run knock against the West Indies at Delhi in the 1987-88 series. Vengsarkar played 155 innings in 96 Test matches to reach this milestone.
Mohammed Azharuddin was the fourth Indian batsman to aggregate 6000 runs in Test cricket. He achieved this feat during his 20-run knock in Indias second innings in the first Test match of the Asian Test Championship at Eden Gardens, Calcutta. It was the 143rd innings of his 97th Test match.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who made his Test debut against Pakistan at Karachi in 1989-90 series completed his 1000 runs against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1992-93. It was the 28th innings of his 19th Test match. At 19 years and 217 days he was the youngest to reach this target.
In the 44th innings of his 32nd Test match against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1993-94, Sachin completed his 2000 runs and became the youngest to do so at 20 years and 331 days.
The master batsman reached the 3000-run mark during his 67th innings of 45th Test match against South Africa at Kanpur in 1996-97. He was 23 years and 228 days old when he reached this milestone.
Sachins 4000 runs came in his 58th Test match, 86th innings against Sri Lanka at Mumbai in 1997-98. He was the youngest to achieve this feat.
At Calcutta against Pakistan in the Asian Test Championship in 1998-99, Sachin completed his 5000 runs. It was the 103rd innings of his 67th Test match. He was 25 years and 302 days old when he reached this milestone.
Sachin Tendulkar scored 2054 runs in 25 Test matches when he was the captain of the Indian team. He made 3982 runs in 51 Test matches as a player.
SACHINS BATTING PERFORMANCE IN TESTS
KAMALDEEP KAUR Walia continues to impress all with her outstanding performance as a cyclist in the country. In December last year, she was declared as the fastest cyclist at the National Cycling Championship head at Punjabi University, Patiala, from December 16 to 21. She won the 1000 meters sprint and also a silver medal in the 1 km time trial.
Belonging to a family of sports persons, her father S.S. Walia is a gymnastic coach. Kamaldeep studied at Government College for Women, Patiala, before joining the Diesel Component Works (DCW), a railway department undertaking.
Since 1993, when she won the gold medal in 1,500 metres time trial with a new national record in the sub-junior National Cycling Championship held at PAU, Ludhiana, her performance is on the rise.
Having won the title of the best cyclist of the All-India Inter-University Cycling Championship, Kamaldeep has the potential to win at international meets. Her coach, Jagdev Singh Sahota, said Kamaldeep was very hardworking. Jagdev Singh, who himself was an international cyclist and has produced a number of international cyclists working as a coach with the Sports Authority of India, said at this stage she needed special care and financial help from government as well as her employers.
Her racing cycle is not of international standards. He said the Authorities concerned should provide her with a latest cycle of international standards improve her performance. Besides, she also requires other modern equipment to perform better.
Kamaldeep also participated in the senior national championship at Pune in 1997 won the gold in 3 km race. With an incentive from her employers, she can win more medals.
Kamaldeep says that her
parents provide her with all help. They devote a lot of
time to her needs to prepare for big meets. With more
exposure she can gain confidence to compete at the
over victorious women
IT has certainly been a glorious period for Australian sport. The Aussies won the four-yearly cricket World Cup held in England in June last year with a seven-game winning streak. The nations rugby union team next went on to annex the prestigious Webb Ellis Trophy in Cardiff.
Then in a thrilling final at the Netball World Championships in Christchurch last October, Australias netballers retained their world title by defeating the fancied New Zealanders on their home territory. Trailing their opponents by six goals with 15 minutes left, substitute shooter Sharelle McMahon scored a goal on the final buzzer for the Aussie women to win by a single point, 42-41.
Not to be outdone, Australias tennis players capped the year with a decisive win over France before a French crowd in Nice to take the Davis Cup.
Add to these a host of individual gold medals by Australians at last years World Athletics championships in Seville and the World Swimming Championships in Perth and other nations are left enviously wondering just how this land of less then 19 million people consistently manages to maintain its position in the headlines of the worlds sports pages.
But there is another side to this saga of sports success that the world hears little about.
In February this year, the Australian womens cricket team won third straight game against New Zealand to make a clean sweep of the three-match series. This followed a 4-0 trouncing of Englands women cricketers, showing just how good the holders of the Womens Cricket World Cup are.
Belinda Clark, captain of the Aussie womens team since 1993, was the first cricketer, male or female, to score a double century in a one-day international game.
Even in a nation as dominated by sports as Australia these world-beating women cricketers- they have won four World Cups of the six held so far still struggle to muster even 60 seconds of airtime on the evening news.
Its like this in every sport in Australia, says Lisa Keighley, a regular member of the cricket team, with a batting average of 185 in last years series against England a score unmatched by any Australian (or overseas) male cricket international.
Sue Crow, the Executive Director of Womens Cricket Australia for the past four years, has seen a few changes for the better during her tenure. When the international team visited India for the last World Cup tournament in 1997, it was common knowledge here that they were spared the ignominy of having to pay their own airfare only by a generous last-minute donation from a publican in Bendigo.
Now, thankfully, the Commonwealth Bank, the nations largest bank, has stepped in to sponsor the team. Still, it is a far cry from the lucrative sponsorship deals supporting the countrys top male cricketers such as Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.
Asked if the teams recent run of successes has meant anything in financial terms, Crow laughs Not a cent!
cricketers are expected (as usual) to dominate the next
World Cup tourney scheduled for 2001. And, as usual,
womens cricket in this country will continue to
take an inconspicuous back seat in the male-dominated
world of sport. Gemini News
Victory a team effort
Stung by the embarrassing 0-2 defeat in the Test series, the Indians roared back majestically to claim the first two one-dayers of the five-match one-day international cricket Series against the formidable South Africa. The match-touted batting line-up finally clicked ending a string of dismal failures. Under the new and innovative skipper Saurav Ganguly, India appear to have rediscovered their winning ways. While the pulsating victory at Kochi boosted their morale tremendously, the win at Jamshedpur has provided them the platform from where to launch a frontal attack against their opponents to clinch the series. The Proteas have been pressurised. There should now be no let-up. Rather a rejuvenated India should keep the momentum going and put up an inspired show in the remaining matches. Only a series win can salvage the battered reputation of India.
Tarsem S. Bumrah
The Indian cricket team lead by Saurav Ganguly deserves hearty congratulations for winning the opening game of the five-match one-day cricket series against South Africa. This is the result of great team work and true dedication by the Indian squad. Though South Africa piled up a big score, our bowlers manage to restrict them. Rahul Dravid took two wickets in nine overs. Sunil Joshi bowled Gibbs and stopped him from scoring more runs. Other bowlers like Ajit Agarkar, Kumaran, Anil Kumble, Tendulkar and Robin Singh also bowled well.
Raj Kumar Minhas
It was surprising that India met with successive defeats in cricket. Ajay Jadeja played a wonderful knock and it was nice to see some brilliant shots from the little master and Ganguly too. The Indians handed down the overconfident South Africans a lesson. This was their second victory in the new millennium after they defeated arch rivals Pakistan on their tour to Australia. It was also their first win in their ongoing three-match one-day international against South Africa.
Robin Singh has been instrumental in Indias victory on several occasions, especially when India had to chase a target of more than 300 runs, against Pakistan and South Africa. His hundred per cent performance in every match invites the finest comments. Why are such fighters ignored when the team for Test matches is selected?