Tuesday, January 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Teri Oval, an oasis in a jungle!
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, January 14
The Teri Oval is an oasis in a jungle! Surrounded by tall trees, shrubs and flower plants, the Teri Oval has been carved out of a 100-acre forest land in Gurgaon, just 10 kilometres from Mehrauli in South Delhi.

The Oval is a wonderful creation of the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), and those who have visited this ‘hidden treasure’, have been floored by its majestic setting.

“Excellent environment for cricket. Congrats Teri and Dr Pachauri. Keep up the good work and God bless,” noted former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi in the Visitor’s Book.

The Tatas had created the Teri Oval for its own use. Now that its name has spread far and wide, it is emerging as a major cricket centre, considering the fact that Haryana does not have many good cricket grounds.

In fact, cricket matches being allotted to Gurgaon are being shifted to the Teri Oval, as the players and officials just love to play there. The temporary change rooms will put to shame the change rooms in established Test centres.

“It’s a beautiful ground with a natural environment. The outfield looks fantastic. An ideal ground for cricket,” observed former Test player and current national selector Madan Lal.

The Teri Oval became a concrete reality due to the vision and enthusiasm of well-known scientist and environmentalist Dr R. K. Pachauri, who is the Director-General of TERI.

The ground was part of a thick jungle on the Aravalli ranges three years ago. But thanks to Dr Pachauri, the brain behind the venture, a cricket ground of class has sprung up in the jungle, where otherwise experiments are conducted on soil-culture and floriculture.

“The idea to create a cricket ground germinated as we had been running a successful tournament — the Teri Cup — for the last eight years, and we also had a very good cricket team,” explained Air Cmde. M. M. Joshi, Director, Administrative Services, Teri.

But when the ground was created, it went far beyond the expectations of its creators, including Dr Pachauri.

“A wonderful and scenic cricket ground. Pleasure to play on,” remarked Indian tennis ace Leander Paes after playing a friendly match there.

A lot of facilities are yet to be put in place for it to become a full-fledged cricket ground, but even the existing facilities are more than sufficient to impress even the hard-core professionals.

“A beautiful ground, and a well-organised system. Will enjoy playing over here,” noted Yuvraj Singh, after leading Punjab against Haryana in their Ranji Trophy match at the Oval in November.

It’s not only the Indian players who have fallen in love with the place. Even foreign visitors have been bitten by the Oval bug. “The (Teri) Oval is a wonderful setting for a two-day game,” said England women’s cricket team captain Clare Connor, after playing a two-day match against the Rest of India women’s team last week.

Coach John Harmer too went ga-ga over the ground. “Superb conditions, nice flat and fast wicket, and ground. A credit to all,” he wrote. A major landmark in the large expanse of green land is a 30-room eco-friendly guest house, which is a ‘dream house’ with facilities comparable to a five star hotel. The builder of the guest house, Tirlochan Singh of Confoss Construction, proudly stated that the building had been constructed after giving due weightage to ecological and pollution factors.

Electricity is generated through solar panels, and rooms have been provided with ‘running fresh air’, using innovative construction methods. “A lot of care had been given to the natural light and the air factor when the building was designed and executed”, explained Mr Tirlochan Singh, who has executed many landmark projects in Haryana and Delhi, and is presently engaged in the construction of the Mata Sundari College building on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg.

The Teri Oval is a nice getaway for the national cricket teams if they ever want to hold a coaching camp. “We want to encourage India camps here. The women (Indian team) thoroughly enjoyed their stay here. Players can train here peacefully without getting distracted,” observed Mr Joshi, who is one of the moving spirits behind the Teri Oval.

Mr Joshi, however, gives full credit to Dr Pachauri for the creation of the Teri Oval. “But for his craze for cricket, in particular, and love for sports, in general, this ground would not have come up the way it has,” remarked Mr Joshi.

The Teri Oval is scheduled to host a number of important matches, including Deodhar Trophy, in the coming months. And the Tatas are proud of its baby coming of age, so soon.



Kapil excels in Standard Chartered Golf
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, January 14
Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev added another trophy to his growing list as a golfer when he returned the best individual gross stableford score in the Standard Chartered Group Invitational Golf Championship at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon.

Kapil won the Nett Individual prize with a stableford score of 35.

Atul Dhir, playing to a handicap of 21, scored 42 stableford points to win the individual nett prize, while young Vikas Venugopal beat J.S. Kim to the first runner-up place on a count back over the last nine holes after both tied with 41 points in 18 holes.

Perfect golfing weather greeted the 100 odd participants.

Several spot prizes like Straightest drive, Closest to the pin and Monster Putt made it an extremely enjoyable day for the players.

The Standard Chartered Group Invitational Golf Championship is being held in four cities across the country—Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata being the otherr cities. Prizes were distributed by Mr Jaspal Singh, CEO of Stand.



Shahdara edge past Mughals
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, January 14
Last year’s semi-finalists Shahdara Club stunned former champions Mughals Club 1-0 to gather three precious points in a Group B preliminary league match of the Delhi Soccer Association (DSA)-SAIL Senior Division Football League Championship at the Ambedkar Stadium in the Capital on Monday. Osman John Ekka scored the all-important goal in the 65th minute of the match.

Shahdara have earned 11 points from six matches, and now take on defending champions Indian Nationals in their last league match on January 23. Mughals have collected five points from as many matches.

In an evenly-contested match, Shahdara and Mughals tested each other’s goal at regular intervals but their forwards were too slow in taking shots at the goals from far and near. Aimless shooting also contributed in many a good chance going astray.

Mughals’ play-makers, Manjiv Kumar and Asim Paul Ekka, were too slow in feeding their forwards and as a result, captain Rajesh Arya and Sunil Kumar could not pose serious threats to the Shahdara goal.

Mughals were also handicapped by the absence of their number one goal-keeper Vinay Singh, who had to sit out due to an injury. Vinay had recently attended the coaching camp for the Indian senior team at Patiala.

In the second half, Shahdara were on the attack but Neeraj Choudhary, Dharmender Kharola and Bhupender Thakur failed to encash easy chances, initiated from the mid-field by the dangerous duo of Promodh Rawat and Yash Pal Rawat.

Just five minutes before close, both the teams effected substitutions—Mughals bringing in Sundrial Rajesh in place of Ram Singh, while Shahdara sent in Sidharth Bhandari, son of veteran Chaman Bhandari, in place of Dharamender Kharole. Sidharth had recently represented Delhi in the Junior Nationals held in Rajasthan. The move paid off as Shahdara struck the match-winner following a flag kick taken by Neeraj Chaudhary when Manoj centred the ball into the box, and Osman John Ekka nicely tapped into the net.



Lucknow, Danapur win in Nehru boys hockey
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, January 14
GGS Sports College, Lucknow beat Baba Farid Public School, Faridkot (CBSC) 13-12 via sudden- death tie-breaker while Boys Sports Company, BRC (Danapur) downed Shah Satnamji Boys School, Sirsa (Haryana) 2-0 via tie-breaker in the 19th Nehru-ONGC Sub-Junior Hockey Tournament at the Shivaji Stadium in the Capital on Monday.

The Lucknow boys had to stretch the fight to sudden-death tie-breaker, after locking 1-1 at regulation time, to outwit the Faridkot boys. Faridkot took the lead in the 16th minute of first half when Jagdeep Singh found the mark with a clean field goal. The Lucknow boys struggled hard to get the equaliser, which, however, came only at the fag end when Danish Mustaba converted a penalty corner.

In the tie-breaker and sudden-death tie-breaker, Vijay Gohar (three), Md. Rahabar Khan (three), Surender Kumar (three), Danish Mustaba and Fardeen Khan were the scorers for Lucknow while Jagseer Singh (three), Satbir Singh (three), Gurpreet Singh (two), Jagdeep Singh (two) and Pavninder Singh (two) were the marksmen for Faridkot. The Danapur vs Sirsa match had ended in a goalless draw after regulation play, and in the tie-breaker, while Danapur scored through Ujjwal Dungdung and Surendra Kantha, Sirsa drew a blank as Jagwant, Jaspreet, Lakhwinder and Seb Singh failed to get their shots right.



UP, Kerala lift volleyball titles
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, January 14
Uttar Pradesh and Kerala emerged champions in the 28th Junior National Volleyball Championships held at Hindalco, Renukoot (Uttar Pradesh) from January 7 to 13, according to information available here.

Uttar Pradesh beat Andhra Pradesh 25-21, 26-24,25-18 in 62 minutes to lift the boys crown while Kerala took only 60 minutes to outscore Tamil Nadu 25-19, 25-15, 25-11 to annex the girls title. Tamil Nadu boys downed Karantaka 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 in 73 minutes to finish third in the boys section while West Bengal beat Uttar Pradesh 26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 25-22 in 117 minutes to take the third position in the girls section.



Rohit stars for Ramjas
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, January 14
A fine all-round display by Rohit Sharma (70; 7x4, 1x6 and 2/14) enabled Ramjas School No 2 beat Bosco Public School, Paschim Vihar, by 138 runs in the R. P. Jain Trophy Under-14 Cricket Tournament, organised by the Rohtak Road Gymkhana in the Capital. Scores: Ramjas No 2: 257 for 9 (Rohit Sharma 70, Sohaib Sabri 30 (3x4). Bosco: 119 (Rohit Sharma 2/14).


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