‘Players have too much say’
I urged Dravid not to retire: Ponting
Rohit, Kohli star in victory
No MAKA Trophy this year?
Punjabi University honours athletes
Federation condemns Batra’s statement
India lose to Guyana
F2: Armaan to push for points at Red Bull
New Delhi, August 25
"The BCCI are in the business of making money, more so than cricket. They have let the senior players have a bit too much say in what they want and the selectors have been negligent in their duty," Chappell was quoted as saying.
Chappel had even some more harsh words for Srikkanth-led committee for failing to plan for their future and get the combination of players right.
"It almost seems to me like the selectors have said: this is a terrific period for us, we are going to make the most of it, and if we leave the mess to the next lot, too bad. I say that they have not done anything really to plan for the future at all," Chappell added.
Chappell feels that as long as country's cricketing set-up produces fine leaders, a team will always provide good results.
"All you have got to do is have a system that produces good young, skilful, competitive cricketers. And if you are producing a number of good, strong leaders then you will be fine. If you are going to produce leaders, then it is not going to matter if you are going to play Test, one-day or Twenty20 matches."
Chappell has also questioned the selection committee's intent of finding a potent bowling attack for all conditions.
"India need a decent bowling attack to build a good team around. When India became the No. 1 Test team, I said that I did not see them maintaining that position under all the different conditions.
"They have not also faced up to the fact that Harbhajan Singh has not been a good attacking weapon for at least for a good two years now. And where are the good fast bowlers?," he questioned.
"Apart from the fact that the selectors have not faced up to the issue of an ageing batting line-up that is terrible in the field in a five-day game," he fumed.
For the ruthless former Aussie skipper, a winning team should never feel tired. "I have never seen a winning team tire. All the tired teams are the ones that are losing. India at the moment are losing. India should have been able to stay at the No. 1 for a quite a long time because have a look at the numbers that play the game, just for starts.
"Then they have got all the money, but if it is not well administered then the money does not mean anything," his statement has a note of caution attached to it.
Chappell thinks that BCCI should have thought about phasing out legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in order to enable smooth passage for the talented youngster into Test cricket.
"It was time probably two years ago. There is no doubt that Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman are certainly amongst the best batsmen, but have they picked the right young players in the squad?"
He termed Rohit Sharma as a far better batsman than Suresh Raina but selectors should show faith in him. "Rohit Sharma is twice as good a batsman as Suresh Raina and he has not yet played Tests. Okay, there may be personality problems, and Rohit might not have a big amount of first-class runs, but you don't worry about all that. You just back your judgement. Some guys adapt to the big stage faster than others."
Chappell cited Graeme Hick as "classic example" of how a player develops technical deficiencies once he stays at the domestic level for too long.
"You can't leave guys at the lower level for too long. Graeme Hick is a classic example. He played a lesser standard of cricket way too long and by the time he played Test cricket he had flaws that were found out.
"If he had played Test cricket earlier maybe he would not have got into sloppy habits. You have got to get Rohit up there and find out whether he can do it."
Chappell urged selectors to be impartial while selecting national squads. "You do not pick teams to please people; you pick teams to win cricket matches, but while you are always picking a team to win the next game, you are also selecting a team with an eye on the future. Good selectors are good enough to do both: pick a team that will win and also know when the time has come to start making some changes." — AFP
Much better than raina
wall of fame
Melbourne, August 25
Dravid, the lone Indian batsman to perform well in with three centuries and 461 runs in the team's recent 0-4 Test whitewash at the hands of England, was woefully out of form last year and Ponting said he encouraged the veteran right-hander carry on despite the criticism.
"I remember after our last series in India there was a lot of talk and speculation about Dravid being finished," Ponting said. "I actually went and found him at the end of the series and said 'don't you even think about retiring' because I just saw some stuff in a few of his innings that suggested he was still a very, very good player.
"I just said 'don't let them wear you down, don't let them get you down'. I received a similar text message before and after the Ashes from him as well," he added.
The 36-year-old Ponting has not scored a Test century since January last year but he is confident of regaining his touch and he is looking upto Dravid for inspiration.
"There are a few (who provide an inspiration for batsmen of advancing years). Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Jacques) Kallis both had a great last year; Dravid is doing well now.
Speaking about the state of the game in general, Ponting said he is worried about the impact of Twenty20 on youngsters. "The big worry I've had about Twenty20 cricket and even other shorter forms of the game being played at really developmental times in kids' careers is that it won't teach them the art of concentration.
"Cricket for me when I was growing up meant batting until someone got me out, and if that took them a week then that's how long it took them," he said.
"Now, even Under-17s and Under-19s are playing T20 games in national championships, and at the detriment of two-day games. Good state players these days are averaging 35; if you were averaging 35 when I was playing your dad would go and buy you a basketball or a footy and tell you to play that. So there are areas of concern there; I don't know how you change them," he explained.
Asked about India's slide from the top of ICC rankings after the debacle in England, Ponting said it would be interesting to see how Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men do once the veterans retire.
"India still haven't reached that point that I thought they'd get to yet. They've still got that crux, those great batters in that side. Time will tell with India now. Dravid was probably one who was in the gun before the rest of them and he's found a way to come through," he said.
"They ( Tendulkar, Dravid and VVS Laxman) are all about the same age and they won't go on forever. They will be tested more than anything with their bowlers.
"I think we found even in the last few years that a lot of their spin bowling probably isn't as strong as it used to be, and if you take Zaheer (Khan) out of their fast bowling stocks there's not much left there either; so they've got an interesting couple of years ahead," he added.
On whether India was focusing too much on Twenty20 and ignoring Tests, Ponting said, "They're probably prioritising Twenty20 cricket as much as anyone aren't they, with the IPL being based there and the commitment some players have to certain franchises and tournaments going on around that."
"I reckon a good example of where their cricket is now is the fact they played RP Singh in that last Test match, when he hadn't played a first-class game since January," he explained. — PTI
Hove, August 25
Earlier, Indian seamers led by Rudra Pratap Singh bowled well in patches as Sussex were all out for 236 in 45 overs in the first of the three warm-up games ahead of the limited overs series.
RP who had a miserable comeback to the Test arena snared four for 45 from his nine overs but Munaf Patel who was made to cool his heels for the entire Test series was smashed for 52 runs in his seven-over spell.
India conveyed the right intent by fielding both Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the playing XI as well as playing five regular bowlers in a bid to be better prepared for the ODIs than they were for the Tests in which they suffered a 4-0 whitewash. — PTI
Wells c Dhoni b Praveen 2
Nash c Kohli b Singh 24
Vincent c Dhoni b Singh 14
Gatting b Ashwin 46
Machan c & b Raina 56
Brown c Raina b Munaf 48
Wernars c Ashwin b Mishra 21
Beer c Dhoni b Singh 2
Khan run out 6
Arif not out 5
Liddle c Rohit b Singh 3
Extras (lb 3, w 5, nb 1) 9
Total: (all out; 45 overs) 236
Bowling: Praveen 8-0-28-1, Singh 9-0-45-4, Munaf 7-0-52-1, Mishra 9-1-45-1, Ashwin 7-0-37-1, Rohit 2-0-17-0, Raina 3-0-9-1.
Parthiv b Nash 55
Tendulkar c Arif b Liddle 21
Kohli c Machan b Arif 71
Rohit not out 61
Raina b Khan 12
Dhoni not out 1
Extras (b 4, w 10, nb 3) 17
Total: (4 wickets; 40.5 overs) 238
Bowling: Khan 9-1-33-1, Arif 8-0-55-1, Liddle 5-0-36-1, Wernars 2-0-18-0, Beer 9-0-55-0, Nash 5-0-18-1, Wells 2.5-0-19-0.
No MAKA Trophy this year?
New Delhi, August 25
The award is presented during the investiture ceremony to honour the winners of the Khel Ratna, Arjuna, Dhyan Chand and Tenzing Norgay awards at Rashtrapati Bhawan, to be held this year on August 29, the National Sports Day.
According to a source, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) was scheduled to hold a meeting yesterday for the universities in the fray for the MAKA Trophy to make their presentations. But the meeting was cancelled as the AIU seems to have been prevailed upon by the Sports Ministry to keep the award on hold this year.
AIU could not hold a meeting to finalise the MAKA Trophy winners earlier as the official responsible for convening the meeting, Under-Secretary Gurdeep Singh, had accompanied the Indian contingent as chef-de-mission for the World University Games in China.
“The MAKA Trophy may now be awarded for two years together next year,” added a source. Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, were the front-runners for the MAKA Trophy this year, though there was some controversy in the manner in which Guru Nanak Dev had calculated its points.
Last year, the MAKA Trophy was presented for two years together.
Punjabi University honours athletes
Patiala, August 25
The Sports Department of the university organised a grand function in their honour, which was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh. The function was attended by college and university coaches and sportspersons.
Director Sports, Dr Rajkumar Sharma, welcomed the players and threw light on their individual achievements. He congratulated the students on their achievements and said it was a perfect beginning to a new sports session with Harveen Sarao winning two gold medals and Gagandeep Kaur and Sunita Rani winning a bronze medal in these Games.
Expressing delight over their achievement, the VC said he was happy with their win and would ensure that they were provided more opportunities so that they could scale new heights in the near future.
He also announced a cash award of Rs 2.44 lakh for Harveen, Rs 1.45 lakh for Gagandeep, Rs 75,000 for Sunita, Rs 27,000 each for Amandeep Kaur, Harkirat Singh Dhillon and Kirpal Singh and Rs 25, 000 for Sikander Mann as per the university’s sports policy which would be presented on the annual sports day.
In addition to that, he announced a cash price of Rs 51,000 each for all seven players and their coaches Jiwanjot Singh and Swaranjeet Kaur. They were presented mementos and gifts to players on the occasion.
Federation condemns Batra’s statement
New Delhi, August 25
IHF secretary-general Ashok Mathur said here today that Narinder Batra’s accusation that “the IHF does not want the team to qualify for the Olympics and that the IHF is playing a game from behind is not only irresponsible, but reflective of his own incompetence”.
Mathur said his body strongly refuted “such outrageous remarks” directed at the IHF “which is in existence for the last 85 years and is the proud holder of the world record of winning eight Olympic gold medals -- six in a row”.
Mathur reminded Batra that he and the coaching staff had been telling the media from the very beginning of their doubts about the team’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics.
He said the HI secretary-general’s accusations only reflected “his negativity and mindset”. “In fact, he (Batra) had failed miserably to keep the morale of the team high, and safeguard the interest of the players,” Mathur alleged. He said the IHF would not be surprised “if Batra now starts blaming the IHF of inciting the players for the strike/protest before the World Cup 2010 (held in Delhi)”.
He said the unrest and discord among the players was due to the “divide and rule” policy adopted by Batra, and his mishandling of the situation during the players’ strike which had forced even the then HI president (A.K. Mattoo) to resign. Mathur stressed that Sardara and Sandeep had taken permission from chief coach Nobbs to quit the camp, citing family reasons, and he saw no reason why Batra should blame the IHF.
“Clearly, Batra has failed to deliver the results and is attempting to hide his own failures by making such unwarranted accusations which can only be termed as an advance excuse for his failure,” Mathur added.
He said Batra’s accusations will only help scuttle the truce forged between IHF and HI for the “better organisation of the game in view of the recent settlement”. He said the HI stance would “not only give a wrong signal to the hockey lovers, but also leave a demoralising effect on the players”.
Georgetown, August 25
Guyana took the lead through Vurlon Mills, while Steven Dias equalised for India before the break. Guyana scored the winner after the breather through Walter Moore.
It was a hard-fought match with heavy downpour affecting the surface during the first half. However, it did not stop the two teams to display quality contest which delighted the fans in the stadium.
Guyana, ranked 37 places above the Armando Colaco's boys in the FIFA charts, surged ahead in the 19th minute through striker Mills who headed home a cross when the Indian defence was caught napping.
Stung by the reverse, Team India pushed hard but went down at the end. — PTI
Spielberg, August 25
The 22-year old Armaan, sponsored by JK Tyre, Amaron and Trimex, will be making his debut at the Red Bull Ring, as also the F2 series, but was hopeful of adding points to his kitty.
Armaan finished ninth and sixth at Brands Hatch, England, to pick up 10 points to add to the six he took at Silverstone in April.
“It will be my first time at the Red Bull Ring and I am obviously looking forward to the weekend. The points finish at Brands has put me in a better frame of mind and my target now is to move further up the grid which I feel I am capable of.” — TNS
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