Wednesday, November 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

S P O R T S
XXXI National Games, Punjab-2001

Punjab make a golden start

Ludhiana, November 20
Shot putter Bahadur Singh and discus thrower Harwant Kaur were the cynosure of all eyes at Guru Nanak Stadium here this afternoon as players from Punjab, the hosts, made a dream start by winning four gold , two silver and two bronze medals on the first day of the competitions in the 31st National Games today.

Harwant Kaur, who set a new National Games record in discuss throw, in action on the first day of the competitions at Ludhiana on Tuesday. — Photo Rajesh Bhambi

Punjab men start with win; women lose
Ludhiana, November 20
Men’s defending champions Punjab began their contest in the volleyball event in the 31st National Games on a winning note defeating Karnataka three sets to one in a hard-fought game. Kerala, the defending champions in the women’s section, however had a cakewalk victory as they beat West Bengal in straight sets.

Mixed luck for Punjab cagers
Ludhiana, November 20
Hosts Punjab who were runners-up in basketball (men) in the last edition of the National Games at Manipur began their campaign today on a rousing note with a thumping 80-57 victory over Kerala in the inaugural league match on the first day of the 31st National Games at the Indoor Hall here today.

Kerala favourites in football
Jalandhar, November 20
The men’s football competition of the 31st National Games features as many as eight teams and the race for the title will commence tomorrow. However, Kerala’s success in the National Championship for the Santosh Trophy has already given them the favourites’ tag as it will virtually be the same team doing duty here which subdued Goa in the Santosh Trophy final at Mumbai three days back.

 


Cricket stories

India salvage draw against SA

‘Denness, not Sachin, tampered with spirit of game’


Text of findings of ICC match referee


Racial bias against Asian cricketers?


Cricketers ‘can sue’ referee for libel


EARLIER STORIES
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

 

 

GAMES DIARY
Chaos & confusion at all venues
I
f chaos and confusion prevailing at all venues of the 31st National Games are any indication, Punjab is on the verge of losing its status as one of the country’s best hosts of sporting events.

Goal glut by Haryana girls

Ludhiana, November 20
Haryana girls went on rampage today in their inaugural match against Bihar in the hockey event of the National Games here today. They managed a massive 13-0 win.



Players vie for the ball in a Punjab-Orissa match in the 31st National Games at the Punjab Agricultural University ground, Ludhiana, on Tuesday. Punjab won the match. 

Services win; Bengal held

Jalandhar, November 20
Services made a flying start in the men’s hockey competition of the 31st National Games which commenced at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium here today. In a one-sided encounter, the Army men mauled Andhra Pradesh 5-0 after leading by one goal at half time.

A Jammu and Kashmir player (C) tries to get past two West Bengal defenders in the men’s hockey competition of the 31st National Games at Olympian Surjit Hockey stadium in Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Photo by Pandit.

A Jammu and Kashmir player (C) tries to get past two West Bengal defenders in the men’s hockey competition of the 31st National Games at Olympian Surjit Hockey stadium in Jalandhar on Tuesday.

Plucky fight by Punjab boxer
Patiala, November 20
Holders Services versus fancied Punjab. That will be the central theme at Polo Grounds where the action finally unfolded in boxing today evening as the 31st National Games got of to a sedate start in the city.

Punjab cyclists set new record
Ludhiana, November 20
Punjab cyclists created a new Games record in the men’s section of the 1500 metres team time trial event during the 31st National Games at the Punjab Agricultural University velodrome here today.

Punjab Services rowers dominate
Chandigarh, November 20
As expected Gurpreet Kaur of Chandigarh won her preliminary qualification round easily as around 50 races were held the roving competitions of the 31st National Games started at Sukhna Lake here today.

Punjab's team in coxless fours event in action during the heats of 500 metres race at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. The rowing competitions of the 31st National Games began on Tuesday. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari.

Punjab's team in coxless fours event in action during the heats of 500 metres race at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. The rowing competitions of the 31st National Games began on Tuesday.

Gymnasts not happy with modern equipment
Patiala, November 20
The organisers of the Gymnastics event of the National Games which started here today were faced with a peculiar problem today morning. Most of the participating associations did not want the organisers to install the imported vault table in the gymnasium. Reason – they were not familiar with it and felt their gymnasts would be uncomfortable performing on it.

Manavjit hopes to do well

Chandigarh, November 20
Arjuna awardee Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Commonwealth and Asian Games medalist had a long practice session at the newly built clay pigeon ranges at SAS Nagar today.


Arjuna awardee Manavjit Sandhu practices for the trap event for the National Games at SAS Nagar on Tuesday. — Tribune photo

Arjuna awardee Manavjit Sandhu practices for the trap event for the National Games at SAS Nagar on Tuesday.

Kerala, W. Bengal, AP eves reach semis
Jalandhar, November 20
Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh women reached the semi- finals of the team badminton event on the first day of the 31st National Games at Hans Raj Stadium, here today.

Kabaddi schedule goes haywire
Patiala, November 20
Lack of communication among officials of the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) led the schedule for holding the kabaddi event in both the men and women sections go haywire leaving the players in the lurch.

Manipur fencers dominate
Anandpur Sahib, November 20
The fencers from Manipur dominated the duels at the Guru Gobind Singh Academy for Martial Arts on the first day of the 31st National Games as they won both the finals held here today.

Punjab, TN score wins
Jalandhar, November 20
In the league matches of table tennis event in the National Games, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Bengal registered wins today. In morning, Punjab defeated Delhi by 3-0. 



Vineet Chopra in action on the opening day of the table tennis competition of the 31st National Games at Hans Raj Stadium in Jalandhar on Tuesday. Photo Pandit


India salvage draw against SA

Port Elizabeth, November 20
Makeshift opener Deep Dasgupta and made a valiant 63 as second Test against South Africa ended in a draw today. India, needing 395 to win, were 172 for two when bad light stopped play 15 minutes before the scheduled interval, with tea taken early. Dasgupta, showing impressive composure in his five-and-a-half hour, 270-ball innings, was 61 not out with Tendulkar on one.


Rahul Dravid celebrates half century on the fifth and final day of the second Test match against South Africa on Tuesday. — AFP

Rahul Dravid celebrates half century on the fifth and final day of the second Test match against South Africa on Tuesday.

‘Denness, not Sachin, tampered with spirit of game’
Port Elizabeth, November 20
Angry at the harsh punishments meted out to six of its members, the Indian cricket team had decided not to play on the final day of the second Test against South Africa here today but changed their decision following an intervention by the Indian cricket board.

Text of findings of ICC match referee
Port Elizabeth, November 20
Following is the text of the findings by ICC match referee Mike Denness who has imposed penalties on Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian cricketers:

Racial bias against Asian cricketers?
Port Elizabeth, November 20
Is there a hint of racial bias against cricket teams from the Indian sub-continent when it comes to administering the laws of the game? Many experts believe so citing several cases, the latest being the unprecedented action by England’s Mike Denness, the ICC match-referee, against six Indian Test players.

Cricketers ‘can sue’ referee for libel
Port Elizabeth, November 20
The six Indian cricketers, handed down tough punishments by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Mike Denness, could move the South African courts and sue him for libel.

Kapil to tell all in his ‘true story’

New Delhi, November 20
Kapil Dev Nikhanj has decided to end his self-imposed hibernation, and tell it all in “Kapil Dev—The True Story”. The childhood, growth, evolution and trauma of the cricket icon, will be scripted by Anurag Kashyap of `Satya’ and `Shool’ fame.

Former Indian cricket coach and captain Kapil Dev gestures during a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

Former Indian cricket coach and captain Kapil Dev gestures during a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

PFA Secretary dead
Jalandhar, November 20
The Secretary of the Punjab Football Association and former Vice-President of the All-India Football Federation, Mr G.S. Virk, died at Ludhiana yesterday. He was 66.


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Punjab make a golden start
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Shot putter Bahadur Singh and discus thrower Harwant Kaur were the cynosure of all eyes at Guru Nanak Stadium here this afternoon as players from Punjab, the hosts, made a dream start by winning four gold , two silver and two bronze medals on the first day of the competitions in the 31st National Games today. In all four new national games records — three in track and field and one in cycling — were set.

Besides three gold medals in track and field, Punjab got their fourth gold medal in cycling in the 1500-metre team trial for men by setting a new National Games record of 1:46.134 .

Punjab teams also made an impressive start in hockey and basketball, both men and women.

The only reverse was in volleyball for women where the home team lost to Andhra Pradesh.

With swimming and water polo withdrawn, the home team , making an endeavour for the overall trophy here, could not have asked for more. Its athletes will have to sustain this tempo for the next 12 days to make the dream come true.

Bahadur, a burly brass ball heaver from Punjab Armed Police, Jalandhar, not only beat his senior rival and record holder Shakti Singh of neighbouring Haryana, but also improved upon the old meet record of 18.88 metres by half a metre. Shakti finished a close second by clearing 19.34 metres. The bronze in the event went to Navpreet Singh , also of Punjab, with a best throw of 18.15 metres. With two foul throws, Bahadur broke the record with his third heave. He, however, had to be escorted to a health centre as he pulled a muscle after the last throw.

Harwant Kaur matched Bahadur’s performance by setting a new meet record in discus throw by hurling the disc to a distance of 55.45 metres against the previous record of 53.75 metres held by Neelam J. Singh, who while representing Haryana today, also improved upon her own performance with a throw of 55.09 metres. Haryana’s Sugan Yadav took the bronze (51.31 metres).

The first gold medal of the Games went to Gurdev Singh of Services who in the morning walked to a New National Record of 1 hr 29.39 minutes, thus clipping off 3.04 minutes of the previous record held by his team mate, Sita Ram, who in spite of finishing third with a timing of 1:31.56 minutes , was also faster than his own old record.

Punjab’s Gurmit Singh, who was 10 seconds slower than Gurdev Singh, gave Punjab a silver in the first medal event of the Games.

The gold medal loss in the 20-km walk was made up by Pritpal Singh in triple jump with a hop, step and jump of 15.74 metres, thus giving the home team its third gold in field events.

In 5,000-metre run, the only track event decided today, K. Shankar of Tamil Nadu won a gold with a timing of 14 minutes 24.06 seconds with N. Gojen Singh (Manipur) and Aman Saini of Himachal Pradesh, finishing second and third, respectively.

Besides, a new meet record was set in the 100-metre sprint where Olympian Ajay Raj Singh of Punjab was beaten to second place in the first semi-final by Anil Kumar of Services. The sprinter from Services clocked 10.49 secs against the previous Games record of 10.54 secs. The final run to decide the fastest man of the meet will be held tomorrow.

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Punjab men start with win; women lose
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Men’s defending champions Punjab began their contest in the volleyball event in the 31st National Games on a winning note defeating Karnataka three sets to one in a hard-fought game. Kerala, the defending champions in the women’s section, however had a cakewalk victory as they beat West Bengal in straight sets.

In other key fixtures in the men’s section, Kerala had an easy victory over Andhra Pradesh. 25-16, 25-20, 25-14. In the pool A fixture of women’s section Andhra Pradesh beat Punjab comfortably in straight sets. The Punjab girls put up a valiant struggle in the first match but failed to pick up momentum in the later two games and meekly gave in. The final scores were 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 for Andhra girls.

In another second pool A match of the women’s section, the Chandigarh girls could not put up any resistance against strong Tamil Nadu losing in straight sets.

In a pool B match Karnataka trounced Delhi 25-13, 25-10, 25-12. Kerala eves romped home against West Bengal 25-16, 25-20, 25-14.

Kerala boys defeated Andhra Pradesh 25-17, 25-21, 25-14.

The Punjab team won the first set 25-23 after a keen contest and then won comfortably in the second set 25-19. However, they were a little complacent in the third set and allowed Karnataka boys to win at 25-21. Punjab were particularly at their wits end to tackle the strong jump service of Karnataka players. The fight was neck-and-neck till the end and one Punjab player almost gave up the match by sending the ball over when the set was in finishing stage. Karnataka players also could not perform well under pressure and lost by 24-26.

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Mixed luck for Punjab cagers
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 20
Hosts Punjab who were runners-up in basketball (men) in the last edition of the National Games at Manipur began their campaign today on a rousing note with a thumping 80-57 victory over Kerala in the inaugural league match on the first day of the 31st National Games at the Indoor Hall here today.

However, in the women’s section, Kerala downed Punjab 70-58 to commence their hunt on a winning note. The visitors were leading 40-35 at half time.

In a fast-paced encounter Punjab skipper, Parminder Singh (sr) with 25 points led his team from front to outclass their determined opponents from Kerala who gave the home side some anxious moments before going down. Punjab cagers exhibited great mobility at the court. Kerala players tried to match with them but fumbled at the last moment. Parminder Singh (jr) and Swaraj too played well contributing 10 points apiece.

For Kerala, Joe Antony and Priyesh Jacob gave good account of themselves and played exceedingly well scoring 19 and 7 points, respectively, while Santosh John contributed 10 points to his team’s tally of 57.

The match between Punjab and Kerala in the women’s section proved to be an exciting affair in which both the teams had to fight for each point. V.P. Sini of Kerala stood tall with 17 points. Vini Cherian and Riji Sunny accounted for 9 points each. For Punjab, Mandeep Brar (24) and Kawaljeet Kaur (14) reduced the margin.

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Kerala favourites in football
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 20
The men’s football competition of the 31st National Games features as many as eight teams and the race for the title will commence tomorrow. However, Kerala’s success in the National Championship for the Santosh Trophy has already given them the favourites’ tag as it will virtually be the same team doing duty here which subdued Goa in the Santosh Trophy final at Mumbai three days back.

Star striker Abdul Hakim, an international having donned India colours, who scored three goals, including the decisive golden goal against Goa in the Santosh Trophy final, will once again be the player to watch. In sharp contrast, arch rivals Goa have fielded a second string team as star players like Rocky Barretto, Noel Wilson and Seby Coelho have preferred to stay back probably due to the forthcoming National Football League scheduled to kick off next month which offers a whopping Rs 1 crore in prize money, including a purse of Rs 40 lakh for the winners. Goa’s attack will be spear-headed by Elvis Lopes, Sukhdev Arwade, Seby Mendes and Sebastiao Endro.

However, hosts Punjab have taken the National Games rather seriously as several key players, who will also be playing in the National Football League from next month, constitute the state team. They include eight players from JCT Phagwara, including goalkeeper Arvind Kumar, stopper backs Ranjit Singh and Balkar Singh, medios Hardip Saini and Ram Pal, winger Jaswinder Singh and strikers Hardip Gill and Sukhjit Singh. The other players have been drawn from Punjab Police and BSF and the former are also making their debut in the National Football League this year.

The participating teams have been divided into two groups. Group one includes Maharashtra, Services, West Bengal and Karnataka while group two includes Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.

Traditional powerhouse West Bengal, after their shocking exit in the Santosh Trophy, will seek to redeem some prestige but Maharashtra and Services as also Karnataka cannot be dismissed lightly. After all, these teams have an enviable track record in national football. Tomorrow, there will be two matches. Maharashtra will meet Services and later West Bengal will square off with Karnataka at the Guru Gobind Singh Stadium.

In the women’s section, the participating teams are Punjab, Bengal, Orissa, and Assam (group one) and Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra and Bihar (group two). In tomorrow’s action, Punjab will clash with Orissa while Assam will meet Bengal.

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GAMES DIARY
Chaos & confusion at all venues
Prabhjot Singh

If chaos and confusion prevailing at all venues of the 31st National Games are any indication, Punjab is on the verge of losing its status as one of the country’s best hosts of sporting events.

Scribes, who have descended here in this industrial town, are a disappointed lot. They do not know whom to contact for the basic information. There are frequent changes in the schedule. For example, the programme for track and field circulated on Tuesday morning said that both 100-metre events, for men and women, will be held on the first day. But the entire programme was changed drastically. The 100-metre events have been shifted to the second day and 200-metre event to the sixth day from the second day.

Neither the organisers nor the Trident, the official agency, had anything on hand to brief the newsmen. So much so that Trident people, who are supposed to upload all the results from all the venues, were a bewildered lot. They were complaining of not getting the results in time. For example, the first gold medal event of the Games — 20 km walk for men — ended at about 8.30 a.m. and the result was not available on the National Games website even until almost midday.

There was no indication of any event being held at any of the remaining 20 other venues.

Centralisation of controls may be the main reason for this total confusion. There are no counters for transport, board and lodging, accreditation, technical officials, and even protocol to facilitate participants and officials.

No one knows what is happening. Everyone expresses his helplessness. Participants and officials, all have been fuming over the “mismanagement of the Games”.

“We will continue complaining until the closing ceremony and things would remain as they are,” remarked a senior IOA official.

Most of the senior officials of the Organising Committee of National Games, happy over the successful conduct of the opening ceremony, were conspicuous by their absence on the second day. Probably they needed a break and some relaxation after working so hard for these Games of hitches and glitches.

There are many sports squads running around to secure their participation in this mega event. For example, cyclists from Kerala, basketball players from Rajasthan, taekwondo players from the hosts Punjab were seen chasing officials of the OCNG with their court orders. There is some litigation in boxing, too.

Rajasthan cagers were facing problems as their entry was not sponsored by the state Olympic association. Kerala had cycling squads, including one armed with the court orders. Unfortunately, the court orders did not mention the OCNG as a party.

After tasting security, which made them return home without watching the opening ceremony live, people of this industrial town preferred to stay back than come and watch the country’s top notchers in sports in action.

When track and field events got underway on Tuesday morning, there were hardly any spectators in any of the stands. The situation was no different elsewhere. The crowd participation at PAU Hockey Centre, cycling velodrome, handball and volleyball events at Indoor Stadium, was equally disappointing.

The usual public enthusiasm and gusto associated with the conduct of such a mega event has been conspicuous by its absence. Though hundreds of players have been moving around in the city for the past two days, perhaps many are not aware that Games have started. There are several hoardings and signboards all over the town announcing the National Games.

To top it all, Guru Nanak Stadium, the main venue, does not have any electronic scoreboard from where the spectators could know the latest result of an event being in progress there.

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Goal glut by Haryana girls
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Haryana girls went on rampage today in their inaugural match against Bihar in the hockey event of the National Games here today. They managed a massive 13-0 win.

Haryana, who are favourites in the women’s hockey, played to their reputation, dominating the game right from the word go. Ritika Rajan scored the first goal of the game in the first minute. Given the psychological advantage Haryana enjoy due to the presence of some international players, the poor defence of Bihar was not too surprising.

After Ritika, it as Poonam Kumari who scored second goal in the eighth minute followed by Arunima Roy in the 19th minute. The Haryana girls maintained the scoring spree averaging a goal after every five minutes. While Poonam Kumari and Arunima Roy scored four goals each, Ritika Rajan and Ranjna Kumari scored three and two goals, respectively.

Punjab and Chandigarh also followed the suit in maintaining regional dominance in women’s hockey. Punjab beat Orissa 3-0. Although Orissa tried to put up a strong defence, yet they could not prevent the aggressive Punjab girls from scoring. Sandeep scored in the second minute, followed by Sandeep (right half ) who scored the second goal in the 14th minute. At half time the score was 2-0. Jyoti Kally scored the third goal in the 38th minute. The strong defence put up by Punjab proved invincible for Orissa, who tried their best to score.

Chandigarh beat Jharkhand 4-2. Of all the fixtures today, this appeared relatively a balanced match as the Jharkhand team, despite losing, showed some good play. In fact, the first goal of the game was scored by Jharkhand when Pushpa Pradhan converted a penalty corner, giving her team an early lead. Despite repeated moves, Chandigarh could not score a goal till the 27th minute, when Asrita Topo scoring a brilliant field goal. Within five minutes, in the 32nd minute, Nishi Chauhan scored another goal. Two minutes later Prakash Chaudhary scored the third goal for her team. At the half time Chandigarh were leading 3-1. In the second half, Sumrai Tete of Jharkhand scored a goal, reducing the Chandigarh lead to 3-2. The Jahrkhand girls consistently tried to score an equaliser, but were prevented by the strong Chandigarh defence. It was in 55th minute, when Nishi Chauhan scored her second and fourth goal for her team.

In the last match of the day, Maharashtra girls beat Uttar Pradesh 5-1. Maharashtra girls dominated the show, although UP girls took a lead in the 15th minute when Meenakshi scored a field goal. The Maharashtra girls, who were already under control, despite having conceded one goal, strengthened the grip over the game and started scoring goals at regular intervals. For Maharshtra Shinghai Channa and Pakvi Devi scored two goals each, while the fifth goal was scored by Mamta Khalar.

Tomorrow Jharkhand will meet Bihar, Maharashtra will take on Manipur and Uttar Pradesh will clash with Orissa.

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Services win; Bengal held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 20
Services made a flying start in the men’s hockey competition of the 31st National Games which commenced at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium here today. In a one-sided encounter, the Army men mauled Andhra Pradesh 5-0 after leading by one goal at half time.

In another match, Jammu and Kashmir rallied to hold Bengal 1-1 after trailing by a goal at the breather.

In what turned out to be an easy outing for the strong Service, Andhra Pradesh went into arrears as early as in the 17th minute when a penalty corner award was utilised by Cyprianaind, who beat Andhra custodian A. Sudhakar with a neat placement (1-0).

It was in the second half that the floodgates opened as Services went on the rampage, scoring at frequent intervals. Kamal Horo made it 2-0 in favour of Services with a field goal in the 46th minute and the lead was buttressed by Harjit Singh, who scored in similar fashion four minutes later.

An opportunistic strike by Sosan Topno in the 58th minute made it 4-0 in favour of Services and with about 11 minutes remaining for the long hooter, MM Lokande rounded off the tally with another field goal.

In the second match, Jammu and Kashmir were lucky to hold Bengal 1-1 after conceding a goal in the 32nd minute which came off Anil Ekka’s stick. The equaliser came rather late and was the result of a penalty corner which Jammu and Kashmir earned in the 58th minute. Gurjeet’s hit was on target and Jammu and Kashmir were lucky to snatch a valuable point.

The men’s hockey competition features as many as nine teams who have been placed in two pools. While pool A comprises Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir, pool B includes Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Services and Chandigarh.

Tomorrow two matches will be played. While Karnatka will meet Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh will take on Maharashtra in pool B.

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Plucky fight by Punjab boxer
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, November 20
Holders Services versus fancied Punjab. That will be the central theme at Polo Grounds where the action finally unfolded in boxing today evening as the 31st National Games got of to a sedate start in the city.

The first bout of the evening was between Rozima Colney of Services and young Rakesh Kumar of Punjab in the light fly weight category. There was a lot to cheer for in the Services camp when the strapping Rozima unleashed a powerful left hook early in the first round itself which shook the Punjab pugilist out of his slumber. Rozima, the taller of the two in the ring, held the advantage from round one.

As the contest grew, it became evident that Rozima was progressively getting the edge. One solid right in the third round sent the Punjab lad on the mat for a count. However, Rakesh recovered and was on his feet although the final verdict went in favour of Rozima, who won on points 15-9.

The second bout in the light fly weight category between R. Sahare of Chhattisgarh and J.Delly of Arunachal Pradesh turned out to be one-sided bout in favour of the Chhattisgarh lad.

The third bout in the same weight category between Anurag of Himachal Pradesh and Rama Purthy of Jharkhand too was a one-sided contest. A smooth take off for the Jharkhand boxer and a racy pick up in the first round was all fine but Rama Purthy went for speed even as it was evident that he lacked the skill and stamina to match it. The result obviously turned out to be disastrous for Rama Purthy as the daughty Anurag won the bout with a comfortable 15-8 margin. The other results: (All Ist round light fly weight category): Anurag (HP) b Rama Purthy (Jharkhand) 15-8; Rozima Colney (Services) b Rakesh Kumar (Punjab) 15-9; R.Sahare (Chhattisgarh) b J.Delly (Arunachal); N. Khanolkar (Goa) b Rajkumar (Karnataka) 14-4; A. Maviya (UP) b K. Chetri (Megalaya) 12-9; J.S Kumar (AP) b K.C. Singh (Manipur); P. Sajith (Kerala) b P. Parmar (Rajasthan).

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Punjab cyclists set new record
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 20
Punjab cyclists created a new Games record in the men’s section of the 1500 metres team time trial event during the 31st National Games at the Punjab Agricultural University velodrome here today.

The quartet of Sukhjinder Singh, Rajpaul Chauhan, Jafferson Singh and Harraj Singh clocked 1:16.134 seconds to establish a new record. They were closing followed by Manipur team consisting of K. Indra Kumar Singh, Th. Aimson Singh, Kh. Robin Singh and Ch. Premjit Singh who took 1:18.347 seconds for the silver.

The team of Services with Sandip Malik, Jorawar Singh, Dharminder Dahiya and Paramjeet Singh in their ranks had to content with a bronze medal with timing of 1:50.698 seconds.

In 1500 metres team time trial in the women’s section, Manipur clinched the gold medal. Their team of Ch. Rameshwari Devi, G. Geetanjali Devi, N. Choaba Devi and H. Dinita Devi took 2:07.234 seconds to finish ahead of others.

Host team consisting of H. Ranjeeta Devi, W. Bemcha Devi, Jaswinder Kaur and Cicily with timing of 2:08.736 seconds bagged silver while Maharashtra eves Patil Sonali, Lonari Prashma, Shinder Minakshi and Kadam Rajshri timed 2:12.696 seconds for the bronze.

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Cyclists for SAARC Games
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 20
Three cyclists from Punjab namely Sukhjinder Singh, Jafferson Singh and Ranjeeta Devi figure in the 18-member Indian squad which will represent the country in the forthcoming SAARC Games slated to be held at Delhi from December 3 to 8, according to Mr J.S. Grewal, secretary general, Cycling Federation of India.

Other members of the team are:

Men: K. Indra Kumar Singh, Ch. Premjit Singh, Th. Aimson Singh and Kh. Probin (Manipur), Vishnu Chand (Kerala), Shiv Ram Chowdhary (Rajasthan), Jorawar Singh, Dharminder Dhayia and Sandeep Malik (Services).

Women: Ch. Rameshwari Devi, N. Choaba Devi, I. Goutamani Devi and G. Geetanjali Devi (Manipur), Anita Andrews (Kerala) and Sai Krishna (AP).

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Punjab Services rowers dominate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As expected Gurpreet Kaur of Chandigarh won her preliminary qualification round easily as around 50 races were held the roving competitions of the 31st National Games started at Sukhna Lake here today.

Punjab and Services excelled in the doubles scull 500 metres heats, while hosts Chandigarh topped coxless fours.

Services rowers R.K. Pillai and Narender Singh dominated the event as they clocked today’s best of 1:45 minutes in the day’s last heat.

Punjab’s Jarnail Singh and Nardev Singh clocked 1:46.58 to top the very first heat of the day, followed by their strong rivals international L. Suresh and S. Gurunathan from Karnataka who made a close finish at 1:47.17.

Andaman and Nicobar’s Ranji Roy and Dinesh Tirkey managed 1:59.81 and stood third in the heat.

Hosts Chandigarh topped the coxless fours event with a timing of 1:36.06. Daleep Kumar, Tejinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh and Bhupinder Singh rowed the home waters, ahead of Andhra rowers who finished a close second with 1:37.46.

Maharashtra dominated the men’s coxless pair event with Rajendra Shelke and Birbal Singh clocking 1:44.34, followed by Chandigarh’s Dileep Kumar and Tejinder Singh, who clocked 11:46.40 to win applause from the home crowd. The hosts pair even won their second heat with a timing of 1:48.87.

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Gymnasts not happy with modern equipment
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 20
The organisers of the Gymnastics event of the National Games which started here today were faced with a peculiar problem today morning. Most of the participating associations did not want the organisers to install the imported vault table in the gymnasium. Reason – they were not familiar with it and felt their gymnasts would be uncomfortable performing on it.

The gymnastics event finally got underway in the evening with the traditional vaulting horse being put into service. Though the problem with the vault is a single example it is reminiscent of the problem facing gymnastics in the country. Except for a few associations, most of the Indian gymnasts are unfamiliar with imported equipment.

The problem is compounded by the fact that modern training equipment is absent in almost all the centres in the country. “Competitive equipment like the one present here is available in some centers but most of the them do not have access to modern training equipment,” says I.S. Pabla, a SAI coach of Delhi. Others coaches are of the same opinion. Kerala team members told TNS that basic training equipment needed to produce good gymnasts like foam pits, tumbling track, trampoline with safety pits, overhead safety belt, helping stands and small parallel bars were absent in most of the centers. Even an advanced state like Maharashtra does not have modern training equipment, said Deepak Surwe, a coach.

“It is like pitting a cycle with a Maruti,” said a coach adding it was impossible to teach new innovative movements to youngsters without the support of modern training equipment. Many of the centers are still training their gymnasts in the open, they said adding this led to the gymnasts finding it difficult to perform on imported equipment.

A top national level coach said due to this most of the Indian gymnasts had built up psychological barriers which were difficult to overcome. He said during a recent competition abroad it had been difficult to make gymnasts present themselves on the podium as they were overwhelmed by the technical superiority of their counterparts.

Gymnastics Federation of India President B.S. Ojha when questioned said some more states were being provided with modern competitive equipment in a phased manner. He said, however, training equipment was still not available in most of the states. He said lack of exposure to competitive equipment had resulted in him deciding to go ahead with use of the traditional vaulting horse only today instead of the imported vaulting table.

Mr Ojha said due to lack of familiarity with modern equipment many of the gymnasts were faltering while making their landings adding the problem would be addressed gradually. He said the federation had sent its women team to China in 1999 as well as Belgium recently to participate in the world championships so that they get exposure at the international level. He said he hoped to get results on a long time basis with simultaneous upgradation of coaching techniques.

However, for the sportpersons participating in the National Games, the disparity between the have nots and the have gots will determine the fate of the event in the country. The have nots dream of the better future with better equipment at their disposal.

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Manavjit hopes to do well
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, November 20
Arjuna awardee Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Commonwealth and Asian Games medalist had a long practice session at the newly built clay pigeon ranges at SAS Nagar today. Stoutly built, Manavjit belongs to Ferozepore district of Punjab but in the absence of the facility of these kind of ranges anywhere in Punjab or Chandigarh, he was forced to practice at Tughlakabad range, Delhi.

Manavjit along with other top shooters of the country had a gruelling practice session with new trap machines installed at the range for. Others who practised today were Zorawar Singh, Birendeep Sodhi, Ronjan Sodhi, Azam Khan, Vikram Bhatnagar, all top level national clay pigeon shooters. Manavjit has strong ties with Chandigarh since his wife Natasha belongs to Chandigarh.

Manavjit hoped to win more laurels for the country in the next Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and of course Afro-Asian Games if held. But at present he was sure to min some medals for his home state Punjab.

When those trap shooters were practising, hundreds of students of the adjoining Government College, SAS Nagar after hearing the gun shots gathered there and one of them was heard saying, “ I will stop playing basketball and would love to start this sport which seemed quite vibrant and challenging”.

Meanwhile, the NRAI office-bearers led by Mr Baljit Sethi, Secretary General, along with chief judges and other technical officials were busy removing the remaining bottlenecks at various ranges. The adjustments in the Pulley as objected too by top shooters have been done. A fresh coat of whitewash has been done on the side walls to give better reflection to the shooters. However there was confusion regarding the minimum requirement of light for any shooter of air weapons.

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Kerala, W. Bengal, AP eves reach semis
Nimrata

Jalandhar, November 20
Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh women reached the semi- finals of the team badminton event on the first day of the 31st National Games at Hans Raj Stadium, here today.

Kerala defeated Uttar Pradesh in a one-sided match. In the first singles, Merit George Kerala had a tough fight again, Ruchi Kapil of Uttar Pradesh. Long rallies and some beautiful net shots were displayed by both. Merit won the first two games 7-5, 7-5 but had a close shave in the third before winning by 8-6.

West Bengal defeated Punjab in straight three sets. Arti Verma of Punjab lost to Barnali Raha by 7-3, 7-0, 7-4. In the doubles match Sumit and Nazma of Punjab stood no chance against the agility of B.Raha and Abhatta Charjee going down by 7-0, 7-1, 7-3.

Andhra Pradesh women in a one-sided match defeated Manipur by 2-0. P.V.V. Laxmi’s rallies and shots were too good for K. Sarjubala of Manipur. In the first game Sarjubala could not score a solitary point and lost 7-0 but in the second she tried her best to equalise but lost by 7-2. The third game was again one-sided as Sarjubala could not figure out the weak points of Laxmi and the match ended by 7-0. The doubles was again a clean sweep for Andhra Pradesh, as Jwala and Shruti’s coordination outplayed Rameshwari and Rekha.

In the men’s section, Uttar Pradesh defeated Delhi by 3-0. Abhin Shyam Gupta of Uttar Pradesh showed his supremacy by defeating Ashis Shadha by 7-2, 7-0, 7-0. Sushant Saxena is shots were to good for Hemant Duggal. Hemant gave a fight back with some beautiful net shots. Sushant lost first game by 7-4 but regained his momentum in the second as he won 7-2. The next two games witnessed long rallies and Sushant won the last two games 7-4, 7-2 to give his team to a 2-0 lead. In the doubles match, Abhin Shyam and Utsav Mishra fought against Shrikant Bakshi and Jogendar Singh. Abhin and Utsav won the first game easily by 7-0 but could not retain their momentum in the second and lost by 3-7. Abhin and Utsav of Uttar Pradesh came back as they defeated their rivals in the next two games by 7-2, 7-2 to complete a 30 complete sweep.

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Kabaddi schedule goes haywire
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, November 20
Lack of communication among officials of the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) led the schedule for holding the kabaddi event in both the men and women sections go haywire leaving the players in the lurch.

Neither Balbir Singh, Gurdeep Singh nor Ranjit Singh, all officebearers of the AIKF, could be seen at the YPS stadium, the venue of the kabaddi event. In the men’s section Punjab were scheduled to take on Services while on the distaff side Delhi were to cross swords with Punjab.

The players of some teams arrived at the venue in the morning only to find a empty stadium bereft of any officials, leave alone any spectators. Some low rank officials of the AIKF tried to shift the blame on the local organisers. The organisers on their part said that it was the problem of the AIKF to start the events as all sorts of infrastructure was in place. Sources revealed that the AIKF officials, for some unknown reasons, tried to reschedule the fixtures. This led to an unseemly situation where players and scribes were starved of any authentic information. Arjuna Awardee and captain of the Karnataka squad, C. Phonappa said that he was flabbergasted when he reached the stadium to have round of practise and also to watch the inaugural fixtures.

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Manipur fencers dominate
Lalit Mohan

Anandpur Sahib, November 20
The fencers from Manipur dominated the duels at the Guru Gobind Singh Academy for Martial Arts on the first day of the 31st National Games as they won both the finals held here today.

In the epee events international A. Dipak Meetei of Manipur won the gold medal beating Sachin from Kerala 15-11. Earlier in the first semifinals of the events Sachin had beaten Narinder from Haryana 15-9, while A. Dipak of Manipur had defeated Rohit of Karnataka 15-11.

In the girls foil events international E. Gita Devi of Manipur comprehensively defeated Prathibha of Karnataka 15-7. In the first semifinals of the events Gita Devi had defeated Kamlesh of Andhra Pradesh 15-4 while Prathibha of Karnataka had defeated Rukmani, also of Karnataka 15-12.

Punjab fencers failed to impress on the first day of events as international player Pramvir was defeated in a league matches.

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Punjab, TN score wins
Our Sports Reporter

Jalandhar, November 20
In the league matches of table tennis event in the National Games, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Bengal registered wins today.

In morning, Punjab defeated Delhi by 3-0. Deepak Thakural won the match after a tough fight from Himanshu Kala by 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6. Vineet Chopra defeated Rajeev Ghai from Delhi in a fighting match. Vineet lost the first two games 7-11, 7-11 to Rajeev but in the third was back again winning it by 11-7. Then he maintained his momentum till the end winning the next two also by 11-9, 11,7. Vikas Mahajan had a compatible victory against Ajay Jha of Delhi.

Results: Bengal b Assam by 3-0 Arup Basak b Pankaj 12-10, 11-6, 11-5. Sibu Dutta b Kishalya 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8. Ranbir b Rajesh Kumar of Assam 11-3, 11-6, 11-6. Rajasthan b Uttar Pradesh by 3-2, Rajasthan b Uttar Pradesh by 3-0. Tamil Nadu b Maharashtra by 3-0.

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India salvage draw against SA

Port Elizabeth, November 20
Makeshift opener Deep Dasgupta and made a valiant 63 as second Test against South Africa ended in a draw today.

India, needing 395 to win, were 172 for two when bad light stopped play 15 minutes before the scheduled interval, with tea taken early.

Dasgupta, showing impressive composure in his five-and-a-half hour, 270-ball innings, was 61 not out with Tendulkar on one.

A draw keeps the three-Test series alive after South Africa won the opening match in Bloemfontein.

The main stand of the innings came from Dasgupta and Rahul Dravid, the pair coming together yesterday after India lost their first wicket without a run on the board.

Shiv Sunder Das was caught behind off the fifth ball of the innings off Shaun Pollock.

Dasgupta and Dravid were well entrenched until two overs before the break when Dravid edged a ball from fast bowler Mornantau Hayward and was caught behind. Dravid scored 87 off 241 balls, including 12 fours.

Scoreboard

South Africa (Ist innings): 362

India (Ist innings) 201

South Africa (2nd innings): 233-5 declared

India (2nd innings):

Das c Boucher b Pollock 0

Dasgupta c Kallis b Hayward 63

Dravid c Boucher b Hayward 87

Tendulkar not out 22

Ganguly not out 4

Extras 30

Total (for 3 wkts) 206

FOW: 1-0, 2-171, 3-184.

Bowling: Hayward 25-6-59-2, Ntini 12-4-24-0, Boje 14-4-33-0, Pollock 26-11-39-1, Klusener 7-3-15-0, McKenzie 1-0-4-0, Kallis 11.2-4-15-0. PTI

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‘Denness, not Sachin, tampered with spirit of game’

Port Elizabeth, November 20
Angry at the harsh punishments meted out to six of its members, the Indian cricket team had decided not to play on the final day of the second Test against South Africa here today but changed their decision following an intervention by the Indian cricket board.

The board’s intervention avoided what would have been an ugly episode in international cricket which has already suffered considerable damage due to the punishments given by the match-referee Mike Denness yesterday.

Skipper Sourav Ganguly and the team management refused to make any comments on the match referee’s decisions as that could have invited more wrath from the ICC. But the feeling in the team ran very high and there appeared to be a consensus in favour of not playing today.

BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya, who confirmed in Kolkata that the Indian team was unwilling to take the field because they felt that they may not get fair decisions, spoke to Percy Sonn, President of United Cricket Board of South Africa. The two were understood to have agreed that nothing should be done to harm the cricketing ties between India and South Africa.

Following the Indian board’s intervention, the team took the field when play resumed on the final day of the match.

Tendulkar calm

For a man at the centre of an international storm, Sachin Tendulkar was remarkably calm today but the hurt showed.

At the receiving end of a harsh punishment from Mike Denness the batting genius received tremendous support from his team-mates, former players and millions of cricket lovers back home.

Yet, he himself chose to deal with all queries with stony silence. Occasionally, a smile broke through the grim visage.

Ravi Shastri, former all-rounder, said “I would say the spirit of the game has been tampered and Sachin Tendulkar is not the person who did it. It is Mike Denness. But who is going to punish him?”

Sachin Tendulkar had told match referee mike Denness that he was only cleaning the ball affected by grass and mud.

This was disclosed by former India captain Ravi Shastri who reacted angrily to the punishment meted out to the master batsman on the charge of ball tampering.

“He is just cleaning whatever grass there is,” Shastri said referring to the visual showing Tendulkar running his nails through the seam of the ball. “And that is the explanation he has given to the umpires,” he said.

“It could clearly be seen that Sachin was running his fingers inside the stitches (of the ball) and not outside it,” said Shastri adding “didn’t everyone see his fingernails were cut to the minimum. If that was ball tampering, then hundreds of Test bowlers wouldn’t have bowled a ball in their career.”

Legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar said the match referee could be defended on the point that Tendulkar should have brought it on to match referee’s notice, according to the rule book.

However, on the punishment part he said “but then, this is taking things too far. The match referee should have considered Sachin Tendulkar’s reputation and also how blemishless his record has been in his dozen years of international cricket.”

What summed up the mood of the followers of the game was the comment from one of the producers of Indian television network ESPN - “It seems Mike Denness is more hated than Osama bin Laden at the St George’s Park today.”

Denness explains

Under attack for his harsh action against Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian cricketers which he refused to explain at a press conference here this morning, ICC match referee Mike Denness tonight came out with laboured explanation saying that by not informing the umpires while cleaning the ball the master batsman had indeed breached the code of conduct and thus brought the game into disrepute.

However, he chose only to explain his action against Tendulkar while keeping mum on an even more severe punishment against Virender Sehwag, who has been banned for one match, skipper Sourav Ganguly, wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta, Harbhajan Singh and Shiv Sunder Das. PTI

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Text of findings of ICC match referee

Port Elizabeth, November 20
Following is the text of the findings by ICC match referee Mike Denness who has imposed penalties on Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian cricketers:

Mike Denness, ICC match referee appointed for the Castle Lager/MTN Test matches of the Summer Spice Series between South Africa and India, held four separate hearings with members of the Indian team yesterday and made the following findings:

Sachin Tendulkar:

For alleged interference with the match ball, thus changing its condition.

Match referee decision:

By acting on the match ball, Mr Tendulkar brought the game into disrepute (ICC Players and Team Official Code No 2) and has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee, plus a one-Test match ban. The ban will be suspended until the last day of December 2001.

Players and Team Officials Code No 2:

“Players and/or team officials shall at no time engage in conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them of the game of cricket into disrepute”.

Virender Sehwag:

For alleged breach of ICC players and team officials code no 3 and 4. Showing dissent at the umpire’s decision and attempting to intimidate the umpire by charging.

Match referee decision:

Mr Sehwag has been fined 75 per cent of his match fees plus a one-Test match ban with immediate effect.

Players and Team Officials Code No 3:

“Players and/or team officials must at all times accept the umpire’s decision and not show dissent at the umpire’s decision.”

Players and team officials code no 4:

“Players and/or team officials shall not verbally abuse, assault, intimidate or attempt to assault or intimidate any umpire, spectator, referee, player or team officials. Nor shall any player and/or team official engage in any conduct towards or speak to any other player, umpire, spectator, referee or team official in a manner which offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies the other person on the basis of that other person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin”.

Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Deep Dasgupta and Shiv Sunder Das:

For alleged breach of ICC Players and Team Officials Code No 3 and 4. Showing dissent at the umpire’s decision and attempting to intimidate the umpire by charging.

Match referee decision:

Mr Singh, Mr Das and Mr Dasgupta have at all been fined 75 per cent of match fees plus a one-Test match ban. The ban will be suspended until the last day of January 2002.

Virender Sahwag:

For alleged breach of ICC players and Team Officials Code No 5. Use of crude or abusive language.

Match referee decision:

Refer No 2 above.

Players and Team Officials Code No 5.

“Players and/or team officials shall not use crude or abusive language nor make offensive gestures”.

Sourav Ganguly:

For alleged breach of ICC Players and Team Officials Code No 1 and 2.

Spirit of the game, including conduct of on-field players and bringing the game into disrepute.

Match referee decision:

Mr Ganguly so long as he remains captain of India a one-Test match and two-ODI matches ban have been imposed. The ban will be suspended until the last day of January 2002.

Players and Team Officials Code No 1.

“The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket”.

Players and team officials Code No 2.

“Players and/or Team Officials shall at no time engage in conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute. PTI

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Racial bias against Asian cricketers?

Port Elizabeth, November 20
Is there a hint of racial bias against cricket teams from the Indian sub-continent when it comes to administering the laws of the game?

Many experts believe so citing several cases, the latest being the unprecedented action by England’s Mike Denness, the ICC match-referee, against six Indian Test players.

Most people in the sub-continent believe that there is “sheer discrimination” against India and Pakistan, said former India Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, now a commentator on a sports channel.

What Denness was saying is that Indians were cheats, he said, adding that the referee’s decision had caused chaos and turmoil in the world of cricket. Sidhu said ICC had put a ban on honesty and “a premium on idiocy”.

Experts pointed out that the South African captain Shaun Pollock had done a war-dance while appealing against V.V.S. Laxman, the top-scorer in India’s first innings in the current second Test match here.

Pollock made a loud and prolonged appeal for leg before while the umpire took his own time to take a decision. The appeal went in Pollock’s favour, perhaps rightly.

Earlier in the one-day series, fast bowler Andre Nel had been clearly seen abusing the Indian batsmen but his action was not even taken note of.

Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan was repeatedly called for chucking in Australia even after being cleared by an expert panel earlier, while several Pakistani bowlers, including captain Waqar Younis and his new-ball partner Wasim Akram have been accused of tampering with the ball at different points of time.

During the Australian tour to India earlier this year, Michael Slater had the game interrupted for a long time claiming to have taken a catch that the umpires had over-ruled. He hurled abuses at batsman Rahul Dravid and was engaged in a long argument with the umpires but he was let go with only a ‘mild reprimand’ from the match-referee.

In sharp contrast, the Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has been at the receiving end of the match-referee’s fury on a number of occasions, some times for seemingly innocuous reasons. However, this time Ganguly has been punished for something he did not do, being charged with failing to control his players and handed out a one-Test and two one-dayer ban which has been kept suspended till January 31 next year. PTI
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Cricketers ‘can sue’ referee for libel

Port Elizabeth, November 20
The six Indian cricketers, handed down tough punishments by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Mike Denness, could move the South African courts and sue him for libel.

This was suggested by the former England Test player Geoff Boycott and a former South African wicket-keeper Dave Richardson said here today.

In his characterstic blunt manner, Boycott, now a commentator with ESPN sports channel telecasting the India-South Africa Test series, said that the Indian players should seriously “look at the law”. The Indian and South African legal systems had taken a lot from English law, he said.

If the Indian players, whose good name has been besmirched all over the world by Denness, took legal action, the ICC would have to come (to the Court) to answer, he said.

Richardson, who retired from international cricket recently and who has a legal background, also said that the Indian players or the team management should look at legal options.

Whether they could do so in the short period before the Indian team’s tour ended was another matter, he added.

Navjot Singh Siddhu, former Indian Test opener and now a commentator, said that what Denness was saying was that Indians were cheaters.

Former South African off-spinner Pat Symcox warned that “Does ICC realise that Sehwag, in this case, could knock at another door of justice, at a civil court, and drag them for infringing on his right to earn his income?”

Ironically for a game built on fairplay, the Indian players have no right to appeal against the ICC Match Referee’s verdict. Under the ICC regulation there is no right of appeal against the decision of the match referee.

A livid Boycott said that it was a cruel joke that Denness should not answer any questions not explain his decisions. “Why is he tongue-tied?” he asked. Accusing Denness of “going over the top” Boycott said that there should be a court of appeal against such decisions. The players have been crucified and irreparable harm had been done to cricket, he said.

Boycott suggested that the ICC should set up a panel of former Test cricketers immediately to review the decision. He attacked ICC match referees saying they were going around the world for holidays at the expense of the ICC.

The former England Test opener laughed at the suggestion that Virender Sehwag, who has been handed down the harshest punishment of being banned from playing the next Test for India, had intimidated the umpire. “If you cannot handle what happens on the field, then don’t become an umpire,” he said. PTI

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Kapil to tell all in his ‘true story’
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, November 20
Kapil Dev Nikhanj has decided to end his self-imposed hibernation, and tell it all in “Kapil Dev—The True Story”. The childhood, growth, evolution and trauma of the cricket icon, will be scripted by Anurag Kashyap of `Satya’ and `Shool’ fame. The film will be made in Hindi and English, though the director of the film is yet to be finalised. The two-and-a-half-hour film will tell Kapil’s journey from Chandigarh to Lord’s.

The film, budgeted to cost Rs 4.5 crore, is planned for a world release on October 2002. The film will be shot in all the places where Kapil created history, all over the world. The film will also be made into an eight-episode mega tele serial. The thrust of the film would be that “people should enjoy it”.

Kapil Dev was calm and composed, and philosophical too, as he faced a horde of media people — both print and electronic — and photographers, to announce his return to cricket, and his decision to tell and bare it all in his life story.

The film will be produced and marketed by Dev and Dev and Tyger Productions. Kapil Dev had gone into his shell following the cricket match-fixing allegations, in which his name had also been dragged in. He has since been cleared of all the match-fixing allegations by the Central Bureau of Investigations, which had probed the match-fixing scandal.

“I have been quiet for more than a year. Now it’s my turn to reply (to his critics) and write about myself”, Kapil said, as he stood upto face the media and announce his comeback.

“If I take a challenge, I don’t like to let it go, without a fight”, he said. He said the proposed film would be “episodes of (his) life’s journey”. He assured that the film would be a true account of his life.

“I don’t like to hide anything. But when you are successful, it’s difficult to remember the bad points. But I will not hide anything”, he asserted. Kapil said since the film would be “life’s story, there would be a lot of hidden things”. But he wouldn’t disclose those hidden things as he wants to keep the suspense of the film a closely-kept secret.

Kapil said he has also decided to renew his ties with cricket “as cricket was my first love and first love is always first love. I cannot ignore cricket ever in my life”. But he made it clear that there was no question of coaching the Indian cricket team ever again. “Definitely not, 100 per cent not”, he asserted.

“But I will train the fast bowlers and teach them whatever I know.” Kapil was, however, not very sure “when it will happen”.

Kapil was of the opinion that there was no shortage of talent. It was only a question of moulding them the right way. He said the match-fixing allegations had inflicted “so much pain on me that it takes time to heal the wound”.

When the match-fixing scandal implicated Kapil too, he had vowed that he would have nothing to do with cricket ever in his life. But he has changed his decision now “as my country is more important to me. Neither I can run away from cricket, nor cricket can run away from me”, he said with the wisdom of a pontiff, about his decision to renew likes with cricket. Kapil said he was called to Kolkata by Board of Control for Cricket in India President Jagmohan Dalmia and was given a proposal to help out the fast bowlers in the country. “One proposal I have given, and one proposal they have given”, Kapil explained.

Kapil has given a proposal to the BCCI for flood-lighting cricket stadiums in the country “as some of the boys who play day-night one-day cricket are not familiar with playing under floodlight”. Kapil said Mr Dalmiya has given a positive response to his suggestion.

Kapil was very guarded in his reaction about Sachin Tendulkar being fined for ball tampering. “I don’t know what really happened. Sachin is a truly great player. But only the team management can reveal what really happened”.

He also refused to make any categorical statement when asked whether racism was prevalent on the cricket field. “I would not like to comment on that. A lot of things have come and gone”, he stated.

Kapil was also of the opinion that there was nothing wrong, per se, in having a foreign coach for the Indian team. “If the results are good, nothing wrong in it. But at the end of the day, ask the BCCI why and how a foreign coach was employed”, he said.

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PFA Secretary dead
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 20
The Secretary of the Punjab Football Association and former Vice-President of the All-India Football Federation, Mr G.S. Virk, died at Ludhiana yesterday. He was 66.

Having played a pioneering role in establishing the JCT Mills football team in the early seventies, Virk had gone to Ludhiana to attend the opening ceremony of the 31st National Games at Guru Nanak Stadium but he collapsed at the entrance. Later, he was taken to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital but was declared dead.

National football coach Sukhwinder Singh, who is also the chief coach of the JCT football team, who was in Delhi to attend a meeting of the National Football League Committee, rushed back on receiving the news.

Virk was hand-picked by Mr M.M. Thapar, MD of JCT, in 1968 and from the post of Sports Supervisor, he took over as the first coach of the club which today is ranked among the top outfits of the country. He was also coach of the Punjab team which won the Santosh Trophy in 1984-85 and 1988. He is survived by three daughters and one son, Satinder Singh, who incidentally is a member of the Punjab football team which will be playing in the National Games.

His cremation at Phagwara today was attended among others by Arjuna awardees Gurdev Singh and Inder Singh, national coach Sukhwinder Singh, former footballer of the decade Parminder Singh, former internationals Jagir Singh and Deepak Kumar.

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Air-India, PSB in title clash

New Delhi, November 20
Air-India (Mumbai) and Punjab and Sind Bank chalked out contrasting victories over their rivals Bharat Petroleum and Railways, respectively, here today to set up title clash in the 38th Nehru-ONGC hockey tournament.

The final is scheduled to be played tomorrow. UNI

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 SPORTS BRIEFS

KING RULED OUT
KANDY, (Sri Lanka): West Indies fast bowler Reon King will take no part in the current tour of Sri Lanka because of a hernia, team manager Ricky Skerritt said. King, who missed the opening Test — which Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets — because of the injury, is to return home on Wednesday. “King is not making the kind of improvements that we were hoping for and as such we have taken the decision to send him back to the Caribbean,” Skerritt told Reuters yesterday. “This is a big blow for us but we have to do the best with what we’ve got,” he added. The second Test is due to begin at the Asgiriya International Stadium in Kandy on Wednesday. Reuters

FITNESS TESTS
MUMBAI:
The fitness test of southpaws Hemang Badani and Sadagoppan Ramesh will be held at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday. Executive secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sharad Diwadkar told UNI here that the fitness test will be conducted by Dr Anant Joshi. It may be recalled that Badani and Ramesh had pulled out of the South African tour due to back and knee injuries, respectively. UNI

DAVIS CUP SQUAD
MELBOURNE:
World number one Lleyton Hewitt will spearhead Australia’s challenge in next week’s Davis Cup final against France in Melbourne. Hewitt was named today alongside Patrick Rafter as Australia’s singles players for the November 30 to December 2 tie. Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs were selected as the likely doubles pairing. It is the same team that beat Sweden 4-1 in the semifinals in September. Rafter is receiving treatment for his arm injury but is expected to play. Reuters

FLOWER JOINS ESSEX
LONDON:
Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower will play English county cricket next season for Essex, the second division side confirmed yesterday. Flower, who averages over 55 in Test cricket, will replace Australia batsman Stuart Law who has joined Lancashire after six seasons of heavy run-scoring for the southern county. The former Zimbabwe captain, who heads the current Test batting rankings, is still his country’s first choice wicketkeeper. He could yet don the gloves for his new county if Essex’s James Foster, currently on England’s tour to India, is required for international duty. AFP

UP BAG FIRST GYMNASTICS GOLD
PATIALA:
Stellar performances by Vikas Pandey and Mayank Srivastav helped Uttar Pradesh to bag the overall men’s team championship for the first gold medal in the gymnastic competition here on Tuesday. The Uttar Pardesh gymnasts were clearly ahead of the pack of eight participating teams totting up an overall score of 252.30. They were followed by Punjab who bagged the silver medal with a total score of 240.45. Jaideep and Paramit were the main stars for the Punjab team. Services took the bronze medal with a total score of 220.55. As many as eight teams vied for honours in the gymnastic event with West Bengal coming in fourth with a score of 218.25, Haryana were fifth with a score of 211.90, Maharashtra sixth with 208.25, Delhi seventh with 204.30 points and Rajasthan eighth with 203.80 points, according to competition director G.S. Bawa. TNS

PUNJAB, TN WIN
JALANDHAR:
In the league matches of table tennis event in the National Games, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Bengal registered wins on Tuesday. In morning, Punjab defeated Delhi by 3-0. Deepak Thakural won the match after a tough fight from Himanshu Kala by 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6. Vineet Chopra defeated Rajeev Ghai from Delhi in a fighting match. Vineet lost the first two games 7-11, 7-11 to Rajeev but in the third was back again winning it by 11-7. Then he maintained his momentum till the end winning the next two also by 11-9, 11,7. Vikas Mahajan had a compatible victory against Ajay Jha of Delhi. Results: Bengal b Assam by 3-0 Arup Basak b Pankaj 12-10, 11-6, 11-5. Sibu Dutta b Kishalya 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8. Ranbir b Rajesh Kumar of Assam 11-3, 11-6, 11-6. Rajasthan b Uttar Pradesh by 3-2, Tamil Nadu b Maharashtra by 3-0. OSR

CYCLING SQUAD
LUDHIANA:
Three cyclists from Punjab namely Sukhjinder Singh, Jafferson Singh and Ranjeeta Devi figure in the 18-member Indian squad which will represent the country in the forthcoming SAARC Games slated to be held at Delhi from December 3 to 8, according to Mr J.S. Grewal, secretary general, Cycling Federation of India. Other members of the team are: Men: K. Indra Kumar Singh, Ch. Premjit Singh, Th. Aimson Singh and Kh. Probin (Manipur), Vishnu Chand (Kerala), Shiv Ram Chowdhary (Rajasthan), Jorawar Singh, Dharminder Dhayia and Sandeep Malik (Services). Women: Ch. Rameshwari Devi, N. Choaba Devi, I. Goutamani Devi and G. Geetanjali Devi (Manipur), Anita Andrews (Kerala) and Sai Krishna (AP). OSR

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