Bhajji gets extra security
Sehwag owes it to
We went as per rules: BCCI
Yuvi unwilling to risk himself in 1st ODI
Verdict outrages Oz players
Oz name new-look T20 squad
Malik inspires Pak victory
Indian duo to join forces for Olympics
India clinch hockey Test series
Phagwara boys score 2-0 win
Dempo take on JCT today
Double blow at Fed Cup
Melbourne, January 30
"I am very happy, the right decision was made. I am glad it's over," said Harbhajan.
But sensing that Harbhajan could be subject to taunts and insults in Australia now, the Indian off-spinner was afforded extra security ring with four personnels giving him protection.
However, Australian captain Ricky Ponting, it is learnt, was far from happy.
It is learnt that Ponting decided on his own to have the racial abuse charge against Harbhajan downgraded after a series of secret meetings with lawyers during the Test in Adelaide last week.
But he wasn't happy when Harbhajan escaped with just a 50 per cent fine of his match fee.
Ponting agreed to go with the deal effected between Cricket Australia (CA) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after he, and Symonds, realised there was no actual evidence of Harbhajan Singh having used the word "big monkey".
It is learnt Symonds, after the judgement, stated "I can't believe this is happening".
"I'm telling you the truth. That's what I always do. I know what I heard. You know I am a team player".
Cricket Australia had clearly told Ponting that Justice Hansen wouldn't take Andrew Symonds' words to make a decision or those of his team-mates Michael Clarke and Matthew Hayden.
New evidence from Channel Nine's stump microphone failed to pick up Harbhajan's comment, only the one of Symonds "Go and yell at your teammates... you called me a monkey again".
Once Ponting agreed to lower his stance in Adelaide, Harbhajan was happy to plead guilty. PTI
Adelaide, January 30
Sehwag won back his Test spot with a remarkable 151 in Adelaide and is now one of the first names Indian team would tick in for their forthcoming Twenty20 and one-day tri-series in Australia.
Sehwag came to Australia on reputation rather than on form and it was not until his century against ACT XI in Canberra, between the second and third Test, that he was offered a lifeline to resurrect his Test career in Perth.
Kirsten, due to take over as coach of the team in March, arrived as a consultant in Perth and being an opener himself, set about reigniting the career of one of India's most explosive batsmen ever.
Sehwag offered India a positive start in both the innings at Perth but his scores of 29 and 43 did not make for a thumping return. His first innings dismissal in Adelaide, cutting close to his body and being caught at first slip, made Kirsten seek him out for a special session in preparation for the rest of the match.
In this lengthy nets of a few hours, Kirsten asked Sehwag to take an off-stump guard and leave everything which was bowled to him on and around that area. It ostensibly was an attempt to make Sehwag leave out a few shots which he can't resist outside the off-stump.
The second advice was to completely leave out the upper cut -even though it makes for a pleasing, exciting sight to see the ball soar over the slips and sometimes even the third man - for it leaves too much room for errors.
Sehwag was asked to keep his bat perpendicular, allowing his quick hand-eye co-ordination to meet the ball with straight bat and leave out errors such as playing across, as it happened in the second innings of the Perth Test, being bowled by Stuart Clark.
Interestingly, Kirsten offered Sehwag a little challenge of trying to last 150 balls each time he visits to the crease.
The more Sehwag stays at the wicket, more the chances of him scoring runs in spurts and a surge of confidence that rubs off on his fellow mates in the dressing room.
All this worked out brilliantly for Sehwag and India as the visitors were able to salvage a draw after some anxious moments on the final afternoon.
Sehwag's innings was remarkable for a few other reasons as well. He has scored in excess of 150 runs in the last nine Test centuries that he has been able to raise against his name. His Adelaide effort, 151 off 236 balls, is one of his slowest ever!
So much so for all those who were gushing over his slice of 100 runs out of the 128 which India had put on the final morning of the Adelaide Test.
With Yuvraj struggling with his knee and Dhoni yet to inspire confidence, also the uncertainty of how India's young talents would cope in the den of the world champions, Sehwag's return to form, as well as the dazzling brilliance of Sachin Tendulkar, give India their best chance in the rest of the series. PTI
Mumbai, January 30
"As far as BCCI is concerned we went according to the ruling of the ICC. The ICC had appointed Appeals Commissioner Justice John Hansen who is a respected High Court judge in New Zealand. So to find fault and criticise his decision is demeaning and insulting to the office of the Appeals Commissioner," BCCI Chief Administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told PTI.
The Australian media called it a 'Cricket's day of Shame' and reported that Cricket Australia caved in to India's muscle flexing as it was anxious to save the tri-series.
Reports also claimed the Australian players were "frustrated" and dismayed after Harbhajan got away with a fine.
"If India wanted to use its money power there would have been other ways to follow instead of following the procedure set up by the ICC," Shetty said.
"Judge's decision was based on the fact that there was no video or audio recording of the offensive words supposed to have been uttered by Harbhajan. Mike Procter's finding that Sachin Tendulkar could not have heard Harbhajan was also disapproved," he said.
BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah also expressed his utmost disappointment at the Australian media reports.
"We are very disappointed at what has appeared in the Australian media, Shah told PTI.
"Whatever has appeared in the Australian media is bulls**t. I will not agree with this.
"India has a very good relation with Cricket Australia.
It was a very fair trial and no money power was used as claimed. There was no pressure on anyone," he said.
BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla also rubbished the Aussie media allegations and said the decision was taken on the merit.
"It is completely rubbish. How can justice be purchased? They are casting aspersions on an Appeals Commissioner," Shukla said.
"There is no question of wealth power or money power in pushing any decision. It (The decision) has been taken after compete hearing of the case by the appeals commissioner," he said.
"Despite a joint letter by the Indian and Australian cricketers, the Appeals Commissioner did not give any importance to that letter and heard the full case. It was on the basis of merit that he dropped the charges of racism," he added. PTI
Yuvi unwilling to risk himself in 1st ODI
Adelaide, January 30 Yuvraj was miserably out-of-form in the Test series and was left out of the third match after he injured his knee in a practice session. Though Yuvraj has been declared fit by physio John Gloster he is reluctant to test himself out in the first ODI on February 3. The vice-captain in ODIs is surely ruled out of the Twenty20 match in Melbourne on Friday. India's second match is against against Sri Lanka on February 5 in Brisbane and Yuvraj is looking forward to play there. The Indian board has already called young Manoj Tewari of Bengal as a cover for Yuvraj but signs are the latter would be up for the task for the rest of the series. Yuvraj's absence in the Twenty20 game in Melbourne though would rob the game of it's star value as the Punjab left-hander is a huge success in this shortest form. Yuvraj set the stage alight in the Twenty20 World Cup where he smashed six sixes in one over against Stuart Broad.
Adelaide, January 30
Yuvraj was miserably out-of-form in the Test series and was left out of the third match after he injured his knee in a practice session. Though Yuvraj has been declared fit by physio John Gloster he is reluctant to test himself out in the first ODI on February 3.
The vice-captain in ODIs is surely ruled out of the Twenty20 match in Melbourne on Friday.
India's second match is against against Sri Lanka on February 5 in Brisbane and Yuvraj is looking forward to play there.
The Indian board has already called young Manoj Tewari of Bengal as a cover for Yuvraj but signs are the latter would be up for the task for the rest of the series.
Yuvraj's absence in the Twenty20 game in Melbourne though would rob the game of it's star value as the Punjab left-hander is a huge success in this shortest form.
Yuvraj set the stage alight in the Twenty20 World Cup where he smashed six sixes in one over against Stuart Broad. PTI
Adelaide, January 30
''The thing that pisses us off is that it shows how much power India has,'' a player contracted to Cricket Australia was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
''The Aussie guys aren't going to make it (the accusation) up. The players are frustrated because this shows how much influence India has, because of the wealth they generate. Money talks.''
The BCCI had threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series if Harbhajan was not cleared by ICC-appointed Appeals Commissioner, Justice John Hansen who heard the off-spinner's appeal against the three-Test ban imposed on him by Match Referee Mike Procter.
An Indian pull-out would have threatened Sri Lanka's participation in the CB Series as well. The Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Arjuna Ranatunga, and other senior board officials told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier that the board was keeping an eye on the developments in the hearing before deciding whether to commit to the tour or not.
Such an eventuality would have led to a loss of millions of dollars in TV rights, sponsorship and gate takings for the CA. It was also believed to be under pressure from broadcasters who could have sued had the series been abandoned.
The BCCI had also chartered a plane to whisk their ODI squad from Melbourne - the venue for the Twenty20 match between India and Australia slated to be held on February 1 - to Adelaide, so that they could fly back home if the charges against Harbhajan were not dropped. The move was described by Team India's Assistant Manager M V Sridhar, as a ''show of solidarity.''
The issue was, however, resolved late last night, when the CA and the BCCI issued a joint statement, saying Symonds and Harbhajan had ''resolved'' the issue and that both captains were also ''satisfied with the outcome.''
The verdict by Justice Hansen has, however, outraged the Australian players who maintain that Harbhajan abused Symonds during the controversial Sydney Test and also during the ill-tempered ODI series last year.
In audio evidence released by Channel Nine - and played before the appeals commissioner, Matthew Hayden is heard arguing with Harbhajan.
''You've got a witness now, champ,'' Hayden says . ''It's racial vilification, mate. It's a shit word and you know it.'' Harbhajan can be heard protesting that Symonds started the verbals, but the actual word is inaudible in the tapes.
''Ultimately, truth has prevailed,'' BCCI vice-president, Rajiv Shukla said. ''India has always stood against racism. Cricket is the victor in all this.'' UNI
Sydney, January 30
Matthew Hayden was left out to give him more time to recover from his hamstring injury while his fellow Test opener Phil Jaques also missed out.
Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clarke and Brad Hogg were also overlooked, while Shaun Tait was not considered after announcing his retirement yesterday.
Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Nathan Bracken and Ashley Noffke were all added to the bowling roster while Brad Hodge and David Hussey, the brother of established international Mike Hussey, was selected for his international debut. The squad for the triangular one-day series will be announced tomorrow.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist, Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hodge, James Hopes, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Brett Lee, Ashley Noffke, Andrew Symonds, Adam Voges. Reuters
Faisalabad, January 30
Disciplined Pakistan bowling attack restricted Zimbabwe to 244.
Malik grabbed 3-55 as the tourists failed to capitalise on an innings-building 85-run stand for the third wicket between Tatenda Taibu (51) and Sean Williams (48) after Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat.
It was Malik who broke the defiant stand when he caught Williams off his own bowling, before sending Brendon Taylor (7) and Taibu back to leave the tourists struggling at 132-5.
Keith Dabengwa spoiled Malik's figures in the end, taking 19 off the last over to finish with 45 - studded with three boundaries and two sixes. AFP
Scoreboard Sibanda lbw Kamran Hussain 3 Masakadza lbw Kamran Hussain 2 S Williams c & b Malik 48 Taibu c & b Malik 51 Taylor lbw Malik 7 Chibhabha b Afridi 30 Chigumbura st Sarfaraz b Alam 24 Dabengwa run out 45 Brent run out 14 Price b Khan 7 Mpofu not out 0 Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-9, nb-1) 13 Total (all out, 49.5 overs) 244 Fall of
wickets: 1-7, 2-12, 3-97, 4-109, 5-132, 6-173, 7-175, 8-205, 9-225 Bowling: Tanvir 6-2-14-0, Kamran Hussain 7-0-32-2, Sohail Khan 7-0-38-1, Afridi 10-0-57-1, Shoaib Malik 9.5-0-55-3, Fawad Alam 10-0-45-1 Pakistan innings Jamshed c Brent b Chigumbura 11 Latif c Williams b Mpofu 19 Malik run out 88 Yousuf not out 108 Alam not out 12 Extras (lb-2, w-5) 7 Total (3 wkts, 47 overs) 245 Fall of
wickets: 1-18, 2-66, 3-207 Bowling: Chigumbura 8-0-36-1, Brent 10-0-53-0, Mpofu 10-0-36-1, Price 10-0-50-0, Chibhabha 2-0-14-0, Masakadza 2-0-21-0, Dabengwa 4-0-23-0, Williams 1-0-10-0. Player of the match: Shoaib Malik.
Sibanda lbw Kamran Hussain 3
Masakadza lbw Kamran Hussain 2
S Williams c & b Malik 48
Taibu c & b Malik 51
Taylor lbw Malik 7
Chibhabha b Afridi 30
Chigumbura st Sarfaraz b Alam 24
Dabengwa run out 45
Brent run out 14
Price b Khan 7
Mpofu not out 0
Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-9, nb-1) 13
Total (all out, 49.5 overs) 244
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-12, 3-97, 4-109, 5-132, 6-173, 7-175, 8-205, 9-225
Bowling: Tanvir 6-2-14-0, Kamran Hussain 7-0-32-2, Sohail Khan 7-0-38-1, Afridi 10-0-57-1, Shoaib Malik 9.5-0-55-3, Fawad Alam 10-0-45-1
Jamshed c Brent b Chigumbura 11
Latif c Williams b Mpofu 19
Malik run out 88
Yousuf not out 108
Alam not out 12
Extras (lb-2, w-5) 7
Total (3 wkts, 47 overs) 245
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-66, 3-207
Bowling: Chigumbura 8-0-36-1, Brent 10-0-53-0, Mpofu 10-0-36-1, Price 10-0-50-0, Chibhabha 2-0-14-0, Masakadza 2-0-21-0, Dabengwa 4-0-23-0, Williams 1-0-10-0.
Player of the match: Shoaib Malik.
Melbourne, January 30
The former world number one pair, nicknamed the Indian Express, won three grand slam titles together between 1999 and 2001 but have had a turbulent relationship for several years.
Despite their differences, Bhupathi and Paes are set to team up for India again in Beijing, having finished fourth in the Athens Olympics four years ago.
They have not played together since December 2006, when they won the Asian Games doubles gold medal in Doha, after which they announced that they would never play together again.
Their quarrel in Qatar was a public affair, with both members of the former Davis Cup pairing criticising each other after Paes questioned Bhupathi's fitness and commitment following India's early exit from the men's team event.
The lure of the Olympics appears to be too strong for either of them to ignore, however. Paes recently said he would be happy for them to reunite and Bhupathi told Reuters that he was sure they would do well together.
"I think logically that (playing with Paes) would be the best choice for the country. We want to win a medal," Bhupathi said at the Australian Open where he reached the mixed doubles final with compatriot Sania Mirza in his first major event since back surgery last October.
"On the court, the chemistry is there. Every time we have taken a break and come back, we have found a way to put our differences aside and win, so hopefully that will happen again.
"(The problems) have been happening for a long time, so we're dealing with it."
Every move Bhupathi and Paes make together in Beijing is bound to be closely scrutinised in India, where they are worshipped as sporting heroes almost on a par with the country's cricketers.
Bhupathi, a year younger than Paes at 33, said he enjoyed the adulation.
"It's nice. Unfortunately we don't have that many (top-level players)," he said. "But we put in a lot of work, so to be recognised for that is nice. I guess it motivates us to work harder.
"At the same time, you have to put things in perspective, you can't let it go to your head, you're here to do a job. I love what I do, so work comes first, results come and then everything else comes later."
Bhupathi and Paes won the French Open and Wimbledon in 1999, the year they reached the final of all four grand slam tournaments, and they won a second French Open title in 2001.
Bhupathi has won a total of 10 grand slam titles in men's and mixed doubles, while Paes has won eight.
Paes already owns one Olympic medal - a singles bronze from the 1996 Atlanta Games which remains the only medal India has won in tennis. Reuters
Chennai, January 30
In a match that India should have won with far more ease, all the scoring was done in the first half. For the hosts, Rajpal Singh (3rd) and Diwakar Ramu (29th) scored from penalty corners while Jerome Truyens struck for the Belgians in the 18th minute.
The five-match series concludes here tomorrow. The first Test had ended in a 4-4 draw while India won the second 5-0 and the third 3-2.
The inclusion of a few junior players had its desired impact as India, playing without the experienced defender Dilip Tirkey in the starting eleven, showed refreshing dynamism that was not seen in the previous three Test matches.
Fresh from helping India finish runners-up to Australia in the last week's eight-nation under-21 tournament at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the likes of Diwakar Ramu, Bikash Toppo and Samir Baxla were given a try in the series for the first time.
The junior players acquitted themselves well, but overall, the Indian performance was far from satisfactory, especially in the second half during which they did not display the same dash and daring of the first session.
With coach Joaquim Carvalho shuffling the line-up with new faces and resting several key players, the Indian team did not show much of a combination.
India played with controlled aggression marked by some slick ball rotation in the first half that they dominated as Belgium spent much of the 35 minutes defending.
In fact, India's very first move in the third minute resulted in a penalty corner that Rajpal brought to account. Lying near the left post, he deflected an Ignace Tirkey diagonal pass after the veteran midfielder picked up a rebound off goalkeeper Cedric de Greve, who had blocked Diwakar's direct hit.
Thereafter, India continued to exert pressure and yet again, the Belgian defence stood up well to the onslaught and came up with some dangerous counter-attacks to catch the rival defenders on the wrong foot.
Past the 18th minute, Belgium scored the equaliser through Truyens, who scrambled the ball home from a goalmouth scramble.
A few minutes later, John-John Dohmen nearly put Belgium in front, but his withering shot struck the sideboards much to India's relief.
India then went on the offensive and Raghunath came close to scoring when he deflected Shivender Singh's pass only to see his attempt easily blocked by an alert de Greve.
However, the reprieve was short-lived, as India struck a second time from a penalty corner in the 29th minute. Raghunath played an excellent dummy and passed to Diwakar on his left to sound the boards with a low shot.
Soon after re-start, India survived two penalty corners with goalkeeper Baljit Singh bringing off a couple of good saves. Baljit continued his good work and stopped two more attempts to frustrate the Belgians. IANS
Phagwara boys score 2-0 win
Chandigarh, January 30 In the club category, PSEB, Hoshiarpur, went down as a result of a last-minute goal by Avinash Thapa of the BSF, Jalandhar, in a relatively dull encounter. Harbhajan Sporting Club were locked in a goalless draw during the regulation period with Football Club Mahilpur despite the former dominating the game from the start. In tie-breaker Mahilpur Football Club emerged winners by 5-4. Gilrs of Khalsa Senior Secondry School, Paldi, overpowered Govt. Sr.Sec. School, Rampur Jhanjowal, by 4-0.
Chandigarh, January 30
In the club category, PSEB, Hoshiarpur, went down as a result of a last-minute goal by Avinash Thapa of the BSF, Jalandhar, in a relatively dull encounter.
Harbhajan Sporting Club were locked in a goalless draw during the regulation period with Football Club Mahilpur despite the former dominating the game from the start. In tie-breaker Mahilpur Football Club emerged winners by 5-4.
Gilrs of Khalsa Senior Secondry School, Paldi, overpowered Govt. Sr.Sec. School, Rampur Jhanjowal, by 4-0. TNS
Dempo take on JCT today
Panaji, January 30 Dempo, who are at the top of the table with 27 points from 13 matches, were cruising along smoothly unbeaten till the eleventh round. They got a rude shock when they lost their last two matches.
Panaji, January 30
Dempo, who are at the top of the table with 27 points from 13 matches, were cruising along smoothly unbeaten till the eleventh round. They got a rude shock when they lost their last two matches. PTI
Bangkok, January 30
Sania, who was rested for the first match, will also miss the second match against New Zealand tomorrow while the world number 29 has also been rendered doubtful for remaining ties.
The Indians badly missed Sania's firebrand tennis as other team members Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao were found lacking at crucial junctures.
"Sania is not fit yet. She is going under through a rehabilitation programme here and her absence affects India's chances," non-playing captain Enrico Piperno told PTI.
"Tomorrow we have a tough match and we have to play without Sania and it is a big setback," he said.
Although Shikha gave a positive start and 1-0 lead to India by winning the first singles match by defeating Ayu Fani Damayanti 6-4 6-4, Sunitha could not keep the momentum going.
Sandy Gumulya, who is 44 rung below Sunitha in the WTA charts at 235, levelled the scores by beating the Indian 6-1 3-6 6-3 in the second singles.
The Indian duo lost the deciding doubles tie 6-7 (7) 6-1 6-3 to lost the rubber.
A disappointed Piperno said Shikha's bad health put paid to India's hopes of win today.
"Of course, I am disappointed. Indonesia were the weakest team in the pool. Unfortunately, we have lost it and it makes our task harder," Piperno.
"I think we could have won the doubles after winning the first set, but Shikha was feeling uneasiness. She felt like dizzy and vomiting and that affected the match result." PTI