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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Dalmiya gets BCCI notice
Rubbishes misappropriation charges

Mumbai, February 27
The Board of Control of Cricket for India (BCCI) has issued a show-cause notice to former President Jagmohan Dalmiya, asking him to reply on the issue of PILCOM account, raised by treasurer N. Srinivasan at the February 21 working committee meeting.
Former BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya addresses mediapersons in Kolkata on Monday Former BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya addresses mediapersons in Kolkata on Monday. — PTI photo

Vaughan ruled out of first Test
Nagpur, February 27
England’s hopes of winning a Test series in India after more than two decades suffered a huge setback today when their inspirational skipper Michael Vaughan was ruled out of the first Test after failing a fitness test.
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Shoaib to go under knife today
Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, February 27
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will undergo an arthroscopic surgery on both his knees in Melbourne tomorrow. Pakistan Cricket Board Director Saleem Altaf said today that Shoaib was diagnosed by Melbourne-based Dr David Young who advised the speedster an immediate surgery.

Bangladesh keen to improve Test record
Chittagong, February 27
Bangladesh are hoping to inspire themselves with their one-day wins when they take on Sri Lanka in a two-Test series starting here tomorrow. “Our Test record is not good but we are confident of doing better after our recent performances in one-dayers,” said captain Habibul Bashar, who led his team to their first international win over Sri Lanka last week.


Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan bowls during a practice session at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium in Chittagong on Monday
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan bowls during a practice session at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium in Chittagong on Monday. Muralitharan will play his 100th Test when Lanka take on Bangladesh in the first Test beginning on Tuesday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES
 

Hockey eves seek Aussie coach
Lucknow, February 27
The Indian women hockey team, aiming for the defence of Commonwealth Games title in Down Under next month, have expressed desire for help from a seasoned Aussie coach to beat the Australian team in their first outing of the tourney on March 16.

Fransa match on schedule
New Delhi, February 27
Despite protests by Air-India, their National Football League match against Fransa Pax would be held as per the amended schedule on March 2, the AIFF said today.

Nike signs 7-year deal with AIFF
New Delhi, February 27
After dressing some of the best teams in the world such as Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States and South Korea, global sports goods giant Nike has now set its sights on the Indian football team.





All-India Football Federation President Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi (left) with Indian football star Bhaichung Bhutia in New Delhi on Monday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi 
All-India Football Federation President Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi with Indian football star Bhaichung Bhutia in New Delhi on Monday

Brabourne Stadium to host Davis Cup tie
New Delhi, February 27
The All-India Tennis Association today confirmed that the April 7-9 Davis Cup tie against Pakistan would be held at the Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

Noordeep, Rajveer best in sports 
Ambala, February 27
The annual sports meet was held at PKR Jain Vatika School, Ambala City, yesterday. The meet was started by school management president Bharat Bhushan Jain. The children showcased their talent by displaying karate, yoga and skating. They made varied formations and carried out tambourine drill. The students sang ''Suno Gaur Se Duniya....”

Puri is BAI Vice-President



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Dalmiya gets BCCI notice
Rubbishes misappropriation charges

Mumbai, February 27
The Board of Control of Cricket for India (BCCI) has issued a show-cause notice to former President Jagmohan Dalmiya, asking him to reply on the issue of PILCOM account, raised by treasurer N. Srinivasan at the February 21 working committee meeting.

Confirming this, BCCI executive secretary in charge Prof Ratnakar Shetty told UNI that Mr Dalmiya has been given 15 days to reply to the notice, which has been signed by board secretary Niranjan Shah.

Meanwhile, Mr Dalmiya, who addressed the media in Kolkata today, has rubbished the claims made by the BCCI against him. Addressing a press conference for the first time after February 21, when allegations of gross misappropriation and swindling of funds were levelled against him, Mr Dalmiya said, “Today I sent the 33-page document to the BCCI. I have made this entire document available to the Press.”

“The document contains point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations, levelled at the BCCI Working Committee meeting, and a personal tirade, led by BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi. I want the world to know about this,” he said.

Asked about the show-cause notice served on him, Mr Dalmiya told UNI, “I have no explanation for this. There is no logic. God knows what they will do next.”

Another source close to the BCCI said, “Today is the sixth day of the seven-day timeframe by which Mr Dalmiya was supposed to get back with his reply. Today he faxed his page-by-page, point-by-point counter of the allegations around 2.30 p.m. and pat comes the show-cause notices.”

The notice had asked Mr Dalmiya to respond within 15 days on the same allegations made against him at the Working Committee meeting on February 21 and asked why action should not be taken against him under Clause 38 of the BCCI constitution.

Incidentally, today’s reply contained the answers to the allegations for which the notice had been served. Mr Dalmiya said at the conference that the reply deals with individual notes on INDCOM, PILCOM and annexure referring to the RBI and FERA. Asked if he would take any legal steps, he said, “I will not hesitate to take legal action if it continues any further. I have already handed over the papers to my lawyers and the moment they advise me I will proceed.”

Asked to comment on the transparency in the BCCI’s operations under the new regime, he said, “I have a lot to say but not today. But once I have come to you I will keep coming back.”

In a highly charged address, Mr Dalmiya said, “Traditions are not made overnight. It is made of proper and continuous nursing. The reply is not only to clear me of the allegations, but my family, colleagues, business associates and the cricket fans of this country.”

Asked if it was just a ploy to malign him, he said, “I was flabbergasted at the way a few people in the working committee reacted. Mr Sharad Pawar was restrained, sober and rationale. But the way in which Lalit Modi talked to the Press and as he was an office-bearer, I assume that it is BCCI’s stand.”

“I can say this much that no one, the BCCI, CAB or any other person, has lost a single rupee,” Mr Dalmiya came out loud and clear.

Talking at a stretch for over 70 minutes, Mr Dalmiya unfolded his explanations against the allegations. Talking about the INDCOM and PILCOM account, Mr Dalmiya said, “All accounts of INDCOM had been duly settled. PILCOM has only one account in London in Citi Bank. There is no other account anywhere. The account in CAB is an imprest account that was kept to handle the cases and daily expenses to tackle the IT cases based in Kolkata.”

He further explained that the PILCOM consisted of Justice Dr Nasim Hasan Shah (Pakistan) as Chairman, the late Madhavrao Scindia (India) as President, Mr Shahid Rafi (Pakistan) as treasurer and himself as Convenor-Secretary. So all accounts were verified by the gentlemen from Pakistan. Now we could not close the account as we were fighting the IT cases.

“The BCCI asked me why the account was not closed and money not handed over to Pakistan. This is preposterous,” Mr Dalmiya said.

“When they asked me to hand over the money it was evident that they would close the account. But how am I to know about that beforehand and close the account. This looks like a hit-and-run policy,” Mr Dalmiya added.

About the withdrawal of Rs 65,000 every month from the CAB account, he gave a detailed account of the expenses made, stating that Rs 6,05,000 was withdrawn with break-ups and the remaining money returned to the BCCI from the account was the balance after the expenditure details of which was furnished to the last paisa.

“Regarding the $ 4 million due from TWI towards TV rights for the World Cup 1996, I want to state categorically that I am not aware of any amount being due from the TWI. The onus is upon the convenor-secretary, who has levelled the allegations to substantiate it with documentary evidence. He may be called upon to justify,” he said with conviction.

Mr Dalmiya fought tears as he said, “The allegations levelled are wild and baseless. For no cogent or valid reason, I have been defamed by circulation of malicious false aspersion”

“I believe that there are two vibrant bodies in this country. One is media and the other the judiciary system. I have come to the media and I will not wait for long. If necessary I will take legal steps,” he iterated. — UNI 

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Vaughan ruled out of first Test
S.S. Ramaswamy

England’s Michael Vaughan wipes his sweat during a training session in Nagpur on Monday
England’s Michael Vaughan wipes his sweat during a training session in Nagpur on Monday. — Reuters photo

Nagpur, February 27
England’s hopes of winning a Test series in India after more than two decades suffered a huge setback today when their inspirational skipper Michael Vaughan was ruled out of the first Test after failing a fitness test.

The 31-year-old Manchester-born Vaughan, whose knee was operated on after he returned midway from last year’s tour of Pakistan, would be flying home at the earliest to attend to his troublesome knee.

“He has not been ruled out of the entire tour but is going to miss the first Test and is returning home,” team’s media manager Andrew Walpole said.

However, at the moment it looks highly unlikely that Vaughan would come back for the tour, comprising three Tests and seven one-dayers.

The latest setback is a major blow for the Englishmen’s hopes of winning a Test series in India for the first time since 1984-85 when David Gower’s team beat Sunil Gavaskar’s squad 2-1 in a five-Test series.

Only two other English teams have won a Test series in India, Douglas Jardine’s team in the early 1930s when India were the minnows of cricket and Tony Greig’s 1976 squad.

England could not have had a more hassled start to their tour, bogged as they are by injury and other problems.

Marcus Trescothick, who deputised for Vaughan in Pakistan, has already flown back home due to “personal reasons”, while paceman Simon Jones hurt himself during practice this morning.

In the absence of Vaughan and Trescothick, exciting all- rounder and star of the last Ashes series, Andrew Flintoff, would lead the squad in the first Test that begins here on Wednesday.

As if to celebrate his elevation as captain for the first time, the Lancashireman practised for one hour more than the rest of his team-mates today at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, the venue of the Test.

The injury scare to Jones — a key member of the tourists’ Ashes-winning team and very prone to injuries resulted from a fall on his follow through while bowling at the nets.

The Welshman took some time to get off the turn, clutching his ankle, and then had to be helped off the field. It was learned later he had gone for a scan and the report was awaited.

The team has had a horrendous tryst with injuries and sickness ever since landing in India on February 13. Paul Collingwood suffered a back spasm during the tourists’ warm-up game against a Cricket Club of India eleven at Mumbai.

He later missed the first-class fixture against the Board President’s XI at Baroda. However, it seems he has recovered well, as per team sources.

Some other players were down with a stomach virus but have also recovered.

The team has already called in reinforcements in the form of pace bowler James Anderson and left-handed opener Alastair Cook while the third, Owais Shah, is set to join the squad by tomorrow morning.

“There would not be any replacements for Vaughan as we have already got three newcomers,” Walpole told mediapersons.

Meanwhile, Flintoff’s first stint as the captain of the England team promises to be a torrid one as he prepares to lead a side which has never played against India.

His own susceptibility to leg spinner Anil Kumble and offie Harbhajan Singh is likely to make the stand-in captain’s job of handling the team in the absence of Vaughan and Trescothick, the other two than him to have played against the Indians, all the more difficult.

Flintoff will go into the match in Nagpur with a surprising record of five dismissals for a total of just 34 runs and an average of less than seven against the Indian spin duo.

The spinners, who are a lethal combo on the dead tracks here, have taken 53 wickets against England at home, with the leg spinner leading the way with 40 in six Tests at 21.40. Harbhajan has 13 wickets at 24.53 each.

However, the visitors can take heart from the fact that the relatively unsung Matthew Hoggard has a solid record against India and has taken nine wickets at 31.22 on the last tour.

In contrast, Flintoff hasn’t enjoyed Test success against any of India’s big three, bowling 567 deliveries to Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag, at a cost of 217 runs but no wickets. — PTI, UNI

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Shoaib to go under knife today

Karachi, February 27
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will undergo an arthroscopic surgery on both his knees in Melbourne tomorrow. Pakistan Cricket Board Director Saleem Altaf said today that Shoaib was diagnosed by Melbourne-based Dr David Young who advised the speedster an immediate surgery.

“According to Dr Young, the knees are not in good shape at present and required immediate repair. The arthroscopic surgery will take place on Tuesday and, at least, it will require another eight weeks before the rehabilitation process can start,” Altaf said.

Shoaib had been carrying a niggle in the ankle since the start of the home series in October last year. Before the third one-day international against India earlier this month, he was diagnosed with stress fracture in the ankle.

However, it remains a mystery how the world’s fast bowler suddenly developed degenerative disease in both the knees.

Altaf said it was premature to say if Shoaib would miss the three-month England tour starting July for four Tests and five one-day internationals.

Shoaib has already been ruled out of next month’s Sri Lanka tour on which Pakistan will play two Tests and three one-day internationals.

“We will have to monitor his recovery. Shoaib is an asset and we would not like to rush his comeback and lose him forever. It has to be very calculative comeback for Shoaib and requires patience from both the parties,” Altaf said.

Altaf said Dr Young and PCB panel of doctors had a teleconference today just to exchange notes and share views. “The consensus is that the surgery is inevitable and must not be delayed.”

According to Pakistan’s leading orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, the degenerative disease was a common injury. “After a certain age, it happens to everyone. Domestic people get it after an average of 30 years while sportsmen catch it early because of the stress they put on their knees that perform the duties of shock absorbers.

“In arthroscopic surgery, we insert a small instrument inside the knee and scruff the damaged portions. It helps to prolong the careers of the sportsmen by three to four years. It is not a serious injury if diagnosed early and operated perfectly,” he said.

Pakistan’s champion spinner Saqlain Mushtaq also underwent an arthroscopic surgery a couple of years ago but has not been able to take the field again.

Former world squash champion Jansher Khan’s career also ended prematurely because of bad knees and mishandled arthroscopic surgery. — PTI 

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Bangladesh keen to improve Test record

Chittagong, February 27
Bangladesh are hoping to inspire themselves with their one-day wins when they take on Sri Lanka in a two-Test series starting here tomorrow.
“Our Test record is not good but we are confident of doing better after our recent performances in one-dayers,” said captain Habibul Bashar, who led his team to their first international win over Sri Lanka last week.

The home side won the second one-dayer of a three-match series in Bogra on Wednesday to keep alive the series, a rarity for Bangladesh.

They eventually lost 2-1 but after wins over India and Australia in the past two seasons, they have shown their capability of springing the odd surprise in the one-day form of the game.

But they have yet to turn the tables on any big team in Tests, having lost 35 of their matches, 24 by innings margins.

Their only win was against Zimbabwe and they have yet to save a Test against Sri Lanka after five away matches. Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene though said his team would not take things easy in the Tests.

“We have to work hard and need to show patience, temperament and maturity. But the presence of players like Muttiah Muralitharan is always a big morale booster for us in Test matches.”

Muralitharan, who was rested for the one-dayers, will be playing his 100th Test.

The ace off-spinner, who has taken 584 wickets, is second on the list of wicket-takers in Tests behind Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne (659 in 135 Tests).

The second Test will be held in the northern city of Bogra from March 8.

Teams (from): Bangladesh: Habibul Bashar (capt), Khaled Mashud, Shahriar Nafees, Rajin Saleh, Javed Omar, Nafees Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Rafique, Enamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Syed Rasel, Tapash Baisya, Shahadat Hossain.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Michael Vandort, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Prasanna Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Malinga Bandara, Farveez Maharoof, Dammika Prasad, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Sajeewa Weerakoon. — AFP

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Hockey eves seek Aussie coach

Lucknow, February 27
The Indian women hockey team, aiming for the defence of Commonwealth Games title in Down Under next month, have expressed desire for help from a seasoned Aussie coach to beat the Australian team in their first outing of the tourney on March 16.

Bob Haigh, head coach of the South Australia Institute of Sports, who was also a member of the silver winning Aussie men team that prevented India from entering Olympic final for the first time in 1968, is the most preferred choice of the Indian eves and chief coach M.K. Kaushik.

Earlier in April, 2005, Haigh became the first foreigner to coach the Indians during a month-long training stint Down Under. Gaining markedly from the guidance of Haigh, the 20-member Indian team defeated Aussie women hockey club in all six matches played thereafter.

“Bob is a great coach who has not only proved his credentials with the women’s teams on club level, but also assisted Hockeyroos coach Ric Charlesworth in preparing the Aussie national side for run up to Sydney Olympics,” Kaushik, member of the 1980 Moscow Olympic winning Indian men team told UNI here today.

Interacting with the UNI on the sidelines of an over three-month long training camp for the Indian eves aiming title defence at Melbourne Commonwealth Games said, ‘’Our girls were put on a gruelling schedule under Haigh, who not only improved their fitness levels but also trained them in working under different attack and defence formations against quality sides like Australia and Netherlands.”

“We had requested the Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF) for a short stint with Haigh again before the games in Melbourne to shape up the team better. But the request of that training and Test matches against Korea, China and Japan as a run up to the games did not see the light of the day,” the coach claimed.

It is not only Kaushik, who is favouring touching up the team with Haigh, but also players including Mamta Kharab, the girl whose golden goal clinched the maiden Commonwealth triumph in Manchester 2002, and Arjuna awardee goalkeeper Hallen Marry.

The national team preparing at the artificial turf on the SAI Centre here, however, had a dissenting voice in coach-cum-manager Anurita Saini, a member of the 1982 Asian Games winner Indian women’s team. “We do not need any guidance from a foreign coach, be it three time Olympic silver medallist Haigh or anyone else,” she said. — UNI

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Fransa match on schedule

New Delhi, February 27
Despite protests by Air-India, their National Football League match against Fransa Pax would be held as per the amended schedule on March 2, the AIFF said today.

“As of now, the Fransa-Air-India match will be played on March 2 as per the decision of the federation President,” All-India Football Federation Secretary-General Alberto Colaco told reporters here.

The fracas arising out of Fransa’s threat to withdraw from the NFL after the controversial match against Mahindra United on January 30 had led to another redrawing of the schedule. Air-India were initially granted three points for their match against Fransa when the Goan side failed to turn up at the ground on February 3.

But later the AIFF went back on its decision and rescheduled the three matches Fransa missed, which rankled the Air-India management.

But today Colaco denied that the airmen had refused to play the match.

“Air-India has conveyed to the AIFF that they have granted leave to their players and they would face problems in re-assembling them for the match. They have asked us to reconsider the schedule.

“We have asked them to give their stand in writing and any further decision would be taken after we receive their letter,” Colaco said. — PTI 

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Nike signs 7-year deal with AIFF 

New Delhi, February 27
After dressing some of the best teams in the world such as Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States and South Korea, global sports goods giant Nike has now set its sights on the Indian football team.

The American company signed a seven-year deal as the official kit sponsor with the All-India Football Federation today after signing a similar contract with the Indian Cricket Board last month.

The agreement comes after the AIFF clinched a 10-year television rights deal with Zee Sports worth Rs 273 crore last year.

As per the contract, Nike will supply apparel, footwear and equipment to various national football teams. The agreement covers the senior men and women’s sides and age-specific teams in the under-16 and under-20 category.

“The new partnership with Nike will bring in cutting edge innovation in apparel and footwear to our players, which we believe will enhance their on-field performance,” AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said at the launch.

However, the deal amount was not disclosed by either party saying “details were still being worked out.” Nike also dresses top European clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan, but the company has no such plans in India as of now.

“We have just started our association with the AIFF and have not thought about similar deals with Indian clubs,” Sanjay Mehra, General Manager of Nike India, said.

As part of the deal, the multinational will also undertake marketing and promotional activities at the grassroots level and merchandise replicas of the Indian team jerseys. — PTI

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Brabourne Stadium to host Davis Cup tie

New Delhi, February 27
The All-India Tennis Association today confirmed that the April 7-9 Davis Cup tie against Pakistan would be held at the Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

“We have decided to hold it at CCI. We will be writing to International Tennis Federation today,” AITA Secretary General Anil Khanna told PTI.

The decision was made after an AITA panel including Khanna visited the stadium over the weekend and assessed the suitability of the venue.

Captain Leander Paes had checked out the facilities and conveyed his “no objection” to the AITA a few days ago.

India and Pakistan would be meeting only for the sixth time in the Cup history and for the first time since 1973 when they last played at a neutral venue, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The two countries would be playing in a first round relegation play-off of the Asia-Oceania Group 1 after India lost the first round promotional tie to Korea and Pakistan to Chinese Taipei. — PTI 

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Noordeep, Rajveer best in sports 
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 27
The annual sports meet was held at PKR Jain Vatika School, Ambala City, yesterday.
The meet was started by school management president Bharat Bhushan Jain. The children showcased their talent by displaying karate, yoga and skating. They made varied formations and carried out tambourine drill. The students sang ''Suno Gaur Se Duniya....”

Fun races, including bursting balloons, crawling race and hurdles, were also held. Parents also participated in brick race. Noordeep was adjudged the best sports girl while Rajveer was the best sports boy.

Sports day: The annual sports day was held at Father’s International School, Panjokhra, today.

The school principal said sports not only provided recreation but also helped in overall development of personality. Sports inculcated values, including leadership, obedience, punctuality, tolerance, cooperation and discipline.

Those who performed well in sports included Arashdeep, Anjali, Ravinder, Amanpreet, Radhika, Anmol, Ankit, Ramanpreet, Gurpreet, Harjeet, Kamaljeet, Gurjeet, Ramanpreet, Kritika, Kamaljeet, Lovepreet, Suraj and Jaspreet.

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T.P.S. Puri Puri is BAI Vice-President

Chandigarh, February 27
Mr T.P.S. Puri, former chief national badminton coach, has been elected Vice-President of the Badminton Association of India.
He has also held the post of the chief badminton coach, NIS. He is at present working as an International Badminton Federation expert for solidarity courses and a development committee member of the IBF. — TNS

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 BRIEFLY

Indian Oil win
NEW DELHI:
Indian Oil, despite taking a 3-0 lead, were given a close run by Army XI before winning 3-2 in a Pool I Super League match of the All-India Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here on Monday.
International Prabhjot Singh scored two quick goals in the last quarter of the first half and Inderjit Chadha struck the third goal immediately on resumption to give Indian Oil a 3-0 lead. But towards the fag of the match, Army XI reduced the margin thanks to a brace from D Mahadik. In other matches, Punjab and Sind Bank edged past South Central Railway 1-0, while Bharat Petroleum defeated Air India 3-1. — OSR

Sania still 36th
New Delhi:
Sania Mirza just about managed to retain the 36th place in the latest WTA rankings despite her early exit in last week’s Dubai Open tennis tournament.
The Indian, who played with an injured right elbow, had gone down fighting in the first round to Swiss Martina Hingis, currently on a comeback trail after a long layoff. However, partnering Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela, the Hyderabadi had reached the second round of the doubles in the same event. — PTI

Korfball meet
Amritsar:
Hosts Guru Nanak Dev University and Amravati University, Amravati, won their preliminary matches in the All-India Inter-University Korfball Championship which began on the university grounds here on Monday. GNDU outclassed Nagpur University 10-3, while Amravati University beat Pune University 5-4. — OSR

Punjab b’ball
LUDHIANA:
Thirtyfive teams in men’s and women’s sections are expected to take part in the 36th Punjab Senior Basketball Championship to be held here at Guru Nanak Stadium from February 2 to 5, according to Mr Rajdeep Singh Gill, President, Punjab Basketball Association. Over 40 matches will be played during this four-day championship. — OSR

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