SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

New test,old failings
Durban, December 26
Sachin Tendulkar walks back dejected after being dismissed for 13 runs by South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe and caught by Jacques Kallis on the first day of the second Test at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday. India had struggled to 183 for six against South Africa when bad weather brought about an early end to the opening day's play in the second Test of the three-match series here today.

Sachin Tendulkar walks back dejected after being dismissed for 13 runs by South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe and caught by Jacques Kallis on the first day of the second Test at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday. — AFP

The Steyn gun effect

PSB win Liberals hockey
Nabha, December 26
Punjab and Sind Bank, Jalandhar (PSB) defeated Western Railway Mumbai 3-1 to win the All-India Liberals Cup Hockey tournament here on Sunday. In the final played at the PPS Grounds the bankmen dominated the first half and went up by two goals.



EARLIER STORIES

Series, pride at stake for India
December
26, 2010
Tame Amla or go down 2-0: Smith
December
25, 2010
Curator promises fair pitch
December
24, 2010
India looking for answers
December
23, 2010
Sachin back in ODI & T20 team
December
22, 2010
India fall flat on the face
December
21, 2010
Master BlaSTER Sachin
December
20, 2010
Strong reply by Indian openers
December
19, 2010
Proteas in cruise control
December
18, 2010
Blown Away
December
17, 2010

Mixed year for Indian squash
New Delhi, December 26
In a year that witnessed two sporting spectacles in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Indian squash had some hits as well as misses with the country's highest-ranked player Saurav Ghosal winning the second Asiad bronze medal of his career in Guangzhou. The 2006 Doha Asian Games bronze medallist waged a grim battle against top-seed Mohammad Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia in the semifinals of the men's singles squash event before losing the match in four games and settling for bronze.

Australia shot out for 98
Melbourne, December 26
James Anderson (C) celebrates with teammates Kevin Pietersen (L) and Matt Prior (R) after dismissing Australian batsman Michael Hussey on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne on Sunday. England took an iron grip on the Ashes by bowling out Australia for a record low score of 98 and then scoring 157 without loss on the opening day of the fourth Test today.England can secure a successful Ashes defense by winning this Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and it would take an extraordinary turn of events to prevent the tourists doing that after a dominant first day today.

James Anderson (C) celebrates with teammates Kevin Pietersen (L) and Matt Prior (R) after dismissing Australian batsman Michael Hussey on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne on Sunday. — AFP 

Southee’s hat-trick floors Pakistan
Auckland, December 26
Tim Southee claimed a hat trick and Martin Guptill scored a rapid half-century as New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets today in the first Twenty20 cricket international. Southee claimed five wickets in a period of eight balls, finishing with 5-17 - the first five-wicket bag by a New Zealander in Twenty20 internationals - as New Zealand held Pakistan to 143-9 after winning the toss.

Clarke laments another collapse
Melbourne, December 26
Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke lamented another top order batting collapse that sent the hosts crashing to a record low first innings on day one of the fourth Ashes test against England in Melbourne on Sunday.

Ranji: TN stand good chance of semis
Rohtak, December 26
Foggy weather again played the spoilsport during third day's play in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal between Haryana and Tamil Nadu being played at the Bansi Lal Stadium in Rohtak. Only 24 overs of play was possible on the penultimate day as visitors scored 72 for two after Haryana decided to declare at their overnight score of 379 for six.

Man U title rivals, not Arsenal: Carlo
London, December 26
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has said that Manchester United is the main team to beat in his club's bid to retain the title. The Italian admits the team managed by Sir Alex ­Ferguson hold all the aces going into the new year. Chelsea go into tomorrow night's game at Arsenal trailing three points behind United and a point behind the Gunners, the Dailty Star reports.

David Beckham ‘I tried to get Beckham to Sunderland’
London, December 26
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has revealed that he had tried to bring midfielder David Beckham to the Stadium of Light. According to the Daily Star, Bruce rang Beckham last year before the midfielder joined AC Milan on loan for a second time from Los Angeles Galaxy.

David Beckham

Atwal shines bright in moderate year for Indian golf
Indian golfer Arjun Atwal New Delhi, December 26
Arjun Atwal's historic title triumph on the PGA Tour was the high point of an otherwise moderate year for Indian golf during which seasoned campaigner Jeev Milkha Singh's fortunes took a massive tumble due to nagging injuries.Atwal, a former Asian Tour number one, scripted history by emerging as the first Indian to win on the US PGA Tour at the Wyndham Championship in August.


Indian golfer Arjun Atwal

 

 


Top


 

 

 


New test,old failings

Durban, December 26
India had struggled to 183 for six against South Africa when bad weather brought about an early end to the opening day's play in the second Test of the three-match series here today. At stumps, captain MS Dhoni was batting on 20 and Harbhajan Singh was unbeaten on 15. Earlier, India lost four wickets, including two quick dismissals of Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman, as they limped to 168 for six at tea.

After the dismissal of first Test centurion Sachin Tendulkar (13) early after lunch, much depended on Dravid (25) and Laxman (38) but both of them departed in the space of four overs on a Kingsmead pitch which was assisting pace and swing. Rookie Cheteshwar Pujara showed unnecessary aggression and fall to Lonwabo Tsotsobe just before tea interval to leave India in trouble. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh were batting on 18 and two respectively at the break. India lost four wickets in the post-lunch session, which was extended to compensate for the delayed start, scoring 94 runs from 34 overs.

Dravid sent the first ball off the lunch break bowled by Lonwabo Tsotsobe to the fence but India suffered a huge blow four balls later when Tendulkar was dismissed, leaving the visitors at 79 for three. Tendulkar, who had smashed Morne Morkel for two consecutive fours and survived a huge shout for an LBW decision just before lunch break, went for a drive on the up of a good length delivery to edge it to Jacques Kallis.

Laxman could not open his account for seven balls before hitting two fours in the same over off Tsotsobe, the slowest of the pace trio. Laxman gave Tsotsobe the same treatment a few overs later with two fours in an over. As Laxman gained in confidence, he took 13 runs off Steyn, who was spitting fire with pace and movement, hitting a six and a four to take India's score past 100.

With Steyn bowling at his best, generating pace and swing, the two senior players had to be watchful, playing the balls on merit and leaving the good ones alone. Just as Dravid and Laxman looked like starting to frustrate the South Africans, the former fell with a Steyn pitched-up outswinging delivery kissing his gloved to the hands of wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

The former India captain hit three fours in his 68-ball innings and he shared 38 runs from 17.1 overs for the fourth wicket. Laxman fell to a gem of a catch by Tsotsobe to give Steyn his fourth wicket of the day. The stylish Indian batsman connected a Steyn delivery for a pull shot but Tsotsobe plucked it just inches above the ground at midwicket by stretching full length to his right.

Three overs before the end of post-lunch session, Pujara tried to pull a Tsotsobe short ball only to get it ballooned after finding the top edge and Boucher had all the time in the world to take the catch.

Till then Pujara was playing well, patiently leaving the good balls alone and pulling a couple of short balls off Morne Morkel to the fence. Steyn has taken four wickets from his 14 overs while conceding 36 runs. Tsotsobe has taken two wickets while left-arm spinner Paul Harris, who was introduced midway into the post-lunch session was wicketless from his eight overs so far.

Earlier, India lost both the openers to a ferocious fast bowling spell by Steyn before reaching 74 for two at lunch. Home side skipper Graeme Smith put India in to bat in overcast conditions after calling the coin correctly following a one hour delay due to a wet outfield.

India lost Virender Sehwag (25) and Murali Vijay (19) as a testing spell by Steyn and Morne Morkel started the action in the second Test. Steyn took both the wickets to give his side a fantastic start in the match. Batting was not easy early on due to the pace and bounce the bowlers were getting from the strip.

The Indian openers survived first 10 overs but Steyn ended their uncomfortable stay in a span of 14 balls. Sehwag was the first to go when he slashed hard but only managed a thick edge to Jacques Kallis at the second slip. The flamboyant batsman had somewhat settled on the track after struggling initially but threw away his wicket. Vijay, who replaced the injured Gautam Gambhir, was caught behind as Steyn struck again. — PTI 

Scoreboard

India 1st innings

Sehwag c Kallis b Steyn 25

Vijay c Boucher b Steyn 19

Dravid c Boucher b Steyn 25

Tendulkar c Kallis b Tsotsobe 13

Laxman c Tsotsobe b Steyn 38

Pujara c Boucher b Tsotsobe 19

Dhoni batting 20

Harbhajan batting 15

Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 4, nb 2) 9

Total (6 wickets; 56 overs) 183

Bowling: Steyn 14-3-36-4, Morkel 15-2-60-0, Tsotsobe 11-3-40-2, Kallis 8-2-18-0, Harris 8-1-26-0.

The Steyn gun effect

Sehwag c Kallis b Steyn 25
Overs: 10.4
136.4 kph, Steyn gets reward from some terrific bowling, the sucker ball invites the drive, Sehwag took the bait and went for it, but the ball moved away mischievously and took the outside edge on its way to Kallis at second slip. India- 43/1

Vijay c Boucher b Steyn 19
Overs: 12.5
138.6 kph, Vijay was tiring of all that leaving, and went for a poke at this one around off stump, it straightened to take a faint outside edge and Boucher gobbled the edge. India- 48/2

Dravid c Boucher b Steyn 25
Overs: 36.6
This delivery was slightly wider and he poked at it, was around a good length, moved away to catch the glove just as he was taking the bottom hand off and Boucher made no mistake. India- 117/4

Laxman c Tsotsobe b Steyn 38
Overs: 40.6
136.4 kph, Short outside off and Laxman shaped up for the pull and connected superbly but Tsotsobe, at midwicket, stretched full length to his right and plucked it out with one hand. India 130/5

Top

 

PSB win Liberals hockey
Tribune News Service

PSB players celebrate with the trophy after winning the All-India Liberals Hockey Tournament in Nabha on Sunday.
PSB players celebrate with the trophy after winning the All-India Liberals Hockey Tournament in Nabha on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Nabha, December 26
Punjab and Sind Bank, Jalandhar (PSB) defeated Western Railway Mumbai 3-1 to win the All-India Liberals Cup Hockey tournament here on Sunday. In the final played at the PPS Grounds the bankmen dominated the first half and went up by two goals.

The team from Mumbai regrouped after the break and made some attacking moves one of which was rewarded with a penalty corner. Western Railway converted this corner to pull one back. With the scoreline reading 2-1 in favour of PSB and the Mumbai outfit gaining in confidence the match seemed headed for an exciting finish.

But the Jalandhar team pounced on a lose pass by Western Railway and rammed home the third goal to seal the fate of the match. 23 teams took part in this 35th edition of Liberals Cup and winners PSB received the first prize of Rs 61,000.

The President of the organising committee Gurkaran Singh was confident that more top teams will participate in the tournament next year as they will spare no effort in bringing an astroturf to this venue.

“The state administration has promised to help us in this regard and I’m quite sure that we will be getting a synthetic turf here soon and that will do wonders to the tournament,” he said. 

Top

 

Mixed year for Indian squash

New Delhi, December 26
In a year that witnessed two sporting spectacles in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Indian squash had some hits as well as misses with the country's highest-ranked player Saurav Ghosal winning the second Asiad bronze medal of his career in Guangzhou. The 2006 Doha Asian Games bronze medallist waged a grim battle against top-seed Mohammad Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia in the semifinals of the men's singles squash event before losing the match in four games and settling for bronze.

Indian men's and women's teams also settled for bronze medals in the team event of the quadrennial event after losing to Pakistan and Malaysia respectively in the semifinals.

The Indian men's team comprising Ghosal, Siddharth Suchde and Harinder Pal Sandhu lost 0-2 to top-seed and arch-rivals Pakistan while the trio of Joshna Chinappa, Anaka Alankamony and Dipika Pallikal went down to fancied Malaysia with an identical scoreline in the women's event.

India could not win a medal in the women's singles event as Chennai girls Pallikal and Chinappa fought their hearts out but eventually ran out of steam against top-ranked Malaysians in the quarterfinals to bow out of the individual competition. In the Commonwealth Games here in October, Indian racqueters once again failed to break the jinx of not having won any medal ever since the introduction of the sport in the quadrennial event in 1998.

The notable omission of former India number one Ritwik Bhattacharya from the final squad made the task a lot harder for the Indian contingent in both singles and doubles event where the field comprised of England, Malaysia and Australia, considered to be traditional powerhouses in the sport.

India's hopes of winning its first medal also received a severe blow when country's top female player Pallikal pulled out of the women's and mixed doubles events due to mild fever which she had developed before the start of the October 3-14 event.

Pallikal, world ranked 29th, was to partner her Chennai team-mate Chinappa in the women's doubles and Ghosal in the mixed doubles event. In the singles event, the Indian challenge came to an end at the pre-quarterfinal stage after national champion Ghosal went down 1-3 to Englishman Peter Barker in the men's event while Chinappa lost 0-3 to world number one Nicol David of Malaysia in the women's category.

Other Indian men's players Harinder Pal Sandhu and Siddharth Suchde became the second round casualty while the women's event saw the downfall of Anwesha Reddy, Surbhi Misra and Anaka Alankamony.

In the men's and women's doubles events, racqueters exited by the pre-quarterfinal stage. — PTI 

Top

 

Australia shot out for 98

Melbourne, December 26
England took an iron grip on the Ashes by bowling out Australia for a record low score of 98 and then scoring 157 without loss on the opening day of the fourth Test today.England can secure a successful Ashes defense by winning this Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and it would take an extraordinary turn of events to prevent the tourists doing that after a dominant first day today.

Sent in by England captain Andrew Strauss, Australia was bundled out for its lowest ever score against England at the MCG. All ten wickets fell to catches behind the wicket as the hosts failed to show the disciplined batting required on a seaming pitch.

England's opening pair put on a commanding performance, with Alastair Cook on 80 and Strauss on 64 at stumps. They showed the judiciousness and discipline that Australia's batsmen so glaringly lacked.

Australia's score reached all kinds of low: its lowest ever against England at the MCG (with the previous worst of 104 dating back to the first ever Test, played in 1877); its lowest ever first innings at the MCG; the second time Australia had been bowled out for less than 100 in this calendar year; its lowest score on Australian soil since 1984; its lowest at the MCG since 1981; its lowest against England since 1968; and lowest against England in Australia since 1936.

On one of the most disheartening days in Australian cricket history, even the MCG's attempt to break the all-time Test attendance record was not met. Pre-game predictions of the requisite 91,000 proved overoptimistic with only 84,345 fans taking their post-Christmas hangovers to the ground.

By the end of play it was considerably less, and organisers will be lucky to get half that many for the remaining days of a game already drifting toward a foregone conclusion, hurting Australian cricket's bank balance as much as its on-field fortunes. Strauss had no hesitation in sending Australia in on a grey morning, and with the MCG pitch notoriously difficult to bat upon in the opening session of a Test. — AP

Scoreboard

Australia 1st Innings

Watson c P‘rsen b Tremlett 5

Hughes c P’rsen b Bresnan 16

Ponting c Swann b Tremlett 10

Clarke c Prior b Anderson 20

Hussey c Prior b Anderson 8

Smith c Prior b Anderson 6

Haddin c Strauss b Bresnan 5

Johnson c Prior b Anderson 0

Harris not out 10

Siddle c Prior b Tremlett 11

Hilfenhaus c Prior b Tremlett 0

Extras: (LB-2, NB-5) 7

Total: (all out in 42.5) 98

Bowling: Anderson 16-4-44-4, Tremlett 11.5-5-26-4, Bresnan 13-6-25-2, Swann 2-1-1-0.

England 1st innings

Strauss not out 64

Cook not out 80

Extras: (B-10, W-1, NB-2) 13

Total: (noloss, 47 overs) 157

Bowling: Hilfenhaus 9-3-26-0, Harris 10-3-30-0, Johnson 7-0-42-0, Siddle 10-4-13-0, Watson 5-1-14-0, Smith 6-1-22-0.

Top

 

Southee’s hat-trick floors Pakistan

Tim Southee (L) celebrates a wicket with teammate Nathan McCullum during the first of their three Twenty20 internationals in Auckland on Sunday
Tim Southee (L) celebrates a wicket with teammate Nathan McCullum during the first of their three Twenty20 internationals in Auckland on Sunday. — AFP

Auckland, December 26
Tim Southee claimed a hat trick and Martin Guptill scored a rapid half-century as New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets today in the first Twenty20 cricket international. Southee claimed five wickets in a period of eight balls, finishing with 5-17 - the first five-wicket bag by a New Zealander in Twenty20 internationals - as New Zealand held Pakistan to 143-9 after winning the toss.

Guptill then made 54, including a 23-ball half century - the fastest by a Kiwi in Twenty20s - to guide New Zealand to victory with 17 balls to spare. Southee set up the win, which puts New Zealand 1-0 up in the three-match series, with an outstanding spell of swing bowling.

He dismissed Ahmed Shahzad (14) with the last ball of his first over, then completed a hat trick when he removed Younis Khan (2), Mohammad Hafeez (24) and Umar Akmal (0) with the second, third and fourth deliveries of his second over. Khan was caught in the deep by Dean Brownlie who, with 18-year-old fast bowler Adam Milne, was one of two players to make their debuts for New Zealand at Eden Park today.

Hafeez was caught by Peter McGlashan, who took over the wicketkeeping duties from the injured Brendon McCullum and claimed four catches, becoming only the seventh player to do so in Twenty20 internationals. Southee completed his hat trick when he trapped Umar Akmal lbw.

"It wasn't too bad," Southee said. "It was one of those days when everything went my way. It was a good pitch and if you hit the right areas you got rewarded but if you missed you got hit." — AP

Top

 

Clarke laments another collapse

Melbourne, December 26
Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke lamented another top order batting collapse that sent the hosts crashing to a record low first innings on day one of the fourth Ashes test against England in Melbourne on Sunday.

Australia's 98 from only 42.5 overs eclipsed the previous lowest of 104 against the tourists at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, set in England's inaugural test tour in 1876/77. England's Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss then survived three hours to stumps, compiling 157 to give the hosts a 59-run lead and boosting the tourists' hopes of their first Ashes triumph on Australian soil in 24 years.

"It's obviously very disappointing. I would have liked another 150 runs on the board," Clarke, who top-scored for Australia with a meagre 20 runs, told reporters.

"I think if we could have managed to get 240-250 in our first innings on that wicket I think we would have been much happier. "We certainly have no excuses, we played some poor shots today. We obviously didn't show enough discipline. As we've seen when the sun's come out and dried the wicket out it's a really nice wicket to bat on now."

Clarke tried to put a positive spin on Australia's challenge, which has been compounded by the selectors gambling on a four-prong pace attack on a slow pitch that will offer turn for spinners late in the match.

"I think we can sit here now and look at that but if we had have won the toss and bowled, that would have been the last thing we would have been speaking about," Clarke said of the selector's choice of bowling attack. — Reuters 

Top

 

Ranji: TN stand good chance of semis

Rohtak, December 26
Foggy weather again played the spoilsport during third day's play in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal between Haryana and Tamil Nadu being played at the Bansi Lal Stadium in Rohtak. Only 24 overs of play was possible on the penultimate day as visitors scored 72 for two after Haryana decided to declare at their overnight score of 379 for six.

With chances of having a decision on basis of first lead looking remote, Tamil Nadu now have a better chance of qualifying for the last four phase. In case of the entire day's play being ruled out, Tamil Nadu with a better quotient (1.594) than Haryana (0.979) straightaway makes the cut.

In case another six overs of play in the second innings is possible, then the run-rate of the current match will be taken into account. In a match interrupted by weather, the if team batting second plays a minimum of 30 overs and has a better run-rate than team batting first, it goes through.

For example, Tamil Nadu are maintaining a run-rate of 3 per over. If they can score another 26 runs in the next six overs, their score at the end of 30 overs will be 98 which will be good enough to take them to the last four stage as their run-rate will be 3.27 better than Haryana's innings run-rate of 3.26.

Tamil Nadu started the innings on a positive note with both KB Arun Karthik (24) and Abhinav Mukund (30 batting) adding 39 runs before seamer Sanjay Budhwar got Arun karthik to edge one to Sunny Singh in the slips. Subramanium Badrinath-- the highest run-getter in the tournament so far hit a couple of boundaries to reach 13 before Joginder Sharma got him out in an identical fashion as Arun Karthik. Sunny Singh took his second catch. The winner of this particular match in all likelihood will meet Rajasthan in the semi-final

MP 312/7 against Karnataka

Indore: Karnataka took a healthy first innings lead of 161 runs against Madhya Pradesh before reducing them to 312 for seven on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Super League quarterfinal match here today.

Baroda in control

Baroda: Railways put up a brave fight but Baroda have almost put one foot in the Ranji Trophy semifinals courtesy their good batting display in the first innings. Baroda began the third day of the quarter-final match at 303 for four and folded for 416, taking a very healthy overall lead of 168-runs. — PTI

Top

 

Man U title rivals, not Arsenal: Carlo

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

London, December 26
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has said that Manchester United is the main team to beat in his club's bid to retain the title. The Italian admits the team managed by Sir Alex ­Ferguson hold all the aces going into the new year. Chelsea go into tomorrow night's game at Arsenal trailing three points behind United and a point behind the Gunners, the Dailty Star reports.

Ancelotti said: "If you had to back which team was going to win the league, it is very difficult to say - but Manchester United have more of an ­advantage compared to Chelsea and to Arsenal." "The decisive moment will be when we start the Champions League again in February. Then you can have a clear opinion about which team will be able to win," he said.

Ancelotti will welcome back striker Didier Drogba - who has finally shrugged off health and fitness worries.

‘Wenger a good manager’

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has said that would definitely have been sacked if he had not won a trophy for five years like Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Yet Ancelotti believes Wenger's style is the way forward and hopes the Arsenal board keeps faith in him.

"He pleases. We all like Arsenal's football. They give everyone a lot of joy," The Daily Star quoted him, as saying.

"You have to be able to defend well because they are very skilful up front. This year they have a new threat with Marouane Chamakh. He is good in the air and Arsenal cross the ball more than last season," Ancelotti said.

Ancelotti also accepts that it will be a more experienced Arsenal side that they face at The Emirates tomorrow.

"Arsenal has not forgotten how to win the league. They want to win the league this year and they are very close. Like us, they can do it. Wenger is not a lucky manager, he is a good manager," he said. — ANI

Top

 

‘I tried to get Beckham to Sunderland’

London, December 26
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has revealed that he had tried to bring midfielder David Beckham to the Stadium of Light. According to the Daily Star, Bruce rang Beckham last year before the midfielder joined AC Milan on loan for a second time from Los Angeles Galaxy.

When asked where he thinks Beckham's next move will be, Bruce joked: "We'll try!" "I still keep in touch with him. Will he come back to England? I can't see it. But I tried certainly to get him here when he went back to Milan." "Becks said, 'Thanks, Brucie - but I'm going to Milan.' It was Milan and Prada - or Sunderland and Primark!" he added.

Beckham, who had spent the last two winters on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy at AC Milan, had earlier confirmed that his move to the Italian club would not happen again.

"I won't be going back to AC Milan this time because is not possible to go onto the roster for such a short length of time," the 35-year-old had said. "But I will be going back somewhere as I want to keep myself fit and keep myself in with a chance of getting called up for England again. To do that, I have to be somewhere so fingers crossed I can sort something out," he added. — ANI

Top

 

Atwal shines bright in moderate year for Indian golf

New Delhi, December 26
Arjun Atwal's historic title triumph on the PGA Tour was the high point of an otherwise moderate year for Indian golf during which seasoned campaigner Jeev Milkha Singh's fortunes took a massive tumble due to nagging injuries.

Atwal, a former Asian Tour number one, scripted history by emerging as the first Indian to win on the US PGA Tour at the Wyndham Championship in August.

It was a resurgence of sorts for the Orlando-based golfer, who had struggled with injuries over the past couple of years and had lost his PGA card going into the tournament.

He was also the first Monday qualifier in 24 years to win a tournament on the PGA Tour. The victory secured Atwal an invitation to next year's Masters Tournament, making him only the second Indian after Jeev to play in the year's first Major at Augusta National.

The Wyndham triumph also fetched him a place in the list of nominees for the Asian Tour's Special Achievement Award but he lost out to Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

The 37-year-old neighbour and practice partner of Tiger Woods thus became the biggest name in Indian golf with one PGA, three European and seven Asian titles to his credit.

It was a fantastic turnaround of fortunes for the golfer, who was hampered by weightlifting injuries to both shoulders for a couple of seasons. — PTI

Top

 
 BRIEFLY

‘Van der Sar to retire in 2011’
London
: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said he expects goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire at the end of this season. Van der Sar, who in 2009 set an Premier League record of minutes without conceding a goal when he went more than 21 hours unbeaten, has been key for United since his arrival in 2005 from Fulham. "We are planning for this being his last season. I expected it. It is amazing to be playing at this level at 40 years of age. You can only do it if you've got that structure and the mind," the Guardian quoted Ferguson, as saying. — ANI

Actors Penelope Cruz (L) and Javier Bardem attend the NBA game between Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Actors Penelope Cruz (L) and Javier Bardem attend the NBA game between Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday. — Reuters

Vettori captain beyond World Cup
Auckland
: Daniel Vettori is reportedly set to continue as New Zealand captain beyond next year's 50-over World Cup in the Indian subcontinent. According to the New Zealand Herald, Vettori has accepted the need to continue in his current role as he forges a new relationship with new coach John Wright. The 31-year-old had earlier indicated that he would give up the leadership after the World Cup, which begins in February. — ANI

Zulqarnain threatens legal action
Islamabad
: Runaway Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who stunned one and all by fleeing the team hotel in Dubai hours before the final one-day international against South Africa last month, has threatened to take legal action against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for allegedly indulging in his "character assassination." A fact-finding committee set up by the PCB to look into his flight to the UK from Dubai failed to find any clear motives behind his actions. — ANI

Robson won’t quit as Thai boss
BANGKOK
: Former England captain Bryan Robson put on a brave face on Sunday in explaining why he was clinging on to his job as Thailand coach after overseeing the country's worst performances in recent years. Furious Thai fans have demanded the resignation of the country's soccer president and want answers as to why a side once tipped to become an Asian soccer heavyweight has stumbled embarrassingly in every competition since Robson took over. — Reuters 

Top

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