Dhoni lauds lower order show
Indian cricketers criticise Harper for bad decisions
Sharapova survives, in last 32
Saina reaches semis in Indonesian Open
Somdev out of singles, Sania-Elena win in doubles
IHF, HI merger in a limbo
Vishal wins badminton tourney
India’s tour of
Kingston, June 24
Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina had shared a 146-run seventh-wicket stand in the first innings after India had slipped to 85 for six and then in the second innings Amit Mishra combined with Rahul Dravid to put on 56 runs for the ninth wicket to help stretch the lead beyond 300 runs.
"Our lower half batsmen for the past year and a half have been contributing well. We were 85 for 6 in the first innings before Harbhajan, along with Suresh Raina, bailed us out. In the second innings, Mishra made a telling contribution," Dhoni said at the post match press conference.
"But for that stand (Raina and Harbhajan), we could have been all out for 150. We were able to get more runs and thus gather a handy lead. Then in the second innings, we could stretch the lead to 300 plus," he added.
Dhoni also offered a wholesome appreciation to the veteran batsman Dravid, who scored 112 in the second innings, and paceman Praveen Kumar, who took six wickets on debut.
"Dravid has been an exceptional batsman. That he played over 250 deliveries showed he was very patient. He made the bowlers pitch in his areas and was brilliant.
"Praveen is a very skillful bowler and can swing it either way. He doesn't have the pace but he can swing the ball and confuse the batsmen if they needed to play or leave a delivery. He showed great character after having been stopped from bowling in the first innings.
"When you are switching from 10-over format to 20-25 overs in an innings, you have to be careful. Importantly, he backed his strength and picked up wickets in the second innings as well."
Dhoni is 2nd most successful Indian Test captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni became India's second most successful Test captain after guiding the side to a 63-run win over the West Indies in the first match here on Thursday.
The win was Dhoni's 15th triumph from 25 Tests and by the dint of this victory, he went past Mohammed Azahauddin, who had won 14 of the 47 Tests as captain.
Ganguly captained for 49 Tests and in all won 21 matches for the country. Dhoni's win percentage of 60.00 is the best of all Indian captains.
The 28-year-old Indian captain is yet to lose a Test series in his distinguished career of 54 Tests.
If batsmen can't score, get Sobers, Viv back: Sammy
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy sarcastically dismissed suggestions that his side was missing explosive batsman Chris Gayle as his side lost the first Test by 63 runs to India. Gayle is out of the national side for alleging in an interview that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) left him in lurch when he was injured.
West Indies lost the one-off Twenty20 match, the ODI series (2-3) and now have conceded lead in the three-match Test series against India with Gayle on the sidelines.
"That our batsmen haven't been able to seize moments has been happening for 10 years. May be the best thing for us is to bring back Gary Sobers, Viv Richards, Clyde Walcott, all of them!," Sammy said at the post-match press conference when asked if his side can afford the absence of Gayle.
Sammy said there is little to separate the two sides and that he was hopeful of levelling the series when the two teams square up in Barbados for the second Test from June 28.
"I don't think there is much difference between the two sides. It's been a case throughout the home series for us. The games have been coming down fairly close.
"We know we are capable of getting 20 wickets. It's just one area where we need to get clicking. Once we can put good first innings total, and I don't drop Dravid or anybody again, we should not be under pressure to win a match.” — PTI
Kingston, June 24
Such was the exasperation that a senior member of the side said that whole team wish that Harper does not officiate in the third Test.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did little to hide his disgust at the standard of umpiring in the Test, which they won by 63 runs to take a 1-0 lead.
"If correct decisions were made, the game would have ended much earlier and we would have been in the hotel by now," Dhoni said at the post match press conference.
The Australian would stood for one last time when India take on West Indies in the third Test at Dominica from July 6.
"We don't want him — you can quote it as the reaction of the entire Indian team," said a very senior member of the side.
Though Dhoni did not name anyone of the two umpires officiating in the match —- Ian Gould (England) and Harper -– several Indian players openly termed the latter as the centre of their ire.
"It's Daryl Harper six not out," said another senior cricketer as soon as he saw a bunch of Indian pressmen approaching him. — PTI
London, June 24
Sharapova, the 2004 champion, will face Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 16 on Saturday.
But she faced a real test in the opening exchanges, as well as the closing stages, against 17-year-old Robson, ranked 254 in the world and playing on a wildcard.
"She started so well. She was going for her shots and serving well that I couldn't get too many looks on her first serve," said Sharapova.
"But I played better as the match went on. She's young and moving up and playing good tennis. I didn't play my best and I feel like I made more errors than I had to."
Robson, the 2008 junior champion, broke to lead 2-0 in the opening set on Court One and stretched out to 4-1 before the Russian superstar, watched by fiancé and NBA basketball star Sasha Vujacic, hit back in the seventh game.
Robson sensed a chance when Sharapova double-faulted to give up a 4/2 lead in the tiebreak before the Russian reeled off the next five points to take the opener after an enthralling 68 minutes of action.
Sharapova was quickly ahead at 2-0 in the second set but left-hander Robson dug deep and retrieved the break immediately.
The former world number one, however, broke again to love and then backed it up with a convincing hold to go to 4-1 and another break against a wilting Robson for 5-1.
But Robson, buoyed by the home support, clung on and came back to 3-5 before Sharapova, showing all the experience of a three-time Grand Slam title winner claimed victory. — AFP
Jakarta, June 24
The fourth seed Indian registered a hard-fought 21-19, 21-19 win over Tine, seeded eighth, in a match that lasted for 37 minutes. The 21-year-old Indian will now take on Chinese Taipei's Shao Chieh Cheng in the semifinals on Saturday. Unseeded Shao beat seventh seed Xin Liu 21-17, 21-15 in another quarterfinal match.
Saina has lost two close matches against the Dane in their previous two encounters but on Friday the world No. 4 made sure that she doesn't fall in the same trap and raised her game during crucial moments to wrest initiative.
Saina had opened a three-point lead initially but Tine reeled off seven straight points to zoom to 10-6 but the Indian caught up with the Dane at 12-all and after a neck-and-neck battle kept her upper hand to pocket the first game. The second game was also a rollercoaster ride for Saina as lead exchanged hands quite frequently though the Indian had a 4-1 lead initially. Saina finally broke the norm from 17-all and reached 20-18. — PTI
London, June 24
The 68th ranked Indian lost 2-6 4-6 4-6 to 18th seed Russian in the rain-hit match last night. Somdev has done well in the season so far but could not improve his Grand Slam record of having never managed to go past the second round. Sania Mirza, the lone Indian to figure in the women's singles, has already crashed out with a first round defeat.
However, there was something to cheer for India as Sania and her partner Elena Vesnina progressed to the second round with a straight set win over Anna Chakvetadze and Melanie Oudin. The fourth seed Indo-Russian pair quelled a late challenge from the unseeded Russian-American team to record a 6-0 7-6(4) win. — PTI
IHF, HI merger in a limbo
New Delhi, June 24
“IHF will accept the merger proposal only without the corrupt and the conspirators,” he emphasised. He said IHF had not set any deadline for the merger, implying that the uncertainty could prolong and the ball was now in the Government’s court. “We have not given any deadline,” he repeated.
Gill, accompanied by former IHF secretary Jothikumaran, Women’s Hockey Federation of India secretary Amrit Bose and present IHF secretary Ashok Mathur, detailed to the media various reasons and made serious charges against HI, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Ministry, which had proposed the merger.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken had suggested the merger of the bodies for the smooth conduct of the game, and warned of stern steps if the IHF and HI did not relent. But Gill made light of Maken’s threat.
“Hockey can survive without Government support,” he noted. The Supercop said: “Though we don’t want any dispute to continue, we want the merger to take place under certain agreed principles.”
He said HI was an untenable body, formed by seven members who had noremote link with the game. With tongue-in-cheek remarks, Gill reeled out their names: Vidya Stokes (‘who never held a hockey stick’), A.K. Mattoo (from the boxing federation ‘who never boxed’), Harish Sharma (basketball), Mishra from Bihar (‘who is older than me’), Lalit Bhanot (‘now in jail’), Rajeev Mehta (kho-kho federation) and Aslam Khan (‘who was vice-president of the IHF’).
Gill said the IHF did not want the game and the players to suffer and that was why it held the junior and senior nationals and recommended the names of 40 players, who could be trained by HI, if the Ministry so desired. When asked about the veiled threat issued by Maken when he asked the warring hockey bodies to ship up or shape out, or else face serious action, Gill countered: “Maken has already taken action and now what threat?”
Gill said IHF had been slighted when the Ministry gave permission to Hockey India to hold the Champions Trophy (in December this year) and Olympic qualifiers (in February, 2011) at the National Stadium in Delhi while discussions were going on for the merger. “The Government had carried out a sustained publicity campaign against the IHF, despite the fact that we had improved the hockey standing from 13th to 5th,” Gill added.
He said certain “glaring facts” had come to light in reply to an RTI query which “reveals the naked truth behind the largest conspiracy in the creation of Hockey India”. Gill said a “conspiracy” was hatched up during the Beijing Olympics on August 22, 2008 by four persons for conducting the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2010 (held in Delhi).
“Chief conspirator (IOA president) Suresh Kalmadi, (IOA secretary-general) Randhir Singh, Els van Breda Vriesman and Peter I Cohen (both from the FIH) hatched a scheme for their illegal monetary gains, superseded an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the FIH and the IHC (the Indian Hockey Confederation) on 7th August, 2007 in Delhi, which was also approved by the Government of India,” Gill explained.
He termed this MoU as the most dishonest document as far as MoUs go. He said the IHF had approved only Rs 1.825 crore for the conduct of the World Cup, but when it was hosted by IOA, HI and FIH, the expenses shot up to Rs 20 crore, and on the same specifications.
Gill pointed out that when an RTI application was filed to secure details of income and expenditure on the World Cup, no reply was received on the purported ground that the “confidentiality clause” of the MOU prohibited sharing of this information, and that the event was organised through a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ and a private organisation called the Organising Committee Hero Honda World Cup, which was dissolved immediately after the event.
He said such an organisational structure violated the terms of the MOU and it was installed to “misappropriate the entire and inflated budget allocated for the World Cup”.
Gill said the profit of the World Cup was to be reinvested for the promotion of hockey in India, but the entire amount has been “misappropriated”. He said he had raised this issue, and following that the FIH president (Leandro Negro) had disclosed that $300,000 had been paid to Hockey India from the income of the World Cup, but “no account of expenditure of this amount has been disclosed”.
Gill said according to the information furnished by Hockey India to an RTI query, “all profits will go to a Hockey Development Fund for the development of hockey in India” though not a penny has been deposited in the fund.
“The merger of IHF and HI will be subject to adhering the conditions put forward by the IHF, including the return of the units walked away from the IHF,” Gill insisted, as he walked away, sporting an inscrutable smile.
Vishal wins badminton tourney
Chandigarh, June 24 The winners: 1) Men’s Singles: - Vishal Singh Winner; Shobhit Kumar Chaudhary 2) Women’s Singles: Ruchika Kaushal Winner; Archana Choudhary Runners Up 3) Men's Doubles: Winner- Vishal Singh & Rajeev Bhardwaj; Runners Up - Deepak Kumar & Navjot Kumar 4) Mixed Doubles: Winner - Vishal Singh & Ruchika Kaushal; Runners Up - Deepak Bajaj & Archana Choudhary. — TNS
Chandigarh, June 24
1) Men’s Singles: - Vishal Singh Winner; Shobhit Kumar Chaudhary 2) Women’s Singles: Ruchika Kaushal Winner; Archana Choudhary Runners Up 3) Men's Doubles: Winner- Vishal Singh & Rajeev Bhardwaj; Runners Up - Deepak Kumar & Navjot Kumar 4) Mixed Doubles: Winner - Vishal Singh & Ruchika Kaushal; Runners Up - Deepak Bajaj & Archana Choudhary. — TNS
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