|Saturday, April 8, 2000,
India, South Korea share the
Ban not to affect Popats
Azhar to lead
South Korea share the spoils
NEW DELHI, April 7 Asia-Oceania Davis Cup round No 2 between India and South Korea. Day one: India 1, South Korea 1.
This is how the scoreline read at the end of the days play at the R.K. Khanna Stadium when the two top players, Leander Paes for India and Hyung-Taik Lee for South Korea, helped their countries share the spoils on the opening day of the hotly contested Davis Cup tie here this afternoon.
Leander served and volleyed as best as he could though he did not show the same strength and reflexes for which he is known against a lesser-known opponent. In fact, the South Korean Yong-Il Yoon, who is No 2 in his country, matched the worlds top doubles player stroke for stroke in the first eight games of the first set (4-4). But like the stuff of which champions are made of, Leander thought he had allowed the South Korean too far in the match and decided to nail his opponent. Serving with power and forcing Yong deep near the baseline, Leander first held his serve at love to lead 5-4. Then he mounted great pressure in the 10th game on the South Korean, who cracked under the onslaught of Leanders stokes. Leander got the crucial break point in the 10th game -when Yong double-faulted. Leander did not need more. He struck immediately. He hit a down the line shot to win the first set 6-4.
Leander hit five aces but in his bid to win easy points, he committed four double faults in the process.
Yong, too, trying to force the pace served three double faults. Both players earned one break point each but the South Korean squandered the chance in the fifth game. The first set lasted 37 minutes.
The victory in the first game acted as a booster for Leander who started the second set playing with all his ferocity. He started spraying strokes all over the court for which time, the South Korean stood bewildered.
Breaking Yong in the second game of the second set Leander led 3-0. Though Yong held his serve in the fourth and sixth games, yet Leanders phase he led 5-2 in the second set. Though Yong led 30-0 in the eighth game, Leander made it 30-30 and then forced the break point. Yong double-faulted at this stage to give Leander a 6-2 victory in 27 minutes. The set saw Leander hitting two aces, committing one double fault and forcing four break points. On the other hand Yong had one ace, two double faults and no break point against Leander.
The third set almost followed the same pattern with Leander dictating the terms, though Yong managed to hold on to his serve in the first seven games. But then he ran out of steam. Leander broke Yong in the eighth game to lead 5-3. He then served out the set-in style-finishing with an ace.
The final scoreline read 6-4, 6-2,6-3 in Leanders favour.
There was a tussle for supremacy between Syed Fazaluddin of India and Hyung-Taik Lee in the second singles. Lee made his intentions clear when he broke Fazaluddin as early as the third game to lead 2-1. Later leading 4-2 Lee once again broke Fazaluddin in the seventh game to make it 5-2 in his favour. But when Lee was serving for the set, the Indian hit a brilliant patch to force deuce twice on Lees serve and then broke him to reduce the margin (3-5). Fazaluddin held the next serve to come at 4-5. But that was as far as he could be allowed to go as Lee held serve in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4 in 33 minutes.
The second set saw as many as five breaks and turned out to be the most fiercely contested set. Lee broke Fazaluddin in the opening game of the second set. But covering the court well and attacking at both flanks, Fazaluddin broke Lee in the fourth game to make it 2-2. But Lee struck immediately in the fifth game to lead once again (3-2). Though Lee advanced unhindered later for a few more games, Fazaluddin struck again when Lee was serving for the set in the 10th game. Fazaluddin broke Lee to once again restore parity (5-5). But Fazaluddin failed to stem the tide against him as Lee paid the same compliment to him in the next game. Now leading 6-5 and serving for the set, Lee forced two set points at 40-15. He needed just one, unleashed a cross court forehand which passed Fazaluddin neatly (7-5).
The Indian was hardly in any reckoning in the third set as Lee chalked out a formidable 5-1 by breaking Fazaluddin in the third and fifth games. Fazaluddins ordeal ended when, off the first match point, his backhand down the line sailed long, giving Lee a 6-2 victory in the third set.
Now with both India and South Korea evenly placed, the battle royal begins in the doubles tomorrow in which both Leander and Fazaluddin and Yong and Lee figure.
Though in todays encounter Leander was not seriously tested by Yong, yet the Indian did not show the kind of domination one expected from him. There were no big rallies. Though it must also be admitted that he was never threatened by Yong at any stage of the match.
As for Fazaluddin, he
did not appear to be in the same class. Though he put up
a great fight in the first two sets against Lee, he ran
out of steam in the third, offering the set on a platter.
With Fazaluddin being the weak link in tomorrows
doubles, South Koreans are sure to direct heavy
bombardment at him. How Leander provides him cover fire
by either defending the fort or taking the fight into the
South Korean camp will be seen only in the red-hot
encounter slated for tomorrow afternoon. Till then, keep
your fingers crossed, and pray.
JOHANNESBURG, April 7 (AFP) South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje is on record as saying no South African player would contemplate becoming involved in the betting scandals which have embroiled world cricket in recent years.
Cronje is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty, said Ali Bacher, Managing Director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCB), who said he had spoken to Cronje immediately after he had heard about the allegations from New Delhi.
Bacher said he was convinced there was no substance to the reports.
Cronje is the longest-serving captain in international cricket and is poised to become only the second captain in world cricket history to lead his team to 100 wins in international limited-overs matches.
Cronje, 30, has led South Africa to 99 wins against only 35 defeats in 138 matches, with one match tied and three others abandoned without a result.
He has also been South Africas most successful Test captain, with 27 wins and only 11 defeats from 53 games. A highlight of his career was the series win in India, a feat not achieved by a visiting side for 13 years.
In an interview in the South African Sunday Times in December 1998, Cronje said South African players had too much pride in their own performance to contemplate accepting bribes to influence results.
Cronje admitted he was approached in Mumbai at the end of the 1996-97 tour of India with an offer for me and the team to make a lot of money.
The South African captain received a telephone call in his hotel room on the eve of a benefit match for Mohinder Amarnath. Cronje told the caller he was not interested. To be honest, Im not sure whether he was a bookmaker or just a member of the public. We didnt get to the point of discussing any details.
Cronje raised the issue at a team meeting. We basically laughed it off, he said, but we did agree as a team that we would never be open to any such offers.
One of the things that makes me proud to play for South Africa is the team spirit and the knowledge that every member of the side will always try his best to win for his country.
There was controversy at the start of the 1999-2000 season when Cronje was put on probation by the selectors, who appointed him for only half the season. In retaliation, he accepted an offer to coach Glamorgan in the English county championship during the 2000 season, which would have meant missing South Africas tour of Sri Lanka in July and August.
After discussions with
Bacher, Cronje decided to back out of the Glamorgan deal
and he was subsequently appointed for the full season. He
has been offered a new two-year deal by the South African
NEW DELHI, April 7 (UNI) The following is the transcript of the tape seized by the Delhi police on the conversation between an Indian bookie and South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje on the fixing of last months matches of Pepsi one-day series.
Sanjay- Hello, hai Hansie
Hansie- Hello, hai Sanjay
Sanjay- Yeah, I am in the lobby at the moment is it possible I can drop in for a few minutes?
Hansie- Where are you? In the lobby?
Hansie- You can come in.
Sanjay- I can come in.
Hansie- Yeah, I am in 346.
Sanjay- All right, no more. Okay bye, see you in two minutes.
Hansie- Yeah, Okey.
Hansie- Okay you are back in London?
Sanjay- Yeah, I am in London
Hansie- I had a look at pitch today, it can turn big.
Sanjay- It can turn big?
Sanjay- Is Strydom playing?
Hansie- Yes, he is playing, yeah.
Hansie- Boje is playing.
Sanjay- Yeah, Boje is playing... And who is playing? Gibbs?
Hansie- Gibbs and myself.
Sanjay- Ya, what about anybody else?
Hansie- No I wont be able to get more.
Sanjay- You wont be able to get more.
Sanjay- Okay just tell me. But you have only four with and not any body else?
Sanjay- Klusner and no one?
Hansie- No no impossible, impossible.
Hansie- No-no. They were saying that they were already doing Cochin. The other guys are already angry with me because I have not received their money you know.
Sanjay- No-but I told you but, I have already given him altogether 60.
Sanjay- And tomorrow I can deposit the money in your account, it is not a problem because of the time difference. Tomorrow itself I can deposit the money.
Hansie- Okay, I have spoken, yes every thing is fine. Spoken to Gibbs, and to Williams, and Strydome. Every thing is fine.
Sanjay- Already okey. And how many runs for Gibbs?
Hansie- Less than twenty.
Sanjay- Less than twenty?
Sanjay- Okay, so everything is according to plan. They have to score at least 250?
Sanjay- And if you score 270, it is off?
Hansie- Okay. And financially the guys want 25. They want 25 each.
Sanjay- Alright, okay.
Hansie- So thats 75 for those three and what you can pay me? I do not know how much you pay me
Sanjay- You say.
Hansie- If you give me 140 for every body.
Sanjay- 140 altogether?
Sanjay- Okay thats fine.
Sanjay- And we will sort something out for the previous one as well.
Hansie- Okay, sure.
Hansie- Alright. So we definitely are on.
Sanjay- Okay and one last thing I want to ask you you know just in case India bat first and if they get out for less then 250 and when you come to bat in second innings, is it possible that you could ask Gibbs tohis wicket we will score him out and try and score slowly and not so fast so that you know may be we can get out of it.
Sanjay- And just in case India is out for less than 250 if they bat first.
Hansie- Okay I will tell him.
Hansie- I will tell him
Sanjay- And because if he starts scoring so early then we wont be able to get out of it.
Hansie- Okay. Not so early for the first five or six in the Indian innings.
BANGKOK, April 7 (UNI) The 29th Kings Cup Boxing Tournament came to a close in the city of angels today giving India two medal winners and a place in the side for the Sydney Olympics to bantam-weight pugilist NG Dingko Singh.
It will be with mixed feelings that the team will return to India.
When we came, we had expected one qualification, maybe two... but the way the boys performed got our hopes up for a third qualifier. Now we are going back with one. We are very happy that Dingko has made it, said coach G S Sandhu on the eve of the teams departure for India.
The day began with H Sriniwas Rao up against Hermensen Ballo of Indonesia in a fight-off for third place. This was a last chance for the flyweight, who was carrying a cut on the brow from the last bout.
Raos approach in the first round was tentative, as he sought to avoid further injury to himself. The Indonesian capitalised on his reticence to score a few points in the first two rounds. A rejuvenated Rao entered the ring in the third round and made each of his punches count. The final round also belonged to the Indian, but the final scores did not reflect the close encounter.
Rao lost the bout 16-3 and the disappointment was evident on all pages. I boxed well today and how am I supposed to go back with a score like this? said Rao after the bout. Coach Fernandes was also sceptical about the system. Srini won the bout.
But even if the judges feel that he lost, there is no way it could have been such a wide margin. This is an insult to the boy who has fought so well even with an injury.
The second fight of the day was scheduled between NG Dingko Singh and Chotipat Wongprates of Thailand but Dingko pulled out of the contest due to injury. We took him to the doctor this morning and the x-ray revealed a minor stress injury to his hand.
It is something that will heal, but we have decided to rest him. The injury does not seem to be cause for worry, as Dingko Singh himself acknowledged. I could have fought if I had to, but there is no point in aggravating a hurt when I have already qualified, he said.
With the qualifying tournaments behind them, the coaches now have five months to train the team for the Olympics. We have worked out a tight training schedule for all our boys. We will be going to Algeria next month with a few more, said coach G S Sandhu.
Speaking of Dingkos chances in the Olympics, specially in light of his injuries, coach Fernandes said: This injury to Dingkos hand is minor and should heal in about 21 days. If he listens to the advice given him and trains diligently over the next five months, Dingkos chances of winning a medal are good. Indias squad for the Olympics now reads Gurcharan Singh (81 kg), Kumar Jitender (75 kg), Suresh Singh (48 kg) and Dingko Singh (54 kg).
While competing in Asia
is a far cry from being up against the best in the world,
the coaches are in a positive frame of mind.
We can honestly say that the best boys in
their categories have qualified. If we work hard, they do
have a fighting chance for a shot at the medal. Let us
hope for the best, said coach G S Sandhu.
BANGALORE, April 7 (PTI) The three-month ban imposed by the world body on star womens badminton player Aparna Popat will not affect her chances of clinching an Olympic berth, legendary shuttler and Badminton Association of India executive president Prakash Padukone yesterday said.
The India No 1 has been included in IBFs dummy list, prepared on the basis of the players rankings on March 30.
Aparna will be losing only the Uber Cup points and that would not hamper her chances of making it to the final list of Olympic qualifiers to be released on April 30, Padukone, told PTI here.
Though Padukone said the dummy list released on April 1 is not the final one, not much changes were expected as the ongoing Japan Open is the only major tournament before the deadline and Popat had enough points in her favour.
The IBF has certain restrictions like only four players from one country can participate and on that count Popat, currently ranked at 28th, was well within the limit to be picked to play singles in Sydney.
There are no major events for this month, either domestic or international. Aparna is in full swing at the practice and her mental condition is perfectly OK, Padukone, who is also in charge of the Bangalore-based academy where she trains, said.
Popat was banned from all international events by IBF for taking a banned stimulant albeit inadvertently. The former world junior runner-up has explained that a medication for cold which she took contained the banned substance.
She will be in action at the Indon Asian Open and Thailand Open in July. I am hopeful she will be at her usual best by that time as there is absolutely no problem with the player, the former England Open and World Championship winner said, hopping Popat will put aside the setback and play up to her potential.
Padukone said the incident was just an accident.
Everyone including the doctor, coach, manager were aware of DCold Total which Popat was taking, he said.
He said BAI officials were to blame for not educating the players and went on to say that even Caffein is banned to certain extent by the IBF. If a player takes more than three to four cups of coffee, the player may land in trouble, he said.
We have learnt a lesson and from now on it is wise to tighten our belts and have a perfect medical back up, Padukone said.
All said and done, the fact that the ban will not affect her qualification chances will be a big boost for Popat.
At present all top players stand a chance of making it to the September games in womens section. The IBF dummy list includes 29 singles players and 19 pairs, but the numbers will be increased when the actual list is produced on May 1 in case of players, who will be playing in more than one event.
CHANDIGARH, April 7 (UNI) The Punjab Government has issued warrant of attachment against the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) for recovering taxes amounting to Rs 3.21 crore from the latter. The warrant of attachment was issued on March 31 by Patiala Division Excise and Taxation Commissioner and a Tehsildar has been ordered to recover the said amount levied on the PCA, Ropar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Gurinder Singh Grewal told UNI here today.Sources here said that the PCA Stadium could be taken over by the Punjab Government if the body, headed by Mr I.S. Bindra, failed to pay the said amount.
failed to maintain form
THE first quarter of 2000 ended with the last hardcourt event of the winter in Miami with the race for the World Championships in full gear. The two major events in the Tennis Masters series in Indian Wells, California, and the Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida was preceded by another hard court event in Scottsdale, Arizona. Andre Aggassi, the world No 1 player came to Arizona as the clear favourite for the three hardcourt tournaments. But it is never easy to maintain the kind of form that helped him win the Australian Open in January.
He fell early in the tournament to the unheralded Francisco Clavet 6-1, 6-2 making a huge amount of enforced errors. Pete Sampras, the next favourite, still not quite 100 per cent fit withdrew from the event leaving Briton Tim Henman and the in-form Australian Lleyton Hewitt as the favourites. The amazing 19 year-old-Aussie, Hewitt, came through beating Henman in the final and coming into Indian Wells, he only had one loss for the year. The mens game rarely gives you the same winners week after week and the first of the new tennis masters event, only nine for the entire year saw two Europeans contest the final, Thomas Enqvist of Sweden and Alex Coertza of Spain. The Spaniard won the event putting him in contention for the World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal at the end of the year. Agassi once again lost early and Sampras didnt quite seem to be his old self as he came through some tough three set matches before falling to Enqvist. So coming into the Ericsson Open in Miami it was time for Agassi and Sampras to bring back the Australian Open semifinal performance and that they did until the very last hurdle where Agassi fell in the semifinal to a strong and rejuvenated Gustavo Kuerten from Brazil. Sampras on the other hand, who had not won any title this year, took out the red hot Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinal and a tight four set win over Kuerten in the final.
The womens race seemed to be more predictable with Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport making it a two-women race. As well as the others played they couldnt stop the incredible run of these two favourites. Interestingly, Hingis was not having much success against the hard-hitting Davenport but still managed to hold on to the No.1 ranking. But coming into Miami, Davenport was aware that the she only had to get to the final to take the No1 ranking away from Hingis. The Swiss sensation, on the other hand was looking to beat Davenport, something she had not done in a while.
Playing better as the
tournament progressed she crushed Monica Sales in the
semi-final 6-0, 6-0, the worst beating Sales had ever
received in her pro-career. If Hingis was playing better
than usual, Davenport seemed to be relieved to get the
No1 spot back. Hingis won the final 6-3, 6-2 but the
American became the best player in the world. And now the
tennis tour moves to clay in Europe and will culminate
with the French Open in May/June. The European players
will certainly have more success among the men and new
names will cause more upsets. Thats what make
tennis more interesting and the change in surface more
NEW DELHI, April 7 (UNI) In a battle of former Wills Indian Open champions, Calcuttas Feroz Ali get the better of local favourite Ali Sher in the first playoff hole to win the Rs 8.5 lakh SRF Open Golf Championship, here today.
Feroz overcame a disastrous start to card one-over 73, while Ali Sher missed a three-footer birdie putt on the 18th which would have given him outright victory to finish level-par 72. Both aggregated 10-under 278 and in the ensuing playoff, Feroz secured his third title on the Wills Sport Golf tour this year.
In third place at nine-under 279 was Gaurav Ghei, while Arjun Atwal and Joyti Randhawa tied for the fourth place with a four-day tally of eight-under 280. For his effort, Feroz was richer by Rs 1,37,700, while Ali Sher had to be satisfied with a cheque of Rs 95,200.
More importantly, Feroz now moves on top of the Mahindra rankings and the accompanying cheque of Rs 7 lakh, after winning the SRF Open. He now tallied 253 points and is a mere 2.5 points ahead of Mukesh Kumar.
After beginning with a scrambled par on the par-5 first hole, a distinctly uneasy Feroz made bogies on the next three holes to almost drop out of the race.
CHALAKKUDY (Kerala) April 7 (UNI) Title aspirants Punjab reserved their place in last eight with 2-0 win over Indian Railways in the pre-quarterfinals of the 56th Senior National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy being played here today.
After a barren first half, striker Jaswinder Singh and midfielder Ram Pal scored for the winners.
Punjab will now join in group Y along with Goa and Tamil Nadu. The other team will be decided tomorrow from the Maharashtra-Orissa pre-quarter clash.
Earlier, in the morning preliminary match, Maharashtra set up a pre-quarterfinal tie with Orissa tomorrow, trouncing Haryana by seven goals.
In a one sided match, Najeeb opened the account in the 22nd minute through a header off Ramesh Rajak and led 3-0 in the first half. Manjit Singh (28th), Khalid Siddique (42nd), Manjit Singh (50th), Janeeb (62nd) Akhil Ansari (64th) and substitute, Asif Jamal, who came in place of Akhil Ansari scored the remaining goals for their team.
Six time champions
Punjabs created three scoring chances but
unfortunately, none of them was converted. Railways had
to pay more attention to defence than attacking to arrest
the dangerous moves of Punjab strikers Jaswinder Singh
and Sukhjit Singh and made only a single attempt, a
second before the lemon break.
wins 100 min PSEB meet
BATHINDA, April 7 Madhuri, A. Singh of Head Office, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), today won the 100 metres in the womens section by covering the distance in 13.99 seconds on the opening day of the 35th Punjab State Electricity Board annual sports meet here today.
Ms Harjit Kaur of north zone took the second position by covering the distance in 14.86 seconds while Seema of South Zone came third with a timings of 15.08 seconds.
In the mens section, Kushwinder Singh of Head Office won the first position in 200 metres final by covering the distance in 23.18 seconds while Vikram Singh of Border Zone covered the same distance in 24.06 seconds to earn the second position. Harmeet Singh with a timing of 25.08 seconds remained third.
In high jump Jarnail Singh of Border Zone Iqbal Singh of North Zone and Ashish Arun of Central Zone won the first, second and third positions respectively.
In 800 metres, Devinder Singh of West Zone, Ram Singh of Head Office and Prakash Singh of Border Zone won the first, second and third positions with timings of 2.2.37 minutes, 2,17.32 minutes and 2.21.35 minutes respectively.
In short put (women), Satnam Kaur, Seema Kanwar of South Zone and Sumitra Kumari of Head Office won the first, second and third positions respectively with a distance of 8.66 metres, 6.15 metres and 6.12 metres.
In basketball Head Office defeated Border Zone and West Zone defeated the South Zone in league matches.
In football, South Zone defeated Head Office and North Zone defeated Central Zone. In Vollyball, Head Office defeated North Zone and South Zone defeated west zone.
Earlier, Mr Baldev Singh Mann, Administrative Member, PSEB, inaugurated the meet in which more than 200 players are participating.
HYDERABAD, April 7 (PTI) Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin will lead the Hyderabad squad in the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy to be played at Bangalore from April 11.
Spinner Venkatapathi Raju will be the vice-captain. The 12-member team, announced here today, also includes VVS Laxman.
Teams: Azharuddin (captain), Venkatapathi Raju, VVS Laxman, Vanka Pratap, Kanwaljit Singh, NP Singh, Nanda Kishore, Yuvraj Singh, Riaz Sheikh, Partha Satwalkar, Daniel Manohar and Shivaji Yadav.
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