SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Injured Zaheer out; Agarkar, Dinesh Karthik in squad
Kolkata, August 5
Wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik will make his debut, while Ajit Agarkar has been recalled as Parthiv Patel and Zaheer Khan found themselves out of the 14-member Indian squad selected today for the ICC Champions’ Trophy to be played from September 10 to 25 in England.
Saurav Ganguly and John Wright
Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly (R) and coach John Wright (L) pose after a Board meeting in Kolkata on Thursday. — Reuters photo

News Analysis
Dinesh must get chance to play
Chandigarh, August 5
The changes made in the Indian cricket team for the tri-nation tournament in Holland, the NatWest Trophy in England as also the ICC Champions Trophy, which will also be played in England, has been along expected lines. On far too many occasions Zaheer Khan has broken down during tournaments, putting pressure on other bowlers in the squad. 

Agarkar bags 5-wicket haul
London, August 5
Middlesex’s stand-in overseas recruit Ajit Agarkar came up with a five-wicket haul against Gloucestershire even though his side trails by 281 runs in the Frizzel County Championship match here.

Gavaskar in ICC selection panel
Sunil Gavaskar London, August 5
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has been inducted in the five-member selection panel to monitor the judging process for next month’s ICC Awards and the high profile panel has former Australian captain-turned-commentator Richie Benaud as its Chairman.


Hana Abu Al-Rous of the Women's Amman soccer club battles for the ball
Hana Abu Al-Rous (R) of the Women's Amman soccer club battles for the ball with Manal Manasra of Jordan's Youth Club in the final match of the Jordan's Cup at al-Hussein Stadium in Amman on Thursday. Amman Club beat Jordan's Youth 3-0. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
Jayawardene puts Lanka on top
Galle, August 5
South Africa were 82 without loss in reply Sri Lanka's first innings total of 486 at the close on the second day of the first Test on Thursday. Mahela Jayawardene piled on 237 as he shared a record eighth-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka of 170 runs with Chaminda Vaas (69), surpassing the 146 scored by Upul Chandana and Thilan Samaraweera against Zimbabwe in 2002. Sri Lanka, who had resumed on 279 for seven, having lost two wickets in the last two overs of Wednesday, took control of the match on a dry pitch. Boeta Dippenaar survived a television referral for a stumping and was unbeaten on 46 with Martin van Jaarsveld 30 not out.

Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene hits a boundary during his knock of 237 against South Africa on the second day of the first Test in Galle on Thursday. — Reuters photo
Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene hits a boundary during his knock of 237 against South Africa on the second day

PCB rules out change of guard
Lahore, August 5
A dismal show in the Asia Cup last month after the home series debacle against India has not prompted the Pakistan Cricket Board to tinker with the team management for the next six to eight months.

Sourav Ganguly Ganguly’s T-shirt for museum
SILIGURI:
The famous T-shirt that attracted media attention worldwide after India captain Sourav Ganguly swung it after the win against England in the Natwest Trophy tournament at Lords two years ago will find a place in a newly constructed Sports Museum, to be inaugurated next week, here.

Sunil Dutt moots insurance cover for Olympians
New Delhi, August 5
If Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sunil Dutt has his way, every Olympian in India will be provided with insurance cover. “We shall initiate necessary steps to provide health insurance cover to Olympians,” the minister said, responding to a plea by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president M.S. Malik to provide insurance cover not only to wrestlers, who grapple with a dangerous sport, but also to sportspersons from other disciplines.

A Greek soldier walks in front of a banner outside the Olympic Stadium in Athens In graphic:
India in Athens


Athens ready to host magical games

Athens, August 5
After years of pushing, prodding and scolding, Athens is now ready to host “magical games,” the head of the International Olympic Committee said here.


Olympic boycott

A Greek soldier walks in front of a banner outside the Olympic Stadium in Athens on Thursday. — Reuters

Sharapova cruises into third round
Montreal, August 5
Russians Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Myskina, who have been on a roll since their respective victories at Wimbledon and the French Open, cruised into the third round of the WTA Montreal event.

Dingko Singh upset Sunit Dhawan
Hisar, August 5
H.K.Beliwal of Gurudas Sports Central Board landed a barrage of blows on Vijay Kumar of Chhattisgarh to register an emphatic win on the third day of the National Senior Men’s Boxing Championship at Mahabir Stadium here today. The referee had to stop the bout in the second round in favour of Beliwal.

Unseeded players shine
Amritsar, August 5
Major upsets were witnessed in the women’s quarterfinals on the opening day of the LIC Northern Region Table Tennis Tournament here today when unseeded Indumati Jain beat second seed Vijeta Virayani 4-3. In another upset, unseeded Anita Agnihotri beat third seed Pratima Jain 4-0. The tournament is being played at Municipal Corporation Indoor Stadium, Gol Bagh.

Players, coach fail to turn up for camp
Kolkata, August 5
The coaching camp for the Indian football probables for the LG Cup and the pre-World Cup match against Japan got mired in controversy on the opening day itself, with a national selector leaving in anguish after the players and the chief coach did not turn up at the SAI ground, venue of the camp, here today.

Switzerland's Simone Kuhn warms up on an outside court overlooked by the town of Piraeus during a practice session Switzerland's Simone Kuhn warms up on an outside court overlooked by the town of Piraeus during a practice session at the Olympic beach volleyball centre in Athens on Thursday. — Reuters

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Injured Zaheer out; Agarkar, Dinesh Karthik in squad

Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar

Zaheer Khan

Ajit Agarkar

Kolkata, August 5
Wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik will make his debut, while Ajit Agarkar has been recalled as Parthiv Patel and Zaheer Khan found themselves out of the 14-member Indian squad selected today for the ICC Champions’ Trophy to be played from September 10 to 25 in England.

Meanwhile, Rohan Gavaskar also got a berth in the team as the 15th member, albeit only for the Videocon Cup in Holland from August 21 to 28 and NatWest Challenge in England (September 1, 3 and 5).

At the end of a three-hour-long selection meeting on the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) premises at the Eden Gardens, BCCI secretary S.K. Nair announced the squad.

Team: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Rahul Dravid (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Laxmipathi Balaji, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik and Ajit Agarkar.

Mr Nair said team physio Andrew Leipus had advised Zaheer Khan rest for which he was left out of the squad.

Mr Nair said both M.S. Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were discussed during the selection committee meeting and ‘’we decided to give Dinesh a chance after taking every aspect into consideration’’.

“We had taken both the domestic and the India A team’s performance into count and Dinesh Karthik proved to be a marginally better choice,” he said.

Regarding Hemant Badani, Mr Nair said, “Badani’s name was indeed asked for consideration but since he is nursing an ankle injury, though it is not very serious, we did not want to take any risk.”

Dinesh Mongia’s name has also come up for consideration as he had been scoring briskly in county cricket. However, Rohan Gavaskar was preferred for the Videocon Cup and the NatWest Challenge on account of being an all-rounder.

Mr Nair further announced that the team would leave for Holland on August 17 and there will be no preparatory camp before that.

All five national selectors, headed by chief selector Syed Kirmani, chief coach John Wright, captain Sourav Ganguly and BCCI secretary S.K. Nair attended the selection committee meeting.

Before the meeting commenced, BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya had an hour-long discussion with the Indian think-tank. — UNI

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News Analysis
Dinesh must get chance to play
Abhijit Chatterjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The changes made in the Indian cricket team for the tri-nation tournament in Holland, the NatWest Trophy in England as also the ICC Champions Trophy, which will also be played in England, has been along expected lines.

On far too many occasions Zaheer Khan has broken down during tournaments, putting pressure on other bowlers in the squad. It is the right time to get him fully fit before the taxing home series against Australia later this year. His replacement, Ajit Agarkar, has been playing for English county Middlesex and seems to be in very good nick.

As far as Parthiv Patel is concerned, the axe has been hanging over his head for quite some time as the team management could not find a regular place for him in the playing eleven. The decision to bring in Dinesh Karthik should not surprise anyone.

It was obvious right from the word go that wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel did not enjoy the confidence of skipper Sourav Ganguly during the Asia Cup. Otherwise, there was no reason why the regular Indian stumper should have played only two matches in the tournament, specially when vice-captain Rahul Dravid had announced before the team left for the island nation that he was not interested in keeping wickets. In any case, Parthiv didn't do anything of note in the limited opportunities he got, both in Sri Lanka and elsewhere over the past one year.

Keeping wickets in the one-day squad is a tricky question, specially when the balance of the team is discussed. Rahul Dravid did a commendable job behind the stumps in the last World Cup (his keeping wickets allowed the team management to play seven regular batsmen in the team) but after it went on record to say he was not interested in keeping and would like to concentrate on batting. That his keeping was adversely affecting his batting was visible in the Asia Cup when time and again he failed to get going after making a good start.

Dinesh Karthik came into the limelight after the under-19 World Cup when his performance came for high praise from team coach Robin Singh. His 70 runs off 39 balls against Sri lanka was the talking point of the tournament. Dinesh made his Ranji Trophy debut for Tamil Nadu last season and his keeping was found faulty (he was dropped in the knockout phase of the tournament). But this year his keeping has improved by leaps and bounds after attending the national wicketkeeping camp at Bangalore, where he learnt the finer points of his trade from Kiran More, one of the finest keepers the country has produced.

One thing is very important. Dinesh must find a permanent place in the playing eleven if he has to gain confidence, a luxury which Parthiv never enjoyed. It is obvious that Sourav Ganguly (who also attended the meeting of the national selectors in Kolkata today) must have been consulted but the youngster must be allowed to play to find his feet in the highest grade of the game. 

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Agarkar bags 5-wicket haul

London, August 5
Middlesex’s stand-in overseas recruit Ajit Agarkar came up with a five-wicket haul against Gloucestershire even though his side trails by 281 runs in the Frizzel County Championship match here.

After the rain-truncated first day saw the Indian claiming three of the four Gloucestershire wickets, Agarkar was equally impressive on day two and claimed two more, including that of Phil Weston (98), who top scored for Gloucestershire. After Gloucestershire were all out for 347 in their first innings, the Middlesex batsmen, however, could not put up a good show and finished the day on 66 for three.

Agarkar returned with an impressive figure of 29-7-81-5.

Shouldering the strike bowler’s responsibility in absence of Glenn McGrath, Agarkar breathed fire and took the vital wicket of Weston, who toiled for six hours only to finish just two shy of a century when he perished at square leg trying to pull the Indian. Agarkar competed his five-wicket haul when Martyn Bell top-edged him only to find the fielder at fine leg. — UNI

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Gavaskar in ICC selection panel

London, August 5
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has been inducted in the five-member selection panel to monitor the judging process for next month’s ICC Awards and the high profile panel has former Australian captain-turned-commentator Richie Benaud as its Chairman.

The other members of the star-studded panel include three cricket legends — Ian Botham, Michael Holding and Barry Richards.

The ICC Awards selection panel will shortlist players in the four individual award categories for the 50-member Voting Academy to cast 3-2-1 votes for each individual award.

They will also select the ICC Test Team of the Year and the One-Day International Team of the Year before the inaugural ceremony at London’s Alexandra Palace on September 7.

An ICC note here quotes Chief Executive Malcolm Speed as saying that the appointment of the panel was the first and foremost step of a comprehensive selection process to judge the world’s best players of the past 12 months. — UNI

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Jayawardene puts Lanka on top

Galle, August 5
South Africa were 82 without loss in reply Sri Lanka's first innings total of 486 at the close on the second day of the first Test on Thursday.
Mahela Jayawardene piled on 237 as he shared a record eighth-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka of 170 runs with Chaminda Vaas (69), surpassing the 146 scored by Upul Chandana and Thilan Samaraweera against Zimbabwe in 2002.

Sri Lanka, who had resumed on 279 for seven, having lost two wickets in the last two overs of Wednesday, took control of the match on a dry pitch. Boeta Dippenaar survived a television referral for a stumping and was unbeaten on 46 with Martin van Jaarsveld 30 not out.

Jayawardene, starting the day on 116, was in imperious form, dominating an increasingly weary South African attack during a chanceless eight-and-a-half hour marathon.

The 27-year-old right-hander faced 415 balls, hitting 25 fours and three sixes.

The closest he came to being dismissed was a mistimed drive that dropped a few yards short of a diving Shaun Pollock at mid-off.

South Africa's fielders believed Jayawardene had been caught off the glove on 190 but replays showed the ball had hit his arm.

He raced to the second double hundred of his career, sweeping Nick Boje for four and then reached the landmark with a straight six two balls later.

Vaas hit 10 boundaries during his 142-ball 69 before drilling a catch to mid-off where Nantie Hayward took the catch on the second attempt.

Scoreboard

Sri Lanka (1st innings)

Atapattu c Boucher b Pollock 9

Jayasuriya c Klusener b Pollock 12

Sangakkara c Boucher b Boje 58

Jayawardene lbw b Hayward 237

Samaraweera lbw b Pollock 13

Dilshan b Hayward 25

Kaluwitharana b Pollock 33

Chanadana b Ntini 5

Vaas c Hayward b Boje 69

Maharoof not out 6

Muralitharan b Hayward 0

Extras (b-8 lb-3 nb-6 w-2) 19

Total (all out, 145.4 overs) 486

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-22, 3-108, 4-145, 5-189, 6-274, 7-279, 8-449, 9-486

Bowling: Pollock 23-5-48-4, Ntini 20-1-61-1, Hayward 16.4-0-81-3, Kallis 16-3-52-0, Klusener 19-0-69-0, Boje 42-3-148-2, Rudolph 9-2-16-0

South Africa (1st innings)

Dippenaar not out 46

Van Jaarsveld not out 30

Extras (b-4 lb-2) 6

Total (no wkt, 34 overs) 82

Bowling: Vaas 8-3-20-0, Maharoof 7-4-9-0, Muralitharan 12-1-36-0, Chandana 6-0-10-0, Jayasuriya 1-0-1-0. — Reuters

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PCB rules out change of guard

Lahore, August 5
A dismal show in the Asia Cup last month after the home series debacle against India has not prompted the Pakistan Cricket Board to tinker with the team management for the next six to eight months.

In what seemed a deviation from the common hire-and-fire practice after every debacle, the PCB announced both the skipper and the new coach would be given sufficient time to work on the team, regardless of outcomes in tournaments.

“We want to introduce continuity in the team,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters here yesterday. The PCB chief also confirmed that the board had worked out details of the central contracts for the cricketers.

“It has been decided that central contracts would be given to 15 to 20 players and when I met Woolmer in Colombo he was also in favour of having central contracts for the players. We would like to do it before the team leaves for Holland around August 17 or after the tournament,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, former Australian skipper Greg Chappell, who reached here on a short-term coaching assignment, said professionalism and physical and mental toughness could take Pakistan to the top. He also welcomed the central contract system. — UNI

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Ganguly’s T-shirt for museum

SILIGURI: The famous T-shirt that attracted media attention worldwide after India captain Sourav Ganguly swung it after the win against England in the Natwest Trophy tournament at Lords two years ago will find a place in a newly constructed Sports Museum, to be inaugurated next week, here.

Siliguri Municipality Corporation’s Mayor Bikash Ghosh said besides the Indian captain’s shirt and other cricketing gears, the museum would display a hosts of sports gadgets of famous former and current players of the world.

The 1,100-sq feet museum would house rare photographs of cricketing icon Bradman, Sir Girfield Sobers, hockey sticks of Olympian Gurbux Singh, Triangle shaped flag of Real Madrid and many other things that would inspire younger generation, Mr Ghosh said. — UNI

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Sunil Dutt moots insurance cover for Olympians
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, August 5
If Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sunil Dutt has his way, every Olympian in India will be provided with insurance cover. “We shall initiate necessary steps to provide health insurance cover to Olympians,” the minister said, responding to a plea by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president M.S. Malik to provide insurance cover not only to wrestlers, who grapple with a dangerous sport, but also to sportspersons from other disciplines.

Sunil Dutt said it was a great honour to represent the country in the Olympics and the feeling gets sweeter when one realises the fact that out of the 18,000 odd athletes competing in the Athens Olympic Games from all over the globe, 76 would be from India.

“Winning or losing does not really matter. It’s a great honour in itself to represent the country in the Olympics,” he averred.

Sunil Dutt said the Railway Ministry has accepted his suggestion to provide free travel facilities to the Olympic medal winners of the country for the rest of their lives. He said provision has also been made to give Rs 2 lakh from the National Welfare Fund to deserving sportspersons, who had brought laurels to the country, but were facing hardships now. The minister had recently granted Rs 2 lakh to ailing hockey Olympian Vivek Singh from the same fund.

At a felicitation function held here today, Sunil Dutt exhorted the seven-member Indian wrestling squad, whom he described as the “navratnas” of the country, to do their best in the Olympics, instead of developing mental blocks.

India would be fielding a seven-member wrestling squad at Athens, who include Yogeshwar Dutt (55 kg), Sushil Kumar (60 kg), Ramesh Kumar (66 kg), Sujeet Mann (74 kg), Anuj Kumar (84 kg) and Palwinder Singh Cheema (120 kg) in freestyle, and Mukesh Khatri (55 kg) in Greco-Roman. Former Olympian Jagminder Singh is the chief coach while Ch. Dara Singh has been named the manager.

The wrestling squad was felicitated by their sponsors Ambuja Cements, under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industries. Palwinder Cheema and Mukesh Khatri were, however, conspicuous by their absence. Sunil Dutt also presented $ 1,000 to each wrestler on behalf of the WFI.

The minister promised to look into some of the demands put forward by Mr Malik and initiate necessary steps to solve them after the Athens Olympics.

The WFI president had lamented the lack of sports psychologists in the country to motivate the athletes and requested the minister to create facilities for the training of sports psychologists and sports medicine experts. He also told the minister to get the dope testing laboratory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium fully accredited with the International Olympic Committee.

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Athens ready to host magical games

Athens, August 5
After years of pushing, prodding and scolding, Athens is now ready to host “magical games,” the head of the International Olympic Committee said here.
“It’s a magic moment because this is the culmination of seven years of preparations, and in a little more than a week’s time the games will begin and the whole world is waiting for that,” President Jacques Rogge said.

“We are heading to very, very successful games.”

Rogge will meet with officials to discuss the games and will preside over the IOC executive board meetings this weekend before moving into the Olympic village.

The IOC was not always so optimistic about the August 13 to 29 games.

Rogge was the IOC’s coordination commission chairman for Athens when former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch warned the Greeks in 2000 about construction delays and organisational problems.

After becoming head of the IOC in 2001, Rogge appointed Denis Oswald, a Swiss IOC member, to replace him. Oswald also had to push officials to make up for the initial delays.

Now, all venue construction is virtually finished, leaving only landscaping and other final details to be completed.

Greece has deployed 70,000 police and soldiers to guard the Olympics, plus an additional 35,000 military personnel to guard railroad stations, borders and other areas, mainly outside Athens. Rogge said the security presence would not affect the games.

“We’re satisfied that the government has done everything that is needed and everything that is humanly possible to secure the games,” Rogge said.

Greece has spent a record $ 1.5 billion to protect the Olympics.

“Everything is ready. Greece is realising a big, modern, peaceful games,” Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia said.

On another subject, Rogge said “the IOC will take necessary action” on any misconduct in the 2012 bidding process.

A BBC news programme secretly filmed four agents claiming they could secure IOC members’ votes for money. The show was shown in advance on Tuesday to journalists in London.

The case was turned over to the IOC ethics commission last week. The only IOC member implicated in any possible misconduct is Ivan Slavkov of Bulgaria. He has denied any wrongdoing. — AP

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Olympic boycott

TORONTO: WTA Tour players could boycott the Olympics if Germany’s Anca Barna and Marlene Weingaertner are not cleared by the German Olympic Committee to compete in Athens.

According to a report in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail, players at this week’s WTA stop in Montreal met on Monday, angry that Germany’s top two players are being prevented from participating in Athens despite having met the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) qualifying standard.

“We discussed the matter at a players’ meeting on Monday and I think there is a real chance of a boycott,” Nathalie Dechy of France told the Globe and Mail. — Reuters

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Sharapova cruises into third round

Montreal, August 5
Russians Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Myskina, who have been on a roll since their respective victories at Wimbledon and the French Open, cruised into the third round of the WTA Montreal event.

The Russian assault in Montreal lost fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, a finalist at Roland-Garros, who was overpowered by unseeded Argentine Gisela Dulko 1-6, 4-6 in the $ 1.3 million hardcourt tournament.

But Sharapova, who received a bye the first round, easily won over Kristina Brandi 6-1, 6-4, while Myskina breezed past Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-0, 6-4.

In an all-Russian affair, Nadia Petrova was eliminated by compatriot Elena Likhovtseva, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, in a match that lasted two hours, 18 minutes.

Russian Elena Bovina also reached the third round, beating American Lilia Osterloh 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.

Other winners included ninth seed Paola Suarez of Argentina, No 11 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, No 13 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria and American Chanda Rubin.

Rubin will face Myskina in the third round, while Bovina squares off against top seed Amelie Mauresmo.

Hewitt wins

Cincinnati: Lleyton Hewitt signalled his belief that he is building up for his most convincing Grand Slam challenge for a couple of years when he enjoyed an emphatic win in a battle of former world number ones against Gustavo Kuerten.

The battling Australian’s 6-3, 6-4 victory over the popular Brazilian carried him into the last 16 Yesterday and suggested that he has a good chance to push on to his first Masters Series final for 17 months.

Hewitt would relish that, given that he has had to endure constant questions that his career has been derailed by a long-lasting court case with the ATP, the governing body of the men’s tour.

It was here in Cincinnati that it all began two years ago when Hewitt was fined for declining an interview with ESPN before the match, but there was no evidence of that bitter memory in his performance yesterday. — AFP, Reuters

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Dingko Singh upset Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 5
H.K.Beliwal of Gurudas Sports Central Board landed a barrage of blows on Vijay Kumar of Chhattisgarh to register an emphatic win on the third day of the National Senior Men’s Boxing Championship at Mahabir Stadium here today. The referee had to stop the bout in the second round in favour of Beliwal.

In a major upset, Dingko Singh of Services lost to Sonu Chahal of Haryana 11-12.

Robin Dev of Steel Plants unleashed a series of right hooks and jabs against Tauseef Khan of Jharkhand. The referee had to stop the contest in the third round.

In the light flyweight category, Haryana’s Gouru managed to stretch the bout till the final round, but his opponent, Jonathan of the SSCA, defeated him 33-16.

Sukhvir Singh of Haryana got the better of Taasi Bhuria of Sikkim in the 91 kg category. Ram Singh of All-India Police defeated Thareena Harav of Andhra Pradesh in the 81 kg weight category.

In another contest in the 91 kg category, Ranjit of Madhya Pradesh beat Harpreet of Sports Promotion Board. Rajenderpal Singh of Manipur defeated Ravinder Bhushan of Jammu and Kashmir while Ravi Gill of Andhra Pradesh outboxed Rajesh Kumar of Arunachal Pradesh. Vipin Sharma of Uttar Pradesh defeated Shivraj of Maharashtra.

Results: 64-69 kg : Jagdip Singh (Andhra Pradesh) b Mustak Miyan; Lalit Thapa (Meghalaya) b Ajay Singh (Chandigarh).

69-75 kg : Gautam Bhargav (Punjab) b Anand Singh (Andhra Pradesh); G. Vivar (Karnataka) b Jitender Tokas (BSF); S.Kumar (Arunachal Pradesh) b Suraj Dev Verma (Tripura); Aman (Chandigarh) b N.G. Nithia Nantham (Tamil Nadu); Kunga Namje Bhutia (Sikkim) b Goswami Singh (Bangol); Mahender Thapa (Meghalya) b Jagvinder (Jammu Kashmir); Jasvir Singh (Delhi) b Natsuta Venuh (Nagaland).

75-81 kg: Ram Singh (AIP) b G. Tharina Herav (Andhra Pradesh); Vishal Gaurav (Chandigarh) b Piyushit Yadav; Jiwan Prakash (Uttaranchal) b Ranjit M. (Kerala); Laxmi Pathak (MP) b Rajbir Singh.

81-91 kg: Ravi Gill (Andhra Pradesh) b Rajesh Kumar (Arunachal Pradesh); Vipin Sharma (UP) b Shivraj (Maharashtra); Harpreet Singh (RSPB) b Ranjit (MP); Sukhbir (Haryana) b Tasi Bhutia (Sikkim); Rajenderpal (Manipur) b Ravinder Bhushan (Jammu and Kashmir).

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Unseeded players shine
Our Sports Reporter

Amritsar, August 5
Major upsets were witnessed in the women’s quarterfinals on the opening day of the LIC Northern Region Table Tennis Tournament here today when unseeded Indumati Jain beat second seed Vijeta Virayani 4-3. In another upset, unseeded Anita Agnihotri beat third seed Pratima Jain 4-0. The tournament is being played at Municipal Corporation Indoor Stadium, Gol Bagh.

In other quarterfinals, top seed Mamta Mukhi outplayed Deepti 4-0 and Nirmala defeated Poonam Sharma 4-0.

Deepank Das, S. K. Jain, Satnam Singh and Ram Singh Sengar in the men’s section while Mamta Mukhi, Nirmala, Anita Agnihotri and Vijeta Virayani in the women’s category entered the semifinals after winning their respective matches.

Second seed Ram Singh Sengar was trailing by three sets before he bounced back to win the last four against Anupam Walia. The match was stopped for at least 30 minutes due to power cut and alternative arrangement failed to work too. In the other three quarterfinals, top seed Deepank Das overpowered unseeded V. K. Sachdeva 4-1, fourth seed S. K. Jain defeated Anuj Kumar 4-1 and third seed third Satnam Singh registered a facile 4-0 victory over N. K. Jain.

A total of 27 players from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh, including nine women, are playing in the two-day tournament. Top four players from both categories will represent the North Zone in the LIC All-India Table Tennis Tournament to be held at Nagpur from August 9 to 12.

Results (men’s pre-quarterfinals): Deepank Das b Rajiv Sachdeva 3-0, V. K. Sachdeva b Hardip Singh 3-2, Ram Singh b Vinod Madnawat 3-1, Anupam Walia b Rajinder Kumar 3-0, N. K. Jain b Baljinder Singh 3-0, Satnam Singh b Ajay 3-0, V. K. Sachdeva b Hardip Singh 3-2, S. K. Jain b Sharanjit Singh 3-0, Rajiv Sachdeva b Yashpal 3-1 and Vinod Madnawat b Ravindra Lahoti 3-1.

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Players, coach fail to turn up for camp

Kolkata, August 5
The coaching camp for the Indian football probables for the LG Cup and the pre-World Cup match against Japan got mired in controversy on the opening day itself, with a national selector leaving in anguish after the players and the chief coach did not turn up at the SAI ground, venue of the camp, here today.

Former international Prasun Banerjee, who was appointed selector recently, waited in vain for the 35 probables and chief coach Stephen Constantine for over three hours along with scores of mediapersons, some coaches of the SAI and an All-India Football Federation official, before deciding to call it a day.

A fuming Banerjee alleged that he was kept in the dark about the change in the schedule.— PTI

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FA secy to sell story to media
London:
Faria Alam, the Football Association secretary who had affairs with both England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and FA chief executive Mark Palios, will earn as much as $ 915,000 by selling her story, a public relations consultant said on Thursday. Max Clifford said the 38-year-old secretary had approached him and he had agreed to represent her in negotiations with two Sunday tabloids and a TV company. “She wants to give her version of what has happened to her, as opposed to everybody else's version in her own words,” Clifford was quoted as saying in Evening Standard. — AP

Protestor Ray Egan, dressed as fictional English character John Bull, holds up red cards Protestor Ray Egan, dressed as fictional English character John Bull, holds up red cards for English Football Association Executive Director David Davies and head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson outside the FA headquarters in London on Thursday. FA board members will arrive at a secret London location later on Thursday to discuss the events surrounding Eriksson's affair with an FA secretary. — Reuters

Lizarazu retires
PARIS:
Bixente Lizarazu signalled the end of an era when he became the last member of France’s 1998 World Cup-winning back four to retire from international soccer on Thursday.
“It was a painful decision to take but I fully agree with Lilian Thuram that we must make room for new players for the 2006 World Cup,” Lizarazu said in an interview published by the sports daily L’Equipe. “I’ve spent 12 years with France. It’s a chunk of my life. I have had great times but I’m fully aware it is time to let the new generation through,” said Lizarazu, who helped France win the World Cup on home soil in 1998 and the European title two years later at Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium. — Reuters

Sub-jr b’ball
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
: Young talents from 25 states will vie for honours in the 31st National sub-junior Basketball Championship for under-13 boys and girls at the Lakshmi Bai National College of Physical Education here from August 23 to 28.
The event will be conducted on a league-cum-knock-out basis, tournament organisers told a press meet here. — PTI

Sania Mirza Sania advances
HYDERABAD:
Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza has entered the quarterfinals of the $ 10,000 ITS women’s tournament at Wrexham, England.
She beat Melisa Berry of Great Britain 6-2, 6-1.She will play Dubravka of Australia in the quarterfinals on Friday. — UNI

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