Sunday, April 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T
Ranji Trophy
Sachin Tendulkar speaks to Press after Mumbai routed tamil nadu in the Ranji Trophy semi-final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Sachin Tendulkar speaks to Press after Mumbai routed Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy semi-final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. — PTI photo
Mumbai sail into Ranji final Hyderabad move into final
My knock among best: Sachin Azharuddin to lead Hyderabad


Match-fixing scandal Sanjeev Chawla part of international network?
Cronje case will drag on for years, says Rice
Gibbs denies role in match-rigging

India-Pak kabaddi tie likely
CHANDIGARH, April 15 — A kabaddi match between India and Pakistan will be the chief attraction of the festivities related to the laying of the foundation stone of Olympic Bhavan at Panchkula. This was stated at Panchkula today by Mr Abhey Singh Chautala, President of the Haryana Olympic Association.


EARLIER STORIES
 
World chess champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia (left) and Xie Jun of China continue to exchange moves after their final round of the Chess King and Queen Competition held in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China’s Guangdong Province, on Tuesday. The match ended in a draw. — AP/PTI
World chess champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia (left) and Xie Jun of China continue to exchange moves after their final round of the Chess King and Queen Competition held in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China’s Guangdong Province, on Tuesday. The match ended in a draw. — AP/PTI
  Australian bowler Shane Lee jubilates after dismissing South African opening batsman Gary Kirsten (left) for 34 runs in the second one-day international cricket match played at Newlands Cricket Stadium, Cape Town, on Friday. Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist (right) runs to congratulate Lee. —
Australian bowler Shane Lee jubilates after dismissing South African opening batsman Gary Kirsten (left) for 34 runs in the second one-day international cricket match played at Newlands Cricket Stadium, Cape Town, on Friday. Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist (right) runs to congratulate Lee. — AP/PTI

Surgeon optimistic of Ronaldo’s recovery
PARIS, April 15 — A weakness in his knees coupled with an explosive style of play threaten to blight the career of the world’s leading soccer player Ronaldo.

India go down to Germany
PERTH, April 15 — Indian morale was dented somewhat ahead of their final against Germany when they went down 1-2 to the European champions in the last inconsequential league game of the pre-Olympic men’s hockey competition here today.

Aussies win by 5 wickets
CAPE TOWN, April 15 — Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist held a world record six catches as Australia raced to a five-wicket win with 25.3 overs to spare in the second limited-overs international against South Africa at Newlands.

Barla skipper for junior Asia Cup
BANGALORE, April 15 — Full back Lazarus Barla will lead the 18-member Indian team in junior Asia Cup hockey tournament to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from May 3 to 14.



Top




 

Mumbai sail into Ranji final

MUMBAI, April 15 (PTI) — Mumbai drubbed Tamil Nadu by eight wickets with more than two sessions to spare on the fifth and final day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final here today to storm into the final of the national championship for the 38th time.The 33-times winners needed only 52 minutes on the last day of their absorbing clash to reach the victory target making 169 for two wickets after starting the day on 104 for one and needing 63 more runs.

Left-handed Jatin Paranjpe, who made an unbeaten 55 in 102 minutes with 2 sixes and 7 fours including the winning boundary hit, and Sachin Tendulkar (13) were the not out batsmen at the finish.

The lone batsman out today was Mumbai skipper Sameer Dighe who was caught at mid-off off Sadagopan Ramesh after making a responsible 73 in 151 minutes with 10 fours.

The partnership of 105 runs for the second wicket between Dighe and Paranjpe paved the way for the easy manner in which Mumbai reached the target in the second essay.

Tamil Nadu, who suffered their tenth outright defeat in 15 encounters against Mumbai, could go home with the consolation of making the home team fight every inch of the way for the first innings lead.

It was Tendulkar’s masterly 233 not out in the first essay, which he later rated as one of his very best in any form or level of cricket, that buried Tamil Nadu’s hopes.

Mumbai, who have finished runners-up four times after reaching the final on 37 previous occasions, thus made their entry into the April 19-23 summit clash to be played here.

The last time Mumbai made it to the final was two seasons ago, in 1996-97, when they were led to the coveted title for the 33rd time by Sanjay Manjrekar at the expense of the Ajay Sharma-led Delhi in the day/night final at Gwalior.

This semi-final victory would be cherished by Mumbai not only for the fact that they turned around a potentially difficult situation from the second day onwards after surprisingly putting Tamil Nadu in to bat, but also because they had crashed out at the zonal league stage itself last season.

The home team’s bowlers, who gave away 397 runs while grabbing only four wickets on the opening day, came back strongly on the second morning to restrict their opponents to 485. Then Tendulkar played a memorable innings, notching up his highest score and only his third double ton in first class cricket to give Mumbai the lead yesterday.

As Tendulkar said today after the match, it was still an open situation when Tamil Nadu batted for the second time but once again the Mumbai bowlers rose to the occasion and skittled out the visitors for a meagre 171 to shut out all their hopes. A target of 250 would have been a challenge, Tendulkar felt.

The partnership between Dighe and Paranjpe for the second wicket dashed whatever little hopes Tamil Nadu might have entertained of defending the small target.

Today, needing only 63 runs for a win, Mumbai progressed in a measured manner towards the target and even lost Dighe in the tenth over.

But Tendulkar, who was reprieved by Madanagopal off Sadagopan Mahesh when on 42 in the first innings with Mumbai way behind, and Paranjpe completed the job without much fuss by adding 25 runs for the unbroken third wicket.

Mahesh, to add to his huge disappointment, is also likely to be reported to the cricket board by match referee G.D. Bapat for his churlish behaviour yesterday.

The Tamil Nadu all-round hurled his bat on the ground after being given out caught behind by umpire K.S. Giridharan in the second innings off Mumbai medium-pacer Santosh Saxena. Top



 

My knock among best: Sachin

MUMBAI, April 15 (PTI) — Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar today rated his marathon unbeaten knock of 233 against Tamil Nadu in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy semi-final as among his very best in any form or at any level of the game.

“It is certainly among my very best, even including Tests and one-day internationals. It’s a great feeling to get a double hundred especially when the chips were down. It is one of the most important innings of my life”, the ace batsman told reporters after Mumbai’s eight-wicket win here today.

Tendulkar, who had opted out of captaining the side to concentrate on his batting and for continuity at the helm, said getting the runs for Mumbai was as important as getting them for India.

Tendulkar, whose knock is his highest-ever in first class cricket eclipsing the 217 made against New Zealand in the third Test of the home series at the beginning of this season at Ahmedabad, felt the spectators also got their thrills yesterday from the close fight for the first innings lead.

Mumbai coach Ashok Mankad heaped praise on Tendulkar for his masterly innings is hot weather conditions by terming it among the “very best I have seen”.Top


 

Hyderabad move into final

BANGALORE, April 15 (PTI) — Hyderabad dethroned defending champions Karnataka and entered the Ranji Trophy final by virtue of a vital first innings lead as their semifinal match ended in a tame draw here today.

Hyderabad bowled out Karnataka for 557 this morning, taking a crucial first innings lead of 154 runs which ultimately sealed the fate of the hosts.

Twice champions Hyderabad reached the final for the 21st time after a gap of 14 years. They will take on Mumbai at Mumbai from April 19 to 23.

Earlier, resuming at 523 for nine in reply to Hyderabad’s 711 for eight declared, Karnataka’s innings folded up after the addition of 34 runs in the first half an hour.

Hyderabad later declared their second essay at 236 for six and the match was called off as Karnataka had already bowled 6.2 mandatory overs. Venka Pratap hogged the limelight by making a century.Top


 

Azharuddin to lead Hyderabad

HYDERABAD, April 15 (PTI) — Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin will lead Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy final match against Mumbai to be played at Mumbai from April 19 to 23.

Former Test left-arm off spinner Venkatapathi Raju will be his deputy. The team was selected this evening.

The team:

Mohd Azharuddin (capt), Venkatapathi Raju (vice-capt), V.V. S. Laxaman, Vanka Pratap, Kanwaljit Singh, N.P. Singh, Nand Kishore, Youraj Singh, Riaz Shiekh, Parth Satwalkar, Daniel Manohar. Shivaji Yadav, Arjun Yadav, Fiaz Ahmed, Vinay Kumar and Raghuram.

Coach: Arshad Ayub, Manager: V. Seetharam.Top


 

Sanjeev Chawla part of international network?
From Sanjay Suri

LONDON, April 15 — Sanjeev Chawla, alias Sanjay, the main accused in the match-fixing case that brought down former South African skipper Hansie Cronje, could be at the centre of a massive international betting scam, according to investigators here.

The investigators are homing in on clues that suggest that Chawla was not acting alone but was at the heart of an extensive international network. His contacts are reported to be well-established in India, Pakistan, South Africa and Australia, informed sources said.

Chawla has gone into hiding because the information he could reveal under interrogation is potentially explosive, the sources said.

Since his alleged involvement in the match-fixing case came to light, Chawla has sought to project the picture of a “poor” man. His friend Rajeev Khurana, the company secretary of Chawla’s import-export clothing business, with whom Chawla shares business interests has been telling every journalist who visits his neighbouring store — and there have been many — how modest Chawla is. Too modest, it was suggested, to have been playing an international betting game.

But the shop itself tells a different tale. To begin with Chawla’s store is not some hole in the wall. It is a decently sized and smartly presented store, and staffed with a few sales assistants.

And as a leading Indian importer of garments pointed out, no store on Oxford Street is small business. This is one of the world’s most famous shopping streets. The cost of setting up shop here and keeping it going could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds at the very least. Chawla launched into this business coming from what has been established to be a fairly small business in Delhi.

Chawla’s current residence in Hendon in northwest London is far from being a ghetto. This is a smart new development, tastefully landscaped. There are enough BMWs here outside the front doors. Chawla drives a BMW, though Khurana has suggested it is a broken down one. It has been suggested also that poor Chawla slept in this car through a cold night or two to dodge the press.

That is only a claim. As a rule nobody who owns a smart store on Oxford Street, lives in a swank new apartment and runs a BMW spends a night in a car away from home or hotel. And to cap it all, Chawla couldn’t be that poor to have engaged the solicitors firm Bindman & Partners to represent him. This is a leading firm of solicitors in London and is the one that also represents Nadeem, who is fighting extradition to India as the prime accused in the killing of music baron Gulshan Kumar.

A visit to his store and to the new housing complex where he lives does not suggest that Chawla is poor by any stretch. His staff have learnt to duck cameras and seem to be getting adept at differentiating shoppers from snoopers.

One report has suggested that the pre-tax profits of Chawla’s firm for a full year were less than 17,000. No one records that kind of profit and stays in business on Oxford Street. People who do business on this street don’t go home (in BMWs) on the annual wages of a nurse or a teacher.

An investigating team from India has begun discreet inquiries about Chawla’s business in Britain. Investigators are gearing up for a long legal battle to get at the man.

Chawla will now take on the police charges from behind his solicitors, and the case could turn out to be a long one, according to a well-placed source close to an investigating team in London. The Indian government will now have to seek his extradition and he is going to resist it with all he has got.

Chawla has resorted to bland denial of the charges under legal advice. According to a statement from Neil O’May, a partner in the solicitors’ firm, Chawla vehemently and categorically denies any involvement in allegations of match-rigging.

The legal battle to get to Chawla will take some time to get off. Once the investigations are completed, the Home Office in Britain will receive the application from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Delhi Police for his extradition and Secretary of State Jack Straw is expected to approve it.

Chawla is almost certainly expected to appeal to the court against such an order. That process can take several months at the least. If Chawla loses, he can appeal to the High Court and then possibly to the House of Lords. A further appeal lies to the European Court.

Chawla has Indian citizenship but he has still the right to the appeal process because he is residing in Britain. Nadeem has been able to work the court system in Britain, even though he was just a visitor when the extradition proceedings against him were launched.

The fact that Chawla is clearly preparing a long legal defence points to considerable resources. Bills for legal fees in such prolonged actions can run into millions of pounds. — IANSTop


 

Cronje case will drag on for years: Rice

NOTTINGHAM, April 15 (AFP) — Former South African captain Clive Rice said yesterday that he believed cricket in South Africa would be tainted by the Hansie Cronje scandal for years to come — just as the infamous 1932-33 Bodyline series between England and Australia had affected the sport for decades.

Cronje, who was international cricket’s longest-serving skipper, was sacked on Tuesday after he admitted receiving between $ 10,000 and 15,000 from a bookmaker in return for information about a match. Cronje claims the payment was for forecasting and not for match-fixing.

The 30-year-old, who led South Africa to 99 wins against only 35 defeats in 138 matches, with one match tied and three others abandoned without a result, had been South Africa’s most successful Test captain, with 27 wins and only 11 defeats from 53 matches.

Rice, who spent most of his international career in the wilderness because of apartheid, said that it was imperative that the South Africans sorted out what had exactly happened so that they could try and rebuild the image of the sport.

“This will go on for years - remember they’re still talking about the Bodyline series — so it will carry on like that for years,” rice said.

“The sooner they get to the heart of it, they can get rid of it and then they can go forward,” he added.

Rice admitted he felt a great deal of sympathy for Cronje, but was also critical of how he had been tempted into the seedier side of cricket.

“It’s just really disappointing that Hansie, who is basically a really nice guy, will be remembered for this and what he has got involved in,” he said.

“I’m sorry for him that this is how he’s going to be remembered, but he’s been very silly in terms of what he’s been playing with here,” he added.

But Rice was quick to point out that even though South African cricket was currently under a cloud, it would not be long before the sporting pride of the Proteas would see them bounce back.

“I think that it will just be a blip. There’s too much pride and too much integrity. South Africa has always played their sport to win and on that basis I think they’ll get back to that very fast,” he said.

While doubts seem to have been cast of the international future of Cronje, Rice hopes the former skipper will be given a chance to atone for his mistakes by returning to play international cricket — although he conceded that he would never captain the side again.

“I would think Hansie’s experience of what he has been through for the past week means that he would never ever want to do that again,” Rice said.

“He wants to repair the damage and if it meant giving him the opportunity to repair the damage then you’ve got to give him a break - you can’t keep kicking him in the teeth. But he’s probably forfeited the opportunity to ever captain South Africa again.”Top



 

Gibbs denies role in match-rigging

CAPE TOWN, April 15 (AFP) — South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs has broken his silence and denied any part in match-rigging or spread-betting allegations involving disgraced South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje.

Gibbs told Saturday’s Cape Argus newspaper he was stunned when he was implicated in the Indian betting scandal: “I felt bad, but I knew I was innocent. Nothing would ever make me do something so irresponsible.

“I think somebody who would become involved in anything like this would have let their country down, and themselves and the team, and it is terribly unprofessional.”

Cronje was accused by Indian police of having accepted money from a London-based Indian bookie who allegedly has links to a betting syndicate.

The other South African players implicated by police in India are Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Boje.

The South African government is in the process of setting up a commission of inquiry, headed by a judge, to investigate the allegations and prepare a report for the International Cricket Council.

“Nobody approached us,” Gibbs said. “When we were told about it, we were terribly shocked.”

The batsman was implicated by transcripts of alleged conversations between Cronje and London-based bookmaker Sanjiv, alias Sanjay, Chawla.

In a taped cellphone conversation that Indian police say took place on March 14 when the team was in New Delhi before the one-day international against India in Faridabad the next day, Cronje is alleged to have said Boje was “playing”, as was Gibbs.

In the transcript, Chawla then asks: “And how many runs for Gibbs?” to which Cronje responds: “Less than 20.”

The next day, Gibbs scored 19.

After the scandal broke, Gibbs came under the media spotlight for his performance at the match in Faridabad, when it was expected that the spread on his runs scored in the game would probably have been from 35 to 40.

In spread-betting, anybody who had bet on him and gone “low” would have cashed in. The punter would have been about 16 units (or runs) to the good and would have won 16 times whatever he bet per unit.

On the other hand, those going “high” would have lost money.

But Gibbs said: “There is simply no guarantee you are going to score more than five runs every innings you play. Anybody with insight into the game would know that. It doesn’t bother me what people say.”

Gibbs added he felt sorry for Cronje.

“He is a great man and one of the greatest captains who has ever played the game. I’ve known him for a good few years and I’ve still got the utmost respect for him. He will always be a great friend of mine.”

Cronje this week admitted he had supplied information to a bookie, but denied he had been involved in match-fixing.

He issued a statement exonerating his teammates of any involvement in the scandal.

While giving few details and referring to the “awful predicament” in which he found himself, Cronje said speculation and criticism directed against other members of the team were “wrong and unjustified.”Top


 

India-Pak kabaddi tie likely
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — A kabaddi match between India and Pakistan will be the chief attraction of the festivities related to the laying of the foundation stone of Olympic Bhavan at Panchkula. This was stated at Panchkula today by Mr Abhey Singh Chautala, President of the Haryana Olympic Association.

He said the foundation stone for the Olympic Bhavan would be laid on Olympic Day, falling on June 23. Apart from the international kabaddi match, there will also be a volleyball match between women’s teams of Railways and Northern India to mark the occasion, he said. The HOA chief added that the state government had already given one land to the HOA for building the Olympic Bhavan.

Mr Abhey Singh, who was presiding over a general body meeting of the HOA, said the association would give cash award of Rs 1 lakh to the teams winning gold medals in national level sports meets. The individual gold medal winners will get Rs 21,000 as cash award. The teams winning silver medals will get Rs 75,000 and individuals winning silver medals will get Rs 15,000. Similarly, teams winning bronze will get Rs 50,000 and the individuals in that category will get Rs 11,000.Top


 

Surgeon optimistic of Ronaldo’s recovery

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) — A weakness in his knees coupled with an explosive style of play threaten to blight the career of the world’s leading soccer player Ronaldo.

The surgeon who operated on Ronaldo’s right knee for the second time in less than five months yesterday is optimistic of a successful comeback.

But he said the Brazil and Inter Milan striker had a weakness in his knees which, because of his explosive running style, heightened the pressure on them.

“Ronaldo has suffered for two years from his ligament and even both ligaments. He has a fragility in his ligaments,” Professor Gerard Saillant said yesterday.

“His weak point are his patella ligaments,” he said.

Saillant said Ronaldo’s new injury was a coincidence of circumstances.

“You saw on the television that he collapsed the third time he put his weight on his knee,” he said.

“There was an association of the fragility of the player and his exceptional sporting qualities.”

Asked if a change in style might help, Saillant said: “He’s 23, he’s not old, but it’s hard to change, not like when you’re 11 or 12.

“But if he changed he might no longer be Ronaldo.”

Saillant said Ronaldo needed a specific training programme adapted to his knees.

“There’s a menu for training a whole team and then there’s the carte for specific choices,” he said.

“He’s extremely explosive, he makes the difference (with other players) tell over the last 20 metres.”

The specialist, who operated on Ronaldo, said that this time the ligament ruptured ruptured.

The injury on which he operated in November was a partial rupture.Top


 

India go down to Germany

PERTH, April 15 (PTI) — Indian morale was dented somewhat ahead of their final against Germany when they went down 1-2 to the European champions in the last inconsequential league game of the pre-Olympic men’s hockey competition here today.

Indian hopes to enter tomorrow’s summit clash with an all-win record were dashed when Germany capped a five minute spell of second half ascendancy to go 2-0 up before forward Samir Dad pulled one back at the very last minute of play.

India, who had already clinched a place in the final with two wins entering the game, will be keen to reverse the verdict though coach Vasudevan Baskaran attributed it to experimenting with players and onfield mistakes, reports Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Germany completed their third straight win after beating South Africa (3-2) and Australia (1-0) in the crucial Olympic build-up tournament.

Oliver Domke and Bjorn Michel struck in the 44th and 49th minutes after a goalless first half as Paul Lissek’s team took full command against the Indians, highly confident after their 2-1 win over Australia and a 3-0 rout of South Africa.

Hosts Australia scored their first win of the second leg when they downed South Africa by a lone goal by 20-year-old striker Lachlan Vivien-Taylor, the Africans hopes of pulling off an equaliser thwarted thrice by an energetic Australian custodian Damon Diletti.

The two will meet in the third place play-off.

India’s defence that has come in for much praise here wilted in the second half resulting in Domke’s field goal followed by Michel’s penalty corner conversion.

Australia recovered from two straight defeats to edge out South Africa to finish third in the twin leg competition.

Both teams had their chances, but Australia clinched the match-winner in the 22nd minute through Vivien-Taylor.Top


 

Aussies win by 5 wickets

CAPE TOWN, April 15 (AFP) — Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist held a world record six catches as Australia raced to a five-wicket win with 25.3 overs to spare in the second limited-overs international against South Africa at Newlands.

Australia’s victory squared the series at 1-1. The final match will be played in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Gilchrist was involved in six of the first eight dismissals as Australia’s bowlers kept the South African batsmen under almost constant pressure after Australian captain Steve Waugh sent them in yesterday.

South Africa stuttered to 144 for nine in their 50 overs.

Australia lost three wickets to allrounder Jacques Kallis when they started their reply but Damien Martyn blazed to a 31-ball 50 as he and Michael Bevan hammered 83 off 69 balls for the fourth wicket.

The tourists finished up on 145 for 5.

Fast bowler Brett Lee and his medium-paced brother Shane did the major damage as South Africa’s top order failed. Brett Lee took three for 32 and Shane Lee two for 19.

In contrast to their below-par performance when South Africa won the first match in Durban on Wednesday, all the Australian bowlers were impressive. Opening bowler Glenn McGrath was immaculate in taking two for 13 off 10 overs while legspinner Shane Warne took one for 21 from his 10 overs.

Opening batsman Gary Kirsten, who was Man of the Match when he scored 97 in South Africa’s six-wicket win in Durban, made 34 and was joint top scorer with Lance Klusener, who hit an unbeaten 34, putting on 20 for the last wicket with Makhaya Ntini.

Kirsten and Neil McKenzie (22) put on 39 for the second wicket before Kirsten was caught at gully off Shane Lee to start South Africa’s slide.

Shane Lee claimed the key wicket of Jacques Kallis and Brett Lee followed up by dismissing Jonty Rhodes, McKenzie and Boucher in quick succession.

One of Gilchrist’s victims was opposite number Boucher, who fluffed an opportunity to set the record two days earlier when he dropped an easy chance after holding five catches in Durban.

A capacity crowd of 21,137 cheered as Kallis ripped out Gilchrist, Mark Waugh and Shane Lee but they were soon silenced when Martyn hit three fours in an over from South African captain Shaun Pollock to launch a thrilling innings.Top


 

Barla skipper for junior Asia Cup

BANGALORE, April 15 (UNI) — Full back Lazarus Barla will lead the 18-member Indian team in junior Asia Cup hockey tournament to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from May 3 to 14.

After the selection trials here today, Indian Hockey Federation President K.P.S. Gill told newsmen that a 23-member team, including five from the senior squad, has been selected for the tournament, which is a qualifier for the next year’s Junior World Cup to be played in Sydney, Australia. The team will be pruned to 18, before the April 23, he added.

Forwards Gagan Ajit Singh, Daljit Singh Dhillon and Deepak Thakur, full back Anurag Raghuvanshi and goal keeper Devesh Chouhan, who are in the senior team, have been picked up for the tournament. Anurag Raghuvanshi, who has suffered an injury and returned to India from Australia, will be included if he is fit.

The following is the team:

Goal keepers: Devesh Chouhan, Bharat Chetri, Baljit Singh and Hirojit Singh.

Full backs: Lazarus Barla, Len Aiyappa, Bikramjit Singh, Anurag Raghuvanshi, Kanwal Preet Singh.

Mid-fields: Bimal Lakra, Natarajan, Sahmsuz Zoha, Prabodh Tirkey, Bipin Fernandes, Arjun Halappa and Paramjit Singh.

Forwards: Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakkur, Daljit Singh Dhillon, Prabhjot Singh, Gurjant Singh, Amarjit Pratap and Inderjit Singh.

Chief coach: C.R. Kumar, Assistant coach: Saju Joseph, Coach: A.E. Brient, Team doctor: Dr Ramesh. Manager: D.S. Murthy.

Mr Gill said it was very difficult to pick the team from 32 probables was there were at least three players for each position. Those who have not made it to the team will be sent on international exposure tours as some of the players will not be in the team by the time the World Cup is held.

He said seven of the junior boys had played for the senior team. The juniors had got good international exposure, he added.

Asked about India’s chances in the tournament, he said: “We should qualify for the World Cup. Top three from Asia will make it to the World Cup. India is in group “B’’ with Bangladesh, China, Iran, Japan and Uzbekistan’’, he added. The group “A’’ comprised Chinese Taipei, Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan and Singapore.

Vikram Pillai, who was in the camp, could not make it because of a freak injury suffered during the practice. Top



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