SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S



Greece stun Portugal to complete odyssey
Lisbon, July 4
Outsiders Greece crowned their astonishing Euro 2004 campaign by beating hosts Portugal 1-0 in the final on Sunday.






Greece's Angelos Haristeas celebrates his goal against Portugal in the Euro 2004 final in Lisbon on Sunday.
— Reuters photo
Greece's Angelos Haristeas celebrates his goal against Portugal in the Euro 2004 final in Lisbon

Age caught up with stars, failure undid coaches
Lisbon, July 4
To the winners go the spoils, to the losers — in at least six cases this time round — the sack. Parting is sweet sorrow at a European Championship as with every other major event which comes around only once every four seasons — and this one will signal the biggest changing of the continental guard in recent memory.

Klinsmann picks Euro’s best
Lisbon, July 4
Teams which played with a lone striker paid the penalty of elimination at Euro 2004, former Germany forward Juergen Klinsmann said.

Federer storms to 2nd Wimbledon title 
Roger FedererLondon, July 4
Roger Federer has retained his Wimbledon title with a riveting 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 victory over American Andy Roddick in the men's final. The 22-year-old Swiss top seed recovered after a ferocious start by Roddick to secure his third Grand Slam title.


Ferrarri driver Michael Schumacher of Germany celebrates his victory in the French Formula One Grand Prix at Magny Cours
Ferrarri driver Michael Schumacher of Germany celebrates his victory in the French Formula One Grand Prix at Magny Cours on Sunday. Schumacher won ahead of Spanish Renault driver Fermando Alonso and Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello of Brazil, who took third place. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
Sky is the limit for ‘Queen Maria’
London, July 4
Wimbledon may have fallen, but it does not end there for the new star of women’s tennis. Maria Sharapova wants the world. The 17-year-old Siberian-born, Florida-trained champion admitted after her 6-1 6-4 demolition of Serena Williams that she had not expected success to come to her this early. But it’s only a first step, she insisted. “I thought Wimbledon was just my dream to win, and, of course, my goal now is to be No.1 in the world.” 

Maria Sharapova poses with her father Yuri as she holds her trophy at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in London on Sunday. — Reuters photo
Maria Sharapova poses with her father Yuri as she holds her trophy at the All England Lawn Tennis Club

Beaten Martina sets sights on Olympics
London, July 4
Martina Navratilova’s dream of winning a record 21st Wimbledon title may have ended in bitter disappointment but the 47-year-old is still determined to finish her career on a high by winning an Olympic medal in Athens.

Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Todd Woodbridge of Australia hold up their trophies after defeating Julian Knowle of Austria and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Montenegro in the men's doubles final Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Rennae Stubbs of Australia hold their trophies after defeating Liezel Huber of South Africa and Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the women's doubles final
Jonas Bjorkman (left) of Sweden and Todd Woodbridge of Australia hold up their trophies after defeating Julian Knowle of Austria and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Montenegro in the men's doubles final at the Wimbledon tennis championship in London on Sunday. The duo won 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Cara Black (2nd right) of Zimbabwe and Rennae Stubbs (right) of Australia hold their trophies after defeating Liezel Huber (left) of South Africa and Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the women's doubles final at Wimbledon tennis championship on Sunday. The duo won 6-3, 7-6. — Reuters photos


Sachin Tendulkar gets a massage at the Asia Cup probables camp in Chennai
Sachin Tendulkar gets a massage at the Asia Cup probables camp in Chennai on Sunday. — PTI 

Depressing to sit out, says Laxman
Chennai, July 4
Describing watching the proceedings from the dressing room as “very depressing’’, stylish Hyderabad batsman V.V.S. Laxman said today that his ability to rotate the strike had helped him succeed in the shorter version of the game and become a regular member of the Indian team. “Cricket is a team game. Everyone can’t get a chance to play. Someone has to sit out,” though it gets very bleak for the person left out,’’ he said, adding that taking ones and twos had helped him click in one-dayers both in Australia and Pakistan.

Boycott joins camp
In video (28k, 56k)

Fitness tests
ISLAMABAD:
A majority of the 25 Pakistan cricketers attending the fitness camp the for Asia Cup tournament in Lahore have failed the fitness tests conducted by new South African trainer Murray Stevenson.

Don’t blame pitches, says Ponting
Darwin, July 4
Ricky Ponting returned to the Australian cricket side today and told his batsmen to stop complaining about suspect pitches and become more adaptable to difficult conditions.

Imran plans to marry again
London, July 4
Barely a fortnight after announcing the break-up of his marriage with Jemima Goldsmith, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has stated his intention to marry again, possibly by next year.

Bonhomie marks start of Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf 
Naldehra, July 4
It was not competitive spirit but warmth and bonhomie that filled the air as the Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf Tournament got under way at the nearly century-old picturesque golf course here today. The 14-member squad of golfers from Lahore has indeed proved to be the true ambassador of “goodwill” from the neighbouring country over the past two days. The uninhibited behaviour of the visitors and the way they mingled with the local people over a short period have won them many friends. They have only kind words and thoughts for India and its people. Overwhelmed by the hospitality of Himachalis, Lt-Gen Mohammad Tariq (retd), President of the Pakistan Golf Federation, who is leading the team, extended an invitation to those present at the opening ceremony of the tournament to visit Lahore. 
A Pakistani golfer lines the ball during a match at Naldehra on Sunday. — Photo by Anil Dayal 
A Pakistani golfer lines the ball during a match at Naldehra

Germany win 4-nation hockey
Amsterdam:
Mathias Witthaus emerged Germany's saviour with a 66th minute goal as his side came from behind for a 5-4 win against Olympic champions Holland in the final of the four-nation Rabobank hockey tournament here on Sunday.

Women wrestlers left high and dry
Amritsar, July 4
Several women wrestlers from Punjab, who had been training hard for the past year for the national wrestling championship, got a shock as the state team was not allowed to participate in the eighth Senior National Women’s Wrestling Championship held at Jammu from June 24 to 26, allegedly due to infighting in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Cinema should promote sports, says Sunil Dutt
New Delhi, July 4
Bollywood has had a surfeit of “nach-ganaa” films and now it should switch to movies on sports, said actor-turned-minister Sunil Dutt. “Sports should be promoted, for it involves all, cutting across caste, creed and religion. Cinema, too, should play its role and promote sports.

National volleyball player drowns
Jabalpur, July 4
National volleyball player Sonu Soni drowned while bathing in the Narmada river in the Gwarighat area of the city, the police said here yesterday.

Spanish matador Julian Lopez 'El Juli' waits to perform a pass during a bullfight at the San Pedro and San Pablo festival in Burgos Spanish matador Julian Lopez 'El Juli' waits to perform a pass during a bullfight at the San Pedro and San Pablo festival in Burgos, Spain, on Sunday.
— Reuters

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Greece stun Portugal to complete odyssey

Greece's Angelos Haristea rises up to score a header against Portugal during the Euro 2004 final
Greece's Angelos Haristea (right) rises up to score a header against Portugal during the Euro 2004 final at Lisbon's Luz stadium on Sunday.

A dejected Luis Figo, Portugal's captain, after the final
A dejected Luis Figo, Portugal's captain, after the final. Greece stunned Portugal 1-0 to win the European Cup for the first time on Sunday. — Reuters photos

Lisbon, July 4
Outsiders Greece crowned their astonishing Euro 2004 campaign by beating hosts Portugal 1-0 in the final on Sunday.
Greece, who had never previously won a match at a major tournament, lifted the second-most prestigious trophy in the sport thanks to a 57th-minute header by striker Angelos Haristeas.

They then showed all the tenacious defending that had taken them further than even their most ardent fans could have dreamed of to hold off Portugal in a frantic final assault.

The victory was a triumph for Greece's German coach Otto Rehhagel, who turned his adopted country from international also-rans to the cream of the continent in less than three years, in the process becoming the first foreign coach to win either the European Championship or World Cup.

The result ended the dreams of Portugal, also appearing in their first final, and underlined again that Greece's 2-1 victory over the hosts in the tournament's first game three weeks ago was no fluke.

Victory over France in the quarterfinals made them the first team to beat the hosts and defending champions in the same competition, and they reached the final with a superlative team effort against the fancied Czech Republic.

Many thought that that gruelling extra-time success on Thursday would leave them too drained to compete with the buoyant host nation, who had recovered from that opening blow to hit top form in their charge to the final.

But as others now watching from home have found, Greece, with their tactical discipline, strength and formidable workrate have developed into a fearsomely difficult side to break down.

Off-target shots by defender Miguel and Maniche were all Portugal had to show for their effort in a scrappy first half, while their goalkeeper Ricardo had to react smartly to smother at the feet of Charisteas in a rare Greek foray.

It was a half short of quality, though the massed ranks of around 15,000 Greek fans seemed unconcerned as they did their best to negate Portugal's home advantage with a constant barrage of noise.

The blue and white decibel level went off the scale in the 57th minute, however, when Greece took the lead.

A driving run by fullback Yourkas Seitaridis earned Greece their first corner of the match and when Angelos Basinas delivered it into the goalmouth, Haristeas outjumped the flailing Ricardo to power his header into the net.

The striker, who also headed the goal that knocked out France, was immediately buried under a mass of celebrating players but Greece were quickly back on the defensive.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo both fired in firm low shots as Portugal, who had managed at least one goal in their previous 13 matches, upped the pace.

Ronaldo shot over again from close range in the 74th minute as substitute Rui Costa added extra invention to the home attack.

But, as they had so often during the tournament, Greece withstood it all to take the title. — Reuters
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Age caught up with stars, failure undid coaches 

Lisbon, July 4
To the winners go the spoils, to the losers — in at least six cases this time round — the sack.
Parting is sweet sorrow at a European Championship as with every other major event which comes around only once every four seasons — and this one will signal the biggest changing of the continental guard in recent memory.

No fewer than six of the 16 nations who turned up to joust in the Portuguese sun over the past month have dispensed with their coaches and more are likely to follow, although Portugal’s Brazilian mentor Luiz Felipe Scolari and Greco-German Otto Rehhagel are both sitting comfortably.

French coach Jacques Santini was already on the way out before the event even started having announced his upcoming liaison with Tottenham in the English Premiership, the French Football Federation having wanted to await the outcome of Euro 2004 before extending his contract.

That proved to be a smart move as the lacklustre title-holders crashed out to Greece in the quarterfinals and now Santini will also feel vindicated after not having to fall on his sword, the fate of contemporaries such as Germany’s Rudi Voeller, Spain’s Inaki Saez and Italy’s Giovanni Trapattoni.

Joining those four in the out tray were Croatia’s Otto Baric and Bulgaria’s Plamen Markov while the Netherlands Dick Advocaat held out the strong possibility that he would also head for the exit door next week.

Never before in the international game has the coaching merry-go-round spun at such a rate. Forced into a period of rebuilding, several top countries will have to effect that process from the top down, as well as the bottom up, after a swathe of retirements from the international scene by top stars whom time has caught up with.

Dutch defenders Jaap Stam and Frank de Boer are stepping down, while Portuguese midfield star Rui Costa said yesterday he would do the same after the final.

French skipper and World Cup and Euro 2000 winner Marcel Desailly has also likely finished his 116-cap career with Les Bleus, while defender Lilian Thuram is nearing the end of his career.

Speculation even surrounds how long midfield star and creative hub Zinedine Zidane will continue.

Pavel Nedved, a survivor of the 1996 Czech side which reached the final that year, is also on the way out, as is fellow veteran Karel Poborsky, while the Portuguese will, along with Rui Costa, soon likely bid farewell to 34-year-old defender and erstwhile skipper Fernando Couto.

Even the leader of the hosts’ golden generation, Luis Figo, while still young enough to make the 2006 World Cup, is unlikely to feature after that.

Disappointing Italy have to inject new blood as the likes of Christian Vieri come under threat from emerging talents such as Antonio Cassano.

Sweden will also have a job replacing the evergreen Henrik Larsson, who came out of retirement for the tournament to great effect.

The tournament has been marked by the emergence of a clutch of new young stars, led by England’s Wayne Rooney and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

But replacing coaches and installing new infrastructures is not an overnight process and with countries such as England, Portugal and Greece increasingly turning to foreign coaches the chase is on to track down tomorrow’s mentors.

A tug of war could yet develop over the studious Arsene Wenger, who for now is well ensconced at Arsenal but who has admirers within both the French and German federations.

The Germans have for their part just two years to overhaul a team which has fallen far from the grace that three world and three European titles brought them. The favourite to succeed Voeller, Ottmar Hitzfeld, has already said ‘no thank you,’ hence the purported interest in German-speaking Wenger.

Spain have plumped for veteran Luis Aragones as they go though a period of renewal after an unlucky Euro exit, while Marcello Lippi is the new man with Italy’s Azzurri, who could also consider themselves hard done by here. — AFP

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Klinsmann picks Euro’s best

Lisbon, July 4
Teams which played with a lone striker paid the penalty of elimination at Euro 2004, former Germany forward Juergen Klinsmann said.
He said yesterday the Netherlands and Germany both struggled partly because of their policy of playing at times with one main forward.

“It was a shame that the Dutch started with only one up front in Ruud van Nistelrooy — it put pressure on the attacking midfield players. Germany played with one striker, so everything was on the shoulders of Michael Ballack to come forward,” he said.

Announcing his team of the tournament for sponsors Mastercard, Klinsmann said although Van Nistelrooy remained the tournament’s joint-second highest scorer with four goals, Wayne Rooney of England and the Czech Republic’s Milan Baros were the two best strikers.

Klinsmann picked three players from hosts Portugal and two from fellow finalists Greece in his team of the tournament.

The team: Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands), Georgios Seitaridis (Greece), Jaap Stam (Netherlands), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal), Ashley Cole (England), Luis Figo (Portugal), Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Milan Baros (Czech Republic) and Wayne Rooney (England). — DPA

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Federer storms to 2nd Wimbledon title

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland and second seed Andy Roddick of the US hold their trophies after the men's singles final
Top seed Roger Federer (left) of Switzerland and second seed Andy Roddick of the US hold their trophies after the men's singles final at the Wimbledon tennis championship in London on Sunday. Federer retained his Wimbledon title with a riveting 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 victory over Roddick. — Reuters photo

London, July 4
Roger Federer has retained his Wimbledon title with a riveting 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 victory over American Andy Roddick in the men's final.
The 22-year-old Swiss top seed, who also won this year's Australian Open, recovered after a ferocious start on Sunday by Roddick on Centre Court to secure his third Grand Slam title.

Despite two rain interruptions, the clash between the world's two best players did not disappoint and US Open champion Roddick's breathtaking power gave him the edge early on.

Federer, though, had come into the match having won his last 23 games on grass and gradually the world No 1 took control with his fluid strokeplay, wrapping up victory with his 12th ace before collapsing to his knees in triumph.

Second seed Roddick had begun the match in blistering form, firing three aces in his first service game before breaking Federer for a 2-1 lead after the Swiss had sailed a forehand long.

Federer had four break points to level the set in the next game but was foiled by Roddick's thunderbolt deliveries, one of which was measured at 233.3 kph.

A 35-minute rain delay failed to put Roddick off and he kept up the relentless pace to win the first set when Federer slapped a forehand into the net after 31 minutes.

Federer quickly turned things around in the second when two consecutive double faults from the US Open champion gifted the top seed a break for a 2-0 cushion.

With the momentum clearly behind him, the 22-year-old raced into a 4-0 lead as Roddick tried his best to recapture his form from the opening set.

The American finally registered on the scoreboard in the fifth game after breaking Federer's serve on his fourth break point with a scorching forehand winner.

Federer appeared to lose his focus and allowed Roddick to get back on level terms after misfiring a backhand wide.

But Federer took the set with a majestic forehand winner after breaking his opponent for the third time in the set.

Roddick gained the psychological edge early in the third set with a break for a 2-1 lead when Federer whipped a forehand long to drop his serve for the fourth time in the match.

However, a second rain disruption, this time for 40 minutes midway through the set, allowed Federer to regroup.

When play resumed, Federer wasted little time in attacking Roddick's serve and levelled for 4-4 after forcing the American to hit a forehand wide.

Federer was at his sublime best in the tie-break, clinching it 7-3 with a superb backhand down the line winner.

Inexplicably, Federer started to struggle with his serve in the fourth set as Roddick desperately looked for a breakthrough. The Swiss survived a flurry of brutal blows from Roddick to save four break points at 1-2 down and two more in his next service game. — Reuters

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Sky is the limit for ‘Queen Maria’

London, July 4
Wimbledon may have fallen, but it does not end there for the new star of women’s tennis. Maria Sharapova wants the world.
The 17-year-old Siberian-born, Florida-trained champion admitted after her 6-1 6-4 demolition of Serena Williams that she had not expected success to come to her this early.

But it’s only a first step, she insisted. “I thought Wimbledon was just my dream to win, and, of course, my goal now is to be No.1 in the world.” Yesterday’s stunning triumph will hoist her further toward that ambition as she is projected to break into the top 10 in the world for the first time at No. 9.

Ahead of her will be three compatriots, two Belgians, two Americans and a French woman, but close behind will be Serena and her older sister Venus.

It’s a tall order, but Sharapova is on the way up, healthy and possesses a gritty self-confidence that belies her youthful age.

Asked what was her greatest attribute as a player, she has no doubts. “Mental. I’m just a very tough person when I go on the court, and I really don’t want to lose,” she said.

“Of course, it’s not every time that you are going to win. But I’m that kind of person that just loves to win and I want to fight. Also I learn from my mistakes and I’ll learn the next time.”

It is too early to talk of a Navratilova-type domination in the years to come, but there were distinct signs that the women’s game could be taken up to new levels by the hard-serving, big-hitting teenager.

Williams was not at her best in the final as she continues to struggle to find her top form after the knee surgery that kept her on the sidelines for eight months after last year’s Wimbledon.

But she has never been simply overpowered by anyone the way she was against Sharapova yesterday.

The six-time Grand Slam winner has been increasingly sidetracked by her outside interests such as fashion design and acting, but she insists that she now has a renewed interest in fighting her way back to the top.

“I can’t wait to see us all back at 100 per cent. It’s going to be great.”

For Williams it’s back to the drawing board, she says.

“I’m definitely going to triple my efforts, and do everything I can to play better next time.

And going into the summer, I think it will be fun because I have a great chance on the hard courts. I just love playing on that surface.”

But before the US circuit and Flushing Meadow, most of the top women will head for Athens and the Olympic tournament where Venus Williams will be the defending champion.

Oddly, Sharapova will miss Greece as she was only the sixth-ranking Russian when the Olympic qualification deadline passed on June 14. —AFP

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Beaten Martina sets sights on Olympics

London, July 4
Martina Navratilova’s dream of winning a record 21st Wimbledon title may have ended in bitter disappointment but the 47-year-old is still determined to finish her career on a high by winning an Olympic medal in Athens.

Navratilova and her partner Lisa Raymond were beaten 7-6 (7/4) 7-5 by fifth-seeded Liezel Huber of South Africa and Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the semifinal of the women’s doubles yesterday to ruin her hopes of edging ahead of Billie-Jean King, who shares the All-England Club record of 20 titles.

“This is pretty much an anti-climax but we gave it our best shot,” said Navratilova, who first played Wimbledon in 1973 and went on to gather nine singles titles.

“But the Olympics was always our goal for the whole year more so than Wimbledon. That’s why I played one more year. We still have Athens to play for.

“It would have been nicer to at least have made the final here. Then you sort of feel as if you are making progress,” she said.

“We can still pick it up a notch or two and we know we have that,” Navratilova said.

Raymond, who has been Navratilova’s long-time doubles partner, admitted that she felt the pressure of trying to help her compatriot to what would have been a record title here.“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t something every time I stepped on court, but I wasn’t necessarily thinking: ‘OK, this is her last Wimbledon, how can we win it?’

“It’s unfortunate but we have some big events to look forward to. Making the Olympic team was a big goal of ours and hopefully we can bring home a medal,” she added. — AFP

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Depressing to sit out, says Laxman

Chennai, July 4
Describing watching the proceedings from the dressing room as “very depressing’’, stylish Hyderabad batsman V.V.S. Laxman said today that his ability to rotate the strike had helped him succeed in the shorter version of the game and become a regular member of the Indian team.

“Cricket is a team game. Everyone can’t get a chance to play. Someone has to sit out,” though it gets very bleak for the person left out,’’ he said, adding that taking ones and twos had helped him click in one-dayers both in Australia and Pakistan.

The batsman, who had an impressive outing against Australia and Pakistan in the last season, was talking to newspersons on the second day of the six-day final camp for the 20 probables for the six-nation Asia Cup to be played in Sri Lanka from July 16, being held at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium

The batsman, who scored a brilliant 281 and ended the 16-Test match victory run of Australia in the 2001 home series, said he had a “quite good’’ season last year and hoped that it would continue this year.

On the prospect of tainted fellow Hyderabad cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, who has been banned for match-fixing charges, Laxman said it was up to the BCCI to call him. Laxman said Azharuddin has a lot of experience. He consulted Azhar whenever he was in Hyderabad and had received great help.

On the chances of India in the Asia Cup, he said all teams were good. “You can’t underestimate any team,’’ he stressed and hoped that India would get back to their winning ways in the first few matches in the season’s opener.

During the break, he said, he worked on the fitness schedule prescribed by trainer Allen Gregory King. He also played a couple of league matches at Hyderabad. The camp at Bangalore had also helped the players.

Boycott joins camp

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott today joined the final camp for the probables for the Asia Cup here today and offered tips on fine-tuning the batting.

Boycott, considered one of the finest opening batsmen of his time with a solid technique, is expected to offer suggestions to the players on batting for the next two days.

In the morning session, Boycott interacted with one of the groups.

Batsman V.V.S. Laxman, felt that Boycott’s presence in the camp would definitely help as the latter would offer useful tips to the players. — UNI

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Fitness tests

ISLAMABAD: A majority of the 25 Pakistan cricketers attending the fitness camp the for Asia Cup tournament in Lahore have failed the fitness tests conducted by new South African trainer Murray Stevenson.

“There are some young players who have really impressed Stevenson.

However, most of the senior players failed to come up to the required standards,” local daily The News quoted Pakistan Cricket Board officials as saying.

The probables, including skipper Inzamam-ul Haq, are going through their paces at the camp, supervised by new coach Bob Woolmer. Stevenson has brought his own training equipment to conduct the tests. — PTI

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Don’t blame pitches, says Ponting

Darwin, July 4
Ricky Ponting returned to the Australian cricket side today and told his batsmen to stop complaining about suspect pitches and become more adaptable to difficult conditions.

Captain Ponting rejoined his team after missing the first Test against Sri Lanka in Darwin to be with his family following the death of his aunt. The second Test begins on Friday in Cairns.

Speaking after Australia’s 149-run win inside three days yesterday, Ponting said the low-scoring first Test - for which a seaming pitch was blamed — could be a reflection of the fact that batsmen had been given an easy time lately.

“There’s no doubt we were spoiled last year,” Ponting said. “Last summer, the pitches were as flat as I’ve seen in Australia. The West Indies last year was exactly the same.

“You don’t want drawn Tests and batsmen dominating the ball as much as they did last summer. Better cricket wickets will make it a better spectacle for the fans and more enjoyable to play,” he added.

While Marrara Oval may have tilted the balance too far in the bowlers’ direction — 40 wickets fell in 2 and 1/2 days — Ponting said some players had lost the art of making what his predecessor Steve Waugh called the “ugly 100” in difficult conditions.

“We do need players who can adapt and play to different conditions,” Ponting said.

“To be fair, our batsmen have been able to do that fairly well.

“If you look what we’ve done over the past few years, we’ve played well in the subcontinent, we’ve played well everywhere, so that means we can adjust to different conditions.”

Ponting also said Shane Warne deserved cricket’s wicket-taking world record, but said conditions in Cairns could be against him.

“Last time we played in Cairns it wasn’t really a spinner’s wicket ... it’s a bit more like a Brisbane wicket,” he said. “In saying that, Warney’s always loved bowling in Brisbane.” — AP

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Imran plans to marry again

London, July 4
Barely a fortnight after announcing the break-up of his marriage with Jemima Goldsmith, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has stated his intention to marry again, possibly by next year.

“I am already thinking about looking for a second wife. It doesn’t look possible this year but I’ll see if I’m able to find someone by my next birthday,” the 51-year-old Imran said in an interview published in The Sunday Telegraph.

Describing his split with Jemima after nine years of marriage as “tragic”, Imran, who was born on November 25, 1952, vehemently denied that any other person was involved and insisted that his wife had tried her best to relocate.

“Jemima did everything, but sometimes you do things and do not succeed,” he said, admitting that his passion for Pakistani politics and deepening commitment to public life might have made it more difficult for Jemima to settle down.

“Maybe, if I had been doing something else, or had more time to travel in England or everywhere, it would have been different. But as I said, it all was just very difficult. So that’s all and it is very tragic.”

Imran also said the decision to part ways with Jemima was not an easy one.

“Splitting up is something that has a huge impact on your life. Especially because of the children, it is not easy at all. Well, the whole family split, you see. It is a big decision and it is not an easy decision at all.” — PTI

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Bonhomie marks start of Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf 
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Naldehra, July 4
It was not competitive spirit but warmth and bonhomie that filled the air as the Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf Tournament got under way at the nearly century-old picturesque golf course here today.

The 14-member squad of golfers from Lahore has indeed proved to be the true ambassador of “goodwill” from the neighbouring country over the past two days. The uninhibited behaviour of the visitors and the way they mingled with the local people over a short period have won them many friends. They have only kind words and thoughts for India and its people.

Overwhelmed by the hospitality of Himachalis, Lt-Gen Mohammad Tariq (retd), President of the Pakistan Golf Federation, who is leading the team, extended an invitation to those present at the opening ceremony of the tournament to visit Lahore. “You won’t find us wanting in hospitality as the people of Lahore are known for it” he equipped.

The General said he was of the view that war could not resolve issues “Only politicians’ force war on countries, the people do not want it. Hence the need to have an intensive people-to-people interaction,” he said.

The peace process has started and with God’s blessing, irritants will be removed as the representatives of the two countries sit down and talk the matter over. There are no basic differences between the two countries as they share a common history, heritage and culture, General Tariq said.

His views were echoed by Alam Sethi, the most accomplished golfer in the team, along with Dr Jahid Khan. “Despite the fact that I am in a different country, I do not feel that I am away from my home. Same people, same language and same food, where is the difference?” he said. Even the landscape and roads in the “queen of the hills” were similar to that of Pakistan’s famous hill resort of Murrie.

Dr Jahid Khan, a medical specialist, who has come along with his doctor wife, found the hospitality and the attention they were getting beyond his expectations. “We are thoroughly enjoying every moment”, he said.

The natural beauty of the golf course, laid out amid the undulating hill slopes surrounded by stately deodar trees, enchanted the golfers. The course is fairly well managed they said, but lamented that being a nine-hole course, it could not be made a venue of international events.

The visitors were presented with walking sticks as souvenirs by the temple committee of the local ‘nag devta’ temple. They were also honoured with golf caps by the local club and umbrellas designed in the shape of golf clubs by Mr K.C. Anand. Direction of the state Tourism Development Corporation, who mooted the idea of organising the goodwill tournament.

Mir Mehmood wins

Meanwhile, Mir Maaz Mehmood of the Lahore Gymkhana Club won the Stableford (individual) event with a tally of 42 points on the opening day.

It was a close finish as Munish Dhyan Chand of the host Naldehra club also notched up 42 points but had to contend with the second place as Mehmood was adjudged the winner on the basis of performance on the last nine holes.

I.D.Bhandari of the local club secured the third position with a card of 41.

The medal for the longest drive went to Dr Jahid Khan of the Lahore club, while Vijay Singh of the Naldehra club came nearest to the pin.

Playing with a handicap of six, Mehmood played well all through, while his nearest rival Munish (handicap 8) missed easy puts in the second half. Mehmood was not satisfied with his performance and said he could have scored another 10 points but his putting was not up to the mark.

While there was a fair sprinkling of birdies, two golfers, one each from the Lahore club and the local club, managed eagles. Imtiaz Ahmed Pervez, who achieved an eagle for the visitors on the 10th hole, ended up with a card of 41. Manish Kapoor of the local team also got an eagle on the 10th hole but could only manage an overall tally of 32 points.

In all 32 players participated in the event. Only 12 members played from the visiting team, which was supposed to field a team of 16. However, it did not make any difference as it was an individual event today.

For the team event to be played tomorrow, the local club will lend the services of four golfers so that each side can field a team of 16.

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Germany win 4-nation hockey

Amsterdam: Mathias Witthaus emerged Germany's saviour with a 66th minute goal as his side came from behind for a 5-4 win against Olympic champions Holland in the final of the four-nation Rabobank hockey tournament here on Sunday.

Despite an early onslaught from the Dutch, who took 2-0 lead by the sixth minute, Germany held their nerve till the last minute to emerge victorious at the Wagener stadium.

The final minutes of the title clash saw some drama as Germany played with 10 players after Indian umpire Satinder Kumar sent off Michael Green for a foul.

But Germany warded off a desperate effort by the hosts to clinch their second title n a fortnight — the first being the Hamburg Masters in Germany. — PTI

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Women wrestlers left high and dry
Our Sports Reporter

Amritsar, July 4
Several women wrestlers from Punjab, who had been training hard for the past year for the national wrestling championship, got a shock as the state team was not allowed to participate in the eighth Senior National Women’s Wrestling Championship held at Jammu from June 24 to 26, allegedly due to infighting in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

One of them is Manjeet Kaur (22), who brought the solitary medal to the state in the last senior national championship by winning a silver. She was promised a job in the PAP by the then DIG (Border range) but it has not yet come her way.

Brij Bedi, president of the Citizen’s Forum Sports Wing, said the future looked bleak not only for Manjeet, but also Renu and Rajni Bhalla, both international wrestlers, and other promising women wrestlers.

Kartar Singh, Director, Sports, Punjab, said there was no question of sending the state team as not more than four teams participated in the national championship at Jammu.

He said he had announced to hold the championship at Jalandhar from July 15 to 17. However, as the matter was now in the court, he could not give any specific date for holding the championship. He said it would be organised after getting clearance from court. 

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Cinema should promote sports, says Sunil Dutt

New Delhi, July 4
Bollywood has had a surfeit of “nach-ganaa” films and now it should switch to movies on sports, said actor-turned-minister Sunil Dutt.
“Sports should be promoted, for it involves all, cutting across caste, creed and religion. Cinema, too, should play its role and promote sports. What they are churning out these days is only ‘nach-ganaa’ and all that. Of course, entertainment is important but movies should also send out some message,” he said, addressing the gathering at a prize distribution ceremony at the Delhi Golf Club today.

“Few films have been made with sports as the central theme. Sportspersons show immense will-power and they should be portrayed in movies,” he said.

The Sports Minister also recalled that he had planned to make a movie on sports but his plans to visit the 1960 Rome Olympics to have an idea were scuttled due to financial reasons. — UNI

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National volleyball player drowns

Jabalpur, July 4
National volleyball player Sonu Soni drowned while bathing in the Narmada river in the Gwarighat area of the city, the police said here yesterday.
22-year-old Sonu and her 18-year-old sister Pinki had gone to the river for a ritual bath along with their maternal uncle on the occasion of Guru Purnima yesterday when they were caught in the swift currents of the river, sources said.

The victims, hailing from Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh, had come to their uncle’s house. While the body of Sonu was fished out, the police is still trying to locate the body of Pinki. — PTI

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 BRIEFLY


England's Andrew Flintoff acknowledges the crowd's applause after scoring his maiden ODI century
England's Andrew Flintoff acknowledges the crowd's applause after scoring his maiden ODI century in the triangular series match against New Zealand in Bristol on Sunday. However, Flintoff's knock of 106 couldn't save the match for England as the Kiwis won by six wickets.
— Reuters

Kiwis beat Windies
CARDIFF:
New Zealand all but booked themselves a place in the NatWest Series final with a five-wicket win against the West Indies at Sophia Gardens here on Saturday. Chasing 217, New Zealand won with four overs to spare with an unobtrusive 75 not out from Hamish Marshall, the 25-year-old man-of-the match’s sixth fifty in 19 one-day internationals. West Indies, who lost the toss, looked good at 180 for three in the 37th over. But good bowling allied to naive batting saw them lose their last seven wickets for 36 runs in 60 balls despite half-centuries from captain Brian Lara (58) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (54). Experienced seam bowler Cairns (three for 29) and series debutant Ian Butler (three for 41) led the Kiwi attack. — AFP

Eves’ wrestling meet cancelled
DHAKA:
Bangladesh’s first women’s wrestling competition which was to have taken place on Sunday was cancelled after threats from Islamic groups, an official said, adding that the decision was a “triumph for fundamentalism”.
Tabiur Rahman, general secretary of the Bangladesh Amateur Wrestling Federation, said his organisation took the decision to cancel the competition late on Saturday. More than 40 women wrestlers gathered outside the venue in Dhaka early on Sunday, unaware that the event had been cancelled. — AFP

Desailly retires
PARIS:
Marcel Desailly retired from the French national team on Sunday following a disappointing personal and team performance in Euro 2004.
Appearing on TF 1 television, the 35-year-old Desailly said, “There comes a time when I should stop.” He admitted that he was no longer able to perform physically as well as when he was considered one of the best defenders in the world. Desailly retires as the most-capped player in French history, having made 116 appearances for the national team. He was an essential part of the 1998 World Cup championship side and of the side that won the Euro 2000 title. — DPA
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