SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Hameed, Shoaib spur Pak to easy win
Colombo, July 17
Opener Yasir Hameed cracked a sparkling century as Pakistan cruised to a comfortable 76-run victory over Bangladesh in a group A match of the Asia Cup here today.
Pakistani batsman Yasir Hameed plays a shot
Pakistani batsman Yasir Hameed plays a shot during the Asia Cup 2004 one-day international cricket match between Pakistan and Bangladesh, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday. — AP/PTI photo

Chandana shines as Lanka rout UAE
Dambulla, July 17
A masterly allround performance by leg-spinner Upul Chandana helped Sri Lanka carve out a 116-run victory against the United Arab Emirates in a Group B match of the Asia Cup here today.



Sri Lankan batsman Saman Jayantha is bowled by UAE bowler Syed Maqsood Ahmed during the Asia Cup 2004 one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and the UAE in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, on Saturday. — Reuters photo
Sri Lankan batsman Saman Jayantha is bowled by UAE bowler Syed Maqsood Ahmed

Stiffer challenge awaits India
Dambulla, July 17
India will have to brace up for a stiffer challenge when they clash with hosts Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup Group B league match here tomorrow, fully aware that their famed batting line-up needs to shrug off the early season rustiness quickly.

Javagal SrinathRahul must not keep wickets
T
heCricket Board’s decision to implement the Players’ Contract system has been further delayed and only players and the Board know the reasons behind it.

In video: Azhar all set to start a new innings!
(28k, 56k)


 



Hawaiian-born former sumo yokozuna (grand champion) Akebono walks past a large screen showing his portrait as he goes to the ring for the fight with China's Zhang Qing Jun at a tournament match of Aruze K-1 World Grand Prix, which will be held for the first time in Seoul, on Saturday. — Reuters


EARLIER STORIES
 

BCCI panel meeting crammed with issues
New Delhi, July 17
The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will meet in New Delhi on July 18 and 19 to deliberate on a variety of issues, including the much-delayed but contentious central contract system for the players.

Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi shows her cricketing skills during  a campaign  

 

 

Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi shows her cricketing skills during  a campaign, "Gully Cricket," in Kolkata on Saturday. — PTI photo

Deadline set for Zimbabwe rebels
London, July 17
Zimbabwe’s rebel cricketers have until Wednesday to agree to the International Cricket Council’s plan for arbitration in their dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, Chris Venturas, the players’ legal representative told AFP here.

Marion Jones Jones finishes last in heat
Sacramento (USA), July 17
Marion Jones advanced despite being last in her heat and Shawn Crawford ran the year’s fastest 200m here yesterday but doping shame overshadowed speed at the United States Olympic Athletics Trials. Torri Edwards had the fastest women’s 200m time.


Suzy Favor Hamilton, Carrie Tollefson and Marla Runyan Suzy Favor Hamilton (L), Carrie Tollefson (C) and Marla Runyan (R) race to the finish line as Traniere Clement falls to the track during their women's 1500m semifinal race at the US Olympic team trials in track and field, in Sacramento on Friday. Runyan won the race with a time of 4 minutes 9.63 seconds while Hamilton placed second and Tollefson third. Clement placed 11th and did not advance to the final. — Reuters

India outplay Britain 2-0
Dusseldorf, July 17
A new look India outplayed Britain in all departments of the game to emerge 2-0 winner is the opening match of the DSD four-nation hockey tournament here last evening.

India to play hockey series against Ireland
New Delhi, July 17
Continuing with their preparations for next month’s Athens Olympics, the Indian hockey team will be playing a test series against Ireland in Germany from July 31 to August 3.

Mexicans eye another prize scalp
Piura (Peru), July 17
Mexico, fresh from their first competitive win over Argentina, will attempt to add another prize scalp when they face Brazil in the Copa America quarterfinals tomorrow.

Bhutia signs for East Bengal
Kolkata, July 17
Star striker Baichung Bhutia, who led East Bengal to the historic ASEAN Cup victory last year, yesterday signed a six-month contract with the club but said he would also go for trial in a foreign club in Cyprus.

The All Blacks team perform the Haka The All Blacks team perform the Haka before the international rugby union test match between New Zealand and Australia at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, on Saturday. New Zealand won 16-7. — Reuters

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Hameed, Shoaib spur Pak to easy win

Colombo, July 17
Opener Yasir Hameed cracked a sparkling century as Pakistan cruised to a comfortable 76-run victory over Bangladesh in a group A match of the Asia Cup here today.

Hameed paced his innings brilliantly to record his third one-day century, a 123-ball 102, against a modest Bangladeshi bowling attack as Pakistan posted 257 for six in their allotted 50 overs at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.

Tearaway fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar then put to rest all speculation about his fitness by producing a devastating spell to claim three for 28 as Bangladesh folded up for 181 in 45.2 overs.

Mohammad Sami (2-30) and Shoaib Malik (2-41) shared the spoils. Javed Omar waged a lone battle for Bangladesh, scoring 62 off 86 balls before he was controversially ruled run out while television replays showed that Shoaib Malik had disturbed the bails before collecting the ball.

Middle order batsman Alok Kapali’s 28 off 27 balls provided the late sparks but the required rate by then had climbed beyond manageable levels to seven an over.

Omar and Mohammad Ashraful (12) provided a fairly brisk start to the Bangladeshi innings, adding 48 in 10 overs but Sami’s double blow took the wind out of their sails.

Sami had Ashraful caught behind and then trapped captain Habibul Bashar plumb in front in the space of seven balls.

Bangladesh never really recovered from the twin blows although the last two pairs added 31 runs and delayed the inevitable for about 10 overs.

Electing to bat, Pakistan were provided a steady start by the 26-year-old Hameed and Imran Farhat (28) who put on 86 runs before paceman Abdur Razzak provided the breakthrough for Bangladesh by removing Farhat.

The Bangladeshis, who have assured themselves a berth in the Super League stage with a 116-run victory over Hong Kong yesterday, got another wicket almost immediately when Shoaib Malik, promoted to the number three position, was run out for three.

But thereafter, the Asian minnows ran into a formidable wall of Hameed and Inzamam-ul Haq, who added 109 runs for the third wicket.

Haq was the dominant partner as he did the bulk of the scoring with a 66-ball 58 which included four fours and two sixes, both off left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique.

But the two perished in quick succession, with none of the other batsmen being able to really accelerate the pace of scoring in the slog overs.

Vice-captain Yousuf Youhana (29 not out) ensured the defending champions went past the 250-mark in their first match in the six-nation tournament.

Bangladeshi bowlers did reasonably well to stem the run flow in the slog overs.

Scoreboard

Pakistan

Hameed c Rahman b Mahmud 102

Farhat lbw Razzaq 28

Malik run out 3

Haq st Mashud b Razzaq 59

Youhana not out 29

Younis Khan b Baisya 19

Razzaq c and b Rafique 5

Moin not out 3

Extras (lb3, w6) 9

Total (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 257

Fall of wickets: 1-86, 2-91, 3-200, 4-200, 5-241, 6-248

Bowling: Baisya 10-0-59-1, Rahman 10-1-50-0, Razzaq 10-1-37-2, Mahmud 10-0-56-1, Rafique 10-0-52-1.

Bangladesh

Omar run out 62

Ashraful c Moin b Sami 12

Bashar lbw Sami 2

Saleh c and b Malik 16

Kapali c Hameed b Farhat 28

Rahman lbw Akhtar 2

Mashud b Akhtar 8

Rafique c Hameed b Kaneria 18

Mahmud c Razzaq b Akhtar 0

Baisya b Shoaib Malik 11

Razzaq not out 1

Extras (lb-10, nb-5, w-6) 21

Total (all out in 45.2 overs) 181

Fall of wickets: 1-48, 2-52, 3-97, 4-114, 5-118, 6-136, 7-148, 8-150, 9-178.

Bowling: Akhtar 10-1-28-3, Sami 8-0-30-2, Razzaq 6-0-27-0, Kaneria 8.2-1-27-1, Malik 10-0-41-2, Farhat 3-0-18-1. — PTI

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Chandana shines as Lanka rout UAE

Dambulla, July 17
A masterly allround performance by leg-spinner Upul Chandana helped Sri Lanka carve out a 116-run victory against the United Arab Emirates in a Group B match of the Asia Cup here today.

After an indifferent batting performance saw them being dismissed for a modest 239, the Sri Lankan bowlers skittled out UAE for 123 in 47.5 overs in the day-night encounter at the Rangiri Stadium.

Chandana, whose cameo 21 off 24 balls was instrumental in the hosts going past the 200-mark, grabbed four for 22 to help the islanders avoid any major embarrassment in the six-nation tournament.

Avishka Gunawardene’s well-paced 73 off 89 balls was pivotal to the Sri Lankan innings while record-breaking off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan marked his return to international cricket with figures of three for 21.

Scoreboard

Sri Lanka

Jayanta b Maqsood 18

Jayasuriya lbw Abbas 21

Gunawardene c Zia b Khurram Khan 73

Sangakkara lbw Zia 17

Jayawardene run out 26

Dilshan b Khurram Khan 6

Kandambi c Maqsood b Khurram Khan 4

Chandana b Abbas 21

Zoysa c Zia b Arshad Ali 21

Muralitharan b Khurram Khan 3

Malinga not out 5

Extras: (b-10, lb-4, w-10) 24

Total: (all out in 50 overs) 239

Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-41, 3-105, 4-143, 5-151, 6-161, 7-190, 8-213, 9-222, 10-239

Bowling: Abbas 10-0-35-2, Saeed 2-0-15-0, Maqsood 7-0-60-1, Zia 10-0-44-1, Tauqir 10-1-34-0, Khurram 10-1-32-4, Arshad Ali 1-0-05-1.

United Arab Emirates

Rai b Chandana 39

Ali lbw Zoysa 7

Usman c Sangakkara b Zoysa 0

Alam c sub b Chandana 12

Maqsood c Chandana b Murali 13

Khan b Malinga 8

Ali c and b Murali 0

Saeed c Chandana b Murali 0

Tauqir c Dilshan b Chandana 6

Asad Abbas b Chandana 12

Zia not out 2

Extras (w-14, lb-4, nb-3,b-3) 24

Total (all out, 47.5 overs) 123

Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-14, 3-43, 4-71, 5-91, 6-93, 7-98, 8-99, 9-113.

Bowling: Zoysa 8-3-11-2, Malinga 10-2-39-1, Dilshan 9-1-22-0, Murali 10-3-21-3, Chandana 9.5-3-22-4, Jayantha 1-0-1-0. — PTI

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Stiffer challenge awaits India

Dambulla, July 17
India will have to brace up for a stiffer challenge when they clash with hosts Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup Group B league match here tomorrow, fully aware that their famed batting line-up needs to shrug off the early season rustiness quickly.

Barring vice-captain Rahul Dravid, who anchored the Indians to a comfortable 116-run victory over minnows UAE in their opening match with a 93-ball 104 yesterday, most of the other top batsmen appeared bit rusty after the three-month break.

Although the scrappy batting show was understandable considering it was their first competitive outing after the trip to Pakistan, Sourav Ganguly and his men have to pull up their socks against the Lankans who have the advantage of playing at home.

The day-night encounter at the picturesque Rangiri International Stadium could turn out to be a fascinating contest between the formidable Indian batting line-up and joint world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan who will relish to bowl on this slow track.

Though the Indians were not really tested in the opening match against debutants UAE, captain Ganguly has exhorted his players to get into rhythm early to keep themselves on track for regaining the Asia Cup after a gap of six years.

“They bowled well in the first 15 overs. In fact, we did not bat well. But it is understandable as it was the first match after the break and things will get better,” Ganguly said.

“We got a bit rusty. I hope we play better against Sri Lanka,” the Indian captain said.

The Indians were expected to retain the same team that did duty against UAE, which means off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, returning to the squad after a seven-month injury-induced break, would be again confined to the dressing room.

The win against UAE has virtually assured India of a place in the Super League but the four-time title holders will be keen to top the group by putting it across the hosts. The two top teams from each group will qualify for the Super League stage.

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu was quite optimistic about his team’s chances in the six-nation tournament, saying his players had the potential to win the title.

“We have two very strong opponents in Pakistan and India. But if we play to our potential in home conditions, we will certainly win,” Atapattu said.

The islanders have a major injury worry with star performer Sanath Jayasuriya down with a side strain. Although the former captain was expected to take the field, he may not be in a position to bowl which was bound to affect the composition of the side.

The slow nature of the track at the Rangiri stadium should provide some assistance to the spinners as was evident in the first game yesterday. Hours of play (IST): 2.15 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.; 6.15 p.m. till close of play. — PTI

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Rahul must not keep wickets
Javagal Srinath

The Cricket Board’s decision to implement the Players’ Contract system has been further delayed and only players and the Board know the reasons behind it. But as usual, some people in the cricketing fraternity are trying to give a twist to the whole issue by saying that bickering among the players is the reason behind the delay.

But, then, any further injunction against the Players’ Contract system will definitely mislead the cricket-loving public. They, too, may start believing that there are differences among the players. It will not only be insidious and destructive for Indian cricket, but will also give rise to speculations and encourage those opinionated voices.

As of now, the relationship between the Cricket Board and the players in India is solely regulated by the selectors. It’s not always the same in other cricket playing countries where cricketers have the option to draw lines either through the players associations or the state and the country they have professional contracts with.

Although, the entire exercise to bring in the Players’ Contract system was no doubt initiated by some of the senior members, it’s now the Board’s responsibility to integrate the matters seamlessly into the current system. Some uncertainties may crop up in the initial stages, but things will gradually normalise in due course of time.

While the preferred course is to reason with the junior players, it sometimes becomes necessary for the Board to tell the new players that they cannot be equal on every term. At the same time, while the concept that a few senior players are above everything may not be completely true, one cannot easily ignore the hard work and the sustained performance given by the seniors for a long time.

To quantify and compare the efforts put in by Sachin or Anil over the last 15 years with someone who has played just two years on equal terms defies all logic. If need be, the policy makers should use minimum force to lay down the rules if required. After all, the juniors not only look up to the seniors but they also do respect the experience and attitude of the seniors. The same juniors will grow in stature and become seniors in due course of time.

The tournament opener was yet another warm-up tie for the Indians. In the ap esbeome so impiighty tg line up once again proved too much for UAE. Rahul Dravid started from where exactly he had left in Pakistan.

It appears that the break in between has had no affect whatsoever on Rahul and he should be pleased to be amongst the runs. Skipper Ganguly made a cautious start to get to spend some time in the middle.

It was apparent to see the tiresome efforts of Rahul behind the stumps just after he got his hundred. This team is flirting dangerously in making Rahul keep wickets. It will very soon pay a heavy price for this. I am afraid that such a practice will either see a sloppy work by Rahul behind the stumps at the crucial stage of an important match or will stress him to the limit to see a drop in his batting performance.

I wonder whether it is really worth taking the risk of making Rahul perform both duties. Lots of cricket is in the pipeline and by any stretch of imagination it’s unfair for the team management to ask him to keep wickets all through out.

The new jewels of Indian fast bowling, Irfan Pathan and Balaji bowled with vigour and maturity. It’s always good to watch the batsmen getting pushed on the back foot. Zaheer, still struggling for rhythm, appeared desperate enough to hit the right line and length. It’s definitely a sign of improvement. —PTI 

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BCCI panel meeting crammed with issues
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, July 17
The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will meet in New Delhi on July 18 and 19 to deliberate on a variety of issues, including the much-delayed but contentious central contract system for the players.

The contract system, that would ensure a fixed remuneration for the players over a period of 12 months, has been hanging fire for the past two years. There are serious differences on the quantum of annual retainership to be given to various categories of players under the grading of A, B and C.

Two years ago, the BCCI had worked out a formula under which the “A-I” grade players were to be given Rs 75 lakh, A grade players Rs 60 lakh, B grade players Rs 30 lakh and C grade players Rs 15 lakh. But a section of the players and officials contested the “big disparity” in the quantum of amount to be given to the star players and others.

As a result, the move to introduce A-I grade was shelved, and the whole process got delayed.

The BCCI working committee meeting is expected to go into the matter threadbare, and work out an acceptable formula so that no heartburn is created among the players.

The working committee is also expected to finalise the itinerary of the coming winter tours to India by the Australian and South African cricket teams.

Though Delhi was entitled to host one of the four Test matches against Australia, the ongoing stadium work at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground has ruled out the possibility of the Capital hosting any Test or one-day international, neither against Australia nor South Africa.

The working committee will also discuss the report of the BCCI technical committee, headed by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, which had suggested a level playing field for all teams in the Ranji Trophy championship, by doing away with the toss, which will give “equal opportunity” to both the host as well as the visiting teams.

But the most interesting aspect of the working committee meeting will be that it will be attended by International Cricket Council (ICC) President Ehsan Mani and ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed. In fact, the ICC top brass will have an “interactive session” with the media ahead of their meeting with BCCI officials tomorrow.

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Deadline set for Zimbabwe rebels

London, July 17
Zimbabwe’s rebel cricketers have until Wednesday to agree to the International Cricket Council’s plan for arbitration in their dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, Chris Venturas, the players’ legal representative told AFP here.

Following a meeting yesterday in London with ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, Venturas told AFP: “We’ve been given until Wednesday 5 pm to make a decision about arbitration.

“I’ll be recommending we go for it. But I don’t know yet what they (the players) are going to say about it.”

On Wednesday the ZCU agreed to the ICC’s offer to set up a three-man tribunal, sitting in Zimbabwe, in a bid to end the crisis that has plagued Zimbabwe cricket for several months.

One member would be nominated by the ZCU, the other by the players, and the third, the chairman, by these two people.

In April the ZCU sacked then Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak after the fast bowler, now at English county Warwickshire, accused the board of making some team selections based on race rather than merit. — AFP

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Jones finishes last in heat

Sacramento (USA), July 17
Marion Jones advanced despite being last in her heat and Shawn Crawford ran the year’s fastest 200m here yesterday but doping shame overshadowed speed at the United States Olympic Athletics Trials.

Torri Edwards, who faces a doping hearing on Monday, had the fastest women’s 200m time and Mickey Grimes, who reportedly tested positive for a banned substance, won a first-round 200m heat at the doping-overshadowed meet.

Reigning Olympic 200m champion Jones, being investigated for possible doping violations, was fifth and last in her quarter-final heat in 22.93 seconds, but 10th fastest overall among 19 women who raced for 18 spots.

Jones improved on the 23.02 she ran at Mt SAC in April in her only prior 200m this year. But Jones had been short in long jump qualifying only to leap 7.11m in the final, indicating she might have more speed for later rounds.

Crawford set the men’s 200m qualifying pace with the fastest time in the world this year, winning his heat in 19.88. The prior 2004 best was 19.93 by Jamaica’s Usian Bolt on April 11 in Bermuda.

“It felt pretty good,” Crawford said. “It’s just a prelim. I’ve still got three more rounds to go.” — AFP

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India outplay Britain 2-0

Dusseldorf, July 17
A new look India outplayed Britain in all departments of the game to emerge 2-0 winner is the opening match of the DSD four-nation hockey tournament here last evening.

The Indian team management took a bold decision to field the youngsters, most of whom had played for the country in the Junior Asia Cup. The youngsters lived up to the expectations and gave their rivals a run for their money.

The winners who scored once in each half through Sandeep Singh and Adam Sinclair, should have won by a much higher margin but for missed chances. The Indians, who have been displaying indifferent form in recent weeks, played an attacking game throughout and recorded their first win over Britain after a gap of 12 years.

Sandeep Singh put India ahead five minutes before the breather when he converted a penalty corner with a superb drag flick (1-0).

On a slippery and over-watered turf the Indians managed to settle down though they took time but their rivals were found struggling throughout.

Britain made some forays into the Indian citadel but they never looked threatening. The Indians earned three penalty corners-all in the first half — while their rivals could force only one.

Dhanraj Pillay and Baljit Singh Dhillon were also used to lend teeth to the attack and the Indian forwards looked dangerous but muffed the target. Gagan Ajit, Prabhjot and Deepak Thakur then kept the pressure on with the help of Pillay and Dhillon in between and British defence caved in for the second time in the 50th minute when Adam scored a stunning goal. — UNI

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India to play hockey series against Ireland

New Delhi, July 17
Continuing with their preparations for next month’s Athens Olympics, the Indian hockey team will be playing a test series against Ireland in Germany from July 31 to August 3.

The Ireland team will travel to Germany for the series following an invitation from India, who are currently playing a four-nation tournament in Dusseldorf, according to Irish team manager Steven Hiles.

“This was a last-minute invite from India and not part of our original international programme, but when we investigated the feasibility in terms of logistics and finance, it was simply too good an opportunity to turn down,” Hiles was quoted as saying on the FIH website. — PTI

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Mexicans eye another prize scalp

Diego Barreto goalkeeper of the Paraguayan soccer team intercepts the ball
Diego Barreto goalkeeper of the Paraguayan soccer team intercepts the ball during a training session at the Sachaca Stadium in Arequipa, Peru, on Friday. Paraguay will play against Uruguay in the quarterfinals of the Copa America in the south border city of Tacna on Sunday. — Reuters

Piura (Peru), July 17
Mexico, fresh from their first competitive win over Argentina, will attempt to add another prize scalp when they face Brazil in the Copa America quarterfinals tomorrow.

Mexico coach Ricardo Lavolpe has promised his team will take the initiative as they bid to extend a unbeaten run against the world champions stretching back six matches to 1999.

“We’re going to try and attack, not just close up at the back and hand the initiative to them,” said the former Argentina goalkeeper.

Brazil have to make a 2,000-km trip north to Piura for the match as they pay the price for Wednesday’s shock 1-2 loss to Paraguay.

The stunning defeat against opponents fielding their under-23 team in preparation for next month’s Athens Olympics cost them top place in Group C and earned them the customary barrage of criticism back home.

Brazil will at least be happy to play at sea level rather than at 2,300 metres’ altitude in the Andean city of Arequipa, where their first stage matches took place.

“By not feeling the effects of the altitude, I think all players will develop their game better and the ball won’t move as fast as it’s been moving here,’’ said Brazil midfielder Renato.

Mexico have beaten Brazil four times and drawn twice since Brazil’s last win at the 1999 Copa America, although the world champions have fielded weakened or under-23 teams in some of those games.

Carlos Alberto Parreira’s team have rested top players such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Roberto Carlos for the Copa but are still considered serious title contenders.

Meanwhile, Paraguay will take Brazil’s place against Uruguay in the southern city of Tacna after pipping them for first place in Group C.

However, their young team might find the Uruguayans too experienced and wily tomorrow.

Hosts Peru face Argentina in Chiclayo and this time will try not to gift their opponents a two-goal lead as they did in their first stage matches against Bolivia and Colombia. Peru fought back to draw 2-2 each time but are unlikely to be let off the hook by Argentina.

This time, Peru will be without suspended striker Jefferson Farfan and captain Claudio Pizarro, who is out of the tournament with a head injury. — Reuters

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Bhutia signs for East Bengal

Baichung BhutiaKolkata, July 17
Star striker Baichung Bhutia, who led East Bengal to the historic ASEAN Cup victory last year, yesterday signed a six-month contract with the club but said he would also go for trial in a foreign club in Cyprus.

“I signed for East Bengal for a period of six months, after which I will be a free player,” Bhutia said at the Indian Football Association office here.

The Sikkimese, who is also the Indian captain, said he would play the derby clash against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata league match tomorrow and also go with the team for the foreign club tournament being organised by Premier League outfit Leicester City in the UK later this month.

“I will also go for trial in Cyprus. I have talked to the East Bengal officials in this regard,” he said. — PTI

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 BRIEFLY

Anil Kumar for Olympics
NEW DELHI:
Discus thrower Anil Kumar on Saturday qualified for the Athens Olympics.
He booked his ticket for Athens at the DOBO SE international athletics meet held in Hungary. — UNI

The mascots of the Asian Cup Soccer "Beibei" perform during the opening ceremony  Fischer is wanted in the USA for playing a 1992 chess match
The mascots of the Asian Cup Soccer "Beibei" perform during the opening ceremony at the Worker's Stadium in Beijing on Saturday. The Asian Cup, the continent's equivalent of the Copa American and Euro championships, kicked off in China's capital on Saturday. Bobby Fischer (R), the former world chess champion, gestures before his match against his archrival, Russia's Boris Spassky (L) in the Yugoslav resort of Sveti Stefan in this file photo taken on September 9, 1992. On the run and subject to US arrest for the past 12 years, Fischer was taken into custody this week at Narita airport outside Tokyo, at the urging of US Immigration and Customs enforcement. Fischer is wanted in the USA for playing a 1992 chess match against Spassky in the former Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions. — Reuters photos

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