|Thursday, April 27, 2000,
on Bindra, Dalmiya
disrupts Fed Cup matches
ready to table inquiry report
Jadeja launch hepatitis campaign
goal helps FIFA XI win
preparing to face Grant
|Pargat, Zafar for foreign coaches
NEW DELHI, Apr 26 Former captains of the Indian hockey team have spoken in favour of engaging foreign coaches to prepare teams for the future.
American stars face top
to coach Zimbabwe bowlers
may play doubles at Wimbledon
Rookie Golfer of the Year
scrapes past Andrei Pavel
Focus on Bindra, Dalmiya
NEW DELHI, April 26 (PTI) All eyes will be focussed on friends-turned-foes Jagmohan Dalmiya, President of the International Cricket Council, and former cricket board chief Inderjit Singh Bindra at the crucial meeting convened here tomorrow by Union Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to discuss the betting and match-fixing scandal.
These two cricket administrators, who once charted the path of globalising the game through their smart marketing techniques when Mr Bindra was the President and Mr Dalmiya the board secretary in the early 1990s but have fallen out since then, will come face-to-face for the first time since trading outrageous charges against one another recently.
They are expected to be the central figures in the discussion for which the current board President A.C. Muthiah and two other past Presidents, Madhav Rao Scindia and N.K.P. Salve, have been called along with board Vice-President and Union Heavy Industries Minister Manohar Joshi, the secetary Jaywant Lele apart from Union Information and Broadcasting Minister and Delhi Association chief Arun Jaitley.
Also invited for the meeting are current captain Saurav Ganguly, who has expressed his inability to attend due to his county commitments in England, and two other current players and former-national skippers Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin, Sunil Gavaskar, Bishen Singh Bedi and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, current coach Kapil Dev plus two former coaches Anshuman Gaekwad and Madan Lal, according to the available information.
Whether anything concrete comes out of this meeting, brought up in the wake of the scandal which has rocked the cricket world, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile Mr Bindra has alleged that there is an attempt to stonewall inquiry into allegations of match-fixing despite reports by at least three managers of the Indian team and said the probe should be handed over to the CBI, particularly in view of its international ramifications.
Going into his much-publicised suggestion that India-New Zealand match at Sharjah in 1998 was fixed, he told Karan Thapar in Talkback programme to be telecast on Doordarshan tomorrow that the then Pakistan Cricket Board secretary Waseem Ahmed asserted to him that the Indian team would be out for 185 and that four important players would be throwing away their wickets.
The Indian side was out for 182 or 183 and three players Tendulkar, Azharuddin and Jadeja, were run out in a manner in which even school children would not get out. The same information was given by Pakistan board President Zulfi Bukhari to his (Mr Bindras) predecessor Madhavrao Scindia, he said.
Mr Bindra said managers of Indian team Jyoti Bajpai (Sharjah), Sunil Dev (South Africa) and Madan Lal (West Indies) had voiced strong suspicions about matches having been fixed but the menace was not tackled by the board functionaries. The issue, he said, was discussed at length in a meeting convened by another former board President N.K.P. Salve in Delhi in August 1997, but the recommendations made by it were not acted upon by the then board President Raj Singh Dungarpur and secretary Jagmohan Dalmiya.
UNI adds: Union Minister for Sports Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said the government will begin a crackdown against those found guilty of fixing cricket matches in India.
Asked whether the government was planning a crackdown in view of the large scale reports alleging involvement of Indian players and bookies in match-fixing, Mr Dhindsa said, definitely, because the game of cricket was involved.
He said tomorrows meeting, convened by him, with past and former managers and captains and BCCI officials, would deliberate on various aspects of the issue and chalk out the strategy to deal with the menace. Let us see what happens at the meeting.
Regarding Indian coach Kapil Devs suggestion for a suspension of countrys participation in international tournaments till the mess was cleared, Mr Dhindsa said this would also be discussed at the meeting.
The sources in the
Sports Ministry, however, indicated that matters
concerning the improvement of Indian cricket, the
match-fixing controversy, allegations against Indian
players and administrators, the Chandrachud committee
report and steps to prevent any wrong doing in future
would be highlights of the discussions.
Rain disrupts Fed Cup matches
TOKYO, April 26 (PTI) Steady rain in Osaka threw Asia Oceania Fed Cup tennis championship group matches haywire as organisers struggled to reschedule the programme today.
India were to take on top seed Japan led by Ai Sugiyama today after its memorable 2-1 triumph over Thailand in the Pool A yesterday.
Our tie against Japan has been rescheduled for tomorrow morning and though we have very slim chance, the girls are excited about the clash specially after beating Thailand, coach Nandan Bal told PTI over phone.
With a days play lost, the International Tennis Federation today decided that if countries take a decisive 2-0 lead, there will be no doubles matches.
Thailand were to play Kazakhstan in another Pool A match that was postponed. Second seed China were to face Singapore while third seed Taiwan were to take on New Zealand in Pool B.
Japan, which has all four players in top 150 of the WTA rankings, will be a very tough opponent, said Bal.
While Sugiyama is to shoulder the main responsibility of second singles and doubles, Shinobu Asagoe, 125th on WTA, was likely to be the other singles player. Yuka Yoshida and Nana Miyagi are the other players in Japanese team.
Praising national hardcourt champion Sai Jayalakshmi, who put India 1-0 up against Thailand, Bal said: Sai played a great singles match. If she continues with her form we might cause some more upsets here.
Top Indian Nirupama Vaidyanathan, who lost to Thai ace Tamarine Tanasugarn in the second singles, but came back in the doubles with Manisha Malhotra to score an upset win, also recived a pat from the coach.
Niru was no match to Tamarine. She (Tanasugarn) was playing in a very different league, but Nirupama gave the answer by quelling Thai challenge in the doubles.
Pak ready to table inquiry report
DUBAI, April 26 (UNI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed its readiness to table the Justice Malik Mohammed Qayyum inquiry committee report on match-fixing at the special meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in London on May 2.
Pakistan is ready to table the inquiry report on match-fixing during the special ICC meeting, director (cricket operations) of the PCB Yawar Saeed told Gulf News from Lahore.
Saeed, who will represent the PCB at the ICC meeting, will be given the Justice Qayyum report tomorrow. We are very keen to clear our cricketers from the match-fixing scandal. We are willing to cooperate to end the menace of match-fixing once and for all.
His comment came amid reports that Pakistani cricket officials have been asked to submit the report at the ICC meeting next week. A leading Pakistani daily said the instructions in this regard have come from ICC President Jagmohan Dalmiya.
The Justice Qayyum inquiry committee probed the question of corruption in the Pakistani game and submitted the report to the government in last October. Its contents have not been made public nor has it been acted upon either by the government or the PCB.
PCB chairman Gen Tauqir Zia was supposed to attend the ICC meeting in London along with Saeed but he has since pulled out owing to engagements at home, the Gulf News said.
I will be meeting Gen Zia for a briefing on Pakistans stance in this scandal at the ICC meeting, Saeed said.
Asked if Justice Qayyum had recommended action against seven cricketers in his report, Saeed said: Even though I will be carrying the report to London, I am yet to read it. I am yet to discuss the contents of the report with the PCB chief.
On South African cricket board Managing Director Ali Bachers allegation that the Pakistan- Bangladesh match in the World Cup last year was fixed, he said: I have alredy rejected his allegation, his charges should have been backed with evidence, we have found that his statement is full of contradictions and lacks credibility.
Saeed said Dr. Bacher
had also violated the rules of the code of conduct
followed by members of the ICC. If he knew that
this particular match was fixed, why has he remained
silent for so long? It is unfortunate that Bacher decided
to go public about it instead of informing the PCB first
Kapil, Jadeja launch hepatitis campaign
NEW DELHI, April 26 (UNI) Cricketers Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja today kicked off a campaign in the capital to create awareness about viral hepatitis and exhorted the media to join hands in the fight against the silent-killer disease 200 times more infectious and more common than AIDS.
Kapil said media could effectively spread the message of hepatitis and other liver-related diseases to the masses. It is important for all of us to join hands and make a difference. We must look after our next generations. The cricketers also released a booklet Liver diseases in childhood on the occasion.
Earlier Dr Anupam Sibal of the Childrens Liver Disease Awareness and Support Programme (CLASP), a foundation for children with liver diseases, which is organising the campaign, said four crore Indians carry hepatitis B and at risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.
What is even more
worrying is that every year 270,000 babies are infected
with the hepatitis B virus at the time of birth and 90
per cent of them will become carriers of this virus and
suffer in their productive years. Treatment for hepatitis
B is expensive, painful and effective in only 60 per cent
of the cases.
Baggios goal helps FIFA XI win
SARAJEVO, April 26 (Reuters) A penalty seven minutes from time by Inter Milan striker Roberto Baggio gave a FIFA World XI a 1-0 victory over Bosnia in a disappointing football for peace charity match.
Yesterday, Baggio scored after Ghanaian veteran Abedi Pele was pulled down in the area, while Fenerbahce striker Elvir Bolics header against the bar was the closest Bosnia came to scoring.
The match featured no fewer than 20 substitutions but few of the 42 players on show were able to make much of an impact.
Part of the proceeds from the match, attended by some 25,000 fans, went to a village for orphans in Sarajevo run by the Austrian humanitarian agency SOS-Kinderdorf, which the world stars visited before the game.
A FIFA official said on Monday that veteran Brazilian defender Dunga has donated $ 206,000 for the international project of villages for orphans.
The game was attended by FIFA chief Joseph Blatter, who said: Today we play football for peace. What we want to do tonight is just to show and to give a message of peace.
Lewis preparing to face Grant
NEW YORK, April 26 (AFP) Britains Lennox Lewis, twice robbed of world heavyweight boxing titles here, conducted his first New York workout yesterday with confidence he could avoid another Manhattan mugging.
Lewis is preparing to face unbeaten Michael Grant of the USA on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the same arena where woeful judging deprived him of a victory over Evander Holyfield 13 months ago.
Bad situation last time, Lewis said. This time, Im coming back to a great situation and I feel very positive.
Lewis, 35-1 with one draw and 27 knockouts, settled for a draw against Holyfield here last year in a fight most observers thought he won.
The judging of Eugenia Williams was so suspect in that fight that new laws were passed in New York regarding who appoints and handles judges at bouts.
Lewis had one of those titles taken from him by a Manhattan court judge last month after legal wrangling by Don King.
I have gone through lots of trials and tribulations, Lewis said. Things like this are the fuel to my fire to make me explosive.
The promoters move, still being appealed by Lewis, cannot alter the notion that the worlds two top heavyweight fighters will meet when Lewis faces Grant, who is 31-0 with 22 knockouts.
Im still the undisputed heavyweight champion, with or without the belt, Lewis said. I dont really need the belts. Im the undisputed champion. I worked so hard to get them.
Grant is the number one contender in my mind and the peoples mind. He has looked fantastic. But he has not faced a boxer like me. I dont believe the fight will go the distance. Im confident and I believe Im the best.
Lewis and Grant are of similar huge stature, thus the tagline Two Big placed on the promotion, which also includes Britains Paul Ince defending his International Boxing Federation featherweight crown against US fighter Junior Jones
Emanuel Steward, Lewis trainer, said the size and speed of Grant will press Lewis to show skills that Steward believes he has yet to display in a title bout.
He could step it up a little more, Steward said. This fight there is no excuse. I think grant will bring the best out of Lennox. I think it is likely to be power punches. Both these fighters have something to prove to the public.
Steward sees Lewis, already the first British undisputed heavyweight champion in more than a century, as being in a position to set himself up as the dominant fighter of his generation, stripped of titles or not.
What Lennox has to do is make himself a dominant figure by starting a string of knockouts so everybody will know he is the best man, no matter who he is matched against.
Grant, whose idol is Holyfield, is trained by Don Turner, who trained Holyfield in the two fights against Lewis.
Pargat, Zafar for foreign coaches
NEW DELHI, Apr 26 (UNI) Former captains of the Indian hockey team have spoken in favour of engaging foreign coaches to prepare teams for the future.
Talking to UNI at the sidelines of a function held to felicitate former hockey players here yesterday, Pargat Singh and Zafar Iqbal were of the opinion that foreign coahces could not produce results in two to three months and a long-term approach to the game was needed.
To prepare a team of world-beaters, they said, the system of running the game would have to be streamlined.
Though they were happy with the way the Indian team played at the pre-Olympic tournament in Perth their enthusiam was mixed with a degree of caution.
Pargat Singh said the teams had always performed well in the pre-Olympic tournaments but they faltered when it came to crunch games.
He said the Indian team always exposed their strategy before major tournament and suggested that in every game they should try different combinations.
Zafar Iqbal said other teams kept the strategy, which they planned to use in major games, under wraps in minor tournaments. He said the team was shaping up well and the period before the Olymics should be utilised for working on shortcomings.
Pargat Singh was critical of the way six senior players were removed after the Bangkok Asian Games. He said one could understand the need to give a chance to juniors to play at the international level but such a move could destabilise the team.
Zafar Iqbal was, however, satisfied with the speed at which the youngsters were picking up the nuances of the game at the international level.
Both were worried about the declining popularity of hockey and said the game needed to be marketed agressively, which had never been attempted before.
Pargat Singh said the victory at the Asian Games in Bangkok was a good opportunity to attract sponsors but nothing was done by the Indian Hockey Federation.
American stars face top global rivals
PHILADELPHIA, April 26 (AFP) Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene and Marion Jones will face top global rivals here on Saturday at the Penn Relays in a United States versus the World athletics matchup.
Top rivals from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean will test the American stars in mens and womens 4x100m and 4x400m races. A planned 4x1,500m event failed when a British team withdrew and top Kenyans could not obtain visas.
Greene, the 100m world-record holder, and training partner Jon Drummond will run the 4x100m relay against teams from Jamaica, Bahamas, Thailand, Sierra Leone and a Caribbean all-star squad.
The 4x400m US relay that faces Jamaica, Bahamas and Trinidad could feature the world-record lineup of Johnson, Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew and Tyree Washington.
Im very excited about the event, Pettigrew said. Every time you put the US letters on your chest, its a very important feeling. We want to show we are the best.
Pettigrew, 33, was the 1991 400m world champion and his 43.1-second relay split was the second-fastest ever clocked. It came as part of the 1998 Goodwill Games winners who set the world record of 2 minutes, 54.20 seconds.
Johnson, whose wife is nearly ready to give birth to their first child, looks to defend his 1996 Olympic 200m and 400m titles at Sydney in September. The Australian Games are five months away but Pettigrew expects excitement.
I look for great things, Pettigrew said. Michael has run well this year. Michael is an outstanding runner. Once the third person gets it to him, its over. I can think about taking a victory lap and signing autographs.
It helps us to have had us run together before. We all tell each other how high to hold it and where to put our hands. That makes a difference.
Before the Americans can lock their sights on Sydney, they must handle the US Olympic trials in July at Sacramento, California. For many, that meet has as many top rivals as the Olympics will offer.
I tell people if you get through our Olympic trials, you will do well at the Olympics, Pettigrew said.
Jones, who seeks five gold medals at Sydney, plans to join Gail Devers, Inger Miller and Carlette Guidry on a 4x100m relay.
Her Sydney Olympic golden dream includes 100m, 200m and long jump titles plus 4x100m and 4x400m relay crowns. The latter means taking a spot from a runner who devotes more time and effort to the 400m.
But Jearl Miles-Clark, a member of US Olympic 4x400m champions in 1996 and runners-up in 1992, welcomes Jones and her record bid, but pointed out that Jones must reach the 400m finals at the US Olympic trials to qualify.
If you make the finals in the trials, the coach can choose you (for the relay), Miles-Clark said. Marion is a great athlete. I would love to have her on the relay with me. Ive told her, Marion, if you train for this event, you could break the world record. But she doesnt like to run it.
Nigeria and Jamaica will challenge Miles-Clark and the US 4x400m relay here. The Africans were narrow losers in a memorable 1996 Olympic final and the same nations could duel again for Sydney gold.
The Jamaicans will get the crowd excited and Nigeria they were right on our heels in 1996, Miles-Clark said. Putting them in there, its going to be really good. It was hot in 96 and it will be hot this weekend.
Miles-Clark lamented that even people who recognise her in US cities have no idea she races in years that do not have an Olympics.
They dont seem to grasp the concept you are running every year, not just an Olympic year, she said.
USA Track and Field boss Craig Masback hopes more US versus the world events will raise awareness of his sport to allow some sort of meaningful US series, even if it lacks the money of the European circuit.
The strategy is to
have the national team appear more. This is just a toe in
the water, he said. We want to capture the
feeling and excitement of a world championship or
Olympics, to have a team compete in different
Thomson to coach Zimbabwe bowlers
LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) Australias former Test fast bowler Jeff Thomson is to coach Zimbabwes bowlers during part of their tour of England.
Thomson starts his job next Monday and will continue until June 20 when fellow Australian former paceman Carl Rackemann takes over for the rest of the tour which ends in late July.
The tour management announced the coaching positions at a news conference at Lords today.
Rackemann was bowling coach for Zimbabwes home series against Sri Lanka last November and December, as well as on their recent tour of the West Indies.
However, he was not available for the full tour of England and recommended Thomson.
Zimbabwe have a new team coach in England, former Test batsman Andy Pycroft, who erplaces Dave Houghton.
Navratilova may play doubles at Wimbledon
NEW YORK, April 26 (AFP) Retired tennis star Martina Navratilova will enter the womens doubles event at Wimbledon, trying to win a record-matching 20th crown overall at the Grand Slam grass-court event.
The nine-time Wimbledon singles champion will be paired with South Africas Mariaan de Swardt during the fortnight that begins June 26.
Its gonna be the first time I go back as a player since 1995, Navratilova said. Its gonna be fantastic and Im looking forward to it.
The 43-year-old American has won seven Wimbledon womens doubles titles and her total of 19 Wimbledon crowns overall in singles, doubles and mixed doubles is one shy of Billie Jean Kings all-time record.
Navratilovas most recent Wimbledon title came in mixed doubles in 1995. She now plays in the United States Team Tennis league.
something I had planned at the beginning of the
year, Navratilova said. I just thought that
because I will be playing Team Tennis in July that I
needed matches. What better way to get ready than to play
Kahlon Rookie Golfer of the
Chandigarh, April 26 Chandigarh-based Harmeet Kahlon has been named Mahindra Rookie Golfer of the Year. For his tremendous performance in his first year in the Indian pro circuit, Harmeet has picked up a prize money of Rs 1 lakh which together with his earning of Rs 4.19 lakh has taken his total earnings for the year to Rs 5.19 lakh.
Harmeet was posed a tough challenge by Digvijay Singh, who ended the year with a total prize amount of Rs 3.73 lakh. While Harmeet finished 11th in the order of merit, Digvijay Singh had to be content with the 12th spot.
Mukesh Kumar from Mhow has claimed the Mahindra Champion Golfer of the Year award which carries a total prize money of Rs 7 lakh. Mukesh garnered a total of 294.5 points. Together with his earnings of Rs 8.93 lakh from the circuit his total earnings for the year has gone up to Rs 15.93 lakh. Just behind him was Firoz Ali who could total 294 points with a total earning of Rs 10.18 lakh. Mukesh took part in 19 events, won three and had 17 top ten finishes.
The prizes were decided after nine months of intense competition during which the golfers took part in as many as 20 events.The competition which commenced in September last continued right till this month and only after all the results were tabulated were the awards announced.
Mumbai-based Monohar Dike won the Mahindra Putter of the Year award which also carries a prize amount of Rs 1 lakh. Together with his earnings on the circuit, Dike will be richer by Rs 2.41 lakh at the end of the year.
Instituted in 1996 by Mahindra and Mahindra in association with the Professional Golfers Association of India (PGAI) as a major support to Indian professional golf with an outlay of Rs 10 lakh, the Mahindra champion golfer alone will receive the same amount by the end of the season in 2002.
In a tense finish to this seasons PGA India Tour, the winners were decided only after the last putt had dropped at the last hole of the last event on April 21 last.
The following were the leading golfers of the year
Mahindra Champion Golfer of the Year : Mukesh Kumar (294.50) 1, Firoz Ali (294) 2, Vijay Kumar (274) 3, Shiv Prakash (224.5) 4 and Ali Sher (158) 5.
Rios scrapes past Andrei Pavel
BARCELONA, April 26 (Reuters) Chiles Marcelo Rios survived two match points against Romanian Andrei Pavel to reach the third round of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3 4-6 7-6 win.
Rios, the number four seed playing his first match in the tournament, appeared to be cruising as he dominated the first set yesterday.
But as the Chileans forehand deserted him in the second set as Pavel took control with some relentless hitting from the back of the court.
The Romanian won the second set, broke for a 6-5 in lead the third set and looked to be heading for a victory as his opponent sliced yet another forehand wide of the line at 30-all.
But when it really mattered Rios pulled out a clattering forehand to save his skin and when the second match point came along Pavel put it long.
Rios eventually broke after the fourth deuce and the tie-break was something of a procession as he broke the first Pavel serve and went on to win it 7-1.
The key second round match today will feature world number three Yevgeny Kafelnikov against the unseeded Carlos Moya after the Spaniard won an error-strewn contest against Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4 4-6 6-4.
Moya, who recovered from recurring back injuries to win at Estoril earlier this month, had early breaks in the second and third sets only to let his opponent back in each time with some careless tennis.
Clement then had two break points as Moya served at 4-4 in the final set but missed them both and was then broken himself for the fifth time, serving a double fault on match point.
Im capable of the best and worst tennis, admitted Moya after his first outing.
Kafelnikov has done well on clay before, winning Roland Garros (French Open) in 1996 so it should be a good game.
Im concerned about my own game rather than his, though. If it was Pete Sampras on a hard court then Id be worrying about the opposition.
Moyas victory was matched by another Spanish success over French opposition in the first round as Juan Carlos Ferrero continued his good run with a 6-4 7-5 victory over 11th seed Nicolas Escude.
Compatriot Sergi Bruguera, twice former French Open champion but now ranked outside the top 100, was a surprise 6-1 6-1 winner over Roger Federer of Switzerland, While Alberto Berasategui won his all-Spanish clash with Tommy Robredo by the same score. Fabrice Santoro regained some pride for France as he beat Spains Galo Blanco 6-4 3-6 6-3.
Hicham Arazi of Morocco, seeded 15, came through with a few problems against Australian Richard Fromberg, winning 6-3 6-4.
Last years losing finalist Karim Alami of Morocco battled his way through to the second round with a 6-3 6-7 6-2 win over Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
Bookie named Indians
NEW DELHI, April 26 (UNI) Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan says a suspicious character (bookie) had named a few Indian players for alleged match-fixing during a tour to India for benefit matches way back in 1977.
Asked about the suspicious character (Raj Bhagri) during an interview with Cricket Talk magazine, Imran said: He is the one who told me about a few names who were fixing matches, but he never dared to offer me ... He was always at cricket grounds. I never took him seriously.
Did he name Indian players? In answer, the former ace all-rounder said, yeah, he named a few players. I think he talked about players from another international team. He said they were involved in match-fixing too.
Imran blamed the menace,
as is being widely reported following the disclosure by
Delhi Police about the involvement of some South African
players and the subsequent confession by skipper Hansie
Cronje about receiving financial gratification from
bookies, on the frequency of one-dayers and the
reluctance of the cricket boards to take action.
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