Kohli ton sinks Zimbabwe
Struggle to bring BCCI under RTI Act nears resolution
Jennitha, the new world chess champion
Price slashed to avert loss to players: Gopi
Cricketers continue to hobnob with bookies, says Bacher
Clarke to miss Sussex clash
Vettel seeking another first in Hungary
Hungary is one of only two races remaining on the current calendar that Vettel has not won — the other being Austin, Texas — and a victory in the heat of the Hungaroring would mean he has won half of the season's races so far. File photo
Wada to catch cheats behind cheats
US got what it bargained for in Lance Armstrong, his lawyers say
Federer to start 2014 season in Brisbane
Suarez thrills in Liverpool’s win over Melbourne
Abbasi thrown out of national camp for fasting
Kohli ton sinks Zimbabwe
Harare, July 24
“It`s always good to kick off a tour with a win and personally I was happy with the way I played. The ball was moving around a bit early on and it was all about percentage cricket, rotating the strike and then playing your shots at the end,” Kohli, man-of-the-match, said.
Kohli had struck a century in the West Indies when he led India in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The young skipper credited his bowlers for setting up the easy chase.
“Our bowlers did a very good job up front. The new ball was doing quite a bit in the morning and with two new balls you can`t count any team out,” he said. Kohli also acknowledged debutant Ambati Rayudu`s effort as he came up with an unbeaten half-century. Kohli and Rayudu added 159 runs for the third wicket.
“Congratulations to Ambati Rayudu, he`s got an India call-up after a long time and he`s grabbed his opportunity very well,” he said.
Rayudu, who played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, seemed a satisfied man after spending a sleepless night before making his India debut.
“It`s been a long wait for me. When I came to know about my debut, I couldn`t sleep last night. I was totally blank. My only aim today was to go out there and enjoy myself. I decided that I will play each ball on its merit. It was great to play with Virat who is the best batsman in ODI cricket. My job was to play alongside him,” he said.— PTI
Sibanda lbw b Mishra 34
Raza b Mishra 82
Williams b Raina 15
Masakadza b Mishra 11
Taylor c Raina b Unadkat 12
Waller b Shami 2
Chigumbura not out 43
Mutombodzi c Dhawan b Kumar 8
Utseya not out 8
Extras: (b 2, lb 7, w 4) 13
Total: (7 wkts; 50 overs) 228
Fall of wickets: 1-72, 2-105, 3-119, 4-162, 5-166, 6-176, 7-205
Sharma c Taylor b Chigumbura 20 Dhawan c Waller b Jarvis 17 Kohli c Sibanda b Utseya 115 Rayudu not out 63 Raina c Raza b Utseya 0 Karthik not out 8 Extras: (lb 1, w 5, nb 1) 7 Total: (4 wkts; 44.5 overs) 230 Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-57, 3-216, 4-216 Bowling Jarvis 8-0-40-1 Chatara 9-0-30-0 Chigumbura 5-0-30-1 Utseya 10-0-34-2 Mutombodzi 7.5-0-65-0 Williams 3-0-18-0 Masakadza 2-0-12-0
Sharma c Taylor b Chigumbura 20
Dhawan c Waller b Jarvis 17
Kohli c Sibanda b Utseya 115
Rayudu not out 63
Raina c Raza b Utseya 0
Karthik not out 8
Extras: (lb 1, w 5, nb 1) 7
Total: (4 wkts; 44.5 overs) 230
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-57, 3-216, 4-216
Struggle to bring BCCI under RTI Act nears resolution
Chandigarh, July 24
A bench of the CIC will evaluate whether the BCCI is a "Public Authority", as laid down by the RTI Act. According to the RTI Act, all "Public Authorities" fall under the ambit of the act, and must provide information about their working to India's citizens. Section 2(h) of the RTI Act defines a "Public Authority" as: "Any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the Central Government or a State Government."
The RTI Act adds: "Bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government or State Government also fall within the definition of public authority."
Is the BCCI or the state associations "substantially financed" by the Central or State governments? That is what the case against the BCCI would hinge on.
Interestingly, the State Information Commission of Punjab had ruled that the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) was a public authority. The PCA petitioned the Punjab & Haryana High Court against this ruling, but received a setback there. The Punjab & Haryana High Court ruled that financial assistance provided by the government to the PCA, including land at concessional rates, was "substantial" enough, and that it was a "Public Authority" and must be covered by the RTI Act. In a significant judgement, Justice Mehinder Singh Sullar noted: "Wherever public funds are provided, the word 'substantial' has to be construed in contradistinction to the word 'trivial' and where the funding is not trivial to be ignored as pittance, then to me, the same would amount to substantial funding coming from the public funds." The PCA Stadium was built on land given at 100 per acre per annum, and a sum of Rs 11.07 crore came in grants for the construction of the stadium.
This is just one example of land and help given to a state association. Across India, it's the same story, and often the tracts of land are in prime location of a city - the seaside stadia in Mumbai, or the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, or Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla, for instance. Activist Rahul Mehra says that land given to state associations across India would be worth at least Rs 30,000 crore. This, he says, is a conservative estimate.
It would be difficult for the BCCI to argue that this sort of grant from various government - apart from exemptions from various taxes - is not "substantial".
Delhi woman goes to CIC about BCCI
The Central Information Commission (CIC) issued a notice on July 10, asking the BCCI and its affiliated associations to attend its hearings here on July 25 and 26. The BCCI, registered as a private society, is already contesting a case before the CIC, arguing that it is not a “Public Authority”, as it argues that it does not take any financial help from the Indian government. The new petition has been filed by a Delhi resident, Madhu Agrawal. In her petition, she says that it is important to bring the BCCI under the RTI Act because the BCCI conducts matches with various teams under their purview, and utilises facilities offered by the national and state governments. Earlier, her husband, RTI activist Subhash Agrawal, had filed a similar petition before the CIC.
New Delhi, July 24
Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Jennitha scored 4.5 points from nine rounds after winning three, drawing three, and losing three games. She competed in a combined group with men and became the highest scorer among the woman players and was awarded the IPCA women’s title.
Two Russian women finished tied with Jennitha on points but a higher buchcholz score helped her win the title.
The triumph was more special for Jennitha as she also became a Woman International Master (WIM). The new WIM title would allow her direct entry into many National events for women, except the premier tournament.
The event attracted 49 physically challenged players from 15 countries.
Jennitha, being a wheel-chair player, participated in the FIDE A Category — where almost all the players were international rated players. Nearly nine title holders — five IMs, one FM, one WFM and Two WCM’s — participated in this championship. More than 25 wheel-chair players also took part in the tournament. — PTI
New Delhi, July 24
At the inaugural players’ auction for the IBL Monday, organisers were forced to change the rules and lower the base prices of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta from $50,000 to $25,000, as they remained unsold at the close of the bid on Sunday. Their forte, the women’s doubles, was earlier dropped from the tournament for want of Indian entries.
After the price cut, Jwala was sold to Delhi Smashers for $31,000 while Ashwini was given to Pune Pistons for $25,000 as it was mandatory for the franchise to have one Icon and the Pune team was left only with the Coorgi girl as icon.
This IBL Governing Council’s decision upset the two doubles specialists despite the assurance by the organisers that they would be compensated later.
Terming the controversy as “unprecedented” in world badminton, Gopichand hoped the matter would be sorted out soon.
“With due respect to what they (Gutta and Ponappa) are saying, I think the IBL is ensuring that the players are not at a financial loss. I hope this issue is resolved and we must move on because what is happening is unprecedented in world badminton,” said Gopichand.
Delighted over the money involved in the league, Gopichand said it will greatly benefit the sport.
“There are players who are extremely happy and money was never thought of earlier in Indian or world badminton. So, something like this which has huge benefits for sport, for badminton, for existing players and future generations, we all need to welcome and move on to take it in a positive direction,” said the former All-England champion. — IANS
my racquet will talk: Jwala
with the organisers' last-minute decision to slash her base price at the IBL auction despite being listed in Icon players category, ace doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta on Wednesday said she will let her racquet do the talking in the Indian Badminton League. "The minimum thing we expected was to be informed. Nevertheless, I am very happy to be part of IBL. I am very much looking forward to it. Badminton court is my territory and that's where I will do most of my talking. I will let my racquet speak for myself," said Jwala. "In doubles there was nobody before me. I have changed how people look at doubles,” she said. — PTI
Johannesburg, July 24
the famous match-fixing scandal of 2000.
"Salman Butt, the former Pakistani cricket captain, has recently acknowledged that he had personally interacted with bookmakers in a Test two years ago," Bacher told the daily 'The Citizen'.
Apart from Cronje, who died in a mysterious plane crash in 2002, no other cricketer has been named in the chargesheet.
Two other South African cricketers, Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje, were left out of the chargesheet because the police did not find enough evidence against them.
Bacher, however, welcomed the Delhi Police's move. "Cricket lovers and supporters around the world can take heart and comfort that bookmakers allegedly involved in this malpractice are facing criminal charges," he said.
Bacher was among the first to deny any involvement by Cronje and his teammates in match-fixing when the allegations first surfaced in India. "Cronje is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty," Bacher had said then.
But barely four days later, Bacher had to concede that he had been duped and announced that Cronje's contract with CSA had been suspended after the cricketer broke down and confessed to his role in the scandal.‘No point in charging Cronje now’
Ewie Cronje, father of the deceased former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, says that he sees no sense in Delhi Police's decision to charge his son now for the infamous match-fixing scandal that happened 13 years ago. "They had the opportunity to charge (Hansie) then, but they could find nothing then. What will they find now?" Ewie Cronje told the Afrikaans daily Beeld yesterday. Ewie Cronje's reaction after Delhi Police named the deceased Hansie as accused in the match-fixing case of the year 2000. No other cricketer has been named in the chargesheet apart from Hansie, who died in a mysterious plane crash in 2002. Ewie Cronje said it was good that the professional gamblers who "caused it all" will now possibly be punished, but expressed doubt whether the new development will deliver any results.
Hansie had told the King Commission that he had accepted money from bookies for fixing a match in India, resulting in his life ban from cricket. — PTI
London, July 24
Clarke is sidelined amid reports that a long-standing back injury flared up after Australia`s crushing second Test defeat against England at Lord`s.
Ed Cowan will skipper the team in Clarke`s absence, with vice-captain Brad Haddin, openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers plus pace bowlers Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris all rested.
Those changes mean a surprise chance for Turner, who had been playing in the English amateur leagues for Chichester Priory Park. The 20-year-old has taken 18 wickets at an average of 40.78 for the Sussex Premier League club this season. — PTI
Budapest, July 24
If the German can triumph for the first time in seven visits on what promises to be a sweltering weekend in Budapest then he will go into Formula One's summer break well on the way to a fourth successive title.
This year has already seen the 26-year-old break new ground. He has won his home race for the first time, savoured a first victory in North America and shown his ruthless streak in defying team orders.
Hungary is one of only two races remaining on the current calendar that Vettel has not won - the other being Austin, Texas - and a victory in the heat of the Hungaroring would mean he has won half of the season's races so far.
"Hungary has some interesting memories for me," he said this week, casting his mind back to only the second race of his F1 career when he joined Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso in 2007 after a debut as a stand-in with BMW-Sauber.
"It was my first race with the Red Bull family. Let's hope I can add to my memories by winning there for the first time before I go on holiday."
Ominously for Vettel's rivals, on previous form he is likely to get even stronger in the second half of the season so every point they can take off him now could be vital.
The championship leader has hit his stride already, scoring 157 points from nine races compared to 100 last year, and won four races after taking just one by this stage in 2012. He is 34 points clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
And in the last three seasons, Vettel has come back refreshed after the summer break and put his foot down to win at least three more races - four last year and five in his most dominant 2011 campaign.
The introduction of new Pirelli tyres this weekend, after a spate of blowouts at last month's British Grand Prix led to emergency changes in Germany, could help him further.
Vettel was fastest in a test of the new tyres, which marry the 2012 structure with 2013 compounds to produce less degradation, at Silverstone last week although his main race rivals were absent.
Mercedes, who were not allowed to test at Silverstone as punishment for a 'secret' test with Pirelli in June, will have to wait and see but their strength in qualifying up to now should stand them in good stead.
Lewis Hamilton is chasing his third pole in a row with Mercedes and has won three times in Hungary but that was with McLaren, who have won six times in the last eight years but are currently a long way from where they want to be.
"We have a number of challenges to overcome," said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff. "We will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tyres work with our car.
"Then we will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres.
"During the race at the Nuerburgring, we were overheating the tyres and we want to minimise the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high."
Alonso - who took his first F1 win in Hungary with Renault in 2003 - and Lotus's third placed Kimi Raikkonen will be hoping their cars' gentle treatment of the tyres can help them put pressure on Vettel.
"People say the characteristics of our car are not best suited to this circuit and that it will be tough for us to fight for the win here, but I am not sure this is an accurate assessment," said Alonso's team mate Felipe Massa.
"There have been other circuits where we expected our car to be very strong and it was not and vice-versa," added the Brazilian, who suffered life-threatening head injuries in a freak accident at the track near Budapest in 2009.
"You need a car that is very stable and that is kind to the tyres to avoid degradation. I think we can be competitive so I'm hoping our weekend goes in the opposite way to what people are expecting."
McLaren's Jenson Button is not expecting much but loves the circuit after taking his first F1 win there in 2006 and in 2011 with McLaren in his 200th race.
"Of course a win in 2013 is going to be difficult but I actually think the team is working very well right now," said the 2009 world champion. — Reuters
London, July 24
As part of the new code by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), Fahey, its president, insists that athletes will no longer be solely responsible for failed dope tests but that the entourage behind sportsmen and women would be held accountable too.
Those people had previously been untouchable by Wada. Powell blamed a personal trainer after testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine while Gay said: "I basically put my trust in someone and was let down" after testing positive for a still unnamed substance.
Wada's new code will be presented in November and, if ratified, come into effect in 2015.
At the heart of it is an aim to widen the net in the battle against doping. "It's a much more effective code as it's one for the entourage as well - picking up the coaches, agents and physios," said Fahey.
"It says they can be dealt with in the same fashion as an athlete.
"These aren't registered people but what we're saying is that athletes who use that person will suffer the sanctions of an anti-doping violation. We can do that. Here I'm talking about the Victor Contes (behind the Balco Laboratory scandal that incorporated the likes of Marion Jones and Dwain Chambers) of this world, an admitted cheat that's done time. So it's increased penalties to include the entourage."
To date, coaches, agents and physios whose athletes have tested positive for banned substances have been beyond the realms of Wada's punishment structure but Fahey, whose term as president finishes at the end of the year, is determined to change that. Also at the heart of the code is a proposal for what Wada calls "full menu testing".
As Fahey explained: "Some anti-doping organisations are undertaking testing and not ticking the square for testing, say, steroids. That will be eliminated in the code. This is part of ensuring we have the best machinery to beat the cheats."
The other key ingredient in the code is the proposal of four-year bans for the more serious offences, such as steroids.
"The real cheats are going to get four-year bans, the ones with steroids and human growth hormone in their system, and that's a big jump from the current two years," he said.
"The thinking is that not a lot of people come back from four years. OK, Justin Gatlin did, but there aren't many." The severity of the proposed punishment is the major deterrent against cheats.
But Fahey argues that education is another tool in that and part of Wada's current annual budget of £28m to tackle global doping is being spent on education about the perils of doping. — PTI
Washington, July 24
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, Armstrong's lawyers said the Postal Service benefited from the sponsorship and they asked a judge to dismiss the federal government's fraud lawsuit demanding its money back.
"The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for," the lawyers wrote. The Postal Service is an arm of the federal government.
The once-revered athlete is fighting to hang on to what remains of his reputation and his earnings after he was stripped last year of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling.
In February, a month after Armstrong admitted to doping, the Justice Department said it was joining a fraud suit filed in 2010 by Floyd Landis, a former Armstrong teammate. Landis filed the suit under a federal law that allows whistle-blowers to report fraud in exchange for a reward.
The Postal Service paid $40 million from 1998 through 2004 to have Armstrong and his teammates from Tailwind Sports wear its logo during record-breaking wins. At least $17.9 million of these fees went to Armstrong, according to the government.
The sponsorship contract included promises to obey cycling rules. In arguing those rules were broken, the government is asking for triple damages.
"The Postal Service contract with Tailwind required the team to enter cycling races, wear the Postal Service logo and follow the rules banning performance-enhancing substances - rules that Lance Armstrong has now admitted he violated," Stuart Delery, an acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said in February.
Armstrong's lawyers wrote that despite intense international attention on doping and a French investigation, the U.S. government never suspended the cycling team. Instead, the government renewed its sponsorship.
"It is now far too late for the government to revisit its choice to reap the benefits of sponsorship rather than investigate allegations of doping," they wrote.
The filing argues that the six-year statute of limitations under the anti-fraud False Claims Act expired in 2010, nine days before Landis filed his suit, barring the government's claims.
While the court papers argued that the suit was filed too late, Armstrong's lawyers separately asked U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins, who is overseeing the case, to dismiss Landis' complaint against his former teammate. Landis won the Tour de France in 2006 but was stripped of the title a year later after testing positive for synthetic testosterone. — Reuters
Sydney, July 24
The 31-year-old Swiss, who has four Melbourne Park titles among his 17 grand slams, has never previously started the year in Brisbane and the announcement was billed as the "biggest ... in the history" of the event, which started in 2009.
Federer previously warmed up for the year's first grand slam at the now ailing Kooyong exhibition tournament and more recently in Doha, Qatar.
"I've always hoped that I could come there," Federer was quoted as saying in a media release.
"I'm not just coming for the Australian Open, especially when I commit so early in advance, it's also to win in Brisbane."
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has won the men's event at the Pat Rafter Arena for the last two years, while Serena Williams won the women's title last year. — Reuters
Melbourne, July 24
Striker Suarez's commitment to the Merseyside club remains in doubt, and a mammoth red-clad crowd of 95,446 grew restless as the Uruguayan cooled his heels on the bench deep into the second half.
Yet his appearance in the 72nd minute among a raft of substitutions sparked a deafening roar from the terraces, and fans left the hulking coliseum happy after watching the 26-year-old set up the second goal with typical trickery.
Suarez, second top scorer in the Premier League with 23 goals last season, has said he wants to leave Liverpool to play in Spain, blaming the British media for making his life impossible in England.
But despite the heated speculation over his future, he joined up with his team mates in Australia, with his coach Brendan Rodgers playing down talk of a move.
While Suarez dominated the leadup, it was his captain generating the highlights early on a chilly night at the MCG.
Gerrard charged into the area to finish a pinpoint through ball from Joe Allen into the right corner in the 32nd minute after starting the move with an inspired back-heel in midfield.
The Victory, a heavyweight in the local A-League competition, battled hard throughout and denied Liverpool a second goal until seconds before the close.
Suarez received a pass from a corner, darted into the area and effortlessly steered a low cross through heavy traffic to allow Aspas to tap home from close range. — Reuters
Lahore, July 24
The development is likely to ignite discussion on whether sportsmen should fast during matches or training camps.
Rasool said he had taken disciplinary action against Abbasi for violating instructions and policy. “It was decided very clearly before the camp began that no player will fast because during fasting it is not possible to focus on your training and drills. If Abbasi wants to fast he should do it at home. This is a national camp and all players are required to focus on their training. The forthcoming Asia Cup is a do or die situation for us if we don’t win it we can qualify for the World Cup.”
Abbasi confirmed he had defied the orders of the chief coach but insisted that he could focus on his training even when he is keeping a fast.
“I believe I can do both things and I believe keeping fast or not should be an individual’s personal decision.”
The secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, Asif Bajwa, said the matter was being looked into but it was a fact that before the camp began the players and management had sat together and decided no one will fast in the camp.
“It was a policy decision taken after consensus but we will now look into this matter as it is a sensitive one and see what is to be done.”
The camp has been set up for the Asia Cup, to be held in Malaysia. — PTI
Isinbayeva to call it quits after the Worlds
India colts pile up huge total against Lanka
Brief scores: India U-19 503/7 dec in 127 overs (Vijay Zol 173, Sanju Samson 89, Chamika Karunaratne 4/94); Sri Lanka U-19 (Ist Innings) 24/1 in 16 overs (Atul Singh 1/10).
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