Dhyan Chand, not Sachin, nominated for Bharat Ratna
Harris could have played for England
Our hunger will make up for inexperience: Virat
‘Sachin should opt for more open chested stance’
Kapur slips but set to make cut
Destination Hockey in Mohali
New Delhi, July 19
“The letter recommending Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand has already been sent to the Prime Minister,” Sports Secretary P K Deb said. “The Ministry has only recommended Dhyan Chand's name for the highest honour,” he added.
The recommendation, sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will be studied further before it goes for approval of President Pranab Mukherjee, for the hockey wizard to get the award posthumously.
A six-member delegation, led by Dhyan Chand's son Ashok Kumar, met Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on July 12. The delegations also included former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi and Dhyan Chand's grandson Gaurav Singh.
“Irrespective of whether the award is given or not, it is an honour for our family that his name has been recommended by the Sports Minister for Bharat Ratna,” Ashok Kumar said. “The minister assured us that he would try his best to get Dhyan Chand's name considered for the honour. Since no other name has been recommended, so there is no conflict. We are hopeful he will get Bharat Ratna this year posthumously,” he added.
Ashok also praised Bedi for pressing hard for Dhyan Chand's name during their meeting with Jitendra Singh.
Dhyan Chand won three gold medals at the Olympics -- 1928 in Amsterdam, 1932 in Los Angeles and 1936 in Berlin. He passed away in 1979.
The government in 2011 had ignored the plea of 82 Members of Parliament, who recommended Dhyan Chand's name for Bharat Ratna but in January 2012, the Ministry itself forwarded his name along with Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra and mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for the award. However, Tendulkar's name was not given as the BCCI had not recommended him. — PTI
The Ratna debate
There had been furious debate over whether Sachin Tendulkar should have been given the Bharat Ratna after the 2011 World Cup. But at that time, the guidelines stated that the Bharat Ratna is to be given "for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order".
In late 2011, the government changed the guidelines, so that the award could be given for "performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour".
Other possible contenders (currently active):
Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar, Vishwanathan Anand. Sachin Tendulkar
Off-spinner sends visitors crashing to 128 all out with a 5-wicket haul
London, July 19
At tea on the second day, Australia had struggled to 96 for seven in reply to England's 361 all out with each of the Australian batsmen contributing to their dismissals.
Shane Watson once again flattered to deceive, hitting six confident boundaries to reach 30 when he was lbw planting his left pad down the pitch to Tim Bresnan. He reviewed the decision but the replay showed the ball was heading for the stumps.
His opening partner Ed Rogers (15) appeared to lose sight of a Swann full toss and was also given out lbw. Rogers did not ask for a review only to see that the television replay revealed that the ball, delivered from around the wicket, was travelling across his body and would have missed the leg-stump.
Phillip Hughes (1) played a loose drive to Bresnan and was given out caught behind by Matt Prior. He did ask for a review, which upheld the original decision and meant Australia had already lost their two referrals.
Usman Khawaja, coming in for the out-of-form Ed Cowan, was no improvement, lofting a weak shot off Swann to Kevin Pietersen at mid-off and departing for 14.
Steve Smith was the next to go, caught at short-leg for two by Ian Bell off Swann. Worse was to come for Australia when captain Michael Clarke, their only world class player, was lbw to Stuart Broad for 28, caught on the crease by a full-pitched delivery.
Ashton Agar was then run out for two, backing up too far when Brad Haddin had been forced on to the back foot by James Anderson. Prior quickly seized the ball and threw it back to the bowler who broke the stumps.
Earlier, Ryan Harris confirmed the fine impression he had made during Thursday's opening day after England had resumed on 289 for seven by dismissing Bresnan (7) caught behind off the first ball of the day. Harris then completed his third five wicket haul in test cricket when Anderson (12) was also caught behind by Haddin. Broad and Swann, the latter batting in the unaccustomed position of number 11 after Anderson was promoted to nightwatchman on Thursday evening, took England past the 350 mark with a spirited last wicket partnership of 48 from 40 balls.
It was ended when James Pattinson took his first wicket of the match by dismissing Broad for 33 thanks to a fifth catch of the innings by Haddin. — Reuters
Cook lbw b Watson 12
Root lbw b Harris 6
Trott c Khawaja b Harris 58
Pietersen c Haddin b Harris 2
Bell c Clarke b Smith 109
Bairstow c & b Smith 67
Prior c Haddin b Smith 6
Bresnan c Haddin b Harris 7
Anderson c Haddin b Harris 12 Broad c Haddin b Pattinson 33 Swann no 28
Extras: (lb 11, w 3, nb 4) 18
Total: (10 wickets; 89 overs) 361
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-26, 3-28, 4-127, 5-271, 6-274, 7-283 , 8-289, 9-313, 10-361
Siddle 20 -6-53-0
Australia 1st innings
Watson lbw b Bresnan 30 Rogers lbw b Swann 15 Khawaja c Pietersen b Swann 14 Hughes c Prior b Bresnan 1 Clarke lbw b Broad 28 Smith c Bell b Swann 2 Haddin c Trott b Swann 7 Agar run out 2 Siddle c Swann b Anderson 2 Pattinson not out 10 Harris c Pietersen b Swann 10 Extras: (b 4, lb 1, w 2) 7 Total: (10 wickets; 53.3 overs) 128 Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-50, 3-53, 4-69, 5-86, 6-91, 7-96, 8-104, 9-104, 10-128 Bowling Anderson 14 -8-25-1 Broad 11 -3-26-1 Bresnan 7 -1-28-2 Swann 21.3-5-44-5 Smith 6-1-18-3
Watson lbw b Bresnan 30
Rogers lbw b Swann 15
Khawaja c Pietersen b Swann 14
Hughes c Prior b Bresnan 1
Clarke lbw b Broad 28
Smith c Bell b Swann 2
Haddin c Trott b Swann 7
Agar run out 2
Siddle c Swann b Anderson 2
Pattinson not out 10
Harris c Pietersen b Swann 10
Extras: (b 4, lb 1, w 2) 7
Total: (10 wickets; 53.3 overs) 128
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-50, 3-53, 4-69, 5-86, 6-91, 7-96, 8-104, 9-104, 10-128
Anderson 14 -8-25-1
Broad 11 -3-26-1
Bresnan 7 -1-28-2
London, July 19
Sydney-born Harris has a British passport because his father was born in Leicester and, while playing for English county Sussex in 2008, he had considered committing himself to his dad's country of birth. But Queensland, impressed by his form for Sussex, moved in to sign him on condition he committed himself to Australia.
Speaking in the England and Wales Cricket Board offices after play closed on Thursday, he said: "Last time I was in this building I had a meeting with (former England captain) Mike Gatting about that passport.
"I travelled here to play a little bit, and having an English passport made it a bit easier. — Agencies
New Delhi, July 19
“I don't think experience matters, especially in limited overs game. You need 11 players, who are hungry for success, who are hardworking and whose vision is team victory. All 15 players are strong and it is a strong unit, which is good,” said Kohli at a promotional event here for Mattel Toys.
India are to play against Zimbabwe in a five-match series from July 24 to August 3. The squad is without Dhoni, R Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. Kohli said if the team performs in a manner similar to its display over the last month-and-a-half, then it will be good for Indian cricket.
“I can't guarantee. If we continue this way, it will be a good time for Indian cricket. A lot of things that would make people happy,” he said.
The team, led by Dhoni, first lifted the ICC Champions Trophy in England and then clinched the tri-series in the West Indies, in which Sri Lanka was the third outfit.
The 24-year-old, who has played 108 ODIs and also featured in the 2011 World Cup winning squad led by Dhoni, said he liked to lead from the front and set an example to others. “I always like to lead from the front and set an example for whoever is playing with me or around me. I like taking responsibilities. That is a natural thing for me,” he said.
Kohli, who has been made the face of superhero toy Max Steel, said he aimed to be fearless.
“The best quality is to not be afraid of anything. Even if you have seniors in your team, you need to have confidence in your ability and think you can lead them. It is important you set an example with your performance quickly and then you gain respect.— PTI
New Delhi, July 19
Azhar said a chest-on stance will give Tendulkar just that little extra time to cover the swing of the ball and such a change may help the batsman on the bouncier tracks of South Africa.
"To each his own, but I believe that Tendulkar can opt for a chest-on stance which will enable him to play the pacers easily. With age reflexes get slower but you can wriggle out if you have the technique like Tendulkar has," Azharuddin said.
Tendulkar, who has now retired from ODIs, has been bowled eight times and trapped leg before wicket 10 times in his last 37 Test innings.
Azhar, a veteran of 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, further explained, "With side-on stance, you can see the delivery with only one eye but chest-on stance helps you observe with both eyes. This also helps one to cover the swing. I have a feeling that Tendulkar will find it easier to play the inswinger. Once he scores a few runs, he can again revert back to his side-on stance."
Azhar cited his own example of having sought Zaheer Abbas’ advice on changing his grip during India's tour of Pakistan in 1989 which helped him regain lost touch.
"Initially, I found it painful as it hurt my thumb and my right hand would come off the handle. It took time but it it worked for me eventually," he said. — PTI
Gullane (Scotland), July 19
Overnight leader Zach Johnson, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Dustin Johnson were three-under par for two rounds during their unfinished rounds at the time of going to press.
India's Shiv Kapur, who sizzled in the first round yesterday, when he had six birdies in his first seven holes, had a horrendous round today. Kapur carded a six-over 77 today and was in the tied 33rd position with a two-round total of 145. Kapur had eight bogeys and two birdies in his forgettable round today.
Westwood, 40, has so often tantalised his fans with thoughts of a first major title only to fade away that the believers are dwindling with each passing attempt. An awful lot must still go Westwood's way this weekend if he is to win but there was a swagger about him that bodes well for his chances.
Renowned for being one of the best ball-strikers in the world, Westwood's putting has often proved his Achilles heel at the sharp end of the majors. That was not the case, however, on Friday as he put together a superb three-under 68 to move two-under for the championship.
Westwood's putter was on fire during the opening dozen holes and despite the late dropped shots he produced some gutsy par-saving "momentum putts" to keep himself in the mix. "There's not many majors you turn up where it's a birdie-fest and you make a bogey and you feel like you're losing - getting lapped by the field," said Westwood, who has been working with putting coach and 1991 Open winner Ian Baker-Finch. "It's just a case of not following a bogey with another three bogeys in major championships, limiting the damage and picking up birdies whenever you can." — Agencies
Destination Hockey in Mohali
Chandigarh, July 19
Though the stadium isn’t ready yet—it is near completion according to the sports department officials—and needs a few finishing touches before it is officially inaugurated, the blue synthetic turf has already been laid.
This boys’ academy, which is now based in Sri Guru Gobind Singh School, Ratwara Sahib, started training at the stadium 10 days ago to test the turf before it is approved by an official of the International Hockey Federation and is ready for outsiders.
And for the players and the two coaches—Gurdeep Singh Grewal and Manmohan Singh Khattra—after having had tough five years, hopping from ground to ground and without regular access to the synthetic turf, the stadium, which has taken over a year and a half to build, has come as a blessing.
“Since 2007, when the academy was started, we have been training at different grounds, without regular access to the turf. The first year, we used to practice near Anees School in Sector 69, where the academy was based. In the morning we used to practice at a park near the school and in the evening at the hockey stadium in sector 42, but that was not everyday,” said Gurdeep.
Gurdeep added that because there are three academies of the Chandigarh Sports Department practicing at the sector 42 stadium, there was always the problem of an available time-slot.
“Last year we practiced at the Panjab University grounds, and got access to the turf only on Thursdays for match practice,” said Gurdeep, who has been the coach at the academy since its beginning, when most of his trainees were under the age of 14. “It was a big problem—to not get regular training sessions and practice matches on the turf affects the performance. More importantly this period (from 14 to 18 years) is the time to instill the basics into the player.”
Though both the coaches are more concerned over the growth of their trainees than winning tournaments, their team has been winning tournaments regularly. “The team won the School State under-14 tournament in 2008-09 and finished second in the same in 2012-2013. They also won the SN Vohra under-14 hockey tournament in 2009,” said Khattra, who joined as coach in 2011.
Paris, July 19
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