November 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Measures needed to check crowd trouble
The West Indies team management was within its rights in demanding that the Indian authorities take tough measures to control the crowd at the one-day centres. Perhaps stung by the West Indies walkout in the third one-dayer there was a more than a hint of criticism and a suggestion of overreaction when the visitors decision at Rajkot.
rejuvenate Indian boxing
needed to check crowd trouble
The West Indies team management was within its rights in demanding that the Indian authorities take tough measures to control the crowd at the one-day centres. Perhaps stung by the West Indies walkout in the third one-dayer there was a more than a hint of criticism and a suggestion of overreaction when the visitors decision at Rajkot. The criticism was uncalled for. What does one expect when a bottle is hurled at a player from the stands. It does not matter if it is just one bottle or maybe two and whether the intent was to injure a visiting player or not, the fact that it could have hurt is something no one can deny. The West Indies team is not a bunch of animals in a "cage" for Indian spectators to hurls things at them.
It must be remembered that crowd misbehaviour is a part and parcel of Indian cricket ethos these days and what happened during the first three one-dayers is nothing new. In fact it is a continuation of a process. Even in the days of conventional cricket where Test matches were the only competitive games and one-dayers were not even thought off, there were many incidents of crowd stand-off with the boundary fielders. Quite often the matter was settled in quick times but there have been occasions when things have turned ugly. Imran Khan, the Pakistan captain, took his team off the ground during a Test match after a section of the crowd in Ahmedabad made life miserable for his fielders. In fact, one of the bottles was hurled from the VIP stands, from just above the dressing room. It was sheer luck that Imran, the intended victim, escaped without injury.
There is no way one can defend what happened in Jamshedpur, Nagpur and Rajkot. It is wrong to draw parallel with events in during the recent one-dayers with those that took place in Sabina Park when Vivian Richards reacted to an umpire’s decision and the crowd took a hand. Events in India where the crowd’s behaviour is quite often independent of the proceedings of the match has no parallel. And the West Indies team, it must be admitted, have been the worst victim of the crowd’s tantrums. Some incidents of a particularly nasty type took place during an earlier tour prompting one of the senior players of the visiting team make a cutting remark on the crowd during a match in Mohali.
The West Indies is one of the most sporting teams to visit this country. The players have shown remarkable friendliness and the utmost patience. And in turn the dashing cavaliers have been adored and almost deified. Vivian Richards, in fact, stated as much when he compared the hostile behaviour of the crowd during this tour to the earlier ones which used to appreciate a good shot irrespective of whether it was by an Indian or a West Indian. He himself had received so much goodwill and adulation. Perhaps the public in India always had it in mind that the West Indies was the first team to visit India after Independence.
Then why this display of stupidity from a section of the crowd? Why this sadism and that too against the West Indies? Not that other teams have not suffered. Other visiting teams too have subjected to the same type of treatment but not as much as the West Indies. Unfortunately during this tour there appears to be more than a hint of racism in the behaviour of a section of the crowd. India is the last country in the world which should indulge in such a prejudice but somehow there exists among us people with odd bent of mind. A number of students from the African continent have made such observations, having suffered from racist jibes from Indians.
One, however, sincerely
hopes that people with such prejudice are negligible in numbers and the
Board of Control for Cricket in India take special measures to prevent
crowd trouble in future. It does hurt but one must admit that crowds in
India are getting out of hand particularly in relation to competitions
with visiting teams. It may be drastic but there is one way of dealing
with errant crowd in India. In consultation with the ICC, the Indian
Board should announce before the match, the one-dayers, that in the
event of crowd trouble, irrespective of the state of the match, the tie
would be awarded to the visiting teams. That is the only way to make the
crowd behave. Thus Mike Proctor, the match referee, could and should
have awarded the Rajkot match to the West Indies.
rejuvenate Indian boxing
Indian boxing hit the pits in the Asian Games at Busan (South Korea) when our pugilists drew a blank. For the first time in several years, Indian boxers returned home from an Asian Games empty-handed. What’s ailing Indian boxing?
On the administrative front, Indian boxing is in safer hands than ever before. The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is headed by the dynamic Abhay Singh Chautala with the equally enterprising top cop, RS Dalal, IPS as the working president. The boxers have been getting periodic foreign exposures and the Abhay Singh-Dalal team have ensured that no effort is spared to give the boxers the best of facilities, on and off the ring.
Yet, the boxers have failed to deliver the knockout punch at the highest level, and the Busan Asian Games were a big blot on the country’s image.
India have a hoary tradition in Asian Games boxing. In their boxing debut at the Manila Asian Games in 1958, the three-member Indian team bagged as many medals. In 1962 at Jakarta, Sunder Rao, Padam Bahadur, Ranganathan and Hari Singh all brought glory to the country. Legendary boxers like Kaur Singh, M Venue C C Machaiah have all enriched the boxing legacy of the country.
But Busan, in one stroke, undid the good deeds of the pugilists of yore. The boxers of the past had brought glory to the country when the facilities were primitive, so to say, and rewards were non-existent. Yet, names like Jas Lal Pradhan, Kaur Singh, Hari Singh, CC Machaiah, Mehtab Singh, BS Thapa, MK Rai, M Venue, C Narayanan and Raj Kumar Sanghwan shed blood and sweat as never before to hold aloft the country’s name.
India won two gold, three silver and five bronze medals in the Asian Boxing Championship in Bombay in 1980; four silver and five bronze medals in the Asian Games in Seoul in 1986, one gold and four bronze medals in the eighth Kings Cup in Bangkok in 1982 and nine gold, one silver and one bronze in the third South Asian Federation Games in Calcutta in 1987. Indian boxers achieved these excellent results despite adverse conditions, and no awards to speak of, except the Arjuna Award. Now everything is in place.
The Asiad probables were provided four years of intensive coaching and training at government cost with excellent boarding and lodging arrangements at the coaching camps; five to six international exposures every year; cash incentives for medal winners and coaches in lakhs, with Arjuna Awards and Dronacharya Awards thrown in as added incentives; and last but not the least, the services of foreign coaches.
Abhay Singh and Dalal have also made the IABF financially very sound. But the coaches and technical officials have betrayed the trust reposed on them by the federation.
In fact, to quote Dronacharya boxing coach Om Prakash Bharadwaj, who is considered as the architect of Indian boxing, "The present IABF setup is excellent and if it failed to fulfil the promise to produce a gold medal winner in boxing in the Asian Games, I don’t think any other federation will be able to achieve good results."
The Dronacharya coach, indeed, had, made a prophetic assertion even before the Indian contingent left for Busan that "Indian boxers stood no chance of winning medals at Busan as they are ill prepared".
His assertion was based on the premise that the Indian boxers still needed to shore up their physical fitness, tactics and techniques to bring glory to the country. And he was no target when the pugilists fell flat on the mat at Busan, without creating any ripples, forget about medals.
Boxing is a sport in which peak physical fitness and psychological development are very important to achieve results. Dedicated, experienced and committed coaches and technical officials are required to rejuvenate Indian boxing. For that, the involvement of experienced and proven officials has become very imperative.
Experts point out that Indian boxers need to improve their stamina, speed, footwork and physical co-ordination of the body through systematic and scientific coaching methods, to regain their lost touch.
The present set of coaches
and technical officials have found to be woefully wanting in these
departments. Otherwise, Indian pugilists would not have put up such a
pathetic performance in Busan. Abhay Singh and Dalal would have to look
for competent people elsewhere to run the show so as to bring medals and
The 35th Ladies Northern India Open Golf Championship was a grand success. There was a method in everything that was done on course and off it. Arjuna awardee Sita Rawlley, on a wheelchair, lent dignity and colour to the competition. She even claimed a putting medal. The way she is making progress, maybe, she will be seen playing golf once again.
It was good to see diminutive Anjali Chopra win the title. Chandigarh’s Irina Brar, unquestionably the best in the country, took her relegation to the runner-up berth sportingly. Many youngsters gave good performance. That was satisfying. There was nothing wrong with Parnita Garewal’s technique and style. What was, perhaps, bothering her was the lack of self-belief. This is a key to success and she has to achieve it so that she once again dazzle on the course. She has to realise that she can regain the national title if she plays in the carefree vein, as she used to, before Irina outwitted her.
Even after announcing a cash incentive of Rs 5,000 for sub-par scores, the general standard was very poor. Scores on all four days were sub-standard. Firstly, there was no need for cash incentive since the competition was for the amateur players. Secondly, money is important but not that vital to raise general standards of golf.
India’s all great sportspersons, like, Milkha Singh, P.T. Usha, Bishen Singh Bedi, C.K. Nayudu, Nandu Natekar, Prakash Padukone, Jarnail Singh, Ramanathan Krishnan, Kapil Dev and several others emerged without the lure of money. What is needed is a dedicated bunch of youngsters. This is possible only when officials, controlling sports, are devoted to the cause of sports. Unfortunately, sports is in the wrong hands and needless injection of money will render all concerned only more corrupt.
Yoga, rest and self-belief have helped Jyoti Randhawa get into the driver’s seat after the motorcycle accident in Delhi about a year ago. He lost six months of precious professional golf but he is a man with refreshing ideas and resolute mind. Watching him play at home and abroad, one gets the feeling that here is a man who will do India proud. His finishing second in the BMW Asian Open should help him scale new heights on the Asian horizon and also in other international competitions.
Contrary to expectations, Vijay Singh has not made any mark in foreign competitions. Instead of gaining confidence, he seems to be losing it. He has got to play foreign competitions with the same verve as he used to do at home.
Bowlers let India down
After West Indies were routed in the three-match Test series, it was thought that the visitors would be no match for India in the seven-match one-day series. Their elegy had almost been written as everyone was sure that India would win the series. But all were proved wrong when West Indies matched up India in all departments of the game in the ODIs. The first six matches were closely contested and the teams were locked 3-3. Things boiled down to the last one on which hinged the fate of the TVS Cup. However, the match turned out be a one-sided encounter in which West Indies first amassed an imposing total of 315 and then bundled India out for a paltry and humiliating 180 with plenty of overs to spare. And the man who made all the difference was the young fast bowler Germaine Lawson who broke the backbone of India by claiming the first four wickets in quick succession. It was a massive shock for India. West Indies deservedly won the match and the series and salvaged some of their pride after they had received the battering in the Tests. Congratulations to them for providing a rich cricketing fare.
Tarsem S. Bumrah
The India cricket team has really let down the country by losing the last one-dayer against West Indies by a huge margin of 135 runs and consequently the series. West Indies are not ranked even among the top five cricket playing countries and they were without their batting mainstay Brian Lara. Much needs to be done in respect of Indian bowling.
The main cause of India’s abject surrender in the final against West Indies was poor bowling. Our bowlers could not stop West Indies batsmen from scoring a mammoth 315 which put our batsmen under pressure and the entire team collapsed for 180 runs. In the entire series our bowling was not up to the mark. On the other hand Ramnaresh Sarwan and Samuel performed superbly for West Indies. The absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan also cost Indis dear.