Davis Cup tie
Rooted firmly to the ground
Yousuf blasts Pakistan selectors
SLC allows ‘rebels’ to play domestic cricket
PCB jittery over B’desh ICL exodus
IPSC Cricket Tournament
Mahilpur set to be India’s 1st soccer city
Sub-jr soccer at Mahilpur
Ropar Hawks win
Delhi soccer team
Indians blown away in singles
Bucharest, September 19
Somdev, rookie teenager on the ATP circuit, was overpowered by Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 while Prakash lost 5-7, 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 to Victor Crivoi, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead.
India now find themselves in do-or-die situation as they must win all three remaining matches of the clay court tie to make the cut for the World Group for the first time since 1998.
Experienced duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi must win tomorrow's doubles rubber, if India hopes for upsets on Sunday when reverse singles will be played.
When Prakash lost the first match, all the responsibility to bring India back fell on the tender shoulders of Somdev, who had little idea of what was is in store for him.
Hanescu, world number 67, was so dominating with his strong service game that Somdev could win just one point in the first set on his opponent's serve.
And even that point Somdev won when Hanescu erred on a volley point.
Hansecu was too hot for a player like Somdev, who was playing only his second Davis Cup match. The Romanian gave a tough lesson to the young Indian player as he made him run all corners of the court, scoring points at will.
Somdev, who created waves on the circuit with his recent stupendous run, appeared as a hapless child against Hanescu who broke the Indian once in the first set, twice in the second and thrice in the third set to win quite easily.
The Indian saved a breakpoint in the fourth game in the first set with a very long rally in which he pinned the Romanian to the left of the court to set and convert the crucial point.
However, Hanescu showed who was superior as he made inroads quite intelligently, earning two breakpoints in the eighth game and converted second to draw first blood.
There was no scope for even a marginal error and it needed depth in ground strokes to tame an opponent like Hansecue, who did not show any mercy against the Indian lad.
Earlier, an error prone Prakash Amritraj went down in the first singles rubber against Victor Crivoi to leave India trailing 0-1.
In the match between number one singles player of India and second best of the hosts, Prakash put up a brilliant fight in the first two sets but ran out of steam as the game progressed in the clay court tie, which he lost 5-7, 7-5 2-6 2-6.
Up against a player, placed 64 rungs above him in the ATP ranking charts, Prakash was all fired up in the second set as he overpowered the Romanian to fight his way back in the match but failed to maintain the intensity.
Once he dropped his serve in the fifth game of the third set, when an engrossing battle was on, Prakash looked out of sorts as he struggled to curb the growing unforced errors.
In the end, Prakash, playing on his least favoured pitch, lacked mental toughness required on physically demanding clay courts.
After going down 5-7 in the opening set, Prakash made a remarkable comeback to win the second and levelled the scores despite going down 2-4 after suffering an early break. — PTI
Rooted firmly to the ground
New Delhi, September 19
"If I could adjust with the facilities here and become an Olympic medallist, then I should have no reason to complain about anything. But whatever improvement needed to be made in the boarding and lodging facilities is being looked into by our coaches as it is not concerning just one wrestler, but 90-odd trainees", he said modestly.
Though Sushil continues to be his humble, modest self, his bronze medal victory in the 66kg freestyle at the Beijing Olympic Games has rekindled interest in the rustic sport as there has been a rush of young boys, including a three-year-old, wanting to join the akhara, run by former Asian Games champion Mahabali Satpal.
"It's good for wrestling, it's for the country as now there is hope of wrestlers winning medals", said Sushil who was ranked fourth in the world, and one of the best eight wrestlers in the fray in Beijing.
"And, of course, now more people recognise me, though many of them are not familiar with wrestling", he explained.
Sushil's bronze medal win also had a spinoff in the fortune of his near and dear ones as his mentor Satpal, coaches Yashbir Singh and Ramphal have been ensured of promotions while his parents have become richer beyond imagination.
Sushil has so far received Rs 1.30 crore in cash awards - Rs 50 lakh from the Delhi Government, Rs 25 lakh each from the Haryana Government and Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Rs 10 lakh from the Indian Olympic team sponsors Samsung and Rs 20 lakh from Union Sports Minister Dr M.S.Gill.
He is also set to receive the cash award announced by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and has already taken charge at the Railway Headquarters at Baroda House in Delhi as Assistant Commercial Manager (ACM).
Sushil said the prize money he received had been entrusted to his parents “as they know how best to use it. They have been looking after my every need, and I continue to repose my faith in my parents to look after my interest”, he said with all innocence.
Though Sushil has been getting the cash awards promised to him one by one, he has not heard of anything about the "luxury car of his choice" promised to him by a car dealer. A luxury bike presented to him has been sent to his home at Baprola at Najafgarh as he does not know driving, nor does he have the time to drive around.
Sushil was grateful to Lalu Prasad Yadav for sparing him from attending regular office as the minister has ordered that those recruited on sports quota need not attend office till they stop competing in their chosen sport.
Sushil said his next focus would be on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and later the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "If my body permits, I would continue to wrestle as long as I can", he asserted.
He said he could have taken home a better-hued medal from Beijing had he employed better tactics in the initial rounds. He admitted that India had much catching up to do when compared to the USA and Russia. "Our coaches are looking into the drawbacks and trying to rectify our mistakes", he said.
A few days after returning from Beijing, instead of basking in his Olympic glory, Sushil, along with some other top wrestlers like Yogeshwar Dutt, Rajiv Tomar and Narendra Punia, competed in an Indo-Pak tournament in Haryana. Just to be rooted to the ground, lest he forgets his moorings.
Karachi, September 19
Yousuf, who has played 79 Test and 269 One-day internationals, is said to be very upset on learning that the selectors have not recommended his name for the four-nation Twenty20 tournament to be held in Toronto from October 10.
"Go and ask any reputed former captain if I should not be playing Twenty20 cricket for Pakistan. Ask Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq if I shouldn't be playing.
"If they say I don't deserve to be in Pakistan's T20 team, I will retire from all cricket," Yousuf said in a hard hitting interview to 'Daily Jang'.
He accused the authorities of picking the Twenty20 side on personal whims and fancies and said he couldn't comprehend the criteria that was followed while picking the team.
"I am the best Pakistan batsman and I should be in the playing XI for Twenty20 cricket," said the middle-order batsman who was shortlisted for this year's ICC's One-day International Cricketer of the Year award.
He also took a dig at the selectors and critics who had questioned his fielding abilities in the instant form of cricket.
"If they talk about my fielding than tell me how many Jonty Rhodes do we have in the Pakistan team. Everyone knows about our fielding levels."
Yousuf's comments came after he was named to lead the Lahore team in the domestic Twenty20 championship from October 4 in which all the top players are expected to take part for their regional sides.
Mansoor Sohail, a spokesman for the Pakistan Cricket Board felt Yousuf's comments were unjustified.
"I don't know what has prompted this outburst but I think his comments on Twenty20 selection were unwarranted. He is our best batsman no doubt and he remains that," Sohail said.
But he also made it clear that players needed to be careful while making comments in the media.
Yousuf has not been picked in Pakistan's Twenty20 team since last year and he also didn't get a chance to play in the Indian Premier League owing to the ongoing legal battle with the Indian Cricket League. — PTI
Colombo, September 19
SLC spokesman Shane Fernando said the decision to revoke the ban on ICL players and allowing them to play only domestic cricket was taken at the interim committee meeting led by its chairman Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday at the SLC headquarters here.
"The interim committee has decided to allow the ICL players to play domestic cricket games, but the ban on them playing at the international level to represent Sri Lanka remains," Fernando told IANS on Friday.
The decision by the SLC has come at a time when the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) slapped a 10-year ban last week on players joining the ICL.
The previous interim committee of the SLC, led by Jayantha Dharmadasa, imposed a total ban on all national cricketers playing the ICL tournament, preventing them from taking part in all forms of cricket and cricket related activities locally and internationally.
It, however, allowed the national players to play the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to cricket pundits here, the present SLC administration led by Ranatunga appears to be adopting a very different stand to that of the previous one and some of the players, who had taken part in the rebel ICL tournament in India, have already been allowed to take part in few cricket related activities locally.
Memorable day for
victory of cricket: More
New Delhi: Welcoming Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to allow the cricketers aligned with the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League to play in domestic tournaments, ICL Executive Board member Kiran More today said it was not only a memorable day for the ICL but also "victory of cricket". The decision was taken by the interim committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket, led by former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. More, who is also a member of the ICL's Executive Board, hoped the ICC would also change its mindset towards the ICL. "This is a good and very important decision. This is the victory of cricket as ICL are not doing anything wrong but only playing cricket," More told PTI-Bhasha. The former wicketkeeper also thinks that cricket's highest governing body also should show positive attitude towards the rebel league. "Everybody knows there is no difference between the IPL (Indian Premier League) and ICL. Today cricketers are opting for IPL or ICL rather than going for county cricket, so what is wrong in it?" More asked. "We have been appealing to the ICC's affiliation for the ICL, but we know it will take some time. We are hopeful about positive reply from the ICC," he added. More, however, declined to comment on whether the decision could give a jolt to the BCCI and said, "Its a good news for us as well as the cricketers. The cricketers would get some alternatives, which, in turn will surely encourage the players." He had also some words of praise for the SLC chief Ranatunga, who moved the resolution to lift the ban on players like Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold and Upul Chandana. "He has played cricket for a long time and he understands well the condition of the cricketers," More said.
New Delhi: Welcoming Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to allow the cricketers aligned with the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League to play in domestic tournaments, ICL Executive Board member Kiran More today said it was not only a memorable day for the ICL but also "victory of cricket".
The decision was taken by the interim committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket, led by former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga.
More, who is also a member of the ICL's Executive Board, hoped the ICC would also change its mindset towards the ICL.
"This is a good and very important decision. This is the victory of cricket as ICL are not doing anything wrong but only playing cricket," More told PTI-Bhasha.
The former wicketkeeper also thinks that cricket's highest governing body also should show positive attitude towards the rebel league.
"Everybody knows there is no difference between the IPL (Indian Premier League) and ICL. Today cricketers are opting for IPL or ICL rather than going for county cricket, so what is wrong in it?" More asked.
"We have been appealing to the ICC's affiliation for the ICL, but we know it will take some time. We are hopeful about positive reply from the ICC," he added.
More, however, declined to comment on whether the decision could give a jolt to the BCCI and said, "Its a good news for us as well as the cricketers. The cricketers would get some alternatives, which, in turn will surely encourage the players."
He had also some words of praise for the SLC chief Ranatunga, who moved the resolution to lift the ban on players like Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold and Upul Chandana.
"He has played cricket for a long time and he understands well the condition of the cricketers," More said. — Agencies
Karachi, September 19
The Pakistan Cricket Board was, till recently, not too concerned about the ICL as it believed that the players who wanted to join the rebel league were already with it and no other would dare follow suit fearing a life ban.
But after the exodus of 13 Bangladesh players, many of whom are current members of the national team, the PCB has been shaken out of its complacency.
"Even when unconfirmed reports came out that senior batsman, Mohammad Yousuf was considering joining the ICL at the cost of his Pakistan career, the board officials were not too worried as the feeling is that the ICL has done the damage it could have to Pakistan cricket by signing on nearly 16 players," one source said.
"But it is now taking seriously, reports that the ICL might be on the verge of signing some more players from Pakistan to give their league a more competitive feel.
"They have also made it clear to Yousuf that he will be banned immediately like the other rebels if he tries to enter into any new agreement with the ICL which is not recognised by any Test playing nation," the source added.
Yousuf has dismissed reports that he was considering joining the ICL.
"No such thing is going to happen and all these reports are rubbish. If I wanted to play in the ICL I would not have dropped their contract in the first instance," Yousuf said. — PTI
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 19
Incessant rain played spoiltsport and rendered play impossible in the match between Daly College Indore and YPS, Mohali. Both the teams shared points which enabled the YPS girls to move into the semifinals.
The groundsmen, children and staff made commendable effort to make an eight-over truncated late night match under flood lights possible between Ashok Hall Nainital and Modi School, Laxmangarh yesterday.
The Modi girls batted first. After losing their captain Aishwariya in the 2nd over for naught, the team did well to score 36 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 8 overs. Raveena made 18 not out, while Jyoti and Himani took one wicket each.
Their opponents made the required runs in 4.2 overs, thus ensuring their advance to the semifinal stage. The Ashok Hall captain, Jyoti made 19 not out and was declared the Player of the match.
The hosts and Mayo College had already reached the semifinals on the basis of their excellent run during the league matches.
Mahilpur set to be India’s 1st soccer city
Chandigarh, September 19
Though inclement weather may prevent Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from declaring Mahilpur as the country’s first city dedicated to a single team sport at the opening ceremony of the national championship tomorrow, a formal promulgation may be made before the conclusion of the tournament.
It is the second time in 11 years that this football nursery, which has produced nine Arjuna awardees and eight Maharaja Ranjit Singh award winners, will be playing host to the national u-16 championship.
Besides Balwant Singh Bains, contributions of principal Bakhtawar Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Gulberg Singh in promoting soccer during past five decades will also be acknowledged by raising special structures in the town.
Dominated by affluent NRIs, Mahilpur, that has given the country nine national skippers, will have special decorative gates to eulogise the contributions of soccer greats like Jarnail Singh, Inder Singh, Parminder Singh, Gurdev Singh, Manjit Singh and Yash Pal Jassi after it is declared a soccer city.
The only time India played in Olympic soccer tournament was in 1956 in Melbourne where Jarnail Singh from Mahilpur block led the country to the fourth position. It was also Jarnail Singh who had scored the gold medal-winning goal against Korea in the Jakarta Asian Games.
Mahilpur has also a unique distinction that entire team of its Khalsa School represented Punjab state that won the national crown in early 90s. This unique achievement of a school team representing the state has been unprecedented anywhere in the world.
Besides, the Punjab government will have an ultra-modern floodlit football stadium soon, said Harcharan Bains, media adviser to Parkash Singh Badal. The existing football playfields in the town -Khalsa College and Government Senior Secondary School - have been the venues of major tournaments and championships so far.
Sub-jr soccer at Mahilpur
Chandigarh, September 19
The club will provide board and lodging of all participants as also the preparation of playing fields and conduct of matches. A total of 27 teams from the states and union territories are participating.
Mahilpur has a very long tradition of nurturing the game of football. Towards this end, Principal Harbhajan Singh Sporting Club has been running a major tournament every year since 1962 in four categories; namely clubs, colleges, school boys and school girls. They also run two league tournament during the summer vacations for boys under 19 and under 14 year of age.
In addition, a coaching camp for boys from in the 10 to 14 age group is also held. Scholarship are awarded to promising young players of school and college.
Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash singh Badal will inaugurate the championships.
Faridkot, September 19
Jagseer Singh, inside right of Ropar Hawks, opened the account when he was scored off a rebound of penalty corner in the 35th minute .
Namdhari's Jaspal Singh, centre half, equalised when he dodged the deep defence of the Ropar Hawks.
Ropar Hawks’ Jagseer Singh (inside right) again managed to score a field goal in the 62nd minute in a good move by the Ropar Hawks forwards. Ropar Hawks 3rd goal was scored by Major Singh (outside left) in the 65th minute of play. — PTI
New Delhi, September 19
The team: Goalkeepers: Pranav Purohit, Shashwat Misra. Defenders: Atul Rawat, Yogesh Rawat, Bhupender Singh, Anmol Tirkey, Ankit Yadav, Abhijit Burman and Purusharth Singh. Mid-fielders: Sachin Kohli (vice-captain), Michael Chongthu, Tanuj Gulati, Gopal Pathak, Ishaan Pakrashi, Soumitra Maity. Forwards: Kislay Sajwan (captain), Rohan Tuli, Supunya Devavrat, Nirbhay Narang and Arun Sharma. Nirmal Singh will be the chief coach. — TNS
PCB jittery over B’desh ICL exodus: The mass exodus of Bangladeshi players to the Indian Cricket League (ICL) is giving jitters to the PCB, which is keeping a close tab on leading Pakistani cricketers to prevent them from joining the rebel Twenty20 series. The Pakistan Cricket Board was, till recently, not too concerned about the ICL as it believed that the players who wanted to join the rebel league were already with it and no other would dare follow suit fearing a life ban. But after the exodus of 13 Bangladesh players, many of whom are current members of the national team, the PCB has been shaken out of its complacency. — PTI