India’s Tour of West Indies
Zaheer, Sreesanth out of WIndies tour
Katich blasts ‘ridiculous’ Australia axing
IOA kept out of hockey merger talks: Malhotra
Sutil relying on updates
India’s campaign ends with Saina’s loss
Indian archers stun Korea in World Cup Stage II
Local golfer Sujjan Singh lifts trophy
India’s Tour of West Indies
Antigua, June 10
Down 0-2 and with the series on line, West Indies selectors have also gone ahead and rested Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul. Gayle is apparently incommunicado even though his tweets are appearing by the hours.
The WICB deciding to hold back the announcement of team for the fourth one-day international on Monday, however, would suggest they are keen for this deadlock to break. Bravo and Rampaul are missing because the former has requested for a break and was granted while the latter is suffering from the ill-effects of a heavy workload.
It is ironic that while the young Indians are clamouring for more games and more pressure, the West Indian players are seeking breaks at such a crucial juncture in the series. Be that as it may, it leaves a mediocre West Indies squad even more depleted.
On paper, West Indies have two tearaway fast bowlers in the returning Kemar Roach and Andre Russell but the batting friendly conditions could make them ineffective against a rampant young Indian side. Batting has been the decisive factor at this Caribbean ground where 300 runs is a norm and frontline bowlers are known to go in excess of 50 runs from their 10 overs.
West Indies, to top it, have never won any of their four games at this venue after being clobbered for 158 runs by Australian Matthew Hayden in a 2007 World Cup game. Not only the cricket team but even infrastructure-wise, West Indies is facing huge embarrassment.
The ground staff of Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad allowed the square to be so sodden by a passing shower that 13 overs were lopped off from the second one-day international on Wednesday.
The local fans are also keeping their fingers crossed as the last Test against England in 2009 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here was abandoned after umpires ruled the ground unfit to play due to sandy outfield. In all, only 10 balls were bowled in that match.
But all this set aside, the Indians have mastered the conditions pretty well and practically all batsmen, barring Yusuf Pathan, have had a decent hit in the middle.
If the clinical wins in the first two ODIs were any indication, the Indians have coped with the absence of seniors such as Sachin Tendulkar and regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pretty well.
The visitors can't wait for the game to start as they are likely to get value for the shots which wasn't the case on extremely sluggish surface in Trinidad. Interestingly, spinners haven't had much purchase at this venue.
It is another thing though that the hosts may still not come to terms with India's slow men.
The reputation of Harbhajan Singh and the class of Amit Mishra is presently proving too much for them. Indian batsmen are doing the task competently but given the rank amateurishness of this West Indies team, their job has only been simplified. — PTI
New Delhi, June 10
The pace duo also missed out on the ongoing five-match one-day series in the Caribbean which India are leading 2-0.
"Zaheer has a right ankle problem, and Sreesanth has a right elbow problem. Both players will require some time off for rehabilitation," said N Srinivasan, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI).
Abhimanyu Mithun and Praveen Kumar have been named as their replacements in the Test squad. India are already without Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh for the Test series beginning in Kingston, Jamaica on June 24.
Tendulkar, the world's leading batsman in both Tests and one-dayers, has opted out of the tour in order to spend time with his family while the other players are injured.
Zaheer's long-standing trysts with injuries have caused the seamer to regularly miss matches.
While a shoulder injury made him miss India's tour of Sri Lanka last year, he was forced to sit out of Tests against New Zealand and South Africa due to groin and hamstring strains prior to the World Cup.
Zaheer, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL often looked jaded and was a far cry from the bowler he was during the World Cup in which he finished with a record equalling 21 wickets.
Sreesanth too has been struggling with injuries, returning home last year from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after damaging his thigh and knee.
India's revised Test squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Venkatsai Laxman (vice-captain), Murali Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Subramaniam Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel. — PTI
Sydney, June 10
The 35-year-old opening batsman said he would play on for New South Wales but assumed his omission from the list of 25 contracted players, which was announced on Tuesday, marked the end of his international career.
"I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed about the decision and I also want to make it clear that I'm not the only player who has gone through this in the last couple of years due to inconsistent selection policies," he told a news conference in Sydney.
"I think the decision was absolutely ridiculous." Katich has been one of Australia's best performing batsmen over the last couple of years and his exclusion has been hammered by former players and media pundits, piling more pressure on under-fire chief selector Andrew Hilditch. Hilditch said Australia had ditched Katich, who has averaged 45.03 runs in 56 test matches, in order to develop a new opening partnership in time for the next Ashes series.
"To be given the reason that the opening partnership needs to bed down for 2013 when (the opening partnership with Shane Watson) has been one of the few bright spots for Australia, I find it very hard to believe that," Katich said.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland later said Katich was a "fantastic player" who still had a lot to offer Australian cricket as a player, but also gave full backing to the selectors. "I can understand that he's extremely disappointed at the news he received this week and I really do sympathise with him," Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.
"(But) I reject any criticism of (the selection panel) in terms of the individual integrity or the collective integrity of the process they go through in making decisions about who the best ... squad is for the future of Australian cricket."
Katich said the inconsistency of the selectors had contributed to the Ashes debacle around the turn of the year, when England won a series in Australia for the first time in 24 years.
"The facts are a week or two before the Ashes, a squad of 17 was named," he said. "Now, in my opinion, if you don't know what your best 11 is a week or so before the biggest test series we play in, then that to me reeks of indecision.
"The fact that we've have 10 or 11 different spinners in the last two or three years ... that to me is another indication of the inconsistency in selection.
"There have been so many guys looking over their shoulders worrying about whether they'd be selected," he added. "And if you compared to how England prepared, they were settled and no surprise that they had a very good campaign."
Katich said he had been told of the decision to end his 12-year association with Cricket Australia in a four-minute telephone conversation with Hilditch on Tuesday and was convinced his age was at the heart of it. — Reuters
IOA kept out of hockey merger talks: Malhotra
New Delhi, June 10
The IOA president said he learnt about the meeting, convened by Maken tomorrow, from the media, and through a letter written to him by IHF secretary Ashok Mathur.
“I am happy that efforts are being made to resolve the differences between the two hockey bodies, though as the apex sports body, the IOA should have been involved in the deliberations, as eventually the hockey body would have to function under the IOA umbrella,” Malhotra told a group of reporters at the Olympic Bhawan here this morning.
Malhotra also questioned Maken’s assertion that the Government would take “tough steps” if the hockey bodies did not agree to merge, as it would amount to interfering in the autonomy of the federations. “We have no problem if the Government plays the role of a peacemaker for the unification of HI and IHF. But the Government should not form a unified hockey body through coercion. It should be done democratically,” Malhotra said and added that since the Supreme Court was also seized of the matter, “we should wait for the court verdict instead of rushing through things”.
“Jumping the gun and shooting from the hip is not the right attitude,” he averred. “In the end, the IOA can only recognise the hockey body which has the approval of the International Hockey Federation.” For this reason, the IOA nod has been given to only Hockey India.
But presently, Malhotra was more concerned with the operation of the sports federations, as soon many will be left without office space as the New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC) has issued notices, asking them to vacate their offices from the NDMC premises.
“Most of the NSFs were then allotted spaces at Palika Kendra, with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee footing the rent bills. The OC has now stopped paying rent and the NDMC has asked the federations to move out, or pay hefty rent to stay put.
“The federations are not in a position to bear the huge rents and the Government should re-allot spaces for them at the Nehru Stadium and IG Stadium as several large rooms are lying vacant in these stadia,” the IOA chief said.
He demanded that the Sports Ministry should honour its prior commitment of allotting space to the NSFs either at the Nehru Stadium or National Stadium “instead of trying to shift the entire Ministry from Shastri Bhawan to Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium just to stop any NSF from getting office space there!” Also, there is no Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre operational in Delhi, where various stadiums are under SAI control after the Commonwealth Games, though it has centres in Patiala, Kolkata, Bangalore, Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and many other parts of India.
Montreal, June 10
Last year, both the Force India cars had made it to the Q3 with Vitantonio Liuzzi qualifying fifth on the grid and Sutil on ninth. The team, though, could earn only three points and Sutil is hoping for a better performance this season at the circuit, which he terms as his favourite.
"We are still trying to improve our upgrade package that we took to Barcelona. It is not easy to make it work, the blown diffuser, at the moment, the way it should be. In Monaco I think we ran it for the first time in the race. We are not sure if it really was a big advantage, but I am sure it was a little. But there is still more to come.
"We now need time on the circuit to understand a lot of things and we also have some other updates on the car, not only the diffuser, especially for this race here. It should be good for us," Sutil said at the pre-race press conference.
Sutil said the team was keen that it improves in qualifying session and is hopeful of doing that, saying that the low downforce circuit here suits them. "We have a big straight-line speed. It is a very fast car on the straights.
“This circuit has fast straights and a few slow speed chicanes and hairpins, so it is not such an aerodynamic circuit here. Last year was a very good performance here and very strong qualifying with both cars.
“Hopefully it will be a little bit better here as qualifying is our main issue. The race is always a bit better, but still we want to be somewhere else in the field," he said. — PTI
New Delhi, June 10
Top seed Saina failed to live upto her reputation and lost 13-21, 12-21 to seventh seed Xuerui Li of China in a half an hour women's singles encounter.
Among Indian men, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist P Kashyap and promising shuttler Sourabh Verma also failed to cross the quarter-final hurdle at the CU Sport Complex.
Up against top seed Chinese Chen Long, Kashyap found the going tough and suffered a 18-21, 5-21 loss. The 20-year-old Sourabh, however, put up a brave fight against third seed Korean Sung Hwan Park before going down 21-16, 16-21, 11-21 in a match that lasted more than an hour.
Earlier, World number four Saina couldn't provide a fight to Xuerui and was left to do the catch up act right from the start. Xuerui was always ahead of the Indian and comfortably pocketed the first game.
In the second game, Saina had opened a narrow 2-0 lead , but the Chinese drew parity at 4-4 and moved to 9-5 and though Saina caught up at 10-10, her opponent broke free and sealed the issue. — PTI
Kolkata, June 10
The Indian duo will take on the Chinese pair of Xiaoxiang Dai and Yuting Fang in the summit clash on Sunday, according to information received here.
In yesterday's results, the Talukdar-Deepika pair did not give their fancied Korean opponents of Bo Bae Ki and Woojin Kim any chance with a 151-149 win.
The Indian pair first defeated Germany (Florian Floto and Elen Richter) 146-145 and Italy (Mauro Nespoli and Natali Valeeva) 149-147 in the quarterfinals.
In today's result, the Indian women's recurve team set up a bronze medal play-off against Ukraine after narrowly losing to the US.
The women's trio of Laishram Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Chekrovolu Swuro lost the semifinals in tie-breaker, according to information received here.
The world No. 1 men's team comprising Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee disappointed, losing to Japan in the first round after it went to tie-breaker. — PTI
Pune, June 10
Sujjan, a Chandigarh golfer, ended the week with 11 under 277 total at Oxford Golf and Country Club and bagged his second professional title.
Sujjan began the day with a birdie putt from six feet on the first to go one ahead. Himmat then caught up with a birdie on the second.
Sujjan earned his second birdie with another six feet putt on the eighth. Both the players birdied the 11th before Himmat suffered a couple of setbacks due to bogeys on the 12th and 13th.
Himmat then posed a serious challenge to Sujjan by picking up an eagle on the 16th, where he sank a 50 feet putt to reduce the margin to one stroke.
Sujjan was in some trouble on the last hole after he found the rough with his tee shot even as Himmat landed it on the fairway.
However, Sujjan produced an extraordinary eight-iron second shot from the rough that landed just 10 feet from the pin and all but sealed it for him.
Jeev tied 31st
Turin: Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh opened with a creditable three-under 69 for a share of the 31st spot in the Italian Open here. He was five shots behind joint leaders Robert Rock and Chris Wood, both of whom have never won on the European Tour. But things were not so good for the other two Indians in the field. SSP Chowrasia, who won the Avantha Masters at the start of the season, shot a one-over 73 to be tied 102nd and Shiv Kapur had a two-over 74 for the 121st place. Both Chowrasia and Kapur, will need low rounds to make the cut. Jeev overcame an early bogey on third to come up with four birdies.
Turin: Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh opened with a creditable three-under 69 for a share of the 31st spot in the Italian Open here.
He was five shots behind joint leaders Robert Rock and Chris Wood, both of whom have never won on the European Tour. But things were not so good for the other two Indians in the field.
SSP Chowrasia, who won the Avantha Masters at the start of the season, shot a one-over 73 to be tied 102nd and Shiv Kapur had a two-over 74 for the 121st place. Both Chowrasia and Kapur, will need low rounds to make the cut. Jeev overcame an early bogey on third to come up with four birdies. — PTI
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