Tuesday, December 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Dalmiya fires another salvo
Quits contracts committee, seeks international arbitration

Kolkata, December 30
The contracts row today reached a flashpoint with Board of Control for Cricket in India President Jagmohan Dalmiya resigning from an ICC committee set up to resolve the dispute and threatening to seek international arbitration in Switzerland.

ICC firm on Zimbabwe decision
Melbourne, December 30
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is standing firm on its decision to allow Zimbabwe to host six World Cup matches, despite increasing criticism from around the world.

Sehwag’s true test will be to face Bond
W
e could not have asked for a better gift in the festive season than a 2-0 lead in the one-day series. Both wins have been very satisfying, but the one at Niaper was more rewarding because the conditions made it a more competitive game. 

Tennis players  Alexandra Stevenson of the USA, Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, Peng Shuai of China, Monica Seles of the USA, Elena Dementieva of Russia, Chanda Rubin of the USA, Anastasia Myskina of Russia and Maria
Tennis players (L to R) Alexandra Stevenson of the USA, Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, Peng Shuai of China, Monica Seles of the USA, Elena Dementieva of Russia, Chanda Rubin of the USA, Anastasia Myskina of Russia and Maria Sharapova of Russia attend a news conference in Hong Kong on Monday. The players will participate in the Hong Kong Ladies Challenge Tennis Tournament which will begin on January 1. — Reuters

England make mighty Aussies sweat for victory
Melbourne, December 30
Australia beat England by five wickets on the fifth day of the fourth Ashes Test today, but only after a dramatic batting collapse chasing just 107 for victory. 


Belgium's Kim Clijsters serves to Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual at the Hopman Cup
Belgium's Kim Clijsters serves to Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, on Monday. Clijsters won 6-1, 6-0.
— Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
England captain Nasser Hussain reacts after taking a catch of Australian captain Steve Waugh only to find out it was a no bail during the fifth day's play in the fourth Test

England captain Nasser Hussain reacts after taking a catch of Australian captain Steve Waugh only to find out it was a no bail during the fifth day's play in the fourth Test against Australia in Melbourne in this combination photo.
— Reuters photo

Waugh most successful Aussie skipper
MELBOURNE:
Steve Waugh became Australia’s most successful cricket captain when he led his side to a gripping five-wicket victory over England in the fourth Ashes Test.

Sanjay Gill bowls Delhi to innings victory; Haryana lose
Jaipur, December 30
A six-wicket haul by medium pacer Sanjay Gill led Delhi to an innings and 11 runs victory over the hosts Rajasthan on the penultimate day of their four-day elite group A Ranji trophy cricket league match at the K.L. Saini Stadium here today.

Salt Lake City Olympic Pairs gold medalists
Salt Lake City Olympic Pairs gold medalists (L-R) Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia, and Jamie Sale and David Pelletier from Canada, perform a number in the Smucker's Stars on Ice Show at the MCI Center in Washington on Sunday. This was the first time the pairs skated together since their controversial medal victories in the 2002 Games. — Reuters 

Army XI take on ITI today
New Delhi, December 30
Defending champions Mahindra United and 16 times former champions Mohun Bagan will be the notable absentees as the 115th edition of the Durand Cup Football Tournament gets off the mark with a quarterfinal league match between Army XI and Indian Telephone Industries, Bangalore at 1 p.m. at the Ambedkar Stadium here tomorrow. JCT, Phagwara will take on Tata Football Academy in the second match at 3.15 p.m.

Mondal named Player of Year
New Delhi, December 30
The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) has named Deepak Mondal, the dependable stopper back of East Bengal, as the “Player of the Year”. He will receive a cash award of Rs 25,000 with the coveted honour. AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco said Deepak Mondal was selected for the award for his “consistent” performance for the country.

Panjab varsity lose to MDU
Solan, December 30
Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, scraped past holders Panjab University 25-20, 15-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-11 in the opening fixture of the fourth day of the North East Zone Inter-University Women’s Volleyball Championships at the Parmar University grounds at Nauni, near here, today.

Delhi Blues lift title
Patiala, December 30
Delhi Blues defeated NICS Cricket Club by two runs to clinch the title in the inaugural Dhruv Pandove Memorial Cricket Tournament (U-13) which concluded here today.

Gurdaspur boys reign supreme
Bathinda, December 30
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the Punjab Junior and Sub-Junior (boys and girls) Judo Championship here today at SSD Senior Secondary School.

Kim Clijsters of Belgium plays a joke on Belgium coach Kim Clijsters of Belgium, right, plays a joke on Belgium coach Mark Dehouse by placing a teddy bear on his shoulder during Xavier Malisse's match against Tommy Robredo of Spain at the Hopman Cup Mixed Teams Tennis Championship in Perth  on Monday.
—  AP/PTI

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Dalmiya fires another salvo
Quits contracts committee, seeks international arbitration

BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya announces his resignation from the International Cricket Council's World Cup Contracts Committee at a news conference in Kolkota
BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya announces his resignation from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cup Contracts Committee at a news conference in Kolkota on Monday. Dalmiya also said the Indian cricket board has demanded independent negotiation to resolve a sponsorship row between its players and the ICC.—  Reuters photo

Kolkata, December 30
The contracts row today reached a flashpoint with Board of Control for Cricket in India President Jagmohan Dalmiya resigning from an ICC committee set up to resolve the dispute and threatening to seek international arbitration in Switzerland.

In a surprise development apparently aimed at bringing further pressure on the ICC to agree to India’s demands on the issue, Dalmiya called an impromptu press conference and announced his decision to resign from the World Cup Contracts Committee (WCCC). The committee was set up after the mini World Cup in Colombo following a similar controversy over the contentious clauses in the Players’ Terms forms.

He said Board had been “compelled” to take a legal step of calling for “compulsory non-binding mediation” between the BCCI and the ICC’s marketing arm IDI since the “unreasonable and unjust clauses requiring Indian players to breach their existing contracts” had not been withdrawn.

“We feel that it has now become necessary to test the legality and validity of the unjust clauses that tantamount to unfair restraint of trade,” Dalmiya told reporters here.

“We feel that it is also necessary to test how and under what authority had the IDI given excessive rights to its sponsors. We are taking recourse to the Disputes Resolution procedure as per clause 31.4 of Participating Nations Agreement,” he said.

Dalmiya said “since the legality of the restrictive clauses in the contract is being tested by the BCCI, I felt that as its President it would not be fair on my part to remain in the committee. Therefore, I resigned this morning.”

Going by the provisions of the relevant Dispute Resolution clauses in the Participating Nations Agreement (PNA), the BCCI has called for a compulsory non-binding mediation in South Africa before a duly qualified mediator. If the dispute is not resolved even through such mediation, it has to be finally resolved by arbitration under the rules of Court of Arbitration in Lousanne, Switzerland.

“Despite our sincere efforts to resolve the issue, IDI has unfortunately restrained the legal rights, liberties and entitlements of the BCCI and the Indian players,” Dalmiya said.

“It is a matter of record that the WCCC amended a few clauses in the PNA for 2003 World Cup as a result of its discussions with Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) but the unreasonable and unjust clauses requiring Indian players to breach their existing contracts had not been withdrawn.

“The BCCI had exercised considerable restraint in the matter despite a number of provocations. The WCCC rejected the request of the BCCI and the Indian players with respect to the restrictive clauses in the PNA and Players’ Terms on December 19 and this was upheld in the teleconference of the IDI Board of Directors on December 23,” Dalmiya said. PTI

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ICC firm on Zimbabwe decision

Melbourne, December 30
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is standing firm on its decision to allow Zimbabwe to host six World Cup matches, despite increasing criticism from around the world.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard asked the ICC today to reconsider its decision to hold the matches in Zimbabwe, a country led by President Robert Mugabe which has been criticised over its human rights and electoral abuses. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was not his government’s decision on whether England’s team should play a February 13 match in Zimbabwe, but that if it was, the team would not be allowed to go. He asked the England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday to rule on the matter.

The debate went on to the field when English cricket captain Nasser Hussain, writing in a column in London’s Sunday Telegraph, pleaded with government authorities to make a decision because cricketers lacked the time and resources to do so.

“Going to Zimbabwe is a moral issue, and a very important one, and it is not up to cricketers but to government politicians to make the decision,” Hussain wrote.

“I’m not naive and I have been to Zimbabwe before, but this decision is not one that I, as England captain, am in a position to evaluate in sufficient depth.”

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed so far has not been moved, threatening that any team boycotting the Zimbabwe matches would forfeit them.

“If England doesn’t play because of political considerations, they will not receive any points from that match. In effect they will forfeit that match,” said.

“I don’t see it so much as a moral dilemma. A decision has been taken by the ICC board that the only factor to take into account is safety. We’ve done that, we’ve assessed the situation in Zimbabwe with regards safety and we’ve resolved to move forward”, Speed said. ICC president Malcolm Gray today reiterated Speed’s comments, saying security and safety were the ICC’s main concerns, and those had been addressed. And he added that sports organisations do not have the “mandate to make political decisions.”

“That’s the role and the responsibility of the government,” Gray said here. “Over the years, governments and politicians have tried to push that responsibility on to sports administrators. The ICC will not accept that.

“We’re not beholden to the UK or Australian governments nor any government.”

Howard said in Canberra he believed Zimbabwe should be boycotted but that Australia’s cricketers should not act alone in refusing to play there.

Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh said following his team’s win in the fourth Test over England here today that the players should not become involved.

“It’s up to those people (government and the ACB) to make the decision,” said Waugh. AP

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Sehwag’s true test will be to face Bond
Stephen Fleming

We could not have asked for a better gift in the festive season than a 2-0 lead in the one-day series. Both wins have been very satisfying, but the one at Niaper was more rewarding because the conditions made it a more competitive game. I was happy the way the Black Caps performed in the field in both games, putting genuine pressure on the Indian batsmen right through the innings.

In the first game the pitch did play a part in the proceedings, and we were lucky to scramble home in the end. Hopefully, that was the last “minefield” we will see this summer. However, it must also be admitted that batsmen from both sides did play some poor shots on that wicket to contribute to their downfall.

Coming back to Niaper, the Indians will be seeking consolation from the fact that Virender Sehwag is back among the runs. However, I feel his true test will be when he faces Shane Bond in Christchurch on new year’s day. Even in Napier, he did play and miss a couple of times before coming into his own. So far, Bond has had the better of his exchanges with Sehwag, and it will be great to see that confrontation resume on Wednesday.

As captain I felt that one of the heartening aspects of the Napier game was that the Kiwi bowlers were able to maintain pressure in the absence of Bond who has been the strike bowler so far. In fact, they were particularly effective in mopping up the tail.

The New Zealand batting, too, has been a little brittle so far. I think the pitches at Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland had put too many doubts in the minds of batsmen in both sides. Improved conditions at McLean Park saw us cross 250 and the Indians cross 200, and as I had said in an earlier article conditions will only get better from here on. We may not see 300-plus totals, but quality batting will certainly be on view from both sides.

I expect the Indians to put up a better showing in the next set of games because Sachin Tendulkar will be back. It’s not as if the batting looks brittle without him, it’s just that it looks a whole lot more formidable with him. His presence has a very positive effect on the Indians, and what better place for him to make his comeback than on the batsman-friendly pitch at Jade Stadium to Christchurch.

Besides the return of Bond, there will be no change in the New Zealand side for the third game. In spite of the poor game I’ve had so far, I plan to continue opening since it gives the team more balance. Moreover, two bad games are not enough to make a change. I played a domestic game on Monday in order to get some practice and I’m sure I will be able to contribute better in the next game.

We will be assembling at Christchurch tomorrow before proceeding to Nathan Astle’s place for quiet new year’s eve party. We can’t be too boisterous while welcoming the new year since we have a game the very next day! I would like to sign off by wishing readers in India a very happy new year. (Gameplan)

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England make mighty Aussies sweat for victory

England's Andrew Caddick reacts after nearly taking a wicket during the fifth day's play in the fourth Test against Australia in Melbourne
England's Andrew Caddick reacts after nearly taking a wicket during the fifth day's play in the fourth Test against Australia in Melbourne on Monday. Australia won the Test by five wickets to give them their fourth straight victory. The fifth Test match in Sydney begins on January 2. — Reuters photo

Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist salutes the crowd
Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist salutes the crowd after winning the 4th Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, on Monday. — AP/PTI photo

Melbourne, December 30
Australia beat England by five wickets on the fifth day of the fourth Ashes Test today, but only after a dramatic batting collapse chasing just 107 for victory.
Australia resumed at their overnight score of no wicket for eight and lost opener Matthew Hayden for one, Ricky Ponting for 30, Damien Martyn for a duck, captain Steve Waugh for 14 and opener Justin Langer for 24.

It was left to debutant Martin Love (six not out) and wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist (10 not out) to see the home team to victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after Gilchrist smashed a boundary through point.

England’s pace bowlers made Australia work hard for their runs as Steve Harmison (2 for 43) and Andy Caddick (3 for 51) knocked over the top half of the batting order with just 90 runs on the board.

Australia lead the five-match series 4-0 with the fifth Test starting in Sydney on Thursday.

Yorkshire opener Michael Vaughan hit 145 before Australia dismissed England, who had been asked to follow on, for 387 in their second innings 18 minutes before the scheduled close of play yesterday.

Vaughan became the highest run-scorer for the 2002 calendar year, passing the 1,392 from India’s Sachin Tendulkar. His 1,481 runs from 14 Tests puts him behind only former West Indies captain Viv Richards who amassed 1,710 runs in 11 Tests in 1976.

Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill, recalled for his first Test in 11 months following a shoulder injury to Shane Warne, took two for 108 from 36 overs in the first innings and five for 152 from a marathon 48 overs in the second.

Australia pacer Jason Gillespie returned match figures of seven for 96.

Waugh won the toss and batted on Thursday as the home side pressed home their advantage with a massive first innings total of 551 for six declared, including centuries from Justin Langer (250) and Matthew Hayden (102).

Scoreboard

Australia (1st innings): 551 for 6 decl.

England (Ist innings): 270

England (2nd innings) 387

Australia (2nd innings):

Langer lbw b Caddick 24

Hayden c Tudor (sub) b Caddick 1

Ponting c Foster b Harmison 30

Martyn c Foster b Harmison 0

Waugh c Butcher b Caddick 14

Love not out 6

Gilchrist not out 10

Extras (b-8, lb-5, nb-9) 22

Total (5 wkts in 23.1 overs) 107.

Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-58, 3-58, 4-83, 5-90.

Bowling: Caddick 12-1-51-3, Harmison 11.1-1-43-2. Reuters

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Waugh most successful Aussie skipper

MELBOURNE: Steve Waugh became Australia’s most successful cricket captain when he led his side to a gripping five-wicket victory over England in the fourth Ashes Test.

It was 37-year-old Waugh’s 33rd win in 45 Tests as Australian skipper and took him past Allan Border’s 32 victories in 93 Tests from 1978 to 1994.

But it might not be enough to extend Waugh’s Test career beyond the new year Test against England in Sydney with selectors not guaranteeing his selection past the fifth Ashes Test.

West Indian Clive Lloyd has the most Test wins as captain with 36 from 74 Tests.

Waugh, who will equal Border’s record of 156 Test appearances in the Sydney Test, ranks ahead of his predecessor Mark Taylor (26 wins from 50 Tests) and other prominent Australian captains, Greg Chappell (21/48) and Bob Simpson (12/39).

Don Bradman won 15 of 24 Tests as Australian captain.

“I haven’t thought that much about it,” Waugh said after Monday’s victory.

“It’s a good achievement, but it’s a reflection on the side and the support staff.

Waugh praised England for playing well over the latter stages of the fourth Test, after they were forced to follow on with a 281-run first innings deficit.

He said the turning point of the morning was when he was caught by Nasser Hussain off a Stephen Harmison no-ball when he was on a shaky four.

“That was probably the turning point of the morning. If that wasn’t a no-ball, then England could have gone on to win the match,” he said. AFP

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Sanjay Gill bowls Delhi to innings 
victory; Haryana lose

Jaipur, December 30
A six-wicket haul by medium pacer Sanjay Gill led Delhi to an innings and 11 runs victory over the hosts Rajasthan on the penultimate day of their four-day elite group A Ranji trophy cricket league match at the K.L. Saini Stadium here today.

Rajasthan, who trailed by 235 runs in their first innings, resumed at their overnight total of 46 for no loss and were all out for 224 runs, 28 minutes before tea. Gill, who had taken only one wicket in the first innings, was the man to destroy the home team taking six for 33 runs. Amit Bhandari, the other new ball bowler, who took five wickets in the first innings, captured three for 75 in the second innings.

The highlight of the Rajasthan innings were the two half centuries by opener Vineet Saxena (52 runs, 230 mts, 6x4, 1x6) and Anshu Jain (50 runs, 126 mts, 7x4, 1x6)-both becoming the victims of Gill with the former being bowled by him and the latter being adjudged leg before.

Gagan Khoda (19), Rahul Kanwat (17), Rohit Jhalani (20) and Sanjeev Sharma (11) were the other batsmen to reach double figures.

Delhi has gained three points from this match while the home team failed to earn any. Delhi’s points tally has now risen to seven from five matches. They still have two more matches to play. Rajasthan has only four points from five matches.

Gill’s destruction started with the fall of Gagan Khoda’s wicket after adding only one run to his overnight total of 18 when Aakash caught him.

Saxena, joined by Anshu Jain put on 84 for the second wicket before the latter was adjudged leg before to the same bowler for 50.

Rajasthan had made 131 for two at lunch. Saxena completed his half century in 199 minutes with six fours and a six. But he could not last long as soon after lunch, he was bowled by Gill for 52.

Scoreboard

Rajasthan (Ist inning): 145

Delhi (Ist inning): 380

Rajasthan (2nd inning): (overnight 46 for no loss): V Saxena b Gill 52, G Khoda c Aakash b Gill 19, A Jain lbw Gill 50, N Doru c Aakash b Gill 6, P Krishna c Vijay b Gill 0, R Kanwat b Bhandari 17, R Jhalani c & b Sharandeep 20, S Sharma C Aakash b Gill 11, S Mathur b Bhandari 10, K Choudhary not out 4, M Aslam c Gautam b Bhandari 6. Extras (Bye 4, lb 11, nb 14) 29. Total (all out in 67.3 overs) 224. Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-131, 3-137, 4-143, 5-149, 6-187, 7-203, 8-204, 9-214. Bowling: Amit Bhandari 19.3-3-75-3; Sanjay Gill 18-9-33-6; Arun Singh 11-3-23-0; Sharandeep Singh 10-2-38-1; Abhishek Sharma 8-1-31-0; Gautam Bambhir 1-0-9-0.

Haryana lose

FARIDABAD: As expected, Karnataka defeated Haryana by an innings and 47 runs on the penultimate day of the plate group B league encounter at the Nahar Singh Stadium here.

Karnataka thus collected three points from this win against none by hosts Haryana.

Karnataka, having scored 372, forced Haryana to follow on after skittling them out for paltry 147 in their first innings and then bundled them out for 178 runs in the second knock. Karntaka bowlers Ganesh (5/53), Joshi (3/38) and Prasad (2/42) were the main wreckers of the Haryana second innings. Ganesh returned the best bowling figures, claiming 12 wickets, conceding 89 runs in both the innings.

Opener Jitender Singh (51) and Sumeet Narwal (36) were the only batsmen to put up resistance against the onslaught of Karnataka bowlers.

Scoreboard

Karnataka (1st innings): 372

Haryana (1st innings): 147

Haryana (2nd innings): Jitender Singh lbw b Joshi 51, Paras Prajapat c Naidu b Joshi 14, Sumit Sharma c Naidu b Prasad 15, Rajesh Puri lbw b Prasad 0, Shafiq Khan lbw b Ganesh 16, A Ratra c Prasad b Ganesh 10, Joginder Sharma c Joshi b Ganesh 6, Sumeet Narwal b Ganesh 36 Pardeep Sahu not out 4, Amit Mishra lbw b Joshi 1, Gaurav Vashist lbw b Ganesh 5. Extras: (b 14, lb 5, nb 1) 20. Total: (all out in 65.5 overs, 255 mins) 178. FoW: 1-64,2-96,3-96,4-104,5-121,6-126,7-143,8-168,9-169. Bowling: Prasad 18-5-42-2, Ganesh 15.5-3-53-5, Joshi 21-10-38-3, Bhardwaj 5-1-12-0, Vadeyaraj 6-1-14-0.

Railways on top

Vijayawada: Skipper Abhay Sharma’s unbeaten 89 and his unbroken 148-run fifth wicket partnership with Raja Ali (74 n.o) saw defending champion Railways race to 367 for four, in reply to Andhra’s 371 on the penultimate day of the four-day tie here.

Resuming at 91 for no loss, Yadav was bowled by Suresh, without adding to his overnight score of 62, when he missed a backfoot drive.

Amit Pagnis, who made 92 with the help of eight boundaries, added 42 runs for the second wicket with Tejendrapal Singh (19) and 58 for the third wicket with Yere Goud (25) before being caught at gully by Srinivas off seamer Kalyan Krishna.

While Suresh trapped Yere Goud leg-before, Andhra’s Mohammed Faiq accounted for Tejendrapal Singh when he mis-timed a drive to be caught by Srinivas.

MP rout J&K

Indore: Madhya Pradesh today charged to an innings and 121- run victory against Jammu and Kashmir on the third day of their league encounter at the Usha Raje Cricket Ground here.

By virtue of their magnificent win, Madhya Pradesh entered the group’s semifinals.

Narendra Hirwani, who claimed five wickets in the first innings, scalped six in the second.

Scoreboard

MP (Ist innings): 562 for 7 (declared)

J&K (Ist innings): 122

J&K (2nd innings): F Hazari c D Bundela b N Hirwani 45, V Taggar c A Baig b N Hirwani 34, K Singh c A Ali b Y Golwalkar 46, S Salaria b N Hirwani 19, G P Singh b N Hirwani 47, Imtiyaz b N Hirwani 40, S Khajuria c S Sodhi b Y Golwalkar 53, A Salam c S Pandey b Y Golwalkar 3, S Singh c A Khurasia b N Hirwani 5, J Singh c N Ojha b S Pandey 8, V Sharma not out 0.

Extras: (nb 10, lb 2, b 7) 19. Total: (109.1 overs): 319.

Fall of wickets: 1/64, 2/99, 3/132, 4/160, 5/232, 6/252, 7/255, 8/273, 9/319.

Bowling: Y Golwalkar 43.1-12-140-3, N Hirwani 44-17-89-6, A Ali 10-3-26-0, S Pandey 9-0-41-1, H Sodhi 3-0-14-0. UNI 

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Army XI take on ITI today
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 30
Defending champions Mahindra United and 16 times former champions Mohun Bagan will be the notable absentees as the 115th edition of the Durand Cup Football Tournament gets off the mark with a quarterfinal league match between Army XI and Indian Telephone Industries, Bangalore at 1 p.m. at the Ambedkar Stadium here tomorrow. JCT, Phagwara will take on Tata Football Academy in the second match at 3.15 p.m.

Organising secretary of the tournament Col Bhupinder Singh said Mohun Bagan had not given “us confirmation” of their participation in the tournament in “writing”.

Apparently, Mohun Bagan had not been given ‘no objection certificate’ by the Indian Football Association to take part in the tournament. Col Singh said Mahindra United had faxed a message expressing their inability to defend their title due to some “unavoidable circumstances”.

The absence of Mahindras and Bagan, however, will be somewhat compensated by the presence of 14 times former champions East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting. Mohammedan Sporting had last played in the Durand Cup in 1997, and their participation will ensure that spectators from the walled city turn up in droves.

The teams in the fray are: East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting, JCT, Tata Football Academy, Air-India, MEG, Bangalore, ITI (Bangalore), Army XI, Vasco, Goa, Salgaocar, Goa, Assam Regimental Centre and Punjab State Electricity Board. The semifinal matches will be played on January 7 and 8 and the final will be held on January 10. 

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Mondal named Player of Year
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 30
The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) has named Deepak Mondal, the dependable stopper back of East Bengal, as the “Player of the Year”. He will receive a cash award of Rs 25,000 with the coveted honour. AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco said Deepak Mondal was selected for the award for his “consistent” performance for the country.

Mr Colaco also disclosed that I.M. Vijayan’s named would be recommended for the Arjuna Award this year. He said Vijayan’s name had been recommended for the prestigious award twice in the past, but on both the occasions, his case was not considered by the government. Last year, Bruno Coutinho of Goa received the Arjuna Award for football.

The general body of the AIFF, which met here today, also approved the new format of the Second Division National Football League, which will be played in two phases—the preliminary zonal phase and the final phase. Two teams from each of the five zones — North, South, West, East and North East — will qualify for the final phase, which will have 12 teams, divided into two groups of six teams each. The teams who were demoted last year, Punjab Police and F C Kochin, will qualify directly for the final phase. From next year, the league will be restricted to just 12 teams.

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Panjab varsity lose to MDU
Our Correspondent

Solan, December 30
Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, scraped past holders Panjab University 25-20, 15-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-11 in the opening fixture of the fourth day of the North East Zone Inter-University Women’s Volleyball Championships at the Parmar University grounds at Nauni, near here, today.

Though both the teams appeared evenly matched the Haryana girls displayed superior grit and stamina. The fourth set, which turned out to be a cliffhanger, was marked by long, determined rallies, which appeared to take a heavy toll on the morale and stamina of the Panjab University girls, who all but capitulated in the decider. The fifth set came as an anticlimax to the high drama that marked the fourth set.

In the second match Himachal Pradesh University defeated Vishwa Bharti, Kolkata, in straight sets, 25-22, 25-20, 25-11.

Last year’s runners-up Guru Nanak Dev University had little difficulty in disposing off Kurukshetra University 25-19, 25-23, 25-11 in the third match.

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Delhi Blues lift title
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, December 30
Delhi Blues defeated NICS Cricket Club by two runs to clinch the title in the inaugural Dhruv Pandove Memorial Cricket Tournament (U-13) which concluded here today.

Brief scores Delhi Blues: 168 for 9 in 35 overs (Sutanshu 34 Sherry Gupta 34; Yujwinder Singh 2 for 13, Deepak 2 for 23, Jeevanjot Singh 1 for 5)

NICS cc: 166 all out (Kunwar Raina 50, Jeevanjot 31, Preet Kamal 26, Arjun 14;Arikant Jain 2 for 26, Sherry Gupta 2 for 9, Samarth 1 for 19)

Amitoj Singh of Delhi Blues and Jeewanjot Singh of NICS cc were declared the best batsman and the best bowler of the tournament, respectively. The best wicketkeeper award was bagged by Amanjit Singh of MES Cricket Club while Ajay Huda of Panchkula Cricket Club was declared the boy of the tournament.

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Gurdaspur boys reign supreme
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 30
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the Punjab Junior and Sub-Junior (boys and girls) Judo Championship here today at SSD Senior Secondary School.

In the 25 kg, 30 kg and 35 kg categories in the boys section the first positions were bagged by judokas from Gudaspur, while in the 40 kg category Jalandhar took the top slot.

The results: 25kg: Daman Mony (Gurdaspur) 1, Pritpal Singh (Jalandhar)2; 30kg: Ravi Kumar (Gurdaspur)1, Karandip (Amritsar)2; 35kg: Sanjiv Kumar (Gurdaspur)1; Subhash (Jalandhar)2; 40kg: Ranjit Singh (Jalandhar)1, Harkirat Singh (Patiala)2.

Sub-Junior (girls): 23kg: Amritpal (Amritsar)1, Manisha (Bathinda)2; 27kg: Nisha (Gurdaspur)1, Jagpreet (Amritsar)2; 32kg Gangandeep (Amritsar)1, Baljit (Bathinda)2; 36kg: Puja (Hoshiarpur)1, Pooja (Amritsar)2; 40kg: Puja Rani (Hoshiarpur)1, Suman (Bathinda)2; 44kg: Paramjit (Amritsar)1, Dimple (Patiala) 2.

Junior (girls): 44kg: Neha (Gurdaspur)1, Madhu (Bathinda)2; 57kg: Harpreet (Amritsar)1, Paramjit (Bathinda)2; 63kg: Sarabjit (Amritsar)1, Ranjit (Bathinda) 2.

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 SPORTS BRIEFS

TWO HELD FOR INVADING FIELD
DURBAN:
Taking a tough stance, the South African police arrested two persons who invaded the field during the first cricket Test between the hosts and Pakistan which ended here on Sunday. The arrest of Andrew Brown and Shaun Lobben follows strict security measures introduced during the match, which South Africa won by 10 wickets, as part of the build up for the cricket World Cup in February-March. The two were later released on bail after paying 500 rands (approx Rs 2,500) each. Police spokesperson Vasie Naidoo told PTI two others were also arrested for fighting and being drunk in public during the match. “We are taking a zero tolerance approach to anyone invading the field”, she said. “The arrests should act as a warning to spectators to behave themselves during the coming World Cup.” PTI

KIEFER DOUBTFUL
BERLIN:
German Nicolas Kiefer is a doubtful starter for the Australian Open beginning on January 13 because of a heel injury. The 25-year-old said on Sunday he had sustained a hairline fracture in his left heel while training in Monte Carlo and would have to wear a plaster cast until January 5. German No. 1 Tommy Haas has withdrawn from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, after surgery on an injured shoulder. Reuters

SCHUMACHER BEST
PARIS:
The French sports daily L’Equipe has voted Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher “Champion of Champions” for the year 2002, the newspaper announced on Monday. In the voting by 18 members of the newspaper’s staff, Schumacher easily triumphed over Croatia’s Olympic skiing champion Janica Kostelic and Real Madrid footballer Roberto Carlos. Schumancher has now won the award for the second consecutive year, which went to golfer Tiger Woods in 2000 and tennis champion Andre Agassi in 1999. DPA

JR ATHLETICS
BANGALORE:
More than 2000 athletes from 24 states are expected to vie for honours in the 18th Junior National Athletic Championship 2003 to be held in Karnataka’s Shimoga district from January 7. A total of 116 events would be conducted in boys and girls under-20, 18, 16 and 14 age categories in the five-day mega meet, Chairman of the organising committee and Karnataka Information and Health Minister, Kagodu Thimmappa told reporters here on Monday. The meet will also run as trials to select the Indian team for the coming “World Youth Athletic Meet” to be held in Canada, it was stated. PTI

HOGG RECALLED
SYDNEY:
West Australian spinner Brad Hogg was on Monday called into a 13-man Australian squad for the fifth Ashes cricket Test against England starting here on January 2. The naming of the left-arm wrist spinner gives Australia the option of going into the final Test with two specialist spinners if the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch offers encouragement. Legspinner Stuart MacGill, who came in for injured Shane Warne, claimed seven match wickets in the fourth Test in Melbourne, which Australia won by five wickets today. If Hogg plays it will be his first Test since his debut against India in 1996-97, when he claimed one for 69 in Delhi. AFP
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