SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Jaffer shines in drawn match
Indian batsman Wasim Jaffer hits a boundary on the final day of the warm-up match against Pakistan A at the Bagh-e-Jinnah Stadium in Lahore on Monday Lahore, January 9
Wasim Jaffer followed up his first-innings half century with another sparkling knock in the second essay to stake his claim for a Test slot as India’s three-day warm-up game against Pakistan A petered out to a tame draw here today.




Indian batsman Wasim Jaffer hits a boundary on the final day of the warm-up match against Pakistan A at the Bagh-e-Jinnah Stadium in Lahore on Monday. — AFP photo

Pak recall Farhat for first Test
Lahore, January 9
Pakistan selectors today expectedly recalled opening batsman Imran Farhat and named a five-pronged pace attack, including allrounder Abdul Razzaq, for the first Test against India starting at the Gaddafi Stadium from Friday.



 EARLIER STORIES

 

Gavaskar for three openers against
all-seam attack

Mumbai, January 9
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar today said India should play all three opening batsmen if Pakistan fielded all-seam attack for the first Test beginning in Lahore on January 13.

Ganguly’s troubles self-inflicted
Indian cricket fans feel happy seeing their team scaling the number two slot in world rankings. But there are some serious indications that the ICC points system is far from accurate and it does not necessarily reflect the true rankings of the teams.

Telecast sharing: Centre to give reply today
New Delhi, January 9
The Centre today got time from the Supreme Court till tomorrow to place before it its viewpoint on the telecast of the India-Pakistan cricket series, whose live feed it had sought to be shared with Doordarshan by international sports broadcaster Ten Sports.

Aussies too good for SA
Brisbane, January 9
Test discard Damien Martyn scored a man-of-the-match innings of 96 to lead Australia to a thumping 95-run win over South Africa in their Twenty20 international match at the Gabba here today.

Sania Mirza runs back to return a lob against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of the Sydney International Tennis Tournament on Monday Sania Mirza goes down to Hantuchova
Sydney, January 9

Sania Mirza pulled off a set before going down fighting against world number 17 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the first round of the Medibank International Open in Sydney today.

Sania Mirza runs back to return a lob against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of the Sydney International Tennis Tournament on Monday. Hantuchova won 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. — Reuters photo


Shers yet to roar

Chandigarh, January 9
Last week generated lot of excitement for the players, officials and fans who thronged the floodlit stadium in Sector 42, Chandigarh, to have a glimpse of hockey stars in action at the Premier Hockey League II.

PSB, Namdhari XI in last eight
Nabha, January 9
Punjab and Sind Bank defeated five-time champions BSF, Jalandhar, 3-1 to enter the quarterfinals of the 30th All-India Liberals Hockey Tournament at the Ripudaman College grounds here today.
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Jaffer shines in drawn match
S. S. Ramaswamy

Lahore, January 9
Wasim Jaffer followed up his first-innings half century with another sparkling knock in the second essay to stake his claim for a Test slot as India’s three-day warm-up game against Pakistan A petered out to a tame draw here today.

Jaffer hit 35 not out with six fours off 43 balls, while Gautam Gambhir was unbeaten on 28 off 38 balls with five fours in the Indian second-innings total of 72 for no loss at the Bagh-e-Jinnah ground.

Mumbai batsman Jaffer played some scintillating cover drives and pull shots against pacer Umar Gul. His opener partner Gambhir, however, struggled at the other end.

The Delhi left-hander was dropped twice by stumper Zulqarnain Haider before opening his account and then played and missed quite a few times before settling down to play some fine drives off Mohammed Irshad.

Earlier, Pakistan A declared at 358 for 9, 56 runs behind India’s 414 for seven declared in the first innings.

The home team put on 146 runs after starting the day at 212 for four before applying closure.

The first session produced 71 runs and the second 75. The unconquered batsmen at the time of declaration were Umar Gul (15) and last man Rao Iftikhar Anjum (0).

The highlight of the day’s play under misty and cold conditions was Faisal Iqbal’s 87 made in 238 balls with 15 fours.

He was ninth out, caught at deep square leg pulling Ajit Agarkar to Harbhajan Singh.

Wicketkeeper Haider had departed earlier in the pre-tea session, trapped leg before by Irfan Pathan who finished with 3 for 82.

Agarkar and R.P. Singh got two wickets each, while Harbhajan Singh claimed one.

In the morning, R.P. Singh and Zaheer Khan struck once each within the first half hour of play before Pakistan A recovered through their seventh-wicket pair of Iqbal and Haider.

Pakistan A could add only 23 runs in 13 overs in the first hour against the two left arm pacers, but then the run-rate perked up a bit more afterwards when R.P. Singh was replaced by Ajit Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh came in for Zaheer.

But Iqbal, unbeaten on 13 last evening, batted attractively with some spanking pulls and drives.

He completed his half century in the last ball before lunch in 107 balls and with the help of eight fours.

Scoreboard

India (1st innings) 414 for 7 dec

Pakistan A (1st innings)

Farhat c Zaheer b Harbhajan 107

Bazid c Laxman b Agarkar 6

Wasim lbw Pathan 1

Raza c Dhoni b Pathan 75

Iqbal c Harbhajan b Agarkar 87

Kamal c Dhoni b R.P. Singh 14

Amjad lbw Zaheer 0

Haider lbw Pathan 35

Arafat c Dhoni b R.P. Singh 9

Gul not out 15

Anjum not out 0

Extras (lb-4, nb-5) 9

Total (9 wkts, 95 overs) 358

Fall of wkts: 1-14, 2-26, 3-186, 4-198, 5-226, 6-227, 7-315, 8-337, 9-358.

Bowling: Pathan 22-6-82-3, Agarkar 16-3-60-2, R.P. Singh 16-4-62-2, Zaheer 19-2-67-1, Harbhajan 21-1-77-1, Yuvraj 1-0-6-0.

India (2nd innings)

Gambhir not out 28

Jaffer not out 35

Extras (b-1, w-5, nb-3) 9

Total (no loss, 13 overs) 72

Bowling: Gul 5-0-26-0, Anjum 5-2-17-0, Irshad 2-0-20-0, Farhat 1-0-8-0. — PTI

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Pak recall Farhat for first Test

Lahore, January 9
Pakistan selectors today expectedly recalled opening batsman Imran Farhat and named a five-pronged pace attack, including allrounder Abdul Razzaq, for the first Test against India starting at the Gaddafi Stadium from Friday.

Farhat, who hit a century against India in the Lahore Test of the 2004-05 series, impressed with a strokeful 107 off 162 balls with 16 fours and a six for Pakistan A in the three-day warm up at the Bagh-e-Jinnah Stadium.

The left hander, who last played for Pakistan in the Melbourne Test on the 2004-05 Australian tour, got a recall into the 15-strong Test squad to be captained by Inzamam-ul-Haq after Yasir Hameed was laid low with typhoid.

Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Muhammad Asif and Razzaq form the fast bowling line-up, while off spinner Arshad Khan and leggie Danish Kaneria are the slow bowlers.

Razzaq had been admitted to hospital for typhoid a few days ago but has recovered in time.

The squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan (vice-captain), Mohammed Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Sami, Shoaib Malik, Salman Butt, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria, Imran Farhat and Muhammad Asif. — PTI

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Gavaskar for three openers against all-seam attack

Mumbai, January 9
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar today said India should play all three opening batsmen if Pakistan fielded all-seam attack for the first Test beginning in Lahore on January 13.

Speaking at a function, the former India captain said if Pakistan fielded an all-seam attack, then playing all three openers, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer, would be a good strategy to blunt this attack.

The opening batsmen can counter the all-seam attack better than the other batsmen as they are used to batting at top of the order on a new wicket and therefore playing all three openers could be of advantage to India, he explained.

Speaking about the green wickets in Pakistan, Gavaskar termed these wickets as a joke. Green wickets in Australia and South Africa are the most dangerous because of the soil beneath which allows seam movement of the wicket, whereas in our part of the world the surface underneath the wicket does not help the seamers and therefore having just green wickets is of no help.

Gavaskar also did not think that India-Pakistan cricket would ever get stale. People in both countries can never get enough of the cricketing contests between the two countries, he added.

Commenting on the atmosphere now and at his time, Gavaskar said the most important aspect has been the sea change among the spectators towards the sport.

The spectators these days take sport as it should be and the way the Indian team was cheered after winning the Test series in Pakistan in 2004 was unheard of in our times, he said.

Gavaskar also did not feel the controversy emerging out of manager Raj Singh Dungarpur’s alleged comments against Sourav Ganguly would have an effect on the team.

“We as cricketers are taught to forget what happened on the last ball and start concentrating on the ball which is being bowled,” he said. — UNI

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Ganguly’s troubles self-inflicted
Javagal Srinath

Indian cricket fans feel happy seeing their team scaling the number two slot in world rankings. But there are some serious indications that the ICC points system is far from accurate and it does not necessarily reflect the true rankings of the teams.

But then, despite doubts about the accuracy of the rankings, Team India has done extremely well in the backdrop of the mayhem it went through in the recent past. The now infamous spat between the then skipper Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell, the speculative news of splits in the team, the change of guard in the BCCI and its never-ending legal battles were enough to rattle the confidence of any team. And as if that was not enough, the unceremonious dumping of the former captain from the squad followed by his selection back in the team looked too much for the team to digest.

But in the midst of it all, Team India managed laudable wins in both forms of the game. The credit should firstly go to new captain Rahul Dravid and of course to the senior members of the team, besides Chappell.

Some of the practices in the subcontinent are so rigid that the captains hardly ever get a chance to make a graceful exit. There was hardly any captain who made the right statements and passed on the baton to his successor with dignity. I can understand that there are too many things at stake for a quitting Indian captain but the side effects of a disgraceful departure are always worse.

One of the main ingredients of good captaincy is to relinquish the responsibilities at the right moment. One can take the example of former South African captain Kepler Wessels handing over the reins to Hansie Cronje, England captain Mike Atherton choosing the right time to pass the mantle to Nasser Hussein and the latter doing the same to Michael Vaughan. The Australians naming Ricky Pointing as future captain while Steve Waugh was still at the helm was also an illustration of classic progression in cricket.

Captaincy is a time-honoured position. Ganguly had many such opportunities where he could have laid down the captaincy. It would have held him in good stead. Instead, he chose to be sacked by the not-so-consistent selectors. Indeed it was a self-inflicted tragedy on Sourav’s illustrious career as a captain. His downfall from the captaincy has also had a snowballing effect on his career as a cricketer. A successful captain till the last season is now searching for a suitable place for himself in world cricket, which he ruled and reigned till very recently.

Although the results of the home series were important, Rahul must be aware of the significance of winning abroad. The current team management has appeared to be more daring and upright in dealing with issues. Right from selecting the squad to picking the final eleven and even attempts to bring flexibility in the batting order show the emerging new pattern of operations in the team.

The biggest gain in the batting order changes was the emergence of Irfan Pathan as a matured batsman. The recent results will temporarily stand to testify that the current team is heading in the right direction. Some of the senior members would certainly endorse that the reality check could only be done when the team starts its campaign on foreign soil.

Although, the Indians came out with flying colours in the previous visit to Pakistan, this tour would be a different ball game altogether. — PTI

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Telecast sharing: Centre to give reply today
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 9
The Centre today got time from the Supreme Court till tomorrow to place before it its viewpoint on the telecast of the India-Pakistan cricket series, whose live feed it had sought to be shared with Doordarshan by international sports broadcaster Ten Sports.

As a Bench of Mr Justice Ashok Bhan and Mr Justice Tarun Chatterjee reminded the government about the court’s order during the last tour of the Indian team to Pakistan, when a similar controversy had arisen, and why similar arrangements should not be made this time too, Solicitor General G.V. Vahanvati told the Bench that he needed to consult the government on the issue.

Sharing of telecast by Ten Sports with DD was ordered by the apex court during the last tour of India to Pakistan with the direction that Prasar Bharti would deposit Rs 50 crore as advance with the international channel and DD would show all its ads.

This time Prasar Bharti came out with a proposal to pay Rs 25 crore to Ten Sports to make good its ad revenue loss due to share of its feed with DD, as had been made compulsory by an order for any international and national sports event by the government recently.

But this time Prasar Bharti was not ready to show Ten Sports ads on DD. Vahanvati said after compensating the international channel with Rs 25 crore, sharing of their feed was out of the question.

While stating that it would not be a “fair” proposal, the Bench said “prima facie we feel it needs detailed consideration”.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Ten Sports, said the government could not force its client to share its telecast with Prasar Bharti on its term as it was a question of an individual’s private rights.

He said Ten Sports had got exclusive rights for telecast of cricket matches in Pakistan, won in an open bidding for $ 30 million (Rs 140 crore), in which Prasar Bharti had not even bothered to participate.

He said if the signals were shared with DD without its ads, it would suffer huge loss as it would be free to air and no advertiser would come to it. Salve, at the same time, said 90 per cent of ads for the telecast of the series had been booked and some of the advertisers might still back out.

As the Solicitor-General tried to give the example of Australia and some other countries where telecast was shared with the national broadcaster on payment of compensation, the court said unfortunately there was no such law in India. “You should frame the law to overcome this problem,” it told the government counsel.

Salve also told the court that Ten Sports had got a notice from the Pakistan board, expressing concern over sharing of live feed with DD, which could feed them to its territory and to the Middle East. The court might issue an order for resolving the issue tomorrow.

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Aussies too good for SA

Brisbane, January 9
Test discard Damien Martyn scored a man-of-the-match innings of 96 to lead Australia to a thumping 95-run win over South Africa in their Twenty20 international match at the Gabba here today.

Martyn delighted a record Gabba crowd of about 39,000 before falling just short of the first-ever 20-over international century when he holed out for 96 off 56 balls in the last over of Australia’s 209 for three.

The world champions plundered 17 boundaries and nine sixes in a total which was just below their Twenty20 record of 214 for five.

Then using the extra bounce on a Brisbane pitch, Australia’s pace bowlers gave the Proteas little chance to get close to their massive score.

Martyn began cautiously before quickly finding his touch and racing along with an array of sweetly timed blows, including seven fours and two sixes.

The 34-year-old even matched super-slugger Andrew Symonds (54 not out off 26) in an 83-run stand before cutting Monde Zondeki to point.

Home-town hero Symonds then punished Zondeki by taking 22 runs off the rest of the dramatic final over, including a pair of sixes.

Boeta Dipenaar actually caught Symonds, then 24, in the deep but lost control of the ball on the ground. Captain Graeme Smith spilt Martyn at mid-on.

Martyn returned the favour in the third over of South Africa’s innings when he spilt a similar dolly off the left-handed opener when the Proteas were in dire straits at 7 for two.

It would have been Nathan Bracken’s third wicket in the over after having Boeta Dippenaar (1) caught behind and Herschelle Gibbs holing out on the square-leg boundary.

Restricted to 22 for two after six overs, the writing was on the wall for the tourists who then spluttered to 114 with no batsman able to pass 30.

Bracken (2-9), James Hopes (2-26), Symonds (2-26) and Lewis (2-18) took two wickets apiece. — AFP

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Sania Mirza goes down to Hantuchova

Sydney, January 9
Sania Mirza pulled off a set before going down fighting against world number 17 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the first round of the Medibank International Open in Sydney today.

Sania, playing in her first WTA Tour match of the season, went down 6-4 2-6 6-2 to the US Open mixed doubles champion in a centre-court match at the $ 600,000 event.

The 19-year-old Hyderabadi, ranked 34 in the world, had marked her return to the court with a high-profile exhibition event in Hong Kong last week after a back strain brought Sania’s 2005 season to an early end.

The Hong Kong event featured three of the four reigning Grand Slam champions and Sania got to play two singles and as many doubles matches, pairing up with world number two Kim Clijsters.

Sania failed to win a set in that event but felt she was still finding her match rhythm after a tough three-week workout with Tony Roche in Sydney during the winter break. — PTI

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Shers yet to roar
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, January 9
Last week generated lot of excitement for the players, officials and fans who thronged the floodlit stadium in Sector 42, Chandigarh, to have a glimpse of hockey stars in action at the Premier Hockey League II.

In Tier I, though Maratha Warriors are leading by six points, but the way Chandigarh Dynamos displayed their skills against Sher-e –Jalandhar on yesterday, they were considered to be a force to reckon with. Even Spanish hockey expert Maurits Hendriks also said that Chandigarh Dynamos were a strong contender in the league.

In the four days of Tier I matches, none of team could make proper use of its foreign players except Chandigarh Dynamos did. Balder Bomans was at his best and got on well with Rajpal Singh, skipper of Chandigarh Dynamos.

It was Shere-e-Jallandhar team which failed to come up to the expectations. The very presence of Gaganajit, Prabhjot, Baljit Dhillon, Mohammad Saqlain (Pakistan) and Pau Quemada (Spain) could not make much impact on rival teams. It was lack of coordination that was cited as the reason for Shers not performing well.

In the first week of the PHL, the players who made a mark were Dhanraj Pillay, Rajpal Singh, Deepak Thakur, Inderjeet Chadha, Shivender Singh and Didar Singh. Rehan Butt of Pakistan and Arjun Hallappa played a good hockey and coordinated well in all departments of the game.

As per the poll conducted by the organisers for this week’s best team, top teams are Chandigarh Dynamos which got 29 per cent votes followed by Maratha Warriors with 28 per cent and Orissa Steelers with 22 per cent votes.

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PSB, Namdhari XI in last eight
Ravi Dhaliwal

Nabha, January 9
Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) defeated five-time champions BSF, Jalandhar, 3-1 to enter the quarterfinals of the 30th All-India Liberals Hockey Tournament at the Ripudaman College grounds here today.

In the day’s other matches, Namdhari XI beat RCF, Kapurthala, 2-1, CISF pounded Rock Rovers 4-1 and Punjab Police downed CRPF 3-2.

After today’s engagements, the line-up for the quarterfinal stage, scheduled to be played tomorrow, is complete. PSB take on Centre of Excellence, Patiala, Namdhari XI cross swords with SRC, Ramgarh, Corps of Signals play CISF and Punjab Police taken on EME, Jalandhar.

For PSB, left-out Kishen Singh stunned the BSF defence and goalkeeper K.M. Subaiah with two splendid goals within the first quarter.

The Jalandhar security men reduced the margin when centre forward Mukhjinder Singh’s top-of-the-circle strike sounded the board. Undaunted by this reverse, PSB attacked with renewed vigour and closed out the match at 3-1 when Daler Singh scored off a goalmouth melee.

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 BRIEFLY
Adriano Bastos of Brazil celebrates after crossing the finish line to become the overall winner of the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida
Adriano Bastos of Brazil celebrates after crossing the finish line to become the overall winner of the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.
— AP/PTI

Pawar may meet Musharraf
ISLAMABAD:
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sharad Pawar, who would be there to watch the first day of the first Test between India and Pakistan in Lahore on January 13, might also travel to Islamabad to meet President Pervez Musharraf. Mr Pawar, travelling by a special plane, would go to Karachi to attend the ICC meeting on January 12 and later go to Lahore to watch the match. After that he might travel to Islamabad to meet General Musharraf, local daily The News quoted officials as saying. The date and time of the meeting is yet to be fixed. Mr Pawar’s meeting with Musharraf assumes significance as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already made it clear that he would not be visiting Pakistan to watch any of the matches. — PTI

Glitzy NFL
KOLKATA:
With live music, dance performances from the trendy Zeebra girls, players’ promos and road shows, the ONGC Cup 10th National Football League that kicks off here on Tuesday promises to be a perfect blend of entertainment and on-field action. While local giants East Bengal clash with Mohammedan Sporting in the opening match at the Salt Lake Stadium, the preceding inaugural ceremony would see five finalists of the popular music talent hunt show “Sa Re Ga Ma” enthralling the audience. Adding to the glitz, Bollywood singer Shaan would perform some of his hit tunes, said Chief Operating Officer of Zee Sports Gary Lovejoy. — PTI

Imran’s hospital
LAHORE:
Some of the Indian cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, have accepted an invitation from Pakistani great Imran Khan to visit the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Research Hospital here on the day of Id. Imran, who built the hospital in memory of his mother, extended the invitation to the players recently and is said to be happy with their prompt reply. The legendary all-rounder wanted the Indian cricketers to see the work being done for cancer patients as he believed it would help in raising funds for the running of the hospital. The hospital provides free-of-cost treatment to the needy. The funds are generated from “Zakat” or private donations and fund raising campaigns. — PTI

Jyoti 120th
NEW DELHI:
Placed 120th, Jyoti Randhawa consolidated his stature as the highest-ranked Indian player, while Arjun Atwal is 161st and young Shiv Kapur 186th in the latest Official World Golf Ranking issue on Monday. Stewart Appleby, who defeated Vijay Singh to win his third straight Mercedes Championships, climbed nine places to 21st. Vijay closed the gap with Tiger Woods to less than seven points and the American now has precisely 6.98 average points cushion over the Fijian. The latest rankings have Randhawa at 120 with 1.24 average points, Atwal (.92) at 161st and Volvo Masters of Asia winner Shiv Kapur (.82) at the 186th place. Jeev Milkha Singh (.33), who failed to qualify for this season's US, languishes at 375. — UNI
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