Thursday, October 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India beat SA by 41 runs
Centurion Park, October 10
India beat South Africa by 41 runs in a triangular one-day series match here today. Set to score 234 runs for victory, South Africa were all out for 192 runs in 46.2 overs. Earlier, India were bowled out for 233 inside their quota of overs after a reasonably good start.


US heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson jokes with three young fans after his training session in a Copenhagen gym, on Tuesday. On Saturday Mike Tyson will meet Danish heavyweight Brian Nielsen in a 10-round non-title fight in Copenhagen's Parken Stadium. 
— Reuters

England beat Zimbabwe
Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), October 10
A career-best 77 from Paul Collingwood allied to impressive team work from England secured a 70-run win over Zimbabwe in the fourth one-day international at the Queens Sports Club today.

Sharjah offers to step in for Pak
Dubai, October 10
Reacting promptly to ICC’s statement that it was considering moving cricket matches to be hosted by Pakistan to neutral venues, the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), Sharjah, has offered to help out by hosting the matches in the wake of the current situation in the region.

Mumbai beat ONGC, clinch cricket trophy
Chandigarh, October 10
Giving good allround display Mumbai annexed the Spice Trophy in the eighth J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket Tournament getting the better of ONGC at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, today.

 

 


EARLIER STORIES

 

Manchester United's David Beckham controls the ball during training in Athens' Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. — Reuters

Monica Seles of the United States reacts to an official's call on a shot to Saori Obata of Japan during a second round match in the Kiwi Open tennis tournament in Shanghai, China on Wednesday. Seles won 6-4, 6-2. — AP/PTI

JR WORLD CUP
Australia, England win

Hobart, October 10
Reigning champions Australia displayed their title-winning form as they thrashed Chile 7-1 in their second outing in the seventh Junior World Cup Hockey Tournament here today.

Raid-de-Himalaya show goes on
Leh, October 10
Even as the sun kissed the snow-tipped Zanskar peaks, the cool and quiet of the morning was shattered as engines revved up at 5.30 a.m. in front of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism office here.

Arjun sets record in Hero Golf
Chandigarh, October 10
Arjun Singh blasted seven birdies as he set the greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club ablaze setting a new course record of seven under 65 on the opening day of the Rs 10 lakh Hero Golf 2001 Chandigarh Open here today. Arjun’s superbly compiled card put to shade Kolkata’s Basad Ali’s record by one stroke. The tournament is the seventh leg of the 2001-02 season’s Hero Honda Golf Tour.

Asia asks for five berths
Kuala Lumpur, October 10
The Asian Football Confederation today demanded five automatic berths in the 2006 World Cup as it unveiled a new logo to spur the “magical” game in Asia.

Dhir — from stardom to penury
Chandigarh, October 10
The cheerful and charming smile of Rajesh Dhir (‘Bobby’) of Ludhiana who donned national colours in badminton for more than one-and-a-half decade till 1990 is now missing. The former national junior badminton champion who reigned supreme from 1975 to 1990 is in a deplorable condition.

Punjabi varsity cyclists shine
Ludhiana, October 10
Cyclists from Punjabi University, Patiala hogged the limelight by winning the first gold in the All-India Inter-Varsity Cycling (Men and Women) Championship which began at the velodrome of the Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Polo meet
Chandigarh, October 10
Lieut-Col J.S. Virk, Samir Suhag, Dhruv Pal Godara, Angad Kalam and Vishal Singh — all top players of polo — are in the city to participate in the Punjab Polo Championship, a tournament which is being dedicated to the bicentenary celebrations of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.




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India beat SA by 41 runs

Centurion Park, October 10
India beat South Africa by 41 runs in a triangular one-day series match here today. Set to score 234 runs for victory, South Africa were all out for 192 runs in 46.2 overs. Earlier, India were bowled out for 233 inside their quota of overs after a reasonably good start.

On quite a few occasions after captain Saurav Ganguly elected to bat on winning the toss, the Indians had partnerships going. However, just when the batsmen looked set for a big knock, the South Africans struck back effecting a breakthrough.

Five Indian batsmen got off to good starts but only Rahul Dravid, who top scored with 54, was able to cross the fifty run mark. Yuvraj Singh (42), Sachin Tendulkar (38), Virender Sehwag (33) and Ganguly (24), who was unfortunate to be given out, saw their knocks abruptly ended at crucial junctures.

For the hosts, captain Shaun Pollock led from the front bagging a five-wicket haul, his last wicket bringing up his 200th wicket in one-day internationals.

The Indians probably started accelerating a bit too early and lost too many wickets in the process. In the end, they ran out of batsmen with the tailenders having to negotiate the slog overs. Bowled out in 48.4 overs, it once again looks that the Indians had settled for 20-30 runs too few.

Unlike the first one-dayer where India had started with a flourish, Ganguly and Tendulkar began on a more cautious note today, preferring to have a good look at the bowlers before going on the attack.

With the pitch slightly more difficult for the batsmen than the one at Johannesburg, where India suffered a six wicket loss to the same opponents last Friday, only 18 runs could be scored in the first six overs.

However, Ganguly, who returned to form with a brilliant 127 in the previous match, decided to up the ante and hoisted Pollock for two sixes in the bowler’s fourth over. On both occasions, the left-hander came out to make room and lofted the ball over the cover region.

Tendulkar also took the cue and hit Andre Nel for two successive boundaries in the next over. The two overs produced 25 runs for the Indians before disaster struck.

Pollock, in his fifth over, decided to come round the wicket to Ganguly who snicked to second slip where Jacques Kallis looked to have taken a brilliant reflex catch. However, TV replays showed the ball had touched the ground while in the fielder’s hand and clearly Ganguly should not have been given out. Shiv Sunder Das, who is trying to get a foothold in limited overs cricket, could not stay long and gave a regulation catch to Lance Klusener at second slip in the South African captain’s next over after making just two runs. PTI

SCOREBOARD

India:

Ganguly c Kallis b Pollock 24

Tendulkar c Nel b Ntini 38

Das c Klusener b Pollock 2

Dravid c Klusener b Pollock 54

Y. Singh b Ntini 42

Sehwag c Ntini b Nel 33

Dasgupta c Boucher b Klusener 8

Agarkar c Boucher b Klusener 1

H. Singh lbw b Pollock 15

Kumble not out 7

Srinath c Kallis b Pollock 2

Extras: (lb-2, nb-4, w-1) 7

Total: (all out, 48.4 overs) 233

Fall: 1-44, 2-52, 3-75, 4-165, 5-167, 6-204, 7-208, 8-208, 9-231.

Bowling: Pollock 9.4-1-37-5, Nel 10-0-49-1, Kallis 9-0-42-0, Ntini 10-0-42-2, Klusener 7-0-30-2, Boje 3-0-31-0.

South Africa:

Kirsten b Srinath 12

Gibbs c Kumble b Agarkar 1

Kallis st Dasgupta b Harbhajan 29

McKenzie b Kumble 21

Rhodes c Dravid b Kumble 8

Pollock lbw Harbhajan 15

Boje lbw Harbhajan 9

Klusener c Yuveraj b Agarkar 44

Boucher c Agarkar b Sehwag 38

Ntini b Sehwag 1

Nel not out 0

Extras: 14

Total:(46.2 overs) 192

FOW: 1-5, 2-38, 3-66, 4-76, 5-85, 6-101, 7-106, 8-183, 9-188, 10-192.

Bowling: Srinath 6-0-32-1, Agarkar 8.2-0-40-2, Kumble 10-0-42-2, Harbhajan 10-0-27-3, Tendulkar 4-0-21-0, Sehwag 8-1-24-2. 

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England beat Zimbabwe

Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), October 10
A career-best 77 from Paul Collingwood allied to impressive team work from England secured a 70-run win over Zimbabwe in the fourth one-day international at the Queens Sports Club today.

Collingwood provided the foundation of the England innings as they scored 280 for nine in 50 overs to maintain a perfect winning record in Zimbabwe and condemned the home side to their 11th successive loss.

Acting skipper Marcus Trescothick, who won the toss and elected to bat, scored a quick 52, while Andy Flintoff weighed in with 46 from 45 balls.

Zimbabwe were never up with the required 5.62 run rate despite 96 from Grant Flower.

Prior to the match Flower had scored just three runs in the series, but he batted with uncharacteristic aggression, moving to his half-century off 45 balls.

Zimbabwe off-spinner Doug Marillier was the pick of the bowlers taking four for 38 in 10 overs, while England slow left-armer Paul Grayson took three for 40.

Earlier Trescothick and Nick Knight put on 101 for the first wicket off 89 balls, the highest first wicket partnership of the series.

Marillier then captured two wickets in his third over to briefly curtail the visitors before Flintoff and Collingwood established themselves.

Knight was caught at the wicket by Andy Flower for 49 and two balls later Owais Shah, making his first appearance of the series, was dismissed in the same fashion without scoring.

Scoreboard

England:

Trescothick c Carlisle b Marillier 52

Knight c A.Flower b Marillier 49

Ramprakash b Marillier 17

Shah c A.Flower b Marillier 0

Collingwood run out 77

Flintoff c Brent b G.Flower 46

Hollioake b G.Flower 5

Grayson b Friend 6

Foster not out 11

Kirtley b Brent 1

Sidebottom not out 2

Extras (b-1 lb-6 nb-1 w-6) 14

Total (for nine, 50 overs) 280

Fall of wickets: 1-101, 2-113, 3-113, 4-144, 5-241, 6-248, 7-261, 8-276, 9-278.

Bowling: Friend 10-0-57-1, Brent 9-0-37-1 Ervine 7-0-54-0, Olonga 4-0-44-0, Marillier 10-0-38-4, G.Flower 10-0-43-2.

Zimbabwe:

G. Flower st Foster

b Grayson 96

Campbell c Knight

b Sidebottom 6

Carlisle b Hollioake 28

A. Flower c Foster

b Hollioake 6

Wishart c Hollioake

b Collingwood 30

Ebrahim c Flintoff

b Grayson 11

Marillier c and b Grayson 0

Ervine c Foster b Flintoff 19

Brent run out 5

Friend b Flintoff 3

Olonga not out 1

Extras: (b-1 lb-4) 5

Total: (all out, 44.3 overs) 210

Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-86, 3-94, 4-169, 5-171, 6-172, 7-200, 8-201, 9-208.

Bowling: Kirtley 7-0-24-0, Sidebottom 6-0-42-1, Hollioake 10-0-41-2, Flintoff 3.3-0-12-2, Grayson 10-0-40-3, Collingwood 6-0-31-1, Ramprakash 2-0-15-0. Reuters

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Sharjah offers to step in for Pak

Dubai, October 10
Reacting promptly to ICC’s statement that it was considering moving cricket matches to be hosted by Pakistan to neutral venues, the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), Sharjah, has offered to help out by hosting the matches in the wake of the current situation in the region.

“We are ready to help the Pakistan Cricket Board and step in to host their events,” CBFS Chairman Abulrehman Bukhatir said, adding that CBFS was going ahead with its three-nation tournament from October 26 to November 4.

The offer comes close on the heels of International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Gray’s reported statement that it would consider special measures for Pakistan, including moving matches to neutral venues, following the terror attacks in the USA and military strikes in Afghanistan.

“It may be possible to have Pakistan’s matches somewhere else, perhaps even at independent venues,” Gray was quoted by the Gulf News here as saying.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka have already cancelled cricket tours to Pakistan. PTI

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Mumbai beat ONGC, clinch cricket trophy
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Giving good allround display Mumbai annexed the Spice Trophy in the eighth J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket Tournament getting the better of ONGC at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, today. In fact, it was evident enough yesterday evening only that Mumbai with a fair sprinkling of former international players and a couple of promising upcoming players in their ranks would lift the trophy after they had restricted ONGC to a paltry 143 runs. The script unfolded along expected lines today.

Resuming the innings from their overnight score of 175 for three, Mumbai took their score to 305, earning a comfortable first innings lead. Kunal More added 10 runs to his score before being back in the pavilion. Diminutive Vinayak Mane looked a picture of composure and confidence yesterday. A lot was expected from the youngster, deemed to be a candidate for the opener’s slot in the Indian squad today. But Mane failed to do much today.

Mumbai kept on losing wickets as former international and left-arm spinner Rahul Sanghvi struck a nice rhythm. Maintaining a decent line he made the batsmen commit mistakes and was richly rewarded for his efforts with a haul of five wickets. Medium pacer Vishal Tawde played an entertaining innings towards the end to enable the innings cross the 300-run target. Tawde scored 45 off 51 deliveries and hit four fours and two sixes. Batting in the second innings ONGC again failed to anything worthwhile and had lost five wickets scoring 132 runs at the close.

The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), gave away the winner’s trophy and a cheque of Rs 75,000 to Mumbai, while ONGC got the runners-up trophy and Rs 40,000 in cash. Sanghvi, for his impressive haul of five wickets, won the bowler of the tournament award, while Orissa’s R.R. Parida, playing for Bishnoi Club, was adjudged the best batsman. Left-arm seamer Rupen Malviya, who bagged four wickets in the first innings, was adjudged the man of the match. Avishkar Salvi, who ripped apart Bishnoi XI batting in the semifinal scalping seven victims, got the man of the series award.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr I.S. Bindra, president of the PCA, revealed that the tournament was likely to get international flavour as at least two foreign teams were expected to take part from next year.

Scoreboard

ONGC (1st innings): 143

Mumbai: Mane c Minhas b Sanghvi 85, Jaffer c Vadhera b Sanghvi 25, Tamahne c Sarandeep b Bhandari 34, Kambli c Sehgal b Sandeep 23, More c Sehgal b Sandeep 13, Manjrekar c Sehgal b Sanghvi 19, Shetye c Mudgal b Sanghvi 0, Tawde c Sandeep b Sarandeep 45, Malviya b Sanghvi 15, Kulkarni not out 6, Salvi c Vadhera b Sehgal 11.

Extras (b 4, lb 7, nb 2, w 16): 29.

Total (all out in 86.5 overs): 305.

Fall of wickets: 1-60, 2-126, 3-168, 4- 195, 5-214, 6-218, 7-246, 8-280, 9-288, 10-305.

Bowling: Amit Bhandari 14-2-54-1, Sandeep Sharma 14-3-45-2, Rahul Sanghvi 23-1-86-5, Mohammad Saif 3-0-19-0, Sarandeep Singh 20-10-30-1, Ravi Sehgal 8.5-1-47-1, Mithun Minhas 4-0-13-0.

ONGC (IInd innings): Khoda c Salvi b Tamahne 30, Sandeep c Tawde b Tamahne 32, Saif c Manjrekar b More 0, Vadhera not out 18, Sehgal c Shetye b Kambli 23, Mudgal c and b More 9, Sarandeep not out 3.

Extras (b1, lb 5, nb 6, w 5): 17.

Total ( for five wickets): 132.

Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-72, 3-72, 4-109, 5-122.

Bowling: Vishal Tawde 5-0-37-0, Roopam Malviya 6-0-22-0, Milind Tamahne 6-1-19-2, Kunal More 9-1-28-2, Vinod Kambli 5-0-18-1, Wasim Jaffer 1-0-2-0.

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JR WORLD CUP
Australia, England win

Hobart, October 10
Reigning champions Australia displayed their title-winning form as they thrashed Chile 7-1 in their second outing in the seventh Junior World Cup Hockey Tournament here today.

Yesterday, Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by Ireland. South Africa began their campaign in pool B with a narrow 3-2 win over an unfancied French team while England stayed on top of pool A, scoring their second successive win beating Ireland 1-0.

In the morning session bronze medallists in the last edition of the tournament Germany waged a grim battle to down Argentina 2-1 while South Korea snatched a point as they held Holland to a 1-1 draw.

New Zealand also had to battle it out and overcame a 1-2 deficit to beat spirited Malaysia 3-2.

Australian forwards Craig Victory and Steven Bullion combined brilliantly to give their team a handsome 5-0 lead in the first half.

Craig started the goal glut in the seventh minute when he stole the ball from a lax Chile defender at the top left of the circle and hit a clean shot into the right hand corner. A brilliant one-two with bullion on the right side gave Craig victory his second goal in 11th minute.

Two minutes later it was Steven Bullion’s chance as he received a pass and scored off a reverse stick shot from near the penalty spot. Another mistake by the Chilean defence - this time the goalkeeper who could only pad the ball for Nathan Eglingston to gleefully avail the chance to score Australia’s fourth goal.

Steven Bullion followed this up in the next minute with another brilliant field goal. He received a pass at the top of the penalty circle and hit a superbly placed shot to the bottom left corner for Australian’s fifth goal.

Australia could have gone further ahead but a brilliant save by Chilean goalkeeper denied Travis Brooks a goal with the first half ending 5-0 in favour of the hosts.

The Aussies came back after the breather and continued in their attacking mode, when local lad Philip Marshall gained control in a scramble and shot the ball past the keeper. The Chileans then made the most of a slightly relaxed Aussie side to pull on back of a penalty corner goal by Pablo Kushlenthal off a brilliant variation.

Ian Hayley’s deflection of a hard centre from the left with a few seconds on the clock gave South Africa a last minute 3-2 victory over unfancied France in a pool B match.

South Africa were definitely the superior team through out but the dogged French team gave them a good fight for the entire duration of the match. In fact, France neutralised South Africa’s 20th minute penalty corner strike with two strikes of penalty corners - one in the 21st minute and the other in the 47th minute which put them 2-1 ahead.

The team from Ireland played another good game of hockey today to prove that their draw against reigning champions Australia yesterday was not a freak performance. They lost out 0-1 to England with the English team having to wait till the 65th minute for the winner.

Just as it looked that the Irish would earn another draw, Martin Jones scored off a superb reverse stick from the top left of the circle to give England a narrow 1-0 victory.

England thus stayed ahead of Australia in pool A with two successive victories at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre in Hobart.

Witthaus Matthias was the star of Germany’s close win over Argentina scoring both the goals in the first half.

Argentina looked dangerous in the early minutes of the first half as they earned three penalty corners but failed to convert any of them. The Germans made the most of a counter-attack in the 24th minute with Matthias, who scored from the mid-circle with a hard shot. UNI

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Raid-de-Himalaya show goes on
Roopinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Leh, October 10
Even as the sun kissed the snow-tipped Zanskar peaks, the cool and quiet of the morning was shattered as engines revved up at 5.30 a.m. in front of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism office here. Amidst the burning of incense and chanting of Buddhist hymns, the competitors of the Maruti Raid de Himalaya were flagged off on a 300-km journey to Kargil and back by Ms Shakina, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister.

Heads were bowed, hands folded as they went past the lama who was sitting near the starter’s post. The unfortunate accident and the consequent death of John Mark James, who was killed when he fell off his motor cycle yesterday, was very much present in everyone’s mind. But as one biker said in the truly indomitable spirit that is the hallmark of bikers, “The show must go on”. There was a silent prayer in everybody’s heart for James.

Major H.S. Dhillon of the Ladhak Scouts whose Maruti Gypsy had hit a rock outcrop and was damaged yesterday was back in the fray, after an all-nighter in a workshop.

The 300-km competitive stage ran over pure tarmac and the event went through Fatu La at 4,147 metres above sea level. This was considerably lower than the passes that were crossed the previous days.

As we now know, lower heights translate into more oxygen. The cars, the bikes and men, all had a lot more oxygen for better performance.

After a regrouping and lunch halt the cars were to be flagged off back to Leh and were proceeding as scheduled at the time of filing the report. Meanwhile, the body of James was taken to the Civil Hospital, Leh, for a post-mortem examination.

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Arjun sets record in Hero Golf
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Arjun Singh blasted seven birdies as he set the greens of the Chandigarh Golf 
Club ablaze setting a new course record of seven under 65 on the opening day of the Rs 10 lakh Hero Golf 2001 Chandigarh Open here today. Arjun’s superbly compiled card put to shade Kolkata’s Basad Ali’s record by one stroke. The tournament is the seventh leg of the 2001-02 season’s Hero Honda Golf Tour.

Local lad KS Sibia was placed second, two strokes behind the leader. Delhi’s Pappan was placed third at three-under 69, while DS Raghuvanshi (Pune), Harmeet Kahlon (Chandigarh) and Vinod Kumar (Delhi) were joined by local amateur golfer Girish Virk at fourth spot at two-under 70. The trio of Feroze Ali (Kolkata), Rajiv Kumar (Chandigarh) and Shiv Prakash (Kanpur) were tied seventh at one-under 71.

Arjun Singh was in superb form today. The 31-year old golfer who returned to the Tour in March 2001 after a one-year layoff due to a chronic back-injury, literally scorched the course with as many as seven birdies. Arjun birdied the 4th and 6th on his outward journey before returning to blast four successive birdies on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th and another on the 16th on his back-nine.

“The course was playing really well and I on my part was aided by the fact that I misused only one regulation, that too on the 18th, said Arjun who tallied 27 putts for his round. “Breaking the course record was a bonus,” he added. Arjun’s previous victory on the tour came at the Indian Masters, at the Army Golf Course in April this year.

Wilson-sponsored KS Sibia, better known as ‘Veeru’ among fellow professionals, was the surprise package for the day. Playing on his home course, Sibia was a picture of confidence right from the moment he took his place on the first tee. “I was usually calm throughout. It was almost like I was playing a regular round on the course. There was no pressure,” said the 22-year old, whose earlier best score on the Indian pro Tour was a level-par 72 in the SRF Open ‘99 at the Delhi Golf Club. “This is undoubtedly a thrilling moment, but more importantly, it has given me a fine platform to go for a win. That (the win) if it comes about, will be a dream come true.” said the elated golfer.

Today, Sibia returned a picture perfect card studded with five birdies. “I think the key to success is putting here,” he said after returning just 22 putts for the day. “The golf course is playing superb. As for me, my chipping and driving are in excellent shape,” he added.

Pappan put together yet another impressive performance today. The Delhi Golf Club pro has made a place for himself in the limelight in the past only to fumble when it matters most. This time round, however, he looked determined to make amends.

Scores (after 18 holes): Arjun Singh 65, KS Sibia 67, Pappan 69, Harmeet Kahlon, Vinod Kumar, DS Raghuvanshi 70, Feroz Ali, Rajiv Kumar, Shiv Prakash 71, Amandeep Johl, Digvijay Singh, Dinesh Kumar, Mukesh Kumar, Rahil Gagjee, Rezwan Ali, Rahtas Singh, Roop Singh 72.

Amateurs: Gireesh Virk 70, HS Kang 72, Gurbaaz Mann 73.

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Asia asks for five berths

Kuala Lumpur, October 10
The Asian Football Confederation today demanded five automatic berths in the 2006 World Cup as it unveiled a new logo to spur the “magical” game in Asia.

“We are entering a new millennium where the image of football has evolved over the years from a game to an industry,” AFC general secretary Peter Velappan told AFP. “The game has become magical. Asia has 3.2 billion people representing more than 60 per cent of the world population.” The new logo, replacing one inaugurated in 1954, has the letters “AFC” in white logotype on blue with a stylised football globe depicting Asia in a series of hexagonal shapes set in gold with a rising sun behind it.

“As a confederation, we have emerged as a key player on the international stage. Against this backdrop, it is only fitting that we adopt a new identity.” The logo, to be launched tonight by AFC President Sultan Ahmad Shah along with the AFC gallery at the new AFC House in Bukit Jalil, south of Kuala Lumpur, underlines the belief that in football “the future is Asia”, Velappan said. AFP

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Dhir — from stardom to penury
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, October 10
The cheerful and charming smile of Rajesh Dhir (‘Bobby’) of Ludhiana who donned national colours in badminton for more than one-and-a-half decade till 1990 is now missing. The former national junior badminton champion who reigned supreme from 1975 to 1990 is in a deplorable condition. It may be recalled that Dhir’s classic strokes and aesthetic game was a major attraction for badminton fans. Bobby, now aged 37 years, is down financially and also suffering on the family front.

As his coach Gianinder Singh puts it, “The boy, who was a ‘gem’ of Indian badminton and in whose company every player felt comfortable, lived a lavish life during his playing days. However, a stroke of bad luck changed all that. In 1978, this reporter accompanied Dhir to the National Subjunior Badminton Meet at Ernakulam (Kerala). Dhir had created a major upset in the preliminary rounds in subjunior singles by beating a renowned player of Kerala. Local children immediately rushed to Bobby for his autograph. The very innocent Dhir did not know what to write in the autograph book and smilingly offered them his photograph.

‘Bobby’ left active badminton after serving his parent state Punjab more than a decade back and later plunged into business. But as luck would have it, Rajesh could not do well and being the youngest in family, he did not have the requisite experience. More misfortune was to follow as his mother and father passed away which demoralised the shuttler.

Despite having remained national champion, all-India inter-varsity champion for three years, Punjab mens champion, and having represented India at various international meets, apart from winning numerous titles, the Punjab Government did not offer him a suitable job. Dhir approached many schools and colleges, but of no avail. This also affected his married life. Gianinder said only a few of his old time badminton followers helped him from time to time but that was not enough for Dhir to earn a normal livelihood.

Arun Dhand, a former Punjab champion, said it was sheer bad luck which forced Bobby into the present state of affairs but he still has hope that Bobby like a true sportsman would be back into active life. Trusted friends in the Ludhiana District Badminton Association in order to help the former badminton star of Punjab have decided to name a state-level meet after him.

The Rajesh Dhir Benefit Punjab State Sub-Junior and Veterans Badminton Championships is being held from October 12 to 14 at Shastri Indoor Badminton Hall, Ludhiana, where Bobby honed his badminton skill under Sports Authority of India badminton coach A. Dewan and later under Sports Department coach Gianinder. More helping hands many also come to the aid of Bobby.

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Punjabi varsity cyclists shine
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 10
Cyclists from Punjabi University, Patiala hogged the limelight by winning the first gold in the All-India Inter-Varsity Cycling (Men and Women) Championship which began at the velodrome of the Punjab Agricultural University here today.

In the 1500 M Team Trial (Men), the quartet of Hitraj Singh, Sukhjinder Singh, Paramvir Singh and Harjot Singh took 1:53.71 seconds to finish ahead of teams from Pune University ( 1:57.18 sec ) and Kerala University ( 1:58.41 sec ).

In the 1000 mts massed start for men, Sukhjinder Singh of Punjabi University alongwith Jadhav Swapnil of Pune University, Hardeep Singh of Rajasthan University, Hitraj Singh of Punjabi University, Luke Leon Kurian of Kerala University and Abhilash P.V. of Calicut University qualified for the finals.

Earlier, Mr K S Aulakh, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University inaugurated this five-day championship in which 28 teams from all over the country were taking part.

First day’s results:1500 M team time trial (M) final- Hitraj Singh, Sukhjinder Singh, Paramvir Singh and Harjot Singh (Punjabi University Patiala) 1.53.71 sec. 1, Jadhav Swapnil , Nagihoukar Abhay , Patil Sanjay and Zodge Milind (Pune University) 1.57.18 sec. 2, Ramesh S.V. , Luke Leon Kurian , Biju. S and Jayakrishnan. N. ( Kerala University) 1.58.41 sec 3.

The following riders qualified for semi-final : 3000 m individual pursuit (w) - Patil Sonali ( Pune University, sufila.N. (Kerala University), Kiran (Panjab University , Chandigarh ), Salkar Pritam (Pune University).

4000m individual pursuit (m)- Harjot Singh Punjabi University Patiala, Jadhav Swapnil (Pune University), Harsimran Singh (Panjab University Chandigarh) and Zodge Milind (Pune University).

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Polo meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Lieut-Col J.S. Virk, Samir Suhag, Dhruv Pal Godara, Angad Kalam and Vishal Singh — all top players of polo — are in the city to participate in the Punjab Polo Championship, a tournament which is being dedicated to the bicentenary celebrations of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The venue of this prestigious event will be the Territorial Army’s newly laid polo ground adjoining the Kala Gram.

According to Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, president, and Maj-Gen U.S. Sidhu, vice-president, Punjab Polo Association, respectively, the event will bring back to this region polo after a gap of nearly 25 years. Sponsored by Punjab and Sind Bank, the event will get all possible support from the Western Command and its Army Commander, Lieut-General Surjit Singh Sangra.

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Budha Dal school lose
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, October 10
Government Multipurpose School beat Budha Dal Public School by one wicket in the Parle-G inter-school cricket tournament match played at the Dhruv Pandove stadium here today. Scores: Budha Dal Public School: 134 all out ( Navjot Matharu 30, Sumit 15, Gagan 13, Upinder 10; Ramesh 3 for 22, Sonu Mandora 4 for 24, Amit 2 for 6). Govt Multipurpose School: 138 for 9 (Amandeep Singh 26, Yoginder 17, Amit 19, Rohit 16; Upinder 3 for 30, Paramveer 3 for 15, Rajvinder Singh 3 for 30).

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 SPORTS BRIEFS

CAB’S REQUEST FOR CHANGE OF DATE
KOLKATA: The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to change the date of the India-England one-dayer scheduled to be held at the Eden Gardens on January 25. BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya said here on Wednesday that the new date for the limited over match at the Eden Gardens is yet to be decided. The CAB has made the request for the change of date in view of the Republic Day parade, which is held on the roads adjacent to the cricket stadium. UNI

THORPE’S DEALS
SYDNEY:
Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe has secured deals that will earn him around $ 5 million, his agent said on Wednesday. Three deals were finalised for Thorpe, who turns 19 on Saturday, including a three-year, seven-figure contract that will turn the Thorpedo into one of the faces of Japanese TV network Asahi. Sports wear company Adidas had extended its contract with him to the end of 2005 for around $1.5 million. Thorpe also signed a licensing agreement for various clothing and toy items. AFP

DRAW ON SCHEDULE
SEOUL:
South Korea’s 2002 World Cup organisers said on Wednesday that the tournament draw will be held on December 1 as scheduled, despite concern over the US-led campaign against terrorism. “For now, there is no reason to put it off,” said Moon Dong-hwan, Secretary-General of the South Korean organising committee for the World Cup soccer finals. Moon said there has been no indication from FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, and the Asian Football Association, that the scheduled draw would be postponed. He said a rescheduling might be inevitable if the anti-terrorism war escalates. AP

BSNL V’BALL
CHANDIGARH: Karnataka, MTNL, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra all qualified for the super league of the All-India BSNL Volleyball tournament at the Sector 46 sports complex here on Wednesday. In men’s section, Karnataka, Bihar, Delhi and Tamil Nadu qualified for the super league. In the women’s section, MTNL Delhi beat AP 25-13,25-13, Karnataka b MTNL (Mumbai) 25-03, 25-15 and TN b Maharashtra 25-13, 25-14. In the men’s section, Karnataka beat Maharashtra 25-8, 25-11; WB b Rajasthan 25-16, 25-20, MTNL (Delhi) b Punjab at 25-16, 25-20; TN b AP at 25-16,25-21; Karnataka b MP at 25-11, 25-13; Bihar b WB at 25-13, 25-12 and MTNL (Delhi) b HP at 25-9, 25-11. OSR

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