|Saturday, May 6, 2000,
Holyfield, Ruiz in title fight
Pak faces boycott threat
182 by Dravid
MUMBAI, May 5 (PTI) The national selectors today dropped a bombshell by leaving out Ranji Trophy record-setting batsman V.V.S. Laxman from the 25-strong list of probables whom they picked for the Asia Cup conditioning camp to be held at Pune from May 15 to 24.
Laxman, who was in blazing form with a string of centuries in the final rounds of Ranji Trophy including a ton against Mumbai in the final and a triple hundred in the semi-final against Karnataka, was ignored as we all thought him to be Test material, selection committee chairman Chandu Borde told reporters here.
The stylish Hyderabad batsman had obliterated the previous season-high record tally of Karnatakas Vijay Bharadwaj by scoring over 1,300 runs in Ranji Trophy this season only to be cold-shouldered by the selectors who included Tamil Nadus Sridharan Sriram as one of the openers.
We all thought Laxman was not one-day material, especially in the wake of his performance in the one-day tri-series in Australia. On the other hand Sriram too has scored a lot of runs in domestic cricket and can bowl and field well also, Borde explained.
The selectors, however, chose to reward another Tamil Nadu batsman left-handed Hemang Badani for his good domestic show this season by including him in the 25-strong list which would be pruned to 14 on May 22 at Pune with skipper Sourav Ganguly and coach Kapil Dev in attendance.
Ganguly was named only today as the captain while Kapil was not invited for the meeting. The tournament is to be held at Dhaka from May 28 to June 7.
Board secretary Jaywant Lele explained Kapil Devs absence by saying it had been the practice not to invite the coach when the selectors chose probables and not the final team.
Both Ganguly and Kapil Dev would be invited for the May 22 meeting to choose the final 14-member team, Lele added.
He refused to answer any query on the startling revelation made yesterday by former board chief Inderjit Singh Bindra that it was the current India coach who had offered Manoj Prabhakar $ 25,000 as bribe to underperform in Sri Lanka during the 1994 Singer Cup series.
Ask the President (A.C. Muthiah). I have nothing to say, Lele said. He also said it was the coachs private view that all cricket activities should be banned for six months till the match-fixing scandal was over.
The board has its international commitments and has to fulfil them, he said, adding the matter had not been discussed with Kapil Dev by the board. We will take it up at the appropriate time was all he would say.
The probables: Sourav
Ganguly (Capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Mohd Azharuddin, Ajay
Jadeja, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Jacob Martin, Hemang
Badani, Mohd Kaif, Shiv Sunder Das, Robin Singh,
Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, T.
Kumaran, Amit Bhandari, Zaheer Khan, Syed Saba Karim,
Nayan Mongia, Nikhil Chopra, Sridharan Sriram, S. Ramesh,
Sunil Joshi, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Murali Kartik.
LAS VEGAS, May 5 (AP) Evander Holyfield doesnt just believe his upcoming fight with John Ruiz is a legitimate heavyweight boxing title fight. He also believes he should still be the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Never mind that the judges in Holyfields fight last November with Lennox Lewis decided otherwise.
Everybody knows I won, Holyfield said yesterday. The fact is, I was the champion and I was the most aggressive. Im the one who made that fight.
The 37-year-old Holyfield isnt about to apologise for taking the June 10 fight with Ruiz that will be for the WBA version of the heavyweight title taken from Lewis for not defending it against the top-ranked.
To Holyfield, it is not only a true heavyweight title fight, but an opportunity to regain what he believes was unfairly taken from him.
My goal is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion once again, Holyfield said prior to a news conference announcing the fight at Caesars Palace.
Both Holyfield and Ruiz used last Saturdays fight between Lewis and Michael Grant to press their point that Ruiz, the No. 1 WBA contender, should have rightfully been given the title shot Grant got against Lewis.
Promoter Don King, of course, couldnt resist adding his own verbal jabs about a fight that lasted less than two rounds.
I guarantee you this fight will be a better world championship fight than Lewis and Grant, King said. That fight was a farce.
Ruiz, a fringe heavyweight despite his ranking, said he considered Holyfield a better fighter than Lewis anyway.
I think hes a true champion, Ruiz said. Hes not holding belts now, but I think hes the better of them.
MUMBAI, May 5 (PTI) Border Security Force attacked vigorously and defended resolutely to shock their more fancied local rivals Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) 2-0 to win the 6th Guru Tegh Bahadur All-India Gold Cup Hockey Championship here today.
BSF, full of Adivasi talent and without any stars to boast of, simply overwhelmed their star-packed rivals in the first half of the title-clash to lead 1-0 and then pumped in another goal late in the second half to shut out BPCLs hopes of keeping the championship, revived after 16 years, in Mumbai.
Inside-left Marieus Lakra, who combined beautifully with centre forward Peter Tirkey, put BSF 1-0 up in the 29th minute of the first half with an on-the-run shot after being fed superbly inside the D by the latter who had an outstanding tournament.
Inside-right Shinu Herenz notched up BSFs second goal five minutes from the end. The spadework for this was done by Kuljinder Singh who square passed to Herenz to unleash a stiff shot from the top-of-the-circle which beat player of the tournament and junior international custodian P A Bopanna under the BPCL bar.
BSF completely dominated the first session in which they forced five of their six penalty-corners while BPCL made a determined effort in the latter half in which they got seven of their eight penalty-corners without any success.
BSF got the winners purse of Rs 40,000 while BPCL received Rs 25,000. Mumbais Tata Sports Club were the last winners of the title in 1984.
The final did not rise to the expected level initially but picked up pace with time. BSF held complete sway in the first half and also took the lead when Lakra was sent surging into the D by a fine through pass from Tirkey and took the shot in a jiffy to beat Bopanna all ends up.
BPCL, who were thwarted by the crowding tactics employed by BSF for the better part of the match, started to come into their own after this goal and pressed hard for the equaliser in the second half without success.
BSF custodian Jasjit Singh too put up an outstanding display in the final after excelling in their shock sem-final win over star-studded Indian Airlines to keep the BPCL forward line at bay.
Another outstanding player today was BSF captain and left-half Berinder Guria who constantly fed his frontliners.
Ex-internationals Sabu Varkey and Ravi Nayaker were tightly marked by the BSF defenders in the first half and the BPCL forwardline started to move only after they managed to break free of their shackles.
BPCL had a good chance to open their account in the 20th minute of the second half when Varkey took a hard, angular shot which was neatly padded by BSF goalkeeper Jasjit. This move led to their 5th penalty-corner award.
Then BPCLs citadel fell again. Sandeep Singhs shot from the right rebounded off Bopannas pads. Kuljinder collected the rebound and squared to Herenz on his left for the latter to beat Bopanna with a stiff drive.
NEW DELHI, May 5 (PTI) Hand injuries nursed by Asian Games bantamweight gold medallist Ng Dingko Singh and middleweight pugilist Jitender Kumar could seriously undermine their performance at the Sydney Olympics in September.
Bangkok winner Dingko Singh and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jitender Kumar alongwith lightfly Suresh Singh and lightheavy Gurcharan Singh have qualified for Sydney by coming through Asian qualifiers, but are yet to touch full fitness with the national camp at NIS, Patiala having begun on April 17.
Dingko Singh originally suffered a metacarpal bone fracture on his right palm during an exhibition bout against Sriramulu of Andhra Pradesh at the Imphal National Games in February last year. Jitender suffered a similar injury a month later which boxing officials had said happened while playing holi.
Both the boxers were put on cast, but sports medicine experts said the plaster was removed after only a few days to get the duo cleared for a competition-and-training stint in Cuba that followed soon after, fearing non-clearance of the squad if the two did not go.
In fact, both boxers were present at a function here to receive cash awards announced by the government before heading for Cuba, but the premature removal of the cast has resulted in the fracture not healing properly and causing great discomfort to them.
Jitender Kumar was recently examined by top orthopaedic surgeon Ashok Rajagopal here and it was found the fracture had not healed properly, raising doubts whether the talented Railway boxer who made it to Sydney from the second qualifier in Taejeon City in January will touch peak fitness again.
Dingko Singh has been nursing the injury and aggravated it on his way to clinching a last-gasp Olympic berth at the third and final qualifier held at Bangkok in April.
Sports medicine experts say the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation tried to push them through fearing non-clearance by the government for the Cuba trip if the two were not going.
But this has caused a major problem for both boxers which could severely affect their performances, the sources added.
IABF President Ashok Mattoo, when contacted, denied any attempt by the federation to take the boxers to Cuba when they were not fully fit.
Asked about the status of their injuries, Mattoo said: Jitenders hand injury is totally cured. We took medical help from Dr Rajagopal and he is practising absolutely fine.
He said Dingko Singh, who skipped the final at Bangkok against Thai Sontaya Wongprates due to the injury, was yet to join the camp. We have in fact requested SAI for the support of an ortho specialist at the camp, he added.
NEW DELHI, May 5 (PTI) Indian team coach Kapil Dev has served a legal notice on former cricket board chief Inderjit Singh Bindra for his claim in a TV interview that allrounder Manoj Prabhakar was offered a bribe by him (Kapil Dev) for underperforming in a match as part of match-fixing.
In a signed statement here today, Kapil Dev said: I have handed over this matter to my lawyers .... The action to be taken and the time frame within which it could be taken will be decided by them.
For the present, a legal notice has been sent to Mr I.S. Bindra by my lawyers and the ball is in his court.
The former India captain said the statement made by Mr Bindra has been an earth shattering experience for him.
He said for the past 25 years cricket has been my life and I have given my everything to cricket. The reputation built over 25 years has been tarnished by one irresponsible statement.
I am going through an emotional hell. I havent even thought of the financial consequences to my reputation. All that I can say is that the loss to me both emotionally and financially would be incalculable.
Later asked whether he had sought an apology and retraction of the statement from Mr Bindra failing which he might claim damages, Kapil Dev told PTI details of the notice served on Mr Bindra would be made public in a day or two.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 (PTI) India crushed China 8-1 to be on course for a semifinal berth in the Junior Asia Cup Hockey Tournament here tonight.
India went into the lead early after struggling a bit in the first few minutes and then maintained their superiority throughout to outplay their lowly pool B opponents to score their second win in as many matches. India defeated Bangladesh 5-1 in their first match on Tuesday.
Besides twin strikes each by Walappa, Gagan and Thakur, Len Aiyappa and Prabodh Tirkey struck one each for India while Song Yi scored the lone consolation for China.
Earlier, strong contenders South Korea maintained their superb momentum towards a semifinal berth as they blanked Singapore 10-0 in a pool A match.
Coach C.R. Kumar was thrilled with the teams showing and said the boys were looking forward to the tricky group clash with Japan, who also have two wins.
The entire team played well and they didnt repeat the mistakes they did against Bangladesh. I am very satisfied with the victory and both Gagan Ajit Singh and Deepak Thakur are now combining very well with the rest of the team, he said.
But the Indians did not have an easy start and it was China who dominated the initial exchanges.
The Indian midfield
seemed a little sluggish to begin with and China, taking
advantage of this, fought their way into the Indian
circle. But the Indian defence led by skipper Lazarus
Barla stood their ground.
HAMBURG, (Germany), May 5 (Reuters) A new-look, leaner Venus William denied she had come close to retiring after spending five months of the sidelines with injured wrists and said she felt confident of winning her comeback tournament.
The 19-year-old, whose father and coach Richard advised her to consider ending her five-year-long career in March because of tendinitis in her wrists, said she had not seriously considered retirement.
No, not too much, she told reporters at the $ 535,000 Hamburg Cup after recovering from a shaky start to her first competitive match since November 22 to march into the quarter-finals of a tournament she won last year.
But she said a serious injury could force her to think again.
If I wanted to I could retire and not look back bitter or feel like Ive missed out on something, said Williams, who is still ranked number three in the world despite not hitting a ball on the tour this year.
Ive done a little bit in tennis and if I didnt want to play any more I would move on in my life.
The break, which Williams used to catch up with her fashion design studies and to work on her French, had helped her accept her fathers advice not to rush back to the circuit and to think about like beyond tennis, she said.
I could have been out the whole year if I didnt be easy on myself.
Second-seeded Williams, who beat Romanian Irina Spirlea 6-7 6-2 6-2, lacked some of the devastating power that has made her the fastest server in womens tour history and admitted she had lost a lot of weight during her lay-off.
But she said a new mental aggression had helped her compensate as she fought back to take the second and third sets.
Before I had the injuries, when I lost a set like that I was never angry, she said. But now that Ive come back Im angry at everything. Ive had a lot of time to think about my game.
Williams, who initially shed more than 10 kilos from a once rippling physique after a bout a tonsillitis, said she was happier with her new slimline figure and saw benefits for her game.
Naturally I want to be stronger and maybe have more muscles, but when youre slimmer its easier to move around the court.
CANTERBURY, May 5 (AFP) Zimbabwe endured a punishing day in the field as Indian batsman Rahul Dravid hit a brilliant unbeaten 182 to help Kent compile an imposing total of 380 for five on the penultimate day of their four-day tour match.
Dravid, Kents overseas player for 2000, recorded his maiden hundred for the county yesterday, slowly increasing in confidence after a cautious start.
Busy at first on the leg side, Dravid began to cut and drive fluently as Kent raced past the tourists first innings total of 159.
The highest scorer of last years World Cup added 104 in 27 overs with Alan Wells (58) after Kent had lost Robert Key and nightwatchman David Masters before a run had been scored off the bat.
Wells, driving sweetly, was caught off the top edge by Neil Johnson sweeping at his 109th ball from left-arm spinner Dirk Viljoen on the stroke of lunch.
But James Hockley (74), playing in only his third first class match, hit a maiden half-century in a 208-run partnership with Dravid.
AP adds: Bowled out for only 85 in their second innings, Surrey began the defence of their county championship with an embarrassing 231-run lose to improving Durham yesterday.
Despite being packed with a lineup of England stars, Surrey folded to the Durham seam bowlers at the Riverside having been set 317 to win.
Leftarmer Simon Brown returned figures of three for eight off 8.4 overs and Neil Killeen took three for 14 as the Surrey batsmen collapsed from 41 for no loss and surrendered in only two days.
Surreys scores of 104 and 85 were the lowest two scores ever made against Durham, who made into first class cricket in 1992 and had lost all 17 games against the southern county.
While Surreys England batsmen suffered, Warwickshires Nick Knight prospered in a division two game against Glamoregan at Edgbaston, Yorskhires Michael Vaughan hammered the Derbyshire attack at Headingley and Andy Flinoff hit a century against Leicestershire at Old Trafford.
The lefthanded Knight thrashed the Glamorgan bowling attack for a career high 233 in Warwickshires 551 for six declared. Vaughan hit 155 out of Yorkshires 407 for four, with Australian team-mate Darren Lehman out five short of a century, and big-hitting Flintoff hammered 119 out of 342 for five.
Shane Warne took his first championship wicket but ended up one for 83. He was one of the several Hampshire bowlers punished by compatriot Jamie Cox, who scored 153 out of Somersets 319.
NEW DELHI, May 5 (PTI) Indias national champion P Gopi Chand has clinched a direct berth to the Sydney Olympics badminton event but his woman counterpart Aparna Popats hopes have all but vanished due to the three-month ban imposed by the world body for taking a banned substance.
Aparna Popat, whose ranking has plummeted following the penalty imposed by the International Badminton Federation, has been listed seventh among nine reserves and holds only a theoretical chance of making it to the September 15 to October 1 competition.
India number two Nikhil Kanetkar has also made it to the reserve list, at sixth out of nine, but his chances also look very slim.
Four-time national champion Gopi Chand, ranked 34th in the world as per the latest listing, qualified as the 24th player in the mens singles field of 32 for the games in the list issued by IBF yesterday.
In all 82 men and 80 women, making up a tentative list of 162, representing 26 countries, have been included in the list as per their ranking as on April 30 for the five eventsmens and womens singles and doubles and mixed doubles.
The qualifiers were selected via a complicated system that restricts to three the maximum number of entries for a country in each event and also ensures participation of at least one player from all the confederations in each event and avoids duplicate qualification of players (names of players who have qualified for one event will not be included in other events).
The list includes 32 players each in mens and womens singles while 20 pairs each have been picked for doubles.
Powerhouses China, Indonesia and Denmark will have three players each in mens singles while China and Japan will have the maximum number in the womens section.
Popat, whose ranking has slumped from 28 on March 30 to 54 after losing a whopping 348 points she earned for her superb performance in the Uber Cup zonal round held here in February because of the ban, holds only a theoretical chance of figuring in the Sydney games.
The former world junior runner-ups chances were badly hit when she was slapped the ban after she inadvertently took a medicine for cold that contained a banned substance. Popat had declared that she was taking the medication D-cold but had to pay the penalty for not being aware that it contained the banned substance.
The Bangalore-based shuttlers hopes of making it to the first premier sporting event of the new millennium rest on withdrawals due to injuries or duplication of names after the final selection by National Olympic Committees, which will advise the IBF by May 26 on the best three players of their choice in case there are more players among the top 16 from that country.
The IBF, after receiving intimation from the NOCs, will add 10 more names and issue a final list of 172 players on June 28. The draw for the Olympics will be released on September 7.
Kanetkar, ranked 56th in
mens singles, has been placed sixth in the reserve
list. But both Kanetkar and Popat have virtually no
chance of making it to the Olympics as there are too many
players ahead of them.
national athletics camp at Patiala
PATIALA, May 5 The junior national athletics camp will be held at the NIS here from May 13 and 71 athletes, including 45 boys and 26 girls, will attend the camp. The athletes are required to report at the NIS on May 12. The world athletics day meet will be held on May 14 and 15 and most of the national campers are expected to take part in the two-day competition.
The boys and girls who will attend the camp are: Boys 100m, 200m: Senthil Kumar (TN), Jaspreet Singh (Pun), Dharni Dharan (TN), Arshad Hussain (AP). 400m: S.K. Shamsher (WB), Srikanth Pandi and Sameer Kispota (MP) Baljeet Singh and Gurvinder Singh (Pun), Ajay Chauhan (Raj), P. Shankar (AP). 800m/1500m: Parmik Singh and Gurbinder Singh (Pun), Kuldip Kumar (UP), Mallapa Triger (Kar), Kashmir Singh (Pun), P.S. Ramesh (Ker), Karamvir Singh (Raj). 5000m, 10000m, 3000m steeplechase: Rajesh Chauhan and Ghaman Ram (Raj), Manpreet Singh (Pun), Ashok K.S. (Kar). Long jump, triple jump: Gurmit Singh, Maha Singh, Amarjit Singh (Pun), L. Dharmindera (Manipur), Rajesh R (Ker). Shot put: Amit Tyagi (UP), Karmvir Singh (Pun), Ranvijay Singh (UP), Surinder Singh (Raj).
Discus throw:- Sukhbir Singh and Amritpal Singh (Pun), Rajesh Kumar and Chander Bhan (Har). Hammer throw: Bikram Singh and Harpal Singh (Pun), Vijay Singh (Raj), Pardeep Punia (Har). Javelin throw: Manoj (Har), Dinesh Pal (Del), S.Selvan (TN). Walks: Manbir Singh (Har), Sriram (Mah), Rajesh (UP). Girls 100m, 200m, : Mandeep Kaur (Pun), Chitra K Somen (Ker), Dipti Jose (Ker), Sheetal Kavirappa (Kar), Jyoti (Kar). 400m: S. Geetha (AP), Bindu Rani (Kar), Sapinder Kaur (Pun), Suttapa Dass (WB), Manjit Kaur (Pun). 800, 1500m: Renuka Hegde and L. Manjusha (Kar), Jishi Joseph (Ker). Long jump, triple jump: Kalpana Dass (WB), Binita Sunowal (Assam), Vijay Lakshmi (UP), Lbiya S. Valayathil (Ker). Hammer throw: Phul Pati (Indian Police), Sunder Pal Kaur (Pun). Walks: Rajdeep Kaur, and Manjit Kaur (Pun), Ashrani Devi (Manipur).
The coaches attached
with the camp are: J.S. Saini (Chief coach). Harkanwaljit
Singh. Ms Abhilash Dhillon, Rajinder Sharma (sprints).
Suresh K. Saini, Parminder Singh, Balwinder Singh,
Kamlesh Yadav (middle distance). Virender K. Verma,
Susantha Roy (jumps). P.K. Banerjee (Javelin), Kuldeep
Singh (discus), H.S. Kang (hammer). Chamkaur Singh (long
distance). Katoch Sharma (Walks). K. Michael Singh (shot
LUCKNOW, May 5 (PTI) Former Test cricketer Manoj Prabhakar yesterday declined to comment on ex-board president IS Bindras claim that he (Prabhakar) had confided in him about Kapil Dev offering him money to play below his best saying whatever he had to say in this regard he would only tell the CBI.
I wont comment on that. For me the CBI comes first, Prabhakar said in an informal chat with newsmen here.
Prabhakar, who was here in connection with launching of a product of his company, said he would not say anything on this issue as the matter was now with CBI.
Let the CBI investigation finish, many more facts will come out, he said.
LONDON, May 5 (PTI) A threat of cricketing boycott looms large over Pakistan if it does not make public the Justice Qayyum report, on allegations of match-fixing against some of the countrys leading cricketers, public in full within five weeks, media reported today.
Asked in Delhi last month whether Pakistan could be suspended from the Commonwealth till democracy returns in that country, the new Commonwealth secretary-general, Donald McKinnon expressed the hope that the Pakistani regime would not wish to be prevented from playing cricket with other Commonwealth countries.
Briefing reporters at the end of the special meeting of the International Cricket Council on May 3, its President Jagmohan Dalmiya, however, said all member countries are totally committed to eliminating everybody within cricket who is guilty of corrupt behaviour.
The Daily Telegraph said Pakistan are now, beyond any doubt, fighting for their test lives. The Qayyum report, which the judge compiled over two years and after interviewing more than 70 witnesses, has been gathering dust in an official locker since the military coup last year, and the subsequent change of government.
Other than Salim Malik, who has been allowed to fade from the international game since the World Cup last summer, the other three players probed by Qayyum Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed and Ijaz Ahmed are still playing. Wasim, the former captain, and Mushtaq are currently in the team that is now touring the West Indies.
The ICC executive board
will meet at Lords on June 20 and if the Pakistan
board opt not to co-operate, or if they supply an
incomplete report, then Englands tour to that
country this autumn their first in 13 years
must be in serious doubt, the report added.
KARACHI, May 5 (Reuters) A much-delayed judicial report on corruption in Pakistan cricket is expected to be published next week, a top cricket board official said today.
No date has been fixed but in all probability the report would be released immediately after the conclusion of the first Test sometime next week, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Tauqir Zia told Reuters from Islamabad.
Pakistans opening Test against the West Indies in Georgetown, Guyana, was starting today and ends on Tuesday.
My meeting with President Rafiq Tarar has been rescheduled for Saturday morning during which I will take formal permission to publicise the report besides getting the document from him, said Mr Zia, who had been scheduled to meet Mr Tarar on Friday.
I will also ask him if he wants to review the penalties against the players. If he wants stiffer punishments they can be included, Mr Zia said.
Pakistans President is the patron of the PCB.
NEW DELHI, May 5 (PTI) A team of the Delhi Police along with Bollywood actor Kishan Kumar has reached Mumbai to corraborate the statements made by him during the course of investigations in the sensational cricket match-fixing scandal.
The team will investigate the circumstances under which a mobile phone was handed over to former South African skipper Hansie Cronje during the Pepsi Cup cricket series with India earlier this year, police sources said here.
The mobile phone is alleged to have been used by Cronje to call up Hamid Banjo Kassim, a middle man from South Africa. The Delhi police also claims that Kassim was met by London-based NRI businessman Sanjeev Chawla, the prime accused in the case, when he had gone to South Africa late last year.
Kishan Kumar, who was remanded to further police custody for five days by a city court, is being investigated for alleged role of fixer of matches.
Meanwhile, the police is gathering more information about a woman, identified as Yasmeen, who is alleged to have acted as conduit between cricketers and bookies.
The sources said Mumbai-based Yasmeen, who is alleged by the investigating agencies as having links with underworld gangs of Ibrahim and Chota Shakeel and is said to have been running the racket for these two gangs in the country. She used to be present in playground besides being a frequent visitor to pavilion of the players.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mr P.K. Srivastava, said they were yet to receive bank account details of Chawla. We have requested the interpol and are awaiting details from them, Mr Srivastava said.
LONDON, May 5 (PTI) Mr Sanjiv Chawla, prime accused in the sensational match-fixing case, has denied having ever met sacked South African skipper Hansie Cronje or having given any money to him.
In an interview to British tabloid Daily Express, he said I have never met Hansie Cronje and certainly have never given him any money as it has been claimed.
I am innocent and have done absolutely nothing wrong and I am being chased and hassled for nothing. My whole life is being ruined but I am sure I will be able to prove my innocence eventually, Mr Chawla was quoted by the paper as saying.
BUCCHAREST, May 5 (AP) Gheorghe Hagi, the soccer star who currently plays for Galatasaray of Istanbul, has said he would return this summer to Romania to fight corruption in the national soccer league, a newspaper reported today.
I feel one hundred per cent Romanian and whatever will happen I shall come home and fight with all my powers to eradicate corruption and dishonesty in our soccer, said Hagi in an interview published by daily Gazeta Sporturilor.
Romanias national soccer team performances were
meaningless under the circumstances, tainted as they are
by corruption governing local soccer. He decried illegal
deals between teams as filthy.
DOHA, May 5 (PTI) Despite a fighting display by Chetan Baboor, India went down 0-3 to favourites China in the mens team championship quarterfinals on the second day of the Asian Table Tennis Championships here yesterday.
With Indian hopes of making a match of it depending on him in the absence of S. Raman, who could not play due to a stiff neck, Baboor put up a gutsy show in the opening match against Liu Ghozheng, before losing to the superior Chinese 19-21, 18-21.
Thanks to his recent stint in Sweden, Baboor was a transformed player and he engaged Ghozheng in some interesting rallies before the Chinese won the hard-fought match.
In Ramans absence, Arup Basak and Soumyadeep Roy were given a few table tennis lessons by their rivals. Basak lost 14-21, 5-21 to Ma Lin while, Roy fell by the same score to Wang Liqin as India, who defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 in their opening match late last night, went out at the last eight stage.
China looked on course for a grand double after their womens team also reached the semifinals without much trouble.
In the other mens quarterfinals, strong contenders Korea downed Singapore 3-1, Japan overcame Hong Kong 3-2 and Taipei put out hosts Qatar 3-0.
In womens quarterfinals, China thrashed Malaysia 3-0, Korea rallied well to beat Japan 3-1, Hong Kong edged past Singapore 3-2 and Taipei defeated Thailand 3-0.
The highlight of the morning session was the Korea-Japan womens quarterfinal match which lasted nearly three and half hours.
Japans Sakata saved five match points against Ryu Ji to put her team 1-0 ahead. But Ki Moo floored Koinsai in three tight games to level for Korea.
Lee Ennisil was a shade better than Nissii in the crucial third singles while Konisoi could not get into the act against Ryu Ji in an extended match marked by long rallies as the Koreans settled the issue 3-1 in their favour.
Singh bags tennis title
CHANDIGARH, May 5 Neha Singh of Chandigarh beat Tara Iyer of Delhi 7-5,6-3 in the under -14 final of the All-India Ranking Tennis Tournament here today. Yuvraj Choudhary, also of Chandigarh defeated Jatin Bishnoi of Haryana 6-4, 7-5 in the under-14 boys final. In the boys under-14 doubles Anoop Anand and Harneet Singh of Chandigarh won the final beating Varun Giri and Varun Walia of Delhi 6-2,6-3.
The girls under-14 doubles was won by Mansai Modi and Bhavana V., both of AP. They defeated Neha Singh and Simmer of Chandigarh 7-6(4), 6-1.
The girls under-16 final was won by Tara Iyer of Delhi. She beat Manasi Modi of AP 6-3, 6-3.
NEW DELHI, May 5 (UNI) The 35th Senior National (Indian Style) Wrestling Championship-2000 and Bharat Kesari title bout will be held at Kozhikode, Kerala, from May 11 to 14.
The national wrestling chamionship will be organised at the football crazy port city for the first time. There will be the eight weight categories for seniors. The weight category for Bharat Kesari title bouts will be 85 kg to 130 kg.
According to the organising secretary more than 100 wrestlers will participate in the knockout bouts.
PSEB bminton team
PATIALA, May 5 (FOSR) Mohammad Saleem will lead the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) badminton squad which will participate in the 27th All-India Inter-State Electricity Boards Badminton Tournament to be held at Chandigarh from May 9 to 12.
The other members of the team are: Chanderdeep Randhawa, Ram Lakhan, Rohan Kapoor and Jaideep Kohli. The coach of the team will be Yogita Sharma and the manager Munish Kaushal.
NIS Director promoted
PATIALA, May 5 (FOSR) Mr G.S. Anand, Director of Netaji Subash National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) has been promoted as Regional Director as per a notification of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) received here today.
Mr Anand has already worked as Director (personnel) and Director (coordination) at the corporate office of the Sports Authority of India. He joined the NIS in 1970 and has been actively engaged in the development of sports at various levels.
Amritsar skating meet
AMRITSAR, May 5 (FOC) St Francis School, under the aegis of the District Roller Skating Association, is organising the St Francis Open District Roller Skating Championship 2000 in speed skating and roller skating hockey on May 6 and 7.
This was informed here today by Mr ML Vij, President, District Roller Skating Association, and Father Jose T, Principal, St Francis School.
score 19-run win
PATIALA, May 6 The NICS Cricket Academy scored 19-run win over MES Cricket Club in a league match of the Patiala District Under-12 Tournament at the MES Grounds here today.
The NICS opted to bat first and saw some good performances by Vikram (43) and Gurmeet Dhaliwal (44 n.o.) which helped the team score 153 for 7 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
A.P. Bains and Tanmeet Bawa ran through the rival batting line-up as MES Club were all out for 134. Only Mohit (38) showed some resistance and played some good drives.
Brief scores: NICS Cricket Academy 153 for 7 (Vikram 43, Gurmeet Dhaliwal 44 n.o., Kanwarjit Raina 22, Akbar Johal 17, Harish 19, Sunny 1 for 30, Deepak 1 for 29; MES Cricket Club 134 all out (Mohit 38, Arjan 21, A.P. Bains 3 for 29, Tanmeet Bawa 3 for 15, Akbar Johal 2 for 25, Harish 2 for 29).
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