SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India’s appeal unsporting: Haq
Islamabad, February 8
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has slammed the Indian team for appealing against him for obstructing the field in the first One-Day International at Peshawar and termed it as “against the spirit of cricket”. Inzamam was ruled out obstructing the field after he stopped a fielder’s throw with the bat while attempting to get back to his crease in the series opener on Monday.


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq reacts after his dismissal during the first one-day international match against India in Peshawar. — AFP photo

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq reacts after his dismissal during the first one-day international match against India in Peshawar

Inzamam’s dismissal just not cricket
I believe it was very unsporting of the Indian cricket team to successfully appeal for obstructing the field against Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and that too at a very crucial stage of the first one-day international at Peshawar.

Dravid’s men slip in rankings
Dubai, February 8
Defeat in the first one dayer against Pakistan took its toll on Rahul Dravid’s men with no Indian in the list of top 10 batsmen even though Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh made it in the bowlers chart, according to the latest LG ICC ODI rankings issue today.

SC asks DD to carry nonstop ODI coverage
New Delhi, February 8
The Supreme Court today asked Doordarshan not to air its programme “Fourth Umpire” during lunch breaks of the on-going one-day international cricket series between India and Pakistan and carry “uninterrupted feed” of the matches received from Ten Sports.

BCCI to revise match fee for umpires
New Delhi, February 8
BCCI today decided to revise the match fees for the domestic umpires and taking cue from Cricket Australia, create a fast track in the umpiring system for retired first class cricketers.





Russian Elena Dementieva hits a return to Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson during their second round match at the Paris indoor tournament
Russian Elena Dementieva hits a return to Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson during their second round match at the Paris indoor tournament on Wednesday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES

 

Weightlifting team for C’wealth Games announced
Patiala, February 8
The Indian Weightlifting Federation has packed no surprises in the 14-member squad, which includes seven women lifters, for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held at Melbourne from March 17 to 27.

Sania topples sixth seed
Paris, February 8
Sania Mirza was back at her best as she shocked sixth seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy in straight sets in the women’s singles first round of the $ 600,000 Gaz de France tennis event here yesterday.

Sania Mirza

Weather playing spoilsport: Paes
New Delhi, February 8
An away match with Korea has brought with it the familiar woes of cold weather to the Indian Davis Cup team

Sania Mirza

India cruise into Super League
Colombo, February 8
India toyed with Scotland before inflicting a huge eight-wicket defeat on the Associate side with 31 overs in hand to breeze into the Super League of the sixth ICC Under-19 World Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium here today.

Fransa Pax seek rematch with Air-India
New Delhi, February 8
Fransa Pax Club of Goa have sought a re-match of their tie against Air India while replying to the All-India Football Federation’s ultimatum to the club to explain their unbecoming conduct in the 10th National Football League match against Mahindra United at Margao (Goa) on January 30.

Vineeta to lead Delhi soccer team
New Delhi, February 8
Vineeta Baloni of IGIPES (Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports) will lead a 20-member Delhi state team in the 14th Senior National Women’s Football Championship to be held at the Bhilai Steel Plant ground (Chhattisgarh) from February 10 to 26.
Top








 

India’s appeal unsporting: Haq

Islamabad, February 8
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has slammed the Indian team for appealing against him for obstructing the field in the first One-Day International at Peshawar and termed it as “against the spirit of cricket”.

Inzamam was ruled out obstructing the field after he stopped a fielder’s throw with the bat while attempting to get back to his crease in the series opener on Monday.

Pakistan, chasing 329 to win, went on to win the match by Duckworth-Lewis method after their innings was cut short by three overs due to bad light.

The home captain, who became only the third person to be given out in this rare manner in ODIs, said he never imagined that the Indian squad led by Rahul Dravid would resort to “such a thing” and warned that the appeal made in “an unsportsmanlike manner” can lead to bad blood between the two teams.

Inzamam also made a veiled reference to Indian coach Greg Chappell instructing his younger brother Trevor to bowl underarm in a one-day international to prevent New Zealand from scoring a boundary off the last ball for victory in the early 1980s.

“In my role as the Pakistan captain I would say that the appeal from the Indian fielders was against the spirit of cricket. Certainly, there are several modes in which a batsman can be declared out, but many of them are not in the spirit of the game,” Inzamam wrote in his column in The News.

“I am particularly referring to the obstructing the field, handled the ball and hit the ball twice dismissals, also about the illegal practice of underarm bowling and running out a batsman while backing out.

“The Indian fielders appealed when the Peshawar match was in a crucial state. I would not have imagined Rahul Dravid and his team would do such a thing.

“I am not bothered about my dismissal but an appeal made in an unsportsmanlike manner by the visiting team can have an adverse affect on the relations between the two opponents.

“I have surely impressed on my team not to make much of the Peshawar incident. However, in my personal opinion the appeal was not made in a sporting manner. Instead, it might have left a bad taste in the mouth.”

Inzamam said the umpires’ decision was certainly according to the rules of the game, but added however that he was unable to comprehend this particular law of cricket.

He said had he not brought his bat in front of the ball it could have hit his body instead.

Indian team manager Raj Singh Dungarpur told PTI that he had not seen the comments made by the Pakistani captain but assured that the team would discuss it at its meeting.

“We may also take it up with the concerned authorities if it’s warranted,” he added. — PTI

Top

 

Inzamam’s dismissal just not cricket
Moin Khan

I believe it was very unsporting of the Indian cricket team to successfully appeal for obstructing the field against Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and that too at a very crucial stage of the first one-day international at Peshawar. To me, it appears that the Indian team was desperate to win the game by hook or by crook, no matter even it came at the expense of the norms of this sport known as the gentleman’s game.

I don’t blame Suresh Raina for throwing and then appealing. He is new to the game and his enthusiasm is understandable. But the backup by skipper Rahul Dravid is deplorable. He is not new to the sport and should have realised what consequences his decision would have on the bearing of the series (being played under the banner of Friendship) and likewise, on his personality.

A captain needs to stand tall and handle situations, specially when they come in critical stages of the game and I think, Dravid has not only let himself down but also his team. I am dead sure that if Sourav Ganguly would have been the captain, the matter would have been defused tactfully and sportingly. But probably, Dravid still needs to go a long way before he can fit properly into Sourav’s shoes.

I understand that according to the laws of the game, Inzamam was out and if he does not know the laws, then it is not the fault of the law but Inzamam himself. But my point is that there are several cricketing laws that we don’t follow because they are not considered within the spirit of the game.

Batsmen don’t run for singles or twos when the ball is deflected off their bodies or bats from throws, batsmen pick the ball and throw it to the close-in fielder or the bowler when it falls close to them. So much so, when Greg Chappell told his brother Trevor to bowl the last ball under-arm, it was also within the laws of the game.

I fear history might not forgive Dravid for his poor captaincy and unsporting attitude. After all, we have still not forgotten the acts of the Chappells, have we?

On Inzamam’s part, I think it is time that he reads the laws of the game instead of making himself a fool in the prize distribution ceremony by saying he does not understand the law. If a man after playing international cricket for 16 years can’t understand the laws, what message he is passing on to the next generation of players present in the dressing room or knocking at the doors of international cricket.

The incident is also an eye opener for the cricket establishment and if it can have refresher and written exams for the domestic umpires and match referees, it can start similar tests for the first-class cricketers so that when they enter the international arena, they exactly know the laws and its interpretations.

The Peshawar incident is now a test case for Inzamam because I have all the reasons to believe that tempers will be high in the Pakistan camp and the players would not waste any opportunity to give the Indian batsmen the dose of their own medicine. Inzamam has to brainwash his boys and maintain the spirit in which the series is being played.

The more I see this Pakistan team, the more I get fond of it because it is gaining the same consistency, intensity and reputation Pakistan enjoyed from 1986 first under Imran Khan and then under Wasim Akram. The only difference being that this team is young while the previous ones were experienced and included mega stars.

But what those teams could not achieve was to successfully chase targets which this side is now doing on a more regular basis. This indicates the mental toughness, determination and never-say-die policy for which all the credit must go to Inzamam.

Inzamam, contrary to the general perception, has been an aggressive, courageous and tough competitor and that’s what he has successfully injected into this team. I mean the way they batted in Peshawar was exemplary and praise-worthy and all the credit must go to young guns Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik for setting the perfect stage. They never took the pressure of the 329-run target and in fact, forced the Indian bowling into submission. It was sad that bad light intervened and the result came with the assistance of Duckworth-Lewis method.

Nevertheless, I still think Pakistan would have got 18 off 18 without much trouble as the last three overs had to be shared between Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Murali Kartik after Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth had run out of their quota. — PTI

Top

 

Dravid’s men slip in rankings

Dubai, February 8
Defeat in the first one dayer against Pakistan took its toll on Rahul Dravid’s men with no Indian in the list of top 10 batsmen even though Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh made it in the bowlers chart, according to the latest LG ICC ODI rankings issue today.

Dravid, himself, slid one rung to make an exit from the top 10 list and is now ranked 11th with 696 points.

Despite his ton for a losing cause in Peshawar, Sachin Tendulkar dropped a notch to 21st, while downslide continued for Virender Sehwag who was the biggest loser among the Indians, slipping five places to 23rd. Yuvraj Singh too could not improve his position and went one spot down to 25th.

The only saving grace was hard-hitting stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who climbed four places to finish 17th.

Belted all over the park in all the Test matches and with no respite in the first ODI as well, Indian bowlers cut a sorry figure.

Far from impressive with the cherry, Irfan Pathan dropped to ninth even though Harbhajan Singh moved up a place to make his entry in the top 10.

Meanwhile, Salman Butt’s century lifted him into the top 50 — up seven places to 47th — for the first time.

Australian domination was complete in the rankings with Brett Lee topping the bowlers’ list and Adam Gilchrist at the top of the batting rankings. — UNI

Top

 

SC asks DD to carry nonstop ODI coverage

New Delhi, February 8
The Supreme Court today asked Doordarshan not to air its programme “Fourth Umpire” during lunch breaks of the on-going one-day international cricket series between India and Pakistan and carry “uninterrupted feed” of the matches received from Ten Sports.

The direction came from a Bench of Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice Arun Kumar after Ten Sports counsel P.H. Parikh complained to the court that Prasar Bharti was violating the January 30 order directing the public broadcaster to carry the “uninterrupted feed” from beginning to the end.

Appearing for the Prasar Bharti, Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati submitted that Doordarshan was carrying the uninterrupted feed and its programme ‘Fourth Empire’ was aired during the lunch break when there was no live coverage of the match.

However, the Bench said “uninterrupted means from the beginning till the end” and asked Doordarshan not to insert its own programme during lunch hours.

Prasar Bharti CEO K.S. Sarma and Vahanvati had tried to sort out the issue with Ten Sports outside the court yesterday, but the efforts failed and Ten Sports took up the matter before the court today.

Ten Sports, which has the exclusive telecast rights of the series, and Doordarshan had reached on an agreement on January 30 under which the public broadcaster was allowed to share “uninterrupted feed” from Ten Sports.

A Division Bench had directed Prasar Bharati to deposit with the court a sum of Rs 15 crore by February 9 which Ten Sports shall receive as full and final settlement for sharing the “uninterrupted feed” of the five one-dayers.

As per the agreement with Ten Sports, Doordarshan and Prasar Bharati are required not to run any advertisement during their terrestrial transmission and to reduce the power of their satellite so that signals do not spill over to neighbouring countries.

On January 30, Prasar Bharati CEO K.S. Sarma had said the public broadcaster would implement it.

“We will obey the order of the honourable Supreme Court and deposite Rs 15 crore. We will get a feed for all five one-day internationals without running our own advertisements,” he had said.

The court had transferred a petition pending in the Bombay High Court in this regard and said all matters relating to the dispute would be heard by a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme court.

In the petition filed by Taj Television Ltd, owner of Ten Sports, a stay had been sought on the government guidelines which made it mandatory for sports channels to share feed of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati.

Ten Sports had termed the guidelines as arbitrary and without the authority of the law.

The guidelines state that sports channels will share their feed with Prasar Bharati for “national and international sporting events of national importance” being held in India or abroad. — PTI

Top

 

BCCI to revise match fee for umpires

New Delhi, February 8
BCCI today decided to revise the match fees for the domestic umpires and taking cue from Cricket Australia, create a fast track in the umpiring system for retired first class cricketers.

After the Umpires Committee meeting chaired by Board Vice-President Lalit Modi in Mumbai today, the board also announced that it was in the process of finding a suitable sponsor for umpires on the BCCI Panel.

“The committee proposed a revision in the match fees payable to umpires to Rs. 5,000 per match day, uniformly for both Junior and senior Tournaments of the Board for the season 2006-2007,” BCCI Secretary Nirnjan Shah said in a statement.

The committee has unanimously decided to introduce a retainerhship for deserving umpires from the season 2005-2006 and would also review the present panels of the BCCI umpires at the end of the season, he added. — UNI

Top

 

Weightlifting team for C’wealth Games announced
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, February 8
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has packed no surprises in the 14-member squad, which includes seven women lifters, for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held at Melbourne from March 17 to 27.

The team was announced after prolonged deliberations between the IWF President Mr H.J. Dora and the IWF Secretary Mr Balbir Singh Bhatia at the NIS guest house today evening.

Also present at the meeting were Mr Tamil Selvan and Ms Hansa Sharma, the chief coaches of the men’s and women’s squads, respectively. Trials were held in the women’s section yesterday while the men lifters were selected after a bout of trials today.

Among the women lifters are P. Shailja (75 kg) and Geeta Rani (plus 75 kg), both of whom won gold medals in the Commonwealth weightlifting championship held at Melbourne in October last year. Others who have made the cut are Kunjarani Devi (48 kg), who won a gold in the 2002 Manchester edition of the Commonwealth Games, Pramila Velu (63 kg), who also landed a gold in the Melbourne Commonwealth weightlifting championship, Chaya Devi (53 kg), Renu Bala (58 kg), Monica (69 kg), who will be stepping in K.Malleswari's shoes in the 69 kg weight category, and Simple Kaur (plus 75 kg).

In the men’s section, Satisha Rai, who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the Manchester games, has found a place in the 85 kg weight class. Others who have been selected are Vicky Batta (56 kg), M.Arun (62 kg), CPR Sudhir Kumar (69 kg), Mohammad Zakir (77 kg), Tejinder Singh (85 kg) and R Edwin (56 kg).

In a significant development, Mr Balbir Bhatia announced on the public address system during the trials today that any lifter, whether in the Melbourne-bound team or outside the squad preparing for other forthcoming international tourneys like the Asian championships, Doha Asian games and the SAF games, and who requires any information about any medicine, including ayurvedic drugs, should contact Dr Ashok Ahuja, the senior most sports scientist of SAI.

Mr Bhatia also informed the lifters that as the new WADA rules stipulate that the international body can conduct surprise checks anytime at anyplace, the lifters will have to inform the IWF about the place of their training when they disburse from the National camp at the NIS.

Dr Ashok Ahuja will be accompanying the team as the doctor while the coaches who will make the trip are K. Amarnath, M. Tamil Selvan, Hansa Sharma and Jaswant Singh.

Top

 

Sania topples sixth seed

Paris, February 8
Sania Mirza was back at her best as she shocked sixth seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy in straight sets in the women’s singles first round of the $ 600,000 Gaz de France tennis event here yesterday.

After storming through the first set, Sania was bogged down in the second to lag 5-2 behind but came back strongly and clinched in tie-breaker to beat Pennetta 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

“It is always a great feeling to beat a quality player and the win over sixth seeded Pennetta is one of my big wins,” Sania told PTI.

“It makes it even sweeter because Pennetta has been in good form in Australia and has wins over the likes of Martina Hingis.”

The 19-year old Indian had endured an ordinary start to the season, losing in the first round at a Tour event in Sydney and exiting the Australian Open Grand Slam in the second round last month.

She also took a week off to rest her left knee that has been troubled by tendinitis.

Sania next plays home favourite Tatiana Golovin.

“I hope to avenge my loss to her in Japan in October,” Sania, ranked 32, said. — PTI

Top

 

Weather playing spoilsport: Paes

New Delhi, February 8
An away match with Korea has brought with it the familiar woes of cold weather to the Indian Davis Cup team.

Leander Paes and his men are in danger of going into the Asia-Oceania Group 1 first round tie, from Friday to Sunday this week at Changwon near Busan, without any worthwhile match practice as their training has been curtailed by heavy snowfall.

“It has been snowing everyday since we came. The venue and the practice area have all been under three feet of snow,” playing captain Paes told PTI from his hotel room in Korea. “At the moment, I think weather could pose the major threat to our players than the opponents themselves.”

Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj are the other nominated players of the team with 19-year-old Karan Rastogi in the squad as reserve member.

Whereas Bhupathi departed from Bangalore last night, the rest of the team, including coach Nandan Bal had been in Changwon, 50 km from Busan, since Sunday.

But in three days they had had only one real practice session, a long one last evening stretching into the darkness. The quartet has generally spent the time working on its fitness.

“We have used the hotel gym to do some weight training and stretching. The corridors have served as the sprint tracks,” Paes said. The captain said the players were fit and fine, but coming as they were from tropical countries, they found the conditions in Korea a bit difficult.

“At the Australian Open, the on court temperatures were 51 degree Celsius, and here it is minus three,” Paes put the matter in perspective.

India have never beaten Korea on their soil and the rivals lead 4-3 on head to head as well.

The tie coming weekend would be played on hardcourts outdoors, making things that much difficult for the Indians. — PTI

Top

 

India cruise into Super League

Colombo, February 8
India toyed with Scotland before inflicting a huge eight-wicket defeat on the Associate side with 31 overs in hand to breeze into the Super League of the sixth ICC Under-19 World Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium here today.

India face hosts Sri Lanka on Friday to decide which of them tops Group C.

Faced with their modest 113 run victory target, India cruised home with man of the match Cheteshwar Pujara scoring an unbeaten 47 while captain Ravikant Shukla was pushed up the order and made 45.

Earlier opting to field, India showed no mercy and scuttled out Scotland for just 112 in 39.4 overs on a lively pitch.

Seamer Abu Nechim Ahmed was the wrecker-in-chief for India and the right-armer picked up four for 25 in 9.3 overs, including three of the first five wickets to go down.

He was backed up by fellow seamers Vijaykumar Yomahesh (1-23) and Saurabh Bandekar (1-19) while leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (2-24) and left-arm spinner Shabhaz Nadeem (1-18) also enjoyed some success.

Scotland batsmen made it worse playing some loose shots and at one stage they slipped to 49 for six before mounting something of a recovery, led by super-sub Scott MacLennan (25) and Aamir Mehmood (32 not out) who added 51 for the seventh wicket before the last four wickets tumbled for just 12 runs.

It was a real stroll for the pre-tournament favourites who beat Namibia by nine wickets in their opening match but coach Venkatesh Prasad said his players are under no illusions about the task ahead of them.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh reached the Super League for the first time in their history and they did it in style, beating defending champions Pakistan by four wickets.

England, however, huffed and puffed its way to a slender four-run victory against Ireland in another match today. — UNI

Top

 

Fransa Pax seek rematch with Air-India
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, February 8
Fransa Pax Club of Goa have sought a re-match of their tie against Air India while replying to the All-India Football Federation’s (AIFF) ultimatum to the club to explain their unbecoming conduct in the 10th National Football League match against Mahindra United at Margao (Goa) on January 30. (Mahindra United beat Fransa 2-1 via a controversial penalty goal).

Fransa Pax, instead of tendering an apology or regretting their decision to abstain from their match against Air India following the controversial clash against Mahindra United, in two fax messages to the AIFF today, felt that the emergency committee’s decision here yesterday to reject their protest and instead seek a reply from them was a bit harsh.

The club have requested the AIFF to allow them to play the remaining matches of the NFL without being penalised.

But the AIFF will decide on Fransa Pax’s fate only after a meeting of the three-member NFL Disciplinary Committee here tomorrow. The Disciplinary Committee is headed by S R Dev of Madhya Pradesh, and includes N.A. Hamid of Jammu and Kashmir and Capt S.S. Virk of the Services Sports Control Board.

Top

 

Vineeta to lead Delhi soccer team

New Delhi, February 8
Vineeta Baloni of IGIPES (Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports) will lead a 20-member Delhi state team in the 14th Senior National Women’s Football Championship to be held at the Bhilai Steel Plant ground (Chhattisgarh) from February 10 to 26. Defender Priyanka Singh of Kamla Nehru College has been named as the vice-captain.

Twentyfive state teams, including defending champions Manipur, runners-up Bengal, semifinalists Goa and Kerala are among the participants. Delhi take on Maharashtra in their opening match on February 10. — OSR

Top

 
 BRIEFLY

Smith retained skipper
DURBAN:
South Africa has reappointed Graeme Smith as captain for another year despite his team suffring a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri lanka in the final decider of VB series in Hobart on Tuesday.
South African cricket CEO Gerald Majola, announced Smith’s re-appointment Tuesday while releasing a statement on the renewal of the contracts for another one year of Smith and 12 other South African players. — PTI

Boxing meet
FATEHABAD:
The 32nd Junior Haryana State Boxing championship began at the Manohar Memorial College here on Wednesday. Mr Abhey Singh Chautala, President, Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, inaugurated the championship.
In all 166 boxers from various districts of Haryana are participating in the championship, which will conclude on February 11. — OC

Mehra tied 14th
HONG KONG:
Top golfer Smriti Mehra found it hard to cope with the wind conditions and carded three over par 76 in the opening round of the $ 80,000 Hong Kong Ladies Master here on Wednesday.
Mehra, who has returned to the golfing scene after a year-long injury that required two surgeries to her left wrist, was lying tied 14th at the The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau’s North Course (par-73 course) here. — PTI
Top


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |