SPORTS TRIBUNE Saturday, April 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India
 

Duleep Trophy loses importance
Sushil Kapoor
The Duleep Trophy played between the five zonal cricket teams is considered to be the last rung of domestic cricket before one graduates to the international arena. This yearís Duleep Trophy tournament finished on April 12 much after the Indian team had left for the West Indies and India A had embarked on its tour of South Africa.

Indian touch may fuel West Indies cricket
Qaiser Mohammad Ali
A
n Indian presence is growing in the West Indian cricket, as players with their roots in India could well drive future teams from the Caribbean islands. With the natives of the Caribbean fast switching to other sports like basketball and baseball, it seems the future of West Indies cricket depends on Indian settlers, whose ancestors sailed from India almost two centuries ago.

IBF elections: no candidate from India
G. S. Sethi
B
adminton legend Li Lingwei of China is in running for one of the vacant posts at the upcoming International Badminton Federation council elections. Along with compatriot Han Aiping, 39-year-old Li was one of the most outstanding woman players on the world circuit in 1980s, winning the 1983 and 1989 world championship titles in singles, and the 1985 doubles title with Han.

 

 

Hats off to Sachin for 29th ton
H
ats off to little master Sachin Tendulkar for having equalled the record of Sir Don Bradman by scoring the 29th century. In the near future he will leave behind the legendary figureís record. 

 
Top







 

Duleep Trophy loses importance
Sushil Kapoor

The Duleep Trophy played between the five zonal cricket teams is considered to be the last rung of domestic cricket before one graduates to the international arena.

This yearís Duleep Trophy tournament finished on April 12 much after the Indian team had left for the West Indies and India A had embarked on its tour of South Africa. Although, the first two rounds of the matches were played before the two Indian teams flew out, the remaining matches lost their sheen due to the absence of stars from all the teams.

The Duleep Trophy, considered to be a stepping stone for a berth in the Indian squad, should be planned in such a way that top players of each zone are able to play for their teams. Domestic cricket in India of late is not been given the importance and relevance as is being given to domestic cricket in Australia where the national players immediately after the end of a Test match go and play for their respective states. The recent case in point is the non-participation in the Duleep Trophy matches slated from March 26 by players like Saurav Ganguly, S.S. Dass and Deep Dass Gupta for East Zone, Dinesh Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and Ajay Ratra for North Zone, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid for South Zone and Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Zafar for West Zone after they had been selected for the West Indian tour. This would have given the much-needed practice to these players for the longer version of the game as they had been earlier involved in six one-dayers against Zimbabwe and were to be pitchforked against the West Indies in a Test series straightaway.

Coming back to the Duleep Trophy tournament ó which was played on league basis ó it was quite heartening to see that some good performances in the matches before the selection of the Indian team did not go unnoticed. The national selectors did a reasonably good job and their presence ensured that a double century by Yuv Raj Singh against South Zone did not go unnoticed and earned him a recall to the Indian one-day squad and also inclusion in the India A team for the tour of South Africa. Ashish Nehra on the other hand with two explosive bowling performances against South Zone and West Zone clinched the third medium pacerís slot in the Indian contingent. Not to be left behind was Wasim Zafar, who with two back-to-back centuries against Central Zone and a half century against North was able to claim the openerís slot in the Indian squad. Deep Dass Gupta was another player whose century in the Duleep Trophy got him the selectorsí nod for the tour of the West Indies.

It was quite heartening to see the cricket board experimenting with uncovered wickets during the Duleep Trophy competition in a bid to ensure that the bowlers got some kind of purchase from the early morning freshness or overnight dew. But in the end it did not help the bowlers much. The reason was that the matches were played from the middle of March till mid-April and at that time of the year the dew is minimal. The start time of 10 a.m. also took away any advantage of overnight dew. But above all docile nature of the wickets did not the give any help to the bowlers. If this experiment has to succeed then India must prepare good and bouncier tracks like those existing at Baroda, Bangalore and Mohali.

Notwithstanding the fact that there was no immediate opportunity of donning Indian colours, the players participating in the matches after the departure of the Indian team put their best foot forward and their performances gave hope to the selectors that there was enough talent at the backup stage.

Those who gave impressive performances were Vikram Rathore of North Zone with scores of 249 and 104 as an opening batsman. Akash Chopra also of North Zone, with 143 and 119 not out should be pushing their claims for the openersí slot. H. Kanitkar of West Zone pushed his claim as an allrounder, Sairaj Bahutle as right-arm leg spinner with a haul of 10 wickets against North Zone as also a century showed great potential of a genuine allrounder. Irfan Pathan Jr and Vineet Sharma the two medium pacers showed immense promise. Rashmi Ranjan Parida and the young Subhormay Dass of East Zone also displayed a lot of promise as batsmen.

The end of the Duleep Trophy also marked the end of the domestic season. West Zone were able to put it across North Zone by winning the trophy. North Zone ended runners-up. One really wonders if this competition has served and real purpose.

Top

 

Indian touch may fuel West Indies cricket
Qaiser Mohammad Ali

An Indian presence is growing in the West Indian cricket, as players with their roots in India could well drive future teams from the Caribbean islands.

With the natives of the Caribbean fast switching to other sports like basketball and baseball, it seems the future of West Indies cricket depends on Indian settlers, whose ancestors sailed from India almost two centuries ago.

The forefathers of players like batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Ronnie Sarwan, migrated to the Caribbean in the 19th century in search of work.

There are many others of Indian origin, like leg-spinner Mahendra Veeren Nagamootoo, who appeared in the drawn first Test in Bridgetown, leg-spinner Dinanath Ramnarine and batsman Daren Ganga, who missed out on selection for that match but are among the 22 probables picked for the five-Test series.

Moreover, a new batch is coming up and will be ready for selection in the senior team a few years from now. Most youngsters have already represented either the West Indies under-19 or under-15 teams.

Says Ravi Chaturvedi, cricket commentator and an authority on Indiaís ties with the Caribbean islands: "The Indians who migrated to the islands in the 19th century were basically farmers. As the years passed by, they came closer to the cities, and gradually their offspring took to the game. So, if a large number of youngsters of Indian origin are today representing various islands in junior cricket, it is no surprise."

The first batch of Indians migrated to the islands in 1838 and settled in Guyana, the home of well-known former Test stars Rohan Kanhai and Alvin Kallicharran. Those Indians were essentially farmers who worked in plantations.

Another early batch settled in Trinidad in 1845 and, subsequently, the migration became steady. When they were not working on the fields, they played cricket, a game that had already taken firm roots in India.

Among the well-known players of Indian origin who have represented West Indies with distinction are legendary spinner Sonny Ramadhin, who turned out for Trinidad in the 1950s, Kanhai, an aggressive opening batsman of the 1960s and 1970s, and Kallicharran, an elegant left-hander of 1970s who went on to captain the West Indies.

Gutsy Guyanese batsman Chanderpaul made his Test debut in 1992-93. Although he has not lived up to his early promise, he is still considered a pillar of the senior team, as he showed with a defiant 140 in the first Test against India.

Before Chanderpaulís arrival, there were hardly any sustained performances from Indian-origin players. A few like aggressive right-handed opener Suraj Ragoonath, who played only two Tests in 1998-99 before disappearing, failed to make an impact.

Leg-spinner Rajindra Dhanraj followed Chanderpaul into the West Indies team. But after his Test debut in 1994, he disappeared with just eight wickets from four Tests.

Sarwan, a nimble-footed batsman from Guyana who also bowls leg-spinners, made his debut in 1995-96. He has appeared in 18 Tests, in which he has scored 1,112 runs at 38.34, and nine one-day internationals.

Trinidadís Ramnarine, another leg-spinner, was first picked in the one-day team in 1997-97 and in the Test team the next year. He has so far played 12 Tests, in which he has captured 45 wickets.

And there are shining stars in the junior ranks. Narsingh Deonarine, a gifted left-handed batsman, has already represented the senior Guyana team in domestic tournaments, besides the West Indies ĎAí team and the squad that took part in the under-19 World Cup in 2000.

Speedster Ravindranath Rampul of Trinidad was the leading bowler in the inter-island under-19 tournament last year. He was also a member of the West Indies team that won the under-15 World Challenger in England in 2000. Promising left-handed batsman Zaheer Ali, (21) has led Trinidad and Tobago (under-15 and under-19) and West Indies (under-15) teams.

Vishal Arjune, a 20-year-old off-spinner from Guyana, Sulieman Jamaal Benn, (20) a tall left-arm spinner from Barbados, and under-15 players like Jason Mohammed, Rahesh Ramkissoon, Rishi Bachan, Kawesh Kantasingh, Dilip Basdeo and Shastri Samaro promise to carry forward the tradition of Indian presence in West Indies cricket. IANS

Top

 

IBF elections: no candidate from India
G. S. Sethi

Badminton legend Li Lingwei of China is in running for one of the vacant posts at the upcoming International Badminton Federation council elections.

Along with compatriot Han Aiping, 39-year-old Li was one of the most outstanding woman players on the world circuit in 1980s, winning the 1983 and 1989 world championship titles in singles, and the 1985 doubles title with Han. She also won the first ever World Grand Prix Finals title in 1983 and achieved success in the 1985, 86 and 87 events, and won countless events on the World Grand Prix circuit.

Election for the vacant posts will take place at the annual general meeting of the IBF on May 12 in Guangzhou, China. According to a circular of the IBF, nominations for the elections have already been received. There are three vacant posts for Vice-Presidents for which three nominations have been received. They are Torsten Berg (Denmark), Federico Valdez (Peru), Charoen Wattanasin (Thailand). For three vacant posts of continental representatives, three nominations have been received. Tong Wai Lun (ABC), Cephar Lar (ABF) and Federico Valdez (PABC) are in the running.

Seven nominations have been received for seven posts of council members. Edgar Aglipay (Philippines), Gordon Robin Bryant (Australia), Rudy Hartono Kurniawan (Indonesia), Puzant Kassabian (Bulgaria), Li Lingwei (China), Heather Nielsen (England) and Eraj Wijesinghe (Sri Lanka).

India is one of the oldest member of the IBF and it is surprising that it has no representation in the world body, which controls the game of badminton worldwide. After the death of Sri Ram Chadda, who was the Vice-President of the IBF for a long time, India was represented for one term each by Mr T.P.S. Puri and Prakash Padukone. Small countries like Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Bulgaria have put up their candidates but why has India once again failed to put up somebody is a pertinent question. Can it be presumed that India does not have the candidates who can perform well at the international level or does the BAI not want people of calibre to come forward?

Top

  sm
SPORTS MAIL
Home

Hats off to Sachin for 29th ton

Hats off to little master Sachin Tendulkar for having equalled the record of Sir Don Bradman by scoring the 29th century. In the near future he will leave behind the legendary figureís record. After all records are meant to be broken as Walsh surpassed Kapilís record. But Sachinís humility when he remarked ĎBradman is still greaterí is indeed praiseworthy. The standard of fielding in Bradmanís days was not as high as it is now. Cricket has now become a very popular game. Strategies are studied through video tapes and every batsman gets to know his weak points. But young Sachin is wizard who can play his shots on every side.

Y.L. CHOPRA, Bathinda

II

Sachin Tendulkar, the dashing run-making machine of the Indian cricket team, deserves praise for cracking his 29th century in Test cricket and equalling the record of Sir Don Bradman of Australia. The first day of the second Test against West Indies at Port of Spain was his day. He scored an unbeaten 113. However, I was shocked to see his poor batting on the second day. He added only four runs and returned to the pavilion. He should avoid such shots.

SUBHASH C. TANEJA, Rohtak

Pak victory

Pakistan added another glorious chapter to their cricket history by clinching the three-nation Sharjah Cup. The Pakistanis kept their awesome reputation intact with another outstanding display of skill and temperament. Although the islanders tried their best yet they were beaten comprehensively in the final. Pakistan played with determination and dedication. Pakistanís dashing middle order batsman Yousuf Youhana contributed a lot in the final smashing a brilliant ton while Muraliís injury proved unlucky for Sri Lanka. Pakistanis batted magnificently and bowled superbly. Hats off to the Pakistan team.

ANKIT ARORA, Rohtak

A blunder

It was sad that Deep Dasgupta was included in the team as a reserve wicket keeper. Despite his poor wicket-keeping record he was included in the team for the first-Test. Ajay Ratra was watching the match from the pavilion. It was a Himalayan blunder on the part of the selectors.

NATHA SINGH, Ludhiana

Beckhamís injury

David Beckhamís injury is a big jolt for his club Manchester United and for his national team which is preparing for the FIFA World Cup. Will he play for England in the World Cup? His physician has said that Beckham will be out for eight weeks. His long absence will affect his game.

TAUSEEF HASSAN, Malerkotla

Top