Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India face battery of fast bowlers
Benoni, October 2
The visiting Indians would face their first real test of strength when they take on a battery of fast bowlers in the match against South Africa ‘A’ here tomorrow.

This time Banjo to stay away
Johannesburg, October 2
Hamid Banjo Cassim, the South African businessman who had been in the thick of match-fixing controversy last year, says he is not going anywhere near the Indian cricket team this time around.

Kanitkar leads Roofit XI to victory
Chandigarh, October 2
Test discard Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit an unbeaten 133 to enable RoofitXI, Mumbai, to beat Bishnoi Cricket Club by two-wickets in the eight J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket Tournament at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, here today.

East Bengal rout FC Kochin
Kolkata, October 2

Substitute striker Bijen Singh struck a brilliant hat-trick as defending champions East Bengal capitalised on a sloppy defence to rout FC Kochin 6-0 and storm into the semi-finals of the IFA Shield Football Tournament here today.

England take on Zimbabwe
Harare, October 2
England cricket captain Nasser Hussain will tell his new-look side that it is time to stop talking and start playing when they take on Zimbabwe in the first of five one-day internationals tomorrow.

Ronaldo not to play against Chile
Rio De Janeiro, October 2
Ronaldo is back in Brazil for a World Cup qualifier against Chile, but he won’t be coming to the team’s rescue this time. The Internazionale striker arrived yesterday from Italy and was to report later to training camp in the southern city of Curitiba where Brazil face Chile on Sunday. 

Washington Wizards’ Michael Jordan addresses members of the media on Monday for the first time since announcing his return to the NBA, at the MCI Centre in Washington. 
Washington Wizards’ Michael Jordan addresses members of the media on Monday for the first time since announcing his return to the NBA, at the MCI Centre in Washington. 
— AP/PTI

 

EARLIER STORIES
 
Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja discuss a point at the Samarvir Sahi Golf Tournament in Chandigarh Golf Club on Tuesday.
Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja discuss a point at the Samarvir Sahi Golf Tournament in Chandigarh Golf Club on Tuesday. — Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma

Anna Kournikova of Russia returns the shot to Klara Koukalova and Alena Vaskova, both from the Czech Republic, as Martina Hingis of Switzerland looks on at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow Monday, Oct. 1, 2001.
Anna Kournikova of Russia returns the shot to Klara Koukalova and Alena Vaskova, both from the Czech Republic, as Martina Hingis of Switzerland looks on at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow Monday, Oct. 1, 2001. Second-seeded Hingis and Kournikova won 6-0, 6-3. — AP/PTI

Antil loses gold medal after testing positive
New Delhi, October 2
India’s only gold medallist at a world athletic championship, Seema Antil has tested positive for a banned drug and her gold medal has been withdrawn. Seema, who won gold in discus throw event at the World Junior Athletic meet in Santiago, Chile, in October last year, however, has got away with just a warning and has not been suspended.

Akram firm on legal action against Nawaz
Islamabad, October 2
Peeved over the allegation of accumulating assets worth more than Rs 3 billion made by Sarfraz Nawaz, Pakistan allrounder Wasim Akram is firm to take legal action against the former Test fast bowler.

Haryana shuttlers in semifinals
Jalandhar, October 2
Haryana entered the semifinals in the girls and junior boys category defeating rivals Rajasthan and Punjab, respectively, while Himachal Pradesh faced humiliating straight games defeats in both the sections on the first day of the North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship at Raizada Hans Raj Stadium here today.

Harinder, Simarjeet share lead
Chandigarh, October 2
Local boy Harinder Gupta, who missed the junior title barely a couple of days back, made a good start in the Samarvir Sahi Amateur Golf Tournament returning a one-under card of 71 to share the lead with Simarjeet Singh of Noida Golf Club after the first round here today.

NZ badminton format monotonous
 Chandigarh, October 2
The players who take part in the North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championships feel that the format of this annual team championships meet is proving to be very monotonous. The Badminton Association of India, every year, holds this inter-state meet, divided into seven zones and conducted in four sections, men’s, women’s, girls and boys (under19). The North Zone meet which began today at Jalandhar involves six states — Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. Every year, depending on the past years’ performance, the draws are released , two state teams, Delhi and Punjab, more or less, carry away the maximum number of titles

Chandigarh to host sub-junior chess
Chandigarh, October 2
Chandigarh will host the sixth National Sub-Junior Rapid Chess Tournament from October 11 to 14 at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalya, Sector 25. According to Mr Vipnesh Bhardwaj, secretary of the Chandigarh Chess Association, the city will host a national-level tournament.

Rohit, Nadia clinch titles
Chandigarh, October 2
Rohit Verma and Nadia Saini, both from Sirsa, clinched the cadet boys and girls (below 12) singles titles, respectively, on the second day of the third Haryana State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in progress here at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Panchkula.

SRC beat Union Club, Garhwal Rifles lose
Nabha, October 2
SRC, Ramgarh, beat Union Club, Ambala, 1-0 while Gorkha Brigade, Lucknow, downed Garhwal Rifles 3-0 in the 26th Gurdarshan Memorial Football Tournament played at the Ripudaman College grounds here today.

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India face battery of fast bowlers

Benoni, October 2
The visiting Indians would face their first real test of strength when they take on a battery of fast bowlers in the match against South Africa ‘A’ here tomorrow.

With almost all the Indian batsmen getting a decent hit in the carnival match against Nicky Oppenheimer XI at Randjesfontein yesterday, the visitors would obviously be in a positive frame of mind.

Tomorrow’s game would give the Indians an opportunity to test their skills on a fast and bouncy turf against some quality fast bowling of up-and-coming South African stars. Even with the late withdrawal of Eastern Province’s Mfuneko Ngam, the band of Northern’s captain Gerald Dros, Jon Kent, Boland swing bowler Charl Langeveld and international reject Roger Telemachus is expected to scrutinise Indian batsmen closely.

Having already seen Mornantu Hayward, Albie Morkel and Garnett Krugger in yesterday’s match, the Indians would thus have seen almost the entire crop of South Africa reserve pace talent ahead of the triangular one-day series starting on Friday.

For the Indians, the inclusion of Shiv Sunder Das in the one-day squad should be a healthy proposition. The diminutive Orissa youngster played a fine innings of 59 yesterday before retiring and it is a tribute to his relentless quest for improvement that he has eased into the one-day format too. Another good knock tomorrow could see him making his one-day debut in the tri-series.

It was nice to see every Indian batsman having a profitable stay in the middle yesterday. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, two of the most successful Indian batsmen on South Africa pitches, helped themselves to good scores and even captain Saurav Ganguly, who has been woefully short of runs for some time, timed the ball well in his 34-run knock.

The Indian bowlers, who went for a hammering on the batsmen friendly track yesterday, would get a more helpful pitch tomorrow and they would surely like to get into a rhythm before the one-dayers.

Anil Kumble yesterday showed the long lay-off from international cricket had not rusted his talent at all and the exciting prospect of his bowling in tandem with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh might be opted for tomorrow.

The hosts have suffered a setback with the pull-out of Ngam who made his debut against New Zealand last year. He had a shoulder surgery earlier this year and was wrapped in the proverbial cotton wool ever since. Ngam bowls with great pace, on occasions clocking 150 kmph, and also has the ability to swing the ball both ways.

It is understood that Ngam, who has fought his way back from leg and back stress fractures, and a damaged shoulder in recent years, was included in tomorrow’s team by the national selectors without sufficient consultation with the medical team supervising his rehabilitation.

South African national squad physiotherapist Craig Smith would not confirm this, but said he was keen that Ngam should play a few four-day games for his province before returning to the top level.

“It makes no sense to risk him in a one-day game now, when his future is pretty much seen in the Test arena. He might be fit, but there is the matter of confidence and comfort, which he can get by coming through a couple of four-day provincial games first,” said Smith.

The array of fast bowlers thrown at the Indians is aimed at checking the nuts and bolts of visitors’ batting machine ahead of the triangular series.

Viewed from another perspective, it is also aimed at giving critical exposure to several players trying to break into what has looked like an impregnable national squad.

Boeta Dippenaar, Justin Kemp and Justin Ontong, all part of the national squad, are also in the team. “We not only want the players to remain match-fit, we also want to ensure that South Africa field its strongest possible ‘A’ side against India,” declared Mr Rushdie Magiet, the convenor of national selectors.

Kemp has battled to establish a regular place in a team which already has three world class all rounders in Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener. Bowling at a useful pace and landing the ball on the spot just about every time, Kemp — a big man who also hits the ball a long way — is said to be the one who is keeping Klusener on his toes.

The concern for higher honours is no less genuine for batsmen. Western province left-hander Graeme Smith who made 54 against tourists yesterday has started to wonder if he would ever get a chance given the exploits of Gary Kirsten.

Teams:
Indians (from):
Saurav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Shiv Sunder Das, Virender Sehwag, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Yuvraj Singh, Deep Dasgupta, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar and Harvinder Singh.

South Africa ‘A’: H.D. Ackerman (captain), Gerald Dros, Justin Kemp, Jon Kent, Char Langeveldt, Claude Handerson, Justin Ontong, Jacques Rudolph, Roger Telemachus, Tham Tsolikile, Martin Van Jaarsveld. PTI
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This time Banjo to stay away

Johannesburg, October 2
Hamid Banjo Cassim, the South African businessman who had been in the thick of match-fixing controversy last year, says he is not going anywhere near the Indian cricket team this time around.

Cassim, who owns a business in central Johannesburg, was known for his proximity to Indian cricketers and for showering expensive gifts on them. Cassim was also reported to have been the man who introduced former South African captain Hansie Cronje, who too is serving a life ban, to bookmaker Sanjeev Chawla.

“I am not going to call on any one of them (Indian cricketers) even though I know many of them,” Cassim said.

“I burnt my fingers by being suckered into introducing Hansie to Sanjeev Chawla and it was a very bitter lesson. After all that has happened, I am not prepared to go through that again,” he said.

The taped conversations between Cronje and Chawla during South Africa’s tour of India early last year were what helped the Delhi Police to blow the lid off one of the biggest scams in the history of cricket.

“I made a promise to my closest family and friends that I would not get involved with cricketers again. They warned me that if I do then they would walk out on me,” Cassim said.

Cassim denied any involvement in match-fixing practices. “I know for a fact that I did not do anything wrong and was never involved in match-fixing and betting in the game,” he said.

Cassim, who gave evidence to the Justice King Commission of inquiry which probed corruption in South African cricket, said he had heard about the Indian players arriving in the country but had determinedly not made efforts to contact those he knew.

The Indian players and management, on a 66-day tour of the country where they will play a three-match Test series and a triangular one-day series also involving Kenya, are under heavy protection and no one is allowed near them at the hotels, practice sessions and at other venues. PTI

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Kanitkar leads Roofit XI to victory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Test discard Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit an unbeaten 133 to enable RoofitXI, Mumbai, to beat Bishnoi Cricket Club by two-wickets in the eight J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket Tournament at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, here today.

Roofit XI won the toss and opted to field first. The decision misfired as Bishnoi openers J. Arun Kumar and Mayank Sadanal scored 100 off just 98 balls. Arun punished the bowlers, sending them to all parts of the ground. His fifty came in only 29 balls, with nine fours and a six. After Mayank’s departure Parida joined Arun and the duo scored 52 runs before Arun’s knock of 102 off just 68 balls came to an end.

Rohan Gavaskar, Davin Sharma and Munish Arora fell cheeply. Narinder Negi and Subash Chaudhry ensured that Bishnoi club compiled an impressive 313 runs in 50 overs.

Roofit XI lost Connor Williams early, being run out on the third ball of the innings. Anand Yalvagi and Altaf Merchant then butchered the Bishnoi bowlers to record the 100 of the innings in just 13 overs.

Yalvagi, who was more aggressive of the two, struck an elegant 73 of just 53 balls, including three sixes and nine fours. From 140 for two, Roofit XI slumps to 199 for seven. Just as the Bishnoi bowlers relaxed, Kanitkar, who was playing patiently till now, opened up and scored boundaries to keep his team’s hopes alive.

Playing a calculated game, Kanitkar piled up runs quickly. Never did the required runs cross the six mark as Kanitkar completed his century of 82 balls.

Brief scores: 
Bishnoi Cricket Club: 313 for 6 in 50 overs (J. Arun Kumar 102, R.R. Parida 48, Narinder Negi 39 n.o., Subash Chaudhry 35 n.o., Mayank Sadana 35; Anand Yalvagi 3 for 54).

Roofit XI: 315 for 8 in 49.3 overs (Hirishikesh Kanitkar 133 n.o., Anand Yalvagi 73, Altaf Merchant 43; Saurav Vermani 2 for 40, Subash Chaudhry 2 for 50).

At the Sector 16 cricket stadium, Test player Sameer Dighe’s 64 off 63 balls, including five sixes and five fours enabled Air-India to beat Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association by 16 runs.

Brief scores:
Air-India: 249 for 6 in 50 overs (Sameer Dighe 64, A. Nayyar 33, Neeraj Patil 40; Sanjay Pandey 2 for 50, O.P. Yadav 2 for 45, Yogesh Gowalakar 2 for 42).

M.P.C.A XI: 233 all out in 48.1 overs (Devender Bundela 46, Sanjay Pandey 42 n.o.; Satish Sawant 3 for 35, V. Kakkar 2 for 30).

Patiala: ONGC, having a fair sprinkling of cricketers who have donned Indian colours, rode on a superb 96 by Test cricketer Mohammad Kaif to beat PCA Colts by 56 runs in a league match played at the Dhruv Pandove stadium. Chasing a target of 292 set by ONGC, PCA Colts started on the wrong note and were reduced to 128 for five before Harminder Jugnu played a stellar innings of 91. However, the later batsmen barring Amit Uniyal, who scored a typically flamboyant 36 off just 19 balls, failed to capitalise on Harminder Jugnu’s knock and were all out for 236.

Brief scores:

ONGC: 292 for 8
(M. Kaif 96, Mithun Minhas 43, Gagan Khoda 49, Sandeep Sharma 43; Navdeep Singh 2 for 41, Harish Puri 2 for 35, R.P Singh 1 for 56, Amit Kakria 1 for 50).

PCA Colts: 236 all out (Harminder Jugnu 91, Gaganinder Garry 35, A.Uniyal 36; Rahul Sanghvi 4 for 63, Amit Sharma 2 for 47, Sarandeep Singh 1 for 28). OSR

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East Bengal rout FC Kochin

Kolkata, October 2
Substitute striker Bijen Singh struck a brilliant hat-trick as defending champions East Bengal capitalised on a sloppy defence to rout FC Kochin 6-0 and storm into the semifinals of the IFA Shield Football Tournament here today.

Leading by a solitary goal at the interval, the Kolkata club pumped in as many as five goals in quick succession in a totally one-sided contest at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Substitute Bijen Singh, who joined the action after the break, brought the spotlight on himself by firing in the last three goals and registering the first hat-trick of the tournament to the delight of the home team supporters.

FC Kochin did reasonably well to keep the East Bengal strikers at bay in the opening session but the defence collapsed in the second half, allowing the home team to virtually score goals at will.

Medio Isiaka Awoyemi began the goal scoring spree as early as the eighth minute of the contest before Dipankar Roy and striker Omolaja Olalekan chipped in with a goal apiece. Bijen Singh then compounded the misery of the visitors.

East Bengal will clash with the winners of the quarterfinal match between arch rival Mohun Bagan and Tollygunge Aggragami in the first semifinal slated for Thursday.

The home team fired the first salvo rather early in the contest as Isiaka slammed in from close after the hard-working Joe Paul Ancheri had done the spadework by piercing through the defence from the left flank.

That was the only success for the defending champions in the first half as they missed chances with embracing regularity, Isiaka being the offender on two occasions.

But the complexion of the game changed completely in the second session as the glamour club stepped up the pace of the game and kept scoring goals with ease.

East Bengal consolidated their position early in the second session when an unmarked Dipankar Roy deflected the ball into the goal, capitalising on a defensive lapse.

Six minutes later, it was striker Omolaja Olaelkan’s turn to contribute for the team as he broke through the defence with deft footwork and neatly placed the ball to the right of the on-rushing Kochin custodian Best Bestman.

Despite leading by a comfortable 3-0 margin, East Bengal kept up the tempo and the strategy paid dividends as the team managed to pump in three more goals courtesy Bijen Singh.

Bijen Singh, fed by a gentle pass by substitute striker Dipendu Biswas, moved into the box and placed the ball to the right of the goalkeeper to begin his hat-trick sequence.

A few minutes later Bejen Singh scored his second goal as heir rivals left too many gaps in the defence.

The nible-footed Bijen notched up his hat-trick five minutes before the long whistle when he slotted in a free kick by Anit Ghosh much to the delight of his team-mates.

East Bengal could have won by an even bigger margin had their forwards not squandered a number of gilt-edged opportunities that came their way, particularly in the opening session.

Isiaka missed the easiest of chances when he misdirected his volley straight to defender Sujith with the goalkeeper hopelessly out of position.

The first quarterfinal match between Mohun Began and Tollygunge Aggragami, which was abandoned yesterday because of a heavy downpour, will be played at the Salt Lake stadium tomorrow. PTI

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England take on Zimbabwe

Harare, October 2
England cricket captain Nasser Hussain will tell his new-look side that it is time to
stop talking and start playing when they take on Zimbabwe in the first of five one-day internationals tomorrow.

England batsman Graham Thorpe cuts a delivery watched by Zimbabwe ‘‘A’’ wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu on Monday.
England batsman Graham Thorpe cuts a delivery watched by Zimbabwe ‘‘A’’ wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu on Monday. Thorpe was undefeated on 49 runs with England on 140 for five after 35 overs in a one day match at the Alexandra Sports Club. — Reuters

“We are trying to create a new culture of fitness, attitude, fielding and talking about the game and understanding more about it,’’ Hussain said.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions but talk is cheap and we have to put it into practice, which we haven’t done for a while in one-day cricket.’’

England, whilst improving at Test level, have lost 11 one-dayers in a row.

They name their side late today, with Hussain saying there could be four or five new caps after a string of young players were included in an experimental tour party.

Hussain, clearly keen to get back on the pitch, added: “This is just talk and is all drivel really, but we are trying to draw a line under last summer and that poor performance and now start something new for the next 16-18 months and beyond that.

“The World Cup comes after that and the only basic thing that will keep the plan going is winning, everything else is irrelevant.’’

Zimbabwe have just lost a one-day series 0-3 against South Africa, but Hussain expects them to be difficult to beat.

“It will be difficult here and the cricket will be turgid,’’ Hussain said.

“The wickets are slow and we’ll have to adapt better than the first time when we were out here in 1996.’’

England warmed up by beating Zimbabwe A by 138 runs in their tour opener yesterday. Reuters 
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Ronaldo not to play against Chile

 RioDe Janeiro, October 2
Ronaldo is back in Brazil for a World Cup qualifier against Chile, but he won’t be coming to the team’s rescue this time.

The Internazionale striker arrived yesterday from Italy and was to report later to training camp in the southern city of Curitiba where Brazil face Chile on Sunday. But after a two-year absence from the national team, Ronaldo will have to wait a bit longer for his return.

“I think it’s practically impossible for me to play on Sunday,” he said in a televised interview.

The two-time FIFA player of the year strained his right thigh muscle last Thursday during Inter’s 3-0 win over Romania’s Brasov in a UEFA Cup match. A scan showed the injury was slight, but enough to keep him out of action this week.

“If the game were next weekend, maybe I would be ready,” he said.

The good news was that the injury apparently was not related to the knee problems that led to two operations and sidelined Ronaldo for 17 months.

“I’ve been practically two years without playing,” he said. “I still have no rhythm. It was possible that this kind of thing would happen.”

Still, Brazil go into Sunday’s crucial game without their biggest star. Rivaldo, Elber, Ronaldinho, Denilson and Franca are vying for the two slots in the front line.

Brazil are tied with uruguay for fourth place in the South American group, behind Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador. With three qualifying games, Brazil are facing the prospect of sitting out a World Cup for the first time in history.

Only the top four are assured a spot in next year’s World Cup, to be held in Japan and Korea. The fifth-place team plays Australia in a two-game series for the final spot.

Meanwhile, Rivaldo was expected at training camp today. The FC Barcelona star, who was listed as questionable because of a knee injury, underwent treatment in Brazil and flew back to Spain last week for his club’s league match with Real Sociedad on Sunday. AP
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Antil loses gold medal after testing positive

New Delhi, October 2
India’s only gold medallist at a world athletic championship, Seema Antil has tested positive for a banned drug and her gold medal has been withdrawn.

Seema, who won gold in discus throw event at the World Junior Athletic meet in Santiago, Chile, in October last year, however, has got away with just a warning and has not been suspended.

“She consumed pseudoephedrine, which is only a stimulant, and that too inadvertently. Therefore, there is no suspension, just a warning. But her gold medal will be taken back,” Amateur Athletic Federation of India secretary Lalit Bhanot told PTI over phone from Kanpur.

Antil submitted that she took a medicine for cold on her way from Delhi to Chile and was not aware that the tablet contained any banned substance. A two-member panel comprising A.K. Banerjee and Rakesh Kaushal, constituted by AAFI, heard Antil’s case and recommended that she be warned, Bhanot said. PTI

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Akram firm on legal action against Nawaz

Islamabad, October 2
Peeved over the allegation of accumulating assets worth more than Rs 3 billion made by Sarfraz Nawaz, Pakistan allrounder Wasim Akram is firm to take legal action against the former Test fast bowler.

“I held a long meeting with my legal adviser Zahid Ibrahim yesterday on every aspect of the allegations made by Sarfraz,” The News reported today quoting Akram.

The newspaper said the former Pakistan skipper did not rule out the possibility of a defamation case being filed against Sarfraz, who has made serious allegations of match-fixing in the 1999 World Cup and about assets held by some Pakistani players before an inquiry commission on September 29.

Deposing before the Justice Karamat Bhandari Commission, probing allegations of underperformance by some Pakistani players during the 1999 World Cup in England, Sarfraz said, “The matches Pakistan played against Bangladesh and India in the World Cup were fixed.”

He also claimed that Wasim Akram, Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed were major players in the match-fixing racket.

Besides, Sarfraz accused Akram of accumulating assets worth more than Rs 3 billion and Malik and Ijaz of amassing about Rs 90 million.

“I have given all this information in my testimony and it is nothing new. Others will also testify to it. Pakistan’s loss to Bangladesh in the World Cup was a shocker for every Pakistani,” said Sarfraz. UNI

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Haryana shuttlers in semifinals
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 2
Haryana entered the semifinals in the girls and junior boys category defeating rivals Rajasthan and Punjab, respectively, while Himachal Pradesh faced humiliating straight games defeats in both the sections on the first day of the North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship at Raizada Hans Raj Stadium here today.

Haryana girls defeated Rajasthan 2-1. Anita outclassed rival Deepa 2-7, 7-0, 7-4, 7-1. Deepa started well in the first game and made shots from every corner to comfortably take the set 7-2. But from then it was Anita’s consistent approach and ability to loft the shuttle around the net. It made things difficult for Deepa who lost the next three games to lose.

In the doubles Anita and Meenu of Haryana made no mistake and overpowered Soniya and Deepa in straight games 7-4, 7-6, 7-4.

Haryana outplayed their rivals in the junior boys section and entered the semifinals defeating Punjab by 2-1. Sumit (Haryana) made skillful shots from every corner of the court and his Punjab counterpart Rohit had no answer. Sumit won 7-2, 7-3, 8-7.

Punjab’s Mayank and Akshay failed to show any resistance in the doubles against Sumit and Rohit and lost 5-7, 8-6, 2-7, 4-7.

Results: Junior boys: Rajasthan b J&K 2-0 (Yadvindra Singh b A.Gupta 7-1, 7-5, 3-7, 2-7, 8-6; Yadvindra Danish Khan b Vipan Vikram 3-7, 7-5, 7-5, 2-7, 7-4) Delhi beat Himachal Pradesh 2-0 Sandeep b Surinder Pal 7-0, 7-1, 7-8, 7-2; Sandeep M.Khan b Vipan Sumit 7-1, 7-1, 7-1.

Girls: J&K b Himachal Pradesh 2-0 Smarika b Nitima 7-0, 7-3, 7-2; Samarika Madhu got a walkover Nitima Swati, Punjab b Chandigarh 2-0 Arti Verma b Parmita 4-7, 7-0, 8-7, 6-7, 7-4; Arti Navita b Parmita Isha 4-7, 7-2, 7-3, 7-2.

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Harinder, Simarjeet share lead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Local boy Harinder Gupta, who missed the junior title barely a couple of days back, made a good start in the Samarvir Sahi Amateur Golf Tournament returning a one-under card of 71 to share the lead with Simarjeet Singh of Noida Golf Club after the first round here today.

Harinder had two birdies and 15 pars. Simarjeet shot four birdies and 11 pars.

There was a big gathering of members at the Chandigarh Golf Club today. The attractions were Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja who teed of along with the others.

Mr GPS Sahi, father of Samarvir Sahi hit the inaugural shot.

There were great expectations from Ashok Kumar of Delhi Golf Club, who has a handicap of plus four. A card of under par was expected from him. He was 2 under for the front nine but dropped 3 shots on the back nine to finish one over.

Local favourite Sandy Lehal produced a card of 72. He had 16 pars and one birdie to his credit.

Amit Luthra, a veteran of this tournament, produced a card of 2 over due to some loose play on the front nine.

Sanjeev Mehra of Royal Calcutta Golf Club produced a card of 72. He started poorly but shot a 2 under back nine to recover well.

Rajiv N. Dattar of Patna Golf Club produced a steady card of 72.

Last year’s champion Manav Dass of Kharga Golf Club produced a score of 74 due to some loose play on the back nine.

PS Sandhu of Panther Golf Club had the lone eagle on the 13th hole.

Kapil Dev had a steady round of 7 over and is expected to do better tomorrow.

Ajay Jadeja had a poor round of 13 over par. He will need to shoot much better tomorrow to make the cut which will be applied at top 40.

Scores

Leading Gross: Harinder Gupta 71, Simarjeet Singh 71, Sanjeev Mehra 72, Rajiv N Dattar 72, Sandy Lehal 72, Girish Virk 73, Ashok Kumar 73, Amit Luthra 74, Gagan Verma 74, Saurabh Bahuguna 74.

Leading Nett: Rajiv N Dattar 68, Harinder Gupta 70, Sandy Lehal 70, Sujjan Singh 70, PS Sandhu 70, Simarjeet Singh 71, Sanjeev Mehra 71, Girish Virk 71.

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NZ badminton format monotonous
 Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, October 2
The players who take part in the North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championships feel that the format of this annual team championships meet is proving to be very monotonous. The Badminton Association of India, every year, holds this inter-state meet, divided into seven zones and conducted in four sections, men’s, women’s, girls and boys (under19). The North Zone meet which began today at Jalandhar involves six states — Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. Every year, depending on the past years’ performance, the draws are released , two state teams, Delhi and Punjab, more or less, carry away the maximum number of titles. This proves to be a hindrance as promising player from a weak team cannot show their potential, as those teams are knocked out early.

There was a move on the part of BAI to contemplate a major change in the format but now the move seems to have been abandoned. Every state unit gets the meet by rotation. States who do not possess enough strong players, have little interest in organising the meet incurring a huge expenditure.

Many former senior players have voiced an opinion in favour of restructuring the championships so that more exposure is provided to youngsters. One of the major change envisaged by the former players was to introduce the under-16 event in both the boys and the girls section so that team spirit is inculcated from the sub- junior level. Another vital suggestion was to have league-cum-knock-out system instead of present knock-out. Another suggestion was to start individual events so that any player could be declared a North Zone champion.

There was also a unanimous opinion among players to have a North Zone team in various sections on the pattern of cricket and athletics, where all the zones compete against each other. Only if we have exposure at the state and the regional level, can we hope to build a strong national team, commented a former player.

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Chandigarh to host sub-junior chess
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, October 2
Chandigarh will host the sixth National Sub-Junior Rapid Chess Tournament from October 11 to 14 at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalya, Sector 25. According to Mr Vipnesh Bhardwaj, secretary of the Chandigarh Chess Association, the city will host a national-level tournament.

Rapid chess involves an early result of a match, is more interesting and spectator friendly. The tournament will be held in the under- 12 and under-14 age group both for boys and girls. It will be organised under the aegis of the All-India Chess Federation and is recognised by the International Chess Federation ( FIDE). A team of two players in each category will be selected to represent India in the world championships next year.

Mr Bhardwaj said the CCA was making a all-out effort to see that the tournament was conducted in a smooth manner. Free boarding and lodging will be provided to the participants and the officials. The meet will be played as per FIDE Swiss rules and nine rounds will be played on all four days.

A prize fund of Rs 44,200 will be given to the top 24 players in the four categories (under-12, 14 boys and girls). A total of six prizes will be given in each category. The tournament will help the game to grow further in the city said the CCA officials. Besides players who could not make to the team can send donor entries. The tournament will see a number of prominent players.

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Rohit, Nadia clinch titles
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, October 2
Rohit Verma and Nadia Saini, both from Sirsa, clinched the cadet boys and girls (below 12) singles titles, respectively, on the second day of the third Haryana State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in progress here at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Panchkula.

In the final, Nadia overpowered Sidhi, also of Sirsa, 11-7,11-8, 11-6 while for third place it was Neha of Sirsa who outplayed Meenakshi, also from Sirsa, 11-8,12-10,11-8. In the boys final, Rohit defeated Satish 11-4,12-10,12-14,9-11,11-6 while for the third place, Dev Saini beat Prateek of Panchkula 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3.

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SRC beat Union Club, Garhwal Rifles lose
Our Sports Reporter

Nabha, October 2
SRC, Ramgarh, beat Union Club, Ambala, 1-0 while Gorkha Brigade, Lucknow, downed Garhwal Rifles 3-0 in the 26th Gurdarshan Memorial Football Tournament played at the Ripudaman College grounds here today.

In a fast paced encounter both the Ramgarh team and the Ambala boys enjoyed equal exchanges in the first half. However, towards the fag end of the match, the Union Club citadel fell when striker R. Dewan Singh managed a rasping shot that brooked no resistance from the rival custodian. In the last minute of the lively encounter, the Ambala lads nearly managed to equalise when medio Vijay was brought down in a rough tackle. However, Vijay failed to score of the resultant penalty when his kick sailed high over the bar.

The second match of the day turned out to be a one-sided affair with Gorkha Brigade boys trampling all over the rival territory and enjoyed supremacy throughout the match. Tilak Shilal, Naren Rai and Bhushan Tamang were the scorers for the Lucknow team.

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 SPORTS BRIEFS

DONALD LEFT OUT OF SA SQUAD
JOHANNESBURG
: Speedster Allan Donald has been left out of the 12-member South African squad, announced today, for the first two matches of the triangular one-day series with India and Kenya starting here on Friday. All the 12 players were part of the South African team that blanked Zimbabwe 3-0 in a one-day series recently. Nicky Boje is the another notable exclusion from the side that will play against India here on Friday and Kenya in Benoni on Sunday. Both Donald and Boje missed the Zimbabwe tour due to injuries and convener of national selectors Rushdi Magiet said they had been left out because they were short of match practice. Boje is also yet to recover completely from a knee injury. The squad: Shaun Pollock (captain), Gary Kirsten, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Neil Mckenzie, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener, Mark Boucher, Justin Kemp, Claude Hendersdon, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel. PTI

DRAVID’S WISH
JOHANNESBURG:
Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid would like to go on the famous South African wild life safari whenever he gets a break from the hectic two-month cricketing schedule. The stylish batsman was quoted by Star newspaper as saying he would like to make a special trip to the Kruger National Park, one of South Africa’s premier wild life sanctuaries and tourist destinations. “Wild life, listening to music, reading and being with my close family is what I enjoy when I am not playing cricket,” Dravid said. Speaking on his game, Dravid said “I have been around for five years and you go through phases. You cannot succeed all the time. And the phase that I went through early last year was because my concentration was not right and I wasn’t striking the ball correctly”. PTI

JORDAN’S PLAN
WASHINGTON:
Michael Jordan finally explained his comeback decision in detail, saying his desire to play again was too strong to ignore. “When I retired last time, I didn’t say I was ready to quit the game,” Jordan said yesterday at a news conference attended by about 200 media members. “It’s an itch that still needs to be scratched here, and I don’t want that itch to bother me for the rest of my life. AP

OLYMPIC TICKETS
SALT LAKE CITY:
Olympic organisers who sold the bulk of their tickets months before the September 11 terror attacks are hoping for the best as they prepare to sell another 70,000 tickets for February’s Winter Games. The Salt Lake organising committee will open sales on Wednesday to people who already bought tickets or tried but couldn’t get what they ordered, and to all others starting next Monday. AP
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