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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Tough times made Sourav tougher
Chennai, July 10
India’s most successful captain Sourav Ganguly says he is not unduly bothered by the lean patches in his career as these have only made him “tougher” over the years.

BCCI panel
Mumbai:
The technical committee of the BCCI will meet in Bangalore on July 14 to discuss, among other things, the views expressed during the one-day conclave of captains and coaches here last month.

Upul Chandana leads Lanka fightback
Cairns (Australia), July 10
Sri Lanka fought back to dismiss Australia for 517 and reach 184 for two in their first innings reply today at the close of the second day’s play of the second Test. Kumar Sangakkara and Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu put on 138 for the second wicket before wrist spinner Shane Warne had Sangakkara caught in the deep for 74.
Upul Chandana is congratulated by team-mate Nuwan Zoysa and Marvan Atapattu during the second Test

Upul Chandana (L) is congratulated by team-mate Nuwan Zoysa (C) and Marvan Atapattu during the second Test in Cairns on Saturday. — Reuters photo

South Africa's Ernie Els watches his shot on the 18th fairway
South Africa's Ernie Els watches his shot on the 18th fairway during the third day's play of the Scottish Open Golf championship at the Loch Lomond Golf Club on Saturday. — Reuters


US Postal rider Lance Armstrong
US Postal rider Lance Armstrong eats during the seventh stage of the Tour de France from Chateaubriant to Saint-Brieuc, on Saturday. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 

Fleming powers Kiwis to 266 all out
London, July 10
Stephen Fleming lashed a superb half century to take New Zealand to 266 all out against the West Indies in the triangular one-day series final at Lord's on Saturday. New Zealand, playing in their first one-day match at Lord's, were bowled out in 49.2 overs and had looked set for over 300 at one stage but were slowed by rain stoppages, loose shots and more disciplined West Indies bowling.

Spain's BMW Williams driver Marc Gene hugs his girlfriend after qualifying for the British Grand Prix
Spain's BMW Williams driver Marc Gene hugs his girlfriend after qualifying for the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire, central England, on Saturday. The Williams test driver is replacing the team's injured driver Ralf Schumacher for the British Grand Prix, which takes place at Silverstone on Sunday. — Reuters

Intikhab Alam to train Punjab cricketers
Chandigarh, July 10
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given permission to the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) to appoint former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam as cricket trainer for the state Ranji Trophy team this season.

Changes led to poor show, says Pargat
Amritsar, July 10
Ace hockey player of yesteryear Pargat Singh has criticised the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for not drafting a long-term plan for mega events like the Olympics. Padam Shri awardee Pargat stated this here today while talking to The Tribune during his two-hour visit to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy, where he gave tips to budding players.
In video (56k)

Colombia enter last eight
Lima (Peru), July 10
Defending champion Colombia beat Bolivia 1-0 and became the first team to reach the Copa America quarterfinals, while Peru trounced Venezuela 3-1 to keep its playoff bid alive.

Everybody at Seoul games was on drugs, says Ben Johnson
Toronto, July 10
Disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson claims in an explosive new interview that “everybody” at the 1988 Seoul Olympics was on drugs — and he was the only athlete shamed because Canada did not protect him.

Argentine Gisela Dulko plays a returns to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsov
Argentine Gisela Dulko plays a returns to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsov during the quarterfinals of the Fed Cup at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday. Dulko beat Kuznetsov 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Number one seed Roger Federer of Switzerland pauses as rain delays play during his semifinal match against Potito Starace of Italy at the Swiss Open in Gstaad on Saturday. Federer won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. — Reuters photos

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Tough times made Sourav tougher

Chennai, July 10
India’s most successful captain Sourav Ganguly says he is not unduly bothered by the lean patches in his career as these have only made him “tougher” over the years.

Ganguly says he always relies on his family to back him in his hour of crisis and also believes he has matured as a captain over the years.

“You learn (how to handle criticism) as you keep on playing. You go through ups and downs automatically make you tougher,” Ganguly said in an interview.

“Your family plays an important role. Matters like how they back you when you are not doing well and how they react when you or the team does well — these aspects in one’s life make a huge impact on you. It is also the experience that you gain over the years,” the 32-year-old batsman said.

The stylish left-hander though has had more to celebrate than cry over, what with recent good performances of the team.

It is no surprise that he rates India among the top teams along with world champions Australia.

Asked to pick the best three teams in the world, Ganguly named India and Australia without hesitation but took his time to think over his selection of the third team before saying “South Africa and England probably would be joint third.”

Ganguly rated team-mates Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid among the top five batsmen in the world while veteran leg spinner Anil Kumble found a mention in his pick of five best bowlers.

“The top five batsmen in world cricket today are Sachin, (Brian)Lara, (Matthew) Hayden, (Ricky) Ponting and Dravid. The top five bowlers for me in both versions of the game are (Jason) Gillespie, Kumble, (Steve) Harmison, Muralitharan and (Shane) Warne.”

Ganguly also believed Test cricket was the “real cricket” although the one-day internationals generated a lot of interest and had a charm of their own.

“I am sure Test matches are real cricket. Obviously, one-day games are as important these days since they generate interest in people. But still real cricket is Test cricket.”

The Indian captain also does not seem to be in favour of having separate teams for one-dayers and Tests as he said good Test players were more often good one-day performers as well.

“All good players are good enough for both versions of the game. All good Test players are solid one-day players. There might be a few exceptions but on the whole good Test players are good one-day performers. That is what makes a good cricketer.

“In the shorter version of the game, we all have to take risks. It is understood that in a 50-over game it is a question of putting runs on the board. Taking risks depends on individual players according to his strength. Some may be good on the on side or the off or some may be good on either sides, it is a question of how you back yourself whenever you take risks to score runs quickly.”

Ganguly conceded that one-day cricket was a bit harsh on the bowlers with batsmen scoring at will these days on friendly pitches.

“I am sure one-day cricket has affected the bowlers. But it has also taken cricket to different levels because there have been more results in Tests and more than 350 to 400 have been scored in a day. It never used to happen in the past. So it has added more dimension to the longer version of the game.

People come to watch Test matches because there are more decisions now.”

The Indian captain also attributed the run feast to the adaptation of the batsmen.

“Batsmen these days play more shots and score runs more quickly in one-day games. The first 15-over rule has brought in advancement to the one-day version of the game.” Having excelled as a team-man, Ganguly now hopes to give his best as a father.— PTI

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BCCI panel

Mumbai: The technical committee of the BCCI will meet in Bangalore on July 14 to discuss, among other things, the views expressed during the one-day conclave of captains and coaches here last month.

“The main agenda of the Bangalore meeting would be to hold discussions to consider suggestions or views expressed by captains and coaches during the conclave held here on June 4,” BCCI joint secretary Ratnakar Shetty saod here on Saturday.

The board’s umpires committee (all India) and the BCCI junior committee would meet here on July 12 and 14, respectively, he added. — PTI

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Upul Chandana leads Lanka fightback

Cairns (Australia), July 10
Sri Lanka fought back to dismiss Australia for 517 and reach 184 for two in their first innings reply today at the close of the second day’s play of the second Test.
Kumar Sangakkara and Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu put on 138 for the second wicket before wrist spinner Shane Warne had Sangakkara caught in the deep for 74.

Atapattu was unbeaten on 75 from 114 balls, including eight boundaries, and Mahela Jayawardene not out nine by the close. Earlier, leg spinner Upul Chandana was Sri Lanka’s chief wicket-taker with a return of five for 109 while young fast bowler Lasith Malinga took four for 148.

Australia lead the two-match series 1-0 after winning by 149 runs in Darwin last week.

Justin Langer, who had put on 255 for the first wicket with Matthew Hayden (117), was first man out on Saturday for 162, caught at slip off Malinga.

Chandana’s five victims included Damien Martyn, leg before wicket for 97, and Darren Lehmann, caught at long on for 50.

Australia had resumed at 370 for two, adding 104 runs in the pre-lunch session for the loss of five wickets. Australia were all out soon after lunch, losing their last seven wickets for 63 runs.

Warne was out at lunch for two, caught at slip off Chandana. The 31-year-old Chandana, playing his 12th test, also claimed the wickets of Simon Katich for one and Kasprowicz for nine.

Pushing for quick runs, Australia went to lunch at 474 for seven but lost Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz cheaply after the break.

Adam Gilchrist was then out for 35 following a 32-run stand for the last wicket with Glenn McGrath (0 not out).

With the wicket holding few terrors, Sri Lanka have laid the foundation for a competitive score.

SCOREBOARD

Australia (1st innings)

Langer c Jayawardene b Malinga 162

Hayden c Jayasuriya b Samaraweera 117

Ponting c Atapattu b Malinga 22

Martyn lbw Chandana 97

Lehmann c Sangakkara b Chandana 50

Katich b Chandana 1

Gilchrist c Kalu b Malinga 35

Warne c Samaraweera b Chandana 2

Gillespie c Kalu b Malinga 1

Kasprowicz c Atapattu b Chandana 9

McGrath not out 0

Extras (w-4 nb-7 lb-3 b-7) 21

Total (all out, 124.2 overs) 517

Fall of wickets: 1-255, 2-291, 3-392, 4-454, 5-462, 6-469, 7-474, 8-475, 9-485.

Bowling: Vaas 27-2-102-0, Zoysa 19-5-72-0, Samaraweera 17-3-55-1, Malinga 29.2-2-149-4 (w-4, nb-7), Chandana 26.2-2-109-5, Jayasuriya 6-0-20-0.

Sri Lanka (first innings)

Jayasuriya c Gilchrist b Gillespie 13

Atapattu not out 75

Sangakkara c Gillespie b Warne 74

Jayawardene not out 9

Extras (b-1, nb-6, w-1, lb-5) 13

Total (for two wickets, 53 overs) 184

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-156.

Bowling: McGrath 11-3-23-0 (nb-3), Gillespie 17-3-57-1 (w-1), Kasprowicz 12-3-39-0 (nb-3), Warne 13-1-59-1. — Reuters

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Fleming powers Kiwis to 266 all out

West Indies bowler Dwayne Bravo celebrates with captain Brian Lara
West Indies bowler Dwayne Bravo celebrates with captain Brian Lara (R) during the final of the NatWest Series against New Zealand at Lord's in London on Saturday.

New Zealand's Nathan Astle looks back as he walks past Stephen Fleming after being dismissed during the final of the Natwest Series
New Zealand's Nathan Astle (L) looks back as he walks past Stephen Fleming after being dismissed during the final of the Natwest Series against the West Indies at Lord's on Saturday. — Reuters photos

London, July 10
Stephen Fleming lashed a superb half century to take New Zealand to 266 all out against the West Indies in the triangular one-day series final at Lord's on Saturday.
New Zealand, playing in their first one-day match at Lord's, were bowled out in 49.2 overs and had looked set for over 300 at one stage but were slowed by rain stoppages, loose shots and more disciplined West Indies bowling.

Openers Fleming and Nathan Astle had dominated some wayward early bowling with some flowing back foot shots, with Fleming striking nine fours in his 67 off 66 balls.

They shared in a 120-run opening stand, with Astle playing more conservatively for his 57 from 81 deliveries. Fleming was undone by a loose cut stroke straight to Chris Gayle at backward point off the bowling of the lively Dwayne Bravo.

Astle was out in the same manner and was clearly annoyed with his choice of shot.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, with one-day best figures of three for 31, and Dwayne Smith, one for 27, helped limit New Zealand after Tino Best in particular had been costly in the first 15 overs.

The West Indies were continually poor in the field and Shivnarine Chanderpaul even collided with Ian Bradshaw in the deep when taking a catch off Best to dismiss Craig McMillan for a steady 52.

Chris Cairns was dismissed in bizarre fashion for five, a wide from Sarwan hitting wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs and rebounding onto the stumps with Cairns out of his ground.

Fleming rode his luck early on, Gayle dropping an easy chance when he was on seven and Astle cut to Ricardo Powell at backward point on 30 only for the third umpire to rule Powell had let the ball touch the ground.

The West Indies all-rounder left the field with an injured finger following the chance and did not bowl.

The match started in bright sunshine after Brian Lara won the toss and opted to bowl. The team winning the toss and chasing have won all six completed games in the series so far.

But rain soon fell and the players were forced from the field twice only to return minutes later.

Rain remained in the air and if the full 50 overs a side are not completed on Saturday a reserve day has been set aside on Sunday.

Scoreboard

New Zealand

Fleming c Gayle b Bravo 67

Astle c Gayle b Bravo 57

Marshall c Sarwan b Gayle 44

Styris c Powell b Dwayne Smith 1

McMillan c C'paul b Best 52

Cairns st Jacobs b Sarwan 5

Oram c Jacobs b Best 15

Harris c and b Sarwan 1

Vettori c Dwayne Smith b Sarwan 6

Hopkins run out 0

Butler not out 0

Extras: (lb-8 w-9 nb-1) 18

Total: (all out, 49.2 overs) 266

Fall of wickets: 1-120, 2-143, 3-146, 4-217, 5-233, 6-249, 7-252, 8-265, 9-266

Bowling: Best 7.2-0-57-2, Bradshaw 6-1-28-0, Dwayne Smith 10-1-27-1, Bravo 10-0-67-2, Gayle 10-0-48-1, Sarwan 6-0-31-3. — Reuters

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Intikhab Alam to train Punjab cricketers

Chandigarh, July 10
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given permission to the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) to appoint former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam as cricket trainer for the state Ranji Trophy team this season.

The PCA had requested BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya to allow it to have a contract with Intikhab to train Punjab cricketers. Confirming this report, G.S. Walia, secretary of the Mohali Cricket Association, said, “Intikhab would be joining the PCA in September. The PCA is interested that Intikhab Alam watches the Punjab Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield which has been tentatively planned from September 4. Some adjustments are possible due to rainy season.”

Giving details of the developments, Walia, who accompanied PCA secretary MP Pandove to Lahore during the overdue revived Indo-Pakistan cricket series (one-day as well as Test matches) to finalise the signing up Intikhab, 62, said, “In the initial stages, PCA President Inderjit Singh Bindra had also gone to Pakistan in search of a cricket trainer.”

Besides, Intikhab Alam, the PCA officials also explored the possibilities of engaging an experienced Pakistani player, especially from the Punjab (Pakistan) region. Wasim Akram was also reportedly contacted by the PCA officials.

“The issue which clinched in favour of Intikhab Alam was his availability and also his willingness to train the former Ranji Trophy champions. The former Pakistan captain was born in Punjab (India)”.

Intikhab played 17 Tests and 47 one-dayers with remarkable performance. The present contract is for one year and renewable every year depending upon the performance of the Punjab team and fulfilment of other conditions,” said Walia.

The fee to be paid to Intikhab Alam is not being disclosed by the PCA officials.

However, it is presumed that he would be receiving over Rs 50,000 per month. Wasim Akram is reported to have demanded over Rs 1 crore per month as his fee. Intikhab will be assisted by physical trainer Karan of Air Force. He will be on deputation through the BCCI. — UNI

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Changes led to poor show, says Pargat
Neeraj Bagga

Pargat Singh Amritsar, July 10
Ace hockey player of yesteryear Pargat Singh has criticised the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for not drafting a long-term plan for mega events like the Olympics.
Padam Shri awardee Pargat stated this here today while talking to The Tribune during his two-hour visit to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy, where he gave tips to budding players.

On the debacle of the Indian team in the four-nation tournament in Holland, he said frequent changes affected the performance of the team.

About the training stint of the Indian team in the USA, he said it was a wise decision to send the team to a renowned training centre. However, the duration of the training session was not adequate to help the players to reach the international standard of physical fitness. He also felt that it was not right to hold the session just before the tournament.

The former captain said the training camp should have been eight to 10 weeks long instead of merely three weeks.

On the appointment of German experts Oliver Kurtz and Gerhard Rach on contract by the IHF, he said it was quite strange that German coaches had been appointed when it was well known in hockey circles that Germans played with a different technique.

However, he clarified that he was not averse to the appointment of foreign coaches.

“If a coach is from Holland or Australia, it makes sense as these countries play positive hockey like us,” he said.

Replying to a query about the reportedly “shady reputation” of German coaches, he said it had nothing to do with the game. Kurtz had tested positive for cocaine and was banned while Rach was convicted for tax evasion.

About the composition of the team, he said it was the best available. He stated that some new players showed promise but needed more time and coaching to reach the international level. He regretted that Jugraj Singh had not yet reached the required level of fitness, which was a loss to the team.

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Colombia enter last eight

Lima (Peru), July 10
Defending champion Colombia beat Bolivia 1-0 and became the first team to reach the Copa America quarterfinals, while Peru trounced Venezuela 3-1 to keep its playoff bid alive.

Colombia reserve forward Edixon Perea scored in the 89th minute on a looping header which sneaked over the outstretched arm of Bolivia goalkeeper Leonardo Fernandez at Nacional Stadium yesterday.

“We were lucky we took advantage of an opportunity,” said Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda.

In the other match, Nolberto Solano scored a goal and set up another for Peru to defeat a 10-man Venezuela, who were knocked out of the uarterfinal hunt for the 13th straight time since 1967.

Colombia began against Bolivia without showing the attacking flair from its opening 1-0 win over Venezuela on Tuesday.

Bolivia, who surrendered another late goal last Tuesday to allow Mexico to draw 2-2, also played cautiously, and scoring opportunities were scarce as the teams fought predominantly in the midfield.

“We lost control of the game in the first half,” said Bolivia coach Ramiro Blacut. “But we corrected our errors at the end and they scored on a mistake by us.

“It’s history repeating itself. We were in the same situation against Peru when we had the game in our hands and let it get away from us in the end.

“In the first half, Fernandez easily handled a free kick by Abel Aguilar in the 37th minute in the Colombians’ best goal-scoring opportunity.

Ronaldo Arana had a chance to put Bolivia on the scoreboard in the 42nd minute when a bouncing ball landed in front of him just inside the box. But his low, driving shot rolled straight to goalkeeper Juan Carlos Henao.

Peru star midfielder Solano’s 62nd-minute goal and a free kick 10 minutes later headed in by Santiago Acasiete made it 3-0 against Venezuela. Jefferson Farfan put Peru up 1-0 at halftime.

“We needed a big-time win like this,” said Peru assistant coach Victor Zegarra. “We still need to qualify for the quarterfinals so we’ll go in the next game with all we’ve got.”

Massimo Margiotta scored the lone goal for Venezuela in the 74th minute, and by then its tournament fate was already decided. Miguel Mea was sent off for a rough tackle on Peru midfielder Roberto Palacios in the 66th minute, when it was 2-0. — AP

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Everybody at Seoul games was on drugs, says Ben Johnson

Toronto, July 10
Disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson claims in an explosive new interview that “everybody” at the 1988 Seoul Olympics was on drugs — and he was the only athlete shamed because Canada did not protect him.

A defiant Johnson, now 42, returns for a CTV documentary to the Olympic stadium where he scorched past Carl Lewis to win the 100 metres in a freakish 9.79 seconds — only to be villified when he tested positive for steroids.

The film, places his crime in the context of the times, when Soviet-bloc athletes were laced with performance enhancing drugs as the battles of the Cold War played out on sports fields.

And at a time of mounting 21st century doping scandals, the programme questions why Johnson was caught out and other suspected drug cheats got off. “Everybody in Seoul was using drugs,” Johnson, said in the documentary by Infinity films.

“I got caught because my country didnt really protect me,” he added, implicitly suggesting that other nations knew their athletes were on steroids — but failed to root them out.

Jamaican-born Johnson’s coach, Charlie Francis, attacked the idea that Johnson was stripped of his records and medals to ensure a “level playing field” for non-doping athletes.

“Steroids are so ubiquitous, so omnipresent and have been for decades,” he said.

“When you realise the true extent of it, then things are as they appear,” he said, in one chilling comment.

“There is a level playing field out there. It just isn’t the playing field you thought it was,” Francis said. While Johnson’s and Francis’s claims have in the past been discounted as the self-serving comments of those who were caught out, history suggests they may be more valid than previously thought. — AFP

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 BRIEFLY

Sunil Gavaskar Gavaskar is 55
Mumbai: Former Indian cricket captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar turned 55 on Saturday. Gavaskar, who has more than 10,000 Test runs under his belt, celebrated his birthday with his family and close friends. Gavaskar, who returned from the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in London on Friday, left on a short picnic to celebrate his birthday. — PTI

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